Thursday, September 15, 2005

Last 2 weeks

9/5/05 Monday
     It is labor day. I would like to visit Eileen on the East side. I was just telling Cherie that I have been going out and seeing people less and less. That is not good but even as I contemplate going over there as well as helping Allen as I told him I would I feel I should stay home and work on this writing and the blog I have so much hope for. I keep thinking about it, how to put it together, what to say, what to avoid.
     I have showered and ate a bowl of cereal. I washed the dishes, which helps me feel like I contribute. Cherie had said something about she was sorry she didn’t get to them yet so I told her it was my job. I am a bit slow this morning, about a 6. It seems to be physical with the paralysis more evident making walking a task taken with care. I touch walls and things as I go to give me a reference that tells me if I am tilting over to far. Took my pill and may take some herbal medication.
     Cherie is working on sewing stuff and has been for a day or two. I am glad she is because it is a form of creativity she loves. Her hot flashes have been pronounced lately as she toughs it out, using the least amount of hormone medication so her body will adjust to menopause as soon as possible.
     It is 11:30 now. It feels like 8:00 this morning to me. Cherie came up to the bed where she has her sewing patterns spread out on her cardboard lay out thing. I looked at her and saw how she had her hair up with the fresh curls spreading across the top of her head to hang like bangs over her brow. Again I am struck by her beauty and tell her so. This brings out the smile that just freshens the room like an early morning sun beaming through the kitchen window. We share this moment and just love. I guess I can’t find a way to describe it any better than that, “Just Love” with love being a verb denoting action.
       Cherie told of how it was when I first moved in, of her embarrassment at the two garbage bags that contained all I owned in the world and how she was going to have me sleep on the couch. That didn’t last till the night. I think I had already asked her to marry me by this time. We didn’t fool around she told me because we were both so tired.
     Then I shared one of the unpleasant memories that had surfaced with me, of how soon after we divorced I was getting sloppy drunk and partying hard. I was a traveling salesman, what I was selling I don’t recall now. I remembered that this town had some kind of “big blue hole”. She recognized the town as Castalia right away. I told her of getting so trashed I was dragging my pool stick behind me and at the time couldn’t remember if I got home or how. As I write this I remember it as an insane one or two hour drive during which I flattened a tire by running off the road and changing it near Davis Besse power plant.
     I could see by the look on her face that this was reviving one of Cherie’s deepest sorrows, one that is infused with a sledge hammer level of guilt. This is the sorrow she has carried ever since the divorce twenty years ago, laying claim on all the blame for the break up of our marriage and with that the responsibility for every bad thing I endured since then. We talked and I reminded her that the past is gone and we have the future to plan for. Then I told her that sad as it was the past is a part of our story and that story could well be a ticket to a better future.
     I called Eileen’s cell phone and Glen answered. He sounded a bit messed up and when I asked what they were doing for Labor day he told me Eileen had been in the hospital for eight days. This changed the whole direction of the day. I asked Glen what her room number was and he said “Twenty one something, I don’t know”. At least he knew what hospital she was in. Cherie had wanted to go to the Jo Ann Fabrics on the East side so we went there and then Cherie suggested we buy some flowers for Eileen. I would have never thought of that so am again grateful for Cherie in my life.
     As we walked up to the entrance of the hospital Suzie and kids were wheeling Eileen back from the cigarette break they had snuck her out for. Eileen was looking pretty worn and you could see the worry and fear on her face. We didn’t get much of a chance to talk to her till later when Suzie, Nancy, and their kids were out of the room. We told Eileen that the $500.00 loan we gave her was now a gift. She cried and did not want to accept that till Cherie assured her that for us it was like a gift to the Lord.
     We talked about things like hospital food and Eileen expressed an interest in lobster so I asked for the phone book. I couldn’t find a place close that served lobster but there was a Chinese place near so I called them. They had shrimp so I went out to buy some for Eileen. It was a grand gesture but unfortunately the shrimp sucked, was over cooked, and came dry with no sauce.
     Eileen has a blood clot in her heart and a tumor in her uterus. There is a fear of cancer and it has Eileen scared to death. I was impressed how family was streaming in to support her. It was a marked difference from the experience I had when I woke up alone. As I think about it I realize that Eileen is pretty much my best friend. There is no one else, with the unpleasant exception of my second wife, who has been around me as long as she has. I mean for the entire span of my life, from birth till now.
     There is more I could write but not now. A hint to trigger a memory as I read this back. The marked difference in worlds was so evident as the topic of conversation ranged from who got drunk to how Beast was playing the system. Spending a month at a time in a hospital to save on rent and get more pills. Terry showed up as we were preparing to leave.

