Monday, May 28, 2018

It's A Minute After Midnight

May 28, 2018.

Twenty-two months since Frank died.

Sometimes I don't know how I've lived this long.

I have no regrets about my relationship with Frankie.  I loved him...love him with all my heart.  But I grieve that I will never get the chance again in this life to show him.  Or tell him.  I can only pray he sees me take care of his son and feels my love living on that way.

I try to cope by not actually feeling that loss.  I focus on the positive, my happy memories.  I tell myself it doesn't help little Frankie to see my grief.  My job now is to keep his father and his fathers love for him as a bright happy constant presence.

But sometimes when I am alone, I let myself feel it.  Really feel it

Sometimes though, someone else forces me to feel it.  They force me with their selfish attitude toward their children.  They force me when they casually pass up on loving their children in ways that I can never have again.  I want to scream and rage at them.  You never know what tomorrow will bring you or take away from you.  You could be me.  You could be sitting in a chair with a doctor saying they're sorry they did their best.  You could be sitting at home when you see a car pull up and a police officer or a military chaplain gets out to knock on your door. You could be the only one who wakes up from a car accident. You could realize that you lost your chances on petty bullshit.


Sunday, March 25, 2018

Today Is Many Things

....to many people.

For me it is the 50th anniversary of Papa Kelley's death.  He was my mother's father.  I had only turned 7 a few days earlier, and worse it was my Uncle Kevin's birthday.

Despite losing him so young, my grandmother never dated anyone else, much less remarried. I have always been in awe of a love so great that it sustains you for the next thirty years.

I have many happy memories of my grandfather.  And stories from family.  But also stories from people outside our family who knew and admired him.  He was born Owen Francis, but went by Frank and he was a person who drew others to him.  I was always struck by the regard people held him in long after he passed.

Overall, '68 was a sucky year in my opinion.

Friday, February 02, 2018

Team M - Hanging In Annapolis

There are lots of people who are very good to me & invite me to visit.  One of my absolute favorite destinations is Mary Ripley's house in Annapolis.  Back when I was much more active in blogging I met Mary at a Milblog Conference and we have been fast friends ever since.  Mary has been part of some of my favorite adventures.  She has actually facilitated some of them, enabling me to do some things that I would never have been able to do otherwise.  Team M - Mary & Maggie.

I try to be back in Virginia with Tommy during my 14 days of Pomalyst.  No one wants to watch someone hanging like a blob on the couch.  But this month Mary has persuaded me to give Tom a break and hang here.  It's a kindness I'll never be in a position to repay.  And more than just being a place to be, it's a fun visit. 

Mary and I could never run out of things to talk about.  If we did, her granddaughter Sailor visits and keeps us entertained.  Sailor is the most outgoing, sparkly little six year old.  I sit in this cushy armchair and there is room for Sailor to comfortably pop in beside me.  Knowing her mother, I suspect Sailor will always fit in this spot.  Not that Sailor sits a lot.  She bounds into the middle of the room to dance when the right song comes on.  There are many songs that are good for dancing or showing me "Cheer" moves. 

And there's no guilt here!  When in Virginia I always want to get a project done so I can feel like I accomplished "something".  Well, there are no projects for me here!  Just chocolate & binge watching "Masterpiece Theater" dramas and Graul's chicken salad.

Thanks you, Mary!

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Today Would Have Been Frankie's 30th Birthday

I was with Britt, the grandkids and Tommy came up too.

Last year I hosted a party and had plans to do so this year as well.  But when crunch time came I didn't have my ducks in a row.

I'll do better next year.

But Britt got balloons for us to let go of as we called out "Happy Birthday"!  Little Frankie loved it!

Lots of people have sent me very nice messages and I am so grateful.

Tuesday, January 02, 2018

January & Full Moons

I've always paid attention to the moon & celestial events.  I can remember sharing this with Frank & Tom & their friends. 

Now I want to get little Frankie in on this.  I'm still in Virginia, so I have to wait for the second full moon at the end of the month.  While the stargazing was fun, I remember the boys being more concerned about snacks and the weather.  So I will have to put together a list for how I'm keeping him warm and the best snacks for a cold night on the beach.  I'm hoping the bitter cold relents for a few days around the 30th/31st.

Grommet has this thing that I like the idea of...not the price of, lol.  Oh well, I have a month to figure it out.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Called My Dad Today

I waited until the game ended, but I forgot about the 5th Quarter.  Not that my father is any great talker on the phone.  He's talkative enough in person, actually very social, someone you want to sit with at a party.  Always a joke or story, doesn't let anyone sit isolated.  But the phone?  Forget it.  His responses usually amount to "Yeah.  Yeah.  Yeah-yeah.  Is that it?  Here's your mother."

I would have called anyway, it's New Year's Eve.  My opening remark was "Can I call back at midnight?" He was paying so little attention he said "Yeah.  What?  No!" and then started laughing.  "Mummy and I haven't seen the ball drop in years!"   It always slays me when he refers to her as "Mummy" like when I was four or five.  My mother was sleeping so I'll try again tomorrow.

But really I called to hear his voice.

Today on Twitter, @IowaHawk, a really witty smart guy posted that he lost his father.



What I Will Do For January

So generally the Kindle is for my mental snack food, post-apocalyptic fiction.  Zombies, EMPs, viruses.  I have Kindle Unlimited and I subscribe to Book Bub.  For serious reading I prefer actual paper & ink books.  I buy new & used and have library cards in Boston, the South Shore and Staunton.

But somehow I got a copy of "Long Summer Day" by R. F. Delderfield downloaded.  As I was reading it there was something that seemed familiar.  So I looked up the author.  His other books include "God Is An Englishman" and "Diana".  These were books my mother had read when I was young.  I would guess ten or eleven. 

Now I am enjoying the memory of trying to keep up with her books.  It was hopeless.  My mother was a voracious reader and very, very smart.

It feels good.  After I finish this book and the series it's part of I'll move on to other Delderfield books and maybe some Taylor Caldwell.  This book is set in Edwardian England with the main character being a soldier who was hurt in the Boer War so I'll also have to get hold of some non-fiction history of the Boer War.  I know Great Britain, Africa, Kruger, the Zulus, "Men of Harlech", Natal, Roarke's Drift, Michael Caine, Burt Lancaster and "Breaker Morant".

It's supposed to be a cold winter this year and this will be considerably cheaper than a trip to the tropics.

Thursday, November 02, 2017

So, Yeah, I Think I'm So Smart - Part 2,457

So, like I said, there are lots of appointments.  Regular oncology stuff, the stuff with the dentist and catching up on regular "keep yourself healthy" check-ups.

There's a calendar app on the Android and my paper & ink notebook.  But somehow there is still lots of opportunity for me to fail!

During the most recent dentist appointment, we scheduled a follow-up on October 31st.  Then there was something on November 2nd.  I got a call asking if I could make November 7th.  Apparently I missed that this was a rescheduling of November 2nd.  Mind you, these are text messages.  I can read these....and read them again at my leisure.

Then I had to cancel October 31st.  Woke up sick, sore throat, cough, etc.  That was rescheduled for November 6th.

So the calendar reminds me to get up and go to the dentist.  Brush, floss, rinse.....and skip breakfast because I don't want to mess up the beautiful job I've done.

Everyday at 1pm there is a scrum in the lobby of Tufts Dental School because everyone is returning from lunch and afternoon appointments begin at 1pm.  So I sent a text letting my dentist know I was in the building, but because of the elevator situation, I might be a minute or two late.  She texts back "We have no appointment today?"

Lol! Of course not!

So I called my parents and told them to expect a visitor!