Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Two More Sleeps!!

Well in Barry's own word's, "The shits about to hit the fan".

Two days and counting. Two more sleeps left in this house!

Today I was at the new house because the bulk of my furniture was being delivered. I had a sectional, a couch, an end table, two coffee tables, a chest of drawers and a dresser delivered. Still coming in the next month is my night stand, mirror and arm chair. Props to Macy's because they came ON TIME and were out of the house by 10AM!! I was incredibly impressed with them.

What I am not impressed with is the way the furniture is arranged. My friends and I have some re-arranging to do, because I don't like the flow of the living room. The TV stand and TV are not centered with the TV and it looks "off", so that will be something we have to work on.

My sister and a mutual friend were over yesterday and cleaned out (almost) my entire kitchen, save for a few cupboards and the fridge. All of the kitchen is packed (and unpacked in the new house) except for a few minor things. I hadn't seen my sissy poo since December, so it was nice to visit with her and Suzy. We drank too much wine, and laughed and cried about everything. We were sad to see them leave last night, but we'll see them again soon.

Yesterday I was also blessed to receive an email from my MOPS group coordinator. I have a bevy of ladies coming over tomorrow to help me pack up the rest of the house! They'll also be helping me clean this place out. I just about cried when I saw that email, what a blessing they have been to me this year, especially in the last 6 months since Barry passed.

I've been wanting to talk about how I'm feeling lately, but I just don't have the words right now. More in depth blog posts will be coming soon about that, I just can't do it right now. I'm still struggling, and still having trouble believing he is dead sometimes, feeling like I am in a dream. With moving and all that that entails, its just too much to get into my emotions right now.

That being said, I think this will be my last blog post from this house! I do have one scheduled for Friday morning, a goodbye post to this house, that will post automatically. My internet won't be hooked up till Saturday sometime, so I will be absent for a few days. I hope everyone has a fantastic Easter weekend! Think of us in the next few days as we deal with all the chaos that moving entails, and leave this house and move into our new one without Barry.

Happy Easter!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Four Days And Counting

Well, moving day is certainly creeping up on me, we're at four days and counting till the BIG DAY!!

It kind of hit the kids and I this morning at breakfast. Suddenly there was excitement in the air at breakfast, little whispers and squeals about moving in four days. Questions about when their beds would be taken apart, and how would we pack all the rest of the stuff. I really have confidence that the packing will be done by Friday morning. There isn't that much left at all to do, especially since I have thrown away SO much stuff. I have filled up our household size dumpster 3 times. Yes, you read that right, THREE times! I still have it and will keep it for another couple weeks because there will be residual stuff left here, including some dressers I have to demolish yet.

I can't believe that this journey I started back in January is almost done. This house was the 2nd house I looked at, but I didn't want to put an offer on it because I was set on having bigger bedrooms. But after many failed showings, the houses just not being right for us, my realtor surprised me Feb 11th and brought us back one time. I was feeling defeated at this point, as a house I had put an offer on had fallen through because the seller filed bankruptcy, so when we went to look at it again, I put an offer on it. The offer was accepted and the house was mine on February 12th. And now I am so incredibly excited. This gorgeous house is mine, I can call it mine and do what I want to it.

Tomorrow starts the flurry of deliveries and appointments. I am so excited to see all the stuff I bought put into their rightful spots, and I most certainly can NOT wait to show pictures of everything!! I have deliveries scheduled for Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday. We are all so excited to have our stuff in the house.

I am a little afraid of Thursday night. It will be our very last night sleeping in this house, the very same way Barry left it...despite all the chaos with boxes in it. There will never be another night in this house again, never another night with my bed set up the way he did it. As much as I don't like living here, I will miss it because it was our last home with Barry. I know this wouldn't be a forever home, as it is older and just a rental, we would have moved eventually regardless of what happened (as we were planning on moving to PA this summer), but it is still going to be an emotional time for us. I don't know if it will hit me so much on Thursday, but perhaps Thursday night as I lay down. And most definitely Friday when the movers take away everything. What's funny is that the house won't even be empty when the movers leave, as I have Habitat for Humanity coming next Wednesday to pick up all the old furniture. Perhaps it will really hit me on Friday night as I lay down for the first night in my new house, but only time will tell.

