Sing You Home.

I don’t know how to deal with this season. The assumption from everyone, particularly those who don’t know my history, and that segment is getting larger, as it is two year now since my little brother died, is that is his a joyful season. Only it’s really not, it’s a season of grieving.

Grieving is the strangest emotion, because it can coexist silently with the rest of my life for months. I notice if I’m particularly sad, or particularly happy or angry, but grief just steals into the background and I don’t notice until I’m ready to beat my head off of walls in desperation and fury. Because no, grief doesn’t just mean tears. At least not for me. I get angry.

This would be because my default emotion whenever I don’t agree with the way something is going is to get mad. As I am not the high queen of the world and things often do not follow my grand plan, I am mad frequently. Which means I don’t really need more anger in my life. Particularly here- it neither helps nor honours the person I’m grieving for if I am ready to attack the world at any moment.

Only I don’t know how to not be angry. It’s such a fast reaction to get into, and it’s so much safer than lying myself open to the rest of the world so they can trample on me. All well-meaningly, of course.

This month will be an exercise in trying to cool down. So far I’ve primarily failed at that, but today this song helped. And it’s lovely, even if you don’t have grief/anger problems.

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"Though he is not far from every one of us, for in him we live, and move, and have our being."

Yesterday a lady and her little boy came into the bank, and came to my wicket. The little boy had big brown eyes, close cropped hair, and a big grin. And he was on the skinny side, for a boy of about three. I nearly called him Gid three times in the five minutes he was sitting on my counter looking at everything. Thankfully his voice was very cutesy, which did not help the resemblance to my little brother, otherwise I might have started bawling.

It’s been a little over six months since my little brother’s death, and I keep finding myself at odd moments just staring at something, saying; “Why? Why? He’d be five, learning how to read- why? None of my college friends ever even got to meet him. Why? I just don’t understand. It doesn’t make sense! He’s supposed to be charming every woman of every age with his big long-lashed eyes and beautiful grin. It doesn’t make sense.” 

I miss him a lot. And I look forward to seeing him again, whenever God sees fit to take me home. Silly boy had to jump the line ahead of his big sister.

Anyways.

I’ve also been seeing a lot of information about George Tiller on the news. If you haven’t heard, he is an abortion doctor who was recently murdered. Specifically, the clinics which he owned and made his living off of performed late-term, or partial-birth, abortions, which is “the termination of a viable fetus.” I have not looked into it, but I doubt that Dr. Tiller or his family, including his two physician daughters, were hard off for money. Given that he was contributing campaign money to the eventual Health Secretary, I have a great deal of doubt in that direction.

And I am finding it very hard not to simply decide that justice has been served with his “murder.”

This man has reported the termination of over 2600 viable fetuses since 1998. To rephrase, he has supported himself and his family on the profits of making sure that more two thousand and six hundred human beings that were capable of surviving outside of the womb were unable to survive. So roughly one every regular business day.

This makes me very angry.

However, keeping very firmly in my mind the verse which says “Vengeance is mine, sayth the LORD, I will repay,” I will concede that it is wrong to take justice into my own hands. I should not go out and kill abortion providers, and that goes for all of you too. Another “why?” moment.

And here’s the kicker. Dr. Tiller was shot in church, where he was serving as an Usher. His wife sung in the choir. Possibly still sings, though I don’t know and don’t particularly care. He professed to be a Christian. He had to believe he was doing the right thing, I can’t see someone living through continual death threats and hate mail for years for something he thought was wrong, or simply because there was good money in it.

So am I going to meet Dr. Tiller and Gid both, when I go home? My little brother who loved Cars and the man who is survived by his wife, four children and ten grandchildren? And will he meet 2600 little souls he sent to meet their maker? I just don’t know. It’s too much for me to understand, to get my head around. This is why I am not judge, jury and executioner, I suppose. Justice, Death and Life are just too much for me. But I do believe there is someone who can comprehend, someone both merciful and just, and someone who will has forgiven my murderous leanings, my pride and my self-righteousness. Among many other things.

Lord I believe, forgive thou mine unbelief.

"Just Get Me Through December"

My little brother died yesterday. He was four years old, and too much joy to be contained. 

