Friday, January 29, 2010

A Year Of Memories, January 29th 2000

I just got back from the gym a little while ago. I realized while I was there that today was January 29th. I don't want to write today at all. But I have to keep up with my "A year of Memories" posts, right? I made a commitment to it, so I should stick with it. Sorry if my writing today is jumbled, un-flowy and all that crap, I just don't feel like remembering today.

When Barry and I were married, we had a very very small wedding. Only a few people were in attendance, and we didn't have much of a reception. If you want to count the Brauhaus, then we'll count that, but that memory will come later this year.

Sometime in January 2000, Denise Pledger, the wife of one of Barry's Sgt's, offered to host a reception of some sorts for us at her house. They held it on our one month anniversary. I don't even really remember who came to it! I know for sure it was us, The Pledgers, Sgt Mac and a few others. I really couldn't tell you though.

We had lots of good food, I do remember that. I had this cookbook that my mom had bought me years before that, a Hershey Cookbook that I still have to this day, and it had a fantastic chocolate mousse recipe in it. Barry and I made that for the party, and prepared it in our room in the barracks.

We had the ironing board set up b/c we had no counter space, so there he was, mixing up chocolate mousse on an ironing board in the barracks. It cracks me up to this day, I can still picture it in my mind, seeing him there with the mixer in his hand.

At the party, the only gift I really remember getting was some baking dishes from Sgt Bravo, she was Barry's squad Sgt, and a Blender from Sgt Mac. I still had that blender years later, in fact, I think I only got rid of it a couple years ago because it finally died or something. I have a funny story about that blender though, that I will have to share later. And that blender also made all of our baby food for all 4 kids, it served us well for a very long time.

That is all I remember about that night, our post-wedding wedding-reception. It was a fun night though.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

A Life, Lost.

I was trying to think of what to write today, as I haven't been writing too much lately, and today at my Grief Works group, I got the inspiration.

We've begun the task in our group of taking turns sharing. Each week, 4 of our group share about the person they lost. Today one of the ladies shared about her husband who passed away about a month before Barry. They had been married for 51 years. 51 years.

As she was sharing her story, I couldn't help but start crying. In fact, most of us cried while everyone else was sharing. Next week is my turn, so I need to prepare some stuff and get pictures/mementos ready as well.

Why did I start crying? Because the life that I was supposed to have is lost. A Life, Lost.

I grieve not only for Barry, but for the life that I was supposed to have. I was so lucky to have 11 years of him in my life, to love him for that long, but how I long for forever.

I don't deserve this life that I have now. How is it fair that the life I was supposed to have has been ripped from my clutches and tossed aside? The dreams that we had as a couple, for our family and our future and ourselves, have been LOST. They will never come to fruition. I will never get that 51 year anniversary with the love of my life.

Barry and I had our challenges in our marriage, as every couple does. We had the ups and downs emotionally, financially etc etc, but through it all, we still loved each other. We always stuck by each other, no matter what the difficulty we were faced with. We had the perfect marriage. We complimented each other so well, we were best friends, and we loved each other with our whole being.

I'm angry that I've lost my life. Everything that I planned on, is gone, is lost. What am I supposed to do now? I feel lost myself! I don't know what to do with my self. The only plans I have right now are to buy a home, and to go back to work or school once A is in school full time in 3 years. But what about after that?

How do I pick up the pieces and move forward?

There was no thought in my mind that Barry wouldn't get better. His death was not a possibility in my mind. I figured that we would get through this as best as we could, we would pick up the pieces and manage, and life would move on despite this little hiccup. I never in my wildest dreams imagined that when I brought him to the hospital on the night of October 5th that he would NEVER come home. Well wait, he DID come home. He came home in a wooden box, cradled in my arms, on October 15th. And now he sits on my dresser in my bedroom, watching over me as I sleep every night.

I wonder if I had the chance to prepare for this new life, if it would have made things easier? if Barry had cancer or some other terminal disease, would I have been able to contemplate this new life I would have? I don't know what I would prefer: Him being sick for a very long time and knowing the inevitable, or what I was given with him dying unexpectedly. I don't know, I just don't know. It's almost like the analogy about love. Is it better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all?

