My Tattoo for Mike

I did it.

If you were to discuss this with my mother, she would tell you how vulgar and distasteful what I’ve done is.  That she’s ashamed and just can’t believe I did this–again!  (The first being two small ribbons on my right wrist for breast cancer and lupus, combined as a heart.)  If you’d like to see it, please go here

What did I do?  (Shame on you for not reading this blog regularly–then you’d already have a good idea!)

I got a tattoo in memory and as a tribute to Mike!  I love it!  I think he would have liked it also and been proud that I “branded” myself for him.  (Branded is a term my mother would use) Having it makes me feel close to him all the time!

Mike was a guitar player, or in his words “just a-pickin’ and a-grinnin”.  He played in a band for years, lead guitar.  All self-taught.  Couldn’t read a note, but he could make a guitar sing.  It didn’t matter if it was country music, bluegrass, religious, rock & roll…he could hear it and play it.  He taught a few young men how to improve their skills also and was always happy to play for company. Even after he amputated his left index finger on his fretting hand, he was lost without being able to play as well as he had before.  In fact, he quit playing for a few years because of the injuries to his hand.  Then, he started playing the lap-steel guitar, also known as a slide guitar, and the Dobro.  He wasn’t able to hold the metal slide bar with his left hand because his index finger was only a stub, so he designed his own bar slide with metal clips that fit around his middle finger to hold the slide.  He was pretty ingenious in that regard.

photo

The guitar is a likeness of the guitar that he kept by his recliner and which he would pick up and play usually during commercials, or if he just wanted to annoy me!  Yet another one of his favorite pass-time interests.

I think it turned out really well.  This picture was taken by the tattoo artist immediately after he completed his work, so it is rather red and swollen and my leg isn’t happy either.  :)  When it heals I will take another photo.

Yes, it hurt.  A few times it was pretty bad and a few times I wondered why in the world I was having this done.  But, I’m so glad that I did.  I just feel good about it.

And, feeling good right now is a new feeling I haven’t had in a long, long time!

 

 

 

If We Were Having Coffee…

coffee

First, I’d greet you all with a warm hug and pour you a big cup of java (or drink of your preference for those who don’t drink coffee) and we would sit around the kitchen table.  I would ask you all how you are doing and what’s going on in your life this past week.  And I would listen intently to what you have to say, empathize with you, laugh with you and probably pop off a few of my witty remarks to lighten the subject if I need to.

How am I, you ask?  Oh, I guess I’m ok.  I have some pretty hard days to deal with and this being alone thing really SUCKS, but it is what it is and I just have to learn how to move forward instead of being stuck on the day Mike passed away.  Sometimes it is easier to do than others.  Today may get rough, being the 4 month anniversary of his death, but so far I’m doing okay.

What did I do all week?  Boy, you guys just don’t give up with the questions!

I worked of course.  I had to call an electrician to come out and replace some light fixtures that were waaayyy to complicated for me to figure out.  Fluorescent wiring…who knew it was like a tangled mass of colored wires and doo dads all over the place?!  I have this funny little quirk where, when I turn on a light switch, I want the light to come on NOW, not flicker, not play hard to get and make me flip the switch a thousand times and it still doesn’t come on.  To actually come on so I can see what I am doing.  And, now that I have light in the two rooms that were in the dark–do I have some cleaning to do again!  Watch out for those giant dust bunnies!

I signed up for a digital photography class.  It meets once a week for two hours, for six weeks.  I left the class so confused I wasn’t even sure I could figure out how to turn my camera on again!  And, my little digital, while not a cheapo, pales in comparison to the others in the class.  But…I’m just in it to learn a bit about how to take better pictures and get out of the house and take baby-steps to rebuild my crumbled life.  Unfortunately, I haven’t done any of my “homework”.  Oops!!

And, last night my youngest granddaughter, L, spent the night with me.  First time ever and she is 5!!  She has always been a mommy’s girl and any attempts to get her to stay with us always met with tears and screaming.  She stayed happily last night, choosing to sleep on the sofa rather than in my bed.  At about 4 this morning, however, I was awakened by arms going around my neck (which startled me at first–not used to that!) and a little voice that told me she loved me.  Awwww…. <3 what a little sweetie pie.  I have a feeling there will be more overnight stays.

