Politics for 10 Year Olds?

It’s been one month today since my mom passed away. I had my moment of breakdown when I heard a sad song on the radio. My good intentions of making it to the gym today didn’t happen. Oh well, there’s always tomorrow. Yep, I’ve been saying that for a month. I know she wouldn’t want me to dwell in sorrow the rest of my life. I have to pick myself back up and get on with my life. I’m trying, I really am.

Today I started catching up on my scrapbooking. I need to catch up over the winter. Today started on our vacation to Maui from last December. My husband and I renewed our wedding vows for our 20 year anniversary, so I have TONS of pictures. I didn’t have a lot of time, so I only got a few pages done, but it was good to get started. I have fantastic scrapbooks for every year of my daughters life, so I hope she loves them when she is an adult because I have so few pictures when I was a kid. I haven’t even started 2018, so I better get going before it is 2019!

On the way home from school today, my daughter told me an interesting story about recess with her bestie. I took her with me to vote yesterday and she accidentally wore the “I voted” sticker on her jacket today. Her friend asked if she went to vote with me and asked who I voted for. She said she didn’t know (although she did). Thankfully she is smart enough not to discuss politics – I taught her well. The friend said she knew who her parents voted for (it was the opposite of who we voted for). Hailey wanted to drop the subject, but the friend persisted and asked if her parents (us) were glad that “so-and-so” won. Hailey got really uncomfortable, but the kid wouldn’t shut up. I told her if she brings it up again, she should tell her friend that you don’t discuss politics or religion – ever, unless you want to get in a fight. Then I told her about something I saw on facebook that said it doesn’t matter who won the election, what matters most is what happens in YOUR house, not the White House. This is what we need to teach our children, and apparently other adults. I was disappointed that the parents of Hailey’s friend apparently had so much impact on their 10 year old that this child was bugging the crap out of Hailey on the playground about politics. At one point she said that one side sucked! I won’t say which side because I’m not going to state my political views here. I’ve only met the mother once when she dropped off the friend for a playdate, so I don’t want to judge, but 10 year old have no need to know anything about politics.

Additionally, I think the ads on TV are ridiculous. They spend more time bashing each other than telling us what they are going to do for us. This doesn’t put them in a positive light in my eyes. If anything it makes them just as bad as the candidate they are bashing. These days in politics, it has really come down to the lesser of two evils, if you ask me. They rarely live up to their promises anyhow. I think they all stink. My vote will go to the first man or woman who gives stay-at-home moms an income. Who’s with me?

Improving Day by Day

Yesterday is the first day I didn’t cry. I guess that’s an improvement. It is a month tomorrow since my mom passed away. I’m working on a book about my mom and it seems to be helping to re-live some memories. It sort of makes me feel like she’s still here. I’ve got 42 pages so far. I just don’t think it’s going to be one of those 300 page books. I messaged some of my mom’s cousins and friends on  her facebook page to get some stories about her, but of course, I’m not their friend and my last name is not the same as it was when I was a kid, so I don’t think they know who I am, and they aren’t reading the messages. I’ve also asked her two brothers for stories, but they can’t seem to manage to even call or return my email. Really?! Well, I guess since they have been unable to have a family Christmas since my grandma died in 2007, I guess they can’t be bothered to make a phone call either. I suspect I’ll never see either one of them again since my mom is gone. Oh well.

As I said, I didn’t cry yesterday, but it doesn’t mean I didn’t cry today. I have a medical test tomorrow and I’m nervous. I wish I could talk to my mom so she could tell me not to worry. It will be an uncomfortable test. It won’t last long, but I’ve been dreading it for a week. I just want it over with. I know she would say “it won’t last forever” or “this too shall pass”.

I got an email today from my daughter’s school principal asking how we were doing, which I thought was very kind. I appreciate that we haven’t been forgotten even a month later.

