This has had to be one of the worst days of my life. I am drained, tired and exhausted. Now for my kids, let the healing begin.
We were lucky I found Holiday Inn Express - Jackson California to stay in, I explained what we were coming there for, and they allowed us in our rooms early to try to gather our stregth for having to view my ex-husband. They were VERY kind to us. It was clean, and smelled good, no cigarette smells in the rooms. Large enough disabled room for my daughter and bathtub that was safe for her. My daughter and g-boy in one room down the end of the hall so she could have access to outside for her smoking and me a couple of doors down, where my son and his girl would stay with me as well. We were able to reflect and meet up with my son before going to the Mortuary.
This was THE most horrific thing I have ever had to force myself to do in my entire life, and if you knew what I have lived through, that is really saying something. I never expected to have to walk my kids through the process of dealing with a parents death. Nor dealing with my ex-husbands death. His family has refused to view the body with the kids, and anyone who knows me knows how I will go to the ends of the earth for my kids and stand by them in thick and thin...and this is part of my responsiblity as a parent to them. Some may not understand why I am doing this, but they don't know my heart.
We had about an hour and half of just dealing with the business of death...the arrangements before we could view the body, and it was looming over us, my daughter broke at one point...her anger comes out when she is overwhelmed.
Once we were there my daughter started crying and telling me she couldn't do it without me, that it was the last time we would be together as a family...how to you break your childs heart by reminding them you haven't been a family in over 13 years .... I put on my big girl panties and went in with my kids. I really was not prepared to view him. I thought I would be there for my kids to go in...and a rush of emotions hit me right in the chest when I walked in.
My daughter had insisted that her 8 year old son be able to view him the whole time, and finally she agreed SHE would see him first and then decide. My son's girlfriend stayed with him in the front of the mortuary where there was a beautiful room with a fire going. My daughter was so upset when she saw her father that she couldn't make the decision and asked me, I made the decision to spare him of having nightmares the rest of his life. AND I will stand on that decision for as long as I live.
So many conflicting emotions. He looked so far removed from the man I loved, really the boy I fell in love with...I was very young...we were 15...what do you know when you are 15? Anyway, he looked like the choices he had made and it broke my heart. My son, brought clothes for the undertaker to put him in, he was dressed, cleaned up and the man took care to wrap a gauze bandage on the worst part, my daughter brought her favorite bandana and he placed it over his head, covering the injury. He had his leather jacket on and his cane and leather hat were on his chest. One hand was out because my kids wanted to hold his hand.
My heart broke. On many levels. He really didn't treat me very well while we were married and we were married for 20 years, together for 24. And only while being able to see the past of the whole life can it break your heart that he was never able to make better choices. The potential he had was so great, but instead he ended up like this...
All of his bad choices laying directly in front of me...his death the direct result of a decision to go out to a bar, drink, sing and then get in his car to drive home and speed on a mountain road while he was drunk, and not turn with the road. Honestly, I just thank the universe that he didn't hurt anyone else in his car crash...that we don't have to deal with another family grieving and being angry with him. He knew better...he is responsible for this outcome...and I am angry he made that choice...that he is putting my children and I through this...and the reprocussions of the hard days coming our way.
The disappointment and anger I still have of his family. His mother and closest sister refused to see him with us. That just brings up so much anger in me. The woman who bore him, abused him, tormented him, dangled a promise of I will love you IF, refused to see him ... The sister that went through hell and back like they were thick as thieves refused to see him. There I stood with my children...in an empty room...saying the final good-bye and struggling to forgive it all for the last time in person. I am rendered without words to convey the contempt I feel for his family that got between us while we were together and fought me every step of the journey. NEVER there for the hard...
I was proud of my son's girlfriend. She was there, she stood by my son and his family. She walked in after our time with my son, and said goodbye. She is a keeper. She is a person who has substance and I adore her more now.
After all of that we went to Mel's diner and finally ate something...we were all drained and emotional...and needed food...and some laughs. Passing down to the next generation the nose and spoon trick! And I really lusted after that Betty!
One thing I have figured out this time, is that the twice a year art retreat I go on with my art sisters, has the power to transform my crankiness from life kicking my butt into joy and happiness again. MARS Mountain Artist Retreat Sleepover...occurs in Spring and Fall...6 months apart. There is usually 20 of us and ALL personalities!
The most important part of being a part of this extradinary group of women artists is that our unique voices in our art, are shared, appreciated, and taught. We are handing eachother our talents, our love, our acceptance, our willingness to be vulnerable and real. To talk about our lives with eyes that are not judgemental or seeringly uncomfortable. Even if all of us don't always get along and there are bumps and mini bruises of ego...it is a true experience of love and acceptance.
This time many of us had heavy things happening in our lives...but the time together was that of laughter and love. A coming together over meals...laughs...stories...sharing...and being ourselves.
We ARE a tribe. We are all different but ALL alike. We are strong women, with voices in our art. Various political views. Various life experiences. Various places in life. ALL healing time for wounded souls beat up out there in the real world where some times we are all misunderstood.
So today was a great day, it would have been my grandmothers 106th birthday, Vernon and I went to the Cheese Cake Factory for lunch, walked around Santa Row in San Jose, he played chess and I sketched. Then we went to the movies and saw a REALLY bad movie! Bad Teacher = Bad Movie! YUCK
This is hysterical! I thought we were just doing a normal photo booth! No they caught every thing IN the booth! We are a family of dorks! Goof ball Alert! Moral of the story? Be careful what you do in those booths! LOL
Even when there are no pumpkins I love being in Half Moon Bay. I have been down a lot these last few weeks with my shoulder issues. The pain is so bad when I type, knit, do any kink of art. Hell just sitting here since the surgeon took me off work on Wednesday, it just hurts to BE. I haven't done anything fun...So even though my shoulder is still hurting I wanted to DO some thing.
