Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Pilgrim's Progress

This is a first for me...a holiday letter (inspired by receiving Meg and Mike's) - to all the people who neither know nor care what has been happening in my lousy little life for the last year or so. This time last December I was in the Slough of Despond. Deeply entrenched, over my head, and out of my mind. Better this year, as long as I don't forget my daily drugs, which prevent me from crying over lost keys and hairbrushes, to say nothing of the lack of money to pay the skyrocketing oil bills and the lost children. My investments lost two grand last month. Plus depleting my Sefcu savings to pay for Arthur's funeral.

Yes, my dad finally died of Alzheimer's on Halloween. What a day to die, huh? It was long overdue and a relief, considering his miserable existence. We enjoyed the costumed nurses, especially Larry. We did not enjoy the beside vigil, watching and watching for every twitch and labored breath. He was warm now he is not. My mother is still there in the nursing home, generally jolly and largely unaware of her loss. She is suddenly crocheting again.

It was a year ago last week that I had to kill my Oliver and I will never be the same. I miss him every day. My losses have been great. Michael and Andrea took my babies and moved to Oregon in October of 2006 and I have not seen them since. I cannot breathe when I think of my Lily. And Michael's betrayal, which is how I view it. Not even a phone call, altho I have called them. You have children so that they can break your heart, I guess.

Courtney got married a couple of weeks ago. She is living in my house. I have not seen it, nor even been down the driveway since the day I left Lily standing there by the moving truck. I was invited to the wedding and tried to be unobtrusive. I only went because Lauren and Josh and the grandsons were there.

Joshua, as usual, is my salvation. He married Amy and Egan last October, just before his brother left. Egan will be five next week and is a joy. And, the greatest joy - they are having a baby next summer. A life is taken and a life begins. Josh is happy and that is all I ever wanted for him.

I am still imprisoned in my parent's house with Lauren and Tristan and the animals. The other boys have moved out and are living lives without us. We don't see much of them. I don't know if they avoid their mother deliberately or are just in their own orbit. Zach comes to pay me for his computer. It is not good here. I am overwhelmed with bills. Lauren seems to be getting her act together a little, working hard at her job at the apple orchard, but not contributing to the expenses. She is at a party there tonight.

I have spoken with both sisters, both of them reluctant but civil. The wedding and the funeral necessitated civility. We divvied up Art's ashes and buried them together, just the three of us. I miss my sisters, although I don't much like them. We used to laugh.

Eli is the light of each day. His smiling face gives me reason to get out of bed in the mornings, and greets me with delight when I come home. He and I visit Tony to do our laundry. Tony is good to me in his peculiar way. We went to his Christmas party last weekend and he asks what I want for Christmas. He refuses to give the only gift I need from him, although he loves me, I know this. We had Thanksgiving together, the two of us. Chinny is at his house and she seems content there out of Eli's way. I could use a cat again for cuddling. Or an arm around me or warm legs in bed. I am hungry for a human touch.

I think often of Nancy who has been lost to everyone. Today is her birthday and I would talk to her if I could. Deb is busy and happy and in love with Mark. That is good. My poets have become good friends. I love Tom and Larry and Mike and Cathy, who is not well. I love Mary Jane and the lib ladies are good to be around, although the job has become quite complicated and stressful.

Tony's mother sent her annual check yesterday. She is well and I wish I were there with her in the sun. The sun has not shone here is a long time. I worry about my future. After all the years with Tony, he has made no provisions for our future. We are both getting old. I became 60 this year and the kids gave me a wonderful party. It was nothing to celebrate but I went along.

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