Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Saturday, March 04, 2017

Earlier today

I shuttled my friends to their appointment, to the store, and got A to work, helped YKWIA a bit at home, and then came home, tired (I couldn't sleep last night after cooking till late at YKWIA's--I think I was finally able to get to sleep at about 3:30 am, so my insomnia is continuing somewhat).  It was a bright, sunny afternoon and had warmed up quite a bit, so I opened the bedroom window, got into some comfy clothes, and took a nap.  I'm thinking that was about 4 or so.  Now I'm awake and it's 7:40.  That might cause an issue later tonight, but at least I slept well for a bit.

My aunts and uncles are going to be able to come in for the visitation and funeral, which is Monday. The ones in Georgia are driving up tomorrow, and the ones in Texas, bless their hearts, were working overtime to find a flight in, and the closest they could get was Nashville, and then drive three hours. So they're travelling tomorrow, too.  I'm not sure about my cousins--one is on the West Coast for work and can't come, another is in meetings in Georgia, but I'm glad my mom's sister and brother and their spouses will be able to.

I need to pick my friend up from work tonight and tomorrow night, so I'll drive down on Monday morning.  It's about 35 miles away, so not too bad, and I'll be going against morning traffic.  I have a dress picked out (thanks to YKWIA, who informed me that the dress I wore to my grandmother's funeral would need more than Spanx to fit correctly).  It's a dress I bought for a vow renewal a few years ago, a deep purple covered in black lace--not exactly ideal, but it's nice, respectful (well, if I wear a camisole under that neckline, and I think my mom would approve.)  I do need to find some hose to go with it, which can be a challenge at my size (there's a reason I wear summer skirts and otherwise pants).  I may actually have to break down and go to the Evil Empire (aka Walmart), where I do not usually shop.  We'll see.

Tomorrow we are not playing the game. I could probably have used the distraction, but on the other hand, will have a little extra time to do some things.  I also desperately need to do laundry tomorrow.  I actually went out to Gabriel Brothers the other night looking for underwear (they usually have my size, unlike most other places in town that aren't a 'plus-sized women's' store, and much cheaper, because with YKWIA sick, I haven't done my laundry.  But I had no luck.  Fortunately I dug around and found some to get me through tomorrow.  So I'll go over there and do that and help him out if needed, or maybe we'll watch something on streaming video.

I also realised today that I missed renewing some books that were due the day she died, which I rectified, so I have some fines. I've paused my tracking, to-do items on Habitica so that by not doing them I will not affect the members of my party.  Funny how little things slip and then come to mind later in times like this.  I've e-mailed my family back and forth, and texted with my step-father, who sounds exhausted.  I've texted that I won't be to work to my bosses (well, I know I got through to one; the other may be an old number, so I'll leave a message at work as well).  I'll get some gas tomorrow for the trip.  I had thought about staying down in a hotel Monday night.  I'll keep it as an option, but for now, the plan is to just go down, go to the visitation and service, go the the graveside and know where she is to be buried, and maybe out to eat and spend some time with my family, then come back that evening.  I may take Tuesday off , though, as I have three days' bereavement leave, and I'm not sure it's really hit yet, and may not until the actual funeral.

I debated contacting my estranged father to let him know she had died.  We haven't spoken since 1993. but I know where he is on Facebook and could get a hold of him if I wanted to.  But I quickly discarded that idea.  He basically abandoned us in the 80s to pursue other women and a freer life without us, and I suspect he always felt rather trapped by my mother, who got pregnant before they broke up, then found out, and within a month his mom had pressured him to marry her.  My mom's parents, I will say, were very good, and even though it was the 60s, offered to let her live at home and not go the marriage route.  It's amazing the marriage lasted as long as it did, really.

My dad and I went our separate ways after my grandmother's funeral, when he lied to me and told me the insurance money was part of the estate and instead of asking me to help with expenses, demanded the money ($5,000, at a time when I was a student eating every other day, and he was an engineer who moved to Minnesota for an extra $30,000 a year and who had a policy in his name, as well, for twice that).  When I told him I wouldn't give it to him on the advice of my grandfather and YKWIA, he hung up on me, and that was that.

This is a man who moved us to another state, after they sold the house at a loss and my mom lost seniority at work, just so he could then tell her while we were in the motel that he was seeing someone else and wanted a divorce.  It was devastating, and it took her years to get over the financial and other repercussions.  He doesn't deserve to know.

Besides, while she had four husbands total (one of whom she was widowed by), her current husband and she were together longer than any of them (my dad was about 16 years; John has that surpassed).  John has been incredibly good to my mom, and has been a great companion, who took care of her in her illness day in and day out, and I can't thank him enough for being there.  I couldn't have done it, even without working.

When I was growing up, my mom and I were inseparable, even enmeshed to a great degree by the time I reached adulthood.  As an only child, there'd just been the two of us, especially while my father was overseas and then when he left.  As I got older, though, we drifted apart, and we were not as close as many moms and daughters that I know.  We each had our own lives, and checked in with each other every few weeks, and then I'd go visit about every three months or so, and at the holidays.  Momma tended to reach out to me more when she wasn't married, as she didn't have as much going on.  As years went on and I did a lot of examination, I realised a lot of my issues came from our relationship rather than just my issues with my dad.  And we talked about them a little, and we worked some of that out, but generally, we just lived our own lives and then came together every now and then. But we never cut ties like my dad and I did.

Despite that, I have found myself constantly thinking things over the last few days that bring my mom to mind.  'Oh, I should tell Momma that.  Wait, I can't.' or 'Momma would love this blouse I found.  But she'll never see it.' That sort of thing.  I guess that's to be expected, but it hurts.  The finality is starting to sink in.

Finally, let me just say that having watched the effects of end-stage liver disease, and even though she was never able to get a liver or even be placed on the list for one, she held out hope for that, and it would have changed her life around for the better.  Please consider being an organ donor.  There are thousands of people living, barely, who would benefit from that call that says, come in, we have a (insert organ here), that will have their lives transformed for the better.  You won't need them any more.  Why not donate life in your passing?

Okay, I'm going to sign off for now. I've been typing for an hour.  Funny, I usually listen to music to relax, even more than anything else, and I've had trouble doing that since she died, because certain lyrics cause me to cry, etc.  The only song I've sought out has been Rob Thomas' 'Now Comes the Night', a song I'd like played at my own funeral. I find it comforting.  Here it is:

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