I am feeling a bit better since the last time I wrote.

You know, I haven’t been posting much in the last couple of years, and I don’t write much in a paper journal anymore either.  I don’t know why.

Anyway.  This time off has been so relaxing.  I do things during the day, but I do spend a bit of time just hanging out at home and being calm.  Which is nice, compared to a few weeks ago.  And I am doing my best to not think of work at all.  For the most part, I’ve succeeded, but here and there I haven’t.  Yesterday, I got a text from a friend at work and that got me thinking about my job.  The wife talked me off that ledge, though, so I wouldn’t get upset.  She’s good at that.  Sometimes I think about the fact that one person who I thought was my friend hasn’t called or texted me once since I’ve been out of work, and that really bothers me.  It hurts.  I thought she was my friend, I thought she cared about me, but it doesn’t seem so.  She went around asking other people if they knew why I was out of work, instead of asking me herself.

I’m trying not to think too much about that, either.

I had a job interview this past Monday.  It went okay, I think.  Don’t know for sure when I’ll hear back from them.  They said they had more interviews to do this week and they’d get back to me soon.  We’ll see.  It seemed like a good place; the people who interviewed me were nice and the office was quiet.  Such a difference from where I currently work, which is more like a house party filled with assholes.


Tomorrow the wife and I are headed downtown the for American Heart Association’s annual Heart Walk.  They’re also doing a 5K run, but…um, no.  I am not in shape for that, and I don’t think the wife is, either.  We’ve not been going to gym like we should lately…I have been lazy.  But yeah, tomorrow is the Heart Walk and we donated some money to the AHA.  They have something special for Survivors, and I have encouraged my wife to take part in that, but she seemed reluctant.  I get the feeling part of her wants to pretend it didn’t happen, because she survived.  Which I get.  Hell, I don’t like thinking about it myself, but I know that’s not the best way to deal with it.  Neither of us is very good at dealing with things, though.  We just pretend like they didn’t happen and try to move forward.

But you can’t.  Not when bad stuff happens.  You have to deal with it, or somehow it keeps popping up in your life until you do deal with it–and when I say “deal with it,” I mean deal with the emotions.  That’s the hardest thing for me.  I don’t like dealing with those kinds of feelings.  They’re messy and horrible.  Yet they won’t get better if I don’t.  I know this.  But it doesn’t make it any easier for me.  Like I still have a hard time dealing with my grandparents’ deaths.  And my Mom’s health issues.  I don’t like thinking about those things, because every time I do, I cry.  And I don’t like to cry.  I don’t like despair and pain and heartache.  So I just try to push it out of my mind.  But then something comes along and reminds me that my grandparents are gone, and I miss them terribly.  And that my Mom had to move from the condo (where she’d lived for over 20 years, the first home she ever owned) to a new place, because she will never walk again.  And I am not there to help her.  And I miss her so very much and feel like a horrible daughter because I am not there to help her.  What will I do when she is gone?  How will I feel, because I wasn’t there for her?

See why I don’t like thinking about it?

Great.  Now I’ve got myself upset and crying.  Just what I wanted to avoid.

And lately I’ve been wanting to smoke.  A lot.

A Waste of Time

So much for spring. It’s been cold lately. The trees are budding and the grass is green, so maybe there’s still hope for Michigan spring. I’ve been here five years and still have not gotten used to the coldness of both the weather and the people.

Things have come to a head in my life lately, and I am out on medical leave due to mental and emotional stress. I simply cannot take the verbal abuse and nonsense that happens there on a daily basis, yet…I am so scared to leave and go somewhere else, it is making me a basket case. I have been off since last Wednesday, resting at home and looking for another job. I actually have an interview tomorrow (Monday), which is great news, right? Yes, it is, and it should be. But I am such a mess I am scared sick. My stomach is a wreck and I am once again on the verge of a panic attack. For the love of God, I hope I don’t have one tomorrow morning when I am trying to get ready for the interview.

