"It's a Dog's Life"

 
My daughter, Son-in-Law, and grand daughters have gone for the day on a little trip to Lake Havasu, for Faith's, the 11 year olds, school choir performance there today. I was invited, but had I gone, it would have required us taking two cars instead of one, and it's a 3 ½ hour drive from here. The dogs would be alone all day, and yadda, yadda, yadda. The truth is, I just really didn't feel like going. 
I've lived with Jennifer, Dave & the girls for nearly two months now, and I consider myself so very blessed that they have opened their home to me, providing me with a roof over my head, a warm bed, and food with which to sustain me. But they cannot fix my head, nor can they alter the feelings of woe that continue to plague me in this new life. 
For all of my adult life, up to the death of my wife, I have always taken care of myself, maintained a home, paid our bills, and acquired the “stuff” that normal people do throughout their lives. Although we were never wealthy, I always managed to make ends meet and enjoyed the simple pleasures that a self supporting man enjoys. 
We had a three bedroom, two story house in a nice Southern California neighborhood. I had tools in my garage in a big, red toolbox. We had a big screen television in the living room. We had our couch, chair, and table in the living room. Our bookcases were full of books of all kinds. We had patio furniture out back with a Bar B Que grill and our swimming pool had one of those “creepy-crawlies” that roamed the depths, keeping the bottom of the pool clean. Barbara had her own room, and I slept in a king sized bed in the master bedroom with my very own shower and commode all to myself. There was a balcony off the master bedroom where I could stand and admire my backyard with the pride one feels as a homeowner. 
There were dishes in the kitchen and utensils and blenders, juicers, waffle irons and the usual assortment of gadgets one usually finds in the kitchen of the restaurant manager that I was. The refrigerator was ours, as was the freezer in the garage. I managed to keep both fairly well stocked with the food to sustain us. 
With Barbara's death, my whole world just came crashing down on me, and as I have expressed all too many times here, I found myself in the untenable situation of being disabled, having no source of income, having a stack of bills that I could not pay, as well as being behind on two mortgages on our house. I left everything behind. All of it. My life, as I had known it, was over. But my existence was not. 
While my daughter's family has been wonderful to me, I cannot shake the feeling or the sense that I am intruding upon their lives. They, like all families, have their routines for their daily lives, and I am having a difficult time inserting myself into that routine. While none of them have said or done anything specifically to cause me to feel this way, I sort of feel like the fifth person on a double date, if that makes any sense. None of the “stuff” in the house is mine. I have a small bedroom with a single bed, a desk for my computer, and a nightstand. A few clothes in the closet, and that's about it.  And I share a bathroom with one teen-age and two pre-teen age girls. 
My life has gone from one of being gainfully employed, self sustaining and independent, to one of being “kept”, with my basic needs provided by my daughter. Very much like my doggie friends Sparky, Paris, and Ellie. We are all loved, but none of the four of us seem able to express our true needs or really do anything about them anyway. At least I cannot for now. 
I realize that part of the process of grief is the sadness and woefulness of being alone. And I am in the position of grieving not only for my wife, but for my home and my own sense of self sufficiency. And the time WILL come where I will be able to fend for myself. It's only a matter of time, I know. But in the meantime, it's O.K. That I feel like “one of the dogs” occasionally. I know it's a temporary “pity pot” that I am sitting upon. And soon I'll be able to flush it, pull my pants up, and move on. And with God's help, that day for me will come sooner, rather than later........
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U75ikmgQehM
 

Replies

Lininsocal
Lininsocal

In all of your journals, this one touches me so much. I have read your losses and knew that not only did you lose your wife but you lost all that was your security in life. You have so eloquently stated your position and thoughts with this journal posting. So far I have been blessed with being able to maintain my home and life style. Though you have lost so very much you are blessed with a daughter who has opened up her home to include you. So many people are finding themselves in positions they never dreamed of in today\'s economic climate. A nation full of people suffering a loss.
I am sure as they make the trip to the lake you will enjoy your alone time. You have accepted so much with strength and wisdom. I wish you only the very best...sooner...
Hugs Linda
cazzarooney
cazzarooney

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deleted_user
deleted_user

Gosh, this was so evocative - I could really experience your situation (having stayed briefly in a few peoples\' homes before I started living back in our own house again). Hugs to you and I hope the healing time goes quickly and you will be back on your own again when you\'re ready.
Gail
rene4ever
rene4ever

Joe,
You loss is so great it encompusses your entire being but yet you are able to see past it somewhat. You are blessed with the forsite to work on getting ahead of all your losses and I think you have come a long way in the time that has occured. As several of your posts suggest, family is so important. Your daughter came to you aid because you are her father and you are part of her life and family including the grandkids and her husband. I konw you will make it, stay the course and my prayers are with you.
Dave
doyew
doyew

Joe, it is good that you don\'t have a defeatist attitude. You have lost so much, but have the blessing of a loving daughter and family who share their home with you. As you continue to trust in God, He will provide healing in all aspects of your life.
Blessings,
Doye
deleted_user
deleted_user

You need buddies,Have you given thought to going to see what the local senior center\'s like? Ours are very friendly places.Very few couples there.Mostly widow/widowers just meeting for lunch or cards or bingo or a haircut.It is not a sad place.It is a meeting place where I can hear other voices besides my own, where nobody knows what ails me unless I tell them,& where I can exercise or not,speak or not.If that\'s not an option for you,walking Sparky in the park or joining a walking group might help?
deleted_user
deleted_user

Joe -- You are so blessed to have a family who loves you and has invited you to live with them. In the past few weeks you have found a relationship wit God which has sustained you during this very difficult time. May you continue to lean on Him and us as you go through this journey.

Hugs, Carla
OnMyOwn2010
OnMyOwn2010

God has a plan, Joe ~ here are 2 Scriptures for you to read...promises for you, my friend, from the Word and the Heart of God.
Jeremiah 29:11 Job 42:12
inmemoryofhattie
inmemoryofhattie

my heart aches for you,you have so much to grieve. I thought the picture of your home was lovely and there can be not one doubt why you feel as you do.

I do believe that there is an abundance in your life coming. And I have a feeling that your strength of character is the foundation upon which this new life will emerge and be built.

I wish you every good thing! soon!
Joely
Joely

Joe,
I know that you realize you are blessed with a dtr who has graciously invited you into her home, along with her husband and children, and the dogs....lol. I hate that you had to lose so much in such a short time!! We know that the Lord has everything in HIS hands, and that HE holds tomorrow. Bless you as you work through these new problems and toward your new life.
Hugs, Joely
Daninmn
Daninmn

Joe,
Your new found faith will sustain you untill your on your own again, which I have no doubt you can and will be. You are so lucky that God gave you a family that that you can lean on. Take care and God Bless.
Dan