Letting Go 4-12-18

I saw this quote this morning on a blog site called Random Writings. Jim has a wonderful blog site and I enjoy reading his page everyday. This mornings post really hit home. I couldn’t resist blogging my own experience of the importance of accepting that at some point it’s time to let go of expecting what we want and just move on and start living.

For me this quote is so true. In the weeks and even the night before my dad passed away my dad’s sister managed to transfer all of the property my parents had spent their entire life working for in to her name leaving my family penniless. The story that led up to this is long and even unbelievable so I won’t go in to detail. All I know is one day my parents net worth was well over eight million dollars and the next day my father was gone and my mother was flat broke and homeless.

For seven years we have been in a lawsuit fighting to get everything back. In that time I’ve battled cancer among other things including depression. This has affected my family in such a negative way. Despite it all, my aunt has fought us every step of the way. She made millions on the property while my mother and I have been broke. We found ourselves living in one of our rentals that she now owns.

We are grateful to have a roof over our head however it’s the circumstances that have been challenging. The home is old and needs much work. The septic tank overflows all the time. It’s over 50 years old and needs to be replaced. My mother and I have gone without water and even a toilet for days at a time. A month ago one of the pipes broke and flooded the basement with sewer. I noticed it when I walked downstairs barefoot and stepped in sewer water. I’ve been so sick ever since. Black soot comes out of the vents and there is mold downstairs. In short this home is a parasitic environment. Our attorney has tried to get my aunt to do the much needed repairs while we have pushed through this lawsuit but she has refused. We didn’t know my aunt before her arrival months before my dad passed away. In fact, my dad hadn’t seen her in over 40 years. We have since learned she is a slum lord as well, in our opinion, a manipulative, greedy thief.

We were set to go to hearing May 31st. Yesterday my mother and I dropped the lawsuit. We are walking away. We have no idea where we will go or what we will do but we have given up on expecting to receive what we think should happen and just move on. Life is short. This quote is a reminder that it’s time to just start living and hope for the best. We don’t always get what we want but who knows, maybe what we wanted is not as big as what god wanted for us in the first place. I hope so any way.

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Crazy Train 9-11-17

Do you ever wake up in the morning and wonder “How in the heck did I get here?”  You find yourself living a life that seems like a dream and not a good dream at that.  Maybe more like a nightmare.  You’re lying in bed and the only voice in your head is Ozzie Osbourne belting out “All Aboard!!!”  Is your answer yes?  Yeah…Me too!!!

September 14th will be the anniversary of my dad’s passing six years ago.  What a journey it’s been. The only way to describe it…..It has certainly been one hell of a “Crazy Train”.  I have spent the past six years grieving.  When I say grieving, I mean for two years I cried every day.  I slept with my dad’s ashes next to my bed.  I had nightmares every night.  Up until a few months ago I stopped believing my dad was coming back and finally accepted that he was gone.  I’ve spent more days then I can count balling my head off.  I’ve spent six years trying to figure out how to live my life without my dad as my sidekick. I haven’t done a very good job at it either.  Three of those years I found myself fighting cancer among other things including a crazy boyfriend who I should mention was not only a freak, but he was 20 years older than me and made my life even more crazy than it already was. I have battled grief, cancer, abusive relationships, loss of work due to illness, memory loss, anxiety, depression, PTSD and the real clincher, I lost everything I ever worked for.  My life is in financial disarray.  I’m not only rock bottom, I’m even living with my mom.  How embarrassing.  Somehow, this life isn’t what I had in mind for myself.  I feel like George Constanza from Seinfeld.  I’m unemployed, a nut and I live with my “parent” and let me tell ya, living with my mother hasn’t been a cake walk.  I have often joked I’d like to throw momma off this “Crazy Train” I’ve found myself on.

For those of you who have followed me, you know my story.  My story is not your typical Hallmark feel good story.  No, my story is more like a VH1 TV Series.  The difference between my story and say… those reality TV shows on VH1, my story is the real deal.  You can’t make up this crap.  I’ve been on a Crazy Train since September 14, 2011.  Like the song “I’ve been going off the rails”.  The good news is as I approach my dad’s six year anniversary, I find myself coming out of this fog and I’m beginning to hear the whistle blow.  I am beginning to hear Ozzie belt out “Stop Ahead” opposed to “All Aboard”  FINALLY!!

Dying sucks!!!  Especially when the person that dies happens to be your dad, best friend and the only side kick you’ve ever known.  My dad was all of the above to me.  A week before my dad passed away, we were on our way home from seeing his doctor who had told us my dad only had a couple of weeks left to live.  I was devastated.  I asked my dad what I was going to do without him.  I’m not sure if my dad recognized that I was serious.  He told me I was going to be fine and asked me to watch over “Mother Superior”.  My dad’s nickname for my mother. My dad and I had a special bond.  He wasn’t just my dad, he was my best friend. Undoubtedly the most important man in my life.  Was my dad perfect? Hell NO!  Daddy was a rebel!!!  A fun rebel who always looked out for me.  My dad used to say “Velma, men are like greyhound busses.  There’s always another one at the next stop, going to the same place for the same fare”  I believed him which is why I wasn’t one of those women that cried for too long after a break up.  For me it was on to the next.  Unfortunately, while my dad’s words of wisdom came in handy when it came to boyfriends or even an ex-husband, his words of wisdom didn’t include living without him. My dad was and will always be the Greyhound Bus I will never be able to replace.

