Friday, October 5, 2007


Today I cleaned off the dining room table for the first time since August. It, of course, is already cluttered again but at least I did something. It looked nice for four hours. I still cannot bring myself to sit with the children at it at dinnertime. I will have to work up to that. I do feel like a wimp for letting every little thing bring up a memory. And the memories all seem to hurt this week.

I was able to talk about him to my cousin for about an hour without crying. The next half hour was all about crying on the phone with her. She is the only relative (outside of my parents) that is not through marriage that lives close by...close by being about 2 hours away.

Today it was the lawnmower. I was bringing some soda pop cans out to the garage and it caught my eye. I realized he was the last person to touch it because the last thing he did was mow the lawn. My neighbor (have I said what wonderful neighbors I have?) has been mowing for me ever since. I walked over to it and ran my hands along where his hands were. I confess I even unscrewed the gas cap to look at the gas that was put in my him. I am having trouble with not wanting to move things that he touched last, not wanting to take his name off this house, our accounts. It comes down to not wanting to remove him from this world. I still have such a hard time accepting that he is not going to come back.
Tonight I am hosting a "poker tutorial" of sorts. One of my husband's (and later my own) favorite pastimes was playing Texas Hold'em. I used to tease him for watching the program, "World Poker Tour"--I mean really, how boring is it to spend an hour (or five, if it's a marathon, watching other people play poker?) I ended up playing at first to appease him. And then it got interesting. I love trying to read people. It's the budding psychologist in me. It worked out, sometimes. But I was ever as good at it as he was. People used to say that they had a hard time reading my husband's "tells" (that, apparently, is pokereeze for signs you give about what is in your hand). There is going to be a benefit Texas Hold'em game in his honor next weekend. The problem is, most of his family/friends have no idea how to play. So I am having a cookout (beer brats and Italian sausage) and a tutorial game, so that those who know how to play can teach those who don't. I doubt I will ever play again. It's something we did together. Something I didn't think I would even like. And, looking back on it, I think I liked it so much because it was spending time with him...the two of us. I so loved watching him smile at me and get excited for me when I would win. That is what it was really about. Not so much the love of playing.
I am having some bracelets made up for the benefit. After his service I was talking to my brother (who is a comedian--no, for reals--back in Los Angeles). He told me that if he could have gotten up to speak (which he couldn't because he was too upset) he would have commented on all of the wonderful things that people had said Leonard had done for them...about how some had said he was the "go to guy" at work, how his best friend said he relied on calling him sometimes for his opinion on household jobs... and how it got him to thinking about those WWJD Bracelets (you know, the what would Jesus do bracelets?) and how they should say WWLD. So, I looked around online and found a site where they can make them up and ordered some that say WWLD...What would Leonard Do? with his birthdate and the other date on them. The bracelets will be black. Not because of mourning but because my husband was a huge fan of Johnny Cash (before it was cool even) and he had a lot of black shirts, boots, jeans. In fact, I used to call him my very own "Man In Black".
I keep waiting for the day when this will get better. And I've come to realize that it probably never will get better. I think I will always start the day with this horrible ache, this missing an appendage feeling. And I think I will just have to get used to it. Kind of like how my knees used to hurt so much that I would cry at the thought of getting out of bed in the morning...until the pain became just another part of who I am. The weekends are the worst. I used to live for them. Now (and don't hit me cube farm denizens) I long for Monday. Although it's double edged, because I hate this being alone. On the weekends I do have the children.
I realized this morning that this is the longest I have ever been apart from him. It is actually 4 times longer than the longest I had ever been apart from him. And I wish that my mind would stop realizing.


Laurie said...

