A sweet reader by the name of Nancy emailed an idea for Java Talk this week. She suggested that maybe we could discuss people who have positively affected our lives, since Memorial Day is right around the corner.
That sounded like a great idea to me.
(By the way, email me ideas for things you'd like to discuss on Java Talk please.)
So here we go. The person who most affected my life in a positive way was my first mother-in-law. I have to say that while I was married to her son, many years ago, the very opposite was true. We did not much like one another!
But later down the line, when I was married to husband #3 (Lord, how embarrassing to have to keep up with them that way), that all changed.
I had my worst depressive episode ever. It was so bad that I tried to kill myself. I was found, obviously, and here I am.
I was 43 years old. My then husband had a huge fit over something that Sunday morning, and took off. All I wanted to do was make things right, whatever it was. I kept calling and calling him and he wouldn't answer.
Well, now I know he was probably with a woman. But that's neither here nor there, really, is it?
It just so happened to be Mother's Day. Yes, I know that I've hurt my children terribly by doing that to them, and no one feels worse than I do about that immutable fact.
No one knows the guilt I feel over it, and that they probably detached themselves from me that very day. I know it, so I don't need anyone here to remind me. Okay?
After a few hours, I drifted into a dissociative state, where I became quite calm. You know where you are, but you feel removed. Like you are hovering over yourself looking down at the part of you that is so sad.
I've had quite a few of those over the years, but I didn't ever try to hurt myself during any of them.
I felt I just needed to end it. I can't tell you where that came from. It just seemed logical to me at the time.
When you're in that state of mind, what you're thinking is not rational. You cannot be rational. If you could be, you would realize that "this too shall pass."
So many people have died because at that moment, they were not in their "right mind", if you will. And sadly, they were not found in time.
Not only is Mother's Day important because I am a mother, but his fit ran off my youngest daughter who had come to see me. Off she went crying back to the city she lived in. And I was upset over that as well.
I was so angry that he did things like that, and these episodes became more and more frequent. We'd only been married a couple of years, so back then I couldn't see the forest for the trees.
Most of you know that I never had a mother, and thus Mother's Day has always been an emotional day for me for that reason.
I hated to go out on that day, because all around me in restaurants I'd see mothers and daughters chatting. I would see the love they shared.
And I'd think: Why isn't that me and my mother? Why did my own mother abandon me? Why isn't she here now? Where is she?
I know I've gone on and need to wrap this up. So I'll just say that when others were angry with me for what I did, and didn't want to talk to me, my ex-MIL (her name was Charlyce; she's been dead 10 years this month) was my rock. My absolute rock.
She called me every single day from her home in another city. She is the person who cared enough to see if I was up or down or somewhere in between.
She kept on with it, day after day that summer of 2000, until there came a day when I was glad to wake up and see the sunshine outside.
I see what she did for me as the most caring gift someone could possibly give to someone else. If not for her, I might have just given up.
And that is why I held her as she took her last breath six years down the line. For those six years, I almost felt like I actually had a mother in her, my children's grandmother.
We became very close till the day she died. I owed her for my own life.
So I've told my sad little story. I didn't really want to go into all that, but it was pertinent to why she is the person who has most touched my life.
Now it's your turn. Please relate as much or as little as you'd like.