silverkitties

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About silverkitties

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  • Gender
    Female
  • Location
    CT
  • Loss Type
    cancer
  • Angel Date
    10/4/2014

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  1. Welcome back, Eve! And hello to our circle of friends--Missionblue, May, Lisa, Athina, Reader, Eliz, and probably a few more.... Eve, I was not initially going to reply because I am so busy: dad is returning home tomorrow and there is still so much I have to do. But those sock monkeys are so adorable! Like New133, I marvel at your willingness to pursue an activity that is so associated with your mom! There are times when I finish a project and think to myself, mom would be so proud! I feel the same here. These are so amazing! Your mom would be beaming.
  2. Hello Sweetisabelle, idontknow, and Athina--let me offer my condolences to you. I can't even begin to imagine how horrible I would feel if I were a student rather than a faculty member experiencing a death of a parent. Let me just begin by saying that my own mother died during the middle of a term, back in fall 2014.Although my first impulse was to quit, I did not; in fact, I got back into the swing of things the day after her passing. I also had a paper to present at another college later that week. However, the challenges for students and faculty are anything but the same; you are all building your foundations so it's especially important to be on the right foot. I hope you've thought about Reader's suggestions. Have either of you gone to see a grief counselor on campus? I think this is a good place to begin--as well as paying a visit to your college advisor. Perhaps you can sit down together and decide whether your current course lineup is realistic for what you're sustaining right now. It goes without saying that grief is a huge load. If there is a course that you think will bring back more triggers or pangs than you can bear at the moment, you might want to think about dropping it this term. And if you think at all that your work might be compromised, sometimes a leave of absence can help. I bring this up because I had a foreign student who took one of my classes last year before losing her mom towards the end of the term. I remember asking her if she really wanted to take my class because she had already missed the first 10 weeks; that was already a lot even without her mom's illness. (IMO, she should not have taken it in the first place.) If you have trouble keeping up with a class, it's going to be even worse when you are going through bereavement. Anyway, no one has any right to decide for you. If you think you can weather it, go right ahead. But if in doubt, take it at your own pace.
  3. Hello, All--Lisa K, May, Mission, Eliz, Athina, Reader, Cindy Jane, Dgiirl, Jackie, and probably a few I have inadvertently missed-- Lisa, I hope everything will turn out OK for you. I wish the best for you on your surgery....I know I'd be scared too. We will all be here for you. May, I love songs from the 70s and late 60s--and have found myself listening to a lot these past few years. They're kind of wistful for me, as they remind me of my happier past in NYC when mom was still around. I love the Carpenters ' songs "Superstar" and "Top of the World". The first one, kind of sad and bittersweet, was one of my faves growing up....today, it helps me picture our small apartment where mom was never far away. These days, I choke up when I hear this part: Don't you remember you told me you loved me baby You said you'd be coming back this way again baby Baby, baby, baby, baby, oh, baby, I love you I really do Loneliness is a such a sad affair And I can hardly wait to be with you again What to say to make you come again Come back to me again And play your sad guitar I also remember "Nights in White Satin" (a sad song that was a hit when mom was in the hospital), but I also l like "California Dreamin," Downtown (reminds me of all those great days mom and I went down to Manhattan), "Windy," " Georgy Girl," and a song by the Cowsills "The Rain, the part, and other things" Well, back to the present. It's a beautiful, warmish, sunny day today. And it also happens to be what would have been my mom's 85th birthday: yes, she shares the exact same birthday w/ Liz Taylor, who died even younger than my mom. They must have been passing out the looks on that day, because my mom was quite the beauty too (see my gallery of pics). Too bad she didn't get the acting talent! I remember thinking to myself when I had first heard of Liz's death, look at mom--so hale and hearty. She'll last well into her 90s. 85 will be nothing at all. Little did I ever expect to lose her at the age of 82 and 7 months. Even younger than her own mother who was obese. I can't help but think how our future was cut tragically short. I know there are others of you who've lost your moms at even earlier ages....but I guess we never have time enough with our moms. I remember thinking that as soon as dad kicked off, being the perpetual bother, nuisance, castrated POS that he was, mom and I would have a much easier life. No more strange hours for mom to accommodate herself. No more last minute drag racing for mom because dad didn't get up in time for his appointment. No more countless reminders to dad. Eliz, I was going to do just what you were planning too. Mom and I were going to book a cruise or train travel as soon as I sent that book off to the publishers. I was going to buy her a new wardrobe. We were going to enjoy a peaceful life together. We would finally get the life we deserved and that we waited for so long and so patiently! But, of course, it didn't happen that way. I got stuck with the crappy parent--my dad. The parent who never behaved like a parent. Most of you who've been here long enough know my feelings about my dad--how I hated him for screwing up my education and career, cheating on mom, and on a being a generally financially irresponsible parent. Well, yesterday, I got further confirmation of this-- as is any more were necessary at this point. One of his relatives--an uncle whom I remember fondly from our days in the Bronx--contacted me yesterday. He actually thought dad was at home, but I explained the situation. Anyway, I learned a lot of interesting things....it turns out that when my paternal grandmother died and left the property to her 3 kids--dad, his sister, and younger brother--the latter took ALL of it. My dad never got his share--and he was too chicken to contest him. FOR GOD'S SAKE, HE WAS THE OLDEST BROTHER! WHAT A Phucking measly, NODICK ahole--NO WONDER HE WAS ALWAYS WEAK AND SICK growing up! HIS PARENTS SHOULD HAVE JUST LET HIM DIE! A WEAK MALE IS A USELESS MALE AS FAR AS I SEE IT! Anyway, his younger sister died a decade after the grandmother....so now the youngest son is using his parents' house as a medical facility for a son or son-in-law (also a doctor). In other words, he is using it for himself without paying any rent. WHY IS IT THAT EVERY FATHER I KNOW KNOWS HOW TO LOOK OUT FOR THE INTERESTS