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Posts Tagged ‘loss’

Thanksgiving time. The day of thanks and stuffing oneself until discomfort is reached. To be honest it is one of my favorite holidays and this year it was just as good or better than it has been for recent history. I got to share this day with my beautiful wife, I think of her as such even if technicalities do not have it as so, and my step son Gabe. We started some of our own traditions. A lazy start to the day with donuts and a movie that we all watched together. While everyone else was off getting ready to head to my family’s for dinner I found the time to get some writing done while having football on in the background. I am proud to say I met the goal for NaNoWriMo this year. Surpassed the goal of 50k in the month more than a week early. My story is no where complete though and I have to maintain my focus to get my novel finished. I have set the goal to myself to finish the story by the end of the year. Then the much tougher work will follow, reading it and rewriting it as I am sure it will need a great deal of polish.

With my goal met for the day I set my writing aside as we traveled to my home town to be with my family at my Grandparents house. My Grandmother always makes the biggest of meals. Turkey and all of the fixings. My dad, aunt and uncle, brother and his wife and my dad’s new family were all there. We had some good laughs, ate some great food, watched some football and overall had a great holiday.

Now we have retired home. Boxes of Christmas supplies pulled from the garage in preparation for the apartment to be decked out. I will miss this though as I get to enjoy the other side of the Black Friday blitz. I work in sales and this will be a huge weekend for us but it also means that I will make a good bit of money. A good motivator to get through the madness. Now though we relax with another movie and wind down from the lovely day.

I have a great deal to be thankful for. I have a wonderful family, a beautiful wife by my side, a great step son and a good job where I work with people I consider to be friends. I know that money is not good and there are stresses in life but they are not things that need to hold us back  We need to focus on the good things we have because that is all that is important.

I hope everyone else had a great thanksgiving or made the most of what they had.

Take Care

Dan 🙂

 

P.S.

The only down point to the day was thinking of my mother who I lost a few years ago. My wife also has a blog and I read her post that was very heartfelt and touching. She puts her heart and thoughts out there in such a way that definitely brings emotions to the surface. She mentioned my mom, who was lost to us far to early due to an accidental overdose. The holidays are times when I tend to think of her the most. I miss her but I was glad that I was able to make the most of things with the family I do have.

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Feeling like doing some more writing. I don’t know it what form that will be. Maybe some poetry or short stories would be the right path for me to venture down. I know that whatever I work on my perspective is definitely changed over what it has been. Life is changing and that is always the one constant that we can be sure of. Sometimes, if we are lucky, those changes are positive. So I can see the future through a much brighter light right now. Everything is just a little bit better, sweeter, more colorful and more vivid. I leave you with some of my sappiness in all of its sappy glory. You can feel queasy if you like or you can share in the joy that I am feeling.

This is for the one I love, the one who was in my life for so long and then gone in a flash. Now our paths have brought us back together and we are both in different, better places than we have been in the past. So here goes. Short and sweet.

 

A future we can have

 

It is there upon my sleeve,

Open bare to the light of day.

My fears and doubts I will leave,

The risk worth any price to pay .

 

My heart there for you to take,

Trust your hands to safely hold.

Love I no longer forsake,

Once lost and out in the cold.

 

Your eyes hold a reflection,

Of the future we can mold.

A life that we can fashion,

Of the love that we both hold

 

 

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Smiling happy families sitting in front of roaring fireplaces, wearing festive holiday sweaters and sipping cocoa. The picture image of a christmas card to be hung for all to see. Norman Rockwell images of a life that all attain to reach. the problem is that this does not really exist. We think that other people have these lives. The grass always being greener on the other side. We want to have what they have, be happy as they are. This is something that is only a myth though. We might see the picture perfect families and feel envious of them, but the truth is that no one really has this perfect life. Everyone is flawed, everyone has little cracks in their make up that show a little of the true life and heart that hides with in.

This is not to be a glum post, pre christmas. This is merely to be a post explaining that no one is perfect. No one has a life out of the perfect holiday movies. The key seems to be that we make the best out of what we have. I have realized this more and more. I can make the choice to focus on the things that make my life a little bit better. It is my choice if I want to be down, dwelling in the gutters of life. This is not forced upon me, this is not something that I have to live and feel. I can do differently and better. Also though if I deny the past, deny what has shaped me and marked me I am doing a disservice as well. The past has happened, I can’t change it, that is where the dangerous thoughts come in. I can learn from it and realize there is a better way through.

