I Will Survive (At Least Today)

How can it be almost time to go to bed already?!  There just doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day any more to get done all that I want/have to do.  There is always something that needs to be done around the house and yard, and before I know it, it is after 10 p.m. and time to wind down so I can go to bed and at least try to sleep, then get up and do it all over again.  Each day starts out with a list of things to do.  Each day ends with me, exhausted sitting in the recliner with Abby resting half on my lap, half on the arm of the chair.  Our chill out time before bed, and the list for tomorrow’s To Do already forming in my head.

I took a couple of days off last week and had a four-day weekend last week.  I did pretty good emotionally for the most part.  I did a lot of counter-productive work.  In other words, I would start working at one thing and the next thing I knew I was off on another project, leaving a lot of unfinished work behind me…and in front of me.

My sister took me to the ‘big city’ and we had lunch with her sister-in-law, who also is a widow.  Her husband died of cancer almost 5 years ago.  It was good to talk to someone who has felt the deep pain and gut wrenching feelings I am feeling and to help me realize that I am not crazy (well not any more than I ever was).  She cried with me, laughed with me and helped me realize that I need to start thinking about moving forward and stop living in the past or the what would have been our future. She let me know that it certainly isn’t easy, and it may take a LONG time, so I need to not rush it and be kind to myself (something lots of my blogger friends have also told me).  Then, she told me she is a psycho-therapist!  My first thought was “oh, crap”.  But I maintained my ‘professional’ blank face as though I was not shocked or surprised, even though I felt like my jaw had just hit the table.  Long story short, it was a nice time…until my drive home alone.  And I cried like all this nightmare that has become my life had just begun.

A few days later, an old friend, from the youngest daughter’s high school days, and a pastor now, came to visit with her and me.  He spent at least three hours with us and counseled us and prayed with us and I felt so much better after he left.  I felt like I was starting to feel again.  He knew the right questions to ask and had the right answers that fit my life because he knew our family.  His wife had also been quite ill for several years and he had also watched her slowly lose her abilities to function and had been in a nursing facility for the last three years.  She passed shortly after Mike did, but not as peacefully.

For anyone who answered my plea for prayers that if it was Mike’s time to go that he would pass quickly and peacefully and not be in a vegetative state for days or weeks, I thank you!  I know how hard it must have been to make those pleas on my behalf, but I am so grateful that, even though I was not ready to let him go, he did pass very peacefully and smoothly.  There was no gasping for breath at the end, no crying out in pain, just a few words concerned about his place in the hereafter, my prayers over him confirming he belonged to God now, and he was gone.  I’d be lying if I said I wish he had been able to tell me one more time that he loved me.  I wish I had those words to hang on to now.

But I digress.  After I went back to work, after the long weekend, I felt as though the whole world came crashing down on me.  I spent the morning at my desk in tears, making my boss very uncomfortable.  On my lunch hour, I had an appointment with one of the pastors at my church.  I really don’t know him very well.  He was not a pastor when Mike and I went to church on a regular basis, just the husband of one of my church friends.  We  talked a while and then out of somewhere came the courage I needed to tell him how rejected I felt by the church and our church family.  That everyone knew that Mike was ill and when we stopped attending every Sunday it was because of his health.  Not one person cared enough for us to contact us to see if we were ok or if we needed something, or help with something.  Not that we would have told them, being the proud “We got this” kind of people we were, and I still am. But, it would have been nice if the head pastor who performed the services for Mike’s funeral would have called to check on me afterwards.  I’ve heard it preached from the pulpit that the church isn’t the building..its the people..and that as the church we are to show the love of Jesus to others.  So, in my grief I was feeling that if my church family doesn’t love us, how could I possibly believe that God really loves us?  Does He show that kind of  “out of sight-out of mind” love toward His flock?  I sure hoped not, but I have such doubts because of it.

Anyway, the counseling session was hard.  I was a mess for four days.  I didn’t even think I could go on any more.  It just hurt too bad to even imagine moving forward.  And, I still have feelings of inadequacy and low self-esteem and wondering ‘why’?  “what makes the difference’ and ‘who cares’.  Part of my identity and part of my inner self was lost when Mike took his last breath.

