tinhuviel: (Default)

I found a tree stump in the woods across the road, in a small circular clearing about nine feet in circumference, facing North.  Using it as a natural alter, I placed a candle, incense, blessed water, and a combination of honeysuckle and magnolia.

 

After a brief invocation, I gave honour to the Goddess on Mother’s Day, and was suddenly moved to sing a song that Granny and Aunt Tudi used to sing in harmony.  It’s a Doris Day song called ‘Everybody Loves a Lover.’  It has zip to do with Mother’s Day, but everything to do with the women who played the mother role in my life.


What’s so odd is, from the moment Aunt Tudi died in 2011 until an hour ago when I was standing in the forest singing, I could not remember the words to the song.  All I could remember was the melody and the the first line, which is the title.  But I sang the whole thing flawlessly, as loud as I could, with my unused, atrophied voice.  I was crying by the end, but I did it. 

I snuffed the candle and what was left of the incense, spread the rest of the water around the altar, and left everything there (save the cup) for use in the future.

 

It was perfect.  It was a perfect Mother’s Day. 
tinhuviel: (Default)
Granny died on September 4, 1993.
Daddy died on June 29, 2006, the day after his 61st birthday. 
Aunt Tudi died on August 25, 2011.
Uncle Michael died today, a little before 11 AM.

They're all together again and the world is a lesser place without their presence.
tinhuviel: (Devil Smidge)

You know, the time before last (which was three days ago out of desperation from migraine pain), when I seriously tried to commit suicide, within a week of getting to the house, I was offered a stay in England and in Australia.  When I was in serious danger of losing the place Smidgen and I live, I was offered a place to live, at least for Smidgen, which is my first priorty.

All this started in 2014.

I have gone nowhere and still have no home for Smidgen.

This is why I have trust issues with people.  They will say anything if it makes them think they will with either help and things will get better or I will choose to live.

The hopelessness of my chronic pain only seems to get worse with every passing day.  I live in isolation in this room in a house with people who hate me.

When I bought this harness for Toby, I thought I'd still be able to walk this canyon hill.  In my condition, that's just not happening.  I can't even walk up to the bus stop stop without almost passing out.  I had one dude treat me like like I was some kind of crazy person, because my blood sugar went so low.  Depending on the sentiment, it was either a curse or a blessing I was gotten back in time to get some sugar.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009028QSC/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o06_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1


The harness is easily prepared for idiots like me who never learned how to tie a knot.  It'll be fast and no one will notice.  I'll be taking Smidgen with me, since no one wants her.

When will this happen?  I don't know.  Probably on the spur of the moment, when I have enough money to get to the park.  Sometime in July, probably.  All I know is that I'm sick of the exasperation I receive when I have to go anywhere, even the doctor. I'm tired of being treated like a criminal because of the illnesses I have. I'm tired of being tired and not being able to sleep. And I'm tired of being placated to just to keep me alive, when no one really wants me alive. It's a reflex. What's the point in living when there is no one and nothing to live for?  I'd rather just have honesty and be told that, yes, I am a throaway who was only ever loved by Aunt Tudi.

She's dead now.  What's the point of anything? I am constantly in pain, these migraines are getting more frequent, no hospital or doctor but Sharp will give me any relief, there's no point in continuing like this.

tinhuviel: (Farce)

Aunt Tudi has been on my mind a lot,  more so than usual, these past couple of weeks.  I hate it.  I want to turn off my brain, but I can’t seem to.  It would be okay, if the memories I had were just of the times we spent together, good and bad.  The laughter and tears, the fights and the impromptu comedic moments, the times that make up people’s everyday lives.  

 

But they’re not.

 

The memories are interspersed with the sharp flashes from the days she was on life support to the day she was taken off.  I don’t remember it all.  I was in a haze.  But I remember enough.  I have some very vivid memories of those horrible 96 hours.

 

To remember her failing on every level to learn the Electric Slide from Johnna, then instantly see her lying there with tape over her partially opened eyes, is unbearable.  I miss her so much, and I still feel the burden of responsibility for having put her in such a dehumanizing situation in what would be her last days.  She would hold my hand when we crossed streets in Asheville, but she didn’t hold my hand back when they took her off life support.  She wasn’t there, I know, but the gravity of the moment was very present, and it still is for me.  

 

It’s like it was just yesterday all that happened, even though it’s now going on five years.  My brain will not stop with the incessant barrage of pain, and I have no solution to remedy the problem.  I just want it all to stop.

tinhuviel: (Ornate Triskele)

A song my Father Unit wrote and performed at both Bele Chere and Shindig on the Green, in Asheville, North Carolina in 1976. Years later, he was able to record it. Until she sent the song to me, my Stepmother Unit was the only person in possession of the song since Dad's death in 2006.

All the pictures I used for the video are of Asheville and locations on the Blue Ridge Parkway, focusing primarily on The Smoky Mountains. The woman seen beginning at 1:16 is my aunt and my father's sister, Aunt Tudi. She is sitting at the rock wall in Craggy Gardens, from where we scattered my Paternal Grandmother Unit's ashes in 1993. In 2011, the family scattered Aunt Tudi's ashes in the same spot.

Also, the green A-frame chalet seen at 2:07 is a house in Black Mountain that I lived in, in 1975.

To the best of my knowledge, 'Carolina Mountains' was only shared publicly at the two aforementioned music festivals. Although he did copyright it, Daddy was too scared it would be stolen. I'm sharing it now, because it needs to be shared. All songs have importance and worth, and this is the best way I can honour him and let people in on one of my father's many talents.

The other reason for sharing it is I'm homesick.


tinhuviel: (RepLogo)

We would go up to Craggy Dome at least once year to pay our respects to Granny.

The last two times I visited, it was to add Aunt Tudi's ashes to Grannys. I went back up a couple of weeks later, broke my camera, got lost, and finally got back to Janice and Uncle Michael's.

I want to go again.  One more time.  I need it.  The only other place I could imagine being happy to die there is Craggy Gardens in Asheville, NC, and magick that is Avesbury.

Visiting the area from which we scattered Granny's ashes in 1993 seemed to bring a kind of peace to Aunt Tudi.  She might have started the journey a little down in the mouth, but crazy music and dangerous coffee took care of all that.  And it allowed us to have the fun, I'd like to think Granny would have wanted us to have.  The one solemn moment was when Aunt Tudi would retouch the black cross on the stone from which we launched Granny.  I could always tell when she needed some alone time.  I never thought I'd be making that drive by myself, intent on tracing a Pentagram beside the cross.  Aunt Tudi was not a Wiccan or a Pagan, but she grokked it in a way a lot of self-proclaimed Witches are at loss to understand.



I want that sensation of flight and try to spin onto my back like a bag in the wind, so I can face Nature's painting masterpiece and maybe even glimpse the spirits of Aunt Tudi and Granny, as they stand to welcome me after gravity has had its dark way.
I need to go home.

Need

Feb. 12th, 2015 03:12 pm
tinhuviel: (Can't Stop Writing)

If you are reading this, before you go any further, I want to make sure you are aware of the intention I had in writing the journal entry.  In now way am I trying to be Emo, navel-gaze, or inviting anyone to a pity party.  This is merely something I've had on my mind off and on for quite some time and, as is my writerly nature, this is my attempt to do a purge in the only way I'm superficially capable.  I am not looking for hugs, commiseration, or attention.  The entry is simply what most of my other entries have always been on the Cliffs - one of many entries I've made over the years.  That said, I'm cutting the rest of it out of courtesy to anyone who does not want to read further.  No harm, no foul.


Cut for a massive blob of needy bullshit. )
tinhuviel: (PSA)

English is the only language I can fluently speak, and even that is debateable. I know bits and bobs of other languages, including Mandarin, Welsh, German, Yiddish, Russian, Polish, and Xhosa. But there is this one language whose intricacies I began learning at a very early age. That would be Sarcasm. When it comes to Sarcasm, it really doesn’t matter what your native tongue is; rather, it’s more to do with body posture, inflection of the words, even the tone of voice that makes for a successfully delivered dollop of linguistic malice.

I began learning Sarcasm at the tender age of nine. It had been going on three years since my parental units’ divorce and, even though I was well taken care of and had no doubt that I was loved by Granny and Aunt Tudi, I still missed that connection kids apparently enjoy, regardless of culture or location. I would write them letters, and be thrilled when they wrote me back.

If they wrote me back.

One day, Aunt Tudi and Granny took me to Woolworth’s so I could spend some of my allowance money. Instead of getting a little toy, or candy, or whatever a kid with a couple of bucks could buy back in 1976, I bought two identical greeting cards. After not hearing from either Unit for quite some time when I saw these cards, it was my first crash course in the wonderful world of Snark.

Even though I was hellbent on mailing them to the Mother and Father Units, Aunt Tudi convinced me not to do it. I kept the cards, though, up until I finally disposed of them in the late 90s, because they were yellow and tattered with age. The message was ingenious, though, and I kind of wish I’d held on to them, just for shits and giggles. I’ve recreated the card here, for the enjoyment of any and all.








Very simple, to the point, and unmerciful – like all good sarcasm should be.

tinhuviel: (Cliffs of Insanity)

Years ago, Aunt Tudi found a mail order gag gift that she just had to have. She's holding it in the picture above. She asked me to get her, the Father Unit, and Uncle Michael one each, because she thought it was just hilarious. When it came in the mail, I took this picture of her, and photoshopped one gleaming tooth, adding the caption. I posted it here on LJ and on Facebook.

A lot of people here on the Cliffs got to know Aunt Tudi really well over the course of the nine years she was with me after I began blogging.  Many of them became friends with me on Facebook as well.  Facebook is where [livejournal.com profile] dydan contacted me to tell me she'd spotted Aunt Tudi on eBay.  She gave me the link to the eBay listing, and the belly-laughing commenced!  So I wrote to the person on eBay.  Here's a screen cap of the note.

And would she have laughed? Most definitely.

This is proof positive that anyone can be a model, even middle-aged, eccentric, crazy-cat-lady level, Southern goofballs with a fetish for novelty items!  Screw Kendall Jenner.  Aunt Tudi is a star!

