Monday, December 31, 2007

I'm Wishing time would Stop

I really, really am. I made beef back ribs today. I haven't done much cooking of the "big stuff" ever since Leonard. He was the one who always delighted, and overate as well, the big Sunday type dinners I would make. My kids are just as happy with Mac and Cheese or grilled cheese...or even cereal. But I did it for me...and then I was sorry. Predictably, Nicole went off to sleep as dinner time drew near and James just nibbled and then went off to play. I was left alone at a table that was always so full of fun and life...and me complaining about the three of them watching television during dinner. It was the wrong thing to do because it started the bout of sadness and sobbing that was threatening all day.

A year ago, New Year's eve was so much fun...I can't believe it's been a year. Every New Year's all four of us would head over to Leonard's cousin's house for boardgames and dice games, fun and family. Children scampering around in pajamas and general mayhem. It was nice for us because we never cared for the bar and booze party scene. I was always designated driver and Leonard pretty much always got pleasantly buzzed...never more. Last year my 16 year old daughter ended up showing her 62 year old aunt where the Spatlese was when she couldn't find it on a fortification run to Kroger. Last year a woman (neighbor) that we had never met broker into full opera at the table as we played dice. She was also the type who was better than everyone and had no trouble telling us all that many different ways. Last year we left shortly after 12, came home, tucked the children in bed and just enjoyed the idea of our life together and the future we had. For 9 of our 15 years together we did the exact same thing (except for the year I was sick with the flu... I stayed home and watched the Twilight Zone and missed him horribly while he went off with the kids. I cannot bear to watch this year because it - the Twilight Zone Marathon-was a yearly tradition) I cannot even attempt to find peace (or jog painful memories) at his cousin's house as they are the ones are now far away in Texas.

All of it gone... and here I am, hanging on to the last precious hours of 2007...the last year that he will have been a living presence in my life. I can't let go. I don't want to let go. I am afraid of a 2008 that doesn't have his living, breathing mark upon it. I really, really hate this. I want to scream about how unfair it is, beg to be taken back to the day and all the days before. I want to start over. God, how I need him. This is so (too) lonely.
Here are the children on Dec 26th:

Nicole, actually standing...and smiling and looking more like the girl I remember her to be.

This is James during a celebration with Poppy (my dad). He was so happy because he had forgotten about yet another gift exchange.

and, apparently, we will all be looking for a new place to park.

These pictures (with the exception of the one of himself) were taken by James. I think he has a future in the business.

I am pondering on whether or not I will stay up till midnight or fall asleep instead... I don't know which will be less painful. I have a feeling James will not allow the latter, as he already has a bottle of sparkling white grape juice chilling, and I love him too much to see him sad.

I do know this. Each and every one of you deserves the happiest of years ahead. I thank you so much for your daily visits and your encouragement. I appreciate your presence on this journey. You all mean so much to us.

I also need to thank Courtney for the wonderful award she bestowed upon me. Courtney is a wife and mom to two gorgeous, and delightfully funny, little girls. Her blog is engaging and honest and always a wonderful place to stop in for a few. Thank you again, Courtney. I am so glad to call you friend.

I am going to bestow this award upon Alicia of Forever Changed..., and the girl left behind of Love is Forever. Both of these women stun me with their honesty, encourage me with their support and give me hope for my future. Alicia, you have come to my aid, I am sure without knowing it, on days I have been about to blow on the widow board...and even some days that I have blown. And the girl left behind is the very first young widow that I met online. She is amazing in her strength, and her love for A. is so very strong I often find myself weeping over all that she has lost. Her blog is a testament to her love for A. Thank you Alicia and the girl left behind for the many lessons you have already taught me on this horrendous journey we are all on. This one is for you.

3:47??? Possible movie spoiler alert***

How did it get to be 3:47? I need to keep better, and more sane, hours.

Tonight I watched two movies "Vacancy" (bleh) and "Perfect Stranger". Vacancy was very odd and disjointed and a million times I caught myself saying,"Why don't they...?" or "They should..." and "Why didn't they send backup when the cop didn't report back to the station at night?" Ah well...I've gotten to cynical even for myself.

***Spoiler of a Good Movie Ahead***

Now, "Perfect Stranger"? Well that's the reason I am still up at 3:47. Sort of. I am afraid of sleep these days anyway. I am not a big Halle fan but this was a really good movie. The plot twist at the end was very reminiscent of "Presumed Innocent" (one of my all time favorite plot twist movies). The whole movie through I kept saying to myself,"The wife did, maybe Bruce Willis did do it...but then he would have punched her in the car perhaps..." and,"Oh my God, I can't believe that Miles is such a twisted freak!!!" and so on. This comment really does give not much away but what an entertaining movie. My dad was over and I felt safer than I normally do... except it is now me, and the sleeping kids, and the dog that barks at nothing, and the cat with the stumpy arthritic walk that scares me sometimes into thinking it is the boogeyman. I am not built for this live by yourself mode I am in. I really, really hate it.

Tonight I feel fragile and alone. It is the last day of the last year that my husband was alive and it is hitting me awfully hard. I don't want to walk into 2008, and on, without him. I don't think it will ever feel right.

Today, my father said,"I guess this will take you longer than I thought." That hurts. I know he doesn't know that. He cared about my mom, but I don't think he ever really loved her. That is a big assumption I am making but one of the things he said was that he didn't ever want to wish her dead...and he was afraid it would get to that. Wrong to tell me that, but he did. I would never have wished Leonard fact, as I've said before, I feared Leonard dead.

I am so sad that I cannot look at his picture, that I try to push his image from my mind. All this in an effort to survive that which I am not equipped for. Life without the one person who made everything right.

An update on Nicole: I'm trying to get her to walk upright. It is important that she walk upright. As the recipient of numerous abdominal surgeries, I am trying to talk here through this. I know the pain. I knew the NG tube hurts and rawness, the realization that one needs their stomach muscles more than they realize...until they are cut into, I know the shoulder pain from rising gas. All of it. And I wish I could take it away for her. Hopefully the staple they had to put in last week will come out tomorrow. She seems more "Nicole" and that is a very good thing...even when it is driving me nuts. Somehow, my kids will be okay.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Losing It

Sometimes I swear that I am. Losing It.

"Bite me..." I dislike that sentence (?) very much. Is it even a sentence? I dislike it even more when it is used by my 17 year old daughter during an argument with her brother over a stupid PSP that I am beginning to wish that Santa never brought. Yes, she is recovering, and I am grateful. No that does not give one a free pass to behave as a 3 year old.

I was always the screamer, the yeller, the "wait till your father gets home"-er. Not often, but only when my two I-think-I-am-an-only-child-ren took me to the brink. Now, when they take me to the brink I am afraid I will drive right off. I sometimes want to drive right off. We, he and I, were a unit. Without him I am the figurehead---unrespected.

They are children...just children. But one is on the brink of adulthood, and dealing with so much more than I could ever dare to post here...that is hers to talk about. I can only tell how that affects me. And it wouldn't make much sense without the other pieces of the puzzle. One we poured our everything into. Lectures about regrets. Admonishments about character. Was it worth it?

Losing It.

I should have taken that drive. No, not that one. I truly would never drive off a brink. The one where I have my dad hang out here for the night and drive down to Ohio to visit some friends and forget how much this is awful for awhile.

Downer. That is me. It's why my keys are in my purse and my jammies are on.
Leonard, if you were just hiding, I would really want you to come back to me and hold me right now. My skin misses you.

It is now 2:25 AM, I'm not tired...

And Sundry has a meme type thing up that looks like it will tax my feeble brain. I have never done a meme or answered a question type thing, with the exception of my goofy Myspace page that I did at the urging of my daughter so here goes:

1. What did you do in 2007 that you’d never done before?
I buried my best friend, my love, my life.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I don't usually make resolutions, because I am horrible with keeping up with the responsibilities I have and I would end up hating myself.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
she was not close to me at the time, but my father's girlfriend's daughter had a baby boy in January

4. Did anyone close to you die?
The person who matters most to me did...only I still don't really believe it

5. What countries did you visit?
Canada, over Memorial Day Weekend with my husband and kids. His aunt has a place up there

6. What would you like to have in 2008 that you lacked in 2007?
Nothing, really. The one thing I want I cannot have and I guess 2008 will be spent in coming to terms with that.

7. What dates from 2007 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? August 26th is the day life as I knew it ended and December 18th is the day I almost lost my daughter.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Making it through the last 4 months. I did not think I would survive and many times thought about not surviving.

