Saturday, February 21, 2015

The Hidden Secrets,Tiger Lily And A Prosthetic Boot

I have been really struggling with the last few weeks. I am keeping emotions hidden (save a few who call my bluff because they know me that well), building walls around the anger and frustration (it's leaking), enforcing my perimeter around my heart so I will not be hurt again (it's weakening) and then there was my best friends (soul sisters in bond) that were coming in and out and I was forced to show my weaknesses. There will be no hope lifted up because I can not simply find it and so very, very scared of being let down. I have people reaching out to me to help which I am not used to and, trying to focus on other things so I don't have a breakdown. I am either going crazy with grief all while still trying to maintain my sense of humor which has been hard since my partner in laughing at "Murphy's Law" is gone. I have wondered though while he is gone....perhaps it's my luck or was it joint and he just left it with me? Perhaps, it's a combination of both. So instead of worrying over the approaching snow storm that came, listening to the sounds of silence that used to be full; I am going to write with a little humor or I will end up crying another day away.................
Around the two week mark we were picking up around the house and we threw away newspapers as it was a constant battle to get him to get rid of them until that battle I had to give up on and retreat. Everyone in this house and others knew not to touch his things. Those things like that made me angry to see because it was so small of a bother but, yet haunted me the same way as the bigger losses. Too, so many things hidden in those "don't touch" which were things that were right in front of me all along just covered up. I wanted to hold on to his VA medication bottles just so I could pick them up and rattle them. Funny how those things such as that, can send you into a crying jag. Between old magazines, newspapers dated 2011 and 2012, and miscellaneous papers; we found his permanent records from the military and his retirement papers. I don't have the strength to write that part all out and too, I have the last mission and fight to complete for him. There were mistakes so simple that led to gigantic catastrophic ends. This we found, was the key to so many nights of asking "Why? Why could you have not let me help?"  Amongst the devastation of loss and his spiraling out of control, we found dozens of credit cards that none of us knew he had, bills that showed up I have never seen before and the amounts were staggering and heart breaking as I knew then......he didn't want to hurt me again but, was panicking over trying to keep them all up and hidden. I finally got to see how bad his spiral was and that he felt like there was no way out. I was caught in between being angry, devastated at the deception but, also picking up broken pieces not knowing where or how to fit them back together. The Catalysts I shall write at a later date. The hidden secrets he kept away were enough to just leave me in a state of confusion I can't clear right now but, also answered every question that we had of why.

Mind you it was and, has been really rough and still is. Shock set in, security blankets we thought we had covered suddenly taken away; our entire world ripped from us leaving us cold. Enduring that evening with the police still haunts me every night, being strong for my kids, and just standing up on my own was becoming harder and harder. So in this frame of my mind, my heart riddled with holes so large a person could walk through; well, I was barely staying sane. If not for the focus on my kids, I don't know if I would have been able to do what I have. In between all the chaos and holding my head up with only my hands there were several things that happened that I can't explain like I feel my husband keeps waking me at 1:30 every morning and whispering "write". I can't hear him anymore but, in this blog I feel he is close to me. I can't explain it or know what to make it of but, he was on me to write more while sick but, I just stopped. He felt I was giving up. I would tell him I am not, I just needed a break. I just couldn't get him to understand that I needed the rest. Eight years of battling so many entities had left me strung out and weak. I was resting so I could write. So write shall I, as he would have laughed his ass off at me and said "Oh man! You have got to put that in the blog!". He would have gotten so tickled over these mishaps as it really shows our luck.
Drowning deep in legal and financial problems, buried alive by the deception that showed he was spiraling out of control and trying to make sense of things, I received a call from an Orthopedic office that he was being set up to be fitted for prosthetic boots that would lift his bad leg up from the wreck which had become worse. It was an outsourced office and he apparently missed his appointment in which they gave me the whole, down the road, ass chewing of  "you missed the appointment and now we have to put down him as a no show and this causes other patients to fall behind which is why we ask for a 24-48 hour advance cancellation notice." I started to cry and nicely explained that he had passed away and, that I was the one to blame as I forgot to cancel but, that we had yet to pick up his ashes as my husband was not done yet. I must have told her I was sorry several times and she finally and rudely said "I will remove him off the appointment list and thank you" followed by a click. Relatively simple right? I, for once in eight years, forgot an appointment.  Even with her pissy tone of voice, I felt I did the best I could do. I was slightly miffed that "he passed away" didn't seem to matter to her because I guess that didn't make up for that 30 minute look-see they were doing that day. I chided myself for not calling and thinking "Oh man he's going to be pissed as he has never had a no show". I cried because I had forgotten. How could I have done that?

