Thursday, February 16, 2006

The feeling of losing a loved one, and gaining one

Well, I thought I would try doing this again. It made me feel good to get rid of some pent up frustrations I have. I don’t know what I feel like sharing just yet, so I am just going to let my fingers do the thinking. Can fingers think on their own ?

Well, I am an only child, raised by a single parent, my wonderful mother. I tend to believe that a lot of my issues stem from this, and it is not my mother whom I blame. It’s my biological father, but that’s neither here nor there. It wasn’t easy growing up, and now I am going to tell you why I think this way.

My mom had back surgery when I was a little girl, and I had to grow up fast. I would go grocery shopping on my bike, take a note to the gas station and buy cigarettes, wash laundry, pick the weeds in the garden (which I hated most of all), and was alone a lot. Being alone is not a problem for me, my mom worked/works hard and has a very demanding job, especially in the summer. The year my mom met her now husband, I was sent to my aunt’s house 2 states away because she had to work out of town, and this is where she met him, both of them grew up in the same town, and they met out of town while working. I now see it as fate, but when I was 12, I saw it as in intrusion.

Let me take this back in time yet again. The man, the fatherly figure, in my life was my grandfather. He was the world to me, and I tend to believe I was just as important to him. I will never forget the day he died. I was 13 years old. I had mowed their lawn that day, and received $20.00, my grandpa upped the ante, a race to the garden and back would be double or nothing. I said “Game On”. I won, of course, as that was the point. We sat and visited on the deck, and he asked me to spend the night again, so we called my mom, and she wanted me home, so Grandpa got on the phone and told her I was staying. Well, we went out for dinner, to the Legion, and we played pool. I had a blast ! We went to another bar/restaurant for our dinner, I had a pizza and he and my grandmother ordered the chicken special. Before our food came we played some foosball and a bit more pool. Finally our food came, my pizza first, so I started to eat and Grandpa went to wash his hands. Well, I noticed he was gone for awhile, and someone went to check the men’s room. My grandfather had a heart attack, and died at the hospital.

For years, before my grandmother’s own passing, she blamed me for his death. I didn’t tell anyone about this for a few years, because I didn’t want to cause more pain. She would call me late at night, under the influence of alcohol, when my mom would be out of town, and tell me that if we hadn’t raced to the garden or played pool he would still be here. I believed her. I was just a naïve teenage girl. At the age of 27 I now know it wasn’t my fault, I believe he did us a favor by going into the bathroom that evening, so we didn’t have to witness it. Looking back there were things I noticed he had done around their house, to spare my grandmother the time, money, and stress of having to have things repaired or replaced.

Moving forward, the years following the passing of my grandfather turned me from a nice kid to EVIL TEENAGER ! I say this because I never wanted to disappoint my grandpa, and now I just didn’t care anymore. It was rough having my new man figure be my mom’s boyfriend. I resented the whole thing. I didn’t want him around, I wanted things as they were before he arrived. I did not make my teenage years pleasant for anyone, and now, 10+ years later, I look back and wish I would have been a different person. I am sorry to my mom and dad … yep, dad, for all that I did and said as a bratty know-it-all. I can tell you the day I actually accepted D in my life as family, it was the day I graduated high school. It was the first day I had ever hugged him … and it was the first day I told him I loved him. Thank you … to both of you … for everything.

WOW ! The power of words. Sometimes it feels so good to share the feelings that you keep hidden behind dusty doors you try and keep closed. Maybe someday I will share this with my family … but for now, I share it with strangers, because strangers don’t hold grudges or judge you.

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