I, purposely, have not taken drugs to get me through your death – mainly because I don’t think losing my son is something I can “get through” there is no “other side” to the place I now find myself. I could become numb , anesthetized if you will, to the grief should I take medication, but it doesn’t change a damn thing.
Once the drug wears off everything is still there after all these months and now years. Nothing will be changed. You still will have received that crushing phone call. I will still see your face as you walked in the door that day after receiving the news “Cancer”. I will still see you hooked up to poisonous drips , the pain, the hope going, the fear , trying to be brave for my sake , those days in that horrible, factory -like Cleveland Clinic, the tears running down your cheeks silently squeezed out of the corner of your eyes as they prepared to put you in the vent and those terrifying days of death.
Those memories are with me day in and day out, they play as if on some vicious cycle , cutting across thoughts , memories and day to day life.
Somehow, in this state of grief, I have seemingly managed to split myself into sections inside my mind. The loop of your dying days plays continually and the rest of my brain seemingly functions carrying on doing what needs to be done to deal with everyday life . Night and exhaustion will eventually bring sleep but even then the loop continues playing.
My “other” brain tries so hard to put my thoughts and events of the day in some sort of order to file away and make some sense . I have some very, very strange dreams as this aging mind tries to put together a story in which to add to the “memory card”. I can’t explain the process but it seems somehow being fragmented of mind I can actually now watch from another place ( inwardly) as my brain function tries to sort out the sound bites of the day
I seem to have acquired an ability when supposedly asleep to “watch my mind” trying to function as though looking at a computer monitor with more than one browser open and active. I know , sounds like the men in white coats should be called, but I assure you this happens , maybe the neurons are running amuck between my
Reptilian Brain, Cognitive Brain and Mammalian Brain
T.Harv Eker said it this way, “When the subconscious mind must choose between deeply rooted emotions and logic, emotions will almost always win.”
I know on the one level I am asleep and dreaming and I “am” involved in the dreams, but I am also the outside of that part of my mind watching and remembering the dreams as they play out trying to make sense of my day, a multi-tasking mind.
For instance recently in one my many nightly dreams ” I” was a submarine commander ( must have been the Run Silent Run Deep movie I watched ) dealing with transporting turkeys ( guess what that was) to a place where my mother was waiting to board a plane dressed as Catherine the Great. More worrying being Lucille Ball having an affair with Fred Metz….. . Yes! I remember all of the day’s sound bites being lumped story-like for filing in some part of my “storage memory” when I am supposed to be at rest and healing.
And yet, the loop of you, the cancer, the dying days still continues to play over and over at the same time – running always in the background of thoughts.
I believe I know why this is happening – it is because for so many months and months I tried to “fix ” the Cancer, I tried to find a way to keep my promise to you that I would always be there to protect you – a promise I made the first time I held you in my arms. I never gave up trying even that last day- December 3rd- I thought somehow they would take you off that vent and you would wake………. .
I promised you – I would never give up and would move heaven and earth to save your life. I told you that before the SGN 35 and trips to Houston. I was still trying to find a way, somebody, some cure, some solution – even on the day you died.
I gave my mind/ brain a task that February day when you learned of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma invading your body and our lives. The task it was given was to find a successful outcome – there wasn’t one , but it was the most important task given to my brain and I believe somehow my brain, like some computer on overload, is still searching for the solution and will keep searching playing out the problems the issues until it either explodes in the futility of finding that solution or when it is switched off for good…..
I love you and all my yesterdays are today……
Part One- https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2016/05/17/money-where-your-mouth-is-part-one/
Part Two- https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2016/06/17/money-where-your-mouth-is-the-process-part-two/
Part Three- https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2016/10/17/money-where-your-mouth-is-part-3/
Part Four- https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2016/10/28/money-where-your-mouth-is-part-4/
Part Five –https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2016/11/15/money-where-your-mouth-is-part-5/
In Defence of the Fence
Clean up along the front half of the new lot (1125)aka “Lower Deeping Gate” was done and we began to see a problem. We always knew our house at 1127 sat higher than the lot next door, it being on the edge of the old ravine, but once the brush and trees were removed we found the drop off to be not a couple of feet but at one point -6 feet.
