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      Hi all,  I'm sure you've noticed some changes in the forums. We've again had to do some updates, so that's why things may look a little different. Nothing major should have changed.  Also, we are going to start adding advertisements sensitive to our community on the boards. This is something we are experimenting with, and we will certainly make sure they are in the best interests of everyone. We want to make sure our forums continue to stay accessible and cost free to all of our members, and this is a way to ensure this.  If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to privately message me or email me at Konnie@beyondindigo.com.  As always, we will be here with you, ModKonnie
Everly

Loss of a parent - daily thread

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MayFGL   

Reader and Mission: Thank you for your kind words about being a good daughter. I feel the same with you. You were there for your dad. You were amazing daughters yourself. I agree with you, it's so sad when siblings fight or no longer talk to each other after their parent(s) are no longer with them in the name of money or simply not being there to help. Reader, I wished your siblings were there to help out. Mission, I wished your brother would stop traveling so much and keep promises he makes. An acquaintance of mine was going through the same thing. Her mom died years ago. She was upset because she didn't get more money than what was given to her. There are 3 siblings and she's the oldest. She feels that since she is the oldest, she deserves more, but it's splits equally among the siblings. Just because of that she no longer speaks with her siblings. 

I hope you had a nice Valentines Day. There's no boyfriend or husband. Been single all my life. Just watching my nieces with their boyfriends. One of my niece's boyfriend is here 24/7 and it gets too much, but what can I say. I mean he's nice and all, but he is at our house every single day. He's at the house once he gets off work and doesn't leave till about 10pm. Shows up 9am ish when he's off. Don't know why my niece never goes to his house. :rolleyes: I was lying in bed listening to the song "See You Again" by Carrie Underwood and started to think and cry. I cried myself to sleep. I wish that you and Ernesto could become a couple. You both have been through alot. Maybe he will change his mind later and not move to Texas. 

Belle526: It's good to hear that you staying busy. You should send some snow down south. We don't get snow down here. It's like, "What's snow?" lol I'm sorry that your brother started the probate without you. He shouldn't have done that. It's so true what you said that tons of stress comes on top of BS. 

ELiz: I know what you mean missing the friendship with your mom. I miss everything about mom--talking with her, hugging, giving kisses and joking with her. I would give anything to have one more day with her.

Dgirl: I'm with you, I'm dreading Mother's Day, too. This would make it my 2nd year without mom. Ever year I would treat mom to dinner. I would never be able to do that again. Crying again. :( 

Silverkitties: Gosh! It's so good to hear from you. I was really worried about you and your dad. I was saying that you have lots going on--teaching, dad, money issue. I remember you said you had to travel by train if you took the teaching job, how long does it take to and from? Is your dad still in the hospital? How is your typical day like? I wish I was there to hug you and help you any way I can. Please take care of yourself. You caught a cold. I don't want to hear you getting sicker.

LOVE AND HUGS, MAY

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Dear May,

  I would be GLAD to send the snow down to you and I can't wait until the day I move to a place that either never gets it or only gets a very small amount of it.  My plan is to eventually move to South Carolina, where it doesn't happen too often.   After all this stress with my brother, I'm wishing I could sell the house tomorrow and be gone next week, but of course that's not possible. Right now everything is on hold until the probate is settled, can't even sell my dad's car until then.  So in the meantime, I will work on getting rid of my things that I no longer use or want and then my brother and I can start dividing up or selling my dad's things.  I'm looking at a window of moving in about 15 to 18 months (part of that excites me and the other part is scared being that this is the only home I've ever known).

 

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JackieF3   

Hi everybody. I just did a quick Google search for helpful articles and resources and found myself here - I have enjoyed reading your stories. I lost my mom a little over two weeks ago now. I am 26, she was 56. She died of emphysema. We knew it was coming - she was in at-home hospice for a year - but no matter how I tried to prepare, I don't think I was ready. I still feel like I'll go over there and she'll be paddling around in her wheelchair cracking jokes and asking me to get her some chocolate.

I was with her when she died. It was so peaceful I hardly noticed. A few minutes later, when the hospice nurse came in, I told her her lips had started turning grey and she had to give me the sad look and let us know. During that time I was unaware, I said to her: "I love you. Thanks for being my Mom." I hope it was before. I really hope she heard me. My mother was quite frank, and often funny, about her mortality. We talked about it alot. We had our nice moments. But I wasn't prepared for the last time I'd ever really get to talk to her. I left on Friday night, said goodbye and I love you and by the time I got back to my parents' house Saturday morning, they'd ramped up the meds and it dawned on me that she wouldn't ever be awake again. I wish I had known that would happen. I wish I had one last good talk. But not in the sense that I have a huge regret, my mother and I talked a lot. We loved eachother and there was no mistaking that. 

She planned her own services, if you can call them that. She pre-ordered custom shot glasses and coozies, got herself a beautiful urn and told us to have a party. So, we did. A week after her passing we rented out a bar. I gave a eulogy - with my hand shaking the entire time, but lucikly, not my voice. My best friend sang our song - Because You Loved Me by Celine Dion. But then we partied. We danced and sang and drank and laughed while looking at pictures of her and hearing stories and celebrating her kick-ass life. 

