22 February 2015

The Seat of Grief

Just after Thanksgiving 2014, when it became more apparent that my mom might not be making a speedy recovery, when it became more apparent that she might actually not make any sort of recovery, when I realized she might actually die at some point in the very near future {which I was still considering a few months, not a few days}...I looked up "grief", because I had quite a bit of time to google things while I waited for the next allowable visitation within the Critical Care Unit.

I wasn't thinking, "great, how do I do this "grieving thing" properly?"; altho I do try to get things right in some ways and be prepared, which is why I've gotten to be so good with research and know an amazing amount of completely trivial stuffs.  I was thinking more about the fact that her life was changing and that even though she was not the sort of person who overly lamented much of anything; I did realize that one aspect that is often ignored in a changing situation is the grief you can hold for the loss of the dreams, assumptions, and goals that you once held for possible futures.

What I mean is that sort of vague feeling that people can have, when they realize that contrary to their childish beliefs that they could accomplish anything and be anyone, those options are not quite as broad in range as they had once thought.  Midlife crises are often about the grieving for dreams that will never be, even if you had not really wanted to be that astronaut who undergoes cryogenic suspension so that you can come to millions of light years away, you might grieve the letting go of that unrealistic dream you once had had.  So I knew that you can grieve for all sorts of things, including possible futures.

Or impossible futures.

So I looked up "grief" because I thought that mom's life is changing, and she will accept those changes, of course; but how can I help her to make the adjustments and accept the limitations even better.  That's what my thoughts were at that time.

Here's what happens when you google "grief", most of the articles and references focus on helping you through grieving the loss of someone you love.  Your spouse, a child, a parent.  That makes total sense, of course.

But not really what I thought I was looking for.  Apparently, I thought wrong.  Turns out, that was exactly what I was looking for.

The one big thing that stuck out to me, in the review of  "grief", was that lots of folks who are grief~stricken are very tense and they carry their grief, in a very physical way.  They develops aches and pains and often will seek medical assistance for discomfort that had not been present before.

"Wow," I thought, "good to know."

So I was not surprised at all, when I began to get achy over the past few months.  I didn't panic.  I didn't jump to the conclusion that I had flu.

One day tho, I realized, my ass hurts.  Not my entire ass, just the same place that had been problematic a few years ago.  A very deep pain in the right ass cheek.  And immediately, once I paid attention to it, the pain bloomed.

Several years ago, as I was getting out of my car at my mom's, deep in my right ass, a cramp seized so hard that it took my breath away and tears sprang to my eyes instantaneously.  I limped in severe pain and mom stood on her front deck, laughing her ass off at the rather humorous picture I presented, yelling at me, "walk it off, just walk it off".

I was laughing even as I cried in pain.

Turns out, I ended up in physical therapy, for a pain in the ass.  Most likely it was my piriformis, which is a muscle that is linked with sciatica.  Everyone knows that pain in the ass.

It is not an easy place to reach yourself.  And it is an awkward thing to ask of others, "would you rub my ass?  just get in there, really hard, and deep".  Misunderstandings arise and you can lose a few friends that way.

a few days ago, I finally had enough; so I contacted a massage therapist and made an appointment.  When describing the pain and location, after having explained that I was tense in general and that my mother had died in December and that I suspected that part of the reason that I was tense and achy was related to that; the massage therapist told me something that made complete sense to me.

Apparently, the seat of grief is in the complex layering of muscles in the pelvic and hip region.  Your center of gravity is there, and when you lose someone, your entire world is rocked.  So it makes sense that the seat of grief is found within your sit~upon.  It may seem less than polite to think that the loss of your loved one is directly related to that locale.  But I know that mom would be laughing her ass off about being a literal pain in mine.

20 February 2015

2014, the year of mom's demise

One thing that long~time readers will have noted is that I tell on myself.  I very rarely knowingly lie about myself because the truth is far stranger than fiction and I figure that if I keep it real, then there is no one that can honestly say that they didn't know what they were getting when I showed up to the proverbial party.  Usually early.  Sometimes hours early.  With a vegetable tray that no one else will eat, thus ensuring that my husband will have noshing bits for the next week.  There truly is a method to my madness, no matter how trivial it may seem to others.

So while I do realize that it has been almost a year since I last posted here, there were several reasons for that.  Some of which I may hit on, here or in future posts; it depends on relevancy and timing, I'd say.  Thanks for welcoming the return of a rather errant writer of sorts.

