So much for resolutions

1 02 2014

In January of 2012, I resolved to start blogging again – and honestly, I intended to. Life intruded, quite rudely. A few days after this last post, my mother passed away. Not the person I thought of as my mother, but my actual mother. I hadn’t seen her in quite awhile, many many many things were unresolved in our lives, she hadn’t met my grandchildren, and for the most part, wasn’t even part of my life. It still devastated me. It also greatly complicated my life, as she died without making the proper arrangements for either her estate, or my disabled brother, who’s entire life revolved around her, and who’s support depended on said estate.

My brother is (was) essentially incapable of taking care of himself or any of those things that adults deal with. This wasn’t always the case, but years of untreated mental illness culminating with a conviction for manslaughter rendered him basically a child upon his release about 7 years ago. And now that child was my responsibility.

Aside from this, I returned to school in 2011, out of boredom and because there are so many things I don’t know. Since that time I’ve picked up new degrees in history and business, and transferred to yet another university where I’m currently studying finance and non profit administration. At some future date (June of 2014), I will finish with a masters in business, a minor in psychology, and a certificate in non profits.

So, back to the messed up estate. It was, and continues to be a mess, but I see the light at the end of that tunnel too.

After burying my mother, and getting my brother situated with a full time care giver so he could stay in the home he lived in for a decade, I got back into school. And then the person who I thought of as my mom died. For sadness, and more drama.

And then my brother kept “getting into trouble”, mostly revolving around unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, 3 times, and 3 totaled cars. No injuries thank the goddess. Why was he wrecking cars? He can drive, but he was also suffering from mostly uncontrollable diabetes, and (unknown at the time) suffering small strokes as a result of both his abuse of anti psychotic and anti depressive medications, and the nearly toxic cocktail of HIV medications. It’s pretty hard to control a 57 yr old man who doesn’t want to be controlled, despite all the ways a person tries to do this – outside of some kind of oppressive lock down facility – and trust me, I did consider it.

So for about a year, I barely slept through the night, either because of worry, or because of some outright crisis.

In the meantime, I gained yet another beautiful grandchild, plus a new son in law and a new daughter in law.

And I never missed a class or a spot on the dean’s list.

Then in March of 2013, my brother died peacefully in his sleep. While this may have seemed like a relief – it just opened a whole bunch of new wounds as I went through his things; journals and diaries and other personal records – and found out that the brother, in fact, the entire family I knew, I grew up with, had so many secrets. Some of them heartwarming and sincere, but most of them icky and dark and things I could have gone to my own grave not knowing.

I made it through spring term, but took the summer off to regroup, deal with a houseful of “collectibles” and secrets, and try to find my center, because seriously? It was all over the fucking place.

My parents, my alternate parents, and all siblings are gone. I am the last, the oldest of my generation, and the keeper of the family history for my kids, grand kids, and my nieces.

What I’ve learned about grief could fill a book, but it comes down to just a couple of important thoughts:

Nobody grieves the same. Whatever you’re feeling is okay.

There’s no time table for “getting over it”.

Everyone has the strength to get through it – they just have to find it. For me, it’s letting people feel badly for me, accepting that care, and thanking them for it. That is way harder than it sounds. It’s also reaching outside myself and helping others. I find that I’m happiest these days if I’m able to help or give to someone else. That sounds so freaking trite, but it’s the absolute truth.

So it’s okay if you’re thinking “wow, that’s a lot of stuff” because it is. It’s a lot of stuff. The hurt turned me inside out. If I go a day without crying at some point, I feel pretty accomplished. If you’re thinking, “shut the hell up Doc, you probably deserve it”, that’s okay too. Maybe I did. But these days I’m trying hard to keep my karma balance to the positive.

I am going to keep blogging. Facebook is lovely, because it’s real, and people can’t be someone they’re not because they can hide behind an anonymous blog. My “regular” readers are already my facebook friends, and therefore, they are no longer imaginary but real people, with names and lives and I love that part of life. I really do.

But don’t ask to friend me. If you’re my friend, you’re already on my “friend’s list”. If you’re not, and you’re reading this, you’re probably one of those people who convinced me that blogging had a black side that I didn’t want to be part of. It’s okay, I’m over you. Being over you means I know your secrets. Now I just pity you.

I want to blog because there’s a new generation of people out there doing the same things I did, or doing them, and blogging is a great way to network. I wouldn’t know any of my “imaginary but now real” friends otherwise.

I started blogging when my kids were little, really little, and unschooling was radical and weird and people said they’d grow up to amount to nothing and they’d hate me. None of those things happened. My kids are happy, healthy, gainfully employed doing things they love, have families of their own, and kids, and purpose. Two of them have their own thriving businesses. There’s a new grand baby due in September (that will be 5), and a wedding in June.  I see at least one of them every day. Life is really really good.

