12 years ago, tonight at 10:20 pm my father passed away in a hospital in Connecticut. I was never a big fan of New Year’s Eve to begin with but since this happened, I roll into a little ball
in my bed and cry on and off.
My dad used to buy me a candle every single year on my birthday, without fail, I’m sure my mom reminded him but it was a tradition. My mom, sister and I still have one or two of his well-worn, soft handkerchiefs that are like prized possessions. Our dad had a shelf where he had 13 types of small different after shave cologne which he would point out to us, often!
What’s worse, for my mom, is that January 1st is/was my parents’ wedding anniversary. We try to give each other support but in essence it’s really our own pain we need to get past. I’m the “crier” in the family or as my husband and son call me “the shrieker.” Good or bad and especially when surprised by something: a bug, a person, a loud noise, I have a natural instinct to be scared easily. My daughter is the same way. Sometimes we shriek at
the surprise of seeing each other.
She’s away on a trip and as much as I am happy she is having a fabulous time, part of me wishes she was home. But, as much as I am a mushy mess, my daughter keeps all her emotions inside, deep, down inside. My expectations of wanting her here are really quite different from what her being here would be like. She does not enjoy my massive display of emotions.
My son is definitely more like me, we understand each other. We can read each others feelings on the phone or the breath before we say “hello” on the telephone. I was like that with my dad. My sister and my mother are completely alike, full of false bravado and unaware of their feelings. Being without my dad for so many years has been a struggle.
The balance has been lost, the person who understood me most, is gone. I’m with two family members that don’t really get me at all, they just say I’m “too sensitive,” never realizing that sensitivity is a good thing and that they might be insensitive. What I’ve learned all these years is that people don’t change.
I will get through tonight, thankfully, NOT going out, eating my American cheese sandwich and drinking chocolate milk, my comfort food. Maybe I’ll have some baked Lays for the crunch factor. For dessert, I pre-ordered two of our favorite home-made jelly doughnuts
from a nearby bakery. My husband and I will toast each other with those doughnuts, in memory of my father. Growing up it was a tradition that we all had jelly doughnuts on New Year’s Eve together. I just found out my husband bought four jelly doughnuts and two black and white cookies, he’s definitely like my dad too.
As sad as I am to have lost him, I am trying (not very successfully) to focus on that deep relationship we had and how much he really did love me. I was his baby girl, he loved me plenty of that I am sure. It just doesn’t help to take away the pain. Nothing does.
*My dad took me to see Two By Two with Danny Kaye, for years after, with spoons and different glasses of water of varying heights, he would conduct and we would both clink all our glasses after the words “Two By Two.” The last time I tried to do that with him, he was very sick and didn’t want to do that. He had lost his joy and I knew that his end was near.
I’ve meant to write you for a couple of days but now I NEED to write you. You were always there for me when times were tough, especially when times were tough. You were the only person who really knew me because our personalities were so similar.
I know I’m just having a very bad day and they happen from time to time but this one is unusual. I feel like I’m getting beaten up by everybody
and I don’t know why. I don’t have you here to defend me or to want to get back at the people who are making me sad. I do know that if you could, you would although I’m not so sure you would defend mom.
No matter what she did, you defended her but her tone today, I know, you would have been the one to say “take it easy” and she would have listened. Her ordering me around like she is the commander and I’m the soldier was horrible. Something is not right. Does she think that the holiday season is only hard on her?
Losing Lola and Don and Ellen were tragic losses, believe me, I know. I went to the funerals of two of them with her. Anna went to one of them so she was always supported. There’s not much else anyone can really do. Both Emma and I call her every day, she boasts about that to her friends but sometimes it seems I can do nothing right. At least that’s how it feels to me.
I’m not in their club of two, my sister and mom, they are so similar and our club, you and me, doesn’t exist anymore, talk about grief. Yes, I know it’s a rough time of year, with you dying on New Year’s Eve
and you and mom’s anniversary on New Year’s Day! Not such good timing, Dad. I remember our last Christmas but the grief comes back in waves of sadness and anger. You should be here, playing Santa and ringing the stupid bell you always rang. If only you could come back for just one minute to ring that bell and to give me a hug that I so desperately need from you now.
Well, the day is almost over, I’m hiding in my bedroom, yeah I know, not the right solution but that’s okay, I just need a little time to myself. Your granddaughter is out having fun and your grandson will be home tomorrow. At the moment he is the one worrying because, like me, he is so intuitive and he heard my voice on the phone. I know I worry too much, oh stop laughing, but I try not to do that. I can’t help it if I read headlines and get scared. As most parents, I worry about my children.
You know I love you, of course you do, thank you for the signs you send me (I could use one soon, please.) Do I wish you a Merry Christmas in Heaven? It’s been so many years you would think my grief would have mellowed but today it is raw. I don’t understand that at all.
