Friday, December 26, 2008

Happy Holidays



We made it! And Texas was c-c-c-cold...but it has warmed up. With the exception of the mover being a little slow (mentally), the new oven having bad wiring, and James's bed being without the bolts, all went smoothly. Except...

Merlin has flown the coop. My old gentleman cat has been gone for over a week and I am losing hope that I will ever see him again. Please keep him in your thoughts.

A Happiest of Holidays to you all.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Amazing

It really is, when I think of it. No, I'm not saying it's amazing that I'm actually here posting this evening. It's been such a whirlwind of trying to get things done, and procrastinating and last minute doctors/dentists/car appointments that I rarely have time to share anything. And I am sorry. For those of you on Facebook, oh I'm having fun playing there with you. But, I'm winding down another road when I mean to speak of other things.

It is amazing. Amazing how much can change in 1 year and (almost) 4 months. I would never have dreamt that this would be me---what I was doing---here, with these boxes and stuff. How amazing...the support I have received from friends and some family. And the support far outweighs the naysayers. Really there are only 3 and a half (I'll explain the half later) naysayers. The two being my mom and my brother.

As I've mentioned, my mother cannot compute this. Nor does she want to. For reference, I don't and never have expected her to or wanted much from her. It's the way we are. Before I could "play along" with the mind game of the day. I had Leonard to dump it on. Leonard to make it okay. Leonard to come home to. I don't have that anymore. She thinks I'm stupid, she thinks I'm not there for her in her hour of need, she says I am "taking her last grandchild" (Nicole is apparently sliced bread) from her... She held open the door and told me to leave. So I did. Funny...I don't feel that awfully bad about it. I can't. It's not in me anymore. I tried my best as a child, young, and then married, woman. As a widow, I suck at comradeship with her. I care to much about my lost husband. Along side her, goes my grandma. Too twisted up in herself (as the elderly often do) to see that I have been there for her, that phones can be picked up on her end. Nutshell=lack of empathy. Again...okay. I don't need it. So many have gone out of their way in their support of me.

Moving...on...



The half=a mother in law who has a tongue that is split neater than Lincoln's rails. She supports me and yet doesn't when talking to others. A second phone call (remember that ill fated call to my father last year) to my father attempting to play the victim who never gets to see the grandson I have given her open access to. I do think she truly wants to support us, but that old competitions die hard for her. I just want my son to be happy. I don't want him to be burdened by the family guilt that so plagued his father. She knows (and I hope she admits to herself) that she has an open invitation to our new home.

So...we're ready. T-minus 4 days...

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Closing Day

But, not without its headaches, which I won't bore you with. I never thought this day would get here, given the troubles with trying to set up a home purchase from out of state.

In answer to a couple of comments, I haven't yet sold my house. I just made the decision to move now and attempt to sell the house here empty. I am lucky in that I can manage that because I qc'd the house to my husband and also because he is the smartest, most prepared man that has ever graced this earth.

Even as I contemplate this step today, I stood at the gate this morning with the chewed up garbage bags (thanks to Jessie the Wonder Sheltie) and thought back a couple of years-to dreams that used to be mine, held with him. If my life had gone right, we'd be together on our own 10 acres right here. Well, a little north of here. It still hurts to realize that we will never get to do that.

I have made the decision to have the movers do their thing, meaning pack me up. I tried, really I did, but I cannot dismantle our life together all by myself. It will be better to sift through it in a place he never was-- no expectation of him walking through the door, not having to glance up at his ashes now and again and feel my heart breaking all over again. and again.

The closing is today at 1PM. Because of a foul up at the title company, I did not transfer funds over to my account and they have yet to post. What does this mean? Another hurdle to jump. Either a signoff on $4,000 that won't post to the bigger amount until tomorrow, or a cash advance. Sigh.

My new life officially starts at 1PM. I hope I am doing the right thing. I think I am doing the right thing, and yet-all the while- it hurts to leave him, us, behind.

"Your Wildest Dreams"

Once upon a time
Once when you were mine
I remember skies
Reflected in your eyes
I wonder where you are
I wonder if you
Think about me
Once upon a time
In your wildest dreams

Once the world was new
Our bodies felt the morning dew
That greets the brand new day
We couldn't tear ourselves away
I wonder if you care
I wonder if you still remember
Once upon a time
In your wildest dreams

And when the music plays
And when the words are
Touched with sorrow
When the music plays
I hear the sound
I had to follow
Once upon a time
Once beneath the stars
The universe was ours
Love was all we knew
And all I knew was you
I wonder if you know
I wonder if you think about it
Once upon a time
In your wildest dreams

And when the music plays
And when the words are
Touched with sorrow
When the music plays
And when the music plays
I hear the sound
I had to follow
Once upon a time

Once upon a time
Once when you were mine
I remember skies
Mirrored in your eyes
I wonder where you are
I wonder if you
Think about me
Once upon a time
In your wildest dreams

Friday, November 14, 2008

Hoping

I was hoping to be moved by now, but here I am...still. The deal is done and I am just waiting on a closing date. It is so very hard to be 1400 miles away from it all and I am a bit impatient. Especially as the days grow darker (and colder) here.

I was also hoping to write more often but that isn't working out so well. Here is where I would say because "OMG! I've been so busy!" In reality, I am lacking the drive. Just hanging out. Waiting for a day that seems like it is unreachable.

The Pet Shop Boys? Like them? I love them. In fact it's why I'm listening to "It's a Sin" over and over again tonight. Welcome to my odd little life these days.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I'm back.

Thanks you Chloe, for the kick in the pants I needed to get going here again. It is so hard, in these crazy days of closing dates, inspections, home improvements and what not to keep my thoughts together.

I am, for the most part, in a better place for now. I look forward to leaving these haunting memories behind, and yet I will miss Nik in our twisted little "I love you-I hate you-come here-go away" relationship. She doesn't want to talk about me moving even as it looms in the very near tomorrow. She has a choice to come with and has opted not to. I do think it will be good for her to be on her own.

James has made a very good friend just recently and that will make it a bit harder for him to leave... but he wants to. Plus, they have email and trips up here or down there.

I have made the decision to have the movers just pack up everything because it broke me down for a good week when I started to pack things. So, for now, I'll just leave it.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Over it...

For now, at least. Monday was just a horrible, no good, very rotten kind of day. Those happen. Not as frequently, for I have gotten really good at pretending to be someone else. Most days I function and nobody would really know that anything is different. Which is how I want it...need for it to be, at least in my real world. Does that make any sense at all? I didn't think so.

I have told most of my family (save my mom,"Why are you going to go and do something stupid like that?") that I am considering (hahaha-who am I kidding-the Purchase agreement is signed and ready to go) a move out of state. Many have asked me why, and most have agreed with me on my reasoning. Because I am so sporadic in posting of late I am going to go ahead and list the reasons here...

Michigan is so very very much Leonard's place. I hated Michigan when I first moved here in 7th grade. Leonard was the one who took me "Up North", took me on thousands of drives, went to the cider mills...all of those things I can no longer do without breaking down. Some can do these things and sift through treasured memories. For me, it is still unending pain and need and want.
When I am in places that we have not been together, the pain is still there but there are no memories to prod it along until it becomes full fledged and day ending for me. In this way, it is about survival.

My son has asked to move. It has not been the healthiest for him to remain here due to his own memories. He is a boy who very much needed his daddy. Without him, and yet with all of his (James) memories, it is unbearable, too, for him at times. He has told me he feels happier.

Another reason (gosh, I feel like I am writing a 5th grade essay for History class here) is that I do believe it will be good for Nik. She would finish out college here and perhaps join us there. This might cause some to go "What???" and my heart breaks at the thought of being away from her but I feel, at times, that I am not the best thing in her life right now.

Lastly, and I do believe I have written this here before, everyone is waiting for "Laura" to come back. The Laura they knew. The Laura who was in control and cleaning and cooking and ready to get together... That Laura is gone, without Leonard. She isn't coming back. In moving to a new place, that pressure that friends, family and neighbors place on me would gone. I yearn for that.

Perhaps I am wrong... but something-anything-needs to happen.

