I WON'T BACK DOWN

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

THE DEATH GAME


Today, even with the AT/T & Red Canoe brouhaha, was pretty “okay” – it really was.

All things considered.

Grief, my constant companion for the past 9 months -15 hours & 25 minutes ago, decided to take me down a different route today … skipping the solitary water fall feature of the journey I am on; and moving me right into stormy weather with the lunatic fringe of society: bill collector ankle-biters and bank staff minions.

Most of the time since becoming a widow, I feel lethargic and my daily activity is aimless without Bob giving my days direction and fulfillment. So, I guess grief thought my boring and sad life needed to be mixed up some today.

Grief threw the clueless screwups of AT/T and the soulless legality of the banking world across my path this morning – and then stood back, hovering ever so slightly, on the edges of the mayhem …

Watching.

Taunting.

And waiting.

I didn’t cry.

That is a good thing.

I didn’t put my fist through a wall, or break anything – specifically heads.

THAT was a very good thing.

All things considered.

But Grief would pop in and out of my day now and then.

Grief played the Death Game, used AT/T ankle-biters & Red Canoe minions to liven my day up.

The Death Game is an unfair game.

It is a cruel game.

It is a merciless game.

It is a game that expects you to know all the angles in a game you have never played before and are woefully ignorant of.

It is a game that blindsides you and mocks you when you don’t understand how to execute the next move smoothly – or knowledgably.

It is a game without soul.

It is a macabre game that pulls you into it against your will – you have no choice but to play it out: its tentacles reach into every area of your life, and you can’t escape it.

Today the death game revolved around AT/T & Red Canoe.

Tomorrow, next week, next month, next year, the game will revolve around something else.

The game never ends.

It is always evolving.

In the Death Game, a widow is never allowed to rest.

She is always kept off-kilter by soulless business venues, and legal snafus that keep pulling the scab off a healing wound.

Though businesses are pulsing with life and expanding with growth – they are soulless entities; businesses generate corporate $$$$$$$ - businesses are not people-friendly.

A corporation does not care that your husband died 9 months -15 hours & 25 minutes ago; and that you are desperately trying to find solid footing and keep “it” together ("it" involves every aspect of your new life). A corporation does not comprehend, nor does it care, that every time you have to deal with their “securities”, your own securities are seriously eroded.

A corporation doesn’t care that in your new and shaky life the last thing you need in your life is additional stress – a corporation thrives ON stress: it just naturally thinks you should too.

A corporation is always hungry, but it doesn’t feel.

A corporation expects you to pick yourself up and do better no matter what you are going through. A corporation has no time – and makes no room – for slackers. And face it: a widow is a slacker because a widow’s thought process now moves in slo-mo; there is no fast-lane for widows.

I know that – I want to pick myself and do better too. And most days I manage. But my turbo-jets now misfire because my Maintenance Man, who used to fuel my jets is no longer here. My jets have significantly cooled …

And that cruel joker, Grief, keeps pestering me.

I can never get away from him: I can't hide from him, and I can't outpace him.

Grief won’t allow that scab to heal and scar over, so I CAN move forward, and move on – even at a snail’s pace.

Grief keeps bringing my husband’s death to the forefront of my immediate life situations & circumstances … and making me go through the whole dying process all over again when dealing with ankle-biters and minions.

Grief won’t let my husband’s dying days - or his actual physical death - rest.

And Grief won’t give me rest.

Every time I have to deal with AT/T screwups, or Red Canoe banking legalities … Bob’s dying days are ALL I SEE AND EXPERIENCE.

Because Bob’s physical death is WHY I am constantly dealing with AT/T ankle biters and Red Canoe staff minions.

I have, finally, after MONTHS of struggling, come to terms with Grief being in my life like a misbehaving sibling. I understand that, in some perverse and morbid way, Grief has become a twisted “family member” that I will never be wholly separated from.

But Grief, does not want to be simply an annoyance like a misbehaving sibling, or that obnoxious Aunt or Uncle that makes your life hell 1 holiday every year, and then slips back into obscurity for another 10 or 11 months – no, Grief is not content to limit itself in a widow’s life: Grief wants to be a tempestuous B.R.A.T. that refuses to be ignored, or shelved. It has more stamina than we ever will.

