Wednesday, February 27, 2013


February 27th 2013

Dear B,

Sleep has not come easy these past few weeks. I’ve had a lot on my mind, more than usual.

For the past three weekends we have received a significant amount of snow. The big storm we received three weeks ago knocked power out to most of the area. I was fortunate to only have it flicker while others were without it for days. There were many trees down and schools were closed for a couple of days. The governor declared a state of emergency and even instituted a driving ban to all no essential emergency vehicles during the storm. I had the candles and flashlights out but never needed them. I made a pizza and watched movies. It was a non-event for me personally while the rest of the region declared it to be the largest storm to see the area in the past 30 years. Like I said, it was no big deal to me.

Not much phases me these days. I'm not sure if it is my depression getting worse or if I'm just desensitized to life itself these days. It seems I’ve checked out of reality and just in life’s limbo.

The 4th anniversary of JJ's passing has come and gone this past week. I can't believe how fast time is moving. The rest of the world has kept moving forward while I've become stuck in this time period of inactivity in my life. I keep wishing I could somehow bottle up or save this time for a more productive period in my life but I don’t see anything promising on the horizon.

I haven’t been to a church service this year yet as I haven’t had my Jeep fixed and don’t have a way to get anywhere. Needless to say I haven’t gotten around much this year. I actually received a few calls to fix computers in the last day or so. Not enough to put a dent into the mountain of debt that is accumulating monthly but it is still something and I am grateful for that.

My appointment for getting my taxes done is coming up soon and I haven’t paid nearly half of what I owe from the prior year. My request to renew my medical insurance was just recently denied due to the lack of proof of income. I need to submit a recent tax return as proof of income. The catch is when I file I need to make a large sum payment of what I owe to the state and that is money I don’t really have.
I really don't have any answers to any of my financial woes these days. I keep going over and over the things I need to be focusing on to make money and keep coming up with nothing. To me this has become an unsolvable issue.
And maybe that's why I can't sleep. I usually can figure things out on my own without much outside help. I've been doing it for years. Self-reliance to me has worked thus far. When I start depending on others to meet my needs it seems I set myself up for failure.
So I go it alone for the most part. Like I said it has worked for the most part.
Now I lie awake most nights between the hours of 2AM and 5AM only succumbing to sleep as the sun breaks the horizon.
On the rare occasion that I do sleep I wake up feeling physically exhausted knowing I have tossed and turned most of the night. Not a very pleasant way to start the day.
I look forward to the longer brighter days coming up this Spring. I won't have the heat on which will reduce the natural gas I use and my electricity consumption will be down as well. It will feel good to feel the heat of the sun and smell the fresh outdoor air once again.
For the time being I will stay indoors, hibernating like a bear for the remainder of the winter watching the snow fall.
I miss and love you.

-Dad XO

Friday, February 1, 2013

Death by Chocolate...

February 1st 2013

Dear B,

Two weeks have passed since I have last written to you. I just do not know where the time goes. I sleep a lot these days and usually by the time I get up to do my morning ritual of getting coffee and checking email it is pushing two in the afternoon.

What woke me up today was the slamming of the ambulance doors outside the house. The lady across the street must have gone into another self-induced diabetic coma again. It has become a monthly occurrence. Half the time the EMTs just give her a shot to regulate her sugar and she is fine within a few minutes. The other half, she goes for the ride to the hospital only to be released either the same or next day. What a way to live.

I keep thinking that one of these days she is going to go into a diabetic shock and her husband won't be there to call 911. Or maybe the EMTs will be too late to administer that special life saving shot or that her body isn't going to recover and she's going to die regardless of what the paramedics do. To pass clutching a bag of chocolate chip cookies isn't exactly a dignified way to go. Then again, what is?

Not much else has changed in the last two weeks though. The weather has been crazy though. The temperature got down to the single digits last week. Then it warmed up to nearly 50 degrees the other day only to drop back down to around freezing today. It has snowed a few days but nothing really accumulated. Oh, and it got windy. Really windy with gusts up to around 50MPH. I haven't noticed any downed limbs in the yard but I haven't really gotten out either.

Last week I took all the Christmas decorations down and packed them away for another year. The house looks so empty now. It was a sad few days packing up the trees and putting away your still wrapped presents that are now two plus years old. I think I got a total of three Christmas cards this year. Now I know why people are so depressed this time of year.

Some doctors and scientists blame it on the shorter days and lack of sunlight. I think it's the fact that a new year has come into existence and nothing has changed but the fact that I am hanging a new calendar up. I'm still broke. I still have a ton of bills with no work coming in and nothing on the horizon either. Nothing has changed. You are still gone and no longer a part of my life.

For the last two weeks I've been advertising on Craigslist that I have a room to rent. I have not received any replies thus far. I'm not crazy about taking in another boarder but I need a way to make the mortgage payments somehow.

