Posts filed under ‘Fathers’

September 3rd- Chapter 32- NO LIMITS-Chris Ritchey

 

 

 

NO LIMITS

Forward: https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2020/01/02/jan-3rd-no-limits-the-forward-chris-ritchey/

Chapter One :https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2020/02/03/feb-3rd-no-limits-chapter-1-chris-ritchey/

Chapter Two:https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2020/03/03/march-3rd-no-limits-

Chapter Three: https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2020/04/03/april-3rd-no-limits-chapt-3-chris-ritchey/

Chapter Four: https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2020/05/03/no-limits-chapter-4-chris-ritchey/

Chapter Five: https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2020/06/03/june-3rd-no-limits-chapter-5-chris-ritchey/

Chapter Six: https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2020/07/03/july-3rd-no-limits-chapter-6-chris-ritchey/

Chapter Seven: https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2020/08/03/august-3rd-no-limits-chapter7-chris-ritchey/

Chapter Eight: https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2020/09/03/sept-3rd-no-limits-chapter-8-chris-ritchey/

Chapter Nine: https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2020/10/03/oct-3rd-no-limits-chapter-9-chris-ritchey/

Chapter Ten: NO LIMITS- Nov 3rd- Chapter 10- Chris Ritchey | That Woman’s Weblog (wordpress.com)

Chapter Eleven: NO LIMITS-Dec. 3rd- Chris Ritchey- Chapter 11 | That Woman’s Weblog (wordpress.com)

Chapter Twelve: NO LIMITS-Jan 3rd- Chris Ritchey- Chapter 12 | That Woman’s Weblog (wordpress.com)

Chapter Thirteen : NO LIMITS- FEB 3rd- Chris Ritchey- Chapter 13 | That Woman’s Weblog (wordpress.com)

Chapter Fourteen: March 3rd, NO LIMITS, Chapter 14- Chris Ritchey | That Woman’s Weblog (wordpress.com)

Chapter Fifteen: April 3rd- No Limits- Chapter 15- Chris Ritchey | That Woman’s Weblog (wordpress.com)

Chapter Sixteen: May 3rd – No Limits- Chapter 16- Chris Ritchey | That Woman’s Weblog (wordpress.com)

Chapter Seventeen: June 3rd-No Limits-Chris Ritchey-Chapter 17 | That Woman’s Weblog (wordpress.com)

Chapter Eighteen: July 3rd – NO LIMITS- Chapter 18-Chris Ritchey | That Woman’s Weblog (wordpress.com)

Chapter Nineteen: https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2021/08/03/august-3rd-no-limits-chapter-19-chris-ritchey/

Chapter Twenty: https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2021/09/03/september-3rd-no-limits-chapter20-chris-ritchey/

Chapter Twenty One:  https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2021/10/03/october-3rd-no-limits-chapter-21-chris-ritchey/

Chapter Twenty Two : https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2021/11/03/nov-3rd-no-limits-chapter-22-chris-ritchey/

Chapter Twenty Three: https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2021/12/03/dec-3rd-no-limits-chapt-23-chris-ritchey/

Chapter Twenty Four: https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2022/01/03/january-3rd-no-limits-chapter-24-chris-ritchey/

Chapter Twenty  Five: https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2022/02/03/february-3rd-no-limits-chapter-25-chris-ritchey/

Chapter Twenty Six https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2022/03/03/march-3rd-no-limits-chapter-26-chris-ritchey/

Chapter Twenty Seven https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2022/04/03/april-3rd-no-limits-chapter-27-chris-ritchey/

Chapter Twenty Eight: https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2022/05/03/may-3rd-no-limits-chapter-28-chris-ritchey/

Chapter Twenty Nine: https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2022/06/03/june-3rd-no-limits-chapter-29-chris-ritchey/

Chapter Thirty: https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2022/07/03/july-3rd-no-limits-chapter-30-chris-ritchey/

Chapter Thirty-One: https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2022/08/03/august-3rd-no-limits-chapter-31-chris-ritchey/

The days of death

David Eagleman is a neuroscientist, bestselling author, and Guggenheim Fellow. Dr. Eagleman’s areas of research include sensory substitution, time perception, vision, and synesthesia. He also studies the intersection of neuroscience with the legal system, and in that capacity he directs the non-profit Center for Science and Law. Eagleman is the writer and presenter of The Brain, an Emmy-nominated television series on PBS and BBC. He is the author of 8 books, including Livewired, The Runaway Species, The Brain, Incognito, and Wednesday is Indigo Blue. He is also the author of a widely adopted textbook on cognitive neuroscience, Brain and Behavior. His internationally bestselling book of literary fiction, SUM, has been translated into 32 languages https://profiles.stanford.edu/david-eagleman

David Eagleman https://eagleman.com in his book Sum states:

We actually die three times. We die the first time when our breath leaves our body. We die the second time when our loved ones return our body to the ground. And the third death, and final death, is a moment, sometime in the future, when our name is spoken for the last time.

As my  son  spent days dying  so  did I , every  hour was sheer torture and the days following his final breath saw me dying inside, losing  me,  losing a grip  on reality,  not knowing where I  was, what had happened.

All of a sudden I  was back in my  home,  the hospital left behind, the home where Chris had grown up, reminders of him everywhere .

Misty  , Chris’ dog. excited to  see us after all these days  away  ran to  greet us, ignorant at her  master’s death, her happiness was almost crushing.  I think someone must have let her out .  And then we were alone , a mother and a father  without their son.

