Friday, September 28, 2007


I miss you Baby. I want you back so bad.


"Hurt"---Johnny Cash
I hurt myself today
To see if I still feel I focus on the pain
The only thing that's real
The needle tears a hole
The old familiar sting
Try to kill it all away
But I remember everything
What have I become
My sweetest friend
Everyone I know goes away In the end
And you could have it all
My empire of dirt
I will let you down
I will make you hurt
I wear this crown of thorns
Upon my liar's chair
Full of broken thoughts
I cannot repair
Beneath the stains of time
The feelings disappear
You are someone else
I am still right here
What have I become
My sweetest friend
Everyone I know goes away In the end
And you could have it all
My empire of dirt
I will let you down
I will make you hurt
If I could start again
A million miles away
I would keep myself
I would find a way

In the words of a dear friend of mine, if you want to know where Laura is listen for the giant sucking noise. Only today, it's follow the river of tears. I really have no idea how one can survive this. This incredible pain.

Thursday, September 27, 2007


This is my husband at 22, the year we decided to give romance a second try.

His hair is long because, was 1992, and his girlfriend was a hairstylist and he hated his neckline anyway so this was a good way to hide it. Also, believe it or not, it was "in style" then.

The reason I posted it is because he is wearing one of his work shirts. This was a different shop and he now wears/wore a light blue shirt, but the name is the same... the position (CNC programmer/engineer extraordinaire) was the same. Yesterday I finally got up the courage to go and get his tools. His tools were the paintbrushes he used for his art. They were not the typical hammers and screwdrivers, but bits and thread mics and drafting supplies. Tons of them. Tons is the truth because it took 3 grown men and a pickup truck to bring them home. And it hurt me so bad. I didn't realize when I set it up that it would be the 26th-one month since I lost him. When we walked into the shop I saw all the photographs of him on the wall, saw the pain in the faces of his coworkers and lost it all over again. They said so many wonderful things about him to his children and me. That he was an artist, that he was the 'go to guy'. That he was the smartest, most skilled designer they had ever seen. That they miss him and the pain isn't going away. That they hired two men to do the job he did so well as one. And I couldn't breathe from it all.

Afterward, we went out to dinner with his cousin and his best friend. Two of the men who helped with the boxes. The third was a coworker who pitched in because he wanted to. I gave him the very first thing Leonard had welded when he was just 18. This coworker misses him so much. After dinner his cousin's wife (who is the Suzanne from an earlier post) stayed until 2 AM. She has no idea how much I appreciated her presence. How it almost felt safe and normal for a second. And she told me a story that I hope with all my heart is true.

After the funeral we had the bonfire that I mentioned before. I have been having a terrible time because I don't feel him anywhere in my life. Not in the house, not in my head...only in my heart, but it's not really a feeling, it's the ache. Getting back to the bonfire... Suzanne's mother in law (Leonard's aunt) was sitting in the porch swing watching as several men tried to get the fire lit. Mind you, this was dry wood so it shouldn't have been a problem. While they did this, I was telling how Leonard could always get a fire started almost as if he were made of flame and one look could start it up. (Actually it was his trusty blowtorch, which made everyone laugh) As I've said before, my husband loved building fires. This aunt said that, as this was going on, she looked toward the garage (where Leonard's home workshop was) and swore she saw him standing in the shadows wearing a cream colored shirt (he had a cream colored shirt but she wouldn't know this because he had about 2,324 shirts). She said he smiled and at that moment, the logs caught. I do remember the logs catching all at once, all of a sudden...but I didn't see a thing. I so want to believe that really happened.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

How to Save a Life

About 8 years ago I started getting sick. It started out with really weird joint pain and progressed on to abscesses, not being able to keep any food down and other odd symptoms. We had just switched insurance carriers and luckily had a PPO, that allowed me to switch doctors as often as Leonard changed the oil in our car. At first, it was determined (by Dr. A 'as in a$$) that it was "all in my head" and I needed to "stress out less". My life, at the time was about as stressful as a Sunday spent reading a book on the couch...but I went along with him and took my prescription Celexa (for depression that I didn't have except for the depression over my health). I was still not keeping things down, but I felt better about it. I still had joint pain and abscesses, but I felt better about them too. Enter Dr's B,C,D,E. Dr. E finally sent me to a gastroenterologist, a rheumatologist, and a cardiologist. I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis and the cardiologist said my tachycardia and arrhythmia was due to a nerve on my heart which goes off every once in awhile. The stomach problems were due to the paralysis of my they basically made me a new closey offy thing by wrapping part of my stomach around my esophagus (this is called a Nissen Fundoplication). I started treatment for the RA and began a course of ever changing pills for my heart. Through it all, my husband pushed me to continue going to my appointments, held my hand in countless "pre-op" rooms and advocated for me. At first, I balked against his always questioning the doctors. I was raised to not question the authority of the man/woman in the white coat. My husband was always watching the monitors, looking at the I.V., picking up my chart...and I would beg him to stop. As if we would get into some kind of trouble.