9/5/05 Tuesday
     I woke up slow this morning. Speech was poor and had difficulty making decisions when Cherie asked me about putting off dinner with Jeanie. I get frustrated quick at these times and it is rough on Cherie as she was kind of having an anxiety attack. The headache was there when I woke up and is still there. I am still slow but a bit better. I expect Fred to call for me to take Barb around.
     Yesterday was rough and needs to be entered but I am not up to that this morning. I found out Eileen had been in the hospital eight days so we went to visit.
     I have been mulling over how to do this blog for days now. It is hard when you have to rethink it all over again cause you forgot what you decided before.
     11:30   I am still not doing well. About a 4 on the Bob scale. It will change just don’t know when. Fred called as expected and his glasses came in so he wants me to take him to pick them up and then take Barb to cash her check and buy groceries. Even typing this is hard right now. Last night I had Cherie drive coming back from the hospital. I rarely do that because being a passenger makes me real nervous but I recognize when I am impaired by these slow downs to the point it is wise. I have to leave in ten minutes. It won’t be fun.
     Almost four now and it wasn’t fun as I suspected, instead it was sad. I got Fred to the eye doctor where he picked up his new glasses. Then we went straight to Barb’s. Fred went in to the apartment and after a few minutes Barb came out with a bag of cans which she took to the back and filled out of her garbage can. While this was going on the dope man pulled up in his rusty blue car with the same passenger as before. Neither of them got out of the car, they just sat there watching the door.
     Barb came out with another bag of cans and noticing them turned right around and went back in the house. The dope man waited a couple minutes more but started up and left. He know who we are and the last time told Barb to go with us. I know he is hiding, thinking he is avoiding suspicion with all this but I know better. I sold enough dope in my life to see what most would never recognize. I am sure this guy is the George who had Barb’s phone.
     Fred came out and got in the car. “Barb doesn’t feel like going now” he said. Wow!! What a surprise. She also told him her check did not come and I am certain that is a lie also. The dope man showed up right when the mailman comes. This is not a coincidence and fits the overall pattern.
     Fred said that Basil was not there anymore because Barb said so and he snuck around while she was outside and didn’t see his clothes. Barbs laundry hasn’t been done in over a month because she keeps spending her laundry check, probably on crack. It is piled high in every corner and besides that Fred can’t see what is on the shelves at a store so Basil’s underwear could have been hanging from the ceiling fan and escape Fred’s eagle eye.
     As we drove home I tried to explain to Fred that odds are Barb is hiding Basil from him so don’t be surprised. Fred seemed anxious to believe Barb but there was a sadness in his eyes that told me he knew I was right. He has known Barb since she was 18 so he has already seen all of this before.
     It is sad for me to watch this familiar pattern unfold in front of me. There is a good chance that Barb has been playing this game for a while but there is a chance she is just an easy tool for others to get their dope. Maybe a little of both. Who knows, but it is still a life going bad. Barb has seen her share of the rough side and is living with the fruit of her decisions.
     She is surrounded by others who’s lives have seen much and are the shells of who they were. People who’s injuries go deep, to the core of their being. Many of them hurt in the early times when the world was still new to them. I don’t know and haven’t inquired as to the pasts of these women but I do know some of Barb’s. Where do the strippers and prostitutes go when they age? They go join all those who are mentally ill, abandoned by family, sick, addicted to drugs and alcohol, and all who are to poor to go anywhere else. These areas are like where mud pools, a low spot that draws all to it. Everyone who’s lives and lifestyles unsettle them from the firm ground so they run down hill, soon joining an ever growing river of others like them.  
     I am tired now. I worked with Cherie on bankruptcy stuff. Don’t remember much after that. Cherie was upset about the money I spent with Allen. We need to get the savings account down but she is worried about getting into a financial bind.

9/7/05 Wednesday
     I am doing ok this morning but can’t remember if Cherie kissed me when she went off to work. I showered and shaved. Need to put razors on the to buy list. I am still puzzling over how to do the blog. I think I will have to write entries just for it and maybe start other blogs to serve as separate rooms dealing with specific areas I wish to be public about. Things like Cherie kissing me before she goes to work may not be acceptable to her for publication in the Blog.
     This morning I will take Wayne to the bank and possibly to the store. I should be calling him to wake him up but I need to call Fred first. I will whip up some eggs to insure I have eaten cause I will forget to later.

