Saturday, December 1, 2012

another december



I've been adding Christmas to my house a little bit at a time this year.  Seems in Christmases past I transformed my home into a Christmas house in one day.  Not this year.  I do a little here and then a little there.  I make a Christmas cookie or just the batter and then bake them another day.  It's working for me.  I'm enjoying it.

I ordered a fresh wreath for my front door.




I put up the small Christmas tree in the dining room.  It's full of so many bright lights!  I am now a firm believer in timers.  I programmed this tree to light up at 4:00 in the afternoon and shut off at 11:00 at night.  I even have it programmed to pop back on at 5am and shut off at 8am.  It was wonderful to wake up to the bright cheerful tree this morning as I stepped out of my bedroom! 



I put some lights up and down my banister too.   I'm not finished yet.  It needs some red bows I'm thinking.  I am really considering NOT putting up the 8 foot Christmas tree in my living room.  It just seems too big of a task... and actually a bit of overkill this year.  I'm happy with the way things are and not feeling like I want to rearrange my living room furniture for a huge tree... as beautiful as it is.   

I may change my mind.



This year... is different.  I am really alone.  Oh, not really alone exactly.  I have my friends.   I have my family.  Oh, yes, and Norman.... but I miss Edd.  Last year was full of heaviness and stress and a feeling of "letting go of more and more pieces" of my life and dreams... of my precious husband and best friend ... and I wouldn't want that again.... but I'm taking one moment at a time these days and feeling my way through them all.  I'm doing what is healthy for me.  Choosing healthy food and exercise... and not neglecting to have that deeply pleasurable peanut butter ball from time to time either!!

I met with our local hospital's volunteer staff and am preparing to volunteer in the gift shop as soon as I get all the administration work completed.  Nice people.  I am looking forward to giving back more.  I'm still tweaking my life... as we all are.

My days continue to be bittersweet.  My memories and thoughts of gratefulness are abundantly rich and sweet, but the empty place in my heart for Edd and his love is always there.  Time and distance from the day I lost him is an interesting thing.  The sting of the painful memories lighten up some with passing time, but as my thoughts return to those painful days as they sometimes do, I can easily feel the pain again.   The tears can so easily spill.  I can't return there often, or at least not for very long.  A person just can't live there.  





I remember the joy and the love and the laughter too... and feel so very blessed.




Monday, September 24, 2012

new ride (for us)

Today I did another thing I told myself I would do... for me... and for Edd.   I am proud of myself... not in an arrogant way, but in a I'm-making-progress-moving-forward-doing-what-is-on-my-to-do-list kind of way.


Even when Edd was sick he talked about us getting bikes.  I knew in my heart of hearts that we wouldn't be riding bikes together, but I never discouraged him or made him feel we wouldn't.   It was still a good idea.  And I told myself I would do it for us and for him...  because he couldn't.  And it would be fun...

I've been researching what kind of bike would be good for me and after weeks of looking around and talking to people, I finally found the one I wanted. 

I rode for an hour today and got a good work out.  The best part of the workout was that it was fun and even though I was tired afterwards and sweaty, I felt good and know this is habit-forming due to how much enjoyment it gave me.  I got very teary-eyed as I started out as I thought of Edd and how it was another thing I felt I was doing for him... for us.... for me.... and that he'd be happy.

And I felt his smile on me.....

Friday, September 21, 2012

evening

Sitting outside on the back patio with a glass of Pinot Noir. It's a warm evening but not burning hot like the mid-summer nights were.  It is the end of the season and there is a definite change in the air. A month ago I wouldn't enjoy this. Tonight it brings delight. I feel cooler undertones.

I sit here with a little dog resting at my feet. Loyal. Sweet. Pandora radio is playing some hauntingly beautiful piano music, and as it stirs my soul I think about how life moves along with the ebbs and flows designed to expand our soul and its capacity to feel pain and empathy, joy and love. I feel carried along by some unseen Force I have little control over.

I am growing in my understanding and have discovered there is no end to what we can learn about ourselves in this life if we have the desire and will, interest and curiosity. Equally there are things we just cannot know. I am growing in the ability to be true to myself. Kind... but still faithful in making choices based on what I know.

Sometimes I wish I could fashion the very life that I think would be ideal. But then I also find a strange peace in knowing I am not in control of everything.  I am learning to do my best and leave the results to that Force that seems to have its way no matter what I do sometimes. It will have to be okay.

So I will curl up with this sense of Presence and Care and relish it. Wait and be still and act and move when it's time to do so....

Tomorrow is the first official day of autumn.

