Saturday, December 3, 2011


I'm still wondering how hard all this is going to be without Mitchell around. Thanksgiving went ok, but I worry about Christmas.

There's the obligatory underwear shopping that won't happen. Mama ALWAYS bought Mitchell new underwear, socks and tshirts at Christmas... lol! It was one thing he looked forward to. ;)

My sister and I sometimes bought him gag stuff, like the fake toenails we got him after he'd had a few removed due to his diabetes.

We won't be receiving any gifts wrapped in paper bags or wrapped lumpily with homemade name tags.

There won't be any jokes about how many gifts my cats get, even though he bought them something too.

There's so much there WON'T be.

Sometimes it still doesn't seem real.

When the ventilator was turned off that Monday morning, I wasn't there. I was too terrified he'd breathe on his own and then we wouldn't know what to do. Mitchell never wanted to be that way, just lingering. Debbie and I said our goodbyes that Sunday and told him it was ok for him to go. As much as it kills me to see my sister cry, I was thankful. She was being so strong for everyone I was scared for her. Seeing her lose it helped me a bit. She was there when he passed. I was home with mama. Mama couldn't do it either. Debbie said it wasn't 10 minutes before he was gone. He knew we were ok with him leaving I think.

When it came time for the visitation, I was shocked. I swear I expected him to open is eyes and sit up, like one of his Halloween pranks. It would have been easier for me if he'd actually LOOKED dead. He looked asleep. Like there wasn't a thing in the world wrong with him. How the fuck can someone look so healthy and be dead? Why did it have to be my brother? Why couldn't it have been a Halloween prank? Gotta stop now

Sunday, August 28, 2011

My Brother

I doubt anyone actually reads this but... working on the past tense already so forgive me if it skips around any.

Tomorrow morning (8-29-11), my brother will most likely be gone.

On Tuesday morning, he had a stroke. 45 years old. Turns out the symptoms he'd had that the doctor put down to a virus in his inner ear were actually the symptoms of an oncoming basilar artery thrombosis. Just found out today he'd fallen at work Monday, but hadn't told his wife. I think he knew it was coming.

My brother could be an ass. A big one. But for once, the last time we were all together, he and I didn't fuss about anything. There weren't any babies for him to try to make me hold... lol! He never understood I didn't like little ones.

He always did his best by all of us and helped in a pinch. He worked for the SC DOT. Anytime I saw a cat or dog killed in the road, I could call him and he'd make sure someone got them up before they were harmed further. He wasn't that fond of cats but he had the same great love of animals I do. He saw two beagle pups by the road, passed them by and just couldn't leave them. That brought his dog count to, I believe, seven. From 80 pounds down to three.

Our father passed away in 2001. Mitchell is making it just over 10 years after him. The men on my father's side of the family don't tend to live to be really old men. My father was 56, his father was about 55. The only one I know of to grow old was my great-grandfather who was in his late 70s or early 80s. Turns out Mitchell had just had a conversation with someone this past Sunday about this same fact. He knew he was sick and didn't tell anyone didn't he?

Halloween is going to be hard for me now. My brother and I were always the huge Halloween fans. He would plan for months and do elaborate set ups to scare all the kids... even a few adults. I know this year, I won't do Halloween. The first time in many years. What I will do is probably this... part of his set up was a huge bunch of tombstones with his and the family's names on them and stupid sayings. I think I'll get his and put it out there alone this year with some of those solar lights to light it. A tribute to the one who made kids screams heard all the way across town more than once. The guillotine was one of his best... kids had to reach under it for candy. It was hilarious to hear the screams from my house about a mile away.

When he would come to my door, he would bang on it with one hand and ring the doorbell with the other and scare the crap out of me and the cats. I'll actually miss that.

I asked Mitchell to please see if he can find his best friend and tell him I love him. His best friend as a child was the love of my life. That man's mother feels like she's losing another son now.

He was the one who pulled a pincher bug off my toe when I was about four. He was the first one to let me steer a truck when I was about six. He was the one who came to tell me when my father was diagnosed terminal and hugged me when I was 27. It's hard to realize he won't be there anymore for anything I might need help with. He won't borrow something and not return it. He won't try to make me hold his grandchildren. He won't offer to have his 80 pound lab come "play" with my cats. He won't anything anymore. Why can't I wake from this dream?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Ever Wonder?

I had a strange dream yesterday, but I only remember one thing from it. Shirlee calling me her daughter-in-law. Requires some background to explain.

When I was about 5 or 6, we moved to a new place and had new neighbors. My brother became best friends with the guy who lived closest to us, Johnny. He was 6 years older than me and not sure how it happened, but he was my first boyfriend. Secret from everyone else so far as I know, but there ya go. My first kiss (on top of the hay in the barn), first time I "saw" a guy (in the woods near some clubhouse shack thing my brother had), first love, first heartbreak. When I was 8, I told Johnny I wouldn't kiss him anymore. Strange the lines that stick when you remember SO little of your past. He walked away from me. He never treated me badly or was mean. I remember a kitten I had named Winkie. Me, him and my brother were outside, shooting fireworks or something, and I went in the house for something and asked Johnny to hold Winkie for me. When I came back out, he had Winkie tucked into his Member's Only jacket to keep him warm. *heart melts* Why did I break up with him again?

