Category Archives: General Mumblings

Wobbling through a Weary WidowLand

cruise-pic

 

I am a widow.  I find I have to repeat the phrase several times a day.  I can’t believe it.  I still cannot believe it.  On forms where you designate marital status – I now have to check “W”.  I’ve spent the majority of my life and nearly all my adult life as an “M”.  I do not know how to be a single person, let alone a widowed person.

After the accident, I did not even think I could breathe without my beloved.  I didn’t even want to.  But breathe I did…and I surprised myself with my strength.  I was numb, bruised, disoriented, and incredibly heartbroken – but the sun continued to come up every day and life continued on for those of us left behind.  But what a painful life it was in its emptiness.  I thought that grief would crush me.  I felt as though I was swimming to the surface of a murky pool of sadness and misery, and sometimes I felt I was being pulled backward.  But I kept swimming, struggling.  At the surface would be the things I would need to survive: healing, peace, love, hope, and strength.

I learned to do a lot of things that he had always taken care of.  I navigated forms, accounts, procedures and processes I never dreamed even existed.  I learned about “primary account holders” and credit cards that can be cut off while you are stranded in Nebraska waiting for your husband’s remains.  I wrote his obituary, and planned a celebration of life, even though I could not celebrate.  Did not want to celebrate.  I just wanted him back.  I wanted my family to be whole again.  I wanted to be an “M” again.

I forgot our joint bank account number – and learned that account will have to be closed anyway because he was the account owner.  I learned that people that I didn’t even know prayed for me and for my family.  I learned that what I had always believed, was true – things don’t matter, people do.  I learned that a traumatic event can be relived over and over again – with or without triggers, and with or without being awake.  I learned that just because your heart is already broken, doesn’t mean it can’t break again every day when you wake up alone, or go to bed alone…or try to read a note he wrote in his incredibly sloppy handwriting.

I don’t sleep.  I don’t even want to most of the time.  I’m afraid of what I’ll dream.  I sleep with one of his t-shirts, with a book he gave me under my pillow “100 Reasons I Love You”.  His things, his books, pictures, clothing – all of it brings me comfort and smiles – but is just as likely to turn to tears when it hits me again, like a fist to the stomach.  He is not coming back.  I’ll never kiss him again or feel his arms around me.  I’ll never hear his voice again, or smell his clean, soap smell.  Never again in this lifetime.

I have given up trying to understand.  There is no understanding a freak injury in a freak accident.  There is only acceptance.  Acceptance of the fact that I am now wobbling my way, weary and weepy, through this wretched state of widowhood.

I am still on my feet and I no longer wish I had died there alongside the highway – lying in the median beside him.  I am glad to be alive and want to really start living again instead of just breathing and going through the motions.  It is going to be a long, and very slow process with many hills and valleys and I’m sure to stumble along the way.  But I’ll keep moving forward.

Widows wobble but they don’t fall down…

 

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December 31, 2016 · 12:40 AM

I. Will. Never. Forget.

wedding day

 

I lay facing my sleeping husband in the bright moonlight.  It was nearly as bright in the room as if we’d left a light on.  As usual, at least one part of our bodies was touching…no matter the size of the bed, we found each other.  In this case our knees were touching.  I stared into his face – so brightly illuminated, and listened to his gentle snores.

I traced his features with my fingertips, over and over, as if trying to memorize them.  The scars from skin cancer removals and drunken teenage car wrecks…the wiry eyebrows I had promised to trim but somehow had neglected to find the time to attend to.  The smooth upper lip that had carried the moustache for so many years that I loved – but that he had come to hate.  The lips I had kissed countless times.  I knew every pore, every scar, every inch but I kept tracing, studying, reveling in his face so close to mine.  He opened his eyes briefly and looked into mine.  “You’ll never forget me” he said and gently kissed me…and we fell asleep.

Thirty-six hours later I lay next to my husband in the grassy median of I-80 in Nebraska, under a clear blue sky in the warm sunshine, as paramedics worked frantically over him.  I held his hand and looked for the last time at the face I had loved so much for so many years.  I whispered my goodbye, and promised never to forget.  And I never will.

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Pineapple “1” – k8edid “0”

 

Pineapple Wins!!!  Pineapple Wins!!!

Pineapple Wins!!! Pineapple Wins!!! (photo credit k8edid)

Nearly a year ago, I wrote a post about how 2013 had kicked my ass.  It was one of maybe 6 0r 7 posts I have written in the past 18 months.  You see, 2013 was a bitch – but 2014 has conspired to make its predecessor feel like an old, fondly-remembered friend.  I will tell a tale about an altercation I had with a tropical fruit this week that illustrates what I mean.