9. What was your biggest failure? Not being able to save my husband

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
For once, no

11. What was the best thing you bought? The Yukon XL. That sounds totally consumerish but it was a dream of my husband's and I am glad we got one.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
So many, many people. The friends who have listened to me without trying to "fix" the friends I have made on the internet, with their messages of caring and the packages and letters they have sent.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
My mother in law, who somehow blames me... Whose sometimes two-face behavior hurts more than I try to let on.

14. Where did most of your money go? Bills

5. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
It is odd that I can't think of one single thing...

16. What song will always remind you of 2007? How to Save a Life

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
 a) happier or sadder? Much much sadder 
b) thinner or fatter? 
Much,much thinner c) richer or poorer? Much,much richer in terms of finances and poorer in all the things that matter

18. What do you wish you’d done more of? Loving my husband and my life

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
 Petty disagreements with my husband

20. How did you spend Christmas?
I picked up my daughter Christmas Eve from the hospital (yay) and spent Christmas morning with my mom and grandma and Christmas night with my dad and his girl friend.

21. Did you fall in love in 2007?

22. What was your favorite TV program?
I will shamelessly (*blush*) say America's Next Top Model... I can't help it, but I'm totally done with it after they picked Saleisha...

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
Hate is a very strong word.

24. What was the best book you read? Rhett Butler's People, or it could have been Steven Colbert's I am America (and you can too). Very very funny.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
The Killers

26. What did you want and get? There is nothing...really

27. What did you want and not get?
A long and beautiful future with the one person who really knew and loved me.

28. What was your favorite film of this year? I am stunned to say Transformers

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
Aargh... I turned 37 and I spent it with my husband and kids.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
If I could have woken up on Christmas morning in my husband's arms

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2007? If it's clean, put it on.

32. What kept you sane? My father, his girlfriend, my children, this blog and the friends I have made here and other spots, Debbie, Suzanne a ton of people have helped me.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Johnny Depp

34. What political issue stirred you the most?
The right of a person to pick whomever they choose to spend their life with, and for those unions to be recognized.

35. Who did you miss?
Leonard...always Leonard

36. Who was the best new person you met?
That's a really, really tough one because, this year, there are so many. But I'm going to go with Rachael.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2007.
Never take your life for granted... no matter how mundane or unfulfilling it may seem.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year. Where did I go wrong, I lost a friend Somewhere along in the bitterness And I would have stayed up with you all night Had I known how to save a life

Friday, December 28, 2007

Two posts in one amazing honor

Thank you Maya's Granny, for this award. I am speechless, and also wordless. I started this blog as a way to document the follies of my life as a stay at/work from home mom, wife and habitual procrastinator. In my mind, after August, I felt like it became a pity party of 1, at times. To know that this blog affects others is a gift.

I am hoping you don't mind, Maya's Granny, that I am quoting from your quote:

"As part of this honor, I’m to name three things that I believe most important to powerful writing and then pass on the award to five blogs I believe deserve recognition."

I have been awful in passing on the awarding honor, but I am going to do so this time.

The three things I find to be most important to powerful writing are:

Level of Engagement--I find myself revisiting the blogs of people who almost become like neighbors in this huge blogosphere. Those who are willing to share every aspect of their lives-good and bad. I wake up wondering what is going on today in the lives of the bloggers I have bookmarked. It is a real talent to make those who read one's blog feel as if they are on the same level.

Simplicity--Sometimes I find myself (or had found in the past) that I was trying too hard to be interesting or humorous. Some of my favorite blogs are written so simply and honestly that that, in itself, is what makes them so very interesting to read.

Perspective--One of the bloggers that I am going to give this award to gave me a bigger gift than I think she will ever realize. I began reading her blog a month or so before I lost my husband. Reading of her loss, the hurt and the yearning gave me perspective on what I had. Sharing her blog with my husband made us both recognize how very lucky we were to have each other and we truly appreciated every day after...with each other, and with our children. I can never repay that gift of perspective. they are:

Rachael, of Life With Hannah and Lily, is the woman I write of above. Many evenings I found myself amazed at her strength, her honesty and also her hope for the future. Her entries on her family, her beloved daughter Lily, and the loss of "Fancy Hannah" are what made me truly appreciate all that was right and wonderful in my life. Thank you Rachael, you are amazing.

Shari, of Literally Blindsided, is a student, wife and mother living with a rare genetic disorder called Usher Syndrome Type II...only she doesn't complain. She educates. She lives her life and shares her triumphs and also the downside of dealing with this disorder. I have learned so much from her.

Betts, of A Night in the Forest, is another young (too young) widow that I have just met. Her blog is a beautiful tribute to a beautiful man and wonderful marriage. She comforts me with words that I can relate to, feelings I have had, and fears that I deal with. She is an inspiration to me.

Ronni, of Rants by Ronni. I have only recently begun reading her blog. She lost her husband to suicide shortly before I lost Leonard. Reading back over her blog-the days and weeks immediately following-I am often left reeling with her ability to process it all. She is truly incredible in both her strength, and her willingness to share.

Angie, of DisFUNctionalcity911. I absolutely love reading her accounts of life on the job, of her life with her daughter and boyfriend, and her ability to juggle it all. Some of the calls she shares with the reader have me in tears-of both laughter and empathy.

Again, thank you Maya's Granny... you made my day.

Lounge wear

Lounge wear is the perfect gift. Especially for the truly slothful (like me)... Today, I got up in my jammies-only they don't look like jammies- and ran to the store. I'm still in them at 3:30 and I feel *almost* dressed.

The children are cuddled up, watching "Harry Potter" and I am "cleaning". Or not. I had all the plans in the world to get something done and yet I'm watching another day fade outside the window. I'm tired, yet restless... The house feels as if it is waiting for something. It also looks like Santa Claus threw up, with all the packaging (thankfully the wrapping paper was disposed of immediately), plastic bubble coverings, batteries etc... But the kids are calm, and that is what I need right now. Calm.

Some asked about the beads in the bracelet. The flowers are the actual bead. I don't know if they use heat or something else, but they are rolled until they are a solid bead...not reminiscent of the flower at all (i.e. no lines, just smooth bead). They smell just like the roses I had ordered for that day. The tiger lily beads have black specks in them. It is a chaplet of the rosary. If I prayed the rosary I could use it...but I am still in a very horrible spot with regard to faith, etc. I cannot make sense of both a kind and merciful God and what has happened to us. I am still selfishly hating the fates and/or God for this. Seriously, I don't know where I am. Why I can't feel him anywhere and a ton of other things.

Yesterday I bought my mom a laptop. I get crazy that way. I have been attempting to buy the love of a woman who didn't really want me and threw me into a crazy competition long ago. But, I bought her one. It started simply enough. I gave her a $100 gift card (along with other little "bits and pieces") for Christmas. She decided to apply it toward a laptop (which I think was a hint for me to give her my old one, but I had already given it). We went to the store. They didn't have the Toshiba I had mentioned was on sale and she found an HP that she liked. I then, recklessly said, don't put it on your charge and pay interest... I'll pay for it and you can pay me. So that's what we did. Which would have been fine if I hadn't uttered,"Don't worry about it," in a fit of madness on the way home from the response to her payment plan options. I well and truly will never learn. But, more importantly, it's only money. And it is blood money at that.

The most fun I have had this holiday? Other than Nik coming home? and that wonderful package? and the other package Nik got from my DU/LLF friends? and the tons of good wishes? The most fun is "Pass the Pigs", a game James received for Christmas. I loved this game as a child and we spent an hour or so playing last night. It is just so incongruous to be tossing pigs around like dice. The case cracks me up, as do the pigs. I suggest you give it a whirl. This is the part where I would tell you that James beat me 8 games straight, but I'm competitive...and embarrassed over my "pig headednes" in not quitting while I'm ahead in the rolling of the piglets.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Four Months

That sometimes feel like four seconds, or four lifetimes. It is four months since he last held me. Four months since I looked at the hair I needed to cut curling against the nape of his neck as he stood at the sink. Four forevers.

And, for some reason, my eyes hit the clock at that exact moment, four months ago, that my life with him ended. And that crushing blow of disbelief hit me again. I still need him just as much as I needed him then.

On a very, very happy note, Nicole is home. They let her come home to me on Christmas Eve. Her brother and I had gone up to see her, on the way to take him to my brother in law's for their Christmas celebration and they surprised us with the news. Unfortunately, her incision re-opened as we were getting her ready so they had to staple her back up...She is doing really well. Today is the first day she sounded like herself in ever so long. (and her mama was able to sleep for once) Thank you all so much for your thoughts and prayers. I believe that they helped.