Yesterday was a day where I could have made the wrong choice. I could have felt sorry for myself and grieved over the losses of my past, most obviously with the anniversary of my mother’s passing. I did not though. Yes it was on my mind, and I miss her. But I did not think of how I could have done better and felt pitiful for myself in her loss. I just tried to live the day as well as I could and for the most part it was a success.

Life is never quite as we expect or want it to be. The perfect cookie cutter image does not exist except only in our imagination. We all do what we have to. We live our lives and survive through every day. Some days are better than others and in the end we can hope that the good outnumber the bad.

Dan

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Like clockwork I tend to ignore this blog, it is not intentional but just seems to happen. Fits with who I am and my personality because as with anything in my life I have to feel the urge to do something, if not it gathers dust until it is called forward. So I thought as I am reading over some of my past entries I should log a little bit of what is going on in life.

Christmas is upon us, like a stealth assassin it hid in the bushes and reared its deadly head just before striking. Hmmm, maybe not the right visual right there but that is the feeling. It is here and the month of December has disappeared. I do not know where it went. Holidays have been pretty depressing for me over the past two years. Two years ago tomorrow my mom passed away. It feels like it has been so much longer that she has been out of my life but that is for another day.  That and with the erosion of my marriage and the family I used to have holidays have been reminders of what is missing or lost to me. I see everyone else with someone they love or care for and it is a sharp pain. Or at least it has been.

Thanksgiving was something different. For the first time in a long time I actually enjoyed the holiday. Being with my family, having a good time, lots of laughs and playing cards. It was what days like that should always be. I was able to just bask in the things I do have in my life, like a good job, family that loves me, a place to live and enough to get by. Yes things aren’t perfect but considering things could be a lot worse. This is bringing a sense of hope to me that Christmas will be better than it has been. Hopes can be dangerous things though and I know I have to keep this in check because I have a terrible way of  letting my hopes get carried away and then expectations never quite fit reality. I know that there will be some rough times, that is a given considering the history of this time of year for me, but as long as I can remember what I do have in my life it should be better than it has.

In the end it really comes down to a choice, a choice that I ahve to make to let the good things in and not dwell on the bad…..

Anyways, life otherwise has been pretty uneventful for me. That is a good thing when all is considered. I seem to be settled in at work, finding my own place after such a long time worrying about the little things, mistakes here or there. I actually enjoy working with the people I do which is a great thing and for the most part I feel like they feel the same. At least there is lots of laughter. I try not to take things too seriously but in my line of work there is always an a- hole or two who will rile you up. I try not to dwell though. Overall I think I am pretty good at my job and it is something I can see myself doing for the time to come.

I will try to remember to check in more frequently and post… Hopefully I can ride the good feelings and not let things take me too far down the wave again, I am just happy to be living more of a monotone life sans prescriptions.

Till I write again… good night.

Dan

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(again first draft, unedited)

Ryan stopped off at the bakery after work to get his girl the dipped cookies that she loved so much. Not like he had to get anything else for her. Katie was always telling him how much of a romantic he was so he thought he should always live up to that. The day started with a home cooked breakfast in bed with all of the extra touches, like a single rose on the breakfast tray. When it came to breakfast no one else could top him when it came to scrambled eggs.

Every day when he woke up was a blessing to have her by his side. The honeymoon never seemed to wear off the way it did in other marriages. He was still surprised at how when he had all but given up on finding that one person she came into his life like a storm quickly appearing on the horizon and with all of the power it could bring. His life was better for her and he always hoped she felt the same way. He would never let her forget how important she was to him and anniversaries let him shine.

Five years had come and gone in the blink of an eye. All he could do was smile and think of seeing her face light up when he came in the door with the pick bakery box. The two of them did not have a lot of money but they knew what was important. There were never any extravagant gifts but if they had each other they did not need them. They took joy in the little things that they had together. The little things were what made up life and they understood that.

Ryan stopped at the last light before their street. He always forgot how soon darkness fell this time of year. The leaves were already off of the tree and the moon was casting shadows on the houses through the barren branches. He loved this time of year for so many reasons. The light turned and a honk from behind him reminded him to go on his way. He waved in the mirror and drove on. He turned on the blinker and pulled on to the quiet street. Warm glows were coming from most of the windows. Families settled down for the night. Most dinners already served and dishes already cleared away. He could see the glow and flicker of tvs with their dancing images reflecting off the windows that showed out into the world. This was suburbia as anyone would define it. The charm of the small city where anyone could raise a family and grow old.