Below is a photo I took of a tree that sits in the side yard of my property.  I call it my “Tree of Life” of “God’s Tree”.  Mike and I had several disagreements over the tree.  He said it needed to be cut down.  It’s hollow inside.  Decayed, but the outside is still very much alive and its branches are still bearing leaves.  Thankfully, he gave up his efforts to take the tree down and allowed me to have my tree.  I’m so glad that he did.  As I look at it, I can now see myself.  Empty inside, yet the outside appears strong and viable.  While the tree and I will always have a large empty place deep inside, we will survive.

tree

I am hopeful that I am gaining strength and am no longer stuck.  For today that is true.  Tomorrow, maybe not so much…

 

I want to tell you about my papaw

Deb:

This is from my oldest granddaughter’s blog. It is such a tribute to her Papaw that I had to share it. Mike was (is) so very proud of her. She could do no wrong in his eyes..or mine!

Originally posted on babbling buddy:

My whole life, there hasn’t been anyone who has been more of a “daddy” to me than my grandfather. My biological father has never provided much of a “fatherly” presence, and I’ve confronted him about that before, still to no avail. Even my stepfather never respected me or seemed to value me enough for me to refer to him anything more than his first name.

My papaw, though, has been the best dad ever. When I was born, my mom and I lived at my grandparents’ house. We lived there until I was 4 year old, so most of the few memories I have of that time are very faint. I remember watching Forrest Gump over and over (still one of my favorite movies, ever). I remember playing with our dog Maggie on the green carpet. I remember my grampa playing guitar with me. I remember my grampa asking me to…

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Where Have I Been?

It is crazy, this feeling of wondering myself “Where have I been?”

The earth did not stop and I did not fly off ; although there are lots of times I have wished I had.

I haven’t been sick or under the weather, unless you consider feeling blah and having no energy sick.  Then, I must admit that I have had MANY moments. hours, days like that.

I didn’t get run over by a bus, although I came close…I was not paying any attention and stepped off the curb against the light and a mini bus was speeding toward me.  Luckily, my guardian angel woke me up and I jumped back on the curb.  I am sure that the driver of the bus gave me a royal cursing, of which I deserved.  I was walking and thinking about my life situation and half crying and just not paying attention.

So, where have I been and what have I been doing?

Hiding.  Hiding from the world, my feelings and anything that I can hide from.

Cat hiding

Except for going to work every day, (and being late a couple of days due to the fact that I could not sleep and when I finally fell asleep, I didn’t want to wake up) I basically curled up under a blanket and I have been hiding from life.  I just can’t seem to deal with everything that is crashing down around me at once, and I came to a complete stand still.  I have retreated into myself and rarely speak to anyone.  I avoid people, places and things. Even though I go to work, I  don’t talk to anyone unless I have to.  I just want to be left alone.  Not to wallow in my self-pity, but to try to figure out what is happening to me.  Life is in slow motion, but speeding by at the same time, leaving me dizzy and bewildered.

My home has become my safe-haven, my fortress against the world.  A place I can come to,  take off the fake smile that has been plastered to my face a lot of the day, put on my jammies and breathe.  Hidden.  Free to cry if I feel like crying, or sleep if I feel like sleeping.  I don’t have to “fake it”.  Just be.

I’m surprised, but not surprised, that most people just don’t “get” the emotional roller coaster ride that is involved when you lose a loved one.  I’m sure the feelings of loss are different for the relationship, but very much the same.  I don’t know.  My cousin (who was like my big sister my entire life) died a year ago, almost to the day that Mike died.  Her death left me feeling lost and very sad, but we were 300 miles apart, so daily life went on as usual for me, except when I allowed myself to think of her.  There were times when I thought I needed to call her, then realized I could not.  Then, in October 2013, my best friend died of breast cancer.  Again, I mourn and grieve her loss daily, but not to the same degree as this.

I started going through Mike’s dresser and clothes.  As I was putting “keep” and “get rid of” in piles, Abby came in to investigate what I was doing.  She smelled his clothes and left the room.  Then came back in, smelled the clothes again and started the most pathetic and soul wrenching crying I have EVER heard an animal make.  It was not like the whine she makes when she has to go potty, or wants something, but a mournful cry that went on for quite some time.  She then raced to the door and wanted out.  She checked all of Mike’s usual spots.  His truck, his wheel chair, his ammunition loading desk, everywhere she could look, she searched.  She came back to me and jumped up on my lap and laid her little head on my arm and if a dog could sob, she did.  And so did I.  Poor little thing.  She doesn’t understand why Dad hasn’t come back.  That was the extent of going through his clothes.  I quickly picked up the “keep” pile and put them in the clothes basket to wash.  (Yes, Mike, I found the T-Shirt you had been hunting for.) And, the “get rid of” pile went into a trash bag to be burned.  Haven’t touched things since.

