Friday, December 31, 2010
Saturday, December 25, 2010
Thursday, December 16, 2010
Yes, I wear black. I’ve been wearing black since the day after Bobby died. I’ve been told its “creepy”. I’ve also been told I’m too old to be “goth” – that it is a “high school thing”. Recently, several friends, relatives and colleagues have asked me after the six month mark when I am going to stop. My answer? "When I open my drawer one day and I want to wear something else." It's intrinsic. The choice must come from within.
The tradition comes down from my ethnic heritage; my grandmother wore black for a year after my grandfather died. I wasn’t even born yet at the time, so I don’t know if she just stopped wearing black exactly one year and one day after it happened, or not. It’s just that it felt right when I started, and still feels right. The only time I don’t wear black is when I am wearing Bobby’s clothing around the house, which consists of his pajama pants, his t-shirts and his fuzzy bathrobe.
It’s not like I’m wearing a long black gown and a black lace veil to go with it. I still wear modern clothes (black jeans, corduroys, dress pants) and normal black blouses and sweaters with various embellishments – I even bought a black t-shirt for myself that says “Rock and Roll Hall of Fame” when I took my kids there over the summer. I don’t feel like I’m being creepy or goth. I’m just doing what I feel like doing. Wearing colors, right now, does not feel right. One of my colleagues recently told me that she cannot believe that someone can wear all black, every day, and still have the wide variety of outfits that I have.
Besides, there are a lot of good things about wearing all black. First and foremost, it was Bobby’s favorite color in clothing and he liked me in black. And you wouldn’t believe how incredibly easy it is to get dressed in the morning for work when all your clothes are the same color. Not to mention the slimming effect....
Friday, December 10, 2010
I was talking to a colleague of mine earlier this week, and I was telling her how I was really surprising myself. I told her that the holiday season was not turning out to be as hard as I thought it was going to be. It confused me, but I thought to myself, wow...maybe I’ll really be OK.
Well...today I had an "A-HA" moment...or should we call it a "DUH" moment instead?
Because it dawned on me tonight...of course the holiday season wasn’t bothering me....because I was ignoring it. I have not listened to any Christmas Carols, opting instead to stick to classic rock. Aerosmith’s Dude Looks Like a Lady is a lot more appealing to me than Celine Dion’s Oh Holy Night. (Well, let’s face it, even before Bobby passed away, we would both probably have made the same choice.) I have not decorated my house yet. Not one thing, except for the Lego Advent Calendar that the kids pulled out just so they could put together the Lego figures. And holiday shopping? I’ve been doing all my holiday shopping on-line. So of course it was not bothering me...because I was not bothering with it.
But that changed today. I dropped my son off at a friend’s house and my other son was at Boy Scouts, so I figured it was a good time to run to the store to pick up some gifts I hadn’t found online. So I went to Kohl’s. As soon as I walked in, I felt like I’d been hit by a truck. Holly and poinsettias and Christmas trees all around! Slow sappy Christmas songs over the PA. (Thank goodness they weren’t playing Elvis’s Blue Christmas). An inordinate amount of husbands and wives shopping together, and don’t even ask me about the men’s department. (All the shirts I saw that would have looked great on Bobby....)
So boy, was I ever wrong when I spoke to my colleague earlier this week. I’m not handling it well. Not at all. So like the rest of us who are experiencing our first holiday season without our beloved, I’m muddling through the best that I can. I’ll decorate the house for the kids, but I’ll stick to my Classic Rock on the radio. Small doses. That is all I can take right now.
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Well, I’ve decided in widowhood, there is no silver lining. At least in my case, and most cases, I’m sure. (I did see a woman on a talk show once that told the host that she was actually glad her husband died because they had such a horrible relationship and she was finally free of him, but I’m sure this woman’s experience was the exception.) I can think of absolutely no silver linings that can come from his death.
I do not mean that I cannot have good experiences, good friends, good times. But there is nothing that I can think of that could happen to me where I would say to myself, “There is the silver lining.” Sure, some things have changed and become somewhat more “convenient” since he passed away. For example, I can now go down the shore during the week when there is no traffic; I do not have to wait for weekends when he is off. I’m not being woken up by snoring. I can set the thermostat to where I’m comfortable without worrying about him turning it up, resulting in me sweating in the middle of January.
