Back to the modern day for the moment

As I write this my mother is at home after an almost week stay in the hospital. She had an episode right in front of me where she “passed out”. As far as I’m concerned she was still conscious, however, as she tried to get into her car for her regular appointment I noticed that her head wasn’t steady and then she fell. Had a gash on her head for her trouble which was stapled by the E.R. and spend one night in the hospital.

Fast forward to when she returned to the E.R. to get the staples out and a few days after that she gets a call from the hospital. They gave her a heart monitor due to her episodes with “passing out”. They found something that likely occurred while she was asleep and told her to come to the E.R. as soon as possible and that turned into seven days. Seven days I was home alone taking the car to work as I had been for a while a lot of my schedule lately were early mornings. Most of the days she had been away I was working and my next off day was when I could take her home from the hospital.

Aside from talking about work or even my “situationship” what have I often discussed – financial independence. This episode causes me to further work to get my affairs in order and who knows when the inevitable will happen. I want her to see me get my affairs in order before she goes. Sadly dad isn’t here to see how my life turned out and while my mother was in the hospital she noted his recent birthday.

This is one reason why I have been saving the money I have been. I was asking questions about paying property taxes here in Chicago they’re due twice a year and the county won’t allow you to pay in advance. In fact my mother was upset that she just let the deadline to pay the property taxes slip by and I was able to share a link to paying those bills online so she got them done. At least the house is paid for and my mother isn’t prone to putting a home equity loan just to have some extra cash thankfully.

Right now the house isn’t so lonely, however, I need to stop being so hesitant or cautious as far as moving forward with my life. I think I’ve stuck around at home long enough. I can still help her when I can and she does have another son who lives with his own family halfway across America who has the “perfect life”.

I’m just sorry that these ongoing health issues and even the loss of her job at a neighborhood bank earlier that year had somewhat derailed the plans that I started to lay once I left The Show. It’s not her fault it’s just the situation and of course I’ve ran into some other setbacks as well in addition to the more pressing setbacks.

Perhaps I’m coming off as selfish but I recognize how I hadn’t really progressed the way I would’ve liked to. Perhaps I should’ve been in my own place or certainly have been able to secure a much better job by now. The issue now is to just get started.

Also I dreamed about my dad one night. Probably as a result of a convo I had with my mother the night before. Over the summer an uncle – one of my dad’s brothers – had passed away. I saw an unrecognizable name amongst the brothers and sisters and she talked about how dad actually talked to this then unknown to me half-brother and also got a cousin from his mother’s side of his family tree to come to our home to visit. One good thing about dad was that he was willing to talk with his mother’s side of the family.

In any case the dream was that my dad was driving mom’s current car. Part of me wanted to ask him how was it driving the car. One weird thing about my dad is that he really didn’t want my mom to own a car, he wanted to be the only one with a vehicle. Anyway to even think of asking a question is just recognizing that he had been away for a while. I seem to have a tendency to dream about him as if the events of over 20 years ago never happened.

Another strange thing about these dreams is that with him around I’m still at home. On the ride with my dad I was sitting in the back seat with mom riding shotgun. I have been convinced that if he was still around more than likely I wouldn’t still be at home. Perhaps I’d be in the military as it’s very likely he’d have been an influence in that decision.

Regardless I was in teenager mode in the dream which was certainly the last time he had seen me when he was living. Sometimes I like having those types of dreams.

Dad

Usually I would write about my dad during the month of October and for some reason I never did. The story isn’t likely to change.

My dad was for most of the time I knew him an alcoholic who had serious high blood pressure issues, with a bad temper, and he ballooned in weight during the time I knew him. My dad just couldn’t stop drinking and unfortunately during my high school years he had a severe stroke that claimed his life. Primarily he just proved unwilling and on his own unable to really fight his demons.

My mother and I got to talking about him recently. She told her usual stories of how she knows he’d be drinking later. For example, he’d get really quiet and another thing he didn’t want to eat anything if he was in the mood to drink. Then she’d tell me about the crazy statements he’d like to make.

For example, on his high blood pressure medication “I don’t want to be taking medication the rest of my life”. When she found out that he took a drink after several months of attempting to go cold turkey “You don’t tell me what to do”. Both of those statements have me wondering if it was the man himself talking or was it the addiction?

