Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Lou Reed - Perfect Day


Just a perfect day,
Drink Sangria in the park,
And then later, when it gets dark,
We go home.


Just a perfect day,
Feed animals in the zoo
Then later, a movie, too,
And then home.


Oh it's such a perfect day,
I'm glad I spent it with you.
Oh such a perfect day,
You just keep me hanging on,
You just keep me hanging on.


Just a perfect day,
Problems all left alone,
Weekenders on our own.
It's such fun.


Just a perfect day,
You made me forget myself.
I thought I was someone else,
Someone good.


Oh it's such a perfect day,
I'm glad I spent it with you.
Oh such a perfect day,
You just keep me hanging on,
You just keep me hanging on.


You're going to reap just what you sow,
You're going to reap just what you sow,
You're going to reap just what you sow,
You're going to reap just what you sow...


I'll don't think I'll ever hear that song again without thinking about the morning my mom, my brother, and I were on the way to University Hospital, Louisville and Transformer was
in my CD player. It was turned down very low, but when Jason heard it, he started
telling me about the first time he heard it. He's my baby brother and knows a lot about music, but he didn't know that Lou Reed song until he heard it on an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (or that's what I remember him saying, but memory is a tricky thing). So, it was playing, and now every time I hear it, I am driving down Broadway in Louisville again on my way to see my father who was still very much alive.

And so, I either burst into tears each time it starts, or I turn it up really loud and sing my heart out and just wish I could go into rewind and be driving back to the hospital. When will this get any better, any less painful, any more believable, any more comprehensible?

I only remember one of my dreams from last night, and it wasn't about Dad. Oddly enough, it was about my boss and coworkers. My boss was actually being a friend to me. We were all in this old house getting ready to eat dinner. It was like a boarding house, and it was more like we were family than coworkers. I know there were some weird food things going on, but I can't remember what was going on today. That's good. I usually remember my dreams in such great detail, but not last night's.

Very tired today and looking forward to my mini vacation. I am taking 4 days off, so I'll work tomorrow and not return until the 1st of June. I need to sleep in late, lie out in the sun, work in my gardens, do some things around the house, and just be away from the work environment.
I wasn't at all ready to come back.

I miss my Dad.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Not the grim

In my dream last night, there was a big, black dog that I was supposed to take home with me. The woman who owned him was very gyspsy-like, very steeped in tradition and myth (ok...maybe some of the dream was Harry Potter inspired--I rewatched Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban one night last week). So, yes, the woman looked a bit like the teacher on Harry Potter (the professor of Divination--Emma Thompson), and I started this out saying the dog was not the grim, so maybe this was very much Harry inspired.

He was huge, though. The dog. His name was Baba Ganoush (Ha!). He appeared to be solid black until he rolled over to let the woman rub his belly. It was a mottled black and white. He looked like a black St. Bernard. I asked her what kind of dog he was and she kept saying he was a shepard dog. He was so large that he frightened me, but she asssured me he was a gentle giant and would be very loyal to me and to my loved ones. I asked her if I could change his name to Elmo (my daddy's middle name). She just smiled.

Many other dreams last night but I am just trying to let them go this morning.

So many things set me off. I went to Kroger on Saturday and came home the "old way." The old way winds through a trailer park that runs parallel to the parkway. You then have to go through 2 very narrow, very short CSX railroad tunnels. After you come out of the second tunnel, you see a sign for the hospital. I started bawling again because that was the route I took the night Dad died (April 20th). I had been to Kroger and went to the hospital afterwords. I parked, went to the floor, realized my mom and brother were there so I didn't go in Dad's room, went up to the 6th floor and called the nurses' desk, asked how Dad was, was told he was stable and sleeping, and I left. So, I never saw him alive again after Tuesday night, April 18th. My mom and brother were not talking to me at that time. I had decided I would go to see Dad on days and nights that they were not there. I'd rather not think about any of that right now. It's all too painful.

So, Dad really hasn't come to me yet to tell me he's ok. I keep hoping each night to see him in my dreams, and I do see him, and he does seem ok, but I just keep thinking I am going to really feel him.

Day to day, this pain and this grief.

Spent all day yesterday working in the yard. Weeded the front flower beds and finished weeding the side beds. Planted some more perennials (foxglove, which is actually a biennial, I think), some hardy hibiscus and primrose from my mother's yard, and some other herbs--lemon balm and flat-leaf parsley.