I’m going to play some music now and settle down, I know I’ll be fine in a few minutes. You know I’ll be fine, I always remember what you and Mom said: “That beneath the mushiness, deep down, I am steel” and I know that’s true. I’ve had to be many times in my life. I love and miss you so much but I am glad you are not in pain anymore, that’s for sure. Say hi to Lore for me, quite a prank she pulled on us at her funeral. It seems like Diane and I both thought we were the sole “Augusta.” Only Lore could get away with that. Please tell her I miss her too, I really do.
All my love,
Your little mouse
PS The dog just pushed the door open, jumped up on the bed and kissed my whole face which she generally doesn’t do. She knew I was sad, I feel better already.
I’m sitting in my bed, with my red dog Lexi lying across my lap, I’m watching her breathing as if she was a newborn. The day is thinking about turning to-night but it is not there yet. The sky is white with gray in the background, leafless trees sway softly in the sky.
My husband is in his office working on a project. My daughter is home from college, in her room, most probably watching a series on her laptop, her door, closed and I am smiling.
There is nothing extraordinary about this day and I love that. I took the dog in the car for a long ride. She loves to stick her head out and see the world, she smiles, people smile
ather, joyful. It doesn’t take much to make her happy.We headed to the bakery, I heard that they were making mini jelly doughnuts which I must buy and one big chocolate chip cookie for my daughter. We’ll be there again Sunday too for the big, puffy
huge ones and we will buy another jelly doughnut for our son. If there is one food that brings me back to a happy childhood memory it’s a jelly doughnut. My dad and I loved them and we would have them every New Year’s Eve. I’m just carrying on the tradition…and practicing early. He would be so proud.
My son will be arriving in a couple of days, I really don’t know when. I think Saturday but you never know with him. I like not knowing so the wait does not produce anxiety at all but rather a sweet, low excitement that i can look forward to when he arrives.
It feels like Thanksgiving was half a year ago but it was only a matter of weeks. Parents everywhere are enjoying having their children home. I feel for those parents who have lost their child, I could cry with their pain even imagining it.
We are blessed. Let’s all keep those families in our hearts and prayers.
I should be folding laundry, or washing the floors or organizing the presents that Santa’s helper gave to me to wrap. I’m doing none of that right now. I’m feeling happy as the day turns into early evening.
After many years I am reading again and I am thrilled. I don’t know why couldn’t read a book for so long, I always read. For years, though, I couldn’t read anything and now I can which is a great relief. That treat fills my soul full with hundreds and hundreds of candy canes kissing.
I refuse to focus on the bad news in the world, there will always be bad people and poor judgment and horror. Sometimes I get involved and feel the pain, today I am not focusing on it. While I probably can’t do it every day, I will try to remember this calmness.
My stomach grows for dinner, plain and simple leftovers, nothing fancy here, we don’t have the money to go out. Leftover pizza, salad, eggplant parmigiana, garlic cheese bread.How can you not look forward to THOSE leftovers. And of course, after dinner, my own small, roly poly jelly doughnut, its sugary film, sitting in my delicate fingers, turning it this way and that, taking that small first bite. Happiness is real, especially today. I wish all days could be so peaceful for me and for everyone else. I’m trying to remember what it feels like, I know it feels good.
How are you? I’m fine, really. I just want to clarify something. Sometimes I vent my feelings on this blog and people worry but please realize when I vent its my way of getting a release.Of course I have pain sometimes but I live with that and work through it. I don’t suffer 24/7. I promise. Trust me, if I did, you would hear me scream at your houses.
You can always ask me any question. My way of getting RID of negative feelings or pain is working through them and writing about them, I don’t want anyone to be concerned. If you feel worried, ask me any question.
Also, remember I’m a bit sneaky. Many times I weave fiction and non fiction together, so you may not know who is writing what. As I say in my blurb: “There’s a little fiction in non-fiction and a little non-fiction in fiction, you decide.”
So, today I’m not depressed, physically I feel fine. I don’t hurt everywhere, my kidneys are hanging in there and my anxiety level is low. I saw the sunshine for a brief amount of time, for me that is always good! The cold seemed less cold in my kind of new green jacket that was handed down from my sister to me. I love it! It’s a beautiful shade of green/purple that shimmers, hard to describe, I know.
I’m not happy or sad, not melancholy or enthusiastic. I’m just plain blah. (I am amusing myself, as my children know I do, very often, by the witty title of this blog) and it is making me laugh.)
I wonder if my mood is the same for me every year and I turn to my husband and ask. “Pretty
much” he says because he knows that this is a rough time of year for me. Why do I forget this every single year? Do I just block it?
