Saturday, March 19, 2011

Don't think!!!

When I listen to this song, I think "now why would I want to keep his ghost away?" But, that's exactly what I do! When I think about him, I miss him so much more. I should be able to touch him...hug in the kitchen with him. So, I stop myself from thinking. Switch to happy thoughts. Keeping the ghost away.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


For a long time, I didn't dream about Mike. I didn't dream at all. Hell...I didn't sleep at all.

Now they are coming at me and, for the most part, I'm not sure if they make me happy or sad. Last night, he was very much alive and I had 4 days to talk him out of taking the meds that I believe had a hand in his death. If I did that, he would stay alive. I couldn't. Damnit! I can't even keep him alive in my dreams.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Sleeping Arrangements

I understand from other widows, that spending money after your husband dies is very easy to do. I sure did it. Boy oh boy...did I ever.

After Mike died, I had my mom move in with me and gave her my old bedroom. I totally destroyed and remodeled a spare bedroom initially intending it to be for her. When she moved to Linda's, I decided to keep the new remodeled bedroom for myself. It was too hard to sleep in the room I shared with Mike anyways. Then I went nuts buying new furniture, bedding, and curtains.

One year later...I'm back in my old bedroom. It just feels right. Which brings me to...

the house is still on the market. Since December, 3 people have looked at it. It's looking like I'm going to be sleeping somewhere in this house for a long time.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011 PDA

I was never one for public displays of affection. I never cared for those mushy anniversary cards or big displays of affection at Valentine's Day. I sure didn't want anyone feeding me chocolate covered strawberries at dinner. Mike, on the other hand, wanted everyone to see how much he loved me. It drove me crazy. If we were dancing, he wanted to be lip-locked. He would chase me around the kitchen table in front of friends saying "just give me 3 minutes."

So, today I was driving along...listening to my iPod...lost in thought...when I saw them. Standing at the bus stop, arms wrapped around each other, sucking on each others' faces, oblivious to anything else happening around them. And I thought to myself...."oh gag me." Some things haven't changed.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Ridin Solo

Can't help it. I have that song stuck in my head.

I took off for an overnight trip with my girls and some friends on Saturday. We had such a good time...laughed so hard that my jaw hurt. How can you be happy and guilty at the same time?

I didn't do stuff like that when Mike was alive. Oh there was the time I took a couple of the kids camping, but for the most part...I stayed closer to home. We weren't the couple who always had to be together, but we were usually never very far.

So, this is new to me. I like the freedom. And I feel guilty about that. I like feeling happy. And I feel guilty about that. I like spending money without worrying about what he would say about it. And I feel guilty about that. Ridin solo. And I feel guilty about that.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

How far would you go to save your child?

Mary is in her mid-30's now, but when she was around 15, our family took a camping vacation to Cape Cod. The weather was beautiful for the entire week, so on one of those days, we decided to bring the kids swimming in the ocean.

Mike, Mary, and the boys took off for a swim and the 2 little girls stayed behind playing in the sand with me. After a while, I took out the video camera and started taping. It was one of those big old clunkers...very "in" at that time. As I was taping, I heard one of the little ones say "hey someone's drowning". I tried to focus the camera on what was happening...2 people were being rescued by lifeguards. Then it hit was my husband and my daughter. They had been caught in an undertow.

Afterward, when the kids went to bed, Mike told me that he was sure they were going to die. He said that he kept thinking over and over that he couldn't let it happen to her. He kept trying to get under her to lift her out of the water. He said he would have died trying to keep her alive.

Fast forward to October 30, 2009. On that day, I went to dinner with my daughter Megan and my grand daughter. During dinner, I noticed that my phone kept going off. Afterward, I re-dialed the number to find an answering service from a hospital almost 3000 miles away in the state where Mary lived. When I was finally able to reach someone, I was told that Mary had been in a horrific accident. She was comatose, needed open heart surgery, had suffered 2 strokes since the accident, had a crushed carotid artery, kidney and liver damage.

The next couple of days were a blur as we tried to decide who would go to be with her and who would stay behind to take care of things at home. I went with a son and daughter. Mike stayed home. I didn't know then that we only had 26 days left with each other. I stayed with Mary for a week and came home when my work leave ended.

On November 25, 2009, the day before Thanksgiving, Mike and I took a walk in the rain. The hospital was saying there had been some improvement and that we should start thinking about what to do for long-term care. She couldn't talk, needed 24 hour physical and emotional care. The accident was caused by an uninsured drunk driver. There wouldn't be any financial assistance. We didn't know how we could get her home or pay for the services that she would require. Mike was sad because Thanksgiving was also her birthday and she would be alone in a hospital 3000 miles away from us.

Mike said he wanted to spend the night at our camp. He asked if I wanted to go with him, but I told him no way was I going up there in the rain and cold. I would stay home in my nice warm house. He called me as he was getting to camp and asked if apple juice could cause heartburn. I told him I would look it up and let him know tomorrow. sigh.

Thanksgiving morning...I was awake at 3 a.m. Something wasn't right. Was it me? Mary? The hospital staff said she was sleeping. The morning dragged on. I got dressed and went to my daughters for dinner. Mike had told me that he would pick up my mom at 12:45 and be at my daughters for dinner by 1:00. At 12:50, my cell phone rang. Mom said he wasn't there yet. My heart dropped. He would never be late for her. Never.

My daughter asked me if we should go up to camp. It was a 30 minute drive, but I said yes. Nothing made sense. If he had been called in to work, he would've called. As we got closer to camp, I told my daughter "if his truck is there, he's dead."

We drove into the campground and rounded the corner to our camper, but his truck wasn't there. Just as I breathed a sigh of relief, Megan said, "'s the front." My hand shook as I put the key in the lock. Then I opened the door. You can feel death. It slams you in the stomache. I screamed. He was lying on the bed, one arm crooked under his pillow. No, it's ok...he's just sleeping. No!No!No! This can't be happening.

I remember running outside and falling to the ground...screaming. Within minutes, our friends were there, picking me up from that cold hard ground. I was holding onto the bumper of his truck. I couldn't let go. My heart was exploding. I would die with him. Then the police showed up. Because he died alone, they needed to do an investigation. The rest of my kids showed up. Then Megan's phone rang.

It was Jaime calling from the hospital. Mary was doing so well. She was talking. She was understanding. Did we want to talk to her...perhaps say Happy Birthday?

Megan explained what was happening and that we would call back later. I made the call the next day. She understood. She cried. She said "I love you." Two weeks later, my sons flew across the country to bring her home.

I believe that Mike gave his life energy to her. The same energy he summoned trying to keep her above the water that day so many years before that. She's gone back home now. I wish he was still here with me.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Is the 2nd Year Really Worse?

I've heard other widows say it...the 2nd year is worse. I don't know if that's entirely true, but I sure have noticed that I'm missing more of the stuff I never thought I noticed before. Weird things...the dimple on his back, the tatoo on his arm, the way he smelled after a shower, the softness of his hair after a haircut. Then there's the hair in his nose and ears and the sound of snoring (all night).

So, the first year was the year of shock, anger and extreme pain. It's the year of trying to find your footing, of trying to grasp the enormity of what has just happened. In some cases, there is also financial issues to deal with. Mostly, we are completely crazy.

The second year, I think, is the year that you really have to come to grips with the fact that the physical person is gone. The shock has worn off, but you still kind of expect to see him walk through the door any minute now. It amazes me that 15 months later, the sound of a car door shutting outside my house can bring me to my knees. It's the year of understanding just how much life has changed.