Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Christmas Peace

It's the Wednesday after Christmas.  The house is quiet and empty. Dan was here the past 5 days and it is hard to express in words how much he fills this house, and my heart, with warmth and love. His presence is what fills the void without Ed here.

We celebrated Christmas with my family, Ed's family, and then just me and Dan together and each celebration was "good".  I enjoyed spending time with family and I did not experience the usual overwhelmness that comes from too much activity. Christmas Day itself was just me and Dan. It was nice to just stay home as snow fell outside. We did venture out to cleanup snow late morning but the rest of the day of simply staying home, playing games and enjoying a meal together. It was a relaxing day but didn't quite feel like Christmas. If I was home alone, I know I definitely would not have liked it!

Naturally thoughts of Ed crossed my mind, our minds, often. Dan and I talked about what Ed would think about things we did (or didn't) do. But sadness and grief stayed at bay. Now, don't get me wrong...of course I missed Ed. But they were fleeting moments that came and went and I moved on enjoying the day.  As I write this, it does bring some level of sadness because grief is not consuming my life which is a good thing but also sad because it means I'm moving forward. It is hard to articulate but it is disconcerting feeling, both good and bad all wrapped up in one.  But I also know that this feeling can change quickly, so I'm capturing it here and appreciating it.

New year's is approaching and I'm approaching it with apprehension.  New Year's always seems to be a time to look back at the past year...what did you do? what did you accomplish? And then to set goals for the new year.  It's also a reminder that time continues to march on. Life continues on whether you want it to or not.  But there's a few more days of 2017 to enjoy which I plan to do.  THEN, I'll worry about 2018 and "goals".

For now, I'm simply going to continue to enjoy Christmas...the decorations, the music, the cards received from loved ones, and mostly, the peace and love that still fills this house by Dan's presence.

Merry Christmas All!

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Walls Filled with Love

It is the Sunday after Thanksgiving.  The house is quiet and once again I'm spending a quiet Sunday morning with a cup of coffee.

Now that Thanksgiving is behind us, the Christmas rush has begun. I'm not necessarily happy about that. I love Christmas...or at least most days I do. I like the lights and decorations and the music. I don't like the commercialism and hustle and bustle of shopping and overindulging. The madness of shopping and gift giving takes over simply enjoying the holiday.

Dan is home this weekend and it is the highlight of my life. I know I am so blessed to have him in my life and I know I say this often. But he has made my Thanksgiving and weekend filled with happiness. There is nothing better than spending time with him. We've done chores around the house (leaves are done!), gone to see a show (Trans-Siberian Orchestra!), and have simply hung out together watching Netflix or playing cards and board games. I love that we are homebodies.

There have been many days over the years since Ed passed when, if it wasn't for Dan, I don't think I could have gone on.  He was my reason for living. I know that's not a fair responsibility to place on a child, no matter what age, but it is the life and cards that were dealt to us. Thankfully for me, Dan stepped up to the plate. I wish the burden didn't fall solely on him. These are times when I'm sorry that he doesn't have any siblings to share the burden. But, then again, if he did, we may not have the relationship we do. We can read each other's minds and are often thinking the same thing. We are very good friends. Dare I say best friends?

However, Dan will be leaving today and that makes me sad. But I will hold the happy moments in my heart and be thankful. Thankful for this warm and loving home that Ed and I created and that Dan and I continue to fill with laughter and love. I have dreams of someday moving to my next chapter...a new location, a new home.  Days like today, though, I wonder if I could ever really leave this home.  Time will tell.  For today, though, I'll allow it to wrap me in the warmth of love and memories that fill these walls.

God, I love this kid!

The gang on Thanksgiving at Mom's

From Trans-Siberian Orchestra show that Dan and I went to

The turkey Dan and I cooked. Our first...and it came out pretty good!

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Rainy, Quiet Sunday

It's my favorite time of the week...Sunday morning.  There is no alarm and no where to rush off to. It's raining outside but I don't mind because I have no where I have to go. Knowing it was going to rain, I finished my outdoor tasks yesterday so I feel good about that. Today I plan to make a beef stew so it fills the house with warm, wonderful smells. I have several indoor projects I plan to tackle and I'm just happy to be at home.

I am doing better today. The sadness that engulfed me just a week ago has lifted. I'm not sure why, just like I'm not sure why it hit me so hard last week. But there is a lightness in my steps and I was eager to get out of bed this morning to begin tackling my To Do list.