He pulled into the driveway of their small two bedroom home and turned out the lights. Something was off. The house was dark. Katie should have been home well over an hour already, done from her day at work and already relaxing. Ryan took the box from next to him and left the car. He walked to the front of the house and turned the handle on the door but it would not move. It was locked when it should not be. He fumbled with his keys in the dim light and found the house key to open the door. He turned the knob again and pushed the heavy wooden door open. Inside he was greeted by stillness and dark. Not a single light was on.

“Katie?” ryan called out into the darkness before switching on the living room light. “Katie are you home, Katie?” He crossed the carpeted room to the dining room and looked at the table. Everything that was on it seemed to be strewn about. It was not the image of neatness it usually was. Books and mail were strewn about its surface. He set the pastry box down and turned the light on in the kitchen as he entered. The kitchen left no signs of life. Anxiety began to build in him. It was not like Katie to not let him know what she was doing or if she would be late.

Ryan left the kitchen and headed for their bedroom. It was an image of someone leaving in a hurry. The dresser drawers were open. Clothes were strewn about laying on the bed and all over the floor. “Katie….” He called out in a much quieter voice. He crossed the room after a brief moment and switched on the bathroom vanity. The cupboards were open and all of her toiletries and make up were missing. He stood there staring at the scene trying to let it all sink in. None of this made any sense to him. Realizing he had his cell phone on him he pulled it out of his pocket and held down the number 2 to call his wife. It took a moment to start dialing and it felt like an eternity. The line rang twice before a prerecorded message began to play.

“I’m sorry, but the number you have dialed is no longer in service.” The message paused and then replayed again. He began to panic. Quickly he dialed the service number for his carrier and got through to a rep after entering the wrong selection too many times. He quickly verified he was Who he said he was impatient for the process.

“Mr Teague, how can I help you today?” The overly cheerful woman asked

“I need to know why my wife’s line is disconnected” He said impatiently. The girl sounded confused as she answered after looking up the account

“I am sorry Mr. Teague but Katie Teague disconnected that line this afternoon. She said it was no longer needed” Silence filled the line “Mr Teague, can I help you? Mr Teague?” At that moment he noticed Katie’s phone sitting on the bedside table. Off and lifeless. He sat on the bed, in his house, his empty house his mind numb.

A few hours would turn into a few days. That first night Ryan did not sleep, nor did he ever even attempt to close his eyes. He stayed in his dress work clothes and sat in the dining room holding the picture of the two of them that was uses as their engagement picture. Their faces smiling and beaming at each other. A moment that might not ever happen again. Hot tears began to stream down his face and he felt nothing but the searing pain of loss. Katie was his life.

The sun began to rise on the next day. A grayish dim light began to peak through the windows and the realization that this was really happening fueled the fire ember that burned in Ryan;s Chest. He dropped the picture and began a frantic task of calling all those he knew to see if they knew anything of Katie. Knew where she might be or anything at all. He called all of her friends that he could think of. The task made even more difficult by the fact that her phone was wiped clean. Not a single number left or call dialed. None of them were  any help but to assure that she would show up sometime, they were sure of that.

Katie had no real family. Or at least none that were close or of any contact. She came from a home that was broken and left her past neatly behind her. She did not talk much of it and he never pressured her to, now though it was a worry that he did not really know how to get ahold of any family she did have. She had an aunt who she grew up with but that was about all. Ryan could not get ahold of her and quickly grew frustrated. Sleep would not be anywhere near his mind so he decided a hot shower and some coffee was in order to awaken his senses.

Ryan got out of his work clothes and turned the water as hot as he could stand. It scalded his skin and turned it a rosy pink shade. He wanted the discomfort to waken him and get him to focus. He was trying to think up a plan but all he could come up with was why? That question would build inside his head. He tried to answer it but nothing would come. They had what he would consider the perfect life. Never had there ever been a bump in the road with them. They never went to bed angry and the few times they ever argued about anything it would quickly fade to be replaced by a hug or a smile. None of this made any sense.

He turned off the water and quickly toweled off. Determined to get any information. As soon as 9 am rolled around Ryan dialed up Katie’s office and quickly got her personal line. Absent minded he redialed again to get the receptionist. He asked for Katie’s boss or lead or anyone who would have any information. He got through to the head of development after staying on hold for too long.