But none of these qualifies as a silver lining.
Even if his death resulted in me getting zillions of dollars, a new love, or even the throne of England, I would never believe that any of those were worth his death.
Because even if “good” or “convenient” things could happen as an indirect result of his death, “better” things never will. Because I would take the weekend traffic, the snoring and the sweat back in a heart beat if I could have him back here with me. No amount of money or no other man, will ever cause me to say, let alone think, “Boy am I glad he died!”.
And I’ve never really had any interest in the throne of England since I was about twelve.
Friday, November 19, 2010
Bobby was a musician. He was innately talented, and self taught himself to play the guitar and the banjo, and damn, he was good. He never played professionally, and he didn’t like playing in front of crowds, so he never performed on a stage. In fact, the only time he played in front of a crowd was when he played at our church a couple of times. Other than that, he would usually play alone, with his brother, or with a friend. And in the past few years, before he was diagnosed, he would occasionally play along with our sons when they were practicing their instrument lessons. But my favorite time that he played was when he played for me. He took requests.
He would relax after a day at work by playing the banjo or guitar while watching television, which baffled me. I could never understand how he could successfully play a banjo while watching Diners Drive-ins and Dives. I was not a huge fan of banjo or blue grass music before I met Bobby, and really never had any interest in that type of music. But when it was him playing, I loved every note. Even when he played the tune from the movie Deliverance, which I watched with him and hated. He would play the tune just to get a reaction from me, which usually consisted of my eyes rolling, and a reiteration of how much I hated that movie. Then he would laugh. Once in a while, he even played tunes that he made up in his head, which I especially loved.
I remember shortly after he was diagnosed, I was making dinner and around the corner in the family room he was sitting on the couch playing his guitar. He wasn’t playing any song in particular, but it was the familiar finger-picking and strumming that I loved hearing. And I started to cry. I did not let him see me cry, because I didn’t want to upset him, but I couldn’t bear the thought of never hearing him play again. So I tried to memorize the sound in my head.
Unfortunately, there are no recordings that I know of in which he plays either the guitar or banjo. His banjos sit in our family room now, collecting dust. I bought myself a beginner’s banjo book, with the hopes of learning to play, but I have absolutely no musical talent whatsoever, so I’m wondering where that is going to go. My younger son, who is learning the guitar, will play his dad's guitars once in a while.
So in addition to the loss of my wonderful husband on that horrible day in April, for me, it is the day the music died.
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Thursday, November 4, 2010
Monday, November 1, 2010
Saturday, October 30, 2010
Thursday, October 14, 2010
I was watching one of my favorite shows on TV the other day and there was a story about a widower getting married. He was having a conversation with his Godfather on the morning of the wedding, and he was talking about his first wife, Rebecca.
"Rebecca’s on my mind all the time now that I’m getting married again. And the longer she’s gone, the more perfect she becomes when I think about her. You know, but the truth is, she was beautifully human. Never hung up a damp towel in her life. Never filled up the car when the gauge was on “E”, and every once in a while she would use the word “impact” as a verb. And I would do anything to bring her back, but I can’t. And I don’t want to be alone."
First, I need to say kudos to the writers for this monologue. If that writer has not lost a spouse, I’d be very surprised because I could not believe the way he or she captured the feelings of a grieving spouse.
The monologue makes two points that really resonated with me. First, he admits that Rebecca was not perfect. I can definitely say that Bobby was not perfect. He left socks on the floor, toothpaste in the bathroom sink, dirty dishes in the kitchen sink, and for some unknown reason that I could never figure out, he would put his dirty clothes on top of the hamper instead of inside of it. But even though these are true, he does become more perfect as every day goes by that he is gone, and I would give anything to see those socks on the floor again.
I am also happy with the way the writer of this show acknowledges that the widower would do anything to bring back Rebecca, even though he is marrying his fiancée that day, whom he does truly love. I don’t know any widow or widower, no matter how much in love they may be with their new partner, saying or even thinking, “Boy, am I glad so-and-so died, because if they didn’t, I wouldn’t have met so-and-so.” This might sound harsh, but it is how I feel. So it was refreshing to see a widower (albeit a fictional one) admit those feelings, even on his wedding day.
