Someone I cared a great deal about passed away yesterday.
And he was 100% good people.
And your wife of 37 years and 9 months, only due to her passing before you.
Today is my grandfather’s funeral. Actually, technically, he is my step-grandfather.
His funeral is today at 11am.
It is about a four and a half to five-hour drive from my home, one way, depending on traffic…and I am not there, nor will I be.
After much texting and phone calls late yesterday and last night with my family, that was my final decision.
I am not going.
This is my grandfather’s obituary (I deleted any specific telling details) –
Blank, 89, of blank passed away Monday, April 17, 2017 at blank Hospital. He was the husband of the late Gloria blank.
Mr. blank was born in Boston, Mass., on April 10, 1928, was the son of the late blank and blank. He was a member of blank Presbyterian Church, a veteran of the Royal Canadian Air Force, and a former helicopter pilot for the Ontario Hydro Co.
He is survived by a granddaughter, blank of Cambridge, Ontario, Canada; a brother, blank of Fort Erie, Ontario, Canada; three great-grandchildren, Jason, Alex, and Madison blank; a son-in-law, blank of Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada. He was preceded in death by a daughter, blank.
A graveside service will be conducted at 11 a.m. Wednesday, May 3, 2017 at the Blank Family Cemetery, on blank Rd., in blank by the Rev. Blank.
Outside of his brother who is 80, my grandfather knew the rest of these other people for about five years. Tops.
My grandmother and Sandy were married in January of 1979.
So. What about his other four grandchildren, and what about their children?
I am the oldest.
That means Sandy has been in my life for 38 years, and 36 years for my sister, and our cousins…..I am not sure how much younger they are than us, but they had to have known him for at least 28-30 years, If not more.
And our cousins and Aunt & Uncle were much closer to our grandparents in the later years. They spent many annual holidays with them at their home.
My dad, my uncle and my aunt…they have known Sandy for those 38 years too, on an adult level.
Sandy passed away on Monday, April 17th.
My sister and I did not find out about it until Friday, April 21st.
At first I had great peace.
He was no longer alone, outside of a caretaker coming in a few times a week, because he (and my grandmother) had lived out in the middle of nowhere for decades.
None of us could easily just pop in to check on them or say hi.
And because the only listed granddaughter in his obituary, who he has only known for 5 years, who also happens to now be his sole heir aka the one calling the shots about his final resting place and the date and time of his funeral….. My sister and I did not know the final details regarding his funeral until Monday, May 1st in the evening.
Um, his funeral is on May 3rd (today) at 11am out in the middle of nowhere which equals pretty significant driving time to get there, let alone including the time to drive home and trying to take time off from work on the spur of the moment.
The thing that I am most upset about is the decision to bury him “at the Blank Family Cemetery.”
There is a small family cemetery on the estate BUT he will be the very first of HIS family to be buried there.
That is a nice way of saying we are not going to fly your step-grandfather’s remains, who we have only known for five years, down to Texas to be buried beside your grandmother (wife of 37 years and nine months) even though there is a paid plot waiting for him next to her.
Some of his last words, as I have been told, heard by several people at different time were to bury him in the estate’s cemetery…to save money for his granddaughter to inherit.
For me this has nothing to do with money, at least not for myself.
Sure, I sincerely hoped my dad and my uncle would receive an inheritance alongside Sandy’s only blood related granddaughter because Sandy and grandmother built a life together for 37+ years and it should be shared with all the heirs.
But for me, this is more a matter of honor and respect.
Even though I personally want to be cremated and released in the wind (preferably in a really cool and awe-inspiring place!), I believe that once a person dies, their spirit is free.
But if you have been married 37+ years, and burial is your method of choice, if possible the two should be buried together.
Our side of the family, as of late as yesterday, was willing to try to raise the money to send Sandy’s remains to TX to be with my grandmother, even though none of us have that money to spend, we would have done so to honor and respect the sacred bond of a lifelong marriage.
But c’est la vie, such is life in French.
Thirty minutes from now my grandfather will be buried miles and miles, and states and states away from my grandmother.
I won’t be there.
