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I'm trying to put in a new front door lock and I can't find the electric drill. My hands aren't strong enough, but I'll try it again anyway.
So, it's November and I'm back. I hope I keep up with this; I'll try. Try try try try try. Still going to school, but not trying as hard as I need to be, and mad at myself for it. A day at a time, a thing at a time, one ambition at a time, one idea at a time and little by little, I hope to make this a better life.
I've gotten behind and now I don't remember what I was going to write. I swore I wouldn't let this happen, but there it is. Things have been feeling surreal lately. Long story, don't want to go into it. One reason, though, is school. I'm only taking one class: the dreaded algebra. I was never good at it nor any kind of math 33 years ago, and now I have to make up for it. If I had received help then, maybe my life would've turned out differently. Also, I had no math in the art college I never graduated.
The grief group I'd joined is now grief individual. The first time, no clients showed up besides me until the last half hour. Second time, it was only me. The third time, two other people came. Then, no one else. It's a planned program, so no one can make up for it at this point. So it's just me, talking about and trying to cope with missing Danny. I don't know if it's helping yet; there are no simple answers. Grief is so many things: sadness, good/happy memories, confusion, guilt, love, numbness, anger, fear, depression, on, off, up, down.
This time when I made the appointment for root canal, I asked for sedation. (I can't say this without thinking of my favorite Ramones' song,
I Wanna Be Sedated
. Gladly, I was.) My first root canal had been long and horrible, partly because the further back the tooth, the more they pull and stretch your face. The policy with sedation is to have someone drive you and stay while you're there. Jayne did this for me for which I am
grateful. I woke up while it was still going on, which was not fun. The temporary crown feels obtrusive.
After group (in this one, people show up), I went over to Sarah's for help with algebra. Then, some of her relatives came over including two young nephews, ages 12 and 6. Sarah told me about the 6-year-old and how he understands the concept of saving money, is considerate, and learns well. Sounds like he's wise beyond his years. He's also articulate and adorable. He drew a picture of himself on the dry erase board. I pointed out to him that he could add hands, fingers, feet and what's on his t-shirt. He seemed to enjoy that.
My cat, Cato seems to be feeling much better since I've been giving him more canned food and now his high blood pressure medication. Apparently, animals get it, too, but I don't think it's as serious as with humans.
I got caught up watching L.A. Ink today and I think I'd like to get another tattoo. The one I have on my back is of a phoenix, but a little different. I'd like to get one in Danny's memory, and I have an idea for it.
I don't want to go to sleep, but I have to.
I missed TCM's showing of Metropolis, the fully-restored version. I watched some of the ending, though, and then a documentary on how this long lost footage was found in Argentina in 2008. Pretty incredible for a film from 1927. Oh, that's the year my mother was born. I tried to imagine if it would be possible to do it justice in a remake. Well, I just found that a remake is being made, and also, there's a Japanese anime version. If nothing else, I hope the remake does well enough to bring a new generation to appreciate the original.
There is only one true religion, and that is whatever religion or non-religion one chooses. Why not make that a compilation of beliefs? There is much to choose from in all religions and philosophies, but take only that which promotes peace, tolerance, openness, is against violence, honors others, and embraces only what is good. You know the difference. Be a good person not for recognition or out of fear of reprisal of any kind, but because it is right. Live for others and live for yourself, striving to find a balance in all things. Also, lighten up and laugh.
Iím not sure what to write about. I just want to say that Iím grateful for my friends and anyone who has really helped me in any way. I donít keep up with a lot of people; I find it overwhelming. But whoever has been there for me in the past and whoever has been there for me recently, I thank you, whether you ever read this or not. I often feel - though sometimes itís a deep, hidden feeling - that Iím afraid to live as much as to die, and to have to deal with future problems. Having friends helps.
Hanging low in the sky, the moon was an enormous, sharp, orange-glowing crescent lying in the position of a chaise longue, bleeding its golden color into lacy wisps of clouds. Driving home, I saw it before the dark masses of trees swallowed it. Maybe itís beautiful, pleasant things that keep me from suicide. Partly. Iíd never have the nerve to do it, but Iíve had that feeling many times over the years. Yet, it was Danny who did it. Iím depressed about school and being 50 and feeling hopeless, ashamed and missing Danny. I'd cried in the parking lot.
