Oct 11, 2016
I know her children are grown, and now have to make difficult decisions. I pray for them. I feel for them.
I will not be able to attend her funeral, and that seems so wrong. However, that is how it is. I will miss her very much. We didn't talk that often, but we did talk, and she did read this blog.
Growing up, Linda was always laughing. She seemed to have the wonderful ability to see the absurd in everyday life, and find the humor there. When I was eight, I watched her breastfeed her baby in absolute awe and wonder. I said, "I didn't know you could do that." She replied, "Well, what did you think they were for?" I said, "Decoration." I made up my mind that if I ever had a baby, I would breastfeed it. And I did.
When she moved to California, we would talk maybe every few years. Somehow, we kept in touch. I am glad I talked with her. I'm glad she knew that I loved her.
Around the year 2000, she came home for a visit, with her husband, Hank. He was a genuine Indian Chief. Of course, we talked and laughed. We got a big kick out of listening to my father, who couldn't hear, and his brother Tommy, who couldn't hear either, have two different conversations at the same time. Every so often they would look at each other and say, "Yep."
She joined the marines after high school, and married a Sergeant. That didn't last long, as I recall. She married a mechanic, then a Merchant Marine, and lastly, an Indian Chief. I think that's pretty impressive.
She followed her own path all her life. No matter what anyone thought, she did what her heart told her to do. I respect that.
I miss her.
Once there was six of us, and now there is only 3. And, I wonder, just how did this happen so fast?
Apr 22, 2015
Fear was a constant companion. It directed my every move and thought. Beginning at the age of 4 or thereabouts, I was indoctrinated into the familial society of Fear. It was not a good thing.
We lived pretty much to ourselves, my siblings, my mother, and I. My father was there sporadically, as his job took him often away from home. Perhaps that’s where it started. My father’s sudden absence from home, leaving my mother in charge of us all.
A sense of duty and responsibility must have gripped my mother that was overwhelming. Just keeping us fed and clothed was a monumental task. We accepted no help from the state or churches, or anyone that I can remember. My mother would have seen it as a weakness, and this she could not and would not tolerate.
As my brothers and sisters reached the age of 16, 17, 18, they began to leave. I suppose anywhere was better than being at home. I had the sense that it was expected for them to leave. I know that I missed them terribly when they had gone, and keenly felt the circle of isolation tightening.
Jul 19, 2014
What I Learned As a Child
I see a therapist every two weeks now. It has helped me a lot. He is a good therapist to work with. He gives me homework to do. This is part of it. I haven't written anything here for a long time. Life has been hectic and those curveballs keep on coming. I'm catching them as fast as I can, but sometimes I need help, so, hence, the therapist.
The goal of this cognitive therapy is learning to change the self-talk that everyone has inside their head. Some of it is good. When it holds you back, it isn't. It keeps you from being the total person you can be.
So what did my childhood teach me?
1. Fear. The biggest thing I learned in childhood was fear. Fear of what was outside at night trying to get in and kill us. Never mind it was probably all in the mind of my mother. Don't get me wrong, I'm not blaming her at all. She did the very best she could do at all times when raising her six kids. She had her own issues to deal with at a time when we didn't go see therapists or doctors, and there was no Prozac or Zoloft to help keep the demons away.
Fear is a contagious thing. It jumps from one person to the next in the blink of an eye. It creates panic, which in turns brings chaos to an otherwise peaceful place. It doesn't matter who you are, or what your economic situation, fear can keep you locked inside your own little world, one created solely to keep you from facing that fear. I believe my mother became agoraphobic at some point in her life. She would not leave the property we lived on for many years. I learned to grocery shop when I was 11. No big deal, but it seemed strange to me. I always felt apart from others, not quite fitting in, because of the fear.
I can remember being very small and sleeping under the covers to hide myself at night. It wasn't until many years later I would realize we all are equal in the dark. The hunter and hunted are on equal turf in the blackness of a hot summer night.