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Sunday, October 3, 2010
I decided on a whim this evening to take my younger son to The Lone Star Steakhouse for dinner. We hadn't been there in a while, in fact, the last time we were there was with Bobby. The place was packed, which I thought was a little unusual for a Sunday night, and we were told there was a 15-20 minute wait. So we waited.
When we were seated, the server introduced herself (Kelly) and told us immediately, "We are out of a lot of things on the menu. Tonight is our last night."
"Forever?" I asked, a little confused.
"Yes, forever. They just told us last week we are closing. They are tearing down the building to build a Buffalo Bill's Brewery,” she explained.
Under normal circumstances, this would not bother me. But under my abnormal circumstances, tonight it did. Not because I'm a big fan of the Lone Star Steakhouse, but because Bobby and I made a wonderful memory there about 13 years ago when our oldest was just a baby. We went to eat there, and my son had his first piece of pumpernickel bread. He gnawed on that bread forever, and it was so cute. We got such a kick out of it, and talked about it for years to come, entertaining our now-14-year-old with the story.
I remember where we sat in the restaurant that night. I remember looking at my son in the high-chair, which was pushed up against the booth. I remember that it was also our first time at the Lone Star, and how much we loved their pumpernickel bread that they served warm.
It made me realize something: the memories that Bobby and I made are finite. Now, I know we are all mortal and everything that we do is finite, but in my case, the end has already come and gone, and no more memories will be made, and I'm young enough for it to bother me. And now, one of the places that reminded me of a wonderful memory is going to be torn down. It made me realize another cold hard truth...that one by one, the memories are all going to be torn down, and no new ones will be made to take their places.
I never knew the Lone Star Steakhouse could make me so sad.
Sunday, September 19, 2010
...about my husband. Seriously. I do want to talk about him.
I went to a BBQ over Labor Day Weekend and my cousin, who is the sweetest person ever, was talking to me about any and everything but Bobby. At one point in the conversation, it was natural for me to mention him. I don’t remember what we were talking about...but his name came up. My cousin said, “I knew that, but I didn’t know if you wanted me to mention him. I didn’t want to remind you.”
“Remind me? I think about him 24-7,” I said.
She hugged me.
Last week, I met a new supervisor at work, who I know for a fact knew my husband through work (for new readers, we worked at the same place, only in different departments). We exchanged formalities and went on our way. I saw her again the next day in the hall, and we again exchanged formalities. No mention of Bobby whatsoever.
I felt like I’d been punched. It was like he did not exist. I wasn’t looking for a dissertation, but a simple, “I knew Bob. I’m sorry for your loss." Even something simpler like, "I knew Bob. He was a great person to work with." I would have even settled for, "I knew Bob. He drove me crazy."
I love when people remember my husband to me, and I feel badly when they don’t. They don’t even have to say his name. Now that school has started, and summer is over, I re-enrolled my son into a music program that he had enjoyed last year, and when we walked into the first session, the director of the program saw me and he asked, “How are you?”
I responded with the customary, “Fine.”
He said, “No, really.” Then he hugged me.
Even though he didn’t mention Bobby, I knew he was thinking of him. I like when people remember him. I want to hear his name. I want people to know that it’s OK, even more than OK, to mention him. It actually makes me feel warm that he is not forgotten.
Saturday, September 4, 2010
Well, lucky for me, I’m not going to be on that show. However, I am having trouble throwing things out. Bobby’s things. Not mine, not my kids’, only his.
The other day I was looking for my shoes that I had kicked under the bed the day before. Upon retrieving them, I also came across Bobby’s old sneakers. Not the pair he was currently using when he died, but the pair that came before. I thought he had thrown these away ages ago. (Shows you how much I look under my bed). So I went to throw them away, and got halfway to the garbage can, turned around, and put them right back under the bed where they were. I then looked up and said, “Why didn’t you throw these out when you got the new ones? Now I can’t!” I know he is laughing at me.
I’ve also spent the last few months slowly cleaning out my house, which had been somewhat neglected during my husband’s illness. I keep finding papers that he wrote on: notes, phone numbers, grocery lists and other assorted things. Every time I try to throw one out, I can’t do it. It got to the point where there were so many, that in the name of organization, I created a file in my filing cabinet where I can put all these pieces of paper.