And I just don’t know anything. The world is different, that’s for sure. Maybe I’ve grow up a little more, maybe I’m still in shock and denial, but I certainly don’t look at life in the same way. Life- both the living of it and the fact of morality, has taken on a different aspect. 
Because my little brother is no longer here, and everything reminds me of him in some way. He loves blue, and kinder eggs, and cars, and the whole wild world. He gives his full attention to whatever he is doing, oh my little brother. 
No, I’m not using the present tense by accident. I believe- no, I don’t believe, I know, that he’s in a better place. He has no more pain, no more uncertainty, no more tears. He’s free. And for him, we’ll see him tomorrow. We just have a longer tomorrow to get through than he does. 
His death was peaceful, and even the days and hours before were free of stress for him. I have a mental snapshot from the day before, which encapsulates the hospital time for me. Gid was sleeping, and had been all day, and I was just watching him from across the room. Snow was falling. There was only one small light on in the room, so it was getting darker as night fell. A fan caused the curtains to brush against each other, and the IV pump made small popping noises every couple of seconds. Daddy was playing acoustic guitar, and Mommy and Fraulein and I listened to him and to Gid breathing. It was an incredible span of time. There was so much sorrow and so much joy, somehow held side by side. 
The strange thing is that I really still can’t take it in. My mind keeps trying to segment my memory, saying that that wasn’t Gid, my little brother is still somewhere around here, and I’m going to poke my head around a corner and see him sleeping. It’s so strange. I’ll probably be trying to fit my head around it for quite some time. Years, most likely. 
Anyhow, that’s my big news. And if you thought my sense of humour was dark and twisted before, you might want to avoid me from now on. 
Note: I’ve been trying to write this for a little while. Please ignore the continuity error. 

His strength is made perfect in weakness.

It has swiftly, though not unexpectedly, come up that the family is going into St. John’s. I’m not sure how long we’ll be there, or how much internet access I’ll have. For those who I’ve not been able to tell “personally” over the internet, I’ll miss you, and have a great Christmas.

Oh, and I fail at mailing, and spent too much time looking at gifts instead of sending them, so your presents will be VERY late. I’m sorry.

*waves and disappears*

"Come on, come on, put your hand into the fire. Explain, explain…"

Due to my rather sad incoherence lately, which makes me cringe to think of, I shall try very hard to make this post contain something resembling logic. “Try” being the operative word, I am afraid. 

I commence!
I am currently wearing four shirts. Yes. Four (4). This is due to the fact that people keep giving me them. First of all, Fraulein gave me two lovely ones yesterday, designed to be layered. Therefore I decided to wear them today along with the charming brown pants Gid picked out for me. Mommy said he first found a short, printed bright green housecoat. She steered him away from that, whereupon he gravitated to a low cut pink and white striped shirt. (He is four, after all). Mommy disentangled him from that one, where he found these pants. Which are a signal success, actually. (They are soft and have cool buttons, hence his choice of them.) So I was wearing my new outfit today, when I was given a free t-shirt to wear to the Relay for Life. As it wasn’t hot out, I just put the shirt on over top of my current wardrobe. One ill-fitting t-shirt over regular clothes= One volunteer uniform. Fraulein and I, in appropriate volunteer garb, were helping out with children’s activities. This was made extra interesting by the fact that we were working with groups of mixed ages and sexes. I tell you, anyone who says that there is no significant difference between girls and boys is seriously deluded. Possibly on drugs. Fraulein and I, used to working with little girls, unwisely let one of the boys be “Simon” in Simon Says. As our first game. The first thing the little dervish said? 

“Simon says Armpit Fart!”

Right. Um, some people don’t know how to do that. So why don’t you try another one? He ponder this, and then comes up with a different command. 

“Simon says run up the ramp and come back and hit me in the face!”