9/8/05 Thursday
     It was a hard night. I woke up at three with the strong desire to help whatever I ate yesterday escape from my body. That took what seemed like hours so I was glad to crawl back into bed.  Didn’t really sleep and got up kind of vacant, no energy and just observing. I will have to ask Cherie but I don’t think I was able to communicate well.
     Any way, it is 10:50 and I have gotten showered and would like to get some writing done with this freedom that comes with Fred’s car being in the shop. I get to stay home uninterrupted because I cannot help others without the car. I need this time because I have accomplished little lately. A good indicator of this is where yesterdays entry ended. That was it. All she wrote for the day. After I got done with the day I was done with being able to write and just zombied the rest of the day. I need to wash the dishes and clean up from the lobster that I butchered last night. Also better get the garbage out cause it already smells like rotten fish. Damn, that means I have to get dressed and put on my shoes. Yeah life is so tough.
     I better get moving because the brain is working and I don’t want to miss this moment. My ability to type just moved up a few notches.
     Now it is 1:30 and the moment is gone. I washed the dishes and even scrubbed the floor because it was getting bad and to get rid of the lobster smell. Cherie came home and worried about me not eating so I told her I was a big boy and could cook just fine so quit worrying. She did anyway but that is because she loves me and knows there are times I need to be led. It is hard for her to not worry and when things are fine she finds something to fear.
     I fixed a monster omelet to make her feel better but also because she is right and I need to eat healthy. It was pretty good with Tarragon potatoes and onion in it along with Serrano pepper. I asked Cherie if she would just take the car to work as I do not feel up to going downtown today. Besides I didn’t finish the cost of living list yet. It is done now but I am not too hot. Drank three cups of bob coffee to get energy but it didn’t work. The headache has come to visit again and also the ringing in my ears coupled with the spinning sensation. Typing is slow, I think I will take my second pill now. I forgot yesterday. I had told Cherie I was looking forward to not being bothered by others and could write. Won’t happen if I don’t sharpen up.
     I called Eileen to see how she was doing. She sounded bad and said she would have to go back to St. Charles. Her ankles were swelling up so she was going to lay with them up in the air. I asked her is she was getting any help and she was just quiet for a while and then said “I guess” as I heard Glen’s voice calling her name. “I’ll call you later” she said as she worked to get up to attend to Glen. I told her to call me if there was anything she needed but I know she won’t.  
     I will try to reconstruct yesterday now. After thinking and not being able remember I had to go back and look at the short entry for yesterday. This is enough to unlock the door of this memory, which is the purpose of this journal.
     I went to Wayne’s at maybe 9:30, the car log will show what time. We drove to the bank and then I took Wayne to the Pharm where he got a few things including a night light because it is hard for him to walk as it is.
     Fred had called and wanted me to run Barb to Trilby for food and then to cash her check and cans. I told Fred that I would not take Barb to cash in five dollars worth of cans so she can buy smokes and drugs. I said that if he wanted me to do that he would have to ride with me. I let Fred know that I had already scheduled a day and would not be able to help him. That didn’t set well but I have decided to not enable Barb’s problems any more than I had to.
     I had no sooner than pulled on to Heatherdown when the Lincoln died. It drifted up to the light at Eastgate with me desperately trying to get it started. The lights were green so I kept waving them by as I continued to crank it. It would cough and start but die before I could get it in gear. I ended up having to floor the gas pedal and keeping it revved way up to get it to clear. All of this on a 5 lane road with a forty five mile per hour speed limit, not fun. I called Fred to let him know the car’s issues had gotten to the point they were dangerous and I wanted to take it to the shop. He said yes after trying again to get me to drive Barb around.  
     When I got Wayne home I told him that I wasn’t supposed to be at Allen’s till 12:00 didn’t want to drive to my place because if Fred saw me he would want me to run Barb around so he invited me to stay. We played checkers and Wayne talked .. and talked. He needed to and I could see it in his face as he shared of his days gone by, reminisced of the events that had been hallmarks to him. I regretted not being there for him more and still do as I write this.
     I called XXXX and he said he had to run to the bank and pay bills so could I hold up a half hour? I gave him almost an hour because I know him. Despite that when I arrived he had not even made it to the bank. Unfortunately it meant I got to ride in XXXX’s truck as he did these chores. He is still a nut and scares the shit out of me.
     Getting back we went down stairs. XXXX was sick with nausea, sweating, and had sharp pains in his stomach. He wanted to wait before we went to do the work he had asked help with. We watched the science and geographic channels on his satellite and XXXX told me how he thought he had a flu. He may but all his symptoms are those of withdrawal from pain killers, particularly Oxycontin. I watched as he improved over the space of an hour and think he took another pill to get well. This is close to home for it is the path that took me back into drugs. I may be wrong and XXXX denies and jokes about my concerns. “Hey I must be taking too much medicine. Look my eyes are glassy” he ridicules. It is my hope that my words are planted where he will remember them when he must face this demon.
     Time was passing so I asked XXXX if he was ready to get to work. He said yes and we went upstairs. I watch as XXXX just kind of picks stuff up and asked him what his goal was, what did he want to accomplish. He wasn’t clear so I would just pick something up and look at him saying “Where do you want this to go?” I ended up taking over and directing XXXX in a way that kept him in charge. I would try to keep him from wandering from the task as he uncovered many distractions. He ended up talking with his neighbor so I finished clearing the shelf figuring I would get more done by myself.
     We finally got his shelf unit transferred and went downstairs to water our dry mouths. XXXX turned on the ever present TV and we talked about some of his horticultural magazines. At 4:30 I informed XXXX I needed to go and he was a little miffed telling me we had just gotten started and there were still some things he wanted to do. “Do you have to go now?” he whined and then intimated I was not able to do things because of the wife. I explained that I was going to have a lobster dinner with my wife so he was out of luck and this helped him see a little.
     When I get outside and moving I see that Fred had called twice. I figured he was just fretting aver the car and was wondering why I had not gone straight to Firestone. I was right but did not want to talk to him as I drove. I called Cherie to have her pick me up at Firestone but she didn’t hear her cell. I got through to her right when she was talking to Fred who was panicking and had caught her at the door. I am sure she loved having Fred questioning and venting while I was calling just as she got home from work. We got settled down and everything figured out so Cherie came out to get me.
     I was operating at a high frustration level by now because XXXX always seems to rub me wrong and the traffic was rough as I navigated multiple construction sites. I travel them daily but also forget them daily plus they change so I was consistently in the wrong lane forcing me to take the long way to Firestone. I tried my best to describe what the car was doing and was glad to leave it there.
     It is always a breath of fresh air to see Cherie and that was particularly true this day.
We came home and I cooked the lobster I had bought with Eileen in mind. She is home now so we will do that for her later. I didn’t do a good job but that’s ok. Cherie didn’t eat much so I finished it up on principle cause this stuff ain’t cheep. It really sucked but hey I was beat. It didn’t matter cause I was with Cherie. I just relaxed and don’t remember doing anything but laying in front of the TV. I had started to get on this laptop to write but it wasn’t there.
     That finishes up yesterday I think. There is something about sitting here and typing that causes a lot of pain in my middle back. I have to sit ramrod straight to alleviate it but that doesn’t last long. I think I will get up and walk around a bit.
     I finally took my pill after forgetting two hours ago. I may lay down to see if the pain will go down. Will take the prescription Alieve I have from the VA. It is 4:39 and my mind is on how to design this blog. I think of things and then forget what I came up with. This is frustrating and why I need to write to think. That way I can recover what I had concluded and start from that point instead of going through the same thing again.