**EDIT**

I just got permission to share the rest of the conversation as it stands now. If there's anymore in the future that I can share, I'll do more edits. I have to say, this has really made my day. :D

duck281
duck282

(I then sent him the link to the video, since I wasn't bright enough to include in the original response)

duck283

tinhuviel: (Bible)



When I was as young as three years old, I believed without question the existence of god. At four, I began wearing a towel on my head (don't go there with the jokes...), held down by a plastic mixing bowl, to pretend I was a nun. I also attended temple a couple of times with the Mother Unit. I got my first taste of wine there. Mogen David FTW!

At the age of five, in my first grade class, we were all required to recite psalm 23. Since my family was of mixed faith, and not excessively religious (I was probably the most "devout" at that time), I knew no bible verses by heart. I was the only one in my class not to get a silver star by her name. Looking back, this was my first experience with indoctrination in a setting that should have been more in line with the law of separation of church and state. It was mortifying, to say the least. I remember crying all the way home and staying up well past my bedtime to memorise the psalm, but was never called on in school to clear my name as a godless fiend. During this time, I also got it into my head that I wanted to be a preacher.

Aunt Tudi explained to me that I couldn't be nun, because I wasn't Catholic, and female preachers are few and far between, and usually weren't respected or listened to. So that was that.

A few months before my sixth birthday, my family exploded, when the Mother Unit requested a divorce. During this time, a pastor started frequenting the house. He'd take me for rides in the car on occasion, and we'd sing the BINGO song. While he was showing the face of a concerned man of god during this difficult time in the family's life, the family comprising of the Units, Granny, and Aunt Tudi, he was discreetly fleecing anything of worth from an already desperately poor family. I didn't find out that last part until years later, but I had always wondered why he suddenly stopped visiting, especially when I felt I needed him most, after the break-up was finalised and my Father Unit had a nervous breakdown. It turns out he got what he wanted, which was pretty much everything we had had as a family unit.

While I was being verbally terrorised by the Father Unit, as he instructed me to despise the Mother Unit for all she had done, and telling me she had never loved me, otherwise she wouldn't have left, I prayed fervently to a god that never seemed to hear me. I felt adrift. I never felt safe. When I got to see her, Granny would tell me the story of Job, and that all I needed was to hold on to my faith, and eventually everything would be okay.

But it wasn't. I had my home, my neighbourhood, my parents, and my favourite grandmother and aunt taken away from me, until the authorities decided on what to do with me. By the time I was seven, I was living with Aunt Tudi and Granny, in an A-frame chalet in Black Mountain, North Carolina. I still wanted to believe in the existence of a higher power, so I began reading the bible frequently. Aunt Tudi bought me a Rainbow Bible. I still have it...I think.

I remember reading about Gideon in Judges, how he wanted proof of the existence of god, and put the deity to a test. This verse, Judges 6:39, impacted me:



And Gideon said unto God, Let not thine anger be hot against me, and I will speak but this once: let me prove, I pray thee, but this once with the fleece; let it now be dry only upon the fleece, and upon all the ground let there be dew.



I figured if Gideon could do this, and be answered by god, surely I could too. It was in the bible, so it must be something that was true and could be repeated. I got a dry washcloth and, placing it in the very back of my closet, asked god to let me know he was with me, that he did listen to me, by making the cloth wet by morning.

Morning came, and I rushed to the closet with hope and expectation. The cloth was dry.

I could not bring myself to say there was no god. Atheism is still unthinkable in the Southeast United States, but back in the 70s, the very word itself was an abomination. I could not not believe in god. But I learned a new word - agnostic. From 1975 until 1988, I was an agnostic. That doesn't mean I didn't have spiritual experiences. I had a few throughout my life, like the revelation of Durga at the age of five, and the irrefutable holy feeling upon seeing the beginning of the movie Xanadu, featuring Jeff Lynne's music. Even Star Wars triggered a spiritual reaction in me, which I found out later was a very natural one, considering the use of archetypes and stories older than even our most ancient ancestors.

In 1988, I began studying Wicca. I felt like I'd come home. Here was a spiritual place that you carried within you, a way of life that held everyone (male, female, human, non-human - all life) in a kind of reverence. It renewed my belief in magick and the possibility of a life of wonderment. By 1990, I had become a New Age Fluffy Bunny. By 1992, I was a High Priestess in the Caledonii Tradition. Even though I eventually turned to solitary practice and dropped the Wiccan label, preferring the cognomen of Witch, my faith never faltered.

Until 2011. On August 25th, 2011, I was catapulted into the gravest spiritual crises I'd ever known. It was different this time. I didn't feel as though god/dess was not listening to my prayers; rather, I found I had nothing to say to any deity. If people would ask, I'd nonchalantly say that I was going through a spiritual crisis or that I was a Pagan-leaning agnostic.

Monday will mark the third anniversary of Aunt Tudi's death. When it happened, people wanted to pray for me, or pray with me. They tried to comfort me with praise of god/dess. I felt myself being offended and angry, not just with deity, but also with the people who seemed to crawl out of the woodwork to use my tragedy to turn me to god. On Christmas Eve, I called my Aunt Josephine to wish her a merry Christmas. I was only four months out from losing Aunt Tudi, so the wound was still raw (honestly, it still is). Instead of giving me any sort of comfort in her own way, instead of even wishing me a merry Christmas back, Josephine proceeded to tell me that I needed to get right with god; otherwise, I wouldn't see Aunt Tudi in the afterlife, as she was in heaven, and I was definitely headed for hell. That was the last time I ever talked to her.

Three years on, and where am I as far as my quest for a higher power or my need to commune with deity? In all honesty, I would have to say that I've crossed that line between agnosticism and atheism. With all the horror I see in the world now, I prefer the idea that there is no god as opposed to one that seems to revel in the continuous abject suffering of its creations. I have no patience for any of it, in whatever incarnation people claim it exists. I want no part of it.

Now some may say that this is simply my own version of the descent of the goddess, and they can believe that all they want to. If I've been descending, then this post is the end of my journey, because I don't plan on ascending. There is nothing up there for me.

So yeah, I think it is pretty safe to say that I am an atheist. Looking back on my experiences with the spiritual world, I can see now that it was an inevitability.

Forgive Me

May. 24th, 2014 03:09 pm
tinhuviel: (Pensive)
Today, Aunt Tudi would have turned 70 years old.

I've been relatively okay up until now.

The Mother Unit and I were talking about how illogical the "buy more, save more" mantra that retailers so often use to encourage more consumption. And I told her about how, every week, Aunt Tudi would go to Wal-Mart and fall for so many of their tactics, and we would always leave with mounds of stuff we couldn't use, wouldn't use, and was a total waste of money and time.

And it occurred to me how impatient I was with Aunt Tudi at times like that, and how I'd lose my temper, and rush her, and complain.

I would give everything in the world just to be able to go to Wal-Mart with her one more time, and buy anything and everything she wanted and tons of stuff she might think she might want later on. And I would play any music she would want to hear in the car, if I had one, and I'd listen to everything she had to say, and engage in lengthy conversations with her, and pay her more attention, and not be put off by her inclination for nostalgia.

And I would play along at Christmas time, and not be such a Scrooge. I'd pretend to be more family-oriented, and participate in any of the celebrations she would want to attend. I'd listen to her political rants.

I would do anything she would want me to do, and I would do it gladly. Because I'd just be glad to have her around again.

I am not okay. Not by a longshot.

I see her dying, her eyes empty, and that's all I can see whenever I close my eyes. On her birthday, I keep seeing her die over and over again.

I am not okay.
tinhuviel: (Dark Eyes)
I would marry my psychiatrist if he proposed, but I doubt that would happen. I see him every two weeks for intensive therapy that doesn't just focus on Aunt Tudi's death, and my guilt and woe because of it. The day before any appointment with him, I would psych myself up, and be certain not to lose control of my emotions, especially anything that would trigger crying on my part.

But he told me a few sessions back that, that was exactly what he wanted. He wanted me to lose control. He wanted me laid bare, so we could build on something healthier for me. He wanted me to do the exact thing I did not want to do.

So, yesterday, late in the afternoon, it was getting dark, and I was preparing to get Toby into the house, which I did. Then I double checked that Smidgen was on her usual throne, my bed. Everything seemed in order.

But then, leaving the beasties in my room, I came back out and began to frantically search. I called out Chester's name two or three times. Matt, who was going up the stairs, stopped and asked me who Chester was. I was kicking myself both emotionally and mentally, but I "manned up" as "they" say, and tried to explain to Matt that Chester was the Yorkie who used to live with Aunt Tudi and me, and later on just me. And I explained to Matt, I had no idea why I looking around so frantically for a dog that had passed just a few weeks before I left for California. Matt found this extremely funny and said something along the lines of "your dead dog won't come, no matter how much you call for him." He was literally guffawing, and called to the Mother Unit what had just happened.

I just turned around, went into my room, and closed and locked the door. And I cried as though my heart would break. It was the first thing I did when I woke up at 2 AM, then later in the morning when I saw Matt.

Dr. Harrington asked how I came to have Chester, and wanted to know how he died. I explained to him about Winston dying in Aunt Tudi's arms when we went to visit him at Dr. Patch's. I've never seen her so attached to a dog, and I wanted her to have the chance to be blessed with such feeling again. I searched the sparse rescue homes in the Upstate, but no joy. I finally found a breeder about 30 miles away from me. Aunt Tudi picked the pup for her, and we spirited the bundle of joy home.

He was Aunt Tudi's xmas and birthday gift that year. As I was trying to tell the doctor everything that had happened, and how devastated I was to first, be stupid enough to call a dog that was no longer alive and second, the scenario turned into fodder for Matt's ridicule.

The entire time I was telling Dr. Harrington this, I was crying as though my heart had broken. And this made me feel even worse, that I was crying so hard over Chester in front of anyone. It was as if I placed more loss and grief over him, than I ever did Aunt Tudi. The doctor asked me if I had ever heard of transferance. Of course I had. The dictionary definition is: Psychoanalysis: the shift of emotions, especially those experienced in childhood, from one person or object to another, especially the transfer of feelings about a parent to an analyst. And he just looked at me for a moment.

