Wednesday, January 27, 2010

It is Coming

Whether I like it or not, February is coming.
It is inching toward me.
I am nervous.
I am nervous I will return to last February.

On the actual day, I have class and volunteer hours.
Mr. X has class most of the day.
I am normally alone on Tuesdays...

I'm so so nervous.

As I have mentioned it is/would have been two years.
And that feels unbelievable.
How can that be true?!

It almost feels like I am watching a forecasted hurricane.
As most Floridians know, I have no idea what "it" is going to do.
Will it hit me hard with trees blowing and heavy rain?
Will it be mostly calm and pass by uneventfully?
Will I be well prepared or caught off guard?
Do I need some extra supplies?

Just wake me up later.
Like when it is March.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Our First and My Birthday

When Roger and I first met, it was two days before my twenty-fifth birthday.
But I already had plans.
Plans with another guy that I had just realized I liked.
And as many people know, right after that first meeting with Roger, I emailed Roger that I wanted to be "just friends".
It was a blow off and I figured I would never see Roger again.
Roger took it to heart and tried to be my friend.
"Just friends." Ha. Ha. Ha.

So a year later, we were dating.
Actually a little more than dating.
Roger had been threatening to propose since February 2006.
Yes, only about three months after we were officially dating.
I kept telling him not yet.
I was not sure I wanted to marry him.
Ha. Ha. Ha.

About seven weeks before our year meeting anniversary, I had given Roger permission to propose to me.
After a vacation together.
After I realized I had a pretty good traveling partner.

To celebrate our first anniversary of meeting each other and my birthday, we got a hotel at Disney World.
We stayed at one of the nicer resorts since we had a discount.
First thing we did was check out the pool.
And like mature adults, both of us became excited at the pool.
It had a water slide.

We quickly put on our swim suits.
Along with our eight year old counterparts, we ran up to the slide to wait our turn.
With huge smiles, we splashed into the pool.
Again. Again. And again.
It was quite humorous I am sure for the parents watching two grown adults running toward the slide along with their kids.
Waiting our turn.
And coming down as fast as we could.
Roger had the biggest smile plastered to his face.
It was so cute.
I was so proud.

It was a fantastic weekend.
He was my best friend.
More than just friends.
And there was no one I would have wanted to spend the day with.
Especially my birthday.
It was after that moment, I knew I wanted for sure to marry him.
Without a doubt.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Coming Home

Last night I was watching some television.
I knew in one form or another I would probably cry.
I mean, it's "Grey's Anatomy" and "Private Practice".
It is almost a given that something will make me cry.
Something happy or sad or sweet or whatever but I almost always cry.
This even occurred before "everything" happened.

Last night on "Private Practice" there was a widower.
He had just lost his wife to cancer.
He did not want to leave the hospital with his infamous plastic bag to return to their shared home.

I completely got the plastic bag thing like a knife in the leg.
Not quite completely debilitating but still painful.
I remember my own plastic bag.
All of Roger's clothing put into a simple clear plastic bag labeled "Patient's Belongings".
A person's entire life is gone and all they give you is a plastic freaking bag.
My plastic bag actually came home with me the day of the accident.
Before I knew he was going to die for sure.
(I am not sure how the things in his ICU room came home. I have absolutely no idea or remembrance of this fact. I do remember there was not a lot of paperwork at that time or anything to do which felt odd.)

It was weird returning home for me.
The house was prepared for Roger and me to be on vacation for the weekend.
The cats had extra food and water.
Things were relatively cleaned up.
It felt odd to be home so soon when I was not planning on being home until Monday.
And it almost felt like I was invading a sacred space.
A different dimension or something.

It was weird that Roger was not with me.
Holly and Scott were with me instead.
But not Roger.
I did not realize then that Roger would never come home with me again at that point.
Not in a "normal" way.

The bag was put outside on the patio.
Who put it there I am not sure.
I vaguely remember looking inside the bag.
Carefully examining the contents.
His jeans were bloody.
His shirt was missing. And that still bugs the crap out of me.

I took a shower.
One of the last places I distinctly remember Roger at in our house.