On to brighter things. I ordered my countertops on Tuesday. Sadly, I cannot go with the rolled edge because it would create a huge, possibly unsightly seam along the breakfast bar. So I went with Wilsonart HD "Night Passage" with a standard edge. I like the Wilsonart because it has a matte/gloss look and is a bit different. It goes well with the new paint job. Why yes, thank you for asking, I did finally get all of that wall paper down and the new paint up.

This is the countertop

http://samples.wilsonart.com/images/PRODUCT/icon/467.jpg

The paint is on this page. The one named "Family Tree", which I rather liked
http://dutchboy.com/colors/families/neutrals/versatile/index.jsp

The only thing I haven't done is figure out how to preserve the measuring wall. It is the door frame where my husband measured James from the time he was a year old. About a year and a half ago, my husband measured himself, Nik and me. During those horrible days, the people who came over measured themselves. So there are many Sharpie marks, dates and names on that frame. I was going to find a way to saw it off and put up a new piece of wood. Instead, I may take a photo and then go to Kinkos to blow it up to actual size. We'll see.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Emails...and school memories...

My 20th reunion is coming up this weekend, I guess. I am not going. Not only because of my life these days but also because Leonard and I never went to those things. We kept in touch with those we wanted to from high school and moved on.

Today, logging into my computer, I found condolence notes from high school classmates. As you guess, I was instantly transported back to those breaking days of August '07. So I did what any stupid fool would do. I tried to find the source of the information. As I've said before (and which I am sure many of you find doubtful), Leonard and I were private people and I don't want my private pain (albeit very public here, but this blog isn't very traceable) blasted before a school that was made up of navel gazers and mutual admirers. I found it, finally, on an alumni archive page...and there's not really much I can do about it. It just angers me because we graduated the same year, he is my husband and all that blah, blah... Let it go Laura.

While looking at that page (and averting my eyes from his name) I also found a couple of classmates that I hadn't known had died. We are not being well and long lived here...this class of '88, at least in my high school. That made me melancholy this morning...when I should be doing stuff around the house.

Friday, October 3, 2008

The Heat is On

And I don't just mean the furnace. Although, that had to be turned on yesterday. It has been so rainy here that this day of sunny weather is a bandaid for me.

It looks as if the builder in TX will take a contingent offer. Now, I have to list (and sell) my house as quickly as possible. It is very hard for me (an optimist turned pessimist over this last year) to think that this will actually happen but that is what I am doing. I am hoping that all will actually work out for this family this year.

Last night at Sandcastles (a family grief support group), James and I made a garden stone. I had been given two garden stones but it was nice to work on something with James... I think it turned out very nice (James planned it and I mixed the cement). James liked it so much that he wants to make a stone for each of us. As I thought about it, I think this is a very good idea... Instead of stones that focus on the loss, stones that focus on our family. That is what I have been trying to stress to the children. It is not our family that we have lost. Although, on my very bad days I have trouble believing that myself.

I am off to call my aunt/agent and hope that I can get this rolling. When I am finally motivated, I will post a picture of that stone.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Peeling back scabs

This is difficult, this packing up of our house. I gave many of his clothes to his brother. That hurt. What to keep, what to box up...all of it to cry over. And then I found a composition notebook ( I do a lot of my writing longhand) that was used in the week following that day... Notes about the pastor, the service, people's impressions of my dearest one. And a letter I wrote to him a week afterward.

Leonard,

Today I went to bed at 4:30, instead of waking you up. There are no arms around me, no whispered,"I love you" and "midnight goose"... This morning there wasn't any coffee to pour, or lunches to make. No waiting for you to say "books, keys, lunch money" so I knew it was time to kiss you before you left.
Leonard you are/were my life...and if it weren't for our children, I would gladly lay down beside you. I cannot bear the thought of the years stretching out without you and our much talked about plans. I told you last Saturday that we would have to die on the same day because I could not imagine me---without you. Sunday, my worst nightmare came true. And I was right.


I look back at that writing (and cry with the fresh pain of it all relived) and realize it is still true. I'm not me anymore. I am not screaming and shouting and thinking deathly thoughts anymore. But I am not the girl he loved anymore. I had to reinvent myself in order to breathe again. Because I was right. That me would have died right there.

Gosh... this is a hard, hard job. I wish I had a team of 100 instead of just 1. I wish I was Jeannie and could just make it so in one second flat.

How did it get this cold?

On the monorail to Epcot. More about that experience later...
Vikings have landed...and they don't like flash photography...
A really great shot (from the Fort Wilderness boat) of the Contemporary Resort at sunset...
How happy can one Grandma be? Yes, she was at the "Happiest Place on Earth"!!!
A truly happy boy at Downtown Disney. A 32 oz. slushy will do that to a kid.

I will write more about our adventures later, I'm just trying to nail down that house...and get this one on the market. Hard to do, when it's me, myself and I... with absolutely no help. Yes, I'm openly complaining about my slothful children.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

On a ----loooonnnggggg--- vacation

Hey! I'm still here, but we're visiting the Mouse (aka Disneyworld) and he keeps a girl busy. Tomorrow we're heading back home and I'll be back up and blogging by Monday. I hope everyone is well. From the looks of it, I've bought you all souvenirs. :)

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Renovations and Restorations

The wallpaper is practically all off and would be completely off if my computer wasn't sitting on the breakfast bar and slingo and other things weren't so addicting.

I've got a few small bits to take off and then the serious sanding begins. I have decided (yes I know I haven't done the very best of jobs at keeping you all up to date) to renovate "parts" of the kitchen. i.e. getting rid of that crappy "welcome to the pink fantasies of the previous owner" wallpaper, replacing the (you got it) pink faux granite countertops, and (maybe) putting on new cupboard handles. Also, that ugly, industrial style, white-did I mention huge?- vanity in the bathroom will also go. I am going to get something smaller and quainter. Did I mention how quaint (i.e. small) my house is? I'm sure I have.

I just want it all done yesterday. I want to be moved, and the monster pain of selling a house in a buyer's market is scaring the heck out of me. I'm an appraiser so I'm pretty familiar (and even willing to tell you if you're looking to sell) with what one should to to showcase one's house. Yes, all my majors (roof, windows, floors, furnace, C/A,) are done. The only other 2 majors are these two: bath and kitchen. But one does not want one's home to become super adequate. Trying to explain to James that we don't need to drywall the basement is a tough one. He grows more like his daddy each day. Sigh... Anyone looking to live in a 50's plat neighborhood in a 1200-ish sq.ft. brick ranch within walking distance to a lake side park? Anyone? Anyone?

Sunday, August 31, 2008

No idea where I am in Tenessee really...

Master Bath
Front bedroom
Great Room... HUGE...
Kitchen---with a ton of cookie/dumpling rolling out space for me and James
View from the living room into the formal dining room...god, I would love for this to work out. We fit here...


I do know that I am just outside of Graceland because I mean to take Mr. James there tomorrow. We just couldn't find a hotel, so had to get onto the freeway (i-240...i think?) and go a bit. Everything was full so we are now in a suite. Don't get all excited for me because James isn't really happy because it's not up to his "standards". It is a bit rough around the edges but not a slum.


The new car has been running really well. We did quite a bit of running around in it in Houston (Klein/Spring) to be exact. I think I have found the house I want. A close out new construction, 2500 s.f., granite counters 3,2.5, 3 car garage, with a study and a gameroom. I became friends with the saleswoman because she fell in love with James off the bat and brought her girls out to a showing to meet him. I am just hoping to get a good cash deal and a quick sale of my house and then maybe... well, we'll see.


While there, we went to Old Town Spring. I just love that area. You can really picture how it must have looked when it was a horse and buggy place. Most of the buildings are original and there are just a ton of shops and a few cute little eateries. I bought S, my cousin/friend/beloved person who puts up with me - a knockoff Coach. I bought one for myself as well and, as I type this, it is already falling apart. I still like it though. It's the patchwork one with the belt. The belt loops are falling off willy nilly... nothing a little super glue can't fix...ahem... so... if you see me walking around with it, yes, it's totally, completely and possibly noticeable fake. ;) But it's pretty.


We'll see if we make it home tomorrow night or not. If not do-able I'm pulling in a heck of a lot earlier than I did tonight/this morning.


