Categories
Family

What happened to Mom? Where’d she go?

I may be leaving behind someday soon this standard concrete suburb close to a beach and a big city and trading it in for the smallest of the four cities in Michigan that employs a full time Historic Preservation Coordinator!

Of course, what happened to Mom and why I would think about moving to Michigan are each long stories of their very own.  Suffice to say I returned to the uneventful scene of my youth just in time to become deeply mired in the extremely eventful demise of my mother!

I’ll try to spare you all the excruciatingly painful and emotionally confusing details of what went down with Mom and how she went down, nearly to the bottom, pretty darn quickly at the almost end.  And, believe it or not, Covid had almost nothing to do with it!  And, even more incredibly, she’s still there now, six months later!

Mom had a stroke and a fall (not sure which came first) in early June. This was followed by a week-long hospital stay until they kicked her over to a Transitional Care Unit (TCU) for rehab where she was supposed to receive daily therapy. After a week there, during which no progress was anywhere near possible, I had to made the difficult decision, following the hospitalist’s earlier recommendation, to consign my mother to hospice care.  The easiest and safest way to accomplish this, given the unknowns about if or when she would or even could come home, was to move her to a facility where she could be properly cared for.  She’s been there ever since, probably continuing to go slowly downhill though no one, including her caregivers at a nearby board and are home and hospice team, can really tell for sure. Her periods of wakefulness now are less sporadic than they were at the beginning but it seems that whoever visits can count on her to consistently not seem to know where she is and most of the time to talk about people who are long dead.

Additional details and more of the story of Mom and me will most likely be the subject of later posts.  I see a lot of Facebook posts that advise us to appreciate our mothers while they’re still here.  It seems, however, they don’t consider a situation like mine – my mother is sort of still here and at the same time sort of gone.  So, besides trying (but not too hard now) to figure out why my marriage ended I could also try to figure what I want my relationship with Mom (and maybe later my ex) to look now.

Categories
divorce

My Divorce Saga has FINALLY ended

Unofficial timeline November 2019-November 2021

Official timeline June 2020 (he filed)-September 2021 (court approved)

I might need to update my About page again!

It started, from my perspective when my now finally ex-husband, without warning, hired a lawyer.  From his perspective it had started from a (false – as many of his were) assumption that I had decided to be the “first to file” after a pre-Thanksgiving get-together with my GFFs (Girlfriends Forever aka “The Bubbles” from how they finagled to get together during the pandemic) the year before. Apparently, he got tired of waiting for me to proceed with what he’d really wanted to do! 

Then, to add insult to injury, the coward called me, expecting only to leave a message informing me of his dastardly deed.  Too bad for him, I answered the phone thus forcing him to stammer and hem and haw through his weak and mainly false assessment of my state of mind and confess to starting down the path to his third divorce!  The conversation ended with him meekly informing me that the paperwork, which he expected I would immediately accept with no questions asked, was on its way by snail mail.

The Idiot!  After thirty years, he should have known better than to expect me to go quietly, on his terms and without seeking advice and guidance from someone who was better prepared than I to protect my interests.  That turned out to be, not surprisingly, a lady lawyer.  And he couldn’t understand why it was taking me so long to just fold up my tent, accept his offer, and go home to my mother, where I, conveniently for him, happened to already be. 

Then … COVID. Saga may be continued in a later post if I’m still having trouble processing it or if I need to vent or if I decide to continue to stalk him or … ?

Categories
Update

My starting over is starting over again

A lot has happened in the last four months since I told you about myself and why I’m starting over.

About (Created May 2021, Updated September 2021) – Starting Over (hbsuefred.com)

I’m still getting a divorce but the end is now in sight!

I’m still living in the same house where I grew up but now I’m living here alone!

I may be leaving behind someday soon this standard concrete suburb close to a beach and a big city and trading it in for the smallest of the four cities in Michigan that employ a full time Historic Preservation Coordinator!

These are just the placeholder headlines with details to follow.  Have I piqued anyone’s interest here?

Categories
Uncategorized

Saying Hello Part 2

Because I forgot half the assignment the first time

I forgot to include the part where I look to the future of my blog, so here’s that part.

Why am I blogging publicly instead of keeping a diary?

The easy answer to that question is that I don’t give a darn who might happen to read my “innermost” thoughts here. Anyone who writes a blog is really writing for anybody other than themselves. Come to think of it, isn’t blogging the antithesis of the traditional purpose of a personal diary? 

There’s also a chance I may attempt to publish parts of my “personal story” in some other format. This will include the posts tagged Places of My Life from my first published blog plus some edited and condensed versions of vignettes I drafted in my memoir classes.

What topics will I write about?

I will continue to write my personal life stories.  I hope to split them into two or three or more sections or pages based on what I see as the distinctive phases of my life so far. 

At my current age of 65, I can see a defining line at the denouement of my youthful experiences with my graduation from college. 

Young adulthood will encompass exploration of the big wide wonderful and scary real world when I went out and lived my own life and, to quote a movie that was popular at the time, Urban Cowboy, “all that that entails.”

I’d say I had to become a responsible adult when I found myself “knocked up” at the then very geriatric (for that sort of thing) age of nearly thirty-five.  This is probably the longest uninterrupted and least interesting or enlightening part of my life’s journey.  It might also be the most rewarding from my current perspective since it yielded at its conclusion my two daughters.

Who do I want my blog to connect with?

This is the modern social media version of the perennial authors’ question: Who is my intended audience? I want this blog, and maybe my possible book, to appeal to non-traditional non-stereotypical women of all ages.  I describe these ladies as superwomen who are able to at least handle if not master the dual practices of having a career (or at least a job) and having a family (or at least a personal life), usually at the same time. 

