Loss

Saturday morning I received a phone call from my brother saying that a family member’s 16 year old son killed himself.  As he told me the news I could feel my heart breaking.  I could picture his mothers devastation and despair.  I thought how will she ever go on?  Her only child was now gone.  The guilt she feels is heavy like a brick and pulling her further and further into despair.   I cried off and on all day thinking of her and the loss that she will forever carry with her.  This is the second suicide in the family within the last five years.  

The first one was a family member I grew up with and always held to the highest standards.  I was shocked by his death but he was older and had been suffering a long, long time so I sort of understood.  But a 16 year old boy is not understandable.  I think of all the young kids that take their own lives daily and it breaks my heart.  It’s heartbreaking when anyone takes their own life but a kid is different.  They have their entire lives ahead of them.  They don’t understand that things get easier with age…not everything but for the most part we grow up and realize that our tragedies weren’t so tragic after all.  

How will his mother wake up day after day and move on with her life?  My heart breaks over and over when I think of her sadness and loss.  Maybe as time goes on things will get a little easier for her but I know that those days are not in the near future.

Hold on my dear, cling to your family and friends, we will help you through the dark days that lie ahead; you will get through this, I promise.  And I’m so sorry for your loss.  What else do you say?  You want to give her hope but it’s so difficult to think of hope or a better tomorrow when your still grieving the loss of a child.  

Tomorrow for me will be a lot different than tomorrow for her.  Tomorrow I will wake up and have a new day of running after an almost two year old and for a few moments I will be able to forget about my friends loss and not feel the heartache and sadness that I do for her.  But tomorrow she will wake up and still feel like she is in hell.   

 

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Grrrrr…Lost Wallet

Just before I went to put my son to sleep for the evening I realized that I had not seen my wallet most of the day.  I had it earlier when I went to pick up my mom and son B however after that I do not recall seeing it again.  So, as I headed off to the room I realized that the sound that I heard while driving to school was the sound of my wallet sliding across the metal roof of my Jeep and onto the street that I drove down.  And the more and more I thought about my actions after picking up my mom and B the more and more I realized I set my wallet on top of the roof of my car as I took B out of his car seat and then headed indoors without a second thought of my wallet until a little while ago.

I don’t care that my ID’s, membership cards (Costco, etc.) are missing but I do care that a letter from my daughter from about 8 years ago was in that wallet and her school pictures from the last 10 years are in that wallet.  A picture of my almost niece who passed away shortly after birth was also in there.  And an unused $25 starbucks (unregistered) gift card that my mom gave me this morning was also in there.

I cried and yelled while retracing my steps to school and back home however it was long gone.  I imagined that a homeless person picked it up and hit the jackpot with the few dollars that were in it or maybe some gang member picked it up and now my ID, credit card and debit card are going to be sold to someone.  Of the two scenarios I played out in my head I’m hoping for the first one.  Either way I hope they drop the remnants of my wallet into a post box.

I reported it to my campus lost and found and posted something on Craigslist and cancelled my debit card and credit card and tomorrow I will figure out the rest of things like getting new ID’s and what not.  I am hoping a good samaritan will send me my wallet or drop it in a post box…there are still good samaritan’s out there, right?