I lost him in the springtime. I carry him with me every day. It is real and powerful. That will never change. I am learning I won't get over this loss but will absorb it into my life. The sorrow takes up permanent residence in my soul ... and enlarges it. It becomes who I am. The loss is a painful part of a (hopefully) healthy whole.


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

for you

I go in and out of this thing called hope.

I miss him more than ever, but I am inspired by his life.  By his love for me.  It is motivating me to be my best.  It is pushing me onward to do more.  To BE more.

I know he would be pleased.

I need to keep building on this.  I sense his spirit driving me on.

I am finding the courage somehow to let go of the things I can't control.  And oh, there is so much I can't control.  Those troubling unknowns.  And yet.... I have to find the courage to trust.  To find refuge and comfort in all that WAS... and know that it was all true.  It STILL is true.   Let go of all I am not able to control and trust that the future will be what it is meant to be.
I feel his nearness.

How can I honor you?  By becoming better.  By  making you proud that you chose me to share your life, share everything with.  By making you proud and happy that you worked so hard to take care of things.   By living a life that is good and caring and loving.  By being grateful and appreciative.

By continuing to nurture all the things you loved about me.

Today I took care of myself.  I exercised.  I smiled.  I laughed.  I sipped a glass of wine.  I took a deep breath of air.  I went outdoors and walked in the grass and felt the sunshine on my face.  I looked up into the night sky and saw a zillion stars.  I said a prayer and I thanked the Lord and will always and forever be grateful...

for you.



We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.  ~Wayne Dyer

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

days gone by

My senses.... my memories bring me back.

Seeing him.  A morning smile.  A gentle touch.  Talking about anything.  We'd laugh.  And listen to each other.  Really listen.  Time to be together.  Drinking that first cup of coffee with complete relaxation as though we had all the time in the world.  I relish the thought of it.

Then up and at 'em....

As he'd prepare for the day I'd make breakfast.

Eventually I would see a man emerge all fresh faced.  A crisp white long-sleeved dress shirt usually with the sleeves rolled up, khaki pants and dress shoes.  All ready for work.  Smelling fresh like soap, shaving creme and Grecian formula.

He would switch to business mode.  When he had somewhere to be, when he had a job to do, he was all about doing it.  When it was time to go, it was time to go.  If lunch wasn't packed and ready to bring, he'd go without it (no problem, we'd meet for lunch).  No nonsense.  No waiting around for it.

It makes me smile now.

Always a kiss good bye... with an "I love you" said .... Never any doubts about that.  Ahhh... that smile and the clear blue eyes shining down on me...  Then out the door with a black leather case carrying laptop and work stuff.....

Just a scene I witnessed and lived hundreds of times..... echoing in my mind and heart....




Sunday, August 19, 2012

crispy quinoa and bean cakes


Today I had fun with a recipe I've wanted to try.  I like to make and try healthy recipes and this one was a winner.  It gave me a bit of a workout too dicing the sweet potato and mashing the kidney beans. 

I actually never cooked with quinoa before but definitely will again.  It's rich in fiber and I love the taste and texture.

The sweet potato is cooked with some olive oil and red onion ... and then kale is added to the pot.






All is mixed together adding parmesan cheese, egg and kidney beans...  and formed into patties that are browned in a skillet. 





There is one in the plate, but I must confess I actually had two!!  (with some white merlot)


 Here is the recipe....   Or pick up the latest copy of Real Simple magazine.  Worth the effort for a delicious and healthy meal.  Leftovers can be reheated... I'm hoping!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

living room/dining room before/after


This was done in one day!  I finally got rid of the ug white carpet!  Something Edd and I talked about doing.  He'd like it....


Living room with white carpet before
Living room with wood floors after


Before



After


Dining room with white carpet before




After with wood flooring and Sisal rug



Before picture of living room




Another shot after 



Wednesday, June 27, 2012

on the coast

You know what's nice about being with people who love you?  They validate your feelings... your experiences... and what is important to you.  At least being with my family is like that.  They ask me questions.  They care about me.  They listen and let me be myself.  They want to know how I am. 
Daisies in Dad's garden
It's beautiful here.  Here on the Oregon Coast I'm remembering.  Though I didn't grow up here I am  still remembering who I am.  And some of the reasons WHY.  My parents rarely handed over things that we hadn't worked for, didn't have a sense of ownership in, or didn't value.   They modeled hard work, appreciation, and not taking blessings for granted.  They taught me by their example to do the same.  They were, ARE, generous, but never handicapped me by making me into someone who felt entitled.

Yesterday was Dad's 80th birthday.  We didn't necessarily need one, but it was nice to have a wonderful reason to celebrate.


At Salishan


Walking out the front door in the morning to this.

And this... a few steps away in the other direction ... where I was drinking in the cool fresh air.




