Friday, November 29, 2013

He died today.

It's the day after Thanksgiving and I've been decorating my house all damn day.  For Christmas.  I went a little overboard in the light and tree and garland department and I think it's because this December is going to be weird-ish. Some parts are going to downright suck.  Lights make everything better...so it looks like a light factory threw up in my house.  It's impossible not to smile when everything is lit up, you know?

My brother came home for Thanksgiving and he hasn't done that in years so that was good.  I can't pretend that seeing one brother doesn't make me think of the other brother who I haven't seen or spoken to in a really long time.  If I was a strong, smart person - I'd learn to accept that my family ain't the Waltons.  We never were. 

Someone I love a whole helluva lot is going through a helluva shitty time.  I can't fix the problem and I can't take away the hurt.  I can only watch her be tortured every damn day.  When you add in that it's the holidays - her shitty time turns into a tornado of sewage.

And last week, I had to say goodbye - literally - to one of my favorite Uncles.  He is not old by any means and while we knew he had cancer.....we were all told that chemo and radiation would work.  A phone call came and those dreadful words no one wants to hear came out of my Aunt.  If you want to say goodbye - come do it now....they say he won't live but a few more days.

What?  How does this happen?  This man has 4 kids.  Two just out of college.  One in college and one in high school. 

I
don't
understand.

So I went.  I hugged his frail body.  And even though I have watched at least 3 people die in front of me - not a single one of them was awake or alert enough for me to say goodbye to.  My Uncle was.

Have you ever looked into a person's eyes whom you know is going to die soon and knows it?  It is frightening, terrifying and horrible all at once....moreso because there is no peace when the person isn't ready to go.  He's not 90 and had a good life and wants to go to Heaven. 

He wants to live - longer.  To walk his daughter down the aisle in 8 months.  To grow old with his wife.  To watch his daughters graduate from high school or college.  He wants to live to see grandchildren.  He does not want to die.

But he will.

He said he wasn't scared but all I saw in his eyes was fear.  I can't even tell you what I saw in his wife and kid's eyes.  No - death is never easy...but there are times when it is easier.

When the people I watched die - died....many of us were relieved.  They were very old and had a good life and were ready and we wanted the pain to stop. 

This time?  There's just no f*cking explanation. 

So although Thanksgiving and Christmas are coming.....you can see in every single person's eyes that they are always thinking of my Uncle and his family.  You feel just a little big guilty for laughing and smiling and being with family.  You're standing upright and eating food - two things my Uncle hasn't done in a week.  Something feels wrong underneath all the joy of the season and we're all texting and calling and waiting - for the call that says "it's over". 

When it shouldn't be.  It just shouldn't be.

I told him I loved him as I kissed his pale, soft cheek.  It is the last time I will ever see him alive.  Ever.

The finality of that is staggeringly real.

The only thing I can do to honor him is be grateful for who I have in my life and be thankful for the blessings I have.  And pray.  That once he gets to Heaven - he'll finally be at peace with dying.

And pray - that some day his family will feel the same. 

**  Just before I hit post - my phone rang.  He died today.  Right now. 

My God....it's just not fair.

Monday, November 18, 2013

No penises needed here.

It has come to both mine and Rambo’s attention that old men facing life in a super max prison make better prisoners than young men facing a few years in a minimum/medium prison. 

Old men in a prison system have usually lost all their family and all their hope and they just live and follow the rules and accept their fate.  Young guys – like the ones Rambo guards now – suck. 

They think they have something to prove.  They are cocky and arrogant and they think they are all innocent and have been done wrong by the system.  Their crimes may not be as heinous but their attitudes are far worse.

This weekend I helped my sister move into her own apartment.  We went Craigs-listing all over town and bought a trailer and truck full of “stuff”.  We took our mace with us every time and even after we had to stop for the FIFTH time in 10 miles to re-tie down our tarps because of the pouring rain – we laughed. 
We were soaked to the bone, dripping wet, exhausted, on the side of road and at one point we looked at each other and said, “Who the hell needs men anway??  No penises needed here!”  We think we’re so funny. 

However, I will admit that when we realized that we’d have to take the legs off the table for it to fit in the door, I was praying for a big, strong man to happen along….but no luck.  We got out our pretty purple wrench set and went to work.  When your tool set is purple – everything in life is better.  I swear.
I cleaned the toilet this weekend.  Yes.  That’s right.  That is worth writing about.  My God – I loathe toilets.

