Saturday, February 9, 2008

Our Little Girl

So it goes. They really do grow up. Sometimes, when she is sleeping or sick, I can still see the 2 year old, or the happy 6 year old dressing up for "our" wedding. She is a beautiful girl. This odd feeling of pride and hurt, happy and sad, started with the mail. She received her invitation to "Scholars Day" at the University that accepted her. This basically means that she qualifies for a scholarship (phew) and only has to go and be interviewed and attend events to determine the level of scholarship award. She is growing up...or grown already. The rest of the afternoon was spent getting ready for Snowcoming. I did her hair and makeup and her bestfriend's hair and makeup. All the while remembering them in their jumpers as grade schoolers. Oh tears go away. I remember thinking forward to them as high school seniors and thinking we had all this "time". But we didn't. Not really. She went off to get dressed. I helped pick the dress. The hat and boa were her idea... a different drummer for sure, for her. And I remembered last year's and the years before's dances. And how Leonard would look at his/our little girl- a mixture of pride, and fear, and disbelief. It was with a twinge that I realized, again, that this would be just us. No dad to worry and fret. And I swallowed as hard as I could so I wouldn't ruin their excitement or tinge her happiness with worries about my loneliness. And her friend, that handsome young guy above, came to pick her up. He has known them both from jumper days. And sometimes he reminds me of Leonard. Not in looks, but in chivalry. There are still boys out there who know this. And I thank their mamas. Off they went. And I closed the curtain in my mind over all of the scary things I think and worry about when my children are not by my side.

James and I went out to dinner with Poppy (my dad). To the Old Country Buffet, which doesn't hurt because it is a place my husband hated. I think I am repeating that from an older post. It was crazy busy. We were seated across from a group of girls that could not have been more than 14. I have never heard the f word said (no screamed) more in a 10 minute period than I have tonight. And I am not usually offended, that much, by its use. They went on and on. Yelling into cellphones and generally being more disruptive than one could even imagine. Finally, the manager came over and hushed them. Amazingly, they hushed and finished their dinner quite calmly.

James now sleeps, and I await Nik. I am lonely. A really huge lonely. An aching, "PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE make this not my life" kind of lonely. I think of the plans we were looking forward to. Of buying houses while I type up the reports that outline the dreams of other couples. Their houses. Their dreams. My loss.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Our Honeymoon...and other things

Some of your responses to my last post gave me an idea for this one. First of all, thanks so much for your ideas (and, JessT, I was going to drive out to New Jersey). I am trying to think of something/anything to just get us all out of the house, away from the snow, and the sad for awhile.

Leonard and I went to Niagara Falls for our honeymoon. It was my idea because we really had no idea what to do, didn't want to be gone for very long (his vacation time was pretty much used up), and didn't want to part with a whole lot of $$. So, I went to the travel agent--it was "back in the day"--and looked around for long weekend vacations. I found a package that included a train from Windsor,Ont (We live right across the river) to Niagara, with hotel included. So, I booked it. Leonard always wanted to take a train trip. After getting up at 6 AM the morning after our Wedding night...and then listening to two 7 year olds play action figures ("Pew!" "Pew!" "Kaboom!" for three hours, he got over ever wanting to do that again. But it was fun, to just be with him. We had a ready made family with 6 year old Nikki, so it was odd for it to be just the two of us. We did all of the honeymoon things, starting with telling the hotel staff it was our honeymoon, and getting freebies. Brides get into every attraction for *free* on their honeymoon. Although the price for one on some of the stuff was pretty expensive. We had our photo taken in front of "the falls", had dinner in the Skylon, took a bus tour that included the Carmelite mission, where Leonard stopped in and bought 18k gold charms of hope, faith and love for Nik. I swear she has more "real" jewelry than me because of her dad. We stood in long lines for the "Maid of the Mist" and "Journey under the Falls"...and... I had a zit. A really big one right on my chin. One that made us laugh like heck in our room. One that Leonard said I should put in a baggie to save for our "scrapbook"... We visited the "Ripley's Believe it or Not" Museum and so many of the attractions on Clifton Hill. We went to the Niagara Falls Museum and stuck our names up on the tree. We visited the Floral Clock and had our picture taken, all tourist-like, with a Mounty. And we loved each other. And had a great time, even though sometimes standing in line was annoying and the train trip was actually interminable and the walk to the Skylon tower in my heels from our hotel was a lot longer (and painful) than I thought. I have pictures from that night (I'll scan them maybe sometime) and he was never more handsome. Strike that, he was alwasy incredibly handsome.

I don't think that is a place I could go without him, for he is imprinted on the landscape there. But that was a great idea you guys and I thank you for thinking of it.

