Monday, December 27, 2010

Back to life such as it is

I probably should mention that on top of the holidays - regular life continues.  Danny got bit by a dog and some vessels have burst in my left eye.  His face has healed as expected and I can't see well out of that eye and have to go back the doc in a few weeks. Many other daily normal little things happened that happened in everyday lives.  I am not safe from life ... duh.... but they aren't as important or scary...nothing is anymore.  There is only one other thing that could break me the rest of the way and I won't even breathe it.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

It's Christmas - whoopee...

Yep, it's Christmas.  I did fairly well buying gifts.  I even crocheted a few hats and neck warmers.  I didn't spend too much but more than I would have with Mary.  We had so much fun Christmas of 2008 (I will not say it was THE last christmas) making presents for each other.  I took lots of pictures I had of the kids when they were little (with Tony too) and put them in frames.  Mary found time somehow to sew and crochet. We were more excited to find out what the other person had come up with than opening the presents.

People say "Oh, thank goodness it didn't happen on a holiday.  It would have made that holiday sad every year".  Well, I'm hear to tell you that it doesn't matter what day of the year death happens.  Every day after that is sad no matter what.  Doesn't maker it sadder or better based on any event.  Even though I always comment that their wedding day was only 2 months away, it could have been the next day or on that day and it wouldn't have hurt any less.

I hung Mary's stocking between all of ours.  This time I didn't put any candy in it.  I'd just eat it and get fat.  We have about 30 stockings - Ann makes new ones each year for the kids.  I have the ones she made for my kids way back when.  Sometimes I can't decide which to use.  But the ones we have been used to for the last few years are sort of a match set for the three of them.  Got them at Ann's house when they were teenagers. Kerry's was the same green one he's used forever and I changed mine to something new.  Won't do that next year.  Danny couldn't figure out which one was mine so my presents from Santa were on the hearth.  boo hoo.

Funny how a little thing like stockings makes or breaks your morning.  I didn't have the umph to even make the sweet rolls.  We were supposed to go to Carol's this year.  Didn't make it last year.  She loves Christmas as much as Mary.  But the ice and snow stopped us.  So I sat in my jammies and watched everyone open their gifts and kept Mary's stocking in view.  The kids came in the afternoon and we had presents all over again.

I burned a lot of candles.  Had 18 going at one time.  Mary's candle is starting to crack so I have to watch that.  Sitting in the candle light is comforting a little.

What's different between this year and last?  I don't know exactly.  Resignation maybe?  Just sort of walked around like a zombie at times.  Saved the tears for night time.  That's not any different.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Where is the spirit?

I just cannot get in the mood for good tidings.  I put up decorations and they look blah.  But first I took everything out of my kitchen so I could repaint it.  I painted over the crackled paneling that Mary and I had such a good time painting several years ago.  Each stroke reminded me of the mess we made, the bad spots we laughed over.  I found all the places we were going to redo "later".  The whole wall behind the stove was where we were learning how to "crackle".  It looked worse than I remember.  But I painted over all of it.  Gave it a new look, a new face for the world to see.  

Then when I started putting things back in the kitchen, I looked at all the things that were in Mary's kitchen.  Some I use and some I don't but it felt good to look at them.  I probably had 14 cook books and only used maybe 3.  So I've moved some of those to another book case.  I hope it doesn't turn in to "out of sight, out of mind" or I might have to move them back in.  

So, now my house is a mess.  Kitchen stuff everywhere (I haven't finished reconstructing it) and Christmas stuff everywhere.  I don't think I'll leave the tree up till March this year.  Just don't have the will and I can't stand the mess.  Christmas ain't what it used to be.  I tried, I really did try to be happy for Mary but the nights weren't accommodating. And I can't take the "happy every after" Christmas stories on the Hallmark channel.

And I supposed Christmas hasn't been the same since we started waiting for another heart.  Accidents happen on holidays. They called Danny on Jan 2nd two years ago and a week after July 4th this year.  I hate that.


Monday, December 6, 2010

If I die young...

I finally figured out why I can't or don't want to make Mary's purses.  It's because she's not here to help me.  We made them together or rather I would help her when she was here.  I never did it alone.  I can't bare to even think of the memories of us working downstairs.  The one thing I can do is crochet hats like Mary's.  I guess because there are no memories.  I'm just trying to copy the ones Danny has.  I've almost got it down.  Takes a few hours though.

Watching the "Christmas" special shows on the Hallmark station are getting a little old.  Once I figured out that people don't really change all that much when life events happen, the stories all seem a little, well, empty.  Every story is about some person who has nothing who teaches some other person who has too much what love means.  Or vice versa. People just aren't that naive.  They are either mostly good or mostly evil. Maybe I'm getting too cynical.  Or maybe it just hurts too much.  When everyone is asleep and all is quiet, the smile fades, the tears form, the sadness comes, and my heart never stops hurting.

I heard this song on my way to work last Friday.  I cried the rest of the way.  This is for us both, Christine....

"If I Die Young"  by the Band Perry

If I die young, bury me in satin
Lay me down on a, bed of roses
Sink me in the river, at dawn
Send me away with the words of a love song

Uh oh, uh oh

Lord make me a rainbow, I'll shine down on my mother
She'll know I'm safe with you when she stands under my colors, oh and
Life ain't always what you think it ought to be, no
Ain't even grey, but she buries her baby

The sharp knife of a short life, well
I've had, just enough time

If I die young, bury me in satin
Lay me down on a, bed of roses
Sink me in the river, at dawn
Send me away with the words of a love song

The sharp knife of a short life, well
I've had, just enough time

And I'll be wearing white, when I come into your kingdom
I'm as green as the ring on my little, cold finger, I've
Never known the lovin' of a man
But it sure felt nice when he was holding my hand, there's a
Boy here in town says he'll, love my forever
Who would have thought forever could be severed by
The sharp knife of a short life, well
I've had, just enough time

So put on your best boys and I'll wear my pearls
What I never did is done

A penny for my thoughts, oh no, I'll sell them for a dollar
They're worth so much more after I'm a goner
And maybe then you'll hear the words I been singin'
Funny when you're dead how people start listenin'

If I die young, bury me in satin
Lay me down on a, bed of roses
Sink me in the river, at dawn
Send me away with the words of a love song

Uh oh (uh, oh)
The ballad of a dove (uh, oh)
Go with peace and love
Gather up your tears, keep 'em in your pocket
Save them for a time when your really gonna need them, oh

The sharp knife of a short life, well
I've had, just enough time

So put on your best boys and I'll wear my pearls

Saturday, November 27, 2010

For Mary...

We had a nice Thanksgiving at Jon's house.  3 years ago Mary and I asked Jon if he wanted to have Thanksgiving at his new house so everyone could see it. We didn't go last year.  So this year we went.  We put Mary's picture on the table.  Good food, family, and best of all, I didn't have to cook or clean up.  Neither did Carol!  Maybe we'll do it again next year.

Christmas is in front of me now.  Last year I could not even breathe the word.  We got a tree just before Christmas (last one at Walmart) so the kids would have one.  I've been thinking a lot about what to do this year.  Tony says this is Mary's favorite time of the year and she had to work so, so much she couldn't enjoy it.  She kept her tree up till March so she could enjoy it after tax time and I did the same thing last year.  But I forgot what "favorite time" means.  This Christmas - 
I will be happy for Mary.
I will decorate for Mary.
I will sing carol's for Mary.
I will play Christmas music for Mary.
I will have the kids trim the tree the whole month of December for Mary.
I will crochet hats for Mary. (Already did 3.)
I will smile for Mary.
I will laugh for Mary.
I will make gifts for Mary.
I will love like Mary.

