Tuesday, March 31, 2009


I went to Australia Christmas 2004 and stayed till after New Year's 2005.
It was a great trip.   The people. The weather. Just enjoyable.
I went alone. 
I learned a lot about myself.
It was also the beginning of me realizing I could not be a traveling consultant anymore.  
I realized being a consultant was bad for my morality.
It was bad for my mental health.
It was making me vulnerable and I was making bad life decisions.  

While I was there, I bought a boomerang.
I think everyone who visits Australia buys one or two or three.
They are absolutely everywhere at every price range.  
My friends who went there on their honeymoon have one too.
It is like a requirement to bring a boomerang home.

When I moved in with Roger, we hung mine in our bedroom.
It was right over the door.
Since boomerangs always come back, we wanted to always come back together in our bedroom.
We may have our separate lives during the day at work, with friends, having our hobbies, but at the end of the day, we return together back to the bedroom.  

When we moved into "our house", we placed it again above the bedroom door.  
And even when I painted the room in January, I put it right back up.  
Maybe because I really wanted Roger to return.
To come home.
To come back to the bedroom.
God knows I miss him there.

Last night, the boomerang fell.
Not sure why.
Not sure how.
But it fell off the wall and was resting right behind the door.
It was slightly scary hearing something behind the door as I opened it as I was getting ready for bed.

Geez, why?
Why did it have to fall?
I tried to put it back up without a ladder or chair but it was not happening.
So I just threw it back on the ground.
Fine, just stay on the floor.

I guess I will put it back up.
Maybe it needs a new room.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Most people would be excited...

... about officially owning a new house.
But it is not quite that feeling for me.
It is quite odd for me actually.

Today I received the paperwork officially declaring me the owner of Roger's other house.
I keep thinking how ironic this is.
How I always called it "Roger's house" and now it is mine.
Another one of Roger's jokes on me.
How I wanted "our house" and did not accept his house as ours. 
Yet now I have inherited Roger's house I rejected two years ago.  

It does not feel good to own another house.
It does not even feel okay.
It feels unfair.
It feels unsatisfying.  

I will be thirty years old next year.
And I will own two houses.
But single.
I always had a couple of sayings about being thirty.
First, I wanted to own a house.  
Goal done, two fold.
Second, not to be divorced.
Goal done as well yet still single against my will.

But meeting these goals does not feel good.
They do not make me feel better about myself like most goals do.

I would rather have my husband than another house.  
Sigh...  I do love that palm tree in the front yard.
Maybe I can be happy about owning that.  

So yay, I own a beautiful palm tree.  
The tree I would look at while showering.  

Life is unfair.  

Bang Bang

As I have previously mentioned, Roger and I shared the same hair person.
Okay okay, yes she is a actually a hair stylist.
Yes, Roger had a hair stylist.
But he was very comfortable with this decision and had no qualms about it.  
And neither did I until someone questioned it later.  
But who does not like a nice good hair cut.
He still did not pay as much as me even when his hair was longer.
Damn him.

At the end of July, I decided to change my hair.
And instead of going to our hair stylist, I did it myself.
Which I knew I should not have but I did it anyway.
I cut bangs.
On myself.
Which is a pretty dangerous thing to do on my own but...
And I knew it was slightly a mistake.

Roger being Roger actually tattled on me.  
He went to get his hair cut for his birthday in August 7th and told her.
He told her I messed up my hair.
And yes the bangs did not turn out great but I was looking for something new.
Roger told me he told her and then he told me that she wanted me to come in to fix it.  
Yeah right.  I know the games we would play with our hair stylist.
I am sure it was his idea but he said it was her idea.
God knows I would probably would have not listened to him otherwise.  

The night before the accident (ugh, there is that time measurement again), I had our hair stylist fix my bangs.
I have kept them since the accident.
I am pretty happy with them most of the time.
Some people say they make me look younger.  

And then...
A few days ago, I realized another reason Roger told on me.
He hates bangs.
He does not like girls who have bangs.
He told me this when we first started dating.
So maybe this is why he told our hair stylist I had messed up my hair.
Maybe to him just having bangs was messing up my hair.
Silly boy.

Well dear, sorry.
I am keeping them for now.  
I like them.
You will just have to deal. 

Sunday, March 29, 2009

I miss you!

My childhood friend, Andrea, came to visit me over the last few days.
I have not seen her in 2.5 years and I had not met her children yet. 
She and her family live in Africa as missionaries working on AIDS education for the Zambian population.
I admire her greatly.
I could not live the life she does.
And maybe she is thankful she does not live mine.
Who knows.

She is a wonderful mother.  
She is a wonderful wife.  
She has two children who are so well parented.  
Ireen who is four and Ian who is fourteen months are just adorable.  

Roger only met Andrea once.  
But I wish so much he could have been here this weekend.
To get to know her more.
To get to know that part of my life more.  
To enjoy the weekend with me.
It makes me so sad that two of the most important people in my life did not know each other well.

I had a few friends over on Saturday night to meet Andrea and her kids.
For two reasons really.
I wanted Andrea to meet my friends who have helped me over the last few months.  
I wanted her to know my life.
But I also wanted my friends to know Andrea.  
To know a little more of my past.
Past, meet present. 

And as I watched Ireen play in my yard being chased by my guy friends.  
As Andrea and I chatted with the women.
As I put together a meal and fed the important people of my life.
As we were all enjoying a nice Florida spring evening.  
I felt tears start to grow.
One very important person was missing.
One person who would be enjoying this moment with me and as much as me.
I felt a huge deep crater inside.  

I miss Roger so much.
I miss hosting parties together.
I miss enjoying our friends together.
I miss enjoying life together.

I miss you dear.  
I miss you greatly.

For what's worth...

Last week I went to church.
Yes, I know people have said they would go with me but it means I would have to ask.
It means I would have to arrange the details of meeting up.
It means I would have to ask for help.
And what if at the last minute I decide to not go.
So I went alone.
It is easier logistically even if it is not emotionally.