Honestly, my biggest fear is that he won't come with us to the new house. I am scared I won't feel his presence there, surrounding us with his love. I can feel him here from time to time, I know he's watching over us. I just want him to come with us, to move to the new house with us. Or perhaps he'll haunt and terrorize the new tenants...hahaha. That's so him too ;-) I really do just want him to come with us, and help make our new home a peaceful home as well.

Back to packing!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Dear Barry

Dear Barry,

Today I have something so incredibly awesome to tell you!

Guess who's coming to Seattle???? JIMMY!!!!!! Yes, you read that right, JIM NORTON!!!!! I saw the update on face book last night, and squealed because I was so excited to see that he was finally coming again. The show is on May 28th, Memorial Day weekend. Eeek!!!

Tickets go on sale in just two hours and I am anxiously waiting to refresh the ticket master site. I am just beside myself with excitement. I can not wait to go and see him in person. When I go to the show, I am going to do my damnedest to get a picture with him...maybe I'll finally be able to tell him about that dream? Remember that? hahahaha.

I know that Jimmy was your favorite comedian, heck I heard about him for hours some days and I just wanted to strangle you because you wouldn't shut up. Strangely, I miss hearing about "the boys" now, and would give anything to hear you talk about them. I want to do this for you, and for me as I know absolutely LOVE him, and I know you'll be there in spirit with me.

I'll save you a seat, ok?
I love you and miss you baby.


Just have to add in a little side note for you guys. I just bought the tickets! I am beside myself with excitement. I have been wanting to see Jimmy in person for FOREVER, and I am so so so so so so SO VERY VERY VERY excited! I just want to jump up and down and squeal, thats how excited I am!!! He hasn't been to Seattle in a couple years, and last time we couldn't make it. Now I am just so incredibly giddy, excited, and so much looking forward to May 28th!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A New Direction?

I've been pondering the direction I want to take with this blog for quite some time. My blog posts have been sporadic over the past couple months and I just don't know what to write all the time.

I went through this not that long ago, I think it was in December, that I decided no more grief blogging. But what do you know, all of my posts after that were about grief. I just wasn't ready yet. But now I am just....lost? I love writing, and I love writing about Barry, but I cant think of what else to write! It does get tiring all the time writing about how I am doing. I am tired of it, personally. I want to take this blog in a new direction somewhat, but I haven't quite decided what that will be.

The kids and I are starting a new chapter of our lives next week. On April 2nd, we move into the house that I just bought for us. It will be just short of 6 months ago too, just 8 days short of the six month anniversary. We are craving, well I am craving, new beginnings, a fresh start. I need it. I can't live in this house anymore. It's not painful to live here really, but I am tired of it, and I just need to move on. I will miss it, because it is the last house we ever lived in with Barry, but I don't think I can fully heal if I am living in a house surrounded by constant reminders of our 10 years together. Everything in this house, save for Christmas/birthday gifts, we bought and paid for, so it all reminds me of him. He put everything together, he put the towel racks up, he did it all. And I need new. I crave new. And almost everything in the new house is new, including our brand new never-been-lived-in just built house.

I am sure that I will continue to blog about the grief process, that's almost a given. In fact, I do have a post planned for April 10th. I think that will be the most difficult post I have yet to write, for in that post, I will be giving the nitty gritty details. A story of death. Yes, I am going to tell you all how Barry died and exactly what happened on October 10th, 2009. It's almost a conclusion of sorts for me, to end this grief blogging.

I want to start cooking again, I want to try recipes. I want to do crafts. I want to further my photography skills. I want to LIVE. I want to be able to post this stuff on my blog. I want to become even more, the woman that I know I can be, and that Barry knew I would be. I knew 2010 would be my year, and I intend to make it so.

