I am turning into not a very nice person. The last year, has had an unfortunate effect of making me a bitter, crabby, bitchy person. This is probably not really all that true, but I just don’t know how much more I can take.
Mea has said to me, too many times to count, that I am always making a frowny face. Which is not good for my overall mood, not to mention that I am going to end up with permanent frown lines, and need Botox or something.
Let’s do a recap of 2013 so far…
My Mom diagnosed with stage 4 cancer.
Fired from job of 10 years.
Unemployment for four and a half months.
More than one friend or friend’s spouse diagnosed with cancer.
One job offer, at a significant cut in pay.
Big daughter moves to Ohio.
House is broken into.
Small daughter’s babysitter quits with no notice right before Thanksgiving.
Big daughter calls crying as her work will not let her have any time off for Christmas, and she cannot come home.
This last one is just the icing on the cake.
Mack can’t afford to just quit her job, it took her 2 months to even find this crappy job she doesn’t really like, she had talked about just quitting and coming home, but this just isn’t really a reasonable thing to do. My Mom is just devastated. My heart hurts, I cried at work this morning. Blubbered all over one of my co-workers.
I cannot even begin to tell you what this is going to do to Mea. She is going to be crushed. She has said multiple times that she only wants Mack home for Christmas. Now, she’s not fooling me completely, she still wants a guitar (she’s getting that) a computer (not so much) a I-Pod Touch (nope) and a Nerf bow and arrow (yes!), but I cannot provide the one thing that she has asked for over and over again. It is at the top of each Christmas list. I have even heard her whispering it to Sparkle Heart….
“I want my MackamooSissy home for Christmas….”
This breaks my heart, not just for Mea, but for me too. I miss Mack like crazy. I have been good, I haven’t complained about her not being here, I was sad when she wasn’t here for Thanksgiving, and I had to suck it up a few times. I can only begin to imagine what Christmas without her is going to be like.
Every year, for as long as she has been alive, and old enough to actually “help” Nana decorate their house for Christmas, she has been the main “elf” doing all of the decorating. She told my Mom before she left for Ohio, that she understood that decorating couldn’t wait, but to please save the nativity for her to put out.
My Mom made the nativity scene with her ceramics ladies. Sanded, painted, and fired each piece herself. The nativity has always been Mack’s last duty in the decorating. Mom was saving it for her.
My Mom sent me a text that she can’t put it out. She had my Dad put the box back in storage.
We are going to pull everything together, get it wrapped so that I can get it shipped out in time for Mack and her boyfriend to have gifts to open. Some of her stuff isn’t here yet, so I guess she may end up getting some of her presents in installments. She has been making many of her gifts for the kids and grown-ups, so they are not all finished either. I told her I would help her with the shipping when she was ready and able.
We have been planning on going out to visit over Spring Break, and to be honest, March 14th cannot come soon enough for me. I need to see my girl. I need to be able to touch her and give her a hug. Skype is wonderful, but it’s not exactly the same thing as giving your big girl a snuggle.
I am over this year.
It has been awful, and I just don’t know how much more I can take.
I’m tired of whining.
I’m tired of not being my normal snarky, somewhat happy self.
A few weekends ago, my husband and I went away for the weekend. It was the first time we have left Mea. It is also the first time that we had gone anywhere just the two of us, since our honeymoon.
We really needed that trip. It was good for us. Mea lived, and although she was super pissed that we left her, she had lots of fun with her big sister, E1, her niece and her nephew, and the following night with her Aunt and cousins.
We didn’t really do anything that we couldn’t have done here, but going out-of-town made us spend time together. It was all good. We ate junk food and drank in the middle of the day, we went to a movie that was rated R, and last longer than an hour and a half.
We had fun.
When we got home, we picked Mea up, and went home and started our normal Sunday routine. I got laundry started, went to the grocery store, fed my family lunch and dinner.
I did notice that the majority of the clothes that I had sent for Mea to wear while we were gone was still clean, folded, and hadn’t been worn. When she was at her sister’s house, she claimed she didn’t have any shirts (she had two in that bag) and when she was at her Aunt’s house she swore that I hadn’t packed her any pants, to which my sister just told her to wear the pants she had worn the day before.
I am a little surprised that the grown-ups didn’t question this a little more, but whatever. She had at least two full outfits in each bag. We left Friday night, and came home Sunday morning. I totally over packed her, and it was for no reason.
