Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Grounded! ... Other Thoughts (a catharsis of sorts) ... But Grateful :)

Gratitude Helps Me Rise Above All Fears Poster By Donna Corless
 Photo Credit

So ...I hate just being down to one vehicle and having to share our car.  Severely limiting right now.  Hopefully our other vehicle can still be repaired and is worth it to do because it's still under 100,000.00 miles even though it is an older one.  It would still be cheaper than buying another vehicle.  We did it once before (used one car), years ago and that was even more of a challenge I suppose, because we worked in different directions.  Fortunately, that didn't go on for too long and hopefully this won't either. 

We've also got some big changes going on in our family ...ultimately good I hope ...time will tell.

This month I hit and am now past the 22 month of being 22 months post ureteral stent removal without relapse.  That IS a wonderful thing.  :)

It is soooooo cold out and I know it's frigid across the country too.  I LOVE winter and cold weather! Invigorating!  Although not so invigorating when I was out and about last night.  :) And ..not the heat bills, of course.  I am mindful of hardships with cold and so I suppose I should say that when I forget about the hardships people suffer in the cold ..I LOVE winter.  But I'd never want anyone to be in the cold without the ability to be warm and safe from the elements.

I haven't written about it yet ...but ever since we were without electric (Lights, heat and running water), for almost 8 1/2 days from when Sandy came through our area ...I have felt vulnerable and unprepared.  We still are.  I realize just how fragile life as we know it is.  And I can only imagine how much worse it is for the people that actually lost everything in hurricane Sandy. But, I will do a separate post on this another time.  I'll just say that the experience here and the fact that it  was so devastated where I grew up as a child ...rocked me to my core in a way I didn't expect because not only was it disturbing for the destruction and loss that it was, it also tapped into some sad/bad childhood memories from those couple of years when Mom and I had it so tough and we had times of no electric, food, heat, and were lacking in other areas too.  I spent most of my life since then trying to forget and pretty much did.  In retrospect - that wasn't a good thing because we should've discussed our feelings verses letting them become this unspoken hurt and anger that it was.  But I also never wanted to hurt her and it was also too painful.  It was complicated.  And God knows ...Mom wore her feelings very close to her vest.  yes ...it was complicated.

And so I was surprised on the second day of being in this cold house, when alone ..all of a sudden all these strong and very uncomfortable feelings came rushing up from within and I remembered back then like it was yesterday.  I also missed mom all over again and I WISHED I could go back to that time ..with my ADULT understanding and be a support to her. To hug her and let her know that I loved her.   But of course that wasn't possible and it all was what it was.  The feelings were just awful.

Even though I knew ..I don't live in that situation in the present, but rather that I have a much better life now and I am not as alone ...living in silent desperation as mom and I did back then.  She never reached out for help - not to an agency - not to her brothers - to no one.  Well ...on most of the coldest nights she did arrange for me to sleep at her friend's house and I slept in with her daughters in their warm and cozy room.  But it HURT me so much when I'd watch her leave in the night ..in her big fur coat that she loved (it was warm), knowing she was going back to our cold dark house.  I felt so guilty.  I was 13.  It wasn't my fault, but I felt so responsible... like I should be doing SOMETHING to help or that I should be there with her so she wasn't alone in that dark, cold house.  Every time she left ...I'd rush over to their sofa, get up on my knees and poke my head through the closed curtains and watch her walk away until she disappeared from under the street light ...soon completely engulfed by the dark night.  The worst was when it was snowing one night.

And I never told her or anyone that one night at their house ...i was on my way from the family room to upstairs, but when I hit the landing by the front door, I heard mom's friend and her husband arguing and he YELLING with his deep voice ... something about that he wasn't working feed someone else's kid.  I froze, but listened.  I remember feeling embarrassed, sad and like I didn't belong ...which I didn't.  I had so many strong feelings that I kept to myself back then.  I was so secretive about it all that I never told any friends how we were living.  I never asked for even a cracker even though I hadn't eaten.  I was afraid if I did ...then my friend would know we were poor.  And I guess ...I was like Mom ...good at keeping secrets.  Looking back ...so MANY people would've done something to help. I didn't even tell my best friend, Iris ...until I was 27 and she was so shocked ...she didn't believe me and thought I was joking.  It took me a bit to finally convince her.  That was how good I was at keeping secrets... especially that secret.

I know I was also misunderstood as a young teenager because parents saw me hanging out at the drugstore or bowling alley or riding with older boys in their cars.  but, I had strong moral values that came from my Christian experiences/education.  I really was a good girl, didn't do drugs, smoke, drink and I believed in being a virgin.  I was just didn't want to stay in the house alone when mom was working and when my friends weren't available.  There wasn't any other family down there.  It wasn't a good feeling to be so misunderstood. I heard the gossip though.  And mom was probably too busy just trying to make ends meet.  Plus we were beginning to fight ...a lot and growing apart.  The final blow to our once close relationship ...was when she sent me away ...to live up here with her brother and wife. I think I've written about it before inhere.  I said in her eulogy, that it wasn't until I had kids of my own ...that I realized she SACRIFICED so that I could have a better life ...it was her LOVE for me that caused her to give me up ...to be safe and in a better home environment where I would have things she couldn't give or do for me.  All I saw back then was rejection.  I also thought I angered her one to many times and so she sent me up here.  No doubt I did, but I don't believe she sent me away out of anger.  It was love.  I suppose I could write a book about all the stuff.  I do want to say ...Mom was a good person, helped people whenever she could even though she herself had so little ..she would selflessly give out of her own need and never say a word.  She also NEVER complained about her life.  Not one time did I ever hear her complain about what she didn't have.  never in her entire life.  Dreams.  She on occasion shared a dream for something ...but never complained. She worked hard, never drank or ran around.  She was a good mom that way.  She just had some hard times she had to deal with.  My father ...he's an entire other story.

Anyway ..that was then ...and certainly we weren't going through anything that difficult.  But ...the hurricane Sandy experiences and what I was hearing about the shore area on the radio juts catapulted my feelings right back to the past ..or I guess the past rose up colliding with my present.  Sigh.

Also, please know that I in no way compare these feelings to anything the people truly affected by that storm were and are feeling.  But feelings are feelings.  Right or wrong ...feelings rise up and are what they are.  It is what we choose to do with them that matters in the end.

Well ...I'm making a meat pie for my m-i-l and a salad for when she comes home from cataract surgery later and should get going.  She had one eye done and now is having the second one done.  She's been so excited to SEE again.  And she couldn't wait to get this one done today. 

And the Benghazi hearings with Hillary are on C-Span right now.

I do want to follow up with this post sometime and talk about emergency preparedness.  We ..as a family still have to get on board with that.  Admittedly, I vacillate between concern and denial.  But this last event demonstrated how WOEFULLY unprepared we are.  I want to CHANGE that!

And finally ...I don't take things for granted like I used to.  I am so very grateful for all the blessings we do have in our lives.

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