My dad died on New Year’s Eve so these holidays hold pain, genuine heartbreak, alon
g with joy. My children are not children anymore, they are grown-ups with lives of their own, they sleep and eat at our house during college breaks, but they don’t need us like they did when they were young. I miss (and don’t miss) the very young years, the affection, how they loved us and needed us and how we were their world.
I am also incredibly PROUD of the independent young woman and man they have become. Truly, I am beyond proud of my two kids, “we do good kids” my husband and I say to each other a couple of times a year. We do a lot of wrong things and have MANY faults but our children are good people, people the world will be happy to have.
We are not young anymore or really old. We’re not grandmas or grandpa’s yet (sometime, I hope) nor are we the current generation. We are the almost but not retiring boomers. We can’t retire, we don’t have enough money. We need to take care of our living parent (s) and are still responsible for our not yet independent adult children.
I don’t feel anything really strongly, certainly nothing dramatic.This is not a bad thing at all. It’s like a vacation from the drama that goes on in my life. I think I will try to make this last as long as possible. Blah: The New Vacation, A Cheap And Safe Alternative To Flying. You Don’t Have To Leave Your Home, Or Better Yet, Your Armchair.
Rejoice, Blah is the new Awesome.
Who could ask for more
For all the people dreading tomorrow night, I’m here. I’m dreading it too. There are hundreds of reasons to dread it and I’m not even going to bother mentioning them, because you know why? They don’t matter. You feel what you feel and no one can deny your feelings. You have every right to acknowledge how you feel, just please try not to cover them up and drink irresponsibly.
I admit, I wish I did drink, one cocktail or one glass of wine. I hate the taste of alcohol, always did, even in college when friends were trying to get me to drink watery, warm beer and I just couldn’t do it. The taste was awful. I didn’t “practice” drinking so I got used to it and I didn’t let my friends change my mind. They would go up to the bar and order two pitchers of beer and one glass of Coke.
To this day I will have a sip of someone’s drink to see if I like it but I haven’t been successful. The closest I have come is Amaretto mixed with milk or orange juice or a sour mix, sometimes I can drink a half of one of those drinks. Generally, if I take a sip or two of my husband’s wine I say “I feel it already” and I do. My adult children make fun of me but again, drinking to them is like chips and dips to our generation. Believe me, I’m not condoning it. Trust me.
Whether you go to bed at ten tomorrow night, ( I’ve done that plenty of times, ) or you and your best friend, your dog, your spouse, your life partner, relative, facebook buddy stay up till after midnight, I wish you all a Happy 2014. I don’t plan a thing on New Year’s Eve except a good dinner at a very early seating in a nice restaurant, with my husband and two grown-up children, this year with my mom because she had no plans.
I’ll be honest, at 10:20pm I will know exactly when to look at the clock, and I will remember all too clearly that twelve years ago my beloved father passed away in a hospital, with no one there by his side. I talked to the surgeon, I asked him if I could come and I remember his gentle voice saying “No sweetie, don’t come it will be too late.” I was able to talk to the ICU nurse who promised to give my dad a message and I gave my Dad permission to leave us, telling him we would take care of each other.
I mentioned a special word that he and I used together. He passed away within minutes.
So, whatever your sorrow is, whatever your personal story is, I understand. I truly do. You can write them down here or to me privately if you feel like talking about it. Just remember you are not alone, there are people who love you and staying up until midnight is not such a big deal. Tomorrow will come, as it always does.
Happy 2014 to all my readers, to my friends. I wish you peace, health, happiness. I wish you joy.
I am the meanest person on earth, or at least the most honest and outspoken but I give thanks that Thanksgiving is over. Yep, I said it. You can judge me all you want but holidays can be stressful. Family dynamics, emotional baggage, demons from the past, they all get rattled and those emotions escape. They slip from your unconscious like slithering snakes darting out without your permission. Filters don’t work, the id, ego and superego are all in repair.
Families members regress, the dysfunctional aspects of relationships become unglued, it seems like anything negative that you can rein in for most of the year just gets ignited during holiday celebrations. Forgive me, don’t judge me. I’m sure I’m not alone in feeling this way.
I used to be the person who loved holidays the most, it WAS my favorite time of year. I sang along with every song on the radio, happily. I loved to shop for hours getting just the perfect present for each member of my extended family. Now, I beg my kids to tell me what they want, preferably with a link online. I don’t feel like celebrating, when did I become Scrooge?
I’d rather appreciate my family as I do, every minute of every day instead of on one particular day. All the work you have done to prep and prepare and cook and bake is finally here; by the time you sit down to eat, you are exhausted and then the meal is over in literally five minutes. Tops.
