Month 9

The number of perfection

It’s been a hell of a day. And to top it off, the week itself has been a complete bitch. It has been 9 months, 39 weeks, 274 days, 6,570 hours and 394,200 minutes since you left me on this God forsaken planet with these humans.

The anticipation of today as well as yesterday was far worse than the actual course of the day. I opted to exit the house today to avoid wallowing in bed and crying endlessly into my pillow, smelling like Christmas Day or Christmas Eve (I can’t keep up) and just being completely sad.

Today, I made the trip to the cemetery to check on the area in which you lay. I’m not sure why I do this. I promise I can always hear you saying, “I don’t know why you come here to cry and be sad. I am not here“. Our beliefs on the “life after” were similar. However today, I just needed some peace. And being in a desolate cemetery gave me that sense of peace. Nothing but stillness and silence except for when the wind blew. Sitting at your feet as always, with my hands in the Earth, stroking the grass as if it was your hair. Truly weird Mother…I know. But you know, you have pretty weird children lol.

After sitting with you in silence for a while I was certain the kids would enjoy a day out since I ditched our Annual Christmas Trip. No worries Mom, they will definitely reconvene next year. This year was a blip.

To get my mind on a different track, I attempted to do a little retail therapy which ended horribly. I ended up buying the kids each a toy. It is the day after Christmas…palm to face. I know what you’d say. I rode them around the base showing them where I use to live and how the one time you decided to come into the area, I could not get you to come on base with me. You were not interested in the Army life I was living. You were still pretty pissed that you signed the paperwork to allow me to join at the tender age of 17. I’m sure as time went on, you were glad that you did. And as a bonus, I influenced my younger Brother to join and with much trial and error, you were finally able to see your youngest child and only son off into the Army as well. All you wanted was for us to get away and do something with our life. Yet here I still reside. But I came back for you. Now I am beyond ready to relocate. The obstacles just keep appearing in my path, but I will try to not let it deter me.

I saw Brother for a brief moment today. I think he feels as though he owes me an excuse for not hanging around much while he is visiting but it’s fine. After all he is an adult. He spent time with family today, since I had no desire to do so. His appearance is for the both of us. You know like how I use to show up for you. Smh. We’d play rock, paper, scissors to see who would make an appearance lol. So I’m thankful he went. However, I am sorry if they badgered him with questions but I think he’s well equipped with how to answer. (If you want to know, call her and ask…) You taught him well Mother lol.

This month was no easier than the last. I had to remind myself a bunch of times that I didn’t need to get you a gift. These holidays are really fucked up. I have therapy this week so I’m sure this will be at the top of the list of topics to discuss. I feel emotionally exhausted, with waves of excessive thinking and just a serious case of grief overload. Tomorrow’s another day to try and move through the stages of grief feeling as though no one understands this pain, and my disinterest in wanting to explain it. Retreating to my bubble..

Christmas Without You

Although it is sad to reminisce
On Christmases we once knew,
This year I tried to celebrate
All in memory of you.
I attempted to put aside my sorrow
With every unshed tear,
And concentrated on all the time and love
We shared when you were here.
Our time together, though very short, taught me
What Christmas time is for,
And that's what I will always remember
Until we meet once more.

Month 8

There are no happy endings. Endings are the saddest part, so just give me a happy middle and a very happy start. -Shel Silverstein

It’s been 34 weeks, 243 days, 5840 hours, and 350400 minutes. My brother visited the cemetery today for the first time since the service. I wasn’t able to physically make it (because he got up super early and left me) but he FaceTime me and I was able to be with him indirectly and in spirit.

This is the first month that he’s been home around this time and it was helpful to have him to lean on as well as provide him with support too. Being away from home and trying to get through this has been really hard for him.

I tried to lift my spirits by decorating because Christmas (and birthdays) were our thing. We competed to see who would have the best decorated house. Not leaving a room undecorated for the holiday. Not sure what it is about Christmas but it made us feel happy.

This month has had its ups and downs. But i’ve tried to find the positive in everything. I don’t miss you any less. If anything I miss you more. Wishing that I was preparing a Thanksgiving plate for you to critique, falling asleep on your couch as you played with the kids before falling asleep yourself. You’re missed at all times and I hope you know it.

