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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

I'm Done

Dear Friend,

I thought I could do this...

Maybe I am just too old, too tired to try.

Don't worry about me...I will not do myself deliberate harm. I just need to stop giving you conflicting messages, need to stop for my own sanity as well as yours.

You have been wonderful to listen to my sorry tale for so long. I love you for that. But you need a rest from the dreariness.  Fact is, the death watch hasn't ended since my parents passed away, and is not likely to. You see, once you reach a "certain age" those friends and relatives who have been such a huge part of your life begin to face the end of is inevitable.

I can't, no, I WON'T subject you to the heartbreaks that are certain to come.

This is my final Postcard.

With heartfelt appreciation,

Monday, March 10, 2014

"Normal" Gets a Road Test

Hello, My Friend!

I can't thank you enough for your patience with me. I have been remiss in my correspondence, and although I have excuses galore, it's just wrong to ignore you for so long.

Since last we 'spoke', an entire Winter has come and is nearly gone.  It was mostly uneventful (a blessing!) and dreadfully COLD (a curse). But during these last 3 months, Normal and I have been getting reacquainted. And we like each other. A lot.

This past weekend, we took a 'test drive', and passed! No breakdowns, no blowouts. Full tank of gas, dry roads and good signage!

We now return to our regularly scheduled journey, already in progress.

xoxoxo, clare

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Getting Back To "Normal"

My Dearest Friends,

Seven months is a long time to be 'away'.  I cannot tell you where I went this time because I do not know, myself. All I can say is, it wasn't a pleasure trip.

I didn't send you any postcards, because they were all very dark and dreary-looking, and depressing. You deserve better than that. So here is the better…

When we reach the low points in this life, it can be devastating…but eventually the heart mends, the soul revives, the body heals, and the mind rests.  It's some miracle of the brain, some strength of the spirit, that brings us back to 'normal'.

Some normals are stranger than others…but this is normal!  My normal is fighting to make a comeback, and winning.

It's time.

xoxoxo, cd

Monday, June 17, 2013

He is gone, but will never be forgotten...

Dearest postcard friends.

It is with a heavy heart that I relate to you the passing of my Dad, Albert Martineau.

I apologize for this being so late, and for the lack of info associated with it. As you might imagine, the events of the past 14 months have taken a toll on me that I may or may not recover from.

I hope to fill you in soon. In th meanwhile, we have created a memory slideshow that you may like to view.  When you get to the page, click on "play video" on the right side of the screen.

Thanks everyone.

Much love, xoxoxo, cd

RIP, Daddy...
I Love You

Friday, April 12, 2013

There Was No Intermission

Dearest Friends,

It's almost a year to the day since our production of "Caring For Ailing Parents" began. To me, it seems like a Century. But we are approaching the final act, now. How strange to say that after living the drama for so long.

The most recent scene shows the Martineau Siblings returning to the 'round-the-clock' care-giving schedule.

When you add wine (lots of wine) to feebleness, you get falls.  One of those led Dad to an emergency room visit for a broken hand and bumped head. The severity of these falls, fortunately, is not great, but the frequency is.  Hence, intensified monitoring.  Add to that Dad's mental decline.  Although no one has been able to tell us with any certainty that it is Alzheimers, no one is discounting it, either.

As a family, we have decided that it is time for the professionals to take over.  The paperwork is in progress, and, if all goes according to plan, Dad will be moving into the Veteran's Home in Bristol, RI by the end of the summer. This is good news. Really.  He is agreeable --- each and every time we tell him about it!!!

Soon the old homestead that Dad and Mom purchased nearly 50 years ago will be up for Sale. Clearing it out for that purpose will be a time-consuming task that we are trying to coordinate even as I write this. I am anxious to have it all completed, and yet I am not sure how I will feel once it is.

Where will Our Family gather henceforward?

 'The End of This Era' might prove to be the most difficult scene of the play.

Til later,
xoxoxo, cd
p.s... many thanks and all my love to my darling husband jd.  sorry i missed writing our anniversary postcard on monday.  helluva year, huh?

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Humor in Adversity

Hello, Dear Friends.

January, as you know, was a nightmare for us...but I am happy to say we have awakened sufficiently to continue.

We, as a family, have somehow always found the humor in the worst situations, and this is holding true now.

An anecdote or two to prove the point:

Time:  January 14th, 2013
Scene:  Mom's Funeral Mass:
                  The mood is somber, as at most funerals. Dad and Jerry and I lead the family procession to our pews. Due to a little mix-up, Jerry was unable to sit with us, so Dad and I had the end of the bench nearest the aisle. The pastor of their church, who shall remain nameless in this postcard to protect whatever reputation he may have left after this day, greets us solemnly and proceeds with the service.

All is going well...lovely readings by my cousins, a wonderful eulogy by my Brother Lenny. Then it is "Father Who"'s turn to say a few words. He has been Dad and Ma's pastor for many years, and we are expecting to hear at least one personal story about Mom from her Spiritual Adviser. Well, he must have been high on sacrificial wine, because what he chose to share with us was how Mom was now at peace, and reunited with her husband Albert at Our Heavenly Father's table in Heaven.

(insert audio of  many jaws dropping here)

Now, those of you who know me well are aware of my age, and it is certain that the trials of the past year have taken their toll on my face. And although Dad is 29 years older than me, he looks GREAT for a 90 year old man. So maybe "Father Who" should be given the benefit of the doubt for mistaking my Dad for my husband.  (Nah...I think not! How do you not recognize one of your most faithful parishioners???).

The entire congregation is in shock when "Father Who" repeats the sentiment further along in the service. Dad looks at me with a confused look on his face. I am at a loss. I can't very well interrupt his sermon to correct the error. I lean towards Dad and whisper, "No matter what this guys says, you are still among the living."  Again, the confused look.  A pause.  Then a chuckle.

Dad has never been a "quiet" man. His booming voice is legend in some parts of Providence.  His chuckle is more than audible. And it is contagious, (in a subdued way, mind... it IS, after all, a funeral.)

Now "Father Who" looks confused, in a "What's so Funny?" sort of way.  But that doesn't stop him from saying, AGAIN, how Josephine must be so happy to be with her parents and siblings and husband once more.

It was with a very little success that the Assembled Martineau Family kept from laughing out loud in church.


Time:  February 26, 2013 (Mom's 82nd Birthday)
Scene:  Mom's Gravesite
                Dad and Donna and I decided to visit Mom's grave on her birthday, to leave some flowers, say a prayer, say goodbye again. This is the first time we have visited since the funeral, so we are a little emotional about it. It's a very cold Tuesday, mid-morning, so there are only a few other people at the cemetery, and for some reason there are no burial services happening at this time.

Good thing.

We stand at the grave, shivering, lost in our own thoughts for a few minutes. Then Dad, softly for him, begins to sing..."Happy Birthday To You..."

Donna and I couldn't help ourselves.  We joined him in a rousing rendition of the Birthday Song --- in true "Martineau Style" (which means quite loud, and totally off-key).

I think Mom would've liked that...

xoxoxo, clare

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Goodbye, Mom

Dear Friends,

It is with extreme sorrow that I tell you that my Mom, Josephine Martineau, passed away yesterday, Friday, January 11, 2013

Some of her struggles were chronicled on this blog. Her suffering at the end was great. She suffers no more.

I wish to thank all of my Blogging Friends for their love and support during our time of trial, especially Jim. S., who stood by every step. My cup runneth over.

I Love You, Mom.
Rest in peaceful slumber.

xoxoxo, Clare