OF HIS SONS AND DAUGHTERS AND MINE COULD NOT BE BOTHERED? Right now, we are owed a substantial 6-digit figure. My dad always assumed that his brother would give him a share because he's become quite wealthy as a doctor himself....that alone should show how dumb and naive my dad is. (Just because he's a a pansy himself doesn't mean every one else is a pansy too.) My loser dad does not have the common sense to realize that THE WEALTHIER SOMEONE IS, THE GREEDIER THAT PERSON WILL BE. Right now, I hate my dad so mcuh for not having claimed his share....he only wanted to make himself look good, i.e., not greedy, without caring about MY futur! What's even worse is that my dad himself had also given his parents $200-300 EVERY MONTH when they were still alive--and that was between the 1960s and 1980, when $200-300 a month was worth about $1300 today. And meanwhile, that shitt-for-brains had the gall to push me to apply to the best universities before ultimately denying me the chance to go when I did get in. PHUCK YOU DAD FOR SENDING ME TO S. college, NOT U.C. BERKELEY, which is a world class institution. (My college is just as good.....but in academe, as is true everywhere else, popular reputation matters!) It's like he wanted to screw me out of EVERYTHING IN LIFE! And here, I have to WASTE TIME. going to see this phucker in hospitals and rehab. HE SHOULD JUST DIE! THAT'S HOW HE TREATED ME AND MOM! NOT CARING ABOUT OUR FINANCIAL SECURITY! Just contrast the way that mom wanted to make sure I would get a part of her mom's property. She talked about it on a weekly basis. Yes, it's true, MY MOM WAS THE ONLY ONE WHO EVER CARED FOR MY PERSONAL AND FINANCIAL WELL BEING. I AM DONE VISITING HIM! HE DIDN'T CARE ABOUT ME. WHY SHOULD I CARE ABOUT HIM? To those of you who lost your fatherS....I honestly wish I could trade mine with yours. I wish mine were buried and yours still with you. At least, yours fought tooth and nail for you all the way as a TRUE parent, father, and family provider. All of your fathers probably supported you in your every endeavour, fought for your inheritance, didn't cheat on your moms. Mine was only a sperm donor and leech. If I can find a way of not paying for his burial or dumping his ashes down the toilet, I will do so. I don't want his ashes mingled with mine or my mom's.
  4. Boy I guess should have thought twice about my post. I didn't mean to offend anybody.  I will find another support group and keep in mind what I've learned here. I'm sorrry, I guess i was looking for some posts I could relate to and didn't find any at the time. There have been many times these posts helped me not feel alone and that I wasn't going crazy. Thank you.

    1. silverkitties

      silverkitties

      There are many times when I can't relate to the posts either...but that's because grief is so personal and variable for each and every one of us on a monthly, weekly, sometimes even daily basis. As such, it's not always easy to find posts that resonate.

      I remember joining back in late 2014, a  few months after my mom's passing. Someone had written a tremendously moving post on her mom. I responded before creating my own threads a few months later on the first anniversary of my mom's stroke. It was around this time that I began a friendship with the woman who came up with the idea of the daily thread.

      A group of us were on that thread just about every day as a means of relief because we had few around us physically who understood our pain.....we wound up sharing thoughts on everything, and not just our grief, although that, of course, was always there. I started a few threads myself on favorite childhood recollections and music, but few ever got involved. Oh well!

      Nonetheless, I do think that the best way of addressing a problem is by starting a new thread. Someone does eventually respond.

      I've looked at other grief forums myself, particularly when it looked as if this one might be shut down (my mistake)...and at that time, none looked as inviting. I'm wishing you the best of luck.

  5. Well, I've been an offender here as well, Missionblue. But the only way I could ever explain the dimensions of my relationship w/ my mother was through her steady support for me. At the end of the day, the man who seemed to be so promising turned out to be a big nothing. It made me cherish my mom more than ever. Honestly, the whole experience I went through felt a bit like Sense and Sensibility. Mom truly defined unconditional love for me--just like Mrs. Dashwood did for the Dashwood sisters. I bring this up as I have no one and know I have no real opportunities at the time being to find a relationship. Finding a man is not at the apex of my needs right now; it's finding a decent job to provide for me over the years. I want that more than anything else at this point. However, I hope everything works out with you and Ernesto. I get the impression that once you're moved, he will settle a bit and love you on your terms. He really cares for you--don't lose it. It's the chance of a lifetime. I can tell he is basically an honest person who has own little quirks too and a sense of fun. He almost wants to shelter you like your dad did and that's not a bad sign at all.
  6. MsPak, the fact is that it is not always easy to just talk about the deceased: that is why Eve set up this thread. It's intended to let us voice our feelings at any given time, to share thoughts during a difficult period where some of us do not have understanding friends, family, partners, or spouses nearby. Because many of us have become friends on this thread, it has naturally become easy to drift to topics not entirely focused on grief over one's parents. You should have seen some where we started writing short stories for the hell of it! Let's not forget that none of us grieve in a vacuum. We are here in part because those around us neither fully care to or understand the intensity of our grief. We have relationships with others around us--siblings, spouses, children, the remaining parent, etc. Many times our own relationships with others are also influenced by our parents. Sometimes we feel terrible because a spouse does not show the same understanding that our deceased parent would. And although I don't have a partner, I have seen many spouses or those in a relationship get valuable help over their grief when their partner showed little empathy. It is as such that some posts are invariably long. Sometimes too, our feelings for the deceased have a lot to do with what they have done for us: hence, stories about how our parents have helped us over a failed marital/romantic relationship in the past. Or how we've reacted to their own failed relationships. While seemingly trivial, it's these recollections of how our parents have supported us emotionally and mentally that demonstrate just how much they loved us--and why we grieve in return. That's why they really wouldn't be suitable for a section on grieving a significant other. I think you're better off just starting a new thread and posting questions there if you hate wading through those posts so much.