My mom was my best friend. I always knew how special and imporant she was to me, but I don't think I even realized just how much I told her until I couldn't tell her anything anymore. I told her everything. Last night, my long-term boyfriend forgot his phone at home. I went to yoga. Since he had no phone, and I had no mom, I had nobody to send the quick "heading into yoga!" text to and it hit me hard. These little things are starting to get me as reality sets in. Yes, I'm 26. But I never stopped letting my mom know what I was up to, where I was heading, what was going on. The feeling that I know longer have her to just... know where I'm at, know what I'm up to... it feels very empty and lonely. I'm not quite sure yet how to put it into words other than that I miss my mom. A mother's love is so specific. So special. I know nothing can fill the void. 

She wrote me so many notes over the course of my life. I am so thankful I never through them away. They will without a doubt get me through the rest of my life. Maybe that's why she wrote them, and said the things she did. She was a smoker - she knew this very well could happen. She also wrote her own obituary. It makes me smile whenever I read it: http://obituaries.salemnews.com/story/margaret-e-fraser-1960-2017-871057482

I'm not sure where to end this. I'm not sure what I'm asking! But it's nice knowing I'm not alone. People don't know what to say. I don't even know what I want them to say. I suppose I just don't want them to forget.

If anybody has a loved ones ashes and has wanted to do something special with them, I found this woman who makes absoluetly beautiful jewelery. It's not your typical holding case necklace - she phsycailly turns the ashes to beautiful stones. Mine is on the way, but I just thought I'd share. https://www.closebymejewelry.com/ 

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reader   

Dear Jackie: Thank you for sharing your mom with us. I'm glad you were able to tell your mom everything that needed to be said. Please accept my deepest sympathies and condolences.

Dear Belle: I'm so sorry to hear what is happening with your brother. I know how much you loved your dad and did so much for him. I hope things can be settled as amicably as possible.

Dear May: Thank you as always for your kind replies. Me too. Single all my life. I think that is why I'm so devastated by my dad's passing. It was my role to take care of him. I really tried to do my best, but in the end, I feel my poor judgement or lack of action hurt him and led to his death. Everyone tries to give me the right words, but it still hurts so badly. I know what you mean, a single song can bring me to tears. For me its the Tracy Chapman song Fast Car. There is a line about how the mom left and she had to quit school take care of her alcoholic father. Except my father was never a drunk, only that my mother had left. And sings about how things will get better. I never cried so easily before but since my father's death everything seems to get me choked up and the tears flow more easily than ever.

Dear Silver: Glad to see your post. I know there is a lot your shoulders still.

Dear MissionBlue: Thank you for the beautiful picture of the calla lily.

Take care my friends. Wishing you all peace.

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MayFGL   

Jackie: Welcome! I'm sorry for your loss. Your mom sounds like an amazing woman, funny and down-to-earth person. Like my mom, your mom passed peacefully. That's what we would want. They didn't suffer. I'm glad you told your mom everything. I didn't get to tell my mom everything, but I think she knows. She passed from a massive stroke. At the hospital/hospice, mom slept most of the time. She'd stay awake for a few minutes and goes back to sleep. But, every time she wakes up I made sure I say "I Love You, Mom". I'm glad you came here to share your story. Yes, you aren't alone. All of us here understand and are here along the ride on this grief journey.

Belle: Bring the snow. We would love down here in Texas. The last time it snowed was 1985. Our winters here are nothing drastic. We've been having cold weather and then couple days later warm weather. That's how we get sick. Cold to us is 60°(it's probably considered warm for you) and hot is 100°.

Reader: Maybe that's why everything was on us because we're single. Sucks doesn't it. I never even dated. Mom always taught us not to have a boyfriend till after college. Find a job first and make some money then, you can look. I guess I never looked. Years ago, my oldest sisters' mother-in-law wanted to introduce me to a guy. I was probably in my early 20s and he was 40s or 50s. I wasn't looking and wasn't interested. I was told he was fat, bald and rich. I don't care about money. To me, money can't buy love. It would come in handy though. lol

Lisa: How is everything? We miss you. Thinking of you.

Zsusie: How are you doing? 

Love and Hugs, May

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reader   

Dear MayFGL,

If I ever visit Texas, I hope you can tell me where to find the best BBQ.

My parents made me responsible from a young age. I always felt like an adult as early as 8 years old. My dad had me filing out forms and writing checks. My parents didn't speak or write any English. I never thought much about it. I think I was always shy and awkward. It never occurred to me to even find a boyfriend, let alone a husband. I guess maybe because my parents own marriage was so unhappy, I never even bothered to look. I had to be financially responsible for both of them. And that took up all my time. Years went fast and faster. And now it seems too late. At my age I think the only people interested in me are old enough to be my father or grandfather and that freaks me out.

I hope this is not too personal. Do you think you would consider looking now?

My mother tried to fix me up and I get so embarrassed. And even my own grandmother tried to fix me up with a male nurse that worked at her nursing home. I said I'm old enough to be his mother! Sometimes I think I'm too set in my ways to even consider living with anyone. Most people at my work are always looking to find someone online. I don't know. I sometimes think about adopting a child. But having a husband doesn't even interest me. People say "never say never" but in my case, I think it is never.