First off, I won't be able to recap this past year in a way that will capture everything...so just accept that.  I can hit on a few things, but I'll try to keep it fairly light, and not dwell, dwell, dwell...altho I will want to, I won't; I need to move on.  Having said that, understand that there will be times when I dwell, and that's ok.  I'll do that if it helps me to move thru this next part and get on with things.  Seems contradictory, but ya know how these things work.

The long and short of it was that 2014 brought lots of heartrending tears, most of which were not actually wept then, but are now.  Here is the thing:  my mother died on Friday December 5th 2014.  It was a long, exhausting year that didn't seem quite as long or nearly as exhausting at the time as it does now, looking back.

Second, grief is a weird thing.  It grows arms and legs and tentacles and teeth, both mad sharp incisors and dull painfully grinding molars; but mostly it becomes a parasite that takes over and dissolves all my social filters.  On a regular basis, it turns out, also noted by looking back ~~ cuz hindsight can be perfectly crystal.

When my mom died, I was relieved for her; we'd spent most of November in the hospital, after she'd been through one thing after another all year long.  Stents, meds, open~heart double coronary arterial bypass graft surgery, etc., nothing was working the way it was supposed to and nothing was slowing down the rate at which her heart was failing.  When she began to die in earnest, Mom was ready, it was time.  She died on her own terms, which is really the only way to go; isn't it?

So it isn't her death that I'm grieving.  It's her absence in my life now that sucks the very marrow of my presence into the horrible vacuum of grief.  Quite often, I do not realize how awfully devastated I am until after I've done something that reflects the complete and utter absence of my social filters.

In some cases, most actually, this is actually pretty funny.  If not at the time, later I realize there were some very humorous aspects and elements involved, which give the entire situation a rather unique pithy, yet witty, tone.  It's good that I can appreciate that, because there are those who most certainly cannot {ew}  nor do not.  Because they are simply not built that way.  But I am.  It's almost as tho I am rediscovering who I am exactly.  Some of which is not pretty, some of which is rather bitter, and some of which is downright wretched.

But that is all part of me, of who I am.  And ya know, I embrace that; if for no other reason than the fodder for the grist mill that in part makes up the totality of me.

25 February 2014

First there is a mill, then there is no mill, then there is. {Starkville, MS}

A few years back, I got lost in the Cotton District {what?!?  How is that even possible?  Trust me, there are lots of lil dead~ends, one way streets, and cul~de~sacs just waiting for the unsuspecting driver to get stuck in the never ending loop of right of ways and do not enters}.  As I topped the hill on Maxwell Street, I was faced with the looming, mammoth brick building facing me across Russell.  Yes, I knew that it was the EE Cooley Building for MSU, housing the physical plant facilities.  But when I first faced that central tower, full on, a lil eerie voice popped up, “ooooo, spooooky” with glee and I immediately had visions of possibilities, involving movie sets and novel locations and Stephen King and John Saul and children’s orphanages {or boarding schools, same difference} and old abandoned mental asylums.  Obviously, horror fiction is fun for me; if I actually did encounter any horrific oddities in real life, I’d probably piss my pants and do other unspeakably disgusting things like squeal like the lil girl I used to be and attempt to stuff all ten of my fingers into my mouth to stifle the screams that were sure to follow.

It’s all fun and games til someone loses an eye.  Or a mean spirit rises up, drives you mad, causing you to run into oncoming traffic, impaling yourself on a car’s hood ornament, and you die with an appalling death rictus that never shows up on CSI.  But in the meanwhile, it’s cool to imagine what these older buildings housed and oh, if only walls could talk.

Around that same time, my childhood friend {from Pennsylvania} and her family were planning to come spend a week with me in Mississippi.  I wondered what each of the children found interesting, so that I might be able to find something in this area for them as well.  The teenage girl was into spooky things, ghost stories, and hauntings.

Perfect!  My inner eerie clapped with relish, squirming and wriggling.  Amongst the other places to show her, like Waverly, cemeteries, certain roads, and such; we drove into the paved parking area in front of the EE Cooley Building.  It was hotter and more humid than the Okefenokee Swamp in August 1995 {different story}, so none of the five of us wanted to muster the energy to get out of the lil yaris and then squeeze back in {a notion that is akin to putting toothpaste back in the tube}.  So I took a picture of the name plate by the entrance, which listed all the members and their positions on that very first board of the John M Stone Cotton Mill.  Then the teenage daughter and I talked about how that building just begs for a good story or two.

