jadedmusings: (Default)
To my maternal grandfather (Army, WWII), my father (Marines), three of my uncles (Navy and Army, one served in Vietnam), a couple of my cousins (Navy and Army, one served in Iraq), [livejournal.com profile] ninjaweazel AKA Sam (Navy), [livejournal.com profile] xandraius (Marines), a couple of classmates from high school, and to anyone who I have inadvertently missed both living and dead:

Thank you for your service.

Also, yesterday was the Marine Corps birthday. Semper Fi!

(And if anyone gets smart, yes, I can be both an unforgiving bleeding heart liberal and be patriotic. Shocking!)
jadedmusings: (Pagan - iHades)
This was both easy and difficult to write. The words flowed, but I cried a little during it and probably will cry again later tonight. Skip over this if you don't want to read about the end of someone's life and the grief associated with losing a parent.

On May 14, 2008, my father entered hospice care after spending several weeks in three different hospitals without any sort of improvement. He did fairly well in hospice, so well that we thought he'd be around all the way until Christmas. Still, in July he finished getting many of his financial affairs in order and signed his will.

Less than a week after that, two of his best friends went out of town and I arranged for a day off from sitting with him to go to the movies with my ex while my mother watched the kiddo. I visited Dad the day before, talked to him and made sure he was fine that I'd be out of town. He was a little lethargic that day, but he said it was fine and he'd see me later. The hospice nurses had all said his vitals were good and his sitters said he was in good spirits. I hugged him and I remember once more reflecting on how frail he seemed. He was so thin by that point that I could feel his shoulder bones poking me when I put my hand on his shoulder. He hadn't had a real meal in months, all his nutrition coming by his feeding tube by that point, and even that would leave him feeling nauseous and sick.

It was my first time away from Dad in weeks, the first time apart from a week he spent in a nursing home, I didn't sit with him. I had a good time in spite of the company (my ex and I had already decided to end things before Dad was diagnosed with cancer, but couldn't officially separate until things settled with him), and after driving the hour-long trip back to my hometown to collect the kiddo from Mom's, I went home. Not five minutes after I walked in the door, I got a phone call from the night sitter telling me Dad wasn't responding and she called paramedics. I told her to call the 24-hour hospice number and jumped in my truck.

I didn't think he was gone. He'd had an incident before when he wasn't responsive due to his sleep meds being a little too strong. I got there to see an ambulance in the yard and when I walked in, I asked the paramedics if he was sleeping too deep again.

That was when I saw the heart monitor out and the flat line. That was when she turned to me and said, "I'm sorry...he's passed."

I broke down for several minutes and then had to call my mother, Dad's friends, and...I called LJ to leave a message for someone to tell Sam to call me without saying what happened (though I think a few friends on IRC had guessed since I'd left in such a hurry).

After the wait for the funeral home and making plans to meet to discuss arrangements the next morning, I began learning how it happened. Dad had been a little out of it during the day, lethargic, but he was reponsive and able to talk. When it was bed time, he got up from the recliner and walked the two feet to his hospital bed, and laid down. He got his night meds and said good night. Ten minutes later, the sitter said she noticed something was wrong. He was just...gone. Peaceful.

Just like he said he wanted to go.

Remember when I mentioned weeks before we'd had an incident where he wasn't responding? Well, hospice came by that day and I had to run into town to get another round of prescriptions. I got a phone call saying he was awake and when I got back, Dad just threw his arms around me and said he'd been scared. Then he made me promise that if he fell asleep like that again, to let him go. He'd been on a ventilator a year before after nearly dying after surgery on his neck (in fact, his heart stopped twice and he had something of a near death experience, which is why he wasn't afraid to die, just afraid to leave everyone behind) and he never wanted to experience that again.

He also sat with me and told me that he wanted to go in his sleep. He just wanted to lie down and never wake up. And he was so at peace with what was happening that he was able to do that on the night of July 26, 2008, two months shy of his sixtieth birthday.

So much happened after that. I got away from the ex finally with the kiddo, but there was still the hassle of inheritance and figuring out how life was going to be without my father around. And then the ex moved away and the kiddo started Kindergarten and I had to struggle with putting him in private school. Plus I was driving once a month to visit Sam and our relationship was growing. Last year I was trying to find a place to move to here, and I did at the last minute. This is the first year I've had a chance to really sit and reflect on Dad's passing, and along with all those emotions is the sense of feeling overwhelmed by it all. I never really allowed myself to think about that night and what came after, to really come to terms with today's date.

Then again, maybe it's taken me three years to really feel I was able to write this.

My father won't get to see my son grow up. He'll never get to meet Sam and tease him about having served in the Navy (Dad was an ex-Marine), and he'd never get to see me happy with someone else, someone I think he would have approved of in the long run.

