Moments remembered

The morning comes. It is gentle and silent. I breathe and practice breathing softly.  I know what will come. I feel him all around me. I still feel so sad. I received a canvas print yesterday. Tom and his granddaughter Callie. He is on his new boat, at the prime of his weight loss, looking really healthy….August…this past summer. Some days, it feels like yesterday, still. It is still unfathomable, unthinkable to swallow and accept. I pray every single day for peace, clarity and the acceptance to love and move forward, a day at a time. The canvas is magnificent, it is a moment. It’s a memory of our day at the beach. I had many, not enough, never enough moments with him. I miss you Thomas…praying for you.

I had purchased a few Groupon deals for prints and a nifty camera last year. I have yet to explore and delve into that new contraption.  I think of it, I look forward to it, anything that brings me joy, I love photography. I follow quite a few on FB, photo’s soothe me and move me, like music. For many years,  I have my trusty old SONY digital camera and it works good and it’s compact.  What can I say? I’m old school with techy stuff. I’m glad. I like to stare into someone’s eyes not phone. Speaking of ole Blue eyes….Here’s a big ole can of worms and some whoop ass thrown in for ya… Ready?  SO…for 33.5 years,  I live with the “husband” who NOW/recently…. spends his entire down time on an IPAD. It’s oh 2 years now, and basically, it’s gotten bad, rock bottom bad. I’ve observed from afar..so now he is courting her, dating her, committed to her, dependent on her!, ummm..I’m not done, wait.  He carries her to the bathroom, he charges her EVERY single night, errrrrr bottom line. Ms. IPAD has got game. He is busy making “words” with “friends”, ummm, game of pool anyone? How bout some 7 card Poker! I mean, he is his own social media groupie! He reaches out to more strangers than my hand. So, I’m sure I am not “alone” in this…yet, I have never felt so lonely. I’m pretty direct,  I do not pretend to dance around the apparent fact. He’s addicted to her, it, the IPAD.  The kids and I bought it as a gift sooooo! guilty as charged. Oh…are there any 12 step meetings for wives who lose their man to social media and online gaming. Oh yeah…forgot, he is going to be 57 this coming month. Matured fast as you can tell. OK…I have shared my truth. Any comments?  Perhaps, you are thinking to yourself about now…well, leelee, ….at least he is HOME on the IPAD, he is not out getting hammered at a bar! True. 2) at least he isn’t viewing porno? stares….come on girls, we know better.  yeah right. 3) At least he’s not.. one of those obsessed sports fan fanatics that trucks all over the USA to see his favorite sport teams.  Uhhhh, no. I’m married for 133 years! He stopped bowling 10 years ago! He pays monthly for a Gym membership, but, coincidentally, hasn’t gone since he started dating Ms. IPAD! (2 years now)….Anyway…honest?  I would encourage! Cheer him! Go see a damn game! LIVE in the outdoor light! Plus, sporting events are fun, vigorous, they elevate the serotonin Trust me, Lord knows, he needs that! (cranky probably from staring at a 10″ screen a lot) oh and Vitamin D! (or lack thereof) By the way, that fancy  APP for Natural Sunlight on the IPAD, it really doesn’t work!  He is so so, pale these days! The man needs serious intervention, believe ME, I’ve tried!  I am starting to resent her, and I will confront her soon! There you have it.  #FedUpWife syndrome.  This STRESS, I’ll have you know, causes me to buy more cute summer shoes. Oh well, off I go to my retail therapy appointment. Thankful that I have real “emotional” support from MACYS* and such.   It is almost da weekend! Yippee.  I have my little sweet niece Callie coming for a town Spring festival. (Elsa will be there!)  She is my brother Tom’s granddaughter. The light of his heart. I miss him everyday. She will be 4 soon.

In closing, my friends.  We pray daily for peace and healing today.  I ask for prayers for my son and our family. May God and his angels watch and protect him. I ask this through Christ our Lord.  Thank you for being here, staying here. It’s almost the weekend, I hope you make time for you and have fun. Love & Peace ~leelee

His light

Good Morning. It has been peaceful this morning. I am feeling thankful, perhaps even grateful for the moments. It feels damn good to type that. I feel like I may be breathing almost normal again. It is like a gift. I have been loyal to my soul. I have been through more heartache than I can ever remember. My faith, my God has got to be driving. I can even say, he has lifted me and carried me. I was so afraid of that level of grief and fear. My biggest fear was I would not be able to sustain and recover. My family was not in the same place. My siblings, they seem to be quite rational and matter of fact about my brothers suicide. I was suspended. The pain was intense, the anguish was emotional torture.  I reached out, I got support. My church and a survivor group has helped me cope.  I researched support online. The Grief Toolbox, a website has been a daily healing and connection for me. I read 10 books about suicide. I yearned for my mind to wrap around this mental illness. I struggle. I understand somewhat, yet, I believe, for me, I will never understand his sudden choice. That only leaves me the choice of acceptance. To make peace with his choice, make peace with him leaving us. It is not an easy journey. I still yearn to speak to the experts, who can shed light on my inability to accept and understand.  My journey is mine. For the first 2 months, I craved love and comfort. I didn’t receive much of that, people shy away, they don’t speak about it (his death), they don’t speak about Tom.  They comment how they are truly “shocked” and can’t really “believe it”.  My family preaches and we talk a lot about Tom. Who he was, how he was, why he chose to die. Memories of childhood, still quite painful. I barely can look at his picture, still. I go to his home and sit with his wife. She is quiet, and does not dwell nor speak of his death. I stare outside, the snow and ice melted. I glance at his backyard. He just finished the most beautiful renovation. Hammered into one of the bar beams is “Y”. A metal, sturdy initial. My heart breaks instantly. The next day, I was browsing my favorite antique store and I came across a key chain  “Y”. A little sign perhaps? I sure hope so, it made me feel connected, close. 