I sent the largest and most expensive red rose arrangement I have ever sent to anyone…..and I will honor him from my home.
My eyes are practically swollen shut from crying so much in the last 24 hours, hence me not going into work today even though I chose not to go to the funeral.
My face looks like I have gone ten rounds and have been beaten three times over by the world’s greatest boxing champ at present.
I really don’t want to have to explain this to anyone.
I will admit I am a little irritated with Sandy right about now.
But no matter where he is buried, or whatever happens…
I truly hope he is at peace, that he is with my grandmother and that he knows how much her side of the family, aka us, loves him.
I love you.
Facebook has this nefty thing. They created a video showcasing your year for 2016.
I watched mine and was pleased.
You kind of forget all of the things you have done or experienced in a year.
I did the world a favor and did not share mine on Facebook.
After all, no one is as interested in my life as me.
2016 was fairly good for me.
Sad and low points…
I broke my foot and gained 30 extra pounds as a result. I had my birthday off during tax season BUT only because I was at the freaking foot doctor’s office for a boot and later had to return for a cast.
That was the first time I have ever broken anything and it was quite an eye opener how much such an incident can effect one’s life.
I would prefer not to ever go there again.
My grandmother passed away later in the year. I still cannot believe that one. She had always been so strong and tough, and she had also been in my life for all of the 45 years of my life. I really hate death.
On a positive note(s), um, I finally bought my Harley!
I also got to experience Go Ape Zip Line & Treetop Adventure not once, BUT TWICE, courtesy of the firm I work for.
I had never done zip lining before, and now I can cross it off my Bucket list! And each visit was a 3 hour physical endeavor and so what I needed.
One thing I am seriously currently struggling with is my commute to and from work.
I live 13 miles from the office, yet I spend up to 2 or 2 and half hours in traffic to and from DAILY.
I also drive a stick shift.
It is painful. Cramped foots and all. And I will probably blow the clutches way before their times as a result.
Plus it drains the hell out of you.
This is a very touchy point with me since I wasn’t supposed to be stuck in traffic.
My agreement to come back to the firm I am with was that I could off-set my hours so that I would NOT spend my life in rush hour.
I mean I officially and specifically said – I do not want to spend my life in rush hour.
But such is life, that did not work out as originally planned.
I am not sure what I am going to do about this as of yet.
My sister and very a close friend suggested that I move closer to work. I actually considered this and looked at some apartments right across the street from my office
Um. They are crazy expensive.
But you know what? I would be so unhappy living in Maryland.
I’ve tried it before and it just did not work for me.
In the DC metro area, you are either Team Virginia or Team Maryland.
I am team Virginia through and through.
So I am leaving all of that alone until after tax season. With a new receptionist I would not leave before she has gone through a tax season and understands as much as possible about the firm.
I love my job, wanted to grow with this firm in particular, but the commute is killing me.
Others in the firm also have long commutes. But they live far away AND they knowingly signed up for it.
I did not.
NOW. On to a positive note. I am super excited about this weekend!
A co-worker and I are going through a weekend motorcycle training course.
Yes. It will be held during the COLDEST weekend of the year thus far AND it will feel like working full-time over the weekend since the classes will run Friday night 6:45pm to 10pm and Saturday & Sunday from 7:30am to 6 pm…
But still, WE WILL BE RIDING MOTORCYCLES!!!
Although I now own a Harley AND I have a motorcycle license and have had it for YEARS…
I want a refresher course to feel more comfortable with driving my said beautiful Harley out on the open roads with more confidence.
One of my bosses is so eagerly waiting for the day I drive my Harley into work.
Now there is a greater chance it will be sooner rather than later AND now I am going to acquire a partner in crime.
I will have someone to ride with!
And his wife wants in on it too!! First as a passenger and then as a hell yeah driver!
Side note, she wants to be a driver now, but, good things come to those who wait.
Nonetheless, this my friends will be on the icing on my 2016 cake!
To hell with my horrible commute for now, this weekend I will be in heaven and I will be freezing my @ss off!
Happy Nearing the End of 2016!
Tuesday, February 24th, 2014, my little man Caesar unexpectedly passed away.