The ocean is calm today.  My heart is slowly getting there too.





Monday, June 25, 2012

centering thoughts for today

Centering myself....trying to keep balance.... and connection.  Sometimes life comes at us in ways that knock us off that center ... or we have a reprieve from taking care of ourselves as we should.   It's a challenge to keep it all together...  and we often don't know we are neglecting an important part until something breaks down.  I have been taking care of neglected parts of me lately.  Learning how to do all I can... the BEST I can... and then surrendering to God to do what I cannot.  And trusting him with the outcome.

Peace will come.... I want to feel like a fine wine.... getting better with age from having gone through the experiences I have.  From learning and growing.

Thinking of the spiritual part of us...  I think the spiritual part involves seeking.  Seeking meaning and purpose.  Being drawn to hope and not giving in to despair.  It's believing there is something more in life.  It's hope and light and ... grace.

I think of Edd again... as always...   The end of his life was full of ... spirit.  The physical he was unable to control, but the spirit... was so evident.  I saw so often his true self.  The part of him that had hope and purpose and strength and grace... and love.

I know there are spiritual and physical laws in the universe and when miracles occur they happen when God bends these laws for us in an intimate way.  It brought me to tears as I thought of his power.  Sometimes he does, and sometimes he doesn't.   I don't know all the whys. But I know I have had many blessings in my life.  I cherish and treasure them.  I am so grateful for what I've been able to experience. 

I think a way I can honor Edd is by living.  If I'm still here I must have a purpose. If he had hope and love, grace, and joy... I can too.

I'm off to the Oregon Coast tomorrow... I hope to post some pictures of the beauty... and relish being with family and enjoying God's creation... and being present.  In the moment.  Centering.  Breathing. And being Home with myself....

Monday, June 18, 2012

five years ago

They hopped on a plane.  He was so sure.  She had no doubts.   They both knew this was a love that was going to stick around for the long haul.  No reservations.  For better or for worse.  There were no fears.  Not even one. 

We tried to think of a way to bring everyone together to celebrate our love, this precious union, but in the end felt the best thing to do would be to celebrate in a private intimate way.  So off to Las Vegas we went.  A place that held great memories for us....

We landed.  As always he got us the best.  My parents called the hotel before we even arrived and arranged beautiful roses to be delivered to our room ... and champagne!!  As always with this man... it was magic.  We were magic together.

They took a nap when they got to their room.... After a busy work week they rested first ... yet they were soo eager.  They headed to the courthouse ... hand in hand ... "Are you ready?"  said he.  "I am SO ready" said she.  They made their way... giddy with such a sense of rightness... and ... comfort... and ease... the happiness they felt when they were together... with love overflowing.   They had felt as one long before the actual marriage day.  They knew it was right.

And it was meant to be. 

It was 5 years ago .... this very week in June.




Wednesday, May 30, 2012

take care

I was proactive in taking care of me.  Any time I actually make a doctor's appointment for myself I feel good.  I'd been taking care of Edd for so long, but there are no longer any excuses to neglect my own health.  I knew I needed some extra help and advice so I went to see my doctor to talk over my concerns and how all this grieving is affecting me.  I'm glad I did.  I even discovered I weigh five pounds less than I did this time last year. I'll take any good news I can find!

I am seeing myself go through different stages in the last couple of months since losing Edd.  I hurt just as much, but I feel as though he is deeper in my heart than he has ever been.  I used to get angry if someone said he would always be with me, but I am feeling as though this really may be true.  He isn't here the way I want him to be, that's a fact.... and when I think of how much I miss him it can be unbearable....  but he is with me in ways that will only increase with time. 

It is a great blessing that I feel his support... every moment.  He wanted it to be that way, and it is.  I have felt too vulnerable for too long.  Fragile.  Bending at times to the opinions of others whose views we didn't entirely share.   But it'll be okay.  Going forward I plan to feel more confident because that is what Edd would want for me.  I feel his strength.  Every day.  Telling me... "Kathi, you're doing fine."  Or, "I'll see you before you know it".

And he would want me to take care of myself... at least as much as I took care of him...


I dropped a tear in the ocean.  The day you find it is the day I will stop missing you.  ~Author Unknown

teardrop

Thursday, May 24, 2012

the small stuff

Days follow days.  I'm doing the right things.  Most of them anyway.  I appear to be coping quite well.  Goes to show that no one really knows do they....  and appearances can be quite deceptive.   I'm reading.  A Grief Observed....   The Year of Magical Thinking.  It helps to get my mind on something else.  Relatable.  But there is no cure for grief.  None.

