christmas grief

hello again.. i havent posted anything in a few days, as i was feeling a little under the weather.. but i’m back today!

i went to that public school for less than a year, im not sure how long.. i ended up getting into trouble with a boy.. not what you think though!

he was cute, and he seemed to be alot like me.. we became friends quickly, and hung out at school all the time. looking back now, he was a really troubled kid, and i latched onto him because i had absolutely no friends.

one day, we were both in trouble for something, who knows what, and we were told to stay back from going to gym, we had to sit in the classroom alone. our teacher had a drawer in his desk stocked FULL of candy that he handed out to the “good students”, and we never got any.. our teacher was a major asshole too, and he was always being reported to the principal by some parent. anyway, as soon as the teacher and kids were out of the classroom and down the hall, my friend and i searched for the keys to the desk. we were successful. we got into the drawer and helped ourselves. moments later, the teacher came in the room. busted!!

we got into some major trouble… my mom got called in, and my teacher, mom and me sat and had a meeting.. my mom and the teacher got into an argument over some not so kind things the teacher had to say about me, so my mom told him not to expect me back in that school again.. and the teachers response was “that would probably be best”.

(my mom and this teacher had been fighting over me the whole time i had been going there.. and again, i hadnt gone there for very long.. 6 or 7 months maybe?)

so anyways, my mom then hears about this TINY Christian private school off in the woods outside of the neighboring town, so she thought it would be a great idea to send me there.. when i say TINY private school, i mean barely 20 students altogether for k-12. its in a cabin and the people that run the school are an elderly couple that live in the upstairs apartment, and the womans 98 year old mother lives in an attached apartment. the man and womans daughter, son in-law and their children live in a small cabin 50 feet from the “school”. sounds grrrrrreeeaat right??

it went as well as can be expected.. i made it 2 years there before i was literally kicked out lol.

i grew up going to church, but by no means was i as hard core Christian as these people were, or the majority of the students were. i was the oddball in the bunch. seriously.

i didnt get along with almost any of the kids, i did make one friend there that i am actually still close with to this day. she was 4 years younger than me.. i didnt get along with the teachers either, and the woman (that ran it with her husband) did NOT like me what-so-ever, and she made it apparent.

on the last day of school before christmas break, after my 2 years i’d been there, they had a conference with my parents.. they told my parents that i just didnt fit in with the environment with which they took pride in within that school, and i was continually challenging their authority, and i was loud and hyperactive (ive always been hyper and somewhat loud, but never have i challenged anyones authority) and they thought it would be best if i didnt return to their school, “but we expect the rest of the school year payment as this was not forseen”, and she held out her hand while my parents, stunned, forked over $500 dollars.

i think i missed something.. at some point between changing between these schools, my parents didnt know what to do with me, and my sister in law, across state, needed my help. she was in the military, as was my brother, and they had a 1 month old baby girl. my brother was stationed in iraq, and my sister inlaw was having to go out to the field several times a month for training, and couldnt afford a babysitter. so my mom sent me over.

this is where i picked up smoking. living over there with her was crazy and fun. she let me do things that my parents would have cringed over. i was smoking, staying up all night, she let me steer the car when she drove, we ate fast food ALL THE TIME (this is also where i started packing on weight). she had a bunch of military friends that were always over at the apartment.. one of the friends, a 25 year old guy (that i developed a massive crush on) lived in the same apartment building too.. i also received my first kiss too, from him of course.. after i moved home, or rather was dragged home when my mom found out i was smoking, my sister in law told me that he, the guy i had a crush on, raped another friend of hers.. -insert shocked emoji here!

i think total, i spent over a month living there with her, and had no desire to come back home..

ok, back to the “present”.. alright, so out of that private school, my mom found yet another christian private school to throw me into.. this one being better, but i still stuck out like a sore thumb..

at this point, i hated my life.. i hated waking up every morning, i hated where i lived, i hated everything.. fighting with my mom was getting worse too. i was miserable.

