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Someone you spent so much of your life completely hating?

Do you lift a toast to their passing, hoping that, somehow, they have finally entered the gates of Hell? Do you suddenly relax, knowing the battle is finally over? That, in the end, survival is the final victory, and the only one which matters?

The final member of my nuclear family, up one level, passed away a few days ago. My step-mother died at a Nursing Home in my hometown at the age of 96. She had a very important impact on my life. It was, for the most part, not a good one. I spent many years of my life hating her because of what she was in my world. We had an open, and mutually declared war for some seven years. It was a mutually agreed upon "scorched earth" strategy. Both sides of this conflict had their supporters and detractors, some inside and some outside the family. I made sure that happened. So did she.

Follow me just below the squiggledoodlethingey fold, and I'll try to tell you about it.

Lucille Yandall Ray Keiser Fields

February 10, 1916 - May 29, 2012

Lucy R. Fields was born in Pleasureville, Henry County, Kentucky. She was married to Jack Keiser in Frankfort, Kentucky, and bore two children: James Keiser and Susan Mary Elizabeth Keiser. After divorcing her husband, she worked in Frankfort as a secretary for elected State Representatives and State Senators from the secretarial pool. As a single mother in the late 1940's and early 1950's, she was a single income provider for her family in Frankfort, Kentucky. With the incoming Senator Class of 1954, she was requested to be assigned to a first term Senator from the hills of southeastern Kentucky, Merlin B. "Tug" Fields, Sr., my father.

For the next six years, she would serve as his senior secretary. In 1956 (very shortly after my birth, in fact), Tug would declare his intention to divorce his wife, my Mother. On January 14th, 1961, the Final Divorce Decree would be issued in Perry County, Kentucky and personally delivered by messenger to my mother.

It was a date I very clearly remember, because it was my Mother's 44th birthday. Later that same month, Lucy Keiser would be brought to my hometown, and lodged in a top floor apartment in one of our local hotels. Within one month, she and my Father would be quietly married in Frankfort, Kentucky, and would set up housekeeping in my home town. The die was cast.

I remember the day my Father left us. I very clearly remember walking down the steps to the living room, seeing my Father's lone suitcase (one he would keep for the remainder of his life) at the bottom, with him straddling it as he reached out his arms to me. I heard a lot of crying, from my siblings and my Mother. I remember refusing his arms, and running to my Mother. Why was she crying so? She said to me that "Daddy is leaving us." "Why, Mommy?" I remember asking her. Some things are difficult for a six year-old to fathom. She never responded. Never.

Neither my Mother OR my Father were perfect people, by even the most generous stretch of the imagination. Every Wednesday, after school I and my Sister Jean would walk from school to my Father's Law offices, where he would let us entertain ourselves until his work was done for the day. We met every other occupant of the building, much to my Father's chagrin on more than one occasion. I can still smell the hallways. We would either eat dinner as Don's Restaurant, or at Bailey's Restaurant. Then, we would be taken home.

We were very, very poor at my home, so getting to eat at a real "sit down" restaurant was, for us as children a very big deal! Impressive, even. As intended. Life at home was not quite like that, but whenever we were with our Father, life seemed to be a lot different, a lot better.

It had to be. After all, expectations had been set, and the removal from the power center of the Commonwealth to a "hick-ridden backwater town" came at a very steep price.

The price was paid, over and over again. Status mattered to my Father, and to "Miss Lucy", his new wife. That name came with a lot of baggage, and it's own set of expectations. It was not, lest you be confused, an endearment of affection or love. It was a statement of status: hers and mine. It is a very complicated story to tell. Perhaps someday, I will do the telling of it, from my perspective.

But, as a simple example, once she came to Hazard, we always got new school clothes. That was a big difference to us, and to our lives. We would be collected up, and delivered to my Father's office, where "Miss Lucy" would leave her desk (she would serve as my Father's Legal Secretary until her retirement in 1969), and off to the most expensive stores in my home town we would be trundled.

Everything from socks and underwear to suits for church would be "put on Tugs account"". We would shop until the stores closed, or until we were done. On several occasions, multiple trips were required. Lucy would select (at least in my case) everything. Every once in a while, I would be allowed to choose between the Blue shirt and the Green shirt, but it would be a choice between shirts of the same cut, quality, and label. It did not take a brain trust to understand the goings-on of such events. We children must, as we had for years, look in such a way as to be a positive piece of social jewelry for our Father.

She was consistently befuddled by our offerings of "Thanks!", while never receiving our love. So, too, was life around our Father, who really found children to be a bit of an inconvenience in his life quite befudling--to his children. We were always told, immediately prior to our departing from his presence that he loved us. We told him that we loved him, too. Lucy would declare her love for us, and ask for a kiss. She never got it, at least from the two children I can speak for. Between the grown-ups and the children in these scenarios, one of the defining confusions was the different definitions of love. Ours was simple, and complete for our Father, but never once did we feel that love returned. The definitions were different. We chose to stick with ours, and the situation only grew in contention.

We were NEVER allowed, by either parent, to speak ill of the other within their hearing. Oh, how I do remember the skirmishes. One of my Sisters would choose to live with my Father, whom she idolized. But she would be as much a part of my home life as any other member, with the exception of my father, of course. Two different worlds, two different universes. Two different lives. Two of many, as it would turn out.

My Sister would take her own life, at my Father's home (never hers, as it turned out) on March 4th, 1967. I remembered that, during the entire process of death, I never saw or heard my father cry. I do remember Lucy being publicly unconsolable. Her private grief was something else entirely different. I also remember the effects this tragedy had on the rest of my family, and especially upon my Mother. Shortly (days) after my Sister's funeral, our home was sold for condemnation to the State for a proposed by-pass. From that day, until late May, 1967, I and my sister lived with my father and Lucy on Main Street. My mother, alone, lived in a hotel in a different city until we joined her, and moved into a tenement apartment, where we would live until her death on January 9th, 1971.

From the date of their divorce, until the moment of her death, my Mother loved my Father. Upon the occasion of my Mother's death, my Father and Lucy traveled to Lexington, Kentucky and "took up" at a famous hotel, The Phoenix. Ironic, huh. I was a newly minted 15 year old teen. My Sister, who had come to Lexington with me to live with my Mother in 1967, would move into my Father's home in 1969. She says today that she moved to get away from my Mother's alcoholic abuse. Point taken. Life was better at my Father's house? With two alcoholics (and many of their friends) hanging out?

Evidently, the treasures promised were greater than the love shared. The treasures would be dribble out of my Father's beneficence, but my Sister would become the housekeeper. And, Lucy had very strict housekeeping rules. She had, and kept a very nice house. Not much of a home, as it turned out. I would live in the basement of that house from January, 1971 until August of 1974.

I had a particular opinion of my world in those days. As it turns out, I was mostly right. Lucy never knew it, but the reality of that entire situation became painfully clear to me the first time I ever saw my Father cry. It was in the Phoenix Hotel, in Lexington, when he came to make the funeral arrangements for my Mother. Sitting in a wing-backed chair, my Father was inconsolable. Over, and over, he would quietly cry. As the tears poured from his face, the same words came from his lips over and over:

"Oh, Martha! What have I done? Oh, Martha, my Martha! I do love you so."

