Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Letting Go And Moving On

The last few months I have been pondering letting go of some items I have around the house that have ties to Barry, and the life we lived together.
  • Our bed frame that we bought when we were first married
  • Our Christmas Tree
  • The Roses from the arrangements that my friend Lisa made for me for his memorial service
And that just names a few of them, well, the items that are weighing most heavily on my mind.

Our Christmas Tree we bought when the twins were just 10 months old.  It is 7.5 feet tall, 5 feet wide at the base and is just huge. It has lived in 6 houses, this one being the sixth. It has been set up for 9 Christmases, and held many years of ornaments.  Has had hundreds of Christmas gifts under it.  Has been piled with candy canes, and cursed at for being difficult to put up. Barry even made us a diagram after Christmas 2008 so we would remember how to do it.  You'd think after so many years we would remember, but we did not.  But now it is leaning a bit to the side.  The box was so torn up and taped up, that last year I bought a bag for it. I have to string the lights myself and it is a very tedious job.  So this year I am getting a new tree, with pre-strung lights.

But what do I do with the old tree? Do I keep it in the bag its in for years down the road? When Barry and I bought it, he said we'd get the biggest tree possible so that we wouldn't have to buy another one for YEARS. He picked it out.  So have 9 years been enough? Should I make this the 10th year it is up?

I feel like change is needed.  I want a new tree, and will buy one, but I just don't know what to do with the old one. I feel wrong getting rid of it.  But I don't want it to clutter up my garage.  I'm all about streamlining lately, and have been getting the urge to declutter and purge again.

Now I have the roses from Barry's memorial service, dried, in my closet.  Why have I kept them? I dried them all, and they sit in a basket out of sight.  I don't want them anymore.  I have no use for them.  But to throw them away would, again, make me feel guilty.  Almost like I don't respect him anymore, that I don't value the memory of that day.

Lastly is our bed frame. This I struggle getting rid of the most. We actually bought an entire bedroom set, and had matching dressers and a nightstand to go with it, which I gave to Habitat for Humanity before I moved. This was our wedding gift to each other. But the bed frame, that is special.  That is the baby making bed, where our family was started.  That bed has seen love, anger, sadness, fighting, laughing, lots of sex and making love.  It has seen everything.  And the night after Barry died, I laid in it, and woke up crying in my sleep at 5 AM.  It was the foundation of our marriage almost, and I have it in my garage right now, leaning against the wall.  I knew when I moved that I would keep it.  But here I am, almost seven months later and I don't want it anymore.  It is taking up space.  What the hell do I do with it?

Does all this mean I am moving on with my life? I don't want to "lose" Barry, so to speak.  I want to hold onto him forever.  But I can not keep all this "clutter" in my life.  Quite honestly, it stresses me out because I see more stuff taking up space.  And I do not want clutter.  I hate clutter. Yet with four children, it is nearly impossible to not have clutter, but I do my best.  And throw away crap I see lying around.  Anyway, I don't want to disrespect him.  I feel bad for wanting to get rid of all of it, especially the bed.  Its just though I don't need it anymore, I won't ever have a use for it unless one of the kids wants it when they move out of the house.  So do I hold onto it for another 10+ years? Hell no! But then there is just that tie to the bed, the one place I last laid with Barry, where I heard him snore and wanted to suffocate him, where we loved each other, and cuddled, and made love and had sex and laughed and fought.  There is so much to that bed.

I know these things don't represent him, our memories of him are in our hearts and our minds, but there are still things that he touched, things he fixed.  Hell, we were going to get rid of the whole bedroom set if we had moved to Pennsylvania anyway! I just feel like its so special now, that how could I possibly get rid of it?

I just don't know what to do.  I want it, yet I don't want it.  I need to move on, and I am afraid these things are holding me back from doing so.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Florida Re-Cap: Part One

Well, I know everyone and their dog is dying to hear about our trip, so I will start telling you about it in a very detailed fashion haha.