Today I did an appraisal on a HUGE house in the Pointes. For those not familiar with MI, the Pointes would be Grosse Pointe Woods, Farms, Shores, Park, and village of Grosse Pointe. Usually, in the big houses, you meet the nouveau riche-who are snotty and full of themselves- or the elderly, with even older money, who haven't updated their houses in over 80 years. Today, I entered a beautiful, traditionally restored home on one of the more prestigious streets... and I was impressed by its owner. He was, without trying, nice. We talked about their dog, their son (an only child who suffers from a debilitating illness but still leads a normal life), the restoration etc. He mentioned my husband and I said he had passed away. And he was truly sorry...and I believed him. A lot of times it doesn't come across as sincere so I usually ignore "husband comments" and act like I didnt' hear them... or, I lie. I lied this time as well. I said it was a car accident. I just didnt' want to share it all. I guess the moral of this story is that there are truly good people at all income levels.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

When Plans Fall Through...

First, it was a friend that was going to come for a quick visit this weekend. She isn't feeling well and can't make it. We are sad, but we also know we can see her another weekend (hopefully) this month. Then our big plans, our getaway, fell through... and it sometimes seems like nothing is ever destined to go right again.

We were going to go to the East Coast to get away next week. To visit friends. We were supposed to go to their wedding in September...and then, well you know and I don't want to type it again right now. Then, we were going to visit after Christmas and Nicole got sick. So I thought mid winter break would be a good idea. But, unforseen plans popped up for them and I completely understand. I'm just heartbroken and too tired into looking into anything else.

I am beginning to think that perhaps I shouldn't plan for anything.

Maybe tomorrow I will wake up and things will look better and I'll be able to plan something really quick. James was especially looking forward to a trip and I can't break his heart.

And I am letting myself think about things, little things, that I shouldn't be. I make it through the entire day and the, when night comes, the tears just don't stop... and the memories (how will they ever be happy without him to reminisce with?) intrude. I am so tired.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Still breathing

And not sure how I'm doing it anymore. Sometimes even thinking of making it through one more minute without him is almost insurmountable pain. I have spent a lot of time with people who are at the point in their grief over this that they want to talk about him. And I'm not there yet. In the beginning, I could because it was shock talking, shock making me move, shock keeping the "balance". It's a pity that shock wears off. Now it's reality and, anytime someone brings him up, my breath is taken away in realizing that those are it for him. Those memories. No new ones to make. I cannot think of the things we have done, or look at his pictures and things...and they are everywhere.

He had a doctor (a foot doctor) who just adored him. Both "Doc" (because that's what everyone calls him) and his receptionist were in love with my husband. He was "like a son" is what they always tell me. That and "He was so in love with you and talked about you all the time." Doc is older and Leonard was one of his only standing appointments (heel spur/injections). Doc couldn't keep his office open on Thursday afternoons for a long time because it hurt too much. But they are at the point where they want to remember things with me... so I listen, I leave, and I cry. And I deal with a splitting headache that almost always comes after. The tension of missing him. No one mentions these things about grief. Grief hurts in the most physical of ways. It pummels, pulls, twists and pinches. There is no relief.

My grandmother wanted to talk about her "favorite grandson" the other day. But her memories are, a lot of the time, made up because a lot of the time she was angry with us for not being able to do something for her...or to stay on my mom's good side. It's complicated. But that kind of memory hurts everywhere. The skin of my scalp hurts after that... because it's a fabrication, but it's still about him and I want to shout,"Why couldn't you love him like that when he was here?" But I don't. I'm done screaming at people.

Yes, these have been some strange, sad days. Days with only work and the daily grind of stuff that has to be done keeping me standing. Yes, this is a pity post. I just can't let go and realize that I can't go back and "fix things".

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Sheesh...that was painful.

I am happy for Giants fans. But I am in a selfish, sad for myself state. I realize that this is the first time in 15 years I have not shared this (this which many of you will think silly) day with my husband. The first I have not put weenies in the Packers crock pot with barbecue sauce, or made a dip, or sliced cheese and salami. Last year came awful close, with Leonard going to a Super Bowl poker (the boy loved poker) party...but he was home by the half. And I was bummed last year. Never realizing how much more bummed I could be.

I am having difficulty imagining a future-even a tomorrow-without him. It is what it is and I'm still not looking forward to things being "different" if not better. Simply, as I've said 543345 times... I don't want to do this. Even though I have to.

Each day I say, at least 3 times, Please come back to me Leonard. Only that is impossible. Because Fate doesn't allow those kinds of things to happen. Unless you are Denzel Washington in a movie about being able to mess with time. How I wish I could mess with time.

I didn't watch much of the game tonight because, each time I turned it on, I dissolved into tears. This season started with Leonard, and watching the preseason games. It ended without him. And yet I am stuck here. We didn't get to die on the same day like I had always hoped. That life is gone now.

Stunned and Saddened

Please, if you have a moment, visit fellow blogger Nita. She lost her husband suddenly, after so many triumphs, and tragedies in his healing process... I am so shocked for her and so very, very sad. I'll be back later to post.