Takes “cruin’ for a bruisin’” to a new level, eh? By the way, I’m not honouring the child with the appellation “dervish” based solely on the Simon Says incident. There were other events. With witnesses. Anyhow, after our volunteer time was nearly over Fraulein and I were each given another t-shirt. It was even less hot then. Hence the four shirts as current outfit components. (I know I’m extra riveting today. Hush. I’m working on re-growing coherence and logic neurons.)
The birthday yesterday was lovely. Since the Relay was today, and as a result the family would be occupied most of my actual birthday day, we celebrated yesterday. We had a formal dress-up dinner. Slonner was demonstrating the twirling action of her skirt before the dinner. Mark my words, if that girl ever takes ballroom dancing she will devastate anyone within range. Totally maul the opposition, in truth. The meal was delicious, and the company was well dressed and charming. Then we opened gifts, some of which I have already mentioned. I should mention another one at this point simply because it is so very noteworthy. My parents, whom I rise up and call blessed, said that they would pay the difference in my saving and the computer I had picked out. Blessed, I tell you. 
Then we played Duck Duck Goose, as is tradition. And this time we ALL played, which was fun. There was also a scavenger hunt and musical chairs, where I, forgetting I was wearing weapons on my feet, trod rather heavily on Daddy’s foot. After a particularly hotly contested game of musical chairs Daddy was in fact forced to sit out and be the judge of the scavenger hunt. Which my team lost, even though the other team had a math CORRECTION book, instead of math book. But since I am a just and merciful birthday girl, and do not misuse my awesome power, I did not raise a big fuss about this blatant deception on the part of my nefarious siblings. Also no one was listening. 
Then Frualein and I watched Stardust in the evening. All in all, a marvelous celebration. Fraulein and I have had rather a lot of movie-watching incidents lately. I’m not going to go back and count them, since I’m lazy, but I’m pretty sure it’s a lot. We also watched a couple of episodes of Avatar this morning. That was amusing, since she has been rather politely and patiently tolerant of my delight in the show in the past. So today I sat down and said, “we’re going to watch the first episode. The beginning of it, at least. We can stop in eight minutes or so.” She is silent (implies consent! See, I did learn something from my first aid course!) and the watching commences. We get through the introduction and one half scene. She pipes up “I don’t think we’re going to be able to stop this!” *grins* NO, this is not gloating. It’s just happiness. Right. Happiness. 

"My pursuit of information knows no shame."

Day: 6
Date: 23/07/08
Event: Animal Kingdom and More

Today I entered and exited 3 theme parks, rode 3 monorails and 2 buses, ate in 1 restaurant, took 2 taxis and 6 rides. I also saw an ant-eater, discussed the mindset and propaganda machine that is the Disney entity, and drank three cups of coffee. Oh, and I saw a cute guy in the line behind me in Dinoland.

The day’s plan of attack;

  • Arrive at Animal Kingdom with Family, Split up
  • Ride the two rides in Dinoland USA. (ish)
  • Meaner over to “Asia” and ride Expedition Everest. (awesome)
  • Book it out of the park and take a bus to Epcot.
  • Sidle along to Mexico and eat lunch, pausing for a discussion of Pleasure, Pain, and Utility.
  • March out of Epcot and take two monorail to Magic Kingdom.
  • Fight our way over to Tomorrowland, ride Indy Speedway. (meh)
  • Be sucked into Space Mountain. (great)
  • Persevere across the park into Splash Mountain. (good)
  • Elbow our way out of Magic Kingdom, stopping to buy ice cream from a bearded woman from Hati.
  • Gawk at an amazing barbershop quartet by the gate.
  • Take a monorail and a bus back to Animal Kingdom.
  • Meet up with Mommy, Daddy and the small ones.
  • Taxi to the Hotel.
  • Order in Chinese food and discuss the jaw-dropping efficiency and pervasiveness of Disney.

And now some quotes from the past 6 days.

Walrus’s idea of smalltalk: “Oh, I just noticed! Your legs are really hairy!”

Gail (A nurse back home): “Mickey loves everyone, even if you haven’t met him before.”
Daddy: “Actually, Mickey is just an actor in a plastic suit. And he’s probably dying of heat stroke, which is why his smile is painted on.”

Person 1 in line: “And when you have the whole Big Mac meal, it’s over a thousand calories.”
Person 2: “Don’t think about that! You only die once, so you may as well enjoy yourself.”