I've been trying to push myself through these last few months.  Make myself walk this path. Step after step without looking back and I find it's not working as well as I thought it would.  My counselor told me what my heart has been screaming - it's ok to slow down and keep grieving. It's ok that I still cry at night sometimes.  It's ok that I'm still haunted by scene's of the crash.   Pushing them down deep is not going to make them go away.  It might make a volcano one day. It's ok that behind my smiling cheeks are sad eyes.  I need to take one step at a time.  I will find my way, one day at a time. 

I will admit my anxiety is rising now that a real date has been set for the trial.  I am constantly coming up with possible scenario's where he gets off.  And most are completely impossible.  But I have to cover all the bases.  What if....I'm sure the DA has thought of everything but still.....I am scared.

Why are all the Hallmark Christmas TV shows so contagious even though we know they are nothing like reality?  Is it because we wish they were reality? Everyone is so happy and cheery by the end of the show and everything always works out for the best.  Both disgusting and wonderful at the same time.  And it's always about two people falling in love.  They are very hard to watch most times.  A few I can wiggle through.

No, I haven't forgotten about Kerry, Julie, Danny, and the kids.  They are the ones who keep me sane.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Another vacation day

Sunday was much better than Saturday.  But I did like doing absolutely nothing for a change.  I cleaned house Sunday as much as I could.  Monday I went shopping at the thrift stores I like.  I like shopping with my girls.  We don't have the same tastes in clothes so it's very interesting when we try to pick out things for each other.  "Oh, this would look nice.....on you!"  Then laughter abounds.  

I had such good intentions for these vacation days and I've done almost nothing I planned.  I am the worlds best procrastinator.  "I'm gonna..." is my mantra. And I want to do things.  I have a notebook with all the things I want to do over the next months.  But, nothing so far.

Got a letter from UGA scholarship award fund department.  The monies in the funds haven't changed since March of this year.  Good thing I have 4 more years to get to the total.

It's 10 am Tuesday and I need to get busy.  I must get going, I must get going.  

Mary loves the holidays and I am sad.


Sunday, November 21, 2010

2nd Day of Vacation

Ok.  Let's move the elephant.  The week of Feb 14th 2011 is the trial.  Jury selection will start on Monday afternoon and hopefully all will be finished by Friday.  After all, like the ADA said, what evidence could they possibly offer to prove innocence.  They will pick a part the state's evidence.  

For his ticket, he got 20 days suspended jail time with supervised probation for a year, $100 file, court costs, and other costs I think.  I lost concentration when they said "suspended jail time".  My mouth was gaping open and I think I said "whatttttt????" a little too loud.  Sorry it took so long to write this but it pissed me off royally even though I sat through two other DUI's who got suspended sentences too. Why can't the judges and jury be the people who have been affected by the crimes committed?  Those are the real "peers".  Yes, I know there are innocent people charged with crimes but in this particular case he is not innocent.  Just fess up like a kid who stole the candy bar and life would be easier for you or at least for your conscience.  We will not go up for the Dec 6th court date because he doesn't have to appear in court.  Just has to show himself to the ADA that morning.  Ugh!

I think someone is living in Mary and Tony's house.  A friend saw people in it while driving by.  I don't want to over there.  Haven't been since we closed it up last summer. It still hurts driving up the same roads on our way to Carol's but we have family in Hayesville and that's not going to change.  But I will not drive the road from Hayesville to Franklin, I will not.

I realize it's been 20 months since we last saw Mary's face in the flesh or heard her sweet voice.  I also realize a lot of people affected by our loss have made life changing decisions and moves and may not be able to come to the trial as promised.  If you need my understanding, I understand that you will still be here in spirit and I will tell you each evening exactly what happened even if it is biased.  I can't put it on FB but here or a phone call will do.

Now for my vacation... today is Sunday.  Yesterday was a total unadulterated waste of 19 hours.  I did have to sleep a little so that wasn't wasted.  I could not get myself going. I sat in my chair and read, played on my Itouch, watched tv, dreamed, stared at the walls, wished I had some energy to do something.  After all it's not like I don't have anything to do.  I have way too much to do to be doing nothing.  If I'd had a pill that could have got me going I would have taken it.  I hate doing nothing and that was all I could muster yesterday.  I didn't cook, barely got up to pee, I did feed the doggies (their water bowl was dry).  Except for wishing I was dead I physically felt like I did that first few months.  I have had days like this before but not to the extent that I wished it was another day and I was another person.   I had vacation days over the last 20 months and I don't remember feeling this lost.  Albeit most of them were spent at the Hayesville court house some were here at home doing constructive things.  What's different?

I guess if I don't quit typing and get off by butt I repeat yesterday.  I can see Mary waving for me to come on saying "let's get going so we can go shopping this afternoon".  We do love to go thrift store and antique shopping together.  I'm going to make a bumper sticker that says "Life sucks so let's go shopping".    I will tell you tonight what Mary and I did today.  If I have someone to be accountable to I'm more likely to keep my word to myself.  Thanks for being there for me.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Thursday is a court date for his driving with an open container.  I think he has to appear at this one.  I'll get my chance to stare him down.  Wonder if the DA will make him wait till he's the last person in the courtroom again?  Maybe he has no money and can't pay his fine and he'll go to jail.  Maybe....Maybe.... Maybe...
You know what my next maybe is....

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Hallow's Eve

It is Halloween. 

I have been ruminating lately.  So many things rolling in my head it feels like a rock polisher.  I think I used to write so much because I couldn't think properly.  Couldn't formulate ideas that were trying to form. As my facebook quote says: 

I do not sit down at my desk to put into verse something that is already clear in my mind. If it were clear in my mind, I should have no incentive or need to write about it. We do not write in order to be understood; we write in order to understand.

The fog is fading slightly and I am able to rest more.  I'm starting to do more things that I couldn't do just a few months ago.  My living room and dinning room is 98% finished painting.  I didn't think I'd ever get that done.  I couldn't paint it without Mary because I felt guilty doing something she and I were going to finish together.  Now I can finish it even though I still feel guilty.  It's just a dull guilt because I am talking to Mary more.  Or rather she is talking to me.  Telling me it's ok or it'll be alright to do this or that.

Tony came to town, spent a week, got the doggies and headed back to Alaska.  He looked healthy.  Still has those sad downcast eyes over the smiling face.  But he is living each day as best he can.  He went to Chilkat Lake in Haines to be with Mary one more time.  Don't know when I'll see him again now that he has the doggies.

I am still walking along that long, long endless beach.  I think I'm walking up and down the coast.  Some days when I'm close to the spot where Mary is I am wrenched back into the pain of the first day.  I cry but mostly at night.  Eventually I fall asleep and walk past it.  The farther away I get the calmer the skies get and the surf quiets.  I can see fragments of my past life that I couldn't before.  They are deformed and broken but they are still part of me and I pick them up.  I am trying to put some of the together like a jigsaw puzzle but it's going to take awhile.  They don't look like they used to.  Some pieces I have to throw into the ocean.  They will never be part of anything again so why torture myself trying to figure them out.  These are like little pieces of shattered glass from a large colored window.  When glass is heated it melts but when it's heated and part of an explosion the little pieces don't fit together quite the same.  And it takes a very long time to put them all back.

