Saturday, January 31, 2009

So Wicked

I was telling this story to my friends Jen and Brian the other day when they were playing the Broadway ticket lottery so I thought I would write it down as well.


Side background note:
Roger had also been threatening to propose to me for months before this story.
I kept telling him he could not do it yet.
I was full of excuses and as one ran out, I gave him another.
I had committment-phobia issues. Big time.

Roger and I went on our first planned vacation together in July 2006.
We had been on a few smaller trips but this one was going to be ten days. Ten days!
Ten days that could end up being a disaster, an exciting adventure, or a nice vacation.
I was hoping for either of the latter but I knew this was an important trip.
It would be a turning point for either the good or the bad in our relationship.

While planning the trip, we wanted to see a broadway show.
We both wanted to see "Wicked."
I had read the book and I think Roger may have as well.
Or he had some other reason (maybe just me) to see the show.

During the planning phase, I noticed "Wicked" was sold out.
The only tickets available were $500 or more and neither of us were willing to shell out that kind of money.
Especially since I noticed a little blurb on their website about the lottery system.

Basically, the lottery system is a way to get tickets the same day as a show.
Every show wants to have a full house so this is one way they do it.
To play, we had to show up at about 5:00pm to wait in line to put our name into the drawing.
Two hours before show time, they draw names for 14 sets of tickets. The tickets cost $25 each in cash.
These tickets are awesome. They are in the front row and center section.

I told Roger about this lottery system.
He told me I was lucky enough to win so we should just plan on going and see what happened.
As a planner and a control freak, this was very hard for me just to let go and let things happen.
But I had alternate plans in my head so I said "Yes dear."

We had picked Thursday to be our day to play the "Wicked" lottery.
During the trip, Roger and I were getting closer and closer.
He met many of my New York friends and they liked him.
We were having a blast together.
Maybe I could marry this guy.
Maybe he was the "one."

In the shower Thursday morning, I was praying about Roger and our relationship.
And being immature and silly, I decided to ask God for a sign.
If Roger and I were suppose to get married, I would win those "Wicked" tickets.

We got ready for our day.
We dressed semi-dressy just in case we won.
We did some shopping and then headed over to the theatre.

At the box office, there were at least 500 people waiting to put their name in the lottery.
I was nervous.
I had made a deal with God.
The big man. The guy upstairs.
I wanted those tickets but did I want what it would mean if I won.
My palms were sweating.

We finally put our names in.
We both put our names in and figured if we both won, we would give them away to some really nice people.
It was going to be thirty minutes before they drew the names so we went to get a snack.

We went back to the theatre about ten minutes before the drawing.
I was pacing.
I could not sit still.

The guy steps up to the table with all the names.
My heart is racing.
He calls out the first name - not me or Roger.
He calls out the second name - not me or Roger.
He calls out the third name - Star L.

I almost pass out.
Oh my.
I won.
Roger is so excited for us.
He has no idea about my deal with God.
So I start talking with the "guy upstairs".
"Oh my God. What did you just do? Roger is the guy for me? Really? Are you sure?"

I was so happy.
That was it, Roger was the man for me.
I asked God for a silly sign and he gave it to me.

Roger and I went off to dinner to celebrate.
We sat center stage.
Right behind the conductor of the orchestra.
It was an amazing show.
It was an amazing night.

We had an amazing trip the rest of the week.
We returned home and we still loved each other.
Vacation was a success.
As the parking shuttle dropped us off at our car, I told Roger he could now propose.
I was ready.
He smiled. "Okay. Well, it could be in the next five minutes or the year. You'll have to see."

And that story is for a different entry.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Sweet Gizmo

Last week the painter guy finished with the most dreaded room for me [For him as well since it has carpet and not tile].
It meant all the furniture and pictures and just the whole room had to be disturbed.
And possibly some more of Roger's DNA may have been lost.
And as the widows and widowers know, this is a fear I have right now.
That one day no evidence of Roger's existence besides my memories of him will exist in my home.

So Friday night, the wedding photos in my room came down.
It was hard. It was a hard day all around but this made it even harder.
I put two of my favorite framed photos back up-the one I use for my profile picture on here and one from our trash the dress session where Roger is jumping over me (just watch the slide show, I know it's in there).
The other two I removed as I am making a headboard for the bed out of canvas but that is not the point here plus I just wanted to move them.
Out of direct view.

After all that painting plus the painting I did myself, I had a stack of frames with wedding photos and trash the dress session to do something with.
The something?
Well, I decided to hang them along the stairway up to the bonus room.
Roger's room-the one where he is currently located as well as where he had his meditation area.
It is also the room where I have been storing all other Roger related memorabilia and stuff from the wedding.

I came up with a very scientific way of hanging the photos that I know Roger would not approve of but he is not here to stop me so there.
There are 15 stairs up to the bonus room.
On stair eight, I hung the official wedding day photo. The one Roger picked out but I asked for it to be black and white.
On stair eleven, I hung another wedding one.
On stair four, I hung another one from the trash the dress session.
Then I put some small 4x6 photos in between that used to be in the wedding niche near the living room.

The stairway looks quite nice.
I can still see them as I come home but they are not in direct line of vision. I have to look for them. This is good.

Now, I must mention how much the cats love the bonus room.
They always have so it is not anything new, but they adore this room probably more than they love to eat.
I think it is because its just a big empty space to play and it has always been pretty much off limits to them. And of course they want what they cannot have.
Before they would meow for food, they would meow to go into this room.
They will beat anyone up the stairs if they even remotely hear someone climbing the stairs (I sometimes use this trick to find them when they are hiding in rooms on the other side of the house).

So when Gizmo saw me starting to climb the stairs, she raced to the door at the top.
"Are you going in there? Can I come?" I saw in her face.
"No kitty, I'm just hanging these photos."
And of course each time I climbed up and down the stairs she would carefully watch me.
"Are you going in there now? Can I come now?"

Now, after I was done, I was admiring my work while standing near the top of the staircase.
"Pretty good measuring system" I thought and probably said out loud.
"I think I really like these here" I said to Gizmo.
And being the sweet kitty and me being the insane widow I am, she was looking up at the frame in the middle-the official wedding day photo.
I asked her "Are you looking at the photo?"
She looked at me and then back at the photo.
She seemed like a small child looking up at something she could not quite see.
And yes, I realize I'm reading a lot into this simple gesture of a very curious cat, but it touched me.
It made me cry (surprise, surprise).

I went down to the eighth stair and we looked at it together.
She was not really moving.
So I picked her up so she could see the photo better.

My sweet sweet Gizmo.
I know she has no idea what she is looking at, but it did seem for about a second in my grieving head that she was looking at him.

I put her down and we both descended the stairs and went on our way.
Sweet sweet Gizmo.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Help Another

I was just reading my usual blogs and I came across an entry from Multiple Baby Pileup.
She has a friend in need and I want to pass it along.
Please help if you can.
Click here.

Lifelong Learner

Now that I am in school to become a teacher I am doing lots of things including reading textbooks, studying, and doing homework.
I also moved out of my office into Roger's office.
I figured our house did not need two offices for just one person.

The other day I was reading one of those textbooks and I remembered all of Roger's studying.
He loved to learn new things.
He was always trying to get some new certification or taking some new class.

