Saturday, December 1, 2007

Looking backward

My proof that the day wasn't a total waste. My dad took me to Evergreen (a home and garden store) and, after much walking back and forth between the prelit trees, this is what we came home with. Fake trees are far more expensive than I thought they would be. James helped me fluff it, and I am sure well will fluff more because I see some bare spots in this picture.
I want to take a moment to thank you for your comments yesterday. I needed to do that...I fear the stigma... you wouldn't believe how it is sometimes. And I hate it. I hate that so many think of my wonderful, kind, generous to a fault, husband based upon that one moment. It is like living in a fish bowl. The hushiness in the neighborhood when I walk out the door. Or it could be me, but it really feels like it. I'm still me. He is still the wonderful friend, brother, son, neighbor, dad, son-in-law, coworker that he always was.
I spent some time looking back on this blog. I usually type now, hit post and then run like blazes. I admire you all for reading here because I can't read it after I write it. I don't want to think about it, wonder about it, deal with it in printed form. But I did, I did read a little bit of it.Those first weeks...I don't even remember writing them, but I remember feeling that way because I am still there. Only without the shock. Only the pain remains.

Friday, November 30, 2007

What it feels like

Why is it that, everytime I sit down to write something happens? A phone call, my son...choosing that moment to have a blowout (he has, for such a sweet boy, a horrendous temper), a headache etc... So, here I am with 45 minutes left to go to say that I did it (!) I posted every day. It did make me realize that I could never, not ever, do a novel in a month...even though I've signed up two years running. Sigh...

I have been thinking of (or being haunted by) this. This that has happened to us. About the days that led up to this. About what it is or isn't to be me anymore.

It feels like being a ghost. Being tied down to this house...this half family...and knowing that I have to be whether I want to drift away or not. I sometimes stand in front of the medicine cabinet, looking at all of those meds thinking,"It wouldn't be so very bad...and think of the savings in copays..." and hearing or thinking of my children and mentally slapping myself for wanting so very badly to give up so many times. And so the medicine goes down.

I hate having to explain to people that my husband is gone. I hate having to face the reality of that. I will be the crazy lady who never took her husband's name off the house...because she didn't have to.

Driving down streets...stopping at the light on the corner and looking at the door of the bar he used to walk to with Luke (and took me to once). Envisioning him, holding that door...and then realizing for the 800th time that he's not in this world with me anymore.

"You were the only one who ever believed in me, trusted me and loved me no matter what... and I'm sorry I didn't always realize that..." Sometimes he would run to his mother, even though he had been let down so many times by them, to take care of. Because that is who he was. That is what he said,"I'm sorry" for that night. But it was okay...because I was the one he came home to every night. But it ended up being not okay.

Not okay because I think back to times he asked me to go with him and I didn't want to deal with the sometimes sad moments experienced...the personal pain for me. I think back on those times and want to change them. I want to have gone because it would have been one more hour I would have spent with him.

It is hearing the jets fly overhead and thinking back to that day of the airshow and how wonderful it was...and yet not wanting to think about it because it seems like yesterday only he's not in this world with me anymore to remember it with.

"I am a burden to you..." said the man who saved my life, who sat in countless hospital rooms, woke up every day (never taking a sick day) at 4:30 to work for us. Coming home to mow, and trim and fix, repair or replace anything before sitting in his chair smiling over at me and saying," I love this life..."

Two and a half days, 60 hours,(God that sounds so much less than it felt at the time) destroyed my life, my love and my future. Bitter, bitter, bittersweet memories of hands in my hair, hugs, listening to his heartbeating under my head on Friday night. Talking through the morning...afternoon...and evening on Saturday. "We'll start looking for land on Monday" "I can't wait to teach James how to drive." "We're going to take a vacation..." "You are the best mommy in the world." "I don't ever want to lose you..." and my returning,"We have to die on the same day because I cannot imagine life without you." And picking up James from our friends', because he wanted him home. Stopping to have a cup of coffee as I often did and having him call. "Are you guys coming? I miss you and I want to see my boy." Watching Charlotte's Web together with James and,"You are such a good boy...we are lucky aren't we Mama?" and then a headache came and he couldn't sleep. So I put cool washrags on his head, kissed him so very many times and gave him a benadryl. Going to bed later than I should have (God I hate myself for that) and realizing he wanted me there in bed, my big strong man, so that he could fall asleep. Of being blissful...not realizing that we would never share that bed again and it would, in a day's time, become the collector of all the things I didn't want to look at at the moment...and there are so many that even that cat can't lay there and cry for him anymore.

