Category Archives: family

Random but Relevant

Carmen McRae-The Great American Songbook

Carmen McRae from her CD, The Great American Songbook

I was about to put my laptop on my nightstand when Ms. McRae began singing What Are You Doing The Rest Of Your Life? and I Got It Bad And That Ain’t Good. I thought that may be a clue to relate a short story about the great singer.

Music and nightclubs are in my blood bigtime. One day, I’ll be able to tell the whole story. Unfortunately, that probably won’t be until everyone who could go to prison is dead, which kind of sucks massively.

I was always a rather precocious child. At 4 years old I loved Carmen McRae when I heard her albums. (Young ‘uns, CDs were not always around. They are recent and vinyl does sound better in some ways, but that’s my opinion.) Well, through a set of circumstances not all that important, she, like most women, was crazy about my dad. Mommy and Daddy were separated, although I wasn’t sure what that meant. Daddy sent Ms. McRae to our house as a present for me while she was in town. The sucky part is that I wasn’t home. I was probably at nursery school or visiting my grandmother who, I might add, detested Daddy. Actually, it was only Mom’s three brothers who really liked him, that is, until someone needed something. Then, Daddy was great.

This is a great memory to go along with the autographed photos of The Temptations and either The Four Tops or The Supremes or both. I think I vaguely remember meeting the guy with the incredible bass/baritone from The Four Tops. Oh! I do remember having an autographed photo of Dionne Warrick, too. I’m hoping that all of those photos have been saved from water damage when our roof sprang a leak while I was in undergrad. My sofa is blocking the cubby and I barely have enough room to maneuver as it is. Moving that sofa is not feasible until I get the rest of the stuff out of there. It was all Mommy’s and may yet have discoveries to be made.

*OnX prays to the Lord above for another insurance policy buried in the file cabinets*

Anyway, my mother was fond of recalling the Carmen McRae story. She was impressed that Daddy had talked about me so much to this wonderful, celebrated woman I adored. I didn’t see my mother impressed with Daddy’s parenting skills until I was in my late teens through mid-20s when he died. I never told her, but he saved my life–the life she’d screwed up with her second husband, the pedophile/batterer. I can only imagine what he said to her when he I told him, which wasn’t until I was barely out of undergrad and Mom was driving me out of my tortured mind. When I did, he cried like a baby and I felt like crap. I told him because I wanted him to know me and what was going on. I needed support because I wasn’t exactly getting much at home. The reaction of those who are told is, I do believe, the biggest impediment to disclosure by the victims. They can’t become survivors unless they disclose.

There has not been a day that’s gone by since Daddy died in 1987 that I haven’t missed him terribly. He was one of my very, very best friends. I told him almost everything unless I knew he’d have apoplexy. Hmm, running into STFU territory now, so I’ll leave it at that.

I love you, Daddy. I don’t care what you did. No matter what you say, I will always, always love you for the man you were with me and the one you became. I especially liked teasing you when you were grumpy and making you smile. Save a seat for me because I plan to be right up there next to you one day listening to the Great Gig in the Sky. You died far too soon. There was so much I could have learned from you. I’m sorry I didn’t break free earlier. I will always regret letting Mommy make me afraid of you. Funny, I thought about putting her urn on the other side of my dresser, but you two would continually argue and add to the evil vibes already here. Somehow, I think you both prefer the arrangement I have for you.

Be well, Daddy, and be happy. You may have thought you were going elsewhere, but I know you’re in whatever passes for what we call “heaven.” Be nice to Mom. I tell her to be nice to you, too. Somehow, I think she’s probably still perturbed with you, but make your peace so that I don’t have to referee when I get up there. I’ll hug you until I make you give me one of your infamous belly laughs and take your baret off to kiss your incredibly cute bald head.

I could use your help in finding John. Can you whisper in his ear and tell him I’m looking for him? Alternatively, please tell me what last name he’s using. Otherwise, I’m going to have to make a whole lot of calls I don’t want to make to find him. Be proud of your son. I don’t care what Mom says. Yeah, you hurt her, but you did the right thing, too. Pat yourself on the back for once, ‘k?

Your little love,

Me

Understand Mom, Understand Myself

Before getting to the material referred to by the title, I want to thank the Sound Gods for big, male cousins who run to their defenseless female cousins’ rescue when called. In this case, to move my bed so that I can put my real speakers on top of my headboard and lean them against the wall. I will have REAL sound after Wednesday and he can say a word to a certain “grabby” neighbor to grab something else besides me. Gotta love it!

I’m noticing more and more changes in my perspective now that my mother is gone. Of course it was she, more than any other person, who influenced me in both negative and positive ways. I will be forever grateful to her for teaching me how to use my intellect. She never copped to her own brilliance, preferring to say that it was my father who was the brilliant one. Oh, she’s definitely right about that! He was absolutely, stunningly brilliant and it kept him alive far longer than one would think given the vocation he had for most of his life.

Now, this is where my brain and heart part company. One says go for it and tell what he was and the other says, STFU. I think I’ll take the latter tack. I want to write my Master’s thesis on my father, so he will get his due one day. He’d be deeply ashamed that I knew more about who he was and why than he ever wanted. He was who he was and things were the way they were. I can’t judge him. He, however, judged himself far, far too harshly.

Be that as it may, Daddy had a very deep love for my mother and had from the time they were barely teenagers. He also understood her in ways no one else did. Her family pretty much hated him and that didn’t help at all. I can posit the greater family and many friends asking her why she was so in love with him. Yes, he was handsome. Yes, he was smart, but that wasn’t unusual. In truth, no one could swing a cat without hitting someone with at least a Bachelor’s degree and, frequently, a graduate degree, in Mom’s family as far back as the late 1910s. When I get that longed-for M.F.A., I will be the third generation in my mother’s father’s tail line and I think the fourth on his distaff line to do so. My great-uncles and my grandfather were the product of both violent Southern racism and the combination of two highly intellectual black families. Business and fear brought them North.

Mom was different. As brilliant as she was academically, she was a deeply gifted artist. It is the latter that I’m coming around to believing caused her to be misunderstood a lot of the time. I’ve misunderstood her and I lived with her for most of my life. Had her relatives been more open-minded about her artistic talent, I think she wouldn’t necessarily have seemed shy to the point of being ice cold. How many times can you justify a dream before wondering if your dream is foolhardy? She was a visual artist and a dancer. She spent most of her life in education. It was there that I realized how incredibly talented she was. There is no way I could ever hope to have half her ability to handle the most undiagnosed, but deeply disturbed, children she did on a daily basis. She teased the desire to learn out of them instead of throwing them away as many would. The thing is, she wasn’t even a special ed teacher. Her memorial service was a grand testament to a highly distinguished career. It could have easily lasted another hour but for a minister I could throttle. Believe me, I wasn’t alone. x:(

People who’ve known me for lengthy periods of time remind me that I’ve always been a writer. It’s not something I really give a great deal of thought. Writing is as much a part of me as the blood coursing through my veins. I remember the woman who was my best friend in college and for many years after we’d both graduated saying, “You’ve always written. Don’t you remember . . .?” Actually, one of the amusing memories I’ve had while looking for Morgan (that sounds like the title of a book and/or screenplay) has been remembering a rather surprised Marketing prof who returned a marketing plan I’d submitted for a fictional product with a good grade and a notation that said something like,”This is definitely one of the most unique products anyone has imagined in my years of teaching.” Well, I did float the idea to my female friends and we thought it would sell if it were real. Actually, only in the last few years have products like the one I’d described been on the market, usually by Trojan.

