Friday, December 7, 2007

It's hard to type with a bandaid on your pinky

I cut myself today. I was downstairs in the basement, shuffling through the boxes and bags, looking for wrapping paper... "Please Mommy, please can I wrap my presents tonight?" "Now?" "Now can I?" "You're never going to let me..." and I sliced my pinky pretty deeply on a broken china doll. Because those are the kinds of treasures you can find in our basement. My son felt really bad for "making" me cut myself. I really have to work on alleviating his guilt. We've been spending a lot of time on that this week.

I can't believe broken china can cut a person so badly...ouch.

Tomorrow is "girl's night" and I don't want to go. So I'm not. Ever since Leonard and I were dating, the women in his family (his mom, aunts, cousins, cousins wives, and my sister in law) would get together every few months to basically eat and play a dice game involving gifts. They started out as White elephant gifts. Crap you could find around your house or pick up for a buck at a garage sale. I was so proud of myself the year I got the light up conch shell with the "souvenir of Florida" sticker still on it. At Christmas time, everyone was to spend $10 or under on something nicer. My sister in law never listens and always spends around $50, which prompts everyone to be pissed off, and avoid her gift as if it were covered in lice...which, in turn, would piss her off...and so on. It can be fun...but lots of times it's a gathering of one upmanship and petty squabbling. I have enjoyed them in the past. But, I don't feel like crying in front of everyone, I don't feel like listening to my mother in law go on and on about her loss... I guess, I just don't feel like it because it is acting like nothing is wrong when everything is wrong and I'm trying so very hard to not crash. That would make me crash, in a flaming pile of nothing. I can't do that.

Tomorrow James is going to go to coin stores with his Uncle. Russ is my husband's closest cousin and they grew up like brothers. James and Leonard were collecting coins (they have all the different books) and Russ and his daughter (the same age as James) got into it and the four of them would scour the shops on weekends. I'm glad that he has decided to go as he's turned him down several times because "it wouldn't feel right without Daddy" and they will soon be moving to Texas.They're moving on right after Christmas, which totally hurts.

Thanks again for all your support and for tuning in so often. I don't know how you do that. but I appreciate it. ***I keep typing "[" instead of "p" and I just noticed I'm smudging blood on the keys which I guess means the bandaid has been bled through. I told you it was deep.

Have a nice weekend.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

It's not right...

It's just not right that a little boy should sit in a car, sobbing his eyes out for the man we all miss. It's not right that nothing I say will make him feel better. It's not right that his sister's emotional pain manifests itself into physical pain. It's not right that this is all too much for me to handle. It's not right that he is not here, nor will he ever be again. It's not right that I check in with a friend on her blog and her pain brings me to my knees---thinking of a little girl lost. It's just not right.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Putting too fine a point on it...

Christmas cards have started rolling in. Most years I looked forward to this because I loved the sending and the receiving-reading about the updates among our family and friends, and letting them know ours. And now, it's this year. The first two cards were addressed to Mr and Mrs. Our Last Name (it's not like it's too hard to figure out, me being all transparent about those things but this makes me feel better). They were written by two people who (obviously) didn't know. One, a coworker from a place he used to work. The second, our old next door neighbors. These things make it seem not real. I mean it can't be real. This can't have happened. I don't want it to have happened. I still think, somehow, I can change this. I am full of it. The proper thing to do would be to write them and let them know... I don't want to. My twisted mind thinks that, if they don't know, then maybe it's like he is a little bit alive still... because I think crazy thoughts like that all the time. And I really, really, really NEED for him to be alive. How would one go about letting them know after so much time has passed...? Scratch that. How could one go about letting them know after three and a half months have passed and she, herself, doesn't yet get it?

I'm not sending out cards this year because there isn't really anything to say. Today was a really bad day. I most of the time feel like I am living in a parallel universe. I sometimes think that I think too much about it. Today, as I was putting the beads on the tree, I wanted to pull it down (the tree) and throw the ornaments. Today, as my father was talking to me I wanted to scream,"shut up! shut up! SHUT UP!!!" I want to make this stop.

The television special "For One More Day" is coming out (this weekend, I think). I read the book when it came out. My thoughts have changed since I lost Leonard. One More Day wouldn't make a difference. In my case at least. It would just be one more day of loving him...and still feeling the tremendous loss...because that Saturday would have been a perfect One More Day. If only I was okay with it being only one more day. I know this paragraph doesn't make much sense, but it me. If I were to have one more day, I would still feel cheated at its end. I would still be angry, and sad, and ripped apart, and needy. I would ask for more. Because I am selfish. Because it never would have been enough. Forever, with this wonderful man, would not have been enough. Because I lived in fear of this day even when I thought it would happen much later in my life.

Pictures. I have tons of pictures. And the boards for the service that are exactly where they were put when we got home. I can't look at them. Today I gave voice and life to the words, "I am afraid I will never be able to look at my beautiful husband's face again." It gets worse. It is almost a phobia. I am afraid to look at my husband's face for fear that this pain will spiral out of control.

If you usually get a Christmas card from me I am very sorry.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Finished trees (almost), Christmas shopping, and a visit to the ER (at 3:30 AM)

We are done...well...almost. I did buy a chain of beads to go around it. We went with that instead of Leonard's favorite tinsel because I want a different look to the tree. That sounds stupid, but I am hoping it will work. Even small changes, if the kids allow them, might help me to breathe through this.
Here is James standing in front of his creation. For it is truly his. I kind of wussed out. He put on about 97% of the ornaments. I only placed the blue ornament you will see below and our first ornament which you will also see, in all it's blurred glory because I wasn't able to hold the camera steady. They have the "places of honor" this year. Each year, certain ornaments will go in the "place of honor", which is directly below the star, on the highest branches to the left and right. Usually it is reserved for the Packers ornaments (nobody said we had class) I have collected over the years. Also note that my son is unable to keep his eyes wide open for a picture. I didn't take the 20 minutes that I did to take the Halloween pictures this time. I try to do the "Tyra trick". For those of you with lives who don't watch ANTM marathons, this trick is to keep your eyes closed until just before the shot. I will shout,"Open!!!" and James will open his eyes, and I'll snap the shot. This time it sort of worked, and we got the half lidded look. He also got to go shopping at school today. Secret santa.

