My wonderful Brothers

Not a day goes by that I don’t think of the kids (my siblings). In my mind I usually refer to them as the ‘boys and Janna’ or just “My Brothers” now Janna is included in this statement of ‘My Brothers’ since it’s in my mind. But when speaking aloud I always try to make sure I refer to her as my ‘sister’ since I know how hard it can be surrounded by too many boys and just being overlooked. I love each kid (young and grown) blood or not and would happily set anyone who thinks there is a difference due to biology between us straight (and none to nice either). In this post I’m talking about my ‘brothers’ and not the ‘kids’ because I’m mostly referring to Jackie, Jeremy and a bit of Jesse.

With the younger children I have a more mentor/caregiver relationship than a traditional big sister. I suspect this will change as they continue to grow and find themselves. Hopefully both sides can ease into this new way of being gracefully… With Jackie and Jeremy and more in the middle with Jesse, I have a much more “older” sister relationship than feeling like I need to take care of them. And for the most part I can rein in my – oldest child – must protect the kids – feelings and just treat them more as equals (or as much as the oldest sister can..) when we spend time together. I still find the need to delegate since I usually know what they should be doing or not doing…but even that I have tried to give them a chance first. And since they still speak to me and send me Birthday cards I guess I haven’t completely failed *smile*.

I miss my Brothers (Jackie, Jeremy & Jesse(littles too just in a different way)) quite often. We always were very close knit group. But  right after Mom was killed; which usually brings people closer or drives them apart, we no longer had the usual ‘sibling rivalry’ that most large families have. I don’t know how it was when I wasn’t around, but for me no one talked bad about my Brothers (littles too) even if they were right in what they were saying. Because I knew deep down, my wonderful Brothers were trying their damnedest to do what was right. But how can one not screw up in such a time? Sometimes Jeremy would leaves the house for days leaving me with a bunch of kids I couldn’t help, a Father who couldn’t help himself, a cousin who shouldn’t have been there and Jackie who couldn’t control his emotions let lone help. As much as their lashes at me hurt, I never once blamed them. I couldn’t. They were my Brothers. And until the day our world ended they were still little boys, coming into being young men. Neither had more than a summer job, both were still in high school (poor Jackie graduated shortly after she was killed) their lives of teenage boys was in full swing and nowhere near to dealing with the younger kids or the farm. So even with their hurtful words and actions, once the kids were in bed and I’d cleaned (probably alone) for the day. I put all the hurts and unfairness away and sat by the fire they had made out front under the big tree listening to whomever’s car was parked nearby playing music and just be with them. Often little was said. Sometimes a lot was said in a few words. Under the grief of what had happened, there was a more real fear of loosing another one of us. Somebody overcome by it all and forgetting that we still needed him/her (god knows we all faced that demon once or twice that summer). So while the words were short and to the point, the was an awareness of the group of us as a whole. When someone was particularly having a bad spell (not that it was easy to tell sometimes, were all pretty strong and don’t let our pain burden the others) without words we knew and in each his own way made sure that the one feeling dark knew that we knew and were there to do what we could.  Everybody watched everyone’s backs. Very rarely did anyone go anywhere alone, and if someone was in distress most the time everyone came with.

Later after summer we all very busy, making choices, trying to figure out where to go and what to do. But every time I got to hang out with My brothers, I felt the closeness of our love for each other and that regardless of what was going on, we always made sure the other ones were okay. And all this time we hardly talked about the day when the world ended. Because even though we wanted to help one another, we didn’t know how to in the face of our own pain. And even knowing that, we still had each other to make sure everyone was okay. All of us helpless to what our world had cruelly done to us, loved each other enough that even when everything was unknown and the world crumbling we still had each other.

When I first moved away from the Farm I was very worried that the older kids would hate me for walking out on them, and that the younger kids would feel like their only caregiver was leaving them. I felt so selfish for making my decisions to move. I had tried and tried to help the kids, help with the farm and house. But in family politics I was voted as unworthy to raise the kids and run the house and help overseeing the farm. So other than being there, as part of the problem, I left. The Little kids hated me for a while. Some may still. Jackie and Jeremy seem to understand and didn’t harbor ill feelings (none that they showed me anyway). But even after that whole mess, my Brothers they were. Worried, but still they loved me and came to visit and made a point to see me.

