Losing

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My friend Glenn’s prognosis isn’t good.  There is absolutely no hope.  None.  Nada.  I have been in constant contact with him since his diagnosis, and absolutely nothing good has happened.  He can’t swallow, so a feeding tube has been placed.  It boggles my mind how quickly he has deteriorated.  A trip to the Mayo Clinic only brought him a second opinion that was just as bad as the first.  He said that at least a consensus on his diagnosis has removed the need to make decisions.

This past weekend, I called the boys to tell them.  Those were difficult conversations.  The kids consider Glenn a part of our family.  The boys were shocked, quiet, and deflated.  In many ways, Glenn has been a larger part of our family than many of our closest relatives.  We’re all in disbelief that such a senseless thing would happen to a man who has already had too large a share of misfortune.

There is never a time when I think of him that I don’t hear his voice.  I knew his voice before I ever met him in person.  We had been hired as a team, and our first contact was over the phone.  I remember exactly where I was the first time he called me.  I was filling up my car at a gas station by our local airport when my phone rang.  His Jersey accent was strong, and his gregarious personality came through loud and clear.  I was smiling ear to ear during the entire conversation.  I knew immediately that I would enjoy working with this man, and I was right.  There was never a cross word exchanged between the two of us.  We were a team immediately from the moment of that first conversation.

I have spent some time considering this unique friendship, and I know that I have been blessed to have had such a good friend in my life.  Glenn is the brother I never had.  He’s the brother I wish I could have had.  He has interfered in my personal life without asking and without being asked.  He has given me advice.  He’s known my deepest secrets, and he never judged me harshly.  He has worried along with me, and he has shared joyous times.  He has spent holidays with my family and evenings around the fire.  He came to concerts when I was playing and to my kids’ graduations parties.  He often over-stayed his welcome, but he never expected to be treated like a guest.

He kept his eyes on my kids.  He told me what he had seen on Facebook that I may have missed (or had been blocked from seeing.)  While this annoyed the kids at the time, years later they have understood that he was simply looking out for their best interest.  He cared.  No one asked Glenn to adopt our family, and we probably never lived up to the family he deserved to have, but he adopted us nonetheless.

And so now I am the annoying friend.  Not a day goes by that I haven’t asked how he’s doing, if he needs anything.  I remind him that I love him, and that I’ll be there for him in any way possible.  Tonight he told me to sit tight.  He said, “As things progress, I’m going to need you.  For now, just pray.  I’ll need you soon enough.”

My heart is breaking at the thought of a world without Glenn.

Wild Variations

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lightbeam

One thing I have found is that if I am not able to maintain some kind of regular routine in my life, I quickly lose perspective in all areas.  I question myself and lose confidence.  I question others and wonder about their motives, or I perceive imagined slights.  (What did he/she mean by that???)  I become overwhelmed by anything even slightly resembling clutter.  The pile of mail on the kitchen table makes me feel like I’m very close to being eligible for my debut on “Hoarders.”  Worst of all, I see a look of wariness in the eyes of my staff.  (Oh, no!  She’s on the warpath!)  Thankfully, while my family notices my craziness, they don’t seem bothered by it. They usually just roll their eyes and ignore me. Continue Reading »

Precipice

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***Below is another draft blog post.  This one was written on November 16, 2011, almost two years ago now.  The event I refer to below is now even further in my past.  

I’m thankful for the gift of time.  Some pain never completely goes away, but time does heal.  Pain changes us in both good and bad ways.  I will never understand why things happened as they did.  I wish that I didn’t have this knowledge and experience with lies, cruelty, and deception.  I have been forever changed in ways that still make me sad.  I mourn my loss of innocence and my loss of the ability to trust.  I still struggle with the fact that I often expect the worst from people instead of seeing their best.  

However, I did learn one lesson that I hope to never forget.  At my darkest hour, I found myself alone, and I blame myself for that fact.  I had cut myself off from the good things in my life.  I had lost my relationship with God; I had emotionally distanced myself from my family and friends.  My emotions, loyalties, energy, and efforts had been misplaced.  I was lost, and it was my own fault.  I poured my emotions into blogging.  I talked to a therapist seeking answers.  Neither of those things worked.  The blog helped sometimes, but in the end, I was still alone.  The therapist helped even less.  I was seeking answers, reaching out like a person in the dark.  I was grasping and lost.

Life IS better now.  I am beginning to find my way.  I know who I am and where I am.  I’m beginning to soften and to carefully trust again…very carefully.

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As I drove to work this morning, my thoughts were full of where I was in my life on THIS DAY exactly one year ago.  November 16, 2010 was the date of the biggest betrayal of my life.  I remembered phone conversations from that terrible day.  I remembered what I wore, gold skirt and a black sweater.  I remembered sitting on my therapist’s couch, and I was shaking with fear.  I was worried, yet hopeful. Continue Reading »

Taking Too Much For Granted

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I was driving in one direction, and T was heading the other way.   We were both on the same two-lane road, so it was inevitable that we would eventually see each other in passing.  We were talking on the phone at the time.  I waved as he passed by.  He lifted his hand in return.  As his image faded into my rearview mirror, we continued talking.  T said, “I hate to admit this, but I am tired of being a parent.”  Ah….I knew how he was feeling. I was feeling tired at that moment, too.  T quickly admitted that he felt terrible for even saying such a thing, and I told him that it was OK.  I said, “It’s OK to feel tired, because I know that you will never stop caring about them and being a good parent.” Continue Reading »

Less Than Four Hours

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It’s on its way.  NOVEMBER.  God, how I hate November!  I have a calendar hanging in my office.  It has prints of art deco Parisian fashion plates, and I have loved seeing each new picture as I turn the page on another month.  However, in October, each time I have looked up at my calendar, I have felt dread.  Tomorrow,  I turn will turn the page to November.  For the next month, memories will haunt me.  So many bad memories crammed into a short span in the calendar year.  I should be grateful that the other months of the calendar are free from memories of loss, death, and confusion.  I won’t breathe freely until mid-December.  I’ll just be waiting for yet another tragedy to add to the tally. Continue Reading »

For Dad

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I heard this song today as I drove to work.  I had been driving along, looking at the now-barren fields, the beauty of the blue sky, and the wispy clouds overhead.  As always, I felt calmed and grounded by this land that I love.  It was during moments like this morning, that I would often pick up my phone to call my dad, my connection to all that has come before me and loved this land in very much the same way.  As tears filled my eyes at the painful reminder that I can no longer reach out and hear my dad’s voice, I remembered that his spirit is always near me.  And then this song played on my iPod.

Accidents

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I had planned on writing about our trip tonight.  I had saved away things that I wanted to write about, but as it turns out, our trip home was the most eventful part of the trip.

T and I had a very late, and boozy, night last night, so we didn’t push ourselves to get going too early this morning.  In fact, we detoured to see the place where the fictional Mary Richards was to have lived during the Mary Tyler Moore Show.  I was duly impressed by the architecture as I have a strange fascination with the brutalist movement. Continue Reading »