MY FATHER’S PASSING, PART 1 – THE BEGINNING
I have been circling this writing for more than a year. It was by far the most horrendous event I have been witness to in my personal life. More so then when strange men came into our home when I was a teen with guns, threatened us and caused us to have to live in a car for over a year with an actual contract out on our family. Worse then being evicted from multiple places to live. Worse then not having enough food so that I would get stretch marks that didn’t go away until I was in my 20s from losing weight by the end of of the month. Even worse then horrible nights when there is an alcoholic rampage in the house.
It bothers me enough I still haven’t sat down and cried, instead I am so very angry at so many other people that I haven’t really talked to anyone about this but my husband Wolsey. I have found that trying to unpack it is a large undertaking and to be honest I don’t know if this even covers everything. This is about the circumstances before, during and shortly after my father passed away. I know I will miss details as I go. Hopefully Wolsey will point them out and I can update this post over time.
My father was a very complicated man. He loved his children very much, he had been in trouble with the system for most of his life, and he ended his life in poverty. He had an endless supply of love and acceptance for me and Wolsey. He would support us no matter what. However, his decision making had been damaged due to PTSD, mental health and most impactful was alcoholism.
We tried to help as much as we could, but he was proud, and he also knew we had our own bills so the best we could do was help out with some bills, some food and some extra stuff I knew they would like (below is a video of 60th birthday from March 24th, 2008, he always liked carrot cake).
That video is four years after he was diagnosed as terminal. He had been terminal for close to a decade. The spots on his lungs kept growing, but he kept trudging on. We didn’t realize how bad his health was, he kept it to himself, but even with as bad as it was, he still might have made it a couple more years.
I think about it now though; I think I knew he was closer subconsciously. One day in March the year before he passed I had traveled up to Bellingham by myself, in a rare non-Wolsey trip. For some reason a song came on my iPhone on the way home and I had to pull over and cry, I was worried about my dad and mom’s health out of the blue and I realize now I was already grieving.
He survived much longer than anyone had expected. He had gone back into the pulmonologist that had originally diagnosed him six years before and they all came out to visit. None of the staff thought he would have made it a year, let alone six. My dad just smiled and told them he was immortal, no one could kill him.
There was a saying all my friends and family joked about since I was 18. No mere mortal could kill John Bradley. He was tough, resourceful, and just enough luck that everyone believed he would survive just about any situation. In the past he had taken on multiple cops, Vietcong, members of other outlaw clubs and abusive family members when he was a child. This saying changed as he got sick though. Our saying didn’t change much, but it went to “He has one more good fight in him”, even his last year where he couldn’t walk very far from his chair we said he still had a good thirty seconds in him, and to be honest thirty seconds would still be enough for most circumstances.
I tell you all of this to give you some background on him. In the future, I will probably have a lot of amazing (and some terrible) stories about him.
It started in January of 2016. His health was fairly poor, and like usual he went in and out of the hospital as his lungs were getting worse. He had gotten out and was recovering. We had been up there a lot to look over him and my mom. Things seemed to be getting out of the weeds and back to normal.
It was then that we started preparing for the hubby’s top surgery. He was ready to go, and the night before my dad received news that an old friend of his Joe had passed away and this was a huge blow to my dad.
Most of my dad’s friends were gone. They were hard living outlaw motorcycle club members and he was on the other side of sixty. This meant those that didn’t go to prison and die there already were all in bad shape. Joe was the third to last friend my dad had (Jimbo and Dennis were his last friends). This is out of literally dozens of hardened men I grew up with and called family. It set my dad into a tailspin of depression.
I should have picked it up earlier. He had mentioned to me once in passing that lately he was missing my grandmother. She had passed away 30 years ago and I now realize he was probably feeling depression, lost and just not in a good headspace. It didn’t help that he was bipolar, and had severe depression/mania episodes.
He called me one night, and I could hear the exhaustion and depression in his voice that night. I talked with him, reassured him and reminded him that the hubby and I would be up the next weekend. He perked up a bit and was excited about the surgery and the results. I hung up thinking everything would be fine. Things weren’t fine, and wouldn’t be fine for the next year.
The next day Wolsey went into surgery and while it was a successful surgery it was inundated with a lot of complications. No one had told us how bad he would leak from liposuction portion of the surgery would suck. The actual mastectomy went well, healed quickly, etc. The doctor’s office messed up though, they sent him home long before they should have and it left me by myself to take care of him. He couldn’t move well; he couldn’t clean up after his wounds and he was just hurting too much.
