Suppose I had a little more than my fair share of loss early in life. In part, because I was born to my parents at the time in life when most of their peers were becoming grandparents. So, that naturally put everyone in my life twenty years older than they may have been otherwise. Heart problems, cancer and diabetes robbed me of all of my grandparents before I got out of my adolescence.
Then, I lost Daddy at the beginning of High School. I knew he was better off in Heaven than here hurting from cancer. I watched every football game I could, because that's when I felt closest to him. I'd comment just like he was still there. Going to college without him was the hardest thing. The day I moved into my dorm, there were girls with daddies lugging their boxes and refrigerators up to their room. There was a time, a couple of years after he passed, I'd fantasize about driving my car into a concrete side of an overpass. The thought of my Mother having to deal with that is the only thought God put in my head to stop me. (I've never told this to anyone other than Pete.)
But worst of all, I was looking for someone to love me the way my Daddy did. That led to some bad relationships and some bad decisions.
In less than five years, my sister Sarah was gone. Way before anyone would of expected it and all too suddenly. I was way to busy trying to be strong for Mama to fall apart from this loss. I mourned her privately. By myself.
Again, in less than five years, Mama was gone. This was hard. Even though I knew she'd of never wanted to survive as a vegetable, it was hard. Thankfully, I had a relationship at the time to throw myself into. I thought I knew where my life was going, where my future lay. I was wrong, but, believing that at the time, gave me a focus. A hope for a tomorrow.
In less than ten years my close family was cut in half. Over half. Thankfully, I still had my oldest, wonderful, amazing sister, Edna. And then I meet my Pete. And within a few years I had a surrogate mother in my mother-in-law, Hazel. And in his cousin, Janie, I had a surrogate much older sister and a best friend.
Time marches on. A little over 15 years goes by. Then it starts all over again. This time out of Pete's family. The people I'd come to love like my own. We lost his dad, Junior, to a stroke. And before we knew it, we had lost his brother, Danny Boy to a heart attack. Then Janie to a car wreck. And then Hazel to complications of heart problems. That one was the straw that nearly broke me again. I think the weight of every loss I had ever had came down on me at one time. I went through nearly two years of depression. The doctor had me taking little happy people pills. I got everyone up in the morning and then slept all the time I could. Spent most of my wake time watching TV or on the computer. I stopped going anywhere I didn't absolutely have to go.
Slowly, the light began to dawn a little for me again. But most of all, my family needed me. More specifically, Pete needed me to begin to look for work as he was starting to have health problems. My first trips into Beaumont were terrifying! But I squashed that down and did what I had to do. Why, because that's the stock I'm from. That's what we do. We may have a pause. A rest. But in the end, we put on foot in front of the other and just carry on.
After we'd survived Rita, my step father started to go down hill. I believe the shock of a storm that emense took it's toll on Polk. When we lost him, I had to be strong for my children. Then comes the shock of learning we had lost Pete's brother Tommy in a motorcycle wreck. This time I was strong for Pete and for my kids.
If you're new to Caneyhead, I hope you'll read the entries highlighted in this post about these special, precious people from my past. As to why would I write about this? Just to let you know it's not the end. No matter how bad it hurts now. No matter how lost or alone you feel. There is something or someone out there ahead of you.