  7. Cindy Jane, it's good to see you pop in--I hope your knee will improve through the spring w/ rehab! May, I happened to have found one Nyquil I bought on the kitchen counter. I didn't think I stuck it there and forgot about it! As for my dad, no one knows if he has gall bladder cancer: because his kidneys and heart are very weak, the surgeon is afraid that he would not be about to survive the staging tests. That was last Friday: he also happened to have caught the flu. I think I caught it from him!! Eliz, I will have more memories to share later, but just wanted to say that today is a day that reminds me of all of our jaunts to the nearby mall: bright ,sunny, and warm. My mom was the one who drove (long story here which I will explain later), but suffice to say that we liked going out on Thursday or Friday afternoons because they weren't quite as congested as on the weekends. These weren't necessarily long trips--they would be anywhere between 2 and 4 hours--but Mom and I would sometimes head to Macy's, look around together before separating; then we'd meet for tea or coffee. Much of the time we did not pick up anything--I did the vast majority of clothes shopping on ebay (go to stores to look, go home and find it on ebay)--but it was still fun to browse and dream together. Sometimes, on the way back, we'd stop for pizza or go to the grocery. They were simple pleasures, but pleasures all the same. But then mom has been my shopping buddy for years. I'll never forget those sunn days in my early childhood she'd take me on the subway from the Bronx to Manhattan. I remember being fascinated by the fast pace, velocity, and sense of excitement. There was just so much MORE! Mom and I would resume these habits when we moved to Chicago. How fantastic it was to spend a day at Marshall Field's, revelling in the sheer abundance of clothes, and even books, as well as the famed sandwich room, the Walnut room, and the place for sundaes. Or getting away to the Bloomie's building to eat at one of our favorite Italian restaurants. Everything seemed brighter and possible with mom. Then when I went to England for graduate study, we'd head to London for the weekends (mom usually stayed w/ me for a month.) How wonderful it was to hop on a bus, explore Selfridge's, Fenwick's New and Old Bond STreet, Piccadilly Mall, and eat at a carvery. Or stop for afternoon tea. How happy I was to to introduce her to new shops and restaurants! We would head back to Oxford happy but exhausted. Heck, even there on "home turf", I enjoyed hitting the shops and doing lunch with her at one of the many Indian restaurants. I always felt more than a little sad in the few days before her departure because I knew it meant a return to my lonely, humdrum life of a graduate student When mom passed, I had many dreams about shopping with her. In many of them, I would dream that I bumped into her accidentally, i.e., that she had arrived at our meeting place earlier than expected. Sometimes, we were showing each other what we bought. At first, I felt depressed that these were just dreams--and sometimes I would cry. But I knew I was healing when I got up one morning and laughed that I had yet another dream about shopping. We did way too much of it! (I know mom would have laughed because we were already laughing about my shopping dreams.) So enjoy your time with your daughter,Eliz. I am sad that I can not travel and shop with mom as we planned to do (we always thought Dad would be the first to go since he was so weak). But I am happy to seen as much of the earth as we could possibly manage. And bought more than enough (some clothes still have tickets!) Whether it was NYC, Taiwan, Japan, Munich, Salzburg, Paris, London, Oslo, mom has given me memories I will never forget. Her enthusiasm, her taste, insight, warmth made every shopping expedition worth it, regardless of anything we bought. After all, you can't buy experience. It's like the words of that Helen Reddy song, "You and me against the World" (in many ways, so evocative of our relationship): "And when one of us is gone, And one of us is left to carry on, Then remembering will have to do, Our memories alone will get us through Think about the days of me and you, Of you and me against the world." [Read more: Helen Reddy - You And Me Against The World Lyrics | MetroLyrics]
  8. So many exciting posts! Alas, I was hit hard by the flu. It probably started on Sunday evening when I thought I was going to collapse in the shower. (I was already feeling somewhat weak that day). On Monday, I felt I had deteriorated and on Tuesday, I knew there was no way I could go to teach that day. I was basically huddled in a ball Monday evening through much of Wednesday wondering even if I was going to recover because getting out of bed seemed like such a monumental chore. I felt a little better on Wednesday night but still didn't want to risk it today. I then felt more alone than ever. The last time I was this ill was back in early 2013, when mom was still alive. She was not only her active, bustling self, but so concerned about her 49-year- old baby...LOL. I remember thinking at that time, thank God I have mom. I have never been bedridden for more than one day at a time. Even my mom herself never had this experience--and she was 81. (Come to think of it, my mom was rarely ill--which is why none of us ever suspected that she had a deadly disease raging within her.) So here I am...no one to buy me medicine, no one to tell me h/she cares. The only ones who came to me were my cats because they were thinking how bizarre it was that I never got out of that room. (The more cynical ones among you are no doubt thinking they are plotting when to eat me!) One hopped on the bed (the possessive one who normally sleeps in my mom's room) Tuesday evening and the other came Wednesday evening. At least I have them! Not wanting my poor babies to get sick, I knew I had to change their water and provide more dry food. I couldn't help but recall some of mom's last words before she was sent to the hospital. She burst into tears wondering who would care for me; I remember crying with her, but you'll live mom. You've always survived." She said "no." How right she was:( Eliz, your experiences w/ your mom sound almost EXACTLY like mine. We both liked to bargain hunt....this started with mom taking me to the local stores in the Bronx. We always enjoyed anticipating one another's wishes. She would always say "I want this but it's so expensive...." but I would find a way to get it for her. It was always a thrill to see her delighted. I still remember the things I bought for her in the last year--but which she unfortunately never got to wear:( I have to admit I have not been to the nearby mall where we used to go. As it is, even looking at the websites where I bought stuff for her can bring pangs....I want to say, "mom, you have see this"...and then realize in a split second that she can't. I felt the same way when I watched the Ralph Lauren fashion show online just last week. If my mom were here, we'd be watching it together. Just going out together was sheer pleasure. My mom noticed that every time we went out together, I would always get compliments on my outfit. She's always say "what makes you think you're unattractive? Every time you go out, you get praised. Everyone tells you how elegant you are,etc. That you look like something out of a magazine." I would say, "men don't care about taste, they care about looks--i.e., how phuckable a woman is. That's why so many men need viagra." Then we would laugh. Yet, my mom always made me feel happy by noticing these compliments despite the fact they were pretty futile. Even going to the drugstores was fun with mom. My mom had an eagerness for buying dollar items, just when I was beginning to realize that drugstore makeup was in many cases as good as dept. store makeup. Even though mom would always complain I had too much makeup, she'd egg me on. On one of our last trips before her stroke, she convinced me to buy a golden dusty-pink nail polish. Missionblue, I strongly suspect that your uncle's visit to China may have done him in. There is a high incidence of GI cancers for all the reasons that May mentioned. It is true: they cook with industrial oil, barely wash their dishes, and more recently, have gotten contaminated food from Fukushima. Btw, stress can make you forgetful. I'm usually the one blaming my dad for leaving the stove on....but just last week, I found myself doing it! I think Ernesto is particularly stressed out because he really does love you; that's why he wants to do so much but is aggravated by his physical setbacks. Believe me, my mom and I had many harsh words between us too; of course, a parental relationship is different from a romantic one, but I believe that sometimes great conflicts come with great love. Athina, I hope you are able to make progress on your dissertation. One of the things that has kept me going was working on a book that I know will be dedicated to my mom. Reader, if it's any comfort, I always thought that both of my parents were very health-conscious. They tried to keep up with research on foods--yet, just like Missionblue stated earlier--it's kind of hard to keep track of "research" when it is changing all the time! You tried to let your dad live a normal life...and perhaps that is the best that can be expected.