I came across this passage today, a website that I LOVE, it is called Begin with Yes…and he is a wonderful writer.  Let me share his post with you:

 

Some paths we suddenly find ourselves walking are overwhelming and shake us to our very core. There is nothing we or anyone else can do to make it go away and we feel frightened, alone and powerless. But even then, in our darkest, most alone, moment there is a glimmer of light and somehow we keep moving. And the truth is that each one of us has faced or will face devastating loses and heartbreak when we wonder how will we ever go on. But we do the best we can, one small step, one tiny step at a time and we focus on that light and even though we may be shaking, we hold steady. And then one day, months, maybe even years later we realize that it was actually the “getting through” part that deepened us and gave us the capacity to be that glimmer of hope and light for others. And the circle it goes round and round.

I am in the circle, surrounding myself with healing and light and support. My journey is long, and emotional and life changing. I’m in it thick. So thick, I need some big rubber boots! But, I am strong enough now, to pull myself UP and look forward. Live just in today, and grasp any measure of gratitude and hope I can. I see the glimmer of hope and light and I will chase it, for you…for Tom.

Love & Blessings to you  ~leelee

In his memory….

Hello all. I welcome some Sunday serenity. If you are following, my brother Thomas’s benefit was yesterday. The pouring, drenching rain, swept across Long Island fierce.  We arrived at the restaurant and for me, it was surreal. I shared I felt that it was too soon to host any event.  Our grief is so new, we can barely find our old routines, function, remember or even feel like showing up for much. But we did it, me and my brother Anthony. He drove 5 hours to be there. He is quite amazing my baby brother. A PTSD surivivor of 9/11, a retired NYPD cop. He has attended many,  many fundraisers and memorials and benefits over the span of his 20 year career.  We held it together. For Thomas, for his wife and children.  Hundreds of friends attended. It was hard seeing them. The entire day, I kept looking at that front entrance…waiting…wishing…praying. You should be HERE, you should walk in this door. His friends shared many times yesterday, he would have LOVED this. Tom would have loved this party.  Perhaps, they are correct. I didn’t really have a response, perhaps it is because I haven’t fully accepted.  The moment I walked in, I kept playing the movie “Phenomenon” in my head!  I mean, honestly, it is in my top 5 of My all time favorites.  John Travolta stars in it, he has a rare brain tumor, Kyra Sedgwick one of my all time fav’s! At the end, they too host a George O’Malley celebration. Just like Tom’s. The irony, I guess, is that my brother chose to die, George didn’t.  The day for me was surreal, my grief, my sadness, it does not leave me. I asked the mean DJ to play one song. An hour later, I asked why he didn’t play it, he said he didn’t “have” it. Honest? With today’s technology, I was pissed that a simple download wasn’t even considered. So I pouted abit and bitched to my sis in law, and then I heard the first notes of Mike and the Mechanics…”in the living years”. Ahhhh, he relented and found it.  I love that song, it means a lot to me, several verses, they hit home for us. I listened and cried, I do that a lot nowadays. No big speeches, no words from his wife. Emotionally, I was spent, so I didn’t grab the mic. At the end of the day, a song plays and I see my brother Anthony and I collapse into his chest. It is too much ya know, for me anyway, the weight of his death. He held me close, he is all I got to hold me for now.  I love him so. The love in that restaurant, the energy, the amount of friendships and happiness my brother shared was enormous. I will never understand how he ever chose to die. Never.

I awoke this morning disturbed perhaps from a dream. The first thought was of George O’Malley.  He left a legacy, he left every ounce of his wisdom, thoughts, theories, revelations, inventions, everything! written down. He touched so many people while he was living and he rushed to “finish” everything he could, so he could leave it and pass it along on earth. The difference with Tom, he rushed to end a life of beauty and love and left a path of unfinished pieces and plans for his loved ones. I wept, so hard, for that is what my grief is about, a life cut short, purposely,  swiftly, in a blink. Devastating. Pray for him, for me today.

