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Trying to peel back the layers of emotions.


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Well we had the memorial Saturday for Sherrell. It seemed so strange that she wasn't there but that was only one of the many things that seemed so out of place. So many emotions and memories of her and all I have lost over the years.

Going back to the bay area was a real experience both good and bad. Good because I saw a lot of family and friends that I haven't seen for many years. Bad because of all the memories of people and places that just aren't there anymore.

I rode down with my nephew Clint. I saw his pain and the memories he was facing just as I was. My brother Harold died in September 1974, Clint was not quite 13. Sherrell remained a widow the rest of her life. Just the memories of them would have been enough but there were so many ghosts from the past.

When I was a child and growing up in the Santa Clara valley it was the fruit producing capital of the world. Time has not been kind to my valley or my memories. I used to get mad when someone called it the Silicon Valley but now I see how wrong I was. The Santa Clara Valley is gone. You have to drive to the very Southern part of the valley to see even one orchard or field of anything growing. Everyone where you look there are people and buildings and cars. Most of the landmarks from my youth are gone and it is so hard to put the memories with what I see now.

I think maybe it can't even be the Silicon Valley anymore because much of the electronics industry has moved to other countries. Now what is left? It was a melting pot at one time but not what I see is a boiling caldron of humanity that is spilling over and leaving scars on all it touches.

Then there are the people. My family or what is left of us. Those of you on facebook will see what is left of my generation. There are nieces and nephews but even they are aging quickly, or so it seems to me.

My brother Richard died in 1978 and his wife Carol was there Saturday. I am ashamed that I have been this close and not seen her or my niece and nephews in 8 years, some in 10 years. My niece will be 59 soon and it shows. Carol never remarried either. She did have a boy friend for 11 years. He wanted to marry her but she had a son in a wheel chair with serious problems both physical and emotional. She didn't want to burden his so she ended up staying single. She buried him just a couple of years ago.

My brother Bob is still alive. He was always my Daddy substitute when Daddy was off on a binge. Sometimes those binges lasted for months but he was my daddy and how I missed him and Mama and my brother Arthur. Arthur and Mama have been gone 25 years now and Daddy has been gone for almost 17. There ghosts were all there. I felt them long before going down there.

Even on my way home in January I was feeling my lost family. I think coming up through the San Juaquin Valley was part of that but with all that has happened sense it is almost as if they were gathering to meet Sherrell and to hold me up through one more loss.

Many of you know that robins are one of the signs I look for from Johnny. They were also Sherrells favorite bird. One the Sunday before she died while she was in the hospital the yard outside my window was filled with robins and quail, one of my other signs from Johnny. I see quail all of the time but those are the first robins I have seen sense moving from French Gulch. I never saw one even on all of my trips to Louisiana. So my Johnny was there too with the rest of them.

I got a lot of birthday wishes from all of you and my family and old friends that I have found on Facebook but the one that surprised me the most was one from Johnny's son Johnny Ray. His wife Valerie writes but he seldom does. He not only sent me birthday wishes but sent me a private note telling me about a dream he had of Johnny. He said he felt compelled to share it with me. He was wondering if it was just a dream. I doubt it was. I believe it was Johnny reaching out to him and to me through him. Valerie also posted a sweet message on Facebook. I feel so good knowing that we are like family even though Johnny and I never got the chance to marry.

I know this is long but my emotions are so raw and there is so much in my mind and heart right now. I feel that if I don't get it written down I will burst with the words that keep going round and round in my head.

Many of the most important happenings in my life have been in January and February and with Johnny's death December was added to that list. Sometimes I wish I could just skip those months then I remember how many of those things were the best and how they have shaped my life. I guess I have to take the bad in order to have the good. Today is especially hard because had he lived long enough this would have been mine and Johnny's 8th anniversary. I can't imagine how it would have been to have 8 years out of these 52 that he has been such a part of me instead of just 5 months :(

Oh I guess I am really going on and need to stop. Just one more thing and then I am off of here. Next week on the 23rd it will be one year sense Johnny's brother Harold died. Strange that I didn't realize until yesterday that he had died on the 4th anniversary of my ex husband Denis' death. Yes that will be 5 years next week and that date too will haunt me. Wow I do need to get out of this mood.

I have made up my mind that I really need to go spend some time with my family down there this summer. Maybe a week or more. I just never know how long you will have that option. I also made up my mind to take a trip up to Washington. I am hoping to do that this summer too. I had said I would never go back but lately I have been feeling the need to go to see Johnny's family and the places where I was the happiest.

So now I really must go. Sorry if I am getting anyone down. I just somehow need to go through this in order to get back on track and come to terms once again with all of the loss. As always thanks for being here.

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It's okay Lily. As we get older, we do start having more people that we love, but have passed. I believe we will see them again in Heaven, which gives me peace. But your feelings are yours, and it's good t get them out and write it out. I pray for peace and comfort for you.

Judy in MI

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So much going on there. The one thing for sure, if Johnny'ss son wondered whether it was just a dream, I think you got it right...It probably wasn't.

Hang in there through all the emotions. As hard as they are we're lucky to have the experiences in our past that give us the emotionss we struggle with now.

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