Some parts of what I wrote in a journal:
Weird. 11/11. I'm here at IHOP waiting to drown my sorrows in a high protein meal. Came THIS close to quitting (insert hand gesture indicating smallness here). I didn't mean to cry on just about everyone I've talked to, but damn it, I'm at it again lately. I sat in the back of the classroom which helped A LOT with my level of anxiety. Still, I've been having major feelings of dizziness since this afternoon. Just now, I had my head down and it felt like an amusement park ride.
When I was asked what kind of cake I wanted, I was surprised to hear myself blurt out, "cheesecake." It's not a traditional birthday cake, but I have to admit, it's less messy to serve than layer cake. My birthday is actually Sunday, but the group meets on Fridays. That was nice of them.
I had a lot of intentions of getting things done. At least I went to the "Tag Office" to get the registration renewal stickers.
Finally got my hair trimmed and colored. I've been convinced to not let it go gray anymore. Not much to write about.
Mom called to wish me happy birthday. I thanked her for that and for the card. "Your birthday is the 11th." "No, it's tomorrow, and today is the 13th." Pretty good: she remembered it enough to send me a card. "Mom, do you remember when I was born?" "Sure. I was there." "If you weren't there, I don't know who my mother would be. Remember I was born at Mt. Sinai Hospital in Manhattan and Dad was working that day - it was a Saturday?" I know she doesn't remember. "I didn't know I was taking pills for memory." I knew.
Kim and I went to the Mall of Georgia, bought a few little things. She treated me to dinner at Bonefish Grill for my birthday. "Bang Bang Shrimp" appetizer, is a must, despite that it's painfully hot for me. We both had grilled swordfish on pumpkin ravioli with spaghetti squash - all great! This is the second time I've had the Hpnotiq Martini, which is delicious and includes a glow stick. We shared a crŤme brŻlťe with a birthday candle in it, much of which I brought home. I write all this so I can remember it forever.
My car has been making a weird sound when I step on the gas. The higher my speed, the higher pitched goes the sound. I brought it in and it turns out it's the air conditioner. I wouldn't have guessed that. The power steering fluid is leaking badly, they said. It's going to be expensive, but it's a great car, my little 1990 Honda Civic. I'm also finally having the Toyota I inherited from Dad repaired. I hate to think how much that'll cost. At times, I tried to sell the Toyota, but it's not worth selling. Good car, though.
Went to class, then to tutoring, am having more problems understanding the work and feeling hopeless again. Because my car is being repaired, I took a cab there and home. I could've asked friends to take me, but I felt like I didn't want to bother anyone. Also, I think it helps me feel more independent. Calling a car service is no big deal; I'm used to it from NY. It's not like I took cabs everywhere all the time, just when needed most, like going to and from the airport. Here, taxis are big vans, sometimes with other passengers.
I'm amazed the Toyota only needed a new battery. They recommend I have fluids changed around the first of the year. Fine. I'm not used to driving the Toyota, which I can't help thinking of as Dad's. The Honda is still being fixed, so I'll have to drive the Toyota tomorrow, regardless of feeling nervous about a car that's different and definitely larger than I'm accustomed to driving. For one thing, I made this big casserole I have to bring in for the group tomorrow, then I have to go to class. I'll be glad when this week is over.
Iíll admit, Iíve been nervous about driving the Toyota. The main reasons were because Iím used to my small Honda, and the only time I drove the Mercury Dad gave us, I got into a wreck and it was totaled. After the Mercury Sable, Dadís car was this Toyota Avalon. He got all the extras, because he said it would be his last car, which I didnít want to hear. Iíve probably written here about this before. Now that Iíve had to drive it, I really like it, though it feels too big for me. Iím definitely keeping it, though.
Today was group, so I brought back the half of the stuffing casserole I made. I think it went over well, though to me, it was gummy; less moisture next time. It was another nice meal with everyoneís contributions. Afterwards, I paid a bill, then my Honda was ready. The Toyotaís brakes make scraping and roaring noises, so it was like swapping cars again. Iíll be relieved when itís all done. The money my brother sent me for my birthday went towards a watch I bought for myself - a simple, practical one.
Not exactly riveting reading, but there it is.
Watching Ken Burns' The Civil War, I tried remembering what I'd learned about the Civil War when I was growing up - very little if anything at school. One of our earliest family vacations included Gettysburg. Vaguely, I remember a battlefield (which impressed me), maybe on a tour, a statue or several, my brother getting a replica Union cap, possibly a demonstration of rifles followed by a film outdoors at night. Dad took a battlefield walk by himself early one morning.
Dad once told me when he was a kid, he saw very old, real Civil War veterans in a parade.