Yesterday was quiet. Nicole was not really up to opening gifts, but she gamely went along...hugged by Krandall (see previous posts about chair). She is doing really , really well.


We opened the package from my dear and wonderful blogging friends, who have welcomed us into their lives and shown us so much caring. It contained so many wonderful things... and James was so excited to go through them all. There were slippers for all of us (gosh are they comfy), three embroidered fleece blankets (Nicole has not taken hers from her shoulders since I put it there, James and I cuddle on the couch in ours), popcorn, popcorn flavoring and even plastic popcorn boxes(!), candies, a netflix subscription, a coffee cup and starbucks gift card, and wonderful cards from all of them. Thank you, all of you so much. That was a wonderful thing to do for us. James loved the bag it came in. We can't wait until Nicole is feeling up to a movie night! I am still stunned by it all. The stamped cards were gorgeous, and Ella looks so adorable on the card you sent, Jess. Side note: Jess T, I got the card with Sydney on Santa's lap and I love the look on her face. I hope each and every one of you had a wonderful made ours so very special. To be thought of like that...I just can't put into words. James is really wanting to send a thank you to each of you (as is his mama). If you didn't give your address, and feel comfortable doing so, please email me your address so that we can thank you.

I know a couple of people asked for bracelets a while back. Now that Nicole is on the mend, I will be going back through my email to get those out. I am sorry it took so long.

Yesterday, Nicole's best friend came by to see Nicole, exchange gifts and say goodbye because she is going to Florida for a while. She was like another daughter to Leonard and I, spending most school afternoons with us from the time she was 10, till 14. She gave an eloquent speech at the service and is a wonderful girl that I am glad is always there for Nicole, even with their ups and downs. After the service, she asked if she could have some of the flowers and she took quite a few, which I thought was odd...but then he meant a lot to her-she had told me she was going to have Leonard walk her down the aisle when she got married (that makes me so incredibly sad to think about.). Yesterday she gave Nicole and I bracelets made out of the flowers from his service. I was stunned. They are beautiful. What a wonderful child she is.
That is the picture you see above, on my the sleeve of the newly given jammies from my daughter. She had my dad do her shopping for her, sweet thing. And, I did not know that I had a freckle there, on my hand. Huh.

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday and I really hope to begin my blog visits again...really soon. I need them.


Sunday, December 23, 2007


In pouring the hurt, and the ick, and the trauma out of my soul and onto my computer, I never thought I would "meet" (by virtue of blog visits) the wonderful people that are Jess, Jess T., Lissie, Rachael and Woli (I alphabetized you). I began my internet experiences as a cynic to forming friendships across miles, and cables and telephone wires. I was wrong. And today I am astounded, and amazed-filled up with gratitude. J,J.T.,L,R, and Woli, you turned a really horrendous day of anger, rage, uncertainty and tremendous fear into a day to be happy because of the kindness of your acts. James dances around the box and cannot wait to open it. It is the thing he is most intrigued by.

I read your blogs and get caught up in your lives for a little while and that brings peace to me. And yet, you went beyond that. I cannot, nor shall I ever be able to thank you enough. For once, tears over the thoughtfulness you all possess pour down my face instead of tears of sadness. Thank you for doing that for me.

For everyone who visits her and continues to encourage us I am so grateful. I draw strength from the comments here. I love visiting your blogs and reading about you. The cynic has turned into the believer. Many days, this blog...and reading others...are all I've got that makes sense. I appreciate you all so very, very much.

A note on Nicole, (stop me if I am repeating myself) she is NG tube free, they have removed 2 of the 4 drains and placed her on full liquids (she is less than thrilled). I combed all of the rat's nests out of her hair. The 14 years as a licensed cosmetologist and a bottle of hospital provided baby lotion did the trick. She sat in a chair for 3 hours today and is able to walk two doors down the hallway. I am encouraged. There is a part of me that dreads Christmas morning but hearing my son say,"This is going to be a GREAT Christmas!" as he arranged presents around the tree, was uplifting. I have to learn to appreciate and be grateful for that which I have instead of dwelling on that which has been taken from me.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Long Days...

Hmmmm... Should I post about how my truck wouldn't start this morning so James didn't go to school and I put in a new batter and that didn't work so I had to get a tow to the auto rapis--er---shop and they are charging me $950 for a fuel pump replacement? No. That would require telling you all how I almost had a nervous breakdown, right here, in my own home. How I looked to the heavens and shouted,"I'm sorry, so sorry for whatever it is I did!"

Should I tell you how the doctor said it is looking like Nicole won't be home for Christmas? How she was upset that I couldn't spend the day with her like we had planned and got there at 5 PM? No, that would require telling you all how I had to swallow tears as I processed the idea of a Christmas morning with 2 and not 4...not even the 3 I thought I could handle. And how I thought about calling up family and saying,"Hey can we just not do this right now?" But that would be wrong too.

Instead, I am going to tell you about Karl, or it could be Carl, at the Hertz car rental near my house. You see, I am letting someone else use my daughter's car and therefore don't have an extra car while the truck is in the shop. I called around for about an hour for a rental but it being Christmas and all, no one had even the compactest of compacts available. On my last flustered attempt, I reached Karl/Carl. I spewed it all out-how my daughter was sick, how my car was sick, how I was sick with trying to find a car and "could you please, please help me?" And he did. In a really big way. It turns out his car was in the shop and he was using a rental. He gave me his saying that he could wait for a late return and to give him a half hour and he would have it cleaned up and ready to go. That was when I told him that I loved him, this kid on the phone I had never met and who didn't really sound like my type (lame attempt at humor). And he got me a car. A little Cobalt that James loves playing with the GPS on. Did I mention what a good boy James has been? For a boy used to routine, he is amazingly cooperative.

Also, instead, I am going to tell you what a lovely woman Woli who, along with some other bloggers that I will also thank when I open the box, sent me a wonderful surprise for Christmas. James (and I admit the little girl that is still me) are really excited and can't wait to share it with Nicole. I am so amazed that someone would do something so completely generous for us. Woli, and other bloggers that I can't wait to know about, I thank you so very much. I came home tonight and that box brightened up a really...really...cruddy day. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

James has popped all the bubbles that surrounded his Grandma's Christmas gift and is safely tucked in bed. Did you know that Bed Bath and Beyond packages their shipments in these delightfully over sized bubble wrap sheets that make a delightfully loud (think firecrackers in the house) popping noise when rolled over? He had a blast for about a half hour. Now that's entertainment.

This has been a very sad, very long week for us and I thank you all for checking in and giving me the encouragement that helps me so much and also gives me the reinforcement that, indeed, people do care. We care so very much about you as well and I cannot wait to get back to vicariously living through all of you.


Thursday, December 20, 2007

Sitting in Chairs

I have sat in a lot of chairs this past week, keeping vigil, willing life back into Nicole's body. A body that at times looks exactly like my baby did when she was three. I have sat in the plastic covered chairs that convert to beds but never feel quite right, the springy backed plastic conference chairs, the ledge of the window in her room and once on a closed porta potty. All the while, trying to make her healthy again.

She had a lot of visitors tonight and I think they made her tired. Her cheeks were flushed and her eyes were bright and dull all at the same time. There isn't the happy girl there. The one that draws people to her. The one that was always better at conversation than I. After everyone left, I sat for awhile, hoping my presence would give her some rest...I am not always sure of that because she has always been Poppy's girl. I could not help the tears that came. Tears for her and the thought that she might never have children of her own...and she loves them so much. Her sad little voice had assured me,"Don't worry. There's lots of little kids that need mom's. I can always adopt." Tears over how this had happened so quickly, over what could have been differently. Fresh tears for a fresh situation, mingling with ever ready, already feeling ancient tears for the man I haven't seen in ever so long and still ache to see. He would have made this right. He would have known exactly what to do. He could have calmed all of our fears.

I drove home tonight with James because he is missing me and scared for his sister and sad and all those things that a little boy should never be. I drove home in our too big for us now car thinking about how, just 4 and a half months ago there were four of us. Four of us more content and happy than I ever was grateful for. Tonight there were two of us. And I wish I could stop thinking for awhile.

Your thoughts, your vibes and your prayers have meant so much. The cards and Christmas cards make me smile and I really appreciate them. I put up a picture of Magglio that a friend from DU found in her room and it made her smile. I've printed up well wishes for her to read. You are all really wonderful. I can never hope to repay this kindness.