Keep an eye out for blog posts, I'll still be around. And I will still be doing my A Year Of Memories posts. Thank you all for being such supportive readers, it means so much to me.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

I'm Tired

There are good days and bad days, and today is a bad day.

I'm overwhelmed, stressed to the max and all I can do is cry right now.

I haven't been sleeping too well lately either, and that certainly does not help in the stress department. I'm trying, but not doing too well. Its not that I don't sleep well, it's the getting to bed part that I have trouble with, and falling asleep on time. Time to take some more Valerian root I think before I go to bed each night.

I woke up sometime during the night crying because I had been crying in my dream. I dreamt about Barry. In my dream I was crying because he was dead, and I woke up crying in real life. I don't even remember what the dream was about, but it has sorely affected my mood today. I've tried to keep it together, but all I've been able to do is cry, and wonder to myself "Why the fuck is this my life?" I just want to crawl into a hole and wake up the day before my house-warming party. Plus, I woke up with a sore throat and a semi-sore right ear. FML.

I am only slightly overwhelmed right now with moving. I have mostly done the shed, just have to empty a few bins and consolidate them with others. The girls' room is all packed except for clothes, and the boy's room is all done except for his Lego's, clothes and a few odds and ends. Living room is basically done, and almost all the toys are packed. The kitchen needs to be done, but the cupboards are almost empty of food, just the dishes that need packed and brought to goodwill. And then we have my computer desk and my bedroom that need to be done. And of course, there will be all the odds and ends to do too, but that is to be expected. I am thankful that the packing isn't too much of a worry anymore. I will get that done.

But I also have stuff I have to buy yet. Dish Network is coming on the 4Th so I have to have my TV bought and set up by then. I'm just freaking out a little about that. And I desperately need a new computer desk, because the one I have here is not a good set up for where the computer will be going in the new house. So I have to pick out and buy a new desk, something that will fit where my computer will be, and have room for the tower. But I also have to have it brought to the house or delivered, and put it together and find someone to help me with that. I wonder if it's worth it to just pay the extra money to have someone set it up. I might pay an extra $100 or so, but frankly...right now, I don't give a damn. I'll spend the extra money, because it is pretty hard to carry a 100lb box by yourself, right?

Anyone know of a place where I can just rent a husband? That is what I need, a man to help me out around the house. Anyone??

Friday, March 19, 2010

On Being Vulnerable

Becoming a widow is probably one of the most devastating things that can happen to a woman, apart from losing a child, which I hope to never experience, as I am sure that would break me even more so than I already am.

It is raw. It is like being punched in the gut repeatedly. It is like getting your heart torn out while it's still beating. And it makes you vulnerable. Oh does it ever make you vulnerable.

I'm so afraid of this new label and what it means to me, how it defines me. I'll be completely honest, I am afraid to tell people I am a widow. Yes, I am a widow; My husband died in my arms and I will forever carry that heartache, but I don't want to be thought of as just a widow. It is me, yet it is not me. It is not all that I am, and it is not all encompassing. But I really am afraid of what people will think of me when they find out I am a widow, that they will have these pre-conceived notions of how I should be, act and do.

It really shouldn't matter to me what people think about me and my situation. Really, the only persons whose opinion matters is my own, but why am I so ashamed of me? Why am I scared of this label?

I met someone the other day who I didn't want to tell about my situation. I was afraid to tell the truth. See, I can tell people I am a widow. Hell, it says so on my twitter page and on my face book page that I am a widow. But I don't like to share the details of the past five months ago, or the fact that it was even five months ago. But my blog was found, and the whole five months of blog entries were read. I wasn't hiding it, but I wasn't exactly advertising it either. And you know what? I'm am OK with that. In fact, I feel like a burden has been lifted off my shoulders because I don't have to hide anymore. I can be ME, I can cry and not be afraid of what will be thought of me. I can be open, and I can talk about it, and I don't have to stress about it anymore. I so very, very much appreciate the thoughtfulness and caring attitude I got after my blog was read, especially since I was so scared of the response I would get (yes, I know I'm very public with it, but what can I say, I'm a conundrum!).