Lauren

You have to go?  So soon?  Oh, yes, I know…it is a Saturday and there are things to be done, right?  Yes…me too, I have a list of things to accomplish today.  One of which includes getting a tattoo… :D

Have a great day, everyone!  So glad you stopped by.  Hope to see you all again real soon!

(Waving)

coffee photo credit:  inonit.in

 

Lazy or Not?

Lazy Dog

I admit it.  I have gotten extremely lazy when it comes to doing much of anything, preferring to stay in my jammies, with a cup of coffee and reclining.  I’m worn out.  Emotionally, physically and mentally.

Trying to come up with a post takes so much effort that I give up.  I don’t have anything substantial to write.  I really have no thoughts of anything except just surviving.

I force myself to go to work.  Getting up is not the problem.  Getting dressed and going into the office is.  I am having a horrible time concentrating on anything!  I have had lapses of memory and even more frequently I find myself staring into space with no thoughts and abruptly get sucked back into reality.  Usually by my boss asking me if I am alright.  What do I say to him?  I don’t know whether to tell him the truth…I don’t know if I’m ok…or smile and tell him I was thinking about the work sitting in front of me.  I think he knows that I’m not thinking about the work.  One day this week I got to work and had a major case of anxiety.  I feared I had forgotten to turn the coffee pot off.  Of course, I asked the boss if I could please run home to check it because it would worry me all day if I didn’t.  He told me to go, and when I got home and looked at the pot, it was off.  DUH!  It has a two-hour time on it to shut itself off after being on two hours.  Why did I forget that?  It annoys me to no end on the weekend when I want my coffee to stay hot a while longer.

A few days later, I remember having to come back into the house to get my car keys.  But I don’t remember leaving for work or parking the car, or going inside until I was sitting at my desk and realized I was at my desk.  How did I get there?  Obviously I drove, but its kind of scary that it had been so automatic that I don’t remember it.

What’s wrong with me?  Is this just another case of the mind not being able to absorb any more stress that it just turns off?

Your thoughts on this would be appreciated because I am not quite sure what to think about it…if I CAN think.

 

 

Weekends–Love Them or Hate Them?

lovehate1-300x300

I have a love/hate relationship.  It is with the weekends.  I begin to feel tired and emotionally drained on Friday afternoon. The long week at work as a legal secretary, specializing in wills and estates, a/k/a probate law, is sometimes more than I can handle emotionally.  I’m trying to deal with Mike’s death and then I have to open an estate for someone who has recently passed away and discuss “business” with their grieving family.  It is often just too much for me and I take a break to go outside and have a good cry…and a few puffs off a cigarette.  A habit that I quit over 4 years ago and picked back up a few weeks after Mike died.  An old comfort from the past.  I don’t like it, but it does help me to get over the rough spots and calms the raw edges of my nerves.

Back in the day Friday nights were the beginning of the weekend.  Now it seems like the beginning of the two longest days of the week. When Mike was able, we used to go out to dinner on Friday night, with his sisters or with each other.  Now I just come home.  I don’t want to go out to eat by myself.  Abby and I sit together and cuddle and maybe I fix supper for myself, and maybe I don’t.  Depends on whether I’m hungry or not, usually not.

Saturday and Sunday alternate themselves.  One spent working myself to exhaustion and one spent staring into space, sometimes thinking, but most of the time just staring.  No ambition.  No desire to do anything.

That’s the hate part…now for the love.

I love not having to go to the office for two days.  I love being able to spend the days with Abby and baby her.  I love being able to take little naps during the day if I need to.  I love the feeling of accomplishment when I have finally dragged my ass out of the recliner or off the couch and actually get something accomplished!  Something I’m proud of getting done all by myself, although that does come with some pain frequently and perhaps an injury or two.  Guaranteed sore muscles on Monday too!

This past weekend, I was lethargic all day Saturday.  I didn’t feel very well and had to stay close to the bathroom in case of a sudden urge to get there quickly, if you catch my drift.  So, Abby and I just laid around all day.  My “running” to the bathroom turned into a race with Abby to get there.  A game for her.  Serious business for me!