Jan 6, 2014
On December 21st, I lost my dear brother. I don't know how to handle it. I really don't. There is no one here where I live that I can talk to about it, except a therapist, and I already know what they will say. It hurts as bad as losing my mother. Almost. I could pretty much talk to Buddy about anything. I don't have any idea how his wife, Nancy, is coping with his loss. They were together over 50 years. They were in their teens when they married, and they were best friends. Their passion and love never dwindled.
I remember being very young, and my surroundings seemed almost without color sometimes. There were periods of bleakness and sadness about the household. In the winter you were cold, very cold, and in the summer, well, you got hot, but you could stand it. My mother was still going through menopause, so you can imagine the mood swings and hot flashes. It really hit her hard. Always she was fanning herself with something, a magazine, a piece of notebook paper, anything. We never kept our windows up at night for fear of rapists and burglars. The fact that we had absolutely nothing worth stealing didn't seem to matter. I didn't know what a rapist was at the time, so I just went along with the program. That was how it was.
I remember Buddy sitting outside sometimes on a warm summer night, before he joined the Navy, and playing his guitar into the phone. I thought it somewhat odd behavior, but hey, I wasn't going to comment.
One day, however, things changed forever in our family. Buddy brought home his new girlfriend for us to meet. To me, a little girl who was all tomboy, but had a huge crush on Mr. GreenJeans, and Little Joe Cartwright, she seemed like a movie star. Her full skirt and white blouse, her bobbysocks, and teased blond hair, sparkling blue eyes, and wonderful smile, all combined to make me think she was the most beautiful creature I had ever seen. She was nice to me, polite, and I can't remember if the incredible shyness I grew into was in place yet or not. Most likely, I showed off for her, doing ignorant little kid things to get her attention. I loved her from that moment on. I think she became a role model for me in many ways. I have never, ever heard her raise her voice to anyone. I have often heard her speak with authority, but never heard her yell and scream like the rest of us did. To me, she will always be 16.
I live many miles from her and other than the phone calls I have made, I have not seen her for many years. Yet hearing her voice, and oftentimes, Buddy's, kept me assured that they were still there. I still did have family that I knew cared.
I know that Nancy has many family members of her own to rely on at this time, and that gives me great comfort. There is not much I can really do, except listen. It's odd, somehow, that she and I have both lost sons in their mid-twenties, and dealt with that enormous grief that never really leaves. And now she must face this loss. She has her daughter who I know is a great and wonderful comfort to her. I know she is very proud of her and her successful career.
I guess I wish I could be there now. I wish I could comfort the person who made our family act a little more decent, a little more caring, and gave us sunshine when we had none.
Dec 19, 2013
I lost my ex-husband on Dec. 6, 2013, EJ's father. It hit me in a way I did not expect. This man has been a part of my life since I was 20 years old. I will not say we were "friends" at the time of his death, but we could talk to each other. I am glad now that the last time I saw him I gave him a big hug. It is as if a big part of my life is now over. We would never have gotten back together, it is nothing like that. It is the fact that we did share two sons, and I honestly believe he is with the one who has passed before him, Travis.
I will soon be 59 years old. I survived colon cancer at the age of 39. It was stage II-b in the Dukes staging system for colon cancers. The oncologist gave me a 50-50 chance of survival, and 55-45, with chemotherapy. I like to think I beat the odds. I prayed for God to give me the opportunity to see my son's grown and on their own. He answered that prayer. Sometimes I think I should have asked for more, but, hey, what are you going to do?
I have fallen in love with my great-grandson, Jacob. He is "Grandma's boy!" He is such a cutie, and at one year, amazingly smart. He cheers me up when I feel down. I know that sounds a little corny, but it is the truth. My grandkids have proven to be a blessing to me. I had to step back, and let them be themselves. So, we are forging a family unit, and that is a good thing. I just hope I don't jinx it by writing about it. HA!
Well, enough news. More later.
Hey Linda and Kelly! Thinking of you this holiday season!