Saturday, August 28, 2010


A few weeks ago, I was having dinner with some widow friends.
The three of us are all young, under thirty at the time.
All of our men died suddenly at young ages.
None of us have children.

We talked about how I have a place to put my anger.
A name even.
A face.
Someone to direct all the voices and shouting and mean thoughts.
Which is "nice" I think.
Their persons' deaths were not a result of an accident.
Or homicide.
Or even self inflicted.
Random heart issues.

And tonight as I tried to go to sleep (note the post time), I started thinking that they did not have to decide.
I had to make a decision.
I had to decide the time.
And the date.
I chose this day.
I had to chose the day my husband would die.
Forty-seven months after our first meeting, I chose his death day.
Three weeks after his birthday.

I hate that feeling.
Hate. Hate. Hate.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Check-Ins

First, thanks to all the people who have been emailing, facebooking, calling, and texting this week.
Unfortunately/fortunately this week I have been mostly fine.
Like most holidays and anniversaries during this journey it has been the time before the actual event that have been bad.
School started on Monday.
Thus I have been super distracted this week.
Super busy.
I cannot think about Saturday coming much.
And I feel mostly okay about Saturday.

In reality, the month before this week has been completely emotionally draining and hard for me.
Grief has been almost constant under my mask.
In reality, I needed these comments and love before this week.
I needed people to come over and be with me and hug me.

And I should have asked.
I should have been a bit more demanding.
But I still struggle with asking for help, even from Mr. X.
I still struggle admitting that I cannot do this alone.
And most people have their lives.
They are busy with work, family, and other friends.
I do not want to burden others with my grief.
With my struggles.

So I do it alone and struggle.
And then I feel bad when people expect me to sad this week.
Because right now, I do not feel exceptionally sad.
Not like I did earlier this month and during the end of July.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Meeting the Family

Last week I was super nervous about the weekend visit to Miami to have Mr. X meet Roger's family.
Mostly concerned about those closest to Roger including his mother.
Anxiety was also met with excitement.
I cannot even describe the feeling of home when I visit my given family in Miami.
My heart feels filled.
I am surrounded by people who love me and care about me.
And we all loved Roger.
That feeling is the best medicine in the world for heartache.

So combining my life and love of Mr. X with my Miami family was very important to me.
I know it is not a traditional family of marriage and extended family but I do not want to give up my Miami family for anything.
Life is complicated.
Family is complicated.
But this family is one gift from Roger I hope to never lose to traditional family standards.
No matter what people may think or say or gossip about.

So as we pulled into the driveway, my heart started to beat faster.
I thought, "Here we go!"
Worlds colliding!

The first night was at first emotional.
Roger's mom was overwhelmed.
She started to get a headache from her nerves.
Mr. X conversed with her in her limited English but she did laugh some and was her silly self as usual.
But we needed backup fast.
I called Roger's aunt, "Can we come visit?"
"Sure, come on over."

After four glasses of wine, introductions to Roger's cousins, aunt, and uncle, everything was good.
Mr. X, as usual, quickly adapted to the new situation.
He made the family laugh.  He laughed at their jokes.  He participated in their sarcasm.
Comments were made to me that they liked him.
Of course, one cousin had to make "the" speech:
"Take care of her.  She is our family.  She is our cousin for life."

Second day, we did errands with Grace, Roger's sister, and jokingly Grace and Mr. X alternated with "I like you", "I used to like you", and "I don't like you."
Roger's mom was impressed with Mr. X's Cuban coffee and love of Cuban sandwiches.
"Are you sure you aren't Cuban?"

That night Roger's aunt made me his favorite meal-marinated turkey meat with potatoes and rice.
It is so yummy.
And I was craving it bad.
It was delicious as usual and I got to share Roger's favorite food with Mr. X.

