Chapter 5: The End

Hello summer, and welcome to serenity! – 

By the end of June, my mother flew down from our family vacation home in Northern Wisconsin just to drive Officer, Uncle Put, and myself back up. The wheelchair had been returned, I was in two walking casts, and ready to get the hell out-of-town.

After firing my best friend’s company, I also fired him as my best friend. Unfortunately, people I believed to be friends chose sides, and I was left standing awkwardly alone, like the unpopular middle schooler thinking, pick me, pick me!

So, off to Wisconsin I go: to heal, lick my wounds, and come back stronger and better for it.

 

Independent July, bee stings, and porn stars, oh my! –

It’s always nice when you receive an alert announcing you’re not being the typical “lazy ass” you’ve been, and the alert would be accurate. I was moving more, and every day I was closer to independence. Now if I could just get used to the terrain; walking on rocks, hills, and uneven ground is hard enough with hiking boots, let alone my “boots”.

It was the Fourth of July, and the family was all together at the lake. We decided it was the perfect opportunity to take a family photo.  My mother, being a wildlife photographer, decided to put fourteen of us in a beautiful field of daisies located on our property. My stepbrother was helping me navigate my way out to my mother’s “photo op” destination, when all of a sudden…

Bees! Bees and me with two walking casts, in a field,…and I’m allergic! Yep, that happened. Good news: I can run in walking casts.

As I ran back to the house to find an EpiPen, my throat began to feel funny, my chest began to pound, and I began to sweat. All of these symptoms could be attributed to the fact that I was running, but I do remember having extensive allergy testing when I was young which confirmed my severe reaction to bees, so I doubt it was the exercise.

By the time I entered the house, the situation had escalated, and I was genuinely scared. It took some time searching, but I finally found the injector. Immediately, Officer was on guard. He sensed the severity of the situation, and never left my side, snorting all the while. My brother-in-law, the cop, came rushing in to see if I was okay, right as I stabbed myself in the thigh, becoming an official member of the “EpiPen Club”.

Unfortunately, Officer the mini pig, didn’t let Waukesha County’s finest officer, my brother-in-law, enter.

Ugh, here we go again.

After the family left the lake house, my mom and I went to decompress and have some laughs. We finished with lunch at this log cabin bar and grill. As we were drinking our beers, waiting for our food to arrive, I notice the only other patrons were sitting at the bar.

There was an inbred looking man in his fifties, with his seventy year old mother/sister as his wingman. At the opposite end of the bar sat a decent looking man, around the same age, sipping a Pabst Blue Ribbon. 

While observing the strange, backwoods pair, things got even more bizarre, but somehow exciting for a small town.  The creepy son said to Pabst Blue, “You look familiar; my Ma and I swear we’ve met you!”

The insignificant man at the end of the bar turned toward the pair and spoke suspiciously, “You may know me.” He finished the last of his Pabst Blue, and headed toward mother/sister and son.  As he leaned in next to them, he almost whispered when he said he’d been in movies.

I hushed my mother who was at that exact moment asking me what they were saying. I tuned back in just in time to hear Pabst Blue say he was Lawrence of a Labia. 

“That’s right! See Ma, I told you we knew him.”

Ma turned to Pabst Blue/Lawrence of a Labia, and in a starry-eyed manner purred, “Well, we sure are blessed to have a movie star in our neck the of the woods. Welcome to serenity.”

(Here’s Ma)

 

August, the calm before the…CALM, what calm?! –

I’ve been deleted by all friends and off all groups on social media associated with my dear old ex-BF. Now I have to go to LinkedIn to wish everyone “happy birthday”.

And moving on…

I’ve been religiously doing my physical therapy since leaving Florida. However, my physical therapist up here has been a bigger pain at times then the exercises.

He asked me how my ankles were healing. I told him they were looking good, but when I said I wasn’t sure they’d ever be the same, that they’d become my enemy, he scolded me.

“That’s a bad word, calling your ankles your enemy!” was his exasperated replied.

“Huh, no shit; and here I thought fuck was a bad word”, was mine.

 

September, my European birthday in Wisconsin –

Happy Birthday to me; I’m turning the big 4-0! I’ll be in Rome on my actual birthday,…but wait, this is Lee’s Life, so here we go…

My mother decided she would take my sister and I to Europe. We would go to Italy and see where my dad’s family is from. Then off to Germany to see my mother’s side. A quick trip over to Austria, because why the hell not? Have you seen The Sound of Music? Well, that’s where I was going. I planned to “climb every mountain, sing Do-Re-Mi on the steps in the Mirabell Gardens, and dance around the fountain like the American tourist I am, but that was before September.

Three days before our trip, my step-dad wasn’t feeling well and went to the doctor.

Bad News: Cancer

Good News: I’m NOT 40 until I get to Rome, so call Guinness World Books because I hold the record of being the oldest 39 year old!

One year ago my life broke apart, little by little. Before my eyes I watched my home, health, and relationships crumble. I was Humpty Dumpty, and like Humpty Dumpty, I couldn’t be put back together again.

 …and I am greatful!

I am thankful for the ability to gain wisdom, and find the laughter – in “breaking”.

I appreciate my independence and good health.

I understand humility. Not many will know what it feels like to be eighty, until they are.

I value what it means to call someone your friend, and how loosely others use the word.

I love myself more, and I love myself most.

AND…I always remember to watch my step.

 

~ fin ~

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