I came home from work, noticed that he was having trouble breathing and rushed him to the vet.
They took x-rays and the experience scared him so badly that they had to put him on oxygen to keep him breathing.
I rushed him across town to an emergency vet hospital and four hours after arriving home from work, what I thought was a normal day, my little man was gone.
That was one of the worse days of my life.
Tuesday, February 24th, 2015, my guardian who cared for me during my high school and college years will be laid to rest.
She was a wonderful and giving woman, and she was strong, both physically and mentally.
She had a garden that she loved so much, flowers and vegetables galore.
And when I say garden, I really mean a small farm out back that she took care of all by herself, by choice.
She was 50 years older than me, and even back in high school, she could out last me physically and stamina wise.
I remember thinking ~ I want to be like her when I get older ~ full of life, strong, capable with an ‘I do it myself and not going to have it any other way’ mentality.
She lived in her own home with her niece until about a year or so ago, and then she moved in with her daughter.
She outlived her brother and sister by many years, both of which lived on the same street as her, they were two of her three neighbors.
She was a very resilient woman.
I was there for her when her husband passed away. She had cared for him many years after he had a stroke, so when he passed away it was very life changing for her.
And she was there for me when my step-mother passed away, a very life changing event for me too.
I think that is when we bonded most, because both deaths happened around the same time.
She lived to be 94, which is pretty awesome in my book.
I am very sad that she is gone, and I am very disappointed that I didn’t make it down one last time to see her.
Over the last couple of years I have had a couple of challenging changes going on in my life as well, and the opportunity to see her again unknowingly slipped by.
She gave me one of the best compliments ever, her gift to me.
She told my grandmother, and both she and my mom remind me of it often, especially when I need a lift.
She said ~ If someone cannot get along with Lisa, well then, there is something wrong with them.
I have only been to a few funerals. I can count them on half of one hand.
It is going to be very hard to see this strong woman lying there lifeless, and me not being able to talk with her one last time.
Tuesday, February 24th, 2015 is going to be an emotional day.
I hope Tuesday, February 24th, 2016 will bring a different kind of life affirming gift.
Please don’t take today or tomorrow for granted.
I know I won’t.
I melt like butta.
Michael Bublé’s music….plain and simple, makes me happy.
His most recent album To Be Loved is beautiful.
My favorite song off of the album is Something Stupid (Michael Bublé with Reese Witherspoon).
I see myself dancing to this one day with someone I love.
But another song caught my attention the other morning while driving to work.
I’ve Got It Easy by Michael Bublé.
As I listened to the song, I had these types of visions come to mind….
And I thought, I’ve Got It Easy too.
I have had these thoughts before when I was going through scary, painful, or sad times.
During those times I told God ~ I am hurting or scared or whatever the experience might be in the moment, but I have never experienced 1/100th of what so many people on the planet have/ or are experiencing. Please help them. Please help me too.
And I remember to be grateful for my life even during the not so hot times.
Because in reality, I’ve Got It Easy, as many of you do too.
I don’t know that I have ever dreamt about alligators before.
But I did last night.
So not cool.
There were two of them, huge mothers, they kinda looked like this….
They were in my place, and I had to maneuver around them to find my cats (Cicero and Caesar who have since passed) to get them to safety.
The whole time thinking, how the hell did two alligators get into my place (my condo that was on the 14th floor in the middle of the city in a prime location that I have since sold)?
And they killed someone I didn’t know, snapped him in half and ate him right in front of me.
The dream continued for a long time, me trying to herd others to safety, everyone in the condo building working frantically to deal with the situation.
In the end, I don’t know how it was dealt with, but I was in my condo again looking at ash piles in the shape of two huge alligators.
In the mix was also a lot of time spent with someone I have wondered what it would be like to be in a relationship with, but he’s taken, so it is not an option.
And when I say taken, I mean married, so not only is it not an option, no one on the planet except for one, knows that I was even half way intrigued by this person.
In my dream this guy also had a connection to the one guy I still measure everyone against, and no one has even come close to him, although he did have his flaws too.
So I googled ~ What does it mean to dream about alligators?