I'm advertising used computes for sale and computer services on Craigslist as well. I haven't had any luck there either.

The year is 1/12 over already. There are just over 46 days until the first day of Spring. Not that I have anything to look forward to in the Spring.

The ambulance is gone. It left empty again. It looks like the neighbor lives another day. I guess some people get to have their cake and eat it too.

I miss and love you.

-Dad XO

Friday, January 18, 2013

2013 and the Future...

January 18th 2013

Dear B,

It has been a few weeks since I have written to you. I basically shut my brain down for the remainder of the holidays the best I could. Thinking of how I won't be spending the holidays with you is just... well just... hard.

Let me see if I can deal with getting caught up without losing it altogether.

I attended Christmas Eve service at church as I had the past two years and took pictures of the service. To think it was only three years ago we had attended this service together. Sure it cost me $20.00 to convince you but you went just the same. As we stood side by side holding our candles during the candle-light portion of the service, I thought to myself, things were going ok between the two of us. They weren't going great but I thought they were at least going ok. I'll always remember how you looked that day. You were dressed in your red wool petticoat and black boots. You looked beautiful as always. The fact that you were standing by my side in church with the rest of my "church" family made it extra memorable.

I caught a glimmer of snow flurries in the street light out back as I was going to bed after writing you last. It was well after midnight making it officially Christmas snow. Do you know it has snowed every Christmas since we have been apart? I know it's only two years but I don't think it has snowed on Christmas day prior to this in about 14 or 15 years.

I woke late Christmas morning to the same empty house I fell asleep to. There were no stockings to fill after midnight and I missed placing the tiny box of chocolates on your nightstand this year.

I did climb the stairs to the second floor and stood just outside your bedroom door with my eyes closed trying to recapture a happy memory from Christmases' past but just didn't have the strength to do it.

The coffee was on the bitter side and I was grateful when Lisa called to say she was on her way to coming to pick me up.

Lisa is doing all of the driving these days as the Jeep has a bad front axel on the drivers side. It won't matter soon because once it starts snowing I wont be able to go anywhere as the heat and defroster still don't work.

Lisa and I opened our gifts pretty quickly. I got her a basket of assorted girly things, a set of hand painted mugs by Ms. J, a bracelet she had her eye on, and a couple of poster sized framed prints of some pictures I took at a Dave Mathews concert we went to last summer. She got me a blue Pyrex dish, coffee, some underwear, and a Kindle.

Now don't get me wrong. The underwear I needed, the coffee I can drink, but the Kindle? I tried to be a good sport about it by registering it and all. However the more I tried to do things with it the more I found out how limited it really was. It ended up getting sent back and Lisa got the Amazon credit.

On a happier note, this was the push I needed to take apart my old tablet, make the repairs and return it into service.

We headed to Lisa's house where I watched Lisa and her daughters open their gifts to each other. I took a few pictures and then we all went to Lisa's mom's house for dinner. Nothing formal. Almost everyone in Lisa's family vegan but there was enough meat for me to feel full after eating.

The rest of the holiday was uneventful.

I didn't hear from anyone in the family, nor did I expect to. I thought about calling my mother and father but considering I didn't even receive a Christmas card from them I didn't call.

New Year's Eve this past year was a bust. I stayed home and did nothing. And although I was streaming the countdown on my laptop I didn't really watch. Lisa couldn't afford to come down and went to bed early. I'm not quite sure when I'll see her again as money is tight for both of us.

I really don't know what 2013 and the future has in store for me.

I don't see this getting any easier as time goes by.

I miss you and will always love you.

-Dad XO

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas 2012

December 24th 2012

Dear B,

It is Christmas Eve. Lisa could not stay the night so I am all alone again on a very dark and cold night. I have all of the holiday lights on including both trees... even the bubbly lights. I miss you. It's not that I miss you more as time goes by or even less. It has just leveled out and I just plain miss you and I don't think there will be anything that can change that fact. And there shouldn't be. A parent's love for their child should be forever, regardless of the circumstances, as bad as they may seem or get.

But some days are much harder than others to deal with. Today and especially tomorrow will be a couple of those days. Days where I just don't want to wake up and face the reality my life is.

It hurts knowing the last few things you ever said to me were hurtful and even borderline hateful. The fact that we didn't spend much time in the last year together didn't help either.

Since your mom and I split where you were barely 1 year or so old I fought for your rights. I fought to make sure you got a fair education, food in your stomach, clothing to keep you warm, and a place to call home for at least on the weekends. I continued to take you to dance lessons and always made sure you never went without.

I knew that when your mom got married things could change and you might get attached to your new "step" dad but you didn't. In your early teen-aged years you were very vocal about coming to live with me full time which I took as a sign that I was doing something right as a parent.