I added some annuals to the perennial gardens. Everything looks so beautiful. In one of the gardens on the side of the house, I have a forsythia, a bleeding heart, lots of purple and pink columbine, daylillies, asiatic lillies, hardy mums, larkspur, and a few other perennials I can't think of at the moment. I added some purple vinca and red begonia (it gets more shade than sun, but the vinca thrives and so do the begonias).

In the shade garden, I have coral bells, hosta, an azalea (at the far end so it gets enough sun to make it, peonies (they are going to have to be moved because they are healthy but not producing many blooms--they need more sun), 2 hydrangeas (surprisingly, they like it there), more columbine, and some hyacinths. I added red and pink begonias and multi-colored impatiens.

Then, out front, around the rhododendron and in front of the azaleas, I added purple vinca. It gets almost shrub size out there as it gets so much light.

I planted the hardy hibiscus in a circular shape around a copper birdbath in the backyard not far from the herb garden.

My little oak that I brought from mom and dad's house doesn't look so great, but it may make it. It is still green and supple though the leaves have died.

So, I worked outside and did little else. I mailed Christopher a picture of his grandfather along with a bookmark that the funeral home made for each of the children and for Mom. I called and asked them to make 6 more--one for each grandchild and one for Dad's niece.

It's overcast today and around 72. Wes is going to Mom's after school to watch Grapes of Wrath with her. She invited me too, but it might be nice for the two of them to spend some time together.

That's all for now.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Each day that passes finds me unable to write anything about my father.
I think about it every day. Things that pop in my head that I just don't want to forget.
Things in that last month. Things he said and did in the hospital. Things I thought as he said and did things.

So many things.

All the animals that keep showing up.

The beagles on the side of the road as my sister, niece, and I travelled to Nashville.
The bird that kept beating itself against my car and then against Dad's cars 2 days after his burial.
The eagle in my dream.
The giraffe and the dinosaur in another dream.
The beagles in yet another dream.

The huge snapping turtle that showed up at Robin's shop and refused to leave for 3 days.

It's strange the little things that set you off at a time like this. The box of Kleenex napkins in my glove compartment. Every time I open the compartment and see them I think about that early morning drive my brother, mother and I made to Louisville on March 27th. Dad left by helicopter (life-flight) on the evening of the 26th. I actually think the helicopter didn't leave until some time after midnight on the 27th. Mom and Jason had been told that if Dad made it at all, he would most likely be severely brain-damaged. I was in Nashville when everything happened to Dad that night, so I packed up my clothes, drive back here, then picked up Mom and Jay. We talked all the way there and just kept trying to keep one another encouraged. I can't remember if Mom was crying or just why Jason asked if I had any Kleenex or napkins, but I told him to look in the glove compartment. He was sitting up front with me and Mom was in the back behind him.

I even had to change the ring on my cell phone. Everytime it would start ringing (after Dad's death) and Mom would hear it, she would just cringe. She would say, "I hear that and all I can think about is how many times it would ring while we were at the hospital through Dad's illness and how many times it was ringing after he died and all the family was calling us at the hospital."

It's just so damn grey here. It's been the darkest, coolest May I can remember. It just makes everything that much sadder. And, it's hard for Mom to get outside and do anything because it's so cool and wet.

I'm tired. I am so very, very tired.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Who Knows Where The Time Goes

I woke up with that song going through my head this morning:


Across the evening sky, all the birds are leaving
But how can they know it's time for them to go?
Before the winter fire, I will still be dreaming
I have no thought of time
For who knows where the time goes?
Who knows where the time goes?

Sad, deserted shore, your fickle friends are leaving
Ah, but then you know it's time for them to go
But I will still be here, I have no thought of leaving
I do not count the time
For who knows where the time goes?
Who knows where the time goes?

And I am not alone while my love is near me
I know it will be so until it's time to go
So come the storms of winter
and then the birds in spring again
I have no fear of time
For who knows how my love grows?
And who knows where the time goes?

I dreamed about my dad last night. He was younger but he seemed older in some ways.
His hair was very black--no grey yet, and he wasn't wearing his glasses.
He was looking for me (I was hiding because I had done something wrong and Mom was very upset with me).
I was not a child in the dream, but I remember thinking I felt like a child.
I was hiding in this (I wish I could draw this out because I don't know how to describe it)appendage-type thing attached to this oval-shaped thingee (vague vague--picture an embryo attached to the uterine wall) .