i was waiting for school to start at my new school, it was christmas break still, so i was back to moping around the house, which by this time, had doubled in size.. because of the work my dad does, he has access to materials and tools to keep building.. the cabin wasnt a cabin anymore, it was beginning to look like a house.. and it was huge. my dad wouldnt let my mom have any input on how the house was being done, so it was all him.. besides being large, it was cold and felt empty. he had the living room done with cathedral ceilings and 2 walls of the living room were nothing but picture windows, floor to ceiling, over looking the river.. you might think that it sounds beautiful.. but it was nothing.. it was just a cold reminder of being in the middle of nowhere and feeling totally alone.

that was also the christmas that one of my 2 dogs died of a brain aneurysm that we didnt know he had been devoloping, and on christmas eve, it burst. i was absolutely broken hearted about it too. obviously its always super sad when you lose a pet. the female dog we had, she was a mutt, smallish in size, but she had been my puppy since i was about 3. when i was off getting into trouble as a toddler, she was usually right beside me. well, she had puppies i think when i was about 4, and we gave them all to good homes, one of those homes being my step dad. he took one of the boy pups.. they absolutely loved living in the woods with us. of course, they had the occasional run in with a skunk or porcupine, they were otherwise happy to have all that freedom out there.

so it started that we noticed about a week before christmas, Z’s (i’ll call him Z) eyes were full of blood.. we didnt know why, but he seemed fine.. my parents wouldnt take him to the vet to find out why because it was so expensive. even if they had taken him in, they wouldnt have paid for any treatment or surgery, i’m sure. he would have died either way.. but i was still boiling hot mad that they wouldnt help him. every day he was deteriorating a little bit more and more.. i knew something was wrong, i dont remember if my parents acknowledged this or not.. he never liked being picked up because when he was barely more than a puppy some 9 or 10 years before, he was barking at a man that was walking by the yard, and before my step brother could stop him, he went running up the the guy and the guy kicked him in the side so hard, Z went hurtling through the air, hit the ground and rolled a bit.. whatever injury had sustained, he apparently never fully healed..

so now, being as sick as he was, he didnt care if you picked him up, and he actually seemed to want to be held and snuggled.. unless he was outside going potty, he didnt leave my bed or my side.. he wouldnt eat and barely touched his water bowl that i brought into my bedroom for him. so, christmas eve came around, and my parents had gone out for a little while, and i noticed that he was more lethargic than normal.. his breathing was fast and shallow. i knew something was super wrong. when my parents got home, i instantly started bawling, and through my tears, i sobbed that he was dying.. my dad kept telling me to stop it and he rolled his eyes and left the room to go to his shop/workroom. my mom sat down on the couch and held me while i held Z, and she tried to comfort us both..

it was late in the evening but she called the local veternarian anyways, hoping he was on call. good thing about small towns is that the phone numbers listed in the phone book, usually were also their home number.. and that was just the case.. however, the girl that answered said that her dad, the vet, was in a neighboring town, 45 minutes away, and with  the driving conditions, it was about an hour and a half to two hours. she said she would get a hold of her dad and have him call us right away..

he called about 10 minutes later, and my mom told him everything that we had noticed with Z during the previous week up until now.. the vet was very sympathetic and said it sounded like a brain aneurysm, and from the sounds of his current state, even if he was able to get to us that evening, there would be nothing he could do. it sounded like it was the end. i lost it, and buried my face into Z’s fur. my mom was actually even crying, which i dont think i had ever seen her do as a kid.

my dad stayed in the garage during all of this (the triple car garage was located under neath the living room, and also doubled as his workshop). he kept himself busy, obviously dealing with this tragedy in his own detached way.

after a while, my dad came back upstairs and did his night time routine of showering and planting himself in front of the TV for some Dick Van Dyke reruns, and i kept Z with me in my room, and my mom was in the living room trying to talk to my dad about what to do with Z after “it” happened..