I had not seen these little shards until a few months ago.  Maybe right after they called Danny for the heart he didn't get.   I realized a lot of things.  I can't keep having Mary's parties - way too painful.  I can't expect everyone to miss her like I do - they just will never forget her.  They will remember her in their own way. I remembered that I still need to try to not hold on so tight to Julie and Danny.  They need their space as I do.  I still hold on to Kerry.  I remember what it felt like to look forward to something - to be excited.  Too bad he didn't get his heart that day.  He will one day and I will be excited again.  But I learned I can be excited about life.   I learned there are new happenings on the horizon.  One occurred when Danny took me to the hospital and I was the patient.  He understood what I feel when he's the patient.  Mary had been there before but not Danny.

I asked myself "Am I learning to move on?"  No, not really. I'm learning a new way of living.  Everything I once thought about how others coped with the lose of a child or spouse has entirely changed.  No one really understands unless it happens to you.  Which is true about most things.  I think about Granny Davis who lost 2 children and wonder how she made it to 80.  She never told me about them.  My sisters did.  I wonder about so many other people I have known and never understood them.

No, I'm not moving on or getting on with my life.  I am creating a whole new approach to it.  With a little help from my friends....(actually a lot of help).

Will write more later.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Are we going to make it?

Are we going to make it?
What will it take to survive?

We hold on to each other
Afraid of letting go

Thinking of the things that could have been
Crying for why they're not

We are remembering, remembering
little things that make us smile
two friends whose daughters never met
now walk together forever in style

Walking forward for our families
looking back for memories 
we share our stories over again
grasping for some peace

Christine and I had dinner together at our little mexican place. We've been there several times just to meet and eat and talk about our children - all of them - We meet in many places every month or so, whenever the need for each other is great.

I think I've finally figured out why I can't go to the Compassionate Friends meetings or at least why I feel uncomfortable there.  Christine and I can share stories, we are part of each others lives.  We may not have a long history but some of our experiences we have shared together.  Those at TCF share a common experience but not together.  It's why we need people who know Mary and Rachael to keep telling us about their experiences with them.  Don't be afraid to talk about our girls because you think it will hurt us.  It doesn't, it makes us happy, ecstatic, alive to know they haven't been forgotten.  Not that we'd think you could ever forget them.  We just love to hear the stories.  Yes, we may cry but these are tears of love and laughter and joy because we are sharing them with the world.  Our tears of pain and hurt will be put off till later. 

I know TCF are a mainstay and a welcome shelter for many people.  I commend them for opening their hearts to others who are hurting.  But everyone is different.  Their combined pain is too great for me right now.  Maybe some day later. 

In my last entry it sounded like I said Mary's friends aren't mine and I didn't mean the way it came out.  They are mine NOW but I would much rather have her here with her friends than to have her friends here without her.  I know they would rather have her here too.  But I love them dearly, wherever they are because they are a part of her life.  They make her who she is.  The love of my life.  My whole family is the love of my life.

Nothing much happened in court this month.  We are waiting to see if this continuance to Dec 6th will be the actual trial or not.  Waiting, waiting to hurry up and wait.  Next court date is Nov 4th but it's for his ticket.  The more I wait the more I hate.... and the more I love those I need.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Here we go again

I went to my heart support group meeting after we got back from court.  The surgeon who will probably do Danny's transplant was a guest speaker.  We had a big group because of him.  People I had never met were there.  One man was also on the list again with the same problem as Danny but not for as long. One lady just got her heart 2 months ago. 

After Dr Vega left we talked about life things we were facing.  I usually don't like to bring up my life because I'll start crying no matter if I talk about Mary or Danny.  I hate crying.  But I was a little out of sorts with the results of the day so it sort of flooded out of me.  I didn't realize how many more tears I have inside that haven't come out.  I could have gone on for hours but they have their lives to live. I was really surprised at my self.  Guess I have a long way to go.

One friend there was close to the boy who died last August.  She said her calendar reminded her to call him on the anniversary of his heart day.  She has had her heart for 2 1/2 years. They were in the hospital together waiting.  But she said something interesting.  "His mother still talks about him as if he were still here".  That seemed to bother her.  "It's been awhile, shouldn't she be getting better?"   I think that's what started me on my water works.  But that was neither the time nor place to address that question. 

All those people, my friends, who have someone else's heart inside them have their own demons to conquer.  Danny included.  I hope I will never walk down their path but I'm in awe of each and everyone.  I have no business adding to their stress level.  I usually don't but this time I couldn't help it.

I still have visions of Mary in the crash.  Haven't figured out how to get by those.  It is reality.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Random Love

I really don't like writing anymore.  I can think of Mary in my mind more easily.  If it's a good thought there is no problem.  If it's a painful thought I can turn it off, ignore it and go on to something else a lot easier than if I'm writing about it.  So I force myself now to write this.  

I have realized that I am trying to live through Mary by being her.  I wear her shoes, some of her clothes, jewelry.  I am was getting down to her weight but haven't made it.  I've gained a few pounds because now my jaw doesn't hurt as much and I actually have an appetite.  I talk to Tony and imagine that Mary is somewhere with him. 

I made friends with many of Mary's friends. But many of those friends have moved away or moved on with their lives.  I have expected nothing less but it is still uncomfortable.  But I know under normal circumstances I would not be this close with her friends.  After all, they are her friends, not mine.  They are years younger, as well they should be.  We only have Mary in common.

I am smiling more lately.  Not sure why.  Danny noticed, not me.  

I can't do the fund raisers for Mary's funds anymore.  I don't know how I did the two that I did.  The third was Bonnie's and all of her visions for doing the same thing this year have never been mentioned. I don't know if I will be able to complete the scholarship funds either.  But I do have 4 more years.  We'll see.  I shouldn't have taken it on so soon after she left.  But I was grasping at straws.

Everything around the outside of my house has changed since last year and is still changing.  I'm helping them change too.  I guess this is good since it is for the better.  The inside of my house is slowly evolving but I still have all of Mary's pictures and stuff all over the house.

I found a friend from 30 years ago on facebook.  She and her husband came to our house for dinner one nite and we are going to theirs.  We still have a lot in common. Found another friend also but she hasn't actually talked to me.  Am I going backward in time on purpose?

I'm working longer hours than I have in months past.  Sometimes I want to sometimes it just happens.  But I still don't work at home more than 2 hours a month when I know I could get so much done if I did. 

Next Monday is the court date for Mary's case.  I'm still nervous about them filing motions to suppress evidence.  No, actually I am REALLY worried even though the DA said not to be.  

Danny's checkup was fine last week.  This weekend was a holiday and they did do a transplant yesterday.  But not Danny's.  

I'm tired of trying to do so many activities I used to want to do for to keep from feeling guilty that I don't or haven't done them.  I do want to give back, I'm just so tired, and a little aimless.  I just want to sit and vegetate for awhile.  Figure out myself.  No one is pushing me but myself and I'm trying to stop.

If life is so very random, how do you explain love.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

I am jealous

Do you know how hard it is to wake up each morning knowing Mary is gone and she was not able to help anybody else on the transplant list.  Something she talked about and thought about all the time. All the time I see stories about beautiful young lives lost that gave of themselves to help others live.  I blame him.  He killed not only Mary and our lives but as many as 8 other people who could have been saved by Mary.  Maybe more with tissues and such.  I see those families so happy (if you can be) in the knowledge that some part of their loved one is walking around this earth.  I am so freakin' jealous I can't stand it.  

And I just said jealous.  Maybe jealous isn't the word....  empty, heart broken, sad....  if I had any chance of seeing anything come out of this ridiculously cruel situation it would be to see something of her or know some part of her is still walking this earth helping someone else.

