Sunday, March 17, 2013

Taps

This last week has been one of the most stressful in my life, right up there with my mom's funeral, divorces, and labor.  Monday night I was warned by my father's nurse, that he might die soon, and to prepare myself.  I felt prepared, and Tuesday went to my training class for my new job, which was scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday.  Tuesday morning, about an hour into the class I got the word that he passed.  I finished the class (both days) but went home instead of staying in that town, for I had to travel back and forth.

I needed to be with loved ones, my daughter tried to help, but I think she didn't really know what to do.  And Mr. Charisma were there for me, to hold me and just let me cry, and show me the love he wished he could express, but for some reason, only just recently, has had difficulty.  I have felt the walls coming up for him, but no explanations yet.  Both on Tuesday and Wednesday night, he managed to fit in a couple of hours, just to send me on my way with hope that he would miss me and loved me.  And in my grief I believed him, but it still felt almost forced, like he felt like he had to be there, but maybe didn't really want to.  I always assume it's me instead of him.

My son could not get the time off from work, as he had been sick and was afraid he might lose his job if he missed anymore work, and I foolishly told him it was not worth losing a job over.  I realize now I should have tried to make him come, he will never be able to experience the bonding that my daughter and I did together over this somber and frustratingly helpless event.  (SIDE NOTE: Both Mr. Hopeful and Mr. Charisma have had life upheavals this week, suffice it to say, that the details on not important here and in the act of helping to protect them, I will not give specifics here.  But understand neither of their lives were going smoothly either).

My daughter and I left for Kansas City on Thursday.  Coming from Wisconsin it took us about 7 hours to get there and back, and in my grief I was doing all the driving.  This was good and bad, I think.  Made me concentrate on directions and the road and not grieve yet. When we arrived we were met by two people I had never met before but spoke with over the phone, both seemed to have their hands out for what my dad had promised them upon his death, his nurse and the caretaker of the house.  I have every intention of honoring my fathers wishes, but until my father's, I guess mine now, attorney legally tries to find my step-sister, and give her the chance to come forward for her fair share, my hands are tied.  I did not find everything I knew to be of value in the home.  Long story full of drama cut short.  I brought home everything I could find of value in the safe.  The keys to both the Cadillac and the house, and a mysterious key that I hope is a safe deposit box where the gold  is.  The house is mine outright, but the rest with bank accounts have to go through probate.  Fortunately we have the will and all is in order, but finding my step sister will probably take all the allotted time we legally have.  I hope she doesn't come forward, not because I want it all, but because my father told me she was a drug addict and I am afraid she will try to fight me on my gifts to the ones that took care of him, for her own needs.  She lived 20 minutes away from my father and after their last legal battle never looked in on him or did anything to help. And even treated her own mother like she was a  burden rather than a blessing.

The funeral was a full military honors funeral, with five sharpshooters for the gun salute, two very young female corporals, my fathers rank in WWII, were at either end of the casket and folded the flag.  One lone national guard member played taps as they did so.  The Sergeant Major inspected the work of the corporals and after each saluted the flag he slowly and very methodically presented me with the coin and folded flag, holding both my hands upon it and my eyes to him, he said, "On behalf of the President of the United States and the people of a grateful nation, may I present this flag as a token of appreciation for the honorable and faithful service your loved one rendered this nation."  I know he said some more, but I can't remember...or maybe it just felt like more.  Then he stood and saluted me and  the one of the honor guard offered me some of the expended shells from my fathers gun salute, after he thanked me as well.  I know there was a lot more said about him by the military in regards to the colors of the flag and what they meant, Blue for honor, Red for blood of fallen comrades, White for purity....more but I can't remember.  I know a lot of fond memories were shared both by his caretakers, friends and the Reverend...but I can't remember.  I do remember all of them saying I looked just like him and that he had wished we had been closer.  I do too dad, I do too.  I cried every time I met someone who knew him more.  I cried at the funeral... a lot.  I started to cry several times as I relived events with my daughter, or our friend Kerry who lives in Kansas and allowed us to stay with her the first night.  Its funny to me that it hurt so much.  I honestly thought I'd said goodbye to him at 10 years old when he left.  And we only had about 10 years together after he found me again as an adult.  20 years total to know your father....and all of it either through the eyes of a child or an abandoned adult.  I suppose it's more than some children have of their fathers.  But now that he is gone and out of pain, I foolishly want more time.

When I arrived home, Mr. Hopeful was quick to find me and tell me how worried he has been, how much he loves and misses me and arranged to see me last night for a short time, to just see with his own eyes that I was okay.  To hold me and show me how much he loves me.  It was easy for him, natural for us both, even in pain I was able to share almost all of this in a nut shell before our passions swept us away...again natural.

Mr. Charisma, so wrapped up in his own self-destructing marriage, couldn't find the compassion to ask me how I was, tell me he missed me or loved me.  His thought was that he had distanced himself from everyone he loved to think, and needed to be somewhere far away where he couldn't run to me, even if he wanted to, and that if he said the words I'd notice the distance.  Funny how that backfired on him. I noticed the distance because they weren't said.  He's so afraid of sounding hollow because he has to his wife for over 10 years.  I know he thinks this was love, by sparing me his confusion, but for me, it only made me feel more alone after recent events.  More abandoned  or manipulated into waiting for him to decide if he loves me or not.  This might be CGB (Crazy Girl Brain), but it might also be SBB(Stupid Boy Brain).  Most of my loved ones believe that even if his world was falling apart, like mine was, he should have been able to find a moment to tell me he loved me and missed me and not to worry, as Mr. Hopeful did.  I did with him. I knew and know what he is going through as I was his wife in my first and third marriage, and I was him in my second one.  I've been both the cheated upon and the cheater, and I know how difficult it is to set this train in motion and hope it doesn't run away with you, but I still cared about my loved ones enough to ask.

They say that the thing that will help you the most when you are depressed or sad or upset at someone, is trying to help someone else who is also depressed, sad or upset.  And it's true.  I'm sure Mr. Hopeful felt better having been there for me, like I always feel when I help him.  I feel bad for Mr. Charisma that he let that opportunity go.  Another opportunity to grow together in love through our grief and loss.  It seems apparent who not only needs me more, but who is willing to give me more.  I hope when Mr. Charisma can find his footing that I'm still in his heart, that he realizes what he has done, and will try to make amends.  I have told him I will be here when he gets his head together, but his silence is speaking volumes to me.  I had hoped for a very different homecoming.    I had hoped for the tender texts Mr. Charisma and I promised each other we would give over this time apart.  I had not dared to dream of a personal visit from Mr. Hopeful, it has been so long since we both had time.  I have been surprised again by them both.  And while my heart has not changed, and I am very secure in my emotions toward them both and what I feel.

I have not other choice but to try to move forward through this grief, and learn from it and live my life.  I will try to get some things done around my apartment today, in preparation for work tomorrow.  I hope I can sell a car soon, I need something to go right.  Something to go as expected.  I'm so tired of surprises and discussions over feelings.  I just need to feel now, and not try to label it or justify it.  Wow....Mr. Practical's teachings come back to me again.

I will and am content knowing that both my father and mother are watching over me now, and I hope that they didn't have to have a time out or be separated in heaven...or where ever the next level took them.  And I hope I will not follow them for many many decades.