Sure you could make one up, but a good story based on even the barest smidgeon of truth deserves to be researched some.  Get the facts straight and then venture off into fiction.  Or perhaps, a good juicy urban legend already exists in connection with the old brick building.

So over the years, I've done a lil digging here, and a tad searching there.  What I've often read is the same sorts of facts, rearranged from one article to another.  Sometimes there are more data included, like the actual measurements of the behemoth.  But for the most part, accounts agree with each other and reflect a fairly comprehensive history of the building, from its conception at the turn of the last century, to the present, over 110 years later.

to be cont'd

13 February 2014

oh so wrong...

Once again, gov'ment agents have astounded me with their smug ignorance.  A loooooooooong story somewhat shorter, mom had stopped at the Social Security Administration offices here in Starkville to see if she could get her mother's ss#, to include on a form which is requesting her mother's death certificate so that she can then send that to the insurance company.  There is so much laughably wrong with the entire story, like why the insurance company is just now wanting a death certificate for a woman who died 36 yrs ago.  But I'll just stick with one element of what occurred today.

The SS Gov'ment agent insisted that my mom was not spelling her mother's name correctly.  Why?  Well because he entered the name three different ways into the system and could not track the number down.  So mom suggested that it might be possible that her mother never had a social security number {after all, Grandma would now be 100 years old, had she lived}.  OH no, ma'am, that's not possible.  Why, it's the law that babies are sent home from the hospital with one.  Well, since the lady was born a full two decades before the Social Security Administration was founded, and since she was NOT born in the hospital, and since it's most certainly not the law to send babies home with one....but the Gov'ment Agent assured my mom that he knew that her mom had to have a number.  And he was also sure that if my mom contacted her mom's school that she graduated from, they would have the number on file in their records.  Mom, who knew that continuing the conversation was an exercise in futility, made one last attempt to reason with the pompous ass:  mom pointed out that her mom only finished eighth grade, that records were most likely not in existence anymore, especially since the school does not exist and has not for at least 75 yrs.  Well, if mom wanted to, she could request a number for her mother, all she needs is the death certificate.  WTF?!?

{sigh}  Ya can't make stupid shit up like this.

17 January 2014

The Sweetest Lil Girls

 I know that every parent is biased toward their children.  Even those of us who've adopted lil furry babies of other species are prone to think our babies are the bestest ones of all; the pick of the litter, so to say.

But really, how can you not think these two are adorable?

These two lil girls get along nicely and are constantly curled up together.  When not faux~fighting in that snarly way they have of playing, that is.
Sophie, our chiweenie, is now three and altho she is now an "adult", she still gets very puppyish and playful.  She is our watchdog of sorts.  She has a big bark, especially for a relatively lil body.  For a chiweenie, she is a bit on the bigger, denser, broader side.  But for a dog, she's on the smaller side.

Then the lil'st one, Chiquita our chihuahua, is about ten months old.  She was born the first day of spring last year and came to live with us July 3rd. She's pretty much adjusted to our home and all of the occupants.  There are still the occasional mishaps, the poop that doesn't make it onto the pPad when we are not home.  But for the most part, she loves her sisters and her humans.  She is not a yappy yippy yuppy dog, tho we do have to remind her from time to time to use her inside voice.

06 November 2013


Long time readers will remember that I have certain fondness for my local public library.  I adore the young ladies who've worked hard to build the various programs into what they currently are.  Life moves on and so have those women and a new batch of folks have stepped up and continued to nourish those programs and add new ones as well.

Our newest staff member at Starkville Public Library is Meredith Wickham, Young Adult Librarian.  {and the crowd roars...and sighs in relief and relish}  Newly arrived from Seneca, SC, Meredith brings her sunny personality, her sincere love of reading and writing, and her wittiest of wits to us here in the lil city with a big heart.  So stop by and met her, it's worth the visit.

Welcome, Meredith, glad you're here!

31 October 2013


SteamPunk Coffee Roasters, a new coffee shop in Natchez, has our interest piqued.  So we'll visit them tomorrow morning, on our way out of town, to return to Starkville.  I'm really pretty psyched!

Four years ago

This day goes by many names.

Some call it "samhain", some "all hallow's eve", some "halloween".

I call it "my anniversary".

I love you, my Jerry, my sweetheart.