I was so  cold,  shivering , I couldn’t stop  shaking . My  husband  wandered the rooms , sitting , getting up sitting again, Lost!!!  Finally  he noticed I  was shivering and shaking , he said

I will light a fire 

and he went out the den door to  get some firewood. Eventually,  he came back  with  a rose , the last rose from the garden  and put it in my  hands, it too was cold.  As he opened the fireplace doors to  put in the kindling  he let out the most awful sound, a wail , guttural cry  and choking  all combined, and fell to  his knees . I couldn’t move to  help  him and  Misty  hearing this awful cry  came to  him and lay  down nuzzling his body  trying to  get under him to  get him up.

I truly  thought he is choking on grief and there is nothing I  can do  , I  can’t move. 

I don’t know how long we stayed in that dark place , finally  exhaustion overcame us I  suppose. I really  don’t remember but I too  wandered about the house finally ending up in Chris’ old room, now decorated to hold guests and spied the little Harrods Bear he gave me when he returned from a soccer tournament in England. He had sat on his little perch for  years dusted but ignored for the most part. I had thought of eventually giving him ( with his little England shirt) to my new grandson.

I picked up the little 10 inch soft cuddly bear and pressed him like a compress to my heart, trying  to stop the pain that threatened to burst forth from me at any moment . I couldn’t put him down

. Somehow I  was aware that in the morning  we were expected to  go  to  the funeral home to  discuss  arrangements.

Nikki  had managed, much to Sue Lombardi’s annoyance,  to  have Chris’ body  taken to  the funeral home behind our house . The same funeral home where as a child he rode his bike in their parking lot, whose family  he had known all his life, whose daughter  baby sat him,  wonderful caring people. He was just  300 feet away  and yet not home , never coming home  and I  couldn’t reach  him.

I couldn’t go  to  that funeral home meeting , I couldn’t even stand up for any length  of time  let alone  walk. I never wanted to  see the Lombardis ever again . I  also  knew that whatever I  said they  would be  wanting to  do  the opposite , my  husband was in no  shape to  deal  with  them, they  who  seemingly  wanted this all “Done and Dusted”- over and done with  a quick as possible .

In the end we stayed with  the baby, Nikki, Jim and my  mum and brother-in law walked over to  the Funeral Home.  I was right in my  thinking Sue Lombardi  wanted a “big show….

I was petrified that  they  would ignore our beliefs  and put Chris in one of the silk lined, Cadillac  of caskets with  chrome handles  to  be buried , to  rot away  for decades,    after being drained of his blood,( more damned needles), things stuck into  orifices’ to  stop  leaks,  making him look presentable for a receiving line of grief and some curiosity, coffee and cakes in the anteroom. I couldn’t bear the thought of my  beautiful son turning into anaerobic sludge

An airtight coffin, for example, may foster decomposition by anaerobic bacteria, which results in a putrefied liquification of the body; all putrefied tissue would remain inside the container, only to be exposed in the event of an exhumation

It is the American way  I  know and that is fine if that is your culture  and of your beliefs

but it is and was NOT  our way and Chris was of our culture and beliefs not  the Lombardis and he hated  the rituals at the cemetery  they  did for the nephew and cousin. His name was Ritchey  not Lombardi. 

I begged my  son-in-law to  speak for Chris . You  see I  knew he and Chris had discussed things when they  drove back  to  Houston. He wanted to  be cremated  as it is our way  and his…..

My  understanding was that the Lombardis had  the floor and  Sue Lombardi  was against cremation ..

But  if there is no  casket what are we going to  decorate 

 

And there you  have it my  wonderful son the star of her funeral celebration…………

The wedding casket……… for that all important money was all I  could think of…… as I was told those words …..

September 3, 2022 at 11:44 am 2 comments

July 3rd- No Limits- Chapter 30- Chris Ritchey

 

NO LIMITS

Forward: https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2020/01/02/jan-3rd-no-limits-the-forward-chris-ritchey/

Chapter One :https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2020/02/03/feb-3rd-no-limits-chapter-1-chris-ritchey/

Chapter Two:https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2020/03/03/march-3rd-no-limits-

Chapter Three: https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2020/04/03/april-3rd-no-limits-chapt-3-chris-ritchey/

Chapter Four: https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2020/05/03/no-limits-chapter-4-chris-ritchey/

Chapter Five: https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2020/06/03/june-3rd-no-limits-chapter-5-chris-ritchey/

Chapter Six: https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2020/07/03/july-3rd-no-limits-chapter-6-chris-ritchey/

Chapter Seven: https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2020/08/03/august-3rd-no-limits-chapter7-chris-ritchey/

Chapter Eight: https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2020/09/03/sept-3rd-no-limits-chapter-8-chris-ritchey/

Chapter Nine: https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2020/10/03/oct-3rd-no-limits-chapter-9-chris-ritchey/

Chapter Ten: NO LIMITS- Nov 3rd- Chapter 10- Chris Ritchey | That Woman’s Weblog (wordpress.com)

Chapter Eleven: NO LIMITS-Dec. 3rd- Chris Ritchey- Chapter 11 | That Woman’s Weblog (wordpress.com)

Chapter Twelve: NO LIMITS-Jan 3rd- Chris Ritchey- Chapter 12 | That Woman’s Weblog (wordpress.com)

Chapter Thirteen : NO LIMITS- FEB 3rd- Chris Ritchey- Chapter 13 | That Woman’s Weblog (wordpress.com)

Chapter Fourteen: March 3rd, NO LIMITS, Chapter 14- Chris Ritchey | That Woman’s Weblog (wordpress.com)

Chapter Fifteen: April 3rd- No Limits- Chapter 15- Chris Ritchey | That Woman’s Weblog (wordpress.com)

Chapter Sixteen: May 3rd – No Limits- Chapter 16- Chris Ritchey | That Woman’s Weblog (wordpress.com)

Chapter Seventeen: June 3rd-No Limits-Chris Ritchey-Chapter 17 | That Woman’s Weblog (wordpress.com)

Chapter Eighteen: July 3rd – NO LIMITS- Chapter 18-Chris Ritchey | That Woman’s Weblog (wordpress.com)