I went to South Haven, Michigan and Benton Harbor, Michigan last Saturday with K, and two granddaughters.  It was good to get out and away from my world for just a few hours.  We were not gone more than 8 hours, but I finally got to see Lake Michigan and the enormity of it.  Where I live, what have been named lakes is really nothing more than a big pond.  You can see the other side and it’s not all that impressive.  I must admit, I felt like a country bumpkin standing in complete awe of everything.  (Note to self–do not EVER go to a beach area on the 4th of July weekend–when you don’t like crowds!)  We had to park a good way away from the water and walk and by the time we got to the beach area where the lighthouses are, my hips (bursitis) were killing me.  All I wanted to do was sit down and rest, but there was no way I was sitting in the sand!  I instead found a nice little perch next to a lighthouse and rested.  It was interesting to see the lighthouses, and I wish I could have gone into them, but they are not open to the public, if at all.   But they are so majestic and beautiful.  A picnic lunch on the way home was the end of a good day.  I was rather glad that she talked me into going, and she really had to work at it to get me to leave home.  Baby steps, people.  Baby steps!

If anyone read my post about my concern with the decisions and choices K is making in her life, well…I was able to talk to her.  She listened.  She did not appear to get angry, and she understands what my opinion is.  After all, she is a grown woman.  I cannot live her life for her.  But, as I tried to tell her..NOTHING, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING would have ever kept me from my children and I cannot understand or endorse her choice to put something ahead of them.  She was quick to tell me that when they were growing up Mike worked.  True.  He did.  But in all truth, he was in a stage of his life where he was not quite so reliable.  I worked so that we had food and the necessities and I stayed in jobs that I hated, but that gave me the flexibility I needed to be a mother to my girls.  Little by little, my job choices allowed me to advance to a better job, and even though I do not like it at times, it still gives me the flexibility to be able to do what needs to be done at home when it is an emergency, such as Mike’s last illness.  Who knows what she will do, but as her mother, I will do my best to support her in her decisions.  I will never turn my back on any of my girls, and that includes my granddaughters.  They are my life.

Now, I think I shall take close out this post book, by telling all of my readers that you have grown into friends.  I thank each one of you personally for inquiring about me and wondering where I have been for quite some time.  Let’s just say, I’m trying to get it together.  Hugs to all!

Bear Hug

Photo Credits:  Google Images

 

To Speak Up or Shut Up–That Is The Question!

 

When do our jobs as parents start getting easier?  My children are both grown women but I swear they act like they don’t have a single brain cell in their heads at times!  It was SO much easier when they were small and I could guide them in the direction they needed to go, subtly of course.  I could at least try to make sure that they made an informed decision.  You know, don’t touch the stove when it is hot type of decision.

As they have gotten older, however, they have had bigger issues to deal with than whether or not the stove is hot.  Now they must make adult decisions that will affect their lives forever and the lives of their children.

Let me explain the situation…a while back I wrote about my youngest daughter, K.  If you missed it, or need to refresh your memory, you may do so here. (I hope this link works)

K got her divorce.  She has had a rough time since, although she will never admit it.  Her job was a pretty good paying part-time job that allowed her to be home when her three children got home from school.  With child support and her job, she was barely making ends meet.  Her ex husband’s family is wealthy.  Everything that he “lost” in the divorce, his parents have restored to him.  They bought him a house approximately a block from K’s house.  They bought him his furniture, etc…you get the picture.  She has been struggling financially, but has refused any assistance, and sadly any advice.

I try to stay out of her business.  I don’t always manage to do it, but I try.  It is only when she asks my opinion that I give it and then it is always not what she wants to hear.

She had a boyfriend (maybe I should say has a boyfriend–she thinks I don’t know that she has started seeing him again).  She supposedly broke up with him two days after Mike’s death because, well…he allegedly took my prescription nerve pills.  I never suspected him, but she knew immediately when I was searching for them that he had taken them.  He has had a problem with prescription pain medication for some time and he had told her that it was under control and not an issue.  She believed him up until my pills came up missing.  She was grieving her marriage ending, her father’s death and now her boyfriends betrayal.

