The phone rings, and it’s Mom.
“Yeah, so Krystal called, and Cody’s back in the hospital…they think it might be just a matter of days”
“Yeah, so your Dad and I are leaving Friday morning to go down, I think I told you that, but wanted to make sure…we’ll keep you in the loop”
“So, how was your day, honey?”
“Ah, Mom, doesn’t even matter”
….there were a few more words…but they seem to be little more than a buzz…
My cousin is dying.
It’s not fucking fair.
It’s not fucking fair.
I made some cinnamon streusel bread today, needing a little pick-me-up after the last few days of feeling like trash, between being sick and being in a depression.
I actually got a couple of household chores done today, as well, surprisingly, which means my energy is starting to come back, so this is a good thing.
I’ve kind of bottomed out now, though, which is not a shock. I know I need more rest to get well, I just hate this worn-out feeling. I really do.
Anyway, tonight, as I was getting ready to put the loaf of bread in a big ziploc… I suddenly heard in my head –
“Have you tried the bread? It’s good bread…”
In a voice I haven’t heard in years.
Ahhh, the voice of Ren. That infamous Asthma-hound chihuahua.
But, it was his voice as interpreted by one of my beloved Chosen Family. A “little brother” from my past, who loved Ren and Stimpy as much as I did.
And a pang went through my heart.
Because I don’t get to hear his voice anymore. He died a few years ago, taken by an inoperable cancerous brain tumor. He was smart, funny, fiercely protective of those he loved, and he was my friend, Shane.
And I fucking miss him.
And yes, Shane, I tried the bread.
It is good bread, dammit.
In between one heartbeat and the next, everything can change.
Las Vegas has taught us that.
The hurricanes that have been wreaking such devastation this year have taught us that.
All of the tragedies, the deaths of beloved musicians, actors, have taught us that.
I am not going to preach about gun laws, or about politics at all, because that’s not my way.
What I’m going to say is this.
When my Youngerdaughter was born, she was as blue as a smurf, and lucky to take her first breath.
She came into this world with her umbilical cord wrapped around her neck twice, with a granny knot tied in it.
When she was a year & a half old, she fell from her crib & cracked her skull. Again, she was lucky to draw breath through the following night, & to survive.
In college, she survived a car wreck that the police don’t understand how she escaped with only a couple of small scrapes. The car was crushed, she was not.
She graduated from college magna cum laude.
Three times this young woman’s life hung in the balance, and could’ve swung either way.
Everything could’ve changed – between one heartbeat and the next.
I cherish every breath she takes.
Just as I do for each of my children, & each member of my family, both blood & chosen.
I take nothing for granted.
And this is what I say to everyone out there, lighting up the media, both news and social. Instead of screaming opinions (which, let’s be honest, you can’t change someone’s opinion when they’re really set on it, anyway), try to be a part of the change you wish to see.
Here is what I am going to do:
Pray for Peace
Give help where I can, to those I am able.
Vote my conscience
Hope for the best
Work for the rest
Take nothing for granted
Yesterday I worked on my kitchen.
I’ve been tearing it apart for days, preparing to repaint, ripping off wallpaper, scrubbing walls, repairing busted plaster, cleaning up old grease & fuzz (can we all say GREASE FIRE?? Geezus) off the tops of the double oven & cupboards.
And, after 10 hours of painting, cleaning blinds from the windows, moving fridge & stove repeatedly, I ended up with this.
It might not look like much difference, but it really is. It’s now all a soft, dove gray, except right behind the sink, where I’m working today to put the back splash.
Far from finished, but I’m getting to it. There’s a lot more painting to be done. The cabinets will be getting painted as well, but the doors have to be removed, the pulls taken off & replaced. And I’m doing it alone, so it takes time.
And….. I had a phone call yesterday that – fucked me up for a while.
My mom called.
I have such trouble typing this, because I haven’t really let myself deal emotionally with it, yet. And I can’t allow it to take me over right now, either. So I have to push it down, bury it in a box deep in the back of my brain, for now… Until I can think about it without losing my shit.
My mom’s baby brother’s cancer is back.
My Uncle J’s esophageal cancer, which we all thought was in remission. has come back – with a vengeance. It has spread. To lungs, back, bone.
There’s a period at the end of that sentence.
I’m leaving that for now.
My head is so full of pain and rage about this… And I can’t.
I won’t let the pain and rage win.
I’m going back to the kitchen.
It was a tumor causing the paralysis.
I’ll miss you, you little shit.
And I’m sorry we didn’t have more time……
I hate to sleep anymore.
And yet, I crave the black, unconscious depths.
The problem is… The dreaming.
I can’t stand the dreams.
Falling into slumber, I dream of happy times, with someone to love, someone who cares for me, and revels in being with me.
You’d think this would make me happy, right?
But, it doesn’t.
Because…I wake, knowing it’s false.
And I have to go through my day, knowing it’s fake, only imaginary, and the crushing reality of that aches in my chest, drags in my bones, and clogs my throat with tears I can’t allow to pass.
Love passes me by in the night, teasing, mocking, showing me what I long for, but can never grasp.
So, I force myself to exhaustion each night, punishing my body and mind, pushing myself to my limits of endurance, hoping that by the time I hit the bed, I’ll be too worn to dream, too tired to see those visions behind my eyelids.