Dear MissionBlue,

Thank you again for your kind words. And the beautiful picture of the calla lily.

Have a good weekend my friends! With love and hugs!

 

 

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Athina   

Hey everybody, I am still alive, but really struggling. I just want my mom back. Every morning I wake up and it hits me hard all over again. I have so much going on at work and I have to concentrate really hard. And I feel incredibly exhausted. One of my co-worker mentioned that I should already be over my mother's death, accepted it. I did not say anything to him. I even did not say anything to bring up this topic. But I wanted to slap him and scream at him and ask why does it bother him. 

I have to present something on my dissertation next month, it is serious, and I haven't done anything since October, i. e. since my mom's death. I wrote the very last sentence exactly the night before the nightmare started. I have no energy for anything and it just sucks that it is inpossible to function in this society. I feel like I don't really have time to grieve. Every time I think about good things about mom, I want to wheel away from these thoughts. I carry this sadness with me. 

I know I have just to accept this, whatever I do I cannot change it. It cannot be helped. But I'm so devastated. 

 

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Hi Athina,

I'm so sorry to hear how callous your colleague was. No one should be telling you to be over your mother's death. That is very insensitive. I'm sorry he caused you more pain.

I hear you. I try every day to get out of bed and at least go to work. But most days I don't feel like do very much. And I too am feeling tired and worn down.

They say grief is like an ocean wave. And this week I too feel so much anger over the loss of my father. I still dwell. I still ruminate over his last days. The question why is still circling in my mind. We are in a dark tunnel and some days I don't know if I will ever see the light. People promise me I will, but today I don't feel like it.

Take care my friend. Sending you hugs.

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MayFGL   

Reader: I read wrong. I thought you wrote Chinese BBQ. LOL I don't know why I was thinking of that. I guess it's because I'm tired and sleepy. The best place for BBQ is probably called Rudy's BBQ. My family and I don't eat out much, but it's Texas go to for BBQ. It reminded me of the video from The Chen Dynasty that talked about Asians. Dan and Mike, well, at least Mike said that growing up they didn't go out to each much. That's us.  

I feel the same way when you said about the people that are interested are the elderly men. Before my stroke, there were men interested in me (and I'm not bragging), but they were not my type at all. There were some that were cute, but that's all. The very first time someone asked me out was when I was in college. A guy just came up to me as I was walking to my class and asked me if I wanted to go out. He was cute and immediately reminded me of a soap opera star from All My Children. I told him sorry, but I have a boyfriend already. Of course I was lying. No, I wouldn't consider looking for a boyfriend/husband. I'm 50, handicapped and I came into this world alone and I'm going to die alone. One thing I've noticed is that the majority of people here are single. 

Athina: I'm so sorry for what your co-worker said. It was very insensitive of him to say that. Apparently, he has never experience a death of a parent or isn't close to his parents. Like the story I recently told when I met a lady in the hospital. Her elderly neighbor fell and hit her head on the coffee table. She ended up in the ICU. They were to pull the plug. Her own daughter didn't want to be in there when they pull the plug. Instead she told her brother to tell mom mom I love her and goodbye. That's called being an ass. Don't let anybody tell you to "get over it". Take as long as you need. Cry when you need to cry. Don't keep it inside.

Love and Hugs, May

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reader   

Dear MayFGL,

You made me laugh when you mentioned the Chinese BBQ. I do like Chinese BBQ too.  I will have to look for Ruby's BBQ if I'm ever in Texas. I love watching the videos with Dan and Mike as well. I think Mike also does a lot of food ones. He was in Hong Kong at a one star Michelin dim sum place. I saw another one where he was in Vegas at this seafood buffet.

There are a lot of single women in my area too. Me included. I hear a lot of terrible stories of women being ripped of financially. I guess it never hurts to try. But I don't think its possible to find someone sometimes. And maybe my expectations aren't even realistic.

Everyone worries about me being alone. They think its so sad. I guess it will be my choice. I do have nieces and nephews but I don't know if I can expect them to remember me when I'm old. I don't think I could ever expect them to take care of me. After taking care of my dad, I don't know if that is fair expectation.

Now more than ever I am getting fearful of death. I don't know how to come to terms with it. I know everyone will eventually die, but my brain can't seem to process it. I see all these stories about people becoming parents later in life. And part of me thinks maybe I could still adopt. Its a big decision. Right now I'm still struggling getting through every day hoping I can make it to the one year anniversary of my dad's passing without giving up.

Thank you again for your replies. Have a good weekend! With love and hugs, Reader

 

 

 

 

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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.

 

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reader   

Dear Silverkitties,

I'm so sorry to learn of your long commute.

I can identify so much of what you are saying about finding a partner. My parents also had a very unhappy marriage. I think it makes me even more reluctant to look at this stage in my life. And you are right, it hard to find someone that one is compatible with on so many levels, social, economic and education wise.

I think having a loving and supportive spouse does make a difference. But for myself, I wonder if I would have resented my spouse from taking time away from spending with my parents. I've always been loyal to them. Part of the reason I never married, I never wanted my loyalties to be divided. In the end, I guess its more painful now that my father has passed. I focused so much on his care, I feel lost without him.

Take care Silver. I know there is a lot on your shoulders. I'm with you May, thinking of you.