Two and a half years ago, my husband's interest in all things going on medically with me would literally save my life. Three years ago, I started not being able to keep things down again, my weight started dropping, causing the joint pain to worsen and my hair to fall out. It was decided that they would do another Nissen. Which they did. Only the recovery was a lot different. This procedure had been open, while the other had been laparascopic, they removed the NG tube the day of the surgery, where before they had removed it three days later. And, most importantly, I felt exhausted. I couldn't move my limbs to walk, I glared at my husband every time he suggested it, and I began to have difficulty breathing. When Leonard told the nurses this, they would bring bottle after bottle of saline nasal spray to me. That wasn't the problem. The problem was that I felt like I was no longer getting oxygen out of the air that I breathed. I felt like a pillow was being held over my face. Finally a resident came in and took a pulse ox. It was 71, causing them to put me on oxygen. But it still felt like not enough. They moved me from my nice, single room to a shared room and told my husband to go home. Only he wouldn't because he was worried. My heart rate had gone to 165, and I was soooo hot. I remember very little of this, only looking at Leonard and not wanting him to leave me....being afraid it would be the last time I would see him, being afraid that I wouldn't never see my children's faces again. Scared that it seemed like no one cared. They came in and said they were going to shut the monitors off for the evening because they would bother my room mate. My husband, who had spent (what seemed like) hours washing me with cold wash cloths said, "Wait! I really think something's wrong...she feels like she has a really bad fever. Please, for the love of God, help her." So they called for the residents who stood around looking at me. My husband continued to wash me and lifted the sleeve of my gown up, thus exposing the fact that my I.V. had gone sub-cutaneous (out of the vein) and that all of the fluids they had given me had, in fact, just gone into my muscle. No fluid in my body, no antibiotics to fight the infections that my RA weakened immune system couldn't fight off on their own...nothing. With that, they put me in ICU...again my husband refusing to leave me...on a ventilator and started pumping in the fluids. Without boring you to tears anymore, I got better. It was a staph infection that had gone to my lungs and collapsed them. They believe I got it in the OR. If my husband had not done the things that he always had done (the ones I told him not to) I wouldn't be here to miss him so much. I owe him my life. The moral of this story is never leave a loved one alone in a hospital if you can help it, and always ask matter how much a doctor/nurse doesn't appear to want to answer. If you don't advocate for yourselves or your loved ones, you could pay for it with your life. I thank my husband for teaching me this.

Only now, a lot of the time, I do wish he hadn't done that. I have a really hard time thinking of living without him. Most days it is because of the children that I even move. Last night I stood in the shower and sobbed until the water went cold, and then I cried some more. Today, one of his life insurance checks came in the mail and I so wish I could give it back x two just to have him back. I am aching for him today. I am hurting for him.

The last 2 years have been us planning for if the worst thing happened to me. Getting life insurance to cover the cost of a nanny for our son (our daughter is old enough to care for herself) and pay off the house so that he would not have to worry about bills in the event of my death. Today I talked with a lawyer about changing my will (me, just me all alone) so that if that happens, transitions will be smoother than they would be if I didn't. I am scared today. I am lonely today. And I didn't think my heart could break anymore than it already has. He took care of me/us. Not the other way around. He did these things, not me.

This is a picture of us on my son's third birthday...

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Baby Steps..

I am attempting to do something, anything, with my day today. A couple of months ago my father bought tickets to the final Tigers game of the season. We had all gone last year (Leonard included) and decided to make it a yearly event. I wasn't planning on going today, because I was a zombie at the last game we went to a couple of weeks ago and spent the whole time crying. My father couldn't get anyone to go with the two extra tickets (he and Nicole and James and the next door neighbor boy were going) so I just decided that I would go. I can't help but think it will be a replay of the last game but I have to try, at some point, to assemble some sort of life for myself.

I just got my Nanowrimo reminder in my inbox,and I think this year I could actually write the 50,000 words. I am going to write about Leonard, and our life together. You have all been so supportive of me with your words of encouragement and your feedback. I appreciate it more than you will ever know.

I'm off to the game. Wish me luck.