I don't even know where I was going with this blog post. I feel like it's all jumbled up. I was tired, and I wrote this off and on while watching "New Moon". I guess what I am really trying to say is that while its a very scary thing to be vulnerable, sometimes it is perfectly acceptable to be that way. I learned today that it is OK to be open with my feelings, and not worry what others will think about me. I think I have to learn to be more open, because if I am not, then it just eats away at me. Knowing I can tell the truth and not be judged is an awesome feeling. Just awesome.

And I just have to say, thank you to this person for making me realize that. I appreciate it more than you will ever know. Thank you for helping me overcome this hurdle without even knowing you did so.

Honesty really is the best policy.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Sleepless Ramblings Of A New Homeowner

It's the wee hours of the morning and I am laying here in my bed, typing on my laptop, as sleep will not overcome me. again.

I've been having this problem for awhile now. It comes and goes really, and was really very bad just a few short months ago when I was still in shock from losing Barry. And now it's resurfacing: being tired, but restless, and unable to settle down and sleep. My mind going a million miles a minute, while my eyes burn from lack of shut-eye.

I took a Valerian root capsule and I am hoping that helps. At least I can be happy that I am laying in bed, and it was just shortly after midnight when I started typing this, rather than last night when I wasn't in bed till well after 2AM.

Today was my first full day of being an official homeowner!! Monday afternoon I got the call from my Realtor about 3:34 PM saying that the title had FINALLY recorded at County, and that the house was mine. HOORAY!! After the kids got home from school, my mom and I and the kids went over to the house to bring some stuff over. It was the first time I had been in the house without my Realtor, and it felt so surreal. I almost didn't feel right about it, because for the past month, I have only been in the house with him. And I'll be honest, I am going to miss him! He has done so much for me the past couple months we've been working together, and we've seen each other often. But I will be seeing him again, because he is going to be helping me with changing the garage door code, an getting me the mailbox key etc etc. Essentially, he is my "Barry" right now. He is doing a lot of the guy stuff for me that I haven't delegated to my friend Jason, or my girlfriends' husbands.

As I walked into the house yesterday afternoon, I made sure to put something very special on the fireplace mantle. It was the first official item that was placed in the house after it was in my name. And that item was the American flag that I was presented at Barry's funeral. It now sits ensconced in a cherry and glass triangular case, upon my mantle. I had actually thought about bringing Barry's Urn to put on top of there, but I decided against it because I didn't want to leave him in the house by himself! And yes, I laughed about that.

So now begins yet another chapter in our lives: A new house, new memories, new friends.

New Beginnings.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

A Love Letter From Beyond

Once in awhile I find these real gems of Barry. I know it's him reaching out to me, letting me know he still loves me and cares about me, and misses and loves all of us. The other day I happened to find his school papers on his laptop, and while I haven't read them yet, they are there, and I do plan to get them printed and bound for the kids one day.

Today I found probably one of the best gems to date, so much so that I had to shut my bedroom door and just cry and cry to myself. I was packing up my bedroom, and found in a box that I had, a letter that Barry wrote me November 26th, 2004. I have read this many times, but not for at least two years. I packed it up in this box when we moved from our previous home, and never fully unpacked it. We often packed each other notes when he left for work as Truck Driver, and sometimes I would get lucky and he would send me a letter in the mail. This was one of those times. It struck me how fitting this letter was to our situation right now, especially the last few paragraphs. Little did he know he would pass in just a mere five years, but at least I have this to remind me of our love, and how much he loved me.

Barry was so eloquent in his writing. He was also a very private person, never fully sharing his feelings, but sometimes his feelings would surface, and the real Barry would show. I know how he felt about me, but to find this letter he wrote me, I felt he was reaching out to me again to remind me of how strong our love was, of how much he loved me, and cared about me. And now I am going to share it with you. It is long, be prepared, and have some tissues handy, as I sobbed like a baby when I read it. This letter was quite possibly one of Barry's finest, and really shows his true self.