Instead of coming all the way to the front of our house with the fence and across we decided to fence and meet the original fence( ( as we already had a gate to access the property at 1125) about 80 feet. And there the trials began. First – a decision on the type of fence, then the problem of getting the fence delivery truck down the 16 foot alley was no easy feat.
Then it was just a matter of putting the fence up up BUT this was not going to be as easy as we thought. Starting at the back of the lot ( after getting the required city permit) all was well. Although the neighbors ( gun on his hip and “f” king of construction) were daily measuring and having conversations as to the size of the lot etc. ( more on that later)
The back of the lot was pretty flat and even so 32 feet of fence being flush to the ground was not an issue, apart from digging the post holes and hitting rocks galore. The long section of fencing running down the lot we soon found out, when trying to stay even at the top, was dropping at an alarming rate.
The men from Tactical Home Services Unit” http://www.thsunit.com/ knocked on the door to tell me there would be a “gap” as we came across the front of the lot as the land was dropping.
Thinking to myself ”
Oh well we will just fill in with some dirt or a couple of little boards”
I told them to go ahead. I wondered why he looked a little perplexed and with a
“well- OK! if you are sure?
My answer as to their skepticism came as the front of the fence went up , what I thought would be a few inches became 4 feet. Our lovely fence looked like the great wall or a billboard, the 6 ft fence became 10 and up in the air. In fact, the land rapidly dropped 4 foot in the last 40 foot of fence and closer to six foot as it met our old fence at the corner of the house and continued to drop the further down the lot you went.
Obviously we couldn’t leave a fence up in the air 4 feet or more but what to do? We had to get three dump truck loads of “in fill” dirt for the property behind the “great wall” ( more expense)so that the 6 ft fence sat evenly on the ground ( Upper Deeping Gate). Since the in -fill dirt was dumped in piles we had to get help, other than Gavin and Braedyn, to move it.
It was during this day when, as I was watching the two earth-movers, the “little guy with the gun on his hip” started cutting down the tree on the edge of our property and the hurling of insults and rhetoric began screaming at me the Building Dept had given him permission.
( Photo Source : http://www.rcosf.com/anger-management-do-you-need-a-psychologist/ )
It was then I knew there was going to be an issue with the neighbors and where one’s property ended. I knew the fence was thirty two feet and since it came off of our garage, which obviously was on our original lot, we were well within the lot line ( the newly purchased lot was 34.5 ft. by 157 ft. ) The trouble is (and was) the two neighbors had decided where their lots began and ended and were feeding each other erroneous information.
I stopped the neighbor from cutting down the tree just in time. It isn’t a great tree but in summer blocks the view of another less than desirable property from our balcony. The tree is probably irrevocably damaged and if it falls it will be down to the “little guy with the gun on his hip”
Another expense, because we then had our original lot and the lot next door surveyed and yes! the tree is on our property.
Back to the fence, as the contractors kept digging they met all sorts of rubble and huge tree roots, not entirely unexpected . I had always known there was a water source ( stream) running under the lot so hitting water was also not unexpected. What we hadn’t banked on was the ravine ( seen on the map below) had been filled with the debris of the 1924 tornado , the people back then must have just bulldozed everything into that ravine and covered it with dirt.
The decision to build a retaining wall/planter box across the front of the fence to hold back the newly filled dirt and to stop further erosion even added more angst and expense. This lot was becoming a money pit but we couldn’t have a fence in the air!
A change of design a change of plan . engineering , more building , more top soil to fill and planting
Definition of Deeping -Extending far downward below a surface- underground water source.
To be continued………..
The Clean Up:
The tree was down and now the clean up –
I didn’t realize the amount of chippings that would be left, also my husband had decided he wanted some of the wood for the fireplace. Now, I would have a fire every night and did so when we could acquire coal but I know the arguments all to well from the “master of the house” _
too late to light a fire (5:pm)- real meaning- I can’t be bothered to go out to the garage to get the wood.
That is the last of the stack real meaning- there is more but I don’t want to chop wood today.
The wood isn’t dry enough. real meaning -it is cold and snowy out there – I don’t want to go and get it
Never had that argument when I could put on a couple of pieces of coal but I certainly wasn’t going to look at that pile of wood all summer, I have had enough of eyesores!