Why does this keep happening to me? I don’t want to be on medication…I don’t want to be drugged up so I can function. I am going to see a MSW a week from Tuesday, so hopefully that will start to get me the help I need. It’s not just my job, it’s a whole mess of problems I have been dealing with the last few years. Moving here, my mom’s health problems, losing both my grandparents, almost losing my wife, and dealing with the bully at my job. It’s put me in a tailspin. And the people I thought I could count on, I can’t. I have thought about moving back to St. Louis so many times, but I know that wouldn’t solve anything. I wouldn’t be happier. I would be miserable and feel like a failure. My mom always told me to stop chasing happiness because you will never find it outside yourself.

She was right. Go figure.

So what makes me happy? Hell if I know. Oh, reading a good book. Watching a good movie. Traveling to a place I’ve never seen before. Being with friends. Sitting with the dog on my lap while he sleeps. I don’t need much to make me happy, though traveling can get expensive.

I know I have to find this inside myself. I keep thinking, “Oh, if I had a better paying job,” or “Oh, if I moved somewhere warmer,” or “Oh, if I went back to school and got my master’s degree,” I would be happy. Would I? I honestly don’t know. All I know is if I went back to school I would have no better job prospects and a lot more debt. Seems like a waste of time at this point, which only serves to make me sadder and angry, because there’s nothing I love more than school. If I won the lottery, I’d be a professional student.

I hope this therapy helps me. And I hope I can get my shit together.

Lost at Sea

Floating, with only a small life vest keeping me up.

and that isn’t going to last much longer, because it has a hole in it.

I feel completely and totally alone. I have no one to count on, no one to talk to, no one who isn’t so wrapped up in themselves that they can’t see what’s going on in the world around them.

My heart aches


My mom had to buy a new place to live. She moved in this week. She sounds much happier now, as this place is wheelchair accessible and everything is on the same floor.

I’m thrilled for her. My heart is breaking over the whole situation, though. She lived in the condo for over 20 years. We moved there in October 1993, when I was a junior in high school. I just can’t believe she no longer lives there. I can’t imagine going anywhere else to visit her. Next time I go visit, I am going to have to remember where the new place is…I might forget.

It just makes me sad for some reason.

I think there are a lot of things in my life right now making me sad. I have choices, but they scare me. I am angry and upset a lot of the time because I feel alone and misunderstood and uncared for.

This website does not work very well on my laptop, so I think I will go. For now.

Months Later

And a year later…

I think it’s been more than a year, hasn’t it? Last time I wrote, my grandfather had just passed away and I think it was Labor Day or something. And how here we are, November 2014.

I am hoping this year’s Christmas is better than last year’s. Why? Well, I’ll start with the fact that I could not have the week of Christmas off last year because of my stupid job and the stupid people with whom I work. We can only have two people off at a time, and despite the fact that I am the only person in the department who has no family in the area–never mind that my family lives 500 miles away–other people deserve time off too. Yes, they do, but Christmas 2013 was the first time in my life I did not spend Christmas Day with my family.

Anyway, I got the week before Christmas off, and I suppose that ended up being okay, because I got to see my family at a time when we really needed each other. See, my grandmother fell at home Thursday, December 12, 2013, and was taken to the hospital. She’d hit her head. I arrived in St. Charles the following Monday, and Tuesday I went to see her. She was not in good shape. I told my mom she needed to see Grandma because I didn’t think things would end well.

They didn’t.

By Thursday it was clear Grandma was not going to survive her injuries. Her kidneys were shutting down. She was not conscious. I left St. Louis Friday, December 20, and got the call the next day that Grandma had passed away early Saturday morning.

