Tag Archives: Love

Such A Simple Act ……

…… can bring forth so many emotions and memories.

I went to the theatre last night with several friends. Four of them were married couples. I sat next to one of them, chatting and laughing until the lights were turned down and the play prepared to start.
At that point, the husband simply laid his hand on his leg, palm up. With no words, and hardly any time at all, his wife lovingly put her hand in his.
And there they remained.

So simple.
So full of unspoken words and swirls of emotions.

I miss that.
The simplest of acts.
Yet it can speak volumes.

Jim and I never talked about holding hands. It just grew into a natural occurrence. Whenever we walked anywhere …… on a path, into a building, around an exhibit …… anywhere, our hands automatically found each other. It wasn’t even a thought most of the time. It was like our hands were magnets that drew each other together.

So simple.
And yet so very, very missed.

As I watched my friends hold hands throughout the play, I didn’t feel sad. I felt more wistful, I guess. I felt warm memories and I was happy for them …… that they, too, had this simple act between them.

I smiled.
For them.
And for me.


Here’s What I’ve Realized ……

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…… in the past two days.
Everybody …… absolutely every single person on this earth …… needs to know that they have been missed.
Because being missed means that you matter.
To someone.

Yes, I realize that this seems like a basic piece of knowledge, or maybe it should be. But I’ve found that it’s not really. We all need to be told that we are missed …… and we all need to tell people who matter to us that we miss them.
This is not one of those pieces of information that you can take for granted …… but we do.

Sure, you think that your loved ones know you miss them.
So why bother to get all mushy and tell them, right?
After all, they know.

No. That’s not right.
We are human beings, and as such, we can be very fragile, no matter how hard we pretend that we aren’t. Because being fragile is negative, isn’t it? We should be strong. Who cares if we’re missed or not missed? We can do just fine on our own, thank you very much.
We just slip on one of the many masks we keep hidden in our closet and voila! No one knows what we look like beneath the mask. No one can see the tears, thankfully.
No one can see that we’re …… God forbid …… human.

And so we help to perpetuate the myth that all is well. We’re all strong. We’re all just fine, thank you very much.
If we’re missed, great. If we’re not, no problem.
If we’re loved, nice. If we’re not, it’s your loss, not ours.

What a load of crap.

I’m just as guilty as anyone else in this category. I miss so very many people. On a daily basis.
Hell, on a second to second basis.
But I rarely tell all of those people how much I miss them.
First of all, it would take all day.
Second of all, what if they don’t miss me back?

I have deeply missed the people at my “old” church. And the responses and comments that I received telling me the same (from my previous post) made me cry.
I didn’t realize until then how much I need to feel missed.
How much I need to feel loved.

There are people in my life who tell me this on a regular basis, as I do them.
I’d say that 99.9% of them are widowed. Or have experienced a profound loss, too.
Once that changes your life forever, you can’t help but love people fiercely and tell them so.

It’s the people in your “before” life that fall into the cracks. There’s no finger of blame to point, I can’t come up with a reason why, it just happens. On both sides.
And that’s a shame.

I need my “before” people in my life.
I need people who knew Jim.
Who knew Jim and Janine.

Yes, it can be a huge relief to have people in my life who only know the “after Janine”, as I’m sure any widowed person feels.
But I think we still need those who knew and loved the “before us”.

I think I’ve been pondering this more lately because my heart has been hurting so much for my sweet friend whose son died recently.
I’ve never experienced the death of a child. And yet, the two of us are connecting with the grief our hearts hold. I’m not sure if it’s because I loved her “before”, or because she’s a single parent and so she’s going through this loss alone. I think it’s probably both.
Her heart not only breaks for the future her son will never have, but for the future she’ll never have with a partner. Both losses are slamming into her on a constant basis.

I always thought that if one of our children died, Jim and I would get through it together. The loss of him was greater than the potential loss of one of our children.
But now, with him gone, the loss of one of my children would …… I can’t even go there.