Then there is his clothing. I cannot part with any of it. Luckily, I have two sons who would like his ties, dress socks and T-shirts. My older son even took some of my husbands “nice” shirts because according to my son they are “cool”. I’ve been wearing his bathrobes and T-shirts, too. But his suits, dress shirts and pants are still hanging in the closet, exactly where he left them. I have no intention to get rid of them right now. It’s just something I cannot do.
His deoderant is still under the sink in the bathroom. His toothbrush still hangs with the rest of ours. His wallet, with everything in it, is still in his top dresser drawer, along with his keys and his cellphone.
When he first passed away, I couldn’t even throw out the little cards that the doctors wrote his appointment times on. However, I was able to finally throw them away, because I reasoned with myself that one, he didn’t write on them, and two, he wasn’t going to be able to make those appointments anyway.
There is no rush for me to dispose of his things. They are not in my way, and if they make me feel just a teeny tiny bit better, then they are certainly worth holding onto. So while the hoarding that they show on TV is unhealthy and depressing, this hoarding – widow style – is OK in my book.
Monday, August 30, 2010
If one more person tells me how well I am doing after the death of my husband, and how strong I’ve been, I’m going to scream.
Because along with this wrongly perceived strength and well being, comes the comments that are for the strong woman, the “cold hard truths” and frankly, I don’t want to hear the “cold hard truth”. I’m living it every day so I have no need to have it pointed out to me, especially if I am having one of those extremely rare moments when I am not thinking about it. A friend once said to me, “Well, the cold hard truth is he is gone, and you don’t have to worry about what he has to say about it.” I wanted to say, "Thank you for making me feel more crappy than I already do."
I’m not doing well. But when people ask me how I am doing, they expect to hear something like “I’m doing well”, or, at the very least “I’m doing OK...hanging in there”. Both of these answers must be accompanied by a smile, lest they think there is something seriously wrong with me. What I really want to tell them is that my world feels like it is falling apart at the seams and there are actually times where I want to throw myself in front of a moving bus. I would love to say to someone when asked how I am, “Well, I feel like crap. I walk around like there is a black cloud over my head, and even when I am laughing, I am crying inside. I’m almost positive that I’ll never be genuinely happy again and that I’ve been sentenced to a long life of loneliness without my soulmate, but I’m muddling through life with this fake smile plastered on my face because I have two kids that I love and I owe it to them to give them a good life, considering they no longer have a father.”
Society has this I-Am-Woman-Hear-Me-Roar ideal that after any kind of tragedy, a woman is supposed to bounce back almost immediately or she is seen as weak, co-dependent and an embarrassment to the female species. According to that ideal, what I’m really “supposed” to do is put all his pictures away, get a makeover, sign up on eHarmony and tell everyone that I am doing well. HA! Never going to happen my friends. And now you know the truth, so you can stop asking me that ridiculous question, and expecting that even more ridiculous answer.
Friday, August 27, 2010
When you become a widow, it is common knowledge that the first year is going to, in a nutshell, suck. The first Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Christmas or Hanukkah, New Year’s, Valentine’s Day, anniversaries and birthdays, all fall into this category.
But then there are the firsts which are not as defined, but they hurt just as much or maybe even more depending on your family traditions. For example, I was in Cape May last week, and it was the first time I had been to
This experience stuck with me, and today while I was putting our family activities on the new school calendar, I realized that our annual apple-picking trip will no longer include Bobby. The annual hospital picnic that we attend every year will no longer include Bobby. Our holiday trips into NYC will no longer include Bobby. My first day back at church after the funeral was ridiculously tough, and even though I’ve been back to services several times since then, I cannot even get through a service without crying.
Even something as simple as buying concert tickets for a Beatles Tribute Band was sad...I only had to order three tickets instead of the normal four. When is three ever going to be normal? Four is normal for our family, dammit, not three!! I guess we have to use that new normal number for our family. God, how I hate that phrase, ‘new normal’.
