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.

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rough

probably should’ve written this before the new year but eh.

2017 was rough my mother lost her job after being out of action due to her health issues from the previous year. she was still at home recovering on medical leave when the company she worked for had been taken over by government regulators. and the worst part about this is that the insurance she had been dependent upon was cancelled by the new owners of her company.

then later i lost my job in a somewhat similar fashion. there was no takeover by regulators just a new boss whom i wasn’t feeling and the lates started racking up to the point where i found myself on an attendance probation and on an awful day where i ran late they let me go two days after that. i lost my job but i was getting the sense that the department was beginning to deteriorate though at this point i’m glad that i could return as some point in the future. just think i’m almost halfway there to returning.

also i didn’t go anywhere last year. the year before i took an amtrak train to a family reunion. another year i made an appearance at “mission college” for homecoming. a worthwhile quick jaunt. i said this year my goal is to find somewhere to go and likely without family around which will be determined by whether or not i can find a position.

near the end of last year i had several opportunities to go back to work and didn’t get any of them. two of them are with a national theater chain which i saw as short term until possible returning to “fresh foods”. one interview was awful the other probably marred by an indifferent interviewer whom i had some difficulty reading.

the beauty of 2018 is that there is no where else for me to go but up this year. like i said at the end of 2017, i think finding another job will be an easy goal to achieve. hopefully it won’t be drawn out as it had been before leaving “the show” in 2014. meanwhile, my mother has no job and while she’s healthier than she was in 2016, i still have to remember that she’s still a senior citizen.

in the meanwhile, i had begun to forget about the current era i have arrived in. while i was working i feel as if i can handle this newly christened “apocalypse era”. at this moment with a job, i have fight a little harder than ever.

odds & ends

lately my mother had another cook coming around the house of as late. her sister-in-law (my aunt) drops by every now and then to cook. she was already known as a cook. for the most part i stay in the other part of the house as her and my mother are in the kitchen.

with this said i learned something about my father’s side of the family. the reason i talk of my dad and his addiction issues is because the drama on that side of the family caused his issues. and my aunt – we’ll call her nadine – said she had the chance to come to grips with them when they brought their father up to chicago before i was born.

i never met my grandfather as he died before yours truly finally arrived on the scene – here’s some minor trivia my dad is a junior which makes his dad a senior. according to my mother, nadine said she had a talk with her dad and they hashed out some issues. alas not much was said about the convo, however, she came out feeling better whatever was said or whatever was accomplished.

my mother futher told me that my dad was having trouble with school because not only his mother left home when he was 8, she died relatively young – as my dad did years later. in fact nadine was scheduled to graduate on the day her mother passed away unexpectedly! so unfortunately the son could never really reconcile with his mother and i also heard he was about to move with her. because she died it wasn’t going to happen!

the cooking has been excellent, there’s no shortage of cornbread around these parts now. last week we had some salmon patties with potatoes. we’re not short of collard greens with turkey wings and ham hocks. another time we had a cornish hen which lasted us a few days. one time she brought a lemon meringue pie which i never touched because i for whatever reason don’t like pie.

another visitor lately has been one of my mother’s old coworkers from the bank. she also lost her job when the bank was shut down by the feds and sold to another company. she’s been coming over to help clean up the basement and the closets. for the most part i find somewhere to go when she’s here though last friday i stuck around. didn’t really help out unless asked although my mother and i could knock out some of the clean-up. besides i would like to clean up my closet in the future!

finally i have another interview. trying to get back into the movie theater business – not “the show” of course although things might have changed for the better by now who knows. either way my first interview was a bust but i hope to retool try it again and hope to be successful this time around. perhaps do the reverse of what i did the last time.

also i have a post that is locked and am still working on writing it. hopefully it will be fully available in the near future. just trying to tighten some things up with this story, which i will admit will be quite awkward. i’m thinking about doing this sometime after thanksgiving.

there are some other things worth sharing, however, i’ll just wait until next month to tell you this. somethings have changed for me recently, unfortunately it doesn’t involve a woman at the same time these still are some important changes. unexpected though i hope to bear through them at this current time.

meanwhile wish me luck on this interview this week!

rememberance

my dad’s birthday has just recently passed. it’s been 20 years since his untimely and unexpected passing. his addiction to alcohol for the many years i knew him took its toll on him.

as often stated on this blog, no one is sure what triggered his addiction. my suspicion is the fact that his parents split when he was young. this was something he never entirely got over even into his adulthood.

one thing to bear in mind with this is that my mother realized she wanted a car, thankfully she could afford one. my dad didn’t want her to have a car and had an attitude about it. perhaps he just didn’t believe my mother should be independent of him.