Then when "we" bought our house... no, our home, I thought I had a good chance at really focusing in on being a full time parent. Your mom had already been fostering multiple kids for a few years and even adopted a couple by this time. I can understand how you felt left out most of the time. When you were here with me there was no competition from the other kids. Sure you loved them and they even looked up to you but you felt that mom should have paid extra special attention to you being her only natural born child. And you know what? I get it. You had every right to feel that way.

It took the threats of a law suit towards the Fall River public school system, countless meetings with officials in both school districts, (Your mom's and mine) and a lot of money and effort but your mom finally let you come to live with me on a full time basis. That meant you could go to a town school at an accredited high school instead of an inner-city school with thousands of students and not enough books to go around. Instead you were one of only 600 hundred students with a great faculty to student ratio and more than enough books to go around.

It was the Christmas break in your Freshman year just a short four years ago. Your mom had her hands full with the adoptions and foster kids and didn't put up much of a struggle. Not unlike any other holiday visitation your mom and I would split the break down the middle with you returning to your mom's to return to school. Except this time you stayed here with me.

I'll never forget signing you out of your former city school and the rudeness of the faculty. You could feel the hostility in the air. It's no wonder they have five full-time city police officers and two drug-sniffing dogs assigned to that one school.

The transition to the new school went a bit smoother. Sure you resented the guidance councilors at first but I think over time you grew to appreciate all that they did for you. By the second term of your Sophomore year you had settled in and even made some close friends.

I finally felt relieved and complete. I was at a point in my life where I felt I had won this great battle that I had been fighting since you had been born.

But instead of things being OK between us they started to deteriorate rather quickly during your Sophomore year of high school. I couldn't relate to what you were going through. But In reality I think I could but just didn't see it at the time.

Now I am realizing I didn't know what I was doing. Like most people raising their first born child, it really is by trial and error. Most parents pull from prior experiences when they were raised by their own parents. I didn't really have those experiences to pull from. I led a very unhappy childhood. In fact I was happiest when I was with my grandparents. Your great-grandmother accepted me unconditionally whereas her only child, my mother didn't.

That still troubles me to this day. A child is supposed to have their mother's unconditional love period. I didn't have mine and you didn't have yours.

It's all hindsight now.

The few times you approached me to talk I felt cornered and on the occasions I approached you I got the same reaction I gave you. We never seemed to be in sync and or ready to completely discuss things out in the open truthfully, We both felt the discussion had to be done on our own terms.

I wish you were here so I could have this discussion with you now.

Well... I've said it here and that's about as good as it gets I suppose.

It's two past midnight, officially Christmas.

Merry Christmas honey.

 I miss you and love you so much.

-Dad XO

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Dinner without you.

December 22nd 2012

Dear B,

I'm attempting to make some semblance of the holidays by hosting another one of my dinner parties. I have invited almost a dozen people this year and I am not related to a single one. Just a few short years ago the holidays were spent with almost all family around the table. It doesn't feel as odd as I thought it might.

I haven't spoken to my parents in the past six months. I finally gave up after reaching out to them on countless occasions prior to these last six months. Jay-Jay, your great-grandfather has been gone now for almost five years. I'm sure he would be disappointed and deeply saddened and I wonder what he would have to say about all of this.

It was also about a year ago that I finally confronted my father about the abuse he put me through as a child. I was hoping it would open the doors to some honest conversation and air out some of my families past secrets. Instead he pulled over on the side of a busy interstate and yelled at me to get out or shut my mouth and never bring it up again.

Your grandmother and I haven't really seen eye to eye since Jay-Jay's death and even some time prior to him getting sick. Who am I kidding, my mother and I were never close. Not even as a child. She never took an interest in what I was doing. It was always her vs. me and since she was the parent she was always right and got to have the final say which was usually, "Wait till your father hears about this when he gets home from work. We'll see what he has to say about all of this." That usually meant a beating before or just after dinner.

Then there's my brother. He has three, no four kids? He and I spoke years ago in grandma's driveway after Jay-Jay's funeral. I told him to keep in touch and that I had tried many times to reach him  n the past. He just shook my hand and wished me well fully knowing he wouldn't be reaching out to me for any reason.

I don't expect to hear from any of them any time soon if ever.

Very little is under the tree this year. Yes, I got another tree. They were cheap everywhere this year. I guess a lot of sellers got stuck with inventory last year. Lisa and I picked out a tree in under five minutes. It took more time to cut it down. I have just about finished decorating the house. I even put your white tree, the one with the green lights on the second floor landing like you and I had talked about doing. I only put branches in two thirds of the tree so as to set it in the corner giving people enough room to walk up the stairs. You can't even tell! Of course there's no one here to walk up the stairs any more. It's just me in this big house. This big beautifully decorated home that echoes of past memories.