Talked to the DA today.  No trial in Sept. Just another 5 minute court date to postpone again.  His lawyer has filed motions to suppress the blood test taken at the scene and anything he said at the scene. The DA can't get the blood test taken at the TN hospital because of HIPPA.  Sept 13th will be a continuance till Dec or February.  We just might make that 2 year wait date.

Something in me is changing again.  It maybe my disposition.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

I wish I understood myself

Went to work last Thursday with a good pacemaker and came home with a broken one.  It was supposed to last 20 more months.  But then nothing is as it should be anymore.  My surgery for replacement is tomorrow morning.  Danny is taking me down.  This time he'll be the "family member" - a new experience for him. 

Soooo... last Sunday I did what I haven't done in since Mary left. I got a pedicure and manicure.  The manicure I got talked into but it looks nice even though I don't have any nails.  I haven't gone to the nail place because it felt like I was enjoying life when I didn't want to nor should be.  But I went anyway.  I went to the same place Mary and Julie and I go.  Didn't have much fun but my feet needed the attention.  I sat there reprimanding myself for going but couldn't for the life of me figure out why I wanted to go.  The ladies started the idle chit chat you have with someone whose feet you are massaging.  "Do you live far from here?, Do you want sea salt? I remember you from a long time ago.  Do you have any children?"  That one stopped me.  I said yes, I have 3 and I named them with their ages.  But I didn't tell her about Mary.  Partly because I didn't want everyone saying "oh, you poor thing", and partly because I didn't want to burst into tears.  

The closer the trial comes, the more wound is widened.  Too bad for him it will never heal.

Ok - back to the nail place.  I wish I understood why I went there.  I have been avoiding it on purpose.  I know the owner and I'm sure he feels like I don't like him anymore.  I talk to him when I see him and I do think he's a really nice guy.  One day I can explain maybe.  My best guess is that it makes me feel like I've gone back in time before anything happened.  You'd think I'd want that feeling but I don't.  I want that feeling to be REAL but since it isn't I can't pretend. If other people talk about Mary it makes me cry but when I talk about her it's easier.  Haven't figured that out yet.  Maybe because it's on my terms. 

Getting my pacemaker changed always scared me a little.  But this time not so much.  If anything happens I'll get to see Mary.  But, I would leave all the rest of the people I love and I don't want that.  I want both. Let's just face it. I want my Mary back. 

I found a lady on FB who has written a book or books about facing death and coming out ahead.  About how strong you are when you have been through the unbelievable. "Becoming Bigger than Our Pain" is the name.  She lost two children, around age 2, seven years apart.   Everybody's story is different, everybody's pain is unbearable.

It's not that I don't enjoy things in my life, I just do it with a rain cloud over head.  Sometimes it's a thunderhead and sometimes it's a haze, but it's always there.  I don't know how to blow it away.  Don't know if I want to blow it away.

I didn't have Mary to call to tell her about my pacemaker.  So I called Tony.  He understood.

Now why did I get a pedicure when the whole time I felt guilty getting it?  I haven't a clue.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Too many questions

Last Thursday I found out that another transplant recipient has left us.  I say another because there have been others in the past year.  For many different reasons they are gone but most have to do with their heart.  This person was 2 years younger than Danny.  One minute he was talking to the paramedics and then next he was gone.  Just like that.  

You wouldn't believe the questions going around in my head.  Here goes...  Should his family look on the bright side and be thankful for the 3 extra years he lived after his transplant or be pissed this happened? After all life seems to be a second to second process.  Do I worry about Danny? Every second of every day.  Do I get tired of worrying? Every second of every day.  Do I wish it would all go away?  Yes, but that won't make it so. Does it help to worry? Not much but I can't turn it off.  Is this because I have the ability to love or that I care about my fellow man?  How can a person not have a conscience?  How can a living breathing "human being" hurt anything living and breathing?  I don't know but they sure can.  Is this free will?  If god doesn't stop bad things from happening then how can he be "watching" over us and taking care of us?  I think he's just watching.  Wonder what he thinks of his creations.  And, no, you don't know what he thinks no matter what other people tell you.  Maybe I'd be better off or happier if had a IQ of 87 or lower.  When I worked with mentally challenged kids they all seemed to be so happy with who they were, no worries. What you don't know can't hurt you? Maybe they just let others worry for them.  Maybe they are smarter than I think.  But I don't want to give up what I have in life.

Each one of the thoughts above could generate it's own book.  Every person probably has thoughts just like this all the time.  Why do I have the urge to put it on paper?  Why do I try to comb out this tangled mess of random thoughts? 

Add all this to the thoughts of Mary all day long and my brain gets fried.  Why Mary?  Why not me? Is life that random?  Does this show that there is no "pattern" to life? Do those people who tell you "there is a reason why things happen, you just can't see it yet.  God is in control." say that just to make you feel better when shit happens?  If someone else is in control then you have someone to blame or rather you don't have to blame yourself.  You don't have to take responsibility for your life.  Well that just sucks. 

I found a post by an evangelist who couldn't understand why all the prayers for his wife's cancer wasn't healing her.  He said he finally realized that not all prayers are answered.  Ya think???

And this is the tip of the "crazies" iceberg.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Nothing's happening

Many things running through my mind lately.  Hard to put them into words.  

It's getting closer and closer to court dates.  First one is the day after my birthday - 8/23.  It will probably get postponed again just like all the rest.  I'm trying to find out if the court date for Mary is still on.  Have to call the DA but her phone usually rings busy.  

Each time my phone rings and I don't recognize the number I think Emory.  Haven't done that in a long time and my anxiety level goes up and down, up and down.  I did finally get a battery charger for Danny's video camera so I'll be more prepared. 

I tried to refresh Mary's hanging plant by taking it down and soaking it in water and plant food for a few days and ended up breaking many of the long branches off.  Each one I had to remove stabbed me sharply.  So, I'm trying to grow roots on them so I can put them back.  If I loose that plant it will hurt more than I can explain. 

I'm trying to paint some of the living room posts.  I rearranged the furniture so it looks really different.  Now where I sit I end up staring more at Mary's pictures.  Didn't aim for that result but that's where it ended up.  That's ok because I don't go downstairs to her things much anymore. 

Kerry cleaned off his dresser and now Mary's canister is in full view whenever I'm in the bedroom.  Should I still have physical manifestations of sadness after all this time?  Will I always feel like someone is sitting on my chest when I think of those days?  I do have happy moments of talking and thinking about Mary, just not all the time.  Someone was telling me they had to explain to someone else what happened to Mary.  In their explanation to me they said "... and I smiled weakly and said "Mary's dead".  But they said it with such nonchalance that I had to hold my breath to keep from saying something.  Why is it so much easier for others to go on living than it is for me?  I want to do things around the house and yard but they all seem so meaningless that I don't get them going much.

It also seems to me that others may be moving from the beach to the forest a lot faster than I am.  And many are already well into the trees.  Why can't I get off the beach?  Do I even want to get off the beach?  Is my mind playing tricks on my heart or vice versa?  I am so hard to understand through my own eyes.

Friday, July 16, 2010

For Dr. Vega

I wanted to write you to share some thoughts about our meeting last Tuesday.  Though it was short in the physical sense it was indefinitely long for those brief minutes. 