I have a fertile imagination at times and, so I’m told, a very different way of understanding and applying concepts. I was really glad to hear that recently because it meant that my law school experience had finally been changed from conformity to inspired. My general theory is that the law is a living, breathing organism that must change as society changes. While it may be a laggard at times, laws do change either through legislation or through case law. If one assumes that my theory is correct, then why can’t laws be applied in new ways for new reasons? If there is nothing prohibitive in legislation, then it may be possible to make the argument that the law is applicable in a different way. This is an area of law left to litigators, yes, but then handed to appellate attorneys who will inevitably end up before higher courts.

I phoned one of my mom’s besties for a zillion years to check on some information and to try to explain what is going on in my life. She’s a retired college professor and now spends most of her time writing. She’s also an ordained minister I wanted to officiate at Mom’s service, but couldn’t due to some crap about her not being Christian enough. If only I could get to arrange her service again, but I can’t. So in speaking with her, I confirmed the premise of this post. Yes, my mother was greatly misunderstood. Yes, although this friend wasn’t exactly a fan of my father’s, she confirmed that he understood her in a way few did. She also confirmed that I’m correct about something else by telling me how wrong I was about it. That’s not at all to say that she was wrong. She wasn’t. However, it comes down to perspective. Mine includes multitasking. Hers didn’t. Because I only have so much emotional energy to pour into my personal life; so much to pour into pulling a miracle out of the mess that is Mom’s estate (Where the hell is the money??), and; so much to throw into my own project, Mom’s bestie has an excellent argument. My head needs to be in the game and it isn’t yet. How can it be? I’ve just hit bottom and begun to scratch and claw my way up. I’m already exhausted from the effort, but not being able to keep anything down may have something to do with it too.

I don’t even waste my breath trying to deny accusations of those who say that I’m too cerebral or that I don’t travel a straight line to get from Point A to Point B. It’s pointless. I do, however, try not to waste people’s time. Sometimes that means speaking so quickly that I sound like I’m on speed. No, just trying to be considerate and forgetting that most people’s brains don’t work as quickly as I can speak. *shrug* When I get the inevitable, “Huh?” I go back to the beginning, explain that I’m trying to say what needs to be said quickly and continue from there. I must admit that there are days when I’d like to scream out of pure frustration that the listener doesn’t get it. I think that’s my real problem with Mom’s lawyer. He doesn’t get me at all and he’s a journeyman at best when he should be far more skilled and careful than he is.

As I said, I tried to explain what’s going on in my life and that meant Glenn and Morgan. Glenn doesn’t even know why I’m looking for Morgan, assuming he didn’t simply delete my e-mail. If he did, it would be a shame. For once I can say that I am truly satisfied with what I wrote to him. I’ve been able to put a lot of things together since Mom died, especially since I’ve spent hours navel-gazing these last few days. Some things simply made me sick because I was so freaking wrong in an effort to be both right and not afraid. I realized that I’d done to him the same thing he’d done to me. We were both wrong. What I couldn’t stand was the thought that one of us would die and leave so much unsaid. I have good reason to be afraid of that circumstance sitting on a shelf in my china cabinet. I also needed to have a fictional conversation with him in my head as I waited for word on Morgan. That, too, was the impetus for my letter. I know I’d be absolutely destroyed if I learned long after the fact that Glenn had been killed or died. No one in this world or the next would ever be able to console me. Take what I’m going through now and multiply it by ten and that might be an accurate assessment, but probably too low on the scale.

One of the things I wrote in my letter was an acknowledgement of the importance of the people in his life. He has a lot to lose by getting involved with me again. The potential damage I might unknowingly do isn’t worth it. Why would I want someone who’d hate me for ruining his life? I’d be crazy and I’m not crazy at all. I would one day love an acknowledgement of what he’s done to me. He’s never done so. There have been those who’ve said that, in and of itself, is grounds for punting my feelings. It’s just not who I am and I can only be true to myself whether anyone else likes it or not. That’s not to say that I haven’t reached the end of any attempts to verbally touch some part of him. Every time I’ve thought I had, something else crops up. Like I said, we’re in different situations. Nevertheless, two people who have to hurt each other so badly just to stay apart probably belong together. I can’t make him do anything he doesn’t want to do. I needed him, and still need him, to help me get through the grieving process in a way only he’s ever been able to do. I don’t know if he’s realized how completely open I was to him. Actually, in many ways, I still am. If he were to ask me what I want at this very moment, I’d say hold me, let me cry and don’t let go. Absent the ability to do that, tell me what he’d do if he were here and I don’t mean sex. He never really understood, perhaps until fairly recently, the innate ability he has to bring out certain emotions in me.

Since hitting bottom the other night, I looked in the mirror and saw a different person staring back at me. In some ways, I think I’m much gentler than I’ve been in a very long time. I couldn’t continue to carry all that anger around with me anymore. I was really angry with Glenn, with my mother, with a couple of other people I’m trying to decide how to handle and with myself most of all. A lot of it is simply inconsequential now. I’ve said everything I believe needed to be said. I think I’ll ask another friend about Morgan and then leave it alone until the fall. If it’s still important, then I know the best next step. I’m hoping like hell it won’t be. I don’t think I’ve got enough tears left to cry. I “only” feel a deep sense of profound loss.

Let’s Try This Again

When I resurrected Naked, I did so with a post that was a letter to my recently deceased mother. I’m going to beg your indulgence and hope that you understand that by giving my thoughts and feelings voice, maybe they’ll reach her and/or help me cope. I’m pulling out all the coping mechanisms I can because I cannot absorb any more loss. I sent a message to my friend of very long duration to give him a heads up that I know there are only two reasons he’d put his phone number out there publicly for me to find and told him the story of why I needed to find Morgan. I’m just trying to prepare myself by taking care of the old business before I can deal with the new. Mom isn’t really “old business,” but she is the least recent.

Dear Mommy,

I know you’re still around. There are times when I hear you next door in your bedroom. I don’t go in because I won’t see anything and I already know you’re with me. Hence, there’s no point. I know that the most pressing concern is that I move on and do those things I have to do to survive. The truth is, my head is so muddled that I can’t remember where I’ve put anything anymore. I am what the Brits would call “at sixes and sevens,” although I’ve never understood the origins of that term. Basically, I’m a basket case. My emotions almost always come up way after the events that inspired them, you know that. I couldn’t give in right after you died because there was so much to do. There are still people who don’t know and should. I just haven’t had the heart to tell them. Trying to comfort another person when you haven’t figured out how to deal with your own grief is overwhelming. When I told Pat, she collapsed in sobs. She loves you so much. I haven’t called her since your memorial service, but I will as soon as I get a grip.