If I don’t start I can’t finish so here are some thoughts. How do I make this understandable to any one who might wander into this site. I had thought of just publishing my journal but it would be confusing and hard to follow with out some kind of background information. Things like the injury, the journey, brain injury, my first marriage to Cherie. I would like to organize this and maybe cross reference it. Divide it into chapters. Do I make a Blog for each chapter? And also I would like to have rooms for subjects or issues I have like the criminal justice system, scams under the guise of Christianity, our being asked to leave Cedar Creek and other subjects. How do I do this? I better go through the start up tutorial yet again to relearn how to modify this blog. With time and repetition it will stay. Should I start at the beginning?

     That’s as far as I got. We ordered pizza delivery cause Cherie is tired. I could see it on her face when she walked in. We hugged and held on each other for quite a while, just drawing strength from our being one, from the security we have in each others love. My back pain is back with me sitting at this computer. I need to find a better way of doing this.  
     Now I am tired. It is 8:00. goodnight.

9/9/05 Friday
     I took Cherie to work today so I could have her car while Fred’s is in the shop. Cherie was ready early this time because she was worrying about me. Didn’t want me to get upset because she was late. I got a lot done. Met Jeff at the Waffle House and then picked up Cherie’s check. Then I went to Sam’s Club where I had a new battery put in and scheduled an appointment with the eye doctor for contacts. After that I stopped to see how they were doing with Fred’s car. They may have found a sensor that was bad and his water pump is leaking. It will cost $570 to fix so I called Fred to let him know and get his permission to do the work. He didn’t but has no choice.
     Fred asked if I would take some food to Barb and give her a ride to buy groceries. I told him I would but that he needs to cut her off some till she gets it together. When I got back I headed upstairs to use the bathroom and heard someone knocking on the door. It was Cathy next door telling me that Fred had asked her to let me know he was outside waiting. Sure enough he was out by the car.
     He squeezed in and we left for Barb’s. She was waiting and you could tell she had an attitude. Fred had relayed everything I told him concerning her drug use so she made a smart aleck comment about her selling everything for drugs. That opened it up for me to confront her and let her know I was smarter than she thought. She got mad at me when I told her she couldn’t bullshit me and tried to be sarcastic saying she would sell her couch for drugs. She also said she didn’t do drugs and my reply was that if she didn’t then she was getting them for her friends.
     Dawn went with us and I apologized to her saying I wasn’t in a good mood. I am home now and tired. It is nap time for me. Kind of slowing down. Got the headache.
     I got Fred home and then went and picked up Cherie at work to take her to lunch. We enjoyed each other as we always do. We went to a place near her work called Maggie’s or something like that. The food was good but the waitress seemed to be in over her head. I think I got stuff out of order in the previous paragraphs. It may be that I took Fred to Barb’s after I had lunch with Cherie. It is not clear at the moment. It is 8:40 PM right now. I am a little slow. We just got back from picking Fred’s car up from Firestone. After that we went to Bob Evans for dinner and then to Sam’s Club for my eye appointment. It went well and I ordered regular glasses, a pair just for close work like carving, and contacts. I never did take that nap and am run down now. Fred is insistent that I take Barb to cash in her cans tomorrow. He got a little pissey about it but that is how it is. I know Barb did her thing on him, making him feel guilty and all.    

