A Woman on the Edge of Time: a son's search for his motherA Woman on the Edge of Time: a son’s search for his mother by Jeremy Gavron
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I picked this book up at a book rescue not knowing much about it but it definitely drew me to it. The speed in which I read it says something. I did not want to put this book down. Hannah was such a strong woman and so ahead of her time. It made me think of being a woman before now. My grandmother was also ahead of her time. I often thought about my mother who was in the same age group as Hannah. Women were expected to be a certain way and women who chose not to had a difficult road. Unfortunately, Hannah ultimately couldn’t handle it and took her life. She left two young boys and a family that never spoke of her again. This is written by the younger of the boys as he tries to understand his mother and her choice. This book also made me proud of my daughters who are in no hurry to marry and have babies. They are living their lives before they go down this path, if they choose that path I sure wish that I had done so. Hannah’s thesis that was later published is The Captive Wife. I wonder how many of us feel the way this book implies. I think Ii will have to find it and read it. I know I can probably relate. I gave up my life for the “dream” and it was a mistake. Now I am alone, poor, and fifty, trying to figure out how to live my dreams. I will make it as I have made it this far. This book is worth the read. It is not anti-man. It is not anti-marriage. It is more about having the strength to follow your dreams. The women back then had so many more obstacles than we do now. It has improved but many are still there due to our gender. We need to continue to change things for our daughters and granddaughter.

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I thought that he had. I thought that the holiday season was ruined for me forever. I used to be one of the crazy holiday loving people that so many people complain about. I would think of the Solstice, Saturnalia, Christmas and just feel bright inside. I loved the music (even the religious ones), the colors, the lights, the cooking, the food, the giving, the receiving, even the crowds. I would wear my Santa hat every day. I felt so alive during the holiday season. The holidays were not always good with the ex-husband. He was a bit of a scrooge and made things more tense than they needed to be but I still loved it every year. That is UNTIL…….

He filed for divorce two weeks after Christmas. We had been having problems for a few years but that Christmas was one of our better ones. He even gave me great gifts. I was sure that things were getting better. I thought that maybe he loved me again. Even our oldest told me that he really loved me and thought things were better for us all.

I felt so betrayed. I felt lied to. I felt that the entire holiday had been a lie. I have not looked forward to it for years.  I have put off the decorating as long as possible. I have dreaded putting  up the tree and seeing the ornaments that remind me of various things in our marriage. I had thought about cancelling my annual party. I went through the motions for my kids but would have been perfectly happy just skipping the celebrations.  I actually have had good Christmases in the past few years but I still dreaded them. BF/ex-boyfriend has been with us for a couple of them.

This year, for some reason, I am more myself. my kiddo/roommate was working today and I brought in the decorations, put on the music and almost finished decorating the house. Last night, I went to Noel Night  in town with my nephew. I am excited for my party. I am excited for the holiday season again. I enjoyed singing the songs while I decorated today. I have my holiday back. I have no idea what changed for me this year but I am happy  about it. This has always been my favorite time of year. I definitely do not have any more money this year, things are not perfect but I can enjoy all the things I love about this time.  I am lucky that all three kids are choosing to spend the holiday with me this year, too. Now I just need snow to make it as perfect as it can be.

I shared a piece on October 8th about the shootings that keep happening in our country in Thoughts on Vegas, and Why Men Keep Doing This – Be Yourself . This was a very interesting read on men in our society and why they keep doing these atrocious things. It also mentioned a few things to read, watch, or join to learn more, grow, or fix things. One of them was a film The Mask You Live In . I watched this over the weekend and cried. It is so telling what we have done to our boys. How confusing it is to “be a man” in our world.

I saw my son so many times. He is so not a typical boy. He had two older sisters. He and the middle kid are so close. He would play dolls with her. She took tap and ballet so he wanted to take tap and ballet. He did that for three years. The first year at three, he was the only boy. The second and third year, he was joined by his best friend. They quit when the school closed. He started playing the violin at five. He also played flag football for three years. He enjoyed it but after the third year, he said he was done with football. He wanted to be a Bronco and the team was the Broncos that year so he reached his goal. When he started Kindergarten his favorite color was pink. He had the classroom bully tell him that he was not allowed to like pink. This same bully picked on him for years. I didn’t know about much of the bullying because my son never told us but the middle kiddo would tell us. He also had a couple of real good friends that always stood up for him. One was his girlfriend. She was so cute. She would threaten to beat up all the boys that picked on him. I am sure that didn’t help matters but she always had his back. They are still friends to this day. The other was his jock best friend. They are so different but are like brothers. As the years went on, my son became an avid reader, brain, reader, and very sensitive. In high school, he got into band and theater. My son has never been a stereotypical boy and is now finding his way as a man that doesn’t fit the stereotypical male in our society.