Chapter Nineteen: https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2021/08/03/august-3rd-no-limits-chapter-19-chris-ritchey/

Chapter Twenty: https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2021/09/03/september-3rd-no-limits-chapter20-chris-ritchey/

Chapter Twenty One:  https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2021/10/03/october-3rd-no-limits-chapter-21-chris-ritchey/

Chapter Twenty Two : https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2021/11/03/nov-3rd-no-limits-chapter-22-chris-ritchey/

Chapter Twenty Three: https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2021/12/03/dec-3rd-no-limits-chapt-23-chris-ritchey/

Chapter Twenty Four: https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2022/01/03/january-3rd-no-limits-chapter-24-chris-ritchey/

Chapter Twenty  Five: https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2022/02/03/february-3rd-no-limits-chapter-25-chris-ritchey/

Chapter Twenty Six https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2022/03/03/march-3rd-no-limits-chapter-26-chris-ritchey/

Chapter Twenty Seven https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2022/04/03/april-3rd-no-limits-chapter-27-chris-ritchey/

Chapter Twenty Eight: https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2022/05/03/may-3rd-no-limits-chapter-28-chris-ritchey/

Chapter Twenty Nine: https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2022/06/03/june-3rd-no-limits-chapter-29-chris-ritchey/

OMEGA

Any  words I  have left in me are inadequate to  describe the utter denial, disbelief , unreality  I felt on that last morning of December 3rd.  As I  walked out of the conference  room, the words from the “Doctor” stating we would have to  waIt until the paralyzing drugs wore off before they  could remove Chris from life support, seemed  hollow , without emotion and echoed in my  brain, I felt not a part of my  own body . I was  elsewhere wanting to  wake up to  a different reality  . This can’t be our reality!

I wanted to  run away  , leave this place of clinical formality, take my  son ,  I  saw the  relief on the faces of the Lombardi  Clan as I  agreed to  removing Chris from the machines. I agreed with  the impossible hope  that maybe , he would prove them wrong  but also  because my son had asked me ”

“Mum don’t ever let me end up  being pathetic” 

I never wanted to  look on the faces of Tim, Sue and Angela ever  again. In my  mind they  were no  longer part of our lives. Little did I  know they  weren’t done with  Chris and his family  yet, their controlling  behaviour would  reach  out even through  the death  of Chris , in order to  have their own way. 

We went into  Chris room, Nikki  was there in those damned pajamas , talking to  him.

“Chris you  came home to  see me anytime, I  love you……”

I wasn’t understanding did she not realize  he wouldn’t be ever coming home again? 

A nurse  ushered out of the room into  the room next door, where just a few hours before  the patient had caused all the alarm in the night  had apparently  died.   We were told to  wait  as we couldnt be in the room whilst they  “unhooked” Chris .

The room was bare, the bed and machines cleared away.  I was in there with  Sue Lombardi,  Angela and Tim.

I wondered where my  husband was , Nikki , Jim???Why  was I in that  horrible room with  these people. I  was about to  leave when the tellvision, fixed to  the wall came on  . I  don’t know the program but it was country  music ….. I couldn’t stand it , it was as if someone was playing some macabre joke.

I grabbed the channel  changer from the floor , but no  matter what I  did I  couldn’t get rid of it. Finally  Tim Lombardi left Sue’s  side , she was sitting on the floor  against the wall, but all he managed to  do  was get it flipping through  channels. It ended up  on a scene from . The joke being in the family  that I  was Marie Barone  and my  favourite was Chris, as hers was Raymond. It was the scene where they  were together on a cruise ship.

Angela took the channel changer from her father as Sue  said looking at the scene on the television

“OH it is Chris”

I looked at her and thought

stupid woman , why  doesn’t she just  shut up!!!!

It was then the nurse put her head through  the door and said they  were ready  for us.

Angela, her mother and father went to  the  right hand side of the bed where there weren’t any  machines, I  could only  squeeze into  the other side by  the wall and the now quiet ventilator.

I looked at my  sons face, wiped the  spittle from his mouth , the nurses has closed his eyes . I  rambled on, talking   to him about being proud of him , how hard he fought and that he should rest now. I  don’t know exactly  what I  was talking about  because all I  wanted to  do  was hold him and  scream

NO!!!!!!! Stop  this !!! This can’t happen 

Instead, I  watched the colour drain slowly  from his face , he had died earlier I  knew it…… there was no  gasping for breath or convulsion. I  looked up  into  Tim Lombardi’s face who  was nodding yes….. Sue left the room  Someone took me away  from the bedside , I  think  it was one of Chris’ nurses . There was a wheelchair waiting for me. I had absolutely  no  idea where I  was ,what was happening .

I was taken back  to  hotel room and we sat. Nobody  talked finally we started packing up  our belongings and left. Nikki  was on the phone  apparently to  Tim

”  arrangements for the funeral home had already  been made for the following morning at 10 a.m”

In my  maelstrom of thoughts I  didn’t understand why  Chris’ father hadn’t been there when his son died. I knew Nikki  couldn’t face it and was, I  thought, being taken care of by  Jim.

I  understood that  but I  didn’t understand why  I had to  look into  that weasle  little face of Tim Lombardi  as my  son gave up  his being.

It was many  weeks later I  found out when I  finally  asked my  husband

Where were you , why  weren’t YOU with  me and Chris?

And then it came to  light. He had made sure Nikki  was with  Jim and then followed us into  the room but Sue Lombardi  closed the door in his face and he didn’t know what to  do  , he didn’t want to  make a scene so  he stood outside the door and looked  through  the window as his son died.

artwork Chris Ritchey

I would like to  say  that that was the last cruel and thoughtless  act of the Lombardis but there was so  much  more to  come. However it was nearly  a year after Chris died that Nikki  finally  told me what had happened in that ICU room

DEC. 4th- How Cold is Cold -Lombardi?

