Saturday, October 30, 2010

Our First Date

This week marks the fifth anniversary of our first date.

Believe it or not, we still celebrated it.  It was more an excuse to go out to dinner than anything else, but also, we were one of those couples that kinda made you want to throw up a little in your mouth.  I actually knew this and so I tried to rein it in a bit whenever we were around people.  Tried to actually call him by his name sometimes instead of just “baby.”

October 30, 2005 was the date.  We spent all week on the phone with each other, and I had already pretty much fallen head over heels.  I had met him and worked with him briefly six months before.  So when I showed up for coffee on that Sunday, at Stella’s on Pearl Street, and he opened the door for me, honestly my first impression was “oh, shit.”

He looked nothing like I remembered.  He was dressed in a white mock turtleneck (you know those ones that they had at Abercrombie and Fitch that were really cool circa 1995?) with tapered jeans and dark shoes and white socks.  Plus he had this weird haircut that made him look like he just had a really big round head.  (I suppose it’s a good thing he’s not around now to have his feelings hurt by what I’m writing about him.)

But it didn’t matter.  That stuff never really does.  Plus, underneath all that stuff was an incredibly handsome man, and it took about a minute flat for him to change his style of dressing to suit me and about 3 weeks for his hair to grow long enough for me to be able to cut it for him, so he was a new man.

After the first impression bit was over, it was the usual delightful awkwardness of first dates.  It’s just coffee, so who pays?  He did.  Then we went and walked around.  It was Halloween, so there were lots of cute kiddos in costumes, and we did lots of fun people watching.  We drank our coffee outside and listened to the guys playing live music.  One of my clearest memories of the day was the band covered the Damien Rice song “Can’t take my eyes off of you” and every time I looked up at him I met his gaze.  He was just watching me, couldn’t take his eyes off of me.  He made me feel so beautiful.

It was a short date.  He had to go into work that night.  So he walked me to my car.  I had bought green chili from the Farmer’s Market and he carried them for me.  We got to the car and the whole way I was wondering if he was going to kiss me.  I had been on so many dates lately where I had felt, I don’t know, “used” I guess, so I was wanting him to, but also hoping he wouldn’t.  He just sweetly swallowed me up in the best hug I’d ever had and then opened my car door for me and asked if he could see me later this week.  I said, “Yes, please.”  (Which he later told me he thought was the cutest response, ever.)  And the rest is history.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

More Adventures

Last week I took my car in for a routine oil change.  I live one block from work, so I rarely drive anywhere and this is something I hadn’t done since, ahem, January.  I was actually only a few miles over the 3000 or whatever it is.  So it wasn’t that big of a deal.

I don’t go to one of those “fast food” style oil change places, because whenever I do they always screw something up and I end up having a $300 repair afterward, so it’s actually much more affordable to just take it to the shop to have the oil changed.  Plus, these days I have my car repaired by Leo’s, and they’re literally next door to the salon.  They are some of the nicest men and women (I know, women mechanics, it’s a cool place.) ever.

When I went in to pay for it, however, they told me my rear brakes were in bad shape.  They were down to 5%.  I had some options.  Then he started speaking Greek (or he might as well have been).  I could have the ones I’ve got “machined” or I could get new ones.  I burst into tears.  These guys know me.  They know my story.  They knew Sawan.  So I felt pretty safe, but it was still humiliating.  So I told him I was going to call my dad and see what he thought and call him later.  The thing is, I used to have to make these decisions by myself when I was single, and I did it (I’m sure what I did was just what I did this time:  call my dad.), and I actually didn’t rely on Sawan for all of the car stuff when we were married.  I took care of almost everything.  He occasionally would take it to have the oil changed but mostly it was my car so I took care of it.  But, when it came to stuff like repairs, he knew what was going on under the hood and I didn’t, so he made the decisions.  This being the first repair was just super hard.  It’s so weird how inanimate things can make you feel emotions. 

Bottom line is, between my sweet dad talking me through the options and translating Greek to English, and the amazing team at Leo’s that put up with the grieving widow, I made a decision, and the new machined breaks worked great on my one block drive home last night.  I did it, all by myself.  Well, without Sawan anyway.

Also this month, I filed our taxes jointly for the last time.  My amazing accountant had done everything for me, so that all I had to do was sign and mail, but when I opened them to the second page, the glaring “deceased” in big black letters was a little hard to stomach.  Thank God I don’t have to do that again.

I would like my parade now.

Fight Club?


This whole blogging thing is totally new to me.  I never really read blogs before I had one.  Now I’m obsessively thinking about blogs all the time, looking for fun ones to follow, wishing some of my more entertaining friends would just start writing one already (because if I’m doing it, then they should be, too, right?).

I wonder, though, if even this post is taboo, like you’re not supposed to talk about it.  You’re not supposed to mention the word “blog” on your blog.  Like fight club.  The first rule of fight club is that you don’t talk about fight club.

I’m also finding that I’m having a bit of a hard time with knowing exactly how to edit myself.  Sometimes I think, “Can I really say that?”  Plus, I don’t exactly know who is reading this.  So when people say stuff to me that is the WRONG thing, I usually deal with it by being sweet, but I want to say, “Oh, no you DIDN’T.  See you on the blog.”  But if they’re reading it are they going to have their feelings hurt?  Does it matter?