And on to her status. Her temperature rose slightly to 100 tonight. The nurse turned down the thermostat in her room which could have contributed to that. It was at a very muggy 77. Her hemoglobin is below 8. If it stays that way tomorrow they will give her a transfusion. On the positive side, they clamped her NG tube late last night, and she made it through the day without nausea which means they can remove it tomorrow. Her oxygen saturation remains high. There are bright spots everywhere here. The fever is the thing that worries me most because the chance of recurrent infection is pretty high... her surgeon is excellent though. She worries a lot about things "hurting", like the removal of the NG, the removal of the staples, the drains coming out. My reply is always,"I will be right here baby..." I wish I could trade places with her.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Thank you

Thank you for your comments, your concern, your caring. Sometimes I sit and think about that while watching Nicole. She is hanging in there. No fever, which is good, but difficulty getting the other systems going, which is frightful. She is still pretty out of it, except for begging me not to leave her at night. It hurts to leave her. I will post more tomorrow as I hope to bring my laptop with me. Thanks again everyone.

More on Nicole...

This is a copy and paste from another place but I am tired and scared and I need to get back to the hospital but Nicole is not well.

She is very, very sick. She has a very bad infection and was taken into surgery tonight, where they removed a good deal of infected tissue, her left tube and ovary. She is now in telemetric care on mega doses of antibiotics and they are draining her abdomen. They don't know why/how this happened. They don't know if they got it all. She had been dealing with cysts for over 9 months and we have been proactive about it and this just happened. I cannot bear to think of losing her. Please keep my baby in your thoughts. All I know is that I really just don't want to go through this anymore. Thank you for all of the good wishes you have sent us.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


My baby girl is in the hospital. She has been not feeling well for a couple weeks and therefore not eating or drinking. She has been under a doctor's care but today he decided to admit her for furthur testing since the outpatient treatment wasn't working and she is rapidly losing weight. We were there from 4:30 to 1 AM and now they are getting her set up in a room. So far nothing. I tried so hard to get her to eat and drink.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

How I became MrsGrumpy...or Learn how to talk right, Laura...

After so many years of using it, having people (you nice people, you) tell me that I'm not grumpy at all, having people think my husband was a miserable SOB (he definitely wasn't), I will post the story here. I have posted it here and there on the internet, as a comment on some one's blog, or in response to a message board,"How did you come up with your screen name query?". I usually answered far too late and so on it went. People thinking I was an older much so that many people (in my internet circle) were stunned at Leonard's and my ages. 37. 37 is what he always gets to be... But I'm getting off track. It goes like this.

We have a couple of dear friends who happen to be married. I met her through our daughter's friendship, and Leonard later became best friends with her husband. This is a the perfect grouping. All involved genuinely like and cared for each other. The bonus being our children getting along. Over the last 8 years we have spent a good majority of our free time together. Euchre parties (okay, not parties... 4 of us, cards, beer and laughter...God, I don't want that to be over), coffe drinking, poker tournaments for the guys, Costco shopping for the girls, birthday parties etc... One night we all went out to dinner. We were sitting all lined up and smooshed together in one of those booths that has the divider that can be removed. The kids were slap happy crazed and I had a headache. One of their daughters asked me a "What if..." type question that I can't remember anymore. I replied,"Well...that would make Mrs Grumpy very Harper..." and a username was born. They have also been known to call me MrsHarpy, but that would have created internet flamewars by its mere existance I fear.

Writing this, and remembering those days-Days that are no longer my present but only exist as a (seemingly) far distant past-is killer. All I want is that back. All I want is my children's Daddy back, Luke's (Luke is the friend) moron twin whole life back.

Yesterday we went to a get together at one of Leonard's cousin's houses. It was an impromptu Christmas, bon voyage (another cousin is moving), let the kids play parties. My position is now an odd one. I just don't belong. I didn't want to go, but it is so good for James to see his family. It is so bad to stand on the porch I used to stand on with Leonard, watch the men he used to hang out with continue to hang out...only without him. Answer questions about how I'm feeling. I usually reply with,"I'm still here..." but it gets tired and I am tired and I am also freaking them out a bit I am sure. But one thing is true, while I long to be with him, I cannot and will not do that to my children. This is my punishment...for what, I do not know.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Internet Shopping and Brand New Puppies...

On the one hand, I am glad for the internet and the ability to do most of my shopping in my pajamas at 4:30 AM. On the other, it is really hard to keep track of just how much I am buying and keeping things even with the kids...and now we're at crunch time for shipping and I've kind of lost the desire to finish it all. But that would not be fair to the kids.

Nik is still at home. I live in fear of her getting worse, never wanting to eat right again, getting sicker...

I started this last night...and then the computer went all wonky on me (why do they suddenly shut down for no reason when they are brand new?) and I lost my train of thought anyway.

I have hit a brick wall. There is so much I should be doing and I sit here, looking at it, with a headache. I really, really don't want Christmas to be here, and I am sorry for that.

About the puppy. I went to visit my cousin (in law, but I am claiming her for my own because she has been so good to me) and see her brand new little puppy. And he is adorable and fluffy. He is a shitzu (sp) and he looks like an automated stuffed animal. He is all grunts and squeals and cuddles and waving little baby paws...and the puppy smell! He is delicious. And then, because I can't walk away from this, I realized that he had been born after Leonard. That he would never know how much Leonard loved dogs, and know that through gentle rough housing and belly rubs and baby talk. And the missing him took over.

This afternoon I think I am driving out to Lansing with James (and I hope Nicole) to visit my cousin. He is up visiting his sister and I haven't seen him in more than 2 decades. I was 16 the last time I saw him and we went to Kings Island together with my brother and his family. He was always the "scare you in the dark" older cousin... The one I was afraid of. I admit, at 37, I am a little afraid of him yet.

On an unrelated side note... I have changed my posting name from MrsGrumpy to my real name: Laura. There is a bittersweet back story to the choosing of the unsername, MrsGrumpy, and I don't want to give the readers here or the authors of other blogs the wrong impression. Perhaps tonight, or maybe tomorrow...I will tell the story. It had nothing to do with being married to MrGrumpy and everything to do with Spoonerisms.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Truth...

I feel a need to write this. For my sake, my children's sake...and also for the sake of anonymous. Who could very well be a concerned family member, friend, or someone who thinks they know me...or surmises they know of the life I live.

The truth is...if it were not for my children I would easily, and very gladly, followed my husband. I told him a long time ago that where he was would be where I wanted to be...where I always would be. The truth still is. The truth is that I confess to having nights where I beg God to take me in the night, so that I wouldn't have to deal with one more day of this...because I am selfish, I guess. But I can't help that. I have already written the truth that it is a struggle to force my medications down every day. The truth is that somedays I really don't want to. The truth is that many days I do feel as if my children would be better off with out me. Because that is what a lot of us will do in a situation we are powerless to control. And we can't help but think these things...

The truth also is...there is a tree in the living room because I took my son out and bought one. The truth is I have been nursemaid to my daughter for a week now because she is ill. The truth is my heart stopped last night at the doctor's when she passed out (she is okay everyone, she has something buggish going on and hasn't been eating well and that is what caused it). The truth is I cannot bear the thought of something happening to one of my children, but I try not to think about it too much. Why you ask? Because I worried about Leonard that way...and that worry became reality...and maybe I am poison. Again, one cannot help but think they are being punished by losing the things dearest to them.

Also the truth includes... I was always a stay at home mom and I will continue to be so. I'm not a run out for lunch with the girls type, or a weekend partier. My husband wasn't and I am not. I dreaded Girl's Nights before, and went to make my husband happy. I hate crowds. I like being jammified at home. That is the truth. My going to that event would have created strain and stress upon my children. It would not have been about taking a breath. It would have been about drowning in situations where I do not feel safe.

The truth is that my breath is this blog. Beyond that it is my written journal. The things I write about there are the things I can't write about here for fear of hurting someone I have already hurt once. I am human. That is the truth.

This blog is where I cry because I cannot spend my days crying when there are chores to be done, work appointments to keep and children to care for. When I first created this blog I fancied it a place to make friends and share the humor of my family life, and some of the (now seemingly small) fears and tears of the same life. A life that doesn't belong to me anymore, and sometimes feels like it never existed at all. I know that a lot of times this blog is probably hellish and depressing to read but it is all I have. My best friend and confident left 3 and a half months ago. So many of you have many have cared, with cards sent, wearing the bracelets you asked me for (you have no idea how much that means to me), with being there. You have done a lot for me with your words. You have done a lot for me with your blogs that I can visit and read happy things on and laugh with you...or cry with you...hurt with you. You have helped.

And, for anonymous, I appreciate your concern. I only wish I knew your name so we could talk about it.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Need Vs. Want

I need him. "No you don't, you just want him..." says my father. No, I need him. Really, I do. He was my fix it man. Everything is okay when he is around.