At no point in time did I begrudge that. I am here for him, just like he was here for me for everything. It didn’t bother me to have to put in that effort of getting up every 20 minutes, help him to the bathroom, while he was in there clean up the bed, change bedding and then put him back to bed and give him more pain pills. He is my life, and it was the least I could give to him.
It was also at this time I got a call from my mom. My dad had gone back to the ER and his O2 wouldn’t stop falling. They had him on positive air and he could talk. They were discussing options about how to handle it.
Something snapped in him, or maybe it’s better to say a decision was made by him. He took the positive air off his face, got up and while the doctors were talking he went downstairs and had a cigarette. When he came back up, they told him he couldn’t do that anymore and that he would have to use the positive air for a large part of his life, or at least until they could get the O2 under control. I was told he just shrugged and told them to fuck off. He was done.
He checked himself out of the hospital, meanwhile they were telling him he would die. He wasn’t going to let himself loose anymore of his freedom. I also think he had hit a depressive point again, his closest friends had passed, they weren’t ever going to make it back down to Lake Tahoe, or pretty much anywhere out of their apartment except for when I could take them places.
He decided to do this on his terms and he took their info for hospice and went home and determined that is where he would pass. My mom told me this over the phone and in my head, I was freaking out. My dad was dying, probably wouldn’t be longer than a week or so and I couldn’t leave that night at all since Wolsey couldn’t take care of himself.
The worst part is Wolsey couldn’t take care of himself at all for the next few days. It was unlikely he could get up to Bellingham before my father passed. Meanwhile I knew I would have to drive up there daily (a 250+ mile roundtrip) that I would have to fit around being home to take care of Wolsey. I couldn’t imagine it ever being worse.
I was wrong, a thousand times wrong once the hospice situation happened. However, that part of the story is still coming up and I think I have mulled about it enough for today.
Lately there has been a long string of incidents where I post a point of view that isn’t lock-step with others in my equivalent social group. This has ranged from political, racism, sexism, “the transgendering” (yes that is not a real word but it is a real phrase used to me and those I love), privilege and even into personal tastes in entertainment.
The average scenario starts with me posting something provocative or counter to what others think. There is usually some support and some opposition to my post. This is absolutely normal and I expect it. Hell there are times when the conflict gets heated (and I love a good argument, because I was literally raised by human wolf pack).
At some point, someone feels hurt or put out (or says something about Jello – that is my nuclear button if you want to push it). Then they either flounce off or just stop talking.
I am always caught off guard by that, my family/friend background usually meant we all hugged at the end and laughed about it no matter how bloody it got (once again I know my experience growing up is not normal).
Then they all of a sudden post some passive aggressive crap about the situation (oh I note the irony that I am doing that here, but it happens so much I wanted to write about it). I never feel I should address their passive post, it is after all their journal/page and their right to do so.
I used to just boot people for being passive aggressive like that but it happens enough I stopped doing it (except if they bitch about jello then they are gone and I burn the ground and salt it, told you that was my nuclear button). However now I just mock it out loud and move on. Although I do have a message for those who are like that, it’s not politically correct but that isn’t my problem.
Guess what sugar britches. This would be a boring world if everyone agreed with each other. I don’t agree with a lot of people but it doesn’t bother me personally when it happens. If you want to be an open minded adult you may realize that not everyone thinks alike. I am not going to agree lockstep with other gamers because some gamers think everything is cool. I am not going to agree with other white guys that we are oppressed. I definitely won’t agree with most fiscal and social conservatives. Let’s just say to everyone, I probably won’t agree with everyone on everything (and contrary to what some believe I don’t even believe or like everything Jello likes… I know I know your mind is blown by that).
What I am saying to all of you sugar britches out there, get over yourself, not everyone has to agree with everything you believe. You can still like someone with differences. Oh and yes before we get anywhere I am an elitist jerk, but I am ok with that :).
Oh and this post might seem weird because I typed it on my iPhone and that is a lot harder than you would think.
I am not even sure where to start with this. Yesterday Wolsey needed to pick up some work out clothes. We drove by a Wal-Mart and pulled in (I hate Wal-Mart but with being unemployed it is hard to shop somewhere else. Once we pulled in, all hell started to break lose.
Here is a shortened video of the incident (after she attempted to punch Wolsey and shoved me):
It started with two cars in front of us being trapped in the car aisle (one trying to back out of a spot, another just trying to move forward). A car in front of all of us had stopped and some lady had ran over to the driver side window and was just chatting with him.
