Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Doing right, but doing wrong.

It just kills me, that when you think you are doing right, you end up somehow doing wrong.
I gave Brandon his school assignments today, and he took them back to his room. The next think I know, I am hearing this God awful banging noise coming from his room. I ran back there, and he was beating a 5lb weight on his floor.

Once I got the weight from him, and got him calmed down enough to sit and tell me what the hell was going on.. I was so surprised.

He is very angry at me. He is very depressed. He is also Bi-polar, which always adds a new wrinkle to the simplest of things and emotions.

He is angry at me, because I didn't let him help me enough with Daddy. After much discussion, I told him he was 14 years old. It is my job to protect and shelter him from certain things in life, until he is old enough to handle these things. I asked him if he wanted to wipe his Granddaddy's ass? Did he want to help him shower? Did he want to put him on and off the toilet? Of course, he didn't. But, in his mind I should have let him help me. He said he watched me struggle with all these things over the last three years, and I wouldn't let him help me. I said if I would have needed help, something he could actually do, I would have been glad to let him, but there are things he has no business helping with. Learning to do laundry, clean up around here, feel the animals, etc.. were a huge help to me and continue to be that way.

Anytime you think your children are not absorbing every single thing and emotion you are going through, remember they see it all. They feel it all with you. Maybe I could have let him help me with something, but that is water under the bridge. I didn't, and if I had it to do all over again, I wouldn't change a single thing.

But, during all of this discussion, it hit me. I have raised a good kid. He cares about me, and what is going on around him with his family. The kid needs to get a handle on his anger, but with some help, that should be relatively simple. For a 14 year old to be angry over not being helpful enough, shows me that he is a caring, genuine person. SIGH.. just when you think you have a handle on things.. you realize you really don't.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Starting to heal..

It has been awhile, since I have had anything to write about. I have been trying to go about the business of healing, as best I can.

I have been busting my ass, trying to get things from Daddy's house, to our house. We have made countless trips to the dump, getting rid of all sorts of things from our house that we have kept because we have always lived on the premise, "we might need that one day, and rather than buying a new one, we have a spare". So, we have tons of junk around here, that needs getting rid of, and the process has begun. 

I bought new bedroom furniture, new living room furniture and a new kitchen table and chairs. Everything except the living room furniture was hand me downs from our parents or grandparents, and it was high time we bought some things we liked, for ourselves. We are beginning the process of putting down the hardwood floors throughout the house. We only have the living room and Brandon's room done, but that is a good start. 

Most of the guns have buyers. Quite a few other things, we have found buyers for, so we are making progress there too.   The knives, I am giving away to people. We can't get the money back for them, because they have been taken out of the boxes and sharpened, so that is a great way to thank people for their help. Plus, they are a very sore spot for me. I just want them gone. 

I started grief therapy, and that is going well. I only have to actually go the office, when I feel like I need help. The rest I am doing on my own. I have bought a few books, and have been given a couple that I have started to read, and they seem to be very helpful in sorting out what is going on in my head. Grief is a weird process, but we are starting to make progress there too. I still pick up the phone to call him, or think.. I need to be sure to tell Daddy this.. only to realize he isn't around anymore. I haven't gone and picked out the markers for the graves yet, because I can't seem to bring myself to do it now. There is not real rush, I know where they are. 

I am enjoying working again. I love my studio. I work when I want too, and do other things instead, when the creativity isn't there. I told Scott yesterday.. we need to slow down. We are going to crash and burn, if we don't start getting some down time. We are going to the beach Sunday for a week, and that will help a lot. We need that more than we know, I feel sure.

I would like to thank everybody again, for the continued cards, notes, texts and phone calls. Every single one of you, has made me feel loved. That is so important during this time, words do not adequately express how thankful I am, for every single one of you.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Death is ugly...

Today I had such a great conversation with a friend! I was telling them I was going to grief counseling tomorrow, and of course, the response was very positive. They asked me why I thought I needed the counseling, and what I hoped to achieve during the process. During the discussion that followed, an interesting spin on death and dying came up.