This film delves into what being a man is and how our society tries to stifle the “feminine” side of them.  We need to change the way we raise our boys and what we expect from them. There are men like my son. There are men like his best friend, the jock. They both are very sensitive young men and have been allowed to be this way due to their mothers. Both of them had fathers that are the more “macho” men that were raised to not show emotions. Not all men are as lucky as our boys. Many are still raised to not show emotions. Those men are damaged. They have difficulties in so many aspects of their lives, even if they don’t see it themselves. Many become lonely, angry, and unsatisfied in life. Many end up much worse- abusers, controllers, killers, etc. We need to let our boys be who they are and express their own interests and feelings. I think anyone that influences boys in our world should watch this film. I would love to hear your opinions on this film after you watch it.

I had such a great birthday. The celebration culminated last night and now it is time to recover. The actual day was fabulous. I went to town and got my hair done. I like getting highlights and hadn’t done so in a long time to decided to spoil myself. Got a nice cut and felt beautiful. Afterwards, I went to Starbucks to get a coffee and read a bit when one of my friends that was joining me for dinner texted me. She had gotten into town early, too, and needed to blow time. We live in the adjoining town about 25 miles away. She joined me for coffee and then we went to Ex-bf/bff house for me to finish getting ready. The  fun was ready to begin.

We headed back into town to meet the rest at the restaurant. We get seated and are waiting for the rest of the group to show up when an older couple walk in, each carrying a yellow rose. They come over to me, wish me a happy birthday and hand me the roses. I had no idea who they were. Then someone else came in with a rose, then another. Eventually, I realized that my friend and his girlfriend (she had stayed outside) were doing this. I ended up getting 50 flowers delivered to me by random strangers on the street. I had not expected (nor really wanted gifts) but everyone brought something. Ex-bff gave me a backpacking tent. R came and brought me a bottle of one of my favorite wines. My girlfriends gave me a journal, candle, travel mug, and a flask filled with rum. My kiddo came in after work and brought in a Baskin Robbins cake. The crew paid for my dinner (also not expected) and then we all had cake. I was real surprised to have a friend that moved away show up unexpected. She was in town and did some stalking to find out where I was. I felt so loved. I realized that I will never be alone here. I have family that are not related. Next time that I feel down or lonely, I know that I can call each of those people and probably others. After dinner, most went home but four of us went out on the town. We hit a few bars and the pool hall.

The next day, I went to Ex-bf house and we went down the river in our duckies. I will admit that we did fool around a bit. I was tired and took a nap and he joined me. He wanted to give me the physical attention for my birthday, too. I fell in love with him on my birthday three years ago. I did realize that I am truly over him though. My romantic feelings aren’t there for him at this point. I do still love him and wouldn’t mind if we found our way back to each other but I realize that until HE is emotionally healthy that I do not want him.  That was very eye opening for me.

I have continued to celebrate all week. My mom and sister came down to bring my nephew his things and we had a great time together. We even ended up at the same restaurant one night and the bartenders had ice cream brought out to me and everyone sang to me. If this past week is any indication, this year will be a great one. A big part of that is my attitude. I love that I am finally comfortable alone. I keep turning down dates because I have something else I would rather do. I have come a long way in four years. My divorce was final August 23, 2013 so I also celebrate my Freedom day during my birthday every year now.

My life has been super crazy the past few weeks. I have a lot to share and blog about but right now my focus is my birthday. I turn 50 on Saturday. I don’t know why we focus so much on decades but we do. I have been thinking a lot about the last ten years. Ten years ago was one of the most difficult of my life. We had the year of the deaths and it was when my marriage really started falling apart. I got depressed again and really had no motivation to live. I changed jobs thinking it would help my marriage. It didn’t. I started drinking very heavily and was not sure if I wanted to go forward. My children did throw me a great birthday party for my fortieth. It is a great memory. They threw me a massive surprise party. I had friends and family from all over the country surprise me here at my house. We had a band, food, and overall a great time. That was my last good birthday as a married woman. My ex-husband was never much about celebrating birthdays so there were only a few even decent ones while I was married.

I now look back at the past ten years and remember all the heartbreak I had when my marriage dissolved and several more people dying that I cared about. It has been rough in many ways but, in others, it has been great. I now look back at my divorce as one of the best things that ever happened to me. It took me a long time to realize that but I sure have. Since the divorce, I have grown so much. I am now stronger and healthier and happier than I have been in probably fifteen years. I feel better than in years. I look great. I am stronger and in much better shape than I was ten years ago. I no longer feel like I need someone to take care of me. I find my own solutions to my problems. I have a job that a love, a complete new set of friends, and my kids love me. I am lifting weights again. I no longer have breathing issues or chronic pain. I am sleeping better. I have gotten used to being solo most of the time and it doesn’t bother me. I honestly feel that IF I end up with someone, they will be so lucky to have me. I am actually better emotionally than I ever have been in my life. It took fifty years to get to where I really and truly love myself and am confident and happy.

A couple of weeks ago, I was very sad that my birthday was coming up and I was going to spend it alone but now I am not. I had one girlfriend take the bull by the horns and now several of us are meeting at the local steakhouse. I will get 50% off my meal and then we will hit the town. My ex-bf/ bff is coming as well as several others. I am actually excited for my day again. I won’t be alone to ring in my next decade. I will be with people that love ME for me and accept me for ME. FIFTY is going to be a great year and I am like a fine wine, I am going to keep getting better with age.