A very insightful friend who also lost her husband told me this week that "it doesn't help that you keep finding yourself 'ambushed' by the simplest things. Missing the little things even more than the big stuff. This is one time when the small stuff seems to have power to hurt beyond reason." 

A Robert Brault quote comes back to me effortlessly ....  "Enjoy the little things for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things."  

I did enjoy the little things. 



I had a dream last night.  I was in the same room as Edd.  It was a full room packed with people.  The details of the dream aren't terribly important but the important thing was that we knew we were in the same room together.   My awareness of his presence was strong.  And I was certain he was aware of mine.  It felt nice... even though we didn't speak.  He was busy in charge of doing something and I was going to have some responsibility placed on me too.  But I felt good just knowing he was nearby.  I was very aware of the feeling of wanting to do well because he would know.  I didn't feel stress.... but I just wanted to do a good job because he would be there to see me.

I've had my share of bad dreams.... It's nice when you have a good one.

 

Saturday, May 19, 2012

living today

I believe the things that happen to us that change us and teach us something should be used going forward.  Somehow it will be.  I was changed so much by Edd.  And I feel in some way he will go on as I use some of what I've learned from experiencing life together with him.  We expereinced so much in a short time.   Some things that others don't experience in a lifetime.  It was a crash course in sacrificial love, compassion, selflessness, burden bearing... oh but so much fun too!  Boy did we have fun together!

I've been thinking also about how luck has been said to be when preparation meets opportunity.  I believe this.  I want to live my life in a preparedness fashion so I can take advantage of opportunities when they come along.  All in good time though... One day and one step at a time. 

I've been exercising.... Yay... eating healthy.... Yay again.  

Today wasn't so bad.  Yeah, there was loneliness.  But I doubt that will ever change entirely. 

Yet. I put one foot in front of the other and ventured out. 


Veggies from the farmer's market.  Yay organic!

 A new yummy candle.

A small jewelry holder to hold my favorites from Edd
   
Bought a jewelry holder to hold all my favorite every day stuff.


Went shopping for a few new pieces for my wardrobe.


 Fresh salmon and lots of greens.  

It doesn't come natural to me.  I often don't want to do what I should.  So often I think, "Edd would want me to do this or that....." and so he helps me.  In so many ways he is such a huge part of my life still.  And always will be.  

Tonight I will curl up with a cup of tea (having already had some cool Chardonnay with my salmon) and enjoy War Horse.... Nothing like a good movie to end the day....

Friday, May 18, 2012

moving through it

Met with my therapist again today.  Yes, I have one.  Here's the thing.  Everyone needs to grieve.  It's not an option.  I don't need anyone to tell me that.  I'm naturally reflective.  No surprise there I know. It comes pretty natural to me.  It's exhausting though to sit and cry in front of a stranger.  And I have no ability to hold it back right now.   Sometimes I feel like, "why am I doing this?", but in reality, it is what I need.  It validates my feelings.  It allows me to express myself in a safe place.  It helps to let someone else hear my heart and tell me things in a different way that I am already experiencing. 

Just as I was feeling a little too vulnerable and as though maybe this wasn't where I needed to be, I began talking about how I've always believed one of the greatest things we can do in life is to help take the sting out of it for someone who is experiencing something hard or painful.  It occurred to me that I DO take on other's pain in a real and raw way.  People I intensely love.  Like Edd.  He often said, "I think this is harder on you than it is on me"... Could that have been true?   I didn't think so at the time.  He may have felt some of my hurt too.   But today I realized that I had double the pain.  Not only did I feel acutely my own, but I felt (or imagined) his as well. 

When I was watching Edd's suffering, helping him through it and being a support or caregiver and all that goes with it, I thought, "when all this is over I am going to need some serious grief counseling" because I didn't have time to think about it at the time.   I just did what needed to be done and tried as hard as I could to be strong... for him.  It was what needed to be done, but now I am left with all of it still...  the memories.  Feeling it, remembering it all. Processing it.  Feeling it all over again.  I didn't have time then to grieve or cry or sort it out.  I watched his emotional and physical pain and felt it and mine in all its enormity.

So... I understood today that it's not just the pain of loss... of separation... of not wanting to let him go... that I feel, as if that isn't painful enough... It's also the accumulation of pain and grief from seeing him suffer and how I internalized all of that for oh so long.... I wanted sooo much to ease his suffering, somehow take it away from him, that I took it on myself.  I felt it all...his and mine.   And that is what I am dealing with now. 

So... again... we are all changed by one another, aren't we?  To a certain degree.  I have this love that is no longer in my life with a deep desire to channel it somewhere.  A desire for expression that has no where to go.  Wanting to keep that sense of connection with him somehow.   To honor him with some kind of perfect expression. 