I have spent today thinking of a million odd little moments we spent together. The day he took me for a drive, after my first surgery to get me out of the house and stopping at the Burger King in Imlay City...staring across the table at those devastating dimples. I was luckier than even I knew back then. Our wedding day...when he looked up at me, midway through his vows, and thinking how wonderful it would be to spend the rest of our (it turns out his) life together. God, how I need him. I need the day we went out and looked at that crappily built, but huge, house on 5 acres...the snow down my back whenever we were outside in winter. Looking at him curled up on his side, asleep in Krandall, while I read a book on the couch. Tonight I said,"Honey, it's time to get up and go to bed..." just to see how it sounded in my empty living room

No, it is not is need. It always will be.

Friday, December 7, 2007

It's hard to type with a bandaid on your pinky

I cut myself today. I was downstairs in the basement, shuffling through the boxes and bags, looking for wrapping paper... "Please Mommy, please can I wrap my presents tonight?" "Now?" "Now can I?" "You're never going to let me..." and I sliced my pinky pretty deeply on a broken china doll. Because those are the kinds of treasures you can find in our basement. My son felt really bad for "making" me cut myself. I really have to work on alleviating his guilt. We've been spending a lot of time on that this week.

I can't believe broken china can cut a person so badly...ouch.

Tomorrow is "girl's night" and I don't want to go. So I'm not. Ever since Leonard and I were dating, the women in his family (his mom, aunts, cousins, cousins wives, and my sister in law) would get together every few months to basically eat and play a dice game involving gifts. They started out as White elephant gifts. Crap you could find around your house or pick up for a buck at a garage sale. I was so proud of myself the year I got the light up conch shell with the "souvenir of Florida" sticker still on it. At Christmas time, everyone was to spend $10 or under on something nicer. My sister in law never listens and always spends around $50, which prompts everyone to be pissed off, and avoid her gift as if it were covered in lice...which, in turn, would piss her off...and so on. It can be fun...but lots of times it's a gathering of one upmanship and petty squabbling. I have enjoyed them in the past. But, I don't feel like crying in front of everyone, I don't feel like listening to my mother in law go on and on about her loss... I guess, I just don't feel like it because it is acting like nothing is wrong when everything is wrong and I'm trying so very hard to not crash. That would make me crash, in a flaming pile of nothing. I can't do that.

Tomorrow James is going to go to coin stores with his Uncle. Russ is my husband's closest cousin and they grew up like brothers. James and Leonard were collecting coins (they have all the different books) and Russ and his daughter (the same age as James) got into it and the four of them would scour the shops on weekends. I'm glad that he has decided to go as he's turned him down several times because "it wouldn't feel right without Daddy" and they will soon be moving to Texas.They're moving on right after Christmas, which totally hurts.

Thanks again for all your support and for tuning in so often. I don't know how you do that. but I appreciate it. ***I keep typing "[" instead of "p" and I just noticed I'm smudging blood on the keys which I guess means the bandaid has been bled through. I told you it was deep.

Have a nice weekend.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

It's not right...

It's just not right that a little boy should sit in a car, sobbing his eyes out for the man we all miss. It's not right that nothing I say will make him feel better. It's not right that his sister's emotional pain manifests itself into physical pain. It's not right that this is all too much for me to handle. It's not right that he is not here, nor will he ever be again. It's not right that I check in with a friend on her blog and her pain brings me to my knees---thinking of a little girl lost. It's just not right.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Putting too fine a point on it...

Christmas cards have started rolling in. Most years I looked forward to this because I loved the sending and the receiving-reading about the updates among our family and friends, and letting them know ours. And now, it's this year. The first two cards were addressed to Mr and Mrs. Our Last Name (it's not like it's too hard to figure out, me being all transparent about those things but this makes me feel better). They were written by two people who (obviously) didn't know. One, a coworker from a place he used to work. The second, our old next door neighbors. These things make it seem not real. I mean it can't be real. This can't have happened. I don't want it to have happened. I still think, somehow, I can change this. I am full of it. The proper thing to do would be to write them and let them know... I don't want to. My twisted mind thinks that, if they don't know, then maybe it's like he is a little bit alive still... because I think crazy thoughts like that all the time. And I really, really, really NEED for him to be alive. How would one go about letting them know after so much time has passed...? Scratch that. How could one go about letting them know after three and a half months have passed and she, herself, doesn't yet get it?

I'm not sending out cards this year because there isn't really anything to say. Today was a really bad day. I most of the time feel like I am living in a parallel universe. I sometimes think that I think too much about it. Today, as I was putting the beads on the tree, I wanted to pull it down (the tree) and throw the ornaments. Today, as my father was talking to me I wanted to scream,"shut up! shut up! SHUT UP!!!" I want to make this stop.

The television special "For One More Day" is coming out (this weekend, I think). I read the book when it came out. My thoughts have changed since I lost Leonard. One More Day wouldn't make a difference. In my case at least. It would just be one more day of loving him...and still feeling the tremendous loss...because that Saturday would have been a perfect One More Day. If only I was okay with it being only one more day. I know this paragraph doesn't make much sense, but it me. If I were to have one more day, I would still feel cheated at its end. I would still be angry, and sad, and ripped apart, and needy. I would ask for more. Because I am selfish. Because it never would have been enough. Forever, with this wonderful man, would not have been enough. Because I lived in fear of this day even when I thought it would happen much later in my life.

Pictures. I have tons of pictures. And the boards for the service that are exactly where they were put when we got home. I can't look at them. Today I gave voice and life to the words, "I am afraid I will never be able to look at my beautiful husband's face again." It gets worse. It is almost a phobia. I am afraid to look at my husband's face for fear that this pain will spiral out of control.

If you usually get a Christmas card from me I am very sorry.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Finished trees (almost), Christmas shopping, and a visit to the ER (at 3:30 AM)

We are done...well...almost. I did buy a chain of beads to go around it. We went with that instead of Leonard's favorite tinsel because I want a different look to the tree. That sounds stupid, but I am hoping it will work. Even small changes, if the kids allow them, might help me to breathe through this.
Here is James standing in front of his creation. For it is truly his. I kind of wussed out. He put on about 97% of the ornaments. I only placed the blue ornament you will see below and our first ornament which you will also see, in all it's blurred glory because I wasn't able to hold the camera steady. They have the "places of honor" this year. Each year, certain ornaments will go in the "place of honor", which is directly below the star, on the highest branches to the left and right. Usually it is reserved for the Packers ornaments (nobody said we had class) I have collected over the years. Also note that my son is unable to keep his eyes wide open for a picture. I didn't take the 20 minutes that I did to take the Halloween pictures this time. I try to do the "Tyra trick". For those of you with lives who don't watch ANTM marathons, this trick is to keep your eyes closed until just before the shot. I will shout,"Open!!!" and James will open his eyes, and I'll snap the shot. This time it sort of worked, and we got the half lidded look. He also got to go shopping at school today. Secret santa.

He loves shopping for everyone and then bringing the bags home and showing everyone. The way it goes is that whoever the gift is for has to close their eyes. Only, he has the habit of saying what the things are as you are looking at them so the giftee usually knows what their gift is. Only he didn't do that this year. And it was bittersweet. On the form, where you are supposed to put the names for parents, grandparents, and siblings I screwed up. I wrote his daddy's name. Sometimes I think I am going crazy. If you look really close at the closeup picture of the tree (with James' big glass snowman for his first Christmas), just to the left of center is my 2nd grade picture in an ornament we made in class. Me, with the grown out pixie.

The last two shots are of our first Christmas ornament (after we were married, in 1996) and Leonard's first ornament that was made for him as a baby. It is so simple and so Leonard that it hurts. I keep trying and failing to find ways to do this.