In high school, he did not like school too much.
He would tell me how he slept through school.
He hated it.
However, once he learned that he was dyslexic and he was not dumb as he previously thought, he adored learning.

As I sat in "his" chair in "his" office, I remembered all the times I found him sitting there staring over a book or the computer screen.
I looked around and saw all his certificates and diplomas.
I thought about how I would try to distract him sometimes just because I wanted his attention.
Or I wanted to talk to him.
Or I just wanted to see him react.

I remembered all the times I would strip and wait to see if he noticed I was naked. He always noticed.
All the times, I would just stare at him till he looked up.
All the times, I would IM him from the other room to remind him that I loved him and ask him if he missed me.
All the times, I would bounce into his office to see how he was doing.
Or maybe just bring him some water because I knew he was not drinking enough.
All the times, he would call me in there because he wanted my help or show me what he knew.
All the times, we would have family meetings and he would make me bring in a chair so we could discuss the budget or whatever.

The cats loved when he was in his office.
He would sit on the edge of the chair so Gadget could get behind him and put her feet on him.
He would clear off the area near the wireless modem so Gizmo had a place to lay.

Roger was going to be studying for a graduate certifcate.
And he was going to be programming a new database for his office inventory system.

Roger was a lifelong learner.
A person who was always wanting to do something new.
Maybe sitting in his chair will help me.

Stupid Jerk - Part 2

Back in December, I expressed some annoyance with the stupid jerk aka stupid fucking asshole that hit us.
Last night, on the eve of the five month anniversary of Roger's death (today), I got my summons for court.
Next Tuesday.

Opening that envelope just felt so deflating.
Why is this guy being such a jerk?!
Does he realize he will have to see me?
Does he realize I will have to see him?

I still wonder why he wants to go to court.
The only things I can think of are: 1) he does not want to lose his license, 2) he does not want to pay the fines, 3) he is a complete asshole and has gone to court for every ticket he has even got.

The evil part of me hopes the court shows him no mercy.
I hope they given him the maximum they can do.
I feel like I have been merciful enough for everyone.

I hate that I will know his face.
I do not remember it now but I will remember it forever after Tuesday.
I will know his voice.
I will know his gait.
I will know that this is the man that changed my whole life forever.
The man who took away the best husband I could have asked for.
The man who made my life miserable for the last five months.


Dear Jerk-
You fucking asshole! How could you do this to me again?
Why do you continue to want to haunt me?
Love, Star

Monday, January 26, 2009

The ring

I talked about my new ring back in December.
I also mentioned the meltdown I had in the jewelry store.
However, I forgot to actually show the end product.

So this is it.
My new ring.
The center diamond is my engagement ring diamond.
It is surrounded by my wedding band diamonds and some sapphires I added since our wedding colors were blue and navy.

I am so in love with it.
I love looking at it.
I love looking as my hand rests on the steering wheel while driving and seeing it.
It almost feels like it did when I first put it on as an engagement ring.
And then again as a set.

It no longer has the feel of "I am a widow".
I am no longer haunted by what it used to mean.
It is new again.
And yet it still reminds me of my beautiful husband and our beautiful marriage.
I no longer feel like people are staring at my hand and if they are it is because they are mesmerized by my beautiful ring.

What if...

... the table was turned.
And instead of Roger dying, it would have been me.
What if I happened to be driving that day?
Or what if during the crash we missed the SUV driver and somehow slammed into another car on my side?

Would I have survived the crash even?

Would Roger have done the same things?
I wonder if he would have let me go and pulled life support on me.
I hope he would have remembered to donate my organs.
And to cremate me. It is much more green and cheaper.
Where would he spread my ashes? I think I would like it to just be in the ocean.

Would more of my family came? Roger had 72 people visit us at the hospital just in the first 48 hours.
Most of them could not "afford" my wedding.
Would they afforded to attend my funeral? I really wish people celebrate with others more than just at them afterwards.

How would Roger have coped?
Would he be back at work?
Would he be hanging out with my friends?
Would he be hanging out with our friends? I hope they would be as supportive as they have been to me.
Would he be dating soon?
Would he be struggling with the household chores?

What would he have done with the life insurance money?
What would he have done with my clothing?
Would he have saved more stuff than me? Less than me?
What would he do with my wedding dress? What should I do with my wedding dress?
Would he be griefing as much as me?

How would my family be acting toward him?
Would they be as compassionate toward him as Roger's is to me?
Would he be reaching out to them?

Would he have lost weight?
What would he have done with my rings?
Would he be wearing his wedding band?

Just what if...


Friday just sucked.
It started Thursday night about 11:30pm.
Thursday was the five month anniversary of the accident.
I watched some Grey's Anatomy and then just started crying.
I could not stop.
The episode was way too close to home.
As I could not sleep, the crying bled into Friday knowing that it was my eleven month wedding anniversary.
Knowing that February is only a few days away when the big one year mark is there.
Knowing February last year was so fun and so exciting.
Knowing that in February will also be the anniversary of six months without him.
Half a year without him.

Then I just could not catch my breath.
So I started to freak out even more.
What if I pass out?
What if I do not wake up?
Will someone miss me in time?

All day Friday, I kept just thinking about last year.
About how much I miss him.
About how it is unfair that I do not have my husband.
About how we would wake up on our month anniversaries and ask each other if we knew what day it was.
I struggled to just get through the day.
I almost cried at every junction.
I struggled to get through normal school life.

Then since my master bedroom was being painted, the wedding photos above our bed had to come down.
I could not even do it.
The guy painting the room had to take them down for me.
I almost did not want to touch them.

As Friday drew to a close, I had dinner with some friends.
And as I sat there with my friend's parents, I thought how I will never grow older with Roger.
How our newlywed period was way too short.

I hate anniversary week.
One more to go on Wednesday...

Sunday, January 25, 2009


Right after Roger passed away, Grace and I were talking about this ripple analogy/picture.
When a pebble is dropped in the middle of a pond, it creates ripples that go all the way to the shore.
The ripples closest to where the pebble first went in are the biggest.
They can be seen and felt the best.
As the ripples move from the center however, they are smaller and smaller.
They are more difficult to see and feel, however they are still there.

I think about this analogy a lot with grief.
For me, it fits in two ways.
First, I never realized (and probably will not ever) how many people Roger's death affected.
I got cards from all over the country.
I had donations from people I have never met and still have not met.
I meet people all the time who said prayers for me and were heartbroken when they heard the news.
I even met someone yesterday almost five months after his death and another one last week.

So there are ripples of people that were moved by Roger's death.
Even if in a small way.
Even if I never see them or hear from them.
I think some of those ripples are afraid to approach me.
They do not know what to say or how to say it.
And I agree, sometimes it is strange to get a phone call, email, or some other form of contact from people I do not know or maybe did not even know Roger.
But they felt his death.
Even if it was very little compared to my ripples from the pebble.

Second, grief is also very cyclic like the ripples that move up and down across the pond.
And I pray and hope and hear that grief never goes away but the further away I get from it, the less I will feel it.
But my ripples will never really reach the shore. My grief pond is more like an ever ending ocean.
Grief really never completely ends.
It just becomes more and more part of the pond of my life.