The parked car honked, then the car in front of us honked and the car that was blocking us started flipping everyone off. It’s true, at this point we shouldn’t have become involved, but we also participated in the flipping off. The car that was blocking us off pulled into a parking spot further up (we shall call this the “brother’s car” for future revealed reasons).
We continued to move forward and the lady who was also holding us up started walking behind our car screaming that the car was her brother and damn it she would kick our asses. She even threatened to pull a gun and shoot us. Now, if you look at the video/pictures I wasn’t very worried about this, but we did return words.
We ended up parking (crazy lady disappeared) and we got out to head in. I notice ahead of us the husband/boyfriend (shall hereafter refer to him as husband) saw us and called to his wife. She immediately stomped out and was screaming at us. The husband fell back and had a weird look on his face (he must have assumed that I wasn’t going to get involved as the crazy lady was focused on Wolsey).
Crazy lady stepped forward and threw a punch at Wolsey. I stepped forward and put myself between the two of them and told her to back her ass up. She shoved me. She isn’t a small lady and it was a pretty hard shove but she must have realized that I am 6’4” and 280lbs and it didn’t move me. She began screaming at me.
This entire time I was staring at the husband. I was more worried about him and so I watched him as I told the lady to back off and I was calling the cops because she assaulted me. I honestly never respond that way usually (if it was a guy and I acted like I used to, it might have resulted me popping him in the face). It was a woman in front of me and I wasn’t going to do anything physical to her so the only thing that came to mind was calling the cops.
We continued walking towards Wal-Mart (I wanted as many witnesses as possible after the issue with ziggy stardust a few years ago I don’t want someone to lie about me). The husband immediately kept trying to get crazy lady to leave, but it was difficult.
I ended up calling the cops, and the lady went into Wal-Mart. The 911 operator told me to wait there and said she would send a cop (I wasn’t sure I wanted a cop to come, I didn’t need someone to arrest her, I just needed a way to de-escalate her). The operator said to have to cop talk to me anyways.
So I ended up outside Wal-Mart waiting for a cop while Wolsey got his workout clothing. The crazy lady came out and screamed some more, we acted like we were filming her and I explained a cop was on the way and she was welcome to wait for him. She then threatened again that I would regret it, but her husband rushed her off into the parking lot.
The cop arrived, talked with me for a bit and I explained I didn’t want to press charges (I don’t need that drama) and he agreed it was fine to let it go. I just wanted to make sure that crazy lady was on record so she couldn’t do any accusations later. Wolsey came out with his clothing and we went home.
I hate drama, and I need to once again work on not engaging the crazy people.
Well here it is, 4am and I have just woke up with an anxiety attack/weird dreams. Even though its about other things I am sure the anxiety attack/waking up/insomnia is because its awfully warm, because my caffiene addiction hasn’t been satiated and because I am worried about my grades.
I had a weird day yesterday. Woke up from weird dreams, got up and puttered around the house with a food hangover and waited for my sister to show up to pick up the mattress. Of course she was late but this was expected. She showed up with my little brother Derek and we commenced trying to move the queen size mattress into my sister’s van.
It was rather like keystone cops, the rain was pouring down, gusts of wind up to 45mph (not joking) and it took us over 20 minutes to get it into the van, in the end I got stuck between the seat and the van but managed to after some time slip out of the seat. Fortunately the spouse was laughing too much to remember to get the camera until it was over.
So we traveled down to my parent’s neighbor (who we are taking the mattress to for free just to get it out of my house). We spend another ten minutes wiggling it out of the van with much carnage and in the wind and rain we finally got it to our neighbor’s porch. Right in front of our neighbor’s porch is an extremely smooth area, my feet being wet made it a slippery ride and I ended up twisting my ankle (still hurts too).
Upon completion we went over to my parents for awhile, ankle hurting, cold, wet and rainy. Being a non-smoker of course all the smoke in the room came to me and my allergies kicked up. Then me and Derek decided to go see Gothika, we have my sister drop me and him off at the “mall” area (not an actual indoor mall, just where the theater, foodstore, rite-aid were). After going to the grocery store, picking up snacks we went and bought tickets and waited in the lobby of the theater. We were told that the room wasn’t ready yet and we waited, by the time the movie was supposed to start we had heard the movie place workers talking about blood, someone bleeding, they had called the cops, etc. It seemed like something was going down.
About 10 minutes later as many people waited to go see the movie in the lobby they decided to cancel the movie. I was pretty unhappy due to the fact we had spent over an hour total waiting for the movie, we would have to wait another 30 minutes for the bus and then another 30 minute bus ride. What a waste of a day. We would have just gone to a later showing but we had a CS match that evening (last night, which we won by the way).