Now, we fast forward a couple of months.   She has lost her job due to funding cuts and loss of government subsidy for her position.  She has been applying for jobs and has her foot in the door at two large automobile factories in our area.  I say in our area with tongue in cheek.  They are actually a 45 minute drive for one, and an hour drive for the other.  The one that is an hour away has hired her.  She starts on the 18th of July…BUT she will be working 4:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m., and probably more like 3:30 a.m.  What is she going to do with the children?  She hasn’t figured that out just yet.  She is thinking that their father should take some responsibility for their care and allow them to sleep at his house.  I can’t get it through her head that she will probably only see her children a few hours on the weekend.  All she can see is the big hourly rate of pay and that she will not have to scrape to get by.  She told me that she will be able to buy tickets to take them to the movies and not have to be late paying the light bill, or phone bill.  I get it.  I really do.  But I also get that these children will only be children for so long and then they are gone.  She needs to spend the two weeks before her start date at the new job pounding the streets looking for something that will still allow her to be a mother to her daughters.  One of the reasons she divorced their father was his explosive temper and the fact that she couldn’t tolerate it any longer, nor did she want its influence on the girls, and she wants him to take them in the evenings?  What has she accomplished?

I have offered to let them stay with me overnight while she works, although that is not exactly what I want for myself at this time in my life when I can barely take care of myself, let alone all the running that her kids do for sports, cheer-leading, etc.  I live in the country about 15 minutes from the town, so it would be difficult to get them to their activities…plus I have a full-time job as well.  I don’t think she realizes how quickly their childhood will go by without her being with them every day.

I just wish I had answers for her.  I know that lots of single moms have to work long, hard jobs and miss out on their children’s lives.  Those moms (and dads) have my respect and admiration for what they are able to do to make it work.

I’m probably being a worry-wart mom/grandma, but I would rather be able to give my children my time and love than material things they won’t remember in ten years anyway, but they will remember that mom wasn’t around when they needed her.

Any ideas on how to reach K and get her to understand this, or am I sticking my nose in where it doesn’t belong and I should step back and let her figure it out for herself?

 

 

What’s the Point?

lonely

I did nothing all weekend.  At least nothing of any physical labor.  I just couldn’t make myself do a darned thing.  I sat and stared into space, read a few chapters in a book, played a few computer games (o.k. a lot of computer games); none of which required thought or skill.  I even took a few restless naps and woke up from them even more tired than when I laid down.

I made myself go to my granddaughter’s softball game Friday night, a 30 minute drive from my house.  That was an anxiety trip!  I didn’t know how to get there for sure, so programmed Siri when I left and she talked me through it and got me right where I needed to be.  Either Siri is dang good, or I was dang lucky.  Perhaps a combination of the two?  Savannah lives and breathes softball and this year she was selected to be on the All-Star team for her league, and this was her first tournament play.  I didn’t want to let her down and I wanted to show her my support.  Mike nicknamed her Whippersnapper shortly after she was born, and he was the only one allowed to call her that as she got older.  Friday, I called her that and she smiled the biggest smile I’ve seen on her for a long time.  She gave me a big old sweaty hug!

Saturday I felt like hell.  Headache, backache, just awful.  Another granddaughter, Morgan, also plays softball on a different league and she had a tournament this weekend as well.  I knew I would not be able to be there the entire day, but planned to catch her last game of the day.  I drove through some pretty heavy rain to get there and found all of the fields under water.  So, the 3:30 game was moved back to 5:30 so the guys could work the fields and get them in shape for the game.  At 5:30, they decided it was time to call that game as well and hope to play it at 7:30.  I came home.

Today, I drank way too much coffee this morning and curled up in the recliner with Abby, soon joined by Orville, and stared at the tv.  It wasn’t on.  My mind was blank.  There were no thoughts rolling around in it like usual.  Just emptiness.  About 1:00, I decided I should go back to watch the last game of Savannah’s tournament, and I wanted to be close to my daughter.  Just to see her… I didn’t want to get in her way, just sit next to family.  To NOT be alone.  When Abby saw that I was leaving, she decided that she was also going to go and I didn’t have the heart to leave her alone.  I should have left her home.  I think the heat was too much for her because she has done nothing but sleep since we got home.

Savannah’s team played a great game and won the tournament.  I’m glad I was there to share it with her.

Once home, it was more of the same routine from the rest of the weekend.  Blah!!!

I am missing Mike so badly and wishing that he was still here.  Pretty selfish of me, I know.  I can’t help it.  I miss him!!  It hurts to go through the motions of daily chores, etc., all the while thinking “What’s the point?”  “Who cares”.

I try to pray for God to give me peace and understanding and to help me get through these days with hope.  I start, but can’t finish.  I can’t find the words to tell Him the utter anguish that has taken residence in my heart.  I don’t want to turn inward and shut others out.  I don’t want to have another breakdown and I’m fighting against that also because each day I feel myself slipping in that direction.  I can only ask God to search my heart and see my feelings and know my thoughts and help me.

