Well, that dreaded birthday - my 60th - was on Monday. And I was dreading it, not because of the number, but because it was the first birthday I would mark without Greg by my side. I did my damnedest to keep my mind occupied, and that did seem to work. For that day, anyway. I attended a fun, family-friendly Fourth party on Friday, and a wedding on Saturday. I had carefully planned to be at the home of two very good and dear friends for most of that weekend. So I woke up on the 7th at their home. They even had a gift for me, good people that they are! In the morning we worked on some projects at their place - they are readying a backdrop to bring to a Las Vegas trade show in a few weeks.
At mid-day, we drove into San Marcos, looking for some additional things for the trade booth. We took two cars, so that I could continue on back to Houston after lunch. After the brief shopping, we ate at the River Pub (or some similar name). Well known for a good spot on the river so you can watch the tubers frollicking (sp?) around, and the burgers, fries and Shiner Bock were also good! They then headed for home, while I went to the Outlet Mall and shopped for a carryon bag that would be big enough for my personal stuff plus the box that holds Greg's ashes. I don't know if he would approve being transported in a bag whose color is labeled as raspberry, but maybe he will see the humor in it.
So I didn't get in the door at my house until close to 6 pm. Unloaded the car, etc., and then the phone started ringing. (And I also had several "happy birthday" messages from friends and family on the answering machine.) By the time I hung up with the last caller, it was about 9 pm. I rounded up my stuff for work the next day - cobbled together something for lunch - and went to brush my teeth. And then it hit me. We always stood side-by-side at the dual sinks and brushed away, and the one who finished first would grab the mouthwash under the cabinet, set it on the countertop and uncap it. I saw his toothbrush in the holder - the one I can't bring myself to throw away yet - and whispered, "You should be here," and I teared right up. Just like I am doing now, while trying to relate my actions and emotions on that day. So, yeah, I nearly got through that day sans tears. Oh, well.
I have located some other good blogs by widows (and a good one by a widower). Some are around my age, and the guy who blogs lost his wife - when he was only in his early 30's - and he's raising a 4-year-old alone (wife died about 2 years ago). I also went poking around for a support group. There is one that meets monthly somewhere in the general Houston area. So I joined that one - I'll miss the July meeting/meal, but hope I can make the August one. The thing I read over and over again is how much advice is given by those who have not walked in our footsteps ("our" being widows/widowers). I thought I was the only one who felt like this - but it seems to be a universal complaint made by so many grieving folks. I am anxious to try this group and exchange some info with them. There appears to be more women than men, but the fact that a few guys even had enough guts to join and/or show up at a meeting is encouraging. I know it is so much harder for men to talk about or share their emotions. We are in this together, and I hope these gatherings will be helpful and maybe even give me a friend in my geographic area.
I am suddenly struck by the ironic title of this blog: aka Nancy Drew. Who knew that I would end up searching for me, for myself, under all this rubble?