Help for Healing

Bitter & Sweet, living daily with grief


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ZZZZip it!

You know how when you are saying something that others don’t want to hear, they look at you and say, “zzzzzz” while acting like they are closing a zipper? I get that done to me every now and then. I did it to myself though this week and it worked out rather well.

Dave- Cross Country

Frankie runs with cross-country which is just amazing to me because I can’t run to the end of my driveway. I’ve been complaining this summer though because he practices Monday through Saturday which means waking up at 6 or so. What about summer break? Then I remind myself that soon he will be off to college and then I will singing the blues because he isn’t here to ask for rides anymore.

One day this week it was pouring out. I mean really, really pouring. I woke Frankie up and asked him if he was still running. Yep. The other carpool mom took him and it was my job to pick the boys up afterward. He called me to get them and asked me to bring as many towels as I could.

Whining in my mind again. Of course I can but they are all in the gazebo which means getting soaked myself to go get them. I grabbed four, figuring two each. While I was driving there, you should have heard what was going on in my head.

This is utterly ridiculous. They aren’t training for the Olympics or anything. Can’t they skip days when it’s pouring out?  I mean they run six days a week.  They take this too seriously. Besides, it’s no wonder that Frankie’s $80 sneakers only last a couple of months. You aren’t supposed to run in a flood. I’m going to tell them how silly this is and hope they make a better decision next time.

(Oh yeah, I don’t have much time left to be “inconvenienced” and then I’ll be sad. Besides, they ARE teenagers. They probably think this is fun. This is my much smaller voice.)

I pull in next to another vehicle. I recognize the grandma that usually picks up her grandson. She’s driven my kid about a thousand times too. She rolls down her window and says, “Those crazy kids!” You said it Grandma.

Frankie runs over with a smile on his face and grabs the towels. I then watch with pride as he gives the other towels to all his teammates. They were so appreciative and I could tell he was thrilled to be the thoughtful hero.

He and his buddy get in the car and I can’t resist saying, “Maybe you guys should skip rainy days?” Frankie replied with, “MOM! You don’t understand the grind.” His friend chuckled in the backseat and then, of course, the radio was turned on and blaring.

Frankie was in rare form. He was singing and dancing with gusto and silliness that had me and his friend cracking up. I realized he was high on life. Honestly, sometimes I am such a dope.

The next morning the weather was great again and I woke up at 6:30 am without the alarm and panicked. I woke Frankie who said, “Nah,  I’m not running today.” Go figure.

Please feel free to comment or tell one of your own stories!


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Riding in a Car with Women

Along with the aches and pains of a job search, I have also been able to meet some great people. I had to attend a meeting today and car pooled with three other women. There was the drive there, the meeting, and the drive home. Let me just say, I haven’t laughed that hard in a while. The range of topics was staggering, from professional to personal and everything in between.

Talked about my dad and got some phone numbers to follow up on some things for possible better care. (That’s the advantage of hanging out with other aging care managers. They know the same peeps as I do but many, many more.)

Talked about the agency we are affiliated with and the frustrations with our medical system and the lack of interest for our aging population. It was great to hear other people be passionate about wanting to change things for the better. I’m proud of our agency for focusing on the aging.

We talked about the upcoming conference which is another year away. That’s good because pulling off a 3-day conference is a monumental task.

Talked about the naked bike ride in Buffalo. I was able to say I knew people who actually participated in it. (By the way, if my friends are reading this, I did not initiate the term “naked bike ride.” THEY called it that so don’t yell at me!)

Talked about one women’s ice pack on her bum. She got it from exercising. The back seat agreed that is one more great reason to avoid exercising whenever possible. It’s just too dangerous.  Bad for your health.

We talked about a surgeon that can reconstruct a woman’s virginity in the physical sense. Modern medicine! This comes in handy if you ever need to go to a country where a woman is required to be a virgin in order to be worthy of marriage.

We talked about breast-feeding and the miracle of birth in general. I pointed out that the whole concept of growing a human inside you is indeed a miracle, as well as quite creepy if you think about it too much.

Vibrators. That was a good one. Stories about a mom who discovered her teenage daughter had stolen hers to use it.

Stories about rectums that fall out. One of us was a nurse so she is the information guru on this one. I didn’t even know that was possible. You think that is weird? She had to put gloves on and put it back inside. Yikes.