I couldn’t think that my beautiful son was going to die- I truly still thought he will show them he will come out of this – I never gave up hope and none of us said to goodbye-

My husband when he was in a coma told us that he had heard every word that people spoke but he couldn’t let us know. So we all acted on the fact that Chris too, was aware and were so careful not to say or do anything that would distress him- trapped as he was…….

Fashionistas Sue Lombardi and Angela (Lombardi) ritchey( Now Murphy.

This apparently was not consideration given by the Lombardis as Sue Lombardi and Angela joined Nikki in the ICU room. Nikki was putting cool cloths on Chris’ brow , holding his hand and talking to him that everything was Ok and she wouldn’t leave him-

However that was not the reason apparently the Lombardi women were in the room, not for them comfort and saying farewell NO they had other reasons for seeing Chris

 they were choosing his “laying out clothes”

So before my son was dead, two minutes after Nikki had learned they were taking Chris off the vent – Angela Ritchey(Murphy) DO and Sue stood over my dying son having already decided without even the courtesy of discussing with Chris’ family the Gluvna Funeral Home would handle the arrangements-

Sue Lombardi

We will lay him out in his black pants, blue shirt and silver tie

Angela –

Yes, but no suit jacket Chris wouldn’t like that

 

Nikki couldn’t believe what she was hearing her brother lying there still breathing, still warm, his hand still in hers and they are discussing “funeral fashion!” 

Nikki told  me that day a year later  between her sobs –

Mum who are these people? how does a “bride” stand there as her husband is dying and calmly decide what fashion statement he will make in his casket- I was standing there trying to memorize every piece of his face, his hands everything about him knowing I would never see him again and they are discussing what to dress him in and he wasn’t even dead. I just cannot believe they were so cool and calm and cold when Angela said
“Yes but no jacket ” it was in the same tone as saying

I will have honey mustard sauce with the nuggets…….

 

Nikki turned to them and quietly said through her teeth so that Chris didn’t hear

NO! you are not laying my brother out, there will be no casket he is to be cremated, he isn’t to go to Gluvna but to Boyers – I will fight you on this – he is to go home

 

Sue Lombardi:

but this will be a huge funeral and what would we do about the parking….

I still find this scenario incredible What kind of people are more concerned in the “funeral fashion statement” of their son-in-law and new husband will wear and where Sue would have  people park as he is clinging to life.

Who calmly looks at their dying groom and is concerned about jacket or no jacket, what kind of people are these ?- How could you even discuss this as a sister holds her dying brothers hand and tries to give him comfort?

How could Angela even contemplate that next move? I just know that anyone who loved my son deeply would not be thinking of “dressing him in his coffin” in their last moments together !
I didn’t know any of this  at the time and it is probably  just as well because as traumatic as the next few days were they  would have been worse as my  anger would have risen to  a dreadful climax.

– I am even more filled with disgust that someone who was so full of life, love and caring has left this life and those that should have mourned his loss stood over him – as he lay dying deciding how to dress him in a casket to look good!

 

The disgust I felt at such pious hypocrites is indescribable – to think my son was subject to this in his last moments “what would he be wearing as they decorated him in the casket “ filled me with a gut filled sickness, it is beyond my comprehension as to what he did to deserve such coldness?

To  be continued ……..

 

July 3, 2022 at 1:51 pm 2 comments

July 3rd- continuing – Chris Ritchey

I have written about you  every month  on the 3rd of the month as my  memorial to  you – your life and your art work. A few months ago  I  wrote these lines in the post https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2019/04/03/april-3rd-forgotten-chris-ritchey/

“They  say  you  die three times – once when your body  fails you – again when you  are buried ( funeral) and again when you  are forgotten”.

Death  of the body  and death  of memory. When you  are buried and that headstone in place is a remembrance of sorts but there’s the rub how long will that headstone last?

 

Most of us believe that record of our being in the places designed for such – as cemeteries and crematoriums  will last forever, not so especially  with  the way  things happen with  cemeteries in recent years.  This Blog https://lisanneharris.com/2013/05/12/sadly-utterly-abandoned-churches-cemeteries/ Ms. Harris has a plethora of photos from around the world of these sad places. The forlorn graves sinking into  oblivion once held the tears and heartbreak of mourners  who  grieved over their loved ones. Even in this old neighborhood the citizens of Lorain in the past plowed under and buried  the little Charleston Village Cemetery

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/tag/pioneer-cemetery-lorain/

 

 

I read once , here you  can’t reclaim or take out graves until 100 years after the last burial. But that is another law that is circumvented. I  know it happened to  your Great Grandmother and Great Grandfather and Great- Great Grandmother, the site was moved (although other family members wouldn’t have it) but I  remember visiting those graves in a totally  different area of the cemetery and one was missing altogether.

 

You  are not dead because our love of you  is alive and you  are in our thoughts and dreams daily.

 

Your Nana was not afraid to  die, she was actually  welcoming her demise -99 years is longer than most get on this earth.

 

She had out- lived her brothers , sisters, friends of her youth. She was ready  but as she sipped her tea one day  near the ending  she look at me over the rim of the cup and said

“you  won’t forget me will you, Nikki  and the children will remember they  had their Nana”.

There is no  headstone in a “family  plot” because that is not what she wanted. Her ashes will hopefully  one day  make it back to  “her England” , time and life permitting.

Today,  I  received a notification from the Crematorium in England

St Marylebone Crematorium – Memorials

about your  Grandfather. What a mess that was when he passed , he had gone off with  someone else – had a new family  – although  he clung still to  his old one. Due to  the fact he never remarried, I  was still his next of kin, the arrangements were left to  me  although  his “woman” did orchestrate some aspects.