9/10/05 Saturday
     We are up. Cherie is getting ready for a long day as she makes all the last minute preparations for her parents 50th wedding anniversary. I fixed her sewing machine after studying it. At first I couldn’t figure it out till I saw her using her other machine. Then I asked her to do the same procedure (winding the bobbin) on the inoperable machine and that helped me understand the mechanics so I could fix it.
     Cherie is so beautiful, at least to me for I see what is inside her, I see her heart. She asked if she could fix me something like toast after apologizing for not feeling up to fixing a regular breakfast. When I said I was ok she got a guilty look on her face as she exclaimed “I’m supposed to take care of you”. I let her scramble some eggs because I know it makes her feel better.
     I am still frustrated by my inability to hook up to the wireless at the Distillery that I had been using for about a month. I suspect they blocked me out but am not computer literate enough to figure it out. I really got spoiled using the high speed connection and it will make designing and building the blog harder.
     Fred called and said he could not get a hold of Barb. He called her all night and said her phone was turned off. I wasn’t surprised at all. Fred did want to go to the dollar store and the Pharm so I was glad to take him. First he had me pop the hood so he could see what they had done to his car. It was sadly comical as he asked first where the water pump was and then attempted to peer down through all the parts run by the fan belt at the hidden pump. He then began to look intently at everything as he used his hands to touch and feel what he can’t see. He would say things like “That’s where the fuel injection goes into the motor” as he pointed to the air intake.
     I got him to the stores and helped him see as always. He kept talking about nothing and I tried to show interest to be good company and help him feel better. He had me drive by Ray’s car wash to see if it was open. It hasn’t been for a while and I had heard Ray was dead. It was closed and I could tell it had been shut up securely for the long haul. Fred said “It’s open” as I drove by so I had to convince him it wasn’t.
     I talked him into letting me wash the car because some of our parking lot partiers had spilled or thrown something on his car. Whatever it was did not come off so I will have to get something to scrub it down.
     I can’t remember if Cherie was home when I got there but I was tired and laid down. I turned on the TV and watched Norm Abrams build a piece of furniture and then the US open tennis but I fell asleep part of the time. I took my second pill and washed the dishes. I need to sanitize the fridge cause it smells from the lobster juice that had leaked out. Maybe I will get to that later. It is 2:40 and I will lay back down.
     Cathy called me while I was laying down. She said “Tell Cherie it is alright to take the cake at 3:00” and a bunch more stuff. I thought Cherie was still with her so couldn’t understand why she couldn’t tell Cherie herself. I told her I was confused but she got upset and hung up. When Cherie got home I told her about it and let her know I was bothered and thought I caused trouble. Come to find out Cherie had left and Cathy just wanted to leave a message for her. This is the kind of misunderstanding I often had at Cedar Creek where I wouldn’t quite get what people said. I would interpret things wrong. It is frustrating for me to have this disability slap me in the face as I try to communicate but don’t do it well. I want to get along and be accepted, to be understood. This is another reason I don’t go out much and keep my social life limited to just a few people.
     I was slow but didn’t know it till Cherie came home. Maybe this thing with Cathy triggered it but don’t know. I just know that when I started to talk to Cherie I could hear it in my voice and so could Cherie. Cherie bought me a double whopper. She had planned on fixing something but I told her to just get the burger. I will check my E-mail now. Haven’t done it in a while cause the wireless connection doesn’t work any more.