 

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MayFGL   

Reader: I am the same, mom worried about me being alone not having husband/boyfriend. In mom's final hour, I told mom not to worry about me and that I was a big girl and can take care of myself. All of my siblings told mom that they promise to take care of me. Yes, I have nieces and nephews, too, but I don't know will they be willing to put up with me take care of me when I'm old. Can't depend on this generation of kids. It's not like our generation.

To me, I would think that nieces/nephews should take care of us when we're old. When we have nobody else, hey, family is best. And I often do think about death. I'm scared of death, too. I know I'm going to follow my mom's footsteps. I know I'm going to end with a stroke. I already know the feeling of a stroke. I often also think of...if mom knew she wasn't going to make it. Did she know what hospice was? Was she mad at us for not taking her home? Was she mad at us for not giving her water in hospice? After mom had the stroke, in the ambulance, she asked me for water in her slurred speech. I knew that I wasn't suppose to, so I told mom after the paramedics are done, I'll give you some. A few minutes later, she said, 'why aren't you getting me water?' and it just tore me up inside.

Adoption is a good choice, but it all depends on you. It's a life changing decision that has its rewards and challenges. Yes, I heard lots of folks becoming parents later in life and that's wonderful. If I was to adopt, I would adopt at an age where I can still move (pretending I didn't have the stroke and wasn't handicapped) and be active because I would want to play with my kid.

Awe, Silver! I do think about you alot. I know it's very hard for you to come here and post. I mean, where do you find the time?Teaching, visit dad, grading papers, shoveling snow and God knows what else. Where do you have time for yourself? I admire you. 

Your nightmares are funny. There are guys out there that like no make-up. You think you're unattractive without make-up, the more he finds you attractive. It reminded me of the sitcom Three's Company starring John Ritter (Jack), Suzanne Summers (Crissy) and Joyce Dewitt (Janet). A friend of theirs (Larry) was head-over-heels with Crissy. To make Larry not like her, she wore no make-up, hair a big mess, sloppy clothes and was demanding which was the opposite of Crissy's character, well he became even more attracted to her.

There are plenty of sickos for sure. You can't trust anybody anymore. They lie on their profile or it's not their picture. I admire couples who are each others best friend, who has been together for years, who respects each other, loves unconditionally and is understanding. Those would be the good old days. Now days, I feel couples break up faster than you can say "How are you?". 

But, anyways, I do hope you find someone who will take care of you, respect you and love you for who you are. He's out there somewhere. Maybe it'll be one of your students, one of your co-workers or maybe even someone you meet on train/bus station. He's hiding somewhere.

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Lisa k   

Hey everyone, Missionblue, May, silver,reader,Athina, cindyjane and my apologies if i forgot anyone. 

Silver I'm sorry about your dad and all the stress your under. Life sucks it's so not fair. When we have no partner or kids it really does feel isolating. But hey who can be arsed with bother of dating just to find you don't really connect with the person anyway. I think we all must be set in our ways lol. 

Well i will update you all on my B.C.. my tumor is 6cm and way too big in comparison to my breast size to have a lumpectomy at this stage. I was given the choice of a mastectomy now or do a course of chemo for 24 weeks to reduce the size and aim to preserve my breast. Either way i have to have chemo, 5 weeks of daily radiation and surgery.  Mastectomy still does not guarantee the cancer won't return and I'm told it makes no difference. 

So I had my first chemo this last Tuesday and will have it weekly for 12 weeks straight followed by a different chemo given every 3 weeks for four treatments. I guess that's assuming things go ok. Then I have surgery followed by radiation. 

All I wish for is my mum beside me through this hellish treatment, but I have no body to blame  but myself. I have had a mri scan and ct scan and there is no sign it has spread beyond my breast. I still have a bone scan to do to see if it's in my bones in which case I'm fucked, but that's ok because I don't care if i die, just means i can finally be with my mum. I feel like everything is happening to fast and i have barely had time to think about if i even want treatment. I know my mum would be upset if I didn't try to beat this. She only did chemo herself for me  and my brother in the hope we had more time together but in the end it didn't prolong her life any. I guess i feel i owe my mother at least to try even tho i feel like i don't want to. All the memories are flooding back to when i sat with her doing chemo and all the appointments i went to with her. Now every week is a constant reminder as i find myself in the very same place fot treatment that i went through with her. Hard for me to believe that this soon after her death i find myself with cancer. Glad she's not here to see this, she would be devastated. I know my brother is finding this hard to take, he is already abusing the benzos again. 

Anyway, you are all in my thoughts and I'm glad i have somewhere to come and talk. Thanks for all being here.

Love you all

Lisa.

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reader   

Dear Lisa,

Thank you for keeping us posted on your treatment. I'm so sorry. You are an amazing strong woman! And your mum was so lucky to have you. I wish we could all be there with you, supporting you, hugging you and helping in some way. Please know I am thinking of you. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Sending you extra love and hugs during this difficult time.

 

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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.

