Sunday, October 31, 2010

Garage Sale

Garage sale!
This morning begins our Garage Sale of Dave's stuff.  And there is a lot of stuff to sell.

We have advertised in Craigslist.

  • Computer monitor [link]
  • Makita compounds saw 
  • Computer desk[link]
  • Kid's toys
  • Kid's clothes


As you may imagine, selling Dave's stuff is hard to do. It is like selling my son. Well, not exactly like that. But you know what I mean.

12 Noon - Garage sale closed!
By noon, only six buyers arrived to shop the garage!  Only one of them bought anything.  We sold a total of $15!  The garage was closed.  No more garage sales!

We decided that we are going to go the estate sale route.  Garage sales are a bummer!

By the way.  Two of the six people were blog readers, and only came by to talk to me.  Not to buy anything!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Hard to accept

Hard to accept
I continue to have up-and-down days.  When I want to feel closer to David, I tune into his blog where I may read his words and see his pics.  It is hard for me to accept that just one year ago, I was here in David's home, and David was here too.  And we all had a wonderful time

This evening I tuned into my son's blog.  His blog is called, "Dave's Home".  I was unprepared for what I was to find there.  Because I had forgotten. My computer had two windows up, one tuned into Dave's Home, and the other page tuned into my own blog.  Both on the same day.

That was September 28, 2009.  David titled that page, "Bon Voyage Dinner with Dad."  Little did I know that this would be the last dinner that we would have together.  God! It is hard for me writing to you about this!  Click [here] and you will go to Dave's page on September 28th where he describes that last dinner. There is a pic on that page that I took myself. There is my son. A happy David smiling at me.

Now click [here] and you will go to my blog the very next day. I wrote in that post that "My heart goes in two directions!"

Oh Lord! I know that I should be getting beyond this place that I am in now. But I miss my David so very much! You would not believe! It is hard for me to accept that David is really, really gone forever.

Not the last time!
It turned out that there would be another time for me to see Dave again. They say, "God moves in mysterious ways." Toward the end of October, 2009, our Mr. Datastorm's transmitter went bad. I decided to drive to California from Mexico to fix that transmitter.

I am so lucky that I made that decision, because that brought me back to Dave for the Halloween season. You know something? I can barely remember being back with Dave then. If it were not for my blog, I would not remember. But my blog is my memory. Click [here] and go back in time with me to October, 2009.  Then click on my tomorrow buttons to move forward thru time.

But a miracle happened after that Halloween time with David.  Mr. Dometic our fridge went bad, and I had to return to get the fridge fixed.  That brought me back to Dave's home one more time.  And that truly would be the last time I saw my son Dave alive


Almost a year later on September 20th, 2010, one day before Dave's birthday, Dave killed himself.

.


Friday, October 29, 2010

GarageSale

9PM - Garage Sale!
It is really crazy!  I've not been able to make a blog post until now!  And as you may see in the title to this post, it is 9pm!  Double wow with sugar on it!

This non-stop go! go! go! day began at 6:30am.  I went crazy fast all day long.  And it is really weird.  I really enjoyed myself.  What the heck happened to laid back Tioga George?

Want to see our CraigsList ad?  Hmmmmm? [link]

What has happened to Tioga and George?
That's a very good question.  And MsTioga and I want to tell you a secret.  This is something that nobody knows yet.  We have not told a soul.  But we are going to tell you now!

Can you keep a secret?   Hmmmm?  OK!  But you got to promise not to tell anybody, OK?  You promise?

Next year when MsTioga and I return to the USA during the spring time, we are going to begin to go places we have never been to before. Places we have not had the nerve to go before. However, now with the tragedy of my son David, we have renewed courage. Next year, we will begin searching for adventure as we have never searched before!

Stay tuned for more news!  Coming soon!



Thursday, October 28, 2010

Taking down a home

Taking down a home
There is a lot to do when working to take down a home.  My son David's home literally contains thousands of things.  Each one of those things has to be looked at, evaluated, and a decision made what to do with it.

