January 29, 2012

Friends and bloody gloves


I went to bed last night praying that today would be a better day.  As the baby began tossing and turning and waking up too early this morning, I continued the prayers, a little more frantically.  Nobody is crying, nobody is fighting, everyone seems cheerful and playful this morning.  Of course we haven’t really gotten out of bed yet, but I’m an optimist.   

I’m thinking a lot today about my friends.  About how blessed I am to have certain people in my life.  Like Jane and Mary Clair who came here yesterday to rescue me, on a beautiful Saturday, when surely there were more exciting and wonderful things to do than dig through the mountains of Dave’s chaotic mess of receipts.  My elementary and high school friends are still rescuing me, and I’m so thankful. 

It struck me yesterday that we are still so high school.  In high school, we thought that talking about somebody the minute they turned the corner meant gossiping. But I laugh because we do it now in such a non-judgmental way.  We want to protect one another at all costs…. “Girl, ya hurd what she said…” and “Girl, ya think that’s ok?  What she said?”  “Girl, I’m worried about what she said”  If you have some girls in your life who talk about you in hushed and worried tones the minute you turn the corner, you are doing good. 

Like the girls who befriended me in Panama City Beach 20 years ago.  The ones who heard what happened, and immediately packed their suitcases and just drove here.  The ones who actually volunteered to drive with an armed robber to the ATM in my place because I refused to leave my kids.  Really.  And my ‘muthas’  here in the neighborhood.  The ones who cried and prayed and made a tight circle around us and truly did everything I couldn’t do everyday for so many days, and are still doing it.  The ones who rescue us repeatedly when I literally can’t be in two places at once.  And especially my sister, and my niece.  The ones who live 50 steps from my door, the ones who run over barefoot when I call and scream “I.JUST.CAN’T.TAKE.IT.ANYMORE.I.JUST.CAN’T.DO.THIS.”  They are the ones I can tell anything to, be really freaky with. 

My niece and I found ourselves in the garage last night looking for paint.  Suddenly I blurted out, “I found some bloody gloves!”  I found them months ago.  A girl loves a clue, right?  I found the mother of all clues one desperate day, laying down on the cold and dirty garage floor and looking under Dave’s work benches.  I pulled them out and realized immediately the bloody latex gloves must have been tossed aside and lost by either the EMS people or whoever cleaned the garage.  Prior to this, I could not even find a piece of hair.  Nothing.  Once big darling and I found a piece on the collar of a soccer fleece, but I dropped it, and we never found it again.  Why can’t we find hair?  It doesn’t matter, because I have the motherload now.  I have his blood.  On some gloves.  I will die with those gloves.  You can bury me with them.  I don’t look at them a lot, I don’t take them out.  But I know they’re there.   

My niece stooped down low and pointed to a tiny spot on the wall.  “I found a splatter of blood” she said.  Just knowing that when she finds herself in the garage she wastes most of her time looking for a clue makes me feel so much better.  So much more normal.  Why do we do this I ask her?  We have to verify he really existed, she says.

January 28, 2012

Snap


A wise woman once said, “A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle.”  Admittedly, having a husband is a want…it’s not a need.   I still want one.  I still want the one I had…warts and all.  The problem is that having a daddy is not a want if you are a 10 year old boy.  It’s a need.  The first soccer game of the season was today.  As the game ended and I began gathering our things and trying to find all my kids, I couldn’t catch sight of the biggest darling.  A few moments later I realized he was standing mid-field with his coach, head and shoulders slung so low I wondered if it was actually hurting his neck.  He sulked off the field slowly and arrived to the sidelines in tears.  What’s wrong I ask.  “I miss Daddy” he cries.  The pain I feel in these moments is so intense; it literally takes my breath away.  I feel like I’m being stabbed in the heart.  My head spins and my stomach tightens and my throat closes up.  The most horrible thing about feeling the grief of my kids is that I can’t make it better.  There is nothing, and I mean NOTHING that I can do to help them.  It’s such a defenseless, helpless, frustrating feeling, and so often lately it leaves me so seething mad.  Truly if I could kill Dave all over again, I would do it daily.  My boys don’t have a daddy.  And I don’t know what to do.  How dare he?!  And to our babies.  The babies he embraced the very moment they entered the world.  The babies born and placed naked right on my chest. The babies we greeted one by one with awe and smiles and tears of joy.  The babies who assured us with their most innocent and pure souls that there is indeed a God and He is so awesome.  As they each had their birthday this year, I thought about how happy we were at the birth of each child.  How gentle Dave is with a newborn.  How much he loved his babies.  How wonderful he treated me and how helpful he was.  I don’t understand how life goes so wrong.  I see newlyweds and young families, sometimes gazing into each others’ eyes and looking so hopeful…and it never fails that my reaction is always the same now. I say silently in my head “Please don’t kill yourself.”  Please don’t do what he did.  The reaction surprises me every time.  That this is what I actually think when I see a cute couple or a cute little family.  I was once there…and now I’m here.  I went from there to here so fast it seems….One minute all is well, God is good, your family is intact.  In a millisecond, it changes.  In the time it takes to snap your finger.  Surviving the change never ends.  It goes on forever.  There isn’t a finger snap;  just this long journey, full of pain, full of anguish, full of heartache, full of little boys missing their daddy.  Emotions of every kind and every color, so intense, so raw, so real and so frightening.


