Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Funeral Songs

I've had way too much time this year to contemplate funeral music. And so, to save others the time, here are a few I'd like at my own funeral, which I hope is not for 100 years. In case it's not, here's a head start. None of that Wind Beneath My Wings, Dust in the Wind crap for me.

- Enter Sandman - Metallica - I want my urn to be carried in ceremoniously to that. Hokie Stone optional. Oooh, ooh - an urn made from Hokie stone. There you go. Hopefully I don't go any time soon as this may scare the crap out of my children.

- Spirit in the Sky - Norman Greenbaum - goes nicely with the "mount on wings of eagles" scripture from the Bible.

- My Way - Frank Sinatra - a nice photo tribute piece

- Blackbird - Beatles - because it's my most favorite song ever

- Another One Bites the Dust - Queen - to go out to post-ceremony

- Down in a Hole - Alice in Chains  - as I'm lowered down or scattered wherever.

So there. Easy enough. Now you don't have to spend 10 hours searching the internet for the right songs for me. Not that that is what I've done all night...

Classic rock (late 60s early 70s) songs outside of the norm. Email me if you have suggestions. So far I've got "Long as I can See the Light" by CCR. Need 2 more. I love "Everything I Own" by Bread, or "Can't Cry Hard Enough" by the Williams Brothers (I know, not classic rock, but my God, can't get it out of my head right now), but find them to be too, too sad.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

In a Phoenix Phase... again

I've battled with depression in the past. That hopeless feeling you get when you feel you're stuck in a situation you just can't get out of. I haven't dropped to that level yet, but good God, I'm having a rough time lately.

My sister put it into perspective for me this past week in an email. It was hard to look at, but so true. My entire life has changed - 95% from what it was less than six months ago. I'm burning again, and I know there's major rebirth - there's some hard seed deep within that's just beginning to crack open to new possibilities I've never considered. I get that. But philosophy aside, this period of my life sucks. It really, really hurts. And I don't feel like I can take much more. Here's a snippet of the changes:

- Single mom
- New house
- Loss of brother-in-law, who I loved dearly
- Major financial changes
- New job
- New job isn't what I'd hoped for
- Loss of a business, built from a dream
- Loss of steady child care thanks to the loss of the business
- Many, many upset families thanks to said business loss
- New dog, again. A puppy that chews, to boot.
- Health issues
- Closing down the second business
- Failing a client for the first time in my life
- Living in a house starting from scratch. No furniture. No cable. Constantly breaking appliances.
- No place to go to to relax, calm, renew
- Missing out on the time I had with the kids - narrowing from 5+ hours to 2 hours a day of free time with them, IF I'm lucky. I'm half the mom I was. Hell, not even half. I'm tired, I'm cranky and I don't friggin feel like playing Barbies. Sheesh.

And so, yeah, I'm down in the dumps. I haven't been out with any of my friends in over a month. I haven't had my regular girlfriends over on our regular nights, who I never realized made me so much saner. I've made plans, but every time I do, I end up having the kids, dealing with a crisis or emergency or working a trillion hours that won't allow me to get away for a moment of peace.

So, I guess it's just a funk. My temptation is to go to the doctor, to ask for something to make it all feel better. To find an easier way out than getting up each day, battling through it, coming home defeated. But I won't. Not yet. Given that long laundry list of changes, i think it would be abnormal not to feel unhappy, unsatisfied, forlorn. I will get there, and I will mark each day off the calendar until I get to that day where I can once again wake up, knowing I can make it through the day and that it will, indeed, be a better day.

Until then, burning down to ashes, awaiting my reawakening.

Monday, June 21, 2010

He's Gone

Rest in Peace, Carl, free of pain at last.

I love you, brother.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

In Awe of the Firefighting Brotherhood

I spent yet another weekend of my year at a hospital, this time with my brother-in-law Carl. For those that know him, he's been battling colon cancer for several years. This weekend, as the cancer moved with brutal force forward, I watched my friend and brother head toward the other side. He's still with us, but each breath takes him closer.

I was not alone in the vigil, of course. Carl's wonderful girlfriend, Cindy, and my sister-in-law, Kim were there right along side me. And they are still there, and I'm here at home, feeling awful that I had to leave, but knowing I had to come back to my babies and get to the new job tomorrow. Time, it seems, waits for no one.

