Saturday, July 01, 2006

Emotional Dust (just a rambling rant)

My youngest returns today from summer camp. A whole week of just the eldest and me has been remarkably calm and dare I say, boring. Well, maybe not boring. Placid, perhaps is a better word. They are 2 years apart in age and when we are all cooped up together it can get very trying around here. Both vieing for Mamasan's attention, whether it be bad or good. So this week has been a nice break for all of us. One, because eldest has had Mom all to herself; two, because I know youngest is having a blast at camp and is relishing not having to compete or squabble with her sister; three, Mom is just glad she has gone a whole week without hollaring herself hoarse trying to referee the constant battles that go on here over stupid stuff...and believe me, it's always stupid stuff! ( My eldest has the great potential to be a prosecuting attorney or at the least, a cop when she grows up.)

We've been trying to make good use of the time- mainly on the seemingly endless project of lil sis's new bedroom. Yesterday we skim coated the walls. It's ready for primer now and depending on the pick-up time for lil' sis, we just might get that done today. She wants to have a belated birthday/sleepover/paint party with some choice pals later next week. She and her friends will paint her new room in the colors she has chosen...if she can just make up her mind once and for all! I think it'll be fun-and I'll closely supervise, lest the temptation of open paint containers and a tarped floor gets to be too much. (and I can almost assure you it will!)

So sis's new room is all barren and pristine at long last, but the rest of the house looks like a warehouse, or a self-storage rental. I'm surrounded by boxes and plastic tubs full of the brica brac from what once was the office/guest room/(oh,hell, let's be honest!) JUNK room. 20 years worth of stuff that is in dire need of sorting through, weeding out. The toll of not having a working truck here for the past few years is evident. Normally, this stuff would have been gone through periodically and the 'real' junk hauled off, but since the ol' man's truck took a dump right in the driveway a few years ago that hasn't been possible. We don't have the luxury of being able to pile stuff out at the curbside for pick-up by the local DAV or Goodwill. We're in the country, big time, so that means you have to haul your stuff or take care of it in your own way-whether by yardsale or burn pile. I'm ashamed at the acculmulated mess, but that's what happens when you stay put for so long. Clearing that room completely out has been an emotional roller coaster. A lot of hubby's things were kept there. It almost seemed sacrilege to take down the plaques and box up the trophies (garnered from various motorcycle rallies and shows.) I came across little post-it notes he had scribbled on tucked away in cubby holes of the desk. Instead of tossing them into the trash bag, I lingered over them. Geez, what is it about men and handwritting? His was typical, near illegible. It was more of a print than script, sometimes both in the same word.

Anyway, those kind of things got tossed into a keep pile of "important" papers. To be sorted through and maybe finally thrown away another time. But not now. I still want fragments of him here. Even if it's misspelled and illegible. That sort of thing has been the toughest. Bits and pieces of his life here, still suspended,frozen in time-just, as the saying goes-like he left it. The hunting camos in the closet, his briefcase plastered with MRO stickers-I didn't dare open it, that would be good for a lost day of weeping. That was his last gig. Working as a rep for a motorcycle rights org. Something he was quite proud of...made him feel like "somebody". Nevermind that the job was given to him almost like a bone by a friend who thought that this would be a good low-impact type job for him in his weakened condition, since alot of it was just phone rangling. (and he sure did love to talk!) He did go to a few meetings and seminars on the organizations dime before he got too sick and that's what would be in that briefcase-all his notes and handouts and biz cards, etc. from those events. No...let's not go there. Just add it to the stack o' stuff piling up in the dining room.
It's all part of the process, I reckon, but my timeline is moving slow. Most women would have had all that stuff cleared out and boxed away by now. But I ain't like that. Plus, those women would have had sisters, moms, or other friends help them with this task. I'm on my own. Yeah, I got in-laws near by but they don't come over here because it's, and I quote, "Too painful." Yeah, whatever...I have to live here every stinkin' day surrounded by his presence! Sorry for that lapse of bitterness, but damn, people! I'm ok with it. I've just accepted it now. They're alright folks. They took the loss of a brother just as hard as I had the loss of a husband. Neither one of us are over it. Neither one of us will ever get over it. So we handle it in our own ways. Mine has been inertia. We still go to all the family functions hosted at their house, but I always feel alittle lost now. Like the red headed step-child.