This is not going to be a pleasant read, so again, if you are squeamish.. walk away now!!

I was explaining how horrible Daddy's death was. I was warned by the nurses at Hospice, that COPD patients could be get quite ugly. They were not kidding in the least. I expected him to die like my Momma. Which was just to go to sleep and never wake up. That did not happen. Scott also warned me. He said "Baby, death is ugly". I still thought this was going to be nothing terrible.

For about 20 minutes, Daddy foamed at the mouth, because he could not cough up the mucus in his throat. He jerked, gasped, foamed, and fought us, the whole time. I mean he was jerking trying to get air, to get his throat clear so he could get air. His eyes were open, and rolled around in their sockets. His teeth clenched so hard, I thought they would shatter. All of this, was every cell in his body, trying to get air. Thank God, he was not there, in those eyes. We did the best we could, while waiting for the nurse to arrive. As soon as it was over, I closed his eyes, and completely lost it. I mean sobbing uncontrollably for about 10 minutes.

I couldn't believe what I had just witnessed. Scott was right. Death is ugly. While talking to my friend today, I said "We treat our animals better than we treat people, and I think that is so wrong." They agreed with me. I mean, we humanly put our dogs, cats, or whatever animals we have down, when their time comes. Not so, with people. I said, jokingly maybe Kevorkian had something there.

Why must we let our loved one suffer like that? You can not tell me, there is a way to ease those last moments of suffering. We should be able to do something.. to ease that pain for the patient and for the family. Is that inhumane? I do not think so. I think it is inhumane to let somebody suffer like that.

So, in a nutshell, that is my reasoning for counseling. I can not get that scene out of my mind. Over and over it plays, again and again. Maybe with some help, this will ease up for me. God, I hope so.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Who am I?

Who are you, and what do you want to do for you?

This is a question that my friend Lisa asked me last weekend. I had no clue as to how to answer her. I have been Mr. Bob's daughter, who has taken care of him for three years. That has been my identity for so long, I have no idea who I am, other than that.

So, today I woke up and said I am Julie Boland, wife and mother, and I am going to start this new phase of my life by being the best wife and mother, that I can be. I am going to get back to making my jewelry, because I have missed that creative outlet very badly. I am going to finish painting the whole house, because I have been in the process of that for the last three years, and haven't been able to finish. I am going to take some time, every single day, and do something for me - what that may be, I have no idea yet, but there will be something. I am going to start reading again. I haven't had the time to just sit and read a book, at my leisure for a long time. I have had to speed read, and that is not the way to read a good book. I am going to take time and visit my friends, who I haven't seen in ages. I am going to actually be able to plan ahead, and make plans for whatever I want to do, without worrying about whether Daddy will need me or not.

I still have to clean out Daddy's house, shop, attic, and all the rest of the stuff down at his property - and believe me, there is a LOT of it. But, I am going to look at it in a different manner, than I have been looking at it. I am going to find things that bring back wonderful memories of Momma and Daddy, instead of Oh God, all this stuff. I am going to cuss both of them for keeping some of the things they kept for so many years! :0)

I am going into this new phase of my life, every day, with a smile on my face. That smile may not last all day during this time of healing and reflection, but I will start out that way. I know I did the best I could for Daddy, and busted my ass to make sure his last wishes were honored. I can sleep at night, knowing I did the right thing, in the right way, for me.

So the question again.. Who am I and what do I want to do for me? I am in the process of finding that out, and I am determined to enjoy it, every single step of the way.. falls and all!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

A time and place..

I am starting to realize, there is a time and place for everything... including people.  People come and go in your life, and sometimes you reconnect with people from your past who you did not think you would ever see or talk to again.

I think, sometimes, when your life is in chaos, you reconnect with people you generally would not have, given the circumstances of your past with them. I have done this more lately, than I usually would have. I think I was looking to finish, forgive, or get forgiveness, for something. I am not quite sure.