This year for my Birthday Jackie sent me the most amazing card. And Jeremy (with his wonderful girlfriend’s “El”  help) sent me a few small gifts that only people who know me would understand.  The kids in their own ways sent me hand written (and come crafted) cards with the important things they wanted to tell me (Birthdays have always been a big family thing in the past). I cried when I opened my box of 12 letters.  (I really don’t cry much)

I miss them more than I can find words to express. And I hate, HATE that life is as such that with wanting to see them with all my heart, I can’t go back to the farm. It kills me inside just to write that sentence. And before I get outraged questions of why I can’t go back, let me explain that I am the reason I can’t go back yet. I don’t think I could handle it and still be the person they deserve to see. My guilt for not being able to see them because of me shreds my heart. I hate myself for not being strong enough to deal with the memories so I can see my family. I can only hope that one day soon I will be able to. Because my Brothers are the best, they mean the world to me (littles too), I’d do anything I could possibly make myself do for them. Hence why I feel just fucking awful for not being strong enough to make myself go back for a visit.  I’m the one failing them here.

I hope they can forgive me in time, I don’t know that I can forgive myself so I would understand. Because they are my world. They are all I have left that won’t just drift away as times change. And I love them. They’re my Brothers.

I am now an emotion mess after trying to get this bit of writing to make sense from my distraught mind…


Some quotes to reflect where my mind wanders

With the way things seem to go, I often find myself thinking that this is true. I’ve so many people that have told me that I have a ‘spark’. A light. A force that captures their interest. But a small part of me wonders if that same spark is what attracts some of the darkest people as well…

I apologize a lot. This is one of my better reasons for doing so!

For all the people that I have a hard time talking to.. I just can’t seem to explain my words and they can’t hear my silence 😦

Need I say more?

I love Ayn Rand. She wrote amazing books back when Women did not write about important topics like politics, war and mankind. She was published as a male author and the public didn’t know the truth of who she was until her 3rd or 4th book had become very popular.

I found this picture and thought that put with Emerson’s famous quote it would be great. I was right.

And when one can’t find that happiness, cannot find someone who can hear the silence, loses her sight of her spark and just keeps failing faster then she can get up…bring out the wine. And when in doubt, send it too.


Awaiting the snow and watching the Nights.

It’s getting cold here. Every night it is well below freezing and the frost lingers in the shade the entire day. The snow is only a week or two away. I’m excited (okay not to drive in) for it. I rather like the snow, the layers of clothes we have to have on us at all times, the clunky boots that fashion just can’t have much say in because they either keep your feet warm or they DON’T. I the bite to the air that lets us know we are indeed alive. I like the way hot beverages are a must at any moment in the day and hot baths become comfortable instead of enduring. I’m a northern girl I guess. I like the dark, the snow, the cold and most of the things included with winter. Though I cannot say I am a huge fan of the holidays (I used to be). So I’m looking forward to it!

I’ve been working quite a bit (for me anyways – not exactly 80 hours a week or anything but full-time and enough stress to make it long). My sleeping has been off the charts bad and my new identity is ‘INSOMNIAC’. I watch TV shows off of link tv, read books when I get my hands on them and try to not move around too much so that my body is at least resting..I usually only get about 3 hours of continual sleep. Otherwise it’s broken and in a semi awake state that in itself is often more tiring than staying up. I’m completely off all sleep meds, anxiety meds and other sedative drugs. I have my two types of pain killers for my back and that’s it! Haven’t been this close to drug free for MONTHS. I just did a sleep study that I should be getting the ‘results’ back in a week or so and then hopefully there will be a PLAN. Because I don’t know how much longer I can actually hold a real job and take care of myself when I am ALWAYS tired. Like this morning… I picked up River’s water bowl (full of water) to put food in it and spilled it all over the place. Also tried to pick a pot that was hot off the stove…and other random things that aren’t helpful to me. I completely forgot the word ‘drill’ in a class at work the other day. Was rather embarrassing. I forget Peoples names and what day of the week it is all the time. I have to write down EVERYTHING. All my doctors know they have to call me (even if their policy is not to call the day before) to make sure I remember my appointments (even though I made them the week before like I do every week). People at work laugh at me because I am the sticky note queen. But I don’t have much choice, I look like an idiot while doing all these things… I hope to sleep again soon. Just like 6 hours. I’m not asking much.

It’s 1:30am here. I’m making myself a bit of food (I have to space out my meals because I seem to use up more being awake for 20 hours of the day). I’ve taken to eating high fat and calorie foods to try to keep some of my energy up. Doesn’t seem to be helping but oh well. Not sure what else to try!