Good night Elizabeth...

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Someone Else just for today

James says hi...
An incredible sunset.


I can pretend I am someone else, just for today. In fact, I will pretend I am someone else...just for today. I can do that here in Texas. James is having a decent time. We looked at model homes yesterday and he found one that he likes. All he requires is a "Lego room". A lego room is what most people would call a study and/or 4th bedroom option/game room option. I have gotten much good advice from many people and am still going to go with new construction. I am, after all, an appraiser and I know what it is I am looking at in terms of quality. Today I am in free falling, *this is how it must feel to be on LSD* mode. I can't help it. But I will go through the day. A special shout out here to Ronni... you have been on my mind all week and I hope you are making it too.

Today, I am not me.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Somewhere in Texas

A woman and her son finally pulled off the highway-realizing that they weren't going to make it to Houston that night. Well, technically, they could have but that wouldn't be very nice to her hosts. They would have shown up at the door after midnight, not bearing gifts and that's just not thoughtful...no matter how much her hosts doth protest.

So here we are...in Corsicana, TX. We'll finish the last tiniest leg tomorrow. I'm pissed at myself for not keeping on schedule, and thus having it cost me.

G'night all...

Thursday, August 21, 2008

A Misguided Meme

Shannon, over at Tales of a Misguided Mommy, has tagged me for a meme. Seeing as I have nothing to say for myself these days...thanks Shannon! I think I will take you up on that. Here goes:

The rules:

1. Link the person who tagged you.
2. Mention the rules on your blog.
3. Tell about 6 unspectacular quirks you possess.
4. Tag 6 following bloggers by linking them.
5. Leave a comment on each of the tagged blogger’s blogs letting them know they’ve been tagged.



Here's the quirks:

1. I cut my own hair
2. That's not to say I do that spectacular of a job of it. I do have a license which allows me to be this stupid.
3. I can spend an entire day doing nothing but playing time management games. Kind of an oxymoron there...
4. I am a master of the 10 minute meal.
5. I usually read a book in 2 days max.
6. I do better on 4 hours of sleep than I do on 8.

I can't think of anyone to tag so, if you want, have at it. Thanks Shannon! :)

Here's something exciting in Laura land, I have bought a new car. I finally traded the Yukon in and got a Saturn Outlook. So far, so good. I did not realize how hard it would be to drive away from the Yukon. Leonard loved that truck. The new car is Black Cherry. Almost black, but a little bit of red mixed in when the sun is shining. I bought a few of the "bells" (heated leather seats) and a couple of "whistles" (2nd row sliding seats, fancy rims) and was off. I was going to get the Vue but the Outlook called to me from the next spot over.

Tomorrow I run away, yet again, to Texas. I need to. No, scratch that, I have to.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Plans

I've made some decisions since we've last talked. One, I realized I cannot be here in this house for that week, so I am going to Texas on the 22nd. We will stay there for the week and then return home. Because Leonard made me promise that we (I thought, at the time, it would be all of us) would go to DisneyWorld, we are going in September. Classes be damned I guess. I will just grab James' schoolwork and help him with it.

Why do I feel like I am sitting here typing an itinerary? I guess because it's a "going through the motions", waiting for the next knot to save me, week.

I am also going to sell this house and most likely move to Texas, where there are no memories, I have a few friends, and can start something new. While I don't want to I don't really have a choice. And, on the plus side, maybe one more of us will turn Texas blue. Now I feel as if I've reached the blabbling, not making much sense part of this post.

James had a nice birthday. The bike I bought him was too big and I have to return it. We went to Hu Hot for dinner and I slammed my finger in the car door but all is well. No breaks...just a big purple mess for a few days.

Nik has orientation for Wayne in a few days. She wasn't looking forward to it until she went for her math placement exam and got a taste of walking around campus. There is a still a part of me that wishes she had gone for dorm life because I think it would be good for her. Trying to jump start someone who doesn't want to be is exhausting.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Happy Birthday, Sweet Baby James

How could 10 years have gone by so fast? It was only yesterday, after all, that I was willing you to hang tight. Really, only yesterday. It was then that I was so stunned that I couldn't hear you crying (such a low little voice) and Daddy had to assure me that you were fine. It was then that he combed your little bit of hair and lulled you to quiet. How can that be?

You are such a fine boy. Sometimes given to fits of temper; but ,more often than not, you are quickly sorry. You are handsome and look just like Daddy did when we were your age. You are caring and so much fun for Mama. And you always try your hardest. Always.

But...

Don't try too hard. Don't take the weight of the world on your shoulders...don't feel responsible for everyone. Just be a boy, like you are. Just a boy.

And you're still my baby, especially when you're sleeping.


Sweet Baby James
James Taylor

There is a young cowboy he lives on the range
His horse and his cattle are his only companions
He works in the saddle and he sleeps in the canyons
Waiting for summer, his pastures to change
And as the moon rises he sits by his fire
Thinking about women and glasses of beer
And closing his eyes as the doggies retire
He sings out a song which is soft but its clear
As if maybe someone could hear
Goodnight you moonlight ladies
Rockabye sweet baby james
Deep greens and blues are the colors I choose
Wont you let me go down in my dreams
And rockabye sweet baby james
Now the first of december was covered with snow
And so was the turnpike from stockbridge to boston
Lord, the berkshires seemed dream-like on account of that frosting
With ten miles behind me and ten thousand more to goT
heres a song that they sing when they take to the highway
A song that they sing when they take to the sea
A song that they sing of their home in the sky
Maybe you can believe it if it helps you to sleep
But singing works just fine for me

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

About that party...

About time, eh. It was a day that will live in infamy...almost.

Because I am like this, I put housecleaning, shopping, cake ordering off until it could be put off no longer. Heck, I did order the tables and chairs and tents so at least there was that. Also, the food. The tons and tons of (hey, what are you doing for dinner tonight?) food. Luckily, I had a friend to help and we banged out most of the shopping in one night. Double luckily, I knew I was going to be a procrastinating loser about it so I had it catered. All we had to do (All...*giggle*) was set up the tables. Nik wanted orange and blue (wonder why...go Maggli-ooo). The tablecloths were orange. When I ordered her cake I put Orange and White down as her school colors. I am sure they were wondering what--? with that.

The day dawned bright and sunny, only it didn't. It dawned hot and windy and rain cloud threateny, which made me glad we had the tent which was tied to the corner of every house in a 5 block radius because our yard is small like that. I looked around saying to myself,"120 people..." Oy. But... we had stuff to do. We put the tablecloths on the tables, taped down the pics of Nik through the years and swiftly covered the tables with clear plastic. Only it didn't work out that way. We yelled and shook our fist at the wind that blew every freaking picture of every table just as we got the last one down. Finally... they were on. But we were getting close to people time. I quickly filled m&m bowls (it is so cool how, for "only" $5 you can buy a tiny bag of blue and/or orange m and m's...but it was Nik's party so...) and put them on the tables. Salt and peppers, votive candles, then I turned and told Nik there would be no wedding reception (I kid...). I walked in the house to finish putting together some salads, feeling quite pleased that we were as "on schedule" as we get at this house...and then a gust of wind blew up...and "crash, shatter...sh&t!..." came from the backyard. Every M and M bowl (about $50 worth of candy...) shattered, pictures whirling, broken candle holders. Little guy storming in the house with an "I am so done." I looked out the front window and yay, the first guests. I mean, I know I said 3PM but I didn't really think they would show up then...but everyone did, just about, and it wasn't a round robin with some going and some coming. It was everyone coming, and staying (I knew I should have bought the Summer Shandy and Mojitos). It started horribly but the day was really nice. I wanted his family, especially, to see that the children were doing okay, that I was standing and getting dressed and capable, still, of throwing parties. I wanted people to come to a house where, the last time there, pain was palpable and replace (at least a bit of it) with happiness. And that is what happened. And all of Leonard's aunts got into a water fight (childhood resentments anyone?) and the kids bounced on the trampoline and ran like kids are supposed to, and everyone raved about the food, and nobody cried. Okay, I did, but only in the bathroom...for what should have been. Nightime came and a bonfire was lit and the twinkle lights turned on.