I wonder now how many more unexpected firsts I’m going to be hit with over this next year. Maybe even the second year. Whether it is picking apples or Christmas Day, it’s going to be very tough. I hope I can get through it with grace, but if I can’t, I hope my friends and family will be patient with me and understand!
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
I was watching DVD reruns of a show from 2008 called “Life on Mars”. In a nutshell, it’s about a cop named Sam from 2008 that ends up back in time, to 1973, working as a cop. He says in the beginning of the show, “...I don’t know how or why I’m here, but it’s like I’ve landed on a different planet...”
Like Sam, I don’t know why I’m here in Widowhood, but I do know how (damn cancer). And it really is like living on another planet.
It’s a whole other life. Sure, I have the same job, same house and the same kids, but it’s completely different. As I’ve said before, my husband and I worked at the same place, so my workplace is completely different. He is not there for me to bounce things off of, the one person I could trust completely, without reservation, to talk to about work openly, honestly, and humorously. I could say what was really on my mind without having to worry about being politically correct. He would also send me emails throughout the day, just to say he loved me. I miss that the most.
It goes without saying that my home life is completely different, too. From learning how to use a weed-whacker to worrying about car inspection...that was all part of his domain, and now they are in mine. I’m not very mechanical, so I find it somewhat difficult.
Then there is the single parenting. There is no longer anyone for me to discuss with what is best for the kids; are we doing this right? Should we let the 14-year-old do this, or the 12-year-old do that? What if I make a wrong decision? And how the heck am I supposed to teach a teenage boy how to shave his face? I’m guessing it’s a lot different than shaving my legs.
Lastly are the dreaded social situations. For the last nineteen years, I was part of a couple. Now I am a single. God, I hate being a single. I went from dropping my kids off at the water park and walking hand-in-hand with Bobby on the boardwalk to dropping my kids off at the water park and sitting on a bench reading a magazine. Feeling completely pathetic, even though one of my friends with four kids pointed out that if she saw a woman sitting on a bench peacefully reading a magazine she would be jealous. I see her point, but it doesn’t make me feel any better.
So yes, I am living on Mars as far as I am concerned. And it is a really lonely planet.
Saturday, August 21, 2010
I went to see the movie “Eat Pray Love” last night. I read the book a few years ago, and really enjoyed it, so I figured I might as well see the movie. I really like Julia Roberts, and the movie was good, but not as good as the book. For those of you not familiar with the story, it is the memoir of Liz Gilbert, who after a string of unsatisfying and bad relationships, decides to go on a journey around the world to learn to live with just herself, without a man. (She does find love in the end, even though she is not looking for it. Luckily for her, it is the healthy love that everybody really wants, not a dependent dysfunctional love. But that is not my point.)
I think Liz’s idea could really work for widows, too. Of course, I can’t imagine a jaunt around the world with my two boys in tow. I’m sure they would be all for the eating part in Italy, but ripping them away from their friends and activities for praying at an ashram in India and meditating with an old guy that looks like Yoda in Bali would not be their first choice of fun things to do. I’m sure it is not even in their top hundred. Given the choice, I’m sure they’d rather watch paint dry on a wall.
In the story, Liz loses her ability to savor life. Her line, “I used to have this appetite for food, for my life. And it’s just gone. I wanna go someplace where I can marvel at something” really resonates with me. But just like she lost her appetite from being in bad relationships, I’ve lost my appetite because I’ve lost my great relationship. My life is very empty; except for the shuffling around that I do to get my kids to and from activities and friends’ houses in order to keep their lives normal. My appetite for MY life is gone. There is really nothing that I WANT to do with it anymore.
My husband and I had plans. We were going to travel. We were going to live on a houseboat. We were going to get a dog. Hell, we were even going to watch all the reruns of The Sopranos together, since we hadn’t seen every episode. And now my appetite for doing these things is gone.
Like Liz, I want to marvel at something, like I used to. No, I never got to marvel at the Taj Mahal or the
So what can I do about it? Taking a trip around the world to find myself like Liz did is out of the question, given my job and my kids. So where is a widow to go to marvel at something again?
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Disclaimer: It is not my intention to offend anyone with this post, and I want to apologize in advance if I do. I certainly mean NO lack of respect to anyone, but I feel the need to be honest while posting in order for this blog to remain genuine.
