Archive for the Losing A Parent Category

C J Talks About: When Grief Knocks, Open The Door

Posted in Celebrities, Cherished memories, childhood, Children, Death, Family, Gratitude, Grief, Legacy, Life, Losing A Parent, Loss, Love, Music, Remembrance, Traveling, Video Clips with tags , , , , , , on March 1, 2015 by Morguie

 

 

It is odd, that “thing” we call grief.  Can’t say it is friend or foe.  It isn’t a friendly thing. It isn’t a bad thing, either. Many might argue with me about that. After all…we all love sunny days and happy times. But to know the joy of those we must also know the pain of sorrow. In a way, I think of grief as an ocean. Maybe my analogy will resonate with some of you, who also understand the grief which inexplicably comes a-calling without notice or even the slightest clue it is coming to remind you that it is still there…lurking…stealthy…lying in wait…like a furtive opponent, about to ambush you as you turn the corner.

 

I am starting to think I should have been a surfer…:hanging ten’ as I deftly glide over the curls and across the tops of big beautiful blue-green waves. Until…wipeout

 

 

…I lose my footing…something breaks below the water’s surface…then in an instant, I am off the board and enveloped by the rushing water, hanging on as I am plunged into the dark water.

 

Moments ago I was in control…just going on about my day, and then…like a rip tide current, grief rears it’s ugly head without warning…grabbing me and my collection of cherished remembrances…pulling me down underwater, the waves of heartache and nostalgic longing for the good times long past.  The tears of sorrow break to the brim, the dam unable to hold them back…the trigger is too strong.

 

 

sunnyocean

Grief is a lot like an ocean — watch for rip current!

 

 

I must let them cascade down my cheeks, hoping like the devil no one can see.

 

Beyond a description, grief is something which must be attended to, sort of like a phone ringing or the banging on the front door. When it threatens to suddenly appear, knocking insistently at your door, you must simply accept this bad-mannered visitor, and open the door.

 

And, rest assured, this visitor will only take up a little of your time — it passes. It doesn’t set up camp for a lengthy stay, like it did at first. Like the tide, grief will roll in…go back out…come in…and go.  I don’t believe it really ever goes away for good. It isn’t like death, I am afraid.

 

And this is what the process of grief work embodies. It is something we have to work through, as we move on, going forward without the one we lost.

 

 

 

As we were enjoying the Alan Jackson concert a few nights ago, there was a familiar ‘knock’ at the door of my heart, and my memories of Daddy teaching me to drive. My mom would have really given him hell if she’d known  what he encouraged me to do one particular practice-afternoon.  The 1970 Chrysler 300 he’d been refurbishing (I called it the bomb) was the car and though he hadn’t quite finished the interior just yet— he sat in passenger “seat” made from an old wooden Pepsi crate — I,  all of 15 yrs. old, sat in the brand new leather bucket seat, trimmed in chrome, as I got behind the wheel, just atop of Johnson Road on the hill.

 

English: 1970 Chrysler 300 Hurst at Power Big ...

 

 

 

The big 440 cubic-inch Mopar responded to a pedal press, going from a purr to a voluminous roar — and Daddy said, “Drive! Open it up!!!”  

 

And, this Daddy’s girl did.  My daddy grinned as I took it up to nearly 100 m.p.h. It was a real rocket…gliding down that hill was exhilarating!

 

“Don’t tell Mama,” he said. It was our little secret…a great memory now.

 

Daddy's Girl --- age 15

Daddy’s Girl — age 15

 

I miss you, Daddy…thanks for the sweet memory that I keep of the fun we had that day, for all of the good times, for being the best Daddy this girl could ever have.

©C.S. Thompson, 2015

 

 

 

 

International Holocaust Remembrance Day

Posted in Cremation, Death, Education, Family, Ghosts, Grief, History, Hope, Legacy, Losing A Parent, Loss, Memorialization, Mourning, Outcasts, Politics, Prison Inmates, Spirits, Tragic death, Truth, WAR with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on January 27, 2015 by Morguie
English: The main gate at the former Nazi deat...

English: The main gate at the former Nazi death camp of Birkenau. Note that this is inside the camp looking back from the loading ramp to the “Gate of Death”.(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

AUSCHWITZ CONCENTRATION CAMP    —- Liberation Day   70th  Anniversary

Some 1.1 million people, mostly Jews, were killed there between 1940 and 1945, when the Soviets liberated the camp.

It is expected to be the last major anniversary event survivors are able to attend in considerable numbers.

The entrance to Camp I at Auschwitz, with the ...

The entrance to Camp I at Auschwitz, with the sign on the gate reading Arbeit macht frei (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

May we as human beings never allow for this terror to take place again.