There will never be the travelling that we dreamed of together. We'll never get to enjoy our grandchildren together. He will miss the major milestones like A starting kindergarten, learning how to ride a bike, read, tie her shoes. He'll miss the 13th birthdays. The 18th Birthdays. He'll miss the kids going off to college, graduating, getting married, them having babies, and us becoming grandparents. He'll miss it all. This life, it is LOST.

I don't know how to pick up the pieces. I don't know how to move forward with this new life when all I have known is OUR life. Now I have MY life.

I am grieving a life, lost.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Little Things

At random times, I find little pieces of Barry around me.

There is no rhyme or reason to when they pop up, sometimes there are a lot, and sometimes there aren't many at all.

It's when I notice my eyes glance to the clock, and it is always at 11:11 AM, the time he died. This happens quite often actually, and it's quite painful for me.

It's walking through Target and finding the double pack of deodorant I would always buy for him. Degree. I kept the last stick he was using, I have it tucked away in his toiletry bag.

It's seeing a 12 pack of Pepsi Throwback, that he loved so very much. When he was alive, it was only out in the 20oz glass bottles, which we found at Safeway.

It's hearing a song, which isn't even meant to be sad, but has words like "How am I supposed to move on when I'm still in love with you?", or another song that has words like "I'm still alive but I'm barely breathing...when a heart breaks no it don't break even....I'm falling to pieces...what am I supposed to do when the best part of me was always you?". When I hear words like this, like yesterday, I sob to myself while I am driving home from errands. Words like this make me sad.

It's watching "Inglourious Basterds" for the first time since August, when we saw it in the theater on our last date. I watched it the other night, and I got through it ok, but I couldn't help but think of Barry the whole time and the time we spent in the theater watching it. He wanted us to sit at the very back, and there was the A/C fan above me and I was FREEZING. Seeing "The Jew Hunter" and knowing how much Barry loved him. Remembering that night we went to Cold Stone creamery and had ice cream together after the movie.

It's not being able to watch "Religulous" with Bill Mahr, because that was the movie we saw when he was home for E's birthday in October 2008. I had it at home for two months with Netflix and I was meaning to watch it, but I just couldn't, so I sent it back.

It's cleaning out the van and finding some bottles of his that were hidden under the seat, and not knowing they were there. Or going through my junk basket and finding an old can of Copenhagen that was his, and that I have now purposely left in there.

And it's having his picture around to look at even when I get sad.

Barry is all around me, sometimes I wish I could escape him, but it seems impossible.

Barry, "how can I move on when I'm still in love with you?"

Thursday, January 21, 2010

I'm Fallin' To Pieces

This is how I feel.

"I'm still alive, but I'm barely breathing...when a heart breaks, no it don't break even. I'm fallin' to pieces, I'm fallin' to pieces...what am I supposed to do when the best part of me was always you?"

Today I was reading through my status updates back from October, through to now, and just sat at my computer sobbing, my shoulders shaking as I cried into my hands. Big crocodile tears running down my cheeks and onto my t-shirt.

I miss Barry. I miss him so much. I feel like the grief hits me at the most random times, when I least expect it to. And I'm LONELY. so so so lonely.

I wonder if my forgetting is just not a good thing. Probably not, right? I need to see a counselor, and badly. I just haven't had the time to make the phone call to look around. I did call the chaplain at the hospital to see if they could give me any recommendations, but I haven't heard back from them yet.

Most of all I am having trouble dealing with the reality of the situation. I thought I had dealt with it, but I don't think I have. Sure I don't get to talk to Barry on the phone all the time, and I'm starting to forget what that was even like. And it's only been 3 months. Most of all I miss the companionship. Having someone there to listen to me, to talk to me, to love me, and just be there with me.

So I just push the pain aside, go through my day to day life, and try to find other avenues for my loneliness. Yesterday afternoon I took my youngest daughter to the lake near our house, and shot some awesome pics of the Capitol building. Some were so awesome that I am going to frame them and put them in my new house! I dont know what else to do to combat the loneliness though. The gym is helping, I go as often as I can, 3-4 times a week for an hour or two. I talk on the phone to my friends, which helps somewhat. Or I just spend time aimlessly looking at the computer, and do nothing. I've been meaning to break open my sewing machine, but I don't want to set it up until I have a house.


