Hello everyone out there. I suppose y’all’ve noticed I haven’t written much lately. I don’t think I’ve updated GB&GSF since Thanksgiving and that’s NOT how I like to do things. It’s not been a matter of not enough to write. I’ve had plenty of ideas . . . I just can’t get them down on the screen. This has caused me no little amount of consternation especially when several times during the day I get a message telling me I have a new follower for the blog. Now I realize some of those followers are probably generated by bots or spider searchers, but some of them aren’t and I feel an obligation to produce good posts to give back to those who’ve taken the time to stop by this little blog. Because of all this swirling morass of feeling, I felt an explanation is in order. Here’s my explanation . . .
Life is kicking my ass — pardon the French.
My grief at facing the holidays without Mama has grown each day and now it IS an elephant in the room. I’ve tried to bear up, do the brave thing, keep calm and carry on . . . and I’ve failed completely. Over the next two weeks I have to face Mama’s favorite holiday, then two days later her birthday, then New Years, and finally my first birthday without getting a call at 6:19 AM and hearing “happy birthday, Little Man; Mommy loves you.” It’s a lot to take in over a short time frame. The fact is, I miss my mama and the nice facade I’ve built to try coping with it is crumbling.
That grief alone would be enough to cripple me, but it’s not all I’ve been hit with. I recently found out one of my best friends and former work colleagues has a cancerous mass on her kidney and another in her lower colon. This young lady has been like a baby sister to me for over a decade. When I was cashiered from my first teaching job, she was the only person to speak in my defense. She is also a triathlete, having competed in nine Ironman races. She’s also an agnostic who leans more atheist than not.
Even THAT doesn’t complete the tableau. A week ago today, Baby Eli was born . . . took two breaths . . . and died. He was the fourth child of a couple at our church. They found out in late September that the pregnancy had hit a developmental crisis. Eli’s little kidneys for some reason failed to develop and the way it was explained to me, when a baby’s kidneys don’t develop, his lungs don’t develop either, and no amniotic fluid gets produced. According to the doctors, little Eli never had a chance and their suggestion to the couple was a second trimester abortion which the couple refused. From the time I first found out about little Eli, I was seized by a concern I can’t really explain. See, I serve the God who formed us all in our mothers’ wombs and I knew if He chose to, He could repair little Eli’s body and make liars out of the doctors. So I prayed harder for little Eli than I’ve prayed for anyone in a long time . . . even Mama. I went so far as to ask God to take my life for Eli’s. I’ve lived already . . . at least it would give the baby a chance, but in the end, Eli died . . . God’s ways are not man’s ways; man’s ways are not God’s ways. That may be truth, but it still hit me harder than I expected.
Then, my stepdad called me. He is extremely sick. He’s got the flu the doctor says, but for some reason the congestion in his lungs won’t break up in response to medicine this time . . . much like Mama. As much as losing Mama has hurt me, my grief pales in comparison to Rob’s. Mama was literally his world. He cared for her needs even more than I did. Now he is a grief-stricken, broken man, and I’m having to convince him to keep fighting when all he really wants to do is join Mama and I’m afraid if something doesn’t change, he may do just that before this sickness turns.
Then, my aunt, my cousin, and my dad have decided to sell my homeplace. It doesn’t mean much to any of the three of them, but it represents what could have been to me. Daddy is going to give me his share so Rob and my stepbrother’s family won’t have to move away, but home won’t be home anymore. It’s just a hunk of land, a source of money, to them . . . but it’s always been home to me and there’s no earthly way I could get the funds together to buy the other two out.
That’s because there’s NEVER enough funds. My life is a constant borrowing from Peter to pay Paul. Someone always gets left out of the paid bills stack. I always have to figure out some way to make ends meet. It’s sad, but it’s been the story of my life. Mama and I never had enough money to breathe easy. Ruin and bankruptcy has always been just around the corner and once or twice, it’s even turned that corner. No one who hasn’t lived under constant financial stress has any idea what it’s like to constantly worry about the heat pump or the car engine or some other thing because there’s no money so if the heat pump goes out . . . well, we’ll just be cold. The saddest part, though, is I know it’s my own fault. Mama made poor decisions with money and I’ve managed to carry on the family tradition. It doesn’t make it any less stressful though.
So that’s what’s going on with me . . . at least the highlights. There’s more little things, but this post already looks like I’m whining. I hope none of you think I’m being maudlin because that’s certainly not my intent. I just want my growing number of readers to know what’s happened to the content lately.
What I’ve decided to do is stop obsessing over not updating. My plan is to get through the first full week in January, past my birthday, and then start back with a renewed sense of purpose in my writing. I could slap some stuff together, but it wouldn’t be up to my standards so I’d rather get through the end of the year and try to start over. Look for newer, more consistent posts beginning in January. I hope y’all understand.
You know I love y’all. Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and keep those feet clean.
Take care of yourself. Best of holidays to you and yours. It’s been just a year for me. One time wrestling I got turned with a minute to go. Just a minute. Seemed like forever. One foot in front of the other, day by day. I’ll keep you in my thoughts and heart.