Lastly (gosh is this entry disjointed), I was at the ER with my daughter on Monday morning...early. Her back was killing her and I wanted to make sure it wasn't a kidney infection. They did an ultrasound, found some cysts and sent her on her way with some painkillers. Luckily, they were not busy and we were pretty much in and out. I can't believe how easily they prescribe painkillers. I'm really glad she is okay. I think, sometimes, that emotions can make pain intensify. Okay, I don't think it. I know it.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Old Friends

Today was mercifully busy...even though it required little effort by me. Although I did wipe up a few icky spots that were completely noticeable in the kitchen. I also put away pop cans, cleaned the toilet (blech), wiped down doors (flu season freak am I), and cleared off the table. Wow, you say...she's finally moving. It was because one of Leonard's (and my) oldest friends was coming over. Leonard grew up with him, while I met him at 13, in my 8th grade social studies class. Are you noticing a pattern as to how I met my closest friends and my sweetheart? Social studies has always been good to me. Al is a wonderful human being. When Leonard and I were first married, he would come over every month or so for dinner and, crazy wild ones that we were, Monopoly. It became a tradition we all looked forward to. When Al got married, Leonard and I both missed those times. We didn't spend as much time with him after that, as often happens when people get married. Al came over with his daughter (2 and adorable AND well behaved...figures) and sat for a couple of hours. For about 10 years Leonard and I, Al (and later his girlfriend/wife), another friend Jerry and his girlfriend now wife, and Al's brother Aaron had gotten together around the Christmas holidays for dinner. We would go somewhere nice and catch up. It was an assurance that we would see each other at least once a year. Al came over to try and change my mind about not going. I don't want to go without Leonard. That was a total Leonard event. I cannot imagine going without him...functioning while there without him...and coming home without him. I can't, I just can't. I am also private (again believe it or not, me with the blabbing blog) and don't want people to see me cry. Also, they are expecting a very different Laura than the one they would see. Everything...everything...everything...about my life was destroyed and/or horrifically changed.

Al left, and before I had his coffee cup rinsed, Leonard's cousin Russ and his wife came over (these are the ones who will soon be joining you in Texas, Tessie) with their children. These are the people we spent most of the last decade close to. Leonard and Russ grew up like brothers and, when Russ met Suzanne, it was even better. We spent so many wonderful times together. Russ and Suzanne had a New Year's eve party every year at their house where children were included. It grew every year and was a wonderful way to ring in the New Year. I loved watching my husband enjoy being surrounded by his family. I loved watching my husband play with the children he loved. And they loved him. We also went out to dinner with them every once in awhile. Tonight, the kids and I went to a Mongolian BBQ with them. And it kills me to hear "7" in answer to "how many...?" when it used to be and should still be "8". It is good to see them and yet I feel sad and jealous and sick all at the same time. I am going to miss them so much when they leave after Christmas. Thank God we aren't still in the horse and buggy era, or this would be truly awful.

I appreciate, again, the comments that you've all left. I am so grateful for the blog friendships I have made. Gina, I finally went to that blog you mentioned in your entry the other day (before taking you much needed post nanoblopomo rest) and it was a lot like a million other blogs out there... What is funny to me is that I have visited blogs who list that site in their blogroll, and a lot of them strive to copy that...or at least seem to. Maybe it's me. Sometimes it really seems like a blog is written off a template i.e. ***insert over descriptive comment here*** about one's ****child, husband, job, dog/cat, coworker**** here. But maybe that's what most blogging is about. I know I did/have done/do a lot of that. Anyway, Gina's entry got me thinking about it and I really enjoy visiting the blogs of others possibly more than spilling my guts here. Okay, I know I do. I just wanted to post something that wasn't all "man I hate this" for a change.

Anectdote from tonight: As we were standing in line, waiting for our Mongolian concoctions to be grilled, Suzanne turned to me and said,"Oh ick! That cook just walked over and blew his nose and then didn't wash his hands..." The cook happened to be the one who was grilling my food. ***insert overly descriptive wanting to barf comment here*** As anyone who knows me knows, I have a problem with all gross things relating to noses and the emptying of them. I have been known to throw up at the slightest mention of nostrilicular fluids (erp...gag). This did not bode well for me eating. I said to Suzanne,"Oh...I wish you hadn't told me that..." She then spent the next five minutes attempting to restore my appetite by assuring me that,"Hey! They only touch the handle of the spatulas..." and,"Well, I'm sure the temperature of the grill cooked any germs off..." Oh....vomit.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Looking backward

My proof that the day wasn't a total waste. My dad took me to Evergreen (a home and garden store) and, after much walking back and forth between the prelit trees, this is what we came home with. Fake trees are far more expensive than I thought they would be. James helped me fluff it, and I am sure well will fluff more because I see some bare spots in this picture.
I want to take a moment to thank you for your comments yesterday. I needed to do that...I fear the stigma... you wouldn't believe how it is sometimes. And I hate it. I hate that so many think of my wonderful, kind, generous to a fault, husband based upon that one moment. It is like living in a fish bowl. The hushiness in the neighborhood when I walk out the door. Or it could be me, but it really feels like it. I'm still me. He is still the wonderful friend, brother, son, neighbor, dad, son-in-law, coworker that he always was.
I spent some time looking back on this blog. I usually type now, hit post and then run like blazes. I admire you all for reading here because I can't read it after I write it. I don't want to think about it, wonder about it, deal with it in printed form. But I did, I did read a little bit of it.Those first weeks...I don't even remember writing them, but I remember feeling that way because I am still there. Only without the shock. Only the pain remains.

Friday, November 30, 2007

What it feels like

Why is it that, everytime I sit down to write something happens? A phone call, my son...choosing that moment to have a blowout (he has, for such a sweet boy, a horrendous temper), a headache etc... So, here I am with 45 minutes left to go to say that I did it (!) I posted every day. It did make me realize that I could never, not ever, do a novel in a month...even though I've signed up two years running. Sigh...

I have been thinking of (or being haunted by) this. This that has happened to us. About the days that led up to this. About what it is or isn't to be me anymore.

It feels like being a ghost. Being tied down to this house...this half family...and knowing that I have to be whether I want to drift away or not. I sometimes stand in front of the medicine cabinet, looking at all of those meds thinking,"It wouldn't be so very bad...and think of the savings in copays..." and hearing or thinking of my children and mentally slapping myself for wanting so very badly to give up so many times. And so the medicine goes down.

I hate having to explain to people that my husband is gone. I hate having to face the reality of that. I will be the crazy lady who never took her husband's name off the house...because she didn't have to.

Driving down streets...stopping at the light on the corner and looking at the door of the bar he used to walk to with Luke (and took me to once). Envisioning him, holding that door...and then realizing for the 800th time that he's not in this world with me anymore.

"You were the only one who ever believed in me, trusted me and loved me no matter what... and I'm sorry I didn't always realize that..." Sometimes he would run to his mother, even though he had been let down so many times by them, to take care of. Because that is who he was. That is what he said,"I'm sorry" for that night. But it was okay...because I was the one he came home to every night. But it ended up being not okay.

Not okay because I think back to times he asked me to go with him and I didn't want to deal with the sometimes sad moments experienced...the personal pain for me. I think back on those times and want to change them. I want to have gone because it would have been one more hour I would have spent with him.

It is hearing the jets fly overhead and thinking back to that day of the airshow and how wonderful it was...and yet not wanting to think about it because it seems like yesterday only he's not in this world with me anymore to remember it with.

"I am a burden to you..." said the man who saved my life, who sat in countless hospital rooms, woke up every day (never taking a sick day) at 4:30 to work for us. Coming home to mow, and trim and fix, repair or replace anything before sitting in his chair smiling over at me and saying," I love this life..."

Two and a half days, 60 hours,(God that sounds so much less than it felt at the time) destroyed my life, my love and my future. Bitter, bitter, bittersweet memories of hands in my hair, hugs, listening to his heartbeating under my head on Friday night. Talking through the morning...afternoon...and evening on Saturday. "We'll start looking for land on Monday" "I can't wait to teach James how to drive." "We're going to take a vacation..." "You are the best mommy in the world." "I don't ever want to lose you..." and my returning,"We have to die on the same day because I cannot imagine life without you." And picking up James from our friends', because he wanted him home. Stopping to have a cup of coffee as I often did and having him call. "Are you guys coming? I miss you and I want to see my boy." Watching Charlotte's Web together with James and,"You are such a good boy...we are lucky aren't we Mama?" and then a headache came and he couldn't sleep. So I put cool washrags on his head, kissed him so very many times and gave him a benadryl. Going to bed later than I should have (God I hate myself for that) and realizing he wanted me there in bed, my big strong man, so that he could fall asleep. Of being blissful...not realizing that we would never share that bed again and it would, in a day's time, become the collector of all the things I didn't want to look at at the moment...and there are so many that even that cat can't lay there and cry for him anymore.

I think about waking up to a happy,"I slept really well, once you came to bed." Having coffee (too much as always) and watching him out the window as he worked on the lawn with James. James wanting to go to the zoo and his daddy saying,"that sounds like a good idea." I remember the clothes I grabbed to head for the shower. I swear, when he opened the door to talk to me he said,"We're running to the store, do you need anything? I'll be right back" Finding it funny that he didn't rip back the curtain as he always did, but stood in the doorway with his head turned away. Thinking about that as I finished rinsing away my face wash. I remember hearing noise as I got dressed and saying,"Hang on guys...I'll come with." and opening the door to James saying,"Daddy left without me." Later I found out he had sent him out to "get something..." so that he could leave without him. At least James told me,"Daddy told me to run to the garage for-" what it was I can't remember.