Because I do think we work things out in our dreams and our minds use symbols.
I found lots of stuff, but this is the only thing that really resonated with me:
When an alligator or crocodile appears in your dream, you can be sure that they have something important to share; whether it’s facing a personal fear, confronting a difficult situation, or accepting that you are connected to a tremendous source of power.
I got a raise yesterday.
And I gotta tell you, that was the most painful raise to get.
At one point during the day, because they were less than thrilled out of their gourds to finally have the meeting, I wanted to tell them ~ just forget about it.
But I didn’t.
I even cried at lunch (away from the office).
Not a boo hoo poor me mega tears cry, just a few tears from pent up frustration that needed releasing so I didn’t carry emotions into the meeting.
I try to reflect on how far I have come….
In nine months, I came on board with $4k more than I was making (had to factor in commuting at the time), have had two reviews, have had them pick up my full medical insurance, have received a 4% raise and have them considering paying for Quickbooks training next month.
In 3 ½ years (because I was unemployed for a few months between this job and the last), by this year’s end I will have increased my salary by 80% since starting over in a new field in the fall of 2010.
You’d think I would be thrilled.
But I am a bit discouraged, tired and pondering….what am I going to do now?
I can go back to school and pick up with the accounting course work that I started at my last job.
I already have a BA, so I am only about 9 classes away from earning an accounting certificate that would enable me to become an accountant.
It can be done in a year, if you don’t dork around, bite the bullet and dedicate every waking minute of one year to getting it done.
And that’s what I am pondering; do I have that in me?
Is this what I want?
I have two girlfriends, one single and one a mother, who did have that kind of dedication and drive….one, earned her master’s degree and one earned her bachelor’s degree.
I don’t even need a degree, just a certificate.
Plus, working in the accounting field, even on the administrative side, you gotta factor in tax season aka lack of time to do anything but tax season.
And then I have thoughts of, it is possible to become a CPA in five years.
I don’t know that it is possible for me because the CPA exam is extremely difficult to pass.
I don’t know whether or not I even want to go that far.
But the possibility is there, so it gets me thinking.
So, I am so glad it is Wednesday, because I am ready for the weekend!
And I hope I don’t dream about alligators anymore.
I’d like some bunnies, butterflies and bottlenose dolphins please.
Not that I have looked those up, but they have got to be warm, cuddly and fun, right?
Tune for the Post ~ Fix You by Coldplay
I have often wondered how someone was able to adopt a new pet shortly after the passing of their longtime and much-loved pet.
And now I know firsthand.
This past Saturday I decided to go back to the place that I adopted Cicero eleven years ago, and then Caesar ten years ago.
I was only going to look, and to see how I felt.
And all I knew was that when I was ready to adopt, I wanted a male kitten that looked nothing like Cicero or Caesar, because I wanted a new experience and I wanted to create a new bond.
Almost everyone wants kittens because they are teeny, tiny and cute.
I wanted a kitten because I wanted many, many, and hopefully many more years than that, before I had to experience the loss of another furry companion.
I spent three hours there with one little kitty, whom I decided to adopt.
#1 It’s a she.
#2 She’s not a kitten, she’s 2 years old.
#3 She’s teeny, tiny and quite a handful.
#4 If curiosity doesn’t kill the cat, I might.
She has no fear.
I just had to go and get her out of the dishwasher that I left open so the dishes could air dry.
There is no inch of my place that she hasn’t tried to get in and out of.
So far she has been successful.
Every place that I feared Caesar might try to squeeze into, she’s been there, freaked me out, and done that.
And then has gone back to do it again.
I named her Kennedy.
I don’t usually give my pets a middle name, but for her I did.
A tribute to my two little dudes that came before her, whom I still love and miss very much.
Her middle name is in parenthesis because it is just for me and her .
Me, so I will never forget Cicero and Caesar.
Her, for when I am trying to stop her from trying to hop into the oven again by yelling out her full name like a parent who is trying to communicate….do it and you are in BIG trouble!!
Please meet, Kennedy (Rose)….
Wellness, Support and Mindset
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An Aussie in Boston learns to run. And tries not to fall down.