How to do that?  I don't know.  It is still to be discovered.

Path



Monday, May 14, 2012

eaglets.... and decisions...

I'm still watching the eagles.  The first one hatched the day Edd left.  March 27.  I see their growth and it reminds me of the passing of time....

They've grown.  They are maturing.  They are becoming exactly what they are meant to become.  Mom and Dad are being good parents.  Bringing them food and protecting them from danger.  Day and night.  Always attentive to their needs. 

They don't communicate with words like we do, but they do communicate.  They teach.  I am in awe of how they get the lessons across to their young.

Often now I witness mom or dad sitting in the nest with wings outstretched.  Just still.  Just sitting there for the youngsters to.... observe.  No words said.  Nothing but an example.   Not all at once but they are slowly learning to fly ... one step at a time.

The young watch.  They are observing.  And they are imitating.  They are doing the same.  Opening up their own wings.  Like mama.  So endearing.  So sweet.  Reminds me how most things are caught, not verbally taught.

Eagle photo


On another not totally unrelated topic....

I've been looking at some of Edd's management books.  I was always impressed by what a good manager he was.  Of his time, of people, of groups, of projects.   All the ideas are so good.  Valuable skills to have... principles to know.  Like....

    1. Never tolerate mediocrity.
    2. Move fast with reversible decisions- move less fast with irreversible decisions.
    3. It is better to impose slight over-control than to lose control.
    4. Aggressive and consistent review of accountability guarantees an improvement in results.
    5. Management planning is not complicated, but it is tedious- That's why the temptation is so strong to avoid it.
    6. Avoid becoming responsible for someone else's problems- you should have enough of your own to work on.
    7. A decisive man will prevail only because almost everybody is indecisive. 
    8. (but)  Never make a decision unless you really have to.
    9. The right decision at the wrong time is always a bad decision.

I have many good things I can learn and spend my time on.  I have some decisions to make too and some of them I have been putting off.  Some are perfectly okay to put off.  Some shouldn't be put off.  And some I didn't put off, but did exactly right.  Made a decision that needed to be made and was proactive.

I'm kind of proud of that.  And Edd would be proud of me too.




Sunday, May 13, 2012

random reflections on Mother's Day



"Grief turns out to be a place none of us know until we reach it... We have no way of knowing that the funeral itself will be anodyne, a kind of narcotic regression in which we are wrapped in the care of others and the gravity and meaning of the occasion. Nor can we know ahead of the fact (and here lies the heart of the difference between grief as we imagine it and grief as it is) the unending absence that follows, the void, the very opposite of meaning, the relentless succession of moments during which we will confront the experience of meaninglessness itself.”  ~Joan Didion, The Year of Magical Thinking

I need to give myself permission to grieve in my own way.  It seems unending now.  It doesn't get easier.  It just keeps feeling more and more empty.

  Sometimes you need to step out and just let yourself react.... to be. Unapologetic.  To bring your own unique energy into a situation that maybe someone could benefit from.  Hopefully.   To share who you are and your story with someone who is begging for the perspective.  Or at least that is how I've justified my behavior today.....

.... I was in line at the brunch buffet... sort of in my own reflective world as I tend to be these days.  Taking everything in.  The woman in front of me told me I could go ahead of her because  she was waiting for her husband.  I didn't respond or acknowledge her as quickly as she thought I should have and she said sarcastically and abruptly, "You're welcome... and Happy Mother's Day."  I was stunned.  I was already feeling fragile and this unkindness startled me.  I mean, she didn't know me.  She didn't even know if I was a mother.  It was strange... and sadly inhumane.   I was completely innocent of any wrongdoing.  I looked her straight in the eye and said, "You know.  My husband died a month-and-a-half ago and your sarcasm and unkindness is cruel.  You should be careful what you say to people because you never know what they might be going through.  You just don't have any idea of their story."   I was surprised at a stranger's ease at using sarcasm and unkindness.   I hope she'll think twice before unloading it on someone else in the future.  

But I had a nice Mother's Day.  I am blessed to have a wonderful mother.  And I have been blessed to have so many wonderful memories being a mother.  It was the best and most rewarding job I ever had.  Every moment was sacred.  And cherished.  And still is.  Truly.

I'm learning that I should be true to myself and do what I believe is right.  Not everyone will agree, but it's okay.  

I began putting some things away... out of sight... that cause pain.  Personal items.  Not giving them away... or worse throwing them away.  I can't get rid of anything that was his... but I can get it out of my direct viewing and somehow out of the way of direct pain.