Sunday morning I felt better and thought I would go to church, but the mere thought of being in a group of people terrified me and I opted to stay home.  I have a very large, very heavy picnic table, octagon shaped, that Mike made several years ago for his parents.  When his father died, Mike got the picnic table back.  That sucker is heavy!  I’m talking three to four men to move it.  Well, I used a little logic and a little physics and a LOT of determination and muscle to turn it upside down and scrubbed the underside of it.  After it dried, I gave it a coat of polyurethane.  Once that dried, I hoisted it up and turned it back over so I can scrub the top and seats one evening this week and poly it.  As I was lifting it, I had the feeling that I was getting help with it.  It didn’t seem quite as heavy. I stood it upright and sat it down with ease.  I think I had help from an angel.  Maybe that meant that he was finally proud of something I was doing to take care of things.

Next, I decided to take a look at the new chain saw I bought for the purpose of cutting down tree limbs that had been broken during the last storm that came through the area–back in JUNE!!  When I took the saw out of the box, it somehow looked a lot more intimidating than it did in the store.  I was afraid to use it.  I have only read the manual about sixty times.  I was ready.  I ran the extension cord out a window to have enough cord to get the electricity to it, went to the storage shed and got the wagon out and hooked it up to the mower and pulled the wagon around to the spot where the branches were about to come down.  Plugged in the saw, safety glasses on.  Gloves on. Power buttons depressed and I was shocked at how smoothly it ran.  I could do this!

Saw was positioned over the branch that had broken and, as directed by the instruction manual, I stood back and let the saw and the extension pole do the work.  In no time at all the branch came down.  Wow!  What a high!  That was fun!  I cut the big branch up into manageable pieces and loaded them into the wagon.  Hmm… there seemed to be a few more branched that needed taken down as they were rubbing the roof and hanging down pretty low.  Down they came!  Easy!!

Then..it happened.  The next branch that came down flipped.  Even though I was standing back at the appropriate angle according to the directions,  The limb hit me in the face.  Actually, it is a miracle that I did not lose my eye!  Again, I feel like an angel guided the branch so that didn’t happen.  This is a picture of my shiner:

eye

My glasses and safety glasses did not fall off, or even get a scratch.  If they had, I most definitely may have been in serious trouble.  (Please don’t look at the fact that my brows have grown unruly from lack of waxing and tweezing–not my favorite thing to do and not high on my priority list any more!)

My eye hurts..my head hurts and my eye is watery most of the time.  But, it is all good.  I was protected and I was very lucky.  Very blessed.

I will probably always have a love/hate relationship with weekends, but maybe that is normal?

—-A quickie side-note—–

As usually happens when the laptop comes out, Abby decided she had to go outside.  I was walking around the drive way with her waiting for her to find her perfect spot.  I noticed something growing in the middle of the drive way.  Where I had been working on Sunday morning with the picnic table.  I had been all over this particular part of the drive way.  This evening, I found these two flowers growing in the midst of the stone:

flower flower 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I don’t have any petunias.  Do you think it is possible that I just received flowers from heaven?  Even if it is not..I’m claiming them as a heavenly gift.  He is still giving me flowers.  And I feel at peace tonight for a change.

 

 

A Keeper!

I have spent a lot of time and many posts writing about Mike and the frustration I was feeling during his last months of illness.  In fact, I started this blog to have some place to vent my feelings and emotions because I was stressed.  Then he became sicker and this became my way of recording my thoughts and what each day brought on our journey.  Now, it has evolved into my journal of my gut-wrenching grief.  Anyone who has chosen to read or follow this blog has become my sounding board, my shoulders to cry on.  I can’t begin to thank you all for your “likes” and/or “comments”.  To me a like meant somebody was hearing me, and a comment let me feel as though somebody cared.

My point is…you’ve met (in a cyber-sort-of-way) Mike.  The sick Mike.  But, I haven’t discussed the Mike who lived before he became so sick.  So, if I may..I’d like to introduce you to the Mike that I miss so badly.  I’m realizing that I missed him even while he was still here, as he slowly became sicker and sicker.

I am going to try to walk down memory lane and try to remember the good times.  If I repeat myself from past posts, tough.  Skip over that part…  :)

I met Mike when I was 16.  He was 17.  We both worked at a burger joint.  He was a flirter.  I was a shy, backward girl who was (and still am) scared of her own shadow.  My first day on the job, Mike was flirting with all the front-line girls. The guys worked the back-line putting the food together.  The girls waited on the customers.  He was so full of himself. and I immediately felt like he was a “bad-boy”, a hoodlum, if you will, and disliked him almost immediately.  I tried to stay away from him any way that I could.  That just brought more attention to myself with him.  The unconquered…the one girl who didn’t swoon when he walked by.  It drove him nuts!

