tHe haPPy grOUch

tHe haPPy grOUch

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

It's hard to write anything nice today. Or lately.

A few weeks ago I lost a friend to cancer. He was a sweet, grumpy old man. One of my very favorites at the Brookside. Always was, and always will be. I'll miss him so much.

As if that weren't enough, my boy has lost his Nana, also to cancer. It was discovered late and the severity came on quick and unexpected. It seems like just yesterday she was running Dawson around to be fitted for his semi formal, and stopping in here to deliver snacks and Ensure for him (as she always did). She was one of the sweetest, most special women I've ever had the opportunity to know. She was truly one of a kind. I wish I could put it into words. If you met her for only five minutes, you instantly loved her, and you would love her forever. She was the pinnacle, the rock of that family. The glue that held it all together. As if this family hasn't suffered enough recent loss and grief. I will never understand the unfairness and cruelty of life.

The day her and Dawson said their goodbyes, it was only the three of us in the hospital room. He sat next to her, and she woke up and took his hand. She said- "You are the love of my life you know, always will be. And this sucks. Just remember all the fun times we had, the good times, the crazy times. And you be safe driving that car. Help papa take care of the crew."
When the room filled again, she told all of us- "Make sure not to have any services. Have a celebration instead. Somewhere the kids can all run around and play. With music that I like, that you can dance to."  And Dawson said- "Somewhere over the rainbow", and she said- "yes, by the big fat guy."
Before we left she told him, "Have a good day at school, and have a good match (tennis)." And they exchanged their usual- "I love you the most", "I love you the most"... They had a very special relationship. Closer than any grandmother and grandson I've ever seen. She was essentially his second mother.
She peacefully went to sleep on comfort care that day, and was gone four days later.

I miss her so much. I loved her, too. She helped me raise my boy, and Logan, for that matter. She was my support, my advocate, my mother in law, my friend. She was like a second mother to me as well, for almost 20 years. She was so very special. I just can't imagine all of our lives without her. And honestly, I find myself wondering how I'll raise my boy without her.

                                       Doreen and Logan, Logan's birthday party, May 1999 
                                                       
                                         
                            Doreen, Dawson, and Derwin, Dawson's 8th grade graduation, June 2016
                             
                          Cutting Christmas trees with the Emersons, December 2016
 

                           
The boy is holding up okay, considering. Perhaps it's not quite real for him. Most of the time it's not real for me. My heart breaks for him, and for his father and his uncle, and for Papa.
I love you, Doreen.

Anyway...

Everything else going on doesn't seem worth writing about. But I guess I still will.

Nothing much new.

The search for a different job continues. I'm quite unhappy where I am. And I've sent out resume, after resume, after resume.
Yesterday I dropped a resume at a local bar/restaurant that's hiring bartenders. I didn't get a chance to talk to the managers because they were busy setting up for an event. I hope to get a call. Today I interview at the bar in the Sheraton at the airport. They have over 40 wines! And after 15 years of bartending, I still know nothing about wine. Shit.
Although, part of me still thinks I should give up on bartending and keep trying to get a "big girl job". Full time, days, benefits, blah bla blah. I've tried, and continue to try. Although, once again, it's been pretty tough getting one of those jobs (that pays well enough) when your resume reflects 15 years of bartending, with 3 years managing and one year of banking. Any receptionist/office (or other) experience I have is over 15 years ago. And although I write about it in my cover letters, and I have an education, it still has been fruitless.
And besides, I still don't even know what I want to be when I grow up. There have been jobs I could apply for, that I'd probably be hired for (retail, for example, or bank teller, Wayfair), but then again, I think- I probably won't enjoy that job. And so I don't apply. Because- why leave a job I don't like for another job I won't like?
And so I continue to wait tables, not making enough money to get by, deal with rotten tippers even though I'm very good at what I do (seriously, sometimes I'll pick up a credit card slip off the table, look at the tip line, and almost cry), employees who don't pull their weight, managers who blatantly show favoritism, and continuously get passed over for bar shifts (when I was promised them from the beginning).
Sigh.

Anyway...

It's been wonderful having the boy back at home. It's as if the last year never happened. I spent the last year depressed and incomplete without him here. But things are finally back to normal. My boy is home. I worry about him. All the time. He is angry (or on the verge of angry) a lot of the time, but who can blame him, he's been through so much.
Raising a boy has been interesting. I hope that I'm doing it right. Although we don't have much, I hope that it's enough. I hope that his father and I can get him through the next few years, and help him develop into the man that I know he has the potential to be. I wish Doreen were still here to help me with that.

Logan graduated from Husson last weekend. She actually received her degree a few months ago, but participated in graduation. She has a job as a children's case manager. Her executive director is very fond of her, and tells her she is performing above their expectations and has great potential to go far. She's already been given cases that are normally reserved for the more experienced case managers. The job is very stressful and emotionally draining. But she is enjoying it for the most part. And she is working so hard for these kids. I am so proud of her.
We all went to lunch after graduation, with Logan's dad's side of the family as well. When I left, her dad and I hugged, and he said- "well, we did something right for a couple of knuckleheads."
She really has turned into an amazing young woman.

Mom is loving retirement. She goes to bible studies, serves meals to the homeless every week, participates in a street ministry, exercises at the Y, and joined the Bangor chorus. I'm happy to see her really living. Dad would be happy, too.

I feel like I'm still trying to figure out what it takes for me to "really live", like mom. To feel content and complete, to feel like I am where I should be, that life is as it should be. Why is it that no matter how close to it you get, there is always something awry, or something missing, or something complicated, or some tragedy that makes life feel awful all over again...
Life is funny.

It's my day off. And as much I cherish my days off, I don't really know what to do with them. Or maybe I do, I just lack the ambition. I should mow the lawn. And vacuum. Unload the dishwasher. Do laundry. Go for a walk or something.
Do something.