Clematis

It's been a year now

114 posts in this topic

I also think that, when you come from a place of compassion and wanting so badly to understand the other person ~ as you so clearly do, Laura ~ the children in your care will pick up on that, and you really won't cause them any harm. 

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20 hours ago, Clematis said:

I think it would probably be good to talk to my new friend out there - the one who said this to me and with whom I have been eating lunch. I think since she is from a neighboring tribe she would be close enough to be knowledgeable but distant enough to understand that my interest is in helping the kids and not as intrusive. I go out there tomorrow and will give that a try...

That is what I was about to suggest as I read your last post here, Laura.  She may have some insight about proceeding.  It's important not to overstep boundaries with cultures or they'll pull back or cut you off.  The hard part is when our beliefs are at odds with their own, but then we have to respect their beliefs regardless.  

Good luck today!

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I keep thinking that I'm going to wake up some day and no longer be missing my dad. When I was a young adult I blissfully bolted across the country to get away from my crazy family, mostly my mother. She thought I was crazy. My sisters thought for 20 years that I'd come back. My dad was hurt and angry. I didn't realize until he had moved out west to be with me after my mother died that he always figured that I had moved so far away to get away from him. Hardly. Even though we weren't close all those years. It's so strange to think about now - I adored him when I was little, and then I was angry with him and then I tried to make friends with him, which wasn't easy. But even though we were thousands of miles apart I didn't miss him. But after he came out here we became closer and closer. And now I am here and he is gone and I wonder who I am and what I am doing.

This afternoon I went to a get-together at the house of the special ed director for whom I hope to be working next year. There were some people there from the neighboring district, for which I used to work. It was a horribly stressful work situation with a nasty ending that was due to no fault of mine. I thought I was in free fall and my life was over, but my dad rescued me. He was so supportive as I floundered and then got a life back together doing contract work and driving all over half the state - a life I adjusted to so we could stay here. Now, I keep thinking that if I get this job it will be a sweet ending to all those years of trauma and uncertainty. But today it is all reminding me of how difficult that all was, but how I got through it with his help and support. He always had my back. What I have gone through in the last 16 months seems like more than a person can do, and I'm still not sure how I will cope as things go forward in any direction. But I still hear his voice in my ear, "I still think you're wonderful"...

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8 hours ago, Clematis said:

I still hear his voice in my ear, "I still think you're wonderful"...

And that's the neat part about this...even while we're missing them, our love continues.  I've found it sustains me.

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My head is totally spinning...

I asked my new friend on the reservation and she told me that her people, the Navajo, had there tradition that was only to grieve for one cycle of the moon, and that is a person was still crying and really missing someone after that, it was likely to be leading them into depression and mental illness. She said that the Hopi tradition was similar. I took this up with Mike, my (white) friend with whom I worked out there for several years and he said yeah that was true but that things were changing because people are realizing that it doesn't really work for their kids, and they have their kids talk to us (the white school counselors) to process their grief. I know I have talked to a number of kids over the years that have told me that a year - or years- after the death of their grandmother - or another relative - they really missed them at the dances every year because that person has been such a big part of how they began learning the traditions of the dances when they were very little. Twenty-eight days! That just seems crazy...

Cary, the guy who is buying my dad's house on a short sale was in town today. He is the uncle of my good friend Greg's wife- Greg ,who has been helping me all along with my dad's house, my house, the move and all that. Cary asked me to go over to the title company to make a phone call to the bank because he had a question and they will only communicate with me. So then he and the title officer asked me to sign the papers. The closing is not until June 5 and my head is busy spinning around from things at work (end of the school year) and whatnot. I would not have had time to do more than look for the places to sign and no time to even skim the closing papers. I said no. Why would you ask someone to just sign all this stuff with no notice that they were going to be doing that? "Since you're here, will you just sign all this without reading it?" No. 

Cary also told me he had arranged with Greg to pay him to paint the condo and he asked if it would it be ok if Greg started on that before the closing date. That was another surprise. My dad's house still has a lot of stuff in it and I have been trying to get Greg to come down from Flagstaff to help me clear things out. I really can't do much until I am done with the school year's work a week from today. That will give me three and a half weeks of relatively free time to get the house cleared out - hopefully with some help from Greg. He will need to help get the house cleared out before any painting can be done. I think Cary is having a fantasy on this one. Especially since Greg is frequently gone, working in New Mexico - he's a movie photographer. And when he is in town he has a hard time getting down here because he is doing things around his house. Maybe he will make painting the condo a priority since it's his wife's uncle, but his first priority is always work when he can get it. But he can hardly paint it before I can clear it out.

I am feeling overwhelmed with missing my dad and feeling lost and feeling anxious about that job I still haven't even heard word one about an interview on. How can anyone think someone could resolve significant grief in one cycle of the moon?