I stepped away from the computer for an hour while I was writing this and lost my train of thought. I'll try to continue it later. Sometimes I find it difficult to get back into the groove if I've stepped away.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Being Sad

It hits you at the oddest times.

I've found that in the last few months, even when I think I'm doing ok, that I'm really not. Its not even being sad about Barry, but perhaps something else is really eating at me, and I don't know it.

Those are the times when I just want to curl into a ball and cry, and yell and scream about how unfair life is.

And then though I may not realize it, Barry's death is still affecting me, and affects my moods. Like last night I was having an OK day up until last night, and then something really started to bother me a lot. I just tried to push it away as best as I could, but by the time I finally crashed and went to bed, I was emotionally exhausted and landed up crying myself to sleep.

I was talking to him when I went to bed last night, and I was ANGRY. So Angry at him for leaving. I was asking him WHY did he have to leave, and if he was back my life would be so much easier. I would give up everything to have him back.

This Evanescence song reminds me so much of Barry. I feel him here with me, but at times I wish he would just leave me alone so I could move on. I want him here, but his presence lingers on and on and on. I can't turn a corner in this house without a reminder of him. And it's HARD, so HARD that I can't do anything in this house without seeing him or having a reminder of him.

"My Immortal"

I'm so tired of being here
Suppressed by all my childish fears
And if you have to leave
I wish that you would just leave
'Cause your presence still lingers here
And it won't leave me alone

These wounds won't seem to heal
This pain is just too real
There's just too much that time cannot erase

When you cried I'd wipe away all of your tears
When you'd scream I'd fight away all of your fears
And I held your hand through all of these years
But you still have
All of me

You used to captivate me
By your resonating light
Now I'm bound by the life you left behind
Your face it haunts
My once pleasant dreams
Your voice it chased away
All the sanity in me

These wounds won't seem to heal
This pain is just too real
There's just too much that time cannot erase


I've tried so hard to tell myself that you're gone
But though you're still with me
I've been alone all along


Saturday, January 16, 2010

A Year Of Memories, January 17th 1999

If you've been reading regularly, you'll know that I have decided to do "A Year Of Memories" post on every significant day during our marriage and courtship.

I feel like with today's blog post I am backtracking somewhat in mine and Barry's relationship, as it was not the first significant day in our history, but rather the 2nd. However, that first day will have to come December 18th of this year, so be patient for that! lol

By January 17th of 1999, Barry and I had been chatting quite often through email and yahoo. He had sent me an email before asking if we could talk on the phone. I could probably dig through my old emails, which I did save, and find the exact one that he mentioned talking on the phone, but for now my memories will have to do. He told me that he wouldn't spend a lot of money on a phone card, but that he just wanted to hear my voice. So I gave him my phone # and waited....

That day was Super Bowl Sunday. I can't believe it was 11 years ago!

The phone rang at about 9:20AM PST, and I was in the living room at my dad's house. I don't remember what I was doing, what I was wearing. I remember nothing of that day but waiting for the phone to ring. And then it did, coming all the way from Germany, from a hallway in the barracks which I would eventually call home less than a year later....

The first thought I remember was how sexy I thought his voice was. I remember writing in my journal how much I LOVED it. I was STOKED that he had an accent. I remember laughing a lot. And I remember just being so excited that I finally got to hear his voice. And I remember just beaming while he talked, just being able to hear him speak.

And unfortunately that is all I remember. But it was such a good day, and always stuck out in my head.

I'm sorry I don't have much more of an exciting memory to share with you all, but it was an important one to me. The next day will be February 8th, the day our first two babies were born.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Disneyland, But Later

Everyone and their dog knows I am planning on taking the kids to Disneyland, right?

My original plan was to go soon, and I was planning on late March or early April. But unfortunately I think I have bitten off more than I can chew, and I can't handle planning that right now.

Right now I am in the middle of looking for houses, and even put an offer on one yesterday! House shopping is very time consuming, so I have been super busy with that. Plus I have a few other obligations I can't get out of, so I just figured that Disney can wait.

