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feralfae

Hi. It's me again. I recently lost my mother.

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Precious memories...

I shared a memory of Aunt Mimi with my sister Polly recently...Mimi died when I was little, we heard differing stories of how (murder, suicide, illness, never did learn how, she was in London when it happened, I don't even know her married name)...Polly doesn't remember her so I feel lucky, Polly is 6 1/2 years older than me so it's surprising I have the memory.

I have one recipe of my mom's.  She had a cookbook she kept all her collected recipes in, it disappeared, we never knew what happened to it, we would have like it.  Her Swedish meatballs gone forever.

I like that your faith includes times of quiet, something lacking too much in our world.  Merry Christmas, dear one!

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Everyone is gone as of yesterday. Friends, godchildren, so many people in and out. Now I am decorating the torte for the birthday party tomorrow afternoon. I must get up early, drop everything for the birthday at a friend's home where the party will be, then drive to Missoula to see the surgeon who is going to repair my inguinal hernia (from lifting a 50# box of clay!) and schedule the surgery for soon, but not tomorrow. Then I drive back for the party, which is on the other side of town, so I will save an hour by dropping things off on my way over.  

It has been lovely to have Christmas company. I showed some of them the little cards my mother had saved all these years. I used to always see her in my mind wandering around, sort of lost and confused. But now that I saw her happy and enjoying where she was, I am really comforted that she is okay, lucid, functioning well, enjoying each day.  

I have often wondered what my life would be like had she been normal, but then I realize that this is my life, and all the pieces of it go into making up who I am, and my mother gave me many talents and gifts, not only from her, but from her blood line. So, this coming year, I am hoping I can focus more on the good memories and the good gifts from her.  I think she is healed now. 

Happy New Year, everyone.  May all our days be blessed. *<twinkles>*

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I have wondered the same things but I realize all that I have been through has shaped and molded me into who I am.  I cannot wish away what happened in my early life, even though I recognize that some things were not acceptable in a parent, but by now I can see where it all tied in to add to my responses in life...for without these childhood experiences I would not be who I am and would not have learned and grown into the adult I am.  And it's good to forgive and accept who they are and releasing to know that while their lives were not entirely wonderful, they are, as you say, now healed and everything is okay now.

Wishing you well with your impending surgery!

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Kay, I have a reprieve from surgery.  The surgeon, who is a kindly chap, had reviewed my medical history and said we would wait a few months for any procedures so my body could heal from all that was done in 2019. Thank you for the well wishing, dear one.

Yes, we are who we are and I think that is fine. Each person is unique and a result of their own intentions and of their lives. When I look back, I can see how fortunate I was to have my Grandmother and Dad, and I know my mother would have done better if she could have. She loved teaching, but sometimes would get very confused with her students.  She never got tenure because she was not able to be reliable over time. You are right that we find a way to make peace with the parts of our past which need healing, and to let people go when it is time to shift our lives. 

I have this feeling that 2020 is going to bring more changes to my life, and I am working to understand Mother better, to be more at peace with her inability to care for her children, and to have sympathy and understanding for her, and for her own past which left her so confused and afraid. That she kept the little cards I made for her when she was first committed to a hospital really touched me.  I had no idea she ever even looked at them. Reading the notes in her books, seeing the things she saved, is giving me a different view of her thoughts and actions. That in itself is healing for me. Thank you for your insightful words. 

Happy New Year and Much love, *<twinkles>*

Edited by feralfae
typo
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I am thankful for the wonderful compassionate people here. Thank you for the understanding. I have no visitors coming today, and I don't have any visits to make. I picked up one of the math books in which my mother made a lot of notes. In some ways, I am getting to know her in a new way through reading her notes. I think she used her classroom as a distraction from her own fears. There are many notes in text books about making sure doors are locked, not being last to leave the building. She really did live in fear.  I think, from her notes, that she was never actually treated for her PTSD.  I know they tried different medications when she was hospitalized. But I don't think they used any of the diagnostic and treatment tools we have now. She really tried so hard to be "normal" and to do the right thing.  But I think a lot of people could not understand her because they did not know her history.  I think my Dad understood her and I know he took care of her all her life, even after they were separated and later divorced. Dad was still there for her. 