Actually I feel like my "pebble" was more like a boulder.
A boulder that was dropped in a very small pond.
The boulder was so heavy it had to be dropped by a big yellow crane.
And when it fell into the water, it pretty much destroyed that pond.

The strange thing is how these entries reach or ripple out to so many people.
It is weird sometimes for the readers to know me.
To ask my friends about me.

But it is also nice to know that my ripples are going on.
They have not quite reached shore yet.
And people still care.

Thursday, January 22, 2009


After Roger and I got engaged, my apartment lease was almost up.
So to save money for the wedding, I moved into his house.
Roger had a fully furnished three bedroom house.
I had a two bedroom apartment.
And because both of us had been on our own for quite a while, you can imagine the duplicates we had. [We basically furnished our new five bedroom house without buying new furniture]
Roger was great at accepting my things and making room for me.
Most of my stuff was a little nicer or a little newer. So we kept a lot of my things.
Please do not think I ran over him and made him get rid of all his stuff.
But being a girl, I had nicer plates and newer mattresses.

There were a few things we could not agree on which to keep.
And one of these very important things was...
Our spoons.

Now, spoons are a very important utensil.
Especially to people who ate a lot of cereal and when Roger "made" lots of ice cream.
I like a specific shape and size.
I do not like spoons to be too skinny (not good for eating cereal in my opinion).
I also have specific spoons I like for eating ice cream.
The one that I adore is a small spoon that is about 3/4 the normal size of a spoon and it is very light. It makes eating ice cream last longer or at least it seems that way.

Roger, however, liked spoons to be heavy in his hand.
He liked spoons that were smaller headed.
He felt the spoons I brought into the relationship were too light.
So they must be cheap and flimsy in his opinion.
I do not like heavy spoons. Not for things like oh I don't know eating out of them.
Silly boy.

And Roger's response right now would be "Silly girl."

So instead of fighting about it, we kept both sets of spoons.
I tried not to segregate them into two different compartments (we had enough spoons to fill two compartments) but I noticed we were always finding our perspective spoons when it came time to eat.
And when Roger would serve me that delicious "homemade" ice cream, he would bring me my favorite eating ice cream spoon if it was clean.

Every time I open that utensil drawer, I see his spoons.
And I know how silly it is to attach a person and their memory to something as simple as a spoon, but I do.
I just can not imagine getting rid of those spoons even though I still do not use them.
Unless of course there is a spoon shortage or spoon emergency situation.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

So that's why I'm messed up...

Since I am back in school, I am having to do some silly assignments of course.
One of the first one was telling a story about your life in the recent past.
So I was thinking the other day about my life over the last two years.
Wow, what a crazy two years!

According to some websites I have experienced four out of the five most stressful events of someone's life.
And guess what, I did at least four of them in that two year span.

In January 2007, I moved in with Roger and I was in school part-time.
In March 2007, Roger changed jobs. After working with a company for ten years, he decided it was time for a change.
In April 2007, we bought a house and tried unsuccessfully for six months to sell Roger's previous home. It was such a stressful time and we were selling as the market was falling. We were also selling in the summer months and had to keep a Florida home cool for potential buyers at all times, keep the grass green, and keep making home improvements to make it better than the competition. All while saving for a wedding and making two mortgage payments. Both of us were in school.
In October 2007, I was moved into a department at work that I loathed. My manager changed four times in three months. My commute was painful. Instead of working two days a week from home and having a flexible schedule, I was required to be in the office five days a week at set hours. I was micromanaged and doing tedious tasks. I hated my job. I hated my job so much. Both of us still in school.
In December 2007, Roger graduated from University of Central Florida. Then only one of us (me) was a student.
In February 23, 2008, we got married. We planned the whole thing ourselves and paid for it ourselves except for part of the honeymoon.

August 22, 2008, we are in a serious car accident. We were both injured.
August 28, 2008, Roger dies. He leaves me.
November 2008, I quit my job after being on short term disability for three months. I start making new financial plans for my future.
January 2009, I go from part-time school status to full-time status and change career paths completely.

Hmm, maybe I do have a little bit of stress in my life?
Maybe I should not be so hard on myself.
Maybe I have had a ton of life changes and major stressing events in my life.
Just maybe.

Another fucking dream

So in my very scientific experiment, I did not take sleeping medication last night and I did have more erratic dreams.
This one of course even a little more disturbing than the night before.

In this dream, it is present time.
Roger is not dead.
Roger has not been dead.
There is no death of Roger.
And we are trying to have a baby.
Why or why am I dreaming this stuff.

We are measuring my temperature.
Having sex in certain positions.
The whole nine yards.

The crazy part of the dream is I can actually see inside my body.
I can see the sperm meeting up with the eggs.

I hate this dreams.
I woke up several times last night.
I was hot and sweating.
I woke up sleeping completely horizontal across the bed.

I am driving myself crazy.
I am not sleeping well and I know I need to.
But these dreams will not stop.
I am going to mention them tomorrow in counseling.
Ugh. My crazy head.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Magic Bullet

I really hate having these nightmares.
They are awful.
I can't figure out if I have more when I take the sleeping med or not.
Last night I did not take it.
Sometimes they feel so real.
And most of the time they are very disturbing.
They leave me awake for a while afterwards.

Last night I dreamt that I found some magic "bullet".
I am not exactly sure what it was as that part I do not remember.
But there was something to bring Roger back to life.
I was so excited. I was thrilled. I was jumping up and down.
Finally he was back.
He was alive and healthy and we could move on with our lives.
Yes, he had missed out on the last five months but that was okay.

Except he was really grumpy.
Almost pissed. Pissed at me.
Pissed at the world.
I am not sure why but he was not the normal happy-go-lucky Roger.

Suddenly I was in Miami without Roger.
I called him and begged him to come down to see his family.
He drove down but he was refusing to talk to anyone. He just sat in a chair not really paying attention to us.
It was then time to come back home and since we drove down separately I was trying to figure out the car situation.
Were we going to ride together and leave one car in Miami (because I wanted riding-in-the-car time with him)?
He refused to leave.
He was saying he did not want to be with me anymore.

My heart was just broken.
How could he not want to be with me?
I just brought him back.
We were married. We were in love.
I kept probing him. What the hell was going on?
He said he was having an affair with my cousin Rachel.
He did not love me anymore.
In real life, Roger and Rachel only met once and she lives 600 miles away and definitely not in Miami.
I was devastated.

How could he come back and not be with me?
And more importantly, why am I still dreaming this kind of crap?
I woke up with my heart aching and I really had to re-convince myself that he is not coming back EVER.
There was no way to bring him back.
There is no magic bullet.
Nor will there ever be a magic bullet.
Not for this. Not for the pain I feel.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Two days

Not that I am completely keeping track but for the last almost five months (and geez, it is so hard to believe it has really been that long), I have cried everyday but two.
That's nineteen weeks and four days.
Or one hundred and thirty-seven days.
Three thousand two hundred and eighty-eight hours.
One hundred ninety-seven thousand two hundred and eighty minutes.

One of the two days I have not cried was on the cruise at the beginning of this month.
The other one was a few days before that.
Otherwise, it is every day.

Some days it is just weeping.
Some days it is simple crying.
Some days it is full out throwing a fit crying.

