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Michelle Close Mills

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Member Since: May, 2004

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That Which Doesn't Kill Us Makes Us Stronger?
by Michelle Close Mills   
Not "rated" by the Author.
Last edited: Wednesday, July 13, 2005
Posted: Wednesday, July 13, 2005

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Growing up in a life without Dad...

I'm sorry friends, that I've not been contributing to my AD site, or posting reviews to yours over recent weeks.  It's been a brutal couple of months.

First of all my sweet Grandma died on May 24th.  I flew to Indiana to be present at her funeral, and to try and help my Dad get through the pain of burying his mother.

Then Dad died on June 27th, from a 13 year long struggle with emphysema. We knew his time was limited as he was so weak and short of breath, but his doctor predicted on the day that Grandma died that we had about a year before we'd lose him too. A year...

Instead, we had 33 days. 

When Dad died, I had to fly home to Indiana to be with my Mom.  I'm an only child, so it was imperative that I pull it together for her...not an easy thing to do when every molecule of my body wanted to scream and cry and pull the covers over my head. 

She was a basket case when I arrived.  Lots of financial questions, funeral arrangements, yard work neglected because of Dad's hospitalization before his death. Before he died, Mom was continually at his side, willing her strength back into him.  It didn't work.

So for the first time in my life, she leaned into me and drew from my strength. I was the adult and she was the child.  I scrounged through Dad's desk drawers to find important paperwork, go through and balance the checkbooks, sort through the safe deposit box, prepare a monthly budget for Mom, cancel four life insurance policies and arrange for death benefits, meet with the financial advisor to determine what assets she now owned (she had no clue), pay for the funeral, sign the paperwork to have my father's body cremated. That single act was one of the saddest moments of my life.

A friend of mine told me that he didn't completely grow up until he lost one of his parents. After both had passed away, he said that he suddenly realized that he was a member of the 'next generation' which I assume means he now thinks he's a senior citizen. 

Gads, I don't think I'm ready for that group, yet.  However a couple of more months like the last few would make me a strong candidate for the Nut Farm.  I could grow old there, weaving baskets and drooling into my lap shawl.

To make matters even worse, Dad's sister Aunt Liz is not expected to live either.  She's pretty eaten up with cancer, and I'm her only direct descendant.  So I'm sure you can all figure out what's coming down the road. Another loss.  Another funeral. Can you believe this?  I can't.  A family friend told me that she thought that all three of them, Grandma, Dad, and Aunt Liz were holding on for each other.  When one died, they all gave up.

And to top off my return to Florida, we had a hurricane to contend with four days after I got back...Dennis.  Thankfully he didn't give our area in Tampa Bay a direct hit, but we certainly got alot of anxiety, wind, and rain as we were on the sloppy side of the storm...enough to remind us of what tropical systems are capable of.  No real damage thank God.  Just some debris, and a little excitement when a neighbor's tree decided to give up the ghost 3 seconds after he backed his van out of the driveway. What a cleanup headache that was!

Anyway my AD buddies, it's not that I don't love all of you, or want to read your work. I'm not antisocial either. It's just that I've been trying to keep my sanity in check as I go through one of those periods of life that we all hope will never come, but eventually does.

I've heard it said "That which does not kill us makes us stronger."

Well, I think I'm strong enough now, thank you very much.

I'm sure I'll be back as soon as I wean myself off of Xanax, and begin posting my stuff, posting reviews to your stuff, and glad for a more normal pace of life.   

Be blessed.

Reader Reviews for "That Which Doesn't Kill Us Makes Us Stronger?"

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Reviewed by Regis Auffray 5/22/2007
Hi Michelle. Obviously, I missed this article. But my thoughts are with you now. Love,

Reviewed by MaryGrace Patterson 3/11/2007
My thoughts and prayers go out to you. Loosing loved ones is hard, and trying to handle their loss, plus the other problems involved can be overwhelming. Try to remember all the good times you shared and let God be a source of strength to help you. They say God never gives one more then they can handle, but I sometimes wonder why he gives SO much at one time. Bless you........M
Reviewed by joseph ejiofor 2/14/2007
I sincerely sympathies with you in all you went through. It calls for sympathy, but it also remains a major source of inspiration on how to handle similar situation in a more positive way.
Reviewed by Monette Bebow-Reinhard (Reader) 1/2/2007
That is a lot to take all at once. I suppose it doesn't help to say be thankful for the times you had? No, words are never enough. I have shared my pain in an article called "Awake in the Mourning," which I would love to share with you if you're interested. Let me know. My father's death when I was 14 changed my life forever. Goddess Blessings to you.
Reviewed by Betty Torain 7/17/2005
Dearest MICHELLE, I'm truly sorry for the pain you have suffered. However, I'm at awe! that God allowed you to use your gift to write, to share this experience with AD members . I pray your strenght in The Lord. Betty.
Reviewed by Mr. Ed 7/15/2005
So terribly sorry for your losses, Michelle. I lost my father almost five years ago, and I still miss him terribly, as does my still grieving mother. And I truly hope better times are ahead for you.
Reviewed by Michelle Kidwell Power In The Pen 7/14/2005
Michelle, I am so sorry for the Hell you have been going through, you are in my thoughts and prayers
God Bless
Reviewed by Roger Ochs 7/14/2005
That which does not kill us still hurts like Hell. Take all the time you need and know that we shall give you a joyous "welcome back.".
Reviewed by C. J. Stevens 7/14/2005
Hi Michelle,

I am so very sorry that you had such a heavy load to carry. It always seems that troubles come in clusters. Yes, indeed, they do make us stronger, and I believe they are usually followed by happier times.
May it be so with you.
God bless.

Reviewed by Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado 7/14/2005
Hi, Michelle...

I have been wondering where you have been; I am sorry to learn of your troubles...God be with you during this sad time in your life; you are indeed in my prayers!

(((HUGS))) and much love, your friend in Tx., Karen Lynn. :( >tears <

Keep me and Karla in yours??? please???
Reviewed by Felix Perry 7/13/2005
Dear Michelle, I am so sorry for your losses and my heart goes out to you in sympathy. I will not till you any of the old platitudes cause I know from experience they don't help, but maybe knowing your friends here miss you and look for ward to your return will. Take care and see you soon.


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