I had a shitty Christmas Day at my wife’s aunt’s house. Oh, I don’t blame them. Her aunt, cousin, cousin’s wife, their son, other cousin, and my wife’s youngest uncle were all together. We had ham and lots of good food. There were presents and lots of general good will and Christmas spirit. I just wasn’t feeling it. I flew back to St. Louis on Saturday, December 28. Grandma’s visitation was December 30, at the same funeral home we had Grandpa’s not six months before. My aunt made photo boards, just like she did for Grandpa, and she’d displayed a few of my Grandma’s quilts for people to see. My Grandma did beautiful work. People were amazed by the quilts. I felt lucky (and still do) that I have five of them to remember her by, including a wedding ring quilt that is on our bed currently. Has been since we got married, actually. Grandma, when she found out Maggie and I got married, asked me if we put the wedding ring quilt on our bed. It meant a lot to her to know we did. It means a lot to me now to have those quilts. I will never get rid of them and plan on passing them down to my kid, whether the baby be a boy or a girl. “Your great-grandma made these,” I’ll tell him/her. Of course, if it’s a girl, she’ll already know all about that legacy, because her name is going to be Alice.

Grandma would’ve loved that.

Anyway, Grandma went into the ground next to Grandma on New Year’s Eve. We listened to “Amazing Grace,” the version sung by Meryl Streep in the movie “Silkwood.” Beautiful song.

And now I have no grandparents left.

And I think about how I will feel when it’s my mom who is gone. And I think about my own mortality.

After that, I didn’t think it could get any worse, but it did this year. Two thousand fourteen hasn’t been a bellweather of a year either. I lost both my grandparents within six months, and two days after we buried my grandmother, my mother fell again at home. Two days after my grandmother was put in the ground we were at the emergency room in St. Charles finding out my mom’s hip implant broke again and the day after that, we were at Barnes and my mom was having major surgery to have that implant removed. I had to leave for Detroit the next day.

And now my mom will never walk again. She’s in a wheelchair, selling her condo and moving into a villa, where everything is on one floor because she can’t walk anymore.

My heart broke. And then it broke again this summer, when my wife almost died of a heart attack.

I honestly don’t know if I can take anything else happening. When I sit and think about it all, I cry. I don’t like to cry, because it hurts my skin. So I try not to. But sometimes I just can’t help it and the tears pour down my face. I guess this explains why I feel on edge a lot of the time, like I am frayed and might start unraveling at some point, completely and totally losing shape and dissolving into nothing. My heart is a bunch of pieces and I feel alone. I’ve often thought about going back home to St. Louis, but I don’t think that’s the answer.

Feeling completely alone isn’t new to me, but it’s a different sensation at 37 than it was at 25.

My job is a joke. My life is a joke. I don’t know what to do with myself. I feel most of the time like I’m going through the motions, with people around me who really don’t give a shit about me or my feelings, but running away would not solve the problem. A lot of the time I want to curl up in a ball and sleep or cry. But that wouldn’t solve anything either.

And I miss smoking. A lot sometimes. We both gave it up when the wife had the heart attack. I miss it. I miss smoking with my coffee. I think that’s when it bothers me most. I suppose I should give up the coffee too because it doesn’t help the panic attacks.

I have to have one vice, though–had to give up all the others!

I really should see someone about the depression, I know. And I need a new job, one where I can feel good about myself and my abilities, and one where I have some of my own tasks to deal with, instead of a big hot mess.

And if we’re going to have a kid, this needs to change.

It’s Only Monday

Today was my first day back to work after a week of vacation.

I was reminded why I dislike my job as much as I do, and consequently, am a bit depressed.

I came in to work this morning to find 600 unread emails in my inbox. While trying to get through those, I discovered that my boss put me on special tasks today, which left me no time to finish getting through my emails. I had to do faxes instead. I managed to get through those and the co-worker who was on special tasks with me today finally arrived at 8am to help.

Later, after busting my ass today, I was given a co-worker’s mail to open because she was going too slow and wasn’t going to get finished by the end of the day. I managed to open her mail, retrieve faxes, answer emails and properly index paperwork to claims–all while the “slow” co-worker was still opening mail.

I wonder why it is that good workers always get punished for being good workers.