We had worked together about two months and it was the 4-H fair time in our town.  He and a buddy came in to the store on their day off so the other boy could see his girlfriend.  They started talking about the fair and what they would do that evening.  They asked me if I had plans to go to the fair.  I didn’t.  I had never been.  The girl I was working with asked Mike if he was going, and he shrugged his shoulders and said he didn’t know.  He didn’t have anyone to go with.  She suggested he and I go together.  My immediate reaction in my head was “NO WAY”.  Then he asked me if I wanted to go with him, and I blurted out “Yeah.  That sounds like fun”.  I couldn’t believe what I had just done!  Said yes!!

He picked me up at home (which was only two houses away from the burger joint) and we went on our first date.  He played games trying to win me a stuffed animal.  He treated me like I was a lady, a queen.  Wow!  I was so wrong in my first assessment of him.  He was a super nice guy!  I definitely wanted to go out with him again!  But, as the evening winded down and he walked me to the door, he simply said he had a good time, thanked me for going with him and he’d see me at work.  Bummer…..

The next day another boy at work asked me to go to the fair with him, so I did.  He was more into the farming part of the fair and not the fun stuff, and as we were walking around who do we run into?  Yup..Mike.  Only he was with another girl!  I was jealous.  What?!  Jealous?  How could that be?  I was with another boy.  What right did I have to be jealous?  But, I was.

When the date with the other boy ended, he parked in the back driveway and we sat in his car and finished the milk shakes he had bought for us on the way out of the fair.  We talked a bit and then there were bright headlights blazing in the rear window of the car.  The boy got out and yelled at the person for doing that, and when I got out of the car, I saw it was Mike and the girl he was with at the fair!  How weird was that?!  Who brings their date with them to another girl’s house?  Mike was grinning ear to ear and asked if he was interrupting anything.  I said No.  The other boy said yes.  (Raised eyebrow and strange look given to other boy)  Mike then called me over to his car and handed me a purple cow stuffed animal.  He said he had tried to win me a prize the night before and struck out, so he went back to the fair — with his SISTER— and won the stuffed animal and wanted to give it to me.  He had me hook, line and sinker right then and there.  He winked and drove off.  I’m left holding a purple cow and another boy is standing there rather awkwardly and decided it was time for him to go.  Was it the way I watched Mike drive away that gave up my feelings?  Probably.

The next day at work Mike asked me if I was dating that guy.  I said no, not really.  Just went to the fair with him.  So, he asked me out again. A couple of dates later, we were sitting on the steps outside my house and he told me he was really jealous when he saw me with the other boy, told me he didn’t want that to happen again and asked me to wear his class ring.  You can guess that I was thrilled, trying to act ‘cool’ about it and said “yes”.  And, we had our first kiss.  I giggled.  He asked me why I was laughing, and I told him I thought something was wrong with me–or him–because he hadn’t tried to kiss me before.  He quietly told me he had too much respect for me to put the moves on me.  Oh, yeah.  He was a keeper.

(To be continued….)

Life’s Not Fair

I still can’t figure out why, when I am away from my computer,  all kinds of blogging posts and ideas come to me, but the minute I sit down to put them on “paper”, my brain takes a vacation and leaves me dumbfounded?!  It is so frustrating.  I do carry a note pad around, but it is rather difficult to keep notes when one is seated on a riding mower bouncing over the mole ridden ground and battling dirt flying at me.  Besides, about the only thing I was thinking then was “Those fecking moles!” (Thanks, Tric for teaching me a new word–although I use its counterpart here in the states frequently!)

I believe this is what the little varmint looks like (should I ever find him) and while looking up his picture, I discovered he is also known as a “mole-rat”.  Now I dislike him even more!    If he would just live quietly deep under the ground and stop making ‘runs’ in the grass, I’d be fine with him residing there.  He is rather cute, except for the long teeth and claws.  Nah, I still don’t like him much.

moleRat

The family got together yesterday for the youngest granddaughter’s birthday celebration.  Five years old and so excited that she gets to go to all-day kindergarten this year.  How long will that excitement last?  Two weeks?  Three?  One day?  Who knows.  She and her sisters are all night-owls and would rather stay up all night and sleep all day.  Good thing they never lived here.  Mike was a morning person most of the time and nobody got a chance to sleep till noon.  There was always work that needed to be done.  I guess that is why I feel like I always have to be working around the house or the yard, chasing critters, mowing grass, trying to clean up some of his tools in the garage.