Of course there are many side stories, including the one where my mother trash talked my father to everyone within earshot, that would make you giggle. Maybe I'll tell them on an "I don't know what to write today" day, but I just wanted to get this out there. That yes, Laura managed to have a party. She also realized that this house is not hers anymore...and the kids are okay with selling it.

And, for those of you who worry, another heartbreak and yet also triumph-I gave my dad Leonard's cellphone number today. His (my dad's) contract is up, and he was able to transfer his number to Leonard's SIM... it may sound silly and small, but it was big for me, who wants to change nothing. Leonard's number is gone, his contacts are gone, his phone...gone. Of course, his number is still where it will always be in my cellphone: AAALeonardICE. That is something I will never change, no matter how crazy some think I am.

As for the rest of it, what happened in the back yard, stays in the back yard, people.

Something Plagues me...

I still mean to fill you in on the party, but you (well most of you) know me by now and how I am still meaning to finish my wedding story, our honeymoon story and a million other things so bear with me here.

Tonight, make that this morning, I am thinking again about internet connections. Not the wires, but the humanity behind them. I bring this up because of an interesting situation on another site today. As a mom, and a human, I was sickened to read of the baby killed by the puppy in OK. I am horrified that this happened and also so very sad for this family.

http://www.firstcoastnews.com/news/strange/news-article.aspx?storyid=114988&catid=82

Apparently the 17 year old mother has been hospitalized. As would I be. I cannot imagine the pain. Especially when one realizes this could have easily been prevented in so many ways. But it's too late. One can only hurt or (as I learned today) hate this family. Why is it we can sit behind a computer and spout off things such as,"Probably high on meth." ? It appears the mother and grandmother were sleeping while the father and grandfather had left the house. Massive miscommunication there. But, I really don't think it was willfull negligience. Immense stupidity, of the kind I was guilty of as a 19 year old, ending in a tragedy that will never be forgotten. Punishment enough, again, in my opinion. Why is it, when one expresses sympathy and asks others their intent they are accused of "taking something too personally"? When did we get to decide how we think others should think? Or did we? Is it just easy because we aren't sitting across the table from each other? Sometimes I think, at least I hope, it is. It also illustrates why it is so easy for anonymous commenters here on my blog, and on the blogs of others, to freely offer hurtful help. It opens my eyes. In ways, it makes certain things that are said easier to handle. I don't know this young couple, nor does anonymous know me. Usernames on message boards don't know whether a grandma in the background smoking a cigarette is responding properly or not. They don't know her. They only think they do. Or think they know the proper way to behave in that situation. Odd thoughts come to one in traumatic situations sometimes. I remember lying there, at the police station, wondering if I had turned the coffee pot off. In hindsight, in my opinion, it was my mind protecting itself from going insane...by using the truly mundane. I talked about this with my brother in law (my husband's brother) and he confessed to the very same thing. Again, a a mental buffer against a tremendous blow.

So, in short, I guess this is me taking my blog back from the hands of those "who know better than me". And in the words of a woman from my Sandcastles group,"Don't 'should' on me..." I know it may not make sense to you, but it makes mountains of sense to me. If anonymous, and/or username on a message board, feels free to tell me how to react, how badly I am doing, what my problem is, well then I guess I can feel free to not listen. Or, on those truly filter free days, defend myself. My choice, my life.

I'll see you in the morning..er...this afternoon, to tell you about that party. People tell me it was fun, and nice even.

Monday, July 28, 2008

What I meant to do

I meant to put a great header up there and tell you all about Nik's graduation party. What I did instead was go back through time and read all my entries here. Right now, my being went back there too. And I am wrong and it was wrong and I am just missing him and feeling horrible for doing that tonight (or is it this morning already), and I hate crying like this and feeling so worthless and lonely, so I'll come back later.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Posting on the Fly...Again!

I wanted to post so much more last night, but James really needed tending. And here it is morning and I have to be at the dentist in 45 minutes, yet I need to calm myself down and think for a moment, or 7.

The kids and I watched "What's Eating Gilbert Grape?" last night. I love, love, LOVE that movie. One, because, well, Johnny Depp. Two, because his character is so very much like the Leonard I knew when we were younger. Three, Ummm, yes, Johnny Depp. Also, for an amateur, Darlene Cates did an amazing job as the mom. I also loved the book, which is a bit more "fantastical" but still wonderful.

The tables come today, Nik picked out the pictures and her best friend came over yesterday with some of the pictures she has of the two of them. I am so grateful. They were laughing at just how many pictures we have of Nik and I had to remind them that Nik was The Only for 5 years before her cousin's arrival...so she was the subject of every photo, just about every day. I got all the shopping done and was teasing Nik that I was going to put the exact total of it all on her cake. But that would be mean, wouldn't it?

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Getting Ready...

Spending money, cleaning like a mad woman so all those people don't think to themselves,"Boy she really HAS gone round the bend... My Gosh, the dust elephants that were hanging around.

Krandall (the chair for those of you who haven't been playing along) went today. My mom came with the guy who took the truck to get it. He wanted it as well, and I needed to get rid of it. They came over while we were at Sandcastles so I wouldn't have to see the truck.

Ya know, James is freaking on me right now, so I'll have to get back to this later. He's been rough ---really rough, of the staying up until 4AM with mom kind- lately.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Well, that's over...


And I am glad. I tried not to think about it being "that" day on Saturday and was fairly successful. Although I spent the whole day in my pajamas-telling myself it was because my tooth (or lack of) hurt and not because of anything else. James and I spent some time crying and then drifted into Sunday morning.


No, the house has far, far to go before I allow anyone in on Saturday. Yes, I have a tent and tables and chairs. Even food is coming. So a party is looking like it will happen with or without me. It has been a struggle to plan while having such a rough time. I can't believe I've got 1 day to get the trash out of the house (garbage pickup is tomorrow) and 5 days to make the house look like it is capable of having people live in it. Wish me luck.


And...just for Tessie... The cutest of kids always mess up great photo opportunities, as witnessed in the picture of my nephew here.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

My sweet daughter

Bows and flows of angel hair and ice cream castles in the air
And feather canyons everywhere, i've looked at cloud that way.
But now they only block the sun, they rain and snow on everyone.
So many things i would have done but clouds got in my way.
I've looked at clouds from both sides now,From up and down, and still somehow
It's cloud illusions i recall.I really don't know clouds at all.

Moons and junes and ferris wheels,
the dizzy dancing way you feel
As every fairy tale comes real;
i've looked at love that way.
But now it's just another show.
you leave 'em laughing when you go
And if you care, don't let them know,
don't give yourself away.
I've looked at love from both sides now,
From give and take, and still somehow
It's love's illusions i recall.
I really don't know love at all.

Tears and fears and feeling proud
to say "i love you" right out loud,
Dreams and schemes and circus crowds,
i've looked at life that way.
But now old friends are acting strange,
they shake their heads,
they sayI've changed.
Something's lost but something's gained
in living every day.
I've looked at life from both sides now,
From win and lose, and still somehow
It's life's illusions i recall.
I really don't know life at all.

Nik made a CD of songs to cheer me up this week. It has been hard with it being a week bracketed by his birthday and our anniversary. A week that I confess I'm not really "here" for. I am lost in thoughts and what if's-and then she gave me a CD she had burned. It has ColdPlay and the Macarena, Henry the Eighth (god what an ear worm) and a whole bunch of songs... and then I came on this, which has been one of my favorites ever since I first heard Roger Whitaker's version when I was a small child on a Sunday "clean the house" afternoon. I look at the words and realize how very appropriate they are and I wonder if Fate somehow gave me this song right now.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

It's Okay. Really it is... (for me at least)

I apologize. I apologize that so many of you were unfairly characterized by a commenter on that last entry. It's not fair. And I hesitate to do anything about it. I know I have said here before that I look at the blog part as mine and the comments part as yours...but that was uncalled for. It was uncalled for for you to be spoken about in such a manner. So I am going to address that which I, at first, thought I would ignore.

