Sunday, September 10, 2017

Why'd You Leave Me?

These are the words I yelled this morning at the picture of Ed that sits in my kitchen. I was getting my cup of coffee, from the Keurig that he bought for us. Sunday mornings were having coffee with Ed sitting at the table reading the paper.  I have cancelled the daily paper and I should cancel the Sunday paper as well because it goes unread every week.

The last few weeks have been hard for no particular reason. I am working hard to be thankful for what I have. All those things I've mentioned before...our home, my job, my health.

But some days I'm just tired at working at this life and supposed happiness. Don't get me wrong, I have happy moments. I post about them on Facebook and when people comment how happy I look I want to say "looks can be deceiving".


I work hard to maintain relationships with family and friends but I'm disappointed and resentful that it seems I am always the one to initiate this. I want to just cut myself off from the world to see who would really ever notice, but I'm fearful of the answer.

So I trudge through each day questioning what is my purpose? Not that I had any grand purpose when Ed was alive. But then it was about sharing our lives and simply being together, making each other happy and loving each other.

I find I grieve Ed's passing less nowadays. Instead I grieve more the life I've lost. Our life together, our future, our happiness.

Ed, I'm trying to put one foot in front of the other. I'm trying to do things that would make you proud of me. It just gets tiring and you're not here to support me.

Why'd you leave me, dammit...

Sunday, July 30, 2017

"Life is Good" ?

It's a cool, sunny Sunday morning. There is dew on the newly, mowed lawn. It's peaceful and I'm proud of how the lawn and house look.  I wish Ed were here to see how well I'm doing taking care of everything.

The garden is growing...in the gardening bed that Dan and I made that first year Ed passed. The lawn has filled in with nice green grass from the fertilizing and weeding I've done. Bushes I have trimmed are filling in nicely. Ed loved his yard. He would be happy. As I sit outside and enjoy the beauty my heart aches because I can't share this with him. How I wish Ed were here to see this, to be proud of me. It is at moments like this that I miss him the most. I miss having someone to share these small moments with.

But these thoughts pass, or rather, are recognized and then filed away. For nothing will change and I have to learn to be proud of myself and accept that as being enough. I thankfully have the most wonderful son in the world and I frequently share these moments with him, sending him pictures and texts, and he responds and gives his mother a pat on the back. I am blessed to have him in my life.

In general, life is good.

Did I just say that? Capture the moment, right?

I realize I haven't written in over a month. It's been a busy month and I'm taking full advantage of the fact that it's summer and many things to do. Sometimes I'll do things alone (strawberry picking), some things are planned with friends (Summer Pops and Tanglewood) and some are spontaneous (morning hike and sitting by the pool with my sister).  I am branching out and trying new things.  I saw my first Summer Pops with the Chorus of Westerly with a friend. I went to Tanglewood for the first time. Dan and I saw the Tall Ships in Boston. And I saw my first live Drum Corp performance.

Around the house, I'm doing my grilling and learning not to charbroil everything. I'm starting to slowly declutter and get rid of things. Last weekend, I finally finished cleaning out Ed's closet. And I survived with only one moment of tears as I tossed a couple old shirts and suit that he brought with him from Philly--things he held onto for the memories. But my reward for cleaning out the closet was to be able to claim the space for myself and I installed shelves and unpacked several totes that contained my sweaters. I'm happy with how it turned out and so when I open Ed's closet door, I smile.

So I'm moving forward...slowly. I'm learning to appreciate my alone time but also the wonderful friends I've made over these past four years. They are, each in their own way, helping to fill the void left by Ed.

It's still one day at a time, one foot in front of the other. But, most days, it comes naturally and I don't even need to think about it.

Balloon Fest with my sister

Lawn pictures!



Sunday afternoon in Stanford CT with friends

Tanglewood!

Chorus of Westerly Summer Pops!

Love going into the city with Dan

Boston's Tall Ships with Dan

7th Regiment Drum Corp

Off on a hike with my sister


Friday, June 16, 2017

Death Do Us Part

To My Husband,
Happy Anniversary. Today would have been our, what, anniversary? I have lost count. The past years have blurred together and I have a hard time counting time. The past has become a blur; the present seems to speed by.

I'm unsure about this life since you have been gone. The days blur together as I keep myself busy. I'm not sure if I'm busy because there's now more to do now that I must do it alone or if it's because if I keep moving, I won't be constantly reminded of the hole in my life without you.

33 years...Yes, that's it. It was 33 years ago today that we were married (and together 2 years prior to that). Oh, we were so young with what felt like our entire lives ahead of us. So many dreams and not necessarily these big, ambitious dreams. No rather, they were dreams about being together, building a home together, raising a family together. Our days were filled with simply living life.

Was it always easy? Absolutely not. Of course, since your passing, you were perfect in my eyes. The perfect husband, the perfect father, the perfect man.  We both know that wasn't necessarily true just like it's true that I wasn't always the perfect wife. We squabbled over little things and there were times when we annoyed each other by petty things. But these were few and far between and they only lasted for brief moments. Our commitment and love for each other always re-centered us.