Maybe this is part if the normal grieving process.  I haven’t gotten that far in the book I’m reading about coping with grief to know the answers yet.

I am just a total mess right now!

 

NOW What Am I Gonna Do!?

 

Orville 2

A few evenings ago I was sitting on my little red bench next to the garage and heard a noise above me.  First thought in my mind was “Oh, God!  Please don’t let it be a bad thing!  I just can’t take anything else right now!”  Cautiously, fearfully, and curious, I turned and looked up to see my cat, Orville, perched  above me looking down on me with the “NOW WHAT AM I GOING TO DO” look in his eyes.  He was too high up for me to reach him and I knew if I tried, he would have taken off or clawed the heck out of me!  He was nice enough to pose for me for this photo.  A few minutes later, he was on the move and searching for his exit…

Orville 1

Crazy cat!  He did manage to find his way down, and is safely on the ground now, however he has ventured back to his perch a time or two since these photos.  He is definitely an outside cat!

As I looked at the photo of Orville looking down with THAT look, I saw myself with that same worried, confused look. Yes, I am thinking the same thought…NOW WHAT AM I GOING TO DO?!  And panic and extreme anxious feelings set in and I’m again paralyzed with fear.

Mike has been gone two short (and long) months as of the 23rd.  I feel as though I have slid backwards rather than move forward.  Maybe I have been pushing myself too hard to move forward.  I am tired all the time, break into tears or sobs at the drop of a hat and feel awful!  Almost sick, everywhere.  My entire body feels bad.  Of course, the ability to sleep well would help I’m sure; but my sleep is very erratic and disturbed.  I feel like a zombie walking around, doing the things that I’m supposed to do but nothing really soaks in.

Last night I mowed again, and had some trouble with the mower.  I think it sounds like it threw a rod, but since I know nothing about engines, I will have to wait until I can ask my neighbor to give me his opinion and probably take it into the shop for repair.

My brother-in-law brought me out a lawn sweeper (I didn’t even know they made such things!) and showed me how to hook it up, adjust the little brooms to the level I should have them out and told me how to empty it.  What he failed to tell me was how to back up a mower with a trailer attached.  I spent a good hour, which was a total waste of my daylight hours, trying to figure it out and always ended up with the trailer cock-eyed, usually at the side of the mower and NOT where I wanted it to be.  Finally by pure dumb luck I was able to get it backed into the weeds to dump, and pulled on the cord that would make it lift and dump!  NOT!!  Another thing he failed to tell me was that I should dump it often, especially if the grass is wet or damp.  I had to get off the mower, get behind it, standing in the weeds that cut my legs and lifting it from the bottom.  I got it lifted to my shoulder area and felt the pain in my back burning like fire.  Several more heave-ho’s and it was finally dumped.  With aching back, sore hands, a jammed finger (THE finger) and covered in mosquito bites I drove the mower to the backside of the shed/barn, detached the blankety blank sweeper and parked it.  I will be calling him to come and get it.  I’ll deal with the wind-rows.  Its easier than killing myself!

Hurting in more ways than one, I finished mowing.  Here is a helpful hint to anyone who has to mow a large area of yard.  Do NOT start crying while mowing, especially when the wind is blowing in your face.  The grass will stick to your tears and get into your eyes and burn.  I was talking to God and to Mike, pleading for some sort of guidance from them; afraid that taking care of this 2 acre plot of land and our home is going to be too much.  I kept mowing even though the bugs were getting pretty gross, my eyes were stinging and my back was killing me!  I just wanted some help.  Some assurance that I’m doing alright; that I’m not messing up too bad.  I’m still learning the chores that Mike always did and was very protective of.  I just kept telling him how much I hoped I was making him proud of what I have accomplished so far, even with all the mistakes, and feeling like I had/have let him down horribly.

Then, it hits me…and I cry harder.  Perhaps the lady I work with is right.  What if our grave is our hell and there is nothing after we die and nobody gets into heaven.  Maybe there is no hope for seeing our loved ones again when we die.  I’m so confused.  She preaches basically that there is no hope for a life after this one.  My faith, albeit weak at the moment, has always taught me that our loved ones will be waiting on us.  Funeral eulogies always make reference to “now they are together” or “they are in a better place”.   My hope right now is that one day I will see Mike again.  One day he will be waiting for me on the other side of the golden gate, and he will again be able to give me the big bear hug he used to.  Then, I question even my own faith’s teachings…till death do us part.  We will not KNOW we were married on earth.  We will all be brothers and sisters, all glad and happy to be in heaven with Jesus and our past relationships will not be important to us.  Mothers will not “know” their children.  Husbands will not “know” their wives, etc.  And I cry.  And I cry when I realize with a jolt that Mike’s body lies in that casket that has been placed in a vault in the dark ground never to see the sunshine he loved so much.  I want to believe so much that he is resting at the feet of Jesus and basking in the Sonshine wherever he is.

