Tuesday, March 06, 2007


I haven't really been working out since my dad died, for obvious reasons. For over a week, I have had people around me constantly, my daughter was here from out of state, daily meetings with the other family members, funeral home visitation, etc. Every time I went to my dad's house to look for papers or anything else we needed, someone was always with me, never giving me any alone time at his house to just take in what had been his life. My brother showed up drunk the first day, barging in, trying to pack things up, making no rhyme or reason to his actions or rambling words because of his state of incoherence. I felt distracted by this and angry at his butting into my emotions and thoughts. Later, we would learn he had stolen some money that we hadn't yet removed from the house. Later still, he would admit to taking some of the money, after we confronted him with it. Later still, I would change the locks in an attempt to keep him out once and for all. I know my dad would have wanted that, as much to keep him from violating the premises as me finally standing up to him.

All week, someone was around, and I don't find it easy to take myself out of the house to go work out when I have company like that. Then, when the funeral was over, I still did not have the spark I needed to get out and do something. I was pacing energy stores as well. Thursday through Sunday, we got socked with a series of storms: first ice, then rain with thunder and lightening, then heavy snow, later blowing snow and drifting. There was more snow in my driveway Saturday morning than I have seen in years. I had managed to get in a short swim Friday morning while out on other errands, but found after 20 minutes I was tired. Dealing with all the snow Saturday took away my desire to go to the gym. I stayed home and watched a movie with my grandson and made pancakes.

Sunday the family had agreed to go to Grandpa's to look around and just see things one last time. It wasn't exactly how I wanted it, since my brother had earlier moved so many things around, probably in his quest for money, as well as his drunken unreasoning logic. When he barged in again, he wondered about the changed locks, since he had tried to get in for some rolaids, as he put it. My dad did not use or have any rolaids, and I don't doubt for a minute my brother knew this. He said he was going to turn the lights on and off every day/night like my dad always did. I can only imagine how long that would last, considering he rarely bothered himself with helping my dad with anything over the last 5 years he lived there. When someone comes home from work every night on a mission to drink, then that doesn't leave much time or thought for anyone or anything else.

So the kids looked around, picking out items they would like to have eventually, looking through the old pictures, having a great time, and once again I am there but not alone with my feelilngs. When we left, I was unsettled and knew I had to go back.

After dropping my one daughter off at the airport, we again went back to my house for lunch. I had noticed an edginess in myself building over the last few days so talked my other daughter into going to the gym with me. Since we had the kids, I showed her the Sprint 8 routine I mentioned a while ago. It is short and sweet, and fit in nicely with having to watch the kids. Then it was back home for dinner. By the time everyone had gone home, it was almost 9 pm.

I decided not to go to work Monday or Tuesday. I still had some things to attend to, and the burial of the ashes will be today. I am not ready to share my emotions with some of the people I work with. They are not my friends. You would think someone you sat within 5 feet from for two years and worked with for almost 10 that they might have sent an e-mail, card, or something when I had my accident, but that showed me their true colors. Instead, all I heard was criticism for being out there: if you were home where you belonged... So I was not ready to go back and face them, whom I had heard nothing from and didn't expect to hear from. I do not want their sympathy. I just want them to leave me alone.

I thought too I would be able to go to my dad's house, alone, and just take in the atmosphere. My brother would be working. I wasn't telling my sister I was going. And all the kids were back in school. Instead, Don wanted to ride along with me, and I didn't want to tell him no, but by the time we went there, I looked around again for some papers, went to the post office to change his address, etc., I was ready to take him home too. I was really on edge. Not stressed out, just snapping at him and wanting to be alone.

I decided to go to the 5:30 spinning class then, and it was a good one. It was what I needed. I really worked out hard and it felt good. I was more relaxed when I left and actually slept fairly well last night. Still not a full night, but I expect that will change once I get back to a more normal routine. Normal, that is, without having my dad part of my life. I will miss him.


Shelley said...

I'm so sorry you have to deal with all of that Vickie..I know how much you gave to him and it will never go un-noticed and un-appreciated in the end. I know you have some pretty great memories of you and your dad together..that, you will always have!!

bunnygirl said...

That's a lot to deal with, and I'm sorry it's been so hard to get a little alone-time.

People who don't do endurance sports don't understand how important that long run or spin class is to our well-being and our ability to cope.

Fe-lady said...

Good girl for pacing yourself - your week sounded sad and exhausting and even maddening with your brother's antics.
Glad you are taking out some of the frustration on the bike and in the pool. Take it easy. Invitation is an open one!

Flo said...

You have had a lot to deal with this past week. Too bad about your brother but good you changed the locks. I think most people think when someone is grieving they shouldn't be alone. But sometimes that's just what you need. Sometimes the best way to really let it out is when you're all by yourself. Anyway, good you got a good spin in, that always helps.

Like fe-lady, I got a spare room if you need to get away :)

Ellie said...

Good for you working out. That was one of the things really hard for me after losing my father --getting back to training. I kept trying but I was so tired I'd give up every time, or finish the distance and then not work out again for a week. Be sure you get enough rest. We're thinking about you. At your convenience!

TxSkatemom said...

i'm sorry that your colleagues aren't more understanding -- this is certainly a time you need to feel support from your work. I wish I were nearby to challenge you to a nice leisurely run -- you could talk or not, we could talk about your dad or not, you could leave me in your dust, whatever you felt like at the moment.