I don't remember if Gettysburg was the same trip as Harpers Ferry. Maybe my brother would remember. It may have been the vacation when we visited Washington, D.C. for the first time. Anyway, I knew nothing about the legendary abolitionist John Brown until we went to the wax museum at Harpers Ferry. A bit weird, and I was too young to understand it.
When I first moved to GA, it seemed some people were still fighting the Civil War, from some things I'd heard including being called a "Yankee."
I've enjoyed the Cyclorama and Museum in Atlanta -
I saw on American Masters, LENNONYC. GREAT - very well done. It brought back a lot of memories. Of course, I was still in NY at that time; I didn't come here till '88. Seeing the film of Lennon singing to free John Sinclair reminded me that I once met John Sinclair. He was one of the speakers at Athens' annual Human Rights Festival. I don't remember which year. Danny played it, I'm not sure which band. John Sinclair had a trailer and invited us in. Nice guy. I wish I'd known more about him, I'd have asked him some questions.
I'd tried not to feel resentment towards Mom for not seeming as sad about losing Dad as I was. Before, during and after the funeral, I cried for him. Then, losing my husband as I did overshadowed losing my father the year before, but I still miss Dad. When Mom recently told me she misses Dad very much, I told her that's normal and I was glad to hear it. I don't want her to suffer, but she must've been holding back. She sounded like she's ashamed of those feelings. To miss him is to love him, and that's okay.
In the grief non-group I'm in, one of the assignments is to keep a journal, though I don't write often. I wrote about a conversation with Mom. Here are excerpts of my 11/24/10:
.. she asked again, when is Kenny's birthday? "January 1st, New Years Day, it's easy to remember. Mine is the 14th and Dad's is a month later, December 14th. That's a good day to think of Dad." Instead of "Why bother, he's dead," or something as she'd said before, she admitted to missing him and seemed to agree it was good to remember Dad.
I decided not to go anywhere, though I had invitations. I appreciate that very much, even when I don't accept any. I already had some leftovers and ingredients from when I cooked for the groups a few days ago, so I decided to make my own Thanksgiving. I know that the meaning isn't the same if you don't spend it with people, but I had the food I wanted, got to watch the parade, and didn't have to fuss with going anywhere. Besides, I'm often uncomfortable being at a gathering with people I don't know, especially where there are many.
I didn't expect to go out on "Black Friday." Still, Kim asked if I wanted to go some places with her including the Mall, so I thought, why not? It was nighttime anyway. Her niece was having a 21st birthday party at a restaurant, but I didn't want to go. Kim wanted to get her a gift. While she bought her a beautiful CZ and silver pendant necklace of a key, I bought a silver locket. Maybe it was frivolous, but I'd wanted a real sterling locket for a long time and to put a photo of Danny in it.
I did another Magnetic Poetry poem. It seems most of them are about the same subject, but that's what comes to me. Here goes:
We loved together
And then a thousand sweet dreams are over
Gone in one tiny,
Frantic, crushing, powerful moment:
A flood hitting me so fast
I fall into a bitter void.
He shot his life out
It is ugly madness
Why would he do it?
Time is a road
Under my raw, aching feet
But I must trudge on.
I think I have felt him near
He is in my blood
Yeah, I'd seen this on Woodstock before; it was good. Jeannie and Jon recently visited the Museum in Bethel Woods, some of which was shown in this documentary. Yet another thing making me wish I were still in NY, though that feeling comes and goes.
I was quite young when the festival happened, but I remember seeing it on the news. It was during the middle, probably the second day. I think they showed Arlo Guthrie speaking onstage and an aerial view of the crowd. While Dad was commenting that they were all crazy, I was wishing I were there.
When I dream about cats, there's usually worry about where they are and/or taking them somewhere, and more cats than I knew I had. There was a part-Persian, hefty calico. Then, it was like I was watching a movie. A family had a barn or stable, which was more like a house open to the outdoors. They had a swarm of bees on the wall but were trying to save the bees. The pretty little girl with wispy blonde hair was not afraid at all. She enjoyed a small swarm of hornets on left side of her shirt.
Serena, the tortoiseshell beauty, has always been one of my smartest cats. She was looking out the sliding glass door as I was at the sink. I said, ďSerena,Ē she turned and looked at me with her ears back, listening. ďYou want some wet food? Itís in the bowl here.Ē She immediately went to the wrong bowl. ďNo, not that one, the other one.Ē Right away, she went to another bowl that had the food. ďItís also in the bigger bowl, the plastic one.Ē She then turned from there and went to the plastic bowl. Serena is understanding whole sentences.
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