January 27, 2012

People of Walmart


I’m so disgusted with the world and myself right now.  I would cry but I don’t feel like having mascara all over my face.  The baby and I just left Walmart.  First of all, Walmart sucks.  There are 3 complete aisles of pet food/toys/snacks.  Really.  A whole complete aisle with nothing but candy on both sides.  Every kind you could think of.  However, they no longer carry most of the natural/organic pop tarts, granola bars, half and half, and milk that I buy.  People of walmart.com, you really need 3 aisles of pet food and a whole aisle of candy, but you can’t carry one little tiny shelf with a few healthy alternatives?  I have a niece who hasn’t stepped foot in Walmart in years.  I’m so hugely impressed with that.  So, I don’t think I’m going to Walmart anymore.  It’s too far away, It’s not convenient, it takes too long to shop there, and the people are too weird.  Leaving there I am sitting at a red light, which turns green, and the car in front of me does not go.  She doesn’t go because someone is making a u-turn illegally on a red light in the other lane.  I see this, but the car behind me does not, and he toots his horn.  Just a millisecond…just sort of a “hey, light’s green” toot.  She immediately flips me off, then takes off screeching her tires.  Gheez, I think, this woman is a nutjob.  Who gets that angry over a nanosecond of a horn toot?  Now we’re on Veterans and I’m behind her, and this lunatic LOCKS.IT.UP. in the middle of the highway!!! OMG!!! She is trying to kill me.  I’m just shaking my head…’cause this is EXACTLY what is WRONG with this HELL HOLE OF A WORLD.  At the next red light, I roll down my window because I am a complete idiot and I used to be sort of a ‘fighter’ and maybe there are still some remnants of that in me.  What possible words can be said to make this ok?  I know full well she is going to curse me and be disgusting, but I do it anyway.  I roll the window down.  I say what is your problem weirdo?  She starts ranting about the car making the u-turn.  But I can’t even hear her really, because all I can think is that this really isn’t about a car making a u-turn.  No…not at all.  This is about you being crazy and miserable and hateful and disgusting.  But at the same time, I’m realizing that I’m crazy and miserable and hateful and disgusting too.  And then, as she started to curse at me and be rude, I blurted out…Is it because you weigh 400 lbs, is that why you’re so miserable???  Now seriously, this is just wrong!  Some people that I love very much and think very highly of, are, unfortunately, overweight.  They try, they hate it, I hate it for them, but it’s the cross they bear.  I quickly stopped feeling bad when she retorted that I have a horse face.  Really?  Hmm…I’m thinking.  I always thought my features were tiny.  I’m petite…I’ve always wanted to be bigger all over…so maybe this is a compliment.  And then, she said IT.  “It” is a thing so repulsive, revolting, twisted and just plain wrong on every level that I don’t know if I can even say it.  I want to.  I really do.  I want people to know why I’m shaken that my beautiful sons share a world with people who say this, and maybe even do this.  But I’m sitting here thinking of who will read this and how aghast they will be.  Heck, I’m going to say it…because “I” didn’t say it…she did….and I want us all to be scared of people.  She said…………….”I will cut your cl*t off and make you eat it”.  Really.  She said that.  And when she did, I felt like I was the devil.  And it’s probably ‘cause he was in the car with me.  Cause I shouldn’t have rolled down my window.  I shouldn’t have taught the precious baby how to engage in a road rage battle.  And that’s just what I did.  And I’m so sorry.  I’m sorry to him, and I’m sorry to the lady.  Maybe she has some horrid story…maybe it’s even more horrible than my own.  But all I know is that we can’t go there.  We should never go there.  To this horrible place where humans scream at one another and feel such hatred for one another and take anger out on one another.  I’m vowing to never do it again.  I will stop screaming “IDIOT” at people who cut me off.  I will stop cursing about how people drive.  And I will do it because I don’t want my boys to do it.  Because it’s the right thing to do.  And also because it’s the safe thing to do.  We live in a city where probably hundreds of thousands of people place the value of life at zero.  I think a lot about how we all have the opportunity to kill people everyday…in our cars.  We could ram into whoever we want.  I know I don’t want to do that….but I sometimes secretly fret about what nutso might want to do that to me.  So I’m done.  No more Walmart.  No more road rage.  Starting right now, I will practice peacefulness.  Kind of like I practice positive thinking.  I make everything into a good thing, and its become a way of life.  I’m praying it works.

