Tuesday, December 31, 2013


Alone, that’s a scary word. Alone for a while each day is good, time to reflect, organize thoughts, a few minutes here or there are all I’ve gotten in a long time. I valued my moments of solitude, but suddenly to be living alone and missing my best buddy. What a whammy, I’ll tell you.
First I had to come to grips with Kirt never coming back. After twenty-four weeks, I go it; he’s not coming back. Sucks, but I can finally feel the surrender called acceptance creeping over me.  I’m sad, but not the screaming pain I’ve lived with for months.
Going from the out of my mind stage to just profoundly sad feels like a change, however, ya never know when something will trigger a back slide day, so you could say I am cautiously optimistic.
Being alone with a heart screaming for your spouse, well, it was just the most miserable time in my life, bar none. Okay, I’ve accepted he’s not coming back, but I still don’t like being alone so much.
As I exit the fear stage, my courage returns to ask the hard question. Why don’t you like being alone? I just don’t, didn’t satisfy me. The real answer is I have no experience with living alone.
This can be cured by getting a roommate, but the last thing I need is a stranger’s life intruding on mine, so that’s not an option, besides I hate feeling lonely when other people are around; it seems so dysfunctional. I have the last few months whenever I was in the company of others to make my point. My husband not only got me, but he adored me, I’m so spoiled. I’m also so hard to get along with that I argue with myself.
Before I do any quick fixes to get myself in a peccadillo, I think I’ll ponder alone, maybe find out why I don’t like the idea or the experience. I’ll get back to you on that.

If you’d like to share in the comment section, I’d love to know how you’re feeling. There are so many widows and widowers out there going through the same pain. Sharing helps validate what we feel to a world that doesn’t necessarily get it. 

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Trouble in Widow Land

Right now my life sucks, the ever ready bunny of make it better can do spirit is down. I am not to quote one of my favorite song writers, “a rock, an island.” I do have need of friendship even if it causes pain. The strangest thing for me is how my feelings today remind me of how I felt as a teen, which was the last time I was without, my Kirt. I suppose widows having lost their second husband would have a whole different set of issues to deal with, but this back to the teens’ turmoil and angst is so repugnant.
I’ve spent my whole adult life finding peace, tranquility, happiness, my self respect, and most of all, love. This all was mine for a time, but now, it’s over. Well, I do have my self respect, ta-da, thank you my honey for that gift.
Love, I still feel your love. As the pain that short circuits the brain lessens, I feel your spirit around me. Together we were a shining beacon of love. How many total strangers have commented on what a loving or lovely couple we were. Remember the shop girl in Amsterdam, who watched you help me with my back pack with tears in her eyes, holding her heart and waving the other hand in front of her face. Last year in New Orleans we had breakfast on the way to the VA, at Betsy’s, our favorite on Canal Street. You finished your grits, while I checked my email. A man about our age from the next table leaned towards you and said, “Sir, how long have you been married to that woman?” You know me; I thought he was going to say something bad about me. You replied, “Going on forty-five years and loved every minute.” He smiled, “I can see how much you love each other; God’s blessed you.” 
Peace and tranquility wish to return to my life, along with your gentle spirit. The dark forces grab me; anger and bitterness try to steal my serenity. Turmoil daily assaults me, looking at the ocean only makes me cry. I want to calm down and be as I was, but that’s never going to happen. Why does that not sink in, the life I knew is over.
People tell me write a new chapter, you’re strong, you can go on. My mother said, “You’re strong, you’ll be fine,” as if that negates all my suffering. My friends lead busy lives. We don’t pal around day to day, that’s what I did with you. I’ve been blessed that friends held me close after you died. My neediness tries people who expect me to be strong. “We’ve all had losses this year, yours isn’t any worse,” I’ve recently been told. I can’t expect someone who’s never had a soul mate understand, so no point in saying a word, just stuff it down. So many things are just not worth responding to; I am learning. This finding me shit is not working; without the strength, the motivation to get out of the house, which can become a trap for me, I fear depression.
Alone, no, not completely alone, with family and friends, touchstones in my life to whom I am grateful. And the two who truly love me, my honey, my husband in whose love I believe and God, who just wants to be loved, just like the rest of us. The Beatles were right; love is the answer.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Christmas in Heaven

