Category Archives: Family

Eyes Left – (Non-fiction)


I wrote this for a writing club I joined. I decided to redo an old flash fiction piece I wrote quite a while ago. I filled it out some since I was no longer on a word limit. This really happened. Those were the days (late 70’s).

Eyes Left

Non-fictional Piece Written by Teresa Smeigh 2019

After a very long drive we arrived late that night at the building in Cherry Point, North Carolina, where my husband, Andrew, a new Marine fresh out of boot camp, was supposed to report for training. He worked hard in boot camp and was promoted meritoriously to Private First Class and received the first choice of duty stations. Since we were already married when he joined it never crossed our mind that they would have a problem with him bringing me along after boot camp.

We chose Cherry Point, NC as it was the only duty station on the east coast. In fact, most of the new recruits were going over seas first thing.

We had driven from New Jersey with all our belongings. All the nice boxes I had packed did not fit in the car and finally in exasperation Andy ripped them open and just dumped all the contents into the trunk and back seat and we left what didn’t fit.

It was dark when we arrived and we were later than we should have been, but we had no idea where we were going. Exiting the car at the designated building, he went first and stood at attention. I slouched in behind him.

Looking at the faces of those Marines was not a pleasant experience. We were late and he arrived with someone they were not expecting.

“Who is that?” one of the Marines asked and it was obvious none of them were amused in the least.

“My wife sir!” I was wishing I could just disappear at this point.

“If the Marine Corps had wanted you to have a wife, we would have issued you one!” What?!? I don’t like new situations and confrontations, and this was both!

“What did you plan to do with her?”

“Sir, we have money saved since they never started the allotment to her during boot camp, so we were going to get a place to live in town.

Again, they talked among themselves. The recruiter knew we were married, and we had expected rejection since the Navy, his first choice, had already turned him down since we refused to stop the wedding and call back the invitations which had already all gone out. The recruiter said it was not a problem and Andy signed up and went to boot camp. These guys were uninformed of the fact that he was married and obviously had not been in this position before. They went back to the conversation about what to do.

I don’t know how Andy felt, but I wanted to cry. I was tired from the packing and repacking and the long trip and being in a place I didn’t know and the only person I knew was my husband. We waited with bated breath.

A verdict was finally settled on. There were specific rules since he wouldn’t be living in the barracks like the other recruits, but we could live with them. I had to drive him onto the base to the barracks very early every morning and then pick him up every night once they were done for the day.

We found a mobile home park just a short way off the base and every day I drove him to the barracks and back home.

Since he was available at lunch, every day I made a lunch and drove it to him on base. On the first day, I found the parking lot where he could find me and sat in my car with the door open and sat sideways in my seat with my legs out and on the ground. I was nervous. Then I could hear a group of Marines coming as they were marching to a Marine Corp Cadence. It was fascinating to watch them marching in unison and repeating the cadence their leader was shouting.

What I wasn’t ready for was as they came abreast of my car the leader shouted, “eyes left!”

Now I was 20 years old and weighed less than 100 pounds. I was a tiny little thing with a very big chest and all I was wearing was short shorts and a small halter top as it was quite warm. It was very disconcerting at first having all those eyes fastened on me.

I eventually got used to it happening and provided visual entertainment for the troops every day.

 

Tessa

Advocate for mental health and invisible illnesses, also a devout Christian

Author – http://www.finallyawriter.com (this blog contains my old work mostly although occasionally I do add something new here), new work is mainly on this blog http://www.tessacandoit.com

 

 

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JusJoJan – Sunday – January 27th


JusJoJan January 27th

I haven’t been reading posts so January is almost gone. I won’t be going back and trying to catch up.