33 years ago today we vowed our love and lives to each other. I glossed over that "until death do us part" piece. I think most young married couples do. Now it sticks out with blaring horns and flashing lights when I attend a wedding.

I took the day off from work today.  I don't know why.  Work is a necessary evil but a good distraction as well. If you were here, we would have done something together. Maybe something simple like a day trip to the beach or the casino. Or you would have cooked a nice dinner for both of us. Simple times, simple things....just time together.

Today I remember our wedding day....it was a fun day, partying with friends and family into the evening. I remember the next day, all you men moved my piano into our house. I remember sitting in the dining room of our new house, at our new dining room table, writing thank you notes. I remember your father making the trip and appearing at the church surprising us. I remember our wedding night with me going to bed and you staying up talking with your father and Chuggy before they headed back to Philly the next day. All these memories make me smile.

And I remember the 29 years we were married and how lucky I was to have someone who loved me beyond the ends of the earth. Someone who loved me through his last day on this earth. Someone who protected me, cared for me, made me feel like the most beautiful and special woman in the world. You loved me until "death do us part".

I miss you today. I miss you everyday. I miss our love. I miss our laughter. I miss my best friend who knew me better than anyone else--who understood my moods, who could read my mind and know just what I needed to make me smile or lift my spirits.

I try to be grateful and recall how lucky I was to be happily married for 29 years but sometimes it is hard not to be sad about the years that were taken from us. We definitely would have been the couple that would grow old together. Remember laughing about that when we were in Venice watching that elderly couple? We knew then that it would not be in our future, but we still smiled and laughed and looked lovingly at that couple.

So today I will try to remember all our previous anniversaries. The flowers you sent; the cards you carefully picked out. I was blessed to know such great love and that explains why it hurts so much now that you are gone.

Happy Anniversary Ed! Know I will love you always and forever even after "death do us part".


Sunday, May 28, 2017

Moments with Friends

I'm back home again after spending a very nice day with a friend and his family. I so enjoy these times with others, but they are typically followed by the quiet and downside of then being alone. I'm trying not to let the grips of sadness get a hold of me today. I am truly trying to appreciate and enjoy the moments with friends for what they are...moments of enjoyment, creating memories to look back on with happiness and to look forward to future ones.

I went to the "beach" yesterday...rather, I stood on the edge of the ocean. It is so calming as I breathed in the salt air and listened to the waves crashing on the rocks. It brings me such peace and settles my soul. I was able to share this time with my friend which made it even more special because we were able to banter, about nothing, and just walk along the shore and look for crabs or shells or pretty stones. It reminded me of when Ed and I would do this and instead of the usual sadness when I do this alone, I was content. Because these moments, as peaceful as they can be, remind me how alone I am without the person who was supposed to be my partner for life. So I am grateful to my friend for going with me....obviously, a true friend.

I also met family and friends yesterday and they all greeted me with hugs and smiles. Such loving people. I would like to think they also found the same in me...a kind, warm, and loving person. I can be a bit of an introvert, especially around people I don't know well. I hope I made them smile as much as they made me smile. I would like to think the hugs as we said goodbye are my answer. All-in-all, it was a very nice day.

So today, I will cling to those memories and attempt to do so with warmth in my heart instead of allowing the thoughts of what is missing creeping in instead and grabbing hold. Today I will work in the yard and take my time to appreciate the beauty around me. Instead of missing the warmth, laughter, and company of others, I will attempt to appreciate how lucky I am to be able to spend time surrounded by others one day and have time to myself the next and recognize that this can be a good thing.

Yes, life has changed...  There are things and a future I will never be able to share with Ed. And I realize, ever so clearly, that if it wasn't for Ed's passing, yesterday would not have happened. I would not know this particular friend, or any of the other close friends I've made these past few years. At some level, that makes me sad. Which I find interesting...

My happy place...


Went on a day trip to Salem this past week with my mother and my sister Cathy. Another "good" day!!





I started my day yesterday morning with seeing this...  I was happy to see they are still around!

video


Saturday, May 20, 2017

A Beautiful Morning

It's such a beautiful morning.

The air is crisp and cool. There's a slight breeze and the sun is shining through a clear, blue sky.

I slept well last night and awoke to the sound of birds and the tickling sound of my windchimes. The baby foxes appear to be gone, but I did see the father cross the yard yesterday morning.

There is some type of sparrow that has nested above the bay window in the dining room and the Robin is in the bush outside the kitchen window.  And the hummingbirds have returned as well.

It's the start of a good day.

I've enjoyed a quiet cup of coffee before I head outside to work in the yard.

I'm looking forward to doing the yardwork.  With the rain and heat wave earlier this week, the lawn desperately needs to be mowed. So I'll be heading out soon to do that AND the hand trimming because I will gaze upon the end result and be pleased.

I will put out solar lights and lawn ornaments and this will make me happy.  I will prep the garden and flower beds in anticipation of planting those next weekend.