About three weeks into more bad news, more let downs, more bills, and "Holy Hell where in the world did he get this?" and a long wait period for anything/everything; I got the oddest call. Here's how that went.
I got a voice mail message that said "Hi there! This is Donna and I was calling to check with you on some things. It is very urgent that you me call back and let us put the information in the computer." Now first, you have to understand I had been talking with a lot of people and most of those, I don't remember talking to. I had been trying not to answer my friends as during that time I felt so much to blame that I was punishing myself. You also must know this is one of those people who have that sing song type voice and probably the type, who craps rainbows and glitter while gently humming songs about peace and such. Instead of being like Children of the Corn creepy she was like Children of "what the hell is she taking because I need some". I would compare her in ranking to Mary Poppins on crack.  I don't particularly trust those kinds of people. Their high falsetto, sing song voice ranks right up there in my category of my fear of clowns if I had to rank them somewhere. So I decided not to make any more "no show appointments" or miss something I needed to do, so I called her back. She was so cheery that it made my teeth clinch and I sort of really expected her to start singing "I love you, you love me" blah blah blah. (I truly have a hate relationship with Barney)
"GooOOd Morning! This is DonnnnnnnAAAA!"
"Yes Donna, I am returning your call and gave her my last name". She said "Hmmmm honey, well let's hang on just a sec and let me pull the file. We were just checking with your husband about "Tiger Lily" the Llama and see how she was doing!"
What the Hell.......
Now while she is putting me on hold.......
I am literally starting to build up volcanic rumbling and getting ready to blow but, then she comes back and says "Oh myyyyyy, I just can't find it!". Even in her failure to find the file, her voice almost sounded like she was just going to ask me if I wanted some sweet lemonade or mint juleps on the front porch.
And so I begin my frothing at the mouth, head spinning like a top and yelled in to the phone "What do you mean Tiger Lily the Llama? He bought a FREAKING Llama! What the hell do we need a Llama for? What the hell am I supposed to do with a Llama? Why in God's name would he name a Llama Tiger Lily???
He hated camels! Aren't they close in family? He BOUGHT a DAMN Llama? What more could he have done and how the hell am I supposed to take care of a Llama? I don't even have a place to put a damn Llama! Is there a return policy? I can deal with tools and more things like that but, a ^%$#&*@ LLama? He bought a Llama?"