I think, during this time of chaos with Daddy, I have accepted some friend requests on Facebook, that normally I wouldn't have. Actually.. I know I have.

I have talked to these people, finished what I thought needed finishing, given forgiveness, and gotten forgiveness. Now that I have time to reflect on what has been said and done, I am not sure what to do with these people. I mean, I am glad that I reconnected with these people, but what do I do with them now? I don't want or need these people in my life. I do not need complications or stress added to my life right now. It has been complicated enough, and my brain, and my feelings are not quite thinking clearly. I am truly grateful that things have been finished with them, but... now what?

Some of them are exactly how I thought they would be. Some of them, have confused me with the way they are now. They act different than I thought, but deep down, there has been no change in them. That is why they were in my past, and not part of my life for all of these years. I am sure they think the same about me.

So, I guess the question is.. what do I do with them now? I have no idea...

Friday, February 3, 2012

How are you feeling?

"How are you feeling".  Seems like a simple sentence, doesn't it?

My standard answer right now, is OK. I honestly don't know what to say. I am not fine, I am not good, I am not your usual standard answers. I am OK. That is the best I can come up with right now. It seems to change pretty quickly from one extreme to the other.

I am not a cryer. I have wished I was a cryer for many years. That seems to be a great release, which I can't seem to do, but every so often. I cried at Mommas bedside, when she passed away. I cried at Daddy's bedside when he passed away. That is about it.

I have always kept my emotions inside, and I control them with an iron grip. I have since about 1990. Things happen in life, that teach you to control what you can control. I control my emotions, because that was the only thing I felt like I had control over at that time, and it has become such an ingrained habit, I can't seem to shake it.

Hopefully the grief counseling I start on Tuesday, will help me with this issue. These emotions need to come out, and if they don't, I believe you will suffer somehow, possibly physically. I do not need anymore physical problems. I have had more than my share.

So, I am looking forward to starting the process of releasing these emotions, or rather, learning to release these emotions.

Maybe then, when people ask me "How are you feeling?" I can answer with something that sounds not so cold. Maybe I can honestly answer, with how I AM feeling.. or at least I can feel like I can.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The adventure of the burial...

Well, today was the burial for my Momma and Daddy.

For those of you who are confused, Momma passed away Dec. 13, 2008. Her wishes were to be cremated. We did that, and Daddy had her sitting on the piano, which was her piano, for the last three years. He wanted to be cremated as well, and we decided to try and bury them together. Our cemetery doesn't allow that, so we had to buy two plots... one for each of them.

Since they had already been cremated, we decided to just bury them in their urns. Nothing special, or more ornate was needed. I was dreading and looking forward to this day, for a variety of reasons.

We arrived at the cemetery 30 minutes early, because we were not sure what our responsibility was, other than bringing them with us. The holes had already been dug, and we went to find whoever was there, to see what the next step was.

Well, we ran into the man who takes care of the grass, weed eating, and general whatnot of the cemetery. The only nice thing I can say about this man, was he was ..... ummm.... ok.. I can't think of anything nice to say about him. We spent the 30 minutes, waiting, and listening to his stories of "cemetery humor" and the women he picks up. Mind you, this man was 70 something years old. My nerves were slowly coming apart. At exactly 2:05, the man who does the burial shows up. He was a very nice man, who did his job, with dignity, and treated the ashes of my parents with respect. The old guy, who Scott finally had to tell "Please give us space and time for this" was yapping in the background the whole time with more cemetery humor. I was trying to be nice, but it was totally inappropriate for him to act like that during the burial of my parents! Scott was about a hair away from punching him in the mouth, and finally the guy decided to walk back to his office. Lucky for him. Scott never gets angry, but when he does.. it is very ugly.

We stayed and watched until the last piece of grass was sown back onto the grave. It was sad, because I was  thinking the whole time, that these are the people who gave birth to me, nurtured me, helped me grow, and made me the person who I am today. I was fervently hoping they were looking down and thinking what a great woman I have become.

RIP Momma and Daddy... I love you and miss you.