11/26/04 Arlington, TX
My Dearest Joanna;
As you can see, I'm in Arlington, TX. I got into Fort Worth early and, surprisingly, they unloaded me immediately. So now I'm sitting in front of McLane's better than eleven hours before my scheduled delivery time. I only slept about four hours last night, but I'm not terribly tired. I figured, since you took the time to slip a note amongst my things, it would only be fair that I use some of my free time to write to you.
I really enjoyed the time we spent together at home. Through a character named Paul Edgecombe, Stephen King once wrote, "A man with a good wife is the luckiest of God's creatures, and one without must be the most miserable, I thing; the only true blessing of their lives that they don't know how poorly-off they are."
If there is a truer statement on marriage, I have never heard it. Sometimes I think that the reason I have such poor luck with the lottery or gambling is that all of my luck goes to having a beautiful and faithful wife and beautiful healthy kids. All in all, I am satisfied. Sometimes I think it's the little things that matter most. It might seem to be tedious, but all of the little things you do for me add up to one huge part of our relationship and our understanding of each other. The other day I threw out my garbage and found that I had no other grocery bags to put any more trash in. I ended up stretching out a tiny Taco Bell bag over the arm rest of the passenger seat. Hours later as I was preparing to go to sleep after my 36-hour day, I opened my green duffel bag and found that you had stuffed two handfuls of grocery bags in amongst my things. Despite my hardened nature, I was strangely touched that you had done that. Not that I'm going soft or anything, it only proves my theory of my personal dichotomy. As tough as I am and as ruthless as I can be if necessary, my wife and my kids inspire in me a love greater than I ever thought possible. If I were Superman, you would be my Kryptonite. No, maybe that's not right. You're not just my weakness, you're also my motivation. I do what I do because of you, for you.
I was driving along today and started thinking about all of the good things I have. I don't own a lot, but I have things that are the envy of those who do. How many rat-racing, keep-up-with-the-Joneses people can honestly say that they're happy with their home-lives? Despite what Tom Leykis says, I have a strong suspicion that he would trade it all for someone like you. Not just a hole and tits, but a friend and similar personality.
When we first met, I wanted this to go well. When we started getting ready to be married, I knew I was only going to do this once. I figured if I were to fail once, I'd continue to do so. But I don't believe that I envisioned us as we are now. Years later, I can't even recall what I thought our life together would be. I do know however, that my precognition fell way short of what it's really like. We don't just have sex and share a dinner table and then only exist. We have fun. We joke and fart and tease and touch. We kiss and say, "I love you" so much that the average observer probably thinks that we're newly-involved or perhaps the cheating espousage of unknowing partners. But we're not. We've been married for nearly five years, which makes us not only vets at this, but pretty much the authority on marriage. Just the idea that after so much time together we are still attracted to each other makes us pariahs in this society.
I still have cause to smile when I think of things you do or say. Like how you draw little faces, happy or sad, in your notes, as though to further emphasize your emotions on a certain topic.
Remember when we went on that marriage retreat to Chiemsee? Remember how, after the first session with the Chaplain, our kissing and holding hands started to become highly contagious? By the second session, every couple in there were doing the same as us. They looked at us and saw how they used to be, and how nice it was to be like that. Unlike many of them, however, we're still like that. That might leave us out of the "chic" scene or make us seem abnormal, but I'd rather have you then anyone or anything else in the world.
I know that I'm not usually one to say these types of things, but it is the way I feel. I'm often closed on the subject of emotion, but there are many factors about my life that govern my personality. Some of them you understand, but many will always be a mystery to you. I don't want you to ever feel like you're not appreciated or respected by me. I have more respect and admiration for you than I do for anyone else; even myself. You do the things that enable me to do what I do. For that I will forever be indebted to you, Joanna. I could live forever and never be able to repay you enough.
The Bible says that the wise man builds his house upon a rock, because building on sand will wreck the structure. You're the rock upon which I've built. You are what sustains the structure of our household. That may sound like a big responsibility, and it is. It requires you to not only depend, but be depended on. And you've done very well so far. And I have every confidence that my rock will stay steady.
Some country singer wrote a song called "She Thinks She Needs Me." The lyrics to that song are very pertinent to me. You think you need ME? I need you more than you need me, darling. Without you, I'm just a guy. With you I am anything I want to be; an unstoppable effigy that is able to do magnificent things.
Thank you, Joanna. Thank you for loving me and helping me. I love you. I love you more than words could ever hope to express.
Tell the kids I love them and miss them. I miss you. I love you.

