Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Hour by Hour, Minute by Minute, Seconds really

This post, like this day, will probably drag on. For that, I am sorry. I find myself wondering on so many days why it seems like they are so very, very long. Just two months ago I was begging for extra minutes and/or hours because it never seemed like there was never enough time. And, because I procrastinated until I was really under pressure.

To begin the day, I had a hard time letting my son go off to school. I am battling with his principal about a letter I received. Actually, I cannot even call it a battle because I cannot get this man (who I couldn't stand before hand because he is a pompous you-know-what) to even respond to my repeated emails and phone calls. I am *thisclose* to taking James out and putting him in the private school that his sister went to. Only, they know what happened and I really dread moments when I have to relive that day again, for someone else's benefit. Perhaps I am being too demanding, but I don't think so. They have him recorded as having 12 excused absences and I should "know that the district takes attendance very seriously and frowns upon any absence excused or unexcused over 10 days a year..." or something very close to that. The problem? My son hasn't been absent for 12 days. He attended the first day of school and then spent the evening crying in my arms. It was less than a week after his father's service and he just wasn't ready. His teacher was aware and agreed with my assessment of his ability to cope. Since that first week he has taken exactly 2(two) days off. One because he spent the entire night crying and one because he had a doctor's appointment. So 12? I don't think so. The principal not having the dignity to call me back when I email? I don't think so. Anger? Very much so... but still, always the helpless feeling.

While waiting for the email/phone call/acknowledgement from my son's school, I was dealing with Grandma. My relationship with her has become difficult at best. She is 84, healthier than most of us could ever hope to be (only don't tell her so because she is ill, ill, ILL, she will say). Before I lost Leonard, I could deal with her a bit easier because I could lean on him. She is demanding. She solely exists in her world. She will fake stumbles, and falls, and illnesses for attention. She is angry with me today...not talking to me in fact...only to say things along the lines of,"Well it's apparent that I am on my own..." or "I really should have let Cindy (Cindy is the woman my husband and I jokingly called my mother's "new daughter" because my mother has never felt I do anything for her, or care, and will freely tell the world as much) I was going to be staying at your house." Yes, she should have let a stranger to me know that she was going to stay with her granddaughter. Let it go, Laura, let it go. I wish I could. I have even confronted her (today) with the words,"My beautiful young husband is dead, not here, and I am trying as hard as I can to handle that and I am really sorry that I cannot feel bad for you right now... but I can barely think straight." which sent her off to my son's room to cry. GA-A-A-H... I really can't do that.

Moving along, I had a doctor's appointment today. I had successfully avoided the doctor for four months and was finally told that I needed to come in in order to get my prescriptions filled. So I went. Leonard and I loved (well liked a whole lot) our doctor's office. It took us 7 years to find a GP we felt comfortable with, and this doctor is thorough (sometimes too in my opinion), nice and has a really great staff. We liked him so much that we have referred my father, my mother, my grandmother and a few friends to him. They had recently (after Leonard) moved offices so I was not confronted with memories of the many times Leonard had sat in the waiting room with me, holding my hand, or messed around with the blinds in the exam room, threatening to expose my paper gowned glory to the traffic driving by. It is a new office-one that my husband had never been to. But the faces, the tears, the disbelief were the same. First, it was a nurse saying,"We just couldn't believe it when we got the call." and," I cannot imagine what this is for you..." It is not comforting to hear these words from the people you go to to make things "better". His doctor, our doctor, finally walked in. I had already spent a half hour relating the story to a nurse who had absolutely adored my husband, spoiled him, swooned over him (I was okay with it because she is happily married and old enough to be his mother) and who said she wanted to make sure that I knew how much she cared. By the time the doctor came in I wanted to run from it again. We talked about it for just a second... he is good that way...at reading patients, knowing limits. It was all business for the next 15 minutes. The blood pressure? Is it stress? or is it out of control again? The joint pain? Strain? or a flare up? "You need to sleep..." "Take the Xanax" etc. etc. and then, as he was getting ready to leave he stopped, put his hand on my shoulder and said,"He was a really good man...", stood for a moment and then gave me a hug.

***He was a really good man*** Why does it have to be was? Why can't God, Fate or somebody realize how much I needed/still need him? He was for so many people... and he IS for me. He always will be.

