Mewsings from Lowecat (aka Indianacat)

My rants, ravings, and overall 'mewsings' on life, the universe, and everything.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Back to Life, Back to Reality?

I made my (for now) last trip home from Daddy's house Tuesday.  It's probable that the DH and I will be goin' back Memorial Day weekend (there's a wee bit o' irony there, don't y'all think?).  I felt a little funny leavin' me big 'bother' alone in Daddy's and Mom's house on his own, but he seemed to believe he could take on any spirits that might be ghostin' around.  He went back to the West (AZ) on Thursday, same day I returned to work.

Had some mixed emotions goin' back to work, mainly in tryin' to go back to the routine.  I still have paid time off, but don't wanna blow it all.  One never knows when one might need it.  So, I returned to the workplace to a quiet 'welcome back', and a very nice card signed by current and former team mates.   Slid back into the workflow with minimal effort, but I was still feelin' with the internal numbness. 

(Wonder if my brothers feel that same sense of detachment/isolation in returnin' to their normal life routines?  Daddy loved them as much as if they'd been of his blood, and I can't but feel that they loved him their own ways.  But, as the Beatles sang, 'Life goes on' whether we want it to or not).

Spent Wednesday decompressin' by playin' mindless puzzle games online.  Have YET to return to my SOA fanfic.  It's been simmerin' on the back burner since the 4th of May.  I hope to get back to that on Saturday.  Writin' is my therapy, next to ridin' Tig (I hear all your dirty minds gigglin' in the background!  For shame on ya!).  With Tig's starter issues, writin' is all I have, and the Iphone is NOT condusive to fiction writin'.  Hell, just writin' the last blog entry was difficult, and it turned into the longest run - on paragraph in history! OK, I exaggerate, but still. . .

Also spent decomp day writin' a few emails, makin' a few calls, and goin' to the grocery for bread and kitteh kibble.  Watched some teevee, was disappointed in Discovery channel's 'Devil's Ride' reality show (if that's reality, I'll take SOA anytime!) and waiting for some quiet, uninterrupted time to watch Kurt's 'Outlaw Empires' and write a review on it.  

Not bein' able to properly write things out has been a real experience these past few days.  Never realized how much better bloggin' and writin' my fiction made me feel until I couldn't do it.  Addicition?  Maybe.  It's cheaper than drinkin' or smokin' (which, to everyone's relief, I didn't do any stress smokin'. . .YET)!

Also slept in Wednesday, about 10 hours.  Pain pill had a lot to do with it.  My right shoulder was really yellin' at me.  Goin' in for PT has been on the back burner as well, but I need to get that scheduled so maybe this pain won't be as annoyin' and - well - painful.  It's really rediculous that liftin' a simple cup of cawfee can feel like somebody's put ground glass in my shoulder!  Me - owtch! 

It still bothers me, even makes me feel guilty that I've not been able to grieve for Daddy.  Not in the way I've grieved for deceased furbabies and the destruction of the relationship between my heart little brother and me a few weeks back (was it only a few weeks ago?  Sheesh!  It feels like years!!!).  Why is it that I cried like a newborn baby whose ass got spanked first thing outta the womb, but I can't grieve in the same way for my own father?  What kind of cold hearted bitch am I for cripe's sake? 

I miss him terribly.  It's been more than two weeks since he died, and I miss the sound of his voice on the telephone.  Even though I know the damn telephone numbers are disconnected, it's second nature to start dialin' his number to talk to him every day like before.  Then the inevitable "D'OH!" moment hits, and I disconnect before gettin' that ghastly recordin'.  Shit, I've yet to delete his telephone numbers off the list of contacts!   

The DH, my brothers, and a few of my closer friends keep tellin' me not to dwell on this, as grief hits everyone at different times.  They forget that sometimes (!) I'm like the cats when they want a treat.  They keep after it until they get what they want.  This problem keeps naggin' at me.  So does the guilt. 

I feel guilty about a lot of things where Daddy's concerned, such as wishin' I'd spent more time with him before the staph infection set in.  Sometimes I only had time to run in, talk to him a bit, talk to the nurses about his progress, and run off to work.  Still, would it have hurt to have eked out another five or ten minutes durin' the week days????  The days off I tried to spend more time, but it never felt like enough. 

I feel guilty about the number of times he'd call and I'd be right in the middle of somethin' and not take the call, lettin' it go to voice mail.  He was persistent, and would try several times in the day to reach me.  Eventually he'd succeed, or I'd call him back as soon as possible, and we'd talk about life, the universe, and everything. 

We especially talked about sports, and our mutual love of IU basketball and Cubs baseball.  Today I read an article about Kerry Woods, the Cubs pitcher, who might retire due to shoulder trouble.  I started to call Daddy to discuss that possibly with him, and then "D'OH!"  He's not there to talk sports - or anything else. 

Several more sympathy cards arrived from ministerial friends of Daddy's for my (step)Mom.  The conference obit suggested that cards and notes should be sent to Mom in care of yours truly (!!!!).  I've also received cards from some of my local friends.  The cards expressed their love and sympathy, and touched my heart, but the eyes were still the Mojave eyeballs.  And that made the guilt monster very happy.   

I'm certain that the guilt monster is a woman.  We femmes seem to know how to use guilt as a weapon better than men do, in my opinion.  I've yet to see a man effectively wield guilt as well as a woman can.  And guilt is enjoyin' the fact that my grief over Daddy's passin' hasn't found an outlet.  

