Tuesday, June 09, 2020

Magic Man

I wanted to post a little bit of an update for anyone that might possibly still be coming here. Might be a few of you still checking in occasionally. I am doing okay. Technically speaking, things are going very well. I am making good progress on finishing Allen's place. Not doing a whole lot on his remodel yet but making good progress cleaning up the place and getting rid of the tons of crap that had accumulated over 30 years with the previous owner. I have replaced the roof on the (Allen's) house and the store building next to it. I don't know that I will be able, or inclined to open the coffeehouse that Allen wanted but I will at least get everything put back together and remodeled. I'm working on much bigger plans actually but not going to go into details on those projects.

For myself, I'm doing okay. Fair. I have been going to grief counseling and it does help....but I can't say that I really feel any better. If that makes any sense. It's been 7 months and 16 days since he died and it still feels like someone just ripped my heart out. Counseling has helped me understand some things though. He was my dearest friend in this world. We had been together, in some form, for almost all of my adult life. And as I said before, we had not reunited as a romantic couple, but it didn't matter. We loved each other dearly. We had a wonderful, passionate time as a couple and we had a timeless bond as friends.
Allen was the only person in this world that I could always depend on and I hope he knew he could depend on me that much too. I certainly did my best to always be there for him. No matter what was going on, I knew he would be there. We had our problems, obviously because we did not stay together as a couple or marry. We could both be very stubborn and unfortunately, we only had a few years together where I was not dealing with some hideous tragedy or life-altering health issue. I had only known Allen about a year when my brother killed himself, so that literally scrambled my brain and took years for me to come to grips with that issue. I did okay for a few years when Allen and I were reunited again, but then started having my first symptoms of what I later found out to be Parkinson's. Contrary to what most people think, the first PD symptoms are often crippling anxiety, panic attacks and other similar problems. Allen had a lot of trouble dealing with those issues due to years of very bad experiences with others in his early life and also went through an extremely stressful job for 14 months, while I was coming apart at the seams from illness. We tried hard but decided then to live apart, albeit next door. We both hurt each other and we both forgave each other a lot.
 Despite everything, Allen never walked out on me when I was choking or having other health emergencies. Allen never stole from me or attempted to. No call from me ever went unanswered by him. Allen literally shared all he had with me. Allen never once threw me under the bus or ran me down to his family to make himself look like the victim. 
I can only pray that I was anywhere near as good a friend to him. I did my best. When Allen needed to get away from Fred, I would come up here and tend things for him so he could have a break. I'm so happy that Allen got to travel to England (twice!), Scotland, France, and Ireland! And around much of the East Coast. I was happy to hold down the fort for him. And when Fred got bad and needed constant care, I would come up here every day and we took care of business. I'd take morning shift so Allen could sleep in and work on his projects most of the day. Then he'd take over in the afternoon. That's one instance I was thankful for my Parkinson's. It forced me to retire from construction and travel, so I was home to be able to help Allen. And we never left each other even though we both had ample chance. He was a real man and he owned it.
I thank God every day that I had the years with him I did and that it was just me and him the last couple of years. We had a lot of fun in those 2 years to add to all the others. We got to go and travel a little on some day trips and just do some fun things. I regret every day, the years I wasted where I was not always by his side. They were a waste in the most tragic sense, other than they taught me a very good but very painful lesson. But Allen loved me regardless and I loved him. We built many, many wonderful things all over Alabama through the years and I treasure each one. Happily, many of the places are public and I can visit them whenever I want.

I do not know exactly what the future holds for me but I will do my best to make the most of what I have left. I will not post on this blog in any regular sense and maybe not at all anymore. Of course, y'all are used to that by now. I just want to say that this blog will remain and be dedicated to Allen. He was the one that came up with the name for it! It will be cleaned up of many other personal references. I've already started on that. I will keep all the building info because I still get a lot of people looking for such.
My house means nothing to me anymore. I mostly stay at the apartment where Allen and I lived for 3 years before I moved into my house. That has shocked many people and it has shocked me too, honestly. But I have no interest in that house anymore and don't know that I ever will. It's almost as if it doesn't even exist. Kind of like Fred's memory too. They are both just a bad specter in a faraway story that cause a tremendous amount of pain and anger. I never really felt at home in my house and had even thought of moving a few times. I think I may have even mentioned it on this blog a time or two. Allen had also thought of moving and we had discussed it on occasion, but one would never leave without the other. I think the reason my house never really felt like home was because Allen never lived there with me. He did stay with me quite a lot the first 2 years down there, and I was very happy with the house then, but as he left, so did my attachment to the house. It surprises me, because Allen and I did build it!. But I realized, we built tons of things, all over the place. It was just one more structure. With him gone, nothing here means anything to me anymore. I wish we had never moved to this county and that I never had the idiotic dream of homesteading or whatever. We never needed all this to be happy. In addition, after a few years of living here, we both realized that maybe this area of Alabama was possibly not the best choice. It's beautiful here.... but sorely lacking in progressive education and social activities. It's high in drug crime (meth) and just this redneck "I'll do whatever I please" mentality. When a junior college started moving into town, Allen and I both had great hopes that things would improve but I'm not sure they are going to.
But for now, I will complete what we both started. His place will be completed and be done the way he wanted it. After that, I don't know. My Parkinson's is progressing a bit faster than what I thought it would and I have no desire to beat my head against a wall trying to maintain all this. And Allen would not want me to. He provided for me and I mean to make the very, absolute best of what he did for me and honor him in the process. Not one red cent of what he worked so hard for will be squandered. As another friend put it so well: Allen was a good and loving friend. And he will be in my heart forever, until we are together again.

I'm sorry that I have not and will not continue this blog. I know some people used to read it for encouragement and ideas and it hurts me that I will stop. But, as I said before, the world is a MUCH different place now than it was 14 years ago when I started this blog. And it's much different just in the 7 months that Allen has been gone. I am not comfortable sharing as much anymore with unknown factors out there. I have realized, and been personally confronted with the fact, that many people are not the way they present themselves and I don't want to be on their radar. There are some people so manipulative and so good at it, not to mention just flat out physically dangerous, that they can do a tremendous amount of damage if they can weasel into your life and my circle is much smaller than it used to be. And I also know that I don't owe one damn person on this planet any explanation of how I live my life. There was one I did (Allen) and he's gone. No one else.

I used to be very insistent on telling my story, my side, but I realized the futility of that. And all of this has absolutely nothing to do with Allen or any part of him....People don't care about the truth and, once again, there are people so good at manipulation, you would never be able to overcome their deceit. But I don't care to anymore. People believe what they want to, so let them have it and gorge themselves on it. I have a life to live and I intend to make the most of it on my terms.

Y'all be good and be safe. I may drop in once a year or such and let you know a little of what's up as things progress. I'm still here and going. Allen and I still have a lot of work to do and I don't intend to let him down!!
If you are inclined, you can find me on Instagram (DragonValleyArtworks) or on Facebook (Ann Beaird). I can also control who follows me there. I don't post a lot on Instagram but there are a few things and you can message me.
Thank you all very much for the many years of companionship and encouragement that you gave me on this blog!!