I work hard, do my job to the best of my ability, yet other people get away with doing nothing and then get help! I wouldn’t mind helping, in fact I don’t mind assisting my co-workers if they get behind because they are overwhelmed. However, this woman doesn’t work. She spends most of her time socializing and texting/calling her daughters on her iPhone, and this is why she is constantly “overwhelmed” with her job. I am so sick and tired of picking up the slack for people who can’t be bothered to do their jobs. It is beyond infuriating to know that no matter what I do, it is never enough, because there will always be more work to do since some people cannot be trusted to complete simple tasks. And the worst part is nothing happens to them when they do wrong.

I know this makes me sound like a bitter person, but shouldn’t a person who spends work time socializing be punished? Written up over and over until it’s time to fire them? I mean, aren’t we supposed to be getting paid to do a job, not play on our iPhones or socialize with co-workers? Oh, I guess I have it wrong. I guess I should slow down and not work as hard, because I’m being punished for working hard. I’m being punished for behaving the way I was raised to behave, with a work ethic.

I know one finds lazy people at every workplace, and that’s the part that troubles me. I know if I went somewhere else, I’d find more lazy, selfish people who would drive me crazy and make me upset. I just don’t know how to get over that. My question is, why aren’t these people punished for bad behavior? Is it because companies are afraid to fire people because they’re afraid of lawsuits? Whatever happened to having a good work ethic? And the sad thing is, these are grown women I work with who are the laziest folks I’ve ever seen. The youngest person in my dept is 24 years old and she is one of the better workers in the dept, so the “young people are lazy” bit doesn’t apply here. These lazy women are in their 50s; one of them is “friends” with the boss, so she gets away with everything and the other is dumber than a box of rocks and can’t keep her mouth shut to save her life.

I hate being such a judgmental person; I sound horrible and mean and bitter, but other people’s behavior drives me nuts. I work so hard at my job, doing the things I’m supposed to and more (because I have to do the lazy people’s work too) that it makes me angry when they get away with it.

Sigh. I just need to get over it. It’s not going to change. My boss is a sorry excuse for a supervisor and should retire, but won’t.


My vacation was good. The wife had the week off too, so we spent some time together. Our second wedding anniversary was Tuesday the 3rd, so we went out to dinner (IHOP, I’m a cheap date). We also went to Greenfield Village at the Henry Ford museum and Frankenmuth, Michigan. Frankenmuth was fun. I’d never been there before and enjoyed walking around, going into all the shops. It’s this town that was settled by Germans, so everything is done up with “German” decor, and the shops sell beer and cheese and sausage and stuff like that. The only bad thing about our trip was we were there the first day of the annual car show, so almost all of the public parking was taken up by the cars. And there were tons of people sitting in their chairs on the side of the main street, so that made it hard to get by on the sidewalks. But it was still a fun time, and I wouldn’t mind going back.

We’ll just have to check and make sure no big events are going on before we go. ;)

I got to see a friend of mine from the bank. It had been a while since I’d seen her and it was good to catch up. No matter how much time passes between our visits, I always feel as though we can pick up where we left off. We just clicked somehow and I miss working with her so much.

My mom is doing okay, though I think she’s a bit upset with me. See, the wife and I had talked about going to St. Louis this last week but it didn’t work out because of the dog. I waited until the last minute to decide about what to do with him. We didn’t want to take him with us, since there were things around STL that I wanted to show the wife (the zoo, the Arch, museums, Vintage Vinyl, etc) so I didn’t want to take the dog and then dump him off at someone’s house to dogsit while we did our thing. And taking him in the car would’ve been a nightmare; he gets carsick and pukes all over his crate whenever we take him to the vet. So eww. We didn’t end up going obviously and Mom’s not happy about it. See, the family has never met my wife. Nope, not yet. I know, kinda weird considering we’ve been married two years, but remember, none of my family came to the wedding since it was in Canada and nobody but my uncle has a passport and he couldn’t make it. So there’s that issue.

Although I would hope by now that my Mom realizes this is a much better relationship for me than past ones.

Well, I hate to cut off in the middle of a thought…but WordPress is acting weird on me and I don’t want to lose this whole post. Better go.


Well, looks like my intuition still works. I had a feeling when Mom and I talked yesterday, and yeah, it happened. My Grandpa passed away last night.

