630: Last regards

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Perhaps caring about others is the problem.

Taking care of me is often quite enough to be concerned with, and can at times be more than I can cope with, so….seeking the solo existence as I age into nothingness (exaltedness?) could be the correct path to choose.

It wasn’t my life’s goal to have a full church for my funeral. I’d rather skip the funeral altogether, thanks.  Hubs is donating his remains to science. After they harvest whatever useful bits of me that may remain, the un-useful bits that remain can be tidily disposed of, no fuss, no muss. AOK with me.

I have been present when others have spoken of their family and friends who have ‘gone on before,’ and been astounded at what paltry bits they remember about those people. And what untold grandeur they don’t. Frankly, if my entire existence on this planet can be summed up in a sentence or two from the people who should have mattered most to me – well, just never mind.

I was during this lifetime, like all those other people, working on doing the best that I  could do, for me certainly, but also for all those others for whom I was responsible or felt responsible towards (regardless of their views on the matter). I know I didn’t do that perfectly – nobody does. But I did it well or badly at the expense of all those other endeavors I could have been about.

If I had not cared about others, my exit from this world (and probably my entire journey through it), could be much less significant, and could have been a great deal more. Responsibility for others takes up a great deal of time, energy/effort, and resources that probably could/should have been better spent on other endeavors. But no, I did what I felt was the responsible thing.

I only wish I could be more satisfied with that use of my life. Having done it, it can’t be taken back and re-done. And those I did it for attach their own value to what I did for them, on their behalf. Our views on those years are not seen from the same promontory, and certainly aren’t seen with the same cognizance of the cost.

So, when it is my time to depart this mortal coil, let it pass with no fanfare, and no further regard. If it wasn’t worth attending to during the living hours, it certainly isn’t worth attending to once those are over.

Namaste.

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617: If you don’t know me by now

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That song by Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes is running through my head like a funeral dirge. In a way, it is a funeral dirge. The song says to the other lover, “You have grossly and fundamentally misunderstood me yet again, after all this time, and all my examples to the contrary.”

That song is a funeral dirge – a sad song sung at the death of something valued. The thing that died is trust and understanding.

I feel sad, because it is quite normal to feel sad when something that was valued dies. It is even more tragic when it died because it was murdered, with a deliberate choice to believe something of me……that is not me, by inclination or by example.

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After this happens, I have to choose. I have to choose between forgiving/understanding/explaining one more time, and resurrecting what died (and it feels like an un-dead zombie for quite a while after it is resurrected), or accepting that your judgment of me really is the way you think of me fundamentally down deep inside yourself, and let it remain dead, have the funeral, sing the song, and MOVE ON.

Yes, the hardest choice you will ever make is whether to stick with it and give it one MORE try, or whether to finally accept that this thing is dead, was so flawed at the foundation to start with that it cannot be reanimated into an awkward un-dead, but still mostly dead, rotting, worm and decay infested zombie, slowly and painfully warming up to resemble real life.

So, do  I turn the page and keep reading this stinker of a novel, or close the book, and decide whether to choose another, different book, or just swear off reading forever? I have been known to continue reading a stinker to the bitter end, and I have also closed a stinker and found another book. Not sure which choice was the better one – and I am darn sure that I am not looking forward to having to make either choice yet again.

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Time to choose, because not choosing is still a choice.

224: Causing Someone’s Death

Some mistakes cannot be fixed. That is one reason why most real grownups try very hard not to make them. Some mistakes are permanent. I made one of those. On the last day of school in 2004, I made what was supposed to be a normal journey: our morning commute to school with my daughter, and my husband’s son and daughter. We made it to the end of the road, where our small residential road joins the highway. There, I pulled out into the road in front of a black pickup truck.

I only know this from what others have told me, and what I have managed to figure out after the fact. The last thing I remember is opening the car’s door to look and see if there was any traffic coming. I did this because the window would not roll down, we had not yet had it fixed, and there was condensation on the glass. So I opened the door to be sure before I pulled out into the road. I never saw the truck. I tried.

The truck hit us in classic “t-bone” style, on the driver’s side, which explains why there is a big blank spot in my memory of the event. I was knocked OUT. My daughter said my eyes were open, but she said, “Mama, you were not there.” She called my husband, who was still at home, and he was the first to arrive; even before the paramedics or the police…or the life flight helicopters they called for us. My daughter, in the front passenger seat, was not injured other than a bump on the head – apparently my head and hers collided. My husband’s son, on the passenger side in the back seat, was very mildly injured, but was treated and released. I had a broken collarbone and some broken ribs, along with the big blank place in my memory. My husband’s nine-year-old daughter, who was sitting with her seatbelt on (all of us had them on) directly behind me, got the brunt of the blunt force trauma. That’s what they listed on her death certificate as her cause of death. They tried. The surgeries she underwent at Emory in Atlanta, where the life flight helicopter landed at the state’s finest trauma center, totaled a quarter of a million dollars in cost, and would have been worth every penny (and more) had they managed to save her. They could not.

I won’t go into the horrible details of her funeral home family visit, where her mother’s family (my husband’s ex) blamed me publicly for her death, as if I had intended that she perish, and had set out that morning to accomplish that feat; or the horrors of her funeral service, where they again did the same thing in front of my church family, even though I personally had paid for the entire service and all the other arrangements because they were all too generationally poverty-stricken to be able to afford to bury her.

That is something I will live with forever. I caused her death, even though I did not mean to do so. I pulled out in front of that truck, even though I looked, and did not see it. Even though I had no intentions of harming anyone, I am responsible. I was driving. No one can take that away, and it cannot be fixed.