Then there were the dating stories. I’m the only one not married at this point. I got out my list of names and numbers that have the jotted down notes to remind me of the lovely memories. We giggled over “chicken guy”, “toothless guy”, the guy that thought I was too fat, the guy that was younger than my children, etc., etc.. I decided I needed to give my boyfriend an extra hug next time I see him for saving me from all that nonsense.

I’m forgetting a bunch more topics, but let me just say I’m grateful for these new women in my life and I look forward to spending more time with them. You never know what the work day is going to bring you, that’s for sure. I did come home with a tummy ache from laughing so hard.  🙂

 


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Safety Precautions

I’m not very good at protecting myself. Emotionally I’m definitely a risk taker. Physically, I’m more cautious, but still not so much.

I remember when I was single and owned my first home. All the neighborhood kids hung out at my house. One of the kids that I was closest to, stole some money out of my desk. I went to his parents and he gave me the money back. That was the first time that I remember having to make a choice. I could start worrying about everyone who came in, start locking my drawers, hiding assets, etc. but I decided that I didn’t want to live that.

I’ve had that theory tested since then. You might remember the blog where someone I knew stole an entire year’s budget out of my house after Tim died. They did it while there was a big pool party going on. For a while we pursued it with a detective but we got no where. I found myself questioning my own family and the very best of my friends trying to figure it out. I had to decide to let it go. I couldn’t bear to let a wedge come in my life, especially without knowing who it was for sure. I did start to lock up my money though.

This week, I was out at my pool with a few friends. A young college student came up to the gate and I could tell he was in sales. Sure enough, he said he was selling educational materials for all age groups. We chatted a bit and I said I would talk to Frankie and be ready with an answer later in the evening. He then surprised me and said that he was having a contest with the other interns to see how many pools they could jump in with their clothes on. Could he jump in mine?

I laughed and told him of course he could! As I reached up to open the gate, I had a moment of, “Oh my Gosh! What if he has a gun and he’s going to kill us?” I didn’t even used to have those thoughts but now I do. I instantly resisted and again consciously said that I will not live that way.

He came in and jumped in the pool. We all had a great laugh about it. I wish I had a picture to show you. When he came back later that night, I told him he wasn’t getting a sale. He did not pressure me at all. Instead he just said he was able to jump in one other pool that day so he won the contest.

Well, at least there is one other person in the world who is as crazy as I am!


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When it Rains…

You know the rest. It pours. Although all things considered, I’m not drowning. I just feel soaked through and annoyed.

A couple of nights ago, I was working on the computer and hearing a weird water sound. I went to investigate and discovered the dishwasher was flooding the kitchen floor. Crap. I had actually just declined an invitation to go swimming on a perfect, beautiful night because I was too tired to put a swim suit on. Now that is tired. Thank God for google though. We actually repaired the dishwasher, at least for now. I didn’t know how I was going to pay for that too.

A couple of days before that, I walked Taffy and came back to my car only to discover it wouldn’t start. Stand in the 90 degree heat and wait for your friend to come and jump your battery. I was ticked because my battery isn’t that old. That’s because it wasn’t the battery. A jump didn’t work so we had to wait for triple A. It was the starter.  Car got towed. Another $540 later my car is back in the driveway. In two weeks I will probably trade it in, but you know how things go. I had to sink some money in before I got rid of it.

As soon as the hot weather breaks, they are coming to fix my roof. For yet another grand and some change, I will make the FIFTH attempt to have it repaired. Ever since the seven feet of snow dumped on our roof I haven’t been able to successfully stop the leaks in my roof. I repair it, then repair the kitchen and bathroom walls and ceilings. The next winter I just start all over again.

It’s all just normal life. I found myself saying this week that I’m sick of being a grown-up. I haven’t felt that ache on my shoulders in my while, the one I get from the weight of the world resting on my single-mom-you’re-the-only-one-responsible-for-everything shoulders, but it came back with a vengeance this week.

My foot surgery is mid-October, but until then I will also live regularly with pain that makes my eyes water. Each day it seems like I walk less and less before I have to stop and ice them.  I completely allow myself a pity-party but then I do the grateful thing. At least I have a car, dishwasher, and roof to break. And I’m super proud of the fact that Colin and I have managed to not only keep our home, but keep it in great shape. We’ve had two big pool bashes this week that were a huge success. Seeing everyone enjoy themselves makes it worth it.

But if you are ever around and want to rub my shoulders a bit, I won’t say no.