I glanced around at all the other hundreds of people.
Not many people go to church alone.
Most are there with their husbands.
Or wives.
Or kids.
Or families.
Or boyfriends.
Or girlfriends.
Or maybe just friends.
Not me.  
I was there alone.

A lady sat next to me who was also alone.
She had on a wedding ring.
So she was just alone for whatever reason.
Her husband was probably just at home.
Mine is just dead.

The priest was taking about a speaker he had seen at a conference.
The speaker asked the audience who wanted a twenty dollar bill he was holding up.
Of course everyone wanted it.
The speaker crumbled it up.
Then he asked the audience who wanted it.
Everyone still wanted it.
Then the speaker took the twenty and stomped on it a few times.  
He asked the audience who still wanted the twenty dollar bill.
Everyone still wanted the twenty dollar bill.
The speaker and the priest's point was that the twenty dollar bill never lost its worth.  
No matter how beaten and torn and dirty, the twenty dollar bill was still worth twenty dollars. 

I started to cry.
I feel beaten.
I feel torn.
I feel bruised.
I am probably dirty.
But I am still worth the same as I was on August 21st.  

I am a great person.
I am still worth everything.  
I still deserve the best.  
No matter what I feel like.   
I still deserve to fall in love again.
To be another man's wife.  

Thursday, March 26, 2009

It's magic

Roger loved wizards.
I used to find them all over the house.  
In various sizes.
He just had this fascination with magic and wizardry.

Well, one year we got this education booklet from one of the local workshop places.
They offered classes in typing, Spanish, English, sewing, and one class that caught Roger's eye - magic.
It was a one night three hour session and the small tuition fee included all the supplies that he would need.
It was relatively inexpensive so Roger signed up.
He was so excited.
He was going to learn some tricks.
Maybe he could do it at parties.
He was like a little kid.
So very excited.

So he arrived at the class.
It was a small group of students.
And, much to Roger's surprise, he was the oldest one there.
And not by just ten years like he was used to at the university.
But by like twenty years or more.

There was a mentally challenged boy there who was maybe twelve.
A five year old.
A ten year old.
And Roger.

And the supplies, well... there were not exactly what Roger was expecting either.
They included three styrofoam cups, three multicolored balls, a deck of cards, and a scarf.

Needless to say Roger was a bit disappointed and felt a little lead on.
He attended the whole class and learned his few tricks.
He showed me some of them that now I can not remember.

However, I think I laughed so hard just imagining a thirty some year old man sitting in a classroom learning magic tricks with small elementary age kids.  
It still makes me smile. 
A man of many talents.

Measuring time

Measuring time is something everyone does.
"Two weeks ago"
"Last year"
"Before I was married"
"When I lived in Virginia"

However, I have a new measure.
Not one I am sure I like.
It is kinda disturbing.
But it is "Before the accident".
Or the alternative "After the accident".

I find I do it in counseling.
"I was afraid of disappointment before the accident."
I do it when talking with friends.
"I haven't been to PF Changs since before the accident."
"After the accident, I lost 30 pounds."
I do it all the time.

It is like a line in the sand.
It is like a wall in between one life and a totally different part of life.
Or even between old life and new life.

The weirder thing is I cannot remember things directly before or after that line or that wall.
It is like the wall is casting a shadow on those parts directly near it.  

Right before the accident, I had a friend at work who was quitting her job.
I saw someone a few days ago that looked like her and I remembered that I never got to say goodbye to her.
Or maybe I did.
I do not remember.  

And there are parts after the accident that I can not recall. 
Like what days people came to see me.  
What day was which unless it has to do with Roger's demise.  

Of course the parts after the accident I do actually remember are forever ingrained in my head.
They will not go away.
But there are so many things I do not remember.
That other people have filled in the gaps for.

I also find that I know exactly how many months or half months it has been since the accident.
Right now, I am currently at seven months and a few days.
And I use that as a comparison measure.
So a friend of mine tells me how she has been dating this guy for eight months, I can quickly correct her and say "No, because you started dating after the accident so it has been less than seven months."

I do not like this new measure.
But it is there.
It is here.
And it does not go away.
Maybe I should just start referring to it as "August."  
That sounds much more pleasant.
And less intimidating.  


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

My Guy Friends

I have an amazing set of guy friends. And several of them.
I can think of almost a dozen.
Not that my girl friends are not just as amazing because they are.

I have always had lots of guy friends.
I tend to get along better with boys.
My friend Siobhan would say it is because I have a partial male brain.  

These guys have just been amazing though.
So many of them will just drop whatever they are doing to come help me.
From fixing the now sold motorcycle, helping me finish the aquarium stand [I think it has been touched by all my guy friends], letting me borrow their truck, fixing my toilet (several times now), hanging curtains, taking me to dinner or breakfast or even making me food, to building Ikea furniture and probably a zillion other things I am forgetting.

I am just humbled by their generosity.  
Why do they continue to take care of me?  
What did I do to deserve such amazing friends?  
It is just so awesome to have them around me.
To know they care.  
To know all I have to do is call which is usually the hardest part for me.    

Sometimes it feels like they are the hands and eyes of Roger.
Not that they replace him.
No one ever will.
But they help fill in.  
They help get me through.  

These guys are just so kind to me.
I wish I could pay them all back somehow in more than words.
To let them know how much I truly appreciate absolutely everything.
I am very thankful.
Very thankful for everyone.  

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Motorcycle is sold

My dear Roger on his bike after we bought it in 2006.

I am still in shock it is really gone.  
For real, it is really gone.
No longer sitting all lonely in my garage.

First I had to wait to get the proper paperwork.  Got to love the court system and lawyers.
Then when I tried to start it the first time - nada.
And through two very generous friends with their time, knowledge, and some weird techy looking stuff, they got it running better than ever [Thank you both for helping me so much with it.  And protecting me from bad people trying to rip me off].
The battery just needed to be charged and the gas cleaned out.  
It ran so beautifully.
Better than even before.

And I knew I would be a little sad when it went.
I knew it would feel like a little more of Roger was leaving the house.
A little more of him was being erased.