  9. I couldn't help but notice the common theme of regrets over our care for our parents. We should have fed more X,Y,Z--and less of A, B, C. I suppose I could consider myself guilty of "killing" my mom given some of the stuff I cooked--for instance, pasta. It's only been relatively recently that I discovered that canned tomatoes can be very carcinogenic because of the aluminum canning. Yet, I did not know that: in fact, my mom and I even thought that tomatoes were very healthy. Not to mention sausage, as processed meats are carcinogenic. I could also blame myself for the movie theatre microwave popcorn. Yet, I rationalized to myself then, we only have it once a month....it's not like we eat it every time we watch a movie at home. Ditto the pasta which we would have for several days once a month. All I remember is that mom had so much pleasure from my cooking. So long as I didn't make cheeseburgers or other fattening foods every week, I felt exculpated. I have now come to reconsider all the things for which I've blamed dad--i.e., taking the position in Taiwan. Now, there is admittedly a part of me that still begrudges him for it because of my mom's prolonged stay in Taiwan and visits to Japan may have contributed to her bile duct cancer. Ditto my dad's possible gall bladder cancer. I always used to regret that we were not a normal American family who stayed put in the US., away from the disease and unsanitary food in Taiwan and Japan. But it's not like any of us had real control over that. My parents enjoyed going to Taiwan. How were we to know of the dangers posed by food preparation there? It seems that all of us have tried to make our parents happy, regardless of the mistakes we've made in diet....that is arguably the most important thing. Unless we are actually Ph.D's or MDs in medicine, we have no idea. And even then, not all answers are immediately available. I think what matters is that we all loved our parents so intensely. I can't help but be somewhat pleased that even as I was depressed over John, it was still nowhere near as acute as when I lost my mom. Yes, I had some pangs over the fact that I could no longer have a fantastic looking escort to the opera and no longer enjoy our discussions on music and literature. Yet, the ache I suffered was not anything comparable to that I suffered for mom. Every time I looked at something I wore would inevitably trigger memories of the time that I visited mom in the hospital or the various places we went. I never had such a reaction after the loss of John. It really makes me realize that I did truly love my mom more than anyone else.
  10. Lisa, I feel so badly for you....and can only pray that the progress that has been made in breast cancer treatment over the last 3 decades will prove a life saver for you. We don't want you to join your mom just yet;) I hope you have happy, or at least less unhappy years ahead of you where you can enjoy the fruits of your work in the garden. For now, though, I can imagine the pain you feel going to chemo....but without your mom:( Whenever I pass by my mom's hospital on the way to the train station, I inevitably feel pangs and whisper to myself...."wherever you are, mom, I hope you know I still miss you so much and that we will be together again. For now, everything I do, I do for you because you have given meaning to my life." May, I never saw that 3's Company episode--and I used to watch it in the 70s! (Boy, talk about blast from the past!) I'm going to have to search for it on youtube one of these days. Since we've been talking about dating, let me share a few memories....that will hopefully also shine some light on my relationship with mom. For a few years in the late 80s, I had a BF of sorts, a friend of a male friend. This BF--let me call him John for now--was almost everything I wanted in a man. He was slim and very elegantly dressed for a graduate student: and to top it off, bore a very uncanny resemblance to the young (mad) King Ludwig who built the fairytale castle, Neuschwanstein, near Munich. (He was a future patron of the composer Richard Wagner.) He was also exceptionally bright and studying philosophy at a top university; even though he intimidated me a bit, I enjoyed going out with him. He was someone who knew literature and music inside out, apart from his academic specialization. I imagined that one day, he would become a star academic at a top university. We had an interesting relationship. Although we attended concerts and art openings, I never quite felt like "a pair" with John. He was friends with other women, and I had plenty of male friends. I remember how he seemed very jealous when he found me walking with one friend, who noticed it too. ("Did you see that look on his face? He was jealous! I should have kissed you!" LOL) He would always ask about them even though he should have been able to tell from the parties I held that I was not romantically interested in any of them. To make a long story short, there were a few incidents that made me think that he was in love w/ me...I remember thinking "finally!" When I returned home from a surprise vacation in Europe, I expected that he would call me immediately as soon as he returned from a visit home. Except it didn't happen. As days went by, I wondered....and finally wrote him an ultimatum. He confessed he was not ready at all and that over past years, women had drawn the wrong conclusion with him. I immediately decided to dump him and told him in so many words. I immediately regretted it but did write back....the following year was almost a year spent grieving over a lost relationship. If only I hadn't been in such a hurry, I thought, I might still be enjoying his company. There were times when I felt close to suicidal. Through all of this, my mom was my one and only comfort. It made me long for her company when she was away in Taiwan--and relish her visits home even more. I really have no idea how she had so much patience listening to me talk about this POS for over a year. I don't even want to think how I would have felt had I lost her then: thank God, she was there for me all the way. It was she who reminded me over and over that I wasn't worthless. She was the one person who gave meaning to my life. I didn't fully relinquish him, however, until I got admitted to my 1st choice grad school. Finally, there was something bigger and better! There would be other fish in the water (so I thought!) Even though I found no one there, I stopped thinking about John altogether. What did shock me later on when I googled all of my acquaintances from the 1980s was that he did not become the prominent, up and coming academic I'd expected he would become. In fact, even though he did finish his Ph.D. at his university, he never got tenure and taught at a 4th-tier college. When I googled him a few years later, he was at another one....and had very bad course evaluations to boot too. It seems that his students find him a pompous yet insecure ass. Dang! If only I had realized that then...I now consider it a blessing that we did not become a couple. (My friends joke about him, "how the mighty have fallen! You used to think he was the next best thing to sliced bread!" I would inevitably respond, "I can't believe how much I