“I was wondering if you heard anything from my wife Katie?” He asked

“What do you mean? Isn’t she on vacation with you?” He asked puzzled by the question. Ryan answered quickly. “Vacation? What vacation?”

“Katie put in for vacation two months ago. She had a lot of it built up and took off the next two weeks. You aren’t telling me you didn’t know? “ Ryan hung up. His wife had planned a vacation and he did not have a any idea of it. “Vacation?” he questioned to himself. The rest of the day would turn into a daze. He was lost with his thoughts. After being up for nearly 2 days he succumbed to exhaustion and fell asleep on the couch in their living room. He slept fitfully into the early morning hours when his dreams finally caused him to stir and his horror could continue into reality.

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I have no idea where this is going. It is unedited and any further posts will be the same….

The bottles all looked so inviting. Golden liquids and dark mahoganies. So many unique types with all their own flair and characteristics. The man stood before them staring, gazing from bottle to bottle. What harm would it really be to pick up one of these bottles and head home. What harm would there be in letting their spirits wash away the memories that destroy the peace that his life does not know. He remembers what the warm feeling is like. The delicious soothing buzz that would erase the worries of the day and the horrors of a life lost. In the end what is it really going to matter if he picked up the bottle and had one night of bliss. The man reached out and picked one of the bottles off of the shelf. He turned it in his hand feeling the weight of it. He suddenly felt the pressure of those around him. He could feel their cold hard stares judging him. Casting shame in his direction at the very thought of what he wanted to do. “How dare you!” “Disgusting!” “Pathetic” Their voices rang in the back of his mind. Each moment that passed a dulling ringing began to sound from within his ears and his heart began to race. Cold sweat began to bead on his forehead as he stood their battling his own thoughts. The struggle was always there. There was never a true moment of calm. Clarity would always be a fleeting thing. One thing began to cut through the moment. The knife that guided his hand to set the bottle back on the shelf and step away. The shame of knowing how his family would view him if he went back to that life. In a world where he knew no one or was completely isolated from any judgment he would have easily taken that bottle home and downed it until he could not remember even his own name. He did not live in that world

Shakily he found the will to move away from the display and took the few things he had collected from the store to the front check out. This was almost his daily routine. Fighting these ever present battles. Maybe the day would come when he did not have to worry about slipping back into that dark habit. This was the hardest time though. Work done for the day his mind no longer occupied with the menial tasks that kept him busy. Freedom was the most dangerous thing when it came to a mind that liked to live in the seedy places of the past. Idle hands, idle minds would be just the same.

As he placed the few groceries he had selected for his dinner and breakfast the next day at the check out he could still feel the eyes of all those around him staring. The oppressive feeling fed his anxiety and would not dissipate until he was able to get back to his apartment where he could shut the door on the stares of others. The common moments in life could be hell for someone who felt what he did. Feelings that were amplified in the recent past by the events that gouged at life.