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Laura,

People's expectations are a curious thing.  You are wise not to sign any papers until you read them. Take your time and don't get rushed.  Trust that you will get the job you want and enjoy the process of reaching for it.  Life is too short.  "Be anxious for nothing..." (Phil 3:4) We are all praying and hoping the best for you. - Shalom

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3 minutes ago, iPraiseHim said:

Laura,

People's expectations are a curious thing.  You are wise not to sign any papers until you read them. Take your time and don't get rushed.  Trust that you will get the job you want and enjoy the process of reaching for it.  Life is too short.  "Be anxious for nothing..." (Phil 3:4) We are all praying and hoping the best for you. - Shalom

Thanks George. Cary has given me every indication all along that he would work with me on getting all the stuff out by the time of closing, which seemed very nice of him. But today he was really pushing me, which I didn't like very much. I have worked hard over a long time period to make sure that the property went to Cary. Partly that was for my own reasons - because Greg is my friend and because doing it like this may have bought me some more time in which I could finish the school year and finish my classes and finish my work. But for Cary - well he is able to purchase this highly desirable condo in a resort community for about $100K less than a very similar property - same plan - in the same development. And all the condo needs is paint and carpet. He's getting a heck of a deal and I figure he should be nice to me. I'll talk to Greg when I can...I know he's shooting on a movie in Albuquerque today...

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I spent some time with my new neighbor and she told me to not let him push me around or even be worried that he is going to push me around. I don't need it. She's right.

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Your neighbor told you what I would tell you.  You've talked about and agreed to things and they need to stick to that.

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2 hours ago, kayc said:

Your neighbor told you what I would tell you.  You've talked about and agreed to things and they need to stick to that.

Thanks, Kay. You are right. I am finally down to the last days with my dad's house - 23 of them - and I don't have to give them up. All this time has gone by and I have always had all kinds of pressure breathing fire down my neck - the memorial, my sisters, work, the prospect of no work and having to fight for my future ability to work while healing from a head injury. And now it's down to the end.

I remember so clearly after he bought that condo. He bought it in the spring of 2006 and I spent that summer waiting for him and lovingly painting the garage, removing stuff from the walls, picking out colors, prepping, painting, applying sand to the paint on the floor so he wouldn't slip and fall out there. And all the while I fretted that maybe he would never make it out to his new home in the west, even though we talked on the phone a lot - like two or three hours a day. I was really trying to give him a lifeline to survive the loss of his wife, my mother. And out he came. We had a decade together. It seems like last week that I stood out in that lovely garage in an empty condo. But it was ten years and so much happened in that time. And now I have 23 days to finalize my days with his house. The blooming jasmine is perfuming the front and his beloved rosebush is blooming out back - I have eight baby offspring that were propagated from her over the last year in gallon pots...

23 days to finish that phase of grief...I have a few reports to complete in the next week, but other than that I have nothing else I really need to do but focus on his house and what is left. It is my time and I feel rather possessive about all 23 of them and don't want to give a one of them to anyone. Except today. Today I am going up to Flagstaff and play the cello in the woods with my friends. It's one of the two annual campouts for the Flagstaff Friends of Traditional Music, and I'm not up to camping in the cold right now but I'm going to go up for the day and into the evening. And after that I will proceed through my other 22 days in the way that works out for me...then I will have two months to hopefully relax and prepare for my new job. I really really hope they do hire me. The office I would/will work in is already decorated -or partly so - with paintings by my mother, my sister, and me. Someone observed, "It's a family art gallery!" It will be hard if I have to move out instead of continuing to move in. I suppose I'll know soon enough... 

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I talked to the special ed director with the school district where I am trying to get a job, this morning, and asked him about the school psych job - when he might be doing interviews and all that. He said he wouldn't be doing them until after last day of school, which is May 22. He also said "I can't just tell you you have it because I have other people I need to talk to him." Amy the school psych who's position I'm applying for told me on the DL that "other people" means one late applicant - the only other applicant other than myself, a guy from Prescott who has made it clear that he wants a lot more money then they're going to pay, and he apparently is applying for other positions in Prescott and Phoenix, where they do pay considerably more then Cottonwood and Sedona do. Amy also said that it's really late in the school hiring season, and it's very unlikely that they'll get other applicants at this point. Sounds good to me!

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It sounds like he's doing his best to assure you but still staying within the confines of what he has to abide by.  Try not to worry, just envision it! :)

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1 hour ago, kayc said:

It sounds like he's doing his best to assure you but still staying within the confines of what he has to abide by.  Try not to worry, just envision it! :)

That's what it seems like to me. I'm not really pursuing other work or following up on the leads I have for contract work. I've been thinking about my office, what to put on the walls and a clock for my desk...my mini trampoline would fit in there nicely, and maybe  an exercise bike from my dad's garage. Exercise is the best way to wake up your brain, and it only takes a few minutes, whether you are a student taking psychological tests or the school psychologist writing reports and trying to stay focused while working alone all afternoon. My new neighbor is a quilter and serious about sewing; we have been talking about making some wallhangings out of quilting fabrics. The office is really the size of a small classroom. I'm trying to not get carried away until I have a contract in my hand. But I think it's on its way. Yesterday I was sitting here at the table that was my dad's and in my mother's family since the 1830's, writing reports. I had a very strange sense of calm swimming around me. Wouldn't it be amazing to just live like that - focused on doing a great job at my work without an undercurrent of worry and anxiety flowing below somewhere about the future...

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I'd still follow up on the other leads.  If they offer you a job, you can always turn it down when this one materializes, schools have to expect that, this is the nature of the beast.  But to approach this positively without worry seems reasonable, can't hurt! :)

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