Today is a new day.  Life is getting better.  I am finally on the mend.  I am ready to start over.  I’m even eager to begin a new phase in my life.  A life without my dad, but a life with purpose.  People always say time heals all wounds.  These words are true, however I don’t believe there should ever be a time limit on how long it should take to heal from the loss of someone you love.  Many people have lost their parents.  Many of them have bounced back in a matter of months.  It took me six years.  My advice to anyone who might be grieving the loss of someone they loved, give yourself some time.  I don’t have a time limit. You shouldn’t either.  It’s different for everyone.  There is a light at the end of the tunnel.  And if you find yourself waking up from what seems like a bad dream which is actually your life and you hear Ozzie Osbourne belting out “All Aboard”……Don’t worry about it.  In every “Crazy Train” ride, there’s always a stop and a new beginning.  As my dad’s anniversary approaches, I am ready to get off this “Crazy Train” and start living life again.  My dad is no longer with me, but he will always be with me in spirit.  He will always have a place in my heart that is hidden from the world.  My private place where the love for my dad will live on forever or until we meet again.

Daddy Knows Best. 8-21-14

I woke up this morning at 6 am. I was rather shaken from a dream, however when I tried to recall the details of the dream, I couldn’t bring myself to remember. I sat down to have a cup of coffee but I had this feeling I needed to go to an AA meeting. I got dressed and decided to walk the Kehei strip and attend the 7:00 meeting on the beach. It rained last night here in Maui so the walk was rather muggy. As I walked I prayed asking for healing not just for myself but my children, my mother, brother, friends and even my ex. I also prayed that one day I would call Maui my second home. I love it here. Maui is a very healing place. I’ve met so many people here and have made more friends in the five times I’ve been here these past two years than I have living in San Francisco. The people here are friendly and very happy. Everyone I’ve met is healing from something. Whether it’s a divorce, cancer, addiction or even just trying to find themselves, somehow Maui is the place to be. Maui is not for everyone but it certainly is the place for me.

I love Maui but for some reason this morning I didn’t wake up to that peaceful, easy feeling I have welcomed every morning that I’ve been here. AA was calling my name. Don’t get me wrong. I didn’t have this urge to drink, I just had this urge to hear the words of encouragement I can only get when I attend a meeting and listen to the words of wisdom from one of my fellow recovering alcoholics. I walked the long stretch, praying and reflecting. When i arrived at the meeting it was cancelled so I turned around and walked home. As I walked back I kept thinking about my life, my kids and suddenly I found myself thinking about the two young kids I saw outside the grocery store yesterday. Ron and I ran to Time super market yesterday afternoon after spending a couple of hours at Big Beach. After we paid for our groceries, Ron decided to run back inside to buy an order of BBQ chicken. I told him I’d wait by the car. Our car was parked in front of the store next to the picnic tables outside. I walked towards the car and there were several young 20 year olds sitting and standing next to the table. I could tell they were not much older than 21. As I stood next to my car one of the young girls turned around and looked at me. Her face was covered in sores. At first I thought it was acne. I couldn’t help but stare. As I looked closer I noticed not only was this young girls face covered in sores but so were her arms, legs and feet. She kept pulling her pants down and scratching her bottom. I was rather dumbfounded. When I looked at her boyfriend he was also covered in sores. They were both very dirty. At that point I saw the boyfriend make an exchange w someone sitting at the table. I realized I had witnessed a drug deal. I remembered a girl I met so many years ago when I was in rehab battling alcohol addiction. She was a meth addict. When she arrived her face and body were covered with the same sores. I learned at that time those were side effects from meth. I watched these two young kids walk towards their car. They got in a jalopy and drove away. My heart sank and my stomach was sick. I couldn’t help but feel sorry for them and pray they would find sobriety. I prayed for my own kids silently as we drove home. I was really bothered by this. I suspect that’s what was bothering me this morning. As we drove home I suddenly thought of my dad. As some of you are aware I have had my own struggles with addiction. I’ve also battled an eating disorder. In 1996 I beat my eating disorder and in 2002 I beat my alcohol addiction. Both times my dad was my biggest supporter. Every time I wanted to give up my dad would always remind me there were people fighting harder diseases such as cancer. They were fighting because they wanted to live. He would tell me that while my life at that time may have seemed crappy, others would give anything to trade their lives with me just for a chance to live another day. My dad would tell me I had a chance, others weren’t quite as lucky. He would say “you’re slowly killing yourself while others are fighting to stay alive!” I used to get so mad at him but suddenly as we drove home everything my dad said made sense. Today I’m fighting cancer. I don’t want to die. I want to live to see what my kids will become. I want to experience grandkids. I want to travel the world. I have so many unfulfilled dreams I want to accomplish. While I’m fighting to stay alive, these two young kids were fighting for another high, while slowly but surely killing themselves. It made me sad. My dad is no longer by my side supporting me as I fight my new battle….cancer but his words of wisdom are still the words that give me strength to fight and never give up. I hope that the two young people I saw yesterday will be blessed with someone as wonderful as my dad was to come in to their lives and give them the same words of encouragement and support my dad offered so many years ago and they too will experience winning the fight to overcome their addiction. Today I’m lost without my dad. I’d give anything to hear his words of wisdom just one more time but while he is no longer with me I’m confident he’s with me in spirit. I will continue to pray for healing for these two young kids. Of course I’ll be sure to pray for my healing too. I’ve survived everything else, why not survive this little thing called cancer too!!! If I can do it, so can you!!