Sometimes, Saturday and Sunday are the hardest mornings of the week. These are the mornings we power phoned, after she moved to Texas in 2008.
Not many weekend mornings go by without me getting a little emotional because two years and three months later, I still want to pick up the phone and call Mel. I wind up reflecting, remembering, reliving the woman and my time with her.
It was more than just drugs that weakened her body to the point of, at 46, having a massive spinal cord infarction AKA a stroke in her spinal cord.
Mel had three children with her husband and after they divorced, she had a fourth with someone else. Of her first three kids, her youngest had major health issues. It started when she was 6 or 7. She would get severely sick, winding up with pneumonia. They spent a lot of time at Children’s Hospital. Tests were done for Leukemia, AIDS, and I don’t know how many others and always, no idea what the illness was that was causing Necrotizing Granuloma in her lungs. The CDC and NIH took samples and ran tests, it didn’t show anything micro or micra. In the lab, no one could solve wtf was wrong. It was noted that winters in Washington were not good for her daughter.
The illness was treated with chemo drugs, though she did not have cancer. Mel’s bank accounts, savings accounts and credit cards all went to the medical bills of her daughter, which reached astronomical proportions. I watched my friend go from comfortable and able to financially care for all her children with or without child support or emotional support from her former spouse, to having nothing. Her land where she was going to build was gone, her rentals were gone, her job was gone, and she had very little support.
It was the health of her daughter in the winters here, that took them away from me to Texas. I thought I would die. For almost 25 years, I had never been more than a 30 minute drive from her. I’d never been unable to contact her by phone whenever I wanted except for the two summers I was in Alaska.
A good thing did happen in Texas. Her daughter stopped getting “winter sick” (my term). Her lungs stopped dying and as she grew older, the percentage of damage area lessened. Of course, all the drugs she was on for an unknown illness, created other issues. Arthritis, IBS, and Crohns are things she lives with. At the time of her death, three of her children were with her in Texas and one was here with her ex husband.
Mel had health issues of her own. She had become diabetic with her pregnancies. I am unclear if the condition persisted afterwards. I thought not, but I found the kit and lancet pack in her bathroom after the stroke. I don’t know if she was currently diabetic or not and she wasn’t taking anything for it if she were, because. TEXAS. There was no health exchange in Texas because. OBAMA. Her daughter, was covered still through Washington, as well as the courts stepping in and forcing her ex to take some responsibility and keep his daughter insured no matter what.
Because of the health of her daughter, the amount of time spent in hospitals, at doctors, having surgeries, Mel couldn’t hold down a job. It isn’t that she didn’t try, she did. She decided to go back to school.
Right before her death, she was taking calculus. Everything hinged on passing calculus. If she failed, she would lose her funding and she would no longer be able to put so much time into her daughter’s care. She was burning herself out, was down to under 90 lbs. She was living on caffeine, cigarettes, and pills. She had suffered migraines since I had met her. It didn’t strike me as odd that she was taking stuff for a migraine. I never made the pill connection. I worried about her daughter being addicted because the names of pills they had her on. I “badgered” Mel about her daughters opioid intake.
So all this dribble came from thinking of her this morning and remembering the morning she told me she passed calculus. I was SO proud of her and I told her so. I know many people who have had to change the course of their education because. CALCULUS. I remember saying, “I am SO PROUD of you!” I remember the silence and then hearing her soft crying and heavy sigh followed by, “Thank you **sniffles** I needed to hear that.”
Her continued education was so important to her and she was the type of person who gave it her all, putting herself lowest on the pole of who needed her help. The pay off was supposed to be getting herself back to being financially independent. She had taken someone’s business from struggling, to a million dollar company. She would do it for herself this time.
I know her well enough to know how hard she was pushing herself. I know she thought tomorrow. Tomorrow I will deal with myself.
Only her tomorrows stopped Christmas eve 2014 when the stroke began. I realize in hindsight that part of the oddness in that last call, with her language, words, thoughts was the beginning of the stroke. I wish I had known. I wish I would have called 911 from my state because I suspected something, but I didn’t.
I really miss her.
You just wouldn’t believe the hole in me, because you died.
You would be the first to yell at me to let it go a bit.
Like I said, you wouldn’t believe the hole in me, because you died.
Since Mel died, there has been so much fog, and so much haze. I have never had a loss like losing Mel and any loss after her was small change compared to her. It’s not that the people I lost since her weren’t horrible, but Mel was big, personal, traumatizing, and deep.
She was my major gut punch.
Mr. Yummy and PD were huge and painful, but they only piled on an already bad and dangerous pain.
I still love him. I always will, but I will never get over the way he just disappeared and ghosted me after Mel died. Telling me HOW to process and how the way I was doing it, was wrong. Fuck you, for that. Mr. Yummy will always be the one who evoked an emotion in me, like no other. But I already knew he was an asshole when PD said he was an asshole and she didn’t like him.
I didn’t like him much either at that time, but I could not at that time process the loss of him. I had to get to a dead point. By dead point, I mean my feelings for him went dead. I would have rather stayed with my sissy and the asshole she lived with, than be around him because he just hurt me. He was a big loss on a big loss. It just compounded my depression. I sat in his house with all those guns, alone, depressed, angry, sad, overwhelmed and wanting to not fucking feel the pain of losing Mel. I won’t lie. I had a gun in my mouth. I couldn’t leave that as the last memory Mr. Yummy had of me. In his house. with HIS gun. It would have been a delicious Fuck You, though.