January 25, 2012

Faker


I think I’m just a big FAKER.  In fact, I know I am.  Today I had a day in which I wasn’t Superwoman at all. I brought the big darling to school and once we got home I realized I just didn’t have the energy to make two more lunches, brush teeth, dress them, dress myself, run around finding shoes, lunchboxes, etc. so I just gave up and kept the little ones home.  We were snuggled up in pjs watching cartoons and I was thinking what a faker I was when everything went really quiet.  TVs went off, appliances stopped humming, and suddenly I felt sick to my stomach.  I ran to the front door knowing full well I would see an Entergy truck there.  Why?  Because I’m a faker. 

Yesterday while opening weeks old mail (see, I’m not KIDDING when I say I have an aversion to paperwork and have become the Queen of Avoidance) I opened a DISCONNECT notice.  I have no clue what the fuck I did or didn’t do, but I noticed the day for disconnect was days ago, and I still had power, so it must be some mistake.  Faker.  I hopped online to schedule a payment to go through yesterday.  Apparently, probably because I am a faker, something went awry.  Funny how as I was entering my checking account numbers, I was ignoring a strong feeling that I should actually VERIFY the numbers during the part where they instructed me to VERIFY the numbers.  I’m a faker pretending to be Superwoman so I didn’t.  And this is why this morning I found myself running towards this Entergy truck, barefoot and in my pjs, teeth not brushed, white dots of pimple medicine on my face, and hair looking like I washed it with grease a week ago.  “I paid it yesterday” I’m calling out.  I see immediately he.does.NOT.care and he is not impressed with my cute Victorias Secret pajamas.  Surely he gets screamed at by psychos in rollers all day claiming the same thing.  So I yell, c’mon, does it really look like I can’t afford to pay my bill? He won’t even roll.down.his WINDOW.  I don’t know, he may have read where I’m looking to actually shoot robbers.  And then, because I’m desperate and can’t handle a lick of stress, I scream, “My husband just killed himself and I have 3 kids!”  Now, REALLY, who says thaaaat?!  As the words came out, and I wondered what neighbors were quietly listening behind cars or fences, I realized very quickly and strongly and powerfully that I am just a faker.  I’m not superwoman at all.  I’m not ‘handling it’.  I suck at this.  All of it.  A lot of times, I feel like I hate my life.  I hate it even more when other people imply they hate theirs… because I realize I have SO MANY REASONS that are so WAY WORSE to HATE IT.  So I’m just a big FAKER.  And apparently I’m a good one.  Because people keep saying how strong I am, how great I look, how well I’m doing, how happy the kids seem.  Even though really there is no way in hell any of this is OK!!!  So I come inside, to my two adorable, wide-eyed kids, who are peering out the window in dirty pajamas wondering why I’m barefoot in the front yard screaming at someone, and I just layed down and cried.  No sense in doing it mildly….I’m tired of being a faker, the gig is up now so I rip at my clothes and hair and roll around and just GET.IT.OUT.  I hate HIM.  I hate HIM SO MUCH.  HIM…WHO FUCKING DID THIS TO ME!!! HIM…WHOSE FUCKING FAULT IT IS THAT I AM A BIG FAT FUCKING LAZY AVOIDING FAKER.  It felt good to cry loud and to hate him, even though my preferred method is to actually scream out the hateful thoughts.  I couldn’t because of them.  They stood there and just looked at me.  They’ve seen it before…surely they’ll see it again.  They hugged me and told me they loved me.  I smiled and said I loved them too.  I told them we had no power, we couldn’t watch tv or even open the fridge for a tiny second or all the food would be ruined.  I paid my bill again by phone and immediately began searching for anything good.  1.) I felt calm and I felt better.  2.) Its neither hot nor cold and no heat/ac was needed.  3.) The house was so quiet.   4.) I had a long hot bath last night.  5.) My kids were playing together nicely and not watching tv.  6.) I have a gas stove and could still cook .  So I got dressed, washed my face in cold water, thought about how some people have no water, and we went outside to play.  I smoked my mom’s cigarette butts while they rode their bikes.  We came in for lunch and while I was cooking the hotdogs , mac and cheese and vegetables, the power came back on.  Darn!  I was actually enjoying the quiet.