Now, back the world here on earth…I’m past exhaustion.  I overslept this morning and was 30 minutes late for work.  Maybe overslept was not the right word.  I ached so badly when I went to bed I was not able to sleep.   At 2:30 I got up and took some Tylenol.  At 4:30 I thought about just getting up, but the lack of rest had made me sick to my stomach, so I stayed in bed and fell asleep.  At 8:05 I woke with a start and realized I was late!  Wasn’t THAT a great start to an already crappy day?

Still tired, still exhausted and still extremely sore and achy, I keep thinking to myself “NOW What Am I Going to Do?”

 

How Boring is This?

Yawning Baby

I just came back inside after letting Abby outside to potty, and watched in awe the flashes of distant lightning to the north, followed by rolling thunder that seemed to go on for a very long time; then more lightening and a drizzle of rain.  I could have stayed out there watching for a long time but the mosquitos decided that they were hungry and I was a fresh meal!  Holy cow!!  One was bad but I think I swatted at hundreds and decided that perhaps it would be a good idea to come inside.  It is a little difficult to write when I am scratching their bites.  A couple have swelled up already to be the size of a dime.  The little pests could at least have the dignity to sharpen their fangs before diving in for a meal. And they could be a little more selective about where they choose to bite!  Ah, the joys of summer.

mosquito Control

 

I finally managed to get something done out in the garage on Sunday.  It was hard to do, but I took my time and kept busy.  Not only did I get a good start on the garage, but we have an out-building (I call it a shed, Mike called it a mini-barn) and I cleaned it as well and started organizing things so they could be found.  I am sore, my body is bruised all over and I think I took three showers just to get all the grime off.  O.K.  Slight exaggeration, but if you had seen it, you’d understand!

Under the table saw bench was a pile of leaves and saw dust from his last project, the one he left in progress…

I used the air compressor to blow out the leaves, etc. simply because the saw is too heavy for me to move.  The forced air was not moving the mound, so I used the broom.  Folks, I found the ultimate dust bunny!  Seriously…a rabbit that had evidently been a rather LARGE rabbit, and the effort I made with the broom caused the rabbit to fall apart.  Surprisingly, it didn’t smell.  It had been there quite a while.  Basically, I found legs and a spine, fur and the tail, all separate.  As I’m cleaning it up, not freaking out this time, I looked at the rabbit’s leg and foot and had the strange thought that a rabbit’s foot is supposed to be lucky; this rabbit’s foot did not bring this poor thing any luck!

Of course my little buddy, Abby, was following me around from place to place and sometimes she would give me a look that I interpreted as “You HAD to do this on the absolute HOTTEST day of the year?!  Seriously? We could be inside lounging in the recliner and air conditioning and you have to be out here?!”

Now, I have to start working on the work benches and put tools in order.  I’m going to have to make up a box and label it “I Don’t Have a Clue What This Stuff Is”..there will probably be more than one such box.  I did find the drill that I was looking for and, yes, I had been looking over it.  It was covered in saw dust and in a place where Mike put tools that no longer worked, but he saved for parts.  There are a lot of those that never got any further than the pile.  Did I mention that Mike was a bit of a pack-rat?  A hoarder, if you will.  :)

Today was also a busy day at work, and the boss took a handful of grouch pills, so I was walking on egg shells so not to get on his nerves or give him reason to growl.  My car had to go to the dealership for an oil change and tire rotation and I asked them to also check them for balancing and alignment.  I got the ‘dumb woman’ look from the man behind the counter.  He didn’t think that the wheels would be out of alignment, but finally agreed to have it checked.  It was in need of alignment, by the way.  Na-Na-Na guy behind the counter!!

Next, I had to request that they check out the air conditioner.  I thought perhaps there was a short in the switch.  I always turn off the heater/air conditioner, radio, etc. when I turn off the car.  Since Mike’s passing as soon as I started the car, the air conditioner came on.  I turned if off.  It came back on.  Until I left it on, it would continue to come on!  Mike always had to have the air on in the summer because he could not stand the heat.  It was kinda  making me want to believe that Mike was riding with me and wanted the air on, but I wanted it checked out…just in case.  There is nothing wrong with the air conditioning.  They could not get it to turn itself on.  Looks like I have a passenger with me who likes air conditioning!  Now I received the ‘dumb crazy woman’ look from the guy(s) behind the counter.  Guy behind the counter had to have his co-workers come out and hear my story/complaint.