"You know where I'm going with this, don't you?"

"That subconsciously placed all my hidden emotions and grief onto a dog that was brought to our home specifically for Aunt Tudi."

He just smiled, and I apologised for bubbling. He reminded me that this was exactly what I needed to do. Well, this made me cry even more. He made it quite apparent that with the one brick of stoicism metaphorically weakened by recent emotional upheaval, we could get down to some brass tacks As he was talking me down, though, he asked why I hated so badly to cry, especially in front of anyone else. I told him that the stock answer for bullying those days was the "sticks and stones" mantra. And if anyone did pick on me, avoid contact and never, ever cry, because the bullying would get worse. I learned to keep my head down, avoid eye contact.

He told me that I've been internalising shit a very early age and now, it's time to purge myself of emotions and grudges, or else I would implode. I told him about the writers' group and the walk around Mission Valley, whatever the hell that is. I'm also going to a writers' group.

We talked a bit more about my rampant misanthropy, and how I could feel like I do, but like individuals. Still, though, we are part of the problem on this planet and, if even one human survived it could well proliferate the virus again. He wanted to how just one person could this. In one word - parthenogenesis. So he asked for clarification about how I want the world to end, that surely I would want to be on the planet, and not have to deal with people any longer. I explained that I wasn't keen saving the planet for myself. I was keen on our species exiting the Terran stage. That we were a bad experiment living in a petrie dish some intern forgot to dispose of.

That's all I can think for now, but it is pretty intense nonetheless. More soonsoon

I go back to him in two weeks.
tinhuviel: (Elton_Tin)
Since I've been in California, I have noticed a distinct change in my mood and my thought processes.

I do not think of Aunt Tudi 24/7 like I was doing. When I do, they are good memories, and I am sharing those with the Mother Unit.

It's not like I don't have my moments. I still envision her dying, but it's only happened a couple of times in the past two weeks.

My sleep isn't much better, but at least I can sleep a little each night.

This is the first time in two years that I've felt that everything was going to be alright.
tinhuviel: (Farce)
Granny's favourite bird was the hummingbird.

Just after her death, we started getting "flocks" of hummingbirds around the house. They didn't come in flocks, but there were tons of individual hummingbirds that flitted around our house, almost every minute of every day.

When we went to Craggy Gardens to spread her ashes, a hummingbird came and literally hovered face-to-face with Aunt Tudi. It comforted her in a way none of us ever could. Both of us believed it was Granny's spirit telling us that she was okay.

Aunt Tudi's favourite bird was the Carolina Chickadee, which very often came around our home, especially in the Winter time. This is the second season after her death, and I haven't seen one chickadee. They used frequent our home, and particularly loved the Witch Tree (contorted filbert). I haven't seen one chickadee since her death. I think I would have found comfort in seeing a chickadee just like Aunt Tudi was comforted in the hummingbirds that seemed to gravitate to her.

There has been nothing. I have had no sign whatsoever that Aunt Tudi's spirit is anywhere around me, is watching over me in someway. That's one of many reasons I question the existence of any higher power now. My faith in signs and portents of any sort may well be so deep, I may never recover it. My bear totem seems ridiculous to believe in. The owl spirit I have long honoured and adored seems irretrievable. Any sort of message from the natural world around me is lost on me, I don't see or hear proof of existence.

Perhaps I could have healed just a little if I had been given any sign that her spirit lives on, but I haven't. It sort of makes you think that upon death, there's nothing. Absolutely nothing. And part of me wants to believe in that, because nothing is better than every moment of your life is bereft of hope or meaning.
tinhuviel: (Snow)
For the first time since Aunt Tudi died, it is snowing. There's already about 4 inches on the ground. My first reaction was "oh my, Aunt Tudi is gonna panic since I have to go somewhere tomorrow. I won't hear the end of it.

But there's nothing to hear.

Here's a picture of the Witch Tree. I had missed her looking like this. She always looks particularly witchy when snow is gracing her branches.



I'm attempting cheer myself up by watching World's Dumbest Daredevils 2. It always brightens my day to see the utter stupidity of my fellow humans, even though I have the sneaking suspicion I will end up on that show someday. Ha ha!
tinhuviel: (Yay....)
When I do get to sleep for any length of time, I'm having dreams of interacting with Aunt Tudi. They are so incredibly real that I have woken myself up several times in the past couple of weeks, talking to her. And, if I'm not doing that, I'm having those falling dreams that you tend to have when you're on the threshold of actual sleep, the kind that make you jerk awake. Neither are very conducive to decent sleep, and to be honest, they actually make me want to stay awake. At least when I'm awake, despite the depression, I have some semblance of control over my mind.

In other news, I ate for the first time in three days just a few hours ago. Everything tastes horrible, and I haven't really been hungry. If I keep this up, I'm either gonna be thin or dead...or both. Either or both would be fine with me.

That's the latest good news from the Cliffs of Insanity. I'm gonna end this quickly, as I have an extremely clingy cat lying in the crook of my right arm, preventing my ability to use the keyboard with any shred of success.

Insanity

Oct. 25th, 2012 10:43 am
tinhuviel: (Syd Barrett)
I woke up, went to the bathroom, looked at the calendar that Aunt Tudi had put out...it's her calendar, the only one I have left, because I threw the rest of them away. I looked at it wrong and thought it was the Sunday, the 29th. I had gotten myself all geared up to take Aunt Tudi's clothes up to Janice and tell her she could take them to the Monday flea market tomorrow. That's when she told me she was at the Thursday flea market, and could'nt take the clothes today. I can't touch Aunt Tudi's clothes until I can rush them to Janice and not look at them for long. I told her that whatever money she made, to keep. I don't want the money. I don't want money from something of Aunt Tudi's. Something tells me that wouldn't be right, that I would be nothing but a vulture.Something tells me she would want me, considering my financial situation, having a car payment on top of everything else, but I just can't do that. I won't do it.

I'm forcing myself to begin journaling again, and to talk about how I feel. For a year now, I have felt guilty about laughing, for doing anything that brings me pleasure, because I feel I'm betraying her memory. I've only been up to Craggy Dome once, first having weather conditions where the higher elevations of Blue Ridge Parway were closed, then with the car situation. I knew I'd get to go for sure, since I had solved the car problem. Then I had my seizure behind the wheel and I can't drive for six months. My time is up at the end of January but, by then, Craggy Dome will be shut off again, probably until sometime in April. My luck sucks. And I feel like I suck, I feel like I'm postponing going up there, like I could have done more to go, that I am a bad daughter.

So, yeah, that's what is going on today. I may post again; then again, I may not.

When you can't go anywhere and the only thing you can do is struggle to write, or watch one more movie, I don't see much point in boring whomever read this. Hugs to everyone. Ta.

E/R

Aug. 22nd, 2012 07:17 pm
tinhuviel: (Asthma Hound Chihuahua)
Just got back in from E/R. I'd gone to my regular doc for a follow-up from when I was in hospital last week. When she couldn't find a vein to check my blood and my blood pressure was low, she sent me straight to the E/R. I'm okay physically but, mentally, I'm a wreck. It's three days short from a year since Aunt Tudi died in that hospital.

I'm just so ever everything right now. So very fucking over it.

Chester

Apr. 21st, 2012 02:04 am
tinhuviel: (2D and 3C)
One of the most distressing issues for me right now is Chester. Every time I look at Chester, I see Aunt Tudi for a number of reasons, the greatest being that he was taken into our family as a Christmas gift for Aunt Tudi after we lost Winston. Winston was a Yorkshire Terrier we adopted from Dr. Patch's office after his family "had a baby" and no longer could care for Winston like they previously could. He lived his last five years with us, and he and Aunt Tudi grew extremely close. Winston had to visit the hospital often in the last year of his life because of congestive heart failure. He actually died in Aunt Tudi's arms during one of our hospital visits. He got too excited at seeing Aunt Tudi and his heart gave out on him.

Losing him and in such a traumatic way was deeply troubling to us both, but especially Aunt Tudi. She grieved so hard for that dog and was so mournful for not having a Yorkie in her life, I decided to get her a Yorkie puppy.

Chester was born in November 2000 and I made the down-payment on him in December of the same year. I took Aunt Tudi to visit the 6-week-old puppies and finalising the payment in January 2001. In March, Winchester Napolean came home with us, horking on both Aunt Tudi's shoulders from nerves and motion sickness. She thought it was adorable.

Chester was less than three months shy of 11 when Aunt Tudi passed.

He has been incredibly lonely since she's gone and, even though I've tried to be there for him in the same capacity, there's just no way I can be. What makes it even worse is, there are some days I can barely look at him because of what he means and how much he meant to Aunt Tudi.

This week has been so bad, and Chester has sensed it. He's been all over me, trying to comfort me, not realising that he has sometimes only served to break my heart more. We're two wounded animals for whom there seems to be no healing capacity. Chester seems to have fared better than I have, but who am I to really say for sure? Humans can't adequately interpret animals' feelings, so I'm not going to assume to know Chester's thoughts on this. All I can do is go by what I perceive and how I feel.

All I know is that Chester has been sorely neglected on my part because of my inability to properly grieve combined with my being a poor replacement for someone whose affection was unconditional and knew no bounds. I'm a selfish slob compared to the person Chester knew as his 24/7 companion up until August of last year. There's no way I can ever measure up and that is to Chester's detriment. It's so unfair to him, and yet another testament to the wisdom that you should never give an animal as a gift.

And here it is 2 AM in the morning and I'm up rubbing the already raw parts of my heart even bloodier.

Still Here

Apr. 20th, 2012 09:25 pm
tinhuviel: (Gothtin)
So, where to begin?

Oh yeah, I'm still here. Not sure why, but I am. Lucky you.

It's been a pretty bleak week, emotionally speaking. One of the darker ones since Aunt Tudi's passing. I've come very close a couple of times this week to going through with my desire to join her and all the animals who've gone on before us. I'm not just saying that. My only option in making that a reality is jumping in the river right down the road. I can't swim and I'd be jumping from a bridge, so it's a pretty certain thing. And I was in the car and going down the driveway in the middle of the night this past Tuesday and Wednesday nights. Why I turned back is anyone's guess.