I’m sure it was not easy for you to watch us struggling to make a decision.  At one point during the last few years Danny once said he didn’t think he’d make it past 30.  So, I know it was very hard for him to give up what he might have thought was a “last chance”.  You did, however, make me more hopeful telling us there was a good match a few months ago even though the donor was too old.  I constantly struggle with what my heart feels and my mind thinks.  And I MUST be positive for my family’s sake.  Danny also has told me he thinks he “has it much better than most of his friends”.  To have a second, albeit third chance for life is almost unimaginable in his words, seeing other patients with other diseases having no chance at all.

I’m sure you know it is much easier for this kind of decision to be made for the patient.  But, so few of life’s important decisions are black and white.  After you stepped out of the room Danny asked me what he should do.  As his mom I so wanted to tell him what I would do.  But, I have realized you don’t really know what you would do in a specific situation unless you are actually in it.  And even then you may not think clearly.  So I held his hand told him it was up to him.  Fortunately his dad said what we all knew to be the answer, what Danny wanted to say but couldn’t at the moment.  I guess that’s the difference between mother’s and father’s.

We finally realized that someone else will benefit from the “perfect match” that was almost perfect for Danny.  We cannot with good conscience possibly shorten the life of the gift given in love.

Driving down to Emory I did not know whether to celebrate or cry for I know the joy and pain of both sides.  Those feelings remained unspoken in all of us.  Wendy did remind me that we were giving the other family the opportunity to help someone else.  Something we were not given.  That did make me feel better, and still does.  But it doesn’t stop their pain.  Donor families are awesome.

I assume you were hoping Danny would make the best decision since there was no right or wrong one.  He asked you what you would do because he values your opinion very much and I do too.  The gift you have been given to restore life is amazing.  Thank you for sharing it with the world.

On the way out of the hospital room Danny said “On the bright side, I get to watch the All Star game”.  And his team won!

Today Danny is back to what I call “normal” - going to a concert with friends, playing with his nephew, watching TV, and hanging with his girl friend.  I think he is awesome, wise beyond his years and he is my hero.

In anticipation of “the perfect match”, thank you, Dr Vega, for using your gift to ease the pain of one while creating joy for another.  You, too, are my hero.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Danny is my hero.

My beautiful, wise, wonderful, awesome, amazing son made possibly the hardest decision he has ever had to make in his life so far.  A heart became available yesterday.  We rushed down to the hospital to get the blood test that would tell us if it was a good match.  We waited 4 hours, sitting in the room watching the minutes tick by....  When the surgeon, THE MAN, walked into the room to give us the news we were, of course, ready for "OK, let's do it."  I knew the second I looked into his eyes it wasn't going to be that quick.  

The donor was not a perfect match but it would work IF Danny wanted to go ahead with the transplant as long as he realized the chance of rejection was right around the corner.  But there is no crystal ball in life so it was totally up to Danny.  Dr. Vega has never encountered an "almost" perfect heart before. He left for a few minutes and we tried to talk together.  We instead cried together, silently.  It almost felt like we had lost Mary again.  He looked at me with those big brown eyes and said "what do I do".  I knew he didn't want to let me down.  I squeaked out what I've said to myself since all my children turned 18.  "It's your life, your decision."   It felt like such a cop out.  I tried to hard to talk myself into saying "Every day is a risk.  He could get hit by a drunk driver leaving the hospital."   Kerry said what we all knew needed to be said, "I'd wait if it was me but then I'm not sitting in that bed."

He said he'd wait. And then cried a few tears, ripped off his heart monitor, and said "let's get outta here."  Dr. Vega was very kind.  Danny and I had asked him all the questions we could, most he couldn't answer because those are the kinds of questions you ask when you are reaching for a miracle.

There is so much more that went into that 15 minutes of decision making that I can't put into words.   If I had talked him into going on and then he started rejecting and I lost him, I would probably have died with him.  I told him I would have made the very same decision if he had been a child.  Probably didn't help much.

At least the National League team won last night. They haven't won since Danny got his first heart.  Wouldn't that have been something, they wouldn't have started winning the night he got his heart.  Oh well....... 

Sunday, July 11, 2010

To believe or not to believe

I found the bible I gave Julie when she was a teenager in 1994.  On the inside cover it says "In here you will find all your answers".  How interesting.  This was the year Danny was told he needed a new heart.  Over the next eight years I was very active in my church.  I was an elder, "chairperson" of the board (although I never felt very comfortable leading a group of people who didn't really accept me in that position), sunday school teacher, and played in the band we created for the early morning service.  I did other things too, just like any good dedicated believer. All this I did because I thought I was been "led" to do them.  Even when I didn't really want to do them (like chairperson) I did anyway.  Then Danny got his heart in 1997. I tried even harder to do more things because questions that had been hidden away for years started popping up.  No one had answers so I tried to smother them with good works.

I was raised as a Methodist.  I can sing all the old songs - memorized them when my mother and I sang them, sang them ALL the time.  Someone asked me "when I was saved" like it was supposed to be another birthday.  I had no idea, just always believed. Wasn't always a practicing christian but I knew there was Jesus and god.

Slowly but surely the questions started out weighing the non answers and I had to start looking harder or elsewhere.  God was not helping me.  Some say when prayers aren't answered it's because we aren't on the same time schedule as god.  So how the hell do they know what time zone god is in?  When I had questions I couldn't find answers for them I would say to myself "don't worry about this, god will take care of it".  

2001 or 2002 our church split and I left.  Too much discontent in a place of "worship".  Christians aren't supposed to act like this.  2004 Danny needed another heart and I needed something.  Not sure what but I gave church another try.  I really do like the people there.  I started going about every other sunday until Mary left.  All my questions burst through the dam and I could not keep the feelings of hopelessness contained.  

I still think someone, somewhere, somehow created the universe.  But I do not believe he, she, it is involved in my daily life.  If they were, Mary would still be here.  BECAUSE, everyone at church is always asking god to take care of them on the trips they make.   Take care of them doing this and that and everything.  From my point of view it looks like god is taking better care of her killer than he did of her.  I don't know if god is good, or just, or fair, or even "looking down from above".  I just know life happens, not for any reason, there isn't any kismet, we are here on this earth, good and bad alike.  I'm sort of hoping the good out number the bad.  It's hard to tell sometimes. We, us, you and me, are responsible for our actions. I may take into consideration other people's opinions but I don't rely on someone or thing I can't see to guide me.  If I'm blind I don't need some other blind entity telling me where to step.  But I do need the people in my life that make me tick.  My family and friends are worth more than a belief.

My counselor says rarely does a non believer become a believer after a child or someone close dies.  And that many parents who do believe leave the church because they some how deep down thought that because they did believe they were "covered" against all the bad things in life - a kind of believers insurance policy.  

Tony said one day during that first week - "I guess this is when I'll either turn to god or curse him forever".   I think we both are just ignoring him, if there is a him.

Now that I've got that out of my system, I'll have to see what life brings and how much I and my beliefs change over the next decade.

Tomorrow is Tony's birthday.  Happy Birthday my son from another mother! I love you.  Mary does too.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Mary's avocado

July 4th came and went without fanfare.  As a family we used to all go the Parrish's.  Our 5 and their 6 made quite a household for 4-5 days.  Looking back they were some of the best times we've ever had as a family.  But all the kids grew up and went their separate ways only to meet again on some July 4th in the future.  After high school the visits got farther apart, partly because of Danny being on the transplant list.  

Beth's daughter got married the last Sunday in June.  I listened to Vyvyan tell me about it all the while thinking of what could have been at Mary's wedding.  Thank god for scar tissue.

