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    This is my first attempt at putting my personal life on the internet… but Jeff I was touched by your story and feel compelled to let you know you are not alone in all the BS that happens in life.

    When I was about a year and a half old my grandparents adopted me. I still saw, talked and spent time with my mother but I always had this longing to live with her. I definitely didn’t understand why I couldn’t live with her. I didn’t realize until I was older that this caused what I’ve heard people refer to as “abandonment issues”. I definitely find that I cling to people, even suffocate them…but not just any people, emotionally unavailable people at that.

    I am grateful that my grandparents adopted me though, they provided me with a stable and loving home. My grandma and I were best friends. She was my rock. Skip forward to May 2009 and she was diagnosed with lung cancer (she didn’t smoke). My grandma qualified for a particular surgery that would remove all the cancer. The surgery took place, five days later she was discharged and was almost as good as new. Less than a month later she started to act really strange and we found out it was all over her brain.

    My grandma moved in with my husband and I for home hospice and my mom was a hospice nurse so everyone was here all the time taking care of her…everyone except my uncle. Within two weeks my grandma died and my life changed forever. My uncle was the executor of her Will (she didn’t have anything but a house and the belongings in that house…oh and car). He decided that her death somehow became all about him and everyone needed to see how concerned he was, how much he loved her, how he was handling things all on his own…whatever. It got really ugly. He refused to allow my mom and I into my grandma’s house to go through things, smell her clothes, grieve together like most families do. We spoke through lawyers for the next year. At the end of it all, it all came down to some boxes that I still have yet to really go through.

    In Jan 2010 I found out I was pregnant, which was really sad that my grandma would never meet my kid. Within a few weeks, I started to have serious complications. I spent most of my pregnancy on bed rest, in the hospital all the while dealing with the estate lawyers and my uncle because my mom fell apart. After 9 weeks of hospital bed rest, my son was born 7 weeks premature and spent a month in the NICU. OHHHH I forgot to mention that at the time my husband and I were being sued for $276,000 because some idiot lady at a dog park tripped and fell on my dog and came after our homeowners insurance. She ended up losing but it was scary and one more thing to deal with, because my plate wasn’t full enough.

    Anyway, thankfully my son came home after a month, the lawsuit with my grandma’s estate was over, the lawsuit with the dog park lady was over and I thought, ok now we can move on with our lives. AND THEN…the last week of October my mom emailed me with a 911 email. At first I thought it was a joke but then she emailed me again. I drove to her house and when I pulled up I could hear her screaming. At the time we all thought she broke her hip, she was only 56, but within a month we found out she had bone cancer (the day before Thanksgiving). By Christmas we found out she had breast cancer that spread to bone cancer and now its basically all over. Remember I said she was a hospice nurse? I guess she thought she knew it all and never needed to go for routine check-ups. Maybe if she had, we would have found it sooner. Jan 2011 she died. At the time I was just numb. I had no more feelings left. I dealt with my step-dad shutting me out. Feeling alone. Feeling angry.

    Guess what? It wasn’t over either. Remember the uncle I mentioned? He dropped dead June of that year and left everything, including my grandma’s house and all my childhood stuff, including my great grandparents stuff…my entire childhood was being handed over to his girlfriend. I have spent the last 2 years fighting and fighting and the end result is…I lost my grandma’s house, had to buy back some heirloom items like my great grandfathers baseball glove (I wanted it for my son). THe only closure I got was negotiating walking through the house one final time.

    So, even saying all of that now seems so surreal. I have dark, DARK days but some days are filled with sunshine. I started to see a counselor, but I don’t think there’s anything anyone can say to help fix all of this damage. What I have discovered is this. When I wake up in the morning I have a very important decision to make. I can choose to be thankful for everything I still have, my husband, my son, my dad or I can think about everything I’ve lost. This decision sets the mood for the entire day which trickles down to the awful thoughts that I get stuck in my head to how driven I am at work to how I feel about myself…everything. Obviously its much easier to sit right on the event horizon but its much much harder to break away from that (that mood can last for days) than it is to make a conscious effect to smile, to enjoy the little things, to stop and live in the RIGHT NOW.

    I have spent the last 4 years living in this limbo place, keeping it moving so I wouldn’t fall apart. All that did was take away my right now time. So, everyday I work very hard to live right now and right now requires a constant decision to enjoy the right now. That’s the best advise I can give you, I hope it makes sense. Just know that you can reach out to me if you want or feel comfortable enough to do so and we can vent to each other so we can both enjoy the rest of our day.

    Keep on keeping on 🙂

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