Here We Go Again

Hi.

Are you surprised to see me writing again so soon? Not going to lie, I definitely am surprised to find myself sitting at my computer [which is on the verge of dying thanks to being six years old] clicking away at the keyboard.

Where was I?

Oh, my cat. He’s actually sitting in the chair off to my right at the moment, staring
at the computer & wondering why I’m not sharing pictures of him. He’s sassy, this one.

Say hi to Lucifurr, aka Luci with the Fur [he has his own song which may or may not have taken me two days to write, even though it’s just a reworking of Flo Rida’s Low], aka the cat who is the perfect cat to deal with my crazy.

This is his, "Hey lady, you interrupted my nap!' face.
This is his, “Hey lady, you interrupted my nap!’ face.

I don’t know that I can put in to words what it felt like to be the one to leave when M & I split. And then I read an amazing book called, Hold On, But Don’t Hold Still by Kristina Kuzmic & she put it into words so beautifully: “No one gets into a marriage thinking it won’t work. And when a marriage fails, it feels like a death. If there are kids involved, it feels like many deaths. Many slow, painful deaths. And when you’re the one who is making the decision to pull the plug on a marriage, it can make you feel like a murderer.”

Holy crap, she is right. Whether it was myself or other people, I felt like the worst human being in the entire word. I couldn’t believe I “left” my kids. I couldn’t believe I left a marriage I was determined to make it work when I said my vows. The thing is, even before I read the book, I realized that sometimes people are just incompatible & don’t realize it soon enough. Unfortunately, that’s what happened between M & me. We tried, but in the end, it was best for us to separate. The kids are happier, the two of us are happier. It sort of worked out in the end.

I felt the part of the murderer sometimes, though. I know I was vilified by many people. Not always to my face, mind you, but I know without a doubt it happened. I had people say to me, “I can’t believe you moved four & a half hours away from your kids! How on earth could you do that?” A] They were in a better school distract where they were & B] they needed some sort of stability. If stability meant not uprooting their entire life at once, I was all for it because me moving away uprooted them enough.

I will never say it was easy. In fact, it was damn difficult. We FaceTimed almost every day. I came back to Delaware for a week at a time every month or so. They spent Thanksgiving, Spring, & Summer breaks with me. I came back for Christmas.

But in late 2018, I decided I’d had enough. In November 2019, I moved back to Delaware. J came with me after working through some stuff with my Bonus Kid & coming to an agreement with her mom. The move was supposed to happen in the summer [right around the time the boys went back to school], but it had to be pushed back.

It’s working so far.

With the full understanding that not a whole lot of people are reading this, I’d love it if you’d pose questions I can blog about in the future. It gets old for me hashing out the same things. I can only say, “I suck as a mom because I moved away from my kids” so many times before even I am sick of myself.

Until next time . . .

Starting Over

I have so many posts in drafts. It’s sort of ridiculous when you think about it, because I’m paying to keep this blog around, but I’m not actually using it.

I think it’s going to take a turn, though. I started out writing about my kids & my family, but maybe it’s time to start writing about who I am now that I am a separated woman, who has done some really difficult things in the past few years, & is desperately working towards the funds to make this damn divorce final. [Sorry, Gram. I’m frustrated & there will probably be a lot of swears.]

So here I sit, glass of wine to my left, three kids playing in the living room of the house where we’re staying [those of you who don’t know that framily is a legit word are missing out; I have been blessed with the most amazing framily in the entire world], preparing to pour my heart out about . . . stuff.

The frustration lies in not knowing exactly where to start.

I’ve written about it before, but M & I split in January of 2018. I moved back to Virginia to be closer to my mom because a girl needs her mom when she’s struggling, damnit. It sucked, though, because I was away from the boys. They’re my entire world & I hate that people thought moving away was an easy choice. It absolutely was not. I hated every single second of being away from them & sometimes the only reason I was even able to get out of bed was because I knew I had to go to work to be able to afford the week long trips I made back to Delaware each month.

The living situation wasn’t ideal, but it was what worked for me. Because I knew the boys would be down to visit in the summer, I chose to live 45 minutes away from my job. I knew my mom would want to be able to help by watching the boys while I was working, so I didn’t think it was fair to make her drive an hour plus to my apartment every time I needed to work. [Side note: I am so entirely lucky that my mom even agreed to do that.] It wasn’t ideal for more reasons than that & maybe I’ll eventually get in to them [when I’ve had an opportunity to ask whether I have permission to share that part of my story since it intertwines so thickly with someone else’s].

Every time that I went to work, I had to drive through a tunnel. If you’ve ever seen or heard about Hampton Roads traffic, you know it is no joke. I’d start stalking Waze two or three hours before I even had to be at the restaurant just to make sure traffic wasn’t horrible. Spoiler alert: it usually was. There was one holiday weekend I left for work two hours early & skated into the pre-shift meeting three minutes late.

