Monday, August 25, 2008

Will This Cursed Month Never End?

As you're probably already aware, other than the first nine days, August has not turned out to be a great month for me. It's not the first time, either. In August of 1998, my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer; three of my brothers were in a plane crash that killed two of them, as well as the fiancée of the third. And then Thomas almost died after his lungs collapsed.

Fast-forward 10 years: Argus died, followed by my mother less than a week later. The timing forced my brother to fly on the 10th anniversary of the crash. My mother was buried on what would have been her 47th wedding anniversary. And I got to spend excessive amounts of time with family members I don't ever see anymore. In some cases, these are people I don't want to see anymore.

But I did get to spend time with my brother and sister and their families--always fun—and before we came home from Virginia, we were able to spend a really lovely day with Thomas' parents. Other than a higher than normal level of stress, I thought I was doing ok. But the stress level is not really abating and it certainly didn't help that one of our neighbors called code enforcement on the chickens. That's right: at lunch time yesterday, the nice man from code enforcement came by because one of our neighbors called to say that we had roosters--not allowed in the city--rather than hens, which are.

And ridiculous though it may be, that seems to have been, if not the last straw that the camel could bear, then perilously close to it. My temper is razor thin. Last night I was having trouble drawing a full breath. I’m stress eating, and we’re not talking carrots. I can’t stay awake, but when I actually manage to stay asleep, it’s most definitely not restful. And now I have that sick and sinking feeling that generally precedes a need to go to bed and stay there for a month.

I’m certain that, at least in part, it’s the guilt I feel for not being more strongly affected by my mother’s death. Or because I didn’t recognize the person they were eulogizing; the woman that my older sister spoke of, her voice heavy with tears. Why I didn’t know that mother whose death caused my brothers to weep. And now I’m left wondering if that person truly existed and, if so, why I didn’t make a stronger effort to get to know her.

The stress, irritability and depression are familiar demons and I’ll fight them, of course. I always do, though when so much seems to come at once, it’s oh, so much harder.


Unknown said...

Just four more days. Hang in there, love.

NursePam said...

Sending you lots of love and healing thoughts. I lost my mom and stepdad in a plane crash over 20 years ago.

It was years before I made peace with her in my heart. Be kind to yourself.

Melanie K said...

thanks, NursePam. I read about the accident on your blog (from ages ago)and thought how odd that we both had that type of relationship with our mothers AND had lost family in a small-plane crash. I'm glad that you were able to make peace with her.

Anonymous said...

First of all, eff the neighbor who doesn't know the code.

Second, I agree with kind to yourself, doll.

My tiny little attempt to redeem August a is my birthday month! Does that count as something on the good side of the scale? :0)

Melanie K said...

@kris: it makes a huge difference. perhaps we need to have a cake . . . :) no, really