My daughter met up with me early and we went to Half Moon Bay. I wanted to have breakfast at my fav diner, the cook was singing every song in the kitchen playing on the jukebox. It made us smile. We had way too much food, but it was divine! And a little Kona coffee helps the day get started! It was a little overcast just how I love it. The shops were sleepy and slow to opening and a wonderful lazy way to walk through the day. First stop Hey Jude. I love the lady in that shop. She is fun. Desi whined for the teal closh hat so of course I bought it. It is a beautiful hat, I wish I would have bought the black for me!
Then a leisurely stroll down the lovely flower lined street to Posh Moon...which always makes me SWOON, if you get a chance to go to HMB stop in on Posh Moon if you want a little breeze of France! They are located at 519 Main Street and their windows are always inviting! When we first got to HMB they were closed but while we ate, they opened!!!! OPENED!!!! Red every where for Valentines Day...and the most lushious clothes EVER!!! I have to tell you I fell in love with the clothes! I got so lucky, I got a pair of fancy ruffled RED leggings, and a blk silk skirt, also found a beautiful green beret that matched my outfit! I can't wait to be able to do some silk ribbon embroidery on it! So I will have a red beret with ribbon flowers, my black beret with knit around the top and this green beauty! They were able to order some custom style pants that have pockets sideways, and are awesome on, I needed a bigger size and they had this beautiful top over frilly thing that can go over skirts or pants or dresses! I am SO excited they can be in my size! It is so my style! AND reminds me a little of Magnolia! Frilly lacy yummy items! The gals in the store were so nice to me, they were telling me how much they loved my style, my use of color, and being fearless! How great is that really? AND they loved Desi's hat and scarf! I love being around artful women!
Then we then walked down the street to the yarn store! COMA INDUCED!Fengari IS my fav yarn store! I walk in and always see something I want to make! I wish I had taken photos! I found a beautiful seed stitch scarf, so I bought the yarn even if they didn't have the apple green I wanted...It is a beautiful simple scarf and I am excited about trying it out. I can't wait for my shoulder/arm to feel better! GRR because right now it is hard to knit! AND I am going to try to find the color yarn online, apparently they are discontinuing the yarn and it is beautiful and SOFT!!! I am sad I found it at the end of the run! The seed scarf is so beautiful I can't wait to try it!
Then we stopped in at Abode...fell in love with items we couldn't afford, but I found some things for Ellen's alter for Tuesday. A broken wing and rock that says PEACE. Then we limped to Tokens...Desi started to not feel good so she waited for me outside. I LOVE Tokens! It is a bead, mystic, clothes store! They have great ethnic clothes that I adore! I found some more rocks with words for the Alter and a buddah. Now I just need to get some bamboo and a table cloth for the event. It started to drizzle a bit...a perfect day! Before we got home, I needed ice cream so we stopped at Dairy Queen for a quick soft cone! Perfect ending. Desi wound our yarn when we got home since I can't use my arm to do it...and now I am searching for some patterns...a cowl hoodie!
I took my daughter to my grandmothers grave today, to clean it up on the 29th anniversary of her death. I was happy her grave didn't look too bad this time and not a lot of ants! Yeah! But her fleurs were gone...sigh I have been feeling her a lot lately, and I was so excited when I got home and had a GIANT orb next to us in one of the photos I took when we were sitting on her grave...I think she got a kick out of Desi's hair, since it is the style she used to wear long ago! :) Made me smile!
We then took photos all over the cemetery, and I got some really great photos this time! And I really felt peaceful being there today. Notice the capture of a cat and the crows!!! I have MANY more that turned out but these were my favs!
I spent the morning sitting on my patio in the back yard with the pool filled and ready for the Gboy to swim w/Gma! BBQ is getting ready! It's a 4th celebration! Crackers is enjoying the shade! All is right with the world when you get to spend the holiday with the man you love, your kids, grand-kids and good food...even the fur and feather babies are happy.
It's the FIRST year in AGES that I have spent it with people I love. Most years WGB is at his families place in Montana and I am home alone...so this year all my kids and his kids are here! Awesome BBQ, pool time, little kid fire works...It makes me happy. We even watched a movie together, not much grumping except for the G-boy being ants LOL, we saw The Lightening Thief. I thought it was pretty good! I hope the G-boy doesn't have nightmares! Then off to see the fireworks around the corner!
At my alma mater the baby of the family graduates! Jaclyn Graduates High School and she is 11 credits away from her AA...she graduated HS early but we made her walk with her class! AND drama free! Her mother DID honor her request of her not being there. I am happy that she listened to her! Her aunt (Mothers sister) did come and enjoyed the night and we even were able to enjoy each other at dinner afterwards. It meant a lot to her that she drove down to see her and that she didn't push the issue and make her feel guilty. She is a determined young woman...and I am VERY proud of her!
WGB was VERY worried if the mom showed up that her and I would have an ehem, confrontation. Lets just say I made a promise to this kid when she came to live with us, and that was I would protect her from that kind of crap at all cost...and that HER wishes would be up held. If she wanted her mother there I would have fought as hard to get her here as much as I did to put the fear of god into her that she would regret the moment she stepped into my city with the intent of harming this kid! This kid has lived through a lot of what I lived through and I will not allow anyone to abuse her in front of me. OR make her feel guilty for simply making the right choices and decisions for her own life!
I have had a hard time thinking of picking up the needles again...I had been playing with that one noro scarf since Lucy died...and I finally picked out some home spun and Jane Thornley's new pattern scarf/vest... Small Investments...and her knit along on Ravelry...I am inspired to knit again...and this time maybe not cry every time I make a stitch...