Next week will be yet another one of those functions. Since they run the local fireworks tent, their observance of the 4th has to be a week late. But it's always a major event and they shoot off "the good stuff" once it gets dark. My sis-in-law jokes that the only reason they do the fireworks tent every year is so her husband can finance his pyro habit. All them boys are/were a bunch of pyros-always blowing stuff up. A trait my eldest seems to be following, a little unusual for a girl. Whether it's genetic or she's just wanting to emulate her beloved Dad, I can't say. Maybe a bit of both. My brother-in-law encourages it, though. Like me, he sees alot of his younger brother in my daughter-he misses him so much. Having her around and indulging in these things is his way of keeping Bill around. That's fine with me. Just don't let her get too into it...I'd like her to reach adulthood with most body parts and eyesight intact, thank you very much.

Holy Crap...I honestly didn't set out for this to be an indulgent, whiney, bitter post. Oh well. Shit happens. So much has been going on in the world out there and most of it not good, that I've had to pull back from even thinking about it. This week I've been focused on my little world and trying to get that in order. Maybe that's a response to the grim realities. I feel things are out of control...a world gone in order to cope, I just try to control my own situation and do something positive. Like get sis's room done. But even doing that stirs up alot of emotional dust. Maybe in the next 20 years it will all get done. Hopefully sooner than that! It's just I get so damn weary of trying to do EVERYTHING, be EVERYTHING to everybody. Everybody just being my own younguns in this case. I could give a flyin' frig what anyone else cares or wants.
It's tough being the only adult here. But this week has been a nice break. Even if it conjured demons and make progress slow. It's stuff that needs to get done. I just wish I didn't have to do it sometimes. Too often it turns into an emotional can of worms. I vascilate between just wanting to pile all that stuff outside and torching it, just to be rid of it, without a thought and wanting to keep everything "just as it was"...a strange Miss Haversham-like attitude. And sometimes I really do feel like her. Boxed in, a self imposed recluse surrounded by her tragic past. Cobwebs and dust piling up on the wedding party that never happened. Relishing the bitterness, feeding on it.

Nawwww. I ain't that bad...I don't think. I do dust occasionally and even get the cobwebs sometimes.


Blogger Gayle said...

" I do dust occasionally and even get the cobwebs sometimes." You sound like me!

I live in the country too, and am married to a packrat, so if you want to talk about stuff lying around that you don't need, I'm your gal! There are sheds full of crap we don't need. I'd like to just have a yard "give away"! I don't even want any money for it,
I just don't want to have to haul it all off! So... I have made the absolutely necessary decision of ignoring it. Who gives a crap about it but me anyway, so why should I bother myself about it?

Don't let the kids constant bickering get you down, Mom. Perfectly normal behavior at that age. Just remember, your future grandchildren will be your reward for not having killed your children! ;)


7/01/2006 5:10 PM  
Blogger Patrick Joubert Conlon said...

That was not "an indulgent, whiney, bitter post" at all. It was wonderful. I enjoyed every sentence - better than anything in the Sunday papers. I loved it. More please.

7/02/2006 5:36 PM  
Blogger Walker said...

Damn fine, WTR. I saw no whine uncorked. Just a message of life.

7/03/2006 12:11 PM  
Blogger Seaspook said...

Hey Gal,

That was a nice little therapeutic rant you worked up. I enjoyed it too; let me kind of get to know you. I have a real tough time letting it out myself.

7/05/2006 2:56 PM  
Blogger white trash republican said...

Oh dear...don't encourage me folks! ; )
I'm torn between just going on about everything and at the same time not revealing too much.
There's too many freakazoids out there. That's one reason why I never mention my kids by name. I feel safe tucked away in my lil' hollow, but at the same time I must be aware that "here (the internet) there be monsters".
I do enjoy writing things of a more personal nature (hey, who doesn't it?) but I'm always on guard.

7/06/2006 10:42 AM  

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