9/11/05 Sunday
     I got up at five this morning. Feeling kinda strange. Just not to sharp and depressed. Got upset at the computers last night. Also upset at not being able to accomplish what used to be simple tasks.
     It is 11:00 now. Cherie is sewing the blouse she is making for her parents 50th anniversary party. I fixed omelets for us. Cherie is emotional because of all the pressure of this event on top of the menopause and her tendency to worry things to death. As we talked and I worked to calm her fears she opened up about something that happened yesterday as she was shopping with her sister Cathy.
     She started the conversation the way she often does, “I hope you don’t get mad”. I try to assure her and welcome her to talk without fear. She told me that when they had gone to pay for the flowers they were getting for the party, Jim and Sherri Ellis were in the same line she was heading for. Jim and Sherri are the leaders of the Cedar Creek home group we attended at their home. The emotions and hurt are so deep Cherie did not even want them to see her so she went back and hid. Cathy asked what was wrong and when Cherie explained Cathy said “They hurt you guys real bad, didn’t they”. After purchasing the flowers Cherie and Cathy went out to the car only to see, to their chagrin that Jim and Sherri were parked right across from them so Cathy helped Cherie hide again. It is a sad thing when those who’s religious belief espouses love and compassion are seemingly unaware of their hypocrisy, of the pain they cause. They just go on confident in their spirituality. We never heard a word from  them and I think we never will.
     I told Cherie that I was not mad at all and really don’t understand why she would think I would be. I did say that I would not hide and we live a life that bears no shame. I feel an obligation to help people like Jim and Sherri understand the consequences of their actions so they can be better people. I have no desire to get even or make them feel bad though I am sure that if they read this it would be interpreted that way. I just want to help them as I want to help all I see. I guess I am a nut because I don’t seem to be able to help myself much less others. I do help some others but not to well.
     I am drinking some more Bob coffee with the hope it will energize me. Fact is I am just having a hard time being positive about anything. I have been more reclusive and can’t seem to get motivated, which is a sign of the depression that I have been fighting since before the accident. I had hoped to reach out to the world through the blog, thinking that by sharing our story I could find some who were emotionally supportive and could help us press on. I have pretty much given up the concept I could make a difference and have retreated to the safety of keeping my world very small. My seeming inability to put the blog together is just another blow and puts my fear in my face. That fear is I would just be another poor disabled person who’s life is just a day to day existence with little significance.
     Every one wants to be somebody, to be accepted and have friends. When I looked for that in the church it was stomped on. I still don’t understand and wonder what was going on in their minds, who they painted me to be with their words to each other, never taking the time to know who we are. It is a shame we can’t escape the pain while in this town for there are constant reminders. When Cedar Creek was on the news, getting the publicity they chase, I saw many whom we had known and the sadness and pain I had tried to bury welled back up.
     Now to the anniversary party. That started out with the last minute insanity as Cherie rushed to do all the things that hadn’t quite gotten done as well as covering for Cathy, who’s plate was already full. Cherie’s emotions were out there and she would start crying at the drop of a pin. I had to be very careful and supportive, assuring her things would be ok many times. She was in a very fragile state. I tried to help her organize the different task’s she had to do but even that had to be done with extreme care for anything that could be construed as criticism would devastate her.
     We went first to her parents house so Cherie could make sure things were getting done on that end. Walking in the house I was reminded again why I avoid the place. It was a pig pen with a capital P. The new screen door Nate had installed to replace the one he broke was trashed. The front yard is again full of the crap Nate collects with his pal Jeremy. He was changing the front tire on grandma’s van. It probably ran over some of the scrap metal in the driveway. Cathy was at the end of her rope and Pat and Ted were not yet dressed. We told Cathy that we would pick up the balloons and cake and take them to the Yacht Club they had rented for this event. That took part of the stress for Cathy so we hurried to get this done because we were running late.
     Cherie had ordered so many balloons we had a hard time getting them into the car. The cake was impressive but we had to put it in the trunk because it was made to accommodate fifty people. That done we headed to the hall with me driving sedately to prevent damage to the cake.
      When we got to the Maumee River Yacht Club I could see potential problem right away and regretted not getting involved. There was only one door to enter the facility and it was tucked in a back corner with no signage to direct guests unfamiliar with the place. There were several flights of stairs which would be a problem because many of the guests were well up there in age. One lady was ninety years old. When I went up to the hall I was surprised to find it kind of nasty. The carpet hadn’t been swept and had stains from years of abuse that had never been cleaned, at least not that I could tell. As I started to comment on this Cherie asked me to please not criticize because she would start balling. As I looked at her face I instantly regretted my lapse of support and amended my conversation.
     Connie, the youngest sister, was there with her husband and Sammy, her little son. He is a handful as all kids his age are. I think he is three or four but am not good at telling children’s ages. I decided to go out side to direct traffic as the parking lot was even a problem to get to. I would run to the door every time I would see a guest arrive who had to use a walker. There was supposed to be a wheel chair there but it was still in Cherie’s parents van and they would not arrive till later. I helped several get up the stairs by giving them a strong arm to hang on to as they inched up the stairs one step at a time.
     A lady got out of a car and looking at me said “Hi Rob”. I didn’t have a clue who she was till she told me. It was Aunt Judy. We had lived at their place in our first marriage. In fact it was there I fell from a tree and broke my neck, back, and had a concussion resulting in the brain damage that tore our marriage apart. Then we met them the day of our second marriage for they had come up from Florida and were eating dinner with Pat and Ted. The inability to remember and recognize faces is a big part of this disability I have.
     I really didn’t know any one else for I have not been a part of this family for twenty years. Many of them knew who I was and I am sure heard all the stories of my drastic personality change twenty years ago. We shared our story with several and few of them knew any real details. They were often very surprised and we were able to help them understand brain injury and its effects.
     Once things got going it went very well. Ted smiled more than I have ever seen before and it was a big smile. There were relatives from Texas, Arizona, New York, and Florida. This was a no booze event which was a good idea. Even Nate was politically correct though his tales of his boat were mostly bullshit. There is no way that old boat with its small out board engine would go seventy two miles per hour but I let him go. Not the right place or time to confront him. Besides I had promised to be good. For me that means keeping my mouth shut.
     After staying outside and generally away from others I became secure enough to mix and talk. It was usually fairly innocuous conversation covering generalities after I identified myself as Cherie’s husband. With that they knew who I was. One conversation I found disturbing. The subject of the Katrina refugees came up. Judy was there from Florida and there was a couple from Texas. Of course I can’t remember their names or the relationship to Cherie but that doesn’t matter. It was the attitude. Judy said it was ok to have them move into the state as long as they were not close. A comment was made about them all being poor. “They didn’t have anything before the storm and they don’t have anything now”. The conversation went on to classifying all as drug addicts and criminals and then race came into play. I really was at a loss for words and not being able to think fast on my feet when in an unfamiliar situation I excused myself. This was such a contrast to the conversation I had moments earlier with one of Patsy’s best friend who is a devout Christian. We had talked about how it is the poor who are the focus of God’s heart and how few churches are following that teaching.
     Seeing things going well took a tremendous load off of Cherie. The relief was evident on her face and her smile was radiant. This brought out her beauty and she enjoyed catching up with all the family stuff that is lost on me.
     When all was said and done I helped the guests back down the stairs and then helped Cherie’s Dad. Actually Nate did most of the work with Ted. We got everything cleaned up and left. Cherie was energized and glad this was all over. We went home and chilled. End of day.