Then a few years on, since Nana and I were home, we went to  the crematorium and I  asked the office where my  fathers ashes were interred. Imagine my  guilt when I  found out no-one had ever claimed them! I  had thought his fancy bit would have,  she obviously  was done with  him after he died.  I  was told his ashes were scattered in a part of the crematorium  I was shown the spot where his ashes had been scattered and  was told

 

“I  could have  a “tablet” positioned on the walls surrounding the Willow Garden, and are ideal for those who wish to mark the position of a loved one whose ashes have been scattered below.”

It was decided, only  Nana would have nothing to  do  with  it  , didn’t want her name mentioned  and went and sat in the rose garden. This is truly  a beautiful place.  I realized, although  his work of a cross ( commissioned by  the Governor of Gibraltar) hopefully  still adorns the altar in the Naval Chapel there ,

 

there  was not a permanent dedication ( well as permanent as can be in this life) but one day  even that small reminder will be taken from the wall

 

Anyway  I purchased a “tablet: and every  10  years I receive an invoice to  renew the dedication, a few hundred pounds.  No-one goes to  the crematorium anymore to  pay  their respects, I  am not sure anyone other than I  ever did but I paid this invoice today because his name is there , the fact he lived and died on those dates is still  there and he is not forgotten and he did live and he loved me and I , him

My Dad and I happier times

Oh his great grandson has the look of him  but only  I and a photograph of old realize that :

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And that is why  I  write about you  month  after month for as long as I  can  so  you  know you  aren’t forgotten and that you  lived…….. and are still loved with  every  breath  in my  body………..

Breath of Life – Celtic Knot – Chris Ritchey

July 3, 2019 at 11:25 am 1 comment

April 3rd – Trilogy Trigger- Chris Ritchey

Chris Ritchey- CIA

This past month has been particularly  difficult, losing my  dear friend Paula to  the obscenity  that is cancer, the  “hell is other people” neighbors with  their  form of obscenity  invading  what little space we have. It is what is called “life” for want of a description.  As another departed friend used to  say   “everyone has a story”  and yet another ” there is no  laughter in hell”, but then again you  would have to  believe in a heaven if you  believe in hell.

Easter was this past weekend , another holiday  I  hypocritically  celebrate for the sake of loved ones and friends . I have pointed out my  views and Easter/Eastre has been noted – another pagan holiday  utilized, blended, absorbed  and  morphed for convenience sake of whatever was the popular faith  at the time  https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2012/04/06/ahhhhhh-easter-eastre-resurrecting-memories-eggs-and-crabs/

To  me all religion is another man’s myth dressed up  for the masses of whatever century  of which  you  happen to  be a part.

Irony, not to  be  outdone this year,  the weekend found Gavin’s 9th  birthday  and your Dad’s and Easter  all  falling together.

 

You  Dad born on another Easter Sunday  on the top of the kitchen table ( so the story  goes) let alone being April  Fool’s Day.

Triple play in memories flooded in- other Easters with  Papa Teddy  and Auntie Gladys coming down  from Canada especially  at Easter and Thanksgiving , they really  were the closest thing to  grandparents. Such  love , such  beautiful people. Your first Easter , you  decided to   crawl and Papa Teddy  spent the whole time steering you  away  from the fireplace hearth, fascinated even then by  flames.

Memories of you  being taken to  that “terrible to  me now” church  St. Mary’s  Lorain  https://www.parishesonline.com/find/st-mary-catholic-church-44052          by  your godparents on Easter Sunday .  Well…..up  until the time you  “shot the priest” with  a pretend gun and  something religious spilled  as someone in the procession jumped and there was such  a kafuffle apparently. I know you  were never again taken to  Easter Sunday  services there.

To  think that church  would play such  havoc in our lives bringing such anger and unkindness – due to  you  walking down that same aisle   and the taking of any  closure, denying our beliefs  by  your  controlling “in law family”( Lombardi/ Vika and offspring) and the “bride” Angela Lombardi ( Ritchey) now Murphy


not to  mention “their priest” Divis –

Sharing a laugh – but on whom?

 

There should have been overload in the confessional, one  would think,  although forgiveness is far from my  heart. Ah! what meaning in this life today of  a ‘mother’s curse” in days of myth and legend  a powerful instrument met now with  the word Karma??? Karma  borrowed once more from an even older religion…. I  wait ………

Gavin’s “birthday” or day  of his birth – hoping against hope as you  lay  in that terrible  Cleveland Clinic-  the lab rat- being made to  clinically  die to  “save you”.   I had to  leave you  that night  to  be with  your sister  as a new life came into  the world……….. torn once more………

Your Dad’s birthday – the years of playing pranks not just because it was April fools day but because your loved your jokes. The time you  took out an ad in the paper  selling the house .  Yes! all memories , uninvited guests along with  the ham,  steaks,  tulips and a missing space at the table.

And yet  laughter and smiles, little boys and a girl  looking for surprises, barely  able to  sit still as the grown-ups  took forever to  eat. Tales of other memories , other traditions  , pastel eggs mixed in with  camouflage eggs, a grandfather and his grandsons  sharing a moment  to  remember.

Yes all intertwined showing the colors and also  the greyness of what we have become – I love you – we all do……..

April 3, 2018 at 11:29 am 1 comment

Tree of Love- Gabriel Miller- moonbeam and light 2017


A few weeks after my  son passed, a good friend also  felt that same terrible pain of losing her child. There isn’t much you  can do  or say  after those initial weeks to  those that have not felt what it is like to  be absolutely  “gutted” and whose world is no  longer together.  You  are expected to  get over it  –  move on-  people  can get impatient with  your grief, you  are a dreadful reminder that a loss of a child can happen to  them . You  have no  outlet for your love that continues to  grow.  In the following May after Gabe’s passing from  this world,  Gabe’s father and mother planted a tiny tree ( supposedly a dwarf variety) in the area known as Settlers’ Watch.

