tHe haPPy grOUch

tHe haPPy grOUch

Thursday, July 25, 2013

I haven't written much lately. And if I have, none of it has been pleasant.

I've been in kind of a dark place since Dad died.
A place where my kids weren't welcome, or my husband, or my friends, or my mother or sister... 
It was all-consuming.

There are still times when I can't motivate, can't get out of my own way. When I can't be anything but just, down. And then there are moments where I'm doing okay, and it just sneaks up on me... I was watching a sci-fi show just the other night, where a man was crying and talking to his dead wife... And it was like a goddamn switch, just like that. I had to go straight to bed. All I could think about was Dad.
People say I'll get used to that. That those things will happen for years, or forever.

I miss him terribly.
It's still so surreal. Like he's just hibernating up there next door, refusing to come down and have dinner with us (which wasn't unusual), hanging out in his chair, keeping to himself. I'll see him eventually when he opens the back door to let the dogs out...
But that's not the case.

The place I'm in is still dark, it's just not quite as solitary.

I think that changed the day of Dad's services, just a few days ago.

It's funny how those things work... even though it seems so insignificant. It's an opportunity for closure, to come together with friends and family, and truly send Dad on his way to whatever this next journey is; for him, and for the people who love and miss him.

And it was an amazing service. If I had any expectations, that day surpassed them all. So many family members, local or from across the country, that I haven't seen in years. There were music recordings played that were sung by Sharla and I. My slideshow looked beautiful on the big screen, even though it reduced everyone to tears. Mom's old Pastor traveled back from Canada just to officiate (he was the only Pastor Dad ever liked). So many people spoke of Dad.. his friends, his sister, his cousins.. and me. I was able to read the eulogy I had written. I only cried at the end. But I said what I wanted to say about my Dad. I paid my tribute to him amongst his friends and family. Several people who hardly knew Dad said- "I left there feeling like I had known him my whole life"...

Today is mom and dad's anniversary.
Happy anniversary, Father. I love you, and miss you.

In closing, I'd like to share what I wrote for Dad's memorial...

I don't remember much of my childhood, or much about what my dad was like back then. The only vague memory is one of an imposing and somewhat absent figure, the kind represented by every mother's words- "wait till your father gets home".
But I do remember a turning point in our relationship, when I was nearing adulthood... And that was the first time I saw Dad cry. I think that was when my father and I began a different kind of relationship. The one that developed into a loving, respectful, mutual understanding of one another. And a definite friendship. 
Dad was one of the most charismatic guys I know. Everyone who met him liked him. And for good reason; he was one of those "salt of the earth" people. The kind of person who truly gave depth and meaning to the phrase "shirt off their back"; because he would, literally. 
He worked hard. Near the end, probably much harder than he should have- But that was Dad. He was no quitter when it came to a job that needed doing. And not just going to his 9-5 every day.. He worked hard at everything he did. Restoring his favorite old car or jeep, or Bampa's antique tractor, or helping friends with household projects, or working on someone's RV after hours and on weekends. His work ethic went way beyond respectable.
Dad was funny. Damn funny. A witty, sarcastic, and often times inappropriate kind of funny,  that was the cause of much belly and face pain from excessive laughing, smiling and giggling. 
And he was smart, man was he smart. So smart that it probably drove him a little bit crazy. I always said- my dad knew a lot about a lot of things, and at least a little about everything else. 
To say he was talented was an understatement. That man could play the bass guitar and sing like crazy. I always idolized him for that. (And so did many of my teenage girlfriends!) And he passed that talent along to Sharla and I. I may be biased, but I'm also a musical snob and harsh critic (much like dad), and he truly was one of the best musicians I've ever known. And I was fortunate enough to share the stage with him in one of our last bands. 
He was also the grumpiest person I knew. Hmmm, I wonder where I get that from? As funny and charming as he was, he was also stoic, and quiet, and reserved. I always wondered what was going on in that creative, contemplative mind of his. 
He had so many various hobbies, and jobs, and homes over the years.. We lived so many different places I've lost count. I will definitely never forget the trek across the US to move to California, though. Now that was an adventure!
But I got that about him... I got the ever-changing hobbies and interests, the need for a new job or new city or town, a new car, a change of scenery, something new, something different...    A brilliant mind is a restless one. 
I got my dad, because I'm just like him. Some might call me a carbon copy. I've got his nose, his eyebrow, his olive skin, his wrinkled hands, his deep baritone voice. I've got his mannerisms, his grumpiness, his moodiness. I've got his wicked sense of humor, his talent, his creativity, his restless mind...
And I wouldn't change any of it.
Those are some of the most cherished things that he left me. And for those things, I'll be forever grateful. Those are the reasons he'll never really be gone.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

In need of more toilet paper... or tissues.