Tuesday October 5th is the day we left Seattle for Orlando.  We got up that morning at our normal time, I sent the kid off to school and brought the pets to the kennel.  I felt so bad leaving them for two weeks, but it turns out, they did extremely well. Yaay!! A went to school that afternoon, while I got our carry-on bags ready and showered and got myself ready.  Kids came home and then we went and got A from school, and headed out for an early dinner at 4PM.  We were home for a couple hours before the shuttle came, and about 6:20 she called me to tell me she was on her way.  Well, guess what? E lost one of her tennis shoes.  We about had a panic attack looking for it, and I thought I was going to blow my top lol.  We found it right as our driver came, and then got on the road.  Made excellent time to the airport, and got through security.  By the way, security with 4 absolute PAIN IN THE ASS.  One thing I absolutely HATE with a passion.

Our flight didn't leave Seattle till 10:45, so we ate at Wendy's, looked around the airport again and settled in at our gate.  Finally got on the plane and drugged my kid with benadryl.  It worked pretty well, they slept for a few hours or so.  I didn't get much sleep, but I did doze and sleep lightly. Finally we got into Orlando at about 7:15Am Eastern time and got on the Disney Magical Express to our resort, the Polynesian.  Our luggage wasn't due to arrive right away, so the kids and I settled into our room to wait till Disney delivered it.  Once it came, we went swimming, had lunch and tried to relax for a bit.  We hadn't slept really since the plane, and the night before in our own beds.  The kids had other plans, and we went to the Magic Kingdom the first day!! we spent a few hours the Magic Kingdom on the 6th, and our first ride was Space Mountain! Wow, I forgot how scary it was haha.  We really enjoyed our time there, and went back to the hotel later to sleep.  We had been up for almost 40 hours at that point, including the time we slept on the plane. The kids sure were troopers!

The real highlight of the day was seeing an old friend that afternoon that I hadn't seen since Barry and I lived in Germany. He was Barry's CSM while we were stationed in Germany. I knew he was in Orlando, so I told him we'd be there (we're face book friends), and he actually brought me some groceries.  We had fruit, water bottles, crackers, chips, granola bars, oatmeal for breakfast, and a few other things.  Angel was a lifesaver! It was so nice to see him again.  He wrote in Barry's memory book for me too, which I loved, and the kids can read when they are older.  We made plans to see him later in the week when we had more time.

October 7th was our first full day in Disney World, and we got up EARLY to be at the Magic Kingdom at 8am. There were extra magic hours! That's where the park opens up an hour early for resort guests.  We had an awesome day!!! We did Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, all the rest of Frontier Land and then did Tomorrow Land.  We also hit up Adventure Land, which houses the Jungle Cruise, the Pirates of the Caribbean, Aladdin's magic carpets etc etc.  We did a good half of the park that day.

One of the highlights from the day was after Splash Mountain, I went to look at our pictures, and was chatting with the lady behind the counter.  Mentioned to her why we were there, and she gave me our pictures for free, along with $10 worth of snacks too.  Wow.  She was such a sweetheart.  We also got to meet Princess Tiana, who is A's favorite.  Seeing her face light up just made my heart smile.  I took so many pictures of that.

During one of our snack breaks, I looked across the "road" and saw a familiar face.  One of the families from the kids' old school was at Disney World the same time as we were.  How funny! The mom volunteered at the school a lot, so I saw her there quite often.  She recognized me so we chatted for a bit.  Of all places, who'd have thought we'd see each other there?

Later that day we went swimming in the hotel pool, where I enjoyed a mango margarita pool side and the kids swam.  A did all the rides that day, we had little to no waits (Fast Pass is AMAZING), and our favorite ride was Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.  It was the perfect start to our vacation!!

more soon :)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

We're Back!

I apologize for my absence and lack of writing.

While I thought I would have all the time in the world to blog while we were in Florida, i did not have much time at all.  We were so busy.

We had a wonderful vacation.

two weeks in hot, sunny, Florida.

Walt Disney World, NASA, Gatorland, Cocoa Beach.

Putting my feet in the Atlantic Ocean was one of my highlights, as was seeing Eric, who was Barry's squad Sgt when he was in the Army years ago.