The get-together was so bittersweet.  I loved seeing our little family, but Mike’s absence was almost more than I thought I could bear.  He never felt that he was important in family gatherings, but in truth they all revolved around him.  The food was usually always his decision if it was just a family meal.  If it was because of a birthday, then the birthday person got to choose their meal.  The 5-year-old chose her favorite meal.  Hot dogs and “red chips”, a/k/a Nacho Cheese Doritos’.  Her hot dog had to be cold and fresh out of the package.  The rest of us were allowed to have our hot dogs cooked and had spanish sauce to go on top.  We call is spanish sauce, others call them chili dogs.  It just depends on the area of the country you live I guess and each area has a variation.

She seemed to have a good time at her party.  She was outside playing and came running up to me with a dusty penny in her little fingers and declared she found another Penny from her angel.  Pappaw leaves pennies on the ground for her to find so that she knows he still loves her and that he is watching over her to keep her safe.  I lost it.  I had to walk away from the group and compose myself.  I so much wish that were true.  I can’t prove it is and I can’t prove it isn’t.  Logic tells me that it can’t possibly be, but my heart so badly wants it to be true.  I so badly want to feel that Mike is my angel in heaven watching over me and that he approves of the things I am doing, just as he would have.  At least the best I can.

I am trying so hard to honor him by my actions and reactions.  I want him to be proud of me and who I am.  He was so angry with me the evening before he died and cursed at me because he couldn’t go home and he was being held in the hospital against his will and he wanted to go home.  He wanted to get out of the bed and get up.  Because I couldn’t help him, he turned on me and said things that echo in my ears now.  That night I couldn’t sleep in his room next to his bed because he was so mad and my presence upset him more.  I slept in the waiting room outside the ICU.  If I had known that that would be his last night, I would have stayed next to him.

I’m going through the days prior to his death and having remorse for all of the things I should have done if I had only known.  Is this normal in grief such as this?  I wish I could have found a way to let him come home for even a few more hours so that he could have been in his own surroundings with Abby and family.  I would have told him more how much I love him.  I would have tried to figure out a way to climb in that bed just to lie next to him again.

My Lord, I am driving myself insane thinking of the wish I could have and why didn’t I’s…I just want him back.  I want him to walk through the door and tell me this is all a nightmare and  I’m okay and he’s okay and our family is okay, and none of this ever happened to us.

This awful, awful, awful lonliness and heartache is just not fair, but then…who says life is fair?

Thanks for listening.

 

Age Really IS Just a Number

The Daily Post today is:

“Age is just a number,” says the well-worn adage. But is it a number you care about, or one you tend (or try) to ignore?

Remember being 10 and you couldn’t wait to be that magical age of 13?  The right of passage into your teenage years?  Then, came pimples, jealousy between friends…boyfriends, crushes, falling madly in love with someone who didn’t know you existed and your parents calling it “puppy love”?  O.K.  This sounds like the dark ages now since most kids today appear to be going through this stage of life at 5, but “back in the day”, 13 was it…at least back in MY day.  Yes, I had an extremely sheltered upbringing by an extremely strict mother.  Dad was in the picture too, but he was (and still is) very much the silent partner.

——and I’m off subject again!——

THEN the golden age was 16.  Beginner’s permits to learn to drive, begging the parents to allow you to drive, dating, begging your parents to allow you to date and praying the boy would pass inspection.  And, by 17, you hopefully had your driver’s license and could begin the dream of turning 18 and all the freedom that would come with it!  Parents would no longer be able to tell you what to do, unless they pulled the “not while you live under MY roof” on ya.  Well, that birthday fizzled for me because I got married at 17-1/2.  No, I was not pregnant.  We remained married 43 years, until he died in April, 2014.

——again, off topic—–

Since 18 fizzled, the next golden year was 21.  Oh, 21.  The legal age to buy alcohol.  Guess who was pregnant?  Chose not to buy alcohol…(back in the 90’s they hadn’t yet determined that smoking and/or drinking was bad for baby), I simply didn’t want to drink or smoke then.

After 21, it seemed like that was the peak of wishing to be older.  Uh-oh, soon comes 30!!, then 40!, 50!!! & 60!!!!  