I knew that my dad even when sober could be stubborn. Perhaps it was the man, but then I also realize he had a drinking problem and thus it could be his addiction talking. I’m somewhat glad that I could never truly understand addiction to understand the choices that he had made during the course of his life. I can only speculate and had on this blog why he turned to the bottle.

In light of his comment with regards to taking medication the rest of his life I thought about how would Hollywood portray this. I often imagine a man with a Rx bottle in one hand and the booze in the other. He’s looking at both unsure of what choice he’s going to make and is literally shaking at the choices. He knows he needs to take his medication, however, he wants alcohol yet he knows he can’t do both. This is the ultimate internal conflict.

In real life I know what choice he made and even to this day, there are still a few Rx bottles in our medicine cabinet for him. The medicine he failed to finish due to his alcoholism. A direct example of what happens when an addiction takes hold of someone and it costs them their life.

I learned more about my father’s family history in discussing this. My grandfather – he died before I was born – stayed away from alcohol because of his dad. And my dad took up his late grandfather’s bad habit (and of course I only speculate that it might’ve had something to do with his parents splitting when he was young).

Either way if my dad had really made a devoted effort to stop drinking or prove his determination to do so who knows what the future could’ve held. Perhaps he’d be sitting around retired especially if he had a pension coming from his time with the school district. Perhaps he would never have gained the weight he had. Perhaps my own life would be significantly different today.

Unfortunately these are things we’ll just never know today…

life cycle

well this post was prompted by news that my first cousin – mandy – wasn’t doing very well. she was waiting for a kidney transplant – she’s had kidney failure for years and always resisted getting a transplant – and she had a serious cardiac arrest while going for a treatment. then i heard over the course of a week she remained on life support.

now i feel quite sh*tty, i don’t really remember the last time i saw her it has been a few years. we weren’t close, however, i knew mandy mostly while she remained with her mother. her mother whom i discussed briefly here has a bit of a controlling streak which as my cuz got older wanted to get away from.

she would try at least in the years she had been apart from her mother – they weren’t estranged as i knew it, but she wanted to go – to be touchy feely with me. unfortunately i’m rarely cooperative with that. me and her had no real issues though i knew that she could have a very bad temper which could come out unpredictably.

all the same i couldn’t describe our relationship as warm. alas she had a health condition that for many years i may have erroneously blamed on her own mother because she wasn’t the relaxing type. i could say she had the same tendencies as anthony who on occasion came in at the right time, but sometimes will just go rogue  and can never predict what they’ll do next.

which brings to mind, while writing this post i evoked the memory of my dad. my cousin had some serious kidney issues that required dialysis. my dad on the other hand just couldn’t quite settle his alcoholism and even worse had severe high blood pressure he needed to treat. unfortunately my dad chose alcohol instead of really treating his high blood pressure. the comparison is that my dad could’ve controlled his condition on the other hand my cousin had controlled her condition and lasted quite a while.

unfortunately after a week on life support mandy passed away. so as far as i know she’s the first cousin of my generation from my mother’s side to die. quite a blow i’ll say. it’s hard to believe that after living with her condition for no more than two decades and on her way to a kidney transplant she’s gone.

i won’t write anymore about the potential drama that could involve my aunt. as for the brief write-up about her a few years ago, she was involved with drama then. this time imagine the drama when her only child dies before she does. very sad…

btw, i wanted to really talk about the life cycle. the life cycle is really something. now i don’t remember what else i would’ve written after that. i just know that i’d have talked about some of the deaths in my relatively large family. regardless i wish you all good health for as long as we have it.

happy father’s day

you know on this day i have to mark this year as 20 years since my dad passed away. actually he had passed away in march of 1997 as a result of a stroke. severe high blood pressure took him out of this existence.

the last night he left home no one had any idea he wasn’t coming back. he worked the night shift for the public schools and it was surely a lonely job. hell i spent the night with him at work once. doing rounds in an often big empty building is surely very lonely.

at the same time he chose the job, not much different than how i chose some of my jobs. they hired you and nothing much going on so go ahead and take it so that money can be earned. however on this fateful night it turned out to be a bad thing.