Yesterday, our dear friend Richard, who was David's best man at our wedding, a man who had gone to Colgate with David, and a friend of his for 60+ years, passed away. They had been at the same prep school for a year as well.  They were in the same college fraternity. David was best man at Richard's wedding.  I was just a guest at that one. :)  All around me, it seems people I have known for many years are leaving. I know it is that time of life. So this is more grief added to the grief for my mother, who I wish I had been able to know better. It is a good quiet Sunday to remember family and friends who are gone, at the beginning of this new year and new decade. I am going to let myself have the day to be sad, to remember, and to release some of the sadness. *<twinkles>*

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It's true, the older we get, the more losses we seem to accumulate, at least I have.  I'm very sorry for this one more loss. :(

 

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Yes, Kay, I guess I am just feeling all these losses especially right now. I have what is probably the last box of Mother's books. I am not going to open it right now, because I am busy helping to plan the memorial service for Richard. His (second) wife does not have a lot of his early history, so I am helping to fill in some of the gaps. Also helping with lists of people who need to be notified. The memorial service for Richard is in 18 days, on the 26th, a Sunday. In February, one of my goddaughters is coming up to help me with sorting more of Doug's things for the godsons. All in all, yes, it does feel just like too much loss and reminders of loss right now. I know I will work through all of this, some of it will recycle yet again, and there will be more grief.  I am trying to find enough joy and laughter in life to keep a balance. Have a wonderful rest of the week, dear one.  *<twinkles>*

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My Kitty was laid to rest Monday...she lived 25 years and I know that's a good long life, but the first 11+ years of her life were awful, and I got the rest with her.  I'll write my memories with her when I'm up to it.  Right now it's snowing every day as far as they can predict so will be home a lot, shoveling.

It will be good to have your goddaughter with you.  I had my daughter up on Christmas, I don't know when I'll see her again, but probably not until winter is past.  Grief is tiring, isn't it?!

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Kay, I am so very sorry you lost your dear Kitty. 25 years is a good long life, but I know you will miss her presence in the house. I visited a friend who is a shut-in yesterday to take her groceries to her, and she has one cat who is her constant companion. I am glad you have Kodie there with you for company. We have snow and winter is definitely here, as it is 3˚F this morning. I hope you are staying cozy and don't have too much snow to shovel.  I am going to open the last box of Mother's books later.  My cousin said there are still lots of papers and notebooks to sort, so I may have more things coming. She found some poems Mother wrote.  I did not know she wrote poetry. Meanwhile, I am gathering photos of Richard that I have, so we can have a "photo wall" at the memorial service. Too many losses. Sorry this is so rambling. *<twinkles>*

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We're supposed to get hammered with snow this weekend and lasting as far as they can see.  May not go anywhere for a while.  I pray the electricity stays on so I at least have water and communication.  I remember how isolating the storm was last year, that was hard.

You will be busy going through your mom's writings.  I have nothing like that from my mom.  Enjoy!  I hope you can have a warm drink and relax.

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6 hours ago, kayc said:

We're supposed to get hammered with snow this weekend and lasting as far as they can see.  May not go anywhere for a while.  I pray the electricity stays on so I at least have water and communication.  I remember how isolating the storm was last year, that was hard.

  I hope you can have a warm drink and relax.

kayc:  Am dreading the weather forecast for us here on the west side of the mountains.  They are predicting snow on Monday which is going to mess up a vet appointment for my Maddie.  I don't drive in snow EVER.  Was talking to my daughter this evening who had to drive from Eugene to Roseburg today and she said it was dumping rain all the way so I would not be surprised if you were getting snow today.  I agree, do not want to relive last year's snow problems.

If I lose power I might have to find a few warm drinks to get me through the night.

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I just read that we're going to get FEET in the next few days, I am not looking forward to this.  To all the silly people that get excited about it, come shovel my driveway!

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Oh Kay, that is too much snow.  We are expecting two or three days of snow, which I imagine is your snow heading toward us. 

I am trying to decide if I have the energy to fly out for Richard's memorial service. I sent the photos to his wife via FedEx.  

I opened the box of books this morning.  On top was one of my own books: Smithsonian Ethnology Bulletin #30, Volume 1, published in 1912, a survey of Indians of North America. I have no idea when I might have left it with Mother. Probably while I was still at NU.  I thought I'd left it with other books at NU thirty years ago. I am so very happy to have it back. There are some good math books in the box as well.  More notes and marginal notes to read. 