I also went to the eye dr and find out that there is a slight tear on the right eye retina, but it has healed but my eyesight has gotten worse in the last two years.  Have to get new glasses made now and take out a second mortgage on the house to pay for them!  Geez-oh-Pete!!  I haven’t done much this evening, mainly because my eyes are dilated and I can barely see!  So, if you find typos, please forgive me…I’m basically typing and just hoping that I’m hitting the right keys!

 

Photo credits:  Baby yawning – Babies Photo Gallery (Google)

Mosquito:  google images

 

 

Lost and Found

Deb:

This wonderful writer/blogger posted this today and it was something that I really needed today! It has been two LONG months since Mike has been gone and a difficult day. Thank you John Mark!

Originally posted on The Artistic Christian:

Free Bird

Lost and Found

Soon time will end with trumpet blast

And countless saints will gather ‘round

Blood-washed millions will shout with joy

“We once were lost, but now we’re found!”

Angelic hosts will stand in awe

And marvel at the glorious sound

As Heaven rings with thunderous praise,

“We once were lost, but now we’re found!”

Instead of searching desperately

For identity – that solid ground

I know exactly who I am

I once was lost, but now am found

I won’t waste away in fear and worry

As daunting challenges abound

But rest in this calm, blessed assurance

I once was lost, but now am found

And when I’m wrapped in death’s cool shroud

With this life’s fragile thread unwound

I’ll stand victorious before my King

For you see

I once was lost, but now…

I’m found

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A Square Peg in a Round Hole


square peg round hole

Where do I fit in now?  I know people are tired of reading me write about the changes in my life and my mood swings; I get tired of feeling them and living them.  These thoughts and feelings are with me every single moment.  People tell me that life will get easier and my emotional roller coaster will level out.  I try to believe them, but it is very, very difficult right now.  How have other people lived through this kind of heart wrenching, gut punched change in their lives?  It doesn’t have to be the loss of a spouse; the loss of ANY loved one is a soul-destroying feeling.  The feelings of utter despair can eat a person alive, if you allow it to.  I’m trying so hard NOT to allow that to happen, but I have my dark moments.

Today Mike’s brother-in-law (and mine too–but its his side of the family) came out to help me with the riding lawn mower.  It was making a funny noise.  I was afraid to continue mowing until I could determine if the thing was about to blow up or not.  Anxiety attacks struck HARD!!  What am I going to do if it has broken?  I certainly can’t fix it!  I am NOT mechanically inclined.  I felt as though I had broken Mike’s mower and it was literally making me physically sick.  By the time Bill got here to help, I was trembling, had been crying, and had myself into such a state that it shocked him.  He sat down with me and talked about it for a while and made me realize that things are going to break and it is not always my fault if they do; and usually broken things can be fixed.  Then he said words to me that Mike used to tell me all the time “The only thing that can’t be fixed is a broken heart”.  He got up from his seat and calmly got the ramps out that he was going to use and just as calmly told me to get on the mower and  ride it up the ramps.  I didn’t think I could do that, but he calmly and slowly guided me on how to do that.  It was easier than I had thought it would be, but pretty scarey.  After he looked at the underside of the mower, he said that the problem was that it had become caked with grass and needed to be cleaned up and that the blades needed to be sharpened.  Within in an hour, he had it torn apart and cleaned up and put back together.

Where does the square peg in a round hole come in?  His wife called and asked to speak to him, then asked me what was going on out here…that she had tried to call my cell phone and his cell phone and nobody answered either one.  I had answered the land-line phone.  My cell was in the house.  I don’t know where his was.  But the insinuation she made made me extremely uncomfortable.  I knew she was joking, but the comment really bothered me and made me feel awkward.

That isn’t the first time I’ve felt that awkwardness.  Realizing I am the third wheel, the intruder, the tag-along person, the flattened part of a wheel makes me wonder—Where do I fit into the social world?  It is difficult to even go to the shopping center alone because I feel so—ALONE.  There is nobody with me to bounce ideas off of about my purchase or intended purchase.  (And nobody to tell me that “You don’t need that!” although I already know that!)  In case you may be wondering why I don’t surround myself with my friends; I have none.  No friends to just hang out with.  Nobody who accepts me just for me, except my children and grandchildren.  Old friends have left town, or gotten lost over the years and with Mike’s health issues, they fell by the wayside.