Anyway, knowing how good intentions and ‘I am going to get to that” become irritants in my life, I offered up the left over wood to those that would move , chop and benefit. The great pile of sawdust was moved by two little boys
I, obviously, could not use grandchild enforced labor for the whole clean up. A trip to the internet turned up some handymen/ women . I have to say the quotes from 40 to 85 dollars an hour were surprising.
Finally I found a company “Tactical Home Services Unit” http://www.thsunit.com/. I was so pleased I did .
They were amiable to not only clearing the shrubs and brush , digging holes for my “planting idea” for the front of the lot( wrought iron arch and gate providing a frame work for climbing roses , similar shrubs to tie in ( eventually ) with the front evergreen hedges in front of our original lot)
building a fence and to take on whatever else we required as time went on and then the history of Charleston Village came back to haunt.
To be continued
BECAUSE THOSE WHO ARE VALIANT AND SERVE FREEDOM -THEIR STORIES AND STRUGGLES CROSS OCEANS , SEAS OF TIME AND NATIONS – AGES – SHOULD NEVER BE FORGOTTEN… a reprise
I have always tried to Remember those who fought on November the 11th – from granddads, uncles and my father- to my generation, my husband USAF, my cousins and to those friends who have lost their sons to war.
I was pleased and touched the last piece of art work produced by my son was in honor for another young man who gave his life for his country ( in remembrance)- Eric Barnes .
I was reminded on Remembrance Sunday, as I walked through the dining room, of my father . I hadn’t looked at his medals in a very long time as they hung over the sword he bought me ( The Sword of Charlemagne ) incase I ever did Camelot again. He was coerced into polishing up a sword for the theatrical production in which I was involved -a lousy job and one he decided he wouldn’t do again – hence the purchase of the sword !
There was a lot of dust, the ribbons had lost their sharp colours over the decades and they decidedly needed a clean . I knew some of his medals were gone – RN Long Service and Good conduct Medal, The Arctic Star and the Oak cluster – I had used them to pin my dolly’s clothes when I was just a little one.
Although I had written about his Royal Navy Career in the series along with my mother’s remembrances of those days of world war two –
I can’t really remember having ever “looked ” closely at the medals.
I was surprised at the number of theatres of war in which he had been involved. And then, I remembered this man , my father who had been in the Royal Navy before war broke out and had seen so much in those terrible years was only 28 years old when Victory was declared – my mother 26-. War is for the young they say ……
THE AFRICA STAR******
Naval personnel anywhere at sea in the Mediterranean or in harbour in North Africa, Malta or Egypt between the above dates will qualify. Those serving in direct support of the Eritrean and Abyssinian campaigns between certain other specified dates will also qualify.
THE ARCTIC STAR**** The Arctic Star is granted for operational service of any length north of the Arctic Circle (66 degrees, 32’N) from the 3rd September, 1939, to the 8th May, 1945, inclusive. The Arctic Star is intended to commemorate the Arctic Convoys and is designed primarily for the ships of the convoys to North Russia and their Escorts. •Royal Navy and Merchant Navy: naval and Merchant Navy service anywhere at sea north of the Arctic Circle to include, but not limited exclusively to, those ships participating in, and in support of, Convoys to North Russia
THE ATLANTIC STAR******
The Battle of the Atlantic took place between 3 September 1939 and 8 May 1945 as German U boats, aircraft and surface vessels attacked the convoys transporting valuable supplies from America and the colonies to Britain.
Warships of the RN and aircraft of the RAF escorted the convoys, hunted the U boats, fought German ships and, despite some notable German successes, the allies won a comprehensive victory in the Atlantic
THE ITALY STAR Naval personnel must qualify first for the 1939 to 1945 Star before the Italy Star can be awarded. It is then awarded for service at sea in the Mediterranean between the above dates provided that it was directly connected with active operations in the Mediterranean theatre.