wasted feeling depressed over him. A year gone down the tubes") Maybe this is why I never searched as hard for a BF later even though there were a few who did interest me....ultimately, I didn't want to get hurt all over again. This reminds me of your words, Reader. What does it say when the relationship I grieved most after the death of my mother was that of my 16 and 1/2 yr old cat? My best friend joked that that was longer than many marriages! I guess this is how my mom assumed such an important part of my life. Why would I need anyone when I had her with me? She was the only dependable person I ever knew--one who rescued me from the abyss time and time again. This is partly why, for the longest time, the Diana Ross song "Ain't no mountain high enough" has such sentimental value for me: "I know, I know you must follow the sun Wherever it leads But remember If you should fall short of your desires Remember life holds for you one guarantee You'll always have me." I remember feeling really struck when I heard this song at her first rehab facility right after her first stroke. And now, I thought to myself: "If you need me, call me No matter where you are No matter how far Just call my name I'll be there in a hurry On that you can depend and never worry No wind, (no wind) No rain, (no rain) Nor winter's cold Can stop me, babe (Oh, babe) baby (baby) If you're my goal " And indeed, for the longest time, as I grew increasingly aware that my mom had done so much for me, through thick and thin, tolerated so much of my crap, my goal in life seemed to shift to making mom as proud of me as possible and to do as much to help her. I imagined that one day, as a possible star academic, I would buy mom really nice clothes and a car. I would give her a beautiful condo and/or living quarters. I would spoil her the way she spoiled me. Alas, it didn't really happen--even though I did buy some of the things she hankered for. But for now, all I can hope for is that some sweet day in the afterlife, we'll be together--just as sung by Diana Ross.
  11. May, you almost made me cry when I was reading your post prior to boarding the bus to NYC the other day! In answer to your question, the commute is close to 5 hours, including getting from my house to the train station, the bus ride to NYC, the cab ride from the bus station to my university--and back again. It's funny that you mention how your sister's mother-in-law was trying to set you up with an older guy. I used to have nightmares about my parents setting me up with a guy and that I was running away on the day of the wedding: in fact, I've had that nightmare TWICE! I had another dream where I was set up by friends but made myself deliberately unattractive because I was not interested in the guy they found for me. (This is most likely based on a scenario where I tried to make myself unattractive by not wearing any makeup on a date with a guy whom I was NOT interested in....he ended up getting more so, LOL!) The trouble is, I could never find the kind of man I find attractive. You see, I'd rather not marry for the sake of marrying especially when I've seen so many marriages go wrong, including my parents'. At the end of the day, I want a man who is at least as educated and professionally motivated: alas, those sorts of men only seem to want trophy wives or least someone who is very conventionally pretty. At the same time, however, I find myself disgusted by men who are merely interested in my looks. Just in the past few months, several men have flirted with me on Linkedin: although I was somewhat flattered that they found me attractive, I hated the fact that their political views were so different from mine and that they did not bother to read or comment on anything I'd written. The one who said he "enjoyed history" obviously knew very little about history. Instead, these men seemed to be more obsessed w/ my appearance; one asked me my height and weight and even inquired if I was a virgin. He sent me pictures of himself and asked if I could send any! Another asked me if it was OK for him to fantasize about me. Sickos. (The least offensive one does not know how to carry on a conversation.) I also didn't like it when they complained about my being "too fixated on work": considering how these idiots have looked at my profile numerous times, shouldn't they be well aware that someone of my education and work habits IS going to be "obsessed" with work--particularly when I've also reminded them that I have several writing projects due in the near future? Even more reprehensible were their political/social opinions. Nearly all of them have professed considerably different, if not downright antithetical views from mine....I realize I may be narrow here, but politics matter a great deal to me and I don't want to waste the rest of my life with someone who clashes with me. After all, I'm going to be 54 this summer and have no intention of being bogged down with someone I deem unenlightened: a certain recipe for unhappiness! For instance, one told me how he was going to shoot a coyote because it attacked three kittens in his backyard. If he cared so much for those kittens, why didn't he take them into his house--especially when he knew that there were wild animals in his area? Coyotes kill when they have to eat--they are not killing maliciously like human beings when they go hunting. (IMO, any reasonable person should know that it is only acceptable to kill any animal when it poses a direct threat to you: for instance, a grizzly running after you!) I also disliked his narrow-minded views on war and immigration--and told him to find himself a nice Southern girl with his views. Surely, there must be one out there who is reasonably well-read but shares his political philosophy? He actually had the gall to tell me that he couldn't find any who were "educated" (never mind that his level of education is not anywhere comparable to mine: lest this sound elitist, I should add that women usually have far more sense than men of comparable education...as is true in the case of my parents. That's why I never want to marry a man with fewer academic credentials.) I guess that's why I feel so isolated in my grief. If I had someone I loved and respected, I probably wouldn't feel as lonely as I do. As it is, though, my mother is the only person who has ever loved and admired me consistently: whether it was something as banal as putting together an outfit on one hand or writing an article on the other. And although our political and social views were not always exactly alike, they were more similar than not. When am I ever going to find someone who will appreciate all that I do? Where am I going to find someone who will appreciate both my looks and talent? Share my philosophy of life? Share views on books, movies, music--and yes, scenery? I am envious of all those people I know who have a loving spouse (particularly one who is at least an intellectual/professional equal) and children while enduring a loss: at least, they have a buffer. I DON'T! Unlike them, I cannot find a physical or mental reminder of my mom in a son or daughter because I don't have any children. Unlike them, I don't have a husband who can show me some affection just so that I know I'm not all alone.