My Darling, your first Christmas in paradise, how was it for you? Did you hang with your mom and your dad? I’ll bet your sister Jeanette was glad to see you. She always loved you a bunch. Is there really a rainbow bridge or did our best boy, Tyr just come running up to you?
That day about six months ago, I sat on the bed studying your features as you slumped in your chair dead. A Mona Lisa smile on your sweet face told me even then death was a friend. Looking and learning in spurts between screaming and crying, I saw the spirit had left the flesh grey, the spark that was you left the body, the shell. In the sprinkle of clarity I knew you were watching the scene. I could feel your love for Alma and Adri, whose hearts were battered. They loved you as friends.
Your wife, who hardly ever cried in her life, shed buckets, out of control, that which she values so much. You watched me swearing at paramedics, who wouldn’t help lift you to the bed, when you were not yet dead. Everything I tried to do that day went wrong, starting with the thunderstorm, when I first found you in trouble. Fate, an angel of God, conspired against me at every turn; nothing went right, no, not for me.
Your body was broken, you suffered cruel pain, when you lost your leg, you weren’t the same. I felt your shock that day in the room, when you pulled back the cover. Your leg wasn’t there, your eyes focused in horror, the hurt on your face, I’ll never forget it.
Our love mended you as best we could, your spirit prevailed, you came home and doing well. Iris Soto, the physical therapist, who came to the house, made you laugh. The two of you giggled when I’d come into the bedroom, where you were working on the bed and say, “What’s going on in here?” We visited Adri, the Wednesday before your death. We had a very good time. She said, “You, can’t keep your hands off her” to you. A guilty smile mischievously crossed your face. We were happy again. You told me that day that you could see yourself living to seventy-nine. I was sure that wouldn’t be enough.

Four days later you left me.   

Friday, December 27, 2013

My First Christmas Alone

Homer Simpson clouds, what Kirt called fluffy white clouds that dot the sky. It must be a Simpson day, no, it’s Christmas. The sun shining brightly, the still air silently screams, alone.
Alone, what do I do? Who do I please? Chi-Ping sleeps curled at my knee. Smoki says, “Wow” as he squeezes between Chi and my knee. He has the whole bed to choose from, but where he wants to be, with feline finesse he claims his spot. It’s good to feel loved. I won’t say, if only by pets, for it’s the best I have these days.
Chi-Ping the independent terrier, who trusted no one, has given her heart to me. Smoki, the cat, once a curmudgeon, now claims best friend status. Blondie, the bullying big babe seems shy about asking for love; years on the street have taken their toll.
The spiritual spot with pretty house on the hill, beckoned for months. Deep down in our souls we knew it must be ours. Our golden years called, we put down our toil to sit in the sun surrounded by beauty. You lost a limb and then your life.
We were together for always or so it seemed, forty-five years, we stop counting. The sun warms up a gentle breeze. Lucky and Robert Redford search for a way to get into the house. They knew you as puppies; kind of like my sister knew our dad. Lanky lads, they run and play, hunting with gusto or gathering coconuts and avocados, they’re country dogs surviving in style, smart fellows cracking open coconuts by rolling them down the driveway to smash into the neighbor’s garage, a trick they’ve learned since you left us. You told me stories of riding homemade go carts down your childhood driveway, everything reminds me of you.
You demanded my attention, you wanted my love. A pair of white birds flies towards the lake. Smoki wants his share of my yogurt. We acted like teenagers here; really it was fun, my honey and me under a shroud sprinkled with diamonds we sat late in the night, watching for shooting stars, snuggling in the dark. You were sexy right till the end.
Alone, I find myself pleasing the critters more and more, a Christmas Eve party, liver popsicles for everyone; don’t you wish you were here?
You told me you loved me every day, we hugged and touched; I miss that so much. Letting go of you being physically here, accepting only your spirit is near, when I’m addicted to your solid presence is some days more than I can bear.
Either I’m going to learn to go on, or I will die, as stress affects the body. Living with you taught me to love life among so many other things. The salt of the earth, a rather grandiose man once called you, my happy, humble, honey. The world should know about people like you, who lead lives being kind; sharing love, for everyone loved you. And I’ll tell them, as per your request, that man sure could fix things.
So this is Christmas, to anyone who can, hug your honey, say I love you, as much as you can. It feels so good to hear, and wonderful to say, “I love you!” Enjoy your day.