I used to say to people who had lost a child that I didn't know how they kept breathing.  When in fact I didn't understand why they were still breathing.  I just knew if any of my children were gone you'd have to box me up and put me in a padded room.  I could not comprehend at all, positively not, no way in heaven, what kind of person you'd have to be to be sane enough to continue to breathe.   Now week after week I relive that night, those first few minutes, those first few hours when reality ceased to exist.  And I still can't comprehend how I am breathing.  Some say it's because I have people who depend on me and I can't let them down.  Some say it's self preservation (NOT- I would change places with Mary right now if I could.  But since I can't I do some signs of self preservation sometimes.)  Some say I am strong (NOT).  Some don't say anything. Most are just glad it's not them - as I used to be.  

If Danny leaves me I do believe I will take up residence in a box somewhere.  So, now I can't comprehend how parents still breathe after loosing more than one child.  Since none of my really important prayers have ever been answered I don't bother asking for a heart for Danny.  It makes me sick to think someone else will walk this journey when Danny will be alive and happy.  Yet, I want a heart to come his way so he will be alive and happy.  Such a Catch 22.  And I know it's not my fault someone will have to die for Danny to get a heart.  It's just not fair, but life isn't.  Knowing truths and realities in your mind doesn't help in the practical application of living.  Theory and execution are two different animals.

Mary's last avocado is still in the freezer.

I am not strong.  I am not weak.
I am merely trying to seek
Answers for which there are no questions.

I must keep walking in shoes that do not fit,
Along paths that go no where
Under skies that do not shine.

Each day I walk I split myself in half
One for the future, one for the past
Broken cartoon faces lighting the way

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Hard work

It's been awhile.  I have been busy trying to not think about last year. But the closer August and Sept get, the more I do.

Been kind of slacking on working around the house.  Watching new TV show series to get away.  It's hard work not thinking about the things that wander into your mind.  Hard work to rearrange the words from your mind to your mouth because your ears don't want to hear the truth.  Hard work trying to not feel guilty when you think you might be having fun doing something that you should be having fun doing.  Hard work trying not to show your tears every single time you hear someone say Mary's name.

I have to get back to working on the house.  I have things I really need to get done. If I don't keep busy my mind wanders.

A lady who lost her son is always joining groups for other lost children.That's a constant reminder for me, constant pins being stuck into my pincushion heart.  Too much for me.  She probably needs it.  Everyone is different.  

Tony called.  He says he's been trying to push away the memories because they hurt too much.  Then one day he was digging a deep hole and all the memories of digging Choda's grave and Mary came rushing back - in the middle of work - with all those people around.  He doesn't like talking about Mary with strangers.  He's been writing the letters to the judge and that man so I can read them in September.  He's been writing since January.  

Rose Kennedy said
It has been said, 'time heals all wounds.' I do not agree. The wounds remain. In time, the mind, protecting its sanity, covers them with scar tissue and the pain lessens. But it is never gone.
There's a song called "Only the strong will continue". It has a good beat. Wonder if it's true.  
And while I am walking I hear myself talking
Trying to convince my soul not to die

And while I am crying I hear myself sighing
Trying to ignore reality

And when my eyes are closing I see your smiling face
Then it fades away and the cold just rushes in
Memories are not enough my heart cries to the world
I want to touch and hold your hand – once again.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The beach vs the forest

More on my lists....

I wear Mary's silver necklace every day. If I forget get it I feel naked.  I haven't forgotten it in a long time.  I wear what I think is one of Mary's stretchy soft shirts as my night shirt.  I can't tell for sure if it's the same one in the picture I have but it looks like it. I don't want to dig too deep because if it's not, I'll be sad.  This way I feel close to her every night.  

Every night I go to sleep thinking of her.  Sometimes it's just her smile but most times it's either the crash or seeing my self at the trial telling the judge and that man EXACTLY what I think of him.  Once in awhile it's Tony and Mary together.  So, I go to sleep with the TV on so I'm not concentrating too hard on the past.  I've even begun to go to bed earlier now that the TV's fixed in the bedroom.  I haven't dreamed about Mary in a long, long time.

I use Mary's gardening tools, her gloves (yes, with all the holes in them - well used), basket, clippers, etc.  We took a lot of garden stuff with us last year.  Tried to transplant some mint but it didn't take.  Bought some at Walmart and I hope it lasts.

I still have some of Mary's kitchen things - like saran wrap, brown sugar ("all natural" and so far un-opened), aluminum foil.  I have some of Mary's coffee cups (or tea as she would say), tea bags, salt and pepper shakers, spices ("all natural"), even trash bags (big ones for the garage).  

When you walk into a home that was being lived in just days earlier it's very hard not to want to take every thing and I mean EVERYTHING just as it is to preserve it forever in case the family who lived there comes back.  You want to preserve their hopes and dreams so they will come true.  It hurts immeasurable to see pictures of the house with all the smiling faces sitting around.  Christmas's, birthdays, family visits, all preserved in pictures. Might as well be frozen in ice in the Arctic circle glaciers or at the bottom of the ocean like the Titanic. 

I've been watching a little of the TV series "Obsessed" about people with OCD.  There are a few behaviours or responses to situations that I can relate to.  I've never thought of myself as obsessive before - am I acquiring that behavior?

Tony called me on Saturday. Neither of us mentioned what day it was.  Although Sunday was actually the 20th, Saturday is the day we remember.  I have to say I admire Tony for moving to Alaska.  He took the bull by the horns and did what they were going to do together - and he did it with only a memory, a vision of what it could have been.  He didn't shy away from it because Mary didn't go with him like I probably would have done.  Maybe all the running he did across America last summer and fall, and the sitting and "rotting" his did last winter made him strong enough to go.  And I don't mean go "forward", just go on.  Big difference.

I am still stuck walking that beach while the waves wash over my feet and Tony has gone into the forest with Danny and everyone else.  But, I can still see a few figures up the coast on the edge of the beach.     

Friday, June 18, 2010

Still more....

This weekend is Mary and Tony's anniversary. Need I say more. 

Thursday, June 10, 2010

More and more

To continue with my list – I avoid romantic movies – they make me uncomfortable even watching for a few minutes.  They make me sad.  If I even see an advertisement for anything to do with a wedding, on TV or paper, it makes my stomach hurt. If someone starts talking about a wedding I turn away and change the subject.  I will probably keep Mary’s dress forever. 

I can’t get rid of any of Mary’s cookbooks I have in the kitchen even though I don’t use them.  Whenever I look at them I smile.  She loved to cook.  She loved most everything she did. 

I avoid going downstairs where all her stuff is.  When I have to get something I hurry. If I stop to look around I end up staying too long and it hurts. 

I hate the fact that when I’m at work I concentrate so hard on my work that I don’t even see Mary’s picture on my desk.  Makes me feel like I’m pushing Mary away when I finally realize I haven’t thought of her for more than 5 minutes.  I hate using the word “HER or SHE” instead of Mary.  It’s so impersonal.

Lately I’ve been NOT planning any parties and not thinking about the funds at UGA.  Just more reminders that Mary isn’t beside me. 

When Cindy talks about Mary, at 11 years old she has a much easier saying that Mary’s d..e..a..d than I will ever have.  I can’t even say the word.  I say she’s gone for awhile.

As the world around me goes on it drags me with it.  I laugh, I play, I go to movies, garden, clean house, paint.  I do all the normal things but with every second that slips by my heart is heavy with sadness.  Sometimes people can see it, sometimes not.

