Mr. and Mrs. Drerio's Journey - Page 9 - Talk About Marriage
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post #121 of 520 (permalink) Old 05-29-2013, 01:58 PM Thread Starter
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Mr. and Mrs. Drerio's Journey

A little about my father and the relationship I had with him. Yes, it was complicated. Some might suggest abusive (him toward me) but I tend to look at it with a sense of complication.

Growing up, I never starved or lived on the streets or had to go to school with dirty clothes. However, my father never hugged me. He never told me he loved me. He did tell me on occasion that I was a loser, "good for nothing", etc. On several occasions he referenced that maybe I should never have been born or that I will likely end up incarcerated. In the early years I somewhat lived up to his expectations... hanging out with people who would someday amount to very little. He, my father, was at times cruel, so I tend not to classify it as abusive. There are plenty of examples that are far worse than mine and those I would put into the abusive category. So complicated is the best way for me to characterize our relationship. I'm not going to say it has not affected me... and I am currently receiving some therapy to heal any hurts associated with this time in my life. Hopefully this too will strengthen my own marriage and help me be a better father.

As he grew older and I think I exceeded his expectations of me (though he never said as much), he tried on several occasions to mend the hurt. I will admit that I rebuffed him more than I should have. As he moved into an advance age, he began to look more pathetic than monstrous and I started to allow him into my life. I always kept caution, but he was my father, and on that principle alone I decided to show him the respect and love he deserved.

When he and my mom moved close to us in 2003, I was a bit taken back. I knew they wanted to simplify their life. Living on a 1/2 acre of land on a house that had survived two hurricanes was becoming too much for two elderly people to manage. They bought a townhouse close by and made an effort to connect with us (myself and my family). I allowed this to happen, though I was always cautious. I actually allowed Ryo, my youngest son, to be watched by them when Keiko and myself were at work. I took great care in wondering if Ryo would be safe there. I saw no reason after a time to suspect anything wrong or any abuse. Unfortunately for my mom this was short lived seen as she suffered a massive stroke in December of 2003. She was unable to watch my son and my father's dementia was limiting his ability to care for himself. It placed a burden on my me and my siblings (two older brothers and an older sister, I am the youngest).

To my parents good fortune, being raised during the Great Depression, they saved and had a sizable nest egg. My mother needed near round the clock care. She and my father spent time bouncing around from home care to nursing care facilities. I am grateful for my oldest Brother, John, he took the lead in ensuring that they were cared for managing their remaining years.

My father's dementia advanced quickly, by 2005 he needed to be moved into a nursing facility that specialized in "memory care". Almost a year to the day he was moved into the facility he died, July 26, 2006.

We held a beach memorial service for him... many of his golfing buddies and family attended. We paddled off shore on our surfboards and scattered his ashes.

He was born Oct 16, 1924
2nd oldest of four siblings
WWII and Korean War vet
Worked for the same company for nearly 33 years
Married my mother May 17, 1948 and they were married up to his death, July 2006
Father of four children

His marriage to my mother was complicated, but it lasted the test of time.

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post #122 of 520 (permalink) Old 05-29-2013, 06:28 PM
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Re: Mr. and Mrs. Drerio's Journey

I am struck by the contrast between your relationship with your father, and the picture of your wife lovingly tending the grave of her father. Do you know what his demons were? Did your mother try to intervene and provide the love that he could not?

It is a great tribute to you that you have achieved so much, given that you were not encouraged and supported as a child.

Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?
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post #123 of 520 (permalink) Old 05-29-2013, 06:41 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Mr. and Mrs. Drerio's Journey

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I am struck by the contrast between your relationship with your father, and the picture of your wife lovingly tending the grave of her father. Do you know what his demons were? Did your mother try to intervene and provide the love that he could not?

It is a great tribute to you that you have achieved so much, given that you were not encouraged and supported as a child.
We call them the greatest generation... and they are just that for all that they did and achieved. I suspect though having grown up during the Great Depression had some serious drawbacks, mentally. My grandfather was an alcoholic and who knows how he treated my father. Then my father fought in two wars. I can only imagine that only so much can be asked of an individual before they break. Understanding this made me forgive him.

My mother was the stereotypical wife of the 1950s. Obedient, submissive and not one to cross her husband. Did she provide me with love missing from my father? Some. She gave what she could to four children. I admire her for having lived the life she did with the dignity that she did it in. She wore a lot of hats and did so with that same expression and fortitude to carry on with her mission as mom and wife. I will talk more about her later.

My sister provided a lot of love to me where my mom could not. Again, more about her later as well.