Yes, I am throwing myself a massive, and at times extremely self indulgent, pity party here. Because all that was right with my life is far less than that now. Annonymous (and I really wish you would have written your name because we could have talked about it. People have come forward before), what is written here is just the head of (for lack of a better comparison) a rather horrible chapter in life. It is (and you will have to trust me) a brushing over of events that are better suited for an afternoon soap opera than real life. And those events concern our children. And when my children cry (as one of them has been doing all week), I cry. He was my whole life. No, I cannot say there was a "life" for me before him. He has/had been a daily fixture in my life from January of my 12th year on earth to last August 26th. It is what is is...for me. And I don't need you to agree with that, just understand it. I have taken a rather cynical view on love and marriage to veer off for a second. Why wrap oneself so completely around another when this is what happens in the end? Why get married, only to have to say goodbye to that person at some point in time? Why? Stupid thoughts, yes. But I let myself indulge.

Secondly, a point was made as to his choice to do this to us. No, sadly my friend I cannot and will not see it that way. We had a saying that I knew him better than he knew himself and he knew me better than I knew myself. It is said that a suicide dies only once and those who love them die a thousand deaths pondering it. There is knowledge for me of why this happened. I would share that but it affects others that I care about immensely and it is not my story to tell. His actions were to protect. His actions were to care for his family...not realizing that we needed him more here than gone. That an event that seemed so huge and overwhelming was already taken care of...over. It was, my friend, an accident. A snap decision that, as I tell his son, if he could he would do over.

As to comments made about those who come here to gawk at a train wreck. Yes, this blog has become a train wreck. Which does make me sad because a lot of people admit they first come here because the title shows so much humorous potential...which I hope it did for some back then. But it's my trainwreck. Yes, I know there are gawkers. I also know there are those who choose to stay-to offer encouragement and even, sometimes, a kick in the pants or another way of looking at things. Some have told me that they have learned from this blog. Learned to appreciate even the simplest things about married life. Learned to think about what is important. I was lucky in that I also got to learn that from a dear friend. She knows who she is but I won't mention her name because I don't want to subject her blog to this. There are those who have sent emails, cards, and gifts meant to encourage. I can never hope to let them know how they have helped us. I could never express how a Christmas package sent by some of the most wonderful women I have ever met and yet never laid eyes on brought cheer to the face of a little boy who was missing not only his daddy, but also his sister's presence when she was sick. How excited he is to open a package from Iceland saying," I can't believe this box was 'actually' in Iceland." All of the things, a prayer candle, a well written card, an invitation into the lives and families of others. It helps the hurt and loneliness but it will never make it all go away.

I will always, a part of me, wish I was with him. At times, it will be a greater wish than anything else. But I can't go with him. I want to, and here, I won't lie about that. I love our children too much to do that...at least I hope so. And I do the things that I can to keep this life as livable as I can. And that includes writing on this blog. You can say to me whatever you wish, Anonymous, all I ask is that you leave innocent bystanders (my Husband, the readers, and also my children) out of it.

I appreciate it.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

A Lesson Learned... and a tough week.

Let's see...well... The root canal turned into a nasty extraction. And I sit here wishing he were here to baby me. He was so good at babying me, and so many found that so hard to believe. I miss him more it seems.

His birthday was Monday and I found myself reading the blog entry of last year and hating myself a little bit. I had put off buying his gift. Yes, it didn't matter to him, but it matters to me now. I can't go back and change that. It is...always...going to be about regrets.

Our anniversary would have been Saturday. I can't believe-can't make myself believe-that there will be no more of those happy years to mark off. Only one, one anniversary that even the thought of brings me to tears.

The other day, the receptionist at my dentist's office (we all went to high school together so I know them well) asked "What can we do to get you to stop this?" What can we do? I don't know. I just need him. God I need him-

-to buffer every tough moment with the kids
-hold me when I fall asleep
-listen to me and talk to me (God I don't want to forget the sound of his voice)
-make love to me
-be me...he was me...and I am lost still.

Nik's graduation party is next weekend and I have done the following to prepare:

-Absolutely nothing

And 100+ people are expected when I only expected to get a 50% return on the invites. 20 RSVP'd after the date of 7/10. There it is...and I don't want it.

I am going to do some therapy tonight and visit some blogs.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Home...with more pictures, but not enough to bore you...

My niece, helping my little nephew along.
All five of the grandchildren in one place...for the first time ever.
Hanging out in the "O" in California Adventure. This sign is being taken down so I am glad I got this shot.
My nephew, J (for the sake of privacy) loves his daddy (my brother) so much that it brings tears to my eyes. He also doesn't scream or cry when he is afraid. He is afraid of trains. He will say,"Buh bye train... see you soon." or (with the Bart Simpson live character) buh bye Bart, see you soon..." The funniest was in the Shrek 4-D attraction. "Buh Bye pigs (3 little pigs), thanks for all the fun. See you soon."
Apparently, he also likes cartoon girls in zebra bikinis. He is a wonderfully sweet and funny little boy.

We are home, and I am relieved that I made it through. It was nice to have a big group to go with. There was a bit of angst and frustration, but we didn't rip each other apart. A very good thing.

I am now facing a very tough week ahead. It hit me at the dentist's while scheduling another root canal. She scheduled it for monday, which is Leonard's birthday...which also means that 5 days later is our anniversary. Only there's no year to celebrate. I hope I make it through this.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

All systems clicking

So far, so good. The kids are getting along *pretty* good, with just a pillow fight this morning. But it was a *happy* pillow fight. I have the three kids in the room with me and it looks like a war zone with bras holding down the bathroom, but...it's vacation.

Today we are going to Universal and also (the thing I can't wait for) meeting my nephew Jacob. He is 2 (almost 3) and we never got to see him. My brother named him (middle name) after my husband (middle name). He (my brother) was upset because he was waiting for us to come out to tell us that. These are the things it hurts to think about.

Yesterday we did the whole tourist-y thing. The Chinese theater, pictures with ragged characters (we got the kids and their Uncle with "Jack Sparrow") and a visit to the new Highland shopping center. My purse strap broke (why does that always happen on vacation?) so that was a good thing. I got a new one (bigger and roomier for all of "their" stuff) with well sewn on straps. We then went to Rodeo Drive and, sadly, (or good if you think about it) most of the stores were closed and/or closing. I came *this close* to getting a Coach purse, because I always tell myself I'll do it some day... but I am to cheap to actually do it.

Last night was dinner and watching fireworks at my brother's. We were thinking about going to Newport Dunes... but you have to get up rather early and we slept in. I wanted to meet a dear friend of mine (none of that appears to be working out) but it was too late to find a parking spot. We'll have to plan something else I guess.

I love my nieces. They are so sweet and funny. For 6 and *almost*4 they are very smart and very good talkers. Also, very good huggers. Which is just the medicine that Auntie needs when surrounded by so many painful memories.

So that's what's going on with us. What is going on with you?

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The Day Before

For once, I have *most of* my clothing packed for tomorrow. James begged me to not be running all crazy tonight, so I did it. Although, I will still be running crazy, of course. There are still toiletries to pack, the Yukon to drop off (I told my mom she could take it to WI for my grandma. A prescription (I need a root canal, I guess) to be picked up and a million other things. So, instead, here I am. Because I am not here as often as I want to be. I have been suffering from some crazy form of "people fear", outside fear, life fear...you could call it really. I have shut off from a lot. I realized it was hurting my children so I have to work harder.

I have joined this decade, finally, by buying a NintendoDS for the flight. Nik has one (James has the PSP). I thought it would be fun because everyone is always talking up BrainAge and, also, this way Nik can contact me on the flight from whatever seat she is in.

Nik's best friend is coming with us, as well. She has always been like another kid to us so I am looking forward to spending some time with the two of them before college calls them away.

What I wish most is that I could live someone else's life for awhile. But that's not possible, is it?

I plan on taking the laptop with me and hope to post updates as we go along.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Who's Your Tiger?

Mine is, this year, Miguel Cabrera...seeing as the Tigers got rid of my favorite, Craig Monroe, last year.

Yesterday we went to the Tigers game-Nik, James, Me and Nik's boyfriend-with a few friends I have made on an internet message board. It was good to see these friends and spend some time with them. The kids were happy because we made it in time for the promotional give away. It was a replica jersey from 1968, when the Tigers won the World Series over the Cardinals. Sadly, the Tigers did not repeat that win yesterday, but the game was exciting and I think everyone had a good time.