January 5, 2012

Six Months, Half a Year


6 months.  Half a year.  How can it be?  2012, the first year you are not alive.  It's better than it was 6 months ago.  I pray 6 mos from now more healing has taken place. Some days, most days, I think I can really do this.  Some days I wish so hard we could all close our eyes and be gone.  I just want us all to be happy.  Really happy, not fake happy.   The kids are bearing the brunt of it right now. It took a while for it to sink in with them.  The oldest is quiet a lot, crying at the drop of a hat.  If I ask him if he’s sad about daddy, he gets mad.  He told someone he’s had  5 sleepovers with friends and every one of them has a daddy.

We spent New Years with my dad and family.  We got new guns for Christmas and enjoyed a day of target practice.  Middle darling was hanging like a kid from the head bar of the ATV and he blurted out “This is what it smelled like when Daddy died.” It hadn’t even crossed my mind that we were doing anything ‘wrong’.  It comes out in small bits and pieces like this.  A few nights later he told me how Dave’s arm shook while he died.  I let him talk and I just listen, then I hold on to him like there is no tomorrow.  Big darling confided that he is scared every night of the robbers coming back.  I asked him if he happened to see how many times mommy hit the orange target?  There is no harm coming to these kids while I am here to defend them.  That I know.  We went through the whole scenario again…how the door was unlocked, the lights outside were off, we had no alarm, etc.  All that is different now.  It sucks to have lost the carefree way we once lived, but the reality is that we share our city with hundreds of thousands of thugs.  So be it.  I’m thankful that I grew up with guns, learned so early how to handle and respect them, and have no fear of defending my family.  All I can say with certainty is that I’m a survivor.  I hope my boys will learn to be the same way. 

Even the baby, whom you would think doesn’t have a clue what is going on, will throw a bomb to you out of nowhere.  He cuddles up close sometimes, just beams at me and says  “I’m so happy," then says, “I really love daddy."  It is usually in a moment when I am feeling Dave is literally sucking the air from my breath, I am feeling him so strong and close.  He told me a few nights ago that Daddy died in the garage with a gun.  He is the hardest one to talk to, because I just don’t know what he understands.  Daddy is in heaven…so where is that?  He’s with Jesus, Baby Jesus?  He always points up, although I’ve been careful to never do that.  I think Heaven is everywhere, another dimension but not necessarily UP.  The older kids are scared of ghosts now.  My answer is that Jesus is a ghost, He’s the HOLY GHOST, are you scared of Him?  A ghost is a spirit, so daddy is one too in the technical sense of the word.  I pray as they get older they can open their hearts to receive the gifts I believe I receive from my spirits every day.  What about bad spirits they ask?  We’re not open to them, I say.  Deep stuff for a 16 yr old….deep stuff for a thousand year old mama who is really only 43 in the flesh!  I swear I do feel  1000.  Luckily I only look 100. 

So we survived Christmas and New Years because my family rocks.  In the next 6 months, we need to survive Dave’s birthday, Father’s day, and the anniversary of his death all in the span of 30 days.  People you will need to pull out the stops for me.  Show up here, scoop me off the floor, text me dirty messages, drag us to church, I don’t know….I’m scared to death.  More scared of that than anything.  What are my kids going to do when everyone else makes a Father’s Day project?  Are they going to say my mom is turning into a gun wielding aggressive lunatic who is perhaps part man now and just make me a card?  Or make him a card and bring it to the cemetery?  Or make cards for Uncle Poo Poo and Uncle Brian and Pere Pere  and Tyler…the men they adore? Should we just be sick that day and drive to Disney?? There is no handbook here.  I’ll let you all know once mine is written.  

Which brings me to the next question…why share this?  I am the cautionary tale.  And this blog is my wakeup call to the universe. I hope it affects you positively in some way.  Don’t just read it and be sad.  Read it and know that the powers of prayers from thousands of people can affect change in every way.  I find the positive in everything, even in ridiculous stuff.  This new way of life is very liberating, much less stressful and I have a lot more patience.  Peace and Love for 2012….live it like the Mayans might be right.  You won’t be sorry.