Look what we did!

When Dennis died, there was an emptiness that had to be filled and I took up painting.  At the time, I didn’t know whether I could really paint at all.  When I was 11, my Mom enrolled me in 3-hr/week art classes over the summer vacation but we worked with Watercolor and Point Perspective over the ten-week course.  When I began painting again, I chose to experiment in acrylics.

Over the past 10-months, there’s been a vast improvement so my friend, Marilyn convinced me to enter some paintings in the State Fair……Saturday, I found out that I placed 1st-place in the Beginner’s division, up against others who have been painting for up to 3-years!  I was floored!!  It wasn’t until Monday that I made my way to the fair to see for myself.  It was so unreal to see my painting of a Dalmation showcased with all the other winners.

Dennis was the reason for starting and then over time, he became my muse, my inspiration for painting.  I wish he were here to see what has been accomplished because of him.  I think he would have been proud of me.

I see things on tv about new shows that I know he would have loved and it makes me sad.  There’s so much that he’s missed and will be missing now that he’s gone,  I will keep painting for both of us and hopefully, this weekend, I can plant some Spring bulbs with a small amount of his ashes so that he will always be a part of this place where he spent some of the happiest moments of his life.

I still cry over my loss and for all the things he’s missed and will miss.  I still need him but he’s in my heart and in my paintings.  He will live on thru them and continue to be the inspiration for them.  It’s the least that I can do.  It’s the only thing that I can do to keep him alive in my heart.  No one can or will ever replace him….not ever.

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Welcome to my life story

I have discovered that I have followers and want to thank them for taking the time and having the interest.  You might want to check out my other blog, ” Elemental Diffusion @ Word Press as well.  There are more postings there.  I’ll do my best to keep up on the writing end and appreciate it when someone reads what I have to say.  Thanks again.  I’ll be writing more soon.

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Keep on walking.

Walking was his one of his passions and when he lost the ability to go on those hikes around town and whenever possible, in the country, he lost a part of himself.  He’d already lost so much. He’d lost his wife and child in a divorce and then found his subsequent girlfriend dead in her home.  When he lost his ability to work, he fell into the cracks and found himself ineligible for any welfare benefits and even though he had a Disability check, there was a waiting period for health insurance.  It all came together at a time when he actually needed medical care the most though and I think that also contributed to his demise.

But walking was something he needed for his mental stability.  Finding someone you love dead of an overdose and realizing he’d been betrayed and lied to again (about her drug-use which she had always denied) threw him into all the emotional state that followed his divorce and the pain sent  him deeper into his own addiction. 

He still had his son, who I am certain he loved the most in this world.  And, even though we were divorced and had accepted the fact that we couldn’t live together, we continued to be very close.  Bonded by the need for both of us to be there for our disabled son and bonded by our relationship to each other, we were friends and sometimes, best friends. There were so many times when it felt like it was us against the world and even though we still fought over the same things that had torn our marriage apart, we were happy to be divorced most of the time. 

My Mom and Sister are always right.  When something happens, they are the first ones to say they saw it coming but it was still a shock to me.  Maybe the change was perceived slowly because we saw each other often and spoke nearly every day by phone, whereas my family who didn’t see him nearly as often, could see greater change in him each time they met.  Or, maybe it’s just them (MOM/SIS) being their know-it-all superior state to take hindsight and create a storyline where they could see into the future or be right or to feel smarter than me but they tell me they saw it coming. 

At 58, even with his problems and he had plenty, I just couldn’t imagine that he would leave us.  Even after nine months, I find it hard to believe he’s not just a phone call away.—-or just a short walk away…

In the weeks before he died, he withdrew.  Normally very opinionated and involved, he stopped giving his input, saying no one listened to him anyway.  I realize now he had just given-up and once that happens, it can lead you to death’s door.  He didn’t care if he died.  He did nothing to insure that he wouldn’t die yet I don’t think he did it on purpose.  Otherwise, he wouldn’t have had an entire prescription bottle of Morphine on him when he died.  After his girlfriend died, he had let himself go and didn’t care and so he had ballooned up to over 300-pounds and though his additions to pain pills may have contributed to his health and internal organs, his heart couldn’t take it.

His Mom has overheard him weeks before he died having a conversation with someone in the bathroom in which she had heard him say that he didn’t know how much longer he could take the pain.  I know his pain was more than physical and his wounds were deep though he seldom showed it.  His losses were great in his life but it wasn’t all bad.  Some of the best days of my life were with him.  My happiest memories are with him.  I trusted him with every little secret thought I had and we had years and years of good times together.  It’s not that I didn’t suffer from this loss.  I did.  I wanted him back until the end but knew that we could never turn back the time and change the circumstances back to our early years.  But I thought we had come to terms with it well.  We remained very close to each other.  We still expressed our love to each other in verbal ways. 

