Hey, God, if this is a test, just give me an F already, would you?

The past week. I think it’s God testing me. But I really wish He’d lay off at this point - I’m about pushed to the brink and I can’t really go any further.

First of all, last week, I get a call from my mother. A distant cousin, whom I haven’t seen since he was about six and I was a teenager, was found dead with his girlfriend in her Northern Virginia backyard last week. (Yes, if you’re asking if it’s the teen lovers in Loudon, yes - I won’t post stories here from the Post because it’s registration only, but if you live in that area, I’m sure you’ve seen it on tv or in the paper). While I wasn’t close to him, my mother is very close to his grandmother, her cousin, and we’ve all been reeling for the past week. The police still haven’t finished the investigation. And it hit me a bit hard because I have other teenaged cousins in that area who I am very, very close to, and I worry about them thinking that suicide is a way out - after all, our cousin did it. So I’ve really wanted to be with my family in the past week, but being stuck in the boonies of Ohio, I’ve only been able to be informed by the phone.

So that’s one thing that’s been consuming my mind lately. Then I find out my grandmother (my dad’s mom) went into the hospital last Friday with congestive heart failure. Of course, no one tells me this until way after the fact and she’s about to be released. Well, as the doctor was about to sign off on her release, her kidneys began failing. She’s gotten through that, and we hope she’s out of the hospital soon. As her doctor said, she’s a tough old bird and the backbone of the family - my grandfather will tell you it’s him, but we know the truth;). I adore my grandmother - she is everything I would love to be in a woman. Left home to join the Army in her twenties during WWII, met my grandfather, fell in love, married in Italy, came home to raise five children in Florida while working as a nurse her entire life. She is amazing. And every time I think about losing her, it breaks my heart. It’s the saddest thing in the world to me to know that my own children may not know her. And again, I’m in Ohio, she’s in Florida. I have no way to get down to her. However, my dear, sweet husband has promised me that if we hear something is happening, we will get in the car and drive to Florida immediately so that I can be with her. I hope we won’t have to do it, and we’ll be able to see her in May as planned, but I’m really scared for her right now.

So of course, that’s plenty right there. Then my mom calls tonight and starts a sentence with “Well, Aunt Mary’s funeral is on Friday.”. Umm…WHAT? No one bothered to tell me that my Aunt Mary had died in the first place! It’s my mother’s aunt, my great-aunt, and my mom was closer to her than I was, but I would have liked to have known about her death before being told when her funeral was. So it’s not been a good week for that side of the family. She’s had problems for awhile now - diabetes and heart disease. And now her oldest son is being a total prick about the funeral. Why do people turn into complete fucking animals when someone dies?

Of course, the cherry on the sundae was my mother telling me that she took our youngest (well, now only) cat that lives with them to the vet. He hasn’t been eating or drinking, and he’s been urinating a LOT of blood. She said she’s found blood all over the bathtub, and he urinated a lot of blood right in the vet’s office. The vet is hoping it’s just a bad bladder infection and we’ve caught it in time, but the way he was talking, something tells me it’s not. Cats usually drink a lot with bladder infections and he’s not drinking at all. In December of 2003, we still had three cats who lived with my parents. Hurricane died that December - he was sick, and wandered off and passed away in the woods. Isabella, my girl since I was 12, died in October of this year. And I can’t stand the thought of losing Rugby, too. We were going home to visit my family in February, and I’ve been looking forward to seeing him - he has been a huge attention whore since Izzy died, and I really just wanted to spend some time with him.

Add to that some personal health issues I’m dealing with, and the week has just been a fucking gem. I keep trying to make myself laugh, but it’s been hard. So God? Allah? Yahweh? Whoever the fuck is pulling this shit? Knock it the fuck off. I’m sick and tired of it. At least throw a lottery win in the middle of this somewhere, would you? Or a free trip to the Bahamas? Anything to break up the slew of tragedies and bad news.


You ever get the idea that God and man are in some really bizarre S/M relationship and we’ve forgotten the safe word?

