29thMarch

Family Update

I read an entry from about three years ago and was struck by how bad things were then and how much better they are now.  I guess it’s time to do some updating and take a look at where we are and how we got here for anyone reading this.

I was bankrupt and supporting seven people.  My car couldn’t be trusted to go around the block and things were pretty bad.  I was deep in mourning and totally heartbroken.  I really didn’t see any way that things could improve but they did.

I was considering the possibility of selling the property in Florida but my attorney told me any proceeds would go to the bankruptcy so that idea was squashed.  But then, he told me if I would just hang in there for another five months, my bankruptcy would be paid in full and I could do what I want.  I was shocked.  They had told me it would be five years and I actually paid it all off, 100%, within a year.  I put every nickle I had into it and managed to get it taken care of.

During that period, Steven finished school and he and Andrew moved into an apartment.  Darryl moved to North Carolina and he still lives there with friends. Unfortunately, he never got his sight back and remains legally blind but he seems to have adjusted pretty well. I admire him for that.  He deals with it better than I think I could.

The bankruptcy was paid off and I sold the property to my neighbor in Florida.  I took the cash and bought a 2016 Ford Explorer and it was like a ray of sunshine.  Less than a year old, still under warranty, and EVERYTHING worked.  Just having a new car made such a difference in my attitude.  I wasn’t afraid to go out anymore and so much stress was relieved.  In addition, I had a little money and no longer had to pay most of my income to the court.

Now it’s just David, Jake, Scout, and me.  Jake attends U of L and Scout is a junior in high school.  I have enough money to make ends meet and manage to find the funds to do just about anything I want to do within reason.

Two Sister’s Jams has grown quite a bit and Donna and I get a decent amount of additional money from our sales.  We still do shows and events and have a pretty loyal following in addition to supplying our products to several retail outlets.

And I have found Carl.  A good man that thinks I hung the moon and stars.  He’s very steady and predictable and thinks I’m kind of wild and exciting.  Huh! Imagine that.  Me? A wild and crazy woman tracking bluegrass in his door.  I feel like I’m dancing circles around him most of the time and he’s able to calm and sooth me like no one else can.  Being with him is like balm to me.  Soft and warm and soothing.  I like to go to him.  He has a housekeeper and his home is always warm and organized.  He takes me out to dinner most of the time because he doesn’t like to cook but he enjoys a good home made dinner now and then so we usually work together and prepare a meal when I go to see him.  We watch movies and play card games.  And do a lot of stuff that people our age probably don’t do.  But that’s a good thing.  He brings peace and contentment to me and I bring joy and excitement to him.

My house is in utter chaos at the moment.  The hot water heater developed a crack two days ago and water pretty much flooded the pantry along with all the canned goods and boxes that were in there.  I bought a new hot water heater and David installed it but I had to put fans in the pantry to try to dry everything out and then I had to wash all the cans and throw out all the stuff that got ruined.  Every square inch of my kitchen and living room is piled up with stuff that has to be put back and David’s tools are all over the place.  The old hot water heater is still sitting in the kitchen and has to be carried out to the curb.  In addition, Donna and I did an event last weekend and all the cases of jam had to be taken out of my car and carried into the living room to make room to pick up the new hot water heater in my Explorer.

I can’t help thinking how different my life is from Carl’s.  First of all, my hot water heater has been acting up for a while.  Carl probably would have just called someone to install a new one.  But I didn’t.  I try to make do for as long as I can.  If Carl’s hot water heater had burst, he would have called in and gotten a new one installed.  His housekeeper would have cleaned everything up and it would have been an annoying little incident that was taken care of pretty quickly.  Not this girl…I have to finish this post and then deal with all this mess and try to get some semblance of order restored to the kitchen and living room.  And then, tomorrow, I will take Andrew to work at 1:00 in the afternoon, turn my car around, and drive to Carl’s house for a calming weekend.

26thMarch

Still out here!

Wow!  It’s been a long time since I posted.  I went into a pretty deep hole for a while there.  Things are a lot better now.  It’s been well over a year since I was on here.  I’m kind of surprised my site is still here.

So…where do I begin?  It’s been 4 1/2 years since Donnie died.  How can that be?  I still miss him.  I always will.  I’ve kept moving.  It’s not easy but things are getting better all the time.  I finally realized that there never is any closure.  You just learn to  live with the past and keep moving the best you can.

Some things never change.  Some things are just a part of us and will be for as long as we live.  Like having to watch what we eat and exercise and try not to fall into the abyss.  I went over the edge for a while but I’ve climbed back out.  I’m stronger for knowing that I hit the bottom and managed to claw my way to level ground again.

I still diet.  I try to exercise.  My weight is at 187 and I’m currently working on it.  Like I said, some things never change.

I met a man.  A wonderful man living east of St. Louis.  He’s a good man and he loves me and I love him.  He lost his wife a year or so before I lost Donnie.  She died of cancer.  They married young and spent 44 years together.  We share a bond that a lot of people can never understand.  We’ve managed to find a place of our own amidst the chaos of our lives and we’re happy there.

The only problem is that we don’t get to spend a lot of time in that happy little place.  We live four hours apart and he owns a crafts store and works there Monday through Friday.  He has another employee and can take off whenever he wants so we do as much traveling as we can.  I drive Andrew, my grandson, to work everyday Monday through Friday but can make other arrangements for him if Carl and I decide to get together.  I’m driving to his house this weekend and will stay from Friday afternoon until Monday morning.

We’ve taken two cruises and have another one booked for June.  I go to see him for long weekends. He has a 5th wheel and a trailer and we have plans to do a lot of camping this summer.  We sparkle when we’re together and spend most of the time missing each other even though we text all day everyday.

I loved Donnie and will always love him and Carl loved his wife and will always love her.  Still, we’ve discovered that the capacity for love never dies within us and we have a strong and deep commitment to each other.  Everyone is surprised when they meet him because he’s not like Donnie at all and not what they expected.  I guess they think since I spent my entire life with Donnie that I’m looking for a replacement but I’m not.  We never “replace” the ones we love but somehow, we manage to find different kinds of love and comparisons become impossible.

Still…I will compare.  to a certain extent… Donnie was wild and passionate and bigger than life.  Carl is sweet and warm and gentle. A very different man.  I went to see him a couple of weeks ago.  The weather was miserable and he asked what I wanted to do.  I said I’d like to go to the lake where he likes to fish and, just like that, we did.  It was snowing and the wind was blowing like crazy and we drove all around his little town and then drove 20 miles or so to a lake with a dam.  He said it’s the biggest man made lake in Illinois.  The water was crashing over the dam, the wind was blowing and the snow was swirling all around. The lake was full of seagulls, ducks and geese and huge white pelicans.  I’d never seen white pelicans before.  I’ve only seen brown ones on the ocean.  It was beautiful and I couldn’t help making comparisons.  Donnie would never have driven 20 miles in bad weather to show me pelicans in the snow.  He would have absolutely refused to leave and would probably have taken my car keys if I tried to go out.

That’s not to say Carl and I don’t share a passionate love life.  We definitely do.  I love this man.  I love him passionately.  And yet he still comes across as sweet and vulnerable in ways that Donnie never did.

And so, my friends, I’m still here.  And I’m not alone and I’m not afraid anymore.