Love eternal,
Me XOXO "XXXO" <-that's a porno kiss!

I love you too, darling. Forever.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

99% Homeowner

Today was the day, the glorious day, that I signed my life away.

For the next 30 years, my soul will be owned by Bank of America, as I send them a check every single month, until that house is paid off. The reason I said 99% Homeowner is because the house isn't *officially* mine yet. That will come on Monday afternoon when the title records. THEN, and only then, can I get the keys and officially say that "this is my house".

As I signed my name, and initialed each highlighted spot on that mountain high stack of paper, I couldn't help but be a little teary eyed. I wished that Barry was there to sign the papers with me. I wished that his name was also going to be on the title of the house. I wish he was moving there with us. I wish for so many things that will never come true.

But now I can stop wishing for a forever home for the kids and I. Instead of wishing, I can thank Barry for providing for us. Without him this would NEVER have been possible. He continues to provide for us, even in death, and for that I can never thank him enough. I would do everything in my power to get him back if I could; I would live in a shack, I'd go on welfare, I'd drive a hoopty...anything to have him back. But that isn't possible. We have to keep on living our lives and be thankful for the time that we had with him, and thankful for all that he left us. And not just monetarily, but the love, and memories, and the laughter. Those are what is the most precious, and what we will cherish in our hearts forever.

Thank you my dear, for providing for us and seeing that we are well taken care of. I love you Barry.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Well, We Did It

It is so incredibly hard to believe that five months have already passed since we said goodbye to my husband, my best friend, the kids' daddy. Five long months.

Five months ago I never thought I would get through these five months. I was prepared for it to be the worst five months of my life, and it most certainly was. You see, from October through till March, we have most of the important dates for our family. I desperately wish I could include E's birthday in this timeline, but unfortunately her actual birthday was two days before he died, so we have to overcome that hurdle yet.

The day he died was E's birthday party. After that we had Halloween, which is a FAVORITE family holiday. Then we had Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving in itself has not always had a big emphasis in our family, but this past thanksgiving was exceptionally hard. My very good friend Rebecca invited us over to her home, and while I love and appreciate her, it was so hard to see all the married ladies there. It was just us girls, but I was the only official "single" one, and all their husbands were deployed. So it was a very hard day for me. Then came Christmas, which I don't even want to talk about. Our Anniversary was December 29th, and that day was OK. It was sad most definitely, but not as bad as I thought it would be. The next hardest day, probably one of the hardest days for me, was New Years Eve. I remember how hard it was for me, leaving him behind in 2009 and starting 2010 without him, and I desperately did NOT want the new year to start. On the other hand, I wanted New Years Eve to pass as quickly as possible because I was just tired of the dragged on and on and on.

After that, we had a bit of a reprieve in January, thankfully, and that was when I really started scheduling myself and making sure I was busy all the time. I actually burnt myself out. And though we had a reprieve from bad days in January, I had a really rough month emotionally, physically and mentally. I've heard mixed opinions on how rough the 3d month is, and it really was for me. February 7th brought us the twins' birthdays, thankfully the only day that month that we had a sort of "anniversary.

And now we have March. March, like October and December, will always be one of our hardest months. March 2nd was the day we lost my Opa in 1997, and I think of him often. How much i have wished that he could have met Barry and the kids. March 6th is Barry's birthday, and March 7th is my sister and our youngest daughter's birthday. Thankfully after tomorrow, we will have passed through the first five months of agony.

