Offensive. Controversial. Negative impact. Heart breaking. Wrong. Those are the words that came to mind when someone recently told me to write JoDee’s obituary. I am superstitious. To a fault. I won’t step on cracks, I hold the glass when I cross the railroad tracks, I make a wish if I see the clock has all the same numbers (11:11, example). I add up numbers on licenses plates to make them divisible down to a prime number. If I can’t make it a prime number it has to go down to 2. And if neither of those things happens, well, let’s just say I wouldn’t want to be in that car. Same with dates of important things. I won’t tell you the arguments we (AC and me) had about which day to get married. I kept adding the date up and saying no until we finally agreed on one. These are silly things, I know. And on the regular AC makes fun of me for them. I know it’s obsessive. But it’s my thing. I feel like you don’t test fate on certain things too. When I used to work at Beverly Hospital, we used to have Wheelchair Olympics when the hospital was slow. The transport guys would race each other in the wheelchair down the empty hall way. I would NEVER participate except as a judge. I was not sitting in a wheelchair if I didn’t need too. Bad juju in my opinion.
I believe your morning sets the tone for your day. The first day of the week sets the tone for the week and the first day of the year sets the tone for the rest of the year. I believe in karma. Not the way people say what goes around comes around, but truly and respectfully. You give what you get. You earn what you deserve and good feeds good. Obviously, that means bad feeds bad. I have been known to participate in the occasional (ahem) character assassination so I usually donate to good causes, I donate a turkey every year to the place that cooks for the homeless and less fortunate, and I tolerate my grandmother’s daily updates on her bowel movements, either lack thereof, or frequency. I am not saint, I don’t claim to be, or even try to be. I think that there are people in this world that exude happiness and pleasantness. I am not one of them. I exude diet coke. That entirely aside, when someone, the same person who asked what kind of mother I was, told me to write her obituary I was horrified. She explained that it was an exercise they had completed in the support group she attends, that I should attend, but don’t. Why don’t I? They are depressing. I am already depressed and deflated and disgusted. I can’t sit in a room full of people that are in the same place, or better place, or worse place than me, while they talk about their “qualifier” and the 11 years they have been dealing with it. E-L-E-V-E-N Y-E-A-R-S. Eleven. I think someone else talked about more years, but I can’t listen to them or my face will implode and I will eat my own brain. It’s just too depressing.
I understand that this is counterproductive. The exact time that I need these meetings is the times I do not want to go. A smart person would listen to my inner smarty-pants and get myself to a support group. Get myself to a meeting. The very exact thing I tell Miss. JoDee Beth to do when she can’t get out of her own head. The irony is not lost on me. I know what I need to do. And, I do have good intentions most days. I tell AC we are going to a meeting tonight. I set my internal clock on a time I know I need to leave work by to get through the evening commute, arrive home in enough time to cook supper for my other qualifying-someday children, and depart with enough time to get coffee before arriving at the meeting. Somewhere around noon I start telling myself the reasons I don’t have to go. I shouldn’t go. I won’t go so by the time I actually leave work, later than I should, and arrive home, I crawl in bed too exhausted from the mental conversations all day to do much more than heat up a frozen pizza of which I throw at the boys as I walk by their room. Last night I actually said out loud, is 6:15 to early to go to bed for the night? Yes, Melanie, it is. You dink. And not just because even my 91 year old grandmother doesn’t go to bed that early, but because it isn’t living. I have said to JoDee recently that she is existing not living so many times in recent weeks, I have lost count. I am doing the same thing as she is. Being ruled by her addiction. I have to stop. It has to stop. I can’t control the things she does, or the things her addiction tells her she should do, but I can control my reaction to her addiction.
What does all this have to do with her obituary? Absolutely nothing. I refused to participate in that exercise. I was too scared to do that. I don’t want to test fate. Instead it made me think of my own obituary. What would it say? Who would write it? What would I be known for? Great hair and a foul mouth are my guess, but I would like to think there could be something more substantial than that. Or chasing JoDee’s recovery. It is so easy to get wrapped up that mess. It is so easy to lose focus of one’s life when their addict is a wreck, and does nothing but zone in with tunnel vision to them and only them while all else is ignored. I don’t want that. I don’t want my biggest accomplishment to be that I beat the Word Bubbles Game. If I died tomorrow, I think my family would only notice because the dog and the cats would not get fed. And possibly because no one would wake up on time since I get up, feed the animals, make coffee and begin the rounds of “get out of bed.” Here is the thing; I don’t want to write my own obituary either! Hello Superstitious, did we not already cover this? So what alternatives does this leave me? Hmm, Idk, how about I actually live a life in, like, real life. I will. I’m going too. Right after I take a nap. And watch Kill Bill. I and II. Then I will for sure.
4 thoughts on “The Obituary”
The obituary exercise is horrible!!! Why?? Parents of addicts are in enough pain already. Seems like an exercise in torture.
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I have to say, I didn’t understand the purpose of the exercise but I wasn’t in the meeting so maybe the background would have put it more in perspective.
I don’t need an exercise to plan an obituary. I have done it a million times in my head. Would I have a funeral or would I just have family there? Would I say he died of an “accidental” overdose or would I say he died peacefully in his sleep? Accidental is a fine line to walk with me. No, they didn’t want to die but they knew what they were doing when they stuck that needle in their arm. I have told my son “you are not living, you are existing” to which he replied “I don’t know anything”. We went on a trip to Napa this year. A trip that should of been amazing. All I could think of is “He will never get to see this beauty. He will never experience all the things you should experience.” It made me mad. Down right pist! He is 22 and who knows if he will be here next year. Every second, minute, hour, day, month and year with a addict is a gift. And 6:15 is not to early to go to bed.
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I have thought about that same thing. What would I say? What would I do? And I also hate that coined phrase “accidental over dose”. I don’t by that at all, there is no such thing as accidental because this ends either with death or recovery. There is no in between. Thanks for the validation that 6:15 is acceptable! Ha ha