The time I am shooting for is October of this year. I know that is 10 months away, but honestly, I think it would be easier for us to go then. It will be one year then, and to have us all distracted, and having fun and laughing, will be what Barry would have wanted. Rather than us sitting at home being depressed, and missing him, we will be out having fun and enjoying ourselves. Celebrating his life, and how much of a wonderful and loving daddy, husband and friend he was.

Sorry for not blogging often, I really have been so busy that I haven't felt like sitting down to write. But rest assured, my first "A Year of Memories" post will be coming up soon! And if I get the house I put an offer on, I will post that information too. I can't wait to share it all with you!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

In Honor Of My Husband

I just wanted to post this link really quick, and then I will be back to write later about this song and its meaning to Barry and his life..


The lyrics to this song are

O Fortune
like the moon you are changeable
ever waxing and waning
hateful life
First oppresses and then soothes as fancy takes it;
poverty, power
it melts them like ice.
Fate- monstrous and empty
you whirling wheel, you are malevolent.
Well being is in vain and always fades to nothing
shadowed and veiled you plague me too;
now through the game I bring my bare back to your villainy.
Fate is against me in health and virtue,
driven on and weighed down always enslaved.
So at this hour without delay pluck the vibrating strings;
Since Fate strikes down the strong man; everyone weep with me!

Thank you to the anonymous reader that gave me the link to this on YouTube! I have looked at it before, but just the other day found it again and really listened/read the lyrics. It is so ironic that these words speak of him so well, how fate really did strike down the strong man. It just screams Barry! And how fitting since this was one of his favorite songs.

Throughout the years of our marriage we got the chance to talk about death a lot. He mentioned often how he always wanted this song played when they "carried him out", and in this case, he was carried out in his urn. We played the music so loud in Hope Chapel when he was taken out, he was taken out in a blaze of glory. I did it for him, I did what he wanted, and it made me so happy to do that.

I think it is so interesting how music can literally etch certain memories into your mind. Even the first few notes of a song just bring you back in time to that EXACT moment. I have one song that Barry loved, and I found to play at his service that was just perfect. It was an Aaron Neville and Linda Ronstadt song about love, obviously, and I had it played as I walked up to the podium to speak about him at his service. When I hear the music start I can think only of myself, walking up the aisle to the podium, my "speech" clenched in my hand, and just crying and smiling at the same time. Knowing I was about to say goodbye to my husband, and tell everyone what a wonderful man he was.

Another thing that is etched into my mind is the time 11:11AM. My eyes always seem to glance at the clock at that time. Not every day, but quite often lately it has been happening. 11:11 is the time that he died. The time the Dr stopped the CPR and called the time of death. The time my life was forever and completely changed.

Barry, today is a sad day and I have been crying off and on most of the morning. I miss you so much sexy man! I wish I could be happy. Sometimes I feel like I am getting happy again, and then I just feel destitute the next moment. I'm so lonely! I really really miss you honey. And I love you so much.

I'll always love you less than three.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Dear Barry

Hey Baby,

I haven't written you in awhile and thought I might like to write you a letter today.

Things here are going OK as they can be, but we miss you so much. I've found myself forgetting about you just because it's easier to get through the day. But please know that I don't really forget, I just close the pain off from my heart and my mind so that I can manage. I find that if I think about you too much I feel anxious and panicky. That happened today when I was on my way out to run some errands, I drove by the hospital and immediately thought about you and your last moments, the last time I looked into your eyes. And immediately I started to feel anxious and stressed, and I had to force myself to stop thinking about it. I just couldn't handle it. Please don't be upset with me for managing this way, I just don't know any way else to do it. You'll be happy to know I am going to grief support starting on the 13th. I wasn't sure I wanted to go, but I am looking forward to going. It's for 6 weeks and its for 2.5 hours every Wednesday. I think it will be good for me, very good, I need the support of people who have been through this too. Sometimes I just want to clench my fists, scream and stomp my feet because I'm so angry that you had to leave us. Dammit this isn't fucking fair! Why did you get taken away from us when so many other people deserved to go before you??