People (mostly my absent husband and my therapist) always ask me... Why do you blog? Why don't you talk to someone?
I've never been able to answer that question. The answer is always- I don't know.
My friends always say- I'm a phone call away.. I'm here for you.. Anytime, day or night.. My mom or sister would afford me the same courtesy. My husband, well, if he were around, and if he weren't so wrapped up in his own self, he may as well.
And so, why do I blog?
I don't know.

I sit here in my garage, my "office". Alone.
Alone except for my adopted manchild, two stories above me playing video games.
Alone except for the dogs, soundly snoring on their couch in the living room.
Alone except for the sound of David Gray singing "This Year's Love" on YouTube.
Alone, except for my own unquiet mind.

Mom brought down an old box of photographs. Which I need to go through, in order to start making boards, and posters, and a slide show for Dad's memorial next weekend.
I can't go through them right now. As much of a time crunch we are on, it will have to wait.
Just over two weeks now since Dad's been gone. It still seems quite unreal. Most times now, which might be "normal", I just kind of... forget. And then once in a while, you remember, quite violently.
But even during the times of "forgetting", there is still this weird underlying "knowing". That's the empty part.

But I guess I shouldn't blog about it. It only makes me look like.. how did my husband put it.. "playing victim, crying for sympathy, blogging all over facebook"...

That might have something to do with why I don't talk to anyone.

And now I'll go back to my alone time. I'm thinking I'd better get used to it.

Friday, July 5, 2013

So much shit, so little toilet paper...


Money is the root of all evil. I'm pretty sure I've said that many times before. Having money makes you entitled, puts you in a position of power. Not having money, well we all know that that makes you the opposite.
I was trying to take the summer off to be with the kids, but it appears I may not be able to enjoy that luxury after all.

Drinking makes people turn into assholes. Like Jack Nicholson in "The Shining".

I have a temporary roommate. And two more kittens. Ugh.
Exactly what I intended for my living circumstances. (Do you sense the sarcasm?)
This roommate is Logan's boyfriend. Yup.

Here's a little back story...
He was living with his Grandma in Bucksport. They evidently were served an eviction notice. The Grandma moved out and went to live with some other family members, leaving him in the apartment until the eviction, effective July 30th. Unfortunately, he's not on the lease... The owner finds out he's there, it gets messy, and he has to vacate immediately.

So Logan gets up the other morning all in a panic... I have to go get him, he has to leave the apartment, the owner is coming, he has nowhere to go... etc, etc, etc...

So.. what am I supposed to do??? Say- hey, tell him good luck with that!
A mother, painted into a corner.
And so, I say- just bring him and his shit here.
And that was it. I had no time to think, had no plan, and I had no time to "consult" my husband, who was still in bed. You can imagine how that has gone over.
Actually, you can't imagine. Because I couldn't have imagined the culmination of it myself. It wasn't pretty. And that was an understatement.
Now, my marriage has already been quietly on high alert these last couple of months. I say quietly, because it's been under rug swept, back burner, etc.. Like something you know is there, but you keep averting your eyes, looking at other things that seem more prevalent. And now, I honestly have no idea what will happen next.

Add to that, the fact that I almost don't care. Partially because it got so ugly so quickly, just last night in fact.
But mostly, because I am just drained out.
This last month, watching my father die has completely emptied me. I truly feel like I have absolutely nothing to give to anyone. Hardly even to my own children. And since Dad's been gone, I'm even more empty, if that's possible. Just emptied. Devoid of any feeling whatsoever.
If I could change myself, or my grieving process, get better, act better, be loving again, feel loving again... I probably would. I might will myself to, if I could. But I cannot.

My therapist told me not to "get stuck". I'm not stuck. Christ, it's been less than two weeks since Dad left us. I'm not stuck. I do want to feel better. I don't like being hollow and despondent all the time. But it won't go away. Maybe I am stuck. Who fucking knows.

Either way, the shit seems to have hit the fan all at once. Isn't that the way it always is? It's famine or feast, drought or downpour. So much shit, so little toilet paper... And all of those other nifty little idioms.

I need a reset.