Saturday, November 10, 2007

Confession time...again.

I did not get out of my pajamas all day today. I actually went out into the back yard and raked (grrr...enough with the leaves) in them. They're not super pajama-y looking. They were actually my husband's Detroit Lions lounging pants that I bought him for Christmas last year and a ratty t shirt from a camping trip we took. I did not have the energy to get dressed today. It happens that I also did not have the energy for raking either. I just stood there, rake in hand...looking. Not really looking just staring into space enough to have my neighbor ask if he could help with anything.

I have found myself wearing a lot of Leonard's things lately. His shirts, his lounge pants. The closest I can come to having his skin against mine is wearing the clothing that once brushed against his skin. It is a lonely and poor substitute. I can't get my mind and my body to stop longing for him. My blood needs him around to pump efficiently. I was sitting in the chair (his chair) thinking about him...and that day...and imagining that day...and I forgot to breathe. I wanted to dig my nails into the arms and the seat of the chair and attempt to find him. I raised my arms to the ceiling and tried to pull him to me. I took him-his presence, his feel- for granted. I cannot live without the feel of his whiskers against my neck, his mellow, deep voice in my ear, his hands on my shoulders easing away the stress that my own idocy often placed there.

My father is afraid I am dying. Needing your life partner, your not dying. It is unending, excruciating pain without that relief. He is upset with me and tells me he almost hates my husband for it. I cannot change my way of feeling, my emotions--- or turn off the crying and misery to help him out. I try. I try...and then I attempt to try some more. But I need (I NEED) to hear those boots on the floor...see him scoop our son up...make plans for these days that are now so lonely and long. Weekend days that used to belong to us.

Where is he? How can he be so far unreachable??

I think I am going to take a shower with my eyes closed. I can't even stand in the shower without thinking of him... He used to come in to use the bathroom while I was showering, and pull back the curtain and wink at me. The day he left, he came into the bathroom while I was showering and that was the last I saw of him...alive. I only saw his lifeless, beautiful hands after that...besides my view of him from far away, in his pickup truck in the parking lot that day. We just used up the last of the shampoo that I had bought when he was still alive. And I cried and almost tucked the bottle away in the drawer. But I know it won't bring him back, or do me any I let it go. I am wondering if I have a fresh pair of pajamas for tonight.

Friday, November 9, 2007

In under the wire...

Phew... that was close. And to think I almost went to be without posting.

It is another weekend, and I have no idea how I am going to fill it. I have to get my sister-in law's hair color to her. I promised her I would pick it up about a month ago and only just got around to buying it today.

I just got off the phone from talking to a good friend. I met her on the internet. As we were hanging up I told her that it amazes me that the people who have been the most caring... the most concerned... the ones who call, or email, or even go as far as to track down my snail mail and send a card or book, are the friends that I have made on line. And I used to be a cynic about internet friendships. I have to keep in mind to be grateful for that.

Thursday, November 8, 2007


Tonight (see this is why I never promise anything because I still can't get my head to want to finish the wedding post) we had our Sandcastles support meeting. James is really enjoying it and it does seem to help him a lot. Nicole puts up with it and me....well I don't want to be there. And me and my big mouth, I said that tonight. Out loud. And then I tried to clarify it (and remove the foot from my mouth, but no one had a Jaws of Life handy to help me out) by babbling on about how,"It's not's're all just really great..." and began to realize it sounded like I wanted to break up with them. I am sure they love me. I was trying to articulate how much it sucked to have a group like this, even though the group itself is helpful. I will stop there before that foot inches its way up to the keyboard.

Things we (or I) learned at Sandcastles tonight:

1. There is a guy there who looks just like Pudge Rodriguez and my daughter was thrilled when she got to hold hands with him at "group end".

2. There is nothing that is quicker to bring me to tears than a grown man crying for his wife. There was a man at my table who lost his wife to cancer. He has 3 children. He took care of his wife for two years. He is facing his first holiday season without her and she loved Christmas. He was talking about this to our "special guest" (a hospice worker) and he just kept breaking down. The two of us at the table with him just started sobbing. The hospice worker sat quietly while we cried and then said,"All three of you were related???" To which the woman next to me said, while I shook my head,"'s just so very sad." which, for some odd reason, made us all laugh. I think it is realizing the capability that each one of us still has to show empathy. Even while experiencing our own personal nightmares.

3. I can be cruel and mean in my grief. The hospice worker asked me what my plans were for Christmas. So far they have pretending that the holidays aren't coming. I said I didn't know, that I was afraid to get a tree, shop etc... (this is also where I stated how much I hated being there) and she, quite gently, asked,"May I ask how he died?" and I said,"You can, but I won't answer." Why do I talk like that? But it, for that second, really irritated me. Leonard and I (believe it or not, in spite of all my blog blabbing) were/are private people. I did not want this woman to know any of it. For now, I need to keep it...protect it.She was okay with it. I am sure she deals with others like me on a daily basis, being a hospice worker. To this day no one has ever told me that he is dead. I wouldn't let the police officer say it when he came up to me... I know it, but I haven't heard it. I don't want to.