We barely got through Christmas without you, that was so hard. And believe it or not, our anniversary wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. I thought about you most of the day, and thought about our wedding day, and all the wonderful memories we have of that day. You sewing me into my dress, the fact that we spoke more German than the translator, PIZZA HUT!!!, Tiramisu at the restaurant across from our hotel, all those fun and wonderful things. New Years Eve was the hardest day for me, apart from Christmas. I felt like I was leaving you behind in 2009. I didn't want to start the new year without you. I DON'T want to do this without you. I was afraid on new years eve because that meant that I was leaving behind the last year I had with you, you'll never be in another year with us. And that was so incredibly hard to accept. But here I am, it's January 7th, and I'm doing it. Doesn't make it any easier though, I miss you so much.

I decided that this year, 2010, I was going to make it start with a BANG! All of the decisions I have made, all the choices I have made, I have heard your voice in my head giving me your opinion. Thank you for guiding me along the way. Thank you for leaving us a legacy, providing for us even in death. I bet you know that I am buying a house! I am!!! I met with the realtor today and even went to look at some properties today. I am going to try keep the kids in their school if I can, but if not, I have a few places in mind that are elsewhere. Kids will adjust I guess, right? You always said that. I'm going to try find a 5 bedroom if I can, but if not, a 4 bedroom will have to do for now. Remember that development right down the road from us where they were building all the new homes? I looked at one home there, and I loved it. Not sure it has enough bedroom space, but I'm keeping it in mind. I also went back to the gym! I am finally going to make this the year I lose it and keep it off. I am going back tomorrow! Keep an eye out for me, ok? You can watch my butt from behind, I know you always liked doing that! :)

Well my dear, it is getting to be time for me to make the kids dinner. Tonight I'm making scrambled eggs, bacon and hash browns.

I don't know when I will write again, but please know that I am keeping you close to my heart, and I will always and forever love you. Come visit me in my dreams. I miss you sexy man!



Monday, January 04, 2010

Sharing My Excitement

Today I started the process of purchasing a HOME!!!!

I am so excited and pumped to do this!

A couple months ago, I was put in touch with a good Realtor who's son was in the same class as my son. I wanted to wait till after the new year to start looking, to give us time to get through the holidays and deal with all that emotional drama without worrying about buying a home.

Today I called him, and we have an appointment on Thursday afternoon. I am super excited. Stoked! The plan is to get a general idea of what I am looking for, where, and what I want. No looking at properties yet. And Wednesday afternoon I also have an appointment with a guy at my bank to crunch numbers for mortgages. We are going to figure out what I can afford, and what I should put as a down payment, etc etc.

I can not wait to do this. Barry and I did own a home before, but it was all in his name, so this is all new to me. I am so excited to own a house! I can re-model if I want, decorate the way I want, paint, anything I want to do. When we owned before, we were house-poor, and this time I am not, so it is such a different experience for me.

The only challenge I am facing right now is WHERE to buy. I want to keep the kids in their school if at possible, but I have so so many more options if I move out of our boundary lines. It's a real conundrum I tell ya, I really don't know what to do. I wish that Barry was here to help me with this decision. I know he would just say move wherever the best house is if he were alive and doing it with us, but our school has been so wonderful to us, and so supportive since Barry died, that I just don't know if I can leave. Plus, I want A to go to kindergarten there, so I am just not sure what to do.

I'll update as needed. I'm excited to share my house buying progress with all of you.

Friday, January 01, 2010

A Year Of Memories

I have trouble blogging about Barry sometimes. I don't like to remember when I can help it, but sometimes I just need to do it. Honestly it's just easier to go through each day and not think about him.

It's how I cope. I just forget most of the time.

So I had this idea to remember him this year. I thought that on every single special event, or day that is significant, I would post a memory of that day. Talk about why it is important, tell you all about my memory of that day, and share my feelings on it.

The first one that will be coming up is January 17th. I'll leave it at that. It was a really important day to me 11 years ago. After that comes the twins' birthdays, then a day at the end of February. Then his birthday in March, A's birthday in March, a day in April, etc etc. Most of these days are significant from the first year we knew each other, but other days have had special meaning throughout our marriage and our life together. Some months will have quite a few days of memories, and others will have only one if that. And if that month doesn't have a special day, then I will write about something that actually happened during that month sometime during our marriage.

I'm looking forward to sharing with you all. It will give you all a glimpse into our lives and our past, while still allowing me to remember and grieve, and laugh, cry, be happy and sad all at the same time.

Look for the first "A Year of Memories" post on January 17th.