Spending a day with an old friend, and dinner with another who has promised to come visit us next summer from Tampa.

I am tired and exhausted.  I took over 2000 photos.  Probably spent that much money on souvenirs, food, etc etc.

The kids are back in school, tomorrow will be our first normal week back. Back to routines, to schedules, to normalcy.  To rain.

Waking up Thursday morning to a wall of fog outside my window was monumentally depressing, as Wednesday morning I woke up to sun.  Left Orlando and it was 90F outside.  Got home late Wednesday night and it was 60F inside my house.

We've spent the weekend adjusting.  I promise to write more.  soon.

But I am tired, and emotional. Missing Barry so much right now.  Today I took a scalding hot shower and sat on the seat in the shower with the water cascading above me.

The water was so hot it was scalding.  But it felt good as I cried buckets into my hands.

I was sad because I was told I needed to lose more weight.  Yes I know that. But almost 90lbs in one year is pretty fucking amazing.  And even more sad because I know the size I am now Barry would be a total horn dog teenage boy with me. He wouldn't be able to keep his hands off me. But to everyone else I am still fat.

I need to go catch up on Glee from while I was gone, and then off to bed early for me.  I do promise to write soon.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

One Year Ago

Ok, let's face it.  Obviously I am in no mood to write right now, or I would have done sooner. Especially since I am leaving this to the last minute, it being 11:30 at night here in Florida.

First things first, we made it into Orlando on time and safely on wednesday morning.  We were able to check into our room early, and have been going full steam since then.  We're having a great time!  Wednesday when we got here, we went swimming in the afternoon, and then had dinner and headed to the Magic Kingdom for a few hours.  Thursday we got up early and went there all day.  We covered half of the park, and went back to the hotel.  Friday we spent at Epcot, and did most everything except Soarin' and Test Track, and Club Cool.  Saturday brought us to Animal Kingdom, where we did everything again, except for the Lion King show which the kids did not want to see. And today the kids and I slept in, ate lunch, went swimming, and back to Epcot for a couple hours.  Missed all three things I mentioned above, but we will hit those up Tuesday early morning.  Tomorrow we are off to Hollywood studios!

Today I felt like a horrible wife and mother, and still feel a bit guilty.  I had plans to do a balloon release with the kids, and also light a candle for Barry that I brought a long, but I forgot to do both of them.  We've been so busy that it completely slipped my mind. So tomorrow, albeit a day late, we will do both.  I dont think Barry would mind, because he would want, no INSIST, that we go out and have fun and not be sad.  And we are, depsite sore feet and being exhausted.

I was remarking on facebook today how different my life is no than it was a year ago.   A year ago today, I woke up in my old house, in my old bed, with a husband very much alive and ready to come home in a few days. I had no idea he would die.  Today I woke up in a strange bed, in FLORIDA, in a Walt Disney World Resort.  Never in my wildest dreams did I expect this to happen, ever. But I have to say, that NONE of this is at all possible without Barry. I  could not do it without him.  All of what we have now is possible because of him.

I've passed the one year mark.  This year has flown by so incredibly fast.  I remember thinking to myself shortly after he died how I never thought I would get to this point.  How far away it seemed.  Yet, here I am.  Still Standing.  A few more grey hairs.  80+ lbs less on my body.  A new house, a new vehicle, MANY many new friends.  And yes, its all a little hard to stomach sometimes.  I'd love to have my old life back.  I know I will never get that though, so its pointless to even dream or think about it too much because it really NEVER will happen, ever.

So now I have to start the 2nd year, and I hope it will be easier.  I was scared for today, I'd been psyching myself up for it because it is such a HUGE milestone.  Perhaps life will get easier for me.  I can only wish.  I miss Barry so much sometimes, wish he was here to love, to talk to, to just be with, and laugh at stupid fart jokes.

This post may seem disjointed, I forced myself to write it.  Not realy feeling it today, which I know is my sub concious trying to avoid everything.  I'm in total vacation mode and want to get back to doing that.  So with that I will end this post.  I wish I had had more to say about Barry, but I just dont want to talk about him. Not to be disrespectful or anything, but I just do not want to right now.  I'm afraid it will make my vacation too sad.  I don't know....