This week I am tying up loose ends (more like entire lengths) in order to take off for California and a visit with my brothers next week. I am sure not to get everything in order before then but a girl can try.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Busy and Baseball...replaying my life

It's been busy. Okay, not really busy, but James did have 2 games this week. So that's my excuse. 4 RBI's and 4 great plays at 1st base for him. They played under the lights and he really enjoyed that.

Otherwise, I've been wasting time-going over events, again and again and a thousand times again. Thinking of the one little thing that I shouldn't have done that Thursday evening. But really...where does it get me? Not very far.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Tightrope walking

Arrggghhh...But, I'm getting better at it.
This morning we went over to my mother's house to say goodbye to my cousin, his wife and kids. They were here from Wisconsin to pick up Grandma and take her back for a two week visit. I am glad she is doing this. She is so healthy and spends so much time behaving as if she is frail. At 84, you'd be stunned at how well she moves. She was looking forward to it and I hope she doesn't cause too much trouble for them while she's there. It is, at times, like dealing with a 6 year old.

We took them out to lunch at Big Boys. Their oldest boy K. (11 and very close with James whenever they get a, a not so often, chance to see each other) always wants to go there when they come over because Wisconsin doesn't have Big Boys anymore. Last year, when we went for dinner, Leonard bought them all a Big Boy bank. This year, they had bobble heads for sale so I bought each of the kids one... It was sad, and yet funny, because their youngest son (also a K) brought us a twist tie and said,"I took it off so it wouldn't kill him... But keep it handy, just in case he attacks you." I swear, where do kids come up with the imaginative things that, so often, they blurt out?

Getting to the tightrope part. I spent most of yesterday and most of this early day with my mom and family. That should be nice, right? As I was leaving she said,"I'd invite you in, but I know you have plans." (insert huge sigh here) I was good about it, in part because I don't/can't care anymore. This afternoon was Nik's good friend's (like a daughter to me and I think I've mentioned her here before) graduation party. One, I told them I would bring wood. Two, I had asked my dad to come along to help me with the wood. The only thing I can think is that my mom must have driven by (a rather long drive just to see if my dad's car was over at my house, but something for her to do when she is itching to have a reason to believe I don't love her/love my dad more/am a poor excuse for a daughter) because she called on my cell phone some time this early evening. She did not leave a message. I noticed the call when I returned home. When I called her back I got the usual you-are-on-my-shit-list-now responses because I had been out with my dad. Short clippy, I hate you so much, type of answers. And, sadly, no I love you. So be it. I am a bad person for spending some time this Father's Day weekend with my Father. Sigh...

Suffice to say, I cannot walk the tightrope of trying to keep the terminally unhappy happy anymore. It's really too much and almost feels like a waste of a day and half spent with her. Moving far, far away seems so much more appealing.

Friday, June 13, 2008

And so, Summer begins



Sorry to those of you who chat with me at the other place, for this is a reprint from last night's pictures.
Isn't it amazing that, on the first night of summer, my little guy was fast asleep by 10:30. Isn't it also amazing that he can get up at 7AM by himself, in the summer, when he whines, and yells and cries all year long at that same hour. He was up with the birds today.
We went to visit a cousin of mine. He's in town to pick up my grandmother and take her back home to Wisconsin for a couple of weeks. I am glad she is finally realizing that she is still mobile and able to go and do things. They come up every year and we used to do family things with them. The zoo, Henry Ford etc... The asked if there was anything I would like to do and I declined. It was really hard enough to just see them. It's another situation where Leonard's absence is made sharper by would used to be.
Tomorrow is round two of the grad parties, and I also have to pick up Nik's pictures. Once I have them I'll scan them in and share them.
Have a wonderful weekend.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

One more day...

...until James is out of school. I cannot wait because the days will not be so empty with him around. It makes me wonder just how I will deal when he grows up and moves on in his life.

We (My dad and I) moved the extra chair I bought to his apartment today. It looks nice there and has also freed up one spot in the living room. It was beginning to look like a parking lot of chairs, and tables and ottomans and couches... Krandall is still up against a wall, awaiting his fate. I have made the decision to give him away. I can't hold on to everything and looking at him is usually enough to send me off into hours of tears. I can still picture my beloved curled up on his side, sleeping, waiting for me to come in and wake him up for bed. I miss him. But Krandall is, after all, just a chair.

James and I had just each other tonight. Nik and her boyfriend were off to the Tigers game. They are also going tomorrow night. I wish she would do more around the house... I wish I didn't have to plead. I have gotten to where I just about give up.

I am mad at myself for being quick to anger today. I was frustrated with my dad. He continues to tell me what I should do, how I should handle things and it gets under my skin. Yes, he is a huge help and I am so glad that he is here but I want him to be just Poppy to the kids. I can't rely on everyone to fix my life. It is unfixable at this point. At least there is nothing he could say to fix it. I know he badly wants to. Telling me I am wrong at every bend in the road isn't going to do it.

Am I as scattered here as I feel I am?

The kitten is a whirling dervish tonight--eyes huge, ears flattened, racing around. I've been calling him speed racer. A boy kitty with a mission.

Krandall is going to the same person who took the truck. The thing is, I wish he would stop bringing up the truck. He is also a bit of a story teller, a bit full of himself, and the exact opposite of Leonard. Of course, Leonard was perfect. This man is my mother's "new daughter's" husband. I can see why she likes him so much. I don't want them dwelling on something that doesn't concern them. Aye...contentious me.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

A Dark and Stormy Night





Now, if I could just find the strength to drag those huge water logged boxes on the side of the house upfront for the garbage guys I would be happy.

My other pets (Merlin and Jessie) are not so very please with wicked weather. James and Kittimus thoroughly enjoyed it.

Why is it that waking a child up for those last few days of school is 10 times worse than waking a child up in February when it's 12 degrees out? Perhaps it is nature's way of ensuring that we will welcome them home for Summer Vacation with open arms.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Weekend Review

I have not spent as much time outside of my house in the last 9 months as I did this weekend. Saturday consisted of two graduation parties (much to James's chagrin) and a welcome home party. Sunday was an obligatory visit to my mother so that she could "celebrate" my birthday--it also included one horrendous storm of the type that you don't want to be in the structure (modular on stilts) that we were in. Needless to say, we survived.

Party number one was for my next door neighbor's son. He is the one, I mentioned a while back (sorry I have a headache and can't find the right post to link to, who gave a wonderful eulogy... He is the one who often looked to my husband for guidance. I felt really bad because there appeared to be a low turnout and they had spent a bit of money on the hall and food. I was sorry that we couldn't stay longer. But it is also weird to not really know anyone. I am not a crowd person and find myself uncomfortable in situations such as that. The day was filled with those which is why I think that I have the headache I do. Stress.

Party number two was for Nik's boyfriend; another party at which a felt slightly uncomfortable. His family was nice though and James and I spent a good deal of it sitting out on the patio, attempting to catch any stray breeze that might happen to pass by on a rather stifling afternoon.

Party number three was a welcome home party for Nik's best friend. Her mother is also my best friend so this was a welcome respite from not knowing anyone. I still feel odd when I am out and about but I put most of that on myself. We finally made it home (after waiting out a thunderstorm...well two thunderstorms if you count having to wake up James to get him home).

Sunday was about going to my mom's for a cookout. The cookout ended up being hamburgers on a George Forman (sp) grill. She also bought a small cake for my birthday. Then a horrible, scary storm kicked up. I found out something else about myself. I can add to the growing list of things I am no longer afraid of in the aftermath (including but not limited to: flying, driving at high altitudes)--I no longer fear storms as I once had. The fact that I have lost these fears is, in itself, scary to me.

I hope everyone made it safely through the weekend.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Happy Birthday Me

Today is my birthday. I was born at 6:28 AM so I have already moved ahead...on into a year, an age, that he will never get to see or be. I dreaded this day ever since August 27th (the day after), whenever I let myself think about it. I would like for it to remain just a day now.