Coincidentally (or maybe not so much since we are at the beginning of a new year), I just finished, this week, a free online 7-Day Book Writing Challenge.  That course, and this exercise, both reference a manifesto:  a statement of what one believes, written to help others or oneself. 

Wikipedia expands the description of a manifesto by adding that it usually accepts a previously published opinion or promotes a new idea with prescriptive notions for carrying out changes the author believes should be made. It almost feels like this definition was written with my skillset in mind.  I don’t have many totally original ideas but believe strongly in expounding on and supplementing the ideas of experiences of others with my own thoughts, opinions and IRL events.

What do I hope to accomplish if I successfully blog throughout the next year?

I want a bunch of people to really like me!  But really, I want to like myself as the woman I am now.  Outside of my blog, which will be a look back at things that happened and therefore cannot be changed, I hope to confirm to myself and other women that we do not need men to define us, for good or ill. 

I will share episodes – real things that happened to me, as I remember them with as much specificity as I can muster on my thoughts and emotions at the time.  The time and place and context in which they happened are pivotal, IMO, to understanding my behaviors and reactions then which may or may not be realistic or relatable to the working woman of today.

In return I hope to receive feedback from especially Western women who may have had similar experiences, in the same time period or not, or may have learned from themselves or myself or others, how to thrive as their own authentic selves wherever they may be and at whatever point – past, present, or future – they occupy in the arc of modern life in the 21st century. 

Are we in general and as individuals moving forward or backwards? Or is the net result of movements in both directions just a wash for today’s women, as it may be for me right now?

How many times can I or will I have to or be able to start over to get there, the place I think I want to be now or very soon as I draw closer to the end of my life?  Will this continue to be an open-ended and uncomfortable pursuit, like Scarlett O’Hara’s dream on an overfull angry stomach. Will I ever get there?  Did she?

There may never be a definitive answer but I hope to continue the search, exchanging ideas, thoughts, opinions, memories and wishes along the way.

Categories
Uncategorized

Saying Hello Again – My New First Post

Since I have somehow opened a new blog in just the third (of 3) sections of the very first module of Blogging for Beginners – WordPress.com Courses (wpcourses.com) it seems somehow appropriate that I should, right here on said blog titled Starting Over From Scratch, draft a new introduction for myself and possibly for this new blog as well.

The lesson tells me that performing this exercise will help me focus my own ideas for my blog.  I feel, based on my thoughts so far, along with what I had on my old blog, it may really do that.  This means there may actually be hope for me to become a real live, full-fledged, semiprofessional blogger yet!

Revisiting what I said when I first started blogging

I started my blog “My Self Evident Truths…valid arguments against may be considered” https://hbsuefred.wordpress.com/  to communicate with the world outside of my own successively shrinking (in local metropolitan area size and population) localities.  I started that blog then to communicate with the other parts of world, or so I thought at the time.

Revisiting what I’ve accomplished since I first started blogging

So much and hardly anything at all!  Really, though, I do take some personal pride in many of the things I at least started during this time.  I think much of that is attributable to where I was living for most of it.

Oak Ridge, TN (2014 – 2019

  • ORICL (Oak Ridge Institute for Continued Learning)
    • A perfect blend of those who love to learn with those who love to teach
    • I spent most of my time here
      • History Curriculum Chair
      • Trip Planning Committee
      • Memoir Writing and Genealogy Classes
  • Explore Oak Ridge – Convention and Visitors Bureau
  • ADFAC (Aid To Distressed Families of Appalachian Counties
    • Affordable Housing Committee
    • Development Committee
  • Board of Housing and Code Appeals
  • Community Mediation Services
  • Tennessee Promise Mentor
  • Heritage and Preservation Association Museum Docent
  • American Museum of Science and Energy
  • City Council Candidate
  • Anderson County Democratic Party
  • League of Women Voters Recording Secretary
  • Friends of ORNL (Oak Ridge National Laboratory)
  • Friends of Oak Ridge Public Library Volunteer
  • Four or five book clubs

What I’d like to do – So much and hardly anything at all (again)!

  1. Finalize my divorce
  2. Keep up with books for discussions in four or five book clubs
  3. Maintain connections with friends old and new, near and far
  4. Keep my mom safe and sound.
    1. Try not to kill her for however long we cohabit my childhood home
  5. Continue writing and trying to make it look at least semiprofessional
    1. New Blog
    1. Old Memoir
Categories
Uncategorized

Places of My Life

"The Hard Way Every Time"
By Jim Croce - 1973 Album "I've Got A Name"
 Yeah, I've had my share of broken dreams
 And more than a couple of falls
 And in chasin' what I thought were moonbeams
 I have run into a couple of walls
 But in looking back at the places I've been
 The changes that I've left behind
 I just look at myself to find
 I've learned the hard way every time
 'Cause I've had my share of good intentions
 And I've made my share of mistakes
 And I've learned at times it's best to bend
 'Cause if you don't well those are the breaks
 Should have listened to all the things I was told
 But I was young and too proud at the time
 Now I look at myself to find
 I learn the hard way ev'ry time
 But in looking back at the lessons I've learned
 And the mountains I wanted to climb
 I just look at myself to find
 I've learned the hard way ev'ry time

Over the last few years I have written some vignettes for a series of memoir classes. Out of the process of figuring out what I want to leave behind for my daughters to learn about me, why I am the way I am today and why I raised them the way I did, I discovered that many of my memories are tied to the places in which they occurred, be they real or imagined.

By The Beatles – 1965 Album “Rubber Soul”