 

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Dear MayFGL,

Its true. I wonder about this generation. I certainly don't want to stereotype, but I do worry about the future. I wonder if my nieces and nephews will remember the sacrifices made by their parents and even aunts and uncles on their journey to adulthood. Even though I have always been extra sensitive and pleaser my whole life, I also feel its a terrible burden to care for an elderly person. Its horribly painful to watch their decline. Even though I wanted to help, I didn't fully realize how overwhelming it would be. I didn't even understand what I was getting into and how eventually I would have terrible moments of rage about the responsibility.

May, you did so much. I know you how hard you tried to honor your mother. The questions you have about her hospice care, about death, I too, have those questions. I don't think they ever go away. I think we ask those questions because we loved and cared so deeply. In our hearts we hope to goodness there was no pain and our parents were in peace. But life has no guarantees.

My brain can't seem to accept my father's is really gone. I've been to the cemetery. I've come home every day and I can't see my dad. And I'm trying to carry on but part of me just doesn't want to sometimes. Being here at tis forum makes me feel less alone in my feelings. I try to offer comfort where I can, but in the end I just don't know.

Dear Silverkitties,

Thank you for sharing your story about John. I think I am very jaded about men in general. I'm sure there are few good men, but from what I see most of the times, there is a lot of low grade brand of humanity out there. Its so disappointing. You were an amazing daughter. Doing what you could to honor and cherish your mom. I hope its true. I hope I can be reunited with my father in the afterlife. I honestly don't know if I would have felt differently about his death, if he lived to 100 and I was in my 60s when he died. I don't know if I would have still felt as terrible as I do now. Even though he had a stroke, I honestly thought he was going to make it for a lot longer than he did. It was my fault for not giving him healthier food, better medicine, more exercise, more time, more effort...the list goes on. Some days I don't know what I am doing here on earth without my dad. Wish I could find more joy, but even those moments are fleeting.

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Dear Lisa, thank you for the update.  I'm so sorry that you have to deal with the grueling treatments on top of grieving for your mother and worrying about your brother.  Life IS so unfair.  I pray that the side effects will be minimal and that the results of your bone scan will be as reassuring as the results of your MRI and CT scans.  I found an interesting article about how one man survived cancer by using visualization techniques:

http://www.cnn.com/2011/HEALTH/03/03/ep.seidler.cancer.mind.body/

One doctor said, "Hope is actually a biochemical reaction in the body,"  Maybe it would help to visualize that your mum is beside you giving you the spiritual strength to beat this.  It couldn't hurt to try.  We are here for you, sending positive thoughts and prayers to you. 

Dear May, thank you for your kindness.   I am very sorry you are feeling so sad, but I understand, because I miss everything about my dad, too.  If only we could see our beloved parents one more time and know that they are ok and waiting for us, it would be a huge comfort.  My cousin said she saw my dad in a dream the night he died, and he asked her to take care of me.  After having lunch together a couple of times, I hardly hear from her anymore.  She's another relative too busy travelling constantly.  Shoot, if a dead uncle asked me to take care of his daughter, I'd at least send her a text once a week to make sure she's alive. :rolleyes:

I also hope Ernesto will stay with me in my new home, for his sake as well as my own.  I think he does better with his family not too far away, because they help motivate him to stay on the straight and narrow.  His kids live just a mile away with their mother.   It hasn't always been easy living with Ernesto, but life would be way more difficult on my own.  I'll never forget that day he was working in the yard, shortly after we met, and he asked me if I have any friends.  I said not close by, and he replied, "Well, now you have a friend" and he shook my hand.  No one had ever offered me friendship so openly in this way before. He did this in a perfectly platonic way, at first.  I never ever thought we'd end up living together.  Even his kids are surprised we are still together, because they know how stubborn and ornery he is.  I think it's only because I'm so used to living without romantic love or lots of fun.  Still, I'm having fun with him, simply because he can drive me to places.   I think once the stress of moving is over, and there isn't such a sense of urgency and uncertainty about where we'll end up, we should get along better than ever. However, I still don't think we will ever be compatible as lovers, even though I am attracted to him, because I have always wanted a man who likes to say "I love you" and often.  If he can't say it unless he's tipsy, then I don't think he's feeling it.  Men can want sex without love, but I want love more than sex.  Maybe it would have worked out when I was younger and had a higher sex drive, but I doubt it, because I've always been very romantic.  I tried joining a celibate dating site once, hoping that if a man couldn't have or didn't want sex, then maybe he could offer love and companionship, but there were only about two men subscribed within six hundred miles of me. 