And it will rear its ugly head in every – and all – places, in a widow’s daily life.

Widows have to lean into it – accept it, and roll with it.

Stop fighting against it.

That's the best practice when dealing with bratty Grief.

So, that is how I dealt with mischievous Grief’s Death Game today: I leaned into it. And I made the Game of Death work FOR ME ON MY TERMS.

I beat Grief at its own game today; I didn’t allow it opportunity to win … I played my hand for all it was worth – with a wild abandon that surprised Grief. I admit, I did grieve, as was intended by Grief …

BUT

In the midst of my grief, I was able to joke and laugh my way out of the depressing clutches of the soulless tools Grief was attempting to use to blindside me.

I was able to meld the bold & tenacious woman I was before Bob came into my life, with the tempered and respectable woman I grew to become as Bob’s wife. I believe I honored both of us today while dealing with the ankle-biters and minions.

And though I do get frustrated when dealing with ankle-biters & minions, I try not to let bitterness or anger rule my actions – that would serve no real purpose, and it would solve nothing; instead it may make things worse than they already are. So, I try to wisely meld the past me and the present me into a workable force that will move mountains I simply do not have the strength, at the moment, to climb.

In the midst of the tumultuous storms – like I found myself in today – I try not to feel bitter towards the people who work for soulless corporations: they are struggling with their own issues; perhaps some are dealing with loss too.

They don’t know me – they have to study both sides of the coin, so to speak, before they can make a move on their part in the Game.

We are ALL pawns in the Death Game.

They don’t understand the depth and the breadth of my loss. They don’t comprehend that my loss IS the reason for the recent snafus; if Bob were still alive, here on Earth, THERE WOULD BE NO SNAFUS. There would have been no need to change the status of our JOINT accounts that directly LED TO the snafus we were all dealing with today.

The mess exists BECAUSE of my husband’s physical death that threw a monkey wrench into a smoothly operating business agreement at both corporate branches, and caused a log jam.

I understand that they don’t understand.  And, compassionately, I understand that they are very lucky that they don’t understand my situation.

I cut them a break; give them some slack, and let the Game play itself out to a “satisfactory” end – the ankle-biters ended the day satisfied; the minions ended their day satisfied; and I ended my day satisfied that everyone is satisfied and I could go home, where I didn’t have to keep re-living Bob’s dying days before uncaring audiences.

Today the Death Game revolved around AT/T & Red Canoe.

Tomorrow, next week, next month, next year, the game will revolve around something else.

The game never ends.

But I can trust Elohim to have my back.

Always.

LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL … Please God!


I already knew that this Fall & Winter would be a biggie for me emotionally.

Bob & I faced his imminent death September through December of 2018 – so, I already knew I would be facing a hard 4 months, following Bob’s cremains interment at Eden Valley on what would have been his 70th birthday, on August 30th this year.

Every day since September arrived, I have relived my husband’s physical death – I really did not need to be dealing with more AT/T bullshit today.

But … that is what happened.

First off this morning, after mentally shaking myself to escape my torturous mind’s hospital replays of last Fall, the first thing to come up on my phone newsfeed is the news that the front man for ‘The Cars’ pop-rock band died (https://www.usatoday.com/story/entertainment/music/2019/09/16/ric-ocaseks-family-says-cars-frontman-died-peacefully/2346299001/); I like that band, so that news hit me hard too.

Then, my phone rings and informs me with a message from AT/T that they have not received their payment – WTH?

I know that can’t be right … I JUST PAID IT!

So, in a huff, I yank some clothing on and run into town to find out what the hell is going on NOW.

The staff there is of NO help whatsoever - they just parrot company twaddle.

So, I hold my hand up to shut the parrots up, and promise litigation measures of they don't get this issue sorted out. Then, I run over to the bank to get a printout of BILLS PAID before heading home to gather up ALL my PAID AT/T Bills from January 2019 right up to the latest, September 4th, 2019 (for confirmation before I head back downtown to rake AT/T over the coals):

This {issue} was supposed to have been sorted out July 31st! I was at the downtown Office raising hell THEN - and TOLD it had been "corrected". Apparently not ... I am ready to spit nails right now.