I am getting excited about the upcoming holidays. I'm going to try hard to learn to simplify because I just want to enjoy the time and the season.  I know part of my excitement is that Dan will be home this week for the long Thanksgiving weekend. Spending time with him is one of my most favorite things to do and fills this home with much love.

Whatever it is though that has improved my mood, I'm going with it. For as fast as the wave of grief and sadness can still engulf me, it thankfully moves on just as quickly. An empty and alone future still disconcerts me, but, at least for today, it is not consuming my thoughts.

Today I am ready to face the world.  Be sure to check back could be a different story. But I can't control tomorrow, so I'll enjoy today and ride this wave until it crashes and tosses me...

Happy Thanksgiving...

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Being Greedy

The aloneness these past few days has hit me hard.

It was just last week that I had a group of wid friends here at the house. I was excited about hosting and having people here. Living alone, I like opportunities to share my home with others.  We had a good day and we chatted and laughed and the only bad part was that they were all gone too soon. Everyone traveled at least 1.5 hrs to get here, some as long as 8 hours. So the opportunity to get together is limited. But it was a great day and I loved having them here and, dare I say, I was happy.

I ran into a church friend on Tuesday and she asked how I was doing and I was still on the high from Sunday and having friends at the house. So, for a change, she got a positive, upbeat response from me.

It's a good thing I didn't see her this weekend because the response would have been different. By Friday night, the stress of work and things at the house got to be too much and I found myself in tears. Years ago, I would have called Ed and he would have said all the right things and told me to finish my work and come home. Once I arrived home, he'd give me a big hug, have a glass of wine waiting for me, and he would tell me to go get changed  while he finished dinner. And he would listen to my ranting and I would get it out and feel supported and better.

But he isn't here and I couldn't reach out to him and then the reality that there was no one for me to reach out to made it worse. Yes, I  have some friends.  But I don't have a best friend, that one person you know you can count on no matter what. The person who has your back 110% and is always, always there for you.  Ed was this person and my best friend for over 30 years.

I miss that. I did end up talking with some friends yesterday and that helped. I appreciate they made time for me because I know they're busy and have their own lives.  But it's not the same. I'm not the person who is forefront in their minds and thoughts. I'm not the person they would make a priority in their lives.

Don't get me wrong. I appreciate the friends I have.  I appreciate the "good" in my life. But I miss most that person who loves me beyond all doubt, who would go to the ends of the earth for me, who I know is always there for me and supporting me.

It's an allusion that I'm strong and can do this on my own. I just want to be loved and not feel so alone and to know that others care. As I sit here alone, on another Sunday morning, will the quiet ever feel less disconcerting. Will I ever have that person who wakes up and calls, stops by, or sends me a note saying "I'm thinking of you...".  Who loves me to the ends of the earth...

I know I had it once, so maybe I'm being greedy expecting it again...

Sunday, October 22, 2017

I Miss You

God I miss you.

I miss that you were not with me when I went to Niagara Falls with my mother and sisters. I know you are happy that I'm doing things and seeing new things but I still want to do these things with you and share these special moments and times with you. Instead the photos are of me, alone, and the small moments when I want to turn to you and comment, I have to do so in silence.

I miss that you are not here to take care of me while I've had this rotten cold for two weeks. If you were here, I'd come home to a nice cooked meal and would be able to just rest while you took care of me. I cooked my own meals and cared for myself. It wasn't much, but I survived even though I didn't like it.

I miss that you weren't here to deal with the power surge that fried all the surge protectors in the house. I wonder if you were here if we would have called the fire department. I did because I wanted to be sure nothing was smoldering in the walls. In all the years we lived here, though, nothing like this happened. Why does it have to happen now that you are not here and I need to deal with it alone? I know you would be proud that I did deal with it though.

I miss that you weren't here to help move Dan to his new apartment. I know you are proud that we were able to do it ourselves. The last time, you were here to lead us. I remember you arranging for the rental truck and driving that out to Dan's new apartment while I followed in my car. This time, Dan dealt with the rental truck and I followed him. Thankfully his two good friends helped us move so they helped with the heavy lifting that you did last time. I spent the night and Dan and I unpacked things together. I know you would be proud that we made the move happen and that it makes you smile that your son takes such good care of his mother. He did listen to you that last day.

I miss that you aren't here to see how lovely the yard looks and that I'm taking good care of it since you've been gone. I did all the leaf pickup yesterday by myself. How I miss when we used to do it together. I hope you see this and smile that I'm taking care of the yard that used to be your thing. I just wish we could be doing it together like we used to....sharing the burden.

