August 1, 2001

This One's For Me

10 PM and all's well with my world:
The kids are both home - Mark is cloistered in his room watching TV;
I can hear Rob's voice as he chirps merrily on the phone. (Or as close as a 17 year old 6-foot-1 wanna-be rock star comes to chirping.)
Hubby is in the bedroom probably sleeping along with the TV;
I'm in front of my beloved laptop in the kitchen.

So why is my stomach in knots?

I won't dwell on the details; suffice it to say that stomach troubles are one of my body's favourite ways of dealing with stress - always have been. That and headaches, sore throats, and depression.

I was once told by a doctor that a nervous stomach is one of the healthiest ways to manifest physical symptoms. It's painful and inconvenient (to say the least) but causes no permanent harm. In fact, it's an elegant statement of opinion: my body is saying, "shit on this".
A doctor told me that. Really.

So in an attempt to expurgate (heehee) the demons within, I'll let my fingers caress the keyboard and maybe something positive will come out of it.

The most likely candidate on my list of stresses is taking care of the leftover business of my father's estate*.
It's not hard work.
It's not really even work.
He left it well-organized.
I have to make a few phone calls, visit some banks, mail some documents.
It's getting done but I'm dragging my feet well beyond normal procrastination.

It's like, if I ignore it, it doesn't exist.

To make things worse, it's time to order the tombstone.
I've done this before, for my Uncle; Hubby did it around the same time for his mother.
It's still not a task I want to face.

It won't take long; it's a straightforward simple transaction.

What's worse is, the tradition of "unveiling" the stone. I don't know if this is a local thing, a North American thing or really a religious Jewish thing, but the custom is to gather friends and family at the gravesite, where the stone is draped with a cloth, and have a rabbi say prayers and remove the cloth. Then everyone goes to a pre-designated house where food is served.
The last few times I've been to unveilings, it's begun to dawn on me that it's like ripping open wounds that are just beginning to heal.
Maybe there's a reason for it; maybe it's part of the psychological process. It's a process I intend to skip if I can get away with it, and most likely I can get away with it.

The only reason I would be persuaded to do it would be for Stepmom's side of the family; if they insist, I'll do it.

This is not without precedent - there have been occasions in my family where this step was omitted. I can't see it doing much good for anyone. Everyone who matters, with the exception of one cousin, is out of town, and the exception didn't do it for his own mother five years ago.

Sounds like I'm trying to justify my feelings - when I don't really have to justify them, do I.

If I go about my day to day life, it doesn't feel as if my father is gone; he used to spend months in Florida, contacting me once every week or two. I can pretend that's where he is.
If I have to go around gathering up and distributing his assets and ordering a tombstone, it's a little harder to pretend.

I don't know if this is what's causing the stomach attacks but it's a likely suspect. Maybe facing it down will help.

*For those among you with a tendency towards stalking, don't bother - it's not enough money to change your life or make it worth your while to put up with me.

In other news:

Thanks to Denver Doug and Alberta Doug for the topic suggestions, and to Alice for the email suggestions. I'll save them for those days when the brain just goes "duhh".
Anyone else? The forum is always open...

The Hot Flashes 'burb is open for business; come one come all, even those menopausal males among us.
While I hate to make anyone feel left out, not qualifying for this burb cannot be an entirely bad thing, as Sasha has discovered.
Sasha claims I said she's too young for this; that's not precisely so - people in their thirties can be menopausal for one reason or another - but Sasha just ISN'T.

Linque Du Jour:   Are We There Yet? Journal

Entry for August 1, 2001: What It's Like To Be Free

I discovered this journal recently, and today's entry just blew me away. I hope that one day I can write my own version of this story.

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