Dear Silverkitties and Reader, it's easy to become jaded by men and to think all the good ones are taken.  I'm not jaded yet, because I haven't actually dated anyone, except Ernesto and that lawyer one time.  Because of circumstances, he was living with me, before we had a normal courtship.  It's not that I'm "easy".  I was lonely and he got evicted from his apartment, because the owner was selling the building.  I had extra rooms and he promised to earn his keep by helping me around the house.  He would have had to move far away and I would have been all alone again.  Most of the men who have hit on me have been married, so I was pleased that at least he was single (divorced).  It's always the ones who have the least to offer who try the hardest.  Ernesto didn't have a lot to offer other than companionship and rides, but we were going fun places in the beginning and he insisted on treating me most of the time.  Once his health failed and he couldn't work so much that all changed, because he doesn't like me to treat him all the time.  Now that I am hiring him to help me move, we're back to an employer/employee relationship which was where we started and which works out best for us.  We're platonic roommates, but we still have chemistry, so it's like the sitcom "Who's the Boss?", except it's not always funny.  I like to be the boss and so does he.  Maybe I'm not suited for marriage after all.  But the biggest problem I have with Ernesto is that he doesn't like me asking questions about where he goes or what he does when he's away.  I'm just trying to make conversation,  He claims he has no secrets and he tells me lots of things when he feels like it, but he hates it when I ask questions.  I find that very quirky and annoying, because to me the most fun thing in a relationship is free and open communication.  He did this again in the car today, and I got so angry I said, when you act this way, it's like you're saying to me, "Mind your own effing business!"   His son's dog was in the back seat and she immediately came forward to comfort me, because she knew I was upset.  I get more love from that dog than from any human being.  Now I can understand why people are crazy about their dogs.  I love to pamper her and buy her toys and accessories like a nite light with a carabiner for her new reflective collar.  She's a lot more grateful than Ernesto.

Dear Reader,  I also feel guilty for not giving my dad healthier food sometimes or more exercise.  I tried, but he was the one who had to do the exercises or eat the healthy food, and he didn't always want to.  I once tried juicing thinking it was going to make him super healthy, and suddenly one of his ears started to get inflamed. The nurse or the doctor didn't know what it could be.   I don't know if it was the juices or not, but when I stopped, his ear got better.  You just can't win in this imperfect world!   Even Jack Lalanne had to die -- of untreated pneumonia, because he didn't want to go to the doctor.  If my dad didn't hate going to the doctor or to hospitals, then I would have tried out more doctors and hospitals.   Maybe we would have found better medical care eventually, but there's no guarantee.  I couldn't find a single hospital that doesn't have lots of negative feedback.  Speaking of diet though, I do think that putting him on a modified Paleo diet helped his peripheral arterial disease, but my dad loved pasta so much, he couldn't live without it.  I think it hastened his death, but I can't prove it.

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Hi All,

   I'm reading through the posts and seeing all the ones about men and I can so relate to things. I have had my heart played one too many times over the years and 2 of those times happened in the last 12 years (one only a year after losing my mom and that one really hurt because I thought he was "the one").  

  So like Reader, I too am jaded when it comes to men and I don't even care to try and find a relationship anymore. If one finds me great and if not, I'm fine on my own.

  But a funny thing did happen this weekend. Sat. night I went to a bowling fundraiser and I went into the lounge area to get a beer and this guy starts talking to me.  I left to go bowl and then when the bowling was over I went to return the shoes at the desk and he was standing there so we started talking and he starts going on and on about how pretty I am and that I must have a really great guy and I tell him that I don't have any guy at all and he doesn't believe me and then he says that he's there with his so-called girlfriend, but they don't see each other much and he wants to know if he can get my #.  I told him I was interested in dating anyone right now and thanked him for asking and then I walked away.  

I have to say that is a first for me, I've been asked out by guys who had girlfriends (and even wives), but never have I know that fact up front, so I have to give him credit for being honest about it. LOL!!

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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.

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Lisa: Hang tough and never give up. You are a very strong person considering what you've been through. I know it's very hard without your mom by your side. We are all here for you and I pledge to you to always support you. I agree 100% with Silverkitties, we don't want you to join you mom, just yet. We need you here. You have many years ahead of you. I wish I was right beside you and Hug you. 

Silverkitties: Thanks for sharing your story about John. I'm sorry that you were hurt at the end. He sounded like a guys that was right for you. He should've gave you a call when you returned from your vacation. Well, his loss. Men!! 

Yep, unless we are experts in medicine, we did all we know how to take care of our parents. You talked about your parents trip to Taiwan and Japan could contribute to your mom's cancer and dad's possible cancer, that could be the case. I wouldn't be surprised. For instance, there are so many foods from China that are harmful to one's health. For example, their cooking oil is gutter oil, fake rice made from plastic, fake egg, fake pepper made from mud, fake meat and the steamed buns are made from cardboards. They soak cardboards in water and use it as fillings. You can google all this stuff. Absolutely disgusting!! I like to eat dried sweet potato. I bought a package one time and it was from Korea. That had a weird taste. It had like an oily coating on it. Tasted like vasoline. I still ate it because I thought that maybe that's how they made it. They were baby carrot shapes instead of slices. So, I trust foods from U.S. than overseas.

Reader: I took care most of my nieces and nephews except the ones in L.A. There were 10 of them. One day, I took care of 6 of them and they all had a cold. Back then, they were the ages of 5-8 (I think). I had to remember and write down the times each took their meds. Thinking back, my 2nd oldest sister's kids were the luckiest. When they had their first baby, I was like the nanny, mother and maid combined. I stayed with my sister at their apartment. I did everything for them. I cooked, cleaned, attend, fed, bathed the baby, you name it, I did it. I was everyone's favorite Auntie. As they grew up, I sometimes feel a sense of a lost connection with them. One of my nephew is a black sheep of the family. OMG!! He's a whole another story! He doesn't get along with anybody. He only talks to his mom and dad sometimes. Now, he definitely can't be trusted to take care of me. I wouldn't trust him either. But, I'm thinking maybe 3 of them would take care of me....that's MAYBE. lol Like you said, life has no guarantees. 