That man was seen pumping gas into a brand new car yesterday.  The mere fact that he is walking around makes me physically sick.  Wish I had seen him – I do believe I would have slashed his tires if I’d had the time.  I avoid thinking of him as much as I can because he makes me feel evil when I think of all things I’d like to do to him.  I don’t think I am a vengeful violent person but I am turning in to one in my mind.  The more I think about what I’d do to him the easier it becomes to keep seeing myself doing it and then I realize I’d be no better than he is. 

Saturday, May 29, 2010

The new me

What am I running away from that has to do with Mary.  This is the question from my counselor.  I have been thinking about this since my last visit.  I don't like to use past tense verbs when I talk about Mary.  I start to write them and then change them.   I don't go down to see her tree much.  I look at it from the window.  I really need to go down there to get rid of the weeds starting to grow and plant some grass and make it look better. I can look at pictures of her from afar but if I see her face clearly, it hurts and I start to choke, my heart starts to race, and I hold my breath. I do have pics of her on the dash of my car but they are from a distance.  If I start talking about Mary to someone I am fine.  If someone asks about her sometimes I can't even open my mouth to answer.   I avoid going to Hayesville even though Carol and Donnie are there.  We've only go when that man has a court appearance.  Next one is August and the big one is September.  When I am up there I avoid looking down the road we should be taking to go to Mary's.  I have never been back to her house.  

I wish there was something I could do to make that man's life miserable now. I hate to see him strutting around.    I hate more now than I ever have before.  Those TV shows that show a parent forgiving the person that hurt their child are crap.  I can't imagine forgiving anyone who hurts anyone in my family.  

I've tried "finding a new path" but it's not working.  I'm not going anywhere.  I haven't done anything positive since last year.  I feel like I've been going in circles.  I have completely given up doing anything with art.  Packed everything up.  Even when to Good Will today to drop stuff off and found two pair of pants and did NOT even look at the stuff I usually dig through.  Kinda wanted to but I just ignored the devil on my shoulder.  

I'm thinking I might start crocheting again. I like doing that.  Mary likes it.  Maybe if I started doing the things that we have in common again I can accomplish something.  Instead of running away from the good things I have to find the good things.  We both like gardening, cooking, and sewing.  I'm not sure I'm ready to make her purses but I have lots of material to make tops for Cindy and myself.  Cindy's sewing machine is here - Mary gave it to her for Christmas.  

I am avoiding doing my taxes.  I really, really need to do that.  I am avoiding painting the living room so I'm going to paint the hallway.  If I do the ceiling from the hall on it will make a smooth transition into the living room ceiling.  I have to finish it sometime.

I avoid telling myself "Mary would want this or that".  Because it is not really her talking.  It's just what I want to think she's saying. 

I do see things or places that I think Mary would like.  But that's not hard to say because it doesn't have a tense.  I say "if Mary were here she would..." usually for an action.  I always used to say that before anyway.   And, I avoid talking or thinking about that week last year.  It's always "before" or "after".  I refer to her memorial service as her Party.  Everyone seems to know what I'm talking about.  

My sister's granddaughter is getting married in June - the weekend after Mary's date.  I DO NOT LIKE TALKING ABOUT THAT.  It's in Virginia so we aren't going.  They are all so excited and happy and I feel badly that it hurts me so much to see them happy and excited.  

I have been cleaning out my closets and drawers and getting rid of things that have been sitting around for ages.  I have to do something to move myself or I'm going to rot sitting here.  If I can't make myself into something new and different I will analyze what I have left and see what can be salvaged.  I must look into myself to find me not outside.  I will be closer to Mary by being myself than by running from myself.  I don't have to be a new me, just a different me.

Now let's see how I'm going to feel a few months from now.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Never stops hurting

I met a lady on fb whose son was killed last year.  We exchanged a few messages and I told her about my journal.  I hope she doesn't read it.  It will hurt too much.  Just talking to her made me hurt too much.  Looking at her fb pages, the dedications to her son, caused me such pain that I can't talk to her anymore.  She needs her time, I need mine and we don't need to bleed on each other.  We may share the same path but we have to keep from stepping on each other's toes.  Maybe this is why I can't go to Compassionate Friends.  It hurts too much.  I have grown accustomed to the blanket over my head and heart, shielding me from truths.  I tell myself little lies so it won't hurt too much.  Keep myself busy, occupied so I don't think too much.

I hope she understands.

Now, back to NOT doing art, back to digging in the garden, cleaning out the house, and making my list.

Mary Mary I love you so.  Been talking to Tony off and on.  He's probably avoiding just like me.  It gets us through the days.  We hang on to each other.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Avoidance is the best medicine

I don't know how to explain what changed today, last night, last week.  I have packed up all my "art" stuff and put it away for awhile.  Maybe forever, I just don't know.  I just know it wasn't working like I had hoped it would.  Maybe I'm just not the artist I thought I was or could be.  Don't have the time or dedication or inclination or focus.  It just wasn't working.  It didn't feel right.  I could see all sorts of things in my head but they never materialized.  

So, I'm back to digging in the yard, "my garden", painting my walls and fixing up the house.  I got up this morning and packed up everything on the pool table down stairs.  Threw away stuff I would never use in a thousand years, cleaned out boxes, reorganized other stuff, washed clothes and dishes, made piles for Good Will.  There is so much to be done around the house that I can't ignore it anymore.  Mary is tapping me on the shoulder telling me to focus.  If I don't go downstairs so much maybe I can focus.

I have to list the things that I have been avoiding because they remind me of Mary.  Things I don't do, ignore, stay away from.  On the other hand there are things I attach myself to because they are Mary.  Her jewelry, clothes, pictures, belongings. 

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Talking is good.

Some how I have to figure out how to keep going. And oddly enough I think the TV show NCIS character Gibbs is helping.  He lost his wife and daughter - murdered.  He got his revenge but this is a character, after all, and I can dream.  The more I watch the shows the more of his background comes out and shows little things he says and does that is his way to keeping his family alive.  He keeps things, like his daughters lunch box, so he can bring it out once in a while.  He is very direct, serious, matter of fact, and anti computer.  But extremely loyal and dedicated.  I also like the "In Plain Sight" character Mary.  Very, very non politically correct in her conversations and accusations.  
So, this week was not that great.  A guy who had been waiting for a heart at Emory didn't make it.  Each time I meet, get to know, and find out they're gone, someone on the transplant list, it hurts.  Hurts like hell.  For two reasons now.  I know how the family feels, and I'm afraid for Danny.  I never tell him about these things.  He didn't know him.  Then a lady everybody in the transplant community knew, died in her sleep.  Oh, my oh my oh my.

I realized last night that I am still very irritated that the ME didn't seem to do very much about trying to have Mary be a donor.  He wasn't very responsive to our phone calls even it if was in the middle of the night.  That's his job.  24 / 7.  You can't imagine how much it hurts or what I would give to have something of Mary walking this earth.  She would have been so happy to have helped as many people as possible.  Not with organs maybe, but with the other 40 something tissues that could have been used.  I realize she was hurt really bad.  But he could have actually talked to us. 

Monday, May 10, 2010

Happy's not happy anymore.

I know if I don't write this now I'll never get the chance.  Today is Mother's Day.  We had the kids all weekend.  They made cards for Julie and pictures.  Couldn't wait for today so they gave them to her Friday night and yesterday. Today she took them to a movie and Mc D's.  

I feel very wishy washy.  This weekend I don't want to do anything with art and wish I could box it all up.  Each day I go back and forth.  So this weekend I decided to get all my "stuff" out of Kerry's room and straighten up the bookcase under the TV in our bedroom.  We put the headboard on Cindy's bed and moved some things around.  Kerry roto-tilled the flower garden spot and planted my bushes.  I cleaned up the garage a little and painted the dresser. Had to do something to feel like I'm getting things done.  