bed time rolled around, i didnt even care about christmas being the next day.. i just wanted Z to survive this. we had a doggie door located at the back door, but Z hadnt been using it maybe because he was too weak? but my dad called me down and told me to let Z out.. i tried, i opened the door but he wouldnt get up.. dad snapped at me to pick him up and make him go out (asshole). so i went over and picked Z up, and he instantly went limp in my arms, and he peed all down my legs. i started crying again and yelling that he was limp and peeing, and dad just said “then put him outside!” i didnt know what to do, i was panicking, so i laid him down on the back porch, which was still under construction and not much more than a 3 foot wide makeshift ramp. as soon as i laid him down, he started sliding down the ramp, and towards the edge, which was a 7 foot drop off. i was crying and trying to tell my dad to come help me (Z was a little dog, but he was fat) but he wouldnt get out of his recliner, he just watched what was happening “PICK HIM UP!” he bellowed. i grabbed Z before he went over the edge and brought him back inside.. when dad saw him, eyes rolled up inside his head, tongue hanging out the side of his mouth, and limp body, i think he realized what was happening and what he had just put me through, he jumped up and came over to me and took Z from me. he told me to go to the garage and get a box and then find an old pillow and blanket that we could use as a bed, because he still felt a heartbeat, and Z was still breathing, but barely.

i got everything put together, and my dad gently laid Z in the little bed. my mom was on the phone with the vet again, and he confirmed that it sounded like this was it.. i could hear the tears in her voice.. i kissed Z over and over again while stroking his silvery grey fur, and told him that he was such a good boy, how much i loved him, and that i was sorry i couldnt make him feel better.. i think i knew that my dad needed a minute with him, so i went to my mom around the corner in the living room, and sat on the couch with her and cried while she had her arms around me.. i dont think 10 minutes had even passed when my dad poked his head around the corner and nodded at my mom. my mom squeezed her arms around me tighter than before, kissed my forehead, and i began sobbing even harder. i think i heard my dad sniffled, but i wasnt sure..  my mom was crying quietly with me, trying to not show it, but i could feel it.

pretty soon, my dad cleared his throat and asked my mom to get a garbage bag. i shot up off of the couch and cried “he’s not garbage! you cant put him in a bag!!” and my dad was back to his normal asshole self and he said “do you want the worms and bugs to eat him????” (because apparently the garbage bag is made out of iron and will stand the test of time?)

i ran to my room, hysterical. i heard my mom stick up for me, but i dont remember what she said to him.

i lay in my room crying.. i could hear my dad open the garbage bag, shake it around to catch some air inside it to help expand the plastic. i could picture what he was doing all in my mind. i heard some shuffling, and a soft “thump”, and some more plastic rustling sounds.. pretty soon, i heard the back door open.. my dad had brought home one of his work trailers, and i peaked out of my bedroom window and watched as he opened unlocked the double doors of the trailer, slowly opened them, and gently set down the heavy looking garbage bag. he sat down beside the bag for a moment and didnt move.. i knew he was hurting like my mom and i were, but he was (and is) an ice cold human being that is emotionally constipated, and it would have been comforting had he shown a little bit of what i was seeing in private at that moment.

he came back inside a little while later and the 3 of us sat back down in the living room again, this time with Mary Tyler Moore to keep us company. i didnt mention our christmas tree that my dad had cut down that year, i’ll just say that it was 12 feet tall.. when you own a ton of private property in the woods, you can have as big of a christmas tree as your living room will allow.. and with cathedral ceilings, you can pretty much go as big as you want to.. so ours, was 12 feet tall.. but we had no problems with it at all.. up until that night.. 30 minutes after my dog died, our 12 foot christmas tree came crashing down in a flurry of tinsle and glass balls. we looked at each other, and my mom said “Z is playing one last time”, and we all chuckled, even my dad.

it was a few more weeks before my dad was able to bury Z.. winters out where we lived were pretty major.. i’m talking 5-6 feet of snow easy every year.. dad had to at least wait till the snow quit falling so he could dig and not have it be an endless task.

that christmas day was sad for all of us.. we had family come out for presents and dinner, and it was just not the same.. i think i have photos in an album somewhere of my and my mom and you can see the lack of joy and christmas spirit on our faces..

