Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Catching up

Needless to say with all that's gone on in the last week, the fact that I recovering from a sore throat rather than a bender should be evidence of my ability to cope with stress.

It's seriously been a week from hell. I've been trying to figure out how to grieve for a sister I never met (all the while being ignored by her entire family). So far, it seems crying when I feel like crying is the best method for me. I've been reclusive and snippy with those around me. Thankfully, they've been understanding and haven't expected too much from me.

I've surrounded myself with friends and family who love me and are here for my every whim, whether it be letting me spend the day in total Mopeville or by dragging me out of the house for dinner and a movie. I am SO thankful to you (you know who you are).

The stress did take its toll, however. I came down with the symptoms of strep throat over the weekend and after gargling colloidal silver, radiating my ouchies with a laser pointer and downing glass after glass of OJ mixed with Airborne, I am thrilled to report the beast has been slain. Once I set my body in motion for healing itself, I did "cheat" and took Tylenol for the pain and Benadryl to help me sleep. But I didn't resort to antibiotics, so there's that.

My biggest triumph this week, however, was the reconciliation with my son. As I didn't go into the details surrounding the falling out, I also won't be going into the details of what happened with the reconciliation. Suffice it to say, we both learned a lot these last two months and I'm confident we won't be in this place again. Such a relief to have my son back.

This weekend, I am looking forward to a girls' weekend in Chicago with Midget. We're babysitting a friend's son so she and her husband can celebrate their anniversary. Then Sunday, we're meeting with an idol of mine for coffee. We'll spend the remainder of our weekend perusing Michigan Avenue. This is the first trip Midget and I have taken since she was about 6 months old, so it's long overdue. I hope to take a similar trip with Big Man sometime in the spring.

I'll be finishing out the month of November by spending eight days in New York. It's been almost eleven months since I was there last and my inner city girl is clawing at me to get out. My sister-in-law, niece and I will spend 2-3 days in NYC, then head upstate to spend Thanksgiving with my nephew and his wife. This is another trip that's been a long-time coming.

After that? Christmas! New Year's Eve! More travel in 2012! Until then? Day by day.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


I've lost a lot of people in my life: my parents, step-parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts, even a great-nephew. I've suffered a miscarriage and grieved over broken relationships/friendships and my divorce. To say that I've learned how to process my grief is an understatement. It's become a pretty typical process for me and while it does vary slightly from rote sometimes, it's usually a fairly compact process for me.

And then there's this.

Mary was my sister. She's as much my sibling as anyone else in my life has been that I've called a sibling. Yet because I didn't grow up with her (or even knew she existed until I was an adult), she's always seemed distant, so that closeness I share with my brother and sister I grew up wasn't ever there between us. We loved each other and I don't question that. But through the last few days I've felt almost guilty for my grief and sadness over her death because I didn't know her well.

Our sister Linda grew up with Mary. She shares memories and stories and a history that I never had. They had Christmases and birthday parties. They shared Sunday dinners and family vacations. Mary was also close to her children and grandchildren. She spent every day of her life (from what I gathered) focused on her relationships with her family.

Mary and I shared a few emails and two phone calls. Yet, she's still my sister. She was the only person who told me that my father (also a man I never knew) talked about me constantly and loved me deeply. Mary, upon discovering how much I want to move to New York asked me instead to move to Texas where "you have family." She accepted me, sight unseen, circumstances unknown. Mary loved me unconditionally. I was her sister and that's all she needed to know.

So while her family is grieving for the woman they knew, I'm grieving for the woman I didn't know...can never know.

This is something I've never dealt with before. Grieving for lost memories is one thing. Grieving for memories that will never take place is totally different. This is new territory for me and I hate how it feels.