Saying Goodbye

Yesterday was rough. 😐 I woke up and hit the road shortly after dawn, because I wanted to allow myself plenty of time to compete with rush hour traffic heading towards Columbus. I just wanted to get up there early enough so that I could spend a while with Cassi and Lily before we had to head to the vet’s office. 😞 Once we were there, I couldn’t make myself stay in the room when the time came – but thankfully Cassi was strong enough to stay in there with Lily through all of it. As I sat out in the car waiting for her, I found what I felt was the best way to think about it…

Cassi loves Lily and didn’t want her to go, obviously, but she knew that for Lily’s sake – that’s what needed to happen. And Lily… I like to think that Lily didn’t want to go, but only because she didn’t want her adoptive mommy (and the other kitties in the house) to be sad and miss her. 😒 But Lily herself, I’m sure that if she would have been able to say it, she’d have said that it was time to go.Β  Thinking about it in human terms… as all of us approach our final years, there’s a pretty good chance that we ourselves will go through days, weeks, or maybe even months where we’d probably like to ask God to go ahead take us – due to the discomfort that often comes with that old age. πŸ‘΄πŸ»πŸ˜Ÿ

We were sniffling and sobbing all the way back to the apartment, and she was telling me even more little stories about Lily and some of the other cats that I hadn’t heard before… kind of a rolling “wake” of good kitty memories. πŸ™‚πŸ˜Έ Of course I couldn’t help but start thinking about Maven’s age, wondering how I’m going to be able to face it once that day comes for her… but luckily I’ve got both Cassi and Genesee who said they’re willing (and want) to be there. I wish I could have made myself stay in the room for Cassi, but she understood – and actually said that she never expected me to. 🀨 She basically said it in a way to let me know that she stayed in the room not only for Lily, but also so that I didn’t have to.

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I’mma Ramble For A Min

I don’t know if I’m going to have to deal with that nonsense every thirty days, but at least yesterday I was finally able to get the situation resolved. πŸ˜’ Everything ended up getting approved and paid for (after I got a refund for what I paid the day before) by the workers comp insurance. Everyone that I spoke to on the phone was super nice and helpful, which was almost disappointing – since I was really needing to shout at some people by that point. 😐 But yeah, it’s all settled for this month…

Now I’m sitting here in the house, living room floor covered with cat hair, wondering when my new vacuum cleaner is finally going to ship from Amazon. 🀨 I got it as part of a Black Friday / Cyber Monday/Week sale, but it wasn’t in stock at the moment and was advertised that it would ship in about a week. (It’s been about a week.) Meh… at least I don’t have any company coming over to see my furry carpet. πŸ™„

Outside, nothing has changed. It’s cold now, so stuff has stopped growing, but I never did get around to hiring someone to trim back all the hedges and other shit around the yard. πŸ™ It doesn’t look that bad, but it stays in the back of my mind that it needs tended to. πŸ˜’ That’ll probably be a “spring thing” to deal with before the lawn even requires mowing for the first time.

This house. I really don’t know what I want to do about it. It’s way too much house for one person, but it’s never been lived in by anyone other than a Batina. Grandparents, Dad, Aunt C, and now me. 😳 Lots of memories here, both good and bad… and it will/would be hard to not feel a little bit guilty about selling it and moving somewhere else. 😟 It shouldn’t be that way, but you know me – and how much memories / history / nostalgia / etc plays into my life. Plus, it’s the last thing that acts as “established Batina history/presence” and man would it feel weird to not have it around anymore to keep me feeling connected to my past. Hard to explain… but anyway…

Thankfully, now that I have all of my required meds in my system I’m feeling pretty good. Neck is still feeling more funky than it has in a long time, but I’m trying not to complain. I’m still waiting to see if the MRI is approved… and I’m hoping that if it’s not, that maybe I can use my Medicare insurance to cover most of it. Because I’m not doing it just to do it… something feels different, not good, and it’s making me a bit anxious. 😬 It’s been a decade since my cervical fusion surgery, so I don’t think it’s that far fetched to think that things may have changed in there since then.

Then and Now

I’m gonna make an effort to feel Christmas this year. Without going into details, the past several years have thrown a lot of stuff at me, Mom, Dad… hell, most folks in the family, as well as many of my friends. It just seems like the past several years have gone out of their way to shit all over everyone. πŸ˜• Whether it’s on Facebook or from what I see and hear during the rare personal appearances that I make with friends and family – life just has this gloomy film all over it, that even the best “fake happy” can’t camouflage.

I’m glad that most folks are better able to get through the gloomy times than I am. I mean, I’m glad for them… heh… that they aren’t like me. 😏 But some of my friends and acquaintances… some of them I really worry about. I’ve watched as a couple friends have essentially become alcoholics, a couple others who frantically cling to awful relationship partners, and some who have just stopped trying over the past couple of years. πŸ™ Facebook is great for introverts like me, who don’t regularly “hang out” or whatever, but it sure gives you a window into people’s lives that even they might not realize they’re giving. (Yeah, I know… “… says the guy with the endlessly rambling personal blog.”)

Anyway, my point is that the more “bleh” a person is exposed to, the more difficult it is to be resistant to it. (Obviously)Β I don’t want to completely miss Christmas again this year though, so once I get my medication situation taken care of I’m gonna focus my efforts on that. I don’t think I even put up any decorations last year… I’m not even sure I still have a tree, as strange as that sounds.