In an effort to not go mad missing Rambo, I went through my closet and sold shitloads of stuff online on a local sale site.  About $300.00 in 3 hours time….not too bad, I suppose.
I went to my daughter’s basketball games without Rambo on Saturday.  This week I’ll go to our youngest daughter’s church-thingy ceremony without Rambo.  I’ll attend Thanksgiving at my family and at his family’s house without him.  All things I probably haven’t done alone since I’ve known him.  Can you feel the hives coming on?  Explosive diarrhea anyone? <

Last night Rambo got home at the usual time of 11pm when the house is dark and we are all sleeping.  He walked into the house and into his room (he has his own dressing room/weight room/ hunting room/etc. in the basement).  About 2 minutes later – down the steps came a little 8 year old girl – all sleepy-eyed and carrying her blanket.  Rambo told me this morning that he said to her, “Honey – what are you doing awake?  It’s late and you have school in the morning.”  She said, “I waited up to see you Daddy so I could hug you goodnight.”
Breaks my freaking heart.  I had no idea she did that until he told me.  Sigh.  Both my girls miss him so much….but January will be here soon.  And we are blessed.
Note to my readers – if you’re already sick of hearing about how much we miss Rambo and how much his new shift sucks donkey balls…um….you should stop reading until January, mkay?

I warned you.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

3 little fishies.

3 little fishies.  Out of water.  Flopping around like a bunch of guppies – gasping for air.  Eyes bulging in confusion.  Lungs inhaling in pain. 

That’s what my girls and I feel like right now. 
Rambo is not home at night anymore.  It is Week 1.  And we suck at it.  We are trying desperately to figure out a new normal but that’s the thing.  THIS is not normal.  THIS isn’t the definition of a family bonded.  THIS will never be our normal if I have anything to say about it.

I’ve been crabby and so have the girls.  There aren’t family suppers anymore (even though we all know there should be).  It just feels wrong when one of us is missing.  If I happen to yell at the girls for something – the words, “I WANT DADDY!” come rushing out and I feel the sting…even though I understand their thinking.
I have been late to work every day….because tearing myself away from Rambo’s arms in the morning is like a physical pain.  Good thing I set my own damn hours, huh?
Every morning – little Banana comes in our room with her eyes half closed and her blanket in hand and she crawls into Rambo’s arms and they lay there as I get ready.  His arms are wrapped around her and she’s so encapsulated that I can’t see where she even is.  It makes my heart ache.  Those 15 minutes are all she has every day.  It’s a shocking reality compared to what she had before.

No – the world isn’t ending.  Yes – things could be way, way worse.  Yes – I know we are blessed and I am grateful.  I’m just saying this is hard.  A hard that I will conquer.  We will survive.  We will come out a stronger family when this is over.  It’s a tiny cross we all have to carry for now and I believe it’s God’s way of showing us we need to take less things for granted.  I think shitty times are a way to learn something about yourself.
I think this is about me being a Mom.  I think this is about me withholding parts of myself from my kids because it’s still too scary to let go of past pains.  This is about ME being the things Rambo was so freely….because he can’t be that anymore. 

I let him pick up my slack in a lot of areas – because I was mentally unable and physically too lazy to do some of it.  Instead of settling for mediocre Mom because I had a stellar backup – I now have to be Mom and Dad…and try harder.  I don’t want this period in our life to be a time that our kids look back on as horrible.  It doesn’t have to be that way.

A second shift job is partially responsible for ruining major parts of my childhood.  It is responsible for making my own Dad a complete stranger.  It is responsible for me living with someone who I never spoke to, saw or spent time with.  Later, second shift and what that meant became my saving grace because it meant my Dad was gone…and as I got older…that’s what I wanted.  It’s what I knew.  It’s what I was comfortable with.  I had no idea how to “be” with my Dad at all. 
I remember when I was in high school, after nearly 15 years of being gone on second shift, my Dad was up for a first shift position.  It meant he’d be home every night after school. 

I remember very distinctly – my brothers and I crying when my mom told us.  Sobbing.  Angry.  Scared.  Pissed off that suddenly we’d have to deal with a man we didn’t like or know.  Having him home seemed like the end of our world as we had come to know it.
This week I’ve had to deal with some of those emotions coming back.  I didn’t realize Rambo being gone would force me to remember old hurts and pains.  I haven’t thought about that in a long time and this week I’ve felt like the me back then and almost makes me physically ill at times.

It also ignites my spirit to never let what happened to me – happen to our family.  Not on my watch.  Not ever. 
I’ll find water for my two fishies and for myself.  I promise.