“Give sorrow words; the grief that does not speak knits up the o-er wrought heart and bids it break.” ― William Shakespeare, Macbeth
(See! Shakespeare believed it was OK to write about grief! Thanks Bill!).
Here is a question: Why do I wake up in the middle of the night and toss and turn for hours? I try not to let my mind wander to stressful or unhappy thoughts. I try to breathe, relax and think happy thoughts. I do not turn on the TV and have even stopped writing my thoughts down. It never helps, I toss and turn and contemplate all the worlds problems and my own and then just when it is time to wake up I feel myself falling asleep. Why? Why? Why? but I think the bigger question is “Why do the Kardashians have their own show?”. This was the thought that tormented me between 3:45 and 4:05 this morning. Ugh.
When I do finally fall asleep as I wake up I usually lie in bed and think about what the day will bring. Those fuzzy morning thoughts of today is this day and this is what I have to do today and if I am really lucky this is what I have to look forward to today. I try really hard to get out of bed with a happy heart. Lately, as it gets closer to the 1st year anniversary of Dad’s Death (still have not come up with a better expression than losing someone, passing away or death. I hate them all. I need something else. Help me, People). I find myself thinking of the day and then the actual date and being happy that yes, last year at this time Dad was still here. He was still living, breathing and making me laugh. We did not know that his days were numbered. We were worried. We were beyond worried and bordering on terrified but we were still hopeful and he was still here. Today is August 22, 2014 and last year on this day he was still here and after a quick fact check in last years journal I had spoken with him and he was so positive about his surgery. He was still here.
Some people (you know who you are) have suggested to me that maybe I need help with my grief. That writing about Dad so much and still being underwater is not a good thing. I questioned my mourning and thought maybe I do need help? Maybe I need a happy pill. I have never grieved like this before, is it not normal? Hey , if all this will go away with a little pill I will take a little pill. And while we are at it can I have a pill that will help me sleep as well? I made an appointment to speak with my Doctor, whom I love, and she listened to my worries, concerns and tale of woe and then very quietly said “Janet, you have to let yourself grieve. Everyone grieves differently and this is your journey. Just breathe, just grieve”. I love her. It’s not like I needed permission to grieve but if felt like she was telling me it is OK to be this sad. She also said “You lost your compass. Your world is different. you will find your way with his help.” Again, I love her. So, this is my way of grieving and as much as I love a good pharmaceutical and would love a pill that makes me happy I am grieving for my father and I am going to do it my way. However, I would not say no to a pill that would make the cake cravings go away.
My head is spinning. Spinning I tell you. My Tessa Rose was married yesterday. Actually she was married in England on her Birthday , but yesterday she and Steve had a surprise vow renewal here so we could all celebrate with her. I love Tessa. Actually, I adore Tessa so my head is spinning out of control. My heart is full and the noise is joyful.
Tessa has been and will always be a huge part of our family. I like to say she is my good daughter and I am her real mother. The truth is she has a fantastic family beginning and ending with a strong, honorable and loving Mother. She has many Aunts that are surrogate Mother’s and friends and Cousins that truly are her brother and sister. She grew up in a house full of love, laughter and music that was overseen be her beloved Papa and the indestructible Marge. She had amazing role models and a strong foundation that let her be her very own person and the brave, adventuresome, smart,woman she blossomed into. I have to say blossom instead of grew because that is exactly what Tessa does, she blossoms and she glows. She is just that special.
I have so many happy thoughts and memories of my girl. Beginning with small everyday routines like carpooling to school, playing in the yard, shopping for school clothes and hey, just plain shopping! My girl loves to shop. That is how I know she is my real daughter. We have celebrated milestones together. Some were small celebrations some were big. I hold Marissa’s 16th Birthday trip to New York as one of my favorites. I love that the 4 years Riss was away at college Tessa came to The Topsfield Fair with me. I love that her and her family’s life were so easily blended into our ours. I love that Dad was here for many of the events including the Annual Olive Street Halloween Parade and her High School Graduation. I love that he always just called her Tess. See, this is where it gets hard. I just love her.
Usually writing helps the noise and soothes my soul. Thanks to Edie Lipp I learned that writing things/thoughts down would quiet the noise but sometimes when things are too big I have a really hard time putting pen to paper or in this case fingertips to key boards. I prefer the pen to paper but whatever. I have yet to write about Jake and Elizabeth’s wedding. It was just too much! And even though I have written either here or in my journal; every day since Dad has passed nothing seems adequate to what I am feeling or how important he was too me. How his loss is unbearable and how it feels to be swimming underwater just waiting to surface and breathe.
