Wednesday, June 24, 2015

It's a strange trip I'm on...

Life continues at a fast pace that I find hard to keep up with at times.  Time continues to pass way too quickly.  How did we end up at the end of June?  Wasn't it just May?  What happened to the winter when I had plans to complete so many projects?  Well, I know what happened to the winter.  And somehow spring turned immediately into summer.  The weather has admittedly been weird and I find myself wearing sweats one day and shorts the next.  Spring and summer all mixed up into one.

The days continue and I find the points of missing Ed and being "sad" fewer.  I contribute part of this to the fact that I feel life is just so crazy--just not enough time to miss him.  At other times, I'm sadden that days can go by without missing him.  I guess I'm moving on which supposedly, I'm told, is a good thing.  But even as I realize that, I feel my eyes dampening because there's always an underlying fear of forgetting--forgetting him, his voice, his touch, his love.  The rational side of me knows this will never happen, but grief is not always rational.

But yes life is busy.  Work continues to be busy, never feeling like I'm on top of things and I have come to grips with the fact that this is now the new normal.  I do have times when I do get too stressed out about feeling behind at work and at home, but I'm working hard to try to let certain things go.

There is yard work that I wish I had done already, but I'm learning to accept the fact that not everything must get done.  If the flower bed is not perfectly weeded or the lawn ornaments or furniture is not all out, it will not be the end of the world.

The kitchen renovation is moving along and we are getting closer to being done.  I know once that is complete, I can return some order to my physical space as well.  I'm thinking that will help with not only my physical chaos but also the accompanying mental chaos....at least that's what I'm telling myself!!

I'm learning that spending time with family and friends and finding ways to fit time in with them is more important than having a perfectly groomed lawn or clean house.  This past weekend I had nothing on my calendar so I was planning a long list of "to do's" around the house.  But at the last minute, I ended up heading to RI to visit a friend.  That spontaneous trip ended up eating up half my weekend, and guess what?  The world did not end because I didn't get everything else done on my list.

And I know I've said this before, but it's a reminder that when Ed was here, he was my best friend and it was easy to maintain that relationship--we lived together and saw each other every day!  But now that he is gone, I need to devote time to maintaining the new friendships I've made these past two years.  For these friends have become my support network and and an important part of my life.

It is still difficult for me to say "life is good" in general.  But there are certainly "good" times and I can recognize these and be thankful for them.  I'm still trying to navigate each day and figure out what the next chapter of my life is supposed to be.

June 16th would have been mine and Ed's 31st wedding anniversary and the day came and went without too much emotion.  Yes, I paused and remembered and had fond memories of our wedding day and the fun we had sharing the day with family and friends.  But I did not take the day off from work so I was distracted with a typical workday.  I had a doctor's appointment and met a friend for dinner.  So yes, life is moving on and I'm learning to move with it.

I know I miss companionship and that special someone who thinks of you when they wake in the morning and before they go to bed at night.  Someone who cares where I am and what I'm doing and how I'm feeling.  Someone to share special moments with and who can lift me up when I'm down.  Will I ever have that again?  I don't know.  Part of me is open to the idea.  Part of me also knows I was blessed to have had that for 31 years with Ed when some people never have that.  And part of me is also learning how to appreciate my "alone" time and independently making decisions.

So I don't have all the answers yet and there are days when I struggle more than others to navigate this life of mine.  But I'm appreciating my job (even when it's stressful) because it affords me the life I'm living and I'm doing okay financially even without having Ed's income.  I'm appreciating my family and friends and the different ways they fit into my life.  And I appreciate my home and the long list of "to do's" that comes with it because I'm being responsible and caring for our family home.

Yes, I still miss Ed tremendously and not a day goes by when I don't think of him because I do start and end each day telling him I still miss and love him.  But I do find that I can move through my day and begin to enjoy life without simultaneously grieving him.

And this strange trip called life that I'm on continues...

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Absence

I apologize for my absence...no good reason except that life has been a bit nutty lately.  Sometimes a good nutty and sometimes not.  Of course, the more time that passes, the worse I feel about not being in touch.  So I decided this morning, even if my thoughts are not well organized, to simply provide an update of the past month.  There have been some fun times in there and it would be so wrong not to capture those.  So in no particular order....

Mom
The month of May was more routine in terms of my mother's health and care.  We continued IV antibiotics daily through May 27th.  Unfortunately she was not even off the Vanco for a day before she got a call that she was slightly anemic and needed a blood transfusion.  So that was scheduled for June 3rd.  We had an appointment that day to get her mini Hickman removed.  Needless to say, we postponed that!  On June 10th, we went to Cooley to get her Hickman removed.  The interventional radiology doc was called away on an emergency so we decided to run another errand while there and stopped in the coffee shop for some breakfast while waiting.  It was me, my mother, and my sister Cathy.  The ladies in the coffee shop remembered us from one of our previous visits.  I guess we leave quite an impression on people!!