I cried the first time Sean started it.
And although I did not cry as it was being put onto a back of a truck, I wanted to.
But since it was a stranger loading it I couldn't.  But I could see the above picture in head.  Roger was so excited about owning a motorcycle.  
And I knew this new owner would love it like Roger did.
I did not cry a drop.
Till now.
Till looking at that photo.

This new owner was super excited.
He called me all day today.
Checking to make sure it was not sold.
Letting me know each step of the way.
"I got the money."
"My wife is going home to get the truck."
"I am meeting my wife at 5:30 with the truck."
"I am on this and this road."
"It is still there, right?"

I also sold the riding jacket and the gloves and the helmet.  
More stuff gone.
More of Roger's stuff gone.  

I am sure tomorrow as I come home and the garage is empty it will hit me.
I will realize it is truly not here.
Roger is not here.
More of his stuff is not here.
A little more evidence of his life is gone.


Monday, March 23, 2009

Disbelief again

It is a weird thing to be in disbelief.
I wonder how that I can be.
It has been seven months at the end of this week.
I should know by now.
It should be undeniably part of me.
It should be etched in my heart forever but for some reason it is not.
There are still moments that I forget.
I am not even sure if "forget" is the right word.
I guess unfathomable is a better word.

Last night as I was trying to fall asleep at 2am, I remembered the nights Roger would meditate before going to sleep and I would curl up next to him as he did.
I am not much of an all-night snuggler but I knew he would not meditate all night either.
He would sit at the head of the bed with his legs crossed.
And I would curl around his legs.
I miss that.
As much as it annoyed me at the time since it was not our regular snuggle position, I miss it.
I miss being annoyed.

Sometimes I hear the house settling near the bonus room and for a split microsecond, I think it is Roger upstairs.
Maybe he is meditating there or Tai Chi or maybe just working out.
Maybe it is the cats. He would let the cats come with him and they would be bouncing around the room.
They love that room.
And I think he loved having them follow him.

Then, like I have wrote about before, the whole getting ready process in the morning just sucks.
This morning I had to get up super early at the same time I did for work.
Yes it is easier without him.
Yes it is more convenient without him.
I no longer have to worry about waking Roger up or anyone for that matter.
Just the cats and they will patiently wait for me to open the door to feed them most of the time unless I start taking way too long.
I no longer have to worry about letting too much light into the bedroom from the bathroom.
I no longer have to grab my underwear and bra from the drawer in the dark and being super quiet.
Not that Roger ever asked these things of me.
Actually he did not care.
He could sleep through it and he needed to get up soon after anyway.
But I was being considerate.
And I miss that.
I miss having to be considerate.

I still feel like one day I am going to come home and he is going to be there.
He is going to be in the garage working on the aquarium stand.
Or he is going to be organizing the garage.
Or maybe he will be inside in his office.
But I am only greeted by the cats.
Which is nice.
They are great cats.

Then I think about the unimaginable.
Dating as a widow.
I can not believe I have to do that whole process again.
To start at square one.
I am in disbelief that I will have to do it all again.
The person who did it all right.
Me, the person who waited till I was truly ready for marriage.
Me, the person who picked the right person and did so much work to plan the perfect wedding.
Me, the person who worked through our (mostly my) issues and got to the ultimate intimate level with someone.
Me, someone who trusted someone else completely.
Just how did I lose it all?

It is just unbelievable.
I still feel the question of "Why me?" dwelling inside me.
And if I just close my eyes hard enough or sleep long enough or go away long enough, he'll be back.

Just completely and utterly at a loss that this is me.
That this is my life.
My cards.


Sunday, March 22, 2009

Required Education

Roger and I had this term called "required education."
We basically used it if we really wanted the other one to do something like see a particular movie.
For Roger, he was required to see "Garden State" and I was required to see a ton of comic book related movies.  
It was fine.
Neither of us made a big deal about it.
It was mostly us being silly as usual.

"Watchmen" was one of those movies that Roger had been counting down for a while.  
Roger had this website he went to and it would tell him the different countdowns to different comic related movies and TV shows.  
So when I first saw the trailer for it and the posters, I told myself that I would not see the movie under any circumstance.
Not at all.  

Because I knew that movie would have been required education.
And I refuse.
Roger can no longer tell me what I am required to do and what I am not required to do.
He lost that privilege.
He died and left me so he can no longer tell me what to do.
Never again buddy.

I am being a little bit of a rebellion.
I am pissed off.
Roger made me fall for him.
Roger made me fall in love with him with his damn Chinese voodoo.  
He broke down my walls and made me vulnerable.
He made me think I was set for life.
And then he fucking died and left me.

For those people who leave me and leave me randomly, I rebel against them.
Roger hurt me.
Roger broke my heart.
I never expected him of all the people to break my heart like this.
And for that, I will not see his stupid movie.  

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Car Organ Donation

A while ago, I wrote about how I see that stupid Acura RSX everywhere.  
A car that is not even made new anymore.  
A car that was discontinued in 2006.
It still happens almost every single day but I took someone's advice and if I start to see it I look away.
But they are everywhere.
Just driving around.
And sometimes it seems they follow me around.

Well, a few weeks ago, a friend of mine who drives one [yes, I have a friend who drives one and I am not even counting hers when I see it] needed a new seatbelt system.
Her husband mentioned getting one from a junk yard.

I started thinking about that a few days ago.
Roger donated his organs to help save five people's lives.  
Why wouldn't his car do the same?
He took good care of his car so there would be lots of parts available on the passenger side.  
I do not think much of the engine could be salvaged but I could be wrong.
I probably am wrong especially with my very limited car knowledge.  

So maybe that is why there are suddenly like five million more Acuras on the road.
Maybe they all needed parts and Roger's car helped save them.
Maybe that is why I find them parked in front of me.
Maybe that is why I find them cutting me off in traffic.
Maybe just maybe.

The Martha Complex

I have a secret addiction.
At least it was a secret until now.
I love Martha Stewart.
Like absolutely adore her.
I record her show everyday.
I have some of her books.
I may be slightly obsessed.