I cleaned up wires behind the TV yesterday too. I'm quite sure if you were here, that would have not happened. Electronics were your thing and I wouldn't touch them. Of course, if you were here, you would have already gotten me a new laptop to replace the one that died over a month ago.

The bulb in the bathroom burned out the other day. I went to replace it and noticed the blue paint on it. Blue paint from the last time you painted the bathroom. And it was then that I realized that bulb has survived more than 4 was from "before". As I threw out that bulb, I felt like another part of you was leaving this house. A stupid bulb but a bulb that you touched and that has outlived you.

Yesterday as I put away the laundry, I organized your sock drawer. Socks that I have kept to wear when working in the yard. No woman needs so many socks, but I can't part with them. As I organized the drawer, I found your old wallets. Ones that you kept in the back of the drawer and I have kept them there. I looked through them yesterday...old credit cards, health insurance cards, and little scraps of paper with notes or phone numbers in your handwriting. The photo of you on the BJ's membership card caused me to pause and I pondered how could you really be gone. How can a person exist one moment, living life in such a normal way as needing a BJ's card, and then that life is gone, as if they never existed.  And I pondered the meaning of life as I tucked those wallets back into the drawer. They were a part of you that I cannot let go. 

God I miss you. I wish we had more days and times to spend together. I've learned how much I hate this life without you and I've learned how I can do things on my own, without you.  Can you come back now?  I've learned my lesson. I've learned to cherish each day and the menial tasks we did together, the banter at the end of the day, the labor we shared... I know you are proud that I'm figuring things out. I've learned so much but now I just want you back.  I do not want to go through the rest of my life alone.

God I miss you...

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Five Birthdays Without You and Solitaire

Yesterday I "celebrated" my fifth birthday without you. It is difficult to wrap my brain around the fact that it's been almost 4.5 yrs; even harder to believe I've had 5 birthdays since you were here.

Five birthdays where you weren't here to recognize the day in some special way. You always made me feel special. At some level, you've done me a disservice because now that you are not here to do this, I'm disappointed more times than not.

I recall how you always had flowers for me. You would have them delivered to work and when I told you to stop spending the money to have them delivered, you would delivery them personally instead. We would always do something together whether it was a simple dinner at home or taking a day trip together. It didn't have to be big, it was just time together.  Gifts were not extravagant but simple gestures of the simple things I enjoy such as a favorite candy or chocolate.

The first birthday you were gone, Dan sent me flowers at work. He is such a good son and he tries hard to make my day special. This is not an easy feat for someone who doesn't see the big deal about birthdays. Last year was a miserable birthday. Plans to spend time with Dan and friends totally fell through due to the weather and I ended up spending the entire weekend home alone...miserable and disappointed.

I wasn't going to let that happen this year. There once again were plans to spend the day with Dan and friends. A group of 11 of us were going hiking...I was so looking forward to it. But the other half of our group had to cancel unexpectedly. Thankfully Dan, Nate and I still went hiking. It rained the entire time...but I could tell Dan was not going to allow me to spend the day alone. So we went hiking. He bought me a small cake with plans to light the candles at the summit of the mountain. Instead he did it in the rain under the hatchback of the car and him and Nate sang Happy Birthday to me.  I was so touched.  We then topped the day off by having lunch together in a quaint restaurant in NH.

I went home that evening smiling and being ever so thankful for having Dan in my life. I wish you were here to see how great Dan has been to me. I am so lucky and blessed to have him in my life and you would be so proud at what a fine man he has grown into. If it wasn't for him, I don't know if I could go on.

These last few weeks have been very difficult for me. I can't put my finger on specifically why and I guess it really doesn't matter. I wish you were here to talk through it with me though. There are times when I feel so alone in this world, a feeling I never experienced because you were always at my side. I feel like a stranger in my own life. There is no one to talk to, to confide my deepest feelings to. I fear that my future will be as empty as my life feels today. I try to put myself out there and do things, but although there are smiles, there is not happiness.

Dan made me happy yesterday and for that I'm thankful.

People tell me how lucky I am and that I have a good life. I know, in my head, that I am lucky to have family and friends, a roof over my head, a good job, food on my table, etc.  But my heart is empty.

I've taken to playing Solitaire lately. The irony does not escape me...

Off on our hike in the rain. I love this kid more than life itself.

Just the thought makes me smile! :)

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...

Christmas Peace

It's the Wednesday after Christmas.  The house is quiet and empty. Dan was here the past 5 days and it is hard to express in words how...