Truly, it was a successful, beautiful benefit. The generosity shows how much he was respected and loved. I noticed not one business partner showed. Not surprising, since they are hiding and avoiding his widow. His company/ partners have been a major disappointment to my family, perhaps they thought we would’nt notice? It’s about being human, compassionate, charitable. I am disappointed Tom’s partners and collegue’s  are none of those things.  It truly shows the people he chose to do business with never had his back and certainly were selfish and cold. They turned their back in an instant, focused on saving their own asses perhaps?. Oh well, again, not surprising, but I know one thing……what comes around goes around and they must live daily with  how they treated my brother, everyday. Business relationships can be toxic. I am proud that 100’s of people have shared their love and respect for Tom and how he conducted himself in business. He was well respected and admired by all his clients, I wish he would have truly known that. I console myself somewhat when his attorney and employees assure me that without Tom, they will crumble.  Who knows, all I know is what I lost…..him.

Life lately, is a rollercoaster. The ups and downs, more downs are harsh and exhausting. I was thinking to myself before, what will I feel in a year, or two years? What will I share here in this blog. I promise you hope, and love and inspirations. That is what leelee is about, I just NEED time to get back there again, a day at a time, a moment of clarity, a day of peace. I am crawling towards the light. I can feel the warmth of the sun. I hear the birds outside again, and I see this beautiful life waiting…..just hang in…I’ll get there. *peace ~leelee

One moment in time…

Good Morning to all. I awoke this morning knowing the rains were coming. The thought of no ice or snow is positive and hopeful. Today, however, is a more solemn day. A day I have prayed on, meditated, and supported.  Today, the friends of my beautiful brother Tom will host a benefit in his honor for his family.  I love that this blog gives my tongue muscles, and I often ponder and hesitate to pen anything offensive, or insulting. It is only 9 weeks since my brother died. He took his own life on a freezing cold morning in January. I am barely breathing. That is what happens you know, you can barely remember how to breathe.  You really don’t want to without them. It is just past 2 months, I needed time, our family needed time to breathe and accept and deal with the aftermath.   I was informed of this event, his wife mentioned it to me and they started  Go-Fund website, friends rallied from day one.   This loving family & closest friends to she and Tom, they all want to honor and help his family. They are beautiful people with good hearts and good intentions.  The difficult part of this is, we had no input, therefore, my brother’s children were hurt in the process.  I have learned and continue to learn that some things are completely out of your control. It almost makes it easier, just let things be.

So Today, we “celebrate” honor, remember, love together at a restaurant/bar. A huge event with many donations, supporters and the generosity of strangers, giving their time, love and money to help. I get all that, and I am grateful and thankful for the outpouring of love & respect for Tom and his family. My husband and children and one of my siblings will attend today. I will do anything to support and love Tom. I miss him beyond words, everyday is difficult, but I search and pray for his light to shine. I talk to the dead, it’s crazy, but they all were my support. The glue, the top of the mountain has been broken. Little by little it has disintegrated, leaving shattered bits of sorrow and sadness, death does that to a person. I believe we are never ever the same after the loss of someone we loved so very much. I also came to this beautiful spiritual revelation. The reason you feel that deep sorrow and grief, is simply because you loved and cherished a love so deep, for your whole entire life. So there is a sad beauty in grief, it is honoring the eternal bond and love you shared.

I have once again challenged my brain.  I scoured the library for every up to date bio, study, stats, progress, treatment, documented cases, you name it,  about Suicide.  I want, I crave, my soul begs to KNOW. But, seriously? I want to know the “WHY”.. and in actuality, most of the studies and books will straight up tell you, you may never truly find  “IT”, the “why”, I mean…because that is what the survivor here is left with.  There is the essence and the raw harsh reality and tragedy of suicide. THEY choose to end, and leave the entire universe questioning the act and the reason.  I would say, the best I can find and seek would be peace with it and understanding of the human psyche and the breakdown that happens in ending yourself. I am reading about the diagnosis of psyche ache. At first, I didn’t understand this newly developed term,  mental diagnosis, but I was instantly drawn into knowing more about this state of mind, what happens to a brilliant brain, down deep I felt this could very well be what my brother was in, fighting, battling, untreated,  right before his decision. I know, this is some  Deep shit, but I’m in for the long haul. Knowledge for me is power, and knowledge gives me clarity and reason and acceptance of what is and what we have no control or power to change. Clinically, I process things easier, from a clinical, medical, studied standpoint. My medical background and respect for  the mental health profession and science, gives me a glimmer of hope in understanding, maybe diagnosing the undiagnosed and the campaign of stopping the stigma and silence of suicide. We can relate to a sudden tragic suicide like Robin Williams, ponder it for awhile, but in the end does any living person truly know why that brilliant man hung himself? Why he made the choice that morning in his bedroom? I don’t believe anyone truly does, except himself.  Perhaps all I want is to understand as best I can, so I may go on living and making it beautiful again. The sorrow and grief, I allow it. I cry for him everyday. It never will go away, but I truly believe the pain will soften.

I,  as always, ask for continued prayers for my family. We are struggling, but we all our survivors, each one of us, all over this beautiful earth have survived something.  I ask Jesus to watch over my beautiful, amazing family and give us guidance and strength and peace in our hearts.  I want to be a loving child of God today, and share my profound respect and love for Thomas. Pray with me, that we all can hold on to each other and get through one more day.   Thank you for being here, these posts are not easy, but so very essential and necessary in my healing and grieving process.  Blessings*  to you and yours  ~leelee