So my screeching, high pitched hysterics, my rambling on about where the hell I was going to put a Llama in the back yard ended up making this poor woman start to cry. By the time she even got to sputter out a word I began to sob. So now, Mary Poppins on crack is officially sobbing, I am sobbing and rambling and she is frantically searching for "Tiger Lily's" file. As I was doing the ugly cry and blowing my nose, she says "Ma'am? I believe I may have the wrong number." "WHAAAT!!!" I screeched out and said "what number did you dial?". Turned out she had made one number wrong on our phone number and got me. I was so angry, upset and couldn't even think of anything so I said "You are OFF ONE NUMBER! A Little to the left Donna! One freaking number to the left!" She kept apologizing but, I was in the middle of fighting off a panic attack. We said our goodbyes but, I honestly could not tell you dear readers, if I really said goodbye or was it just a click of my hanging my phone up? Now, most of you could probably relate to the compulsiveness of our Veterans and how sometimes weird things show up which you are scratching your head at and saying "why would he need that?" I am sure if you have had to carefully monitor spending and compulsive buying spirals, then you can understand that it was plausible enough for me to willingly accept that he indeed, was a Llama owner. After all, we've seen some pretty weird things pop up here recently so it wasn't something I would have rationally said "He bought a Llama named freaking Tiger Lily".
So just in case you missed it, there is no Tiger Lily and, he had his first "no show" all while he was was in that great fishing hole in the heavens.
Then a week or more passed by (hey cut me some slack because I don't even know what day it is). The phone rang and guess who was on the other end??? The same woman from the Orthopedic place or their appointment lady. Yup. Again.  This time she gets on the phone and addresses me as "Widow _____?" Taken aback at such an address to call someone by, "I said this is MRS. ______. Can I help you?" She stated very abruptly "Ma'am, I know we spoke a week or so about the no show on your husband's account but, I am calling to confirm that the next four appointments schedule for him need to be confirmed or cancelled." I know, you are shaking your head right now, aren't you?
Now I will admit at this point, it was a really bad day. One of those days where you can't stop crying and all feels lost. Yeah, that kind of day. I didn't really fully understand what the woman was asking so I said nicely "Can you please state that again because I thought you said I would need to cancel his future appts." She said "Yes Ma'am, we have to have confirmed cancellations or we'll have to mark on his record that he is a no show". OK, so I really hope to God that this is not where our society is leading to because if it is? We all need to head back to the caves, with wooden sticks and try to learn how to be what mankind needs to be. I honestly was knocking my head against my table while feeling the oncoming of an eye twitch, while I was on the phone with her. I then said "I do remember talking to you. I also recall that you were pretty nasty to me on the phone and listed my husband as a no show due to his death. So I'll tell you again. He is dead, deceased, gone but, I would be MOOOOORE than happy to go get his ashes, roll our asses right on down there. You can try sticking that boot on him and while you are at it? Put the rest of him back together because I'd really love to have him back right now".
She was very quiet except for the hiccuping of oncoming tears and I hated to make someone cry but Jeez....what more says "We have to cancel his first appointment due to his death"? One would assume that would pretty much take care of any future appointments but, she stated that her supervisor wanted verbal confirmation so I had to state again "My husband will need to have any and all appointments cancelled due to his untimely death and his inability to made such appointments due to that fact". She said thank you and that she would not be calling again all while sniffling and snorting. I was by then, on the opposite end of having a stroke and an oncoming nosebleed due to the stupidity of some office's protocols when it comes to appointments and death. Believe it or not? This wasn't the VA.
How was I to know there would be another phone call shortly after to confirm that nosebleed and double eye twitches?
 That's right folks. Sugary sweet, sing song, hyped up on crack, Donna called AGAIN.
"HellllllloooOOooo!! This is DonnnnnAAA and I am just callLLLLLLing to check on Tiger Lily the Llama again."  Readers, I was so stunned that I had to take a moment of silence not to lash out on her which after the other call....didn't work. I quickly asked God for the patience, which he was busy so I asked for forgiveness rather than permission as my husband would say. I even remembered my best friend telling me that "What you put out in to the universe is what will come back to you". I must have been trying to conjure up my inner Grasshopper of the Universe because all I heard was "Ma'aaam???? Are you there? HelllLLLLOOOooo". So I snapped back into my semi-state of suspended universe and responded "Donna. Donna? A LITTLE TO THE LEFT HONEY! A LITTLE TO THE LEFT! You HAVE the WRONG number again!!! This is NOT "Tiger Lily's" home or owner!!" Yeah, I yelled. I started to melt down and yes, she started to cry and apologized again and hung up.
I must have bawled for an hour which is exactly what I needed to do. That inner cleanser of all the things I was angry, frustrated, pissed and hurt over. I also fell to pieces because I have never been that rude or hateful to anyone on the phone. My husband? I could imagine sitting here saying "I have taught you well. There's that sarcasm that puts spice into our marriage". He was the "Yoda" of teaching me how to nicely call someone an a@@hole without them knowing it. Also, I was aware that if only my husband could have seen the looks on my face, heard those calls.....he would have been laughing his ass off. He'd have his sheepish grin and would have been so tickled over "Tiger Lily" and then, knowing him, would tell me how awesome would it be to own a Llama. No matter how we have discussed this with my friends and even though there were tears from sorrow but, there was also laughter. It filled the house in the very small crevices that reeked of loneliness. For that short time.....he was right here with me and laughing along. My middle son reminded me during the past four days I have tinkered around on this laptop and post, that daddy had planted me two lily's two years ago; opposite of each other while he made my bed of roses that lay in the center. One of those is a striped lily that is called a Tiger Lily.

His comment left me reeling as I realized he was right. He told me he planted a tiger in the flower bed that represented my strength and on the other end, a bright pink one that showed my soul which sparkled with it's sheer colors. 
It's those little things that are unexplained or pop up you can't explain. I whispered in the dark "well played Yoda, well played". Even though he is gone, and while I am falling in every step I take.......this was my husband. There were so many dark days but hell, I even miss that. All the times we argued over something he had done, I wish all those dark days back because he was here. I would even admit right now? I want "Tiger Lily" just as a reminder that he had such a beautiful, thoughtful soul, he just couldn't find it but, we all could see how brightly it shined. PTSD and TBI are a hell of hand to hold while playing the games of the fight of your life. Shuffling just to save them, turn them around and show them in the mirror that they are still here and what we see in our Veterans that they don't. Shuffling once more only to fold a few times and get handed a raw hand. So if you learned nothing from this, just take to heart that even those dark days where you want to hide, scream and give up?
Don't. Hold on as tight as you can. Keep playing with the cards you are dealt and though they may get shuffled a few times, you still have some there with you. Don't let those dark times cover up the beauty that is so often missed in our warriors that came home with an unfinished war. Start piling those good memories and see how quickly they add up. Sometimes you miss the things that are right in front of you because ugliness is the only thing they can find safety behind.

I Would Have Sucked Being a Llama Owner But Thanks For The Laughter Daddy,