I WON'T BACK DOWN

Saturday, August 24, 2019

BLANKET ON THE GROUND


Years ago, when Bob got a wrong diagnosis ... I went home and bought 2 cemetery plots in Eden Valley Cemetery.

The diagnosis was wrong - we didn't need the plots after all.

Last August 30th, Bob got another diagnosis: this one wasn't wrong: the plots were needed now.

A few weeks ago, I bought the other 2 plots in the cemetery block where we had the first 2 ... we now own all 4.

There is plenty of room for a fancy stone bench.

But I think I will take a blanket with me instead, on those days I go visit Eden Valley, in the future - where Bob was laid to rest by his parents, the first few years of his life; and his earthen vessel's final resting place, 6 days from now, by me, his wife.

A blanket on the ground would mean more to my Kentucky hillbilly boy than a fancy stone bench.

We had many memorable moments on a blanket on the ground in our early days.

There will be plenty of room for a blanket on the ground: it fits the memories.

A blanket on the ground would make the visit more fitting ;-)

STILL STANDING


You know, when Bob was in OHSU - and we knew he wouldn't be coming back home: he hung on for my sake.


Even then, Bob was standing by me.

Because he knew that when he left, I would be alone.


A.L.O.N.E.

If you have never been cast adrift, you have no idea how vast, deep, dark, and downright scary "alone" can truly BE. I have never been comfortable in water anyway … so this {testing the waters} experience really was uncomfortable on every level.


There would be no family standing with me. Love is more than a four letter word uttered out loud; they have no real conception of what love means. In most families, family members love "no matter what": our families (parents, siblings, & extending relatives) never got that memo. Of course, our families came into being around the same time the fuck everyone and everything mindset in American took root, and THAT could explain the disinterest and severe cohesive family dysfunction (both branches of the familial tree). I mean ... they aren't even really {there} for themselves half the time!


There would be no children standing with me. They are society's children, really. We birthed them ... but they fully gave themselves over to society's rearing: they have NO IDEA what love is and have no desire to pursue it; they are happily lost in their midlife anger, carried over and nourished from their teenage angst's. They are miserable 50 & 45 year old's intent on making everyone feel as miserable as they intend to stay. I will get NO comfort from them. Everything in their world centers around them and their angst's.


There would be no grandchildren standing with me. They were raised with their parents' prejudices and biases. Refer to previous notation above.


Friends were far and few between. And I am thankful for every one of them! But, unlike family, they are not obligated to love you. Friends love ... and stick ... because THEY LOVE. And they CHOSE to stick. Friends can teach family members a lot. MPO


We were not members of any particular fellowship; so the church would not be standing with me. If it had not been for the hospital chaplains doing alternating room visits, Bob wouldn't have been visited by ANY spiritual leadership at all! And I did call - and requested at least 2 Chaplains call - the "pastor" of the fellowship we had been frequenting FOR 3 DECADES ... and that man NEVER CAME: he didn't even call - or send a message via Chaplain. I did get angry; but in the end, I gave it over and sicced Elohei on the bum. It was inexcusable - let him try to excuse his behavior to The One he claims he serves. Just sayin'. Bob had GOOD Hospital Chaplains (and even 1 Orthodox Rabbi making rounds in the ER Ward) come to see him, and talk with me - I appreciated very one of them, and I KNOW they will be blessed mightily for how they helped us in those hard months - in both hospitals, in both States.

Bob was my anchor.


And he loved me; he was worried about me being left alone. He said to me one time, "It must be hard on you - to lose everyone you ever loved. I'm sorry Honey." Bob had been with me for 45 years: he had watched me lose LOTS of people in my lifetime - for one reason or another: and he knew how those loses affected me; I loved those people. Their loss was very painful to me.

Bob knew he was my safety net during times of severe loss.

And now, he too, would be leaving me. It couldn't be helped. It couldn't be avoided. It was hurting both of us.


Bob knew I was capable of standing on my own ... and he knew I would BE able to stand alone - he told me that in November 2018; but he also knew that until the crippling effects of being alone stopped affecting me, being alone was going to be a very BIG HILL for me to get across and over.


So he hung on. Longer than necessary.

For me.

Until I was strong enough to say, "Babe, PLEASE. I love you; I can't stand to see you suffer - PLEASE GO. Go Home: I will be okay. Really. I will. I know that you will always be with me - standing by me. When I have Yeshua, and you, standing with me every hour of every day, I will never be alone."


We prayed. We kissed. We held hands. We conversed with his medical team daily, together. We prayed. We listened to the Southern Gospel music he liked. We kissed. We held hands. We prayed.