These are things that I’m wrestling with.

In an effort to find really great blogs for research, though, would some of you who are reading this take a minute to post a link to some of your favorite blogs in my comments here?

Monday, October 25, 2010

Restless


I’m incredibly restless these days. 

Right now, I’ve got no less than four tabs open on the computer, and I’m watching TV.  And I’m occasionally looking at my blackberry.  And, I have a load of laundry in the washer.

The same is true in the car.  Today I was on my way to appointments and run errands, and it was storming outside, and I was talking on the phone, and the dog was next to me, and I had the radio on (the Mercy Me CD that I ALWAYS listen to) and I was thinking, I should turn on the radio.  Oh, it’s already on.

What is wrong with me?  I normally think that I’m not a good multi-tasker.  When I’m at work, I can’t run the credit card machine at the same time that I’m booking appointments.  I have to do them one at a time.  And, it’s impossible to do this if I need to, you know, “use the restroom.”  This just feels like one too many things on my brain, I can’t possibly book appointments, run credit cards AND “hold it” at the same time.

It’s possible that I’m trying not to grieve.  That I’m trying to keep my mind off of it.  But I really don’t feel that that’s it.  I’ve been talking about it and processing with people and it seems like I’m actually making some progress.  I don’t know why I just said that.  I don’t know what “progress” really looks like, but I at least know things about what I’m thinking that I didn’t know yesterday.

Maybe it’s just the “crazy” that I have talked about before with the not sleeping.  I’m not.  Sleeping, that is.  Crazy, probably.

Here’s what’s kickin’ around in my head.

I am lucky enough to think back on my marriage and have very few regrets.  Of course, there are the fights that I think, “Wow, if I had that to do over again, I would SO not be worried about that.”  (I told my mom that last night, and she said, “yeah, but he had a part in those fights, too, and yet now you’re paying for them and for some reason he doesn’t have to.”  I thought, “At last!  I’ve found my ‘thing to be angry at him about!’”)  In fact, the thing I obsess about most, and this is so silly, is not sharing my skittles.  I’m serious.  About a week before Sawan died I had a little “fun pack” of skittles and, like a little kid, I selected the worst colors (orange and green) to eat first, saving the more desirable colors (red and purple) to eat last.  These were also his favorites.  But in a “fun pack” you only get a couple in every color.  He came in the room when I was down to my last four skittles, and asked if he could have some.  I wouldn’t share.  Now, we had whole other packs that he could have opened, but I really think I hurt his feelings by not sharing my skittles with him.  I know that in the grand scheme of things, this is so stupid.  But this is one the things that makes me the most sad.  And, skittles are completely ruined for me now.

I know that it’s weird to say that I have very few regrets and then tell you a story about candy and have you believe me.  But really, we were great communicators.  We fought a lot, but we fought well (he never spent the night on the couch).  There was nothing left unsaid.  He knew how much I loved him.  I have no doubt about how much he loved me.

In spite of this, I feel great responsibility for his death.  I have dueling opinions of myself, and both are evil.  Either I think too highly of myself, and the question is “why me?”  And the spiral goes down to “I don’t deserve this!”  Or, I think, “It’s all my fault.”  I majorly screwed up and am being punished.  I know in my head that neither of these is true, and the answer is really “mystery option three,” but I’m still working on getting to what that is, and living from that place is much harder than knowing it in your head.

In the meantime, the restlessness I feel can be summed up in the latest joke I heard:
(Apologies if it’s not “pc” to say ADD anymore…)
How many kids with ADD does it take to change a light bulb?
I don’t know, how many?
Wanna go ride bikes?

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Then, why are you picking your seat?


Yesterday on Facebook I posted as my “status update” the following:  “Freezing my fanny off in my bedroom, think it’s time to turn the heater on already.”

This got no less than a shocking 20 comments!  It overall made me feel very loved that people were concerned about the condition of my fanny, but has had me chuckling to myself all day.

Comments ran the gamut of telling me how the weather was in their part of the country/world, just saying hi, encouraging me that it was ok to go ahead and turn on the heat, memories of my husband from my sweet sister in law, and my favorite, a friend from UK, telling me that “fanny” in her part of the world, is a more rude way to refer to a very different part of my anatomy.

In our part of the world, fanny is a butt.  A bottom.  A booty, a behind, a bohonkus, a rear-end, a tushy, a keister, a derrier, a rump.  Your backside, your seat, your caboose, your heinie.  We refer to them as “cheeks,” and “biscuits,” and “buns.”  My nephew Jake calls it his “bit.”  I’ve been racking my brain all day for the “g-rated” terms for your posterior (I’m sure I’ll think of 10 more funnier ones after I’ve posted this, but feel free to comment on ones I missed…).

Always the mature one (I did just mention that I spent the day meditating on g-rated names for butts, right?), I rounded the corner at the grocery store the other day, and a woman, who thought she was alone, was picking her underwear out of her butt.  It was everything I could do to NOT ask her, when she looked up at me, busted, “Going to the movies?” 

