Saturday, July 31, 2010

July 31 is a Special Day

No, it is not our wedding anniversary today. We'll get to that in November.

Nineteen years ago today, I first met Bobby. It was a Wednesday. Two days later, a Friday, he invited me over his house and we were inseparable since.

That is what makes today so heartbreaking. I thought we were inseparable, but the big "C" played a cruel trick on both of us and separated us. Physically. While he still lives in my heart and in the faces, mannerisms and quirkiness of all of his kids, he is not physically here, for me to hug, kiss or just lean on. And that causes a dull ache in my heart that never subsides...ever.

I remember seeing his face for the first time when he opened the door. It was so warm and friendly. I never believed in "love at first sight", but I did after that day. In fact, in retrospect, I question whether I even knew what true love was until I met him. I know now. I just wish it didn't hurt so much now.

We would celebrate every July 31 because this day was so special to both of us. Whether you believe it to be God, fate, karma, coincidence, or all four of these, we were led to each other on this day in 1991 and I will never forget it.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Check the Box

My employer changed insurance companies this month, and as expected, I had to fill out a bunch of new forms. I got to the part where I had to check off "married" or "single". Those were the only two choices. So I had to think...

Married? I feel married, I act married, I wear a wedding band. So I must be married right? Well, not so much, according to Aetna. I knew if I checked off "married", I would confuse the claims agent that was going to process my claim. Where was the spouse on the policy? Does she have other insurance? Etc. Etc. It would take forever to get my claim processed. So I knew I couldn't check off married.

Single? I said before, I feel married, I act married, I wear a wedding band. So I can't be single, right? Well, according to law, (and the church), I am single and I can get married again (if I so desired, which I don't, but that's a topic for another entry). I don't have a spouse on record. So just because I feel married, I act married, I wear a wedding band and I call myself "Mrs.", I am not married. So what box do I check?

I didn't have to think about it too long. I drew a box, wrote "widow", and checked the box. Problem solved.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

At Their Mercy

My husband could fix just about anything. The only thing he didn't like to "mess" with was electricity...he called an electrician. Other than that...he fiddled with things until they worked. This included the power tools, plumbing, pool equipment, and, as mentioned before, virus-laden computers. As I told a friend this morning, he made fixing things look easier than figuring out Blue's Clues.

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

Navigating the Garage

I realize this blog has mostly been about my feelings. However, I've been experiencing more than just emotions, I'm experiencing the garage.

The garage was Bobby's realm. We were mostly traditional, I worked on the inside of the house, doing the cooking, cleaning, bills, and he worked on the outside - cutting the grass, taking care of the pool, landscaping. We would cross over into each other's worlds now and then...I would plant the flowers, and he vacuumed. We had very defined tasks, and that worked really well for us.

Now I'm doing his jobs AND my jobs. (Time to get a cleaning lady.) And part of that is navigating the garage. Luckily, I have various male relatives who are helping me out...but I still have to learn. The other day, I was asking my cousin Tom if there was a such thing as an outdoor vacuum, a tool where I could suck up the leaves and grass instead of blowing them around with a leaf blower. He said yes, that he had one, and he would bring it over to show it to me and if I wanted to get one, then at least I would know what one looked like. So he brought it over the next day. Before he even got it out of his truck, he found a large cloth bag in the garage that said, "TORO" on it. He held it up to me and said, "Apparently, you have one, too." Boy, did I feel like a moron. Not only did I not know if this tool actually existed, I didn't even know I had one. He also pointed out that I had a certain type of saw that I didn't know I had.

While some people may find a little humor in this story, it is the perfect illustration of how lost I am without Bobby in my life. I've been taking care of the pool this season, and I feel like it's been one disaster after another with it. First, the water is crystal clear, but there are purple stains on the walls. Then I find out the heater is shot. Then I get the water tested and it turns out my stabilizer is too high, so I have to drain the pool 12 inches and refill from the hose. While I'm doing this, the liner starts to come out by the stairs. I get the water tested again, and find out I have to drain it AGAIN, this time two feet, pull the liner back up and tuck it into it's slot, and refill it. I turned the hose on at 5:30 this morning and it was full by 8:00 tonight. Now the chlorine is too low and my once crystal clear water is now murky. **Sigh** I'm so lost without him...emotionally, spiritually, and practically!!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Math Homework

It's weird when math homework can save you. What could this possibly mean?

School is out now, but when school was in, I would come home from work around the same time that my kids would arrive home, (I'm a teacher), and go to bed. Not literally under the covers, sleeping, but I would just lie on my bed and flip through the stations watching anything that I could find. I had no desire to do anything. Sometimes I would just lie there and watch TV, other times I would lie there and cry.

There was one particular day where I was having a really hard time. I was lying on my bed, just crying and crying, and I couldn't stop. Then my younger son, in 6th grade, came into my room and quietly said, "Mommy, I have a math test tomorrow. I have to study." I always helped him study, so I got up, wiped my face, and helped him study for his test. This happened on other days, too, whether it was a science test, a social studies project or a ride to an activity or a friend's house. I would be lying on my bed crying, and one of the kids needed something, so I would have no choice but to pick myself up and carry on.

My kids are oblivious to this. They have no idea how much they have helped me get through the last couple of months. They think that it is just me helping them. They don't realize the avenue is going both ways.

The big test was last week. They went to camp. I picked them up yesterday and I was so happy to see them and I'm so happy to have them home. I managed to get through the week alone, visiting friends and taking care of some much needed paperwork that had to be done. In order to feel less alone, I kept the TV on, even though I wasn't watching it, which is something I've never really had to do before when Bobby was alive, but not at home. I guess I needed Regis and Kelly for company.

But throughout all this "progress", if that is what you want to call it, I'm still so very lonely. I'm off to a BBQ today, and although I'll be surrounded by people, I'm still going to be all alone.