My (belated) Birthday

In my last post of the dark inner workings of my mind I covered the year one mark of moving to Alaska. Since it was the end of September that means my next one would cover my Birthday. I have a real love – hate (mostly hate) relationship with my Birthday. I’ve lost quite a few very important animal friends on or around my Birthday. Including my first dog Maggie. Tends to put a damper on things. The year I turned 20  I was up north at college. Dad was at work on the Slope (Arctic Circle of Alaska), Mom was home with all the kids who were still in grade school (Jackie’s senior year). My Birthday that year fell on a Tuesday. Mom was planning on driving up, spending a few days with me on the weekend. We’d do dinner, movies, shop and have a blast. But the kids were very busy with school, some of the little kids were not doing particularly well that week, the older boys were giving her some teenage crap and she was majorly stressing over leaving them home with no one but Jackie and Jeremy in charge. I had tests I had to study for so I convinced her that we didn’t have to do something this year, that turning 20 really wasn’t that cool.  I would sadly be missing her 50th Birthday in November (but I would make up for it when I visited for Thanksgiving). Now 21… that would be a year we had to live it up. Besides she would be 51 a bit later and THAT was over the hill! Not 50! So the upcoming year we would make up for both events and go nuts. She was pretty emotional about missing my Birthday even though she had to admit it was probably for the best with the kids, and sent me this amazing care package and left  a few teary messages. I felt a little bad about convincing her to stay home after all..but we would make up for it next year we had already started planning. The thing is, we never got to 21 together. That year was our last Birthdays together. And we spent both of them apart due to something as stupid as school and schedules.

I spent my 21st Birthday scrubbing floors by hand with my BEST of the best friends – Lorien to keep me company in my grief. The rest of the family had gone to Maryland for the annual Fall visit and I had opted to stay and take care of the animals since I would be wallowing in my grief anyways.  I can’t say I remember much of that week. I didn’t trust myself to drink and I don’t think I slept. I just wanted to die. I had quite a few well-meaning friends promise me that they would take me out and cheer me up on my 21st Birthday no matter how much I protested in the early months after Mom died but by the time September had rolled around they promptly forgot those empty promises. I secretly  had hoped that at least one would remember..but only Lorien and my wonderful Brothers gave me gifts and insisted on making me smile (My extended family called and sent cards too). My 21st Birthday was just haunted memories, false pacts, bitter disappointments and forgotten words. I have never hated a day just because in such a way. I wanted to wipe away my very existence and never be born on that wretched day. My poor Father at a loss of how to console me simply wrote a check while trying to hold back his tears. One has never wanted a sappy card full of loving and touching words that only the best Mothers can write as badly I did that year. For if I had that would meant the whole didn’t end and I hadn’t brought such evil into our lives. But the reality is that I will never get another card on my Birthday beautifully written from my Mother.

My 22nd Birthday was spent in Bethel Alaska wandering the tundra alone. The trial had wrapped up a whopping 4 days  before and hardly a soul remember what year it was let lone what day. I got one present that year – an Irish Coffee from my uncle Thomas. (Lorien may have sent me a book too now that I think about it). I was in too much pain to really care. And certainly wasn’t going to hold it against everyone else, it wasn’t their fault that the dumb state decided the last week of September was the day to visit Hell.

I wish I could say I went crazy this year. But there just isn’t anything special about turning 23. Most of my friends didn’t even know when my Birthday was and the rest forgot. At war with myself on whether or not I should try to ignore it completely or smile and find something decent out of the damn day I waited till the last minute to tell people I wanted to go out for drinks (something low-key) which resulted in 3 great friends who came through. Ironically enough it wasn’t the friends who have known me for years or even like to go out a bunch. Stefanie, Emi and Katie (Williams) were my three heroes that weekend. Funny how the true friends always show up in the least expected ways. We had sushi, we had drinks and laughed. I was proud of myself for asking. I only got two phone calls aside from Lorien and my family to wish me a happy Birthday. Lorien thinks it’s because I give people a death glare should they even mention my Birthday to me (she is probably right) but I can’t say it gives me reason to think I should try to change things since it matters little to world in the end. I guess I’ll just have to wait and see what the war I have with myself results in next year.

It feels like it’s rather dumb to have such a deep regret of how I spent my last Birthday without my Mother when she was still with us. But I can honestly say that eats me and I despise every memory of that 20th Birthday. I think it was because my Birthday meant the world to Mom. She has so much love for each of us Kids that our Birthdays meant the world to her. Funny what ends up mattering in the end.

I couldn’t bring myself to write about on my actual Birthday so I’m writing a belated post about it. And for the curious ones it’s September 30th.

I wrote this quote over the weekend and found a picture of myself that Lorien took the August before the trial and my ex ass hole broke up with me and I left for Alaska. That trip (the picture was taken in NY state in the Catskills MT’s) was the only time I felt okay since Mom died to this day. I wish I could hope and dream like I had begun again in those few weeks before returning to the mess in Tennessee. But life squashed that as it has so many other things for me. The words are mine and mine only. The picture is of me in August 2010.


~ J