Tuesday, December 24, 2013

No Future Without a Plan

A plan for Christmas and the New Year seemed in order. Plans have always been my friends; you can change them or forget them, but you have a plan, which even in the bleakest times has given me comfort.  
I.            Who am I, what do I want
II.          Spend Christmas week alone, doing as little as possible, only what I want, meditate, talk to Kirt and God; listen to what they say.
III.       make plan for implementation
Who am I is a very good question, since I best know myself reflected in his eyes. Here goes:
Animal lover, dogs especially, passionate writer, kind hearted person, admirer of creation, art n’ jazz fan, devourer of good books, seeker of spiritual truth, absolute idiot and goofball girl, woman usually on a quest, planner, a good friend, not judgmental, supportive, yet respectful enough to let you make your own mistakes, just like I do.
I a)  What I don’t know about myself is:
How to be single, how to live alone, how not to be caustic or scary when frightened, play nice and make friends to name a few.
 The next couple of days I’m going to be open to the universe to learn what I need to start my life over, to re-invent myself as they say; made annual plans for many years, so this is a step in getting back to the essential me.  

Any thoughts or suggestions will be deeply appreciated. God bless you all on this Christmas eve. 

Saturday, December 21, 2013


A steady rain greets the dawn, moist humus scent wafts through my open windows. Morning has long been my favorite time of day. The steady invasion of light in valleys and alleys with creatures stirring, birds calling tell me it’s time to say good morning to God and my honey. When I grind the beans for my coffee, I say, ‘Hey, Darlene, good morning.”
Darla, the puppy I found in a bucket on the side of the road last week has doubled in size as of this morning, bounces at the side of my bed with a tail wagging incredibly fast. What a happy puppy she is, unless she’s not getting her way. That’s an issue I’ll have to address later.
Everything for me lately is later. It’s making me feel like a bad person, but I know I’m not. Kirt’s death mortally wounded my zest for life. The sun shines under the clouds, while water droplets hang in the air. A banana tree’s leaves look like they've just had a good scrubbing. God, you do good work, good morning.
The view from Sato Hill is peaceful, yet ominous clouds and sun, kind of like my life, the sun is trying to shine through. This puppy I didn't want brings me laughter, jumping and running, wanting attention. Smoki, the cat shows her the right way to seek attention. He carefully steps past the hounds on my bed to stand on my laptop, purring. This is how you get attention; he looks down at Darla wagging her tail. She bounds down the hall in search of some kibble wondering; who does that cat think he is.
Gradually the sun shines through, the rain is gone. The Saturday before Christmas I have an errand to do for a friend and then I need to go to the shopping center to pay a bill. Crap, it’s Claro, the bill isn't due until after Christmas, but I have no service. Don’t let me get started on big corporations’ behavior. I’d better get moving.
A dog barking in the distance, grabs my attention, as a hawk dives down the side of the hill after a pigeon with a sign on his butt saying, “desayunos”, or breakfast as we call it back in the states. My outlook alerts me that I have four overdue appointments and on Sunday Kirt will be dead twenty-three weeks. My honey, we fit together so well; I miss you!
I remember when we not quite young, well, maybe we were young, still in our twenties. You were wearing headphones while painting the family room wall. You didn't hear me because you were singing, “She’s close enough to perfect for me,” with a conviction so dear; I loved you even more. You smiled and kissed me, and went on singing and painting. Neither one of us would have ever won a singing competition, but how I miss your voice.
How do I go on without you, my Darling? Yeah, you’re right; I need to figure that out on my own.
Here, I have one for you. This is good, somebody on the widows’ support line asked this. If a widow remarries, when she and the second husband die; do the guys duel in the clouds for her? Love you.