Most of the time its the simpliest things that make me cry.
A lot of times its completely unexpected.
Usually one of the times per day is when writing these entries.

I am still very fragile.
Despite what it looks like.
I look fine and maybe even great on the outside, but my insides are still in crumbles.
A million different pieces. And it sucks.
Two days out of 137 have I kept it together for twenty-four hours.
About 0.01% of the time.
Do not place your bets on me.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

"I Miss Him Too"

Roger had this amazing friend.
He is also a friend of mine but he was one of the friends Roger met before me.
He is great guy.
They used to ride motorcycles together, work out together, and just hang out.
He does not live too far away.
And he has been very helpful in the last few months to me.

A few weeks before Roger's death, his friend got engaged. Roger was thrilled.
He was interviewing with a big company for a new job. Roger was excited for him.

I would tease Roger about this friend.
I called him Roger's boyfriend.
Roger would see a preview for a martial art movie or a big action movie.
Roger would look at me and I would tell him to see it with his boyfriend.
Roger would see some seminar to go to, I would tell him to go with his boyfriend.
I was joking but I also wanted to make sure Roger kept up with his friend.

A few days ago, this friend called me out of the blue.
It was so nice to talk to him and just catch up.
As we were about to hang up he told me how he missed Roger.
It really touched me.

Today I ran into this friend while I was out running errands.
And I can see by looking at his face that he is sincere.
He does miss Roger.
We both had tears when we talked about my anniversary next month.
I had to abruptly leave because I was not ready for another meltdown in another store.

I do not think this friend realizes how much he meant to Roger.
Or how much he means to me.
And honestly, I do not think until recently I knew how much Roger meant to him.
It helps to know others miss him.
Others besides his sister, his mom, and me.
It helps to know I am not alone in missing him since I miss him every moment of every day.

Living Alone

I have been eyeing my nice jetted bath tub all week.
It has been calling me after my first week back at semi-normal life.
All those nice candles in the jar and just nice hot bath, hmm.
Just to relax and be warm after all the cold weather.
So last night after finishing some homework, I went to run the water.
I decided to go ahead and get in while I waited for the water to fill the bath tub.
It felt so nice.
Warm water just surrounding me.

I had left the bathroom door open so the cats could come talk to me.
Its nice to have their company as I sit and relax.
They were quite amazed for the door to be open after 11pm.
They are normally locked out from the bedroom and master bath at nighttime just because they can become rumbustious at night.
They gingerly walked into the bathroom.

Gizmo was first.
I tried to play peek-a-boo with her but she kept getting distracted by Gadget following behind her.
They normally play in the bathtub themselves during the day when it is dry.
I could see Gizmo asking me why I was in there. What was I doing?
And especially why was I sitting in water.

Gizmo jumped up on the side to investigate and Gadget quickly followed her.
Gizmo is the curious one. Gadget will only follow after it is declared safe by Gizmo.
We are all chatting when it happened.
Gizmo slips.
She is falling into the bath.
Her hind legs are completely submerged in the water and I am trying to help her out.
She digs her back claws into my hand. Blood is coming out of my hand.
She is freaked out.
She is scrambling to get out of the bathtub as fast as she can.
There are rocks flying from the rock/candle set. [None of the candles were not lit.]
That big candle in jar... huge crash onto the floor.
Glass flies everywhere as both cats are running to get out of there.

Glass is absolutely everywhere. It is in a million pieces and slivers are everywhere.
It is in the bath rugs. It is from the bathtub over to the shower, in the water closet, behind the bathroom door and every inch in between.
I have not even had a chance to turn on the jets yet.
There is no one to call out to.
No one to hear the huge crash.
No one to come help me.
Why am I alone?
I am wet.
I am naked.
And I am trapped in my bathtub.
I am also not sure if either cat has been cut by glass.
I do not see any blood trail but they were running awfully fast. Poor kitties.
Poor me.

I run the jets for just about five minutes just so I am not wasting the water or the time.
But I immediately feel guilty for not finding out if the cats are okay.
I tip toe out of the bath tub, grab some flip flops, and grab a towel for Gizmo.
Its cold in my house tonight due to the low temperature outside.
I know she has to be freezing.
And I know any cat hates to be wet.

I find her on the dining room table shivering.
She looks at me with her big eyes.
She is still scared.
I grab her and start rubbing her down with the towel.
She starts purring immediately. I know why she is purring. She likes this. Roger would rub her down with a hand towel when she was sick and she covered herself in sticky orange antibiotics.
I dry her off as much as she will let me and bring her into my bedroom.

I then have the task, at midnight no less, of cleaning up a wet bathroom floor covered in glass.
The glass is absolutely everywhere. Even worse than I thought.
Not only from the initial crashing but also from both cats escaping the bathroom.
I pick up the bits of glass I can see. I use the paper towel trick to get some of the slivers up.
I get out their least favorite home appliance, the vacuum.
They run away again.
I get up as much glass as I can.

I am then guilted into letting them stay in my bedroom all night.
They were good as it is only their third time sleeping with me.
The did not wake me up until 9:15am to feed them.
And of course Gizmo sent Gadget in to do it.
I could see Gizmo sitting near the door waiting for Gadget to get me awake.

I really hate living alone. But not exactly the living alone part, it's the living alone without Roger.
I miss having my best friend.
I miss having my teammate.
I hate doing everything alone. Or rather doing things without him.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Deconstruction (take 2)

As I have mentioned, when I first became widowed, I read a lot.
I gleaned a lot of advice.
One bit of advice that I took to heart was to redecorate my home.
Even if it was as simple as moving around the furniture or repainting.
I have done a little of both.

In November and December (yes, both months since I was doing it alone, had some holidays in between, and I did not do it everyday), I painted the formal living room and dining room.
It did help.
The finished product looks great. I love these rooms.
It also gave me a sense of accomplishment which I need any positive feedback I can get these days.
I did the entire project alone. I am strong and I am woman, here me roar.
It was also a little "so there" moment as Roger had wanted to wait to paint the interior of the house and he was not quite sure about my color choices.
But it brought up a lot of feelings I was not quite sure about or perhaps ready for.
It was hard to deconstruct my little wedding niche I had created just last summer (2008).
It hurt like hell.

As I have been staring at my family room and kitchen walls, I wanted to paint them as well.
But I was quickly reminded of all the work involved. The prepping, the priming, the rolling, the cleanup, ugh.
But I wanted these walls painted, damn it!
So I hired someone. He will also be painting outside of Roger's old house which I am sure will bring up even more feelings but I will cross that bridge when that actually happens.
One bridge at a time.

He started this morning and so far I am pleased.
I love the color choice (another "so there" moment).
And again I had to deconstruct the room a bit.
This time however, it was not half as bad.
As pictures came off the wall, I felt myself smiling at the pictures of our honeymoon.
Laughing at the trash the dress pictures we took in March.
And although a lot of the pictures are black and white, my feelings were not.
I had some sadness mixed in there as well.
But as I am learning and accepting, I can feel more than one thing at a time.
Emotions are crazy like that.

As I build my house, my style, and my life, I still have Roger in my back pocket (and literally under my back pocket).
I just can not deconstruct that part of my life out.
He will always be here and I like it.
But he will have to be next to my paint colors and my choices.