Due to my recent widowhood, I’ve recently joined the ranks as a single mom. I’m just getting used to having mail come from the school, addressed only to me (not Mr. & Mrs.), and having all the bills only in my name now.
However, I do not feel very comfortable with this label because most people who didn’t know me before will automatically assume that I am divorced. I mean no disrespect to women who are divorced. I know many divorced women who I consider friends. However, I want there to be a way to distinguish myself as a widow and not a divorcée.
This is not because I think divorcées are failures or less of a person. But now, just like I don’t want anyone to think I am a divorcée, I don’t want anyone to think I am a Marine Biologist, either. When I present myself, I want to present myself as who I am...in my case, a widow who was in a wonderful marriage and misses her husband immensely, not someone who kicked their loser ex-husband to the curb (and we all know that some husbands do deserve to be kicked to the curb).
It is just that my husband was not one of them.
My mom told me many years ago that widows traditionally removed their wedding bands and moved their engagement rings to their right finger to signify that they are a widow. That is fine, but my problem with that is two-fold – first, I haven’t yet removed my wedding band. I just do not feel comfortable without it. (Let’s save that tidbit for whole other post). Second, it is such an old custom, I’m sure most people in my age group (and younger) wouldn’t have any clue what the engagement ring on the right hand even meant. Truthfully, I feel most people would just think that I got my right and left confused.
Introducing myself to people as a widow just doesn’t sit right, either. It would just make me look as though I am looking for sympathy. And a scarlet “W” just doesn’t match with all my clothing. So how do I distinguish myself from the divorcees? There doesn’t seem to be a clear answer to that question. Luckily, it isn’t pressing either, since as far as I’m concerned, my wedding band is still where it belongs – on my left ring finger where he placed it on our wedding day many years ago.
Thursday, August 12, 2010
About once every summer, my cousins with the great backyard have a party of some sort. We’ve been going to these parties for years, and I’ve always had a good time. Every party is set up the same...food on a table in the kitchen, and depending on how hot the weather is, there are either tents set up with picnic tables outside or snack tables in the family room and extra chairs in the dining room so everyone has a place to sit. Whenever the weather was too hot to sit outside, Bobby and I would gravitate to the dining room.
So this summer, at my cousins’ almost-annual party, I filled my plate with food, and instinctively looked around the house to see where Bobby was sitting so that I could go and sit next to him. I caught myself a half second later and went and sat in the dining room without him. It was an odd feeling.
A few hours later, everybody decided to change into their bathing suits and go in the pool. I took my turn in the bathroom and changed into my bathing suit, too. I got into the pool and started floating around, watching my kids play with their cousins in the pool. Again, for a split second, I looked around the pool, looking for Bobby, so that I could float over to be by his side. Again, I caught myself. He wasn’t there.
Then last night, I dropped my son off at the 4-H fair, and on the way back to the car, I saw a dog that looked like the kind of dog he wanted to get when we retired. Without thinking, I almost actually turned around and said, “Look at that dog! That’s the kind we want to get!” Luckily I caught myself before I actually turned around, because that would have been even more depressing.
My most recent example was tonight. I was picking my son up from the 4H Fair again, and while we were walking out, 3 girls walked by and said hello. They said it in that cute, almost-but-not-quite flirty way that 12-year-olds can muster. My son is only 12, too, and I'm not used to this girl stuff with him. My first reaction was to go home and tell Bobby about it. Another split second later, I was sad again because I couldn't share it with him when I got home. Will this gut reaction ever stop?
These were all sad, yet surreal experiences. It’s the same feeling that I get when I see or hear something funny, and I cannot wait to tell him, or I want to confirm a piece of gossip I may have heard at work. It’s a split second of what I consider normalcy, how our life used to be, before I was thrust into the navigation of this unfamiliar territory on my own. I miss the old normal, and I miss the familiarity of what my life used to be. I know I’m supposed to create this “new normal” but my subconscious may not be letting me. Instead it gives me split second glimpses of how it used to be. I hope this is a part of the so-called “process”. So far, the “process” sucks.
Monday, August 9, 2010
The man also had a cane with him. He must have dropped that cane into the aisle at least five times during the service. My friend Peter (sitting on the aisle) kindly picked it up for him every time, as it was obvious that man was having difficulties.