Church/Holiday Cards

I was bound and determined to get up and start getting back to church this morning. Somehow that extra hour of sleep didn’t kick in for me. Or anyone else in the house. My daughter was getting ready for Sunday School and my husband was getting dressed to drive her. I started having one of my sad moments and I started crying and decided I didn’t want to go. It was 4 weeks ago today that my mom died. Every Sunday morning, I keep reliving the moment my husband came in and told me she died. I repeat it in my head and I get paralyzed with sadness. Am I going to feel like this every Sunday for the rest of my life? This morning I just decided I wasn’t ready to be among people. I knew I would sit in the pews and just cry. In addition, I have joined a Compassionate Caring group at church that goes out to meet with the shut-ins and there was a meeting today. I missed the first meeting last month because it was the day my mom died. I didn’t know if I was prepared to go to the meeting and explain why I missed the first one, or frankly, if I’m ready to go meet with elderly people. My mom wasn’t by any means elderly, and she will never have the chance to be elderly. That’s not it. I just don’t know if I’m ready to go sit with people who I am supposed to be listening to and being compassionate, when right now I have a lot of problems of my own. I don’t to bring anyone down.

Anyhow, by the time we would have been halfway through the service, my daughter started feeling really sick. The poor girl has come down with an awful cold and was laying on the couch all day. Then I started feeling pretty awful too. I hope I’m not getting something. I literally just got over a cold a week ago. It’s cold, rainy, windy, and downright crummy outside, so I guess we didn’t need to go out today anyhow. We’ll try again next week.

I spent much of the day working on my holiday cards and a calendar I make every year for the grandparents. I had kind of a hard time making the calendar knowing my mom won’t see it. She always loved it. I’m super early on getting my cards done. I order them through Shutterfly and just put pictures on. I used to hand stamp them every year, but that was when I had time. They will be here before Thanksgiving and I’ll spend that night writing them out. I send 80 cards every year, but last year I received half of what I usually get in the mail. Has social media replaced holiday cards too? I actually saw someone post their card on Facebook last year! Really?! That’s totally uncool. Keep sending the cards people! It’s seriously the only time of the year you get more cards than bills. Other than when someone dies and you get a handful of sympathy cards. But that is way less merry. You’re going to have to trust me on that one.

Productive

Today I actually had a productive day. I got 2 loads of laundry done while my daughter was at swim lessons. We had our front door refinished because it was getting baked by the sun and looked like total crap. It looks really nice now. Gotta fix up the shack to sell it in the spring. My daughter and I both had haircut appointments today. She looks so cute and fresh with a few inches cut off. I look exactly the same, except without the split ends. I think I need to go get some highlights or something.

Then we went over the mall and bought some snow boots for her so we will be prepared when the inevitable snow begins to fly. We’ve been stuck before with no snow boots and had to run out and get some. Not cool. Next we hit up Joann’s and they had scrapbook paper on sale 12 for $2. Score!! I bought $50 worth of paper! And I had a 25% off coupon. Woohoo! I have a lot to scrapbook with all the photos my mom saved from my ancestors.

I’ve also decided to start writing a book about my mom’s life. She led a very interesting life. One of the last things she said to me was that she was loving reading my blog. She said that I wrote so many things as a kid, she thought that I was going to write a book when I grew up. So I decided that I would give it a try. I don’t know if anything will ever come of it or if it will get published. I started yesterday and so far I’m only on page 26, but if nothing else, it’s helping me heal.

Yard Work = Thinking Time

OK, I lied. I didn’t go to the gym today. The sun was out and it was 45 degrees, so I decided to clean up the flower beds. They are a big mess and they need to look decent for when we sell our house in the spring. I worked for 3 hours, so I got a much better workout than I would have at the gym. I am going to be VERRRRY sore tomorrow in places I forgot exist. I looked at the clouds to search for my mom and I did a lot of talking to her while I was outside. I’ve always found yard work to be relaxing  and a good time to do a lot of thinking. Of course, I thought of lots of things I wish I could change. I wish I would have been a better teenager. I definitely gave my mom a lot of challenges. If payback is a bitch, I’m in for a lot of trouble with my own daughter.