Yet my friend wakes up there every single day. I want to take her pain away. But I know I can’t.
I want to tell her that things will get better soon. But we both know they won’t.
All I can do is be there for her. Sit with her, listen to her, cry with her.
But she needs more than just me. She needs a boatload of people who can, and will, do this with her.

Grief is exhausting.
And hard to carry alone.
If you know someone who’s carrying it, please help them.
Just offer to sit with them.
Tell them that you love them.
Tell them that you miss them.
Tell them, above all, that you miss their loved one.
Because that matters.

You matter.
Your words matter.
Your feelings matter.
So share them.

And help someone know that they matter.

Life is too precious to do alone.

What Better Way ……

…… to celebrate VD than hanging out with your daughter and her BF, eating delivered Indian food, and watching “Big Hero 6” (another Disney movie in which the parents are, of course, dead) and “The Theory of Everything”.

Oh, and Gracie, too.

It’s been a busy couple of weeks since I last posted. I went to Tampa for Camp Widow East last week, and it was terrific. Of course, I think they each get more terrific each time we do them, but then, I might be a wee bit biased.
It was great to see old friends and make new ones. It’s always hard to say good bye, so this time I didn’t have to say it too many times.
That’s because I left in a hurry on Sunday.

My flight was scheduled for Monday, but, as in all weather-related news with United, there was much ado about nothing.
But they sent out notices that there was a good chance that flights would be cancelled on Monday, due to an incoming storm Sunday night.
So I changed my flight from Monday morning, to Sunday afternoon. And I did this from the hotel pool.
Which then threw me into full on packing/showering/checking out mode. I had about 30 minutes to do all of the above.
And I did.
Because I’m that awesome.

Of course the storm didn’t hit NY, but dumped everything on Boston.
Sorry, Boston.

I knew that if I changed my flight (and paid the difference, because, yes, they charged me for that) the predicted ice storm would not appear.
City of New York ….. you’re welcome.

While in Tampa last week I accomplished a first …… I rode a Segway.
And it was SO fun.

However, I may now be paying for that ride, and for the fun dancing that I did on Saturday night.
The DJ was great and the dancing was fun, as always.
But my back is screaming its opinion of all that moving around.
At least, I think that’s why the stupid sciatica has reared its ugly head.
I’m hoping that it shuts up soon, especially during my flight to TX tomorrow.

Speaking of Texas …… Son #2 is moving to Austin next week. I’m very excited for him, even though I’ll miss having him at home with me. But it’s going to be a good move for both of us.

That’s all for now.
It’s time to load up on NASIDs and hopefully get some sleep.
See you from the Lone Star State next time.

P.S. Here’s a shot of all of us weeping widowed people from Camp.

The Day is Done ……

…… and  we  she survived the groomer.

On Thursday I was told that it would take two hours.
This morning, when I dropped her off at 11:00, I was told to pick her up between 3:30 and 4:00. Four and a half to five hours??!!
Holy cow! I didn’t say much, just passed over her treat bag that they had told me to bring so that they could bribe coax her into holding still.  She was so nervous that she wouldn’t take one from me.
She’s a lot like me …… definitely not a stress eater.

Since it was going to be such a long appointment, I decided to get some errands done and see a movie, which I did.
I finally saw “Still Alice”. Now, I read that book a few years ago and thought it was very good, though very disturbing …… to me. And depressing.
So, it’s taken me a while to be able to see it. When I know that a movie is going to be horrendously violent, horrifically depressing, or anything that touches too close to home (dead spouses and such), I don’t just run out and see it the first chance I get. I have learned that I need to be in the right frame of mind to see a movie like that.
Some people don’t understand that, and seem to get frustrated over it, but that’s not my problem. I know my mind …… and my heart. And I know that something like that can send me into a tailspin for a few days, and trust me …… tailspins aren’t all they’re cracked up to be.
So if I wait until I’m in a mood to see, and deal with it …… it’s all good.