Children and Changes

Tomorrow morning I will be heading out to have coffee with my step-daughter who doesn’t come to see us very often.  For the last year we have had less and less contact with E.  My husband D has had one blow up conversation with her several months ago but it seems that conversation didn’t resolve anything. Part of the problem is is there anything to be resolved?  E is 20 years old and in college (not far from home) and involved in a sorority (she holds the judicial chair) has a boyfriend of four years now and works a couple days a week sometimes.  Anyways, she’s fairly busy.  It seems that she still manages to make time for her mom’s side of the family and my husbands brother however she never makes time to come visit us or her siblings here at our house.  My daughter E and our son B.  My intent tomorrow morning is find out if we did something wrong or if something was said or done that possibly makes her not want to come over to our house.  At first I thought D was maybe being sensitive to her growing up and becoming more and more independent until one day a couple of months ago.  We were head to the mall that is located by her house and he asked if she wanted to join us and she declined stating she was busy which is the usual answer.  Well his folks were also meeting us there for lunch and they invited her, unaware we had already invited and were turned down, well she said she would meet them for lunch and was a little surprised to see we were there too.  I couldn’t believe that she turned down our invite and accepted theirs, my feelings were really hurt but nothing was said, as usual.  D has been devastated and heartbroken since she stopped calling him and coming to visit.  He thinks he failed her as a father however he’s been a great dad to her, yes he has his faults however he has done everything possible to make her life easy and has always been supportive in many ways.  I am hoping tomorrow morning she will open up to me and tell me why she no longer likes coming to visit us.  But I also realize she may not and in the end there may not be any reason other than she just doesn’t want to hang out with us.  I have tried to prepare myself for that but I don’t know if it’s possible to prepare for someone just not wanting to be around you.  I have talked to my mother in-law and she says it’s just a normal thing, she’s becoming independent.  I would believe this if we weren’t the only ones she seems to avoid.  I’ve seen FB posts and IG posts of her doing stuff with her mom’s family, her other siblings and my brother in-law so it seems that she has time for recreation just not with us.  I’m sad and I hope I can “fix” whatever might be broken.  And if nothing’s broken then I don’t know.

If anyone has any comments on this post or suggestions I’m open to hear them.

A Piece of History

I have recently come across a bunch of photographs that belonged to my grandma who passed away 27 years ago this December.  There are pictures of my mom and my uncle when they were young and in their twenties.  Seeing pictures of my grandma really made me miss her.  Most of my youth my mom, brother and I lived with her until she was diagnosed with lung cancer and within a year she moved into a senior assisted living place.  She was diagnosed in 1985 and in December 1986 she passed.  Her cancer spread from her lungs to her breasts and she had a double mastectomy.  I remember her coming home after her radiation and chemo treatments sicker than I’ve ever seen anyone.  I was at the tender age of ten and had no idea what was really going on.  I was devastated when she passed.  I remember crying every day for a week straight…maybe longer.  She was my world.  These recent found photographs have brought her back to life and I am seeing a side of her I’ve never seen before.  She was quite a beautiful woman.

Among these photos are pictures of my grandpa whom I never knew.  He died in a car accident when my mom was five. I have found a treasure trove of pictures he took while stationed in England during World War Two.  He was a captain in the Army Airforce Corp.   There are pictures of bombs being dropped over Germany and newspaper clippings that talk about the 8th Air force which he belonged to.  There’s one article that talks about the plane he was flying, a Flying Fortress, and how his father built the plane.  I guess my great grandpa worked for Boeing during the time and they built the Flying Fortresses during WWII.  Being a history major I am so excited about all the information I am discovering about my family that I knew hardly anything about two days ago.

So while my heart is sad and I am missing my grandma and a grandpa I never knew, I feel like I am getting to know them both now through these photographs, letters and newspaper clippings.  This is an opportunity I never thought I’d have.

The photo below was taken in August 1942.

My grandparents, Alma Stegemann and Charles William Stegemann

My grandparents, Alma Stegemann and Charles William Stegemann

Cars and Finals

About seven months ago my husband (D) was in a car accident, someone ran a red light and hit him pretty much head-on as he was about to make a left hand turn (D was banged up but ok for the most part.) He happened to be driving my car, a 1999 Honda Accord, she was old but a sturdy car, and due to the accident she was a total loss.  In my opinion insurance companies are a scam about 99.9% of the time.  You pay all year and only benefit from that expense IF you are in an accident.  So needless to say I was grateful for our insurance until it came time to get a new car…they gave us a rental car for only five days.  If you have ever bought a car you should know that it takes longer than five days.  Well, after much pleading with the insurance company they ended up giving me two extra days…so in the time I had I searched and searched for a good used car.  I didn’t want a car payment so I was searching for something that I could afford with what I was getting from the insurance company for the Honda.  On my last day of having the rental car I found a decent 1999 Jeep Grand Cherokee.  It was within my price range and the couple from whom I purchased it seemed honest.  Little did I know that they were anything but honest.

Within a few days of purchasing the Jeep I had to replace the computer ($800) and also had some other things done to it, overall the first trip to my mechanic cost me around $1500.  About two weeks ago I had to have the radiator replaced which was another couple hundred dollars and yesterday all of the brakes were done, including the e brake, and today the serpentine belt broke…oh and there’s something wrong with the transmission as it keeps slipping while driving on the freeway.  So today, I am not happy about the purchase I made about seven months ago.  I am grateful we have the money to get it repaired but our savings has also been wiped out so I just pray that nothing else comes up this year.

