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Death and a New Direction

Grief 2020

Grief 2019

Hello all you lovely people. I lost my password to this blog and was too out of it to find it. That pretty much prevented me from posting. The good news is that I stumbled across it the other day. The date next the user info was 2010. Wow! I’ve been at this blogging thing, off and on, for 10 years.

A lot has happened since my last post which I think was in May of 2019. Some good and some pretty damned horrible. The most horrible thing was that my beloved daughter died at the end of July. To say it ripped my heart out with a rusty chain saw would be an under statement. 😥

To those of you who are familiar with my writings about my daughter, you are aware that we had an extremely rocky relationship. She was mentally ill and refused any formal medical treatment. She self medicated with alcohol and some pretty hardcore drugs. I hadn’t heard from her in almost a year.

In mid July her ex husband informed me via Facebook instant messenger that she was in the hospital. (He didn’t have my phone number) Thank God for instant messenger. What he didn’t tell me was that he found her unresponsive with her eyes open.

I immediately hopped on a plane and flew up to Boston to be with her. It turns out that she had been sick with a bad cough for months, but refused to go to the doctor. During this time she had been drinking alcohol non stop and refusing to eat. As a result her weight had ballooned up to over 250 pounds. Her normal weight was about 160.

She had some kind of horrendous lung infection that spread to her other organs. They threw words at me like septic and ascites, which I think means free floating fluid in her abdomen. They tried suctioning the fluid in her lungs repeatedly, but they filled back up within a few hours. They were pumping her full of every kind of antibiotics known to man but it just wasn’t working. After 2 weeks they looked down into her lungs with a camera scope and saw that her lung tissue was completely destroyed. There was no coming back even if they beat the infection.

At this point I had to make the most difficult decision that anyone has to make for a loved one. The doctors told me that even if they put her on full blown life support she was so sick that she would only last a few weeks. So I asked the doctors to take her off life support and switch her to “comfort care.” I guess that’s what the medical staff like to call it. Doesn’t sound as dreadful as “give up and let the patient die.”

They did this at 5 p.m. Without the tube down her throat she was able to talk a little. At one point she asked “why is this happening to me?” I didn’t think it was the time to tell her about all the things she had done to her body. I just told her that she was very sick and that I was there with her.

I kind of went to this other worldly place. I didn’t have any sensation of time passing or any need to go for a walk or even use the restroom. It was really weird. I sat with her holding her hand from 5 p.m. until 5 a.m. Then she sort of breathed out in a huff and that was it…her last breathe. I put my head down and cried for the first time since this all started.

Things were sort of a blur after that. The nurse came in asked me if I was OK. How do you answer a question like that when your child has just died? Maybe they thought I was going to start screaming and ripping my hair out or jump out the window? A doctor came in and did the official time of death and whatever else. I was in shock at that point which was kind of a blessing. Total physical, emotional and spiritual overload.

Somehow I managed to order an Uber to go back to my hotel. I sat there in the back seat looking out at the growing dawn. Even as grief stricken as I was it occurred to me that in a way her passing was kind of a blessing. She had been profoundly unhappy for so long and wasn’t suffering any more. I will wish to my dying day that she had found a way out of her abyss of suffering that allowed her to remain alive and be happy.

So as far as new directions…..floundering around in grief for the last few months I’ve realized some important truths. Truths for me anyway. 1) life is a gift and it’s pretty short. Don’t put up with bullshit, negative people, etc. 2) Today is the day to start doing what you want or dream to do because tomorrow may not come. 2) Tell everyone that you love…that you love them. Don’t assume that they know. 3) It’s time to take myself seriously as an artist. It started out as a hobby, but it has morphed into a full blown love.

The picture above is a painting I did to express grief through art. It’s not totally original content. I searched Google images for “grief” for ideas.

So that’s all for now folks. Love to all and as always…thank you for listening.

Is There ANY Logical Reason to Throw Away an Empty Firearm?

