Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Adjusting & ICLW

I guess it's time I crawl out from under my grief rock and give you all an update. First off, though, let me welcome those of you stopping by from ICLW. I'm glad to have you here. Sorry this space is a bit dusty at the moment. I've been away for a while attempting to come to terms with my dad's death. I'll try not to be a complete negative, as there is a lot of positive in my life at the moment. It's just overshadowed somewhat by my family's loss.

For my regular readers, as you can see, I am still here, just not handling the loss of my dad very well. He's been gone for over a month now and I still find myself randomly bursting into tears at times. I'll be sitting at work and see a patient with a diagnosis of COPD and I start crying (this was my dad's main problem and the cause behind his stroke, which led to the heart attack that finally took him). I walk down the hallway of the hospital where I work and where my dad was after his stroke and pass his room and the tears start streaming down my face.

It's really not a pretty sight at all.

The most difficult part of it all for me is the toll it's having on my mom. She is not handling his death well at all. They'd been married for 48 years, though, and I can only imagine what it's like to be with someone for that long and then for them suddenly to not be around any longer. There are so many things she finds difficult, up to and including living in their house. To make things even more difficult for her, their mortgage lender has said that his death means nothing towards their mortgage payment. It doesn't reduce the payment or anything. We were under the impression that their mortgage insurance would pay the mortgage off in the event of the death of either partner, however, they say differently. We're in the process of locating their original mortgage documents (which are in one of several filing cabinets) and reviewing them in order to hopefully find backing for our beliefs. They purchased mortgage insurance; surely that covers death? If not, what use is it?

Fortunately for my mom, she and my dad had a visit to my brother in New Jersey planned. My mom got a refund on my dad's ticket (and let me take a moment to say a HUGE thank you to Southwest Airlines, who were wonderful enough to give my mom a refund on my dad's ticket despite it being a non-refundable ticket. A lot of airlines would not have done this) but decided to hold onto her own. She left on September 13 and has been with my brother ever since. She'll be back on September 27.

While this has been awesome for her, it's been really difficult for me. I'm not generally a clingy person to my parents and siblings (in fact, most of the time my mom drives me crazy) but since my dad's passing, my mom and I have really needed one another's company. I'm missing her like crazy and can hardly wait for her to come home. She texts and calls me everyday telling me what she's been up to that day, but always says "I wish you'd been here. It would have made the day perfect." I don't want to cut her vacation short, but, good gracious, I'll be glad for next Tuesday to get here!

So, let me bring you up-to-date with the non-grief related news of the last month. As you may remember, The Hubs and I were looking for a house of our own prior to beginning the home study process. Well, one of the good things that has happened is that we found that house and we've done the main part of moving into it! We still have a few things to get moved, but as of this past Monday, we are officially living in our new home! It's much closer to work (a 5 minute drive versus the previous 20 minute drive we were making), still has a rural, country feel without being so far out of town and is in a nice neighborhood. I think we're going to enjoy living there.

The Hubs was offered a promotion at work and took it. He is now a Billing and Coding Specialist for the doctor's office he works for. This is a good move for him, as he was feeling a little underused there. He also got a $1 per hour raise for moving up and will hopefully get even more of a raise when he completely takes over from the outside billing company who had previously done the office's billing. This looks to probably happen sometime around the first of the year. One of the perks of his new job? He's being sent to a conference in St. Petersburg, Florida the first weekend of October. He asked me did I mind attending, seeing as how he would be in the conference much of the weekend. Let me think about this - a luxury hotel, on the beach and a weekend free of responsibilities? Yeah! I think I can handle it! So, we're both looking forward to that.

I don't really have much of an update on Juno and baby. We still have no date set to meet her. If you recall, that was supposed to happen this month (September) but so far no meeting has been set. What I do know is that she met with the other couple she was considering and really, really disliked the wife. There was an almost predatory attitude to the woman and Juno really felt uncomfortable with it. She kept saying to Juno "You need to eat more! My baby is hungry!" and pressing on Juno's stomach so hard (attempting to feel movement from the baby - Juno is only 4 months along and this is a first pregnancy, so I'm not sure anyone other than Juno herself would be able to feel movement at this point anyway) that she made Juno throw up. Juno left the meeting with a feeling of horror and told her mother "If that's what people who want to adopt are like, then I'm not so sure about this!" Her mother did tell her not all adoptive families are like that.

I really hope we get an opportunity to meet her soon and show her not everyone is like that. Without even knowing her and without feeling this child is our's (because, fortunately I haven't developed that feeling yet), I feel concern and love for Juno. I'm pleased that she chose life for her child and I think she is a very, very brave young woman. I know that if she were older, she would make a fabulous mother to this child. I also know that she is mature enough to know that, at her young age, she is not yet prepared to care for this child. I just hope that people liek this couple she has already met with won't push her into doing something that would not be in the best interest of her or the baby. Whatever happens, though, I know happens for the best. There is a plan for Juno's life and for the baby's life and we'll just have to follow the road and see where the path leads.

In other news, I have now finished the major portion of my BA and am now working on my minor. If everything goes to plan, I will graduate in June of next year!! I am very, very excited about this! I still have a 4.0 GPA as of this moment and hope to carry that with me through to graduation. I've been offered an opportunity through my school to become a peer mentor, which is something I'm extremely proud of and am looking forward to accepting. It will be a great addition to my resume when I have finished my degree.

To those of you who offered your thoughts, prayers and condolences on my dad's death, I am so very, very grateful to you. I am still making my way around to everyone's humble abodes to say a personal thank you, but my progress has been very slow so far. Please know that I will make it around to you, but in the meantime, please know how much your words meant to me during that very dark period.

I know my dad is still watching over us. There have been several days when I would be outside and there has been a complete dead calm. I would begin talking to my Daddy and ask him to give me a sign he was there with me. Without hesitation, at every single one of these moments, the wind has picked up and blown through the area in fierce gusts that make me feel like my dad is hugging me. I'm so thankful he's still with me even though he's gone. It makes me feel less alone.

Later in the week, I'll share a couple of other things close to my heart with you: the last words my dad ever said to me and a post I actually should have posted last week with a photo of my awesome socks from my Sock It To Me buddy, Prairie Anonymous (private blog - and, if you're reading this, sweetie, my invite expired before I clicked it! Could you invite me again?), along with my post on how support from others in the blogosphere has helped me over the last 18 months. Watch this space. Those stories are coming!

That's all for right now. I'll try to get my arse in gear and get back to blogging properly. I just needed some me time to grieve, but I'll try to get it all back together now. Thanks for being patient with me!