When I first began straightening out David's bedroom, there was a big pile of his clothing and other belongings which had been dumped there by police during the search of David's home.  The king size bed was completely covered with this stuff.  And so was the carpeted floor around his bed.

Day by day I spent some time with each thing in that pile.  Sometimes putting that thing back where it belonged in the closet.  A dress shoe.  A tennis shoe.  A belt.  Plastic bags with children's underpants marked with clothing sizes.  There were dozens of these plastic bags.  A dress shirt.  Winter sweaters.  A rain coat.  Suitcase bags.

Although David is inches shorter than I am, I learned that many of his clothes fit me.  His winter sweaters fit me perfectly.  Same with his T-shirts.  I did not know before, that we both wore the same shirt size.  I moved clothing of David's that fit me into the bedroom where I sleep, to be hung in the closet there.

Is it odd that I am wearing my dead son's clothes now?

6PM - Sold the gun
As many boys are, I wanted to be like my dad.  And as I wrote to you yesterday, my dad was a great pistol shooter.  I bought my first pistol in 1959.  I was 21 years old.  The pistol that I bought was a Smith & Wesson Model 41.  The US Pistol Team used the Model 41 that year.  It was a great pistol.

I bought the pistol at Pachmayr Gun Works in downtown Los Angeles.  Got a wonderful Pachmayr gun box too.  I competed in local matches.  Did pretty good.  When I went into the Army, I took my guns with me.

How could I have known in 1959, that 51 years later my son would use the gun to take his own life?  I do not hold myself responsible for what David did with that gun.  And yet.....

This afternoon I drove to Diablo Gun Works in Pleasant Hill.  Sold the Model 41 for $530.


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Pistol

9PM - The 22 pistol
I've been out on errands since about 10am.  Just got home.  Mr. HP my computer has been in the shop all day for repairs.  I'm really too tired to make a blog post.  But I wanted to respond to the many ShoutBox posts about yesterday's pic of Dave's teenage friends, Andrew and Justin with the pistol on the kitchen table.

When I took that pic, I did not recognize that the 22 pistol that Dave used in his suicide was on the table.  I personally am not at all sensitive to this pistol.  I do not intend to drop the gun into a big pool of wet concrete as was suggested by some readers.  Or destroy the gun.  It is worth about $750!  There is no ammunition in Dave's house.

This gun did not leap up, point itself at David and pull its trigger.  David did that himself.

The gun arrived today in the US mail and was sent to me by the Calaveras County Coroner.  When kids Andrew and Justin knocked on the door and asked to visit with me, it never occurred to me that the gun on the table was a problem.  I still feel that the gun being on the table was not a problem.  When Justin asked to look at the pistol, I examined the gun which I knew to be unloaded, pulled back the slide to make sure that there was no round in the chamber, and let him look at it.

I am a trained shooter.  As a boy, my father who was a highly talented pistol shooter, taught me gun safety.  My Dad is Daniel Lehrer.  Dad was a Certified Pistol Instructor.  He was a member of the California State Team three years and had his expenses paid to Camp Perry to compete in the National Matches three times [link].

My Dad was an NRA life member and a pistol lifetime master.  My Dad taught me all about gun safety and I have not forgotten what he carefully taught me.

Being open and emotional/psychological health
As you may know, I am extremely high on being open about everything.  Awhile back, some readers wondered about me talking to eleven year old "J" who was a foster kid with my son, David.  Some readers offered that it was inappropriate to talk to an eleven year old child about my son's suicide.

In fact, in my very strong opinion, it is just the opposite.  Being closed and secretive about what goes on in life can very possibly have serious negative affects.  Once a child has been made to understand that there are things that are off-limits to being talked about, that there is shame connected to some things, then that child may very possibly grow into an adult who fears being open about himself.

There are problems which MUST be openly discussed in order to find resolution.  There are problems that must be brought to a therapist or psychiatrist.  If as a child, a person is taught there are some things that are off-limits and are shameful, then professional help may very well be avoided because of the shame of it all.  Such a thing as this leads to disastrous behavior.