“I closed the box and put it in a closet.
There is no real way to deal with everything we lose.”  Joan Didion, Where I Was From

***


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

every moment

Staying busy right now is helpful.  And I do have a lot of things that need doing.  It's amazing actually.  So far it hasn't felt overwhelming.  I will tackle things one item at a time.  Like Edd would do.  Even when he had little strength he did what he needed to do.  His example is ever with me.  He gives me strength every day.  He said doing the right thing gave him strength.  It does the same for me.  I will do the right things. 

Lately Texas has experienced a few pretty impressive thunderstorms and some dark, cloudy days.  They give me a melancholy feeling ... as if I needed more of that ... and make me feel like I should take a jacuzzi or settle down with a book... and rest.  Maybe that's one of the reasons I dislike summers here ... they can be hot and sunny every day and don't compel me to sit a while, hunker down, and just be cozy. 

The days keep marching on though.  Never stopping for anyone or anything.  How did the world not stop the day he left me?  I feel as though I'm sitting by a window on a train watching as the scene keeps changing, the days keep passing, and yet my heart is left behind in the past.  It has a gaping wound that even as it begins to heal, as all wounds should, the scab continues to fall off... again and again. 

I write because it feels as though I'm keeping him close.  I write because I miss him so much.  I write because every day I am reminded in so many ways how much he loved me and how he wants me to be strong.  I write because I want him to somehow know I will never forget.  I write because he is so close in my heart and even though I may be doing any number of things during the day, he is always in my thoughts.  Always right there.  Every moment. 

****

Ps... I love all those who have messaged me or commented... Please know your words are so precious to me and mean so much.... more than you could ever know.  Although I write for ME, I so appreciate the sweet encouragement and love that's been expressed... Bless you all...

My spring garden in the rain


Just a song I like....

Saturday, May 5, 2012

thank you

Dear E,

Thank you for being brave.  Thank you for being a shining example of courage and love.  Sometimes I think of different ways this all could have played out.  You could have spent your last months complaining or cursing God.  You could have become bitter. You could have become angry or hateful.  You could have turned inward and become depressed.  You could have pushed me away.  You could have given up. 

But you never did.

Thank you for all the times you looked at me with deep concern and love.  Thank you for all the hours you spent listening to me.  Thank you for always making me feel first in your heart.  Thank you for always thinking of me and wanting me to be okay.   Thank you for telling me that after meeting me you didn't even see other women.  Thank you for your words and actions that said, "Everything I do, I do for you".  Thank you for telling me all the time that I was your joy.  Thank you for meaning it.  Thank you for letting me love you with all my strength.

Your illness revealed who you were.  Your true essence.  A strong, loving, gentle, intensely thoughtful soul with the utmost poise and grace and dignity.  I wish I could scream it loud for everyone to hear.  I am so incredibly proud of you.  I have so much love and respect for you and how you responded to your day to day reality.  I saw it.  I saw it all.  It will forever be a part of who I am.  And who I want to be.

 Photo by Jenni @ http://storyofmylifetheblog.blogspot.com




Thursday, May 3, 2012

made it through

What a week.  I should be writing this on a Friday, but so much has happened during the week that I think I'll start early looking back on it. 

It was exhausting.  I am totally depleted tonight.  But you know what?  I made it through.  I tackled problems.  I did what needed to be done. I looked for solutions.  I found them.  I educated myself.   I did some planning.  I cried a lot.  I even laughed a little. 

I had dinner with a friend tonight.  What a sweetheart she is.  We chatted it up.  She even let me talk endlessly about Edd.  We talked about men.  Husbands.  How the way they show love for their families is by providing for them.  Edd showed a lot of love.  He thought of everything.  He worked hard and one of the ways he wanted to show he loved me was by taking care of me.  Helping me to understand everything so I'd know what to do.  It gave him joy.  He loved my appreciation for all he did.  Lack of appreciation was one of the things that made his previous relationship sour and die.  As we said to each other one time recently, "What good is love if you can't feel it..."

So even though the week was full of court appearances, opening accounts, closing accounts, learning and trying to understand new things, working through problems, talking to people who can help walk me through difficult decisions, not to mention a broken air conditioner..... I felt okay.   Even through the many tears, I felt what Edd would have wanted me to feel.  Loved and empowered.

Now if I could only get a good night's sleep.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

always with me

Lessons are sometimes too quickly lost.  Forgotten.  How these last days, months... years... have changed me is worth keeping close and somehow putting into words. 

Sometimes I concentrate too much on what I don't know and too little on what I do.

I've learned.  I've grown.  I'm changed.  I'm a better person for what I've gone through.  For what I've gone through with him.  His strength has given me courage as I make decisions.  His commitment to us, to me and my good, has humbled me.  His selflessness has inspired me and given me compassion I didn't know I had.  His foresight and ability to look ahead to potential problems and think through issues made an impact on me.  I find myself emulating him.  Being more like him in ways that make me a better person.  He has become a part of me.   