I did not have the same feeling as the character in the show.
Yes, it was a happy place for us.
We were happy at home like the character.
But it did not feel right being home without him.
It did not comfort me the way it does now.
That whole first week, it was a reminder of everything changing.
Of everything that I was about to lose.

My home was not where my heart was.

Now, home feels good.
Home is my comfort.
My security blanket even.


Thursday, January 21, 2010

I Peeked

I do not think I have ever told anyone this.
And I am semi-ashamed.
And semi-laughing at myself.

It was not a big deal really.
But I had to look.
I had to see.

While Roger was subconscious laying in the bed, I pulled up the sheets.
I wanted to see his penis.
And yes, I touched it.

I am his wife.
The doctors told me the part of his brain affecting a person's ability to wake up was damaged.
Which also controls arousal.
I had to check.
Sex is important to a relationship.
Especially a marital one.
So I touched.

And nothing happened.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

And Another One...

I had another dream.
This one a bit more disturbing.

This time Grace had a surprise for me waiting in Miami.
She seemed excited hence I was excited.
I arrived in Miami and Roger walked out of the door.
I was shocked. Grace was smiling ear to ear.
His hair was strange.
It was shaved in the front still from his head injury so Grace had him wearing a blue/green bandana.
In the back, it was longer and it had blondish streaks.

He sent his cousin Eddy to go get something from town.
Grace gave us some time alone.

We were sitting on the bed in Grace's new place in the room she set up for us.
He put his head in my lap and I started to run my hands through his hair.
I was crying.
I was happy.
He was talking.

But then of course, the dream became weirder.
He started to describe to me some tools that Mr. X is using at his new job.
It was a surveying tool used to measure and it had a special way to make it level.
It almost looked like a mini-wooden crane that shot a laser through the top.

I woke up in tears.
It was nice to talk to him some.
To tell him how much I miss him.
But also disturbing to think he could come back.
Disturbing for him to describe this weird tool.

I cried this morning as Mr. X left for work.
I asked him to be super careful.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Crazy Nightmare

Last night I had (another) crazy nightmare.
I hate when I have them.
I really hate when they involve Roger.

In this nightmare, Roger was brutally murdered by this young guy.
It was not the man from the accident.
This man lived in our neighborhood.
And of course I was scared to leave my house.
I do not remember why this guy killed Roger.

One of Roger's former co-workers also lived in our neighborhood (which is not true in real life).
He and his wife were over visiting me at my house when they saw the man looking in my windows (not the first time I have had a nightmare like that).

The former co-worker decided to hunt down this guy.
To revenge Roger's death.
So he ran outside.
Shot the guy down.

I know why these particular things were in my dream.
Conversations from during the day but...

It was a scary dream.
I woke up in a panic.

I hate nightmares involving Roger.
Why can't they just be normal lovely dreams?
Why can't they be memories?
Or something else?
Why must they be bad?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

My Mission

When I first started this blog, I thought I would write a book someday.
People and my friends were really encouraging me and it felt like the right thing to do.
But the publishers never came.
The talk show hosts never called.
And that is okay.
Maybe someday I will still write a book.
Maybe about grief. Maybe about my life. Maybe about something completely different.

But I have learned I am not so unique.
At least not unique in my "situation".
I can name at least four or five people who have very similar stories of the top of my head.
And not to mention all the other widows I have met through blogging.

These days I do not write thinking about a future book.
I write mostly for me. Like ninety percent.
Mostly to remember.
Mostly to document.
And to help others.

Just like Candice helped me feel "normal", I hope to help others.
Maybe another widow/widower.
Maybe someone else suffering from another type of loss.
Or maybe someone who is just having a bad day.
Or maybe even someone who is having a good day to remember.
Or maybe even a newlywed to be grateful.

A few months ago, my childhood friend Faith wrote me a thank you note.
I was confused when I first opened it.
I knew her wedding was that weekend and I had not sent a gift (although I still plan to).
It was a simple thank you for helping her keep perspective and being grateful.
It still hangs on my fridge.
To remind me of my new mission.
And also to remember how a very busy bride took time for me.

And then there are the other "thank you" notes and messages.
They always touch me.
They always make me feel like this shitty experience has meaning for someone.
At least some good is coming of the worst day(s) of my life.