Life is difficult with dad’s stroke and dementia. I had no idea what a stroke does to you. He is DNR (do not resuscitate). I wasn’t happy years ago when my parents told me their desire for this, but they legally made up living wills. When my mom passed 5 years ago I began to understand the sense it made. My mom suddenly was not responding. Even with the DNR it took about 10 days for her to finally pass. No one wanted to see her like that for who knows how long not to mention the immense expense that could arise. I am fine with my dad’s DNR. He is suffering right now and he wants to go and if assisted suicide was legal he would be all for it. Although now he is not really of sound mine most of the time so it wouldn’t be allowed anyhow I am sure. He is living in a long term care center which is just a fancy name for nursing home. He is mad at us a lot of the time because we have to sell his assets to pay for his care. This isn’t easy anyhow as his house is old, outdated and simply needs to be completely re-made over and there is an expensive retaining wall in the back yard fally down which will run from $10,000 to $20,000 to fix. We are not fixing the house up because the government is going to get whatever money we make over the reverse mortgage lien. We are waiting for Medicaid to kick in as it costs us $10,000 a month to keep him there and we, well he, is paying for that.

Tessa

Advocate for mental health and invisible illnesses, also a devout Christian

Author – http://www.finallyawriter.com (this blog contains my old work mostly although occasionally I do add something new here), new work is mainly on this blog http://www.tessacandoit.com

Strokes suck the life out of all concerned


My dad’s dementia is getting much worse. He isn’t lucid very often.

We just had to go to the hospital as he was not responding and waking up. He WAS awake, but pretending he was not conscious because he was sure the nurse’s and aides were alien monster doctors and they wanted to eat his brains. The last time he wasn’t responding there was something wrong but this time it was strictly fear. He thinks everyone in his facility is an alien and bad ones most of them. An expensive hospital visit because of his dementia. I only hope he doesn’t keep doing this one. An expense for nothing. I understand why they had to send him, but I hope he doesn’t keep doing this.

Tessa

Advocate for mental health and invisible illnesses, also a devout Christian

Author – http://www.finallyawriter.com (this blog contains my old work mostly although occasionally I do add something new here), new work is mainly on this blog http://www.tessacandoit.com

Long Term Care (Nursing Home) Antics


My dad is in long term care now and is still patient pays while we sell his assets and get the government’s (Medicaid) help to pay for it. The house is a wreck and has a reverse mortgage on it which needs to be paid first so not sure what we might get toward his health care from that. He has an older car and some other assets.

Now we never know what kind of day he will be having when we visit. Sometimes he will refuse to talk to us, sometimes he takes a few minutes to figure out who we are, sometimes he tells us how proud he is that we are (my sister and I) are taking care of him and sometimes he tells us we are taking his belongings and making him stay in this place. Today was a good day. My sister, my aunt and cousin were there and all of a sudden my dad says “if anyone knows of a job let me know.” Dementia is kicking in. We are trying to explain to him why he doesn’t need a job and assure him he will be taken care of. Thankfully dinner came then and we could avoid continuing that conversation.

Tessa

Advocate for mental health and invisible illnesses, also a devout Christian

Author – http://www.finallyawriter.com (this blog contains my old work mostly although occasionally I do add something new here), new work is mainly on this blog http://www.tessacandoit.com

He has been talking about Zee and Zeke the aliens that come to him. Finally found out today that they are real people, ones an aide and the other works there. They are aware that he thinks they are aliens. Sometimes you just got to laugh.

Now on the annoying side is all the women there have a crush on him and I can’t convince them I am not his wife so they spend the whole time pointing at me and talking about me. They were really making quite a scene of it today and it’s embarrassing.

 

Stroke vs Dementia – not a winning combination


My dad is a gentle and kind man. The other day (he is now in long term care) he struck out at a woman who was touching him and he grabbed her arm and threatened to twist her neck if she didn’t stop touching his ears. They called my sister as this is not normal behavior for him, but it took her hours to talk to him and try to bring him back to reality. This is what we have to look forward to.

