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Hello After Awhile

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Hello everyone ....

I don't remember when I wrote last. It's been a little while ....

Tonight my son left for Athens. Or so I think he's left. He's been crazy/busy with finishing up his master's degree at Harvard, and it's been a difficult year ... with Jared losing a roommate due to an accidental drug overdose (they'd only just met), and then losing my dad in December ... and my mom, the March before that.

My dad donated his body to the university medical school, and last weekend they had a memorial service for families of donors .... Dad didn't want a funeral (and didn't have one), so ... other than holding his hand after he passed ... and spending time with his body, walking out of the care facility when Dad was wheeled away ... and then spending time in grief and in wonder ... this is the closest I've been able to get to "him" ... whatever remnant of his spirit might have been roaming about the room with the other families gathered for the 74 individuals who gave their bodies to science ....

I feel so cast adrift myself. Roaming without anchor. No mother ... no father. No time, apparently for my son to call before a period of time so very far away.

It's funny when your children are grown and gone, I suppose a parent never loses that nagging sense that at some point they're going to come "home" again, when really -- although I have so many of his belongings here ... shirts hanging in the closet, even more so -- toys and books and bags and boxes and more piled up behind me in the "computer room/office" that has always masqueraded as Jared's room. The "even more so" relates to the truck-load (and truck-loads) of belongings that were moved here after we had to vacate my parents' estate ....

The piano awaits.

Was I out of my mind? Where am I going to fit a piano?

I've had to rent an extra storage unit, and my garage is unusable (because it's also stuffed with "things"). I've been so busy with school -- and, yes, for "long time" readers who might remember when -- during the bereavement phase ... just just a little over four months ago, until now -- I've been worn out and tested. My principal actually suggested I "watch the postings" for another job (somewhere else), and the assistant principal, is planning a "formal observation" on Tuesday. (Even though this isn't an evaluation year for me and I'm tenured.)

I feel ... almost ... chewed up and spit out. I work all weekend long ... and long, long days during the weeks ....

I've signed up to teach summer school, to give me the needed opportunity to work with English Language Learners so ... potentially ... I can complete my research and finish up that master's degree ....

I feel so worn out, and so unloved, actually. It's not quite the right word. Alone. My phone does not ring. I don't have any friends. I've lost all momentum to get to the fitness center, and ... sometimes ... it's just so very difficult to get out of bed.

When there is no one to call. No mom. No dad. When there is no one to stop in and visit with. When there is just ... such ... an ... absence of contact with any loving someone ... and even your child has disappeared, no time to call. It's just tough.

I think this time of coming May ... the start of green and budding things ... is especially hard. I'm a former horsewoman, and always watched the Kentucky Derby with my dad .... That was always the start of a busy gardening season with mom, putting those good old stall-mucking muscles to work hauling dirt and fashioning stones ... digging up hostas ... and ... just hauling things around this way and that.

I'm so glad I took Dad's shovels, and ... I hope ... I hope I can find time ... soon ... to start digging in the garden out in back of my condo.

So busy. So overworked. So stressed, and alone.

Grateful for your company here,


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As I read your post an idea popped into my head. I know you certainly don't need more on your "to do" list...but, when you mentioned you were a former horsewoman I started thinking....I volunteer at a theraputic riding program. This program provides riding lessons for children/adults with disabilities. Its such a great program, I have been amazed at how much all the volunteers look forward to their lesson nights. If there was a similar program near you it might be something to thnk about...you could get a horse "fix", meet some wonderful people, get a some exercise and give your time to some really great kids. Its a great reason to put your shoes on and get out of the house for a couple of hours. Just an idea.

I used to watch the Derby with my dad too, its just not the same. Take care of yourself.

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Thank you, Annie, that's a nice reminder. We also have a therapeutic riding program near where I live, and I've contacted them previously (by letter and phone). Silly doofs! I have run such programs myself, and have two degrees with the British Horse Society. Perhaps my desire to not only help, but to ride ... threw them off.

Let me try again. Great idea!

Appreciate your writing ....


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Hi Annie ~

Well ... I had to "google" the British Horse Society to learn it's an organization that functions as a charity ... that ... "works tirelessly for every horse and rider throughout the regions of the UK. Focusing on horse welfare, horse and rider safety, access and rights of way, training (register of instructors) and approving livery yards and riding schools."


When I was growing up, there was a movie called "The Horsemasters," and being a horse-enthusiast ... I loved it. The movie was based on a school similar to the one I attended. Working with "sport horses" today ... hunters and jumpers, etc. -- there are many schools in the U.S. that offer accredited training programs for those who wish to work in the industry ... but back in the 1970s, the B.H.S. was the most impressive for aspiring equestrians ....

Are you a rider?

* * * * *

On to more ... depressing things ...

The reason my son didn't call before leaving the U.S. is because he was working against the clock, trying to finish school work, return library books, clean out his apartment, etc., and ultimately, ended up missing his flight and was absolutely "fried" by the time we talked.

I think all is well now .... As well as it can be. He should be in London by now, and ... meeting up with colleagues ... should be leaving for Thessaloniki in the morning.

In the meantime, I am so lonely!

There's no one to call .... My son is gone. My parents are both gone. I called their phone today ... just for the novelty of pressing "Mom and Dad" on my speed dial ... but the number's been disconnected, and ... driving around today, running errands -- there's no one to visit. There's no "home" to return to.

I'm so busy with my work as a teacher ... it is just ... insane, actually ... so, while I was looking at local book clubs today (and entertaining your idea about volunteering with riding programs for the disabled, etc.), I am really ... too ... busy.