  12. Hello May, Reader, Missionblue, CindyJane, Lisa, Athina, Eve, Belle-- May, I hope your wrist is improving. I wish I could be there with you, if just to cheer you up. I know how you feel with the approach of your mom's angelversary date. You did all you could, even with your stroke. Reader, I hope you have had some respite. I'm sorry I haven't been here for a while. i've just been crazy busy with the class, seeing my dad, shoveling my way out of the big snow we had last week, and worrying about his release and the possible cancer diagnosis. I've been sick too w/ a cold to top it off. Just like Belle was saying, things get a lot more complicated with the stress that comes after a death....in fact, unless you're very comfortably well off or are on perfect terms with your siblings, estate matters and all finances affected by the death of the loved one can complicate things. I've never been one for finances--except stock trading--and there are so many questions I want to ask my mother but, of course, she's no longer here--and makes her absence even harder to accept. In fact, because I am so worried about the money that will be needed for my dad's caregiving, I've been more depressed than ever.It doesn't help that when I commute home from NYC, I am always reminded of my mom....as I sit gazing at the city lights, I think about our times in the Bronx as well as the one time mom and I took the bus to NYC and back in 2008. Sometimes as I sit there, eating my dinner--my one chance to fully relax--I can't help but wish mom were here with me so we could just chat about the day and reminisce about the places we visited in NYC. Then when I get to the rain/bus depot, I can't help but think about mom picking me up 4 years ago....and now I have to wait alone. Right before I head to bed, I always wish I could see mom just one more time....how much happier I would be if I were assured that we would be reunited after I die. I hate the Buddhist belief that I may never see her again....that we will both be reincarnated at various times, never to share our lives together. And now as spring approaches, I think more and more about the weeks leading up to her first stroke in April 2014: this is especially so as I go over my textbook. Yes, it's been 2 and a half years, and yet sometimes the grief feels so fresh and raw. I still recall those happy afternoons that winter and early spring when mom and I would go drugstore hopping enroute to grocery shopping.How wonderful it was at other times to hear her voice on the phone, telling me she would be home in a few minutes. When I hear old songs, I inevitably feel happier at first, recalling that at least then, mom was alive.... bur, of course, now she's gone--and I feel like the refugee you've mentioned Missionblue (especially with our own refugee situation today....) The fact that my life feels so uncertain--no job certainty, no one to love romantically (or at least to share the closeness I had with my mom really aggravates my grief.) I have a good feeling about you and Ernesto. From here, it really seems that he cares and loves you even if he seems kind of gruff. That con man will always be a big IF....sort of like the Brad Pitt character in Thelma and Louise.
  13. Hello, Everyone--May, Eve, Lisa, Reader, Missionblue, Athina, CindyJane, Belle, and some I may have inadvertently forgotten, I would like to begin by wishing May, Reader, and all those who celebrate the Chinese New Year, a Happy New Year. Although, as in the case of the Western New Year, it's hard to imagine so. I hope all of us will find a little more happiness. It's been a tough week. On Monday, a publisher wrote to me and asked if I would be interested in writing a textbook for them: it reminded me of 4 years ago when the textbook publisher informed me that my proposal was accepted: how happy mom and I were that day. Of course, since I was about to teach again on Tuesday, I couldnt help but remember that day. And now, how different things are! My travel now involves a ride to the train/bus station, the ride to NY, then a ride to the university. It's 4 hours of travel each way: honestly, one leg of travel is twice as long as my actual class! And yet, it's a class I enjoy and money that I need. Since I'm taking the bus rather than the train, the pangs are not as bitter; I'm mostly sitting there trying to read and nap. Sometimes, it's interesting to look through the apartment windows at night--even if it made me wish mom were beside me so we could reminisce. However, her absence really hit me on Thursday when we arrived back an hour later. The station was pretty deserted; couldn't even find a cab.Meanwhile, other people were getting picked up by loved ones. It made me long for mom so hard. It is so exhausting--and more so than 4 years ago when the class met only once a week. The day after each class, I really slept in. Yesterday, however, I had to see my dad since the last time I saw him was Sunday. It was only right to do so. So I went. At that time, he wanted to call one of his Taiwanese friends in the area on my phone, so I let him. Then I got ticked off as I thought of them. I started wishing death, cancer, everything, etc. on them and their children--out loud. To add insult to injury, a manager and nurse stopped by and told me to stop it--that it was disturbing people. (LOL, I should have said it in Taiwanese!) I suppose it probably could be disturbing to anyone hearing it--especially where people are