Sunday, November 9, 2008

A year and a half later

I've been thinking about this over the weekend and trying to decide if I was going to write about it or not - but it's in my head and I figure, what else is the blog for if not that?

For a while after B. died I attended a survivor's group meeting.  It met twice a month, in a room at a very well-known church on the mainland.  It really helped, because I was still working during those months and had to spend most of my days keeping my grief bottled up.  Those meetings gave me a chance to release those feelings, and to learn that seemingly crazy thoughts bouncing around in my brain were actually normal under the circumstances.  Those meetings bring together complete strangers, all of whom have absolutely nothing in common except for the one horrible thing they all have in common. A room full of strangers sharing incredibly personal experiences, including details they would speak of nowhere else. And that his death led to me attend meetings in a room full of strangers with only one thing in common, where my turn in speaking began with the words, "Hi my name is..."? Well, let's just say the irony is not lost on me. He would have appreciated it too.

Like I said, I went for a while and then one day - I just decided I didn't want to go anymore.  It felt like it was hurting more than helping at that point.  As I had attended several meetings already and shared my story numerous times, others were arriving with their new grief still fresh and raw, and their stories were like ripping the scab off a healing wound. I couldn't help them, I was still to busy learning how to help myself and that needed to be my focus.  No big deal on leaving the group, I was told at the beginning that some people come almost every time, others just show up on key dates (birthdays, holidays, anniversaries, etc.), and some just stop when they decide they are ready. Like me.

On Friday morning, the leader of the group called me. Now, it's been more than one calendar year since I last attended a meeting and I haven't spoken to her or anyone from the group in all that time. So what do you think she was calling about?  Maybe to ask how I was doing?  Or to tell me that after so many years the meeting location was changing?  Or perhaps there was some sort of special program that she thought I'd be interested in?

No.  She had promised her 17 year old that she would send her over to Catalina for her birthday weekend, and just found out that no hotel or other lodging would rent a room to a minor.  So she was looking for my help in finding a way to make that happen. Nice, eh?

Okay - first I'm going to ask - do hotels where you live, reputable hotels, rent rooms to minors?  I just gotta know.  Because here it's part of our city code, but in general I've never heard of a place willing (or stupid enough) to do that.  Second, our city code also includes a curfew, so if your minor child is out on the streets without you after a certain time of night he or she will end up inhabiting a corner of the police department instead of a hotel room.  Third, and to my mind the most important - this ain't summer camp.  It's a town.  On an island. Inhabited by the same general assortment of personalities you find in any other town, PLUS a few hundred or so tourists in various stages of inebriation and up to whatever hijinks result.  I mean, would you send your 17 year old to Vegas for the weekend???

The message that was left on my machine suggested not to bother calling back unless I had some assistance to offer, so obviously I did not call, nor will I in the future. 

The timing was...."interesting" to say the least. This weekend, today in fact, marks exactly one and half years since he died. 18 months, 78 weeks, 547 days, 13,148 hours, 788,923 minutes, and counting.


Carolyn (Harbor Hon) said...

What the? I think she was hinting for the kid to stay with you since she couldn't find other lodging for her. And why isn't she chaperoning her precious 17 year old? And how insensitive could she be knowing why you came to that group in the first place?

Now I'm in my "I hate people" mode. I'm glad you didn't call her back. The nerve!

I know I can't give you a big hug, but you're in my thoughts dear girl. Just breathe and shake it off. xxoo

Carole said...

The hotels and motels here in my little neck of the woods (MI) do NOT rent rooms to minors, an adult must be there on site with them. I also think she was looking for you to offer her kid a place to stay. You were right not to return the call. Send you ((hugs)) and good thoughts. cjj

D said...

I'm appalled, really . . . OMFG! First, to state the obvious, your contact info from this group should be protected and private. Where can you report this breech of confidentiality? Next, what parent in their right mind sends a just turned 17 year old anywhere without supervision? Are you the supervision? Babysitter? Entertainment coordinator? Good for you for not even engaging this nitwit. But really, that she even contacted you at all should be reported.

Logan said...

That's annoying.

It's definitely Rudely Solicit Favors season.