Maybe it's because I'd feel guilty leaving the animals that are still here.

Maybe I'm just way too much of a coward.

Maybe I just don't know.

Whatever the reason, I'm still here and plugging along, trying to keep my mind on other matters, and off Aunt Tudi.

I've decided that modern technology can sometimes be more of a curse than a blessing. I have always been the type to keep reminders of people I've lost out of my sight until I was better able to cope with the loss. Besides being trapped in a house so small that I can't even turn my head without being reminded of Aunt Tudi, I have a computer full of pictures that keep popping up unexpectedly. I'm not even to the point where I can segregate these pictures, so I'm just playing Russian Roulette with my sanity every time I open up my pictures folder.

There's that, and there's the "magic" of video. I have mpegs that have Aunt Tudi on them, and I also have quite a few family video tapes that I know have a lot of Aunt Tudi footage on them. Maybe someday I'll treasure all of this, just as people have treasured old photos in the past; but I'm not there yet, and I wonder if perhaps good old biological memory isn't the preferred and only-intended method by which we are supposed to honour the dead.

Maybe we aren't meant to hold onto the past in the ways in which we are currently capable. For some of us, like me, it's too painful to do so. I've never been the sentimental type, and perhaps this is why. I feel too much if I allow myself, so I prefer to keep it under tight control. I have no control in this matter. It's all spiralling way out of my reach, and I'm left feeling chaotic (not in a good way) and bereft.

But there's nothing for it.

I've tried to keep my mind off it all by watching even more Tim Roth (if that's possible) movies and TV. I just uploaded Tutorial #55 and have made even more friends/fans on the TTR Tumblr. I didn't realise what started out as a funny little lark would garner such an audience.

I'm also mapping out more of where I want the latest Cadmus short, still tentatively called "Star Watcher," to go. This one may well include the revelation of the Egyptian fresco, the accompanying art I am about three-quarters of the way finished inking in. The one problem I'm having with the writing end of all this, is Flint is wanting more "screen time." I'm still not even sure Flint is actually going to make it into The Harming Tree. "The Waltham Phantom" most certainly isn't keeping in canon with the theme of the short-story collection. And, on top of that, I almost broke my brain a couple of days ago when I really got to thinking about the anchors for Cadmus and Flint, and what these characters engage in, in "The Waltham Phantom." There are some things in this world that are just wrong, and this is one of them, and one of the many reasons I will bust hell wide open, should there actually be a hell.

I haven't heard back from Barry yet on the last two Illuminati songs. After the weekend come and goes, I'm gonna drop him a note and see if he's forgotten about it, which is quite likely, given the other stuff he's currently engaged in, like recording new Shriek music.

Speaking of The Shriek, I'm waiting until after 12/21 and, if we're still around and I'm still around, I'm going forward with re-establishing the Shriek tribute site that used to reside on shriekback.com. And I've decided what domain it's going to be on ~ Midnight Maps. This is very appropriate for me because it was the name for the very first website I tried to make, and was the working title for this blog. For those not in the know, "Midnight Maps" is a Marsh-centric Shriekback song from the album "Jam Science." The website won't be for Shriekback alone, but also for Marsh's latest projects, as well as including all the information from the old Barry Andrews Resource Center and information on Thee Caretakers and other Restaurant for Dogs' alum's works over the years. I've reestablished contact with David Marx and am going to ask him if he's okay with my including his work and website on the Midnight Maps. If so, more's the better!

I'm attempting to keep my stream-of-consciousness and mind-blippishness stuff on Facebook so as not to clutter up Cliffs. My brain seems so much more scattered these days and I fear making this place a dumping ground for nothing more than my own idiocy. Of course, that's what the Cliffs of Insanity has always been, when you boil right down to it, but my thinky thoughts just seem a bit more zoned out of late, and not nearly as coherent as they could or should be. So I just save up, and make one gigantic blog splat before the next big dump, potty humour intended.

All that said, I did post something on FB I would like to bookmark here as well. It was a swift flash of lucidity in the typical murkiness that is my current state of mind.

Christian Fundamentalism = Bullying in the name of Christ


I'm not saying it because I thought of it, but I believe that's pretty spot-on and just a tad clever. I want to be sure to remember it, and use it whenever appropriate. Hell, it'd even make a great bumper sticker. I wonder if you can have your own bumper stickers made...

Ohhhh, writing "bumper sticker" reminds me, I've opted to total my car out to Nationwide and get a used car, which Diane is going to help me pick out, since she's very experienced in this area. I should have a new vehicle by next weekend. My first order of business once I have the car in my clutches is to Tinify it; that is, throw as many incendiary bumper stickers as I can muster on the car's arse. This means a trip to Asheville, which is something I've been wanting to do since it warmed up enough for the Blue Ridge Parkway to be reopened. It's time to go visit Aunt Tudi and Granny. And the shop where I get the bumper stickers sells them ridiculously cheap, so I should be able to get at least 7 or 8 for about $10. Since the car I'll be getting will sip gas probably better than the ION, I'm looking at $20 round trip including the bumper stickers. If I have the fundage after paying for everything I'll have to in order to get the car and get it on the road, that should be a trip well worth the saw buck.

We'll see.

At this point, every day is a "we'll see" sort of day.
tinhuviel: (2D and 3C)
I've had a lot of people asking me lately if I were okay. The answer is No. I am not okay.

I go for days not eating or sleeping. My feelings are almost, if not moreso, as raw as the day Aunt Tudi died. Everything that can go wrong has done so, or will probably in the very near future. A day does not go by without my thinking of suicide at least once. Honestly, I have never been more lost than I am right now.

There are two houses here. There is the one I live in, the lonely little dark hole I've dug for myself. And then there is the one I shared with Aunt Tudi, where all her belongings still hover in stasis. Until the past few days, I've been able to keep the two separate, despite the growing necessity that I begin to clear Aunt Tudi's stuff out.

A perfect example of these two houses converging is my need to get the title for the car. This required my getting out the keys to the fire-proof boxes and going through each box until I found the documents I needed. Just this one simple act left me on the floor surrounded by paperwork in a daze. I felt like my heart had literally broken in two. The reason for this because, despite my being a Virgo, Aunt Tudi was always the more organised of the two of us. I had my role, and so did she. One of her roles was to keep documents like the car title in a neat little place where it could be easily found.

Which I did.

But it meant touching the Other House. It meant crossing over into a realm that I've been partially successful in avoiding all these long months.

And this is just minor example of what's been going on the past few days.

No. I'm not okay.

I'm trying to be, but I'm being an incredible failure at it. I'm even being a failure at just making it all go away. Cowardly to the very end. Or at least that's the way it looks for now.

Misery

Apr. 11th, 2012 07:07 am
tinhuviel: (2D and 3C)
Haunted by the dead. Lonely. Thinking this will never stop. Stayed awake for approximately 31 hours. Kept seeing the dead. Got in my car to drive. Ran into a ditch. Got a ticket. Car towed. Passed out sometime yesterday. Cat got me up at 5 this morning. I thought Aunt Tudi was gonna be on the couch when I went to let the cat out. She was not there. Let the cat out. Car was not there. I need help, serious help. Gonna look for a psychiatrist today. Can't stop crying. Honestly, I wish I were dead. I've had enough of all this misery. If I can't find help...I don't know what I am going to do. I just want this grief to stop. I want to be happy for once. I want to just fucking die.

Bleak

Apr. 9th, 2012 06:33 pm
tinhuviel: (Cadmus Dark Eyes)
I guess I need to admit something to myself.

It seems that the more depressed I get in real life, the more manic I become online to try to counteract it all. The past couple of days have been pretty bad, with missing Aunt Tudi terribly, reliving all my regrets about her, and being completely alone here in the house, in utter silence. I have been so lonely, and so lost.

Then, every time I'd feel the tears welling up, I'd throw myself into cyberspace and write anything, everything, even if it didn't need writing. And I'd seek out pictures and post them constantly on Facebook. And I would obsess over everything.

I see myself being pulled to those things and people that have comforted me in the past, when no one and nothing else could. And my focus would be diamond-sharp. It's been scary of late, but these are the only things I can think about. I grasp desperately for these sources of solace, and I find myself trying to take everyone along with me, despite their probably being sick of me and my insanity.

And then there's Cadmus. My one great tormentor, my demon child, has suddenly become a safe and familiar haven. This entity that's filled with rage and hatred, so capable of unspeakable cruelty, always eager to take the road that will bring him closer to the dark matter of the spirit...I am running to him for some sort of sanctity and reason in my life.

What does that even mean?

All I know, is that I'm woeful, my sleep patterns (as if I had any) are flipped inside out, and I'm...well, I'm serenading monsters, quietly seething. I don't want to cry anymore. I want to laugh in the face of all of it, and come out the other end as unscathed as I can be. I'm tired of grieving and regretting. If I don't stop it, I may just succumb to the void that is my mind-child. Only the Mighties know what I'd be capable of then, what lengths I would go to, to achieve some sort of peace in my world.
tinhuviel: (Hickey Monster)
I have now been up for 34 hours. Needless to say, I am getting absolutely nothing of any worth done today. I had planned on some marathon writing, but I can't get my mind on it because it's so exhausted. I hate it when this happens. And I can't get my Ambien until Thursday, which means I had to take two to actually sleep at least 6 days this past month. That is not good.

Insomnia really takes it out of a person. Especially when that person gets keyed up over the smallest little issue that may arise. I'm too skittish. That's what Riddick said about the Narc Crew taking him to Crematoria. Skittish.

I'm looking back on the video I made just a couple of months ago compared to the ones I'm doing now, and I really wish I had waited to work on any of the Shriek/Barry/Illuminati material until I had developed some level of Mad Skillz. The other mindless stuff like the Tutorials have been very instructional on how to actually make a viable video. Like the Candyman video I made this morning, or the Kicking Giant Arse epic from the other day. Synching up the images or movie clips to the beat of the music is a mathematical art I didn't think I was even remotely capable of, being a series suck-meister at maths of any sort. But it has happened, and I'm amazed at that.