I’m glad that I had read the book, so I knew what to expect. And really, the main reason I went was to see Julianne Moore’s acting. She’s nominated for an Oscar (which she well deserves) and I wanted to see her for myself.
So I did, and I’m fine.
No tailspin.

It’s the same thing with “American Sniper”. I’d like to see that. But the time hasn’t been right. Knowing the end beyond the end, makes the thought of this much worse.
Also, my father-in-law was a Marine Sniper in WWII. He was shot on Okinawa …… by a Japanese Sniper. Ironic?
I think he spent the better part of 2 years hospitalized and recuperating. He was told he’d never walk again.
But the man is nothing if not stubborn.
(Yes, all six of my kids have a double dose …… ALL of them. Sigh ……)
And he showed them.
He not only walked but farmed his own land for decades. He’s still living on the farm and still putters around out there, though I think he leaves the harvesting to his youngest son. By the way, he’s almost 88 or 89.

I know that I have totally digressed from my original post, but I’m going to digress some more. Just because I think this is a great story.

One day, back in the old days when we had only 4 children (I think. We could’ve had 5 …… maybe.), my in-laws were visiting us down in Texas. I had an appointment to take one of the kids to see our pediatrician. On a whim I asked my FIL if he’d like to come along with me.
Now, you have to know that I have no idea why I did that. I didn’t make a habit of asking him to accompany me anywhere, and if I had, he most likely would’ve said no.
But for whatever reason, I asked …… and he said yes. So we loaded up the one kid (I have no idea which one and it’s not relevant) and off we went. We got out of the car at the office and started walking up to the door.
My FIL read the sign on the door, listing the doctor’s name and said, “Hmmmmmm, ___________. I wonder if he’s any relation to the surgeon I had in the war?”
Now the doctor’s last name was not a common name. So I asked him where that would have been? He couldn’t remember exactly, but knew it was either on the ship, where he was for a very long time, or the hospital in California, where he ended up for a VERY long time.
Suddenly, I remembered that our doctor was in the Naval Reserve, which I told my FIL. “Yes”, he said. His doctor had also been in the Navy.

Now, I knew that our doctor was older, but I didn’t think it was possible that he was THE doctor we were talking about. But I told my FIL that I’d ask him once we got called back.
They called us back and I took my child while my FIL stayed in the waiting room. I don’t know if he was just reading or if we had brought more than one child (though I don’t think so) and he was watching him.

When the doctor came into the exam room, he started to examine my child (which I really think was one of the boys). I cleared my throat and did my best to not sound like a stalker …… and asked, “Was your father in World War II?”
He stopped looking at my child and looked at me.
“Yes”, he said, kind of cautiously.
“Was he a doctor in the war? Either on a ship or in California?”
At this point the doctor was looking quite suspicious of me. Yes, we’d been patients for a few years now, but I guess none of his others had asked about his private life before.
“Yes, he was. Why are you asking?” he said, warily.

“Well, my FIL was a sniper in WWII and was shot on Okinawa. He had surgery on a ship and after several months he ended up in a hospital in California. He said that his surgeon’s name was ________. Your last name.”

He stood up straight and just stared at me for a minute. I wondered if I’d have to perform CPR or something, which would’ve been a bit awkward, since I hadn’t taken a CPR class since I was pregnant with Daughter #1.
His prospects, should his heart have stopped …… did not look good.

Thankfully, he finally looked at me rather incredulously and said that yes, his father had indeed been a surgeon on the USS _______ (if you expect me to remember that then you obviously don’t know me very well), AND in a Naval hospital in California.

He asked where my FIL was and I surprised him with, “In the waiting room.” He could hardly contain his excitement as he followed me back out to the waiting room and met Jim’s dad. Yes, his father really was my FIL’s surgeon/doctor who cared for him back in the day. Way, way, WAY back in the day.
And our pediatrician was over the moon about that. He loved it.
From that point on he always asked how my FIL was when he saw us, whether that was in the office or in a grocery store.
He told his dad about meeting my FIL and his dad always asked about Jim’s dad whenever they saw each other.