I’m still pushing forward because I can always hear you saying live your life because you only have this one. I miss you Mom and I hope even through the snot and tears that I am making you proud. It’s not easy and I know you hate for us to cry or get the least bit emotional over you, but you were truly my best friend. And life is a little hard to navigate without you. One day it will get easier but I definitely will never get to a place where I won’t think about you and cry. The next two months will be trying – Christmas and then your Birthday but I got this right? I know I probably don’t but I’m going to try.

Month 7

Do you ever have days where you just feel damn right tired for no apparent reason? You don’t feel like doing anything, even if you have a million things to do. You just want to lay around and do that one thing that brings you peace and comfort, all because you lack energy?

That is where I am today…

Everything seems complicated. It took 3 hours to prepare myself to change the sheets on my bed. It’s always a task but I literally left the bed to sit in the resting chair to look at my bed in hopes that someone will invent a tool/machine or a mattress that could allow the bed to “dress” itself. My son asked me to turn on the TV for about an hour before I actually could muster up the energy to get up and walk into the living room to get the remote off the fireplace mantle to turn on the TV.

When I’m like this it’s hard to think and focus, be productive, be patient and even work. In a nutshell, I just want the day to END because it is a complete drag. Grieving requires and consumes a lot of energy…and I have none to give.

I try to remember today is a drag for a couple of reasons…today is Month 7. Today is the day I closed on my current home 4 years ago after being told that my Paternal Grandfather had passed away. Besides me lacking all the energy in the world, it hasn’t been terrible day, just really meh. I stayed in my pajama’s in true “work-from-home” fashion, until I had to go pick up my grocery order.

I found it quite unbelievable that I managed to cook dinner tonight, bake cookies with my youngest and not get back in the bed after I got out of it. That was an accomplishment. It doesn’t dull the pain but it made it a little better. At the request of my oldest, I made spaghetti. The kids use to fight over my Mom’s spaghetti. And she would hold it hostage to get them to “be good”. I’ve cat-napped all day so sleeping tonight will be a task…

I’m reminded of her often and it’s usually followed by a smile or laugh that ends in a terrible cry. I just hope she know I’m doing my best, even though it doesn’t feel like I’m doing it well. Failing at all things in life except overthinking and restarting the steps of grief every 30 days or so…

This lifetime is a complete shit show…

Subjugation of the Mind

I’m not really sure why I am subjecting myself to such pain today…

I woke around 4am this morning. I laid in bed staring at the ceiling. My mind had turned on way before I opened my eyes. There were a million things running through my head…I need to do some laundry, look for a new washer and dryer, look for a new fridge, figure out what I wanted to put on the wall in the hallway. I have about 12 craft projects laying in the corners of my living room, bedroom and office. I need to finish them. I need some organization. And then boom…my Mom was the most organized person I know. I hear her in my ear, “plan for what you want, not what you think is going to occur.” She was a wise silly woman. But when she spoke even if I didn’t understand, I listened. I was always sure I’d need the advice one day.

When I’m super anxious, I get in cleaning mode. This is the time that I can throw away almost anything with no remorse. The goal is to make things tidy. Tidy equates to calm in my world. Everything has a place. Or in my mind it does.

I got out of bed, went in the bathroom and just sat. It’s dark all through my house. The kids are still asleep, as well as the dog. I’m the only thing moving besides the flame of the candle that’s been burning for at least 2 days now on my dresser.

I look out of the bathroom into my bedroom and I see the box on the floor beside my resting chair. It holds pictures that I got from my Mom’s place. The last time I opened the box, my brother struggled to get me to my bed. I was crying uncontrollably and just an all out mess. I miss her, I don’t know how to cope and all I do is cry. I don’t know how to heal this pain. Losing someone so close, someone they I’ve known all my life hurts like no other pain I’ve ever experienced. And I thought before this that I generally dealt with pain in a positive way.

Still staring at the box, I walk into my room with only the bathroom light illuminating a small portion of my bedroom. I sit on the floor and slide the box in front of me. I hear a voice in my head saying, “you can do this”…but the shaking of my hands and the tears already streaming down my face silently implies, “girl, no the fuck you cannot!” Against my better judgement. I open the box. To my surprise it didn’t start out bad. Probably because I hadn’t come across a picture of her yet. I smile and reminisce on times where I think I may have been happy. And I was probably only partially happy because I was a child.

This shit sucks. I pick up a picture from my 5th birthday. My Mom threw me the biggest backyard party. Invited the whole town I’m sure. Birthdays were her thing. Celebrate life was her motto. Love for today because ain’t shit promised tomorrow was her daily mantra. Optimism…I got that from her. No matter how shitty her life was, no matter how much she cried she was always certain that tomorrow would be better.