She called me this morning at work to let me know, and my boss let me go home. I was too much of a mess to keep working, and really just wanted to be home with my wife–who is home sick today.

Mom told me this morning they’re going to the funeral home this afternoon to make the arrangements and if all goes as planned, the visitation will be Thursday and the funeral Friday. So looks like I will be heading back to STL Wednesday.

I’m just glad I got to see him Father’s Day, hug him and tell him that I love him. And he’s no longer suffering.

Rest in Peace Paul Alvin Orin Meers, 7 Nov 1925-7 July 2013.

Family Stuff

Last month I went home to visit my family. It was a nice visit.

At the first of the year, my grandparents had moved into what we thought would be an assisted living facility, but it turned out to just be apartments for seniors. They don’t give any help whatsoever, so my grandmother wants out of there. When I was visiting, she mentioned that she wants to move back home, especially now that my grandfather was at a nursing/rehab facility. The cost was just too great.

I did get to see both of my grandparents. For Father’s Day, my mom and I went to the place where he’s staying. My aunt met us there and brought Grandpa out of his room to the lobby where we were sitting. He wasn’t doing very well that day, seemed to be mentally out of it, but his face sure lit up when he saw me. We had a nice visit with him and my other aunt, the one who hardly does anything for my grandparents, showed up. We were all surprised by this.

Besides seeing my family, the other reason I went home was to pay for and pick up my grandfather’s Chevy Trailblazer. My wife bought it from my grandparents so now she has a vehicle to drive. My grandma was glad to be rid of it, because she never liked driving it and my grandfather lost his license in 2007, so there was no point in keeping it. Now it’s my wife’s.

While at home, we found out Grandpa’s potassium level was really high, and this was causing his mental confusion, along with issues with his heart. The doctors got him stabilized after I left and things seemed to be okay, but today during my usual Sunday chat with my mom, she told me that basically Grandpa is dying. His potassium is back up and his kidneys have shut down. She told me I need to prepare myself.

I’m trying, but it’s hard. I keep thinking of how he used to be, when I was a kid. He was such an active man. He loved hunting, fishing, any kind of outdoor activity. He had a big garden in the backyard at their old house. He grew broccoli, brussel sprouts, radishes (which he’d give me slices of), tomatoes, onions, and he helped me grow corn one year. He belonged to a bowling league with my uncle and the two of them golfed together. He would sit out in the backyard at the old house in the heat of summer with his radio turned to KMOX to listen to the baseball games. I remember when Mom and I first moved back to Missouri, back in 1982, and we lived with my grandparents for a little bit. Grandpa would give us money and Mom and I would walk to St. Charles Dairy for ice cream. I always got chocolate ice cream in a sugar cone. We’d come back and I’d tell Grandpa all about the walk, and then we’d watch the game.

I remember he loved the show “All in the Family.” That was on Sunday nights and I’d go into Grandma and Grandpa’s room and watch “The Muppet Show.” He also loved Johnny Carson, and would fall asleep in his chair to The Tonight Show.

His favorite thing to eat? Well, he wasn’t a picky eater, not that I know of, but the man has a sweet tooth! He loves candy, but his favorite kind is the stuff you get at Christmas, those ribbon things and the hard candy that comes in a tin. He said it reminds him of his childhood.

He was born November 7, 1925, the second boy in a family of four children, three boys and a girl. And he is the last one left.

He had quadruple bypass surgery in 1981, right after my fourth birthday party. Nobody thought he’d make it, but he did. I remember him telling me about the surgery, the instrument used to open his chest looking like a pizza cutter. That image has stayed in my head all these years. The scar on his chest was something to see, that’s for sure.

He taught me how to tie my shoes. It was after we’d moved back to Missouri, and no one else had been able to teach me, but they wanted me to know before I started kindergarten. And he’s the one who finally got it through my head, how to do it.

I’m glad I got to see him on Father’s Day. I gave him a hug and told him I loved him. The look on his face when he first saw me, the happiness to see me, will stay with me forever.

I love you, Grandpa.