George VI Medal *****The duration of the Second World War in Europe was from 3 September 1939 to 8 May 1945, while in the Pacific Theatre it continued until 2 September 1945. The War Medal 1939–1945 was instituted by the United Kingdom on 16 August 1945 and was awarded to all full-time personnel of the armed forces and merchant marines
Oak Leaf awarded to personnel who have been mentioned in despatches in action with the enemy (all environments) in war.
I believe ,in researching my dad’s history, a mention of the incident for which he was mentioned in despatches
1400 – Explosion in our ship don’t know whether we hit or what it is yet someone gave a scream.
1445 – Explosion was heater drain observation tank in boiler room exploding. 2 stokers seriously scalded and 1 fractured elbow.
We left Harmatris to two Russian tugs and proceeded to Polyarnoe (Russia) at all speed.
I should like Commanding Officers of all Minesweepers to know that I fully appreciate the good work in the difficult conditions in the past few days searching, escorting, and hunting under the nose of the enemy sea and air forces. It does everyone, but especially the Engine room department, great credit that all ships have been ready for service whenever called upon and I am sure that valuable lives and ships have been saved by the good work performed.
CommanderSenior Officer, Sixth Minesweeping Flotilla “
The HMS Speedwell was a minesweeper and now a segue back to Lorain
and another naval man Admiral Ernest J King–
His tribute space has the flags flying – not on a flag pole but a ship’s mast and a “minesweeper mast” at that rescued from the from the old American Ship yard.
Old Mast at American Shipyard
( Now in place at the Admiral King Tribute Site 1st and Hamilton)
PLEASE TAKE A WALK THROUGH THE ERIC BARNES HEROES WALK THIS WEEK AND AS YOU REMEMBER THOSE THAT FOUGHT AND CONTINUE TO FIGHT – REMEMBER THEIR YOUTH -LOST – SOME WILL NOT GROW OLD AND DID NOT GROW OLD- AND THOSE THAT SURVIVED NEVER FORGOT – CHANGED FOREVER.
Every time I scroll down on the right side to log in to the admin section of this site I watch as the years , months, days of posting of my life on this blog slide by. The dying days still there , the crushing phone call that started all the pain, the hope, the horror and the vindictiveness of the days after your death.
Another 1st week of November – Houston – the time I dared to breathe- it is there chronicled
“Yesterday was the first restaging of my son after having 6 infusions ( one a week with one week off) for the drug SGN35. The scans have shown clear– he is responding well so far and although he is having trouble with some of the side effects – it looks like the drug is working on the Cancer. “
How untrue that was because a month later you were gone and your remains and any dignity associated with death snatched by selfishness and control by those who never really knew you.
Each month on the third I write about you , it is my therapy, it is my way of telling your story that you lived, were loved unconditionally, made a difference. You won’t go down in any history books, you are all but forgotten and “re written” by “the others” and of those that called you “friend” but you existed- you changed our world, you were loved beyond all tears. That love grows it does not dissipate in a “do over world” of some. My anger doesn’t dissipate.
Some might think I am crazy, crazy in my grief, that could well be. I know this grief that fractures, tears at one, opens wounds daily, will not be denied, anymore than the love of my son can be denied.
I carry within me the six basic human emotions ” happiness, sadness, fear, anger, surprise and disgust.” but to those that have lost a son or daughter mere “sadness, anger ” is not adequate in its description , the fear felt as the dying days were lived through is an abomination in its simplicity.
We are changed, emotions magnified beyond all knowing, unless you have walked where we have walked, reached out helplessly to anyone, anything, any god, the stars , screamed at the enveloping darkness that comes with the terror of knowing the hope is gone you will never understand . We are undone……
And yet it is love that feeds this terrible ache of missing , a love not waning , not forgotten, you my son still have a story to be told and I am trying to find the strength to tell it, a love that transcends the veil.
The Tree Phase One of the Plan
It took a few weeks, after we were notified, we had been successful in our bid to purchase the lot at 1125 aka ( Highway 1125) for the property to transfer .
The first thing we did was to ask for bids to remove the gigantic tree close to our house. We had stated in our “plan” to the city this would be done. The tree almost 90 feet tall was failing, it was less than 10 feet away from our house and if it had fallen it certainly would’ve taken out at least two homes. Estimates came in from nearly $5,000 to the lowest at $2,500. We went with a local company Tree Pro.
the loss of this gentle, yet worrying, giant was also going to be missed. I knew we would no longer get the benefit of shade on our balcony and mum’s flowers would have to be changed out and air-conditioning would be cranked up come summer, the tree provided so much shade to our lot and home. I love trees, always have done, it breaks my heart to lose them.
