Random Thoughts Again

Carl Spackler
Posts: 320
Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2017 3:22 pm

Re: Random Thoughts Again

Postby Carl Spackler » Sun Feb 04, 2018 4:02 pm

Blue&White wrote:Sorry for your loss, Carl. February is right around the corner. Hopefully it brings better tidings.


Attended the funeral yesterday, took six hours to make the trip in as the PA Turnpike was closed eastbound from New Stanton to Breezewood due to a horrific, 2 fatality accident between Donegal exit and Somerset exit. The tpk people were routing everyone, quite a few cars & trucks, to Rt 30 east so my bright idea was to use Rt. 31 east through Somerset. Bad idea, half way there the hit the mountains west of Somerset and several hung up tractor-trailers on an ice covered hill. Had to turn around, drive cross country over snow covered, but better than PennDot maintained, roads to Rt. 30 and then get stuck behind even more tractor trailers. We were over a half hour late for the funeral.

I entered the church just to hear my younger brother telling the congregation that we were hung up on the Tpke. and were running late so he would deliver my sentiments previously forwarded to him. I ran in to the rear of the church, the pastor saw me and relayed that we had arrived. After my brother delivered his comments on his passed sister in law I got my turn. I usually choke up a bit a funerals and thought I would not be able to do this but the distraction of all the travel problems kept me from contemplating the event and rehearsing it mentally. I think I did much better, in fact I received numerous compliments for it at the dinner post funeral. It made me feel good to support my older brother who never thought we would make it there due to my issues so he was surprised and quite emotional as I delivered a copy of my remarks so he would have them to review later.

My sister in law was a gracious, loving person who all children gravitated to as they innately understood her genuineness. My wife told me of her love for Sandy as a child at the same church. She was a greeter, 12 years older than my wife but Sandy would greet my wife, a four or five year old child, give her a hug and ask her real questions about herself. Actually my wife was very angry when my older brother took Sandy away by marriage to another state. She explained that she disliked THAT MAN who took Sandy away.

We met 10 years later in high school and she joined the family and enjoyed many occasions with Sandy over the years. We took my brother and Sandy to a PSU game back when people used to throw rolls of toilet paper hopefully with a back spin so it unrolled appearing to be a long streak of white over the crowd. Invariably the unrolled portion of the roll would hit someone far below depending on the skill of the person throwing the roll. We smuggled several rolls into the stadium and my brother's throw wasn't very good, hitting a spectator roughly 20 rows below. The man was as mad as my wife when by brother took Sandy away but I don't think he was seriously injured. I got off a good throw and the roll dissipated without great inertia on impact. Fond memories.

Sorry for running on about something that people here have little to no knowledge and is probably skipped material but I think it helps me to express it through my fingers today so it is beneficial.

The drive home was uneventful thankfully. We got a few pictures with my three brothers and I. My oldest is in failing health and I'm concerned that he may join his wife much sooner than anyone thinks. His weight is way down and he felt skeletal when we embraced which my wife confirmed so while there was nostalgia, a partial celebration of life and grief expressed I cherished the time there as its likely last time we will all be together in this life.

Today my entire body feels it. Too much standing, 11 hours in the car for the round trip that normally takes 9 hours. I'll need a few more days to be back to my normal. I've got the time, at least in the sense of not having to do anything else beside get a hair cut this week. Of course that requires a 35 mile round trip but that's the trade off of living in a rural area.

Hope everyone is having a great weekend, not watching and drama queens pictured on the news and lowering your collective blood pressures with a cool one or two. I'll probably watch a part of the SB but not much. I don't have a rooting interest other than maybe not wanting the Pats to win again. I'd like to see the other team beat them sometime. I suppose people thought that about the Steeler's in the 70's too.

