Friday, July 30, 2010


Last weekend as Mr. X and I paved (aka hired people) the patio in the back, he told me about his hate of the question "Where do you see yourself in five or ten years?".
He was saying how when he was eighteen or so he was asked this question quite a bit.
He was graduating from high school and all.
And it always annoyed him.
At eighteen he had no idea.
So many things were up in the air.
So many variables could change.

But he did not think he saw himself here.
He could never imagine ten years ago that he would be completing a home improvement project with his girlfriend on a house.
That he would be in school completing a degree in a program he never even thought about at eighteen.
That he would be in love with me.

And of course that conversation made me do my own reflecting.
As I sat in my class on Monday morning, I could not believe I was there.
As the class discussed various science curriculums, I was sitting in awe.
I was a full time student.
To become a teacher!
Not working (in a traditional sense).
I am not spending my Monday morning in cube land.
How incredibly weird!

I was asked Mr. X's least favorite question not too long ago.
Actually almost exactly five years go to the month.
During an interview with my previous company.
Being an education student was not my answer.
It was not even on my radar.
My answer was some mundane answer about moving up the corporate ladder world.
And maybe I did want that at some point but not now at all.

It amazes me about how much I have changed.
Perhaps through normal maturing.
Perhaps through the widowdom.
But the reflection in the mirror quite different than five years ago.
And especially ten years ago.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

If I Could Write An Article for Brides or Newlyweds

I was only married in the traditional sense for six very short months.
Six months after planning a fabulous wedding, I was planning my husband's funeral.
I was asked questions about what Roger would have wanted in death.
Organ donation.
Keeping him alive for an extended about of time.
Or taking him off life support.
Questions that I mostly knew the answers to but I surely wish Roger and I had discussed things a bit more.

In the last two years, I have emailed a few wedding planning sites trying to get them to put something on their sites or magazines.
Even a wedding planner.
No one responds.
No one wants to think about the dark side of marriage.

In my mind, even before Roger died, being engaged was more than just planning a wedding.
It was planning a life together.
It was more than just the first day but days 2 through the end.
But couples should even talk the last days.

If I could advice brides and grooms, I would ask them to think ahead.
Way ahead.
Couples should discuss their preferences in the event of something horrible happening.
Ventilator or not?
Brain dead?
Organ donation?
Cremation or burial?

I am not saying plan the funeral details but think about it.
Think about the vow "till death do us part."
So the remaining soul will need to deal with the death part.

Just five minutes.
To think.
To discuss.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Just A Phone Call

Okay, so Roger is dead.
I get it.
I understand I cannot see him again.
No more snuggling.
No more hugs.
No contact.
I cannot be the traditional wife anymore.
I (somewhat) accept it.


I just want to call him.
Tell him about school and share how close I am to finishing.
Share some of my accomplishments.
Tell him about our friends and catch him up on their lives.
Tell him about his friends.
About all the new additions.
And some recent losses.

I want to email him my photos.
Get his feedback.
Talk about my business plans.
Get his advice about it.

I even want to tell him about Mr. X.
As crazy as that may sound.
If I cannot be with Roger, I want him to be part of my life.

It is a yearning that cannot be quenched.
I am longing for this connection to him so bad.

If only...

Monday, July 26, 2010

My Heart Stopped

I was sitting in the bookstore at school.
Mr. X was across the table.
He was finishing some homework.
I was finishing a sandwich.
We were chatting about oxidation states and the periodic table.

I grabbed a humor book to flip through.
We continued to chit chat.
I saw movement toward the front of the bookstore.
I quickly looked up.

My heart stopped.

I would have sworn it was him.
Sworn on anything if it was two years ago.

Same hair. Same color.
Same body build.
Same height.
Same walk.
He was not looking toward me.
He was looking for a book.
He disappeared around a shelf.

I had to gasp for my breath.

I waited for my heart to start beating again.

Just two years ago...

Sunday, July 25, 2010

A New Plan

When I first moved into Roger's place, I felt out of place.
Not due to Roger at all.  He tried to make me feel at home.  
I did not help the situation much and for that I am sorry.  

I did not know where to put my things.
His house was already decorated for the most part.
At least as much as he was ever going to do to it.
He was a bachelor.
His rooms already had their purposes.
Curtains were hung.  Furniture placed.
I put my things and my decor in the holes.
I tried to combine our things.
But soon after I moved in, we bought this house.
And it was our home.  

Roger and I had many plans for this house.
We planned an arbor in the backyard.
It was going to be over our patio and extending into the back.  
It was going to be beautiful.
In five to ten years.  That was the plan.

But then things changed.  Plans shattered. 
Our home became my home.

