Monday, October 6, 2008

Ike wrap-up and other stuff

Wrapping up after Ike… most little things are repaired. I did have missing shingles, but that could only be seen from the back yard of my next-door neighbor. She’s the one who told me about them. I showed it to the couple who had their roof so devastated following the storm, and the husband got two shingles and used my extension ladder to crawl up there and patch it up. I hope it holds. Free repair – the shingles were leftovers from another neighbor and the donated work was gratefully accepted by me. I still have to have the remainder of that split tree removed, but I’ll get to that when I can. It could be worse – there are lots of blue-tarped roofs all over the block, and at least one of them is NOT mine.

Having some weepy (or near-tears) moments today. Reading other blogs about those who have also lost their spouses.

Birthdays are tough ones, it seems, for most of us. I kinda thought my own would be difficult, but his - September 20th - was the absolute worst. Because he will always and forever be 56, while I age onward. I will have to find a way to mark his birthday, for the future. It was just too emotional for me to even think of doing anything this year. Our wedding anniversary is October 26th. Another tough day looming.

I went through some old cards recently – we had a bad habit of saving the cards that the other one had given us for various and sundry occasions. So I thought, it’s time to weed these out… and then I came across one of those little cards that are included in a floral arrangement. This one said, “Remembering the day when both our hearts were saved.” And it marked the anniversary of one of my open-heart surgeries, and I cannot remember which one that was (I have had two such surgeries). But pow! Like a sucker-punch to the gut… and the tears flowed. I just was not expecting that.

Re-inventing yourself, is what one of the attendees said at one of the Widow/Widowers meetup dinner. He said that’s what he has decided he has to do. And I know that’s true. But it seems so hollow sometimes. There was another W/W meetup Saturday night. Some of us were talking and saying how we would look at dating couples and remark to our spouses that we were glad that that was not us. And one of the women said, “And now… look at us. How do you start to approach dating at this point in our lives?”

For all you complacent folks out there, in committed relationships – I truly, truly hope that you are able to go forward with your partners into old age. Cuz I gotta tell ya, having no one by your side as you face the future, just absolutely sucks. There is not one of us at the W/W meetups that could have placed ourselves right where we are, right now. Ever.

I sold Greg’s car on Friday. A co-worker knew that I was thinking about selling it, and when her teenage daughter’s car was wrecked, the insurance company (of course!) put her daughter onto mom’s new car. Much higher rates. So the ’99 Subaru Forester belongs to someone else now. Greg was always so good about having regular maintenance done to the cars, so I know that this is a safe car for a teen girl to drive. I emptied out the car, and found a note I had written to him around this time last fall. It said, “Don’t forget to get your flu shot! I love you” and I had drawn a heart after that. Schmaltzy, but that was the kind of thing we did with each other. Again, an unexpected link with the past and tears flowing again. Damn.

Still going through Greg’s clothes, parsing out the ones that I’ll donate here in my area, and some that I will send up to my mother (probably) to donate to Goodwill or some such organization in northern MN. He had some really good sweaters and a very nice, very warm winter jacket that would probably be appreciated and put to better use in that part of the country.

I could really use a hug today. Damn, again.


txmomx6 said...

I am sending you a hug the only way I can .... until we meet and I can give you one in person.
Yes, it sucks. Totally. I'm sorry that you're having to go through his birthday and your anniversary this sucky month. When I had my birthday in June I was really ticked that I was now older than he got.
And I SO relate to the whole "dating" quotes. I used to say that all of the time. "THANK GOD I'm not in the dating world! I just could NOT do that!". I'm still not in that world and the thought makes me nauseous. Who knows, though, what God has in store?
Just wanted to say hi and I'm out here.

jessica said...

J - thanks for your kind words. I always read your blog. We have the SM (Stephens Ministry) in my church, too. I am glad that you are reaching out to others, because I also am trying to do that. There are women in my W/W meetup group who have lost their spouses 4 - 6 years ago and are just now venturing out into some kind of socializing. I think I did the right thing by seeking out this group and offering whatever support I can, because I do get something back from that. For every time I feel bad for myself, I will hear of someone who has had a higher wall to climb, a longer bridge to cross. And that helps me put it all into perspective.

Thanks for the hug and the "hi"!

Mary said...

Dear Jessica,

I'm sending you a hug, and I feel for you. You are moving forward (much faster than I have--in February it will be 2 years.) You're an inspiration to me. There are no easy words, but you've got it right: it sucks!

I've treasured every card and note I've come across. Instead of tossing them, I've got them in a memory box. On these special anniversary dates, I can remember how much I loved and was loved. Athough I'm still not ready to date, I do feel that I'm capable of loving again. Still not ready to put all the pictures and mementos away, though. Until I can do that, I'm not truly able to open my heart up.

Greg seems like he was a wonderful husband and man. Your love was unique and special. I know you'll never forget that.