I believe in my heart and soul that this house killed you the way it has tried to kill me. Neither of us needed to have, in essence, three floors, not to mention the evil energy here. I know that you didn’t want to hear it when you were alive, but it was part of the genesis of my return to school. I just couldn’t take it anymore. My body was breaking down a lot faster than it should have because it just takes too much work to deal with all these stairs. My personal opinion is that the bank can have it. I know that’s not what you’d do, but you’re not here and left me a mess to clean up. I don’t want to shame you, but I also can’t help but say, “I told you so!” OK, I’m more than a little angry about the state of your estate, especially since I did tell you what would happen and I’ve found that it’s far, far worse than I ever knew. *sigh* It is what it is.

Shortly after you died, I posted on the Choir page and reported what happened. There were a lot of people who remembered you, chief among them was Mr. B, god love him. I don’t know if he’ll ever understand how much a part he played in making me who I am. Now that I think of it, virtually every person who influenced me was an artist of some sort or an historian, including you. Oh! I got the piano tuned when the funeral home sent the remains of the small policies. I haven’t sat down to play it OR my guitar. It’s like there’s some sort of barrier that keeps me from them. I want to play them, but something in my head says, “No, not now,” and I don’t know what that means.

There are things that I want you to know, but I’m not sure they’d mean much.

I just couldn’t cope anymore and reached out to Glenn. Honestly, although he is exactly the right person to help me get my head together, there’s a certain amount of fear and distrust. I know that you’ve watched me struggle with losing him. I know that you’ve always believed that he’d be back. Actually, right now I’m hearing you say, “Yeah, like a bad penny.” Um, well, you made me laugh. You see, the thing is, I think I’ve finally unravelled the “why” of a lot of things that went on between us. He was a boy who grew into a man who just couldn’t communicate his feelings. It drove him batty because I could communicate mine and, therefore, work through them. I remember him driving over one weekend once we’d actually gotten together and the bomb went “BOOM!” He was heading back but we stopped to lunch. I don’t remember being particularly chatty, but he was in a foul mood. He said, “Don’t you ever shut up?” It hurt, but I also knew that for him to say that, there had to be something else going on. I did, however, learn to be quiet and that doing so was OK.

The thing is, I really need him now and I really don’t think I’m going to get out of this in one piece without him. I’ll forgive anything and everything if need be immediately, especially since I didn’t have a chance to tell you before you drifted away that I’d forgiven you. I know he broke me. He had help, but in the end, it was him. I was hurt, furious, in disbelief and learned to tell myself all of these things that were true to some degree, but not true to a greater degree, in order to survive. You know what it was like divorcing Daddy. I was with Glenn longer than that and we had this child that never got to live. The difference is that having me made the gulf between you bigger. I think that would have been the short-term situation, but I doubt that it would have lasted. Still, he only found out about it after we were done, supposedly for good.

Mommy, if you believe nothing else, please believe this: I need Glenn now. He’s the only person on this earth who knows how to help me. It’s instinctual with him. Can you whisper in his ear? If I can’t get him, I really do have to cut the ties and I haven’t been able to do that in all the years we’ve been apart. You may not like him, but you were the first to see, too late for me, but see nonetheless, that he loved me.

I’m really worried about your brothers. I strongly suspect that you’ll see one of them again this year. Please, help give me the strength to carry on. Both you and Daddy had your faults, but you were both strong people, often hurting yourselves in the process. I’m possibly going to hear news of the loss of someone else very dear to me and between that anxiety and the near certainty of what I’ll hear, I’m more shaken than I was last night. This is someone you’ve never met, but I think you would have found him more than amusing, though very strange. I can see you peering at him through a curly, deep red mane of hair and a beard topped off with dark eyeglasses. Just know that he was always honest with me, true to his beliefs and a very, very decent human being. I never told him this, but I’d always wanted to re-create the Jonh Lennon and Yoko Ono photo in bed with him in B&W. I think even you would have liked it.

I’ve been dreaming about you a lot lately. In fact, these are the first dreams I’ve remembered having about you. I do remember waking up and thinking that you were here, forgetting that you weren’t. I don’t know whether the dreams make life harder or easier for me. They are so real and it is such a let-down when I wake up and remember you’re not on this plane of existence anymore. At the same time, I love seeing you again.

I’m dealing with the Food Monster again. I haven’t been able to eat for well over 24 hours. I have to force myself or I won’t be able to take care of the furkids, not to mention someone will get some bright idea to force feed me. I’ve come to really detest interfering relatives. That’s another reason I need to leave. I know you love this house. You can have it because it can’t hurt you anymore. It can and does hurt me daily. Right now, I’m nauseous as hell and not looking forward to going out in the heat. However, it’s not an option. I have to do it. Nevertheless, I think I’m coming straight home.

I wish I could say that I’ll be OK soon. I can’t. It may take a long time before I’m OK. I am working on it, though. Right now, that’s all I can do. There are going to be some happenings that will make you very sad. I know because they make me sad and I’m the one doing them. But if I am to keep me and the furkids together, I need to do whatever I have to do. That’s straight out of the mouth of your youngest brother who, I might add, believes you didn’t like him at all. You need to visit him because he’s crushed. He doesn’t say it, but it’s there in everything he does. I think that you’d be very proud of him. Out of all the relatives, he’s the one doing his best to take care of me and vice versa. I’ve tried to reassure him that you love him dearly, but it’s no good coming from me. It has to come from you. I fixed an error in your estate paperwork that would have definitely given him the notion that he was right about the way you feel towards him, but he needs more. Go to him in his dreams. Let him dream about being a little boy and you making clothes for him. He said that you made them for the middle brother, but specifically not for him. He’s hurting deeply, Mom. I don’t know what to do for him that I haven’t done. He needs his big sister.

Well, that’s about it. If I’m right about my redheaded friend and you somehow encounter him in your travels, say hello and be nice! He’s a really good guy. I dare say that you would have liked him more than Glenn. Oh! I almost forgot to mention that you once decoded him for me. It was using your insight that I finally got it. If we have to work so damn hard to stay away, then he’s feeling a danger. I have been reacting to what he’s done. If he reads this, he’s going to be unhappy, but at least the truth will be out there somewhere.

I love you,

T.

P.S.: I think I may be able to send in those lyrics I started writing so long ago. I Don’t Know How To Let Go.

God, PLEASE Let This Day End

I’m sitting at my living room table typing this post on my laptop. That has never happened before. In fact, there are very few computer-related things that take place downstairs even though I’ve got a 700 MHz eMac here that I somehow made run Leopard with a software patch and a bit o’ tinkering. If I only had myself to worry about, I’d still be in bed, probably in tears, feeling empty and wishing I’d followed my gut and bought another fifth of Jim Beam. Empty because this is the first major holiday without my mother and I feel empty except the enormous well of pain and loss that could easily drown me. Hence, the Jim Beam. There’s a somewhat amusing story that goes with the JB that I’ll indulge myself by telling.