I have come so far in five months, further than I thought I ever would. I have become so much more independent than I thought, so much so that I have trouble asking for help now. But I am still desperately grieving, and desperately missing Barry every day. My mom sent me a letter and I read it today and cried. She wrote about the day that A was born and how gentle he was the first night, and first few days, and I cried and cried and cried. Memories are so hard, I try so hard not to remember sometimes because its so hard.

I am glad that I can proudly say that I DID IT! I made it through the first 5 months, and accomplished that which I never thought I would. And right now we have so much to look forward to in the next couple months with our new house and house warming party. I am so excited for this new house, new things. New memories, new beginnings and a new start.

I still miss you Barry, and I will see you in my dreams. I'll love you forever and always.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Goodbye Fog, Hello...Clouds?

I was reading a few blogs today written by fellow widows, and one in particular struck a chord with me regarding the timeline we follow when we grieve.

Grief is a roller coaster. It has its ups and downs, wobbly bits, sharp fast corners and stomach-dropping vomit inducing speeds. And then at times, it is peaceful and quiet, calm even. You can't predict what will happen next, unfortunately, as grief is a roller coaster that doesn't have a set course. It goes in any which way it wants.

Right now I feel I am on the calm tracks of my grief roller coaster. It could change tomorrow, it could change in a week, but right now, I am OK.

Right around the 6 month mark is when some grieving widows/widowers say they start to feel they are getting a handle on their grief. I have noticed that recently when I cry, my tears are different. They're more sad. But with that sadness comes a realization that this life is real, and I can't hide from it anymore. We're about 5 months in now, short a couple days, and it has really only been recently that I have noticed this change.

Is it resignation? Have I finally come to terms with Barry's death? Resignation maybe. The fact that I know this is it, that I can't change anything, and this is the life I have been given. But I still haven't come to terms with it. Yes, I know he is dead. I am reminded of that every single time I glance at my dresser and see an Oak box sitting upon it, with his name engraved into it. I feel like a conundrum really, despite the fact that I can sense a change in me.

Several months ago I wrote that the fog was lifting. I was wrong, very very wrong. I think at that time, what was lifting was the shock and numbness of it all. I have still walked around in a fog for the past 5 months. Going about life as normal, functioning as I should, but really being like a robot and going through the motions because that was all I knew how to do to get through the day. I don't know what triggered this recent change in me, but I am happy for it.

The fog is lifting, but there are still clouds in the sky. Occasionally a ray of sunshine will filter through.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

(Almost) 30 Years of Barry

I have so much to write this weekend, but can't seem to get my thoughts straight at all. The difficulty of that stems from the fact that we have two birthdays this weekend. Today was Barry's 30th Birthday. Tomorrow is A's 4th Birthday. Tomorrow is my sister's 23d Birthday.

I suspected that today would be a hard day for us, but it wasn't all that bad to be honest. I purposely planned A's birthday for today so we could get through it. I had her party at Chuck E Cheese's this morning, upon the insistence of my friend Rebecca who encouraged me to have a party for her even though i wasn't feeling it this year. The party went great actually! She was spoiled by all her friends that came, and we enjoyed white and chocolate cupcakes with pink and purple frosting. The weather was beautiful today, so when we got home, the kids and I had an impromptu photo shoot outside. I got some beautiful photos that I will be printing out and framing. We really did have a fantastic afternoon in the sunshine.

My plan for the night was to take the kids to our favorite family restaurant, and Barry's favorite, a local Chinese Buffet. I had actually decided ages ago though, that we would go there every year on his birthday. A way to honor his memory in a way. It really was his favorite restaurant, he LOVED it there. After his funeral in October, my family and his family, all my family, we all went to the restaurant together to honor him as well. We had such a good time that Friday night, and the kids and I had a good time tonight too. But walking into that restaurant without him was strange, surreal...I felt memories wash over me like a tsnunami. Even the smell reminded me of him.

As I sat there at the table with the kids, I could see him sitting across from me. My memories were so incredibly vivid, that I could really see him sitting there in his black t-shirt, a plate piled high with Chinese food and a beer in front of him. I could see him, hear him...I almost could have reached out and touched him.