I go through all the pictures and decide maybe it is time I go through her things as I prepare to relocate. The plan is to Airbnb or rent out my house while I find a permanent residence for my family. I need some storage space for personal things so I don’t know why the fuck I decided now or today was the perfect day to do this. I’m on vacation until November 1st. I could have picked any other day. But once I start, I can’t stop.

I make a cup of coffee because I get the feeling, it’s going to be a long day. I make my bed, put on a load of laundry and get ready for yoga class. After yoga, I have a guided meditation class and then I will get back to whatever the fuck I think I need to do. As I walk up the stairs, I think to myself this is dumb. My phone rings, so I go back downstairs to see who’s calling. I don’t think I’ll be in the mood to talk much today. I take the call from my bank…if it’s not one thing it’s another but this was not a bad call. I hung up feeling a tad bit successful.

I’m pouring all my money into getting out of this marriage so that I can move on with my life. Everything I want to do is literally on hold at this moment. I’ve lost a job, I can’t buy another home, I can’t sell this one, I can’t start my business, I can’t buy another car, I can’t open any new lines of credit. I am a sitting duck. On top of paying my lawyer, I’m now paying a PI to locate this sick son of a bitch just so that he can be served. I went from almost having my divorce finalized to starting the fuck all back over. I’ve never been more ready to put this man on a t-shirt…

I once again head back upstairs now that I’ve missed yoga, to see if I can catch morning meditation. I open the blinds, I light my candle and I pull out my floor pillow. I don’t want to do this. I sit in the floor and I cry. Why? Because I am emotionally, physically and mentally tired. I need a break, before I break.

I look at the closet and I get up. Inside this closet there is a huge box of my Mom’s things. I get the idea to go through it. To purge and donate. I feel a ball forming in the pit of my stomach. My throat swells as if I swallowed a rock and I open the closet door. The first thing I see is my Mom’s Bible. She was no devout Christian but she too was just spiritual. Believing that churches were businesses and God existed everywhere. She questioned a lot of what was in the Bible as she was just as curious as I am and often times had nothing to do but read. I remember her telling me she had read the Bible 3 times…forward and backward. And each time the book made less and less sense to her.

I think, what if the roles were reversed? What would my Mom do if I was the one who transitioned from this Earthly realm and she was left here to carry on about life. Would she be me? Would she sit crying for hours until her face and eyes were sore? Would she avoid at all cost the people and things they reminded her of me? How the fuck would she handle this. And all I hear is life goes on baby girl. She was the strongest woman I have ever known. She wasn’t perfect but we were placed together here for a reason. We formed a bond unlike any other Mother and Daughter I know. We went about life as if we were the one ones in it. Meaning we could not careless about what people thought of us or what they said. Nothing but wonderful memories flood my mind and I cry even more.

Do you know what I’d give just to hear my Mom’s voice? Hold her hand? See her face in person? Do you know how empty and alone I feel even when I’m surrounded by a ton of people? Do you know how small I feel in this big wide world?

This life…it’s very confusing. I don’t regret any experience I’ve been through as it has shaped and molded me into the person I am today. And no matter how much negative shit comes my way, I still try to find the positive in it. But this one I can’t let loose. I can’t shake it. And it hits me. I will never know what happened to my Mom. It’s not just the fact that she’s gone but it’s more that I feel bad for not being there. I always felt like I was her super hero child. I was always there to save the day. To wipe her tears, to cry with her, to hold her and tell her everything would be ok. And once we were able to laugh, she’d tell me that I think I’m the Mom and she’s the child. And I’d reply telling her that wasn’t true. But that she did her best raising me and the only thing I have left to do is to care for her to show my appreciation. Ending my speech with I only have one Mother and I want to make sure she’s well taken care of, protected and loved until I can no more. She said I was a walking Hallmark Card.

Bits and pieces of that “girl” are gone. They left when I buried part of my heart. I’m thankful she’s no longer in pain and suffering at the hands of shitty ass healthcare workers who want nothing more than a check and to sit on their lazy asses. She doesn’t have the chaos of this world to deal with anymore. She’s at perfect peace. Probably somewhere trying to tell some other soul how to be a proper soul. Lol.