The very first time I got rip-roaring drunk was when I was 17-years-old and everyone on my floor at Oberlin was going home for the summer. Oberlin was and is a dry town, but getting liquor wasn’t hard as much as it was inconvenient. That was also the last time I got rip-roaring drunk and whiskey, specifically bourbon, were largely the reason. I have to laugh as I think about it now because my mother came to collect me and I vaguely remember her shaking her head and cutting me a whole lot of slack. I don’t think either of us ever mentioned it. That’s not to say that I haven’t felt impaired in some fashion by alcohol, but I rarely drink, (even though all three of my dogs are lushes). I take too many drugs that would not mix well with alcohol of any kind were I to imbibe. That’s why it’s taken me over a month to go through the fifth of JB Red Stag I’m just finishing. I wouldn’t even know about that had the guy from whom I bought my guitar and I not gotten into a conversation one day about hot toddies because he was sick and didn’t have anyone to take care of him. There is some mixture of maternal and sexual instinct going on inside me where he’s concerned that I am damn sure ain’t right, but I’m equally sure would feel oh so good if I could just get myself and my life together. Because I can’t, I’ve stopped going to the store and hanging out. It’s too hard. And so, we come back to the raîson d’etre of this post.

So much has happened since I last wrote I don’t even know where to begin. There is a very large part of me that has absolutely no idea how to cope. I can list the things that need to be done, but that doesn’t mean I can do them. On top of that, I was using my mother’s lawyer, a cousin-in-law who either bought or inherited one of my great-uncles’ law firms. That bastard got pissed off at me because I dared to call him on a Saturday at 6 p.m. because I got a call from an antiques dealer who was coming by the next day, a Sunday, and I needed to know what I could and could not do legally. It was on from there. I should have cursed his ass out then and there, but I didn’t. In fact, I basically hung up on him when he started whining like a little human bitch about interrupting his freaking Saturday. I wish I’d had the presence of mind to tell him that when the probate judge asks me why I did such and such, I’d tell her that my lawyer didn’t want to work on Saturday. Instead, we got into a shouting match that Monday and I had him send me the paperwork to open my mother’s estate. This is now the third time I’ve had to run behind him cleaning up his messes. [ETA: Actually, the fourth time because his paperwork was supposed to conform to my mother’s will and it didn’t. I cleaned up what would have been a big and very ugly mess that would have created a rift I don’t know would heal at all among her brothers. In addition, the probate clerk caught another error that I didn’t.] I’ve made more appearances before judges on family matters than he has and I’m not licensed to practice law. What does that say about him? Yet, this is the man my mother trusted with her will and there was nothing I could do to shake her into making a proper trust for our circumstances. She’d always say that we’d do it after whateverthefuckwasgoingon was over. It never happened and I’m supposed to take this manure and turn it into a watermelon patch.

I didn’t realize it, but I’d gotten to a place where I just couldn’t function. That was in large part due to one of my mother’s creditors. As far as I am concerned, most of them can go pound salt. However, technically, the minivan that allows me to be mobile and have a life is in my mother’s name for a number of reasons, most having to do with an unsteady stream of income. At any rate, the lender’s probate department was relentless. I could count on at least two calls a day even though I couldn’t tell them any more than I had the previous day. I’m going to run into trouble with them again and it will be my own fault, but I’m jumping ahead of myself. I could see my life slowly ebbing away thanks to them. It wasn’t as though I had nothing to sell that would get them off my back for a minute, because I did, Mom’s truck. The problem was that it would cost me more money to get it repaired than it would to sell it outright. However, selling it outright wouldn’t even come close to what it was really worth, but it would take care of the money the lender informed me she was in arrears. I think that’s when something inside of me broke. Everyone has certain buttons that if pushed will cause all sorts of generally negative reactions. I knew two of mine already. I learned a third.

The one time I broke and didn’t attempt suicide, the local shrink police had me committed because someone in my family, and I’m beginning to figure out who, got scared. It didn’t help that I publicly upbraided the cousin-in-law for being a jerk and said that my uncle most assuredly did not allow him into his practice to ignore his family. That sure as hell went for ignoring my mother and me where both of my great-uncles were concerned. They raised her!

The thing about any psych floor is that the patients have to figure out what it is the doctors want and give it to them. It’s the same game with everything. I’ve been through this too many times, so I knew what to say and what not to say. It helped that my lawyer is my former Mistress and now friend. She said that she was actually glad someone from the family did it because she’s been quite worried. Yeah, well, so have I, but I couldn’t say it. My actual psychologist was on frakking jury duty! What idiot of a judge puts a practicing shrink on jury duty knowing that there are people depending on her? Had I known, I could have gotten her out of it, but I didn’t know until my last appointment with her. By then, it was too late to have someone intercede on her behalf. But when I find out what judge this was, I’ll make a contribution to his/her opponent along with a note. In the meantime, there was no one I could turn to. I was more or less alone. I say “more or less” because I had my mother’s youngest brother, the only two cousins I have in my age range and my great aunt. I couldn’t and wouldn’t trouble my aunt because she’s got health issues of her own and I didn’t really want to lean on anyone. My mother’s brother has what is both a passive attitude and a vengeful one. He’s sure God will take care of those who don’t make amends for the dirt they’ve done. Me? I’m more active. You fuck me and I’ll fuck you harder. That’s the phrase that kinda had the ex a bit worried. She hadn’t seen the side of me that’s basically Rahm Emmanuel in a darker color and a sex change. It wasn’t necessary when she knew me. It became necessary over time.

To close this out, Lady A is singing Dancin’ Away With My Heart and I’m thinking of someone I shouldn’t. (For the uninitiated, that would be Glenn D. T-something-or-another. *smirk*) Something occurred to me today for reasons I honestly don’t understand. I would have made that person I shouldn’t be thinking of an excellent wife. I hope he got what he wanted when he chose someone else.

Another thing occurred to me as I reach the end of this entry that has nothing to do with the above. I’ll always have a weakness for red-headed rockers/roadies, beards, badboys, and; women who love fast cars–both of which make me drool–like the cutie one who picked me up yesterday to take me to Goodyear to get my minivan which, if I didn’t say so, I did save, but only for a little while. If that chica weren’t engaged, we’d both have gotten ourselves into some well-deserved trouble. I even let her get lost so we’d have a few extra minutes. She may not have been from the area, but no one is that directionally challenged. *laugh*

It just occurred to me that there’s another reason I want this day to be over. If I plan to survive, and I’ve never had a really strong survival instinct, I absolutely must put the insurance paperwork in the mail that I’ve carried with me for months. No one seems to understand that by doing so, I’m admitting that the person closest to me in the world, who was also a stranger in other ways, really isn’t coming back no matter how many dreams I have or call out for her. She’s gone. She stupidly trusted me to survive. If it were just me, I wouldn’t care if I ever drew another breath. However, I have three furbabies who depend on me and I will not allow “the system” to have them. They are the only reason I didn’t take my life a few weeks ago. I found a way to do it almost perfectly, but I refused to take them with me and I could only find a destination for two of them. I don’t think God would forgive me for making the third come with me and, frankly, I don’t think I could have forgiven myself in whatever afterlife there may be. We’ve been together 12 years. With some luck, there’s no reason she can’t stay another two or three years. Little dogs tend to live longer and she’s small. She’s the one who sees my soul, although I think the youngest is here for a reason, too, and it frightens me. I think she’s here to develop the same empathy that the eldest has. I see it happening more and more as she’s gotten older in the nearly one year we’ve had her. Thank you doG for sending someone to watch over me and giving me a reason to be here.