I really would love to be like her.
She can turn a paper plate into a beautiful lamp shade.
She can whip up a fantastic healthy meal in five minutes.
She can decorate a cupcake to look like Santa.
She can make dandelions look like a $500 bouquet.
I love her.
I would love to live like her everyday and have my house look like hers everyday.

But I cannot unfortunately.
However, I do strive for perfection all the time.
I admit I am a perfectionist.
It is part of the whole control thing.
I want to be the best career person, homemaker, cook, cleaner, balanced, host, friend, healthy, and beautiful person.
And I want to do it all the time.

This did come up in our pre-marital counseling.
I was scared of being a bad wife.
Of not being June Cleaver or Martha Stewart.
I actually even cried about it.
But Roger was so accepting.
He was so reassuring.
So flexible and able to go with the flow.

Outside of counseling, he would say to me, "You are perfect for me."
And I would respond, "Yes, I am perfect" jokingly.
But in reality, Roger was perfect for me.
He was exactly what I needed.
He was like Martha.
And I miss my Martha.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

"What is that light?"

As I mentioned previously, I was not left alone the first two weeks or so when Roger first passed away.
And for the first week, I did not sleep alone.
Between Holly and Cecilia, someone was with me.
It was nice.
It felt less alone.

However, the first night, Holly had one question- "What the hell is that light?"
I had to laugh and giggle.
The first night I ever stayed with Roger, I asked the same question.

Roger was a little geeky.  
Roger had this thing that reacts to sound.
It sits on a bookshelf in the bedroom.
It plugs in and it is a clear plastic ball on top of a base.
It lights up.
It reacts to the TV.
It reacts to human voice.
It will light up most of the room.

It will also react to human touch with small little arches toward the fingers.
It is pretty cool.
I have used it at night when walking into a pitch black bedroom.

And now, it is still plugged in.
Still sitting on that bookshelf.
I still smile as it lights up along with the TV.
As I sing a little song to get back to bed.
Or as a good friend and I giggle in my bed.

I can't imagine unplugging it.
I do not want the light to go out.
I do not want the light to go out in my room or the spark to go away.
Please do not go away.  

Some of my photos

A few weeks ago, I bought a new camera.
A cool fancy schmancy one.  
I love it and its just so much fun.
It is also just so rewarding to have something that turns out good.  
Something I can sorta kinda control.
At least I will be able to control it in the future when I experiment more.

But here are some of my photos.  
Don't judge too harshly.  


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Crappy day returns

I knew it had to end.
I knew it would be sooner than I wanted.
And two weeks of riding the wave of feeling good ended yesterday.

The most frustrating part is I could not control it.
I am still struggling tremendously with this inability to control my emotions (and life) and dealing with the fact that I cannot control them.

The day started out with not being able to get out of bed.
I just could not.
I felt just so mentally and physically exhausted.
I slept on and off until 10am.
But the bad part is that I have not been sleeping well for a few nights in a row now.
Some nights related to just staying up late and some nights related to the inability to get sleepy enough to actually fall asleep.
And of course, several studies have been done to prove that sleep is related to mood and irritation level.
In my own little study of sleeping five to six hours a night repeatedly and waking up randomly throughout the night, I have to concur.

The next frustrating and I-want-to-cry event was shopping at Target.
Seriously, I should want to cry over this.
And I know logically this was not a big deal.
But grief is not always logical if ever.
My Target is being remodeled.
So nothing is in the normal place.
And I just wanted a cute St. Patty's day shirt to wear.
But for some reason the women's clothing section was the size of a pea.
And I just could not fathom not having a green t-shirt to wear.
And I especially could not fathom that my Target was not complying with me.
Again, not logical.

After lunch, I went to class.
Not a big deal.
However, I did not do my reading homework.
I felt so ill-prepared.
I also discovered I am eight points away from the perfect score.
Now if I was logical, I would be ecstatic about this.
But yesterday, I was not logical.
I kept focusing on the fact I was not perfect.
That I had screwed up. And eight points out of 208.
This would not bother a normal person.
I am not normal. At least not yesterday.

Last night, I went to a friend's house for a St. Patty's day celebration.
One that I suggested and so I felt obliged to go.
I left my house and realized as I was driving that I did not even know where the party was. I knew the general location but not the address nor had I mapped it. I got the directions from Jody but I felt more annoyed with myself.

And I needed to get sides which I could not even think of.
Sides for a BBQ... now I can think of about twenty but yesterday I could think of none.
Then there were the logistics of getting to his house.
First, I needed to pick up a cooler that I left at another friend's house. However, they live in two very different neighborhoods and very different neighborhoods from me.
I also left right as everyone was going home from work.
I hit every traffic light as it turned red.
I just felt like I could not get there.
I also still needed those damn sides.
I was trying to figure out which grocery store would be the most logical.
I remembered there was a Publix near where I was picking up the cooler.

This is not the cool Publix with the cool deli section.
They do not have the possible side section in their deli.
I stood in the deli section just staring.
Perhaps trying to conjure up this deli section.
I was panicking as I was trying to figure out what to do instead.
I picked up some cold salad type things but I felt deflated.
This is not what I wanted to bring. I wanted to be a cool guest with cool sides.

So I thought "Hey, I'll bring those infamous extremely frosted shortbread cookies."
Everyone loves them.
They are fabulous.
So I headed to the bakery section.
Disappointment again!
I think I circled the bakery about six times trying to locate them or make them magically appear.
"Maybe I should go to another Publix."
But I felt like I had already wasted so much time.
So the deflated me left with my annoying sides and chocolate chips cookies.

I picked up the cooler and then realized I was not sure how to get to the party location in the shortest most direct way. I also forgot to ask my friend Sean.
It was rush hour and I was not sure which way would have the least amount of traffic.

I choose wrong.
I went to a semi-big roadway and again got stopped at every single traffic light.
And every slow driver in Orlando decided to drive in the left lane.
Below the speed limit.

Finally at the party I arrived.
I drank a Heineken (Roger's beer of choice) and thankfully was surrounded by good friends to help me forget the day.