In this year of our Lord – 2014- I have been diagnosed with not one, but two painful, chronic and potentially debilitating maladies.  One affects my joints; the other affects my muscles.  Both involve fatigue and weakness. Depression is an “interesting” common denominator.  Neither is curable but, I am told, are manageable by utilizing an amazing array of poisonous chemicals, copious amounts of rest balanced with exercise, and a good attitude.  Some days only my joints are affected – other days my muscles ache.  On “perfect storm” days everything, including my eyelashes and fingernails hurt. Some days I cannot even turn over in bed.  Many mornings I cannot walk when I get out of bed which makes that first trip to the bathroom rather entertaining.  Usually after 10 – 15 minutes of stretching and range of motion exercises, I can maneuver around with only moderate pain.  Good insurance being what it is, I have amassed an incredible schedule of specialists’ appointments.

I have been referred to the pain clinic where I am treated like a wild-eyed drug-seeking addict…I must bring my prescription bottle with me to have my remaining pills counted; I must submit a urine sample at every visit to be tested for illegal substances; and I must make an appearance every 30 days.  Heaven forbid that I have a prescription for more than 30 days worth of relief.  I am fairly certain I could get heroin more easily (and more cheaply).

Give me the good stuff and I’ll leave you alone for 30 days. Wait, wait…I gotta pee.

On the worst days, my left arm is virtually useless.  I am right handed, so that is a small blessing.  If you have ever had a bum wing, though, you know how difficult it is to maneuver through your day using only one hand.  Your less-dominant hand is important for such tasks as pulling up your underwear, holding the cookie jar so you can pull the top off, or flipping off passing vehicles.  I cannot hold anything for any length of time in that hand, including a wine glass.  A cup of coffee is too heavy for my weakened arm and attempts to lift one are likely to result in a spill, a burn, or both.

I am recovering from yet another abdominal surgery this week (Merry Christmas to ME), so I am even weaker than usual.  My beloved Sweet Cheeks, who has had to assume most of the tasks of running this crazy train we call home, purchased a beautiful, perfectly ripe pineapple at my request.  So on Christmas Eve morning, I zig-zag staggered to the bathroom, managed a quick shower concentrating on the parts I could reach with my right hand.  I shaved my right leg and the right side of my left leg plus my left underarm.  I dressed slowly, pulling up my underwear on the right side and managed one-handedly to get both my 38L boobs (that’s L for long) tucked into a brassiere.  I styled the right side of my hair with the blow-dryer and ran a comb through the left.  I staggered to the kitchen and prepared to wage war on the splendid tropical bromeliad.

pineapple slicer

I chose my weapons carefully: my best knife and a new-fangled pineapple corer/slicer/peeler purported to make  quick work of the task at hand.  I selected a cutting board and prepared the pineapple as if offering up a tropical sacrifice.  I laid the fragrant golden fruit on its side to make the first cut to remove the spiky top.  With my stronger right hand I grasped the knife and…nothing.  Nada.  Zip.  Zero.  I pressed harder and the stubborn fruit squirted off the cutting board and onto the counter.  I laid my useless left hand on top of the fruit and leveraging my weight onto the knife blade, managed to just cut into the firm flesh.  Juice ran onto the cutting board, somehow making the surface both slick and sticky.  The fruit slipped again with the blade stuck about an inch into the side.

By practically laying on the pineapple, utilizing an exaggerated sawing motion, and employing a multitude of standard and newly minted curse words, I was able to separate the top of the fruit from the body.  Feeling victorious, I stood the pineapple up and attempted to use the new-fangled device.  So simple – just press and twist the device into the pineapple and when you are finished, the fruit is sliced, cored and peeled.  I managed to twist the apparatus about an inch into the dripping yellow flesh.  I could not make further progress.  I gathered the fruit into my useless left arm and held the dripping fruit next to my body. Grunting and sweating, I somehow managed to twist another half-inch.  I was covered with juice, sweaty with effort and frustrated as hell.  My blood sugar was falling and my blood pressure was, undoubtedly, on the rise!

Finally, in an uncharacteristic fit of common sense, I decided juice and toast sounded like a much better breakfast choice.  I waited for my beloved to wake up and complete the job I couldn’t do.  Which he did, rather easily.

I threw the pineapple out yesterday.  It was perfectly ripe, beautifully sliced and cored, and very juicy. I just couldn’t bring myself to eat it.