it occurs to me that perhaps he feared that my mother would get away from him if she had a car. that was unlikely but if you were insecure in the first place, your mind runs wild. if someone was going to leave you keeping them from having a car is the least of your worries. if a person is determined to leave they’ll find a way regardless.

as for me my dad had the idea that my brother wanted to bequeath one of his cars to me. for most of the time my brother lived with us his choice car was a honda. i remember his late 80s to early 90s honda civic colored burgundy. i may not have cared for his choice of a honda, but looking back it was an attractive car and if it was to be i’d have one. someone my dad didn’t like it and queried me on it.

all i could tell him wsa that i knew nothing about it and that was an answer he didn’t like. “DON’T YOU LIE TO ME!” he says, but the truth was i knew nothing about it and my dad didn’t believe it. my brother never said anything to me about it. perhaps my dad didn’t want me to be independent of him either!

i recognize that my dad had some severe issues which he proved unwilling to truly overcome. it’s a shame, because dealing with his addiction and ultimately the underlining causes could’ve saved his life.

no-go

going back to my stream of thoughts that began late last month allow me to give a timeline. during the month of july, there was a family reunion in georgia which came on the heels of my attempt to go away to school at "mission college". the liberal arts school that "mission" represents is in georgia.

that experience was cool but academically and financially it didn't do me a whole lot of good. had more freedom but little experience in dealing with it. even met a young lady – nicole – whom i wanted to meet again even if there was uncertainty if she actually did like me like that. though that story came to a very hostile end much later.

before going back home in a state of uncertainty about whether or not i'd be able to return i went to a family reunion meeting picked up by an aunt from campus. then was sent back to campus via cousin natalie and her husband who attempted to talk my head off the whole way back. then on to the reunion where i still had uncertainty about my eventual return.

not long after the reunion my mother went on a cruise so i was at home for a whole week as she sailed around the Caribbean with her sisters. even still have a t-shirt from that period of time. then eventually my mother came back and not long after that one quick question, "are you going to register for classes at the community college?" well my answer was negative basically and she mumbled under her breath that i needed to finish those last few credit. before saying very clearly "it's your life".

little did i know, this was a warning sign. she was setting her expectation without just coming out and saying that this is what she wanted. she already hinted at it before i left for "mission" i was a few credit shy of an associate's degree and had little interest essentially in attaining it. perhaps this was me being 21-22 years old and trying to have it my way.

then because i hadn't yet found a job right away she started sitting me down convinced that i needed help strategizing. she starts putting on the pressure, though sadly finding a job takes time. bottom line this would ultimately help me return to "mission" although it was decided at this point it wasn't going to happen that particular year.

one thing that came up during those "strategizing" sessions was i needed to have this sense of completion and finish the associate's degree. my inclination was to reject that to my mother's disappointment. and i came up with excuses to not go back and clearly this is something that was just on her mind no matter what i said. it really bothered her that i could get a degree just like that and i wouldn't do it! unfortunately trying to convince me didn't work.

when it came closer to registration it was less of a discussion than simply a command – "go and get registered". ultimately i did, however, it was only for just enough classes where i'd still be short of the degree. when it was time to pay for the classes i went to the college that afternoon just to wander because i hope that at the end of the deadline it would be too late to pay. so i came home and not long after arriving my mother shows up from work unannounced. she wants the phone number and when they close which i complied quickly, however, she expected more from me and in a huff told me that "i wasn't even trying". she went back to work to get those two classes paid for.

during my time at community college, she was never in a huge rush to pay for me classes. she was giving me everything and i offered very little in return, taking it for granted. however, i showed little enthusiasm and she wanted this more than anything.

sometimes i wonder if her family put a "bug" in her ear. two of her sisters called the house and outright asked me if i was getting my associate's, and for the most part i only offered a bullsh*t answer. put without proving it my first thought was she was telling them that i would return to finish my associate's and they decided to make it part of the conversation.

as my mother just made it clear i needed to finish the associate's degree she advertised this as a way to really help me find a job. she also used her future demise as an argument. and of course as my reticence to really have this as part of any job application – perhaps in light of my naive belief that an undergrad degree would solve everything it didn't – she merely suggested just leaving it off my resume which was a direct contradiction to this would help me find a job.

all the same at least i never had to answer for my response to this attempt at parental coercion. i was very tempted to tear up this degree in her face to show how i'm not proud of it at all. she probably wouldn't have been entirely moved by it as she got what she paid for. it was what she wanted and for my young mind that wasn't enough for me. thankfully this never happened.