A Family Disappointment

There is a pall on this day. Almost a week ago, give or take about six hours, I was rushed to the hospital via EMS because I had all the signs women get when we’re having a heart attack. My sternum hurt; the right side of my face went numb while my left arm tingled and hurt; my back ached, and; most alarming for me, the hearing in my left ear was completely gone, replaced by tinnitus while I “only” lost about 50% of the hearing in my right ear. I attributed all of this to stress, even if a heart attack were indeed the result. I’ve been stressed and distressed for months now. The latest because I tried to be a good friend and mentor to a younger cousin and her lazy ass boyfriend who believed the world would be a fab place if everyone blew off doctors and smoked dope all day. This same joker, Chad, stole quite a bit of my recently deceased mother’s costume jewelry collection with pieces far older than I am today; broke her sorority pen when he never should have had it in the first place; stole a small point-and-shoot camera that was only good enough to catch pics and video in a breaking news story, and; stole a very expensive digital recorder with a microphone that fit into my ear so that whatever I heard in that ear went into the recorder. It is that last item that puts a huge crimp in my ability to work and the theft of jewelry that makes me want to cry. That bastard also tried to get my smallest and youngest dog killed by encouraging her into the street–a boulevard where cars regularly surpass the 35 MPH speed limit–because he was mad at me for throwing his ass out of my house. If my now-estranged cousin, Marguerite, hadn’t protected him with her body, and if she wasn’t bigger than I was, I would have stabbed him with any sharp object I could get my hands on and never regret it other than the fact that my girls would be without me.* So fuck you, Marguerite, for caring more about how well your pussy is licked and not giving a crap that your sick motherfuckin’ boyfriend tried to kill a defenseless animal! You are about the third most disappointing relative I’ve ever had the misfortune of trusting.

When Chad tried to get Snippet killed, I called the police. I have no idea what lie they told, but I really don’t care as long as they are gone and remain so. Then, I discovered the thefts. I texted Marguerite and asked where the items were. She lied and said that I was, paraphrasing, “imagining things.” Yeah, right. That’s what I do all day, child. I sit and imagine things and then write them up as news stories. Puleeze! Oh, did I mention that the two nitwits tried to frame me as a dope dealer in the event that I did call the cops? Chica went through my mother’s bedroom, where they slept, and had to see the three Mary Jane plants that had sprouted. I went right behind her, but after she’d left, and that was the second thing my eyes caught. The first was a drawer that was out of place. I called the police and that’s where I have to end this horrible little chapter other than to say that I tried, even after that foolish little girl went along with the setup at the very least and, for all I know, might have orchestrated it. I took the frosting for the brownies and Rice Krispies to her last known address, her mother and stepfather’s apartment, but got no answer. That’s when I began soliciting legal opinions. I asked four attorneys what my liability might be. Let’s just say that I wasn’t concerned when I called the cops. One of the attorneys, after seeing the texts that arrogant butthole, Chad, sent, said that the attempt at extortion alone would probably be a major factor, and; that here, animal cruelty isn’t looked upon kindly even though I’m very sure I had the misfortune to draw the officer with the least concern for any animal that didn’t walk upright on two legs and communicate some form of English in the first encounter.

There is a pall on this day because it’s really hitting me how badly I screwed up. I never should have allowed that scum access to my house, even if Marguerite and her mother approved of him. He claimed that his mother and sister both threw him out and that his father was “iffy.” Knowing a little something about the fallibility of parental units, it wasn’t such a stretch to believe. The two stayed as guests because Chad didn’t have a job then and there, but was supposedly working on getting one. He had about a quarter of his food stamp money to contribute, but that might as well been Monopoly money given all that he ate and drank. I could never imagine anyone drinking an entire 12-can box of ginger ale in one morning until he did it. Things we ordered from a Chinese restaurant that delivered and I helped pay for were gone before I even had one helping. Yes, MJ can give a person mad cravings, but being stoned is a decision. Choosing to fix the after-effects of being stoned is a decision. Telling the person who was kind enough to allow you to stay in her house rent free until you found a job that she wasn’t “trying hard enough” with a disability that only maybe eight doctors in the entire world have actively treated, after every relative you’d previously asked had thrown you out, was a decision. Literally hiding behind your larger girlfriend was most definitely a decision, as was threatening me, making fun of me and trying to kill my dog were all decisions.

Chad supposedly has ADHD. Yeah, I can see that. However, these two forget that I’ve been in the world a lot longer than they have. This family breeds cops and lawyers like farmers breed cattle for slaughter. My mother was a teacher just like her grandmother, great aunt and many of the women on this branch of the family tree. Learning disabilities are not new to me. ADHD is not an excuse for everything small, medium and large that happens even if he’s got Marguerite believing it is. The disability, once diagnosed, must be addressed, yes, but not like this.

As I said, Marguerite was more interested in how well he performed sexually, forgetting or outweighing all the times he’s made her cry (believe me, it was a lot),and that he/they were stealing from a dead blood aunt who ALWAYS cared about her and her education. She didn’t care. Chad could throw tantrums and she’d do whatever he wanted. In this case, not only did he set me up, but he set Marguerite up as well. Everything he texted was from HER phone and not his. His is sitting on my mantle along with some other things just waiting.

Chad’s statement that: 1) He didn’t think he should have to find a job, and; 2) that I wasn’t trying hard enough, made me see red. That is especially true of the second statement. I was so angry at his arrogant, ignorant, generally assholish comments that I stripped down to my skin, including taking off my prosthesis, and screamed at him while asking if that is good enough and that he knows nothing. Damn! I wish I could have caused him severe injury without leaving my girls to fend for themselves.* His tongue would have been about the only thing that worked, so Ms. Marguerite would have still been happy.

I feel as though I’ve disappointed my mother and so many other women who came before me by allowing myself to get duped by Chad, who is quite charming, articulate and definitely an angry young man. I just couldn’t stand the thought of the child I believed I knew and that I would have been proud to have as my own daughter, out on the street with this 20-year-old kid who’d had a rough life because of his learning disorder where god knows what could have happened to them. She was devoted to him and I took them in mostly so that she wouldn’t be put in danger. To steal from me and my just barely-dead mother was an abomination–a blasphemy that I will never forgive. I will send her mother a copy of this post and tell her exactly what her daughter and her boyfriend did. Then, unless the police get a warrant or I can get a photo of the one-off piece of jewelry I purchased for my mother from its designer and take that to the cops, I’m done. IF she goes to college, and IF she manages to graduate, then I’ll re-think my position. However, those “ifs” are very, very large. I wouldn’t be surprised if she ended up pregnant first. As I said before, Marguerite is an enormous disappointment.

ETA the following:

* After many days to think, I concluded that Marguerite did me a favor. Had I stabbed Chad for trying to murder my youngest furbaby–because, let’s face it, that’s what he was trying to do whether statutes, prosecutors and case law call it “murder” or not–all of my girls would have been without me. That’s unacceptable under any circumstance.

My, Oh My, Oh My!

