Help for Healing

Bitter & Sweet, living daily with grief

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How to Get Out of Trouble

I’m such a sap.

And my 10 year old son has completely caught on.

He brought home yet another FAILING open book test. (How does that happen?  Well, when you think you are so smart you don’t need to bother looking up the answers, you might end up failing.  Yes, even a second time.)

As I opened his take-home folder, I found a poem attached to the test.

“The results of my social studies test won’t fill you with glee,

But don’t take hockey away from me.

I am sorry I made you mad,

But no hockey would make me sad. 😦

I know that you will not like the results of the test,

But just so you know, I did my best.

I know that you’ll be mad,

But consequences will make me sad.”

He kills me.  I asked him if he really wrote it by himself.  He said “Yes.  I tried to tell the other kids that failed that they should try it too but they just weren’t buying it.”

It worked, I can’t stand it when my kid is sad.

After a parent-teacher conference though, he did come up with his own consequences.  If he forgets his homework (or whatever) he loses TV for the entire night-  shows, but more painfully his WII and Playstation games too.  I would’ve suggested two hours, but I’ll go with the whole night.

I might be a sap, but I’ve raised a clever boy 🙂

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It was quite a weekend.  Saturday, I found myself acting out a pattern I have become aware of.  When a date is approaching that I think might be difficult, I usually have a few melt downs the week before.  Then on the actual day, it usually goes smoothly.  Conversely, when I don’t anticipate something being difficult, I usually get slammed on that day and shocked by my intense emotions.

I know October is hard and I knew October 14 would be tough.  So on Saturday the 13th, I had the worst of it.  I cried about a zillion times that day.  Sometimes mini-ones, sometimes full scale sobbing.  On and off all day.  I had lots of people around who took me to lunch, brought me presents, gave me hugs, held me when I needed it.  I cried anyway, but I definitely wasn’t alone.

Sunday the 14th ended up being a glorious day.  Dave (my 10 year old) had decided to go door to door and offer to rake leaves for money.  He came back with $12 and handed it to me.  He almost always gives me his money and we put it in the “hockey envelope” to help pay all the expenses that come with the sport.  He told me that this $12 was to help me pay the taxes.  I was a little confused but then remembered the tax bill was sitting out on the counter for a couple of days before I filed it.  I thanked him for being so thoughtful but told him the taxes were paid and we would put the money towards his hockey stuff.  He said “Well, if the taxes are paid, then you need to keep that money to get something for yourself.”    Just when I think he’s a hopeless punk, he goes and does something like this.  I started to cry a little and he was like “Really mom, you don’t need to cry about this.”   He’s a GREAT kid.

Later, a few friends came over for the “Rebirth-day Party”.  One of my devious and delightful friends had gotten in touch with everyone who came and they chipped in to buy a cherry tree.  Cherries were Tim’s favorite fruit.  They planted it in the back yard for us.  I shed a couple tears again, just because I was overwhelmed by how thoughtful and kind my friends are.  And because I am so damned lucky to have to many amazing people in my life.  (Now I just have to make sure I don’t kill the tree… LOL)

Quite a weekend.  More of the bitter and sweet theme, but overwhelmingly on the sweet side.



I love the sun.  I love to feel the warmth of baking myself, even though its supposedly bad for me.  So around here, there is only a few months to enjoy this.  I have discovered though that the sun and heat are really not that enjoyable if there is not a pool nearby to cool off in whenever you feel like it  🙂

Over the years, I have really grown to love autumn.  I love the crisp air.  Isn’t that a great word?  It’s perfect. CRISP air.  I love wearing sweatshirts too so I think that has something to do with it.  I love orange and pumpkins and scarecrows.  I don’t love winterizing my yard, but that’s ok.

But now, (just like the title of my book), autumn is bitter and sweet.  This Sunday, October 14, will be the two year anniversary of Tim’s death.  Dave decided he wanted to have a few friends over for a small party.  We remembered last year, we came up with the term “REBIRTH-DAY”,  ‘cuz Dad was reborn into heaven on this day.

On a conscious level, I don’t stress about the “anniversary”.  My friend even asked me a couple of weeks ago what my plans were for the day and I didn’t even remember why the day was significant.  But my soul and body remember.  The crisp autumn air reminds my senses of what a difficult time of year this was in 2010.   And on a conscious level, I am reminded of the details of those days as I write the book.

I feel like I’m heading in the wrong direction sometimes.  This year feels worse than last when I wake up some days and want to bite everyone’s heads off, for no reason in particular.  Or it feels worse when I find myself in the middle of a crying jag I can’t control.

But I’ve had a couple of reliable sources tell me that I am significantly “better” than last year.  While I don’t really remember, apparently last year I was complaining of sitting on the couch and staring into space for hours at a time, feeling unable to even get up.  So I’m glad to know that.  I’m glad to know that in actuality, I am doing “better”.

I am writing a book, taking care of my property, running a business, trying to be a mom with some sort of competence, being a daughter who tries to take care of her dad, and even attempting to be a decent significant other.  And I only bite the heads off of people who love me deeply and give me a pass …  because its October.  And my heart and soul know, that along side the beautiful, crisp air, is a deep and profound sadness.  But strength.  And hope.

Ah, the bitter and sweet.

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The Upside

I’ve been trying to add another entry for days.  I’ve just been too busy or whatever and it didn’t happen.  I lay in bed at night and form the words in my mind.  I still have the thoughts but I’m going to save those for another post.  I was inspired to write something different today.

My sister and brother in law came over this weekend.  They are about 75 minutes away.  Not the end of the world, but far enough that we don’t get together as much as we would like to.  When Tim was sick, and for months and months after he died, both of my sisters took turns staying the weekend with me so I wasn’t alone.  Crazy dedication.

My brother in law Stan still comes out when he can to do my “Honey-Do” lists for me.  (My dad stays with me on Wednesdays and does all kinds of odd jobs for me too.)  On the way here, they stopped at my dad’s to take some measurements for something they are fixing for him.  Up bright and early Saturday morning, Stan cleaned out all the gutters on my property and hooked up the heat tapes for me.  Lisa helped and then cleaned my house.  After that, Stan and I started winterizing the property.  We filled 8 large garbage cans from cuttings and ran out of space.  We stored some furniture away.  I finally cried “UNCLE” because I was so exhausted.  (I also found out I have a separated shoulder which causes me some grief sometimes).   He kept working.

They got up early this morning to leave because they are spending the day at Dad’s trying to fix the nightmare door project they worked on til dark LAST weekend…..   Thier entire weekend off is being spent helping other people.  Did I mention they both work full time plus have second jobs?

While all this was going on, my friend Karen has been making new web sites for me.  She would never say so, but I’m sure she was frustrated.  I didn’t answer the phones or emails most of the day because I was outside working.  She does things for me all week long, seven days a week, any time of the day or night.

So while my post was going to be about how difficult the month of October is for me, I laid in bed humbled by the generosity of others.  I have so many, many people in my life who sacrifice and give and help and offer and share and and and and….   Yes, life is hard at times for most of us.  But there is also much good and inspiration out there.  Today, I will focus on that instead.