Many others were there, too - family coming by to say goodbye for hours on end, friends galore. But what stood out to me, the most, was the brotherhood of firemen that stood by Carl's side, easing his way, easing his mind, sharing memories and openly crying over the impending loss of their colleague and friend. So many of them were trained by Carl, motivated by him, even saved by him. And they told their stories - ones full of oohs and aahhhs, others with lots of laughter, some that brought tears. I can not describe the beauty they brought to the desert landscape of death. They brought the story of Carl to life, and I know they will continue to do so for years to come for family and friends, for each other and for rookies who will doubtlessly be subjected to many of Carl's famed pranks.

The men and women of the fire departments of Dale City, DC, Occoquan/Woodbridge/Lakeridge (OWL), Fairfax and Manassas were all there to offer comfort in so many ways. Some came and simply quietly sat for hours at a time. Others brought goodies to share. Many spent time alone with Carl, saying goodbye. And many, many, many are planning his departure services, raising money to ensure his children are well cared for, ensuring all is in order when he passes and easing the burdens usually bore by immediate family alone. There is no better gift nor support that could be asked for.

Brotherhood can not be a more apt term for those in the fire departments that serve our communities. Thank you, brave men and women. For watching over your communities, for saving lives, for what you mean to Carl, and for what you mean to all of us who Carl is leaving behind. You. Are. Wonderful.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Survival Mode

A lot of times I write a blog, only to delete it all and post some sunshine covered piece of crap that doesn't really represent what is happening inside. Not tonight. I don't keep a journal anymore due to lack of time, so this is the only record I have of daily life, so I'm laying it out straight. Life, right now, is not easy.

The new job has required killer hours so far. I worked more than 70 last week, with more to go today. So. Very. Tired. I love the job, and the people, but hate the hours required to get my job done. I'm sure it will reduce as I get into things, but for now, I feel like I'm drinking from a fire hose during the days, and working at night to make up for my lack of productivity from that day.

And I'm extremely emotional right now. Closing down the school is harder than I imagined. I have no place for Sadie yet, and I'm heartbroken that the school I built for her - quite literally - will not be her base through first grade as planned. I'm really angry about it too - at myself for not seeing the writing on the wall with one staff member, and at that staff member. It sucks that one stupid incident and the lack of one's ability to control emotions resulted in a $40k loss for me over a two year period. Not to mention the hours I put in. And never, once, did I get paid. Not once. So I'm bitter, sad, melancholy and frustrated. That just kicked in last week, when I began to inventory the materials I love so much to sell off to pay back parent deposits. This. Sucks. I feel like I'm selling part of my heart.

I'm also struggling to keep up with the remaining client with my company, and not doing well with it. I brought in someone to take over, but it's not an easy transition, and many things fell between the cracks in the last few months. They haven't paid me in two months, so it's hard to want to work for them in my spare time after putting in 60+ hours on a job that pays.

And the transition to being able to choose my own hours has been a difficult one. While I'd love to just go to the office 9-5 or whatever, my days are never like that. I go from 8-7, or 7-6, or whatnot and that cuts into those precious hours with my girls that are oh-so important now that I'm a single mom. I hate that I see them a couple of hours a day. I have close to soul custody in terms of time with them, and it's very, very hard to be perky with the hours I'm putting in. I feel like I'm failing them, too.

It all makes me feel like the last 7 years were a waste. How hard I worked to be able to be with them, only to end up working ridiculously long hours away from them. How hard I tried to make that school work, so that Sadie could have the education Katie was afforded. I'm tired of working like a dog, and missing out at the bone at the end of the day.

So yeah, I try to keep it light and keep that smile on. But to be honest, between working a million hours, failing with the businesses and finding myself in the toughest financial situation I have ever imagined (hello ramen noodles, old friend), it's been a rough few weeks. I can't even come home and crash on the couch in front of the TV - I have no couch, no cable. I know, I know. So many have it worse than I do. I get it. And I know I just have to keep my nose to the grindstone and this will pass, and shortly for that matter. But that doesn't make the current sting of the mornings, when I wake up from 3-4 hours of sleep to do it all again any easier.  This is definitely one of the hardest times in my life. By far.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010


Not my picture, but too relevant not to share.

I'm working a bajillion hours a week, so will post when I have room to think again.