Monday, July 25, 2011

The Veil

My veil from my first wedding was amazing!
I loved it so much.
One of my maids of honor made it custom.
On one of my trips to New York, we picked out all the materials.
I loved the soft tulle and lace along the edge.
It complimented my dress perfectly.
People still make comments on my veil.
The best part it only cost $57.

The veil currently lives in the Roger closet upstairs.
Every once in a while I pull it out.
Touch the soft fabric.
And then put it back in the bag.
I wish I could find someway to use it again.

When Mr. X and I got engaged, I started thinking about what veil I would choose.
No veil I could purchase would compare.
And the maid of honor who previously made my veil no longer lives in the US.
But I do not want another veil.
I do not need another veil.
I cannot imagine wearing a different veil.

Mr. X is super understanding.
He is awesome in so many ways.
But there are limits.
And limits I completely understand.
I asked Mr. X if I could re-wear my veil.
But he does not feel comfortable with that idea.
And I get it.

So for me.
This time I will not wear a veil.
And in a way, I see it as a symbol.
I have been unveiled.
I am not the innocent bride I once was.
I have lived the worst nightmare ever.
And I am a survivor of that nightmare.
Yes, the grief monster still lives in my closet and under my bed.
But I am not hiding.
I am not veiled.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Defending Roger

Roger's Diploma on the office wall (camera phone photo)*

I cannot remember when I took Roger's diploma off the wall in the office.
But at some point I moved it into the office closet.
I had a plan for it.
Not a great plan though according to Mr. X.

Roger's diploma was professionally framed.
It was fairly expensive.
So I thought once I received my own diploma I would open up the back and take Roger's out then put mine in.
About a month ago, I received my diploma and one afternoon I decided to implement my plan.
Mr. X was home.
I told him I was going to go frame my diploma.
He followed me into the office as I took Roger's diploma out of the closet.
"What are you doing?!?"
"I am going to put my diploma in this frame."
"No you are not.  That is Roger's diploma."
"Yes, I am going to take his out and put mine in."
"And then what?"
I was not sure.
Mr. X continued to push for Roger's rights.
"That was a big accomplishment for him.  You should not take it out of the frame.  What will you do with the actual piece of paper? Put it away in a closet? Look at it every five years?"
I really did not think that far in advance.
Mr. X continued...
"We should have it on the wall."
"But where?"
"In here.  In the upstairs bedroom. On a wall. But somewhere, not in a closet"
I asked, "What about my diploma?"
"Just spend the money and get it framed."

I started to tear up.
Mr. X was defending Roger.
Two of them against one of me.
So I gave in.
And agreed to take my diploma to Michael's to have it framed as well.
But then another thought...

"What about our kids?" I asked.
"What about them? They will know Roger. Would you not tell them about him?"
And Mr. X is right. It is not like my house is completely Roger-free.
There is a picture near our bedroom.
Roger's clock in our office.
A few pictures in the office.
More pictures in the workout room.
A trunk full of Roger related items upstairs in a closet.
So he is still here in ways.
And I am really not sure how or when I would tell my children about Roger.
When they ask?
Or as they visit Abuela's house?
And how do I explain death to them?
I guess we'll figure it out as we go but I could not help and think of how to explain this person Mommy was married to before Daddy.

Today I received my diploma back.
So on the wall it went.
And Mr. X hung Roger's as well.

*I purposefully blurred out Roger's formal name and inserted "Roger's name".

Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Dress

Last time, I had my wedding dress within the first thirty days of being engaged.
And that was way early.
Roger and I were engaged for a total of sixteen months. 

Mr. X and I have been engaged for two and a half months.
I have walked into one bridal shop for about fifteen minutes.  
But I have not tried one dress on.

First, because I am scared of it.
I know I will feel like a bride for sure then.
It will truly sink in.
A bride.  Widow-ness in the shadows. 
Right now I feel like I am planning a party mostly.
And a tiny bit like a bride. 

Secondly, because I am not happy with my body.
I remember looking at my wedding photos to Roger on my first anniversary.
I was huge.
I did not feel huge then.
But once I went on the dead-husband diet, I was so skinny.
And I looked pretty hot and sexy. 
I was hot when Mr. X met me.
And although I am working on it with diet and exercise, I know I will not be where I want to be.
I do not feel hot.
I do not feel sexy.
I feel huge.
And I will be a huge bride again.
Which makes me sad.

So part of me wants to wait.
Wait on my body.
Wait on my spirit.
But then the planner part of me wants to check it off the list.
Even the online checklist is yelling at me to start shopping.

I partly want to go alone.
But I know I will regret that decision within about five minutes.
In my very brief walk into that one bridal store, I was trembling.
And I wanted my friend who was waiting with her daughter (no children were allowed) to be by my side.  

I know I have until September/October to do this.
But I also know my life will get super busy very, very soon.
I wish I could lift my confidence.
I think that would help me.
Confidence, please go up.  

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


I am not sure if I have divulged some early things that happened on this blog.
If I have, it was a long time ago.
And perhaps newer readers have not read this or know this.
But I had/have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder aka PTSD.
I was diagnosed with depression, PTSD, and a good deal of survivor's guilt during counseling when Roger first died.
Mostly from the accident.
But from also watching Roger die.
And me not dying.