What bothered me about this couple was that every time the man dropped his cane, or whenever he had to change positions, the woman would get angry, roll her eyes, and scold him (especially when he dropped his cane). What was the big deal? Its not like she had to pick it up, Peter picked it up every time.
I’m sure it was difficult for her, but to tell you the truth I wanted to slap her upside the back of her head and scream at her, “DO YOU KNOW HOW LUCKY YOU ARE TO HAVE THIS MAN BY YOUR SIDE? WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU? AND STOP ROLLING YOUR EYES AT HIM!!!” Here they were, in church, together, and barring any unusual circumstances, had probably been together for at least 60 years. Yes, 60 years. I barely get 19 years with the love of my life, and this lady looks like she is wishing her poor husband would drop dead. It made me angry to see how ungrateful she looked.
I would give anything, yes anything, to have Bobby back. Even if it meant caring for him for the rest of my life. I miss him so much, I even miss all the caring for him. I’m not saying that caring for him was easy, either. It was strenuous, tiring and time consuming. I had to give up myself for those months, it was like I didn’t even exist. My life was all about him. But I miss every single second.
I wish this lady realized what she had and how lucky she actually was. She’s lucky we were in church, because truthfully, I do not know if I could’ve kept my mouth shut otherwise.
Sunday, August 8, 2010
Fast forward to a few weeks ago and the kids asked me, "Can we go to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum this summer?" So I said I would take them. So I drove seven hours (with my sister also in tow) to Cleveland. We spent all day Friday at the Museum.
What does this have to do with Bobby? Well, I cannot tell you how many times I would read a fact or see an object on display and want to turn around and say to him, "Look at this!" or "Did you read this?" It was the first "vacation" I took without him and in some ways, even though I thoroughly enjoyed the Museum, I was so sad because I was not sharing it with him. Which leads me to this next thought....
I'm having trouble moving on without him. (Big surprise?) I "catch" myself enjoying whatever I am doing and I feel immediately sad. I cannot live like this, and I don't know how to stop without feeling completely guilty about it. I feel like there is a part of me that should never have fun, because to have any sort of fun is like a betrayal. I'm supposed to be the person in the world who loved him the most, so why would that person (me) have any kind of fun when the love of her life is gone?
Many well-meaning friends and family have pointed out to me that I should be able to have fun because despite the fact that he is gone, I am still alive (well, duh!) but that is not the simple answer. I cannot picture him saying to me, "Well, I'm gone now, so you need to go on and have fun without me." In all fairness, I also cannot picture him telling me, "You need to mourn in the house forever and never have any fun." We never talked about that sort of thing, so I do not know his thoughts in this case. I'm the person who knew him the best, and I could, in any given situation, answer for him because I knew what he would say in almost all situations. Yet ironically the ONE question that I really need answered, I cannot answer for him. Oh, the frustration!
Monday, August 2, 2010
Saturday, July 31, 2010
Sunday, July 25, 2010
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Now he is not here, and I am so frustrated. Since he's gone, this is what has broke: the air-conditioning, the garage door, the dishwasher, the pool robot, the pool heater, the vacuum cleaner, the oven (well, the oven broke while he was on hospice care), the electric outlet in the yard, and that is all I can think of at the moment, but I'm sure I'm forgetting something. Not only that, my computer and two of my laptops all got viruses, including one "blue screen of death".
And I am now at the mercy of others. I have friends and relatives that will fix things for me, which I truly appreciate from the bottom of my heart. But lets face it...people are busy and have their own life to deal with, they don't need mine, too. Then there are the things that my friends and family can't fix, and now I have to deal with "professionals". I put that in quotes because not everyone you meet is a professional. Some people are just out to get people, and they don't do a good job because it just isn't important if it isn't their own house. Also, being a woman, especially a widow, I just feel like I have a target on my head for all these unscrupulous people who are trying to fleece the public.
I know if any "service" people out there are reading this, they are probably insulted. Well, sorry folks, but I've seen too many people, mostly women and widows, taken advantage of by these so called "professionals" and "service people". Now I am at their mercy, and truthfully, it makes me sick to think that my loving husband is not here to take care of the house we shared. It is now going to be cared for by strangers, and that does not sit well with me, not at all.