He loves shopping for everyone and then bringing the bags home and showing everyone. The way it goes is that whoever the gift is for has to close their eyes. Only, he has the habit of saying what the things are as you are looking at them so the giftee usually knows what their gift is. Only he didn't do that this year. And it was bittersweet. On the form, where you are supposed to put the names for parents, grandparents, and siblings I screwed up. I wrote his daddy's name. Sometimes I think I am going crazy. If you look really close at the closeup picture of the tree (with James' big glass snowman for his first Christmas), just to the left of center is my 2nd grade picture in an ornament we made in class. Me, with the grown out pixie.

The last two shots are of our first Christmas ornament (after we were married, in 1996) and Leonard's first ornament that was made for him as a baby. It is so simple and so Leonard that it hurts. I keep trying and failing to find ways to do this.

Lastly (gosh is this entry disjointed), I was at the ER with my daughter on Monday morning...early. Her back was killing her and I wanted to make sure it wasn't a kidney infection. They did an ultrasound, found some cysts and sent her on her way with some painkillers. Luckily, they were not busy and we were pretty much in and out. I can't believe how easily they prescribe painkillers. I'm really glad she is okay. I think, sometimes, that emotions can make pain intensify. Okay, I don't think it. I know it.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Old Friends

Today was mercifully busy...even though it required little effort by me. Although I did wipe up a few icky spots that were completely noticeable in the kitchen. I also put away pop cans, cleaned the toilet (blech), wiped down doors (flu season freak am I), and cleared off the table. Wow, you say...she's finally moving. It was because one of Leonard's (and my) oldest friends was coming over. Leonard grew up with him, while I met him at 13, in my 8th grade social studies class. Are you noticing a pattern as to how I met my closest friends and my sweetheart? Social studies has always been good to me. Al is a wonderful human being. When Leonard and I were first married, he would come over every month or so for dinner and, crazy wild ones that we were, Monopoly. It became a tradition we all looked forward to. When Al got married, Leonard and I both missed those times. We didn't spend as much time with him after that, as often happens when people get married. Al came over with his daughter (2 and adorable AND well behaved...figures) and sat for a couple of hours. For about 10 years Leonard and I, Al (and later his girlfriend/wife), another friend Jerry and his girlfriend now wife, and Al's brother Aaron had gotten together around the Christmas holidays for dinner. We would go somewhere nice and catch up. It was an assurance that we would see each other at least once a year. Al came over to try and change my mind about not going. I don't want to go without Leonard. That was a total Leonard event. I cannot imagine going without him...functioning while there without him...and coming home without him. I can't, I just can't. I am also private (again believe it or not, me with the blabbing blog) and don't want people to see me cry. Also, they are expecting a very different Laura than the one they would see. Everything...everything...everything...about my life was destroyed and/or horrifically changed.

Al left, and before I had his coffee cup rinsed, Leonard's cousin Russ and his wife came over (these are the ones who will soon be joining you in Texas, Tessie) with their children. These are the people we spent most of the last decade close to. Leonard and Russ grew up like brothers and, when Russ met Suzanne, it was even better. We spent so many wonderful times together. Russ and Suzanne had a New Year's eve party every year at their house where children were included. It grew every year and was a wonderful way to ring in the New Year. I loved watching my husband enjoy being surrounded by his family. I loved watching my husband play with the children he loved. And they loved him. We also went out to dinner with them every once in awhile. Tonight, the kids and I went to a Mongolian BBQ with them. And it kills me to hear "7" in answer to "how many...?" when it used to be and should still be "8". It is good to see them and yet I feel sad and jealous and sick all at the same time. I am going to miss them so much when they leave after Christmas. Thank God we aren't still in the horse and buggy era, or this would be truly awful.

I appreciate, again, the comments that you've all left. I am so grateful for the blog friendships I have made. Gina, I finally went to that blog you mentioned in your entry the other day (before taking you much needed post nanoblopomo rest) and it was a lot like a million other blogs out there... What is funny to me is that I have visited blogs who list that site in their blogroll, and a lot of them strive to copy that...or at least seem to. Maybe it's me. Sometimes it really seems like a blog is written off a template i.e. ***insert over descriptive comment here*** about one's ****child, husband, job, dog/cat, coworker**** here. But maybe that's what most blogging is about. I know I did/have done/do a lot of that. Anyway, Gina's entry got me thinking about it and I really enjoy visiting the blogs of others possibly more than spilling my guts here. Okay, I know I do. I just wanted to post something that wasn't all "man I hate this" for a change.

Anectdote from tonight: As we were standing in line, waiting for our Mongolian concoctions to be grilled, Suzanne turned to me and said,"Oh ick! That cook just walked over and blew his nose and then didn't wash his hands..." The cook happened to be the one who was grilling my food. ***insert overly descriptive wanting to barf comment here*** As anyone who knows me knows, I have a problem with all gross things relating to noses and the emptying of them. I have been known to throw up at the slightest mention of nostrilicular fluids (erp...gag). This did not bode well for me eating. I said to Suzanne,"Oh...I wish you hadn't told me that..." She then spent the next five minutes attempting to restore my appetite by assuring me that,"Hey! They only touch the handle of the spatulas..." and,"Well, I'm sure the temperature of the grill cooked any germs off..." Oh....vomit.