Sunday, September 30, 2007


I find myself doing some really crazy stuff these days. Yesterday, I was cleaning out my inbox (Leonard always made fun of the fact that I had literally thousands of emails that I never read, but always got, because I signed up for 11 million different mailing lists) and I sent him an email, asking him to come back. He didn't respond.

The reason I was going through my email was because I was looking for these pictures. They were taken by his cousin in April on another one of the best nights of my life.

His cousin, Deb, works at the bar, which is located in a bowling alley. We had gone out on one of our "Once Annual Date Nights" (which were almost up to "Twice Annual" seeing as our daughter could now baby sit. We were driving around, without an idea of what to do when we decided to stop in and see Deb. This is (in case you can't tell by the flag and the bull) a Country Western bar. Whenever we went up there, Leonard delighted in giving the guy who ran the bull $5 here and there, to pay for others to he could watch and laugh. On this night, I think he spent about $75 in bull rides for others. As the night, and the beer wore on (he had a built in designated driver in me), he started thinking of riding the bull himself. "Leonard, you're going to hurt yourself....", that was Deb's response. Mine was something like, "I really don't want to end a great night in the ER, Honey." Just when I had thought we talked him out of it, a girl got on and rode the bull. Well hell, "if she can do it...screw it, I'm trying it." Screw it, I'm trying it is a variation of a phrase my husband used often---at work, while programming and stuck in a tough spot; at home, while fixing any one of a gazillion things that always seemed to go wrong; playing Euchre (a card game that I have found out doesn't exist the whole country over) when he only had 1 trump but didn't want to give up the call. Off he went.

"Start Slow..." was his only warning. He did start slow and then steadily had them go faster and faster until it was (almost) top speed. And he stayed on. And he looked so funny that Deb took these pictures with her camera phone. And I spent the entire time worried and waiting for him to fall off and crack his neck, break an arm, bust a kneecap...but he didn't. Not Mr. "Ten Feet Tall and Bullet proof". But he did aggravate an old work injury in his wrist, that plagued him every day until the day ...well, until that day. And he did have bruises on his thighs the next morning. But, he had fun. So much fun. That's what I'm missing.

That was also the night that he paid the band (even though bands take requests for free) to play something by Johnny Cash. They ended up playing about half of "A Boy Named Sue" and then the singer couldn't remember the rest of the words and they went on to something else. Again, me upset. He, just laughing.

I miss him. I miss his face. I miss our dates. I miss his laugh. I cannot list all that I miss.

I took my children to that same bowling alley on Friday. I couldn't take sitting in the house anymore. I thought bowling and seeing Deb would be a good idea. We got up there and James had a blast. Deb's boyfriend went with him through the haunted house that they have set up where the bull usually is. I was "okay" for about 20 minutes, but my eyes kept drifting over to the place where we used to the end of the bar, and I lost it in a quiet way. I still can't believe that we won't do that again. All I can say is that Weekends Suck. In such a big way. On the one hand I am grateful to have the children home because I don't feel as lonely. On the other hand, he is not here...and weekends were us.

I talk to him out loud whenever the children are not home, telling him how much I need much I miss him...and he just never answers.


rachd said...

Isn't it amazing that in our grief we are still able to feel such sympathy for each other. Just when you think your heart is shattered and will never feel anything other than emptiness and pain again, you find your heart hurting for someone going through the same thing.

I'm so happy you got out of the house for a little while, even if it did have a sad ending. I LOVE that bull riding story. :o)

And, just so you know, I talk to Hannah all the time too. I'm still waiting to hear her voice...

Ortizzle said...

The "talking to the person"... oh, I've been there. Out loud, silently. Don't worry about that, it's pretty normal, and although painful, also therapeutic. I think they do hear us, too.

Latch on to whatever helps. And find something to do on weekends when you feel you are ready... a club, volunteer work, whatever (without interfering with time with kids.) You have to fill those hours, and believe me, it does help. Little by little. Have a good cry in between, but try to get out a bit when you are ready.
Sending you virtual hugs ((( )))

The girl left behind said...

I understand the e-mailing thing. There is a lot of craziness in grief that seems perfectly sane at the moment to you, though you know it wouldn't to others. If anyone got ahold of my journals from the last year-plus, I know I'd be sunk at a competency hearing.

But whatever gets us through the night, you know?

Kathy said...

Dear MrsGrumpy,
I visited your blog after reading a comment from you on Rach's blog.
I am so sorry you lost your husband. I can feel what a great man, husband, Dad he is through your lovely stories. *hugs*

Jess said...

Laura, isn't it the most unexpected things that we look back on and cling to as treasured memories? The instances in which our loved one was completely being themselves- doesn't have to be anything remarkable to anyone else, but to us those memories resonate because we can hold on to a piece of what we have lost through them.

Since we lost Hannah the strangest things will jog my memories of her. And I love to look at all the pictures I have of her on my computer and surprisingly I have lots because we are a close family and I was able to see my sister's family often before we moved. I love all the pictures that no one else would expect- the ones that are not perfect but just shine with her little personality.

The memories can hurt a lot in the beginning but I do believe that over time they are what save those of us who are left behind. Seeing that place at the bar surely stung for you but someday I'll bet you will go in, sit down and order his favorite beer and enjoy the whole experience. Maybe you will even get up on that bull and ride it yourself all the while imagining him cheering you on and laughing!

BTW, I still talk to my father and I talk to Hannah pretty often too. Sometimes I do it when I am not even realizing it. It is totally normal and I think therapeutic.

Peace to you.

Jess T said...


I'm so sorry. There are no words.


Jen said...

Laura - I love that story - I don't even know your husband but what a wonderful man he is - how cool that he would pay for others to ride :O)

and yes, I know how to play Euchre - I learned it when I lived in Ohio. It wasn't until I moved to Kansas that I realized there are not a lot of people that know that game once you leave that area!

Gina said...

This is a great story indeed.

I think he does hear you, though, so keep talking my dear.


Artemisia said...

What a great story! You are stronger than you think, I am certain of it.

Hang in there.

Shelly said...

I am certain that he hears you, too. He's got to still be looking after you and the children.