If Roger were here, he would say it is the ying and yang of it all.
He used to wear one around his neck before I met him.
He had a drawer full of them.
He loved the meaning.
The balance.
And God knows, I am all about balance.
Something that I depend greatly on...

I accept this mission.
To help others.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Some Good News

So I realized that I do not post a lot of good news on here.
And there are good things in my life.
Many good things.
So in order to remind myself and to show others here are some good things from the last month or so.

1. I finished my fall semester with straight As. I am very proud of myself.
At my orientation back last summer, the staff said to be warned of how my grades would slip when I came to the big university. Boy, were they wrong. I did well even in the hardest class of my life.

2. I passed my state teaching exam in biology. So after I graduate (and pass the professional educators test), I will be able to teach biology for middle or high school. This test was harder than I thought it was going to be. I had to know even the affects of DDT on pelican eggs before it was banned in 1971. FYI, it was theorized that it prevented their eggs from having a hard shell and they ended up with a weird mess in their nests. This also occurred in other birds such as eagles.

3. I got a job. I will be a teaching assistant for one of my professor's from last semester. It is only ten hours each week but it is better than no job I suppose. I am excited as I will probably gain some skills in teaching. Most of the students are college freshman and sophomores so maybe I will also gain some insight into high schoolers.

4. Things with Mr. X are going well. He is so patient with me and so kind. He seems to love to take care of me which feels really nice. We had a nice time at Christmas and I am still very much enjoying his company.

So things are not all bad here in my life. Some things are good. Some things are very good.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

The Suitcase

As I have mentioned (many times), Roger and I were on our way to the airport when the accident occurred.
On our way to my high school reunion.
So our suitcases were packed.
They were in the back of the car.

The fire department had to remove the roof to get Roger out of the car.
The police searched through our stuff.
They said it was because they were looking for valuables.
For our protection.
Yeah right... I am glad that protected my 80G iPod so well that I never got it back.

In their rush of "helping" us, they messed up Roger's suitcase.
The one I bought him to match mine as a semi-joke for Christmas one year.
So we could travel together.
So we could easily spot our suitcases.
Plus he said he liked mine.

The police broke the zipper on the front pocket of the moss green suitcase.
They tore a big hole on the other front pocket.
It also had a spot of rust on the front from sitting under the replaced removed roof.
And it was dirty.
Probably even moldy.

But I kept it anyway.
I put it with all the other suitcases.

Tomorrow, I have a roommate moving in.
So the suitcases needed to be moved.
Hence I decided I needed to reexamine my decision to keep it.
Will I ever use it again? No.
Can it even be repaired? Maybe.
Would I repair it? Probably not.

I asked Mr. X to help me make the decision.
Since emotionally I was blinded.
Since I could not make a logical decision.
He looked at me.
He said I should keep it if I want.
He said it was up to me.

I begged him to help me.
To help me think about this logically.
The zipper could be repaired yes.
The hole was pretty severe, however.
And I have several other suitcases of similar size.

So I put it out to the curb.
I let the garbage men take it away.

It only reminded me of the accident when I saw it.
Not our honeymoon.
Not the trip to Arizona.
None of the good memories.
Only the worst.
So the suitcase is gone.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Two years

About a month ago, I received an invitation in the mail.
A wedding invitation.
The wedding is three days before my two year wedding anniversary.

Last year I skipped a wedding that was four days after my anniversary.
I was invited to go alone and I had learned my lesson on that.
But this year I want to go.
I am bringing Mr. X.
And I am sure the actual wedding may be hard.
But I will not be alone.

Receiving the invitation brought back some memories.
This particular couple got engaged while I was on my honeymoon.
This invitation was sent about the same time as mine.
And I can imagine that two years earlier people were receiving mine during the same week.
And then I look at the last two years.
I was married one-third the time I have been a widow.
And yet my wedding was only two years ago.
Two. Years. Ago.
In two very short years, my life has completely changed.
And I ask myself, how the hell did I get here?
I thought it would have changed in a completely different fashion.
I thought I would be a different person than the person behind the screen now.
I thought I would be happily married.
I thought I would be starting on house remodeling plans.
At least the ones on the five-year plan.
But instead, I am unemployed.
I am a full time student to become a teacher.
I am dating someone who is not Roger at all.
And on this Monday night, I will sleep in my bed alone.
Two short years.
About 104 Mondays later...

