Monday, February 25, 2008

Visit to Cincinnati

It's been awhile since I last posted. I've been in a deep depression I figured out and was confirmed by my doc last week.
So much has happened since then.

The most significant thing that happened is that Walt didn't make it.He died November 28th. He passed away knowing he was going in for the transplant but he never recovered consciousness. His infections were fatal;a result of the mechanical heart being in too long.
If only a donor had been found sooner maybe he would be alive today.
I can't emphasise enough to sign donor cards or your drivers license,make your wishes known and sign a medical directive or as it's more commonly known, a Living Will.

It was heart wrenching when Ken called and told me he and Julie had decided to take their Dad off life support. We had all talked about it and Walt made his wishes known to the kids before he even went into the hospital and Ken and I had discussed it on the phone several times however when the decision is made and there is no turning back it's devastating.
I can't imagine the kids' feelings at that time. I support them 100% and no one could have had their Dad's interest at heart more than them.
What a wonderful legacy he and Janet left behind in Ken and Julie.
The most amazing brother/sister team I've witnessed.

I went back home to Cincinnati for Walt's funeral. He was buried the day after what would have been his 60th birthday.
I was shocked to see how much my brother suffered evidenced by the bruises left on his body.
He was so thin.And gray. My brother used to have the most full head of brown hair. I know we all age and get gray but his was almost white. Another witness to the suffering his body went through.

I admire we Mitchell's for one thing if nothing else. We pull together when needed.
Something Walt would be proud of but pass off as nothing he had to do with it is that we all came together and let bygones be bygones.
We became a real family again if not the first time in some ways.
I reconnected with my oldest sister and grown nieces. What an amazing,inspiring,awesome group of women they are.
They called me "the fun Aunt"! I guess because I smoked, drank, cussed, told jokes and don't take myself too serious.
Each one remembered something of their youth that I was part of and told me.
You never know what an impact you are having when you are doing but it is inspiring to know you encouraged someone so close to you.
My sister did an amazing job raising her 8 kids alone. And those kids love their Mom so much.

I got to see Dan,Jennie and Keisha while I was there and stayed with them one night. Dan and Keisha were in a play at church so I got to go see them which was a treat. Keisha has become so grown up.
No longer is she the little girl she was when I lived with them in Dayton.
I just love her to pieces and she does me.
Dan and Jennie have done a fine job of raising her through some difficult times.

The only dark spot on the whole trip was when Steph showed up at the funeral home. Looking back,I don't even know why she came.
She had told Mandy on the phone she barely remembered her Uncle Walt.She's had nothing to do with my side of the family including her siblings for years.

I actually got excited when I saw her; you'd think by now I'd know better.I'm the eternal optimist though.
I was talking to some family members and she walked up so I said hello. She couldn't have been more snippy if she tried.
It was not quite so much as embarrassing as it was disgusting. I no longer think that the actions of my children are a reflection of me now that they are all grown and adults living on their own.
I was sad that Steph didn't bring Hanna. Most of us haven't seen her in years. I last saw her when she was 7 and she will be 13 in a couple months. Really, really sad.
Steph probably wasn't at the funeral home more than 5 minutes. I'm not even sure if she properly p-aid her respects to Ken and Julie.
She really showed her butt though and family members who once thought I might be exaggerating her treatment of me and her haughtiness found out who she really was.
I have no idea why that child hates me or as much as she does.I wonder if she even knows anymore.
I told her at the casket after she snipped at me when I mentioned how Uncle Walt suffered I wasn't worth hating that much.
I did cry. I cried for the relationship I wished we had and for her because she apparently is so troubled inside herself. My family made the comment she appears to be a functioning mental health case.
She has always been delusional about ideas that she thinks happened to her.She manufactured things in her mind and then played the victim. She has done this since she was a toddler.
All I can do is pray for her.

Had the whole family not spent the brief time we had together reacquainting ourselves and moving forward it may not have so apparent how Steph was acting.
Little did she know she could have been a part of a bigger loving family if she would have let her defenses down.

Tom didn't make it because apparently he is a high functioning drunk. My oh my how the years can change things. At one time Tom was the poster boy.He was the one Dad wanted us to aspire to be. He was the "successful" one.
And Barb called me before I left California to say she couldn't be there. She doesn't feel like we are her family and isn't close like we want her to be.
I can't dispute her feelings but yet I know her perception is wrong.
I actually began suspecting she may have some autistic tendencies after talking with her.
It would explain some things.
Then there is Pauline. Who knows where she is?
I tried finding her the whole time Walt was sick and couldn't. I don't know where she is but I guess she doesn't care that we don't know because she hasn't contacted anyone for at least 5 years. If nothing else Mary and Dave live in the same house and have the same number and are listed so there really isn't an excuse.

There has been a lot to process and figure out since all this has happened. My doc says I'm still in the anger stage slowly moving into denial. I thought I was into acceptance but maybe I'm not.
I do know I am still mourning. Mourning for my brother and parts of my life that should have been different but aren't.

Spring is coming and that means new life and rebirth. A cleansing of the heart, mind and soul if you will.
I welcome it with open arms. I will get past this.I know that if I know nothing else.

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