I did "do" something today. I made dinner, and sat at the table-me, my children and my grandma-and I tried to choke it down while looking across at not my husband. *Thank you Shari from The Daily Three, that recipe was really well received by the children and my grandma which is really saying something.*



It was time to carve the pumpkins. Daddy's job. Daddy with the jack knife to cut off the top and then carefully, artistically follow every sharpie drawn line that his little boy had made. Daddy who would call out,"Come on Mama...come get these seeds so we can bake them and have some tonight." as I, rather happily did the dishes because I detest pumpkin guts. And we would admire our son's, and his father's work, look at the latest Old English D done by my Tiger loving daughter, admiring her talent. Our son would go off to shower, our daughter to homework, and I would wait for the moment to come where we could cuddle ourselves to sleep. A Family. Tonight I cut the top off my son's pumpkin with a regular knife, because I can't look at Daddy's knife,let alone use it. Tonight I let my son use one of those "saw like" utensils they sell now to cautiously cut his pumpkin, while my daughter did her old English D... and I cried. I cried while I tried to keep my voice light and my face hidden behind my son as he stood at the table. I looked at the empty chair across the table where 7 previous pumpkin carvings had joyfully taken place. I covered a bowl of pumpkin seeds to bake tomorrow because my son begged me for them..."for Daddy." and it hurt and it hurt and it hurt. And there is still no one to cuddle with. And he still feels just plain gone. And I don't want it to feel like this. And I don't want to deal with principals, and grandmas, and doctors, and drugs, and pumpkins and having to somehow pull it together for tomorrow night...where there will be endless memories of a wonderful man and his children...enjoying a holiday he once detested. And I am so very afraid.

These are pictures of tonight's carving. As you can see, my son is a very happy boy. I am so proud of how well he does so often while, at the same time, breaking apart at the thought of him growing up without the man he adored and so wanted to be like.

Leonard, your family aches for your presence.


rachd said...

You managed pumpkins. I didn't. Poor Lil.

Keep the words coming. Let them flow. I'm glad you got to the doctor today. I'm so sorry it was so awful.

I'm so sorry you have to travel this path. So sorry. I wish I had some way to make this better for you. Just know I'm holding you in my thoughts and praying for you. That's the best I can offer. That and great big cyber HUGS!

Sweet dreams tonight, Laura. I wish you sleep.

SPMC said...

My heart goes out to you. I can only imagine that the last thing you want/need is pity from a person you don't know from Adam..

Be strong tomorrow! Sue

The girl left behind said...

Hugs to you, Laura. I know it's so very, very hard.

Kathy said...

Visiting you again tonight. Letting you know that you are thought of and prayed for. You and Leonard have beautiful children.

camielmom said...

The pumpkin is precious and you are doing such a wonderful job with your children. I ache for you, my friend. I wish I could take away some of your pain. God bless.

haylee said...

As the tears slowly cascade down my cheeks, I pray that God cradles you in the palms of His hands and comforts you.

The pumpkins are great.

Shari said...

I don't know what to say that hasn't already been said. I feel your heartache. I've always been the kind of person who avoided saying anything to someone about a death after the funeral. I didn't want to add to their pain. People say "was" but he "is" because he is in a different place.

Sending you prayers and supportive thoughts.

BTW, Glad your family enjoyed your dinner. :)

Swistle said...

Oh, I would be SO FRUSTRATED about the school thing! It's clearly some typo they made, and now they're NOT RESPONDING?? URRRRRGG!

Marsha said...

Great post. I hope you all have fun trick or treating tonight. How long is Grandma staying with you? I haven't carved the pumpkins yet. I was thinking of painting them. So lazy.

Jess T said...


I'm sorry it was such a tough day. Don't feel bad about being a little tough on your grandmother. Sometimes people need to realize that they are pushing past the line.

You might want to consider sending a letter to the school board. I'd bet he'd pay attention then. That really is ridiculous.

Thinking of you,

The Stevens Family said...

I'm with the school board suggestion. Don't people realize you don't need their crap right now? And as far as not responding, that is just rude. Maybe they caught the mistake, but they can't let you know that?

I hope everything goes ok for you tonight. I will be thinking of you!


Jess in Nebraska said...

I'm completely with the School Board suggestion. As a past teacher....there is nothing more irritating that people with NO COMPASSION for what a child is going through. EVEN IF it was 12 absences...it's COMLETELY justified. I wish I could write the letter to the school board, because I'm SEETHING right now. The principal sounds like a very unfeeling person...I'm with you, I'd strongly consider the private school. His behavior in this horrible time of your life is
Your pain through your writing is palpable. I cannot read it without crying, imagining the nightmare you are experiencing. I have to take a day or two off form reading sometimes because it completely breaks my heart, and I don't even know you, besides this blog. As painful as it is to write about, it will be so amazing for your kids to read someday and really realize how strong and amazing their mom is and how much she loves their dad.

Judi said...

Just sending you a hug from Florida (I am actually transplanted from Temperance, MI). And, I wanted to comment on what a beautiful little boy you have... he really is stunning. I will be praying for you and your family. God Bless!

Cristina Mathers said...

awesome carvings! very creative.