P.S. DVR'd the PSU vs OSU wrestling match last night as I knew we would never be home in time to see it live. Did not finish watching it until 2 a.m. An amazing, drama filled match with PSU digging itself a 5-15 point hold at mid match only to win four of the last five matches and while our 285 did not win he only lost by a score small enough to give OSU three points, one less than they needed to tie us. OSU's 285 is a world champion and Olympic champion wrestler and he said he wanted to destroy PSU. Well, while he won his match he did not dominate Nick Nevills, our 285 and that was the difference in the match. OSU 18 - PSU 19! WE ARE.........

LioninVa
Posts: 425
Joined: Tue Aug 15, 2017 11:49 am

Re: Random Thoughts Again

Postby LioninVa » Mon Feb 05, 2018 6:49 am

Sorry for your loss, Carl. No need to apologize for the previous post, in my opinion. I am honored that you feel comfortable to share your thoughts with all of us. And, it is probably cathartic for you as well. Best wishes as you move forward.

Blue&White
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Joined: Sat Aug 12, 2017 10:01 am

Re: Random Thoughts Again

Postby Blue&White » Mon Feb 05, 2018 7:14 am

Glad you were able to get there in the nick of time, Carl. I'm sure your brother appreciated you being there. And, sorry again for your loss. The passage of time will ravage us all. All we can really do is enjoy the time we have while we have it.
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psu_dad
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Joined: Sun Aug 13, 2017 6:59 pm

Re: Random Thoughts Again

Postby psu_dad » Mon Feb 05, 2018 7:17 am

Sorry for running on about something that people here have little to no knowledge and is probably skipped material but I think it helps me to express it through my fingers today so it is beneficial.

For whatever it's worth, I can relate. I've probably attended as many funerals in the last 10 years or so as in the previous 50. Unless a person is made of stone, it has a profound affect on them. And we all deal with it as best we can. So if it helps to talk about it, then talk about it. When I confessed to my wife my awkwardness in not always knowing what to say in these situations, she said that wasn't nearly as important as being there and listening.
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Blue&White
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Joined: Sat Aug 12, 2017 10:01 am

Re: Random Thoughts Again

Postby Blue&White » Mon Feb 05, 2018 8:30 am

When I confessed to my wife my awkwardness in not always knowing what to say in these situations, she said that wasn't nearly as important as being there and listening.

2 years ago a colleague of mine lost her husband to cancer. She took some time off and when she came back I had to work on a project with her. First time I got on the phone with her I said something like "I'm sorry, I have no idea what is appropriate to say to you in this situation so I apologize if I say the wrong thing. All I can think to say is 'I'm sorry for your loss'". She said that was perfect and all I needed to say. I think some people try to "help" and in doing so they make it worse.

Before my wife and I had our sons, my wife had 2 miscarriages. And, people said some of the most awful things to us, and really my wife, in the aftermath. I will never forget one of the secretaries in my office told me that I shouldn't feel so bad because her neighbor had 5 miscarriages and was never able to have children. I couldn't believe she said it. All I could think to say was "how do you know that won't be my wife and I?". She stammered through some stupid response and walked away from me. The lesson I took from that experience is that people need to grieve, it's not your job to make them feel better and it's not a requirement that they do so, and the best think you can do is show empathy and move on.

Finally, I'm with dad: vent away, Carl. If it helps you, then, by all means, share it here. We're interested. We share all kinds of things here that many of us probably don't share in the "real" world. That's what's great about this forum. So, if you need a sounding board, please don't hesitate to put it here. We don't mind.
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Carl Spackler
Posts: 320
Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2017 3:22 pm

Re: Random Thoughts Again

Postby Carl Spackler » Mon Feb 05, 2018 12:49 pm

Thanks guys, Jan. was a tough month for us and Feb didn't start very well either. My wife did all the driving and she did NOT appreciate my help on the way, but, when we were stuck and I saw no possible way for the trucks to exit icy hill ahead of us any time soon I "asked her" to turn around on the road and head back so we could travel cross country and she did appreciate me helping at that point. We made up, after the funeral, actually this a.m. but I digress as this gets too personal.