Friday, January 16, 2009

EMT Report

Today I went to pick up the EMT report from the paramedics who worked on Roger at the car crash scene.
I had a lot of questions. Was he alive when I touched him? Did he have a pulse? Was he breathing? These are all questions I did ask at the scene, but no one would answer.
I hated that. I hate hate hate that!
And since that morning, I have been going over and over these questions in my head.
My therapist says it is part of my post traumatic stress syndrome.
Although, that curiosity was probably there before all this.
For me it is about having a complete memory of what happened that day.
Since that is impossible, I knew the EMT report would have a lot of puzzle pieces I did not know and I wanted to fit in since there were always be the gaps from my point of view.

And thankfully, the report did give me comfort.
His heart was beating.
His nice strong heart was beating!
I just wanted to scream this from the rooftops today.

Several other questions were answered as well in the report.
And I also got the name of the woman who worked on me aka Trauma Red.
Which I did not realize my injuries were actually that serious until now.
As in this very moment when I just googled "trauma red".

I know in my heart now that at least Roger was somewhat there.
I just wish I could have been there to hold his hand as they worked on him.
Impossible I know, but I just wish.
Of course, I wish a lot of things.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


I used to have these horrible nightmares. Horrible. Horrible. Horrible.
I would wake up in an extreme panic. Sometimes to the point where I would have to get out of bed to get rid of the dream from continuing.
I had them pretty much the entire time Roger and I were together.

These dreams were all similar in theme.
Most of the time it was like I was in a maze and I was suppose to be following Roger.
I was suppose to be right behind him but for one reason or another, I would fall behind.
I would lose sight of him.
I would keep trying to catch up with him but never could. I could see a glance of him here or there but never catch back up.
I would ask the other people in the dream, which way he went.

They were terrifying dreams. I would get so incredibly scared. I would feel so lost.
When I came out of the dream, I would crawl over to be in Roger's arms or touch him.
And sometimes I'd wake being pissed off that he left me in the streets of my dream.
Why did he keep leaving me!?!
Where was he going so fast?
Why didn't he wait for me?
I hate being lost.

The next morning, because I expected he should know exactly what was inside my dreams without me telling him, I would exclaim:
"How dare you leave me! Why do you keep leaving me?"
Roger would have two reactions.
Reaction #1, "I would never leave you dear."
Reaction #2, "You have issues. You should get help."
And sometimes I would get both reactions.

In my impaired grieving state of mind and soul searching for many clues or answers, I think maybe some weird part of my subconscious, the one that has no concept of time or space continuems, knew that Roger would die.
That somewhere inside my brain these dreams were trying to tell me something.
"He will not be here forever"
"You better be prepared to track through life alone, he will leave you behind."

Yep, I am officially going off the deep end.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Almost another one

Yep, I am flooding over with entries.
But I have a two hour gap between classes on Mondays and Wednesdays so I brought my laptop today to keep myself entertained until I have actual homework to work on.

Today, I almost had another meltdown.
Really? What is wrong with me?
I guess I should go back to giving myself a little slack but this, as I have stated before, is the most difficult task for me.

As I mentioned my biology teacher is a bit wacky and he gave me shivers on Monday.
Today I almost lost my composure. Yet again.
I am really questioning if I was/am ready for normal life.
Maybe I should have waited a tad longer?

The biology teacher was trying to show us how our thoughts are ever constant. How we are never not thinking and in doing so we are never "here" in the moment.
But we should be "here" and be observant. We should try to bring ourselves back to "here" or we will miss out on the present.
He also talked about how we are a dualist society. Things are black or white. Bad or good. Interesting or boring. Same or different.
But as a society, we forget about the gap or the grey area between two opposites. And in that gap transformation can happen.

I know it seems small/trivial for most people and totally not biology but this is where I almost lost it. I felt the tears welling up.
Inside my head, "please don't cry, please don't cry.
Please do not let these young punks see me cry."

His whole point besides being very into Tai Chi and Qigong like Roger was that when we think we know something is this certain way or that way, we do not see life for what it truly is. If we think we know something, then we are blind to those things that may be different and things we do not know.
We will get in our own ways of transformation and gaining new knowledge.
It was a good class I promise.
It just spoke to me on other levels.
It almost felt like Roger was talking to me.

And the worst part, I so just want to talk to Roger about it. I know he would love hearing this stuff. I know he would just love this teacher. They would hang out and discuss martial arts, chi energy, and different Tai Chi forms.
I also just want to talk to him about school in general.
Tell him about my day.
Tell him about the good things and the bad. And I can not do that with other people. Its just not the same.
This part of missing him is worse now with "normal" life.
I think its becoming even more apparent that he is not here.
Not that I did not notice it before but now with "normal" life its really showing its ugly head.
And I hate it.
I hate every moment of it.
But I really would love to just keep my composure?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Ugh, Melt Down #705

I know there will be a point very soon where I will not be able to walk into any establishment without the employees running and hiding.
"Oh no, it's that widow. Run! Hide! Here she comes! She will cry or throw a fit. Give her whatever she wants and no one gets hurt."

And I thought I was having a good day.
I thought I was having a good week for that matter even though it is only Tuesday.
But that was only temporary.
I guess it could not last.

As I have mentioned, a lot of people have thought I did nothing during the day before Monday. I just had someone comment to me on that fact yesterday even.
Yeah, I just sat around watching TV and eating candy all day before Monday. Maybe a cry here or there but I was doing nothing, right?
I wish.
My days were filled with phone calls to insurance companies, filling out forms, making copies of marriage licenses, meeting with lawyers, getting quotes for painters, figuring out which things to pay and which go to the estate, finding health insurance, making sure my renters are okay, making sure my house is not falling apart, filling out some more forms, and figuring out what to do with stuff.
Well now that I have school to focus on, I also have to fit in these other fun activities.
Today was getting a signature guarantee on a form because I was Roger's beneficiary in my maiden name and not in my married name. Roger and I just had not got that far yet in turning everything over. (Changing your name is such a tedious process.) This is the third trip to get these signature guarantees for the same IRA accounts. So hence, I'm already irritated that I am still working on these accounts when I thought I was finished with them last month. I was also irritated that it was raining. Yes, just because it was raining and that meant I had to be walking around and driving in rain (The accident happened when it was raining).

I walk into the bank with my forms in my hand.
The bank manager, Linda, I normally work with is not there.
No big deal.
I walk up to the counter.
"You can have a seat, I'm busy working on something."
Hmm, okay. No biggie. Normally I just stand and wait at the counter while Linda finishes whatever she is working on but okay, I will take a seat.
"Okay, you can come forward."
Okay. I was literally sitting there for two seconds. I could not have just stood and waited?
I am still composed. I did have to go to class after this so my time is limited but okay.
"How can I help you?"
I explain how I need a signature guarantee for this form because my married name was not listed as the beneficiary so I need to use this form to make sure I am the same person as before and I need them to stamp it.
"Hmm, we do not do that. We only do that for checks."
"Yes you do. Linda has done this for me before." Irritation is starting.
"Let me check with someone else. Linda is on lunch."
He wonders off to the office just over. And that lady is just chatting with her friend (I overheard part of their conversation and she was introducing him as her friend to other people in the bank so I am sure she could care less either way since she is busy with her friend.)
Harry returns. Yes I remember his name because I will never use him again. He is off the Christmas list for sure.
"Sorry, we can't do that."
Breakdown starts.
I do not think I was yelling but I do think I may have raised my voice a little and tears were starting to form thus my voice was starting to crack.
"I have a lot of money here (not true but I meant to say 'I have a lot of accounts here'). I lost my husband and I am going through a very difficult time. I just need your help and Linda has done it before."
"Linda will be back in forty-five minutes if you want to come back."
"I have another appointment now and I do not have time to come back."
Tears formed. Grabbed my papers and stormed out of the bank. I yanked the door so hard that it bounced against its hinge.
Geez... what is happening to me.