 

Through the seasons the tree was tended with care  and love ; the little tree grew . Every  year Gabe’s mum and dad light the now  the not so  little tree- 2015 found  it a bit of a stretch for his dad.  This year  more than a stretch was needed

and night fell on a snowy Christmas

The little tree, no  longer small – grown tall- fed with  love and watered with  tears  shone through the darkness and cold reminding us of a little boy

a sweet child – the light of his mother and father’s very  being – the love that is his alone  -lights for just a little while the cold  dark nights.

Gabriel Miller August 17th-2009- December 31st 2009

Photos Lisa Miller – Lorain 365

December 31, 2017 at 2:13 pm 4 comments

The Ghost in the Pond- continued-2015

goldfish

A little over three months after my son’s death I wrote of his last Mother’s Day present to me – A small Ghost Koi
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2010/03/19/the-ghost-in-the-pond/

I was scared to look closer , maybe it was one of the pale goldfish , we have a couple. I couldn’t bring myself to go to the pond for a better look. I can still see my son kneeling by the pond and surreptitiously slipping in that Koi . Chris would check on the Koi every time he came home , he would ask in the hospital
How’s the Ghost has it given up the ghost yet?”

I had told myself last summer I would look up how to keep this fish over the winter. Would I have to set up an aquarium for it?
I berated Chris for giving me that hassle and he just grinned at me again.

I got my courage up and took a deep breath and went to the pond. Yes the Ghost Koi had survived and slides silently among the gold and the dark water .

My Mother’s Day present survived and once again I saw in my mind my son’s grin

ghkoipond
Every Spring since then I have waited for the ice and snow to melt – holding onto the hope the Koi will be there .
2011- https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2011/03/19/ghost-in-the-pond-deux/
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2011/10/17/the-ghost-in-the-pond-continues/
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2012/05/12/mothers-day-2012-gifts-and-ghosts-a-fishy-story/
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2014/05/10/a-ghost-of-remembrance-mothers-day/
The disaster of taking down the Willow tree and changing the pond habitat .
img_1045res
img_1251res
The terrible cold of the winter before this when the waterfalls cracked and a temporary pipe was added to keep the water flowing in order to keep the fish alive during the bleak winter months.
pondres
This year Chris’ Dad winterized the pond once more. He insulated and wrapped the pipe, the pump and added another back up. When everything, including Niagara Falls, froze the little pond was open. His design worked , even Shadow could not be party to its demolition.
fish threeres
The birds that stayed, the animals wild and domestic all flocked to my little water source in order to drink and bathe. Still, I worried about the Ghost – he has become rather large- the biggest fish in the pond and will have called the pond home for 6 years.
fishres
Finally this weekend saw the end to ice , snow and frozen ground- a splash of gold and silver as the fish returned to the surface to feed and bask in sunshine – and there he was larger than ever- the reminder that love given freely that Mother’s Day reminds the world the Ghost existed and exists……. fish1res
nikmiscelticso

April 12, 2015 at 5:29 pm 4 comments

Kink (s) in Father’s Day- Best of British! Pt. One

emglandres

It has been week of homesickness, not only for the country of my birth- England, but for my traditional values and a culture that still remain such an integral part of who I am. My cousin, has been visiting the old days, the family stories pulled out again , and laughter- something that I have not had too much of since losing my son.

I feel trapped by the values of others, I feel trapped by the thinking of the majority or those that have the power of the rules. It amazes me sometimes how this my new “hometown” has , by the sheer majority of religious beliefs and ethnic values” so differing for my own, has caused such unhappiness to this family.
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2011/01/27/bishop-lennon-due-respect-beliefs-the-dead-and-calvary-cemetery-lorain/
divis
Of course, I am talking about the Italian/ Polish religious community headed by Father Divis ( read Roman Catholic of St. Mary’s Lorain ) and we can do whatever we wish to do because thinking of the Lombardi Vyka Clan ( and now the Angela Murphy) control.

My son’s remains trapped in their toxic ground – without benefit of family . Of course Angela Lombardi Ritchey Murphy http://my.clevelandclinic.org/staff_directory/staff_display.aspx?DoctorID=16147
has moved on – dumped the possessions( that were not of any monetary value) and art work of my son– as soon as she could – after our Chris’s death but held onto those ashes. Why? she was done with Chris after the 2nd stem cell transplant failed- the show -put on was good for the “community” and they did it well! But never the less it was a show – Does she still require that “grave” place for the depositing of vodka , beer cans, cake and balloons?
lombardivyka clan

I am amazed at the thinking – how does a woman profess to be a healer and turn around with such coldness and callousness of control as to deny a father his son in the darkest hour of any parent’s life?

I would ask any father, any mother reading this to look at your son or your daughter, imagine the horror of helplessly standing by watching them fight for each breath , nursing them every day of those last months of life, watching them die , having information kept from you by the “in law family, helpless and then have your flesh and blood and the last vestige of your child taken without your input or any consideration as to your wishes. Look at your son or daughter , try to imagine the pain and grief at losing them and you tell me tell me what these people did was right
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2010/12/04/dec-4th-how-cold-is-cold-lombardi/

to put your son in a cemetery of their faith without you even being told they were doing so- and now of course “their moving on” Sue Lombardi , Tim Lombardi now mother and father in law to another Chris ( Murphy) – the do over wedding
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2014/04/26/the-bliss-of-a-wedding-not-for-me-ritchey-murphy/

wedding bells and black hearts

wedding bells and black hearts

and all is forgotten but as long as my son remains in that place of disrespect- I will not forget.

chris dad mistyFathers Day
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2011/06/19/fathers-day-2011-time-passes/

We tip toe around the edges of Fathers Day- whilst his daughter tries so hard to be both of his children- the fact her brother is no longer here to share the breakfast at McDonald’s ( a tradition started when they were both little) . There is always the reminder Chris –
chrismeresglow1
There is a tenaciousness being British- we don’t as a true Brit ever give up- I am not sure that is a good trait- so much easier to go with the flow- give in to the majority of put it away, move on, forget it, nothing we can do apathy , why try you are in the minority, thinking that pervades this community. But apart from being British I am also a mother and I carry my son in my heart and soul and his DNA in my body! Emotionally and physically he is with me still and always will be.