Like 2n says, I am giving my story in cliffhanger fashion.
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post #124 of 520 (permalink) Old 05-30-2013, 08:52 AM
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Re: Mr. and Mrs. Drerio's Journey

I think there are many people who can relate to the story of your parents, Drerio. I know I can - only it was my mother who let me down. And oddly enough, she also ended up dying (somewhat young) of an early-onset dementia disease, and I was responsible for her care. It was so tough to watch her go through it, and I resented having to take care of everything for her, because I had so much past resentment for how she'd treated my sister and me. Yet, watching this disease progress, watching her become more pitiful by the day . . . when that happens, you can't help but let go of all the past hurts for the most part.

What I have discovered is that sometimes the people with less than happy childhoods, somehow grow up to become amazing adults. I don't know you "IRL", but I know you by your thoughts that you write on the page, and you are one of those amazing people, Drerio.
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post #125 of 520 (permalink) Old 05-30-2013, 08:57 AM Thread Starter
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Mr. and Mrs. Drerio's Journey

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I think there are many people who can relate to the story of your parents, Drerio. I know I can - only it was my mother who let me down. And oddly enough, she also ended up dying (somewhat young) of an early-onset dementia disease, and I was responsible for her care. It was so tough to watch her go through it, and I resented having to take care of everything for her, because I had so much past resentment for how she'd treated my sister and me. Yet, watching this disease progress, watching her become more pitiful by the day . . . when that happens, you can't help but let go of all the past hurts for the most part.

What I have discovered is that sometimes the people with less than happy childhoods, somehow grow up to become amazing adults. I don't know you "IRL", but I know you by your thoughts that you write on the page, and you are one of those amazing people, Drerio.
Thank you.
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post #126 of 520 (permalink) Old 05-30-2013, 12:18 PM
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Re: Mr. and Mrs. Drerio's Journey

Ok, I finally had some time to start reading your journey! So far, I LOVE IT! The good times, the hard times, and all the times in between.

I wanted to comment on a few things:

1. I love the way you love your wife and describe her. Her picture is truly beautiful and she looks like a porcelain doll, preserved in her beauty. I'm sure that's how you see her as well.

2. I really love your son's self-portrait painting. Everyone is right: that kid is a genius! I would love to have a copy of it on the wall in my office. I know that won't happen, but wanted you to know that. The colors, the shapes, the contrast...............simply amazing!

3. As for the hair on the bathroom floor, why not put a small trash can by the shower that she can toss her hair balls into? That's what I did.

4. And the opened cabinet doors...my hubs does that, too. Every morning when I walk into the kitchen, he'll have every cabinet door open from searching for a midnight snack. I think I'm going to just take the doors off the hinges.


Not really, but

~~~ SW ~~~
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post #127 of 520 (permalink) Old 05-30-2013, 12:26 PM Thread Starter
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Mr. and Mrs. Drerio's Journey

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Originally Posted by southern wife View Post
Ok, I finally had some time to start reading your journey! So far, I LOVE IT! The good times, the hard times, and all the times in between.

I wanted to comment on a few things:

1. I love the way you love your wife and describe her. Her picture is truly beautiful and she looks like a porcelain doll, preserved in her beauty. I'm sure that's how you see her as well.

2. I really love your son's self-portrait painting. Everyone is right: that kid is a genius! I would love to have a copy of it on the wall in my office. I know that won't happen, but wanted you to know that. The colors, the shapes, the contrast...............simply amazing!

3. As for the hair on the bathroom floor, why not put a small trash can by the shower that she can toss her hair balls into? That's what I did.

4. And the opened cabinet doors...my hubs does that, too. Every morning when I walk into the kitchen, he'll have every cabinet door open from searching for a midnight snack. I think I'm going to just take the doors off the hinges.


Not really, but
thank you SW, we are learning (our journey)... yes after 18 years I am still madly in love with my wife.

I almost did take the doors off the hinges

I have learned to live with the hair on the floor, she does clean it on Saturdays. I also remind myself I don't have to clean out the trap as often.

Thank you for the compliment about my son's painting. I wish he could hear the comments in a positive way, but if I were to tell him what others were saying he probably would get mad. Why? I don't know.
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post #128 of 520 (permalink) Old 05-30-2013, 12:45 PM
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Re: Mr. and Mrs. Drerio's Journey

So no trash can by the shower?