However, now I feel like I am in neutral.
Neither good nor bad.
Just blah.
Just here.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Supplemental therapy

As I have expressed, I have been feeling pretty damn good lately.  
It is still scaring me but I am trying to ride this wave for as long as I can.
I need this.
I need this high.
I need this relief.
I need this fresh air.
I need every second of this.

Today I tried to ride it even a little longer and a little further.
A friend of mine from high school is here and he wanted to go to Disney.
So we headed out to Animal Kingdom after I got out of class.

It was a great theme park day.  Not too hot and the lines were not awful.
Although the park was packed (What recession?), we got to do one of the roller coasters, Expedition Everest, twice.
It is my most favorite roller coaster.
It is probably my most favorite roller coaster in Orlando.

The last time I rode it of course was with Roger.
We went the first year they opened this new ride.
It goes backwards and forwards.
In and out of darkness.
It is just the best.
And very smooth.  

I could remember the time we visited this park last.
But I did not cry.
Instead, I just could remember and smile.

Today, the first time we rode the coaster, my friend sat with me.
The second time, he rode with his other friend and I sat alone.
But that is okay.
I do not mind being alone.
I am alone a lot.
And I can survive a real live roller coaster ride alone.
I do it all day long mentally.

As I screamed and giggled and laughed at myself for being so scared, I just wanted to look over and see Roger.
I could almost feel him next to me.
I could almost feel our hands reaching for each others.
And instead of crying, I smiled.

The second course of therapy today involved a drive home, extreme tiredness, good friends, and some good music.
As the music was blaring, I found myself clapping, singing along, and dancing.  
I was smiling so hard.
It was great.  
It was a great ending to the session.  

Therapy was great today.
Even if untraditional.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Matthew Roger and Ethan Roger

Today was the baby shower in Miami for Roger and my cousins, Eddy & Vivianna.
This pregnancy was conceived shortly after Roger's death in September.
Eddy was the best man at our wedding.

Pretty much every time I am in Miami, I see Eddy and his family.
They live almost next door to his mom and sister.
And Eddy's wife, Vivianna and I have very similar family relations.
I love them.

They are also the most fertile people I know.
Pretty much the entire three years I have known them, they have been pregnant.
They will have four children under three.

In October, we learned Vivianna was not just pregnant, but pregnant with twins.
And then shortly after, we learned they were both boys.
Then over Christmas, they announced Roger would be the middle name of the boys.
Matthew Roger and Ethan Roger.

I was more than touched.
I know it really has nothing to do with me. So maybe I am touched on behalf of Roger.
But in one more way, in addition to the organ donation, Roger will go on.
He will fulfill his prophecy of living 200 years.

I already feel an attachment to these unborn children.
They are not even born and I want to hold them.
I want to share with them all about who Roger was.
What a great person they were named after.
How amazing he was and why he was the most fabulous husband ever.

As my gift to them, I gave them a savings bond.
I printed the explanation for them to read later.
As the guy at the bank said, a little pay it forward.

I can't wait to see these little boys.
And I can't wait to see them grow up.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Seven tee shirts

Roger loved tee shirts.
He had so many.
He had ones of superheroes, work related stuff, martial arts, and loads with lions on them.

Before I moved in with him, he got rid of three trash bags of clothes.
And probably 70% of the stuff he got rid of were of course tee shirts.  

How many tee shirts does one person need?

When Roger died, Grace helped me clean out our closet.
Some of my "research" said it was great to clean out the closet before the numbness wears off.
Before some weird attachment develops.
It also helps to really visualize that he is not coming back.  
That he is really gone.  Forever.

So we undertook the task of going through all his clothes.
Boy, did he have clothes.
I swear I think he had more clothes than me.  
I do not think he ever threw or gave much away (besides right before I moved in).
He had shirts from County Seat which has not been in existence for about fifteen years if not more.
He had shirts from Structure.
Work shirts from MediaOne which no longer exists.
Seriously old clothes.

The thing that surprised me however, which should not have, was the thirty-one tee shirts we sent with the Am Vets.  
Now, that would be surprising alone except I kept about ten and Grace kept about ten and we may have given some others away to other people.  
So really, he probably had fifty or more tee shirts.  
Why dude? Why?

Last night I was putting away some laundry and I was running out of my favorite hangers.
Yes I am weird and OCD about my clothes.  Just ask Holly about my laundry sorting system.  
And of the ten or so tee shirts I kept, I have worn about three.
One I paint in and in rebellion I wipe my dirty hands on Roger's tee shirt.  
Damn him for dying and making me do these things alone.  So that is my revenge.  
One says "I heart Star" which I find amusing to wear.
And one of his others that just reminds me of him.

So much to my surprise and just like the research said, I developed attachment to these shirts.
I could not put them in my running Goodwill pile.  Well, I put one in.  But only reluctantly.
And of the seven I have not worn, I kept two on the hangers: one he wore the night before he died and the other I really just like.  
The others... well,  I just gently folded up and put in another part of my closet.
I cannot even take them upstairs to Roger's box.  
And I really cannot give them away yet.  
But I know I'll never actually wear them.
Why continue to lie to myself and convince myself I will.  

So they will sit in my closet for now.  And maybe in a few months they will find a new home.
Just not now. Probably not even soon.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Endorphins laced with grief

I have not been exercising much lately.
I stopped right before Christmas due to the busy holiday schedule with my walking partner.
And I just have not had a chance to work it back in to my daily habit.
With school.
Cold Florida weather.
And just laziness I guess.

Then there was the whole part of not really wanting to do it alone.
I get bored.
It sucks.

Last week I started walking again.
The weather has been perfect.
Plus being on spring break from school, I have more time than I have over the last few months.

I also know exercising is good for me.  I want to lose about ten to fifteen more pounds.
And not only for my physical health, but it is good for feeling low and mental health.
Also since I have been feeling better, I would like to continue this high feeling.
To keep it going as long as possible.  It has been a week now.

The only thing is with this onset of endorphins flowing through my body, it is laced with grief.
Roger and I often walked together.
Especially in the evenings or after dinner.
We walked many of these streets around our new house to see other parts of our neighborhood to get to know our new life a little better.  
We walked to dinner some nights.
Or to the grocery store.  
We would talk a lot of course.
Getting to know each other even better.