The waste of trying to make a difference lost on the “altars” of those who have the power.
So another Fathers Day- another reminder of wonder at the children given life- and another reminder of a death and a cruelty given to a Father who loved unconditionally.

To be continued

June 15, 2014 at 3:43 pm 4 comments

March 3rd- feeling the energy- Chris Ritchey

Hard signature

The domain in the garden past the pond

pondlife

is a place I don’t frequent- it was and is your father’s “area’ and like his basement not a place I care to go or for which to take responsibility. The Weeping Willow hid a lot of his sins- but that too had to go last spring.

treestumpcol

I still kept to my end of the garden and closed my eyes to the time it was taking to get the garden back into some sort of order. The truth be told I no longer had the “energy to fight the blight” that is the male idea of “need.

But one day , late last summer , I could stand it no longer and I had to do “something’ to tidy up. I moved the wrought iron trellis which had been leaning up against the garden wall. I positioned the trellis by the side of the garage over the curve in the pathway by the boat. Hopefully this would hide the “boat” from my view, a job the Willow did so well. I took the grape vines that were in abundance and tied them up on to the trellis. Then, as I precariously stood upon the step-ladder, I turned toward the garage to tie in the next side of the trellis. My eyes became fixed , not really taking in what I was seeing – they saw where you had left your name in paint on the garage wall.
chrpnt2res

Unexpected, as it was, the effect was instantaneous I felt my knees buckle , my breath catch, and those eyes that have cried so many days and nights filled once more with tears. I was transported back from the present once again, in the memory of my mind, to another place and time where once again we walked, talked, hoped and waited in vain for a cure ………..no work of art ever touched me so profoundly as that signature .

Oh! the explanation is simple enough you were , that spring , helping your father to paint the side of the garage – but everything went wrong – cancer and chemo put paid to painting but not before you had taken a brush and used your energy to write your name in the old paintwork.

Your father told me that he couldn’t bring himself to paint over your name so there it has stayed these many , many months, unbeknownst to me, as I never venture past the pond if I can help it. .

I can still see the energy you used in the writing of your name , the pressure of the brush to wood, the adding of paint to the brush as you proclaimed you were here at that time” .

Not being an artist or an art critic, I was always a little perplexed when I would hear ” the energy of the brushwork”- but here it was – not a Van Gogh or even a Boccioni http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Umberto_Boccioni
or Julia Watkins https://www.facebook.com/pages/Energy-Artist-Julia-Watkins/69027658560

Chris Ritchey

Chris Ritchey

Just a young man on a warm spring day leaving his mark on the garage before he painted over it -something that never happened. Yet, seeing your name, left there these many months brought home once more how I much I still love you , a love that grows and doesn’t diminish , miss you, your laughter and your energy

My heart is in pieces and I miss you more than life itself………. and yes it is “Hard” harder than I ever thought possible to bear.

Artwork Chris Ritchey

Artwork Chris Ritchey

March 3, 2014 at 12:00 pm 4 comments

Gabriel Miller- a light still reaches into the darkness

Gabriel’s Last Day by his mother- Lisa Miller

http://bustershouse.wordpress.com/2013/12/31/gabriels-last-day/

This post from Lisa is honestly and terribly beautiful in its torment and shows a mother’s love for her child- and how those that grieve try to walk upright- her last two paragraphs are ones that every mother who has lost has experienced …

As I walked through the automatic doors of the CICU [cardiac intensive care unit] for the last time, the hallway appeared to stretch itself out before me, becoming endless. I stood up a little straighter and set out to make that endless walk through the hospital and across the street to the safety of our room without completely losing it in front of everyone along the way. Little did I know then what good practice that was going be for my new future.

* * * *
It has taken me four years to tell you the story of Gabriel’s last day. I remember every moment of his final two weeks in the hospital – and especially his death – as if it just happened. His death literally took my words away and society reinforced my silence as a condition of being allowed into the land of the living. After all, the grieving are so much easier to deal with when they keep their sorrow to themselves. 😕

I was reminded of that by a relative on Christmas Day this year. His boisterous “Merry Christmas!” greeting to me was met with as much of a smile as I could muster and I said “Something like that. Thanks, same to you.” He quickly responded “Well, this is a happy holiday for everyone else.” I sarcastically thanked him for that friendly reminder and went on to endure being a spectator to the festivities (again) and being reminded at every turn who was missing (still). Merry Christmas and Happy New Year indeed. 😐

2013

Gabes tree 2013moon

2012
gabemiller
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2012/12/30/gabriel-miller-a-child-of-light-remembering-the-smile/

Gabriel’s smile was bestowed for a just a briefness of time , but it remains in the hearts of his mummy and daddy . They, in turn, share with us a small smile sparkling in the darkness, given to those that pass a certain spot where a tiny tree brings light for just a little …… remembering the child of light …………

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2012/12/30/gabriel-miller-a-child-of-light-remembering-the-smile/

2011
gabe_1471_hands
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2011/12/31/gabriel-miller-the-missing-moonbeam-2011/

As this year passes once more it is a reminder there is a missing moonbeam, whose silvery light is lost to our world but the spark that flared into a flame of love brighter than any ray of the sun continues to burn in the hearts of those that loved their moon beam and basked in the light of his smile

2010

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2010/12/31/a-year-passes/

Moonbeams - Chris Ritchey

Moonbeams – Chris Ritchey

December 31st with song, laughter,food, fireworks and noise makers they will not notice a small light is no longer shining this year.