Please click on the following links to learn more about the terrible atrocities and mass-murders of men, women, and children. Let us not forget history’s great lessons.

We are all brothers and sisters here on this earth.

 

 

AUSCHWITZ

 

 

A very graphic pictorial and history site that I encourage all visitors to stop to see:

http://isurvived.org/AUSCHWITZ_TheCamp.html

Peace Be With You All,

CJ

©C.S. Thompson, 2015.

 

Words

Posted in bereavement, Children, Death, Divorce, Family, Grandchild, Gratitude, Grief, Life, Losing A Parent, Loss, Mourning, Parenting, Relationships, Remembrance on October 22, 2014 by Morguie

I may have mentioned in recent months that this year 2014 has been one of many departures, each of which has been significant to me personally. Between May 28 and September 1st it seems surreal to note that this house has been affected by somewhere in the neighborhood of 7 or more deaths of family and close friends.

 

I lost count. Sure it has been at least 8.  Now…my ex-mom-in-law can be added to the toll…sadly. She died last night in her son’s home.

 

She was affectionately known to my daughters as simply, ‘Gee-Ma’.  It was less than a month and one half ago that we learned “Gee-Ma” had mere months to live; advanced liver and gallbladder cancer. It was a shocking revelation. My girls were devastated to realize that their beloved “Gee-Ma” was not to be long for this world. Even I, was saddened and affected by the news.

We went to the hospital a few weeks ago to visit. It was there that knew I had something vital in my heart to reveal to “Gee-Ma”…the quiet exchange between us left me overwhelmed with emotion as I hurried away afterward.

It was the last time I would see her. I knew that in my heart of hearts. I made the best of my brief visit.

When I married her troubled and violence-prone son (which I honestly had NO IDEA about back then) she and I were certainly less than familial toward one another. Of course, as I look back, it was HE that was the catalyst and our shared nemesis for undermining the relationship she and I should have had from the beginning.  Over the years, for our girls’ sakes, I naturally remained connected to this woman whom I really barely knew. Birthdays and holidays HERE at my current home — celebrated for the girls and Holly’s babies, my grandsons, helped us to bond as friends but more importantly, as family…like we’d never been able to do when I was married to her son, decades ago.

So, in late September, as I visited with her alone, I stroked her hair and told her that I appreciated the wonderful and loving Grandma she’d always been to the girls…I thanked her heartily for the nurturing care she gave as she helped to raise them, along with myself, and my Mom…that I was always blessed that for the most part, they were the primary caregivers to them as I struggled to juggle 2 full-time jobs  and a part-time job; back before I went on to pursue my dream to become a funeral director…for without their roles in my girls’ tender young lives, I would have been unable to manage as well as I did as their mother.

We really were a family, in the end. I felt I had to say so, out loud, that last day that I saw her. I wanted her to fully know what was in my heart. The sincere appreciation and respect I held for her. I just felt there was no way I’d let her leave this world without hearing me put into words, that which I truly felt. It surprised me to be so moved and affected by this personal conversation with her. I thanked her, also, for attending my own father’s wake and funeral…the gesture which moved me incredibly at that time…considering she really didn’t know him, thanks to the massive load of turmoil and animus brought about by her son’s brutal treatment of me.

I stifled the heaving sobs trying to escape as I said ‘good-bye’ that day…hurrying from that hospital bedside and down the hall to the lobby before I burst into tears and allowing the heart-felt grief to escape me there, out of earshot of her room.

 

Indeed…I will remember that day for the rest of my life. 

My heart is heavy today. But, I do know this: the peace I feel for having that little talk with her that day is indescribable. I didn’t want to ‘assume’ she “knew” my heart and my feelings of appreciation for the part she played in my life and my girls’ lives…the words needed to be said aloud. I am so blessed to have been given the courage I needed to say what had to be said.

 

Thank you again, Grandma Jan…thanks for being beloved “Gee-Ma.’  May you rest in peace, my friend. Things will not be the same here without you.

.©2014, C.S. Thompson.

 

rosebudA

Leaving To See What’s Left of My Past

Posted in Ancestry and Roots, Cemetery, Family, History, Life, Losing A Parent, Remembrance, Spirits, Tradition, Traveling with tags , , , on October 14, 2014 by Morguie
English: The mass grave at the Wounded Knee Ma...

English: The mass grave at the Wounded Knee Massacre site in South Dakota on the Pine Ridge Reservation. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Classification of indigenious peoples of North...

Classification of indigenious peoples of North America according to Alfred Kroeber, English Version (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Range of Plains Indians at the time of first E...

Range of Plains Indians at the time of first European contact (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Buffett's home in Omaha

Buffett’s home in Omaha (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Fishermen on the Missouri River in Co...