Friday, December 20, 2013

Lost in Widow Land Week 22

Each morning, as quick as the coffee’s made and the dogs are fed, I go online to check the widows’ support group to find out how everybody is doing. I’ve only known them online for a few weeks, but I want them to be well. The thing about a support group is that when I read a sad story, I feel sorry for that person. In that point of time, when I sorry for you, my pain is less. I wonder what brain chemicals are released on that one.  Ah, yes, misery loves company endorphin trigger.  
The bones of our spouses are like chum in the waters we navigate looking for safe harbor and maybe companionship. Cast overboard, our heads bob, treading water, we drift; cursing in the dark. Our eyes search for a lighthouse. A flicker, a beam so sweet so brief, but we get no relief. Will this be our demise or will we continue living our lives?
If you see me during the day, you’ll never know you’re looking at a bombed out shell, I go through the motions quite well, lately I haven’t even told anyone to go to hell. Anger you see is a huge part of this deal for me. We put our lives together like a puzzle, we fit. Did I not enjoy the now, planning for tomorrow? The woulda, coulda, shoulda’s will get me if I let them. Bottom line is that God was the only one with control.
My honey and me, we made each other so happy. We were huggy and lovey dovey til death did us part, the end. Damn, that’s hard to say.
Last week was sensory overload with people staying here. A week of love’s first bloom, flirting and giggling school kids blush, the rapture made me feel like a snow globe in the sun.
This week’s depression could be expected, alone again is so hard to be. The week before Christmas, a holiday I never much liked except for the story of Jesus, with money that doesn’t go far enough, I’m not buying anything; all I can think about is what I’ve lost. I’m not in a giving mood, bah, humbug.
People want me to be well, they love the stories we tell, a laugh, a smile, a tender moment; I’m on my way, alone again. Can I blame them for not tuning in to my pain, not honoring my loss; they have plenty pain of their own. The contract with life states clearly, constant problems or threats shall affirm one’s status as alive. How we handle it says everything about who we are.

Honoring my feelings I’m doing as much or as little as I can handle each day. When I violate that caveat, jitters, tears, f---ing high anxiety ensues.  It’s like God is this dog trainer zapping my collar when I give a wrong answer. We all grow as trainers, so I’d like to put in my request for positive motion training only from now on, please, as long as it is Christmas and all, no lottery, just take it easy with me. Come on, please. 

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Plant Magic

Gardening is great, planting seeds, germination, maturation and crops, food glorious, food. Every step an adventure, when seedlings pop leaves above soil there’s always the wonder; what the hell did I plant here.
You’d think plants would be a low maintenance relationship, but no, they’re demanding; water me or I’ll die, feed me or no fruit. The clean, green look of a healthy plant puts a satisfied smile on the face making it all worthwhile.
Fertile flowers so pretty swell, soon to become fruit I can’t wait to harvest. Basking in sun, sucking up nutrients during the day, growing at night, born to nourish others, our food grows.
Gardening in containers can be especially fun. I put some tomatoes in front of my bedroom window to catch some sun. This particular night the fruit was grown, green at dusk, during the night to my surprise and delight I watched it go ripe. Every hour or two in anticipation I looked out the window. The green orb caught in the act blushed noticeably more orange.  By morning would you be ripe?  
Good morning, indeed when I got out of bed my tomato was waiting all ripe and red.

This happened last year, 2012, in New Orleans, when Kirt and I were staying with our friend, Darlene Cusimano May. It was a magical night for me. 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Too Hard to Say Goodbye

My current responsibility is to be here, lonely, miserable, to show up and learn, oh, to cry big buckets of tears. I’m doing swell on the lonely, miserable and crying buckets. My emotions are still off the charts. This was a loud crying morning, the kind I don’t want the neighbors hearing. I've gone to the window to see my neighbors standing compassionately at the bottom of my driveway, when the wailing's been too loud; funny, I felt sorry for their discomfort. I don’t want to be responsible for anything, but myself for a moment in time, my time in New Orleans.
In Puerto Rico I have the Sato Hill Gang and, of course, Smoki, the cat. I’m sad and tired; don’t know if I can be happy again, looking for contentment. I’m scaring the crap out of myself.
Life changes, okay, I don’t get a vote, no negotiating, just take what you get change. Can you guess I like to be in control? Well, then you know how out of my mind, out of control, scared I feel.
Do you suppose I should own how scared I am? Ha, ha, a sudden dawn of light; I’m scared. Be calm; maintain self control is always a goal. I do best when I have a goal, so which do I want calm or self control?
The last time I was alone I was a teenager. God knows, what an idiot I was. It’s like my whole adult life’s been wiped out, or died with Kirt,the best part of my life. I felt safe with him. Safety is a big issue for me.
Some of us come from woe is me families, some angry, some laughing their way through adversity; mine was an angry family. Kirt’s dad always had a joke or a story to tell me, plus he taught me about looking around to see what’s available and making the best of it. The thought of Kirt and his dad back together, wow, it’s good. They were good, positive energy in my life. I have gratitude, thanks so much. I’m better; thanks to you.
Anybody who thinks that past the five month mark this gets easier; forget about it. It’s not the raw pain of the first months in Widowland; OMG, when they handed me his ashes, I hoped that I would spontaneously combust in the parking lot so I wouldn't have to bring him home like this. I’m crying so hard I can’t breathe, just thinking about it.