I ran into our old doctor sometime last year. We are past the point of pediatricians and he’s long since retired, but he still knows me and stops to inquire about Jim’s dad. He told me that his father had passed away in the last year, but that he always asked about his former patient. He loved the story of us putting two and two together and realizing that it is, indeed, a small world.

There you go.
A wonderful, poignant story.
And it’s true.

And with that …… I shall leave you with before and after pictures of my adorable, precious, precocious puppy. 🙂

Look at all of that hair in her eyes!  This is a couple of weeks old, so her hair was even longer that that this morning.


And Voila!  She has eyes!!  She can see!  And she looks a whole lot smaller and weighs less than she did earlier in the day.
She’s just as feisty though.  And is chewing on everything she can get her teeth on.  Though it’s a bit more difficult now because she’s lost her bottom baby teeth.  She’s now gumming everything to death!  ROFL!!


I hope you all had a good weekend.
Stay warm.
Or cool.
Whatever floats your boat.


I Know They Don’t Mean to ……

…… but people can be SO freakin’ insensitive.

Thursday night I went to see this show:

It was cute and fun …… but my heart just wasn’t in it. My sweet friend, Amy had just lost her beautiful 15 year old son. I hadn’t even wanted to leave the apartment, but figured it would be good to get out.
A woman behind me whistled and shouted out during the entire show. The show was ok, but it certainly isn’t even in my top 20. And it was not whistle-worthy, let alone shouting-appropriate.
During intermission she was standing in the aisle, next to my seat, carrying on about what a terrific show it was and what a great time she was having. I was reading the Playbill when she suddenly leaned over, very close to my face and asked, rather pointedly, “Are YOU having a good time?”. I knew that she asked because I wasn’t carrying on and on about it, nor overly clapping.
For about a second I debated on telling her, “A friend of mine lost her son tonight, so NO, I’m not having a particularly good time, thank you.”

But I didn’t. She was clueless. But she also needs to stop and think before she does something like that.
We never know what the person next to us, or in front of us, is going through. We have no right to question their enthusiasm, or any other emotion.
We just need to stop.
And think.

In other news …… it is flippin’ cold here!! It got down to 17 degrees early this morning. It was so cold that I didn’t need to sleep with my window open and it was still 67 degrees in my bedroom when I got up.
So, for one of the first times ever …… I turned the heat on in there.
It’s that cold.

Tomorrow I’m taking Gracie in to get her first grooming. I’m really hoping that she still looks like a precious puppy when I pick her up. I don’t want a “grownup cut” on her … just a trim.
It’s also the first time I’ll be leaving her somewhere, although it’s only 2 hours or so.
I wonder if they’ll have to give her a sedative?
Or maybe me?

On Wednesday I’m leaving for Tampa and Camp Widow West. It’ll be nice to see everyone, especially friends whom I haven’t seen in too long.

I’d like to say that I’m looking forward to going, but my heart is hurting. When that happens it’s hard to “look forward” to much of anything.
I wish that I could go to Texas and be there for the funeral. I know that my friend won’t really know if I’m there or not, but it feels like I should go.
I checked flights this morning and the news wasn’t great. There’s another storm heading this way so I could very well end up stuck there, when I’m supposed to be leaving from NY on Wednesday.
Finding that out made me cry.
So for the next few days, my body will be in NY, but my heart will most definitely be in Texas.

There are so very many things I don’t understand. Like how a person can seem perfectly fine one minute, and then die a day later from bacterial meningitis, or an aortic dissection.
And why truly good people die, people who would’ve made such a positive impact in our world, while truly evil people live.

But even though I know that I’ll never understand those things, and many more, I will trust God.
I know that He’s led me to this point in my life.
I know that He has a plan for me, even though I sometimes think that this plan sucks.
I don’t have to understand everything, but I’m allowed to question. I’m allowed to cry, scream, and beat my fists upon the floor.
I’m allowed to be human.

