Wednesday, June 27, 2012


i feel some emotional freedom today.  in the last six weeks, i've attended my father's funeral, gone through fathers day, his birthday, and my parents' anniversary. boom, boom, boom.  now i can breathe, no more high-intensity memorial type days for awhile.  just 'regular' grieving, back on a more predictable cycle.  thank goodness.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


my count may be off by a year or two, but i'm pretty sure this would have been my parents 63rd wedding anniversary.  feeling pretty worn out emotionally - there's been one significant day after another since father's day.  this will be the last one until the holidays, so now i can just experience normal grieving, and new-normal living.

Sunday, June 24, 2012


today is my father's 85th birthday.  or was.  he died in mid-may.  the last birthday he was aware of was a sad one.  it was his first birthday without his wife.  mom had died about 9 months earlier.  we did what we could to take his mind off of it, but to little avail, which was understandable.

june used to be a happy and busy month in my family, what with father's day, his birthday and their anniversary.  it also was a time when we kids were broke, trying to keep up with the presents and cards.  funny what you remember.

i wasn't close to my father when i was young, more focused on my mother.   i didn't feel loved by him, actually didn't feel he loved his kids.  that all changed when my sister died, when i was 21.   my father was a broken man at the funeral.  oddly, that's when it struck me - and i had this very thought: if he's crying so much for heidi, he must love us.  i remember being overwhelmed with love, as well as some guilt for having doubted it.   funny what you remember.

i also have happy memories, but it's just a sad time right now.  happy birthday, Dad.

Friday, June 22, 2012

almost his birthday

my father's 85th birthday would be sunday, june 24.  then my folks anniversary would have been june 26th.   just anticipating the days are riling me up.   but what's so weird is he hasn't really 'been present' for those days for several years - so what's the deal this year? i guess that he's actually dead.  four years ago i wanted to fly up and visit him on their anniversary, the year after my mother died, before his massive stroke.  and he didn't want me to.  i think i reminded him too much of my mother.  i think my oldest brother also played a role.  he (the brother) was full-boar into his homophobia by then.  and my dad let it influence him, and that really bothered me. dad wasn't influenced by ken's hatred for me when mom was alive, but he was much more vulnerable after mom died.

in those 16 months between when mom died and dad had his stroke, much changed.  i was up there a lot after mom's death, too help with her things, and to help with dad.  slowly, over some time, dad withdrew from me.  the thing we both had in common was mom, and now she was gone.   but ken was there, and he was influencing dad.  it got to be really sad. i missed my father before he was gone, before he was to be missed.   ken infected dad with some anti-louise virus.  do i sound paranoid? it's actually the truth.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

father's day

i think i'm hitting the self-pity streak.  trying not to.  i feel sad. when i went to bed last night, i just said to myself, "feel however you feel tomorrow. you don't have to be sad. just be".  but i woke up with a literally heavy heart.  i went down to my address book, where i have a list of all the phone #'s my parent's had during my life.  plainview, florida, assisted living, hospitals,  nursing home.  i went through the numbers and mentally re-visited the phone calls i made to those numbers.  since i moved out of their home when i was 17, it was way more about phone calls than visits, tho there were plenty of them.

father's day. a day to honor father's.  my father was honorable. funny, obnoxious, sarcastic, very smart, difficult, in love with my mother, sad, happy........

my partner's favorite memory of my father was when she came to plainview with me for the first time.  i guess i was sleeping, and he invited her to take a walk to get the newspaper, which is a good mile away.  she was very scared - what would they talk about?!  but of course she said yes.  and she had a great time.  my father was a good conversationalist, able to talk about any number of topics, as kitty is. and they talked all the way there and back.  she was really surprised.  she loved him from then on, and i think it was mutual.

happy father's day, dad.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

the things you miss

my dad wasn't really himself for about 5 years before he died.  first, my mom died and that sent him into a profound spiral of grief, of course.  he had some odd experiences between that time and when he had a massive stroke 16 months later.  he would tell me he'd hear his mother in the kitchen, talking with my mother.  it really spooked him.  he would get out of bed and come into the kitchen, it seemed so real.  he was living in the assisted living facility during these 16 months.

i saw him several times during those months.  tho living in texas, i flew up a number of times. i took on the task of dealing with my mother's clothes and so on. i remember that one trip in particular.  i didn't want my father to see me taking my mother's clothes out, so i suggested he stay downstairs in the facility's library, which he did.  i packed everything up (my mother had a LOT of clothes), got it into the car and donated her clothes to a battered women's shelter.  i think she would have liked that. my father liked that idea.

i saw glimpses of the man i knew as my father during those months, but he was so devastated.....

one of the things i miss the most are his awful, terrible, corny jokes and puns - the expression he would get on his face right before the punchline - you knew when it was going to be an especially good one.  i always tried to have a couple to share back.  i remember once telling him about a fish with a skin condition who had to go to the doctor, a specialist.   the type of specialist?  why, a plastic sturgeon of course.  i never heard him laugh harder than at that one.  i miss my dad.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

the business side

my brother is the executor of my father's estate, and yesterday we had "the talk".  i learned all about what remained and "the plans".  oh, everything is fine and equitable.  but i had the feeling the whole time that this was not information i should be hearing.  my parents were very private, even secretive, when it came to money.  they also did not believe it was a parent's job to financially assist their grown kids in any way.  that's just the way they were.

so to now be having this talk, about dividing up the assets between their adult kids - it was just weird.  it felt somehow disrespectful.

at the same time, i knew my parents greatly enjoyed the fruits of their labors.  They were world travelers, they had all they needed, and probably a great deal of what they wanted.  we were able to care excellent care of them as they aged and became ill over time.

i guess i just feel a bit guilty.   dividing up their assets.  just seems unnatural.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

time out for the 'flu

i think all the stress finally got to me, that and diminished appetite and poor sleep.  been sick since friday with what appears to be the flu.  then, just 'cuz that wasn't bad enough, kitty caught it as well.  so we've been a household in survival mode - trying to keep a semblance of regular meals, clean dishes, linens.   it's no fun when the whole household is sick.  just feeding the pets regularly seems like a monumental task.

being sick is so in-the-moment that i do feel a break from what have been overwhelming feelings of loss.  not the way i'd recommend taking a break, but i guess it took what it took.