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...

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 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


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 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".

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&#...