Today I miss her because I’m really letting pieces of her go. Tuesday will be 7 months…usually a day or so before I get in this place. This month it’s much earlier. This month it’s a little harder. My son turns 5 on Monday. My paternal grandfather passed away unexpectedly on October 26th, 4 years ago…it’s just a lot going on this week and emotionally I don’t know that I can handle it.

I struggled to type this. But it was something I felt I needed to do to release these emotions. Im reminded that I put my app creation on pause when I really need to get it finished. I have no motivation and I feel stuck. What would she do? If I was to talk to her what would she say? I had to stop going through her things to just sit and think.

I’m so tired of this life…this pain…this torture. I need a ray of sunlight to bring me some happiness and peace. I’m not looking for a lot…I’m not even looking for more money. I just want to smile and genuinely be happy again. I’m not happy here no matter what I do. I opt to not go through the box today. It’s not time. And mentally I can’t handle it. The little boy keeps running to sit with me while I cry so I have to do something else.

I guess I will find somewhere else to cry. I’ve worn out crying in front of the closet holding her Bible…

I miss you today more than ever. I want nothing more than to talk about your only grandson’s upcoming birthday. I want to tell you not to buy him a bunch of stuff that he will tear up. I want to hear you laugh and make jokes. I want to hear what you’re cooking and bets on whose will be better. I want to tell you what has me afraid right now. I want to tell you all the business ideas I have. I want you to spend the night with me to make me watch scary movies with you. I want to just sit outside with you and listen to nature. I want to walk with you. I want to hug you. I want to tell you I love you one more time and kiss your forehead. This isn’t the life I imagined, but the one I’m given. I don’t know how to move forward. I don’t know how to find my motivation or my way. I want to send these children to you because they are driving me insane. I have no support. You were it. I feel like I have absolutely nothing to get up and look forward to most days. And I know this is when you’d be ready to slap me. But even now, I’d welcome that. I’m going to get it together. I don’t know when or how but I know you won’t let me stay in this place, isolated from the outside world and everything. But right now I miss you and I don’t know how to do anything else. I won’t say Rest In Peace or anything like that but enjoy the afterlife and all it has to offer because you suffered here far too long. I’m going to get it together, I promise.

Always Your Daughter,

6 Word Short Story Compilation

People who are able to express themselves easily will never understand how liberating this feels. All it takes is 6 simple words sometimes. And as simple as that sounds it still doesn’t make expressing myself any easier. The topic was negativity…maybe tomorrow I can try being more positive. Giving myself some grace today…

I woke up sad and unhappy.
I tried to smile but cried.
I really hate it here today.
I threw all their toys away.
Praying the heartache and pain away.
I painted my entire day away.
All I hear; “Oh,it’s ok!”
Sick of just hearing, “I understand”.
The conversation is almost always abandoned.
I’m so sick of feeling empty.
Life is such a miserable place.
Why live when we can die?
Why love when we can hate?
How much more can I lose?
How much more can I take?
I have no living parents here.
I want to run far away.
Where the trees and sky meet.
I want water at my feet.
I want sun on my face.
It usually makes me feel okay.
I just want to be happy.
I just want some damn peace.
Hell no I am not OK!
Grief is such a muthafuckin beast.

Month 6

Every month it’s almost as if I forget that this day exists. That is until I completely wake up from the dream of March 26, 2021.

I should have remembered today because today is the due date for my state license renewal. I can hear you clearly saying “Don’t you fuck up what you got going on for me!” I open my eyes, just to make note of where I am…this day is usually just terribly painful. Tears start to roll down my face as I see your face on the throw on my resting chair across the room. It’s not a bad dream…it’s just my reality.

The day is September 26, 2021 and it’s been 6 months today…they say this gets easier huh??? It absolutely does not. Every month I’m alone on this day. And now it almost seems purposefully so.

In my head, I tell myself I need to be outside. I imagine the Sunday’s we spent on the deck with the music playing and you drinking your hot beer…eww…that’s not something I can indulge in as a memory but I think I can handle the rest. I want to be in the backyard today, with some drinks and music. Maybe plant some flowers and lay in the hammock.