He gave up quickly.  His heart gave up just as fast.  One moment he was here and the next, he was gone.  There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think about him and grieve for my loss.  His voice, his image, his entire person is forever a part of me.  Life is hard without him but life goes on without him and I have surrendered to that truth.  This is my path now.  It is a path in which my connection to him is in the past but still with me every day

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You can’t see it coming

Seems like everyone saw it coming but me.  I knew he was in pain and had severe leg problems and a host of other ailments but I attributed it to his extra weight…and I knew we were all getting old.  I could see it in our faces and in the mirrors.  When I looked at my mom, I was aware that I was looking at myself a mere 22 years from now.  One one hand it seems a life-time but the days go so fast and the years pass in a blur and before you know it, you’re lost to this world…gone…vanished, never to be seen again.  It’s really kinda freaky if you think about it.  Someday it will be you.

So when Dennis died I was truly surprised.  We’d always envisioned him growing old and being the odd old man who collected stuff and had all those dogs….it wasn’t supposed to happen this way.  Alex and I still needed him.  Alex needed his Dad and I needed my friend, my partner, the strength that carried me on into the future.

Now I’m stuck in unknown territory without a backup.  Alone, trying to do all that needs to be done to help our adult child learn to function in this world.  I never thought I’d be facing the future on my own.

Dennis’s brother Kevin has stepped up, seeing the need for help.  He was shocked into the reality of the situation when Alex lost-it and took a knife to his belly.  They were all superficial wounds but frightening to see and Kevin saw that Alex needed more than what he was getting.  Now they have every Wednesday together –something Alex can look forward to and someone he can count on.  Alex was used to his father being at his apartment every single day, used to long conversations on the phone and then suddenly that was all gone…..it hasn’t been easy.

Dennis died in Alex’s apartment.  I was there when they wheeled him out and I knew then that he was gone.  I still talk to him often but it’s more for me than for him ofcourse.  I’d like to think he hears me and that he can still see us, that someway he can still help because I still need it.  I still need him.  I try to be enough but it doesn’t work that way.  I can’t be in two places at the same time…Dammit, Dennis –why’d you have to go and leave us here without you?  I try to hold it together but I often lose my way because there are things and needs that only a father can fulfill.  I’m thankful for his brother as surrogate but it”s not the same.  It’s like a substitute teacher without all the background knowledge and experience that is required to help someone with Asperger’s and who is BiPolar and subject to the whims of doctors who prescribe way too much medicine.  I don’t know if I trust them. We’re medicating and trying to get through it all and somewhere inside me alarms are sounding but I don’t know who to trust anymore.

I suffer for my loss.  I have wonderful memories along with all the nightmares we shared.  I can’t get over him.  Even if it were just one more day….things would have been different if we could relive those last hours before his passing.  That’s the time I want back if nothing else.  Things would have been different…he wouldn’t have died so all alone.

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Lost: Memories and Possibilities. Please call :

We live our lives.  Then we die…inbetween a story is  told. We all have our stories to tell, our lessons to learn and the lessons to teach.  There are as many stories as there are mysteries in our lives -a number beyond numbers where we travel thru time and become memories and always remaining,  possibilities unfulfilled….no doubt, there is reason to this sometimes painful process when we go through the Looking Glass and find ourselves in this world.  Our stories are timeless and endless and ultimately fulfilling.

I think of Dennis often.  I relive his life as I know it thru my mind and see some sense to the senseless.  I am still at a loss and the hole is vast but little by little, as I try to fill it, I find new treasures that I’d have otherwise not have found. What really hurts, though is the loss of possibilities left in the absence of those who no longer live here. It is the loss of connection beyond time, beyond this world.  We can bring them back through our memories and thru their stories that are never-ever lost to our heart.  Somewhere in my mind I am reminded of the lyrics,  “tears to make us grow”…is this what it feels like to grow?  To remember?  Dammit Dennis, I can’t pick up the phone and call you and tell you how much I need you.  I can’t tell you that you were the love of my life!  You were my best friend and I didn’t always treat you right.  I can’t even tell you how sorry I am except thru projected conversations that wander the Universe in search of you.  I’m standing down here, mending my heart and I imagine you free and of greater understanding I’ll ever know if I could think of you for a thousand years.  Someday…..yes, someday, we will follow.  Someday we will face the great unknown behind it all.  Yet I am still learning from you even though you have passed…there is life after death —if only in our all too brief lives together.  While the lessons are passed on so are the stories in our heads.  I’d need another lifetime or two or thousands of thousands to process it all.