We have to get his house sold, car etc. as he is almost broke and we are still waiting on the government to come through with his Medicaid to pay for the Long Term Care. He is now cash pay or whatever term they use.

I am not much help as I am still in tremendous back pain. I had the nerves deadened 3 weeks ago, but not helping much yet if at all. I occasionally will get a break, but that is usually when I am laying down.

Tessa

Advocate for mental health and invisible illnesses, also a devout Christian

Author – http://www.finallyawriter.com (this blog contains my old work mostly although occasionally I do add something new here), new work is mainly on this blog http://www.tessacandoit.com

The Scammers Weren’t Lucky-God Will Provide


For one thing they caught me at the end of the month and so there was very little left in account and two I had considerably more than that in my secret hiding place that I keep for emergencies. Yes I miss it, but it would have been gone if my car broke down and I didn’t have enough here to cover it in my emergency stash.

My son was happy to see me taking it positively for a change and not moaning or groaning and beating myself up. Like I said the same thing would have happened if I had an emergency. Those people will get their payback as what goes around comes around.

I believe what I need will be provided by God if it comes to that. I am living on very little and even saving some so in a few months at the most I will have regained it back barring a real emergency.

Physically I am still suffering. The radio wave frequency procedure did not work. I am still in a lot of pain, plus for months now my spine has been moving and I am terrified that eventually I will need surgery. When it moves it sometimes cracks real loud and it also makes me feel paralyzed for several minutes. I worry that one day it is going to not go back in place and I will stay paralyzed for real. Still trying to get a hold of the dr. I have been speaking to underlings who can’t do much, but this last one is going to try and get my refill for narcotics prescription appointment changed to a regular one so I can talk to the dr, but even that is Wednesday. My appointment for a checkup for the procedure is the 19th. Going to the Emergency Room at this moment won’t help. There is nothing they can do unless it really does paralyze me.

40 years of adult chronic pain and all the pain I had as a child. It is time DEAR GOD for some relief, please, I pray to you.

If I become unable to take care of myself what does it leave but a nursing home for me. My kids can’t take me in. One could try, but he is planning on leaving the state and going down south. The other two have no room for me. I am sure they would do their best for me, but it is scary. And I don’t want to be any more of a burden than I already am.

I just gathered the trash and recycles and my rent check (plus I picked up my mail) and took it downstairs. Of course that has totally aggravated my back. I just took a pain pill not that they feel like they are working.

I have had to take a longer break from visiting dad since my sister is home. Getting in and out of the car hurts and is becoming harder and then there is a very long walk to the facility from the parking lot and then to his room. I was going once a week. Half the time he is blaming me for making the decision with my sister to put him in the long term care center once his rehab is done. He wants to go home and at times he is lucid and knows he isn’t making him mad at us although the other day he did make a statement to us that he thanks us for taking care of him. My brother has no real interest to help and isn’t around here anyhow. He lives down south and is broke so it is up to my sister and I to make sure he is taken care of. Which we gladly do as he is our father and we love him and he took care of us. Although when he is screaming at you for not letting him go home and drive his car it is hard not to explode. My sister told me if he does that just tell him you have to leave. He won’t remember it anyway. It is hard to see such a strong, proud man withering away.

Tessa

Advocate for mental health and invisible illnesses, also a devout Christian

Author – http://www.finallyawriter.com (this blog contains my old work mostly although occasionally I do add something new here), new work is mainly on this blog http://www.tessacandoit.com

A Child Arrives – #OctPoWriMo 2018 #6


A Child Arrives by Tessa Smeigh October 2018

October 6 my child was due.

She wouldn’t come said they who knew.

I showed them, I sure did.

She arrived right on time

And proved them wrong!

**************************

#OctPoWriMo2018

Tessa

Advocate for mental health and invisible illnesses, also a devout Christian

Author – http://www.finallyawriter.com (this blog contains my old work mostly although occasionally I do add something new here), new work is mainly on this blog http://www.tessacandoit.com