I just don't know how I'm going to make it through the holidays again. Everyone is so cheery in church. Sometimes it is so hard to meet their enthusiasm with even a slight smile. People that are familiar with the situation feel uncomfortable around me and there's no way around it. So either I can feel all self-conscience and pretend that everything is normal or just be my broken miserable depressed self. One heck of a choice if you ask me.

It's not even noon and the coffee has gone bitter again. I guess I'll make another cup and finalize the prep work I have for tomorrow's dinner.

A dinner without you.

I miss you and love you.


Thursday, December 20, 2012

Five Days...

December 20th 2012

Dear B,

There's only five days left until Christmas. Five. Yet it doesn't feel like it, not at all. This will be our second Christmas apart. Last year I was still in shock and in denial and went through the motions of the holiday season only feeling a numbness clear through the early Spring of this past year.

I've had an entire year in my life without you now and nothing has changed. With the college break upon us, you would be home for the holidays possibly traveling from some far away college. You would be filling our home with  the wonderful smells of freshly baked cookies and more pies than would fit on the counters. We would be catching up on the local town happenings and you'd have stories of your own from school. We would power shop for last minute gifts and hang Christmas cards from people we had forgotten to send our own cards to vowing to make sure they got one the following year. We would laugh at the silly stuff. To only be able to hear your laughter again.

Instead I find myself numb again. Not from the cold, but from the thoughts of going through the motions again, alone. Walking through crowded stores with all of the festive merry-making everywhere you look. Witnessing all the families coming together and seeing the smiles on their faces. It's just to much for me.

After a year you would think that after almost a year of grieving I would have gotten a bit better about this stuff but in fact slipped into a further depressed state.

What am I supposed to say when people ask me how I'm doing or when they ask me about you. Some people still don't know the situation. What is worse is when someone asks me how you are and the minute the words leave their mouth they remember what happened. I can see it in their eyes.

It's late and even though I don't have any plans for tomorrow I am going to go rest. Something that I have been doing a lot of lately.

I miss you and love you.


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Letters to B - Chapter 1


Chapter 1
It is cold.

December 14th 2012

Dear B,

As I watch the events of the morning unfold in Connecticut's elementary shooting via a live stream on CNN, I am deeply saddened. The death toll is over 20 and the news reports state that they are primarily children and there are more students unaccounted for meaning the death toll could rise. The reporters are comparing it to Columbine, but saying it is much worse. The authorities still don't know if there is more than one shooter.

Tomorrow will make one year that you have been missing from my life. I can only imagine the pain in these parents hearts as they learn that their six or seven year olds won't be coming home today and are instead laying lifeless in pools of their own blood in classrooms that are supposed to be safe havens for them.

Their lives cut so short, their entire futures ahead of them, and now they are gone. Gone forever.

If there was one thing I could tell these parents it would be, "It doesn't get any easier, the pain you feel now will be with you for the rest of your life."

So close to Christmas.

For the past few weeks I have been attempting to decorate the home which was once ours for the holidays. On some days I have sat in front of the totes of decorations and cried for hours. On other days I manage to unpack a few things and put them up.

The freshly cut Christmas tree is finally up. Decorated in all white lights the way you always liked them. Lisa and I went to the tree farm a couple of weeks ago and it only took about 10 minutes to find this year's perfect tree. You would like Lisa and I think the two of you would have gotten along. She's kind and considerate.

I have also put your artificial white tree, the one with the green lights, up at the top of the stairs. Each night when I light it I think of the day you asked me to buy it for you. We were at Kmart and it was well after Christmas and I think the seasonal decorations were up to 75% off. You said you wanted a white tree and that you were going to decorate it with all green lights and green ornaments. I thought it was a crazy idea but at 75% off it was a great buy. That year you had it set up in your bedroom and when it was lit at night it made your already green bedroom walls glow even greener if that was possible.

I had actually been making good progress earlier this week and fixed multiple sets of nonworking lights and strung them around the house. You always laughed at the amount of time I spent troubleshooting broken sets when it would have been easier to just buy new sets every couple of years once they were marked down after the holidays. Then I came across your stocking and money Santa. Those were tough moments. I felt sick to my stomach and couldn't do any more that day or the next.

I miss you. I miss your smile, your laughter, and the sound of your voice. I miss cooking dinners with you. I miss the desserts you would make. I wish there had been more time for everything. I wish there had been more time for us.

CNN's online news ticker is now reporting the death toll at 24. I just closed the stream on my computer. I don't need to know any more for now. Death is meaningless without reason.

How will these parents live their lives moving forward? How have I made it a year? How I will get through tomorrow is unknown.

I miss you and love you.