Monday, July 5, 2010
Sunday, July 4, 2010
Saturday, June 26, 2010
Sunday, June 20, 2010
Sunday, June 13, 2010
Someone said to me the other day, “It’s not only the loss of someone you love, but the loss of someone who loved you.” Boy did that his home. It’s true. No matter who I am with, no matter what we are doing, even if I am laughing with friends or family, I’m alone. There was no one in the world who loved me like he did. And I knew it. Even my own children, who I know love me dearly and need me immensely, don’t love me as much as Bobby did. I would venture to say that even my mother (and father when he was alive) don’t love me as much as Bobby did. He had a way of making me feel special, like I was not just some regular person on the street.
There are so many things that you do with your spouse that defines the specialness of the relationship. How many times have you been at a party, talking to one group of people and your spouse is across the room, talking to a different group, and you can catch each other's eyes and know exactly what they are thinking? Or you finished each other sentences? That is a unique relationship, one that only comes with loving and living with someone for an extended period of time in a committed relationship.
I went out to dinner the other night with a friend of mine and my children. Her husband called to say he would be joining us in about ½ hour. So she suggested we all get appetizers while we waited for him. Then when we ordered dinner, she ordered for him without consulting him so that his meal would be ready at the same time ours were. That, to me, is a symbol of that connectedness that only two people who are committed to and love each other have. I thought about it as she was ordering, and I knew exactly what was on that menu that I would have ordered for Bobby had I been in her shoes.
It breaks my heart to know that I will never have these special times again. It’s really hard to accept that I am no longer “that special someone” to somebody else. That there is nobody out there that looks forward to seeing me at the end of the day. That there is no longer anyone kissing me goodnight. It's lonely and it really hurts.
Thursday, June 10, 2010
Sunday, June 6, 2010
Saturday, June 5, 2010
Today is my son's birthday. He is 12. It is his first birthday without his dad. He asked me to buy him a cordless amp for his guitar, and I told him today that we would go to Sam Ash to look at guitar amps sometime this week. I also said we would look at them on the internet. He said, "The last time I went to Sam Ash was with Daddy." He looked sad.
My birthday fell 8 days after my husband died. I wasn't really in the mood to celebrate. But my sister, my cousin and three of my friends came over that night and we had dinner together and they gave me presents, which I did not expect at all!! I really appreciated that they came over to make the day a little better.
My husband always acknowledged my birthday. He would send me roses! Sometimes I would tell him that he shouldn't do that...it's too expensive!! And he would tell me I was worth it. He had a way of making me feel special...like he could see something in me that nobody else, not even me, could see.
Thursday, June 3, 2010
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Bobby: I hate this song, change the station!
Me: I love this song. (I'd make it louder).
Bobby: How could you like this song? (moan and groan, roll eyes, make face)
Me: I don't know. I just do. (laugh)
That is why I cried. I missed our conversation about how much he hated and I loved the song.
Then there was the banjo music. He loved banjo music, and we had an agreement that whoever drives is the one that can choose the music, the heat, the air-conditioning, etc. So when he drove, he would put on banjo music. Now, I don't hate banjo music, but it isn't in my Top Ten. One day, we were driving along with the banjo music on, and about fifteen minutes into the ride and the music I said to him, "Damn, this is a long song!" He just glanced my way (since he was driving) and said, "No, this is the fourth song." I said, "Really? They all sound the same to me!"
Then there were the dinner conversations. These would take place either in person or via email while we were both at work.
Bobby: What are you making for dinner?
Me: Whatever you want.
Bobby: I don't care.
Me: No, tell me what you want. I'll make it.
Bobby: Make whatever is easy.
Me: No, I'll make whatever you feel like having.
Bobby: It doesn't matter. Make whatever you want.
Me: I don't want anything in particular. I'll make whatever you want.
...you get the picture. This would go on so long that usually there wasn't any time for me to make anything and we would just end up ordering a pizza.
The other day I was talking to my sister on the phone and during our conversation she was bickering with her husband, who was in the background, about something completely ridiculous. It made me sad, listening to that type of conversation, the kind you can only have with someone to whom you are happily married.