I cried when he slept. I slept when he was getting tests run.

We were both dealing with our own {aloneness} - alone.


Facing physical death - even when someone you love is with you ... is something you have to do alone.

Facing the eventual physical loss of someone you love is something you have to do alone.

And when that last breath is expelled; you realize that you - are, now & forever more: alone.


From December 14th, 2018 to the middle of March 2019, I was never able to fully grieve. There were TOO MANY LEGALITIES that needed to be attended to - and I needed to be fully alert, because whatever was decided during those months would literally be set in stone forever. I couldn't afford to be dealing with brain freeze.

Thank God, Yeshua & Bob were looking down on me and standing by me! I could not have made it through those months otherwise.

Everyone kept telling me "I really admire your strength Val - you are a rock."

They didn't see the hairline fractures.



They didn't know that when the daily downtown business was done, and I came home, I literally - physically - shook for hours; like I was standing on an active fault line.



Sometimes, in tears, I would call my SIL, Merry, and ask her to pray for me when I was missing Bob real bad: but that didn't happen very often because I hated to be a bother to people, in general.

Sometime in April, after all the legal business had pretty much been settled, the dam burst; and all that grief that been backed up broke loose.


Bob had by then, been absent from my life - from all of our lives - 4 months. And they had all seen me being "a rock". Life was going on for them while mine had come to a screeching halt - in every way possible. I had lost more than just my husband's physical presence in my life - I HAD LOST EVERYTHING; love, purpose, sense of direction, our entire life together changed drastically/legally ... there was NO place in my life that had not been severely altered. I didn't even recognize my own life anymore!



I was alone with my paralyzing grief: unimaginable waves of grief assailed me and washed over me ... knocking me off balance and tossing me around in a vicious sea of loss and heartache. EVERYTHING I COULD NOT DEAL WITH when having to deal with legal business washed over me; and I felt like I was drowning. My heart was squeezed, my thoughts were a tangled mess, I couldn't breathe, I could barely stand upright.


For the next 4 months, I would be emotionally, and spiritually tossed about in those battering waves of grief that tore at me, and bashed me against the rocky realities of life I had never faced before, alone. My anchor was no longer here. I was a ship without a rudder; cast adrift to weather the storms of life without a shipmate. Without an anchor. Every time I managed to rise above the assaulting waves, a gale force wind would rise up and push me back down under the weight of the tumultuous waves.


And I became a fighting bitch ... not because I wanted to be a fighting bitch - but because I kept being put in a fighting bitch situations. The waves were unrelenting. I had been so focused on being strong for Bob that I had seriously eroded my own health. My health was further damaged by the ensuing legal battles that followed. By the time the sneaker waves assaulted me and greedily sucked me out to the sea of despair, I was seriously in the fight for my life. AND THAT IS WHEN people started taking advantage of the situation. But, as usual, those people seriously misread the situation. I WAS weak - but I wasn't DYING: I still had plenty of fight left in me. So, I rose, like a legendary wraith - tired of being held down, and ready to rumble: if they wanted trouble, trouble had a Name: V.A.L.


I was morphing back into the person I was before Bob kinda-sorta tamed me with his love. I recognized the old me right away; everyone else was caught off guard because they had NEVER SEEN that side of me. Ever. She had been buried 45 years ago. But she was always there. And when pushed to fight, she will always come to the surface, ready to take a stand and defend her ground ... I wasn't (and still am not sure) whether to be glad or a little frightened that she has been resurrected. At this point, I am just letting happen whatever will happen - they awoke her: let them deal with their choices. If they see me bearing down on them, they better damned well get out of the way; or be mowed over. I am done with being taken advantage of by bullying tyrants: or just plain ignored, like my life doesn't matter; both of those actions are NOT OKAY with me. Bob would not have stood for it. And I won't either.


So, to survive, I became a fighting bitch. I don’t particularly LIKE that side of me ... but, at this point in time, I don't mind making her acquaintance again - if that is what it will take to wake people up, make them sit up, and make them behave.


Thank God, Yeshua & Bob were looking down on me ... and saw that I was in troubling waters. They UNDERSTOOD the situations and the position I was forced into ... and stood by me! I could not have made it through those months otherwise.


Where for 8 months I have lived in a dark and scary landscape, unfamiliar and very hostile: I made it through the midnight labyrinth scenarios, and can now see - howbeit, dimly - and I am standing up again; never to fall down again, so help me God.


Because Bob always stood by me.


And continues to stand by me.


I love you, Babe.

Always.

OX