The items on the belt were his focus, doing what he could to ignore the world and be aware of its every object at the same time. Finally the clerk said the obligatory greeting and began to scan his items. The man nodded at the young lady and said nothing. The total flashed on the  display in front of him and he fumbled in his wallet, finding and handing his card to the girl and stood there for what seemed like ages until she handed both his card and a receipt to the man. He collected his bag from the elderly bagger and nodded again as the two of them said “good day” in almost perfect stereo.
Stepping out into the night air he lets its coolness fill his lungs. The sweat on his brow now felt cold and damp. His shirt clung to his lower back, a feeling that was not pleasant in the least. He stood there for a moment. Collecting his wits and calming his nerves. The anxiety began to fade away and his heart began to beat at a more normal pace.
“Watch out!” he was jolted from his peace as someone came out of the store and bumped into him and remarked rudely. He grunted a response and took that as a cue to head for his car far in the back of the parking lot. The parking lot was deserted yet he still parked where no one would notice him coming and going. Unlocking the car with his free hand he placed his bag on the seat next to him and turned the key in the ignition. Luckily the ride home was not a long one. His solitary rides in his car were not things of calm. It was a time when he was stuck with his thoughts. Prisoner of the small space and the solitude. Even the radio or music would not help. Music would find a way to remind him of the past. All of the songs that he once loved were tainted by it. And news or talk radio would not be enough to occupy his mind. He sighed and put the car into drive.
The Streets were filled with the working masses. City streets in the average American city.  Torrence was the picture of rockwell’s dreams. Small shops lined its main street. Businesses of all types that made for strolling on a sunny day. In the darkness of night all the storefronts were dark though except for the few diners and a Chinese restaurant that was open every day of the year. He past the dark store fronts wondering what a normal life was like. All of these people coming to and from work. The kids walking home from activities at school. The families heading out for a supper out. What was a normal life like. It could not be that he was living such a thing. If that was the case then whatever god was watching all of this had a sick sense of humor. The man wondered at this every day. Wondered why he did not have the same smile on his face or light hearted laugh he saw and heard in so many others.
His thoughts consumed him as his body took over on auto pilot. It was so often that he got to where he was going without even remembering the journey. His mind always conversing and battling. Back and forth. Movies of memories past and what should have been, what should have happened, What no longer could. Coming back to reality he realized he past his apartment a few blocks ago and quickly found a street to double back on. These moments happened all too often. Lost in his mind reality suffered. Sighing he turned the corner and pulled his car into his parking space behind his apartment building.
It was not the place you would find the successful in life, nor was it the place of the dope fiends and felons. It was a place where people simply lived to get through every day. Quietly in their own little worlds. They did not make a point to get to know you. No one was throwing a party to have everyone over. It was where those with the will just to survive came to go through the motions and get to the next day. It was  a place where your history was an unknown and that was okay. It was the kind of place the man needed. A place where he could escape and have no presence in the world. At least that is what he thought he needed. All he knew was that he was alone. And as he sat in the car with the engine running he was reminded of the lonely little place of the world he had carved out.
He cut the engine and left the world for the night.

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I had the chance to have breakfast with my family this morning before I had to go in to work. My family has been through a lot and we are definitely still very much a work in progress. I know that I am not perfect when it comes to my life and the decisions I have made. I understand that no one is. A couple of weeks ago things came to a head with my dad and my brother and I. My dad let us know his feelings on where he though my brother and I stood with him. He was hurting because there really has been very little time for all of us to get together and be a family. In some ways he thought we hated him.

When I took in what he was saying all I could feel was pain that he would feel that way about us or think that that could possibly be the truth. He was right on much of what he was saying. Not the idea that we could hate him, which is further from the truth than anything. More so in the idea that we have not been making the time as we might have in the past to hang out. I cannot speak for my brother but I know when it comes to myself it is a very tricky issue. I tend to be the type to withdraw and hide from things that bring up memories in my life that are painful. Part of this comes from the fact that when my marriage was falling apart my dad was finding the love of his life.  Naturally this is now attached to a memory in my mind of what I have lost. Other’s happiness should buoy me and lift my spirits. It tends to just bring me down into a place of darkness. Being that I know what kind of emotions this brings up I don’t make the effort I should to include myself in my dad’s life.

One of the second issues that is always there is the fact that less than two years ago I lost my mother, we all lost her. and months before that my parents relationship finally broke its last seam and split down the middle. These two events are things that one does not just forget and move on quickly from. Especially being as how my mother and I had a close relationship and were friends till the day she left this world. Everyone moves on from such tragic events in different ways and at different times. The fact that I had the extra weight of my own marriage torn away from me has lead to a longer period of healing for me. I mean my divorce will have its one year anniversary this december. These events though oddly feel so much further in the past. Maybe because it is so much to feel, so much to go through every day.

When we lost mom we had known her our whole lives. Now there is someone else with my dad. She is a good woman. I really don’t know an awful lot about her. We really have not had much time to do things together and that is on all of us. We have only known her for about a year and a few months. I know it is still going to take time. That is the only thing that will make things easier. We also need to make sure that we all talk to each other and don’t let things get bottled up. I had a chance to talk to my dad after things were brought to the surface and I am pretty sure he knows how I really feel. I don’t really know how else to act. I have not been through anything like this at any other time in my life. Their are no neat little directions and maps to guide us. We can look for help and advice but it always comes down to how we all handle ourselves and if we all put the effort in.

I know that I have to try harder. Whether it is small things like stopping by to say hello or just getting together like we did this morning for breakfast. I do enjoy these moments. I like getting together and laughing because everyone knows I do not do enough of that lately. Laugh that is. It will get better. I know that it has to. My dad means the world to me. He has never judged me. He has always been there for me when I have been hurting the most. He has saved me on more than one occassion from damaging myself permanently. I need to show him a little more of the same.

Dan

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