People who say he is always with me sometimes perplex and annoy me, because he isn't with me.  I want his touch and his smile and his warm body to embrace.  But I do sense his spirit.   The very soul that gave me so much love and kindness.

My days have been busy.  It's best that way.  I do work every day and have a lot to get done.  I remember Edd's custom of doing a little (or a lot) every day and that amounted to actually accomplishing things in time.  I will do the same.

But I want to make room for some fun too.  Today I fixed up a cozy spot in my living room and placed a new desk and chair in a corner so I'd have a place to plunk my portable laptop.  It's a nice place to enjoy a cup of coffee or tea while I do some work, reading or research.



One day at a time.  That's about all I can do right now.  My throat often gets tight and tears are ready to spill in an instant.  How quickly they come.  My heart is completely full of him.  It will take time to learn to breathe again.   A lot of time.   I'm not in any hurry.  He was THAT special.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

another day

Another day for remembering.  Seems everyday is such a day, but today even more so. 

I drove Edd's big old Chevy Tahoe.  The one with over 200,000 miles on it.  I was on a quest for a writing table to purchase and thought if I drove the truck I could buy it if I found just the right one.  I didn't, but while I drove around I felt sort of closer to him.  That big old Tahoe seems almost indestructible... though I know nothing is ... It felt safe and clunky and kind of like he was taking care of me.... again.

I went to see the condo he used to live in.  That we lived and loved in.  Kind of where we had our beginning.  Just drove slowly past and looked.  And remembered.

I went to see the boat....where it sat parked in its parking place all covered up with its tarp.   Where he left it.  I touched it.  And remembered.  Happy times that just weren't enough.

The days come and they go.  They keep marching on.  I am taking time to grieve.  I am taking time to remember even though the pain is great and the tears come with ease.  They never seem to dry up.  I still struggle with it all.  

I'm still in the waves trying to come up for air.  I will.  But right now.... I am remembering.  And still trying to catch my breath.

Friday, April 27, 2012

a month ago

It's been a month.  Seems like yesterday.  Seems an eternity.  It's the longest period of time we've been apart from each other since the summer of 2003.  I miss his voice.  I miss his smile.  I miss a million things that made us so good together. 

I think of so many things during the day that I could write in this space.  Things about grief.  Things I am learning.  Things I am thinking about.  All the many things that have changed me.  But for now, I just want to take it all in.   I hope to get back to writing short little outtakes from my day.  I am still in awe of how much I was loved and how much I loved back.   How much I have lost. 

Treasures.  They aren't the things we put in banks or accumulate in our homes.  They aren't the cars we drive or the jewelry we wear.  But if you have love.... you have everything.  If you find someone who melts your heart and someone you gladly want to give your all to... and they feel the same.  If they don't only feel the same but their actions follow...  Now that is a treasure.

We were lucky.  We were blessed.  We had that.  Some people go their whole lives without finding it.  For that I'll always be grateful.  My love for him... is eternal.  And I still feel his love for me.

Monday, April 23, 2012

again and again

Tears flow.  Again.  And again...
I've been changed.  I am better...
because of him.
Because he loved me.
And I loved him.
Deeply.
I am empty.  Yet somehow full.... of him... still.... 
I remember. 
 I cry.  I long.  I'm a complex mess... yet my heart is full of love
... and some kind of strange understanding...  or wisdom... 
still to be figured out...  but mostly.... I miss... and long 
for him
Again and again.
Always.
Forever.


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

always

Found this today.  Just rummaging through a drawer in the kitchen.  From my last birthday in August.

Does a man like this leave a huge aching hole in your heart?  You better believe it.

Is it getting easier?  No, not yet.

Did I feel loved?  Always.



I'll love you forever too.....

Sunday, April 8, 2012

finding my footing


Seems fitting I'd be thinking on suffering this weekend.. Of all times. The time the Christ-followers remember his death. His suffering.

Those who know me know how I have grappled with this. Suffering. I can rattle off all the reasons for it as well as the next person, but when you truly witness it first hand in all its raw physical and emotional pain, once you've lived it, those reasons become hard to accept. Hard to see the love of God there. Hard to trust in his goodness. For me anyway.

I so relate to what C.S. Lewis wrote in his book A Grief Observed. “We were promised sufferings. They were part of the program. We were even told, 'Blessed are they that mourn,' and I accept it. I've got nothing that I hadn't bargained for. Of course it is different when the thing happens to oneself, not to others, and in reality, not imagination.”
 And this....