Then I hopped back into my car, and run EVERYTHING over to the AT/T Office downtown, trying to get this latest infuriating AT/T snafu figured out, thinking, “I am so sick and tired of AT/T’s bullshit – if it isn’t straightened out in an hour’s time, Grandma may be going to jail today …”

What I got was a runaround from both AT/T & Red Canoe … and for about half an hour, I DID seriously think I would be going to jail on assault and battery charges if the bullshit prattle didn’t stop (mentally, I was slamming heads together & praying Yeshua would hold me in check): the AT/T Office downtown told me “we can’t deal with this issue - call your bank and we’ll deal with the convo” – so, I called the bank: and the bank informed us both that “the bank can’t deal with the issue – contact AT/T” – I was already AT the AT/T Office, and the Bank rep WAS talking WITH the AT/T rep!; I was really building up a head of steam at that point. I lost my patience and promised AT/T a litigation process if the bullshit wasn’t straightened out ASAP: Bob has been physically dead since December – and I changed the account in January (they said that was clearly documented!) – it was also clear that there has been NO billing issues FOR MONTHS, and all of a sudden AT/T IS BILLING A DEAD MAN AT HIS DEAD ACCOUNT????

WTH?????

Apparently, the issue STILL REVOLVES AROUND my dead husband’s dead accounts at BOTH institutions – both of which, at this point, looked like lunatic asylums with the inmates running the places.

I snapped, and I bared my 62 year old teeth and snapped at both the downtown offices that “someone had better DO SOMETHING FAST to resolve this issue once and for all or I am suing AT/T and moving my banking business elsewhere. I am done being jerked around: I have had it.”

I do NOT want to continually relive Bob's death - and this ongoing {issue} forces me to do that :-(

And I put $20 in the gas tank between jerked back and forth, and burned $10 of it running up and down the damned highway!


So, I went back to the bank and a gal there contacted AT/T bigwig and got the issue straightened out over the phone – the AT/T person on the other end of the line was surprised that the $$$ had gone into a dead account last month and this month; and confirmed that Bob’s account had been closed in January, and the phone was under a new account, with my name only … and that until last month, the billing had gone smoothly. So, she worked her magic on that end, and as of right now, I have been assured that the issue is no longer an issue – but, I have heard that before: LAST MONTH to be specific >:-P

And the gal at the bank, thinks the issue may have stemmed from when I was forced to close our joint account and set up a new one – apparently when they transferred the Bill Pay Info from our account to my account, the bank girl that did the set-up, mistyped the old account number for AT/T, instead of using my new one … BUT EVEN SO, AT/T SHOULD HAVE PICKED UP ON THAT! Surely someone at AT/T is smart enough to KNOW that $$$ should NOT be going INTO A DEAD ACCOUNT and notified the Bank!

I MEAN ... FOR GOD'S SAKE!

People aren't talking to people ... and machines aren't talking to people: what the hell good is technolocgy, when it causes a frustrating and infuriating situation!

With all the drama focusing on my dead husband and his dead account, I am inclined to think that perhaps AT/T is owned, staffed, operated, and conducting business with a demoncrat mindset, because the demoncrats are the only people I know where the dead rise to the occasion to pay bills, the dead make phone calls, the dead vote, and the dead conduct business as usual: as far as the demoncrats are concerned, the dead are restless. Bob would be furious; Bob was not a demoncrat. Bob did not support the demoncrat party when he was still among us. Bob did not vote demoncrat. And I am tired of AT/T raising him from the dead to try to squeeze more $$$ out of me!

All I know, right now, is that this {issue} had better not be an issue next month. It’s getting old and wearing thin … and they are stepping on my last nerve >:-P


I stopped at Safeway on the way home, and was somewhat cheered by their Fall displays:

Pumpkin display – I always cheer up when I see pumpkins ;-)
Fall display.
Chrysanthemums and miniature pumpkins.
Black-Eyed-Susans – I have always liked these flowers; I suppose they are a hang-on memory from my years in Minnesota, where they are everywhere in the Fall.

