Saturday, January 5, 2008


I am weepy today. Weepy because my eyes keep catching sight of things that remind me of him and our lives together. I began the day with a burst of energy, doing all those things you put off doing because they are icky and so you can talk yourself into letting them go one more day--and then the day comes when even you, yourself are sick of looking at the mess. I meant to keep going and get the tree down. Then, I glimpsed his face on one of the boards from the funeral home that were put in the basement and just left there, until I could remove the photos and return them to their owners, albums, boxes. I never did. And, a lot of times, I have to force myself to not turn them to the wall. I use the basement a lot and I keep my eyes averted most times, when I run laundry up and down. The left side of the basement is now Leonard's side: the pictures, his rollaway, his things that I cannot bear to see. After I came back upstairs, my dad and his girlfriend came over so I just kind of, well, stopped. At least I am dressed.

I meant to take the kids across the border to Canada this afternoon. To drive around and maybe get some dinner. It's gotten late and I'm not sure if I'll do that tonight or not. Maybe tomorrow. I do know that it is nice to have both of the kids home again. Even if they do fight. Even if I do tell them that they are driving me nuts. Even is good to have them home, where they belong.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Somebody Stop me

Remember how I said that my father loves to play,"Hey wait! Christmas isn't over yet!"? At least I think I mentioned it, and, if I didn't, I meant to. Ever since I can remember, my father always had a small gift or two for us, long after Christmas day had passed. Sometimes it was even the beginning of February, and usually coincided with the taking down of the Christmas tree. There, now I know that I told least for today. I have picked up that tradition and handed out "Hey wait..." gifts with a "What's that, over under the tree there..." when my dad was over for New Year's Day dinner. It is fun and inexpensive and a way to brighten sagging spirits after the holidays.

Now, here's the confession, I've done this 2x with my kids...already. They received "Hey wait..." gifts, along with my dad so that should be the official end of the season. But wait... As I was standing in line at the post office to pick up a package (thank you so much, Embla) I noticed these really neat matted pictures of Pudge Rodriguez, along with Magglio, Gary Sheffield and Curtis Granderson. They were matted with a canceled stamp from opening day of year. So I bought one for each of the kids. And brought them home. And wrapped them. And did the whole "Hey wait..." thing all over again. And they were happy. And I hope I don't continue this or I will be broke by sometime in Mid May.

Haylee mentioned that it was nice when I commented back on the blog...that it gave it a more chatty feel. I used to do that all the time. But then I fell into a "post and run" mode after August...because I didn't want to look at the pictures of him too long, or really read what I had written. I always mean to comment back, but many times never come back after posting. I am hoping to get back into that again. Because I miss interacting with people, outside of commenting on your blogs. I hope to get better at it again.

This has been a strange, surreal week. I hate, and always have hated, when the children go back to school. James went back today. Nik is still home but I am selfish and I want them both back. I was this awful before so it is really no different. Only there is no one to play with and keep my mind off of this new life. Nik had an appointment today and had the last of her staples removed. She will have to have repeat ultrasounds quite often through her life as this could happen again on the right side. It does not happen often in cystic cases but, when it does, it is life threatening. At least, now we know.

Why is it,whenever I get comfy in my jammies, ready to write for a bit, my mother calls?

Wednesday, January 2, 2008


Jessie says,"Happy New Year". No, I did not do this. My children did because, budding photographers that they are (thanks for the cameras,Santa), Jessie often becomes their main subject and she complies, sort of willingly. She was not happy about it and I usually don't allow them to dress her up but I made an exception. She kept it on for quite awhile too.

Can I tell you all now how much your comments mean to me? If I were you (which would be awesome because that would mean I wasn't me) I would have run screaming from this blog a long time ago. I read over that last post and it was a major "I love you/I hate you, come here/go away..." and I don't know why you put up with me and stay and encourage and care, but I'm so very glad you do. It gets so difficult to reconcile all of this. To make people understand that this wasn't a "typical case". As if anything is typical when it comes to losing your husband, life partner, love at the age of 37. We were still looking at houses. We had money in hand to buy land. We were full of loving and laughter and raising kids. Plans were being made. And Boom...that's what makes this so very sad and odd and just surreal most days. So, most days, I pretend I am somebody else for a good part of the day...just to get through. And, a lot of the days I don't like that somebody else, because she is rude and uncaring and generally not a very happy, fun person to be around.

Accomplishments. Today, much to the delight of the Mortgage Broker who owns the home, I finally finished a drive by that was sitting there, on my desk/kitchen counter/pile of paper for 3 weeks. It was ordered and I said,"No problem, yesirree, get right to it...and then all heck broke out. But, he is a great guy, let me give him an estimate and went with that until I could get it done. I have to be grateful for those people who are willing to wait on me. Unlike the idiot I work with who actually thinks finishing a rent study is tops on my list. Have I totally bored you with my completely boring job yet? A plus is that it's work from home. A minus is that I can't stand it anymore because there is Leonard behind every job, encouraging and excited about our future. I don't want that to be my future, alone, anymore. Again, with the oddness of it all. Our life is not my life without him.

Accomplisment two: I finally made it to the mall to get my new inserts for my Franklin planner. I used to get so excited about picking it out. This year, because I waited so long and they were out of "Blooms" in the classic size, I went with the ever exciting Original. Ah well, it's only a year. The important thing is that, this being only January 2, there were only 2 days where I had no idea what it was I was supposed to be doing. Since August, that planner has become my life because if it's written in there I do it. Not, I don't.