We did the same at Roger's old neighborhood.
It is how we dreamed of this house.   
We walked around naming "our" ideal house.
So when we found this floor plan we were super excited.
It was perfect for us. 
It was our house.     

After we moved here, some days, Roger walked alone before I came home from work.
On the days, he worked from home and wanted to get some exercise in knowing either I did not want to exercise or I was already going to the gym.

Now, I walk alone.
And although the endorphins let me smile, I feel a little sad.
I hold my head high.  
But I cannot help but remember those many nights with dear.  
But now I walk alone.  

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

What to expect

When people are pregnant, they have that book "What to expect when expecting".
I have skimmed through it once when I bought it for family and it was the best birth control ever.
But the book outlines each day and each step.
The expecting mother can figure out what is happening in her body and what is going on in her baby.

There are also a checklists for planning a wedding.
Martha has one.
The knot.
Modern Bride.
They all are a little different but they give a planning bride at least a place to start.

But there is no book for grieving.
No book to tell people how they will feel at each month.
At each day.
At each step of the way.
Nothing to tell people what do to when.
How to do things.
What to avoid or anything.
What to expect.

It is all just "Do what you can when you can."
"If it feels good, then its okay."

But I hate that.
I want rules.
I want a "what to expect when grieving" book.
I want to know how to do things.
There is not even a good list of who to call immediately after. 
Or what not to do financially or legally.
What is normal.
What is not normal and when to call the doctor or a best friend.  

And the one person who I might ask or lean on, no where to be found.
Damn him.
Damn him.  

Monday, March 9, 2009

Roger's Lesson

It is 4:45am, August 22, 2008.
I am putting the last things into my luggage for our trip up to Virginia.
Roger is in the shower.
I can glance up and I can see him from my side of the bed as I am putting things into the luggage.
That guy in the shower is my husband.
Wow, I am actually married.
How cool is that!

Even cooler is that I am happy.
I am a happily married person.
And I love my husband.
Again, how cool is that!
The next day, we will have been married six whole months.
I like this married thing.
I really, really like this.

I smile as I hear my husband exit the shower.
He says to me "I must love you.  I just shaved upwards and I am awake at 4:30 am in the morning."
I smile even more.

I leave the bedroom to get the cats ready for our trip.
I feed them loads of food.
I meticulously clean the litter box.

Roger takes the stuff out to the car.
He carefully loads it all in.
He pulls the car out of the driveway so I can get in a little easier.

Standing in the driveway, I realize it is not raining for the first time all week.
Yay for no more rain.
I realize I forgot our love letters in the bedroom.
"Crap!  Oh well, I guess we will just read them on Monday."


Recently I realized one of Roger's lessons for me.
It was right in front of my face for a while now.
But I had not seen it until the last few weeks.

Roger had a theory about soul-mates.  
He proposed they were only in someone's life a limited amount of time.
They accomplished their specific lesson or goal and then they left.
Perhaps they moved away or perhaps they just were not as close as they used to be.
But they were a person's soulmate.  Male. Female. Old. Young.  All options were open.

And if Roger's theory is true.
And Roger had a lesson or two or three for me.
I think I found at least one of them.
I think he taught me that I could have a good marriage.
That marriage was not the enemy.

He also taught me that someone can know me on a very intimate level.
And they can know all about me.
They can understand all my buttons.
They can know why I have all my buttons.
But they love me enough even still.
And they love me enough not to push them on purpose.

And for that lesson(s) and the many others, I am thankful.
I am thankful to know that marriage is not the worst thing ever.
And there are people who will not love me and hurt me.

Thank you dear. 
Thank you for loving me.
Thank you for being part of my life.
Thank you for marrying me.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

I do not remember

It is quite a strange and weird experience to see pictures or videos from months ago.
I just do not remember those times or those experiences or sometimes those conversations.

Last night I was at my friends Deb and Sean's house.  
We were watching their wedding video back from November.
I can vividly remember how their wedding made me feel.
But when I saw myself in the video it was odd.
It was almost like this strange out of body experience.

It looks like me.
I remember wearing that dress.
I remember going to the wedding.
But I do not remember doing things I did at the wedding.

I also was talking about the funeral for some reason and I started thinking about that week.
Again, I remember the way I felt.
I remember the gut wrenching and just absolute loss.
But I can not remember specific people being there.
I can connect people to being there.
Like Stacy and Kendra must have been there because they came to the reception at the house.
The even weirder part of not remembering people is that I hugged most people twice.
Once when they came in and once as they left. 

But people will tell me they were there and I just do not remember it.
And I cannot really remember what songs were sung or what verses were read.
I vaguely remember picking them out but what we actually picked...

Then being at the funeral home.
I know who was with me because I have pieced it together but I do not really remember.

The even weirder part is I do not really remember several things back in August before the accident.  
Like we went to this grocery store closing.
We bought lots of taco seasoning (it can be very handy for cooking). 
I forgot about it for months.
I even bought more.
And when I brought it home, I was confused about the weird brand and the number of packets.

It is such a weird feeling.
Almost another level of not being able to control things.
I am not sure if I like it... 
But there are lots of things I do not like about the last few months...

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Property of Roger

I was not one of those brides that wore really sexy underwear under the wedding dress.
I was not traditional bride in many senses.  
First, I knew that it would be a really hot and sweaty day with all those layers and all that dancing.  I would be really gross and I was really gross.
Second, I am more practical than that.  I wanted to be comfortable as possible since I knew I would be nervous.  
One of my friends gave me good advice and said to take a shower after your wedding and before the wedding night "activities" so again no use for super sexy lingerie if I was just going to shower before activitying.  

So instead I had cute printed underwear for Roger.   
They were blue (one of my something blue for the day) and cotton and comfy.  

Roger wanted me to have something that said "Property of Roger" after the wedding.  
Just cause he was silly like that.  
Umm, yeah... no.  I do not think so.  
I was not nor am I nor will I be property of anyone.  
So even though that sounds cute for him.  I could not do it.