I think about waking up to a happy,"I slept really well, once you came to bed." Having coffee (too much as always) and watching him out the window as he worked on the lawn with James. James wanting to go to the zoo and his daddy saying,"that sounds like a good idea." I remember the clothes I grabbed to head for the shower. I swear, when he opened the door to talk to me he said,"We're running to the store, do you need anything? I'll be right back" Finding it funny that he didn't rip back the curtain as he always did, but stood in the doorway with his head turned away. Thinking about that as I finished rinsing away my face wash. I remember hearing noise as I got dressed and saying,"Hang on guys...I'll come with." and opening the door to James saying,"Daddy left without me." Later I found out he had sent him out to "get something..." so that he could leave without him. At least James told me,"Daddy told me to run to the garage for-" what it was I can't remember.

I sat at the kitchen table (the light is better there) to put on my makeup, having decided to be less frumpy and more of the girl he fell in love with. There came a time when I realized that he had been gone for 45 minutes...not so very long, but it felt like forever. The house is/was never "right" without him and the children there. Even James noticing,"Daddy's been gone a long time. The phone (my cell) rang and it was him. I expected it to be,"Run down to the furnace room and look at the filter size" and/or "coffee's on we need any" It wasn't. (God this is so hard to write but I need to...for me) It was,"I love you. God I love you so much. Tell Nik I love her and I am so very proud of her. Tell James I love him and I am so proud of him. I love you Laura...I love you so much. I never wanted to hurt you. I don't want to hurt you..." me trying to ask him what he meant, begging him to come home, asking where he was...Being drowned out by" I love you so very much..." and the beep-beep-beep that happens when a phone gets hung up. Trying to call him back. No answer. Begging him to tell me what was going on on his voicemail. Calling his best friend to go get him. To talk to him. Never once suspecting. Because that was not the voice of a man who wanted to die. It was the voice of a man with a twisted sense of duty, obligation and protecting his family. I hate his father for that. For making it okay.

I remember calling my girlfriend (the wife of his best friend) as I drove to him, asking if she had heard from them. I remember turning that corner, seeing the ambulances...and the police. And screaming. Screaming so loud. Feeling my heart rip free from my chest and begin a painful bounce. Engine running. His truck...running to him... being stopped by a policeman who wanted to "talk." I didn't talk, but I couldn't get to him. His best friend,"I'm so sorry... and what the hell?" The scratch of the carpet under my face as I clung to the floor..."she needs sedation..."

"I NEED my baby...I want my husband...bring me my baby..." and they never did. And I never saw him again on this earth. Only his hands. And the pain and the shock...and all of it. Stigma of trying to get people to believe that we were happy. No hang ups, no addictions...just a normal family. Our general practioner, in disbelief, saying he couldn't understand it. He was healthy...both physically and mentally. Replay, replay...replay... How can I change this? How can I fix this? I can't believe that I can't.

All I want is my husband. My anger toward his father for making this "okay" is great. Telling his mother that he never once blamed her for leaving when he was 12...but not being able to say that neither did I. All I want is to start the last 15 years of my life over again.

I know "why" which most people don't get the luxury of in this situation. I just can't wrap my head around the fact that this was after everything was going to be okay...

The day his father died, he promised me. And I believed him. I still do.

I did write this entry for myself. I had to. To spill some of the horrible, horrible pain out somewhere.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Slippery slopes and sinking ships

Tonight we had our Sandcastles grief meeting. James and Nicole were tired and, at first, didn't want to go but I think they are glad they went. Me... well I don't want to be there and I don't want to talk but I do listen. I just can't believe, at this point, that it will get better.

We went around the table(s..for there are far too many fathers, mothers, daughters and sons lost too soon) discussing plans for Christmas. Each person had to say their intentions, what they were thinking about doing, what worked/didn't work for them. It got to me and I really couldn't think of much to say. Only that it's a little bit like standing on the deck of the Titanic as it sank. The water is the holidays. I know I am rushing toward them as I grip the railing, trying to find purchase and a way to stay out of that bitter water. That analogy came to me the other day as I watched that film with James.