I was standing beside him, with my hand on his shoulder. His hand covered mine as he sobbed, wracked with genuine broken heartedness. After a time, he calmed down, and looked up into my face. Calmly, and with steeled resolve, I told my Father the truth of my young heart:

"Mommie died loving you in her heart, Daddy. Your name was upon her lips as she died. You should have been there, instead of me, holding her hand as she took her last breath. You should have never left home. It has cost this family too much. I hope you are happy. I hate you, and I will forever hate THAT woman!"

I called my oldest Sister on the phone, and asked her to come get my Sister Jean and I. We left the rooms, went to the hotel lobby, and went home. The next time I would see, or hear from my Father (joke squarely upon me!) was the day I was delivered, literally kicking and screaming, to his front door. It is entirely fair to say that that was the best day of the relationship under that roof, until the day I left. I would never live there again.

Strangely enough, when I was delivered, I learned that my father, Lucy, and many of their friends had worked tirelessly for the previous six months to "prepare a place for me". That was one hell of a way to find out that my Father, and Lucy had known for several months of my Mother's impending demise.

Nobody told me. I would have rather lived on the street, under a bridge than live in that house--for lots of reasons. Returning to my home town, the town I had loved for every moment of my life, had suddenly become a very bad choice. I begged everyone I knew in my family to allow me to live with them, in servitude if necessary. Nobody would go against my Father.

He was, after all, my biological parent. In the law, that matters. In Kentucky law, nothing matters more. So, off I went. A battle of sniper fire, on-going for several years, suddenly became hand-to-hand combat. Lucy and my Father had a "Good Cop-Bad Cop" thing going for a while, unless or until the person afflicted was Lucy. And, to be honest, such was often the case.

Then, my Father's ire would be unleashed upon me without any amelioration from, and most often at the insistence of, Lucy. My Father had determined to break me. My Father chose poorly. Lucy knew it, from the beginning. At one point, she left our house because of it, and removed herself to--Frankfort, for a few months. I had a spark of hope, a glimmer of possibility. Nope.

She returned. I didn't fail to notice that, to my Father, things were again as they should be. Lucy was home. He didn't have to try to feed his children, be a parent, or have to suffer the chains of parenthood. Lucy was home. I had not left. Within one hour of her return, her mouth had declared the battle re-engaged. I had no problem with that whatsoever. The respite had done me some good. I had engaged new forces, rested for the next battle, and was well more than ready to deal with her small-mindedness with overwhelming odds.

When I had been away from home for several years, Lucy wrote me a letter. I responded honestly to her. To my utter shock and amazement, she responded. My Father never knew of these correspondences--that was her condition of having them. I had no problem with that. She asked me to call. I did. As my leaving had not been one of joy or happiness for anyone other than myself under that roof, I was somewhat surprised. I had already been deployed to two different combat zones,  without their knowledge. Her letter began a tortured conversation which lasted years. We both had a lot of admitting to do, and some really serious attitude adjusting to do.

Lucy led the way, every step. She had no limits, and I had several. She accepted my limits without reservation, because she had said she wanted a relationship with me. She did not want to be my Mother. She wanted to figure out a way to become my friend. It was a terribly difficult time for us both. At some point, we declared a mutual Truce to Hostilities.

That would not be the case for my siblings, but their public faces were much better prepared to cover their underlying feelings for both Lucy  and my Father. They figured out, each for themselves, a way to go along to get along. Such an idea never entered my brain. I was not, when it began, or even as we communicated later, going to lie to her, my Father, or anyone else. Hell, they didn't believe the truth! Why would they ever believe a lie?

The next time I saw her and my Father, I was bringing my fiancee home to meet them. I had gone to Law School to satisfy a wish my Father had told me once that he had always kept as a secret in his heart. I determined that I had my own dreams, and could not accept living his. He disowned me. No biggie. My Father spent most of my life trying to break me. He had no idea how utterly broken I was, and I surely was not going to let him, a rank amateur in such things, gain an inch.

He never did. It was Lucy who raised the White Flag. I would take an additional ten years to accept it. But, when I did, I did. Without reservation, exemption or exception. My Father and Lucy both fell in love with my fiancee (my first, her second marriage. She had three teen/pre-teen children. The apple vs. the Tree?) My Father was so taken with my fiancee, he restored me to his Will. Yeah, okay.

Over the next couple of decades, a lot of things would happen. Most of those things were incredible sadnesses, peaking with my return to my home town to walk with my Sister Lyn to the River Jordan. Over the course of those years, Lucy and I would share times of genuine friendship. My Father passed away from a massive heart attack the day before Thanksgiving in 1994. Those days would see us talking a lot. I suffered the loss of my mate, and family less than one year later. Her children had passed, and my oldest Sister had passed away, as well. My Sister Lyn got sick, and asked me to be her primary care giver. That choice would eventually lead to a complete family meltdown over the next 2.5 years. It would forever change me as a person.

It was upon the occasion of Lyn's death, when an amazing thing happened which would forever cast the relationship I had with Lucy into complete and total indifference. It was the last time I would see her alive. It was and is the lasting impression, sadly, of her that I will ever have.

She died last Tuesday, alone. She had some really good and loyal friends in my home town. She had earned them on her own, and these good people attended her graveside interment, to eternally rest with my Father.  End of story.

I found out about it the day of her Memorial Service (some hours after, as it turned out). It is the end of a family, in many ways. It is an end of life as I have ever known it. There is an overwhelming sense of loss for me, because of what could have been, what might have been. Such potential, forever lost.

Lucy used to bemoan that loss to me, as well. "Buddy, I do wish you would choose a life that could respect your utter brilliance. It's so sad." World-wide acceptance as a musician and educator didn't do it. A military career, and more than 40 years of active ministry didn't do it. Raising a family didn't do it. Losing a family didn't do it.

In one of our "sessions", Lucy asked me why I couldn't just be like my Father.

She was so angered, outraged. My answer didn't help, at all.

"Settling for my father's morality would be just way too far for me to fall. It would most likely get me someone like you. I'd rather die."

Yes, I know. Not exactly the caring and loving words of a loyal and loving son. But, as I said in the beginning, they couldn't make me stoop to their dishonest level. Wouldn't do it. Won't do it now.

We did make peace. I do believe that Lucy came to love me as I am, or at least as much of who and what I am as I felt she could possibly ever accept. That's okay. Your elders really shouldn't know everything about your life, I think. Spare them the pain. Even if they didn't, don't or won't. We communicated, and I must admit that her letters and phone calls really did come to mean a lot to me. Her final days and months were peaceful for her. I called her occasionally, sent the flowers on the correct days. The past few calls did not go well, as she did not recognize me or my voice. Once, she thought I was her Son. Another, she believed me to be my Father, and her anger really poured out into the phone. I never called her again after that.