Friday I have two finals, my last two for the quarter.  I should really be studying right now and I will, as soon as I’m done venting on here.  So the one final I am not concerned about, it’s fairly easy because I have a study guide and I love the content so it’s easy to remember stuff you love or enjoy.  right?  right.  Anyways, my second final is hell.  I love history.  I’m a history major.  But I don’t care for the professor.  He’s a little arrogant and acts as though he doesn’t really love teaching to a bunch of undergrads.  The three hours we have for a final he has cut in half.  He thinks it should only take us 90 minutes to write and essay and answer four short essay ID’s.  Well, maybe for him it would take 90 minutes but after 10 weeks of lecture and no study guide it’s a lot of content to try and remember so 3 hours would be better, in my opinion.  He gave us three sample questions and 40 ID’s to remember for the exam.  Even though he’s only going to put 7 on the exam and then we choose 4.  Yes, I am being a whinny undergrad but oh well.

I haven’t had a good nights sleep since our son was born, that was a year ago.  And lately he wakes up several times through the night.  I feel as though I can’t do another day without sleep.  I know I won’t get sleep until my finals are finished because of course I’m stressed (a little) about the one.

I’m heading up to my sister in-laws next week for a couple of days with our son.  I’m looking forward to seeing her.  She lives in central CA, about two miles from the ocean.  The weather is always perfect up there.

 

On Strike

I should understand how marriage works considering this is my third time but I still lack in the department called teamwork.  We bicker a lot about things like my teenage daughter not picking up after herself and the fact that I leave stuff laying around the house.  I am not a very organized person, I want to be and I make attempts at being organized but they are feeble and inconsistent.  Anyways, my disorganization and lack of immediate attention to things around the house has frustrated D to no end and now he is on strike.  He says he feels unappreciated and that no one respects him and all he does for us so until he feels that he is appreciated and respected he is only going to take care of himself and I should respect his decision.  I’m not sure how I feel about this.  At first I was mad because I thought wow, it must be nice to just say “fuck it” and only take care of yourself.  But the other part of me thinks, this too shall pass.

In D’s defense he does do a lot around the house.  At night he makes sure the kitchen is picked up and our sons toys are put away.  He does laundry sometimes during the week when he sees it’s piling up.  Sometimes its because he needs stuff washed and I haven’t had the time to get to it and other times its just to help me out.  He does the kitchen because he can’t stand having anything left in the sink over night and because when I get up in the morning he wants me to spend time with our son.  I do things around the house as well just not as quickly as he does.  Part of this is due to my disorganization and the other part is due to our small son needing my constant attention.  I am grateful for all that D does, he’s a good husband, father and provider.

But sometimes we aren’t appreciated for all that we do.  Children especially teens aren’t always grateful for the lives they have, and usually they don’t realize how easy they have it until they are adults and unappreciated themselves.  And while D is on strike I will get to the household chores as I have time, in-between classes, nursing the baby and driving a teenager around.

I want our marriage to encompass teamwork and I think that is something that we both need to work on.  We were single parents for so long that we need to be more understanding of each others differences.  And with time and patience I hope we can create an atmosphere of teamwork for our little boy so that he wants to be a contributor to our family.

 

9 months

Today Benny is nine months old…9 months ago I was in an operating room and at 7:56am he was “born” via c-section. The doctor’s words were “Oh my gosh, he’s huge! We need to get a weight on that boy!” Turns out I was carrying around an 11lb 1.4oz baby boy. Looking back I’m glad the doctor suggested I have him that week rather than waiting. I can’t imagine how much bigger he would have been if I had gone 41 or 42 weeks. And to this day he has not slowed down on the growth charts.
He has been the biggest blessing. I still nurse him at least four times a day. I struggled with breast feeding so much in the beginning. Oh, the tears and stress. But, we pushed through and even though it took us about two months to truly get the hang of it I’m glad we stuck it out. The closeness I feel to him is strong and solid. I attribute some of that to the bond we’ve formed because of nursing him.
He looks at me like he looks at no one else. It’s beautiful.

Happy nine months my sweet boy

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