Today marks 6 months since I lost my mother, and I still have not composed her obituary. I feel like I am doing her a great disservice, but I simply do not know where to begin. It may seem like a moot point this far out, but I just feel like it is something that must be done. Perhaps once I do, I could use it as part of the memorialization of her Facebook page. That was something I felt I could do right away, but my sister asked me not to. Again, I feel like I'm doing her a disservice in not having done so. After all, she left me that responsibility.
Speaking of responsibility, I received a check for her death benefits last week. I originally planned to save it, but The Mr. said we needed to use it to pay things off. I feel like my mother would be greatly disappointed if she knew that I gave in without a fight. She would also be disappointed in how much disrespect I tolerate, but that's a whole other issue.
Speaking of issues, how does one go about moving on after having been called crazy and having a series of F-bombs hurled in her direction after having told her spouse his actions made her unhappy? It seems like I complain often about being frozen out, and you would think we would have found a solution by now, but *NOPE*
On a more positive note, my high school graduation present arrived today!
. . .to expect someone who grew up with a different family dynamic to not only want the same things that you do, but actually care enough to make those things happen. How does watching football hold more value than finding a home church? How does one justify sitting on the couch and staring at your phone while your rapidly unraveling wife literally begs for peace so she can eat after you and your children have already eaten (and only step in to help out after she snaps, jumps up from the table and heads to the bedroom to pack her bags for the trip down south she's weeks overdue for, but still hasn't been able to make, because you can't seem to help her out by covering parental duty with your school-aged child)? How does one leave their family -- albeit for just hours, but with no notice -- without realizing how hurt and, I hate to say it, but disrespected it makes your wife feel?
Your wife watched both of her parents die in 3 months. She loved her parents, spoke to them at least weekly and actually made an effort to maintain these relationships in spite of the distance between them. They both died in their early 60's, leaving her to wonder about her own life expectancy. How does one continue to expect the same things from their life partner after she recently suffered such devastating and crippling blows to her life? Could it be because he never cared enough to ask how she is doing? How could you not even ask how you could help? Perhaps, by not asking, you could claim that you had no idea what was going on? Either way, it makes her see you in a light unbecoming of the man she sees herself spending her life with.
Perhaps she was wrong in expecting you to understand in light of your relationship with your family. Maybe, just maybe, she was praying you would tap into the compassion she thought we all had, unless you, like her, had compassion fatigue after years of being in stressful situations. Whatever the reason, your family is not going to make it if things do not change.
. . . Since my mother died, and there still is so much that needs to be done. The most pressing issue right now is the emptying, cleaning and selling of her house. The mortgage will be due very soon, and it's something neither my newlywed sister nor I am able to afford. On our end, we have spent a lot of money this year traveling during my parents' illnesses and subsequent deaths. On top of that, my dog has had a couple medical emergencies in the past 5 weeks which required extensive diagnostics, hospitalization and now we may be looking at surgery. We've spent more on him in this short time than we normally would in a year, and he still has not had his annual vaccinations yet.
My original plan was to come home for a week or two before returning to address the house and other loose ends that needed to be tied up, yet here I am weeks after that trying to figure out when I can make it back down. The main issue is rearranging The Mr.'s work schedule around our daughter's school schedule. It seems like it'd be simple, but, honestly I don't feel comfortable asking him. I always feel like I'm inconveniencing him, and I don't like to bother him, because he is not the most approachable person. I'm sure he'd think I'm nuts if he read this, but he just isn't. He seems to always have his nose in his phone or computer, and there have even been nights when he's had headphones on instead of interacting with the family. It used to bother me years ago, but he remedied that issue by buying my own gadgets so I could be equally as preoccupied. Now, it's especially upsetting, because we have kids, and 1) I don't want them to miss out on quality time with him, because the time between his arrival, dinner and bedtime is so short, and 2) I also don't want them to think that is how families normally interact. But, I digress.
There have been a couple times when he has complained -- I'm not sure if he was joking or not -- about not having free time anymore, and I have told him that I would gladly trade his inconvenience for my dead parents. This has been a very difficult year, and I have spent a lot of time away from home, but my parents died. I could understand if I was asking him to help out more, because I was going on a Hawaiian vacation or something equally as extravagant; however, I am leaving, because my mother died and I need to sell my childhood home. I know our relationships with our families are different, but I'd like to think it would be easy to recognize the gravity of this situation. I often think that, although my parents are gone, he is not. I don't want to ask too much of him, because, after all is said and done, we still have to spend the rest of our lives together. I would hate for him to become angry or resentful.
Perhaps he doesn't realize how much I am struggling. I may not be curled up in the fetal position, but "I'm pretty [explitive] far from okay." I haven't had any time to process everything that has happened in the past few months, because I never get any time to myself. In a perfect world, I would be able to "tag out" once he got home from work, but I try to run interference and give him at least 15 minutes of peace before I turn the kids loose on him. Even then, he's not "present," and I often find myself back "in." My sister says I should just tell him that I need time and just take it, but I think she's too pushy. I try to be considerate of others' feelings, and think of how I would want to be treated. Then again, she's getting what she needs while I'm suffering in silence and becoming angry and resentful . . .
