“They’re driving me insane, those men inside my brain.”
Two weeks ago, I posted about my coming over to the US for the saddest of reasons, my mother’s passing. One of the first things I did once I got here was to go with my sister to view my mother. Before I went in, I was warned that she might not look so good. It was reckoned that she might have been dead two days before a neighbor found her and I could instantly tell from the bruising on her nose and lip, that she had fallen face first when she died. The only good thing was that it was believed she went suddenly and didn’t suffer, if you want to call that a good thing. Like when I viewed my mother in law two months earlier, I did sense that she was now at peace and I would like to believe in a better place. Maybe, they’ve met up and along with my ex mother in law, are comparing notes on me.
My first big anxiety was what to say at her memorial service. I didn’t want to simply repeat what my brother and sister were saying. This led me to simply stare at a blank note pad for a couple of hours the day before the service. Then it hit me on the day. My mother was loved on both sides of the Atlantic, so as my family in Britain wouldn’t be there, I thought it would be a good idea to get their thoughts and memories on my mother and convey them at the service. Thanks to Facebook, that was possible. My three children, my six step children who met her, my wife of course as well as my ex wife and an ex girlfriend all contributed. Reading all of their nice comments gave me a great feeling and I have to confess, it was the closest I came to welling up these past two weeks.
In accordance to my mother’s wishes, my sister, her husband and my brother went to Ocean City, New Jersey and poured her ashes into the ocean. Nothing ever being easy with my mom, when we got to the beach, it was low tide so we couldn’t pour the ashes from off the pier. Instead, we had to go out onto the jetty and pour the ashes in from there. Except for Mark slipping and his cell phone nearly going into the water, the deed was done without much problem.
For the past two weeks, I have been living at my mother’s home surrounded by all of her memories. There are pictures of her children and her grandchildren all over the house and in various photo albums. I will be taking a good number of these with me but there are loads left. The funny thing is that this hasn’t really struck me in a way that one thought it might. Maybe it’s because I have spent a good portion of my time cleaning up her house. Getting rid of the strong smell of cigarettes and solving the mouse problem. It has taken my mind off things. It has also helped that I haven’t been a complete hermit whilst I’ve been in America. I’ve gone out with my brother and sister as well as friends to different events and that too has taken my mind off things. Plus, I know that my mother wouldn’t have wanted me to stay in the house the entire time. She would have liked the fact that I did get out one morning and treat myself to breakfast at IHOP.
Now it’s time to return to the UK. While there are legal matters still to attend to, my sister is dealing with all of that. However, it still is an anxiety to me because I want it all sorted, we all do and it’s nothing to do with inheritance. Saying that, money has always been a focus of anxiety for me in any given situation. I think it’s a part of my Asperger’s Syndrome. In this case, those are many fold. First, there is the fact that by coming to America, I lost about 500 pounds in substitute (supply) teaching over the two weeks I’ve been away. While I know that it couldn’t be helped and I’m glad that I had enough money stashed away so that I could get here no problem. I must also be glad that I was on holiday from my main job and that made my going over much less complicated. On the other hand, I found out that the gear box on the car needs replacing and am worrying about the cost. Finally, I am going to meet with a financial adviser to get an idea of what awaits if and when I get any money from the sale of the house, insurance policies and trust fund. Things like costs of converting currency and taxes top the agenda here. Then again, most people who know me would tell you I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t worry about money.
I think the full force of my mother’s passing will hit me once I return to the UK. There will be no Facebook comments from her, no emails or phone calls when I visit any of my children. However, that remains to be seen. So while my mother will rest in peace, myself and all who knew her and what a great lady she was will contend with the fact that she is no longer with us. That is why I want to think that while her remains are in the ocean, she is in a better place.
” I hitched a ride out of the railway station, nothing left but my pride;
Watched the city lights fade away yeah, thank God I got out alive;
There are times I feel it’s grip, try and drag me back again;
So hard to believe, running round the world like beggars and thieves;
Hard to believe, beggars and thieves.”