Well, thanks to Tessa and her happiness yesterday my head broke water and I breathed, I laughed, I cried happy tears, I danced and at the very end of the night those that were still left at the party, those of us that did not want her happiness to end, serenaded her. We were led by her husband. His song of choice, ‘My Girl”. And as much as she is Steve’s girl she will always be my girl and she will always be her own girl. She will always be Tessa Rose and I could not love her anymore that I do right at this very moment.
P.S, I am having trouble adding photos to this post. I do not know why. I can not figure it out. I can not ask The Thinker because it is his Birthday and he has friends over and I can not ask Tessa because she is getting ready for her honeymoon. Whatever.
I am dreading Dad’s Birthday for a hundred different reasons. I could list them all (we all know I love listing things) but I fear that when I finished I would be curled up on the floor in the fetal position crying my eyes out. So suffice it to say that it is going to be an incredibly hard day because he loved his Birthday and he is not here. It’s that simple.
I had this really grand idea to create a Facebook page and invite all of you that knew and loved him to honor him on his Birthday by going to your local Red Cross and donating blood in his memory. I never got my sh*t together. If you know me at all you know I have been “underwater” since this all happened and have had the hardest time following through or getting the simplest task accomplished. I refuse to beat myself up so just accept my half assed attempt, nod your head and go along with it. Please.
Dad took great pride in being a Blood Donor. They knew him well at his local Red Cross center and even provided his favorite cookies and allowed him more than one because he was such a frequent flyer. He was visiting once when they called him to remind him of an upcoming appointment. I remember asking him who the call was from because he spoke to the woman by name and like an old friend. But I should not have been surprised, everyone he met became a friend. He was that special.
So, I know August 15th is going to be a hard day. This whole week is going to be hard. So many celebrations where his presence will be missed. I have recently spent time with my sisters, made plans with dear friends on his actual birthday to see the fabulous Andrew perform in ‘Les Mis” and am going to celebrate The Thinker turning 22. All things to look forward to but this week I have an appointment to donate blood in honor of my Dad. I will do this for him and because of him. Then I will come home and curl up on the floor in the fetal position and cry. I miss him.
If you are so inclined and not afraid of needles please go to your local Red Cross center and donate blood in Dad’s memory. Then eat a whole bunch of chocolate chip cookies or chocolate cake (or both). Take a moment and remember Dad and how much he loved his Birthday and all of you.
Next year I promise to have my sh*t together and we will make this donation thing more formal and organized. Hopefully.
Waking up this morning, realizing that today would be the end of 4 days spent with the people I love most, it hit me that goodbyes are even harder after losing someone you love. I use to hate goodbyes but now despise them. I think I better understand why my Dad always said “See you in a few weeks” rather than goodbye. It just makes it easier. I hate any sort of good-bye. I really do. I also hate saying ‘losing somebody”. I know I have said that before so my new challenge will be coming up with an expression that better conveys how I feel. Maybe not as graphic as “ripping my heart out and stomping it on the ground” but something along those lines. I hate the expression “losing someone”. I did not lose anyone nor would I ever.
Apparently I do not bounce back from a party as easily as I did a few years ago. The house is clean and all put back in order but I am exhausted. My legs actually hurt more than when I take a 90 minute Zumba class. I did not even dance! What is up with that?
I go back to school a week from tomorrow. I have a tummy ache.
I wish my house had more than one bathroom.
The weather in Mystic and here has been perfect. It was the perfect weather to sit outside at Abbott’s, stroll Main Street, have an outdoor party and sit under tents.
I wish I could have spent more time sitting under the tents last night but life at the compound interfered with those plans and if you know what I mean by that then you know what I mean!
The beds at The Comfort Inn in Mystic are so incredibly comfortable. The hotel is very dated and basic but the beds are amazing. Just a thought.
Gigi has her surgery tomorrow. To say I am worried would be an understatement. I hate when the people I love are hurting. I just keep thinking how much better her life will be without all the pain. We just have to get her through the next 6 weeks.
I love the ice cubes scattered around his feet!