And I know, that even in my humanity …… no, because of my humanity, my Father loves me unconditionally.
And that love has been with me in very dark caves, and through the Valley of Death.
I know that it will be with me as long as I live …… and after.

Even those days, like today, when I question Him.

We Survived ……

…… Snowmageddon 2015.
A misnomer, if you will.
Or even if you won’t.

So yeah.
The storm of the century has moved onward.
And upward.
And left a much smaller impact than was anticipated.
This is exactly why I never took cover during a tornado warning while I was growing up.
Me thinks that weathermen/women doth forecast too much.

The worst part of this massive snowpacolypse is the dang snow plows.
Yes, they do an amazing job of clearing the streets.
All night long.
And when a street doesn’t have a great deal of snow on it, the scraping sound of that blade on cement sounds like a plane landing.
Right outside your window.
Sweet dreams.

Here are some pictures I took throughout the day/evening as the great Blizzard of 2015 barreled its way towards us.














So yeah, it’s over.
But it certainly was an adventure.
If you watched the non-stop weather warnings and press conferences.

Tonight I braved the snow and headed to the theatre.
And I did not fall.
It was 26 degrees when I left, but it didn’t really feel that cold.
Not to me anyway.

When I left the theatre it was 23 degrees. Not much colder but the wind had picked up and it was very cold. Like 11 degrees cold.
And it certainly felt like it was 11.
But again …… I did not fall.
Score one for me.
I’m not sure who I’m competing with, but I’m ahead and that’s all that matters.

In other news (because there’s almost always other news, isn’t there?), I am on week three of an elimination diet. The goal of the diet is to get rid of inflammation in your body.
And it’s a pretty drastic way to go about it.

For three weeks (this one’s for you, Mom —-> “Thrrrreeeeeee weeks! And when thrrrrreeeee weeks are up …”) you can’t have any dairy, meat (except for turkey and chicken), wheat, oats and almost all other grains, processed food and chemicals, sugars, pretend sugars, oils (except for olive mostly), juices and …… alcohol.
And it’s just as fun as it sounds.

Actually, it hasn’t been too bad …… except for the last couple of days. I’m getting bored with the limited diet. You can have all fruits and veggies (though less of the starchy ones), mostly unlimited. You have to eat three meals a day and two snacks. And each time you eat, you have to have a specific proportion of protein to fruit and/or veggies.

You can find info about the TQI diet (To Quiet Inflammation), also known as The Abscal Way, here.
The woman who came up with it also published a “cook book” to go along with her book. It’s very small and pretty limited, but it has a few really good recipes.

So you endure that for 3 weeks, and then for 2 weeks you start introducing foods to hopefully see which one(s) cause the problems.
This diet has a large amount of great reviews by people who’ve done it. It sounds like it really works for most people.
As most of you know, I’m not like most people.
Sigh ……

I haven’t really noticed a difference yet, so I may stay on the elimination phase a week or two longer.
And then again, I may not.

Next week I head to Tampa for Camp Widow East. I’m looking forward to it, as usual.
When I get back from Camp, I’m unpacking, doing laundry and re-packing for a week long trip to Houston.
I’ve been missing Texas a lot lately.
I know!! What’s up with that?
It’s not the cold and the snow …… I love that and will certainly miss it when I leave.
But I’m ready to spend some time back home.

Although I’m not ready to have to deal with a dead refrigerator and a dying dishwasher.
Yep, the fridge stopped working.
I have no idea what the problem is, but I’m guessing that I’ll be buying two new appliances.
I’m trying not to scream.

Hopefully Son #2 will be able to get a repairman to come over and, very hopefully, fix it.
Please, God.