The "crying man" ( I forget his name) came up to me and said after group,"It does get better. I may not look like it does...but I'm better." Which was really very nice of him.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Little Pieces

I meant to share a happy story with you today-my/our wedding day (thank you Swistle, for the idea), but the day unraveled, I didn't get my entry in before the children came home, and now (I confess) I am writing as a way to "count to 10" out of anger, frustration, and deep sadness.
When there was 4 of us, parenting was tough...okay, it sucked still a lot of the time... but it wasn't what it is now. Now consists of my son not wanting to do his homework. Leonard would sit him down, before, and tell him to get it done and out of the way so he could play. For some reason that does not work when it comes out of Mama's mouth. Every day becomes a struggle. It starts with goofing off, quickly launches into him muttering and breathing heavy and breaking pencils, and continues on until...well until he runs sobbing and shouting to his room. I don't have any energy. I just want peace. And, when there is homework there is none. It is being transported back to the terrible twos, only I can't pick him up and hold him still while the tantrum subsides anymore. I can only get teary eyed, plead with him, and then beg him to respect the things his father said to him. I did it. And it hurt. I told the children that their behavior was disrespectful to the man who loved them most and only wanted what was best for them. I told them it was hurting me, it was them pulling me apart, as surely as if they each had a grasp on each of my arms....and also my heart, if it was still there. In short, I lost it. I am failing horribly at this single mom thing.
The part that hurts most is that, with the exception of the occasional drama brought forth by my daughter or the sometimes tantrums (that were quickly quelled by stern words from his father) of my son, peace, tranquillity and love used to be the bricks of my home. For the first time tonight I felt like running from my own children. I am's not the first time. It's the first time that I actually put my shoes on.
All that was once so right, the things I took for granted, is now so very wrong. Fixing it with the help of a "father figure" (my dad, my brother in law, uncles etc) doesn't appear to help. They need their father. He was our rock. I am just the wind blowing around.
I promise---okay, not promise, but hope--- that tomorrow I can clearly and level headedly relate to you the events and quirkiness of the best day of my life.
On the plus-make-a-sad-girl-happy-side, Shari (Thank you Shari for teaching me how to hyperlink.) gave me a wonderful award today, The Colours of Friendship, which really made my day. I can't wait to get my head on straight and hand them out to some of the many wonderful women and men I have met...and who have helped me along this saddest path of my life. You are all truly wonderful people and I am glad to call you friends. And this coming from a girl who used to cynically smirk at those who claimed close internet friendships. I was wrong. So wrong.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Half Days

James had a half day today. Yaaay! I only had to count off 3 hours before he was back. The house is so quiet when the kids are not home. He is doing so well that it lifts my mood when he is here, although I am trying to be careful not to put so much on his small shoulders. He is a happy boy, along with serious and sentimental, and I'm trying to keep him that way. I saw the damage that my husband's parents did to him up close and I don't want that to be our story.

I spend most of my time trying to either make time go backwards or speed it up past the holidays. I detest even running to Walgreen's for prescriptions or milk. The very stuff I used to love, to the ire of those who hate early Christmas decorations, appear to taunt me. Why can't we just skip forward (or preferably back) to summer? I thought about going to CA for the days immediately following Christmas. I have brothers in LA and I really want to "run away" again for those days. I would stay here, for the sake of my in laws and my children, for the actual holiday and then leave sometime after the 25th. But, my plans received lukewarm reception from my brothers so I am beginning to think we are stuck here. My son wants to buy a real tree again. Remind me because I have a positively hysterical story about the very first time my husband brought a real tree into this fake girl's life. I will share it sometime. We don't have the pickup anymore so getting it would be tough. I also dread seeing it, have no clue how to use the chain saw for proper disposal (which included my husband starting a huge, pine scented bonfire in the back yard).

Every year my husband would go out and buy one gift for each of the kids that was just from him. Picked out by him and purchased. Last year they were ornaments. A tree for James because "you always come with me to get the tree" and a church for Nicole "because you go to a Catholic school". As the years passed, I became witness to my husband falling in love with holidays that he had once detested. Moving from handing me something in a brown paper bag, to wrapping my presents and then writing on them with a Sharpie...and on to last year, a tag on every one. And he would want me to open them early, although I never did. And I will never forget the Christmas he went and got my old stocking (it was actually a Christmas-y pair of bloomers that were made for the purpose) and filled it with candles. Just that one year...because I always made him one. These are the things that I won't be able to handle as these holidays approach.

I am off to spend some time with James. Quality time. Thanks so much for continuing with your positive comments and your support. I treasure that.

