Remodel

12717709_10205967206406401_12074319970344093_nI have not been writing as of late. Don’t get me wrong, I want to, but I started a project that I’ve been putting off for several months. I began remodeling my bedroom this week, and my writing space is a disaster. It’ll continue being a disaster for a few weeks yet.

My bedroom was done back in the 80’s for my grandfather. It was a nice room when it was built, but time has taken its toll. The paneled walls that once looked amazing were dated, and the tile floor was beginning to fall apart. The ceiling was bowing, due to rain the seeped in a couple of years ago, back when the roof was redone.

I gutted my room completely. Ceiling came down, as did the walls. I replaced my windows a few months ago. Hail broke one of my windows last summer. I boarded it up temporarily, but finally got around to replacing both of them. That done, I knew I would have to upgrade my room.

So I’m roomless at the moment, which is fine with me. It’s a small price to pay to so that I will have a space that is my own. Too bad materials cost so much, so I’m having to buy everything a little at a time, but even so, I’ll manage.

I finished putting up the ceiling a few hours ago. Tomorrow I’ll replace insulation in the walls before starting to drywall. After my next paycheck, I’ll look at getting my flooring bought.

Once everything is done, I’ll replace the desk I built a few years ago. I’m planning on building some shelves to match my desk. I need someplace to store my books. I love books. But until I’m done, my writing will be impacted. I’ll try to do what I can, but most of my time will be spent working on my room.

Until this get back to normal, I’ll work things out in my mind. Once I’m done, I hope to start again and grind my way to the end. I just wish it wouldn’t take so long to get my room back.

Again, goodybe

I made the funeral early this morning, and though it wasn’t easy to attend, I’m glad I made the drive. For those of you who hadn’t heard, my ex-wife informed me that her grandmother passed away during heart surgery Friday evening. She was 70 years old.

Brenda – Nanny to her grandchildren and just about everyone else – was a source of comfort to me during some hard times. Nanny, along with her husband Bob “Papaw”, accepted me for a person, even if as a Catholic Mexican I was different from their White Protestant heritage. That didn’t matter. I was family, and that was good enough.

They were a Christian couple in a very un-Christian world. Though far from perfect, they lived their lives trying to live up to that ideal. They accepted many, helped those in need, and tried to be an example of what living with Christ meant. They were selfless in a world that seems to reward selfishness. They gave of themselves and blessed everyone around them with the blessings they received. I’m proud and honored to have called them family.

Papaw died about three years ago due to his struggle with ALS, and Nanny died last Friday after suffering a heart attack. It’s hard to imagine that they are both gone, that I’ll never hear them laugh or be able to sit and have a conversation with them. I’ll never again have Papaw try to teach me how to play golf. I’ll never feel Nanny’s maternal embrace when I feel as though I can’t survive.

Even after me and their granddaughter divorced, they never stopped loving me, and I never stopped loving them. Though it’s been years since I took the opportunity to visit with her, I’ve never forgotten their generosity. I now bitterly regret not taking the time to talk with Nanny one last time, to thank her for giving me love and support, for laughing and crying with me, for being an example of a good Christian woman.

Some of the family was touched that I took the time to pay my final respects to the matriarch of the family. I hope it was some small comfort that I held her is such high esteem. Some would not have taken that time to make that drive. I knew I had no choice, my conscience wouldn’t have allowed me to miss.

Tomorrow I’ll head home, knowing that her remains have been consigned to the Earth. As a Christian, I have the hope that I may see her again someday, though I hope that day will be long delayed. It’s a comfort for me to know that her suffering is over, and that she’s been reunited with her beloved husband. For me, however, I’ll admit that I’m selfish and I wish she was still here, but isn’t that true for all those we have loved and lost?

The unexpected goodbye

It’s late, and I’m going only on about a couple of hours of sleep. I just didn’t sleep much last night. It was just one of those nights. Tonight, I had hoped to get to bed early and get some much-needed sleep, after doing a little writing, of course. Life, however, intervened.

A little more than an hour ago, my ex-wife sent me a text informing me that her grandmother had passed away. At first I was stunned by the unexpected news and I didn’t know what to feel, or even if I was allowed to feel anything at all. It was a rather curious sensation, and not one I ever want to feel again. If I feel this way, I can’t imagine the trauma the family suffered, and are continuing to suffer, at losing the matriarch of the family. I can scarcely imagine.

My ex called me, once she got home, and as one would imagine, she’s taking it hard. My step-daughter is also taking the news hard. To have someone ripped from your life so suddenly is a life experience you can never prepare for. It’s one I’ve been fortunate enough not to have faced. I feel for my ex-wife, my step-daughter, and the family as a whole, though I’m estranged from them.

I’m struggling, I’ll admit, to figure out what I’m supposed to be feeling. It’s all a jumble at the moment. I’m saddened, naturally, that someone I knew has passed away. She took me and my wife in at a low point in my life, right after I lost my job. She let me stay for several months after me and my wife split. She forced me to move out, which I was upset for at first, but was really a necessary step at the time, for me to reclaim my independence.

I feel guilty that I lost touch with her, especially after the death of her husband about three years ago. I should have tried to stay in touch with her. I should have kept a line of communication with her since she always treated me with love and respect even though I was no longer a part of the family.

I want to cry, but there are no tears for me to shed. I few sobs have escaped my lips, but they were fleeting. I wonder if the news will hit me in the morning, and if I will break down then. I don’t know. I’m too exhausted at the moment to deal with the news, and other than to offer my condolences to the family, and to offer up a pray for the repose of her soul, my body begs me to lay down and drift off to sleep.

For now, all I can do is wait to hear from my ex-wife so she can tell me when the funeral will be. I need to talk to my manager at work and try to work something out so I can attend the funeral. She might not be family any more, but I feel it would be disrespectful for me not to go. I just pray that the family finds a measure of peace in knowing her struggles have ended, though I know there’s no consolation to be had. I just have to say good-bye, and may God welcome you home.

Change of plans

This was my plan for yesterday. I worked from six in the morning until three. I had planned to get home, take a short reinvigorating nap, and then start working on Jasmine. It was supposed to be a nice, quite evening at home.

Instead, on the way home I got a text from my brother. What time you getting home me and Julian are going to see Nadi play. do you want to go with us. My response? Yea.

Instead of a nice night at home, I spent the evening outside in subfreezing temperatures watching my niece play junior varsity soccer. It was cold. Really cold. I wore four layers, which helped, but my legs were icicles. I wish I had thermal underwear or tights or pantyhose or anything to keep my legs from feeling cold. Luckily the game consisted only of two 25 minute halves, with a 5 minute halftime. An hour later, we sat in a McCalister’s Deli to thaw out, ate supper, and probably talked and joked for at least an hour, probably more.

I got no writing done, not even to update my blog, which I’ve been trying to do daily this month, but that’s okay. It was nice to break the monotony of everyday life and go out, even if it was cold. Sometimes writing can wait. Life, however, waits for no one.

Snark and gratitude

Yesterday when I arrived at work, one of my assistant managers saw me and waved me over to the store manager’s office, which is always a great way to start of the day. She then handed me a small envelope in which a Starbucks gift card and a thank you card had been placed. It was a simple thank you for my hard work getting the store ready for inventory.

The amusing part is when she handed me the card, she begged me not to write a review of the thank you card. It cracked me up, but I immediately scanned the card for spelling and grammatical errors. I found none. Damn it! Well, I appreciate the gesture and the accompanying snark.