In our life, there should be absolutely nothing that each of us can do which we should be ashamed about.  We may make terrible mistakes.  If we openly face those mistakes, accept them, get proper help dealing with them, then we are on the way to being healed.

When we hide those mistakes.  Fail to get help dealing with them.  Shamefully keep family, friends and all who care about us from knowing.  What happens then?  What happens to a person who is sick and does not go the doctor?

.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Good news

5PM - Good news!
Since the day that David's home was raided by police on 19th September, my life has been a raging downward spiraling horror.  Since then, I have been constrained by requests, demands and restrictions of family members from writing almost anything about what was going on.  I was bound by  those restrictions from my usual openness here on my blog.  I am now free from those restrictions.

As you may know, I believe that being open is a primary source of emotional and psychological good health.  Being open allows a person with problems, to seek council from relatives, friends analysts and shrinks.  Without the support that I have received since the death of my son David, I would be an emotional wreck!  Luckily, I have soooooo many people who love me, care for me and have reached out to help me!

Being ashamed!
It is my firm belief, that being ashamed of whatever a person does in their life leads to despair and tragedy.  This includes things that others say about another person that are untrue.

Being ashamed serves no purpose whatsoever.  A person must be brave.  Face the challenges of life openly doing the very best that they are able.  That is the only way for us!

With that said about shame, I now write about David.  One of the truly great heroes that I have had the honor to know!  And that hero, that brave man, is my son!  Wow!  Can life get any better than that?  Hmmmmm?

9PM - Kids came over to visit!
Four hours have passed since the above 5pm post.  Anthony and Justin came over to visit.  They are two neighborhood kids who hung out at Dave's.  For  several years during the summer months, a bunch of kids hung out and slept over at Dave's.  Slept in the downstairs TV room.  Played video games.  Swam in the pool.  Dave was OK with them staying.  Anthony and Justin told me, "Dave was just one of the guys, but a grown up one of the guys."

Justin told me that Dave used to complain about the teenage friends devouring all his food.  But he was not too upset.  Dave loved all these guys staying over, using the pool and stuff.

Dave's passing has obviously created a huge hole in these kid's lives!  Anthony and Justin have just left a few minutes ago to go home.  They stayed talking to me all of that time!!  I think that they feel close to me, because I am Dave's dad.
Anthony and Justin
Neighborhood kids

PS: Yes, that is the 22 pistol on the table that David used to commit suicide. It arrived today in the mail from the Calaveras County coroner.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Little dudes

He called them, "Little dudes"
My son David loved the foster kids who lived with him.  He called them "Little dudes".  In his final message that David left to those of us who loved and cared about him, David wrote, "I truly loved them...."

As David's father, it is my responsibility to go thru all the zillions of things that David left behind.  To look at each thing, evaluate it, and decide what to do with it.  I am doing that this Sunday evening.  There are soooooo many pieces of clothing for the "little dudes".  You would not believe.  I am sorting thru all the stuff, then carrying it down stairs to the living room area to spread out into piles.

Once down there, I feel that I'll get a better grasp of what to do with all this stuff.  While doing this sad job, I am drawn in tight, closer to the person who was David, my son.  Who, thru his love and compassion for these little dudes, spent countless hours planning for and thinking about their welfare.

And now it falls to me, to take down all that work and dispose of it.  Oh Lord!  How I wish that I did not have to be doing this work!  This final, terrible work!

When a man lives.....
As I go thru this stuff, I come upon individual things. A photo with a sticky note attached to it. Why was that photo important enough to David to single it out with a sticky note?

When a man lives, his thoughts are connected to the myriad of things that he owns. And when that man dies, that connection, that "why" and "what" is broken. What should I do with that photo with the sticky note? That photo that was important to David but whose meaning is now meaningless to me? There are a zillion questions with no answers.....