I also wish I could have changed a lot of things for my mom. She was pretty bad at choosing men. I know she would admit this herself. She was divorced from my dad when I was only 2 years old. He wasn’t a very nice person. She went on to marry my step-dad when I was 6, who also wasn’t a very nice person. (I’m being very kind with that statement.) Since I was just a little kid, I had no idea what was to come with him. I knew, even as a 6 year old, that I didn’t like him very much. I wish I could have told my mom to be a little more picky and wait for someone better. My mom was beautiful! She could have had anyone she wanted. I think she had very low self esteem and didn’t know her worth, so she went for the first guy who paid her any attention. I’m so sorry she didn’t grow up to know she was worth so much more. They divorced when I was 14. Thank the Lord!! I did the happy dance on that one. A couple years later, she married the most collassal asshole to walk the Earth. After you read this, if you know someone worse, please let me know. His name was Bob. My mom had been out drinking one night and fell asleep in her car. Now I’m not defending her for drinking and driving. She only had a few blocks to drive, so I’m guessing she thought she was alright. I think I was staying overnight at a friends house that night. She made the mistake of calling Bob. Well, Bob was the Assistant Chief of Police in our town. Mr. Asshole called the officer on duty who gave her a DWI. Nice – huh? Wait… it gets worse. One night I had heard a noise downstairs, so Bob got up to investigate and took his gun with him. He didn’t find anything, but when he went back to bed, he slept with his loaded gun under his pillow pointed at my mom’s head.  Do you know anyone worse than that?! I’ll bet you don’t. I told my mom several times not to marry him. I begged her not to marry him. She said we couldn’t survive unless she did because we didn’t have any money. We were flat broke. I told her we would find a way. I was 16 at the time. I wish I would have gotten a job. I could have just given her the money. I know that none of her friends would have let us go hungry or without a place to live. My boyfriend’s family would have let us stay with them. I know they would have. We would have found a way for a couple years. The day I left for college, she walked out the door and left him. The best move she ever made. A few years later, she finally met her soul mate, John. They celebrated 30 years of marriage this past August. I often wonder why she didn’t meet him first. John often jokes that they didn’t meet first because it was illegal. He is 9 years younger than my mom. Since she had me when she was 21, he would have only been 12. Ha ha! I’m grateful that she found him and they had 30 wonderful years together. She was happy at last.

I do however, think she suffered from PTSD from Bob sleeping with his gun under his pillow. He did it more than once. Who knows what else he did to her? She was also sexually harassed at one of her jobs. She didn’t tell me until many years later. I wish she would have told me, because I would have gone and punched that jerk in the face. She had night terrors for over 20 years and I think these are the reasons. I told her to go for counseling, but she always said it didn’t help. I kept telling her to find different ones until she found one who helped. Maybe if she would have found someone, she would still be here. You can’t go through years with no sleep. It’s hard on your heart.

My mom was having therapy for her broken ribs when she started having trouble breathing and they took her to the ER. This is when she had the heart attack. John found her phone broken in 3 pieces on the floor where she was having therapy. I wonder if she was trying to call me. What would she have said to me? Would she have told me she thought she was going to die? Would I have gotten to talk to her one last time and say I love you? What happens when you die? I think that she saw that bright light and she knew she was on her way to see her mom and dad, who she has missed so much these last several years. I think knowing she would see them and be free from so much pain was so strong, that she went for it. I think she knew that I could take care of myself and that my husband would take good care of me. I know she’s in a good place and she is with God. I know she’s free from pain, she can sleep and she is with my grandparents, and that comforts me the most.

Somehow I have noticed that a lot of TV shows have been about grief lately. Maybe I’m just noticing it more than usual. If you are a Grey’s Anatomy fan, last night’s ending resonated with me when Meredith said something like “what’s the best way to grieve… however the hell you want”.

