Wednesday, October 14, 2015

It's Not Goodbye...It's See You Later.

The last two weeks have been simply awful.  Yesterday, I had to say goodbye to my father-in-law.  He's been in my life for 27 years; nearly as long as my father before he passed away.  For all intents-and-purposes...he was my dad.   

What we thought was a stomach issue, turned into something so much more.  Over the course of two weeks and too many procedures to count, the man that I've watched eat pizza until he'd bust, walk around eight miles at a car show, and build furniture just because we asked, couldn't fight any longer.   There is something very surreal in watching someone you love be taken from you right in front of your eyes.

When my father died, I wasn't there.  I was on vacation with my husband.  We saw my dad five days before he passed away, and then I saw him when he was laid out for his wake.

This time, we were there by his side and my mother-in-laws side 14 of 15 days.  The only day we weren't there we called.  My husbands (and now my) family is very close.  There were times when I thought the hospital door was a revolving door.  Everyone wanted to see dad.  He's been a rock in this family.  He's the one that ensured my husband make it to hockey practice at 5 am.  He's the one that made sure my husband and his brother knew how to work on cars.  He's the one that showed them both how to treat their wives.  He's the one that told stories, sometimes over and over again, to our boys...often things that they just didn't want to hear.  He's the one that got picked on at car shows by his son's, only because that's what they did.  He's the one that had a phrase for just about everything.... "down the road a piece", "you're about as useless as two tits on a board" and the every popular "were you born in a barn?" 

Dad was preceded in death by 11 of 12 brothers, 1 of 2 sisters, his mother and his father, mother-in-law and father-in-law.  Leaving behind a sister that lives in the same city, and a brother that lives in the South, there family was closer than many. I married into a family that was and is very close.  Cousins are treated as siblings.  Aunts and uncles were treated as additional parents.   Extended family is treated as family.

Dad rescued a chihuahua a few years ago from near our family cottage in northern Wisconsin.  He brought him home and gave him all the love he needed.  Brownie quickly became part of the family and proceeded to bite (nip) just about everyone in the family except dad and mom.  The last two weeks has been hard on Brownie and Roscoe (their other dog).  No one really thinks about leaving pets behind.  We had anticipated bringing Brownie to the hospital and had it approved, but quickly realized that it wasn't a good idea.  The first few days dad was in the hospital, Brownie didn't eat.  After a few more days, he warmed up to the rest of us and started eating.  I don't doubt it's going to be very hard in the coming weeks for him as well.

I'd like to believe there is life after death.  Until that happens, I know that dad will live on through his boys and our boys.  If there is, I hope that dad and my dad are both the angels on our shoulders, or voice of reason, when we need a little guidance, or a swift boot in the ass.

Hug your loved ones a little tighter tonight.  You never know when your world will turn upside down and be faced with tragedy.  See you later dad.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

The Clean Slate

I would give anything to turn back the clock.  Right now, my family's future is uncertain.  We are at the mercy of recruiters and employers, home buyers and mortgage lenders, doctors, specialists, insurance companies, and time.  I can't say I'm a woman of's been years since I willingly went into a church to pray.  I don't know if what we are going through as a family will get me to go back.  I do know that at night I try to think of alternatives to working a traditional job.

There are days in between looking for jobs and looking for clients that I pray that we win the lottery and we could just move forward with our lives.  My husband and I work hard.  We don't know how to be lazy.  We want to work.  We want to volunteer.  We want our lives to be normal again.  This 'new normal' plainly sucks.

Monday I spent a large part of the day following up on interviews and letters and basically had to pry out the "thanks but no thanks" messages.  For a brief hour, I spent it at PT to try to get some relief from the car accident we were in a few weeks ago.

Tuesday, I had to go to the unemployment office to prove that I am actually looking for jobs.  I needed to present a piece of paper with the four jobs I looked for last week.  (In full disclosure, I applied for probably eight times that).  The meeting took all of two minutes.  I understand that they need to check up on people, but seriously?  Was it really necessary to present that info when you already get it electronically?

Today, I had a two hour interview at a very cool company. Met with a woman that appears to be everything I want in a boss, toured the location, and was told I was one of two top candidates.  I was surprised when she candidly told me she wanted to bring me back in next week.  Thankfully, it's scheduled for Tuesday, and I hope that I am what they are looking for.  I have several interviews scheduled over the next few days, to which I am thankful for.  I am getting pretty good at talking about myself, but am honestly tired of interviewing. 

We were greeted with the second of two acceptance letters for our son's choice of colleges.  It's a blessing knowing that all the hard work he has done for the last three plus years has paid off.

Tomorrow will be spent trying to find volunteers for a football game, looking for potential customers for my husbands business, and following up on more jobs.

Friday will end with a football game and those few hours where I can get lost in my photography and watch my son's team win the game.

Saturday and Sunday will be spent with family, and taking some baby and family pictures.  For this I am thankful.

There is so much I want to say about what else is going on, but I've made a promise to myself that I won't, just yet, because it involves others.  I'm digging back into my book, getting ready to send it for editing and have decided to dedicate to a very important man in my life.

The clean slate starts today.  I don't know what tomorrow will bring.  I know that I will apply for jobs until the right one sticks.  I know that I will use all of my education and experience and help build my husbands client base, because it's what I do best.  I will tackle editing senior pictures and get them ready to send off for printing. I will help my kids with anything they need.  I will finish my book.  I will be the best wife, mother, daughter and friend I can be.