Eleven years ago today, my father died. I was not quite fourteen, my brother was not quite eleven. I was due to start high school, Zach to start middle school. It was a Monday that year, too. I got called, that morning, to come to a Key Club meeting.
Suffice it to say, I didn't go.
I've been thinking a lot about the people I've lost, lately. It's probably not a healthy cycle. Every person I lose, I back myself up through time and catalogue all the others. Seven and eight saw Grandpa John and Grandma Eunie go (that left me Grandma Jane, as my great grandparents and Grandpa Bob had died before I was born). Then our close neighbor Sam, whose wife had Alzheimer's, and who kept having to be told again and again that her husband had died. My father's friend Rodney passed away, and then my father a few years after that. Some slightly more distant relatives next. My high school friend Manny, the same age as me, died of cancer when we were only nineteen. Then Uncle Bob (really my father's uncle), then my father's sister, Aunt Linda (that happened while I was leaving my ex, to move in with Chris). She was the same age as Daddy had been. Friend Nancy from the choir, right as our Lancelot was dying. (And the number of close animal friends we're not going to get into.) And now--
Well, I had my first good day in about two weeks, yesterday. My friend Christina took me out to see "Mamma Mia!" and it's basically happiness encapsulated. But I still cried at "Dancing Queen." I've been doing that, lately.
A Thursday and a half ago, I found out my great Uncle Dick, whom I loved very much, who pierced my ears when I was eleven and was my ear/nose/throat doc when I was a kid (we had such bad ears!), had died. Almost a week before. No one remembered to tell me. So I found out via an emailed obituary from a family member I haven't heard from since September. I'd already missed the funeral. I hadn't seen Uncle Dick in more than a year. They put him to sea, where my Grandpa John is. I didn't get to go to his funeral, either.
The next day, puffy-eyed and sore, I went to put eyedrops in, and put in an earwax removal drop in my left eye instead (I grabbed the wrong bottle, they look remarkably similar). The drops contain carbomide peroxide, which can cause blindness and other serious corneal damage. So I spent Friday in the ER and picking up prescriptions. My insurance didn't think I needed to see an ophthalmologist, though. Now I'm not sure if the increased blurriness in my left eye is just that my astigmatisms in that one have gotten a little worse and I'm paying more attention, now, or whether I've got some lasting damage.
That meant I had to take a couple of days off from straining my eyes at working, considering the work I had lined up, to be due in about a week, was a large stack of small print business cards whose info had to be put into an online database. Plus another PDF file of cards, plus a more urgent list of contacts. I got the list in, and had to stop. Life happened generally, and slowed me down further, although not unpleasantly.
But then I found out there'd been a mix-up (my fault, at least partially and possibly mostly) and I hadn't sent a supply to a coworker that was needed... well, the day before I heard about it, basically. That started another chain of stress. And guilt. And waiting to get the supplies, and running out of ways to send them, and not being able to get ahold of other coworkers who were busy, or deathly ill, and whom I hated having to disturb anyway. I spent six hours unable to leave, or be indisposed for more than a few minutes at a time, waiting to hear back, and never did (because busy, deathly ill). So I finished the stacks of cards, and strained my eyes, and had to stop.
That part is as fixed as I can get it, at least, now.
I'm upset I've knocked the shine off of myself, at work, though. I want to tell them everything about what had been happening, why I've been stressed, why I'm having trouble with these things, why I'm not dealing in my usual incredibly cheerful, energetic way, but how do I do that without being dramatic? Without sounding self-pitying? They've got enough to deal with, themselves. They're not calling me out. I don't think they're mad. Lee finally told me it wasn't really a big deal, and not to worry too much. I just said I'd been having a shitty week. But I want to be better than that, for them. I want them to keep thinking I could never do any wrong by them.
Ah, well. The scales have to fall some time, I guess.
Anyway. I've got the aftershocks of stress. I'm feeling very low. And my eyes still hurt.
And I think I just hallucinated the smell of my dad's aftershave. Or maybe my uncle's.
I think I'm going to go try to get a little sunshine.
EDIT: Oh, just insult to injury, but I forgot to mention: in the midst of all this--of all the computer work I've had to do?--my poor old 7.5 year old laptop was trying to die, and required backing up, wiping, reinstalling, etc. Which took another couple of days out of my time to finish that work. She's okay, now, but I'm not sure for how much longer.