I made it

Well, I did it. I went to the gym today. I was unsure the entire drive and debated turning around all the way there, including as I drove into the parking lot. I wasn’t sure if I was ready to face people and talk about where I have been. I know that getting there is half the battle. Sure enough, the first person I saw when I got in the pool said “I haven’t seen you in weeks”. As I teared up, he said “I know, no excuses”. I told him my mom died a few weeks ago and I’ve barely been able to leave the house. He said he was sorry and said hopefully the exercise would be good for me. He’s a nice old guy, so I know he didn’t mean any harm. He couldn’t have possibly known. I made it through the class, until the cool down song, which is always a sad song. I started crying after the class ended. I fully expected it. I know this will take time. It did feel good. I’m going to go back tomorrow.

I also made appointments with my trainer for 2 training sessions in upcoming weeks. I have to get back on the horse. I can’t just sit on the couch and get fat. I did manage to get a laugh in at that lady across the pool who makes the really stupid faces when she works out. The lady next to me and I were cracking up at her. She thinks that she is doing face exercises. I think she looks like a drowning fish. It felt good to laugh at something, even if it was at someone else’s expense. She didn’t know we were laughing at her. She was all the way in the other pool.

Also, I have to ask… what is the deal with the Black Friday sales today? It is November 1. Is this stuff really going to start the day after Halloween now? Before you know it there will be Christmas sales on Labor Day when the kids go back to school. I’m sorry, but I’m just not in the mood this year. The first time I hear a holiday song before Thanksgiving on the radio, I’m turning the channel. I’ll send the obligatory Christmas cards. I already wrote the letter and cried the whole time. This was a really SUCKY year. I’ll make it great for my child because I’m determined to be a great mother and make sure when the inevitable day comes that I am gone, she has wonderful memories of me. What do I want for Christmas? I want my mom back.

Please don’t tell me to get a grip or get a therapist. I have a therapist and it’s only been 3 weeks. I’m not bringing my family down. They are very supportive. It’s called for better, for worse. And my daughter is the sweetest little thing. She gives me lots of extra hugs and kisses. She had very little time to get to know her grandma as my mom has lived in Florida for most of my daughter’s life. It’s still a big loss for her, she was her favorite grandma. She has her moments of sadness, but overall she is doing pretty well. Better than me. If you’ve lost a parent, you know the sadness. If you lost one unexpectedly, you can relate to the devastation. Especially when they didn’t live nearby. This is the hardest thing. I hadn’t seen her in 10 months, and that time it was only for 1 day. I hadn’t spent any significant time with her since Christmas 2016. I envy people who live in the same town as their parents. I haven’t lived in the same town as my mom since I left for college. My dad has been gone for 14 years. I have no siblings. I am an island.

Keep Trying

I keep trying to get back to normal, but I don’t think it’s working. Last night I was determined to get back to the gym today. My husband is off work this week to use up some vacation time, so he is doing all the driving back and forth to school for me. I told him he didn’t have to, but he said he wanted to give me a break. I set my alarm for 8:15 this morning so I could make it to a 10:00 water aerobics class. I turned it off and swore I would only sleep for 15 more minutes. I woke up at 9:46. Clearly, sleep was more important to me, but I had been in bed for 12 hours. A clear sign of depression. I am tired all the time. I think I could sleep for weeks on end at this point. I obviously didn’t make it to my class. I’ll try again for the 10:00 class on Thursday.

Today I had a doctor appointment. The doctor came in and asked how I was doing and I said not great. I must have had a look on my face because he said “that bad?” I have seen this doctor for years, so he knows me pretty well. I burst into tears and told him about my mom. Most of the time, I’m pretty good at just saying I’m fine even when I’m not, but not this time. Of course, he’s a really good doctor who talks to you like a normal person and he listened to me and gave me a tissue. I said I was sorry and shouldn’t have said anything. He told me it was fine and that was the place to talk about it and he listened to me for several minutes before we even talked about the reason I was there in the first place. Thank goodness for doctors who just listen and don’t rush you through your appointment.

The world is full of wonderful people who will listen, sometimes you just have to find them. I’ve got a few, not many, but there are a few. A couple friends have asked me out for lunch. Thank goodness. I’ll try not to cry on their shoulders and just act normal if I can. But at least I know they don’t expect me to be normal just yet.