why is because he’s working in a big building and was found on the floor. probably was making his rounds and collapsed, whenever that incident happened there was no one around to help him. whoever came to the school in the morning had to find him.

now this may have nothing to do with my virginity however i had a basic understanding of relationships thanks to my parents. my dad as described was often an angry man and at times took it out on his family. sometimes he wasn’t drunk when he did it.

so either way he didn’t really get along that well with my mother – yet she wouldn’t leave him fearing he couldn’t handle that. my dad ballooned in weight the years i knew him in part due to his alcoholism and appetite. if anything my dad was unappealing increasingly to my mother. something even he noted himself in a drunken rage one night.

unfortunately he seemed unwilling to really deal with it. attempting to quit drinking cold turkey didn’t seem to work for him. he already had issues with high blood pressure and had a ­­­Rx for it. sadly i’m of the understanding that if it was a choice between medicine and alcohol he’d often choose alcohol.

the appetite part came in this way. for example my mother noted that when they were out driving my mother suggested they stop somewhere to eat. my dad might  stop to eat but barely touch his food or he’d just say he’s not hungry. either way later on he gets his nip….

this was a man who needed help and wasn’t seeking it. if nothing else he had the benefits for it or perhaps the connections but i know nothing about whether or not he sought help for his addiction and his emotional issues. all i know today is that he never got the help he needed and he’s no longer with us.

to be honest i wanted to write this post since march which is the month he passed. never found the time or inclination. so apologies if this is just simply a downer father’s day post for you all.

money

issue-header-social-securitywith this post i’m setting up for a series of past stories. as happens on this blog while i talk about my life and times as an older virgin still trying to figure out how to connect with available women – so that one day i may marry and have a family – i still discuss other subjects. what this means is yes i have to talk about the extreme past such as a teenaged jack v or a twentish jack v.

today i’ll talk about teenaged jack v who lost his father before he left high school. i’ve already told the story of my dad, he had been an alcoholic for most of the time i knew him and his health problems mounted to where he had a stroke. he suffered through high blood pressure and a vessel busted in his brain. it wasn’t long before he passed away.

not long after his death my mother signed up for social security benefits. we got survivor’s benefits in my case the benefits only lasted until at least the summer after i graduated high school. i got plenty of cash every month and by the end of that summer my new savings account had a little over $5k.

of course it could’ve been more but my mother took some of those funds probably because i hadn’t yet turned 18. the month after my birthday i got a huge $1k check and my mother had me sign up for a savings account. when i got a check from uncle same i would deposit in into my account every month.

the only mistake i made back then was that i never added to this money. i never worked before i entered my 20s so as i continued to withdraw funds the resources were depleting. interestingly i made more in interest then than i do now. i have more savings now than i had back then, but the interest earnings is nowhere near $20 as it had been at one point back then.

sometimes the money was spent for my time in community college. of course i still had to eat and then get around the city back then. then i spent it on other things. by the time i finally moved on beyond chicago and my local community college, it was time to transfer to the liberal arts college. when i moved on i was starting to run out of that money.

when i start this new series the consequences of that will be seen.

father’s day

fathers-day

often at work – whether at “the show” in the past or at the store – i would get subjected to happy father’s day. remember i’m a “mid-30s virgin” which means i’ve never sired any children. wishing me a happy father’s day is a bit of a mis-nomer.

with that being said i had a father – who i have written about here – who passed away years ago. his death unfortunately was due to his alcoholism and his unwillingness or perhaps inability to beat his addiction. the alcohol damaged his body in more ways than one.

i have many pictures of him at home. a picture of him as a young man. a picture of him during the 1970s. and pictures of him during most of the time i knew him. he was a skinny young man and gradually became an overweight to obese middle aged man.

i wrote of his emotional issues. he had been an angry man for most of the time i knew him. he could be ok but something would happen and he’s often in a bad mood. sometimes having a nip of seagram’s gin would make it much worse.

at work today i’ve told some people after being asked about father’s day plans that my dad’s dead so no activities other than not drinking – which isn’t that unusual anyway. the thing i did to mark this day was show a picture of myself and my dad during different times on my fb page.