10PM - Going up and down stairs
I'm getting tired from going up and down the stairs. From David's bedroom upstairs, to the living room down stairs, and then back up the stairs again. I'm quitting now. The bedroom is beginning to look orderly.

Did I mention to you that I've re-joined the Big-C Athletic Club? Last year I spent a month working out at Big-C during May, 2010. It is good for me to get away from David's home and work out a bit. I'm quitting this clean-up now, and going for a nice bubble bath. Then early tomorrow morning go to the Big-C.

9PM, Monday October 25th- The Hunan Restaurant
This evening I treated myself to the Hunan Restaurant in the City of Concord. Hunan was a favorite of son David. There is a strange thing that I do thruout my day. When I see something that reminds me of the fantastic life that David lived, I shake my head and smile to myself!

Why do I do that? Hmmm?  Well, I am shaking my head in disbelief.  Because it is soooooo strange and bewildering to me that somebody like David would kill himself. David had so much. His life was so rich. He lived the high-life, able to buy almost any toy that he wanted.

Don't get me wrong.  I am not faulting David or being critical of him for his suicide.  Each one of us including myself is solely responsible for stuff like that.  However, when I was eating the wonderful food tonite at the Hunan, I could not stop myself from asking David if he wished he was still alive and having supper here with me at his favorite Chinese restaurant?

I do not believe that we survive our physical death.  But, that belief does not stop me from talking to relatives and friends who are dead.  It gives me comfort to talk to dead people.  Don't you talk to dead loved ones too?.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

David video tribute

Video tribute to David
Reader & friend Chris prepared a wonderful video tribute to my son, David.  Thank you soooooo much, Chris!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Kids tears

Kid's tears
Yesterday afternoon one of David's foster kids came over to visit.  His name is "J" and his mom's name is "M".  J is eleven years old now.  When J left Dave's Home, he was only seven.  I believe that J was fostered by Dave for about three years.

J is a really great kid.  When I first met J, I liked him right off.  So did Dave!  Many of the foster kids who came to live at Dave's Home were troubled because of their home environment.  That's why they are foster kids, because their parents had trouble with drugs, criminal behavior or both.   But J was a good kid, and as far as I know, did not give Dave a bit of trouble.

When J and his mom M arrived, we sat in the TV room together on the big couches.  J sat near me on the smaller of the two couches.  I asked J to tell me what he remembered about living at Dave's home?  J did not answer me.  He sat on the couch not sitting straight, but sort of slumped down.  He was looking straight ahead, not at me.  And then the tears began to flow.  Big tears, streaming out of both eyes and rolling down J's cheeks.

Wow!  My heart was breaking for J.  Of course he could not even speak to me.  As you know, often when a person is overcome with this kind of emotion, their voice just doesn't work!

I reached out to hold his hand, and I felt his hand grip mine slightly.  He was looking down now, maybe a little embarrassed by his crying.  Kid's may not know how to handle grief and the accompanying emotions.

I suggested to mom M, that maybe it is a little too soon for J to visit at Dave's Home.  I only first found and contacted M last Monday to inform her about Dave's death.  And J had been so upset since his mom told him about Dave, that he was unable to go to school.  Maybe waiting for another week to go by before J returns to Dave's Home would be a good idea.

Kid's tears are hard  for me to take!

1PM - Mount Diablo camping!
I'm heading up to Juniper Campground on Mount Diablo. Son David spent his last nite up there at campsite #20. I am going to stay a site #20 too.

David has a ton of camping stuff here at his home. The car is loaded up, and I'm off to the mountain! See ya!
Juniper campground
Mount Diablo State Park

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Bubble bath

Bubble bath
At my therapy session yesterday afternoon, the subject of "Bubble bath" came up.  My therapist is very high on bubble bath.  And now, I am high on bubble bath too!

David has a big bottle of bubble bath in the kid's bathroom.  I've noticed it before, but never used it in my bath.  I love baths a lot more than showers.  Maybe because MsTioga only has a shower.  Anyway, I've begun taking a wonderful hot bath every nite before bed.  And I put bubble bath in my water last nite!