Speaking of Son #2, he’s moving to Austin at the end of next month.
I’m excited for him and, truthfully, a little excited for me.
But I’ll certainly miss him.
I like his company and I’ve really appreciated his being there when I’m not, to pick up the mail and keep things mostly in order.
It’ll be very different when he leaves.
I know I’ll feel sad, but it will also be nice to have the house to myself. And I’m looking forward to turning his bedroom into a nice guest room. That will keep me busy for a while.

After I get back from Texas, I unpack, do laundry and then re-pack and pack more. Five days later Son #1 and I are going to Spain.
Madrid, specifically, but I’m hoping we can also go to Barcelona.
For those who are on the new side here, he went to school there for a semester and really liked it. I went to visit him and I fell in love with Madrid.
He decided that he wanted to go there for his vacation this year, and he asked me if I wanted to come along with him.
I know!!
I’m excited.

Gracie will probably be fully traumatized by the first of March.
But then we’ll go to Texas for a couple of months so hopefully I can coax her off of the ceiling in that time.
I’m not taking any bets, though.
In the last few days she has started letting me leave a room, or go into the bathroom and shut the door (!) without having to get up and follow close behind.
Of course she is.
Because I’m leaving on Wednesday.
Poor Daughter #3, who’ll be left behind to puppy-sit.
I don’t know about her, but I just LOVE to hear the ear-piercing screams and whines from my dog …… said no one ever.
Again, poor Daughter #3.
I may have to bring her something from Florida.
Like a puka shell necklace.

I guess I’d better close and publish this post now. It’s almost midnight and sleep has not been a close friend of mine for a couple of weeks. I seem to stay awake until at least 3:00.
But hopefully it’ll come earlier tonight.

So good night to all (or good morning/afternoon if that’s when you read this).
Hopefully you’re all safe and warm if you live in the northeast.
Oh, I hope the rest of you are safe, too …… you’re probably used to being warm.

So ……

…… Christmas was good.
Really good.
And though you might not believe it, most of the time you would’ve been hard pressed to know that there were 9 people, a baby and a puppy in the apartment!
In fact, there were a couple of times when one of us noted how quiet/empty the apartment was.
That’s NY for you, Baby!!!
So much to do and see that your apartment doesn’t get cramped.

All of the kids made it safely.
Son #3 had a slight hiccup with United Airlines and ended up spending in the night in the Dulles Airport. After which he informed me in no uncertain terms that he in now done with that airline.
I didn’t pay too much attention.
I couldn’t blame him, but I still didn’t pay much attention.

Which made him all the more happier when, on his way home, his flight out of here was delayed/cancelled because the pilot didn’t show up for his shift that day.
To that I have to say this: Karma is a bitch, man.

It all worked out in the end. After several hours the found someone else and he did end up making his connecting flight out of Chicago to Oklahoma, so all’s right with the world.
As long as I don’t book him on United ever, ever again.
I told him that as soon as he had enough cash to buy his own airline tickets he could buy whatever he wanted, but until then, I would continue to go with the best deal.
Then he said, “Fine, I’ll start buying my own.”
Which makes one (or maybe just me) ponder: Where does he think that money will come from? Will it float down from heaven? Will he sell even more plasma??
Oh well, it’s grand to be 20 and oh-so-wise-to-the-ways-of-the-world.

Little Bit did pretty well, for a three old that was totally out of his element. He was a bit fussy at times but he was also chatty and laughing a good deal of the time. He’s such a joy to hold and talk to, especially early in the morning, which seems to be his favorite time.

The kid is growing by leaps and bounds. I think there may have been some items I purchased a few weeks ago that he never got to wear because he’s suddenly busting out!!
But that gives me a good reason to go baby-clothes shopping, so whoop!!!!
He did a great job on the planes and gave his mama some stress-free flight time. I was happy for both of them.

Gracie is doing well and still has my heart wrapped around her little stump of a tail. Mostly.
I’ve got to find out out to train her to stop nipping at everyone with fingers. Especially her two year old friend that Daughter #3 takes care of. He LOVES Gracie and she loves him back with equal abandonment, but she just can’t control her “love bites”.