What I hadn’t realized , this tree with its huge trunk and outstretched branches, some of which could be trees themselves, blocked from my view, through the den window, from all manner of issues in the neighborhood. How secure and serene my view whilst the maple had stood guard. The lifestyles of others hidden from me. I was lost in a world of bark, butterflies , leafy limbs, squirrels , birds and living things – my non human neighboring so much more pleasant than reality!
“What the eye doesn’t see and the mind doesn’t know, doesn’t exist.” D H Lawrence
All of a sudden – windows were opened to more than just sunlight and heat. Stark reality invaded my home, no longer could I sit at the desk in the den -protected from view and protected views- as fingers pounded the computer keyboard on a daily basis . The goldfish bowl of life opened me up to view, it was and is intrusive to my little world . The bamboo blinds helped but still there was a nakedness to the views which I hadn’t experienced in the 40 years of living here all because of the absence of the tree.
I knew the tree was a hazard, I knew it was dying slowly, I knew it had to go but I didn’t know how much that tree had added to my happiness and how desolate the outlook when it was gone. It softened and protected .
The wood hauled away the stump ground down leaving the “ashes” of what was once there.
But even in its death throes still it made its presence known, gigantic roots extending throughout the lot next door, reaching for the water source we knew was to be found beneath. The trunk and upper branches lost to the chipper and lumber yards but the roots would not give up so easily . The clearing of the lot and new landscaping would be compromised. My only hope to replicate the privacy , beauty and well-being that had been taken away by the chainsaw would be in some ” creative” plantings”. The tree was so large it will take many, many months if not years to retrieve the ambiance and peace of mind the old maple afforded us ……..
To be continued…………….
October the month of ghosts, witches, goblins and ghouls . The fun time for most, a religious celebrations for some Samhain
The interest in ghostly happenings is at an all time high. Witches and superstitions, black cats with arched backs are everywhere
The problem is black cats can be at risk at Halloween or at least a spike in cruelty has been known to happen
And now thanks to the Ghost Hunters extraordinaire television shows etc. we have a plethora of “ghost tours” all around the world, the darkness becomes a “beacon” for those with cameras and phones hoping to catch a glimpse of the world beyond the veil ( the unknown state of being after death)
There are tours of houses, buildings, cemeteries you name it, participants expectant of meeting someone or something and capturing a glimpse of the unknown. There are thousands of them.
Recently Charleston Village Society was contacted re yet another Ghost Tour of Lorain’s oldest cemetery. The cemetery is on city property but as readers know we have been the historical and figurative “keepers” of the cemetery. We declined to enable this event.
There are many reasons NOT to have one of these tours but mainly the headstones are in a very delicate state some are flat on the ground a misstep and another damaged headstone, the cost of replicating these headstones is around $700 to $800 dollars each. Money we don’t have. The ground is very uneven.
Who is responsible for damage done , who pays should someone fall in the dark , does the group have insurance? This cemetery is in the middle of a residential area do the neighbors want 30 or forty people under their windows all October late at night ? The concerns and lack of respect to those whose bones rest there does not sit well .
So unless someone wants a guided “historical” tour during daylight hours we are not in favor of “ghost hunters” traipsing over the graves of Lorain’s pioneers and founding families.
There was yet another “ghostly tour” last week – and we strongly objected before that tour took place and afterwards. The upshot is the cemetery will now be signed “closed at dusk” along with the no pooping dogs.
The tour company said we would donate! No this isn’t about money – hard to believe since we are desperately needing donations to keep the cemetery stable- it is about respect. Respect that is long overdue to those who lay beneath the green trees.
So by all means grab your cameras , follow the guides to beyond the veil somewhere else – UNLESS you want a tour of Lorain’s oldest cemetery and the stories of how a group of people loved, lived, sailed the inland seas, their contributions to this city and this land , then we would be most happy to oblige ( before dusk)