We finally saw the Doc and because the Hickman had been in for over 4 months, he was not able to easily pull it out and he was unable to do the procedure that afternoon.  We made another appointment for Friday morning, June 12th.  That same day we noticed Mom's shoulder was red (the shoulder that had the MRSA).  So Mom, being the determined, independent woman she is, called her primary care who saw her right away.  Blood work and an appointment with Mom's infectious disease doc were ordered.

Yesterday, we were off again--me, my mother, and Cathy--to Dr. Swiggard's.  Diagnosis--yes, inflammatory markers are up--oral antibiotics twice a day.  Removal of the Hickman has been rescheduled to June 22.  This is, I believe, will be the 4th attempt!

Dr. Swiggard thinks we caught this early so we're thankful Mom acted quickly.  Overall, Mom is feeling good and is living quite independently.  She drives, does her shopping, cleans her house, does some light gardening, and has many projects around the house.  We try to keep her from climbing up on counters and using the weed whacker, and once in a while she will "allow" us to help.  So although we had hoped we'd be done with antibiotics, we are at least done with the IVs and for that we are grateful.

On one of my trips to see the doctor.


Kitchen Renovation
Yes, this title is correct.  As if my life doesn't have enough chaos in it, I am in the middle of a kitchen renovation.  Ed and I talked about redoing the kitchen 5 years ago but never got around to it.  Dan and I have talked about it over the past 2 years and last year I made the decision that this year would be the year.  So I found a contractor and gave him the open timeframe of "anytime this year".  Well, once you hire a contractor, things move quickly (at least they did for me)!

I was lucky to have Dan who did the design.  No major reconstruction, but new cabinets, counter tops, replacement windows, flooring, and some work in the dining room area.  Then it was all the decisions in terms of cabinets, counter tops, flooring, lighting, etc.  Little by little everything was ordered.  Then it was packing up the kitchen and dining room.  And last Wednesday, June 3rd, the contractor began!  Now anyone who has ever had a kitchen renovation knows very well, and which I have learned since last Wednesday, this has added a layer of chaos to my life.  The kitchen table with the microwave, Keurig (of course), and toaster oven are all in the living room right now.  The bathroom is where I can wash whatever dishes I might have.  It's moving right along though and for now, as a teaser, I'll just post a "before" and early progress picture.



Some Fun in Between
During the past month, I have been able to fit in some fun.

In early May I met some fellow "wid" friends at Gouveia Winery in Wallingford, CT.  It was a beautiful spring day and we enjoyed some good conversation, food, and laughter.









In mid May, as part of our combination Mother's Day/Dan's birthday celebration, Dan and I went to "The Great New England Air Show" at Westover in Chicopee.  We were only planning to go one day but then won VIP tickets for the second day.  The VIP tickets got us into the Galaxy Garden where they had a tent, seating, and food and drink all day long!  It was a hot day so we really appreciated the shade under the tent and the continuous access to bottled water.





In late May, I took a day trip to Westerly, RI.  I did stop at Foxwoods on my way down and played a little slots.  Then I met up with a friend who lives in Westerly and we spent the afternoon at the Virtu Art Festival that is held annually in Wilcox Park.  We had a nice day browsing the festival, meeting family members, and then sitting in the park having a nice lunch while listening to a local singer perform.  Later in the day, we went over to the beach.  It was windy and cool but I couldn't possibly be within a few miles of the ocean and not see it!!  All in all, a very nice, relaxing day.

Foxwoods!

Wilcox Park, Westerly

Sitting enjoying lunch and listening to music.

Yarn bombing--one of the trees in Wilcox Park

Misquamicut!!  My favorite place on earth!!


And on a recent weekend, I drove out to Beverly where Dan and I picked up the new kitchen island he made (with his friend Nate).  Although picking up the island itself was not fun, Dan and I did have lunch together at Cook--a restaurant his firm redid--and then we stopped to see the current project he is overseeing.  It's very impressive to see the work he does!

Cook.  Where we had lunch.



Dan's current project.  Will be a mix of commercial space and luxury apartments.


DLA Architecture--That's Dan!!

So life has been busy.  Life has been good.  There have been times when I'm stressed and the burden of juggling work, home, and everything else becomes too much.  But there isn't time to waste on that.  Instead I focus on trying to spend time with friends and family and where I can, I squeeze in some "fun" moments.  It's hard to believe it's mid-June already.  I am still waiting for spring.  But somehow we've jumped from winter to summer.

As I finish this post, Dan is outside mowing and I'm so grateful when he's here to help.  He has already hung up the bat house that my brother Michael had made, but my mother and him could never seem to attract bats.  I'm hoping by hanging up the bat house, my annual visit with bats will keep them outside the house!  Only time will tell!

Well, I have a long list of to do's for today, so I must signoff.  I will end this post with some random photos.  I will try to be much better at updating this blog.  In the meantime, I hope you're all enjoying the start of summer! 


Love my "beach" themed crackle candle shade!


The Pileated woodpecker has been hanging around and spent a good half hour digging into an old tree stump.

My sea glass wind chime.  An expected gift on Mother's Day from one of my BFFs!

The rain barrel and table that Dan made for me!