“Not that I am (I think) in much danger of ceasing to believe in God. The real danger is of coming to believe such dreadful things about Him. The conclusion I dread is not 'So there's no God after all,' but 'So this is what God's really like. Deceive yourself no longer.”

Oh I choose to believe He is good and loves me, but oh how my heart has been broken into many pieces as I've watched cancer's cruelty destroy so much.

Why did I never doubt his love but I doubt God's?

Suffering. Is there something that suffering can accomplish that maybe nothing else has the power to completely do?

Suffering strips away everything that is not important and leaves only that which really matters. I did witness this too. I saw a man who had so much taken from him and yet his smile remained. Courage was displayed. Love was pure. Grace was apparent. He was content to sit next to me and hold my hand and say he was happy. Maybe God was doing something inside in a place human eyes are unable to see.
I've been trying to find my footing. Seeking a safe place. Trying to come up for air. I just want him back. I'll never have pat answers. For now the waves still wash over me. But there is also hope.

After all....it IS Resurrection Sunday.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. 1 Cor. 13:13

You are never in danger of showing or giving too much love.  Let it flow... and let others know.  Don't make them guess.





Wednesday, April 4, 2012

the love held

I stare at an empty page and wonder how to fill it or even if I want to.  Thoughts written on paper could never really tell the story of how I feel at this moment.  The loss is overwhelming and threatens to drown me.  I often can’t catch my breath.  His absence is so enormously felt.  The longing in my heart is…. there are no sufficient words to describe it …..

How do you go on when you’ve lost a great treasure?  You lost someone who filled you.  Filled all the empty places that you didn’t even know were there.  Completely.  The yin to my yang.  We just fit.  Perfectly.

I don’t even begin to understand why this happened.  Why I had to say goodbye to him too soon… and in this way.

Maybe God said, “Ok, you want a really good man?  I’ll give you one and include a strong, wonderful and rare love affair but there will be sorrow.  He needs a great love next to him to get him through it because I don’t want him to be alone and I want him to have the best.  And the best is you.  He is special and so are you….”

We did have a special love. One I never doubted.  One I was always sure of.   It never wavered.  And it held.  Till the very end.

And I can say that if that was the valley he had to walk through I’m glad I could be there to walk through it with him… and I so hope I made that journey a little bit lighter for him.  I hope he always felt loved and adored (I told him enough).  Because he WAS.

There may be nothing I ever do harder in my life, so this sheds perspective on life itself.  When I fear, I’ll think of Edd and all he suffered and how he smiled at me anyway.  When I’m tempted to fret about a challenge I face I’ll think of Edd and how he would strive to solve problems, not complain about them.  When I’m tempted to be selfish, I’ll think of him and how his thoughts were always on others and not focused on himself.  How did he do it?  God only knows.

I doubt there will be anything I face in this world that will be harder than watching the love of my life open his eyes, look straight into mine and take his last breath. 

My thoughts go in many directions. They are too numerous to even begin to sort out.  Hundreds, no thousands, of memories crowd me all at once.   My heart aches.  It’s empty.  And yet at the same time it overflows with love for a man that was nothing less than amazing and remarkable.  A gift. 

I was loved.  I felt loved.  Always.  I loved him.  Always.  And always will.

The day we got married.  June 20, 2007

There are things that we don't want to happen but have to accept, things we don't want to know but have to learn, and people we can't live without but have to let go.  ~Author Unknown

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Today

Thank you to those who left kind words..... I am not strong, but Edd's courage made me brave. Somehow I'll keep putting one foot in front of the other and trying to breathe.... Yesterday was unbelievable hard. Today was even harder. Soon when I can collect my thoughts I'll write a "real" post but for now, this is all I can do. As Edd would say when we were apart, "I feel half my molecules are missing" and they are...

My daughter, Jenni, wrote a heartfelt tribute to Edd yesterday. I'm not the only one heartbroken.

http://storyofmylifetheblog.blogspot.com/2012/03/edd.html

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

My hero

Edd and I had a very special love. We GOT each other. We knew what the other's heart really needed. We knew how to fill the empty places.

I learned so much from him. His quiet yet enormous strength was a constant inspiration to me yet broke my heart at the same time... wishing so much that he didn't have to be so strong. I tried hard to take the sting out of life's blows for him time and time again, but I couldn't fix this. I couldn't take it away. I couldn't make it better. Some things weren't meant to be.

Through his actions I witnessed courage and grace and dignity and humility and strength. I can only hope I will have a fraction of the character qualities he exhibited. He was the man who made me feel safe and cherished. He was and will always be my hero.

I lost him today. It still doesn't feel real. I am afraid to think how I'll feel when it does. Because now I am missing him and my heart is completely broken...