Monday, November 5, 2007

The Invisible Girl

It is going to storm...or so it looks. I was taking the bags of leaves (there ended up being 8) out to the curb for pickup tomorrow and noticed that the lawn, again, is carpeted with maple leaves. The tree in the back still is covered with leaves. It is a never ending fall chore. One that I've always disliked and dislike even more now.

My father came over to visit before he took the drive out to Lansing to spend one last day with his brother. For the past couple of days I have been wanting to speak to him about a few things. Or even just talk. But when I talk, he isn't really listening. Too many "huh's" or "what's"...and then I tire of speaking at all.

Yesterday I spent the early part of the day at my brother in law's house. My son was begging to play with his cousin so we went. It is good to see my son having such a good time with his cousin (they have an entire room filled with Lego "bases" and they do mock missions). I was able to manage a semblance of conversation. My brother in law wants to "move on". However one does that. I understand-Leonard wasn't his every day, and hadn't been for a long time. I went out to Michael's (craft store) with my sister-in-law. She needed to buy some Thanksgiving crafty type things. I found a basked that perfectly matched our living room rug down the the shade of the I bought it...strictly so my sister in law had company...of course. I have no idea what I will do with it but it was 70% off.

After we left their house, I went over to my mother's house to see my aunt and uncle one last time. He wanted to take everyone out to dinner. He loves buffets (blech) so we ended up at "Old Country Buffet". They were busy and asked if we minded sitting back to back in two booths. I thought we would wait for a table, seeing as these are two people we don't get to see very often, but everyone else appeared fine with it. My mother sat with my aunt and my grandmother. I sat with my children and my uncle. It is hard to attempt to eat when one doesn't feel like it...and then being at a buffet...oy. My uncle ate enough to make it worthwhile and my son ate more than I have ever witnessed him eat in one sitting. While we were sitting there, I began hearing snippets of my mother's conversation. Mind you, this is the mother I have spoken of in the past. The one I have always had troubles with. The one who always claimed we were "never there for her". The one who wanted me, a grown woman, to choose sides in their divorce. The one I realized I could manage only because I had Leonard to vent to, lean on, and focus on. The one it hurts to be around now. The one who just got back from a 10 day cruise that she didn't tell us she was going on because "we don't care". She is also the daughter of the grandmother I have spoken of. The apple fell right to the bottom of the tree and stayed there. Only they don't see it...just the rest of Michigan does. To get us back on track my mom, who has been gone a good part of the last two months, began talking in "hushed tones" (think church whisper here) about "how she (meaning me) is doing..." Right there, right behind me, right where I could hear. Now, I am not so obtuse as to think that people don't talk about me and "how I am doing", but mostly one would think it would not be in earshot. She went on to talk about what I was thinking. How can someone do that? I am invisible. It feels as such. The one person who made me feel alive, and real, and worthwhile has left me.

I just really don't want to do this. I want to fall asleep and have it be three months ago, so things can be changed. It is what I have been begging the heavens for every night. I don't belong, I don't fit in... He made me special. He made me loved. He made me real. The things that people saw and liked in me were encourage by him. Without him, I am not doing anything. I dread the days I have to work...have to talk to people. I dread when my daughter comes home. I cannot manage sustained drama for very long. There is no respect there for mom. Only wants, which differ from the needs that I attempt to provide for. It begins to wear a person down.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Technically, it's Sunday morning.

Or maybe not, with the time change.

We did make it out to Lansing and back. No one told me that it was the BIG Michigan v. State game today and that the freeway would be backed up...until this morning that is. Or, technically yesterday morning. It took forever to get to our exit, which happened to be the stadium exit. Happy us. It was a melancholy drive out, remembering my last trip out with Leonard last Memorial Day for a cookout with them. So many things hurt. Too many things hurt. And it's a stabbing, killing pain. All the while trying to maintain a game face for my son. My daughter came out later with my dad.

It was good, and difficult to see them. To walk up to their door-just me and James. It is being so lonely and wretched while surrounded by people. It is reminiscing and smiling and crying and yearning. It was being glad and jealous, all at the same time, for my cousin's happy marriage... the same for my aunt and uncle's long and lasting (filled with hugs and kisses) marriage. It was a lot of tears. It was thinking back on the could have, would have, should haves...reliving the last moments/days of his life for the family that hadn't heard it yet. Playing the DVD of his beautiful face set to his favorite songs...a montage of him, us, ours, gone. And the tape of the service, which is so unbearable to watch.

Driving home, I yearned for his hand in mine, or rubbing my shoulders as he often did on long rides. Of banging the steering wheel in frustration after my little boy cried himself to sleep-today was a bad, missing daddy day. Of knowing that the house would be cold and dark, and that I cannot bring that light and warmth back. I wasn't going to cuddle up in bed with my love, share a few thoughts about the day, love each other up, and fall asleep warm and satisfied. Of knowing that I will quietly cry myself to sleep.