9/12/05 Monday
     I am doing well today. Just got back from taking Sharon to Rite Aid and Save a Lot this morning. She doesn’t ask for help very often but I am glad to help. Fred was a bit upset. He called me while I was at the 50th anniversary party for Pat and Ted thinking I was at home. He wanted me to take him to Barb’s for the typical running she wants such as going to the Trilby church for food. She is still pressing Fred to get the cans cashed in. I told Fred that I already had Sharon scheduled for today and he did not like that. When I called him this morning he said “Why am I always last Bob, that’s not right”. I explained again, as I have many times now, that I schedule everything with my calendar and that I had scheduled Sharon last week. I asked again for him to plan ahead so I could schedule his needs. “Once your in the calendar Fred that time is reserved for you. It would be a big help if you could let me know in advance.” I told him. He said he understands but I know he will forget or just expect me to be at his beck and call. I have to go now cause I heard his door so he will be waiting.
     I’m back. It is 2:40 now. I took Fred to Barb’s and she was waiting with the bags of cans out in front of her door. Part of what we were to do is take Barb to the Cricket cell phone place because she said her charger was broken. I told Fred that I would like to see her phone because I didn’t trust her. As far as I know the phone was still in the hands of this George guy. She was telling Fred that the reason he couldn’t reach her was the charger was broke. Barb had talked Fred into buying the charger and it wouldn’t surprise me if she took it back for a refund. I don’t know and it would be improper to make that judgment until I do. I do know that when Fred asked her where her phone was she got evasive and said it was in her purse. When Fred pressed she was forced to admit she only had the charger with her. Asked again about the phone she copped an attitude and said “Just forget it. I won’t get the charger”. Doesn’t look good.
     Dawn went with us to Trilby. As we drove I asked Barb “Do you know why I changed, why I am not as nice?”. “Because of drugs” she replied. “No. That’s not it. There was only one thing I have asked of you, and that is that you don’t lie to me.” I told her. She really didn’t have a reply for that but she did start on the defensive telling me that Fred has known her since she was eighteen. “I think he knows me better than you do Bob”. Now I let her know I wasn’t a fool. I told her that I have known hundreds of Barbs in my life, I know her world, I know drugs, I’ve run with it all from working girls (Prostitutes) to every kind of criminal there is. There was a lot more I could have said but this made my point. Among the things that came up in our conversation was her checks have been cut $30 because she had run out of money. It wasn’t to long ago that she had $4000.00 she had to spend to prevent her Social Security from being reduced. All she has to show for it is a TV, a cheap gaudy half couch thing, the name of which escapes me at the moment, and an arm chair that at least is decent. That’s it. I don’t know if Basil is still in the picture but if her money is gone he probably is too.
     She got $6.80 for her cans which she will use to buy cigarettes and cat food with. After that we went to Trilby and picked up food. I helped carry the food up for Dawn but let Barb take care of her bag. That done Fred took had me drive to Arby’s where he bought the 4 for $5.00 deal. When he tried to give one to me I said I did not want it. This upset him so I reminded him that I had told him I already ate when we left the apartment. With that done I took the girls home and Fred to the dollar store. He didn’t buy much and was tiring out so that is the end of this day, at least this portion of it.
     I am still lucid but can feel me tiring out. I called Eileen to see how she is doing. It isn’t good and to add to her stress the home front is bad. She had a joint her friend had given her before she went in the hospital that she had put away so she could use it to help calm herself down when she got out. It was gone along with $15.00 that had been in her purse. About the only one who could have taken it is Terry so she confronted him. He denied it but didn’t show up for two days. Then he came in and tried to give her one, which she refused on principle. Her and Glen are trying to set a trap to catch him.
     As we talked I told Eileen that she was really about the best friend I had because other than my second wife, whom I spent seventeen miserable years with, she has been around me longer than anyone, even my own family. She agreed and said that Cherie and I were her best friends because there were few others she could trust.

9/13/05 Tuesday
     Was up and down last night and woke up groggy. Back when I was a drinker and druger I woke up like this often but now I don’t do either. This brain injury is so much like using drugs I find it uncanny that I used to pay money to be this hampered. Fortunately these periods do not last long, they just come and go without warning. Yesterday was a great day and I was sharp the whole time with no slow downs. Love it. I did get a little bitchy last night over Cherie’s objection to me changing the channel. I am lucky to have a woman who is compassionate and understands my TBI.
     I am going to get Wayne and take him shopping this morning. When I looked at the calendar I saw that today is the M.S. luncheon that I have been forgetting to get Wayne to for months. I called him and asked if he would like to spend most of the morning with me and go to the luncheon. This time he was agreeable to going. In the past he wasn’t to hot on the idea, I think because of depression. Got to get ready and go.
     When I called Fred he asked me to pick up some milk for him which I am more than happy to do. I asked if Barb had called and he said yes. “Did she use her phone?” I asked. He told me that she said it wasn’t charged up yet and wouldn’t work until it is fully charged. I explained to Fred that that is a lie. I told him that I know cell phones will work with a minimum charge on them. When he expressed doubt I said that I have owned and used cell phones for years and know it for a fact. Doesn’t look good and I get a continual confirmation of my suspicions. Not much I can do but expose her deceptions with the hope she will come back around.  

