TTwd….take it back! Sometimes that is how I feel. I know I am not alone in this. I am not talking about how this relates to mine and Barney’s relationship. That is chugging along
It certainly is no utopia, don’t misunderstand, but things between us are ..well months ago there were things between us. Things I didn’t realize were there to some degree. Now there are less things between us so that is good.
The reason why I say take back ttwd has nothing to do with spankings, or rules, or not meeting expectations- either from my HoH or myself. I say this because of the ability to feel. Sometimes it is inconvenient to say the least.
Long before another blogger shared her pain with the loss of her father, I was in a place I hadn’t been in for quite some time.- wrapped in the security blanket of suppression. For anyone who has lost someone they care about the holidays can be bitter sweet. It has been a very long time since I lost my someone special, and last year was the first year that the day came and went and I didn’t take note. The thought of that years ago would have frightened me to no end. Oddly, last year I took comfort in this.
This year however, was a totally different situation. Some may argue that because it has been in the subject of some blogs as of late,- that this has brought it to the forefront of my mind. In my particular case this is not so. Within days from now will be the ‘anniversary’ of my father’s death. I won’t keep this post up for very long as it will most likely end up having too much personal information contained in it. (Lessen the chances of a family member or neighbour discovering me down the line.)
I was the ripe old age of 20 when my Dad succumb to a relatively short illness with cancer. He wasn’t feeling well in the summer of that year. By November he was diagnosed, he had surgery in December by the middle of January he was gone. He was 64 years old.
Like most 19 year olds I knew everything and the world was just waiting for me to concur it. That feeling lasted for a very short time. I know many people who weren’t as fortunate as I, to have had their father as long as even I did. So I am not going to sit and talk about having my brother walk me down the aisle, or my husband not knowing half of who I am. One doesn’t need a very active imagination to know what milestones were not shared between us.
This was the time I believe where I started stuffing emotions down. I became so good at mentally switching gears when I felt sad that I began to even scare myself. I don’t remember anything about the last Christmas I spent with my Dad, the good- bye as I was leaving to travel back here, and I remember very few things about my Dad’s funeral. This is very unusual for me as I can remember things that happened when I was 3 years old.
I remember the phone call that he had died ( it was very sudden). I remember my journey home and my eldest sister greeting me-holding me and crying, saying
“ I’m sorry peanut that you didn’t have him for very long”
I remember my response, “ Yeah, but I had him better”
“ Yes you did”
In my original composition, this is the point where I started to tell multiple Wilma and Dad stories. I’ll include them at the end for anyone who craves a little poorly written light reading, but for those who chose not you will be we able to skip to the comments ( or not)
To say I have been in a ‘funk’ lately is understated. A guilty funk in some regards. After all my Dad said when he was diagnosed that the coming of the close of his life was not a tragedy. It was life. He was fortunate enough to see all of his children become adults. He had led a very happy and fulfilling life. He had very few regrets. The only regret he has was that he didn’t kiss his sons more. The girls would come home for a visit, or leave to go back to their homes and the greetings always included a hug and kiss. The boys received a hand shake.
He was at peace with his departure. I wasn’t. I think there is one inaccurate point in his statement, he didn’t see all of his kids become adults. Twenty is not an adult.
Anyway, bad ttwd wife, I have been crying in the shadows for two weeks. I know I am ‘supposed’ to go to Barney. I just don’t WANT to. I don’t want to share. This is mine, and I don’t want to share. Internally I have been searching, and searching for a wall to hide behind, but darn it ttwd, you’ve removed them! I was laying in bed last night, envisioning by insides empty, with a ball bearing floating around my chest cavity- searching for something to stop it. A bumper … Nothing.
The night before Barney wasn’t feeling well, I jumped at the opportunity to sleep on the couch. I didn’t realize it but I wanted to be alone. Last night I wanted to do the same, but physically I climbed into bed beside him. I didn’t fall asleep on his chest. I rolled on my side, fetal position-tears streaming down my face. My stomach convulsed, almost as if I were vomiting. My chin vibrated, while I tried to stifle my sobs.