After dinner, I went to help Mea get ready for her bath. She was being silly, super squirrelly, and was forcing me to help her get undressed. I get her pants off, and look at her feet.
She was wearing the same socks that I had helped her put on Friday morning.
They were once white.
They were about ten shades of brown when I peeled them off of her feet.
I posted something on Facebook about it, just being my normal smart ass self, giving my sister and E1 a hard time for not doing a very good job of Mea sitting.
The next morning, my Mom told me that she got the biggest laugh out of Mea not changing her socks.
She said that once she had a seven-year-old daughter, (duh, it was me) who she dropped off for a weekend camping trip for Brownies. Apparently, this daughter wore the same socks, underwear, and undershirt the entire weekend. They had gone hiking in the woods, and it had been muddy. They did stuff around the camp fire. Apparently, she even walked in only socked feet back and forth to the latrine a few times as well.
As we were talking I could hear the smile in my Mom’s voice, remembering this silly story of her seven-year old daughter being a dirty little piglet during her first camping trip.
I, of course, do not recall doing this. I do remember camping with Girl Scouts plenty of times, but I don’t remember my filthy socks.
It’s the little stories like this that I soak up and savor so much these days. I have a hard time thinking about all of the stories that I don’t know, or no longer remember, and how they could someday just be gone because I was too young to remember or notice, and my Mom may not be there to tell the story to me. How one of my children doing something silly like not changing her socks will remind my Mom of something similar that either I did, or that my sister did at the same exact age.
I hope to hear more of these.
Actually, I hope to hear all of these.
PS. Guys! I am writing again. Words come out when I come here! Thank you for sticking with me.
When I was younger, I was a swimmer. I took private lessons from the time I was an infant, and my Mom could drag me to the pool. Both of my parents were extremely anxious around water, my Dad couldn’t swim, and my Mom really just didn’t like to. My Mom has a cousin who died at two years of age in a pool. She was quite passionate about my sister and I being good swimmers.
I took to the water. I loved it.
I had a swimming instructor who taught me to do a dead man’s float. Along with treading water, this was a strength and conditioning type thing he made me do periodically. I have asthma, so making sure I was taking time to breathe was an important part of our training.
Lately, I feel like this. Like I am just floating along on the water. Arms splayed out, taking a deep breath when I can, or when I have to, and then just going back into the float.
Arms and legs splayed out. Taking in air when I have to.
Just floating along.
I sort of feel over-whelmed, and under-whelmed at the same time. I just can’t quite get out of this funk. I am worried that it is here to stay, and that I can’t get my happy back.
I am not finding joy in many things lately.
I know that I need to snap out of it, and I know that I will. I just feel a bit like I am drowning instead of pulling my head out of the water to take that deep breath of air that I need.
I miss my friends in my computer.
I miss writing.
I miss my daughter.
Having Mack so far away, is so hard. I have never gone this long without a hug from my big girl. Even when she was a Yellow State, I still saw her at least once a month. It’s been five weeks since she left.
I miss my Mom. (I know she is still here, I just miss the way she used to be. Seeing her sick is hard. One of the worst things I have ever had to deal with. I fucking hate it.)
I miss being close with my sister.
I miss going to work and loving what I was doing, and being excited to be there.
I need to make some changes, but I need to also get the courage to make those changes. I need to be able to think things through, and start slow.
I know that I cannot keep on floating along like this.
The Dead Man’s Float is a survival tool, it is not intended to be used forever.
So much stuff taking up space in my brain.
In no particular order…
- Mack is all moved away to Ohio.
- When I think about it, it makes me so sad.
- I try not to think about it.
- But then I feel guilty for not thinking about her.
- So then I text or call for no reason, and it sort of makes me feel better, but also sad.
- I really, really hate her being so far away.
- When we had our family/friends BBQ, it was the first time I had met his Mom.
- She came up to me and hugged me and told me it would be “okay with her” if I came over the morning they left to say goodbye.
- Needless to say, it rubbed me the wrong way.
- Mea and I Skyped with Mack on Thursday night.
- It was pretty nice to be able to see her actual face, and to “see” her apartment.
- I feel like I have been a pretty shitty friend and blogger lately.
- I just can’t keep up with everything.
- I feel like I have so many plates spinning.
- If you feel neglected, I am sorry.