I love bubble bath.  It removes the soap scum that sticks to the tub walls!  That's a really good thing.  Bubble bath makes me feel happy.   In fact, I am happy without the bubble bath.  But the bubble bath makes me feel even more happy!

Didn't I already know?
Last nite while in my bubble bath, it came to me that I already knew that all of my family would some day die.  I knew about dying before David died.  Why was I so shocked, distraught and blown completely away when I learned of David's suicide?

The time for me to think about losing David, was BEFORE he died.  And in that thinking, be considerate of David.  Love him.  Listen to him.  Laugh with him.  Be considerate of him.  Be sensitive of David,

David's passing has taught me a fantastically valuable lesson.  I am going to re-double my efforts to be uncritical, non-judgmental, loving, caring and sensitive to all of those that I care for and love.  And the most important thing that I am going to do, is to never take them for granted again!

Never take my love ones for granted again!  Wow!  Because of David's death I have come face-to-face with the knowing that at any minute, somebody that I love may be gone forever.




Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Chicken w/o head

4:30PM - Chicken without a head!
It just blows me away to find how quickly I've been converted into a man in a hurry.  I'm running around here like a chicken without a head!  I used to be Tioga George, a guy who spent many hours each winter day gazing at the waves rolling in while sitting on the beach of Matanchen in the shade of MsTioga.  During this past summer, much of my time was spent Day Camped behind the Soriana store in the Town of Tequisquiapan looking at the lake and the beauty of the green mountains.

Now, I am a completely different man!  I am using a Personal Data Assistant [PDA] with a calendar for appointments.  There are several appointments each day, and the PDA's alarm goes off to make sure that I do not forget them.  David's desk where I am working is neat and organized.  However it is filled with papers that are work-in-progress.  The phones here in David's home ring a lot.  Who calls?  My lawyer.  Foster kid's moms call a lot.  Members of my family.  Police department people.

And here in the City of Concord, I make several dozen outgoing phone calls each day.  In Mexico my cell phone is always turned off, and sits in the bedroom dresser drawer.  In Mexico, I check for phone messages once each week. Most weeks there are no messages.

Years ago, when I was a working guy, a Franklin planner went with me everywhere I went.  I stopped using that Franklin planner around 1992.  Never in my wildest dreams did I believe that one day I would be on the treadmill again.

Things should be calming down soon though.  I am pretty sure about that!

Are you worried about me?
A few readers seem to be worried about me. If you are one of those few readers, please know that I am doing really good right now. I've got tremendous support. And I've been going for therapy sessions at my shrink every day this week, which has been very good for me.

David's party is happening on Saturday, November 6th.

From the party announcement:
"This party will not be a time for tears or to talk about how or why, but to remember and honor David with the sharing of laughter, love, good memories, fun and lots of food.  Even the pool will be open - weather permitting."



Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Halloween

Halloween
My son David loved to celebrate Halloween. It wasn't really Halloween itself that David loved. It was celebrating Halloween with his foster kids. David would get the kids all excited about getting the Halloween decorations down from the shelves in the garage. Laying the decorations out on the garage floor and having the kids choose where the stuff would be placed out in the front yard.

David loved to buy Halloween stuff, as you may see in this [link] from my blog post of October 30, 2009. Dave's front yard is filled with graves, headstones and wicked things!

Last nite I began putting out David's Halloween stuff.  There are no kids here now of course, so things are a little subdued around Dave's Home!  But I feel that if my son David could know what I've done for Halloween, that he would be a happy dude.

I'll be putting out more scary Halloween stuff this evening. After dark of course! So, don't be frightened!!
Halloween at Dave's Home
October 18, 2010

My shrink
Yesterday I had my first session with my shrink.  She seems to be a very experienced therapist located here in the City of Concord.  As you may remember, BART is providing mental health benefits for me as part of David's benefits package.  It's really a lucky thing for me, because I need a shrink!

In about 1/2 an hour, I go for my second therapy session.