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My family

Embrace Today By: K. Wilhelmina Floria

Tears of happiness shall fall,
listen close for your destination call.

A river of tranquility flows through life.

Ride out the eye of the storm, pass the strife.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Life changes, we grow.

Today started good.  I juiced a cantaloupe, I'm drinking it as I write this.  I didn't get on the bike, first my ipod wasn't charged up.  It has a pedometer, I want to keep a record and listen to music as I pedaled. No problem change of plan, I'll find something to watch on the computer.  But wait I had some business I needed to take care of first.  I made one call that lead to another and before you know it an hour and a half has passed. So I'll start the bike tomorrow, which is better, I don't have anywhere to go tomorrow.  If I rode the bike today I would be too tired to Brooklyn hospital tonight to the SLE Lupus Hospital Tour. They are known for giving the address to the furthest entrance to the seminar.  I may get my exercise tonight anyway. I will, however, have my Kashi Go Lean with Almond Breeze when I finish writing.

This is what took up my bike riding time. I got the bill for my medical records. I paid for them on line and the payment system they have is whack.  It doesn't show the payment right away. I thought I did something wrong and made to payments. I called them to get it fixed and they don't pick up.  I left a message and they did call me back about 30 minutes later. Thank goodness because I would of stressed over that.  Happy that I'll get my medical records. One of my doctors gave me a prescription with the wrong dosage, called left a message for him. Next which took the most time. My bank was offering $25 if you use their bill paying service. I tried it before and didn't like how long it took to pay the bill. But for the money I'll try it again. The phone bill went through right away.  The other bill was my GHI, now you know I don't want to mess with that.  They said they mailed a check, GHI didn't get it. So I'm calling back and forth between them. Long story short, I stopped the payment on the bank check and will now pay GHI on-line. I will try being that their system has a glitch!  No worries GHI tells me I have until the 12th of the month.  My stinking thinking is thinking of robbing peter.

Still waiting for money in the mail, Access-A-Ride owes me two checks. And I asked for assistance from The SLE Lupus Foundation for that boo boo I made on FB.  I know I can't depend on that but it would be nice to have that cushion.

For years I've been the one that people came to for financial help. I've lent money, gave gave money, provide food and shelter to many people.  I even co-signed a loan, that the person defaulted on and I ended up paying $1100 to clean my credit, which is still shitty. But I'm saying this because now that I'm unable to work and don't have any income except my SSD, none of the folks I help even try to offer a lending hand.  Well one friend who was on the pipe back in the day has given me a few dollars back, and says they'll help me out. But the other then that.... If I was to do my life over, that's the think I would change my good nature of helping people, no that's not true.  I'm a rug walk all over me, when I get old put me on the curb for the trash collector to discard and never think about me again. But I think I would of had a cut off instead of being saint stupid. I opened my door and allowed myself and children to go without so other people could eat and have a roof over their head. I struggled to pay bills while people living with me not paying rent, helping with the bills would buy stuff for themselves and not say here to me. Eventually they moved on, some are on their feet and still they don't give a person who carried them when they couldn't carry their own weight.

Enough of the above for now and back to the years in the projects.  Father has  job when were in the project working for the airport.  He was smoking crack but he maintained the job, for a while and for a while I think he lied about working because he started complaining about them not paying them. 

The apartment was cozy. We had big house plants in the living room.  A fish tank, that I took care of.  I had oscars and a shark fish. One morning my son left the net on the top of the tank and it fell in.  The shark got caught and the other fish were eating off of him.  I knew he wasn't going to survive, but he did and he grew with the oscars, eating live goldfish.  My shark was beautiful and he held his own with the oscars.

We had a bird cage with finches.  We found these two valor chairs, burgundy. The high rise bed father and I slept on and our TV.  Completed our living room. Everyone who visited felt welcome and comfortable.  We use to let the finches fly around the living room and often shock our guest when they flew from one of the plants.  Our cat never bothered them. I brought a nest and put it in the cage and the finches laid an egg, it hatched and the baby grew. We were amazed.

One year father brought my oldest daughter a parrot for her birthday and the parrot killed the finches. Then it committed suicide. Which is the story we tell,  he died without any trauma as far as we know.  We say he was lonely after he murdered the finches. My son had a hamster, I hated those things but as long as the kids and father took care of them okay.  This hamster use to get loose and run around the apartment and I would be hostage on the couch until it was caught. One night I came home from work, father told me to look in a pringles' box and there was the hamster, dead.  My youngest daughter gave him a bath and blow dried him.  He didn't survive his pampering, so my daughter buried him under the shaving in his cage and stuck a flower in him to mark his grave.