I sat at the kitchen table (the light is better there) to put on my makeup, having decided to be less frumpy and more of the girl he fell in love with. There came a time when I realized that he had been gone for 45 minutes...not so very long, but it felt like forever. The house is/was never "right" without him and the children there. Even James noticing,"Daddy's been gone a long time. The phone (my cell) rang and it was him. I expected it to be,"Run down to the furnace room and look at the filter size" and/or "coffee's on we need any" It wasn't. (God this is so hard to write but I need to...for me) It was,"I love you. God I love you so much. Tell Nik I love her and I am so very proud of her. Tell James I love him and I am so proud of him. I love you Laura...I love you so much. I never wanted to hurt you. I don't want to hurt you..." me trying to ask him what he meant, begging him to come home, asking where he was...Being drowned out by" I love you so very much..." and the beep-beep-beep that happens when a phone gets hung up. Trying to call him back. No answer. Begging him to tell me what was going on on his voicemail. Calling his best friend to go get him. To talk to him. Never once suspecting. Because that was not the voice of a man who wanted to die. It was the voice of a man with a twisted sense of duty, obligation and protecting his family. I hate his father for that. For making it okay.

I remember calling my girlfriend (the wife of his best friend) as I drove to him, asking if she had heard from them. I remember turning that corner, seeing the ambulances...and the police. And screaming. Screaming so loud. Feeling my heart rip free from my chest and begin a painful bounce. Engine running. His truck...running to him... being stopped by a policeman who wanted to "talk." I didn't talk, but I couldn't get to him. His best friend,"I'm so sorry... and what the hell?" The scratch of the carpet under my face as I clung to the floor..."she needs sedation..."

"I NEED my baby...I want my husband...bring me my baby..." and they never did. And I never saw him again on this earth. Only his hands. And the pain and the shock...and all of it. Stigma of trying to get people to believe that we were happy. No hang ups, no addictions...just a normal family. Our general practioner, in disbelief, saying he couldn't understand it. He was healthy...both physically and mentally. Replay, replay...replay... How can I change this? How can I fix this? I can't believe that I can't.

All I want is my husband. My anger toward his father for making this "okay" is great. Telling his mother that he never once blamed her for leaving when he was 12...but not being able to say that neither did I. All I want is to start the last 15 years of my life over again.

I know "why" which most people don't get the luxury of in this situation. I just can't wrap my head around the fact that this was after everything was going to be okay...

The day his father died, he promised me. And I believed him. I still do.

I did write this entry for myself. I had to. To spill some of the horrible, horrible pain out somewhere.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Slippery slopes and sinking ships

Tonight we had our Sandcastles grief meeting. James and Nicole were tired and, at first, didn't want to go but I think they are glad they went. Me... well I don't want to be there and I don't want to talk but I do listen. I just can't believe, at this point, that it will get better.

We went around the table(s..for there are far too many fathers, mothers, daughters and sons lost too soon) discussing plans for Christmas. Each person had to say their intentions, what they were thinking about doing, what worked/didn't work for them. It got to me and I really couldn't think of much to say. Only that it's a little bit like standing on the deck of the Titanic as it sank. The water is the holidays. I know I am rushing toward them as I grip the railing, trying to find purchase and a way to stay out of that bitter water. That analogy came to me the other day as I watched that film with James.

What it is that I am trying to write about for myself for Nanoblopomo and to attempt to heal a little bit is what happened the day that I lost him, how I lost him and the affect it has had and the reasons why this is so difficult for me. It hits again and again. Waking up each morning thinking that this is the day I wake up from the dream. Talking to friends of his/ours that still can't believe it to be true. All while trying to maintain a game face for a little boy who wants (and needs) a holiday...some happiness...some normal. I have to do this.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Keeping up with the

I have something that I promised I would post for myself before the end of this exercise in blogging every day for a month. I was going to attempt it tonight, but, again, the day has gotten away from me... there is too much "house stuff" to do... and I really need to sit and spend the proper time to do this. I have thought and cried about it all day. And the naivete-no, that's wrong- the innocent narcissm of a woman (more of a girl) on a message board has brought to me to the point where I need to post it...for myself. If I am to ever deal with it. I don't mean to dangle a carrot for those who read here. I am just tired and really meant to write tonight. I am upset that I didn't set aside the time because writing here lets me walk away from "duty" for a while. I appreciated your gift ideas. Thank you so much. I like the ornament idea and I just might be able to talk James into it.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

A little help here... and...Why did that hurt so bad?

As I have mentioned, I am doing all of my Christmas shopping online this year (I am sure with the exception of stocking stuffers etc...) and am proud of how far I have gotten. Now, I am stuck, as in the mother-in-law mud. I have no idea what to give her.

The funny thing is, I haven't seen her in weeks...and she showed up on my doorstep as I finished my first paragraph. And I still have no idea what to give her. And she does not understand that I am not competing with her in the grief department. I am just exhausted. I was going to make this a much longer (and possibly entertaining) entry but I have just lost it completely. I am grateful that my dad took up my invitation to stay for dinner and ended up watching "Transformers" with us, and I couldn't help thinking how much Leonard would have loved that movie. And then, because Tuesday night is such an awful television night, we watched the finale for "Dancing with the Stars"...and Helio reminds me so much of Leonard (at least his dimples and his dark eyes and hair) and there was a dance to "King of the Road". Leonard loved that song. Everytime I think I might find peace enough to sleep...there is his face. Only it's his face in my mind and I cannot reach out and touch it. I can't wrap my arms around his waist or fit my knees against his...or share his pillow. I can have all of his pillow now...if I wanted it.

I am really glad my dad stayed until 11:00, and that I had this to type...because now it is only 6 hours until time to get up. I hate this. I hate it more every day.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Sleepy...I am getting so very sleepy...

I have been sleepy since about 3PM and it is now just going on 8PM. Funny how time drags when you are waiting for a decent hour to go to bed.

On an up note, I was able to do a bit of Christmas shopping online this morning. Hopefully I won't have to step too often into a store this season. It is really hitting hard. It snowed today pretty hard for quite a while but the ground is not frozen and the temps are not below freezing. Stupid me left the last little bunch of leaves raked together, waiting for me to pick up more yard bags. I picked them up...and just as easily left them in the back of the truck. I will now be stuffing frozen leaves quickly into them tomorrow morning in the dark, racing against the DPW.

The turkey (how the heck did I type that turnkey?) turned out okay yesterday and both my father and Nicole's friend showed up. I made more than I thought I did so there are a lot of leftovers. Am I as boring as I am feeling I am with this post?

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Happy Turkey Day

Please excuse the scruffiness of the oven. I haven't run a cleaning cycle since the one I mentioned so many months ago.
So, there, I did (am) make (ing) a turkey today. For James and for Nicole, because they didn't really enjoy Thanksgiving (except for James as the game) either. Of course, I meant to have it ready by 1PM, but I got it in the oven at 12:30 so that wasn't going to happen. That is/was always the norm for me anyway. Given the fact that my father hasn't shown up yet, nor has Nicole's friend, Michelle, they know this well. It smells like a holiday, yet doesn't feel like a holiday. Leonard should be in Krandall, watching the game. Tough luck Laura.
I did do some Christmas shopping today. By Internet, for the kids. I realize I cannot even walk into Kroger/Walgreen's/7-11 without breaking down over the Christmasy-ness of it all, so I am not going to bother. If I can't get it online it is not being given. I also am getting all the wrapping paper on line. I never like going out among the Christmasy people anyway...this just compounds it. Believe it or not, it got to where Leonard loved it more. And I need him. And again, this morning, it hit like a ton of bricks.
The bowling? It was nice to see my kids have a ton of fun. Nicole rode the same bull her father rode earlier this year... and I made it. But I don't want to.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

What day is it again?

I spent all day thinking it was Sunday, but then knowing it wasn't because I am making the turkey on Sunday and the kids don't go back to school for another day. No, that doesn't make sense but welcome to my world.