Taxi Driver: “And after 9/11 none of the Americans were flying, so the Brits kept this town alive. Of course, they’re used to fighting the NRA, so Al Queda was no biggie.”

Gid, with a big grin; “I ate you!”

Gid: “I have lightning shoes!”

Me, draping myself over a balcony: “I’m going into Internet withdrawal.”

Walrus: “I’m drinking jelly beans!”

Mommy: “Well, Gid saw a dragonfly, Lacey saw a Giraffe, and Snazel saw a cute guy; so the day was a success.”

Daddy: “This whole experience is the kind of thing which requires years of prior conditioning- which we don’t have. Which might be why we’re a little skeptical of the $20 pirate mouse ears.”

Sam, riding down the freeway. “Car! Car! Car! Car! Car! Car?”
PT: “No, that’s a truck.”
Sam: “Oh. Truck! Truck! Truck! Truck!”

"Dr. Who did not help that experience to be more reassuring."

Day: 5
Date: 22/07/08
Event: Hollywood Studios

This experience is very fun, but my tendency towards cynicism in not lessening. In Epcot there is a general feeling of Quality to the structures, or at least of solidity. But Here the whole idea is that it is movie sets, so it all rings slightly false. 😀 Hah! I mean, false even after the significant suspension of disbelief required for a theme park. 😛

We started the day with Star Tours; a Star Wars Themed ride. It was quite fun, but we realised afterwards that Slonner and Walrus have not seen the movies, which made it slightly incomprehensible for them. They still enjoyed it, however, so all was not lost. After emergence from that ride, we were off to meet Lightening McQueen!

This was the thing Gid actually wished for. And I don’t know- when you have a 4 year-old palliative patient who has had a rush wish (which means he doesn’t have a lot of time,) come to visit, wouldn’t you try to do something special for him? A meeting in Lightning’s Garage? Five minutes uninterrupted? A sticker pack? That was what I was expecting. What we got was jumped to the front of the line to get our picture taken with Lighting and Mater. Two minutes, tops, in the middle of the public square, with other people crowding in for their turn, and music blaring.

Now, Gid was still delighted. When I asked later what he did today he said that “I saw Lightening and Mater- and touched them!” I, on the other hand, wanted to punch something. Hard. Broken glass and blood, please. Bah, I believed the Disney propaganda, which is always a dangerous thing. I’ve just got a jaded soul and Gid is so cute it hurts. I was holding him while we were waiting for Lightning, and he is so thin. Such delicate hands. His eyes are huge, and when he grins he’s infused with happiness. You beam to look at him. Mommy bought him Lightning McQueen shoes last night, and he was delighted with the. And the thing with Gid is that when you use words like “delight,” “joy,” and “beam,” it is the perfect truth. Even with all he’s been through, he is so full of life and happiness. My little brother is an amazing little boy. I wish I could see the man he would be. I have been truly blessed to be his big sister for 4 years.

[Here I broke off to bawl in the bathroom for 10 minutes]

Anyhow, the day. We went on a number or other rides, but probably the most noteworthy were the Tower of Terror and Rocking Roller Coaster. The Tower of Terror, because of the, (yes,) terror it inspired. The title is my reaction after we staggered out. The Rocking Roller Coaster is worthy of note because of its truly impressive wait line. ToT was fun, I’ll say, but I have no interest in doing it again. Been there, done that, sneered at the t-shirt. Seriously, why are all the good snarky t-shirts in guy’s sizes only? Even if perchance they have an acceptable design, it’s on a pink background!

I don’t do pink. I am the anti-pink. Pink is against my beliefs. So why do half of all female t-shirts have to be on that accursed colour? *bites a pillow* This is me, not impressed.

And on the subject of t-shirts, Fraulein and I noticed a distinguishing feature of Brazilian girls while in the interminable line for the RRC. There are a lot of groups of teenage tours from Brazil, all with official t-shirts. And the girls, almost without fail, have modified their shirts. The modifications range from “falling off the shoulder,” to “sleeveless,” to “bikini top.” I didn’t know you could fashion a bikini out of a t-shirt, but these girls manage it.

Overall, today was another very fun day, and I’m becoming acclimatised and accustomed, but I don’t think I’d fork out my own money for another ticket.