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 fact...in 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.