The emptiness is being slowly filled with things that honor your memory.   Life goes on and life is a complicated Bitch!  I carry on and the memories stay with me tucked forever in my heart. I can’t say good-by to someone I still learn from everyday.  I had to let you go but never will I let your memory cease.

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Renewal Revolution

I’m so f-ing depressed.  Got to snap out of it.  Thinking about selling the house and moving.  I can’t get it out of my mind.  I guess my goal should be to be where I want to live within the year.  That’ll give me some time to go through 25-years of stuff I’ve accumulated.  That way, no matter what happens, I’ll win.  If I get a chance to get out of here, I’ll be ready and down to essentials and if I never escape this town, well, at least it won’t be so hard to clean or impossible to find something!  Having too much stuff is not nearly as fun as buying it but little by little, it piles up in dusty corners, mystery-boxes in the attic, storage-shed and basement.  How did this happen?  It’s not like the hoarding shows on TV.  I do throw things out and have plenty room to walk across the room. My real problem is bring more into the house than I take out.  Since I’ve always been a Second-Hand Rose, I’m driven to garage sales and second-hand stores. Most of the important things like appliances and underclothing and things like that are bought retail but I would rather go without and spend money on gambling-trips or for a repair or replacement around the home than buy everything from the discount-store.  My Mom is kind of a snob in that she thinks she deserves only department store things and then tells me she worked too hard for her money to waste it at the casino.  She can’t understand that having some fun and adventure is far more important than what you wear or the quality of the things you possess.  I don’t think she knows HOW to have fun.  She fears poverty, therefore, there’s never enough money to live on.  When she cries poverty, I can’t feel too sorry for her.  But then again she lives a pretty sorry life so it’s hard not to feel some sympathy for her —-especially since she’s my Mom….I forgive her for not liking me, for her inability to love and the neglectful and selfish way she raised me.  I can’t change that.  She is what and who she is and can’t help herself and so I wish her the best always even though I disapprove of the way she lives her life.  Funny….that’s what she says about the way I live my life.  I’m never going to win with her and I accepted that long ago.  I know she can’t see me.  She can’t hear me.  She’ll never really know me…..and that’s all right. I can’t hold it against her like I used to do when I was younger.  Mom’s getting pretty old and I don’t expect she has a lot of time left.  If I manage to out-live her, I’ll be moving for sure.  I hope time doesn’t run out on me and that’s why I’ve moved my plans forward.  It’s time to get rid of this shit!  Then…..I’m outta here! I can hardly stand this place and it’s effecting my well-being.  Tomorrow I start sorting through all my things.  At the very least, my life will be simplified and all the clutter will be out of my way.  That ought to snap me out of my funk!

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Say, can you spare some change?

Time passes so quickly.  It’s been nearly six months now since Dennis died.  Slowly we’ve adjusted to our loss.  Life goes on.

Of course, this means I’m busier and working twice as hard to help our son.  I’ve taken up painting animals –mostly cats, for some reason.  In real life, I actually prefer big dogs and have a black Lab named Cecil who turns 8 soon.  He goes with me most times when I leave the house and we regularly take walks of up to 10 blocks which isn’t too bad considering he’s carrying an extra 20 lbs. and I had a back injury who knows how long ago (I tend to just “let go” of the details once they become the past).  I have three cats, though and grew up on a stock-farm with all kinds of assorted critters.  My room-mate calls me EllieMay because I like to braid my hair and wear overalls around the house in the summer when I can wear something other than sweats to stay warm.  It gets pretty cold around here in the winter.

My painting is by no means even close to being professional but good enough that I’ve been offered money for a couple of them and given them away as gifts but mostly, I’m just hanging on to them.  Thinking about entering them in the local State Fair later this summer.  Painting has become a sometimes obsession and a new focus in my life but I don’t always have time for it but the more I do it, the better it becomes.  I need something like that in my life. My brother-in-law has a friend who has a small gallery and said when I have enough to show, he’ll arrange it.  But, at the time, only about half of the paintings are good enough to be put into an art-show but I’m looking forward to it.

I’m also giving some thought to moving to a beautiful place 5-hrs. from here.  I really don’t want to spend the rest of my life here.  With Dennis gone, I’m free to move out of state and I realize even more how precious life is.  My house is paid for…….why not move?  I’m still weighing my options and since I don’t rush into things, a final decision may take some time.  Will there even BE enough time?  Sometimes I wonder about that…..It would be a nice renewal. A new life and a new begining.  I could use some excitement and in addition, a motive to get rid of the 25-yrs of accumulation that surrounds me.  I have had more possessions than house for quite some time now.

So, I’ll really try to write more often.  Writing is a wonderful outlet.  I’ll try to come back soon.

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