English: Fishermen on the Missouri River in Council Bluffs, Iowa. The Union Pacific Missouri River Bridge is in the background. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hi everybody!  Morguie and I are busily packing for a quick trip upon which we plan to embark tomorrow. It will be a brief excursion…something which will give me peace of mind…you see, it’s time for the annual pilgrimage for my man and his friends to go pheasant hunting in South Dakota. Because I am a full-time worry-wart, I actually get to go along for the 1700 mile ride, just so he will make to his destination alive. I hope. I just don’t like to think about him making such a drive solo. Who knows what roadside evil lurks, know what I am saying? He used to have a buddy to ride along…but his friend declined to join in the pheasant-fest this time.

Thoughts of this country’s history will be hard to escape…the Wild West, the forging of the Trans-Continental Railroad, the Native Americans and the buffaloes that once inhabited this heartland of America.

 

It will take us a couple of full days and a half to make it to the destination—a farm town way out on the plains. Naturally, Mousie and I have no thoughts of staying once we get there. We’ll be on our own brief trek, the next morning. We are going to go back to my ‘homeland’ where my daddy was born and raised; where he met and married my mama: Nebraska.  We’ll pick up our rental car in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. From there we’ll take the small roads directly south into Nebraska, where just over the boundary of South Dakota the Missouri River flows. A few miles later we’ll reach dad’s birthplace: Verdigre, Nebraska. I happen to still have 2 cousins still living there in an assisted living home for seniors. I plan to surprise them, perhaps getting there in time to take them to an early supper in town, if they are up to it. It will no doubt be my last chance to connect with any of dad’s side of the family who is still living.  After that, the mouse and I are going to drop by St Wenceslaus Cemetery, to pay our respects to my great-grandma who is buried there.

 

After our visit we will go to my birthplace: Norfolk, Nebraska. If there is still some daylight, I hope to visit my dad’s parents’ graves there, as well as take some pictures of the town, to take back to show my sister and mother. Mom worked at the State Hospital there until she gave birth to me…I hope I can find it. I heard the hospital where I was born was turned into some other entity and is no more the Catholic hospital staffed by nuns who were nurses, back when I was born there.

 

We’ll continue eastward to pass by my great-grandma’s old homestead, or what remains of it in a wide spot in the road called Pilger, Nebraksa…years ago, after her death her house sat vacant on her little farm, and the local fire department decided it should be razed so as not to become a place for squatters or a fire hazard—it sat right beside the state highway there. My sister owns the title to the land still. Perhaps I can take some modern pictures to show her how much (or little) things have changed over the past 30+ years. The tiny town made big news several months ago: a rare set of twin tornadoes struck the hamlet, destroying nearly everything there. It should be interesting to see, and probably a bit sad, too.

 

By evening, we will have arrived in the big city of Omaha. I think Warren Buffett  lives in Omaha. Haha wouldn’t it be a hoot to catch him eating at one of the local Mom-and-Pop diners?!  Allegedly, he eats simple hamburgers and french fries at a small cafe regularly. Everyone treats him like a regular local, or so it is said. If I were to see him, I believe I’d want to have a word or two with him about a few things…

 

City of Omaha and Epply Airfield, with the Mis...

City of Omaha and Epply Airfield, with the Missouri River forming the border between Iowa (on the left) and Nebraska (on the right). Council Bluffs, IA on the upper left corner. Taken from an altitude of 36,000 feet, looking south. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We are booked in a hotel west of the airport. If we are still looking for something to do in the evening, we plan to head across that Missouri River into Iowa, specifically Council Bluffs, located on the east bank.They have legalized gambling in Iowa…perhaps we’ll pull a couple of handles while we take in the sights of that Union Railroad town.

It will be nice to see those places I didn’t fully appreciate as a child, when dad and mom would take us back for family reunions, thirty and forty years ago.

The spirit of my father will be with me…and I will miss him even more as I remember those wonderful times spent there.

 

So we bid you all ‘adieu’ and thank you for coming by to see us off — we shall be back next week to share our trip highlights with you. Take care!

 

Morguie and CJ

 

 

 

 

 

English: Picture of the 1913 Omaha Tornado whi...

English: Picture of the 1913 Omaha Tornado which devastated much of the downtown core of the city as well as suburban Council Bluffs, Iowa. Courtesy of Historic Omaha.com. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

 

 

Diesel powered replica of a Paddlewheel steamb...

Diesel powered replica of a Paddlewheel steamboat known as the River City Star in Omaha, Nebraska (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

 

 

The falls of the Big Sioux River at Sioux Fall...

The falls of the Big Sioux River at Sioux Falls, South Dakota (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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