I live in a small Colorado town where everyone is connected to everyone. If you do not know someone, they know a friend of yours. We have very little crime and most of it is minor stuff. That changed in November 2012. We had a thirteen year old boy disappear. He was a grade below my son. They were not friends but went to school together. So many of the kids hang out at the library after school and both the boys did. Dylan, his brother, and mother had moved away and Dylan was forced to come to spend the Thanksgiving holiday with his dad. He disappeared the day after he got here. He was supposed to hang out with friends and never showed up. Our community went into a stressed state. There were assumptions that Dylan might have run away to try to get back to his mom. We were all hoping that he was okay but we were also concerned about our kids. For a period of time, no one was letting there kids out of their sight alone. We didn’t know if he had been abducted (or worse) or had run away. Quickly fingers started pointing at the dad that he had done something to Dylan. I do not know either of the parents but it just saddened me to think that people were so fast to blame the dad. The parents accused each other. They ended up on Dr Phil. Eventually, this wasn’t mentioned dailly BUT it was in the back of our minds. I had such mixed feelings about it. I wanted it to be the dad because I hated the thought that we had a crazy in our town that took the kid BUT I also  didn’t want it to be the dad. How sad to live with killing your child. How sad to kill your child. The more time that passed, the more the accusations to the dad grew. I kept thinking how terrible it was if he were innocent. His life was ruined no matter what. If innocent, no one would ever believe that. If guilty, well, that is the unthinkable to me.

As time has passed, there have been many searches in the woods and at the dad’s place. Partial remains were found and his death was ruled a homicide. Occasionally, we would hear bits and pieces of the investigation but I never thought an arrest would be made. That changed today. Mark Redwine was arrested for the murder of his son. Maybe we can have some closure here in our small town. Evidence has now been released and it looks bad for the father. I hope they are right.

I wouldn’t want to be on this jury but I could be partial.  The thought of killing my child is so horrific that they would definitely have to prove it to me. My son was actually called in for the grand jury but was dismissed and didn’t know this was the case he was almost on. I just hope that this is the end of the story and the mom and brother can finally move on to their new normal.

#JusticeForDylan

Last weekend, I had a bad emotional breakdown. I had plans that went to hell and triggered this all. I was supposed to go work for a few hours and then meet a friend at the river  and play for a few hours. Earlier in the week, I had posted on Facebook that I wanted to play this weekend, either hike or paddle. This friend had said, sure. I was so excited to hang with him and get on the river. It was hot and muggy (for Durango) this past week and I had been looking forward to the cool water. When my alarm went off, I looked at my phone and had a text from my friend cancelling. I was bummed but not heartbroken until time passed. One of my feet was real sore so I didn’t feel that hiking was a wise move and you don’t play on the river alone. I asked my kids and they, of course, said no. I decided to just ride in with the kiddo and do my work when she was at her job. As we were driving in, I just lost it. I started sobbing and feeling sorry for myself. I sure hate when I get that way. For the most part, I am so happy now but when I cannot find ANYONE to go do something, I feel alone. I also have been so worried about the kiddo. She has been battling depression and suicidal thoughts for years. When I asked her the other day where she thought she would be in twenty years, she said dead. Well, that was NOT encouraging. She has no goals or dreams. I don’t know how to help her. She sees a doc occasionally. She is on meds but still has no oomph. I can barely get her out of her room except for work.  She has been through quite a few jobs in the past couple of years but for the most part has always been working. She lives with me and is supposed to pay a measly $300 in rent, her car payment, her car insurance, and her part of the cell phone, She is 22 and has chosen to not go to school at this time. Until last fall, she was having no problem covering her expenses but then her depression and anxiety got in the way and she lost a good job. She did a no call no show because she didn’t know how to deal with something going on there. Ever since then, she has been getting further and further behind in what she owes me. I won’t support her and  cannot support her. Due to her issues, I am starting to sink financially, too. She started a new job about six weeks ago and was told it would be 30 hours a week. With that, she would be able to cover her expenses AND catch up but they have not been giving er even close to that. Instead she has been working about ten hours a week. Not even enough to cover her bills, not including rent. I have been stressing about her mental health as well as my finances. I am trying so hard. I have a side job that is earning me $60-80 a week. It has helped a lot. I started this the same time she started her newest job. I have been telling her for weeks to talk to her boss about her hours but she wouldn’t do it. She hates confrontation. I try to  not let her know how much her situation stresses me out as I don’t want to push her over the edge. As I am sitting there crying, I am thinking to myself that I am pushing her with the breakdown which makes me feel worse. I have no one I can talk to about her situation. I cannot talk to the dad. We do not communicate at all. Everyone has so many words of advice but basically they do not understand her mental health.  I am feeling alone. I really wish I had a best friend here. Not having a man would be a lot more bearable. I dropped her off at work and pulled myself together for my PT job but was down all day. I did get some encouragement as she did finally talk to her boss and had about thirty hours this week. If she can keep this job, things will look up and she seems to like this one. I hope that things are looking up and we can turn things around. I am  hoping I can get out of this funk that I am in.