Mission: I know that our parents are waiting for us through those pearly gates. We will meet again. We will hug again, kiss again, laugh again and share everything that we all once did. I believe it. I believe mom is with her parents and mahjong friends. Ever since mom passed, quite a few followed. I think I've been to 6-8 funerals already. Another one died around CNY and just found out today another one died. 

I kind of wish you and Ernesto would stay together as a couple or friends. You can help each other out and you both won't have to be lonely. I would feel the same as you. I'd want someone who would love me for who I am and not just for sex. Would you try the online dating again if/when Ernesto leaves? Just be very cautious with online dating. There are too many horror stories.

With much Love and Hugs, May 

PS: Didn't even realize it's past 1AM. Everyone's asleep. I started typing at 9:30PM. Takes me sooo long to type. :( 

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Sorry just need to vent. I know life will never be the same again. I know there will always be a dark cloud bc of the void I have since my mother's passing in December. But how do you cope when the one thing you did to cope is no longer there? I've been a sucker for retail therapy since I could walk. As a teen when I was upset I would hit the mall and window shop for hours. As an adult I would buy small little items to brighten up my day. You can say I got my love of shopping from my mom. We both had same spending habits. We "never" had something to wear despite having a full closet. Yet we were big on budgeting. We we suckers for the clearance/sales racks and seldom ever bought anything that wasn't on sale. We would make it a sport to find the best deals around town. And every time we bought something we had to call and show the other what was bought. We bonded greatly through shopping. Last month I had to go to a store to buy some clothes for my kids. I made a quick trip to women's section to see if they had any great deals. I became overwhelmed with anxiety and grief immediately so much that I couldn't get out of the store fast enough. How dare I be shopping at that store that me and my mom made many trips to without her. Every time I saw something she would have bought for herself felt like a stab to the heart. Spring/Summer is rolling around and am in need of new clothes but just the thought of shopping hurts so bad. I know my mom wouldn't want me to be this way. I also know some would say to carry on my mother's memory by doing something we used to love doing together.  But how can I without my side kick? How can the thing I once LOVED doing so much became the thing that brings me we most pain now.

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Dear Friends,

I'm so grateful to you all for sharing your experiences and wisdom with me.

MayFGL: Thank you for being such a kind and supportive poster here. For taking the time to respond and include everyone. I hope your nieces and nephews do take care of you because you have always been a selfless, kind, giving person to everyone in your life. I know its not easy, but you have done it. I hear you. You are so right. There are no guarantees in life. In a way that is what I find so hurtful. I've always felt I was putting all this "good" energy back into the world and that some how by being a good person that I would be protected from loss. I know this is not realistic but this is how my naïve brain works I guess. I thought I somehow I would escape pain and sorrow. But taking care of my dad after his stroke has taught me that nothing I did worked. It was one thing after another. I kept thinking, I will fix it. But it was all temporary because no matter what I did, nothing went smoothly. Nothing. I'm still reading and reading hoping to find something that will console me. Sometimes it does help, but then I fall into that negative pattern of blaming myself for everything that happened leading up to my dad's death.

MissionBlue:  Thank you Mission. Sorry everything is in bold. I can't seem to get the bold facing off now.:-) I'm glad to hear you are not jaded about men. I think there are good people out there, but I seem to get so discouraged easily. I hope things between you and Ernesto work out.  Thank you for sharing your stories about your dad with us. I guess in the end we all tried and we did the best we could. Like you said there are no guarantees and there would have always been something else.  I wanted to let you know your words and your perspective always help me.

Take care my friends! And thank you all for sharing your stories. I do take some comfort from knowing I am not alone in my feelings or experiences.

Have a good rest of the week! With love and hugs to all.

 

 

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May, thank you so much for taking the time to write your inspiring messages.  I hope that Ernesto will stay with me until I find someone else.  Even if I get married, he can still stay with me, if my husband has no objections.  Ernesto is practically like family now.  If my husband has a better home, then we can rent out my house and Ernesto can be the property manager.   I never unsubscribed completely to the dating sites, but I stopped replying to messages after Ernesto came along.   I'm too busy now with the move to be dating anyone, but I still check out my messages from time to time.  Most of them sound the same, cryptic and generic, as if they didn't even bother to read my profile.   It's like they're just throwing out messages at random, hoping someone will respond.   The ones who try harder are the scammers but even they are transparent once you get familiar with their tactics.    I only met one man via a dating site, a former deputy district attorney who had a good reputation in his community.  At least, I knew he wasn't an axe-murderer.   I have a neighbor who dated two hundred men on the dating sites and couldn't find someone compatible.  Still, she didn't have any bad experiences which made her let her guard down.  She agreed to meet one man at his home.  He turned out to be a very creepy sadomasochist type.  She got scared and thought he might be a serial killer.  Luckily, he didn't harm her, but after that she stopped subscribing to dating sites. 