Get busy, time heals, yeah, sure, but I have to say good bye to my wonderful guy. It’s too hard. 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

After the Accident

After Kirt’s surgery, return to work and re-injury in the blink of an eye, he became what they called permanently, totally disabled. Heavy narcotics barely changed the pain, but oh, lord, was he loopy. A couple of years after his second surgery we were still going to pain clinics and therapy in hope of improving the outcome.
My forty something husband aged over the winter; together we became rotund. Did you ever notice how good food tastes when you stress eat? He hurt, he ate; I stressed, I ate.
We had no money coming in for a few years, so we took a second mortgage on the property and began selling the beautiful furniture we bought when newlyweds. With our location on a busy road, garage sales made enough money for groceries and utility bills. My fondness for auctions paid off, when I’d pick up nice antiques for a good price and sell them for a better one. Kirt hated not being able to go. He’d inspect all my finds. So many of the farm antiques he’d used as a kid, so he’d explain how the implements worked. He had a story for everything.
Job possibilities came my way, but leaving Kirt never felt right; between the pain meds and the muscle relaxers he didn’t know which way was up. I had a group of people coming over to train dogs a couple of times a week; it’s what I did for fun, which for me was the best part of this time period. When I told people that I wouldn’t be working with them and their dogs because I had to go back to work, they offered to pay me. At first my low self esteem wouldn’t allow me to believe I was good enough to be paid for training dogs or working with behavior problems, which is what I loved to do.
I began training dogs for a living and Kirt started going to auctions with me. Many times when we arrived he’d say, “I’ll just wait in the truck.” The tightness about his eyes and mouth told me he hurt. A new dog training business and week end garage sales came close to paying the bills, but you know, how close isn’t good enough. Kirt had to see the dentist, Dr. Dave, because he was grinding his teeth. Stress makes us stupid to begin with; stress, narcotics, and muscle relaxers took a toll. Kirt sat in a stupor while the stove caught on fire. I walked in the door just as the flames started. You can’t imagine how bad he felt after that.
One of my new dog training clients, Debbie Howard, talked me into pet sitting as an additional income source. Pet sitting in Illinois meant going out no matter what the weather, which in the ten years we did it, came to some nasty extremes. I say in which we did it because no matter how much pain Kirt was in, he would drag himself to the car to ride along with me. It was appoint of honor for him to not let me go by myself.
Kirt didn’t boo-hoo, “Look at those fall colors, I’ll bet Michigan color can’t compete with what we have right here. What’s your favorite color yellow or orange?”  One afternoon I returned from an appointment with a potential pet sitting client to find Kirt had filled the dogs’ little kiddy pool. “What’s up with the pool?” I asked. “Look,” he said. In the pool were six baby wood ducks, who wandered out of the woods. With a yard full of Rotttweilers, it could have been the end of baby ducks, but Kirt kept the dogs a respectful distance away from the chicks paddling in the pool. As I brought some groceries in, he called, “Here comes the mom.” She circled overhead, he backed away from the pool, called the dogs to come with him, the mom landed, and she quacked, the chicks jumped out of the pool to form a line behind her. We hugged each other, as they waddled away.
Kirt understood that medicating for pain would be a way of life for him, so he cut back on the meds. A doctor sent him to take biofeedback training. The therapist allowed me to go in with him because I was fascinated, but Kirt didn’t believe in it, before long he sat outside while I went in for his biofeedback class. Years later Kirt would appreciate everything I learned in those classes.
As soon as our finances allowed I resumed showing dogs. By this time Kirt had a decent pain management regiment established, so he’d come to the shows to hold dogs for me. After years of taking lessons and hard work I began to win. Kirt developed a following of people who would sit ringside with him to pick his brain for training tips or ask questions. I was running around the ring like a crazy fool while my husband was holding court. One day in particular a man kept pressing him for information on how we got our dogs to stop four square every time. Kirt knew it had something to do with how the dog held his head, but couldn’t articulate what the man wanted to know because he didn’t know. The man kept pressing the question, finally frustrated he said, “You’ll have to ask Pat.” I enjoyed watching Kirt with his groupies and wasn’t going to let this guy get the better of him, so I replied, “If he won’t tell you, it must be a training secret, so if you want to know, come to class.” Later, I gave him a hard time about dispensing advice on things he didn’t know too much about. To which he replied, “But I’m having fun,” with that mischievous boy look I could never resist. I rolled my eyes and laughed; what could I say, the man was having fun.  
I was so maniacal about doing my best and winning. Kirt taught me to enjoy life. For me winning was fun; for him hanging out with me was fun.  

