Sunday, October 7, 2007


Quite a few people showed up for the tutorial/party last night. We had enough for a game with 9 of us at the table. My mind and my heart weren't in it. It felt so good to be surrounded by my family and friends, while hurting so badly that he wasn't here. It was the first "cookout" that I planned and cleaned house for. It reminded me so much of getting ready for James' birthday in early August. Only he wasn't in the living room vacuuming while I made the spinach artichoke dip. It is a really good recipe (and I usually don't care for spinach and artichokes) that I will put at the bottom of this post.

What was so difficult was a memory that kept popping up. Leonard and I had meant to go away for our 10th anniversary last year. We had gone away, alone, exactly twice before in our marriage. Our honeymoon to Niagara Falls and our 5th anniversary to Traverse City for a long weekend at the Cherry Festival. We had meant to do something BIG...but both of us are planners and savers so we went, instead to Soaring Eagle, a resort/casino in Mt. Pleasant. And we had such a beautifully wonderful time. Our room had a jacuzzi (which was amazing...and fun) and a fireplace. We had so much fun just being together. I have a lot of pictures of us standing on the grounds. The last night (we were only there two nights), Leonard signed me up for the poker tables. I was scared to death because I didn't play...he did. I was afraid I would screw up. I'm not a casino type person. I sat down and he told them to go easy on them. I ended up winning almost $400. And he was so giddy, and his eyes were sparkling and he kept calling me a hustler. Sitting at the table last night, was just another knife of reality. Realizing that we won't get a chance to take that BIG vacation. That that was our last time together...just the two of us.

I really, really need him. This can't possibly be true. I can spend an hour or two of being "normal". Whatever normal is...and then it all comes crashing in. How much I need him to make this better. How much I need him to just be me.

I walk around this house. The house we chose together, with most of the things chosen and brought in by him. The bookcases that he grew up with. The bedroom set that was his family's. His shirts. His tools. His garage. And I don't feel like I belong here without him. I just am being right now, for the sake of my children. And it is just so unfair that my son has to grow up without the big, strong Daddy that he so admired and wanted to be like. That somebody will have to stand in to give our baby girl away if she decides to get married. That I will lay in bed alone, with just the memory of his arms around me, his knees pressed up against the back of my legs, his whispers in my hair, without him.

I keep coming back to movies like Deja Vu and Superman. When superman turns back time to save Lois Lane... and I realize that I lost the person who could make this better... that I am stuck with just this.

And then I go and hit post, without putting the recipe in.

Warm Spinach Dip

13-oz can artichoke hearts, chopped
10-oz pkg. frozen, chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1c. mayonnaise
1c. grated Parmesan cheese
2 1/4 c. grated Monterey Jack cheese, divided
1 T. grated Romano cheese (I don't always put this in because 1. it's only a tablespoon and 2. I don't think it makes that much of a difference in taste)

Stir artichoke hearts, spinach, mayonnaise, Parmesan Cheese, 1 3/4 cup Monterey Jack cheese and Romano cheese together until well blended. Spoon into a 2 quart baking dish; top with remaining Monterey Jack cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes or until cheese is melted. Makes 8-10 servings.

Serve with tortilla chips, crackers, or I like the bagel chips

***Sometimes I change up the cheeses, substituting Mozzarella and others for the Monterey Jack. All are good but the Monterey is the best. I kid you not, even people who think they don't like spinach and/or artichokes will like these...and perhaps even love this.


rachd said...

Hey there!

My computer is about to go--out of juice and too lazy to find the plug. I just wanted to let you know I came and was thinking about you. You continue to amaze me with how you are moving forward--I know you don't see it, but you are. Keep hanging on, it's all we can do! I think about you all the time and each time I do I say a quick prayer for you and your family.


P.S. Thanks for the recipe--I can't wait to try it! :o)

Laurie said...

Hi Laura,
You have been on my mind so much this past week and after reading your heart here tonight, I know I am just supposed to keep praying for you to find your way. And I do agree with Rachel that you are moving forward and just not able to see it yourself.
I pray that soon you can see how sweet and amazing you are. I will be praying for something special this week to brighten your path and give you joy. Praying for all 3 of you on this rocky path that you find some smooth spots for rest.
Love, Laurie in Ca.

Shelly said...

Thinking of you and praying for you as always.

Marsha said...

Thanks for the recipe, I have to go to the store today and I am going to try it!

I notice that you said, an hour or two of normal. That is wonderful! I have never had to deal with anything like this, what do I know. But, everyone I have heard talk about it says that it gets better. That you never forgot, but someday you will be able to have the memories, remember the joy without that knife of pain at the memory that he is gone.

You are so brave and strong to feel what you are feeling, to write it all down. You are amazing. Sending good wishes.

Artemisia said...

I think you are so strong. You are feeling this with so much passion and bravery; I don't feel like you aren't hiding from it. You are engaging with your kids and your friends and family.

Hell, you are not only preparing yummy dip for a gathering, you are posting the recipe out there for the rest of us. (even if it took two tries.)

I can't get my act together like that on a regular, happy day.

You are such an inspiration.

Gina said...

I am so glad that you were able to surround yourself with people who care about you, even if it did make you a little sad.

I imagine those little things that you miss about him will be the hardest to get past.

Hugs to you, always.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your blogs.. sometimes it's like reading my own story, my own feelings.. you put things over so well, I think you have a real gift.
Love, Penny C.

KamaAina said...

Aloha pumehana, E MrsG! Know that you are still very much in the thoughts of many of us from your former (?) hangout. I mean, why else would I have cybersleuthed to find this blog once rumors of its existence began to circulate over there?

Wow! You really put your (considerable) heart and soul into this. I'll tell you this, no one has ever written anything remotely like that about me! She must be out there somewhere...

Oh, by the way: Best. Blog Title. Ever.

Shari said...

Weird, I read this yesterday, was going to post a comment and then was called away for some minor crisis with the kids. I came back here and realized I never posted a comment when I couldn't find my comment.

You look like you are getting there, slowly but surely. It takes time. I think it's best that you are getting it all out in the open; it helps the grieving process. My mom bottled up all her feelings when my dad died and it took six to seven years for her to really face it. She didn't talk about it. She was really depressed, didn't clean her house...that was about two years ago. She's doing a lot better now.