So instead, I had them printed to say "Roger's wife."
As he unzipped my dress after a wonderful and fabulous day, he saw them.
He thought they were cute.  
And I am sure his ego was a little more boosted.

I have not seen those panties since the accident.
I think they are in the bottom of my underwear basket but I am not sure.
And part of me does not want to find them.
And another part of me wants to put them with all the other wedding day memorabilia.  
And another part wants to wear them.

Of course I will always be Roger's wife.  
With or without the panties to prove it.
I am sure I will be referred to as that for many years to come.  
"Ya know Roger's wife, Star, is writing a book."
But I do not mind.
I loved and love being Roger's wife.  

Friday, March 6, 2009

"Drive Safely" Sign

Florida residents and Florida vacationers know the "Drive Safely" signs.
They just are posted along the Florida roadways to gently remind motorists to be a little more careful.  
Each one is placed by the families who have loved ones who died from accidents.

A few months ago, I wanted to get one for Roger.
I called the number my investigator gave me.
"We do not do those on that road."
Which I interpreted as they are not done on that road at all. 
I accepted it.
When I returned to work, I would have had to pass it each day.
I did not need/want a daily reminder what I already could not forget.
So I dropped it.

In recent months, I have seen these signs on that exact roadway.
And I quit my job.
I no longer would have the "opportunity" to pass the spot each day.
I re-read Roger's one and only blog entry about "Stupid Human Drivers."  
And I started to think that Roger would really be honored a lot by one of these signs.  
And if anything, if that stupid asshole bastard jerk driver went that way home from work, he would have to pass it each day.
He would have to be reminded of what he took from me and everyone else.  
He would at least see it in his peripheral vision.
At least someone in his car may look at it.  
At least he would be reminded that he was in an accident and he was the driver.  

I found out recently due to my investigator that they do certainly put those up there.  
So today I got the proper person to talk to.
And I just had to write a letter and she will take care of getting me a sign.  
It will give me some sort of some control of my situation.  

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Thank you!

I feel good again today.
Two whole days in a row.

Very small accomplishments again today but I must, as should everyone, celebrate the good things.
Like a 98 on a midterm.
Like playing with my camera.
Like getting the sign thing for Roger.  

But I want to give a public thank you to four people.
Four mental health professionals.
Because without their professional help and advice, I would not be where I am.
Not that my absolutely amazing unfailing support system is not as important. 
Because without them I would not be where I am either but...

First, Grace.
Roger's wonderful sister.
And now my wonderful sister.
We may have different parents but we are connected for life.  I was very lucky to get her as a sister-in-law and now sister.  
Minutes after the doctors told her of Roger's prognosis that fateful Wednesday morning after I heard twelve hours before, she looked at me and said "You have to get professional help to get through this."
As I sobbed, I promised I would.
Grace is a professional in this arena and she knew what it could do for me.
She continually puts my mental health first and prods me with her professional opinion.  
Thank you, Grace!  
I thank Roger everyday for bringing you into my life.

Second, Teri.
Teri helped me get into the UCF Psychology Clinic very quickly where I pay little to nothing for my weekly sessions.  
Teri has listened to me as a friend and as a someone who knows what she is talking about.
I feel like because of knowing Teri, I get VIP treatment.  And I continually tell myself that even though I am sure they are great about treating everyone very well.  
I am so glad we met in the most unusual circumstance and I thank you for being you.

Third, Erica.
Again, another friend who works in the mental health arena.  
Erica and I had not known each other very well before the accident but she has been an amazing friend.
She also prods me.  She also makes sure I am doing the things my counselor suggests.
She understands my bad days.
She listens to me.
She analyzes my behavior and can understand me when sometimes I do not understand myself.

Fourth, my counselor Danielle.
I do not think she reads this and I did tell her today in session but I know Teri can tell her.  
She is amazing.
She constantly reminds me that I am unique, I am normal for me, and helps me in all aspects of my life.
Roger would love her for getting me to do the meditation techniques he tried to teach me for three years.  
She gives me a container to say whatever I need to say, to feel however I am feeling, and is just very kind to me.  

And Danielle told me today I need to also look inward.  
So I am thankful that I am me.  
I am thankful that I can do this.  
No matter how much I do not want to.
No matter how much it hurts.
I can do this.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Upside of "Okay"

Today I was talking to my good friend Liz aka Mamie and she asked how my day was going.
My reply "okay."
It almost comes out automatically because I just can not say "good" yet.  
But then I realized, no wait.  Today, I am on the more positive side of okay.  Closer to "good" than normal.  
Hence I am on the upside of "okay" versus the normal side of "okay" or the downside of "okay."

And why am I on the upside of "okay"?  
First, it is March.
No longer February.
That in itself is a reason to celebrate.  

And then, March is a cool month because my friend, Andrea, of 18 years (whoa, that is a long time) is coming to see me in three weeks.
I will get to meet her kids and just spend some quality time with her.
I have not seen her since December of 2006.
I almost cannot sleep because I just cannot wait.

Third, my toilet is fixed.
Sounds like a small thing but this is the toilet in my master bedroom.  
Which when broken is majorly inconvenient.  
And I have had so many issues with this toilet in the last nine months.  
The most recently was my friend Holly and I broke the flush handle.  
I actually think it was more me than her.  
So today my friend Rusty came over after I was having issues with the instructions.  
I emailed him to ask what an left-handed nut was.  He asked the guys in his office. 
They had quite a few lewd answers except I guess what I meant to say was a nut that does not follow the rule of righty-tighty, lefty-loosey.  
It was fixed in about five minutes which made me feel like a maiden in undue distress.  

Fourth, I found a new OB/gyn. 
Again, not exactly let's-go-yell-from-the-rooftop news but a small feat in this crazy life of mine.
She actually talked to me before I stripped down.
And she wanted to know what else was going on in my life.
She did ask "Are you sexually active?"
Without thinking, I laughed out loud and answered, "Not unless you count last August."

Fifth, I got a 96 on my biology test.
I feel silly for being so excited but this professor is nuts.  
His tests are so much than regular memorization and recall.
He makes you do much more application type stuff on his tests.
I am currently ranked number 2 in his class.  Go me!