I am kind of jaded by the men on the dating sites, but I'm sure there are lots of good men who have never tried a dating site.  Thanks to the Internet, it's easier than ever to meet people who share my interests or at least to find where they hang out.  I'm not really that picky.  My ideal doesn't have to be rich or handsome, though it wouldn't hurt.   However, he has to be sincere, caring and somewhat romantic.  I would like someone who is a couch potato but who also likes to go out and do fun things on a regular basis.  Ernesto has a lot of personal problems which makes it hard to connect on a deeper level, but he seems more trustworthy than a lot of men I know.  Unfortunately, he's often impatient and I hate feeling rushed.  Then when I want something done quickly he drags his heels.  He is the opposite of my father who was patient, careful and considerate.  Twice now Ernesto has left pots on the stove without turning off the burner.  He does this because he's always rushing somewhere, even when there's no reason to hurry.  My guardian angels must be working overtime, because both times I managed to get up earlier than usual, just in time to turn off the stove. 

ELiz, your message expressed perfectly what so many of us are feeling.  How do we cope without the one person who helped us to cope with all of life's challenges and who made life fun and worth living?  I don't know the answer, but I suspect that we have to become our own best friend.   "We can learn to be our own best friend.  If we do, we have a friend for life.  We can buoy ourselves up, give ourselves comfort and sustenance the times when there is no one else." ~ Mildred Newman & Bernard Berkowitz

Silverkitties, you deserve to take pride and satisfaction in the delicious meals you provided for your mom.  I agree that what matters most is that we loved our parents so much and wanted them to be happy.  It is better that our parents were happy once in a while, eating what they liked, than being on a very strict diet all the time. Unfortunately, just a bologna sandwich can send a CHF patient to the ER, because of the high sodium level, so there wasn't much leeway for my dad once he was diagnosed. 

There are so many theories about food that come and go. First coffee is bad for you, then it's good, then it's bad again.  It's hard to keep track. The latest bad thing I've been reading about are lectins which are present in many foods I always thought were healthy. They're in tomatoes, which my dad ate frequently.

Dr. Steven Gundry claims he cures illnesses, including heart disease, with a low lectin diet. He recommends a diet high in polyphenols, which are powerful antioxidants.  However, a lot of fruits, like berries, are high in polyphenols, but also high in lectins.  He also said that three foods that have long been considered very healthy, really aren't, such as soy products, goji berries and wheat grass -- in fact, these three foods are bad for our health. Luckily, I was never into them, except tofu once in a blue moon.  One ounce shots of wheat grass are $3.50 to $5 at Jamba Juice, though I've never bought drinks there.   I really don't know what to believe anymore.  For many years the medical community preached that saturated fats are bad for the heart.  Now I read articles saying that cholesterol doesn't cause heart attacks, that refined carbs and sugar cause more heart attacks than saturated fat or cholesterol, and that these research findings were suppressed by the sugar industry decades ago.  Remember how margarine was supposed to be the healthy alternative?  Now some nutritionists are saying that butter is better and eggs are healthier than once thought. 

I also wonder if my uncle's first and only trip to China contributed to his acute pancreatitis a short time later.  That's a hard way to go.

Reader, thank you for your very kind comment and for sharing your thoughts and experiences with us.  I derive a lot of comfort from your comments, too.  We have a lot in common, since we both had absent mothers which strengthened our bond with our fathers much more than usual.  My dad always knew that I loved him, but even I didn't know just how much until after he was gone.  I can't believe that when he was in the hospital, I didn't go to see him every day, because I thought it was my chance to catch up on housework and other things.  He seemed to prefer that I keep an eye on the house.  I never realized until later just how much he hated being in the hospital.  Never having been hospitalized myself (knock on wood), I still don't know firsthand how awful it is to be dependent on the mercy of the hospital staff.  However, my dad's last stay at the hospital was an eye-opener.  I really fear getting old and ever having to be in a hospital or a nursing home environment.  I think I fear it even more than death.  I have mixed feelings, because good doctors and nurses did save my dad's life a number of times.  But he certainly got some stinkers, especially the last time. 

Please don't ever regret being a good person which it is obvious you are.  There seem to be too few good people to go around already!  I like to believe in good karma bringing good things to us, but there will always be suffering in the world.  I like the legend that Buddha in his youth lived an ideally happy but sheltered life.  His father wanted him to have everything wonderful and nothing negative or upsetting.  Then one day while touring the kingdom,  for the first time he saw a sick man, then an old man, and then a corpse.  His illusory world of happiness was shattered.  The experience changed his life -- for the benefit of mankind.  There is a nice version of this story here:

http://www.world-religions-professor.com/siddhartha.html

Many of us here were blessed with at least one good parent who sheltered us from the world in a way.  Now it is our turn to give back to the world.  Like Buddha, and the sage who inspired him, even in the midst of sickness, old age and death, we can still live a life of compassion, peacefulness and joy.

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ELiz   

MissionBlue Thank you for the response. I never really thought of becoming your own best friend. It makes sense. I know so many people that only have themselves to rely on because unfortunately they've never had a reliable person in their lives. I didn't realize how much I depended on my mother for support and emotional well being. She was just a phone call away whenever I was sad, mad, happy, excited, needed advice etc. Funny, whenever I need to make a decision about something I'm unsure of I find myself picturing what my mom would have told me. Even though I have an amazing husband, a father, brother and amazing friends I have never felt so alone in my life. Like my husband said, unfortunately none of them can ever replace her. I guess I'll have to learn how to become my own friend however which way one does that. 

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