OK, I’m going to end this now so that I can go to bed. I’ll go ahead a publish it, but I’m hoping to come back to it and add pictures and stories in the next day or so.
So please ignore all typos.

Happy New Year, Peeps!

Why Do I Always Forget ……

…… that I don’t really care for this day?

I’m not sure if I’ve ever written about it. I certainly haven’t spent much time thinking about it. But yet when I look back, this day has traditionally been a difficult day to get through.
At least for the last 7 years.

I think it gets forgotten in the shadows of the December days. Maybe I’m always so focused on getting through those that I totally forget about this one.

It should be a good day. A day of hope. A day of new beginnings. A day of promises.
It should be.
That’s what I’m told.

Good Christians shouldn’t be depressed on New Year’s Day, right?
We should keep those sad thoughts out and focus on being positive.
And shame on us if we don’t.

So shame on me …… because I don’t.
And I’m not going to pretend otherwise.
Funny …… I think God understands.

Yes, my life is mostly good.
Yes, I am mostly happy.
Yes, all of my children are healthy.
Yes, I get to live in New York.
Yes, it’s been seven years since Jim died.
Yes, I know I’m not alone.

But loneliness can sneak its way in …… even when you’re not alone.
Even among a room full of people.
Sometimes especially in a room full of people.

Another year of being one.
Which isn’t always bad.
But many times feels that way.

Of course, it doesn’t help that this apartment went from the hustle and bustle of about 7 to 10 people, to just me and the puppy today.
The hardest part of all that …… was saying goodbye to Daughter #2 and Little Bit this morning.
It was the hardest because it was probably the last time I’ll see him. The last time I’ll hold him.
The last time I’ll see him break into a smile when he sees my face.
I hate good byes.

Daughter #2 still has more time with him. How much time is unknown, but probably not a lot. So I worry about her and my heart breaks for the good bye she’ll have to face.

When you love someone …… there will be pain.
But the depth and breadth of that love …… makes the pain worth it.
I would certainly do it all over again …… knowing the outcome would be the same.
And I have no doubt that Daughter #2 would do it all again. In fact, she will be doing it all again. Over and over, most likely.
She has an abundance of love to give.

It was very quiet around here today.
Too quiet.
So I decided to make myself get out and be distracted.
Which is difficult to do because it means leaving behind a screaming puppy.
And I do mean screaming.

It’s so much easier to just stay in and do nothing when I’m feeling depressed. And I struggled with it today. But I knew that I really had to get out of this apartment, or I’d just sit and cry all day thinking about the way things should’ve been.
And thinking about Jim’s birthday that’s coming up on Wednesday. And how he’ll never be a day older than 47.
Which makes me sad and pisses me off all at the same time.
Thankfully I’m flying to California that day so that’ll be somewhat of a distraction.

Oh, that reminds me …… I got distracted from telling you what my distraction was today.
I know you’re shocked.
I went to see “Into the Woods”.
I liked it very much.
I wish it could’ve ended 40 minutes earlier than it did …… but I still liked it.
Meryl Streep is a hoot.
I know you’re shocked again.

The movie helped.
I’m not feeling as down as I was.
I’m glad that I forced myself to get out.
Screaming puppy and all.
My neighbors? Probably not so much.

Hopefully I’ll remember ahead of time that this day just isn’t the greatest. And I’ll schedule some distractions in advance.

I may need a reminder to remember.
The trouble is …… most of my friends would need a reminder to remind me.
Sigh ……

Lights in the Dark ……

…… can light up anyone’s face.

Last night I went to Brooklyn with several women from the Manhattan Women’s Club (remember, not as fancy/snobby as it sounds, I promise). We went to look at Christmas lights in Dyker Heights. Don’t worry, I’d never heard of it either, but wow! Check it out here.