I could feel my husband’s presence behind me. He didn’t try to reach out to me, but I could feel his frustration. For once, since we started ttwd, I was not moved by this. I had no desire for touch. The craving for my husband’s touch was gone for the moment. I don’t know why I have such a strong desire to ‘go through’ this alone.
Barney had never met my father. He did know me when my Dad passed away. There was many of times months after my Dad died that I would run past his area of our work place to the women’s washroom to sit on the floor and cry. We worked with another man, a friend, who was once my roommate, Hugh, and he would always stop whatever he was doing and chase after me- right into the ladies room. A year later he was killed. Barney and I were together then. I showed up at his house in the middle of the night after I found out about Hugh’s accident. Yet I still can’t turn to him now. Perhaps because it has been so long? I am not sure. I really don’t think it is that. I just- I want to…heck I don’t know what I want. I am distancing .
At the grocery store today, in the cereal aisle, I suddenly wanted Barney. I wanted his arms I wanted to breakdown, and sob uncontrollably. Initially, one would think it an odd place for a mental breakdown, but the grocery store is always hard for me. I see ‘little old men’ and it makes my heart ache. Ache for something I never had to opportunity to see. His skin didn’t thin. He didn’t have liver spots, or complain of the aches and pains of old age.( I know that sounds odd for me to say when he passed away at 64). My parents did not have one year together alone in 39 years of marriage in their house. For a few years now I have been able to go to the grocery store with very few thoughts like this.
I suspect that you will say, there indeed is a wall within me, and it cracked a bit when I was at the store. That I should embrace my need for my husband- the desire for his touch in this is there. I clicked the switch. By the time I returned home, I was distant again.
The fact of the matter is, I . Don’t. Want. To. Feel. This. For 21 years I have been able to allow just a bit out . This is like I’ve sprung a leak or something. Side note, has anyone else out there noticed that sad tears actually burn the cheek, but not happy tears, or even tears of anger?
My Dad was 44 when I was born. To say I was a surprise would be an understatement. My next sibling was 8 years older, and there were no missed pregnancy in between. All of their friend had kids that were at least as old as my brother. Most were teenagers. I was the belle of the neighbourhood ( yes, yes that explains a lot I know).
My Mom had finally began to retrieve a bit of her life back, outside of the home when she found out she was pregnant with me. Later in life I asked her if she had wanted to jump off of the refrigerator when she found out she was pregnant again…her diplomatic response “ welllllllllllllll ". ( Lol.) Anyway my Dad made it easier for her to pursue activities by taking me everywhere with him. I remember standing at the front door waving with my Dad above me holding the screen open in the dead of winter because Saturday Mommy went skiing and Wilma and Daddy had the entire day to themselves -my brother and my other siblings? Pffft who cares where they were?
My Mom has some favourite stories she loves to tell over and over again. I was ( apparently ) a very unique little girl. I began to speak sooner than my siblings and with complete adult level sentences at an early age ( guess I dropped that habit ). I ran before I walked…go ahead make some Dd analogy about that one. And I had a very vivid imagination.
My Dad would come home from work, and before he had his tie off I would be dragging him down the hallway to my bedroom. My Mom peaked in once to see what we did everyday. My Dad, with now loosened tie, was perched on the edge of my twin sized bed, I was sitting beside him, legs stretched out, clutching my sock clad feet. We were apparently staring at the side of my highboy dresser.. What happened next had my Mom stifling a laugh. A 3 year old Wilma pointed to the side of the dresser, slapped her Dad’s knee and fell back on the bed in a fit of giggles rolling around holding her belly. This naturally had my Dad laughing too. My Mom announced that it was dinner and I ran out of the room. As my Dad got off of the bed she said,
“ What was that all about?”
