Tuesday, June 10, 2014

When Life Hands You An Unplanned Sabbatical

     I didn't plan on taking a sabbatical from active writing. I planned on writing my way through Dad's death as therapy and example. For nearly 40 days, I haven't felt inspired to write much of anything. Even now it feels a bit forced.
     It occurred to me recently that I don't know how the Red Sox are doing. I'm not a big baseball fan, but Dad would keep me apprised of their play off possibilities. There's no garden report or damn crows being complained about. No contemplation of taking the pole down to the lake to put his line in, which never seemed to happen but got talked about a lot. No end of the league bowling statues' or parties to report. No 6 pm Sunday phone call to make.
    Such a small thing, really. Call between six and seven, west coast time, talk until the news came on, east coast time. I miss his voice, "Hey Laura, how ya doin'?"
    Now there's funeral expenses and VA claims and a house to get rid of and on and on. These are not the memories I would have chosen for this time. They have been thrust upon us and we are dealing with them.
     Think about the legacy you want to leave. Start with a will. Even a simple one is better than nothing at all.

     So, my finances were just coming together and they got kicked on the butt, again. The whole situation put me in a place of darkness that made hope hard to see. For a while there I was groping around, searching for some source of light or even a landmark to start from. It came at work, when a co-worker said something about how I was going to be alright. When I returned with a negative comment she sounded alarmed; "You're usually the one that can find a bright spot in anything. If you can't be positive, we're all doomed."
    She made me look at how I was approaching the situation. Anger is a stage of a loss situation, I am angry. It's hard to admit you're angry with someone that you love so much and have lost. But I am. I had expectations that were not met. Expectations of care. I'm unreasonable, it's not an expectation that he would never die. Instead, that he had taken care to have his estate in order so this time would be as uncomplicated as possible.
    It sucks to be angry with someone who's dead. You can't yell at them or get an explanation or have them fix their mistake or unfriend on Facebook. I found myself displacing my anger on other people. This, of course, served no good at all.

 I came to the realization that my anger is with my Dad. That's okay.

 It doesn't take away how much I love him or miss him or mourn him. He didn't mean for it to be like this. He never wanted life to be harder. He just didn't see the forest for the trees.

    Stop today. Stop looking for a lotto win and check your mortgage insurance. Stop looking for a rare find at a garage sale and take out at least enough insurance to pay for your funeral. Stop talking about how you could make lots of money and figure out how to live on what you have.

    Play the lotto, if you enjoy it. Garage sale, if you enjoy it. Keep working on the next big money maker, if you enjoy it.
   None of these things are bad. Just every now and a again, put both feet firmly on the floor and your head in the game, and take care of the realities of life and death.

   There's hope here too. Hope that this will keep someone else from going through a hard time. Hope that we will leave our messes smaller for our families. Hope that, as time goes on, we can have peaceful resolution and the memories can be weeded out to just the good produce.
    I'm off now to set up my craft table to get things ready to sell to help clean this all up. I'll keep paper near by, perhaps by being creative with my handiwork I'll be inspired to words.

One can hope.
Peace, Love, and Peanut Butter Cookies for everyone

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