I try to continue with my morning “routine” but it’s not working. I look for my phone because I don’t know what time it is. It’s dead. I guess, I fell asleep before putting it on the charger again. A “Good Morning Queen…” text warms my body a little. Neither of us appear to be having a really good morning. I hate this…

I get my fur son and head outside…maybe it will make me feel better. Joint between my fingers and lighter in my hand, I sit in my hammock and just exist for a moment. I really hate it here…I hate this part of life…the inevitable part that can’t be controlled…it hurts and there seems to be nothing to dull the pain. Who am I kidding??? I can’t do anything today…

I want some ink. I want to pierce something. I just need a little physical pain inflicted to relieve the emotional torture behind my fake smile and laughter. I sit on my bed and memories of when I use to write poems and put on a show in the living room for my Mom flood my mind. It was interesting being an only child for a while. We did weird things like this to past time and forget everything that was going on around us. I guess most would call that bonding. My Mom would play jazz quietly in the background. I’d use the floor lamp as my mic stand. I’d dress up and get in my element. She seldom encouraged my imaginative play so whenever she did, I made sure to make was a showstopper.

As an avid fan of poetry and music, a true nerd, I opted to end this blog post with a short short story. If you’re not familiar, read on…

It is said that the author Ernest Hemingway while out to lunch one day, bet a table full of fellow writers that he could write a short story in just 6 words. Although his fellow writers had their doubts, they each wagered $10 to put Hemingway to the test. As the story goes, Hemingway believed the resulting story to be his finest work ever. You can read it here.

In the footsteps of a legend, today I share my 6 word short short story…always and forever in my heart Mother…

“I am eternally your only daughter.”

Your Daughter

Month 5

It’s 5pm. And I’m excited. I’m not sure why, this guy never does what he says he is going to do. But I want nothing more than to be around him. This guy is my Father. I’m 9 years old. I’ve testified in court and now my Mom is sitting across from me crying because I am being made by a court order, to go stay with my Father, his wife and children. In our house, it’s just me and my Mother. She feels like her everything is being taken away from her. She silently sobs and picks at her jeans.

I stare out the front door of our house watching the tree limbs sway back and forth when the wind blows. I begin to wonder why is my Mother so sad? Why is she crying? He is my Father. I have no idea what my Mother goes through behind closed doors. I’m just a kid. And I just want my Father…I want him to want me.

I move from the chair to the floor in front of the stereo. The sun is going down and I ask my Mom if I can play some music while I wait. She motions for me to go ahead. I’m playing music for her, not for me. I can physically feel how sad she is. My chest feels heavy and I want to cry every time I look at her. She is so sad. As bad as I want to go with my Father, I do not want to leave my Mother like this.

I find Kenny G’s Breathless cd in the organized shelf of cd’s. I pop it in and I forward to track 9, “Even If My Heart Would Break”. She and I have listened to this song on her good days. She would grab my hand and dance with me around the living room. After it starts to play, I walk to her and I extend my hand. I begin to sing terribly “I’ve been around this world, I’ve been a lot of places…” At this point, I’ve forgotten about my Father. I’m more worried about my Mother and right now I want nothing more than for her to smile. Just so she can have a moment where she isn’t crying. If she feels how I am feeling, then I know she is truly hurting even if I don’t understand why.

She looks up at me and place her arms on the arms of the chair. With her head tilted slightly she asks, “child where have you been? Talking about you been around the world“…she chuckles, grabs my hand and rises from the chair to dance with me. We sing and we dance and we fall in the floor. After our dance, we cook and I fell asleep on her bed looking at clothes in her Spiegel catalog. We were ordering clothes to take pictures for Labor Day. She would pick my outfit and I’d pick hers. (Real Best Friend Shit)

My Father never came. This was nothing new. He always sold me the most elaborate dreams to never cash in on them. And when he saw me, I’d get the brush off and he’d tell me another lie or make another empty promise.

It’s been 5 months and this morning, I dreamt that exact day all over again. And I’m not really sure why. What I do know is that I held my Mother a little longer and I danced with her like I’d never dance with her again, because it felt so real.

I don’t share a lot about me or my childhood with anyone. And there is so much that I have buried. In therapy yesterday I was told that in order to heal and move to a more positive place in life, I have to address these things. They happened. I can’t change it but I can’t heal myself holding on to anger, regret, and resentment. So today, I accept the fact that this healing is one that will never end. The pain won’t ever go away and time won’t heal anything. I will always cry. The 26th will always be a sad day. My birthday will never be the same. A lot changed. And I have to change too…

Today I’m accepting that I have to let things from my past go, really make peace with them and release it. I accept that I have to let someone in or I’m going to drown myself in regret and sadness.

Mother and daughter hugging

“Be YOU. And be good at it. Because there is not another YOU in this world.”

— Award Winning Mother of a Lifetime