As he passed her in the doorway, still in his work clothes he said in a calm, matter of fact voice,
“We were watching
Sesame Street on t.v. obviously”
Her all time favourite story is about a business trip we ( the 3 of us- again apparently I had siblings ?) .took I must have been around the same age because I have seen pictures from this trip. In the photo I am about 3, probably just before I turned 4 based on the colour of my hair. My hair was in two pigtails that always seemed for form two perfect ringlets. My eyes- dark brown, and forever in a state of looking like a deer caught in the headlights. I had a swanky pair of blue polyester pants on with a red diamond pattern, or were they red with blue diamonds- just goes to show you how busy the pattern was. Naturally they had a seam sewn down the front of the leg, to give the impression that they were pressed. ( honestly they are glorified plastic….who would press those ?) My feet were adorned with lovely little red canvas, slip on sneakers with the white rubber toe front, to protect what ?, I’m not sure exactly. To top of this nightmare outfit from the 70s, a tight, blue turtle neck that made me look stomach like I drank a case of beer daily.
We were traveling to a place I’ll call Whitefish. My Mom had noticed in the morning I was quite excited about our trip, but once the 3 of us got in the car my demeanor had changed. I was sullen and a tad curt with her, and only her. We stopped at a picnic spot near
. As the story goes, as the car came to a stop, I said, Whitefish River
“ Okay Mommy you can get out here.”
My mom didn’t really think much of it at the time, other than I was happier. She attributed it to me finally being out of the car ( motion sickness). Once back on the road, my attitude resumed. I apparently asked 3 more times if this is where we were dropping “ HER off”
Anyway the next morning in the hotel room, my Dad was getting dressed in low light, and my mom was reading, apparently not to wake me. She said the next thing she noticed was hurricane Wilma- Flinging back the bedspread, rushing to the suitcase, frantically searching for and putting on more polyester ( okay I added the polyester part). When my Mom asked what I was doing? Why I was in such a hurry. Out of breath I replied
“ I have get ready to go with Daddy ! We are here for a business trip !”
That is when she turned to my Dad and said.
“What did you TELL her….EXACTLY ?”
“ I told her that I had to go to Whitefish on a business trip and she was coming with me………oh HELL ”
“No wonder she kept trying to throw me out of the car every time we stopped. She thought it was just going to be you and her “
Now my mom laughs as she retells the story, but there was one very sad little girl and one very upset Dad that she was.(.and perhaps one upset mom too…lol )
My Dad LOVED sports. Oh goodness not to play, to watch. My brothers were both very athletic, and I remember more than once sitting next to him at one of my brother’s basketball games covering my ears, as my soft spoken father transformed into some crazed sports fan. My mother continued skiing for many, many years and for several years once I was older I would go with her. This incident took place in those in between years. My Dad and his friend were in our basement watching something- who knows, (my Mom once mocked, “ If they threw **** against the wall , and kept score, you’re Dad would watch it “. ) I came down stairs, I was about 10 at the time, with a fully baked apple pie for them. Most likely out of fear for what the kitchen looked like, my Dad started at me,
“ When did you do this !” His friend merely burst out laughing, “ And just what is so funny?”
His friend replied, “ She came down about 2 hours ago and asked you if she could bake a pie. And you said yes”
“ Oh sorry sweetie..I guess I was wrapped in ‘the game’ “ ( I don’t remember, but I’m sure I might have known to ask at that time *wink* )
There was plenty of tear and aggravation between us too. I once came home with a 94 on my report card and the response, “ Plenty of room at the top”
Contractions were not to be used in our house. No can’t , don’t , wouldn’t…sigh, cannot, do not, would not. Boy oh boy would he be disappointed in my speech now. Sheesh, since moving to the area I am now living, I have dropped the ‘g’ off the end of some words! Eeek…
Another thing…as I’ve said before “ Wilma, dogs turn mad, people get angry”…okay, so no MAD either- unless one is insane. Oh and his personal pet peeve, referring to my mother as SHE. Nope NOT a good idea. “ She is the cat. The woman in the kitchen is your mother” (wow how 1950's sounding)
I remember before heading out to university, he sat me down to have a serious talk. He began moving around a bit in his chair. I learned after, through other serious chats, that he was very concerned about how the conversation would go, when he moved in his chair like that.