Despite fathers' addiction we did have some memorable experiences. Our New Year Eves were always nice like I mentioned before his brother always brought the new years in with us. We would have a beef ribs or steak, chicken, rice and peas, potato salad and cabbage.  We would have our drinks and smoke  reefer. I would let the kids toast the New Year in with a glass of wine.

Finally I told father I wanted him to leave, and he went to rehab.  When he came home he worked hard to stay clean.  I gave him another chance with my money and he did good.  I got our bills caught up and was learning how to mange my finances.  He use to go see his mother in Jamaica, NY not the West Indies. He would stop and see my mother.  My mother didn't care for him, she use to see him on the streets and thought the worst of him.  Funny I was the only one who didn't know who he was. But my mother was softening up to him.  When we first got together he wouldn't go to any of our family functions.  He use to say he's with me not my family.  But I use to go to all his family functions.  His aunts and cousins were all party people.  The liquor never stopped pouring.  The cousins always  had a little reefer or cocaine to pass around.  Cigarette smoke billowed in the air.  Father always said him and his brother were the black sheep's in the family.  Sorta of how I felt about myself and children.  My children still believe this.  When everyone got good and high the stories they told.  It was funny, his aunts were special ladies, so is his mother.  His grandfather was a good man too.  I think he was 92 when we met and when my daughter was born she took to him right away.  She would go with father over to his mother house, they say she wouldn't leave Pops' side.  They gave her the name Micky Mouse.  She use to carry this Micky Mouse doll all the time, this one day her grandmother chastised her and she said, "Grandma, Micky Mouse said Fuck You."

As I tell my stories they aren't in order but as I remember them.

 My mother moved my grandmother into the house and got rid of Grans' apartment.  Mom sold her piano.  She got real involved with her church.  I had started talking to my mother everyday.  We weren't that close when I was growing up, but we were getting there.  I was learning that I could talk to her about anything.  I just wish I had paid more attention to her health, but she was so secretive.  The night before she died was fathers' birthday.  She told me she was having pains in her chest, but she had gone to the doctor that morning and the doc told her she had gallstone and that's what she thought it was.  I know I should have gone there that night, but I took her at her word.  It was fathers' birthday, the car only went 35 mph and it was after 7 pm.  I promised myself I would stop by in the morning on my way to work. I was running late and didn't have time to stop that morning. I got to work, rush to take care of what I need to do that morning when I got a call, it was my mothers' neighbor telling me I need to to get to the house.  When I got there, the EMS were in her room, the police wouldn't let me go upstairs.  One of the techs came down he asked about moms' medical history.  I told him about our conversation we had the night before.  He said,  "oh she did have heart problems."  That went right over my head, "she did." the next thing he said was your mother died. I screamed and put a hole in the kitchen wall. My mother was dead, that couldn't be possible.  Would it had made a difference had I gone to her house the night before.  If I stopped by that morning.  I was 33 years old life was starting to look up and now it all came crashing down.

My brother came and he went right upstairs I followed him and there was mommy. She looked so peaceful. 

I called my brother-in-law and he told my sister.  My sister-in-law brought my girls and her two youngest sons to the house.   This kids were so happy my sister-in-law said when they were on their way over.  They were coming to grandma's, where there was always treats, they got to play all over the house with their cousins. Just before she let them come in the house she told them that their grandmother had died.  They came in the house and all four of them stopped on the porch and cried.  It hurt even more seeing her beloved grandchildren crying over  her passing.  Her grand kids were her life, she loved them so much. Each were spoiled evenly, there were no favorites.

I was going back and forth to Rockaway, even though I was staying at the house. My sister and her family was there. My aunt called, she was like my mothers' sister.  She asked me if I was going to move into the house.  I hadn't thought about that, I couldn't tell my aunt no.  This was our family home. My brother and his wife just brought a home, my sister had my aunts house.  My mother wasn't even buried yet, if I didn't move into the house what will happen to it? What would happen to Gran? Yes I'll move into the house.  I didn't even speak to father about it. We were going to be home owners.

My brohter and I made arrangements for the funeral, they need a down payment in cash. My brother was able to get a check from one of his insurances or something but he couldn't cash it.  I took him to my bank and walked right up to the presidents desk and got the check cashed.  My brother weeped and said, "mommy would be so proud of her daughter."  That made me feel good, but still didn't erase the, "you're a fuck up." 

My sister didn't want to help with the arrangements, anytime we asked her opinion she just walked away and would say she had to do this or finish that. She did help pick out mommys' clothes.  I'm proud of us, we did a good job.  In the funeral home we all were at the casket, each of her children and our mates, all of her grandchildren. We did a group hug, it was as if we knew things would never be the same.  That this was the last time we would all be together under one roof. I really miss our closeness.

I'll continue with live in South side Jamaica.

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Embrace today.