So fast forward us at the bus stop, we had been there over 15 minutes in the howling rain/wind. Then along comes two drunks. a drunk white guy and his Indian woman. So drunk off thier ass they could barely walk (and when they got to the bus stop they just reeked of alcohol and were drinking some Steel Reserve, nasty. Then I looked down and noticed the guy was bleeding like a stuck pig from his hand, I am not talking a little blood, seriously his white shoes were almost a solid red across the top of them.
He refused to listen to his wife/girlfriend about covering the cut and he just tossed a large white set of tissues that were crimson over most of the tissues themselves. I asked them if they had been to the theater and they smiled and said yes, they went and saw Gothika earlier in the day. So here was the reason I had wasted almost an hour before the “Movie” and now another hour after the movie due to its being cancelled.
The bus arrived, Derek told the bus driver that the guy behind us was drunk and bleeding. She refused to let him on board and told him he needed to take care of a bleeding injury like that because it was a bio-hazard. I shit you not, he was still bleeding like a stuck pig (drinking alcohol tends to make you bleed more, guess he had a lot of alcohol).
Well eventually he and his girlfriend left but the bus driver had to stay where she was while she cleaned up all the blood he had leaked on the front entrance to the bus (the hand rail, the steps, the door). So she was almost 15 minutes late getting back on route because of the same asshole that made me not see my movie. And people wonder why I dont drink.
Well later that night we played Counter-Strike as our first match known as the Bad News Bears (first 5v5 match at least) we won and that was good.
Then Derek (who was staying the night) found out my sister did have his money she borrowed but he had to go out to her, so he had to leave (and couldnt spend the night because of it) because my sister wont necessarily have the money if he waits. So it screws our plans up to see the movie. A perfect ending for a weird day full of disaster “Bradley Style”.
You will notice that my post has become very short at the end of the last two paragraphs. Thats because I am now exhausted and am going back to bed and seeing if I can sleep a couple of hours.
However, here is the situation and why I am so frustrated.
When we moved in together we asked Weylin to make sure if he could give us a quarter’s notice (90 days) if he was going to move out. Now that’s more then anyone technically needs to do but with our finances so precariously balanced we need as much notice as possible to make sure everything goes through, Weylin said he was more then happy to do that.
Well Weylin has indicated that October he may move out (although never clearly made that the deadline, he has hummed and hawed about it saying it would be at least October before he moved if not longer). Well I find out three days ago that he may want to move out mid September and was curious if he could only pay half a month’s rent for September.
Now don’t get me wrong its fine if he moves out. But he cant give me a definite answer on when he will move out so now I got to assume he is out September 15th so I don’t spend the money badly. My biggest issue is sure, I can knock half the rent off for him moving out but only half of his monthly payment is rent, the other half is all the other bills (internet, cable, phone, electricity, etc) and I technically should only knock $90 bucks off what he would owe me for leaving early (because the rest of the half’s month of expenses are for bills accrued in August which he was here fully). I will probably knock off the whole half amount because he is a friend but once again when roomates out it smacks me in the ass.
We had planned that if in September if we got enough student loans to live by ourselves we were going to give Weylin at least 3 months notice to move out (and maybe 6 months if he needed it. Yet it seems 90-day notice isn’t reciprocal. I would never dream before this situation of giving less then 3 months notice to whoever lived with us.
The worst part about this is Weylin wont actually come talk to us, we find out they are planning on moving out by reading his girlfriend’s Lisa LJ and then I have to confront him about what’s going on. Not once has he come forward to keep us informed on what’s happening. I realize its probably because he is worried we will be mad, but what makes me mad is I have to approach him about when he is moving, he should be man enough to walk up to us and explain what is going on and not have me approach him about it.
Don’t get me wrong, I still consider Weylin one of my best friends and this doesn’t undercut that at all, I have lived with him before and its all good. I just wish Weylin wouldn’t be so passive about what’s going on.
I do think I might tell Weylin that he needs to move by October 1st, evidently the 90 days notice isn’t a point anymore and maybe its just good to remove all roommate type situations now.
Once again I need to make absolutely clear is that I am more frustrated that Weylin will not actually come out and talk to us on his own about the situation and keep us informed. That is more frustrating then actually quibbling over whether or not he is staying til October 1st.
I guess I am just pissed he wont just talk to us about it, I have to follow him around and try to force the conversation.