Well, I know I’ve hit a rough patch when I go on a binge of reading Zombie Apocalypse novels to cheer up. After the death of a loved one there’s not much in there to scare you, and just like grieving – it goes on and on …and on. Zombies, here, there and everywhere.

Over the past week I’ve read about 15  zombie books on my Kindle. They are actually pretty funny. If you want to read about all the creative and almost hilarious ways people can screw up and be branded “too stupid to live” immediately before their inevitable demise, it’s all that and so much more. Sorry if I’m referring to death as funny, but come on. Check out the Darwin awards if you have questions. (The stupid ways that people actually, in real life, removed themselves from the gene pool.)

But back to my original question, is there any logical reason to throw away a firearm just because you’re out of ammo? If I’m out of food I don’t throw away my stove and refrigerator. I’m assuming that if you are on the run in an ongoing survival situation; war, extended riots, zombie or other kind of hair-raising apocalyptic situation, you would probably hope against hope to acquire more ammo at some point.

A recurring theme in all the books I’ve read so far is this. The hero, heroes, heroine, etc. is/are in yet another fight for their life and run out of ammo, then they THROW AWAY THEIR WEAPON (???), and run away screaming, look for a blunt object, get in an argument with their companions, or lay down and die. What the hell is that all about? Excuse me, but if I run out of ammo for my revolver or rifle, I’m still holding a blunt object that I can brain someone or something with and hopefully am able to reload in the future. Maybe I’m just a practical gal, but I wouldn’t throw down my weapon like it was an empty juice box.

I guess if you are armed with some kind of weird antique revolver that only takes handmade ammo or something similar there would be a reason to lighten your load. OK, maybe if you’re running for your life, shooting it out has become a moot point, have an extremely heavy rifle and there is very little chance that you will be coming back to it with or without ammo I could see dropping it. However, in these zombie novels someone throws away their firearm every chapter or two without fail.

I think part of it is that in a zombie novel you pretty much invent everything that happens. It is total fiction and one has artistic license to come up with whatever whacked out unbelievable scenario that suits your fancy. In prepper, survivalist type novels the authors usually are a little more experienced in the weapons department or at least do their homework.

Another thing that the characters in these zombie novels do over and over that annoys me to no end is they drive right through the middle of a seemingly abandoned town at high noon, put their car in park, leave the vehicle unattended with the keys in it, running, cross their fingers, and plunge into a dark abandoned store. Chaos ensues, of course. Does anything go right at the end of the world?

Well, that’s a whole ‘nother rant so I’m going to stop here for now.

I Am Not a Virus!

Human beings are a disease, a cancer of this planet. You’re a plague and we are the cure. Mr. Smith, Boss android says to Neo in movie The Matrix.

linda hamilton

You’re not taking my beans or my water

I love this planet we live on. Mother earth, Gaia, Great Mother, 3rd rock from the Sun, whatever people want to call this magnificent place we inhabit. I also thoroughly enjoy the privilege of being at the top of the food chain.

Frankly I’m starting to or maybe getting more ticked off at the growing amount of people forming into groups that claim that collectively we humans should be ashamed of ourselves for merely existing and that we are  spreading all over the earth like an infection.

I do not apologize for being human and being alive. I will not apologize for using electricity for food storage so I don’t die from rotten food. I will not apologize for using my fossil fueled car to drive where ever the hell I feel like going. When I trim the rose-bush in my back yard I am not hurting mother nature.

I’ve been reading a lot of dystopian, end times, and “shit hits the fan” books lately. Most of the books fit into 2 general categories. Category 1) We saw this EMP Blast (electromagnetic pulse) , economic meltdown, atomic bomb, super virus, zombie apocalypse, etc. coming; we prepared, and now have to defend ourselves, our homes and our supplies from the masses of people who don’t even bother to keep a week’s worth of food and water in their home and expect the government to step in and save them from their own stupidity. Kind of makes one wonder if Aesop’s fables are taught in school anymore. You know, the 3 little pigs with their house made out of straw or the ant who prepared for winter.

Category 2) the “evil and greedy corporations” have sucked all the natural resources out of the earth and we’re all living in a dark age of squalor, violence and filth. A select few are living in a bunker somewhere while we the teeming masses living on the streets suffer and die.