~~~ SW ~~~
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post #129 of 520 (permalink) Old 05-30-2013, 12:48 PM Thread Starter
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Mr. and Mrs. Drerio's Journey

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So no trash can by the shower?
We have a trash can in the bathroom, and I request it, but if she forgets... I don't want that to be a source of a fight. I will inquire.
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post #130 of 520 (permalink) Old 05-30-2013, 12:50 PM Thread Starter
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Mr. and Mrs. Drerio's Journey

BTW, SW I am sure you and Mr. Southern could write a similar story someday.

I may have to write today seen as tomorrow I will probably not want to after I get home.

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post #131 of 520 (permalink) Old 05-30-2013, 03:43 PM
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Re: Mr. and Mrs. Drerio's Journey

Drerio, I love that you are sharing your story. TAM needs more examples of couples who have made it through the good times and the hard times as you and your beautiful wife have. You both have the type of character that pulls through.

It is so good to hear a man speaking to lovingly about his wife. The love you describe is not the heady, ‘in-love’ infatuation that one has when they first meet. When I read of someone who says that they love their spouse by they are not ‘in-love’ with them I just want to scream. They miss the point that their love for their spouse will change from that initial infatuation to a much deeper love that keeps a marriage together. Instead they go off in search of the heady infatuation and get into an affair, looking for that high.

Another thing that really sticks out to me is that you both understand that your marriage is not an isolated entity. You two and your children are part of an extended family. This is something that seems to be lost on many today who try to live a married and family life with little to no involvement with the extended family. To me this is sad because there can be so much help and love brought into your lives this from the entire extended family.

Keep on posting, we need more of this type of threads here.

Last edited by EleGirl; 05-30-2013 at 04:25 PM.
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post #132 of 520 (permalink) Old 05-30-2013, 03:55 PM Thread Starter
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Mr. and Mrs. Drerio's Journey

thank you EleGirl, it is hard to explain sometimes other than through my stories how much I love my wife and how are marriage continues.

I am hoping our humble story can reach someone. Thank you again.
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post #133 of 520 (permalink) Old 05-30-2013, 10:05 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Mr. and Mrs. Drerio's Journey

I had just finished submitting my grades the day before (2005) and my phones rings. It was my mom. She was able to talk after her stroke but with little to no affect, so I was still getting used to her new voice. I thought right away it must be something to do with my dad. Since they had moved to O’ahu, he twice side swiped parked cars. His advanced age and dementia clouded his judgment. The last time he did it he left the scene, but someone reported him. I had to take him to court. He was not nice to me as a kid and now I had to be the adult. But, I refused to take any revenge out on him. So, I took it all in stride. My mom on the other side of the phone asked “have you heard from Jacque (my sister)?” I am confused and respond by simply just saying “no” a pause and then I ask “should I have heard from her?” “She called us from the Emergency room at Kona Hospital” my mom tells me.

My sister, Jacque, had been living in Kona, Hawai’i for well over 15 years. Prior to that she lived for short periods of time on O’ahu, Maui and Atlantic City, New Jersey. She was the second oldest and only girl among four siblings. We were not gentle brothers so she grew up knowing she had to compete like the boys in the family. In doing so, she surpassed us in so many things: She earned a black belt in judo (I only got to purple) at a time and in a dojo where earning a belt was hard to come by. Jacque, was one of the few female big wave surfers at the time, growing up on Kauai in the late 60s and 70s. She started life as a stutterer compounded with learning difficulties, but proved us all wrong in her academic prowess. She was accepted to Cornell Law School, but opted to postpone to save up enough money. Sadly, she never reapplied. Although, she did find her passion working in the hotel industry (management). She excelled in everything she did with the competitiveness of an olympic athlete, and yet she was a tender soul deep down. She took a lot of grief from my father as the only girl. And, her relationship with mom was sometimes strained. When I reflect back, she really had it harder than me or my brothers. Jacque was my big sister, my protector at times, the one who could console and touch my spirit. And, she could command respect from the hotel staff by working harder than any of them but still being fair minded and understanding of how to get the best out of them (not just push for the most). She pushed her body; exercise was a bit of her religion. While Jacque was intense about a lot of her life, she also knew how to enjoy herself and very easy to be relaxed around. Five years after she moved to Kona, she met G, who became her long-time boy friend. We never asked about whether they would ever get married. Jacque and G both seemed happy with what looked in every way like a marriage. In 2002, she changed employment to manage several different Time-Share properties. Although she spent six-months caring for my parents after my mom’s stroke, nothing appeared to unusual.