I remember in the first few months of grief trying to make our house into my house.
I painted rooms.  I moved furniture.  
I covered furniture and I put up new photos.
But then I had this thought: "What about when another man moves into my life?"
I knew it would be odd to one day share this house with another.
So I sorta stopped making it my house.
I did a few things here and there but nothing too drastic.  
I wanted to wait.  
To change my house into a new our house again.

This Saturday morning, Mr. X and I woke up extremely early for a weekend to prepare for a new plan.  Our plan.
No more wood arbor.
But a screened room instead.
With pavers on the ground.
And a door.
A place to host friends and family.
Our family.  Our friends.
Our plan.

I want Mr. X to feel at home here.
I want this to be our home.
My hope is that Mr. X does not feel out of place.
Living in a place he cannot invest hope and dreams and plans.
I hope it is different for him than it was for me.  
I hope and I hope.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Words Words Words

When Roger first died, I could not construct proper sentences.
I would lose my train of thought right in the midst of a sentence.
Or I would use the wrong pronunciation or tense of a word.

In the last week or so, this has returned.
I cannot think of the proper word.
I change the spelling of words in my head and pronounce them completely incorrectly.
The other night I spelled the word "new" as "meew".
And I could not seem to spell it right no matter what.
Today I spelled the name "Michael" as "Michall".

No one has said anything but I find it somewhat amazing and weird that this symptom has returned.
Somewhat surprised.
In other ways, not surprised.
Grief has been really strong this week.
The weepiness has returned.
The constant strong thoughts of Roger.

Sigh... I wonder what other symptoms will return in the next coming weeks.
Why do I keep thinking this will get easier?!?
Wake me up in September.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Going Back

Some of my last memories of Roger alive happened between July 4th and August 21st.
However, as each day of this six week period clicks by, I have some memories associated with so many different things.
Certain dates. Certain places.

Two weeks before the accident, with another couple, we went to their beach condo.
We celebrated Roger's 34th birthday. His last.
We joked that I "made" him a cake from the local grocery store. With layers.
We watched some of the summer Olympics.
We learned another couple of friends were engaged.
We went to the beach.
We hang by the pool.
We had lunch at this famous deli.
We went to a seafood restaurant.
We played board games.

Some times when I remember images of Roger, I see him in this condo.
Sitting at the bar while he looked at his cake.
Looking at me as I take his picture.

For two years, I have not been back.
I knew this would be a hard first "task" to check off the list.

This past weekend, Mr. X and I were invited to the condo to hang out with a friend who moved away a few months ago and was visiting.
I started to get anxious Friday during the day.
Friday night I started to have trouble breathing.
I could not sleep.

Saturday morning, Mr. X and I rode down the same roads.
I rode quietly in the car.
Memories started to rush in and cloud my head.
The tears started to fall.
I did not want to be sad girl.  No. No. No.
I wanted to be happy and see my friends.
I forced the tears to stop.

As we entered the condo, it smelled the same as (almost) two years ago.
The furniture is the same.
Decor is the same.
He sat over there on the love seat.
He took a nap on that sofa.
He played charades over near the bar.
Roger. Roger. Roger.
My eyes started to well up but I forced myself to stop.
No crying!!
I tried not to look deeply into anyone's eyes.
I tried to smile.
I tried not to think.
I tried not to remember.

Part of me just wanted to curl up in these spaces with these memories, alone.
Try to remember every detail.
Try to savor each memory.

But instead I put on my happy girl mask.
As long as I can keep it in place the better.
At least for the next few weeks.

Sunday, July 18, 2010


In one of my groups of friends, I am the oldest female.
I was the first of the group to get married.
And if movies and stories were any indicator, I should be the first to have a baby.

But I stand three months from thirty.
No longer a married female out of the group.
And of course no baby.

The first baby of our group is surrounded by adoring "aunts".
He is an amazing baby.
He is cute.
He is good.
And makes all of us want to have children.

I cannot help to think I am way behind the rest of the group.
They are all married for multiple years now.
I am far away from being married again.
They are all on the crest of starting to have children.
I am far, far away from having a baby.
They get to enjoy the word husband in a way I can't.

I cannot help but think my next wedding will be just another wedding they have to attend.
I cannot help but think my pregnancy will be just another day in the park for them once I am there.
And I definitely cannot see my child surrounded by this group of these adoring friends.
As one of my friends nicely put it, "By the time the last of us has a child it won't be a big deal."

I cried on the hour ride home last night.
They are completely right.
By most time tables, I will be the last to have children.
And my children will just be another kid on the block.
It is only natural not to be amused by the old trick.

I should have been deciding this year whether or not to have children.
I should have been trying this year.
But instead I am years behind the crowd.
And it hurts.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

So Jaded

Most people live life like their are immortal.
They ignore the fact we are mortal beings.
At least while they are young.
Because only old people die, right? 
Yeah right...

I finally took myself to my lawyer's office this afternoon.
I finally started the will/trust process.  
Because I am constantly thinking I might die.
Maybe next week.
Maybe in a year.
But I need to be prepared.  
I have had this worry in the last (almost) two years of what will happened if I die tomorrow.