I’m sure that this feeling of being the square peg trying to fit in a round hole will only continue as time goes on and I begin to leave the safety of our house more often.  For now it has become my fortress to hide in.  Here I don’t have to explain to those people who do not yet know that Mike has passed on, or be avoided by those who know and are afraid to say hello.  To those that avoid me, I’d like to tell them that I will not fall apart in your presence unless you press me for answers to questions for which I have no answer.  I am still me, and being a widow isn’t contagious.

 

Work, Work, Work and MORE Work

Photo credit:  Google images clipart

Photo credit: Google images clip art

It seems like the more I do, the more there is to do.  I don’t see an end to “getting things in order” as there are so many things to attack and they all need to be attacked at once.  In order to store an item in one place, that place needs cleaned and de-dust-bunnied.  (I am aware that is not a word, but anyone who has been invaded by dust bunnies will certainly understand it!)   As of now…dust bunnies 0; Deb-1 !!  They have been eliminated for the time being, but I know they will return soon, and probably bring their friends and family with them this time.  (Sigh)

dust

I’ve neglected my blog in favor of keeping myself extremely busy working.  Besides my full-time job, I come home to tackle the enormous amount of things to be done; yard mowing; fixing some things I didn’t think I knew how to fix (it just takes me longer) and hunting for the tools I need to fix them with!  Mike left his garage in a state of total chaos.  He had not felt like putting his stuff away where it went and opted to putting them where they were easily accessible to him.  Perhaps where he put things made total sense to him, but it doesn’t to me.  I spent an entire afternoon looking for his drill, and gave up.  It is there; I just have to find it.  I keep thinking that I have probably looked at it a hundred times but not seen it.  It has been the same way with several things.  Sometimes I’m afraid of what I am going to find while searching through things.  Such as the dead, petrified mouse laying in a pile of sawdust shavings behind his table saw bench.  EWWW!!  I freaked out and it took me a good half hour to muster the courage to go back and deal with it.  I imagine he got quite a kick out of hearing me scream like a girl over it.  I’m positive there may be a few other dead bodies; either mice or birds, or worse; yet to be found.  The smell is just too strong NOT to have something out there rotting away.  Temperatures in the high 80′s, low 90′s do not help the smell situation either!

So, I clean a bit as I look for things, and so far have made little progress.  I found a box of what the normal person would think was an old box of cancelled checks.  That’s what the box said anyway.  Knowing that Mike did not use checks of any kind, I cautiously opened the box (never know what might jump out at me) and found silver plated guitar tuning pegs.  I had to chuckle because I remember he had been wondering what he did with them last summer when HE was the one looking for them.

It is so hard to accomplish a task that I never would have dreamed I would be able to do by myself, and not be able to tell him “I did it!!”  I tell him anyway.  I just don’t get to see his face when he tells me ‘good job’, or laughs at the story behind the feat.  Work smarter…not harder was his mantra.  Well, when you have never done the task, it is hard know if you are working smart or hard, but either way I now have bruises and bumps and scratches from my accomplishments.

Sleeping well still evades me.  I still wake up to check on him and realize he’s alright where he is and there is no need for me to get up.  Waking up in the morning is still difficult as that was when I was busily trying to get ready for work and make sure he was alright, his glucose level was good, he had what he needed to eat breakfast and lunch.  Now, I just get up and feel overwhelming sadness and loss.

I feel guilty if I watch a television show that we enjoyed together, because he will never again be able to enjoy it with me.  I look at his table in the garage set up for his ammunition reloading hobby and cry because he will not be doing that again, nor will we target practice and try to out-shoot the other in friendly games of marksmanship.  He was going to teach me how to skeet shoot and there are several boxes of clay pigeons out in the garage and the thrower he put together toward the end of last fall in excited anticipation of shooting this summer.  Another thing I miss FOR him, knowing how much he loved to do it.

Right now the only thing helping to maintain my sanity is to keep myself as busy as possible and hopefully I will soon have the place organized where I can find things easily and accomplish the jobs at hand easily.

I miss him terribly.  I often sit outside after dark and just listen to the quiet or the various critters making their noises with my wind chime tinkling softly behind me.  It brings me peace and strange comfort.  Somehow sitting out in the openness of the dark sky makes me feel closer to him.

It was very, very hard to have my birthday come and go without Mike here.  Then, there was Father’s Day and even though our family gathered together, it was obvious that there was a huge emptiness in the house.  A void that will never be filled and that we are going to have to learn how to still be a family minus one.