Still running like scared wee fox from the hounds that haunt me on Facebook. I should never had asked that Question, then I would be blissfully ignorant about being watched. But, no, I can't leave well enough alone.

I've been a cooking fool today, making some chocolate candy and some chicken rice. Both turned out really well and I stored them in exactly the right size of bowls. This is miraculous because I never could do that when Aunt Tudi was alive. She used to laugh at me, at my incompetence at such things. I was incompetent because I figured she'd just do it better, being the domestic side of our arrangement, and I could continue being a mindless git. That's not the case anymore, and I'm really surprising myself.

I have mixed myself up a gigantic screwdriver in the hope it will make me sleep instead of pee uncontrollably. With my luck, I'll spend the evening the water closet, wishing that I could just close my eyes for five minutes. If I don't get some sleep soon, I will surely travel beyond madness and straight into Sparta.
tinhuviel: (Pariah)
I'd say I'm happy about this, but I'd really rather just have Aunt Tudi back, if only for an hour...to apologise for everything I did that I shouldn't have done and everything I didn't do that I should have. I'd gladly live in complete abject poverty, go hungry, lose my home, my animal friends, EVERYTHING...just for an hour...ten minutes. A minute...

But that's not an option...

Since the end of August -

  • Light bill has fallen from almost $200 a month to an average of $55

  • Phone/Internet bill has risen from around $90 to just at $200, only because I've subscribed to every movie channel known to the modern world. It's how I get through some days.

  • Water bill has fallen from around $25 a month to exactly $12 a month, the minimum

  • Heating has cost me a total of $234 for the entire season, basically because I've shut off a room to the house, I'm going through The Change and no longer am cold-natured, and SC hasn't had a Winter.

  • Groceries have fallen from around $500 a month to about $150, depending on if I need staples as well, like cleaners, toilet paper, blah blah blah



Regarding groceries: Over the past six months, I have basically become vegetarian, eating meat only when I have dinner with Uncle Michael and Aunt Janice, and usually getting sick when I eat too much of it. I have started buying more local and organic food, which accounts for my bill being higher than I would have been if I'd continued to eat like I did when Aunt Tudi was with me. I still don't eat very much at all, and am actually about to dip under 200 pounds for the first time since 1983. Potatoes have become more than my best friend, earning family status as of February. I buy recycled when and where I can. I've been to Wal-Mart twice since August. One time to buy a phone card because the website wouldn't let me add minutes and the other right before my surgery, because I needed some pants that didn't squeeze my leg at all, and couldn't find them at Target.

I try to treat myself to at least one non-essential goodie (usually a DVD) after I've met all my obligations each month. I haven't done this yet in March because I haven't paid all my bills yet. I need to pay them this week, or I'm going to be late, and I have no excuse for that except I'm still recovering from surgery and I seem to have some sort of block about getting things done, worse this month than it has been for the past couple.

I keep relapsing as far as my depression goes. When it's bad, or gets worse, I stop doing housework, stop eating, stop everything. I just sit and ache. But I've tried hard to avoid this. My Tim Roth obsession has actually helped me immensely. He gets my mind off everything else. He's triggered my writing. I wonder what he'd think if he knew this. He'd probably conclude that I'm a total nutter, which would be correct.
tinhuviel: (Danny Elfman Muse)
I was awake literally all night, finally falling asleep sometime after 6:30 this morning and waking up in a panic at 8:15. I hurriedly dressed, grabbed Chester and Toby's collars and rushed them to the car in the rain. They had an appointment with Michelle, our longtime groomer. The dogs had a previous appointment sometime in August. It was missed. Need I say why? Thought not. Anyways, they were long overdue for a bath, especially poor Chester, who looked like an abandoned rag mop caught in one of Dubya's "shock and awe" crap attacks. Drop off time for dogs is 7:30 'til 9:00. I got there with 10 minutes to spare, but looking like I needed to be groomed too. I explained to Michelle what had happened, chatted for a couple of minutes, then came back home to do some cleaning that would by easier to do without the dogs being underfoot.

I didn't get much done.

I came home with the intention to rest just a little. I passed flat out and slept for around three hours. Jumping back up in a panic, I ate a quick breakfast, shuffled Smidgen outside and set to gathering all the trash in the house, including cleaning out the refrigerator and freezer for the first time in four months. I figured everything would be severely sparse after I was done. The minute I started working on the fridge, I lost my freaking mind. It's never a good thing when you find yourself sitting on your kitchen floor, clinging to a bottle of Kraft salad dressing, and crying uncontrollably. It was just downhill from there. I got the vacuuming done and the garbage collected, including everything in the fridge, but I couldn't do the freezer before time to clean up and go get the dogs. So the day was pretty much another of a string of busts for me. Not good on Solstice, especially what is hopefully my last Winter Solstice, as Solstice 2012 is the 22nd and I, along with everyone else, will be dead dead dead.

So I got ready, hauled the four big bags of trash out to the car and drove in a misting rain to the dump to drop it off. The minute I got out of the car to dump the garbage, it came a hard rain and my hair "collapsed like flan in a cupboard." (quote by Eddie Izzard) I went to pick up the dogs with a hideously wet, stringy head. I'm sure I looked like Meg Mucklebones when I got to Michelle's. Great. We yapped and caught up while my hair dried a little.

On the way back home, I got a call from Janice asking if she could use my freezer to store some food. I told her of course, go ahead, and take anything in there she might want or need. She was kind enough to take all the stuff that belonged to Aunt Tudi, 'cos I told her about losing my mind earlier.

When I got off the phone with her, I noticed a street sign by the name of Frohawk. Now...I've heard of Mohawks and Fauxhawks (that's just plain stupid, by the by), but Frohawk? My mind began racing with what that would look like, being a child of the 70s, who well remembers and venerates the Fro. So, I'm gonna try to make me a Frohawk and have a picture taken underneath the street sign. It'll take me a while to figure this out, but that's okay, 'cos I don't even have a bleeding camera right now. But stay tuned for that. I have the Hoozer Daddy street sign pic, so I think that the Frohawk Project should be fantastico. I just need a lot of hair, glue, and a bald person, or a one of those bald rubber caps sold around Samhain.

I was supposed to go to Davis and Kathleen's place for a modest Solstice gathering, perhaps cast a Circle and herald the light back in, because I really need to do that. It looks like I'll be doing that alone, though, 'cos I'm night blind which is worse if it's raining. To top it off, I've lost my glasses, which means everything far off is a bit iffy. I'm not sure I want to risk bumming fellow brouhaha-gatherers by dying or sommat. Myself, I don't give a shite, but whatever.

In somewhat happier news, a very talented man who goes by the "band" name Radical Face, is now easily found on The Intarwebs. When I first heard the portion of "Welcome Home," it was in a local commercial put out by the Greenville Library System. I had to find the right person in Greenville to talk to about the music used for the advert and he gave me the name "Radical Face." This was in early 2007 and I went on a Holy Mission to find the elusive Radical Face online. I finally found a remote website and wrote to the email address found there. I was contacted by Radical Face shortly thereafter and given the song. Deja Vu anyone? Today, the song played on the iPod and I decided to see how Radical Face was doing after all these years. He is everywhere online, including having a video for "Welcome Home" on YouTube. I plan on exploring more of his music now and offer up the video as a testament to the beauty of this song and the brilliance of Ben "Radical Face."

tinhuviel: (Here is the news!)
I have not been very chatty lately, at least not enough to put into words what's been going on. The only thing I could deal with was a sentence here and there on Facebook, which is a convenient diversion when you can't talk about anything important. But it's time to come clean about a Thing, so here it is.

Approximately a month ago, I attempted suicide. I couldn't deal with being alone and so very lonely anymore, and watching in my mind's eye Aunt Tudi dieing as I held her hand. Her eyes were so blank and she didn't grasp my fingers in reciprocation at all. She was gone in less than five minutes, but every second of that moment was branded into my mind. Every time I closed my eyes...no, I didn't have to close my eyes...I saw her lying there...dieing. One night, I couldn't take it anymore, hearing her voice and seeing her die, over and over and over. I had only taken three of my Ativan, but on that dark night, the void took my beyond my natural reasoning, and I swallowed 87, the rest of the bottle, all at once. Two days later, I woke up in an urgent care facility that promptly escorted me to Carolina Behavioral Health, a psychiatric hospital. I spent a week and a day there, learning coping skills on how to overcome my loss. I also was placed in drug counseling because of the way I attempted to kill myself. The psychiatric to whom I was assigned surmised that I may be suffering from PTSD, and he explained that some people, especially those who were so attached to the person who passed away, went beyond simple grief and fell into the despereate realm of post traumatic stress and unbelievable depression. He changed all of my meds and prescribed me new ones. I had to see a judge before they would release me from the hospital. But I left feeling much better, with a large list of grief support groups where I could find some solace with those who were going through the same thing I'm enduring. I made some friends there and, thanks to Ambien, I was able to sleep at night and not be in a phantasmic state, reliving Aunt Tudi's last breath over and over and over. I learned how to deal with the guilt of all the things I could have done for Aunt Tudi and all the things I did that I shouldn't have, making her bereft and worrisome. I haven't found a support group yet, but I'm no longer suicidal, although I experience moments of indescibible pain and loss, so all-encompassing that it's almost tangible. My entire body aches from it and I cannot stop the tears that come, pouring from my eyes like a fountain. Never have I cried so often and so hard and unstoppable. Toby tries to comfort me during these incidents, and Smidgen is attached to me almost 24/7, face to face with me, purring in an attempt to stay my grief. So many nights I have fallen asleep hugging my beloved cat as she purrs me into unconsciousness. As always, Chester doesn't give one tiddly bit. He's too old and tired to be bothered with my neurosis, and I really can't blame him. I'm still in recovery and the doctor said I may be in the grieving process for a very long time, considering how close Aunt Tudi and I were. He suggested that I tell people who try to make me get over the whole thing, that everyone grieves differently and that I needed support, not a sermon and not judgement. I've already had to do that with Uncle Michael, and he has changed his tune and simply loves me as I go through this process. I don't want to end up in the hospital again, although they supplied me with amazing food and chocolate milk. It was there that my appetite was jump-started. I gained some weight while I was there, from 202 to 216. I felt like an utter pig, but I didn't care. I've attempted to maintain my appetite and my family doctor suggested that I start a regimen of multi-vitamins and nutrition drinks, just to build my strength back, so I wouldn't be falling all over the place.