Look at how well Nik looks. She was not happy that I took this picture and will be even less happy when/if she finds it posted here. I don't like her looking at my blog, but I know she searched the title and has gotten upset with me. I will not censor myself anymore than I have. I have told her that 1. Pretty much everything I write here I have said out loud in her presence and 2. she is not an invited reader. Leonard knew that and most times didn't go looking for it, but I really have nothing to hide.

I love this picture of James. It reminds me of his baby face. He is growing up way too fast and I was a little teary thinking that this might be the last year he believes in Santa. That is, if he still believes in Santa and isn't just doing this to make Mama happy. I do got through some elaborate schemes to keep the magic going-up to and including having a neighbor come in our house and leave a small gift and note for him while we were at the store. He has been such a good boy throughout all of this upheaval and I would be in a much worse place without him.

I hope the New Year has started well for you all... My Family's best wishes for continued happiness go out to every single one of you who care enough to care about us.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008


I did a stupid thing last night. But, in my defense, last night was horrendous. For some odd reason it hurt worse than Christmas-worse than I imagined a holiday neither one of us really cared much for would. But it happened.

So I posted a message about it on a board I used to participate on, and I'm still mad at myself for doing it.

I get unreasonably angry at people, both in real life and online, who suggest I see a counselor. I have seen a counselor. I get unreasonably angry at people who tell me that I must let myself get angry at him and that it's okay to get angry at him. I won't get angry at him. This is not the cut and dried (as if this ever is) situation that a lot of people may think it is. I get angry because I know many have categorized my husband (in their minds) as depressed, addicted, messed up etc... and that just wasn't/isn't true and I am not deluding myself. I know it is my fault for getting angry. Leonard used to always tell me not to expect people to behave/respond in ways that I want them to. I wish I could tell the whole story, but I risk hurting someone else in the process. He was just a man, a wonderful man, who lived his life purely for others. There is nothing there that I could ever get angry at. I also don't believe in set stages of grief (don't worry, my counselor was okay with this). The books don't help. There are no answers there. In a nutshell, writing helps.
In a situation such as this there is nothing anyone can say that will fix it.
What it is a lot of the time is me trying to get what I am thinking out of my head. Because I haven't been able to stop myself from thinking.

This is a horrible little entry so I will try and save it. Santa Claus brought James "SpongeBob SquarePants" Life and Monopoly. We (he, Nik and I) had a rousing game of Life, which was fun, even if I had to be Squidward. We also toasted the year ahead with a glass or two of sparkling grape juice, although I had to cut James off after 3 glasses, one of which went spilling on his sister. I tell you, that boy can't hold his juice. I didn't watch the ball drop and today I am just pretending. That's enough for now. Anything to get through.
I wish you all a Wonderful Year ahead.

Monday, December 31, 2007

I'm Wishing time would Stop

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 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.

3:47??? Possible movie spoiler alert***

How did it get to be 3:47? I need to keep better, and more sane, hours.

Tonight I watched two movies "Vacancy" (bleh) and "Perfect Stranger". Vacancy was very odd and disjointed and a million times I caught myself saying,"Why don't they...?" or "They should..." and "Why didn't they send backup when the cop didn't report back to the station at night?" Ah well...I've gotten to cynical even for myself.

***Spoiler of a Good Movie Ahead***

Now, "Perfect Stranger"? Well that's the reason I am still up at 3:47. Sort of. I am afraid of sleep these days anyway. I am not a big Halle fan but this was a really good movie. The plot twist at the end was very reminiscent of "Presumed Innocent" (one of my all time favorite plot twist movies). The whole movie through I kept saying to myself,"The wife did, maybe Bruce Willis did do it...but then he would have punched her in the car perhaps..." and,"Oh my God, I can't believe that Miles is such a twisted freak!!!" and so on. This comment really does give not much away but what an entertaining movie. My dad was over and I felt safer than I normally do... except it is now me, and the sleeping kids, and the dog that barks at nothing, and the cat with the stumpy arthritic walk that scares me sometimes into thinking it is the boogeyman. I am not built for this live by yourself mode I am in. I really, really hate it.

Tonight I feel fragile and alone. It is the last day of the last year that my husband was alive and it is hitting me awfully hard. I don't want to walk into 2008, and on, without him. I don't think it will ever feel right.

Today, my father said,"I guess this will take you longer than I thought." That hurts. I know he doesn't know that. He cared about my mom, but I don't think he ever really loved her. That is a big assumption I am making but one of the things he said was that he didn't ever want to wish her dead...and he was afraid it would get to that. Wrong to tell me that, but he did. I would never have wished Leonard fact, as I've said before, I feared Leonard dead.

I am so sad that I cannot look at his picture, that I try to push his image from my mind. All this in an effort to survive that which I am not equipped for. Life without the one person who made everything right.

An update on Nicole: I'm trying to get her to walk upright. It is important that she walk upright. As the recipient of numerous abdominal surgeries, I am trying to talk here through this. I know the pain. I knew the NG tube hurts and rawness, the realization that one needs their stomach muscles more than they realize...until they are cut into, I know the shoulder pain from rising gas. All of it. And I wish I could take it away for her. Hopefully the staple they had to put in last week will come out tomorrow. She seems more "Nicole" and that is a very good thing...even when it is driving me nuts. Somehow, my kids will be okay.