Z’s grave marker is still there to this day. 🙂  he was a very good boy.

thats it for today, i’ll see you tomorrow

luvs & hugs

Broken Bicycles

When summer was finally over during that first year, I had to start school. my very first “new school” experience. i was freaked! new town, new school, my mom never bought me “cool” clothes throughout my entire school life. i was also not very thin, but i wasnt overweight yet, just thick and with a very very low self esteem (wonder why).. plus i was cursed with curly, poofy hair that my mom made me keep short up until around this time. i was every once geeky and lame looking.

on the first day of school, all of the new kids had to sit in the lunch room until they were assigned to their new teachers i guess? i was starting the 6th grade, so still in grade school. there was actually a student there that i went to school with before we moved, from the city. which was really weird, because we had gone to school together since kindergarten. so, major relief.. but its not like him and i were ever friends, but it was nice i think for both of us to see a familiar, friendly face.

that first day of school was long and boring.. the boy that i knew was put in a different class, so again i was on my own.. i hated being there and i had no desire to come back the second day. i was stuck riding the bus, which i had never had to before, and the ride home that day was a nightmare.. one of the high school kids at the back of the bus walked up and stuck a wad of slimy pink gum in my frizzy poofy hair. but i was too nervous to stand up for myself, and no one else around me seemed to care, they were all laughing hysterically.

the next morning, i went up to my bus stop waiting area up the hill from behind my house, and i was early.. i know i was early, because i was so worried about missing the bus, that i wanted to make sure i was on time. well, i waited for over an hour.. and the bus. never. came.

at first i went into panic mode. i raced back to my house and paced around the house. i had never skipped school before.. i had ditched school a few times. the first time was when i was in kindergarten (yep, really). my friend had a little bit of money, and mcdonalds was only about 10 blocks away, so we walked there and bought french fries. dont ask me how we got away with walking away from school when we were probably only 5 or 6 years old, or werent questioned at mcdonalds because i barely remember any of it.. my mom was informed by the school because when we were walking back down the street (i lived a block away from school, and my friend lived a block from me), we were apparently busted by the assistant principal, and i happily told him about our adventure that day. i ditched another time in 4th grade, but that was uneventful.. in either case, i suffered the wrath of my mom, and i was terrified that she wouldnt believe that the bus just didnt come.

after a while however, i gave up on trying to come up with a plan, and plopped down on the couch.. i was happy that i didnt have to go back to that school!

when my parents got home that day, everything was normal.. i was shocked that they didnt know, but really relieved too. so, i figured this was it. this was how i was going to play it. if the school didnt call her to tell her that i wasnt there, then they probably werent going to call her tomorrow right?

right!

i magically skipped school for 3, count them THREE (1, 2, 3) weeks without getting caught! i got an extended summer vacation 🙂 every single day when my mom got home from work, she would ask “do you have homework?” and i would proudly state “nope, i did it in school”.

now, im not going to tell you what my moms job was, because i’m trying to keep as much anonymity as possible, but her job was one where she was no where near a phone for her entire work day, and i think it was technically a city job. so im assuming thats why she was never informed of my constant absences? but still, no letters? i intercepted the mail every day, but there was never anything in the mail box from the school, or any attempted phone calls.. so that shows how much this lovely school really cared for its students! not like it was a large school, it was in the center of this little town with a population of MAYBE 1,000 people, tops.

alright, so, 3 freakin weeks of bliss! you may ask “did you really think you could do this for the next 5 or 6 years??” but i didnt think long term really, i thought about the present, the future wasnt even a thought.

one day, mom comes home from work, and because before we moved, homework had always been an issue with me, my mom said to me “im just so proud of you and thrilled that you’re doing so well. im going to call your teacher tomorrow and just check in”.

i think my eyes almost fell out of my head, and the air was sucked out of the room. i was frozen to the spot where i stood. i think my life flashed before my eyes too. there was no way around it, i had to come clean.