As I sit here in the silent dark with no music playing and the light from my television that isn’t broadcasting anything but an annoyingly blue screen, all I can say is, “This was the scariest, most emotionally gut-wrenching day I’ve had since I don’t even know when.” Yes, I’ve had scary days, and; yes, I’ve had gut-wrenching days. Having both at the same time has worn me the fuck OUT. It’s not the “good” kind of worn out where you can’t walk straight without looking a bit off and hoarse from all those vocalized “prayers.” This is the really bad kind of worn out where someone or someones you love is in imminent danger of death, is finally retrieved, but only after absolute panic and lots and lots of prayers to God. Now, take that and multiply by two and you’ll have the first reason I’m worn out.

I had to start up iTunes and take a swig of bourbon and Coke to tell this story. Mind you, if you’d told me a month ago that I’d be drinking bourbon, I would have laughed at you. However, this seems to be a time of dramatic change in my life. Why not change my drinking habits, too? So the Absolut is sitting in a bottle as I’ve almost gone through a sampler pack of Jim Beam. Whatever the drink and the music (Gipsy Kings), it is entirely possible this post will be floating in a sea of swearing. Sensitive eyes should leave while they have a chance. I’ll wait.

. . . 1 . . . 2 . . . 3 . . . 4 . . . 5 . . . Long enough. Here’s what happened.

By now, anyone who’s been reading for a while knows that my mother died recently. She and I shared a home–when she wasn’t trying to throw me out because I’d rather not talk to her when I’m furious for fear I’ll tell the truth that should not be told to someone who you’re not really sure is all there, or; when she’s just generally pissed off and accused me of disrespecting her for any of a zillion reasons I can’t even think about now. Don’t get me wrong, I truly deeply loved my mother, but I don’t kiss anyone’s ass, including hers. It’s just not who I am. I’d rather say nothing than something that’s going to lead to God-only-knows-what. Mom didn’t work that way, although she should have gotten a clue or dozen even before I was born because, although I didn’t know it, my father did the same thing, I’m sure to keep from wringing her neck. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but the bastard that was her second husband/predatory pedophile did the same thing. This will become important toward the end. I just had to get it out now.

Due to my mother’s death, I have been left to try to keep the house running without the electricity, water, cable, Internet, phone lines, etc. being shut off. I have purchased exactly one indulgence: the aforementioned Absolut and the Jim Beam sampler. I guess that’s two, but right now, $5 for the sampler is chicken feed compared to what I need. I suggested that my cousin’s boyfriend, Chad, move in. I’ve got the room and he was in real need. Besides, I knew my cousin, nicknamed “Mickey,” the child I wish I’d had, would more or less live here too. I honestly didn’t know how much I needed another person, especially a male person, in this house. It’s as though there’s life here now and it feels good to come in knowing that I’m not going to get thrown out and that there are people here who miss me when I’m gone. Chad cooks, which is beyond cool. Mickey kind of tries, but she’s messy as hell! I just about lost my mind the first time I saw the kitchen after she’d made brownies. Let’s just say that I left notes where they could not be missed. It was eventually worked out, but the more I learn about Chad, the more I know he and I needed not only each other, but Mickey, too. He has definitely been fucked over by his mother, a woman who should be rounded up and sterilized if she’s still in her childbearing years. His sister who, I am very sure, is reacting, and has reacted all her life, to being emotionally abused at least as much as Chad, isn’t much better. The situation became intolerable. I’d met him when Mickey brought him over a few weeks ago, therefore, I was comfortable with him. The girls love him to pieces. They can see he’s really a great kid in need of gentle encouragement and people who believe in him. I think he’s been here two weeks, (but it could be slightly less) and I consider him family. I am one very fierce C.A.B. when it comes to my family.

I lost my iPhone and am in a quiet panic over that because it has more than enough info to ruin my life, including some song lyrics I haven’t filed with the Copyright Office, passwords and all sorts of shit. Now, you’d think that I, being a reasonably intelligent woman, would have purchased AppleCare or some sort of package through either Apple or AT&T that would allow me to at least find out where the damn thing is. Uh uh. Nope. Trying to remember my movements when I went to bed quite happily and deservedly stoned off my gourd was fairly impossible after spending hours and hours on the phone with various creditors who haven’t been paid since Mom died because she was way under-insured and what there is is coming at a snail’s pace, not to mention I just haven’t had the time or emotional wherewithal to fill out forms. In addition, I’ve been so focused on the house I really did forget a few creditors or thought they’d been held at bay. Nope! The bank is threatening foreclosure although I told those sons-of-snakes that she’d died and that I really needed to see her accounts to find a policy I’m fairly sure she had that would help a little. I brought the documents I was told, only to have some damn bank manager say they weren’t the right documents all without once losing his smile or ever offering a word of condolence. I had to leave the bank because I was planning on punching his smiling face, which, of course, wouldn’t do anything except make me very happy. Be that as it may, it is clear that the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing at Key Bank National Association.

I forgot to mention that Chase Bank is trying to repossess the mini van that holds my electric wheelchair and a portable ramp giving me just enough of a grade to get said wheelchair in the back of the mini van. It won’t fit in a sedan or an SUV. Without a van, I am pretty much housebound with no life and often no way to even get to my doctors’ appointments, of which I have many. Yes, there is a paratransit service, but they need 24 hours’ notice, which is often impossible.

I have but one question: When am I allowed to stand still without the weight of my world on my shoulders long enough to just be a grieving daughter? No one gives a rat’s ass about that.

I spent Monday through Wednesday nearly non-stop on the phone. I actually lost my voice Wednesday trying to cajole someone–ANYONE–to give me a break. I made headway in a couple of places and went to see my shrink and FedEx Office (aka Kinko’s) with a briefcase filled with papers and notes on my iPhone about who needed what. Thankfully, I still had the damn phone at the time. Anyway, I stood and copied my little debit card out, trying to match each document with a recipient. Then, I got a call from another cousin checking on me. We’re all becoming a family of orphans and it’s breaking our hearts. This branch was always a bit snooty, but between one of my two great aunts’ death and my mom’s death two weeks later after being 86 years old a whole five days, we’re coming together like I’ve never seen. I called a truce between the smaller group I was fighting with and had been for years and let everyone know that I expected them to do the same or I’d call them out in public and kick some ass–verbally, of course. 🙂 The only miscreant is someone I mentioned in another post and is most assuredly a waste of my time and valuable air.

I remember having the phone when I got in the van after Kinko’s because I decided I wanted to hear one of my playlists instead of the country station I’d listened to on satellite. I remember driving out of the Kinko’s lot and going to McDonald’s because dinner wouldn’t be ready soon. That’s all I remember other than coming home. I didn’t realize that my phone was missing until I’d eaten my MickeyD’s and gone upstairs, shortly followed by my cousin with some really great dessert. As I noticed making less and less sense, I threw them out, closed my eyes and didn’t open them again until Friday morning. It was then that I got that, “OMFG!!!” feeling about my iPhone. I searched the bed linen, because I am forever losing that damn phone with a dark blue cover in my dark blue sheets. No joy. I tried to remember what I had on with only partial success. I remembered what pants I wore, but not what shirt, whether the shirt had a pocket and whether I was wearing a jacket, which I kind of doubt, but can’t say for sure. Panic was setting in big time, but I swallowed it and went into the garage, searched the floor, went to the van, searched the driver’s side because I couldn’t get over to the passenger’s side, but I know I’ve lost all sorts of things over there.