But today I'm not feeling very happy. Today I just want to grieve a little because in spite of all our differences, he was still my father and I still loved him.
jadedmusings: (NCIS - Ziva Never Broken)
I just now realized Ghost Story, the next book in the Dresden Files series, is being released on the anniversary of Dad's death. As much as I've been thinking about him in the last couple of weeks (and so much so that it's disrupting my sleep and putting me into a funk even), it's only now that I'm noticing this really strange coincidence. Considering the entire premise of Ghost Story, I'm kind of laughing a little.

Yeah, I know, it's been three years, but it doesn't feel that long to me, and sometimes I still dream about him. He may not have ever understood me or really knew the real me, but that doesn't change the fact that I loved him in spite of our differences and the way we could fight. He was only 59 years old, two months away from turning 60, and I was only 27 when he passed. The kiddo was only four years old, and he never got to see him go to school and see how he excelled. He never got to meet Sam.

Sorry, I'm going to be thinking about him for the next week or so.

Okay, I promise I won't be spamming today. I'm contemplating a silly post about sex tropes in books I hate. Heh.
jadedmusings: (Pagan - iHades)
I knew it was coming. As I said the other night (possibly filtered, don't know), Prissy had been slowing down over the last month or so. This past week she'd been sleeping more, though she was still eating and drinking (and fussing at me). Last night, she got up to get water and eat a little food, and then she went to lie back down and she let out this one brief yowl and I knew something happened. She still got up to get more water and eat, but there was just something different about her.

She slipped away this afternoon while I was out of the house. When I left, she was sleeping peacefully and purred a little when I petted her. I was planning to take her to a vet tomorrow (Monday) because I knew it was nearing the end as she spent all day today sleeping.

She was and always will be Dad's cat. I've only been taking care of her for the past almost three years until she was ready to go see him again. That sounds maudlin and probably silly to the atheists out there, but for my spiritual side it makes sense. She was there with him when he died, not leaving his side until they came to get his body.

I haven't cried yet. I will at some point this week when it hits me that she's not here. She's been part of my family since I was in middle school and I can't explain how great she was for Dad after he was forced to go on disability and later divorced Mom. It was always kind of like entering a bizarro dimension to see this tough ex-Marine who supposedly hated pets always fret over her and talk to her all the time. Whenever I went over to see him, there was inevitably a new story that began with, "Guess what Prissy did to me now," or "Prissy is mad because I didn't get up this morning to turn up the thermostat." (True story.) I noticed since moving here to North Carolina, that whenever I'd come home to Prissy fussing at me, I'd talk to her like he used to.

I don't know where she spent the first year or so of her life. I know we adopted her after some kind soul brought her into the vet's office after finding her at the lake with a fish hook in her upper lip. Their hope was that someone would take her in and give her a good home. I'd say for 16 or 17 years, she had a long haul. Prissy was the name Mom picked out for her, and she really lived up to it.

Anyway, enough rambling. I'll probably cry tomorrow or Wednesday. Kiddo didn't cry when I told him, but that was because I could tell he was fighting it. He's upset, he just doesn't want to show it (probably because I'm not yet). Going to call the landlord in the morning to ask where we might be able to bury her (it was already dark when we got home, so it's not possible to go out there tonight with the bears and the coyotes).

Bleh

Apr. 12th, 2011 08:18 am
jadedmusings: (ATLA - Aang c'mon!)
In a really rotten mood this morning. I was going to fire up WoW and fiddle around with putting together an Alliance alt (a Worgen, not sure of class just yet), but of course today the servers are down for maintenance until about 2:00 PM EST. Ugh.

My throat's a little sore and I suspect it has to do with my (thankfully) mild allergies and the remnants of the cold. I've been rinsing my sinuses with a neti pot and it's been making me feel loads better.

I tossed and turned last night due to a combination of me screwing up my back the other day because I coughed while standing over the sink and tweaked something (it's happened before) and other things that are occupying my mind.

My living room TV that I inherited from Dad is dying rapidly. The good news is the prices on LCD TVs are coming down, so I might not have to wait too long before I can replace it with a shiny new flat screen TV (and no, I have absolutely zero interest in 3D televisions; I'll wait for holodecks, thank you very much). The bad news is...well, as stupid as it sounds, it's one more thing of Dad's I can't hold on to. Yeah, yeah, it's a piece of technology that was bound to break down at some point, but I was with him when he bought it (the kiddo had just turned a year old).

Mom's coming to visit next week. Guess who is spending her weekend cleaning everything in sight? Yep, no stress there, am I right?

So overall I'm feeling very bleh. Don't want to deal with real life today. At all.
jadedmusings: (NCIS - Abby Unbelievable)
Feeling a bit better today. Spending several hours in bed probably helped with that. Also, the kiddo is at an afterschool Thanksgiving-related event so I get another couple of hours before I have to head out to get him. Anyway, time to catch up on the meme.

Day 17 - My Favorite Memory (Yeah, I know the meme uses the British spelling, but it's my right as an American to be as obnoxious as possible.)

It's hard to pick out a favorite memory given that I'm dealing with one of my depressive episodes and going through Stuff(TM), but that's the "joy" of living with a brain that doesn't function properly.