I started picking up my stuff down stairs and sorting it into boxes to neaten up the pool table.  Got most of it looking better.  Then I walked up stairs and found a bouquet of flowers on the table with a card.  I thought it was from Julie.  I opened the card and it said "love Mary".  Instant tears.  Kerry got them for me.  I couldn't stop but I didn't want to breakdown in front of the kids.  I told Anna the flowers were from Mary and she said "Mary's dead. A prison man killed her."  I told her Mary lives in my heart and she said, "Yes, she's in my heart."  I wonder how much she'll remember when she gets older.  Mary's picture is all over the house and we talk about her all the time.  She accidentally broke a necklace that Mary gave her and she cried. So, she remembers some things.  

Heart Support group is tomorrow night.  I go even though they don't seem to be able to keep is non-religious.  But, you can't change people.  Wendy understands but I told her not to worry.  If it bugs me enough I'll say something.

Have a good Mother's day.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

My journal

I think I might change my journal back to let others read it if they want to.  Not that people are asking to read it.  Just that keeping track of specific email addresses is a pain.  So, maybe I will.

There's a shadow hanging over me...

Life is calm.  Gabe and Anna are in bed, Julie is downstairs getting them to sleep, and Cindy is watching TV with Papa for a few minutes.  Danny is camping out at Lake Russel with friends.  And I am writing and watching TV at the same time.  

I've started making pages for the altered books I want to create.  I am forcing myself to do something.  Sometimes it looks cool and sometimes not so hot.  But I keep on keeping on, one page at a time.  I will focus on the action not on the accomplishment.  Repetition gets me through the days.  Even though there is no guarantee I will finish the page I'm working on, the movement of mind and matter reinforces the fact that life is continuing, with or without me.

I realized today that I have truly been able to compartmentalize my feelings.  I am really two people meld into one.  The first goes on about life as if Mary is away for awhile, on a trip, living in another state, etc.  But my shadow shows up when I'm thinking about the facts.  When I am confronted with reality.  I can be sitting at my desk at work talking to my colleague's and the next minute I have to close my door because I can't keep from crying, it's hard to breathe, and I can't think straight. Sometimes catching a glimpse of an email from her, seeing a picture I didn't expect to see, someone asking me about her, seeing a really large truck driving at me is all I need for the split to happen. 

I was watching Good Will Hunting last weekend for the 12th time at least. At one point Will and Sean are getting into it. 

               Will says, "Where's your "soul-mate?! Dead! 
               She dies and you just cash in your chips. 
                That's a fuckin' cop-out! 
                Sean says, "I been there. I played my hand. 
                Will says, "That's right. And you fuckin' lost!  
                And some people would have the sack 
                to lose a big hand like that and 
                still come back and ante up again!"

I can't decided if this conversation needs to be part of my and Tony's life or not.  It is sitting in the back of my mind.  I used to think I knew how I would react to specific situations even through I tell people "you don't know what you'd do till you get there".  It was a "do as I say not as I do" thing. Deep down part of me still believes that - since I feel I've been through hell and back - my hell, not someone else's.  God help me if I have to go through this again.  Tony is in Homer already.  Got there today.  New uncharted territory.  Beautiful place but with a little cloud hanging over.

Monday, May 3, 2010


Been doing a lot of thinking lately. Tony is on his way to Alaska.  People think he's "moving" on.  We're both just moving.  

I've been trying to make some kind of art.  Started checking out library books on Collage, Assembled, and Altered art.  So far all I've done is look through the pictures, copy pages that look cool, and go to thrift stores and Hobby Lobby collecting "things" to put into art projects.  My basement is FULL of STUFF.  I sit down there and stare at Mary's pictures and look through all the stuff I've collected.  Just can't seem to find that little push to actually put paint, glue, ideas to paper.  Oh, I diggle at little things but they aren't any good.  All the pictures look so exciting.  I can see all kinds of creations in my mind and I try to write them down or sketch them.  But actually creating them is a different story.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Life Sucks

Found out last week that the man that killed Mary got a ticket for having an open container while he was driving his car.  Had a beer stuffed between his car seats - over half gone.  This happened on April 1st.  One year and one day after he ruined our lives.  He was driving on the same road around 9om at night.  Didn't hit .08 on the breathalyzer but was on his way.  Now he only has to pay his ticket and he'll be on his way again.  Justice is a fickle state.

I live in the past, exist in the now, and am terrified of the future.  Sometimes it's just not worth getting out of bed.  Even when I try to do something constructive or fun the enthusiasm just isn't there.  The world is just blah and sad.

Kerry's birthday is Thursday and I'm having a party for him on Saturday.  He'll be 60.  Mary lives birthday parties.  If I bring Mary's picture wonder if anyone will feel uncomfortable.  But do I care?

Tony is here.  He's been here for a week and is leaving Sunday to start his trip to Alaska.  It has been good having him around.  But when we look at each other, sadness rains down.  Life sucks. 

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


So.... what do I know.  Not much.  Nothing.  Life keeps moving on, passing me by, and I just keep sitting here waiting, for what I know not.  I'm not even sure if I'm waiting or just sitting.  

Last week was almost as horrible as last year, just without the shock.  So many people called, texted, and emailed to say we were in their thoughts.  And......a few people didn't.  Nothing, not one word.  Oh well...

I am told that I live in the world of survivor's guilt. Interesting term. It's keeping my brain stuck in the past while my body moves blindly forward.  Because as we all know, you have to keep moving, breathing, eating, peeing, working, shopping, cleaning, and sometimes, laughing, playing, and always, hating, crying, and loving.

My life in a nut shell, I'm stuck.

Tony's coming tomorrow.  Can't wait.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

March 31st 2010 - one year later.

Danny left last night to go to Helen to camp with his friends.  I went to work today but I'm taking the next two days off.  Kerry went to work.  We both get Friday off.  Julie has the kids and is trying to get rid of her cold. 

Last night friends wrote on Mary's facebook wall. This morning a friend sent me a text message. A few more sent me emails. If others remembered they didn't say anything.  Did they forget or just didn't know what to say?  Do I want lots and lots of people telling me they're thinking of us?  I want the whole world to stop and Mary to come back.  I want justice my way.  I want time to go backwards.

Does it hurt that not many people remember what this week is or this day?  A little but it didn't affect them like it did me and mine.  Other people's tragedies in the past didn't have long lasting effects on me either.  They may now.  Why is it that you don't learn something until it happens to you  -  "it takes one to know one"?  

I don't know what to do.  I don't know how to feel.  I don't know what to say.  I'm tired of always trying NOT to cry.  Any second of any day I could fill a tub with tears.

Tony, you are in so much pain and there is nothing I can do for you because I can't do anything for myself. So we sit here tonight sending text messages to each other - remembering what we've lost. He's alone with the doggies and I'm with Julie.  Kerry is sleeping.  

I hate being called "strong".  If I was weak would Mary still be here?  But I have to be "strong" or some such word for Tony.  Mary would want me to take care of him. 

It's 1:32 am.  This is the time (I think) the door bell rang.  I can't be sure. Although my memories are unclear some things are etched like cuts in a diamond into my brain.  Some are seared like a branding iron into my heart. Other unimportant pieces of life have faded away.

I must choose to ignore the pain or tuck it away until I can handle it later. Sometimes I act and look like life is great and all is well.  Sometimes I even fool myself for a few minutes.