While I understand that her Parkinson's Diseased body and brain, and even life itself had overtaken her ability or will to counter them, events in my own life have made it imperative that I live as completely a stress-free life as possible. I felt no gratification, satisfaction, or release upon her death becoming known to me.

I do wish I could have truly loved Lucy. More than anything else, I wish, and grieve the loss of the opportunity to be loved by her. She dedicated her life to the love and care of my Father. She did a great job. She received a great reward. For Lucy, things evened out.

For me, her passing gives me no sense of victory, or of loss. It just gives me an incredible sadness to lose the final connection to a family of possibility that never was. The connection broken, I am left truly alone. I have, for all of my life, been a true "hope" addict. I am still. I do have friends, and even true, and real friends. They care for and support me. They accept me for who, what, and how I am. That's not easy, believe me. According to those medical folk who should know such things, I should have shuffled off this mortal coil long before Lucy did last week. Go figger.

If all these years can have a positive outcome, I really do not have a clue as to what that might be. How do you grieve that?

I don't know. That, given my history, is a hilarious thing to say, as honest as it is. Lucy Fields was my Father's wife. At the end of it, that's just all there is. These are honest words, not easy ones. I am not particularly proud of them, and fully understand that many possibly happy days were purposely avoided at my instigation.  No rationalization or justification is, to me, required. The truth is what it is. Some who may one day read these words will not like them, or me for having written them. You have my email. Feel free to use it.

In the most selfish way possible, the most honest thing I can say is that I wish me peace. More than anything else I could say, I will say that it's about time.

It ain't much. I'll take it.

Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 1:44 AM PT: For those who honored these words by re-posting them, and to the Kos Community for offering these words in the Community Spotlight (WOW!), please accept my deep and sincere "Thank You!".

Originally posted to An American Citizen on Thu Jun 07, 2012 at 08:01 AM PDT.

Also republished by House of LIGHTS, The Grieving Room, Personal Storytellers, and Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Compelling. (21+ / 0-)

    I wish you peace as well.

    Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project. http://www1.hamiltonproject.org/es/hamilton/hamilton_hp.htm

    by PatriciaVa on Thu Jun 07, 2012 at 08:23:37 AM PDT

  •  Nurse Kelley is right (17+ / 0-)

    {{{{{Bud Bert}}}}}

    Your writing is absolutely brilliant and your soul is indeed, very shiny (the shiniest -- I think it looks more like a beacon actually).

    I had in some ways a similar experience. It was my dad though - and naturally, it was further complicated by the usual eleventy-billion particulates from the debris of life (along with creating it's own new debris).

    Maybe one day I'll try to put it into some sort of organized thought by writing it down. I keep thinking I should and then it keeps not being over yet.

    xoxoxoxo

    "Help!!! I'm being Enlightened!" - TCFKNCS's avatar

    I always wanted to quote an avatar.

    by RhymesWithUrple on Thu Jun 07, 2012 at 08:24:20 AM PDT

    •  Thank you so much, (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Joy of Fishes, jennyp, kyril, GreyHawk

      DarrenDamien. :)

      {{{Damien}}}

      Personally, I think Kelley should raise her standards...significantly! :)

      I guess one of the things that led me in life, with regards to my home life was that it would, someday, be over. With this new reality, I do feel as if at least some things can be put to rest. The life-changing probably won't come for me, especially as I once hoped it might. But, writing these thoughts down has really helped in some ways.

      I don't know, and frankly do not believe it is really over. But by writing at least a beginning, a little of the darkness of my heart has been removed. I reserve that newly cleared space for peace. I intend to, some way, fill it.

      I hope you will just begin writing, from any point of the particulated universe you call life. Choose one. Write it down. Test the idea out. You may be shocked by the result! :) And, if you ever feel the desire to share that writing, I hope you will let me see it.

      Nurse Kelley says my writing is brilliant and my soul is shiny - who am I to argue?
      Economic
      Left/Right: -7.75
      Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -4.51

      by Bud Fields on Thu Jun 07, 2012 at 02:35:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I think we all have... (11+ / 0-)

    some part of that story in our own lives. Great diary Bud.
    I too wish you peace!

    Arrogance is ignorance matured.

    by jennyp on Thu Jun 07, 2012 at 08:38:47 AM PDT

    •  Peace to you too, JennyP (4+ / 0-)

      If this story touches any part of another's life, I hope it is gentle, and healing. I do truly believe that it can be. But, it takes a ton of good to touch such a bad thing. It can be a very solitary, lonely affair. Friends help a lot. Not because they can "fix" anything.

      But, when they listen without judgment, care without reservation, and accept without limit, some pretty amazing things can happen to even the most wounded of souls. :)

      Nurse Kelley says my writing is brilliant and my soul is shiny - who am I to argue?
      Economic
      Left/Right: -7.75
      Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -4.51

      by Bud Fields on Thu Jun 07, 2012 at 02:37:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  You Asked How I Grieve? (11+ / 0-)

    honestly in silence. You can count my family members on one hand. We've lost a few in the last few years and it isn't something we even remotely talk about. We put on a suit. Go to the funeral. Then it is just done. We never talk about it for a second. I realize this isn't healthy, but it is what it is.

    When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

    by webranding on Thu Jun 07, 2012 at 08:55:48 AM PDT

    •  Stoicism (5+ / 0-)

      A culturally transferred behavior. I love this part:

      "We put on a suit. Go to the funeral. Then it is just done."
      In my family, for generations, we celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, and death days. We remember. We talk about those who are gone, and find good memories to share. Over time, such actions have helped us, perhaps not to heal from the loss, but to move forward with a little bit of a different perspective.

      Sometimes, being the baby of a family can really suck. Hard. The list can grow to impossible size. I think it goes back to a very wise saying, told to me once by a very wise Japanese man:

      "To share gladness doubles the gift. To share sadness diminishes the pain by half."

      I like that. Thank you for your wonderful reply. Peace, to you. :)

      Nurse Kelley says my writing is brilliant and my soul is shiny - who am I to argue?
      Economic
      Left/Right: -7.75
      Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -4.51

      by Bud Fields on Thu Jun 07, 2012 at 02:44:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Grieving for the Things that can Never be Changed (18+ / 0-)

    As I read your diary I was transported to another time and into another life. Your words touched raw places in my soul.

    I am grieving for my parents, both of whom passed away recently and I understand how difficult it is to come to terms with difficult relationships and things that were done to you or not done for you when you were a child and later.

    My mother was bipolar at a time when few people were successfully diagnosed or treated for mental illness.  My father, who was a brilliant but clueless engineer almost certainly had Asperger's syndrome and though he loved us was never really aware of our needs nor thought to protect us from our mother's depression or rages.  He was completely devoted to her no matter what she did.  I forgave them both long ago for the pain they caused me and my sisters growing up but never could forget.  

    My mother passed away peacefully right before Thanksgiving. I spent Mother's day morning holding my father's hand watching as the pulse beat in his neck slowed and finally stopped.  It was not just my father who died at that moment but a part of my life that was gone forever, beyond my reach.  

