My Blog is haunted. Well actually, I have a different choice word in mind for it but haunted will suffice.

It's been screwing up my settings, not permitting changes (and yes, I clicked "Save Changes"). It's a control and power thing. Technology likes to mess with me like that - seemingly assuming an intellectual superiority.

Anyhoo, our life and times - Blogger-notes version - is that we got Remannied in May on Oahu. I say remannied because that's what our wedding banner said - my husband's name, a popular German one, resembles the first in a two-word Latin descriptor for a particular natural form of birth control - you know the one - initials are CI. In any event, his name is shortened to C--t, which shares phonetic harmony with it's popular German counterpart K--t. Well, for our wedding, his sister, now-estranged - saw fit to fashion lovely car ornaments and head table banners with a stylized font (this was back in they day of dot-matrix printers).

So the R's became N's and our banner read as C-NT & (HOLY) - JUST MANNIED....I'll let you play Vanna. Why didn't we snip the R's? Because to do so would be to mess with the very precarious fabric that fuses the small Schmidt clan as one. Even the pastor was more than a little scandalized that day. And 21 years later, as I made the whirlwind rounds of long-lost but found family this summer, the tale still prevails. "Remember your wedding banner?" titillated family folk would ask, with a giggle and a hand to their pursed lips. (As if we could forget).

But I digress. We were re-mannied once more in early-May. It was a lovely sunset beach affair on the near-deserted Ke Iki Beach, officiated by Rev. Jofrey Rabanal and witnessed by our less than attentive kids, who were just a tad preoccupied with making faces in the video camera and kicking sand at each other than to show any sign of reverence towards the sacrality of the moment. Because let's face it, neither of us were entirely sure we wanted to marry each other again. Kidding aside, we wrote our own vows - this time Mr. Expletive wrote his own and it was stellar - he even promised to obey me this time around (a joking reference to the fact that I argued and lost my war of words with our Lutheran Pastor the first time around concerning having to promise to "obey".

So this ceremony was less the failed performative utterance that the first was (Obey?! - as if!, I mean, Yes, of course I will (not)) and more in keeping with where we were at 21 years ago last August. Our original nuptial vision was to have a small intimate watercraft affair and then escape to a tropical locale for a wondrous honeymoon. So this felt like redemption and might I add, as though I had finally come of age, maritally speaking.

We had a lovely time in Hawaii although unbeknownst to us until the tail end of the trip, tragedy had befallen our family. We learned (by an impersonal e-mail from above-noted estranged sister), that Holy Hub's 17-year old niece (from whom we were also estranged for reasons owing to her still living with her mother) had committed suicide at the hospital.

We performed a bittersweet vigil upon the volcanic rocks of the beach for her on the penultimate eve of our departure under the watchful glow of the most specactular sunset of the week, mere steps from where we enjoyed our vow renewal ceremony days earlier. And then a few days later, we flew back home for the funeral - which was quite possibly the most profane event I have ever attended (toilet humour in a eulogy that is supposed to celebrate the life and brief times of a cooped-up, medicated-from-birth girl is not all that amusing). The only saving moments were the lovely commemorating eulogies of her grandparents, your's truly/Holy Hub, and our brave offspring - who took the time to write and deliver their own heartfelt memories and poems of tribute to their cousin at the podium that day - but those were fleeting and did little to save the day.

We returned this summer to spend time with her grandparents who are still reeling with grief, as well as to visit her gravesite, see the hospital ward she was staying in, and visit with other friends and family.

We, the family, will remain forever haunted by her death. She was only a year away from freedom. She hinted as much on her various blogs, which discovered in hindsight, revealed much about her inner turmoil and unhappiness. We very much looked forward to resuming and beginning anew a relationship with her once she was out of the house. It was not to be.

So there you have it - the fine line between joys and sorrows, regrets and resolve.

I visited with a psychic who does a lot of forensic work, and was able to glean some interesting information about the circumstance(s) of her death. The jury is still out on what all this means or is a foreshadowing for, but in the meantime, the cogs of the wheel in the family, long dormant, have begun to gain momentum again, and that does not bode well.

PS (if you're inclined to leave a comment, do so here - my blog is still haunted.