Home » A Wasted Life » Another Loss And Another Chapter

Another Loss And Another Chapter

I moved into the house in A********.  There never really was a “comfort zone” there but there wasn’t much that did offer comfort.  I was so incredibly sad and I just couldn’t seem to pull myself out of the deep depression that I had been slowly sinking into since I first found out about J***.  I wanted him to do something to fix it and not continue to just try to buy my forgiveness.  Buying flowers and gifts cost money but they didn’t require much time or energy…..just a credit card and a quick search on the internet.
When I was packing up the house in C*********, I found something that my son had written several years before.  It was so insightful and so painful.  I had no idea that he was seeing the damage that J*** was doing to me. It almost broke my heart when I read what he had written about us.  He wrote about his “abused and busted mother and his cruel and distant father.”
B***** said that when she was younger, she remembered that I always looked so sad.  I guess I thought I had fooled my children, like I thought I had fooled everybody else.  She asked me why I didn’t leave him.  I told her that I had always thought he would change.  I had always thought that when the children were grown and out of the house, there would be time for me.  I had always thought that some day he might actually notice me.  Ironically, the only person I had been fooling was myself.
S*** continued to call and we tried to have our usual conversations.  I’d whine to him about how it had snowed and all I had was a garden shovel with a broken handle and I was trying to clear the driveway with it.  We discussed his treatments and how he was feeling.
He talked about how he was wondering what his life would have been like if he had gotten married and had children instead of choosing his career.  He said he knew one thing and that was that he wasn’t going to do what J*** had done, which was put his career first, at the expense of his family.
I offered to sell him a few of my children.  I told him that they were already housebroken.  He laughed.  I tried to make him laugh as much as I could.
One day B***** called me.  She asked me if there was a “bridal fund.”  I said “a bridal fund?”  She and her boyfriend, T** were going to get married.  I told her that J*** and I never sat around and talked about the day our daughters would get married.  He never talked about “walking them down the aisle.”  We never talked about anything that normal married couples talked about, so no, there was no bridal fund.  I think she was a little upset.  I told her that what he DID do, was make sure that every one of them had the opportunity to get a college education.  He didn’t care anything about marriage but he did care about education.
The next day, K**** called me and asked the same thing.  She and her boyfriend, Ed were going to get married, too.
Wow.  Two weddings.  I wanted to be happy for both of them, but as my marriage was falling apart, I couldn’t help but be afraid for them.
J*** was still coming to see me.  I asked him if anybody ever questioned him about his “wife.”  He said he had told them in N****** when they asked, “well, she has that house to sell in C*********. ”  I don’t know what he was telling them in A*******.
We made another trip to F****** to see S*** and our girls.  S*** had started falling down and it was clear that he was going to need help.  While we were there, I offered to come down and look after him. He was the only person who hadn’t deserted me.
He agreed and I went back to A********, closed up the house and headed back down to F******.  The tumor was taking its toll on him.  I took him to his treatments and actually watched when he went into a big tube and had his tumor radiated.  It was fascinating and horrible at the same time.
S*** had mentioned paying me for looking after him.  J*** immediately said “no…..you’re family.”  He wasn’t going to be the caregiver, yet he was going to adamantly oppose the offer of compensation to me.  Why was that?  Was it because my time, in his eyes, was worthless?  Was it because my care, in his eyes, was worthless?  Was it because I had returned to less than nothing?  I had always seemed to be less than nothing. Then I became an EMT, which was basically nothing and now it seemed I was once again, regarded as less than nothing.
S*** knew he was going to “leave” and decided to be cremated.  He asked me if it would bother me if he left me some of his ashes.  I reminded him that I had been carrying my mamas’ ashes around in the trunk of my car for three years so no, it wouldn’t bother me.
It was painful being around him.  I watched this big, strong, strapping man dwindle down to almost half his former self.
He said to me one day, “P****, you never smile.”  It was true.  I hadn’t smiled in years.  He didn’t smile anymore either and he had lost that little giggle he used to have.
My smile had been decimated by a cheating husband who thought it should be excused, the same way you would excuse forgetting to unplug a toaster.
S***s’ had been consumed by a vicious, unsympathetic tumor that was unconcerned about the life it was taking.
I stayed and helped him until there was an emergent situation with my son and I had to leave.  I think S*** got mad at me but I was emotionally, physically and mentally exhausted.
I went back up to A******** and continued working on the house.  I was so tired of being the “handy man.”  I had been a handy man, I had been a “right hand man” just about my entire life and I was tired of it.  One day on a whim, I decided to just put the house up for sale.  It only took a short while to sell it and then………where was I going to go?
J*** never asked me to come to A******* but my girls had asked me to come back to F******.  I put everything into a storage unit in F****** and spent my time going back and forth between my girls’ houses.
Then I got a call from K*******, S***s’ sister.  S*** had died.
He had planned a service and there was standing room only.  He had provided plenty of booze, which J*** took advantage of.  After the service, we were leaving and J*** had a beer in his hand that he had just opened.  He was getting ready to get in my daughters’ truck.  I told him that I wasn’t getting in the truck if he was taking that beer with him.  He was clearly pissed and guzzled as much of it down as he could.  Then he threw the bottle in the parking lot.
Everybody hated my views on drinking.  I had taken a lifetime of grief over my disdain for alcohol and nobody ever seemed to understand why I felt the way I did.
S***s’ siblings were gracious enough to let me stay in S***s’ house and gave me the first right of refusal to buy it but I didn’t want to live in the heart of O******.  I stayed until I could find a place of my own.
I found a little cottage-style house northwest of O******.  It was perfect for me, I thought.  I started decorating it in the “shabby chic” style.  Not everybody liked it but I did.
Then, B***** and T** announced their plans to get married.

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