    •  Thank you for your reply Uniqity (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Joy of Fishes, Chi, kyril, nswalls, uniqity

      {{{uniqity}}}

      It's kind of funny, actually. One of my "standard" lines to grieving children was "You can become an orphan at any age."

      I have been close by as many people, my family included, breathed their last breath of life on earth. It is, for me, a Holy time in a Sacred Place, with an eternal moment. Having lost both my parents, I do know an absence like the one of which you speak so clearly.

      I once asked a Pastor friend of mine how a loving God could take the Mother of a 15 year-old Son who was just getting to know her as friend. He told me that God needed her. He said that my Mother knew she could go home because she had given me all the things I would need in life to survive and succeed.

      I disagreed with him on the first part. I agreed, however, with him on the second part. She was, for me, a role model of all that was good, and right in this world. I've had others, who were not so inclined. I want to think that, regardless, I will eventually turn out alright. When I finally grow up.

      Yeah, like THAT's gonna happen! :)

      I do know that sometimes people leave our universe so that new, better, more significant people can take place in it. I trust that. I look forward to it, actually. Peace to you, Uniqity. Even now. :)

      Nurse Kelley says my writing is brilliant and my soul is shiny - who am I to argue?
      Economic
      Left/Right: -7.75
      Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -4.51

      by Bud Fields on Thu Jun 07, 2012 at 02:53:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  My stepmother keeps my father active and healthy. (11+ / 0-)

    My dad deserved this after my mother passed.  I will never be able to call her mother, and I wouldn't have chosen her for a friend, but we get along as best we can. Sadly, she controls every communication I have with my dad and I don't believe I will ever trust her not to benefit her own children over my dad's.

    I seek peace for myself as well, and for my sisters and for my father.

    I am glad you wrote, it helps me clarify these mixed feelings.  Peace for you too, Bud Fields.

    If love could have saved you, you would have lived forever.

    by weck on Thu Jun 07, 2012 at 09:06:21 AM PDT

    •  {{{weck}}} (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Joy of Fishes, weck, jennyp, kyril, Chi

      Thank you for such a deeply moving reply, weck. I do know about the "Keeper at the Door" stuff. Lucy was surely that, and much more. When my Dad passed, she was completely and totally lost. There was no more need for that job. I turned my attention, for the short time I could, to my family, having been so recently crowned as the new patriarch.

      I haven't done such a wonderful job in that role, but the law says that is the role I must have. It's kind of an empty subset. Yet, I do wonder about what might have been. It's mostly mental massage. In time, I determined that, since mine was the only life I could live, I would live the remainder of my life as I was created to live it.

      I'm trying to do that. Peace, like joy or guilt, is an "inside job". It's our creation, for the most part. We can accept or refuse it at will. But we will pay the consequences of our choices. I choose peace. It just seems the better option. I hope you can find the peace within yourself in such measure that it will overflow into the lives and hearts of your family. Even now. :)

      Nurse Kelley says my writing is brilliant and my soul is shiny - who am I to argue?
      Economic
      Left/Right: -7.75
      Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -4.51

      by Bud Fields on Thu Jun 07, 2012 at 03:00:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I have been unofficial matriarch for my sisters (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kyril, Joy of Fishes, Bud Fields, kishik

        since my dad's mother passed about 15 years ago.  I recently began to set up a holiday we daughters could all be present for, next June. Last year, everyone got a piece of family jewelry from my box, as I was the "keeper of heirloom jewelry".  This year one of my sisters is having a luncheon for the three who can make it for father's day. We can't see him on his birthday because they are in Florida during the winter.

         Because my step-mother is 10 years younger than dad, and he has a much younger brother, I think my dad has left his daughters out of the end-times loop.  He's a good planner, and she's good at getting things accomplished, so I don't intrude. I wish he would at least tell me his wishes so she can't spring a suprise on us. He is in excellent health, so it seems ok to wait with the questions. I value myself for my patience.

        If love could have saved you, you would have lived forever.

        by weck on Thu Jun 07, 2012 at 04:43:14 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  And so you should! (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          weck

          "Patience is a virtue. Lack of it is a fact of life." :) At least, in my life.

          I don't know if this will make any sense to you, but in my case, everyone knew of my Dad's wishes for his estate, and how it should be divided among his children...except everyone.

          His Will put in another step that nobody knew about: that his wife should enjoy the benefits of his estate in guardianship for the remainder of her natural life.

          We only discovered that upon his death. It did not go well, and a rather sizable estate is now completely gone. I've got to tell you, that took some work! We did try to stop some of the leakage, but were largely unsuccessful as our opportunities were only reactionary.

          I would suggest that you do have that conversation with your Dad, if for no other reason than to eliminate such possibility in your own life. And, remember that if it's not in writing and filed in a Court, it's not a valid Will (excepting holographs of course).

          Nurse Kelley says my writing is brilliant and my soul is shiny - who am I to argue?
          Economic
          Left/Right: -7.75
          Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -4.51

          by Bud Fields on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 12:59:53 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I know the estate is in a "surviving spouse" trust (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Bud Fields

            I know she has paid for trips for her family to Europe, advanced "Estate" funds to her daughter and forgiven a mortgage on her son's home and she bought a new "residence" in Florida where they spend winter. Dad's kids get gift cards for restaurants ($50) at xmas.

             The estate is well below the threshold for taxes, but with a track record of spending like that I don't hold out hope.  I feel we are being punished for making good educational and economic decisions compared to her two children, who spent beyond their means, had employment issues and "needed" financial help.

              I worry that in the winter, he will have a medical issue and expire before any of us can arrive. He trusts her (you understand I'm sure) but her actions speak loud and clear.

            If love could have saved you, you would have lived forever.

            by weck on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 07:47:05 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  John and Sir Paul covered it pretty well... (15+ / 0-)

    ... as poets, when they identified life's basic equation:

    And, in the end,
    The love you take
    Is equal to the love you make.

    I'm the plowman in the valley - with my face full of mud

    by labradog on Thu Jun 07, 2012 at 09:18:54 AM PDT

    •  I totally agree, lab (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Joy of Fishes, kyril

      Thank you for posting that. It is something that I will need to remember, to remind myself of on a daily basis.

      I wonder if hate is the same?

      I hope not, or the luggage will surely outweigh the vehicle! :)

      Peace, Lab. Even now.

      Nurse Kelley says my writing is brilliant and my soul is shiny - who am I to argue?
      Economic
      Left/Right: -7.75
      Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -4.51

      by Bud Fields on Thu Jun 07, 2012 at 03:02:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks for this (9+ / 0-)

    well written, honest and remarkably vivid account of your family, which may have been a saga of missed opportunities, but I suspect that you are much more honest in all your relationships than may ever learn to be. That has its own reward.

    I can do everything but earn a living.

    by alabamaliberal on Thu Jun 07, 2012 at 09:32:43 AM PDT

    •  You're correct, AL (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Joy of Fishes, kyril

      In this time, I am trying to evaluate whether or not the benefit has outweighed the cost, or the need. Yours is a powerful statement, but one which comes at a great price. I am more honest in all my relationships, and it sometimes costs. Yet, given the option, I choose honesty every time.  On top of everything else, I must, for my own physical well-being.