What it is that I am trying to write about for myself for Nanoblopomo and to attempt to heal a little bit is what happened the day that I lost him, how I lost him and the affect it has had and the reasons why this is so difficult for me. It hits again and again. Waking up each morning thinking that this is the day I wake up from the dream. Talking to friends of his/ours that still can't believe it to be true. All while trying to maintain a game face for a little boy who wants (and needs) a holiday...some happiness...some normal. I have to do this.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Keeping up with the

I have something that I promised I would post for myself before the end of this exercise in blogging every day for a month. I was going to attempt it tonight, but, again, the day has gotten away from me... there is too much "house stuff" to do... and I really need to sit and spend the proper time to do this. I have thought and cried about it all day. And the naivete-no, that's wrong- the innocent narcissm of a woman (more of a girl) on a message board has brought to me to the point where I need to post it...for myself. If I am to ever deal with it. I don't mean to dangle a carrot for those who read here. I am just tired and really meant to write tonight. I am upset that I didn't set aside the time because writing here lets me walk away from "duty" for a while. I appreciated your gift ideas. Thank you so much. I like the ornament idea and I just might be able to talk James into it.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

A little help here... and...Why did that hurt so bad?

As I have mentioned, I am doing all of my Christmas shopping online this year (I am sure with the exception of stocking stuffers etc...) and am proud of how far I have gotten. Now, I am stuck, as in the mother-in-law mud. I have no idea what to give her.

The funny thing is, I haven't seen her in weeks...and she showed up on my doorstep as I finished my first paragraph. And I still have no idea what to give her. And she does not understand that I am not competing with her in the grief department. I am just exhausted. I was going to make this a much longer (and possibly entertaining) entry but I have just lost it completely. I am grateful that my dad took up my invitation to stay for dinner and ended up watching "Transformers" with us, and I couldn't help thinking how much Leonard would have loved that movie. And then, because Tuesday night is such an awful television night, we watched the finale for "Dancing with the Stars"...and Helio reminds me so much of Leonard (at least his dimples and his dark eyes and hair) and there was a dance to "King of the Road". Leonard loved that song. Everytime I think I might find peace enough to sleep...there is his face. Only it's his face in my mind and I cannot reach out and touch it. I can't wrap my arms around his waist or fit my knees against his...or share his pillow. I can have all of his pillow now...if I wanted it.

I am really glad my dad stayed until 11:00, and that I had this to type...because now it is only 6 hours until time to get up. I hate this. I hate it more every day.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Sleepy...I am getting so very sleepy...

I have been sleepy since about 3PM and it is now just going on 8PM. Funny how time drags when you are waiting for a decent hour to go to bed.

On an up note, I was able to do a bit of Christmas shopping online this morning. Hopefully I won't have to step too often into a store this season. It is really hitting hard. It snowed today pretty hard for quite a while but the ground is not frozen and the temps are not below freezing. Stupid me left the last little bunch of leaves raked together, waiting for me to pick up more yard bags. I picked them up...and just as easily left them in the back of the truck. I will now be stuffing frozen leaves quickly into them tomorrow morning in the dark, racing against the DPW.

The turkey (how the heck did I type that turnkey?) turned out okay yesterday and both my father and Nicole's friend showed up. I made more than I thought I did so there are a lot of leftovers. Am I as boring as I am feeling I am with this post?

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Happy Turkey Day

Please excuse the scruffiness of the oven. I haven't run a cleaning cycle since the one I mentioned so many months ago.
So, there, I did (am) make (ing) a turkey today. For James and for Nicole, because they didn't really enjoy Thanksgiving (except for James as the game) either. Of course, I meant to have it ready by 1PM, but I got it in the oven at 12:30 so that wasn't going to happen. That is/was always the norm for me anyway. Given the fact that my father hasn't shown up yet, nor has Nicole's friend, Michelle, they know this well. It smells like a holiday, yet doesn't feel like a holiday. Leonard should be in Krandall, watching the game. Tough luck Laura.
I did do some Christmas shopping today. By Internet, for the kids. I realize I cannot even walk into Kroger/Walgreen's/7-11 without breaking down over the Christmasy-ness of it all, so I am not going to bother. If I can't get it online it is not being given. I also am getting all the wrapping paper on line. I never like going out among the Christmasy people anyway...this just compounds it. Believe it or not, it got to where Leonard loved it more. And I need him. And again, this morning, it hit like a ton of bricks.
The bowling? It was nice to see my kids have a ton of fun. Nicole rode the same bull her father rode earlier this year... and I made it. But I don't want to.