Saturday, July 23, 2016

Professional Help

I sit here this morning and wait...  Am I waiting for something spectacular?  something special?  I guess it depends what your definition is of these terms.  No, I'm waiting for Minuteman Pest Control to arrive.

They are coming because I have wasps. You may recall that last year at this time I was stung by a wasp. They had created a nest under my front deck and when I went to water my plants, that was when I was stung. So this year, I've been more attentive, listening for that buzzing sound and watching for swarms.  And that is how I noticed them past Wednesday.  Long story, short...I can't get close enough to locate their nest because one seems to be under the leaf guard in the gutter above the front door and the other appears to be behind the front steps which you can't get to without crawling under the deck.  So I am calling in the pros.

So far I've made it to late July without a bat getting in the house. This is monumental to me because for the last four years, a bat has gotten into the house in July.  They don't roast in the house, but consistently one inadvertently ends up inside and the battle ensues. This year, I had Dan remove the shutters on the south side of the house (where they typically hang out for a few days on their way through) and I've taped up around all the air conditioners and fireplaces (so yes, if you come to my house, you'll see blue tape around these things...looks odd, but it makes me feel better).  So far, so good so I hope I haven't just jinxed it!

But you did not come here to read about my wildlife antics, but if you did, I could tell you about the black bear, skunk, and woodchunk.  No, instead, I will tell you that I'm continuing to plug along day to day.  Time passes so quickly and I don't know if that's a good or bad thing.  I keep myself busy with work and seeing family and friends.  The unexpected passing of Fr. Vern reminds us once again to make time for those you care about and make it a priority to see them.  But I also know myself and that I have to find that balance and not over commit myself because I also need that time at home, not only to take care of the house and chores, but to renew myself.

Last night I got together with friends from church.  A small group that used to get together with Fr. Vern and others who have also since passed on.  And it's been too long since we all got together.  Life gets busy, time ticks on. But with his passing, Fr. Vern reminded us that we've allowed too much time to pass and so I'm glad we made the effort to get together last night and we toasted Fr. Vern and each other.

So I'm still learning, three years later. The relationship that Ed and I had, that filled my days and filled many years is now being replaced by relationships with various friends and they've all become important aspects of my life.  Dan continues to be my anchor and rock. He knows me best and is that voice of reason and continues to take care of his Mom.

And I still miss Ed. Some days, it's a simple "good morning" or "good night" as I begin or end my day and then I'm distracted for the rest of the day with whatever is happening in my life.  Other days, such as when I'm battling wasps, I break down because he is not here to deal with this and take care of me.  But I can't change it.  He's not coming back and he's not here to take care of me or Dan or this house.  So I need to step up to the plate and figure out how to deal with this myself.  Some days I'm strong and will tackle the issue at hand and feel proud of myself.  Other days, I give in and need to call in the professionals to help.  Like today...

Below are some pics of things I've been up to over the past month.  Still learning to live life.

Dan and I hiked to the Summit House on Skinner Mountain in mid-June.  My second official hike!

So proud of myself climbing up this rocky ledge!  Getting ready to do Mt. Monadnock in October.

When I can, I'll walk at the Quabbin Reservoir. A beautiful and peaceful place.

Quabbin, Enfield Overlook

On July 16th, Dan and I attended Leanne and Grover's wedding. Ed worked with Grover for over 20 years.

Campus Pond on UMass.  Another nice place to walk and to play Pokemon Go!

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Being Still

This past week has been somewhat of a blur. Since my last post, we've held Vern's wake, funeral, and committal ceremony. They fell across three separate days; a trilogy giving honor to such a great man. Tuesday evening we held our regularly-scheduled Council meeting and we went out to McCarthy's after wards, as was our tradition. The only difference is that Vern wasn't there. The group was larger than our usual 6-7 people, because more from the Council wanted to pay tribute to Vern. We ordered our usual wings and we all shared a beer ordered in Vern's honor. There were tears, but there was also much camaraderie and laughter which Vern would have wanted.

The days following was returning to work and to "normal". I went through the motions and while at work I tried to live through Vern's example and be kind and patient and understanding with others. I still awake each day with an emptiness and I still find the loss so unbelievable. I am trying to be productive. In the mornings when I awake and dread facing another day, I recall how Ed, while battling cancer and knowing it will eventually take his life, got up and lived each day, never complaining. And Vern, feeling discomfort which ended up being a heart attack which was the start of the end of his life, kept up with his many responsibilities and bounding through the day with his usual positive attitude where no one but him could tell the discomfort he was feeling.  So when I think of this, it reminds me that I need to do the same. To get up each day and live my life to the fullest especially since the ailment I have is a broken heart.

This weekend is full of chores, things that need to get done in the yard and around the house. I've always been one to keep moving because when I don't, grief and sadness catch up to me. That is still happening. I am trying to sit quietly each morning, to enjoy the sunshine, listen to the birds, and just be still while I sip my daily cup of coffee. I'm hoping that if I sit quietly for a few minutes, I will hear Ed or Vern or God (or whatever you like to believe) speak to me. But what I find right now is that when I sit quietly, the loneliness and sadness envelope me. I know tears cleanse the soul and maybe this is just what I need to work through. I'll keep working at it though.

This morning I stopped and sat and watched a bunny outside the window. I haven't seen a bunny in years and so I just sat quietly and watched it for a bit while it ate the clover in the yard. I noticed the goldfinches outside the kitchen window and the robins nesting in two different bushes. I try not to notice instead the things that need to be done and need to get onto my "to do" list. They will get there, but I'm working to slow down, just for a few minutes, and just enjoy the peace and quiet that surrounds me and appreciate it rather than be unnerved by it. And maybe, just maybe, if I can learn to do this, I will also learn to hear the voice of Ed, Vern, or God and recognize them in signs around me. If I can just learn to be still for a moment.