      Nobody ever said this trip would be easy. They just promised it would be worth it. I'm counting on that. I hope you are, too.

      Peace to you, indeed AL. Thank you. :)

      Nurse Kelley says my writing is brilliant and my soul is shiny - who am I to argue?
      Economic
      Left/Right: -7.75
      Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -4.51

      by Bud Fields on Thu Jun 07, 2012 at 03:05:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  A difficult family constellation (10+ / 0-)

    but she WAS family, eventually.

    It sounds to me like at least from the time of your military service, that she worked pretty hard to develop an authentic relationship.  

    I suspect that mixed with anger and resentment, you developed some fondness along the way.  

    Honor her good qualities and forgive the rest, for your own sake.  YOU deserve to make peace with the past.

    "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

    by lgmcp on Thu Jun 07, 2012 at 09:35:44 AM PDT

    •  Thank you, Igmcp! :) (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lgmcp, Joy of Fishes, kyril

      She gave it a shot. I gave it a shot. It was never what you might call consummated, because of distance, time, and the revelation that her motives were well worth the suspect I had given them, which was a real sadness to me. It will be a life sorrow to me, but it is what it is. Honest dealing is a way, I think, to peace. It's not animas, it's just the truth. It is really difficult to honor people who, in your life, made you cling to truth, no matter what. I will work hard on that.

      Thanks for the kind words, and the wisdom. Peace to you, Igmcp. :)

      Nurse Kelley says my writing is brilliant and my soul is shiny - who am I to argue?
      Economic
      Left/Right: -7.75
      Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -4.51

      by Bud Fields on Thu Jun 07, 2012 at 03:09:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Well, that's quite (10+ / 0-)

    the saga, and well-told, to boot.  There is definitely something about losing that last connection, no matter how tenuous or tortured it may be, that kind of sucks the wind you of you.  

    As we grow older, there are more of these "taking stock" moments.  Sometimes, I welcome them.  At other times, I just want to crawl into a hole and pull it in after me.  

    Thanks for this excellent piece.  Well worth the time to read and digest.  I, too, wish you peace.

    -7.62, -7.28 "Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly." -Langston Hughes

    by luckylizard on Thu Jun 07, 2012 at 09:38:33 AM PDT

    •  Thank you, LL (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      luckylizard, Joy of Fishes

      Time is a great equalizer, is it not?

      It's not even the executive summary, but it will do, for now. I didn't know where the words were going when I asked the question. It took a bit of meandering, for understanding, but I think I did get to a valid answer.

      At other times, I just want to crawl into a hole and pull it in after me.  
      I know that feeling well. It would be so nice, wouldn't it? Just to escape back to the womb for a little time would be so damned refreshing!

      I discovered, at a rather severely over-aged point in my life, that school served that role for me. I've been a student for most of my life (1960-2006). At the time of my "event", I was preparing to complete a doctoral degree! 12 damned hours short, and they disenrolled me for lack of attendence for more than 14 calendar days. I guess those 39 days on life support didn't count. Well, not to them anyway. But learning is a love and a passion. As I hope is seen here, I am learning still.

      That suits me just fine. I hope to learn peace now. I hope to learn it to such an extent, at such a level, as to be able to share it with others, just like yourself. May you discover peace, LL. :)

      Nurse Kelley says my writing is brilliant and my soul is shiny - who am I to argue?
      Economic
      Left/Right: -7.75
      Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -4.51

      by Bud Fields on Thu Jun 07, 2012 at 03:16:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Learning may not always (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Joy of Fishes, Bud Fields

        bring us peace, in that some knowledge can be upsetting to our own little corner of the world, but it does give such fulfillment.  I have always said that I didn't care what kind of job I did as long as I was learning something new.  Even in my semi-retired state, I continue to be so curious.  I think it keeps me young.  :-)

        -7.62, -7.28 "Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly." -Langston Hughes

        by luckylizard on Thu Jun 07, 2012 at 03:49:39 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Amazingly well written and compelling (7+ / 0-)

    --Enlighten the people, generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like spirits at the dawn of day. - Thomas Jefferson--

    by idbecrazyif on Thu Jun 07, 2012 at 09:40:46 AM PDT

    •  Thank you, IBCI (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Joy of Fishes

      I appreciate your kind words and your appreciation for my words. It means a lot to me that you would interact personally with them.

      May you have peace ICBI, even now. :)

      Nurse Kelley says my writing is brilliant and my soul is shiny - who am I to argue?
      Economic
      Left/Right: -7.75
      Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -4.51

      by Bud Fields on Thu Jun 07, 2012 at 03:18:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  My ex wife destroyed our family willingly. (9+ / 0-)

    My mother has passed.
    My father and I had a falling out years ago.
    I don't get to see or talk to my children due to the divorce and how my ex manipulated them. They've seen the truth now, but have not forgiven themselves for what they did to me. When they do, maybe there will be something.

    Other aunt's or cousins pretty much stopped interacting when our family connectivity through my grandparents passed. They were the glue that held us all together.
    Once that was gone, everything else became meaningless and they proved it.

    I imagine I will feel something when my father passes. I don't know if it will be minor sadness, or just indifference. I do not plan to attend any funeral or wake for him. I've already said my goodbyes.

    I came to understand a long time ago, that blood family means very little when they willingly treat you poorly and expect you to come back for more of the same treatment.

    Blood may be thicker than water, but I am not a vampire or a leech so I don't feed on it like many in my family have.

    Water can be sampled, and friends who are potable and find you so can be kept in mutual atmosphere where a good drink may be shared.

    Keep your friends close, your enemies closer, and your family at a visible distance if necessary...and if not, remember, you can't choose who your family is when you're born, but you can choose who your family IS later on.

    -6.38, -6.21: Lamented and assured to the lights and towns below, Faster than the speed of sound, Faster than we thought we'd go, Beneath the sound of hope...

    by Vayle on Thu Jun 07, 2012 at 09:50:15 AM PDT

    •  Vayle, you have shared some very wise words (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Joy of Fishes, Vayle, kishik

      And helpful, healing ones, as well.

      "Blood may be thicker than water, but I am not a vampire or a leech so I don't feed on it like many in my family have.

      Water can be sampled, and friends who are potable and find you so can be kept in mutual atmosphere where a good drink may be shared."

      There are certain identifiable clusters where family is everything. I was raised within such a cluster. Life grew it out of me, yet I would still maintain that family really IS everything. What I did learn was that family is, finally whom YOU accept into it. That is a very, very difficult journey, and it is obvious from your writing that you are familiar with the path. l mourn that for you, yet am much more willing to celebrate your liberation, your victory. It's truly amazing the things that life teaches us to thank others for, isn't it?

