Hard Times, But Good to Come

Apologies to any and all who read for the fact that I haven’t been posting as much as I’d like. Let’s just say that I get the “I should post” thought about a dozen times each day. The days that I actually post, double that number, multiply it by 3, subtract by 4, and that’s the number of times I think about posting. Oh, and those days also generally include the “ambition” factor.

Regardless, I usually like to post when I’m uber excited about something or feeling happy enough to step into your lives with a thought or random how-to or whatever. I hate, hate, hate negative posts. There’s enough complaining in life. I’m pretty much of the “Yeah, okay, deal with it” realm, except with those I feel close enough to divulge secret insecurities or worries. Generally speaking, I was raise to feel that when there’s nothing you can do about a problem, you’ve gotta stop worrying and over-thinking (and bitching). The times in life that this is the best advice, I find, is during those death and dying moments.

So, I hope you find this to be an informative “what’s going on with me” post, rather than a “wow, life sucks so much, feel sorry for me” post. Thanks for understanding!

The past week has been, for lack of a better word, rough. On Saturday, my dear brother-in-law lost his also-dear grandmother (aka Boppy), whom we all knew quite well. It was relatively unexpected, but she was 90 and had even walked herself into the hospital the prior week; in other words, it was a good life, but a sad loss for those who knew her.

Later that day, we learned of the passing of my sister-in-law’s father. This news was expected, but it was heart-breaking, nonetheless. He had been fighting cancer for a relatively short time (actually, so had Boppy, come to think of it), and my SIL was driving out to see him regularly. While I didn’t know him well, I had met him several times and knew him to be a jovial, laid-back, sweet man who loved his children and grandchildren dearly. Thinking of the private memorial service that she, my brother, my niece and nephew, and Mom and stepdad will be sitting through tomorrow saddens me and leaves a heaviness on my chest that I just can’t seem to shake.

Then, while at my mother’s Sunday for a small (like, Dave and I and the ‘rents, that’s it) Father’s Day celebration, my mom got the call about her Uncle Fran. Hearing her, a usually rock solid individual, wail and uncontrollably cry at the news shook me to my core. I’m not a weak person, but death has an embarrassingly tearful affect on me – I think I’m making up for all the tears I was too stupid not to cry at my father’s funeral when I was 3. And, knowing what a sweet, kind, charitable, simply LOVED man he was pretty much nailed me to the wall. I knew that he was Mom’s favorite uncle by far, that he did things for her that made her feel special (when she was all too often forgotten), and that connection was clear in her response to his death this week.

While she continued to talk on the phone with Uncle Fran’s son, she suggested that Dave and I make our visit to see my grandfather, as we had already planned, but to keep mum about his brother’s passing. I couldn’t have physically done it if she hadn’t told me to, but to my surprise, I didn’t shed a single tear or let on that anything in the world was wrong. It was too important to see Grandpa, especially on a good day, and to remind him, silently, of my appreciation for his fatherly care on Father’s Day. He performed the role that I needed until my stepdad came along, although, even then, he remained just as important. And I’m proud to say that he took the news of his brother, later, with strength and respect, as always.

I am, by comparison to my siblings and other relatives, quite lucky that I didn’t lose someone terribly close and dear to me. My heart aches for their losses, and I still cry to think of the holes that have been left, but hope that the rule of threes stays that way for awhile. I think we all need a rest. It saddens me to think about who the next to pass will be, and that I may not be strong enough to handle it with the same grace that so many of my loved ones showed this week.

On a plus side, this was also my last week at school – so I have one week off before summer school starts, in full. I am hoping to distract myself by posting more over the summer, and to be a tad more interesting than I have been lately. The recent clothing post had me thinking about appropriate attire at funerals and wakes (and wondering if I’d dressed appropriately enough!), so I guess my mind is always escaping here, anyway. Hope all is well in your worlds.

Something Feels Off

So, I’ve been feeling incredibly melancholy lately. It could be the magnetic poles and their realignment. Perhaps it’s the new spring weather. More likely than not, it’s the fact that I lost my first student to death recently. Yes, definitely, that’s it.

Alicia’s death has affected countless people, for attending a school district with slightly over 200 students, total. I’m no longer a faculty member of that school, although I will forever be a part of the family I shared while working there. It’s a close-knit group, to put it mildly. So, with this death happening so suddenly, so tragically fast, without even Alicia herself knowing it was coming, many of us have been shaken to the core.

While I want to escape the melancholy, the everyday monotony and stress fractures of life has only compounded it and made it near impossible the escape. The only thing that really makes me feel better is the thought of pushing headlong into some home projects during vacation.

I know that I’ll never forget Alicia and her wry sense of humor; the energy that she brought to the classes I taught her and her other unforgettable classmates in the library; the silly drama that she divulged to me so willingly during afternoon study halls on a daily basis. I was told today by a sage, 30+ year educator that I’ll never forget losing her – so, instead, I will remember those memories, and attempt to remember the good memories that I’m being gifted everyday by students in a completely different, but somehow comfortably similar school. I’m off to a funeral.