Never before have my memories been so vivid. Never before in the last five months has he been so real to me. It was almost a comfort to me, knowing I could conjure him up just like that. I don't know that I could ever, will ever, do that again though. It was nice to see him, but I don't know...I just don't know.

I really expected myself to be a snivelling mess today, but you know what, I haven't cried once. We sang Happy Birthday to Daddy, we went out for dinner to his favorite restaurant, we laughed and we remembered him. I have the kids working on writing him a letter, which I am going to have them do every year around his birthday. They can read them when they are older. I myself bought him a card yesterday when i was at Target, and that surprisingly was the hardest for me, and I sobbed as I picked it out. I had the same idea for myself as I did for the kids: I will buy him a card every year, write in it and seal it, and then open it up years down the road, or leave it for the kids when I am no longer here anymore.

Tomorrow is A's 4th birthday. I am going to try write about her if I can...but writing about two birthdays in two days, is a bit much for me. Emotionally exhausting if you may.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

The One About The Oxygen Mask

Many of you know the ordeal that I went through this past Monday. If not, I shall share...I had all four of my Wisdom teeth taken out.

They had been bugging me for years, and the bottom right one still hadn't pushed all the way through, and was coming in sideways, so I decided it was time to get them removed. I wasn't that scared of getting my teeth pulled, but more of being put out for the entire surgery.

When I arrived there on Monday morning, I was instructed to change into a gown. Wait, why do I have to wear a gown? Well, I did anyway. So I walked down the hallway in my hospital gown, yoga pants and sneakers. No bra! haha. I also had a hair net thingy magiggy on my head. They really take things seriously at Dr. Jackson's office!

I was sitting in the chair and they were prepping me for the surgery, and for some reason I started to talk about Barry. Why? Why did I start to talk about him? I think for me right now it is a coping mechanism, I tend to do it when I am nervous. They put a cuff on my arm to take my blood pressure and keep it on while I was under. Well, I was so nervous that my blood pressure was 161/120! That is way too high. I remember remarking to the nurses how amazing it was how different situations affect your body more than you know, and little did I know, but talking about Barry was raising my blood pressure. I was able to calm myself down thankfully, by taking deep breaths and just thinking peaceful things.

Then I got the oxygen mask.

I got scared, and very anxious. Tears were squeezing out of the corners of my eyes.

I wasn't scared for myself, I was scared for Barry. Knowing that he went through this, that he had an oxygen mask on his face almost constantly for a week. And I hated knowing that I was goign through the same thing. I started to get panicky, even more so after Dr Jackson put the IV in my hand. It hurt.

Its the same scenario as I had with the face masks during my Grief Works group. Just the mere sight of these items makes me anxious. To be honest, I don't know that I will ever recover from that. What I went through in October is one of the most traumatic events someone can ever go through, to be there at your loved one's side as they take their last breath. To see them incapacitated in the hospital, helpless and at the mercy of life. Hooked up to so many machines you can't even count them. Hearing so many beeps and different sounds. It will forever be etched into my mind. Always. I will never forget, and I am almost positive that it will always affect me, for the rest of my life.

So you can imagine how I felt having an oxygen mask on my face, and an IV in my hand.

I remember remarking to the nurses how relaxed I was starting to feel after Dr Jackson put the IV in, haha. Something about how I liked morphine when I had my c-sections. I remember talking about the oxygen mask and my blood pressure and being scared, and that it would be something to blog about. Then the last thing I remember is Dr Jackson putting the IV in and telling me he'd be giving me something to relax me.

I woke up in recovery! I don't know how long I was out for, maybe a half hour? I tell ya, it was so worth being put out. I have recovered pretty well, no swelling or bruising. Today was the first day I was able to eat real food though, and I've taken it pretty easy still. My teeth still hurt, and I am still taking my drugs. I forgot to do my salt water rinses until today...oops! But I already have soft tissue growing back, so I think I should be OK.

I hope one day I can get over my fear of anything hospital related, but I don't think I will. It will be with me for always, I'm sure.