When I came home though, all gung-ho to apply what I had learnt, I was told that Aloysius, Aunt Tud's cat, may have been hit by a car and he ran into the woods. I walked into the edge of the forest where Janice said she had found a cat, but was unsure it was Al, and I discovered, to my grief-stricken heart, that it was indeed Al. That took the wind out of my sails, and I found myself isolating once again, lying on the couch in the dark, watching Gordon Ramsay and Law & Order. One night, after not eating all day, I fell backwards hard, and broke Aunt Tudi's happy face table. I also ripped my right great toenail partially out, and had to go to a foot doctor to have it removed. But it was like everything that belonged to Aunt Tudi is either dieing or being destroyed. I'm at a loss for words how distressing this is. But I'm muddling through it, and actually cleaned the house for the first time since August 25th. I also caught up on the laundry and the dishes. I did all this in one day, and felt like I was gonna go mad from all the work I'd done. I'm not a domestic person, and I'm lazy to boot, so this was a monumental achievement. I've marked the weekend as the time I will clean house. I must get organised.

Today I went to my orthopaedist for the first time since 2008. He reviewed my x-rays and examined my knees. Then he told me that, even though it was preferable to wait until the age 50 to have a knee replacement, I could not wait that long with the horror that is my left knee. He's going to schedule me for the surgery as soon as possible next year. This came as such a relief to me, as I have been in horrible pain with my knees for years, wishing I'd get to 50 without screaming myself to death. Right now, Dr. Keith is my very best friend, my ultimate hero.

Since the death of Aunt Tudi, I have been unable to write. This is the primary reason my journal has not been updated for so long. There was so much I wanted to say, but the words eluded me. This frustration only added to my distress. It didn't help when I found out that one of my favourite authors and writing influences had recently passed away. 2011 has been a bitch and only makes me hope that 2012 brings the Alpaca Lips, so I can reunite with Aunt Tudi and Granny, and all the animals that passed away over the years. I know that sounds like I have a death wish, but I assure you; I'm not going to do anything stupid like what I attempted last month. It's not my place to take my own life when it's obvious I'm supposed to remain here. The medical staff all said that I was lucky to be alive, and I took this as a message from the Goddess and God that I'm to remain alive until they say it's time to cross over. To be honest, I really want to hang around to see the end of the world, if that's what is going to happen on 21 December, 2012. And so I linger and cope with this crippling grief the best I can.

I've gotten three holiday cards so far, and I want to thank [livejournal.com profile] popfiend, [livejournal.com profile] beechelfromhell, and [livejournal.com profile] gunslingaaahhh for their generous cards. Unfortunately, I'm unable to reciprocate because I haven't bought one thing for the horribleday season. I'm officially boycotting it this year, and that seems very logical to me, given the circumstances. [livejournal.com profile] gunslingaaahhh's letter in her card made me cry. It's exactly what I needed at that moment. I love you all, all my online friends, my Tribe, my Ka-tet. Thank you for being my friends. Your love passes through all the Internet cables and satellites, comforting me in a way I'm incapable of putting into words. You're one of the reasons I'm glad the Ativan didn't do its job.

I promise I will try to update the Cliffs of Insanity more often. Perhaps forcing myself to write about anything and everything here, even if it's shite, will be therapeutic. One can only hope.
tinhuviel: (Ornate Triskele)
So...with the passing of Aunt Tudi, I am alone. I don't hardly remember September except some of the highlights of the train ride and bonding with the Mother Unit like never before. She even let me in her and Matt's home to get to know Matt better and see her flock of birds. I had a lovely time with herd, but funds went low and I had to come back to the house early and not even go to Todd in Vancouver, Washington.

The rest of September was spent in solitude, lying on the love seat with the animals on me, watching 'Law & Order,' and weeping. The house went to hell and I vomited everything I tried to eat or drink. From July to now, I have lost 69 pounds. I've declared it the Stress and Grief diet and am thinking about marketing it.

October was spent pretty much the same way. I do remember being in the hospital from a break down at some time. Then another from weakness. I'm low on potassium and am seriously anaemic. Still, I'm feeling unsure of my legs, as I've fallen so many times. At one time, I fell when using a walker, on my way to the bedroom, thinking I heard Aunt Tudi. I ended up giving myself a terrible black eye from that fall. Tuesday, I fell five times, skinning my shin on the rocks of Craggy Garden when I went to speak to the spirits of Aunt Tudi and Granny, saying things I wasn't comfortable saying in front of others. I got there and back, though, so I'm more confident about driving home.

Yesterday, I attended a fire party thrown by Davis and Kathleen. The harpist did not come as I had hoped, so that I could give that closure as well. Ten years of resentment and loss is enough. But it is my first step in crawling out of my grievous Hobbit hole.

I'm still considering finding homes for all the animals. Riley is already gone to a very loving home whose people had just lost a wire-haired dachshund. I miss him, but it's already easier with just two dogs. All the animals are missing Aunt Tudi still and they miss me, because I've spent so much time at Uncle Michael's and Aunt Janice's.

But I'm working on moving back in my house and, since the family now has no doubt about my spiritual path, I'm going to Witch my home up. I couldn't take any more Christian postulations as I went through my grieving process. I told them that Aunt Tudi had come to understand the Witch's path, had been Croned, and was not thoroughly Christian, especially an xtian. Once I get finances sorted, I'm purchasing one thing a month from Azure Green. I'm also taking my gear and supplies out of the closet and drawers. Now that I am alone, I'm considering easing back into the Witches' community, if not here, in Asheville. Everyone will know my ways and, if they don't like it, they can remove themselves from my life, or pray for me, or do whatever they can do.

There are crosses etched into the red rock where we scattered both Granny's and Aunt Tudi's ashes. I took the metal tool and drew a humble pentagram and triskele there as well. More will be done. The etchings will be stronger and candles will be lit.

I am alone now, but I am hoping I can reestablish myself with what friends and family I have, and to learn what life without Aunt Tudi will be like. For now I'm off to do laundry and vacuum the floor. I have a new appreciation of a domestic life.

Two Days

Sep. 5th, 2011 04:30 pm
tinhuviel: (2D and 3C)
I've gotten my itinerary for the train trip out to California. I have two days to get this house straightened out and cleaned up. From Cali, I guess I'll be be going to Washington. Then it'll be back to the drabness of South Carolina and the loneliness of this house. One good thing is that I've only cried once today. Aunt Tudi always wanted to travel somewhere by train and she never got to. I feel so guilty about that and so many other things she never got to do. I feel like I let her down in so many ways, always believing we'd have the time to do it. And now our time is up, there's no going back. Death is such a cruel thing to those of us left behind.

Symbols

Sep. 4th, 2011 11:12 pm
tinhuviel: (Barry - Elf)
The family and some friends went up to Craggy Gardens on the Blue Ridge Parkway and scattered Aunt Tudi's ashes. We also scattered the ashes of her beloved dog Sheba and I poured two litres of 7-Up upon the site, since that was Aunt Tudi's favourite drink that she drank all the time. I then took the kids, Steven, and Blake's girlfriend up the Faery path so that they could see some of the suspected Faery homes that are nestled along the path.

Upon my return, I found crosses etched all over the stone that marked where we scattered Aunt Tudi's ashes. I hid my hurt and rage at this, since Aunt Tudi was most definitely not an xtian, so I asked for the scissors Janice used to etch the crossed into the stone, and I carved a Pentagram and a Triskele into the stone in amongst the crosses. This would balance out the variety of faiths to which Aunt Tudi had been exposed and the bits of each religious tenet she took with her and found relevant to her own path. If I could have remembered it, I would have etched the symbol for the Unitarian Universalist Church on the stone because, if she were anything, it was that to which she was closest. I'm going to get that symbol and return to the stone to etch it into the rock for her, because that church was very important to her.

I thank Lady Neith for that and I always will.

After the scattering and before the Faery walk, we all said something in Aunt Tudi's honour. Little Michael and I were the last to speak. He offered up prayer to the xtian God, then I spoke of mine and Aunt Tudi's relationship, her system of belief, and then I recited "Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep" by Mary E. Frye. I handled it all pretty well and hugged tightly those who lost it, especially Blake, who had always been very close to Aunt Tudi.

I'm spending the night at home tonight, by myself. The spirit of Aunt Tudi is with me and I don't feel so terribly haunted and wounded. A strange peace has settled over me for right now, like I'm blanketed by the Goddess and she is coming to me in the form of Aunt Tudi. I'm going to stay here on the love seat and watch TV until I fall asleep and then, tomorrow, I'm going to a cookout with the family after I try to get the house in order. It's been almost two weeks now since anything has been done, and the house looks like a pipe bomb has gone off in it.

It's time to get myself together and get ready to leave for a while to help in the healing and to reunite with loved ones I have not seen in much too long a time.
tinhuviel: (2D and 3C)
The entire family is going, unlike when Granny died.  When we scattered her ashes, it was just Aunt Tudi, Uncle Michael, Janice, and myself.  Granny was loved and honoured, but Aunt Tudi was cherished by so many.  Stephanie is going with us.  She was incredibly close to Aunt Tudi and I think she would have wanted to be there.  Afterward, we may go downtown and then get a bite to eat, letting the rest of the family go where they may.  We want to tread the paths that Aunt Tudi taught us.  We need to embrace her spirit in her beloved hometown.

I'm sure I'll get lost, but I'll eventually find my way.  I'm counting on Aunt Tudi's spirit to guide me back to South Carolina, away from my home that I wish I knew better.  I have decided to go there more often and learn the secret paths of the mountain town.  I want know it the way Aunt Tudi knew it.  I want to be a part of it the way I used to be.  It's the only way I feel I can be truly close to Aunt Tudi.

She never wanted to die in South Carolina.  She did not get her wish.  For that, I will always be regretful.  At least her cremains will rest in the beloved Smoky Mountains and her spirit will drift wherever it wishes.  I hope she'll spend some time with me.
tinhuviel: (2D and 3C)
I just picked up Aunt Tudi's cremains.  She is in a black plastic box in a shopping bag, which is kind of ironic since she collected shopping bags "just in case."