I called my widow friend to vent because I know she will understand.
We chatted for a little while.
I calmed down.
I went to class.
I kind of forgot about the bank incident.

As I was leaving, I noticed I had a missed call from a number I did not recognize and a voicemail.
I listen to the voicemail.
It was Linda.
"Hi, this is Linda from Wachovia. I heard you were here (Yes, I'm sure she did hear about some irrational woman who stormed out of the bank) and I wanted to see if I could help you."
I love Linda. She has been absolutely wonderful with everything. And I make regular appearances at the bank for one reason or the other. Most of the time for several reasons at once and she is always so sweet and helpful.
I called her back.
I told her what I needed and she said she would have it ready tomorrow at 3:30pm.
Like I said, I love Linda. She is fabulous.

I just hate this part of grieving.
It is one of the ugliest parts.
Hopefully there will be a massive turn over at the bank before tomorrow afternoon leaving only Linda and I will not have to be embarrassed at my actions...

I did something else too!

Part of me is really upset that I was only married for six months. A really big part actually.
I almost felt like a failure at first when Roger died since when looking at my family there is a ton of divorce and multiple marriages. I almost grouped myself with them.

It is the most frustrating thing since I sincerely believe we were very prepared, we were a good match, and we had realistic expectations. We did things the right way.
We were in it for the long haul. We were not going to be in a bad marriage and if it turned sour at any point we would seek help. Divorce was not an option for us.

Then I have many family members and friends who did not get prepared, were not good matches, or had very unrealistic expectations. And that frustrates me more.
They still have their husbands or wives. Or if they don't stay married, they jumped out of marriages at the first sign of trouble instead of working through their problems.
That frustrates me even a little more.
Marriage means nothing to them. They treat their other halves horribly. They nag them and talk bad about them behind their backs.
It always makes me want to cry. Even before Roger died.

I have always tried to treat Roger the way I wanted to be treated. I tried to think how every decision I would make would affect him.
I once heard this saying and I really took to heart, "It is easy to be with in love with anyone when things are going good, but you know you are with the right person when you want to be with someone when things are hard with them."

Many people may or will say "You only had six months married. You do not know how hard marriage really is." We were together three years in the end. However, Roger and I did go through some tough stuff before we married. Just one example, we had to learn to deal with money and such when we were juggling two houses, two mortgages, and everything else dealing with selling a house in a plummeting market.
And wedding planning was not a picnic either but I am glad to go through those things with Roger.
Yes we fought. But we also learned how to resolve conflict efficiently.

But I have to look at some positive perceptive.
Of all those people who fail at their marriages, I made it.
I kept my vows. Even for a short time.
"Till death do you part" and I did it.
Maybe it was only six months.
But I did do it.

Monday, January 12, 2009

I did it!

Because I know I will have a lot of curious people wondering how my first day back in school went so...

Today went fine.
Of course it is just the first day. And tomorrow is another day of first class day.
This was day where the instructors just introduce themselves and hand out syllabi.
Get this book, go to this website, blah blah blah.

It was nice to have a purpose this morning but at the same time there was still that off feeling.
This is not the normal way of getting ready for work/school.
I can be as loud as I want. There is no risk of waking someone up. Roger is not still sleeping like he always would be.
No one to be jealous of that he is still sleeping and I am awake and functioning.
No trying to figure how where Roger's face was turned for a goodbye kiss for the sleepy head.
No little teasing conversation from me knowing he will not remember later.
No "You look cute today" comments from him.
Just silence and an empty cold bed with sheets pulled back where Roger should be laying.

School however was fine.
My gut feelings thus far say that I will like the whacky biology teacher which will probably/hopefully deepen my desire to become him. Although he did mention he does Tai Chi before class and it sent shivers down my spine.
The speech class was a speech class. But when thinking of topics I could use for speeches, all I kept coming up with were related to widowhood, why doesn't Florida have vehicle inspections, living will, should you keeping someone alive who is in a persistent vegetative state, etc. Then I thought if I do any of these topics these people will think I am insane/dark/sad.
I did like the feeling of just walking around campus not thinking about work life.

It will take a while for the new life to take hold and more adjusting to not having him here in the getting ready routine.
But I can mark day one of back to normal life off my list.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Normalcy Step #2

Or I am truly becoming a masochist.
I went to church tonight. Alone.
Going to church more is part of my new years resolution since I tend to find peace there.
Or so I thought.
Or at least I used to.

I have only been there three times without Roger. His funeral. All Souls Day.
And today was the first day alone.
Yes, I realize I could ask someone to come with me but I do not want keep asking for favors.
I hate asking for favors.

It is just so hard being there.
Walking down the same aisle as my wedding eleven months ago.
Walking down the same aisle as the funeral four and half months ago.
Walking down the same aisle as the All Souls Day two months ago.
Today I walked down alone and I had to pick a pew alone.

As I looked around, there were couples and families and friends.
And I sat alone.
I remember a few months before our wedding looking forward to being an official family at our church.
We only went a few times as husband and wife after our wedding.
I loved having our hands touching as we stood during a prayer or holding pinky fingers with each other.

Part of me wants to run from this pain.
Part of me wants to try to find a new church to attend.
But I love this church.
I love the pleasant memories of being married there.
Of attending church with Roger.

My heart aches.
The return to normalcy is very painful.
I am really not sure I am ready.

Hey Jealousy

One of the five million things I loved about Roger was he was not the jealous type.
I think it was one of my favorite things about him. At least my favorite for the next few minutes while I write this entry.
It was just so relieving to meet a guy that did not turn green with envy.
This worked well for us since I am a bit of a flirty person and I have a lot of guy friends.
And of those guy friends, I have dated a few of them. I have an uncanny ability to remain friends with them.
Roger had no issues. Roger would even meet those guys and hang out with them.
It was great. It was so ideal for me. I felt so relaxed.

I think a lot of it comes from Roger's great self esteem level.
He had such great high self confidence.
I would say "I love you dear"
And Roger would say "I know because I'm charming, suave, and devenaire."
Or "You look good in that shirt"
"Yeah, I know."
But of course it would be followed by a smirky smile.
No self confidence issues with him which I reminded him daily.

I know this was not always true for Roger. This was a journey for him.
He had a hard time in high school being the super skinny kid, slightly dorky, and he was not the perfect student.
After Roger's death, I found a journal of Roger's from 2001. During this time, his confidence was starting to build.
He was working out and gaining weight. He was driving a cool blue Jeep.
He was getting attention from some girls and he was finally finding himself.
His self confidence was going through the roof.
In an entry dated May 11, 2001, " I can honestly say I love myself. I don't think its the 20 extra pounds. Just full acceptance."