Tomorrow I will be flying over to the US, however, I won’t be there on holiday or to enjoy myself. I am going because my mother passed away last week and I will be going over for the memorial service and to help support my sister in settling her affairs. Her instructions in her will very very explicit as to how she wants things handled and that’s a good thing. The most important thing is that she asked to be cremated and her ashes spread into the ocean in Ocean City, New Jersey. That will happen.
I know with my Asperger’s type mind that if I don’t keep busy while I’m there, it will affect me greatly. First, I’d like to thank my supply teaching agency and Callowell Primary School for their understanding and keeping me busy so I wouldn’t think about it. Trust me, if I spend too much time thinking about, it might result in depression and I don’t want that. Furthermore, there is lots to be done when I get to the States. My mother’s house will need to be thoroughly cleaned and devoid of cigarette smoke, she was a heavy smoker. Also, my sister will need my assistance in other areas and I am prepared to do that.
My mother was a big animal lover and has asked that instead of flowers, donations to be made to her named animal charities:
Front Range Equine Rescue, P.O. Box 458, Ocala, FL 34478
Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation, P.O. Box 834, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
Cheetah Conservation Fund, P.O. Box 2496, Alexandria, VA 22301
What is worse from my side is that fact that my wife and I have both lost our mothers within two and a half months of each other. This has been a hammer blow for both of us but we both thank all of those who have been a support.
When my mother in law died, I shared lyrics from a song by a band called Tyketto. I think now that I should share the song itself compliments of Youtube. The song is performed solo by the lead singer, Danny Vaughn, the most underrated voice in music.
Rest in Peace Anne Bradshaw, for me Mom.
From my very first post on Peaceful Rampage, I stated that whenever I heard about a school shooting, my first reaction was, “This could have been me.” The reason why it was never me was down to having no access to guns. Even if I had access, I still wouldn’t have shot up my school because back when I was going through the bullying hell, it was the early 1970s and school shootings were events which occurred in large inner city school as was very often gang related. Therefore, the thought of going into my school with a gun and shooting everyone in cold blood never entered my mind.
Thinking back, while I might not have thought about my school, I did used to fantasize that I was a junior police officer and had my own gun. In those fantasies, I would save the city from robberies and such where I would shoot the bad guys but those fantasies also included shooting some of the bullies when they were aggressive towards me because I was acting in self defense. So, that means the potential for me to carry out a school shooting was there, just thank God I had no guns.
Everyone has reasons why school shootings happen. Some of these are quite plausible while others are not. Access to guns is a definite contributor to why shootings happen. You can’t shoot anyone if you don’t have a gun. Bullying is another but that depends on the mind of the shooter and their idea of how bad the bullying was. Mental illness can definitely play a part. If a person has mental issues, then that person can be much more easily pushed over the edge and snap. These can all play a part as to why shootings occur. Another argument is religion being taken out of schools. That children today have no spiritual compass and if the ten commandments were hanging in every classroom, then children would be less likely to shoot up their school. Now, I am not knocking religion, I have my own beliefs there and many people have changed their lives and find great comfort and joy in finding God. But forcing it on people is more likely to have the opposite effect. In “He Was Weird,” Mark believes God is behind his school shooting from verses in the Bible in Deuteronomy, where God is commanding the Israelites to wipe the Canaanites off the face of the Earth. One could argue that the Bible drove him to kill. It didn’t but it did give him courage. However, I don’t think the music of Marilyn Manson drove anyone to kill.
I think the main contributor to school shootings is the setting of the school. The ones where the ‘weird’ kid is outcast, bullied and made to feel they don’t belong anywhere. Students and at times teachers treat such a person in a way they feel bad about themselves. In short, no one tolerates a ‘weirdo.’ What they fail to understand is that the kid might have mental problems. Like Mark, he might have Asperger’s Syndrome or DAMP or some other mental affliction. Bullying or mercilessly teasing that person or doing anything along those lines isn’t the way to go about it. People are different and because they don’t conform to your idea of what is “normal,” it doesn’t mean you exclude them or bully them or anything else. Because if that person has access to guns and snaps, well, we know what the end result of that is. Fortunately, I didn’t.
To buy He Was Weird, go to: https://www.amazon.co.uk/He-Was-Weird-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1909740942/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1520281520&sr=1-1&keywords=he+was+weird