Here are some pictures:





















One of the neat things about all of those lights, aside from the fact that I don’t have to pay those electric bills, is the look on people’s faces when they see each house. It’s like you can’t help but smile when you see the decorations and all of those lights.

Light dispels darkness in more ways than one.

And light comes in more ways than one.

Today my Facebook page has been a huge light on what could be a dark day.
So has my cell phone.
The comments and texts today have been so full of love and support that I’ve been speechless, which of course is no easy feat.

I hadn’t expected so many people to post on my page.
I hadn’t expected all of the loving and kind words.
I hadn’t expected so much light.

Seven years.
Seven sometimes-very-slow-years.
Seven sometimes-faster-than-the-speed-of-light-years.
Or so it seems.

Seven years that I never want to re-live.

I’m thankful to be on this side of that valley.
The voyage out wasn’t pretty …… to put it mildly.
It was bloody, and messy and ugly.
It was horrible.
And it took a long time.
But it’s good to be out.

That doesn’t mean I don’t have my moments.
I’ll always have moments.
And I’m ok with that.
Because moments are sure better than that valley.

So to all of you who gave me light today …… thank you. From the bottom of my heart …… thank you.
You helped make this day the easiest one yet.
I love you.
Each one of you.
More than I can say.

Thank you for filling my day with light.
And thank you for filling my heart with love.

Contrary to Popular Belief ……

…… for at least some people, the 7 (seven) year mark does not mean that I am all better.
That I am healed. That I am over the loss of the other half of me.
That tears do not come now.
That I no longer miss him.

When I think about that last non-friend who posted how I should no longer be mourning Jim, I want to scream. It didn’t affect me like that at the time. I just felt sorry for her.
But now, NOW it pisses me off.
Because who the the hell does she think she is, that she can tell me, ME, the one who had Jim ripped out of her life and her children’s lives, how I’m supposed to feel now. I’d like to punch her in the face right now.
And probably for the next few weeks.

This is the hard time.
Yes, it’s much easier here in NY. SO much easier. But that doesn’t mean that it’s painless. Because it’s not. I still miss him. And I still cry when I type that. Every damn time.

My life is good.
I am happy.
I’m content.
I feel joy.

But I also feel loss.
I feel the hole left in my heart.
I miss him more than I can say.

And I don’t expect that to ever change.
This time of the year will always bring joy and sorrow to my family.
It is what it is.

I loved him with all of my being.
I still love him.
I will always love him.

I never took him for granted.
I knew that I was blessed.
And, truthfully, I never thought for one second, that I deserved him.
I thanked God for him on a daily basis.

And though I didn’t feel worthy, God blessed me with him.

So …… when it comes to thinking of another love …… I doubt very much that that will happen.
Because I know I’m not worthy of two great loves in one life.
You may think differently, but that’s what’s ingrained into my brain. Into the very fiber of my being. I will never have another love as true and as wonderful as Jim.
And really …… I’m mostly ok with that. Because I had a love and a relationship that very few people have.
Which makes me sad. For those people.
But at least I had it.

I can’t expect it to happen again.
So I don’t.
That doesn’t mean that I don’t long for it to happen again.
But I guess I’m a realist. If I was so blessed to have it once, it’s not very likely that I’ll find it again.

Part of me is ok with that. I like doing what I want to do, when I want to do it. I like having all of the closet space. I like having a pretty clean garage.
I like my independence.

But I’d also like to have love and security in my life. The kind of security that comes from having someone who has your back, no matter what.
I miss that.
I miss holding his hand.
I miss falling asleep next to him.
I miss catching his eye from across a room, and feeling the warmth that came with that look.

I miss the family that we had.
Things would be so different if he were still here.
So much better.
But …… it is what it is.
So I try to make it better.
As much as I can.
I don’t have as much power as I wish I had.

So …… that’s all.
I’m happy.
And I’m sad.

I’m content.
And I wish I weren’t alone.

I have a great life.
But I wish I had love.

It is what it is.

Just as it is with everyone else in the world.