I walk on my treadmill each night till my legs scream & sweat rolls down my face. Shower, eat the bare minimum to tide myself over til morning, then read til my eyes cross & I can no longer focus on the page.
The last two nights I’ve sat up til 2am…just to push myself to that brink where I knew I would tip over the edge into the abyss, falling into black unconsciousness…not dreaming, just existing in a dreamless hover until the alarm rang 5 hours later.
I don’t remember my dreams from those nights…what a blessing.
I don’t know how long I’ll have to continue this cycle…
But I can’t let myself dream.
I can’t continue to be tormented with things I will never have…
I don’t use real names on the blog, as a courtesy, to protect those I speak about here.
You, however, forfeited any right to my protection when you betrayed my trust and shredded my heart.
So, you are the first person I’ve ever outed on my blog in the, oh…let’s see… 9 years I’ve been writing on it? Hope you feel so proud! What a major accomplishment.
When I asked my coworker to say “hi” to you, I really expected nothing in return. You were so cowardly 4 years ago, when you ran away from our relationship then, I honestly didn’t think you’d bother to respond this time around, so yes, it was a surprise when I got your text.
And yes, I’d forgiven you for what happened back then. Stupid of me, in hindsight, but that’s how I am. I can’t hold grudges, and I forgive people, because I figure that…somehow, I deserve to be treated like crap. I don’t know why, but I do, and always have. Maybe that’s why every relationship turns out the way it does, Because you accept what you think you deserve.
Then, YOU asked ME if I’d be willing to give a relationship between the two of us another chance. YOU started this once again. WHY?? If you were just going to bail out at the first curve in the road, what the fuck were you doing asking for another chance?
You said you wanted to take it slow. I said OK. I said, all I needed, was that you “be honest with me, & don’t shut me out”. You said “Ok, I can do that”.
The first chance you got, you shut me out, told me that your phone broke down, & you weren’t getting texts for 2 days. Yeah…sure, cause you wouldn’t be panicking if you didn’t hear from your kids for two days? Right. Whatever.
But, I gave you space, trying to not be “that girl”, the clingy girlfriend that people snicker about behind their hands. You wanted to take it slow, I was giving you slow & patient.
WHAT THE HELL DID YOU WANT, JOEY??
Did you do this just to break me again, you bastard?
Did you do this just to watch me fall apart?
Did you do this just to see if you still had the power to hurt me?
Well… *clapping hands in slow motion* Good. Fucking. Job. You win, asshole.
You hurt me.
I deserved better than this.
I deserved better than being ghosted, being dumped by someone who asked me for another chance.
I would have given you everything I had, my love, my patience, my empathy, my understanding, my compassion. You have no idea what you gave up, because you have no fucking clue who I am anymore.
And you’ve given up any rights to ever get to know me, ever again.
You took all of that…and ran away & hid. For what fucking reason this time, I’ll probably never know.
And now…I no longer care.
I’ve buried your name, buried our relationship, and buried any future there might have been.
This is the last time you will appear here or anywhere in my life.
You are dead…and I bury the dead, Joey.
I had a rough time last night.
Drank too much.
Cried – way too much.
Probably talked too much.
Spoke to an old friend, someone who was kind enough to take pity on drunk & crying me, who talked me down from my emotional ledge.
Something we discussed stuck with me.
He asked me what I was going to do today.
I replied “Recover”.
He asked what I meant by that, and I answered that when shit like this happens to me…I bounce.
And then I had to correct myself.
“Well, after all the shit I’ve been through, I guess I don’t really bounce anymore…I just bury it, and move on.”
He asked why I bury it, why I don’t just let it go?
“Because I bury the dead. And if I let it go, I don’t learn from it, and it happens again.”
Then I laughed at myself, and said it didn’t really matter what I did, because it always happens again, anyway.
Every time I open up and trust someone with my heart, I end up with a knife in it.
But, after thinking about it for a while, I did realize something.
I can’t let these things go. Because when I let go of the hurt, and the wrong done to me… That’s when I forgive them. And they get another chance.
That’s what happened with J.
And look what he did with his forgiveness.
I’m too trusting, too forgiving, too nice…and I find it impossible to hold a grudge. But when someone crosses a unforgivable line with me, I can cut them off like split ends and they cease to exist in my life.
Just ask my brother.
I won’t let it go.
I won’t forgive.
I will never forget.
And he will never be allowed another chance to hurt me, ever again.
This is why I bury the dead.
Well…that seems to be the end of that.
Another one bites the dust.
Silently, disappearing, once again.
He chose to do the one thing guaranteed to hurt me, and shut me out. Left me in the dark, in the dust, and vanished.
He had borrowed a DVD set from me, however, so I drove to his house today while he was at work, and asked his daughter for it. She was nice enough to hand it to me, even checked to make sure all the discs were there, and I thanked her and left.
Since he refused to answer my texts, I figured he didn’t want to see me, either, so this way…now he doesn’t have to, and I have my property back with no fuss.
Yes, it hurts.
So, tonight…I drink.
To forget, for a little while, that I was stupid enough to trust, once again.
I’ve been told before that I’m Too nice. Too forgiving. Too trusting.
Maybe I need to learn how to be a bitch.
Maybe I need to become hard, stop caring. Stop feeling. Turn off my heart.
Can someone teach me how to stop being Too?