I did get to see several cousins who visited the farm every summer for the first time in 30 years. Numerous people came over to me to reminisce the old days. My wife was surprised how many people cared and asked about me/us. As usual, two ladies who I knew in only a small way tried to compromise my day, one succeeded but the second was cut off by another after I expressed that I would have to soon move on as we needed to leave. My wife saw both and thought I knew them so I set a hand signal for future events for rescue needs so she can come in to tell me we need to go somewhere else. I don't get it but some just have to compromise you when they really don't have any close connection although we marveled at the lack of sensitivity by several at the event.

It does help, even to type it out and I know this board for the time I've been on it, good people. Those who came and those who went, good people. I've heard a lot of stories here. B&W, the miscarriage comments must have been brutal. People sometimes say very silly and hurtful things in the moment, out of awkwardness as dad noted. I've likely done it and did so without evil intent, without knowing did so. It is difficult to express what is in your heart in difficult times.

My brother was hunched over the entire service. He wanted to stand up to greet me after my remarks. He sobbed on my shoulder for several minutes as the group waited. All I could do was to be someone to lean on and listen, then comfort him. He NEVER expected us to come as he told me knowing my situation, which he has somehow blown up into a bit more than it is therefore his shock. Yet, when it was over, the meal was finished we took the picture of the four of us, 18 years apart, and we all sat down in a circle. He began to talk, got his mind off it all and I saw the old brother I knew, his head up, animated, hands waving around as he expounded on an idea of his. Get this, a cemetery extension with presunk vaults. To talk of that after the funeral of his wife showed he forgot for a small moment and returned to his old self.

So thanks again for listening. It was and is cathartic. And appreciated. I'll try to keep it short next time although that is not my best trait.

Blue&White
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Re: Random Thoughts Again

Postby Blue&White » Mon Feb 05, 2018 1:04 pm

People sometimes say very silly and hurtful things in the moment, out of awkwardness as dad noted.

I think that's probably right. I don't think most people are that thoughtless or self absorbed that they can't be empathetic. I think people often just don't know the "right" thing to say in those situations, probably because there isn't a right thing to say.

Glad you did make it to the funeral and were able to be there for your brother. Those are the things in life that matter the most.
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LioninVa
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Joined: Tue Aug 15, 2017 11:49 am

Re: Random Thoughts Again

Postby LioninVa » Mon Feb 05, 2018 5:42 pm

Death is a crazy thing. No one can avoid it, we prepare for it and fear it. Understandable, I think. I lost my mother 12 years ago this month, and I miss her every day, but life goes on just the same. My wife miscarried when my oldest was 3 or 4. The physician tolls her to “ go about your business” when she started having complications. Two days later we were having a DNC procedure and a month later I was playing for that quacks graduation from the internship at the military hospital. I learned later that miscarriages are far more common than I thought; not that that makes it any easier for those involved. I have had the chance to say, “ been there” to friends as they go through it, so there’s that. Maybe not a shoulder to cry on, but something. Again, I appreciate the fact that so many of us feel comfortable discussing these things here. Almost makes me want to go buy some of _dad’s stocks. Almost.

Blue&White
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Re: Random Thoughts Again

Postby Blue&White » Mon Feb 05, 2018 5:56 pm

Miscarriages are extremely common. Prior to modern medicine being able to detect pregnancy in early weeks, women had them and had no idea. And, usually there is no rhyme or reason to it. They happen and your body moves on. The worst part is if you have them late in the trimester they can kill you because the fetus can be developed enough that mom's body doesn't just pass it through and you get infections. My wife had that with the 2nd miscarriage, even after the DNC. They didn't get it all and it got infected. We ended up in the ER with her on an antibiotic drip. Insult to injury. But, it's not the doctor's fault. It's just part of the process.

Almost makes me want to go buy some of _dad’s stocks. Almost.


That reminds me of another psubob quote: "No chance, Lance".
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psu_dad
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Re: Random Thoughts Again

Postby psu_dad » Mon Feb 05, 2018 6:00 pm

Almost makes me want to go buy some of _dad’s stocks. Almost.

They're a lot cheaper than they were on Thursday. So there's that.
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