I tend to be in camp #1 and confess to a mild form of prepper mentality. I try to have a least a months’ worth of food, water, fuel for cooking, batteries, light sources,  and basic medical supplies like aspirin, rubbing alcohol and band aids on hand at all times. Part of this is a direct result of living in Guam for 8 years. That place is natural disaster central. Earth quakes, typhoons, power plant meltdowns, a never ending party. I just never knew when the world was going to come crashing down around my ears. The up side of this is that I don’t have to get out in the freezing cold in a panic to go shopping because a snow storm is due to hit this afternoon.

Here in Texas, we had an ice storm in February and I was rather shocked by a conversation I had with a next door neighbor. This woman recently retired from a position at a large state-run hospital. Her job was disaster planning. She told me that she had to call her son to come get her and take her to his house because she did not have enough food for herself and her dogs to last TWO DAYS, or even gas in her car to get to his house. Excuse me? It seems like you can almost accidentally have at least 2 days of food in the house. Sure maybe not filet mignon and asparagus, but nutrition to maintain life? Furthermore an ice storm is not something that happens suddenly. It didn’t just drop out of the sky and land on her head like a tornado. She knew for at least a week that it was coming. Maybe she just didn’t want to be alone. But, give me a break. My tax dollars paid this woman’s salary 30 years while she planned for disasters.  It galled me.

One thing I’ve noticed about category 2 writers  is that most of them are young people in their 20s or early 30s. For this group their entire life they have been listening to vehement proponents of the global warming theory, corporations are evil and greedy, we’re going to run out of fossil fuels, we should reduce our carbon footprint and similar rhetoric. It is absolute “reality” for many people of this generation.

When I was a child we had geology books too. This is not a new phenomenon. The difference was that the general scientific view at that time was that the climate indeed would change, but that we were heading towards another ice age. Now we’re supposedly headed towards a global meltdown fueled by smog, evil corporations and cow farts. Ah, how far we’ve come in a mere 50 years.

Stalking is a Crime – Why do Women Suffer in Silence?

Why do women suffer in silence and tolerate criminal behavior? I wish I knew. The police can’t help you unless you let them. And they need to know about men who are stalking women. It makes their day when they put a violent man behind bars.

I have a friend who’s ex-boyfriend is stalking her. He’s doing it a creepy, smarmy way. He left a magazine in her mailbox. He circled an article on the cover and wrote, this made me think of you. It’s just a magazine you may say. But she moved after breaking up with him and has not told him where she lived. So he discovered her whereabouts without her consent. The magazine was there to let her know that he knows where she lives. Not only that it against Federal Law to leave something without postage in someone’s mailbox. That – is – stalking.

Then her current boyfriend got a call from his bank that a man claiming to be an investment consultant came in the bank asking questions about him and his bank accounts. They figured out that it was the ex doing the snooping. So now this jackass is not only stalking her but her boyfriend as well.

I got a text message from her this morning asking me if I sent her a Valentine ’s Day heart boxed candy. I didn’t and asked if there was no card with the shipment. She replied no, that it was probably her ex. I told her not to eat the candy, and quoted her some facts from the National Center for Victims of Crime. This site lists the unwanted sending of gifts, cards, letters or emails as part of the definition of a stalker. She texted me back basically telling me to shut up about it, in a nice way of course, but the message was clear.

Well, fortunately for me I have a blog and so I don’t have to shut up. I can say it loud. Ladies you DO NOT have to put up with any kind of contact or communication from anyone from your past. Even a relative can be legally defined as a stalker if you do not want anything to do with them and they persist anyway. Also, there is a point where a person ceases being the “ex” and becomes a criminal stalker. And that line is drawn when you decide when you want no further contact with them. They don’t get decide this. YOU decide this.

Over the years I’ve known a lot of good women who were stalked by their ex-boyfriends or husbands. A couple of women ignored their stalkers and were terrorized for years before their stalker either gave up or went to jail for other reasons. Some even went on to receive threatening letters from their stalker from in jail. The misery went on for what seemed like forever. Their lives and the lives of the loved ones and friends were significantly diminished because the stalking.