Elza, these awful things do seem to happen in waves, don’t they? And then, if we’re lucky, we get a breather. I’m sorry that things have been so rough for you. Such tender feelings are involved whether it be great aunts or our pets.

Your grandmother sounds like a really interesting woman who has lived a life with great intensity. I’m a grandmother myself and one of the people I love most is a granddaughter. I worry about her ability to let me go when the time comes. Just today I hid a note in a special place where she’s sure to find it someday:

“Grammy loves Caitlin forever.”

My father hid things for me – knowing that they would find me after he was gone and comfort me and remind me that love endures.

I don’t know the right things to say to you. I hope that you can find something here that will sooth you.

This too shall pass.

/Family Guy/ “the safety word is banana” \FG

I hope so. I know I’ll feel better if I hear from my mom that Rugby’s okay this morning. That’s what’s foremost on my mind at the moment.

And my grandma is amazing - she’s actually promised me the letters that she and my grandpa wrote when they were first married, and she’d been sent home while he was still in Europe. I’m hoping to make a screenplay out of them - it just seems like a story like hers shouldn’t be kept in the family.

Thanks for the thoughts - I know I’ll be fine, I just felt a bit overwhelmed last night, you know?

LorieSmurf, if my office wonders why I keep yelling ‘banana’ at inopportune times, I’m referring them to you for an explanation :smiley: .


Bill Door, I want that as a sig, 'kay?

I’m so sorry, Elza B, that things are so rough lately. I hope things calm down soon.

Oh, the joys of living far from the people you love when the shit hits the fan. Been there, done that, hated every fucking second of it.

Three weeks after we moved from Kentucky to North Carolina, Dr.J’s uncle was killed in an accident. The next week, the week he had to start his 80-90 hours/week work as an intern, my mother told me that my grandma had inoperable metastatic cancer and would almost certainly die. The week after that, his great-grandfather died suddenly of natural causes. Week after that, my mom tells me that the sweet old dog we’ve had since I was sixteen, the one that had had a tumor removal come back with dirty margins a few months before, had a huge lump on her back, and it felt like the one she’d had before.

A year after we moved, my uncle was diagnosed with lung cancer and given six months to live. A few months later, my dad had a stroke. My mother not only expressly forbid me to come home, she wouldn’t let Dr.J call me at work to tell me. She didn’t even want him to tell me when I got home, but rather wanted him to wait until the morning because there was nothing I could do that night. Like there was something I could do in the morning?

And there’s a whole thread about my uncle’s final days. I really don’t feel like getting into all that again.

I don’t have any wisdom or advice or comfort to offer, unfortunately. I wish I did. I just wanted to let you know that I understand the worry, the frustration, the gut-wrenching feeling of helplessness that goes with not being able to be there. If you want an ear to listen or a shoulder to lean on, feel free to email me. And if you just want to break down and have a good long cry about it all, I’m happy to lend you a towel to dry of with afterwards.

Thanks:). You hit the nail on the head. I guess I should be used to it after living in NYC for four years, but now that I’ve started my own family with mr. e. - it just seems so much more important now, you know? We’re close enough to his family that if something happens, we’re within driving distance, but he isn’t as close to his family as I am to mine. So he doesn’t particularly understand my desperate need to feel like I’m kept up with the family issues.

I appreciate the offer of the shoulder - and consider the offer reciprocated - if you ever need the same, my email’s always on.

Trouble Again, thanks:).

Actually, today was better (save for the strange reaction I had to a Tylenol Flu earlier in the afternoon - I felt like I was drunk and couldn’t stay awake…WTF?). Talked to my mom and the kitty is okay. He’s home and eating and drinking like his usual self - the vet gave him anti-inflammatories and antibiotics, so hopefully, that did the trick. And now the one thing this has made me realize is that we have GOT to go home to visit my parents soon - I haven’t been home since my wedding, and I need to be there for my own sanity - see my brother and sister-in-law, see the cat, see the kids next door, all of that good stuff. It’s just necessary for my own well-being.