PD sucked because she just compounded the loss by kicking my ass to the curb, the very day I decided that if Mr. Yummy wanted to be with me, he would make himself available to spend time with me. He wasn’t busy working like he said he was, He wasn’t off taking care of his grand-kids, and I know this to be true. He was running from me and my sadness and whatever else he didn’t have the balls to say to me. I finally realized that.
I cried prior to losing Mr. Yummy and PD. but once it was done, I just went dead to them. Being dead emotionally was easier than falling farther apart. It’s that simple. And this is a small moment of clarity to me.
It’s Friday night and time to wake and bake.
I changed the theme. I think it’s a push for me to start writing again.
I’m also going to write really honestly.
Here are some truths.
I miss The Girl. I am pretty sure she knows this. I’ve never stopped loving her, though I fear her intensely because at one time, she had the power, and used it to try and hurt me. It worked. I’d love to have a relationship with her, but I also fear it. Trust and all.
I am moving on in life after so many losses, but in all honesty if I die today, I am pretty OK with that. I don’t think I am courting death, but maybe I am. I’m not going to the doctor and I have some pretty serious things going on with my body. Do I ignore it longer and go till I drop, or do I go to the doctor?
I’m not really into more of the same. I have kind of had enough of the loss.
I am probably more closed off than ever, because to let anyone in that close would mean to trust, and I am very, very, very careful about who I hand actual trust to.
On the other side, I know the things I have experienced, seen and felt, to be true. It’s just that life hit me so hard I fell off the path. I’ve not gone back to that same hateful person, but there is this wall of protection around me and when you live like that, you aren’t really living at all. You’re sitting around, waiting for it to be done. My life has felt like the last act, of a bad play, that will not fucking end.
But still I am waiting. I don’t know for what, but I am waiting.
I’m thinking I know what I personally need to do, but I have procrastinated because to jump back into it means work and I know that with so much hidden emotion and denied feeling, it’s going to be heavy. It can’t be any heavier than keeping all this shit inside me, can it?
There are things I am totally happy about also.
I love my little apartment. I love that the things I do in my life, are mine. I do them when I want and no one criticizes me, tells me I am wrong, disapproves, or hits me.
I love my few friends I have kept. These are the people I trust and am comfortable with.
Yesterday, I read something I wrote a few moths before the stroke. How odd. As things were getting better and I was happy because of Mr. Yummy, my move, my job, my soaring spiritual awakening, there was a point I admitted I feared what was coming. In all honesty I seriously thought The Girl was about to make an appearance and I wasn’t sure I could do it. That would have been so much easier than losing Mel, Mr. Yummy and Arie. All within a short time span. Back to back. It felt so cruel. it made me ask if I was a good person? I sort of began to doubt my value. I forgot I am what I am and deserve what I deserve, as do you.
I lost many things when I lost my best friend.
I lost security, my soul-mate, my strongest supporter, my confidant, my partner in crime, my favorite reason to laugh, my trust in many things, mainly letting anyone love me or get close enough that I might get hurt if they go away, the comfort of realizing that someone important has gone away, but thank the Creator they didn’t die and my ability to sit almost everyday and write.
I miss that creative outlet, but I realized that I read Mel EVERYTHING I wrote. My writings were part of our hours long conversations. In hindsight, it’s like in my mind I was always writing with her as my audience. I only read my writing to one other friend (and of course, my mother). I read it to no one now.
I am a different person today.
I have made a new friend. I’m tentative and cautious. I haven’t called her a friend to her face yet, but I love her. She’s my girl I have been the most honest with about who I am. She is my head expediter at work. There are only two of us who do this job as well as driving. She was out all week while her kids were on Spring break. Work, without her on a slow day is doable, but work without her on busy days or glitchy paperwork and labeling days SUCK. Yesterday was one of those days. I was so frustrated at having a work ethic so different from others around me. 90% of our mistakes could be eliminated if drivers checked their paperwork so they didn’t just take the food on their shelf assuming what was there, was all theirs. Mistakes do get made and when the expediters check and release the food for drivers to pick, the drivers sometimes help shelve the food. Sometimes I make a shelf mistake, sometimes Nette does, and sometimes drivers do. Check your pack slips to the food on your shelf as you load your van.
Nette text today saying she would be in Monday and she knew I must be burned out after a week without her. I updated her on yesterday and how I got so frustrated I went out to smoke and cried. Beneath it all was the old habit and desire to call Mel and vent to her all the anger and get it out, without saying shitty things to people I mostly like and have to work with. She came back with…”Well I’m not Mel, but I’m Nette and I always have an ear to listen and to vent at.”
It touched me and made me smile to feel like I have a friend again. She’s right. She’s not Mel and I wouldn’t want her to be. I like her as Nette.
Life does go on after a death like that, but for me it is different. It is…less, because I learned so much and lost so much.
Do I miss Mr. Yummy? No, I miss the idea of him like we were years ago, but that guy is long gone and the guy in his place is not the guy for me as I was not the woman of twenty years ago. Now I know.
Do I miss the living people I have lost? Some I do, some I don’t. That’s all I will say about that, because anything I say, could be falsely used against me because the WRONG people would think what was said about another, was said about them. Story of my life and without that kinda confusion, my life is simpler.
Two year and three months later, I am still crying. Not every day, but more than I imagined I would. I think the only thing that would impact me as much would and will be when my mother walks to the Creator. But today, she is here and I let her love me.