already sick. But it angers me so much that EVERYONE ELSE has something going for them, or someone helping them. I HAVE NO ONE! IT'S NOT FAIR!!! Everyone else has a husband, wife, girlfriend, boyfriend, children, etc. so they have occasional bursts of life, and here I am worried about dad, about our future, and mine. Not one moment of respite or remote happiness. Can't spend money or shop otherwise. GODDAMN ALL THE PHUCKING TAIWANESE ASS-OCIATION IN CONNECTICUT! GOD DAMN THEIR CHILDREN! GOD DAMN THEIR GRANDCHILDREN!!! MAY THEY END UP ILL, DISEASED, BURNED, MAIMED, MENTALLY AND PHYSICALLY HANDICAPPED! I HOPE THEIR SKINNY LITTLE DAUGHTERS GET BLOODY RAPED IN THEIR KUNTS AND ASSES! I HOPE THEIR SONS GET BEATEN, RAPED, AND ROBBED! I HOPE DONALD TRUMP WILL DEPORT ALL OF THEM--THEY MIGHT AS WELL BE ILLEGAL! I HOPE ALL THOSE ASSHOLES DRIVING AROUND TO PICK UP THEIR LOVED ONES SLIDE DOWN AN ICY ROAD AND HIT A 18-WHEELER! OR CRASH AND BURN! OR SLIDE INTO AN ICY RIVER! I WISH CANCER, STROKES, AND OTHER FATAL DISEASES ON THEM! GOD DAMN THEIR SKULLS! GOD DAMN THEIR BRAINS! GOD DAMN THEIR EYEBROWS! GOD DAMN THEIR EYES! GOD DAMN THEIR EYELASHES! GOD DAMN THEIR NOSES! GOD DAMN THEIR NOSTRILS! v GOD DAMN THEIR NOSTRIL HAIRS! GOD DAMN THEIR MOUTHS! GOD DAMN THEIR LIPS! GOD DAMN THEIR TONGUES! GOD DAMN THEIR TEETH! GOD DAMN THEIR CHINS! GOD DAMN THEIR ESOPHAGUS! GOD DAMN THEIR LUNGS! GOD DAMN THEIR HEARTS (IF THEY HAVE ANY)! GOD DAMN THEIR STOMACHS! GOD DAMN THEIR LIVERS! GOD DAMN THEIR BILE DUCTS! GOD DAMN THEIR GALL BLADDERS! GOD DAMN THEIR KIDNEYS! GOD DAMN THEIR LARGE INTESTINE! GOD DAMN THEIR SMALL INTESTINE! GOD DAMN THEIR COLONS! GOD DAMN THEIR URETHRAS! GOD DAMN THEIR TESTICLES! GOD DAMN THEIR DIX! GOD DAMN THEIR UTERUS! GOD DAMN THEIR OVARIES! GOD DAMN THEIR KUNTS! GOD DAMN THEIR ANUS! GOD DAMN THEIR THIGHS! GOD DAMN THEIR KNEES! GOD DAMN THEIR CALVES! GOD DAMN THEIR ANKLES! GOD DAMN THEIR FEET! GOD DAMN THEIR TOES! GOD DAMN THEIR ARMS! GOD DAMN THEIR ELBOWS! GOD DAMN THEIR WRISTS! GOD DAMN THEIR FINGERS! GOD DAMN THEM ON THE YEAR OF THE BLOODY RED ROOSTER, COCKSUCKERS ALL! GOD DAMN THEM AND ALL THEIR HAPPY FAMILIES! MAY THEY SPEND 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, , 2021, ETC. MOURNING! THEY SHOULDN'T HAVE WHAT I DON'T HAVE! PHUCK THEM!!!!! Ma, what you said about your relatives in China resonated with me. My parents were sending $300 a month in the 1970s to my dad's parents in Taiwan. Meanwhile,. they had a really large house, at least twice the size of ours. My grandparents also spent much of the money on travel and gifts to my cousins in Taiwan. I got nothing at all. And now, my dad is trying to get some money from his younger brother, as he took the bulk of the estate--presumably because he gave the grandparents even more. I told my dad he should have taken as much as possible earlier since HE was the oldest son after all and gave him $300 a month. It really ticks me off because in the US, grandparents are usually the ones leaving money to their grandchildren for college. I NEVER GOT THAT ADVANTAGE--and this is in addition to the fact that my parents would not let me pursue my studies. I wonder why I don't just commit suicide: sometimes, I think I was never meant to be born and or to be alive. My maternal grandmother did not want my parents to marry (not altogether unjustified). My mom had 2 miscarriages before she had me. It was as if God were telling my parents they should not have gotten together or created me. I will never get what I want. I need a rich, highly educated man so I can sit at home and write books a la Barbara Tuchman--or give lectures. I want someone who will read my stuff. Someone who will understand me. Someone who can either drive me or hire a chauffeur. To get a nice,. private room when I am sick and be treated with respect. Let's face it, in America, you are only well treated when you are rich, married, and pretty. Be damned otherwise! Right now, no one gives a shitt about me--with the possible exception of folks here on this board. No one feels compelled to call and ask how I am doing. Not even my cousins. One keeps asking me to learn to drive. I can't when I am stressed out!! why can't people understand that?????? i already have so much on my mind--the book, the class, and of course, my dad. Can you imagine if something were to happen to me? Lisa, don't give up hope: breast cancer is not as deadly today as it was just even 10 years ago. I'm agnostic, but you are in my prayers. I do hope you improve. And yes, Eve, do get that lump looked into! Your problem and Lisa's are just so unfair, given all of your suffering over your moms. And all your hard work: you've helped pack your mom's stuff while working on the estate while Lisa has revamped the garden. Your moms would be so proud. I hope it is not cancer; please tell us it is not. Missionblue, I think Ernesto is a keeper--in spite of your difficulties. He may have his outbursts, but deep down he seems to care a lot. No relationship is ever very smooth. Even when I think back to my mom, we had LOTS of arguments, usually about the same things (dad). And many times I thought I was cursed. But when we got along, I knew there was no one better. I bless Ernesto for making you happy. I know no one wants to be told to be paient, but you've only lived w/ him for a year-- and he seems for the most part, willing to help you whenever opportune. Some people won't even do that. Cindyjane, I hope you are doing better.