The Day Disability Struck

The day my husband crawled in the door on all four limbs, unable to stand changed our lives forever. My big strong man couldn't stand, I lifted and drug him, moving him the few inches required all my strength. “What happened?” I shrieked, when I saw him at the door, his pain so great he could only get out, “Accident...at work.”
“Let’s get you back in the truck; I’ll take you to the emergency room, right now.” How could they let him go home like that; I wondered, as I went to pull his truck closer to the house. At times like this my mind whirs; what do I need to do to get him back in the truck, oh, my God what’s wrong with him, I need to run back in the house and turn off the stove.
“No!” His exasperated cry startled me. “Honey, we have to get you to the doctor! You need help.” He collapsed on the front step, his head on the step. “Please, let me take you to the doctor,” I yelled. Kirt’s dislike of hospitals and doctors and avoidance of same was legendary, so I slipped straight into frantic. “Open the door,” his voice demanded and plead simultaneously. “No, I don’t know what to do for you. I can’t help you. You need a doctor!”
“Been. OPEN, the door!” Okay, that put a different color on things, but now wasn't the time for questions. I opened the door. He couldn't lift himself, so I asked, “Are you sure you don’t want to go to the urgent care or the ER?” “Grab my shoulders, pull me in,” he replied.  I took his left arm at the shoulder, but he yelled in pain, both sides had to be lifted equally to get in the door, I tried to lift while straddling him. This proved awkward, so with a big towel slipped around his chest and under his arms I lifted and pulled all my might and he pushed propelling himself through the door.
On the floor in a heap like an injured puppy he panted and moaned. At this point in my life I didn't cry, so only my bloodshot eyes revealed my horror at seeing my hero broken. The table and chairs had to be moved and the coffee table. He needed a clear path to the sofa. How could a doctor send him home like this? What the hell happened? “Oh, oh, oh,” my big guy cried. “You rest here. Let’s put this towel under your head. Try taking some deeper breaths.”
Kirt always had that farm boy commonsense, so he worked with it, taking deep breaths, relaxing as much as he could. The towel under his head felt better. My good guy said, “Thanks.”
By the time I had everything out of the way, he started to crawl on his hands and knees, few feet later he collapsed, so we did the same thing with deep breathing and the towel under his head. “You say a doctor saw you,” I commented without expecting an answer.
Just five years earlier we bought our little house on tens acres. We filled it with horses, cows, chickens, dogs and flowers. My husband always wanted me to stay home, so he gave me what I loved. The place demanded more work than I could imagine, so each day I scheduled my chores. Kirt came home to see me struggling to clean up the barn. In twenty minutes the man had the whole job done, smiled at me and said, “Let’s have dinner.” At the time it made me feel weak and incompetent, but I admired his strength and the ease with which he got things done. He took care of me.
On the sofa at last, I had all I could handle to not bombarded him with questions. How do you get home in this condition? What kind of doctor would let you go home like this? What is happened? It hadn’t taken much to figure out his back hurt, but damn, this seemed extreme. Once, the hood of a car slammed on Kirt’s thumb, he had to pull it out. The indentation of the hood remained on his thumb for a long time to come, all he did was shake it off and go on about his business. This is no cry baby guy.
“Going down the Eisenhower I hit a pothole, the seat bottomed out. Pain shot through my legs. By the time I got back to the shop they were numb.” They took me to a clinic in Cicero. The doctor gave me this prescription for pain pills and a couple of days off.” Kirt’s face was still tight with pain, but he had gotten his breath back.
From that day in 1988 he never had a pain free day in his life.   