“ Wilma, I am very worried about you going away to school. More so than your sisters. Boys, well boys there are not like the male friends you have here. You have always had boyfriends, well male friends,-oh hell! They are going to expect things from you if you are so nice, and familiar with them like you are the boys around here. Do you understand what I am talking about?” Bwahahahaha!
The day I was unpacking in my university dorm room, my Mother made herself scarce for some reason, as I unpacked. So very unlike her. My Dad finally said to me, “ Can you at least pretend to be a little bit sad about leaving home. I mean for your mother’s sake? “
This was the early 90s so girls were wearing suit jackets and leggings, bulky sweat shirts, and sweaters. As I was hanging ‘my’ clothes in my new closet my Dad chuckled,
“ Well I sure am glad I am here watching you unpack so I won’t be searching all over our house for my clothes”
I still have some of his sweaters!
“ Well I sure am glad I am here watching you unpack so I won’t be searching all over our house for my clothes”
I still have some of his sweaters!
One of my favourite interactions came after he came back from shoveling the driveway,
" It is cold as Hell out there!"
" Um, Dad? As Hell?"
" Oh, (laughs) well you know what I mean "
The last memory I have of my father was New Years Eve ( feel free to read into that if you like). New Years Eve was a month after what was to be his life saving surgery. It turned out to be an open him up, take a look, close him surgery. From that point on he had a very difficult time keeping things ‘down’.
My parent’s friends were coming to our house New Years Eve. Normally there would be a huge party. This year there were just 8 of them, and myself. As usual, I think everyone was dressed up. Everyone except my father. My dad wore a forest green track suit, with a wide blue band across the middle. He had only lost about 20 pounds, and he was not a huge man, but big enough that it wasn’t that noticeable. To me his glasses seemed too big. Before the company arrived, he said,
“ Wilma, would you go downstairs and get me a beer please?”
“ Sure what kind do you… ( interrupted by my mother)
“ I am going to throw it up anyway, I might as well enjoy it going down.”
I remember nothing else aside from midnight. As is tradition when Old Lang Syne is sung, we cross arms, holding hands and form a circle. I remember looking across the circle at my Dad. That is the last memory I have of him alive. Not a bad memory I have to admit.
At the funeral home, my oldest sister fussed with his hair, because it didn’t look right. I remember my brother laughing, “ Yeah I does not look right because he wore Brylcreem in it every day of his life. God awful stuff. They have it feathered! “
Before they closed the casket, my family individually, with their spouses, went to say good bye and kissed him. I didn’t want to do that. I wasn’t’ afraid to touch him because he was dead. I just didn’t want my last feel of my father to be cold. I went for the sake of my mother. I walk up to the casket, bent down to kiss my Dad and before I could make contact, a shock, and a BIG one transferred between us. It actually felt like it burnt my lip. My oldest brother just looked down at me and smiled a knowing type smile.
I think of him often and remember things that he probably would find odd
"--Never wrap a present on a soft surface ( yes it was he who taught me how to wrap)
--Cold water gets rid of bubble, but don’t rinse your dishes with cold water because you can’t use a towel to dry them
-I had always hoped you would be a lawyer – you love to debate, you find passion to stand up for others but not yourself
-I hope you marry someone with a lot of money. Money burns a hole in your pocket. And you don’t even spend it on yourself "
So I always wrap gifts on the floor. No exception.
I always rinse the sink with cold water, but never a glass..
Well I’m not a lawyer.
And I am not rich with monetary goods
So 50% on that report card. Plenty of room at the top! *wink*