April 09, 2005
We are Here *Edited*
I finally came home last night. I will add more to this entry, but I wanted you all to know that I am depressed, but okay.

I appreciate your prayers and all those who have donated money for my mom (can you believe it cost her more than $70 for a scrip for something to help her sleep?!?!?) Her heart medications alone are going to keep her in the poor house, so your donations are more than appreciated.

I love you all and like I said, I will add more later. But for now, my girls need their mommy.


***Edited***

Things have obviously been crazy, what with planning a funeral and all this past week. This whole thing has been a shock and completely uprooting for us. I have been doing pretty well, holding it together, with the exception of some wailing into the mattress last Monday night. I feel like there are some emotions boiling below the surface, but they are unwilling to come out, now that I am free to emote as much as needed. Figures.

I won't go into great detail regarding my mom's financial situation, but suffice to say it is looking bleak. Florida does not recognize common law marriage, so even though my mom and Pop have been together for 16 years, she has absolutely no rights. Except that since the house was also in her name, she can keep it - as long as she keeps making payments. Hopefully, we can help her make that happen. The only advantage to not having been married, she is not responsible for his abundant debts - scary how much he has racked up in the 2 years since they refinanced the home and he took money out to pay off his credit cards. Absolutely unbelievable. And how she will pay her monthly bills is beyond us right now, and we are just going day by day and trying to figure out what she will do. If she sells the house, she will be forced to move to another county (she couldn't afford any place where she is due to the skyrocketing real estate)... and we all agree that she shouldn't have to lose her partner and then everything else too. So, we will figure it out somehow. I will not let her live on the street, that's for sure.

The girls, well, it is weird how they've handled it. I guess they are too young to really understand, though V pointed out that we will see him again - when we go to heaven too. Little A keeps asking when we go to their house to see Pop too. It will be a long time before she stops asking, I think. Their major thing this past week was mommy being gone every day. It was stressful for them to be with someone else every day - they both wanted to sleep with me each night - even if they could only sleep on the floor next to my bed (we were staying at A's parents' house so I could be close to my mom). They have both been a bit clingy, even this weekend, all four of us being home together.

My mom's sister leaves tomorrow to go home to SC and then her cousin will "move in" for 2 weeks. My mom intends to go back to work on Thursday and I think it is good for her to try to have a routine and get into some sort of groove. I also think it is key that cousin D will be here for two weeks so my mom doesn't have to be alone at night after work. My grandmother is coming in May for a week or two as well and I think my aunt plans to come back in the summer for a week. This is very nice of all of them, but I hope they let her be when she asks and I hope they respect that she is going to have changing needs every day.

I am feeling very protective of her, and I have to balance that with wanting to completely take care of her - she is really going to have to learn to be on her feet on her own. It is a scary future for her, but one in which I hope she is able to find peace and eventual happiness in spite of her loss.

Of course, I can't stop thinking of all the wonderful times we spent together as a family - we'd just started spending holidays together with A's parents and grandparents and my parents included. We just all had Easter dinner together - and our Disney trip last September. It is startling to think that those holidays in the future will include my mom arriving on her own. I can't imagine how her life has changed in the blink of an eye.

I have so much more to say, but I haven't decided if I am going to write down everything here... I did get a paper journal to record my thoughts and feelings. I just don't know if my blog is the place to store these things - and honestly, as much as you all have proven you care, I am certain there are details you just don't want to know. Trust me.

I love you all and want to extend sincere thanks for your thoughts, prayers and generosity during this incredibly difficult time for my family. I will never be able to thank you enough. I pray God rewards you with many blessings for being such a great support for me (and my mom has read some of your comments and always is so touched that these thoughts and prayers are coming from literally around the world and that I have not yet met so many of you in person.) It means a lot to her that I have you. And I know she will eventually cherish the pages of well wishes received from you during this time. Believe me, she feels the prayers.

I want to close real quick and let you know that my computer is on the blink. We are going to have buy a new one and I don't know if I am even going to be able to get online each day this week. Also, we are leaving Saturday to go to Atlanta (A has training that has been rescheduled like 3 times). We will be there for a week and will return just in time to have dinner with Sandi and her husband to celebrate their anniversary and her birthday). While I am in Atlanta, I look forward to spending as much time as possible with my friends there, in particular, Becca, who has been incredible to me this week (not that the rest of you haven't been, but there's been something special between Becca and me that we've truly felt like family practically since before we met in person).

I do appreciate you all and I can't wait to eventually sit down and have a cup of coffee or shot of vodka or something with each of you. You will never know just how much your support and love through this time has meant to me. Truly unbelievable - you all have humbled me.

Until next time, God Bless you and keep you and yours safe.
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