Monday, December 16, 2013

Shouldn't I be Looking for Me?

Without a compass to guide me, each day I forge on doing whatever seems right but nothing feels right. My organization vanished with my husband. A few feeble attempts at list making is nothing. When I try too hard to focus, my body reacts with jitters or if I’m really lucky, a headache.
Advice I’m getting from a majority of my sources completely conflicts with what I think I should be doing. I respect my advice givers, so my resolve falters.
My belief tells me that my husband completed his life’s journey, but I haven’t; God has me here for a purpose. Being in harmony with your purpose is a state of grace, so I really want to do my whatever, my purpose. I’m guessing that since God took away my best friend, my moral support, I’m supposed to do this whatever, alone. This means many things including that I need to be strong or have a strong sense of self. It’s so easy to hide behind your husband and think you’re strong.
When I’m ready, I should look for a guy, so many of my friends say. My eyes crossed when I heard elsewhere essentially, that I didn't have time to waste. I should run right down to the guy market and get myself one. After a lifetime of meshing with one great guy, it’s bloody unlikely that I’ll ever connect quite so comfortably with another. The last thing I want is some strange guy’s opinion affecting my life in any way.
Who does she think she is? Who am I without a guy? Who am I, just me?  Without my guy..

Going back to New Orleans where as a child I wished for my life, dreamed of who I would be; maybe that’s where I’ll find me. 

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Love and Lonliness

Love’s playful spark permeated Sato Hill. Four days of my friend and her sweetheart, the ever handy Jamie, who sealed my roof and did a myriad of honey do’s, went well despite the things that went wrong.
Tying down the items required to do the job might have been at tad less problematic. Budding romance energy in my home of mourning made me feel unbalanced; it tired me. My regular cries took on melancholy, I could howl like a sad and lonely wolf, but didn’t; my happy friends blew kisses to each other and shared knowing glances. New love, part of me enjoyed seeing my friend in that honeymoon phase. The rest of me just ached to have my love back; who made his list, went to the store before starting a job, and rarely had to go back. I miss that. I miss my honey.  
My friend in love to distraction left her clothes at home first trip to my house, the second trip she left a green bag of food on her carport. Watching her made me giggle like a school girl, so it’s all good. Her guy with sparkling personality sang to her, they flirted with each other. I liked the positive energy even if I felt out of sync with it.
On Saturday I shared my best face mask with the divine Ms. M it was like a spa day, until she answered the door in her green mud pack; how mortified she was to be seen like this. Why am I smiling?
My dear friend helped me so much, she’s an angel. Jamie did a very big job. He cleaned up one mighty mess. Maintenance of cement roofs in the tropics is essential for health, mine was overdue.
I’m blessed with wonderful people in my life; thank God for so many gifts. I’m scared and feel unworthy. My head hurts from input overload. My darling isn’t coming back; that seems so wrong. It’s a good thing that personal tragedy doesn’t throw the earth off its axis.  