And that is a real bitch, my friends.  

Because deep inside me, there IS a crater in my heart that nothin' and/or no one is ever gonna be able to fill.  Robert and the cats will try their damndest.  Family - my brothers, cousins, aunt and uncle will try real hard as well.  Their love and concern is a balm and welcome, but it doesn't quite fill the hole.  

If excuses were a suit of armour, I'd have a pretty damn good one!  There's thank you letters to get out for flowers and cards; insurance policies to look over and research to see if they're still active and how to redeem them so the proper beneficiary gets their due; there's businesses to contact to tell them to take Daddy and Mom's names off their mailing lists; information to gather for the lawyer for the trusts; mail to sort; final bills to pay; our own bills to pay; a house to keep up; kittehs and hungry husband to keep fed; work to do; places to go; people to see. . .Pick an excuse, it's there. 

All of the family - both on my father's and my (step)mother's side - have praised me for the way the service turned out, and for the remarks I shared during same.  Hell, I just tweaked the service here and there where needed.  The memories of Daddy were written out and edited well in advance, somethin' I've had on hand since he asked me to write his memorial for the Conference Journal all those years ago!  How can I take credit for stuff that was laid out for me so that I only had to follow the pattern? 

By the same token, they tell me not to make a mountain out of a molehill out of my current state of non grief.  "It'll come,"  they assure me.  Well, here it is two weeks later, and except for the day he died, and a few times since then, I've only shed a few tears for a few minutes.  Humor - especially dark humor - has become my defense mechanism.  I've fallen more into 'biker chick' mode than ever.  It's like a wall that won't come down no matter how loud the horn gets blown, or how much C4 gets packed along the base of the wall.  It's thick, it's solid, and it doesn't seem to be goin' anywhere soon. 

It makes me feel like a real asshole. 

And that's why I want to have my physician check me out Monday.  It's not that I think this is physical.  But she's known me for over 20 years, and if she can't find an imbalance in the 'happy meds' that help me keep depression and PTSS at bay, then it might be time to indulge in some counselin'.  One of the good things about my job is that a corporate chaplain comes in each week to talk briefly with each employee, make sure they're doin' ok, and if not, offer prayer if they accept it.  That's the counslin' I want to start with. 

It's only been two weeks, yet it feels like two years.  Daddy was my father.  He loved me enough to be strict and not be my best friend.  He disciplined me when it was necessary, praised me seldomly so I wouldn't get an inflated sense of my own importance, prayed for me daily, worried about me constantly.  He was my rock in troubled times, even when we butted heads harder than two stags claimin' their mountain territory!    It was only in the last three years that Daddy's energy and strength seemed to wane.  Up until then, though I knew better, he seemed invincible.

He was an integral part of my life for 52 years.  And now that rock has weared away.

And it hurts. 


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Wishin' I Felt Somethin' Besides Numb

Daddy was laid to rest Thursday, and I've yet to be able to mourn his passing'. It's not that I don't miss him, I miss him like crazy. One would think I'd be crying' a river of tears considerin' there isn't a place in his home where i don't come across reminders:

The chrysler jacket given to him a few Christmases ago,
The puzzle of Wrigley Field he'd started and didn't finish. I couldn't bear seein' it waitin' for him and had the DH put it away.
His many caps
A book he'd started to read
A DVD he'd been watchin'
His clothes and watches

Yet, I see these these things, feel them, hold them, but feel nothin' inside or out. Just numb and lost. That's how I've felt since 4 May, the day Daddy died. Just numb inside. Oh, there's been a few tears shed at times, but not the cleansin' grievin' any normal petson indulges in. The kind where you let the tears fall as long as ya need 'em to, purge yourself of greif, and find a way to go on, even though your world has been drastically altered.

  Even though daddy preplanned and prepaid the funeral, there were still choices to be made, and beneath all that, concern over how my mom (stepmom, actually) would take the news. With her advanced Altzheimer's disease, I feared she might not understand what had happened. At worse, I feared the news would devastate her. Fortunately, though the moments of clarity didn't last, she wasn't destroyed by daddy's death.

I'd intended to blog about the wake and the service, but felt compelled to tap out this log tonight from my iphone. It's hard to do, but i need this outlet. My husband and my 'big brother' John both seem to think that i'm worryin' too much about not bein' able to grieve. They both say it may take time. So did daddy's minister. Maybe they're all correct. But what's different about this loss? I wasn't so stoic about losin' my furbabies! Nor was it hard to mourn the passin' of my grandparents and great grandma. What's so different?

  Over the weekend, I learned that a good friend of my husband's and mine died unexpectedly. He was only 54. I empathize with his life partner, who has lost a significant part of his life. Robert and I went to the funeral and graveside service today, followin' a meeting' with daddy's lawyer with the DH and my brothers. I sat in the chapel, listenin' to people mourn this friend's passing' and remained as dry as the Mojave desert. When the survivin' partner and I exchanged hugs, he was emotional, but all I could do was hold him close, express my sympathy, but couldn't FEEL anything but numb.

That's what worries me. In the meantime, my two 'big brothers' have treated me like a true little sister, teasin' me much the way daddy teased his sister, lovingly and with good humor. Their banter made the job of goin' through and cleanin' daddy's study easier to endure. And for that, I love them big time. Tuesday I need to select a marker for the grave, then go on home for a couple of week's. Robert and I plan to come back to daddy's house