Anyway, on the night February 10, 1984, there was an accident. Mama woke me the next morning and told me Johnny was gone. I totally lost it. Cry now thinking about it and how the future had changed so quickly. In a split second, a moment of fear and stupidity cost me my world. This is what I recall as being pieced together from the aftermath. Johnny hated being home alone. He'd gotten a pistol out and was sitting on his parent's bed. The dog in the house apparently jumped onto the bed behind him and scared him and he dropped the gun. When it hit the floor it fired and he was gone. I don't know if the bullet is still in the rafters of the house or not, but I doubt it. Surely the police removed it. There were powder burns on the cuff of his pants (so I was told) so it was determined accidental. It crosses my mind sometimes wondering if I was lied to and it wasn't an accident. I reacted so badly to the loss my family may have covered it. Either way, my future was gone. I couldn't SEE one without him. Years of serious emotional issues and suicide attempts (hidden from family) followed this disaster.

Do you wonder what your life would have been like if one pivotal moment hadn't happened? I do. After that dream, I'm doing so again. Shirlee could have been my mother-in-law now. I might have had kids, might have lived somewhere else, any number of 'might haves'. I don't know if any of my family knows how I felt about him, feel about him. I still see him at 17 being goofy. I still see him showing me how he was becoming a man at about 15 (second time I "saw" a guy. ;) On the back of the hay truck-see a hay theme in our relationship? LOL!) I miss him every day and this dream made it a little harder to stand.

There have been times my dreams have been prophetic. This scares me right now since I can't remember anything else in the dream. I know the voice was kind of weak is all. I asked my sister to contact her to see if everything's alright.

You see, Shirlee's health really isn't good. I don't know the exact names of everything, but she shakes very badly. Parkinson's maybe? She is diabetic (curse of the Mt Dew I too love too much). I think she's been diagnosed with mesothelioma as well. I'm not in a lot of contact with the family, only usually see her once a year if she comes to the family cookout, but I look forward to it. Love seeing her and at those times, it makes me smile to think what might have been. Would we have gotten back together? Even though we both moved on, we always stayed close and he seemed to still like me. Would I have been her daughter-in-law? Or would it still have only been a dream?

Sunday, March 13, 2011

A Year

Over a year since I've been here. Surprise huh? LOL!

Last I was in, Gaia was being evaluated for surgery. It was done February 2, 2010. They lost her in recovery but were able to get her back. Even though I was told starting out with she's ok, my heart nearly stopped. After her recovery and removal of stitches, she's no longer the sweet cuddly girl she was. It's like she KNEW the reason she no longer hurt was the removal of that leg and she felt there was no reason for her to suck up to me or be nice on car rides. I'd fulfilled the need she had (remove the pain) so she no longer had need to be nice. She still gives me headbutts and kisses and sometimes lays in my lap, but it's nothing like before. I can hold her for a bit, but then she'll start growling and the little bitch bites. ;) Must be something about being a prison cat because Zilla is almost exactly the same way! LOL!

Since the last post, I've also become a mama again. Chiara was born @ May 1. Her mom is Spot (whom I finally caught and had fixed around October). Next is Pewter, born @ June 12. Her mom was Pretty Bit (whom I caught and had fixed in September). She was killed by some idiot driver on October 29 and is buried near my Tigger out at mama's place. The last two are Speckle and Miska, born on August 13, right in the little house on the front porch. They are Spot's last litter. I trapped her when they were old enough to do without her a few days.

Chiara's litter had a penchant for getting in the engine of my car. I gave one to the neighbors behind me and one to an old friend. The other two I brought in and someone I work with adopted one and as I'd always wanted a white cat, I kept Chiara. Turns out they were a bit too young to take, but did well. Chiara will still suck on a blanket once in a while. ;)

Pewter was one of a litter of two. Her sister was adopted by a guy I work with and is doing well in her new home with a labrador brother.

Speckle and Miska were a litter of three, their brother (only the second male I know of out of 12 kittens over the years-one died young and I don't know what sex it was) was adopted by another guy I work with. He too is doing well and is finally calming down after eating fish from the tank and breaking some of his mom's china. Miska is available for adoption, but I'm not sure on Speckle. She seems to have some kind of issue with her legs/hips.

Other than the kitties, nothing much has changed. Work sucks, but that's to be expected. I'd really love to enjoy my job again but don't see it happening anytime soon. The new governor hasn't done us much good as she's given her personal staff huge raises and we've suffered two more paycuts that are almost solely on the Dept of Corrections. Nothing on the Troopers, DOT and only a bit on the teachers. The new guy selected to be the director of the department was confirmed last week so we'll see what he does to us next. Hoping it's not bad. And hoping they don't consider closing the prison. I'll be screwed. The next closest one is 45 minutes away!

Brian is doing well enough. He's a senior this year. He's applied to the Art Institute of Charleston for culinary classes. There's discussion of him doing his math, english, etc at the local college then transferring the credits down there. But it'll depend on grades and such. He still hasn't taken SATs as there's another kind of test the Institute uses so I don't know what's going to be done on that point.

My car is still giving me fits. In December I spent $500 and January $300. It's embarrassing, but mama bought a vehicle for me. No way can I afford one. It's having some work done, which again she's paying for, so I don't have it yet. She's asked if I want hers since all the issues are pretty much worked out, but I drove the newer one and really like it. The ride isn't as rough. Her's has a very stiff suspension and will beat you up on a rough road... lol! The newer one is a 2001 Isuzu Rodeo. Mine is a 1991 Chevrolet Cavalier. It's been around since I got out of high school so that means it's about 20 years old. Speaking of, I haven't heard anything about my reunion yet... wondering if I'll bother to do. Didn't last time.

That's about it in a nutshell. My birthday is Tuesday. I'll be 38. Staring 40 in the face isn't bothering me... yet. Having lunch at mama's today. My request was salad with all the fixings... not sure how that'll go over with everyone else... lol!! Me, mama, Debbie and Brian will be ok, but the rest might be a little put out. Oh well, it's MY birthday. ;)