to continue my stream of thoughts what happened when i returned to my community college in spite of myself. what was the difference between spending one term at "mission college" vs. starting my undergrad career and a community college.

masks

smiling-mask

natalie has been a feature of this blog off & on since roughly the beginning. natalie is my first cousin whose first post was regarding nicole – a young lady I met at “mission college” who attended the all-girls “hillman” – though that post was more about her asking about this fabled young woman i had told some family about. but nat making a whole deal about it made that situation ultimately uncomfortable.

the main reason i’m writing this post was to talk about a story my mother told me about natalie as a child. thanks to my rather cold and distant relationship to her – and believe me my reason for that is quite petty to be honest – i feel shitty for learning about this episode. i blow her off for my own reasons and now i recognize once upon a time she needed someone to reach out to her.

well not to disappoint you guys, but even though for the most part this blog isn’t known to my immediate family it would be in bad taste to tell the story relayed to me. there is a reason natalie told my mother whenever that was and not me. who knows who else knows this about her other than the other individuals involved. regardless i have little idea who else she told as my mother clearly hadn’t known.

what i can say is that in that initial post i noted that nat had a rough childhood and developed nicely as a wife and mother working in health care. that rough childhood involved a mother suffering from mental illness and natalie herself was raised by her grandmother in the family’s southern hometown. nat has a sister named tasha – with whom i had been far more close – found herself in the same situation except she ultimately remained in chicago to be raised by one of our aunts.

natalie developed to work in health care, get a college degree in nursing – from a southern college, and married with husband & children. my mother told me she had been at one point introverted and considering her background this makes sense. the nat i know and has been illustrated on this blog overtime is often extroverted or gregarious.

so i note that often in the moments where she can come on too strong trying to relate to me she may force herself to laugh. she may even force herself to get excited to see me and often i’m not feeling the same way. at some point she learns to back off – the story about nicole from “hillman” is one case. now i can see this gregariousness as a mask, she’s probably still suffering some pain from her childhood.

my general relationship to her will likely not change, but my view of her will be significantly different. it won’t be pity, but with the realization that her mom wasn’t in a stable mental condition to raise her daughters i know for sure she had a rough childhood. furthermore, now i somewhat understand her better now than i had ever. often she’s just a happy family member who seems to seek attention, now she has a truly sympathetic background. which now helps me feel quite sh*tty for our relationship.

when i learned this story i wanted to publish it immediately and then i realized it’s bad karma but my decision was to let some time elapse. now it won’t see the light of day and the post i wanted to write was overwritten by the post you see now. it’s good karma to keep this to myself.

BTW, let me clarify something. this blog isn’t known to my immediate family although names have been changed on this blog, the stories seen here are base on true stories. it important for me to take some pains to not allow anyone who knows me to connect the dots as to my identity however i do what to fudge the distinction as far as what character written on this blog represents as far as a real life person.

family reunion

bulge-clipart-freebannersignwelcome

the reunion was something of an awkward affair actually there have been quite a few awkward ones over time. i briefly told about how my aunt laura was trying to talk to me early one morning – and while i was still half-sleep – she just decided she had to go in on me quickly. it turned into more of an ordeal than she really and a bit before she finally recognized i didn’t really want to talk.

in fact on two occasions she had little problem asking me for a mint or a piece of candy. she just had the need to ask just to get something out of me, i complied silently just to keep it moving. otherwise she finally recognized that i wasn’t feeling it.

incidentally there are other situations with her i had where her awkwardness is just apparent. for example in her interest in trying to talk to me she has little problem getting close to my personal space, especially since i’m trying not to show any interest in talking to her. some people have the need to force the issue especially if someone doesn’t want to be bothered.

since i had attended “mission college” there were some people bragging and without many details i let on that i didn’t do that well. to which one of my uncles just outright blurted out to other family and they start saying we got to fix that. of course upon hearing the action almost always never happens.

my uncle richard i have a bit more of a close relationship with and i express interest in joining his frat. though often he seems busy so perhaps he’s not that accessible and also i had to remember that he has his own family too. he definitely is big on we got to make sure you do better in college.

for the most part i wasn’t particularly sociable during this reunion other than with those i’m most comfortable. you still have natalie and her husband nathan – who was very quick to force a handshake and a quick “thank you for stopping by” after we found ourselves at their mcmansion in the suburbs.

then soon it was time to return home to chicago and then figure out how i’ll go back to “mission”. first my mother soon will go on a cruise and after that sets her expectations somewhat randomly and that means she expects me to go back to school to finally attain my associate’s degree. soon i will tell that story.