As I spoke to the lawyer, most of my questions were "If I die next week..."
"If I die next year..."
"What happens to _______  if I die before next month?"

My lawyer finally says "You know, more than likely, you are going to live for years and years."
"You are not going to die soon statistically speaking."  
"Most of my clients I have to remind them of their mortality but you are living like you are going to die any day now."

I am just jaded.
So jaded.
My life as I knew it ended abruptly.  
Roger was full of life.  Healthy and just beginning a new chapter.
And it ended in an instant.
No warning.
No blinking lights.
No years of waiting for the moment.

What makes me so immortal?
What makes me so special that I will live till I am ninety?
Why will I not end the same?
Why will my life be different?
My life could end just as quickly.
I could die young too.
I guess I am jaded that it is not impossible.  

So jaded.  

Sunday, July 11, 2010

In a Moment

(Almost) two years ago, Grace and I were sitting with one of the cousins, Ralph, in a small consultation room at the hospital.
Grace had just heard the doctor's spill about Roger.
Roger was going to die.
We had to tell the rest of the family.
Ralph was one of the first (I think).
I cannot remember what time of day it was.
Hospitals do not have lots of windows.  Especially waiting rooms.  Especially this room.
Grace and I were sitting on one couch.
Ralph was sitting across from us on another couch.
I cannot remember if anyone else was in the room at that moment.

Ralph was close with Roger.
They had worked together a few times on different projects.
They had grown up together.
And they were basically the same as brothers.
I remember Ralph's face in that moment.
I could see his heart breaking.
All of our hearts were breaking.
Tears and sadness warped our faces.
In that moment, I could not imagine ever having fun or being happy again.

Last night, we were all together again.
[Not for the first time in the last two years.]
We were out celebrating another friend's accomplishment.
Standing on the dance floor in a small circle together.
We were smiling.
We were dancing.
We were laughing with each other.

And in a moment, I felt our combined happiness.
We were all okay.
We had survived enough to have fun again.
To enjoy ourselves again.
I looked at Grace's face. She was smiling and happy.
I looked at Ralph's face. He was smiling and happy.
I was smiling and happy.

Tears started to fill my eyes.
We had survived.
We could love Roger, miss him, and still enjoy ourselves and each other.
Yes, the tears were partly of sadness but also of joy and unbelief.


Wednesday, July 7, 2010


Recently I have been scared.
Actually, I guess more like paranoid.

As the weather has warmed up, and summer is officially here.
As August creeps closer.
I keep thinking someone is going to die.
Someone I love.
Someone I care about.
Someone close to me.

And not in a normal way.
In a car accident specifically.
There is blood usually.

I do not feel paralyzed by this fear but if someone is late.
Or I do not hear from a friend.
It is my first thought.
They are dead.

I am especially scared of Mr. X dying again.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Two Relationships

Supa Fresh has a blog page on facebook.
She gives a thought or question of the day then asks for others' thoughts.
I sometimes respond and sometimes just read the responses.
As usual, the responses vary with each question.  

A while back she asked about our experiences with our first contact with a new dating partner.  
For myself, I have never felt guilt about being with Mr. X or the few other gentlemen I dated.  
I have never felt like I was cheating.
I have never felt like Roger was angry with me for falling in love again.  

However, recently, I have noticed perhaps why.
Not on a conscious level.  
Not often.
Not always.
Not even fifty percent of the time.
Only a very slight amount of the time, I feel like I am still in a relationship with Roger.

I have found myself doing things because Roger would want me to.  
Or because he liked a certain thing.
Or because he liked something a certain way.

For example, a few weeks ago there was a turtle in the driveway behind my house.  
I knew it was more than likely the turtle would get run over at some point during the day.
Roger loved turtles.
I love animals too but this was a turtle.
Turtles were Roger's thing more than mine
I had to save him.  
For Roger.

Then, a few months ago, a friend of Mr. X was splitting from his wife.  
He was setting up his own apartment and did not have much stuff.
I decided to give him a few Coke glasses and an old kitchen table of Roger's.  
A table Roger loved.
A table I did not like much.
Roger redid the seats with upholstery he picked. 
The friend got back with his wife and God only knows what he did with the table.
Or the other things.
And it makes my heart sink.
I feel like I was disappointing Roger.  

Same thing happened on Thursday morning.  
I had a lot of extra household items from Mr. X moving in.
Some his, some mine, and some Roger's.  
I called Amvets to come pick up the stuff.
This young guy came who just basically threw everything into the back of the truck.
My stomach was in a knot. 

I have to remind myself that I am not in a relationship with Roger anymore.
This does not happen often.
But just a sliver of the time.  
Just a slip into old habits, I guess.
Just for a moment.