“mom, about that…………..” and i unloaded the truth. i spoke the words so fast, i dont think she understood at first.

and then i saw it sink in. her face started to turn that shade of red that tells me that something bad is coming.

i waited for the slap or the cruel words or the screaming.. i braced myself.. but they didnt come, when i looked back at her through my flood of tears, she started laughing.

alot.

my mom was chuckling so hard she had to sit down. i got angry and yelled “stop laughing, its not funny!” and she stopped after a while.. i know that we didnt fight, but i dont remember how the talk went.. i know that i begged her not to tell dad.. and she said that she wouldnt (but of course she did).

she said to me that i wasnt in trouble, but i BETTER have my ass on that bus the next school day, or blah blah blah, probably some cold and mean threat that she regularly dished out. but i knew full well that she meant it. and i wasnt about to test it.

so the next day, i was up at the bus stop and waited. but again, there was no bus. but still, scared shitless that i would get the beating of my life, i knew i better figure out a way to get there. the problem was though, the school was 5 miles away, and i had 4 miles of gravel road to travel, and i better get moving.

bicycle! i knew we had some 10 speed bikes in the shed next to the house. so i went and checked them out.

all of them had flat tires, most of them were missing parts and didnt have a chain.

i took the best looking one anyway, flat tires and all. i got up to the road, hopped on and began to pedal away, but found that i was barely moving at a snails pace. i stood up to pedal, and probably got the biggest workout of my life. turns out, its damn near impossible to right a bike with flat tires on gravel. theres noooooo traction. but i said DAMN near impossible. not totally impossible. i road that busted up bike for 3 miles out of sheer terror of what my mom would do if i didnt make it to school.

just before the end of the road was in view, a beat up truck pulled up beside me with an icky looking, greasy mountain man in the driver seat, and his redneck daughter (maybe?) beside him, and when they looked at my bike, they chuckled, and asked where i was headed.. all i said was “school”, and he said “well yer a lil late looks like, wanna ride?” he showed me his watch, it was after 9! i didnt hesitate, i said yes.. he put my bike in the bed of the truck, and i climbed in with it. all i could think was that i HAD to get to school. if i was kidnapped, then maybe she wont be mad that i missed school again.

after a while i knew the school was getting close, but my imagination was started to get the better of me, plus, i had only been to the school once before, i wasnt sure how to get to it. i started thinking that maybe he really WAS going to kidnap me.. did he miss the turn? i think he did, wasnt it back there? where are we going? should i jump? what about the bike? do i get in trouble for missing school and being kidnapped, or do i get in trouble for losing the bike? oh my god, he did miss the turn!

he turned. pulled to a stop at the school curb, and hopped out. my heart felt like it was going to blow up and out of my chest.

the man lifted my bike up and out “ya shouldn’ be ridin this bike like you was. and this is just a 10 speed bike, its not meant to ride on dirt like that either. you should get one of them mountain type bicycles……”

“yep! thanks for the ride!” and i was racing to dump the bike at the bike rack near the doors and get my late ass inside.

for the next week, i rode that bike to school. the only difference being that i would leave for school at 7 so i could be there just before 8:30 when school started.

and it was working! my mom was happy, i was happy i wasnt fighting with her, however, my body felt like it slowly dying. riding a bike every day is one thing.. wonderful work out, leaves you feeling great. but fighting with a broken bike on a rocky road is a totally different story. you use muscles you didnt know existed. i doubt those muscles knew that they existed either.

(i never accepted a ride from anyone again either, lol)

that Friday as i was riding my broken bike home, i was about a mile away from home, a car rolls to a stop beside me.. i stopped to look, and when the dust settled, i saw my moms face. there was amusement, confusion and worry on her face.

“what in the world are you doing???” (she wasnt sick, i dont remember why she was home early)

we put the seats down in the back of our white ford escort wagon, and i practically dragged myself to the passenger seat and collapsed. i felt like i had just finished a week long marathon. she asked me again “what were you doing on that thing???”

i told her “i was afraid of missing school and the bus doesnt come to get me so i had to ride the bike”.

“You’ve been riding that all week?? why didnt you tell me that the bus wasnt coming for you?! i could have called and gotten it straightened out”.

oh.

i. didnt. think. of. that.

we got home and mom blew up the school’s phone, and demanded to know why the bus wasnt coming to get me. “we didnt think anyone lived down that road”.

my mom chewed that woman a new ass hole for #1, not sending a bus, #2, not informing her of my absences by mail or some form on communication “you can call my husband at his work! you have his contact information as well!” (oops, i never thought of that either!).

 

 

todays blog turned out to be longer than i intended, and it was really only about that one story.. i’ll have more tomorrow! 🙂

luvs & hugs