Sunday, November 28, 2010

What Silver Lining?

Every time I’ve ever had something crummy happen to me in my life, I’ve always managed to find the “silver lining”. Lost a job? Got a better one. Lost a friend? She wasn’t really a friend to begin with. Broke up with a boyfriend? Somebody better came along. Fight with Bobby? We learned something that made our relationship stronger. Bobby came up with the best one ever: he was divorced before he met me, and it was a horrible experience for him. One time I asked him if he wished he had not married his first wife and married someone else so that he would never have had to go through his horrible divorce. He said no, because if he had not married her, he would have never gotten divorced and married me. So even in his divorce was he able to find a “silver lining”.

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

"The Day the Music Died"

I was on my way to work this morning and the song American Pie by Don McLean came on the radio. I’ve always liked that song, so I’m listening to it, and then he sings at the end of the first verse, "...the day...the music...died". It hit me like a ton of bricks.

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

This One's for Daddy

Well, today is Bobby's birthday. His first birthday we are experiencing without him. Truthfully, in "widow-time", it set me back quite a few months.

I cried on the way to work. Held in the tears all day, then cried on the way home. Cried when my youngest cried. Crying now. Will most likely cry when I go to bed later.

This may sound redundant, but I feel so bad because I feel so bad on his birthday. Know what I mean? His birthday is supposed to be happy. Not that we made a huge deal out of it when he was alive. The kids enjoyed his birthday more than he did, and that is the part he really enjoyed. He would watch them get all excited when he would open his presents, which I let them pick out. (You can only imagine what he got...stuffed animals, boxer shorts with Disney characters, you get the idea.) All he ever requested on his birthday was to "order a pizza".

So tonight, like I planned, we ordered a pizza. My younger son, who typically only eats once piece of pizza, ate two tonight. When he put the second piece on his plate, he said, "This one's for Daddy."

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The First Week of November... a word, sucks.

November 3? Our civil anniversary. November 6? Our church anniversary. November 9? His birthday. It didn't fall this way on purpose, but he was thankful it was all in the same week. First, it was easy for him to remember "3, 6, 9", which meant he would never forget either of our anniversaries. (He wasn't going to forget his birthday.) It also meant when we went to church, he didn't have to stand up in front of the congregation alone for the "special event blessing" that they do every month. I was always with him, celebrating our anniversary along with his birthday, and he didn't have to stand up there alone.

Now this week we looked forward to every year has become one of the banes of my existence. It's not the same fun week it used to be. This week will never be the same again.

Every year on our wedding anniversary, my husband would send me roses. And he would send them to work, so I would have the pleasure of getting the phone call that there was a delivery for me in the front office, and then I would get to walk the hall with the roses to put them on my desk and get all the comments from my colleagues about how lucky I was.

Well, it's not rocket science for you to figure out that I didn't get the roses this year. I already knew that I wouldn't be getting them, but the actual not getting them bothered me. However, I'm positive that he remembered, and sent me a sign. I was in a Wawa yesterday, (the church anniversary) getting myself a cup of coffee, and on the sound system came that silly song, "Going to the chapel, and we're gonna get married." I never hear this song on the radio, so I feel like it was his way of telling me that he remembered, and that he was with me on our anniversary.

It's only Sunday night right now, and I don't know what Tuesday, his birthday, will bring this year. We never really made a huge deal out of his birthday, he didn't like that. All he ever wanted was a pizza and some home-made cards from the kids.

So I'm thinking on Tuesday night, I might just order a pizza.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Day of the Dead, the Corduroy Jacket and a Big Hug

I don't know a lot about Spanish or Hispanic Heritage, but I do know that on November 1st, they celebrate something called "Day of the Dead". I've been thinking about this day for a while now, and I was thinking I might want to celebrate it, since I unfortunately have someone to celebrate. But since it was a regular work day, then I had plans after work to help my son study for a science test and take my other son for a hair cut, there wasn't much time for celebrating.

I was thinking, "What can I do today to celebrate my husband?" I wanted something simple and easy, but not something that would make me look like I was losing my mind, either. After all, I was going to work.

Then I remembered the corduroy jacket. My husband had (has) a corduroy jacket that he liked to wear basically all winter. He was always cold (even before he was sick), so he would wear this jacket day in and day out, until I got sick of looking at it. However, despite my feelings about the jacket, it became part of him, and now I really miss it. So I took it out of the closet for the first time since he passed away. I put it on and looked in the mirror. No, it did not look great on me. The sleeves were too long, and the jacket itself was too big, and the corduroy is fading, so it was a lighter shade of black than the pants I was wearing. But I folded up the sleeves and wore it anyway. It felt good.

I may not have been the most stylish person at work today, but I'm sure I was the only one walking around wearing a big hug.