The smart women went to the police, got restraining orders, and followed it up by calling the police every single time their stalker made any kind of contact them. The stalkers got the message and backed off. Turns out these tough guys were afraid of the police and the possibility of jail time.

Three of these women are in their graves now. They did not go to the police or do anything else to stop the stalking. One was beaten to death by her ex-husband after he broke in her house and shot and killed her boyfriend. One was shot in the head at a Wendy’s Hamburger drive though window by her ex at lunch time in broad daylight. The ex-husband of the third shot her and her female attorney to death in the stairwell of the parking garage next to the court-house.

Stalking is not like your car tires. If you ignore the problem – it will not go away. Stalkers get off on terrorizing you. It is not love or grief. It is a power trip. They didn’t get what they want and intend to make you pay and pay and pay. It’s sick – and it’s not your fault.

Resources:

Information about stalkers:

Stalking and Intimate Partner Femicide*

  • 76% of intimate partner femicide victims have been stalked by their intimate partner.
  • 67% had been physically abused by their intimate partner.
  • 89% of femicide victims who had been physically assaulted had also been stalked in the 12 months before their murder.
  • 79% of abused femicide victims reported being stalked during the same period that they were abused.
  • 54% of femicide victims reported stalking to police before they were killed by their stalkers.

*The murder of a woman.

[Judith McFarlane et al., “Stalking and Intimate Partner Femicide,” Homicide Studies 3, no. 4 (1999).]

Stalkers

A stalker can be someone you know well or not at all. Most have dated or been involved with the people they stalk. Most stalking cases involve men stalking women, but men do stalk men, women do stalk women, and women do stalk men.

  • 2/3 of stalkers pursue their victims at least once per week, many daily, using more than one method.
  • 78% of stalkers use more than one means of approach.
  • Weapons are used to harm or threaten victims in 1 out of 5 cases.
  • Almost 1/3 of stalkers have stalked before.
  • Intimate partner stalkers frequently approach their targets, and their behaviors escalate quickly.
  • All 50 states have stalking laws

Victims of Crime.org fact sheet

Meh – Bite Me!

Below is a comment I put in the trash yesterday in response to my post back in December of 2012 entitled  A Trip Through the ER Fun House:

Write more, that’s all I have to say. Literally, it seems as though you relied on the video to make your point. You clearly know what you’re talking about, why throw away your intelligence on just posting videos to your blog when you could be giving us something informative to read?

Say what? I find this to be a rather bizarre comment on a several different levels. First of all I rarely use videos to make a point. I toss a few in here and there just for the fun of it, if the video is something I get a kick out of. Secondly, there was no video in this post anyway, so…WTF? Thirdly, uh, the poster’s link went to a generic, cooker cutter website about dyspepsia, based out of Romania. Well that’s fine because I think this comment gave me dyspepsia. I think…dyspepsia is some sort of indigestion, but what the hell did it have to do with my post?

Was the poster just poking me with a stick looking for a link back? Or trying to get a rise out of me just for the fun of it? Was the poster even human? Maybe it was generated by some sort of spam bot that spends its electronic life trolling websites to make random annoying comments. Who knows?

I rarely block legitimate posts to my blog, even if they are a little on the snippy side because I want to hear everyone’s view, including those who do not agree with me. I don’t allow personal attacks, either of myself or commentors,  or over the top profanity, but pretty much everything else I allow to post. Fortunately there haven’t been that many negative comments. Hmm, maybe my writing is too Suzy cream cheese? Maybe I need to stir up the pot a bit and write about more controversial subject matter?

Nah, I’m not going to force myself to do that. It’s just not me. I write about what interests me on a particular day or week. If it’s not controversial enough, so what? I didn’t start a blog so I could climb up on a soap box on a regular basis to rant and rave. Enough of that comes naturally to me. I don’t need to go looking for trouble. It will find me soon enough, thank you very much.

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