My husband always called it Double D-Day. One for Normandy. One for me. The funny thing is, our first home was located on Normandy St. Somewhere there is a zippo lighter commemorating that 50th anniversary of D-Day that I gave to him so he wouldn't forget.

Today the couch comes. I am trying to clean at least that little corner of my world as it will be difficult to move the couch once it is here. I am wondering if it will even fit in the door.

I have a feeling today is going to be very long. It's a day I want nothing to do with.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Balloon Release



That, above, is the new couch. I found it on the manufacturer's website. It is also a sleeper sofa for when people come to visit. It is mocha colored and I am a bit concerned about stainage, so I bought an extended stain warranty too. Wish us luck. I know somebody asked me-no, I haven't yet returned to the room. I don't think I can and I am starting to think that a move will be for the best. I am still so haunted here.

Tonight, Sandcastles is having a balloon release. I am a little petrified at the thought but we will go. One of Nicole's best friends has returned from almost a year out of country. Her mother is my best friend and is the woman I so often speak about helping me through. E., the daughter, was not here in August, so Nik invited her to the balloon release. Suddenly, there I am again. It is the day before D-Day... My birthday... when I officially get to an age he will never be.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Out with the old (and I mean really old)...In with the New...

Thanks to my dearest friend and her husband, I was able to move the couch out to the curb today. Why yes, after quite a few months, 5 to be exact, I have found a couch. At first, I didn't want to buy anything that he would never see...I didn't want to get rid of anything that he had never used... Baby steps, I guess. The new couch doesn't actually get here until Friday, but tomorrow is garbage day and I don't feel like having a ratty (and I do mean ratty) old couch hanging out in the backyard, when the backyard already looks a little sorry most of the time.

I bought my dearest friends dinner for their trouble. I kind of felt a little dorkish and "Oh Hai, let me hold the door for you and all..." as they took the brunt of moving the couch. The onion rings were burnt and had to be remade. Apparently, it got to a dicey part of the Stanley Cup Finals and the boys (boys used so loosely here that they'd slip of your wrist) forgot about the rings and they watched the game. It was a good time and James was up too late. But, I'll worry about that tomorrow.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Crazy Dreams and Crying Boys... A Conversation with my husband.

First off, thank you Melissa, for pointing that out to me. I guess it is the dichotomy of his relationship with his family, and some of the completely our of the ordinary things they have done (ex. setting up times to pull up in the driveway and honk the horn for James to come out...without telling me. That was what was on my mind for that post). I have welcomed them into our lives...his life, I guess. But it appears it shall only be on their terms. In my defense, a lot of this "moving on" has been suggested since Sept 1. Also, my husband's name is not to be brought up by his children. It saddens me I guess. But I cannot control the world.

James had a rather rough time of it last night. I don't know if it is jealousy or changes or just little boys being little boys...but most times he doesn't like his sister bringing her boyfriend over. It is a love hate relationship between James and his sister, for sure...just like siblings the world over, but this has a tendency to send him into a crying jag. Perhaps there being four, but one of the four isn't the one he expects.

"I want my Dad"... rocking in the swing. I took him there to calm him down last night. We sat and rocked and talked in the backyard. When his "best" friend gets mad at him he tells him,"I'm so glad I have a dad..." Things that make want to run and wring necks...but I can't. I can only tell him that it is a difficult thing for his friends to understand. That the permanancy is still something that he, and they, will grapple with. And then he confessed his still held guilt. That is what always gets to me. That this small (well not so anymore) would feel guilty for something beyond his control. I understand it, because I am there too. We glided for awhile and talked about changes, and that maybe moving would be for the best. We talked about him trying to stay by himself at night... I think he is almost there.

Bedtime came fast. I always try to physically exhaust myself to keep from thinking, which then leads to dreams. I think, because changes and moves had been on my mind all day, my husband popped up...across the breakfast bar, where he always sat after work, while I cooked. His face so sad... It was odd, because I could feel myself crying, even while sleeping.

We talked. About James...oh how sorry Leonard was.
About Nicole...still more sorrow.

What was I thinking of doing? His question.

I don't know.

Do what's best. You've always taken such good care of us all.

I don't know what to do.

And then this...

If given a chance at it again...where and with whom do you think you would end up?

If given a chance I didn't want, I wouldn't take it. I wish so much that you had realized that you were it for me. That there isn't another you. There is only me remaining of us. Yes, I will move, but never forward, to a person I wouldn't want as much as I want you...

Such sorrow on his face...and tears that were rarely seen from him in real life. And knowing, and realizing...

And then I woke up to start another day.

James did not yell at me this morning, as he so often does... that is a start.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Monday was much better...

We got a last minute invitation to a friend's daughter's birthday. It wasn't last minute on purpose...it's just who they are. I understand because, hey...I haven't ordered Nik's pictures yet, not to mention her announcements (which will now have to say "has graduated from..."). It was extremely warm yesterday (80's to high 80's all day). Perfect weather for a little girl's birthday and their baby boy is one who smiles all the time. In fact, he is the baby that cheered me up at the service, with his sunny smile and tongue sticking out. A real sweetie, that one. It was good for James to get out. I feel, so much, like we are losing contact with my inlaws, which isn't good for him...but helps me in small ways. They have a rather odd way of grieving and feel as if we all need to pick up and move on. That is just not something the kids and I can do. I also think it gives us all somewhat of a background into what my dearest had to deal with as a child and young man.

For those of you following James' budding baseball career, he actually stole home plate tonight and they blasted the Red Sox (little league sox of course) 15-10.

I am needing to be here, writing, more than I am at this moment. I am needing to thank so many of you for keeping up with us. I am grateful...and also tired so I guess it is bed time.

See ya tomorrow.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Sunday Morning Mourning

videoSomedays are better than others. The kids are off at a parade and I am thinking here, in the quiet mess that is this place, about him. We should be going to the parade to watch our kids ride the float for a local politician that Nik is interning for but I found myself crampy, and crying and feeling it better for them to go off and have a good time. So many lines in this song hit home with me...but one in particular.

"As he begins to raise his voice
You lower yours and grant him one last choice"

It is our last phone call...only I didn't know it was.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Introducing...Old MacDonald and Stewart Kittimus Prime





It is amazing because this little boy is very shy and ended up with the lead role in his school musical because...well...because he wasn't there that day and no one else raised their hand so...there you go. Old MacDonald-Stage debut in EIEI--Oops! He was wonderful and I had been so worried because he had become an inconsolable little monster with fretting about it, begging me to email his teacher and beg off...telling me I was a horrid mother etc... So I didn't invite anyone to the Spring Concert because I didn't want him to be embarassed. Then he went and blew them all away. Ad libbing these little overall hitches that had people rolling. Not on purposely swaying in the wrong direction most times during songs...then realizing he was getting laughs and continuing to do it. His music teacher winked at thim the whole time over it. I was proud...and also sad because, again, no dad. And I watched dad's carrying crying, bored little ones out. I watched a toddler walk up the steps shouting "Dada"... and was sad. Also, one of the classes sang "Grandma's Feather Bed", which was one of Leonard's favorite Denver songs and there was a beautiful piano solo of "Yesterday..." We celebrated with high 5's from everyone and ice cream.

And the second part of this post is to introduce you to Stewart Kittimus Prime. Yes, we love our black cats in this house and have always named them Merlin, but there is still a Merlin here. So he is Stewart (after Jon) and Kittimus Prime after Optimus Prime because Nicole is a Transformers Geek...of course, so am I...but only a little bit. I would have been happy with just Stewart, but now everyone is happy. He's a sweet little cuddly guy.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Graduation Day




What I've Done---Linkin Park

In this farewell
There’s no blood
There’s no alibi
‘Cause I’ve drawn regret
From the truth
Of a thousand lies

[Pre-Chorus]
So let mercy come
And wash away
What I’ve done

[Chorus]
I'll face myself
To cross out what I’ve become
Erase myself
And let go of what I’ve done

Put to rest
What you thought of me
Well I cleaned this slate
With the hands
Of uncertainty

So let mercy come
And wash away
What I’ve done

[Chorus]
I’ll face myself
To cross out what I’ve become
Erase myself
And let go of what I’ve done

For what I’ve done
I start again
And whatever pain may come
Today this ends
I’m forgiving what I’ve done

[Chorus]
I’ll face myself
To cross out what I’ve become
Erase myself
And let go of what I’ve done

What I’ve done
Forgiving what I’ve done

Our day started with this. This song. One, because it is Nicole's favorite movie, and her brother loves the song. I find the song makes me think of my husband-to where it almost sounds like his thoughts-but I was determined we would have one of Nicole's beloved "Dance Party" like moments this morning. We cuddled on the couch and sang "Happy Graduation Day" to our sister/daughter...and then got dressed.