I hope you have enough heat and that you and Kodie can stay in.  Be cozy, and stay warm. I must call the plow guy today to get on his plowing schedule, and I have another load of firewood coming just in case we lose all power. The clouds are dark and heavy this morning, and there is a brisk wind.  I imagine the weather is the same, but sooner, where you are.  We get your storms a couple days after you, I think.  *<twinkles>*

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I've got a warm fire going and Kodie is happily playing, having just done his business outside.  Today will be the last decent day I have for a long while (decent being debatable, as it's snowing/raining but at least not piling up).  I do not look forward to the next week and beyond, I won't be able to get out and get groceries.  It'll be a little harder this time as I'm on Keto (low carbd) so no breads, which are easy in the event of an emergency, but I'll get by somehow.  I fixed some cauliflower rice this morning with red bell pepper, tomato, kale, mushroom, and sausage, that'll take care of 2-3 days. ;)

I'm so glad you got your books after all these years!  My math, I'm ashamed, which I once LOVED, I remember only what I used and the rest...gone with the wind, I'm afraid!

Here's my forecast, it'll be a lot of shoveling (last year they underpredicted greatly so now I no longer trust them) https://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php?lat=43.80009302166679&lon=-122.41395950317383&site=pqr&smap=1&marine=0&unit=0&lg=en#.VZ5xPflVhBc

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Oh, gosh Kay!  Thank you for the weather report.  It does sound daunting. Yikes!   At least it isn't all in one day, but that is a lot of snow to shovel in a very few days.

Sorting through papers, feeling I am getting to know my mother better than I ever did growing up. I imagine the years of distance, and knowing she is free and happy now, out of pain and fear, is a huge relief and also makes it all right to love her now. Amazing cycles of grief. Stay cozy! *<twinkles>*

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My older daughter called last evening about Mother's things and also about the property in the estate—lots of land. I think we got all that straightened out, but I found out my older godson is not doing well.  But also, she suggested that maybe we should go on a cruise this spring, take my grandsons, and she and her husband would host the entire adventure. I am going to stay on my own healing path, and see how I am doing by the first day of spring. 

Meanwhile, I am sorting papers and books from Mother, and also vowing to keep clearing my own things so that my life will be simpler and my estate smaller when I go.  But I hope to live a lot longer, and to enjoy life more each year. It has taken eight years to come out of grief this far, and I know I still have a ways to go. Sorting books and papers has been a distraction from my loneliness, and I am very thankful for my dear girlfriends here as well as my Sunday meeting.  I think Mother was far more isolated, especially when she lived in the middle of the huge home place, miles from anyone. I am making an effort to be more social and to have more human contact, but it is not easy, and I hope once I get through all this sorting of papers and books, I will be more determined to do more volunteer work when I am not out in the field doing research. 

I hope everyone has a good week.  Kay, you take it easy with the shoveling.  Gwen, I am keeping you in prayer to be well and recovered and feeling better. Much love to all, *<twinkles>*

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Got an inch last night, took me an hour to shovel it, I have a lot of driveway, ramp, paths to do, but with it got all the fir needles out of the driveway.  ;)  Supposed to get 3" today so that'll be more to do later on.

A cruise sounds wonderful, I've never been on one but you never know.  The ladies in the church are going to do a garage sale come Spring so I'll get rid of some things then.  Winter time I focus on survival. 

I'm sorry about your god-son, I hope his health begins to look up soon.

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Yes, I think we got half an inch.  It is -3˚F outside right now.  i"ve yet to build a fire, but my dear young friend delivered another cord of firewood yesterday, then we sat around and talked about Doug for two hours. He and Doug had fished together a couple of times, and now his friend occasionally beings fresh fish and huckleberries to me, as well as my firewood.  I pay him for the delivered firewood of course. But I don't stoke the stove at night: then the house heat takes over. 