Third day was filled with a big family event.
Most of the family was coming to Roger's aunt's house for lunch.
Mr. X met a lot of Roger's cousins and aunts and all the little children that ran around.
He helped set up the event (lunch with that many people is always an event) and break down.
People were impressed.  "He helps!"
When we were leaving, Roger's mom, sister, cousin, and myself were in the car.
Mr. X was still chatting with people inside.
I had to chuckle.
He had known some of them for a few hours and at most some of them for forty-eight hours.
Yet he was still inside giving hugs and talking.

Overall the visit was a success.
We both were invited to come back anytime.
Worlds colliding went well.

Sigh... some relief.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


Tonight I came home to a semi-empty house.
Gizmo and Gadget are having dental cleaning done which means they need to have anesthesia.
No one was in the hallway to greet me.
No one begging for some dinner.
No one to (try to) meow at me.

Dropping them off this morning was so hard.
Gizmo cried the whole way there and as we waited to be checked in.
I felt like I was leaving my safety blanket and my heart at the vet.

Then I got the phone call.
They need to stay the night.
The veterinarian had an emergency come in and so he was not able to complete the cleaning.
The staff say they are fine and happy.
They are in a huge crate and even explored the clinic a bit earlier.

But I cannot help but be a little worried.
The cats have been with me this entire journey.
They have never spent the night any where but here at home.
I cannot lose them.
I cannot lose them this week.
In this month.

I will pick them up tomorrow afternoon.
And I cannot wait to see my kitties.
My lovely sweet kitties.


During one of my grief sessions, my counselor asked me who I was before.
Before I was a bride.
Before I was a newlywed.
Before I was a widow.
She asked about things I enjoyed before.

It was a hard question.
At that point, it had been a long time that I did not have any of those titles.
We were engaged for fifteen months.
Married for six.
And I had been widowed for about six months.

I started to talk about photography.
How I loved taking photos.
How I always had a point-n-shoot camera in my purse for years and years.
My smile started to appear.
She encouraged me to pick my camera back up.
To start finding things to enjoy again.

Photography relaxes me.
It makes me smile.
To capture a bit of beauty in a strange new way or a true smile of a child or the expanding belly of a pregnant belly.

The past few weeks I have been struggling so much.
Sadness is been sweeping over me.
Loneliness is sitting on my shoulders.

I wanted to take some beautiful photos this past weekend.
While on a tiny vacation, I wanted to find some things to capture.
Things to photograph.
But... disappointment is all I found.
While Mr. X and I explored Charleston, rain poured from the sky for two of our three days.
I saw tons of things to take photos of but I could not risk all the rain.


Monday, August 16, 2010

No Bananas

On Friday morning, Mr. X and I started out on a road trip together.
I am not sure what I was thinking when I planned this trip.
A Friday morning.
In August.
Muggy humid August.
Slightly early in the morning.
Near the death anniversary.

The eeriness started early.
My stomach started to turn.
Mr. X told me he had put some bananas near my purse to eat in the car.

My excitement started to melt away.
Panic set in.  My smile disappeared.
Mr. X asked me what was wrong.
"No bananas in the car please."
"Just because."
"Because why? You hate the smell?  We can't throw away the peel right away? What?"
It took me a few minutes but I simply stated "Too similar."

Two years ago, I ate my banana in the car about fifteen minutes before the accident.
Roger never got to eat his banana.  It was in my bag.
I did not want Mr. X to miss his.

The similarities of the day kept going.
Getting the cats ready.
Division of chores.
Mr. X packing the car.
Mr. X driving.
Making fun of my music.
Cars getting close.

I had to remind myself of the differences.
We were not flying.
We were not driving the same roads.
We were not going to the same destination.
Mr. X is not Roger.  

Sigh... fifteen more days of August.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

One Big Day Down, Twenty Days to Go

August should be a nice month.
School is completed for a few weeks.
I get some traveling done.
Sounds perfect...

But instead I just distract myself through the thirty-one days.
Become super weepy.
Find it hard to breathe.
Think logically.
Or plan.