      Peace to you, Vayle. Even in this very moment. :)

      Nurse Kelley says my writing is brilliant and my soul is shiny - who am I to argue?
      Economic
      Left/Right: -7.75
      Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -4.51

      by Bud Fields on Thu Jun 07, 2012 at 03:25:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Peace and blessings, Bud. eom (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Renee, weck, FarWestGirl, Bud Fields, kishik
    •  Thank You, Joy! :) (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Joy of Fishes, kishik

      {{{Joy}}}

      Thank you for your kind words, and the generosity of spirit which leads from them. May they be returned to you an hundred fold, even now. Peace, like a restful sigh. May it be yours. :)

      Nurse Kelley says my writing is brilliant and my soul is shiny - who am I to argue?
      Economic
      Left/Right: -7.75
      Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -4.51

      by Bud Fields on Thu Jun 07, 2012 at 03:27:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It looks like you are finding a way through it. (6+ / 0-)

    Nice writing, btw.

    I have a pile of dissimilar but somehow equal childhood stuff. I just finished Wild by Cheryl Strayed. I'm going to write a book report on it for the site in a few days. It was so openhearted in the description of towering pain and wandering lost within it. And the author was similarly unwilling to be what was expected of her.

    Some of us are just that way.

    Poverty = politics.

    by Renee on Thu Jun 07, 2012 at 11:23:14 AM PDT

    •  It is true, Renee (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Joy of Fishes, Renee, kishik

      {{{Renee}}}

      I look forward to your book report!! :)

      We all pile up the "stuff" of life, usually in the "Needs Action/Response" files of our hearts. Time and distance sometimes (but not always) allows us to grab them, one at a time, and deal with them. Then, they just go away. The important part is the choice we make as to what will fill the space they previously occupied.

      I choose peace. I hope you will always do so, too. :)

      Peace to you, Renee. Even in this very moment.

      Nurse Kelley says my writing is brilliant and my soul is shiny - who am I to argue?
      Economic
      Left/Right: -7.75
      Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -4.51

      by Bud Fields on Thu Jun 07, 2012 at 03:30:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  My mother married my stepfather (8+ / 0-)

    when I was ten.  I left that house when I was seventeen.  There's no use in describing him; hardly anybody believes it unless they'd met him, and then they know.  

    His hatred for me, as I grew, was overwhelming.  My mother was a kind, lovely woman, with the ability to see only what she wanted to see, and she spent a lot of time not seeing things.  

    Shortly after my mom's diagnosis with cancer, he lost what few moorings kept him attached to Planet Earth, and was committed for about a year.  His diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia kept him without a car and guns for a while, and I felt safer - a little - until my mom bought him a Glock.   Yes.  My mother.  He had left her by then.  He didn't want anything to do  with cancer.  I was her caretaker.  And I was determined to leave nothing undone.

    She died in November, and he died in February.

    How do I grieve?  Why am I required to?  The relationship was between them.  I was a victim.  So were you.  You are not required to grieve.

    "Republicans are poor losers and worse winners." - My grandmother, sometime in the early 1960s

    by escapee on Thu Jun 07, 2012 at 11:36:24 AM PDT

    •  {{{escapee}}} (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      escapee, Joy of Fishes, Chi
      You are not required to grieve.
      But it is also true, isn't it, that every choice your Mother and Step-Father made really did involve, or affect you? I was stunned by your statement of the hatred you felt from your Step-Father. I felt it from my Father. It is cognitively dissonant to report the level of that emotion when speaking of a parental unit to me, yet I cannot deny it's existence.

      I am so very sorry that this was the reality for your growing time. Knowing the kind of pain such emotion from others can bring, one of the things that I grieve in my situation is the lost opportunity to have ever known anywhere near the same level of love from my Father. I grieve that Lucy could not, once, be my champion to him, and require his parental care beyond his wallet. It was a part of him which I honestly think surprised and frightened her. She, too, was a victim of that, I suppose, for a time. Then, she made her choice. I was collateral damage. And, to be honest, that is the way I have felt ever since. I was nearly overwhelmed by your last sentence. It's. Just. Brilliant!

      Thank you so very, very much, escapee. I read those words, and felt a boulder lifting from my shoulders, truly.

      May you feel peace, abundant. Right now. :)

      Nurse Kelley says my writing is brilliant and my soul is shiny - who am I to argue?
      Economic
      Left/Right: -7.75
      Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -4.51

      by Bud Fields on Thu Jun 07, 2012 at 03:41:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The only way I've been able to come to terms with (7+ / 0-)

    People who've treated me and my loved ones badly is to think of them with thankfulness for helping me to learn what I did, and did not, want from life.  And then let it go and be at peace.

    I wish you well on your journey.  It still is a loss for you to grieve, for all the reasons you listed.  I welcome you to partake of solace and support by dropping by The Grieving Room here on Monday nights.

    As of 02/22/2012 in Washington State pharmacists can exercise their "religious freedom" by denying women access to Plan B because the judge thinks there aren't any bigots in this state.

    by FlamingoGrrl on Thu Jun 07, 2012 at 11:50:13 AM PDT

    •  Thank you so much! (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lgmcp, Joy of Fishes, Chi

      A very long time ago, I determined that I had the very best parents on the planet.

      One taught me everything about the world, and the me who lived in it that was good, and right, and acceptable. The other taught me, through vivid example, what I must never become, or allow the world to make me into.

      A dear friend and colleague once told me the most absolutely frightening thing I have ever heard:

      "Bud, the man you so hate is the person you are becoming."

      I lost it. I was angry at him for months, and I cried privately for days at a stretch. Oh, how I did so hate my beloved friend during that time. But, honest to our friendship, he allowed me to confront, control and determine the outcome of the situation his words had created. I, too, trusted that same friendship to know, in my heart that my friend would never utter a harmful word to me, he would protect me from all who would harm me, and he would never leave my side.

      It was a terrible time. His was merely observation, honestly shared. I trusted him enough through our shared pastoral experiences to know that his honestly was only a minor representation of his respect, admiration and friendship for me.

      It took a while. I got over it. And then, I fixed it. I never again forgot it. He most likely saved my life. I do have qualities of my Father. I also have qualities of my Mother which are not so positive, as well.

      The one small difference is that I have qualities that are mine alone. That little difference has made all the difference in the world, for me. I hope they are sufficient to allow the peace I seek to be fully manifested in my life, and in my living.

      Thank you for your kind offer. I will make a point to visit you on Monday night.

      Peace to you, friend. Even now. :)

      Nurse Kelley says my writing is brilliant and my soul is shiny - who am I to argue?
      Economic
      Left/Right: -7.75
      Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -4.51

      by Bud Fields on Thu Jun 07, 2012 at 03:51:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm sorry for your recent loss. (6+ / 0-)
    In the most selfish way possible, the most honest thing I can say is that I wish me peace. More than anything else I could say, I will say that it's about time
    There is no right or wrong way to grieve, you just wade through it.  Grief is neither linear nor abstract.  I see it as being global, all-encompassing, isolationist, solitary; sometimes all at the same time.

    I believe that you have arrived at one of your answers that I block-quoted above.  Wishing yourself peace is healthy, positive and empowering.  As for its timing: it is the exact perfect time because you have opened the door and called it (peace) to you.