It is my older grandson, who has been running his own lab. He is not doing well at all. He had not even told his parents about the armed robbery at his office, nor about him being shot in the leg during the robbery.  The police have not caught the robber(s). My grandson may limp the rest of this life. I think he is deciding to go back on campus to do his research, even if the pay is about half what he was making. It will be a lot safer. Three labs were robbed the same day in the same research park. I am upset and concerned and very worried about his emotional state right now. I'll be talking with him again today, I hope. Meanwhile, I am still sorting things, although today I plan to make ghee, clean the upper level, and then make a grocery run for a shut-in friend. It is truly cold outside this morning. Kay, I hope you are staying warm. Gwen, I am sending all good thoughts your way, and will be in touch later today.  *<twinkles>*

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It's not yet noon and working on the 5th inch of snow, more than predicted today.

I am so sorry about your grandson, that's horrible.  I hope they catch whoever it is so they will stop robbing labs.

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Yes, it was terrible.  They wanted the women's purses and the men's wallets, not any of the lab stuff. They were just robbing peaceful people who work in a quiet setting with not much to rob except the people. It is really awful.  (Probably) the same robbers hit a medical lab that processes specimens last week, in the research park about a half mile away, and took all the wallets and purses of the workers from their lockers and desks. Really scary. My grandson tried to protect the women who worked for him. That is when he got shot in the leg. He is totally traumatized. So glad they did not do worse. I can see the snow falling over on the Divide, but it is not due here for another couple of hours. You take care and pace yourself with the shoveling.  Maybe shovel for 15 minutes then come in for cocoa or hot tea, and relax for a little while. Then go back out. I've been stacking firewood this morning and re-arranging my bedroom (finally!) after all these years of not wanting to change things around. But I am obviously taking a break right now for a little while, just to rest.  You be sure to take it easy as you shovel. *<twinkles>*

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I usually do 1/2 hour on, 1/2 hour off.  Just came in again.  It's snowed 7" today, way more than originally predicted.  I'm hoping that'll mean less snowfall for tomorrow?!  :D

About to take Kodie out for his poop/pee break.  ;)

Stacking firewood is also a lot of work.  I got a lot in yesterday in case I couldn't traverse it this week.  Be careful!  Suggestions of a hot drink sounds good!

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Kay, I just was closing down for the night, and saw the weather report for your area.  Can you call someone to come plow if it gets to be too much for you? They are forecasting a lot more snow your way.  We are forecasted for a bit less. I am going to try to keep up with it, but will call the plow guy if it gets too deep. You take it as easy as you can. 

I realized this afternoon that I am back to my old habit of engaging in lots of physical activity when something is weighing on my mind, as my grandson's situation is. My bedroom is rearranged and spotless and sparkling. But I am not carrying any worry. I am just going to keep praying about this, and ask G*d for a leading. It always works.  Have a good night of cozy sleep. There will be plenty of time tomorrow for us to face the snow. :)   *<twinkles>*

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We got 15" yesterday, more last night, I can't shovel it all.  I don't have anyone to call, no.  We got no mail or UPS yesterday.  The elec. went out at 2 am so I put all the food in coolers outside.  4 am it came back on.  I am very tired.  I had no t.v. either last night, haven't tried it today, the sky is thick with snowclouds.  Supposed to get more.  Slept four hours after shoveling all day.

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I guess you will be doing the same thing I do when the snow gets too deep.  I live off of the gravel county road by half a mile, and our little private road sometimes get plowed, and sometimes not.  I grew up where we sometimes could not get out for a couple of weeks and power would go out for days and days.  Now it is not that tough, but your situation sounds tough. I usually wait to put things in coolers and outside for 24 hours or so, but don't open the refrigerator or freezer during that time if I can help it. But I know it is a worry. I am amazed you still have energy to type!

Please take good care of yourself, and rest when you can.  We got a bit more snow last night, looks like about an inch.  I'll shovel later.  I must go into town to pick up medication for my neighbor, who no longer drives and her son and his family are on vacation until the 27th in Mexico. Her husband has had another heart episode, and so we are happy he is not trying to do much.

I am mostly wandering around thinking about my darling Sterling. He is back in the hospital with an infection in the leg. To have such a safe and sane job in such a safe place, and still get shot is simply beyond me. He is like your son—sort of a nerdy kid, and not much of a thinker outside of this field of research (researching anti-cancer agents from natural plants) so all this is pretty crazy for him.

But you take care and don't try to do more than you can. I imaging Kodie is having a ball in the snow. Stay warm and cozy, and do only what you can.  That is what I am doing today. Now I want to get to the pharmacy...  *<twinkles>*

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