Ok, here is the lowdown. for those of you who didn’t know I run a Counter-Strike clan. Basically its an online video game and I am responsible for about 12 people on a team as we compete against other teams. Well we ended up friends with a clan called PiS, I have always thought overall they were pretty cool but some of them have always been kinda wierd.
Thier leader “Carbon” however tends to get online while drunk, slap people around and treat his server as his own little fiefdom. I like him though so I never bothered to tell him I hated playing on his server because of the following reasons.
1. He has lame ass mods on the server, the stupid ass extra blood actually gets in the way of trying to increase your skills in the game (it makes huge amounts of blood spurt from you if you been shot and seeps through walls and stuff and generally reveals where you are at, and this is never used in a match).
2. Its not-Friendly Fire, which means you cannot hurt your own teammate, once again this is an opposite setting of the leagues we are in so it actually makes us less good at shooting the enemy without hitting our own friends.
3. Many of the admins for PiS are assholes and kick/slap/slay/ban for no apperent reasons
4. The maps are stupid ass custom maps that also dont have anything to do with matches
But I have endured litterely day after day of phone calls from “Carbon” bitching and whining about the server, about the host who rents him the server and about everything in general. Mainly because I like him and I am a nice guy, however everyone else in the house has started to call Carbon my girlfriend because of the frequent calls. However one of my members ranted about the server on our “flames forum” and Carbon freaked out. Now he is all whiney about how I would let someone express thier views and he wants nothing to do with us and he “forbids” his people from hanging out. Exactly where does his ego think he has the ability to tell someone who they can or cant hang out with. Its funny and pathetic at the same time.
Damn I am glad I dont have any whiners like that in my clan.
Sorry I just thought it was funny and I wanted to actually write somewhere why I dont go on thier server (because it sucks) but I didnt want to post it on the forums in an “official capacity” here I can vent and its personal 🙂
besides I wanted to post another day in a row and this was a fun subject.
Gallery: Dying Light Playtest
Date: August 4, 2002
Location: Cornwall Park, Bellingham WA
Well our first day of play-testing helped. Oh my god it rocked. The system is excellent giving everyone their own special abilities and combat is even more exciting then Legacies ever was. The biggest advantage is that combat is quick. In Legacies a group combat that we had during play-tested would have lasted 10-15 minutes. During play-test true combat was over in less than 5. The funny thing was combat was still very equivalent to any of the awesome battles we have in Legacies.
Honestly ever since we gave up Legacies I have noticed a large percentage of the people who proclaimed to be our friend and like what we did with Legacies are now spouting shit out of their asses. Its really frustrating to hear things concerning “the previous owners who screwed up the game” did they even understand that Legacies was over when we picked it up.
MH (name removed to protect the dumb) and crew had decided it was over, me and hubby at great personal expense (about $8000 and a bankruptcy) and got it going again. Of course we saw the “good old boys network” as wrong and we took the “privileges” away that certain people like Microsoft Douche, Mt. Baker High asshole and others. We made them play the same rules as everyone else and like little babies they quit and didn’t come back. We spent a lot of time on Legacies and all we got was shit back.
I gotta feel sorry for Pinky (called that because he is a large man who is partnered with a very small man who makes plans and I have named “The Brain) because I am hearing things already about how “fucked up the new owners are” and I know that Pinky is a great guy and doesn’t deserve that kind of shit.
After Legacies I was very much of the opinion that Larping sucked ass and I never wanted to see Larpers again. Now I realize that not everyone falls under this category but its easy to stereotype. However hubby really wanted to try Dying Light so I sat down and came up with the thought process behind the uniclass system, handed hubby the notes (which were written on Shari’s napkins) and she created it into a clear and concise set of rules. Then with much input and advice from Dunk we got the rules finalized. Then hubby did a huge ton of work on the histories, meanwhile I have created the website, and the monster manual (plus the entire setup for a new logistics, not at all like the old model at Legacies). But to be honest I have always felt a doubt about Dying Light. Well today that Doubt was almost completely erased. We had 11 playtesters and we went out to the park with full costumes (people thought we were strange).
The day was great, we found the system to be extremely streamlined and the combat and system incredibly simple. After all this I am excited about the next playtest (which is probably going to be August 25th). So this means I think we have an awesome Larp and I think it will be fun. I really hope Sandman and Meta Diva can make it some day (if not to a playtest then to the actual event) its awesome and I would love to share it with some of my friends.
Well I will stop now, this has become a novel length post, I will probably post tommorrow. I will however leave you with the gallery below from our first play-test.