    I bid you peace, and hope you will forgive yourself and others who have hurt you.  It's hard to do but the payoff can be life-changing.  (I know it's possible b/c I've walked the path of forgiveness/peace myself.)

    DES

    Is anybody listenin' ? - by Tori del Allen

    by Dumas EagerSeton on Thu Jun 07, 2012 at 12:46:15 PM PDT

  •  I wish you peace as well (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bud Fields, Joy of Fishes, lgmcp, Chi

    I am presently 'grieving' for someone that caused a tremendous amount of turmoil in my life. Actually changed the direction of my life. My best effort is to be thankful for those painful life lessons I never would've learned without him. It's a bit surreal, and honestly sometimes I feel relieved. I don't think that's cold or cruel. Jumping up and down gleefully and dancing on his grave would be too much for me. Again, just grateful for the important lessons.

    you get what you give

    by chicagobleu on Thu Jun 07, 2012 at 02:44:26 PM PDT

    •  Your post reminds me of a saying (3+ / 0-)

      by an old friend with a talent for irony.  Whenver anything dire happened in her life, she would sigh wearily and observe,

      " Here we go ... another fucking growth opportunity!"

      "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

      by lgmcp on Thu Jun 07, 2012 at 03:59:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Thank you, bleu (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Joy of Fishes, chicagobleu

      Yeah, that relieved thing. I know it well. Indifference is a major improvement for me. I'll take it.

      I'm saddened to know of this turmoil in your life, bleu. From the sound of things, you have the necessary reserve to recover, in time. Forgiveness is key, and thankfulness is a blessing. I processed them both long ago now.

      The lessons you learn may be more changing to your life, direction-wise than you might at first suspect. One amazing thing for me was that my perspective, on just about everything, changed. But I became a better person, educator, minister, husband, step-dad, and friend because of what I learned. Many don't. Bitterness has no place in my person. Yet, I do have parts of it scattered throughout the ashes of my past.

      Today, I choose peace. I really hope you will choose peace in your time, too. I know it's there, somewhere, waiting for me to gently embrace it and establish it in it's rightful place in my life, where it has been prepared to live for so long now. You have helped me today. Thank you so very much for that, Bleu.

      Peace to you, bleu. Abundant peace, even now. :)
      Bud

      Nurse Kelley says my writing is brilliant and my soul is shiny - who am I to argue?
      Economic
      Left/Right: -7.75
      Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -4.51

      by Bud Fields on Thu Jun 07, 2012 at 04:00:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  well written story... but I wish I didn't read it (5+ / 0-)

    The diary and some comments make me feel so glad to be a part of a large and loving family. Oh we have fights that soon are over and made up but me and my five siblings love each other unabashedly. We're elders now of a large extended family and our kids love each other too.

    I lost my eldest sister a few months ago and we'll all be passing and following her in due time. But in our wake we'll leave a big circle of kids, grandkids and great-grandkids who we have raised to love and respect each other and most of all to look after one another. Each of our deaths will be hard on our kids and each other I already pity the last one left and hope it ain't me. But we'll go with the knowledge that my Mom and Dad loved us all equally and without reserve. They passed on to us that love and we in turn pass it on to our kids and their burgeoning families.

    But diaries like this which turn up quite often on dkos make me wonder if we're normal. Is it crazy for a bunch of very poor people to live and love in such a way? We live on our Indian Reservation among the poorest of the poor in America. It makes me feel bad for my fellow Americans to read this and think how rich I am and how poverty stricken they are even if they're lawyers, doctors and engineers living the "American Dream". Me and my siblings will never know what it's like to buy a new car much less a home, that part of the dream is forever beyond us. But know what? I'm glad.

    America could have chosen to be the worlds doctor, or grocer. We choose instead to be her policeman. pity

    by cacamp on Thu Jun 07, 2012 at 03:27:34 PM PDT

    •  Fear not! (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cacamp, Joy of Fishes, kishik

      My family did not begin with this brokenness. And, I and my siblings have worked very hard to at least slow down the meltdown whenever possible. I was raised knowing that you might be bigger, meaner, and more able to whip my butt, but ...

      You ignore my devious and compelling nature. I have family. You REALLY do not want to take me on. We will not merely hurt you. You would be best advised to reconsider.

      Most of the time, it worked. What I never expected, however, was that the greatest danger to my family WAS my family. I was, truly, unprepared for that. In my case, it didn't work out so well in the end.

      But, I also know that, in most of the places, most of the people are, mostly, doing the right things for mostly the right reasons, the mostly right way.

      I know from poor. I've seen the world from opposite ends of the spectrum. Poverty is (or can be) temporary. Being poor is a state of mind. We didn't have much, but we were very rich, indeed when I was young. We had each other, in good times and in bad. I'll write a diary on the day I learned I was poor.

      You are greatly blessed. May you find the peace surrounding you, and each jewel of your crown you call family. Thank you for your words. I do appreciate them very much.

      Nurse Kelley says my writing is brilliant and my soul is shiny - who am I to argue?
      Economic
      Left/Right: -7.75
      Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -4.51

      by Bud Fields on Thu Jun 07, 2012 at 04:15:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm last man standing (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bud Fields

    in my nuclear family. I never liked my mother. She died a crappy death - brain cancer - about nine years ago. I was glad her pain was over. I was ready to let go, and I did.

    I don't know if that helps. I guess my answer to your question is that I tried to think a positive thought about the hard, real fact of her death.

    into the blue again, after the money's gone

    by Prof Haley on Thu Jun 07, 2012 at 04:32:08 PM PDT

    •  I understand. (0+ / 0-)

      That is a process that will come, I'm sure. A very quick diagnosis and process with Brain Cancer took my Mother, as well. And yes, it helps. :)

      Thank you!

      Nurse Kelley says my writing is brilliant and my soul is shiny - who am I to argue?
      Economic
      Left/Right: -7.75
      Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -4.51

      by Bud Fields on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 01:05:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Hey, Buddy, I wish you peace, too! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Joy of Fishes, Bud Fields

    A fine, if sad, account.

    •  Thank you, kaliope!:) (0+ / 0-)

      I appreciate your kind words. Sometimes, I think peace is not so elusive as we might believe it to be. We simply fail to reach out and accept it. I'm working on that.

      Peace to you, kaliope, even now. :)

      Nurse Kelley says my writing is brilliant and my soul is shiny - who am I to argue?
      Economic
      Left/Right: -7.75
      Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -4.51

      by Bud Fields on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 01:12:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Sometimes the grieving precedes the death. We (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Joy of Fishes, Bud Fields

    grieve the loss on the day we are first aware of it.  That loss can be the result of a divorce or a conflict.

    My father was a bitter alcoholic who never approved of the fact that I reminded him of my mother who he divorced when I was a toddler.  He was super critical and loved to demean any accomplishment that was mine.  I severed our relationship in 1996 when his behavior was too painful for me to accept.  I grieved the loss at the time.  And although we sort of reconciled in 2000, we were never again more than polite acquaintances. When he died in 2003 I felt nothing.  My grieving had occurred piecemeal throughout the long years of conflict, culminating in 1996.