I'm starting to nod off writing this and need to hit "publish post" before midnight.  Otherwise I'll really feel like a failure if it doesn't post on the 10th.

Barry, I love you.  I miss you, and I know you're happy for us for this vacation.  I'm sorry i forgot to light the candle and let the balloons go, but you'd be happy knowing we're off living our life instead of being too sad.  We all miss you and love you.  I'll see you in my dreams darling.  xoxoxoxop

Monday, October 04, 2010

October 4th 2009 VS October 4th 2010...Stark Differences

I don't think I can even begin to compare the two days.

Today, a year ago, was the last day that the three older kids saw their daddy alive (the baby came to the hospital with me the next day for a few minutes and was able to see Barry).

The day started off normally, it was a Sunday, and we were all excited Barry was coming home for his usual week off.  I knew he was sick though, but strangely, went about my day as normally as I could, cleaning up and getting the house ready for him.  I already knew there was a possibility of him going to the hospital, but he had said he'd drive himself.

Around 6PM that evening, he rolled in the driveway.  Told us all to stay on the deck as he did not want the kids to get sick.  I walked up to the truck, and he said he had to go to the hospital right away.  I immediately got on the phone with Sara (who already knew she may have to come over), and she was over within 10 minutes.  Thankfully she lived right up the road (and still does) and came right over.

Barry waved at the kids from inside his truck, got out and climbed into the van.  That was the last time the three older kids ever saw him alive.  I drove him to the hospital, never knowing that the next time I would take him home would be in an urn. We got to the ER, and waited a good 3 hours or so.  I don't remember exactly.  It was quite awhile.

I helped him get undressed,and into a gown.  I carefully folded his t-shirt, his shorts, and placed them in a bag along with his tennis shoes.  I stuffed his can of chew into his shoe too, where it remains to this day.  His last can of chew.  Did I take his glasses then too? I can't remember honestly. I think I may have, but I am not entire sure if he had them on or not.

He was being seen by a doctor at this time already, and as it was nearing midnight, I decided to leave, and said I would come back in the morning.  We had been told already he would be admitted.  They knew he had pneumonia at this time.  I said my goodbyes, told him I loved him, and walked out of the hospital.

My last view of him that night was being wheeled down the hall in his bed to the XRay room.

I miss him so much.  I have trouble believing he was a real person.  It is hard to fully explain that feeling, because yes, he was alive and in my life for a long time, but he's not here anymore.  He is dead.  Perhaps it is my coping mechanism that makes me think this way, process my thoughts and memories this way, so that it is easier to go on day by day.  It truly is like a dream when I think of him.  At times a very vivid dream, and at other times, I can't quite grasp that memory.

And now today, I am blown away by the stark differences to just 365 days ago.

I am sitting here at my desk, in my new house, with one more pet that Barry didn't get to meet sniffling around me. Athena is looking for breakfast scraps the kids dropped on the floor, she's 6.5 moths old now.

I have suitcases behind me waiting to be packed full of extra stuff like toiletries, snacks, and a few last clothing items.

I am going to Walt Disney World tomorrow with my children.  I have a million things to do today, laundry, packing, running a few errands, packing the pets' food to to go the kennel. Finish up my laundry and pack it into my suitcase, call the shuttle and confirm etc etc etc.

This really is a true testament to how life goes on.  Yes, Barry died a horrible tragic death last year, and we miss him terribly every day, but life has gone on.  It is inevitable.  And he would have wanted that.  Insisted and demanded more like it.  He wouldn't want me to sit and mope and just let life pass me by, so I am taking the bull by the horns and taking the kids on our first REAL family vacation.  I am sad that Barry was never able to enjoy one with us, and this is a first for the kids as it is their first time on a plane, but without him this would not have been possible.

Now to get my day started, I do have a million things to do, and I leave tomorrow evening! Better get a fire lit under my ass!

I love you sexy man, and I think of you often.  Thank you for being the best man I ever knew, for sacrificing so much, for working so hard.  I love you and miss you so much.