Monday, October 4, 2010

Anorher Cold Rainy Day

I have plenty to do but you get to a point you don't know where to start.  First, I need to get my summer clothes into storage, bring out the winter ones.  I know once I get started it'll be okay.  Inertia is the problem.  Or the fact that when I stop to do these things, I'm not productive with my writing.  And if I'm not productive, then there's no monies coming in from that source of income.  I did have a small income from selling books on but that whole system was put out of commission through life circumstances and I'm sure has removed all the books by now.  If I want to do that again, it means going through all the boxes and listing the books and assigning numbers...which took me six months to do in  the place.  Something I no longer have the inclination to do now.

This is probably one reason I decided to have a glass of wine, something I don't normally do when I'm alone.  Wine is for enjoying with others.

If there was a dance tonight, I'd probably go to that only because once I'm on the dance floor I don't have to think about anything other than the music or where my feet are going.  Needless to say I take every opportunity to go dancing, so much better than popping anti-depressants, which for me any my circumstances is not the way to go. 

While driving back from my chiropractor today I suddenly had the feeling of becoming uprooted and not knowing exactly who I was or where I was going.  This sense of disorientation went along with  my morning.  Upon awakening I felt a lot of angst that actually radiated outward to my feet and hands.  The only remedy I found for this was to tighten my body which  helped to dispel these feelings.

Once I'm up I usually busy myself with getting breakfast, doing wash, taking my dog for her walk except today it was cold and rainy and I'm not such a diehard that I can do this especially when my body always remind now how old I am and how old I'm getting. 

One really does have to be in the right frame of mind to be productive I think.  I wish I could do like others simply sit here and create my stories.  Except right now I have my own story that keeps swirling inside my brain and I'm not sure the best way to tell it.

I finished typing in 62 letters written by my mom to my dad starting in 1937 through 1943 possibly 1944.  Most were during 1943.  As I read the letters the slow realization of what happened during those months while my dad served in the Army is now eating at me in a way that I'm not sure what to do with this information.   They've both passed on and there is really no one to ask.  All those mentioned in these letters have also passed on and all I can do now is to make up my own conclusions to why mom was the way she was.

Talk about unlucky stars!  She refers to her "unlucky state of being" quite often in these letters.  Knowing what I do know about her I'd have to say she was right on the money.  Born into a family of 10 plus, orphaned at the age of 4, living inside an orphanage until age 16 she met my dad and married him in 1938 at the age of 23.  Five years later he's off to war, then returns in 1945, and I and my sister are born in 1946.

From these letters my father was discharged based on some medical problems but I think also because he felt my mother could not live without him.  All of her letters reflect this, each letter expressing her downhill slide into a debilitating depression that would peak after my birth. 

At four years old in a way I lost my mother to this a debilitating mental illness known as depression.  One day she disappeared for a while where she underwent the type of psychiatric treatment that in today's psyche world might be regarded as barbaric at best, i.e. the electric shock treatment. 

My mom it seems through these letters was determined and made it her purpose to let the draft board as well as whoever else could help my dad get a discharge know she would have a nervous breakdown if my dad did not come home soon   She actually stopped eating, stopped going out, stopping living. 

It worked.

Except she in fact ended up having that  nervous breakdown brought on by the stress of going through what she needed to do to convince them all so that my dad could get his discharge.

In her letters she could not sleep.    I still remember her telling me one night she had sat up all night looking out at the night sky, unable to sleep.  I was twenty at the time. 

She never freed herself from that depression that would dwell within her up until the day she died in 2003 at the age of 86.

So now I'm not sure what to do with these letters.  I will put them into a book, for they do tell a lot about my dad, my aunts, uncles, cousins, and how life was for them during those difficult times. 

I now am going to go through my dad's letters to my mom which total over a hundred.

Their lives were greatly disrupted by the men of that time being called to serve, asked to make asacrifice; a sacrifice that ensured today we aren'tnot speaking another language and that we live in this country in relative peace and harmony.

Except I now often wonder what kind of person my mom would have become if (1) the flu epidemic hadn't killed my maternal grandfather, and tuberculosis hadn't killed my maternal grandmother, and (2) if the war hadn't taken my dad. 

I'll never know of course. 

Oh yeah, I did discover that at some point I had a stepgrandmother on my father's side.  I have no idea who that was.  Some day I may find out.  Unfortunately, the brothers and sisters on both side feuded quite a bit especially as they became old, ending up most of them not speaking to each other.  The cousins scattered.  No real connection was ever maintained.

Probably another reason why after reading these letters I feel quite uprooted and scattered myself.   When I became a widow most of those I had any connection with, those  connections disappeared as well.  I think as we age we find we have neither the energy, the inclination, nor the strength to re-connect to those who once made up our pasts.

Okay, I finished my wine and now I'll go watch Dancing with the Stars!

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