This is the first I had heard my sister was having any medical issues and my mom tells me that Jacque called from the ER in Kona. For almost 24-hours no word, I was finding it hard to sleep. I got a call the next day, it is mom again. “Jacque was taken by medevac helicopter from Kona to Honolulu.” I stood there stunned. I called the hospital and they refused to give me any information over the phone. Later, after my wife got home, I drove down to the hospital and inquired about my sister. After I proved to the hospital that I was her brother they allowed me access. I walked into her ICU room and G was there talking with the on-call physician. I had a lot of questions but the doc is moving onto the next room. She was hooked up to a ventilator and IV. She was conscious but couldn’t talk. The first time I had ever seen my sister looking helpless. She was normally the take charge first one up the hill and she laid there making eye contact but not able to move or communicate. I had time off, so I was able to visit her every day. Days later when I was able to talk with the Neurologist they said they could not give a definitive diagnosis but she had a obvious lesion in her brain stem. She could not maintain consciousness for long periods at a time, unable to walk, swallow and breath on her own. I will say the hospital staff worked heroically and they tried a lot of different therapies. At about week four post ICU, I was scheduled to go on a road trip to do some research at Washington University in St. Louis, MO. The day I left my sister appeared to be doing better. They had her up walking using a walker. I felt better about leaving. I called everyday and my brother and other relatives said very little. My wife and boys picked me up at the airport and we went straight to the hospital. My sister looked progressively worse. She could not even make eye contact. I was angry and upset. I felt helpless. None of this really had a major affect on my marriage other than I was moodier than usual but my wife was gracious through it all.

I was back at work in the lab but every evening and every weekend I was there in my sister’s ICU room. I would hold her hand talk to her and sometimes sing to her. I cried a lot, but always just treated her as if she could hear, feel and see me. She was totally unconscious at this point. What really throw me was suddenly G went from being there to completely absent. G, owned his own restaurant in Kona, but did not need to be there full time. He had a good manager in charge. He also had a friend on O’ahu who allowed him to stay there as long as needed. But, G was absent. I called him on the phone to inquire about why he was not with my sister. He told me “what is the point she is unconscious all the time, I am told she can’t see, hear or feel me.” I thought WTF, you are practically married to her and you abandon her now? Really? It wasn’t just me, it was my brothers, relatives, and friends who were scratching their heads in anger. To make matters worse G had the primary Power of Attorney over both her health and financial decisions. I had secondary on her health and my oldest brother on her financial affairs. At the end of week six, the head physician wanted a meeting with us, but required by law G had to be present. We set up the meeting G was there. The lead physician essentially told us they could not do anything more for my sister and we had to think about getting her affairs in order.

At 8am the morning of July 6th 2005, we were all there except G. We all looked at each other including the physician and he, the physician asked if we knew where G was or if we had heard from him. No one had any contact in the week since the meeting. The hospital called his (G’s) phone, he answered and immediately hung up. This happened three more times. At that point they were legally able to ask me as the secondary as to the decision to take my sister off of life support. It was the hardest decision I ever had to make. I said yes, with tears rolling down my cheeks. I did not want to see my sister die, but she really was not there anymore. I still remember the moment they removed the ventilator. I held my sisters hand tight and talked to her in a broken soothing voice (I was crying). Her body bucked and she fought to breath. Soon the life of my sister was gone. I looked over at my father and wanted to tell him it was his fault, but he looked lost and pathetic. Anyway, I knew it was not his fault. I had so many emotions raging through my body. What I took away from this experience was what that phrase meant. The one some of us say in our marriage vows. I said and some of you said it - “in sickness and in health, till death do us part.” G may not have been married to Jacque, but he practically was and was not there for her in her sickness and death. Why? I don’t know. I came home to hug my wife and realized that the phrase gave me so much more meaning than just those passive words we say because we are infatuated with our groom or bride.

In the final epilogue, G never showed up to her funeral service. A few weeks later family and friends convened at a hotel in Kona for a beautiful ceremony. The conclusion of which my two brothers and I paddled an outrigger canoe offshore with her ashes, flower petals, a bottle of her favorite wine and some Kona coffee beans. I threw the petals into the air as the Kahuna (priestess) chanted from shore and my brothers scattered her ashes. We said our final goodbye, poured the wine and coffee beans into the water. Aloha Jacque. I love you always my big sister.
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post #134 of 520 (permalink) Old 05-30-2013, 10:21 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Mr. and Mrs. Drerio's Journey

Jacque

Born Nov 14, 1956
Died July 6, 2005





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post #135 of 520 (permalink) Old 05-30-2013, 10:41 PM
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Re: Mr. and Mrs. Drerio's Journey

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The Kardashians we are not
...I dunno! We've seen your naked arse....you might be Kim!












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