I just want to wake up when August is over.
I hate this month.
Hate. Hate. Hate.

I survived Saturday with a dear friend's baby shower in a different city.
Followed by a cook out with some of her dearest friends.
These friends are so friendly and sweet and accepting and fabulous.
As night took hold I spent part of the evening in the North Carolina air talking to one of her friends who happens to be a psychiatrist.
It was nice to talk to someone.
To remember.

Thanks to those who emailed or called.

Saturday, August 7, 2010


Today is Roger’s birthday. 
The date of my husband’s birth. 
I cannot help but remember and think of him.
[And be slightly weepy.]
His love of layered birthday cakes.
His learning to surf on his thirty-third birthday.
And all the tiny and large details that made me love him tremendously. 
And the details that made me want to celebrate the day he came into the world.

When I first met Roger (on, he was thirty-one. 
One year past my age preference.
I was forty-eight hours away from twenty-five.
As I have written before, the year Roger died I could not believe he was turning thirty-four. 
He took the day off of work. 
Cut his shaggy hair a bit and relaxed.
I had to work unfortunately.
If only I would have known. 
If only…

On this date this year, he would be turning thirty-six. 
Six years older than me. 
It seems impossible.
Of course it is impossible.
He will never be thirty-six in reality.
His traditional defined life stopped twenty-one days after turning thirty-four. 

I wonder what we would be doing on this birthday.
Cake? Yes of course.
Both of us taking the day off? Hopefully.
A trip?  Perhaps.
Dinner with friends? I hope so.
Dinner with family? At least at some point.
But alas none of these things. 

Happy Birthday, Roger!
I miss you more than words can even start to describe.
I adore you.
Part of my heart still belongs to you today and always.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Bad Widow

I threw something away.
It was ugly now.
My hate for it was growing.

But I feel like a bad widow for throwing this thing away.
Maybe even like I am a bad bride.

I threw away my bouquet this week.

The roommate moved out a month ago. (Thank God!!)
So Roger's stuff closet was available again.
As I moved my wedding planning book, my wedding albums, and some other things, I saw it again.
My bouquet.

I have never liked the way it dried.
The blue and white hydrangeas were beautiful at the wedding.
They were hideous after the wedding.
During drying process, the petals withered.
The colors looked awful.
The stems shrunk.
I hated it.

But after Roger died, I felt like I had to hold on to it.
Like it was required.
Part of some weird widow code.

So I broke the code.
I threw it in the trash.
Mr. X was shocked "Is that your bouquet?"


Monday, August 2, 2010

The Road

Way back I loved that road.
Before the accident.
Before it was my dreaded long everyday route to work.

I loved its gentle (Florida) hills.
I loved the 70 mph speed limit that I could do slightly higher on.
I loved the slight curves of the road.

The wildlife I would encounter is amazing.
Eagles soar above it.
The road crosses Lake Jessup so alligators swim below it.
And next to it.
As the sun comes up is just gorgeous.
Nests of these hawks sit on top of light poles.

The maintained landscaping and the natural Florida flora are beautiful.
Sand pines and long leaf pines.
Forget me nots.
Tall palm trees.
Short sebal palms.

It was a relaxing drive for me.
Especially while living on this side of Orlando.
It was a main mode of transportation at certain points of my life.
And I loved it.

But that changed after I had to drive more than half its length to get to a job I detested.
And after one of the worst weeks of my life, I hated the road down to the gravel.
I hated to be on it.
I hated to drive on it.
I hated to even think of it.

This past Friday night I was driving back from a friend's house.
Who happens to live off this road.
It was late.
My drive home included about about twenty minutes on this road.
Across the lake.
Up the gentle hills.
Around the curves.
Not many people were on the road.
I was playing a mix CD I made for myself.
The volume was way up.
And an old feeling started to find its way into my consciousness.
I found myself loving this road.
Enjoying the road.