I guess I’m just a sore loser.  In more ways than one…

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2013 Kicked my Ass

I've had a bad year - leave me alone

I’ve had a bad year – leave me alone

2013 was a very bad year for  me.  I started with a concussion, went through a wee bit of depression (sort of like being a wee bit pregnant) and spent nearly 2 weeks in the hospital where I could easily have died.  I slept most of the rest of the year, in a pathetically weakened state, due to side effects of medications.  I was passed over for a promotion I really wanted (and deserved) by an employer that was pretty content to have me effectively doing two jobs for one paycheck, while driving 80 miles a day to do so.  I had homesickness of epic proportions and spent more than a few days wondering “What is the point, exactly?”

Now that it only has a few hours left to kick my ass, I just want 2013 to know…

I learned to appreciate some things this year.  Like my devoted spouse who spent countless hours worrying over me, suffering when I suffered, nagging me when needed, giving space when needed as well.  I learned that I am much loved by many – kids, sisters, grandkids, friends, cousins, in-laws, outlaws and others –  I am truly blessed.

I learned that a few wonderful friends are all you really need.  Friends who just knew what I needed and when, who cared for me, cared for my dog, and supported by husband through all the crap.  Who texted, caught up with me on Facebook, or e-mailed – and understood my aversion to phone calls.

I learned that being appreciated by your employer for your contributions is better than having the “princess office”,  newer technology or deeper pockets.  I learned to go after what I wanted because no one was going to give it to me.  And I found a job that fits me (and is much closer to home with summers off).

I learned that all of the medical knowledge in the world won’t help you if you are nearly unconscious or too sick to advocate for yourself.   Appoint someone who can.  I learned that health care coverage is not to be taken for granted as my bills would have totalled nearly a$300,000 for all the care and services I received.  I also learned which hospital to avoid if I should ever need medical care again.

I learned that life can change in an instant and although my crises were really minor in comparison to those of many others – my life did not feel like mine at all.  I learned that by putting one foot in front of the other – no matter how tired or weak I felt – no matter how overwhelmed I became, I could just keep going just as I always have – just as I always will.  I learned that I am strong, capable, and unstoppable.

I learned that my body will not take neglect or abuse forever without rebellion.  I will listen.  I will appreciate the gift – a strong body – that I have been given.

So 2013 – I am not sad to see you go.  Sayonara, 2013.  Suck It.

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BlogFestivus 2013: A Christmas Carol – Ebeneezer Scrooge

scrooge

“Time for the Christmas party, Mr. S” Scrooge heard his secretary’s smooth voice from the doorway.  He did not look up.

“You mean that salmonella-fest pot luck the employees have every year, Patty?  Well, they better be back in their cubicles at 1:00.  I’m not paying anyone to sit around singing sappy songs and exchanging gifts.  Nonsense.”

“Yes, sir.  I e-mailed that reminder you dictated yesterday to all employees.”

“I suppose you are going?” he asked, finally looking up at his longest-tenured employee.

“Yes”, Patty said icily.  “I’ll be back at 1:00.”  She headed toward the cafeteria, where delicious aromas and raucous laughter spilled out each time the door was opened.  Coworkers greeted her warmly and a plate appeared in her hand.  Her Secret Santa gift was placed under the bedraggled tree in the corner.

Scrooge looked up from his spreadsheet, muttering about the cost of holiday pay. Why couldn’t this be one of those years when the holidays fell on the weekend?  He sipped his coffee, which had grown cold.  Damn, Patty was at that blasted party, he’d have to get his own warm-up.

He stood, then clutched his chest.  Cold sweat beaded his forehead and ran down his neck.  He fell back into his chair with a thud.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

happy-blogfestivus-2013

I crazily agreed to participate in BlogFestivus again this year (I pooped out last year).  I hope you’ll visit all these talented writers who are tossing out 200 word offerings during this year’s festivities.

Linda penning at linda vernon humor
Tom over at Shouts from the Abyss
Steve from Stevil
Maria-Christina blogging at MCWhispers
Dylan of Treatment of Visions
Sarah from Parent Your Business
Dawn blogging at Lingering  Visions
K8edid from k8edid
Dave bringing it at 1pointperspective
Eileen from Not The Sword But The Pen
Lindsey at RewindRevise
Kandy of Kandy Talk
Sandra writing at In Love With Words
Natalie from So I Went Undercover
Jen at Blog It or Lose It
Amelie from In the Barberry
Cee Cee blogging at Cee Cee’s Blog
Ashley from LittleWonder2
BD writing Blogdramedy (this is me)

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