It helps that recently I was going through some old family boxes and found a bunch of Christmas decorations and stuff from when I was little. Each significant ornament or decoration has some sort of good memory attached to it, and I need to keep reminding myself that just because things are “how they are” now – I can’t let that stop me from thinking back to all of the better times. Just because me and a lot of other people have countless reasons to feel miserable, it doesn’t mean that we can’t allow ourselves to feel good about the things that are worth feeling good about. πŸ€”πŸ™‚

Granted, this is something that non-screwed-up people already know and do… but right now it just doesn’t come naturally to me, hence the constant reminders to myself. 😏 I’m sure that in the 19 days between my birthday and Christmas there will be plenty of things that will challenge my efforts, so I just hope that they’ll be mild.

I want this Christmas to feel like Christmas.

Mixed Emotions

While Genesee was here we were of course talking about all sorts of memories, and we even watched some old home videos that I’ve got uploaded to YouTube in an “unlisted” area. As we watched some of the Atlantic City videos we got to talking about the story behind how I found and got her a key from The Continental motel for Christmas last year, which just so happened to be a key to a room that we actually stayed in – with video proof, as I walked up to and recorded the number on the door (like the nerd that I am) with the camcorder. 😏 It really was amazing…

That then immediately made me remember how I made an awesome, lengthy blog post about it… but then due to certain people reading my blog and giving me shit about the choices I was making in my life – I ended up deleting the entire blog without archiving it. πŸ˜” So unless I find some internet archiving site that managed to capture it, that post (and all the others from that short era) is gone forever. And if you know me, you know that’s not like me at all – just impulsively wiping out a significant chunk of my own history. 😠

That’s what happens though when you’ve got someone who’s words meant everything to you, suddenly and repeatedly getting really fucking shitty about things. πŸ˜’ Rather than leaving my words up here to be picked apart and used against me, I just instinctively made them go away – theorizing that without a detailed view into my life, there’d be less for anyone to be shitty about. πŸ™‡πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ Meh… I still deal with internal mental fallout from that (and other things) every single day. πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ In fact, it’s usually the first thing on my mind when I wake up and the last thing I think about before falling asleep. Good times.

But anyway… speaking of memories… another fun thing to come from going through the old photos was discovering a stack that focused on school parties, birthdays, and holidays with friends when I was little. And thanks to Facebook, I’m still linked to a lot of the friends that were also in those photos – so it was a good time when I scanned and posted a bunch of them. πŸ™‚ My god… the outfits and haircuts are so embarrassing, but everyone was excited to see them and laugh.

That’s one thing that I’m glad of, and one thing that a lot of friends are jealous about… how Mom and Dad documented and saved so, so much stuff from when I was little. 😊 Tons of photos, stacks of old school papers, favorite books, favorite stuffed animals, baby books filled out with all sorts of details about me… it’s just an amazing amount of stuff from my birth onward that I’ve got here – stuff that a lot of people’s parents never bothered doing/saving. I’m lucky to have it all.

Bed and Breakfast

Over the past few days I’ve had 24/7 company here at the house. 😯 Genesee’s friend Tracie flew out to NJ for an extended visit with her, and then Gen provided the return trip home, depositing Tracie at her house and then starting her little break here in Ohio. I’m not sure it was really a break, now that I think about it, because she had plenty of people to see and lots of things to do. But yeah, for a few days I had her and Nesh here. πŸ˜πŸΊπŸ’πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Of course it was impossible for me to adjust… wait… let me start by saying that I was totally glad that she was here, so I’m not bitching about that at all… but when I have trouble just existing by myself here, trying to maintain a sleep schedule that doesn’t have me feeling like death, of course it’s gonna be challenging having company in the house. 😬 But the way I looked at it, the benefit outweighed the complications, and I knew (hoped) that I’d be able to regenerate after they left anyway.

Maven wasn’t thrilled about having a horse in the house, so she generally just avoided us… but on the last day she came into the living room and sat next to me, knowing that I’d keep him away from her if he tried – as if she was thumbing her nose at him. 😏 She’s been up my butt ever since they left… heh… I mean, even more than usual.

With Genesee’s help I finally sorted away all of the boxes of memories from Mom and Dad’s apartment. They’ve been stacked in an extra bedroom for months… but having someone “in the loop” to look through the pictures, school stuff, baby stuff… it just made it so much easier to stay motivated. 😎 She was a big help in sorting out the “old old” photos into a box for Aunt Sharon to go through. Most aren’t labeled… photos of what would be my great aunts and uncles, third cousins, etc – people that really only Aunt Sharon will be able to identify / tell stories about. πŸ‘΅πŸ» I’ve already told her this is the plan, and she’s hoping to make a scrapbook for her kids so the family history doesn’t get somewhat lost as it goes down the generations.

 

This Used To Be My Playground

I had to go in town earlier to work on some annuity claim paperwork that Dad needs, then after I left the bank I went and hosed off the car. Rather than heading straight back home, I decided to ride around town for a minute… something that I actually haven’t done for a while now.

I’m noticing more than ever that this town feels like a different place to me now. I think it’s because I’ve seen too much of the negative of Lancaster, not only through various groups on Facebook but in person as well. The Lancaster of 2017 is nothing like the Lancaster from when I was a kid. (said every old person ever)Β  The difference here is that the younger generations see that the town is turning to shit as well, so it’s not just my nostalgic brain playing tricks on me.

It really wasn’t even that long ago that the town still felt like it was mine. I doubt that there’s a road in this town that hasn’t been touched by my cousin Jim and I on our bikes back in the day. Then once we learned to drive, it was “fox hunting” on the CB… which took us to the edges of town and onward. Everything about this city was familiar to us, and that feeling lasted a long time…

But now, the memories don’t immediately pop up anymore. I could probably sit here and give you a memory for any street that you’d care to name, but when I’m out driving on those same roads now… that’s all they are, just roads. Just roads in a crappy, poor, crumbling, drug-addicted town. Nothing about it feels familiar. I think I’ll try harder to get the feeling back though, at least in part, before time wins and erases it all.