But in a home in Lorain, a mother and father dread this New Years Eve, they will not celebrate because all the fireworks, lights in the sky cannot make up for the “light they lost” – their precious moonbeam -who shone so brightly for just a little while and radiated such love and truth as to shame the dark.

December 30, 2013 at 11:08 pm 3 comments

The Memorial Project-Results- Chris Ritchey Pt 5

chrisart collage

Part One https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2013/12/03/december-3rd-memorial-chris-ritchey/

Part Two https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2013/12/09/the-memorial-project-why-chris-ritchey-pt-2/

Part Three https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2013/12/13/the-memorial-project-the-interview-chris-ritchey-pt-3/

Part Four https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2013/12/17/the-memorial-project-interview-cont-chris-ritchey-pt-4/

December 19th- As I type this morning, once again watching the sunrise over the twinkling lights of the neighbors Christmas decorations lighting the now bare branches of the cherry tree, I am reminded of another December 19th. The day the Lombardis , your bride Angela http://my.clevelandclinic.org/staff_directory/staff_display.aspx?DoctorID=16147 , the Vykas , Gonzales, Zaworskis and Gotts and Father Divas took you my son, to their “family plot” without your kith or kin .

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2009/12/14/something-wicked-our-way-came/

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2009/12/28/because-i-was-gutless/

It was an act ( in my view) of pure selfishness,vindictiveness and without pity.
Your name was RITCHEY , NOT – Lombardi , Vyka , Gonzales, Gott or Zaworski . You were taken to their faith and their closure, denying your family even the “time of your interment in their selfishness.”

As someone said


“it is like Chris’ family didn’t exist”

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2012/06/07/a-memory-of-vipers-chris-ritchey/

That day, just a week before the celebration of Christmas, a day of celebration, where they dress in their finest, attend a church and profess to their God they are worthy of taking Him and His Son into their hearts. They celebrate the “Mother of their Church

http://www.morningjournal.com/general-news/20091221/mary-mother-of-god-begins-anew but have taken– seemingly without a thought to the consequences of such an act, of inflicting further pain to another mother.

The poster accompanying the project

The poster accompanying the project

The Memorialization by Bereaved Parents Project– gave me a chance not only to share my son, his story and to realize I was not alone – there were others who walked the path who needed……….

Memorialization by Bereaved Parents
Kara Thieleman
The death of a child is a devastating loss that has a profound impact on parents and a families . Prior research has found that maintaining /continuing bonds with deceased children is common and can be very beneficial.

This project sought to understand how bereaved parents maintain such bonds through memorializing their children as well as the meaning they find in doing so. Participants were asked to provide photographs that depict how they memorialize and remember their children thus allowing participants to provide the visual images of their choosing that capture unique aspects of their experience……….

Their children died from a variety of causes , including illness, accident , murder and unknown causes. All of the participants are female and are diverse in terms of age ethnicity, religious/spiritual beliefs and sexual orientation.

These mothers , including myself , all have the need to remember “out loud” in their own way; whether it is leaving tokens of love at the last tangible place on this earth that holds their child, a special place to go and reflect or call out to the silence “WHY” ?

The need to have their son or daughter remembered for a life that was lived, no matter how brief . The need to have a repository , if you will, of the love that was for that son or daughter that was theirs alone. A love that still flows from a mothers heart , seeking the child for which it was meant.

When the Lombardis, your bride and the “creatures of control” took you away into that place of deceit and cowardice – for not one had the strength to speak of “pity” for your family. The death of human kindness on that day led to the birth of my own memorial. A place where I revisit your life, your story and I can cry my tears and shout WHY? to the morning sunrise. I can remember you and let your art speak ….

I have only words to describe , it is a terrible thing to live out your life without the laughter of your son , incommunicable to those who have not felt this grief’s slashing ferocity. Words are inadequate………

Dr. Joanne Cacciatore http://www.drjoanne.blogspot.com/ and of the MISS Foundation
http://www.missfoundation.org/

spoke recently of a woman Käthe Kollwitz (July 8, 1867 – April 22, 1945)

“I will never forget the first moment I saw her work. I felt something inside me stir. It was a connection to the abyss, to the darkness of grief- I knew Kollwitz had seen something that I had also seen. I felt she, too, was a keeper of the dark secrets.

Kollwitz birthed art of the soul, from the depths of traumatic grief so frightening that few dare allow themselves to really see it. During WWII, her art (perceived accurately as anti-war) was banned by Hitler. She witnessed, first hand, the horrors of war and lost far too much because of it: Her grandson, named Peter after her dead son, lost his life in war too.

Look at her work. I mean, really look at it. ”

Woman with  dead child  1903 Kathe Kollwitz

Woman with dead child 1903 Kathe Kollwitz


ED NOTE: Kollwitz’s work can be raw and full of truths it can scream the most primordial scream and does

She wrote of her son:

darkness of grief  Kathe Kollwitz

darkness of grief Kathe Kollwitz

[I] made a drawing: the mother letting her dead son
slide into her arms.

I might make a hundred such drawings
and yet I do not get any closer to him.

I am seeking him.
As if I had to find him in my work.

And yet everything I do is so childishly foolish and inadequate…

I am shattered, weakened, drained by tears…
Yet new flowers have grown up which would not have grown
without the tears shed this year.

The Parents ( memorial) Kathe Kollwitz 1932

The Parents ( memorial) Kathe Kollwitz 1932

Men do not know the souls of one another.
Only the galley slaves know one another,
who side by side are chained, and gasp for breath
.

December 19, 2013 at 4:31 pm Leave a comment

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