… originally posted on Facebook 09/22/2016:
Happy Birthday to my beautiful mother. You are the strongest, most courageous woman I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. I am so proud to be your daughter and am forever grateful for all you have done for our family. As devastated as I may feel right now, I find slight comfort in knowing that you left us on the International Day of Peace.
Love you madly…
p.s. Thank you for the butterflies 💜
… and say what you mean. I was checking out at Publix earlier and, after giving my typical "I'm doing well" response to the cashier, found myself wondering why people bother to ask if they don't REALLY care to know the truth? 🤔 I can only imagine how uncomfortable I would have made her if my reply had been, "Well, my mom died Wednesday, and I can't seem to write an obituary that encompasses everything she truly was," or "I'm still trying to figure out how I am supposed to act after having lost both of my parents in less than 3 months," or even a simple Marsellus Wallace "I'm pretty [explitive] far from okay." 😏
As I sit here watching you sleep, and wondering if each breath will be your last, I imagine you doing the same after my stay in the NICU. The times we've shared in the nearly four decades of my life have not been "all flowers and sausages," but they helped shape who I am today, and I would not change a thing. Thank you for being a patient and loving mother and for never making good on your promise to "take [me] out," although I know there were times when I may have deserved it.
Also, thank you for being a thoughtful grand-mére (MéMé) to my kids in spite of the hundreds of miles that separate us. I wish you could have spent more quality time together in your "better" days, but I will make sure they remember the moments you shared.
I hope you are proud of the woman I have become and the wife and mother I strive to be. Miss ya madly <3
". . . not for tomorrow."
- En Vogue
"This Is Your Life"
It's funny how the mind works. Sometimes, the most random, seemingly unrelated thoughts can trigger long-forgotten memories. This morning, I set out to find a quote similar to tomorrow is not promised, and this song that I haven't heard in about 20 years popped in my head. Who knew that the theme song from "Roc" would hijack my post?
Many, many years ago, The Mr. composed a Xanga post that consisted of just those five words as what I'm guessing were his thoughts on how something in our relationship came to be. Thirteen years later, I am using those same words. What brought this on, you ask? Well, I had a rather enlightening conversation (translation: hour of silence while she talked) with my M.I.L. about parenting, mainly how much I suck at it, which stemmed from her witnessing a tantrum thrown by my soon-to-be four year old. I won't go into detail, but most of the parenting "tools" she recommended didn't sit well with me. What I found most alarming was that some of the "tools" guaranteed to "break" my child have been and still are used by The Mr. on me!
I am certain there have been at least a few posts on how lonely and isolated I feel, and there are at least one hundred times more instances that have not been documented in cyberspace. I will not go into too much more detail, but it ain't all "flowers and sausages." As recently as this weekend, I cried out for help, and things changed for about a day, but alas, here I sit. I have often suspected that was where it came from, but now I know . . . "and knowing is half the battle," or so they say.
Yet, God forbid, should anything happen to us, this is how he wants our children raised?! I do not wish to discuss anyone's business besides my own, so I am going to end this here, but. indeed, it all makes sense now.
… excluding the unpleasantries of physical discomfort, unsolicited advice/opinions/birth horror stories from seemingly everyone who lays eyes on your "baby bump," -- WHYYYYY is it called that?! -- and overall loss of personal space, of course. Just the thought of the excited buzz from family and friends and, often, the deepening love of your spouse or significant other is enough to make me smile. Unfortunately, I feel like my pregnancies magnify everything that is wrong in my life and find them to be among the loneliest times in my life.
For examle, my family is, once again, "distracted," because my younger sister and I are expecting at the same time. It would be funny or even exciting if our family dynamic was different.
I also have at least 7 other women in my various circles who are either pregnant or just had babies, so everyone is pretty busy.
Don't get me wrong: I am a very private person. I am not one who flourishes in attention, I do not take compliments well, and I go out of my way to "blend in" as much as possible. In fact, one of the main reasons I am terrible with blog updates is because, in the off chance that anyone is reading, I'd hate for people to know how I felt, what went on in my head or in my life; but, deep down, I, like everyone else, want to be loved.
Perhaps living alone, being buried in my work and devoting myself to my long distance relationship set me up for this isolation. I just know that I don't like it, and I don't want to live like this anymore.
So, I am going to spend the weeks I have left in this pregnancy trying to make the most of it. Pregnancy is a blessing, and God willing, this will be my last. I want to be able to look back fondly on this time. Lord help me.
Kay Dub is a 38 year old stay at home mother of 3 fur babies, a preschooler and a toddler. An avid runner, marathon mom, fitness buff and triathlete in training, her most challenging goal is becoming a Proverbs 31 woman and "Wife After God".