Just a Normal Day, Considering

What a blessed thing it is to have a simple, normal day at last. No business to take care of, no meetings to attend, no huge decisions to make, no crises to resolve. Just a day. When I awoke I poured my coffee, opened my newspaper and turned on West Wing. Then I wrapped a couple of gifts, emptied the trash, and sat down at my computer. I have not made the bed. I have not showered. I have not even dressed. The wind outside is slowly blowing in a storm that may deliver us 1 to 3 inches of snow by tomorrow morning. I finally have the luxury of exhaling.

The mess at the bank was the bank’s fault. Yesterday, Nettl went in, raised holy hell, and they lifted the freeze on our account, repaying us the $945 they took from us with no warning or notice of any kind. Don’t you think that would be bad enough to happen to a family? But to do this two days after a mother’s death, and at Christmastime is reprehensible. The woman responsible made a unilateral decision about whether the Social Security check that was deposited the day before my mother died was for November or December, and was incorrect. It was for November. Nettl told her that that decision was the government’s to make, not hers. After all this has blown over and we’re not so worn out with grief and worry we’re changing banks. This is not the first time, but the third, that they’ve screwed us over.

So we all went out for Chinese last night.

I don’t remember the last time I felt so small. I feel like a shadow that’s about to disappear. It will pass, however, and I have so many good things to look forward to in the coming year.

I think my mother came to me in a dream last night. She was well, looked good, and was trying to convince me she wasn’t dead at all—which I believe because of my spiritual convictions. I slept well for the first time in two weeks and awoke without the cloud over my head that has enshrouded me every morning as soon as waking consciousness enters my brain. I’m still sad, of course. That will take a little while.

Right now, the best Christmas present in the world would be to be sent to a quiet place like Colorado for a week, no people, no telly, no demands, no input, and no need to “keep a happy face” so as to not bother other people with my grief. Just silently falling snow, wind in the treetops, and lots of writing supplies.

Why is it that the grieving person must always console those who voice their condolences to them? Why must we say, “I’m alright. It’s hard right now, but it’ll get better soon” when we want to say, “It’s not alright. I’m falling apart at the seams and don’t have the time or solitude it takes to put myself back together.” I feel orphaned by my parents, abandoned by what remaining family I have, and I’m pissed as hell that after I gave up my career in my prime and spent the past 13 years taking care of my aging, ill, and dying parents, neither of them left me with so much as simple, cheap, burial insurance. I feel betrayed and used.

Ah well, who wants to hear all this, especially now that the holidays are upon us? At least the roller coaster ride is over and my household can now move into Christmas without the financial worry that flattened our spirits last week. I still have a bit of shopping to do (I prefer to wait until the last minute, although I make my list out rather early), and if we get snow, that’ll really put me in the holiday spirit. All I really have to do is put on Paul McCartney’s Simply Having a Wonderful Christmastime. That always does it.

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