Acknowledged, but not watched in my search, the girls followed Chad and I into the garage. In the process of searching as much as I could of the passenger seat, some parts of my anatomy that are usually trussed up within an inch of their lives apparently landed on the garage door opener. Out went both Micki (the bitch) and Snippet. Berry walked out, but was not in any way interested in leaving her happy home, thank you God. In the meantime, I heard tires squealing, didn’t see either of the two reprobates and took a small sigh of relief. I closed the garage door and ran into the house to see if Micki had allowed herself to be caught, which, thankfully (Thank You, God!) she did.

A small diversion, but this is still fairly well amazing to me. I have tried to pick the adult-sized Micki up many times. She weighs between 50 and 55 lbs., especially since I’m giving her the amount of food she should have been getting all along and taking her treats into consideration as well. But when Chad picks her up and carries her with his arm around her chest and the rest of her facing front, she looks completely nonchalant. In truth, she looks like she likes it! I just shook my head, happy that at least one of the two hoodlums was safe and rolled out of my driveway in search of Snippet.

All of the streets south of mine on do weird curvy thingies. There isn’t a straight street that will reliably take you where you want to go if you don’t know the neighborhood. As it happens, as long as I’ve lived in here, I haven’t really explored more than a couple of side streets south of my house. I can go on the street directly behind mine, which is what I needed in my search, and pretty much tell where I am in reference to my own street. I called and called, but didn’t see Snippet. I wanted to cry so badly, but realized that wouldn’t help her since I had to accept she really was lost. She hasn’t lived here long enough to know much of anything about this street. I live on a main boulevard where it’s nothing to see cars going 45 or even 50 MPH. Hell, I have been known to put the peddle to the metal here. A young kid was about to walk in back of the van as I was pulling out of my driveway for the second time. I asked him if he’d seen a little white dog and he had. When he told me where, believe me, the pedal damn near went through the floorboard. I didn’t see her where I thought and I had to choose whether to go straight or turn right, left or make a U-turn. Something told me to make that U-turn and I am so glad I did! There she was, running back to my street after running, very lost, from one of the side streets just where the kid said she was. I would have missed her if not for pure luck.

I threw my car into PARK with the hazard lights on and got out of the car, across traffic that didn’t want to stop. I didn’t care. I had to get my baby. There was nothing more important at that moment, even my own life and health. I called to her without watching the traffic on her side of the street. She almost didn’t make it, but she came to me on the boulevard strip. I caught her by the collar, but she struggled and I was afraid she’d get away, so I pounced on her regardless of what that meant we landed in. (Boulevard strip, other dogs/owners, daily constitutionals, get it?) I held on to her tightly and closely. I couldn’t get up without at least one hand and they were both making sure she didn’t take off again. A lady passed in her car, saw that I was down and holding a small dog and asked if I was OK. In a rare bit of humility, I told her that I’d just found my lost dog, but I couldn’t get up while I was holding her. Two teens got out of her car and took Snippet so I could get up. The adrenaline was pumping so hard and my heart beating so fast and loud that I almost lost it as the girls carried Snippet to the car and I got all of the windows rolled up. Would you believe that I forgot how to roll my own windows up from the driver’s side? I’ve had the van since ’08!

I still don’t have my iPhone, though I had AT&T lock it in case anyone tries to use it. I need to find my phone, but there is no way in hell it’s worth a hangnail on any of my furbabies. It is only because of them, in various configurations, that I have life. Every time I think about truly ending my life, especially since I now know what will and won’t be enough to do the deed for real instead of ending up in the ER with Narcan in my stomach and then up to ICU, I think of my girls. At most, I have someone who’ll take Micki. There are several who’d take Snippet, but Berry would be left out in the cold. I can’t have that. She, alone, has kept me alive so many times I can’t count them. She’ll be 12 around Thanksgiving and she is most definitely someone for whom I give thanks. She always knows when I need her. Mom and I used to share her. Mind you, Berry could do whatever the hell she wanted whenever she wanted. However, if I expressed to her that I missed her the night before, she’d sleep with me that night and Mom the next night. She’d keep this up until she sensed that I didn’t mind if she slept with Mom for a while. Now, I have her full-time. Snippet is with Chad and Mickey tonight/this morning while Berry, Micki and I sleep in my bedroom.

I’m going to leave you with something of a musical discovery and recommendation. Jason Aldean’s CD My Kinda Party was released in late 2010, but I’m new to country and am, therefore, just discovering him. I’ve got a couple of tracks and will probably end up using Complete My Album on iTunes to get the rest. I particularly love Fly Over States and Dirt Road Anthem [remix] (featuring Ludacris). I’m certainly going to do so with Lady Antebellum’s Own The Night released September 2011. I’ve put Dancin’ Away With My Heart in heavy rotation on my now-lost iPhone.

And with that, I’m going to try to sleep. The sun is up and I haven’t even finish writing about everything that happened. Yes, there is more. It’s been one freaky damn Friday!

P.S.: I’m experimenting with adding the ability to comment.

Missing Person

I really wanted to get a new post up this week because I’ve got a lot to say and no place to really say it. For example, I’m so ashamed that I can’t tell my therapist about my latest “tryst” with the man who was old enough to be my father. I’m not so much ashamed because of his age, but the circumstances were all wrong and I have no real defense, only an answer to the question, “Why?” I’m having a battle with what shall hereto be referred as the Food Monster. I don’t eat when I’m depressed, but I make myself eat usually a bunch of carbohydrates because my body craves quick energy to prevent me from literally passing out. Carbs are addictive. That old ad slogan, “Nobody can eat just one” was the truth! Potatoes, from which potato chips are made, are carbohydrates. The more you eat, the more you want to eat. Sugar is also addictive because it is also a carbohydrate. So, the Pierre’s Spumoni and Pierre’s Cinnamon ice creams that call my name each night get me eating what should be a little bit, but ends up being more than a little bit. Then, I hate myself because I’ve given in to the Food Monster.

I don’t remember what day it was last week, but I think it was the one where I had the disgusting encounter, I tried to put on a pair of pants that fit just days ago. However, because I’d eaten, the pants were too tight. Mind you, this happened in less than a week. If I could figure out my menstrual cycle, the difference might be explained by water retention. However, after a little over a year of keeping track of my cycles, and after three months of not having a period, I gave up. There were other things I could do with my time. The chances of me running across a “baby daddy” in the near future are remote. That’s several more posts alone. I’ll deal with that another night.

The point is, I have so thoroughly fucked up my metabolism that the only way to lose weight is by eating more or less nothing. I’ve been toying with going against several doctors’ advice and exercising. Understandably, they’re all concerned that if I manage to hurt myself, they won’t necessarily know how to fix me. The surgeon who performed my knee replacement is definitely a star already and getting to be more of one as time flies. I don’t remember his exact words, but they went something like this: “If Humpty Dumpty falls, I can’t promise I can put him back together again.” That kinda made me swallow hard. I know cutters. They have egos bigger than my house and if several of them say the same thing, then I’d better listen up. About the only thing I can get them to agree to is water therapy. I’m going to have to get another referral since I’ve misplaced the original, but there’s a heck of a great water therapy facility I’d like to try. My problem then becomes one of how to keep the liquid in my body from pouring out of my body at an inopportune time. Sorry for the ewwy imagery, but the truth is the light. Swimming pools make me have to pee and that means I have to rush, thereby risking injury should I slip and fall because I wasn’t careful.