- I suck, I know I do right now if that is any consolation.
- My parents have been running around like maniacs since Thursday.
- Their car club is hosting a national convention.
- My Mom has been overdoing it.
- She says she hasn’t been, but I know her better than that.
- It is times like this that make me angry and sad.
- She should be able to run around like the maniac that she is, without feeling exhausted, and without worrying about how her body will fail her the following days for overdoing things.
- I am brewing some serious hostility and anger here.
- It ebbs and flows.
- Right now, I am just pissed at all the things.
- I wish I weren’t, but I just need to ride it out until my happy comes back.
- Things are going okay at my job.
- There are parts of it that I really enjoy.
- I had two customers last week who I was really able to help.
- Like make a significant difference in their lives, help.
- I haven’t helped someone in this way in years.
- However, last week my company laid of 2400 people, about 240 in our city.
- Being the “new guy” kind of sucks when things like this happen.
- Hoping that this kind of layoff stays far away from my department.
- My husband has a job offer on the table right now, that is insanely good.
- He has to pass a physical this coming Friday in order to get the job.
- I am more than a little concerned about this, but I am hoping for the best.
- If he were to get this job, I wouldn’t have to worry about possible layoffs from my company.
- Hoping for the best.
I think this is it for now. Really hoping that my happy comes back in full force very soon. I hate being grumpy, mad and sad. So not my normal.
Today, my Mom took me to buy a new outfit to wear on my first day of work at my new job next week.
Small things like this, are things that she has always done for all of us. New job, promotion, transfer, some sweet gift, surprise, or other kind of gesture.
She offered to buy me a new suit to wear to interviews when I lost my job. My first interview happened before we had a chance to go shopping. I told her I would take a rain check, and get something new later.
Today was the day.
Gone are the power shopping trips. Epic laps around the mall finding just the right thing.
Today, we parked in the closest handicap spot.
We got a stroller/cart at Kohl’s so she could have something to hold onto to keep her steady. It reminded me of my Nana, who had to get a cart if we were running into the store for a carton of milk.
I try not to think of her being sick. I don’t want her to be.
It is what it is, and some days it just hits you.
On days like today, my smallest daughter spending the afternoon and evening with her Nana and Papa, it hit me as I hung my new pants in the closet that there may not be all that many more days like today.
Even as she fights through this disease, it has a strong hold on our family. As much as she doesn’t want it to control her, and her life, it feels like it is slowly taking over.
Last night Mack and her boyfriend came over for dinner, and somehow we got on to the subject of our neighbor who passed away last year. Mea asks, “What made Judy die?”
I know that it wasn’t the right thing to do, but at that moment, I had to leave the room. Every part of me wanted to scream and cry.
Judy died of lung cancer too.
I could overhear Mack just say simply, “Judy was sick.”
Mea accepted that answer, and went on showing off for her sister.
Sometime soon, she is not going to accept that as an answer.
I don’t expect her to, and I know that here soon, I most likely need to actually talk to her about her Nana. I am still at a loss for words when it comes to this. Sometimes I cannot even process my own emotions, much less those of a seven-year-old.
So where days like today are a reminder of what has always been, it was also a reminder of what is to come. Tonight, I cry a little. Mourn what was, and how things should be, and am grateful for the moments that we still have together.
I hope that all of my Momma friends had wonderful Mother’s Days, full of all the things that you like to do.
We had a really nice day.
Mea had a friend sleepover, and we had our youngest grandson overnight as well. They were both picked up by 9:30, and we headed over to my sister’s house for brunch shortly after.
I had printed the letter on nice paper and left it in my parent’s car as we were walking into my sister’s. I didn’t want her to turn into a puddle in front of everyone, and I know I would have been bawling too. My sister and I pooled together and bought my Mom a rosebush, and a gift certificate to a favorite restaurant my parents go to when they go out-of-town. Their 41st anniversary was on Monday, and they are headed out-of-town for a few days this afternoon after my Mom’s chemo treatment. (This is the weekly chemo, not the big one. Less side effects on this small treatment.)
They are excited to get away for a few days.
Mack, Mea and I spent a good portion of the afternoon together, playing, and shopping. It was a really nice day.
I had really nice messages from the big girls as well.
