Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Little Things

I made it through the storm unscathed. Though, I have to say, the mental anguish of just waiting... waiting... waiting... got to be a bit much. We get SO much advanced info these days I felt like all I did all weekend was wait for the storm to arrive. And then when it did, on Monday, I was very lucky to have no impact.

That's not storm damage. That's actually how it looked pre-storm.
And is apparently "standing" enough for the landlords
I certainly wouldn't trade that for downed trees or power outages, but still, it's quite emotionally draining, even without impact. Oh, and I did want the crappy, rotten old fence in my backyard to come crashing down so it could be replaced, but nope. It's still (sorta) standing.

Anyway, I've been obsessively watching and reading the news over the past few days. I couldn't turn off the local news before the storm hit, and then once it passed us I switched over to MSNBC for the national news. While New York and New Jersey have been captivating, what I've been searching for online is news and photos from the Delaware beaches. It looks like they were spared the worst of it, and only had moderate flooding. Between Bethany and Dewey the dunes were compromised, but in Bethany, the dunes held the Ocean back.

I read that and started crying.

My parents have a house a few miles inland from Bethany. They bought it before the dunes were put in and during the project, and ever since the project, my dad would complain endlessly about those dunes and how they blocked the view of the ocean from the boardwalk. There were signs up all around town, showing what things looked like after a storm in '62 and the kind of flooding that the dunes were being put in to prevent. My dad's comment - well, if it only happens once every 50 or so years then why do we need them. I'd roll my eyes and tell him that he knew it was unpredictable and that the dunes were a necessarily evil. Saving lives and property trumped an ocean view as he strolled the boardwalk.

So when I read that the dunes did their job and kept the ocean out of downtown Bethany my first thought was "Ha!" And my second was "he missed it."

It's those little things that are so hard to deal with. Those conversations that wouldn't have any significance to anyone else. Those little things that just make this so real. And break my heart again and again.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

No Words

It's been radio silence around here for over a month now.

I've got a lot of words and thoughts and emotions swimming around in my head, but I haven't been able to get them out. I liked opening my blog and seeing Wiggles happy little face. I didn't want to follow that up with sadness. But I can't not write about it.

My father passed away at the end of September.

Every time I'd sit down to write this post the tears start pouring down my cheeks and my brain would just shut down.

I'd have no words.

Just emotion.

But really, there are a lot of words I should be trying to get out.

People keep asking if I want to talk, and I'm not sure what they want me to say. I know it's sincere, and they want to be helpful but all I can envision is the incredibly awkward attempt at a conversation with a co-worker, or cousin I see once or twice a year, or childhood neighbor who I haven't seen in decades. The conversation where I start snot sobbing and they tell me what? It will get better? Just give it time?

Or even worse, the conversation that I think is completely benign and then all of the sudden, the person comes out with "I'm sorry to hear about your dad. I know he was so proud of you."


That word is my kryptonite. I can handle a lot of other comments, but as soon as someone tells me how proud he was I fall a part. (Side note: it's good I can type without looking at the keys because just typing the word proud has my eyes filled with tears again.)

I don't want to be writing about this. I don't want this to be my reality. But I also don't know that I can write abut anything else right now. For the first few weeks I was strictly a consumer of the internet, avoiding posting anything anywhere because I just didn't know what to say.

I never shared on FB anything about my dad's illness or his death. Part of me wishes I had, so more acquaintances and casual friends would know and I could avoid awkward conversations down the road. But much more of me couldn't deal with the thought of every time I opened Facebook, or got a notification on my phone it would bring on the tears. The sympathy cards that come in the mail are bad enough at triggering the water works, but at least I control when I see them. I make sure I open them when I'm alone in my room, with the box of tissues near by. But Facebook comments follow you around. I use it at work, on my phone, at home... it's unavoidable in my life and I needed to be able to avoid.

Wow. This is so stream of conscious and all over the place. I kept thinking this post would be eloquent. The eulogy I wanted to write but knew I had no hope of actually being able to deliver coherently. I guess I'll get there.


And I'll write about other things too. It doesn't have to be all or nothing around here. I know that. I do. I just have to let myself act on it.