The one thing that pops into my mind is my first clear memory of my father. I mean, I know stuff happened before this memory, but it's the first one I recall with as much detail as I do. It was the first time he took me fishing (or what I think was the first time; it's quite possible he took me fishing before then). I was probably about four years old. I remember him teaching me about watching for the floater to go under water, helping me set the hook, and, when we were all done, we laid the fish out on the bank and he taught me about the different species of fish (pretty sure we caught some birch and maybe a carp, but I could be completely wrong -- I was four, what do you want?). Then we went home and he prepared the fish for dinner all the while telling my mother how great I did.

We went fishing and even hunting together many times after that when I was young, but that's still my favorite memory.

Day 18 - My Favorite Birthday

Oh boy. I have an unpleasant history with birthdays and incredibly bad luck when it comes to them. To give you an idea of how bad, two days before my sixteenth birthday, my then-boyfriend ran over and killed my dog. I almost missed my seventh birthday at McDonald's because I had the chicken pox. The doctors cleared me for contact with the outside world just in time to save it, but I was still visibily healing and so the other kids and their parents were all kind of "Um, do not want" around me. My thirteenth birthday was the day I got my first period, and let me say there's nothing like going into the bathroom and having to call for your mom while your two friends are outside wondering what's happening. Awkward.

While no pets have died and I haven't had any major illnesses around my birthday since then (knock on wood), they haven't exactly gotten better. My birthdays are typically met with dread because of this. Add to it that my birthday is on New Year's Day and you see why it's kind of hard to plan around friends' plans since everyone wants to party December 31 and January first is when they're recovering from hangovers.

I guess if I had to pick, I'd say my twenty-seventh birthday was my favorite, even if there were some some awkward emotional moments. It was the first time I met Sam in person, and we spent three pretty awesome nights together (and not awesome for the reason's you're thinking, perverts). I even got to see Sweeny Todd in theaters with him.

The Meme )
jadedmusings: (BtVS - Buffy does not approve)
Day 03 - Your Parents

Well, this is going to be a short entry. Maybe.

Really, there isn't a whole lot to say about my parents, at least not a lot that I'll speak about publicly with too much detail. It's not hard to look through this journal or to read comments I've made to learn a bit about them.

My father passed away two years ago from pancreatic cancer. He was an ex-Marine who worked for eighteen years at a chemical plant until a (fourth) back injury forced him into early retirement and onto disability. He had been a chronic pain sufferer for years even before that final fall at work (which was the fault of a contractor doing some work at the plant). Our relationship was kind of a weird one, and if you knew my father, you'd wonder how the hell it was we were related. He was a staunch neo-conservative and would probably be a member of the Tea Party had it been around when he was alive. I dreaded traveling anywhere with him between the hours of twelve and three on a weekday because it meant listening to Rush Limbaugh.

Okay, maybe this was longer than I thought. )

The Meme )
jadedmusings: (Default)
Packing up some of my Dad's old LPs tomorrow and so I went through them tonight to finally get an idea of what I had. For a few of these I wish I still had a working record player since I was raised on some of these LPs. Anyway, I wanted to make a list and put it up here for me to refer to later.

Read more... )
jadedmusings: (Default)
I had this dream that Dad had a small room full of aquariums. I'd say there were probably 12 - 15 of them ranging from freshwater to saltwater. Oh, and one of the fish talked to me, well, more he yelled at me for not feeding him. Somehow, over the last year and some change, I had apparently forgotten about this room and the aquariums, so in the dream I was tending to these fish for the first time since July 2008. They were all alive, and though a couple of the tanks looked like they needed to be cleaned, overall the room was fine, so I only felt a little guilty about forgetting.

Now, my father never owned an aquarium in his life, unless you count our one failed attempt at raising seahorses when I was really young. Don't ask. However, my father was an avid fisherman, and he owned a huge boat he and his buddies regularly went ocean fishing in. He sold the boat to his friend Kenny before he passed. So connecting fish with my father isn't that hard of a leap, but an entire room full of aquariums? That I was supposed to be taking care of and had forgotten about? Weird. And I don't mean "Oops, I forgot," I mean until I walked into the room, I had completely erased this thing from my mind, and then suddenly my first thought was, "Oh, yeah. Dad's aquariums."

Either way, just a strange dream I wanted to remember. It was probably triggered by the fact the mayor of the tiny town right down the road from where I live passed away last week. The funeral was on Sunday, and I had to drive by the house that was filling with people, and I saw the hearse. I guess it brought back too many memories of last year, that combined with my loneliness that I posted about yesterday just made for a strange dream.
jadedmusings: (Default)
Pictures of my new TV stand and brand spanking new stove! )Now I have to figure out what I'm going to cook tonight for dinner. Oh, and then I have to invite Mom over one night. And all the goodies I can bake....

If I drop off the Internet, you'll be able to find me in my kitchen, which may as well be called my new lab where I'm going to conduct all sorts of delicious experiments. ^_^

ETA: Fixed the link to the first picture. NOW it should show a TV and not a stove. :P

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Wrathful and Unrepentant Jade

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