as much as i do look forward to one day being a daddy i realize that if i have the issues my dad had this may not be the best thing for me. i’ve learned one lesson from my day to avoid alcohol. i’m still trying to learn more lessons from him…

life

found out recently that my aunt passed away. her mind was gone when she went so thus i heard she wasn’t really about to eat. her body and her brain just didn’t allow her to eat or swallow so as a result she faded away until her ultimate demise.

i probably will not go to her funeral. i don’t like funerals it reminds me of the inevitable as much as i want to believe in life after death. death is not something i want to think about.

she lived a long life she was a bus driver for many years, had five children, and was there for us when her brother my father passed away. his demise was early due to the many choices he made in his life – ie alcoholism. my aunt’s demise was caused by her body, was there much she can do about her body taking her mind away from her.

incidentally there is another funeral in the family an in-law passed away. no one not even my mother can say for sure, however, it seems he had been sick for a while. at that he seemed like a big guy the one time i actually recall seeing him.

in fact, this in-law was actually divorced from yet another aunt on my father’s side. so unlike some of the in-laws on both sides i grew to know over the years i have little clue about him. so most of my opinions aren’t entirely favorable or to be fair i really don’t have much of an idea about him as a man.

so i have a few sad days coming up.

Why I abstain from alcohol

f2e32-keep-calm-and-abstainA post from another blog talked about their father. In my case, one reason for abstaining from alcohol was my father. As far as dating and women my dad wasn’t very reliable and that may somewhat explain my lack of success with women so far. Most guys learn this from the men in their lives, but I hadn’t had any reliable role models and apparently was not entirely willing to learn on my own.

My dad was an alcoholic and couldn’t stop. There were times he’d stop cold turkey, but there would be a setback and the next thing me and my folks know he’s right back to his regular drinking. Who knows what happened as far as a set back, perhaps something came forward in his psyche.

I’ve also learned over the years that my dad was intensely jealous. In fact one time Natalie came by with her soon to be husband and my dad intoxicated fell into some odd jealous rage saying my mother liked younger men. Hey dad, my mother just played host to her niece and her then boyfriend….

Unfortunately the alcohol claimed his life. My dad ballooned in weight over the years due to his appetite which really grew when he drinks. On top of that he began to develop serious high blood pressure which resulted in a stroke that left him on a respirator for three days and he never recovered before we pulled the plug on him.

I learned at the time of his death that high blood pressure runs in the family his mother died in her 40s as my dad had. Not sure if she also had a drinking problem but her early demise surely had an impact on him.

Probably one reason my dad ultimately had his issues with my mother and alcoholism was that his parents split when he was a boy. That’s likely why he often feared my mother would up and leave him. He’d have this intense and irrational anger about whatever she did or in the story I just told about who she hosted at home.

Another thing I consider as far as my parent’s relationship. They were grossly incompatible as time went on. My mother had goals for her life as she went to night school to earn her degree from a local university. My dad often struggled to even complete a GED something he never accomplished before his early demise.

I just realized that he had completed a certification in auto mechanics. It was something he never seemed to use unfortunately, but he did complete something. Unfortunately he never finished the one thing he failed to have done when he was younger – his high school diploma.

My dad had overtime expressed keen interest in returning to his southern hometown. My mother however had decided she’d grown beyond those roots and had little desire to do so.

They began as high school sweethearts and married young. Probably stories of a lot of married or divorced people. Most of those relationships work out and most don’t. However, my gut feeling was that with my parents their relationship didn’t work as there was such a big gulf between personalities.

Another thing to consider is that my mother decided to counteract my dad’s anger and argumentative streak by shutting down. I mean how can you argue with yourself? She had a much calmer demeanor than he did and she would say it helped her out more than it did him.

He needed help for his emotional and addiction issues and sadly it was something that wasn’t meant to be. If he had been more willing to seek help and ultimately quit drinking I’d like to think he’d be a senior citizen and wondering why I haven’t found her yet. and even then perhaps I’d be further along in my life than I have been so far.

Besides sometimes I wonder if he had been still around I’d have done some of the things I had wanted to do before he passed away suddenly.