I love the #ALSicebucketchallenge. I think it is fun and is raising a lot of money for a fabulous cause. I also think that it is bringing our viral community closer through a shared challenge. I also just love seeing everyone’s videos. BFF did it today. It was fun and I loved that he called out Sam again. SAM!!!!! Accept the challenge or pay up!
Wonderful things are happening to so many people I love. It’s amazing. It makes me feel old but then the happy takes over the feeling of “Where the hell did the time go?”. I am trying to be in the moment people. Be in the moment. SO MANY HAPPY THINGS but some of them are secrets at the moment so just go with my heart is happy. (Note: I can be bribed).
Andi was told that elephants are her spirit animals. I suppose I should ask a professional what my spirit animal is but I really do not care what they say. I am going with a skunk. And who exactly is considered a professional in deciding who your spirit animal is?
In our line up! We always stand oldest to youngest.
Speaking of which when the sisters were all together we smelled a skunk 2 times. Once in Revere and Once in Mystic. Then when we were sitting at Abbott’s a skunk waddled right by! I think it was Dad letting us know he was with us. Some people don’t think so but it does not matter what they think because I think it was a sign. I really do.
One of the things the 4 of us did together was look at Senior living options for Gweebaby. Suffice it to say that you need a lot of money to live comfortably in your old age. It’s not right. I am thinking I better up my game with The Thinker and Triple P because I want to be in the really good “Holy Sh*t it costs how much” Senior Living Community.
Someone is happy to be eating BBQ!
We started out our long weekend at Rinos and ended it at Blackstrap BBQ with Abbott’s and Michael Jordan’s in the middle. Suffice it to say Burt is leaving a happy boy.
There was a lot of conversation last night about my girls. Apparently I need new bras. I hate bra shopping. Maybe I can just wear my sports bras all the time? Who knew that losing weight would create problems with the girls. I think it was easier when they were bigger. Now I need to lift, separate and perk those babies up. I am too old for this.
BFF and I found our can!
(Friends that become family).
One of the things I am most grateful for in my life are friends that have become family. I have been blessed.
Which brings me back to goodbyes. I hate goodbyes. I was talking to Georjan about it this morning and she said we have to give goodbyes the respect they deserve. That when we leave someone we need to look them in the eye, hug them and let them know that we valued our time together. So, please know that when I am saying goodbye to you, trying to keep it simple, not to cry or make a scene, maybe like Dad only saying “See you in a few weeks” to make it easier, that what I am really saying is Thank You for making the time to be with me. It was so good to see you. I pray that I see you again very soon and most importantly, I love you. I am so grateful you are important enough to me that it hurts to say goodbye.
The Noise in my head……………I still hate good byes.
P.S. Someone I care about is trying to quit smoking. I know how hard it is to quit. Everyone send good juju and maybe it will help. It couldn’t hurt.
Apparently my car has more than one life. Fingers crossed and let’s hope I do not break down somewhere on the side of some dark scary road or worse on 95 South. The original diagnosis was that there was oil leaking into the pistons. (whatever that means) and it was a goner. We started looking for a new car. I was out of town for 15 days and on the 14th day The Saint decided to get a second opinion. This mechanic thought it might be the catalytic converter (whatever that means) and also suggested a tire rod, new tires and a front end alignment. He suggested that I drive it 500 miles and then he would check the oil used and if/when the check engine light came back on he would hook it up to the diagnostic thingy ma bob (whatever that is). I was too afraid of breaking down to drive it far but lo and behold the check engine light came back on 3 weeks later. My baby was hooked up to the diagnostic thingy ma bob (whatever that is) and it was diagnosed with a bad catalytic converter. So, that has been replaced and supposedly all is well. I am happy to still have my car. I love my car. I did not want another car payment. This journey began weeks ago. This is good news but I am still nervous to drive it and I am still waiting for the other shoe to drop.
Three days ago my refrigerator started acting funky. It has already had one thing fixed but it still is acting up. The freezer will not freeze. The repairman is coming again today. Seriously.
I am having people over in 4 days. This could be a problem.
So the question is, is this the other shoe dropping? Is it safe to drive my car without fear of breaking down? Or do I go with the belief that bad things happen in three and wait for the next object to break. Oh Sweet Baby Jesus, please do not let it be Triple P’s hair straightener. I don’t think the family could survive Triple P without her hair straightener.
The Noise in My Head …….and it is saying over and over “It’s ok.It’s ok. They are just things. What’s another repair bill? Just add it to the pile”. Then I can not hear anything over the screaming. it’s all good.