You take a breather and move to a different room, everyone moaning about how full their tummies are and the tension moves with you like invisible cloaks. The young “adult” children text, the older generation talks about people who have died or are very sick and all I want to do is change into my soft flannel polka dot pajama pants and tee-shirt and climb under my blankets and go to sleep.
However, the chocolate cake with the layers of lighter chocolate mousse winks at me and soon we go back to eat dessert. A lot of dessert. That incredibly delicious chocolate cake with edible sugar ornaments, my vegetarian daughter grins as she eats a sugar “turkey.” There is also apple cake, strawberry-rhubarb pie, chocolate rugelach, banana bread, apple pie and assorted cookies. I’m ashamed to say that the fabulous chocolate cake, with an ice-cold glass of milk cheers me up. I can see the women of Weight Watchers “past” shaking their heads at me, tsk- tsking all the way to the scales. Sorry leaders, I haven’t gained any weight, in fact I lost more weight.
My daughter drives her grandmother home, with a care package that will last her at least a week to finish, complete with forbidden dessert since she is a not-so-so-strict-diabetic, it’s a treat for her, one bite or two at a time. The fact that my sister and her family aren’t here was felt by all, it just seemed empty without them. I missed my sister and the “cousins” being together. My husband’s parents are coming tomorrow, does that make any sense to you? Fill me in if you can figure it out, I can’t.
I see myself going away for a few days this year or next. This time I will go someplace different to be alone, to have some space, to smile at the sun and do some thinking. It’s my turn now. I’m tired, physically and emotionally. I need to get a good night’s rest and maybe when I wake up tomorrow morning I will feel just more hopeful. I give thanks for my family, my friends, for the food on the table. I give thanks that the holiday is over and for my pretty polka dotted pajamas. I am grateful for the sleep that is sure to come quickly. Good night.
Last post of 2112:
After my rather solemn afternoon,(see the post before this one: http://hibernationnow.wordpress.com/2012/12/31/bloody-foolish-me/) I pulled myself together and we had a wonderful early dinner as a family, the food was exquisite and our children 18 and 20, entertained us, as usual. The no fighting/no texting rule was in effect. There was much laughter and seriously good food. For my foodies (and I am one of them, here is most of the menu) Appetizer: There was a choice of raw tuna with tofu, lobster bisque or gnocchi with mushrooms. I chose the gnocchi, our son chose the bisque and my husband ordered the raw (really hard for me not to say EEW) tuna and tofu. I’m trying to be serious here, it’s tough! Our daughter had a salad for an appetizer. You will see why later.
For our entrees: choice of filet mignon (yes, please for the three of us) with mashed potatoes and mushrooms that tasted like frizzled onions, were divine. I eat red meat about once every six months and I dare say, I enjoyed it. Our daughter (the vegetarian) had the gnocchi as a main dish, no mushrooms, in a tomato sauce. In my opinion, they should have stayed with the white (cream?) sauce that we had and my daughter agreed. The other options were…..I have no idea as soon as we saw the filet mignon we didn’t concentrate, sorry. Wait, my husband said there was also chicken and a seafood risotto and maybe something else. He also said once he saw the steak he couldn’t concentrate. On the table there were slices of dark raisin/walnut bread and some hard wheat bread.(Okay, so I ordered more bread for the table so I could have two slices of the raisin walnut bread with butter.) It was an occasion( and I have been eating like a bunny.)
For dessert there were three options: Linzer torte (we’re HERE!!!) or chocolate mousse cake with coffee crunch ice cream ( or vanilla) and pumpkin cheesecake that we all laughed about. My husband and I could not decide so we ordered one linzer torte and one chocolate mousse and split both in half. Sometimes, you just need both. They also offered sorbet ( seriously?) but our family doesn’t even count that as an option but they did offer it so I thought I should tell you.
It’s New Year’s Eve and I’m grateful. Grateful for my loving family, grateful I got through the day and that I talked to both my sister and my mother, grateful I can put my nightshirt on soon. I will feel happier when my daughter texts me when she arrives at her destination, moms worry like that, yup, we do.
To all my readers, I am GRATEFUL for you. Thank you for keeping me going, for your comments, for your dedication. I’m about to reach 1,000 posts really soon!!
This would not be complete if I did not acknowledge some very special friends that I feel extremely close to (even though I have never met them in person) These women I feel honored to call my friends and my support system. I actually feel closer to these women than some that live around the block. I mean that with all my heart and as they know, I wear my heart on my sleeve. Great love and hugs to: Judy/Judith, Maureen, Rosemary, Ash, Michelle, and Tammy. I LOVE all of you. If your name is not mentioned I swear I came to a complete blank. You know who you are, please forgive me and just write your names in here _________________ and ___________________. I apologize.
Wishing you all a HAPPY AND HEALTHY 2013.
From me, Hibernationnow.wordpress.com