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

I Have No Sense

I want to scream and cry again, but I don’t, so my stomach twitches, telling me how upset I am, when I just want some tranquility in my life; we were tranquil. We were happy, and now that’s gone.
Just when I think about something positive, an email from U.S. Department of Veterans jerks me back to thinking about my loss. Kirt died, but I've begun to think of this as my loss; not his, mine, my times with him, my pleasure with his company. How self indulgent I've permitted myself to be, yet when I think of how happy Kirt’s eyes would be to see the first rays of dawn, it saddens me more deeply. I can’t go there. There’s no point, God said that it’s not going to happen.
How can I make sense of this? How can I process my husband’s loss, so I can live a meaningful life? It’s not just about losing Kirt; it’s the dog, my friend and everything else going wrong that’s forcing me to stand alone or get help.
Saying good bye to Kirt is saying good bye to the best in my life. People tell me, “You have to hold on to the best memories,” yeah, okay, I’ll make a note to do that; problem is memory co-creator, my best friend is gone, no more memories.  I should be grateful for anyone taking the time to say something, but I’m not. A sympathetic smile and nod, a hug would be appreciated. My husband hugged me all the time. I miss hugs like a drunk misses Scotch.  
Why do people feel a need to tell me the obvious; I’m grieving not lobotomized. “You need to get on with your life” is my personal favorite. “How would you suggest I do that,” my reply usually gets a strange, how the hell would I know look on their faces. I swear one day I’m going to laugh. Not too often someone will give me suggestions like go on a cruise, which might be nice.
For a person wishing to be a positive light a venal irony is that all my little bitches about how people don’t do this right or I’m not happy with that are what in part brings me to my present. Shit, that sucks.
I’m tired, not my usual energy, missed Zumba a few times. I have a banana tree to plant, let me go do something constructive for once. 

Monday, December 9, 2013

Does Death Come in Threes?

Does death come in 3’s or does the mind fill in details to prove beliefs?
I hadn’t lost anybody “close” to me in a long time. My Uncle Lou died about thirteen years ago. I loved him with a big heart little girl crush. Writing this gets me lost in memories of a man with rare natural class. I remember my aunt telling me something about death and three, but blew it off, so I can’t tell you about the other two.
My father died the year I graduated from high school. Walking to work with my dog, Donovan, singing Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme; she once was a friend of mine is pretty much my best memory of the time. I was angry and scared, but too dumb to know it at the time.
You may recall me telling about my dog Lola dying shortly after Kirt, and now my best friend from childhood; that’s three loved ones taken away.
Death touches us HARD, slapping us around with no regard for our feelings. It tests us as organisms in a dish. How much can we take? Will we respond in a healthy way, surviving and, maybe, thriving or does this abuse cause us to become bitter, to wither emotionally, as my friend did, and die?

Is this cruel fate, or the loving hand of God? But for gentle transitions or the smile on my husband’s face  after he died and mini visitations, I might doubt. Prayers for understanding and acceptance will be answered, when I get my shit together and am ready, which I pray God will be soon. 

Saturday, December 7, 2013

The Reaper Got Her, So Long My Sister

Darlene, Dahlene, Cajun Queen, author of many chapters in my life; farewell my friend of childhood, so long ago, but remembered as a magical adventure growing up with live oaks, dueling oaks and Mardi Gras, and confidences shared with you, my first good friend. We told each other of hope and dreams for a future free of terror, said we’d find each other and always be together.
The 60’s, 70’s, the 80’s, oh, even the 90’s flew by, and then you reached out to me in a letter sent through aunts, good friends the generation before us. My palms tingled, my heart raced; I called you, which was the best call ever. The girls were back, if only on the phone. With a loving connection, we’re not alone; life was good. Thanks so much for being a part of it.
You were a trip, my girl, when you went out, you ruled the party. Kirt and I, your sidekicks at the casino and definitely out to lunch, had great fun.
Say, “Hi,” to Kirt and Milton. On a corner somewhere in a place called heaven there’s a bunch hanging out, listening to good music and having fun with you and the guys. Pet my dogs; until I get back and I’ll check on Lucky.

Friday, December 6, 2013

My Darling,

 I visit friends, help out with causes, talk to everybody in my contact list and loneliness is my closest companion. None of this really hard trying makes a difference. You’re not here.
I don’t know where I belong or even who I am. Would it be a sin to give up on my life, to die? People seem to like me, but I am all alone. How do I do this alone shit? It’s so painful.
A journey of self discovery is in order, but how, where? We should be sitting in rockers on our porch overlooking the lake and smiling. You were so easy to be with my honey; how can I go on without you? I loved my life with you. The world is still beautiful in the morning, the stars still shine at night; the difference is me. I’m not the same without you.
The people I think should love me most tell me I’m strong; I’ll be fine, essentially buck up and get on with life. I was so in love with our life together. This has far less meaning. What does God want me to do? Send me a memo in one or two syllable words. I hurt; I’m not getting this.

Every day you kissed me and told me you love me. I miss that the most. I love you. Nothing comes close to what I lost when you left me.