The past few days there has been some major drama going on with my youngest step-daughter and the baby’s father. To break it down simply, he borrowed her car, and messed it up. It is going to be costly to fix, and he is not working. I wish that these girls would learn from each other when dealing with their baby daddy drama, but I suppose it is something that they each have to learn for themselves.
Yesterday, the baby had a doctor’s appointment for his six month check-up. Little chunky man is doing well, despite the fact that he has a major cold going on.
While I was waiting for Mea at gymnastics last night, I sent her a text message asking how is appointment went, and if there was any news on what is going on with her car.
Her Mom has been working on getting the car fixed with some mechanic she and her boyfriend usually use. At some point she was talking to E, and her phone cut out so she couldn’t hear her mother, and her mom got pissed off thinking she wasn’t listening and hung up on her, then wouldn’t take her phone calls.
This makes me completely crazy.
These are our adult children. They are not teenagers, they are not children. Now sometimes they may act like it, but still. Then again, we all know how mature their mother can act.
We texted back and forth for the majority of the hour during Mea’s gymnastics class. She talked to me a bit about the drama going on with her baby’s dad, the issue with his mother (another grandma) doing daycare, and him holding daycare over her head if they get into arguments.
I talked her through it a bit, gave her my opinion, and offered to take the baby anytime she needed me to while I am not working. Due to this latest development with the car and the baby’s dad, daycare was going to be an issue for today. We agreed that I would watch him while she worked today, she had missed two days this week because of the car, and the baby not feeling well, in addition to the fact that he told her that she couldn’t bring the baby for daycare.
While Mea and I were in route back home, and stopping for dinner, E posted this on Facebook…
I’m so blessed to have not only one wonderful mom but two… Love you Kelly, thank you so much for being there for me!!
When I get these messages from the big girls, I cannot begin to tell you how happy it makes me. It was a long time coming. It took a lot of love, patience, and time.
This morning she sent me a text stating that her mom called in sick to work so that she could watch the baby, but that she may have me watch him tomorrow.
It is fine.
But at the same time, it is ignorant. I know that her mom took a paid day off from her job because it was going to be me that was watching him.
I sent her a text back saying that I would be happy to watch him if she needed me to.
My husband called a bit ago to see how the baby was doing. When I told him that I didn’t have him, and what I speculated the reason to be with his ex-wife, he reminded me that these reactions to things are part of the reason that she is an ex-wife.
I get it.
I just don’t really understand it. My husband isn’t jealous of her boyfriend of twenty years. He understands that he has been a big part of their lives. She is their mom. I know this. They are also grown-ups, and should be able to have adult relationships with anyone they want to have a relationship.
Sometimes it feels like she is constantly challenging me to some sort of weird better mother duel.
I am ever so thankful that she is not on Facebook. I have a feeling that the messages that I get from the big girls would either not happen, or the meaning and thought behind the messages would get ruined by this woman.
In the meantime, I will continue my internal dialog to myself, saying, “I am the more mature one, I will not do or say anything to ruin the relationship I have worked so hard for with these girls.”
I think I will silently hate her in my head for the rest of my life.
I spent much of the week going from store to store attempting to find the perfect Mother’s Day card. I could not find one that said what I needed it to say, so I thought I would write you a letter in addition to the card I did end up buying.
I would not be the woman I am today without having you here to guide me. You have taught me when to be strong, when to let go, when to stand up for myself, to be independent and to think for myself, and how to be an amazing mother to my own daughters.
We have been through so much, and I am sure that I have tested you in ways you never could have imagined that I would have done. For some of these tests I put you through I am truly sorry, but some of those tests brought us closer together, and created amazingly beautiful things,
You are the matriarch of the family. You are the glue that holds us together. You still settle arguments between sisters, make us kiss and make up, when we might otherwise stew and pout at each other for long lengths of time.
You are the keeper of records, and the one who journals all of our lives events. You are the memory keeper.
You are an amazing Nana, and there are four very lucky girls who are proud to call you their Nana.
You are the woman I aspire to be.
You are the wife, friend and mother that I compare myself to.
You have the strength of ten thousand people, and have the courage of a million others.
I am proud to call you my Mom, and my best friend.
The doctors and nurses called it when they said you are Super Woman, because you really are, in more ways than they could ever know.
I would say that I love you more than you could ever know, but I believe that you do know how much I love you, because you love me exactly the same way.
I hope that you have a wonderful Mother’s Day, and just want you to know just how much I love you.
To the Moon and Back,