Yeah.

It was BAD.

I got a cat. Actually, I got three cats, but only one of them is technically mine. The rest just suck up to me because I’m the one who feeds them most often. Actually, the cat [my cat] was a birthday gift from the guy I eventually started dating. He knew I was sad about missing my boys & when he was being a good roommate & dragging me out of the house to make sure I actually got a shower on my days off, we usually went to pet stores. He’s got a wicked obsession with all things aquatic & would try to steer me to the fish section. I usually veered off to where the adoptable cats were because fuzzy animals are the best. [I said what I said, J.] So the day before my birthday, we went to a local shelter. We met this cat & he was aloof & wonderful & pretty much everything I needed in a cat. I adopted him the next day. So it’s kind of cool that his gotcha day is the same day as my birthday.

So, as J so fantastically pointed out, this is getting long. I’m going to update again soon [I swear I mean it this time]. I’m going to work through the rest of my drama in another post.

If you’re reading, thank you. If you’re not; whatever. I don’t actually care at this point. I went from wanting to be a big name Mommy-blogger to just wanting to get my thoughts down somewhere. They’d probably be more suited to a private journal, but I type way faster than I write.

Hope you’re all doing well. I’ve missed this little corner of the internet.

 

December 19

The whole thing started on December 12.

I got a phone call from the assisted living my dad was living in saying he’d fallen. The first call was in the middle of the night. They said he was in pain, but they were going to have the doctor talk to him in the morning. At around 7 am, I got a phone call that they’d done an x-ray & it showed a fracture in his hip, so they were taking him to the hospital. I talked to him briefly that day & he said they were planning to do surgery the next morning. For some reason, that got bumped to Friday. M took the boys to see him Thursday night & he said that my dad was downright chipper; the best mood M had seen Dad in, in a long time.

Friday morning, my dad called me to let me know they were doing surgery that day. He told me he was going to turn his phone off because he figured he’d be out of it the rest of the day due to the anesthesia. That evening I got another phone call from him that surgery had gone well & he was going to be up & walking in about an hour. I told him I’d talk with him soon, that I loved him, & that I’d be there on Friday.

That was the last time I talked to my dad & he was coherent.

I’m really glad I told him I loved him.

Sunday morning, I got a call around 5:30. Because there was no message left, I assumed it was my dad & that he’d called me from his room because his phone had died & he’d probably been up all night. I figured I’d call him Monday morning because I worked Sunday night. I wanted him to get his rest.

Monday I got another call from the hospital. That was when I learned he’d been in the ICU. The PA I talked with said she was releasing him back to the floor. I thought we were out of the woods.

And then . . .

And then, Tuesday happened.

I was at work, doing a job I don’t always do. I had my phone on me because of Dad being in the hospital & I went to take a restroom break. As I was washing my hands, my phone rang. The hospital again.

My world kind of shattered at that moment.

The doctor on the other end told me my dad had coded, that they’d done CPR for 10 minutes & he was back in the ICU on a ventilator.

I hung up with the doctor & called my mom. When she didn’t answer, I called M. You see, my mom was in Delaware. For over a month, we all thought Butter’s winter concert was December 18. I couldn’t be there, so my mom went, which is awesome. The concert was not that night. Mom asked me if I wanted her to go the hospital & through my tears, I said yes.

She called me once, but she was smart. She texted J, the guy I’m seeing. Mom said something along the lines of we should probably not wait until the morning to leave. Through my tears, I asked a kitchen manager to let the rest of the managers on duty know I needed to leave NOW.

I was all but booted out of the restaurant. If I haven’t said before I love the management team at this location, please know that I adore them. They had my back 1000%.

I came home & threw a bunch of stuff into a bag. I was planning to head up for Christmas on Thursday anyway, so I just packed for the week. J drove with me. As he said, God forbid I got a call from my mom on the way that he’d passed. We got to the hospital around 4am. At that point, Mom met us in the waiting room. She gave me a head’s up that the information I’d gotten over the phone was inaccurate. Dad was totally unresponsive.

The first person I called was M. We’ve been through a lot together in the last 15 years & I wanted him to be there. Around 7:30, the staff told me to go home & get some rest. I didn’t want to, but it was what everyone wanted, so I did. I went back to M’s house & I rested. I watched a lot of TV. I took a shower. I got around 45 minutes of sleep & was back at the hospital by noon.

At that point, another PA spoke with me. The CT scan hadn’t really shown anything. Neither had the EEG. We could wait, or we could make some heavy decisions.

The hard decision was the one eventually made.

My dad passed peacefully just after 2:30 pm on December 19, 2018.

05.27.52-12.19.18