It was a particularly sad day for me today. I got some paperwork mom’s lawyer sent over for my signature as well as the signature of her three brothers. I know that Mom didn’t mean to do this, but she left her youngest brother out of her will. None of them will get anything anyway because I’m alive. However, I don’t want David, who’s always said my mother and their oldest brother favored the middle brother, to feel left out AGAIN, so I told him that he had to sign as well. Fortunately, sloppy lawyering on the part of my mother’s attorney made the white lie pass the “smell test.” The lawyer relied on his memory instead of looking at the will itself and put David’s signature line in the way it should have been in the first place. However, he left another person out because he forgot that I’d told him she’d reached the age of majority only a few weeks prior to Mom’s passing.

My point is that, yes, David is right. She’ll take her middle brother’s side over darn near everyone else, including me. She did so even when I was being verbally attacked by him in my own house over some shit he thought I’d said. Mom was sitting right in the middle of this and said she didn’t hear anything. She’s taken loans against life insurance policies where I’m the beneficiary for him and she’s placed a second mortgage on the house largely because of him. For the first time, I am truly afraid that I will lose this house because I can’t find insurance that pays off the mortgage or even establish that she had such a policy that was active when she died. I’ve found one that the company says lapsed, but I can’t see my mother doing that unless there was some financial benefit. So, I get to look through all her check copies post-2009. The reason being that the bank will tell me nothing without a court order. That’s where we get back to getting the paperwork signed by the brothers and two of my cousins. This is also where we get back to the problem of my mother putting not only her youngest brother behind the middle one, but me as well. I begged and pleaded with her not to take a second mortgage, especially one that I couldn’t pay if she died. I even threw a hissy fit in the loan officer’s office for making a predatory loan to an old woman left behind somewhere in the 1960s or 70s. Sure enough, I’m screwed, in all probability.

Finances and will aside, I just miss my mom. That’s the center of it all; I miss my mom. I go to sleep and wake up and she’s not here. For a minute or two, sometimes more, sometimes less, I forget that she’s not here and ask if she’d mind taking the dogs out for me. My little spoiled “Brat,” (as I’ll refer to her here) came to us with a horrid urinary tract infection that has cost me over $200 to clear up. I’m still not completely sure it’s gone, but the odds are fairly good that it is. My “B&W child” now has a bad ear infection that may or may not have damaged her ear drum. The tissue is so swollen that the vet can’t get a scope in there to look around. Then, through my own negligence, we got off-schedule with her meds and I have to start all over again. I hated seeing that sad little black and white face and not be able to do more. B&W and Brat got into it for unknown reasons except that Brat may have believed that being on the grooming table was some sign of weakness OR, more likely, she was jealous because I lifted B&W onto the table where, in Brat’s mind, I don’t carry/hold her nearly enough. You have to understand that Brat and B&W are both little foundlings. B&W was found by my mother traipsing through snow that was far taller than she was, about to get mowed down by a vehicle of some sort. The decision to keep Brat was more or less mutual, but Mom let me make the final decision. It didn’t take me long to decide to keep her. She has a face that’s so ugly she’s adorable. She’s also extremely intelligent and is of like mind as my middle child, B&T (for black and tan). Both of them have larcenous hearts and I love watching them plan how they’re going to pull off their next caper. I thought Brat would be my mother’s dog/puppy (we think she was about nine months old when we got her), but she chose me. I don’t mind at all.

We all miss my mother. Maybe I’m projecting my feelings onto them, but I know that B&T was far more quiet than usual. She’s usually just a big kid. Today and tonight, she was depressed. I think I spent most of my time today either on the phone or giving love to and soaking up love from my girls. My mother wasn’t perfect as either a person or a mother. In fact, an argument could be made that she was not emotionally equipped to be a mother because she hadn’t confronted her demons and tried to pass them along to me. She did pass some of them to me, unfortunately. However, she also passed along a love of learning, especially history and anthropology. She taught me to love birdwatching, something I do in the backyard with relish. I love animals, that was her doing as well. Finally, but no less importantly, she taught me the love of family, even if there were, and are, times when that love was a horrible perversion. I wish that she’d passed on her artistic talents because I’m not even a mediocre artist. In fact, I rather suck at it. If I happen to get even 10% of a subject right, believe me, it was by mistake.

I am so torn. I want my mother back, but I also know, and have known since I was in my early teens, that the only way I’d have a life was when my mother passed on. This house holds a lot of very bad energy because evil took up residence here for over a decade in the form of my mother’s second husband. I understand through the grapevine that he nearly destroyed the next woman he married, too. I think that she also had fairly young children. I’d bet those kids, now adults, would have stories to tell that are very similar to my own. My question isn’t “Why did [the perpetrator(s)] do it?” Hell, that answer is fairly simple. They–he occasionally included his best friend–were in search of power and the only time they felt powerful was when they made children complicit in their own rape and/or molestation. No, my question is to the mothers: “Why did you let that bastard do this to us?!” My mother swore up and down that she didn’t know, but the evidence was there in front of her even if she didn’t want to see it. I’d made up my mind to forgive her and had planned to tell her the week she died. I hope enough of her essence was around when I held her beautiful, cold hand and said goodbye to hear that I forgave her.

I am trying so hard not to be angry with her anymore. I think what I feel these days is more pity than anger. She allowed one person into our lives who ruined both of us. We never recovered. She got angry with me for being angry with her all the time. According to her, I had no right to feel the way I felt. Hence, I had to cope real time with her emotional abuse as well as the mess that was left after being de-humanized, molested and then raped thanks to her choice. I get to be the bad guy here, too. In her mind, she was not only a victim of her husband, but the victim because I didn’t tell her. Well, duh, if your kid asks, begs and pleads with you on a DAILY basis before and after the marriage for about ten years to dump some guy, you bet your bippy something is wrong! But in her mind, she married that bastard because I needed a father. She forgets that her future hubby wasn’t the only man she dated, nor was his the only proposal she had. There was a really nice guy she was seeing who’d proposed, but he was between five and ten years younger. What would “people” think? Um, maybe they’d think she made a smart move by marrying a young, successful entrepreneur instead of the freakin’ mail man! Yet more stupid crap left over from an era that was long gone even in the 1960s that she held on to like a life preserver thrown to a drowning woman.

Breathe.

There’s no point in rehashing old arguments with a person who is no longer alive. I don’t miss arguing with her at all. I don’t miss the manipulation at all. I will be extremely glad when the real estate market recovers to the point I can sell this place and never have to set foot inside of it again. Honestly, I don’t wish the people or person who buys it any harm, but like I said, there’s a lot of negative energy in these walls. A good cleansing ritual might do some good.

ETA: a fair amount of exposition regarding Mom’s estate crap as well as info about her brothers, and; a lot of exposition about my mother’s abusive second husband.