The entire family is going with me to Craggy Dome in Asheville tomorrow, to scatter her ashes.  I'm heartbroken by all of this, but I'm ready to do what I need to. 

But to think that my beloved Aunt Tudi is in a box in the dining room wrenches at my soul.  Why can't she still be alive.

Poem

Aug. 31st, 2011 07:33 pm
tinhuviel: (2D and 3C)
This is the poem I read when we scattered Granny's ashes. I'm going to do the same with Aunt Tudi.

Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there; I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am the sun on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circling flight.
I am the soft starlight at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there; I did not die.

Home

Aug. 31st, 2011 07:10 pm
tinhuviel: (2D and 3C)
So I am home.

The place is so empty, yet so full of Aunt Tudi's presence. The animals keep looking for her. So do I.

How long will this last? I don't think I can take it.

I'll be spending the night at Janice's and Uncle Michael's.

I am utterly bereft.
tinhuviel: (Syd Barrett)

  • Go to IHOP

  • Watch Judge Judy

  • Play Monopoly

  • Listen to Strauss waltzes

  • Look at catalogues like the ones that come from Harriet Carter

  • Watch Everybody Loves Raymond

  • Rescue any more animals, at least for now

  • Go to New York City or Charleston

  • Sit on the hummingbird bench

  • Walk the track at the middle school

  • Discuss politics at length

  • Stay up to see the New Year in

  • Celebrate Thanksgiving and Xmas



And there are a host of other things, but I can't think of them right now...
tinhuviel: (Barry Exact Science)
I am not sleeping. I'm just lying here in this hospital bed waiting for them to discharge me, yet not wanting to go home because I feel it's going to be haunted with her spirit, there is so much of her there.

While I was lying in bed last night, I got to thinking about how I came to discover Shriekback. It was Aunt Tudi's doing. She was up all night one night and was watching 120 Minutes on MTV. A video came on that she thought might interest me and she showed it to me the next day. It was Nemesis by Shriekback, and I was utterly enthralled with the band and the video. I can't say how many times I watched that video, studying all the bizarre and exotic nuances buried within the imagery. I couldn't thank Aunt Tudi enough and she watched me collect all things Shriek and then seek out other fans when I got onto the Internet. She was amazed by my involvement in the creation of one of the first Shriekback tribute sites that was user-friendly and encouraged fellow fans to rally and try to bring the band out of retirement. She watched my hair turn white when I realised I had actually made contact with Barry Andrews. And she was more than pleased to actually meet him, as she always thought he was not just very talented, but one of the best looking men she'd ever seen.

I told Barry, when I met him, how I came to know Shriekback. He thanked Aunt Tudi for her involvement in transforming my musical perceptions. She later told me it was one of her proudest moments.

Really, I will never be able to thank Aunt Tudi enough for that gift. It's one of many she gave to me during our time together. When I get out of this hospital, I'm going to watch the Nemesis video again in her honour and thank her in spirit.

Gone

Aug. 29th, 2011 07:21 pm
tinhuviel: (2D and 3C)
I can't believe she's gone. When she left, I was holding her hand. I barely remember going to the mortuary with Aunt Janice and making arrangements. Then it all went blank for me and I woke up in the hospital in ICU. I had taken way too many pills trying to go to sleep, and almost killed myself. Really, I think that's what I was trying to subconsciously do. Janice is the one who got me help. They're still cleaning out my system, but should let me out tomorrow. I don't know what I'll do then. I don't really want to go home. Aunt Tudi is everywhere there. Her presence permeates that house. Most of what's there belongs to her and I don't know what I'm going to do with it.

There are places I can go. I've asked the Mother Unit if I can come stay with her for a week, so I'll be going out to California sooner rather than later. I have friends out there I hope to see. [livejournal.com profile] acook, [livejournal.com profile] gunslingaaahhh, and Scott are just a few I can think of right now. Janice, Johnna, and Diane have all opened their doors to me, whenever I need to get away from the house. I am not alone. I know this and it's beyond comforting and I can't express how appreciative I am.

The love and support I've gotten from around the world has been overwhelming, and the remembrance of Aunt Tudi has touched me so very much. She was such a special and unique soul, she never did belong in this vale of tears. I loved her so much. She was my best friend, the one who showed me love when I felt my most alone. Right now, I feel beyond alone. I am bereft, empty.

I'm thinking of giving up the animals and moving away from here. I've always hated SC, and there is nothing here for me now, even though I do have family who loves more than I realised. Being alone, I have the opportunity to move to England. I may do that, since I felt so at home there. I have very close friends there who would help me adjust to English life, and I could still draw my disability there, so I would have an income. Nothing really except the dogs and cats are holding me here, and I will remain for as long as it takes to find them good homes, although it'll break my heart to say goodbye to them. They were always closer to Aunt Tudi than they were to me, except for Toby and Smidgen. It'll be Smidgen I miss the most.

Timothy called earlier. It was great comfort to hear his voice. We're going to have lunch soon. [livejournal.com profile] glittertrixie called me this morning and I felt so bad for not knowing who she was at first, but I'm not thinking straight right now. I how she wasn't offended. The Mother Unit called this afternoon. I really needed to hear her voice and know she was gonna be there for me. I owe her more than I can ever repay her, but she's still gonna be there. We grieved together for a few minutes, then she was off to get ready for work.

So there it is. That is all I can think of writing at the moment. The only thing I can say is that I am going to miss Aunt Tudi for the rest of life, but I will go on because I know that's what she would want me to do. She was the strongest person I ever knew and I just hope I can live up to her strength a small percentage.

Aunt Tudi

Aug. 23rd, 2011 10:39 am
tinhuviel: (2D and 3C)
Case worker talked to Janice and me. There's pretty much no hope for Aunt Tudi, so we're putting her on "Do Not Resucitate." After the hemotologist/oncologist calls in with their final report, I'm supposed to give the go ahead to take her off support. She won't survive it. I am numb.
tinhuviel: (2D and 3C)
just got a call from the case manager at Village setting up an appointment for in the morning to discuss life support options for Aunt Tudi, what her wishes are and where we need to go from here, especially if the tests that are still out come back negatively. Things are not looking good at all.

Aunt Janice is going with me in the event I lose it during the meeting, which is wholly likely.

Sepsis

Aug. 16th, 2011 06:20 pm
tinhuviel: (2D and 3C)
Aunt Tudi has been diagnosed with sepsis and is back in the hospital in ICU. Does anyone one know anything about this infection and what her chances of overcoming it are? Please please help me.
tinhuviel: (2D and 3C)

**PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT**



If you ever find yourself in the situation of needing to get a bone marrow biopsy to try to find out what's going on with your blood, demand that you be anesthestised prior to the procedure. Aunt Tudi has withstood more pain than I can possibly imagine in a lifetime, but what the doctor did to her yesterday left her crying like a baby. Only afterward did we learn she had the option of anesthetic. Why doctors don't offer that up front is beyond me, but I'm telling you now, don't let your doctor perform this procedure without being knocked out.

I'm a total ninny when it comes to pain, so I already know what my choice would be, should I ever face the health complications Aunt Tudi has been facing these past few weeks. Keep your damn 20-foot-long needle to yourself unless it's full of drugs that will put me to sleep.

I'm only now getting over the experience so that I can write about it...and I wasn't the one the doctor tortured!

That is all.
tinhuviel: (2D and 3C)
Aunt Tudi and I both have anemia, which we already knew that, but we didn't know it was as bad as it was. While I was in the hospital, I was given iron via IV and told that I may have to have a transfusion if my red blood cell count didn't improve some after the iron transfusion. Thankfully, the iron helped me, and I was instructed to get on a strong iron supplement immediately. I haven't yet, but will as soon as I'm able to get the non-constipating iron that The Mother Unit suggested.

The last time Aunt Tudi was in the hospital, she wasn't even given the option of an iron transfusion. They just started pumping her full of blood while they set her up an appointment with a hematologist. Today, she went to see her new blood doctor, one Dr. Eric Nelson. He reminded me of a honey dew melon with arms and legs. Just a very cute little man, Dr. Nelson is. And the man knows his stuff. Only Vampires know as much about blood as this man. I was mightily impressed.

Of course, they drew blood and did labs on Aunt Tudi before she saw the doc, so he could get an idea of what he was dealing with before he talked to Aunt Tudi. He came in and told her, after looking at her blood under a microscope. He told us that Aunt Tudi's blood was not only low in red blood cell count, but also in white blood cells, which may explain how she can catch a minor head cold and almost die from it. She asked him about her platelet count because they'd mentioned in the hospital that her platelet count was low. He kind of smiled sidewise and said, "Well, Ms. Evans, normal platelet count is usually 180,000 to 250,000. From what I saw, your count is running about 19,000."

Double Yew
Tee
Eff


Dr. Nelson believes that it's the methotrexate that has messed Aunt Tudi's blood so badly. He saw no signs that would point to any kind of leukemia, so he doesn't think we need to worry about anything quite so serious, but he has taken Aunt Tudi off the methotrexate permanently, and he hasn't out-ruled a bone marrow test just to be on the safe side of things. In the meantime, he wrote up an order to schedule her for a couple of transfusions of iron, and he wants to see her in two weeks for more blood work to see if her blood levels have gotten any better since she's been off the methotrexate. If he sees no improvement, a bloo,aod marrow test is definitely going to happen. Whatever else the doctor has up his sleeve, I guess we'll find out if we have to cross that bridge.

So, on the way home, I spied a mosquito floating about in the car and told Aunt Tudi about it, although she usually doesn't have to worry about such things. Blood-sucking creatures like mosquitoes always go after me over anyone or anything else. Surprisingly, a few minutes later, Aunt Tudi piped up and said "Well, that mosquito just bit me on the back of the neck."

"What? You're kidding me! Mosquitoes always bite me first."

"Well, not this time," Aunt Tudi groused.

"Hm. With your blood, the mosquito must be on a diet."