Clean table for four hours is a good start. Moving forward no matter how slowly is a good yet painful thing.
Taking as long as you need to move the things of his is okay. It is still so new, though your writing tells the story of a lifetime. You are doing really good Laura, even if you don't feel it. Not coming back is such a hard concept to grasp. One that makes my heart so heavy for you.
I pray for you daily that as you go through this season for as long as it takes, that the Lord holds you up, not letting it crush you. I hope you keep talking to people, any one who will listen, and share your heart and your tears. It is healing and you need safe people to be able to understand your heart. I have never faced in my life what you are going through. But all I have to do is put myself in your words here, and it breaks my heart.
I have had 39 wonderful years with my husband, but I am not guaranteed tomorrow. I am more grateful for each day God gives us, and I will continue to walk beside you on your path, praying for you with every step you take. Take your time and be gentle with yourself, you are a wonderful lady.

Love, Laurie in Ca.

Haylee said...

I like to think of memories as "God's photo albulm" ... we can think about them and be taken back in time to happier events, family occasions, holdiays & celebrations, and the not-so-happy times when loved ones came together to support each other .. and survived it. Memories have the capacity to both soothe & sting but, overall, we are better off for having them. I truly believe, Laura, there will come a day when your memories will be more like a balm than salt in a wound. Not to be trite, but the passage of time has the remarkable ability to lessen the deep, unrelenting pain.

I hope your barbecue & poker tutorial go well tonight ... if you find yourself with unexpectedly good cards, wonder if Leonard had a hand in the shuffle:)

Wishing you peace & blessings this day.

Ptah said...

Thanks for this blog.

My thoughts and prayers are with you and yours.

hillgrandmom said...

Shari sent me here. You are a brave lady. May God give you peace.

Swistle said...

It makes sense to me that it would feel bad to change things or move things. Well put.

Kesha said...

Laura, you continue to be in my thoughts. I hope some day we can find the time to get together. I would love to give you a real hug, in person!



rachd said...

I still can't face family dinner and it's been two and a half months. Don't rush it. You'll do it when it's right.

You are moving forward and it's hard. I'm so proud of you. You continue to be in my prayers. Big big HUGS!!

Shari said...

Baby steps. You're doing what you can. Having that Texas Hold'em is a good idea. You'll be around people who knew him and miss him, too.

I think of you often and hope that we all are helping you in some way. Prayers are continously being sent. :)

I hope you don't mind that I sent some people here to support you.

Gina said...

I can so totally understand the reluctance of moving his things, or taking him off the house. That would seem to cement what has happened, when you are still not quite ready to go that far.

Don't rush yourself. Take your time, doing things because you "think" you should do them. Do them when you are ready.


Anonymous said...

I just want to thank you again for sharing your pain, thoughts and memories with us. I can truly say it has changed me and how I am relating to my husband. I try to every moment not take things for granted and I think of you and many of the things you have written about. There are a couple of other blogs I read and the past couple of days have been "husband bashing" (sex, pet peeves, etc..) and it truly sickens me. Especially as I think of you and how you'd give ANYTHING to have your husband back and here are these bloggers "bitching" about the most unconsequential things. Thank you Thank you for teaching me through your writing how to live each day to the fullest. You have changed me.

Marsha said...

My husband likes to watch those poker tournaments on TV too. I hope that your pain begins to ebb a bit eventually. Sending good wishes as always.

Misguided Mommy said...

k so this picture has a james dean kinda thing going on, in fact if you cropped it to just him and turned it black and white that is exactly how it would look! i think it is the way his cigarette dangles out of his mouth plus the jeans and of course the hair!

Misguided Mommy said...

and comments are so random and off subject, whats wrong with me

MrsGrumpy said...

MM...there is nothing wrong with you at all. I thought my husband was the most beautiful man on earth and I don't mind the comments on his appearance at all. I used to call him James Dean when we were in high school and my grandpa called him Elvis.

Artemisia said...

I think it is kind of sweet to not want to move things he'd touched. It is reverential.

I went through a stage like that with my mom, too. Only it was when she was alive, not after she'd passed away. That might be a little weird!

Peace be with you.