Now it is way, way better that it was in the beginning.
I still have nightmares.
And daymares.
I still have images stuck in my head that I will never be able to get rid of.
And I have exaggerated reactions to things that others may think are minor.
Such as when I had my accident a few weeks ago.
That frozen fear where I could not move and had irrational fear.
I still jump and get very angry when other cars get close to the car especially if I am not driving.
Sometimes I have to be reminded by others that the world is not ending. (Thank you, Holly & Candice!)
But it still comes out.
And from what I understand, it is something that will lessen but never go completely away.
But I can sleep most nights with or without an alarm on.  [Except this morning when I thought someone was breaking in even though logically I knew a burglar would not park in front of my house & would not set the alarm to their car.]
I can walk around the neighborhood alone.
And I can drive without too much fear most of the time. [Although I so try hard to schedule things where I have to drive during non-rush hours. Less cars, less chance of an accident.]

Today, while driving, I heard a lady describing PTSD to the host on NPR.
She described it so perfectly.
I am paraphrasing here but...
She said, "It is like having a black blanket thrown over your head.  You are paranoid of everything. You feel like there is a dark cloud overhead. Everything is going to go wrong and you cannot stop it.  You are out of control of your world.  There is a fog over you."
Now, I do not feel like that extreme most of the time.  But there are definitely days where I feel like people are against me.
Even my best friends.
Where I feel so out of control of my life, my emotions, and my everything.

Decisions can be so overwhelming for me.
That is not so new for me.
But now I fear what is behind my decisions.
I made a decision that accident day too.
I decided not to say anything about the route Roger was taking to the airport.
I decided to say something about his speed.
I decided when he was to die.
Now, what if I decide wrong?  What if my decision leads to disaster?
I do remind myself that most likely not, but sometimes that reasonable voice gets drowned out.


Saturday, July 9, 2011

The Top Tier

On Monday, Mr. X and I are meeting with our caterer to discuss the details of the wedding.
I am looking forward to this but there is one question...
The top tier of our cake.

Roger and I did not save ours.
Well, we intended to.
But that cake was damn good.
So we ate it before our honeymoon and when we got back.

And after he died,
And as I approached the my first wedding anniversary.
I thought about the what if.
What if we had not eaten our cake?
How long would have that tier stayed in my fridge?
Would I have eaten it alone?
Would I have thrown it out?
Would it still be there sitting three and half years later?
Haunting me?
There or not, it does still haunt me.

And now as Mr. X and I approach our wedding,
What will we do?
Eat it?
Save it?
Risk it?

And yes, my fear is, we will not make it to our first anniversary.
Not because of divorce.
Because of death striking one of us.
I have never had a wedding anniversary.
My marriage ended after only six months.
We did not even get to celebrate that.
The accident was the day before.

But do I risk it? Or eat it?
And if we eat the cake does that mean I do not have the faith we will make it?
Or that it is another fantastic cake?
But what if "it" happens again?
What if I get stuck with a top tier of cake in my fridge?

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

I Am Not Surprised

I am one of the few Central Floridians who has not kept up with the Casey Anthony case.
Or many one of the few Americans?
It has been on every news station in Orlando for three years.
Every newspaper.
Everywhere in our community for three very long years.
The whole fascination with the thing has annoyed me.
I just want the whole thing to go away.
To be done.

Perhaps there is some weird association with it being the same summer Roger died.
Actually I am pretty sure that is one of my disgusts with it.
I just want people to move on with it.
Personally I have been avoiding the whole obsession.
I have started to hide people who constantly update their status on facebook with the trial.
One friend even DVRs the trial coverage.
A few friends have given me a couple of updates here when I see them in person.

My response for the last few weeks... She is going to get away with it.
And guess what?
She did.

How did I know?
Because of my own experience with the court system.
Because I know it is never fair toward the victims.
I know that with enough money and enough lawyers people can get away with murder.
Murder of a child or murder of my husband.
I have been in that court house.
I have testified without any justice for Roger.
For me.
For us.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

"We've Got Time"

I just watched "Moonlight Mile" for probably the third or fourth time.
The first time I watched it was way before Roger died.
And I have seen it since.
But I did not cry last time I watched it.
This time, I did.
A lot.
But I think I needed a good cry.

And for whatever reason it reminded me of when Roger and I first started dating.
I had just stopped my consulting job about a week before we met.
During consulting, I traveled Monday through Thursday every week.
So I had a life in whatever city I happened to be working in and a life at home.
Two very separate worlds in which I lived.
And it was hard to have friends.
To date.
To go to the dentist.
And to do many of the day-to-day activities.
So I would cram as much as I could into my weeekends.

When Roger and I first started dating, we saw each other at least one night of the weekend and about two nights during the week.
And I tried to cram as much into the time we were together as possible.
Roger kept saying, "We've got time. Just relax."
I was trying.

When he would go away for a weekend to visit his family in Miami or to a martial art event, I was sad.
More time away.
And yes, absence makes the heart grow fonder but I wanted to see him.
Spend time with him.
I was almost frantic to see him.
And Roger's response was always the same.
"We've got time. We have years."

But we didn't.
We didn't have much time at all.
We only had less than three years.
Just like the characters in the movie.
Two years and eleven months.