Aunt Tudi laughed. It was then we equated our blood to milk that people drink depending on their diet. Since we're both anemic, neither one of us have the equivalent of whole milk. We decided that I have 2% blood and Aunt Tudi has skim blood.

And who knew mosquitoes needed to watch their weight?

Home

Jun. 26th, 2011 09:02 am
tinhuviel: (2D and 3C)
I'm off to pick up Aunt Tudi, who is coming home from the hospital today! :)
tinhuviel: (2D and 3C)
They've concluded that Aunt Tudi's issue is Diabetic Gastroperesis. Her cardiologist still has to look over the results of her stress test, but it looks like she may get to come home tomorrow. So W00T!
tinhuviel: (Devil Smidge)
Diane, Bobby, and I went to see Aunt Tudi this morning. I helped her get a shower while Diane and Bobby went down to the cafe. When we were all finished and returned to Aunt Tudi's room, there was a large bouquet of flowers waiting for Aunt Tudi. The card said they were from [livejournal.com profile] dydan, who called Aunt Tudi her birthday buddy. Aunt Tudi was beside herself. She wanted me to thank [livejournal.com profile] dydan, and tell her that this was a wonderful and beautiful surprise. Here's a picture of her with the flowers, all happy and a-dither.

Photobucket

We spent a couple more hours with Aunt Tudi, then I took Diane and Bobby home and came home myself. When I walked up on the porch to come into the house, I heard this plaintive meowing, but I figured it was just Smidgen, 'cos she does that a lot when we're gone from the house for a long time. I let the dogs out to the bathroom and, when I went to close the storm door, I spied this tiny grey kitten sitting on our pile of bricks on the porch, partially hidden by the contorted filbert. It was meowing it's head off. So I meowed back, and it began a feline conversation with me until I reached it and picked it up. His fur is covered with little round seeds, so many that I can't get them all out. He started purring the minute I picked him up. I gave him some food and water, and he curled up on the couch cushion behind me for a wee nap. Here's a picture of him. I've named him Seedling, for obvious reasons. I'm dropping him off at Doc Patch's for a check up and seed removal on Monday.

Photobucket


I called Aunt Tudi to see if we had any kitty litter for when Seedling would need it and she told me she had company. Hannah and Cindy dropped by to give her a stuffed get well bear. Aunt Tudi is loading up on get well goodies this time and I'm so grateful for that. She needs to be let know that people care about her. I don't think she has any doubt this time around.

And, yes, we do have kitty litter. :D
tinhuviel: (Cadmus - Long Hair)
We got a bit of bad news at the hospital today; Aunt Tudi's gall bladder is just fine. This means that it's either a gastric condition caused by a long ordeal with diabetes or it's her heart. I don't know what can be done if it's the diabetes-related affliction and we may not know if it's the heart giving Aunt Tudi problems until Monday because her stress test has to be read at Regional, which may not get it read until Monday. They have an on-duty cardiologist for the weekends, but that doctor may only be available for emergencies, not to read test results. So, Aunt Tudi may be spending the weekend in the hospital until all the test results are back and they know what's going on with her. I would prefer that she remain in the hospital until we know her problem, despite missing her like crazy.

About an hour before visiting hours were over, there came a knock on Aunt Tudi's door. It turned out to be Hannah, a friend of ours we haven't seen in many years ~ too long, too long! We all hugged one another and said our happy hellos before sitting down and catching up on what the years have brought to us and what's been going on with Aunt Tudi. We stayed almost to past the end of visiting hours, so Hannah and I hugged and kissed Aunt Tudi good night and we walked each other out to our cars. Hannah promised to email her blog address and phone number. She already has mine, since The Cliffs is about as public as any one personal blog can be, and my phone number has changed in 7000 years.

I got home around 9:30, made my necessary phone calls, and am now watching The Reckoning, featuring Tom Hardy in the role that inspired Gethsymonae. So far, it's been right up my alley. I love movies set in the English Middle Ages. Seeing Willem Dafoe makes me want to see Shadow of the Vampire again. Oh gods, how I love that movie!

I've been on the phone with Todd for the past hour and a half. We had a great conversation, but it makes me miss him even more than I usually do. I hope we get to see one another soon. On that note, I'm going to bed and watching Babylon 5 until I pass out which, by the way I'm feeling, will take all of 6.582 minutes.
tinhuviel: (Cadmus - Long Hair)
So I'm back at the hospital. Aunt Tudi is asleep, just the way I left her at 1 this afternoon. That stress test, combined with the phenergin they're giving her for nausea, has really kicked her ass in a mighty way. When I got here, I spied a flower arrangement, sent from [livejournal.com profile] acook and [livejournal.com profile] gunslingaaahhh. Aunt Tudi hasn't seen the flowers yet. When she does, she's gonna have a hissy fit of joy. I don't think anyone other than me has ever sent her flowers when she's in the hospital. See, Aunt Tudi has always been a caregiver and, therefore, pretty much taken for granted. When she needs a little TLC herself, people tend to forget about her and just assume she knows they care about her. As a result, I've heard more than once from Aunt Tudi, once she gets out of the hospital, "You know, Tracy, I bet the hospital staff think I'm a terrible person because I never get phone calls, visits, or cards. I just lie in that room by myself except for you, and that's a sign of someone who is basically hated." And it just really hurts her to the bone, and me too, for her. So the phone calls she's gotten, and this flower arrangement, combined with the visits, and the balloon and card from yesterday have really surprised her and made her very very happy. Thank you all so much. I'm a bit teary-eyed myself, thinking about how very cool all of you are. You so rock, there's just no way to express it sufficiently in human language. Maybe if I could say it in Quenya...

There is another storm on the horizon. It's every night's business, which didn't used to be the case. And some people contend there's no such thing as global warming. Puh-tooiee. It's good to be in safe and dry before the rains come. Whatever the weather, I'm planning on staying until visiting hours are over, which is 9 PM. I brought the computer and electric cord so I won't go mad from 'net withdrawal.
tinhuviel: (2D and 3C)
I'm here at the Village at Pelham in Aunt Tudi's room by myself. They've taken her off to do her nuclear stress test, which takes approximately three hours. While I wait, I'll be working on "The Braid," listening to music, and basically being an online nuisance. Here are some pics I've take around the hospital over the last couple of days.

hospital photies )
tinhuviel: (2D and 3C)
Aunt Tudi is so hard to diagnose. The cardiologist came in today, one Dr. Eickman. He's a really nice dude with a dandy sense of humour. The problem is that he's still not sure what's going on with Aunt Tudi. Her extreme nausea points toward gall bladder, but her heavy arms and shortness of breath point toward heart. So... Tomorrow morning, he's scheduled her for an ultrasound of her gall bladder and a nuclear stress test to see how it affects her heart. If nothing comes from either test, they'll move on to a heart cath and see what that produces. Until then, she's still on a liquid diet and close observation. The weather was getting bad, so I left the hospital a little early this evening so I could beat the storms. I needed to get in and go to bed a little earlier tonight, if at all possible, even if I don't get to sleep. All this traveling, the stress of what's going on with Aunt Tudi, and dealing with all the household stuff alone is pulling me down quickly. I've become a weenie in my old age. I'm so ashamed.
tinhuviel: (Devil Smidge)
Aunt Tudi is staying in the hospital at least over night for observation. They think her problem might be a wacky gall bladder, which would be pretty cool because having a gall bladder removed is absolutely no big deal. And she'll feel better almost instantly. I left her at the hospital to come home and take care of the dogs and pick up some supplies Aunt Tudi would need at the hospital. I had a horrible time trying to find the suit case she said she'd packed for a situation just like this. I never found it, so I gathered up a butt load of panties, one of my night shirts, which will go down far beyond her knees, and an outfit to wear for when she's released from the hospital.

I grabbed a bite to eat, 'cos I hadn't eaten all day and it was well after 4 PM, then I headed out to the Village at Pelham to reunite with Aunt Tudi. I wasn't far on I-85 when my right rear tire blew like whoa! I was instantly riding on the rim, so I pulled to the side and began to flag people, hoping someone would stop and let me use their cell phone. After about thirty minutes, a dude finally pulled over and let me use his phone. I called Janice to come and help me, thanked the dude, and went back to my car for a quick snooze whilst I waited on Janice.

It took about another half hour until Janice arrived. I transferred all my important stuff from my car to her van, and we then headed for the hospital where I was going to hunt for a wrecker service to come and change the tire or tow my car to Bobby's so he could do it tomorrow. Luckily, we spied an SCDOT Shep truck with the gentlemen helping another unlucky motorist. They were on the Northbound I-85, and we were on Southbound, so Janice turned around and we went back to the Shep guys. I went and talked to one of them and explained that I had to get to the hospital, but could be bac in about an hour if he needed me at the vehicle. He said that all he needed was the tire to be taken out of the trunk and leaned against the car, and as soon as they were finished helping these unfortunates, they'd go and change my tire for me.

Janice took me back to the car and I got out the donut, leaning it against the compromised tire. We then headed for the hospital in a vicious electric storm. The wind was atrocious. I dashed in with Aunt Tudi's things and visited with her for a while, then got Janice to take me back to my car. When we got there, the tire had been changed and the blow-out was sitting to one side. I promised Aunt Tudi that I'd get new tires first thing in the morning before I go visit her. Discount Tire is cheap and fast, so that's where I'll be headed. I'm also thinking about getting a cheap-o cell phone. I'm tired of finding myself in emergencies with no way to resolve them via wireless communication.

Aunt Tudi looked better this evening than she did this morning. She's having to go to the bathroom a lot because the med folks have her hooked up to three IV bags. It's insane. She seemed a little worried about a possible gall bladder surgery. I did my best to ease her concerns. I had my gall bladder out and it was no big deal at all. I think they just punched a wee hole in my abdomen and sucked the thing out with a swizzle stick. No biggie at all. Hopefully, she won't be too concerned about it now.

I'm home now. I've taken care of the animals' needs and have cleared out a little bit of dried washing that we were working on earlier when Aunt Tudi had to be taken to the E/R. I've had my meds and am watching Battlestar Galactica whilst I write this. I'll be going to bed pretty soon. I'm sleepy and it's been one hell of a day.

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