Monday, January 4, 2010

So Stinky

Roger worked out a lot.
At least three times a week and sometimes up to five.
And with that he sweat.
And sweat. And sweat.
When he got home, his clothes would be completely soaked.

Which was fine.
We eventually came to a solution which I documented a while back.
But before that.
Before we moved into together, it was a bit of a problem.
Specifically for his love seat.

The way his family room was set up the love seat faced the television.
Roger loved watching television.
So he pretty much always sat there.
And he always sat on the left side of that love seat.
And he always sat there right after coming home from the gym.
In his sweaty clothes.
His stinky sweaty soaked clothes.

When I would come over, I sat on the right.
Eventually I started to smell something.
"Dear, what is that smell? It smells awful."
"I dunno."

I started to investigate.
It was the love seat.
It completely reeked.

I tried to clean it.
I tried to Febreeze it.
And the smell would go away.
At least for a while.
But then it would come back.

After I moved in, I insisted that we donate the love seat.
I had one and we did not need two.
Thankfully Roger agreed.
Then we came up with the naked solution...
A much better solution than a stinky love seat.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

I Have to Fight This Feeling

I have to fight the feeling that people do things because they pity me.
Or worse, do not do things because they pity me.

Is a friend afraid to say they hate me?
That they do not want to be my friend anymore?
Maybe say yes to a personal time but then never follow-through because it is too hard to cancel?
I am afraid my friends only stay my friends because of grief.
That they do not want to push me over the edge.
That they do not want to cause me any more pain.

Then I wonder:
Do people get tired of my Roger stories?
Do people get tired of me bringing up widowhood?
Do people get tired of me blaming things on grief?
So then I almost try to stop talking about all the bad stuff.
To make others more comfortable.
Because I feel sorry for them for having to stay my friend.
I feel pity for them!

I am so afraid of people not saying things to me because they do not want to upset me.
Not telling me how they truly feel.

And I fight this feeling over and over again.
I am not sure how to stop this paranoia.
But it is driving me crazy.

To me, Roger's death is still very fresh.
Yes, as I wrote earlier, time has passed but it does not mean grief is over.
A lesson I have had to learn over and over again.

My request for my friends and family, please be honest with me.
Do not pity me.
Please, please do not pity me.

Friday, January 1, 2010

A New Year

Rambling ahead...

I have not looked yet, but I can imagine there are quite a few blog posts talking about the new year.
Perhaps with resolutions.
Perhaps with ideas about things to do.
Perhaps remembering the best things of 2009.
Or the past decade.

This entry has been in my head for a few days.
About a week actually.
Since Christmas I would say.
Which is about a week so that makes sense I guess.

Like I have mentioned, New Year's Day is hard for me.
Both New Year's Eve and New Year's Day.
It is a passage of time.
A marker in the sand.
A reminder that time is moving forward.
Constantly moving forward.
That I am moving in time.
Getting older even.
And Roger is not.
Roger is stuck in 2008.
He will never be part of this year or this decade (physically).

It is disturbing to me.
Knowing he will never see me graduate.
Knowing he will never see me turn thirty.
Knowing he will never see me as a mother.
Knowing one day I will turn thirty-five and he never did.
Knowing he did not even see a black president get elected.
I feel like he is missing so much.

There is also the feeling that time just cannot be stopped.
That life keeps moving.
That people will start to forget.
That people will move away.
That people will drift apart.

It also blows my mind that Roger was not part of 2009 at all.
He did not see one minute of 2009.
In 2008, I at least had him for most of the year.
That so many good things happened for us in that year.
And also the worst things.

I am not sure what the next year will bring me.
I am not sure what the next decade will bring me.
But as far as resolutions and making promises to myself, I will keep being myself.
I will keep telling people what I need and give myself a break.
Because this journey is not over.
It only ends when I end.
Then it will be someone else's journey...