I think it was around 58 years old when I realized that age doesn’t matter any more and the veil of depression for getting old lifted.  I’m 61 now and while that older looking woman with the wrinkles and a few age spots keeps following me around and glaring at me from the other side of the mirror, I still mentally feel much younger.   (She even walks next to me when I’m passing storefront windows!— I can’t shake her!!)

Granted, the younger thinking me thinks I can still do the things that I did in my teen years, or 20’s, 30’s, etc., but this 61-year-old body is slowing down and creaking and cracking and aching a lot more than it once did.  Standing from a squatted position now requires the assistance of a well placed chair or table with which to hoist myself up.

To sum this up, I don’t think I would want to go back and have a “do-over” of those milestones, I’ll remain as I am.  I would like to travel back a few months tho and be with Mike a little longer.  All in all, I will just accept that age is just a number.  Good thing I finally came to that decision, since when it all comes down to facts—– do we have a choice?  Age really is just a number, folks.  Just a number.

In a few years I’ll probably be counting birthdays as milestones though.  “Whew!  I made it to 70!, hopefully 80!”

 

 

Broken Promises

broken promises

Mike’s sisters promised him weeks before he got bad that, if something were to happen to him, he wanted them to promise him that they would see to it that I was taken care of.  He told them that he knew things would come up that I would need help with and he hoped that they would be there to do that.  To call me and make sure that I was okay, because he knew I am not the kind of person who will actively seek another person for any kind of help.  He told me of this conversation shortly before he was transferred to another hospital and of course I, being naive and probably in denial at the time, said nothing was going to happen to him.  He was going to get back home soon and while he may not be like he was before he got sick, he would be here for me.  Wow!  I was so much in complete denial as to how bad he felt.

His sisters stood close by my side when we learned that the end was near.  They helped me with the arrangements and guided me through the days between his death and the funeral.  Text messages came frequently, checking in.  My brother-in-laws often called to ask if I needed help with anything, even coming out to help me with the blasted mower.

I have sent them texts because my phone calls are sent to voice mail and my calls not returned until days later.  By then, checking in seemed pointless.  Text messages also went unanswered, or very short and curt responses.

I have super sensitive anyway.  A person’s body language can tell me a lot about them.  I watch faces and expressions.  I see looks between people that they think are not obvious what the look means.  Such as the turning up of their noses at something they don’t like.  I know when my sister does not approve of something I have said or done because her nostrils flair, ever so slightly and she doesn’t even know it!  :)  I have to hope she never finds out about this blog!

So, what am I complaining about?  It seems superficial, and if I am making a mountain out of a mole hill, please let me know.  But, my sister-in-law’s son’s mother-in-law passed away a few days ago.  She was a sweet woman and we had always gotten along very well at family functions, etc.  When I had learned she was ill, I asked to be kept apprised as to how she was getting along.  Hearing nothing, I assumed that she was holding her own.  I even asked how she was doing and got a very cool response such as holding her own.  I found out on Facebook that she had passed.  No phone call…ever.  Family “tradition” has always been to combine funds to purchase a nice arrangement for the funeral, or a stone, wind chimes, etc.  Something as a remembrance for the family.  I called my sister-in-law and again got voice mail.  I sent a text.  Immediate response that they had already purchased the gift.  I called and ordered a remembrance item from me and my girls.

Tonight was the viewing.  It was at the same funeral home.  I parked in the same spot.  I walked in alone.  Friends greeted me while my sister-in-law and brother-in-law watched, and said hello and then basically walked away.  I know I should not feel hurt like I do, but I feel like I was definitely snubbed.  I paid my respects to my niece and nephew (even though they are by-marriage, I still think of them as my family), and I sat alone for a while and then prepared to leave.  I sought out my sister-in-law and told her I was leaving and she just said “ok”.

What did I want her to say?  I don’t know.  I just wanted to still feel like I mattered in this family still.  Mike always told me that we were the “black sheep” of the family, and our part of the family would always be like that with them because we don’t put on “airs”.  We are what we are, and there’s no frills and surprises with us.  Were they afraid I was going to ask for help with something?  Yes, I need it.  No, I would not ask at a funeral viewing.  Now I won’t ask at all.

I now feel that I am being unfair to them and perhaps misjudging their reaction to me.  I don’t know.  I just hear both of Mike’s sisters tell me that his death still has not really soaked in completely because they rarely had any contact with him.  If that is how they felt and feel, why did they promise him?

Am I being super-sensitive, or is it time to accept the release of the family ties with Mike’s family?