    We always grieve our losses, even if we are not aware of it.  It sounds likely that you have been grieving the "might have beens" of your life for a long time.  So don't worry about not feeling any grief today for the death of your stepmother.  You have already served your time.

    I wish you peace.

    "I cannot live without books" -- Thomas Jefferson, 1815

    by Susan Grigsby on Thu Jun 07, 2012 at 05:15:20 PM PDT

    •  Susan! Get thee outa mah haid! :) (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Susan from 29

      Every word of your reply, down to "mine". I grieved the loss of my relationship with my Father in my 16th year, when I was forced to accept the fact that what I considered true love was never going to come from him to me. But, for as long as he lived, I held out for the possibility of hope. After all, he was legendary for his intellect and wisdom...uh huh.

      My Mother died with the love of my Father on her lips. She, too lived in the town where my Father had set up housekeeping with another woman. Every day of her life, my Mother had to deal with that loss, all over again. To me, there was plenty of blame to go around, but Lucy got a lot of it from me.

      Yes, I have served my time. Turning to a different direction is a completely novel concept, but I'm going to work on that. Thank you for your insight. It does really help me.

      May you have peace, Susan. :)

      Nurse Kelley says my writing is brilliant and my soul is shiny - who am I to argue?
      Economic
      Left/Right: -7.75
      Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -4.51

      by Bud Fields on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 01:18:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  you ARE a child of the universe (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Joy of Fishes, Bud Fields, kishik
    Beyond a wholesome discipline,
    be gentle with yourself.
    You are a child of the universe,
    no less than the trees and the stars;
    you have a right to be here.
    Desiderata
  •  don't feel sorry (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bud Fields

    for those who are only about themselves. When we look in the political realm--asking me to feel bad about a Cheney or a Kissinger passing on--forget it. I hope for it because I think this world we live in will be that much better without them. When we get to people more personal to our lives it changes--but we're all going to go--in some way or another--and most probably in pain. OTOH we live off death--the cows, the chickens, the fish, the pigs the deer over a lifetime that we consume--we are a death factory and bearing that in mind and bearing my 54 years in mind there is nothing particularly tragic about my eventual demise. On another tangent is Gomez de Quevedo's remarks (he was a contemporary of Cervantes)--he is quoted  'what we call being born is beginning to die--and what we call dying is only finally dying and what we call living is just dying in life'--as grim as that may sound to some what he is saying (at least to me) is that living and dying are part of the same process--something that moves along a parallel track--and it's okay to me--we have our time and we either make the world better or we try to or we don't. Better to make or try to make the world better--meaning looking beyond yourself.

    •  That's how I was taught, Iwop4 (0+ / 0-)

      To leave it better than you found it, to do no harm, and to have those who knew you, at the moment of your death, to feel no regret.

      I have no particular problems with death, myself. It's life that sometimes befuddles me. Ya know? :)

      It's not, nor has it ever been, about me. That's not how I was built. Sometimes, that can be a very bad thing. Now that it is, basically, only me, the next part of the journey, with loving and caring friends who ask nothing but the me I am, is something I will really look forward to.

      Given our physiology, consumption is what makes our existence possible. I'm no fan of war, or indiscriminate killing, for killing's sake. I believe strongly in the cycle of life, and in mankind's obligations of Stewardship. I have also believed we have obligations of stewardship over each other, as well. Part of that was in me when I showed up. A larger part, however, has come from my life of seeing, up close, those who do not share this notion.

      I have chosen, for my lifetime, to honor that which I believe to be right living. Sometimes, I have even made that lofty goal a reality (but not nearly as often as I could, or should have).  I do not believe we have obligation to ourselves alone, or sometimes even first. I guess that's why I am instinctively a Progressive. It is a philosophy to which I feel instinctively aligned.

      And, that's why I'm here. It would be hypocritical to believe that it's not just about me, if I could not seek the help of others who feel the same way, wouldn't it? And, what help!

      Thank you so very much, Iwop4. May you have peace! :)

      Nurse Kelley says my writing is brilliant and my soul is shiny - who am I to argue?
      Economic
      Left/Right: -7.75
      Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -4.51

      by Bud Fields on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 01:35:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Wow. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Joy of Fishes, Bud Fields

    I completely understand. Love your honesty, about everything.

    ♥ Medicare For All. ♥
    "Our health care system is like a casino. The insurance industry is the House... The House always wins." -- UnaSpenser

    by Chi on Thu Jun 07, 2012 at 06:38:30 PM PDT

  •  Well, for example (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bud Fields

    if Limbaugh had a massive MI, I'd grieve by pissing on his grave.

    Obama is at war with radical anti-American terrorists. The radical GOP is at war with American women. Take that and run with it DNC, you inept fucking pikers.

    by GOPGO2H3LL on Thu Jun 07, 2012 at 09:11:46 PM PDT

    •  How would it be... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      labwitchy

      if you knew that there were those folks out there in your universe that would say, or do the same should you pass before them?

      I can't think of anyone who wouldn't honestly care about that unless they had no conscience. It's one thing to determine that you are living life on your own terms, and let "the Devil take the hindmost." But its entirely different, at least for me, if doing so would make others hate you to such a degree in life that they would so dishonor you in death.

      That would lower me to a completely unacceptable level, although I must admit the thought did cross my mind, more than once! :)

      But, I ain't goin' there. That's a victory nobody deserves from me! Not even (gulp) Rush!

      Peace, friend. :)

      Nurse Kelley says my writing is brilliant and my soul is shiny - who am I to argue?
      Economic
      Left/Right: -7.75
      Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -4.51

      by Bud Fields on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 01:42:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  In my experience... (0+ / 0-)

    One doesn't necessarily grieve. One acknowledges the departure, but doesn't grant it undue significance.

    Without Lucy, you wouldn't necessarily be the person you are. In that manner, she helped you become aware of who you are, and those principles and people who are/were important to you. (Even if she did nothing other than show you the kind of person you didn't wish to be, in any way.)

    Far better to focus on those people and principles which are important to you, at this point.

    (Said she who learned at age 10 exactly the kind of person she didn't wish to become, and who learned that people who bring nothing positive to a relationship are people with whom a relationship should be avoided at all costs.)

    "Fast, Cheap, and Good... pick two." - director Jim Jarmusch

    by AnnCetera on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 06:38:15 AM PDT

  •  What A Heartfelt Diary (0+ / 0-)

    ...it brought tears to my eyes. It's good that you can talk about it and get it out in the open.
    I feel so alone, both parents deceased, all their family on both sides deceased. All I have are my children and grandson and yet at times I feel so alone. I am still grieving over Jim and I don't think I will ever stop.
    Both my parents were alcoholics and for years I hated my daddy, he was a mean drunk. In later years when he got sick, he mellowed out and we made our peace. I lived a rough childhood, not like you but in a different way.
    I wish you love and peace and that you can overcome the grieving. You have been so good to me, it hurts to see you this way.
    Love,Peace,Hope & Prayers, tngirl

  •  Thank you (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    weck

    For your honesty about families.

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