9/14/05 Wednesday
     Just got this computer back from the shop. I haven’t been able to go online or do much for over a week. Yesterday ended up rough. I had put the MS luncheon on the calendar for yesterday. I was proud to have finally remembered and scheduled it for Wayne after failing to do so for a few months. After taking Wayne to the store and getting milk for Fred I drove Wayne to the Garden Café for the luncheon full of hope it would do him some good. I was embarrassed to find I had the wrong day down and got very angry. It has been a while, or at least I think it has, since I have had this lack of emotional control that has plagued me since I woke up. It was nasty and I took Wayne home right away. He kept talking and talking till I told him to shut the fuck up. Not good and I feel real bad. The anger stayed with me the rest of the day and some of it remains today. It was hard on Cherie and I have been real critical about everything. This compounds Cherie’s insecurities and tears down some of the progress I have made on building up her self esteem. Much of my anger is about being faced with my inability to do simple things like writing something in my calendar on the correct day. It makes me feel like I am a moron and brings up the depression. I so want to be able to do things, to not keep failing. It is hard to have hopes and dreams, to be somebody, when your confidence is regularly shattered. I had longed for this computer for writing helps me work things out.
     To make things worse I just accidentally deleted all the e-mail I had on There were records and addresses there I cannot recover. I tried but it is gone. I used to be so smart and now I am like a kid having to learn the same things over and over again only to have them vanish if I don’t keep up with it. The joke I used to tell about what it is like to be me is no longer funny. I would say that I am either the smartest dumb person or the dumbest smart person you would ever meet. Just depended on what day you met me. Now I feel dumb and helpless and don’t like the reality that I am doomed to remain this way. The rejection of those I had turned to for support in church kind of made this clear.  
     Fred called. He wants me to take Barb to the dentist Saturday. Barb told him she still didn’t have her phone and had loaned to Pauly. That is just another lie she is caught in as she had just told him Monday, when asked, that it was in her apartment. I told Fred she had scammed him out of the $30.00 he just spent on the new charger he bought that day and probably took it back for a refund. He doesn’t want to believe it but it may be sinking in. I told him he needs to cut her off so she will face the consequences of her actions. She needs to hit bottom to wake up. At least that is the theory and the way it has worked for others such as myself but she is used to being at the bottom and is comfortable there. I agreed to take her but she won’t like it cause I will speak my mind. At least I know enough to not shoulder the blame for her down hill spiral. I did what I could but I know the power of the drugs and she is choosing this. It is sad to watch but is an old story that is repeated thousands of times every day. Same story, different face and name.
     I’m pretty depressed. Allen called and tried to help but I really don’t want to hear it from him. He asked me to come over and help and said we could watch movies and stuff to cheer me up. Cherie came home. I apologized. I can hear that I am a bit slow. Have to go pick up my glasses now at Sam’s. Told Cherie we can get something to eat then so she won’t have to cook.
     I’m doing better now. After we went to pick up my glasses at Sam’s Club I filled up Fred’s car. We ate at Bob Evans and then went to home group. I was angry as I drove, cussing out one guy who pulled out in front of us as he talked on his cell phone. His window was rolled down as was mine and he definitely heard me and waved his hand, perhaps in apology, I don’t know but it scared Cherie to hear me do this.
     The glasses I got don’t seem right so I will try wearing them to see if they straighten up. Everything was bowed, the floors and walls all appeared to be swelling out. This upset my equilibrium kind of like being in one of those gravity houses at a fair.
     Home group was different. Bill showed a video about the missionaries who were killed in the Amazon and asked advice on how to show it. I found this puzzling because he was so unsure of what to do. He mentioned that the church was having difficulties for the last two or so years and it was wearing on him. After I pulled him aside and talked to him about some of the things that had been on my heart for a month or two. I talked of Christians getting comfortable and not be reverential or having a fear of God. I quoted scriptures that came to my mind as I talked.
     This puzzles me. Who am I to tell a preacher these things. I have doubts as to the existence of God and dispute some of what has become standard fare regarding church doctrine. When I discussed this with Cherie on the drive home the only thing I could think of to compare me too was Balam’s ass. If a donkey can talk to a prophet of God perhaps then God can use someone like me. I sure ain’t a holy man. Not even close. I do know the Bible better than most and see things with different eyes, a different perspective.

9/15/05 Thursday
     And I’m off. Woke up but didn’t want to. I forced my self to get my butt out of bed and got cleaned up. I went across the street for breakfast because I was too lazy to cook. While there Sharon called me. They moved someone next door to her and he knocked on her door with his belt undone and his zipper down. Not good at all. Sharon asked if they were still taking section 8 where we are so I went to the office and checked. MD properties is not to keen on it because of problems they had in the past. The lady I talked to will call the owner to see if he will make an exception. I got to go get Wayne now so will finish this later.
     I am back. It is 2:53 now. The MS luncheon was really a good thing and I am glad I finally got Wayne to it. We got there at 11:30 and there was no one else from the group present. The restaurant did not have any tables set up so they threw a couple together. Wayne and I sat there for the next half hour by ourselves and I worried that I had screwed up again. Wayne kept chattering on, asking me the same questions over and over about when it was to start and which Thursday of the month it was supposed to be on. This just aggravated the feelings I had about not having it together and the fear I had come on the wrong day again.
     Then to my relief I saw a van pull up that had two people in it who needed devices to help them walk. One was a motorized wheelchair and the other a walker. This gave me hope which was confirmed when they came to our table with the white haired woman in the wheelchair leading the way. She had a radiant smile that lit up her whole face and asked if we were here for the MS lunch.
     There was just three of them, two with MS and the other was the driver of the van who’s exact position I am not clear on at the moment. I think she is a volunteer caretaker or something but she has a sweet disposition and is in sales with a computer corporation that I believe she said was a spin off of IBM. We all began the process of getting to know each other and began to share with each other. Denise was the one with a walker and had the most obvious physical symptoms of MS with a pronounced shaking and her speech was also affected.
     I was slow by this time because of the anxiety I had earlier and the need to process all the things going on like the restaurant commotion and trying to follow the conversation at the table. There was so much helpful information and input that I went out to the car to get my notebook and write things down. I hope I can follow through on things because it would make a significant improvement for Wayne.
     Right now as I write this I am tired and slowing down. I want to take a nap but want to write this stuff down. Think I will lay down. Took my pill and some aspirin. Got a headache. Wayne wanted me to come in and visit but I just wanted to get home cause I felt the headache coming. I am yawning those big yawns that cause the paralysis thing in my neck. Laying down wins. Be back later.
     It’s later. I did the half asleep half awake thing that I do so much now. Cherie came home early from work and fixed a noodle and chicken dinner that was good. She seemed surprised. The headache is a killer this time. The right leg is less operational and the knee is stiff and painful. I am still not up to speed and writing this comes slowly. I had hoped to record the events of earlier so it wouldn’t vanish into the recesses of my mind. I can’t recall much right now and hope it will be accessible later. I also hope to do something on the blog and may be able because I can just post some of what I already wrote.  

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