And that’s my update. I don’t resolve to blog every day, but I do resolve to update all the broken links and outline the new direction(s) my life is headed.

Should be fun, don’t you think?


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14 responses to “So much for resolutions”

1 02 2014
Andrea_R (11:23:29) :

Hey, I remember you. ;) Dunno if you remember me, I’m not on Facebook.

3 grandbabies here. Life is changing as well. And? Somehow I started blogging again. Only one kid left at home now, but we moved to be closer to the rest.

It was nice to see this pop up. Consider yourself hugged.

1 02 2014
Doc (11:43:03) :

Of course I remember you – I’m still subscribed to yours, and Ron’s blogs. I know there are people out there I used to be tight with who don’t facebook – I started FB because my kids would post so many pictures of the babies and that was the only way I’d be able to view them. I don’t FB very well, just enough to keep up with the masses, ha ha.

1 02 2014
COD (13:18:43) :

One by one as the bloggers re-emerge, their eventual domination of the internet is a foregone conclusion.

OK, maybe not – but welcome back!

1 02 2014
Andrea_R (13:29:40) :

Cool! :) Ron recently had his gall bladder out. I dunno if he posted to AH about that, can’t remember.

1 02 2014
Doc (17:07:46) :

He didn’t, but I’ve been following his artistic path. :)

1 02 2014
Diane (17:58:35) :

Welcome back!!

2 02 2014
Liza (07:48:11) :

I’m just a longtime lurker who was happy to see your blog pop up again in my reader. I don’t think I could be one of those who contribute to the dark side of blogging (though i certaibly know of what you speak). I just like to read what interesting people have to say in the world. My kids are gradeschool age. While I am not homeschooling because we need my income (among other reasons), I think unschooling is awesome and my mind reels with the possibilities. I don’t know if it is possible to “unschool” outside of school so I can’t claim that I do, but I do try to let the ideas and principles inform my parenting decisions.

I just wanted to comment and say I am very sorry for all that you have been through. My condolences on your losses and I wish you strength and peace of mind as you heal.

6 02 2014
Dot (15:45:20) :

I feel like I’ve hit the jackpot twice today. I found you, Doc, on Peerie Floors, and then came here and saw Andrea’s post. I used to read both your blogs years ago. Doc, I used so many of your ideas with my son. He’s 19 now and doing wonderfully as a Bio Physics major.

6 02 2014
KathyC (floridamom) (16:15:33) :

Welcome back, Doc. That *is* a lot of stuff, so wow. I’m so sorry to hear of the heartache you’ve gone through. On the bright side, I too know the joys of being a grandparent, and am happy for you in that respect. Our paths crossed somewhat regularly back in the day but we never really ‘knew’ each other. Coincidentally, I came here a few weeks ago looking for one of your old raw milk posts (milk 101 I think you called it). I needed to fend off some IRL raw milk enthusiasts.

I’ll jokingly ask if we can make requests, but I really do hope you’ll fix or update your raw milk posts/links.

6 02 2014
Audrey (17:56:26) :

So glad to see you back blogging again, Doc. We are still homeschooling our one son (high school! grade 9 — where did the years go?) and have added a friend of his to the mix. The farm is still going strong. The prairies of Canada are still brutal cold in winter. I don’t blog anymore, mostly due to the ickiness of some people. You know what I mean.

Anyway… welcome back. I’ll be reading. :-)

6 02 2014
Doc (21:43:55) :

It’s good to see you guys. Wow Audrey, high school?? But then again, my kids used to be tots, and now they HAVE tots, and one of those tots can wrote her own name for me the other day and I was shocked. It’s actually kind of nice to have taken a break, and now I can catch up with those I don’t see on facebook, and it’s fun to be a wee bit shocked.

18 02 2014
Lisa (15:15:31) :

I’m glad you’re back. I missed your writing, and it’s lovely to read your words again.

20 05 2014
Ami (07:24:42) :

I found you when I was first homeschooling my son, or not long after and was trying to find something that wasn’t religion based homeschool. I loved your links and lesson plans. I’m so sorry to hear how hard the past 2 years have been. Thanks for maintaining the site I appreciate it.

28 05 2014
Christy B (18:10:06) :

Doc! Oh, I’ve missed you. You may have some vague memory of me from our WTM days. And Audrey!!! I’ve missed you, too.

I am so profoundly sorry for all the carp, Doc. Here’s hoping that things are continuing to get better and brighter for you and yours.

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