  14. Hello everyone--Eve, May, Cindy Jane, Lisa, Missionblue, Reader, Athina, Belle, and welcome back, Zsusie: Thanks for asking about my dad, May and Eve: he is now discharged from the hospital and in rehab. Mentally, he is more himself. I am still concerned about his oxygen though; he is still on the machine even though they have reduced the quantity. We still have no clue on his gall bladder cancer. One of the tumor marker tests came back negative; we are still waiting for the other. The question is if we should get the gall bladder removed in case it is cancer. Some have told us yes, some have said no; sometimes gb removal ends up causing more problems. Right now, It seems that if he does have this cancer, it is in its early stages because it has not metastasized to other organs: that seems to be the only positive news for now. My dad is presently relatively conscious. I always get nervous when he says strange things--like that other week when he was babbling in Japanese and bringing up "thirty years ago" (still do not know the significance.) Now that i'm thinking about his behavior over the past two years, I wonder if it's stemming from his physical problems. Is it from anemia and lack of oxygen? I now feel so bad about the way I yelled at him when he was confused. When I was leaving his room last week, he told me he wanted to stay alive and live with me as long as possible--whereupon I burst into tears. (On several occasions this year, he has said he is worried about my feeling lonely when he passes.) Today, I felt particularly sad. It's partly over the fact that my dad's situation has not been entirely resolved and wondering about how much it's all going to cost. But it's also about the end of Obama's 2nd term. Naturally, I couldn't help but think of his election in 2008 and his first inauguration. What a great time it was for me! Mom and I walked to the nearby highschool and voted for him; we were thrilled that night when he won. (It was the first and only time someone I had supported in the primaries had won!) I can remember how we went out to dinner a few weeks after the election and a lot of people were still celebrating it, all bedecked with Obama gear from head to toe. I recall being happy for other reasons at that time as I was teaching a new class and our two little kittens who arrived in August were so adorable! I also remember the afternoon when mom and I walked again to the highschool to vote in 2012 and were relieved that he won. And then in 2014, when my mom had her stroke, one question they would always ask her to test her memory was "who is the president?" So yes, I have sort of come to associate Obama with my mom: we were closer these last 6 years of her life than ever before. We talked a lot about the Obama family too and thought was wonderful that Michelle's mom lived with them--and what a great mom Michelle was to her daughters. Now that they are gone, I feel even farther apart from my mom. Yes, I know that sounds extremely silly. But grief can make us cling onto the past even more. This brings me to the issue of staying where our parents have lived. For some people, the memories are too much. And indeed, I have pangs whenever I pass by certain stores that remind me of the good times my mom and I had shopping there. I certainly felt it last night when I went to the local Marshalls to buy some loose exercise clothes for my dad: I could remember the various occasions mom and I visited, rummaging through the spices, cookies, and kitchenware. And I felt the same when taking the taxi home from my dad's rehab passing by the prettily lit-up houses mom and I always passed by when she drove home from downtown. Yet, at home, I take strange comfort in knowing that I am still living in a place where mom and I shared happy times together. Somehow I feel closer to her here....because I can still imagine her moving about, going up and down the stairs. I can still "see" her at the sink. I can still imagine her on the couch, with the windows behind her. If I were to move, I would feel even more displaced. Lisa, you have my prayers. I can imagine how you feel....wanting to join your mom yet not quite ready. From what I've seen and read, breast cancer is easier to combat today than say even 20 years ago. So don't give up hope.
  15. Reader, I think it is almost inevitable that we never feel that we have done enough--even when our relationships are less than perfect. I have been feeling horrible since visiting my dad today. Today, he was much more lucid than on Friday. He started to talk about remarrying--believe it or not, it's not the kunt cousin but one of my mom's younger sisters! He pursued her long ago, but she was not interested so he returned to mom;) Anyway, he went on about how it would be better to have another person in our lives so I won't feel lonely when he passes. (He's mentioned this twice this past year.) Of course, it's very unrealistic: this particular sister is already 83. How is she going to manage the cold winters here--let alone deal w/ a foreign language as she's never learned English? And is she really going to want to spend her time tidying up? (She's even more fastidious than my mom!) Not to mention she doesn't have health insurance. Anyway, after that conversation, the doctor finally stopped by. He told me my dad's gall bladder prognosis is not that great but didn't want to go into detail since he's not an oncologist: which means I have to wait till tomorrow. I stood there and felt so sorry for dad: I'm beginning to think that the gall bladder cancer may be causing all of the problems he's had in the last few weeks and I feel so bad about yelling at him. I also feel bad about the general untidiness and close to unhygienic conditions in the house. Yet, I know too that I have felt so burned out. I thought about dad over the years. I think we had the best relationship in my childhood ; he always took my side whenever mom spanked me. I remember feeling so mixed on the occasions he's visited me at Oxford. Even though I had arguments with him, I still enjoyed his visits and always felt kind of sad whenever he left. I could never understand why given my vexed relationship. I felt particularly bad one time because I could tell he was so vulnerable: he got ripped off at two restaurants when I went to the washroom (which is why I pay whenever we eat out.) How could he manage the rest of his business travels through Europe? Right now, I know I tried very hard to keep him healthy right after mom's death. But this year, I struggled to maintain any semblance of tidiness. I was teaching in the spring, struggling to finish my book and writing paid articles while venting on politics on LinkedIn. And, of course, I struggled with Dad as he seemed to become more irrational--for instance, going to Princeton for a conference--while worried about bills. Yet, I blame myself for stressing him out too. Having read your posts, Athina, I really do wonder what my mom thought when her mom died. She always held it together in my presence--and now, I feel selfish for not having asked her. I always assumed she had gotten over it quickly since she had dad and me. Yet, now, I wonder if she repressed it in front of me. And did she ever feel guilty because she was miles away? Now, I have to report a very strange thing that happened last night--right after I finished telling all of you about thinking that I heard my mom's voice one morning. All of a sudden, when I was downstairs, I could feel a huge gust of wind, and one of my cats went running downstairs. I thought crap, the roof must have fallen in. When I went upstairs, I discovered that a porch door had blown open! Previously, the door had been painted shut (intentional?) and impossible to open. It sort of scared me as the doors to my dad's room and bathroom were also forced open by the strength of the wind. I went and shut them--and it happened again! I had to block the porch door with the armchair. I don't think this is necessarily supernatural. But it was kind of odd given the fact that I had just posted here on not being afraid!