My best friend came over last night, a much needed event. I was able to is and talk and cry and talk (if you call shouting at points talking) and miss him. Was it helpful in the way of moving forward? No. I am not there and don't know if I ever will's about the kids. End of story. Which brings me to what I am doing tonight, after not doing any of the cleaning type things I was going to do today and spending most of the day (until 5PM) in my jammies. Tonight I am going bowling with Nicole, Michele (her best friend), Michele's mom and James. What I want to do is go to bed. But I have to attempt a semblance of life if only for the kids. I will sit and pay because RA keeps from being able to bowl anymore-a pastime Leonard and I once enjoyed as teenagers. I really won't mind.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Television and Telephones

My son spent most of the day playing SIMS. I am (used to be) so boring that I had recreated my little family of four on the computer. I can't bear to look at it these days. James has fun building the houses, but then, by the time they are built, he is bored with it all.

Nicole is out shopping with a friend. Window shopping because one needs $ to shop and she hasn't gotten a job yet. She's applied to four places but I think her availability counts her out.

I just got off the phone with my dad. Discontent, heartache and knowing there is nothing I can do about it. I am so happy for my dad...that his life is full, but I don't wish to partake in it. It makes the missing of Leonard so much sharper. I am sick of having people watch me cry. It takes to much energy to start the car.

My son really wants to buy a tree, like always, this year. I tried to talk to him about buying a prelit one. No avail. I don't know how I will shop, when I hate leaving the house and even using the computer (doing this here) takes so much out of me. I spent most of the day staring at the pages of Rhett Butler's People, which is supposed to be very good...but I couldn't tell you.

The comments from everyone have been so wonderful, and I wish I could spill everything that is on my heart here...but I can't, because of people who read this blog, and my own need to protect. I think some of the discontent comes from there.

I am so tired of day after day after day.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Day's End...

And that is what I am thankful for.

I am horrible for that, but points for honesty, I suppose. It was excruciating to drive over there without him (I know I said I wasn't going to but I ended up caving. See guilt spoken about later on), know that he was not going to meet us there (as he often did on holidays because one or the other of us would stay longer than the other wanted to), and that I would be stuck with my mom and my grandma for the duration of the afternoon. I admit to crying on the drive over, trying my best to cover, and having my grandmother ask,"What's wrong?" as I entered the house. If it didn't hurt so much, this obtuseness, I would laugh. "I am sad," is all I said. "Well, I know that.." was her response. And on it went. I didn't go over until my mother called to tell me James was on his way home from the game. I didn't want to spend a moment longer than I had to.

James decided he wanted to come home with us tonight. His sister wasn't' happy about it, and a fight ensued. I'm trying to do the right thing. I don't want to do this in a month's time for Christmas. I want to be anywhere but here. Which isn't true. I just want to be with him. Where I always thought I would be...where I told him I wanted to be whenever he asked me if I was happy. I was happy with Leonard, the man. Whether we lived in a mobile home, a house, a house on land, or God forbid a rented room or cardboard box. That's all. That's it.

I looked at today as a dry run for Christmas. We failed miserably. The only good thing I did was stand up to my mother's guilt trips ("you could have stayed here tonight, you know...) and have a good conversation with the kids about living life without feeling guilty. I saw that she had an impact on James that way when he opted to come home with me. His father was led by guilt. Guilt over his dad, his mom...and, sadly, me. I don't want his son to be that way. Nicole doesn't have that problem and I'm glad of it. She runs from me as fast as she can. We had a horrid fight tonight and I'm tired of it. I give up almost.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Home Alone

James is spending the night at Nana's (my mother) and going to the Packers/Lions game tomorrow. Nicole went to a concert...and so here I am. My very first night before Thanksgiving spent all by myself. I look at this picture and think of how much has changed in the year since this happy, happy day. My baby boy's heart broken, my heart taken away by this devastatingly handsome and much loved man.

Today I am wishing with all my might for a medically induced coma that would last until January...or forever, even, when I think about it.

I was thinking again about the phrase,"It doesn't get gets different..." and I realized I don't want different. I want what always was. And I don't know what I did to have it all go so very wrong.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all. I hope you are surrounded by family,love, and peace. For those travels.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

"I'm a single's difficult...", says Reese Whitherspoon

Really? It is? With millions and a nanny?

I am being my usual angry and judgemental self (of late) today. James and I went to the grocery store because I think I have my plans cemented. He will have Thanksgiving with my mom and grandma, and I will make a turkey for us on Sunday. While standing in line I noticed an issue of OK! magazine. I confess to having a subscription to People magazine for 2 years until Leonard talked me out of it. I miss it... I picked up the magazine and started paging through it, not recognizing half the names and wondering where the heck I have been for the last decade or so of television and motion pictures. I came to a story on Reese Witherspoon and that was the headline. I read on thinking what could possibly be tough when one makes millions of dollars, can take as much time off as she wishes, has a nanny (verified by the article) etc...etc...etc... I thought perhaps she would talk of the emotional strain, or how sad it is to not be a two parent family, missing the support. No, it was about juggling work and parenting. Which I am sure is tough, but for some reason really rankled me tonight.

For me, and I am only new at this, being a single parent is tough because of missing my husband, needing my husband, relying on my husband, worrying that I am messing up my children's minds and hurting for them. And I am lucky. We had life insurance, my husband had a good job, I am able to continue to afford the COBRA and still stay home and work from here.

For others it is far worse. No husband/wife, no insurance, sometimes working two jobs, no nannies.... and it makes me angry to read about how tough Reese has it. There wasn't one spot in the article where she said she was grateful for all that she had. Strike that. There was this: "I have a nanny who is very helpful." That's nice.

I can tell I am in a cranky mood tonight. I seem to have two settings this week. Miserable and Angry. Nothing else. Today the slightest things are setting me off. I am not being a very good mom. Today the feelings of wanting to run to that nowhere place are very strong.

Today I am thankful for little boys who help bring in the groceries after loading the car.

Monday, November 19, 2007

"He held you back a little bit..."

Someone...someone very close to me said those words to me (luckily over the phone) today. And I was crushed. That someone would think that of my husband...would say that of my husband... someone I care very much about said that today about Leonard. It burned, it stabbed, and it is still-and always will be-poking its way through my heart.

I was happy with my life. It was everything I wanted. I looked forward to our future. I loved our dreams, and our plans. My husband encouraged my business...and was so excited looking forward to building it up together. He backed my every move. I do find myself feeling so sad that I procrastinated and blew off his often asked,"Did you do anything to move the business forward today?" I file that sadness next to never getting the stupid washing machine fixed again. I was always too tired.

I sobbed all of this at the person, who I don't want to name, who said this to me. I asked him/her how he/she could know so much about my own love? This person persisted...driving the hurt, the loneliness... all of it, a lot deeper. And I had already thought I could bear no more.

I have made the decision that I do not think I am going to go to my Mom's for Thanksgiving on Thursday. James will still go to the game, and the kids will have dinner there (if they wish) but I won't be able to stand it. I hate myself for not getting along with her. They are bitter. They sniff, and they judge and they expect me to be over it. They ask,"What's wrong?" each time they call and I even remotely sound like I have been crying...or, even stupider, "Do you have a cold?" I hope I am not so very out of touch with the feelings of others as the elder women in my family appear to be.

What I wish for, knowing that my biggest wish won't come true, is that I could go somewhere, anywhere for the next 6 weeks, where there are no expectations of joy. I've been running, and running and running, in my head, but there is nowhere to go. He was my safe place, my island, my refuge, my protector, and more than I can apparently impress on my family, my everything.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Terminal Disconnect

I always mean to go to bed early. And I never do. I never have, to be honest.

I worked "a teeny bit" today. I had promised my father's girlfriend that I would do an appraisal on her mother's house for their estate. I inspected the house itself today and will try and finish the report and the operating income statement (they are thinking of renting it out) sometime this week.

I am really dreading Thursday. It is the beginning of what is in store for us this holiday season. Leonard was really getting into the spirit of the holidays ever since the children came on the scene. Every year he bought something special just from him for the children. 9 years of Daddy gifts for James, and 14 for Nik. He has just left a big, gaping hole in everything. It bothers me because it doesn't seem to get better...or even become the different that people talk about.

I was at the pharmacy today, filling a prescription, and the woman in front of me was telling the pharmacy clerk that she was celebrating her 56th anniversary...and it hit me that I don't get to do that. I still have trouble believing that this is all real. And I get jealous. Really jealous. That was going to be us. I beg the universe at night to not make me/us have to do this.

James is going to the Packers/Lions game on Thursday with my mom. She wants to have a Thanksgiving Dinner there afterward, but James asked me if maybe I could make it at our house. I am trying to do the things the kids want-trying. I will talk to her (God, give me strength) tomorrow.

I think I have watched 20-odd episodes of "America's Next Top Model" this week. Someone (insert James' name here) went through and deleted a bunch of stuff on tivo that I was saving to watch this weekend. ER, no Little People Big World, no Daily Show...grrr...