Then four years later he met me.
I never would have imagined Roger as the low self esteem type from the entire time I knew him.
Of course he had moments like most people, but for the most part he would strud his way into any room.
I adored that energy.

I remember when I decided that I would propose to Roger. I was a bit nervous that he would feel less manly about it.
I talked with Roger's sister, Grace, to make sure she thought Roger would be okay with that.
And Grace replied "Oh my, he is going to have such a big head."
Looking back at Roger's history with self esteem and just my fear of commitment, it was just perfect for me to propose.
And his ego was incredibly stroked that day.
He was such a giddy guy on that Halloween evening.

I think this is one of the qualities I want in Mr. Star's-Very-Confident-Next-Husband.
There is just no room in my life for jealousy.
No green with envy for me.
And I think with a widow, that is exactly what I will need.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Not the old me

When I first lost Roger, I read a lot of things to figure out what this weird thing called grief was about.
I would read any book or any brochure that could really tell me what I was really in for...
I have gleaned a lot of information and through lots of counseling realized I am pretty normal and no book or brochure can fully explain my grief.
And although the grief is really not a step by step "process" and it is different for each person, I can find comfort and information through continuing to read.

In all this reading, lots of things talk about how I will never be the old me.
And at first I did not really believe it.
How could I really change.
How could I not be who I was.

But then, I started noticing how I have started to change and morph.
When I see old pictures of me, they seem so long ago. Like decades not months.
It seems to me like there is a completely different girl staring back at me in those photos.
I almost do not even recognize me.
Yes, I know I have lost a lot of weight but its more than that.
Deeper. Beyond the surface.

Then there are other changes.
Like how I can not stand certain cereals.
How I can not even think about eating oatmeal.
Certain activities are now off limits to me.
I not quite as a risk taker as I was (I hope this comes back the most).

Then there are the memory issues which I hope improve.
Not to mention the hyper-alertness in traffic.
The irrational fears surrounding me.
The uncontrollable emotions.

I am not the person I once was.
And now I know I am growing. I am changing.
And I know that some of my "normal" will return but at some point.

Some things I do not want to return to.
I want Star version 3.0. I have had Star 1.0 when I was young, a pharmacy technician, and the party girl.
Then Star 2.0 as the world traveler, IT person, and my life with Roger.
This new life will be different. There will be parts of me still there surely but I find myself trying to do things differently.
But that is okay with me.

On Monday, I will start school full-time.
I have been going part time for a while now except for this last semester but this will be transition from primary work life to student life.
A new normal.
New me. The beginning of Star 3.0.
Do not be scared. I am sure Star 3.0 will be just as fabulous.

Here is a before picture taken at the wedding:

The old Star...
I think it is in my eyes and smile.

Here is a now picture taken on vacation:

This is the face of the new me.
Imaginary difference or not.
Star 3.0

From the top

Of course I think a lot about our situation, our relationship, and our life right before Roger died.
And in a way, I'm grateful for the timing.
As crappy as it was for me and our plans, I can not really think of a better time if I had to choose. Strange way to think, I know.
But it is somewhat comforting to me.

Roger was on top of life.
We were on top of life.
And really that is the way to go.
On the complete top of the world.

Roger had accomplished so many of his goals including passing his PMP exam and graduating in philosophy.
He was accepted into UCF's graduate certificate program for computer forensics.
We had a wonderful wedding.
We were having fun being married.
He was healthy and strong.
Nothing was ailing him.

Not to mention we had a wonderful July and August.
In July, we had a fabulous third annual fourth of July party with tons of our friends. More people than Roger even wanted but I am so grateful people got to celebrate with us and see Roger alive and well.
People got to see fireworks so close they could literally feel them on their skin as they landed.
We were even making plans about the fourth of July 2009 party.

In August, we went to a piano bar called Howl at the Moon when our friend Scott won a party for 100 of his closest friends.
Roger teased Scott for throwing him a huge party.
With Roger's birthday a few days away, I had the bar write "Happy Birthday Roger" with a dollar from Roger's pocket.
Roger and I ended up not sitting next to each other just due to set up of the table and the addition of new people.
But that was okay, I could stare at him from across the table.
I was totally in love.

Two weeks before the accident, we went to the beach with Holly and Scott to celebrate Roger's birthday, their trash the dress photo shoot, and just hang out.
I brought a "very homemade" Publix cake to celebrate.
Roger looked great.
He had cut his hair in honor of his birthday.
It was an amazing weekend. We spent time at the pool, had amazing seafood, had beachside ice cream, long walks on the beach, and just lots of fun.
We had (and I still do) amazing friends.

Life was good.
Life was actually absolutely amazing.
Life was going so well.
I remember the night before the accident just being incredibly happy with our life.
I was examining my life since we were reaching our six month wedding anniversary.
And although I may have some regrets about not remembering exactly what shirt he was wearing or what exactly we were talking about right when the accident happened, I have no regrets about our relationship.
Just more time would have been nice.

Roger was on top.
The exact way anyone wants to die.
And for that, I'm so grateful.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Chinese Voodoo

So if Roger gets the "She came in the middle of the night" thing about our first night as "dating" then I get "Roger was using Chinese Voodoo."

When I first read Roger's Match profile online, he mentioned how much he liked martial arts and specifically qigong.
I thought "Great... A guy who likes to fight for fun."
So it was a bit of turn off at first. And maybe a little dorky.
But it was his thing and everyone needs their own things.

I even tried qigong a few times.
As Roger was a man of many hobbies and talents, he was an instructor of qigong for a small group in downtown Orlando.
He taught this group about once a week.
Roger begged me to at least try it.
And being the coolest girl-I-am-seeing, I went along a few times.

Specifically, I think I went twice.
First time as an introduction and second just to make sure that I, to put it nicely, hated it.
It just was not my thing.
It was Roger's thing.

Part of Roger's qigong practice was his meditation habit.
He tried to do it a few times a week.
He even had a set up in his bedroom at his house and a whole corner of his bonus room upstairs in this house.
And during the fall months he had a specific longer meditation he was suppose to do every night for ninety days.
Yes 90 nights for 90 minutes.

The year we met was the first year Roger was doing this specific meditation during the months we met and started talking.
It was specifically designed for him by his instructor.
It was to be done during this specific time of year with specific mantras.
He called it his balance of elements and I called it his Chinese voodoo.
In the most loving teasing way.

Of course, I said it was why I fell for him.
Not because he was suave and charming and handsome.
All because of his Chinese voodoo.
My theory was that he somehow tricked me to him.
I theorized his meditation mentioned me and it drew me into him.
I was under his spell.

Yep, I was totally under his spell.
But I think it was because we did balance each other.
He was my ying and I was his yang.
Not because of silly Chinese voodoo.
Of course, I won't tell him that.
If he asks, it was his Chinese voodoo all the way.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

"She came in the middle of the night"

Today I was driving over to the rental house to do a landlord task (Boy oh boy, do I just love being a landlord. And for the record, I had a goal to own property before I turned 30, but not two properties).
The rental house was our first home together for about two months before we bought my current house. And before I was a part of Roger's life, it was his first house.
Like every part of every day, driving over there reminded me of a million memories of the many rides to that house - Roger's house. I was specifically reminded of the first time I drove over there.