And then the serious tears started. The night before I had given her a diamond peace pendant (you can see it in the photo with her brother) and made it from her Dad. I knew it was what he would have done...if he were here. I found the perfect card to go with...words that I know he would have used...I signed it "Dad"...

And we were off to the church. Her friend Michelle (pictured above) who has been like a daughter to us since she first came into our house to spend after school hours when she was ten...after the death of her own beloved father. That's Nonny in the middle (my daughter's grandmother and my mom). Tears at quotes like "I have learned that those we love and cherish the most are gone too soon..." To seeing my ( I swear to God she was only 3 yesterday) baby walk up to get her diploma, Pomp and Circumstance, tassels turned, hugs from beloved teachers... the tears welling up in my own father's eyes. All of it at times becoming to much. This yearning to feel my husband's suited shoulder up against mine...like all the other parents there in the church. Not to be. He would have been so proud of that NHS sash... He would have found her the most beautiful and accomplished young woman there. He was there, I have to believe that even as I go slowly crazy from all of this... I have to.

And onward to James's opening day for baseball season. Where my beautiful boy, who grows to look more like his daddy each day, got 3 hits, 3 RBI's and played a mean first base. Not bad for his first year.

God, it feels good to type here tonight.

Nicole is off to Senior lock in...James is up a little later than usual due to the chaos of the day. All is normal....except... There will always be that exception to kill me in the quiet hours.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day

To the wonderful friends I have made here, the family that may, or may not, lurk here...to all of you who are, or wish to be, Moms.

Today is hard. It used to start off with my husband and my son agreeing on the this question, posed by my husband,"We have the BEST Mommy in the world, don't we?" That won't happen. And each of these events: Mothers Day, Graduation, Prom...all of these things that he should be here for... are breaking me. The little inconsistancies, that grow with time, in my parenting, and/or lack of... scare me. I am making a mess of this. How does one do this? Change that, how does one do this when one doesn't want to, isn't the strong one, and isn't prepared???

Friday, May 9, 2008

Trips and Tears and Testng my limits




Prom went off without a hitch for Nicole... Well, there was one hitch. The one where I had to re-hitch the brooch part of her dress back on her dress after it dropped to the floor on their way out the door. She had a good time and they looked nice.

I am dull and drab and wishing that I had blogged here more often, instead of staring off into space. I think part of my problem is that, when the real hurting started, I shut myself off from the rest of the world. I haven't really "chatted" with anyone, haven't done much of anything. Unless you count the part where I went off as a chaperon on James's trip to Mackinac Island. That was a tough one because it not only was a visit to a place where Leonard and I had made many memories... we also stopped at Hartwick Pines, another of Leonard's favorite places. I spent a lot of time trying not to cry by throwing myself into the activities with the kids. Although it was bitter cold, I sat "up top" on the ferry to Mackinac with the boys in my group and we came really close to "Mighty Mac" and the boys loved getting ice cold spray in their faces. James? Well James was smart. James was down with another chaperone because he didn't want to "get cold". We were gone for two (pics of which I will have to scan in when I get them developed because we brought disposables)nights. I had to walk the halls each night between 2 and 3 AM...which isn't conducive to a good night's sleep and also leaves the grieving much more susceptible to crying bouts. I went outside at 3 AM, thinking I could have a good cry, and go to bed.. Only, when I came in, James's teacher was up and I could not hide the fact I had cried myself blotchy. He didn't say a word, though. I appreciated that.

I have more to write, but I also have two work reports to finish and if I don't do those well... Then I'll really be remiss. I've missed "being" here and hope I haven't worried anyone too terribly. I was just going through (still am) a spell of hating this and missing him and being disbelieving about the whole horrible mess.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Parent Appreciation Night

Last night was Nicole's schools' Parent Appreciation Night. Nicole goes to a school with a graduating class numbering in the 30's, so they can do this-without it ending up being an hours long event. It is hard for me to act "normal" in these situations. The saving grace is that Nicole's friend M lost her father when she was 10...so at least there is one person (her mother) who understands that odd, spacey, not wanting to do this without him, kind of attitude. It was very well put together by the kids with some very funny moments. For me, it was bittersweet. It was what Leonard, even more than I, had looked forward to, planned and parented on. He wasn't there, only present in his name on my bracelet. And all of these moments, strung together like those beads spelling out his name, make me sad. So very sad. So very still not wanting to do this thing on my own.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

So much for Warm Weather

It was nice while we had it, for last week. It was good to see James out argu...er...figh...er...playing with his friends. I have been having such a difficult time of late that it is good for him to be able to run off with them for awhile. He started baseball and it appears he is a natural at 1st base.

Nicole has prom coming up on Friday, so I will be dusting off the hair pins and spray again for both her and her girlfriend. Her (Nicole's) dress is a flaming orange with matching shoes and perhaps we'll get a tiger lily for her hair.

It has been so long since I've written anything of much substance here and I hurt for it. It is just that so much is hitting me all at once that I don't know where to begin. With Nicole graduating, and the summer sports schedule coming up, it is almost hard to breathe. Thank you all for you constant concern and many kind words. I think I will spend the day visiting my favorite blogs and then come back for round two.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Rough patch

I'm just going through a rough patch at the moment and cannot seem to keep my head together for the time it would take to fill you in. I am hoping to be back soon. I had some days where I really thought I was losing it. Thanks for your concern.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Merlin




And now, for something totally different, this is Merlin. Merlin is 15 (almost)and, despite arthritis and being a bit pudgy (25 pounds at last weigh in), is still getting around pretty well.

Merlin was my father in law's cat. I will never forget going to visit my father in law and seeing this little bitty black cat in a hamster cage with a can of Fancy Feast... My father in law was not well versed in the care and feeding of a new born kitten, but, somehow, Merlin survived it. We had Merlin's brother, a gray Tabby named Sweetie (because we thought he was a she). They were alley cats and my father in law said the daddy cat was the biggest domestic cat he had ever seen. By the time Merlin was 8 months old he was huge. We were stunned, the next time we saw him after the kitten in the cage incident. A panther like creature (with the little bittiest paws) strolled out of the bedroom. Merlin ate whatever my father in law ate. He is the only cat I have seen growl and chase off a dog 4 times his size over a piece of meat.

My father in law gave Merlin to us the year before he died...when alcohol replaced a cat as his best friend. Merlin came to us demanding people food (no sirree kitty boy) and was not, shall we say "cuddly". I think he missed his daddy. Most days I would find him laying on his back, cooling his tummy like in the picture above. It is almost indecent if you stare at it for too long. In time, Merlin became Leonard's best friend. Wherever Leonard was, Merlin was. When Leonard came home from work, Merlin would stroll up and talk to him until he responded. I swear to God, this cat would talk until Leonard paid attention to him. Krandall (the chair) was purchased in part to make room for Merlin to lay alongside Daddy during afternoon snoozes. They were buddies... and now it seems, again, as if this (not so) little guy is lost. It hurts me to see him wander through the house, crying for his daddy. I know people will think I am crazy but he is not the same cat. He has, in a sense, lost his nuclear person twice. I see him, now, trying to imprint on James. James is annoyed by this and does not appreciate Merlin waking him up in the morning as much as Leonard did. Try as I might, Merlin is just not happy cuddling with me and kneads and head butts and rolls around... finally giving up with what I swear is a sigh. I look at this cat, who is one of my connections to my husband and my father in law, and I dread the day I don't hear that cry anymore. Leonard always promised he would take care of the animals "when the time came". That is the reason why we brought them into the house. I guess it's just another thing affected by his not being here. How different and hurtful this life now is... for us all.