This is a very difficult profession (for me), and were things different (a better economy, were I younger, etc.), I would look for another line of work. Working with youngsters (on horseback or in desks) has certain similarities ... but I'm having problems with organizational skills, and ALL of the subjects and things required for teaching (or handling) ... reading ... writing ... math ... science ... social studies ... field trips ... our upcoming carnival ... test scores ... book clubs, etc., dealing with parents, dealing with issues of truancy, following up on other matters too lengthy to note: It's just too much.

So ... I could blab further about that, but -- more to the point -- I just feel so sad.

I've been listening to and reading the Esther and Jerry Hicks (channeled) teachings about "emotions" being a sort of "message" from our bodies ... (hearts, minds, soul) ... relative to our degree of alignment with True Self ... and that we can ... ultimately ... change the experiences we manufacture and attract, by paying attention to how we're feeling (and making adjustments), but: It's easier said than done.

On top of that, I'm a child sex-abuse survivor. I casually mentioned this to a coworker the other day (who responded, "I'm a survivor, too ..."), which has led me to wonder --

((( why have I emerged from a past such as this ... so "damaged?" )))

Do you know what I mean?

I always thought my (choose any combination) ... anxiety/fatigue/experiences of failure, etc. -- were somehow rooted to the traumatic events of childhood. But this woman I was speaking to is a rip-roaring success -- and although we're a similar age, and entered the field of education with a background in other areas (and have both taught for the same amount of time ... roughly) ... we're experiencing really different levels of value and appreciation in the workplace .... (my principal recently told me, if I want to look for English language learners, I should look for another job, even though this has been my area of study in graduate school, I'm certified to teach ESL, we have an ESL cluster at my grade level, and I need this experience to complete my master's degree and advance professionally and personally).

That makes me feel badly, too. Obviously.

I visited my parents' gravesite today. My dad donated his body to science, so his remains aren't there yet .... but ... whether here or there, I guess, I can always "visit" with them at the cemetery ... in the meantime ...

Life is just hard right now.

It is hard to believe, I am active and fun-loving ... I love to laugh ... and I *believe* I'm a good friend ... but that I am -- essentially -- friendless.

It's just appalling, actually.

This resulted, in part, with my becoming pregnant, deciding to leave an established social network in NY, etc., because I wanted to raise my child with family in the Midwest. Given the nature of being a single mom, and the fact that it took some time to get "on my feet" my son and I ended up living with my parents ... and then staying with my parents (as they required more care, and I worked on that college degree) ... I didn't have opportunity for making connections with same- or similar-aged peers living in their neighborhood ... (And I didn't date, socialize, hang out, or do much of anything at all in the 18 years it took to raise my son -- but focus on him ... and then focus on my parents.)

It's hard to make friends in the "middle years," or so it's been for me. I'm just too darn busy, too stressed, and so ... overwhelmed ... in so many ways.

I am grateful for this place here ... for healing and conversation ...

I'm sorry if my issues are more broad than what we might usually find here, but that's my story.

Next weekend will be my first birthday without Dad. I lost my mom in March of last year, and my dad didn't really remember my birthday last year -- and I don't really care about "celebrating me" of all things -- but like all of us here -- it's just a bit of a challenge not having a sense of family. There is no one to return to. Nothing to look forward to, and nowhere to go.


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Good to hear from you. I was wondering how you were faring.

Such a hard time. I can so identify with what you wrote. It is a lonely - alone- feeling I have alot too. Seems almost unbelievable to feel it.. yet I do... can't deny it. And I have two kids in this house and a husband... yet.. still it is there... nagging me.

The most phone calls I get are automated ones from people running for office! It is odd. But I figure maybe that's what my life is like right now for a reason. Don't know what it is... but that's how I am trying to accept it.

The "no home" feeling for me isn't quite as intense as it used to be. I still feel it... it just has turned into an dull ache instead of acute pain. These four walls are my home I know.. but it took me some time to say "Goodbye" to my family home in my mind and heart. ANd I doubt I'm done saying that goodbye yet. But it IS better than it was if that gives you any hope. For you it IS different because son is away and really... an adult now. So you have empty nest on top of all of the grief. That is NOT easy. You must be so proud of him though. So bittersweet huh?

School... hopefully your formal observation went well yesterday. All you can do is your best. Stay in the day and try hard not worry about tomorrow. All of the organizational issues are so familiar.... I think that is just part & parcel of grief. And hopefully over time those issues will wane off some. I still have a tendency to write everything down.. it just helps me keep somewhat of a grip. And it gives me the 'illusion' of true organization anyway. LOL But heck.. it works! So I will continue to write everything down and make lists and cross things off etc..

I'm glad you can do the summer school and maybe finish your Masters! That would be awesome. And hopefully it will allow you some time to get through some of the stored stuff as well. I know that is weighing on your mind. But all things in good time. You'll get to it.... have some faith in yourself. And... keep an eye on what you already have accomplished! (Look at all you have crossed off on your various To Do lists.)

I would try not to compare yourself to others though. I know your co-worker experienced something similiar to you in the abuse dept. but that doesn't mean you two will be the same. Everyone reacts differently to certain traumas and our journeys are all different. But if you think she has it all together.... ask her how she accomplished that. Maybe she has some ideas for ya or maybe... appearances are deceiving and she is not as put together as she seems. Ya never know... she could help you or maybe you may end up helping her! In any event it is something you have in common and maybe can be a bridge to fostering a relationship outside of school. Take time out to invite her to have a coffee or something after school one day maybe.

One day once you are dwindling down on the To Do list you can pursue the riding instructions or other maybe riding for yourself! It can happen! Just takes some time is all.

In the meantime....

I'm so glad you dropped in to let us know how you are. And please make a habit of it! :) Together we can combat some of that lonliness and help each other along.



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