It's the start of what will be a good day.

Capturing the moment since you never know how long it will last...

Bright clear blue sky...

 
The Rhododendrons are coming back nicely after been hit hard two winters ago.

 
Lily of the Valleys....One of my favorite flowers and I love the smell!






Sunday, May 7, 2017

Kits!

Today I've decided to post about some "good" things for a change! Don't get your hopes up...it's nothing too exciting. But since I tend to post when I'm feeling down, I did want to take a moment and share the recent highlights of my day which is watching a family of Red Foxes in my backyard!

The father I've seen in the neighborhood for the past couple months. But on April 17th, I noticed the "kits" (baby foxes) running around the backyard with their mother. What a delight to see! Their den is in the woods just behind the house and I can watch them while standing on the back deck. So each day, I look to see if they are out playing. If I'm lucky, they'll be up in the yard running around. I know they will soon be moving on, so I'm enjoying them while they're here.

One day while standing in the backyard watching them, three cardinals flew by my head and landed in a nearby tree--two males and one female. I wasn't able to capture a good picture, but I continue to see them every few days.

And yesterday I noticed the Robin is once again nesting in the bush outside the kitchen window. The bush has filled in since it was damaged a couple winters ago, so it's hard to see the nest. I remember the year that Ed trimmed branches so we could watch them from the kitchen window. I'll have to see if I can do that again.

Small, simple pleasures and moments to make me smile. My low moments still come...these are times when I feel the aloneness and truly struggle with trying to figure out the purpose of my life. "Joy" continues to allude me and it scares me that I may never find it again. But I'm working hard to at least spend time with family and friends and enjoy simple times together.

Last weekend, Dan and I and some friends went hiking on Mt. Tom. We ended up getting rained on which cut our hike short, but it gave us a story to tell!  We'll need to attempt it again because we didn't make it all the way to the top.  I've also gotten together with some other close "wid" girlfriends who I wish lived closer and I've gotten together with some friends from church who treat me so kindly and always make me laugh.

So I try to focus on these "good" moments. Some days are just harder than others...  After these "good" times spent with others, I find myself back home again, alone and the darkness and loneliness tend to set in. But today has started as a good day. Maybe because a friend sent me a text to start my day and letting me know someone is thinking of me. I appreciate that because that is what I miss the most especially since I feel I'm always the one initiating and organizing get togethers with friends. So when someone else makes the effort and/or thinks of me, I appreciate it.

Anyhow, below are some pics and videos. These make me smile...and I hope they do the same for you as well! I'll try to do better at keeping you all posted on my baby foxes (who are growing up so fast!)!

video

Two of the four "kits" (what baby foxes are called)


From our Mt. Tom hike before the rain came.

After a long trek up a steep hill...

 
Signs of spring...the primrose in my side garden




Love the smell of lilacs
 Below is a "puppy" my mother gave me on April 21st (day before Ed's sadiversary). I had seen these years ago in the gift shop at Cooley Dickinson hospital and thought they were so cute. So now I have a "puppy". Good news is that he's low maintenance, doesn't shed, doesn't eat too much, no vet bill. Bad news is that I now talk to a fake dog!!

video


Sunday, April 23, 2017

Looking Back

I (obviously) made it through yesterday. The weather was not as nice as I was hoping. It was cold, gray, and rainy. It would have been a good day to just hang on the couch, under a blanket, reading a book or watching TV.  Nope...not me. I find it difficult to just sit.

Instead I ran some errands and stopped at the cemetery to put some flowers and the angel figure on Ed's grave. I played the song we played on the day we laid him to rest.  BIG MISTAKE! Although I didn't cry that day when we first played it, I did yesterday.  Someday I'll learn.  But I pulled myself together and got back to my day.

I worked in the yard clearing some brush and took care of a number of other little things on my "to do" list.  I went to choir and Mass, a Mass that Dan and I had said for Ed.  Afterwards, a couple that Ed and I were friends with and that I continue to be in touch with, asked me to join them for dinner. I was touched because, surprisingly, people rarely think of doing this.  Now I am one who usually has my weekends all planned out and it is difficult for me to deviate from that plan. But last night, I didn't have firm plans and so I said "yes".  It was nice to spend a couple hours with them and, better yet, it was better than coming home and making and having dinner by myself.

Today I'm getting together with some friends who are also widowed.  It is my day to relax and do nothing (other than drive to our destination).

Last night as I looked back over the past 4 years, I truly wondered what have I done for 4 years. I survived... But I need to remember to live. To enjoy each day and the people in my life.  Like my friends who invited me to dinner last night and those that I will get together with today for lunch. I AM appreciating these moments and people.  I just sometimes look back, though, and wonder "What have I done? What do I have to show for 4 years?"

Survival, I guess. Survival...


Why'd You Leave Me?

These are the words I yelled this morning at the picture of Ed that sits in my kitchen. I was getting my cup of coffee, from the Keurig that...