Then, there is the court thing.
I will not go into too many details since this is a public blog but I got my new subpoena for our second chance at justice.  
Here's to hoping it works out this time better than last time.

And the most exciting thing, I got my new camera.
This is my gift from Roger for my anniversary.
"Thanks dear, it is a fabulous gift!"
I do not plan on doing anything crazy, just as a hobby.
My annual calendars are going to be amazing this year.  

Now maybe in my "normal" life I would not be jumping up for joy but geez, I have to celebrate everything.
So I am.
Today I am feeling almost better than okay.  
(Notice, a slight shade of grey there. Another good thing that I can actually see grey.)

Slight day of relief again...     

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Fake or Real?

The thing about grief, or at least my grief, is that all my "rules" about life are shattered.
Everything I learned about how life worked and what happened in life in the first twenty-seven years of my life are gone.
They died the day Roger died.  
Karma? Yeah, that does not exist. 
Cars only get T-boned at intersections? Nope, not true.
Miracles will happen to good people? Nope, not true either.
Justice? Yeah, not the way I thought it worked.

So hence, I have become paranoid.
About everything.
Weird lump on my breast? It is probably cancer.
Gadget is not being social? She is probably dying.
Someone is helping me financially? They probably want money.
Someone is extra nice to me? They probably just feel sorry for me.

The worst part of this is I do not feel I can trust a lot of people.  Or even most people.
I observe people from all angles.
I stalk them on facebook, myspace, and in person.
I analyze their emails.  I watch them as they talk to me.
I re-read their texts.  
I watch them around other people.  
Do they treat me the same as them?
It is quite an exhausting chore.  

The other thing that is annoying is I feel some people are afraid to be "normal" to me.
They are afraid to make me cry.
They are afraid to hurt my feelings.
So instead they are not real with me.
Maybe they pretend to be my friend.
Or maybe they pretend to be interested in me and my well-being.
Or maybe they make promises they can not keep or do not intend to keep.
All because they are afraid of me.  

The worst of the paranoia is with people I think are my good friends.  
Or are they my good friends?
Are they sick of me?
Are they really there for me?
Or are they just afraid of me?
Do they get together behind my back and talk about me?
Are they just waiting for the opportunity to show their true feelings?
Did they just insert themselves in the drama and now are bored of it?  

For some people, I do believe that is true.
However, it is exhausting to figure out which are real and which are fake. 

Monday, March 2, 2009


I stopped watching regular television a few years ago.  
I only watch a few of the popular shows that other people watch.
Like I have never seen a full episode of American Idol, Desperate Housewives, Bones, Dexter, Lost, Survivor, and many others.

However now, I watch a lot of HGTV.
It is a safe channel for me.
There are very few shows that evoke a lot of emotions.
Not many people are dying on the show.
Not many people have sick love ones.
It is just nice and safe.

I watch it for hours.
Or at least have it on for background noise.
In the last six months, I have seen some episodes two and three times.
But that is okay.

Due to this channel, I have also done some things to my house. 
Like make my own headboard.
Paint my dining room and living room.
Hire someone to paint my kitchen, family room, master bedroom, and master bath.  
Curtains have been hung.
Sofas have been slip-covered.
Furniture has been re-arranged.
The walls now have things on the wall.

Now if Roger were here, he would jump in about now and say "She's been watching this channel even before I died."
But he is not here to argue that point.  
I did watch it before.
But not as much as I do now.

When Roger was around and we did happen to watch this channel together, we watched a lot of flipping houses shows.  
Especially the ones where people were flipping an investment house for the first time ever.
And it was like watching a train wreck for Roger.
He had a love/hate relationship with them.  Probably more of a hate/love thing.
He would hate to watch these people who know nothing about construction, time management, or budgeting make these stupid mistakes.  
He would tell them what a moron they were.
He would complain about how these people were the stupidest people ever.
But yet, he would not get up and walk away from the television.  

A few weeks ago, I found a new show on HGTV.
One Roger would have a new love/hate relationship with.
This new show at least admits these people have no idea what they are doing.
And they slightly make fun of the people on this show.
It is called Renovation Realities.  
It cracks me up.   
It cracks me up more to think of Roger's reaction.
First he would hate it, then he would be addicted like me.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Going to the movies

Roger and I went to the movies a lot.
We even did our first meeting at the movies - "Corpse Bride".
It was always a great date night for us.
It was simple yet entertaining and casual.  

We usually took turns picking movies.  
Some movies were "required education" though.
Like, I had to see "Incredible Hulk" and Roger had to see "Garden State."
We would tease each other about having to see these movies.
It was fun.  I did see some movies that I probably would never have seen otherwise and I liked them.
And I would like to think Roger saw some movies he enjoyed thanks to my odd taste in movies.  
I also had this habit that Roger would make fun of me for every time he caught me.  
I used to make a list during the previews.  So as movies came up that I wanted to see, I wrote them down.
Then I would go home and add them to my netflix account.  
I wanted to make sure I saw these movies.  
Roger would look over at me as I was trying to secretly write down the names and then he would laugh at me.
And sometimes he would gesture for me to write down one for him.
See, it is a handy habit.

And even when Roger was alive and well, I went to the movies alone.  
I would see those really cheesy chic flicks that I just did not want to subject my poor boyfriend/fiance/husband to like "27 dresses."  
Or if I was bored.
Or if I was just in the mood and Roger was busy.  
So it is not unusual for me to go alone.
I have been doing it for years even before Roger.

So appropriately yesterday, I went to a movie alone.
Six months from the hardest decision of my whole life (and I pray that it was the hardest decision of my life because I do not think I can ever do anything like that again), I was alone in a movie theatre.  
Eating my kid's pack.
See another movie most of the general public will hate.
And it was probably one of the few moments where I hated being at the movies alone.  
I just wanted someone to make fun of my list taking although I cannot bring myself to do it anymore.
I wanted someone to look at me during the sad parts to see if I was crying.  
I wanted to hold someone's hand.  
I wanted to share my skittles.  
But the seat next to me was empty.
On both sides.