I was lying in there with my arms folded across my chest and my eyes closed.
Daddy said, "What are you doing in there, Sis?" And I said, "Waiting for you and Mom."
Then I got up out of my sarcophagus (that's what it looked like) and walked away with
Dad and Mom. I remember there was a highway to the left of us (seems like it was 24/65 in Nashville or 75 in Atlanta) and things were moving so fast on that side--it was very futuristic, and to the right of us was this completely other world...very green valley with lush trees and wild berries...it was in that oval thingee I was trying to describe above (word retrieval a major problem lately).
As I stood up and started to walk away with Mom and Dad, this gargantuan giraffe stood up at the same time and started walking away with us(it was to the right of us). Then it evolved into one of the larger dinosaurs--diplodocus I think...seems like Mom, Dad, and I were walking on ice floes, but the dinosaur was walking through the most beautiful green valley.

I took Dad's hand in mine ( I was to his left). I remember thinking how warm it felt, and how soft, and how old and dry it felt--like it did in the hospital...but dad looked like he was only in his late forties or early fifties.

I felt better when I woke up. And then I felt worse.

Before I go to bed and immediately after I wake up--those are the hardest times of the day.
I guess because I fear what I may dream before I go to bed, and I don't want to acknowledge when I wake up that all of this has not just been a bad dream...it is the truth...Dad is gone. It just can't be.

But it is.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Eagles and Other Things

Dreamed of a bald eagle last night. I was looking out the door with some other people and I saw it land on a branch near the door. When the other folks and I went outside to see it more closely, it flew up to a higher branch and then it started growing. It was as large as a T-Rex but was in the air flapping its wings above us. Then there was an extremely bright light all around the eagle and then everything was burning. I know I was not on fire but it seems everything and everybody around me was burning. I remember there were children too and I knew they were consumed but I wasn't terrified and I felt the children were fine. Then the ealge was gone and I was left standing alone looking at the tree. Nothing had changed in the landscape.

Also had several water dreams last night. Frightening water dreams. Strange creatures from the deep trying to capture and devour us (can't remember who the "us" incorporated, but I didn't recognize anyone). Again, there were children and they were the most vulnerable. I saw an image of two children being pulled behind a boat. They were supposed to be waterskiing but they were both underwater with thier skis on. One of them appeared to be dead but was still holding the rope. The other had her eyes open but was not responsive. I was apparently under the water with them.

I saw Dad in my dreams last night--I know I did, but I can't remember today what he was doing.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Dancing

In one of my dreams last night, we (can't remember who all the "we" people were, but I was there) were trying to get my dad to dance with Mom. We said something like "Daddy, you know now when you're going to die, so just dance away...try to enjoy it...have fun!"
And he danced, but he looked miserable, and when he and Mom had finished dancing, he was struggling to breathe but still alive. He did what WE wanted him to do, but he wasn't enjoying the doing. Not sure what to make of the dream.

I don't know that I ever saw Mom and Dad dance. It seems they did though. Maybe slow danced from time to time after they'd had a few beers. I just can't get a good visual on that.

That's all for now

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Just a few things I don't want to forget...

the gray, very nondescript bird that kept trying to get into my car on the Wednesday after Dad's funeral (4/26--I was at my mom's). The next day, it tried to get into Daddy's new car and then into his old car.
The next day when I came back, it kept trying to get in my car again. We saw it for several days, but it hasn't returned the last few times I've been over to Mom's.

On Friday, as I was leaving town to take my sister and niece back to the airport, my niece noticed 2 dogs that were on the side of the parkway looking like they were going to try to run across the southbound lanes of the parkway. We turned around, parked off the shoulder, and coereced the dogs up on the bank further away from the parkway. They had a phone number on their callers, so we got in touch with the owners and they came to get them. Beagles...2 older beagles. Last night, I dreamed of beagles and other things.

In one dream, some time of rocket was launched and then it exploded in space. In a very few minutes, a whole crowd of people was cheering for the three people who had parachuted out of the rocket--it was some kind of stunt--one of the people was my eldest brother. I was walking up to greet them as they landed on a roof. He had on his khakis and striped cotton shirt and he had his camera around his neck. He didn't look like someone who had just rocketed down to earth.


I am not handling my father's death very well at all. It is so difficult to be back at work. I cry myself to sleep every night. It was just so hard to watch him mistreated in the hospital. That's what I keep seeing--the way he was humiliated and debased. I want to keep seeing him on that Tuesday night when he looked so good and was ready to come home. The doctor said he was going to release him on Thursday, but by 10:58 that night, Dad was gone. I just can't believe it. I am just having such a hard time and I am missing him so. My heart is breaking.