There are two versions of the night when Roger and I stopped being just friends and started dating.
Mine of course is right and Roger's of course is wrong.
And since he is no longer here, I get to tell my version. I will add some parts of his but I will let you know where he was wrong.

Roger and I talked online everyday as I have mentioned.
It started almost immediately after our first meeting and stopped the day before the accident. So almost three years of almost daily conversations via IM. Sometimes we even IMed at home from across the house or jokingly across the sides of the sofa.
During the first two months of our friendship, we talked a lot about ourselves, the daily grind, and the people we were seeing.
Roger was seeing this really young girl and I was seeing a roommate of a friend of mine.

On this day in the turning point in our relationship, I had been in an all day work meeting with no internet access and thus no access to Roger.
Immediately after work, I met up with friends, including the guy I was seeing, at a bar to watch Monday night football and have dinner.
This bar happened to be on the East side of town.
As I left the bar, with a quick peck with that roommate guy, I started thinking about Roger. Bad sign (at least for the roommate guy).
I missed Roger.
I missed talking with Roger.
Roger lived on the East side of town.
I was on the East side of town.
So I just called Roger up to see if he was home.
My excuse, I wanted to see his house since I was on his side of town. He had been offering me to see it constantly as part of his incessant flirting.
Now, when I say his side of town, I should admit that I was probably about twenty minutes from Roger's house. Not exactly "in the neighborhood."

Roger did not pick up the first time. "Okay, I'll try again."
I anxiously called again at the point of the route where I would need to turn.
Roger answered.
He was extremely surprised and excited and I'm sure racing around his house to clean up.
He gave me directions about half way to his house since I could not drive and write down directions simutaneously.
Roger would say, it was the middle of the night.
It was not the middle of the night.
It was about 9pm. The middle of the night would have been midnight. It was not midnight.

I got to the gate to his community.
I could not get the gate open with the code he gave me.
I was about to turn around and go home.
"Maybe it was not meant to be" ran through my head.
I called Roger again.
He told me "Stay right there. I'm coming to get you."

And boy did he get me.
He pretty much stole me.
And I think I got him. He did not even eat dinner that night. It sat wasted in the oven.
I knew that I liked Roger more than just friends after a gentle kiss.
What I called a kissing lesson and he begged to differ.
He was a good kisser. I can't agrue with that but at least I liked to give him a hard time about it.

Everytime we told this story to people, Roger always would point out "She came in the middle of the night" and I would say "No way." And it became just a part of our story.
Sometimes he would say it just randomly as we were driving in the car.
Sometimes he would say it to break the tension during a fight.

And dear, it was not the middle of the night. Although I guess I can let you have that. For today.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


I am finally home after a little vacation time.
It was nice to have a vacation. Some time out in the sun and in the sea.
To be out of Orlando, out of this house, out of the normal routine for me, and away from the stack of work I have to do around here.
But it was also nice to return home. The cats were grateful to see me.
To be back in Orlando, back in this house, back to the normal routine for me, and back to the stack of work to do around here.

The part of my vacation that was spent in Miami was more difficult than I thought though.
I am quite unpredictable to myself. Which Roger would laugh at since I like everything to be planned.
There were just so many memories. So many stories both funny and sad.
So many people's faces to look into. To see to the depths of their souls. To see a little bit of their pain.
So many people who loved Roger and I know I am a reminder.

The one person that I know I remind the most is Roger's mom.
Looking at her just hurts me. It shakes me to my core.
He is Rogelito (Little Rogelio) to her.
I know she is in pain.
She has lost so much too. She lost her only son. Her youngest child.
She is a widow too.
She lost her husband in a car accident almost seven years ago.
She is such a lovely woman who does not deserve this.
How unfair for her to relive this type of grief again.
How unfair for her to watch as her sisters become grandparents and she will not see grandchildren from Roger. I caught her watching me as I was holding one of the cousins' babies. I could see how she wanted that from Roger and me. She wanted this before Roger died and I am sure there is new pain since he is gone. She even prayed for the pitter patter of feet during Thanksgiving 2007. The summer before last she joked about practicing with one of Eddy's kids.

This morning she made me Cuban coffee as usual and we sat down to drink our coffee together. It is a little ritual that started one of the first few times I visited. Most of the time it was alone but sometimes Roger would be there as well.
For a woman who says she does not speak much English, we can have a pretty decent conversation.
For forty-five minutes, we talked about my plans for the houses, for work, and for my future.
Before I left, I saw some tears roll down her face as we talked about the accident and the trip up to Orlando that day.
I know it pains her that did not see him on his 34th birthday.
I know it pains her that we had not visited for a while.
And I could feel her a little worried as I drove away this morning.

The good thing after this weekend is how she still claims me as her daughter.
How all of his family still claims me as a cousin, niece, sister, or whatever.
It is such an honor to me. It was one of my deepest fears when Roger first died that I might lose them.
I know I will always be part of his family which is now my family.
Rogelito gave me the best gift with his family.
For that I am very grateful.
Eternally grateful.

So Mr. New Husband, wherever you are, you better start getting geared up for Rogelito's Cuban family and what they mean to me.
My Cuban family is the best!

Friday, January 2, 2009


I really thought I knew how the holidays and the last few days would have been for me.
But its a good thing I do not work for an astrologer. I would have been fired.
I thought I would be inconsolable for Christmas.
Wrong! I was mostly okay. Yes, I was sad. But I found myself able to enjoy the day. I was able to enjoy my friends. I was able to have fun.
I thought I would be excited about New Years.
Wrong!! I was incredibly sad. I cried all day about various things and at various times. I still find myself crying a lot.
Even during a massage, I found tears falling off my face.
I thought I would be excited about my vacation starting today.
Wrong!!! I'm so scared. Will I be happy enough? Will I ruin other people's time?

When I told my counselor I was going on a cruise for a friend's 30th birthday, she was excited. More than I have been.
I need a vacation. I need to get away. She wanted me to enjoy myself a little. Relax a little.
She said it was good timing. It would give me something to look forward to as the holidays went past.
And she was right. I was looking forward to it. And it did help me get through the holidays. At least until New Years was upon me.

Since August, people keep asking me "So what do you do all day?" as in "Geez, you aren't working so what in the world to you do to keep busy?"
The funny thing is this has been like a job.
There are things to do for the accident, there are things to do for all the life insurances, things for the auto insurances, things for health insurance, things for my quitting of my job, and there are forms for this and that and for everything in between.
I am not just sitting around having fun.
Yes, it is not a normal job. And yes I do get to have lunch with friends a lot and sleep in but its not all fun and games. Its not even a little fun and games.

And now, as I am about to go on vacation, I am scared.
I hate being Debbie Downer.
I do not want to be the sad girl like I am feeling a few hours beforehand.
I hate ruining other people's days especially birthdays.
This weekend is not about me. I do not want it to be focused on me.
And then there are the strangers.
It is so scary meeting and hanging out with strangers.

Yet, I'm trying to say positive and remember who knows what the next few hours will be like.
God knows, my mood and emotions may change in the next few hours and days.