And saw 3 more houses were put up for sale back at home base; it really is a  sad thing to see since Candy Scott took over as {manager} here – she has single-handedly sent over 2/3rds of the Park packing and fleeing …

Every month new houses are put up for sale.
People are tired of dealing with Candy’s craziness and general carping.
Since Candy took over, people don’t like living here anymore: this used to be a nice neighborhood with a nice atmosphere – no more; that congenial ambiance is gone.

And after I parked the car in the carport, I pulled the begonia down because the wind riding on the rain was picking up and I didn’t want the risk an upend. Then I snipped some herbs, and hung them to dry. The back room is smelling pretty pungent, but it also smells homey.

Then, I called my BIL Kerry, and told him I would be forgoing the mountain venture this year ... and asked him if he knew how to sharpen tools (I thought he would because he is a mountain man, after all), and would he teach me how to do that - he explained the process to me, and it seems pretty easy and straght-forward, so I think I may tackle that chore tomorrow; I have pruners and clippers that need to be sharpened - scissors too, and he said the process would be the same ;-)

The wind was blowing very gusty and I was afraid this begonia I bought for Bob years ago because he liked the flower and the color, would fall and break on the carport concrete slab.
I harvested some Rosemary, French Tarragon, & English Thyme.
Air-drying Tarragon (upper bar) & Thyme (lower bar) on the 2-tier hanging rack Bob designed & built for me.
Air-drying Rosemary on the smaller hanging rack Bob designed & built for me.

I really do hope and pray things settle down and good times can roll again.

I have had enough trauma drama these past 12 months – I am really READY to let the good time roll :-D

PEOPLE DON'T SEE ...


The hard truth is that people only see what they want to see.
And they don’t understand the tears that still come …
Unbidden.
And at inconvenient times.
They can’t comprehend the sudden and unexpected moments of missing the one who is no longer walking with us.
The consuming loss that still takes your breath away.
Three quarters of a year past their expected time that you should “be used to it by now”.
They don’t see the fight that your soul still struggles with.
To survive; first.
To exist; second.
And to simply live as best you can; third.
They don’t see the hidden tolls that your loss has taken on you –
On your mind: how you somehow manage to stay sane in a world turned upside down, where the surreal reality of your new life makes you seriously question your sanity on nearly every other day.
On your heart: how every day you have to pick up the pieces and patch your broken heart together again, knowing that by the day’s end it will be shattered again … and you will have to repeat the endless process all over again.
On your soul: how you are literally in the fight of your life FOR your life; because your soul wants to fly away too – but it is bound here for the time being, and you have no idea who you are anymore. And no purpose anymore beyond surviving. Life does not make sense anymore.
On your body: you have no energy anymore. All your strength is consumed by your instinct to survive – while wrestling with the want to be with your spouse: it’s an all-consuming battle that eats time and drains your energy. When you are not fighting to stay alive, you are falling asleep on your feet because you are worn out with the draining tolls exacted on your mind, your heart, and your soul. Half the time you can’t even eat; food has lost its appeal – and cooking for 1 is just too much hassle. A quick sandwich is not adequate fuel to make your body function properly.
They don’t see how your loss still impacts every area of your life in ways unimaginable - and indescribable.
Your concerns are not their concerns: their lives are not gripped by the loss of their spouse; their securities are not altered.

And they do not want to 'go there' with worrying "what if's" they feel may jinx thier tidy lives.
They don’t see, what they don’t want to see.
That, even as we widows move forward …
The damage and pain of our loss will never fully go away
The emptiness that is where the other half of our heart used to be, will be always be there.
For the rest of our days.
They don’t see the courage that it took to hold on – when you didn’t think that you could hold on.
They don’t see the will it took to exist; when you did not want to exist.
And they don’t see the bravery it takes to actually start living again.
When your world came to an end.
And you didn’t think you would make it past that first hour.