Friday, October 22, 2010

Memory Quilt

I’ve always been overly sentimental.

When I was a little girl, (and this is a little embarrassing, I’ve never admitted this to anyone) I would hate to shower the day after Christmas.  It was just such a long wait for Christmas to come again, and I didn’t want to “wash the Christmas” out of my hair. 

I’m a little overwhelmed by the amount of Sawan’s stuff that I have.  I’m living in a little house right now with an unfinished basement, so I was able to just pack all of his stuff into boxes and think “I’ll deal with it later.”  But I’m wondering how long I’m going to just leave it there, without dealing with it?

I started the process last week, if you can call it that.  I’m not sure how much more I’m up for anytime soon.

I am having a memory quilt made.  This is something that I read about on a website for widows.  It was a suggestion that you take his clothes and make a quilt out of it, rather than just getting rid of them.  I loved this idea and started researching it, and realized that I didn’t need it to be a specific “memory quilt,” I could just have a regular quilt made out of them and it would be “memory” for me.  So I asked a friend who quilts if she could make it and she agreed.  Six months ago.  It’s taken me till now to bite the bullet and get everything together for it.

I finally went out and bought the fabric for the backing and the borders, and told her that I had it all together for her, but then I had to go through the clothes to give them to her, as well.

That proved to be a harder task than I thought it would be (and I knew it was going to be hard, that’s why I waited six months).

I was just sorting through, to get the button-down shirts; they were the right kind of fabric for the quilt.  But getting everything out, and smelling them, and knowing that this was the last time that I was seeing them as a real shirt, knowing for sure that he wasn’t coming back to wear them again, was unbelievably hard.

I felt such a sense of accomplishment when I handed the stuff over, though.  Although it was only one box out of about 20 that I got rid of, something beautiful will come out of it, and I can’t wait to have my quilt for my bed out of the shirts that I have so many memories of.  It’s going to take a few months for it to be finished, but I’ll follow up with a photo when it’s done!

I figure at this rate, I should be done in about 10 years, then, right?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Wedding Rings...


This is something I’ve been obsessing about.

I’ve been trying to think about how long I’ve been obsessing about it, about when I started wondering about it, and I think it’s been since the very beginning.

I have a client that is a young widow.  She lost her husband in a similar way to the way I lost mine, he was around forty years old, was completely healthy, played tennis in the morning, and died in the afternoon (I think it was a heart/artery issue).  She was in my chair about six weeks after Sawan died, and we had never talked about her widowhood before, so she was just being sweet and open about if I wanted to talk about it, etc.  The first thing I asked her was how long she wore her ring.  She said that she wore it about six months, and then the questions by others about if she was married or not were just so hard that she stopped wearing it.

I have another friend that lost her fiancĂ© right before they were to be married.  I asked her the same question, about her ring.  He died eight years ago.  She said that she still wears it, sometimes.  She would wear it off and on.  She wore it all the time for a while, and then would take it off, and then when she would be in a new cycle of her grief, she would start wearing it again.

Another widow friend of mine is remarried and still wears her ring from her first husband on her right hand.  This is an idea that hadn’t occurred to me.  Just switching hands.  

I’ve read websites, I’ve done research.  Some people wear his and hers rings on a chain around their necks.  Some have had them re-set into a new ring to wear.  Some simply take them off.  Some have had the ashes from cremation made into a man- made diamond and wear that in lieu of a wedding ring. 

Clearly everyone does something different and whatever feels right for them at the time.  Whatever I decide for right now doesn’t have to be what I do forever.  I went through a short two-week period where I tried not wearing it back in the spring and it was just so hard on me that I started wearing it again.  I felt like I was forcing myself, and I missed it so much.

It really is a beautiful piece of jewelry.  I’ve never seen a ring that was more me or that I liked more than the one that he picked me.  I only have the engagement band, I didn’t want the wedding band, because of what I do for work (hairstylist). I didn’t want something bulky since I’m always putting on gloves for color or running my hands through long strands of hair at the shampoo bowl.  It’s got tiny little diamonds set in the band (I think they call it pave) and then a round main stone, which was Sawan’s grandmothers.  It looks very vintage.

But lately I’ve been just obsessed with the idea that it’s time for a change.  Mostly because I’m just so tired of the questions.  It completely deflates me when someone asks me if I’m married or engaged.  But I don’t want to not wear my ring anymore, so I like the idea of moving it to my right hand.

I tried this, but my left hand felt so naked.  I would feel for my ring with my thumb and panic for a moment about having lost it, and then realize that it was just on my other hand.  I bought something to wear on my left ring finger but nothing I bought seemed to be appropriate.  So I had an idea.

I went to my jewelry box and got out Sawan’s rings.  I’m wearing them on my left hand on my middle finger (they don’t really fit, I have freakishly small fingers, but with stacking two it seems to be staying on ok…).  He had two.  One was the ring that he got married with, a mixed yellow and white gold band that looks like it has a wave running through it (it reminded him of water and he loved it).  The other is a plain silver band that we bought at a street fair and he wore when he went fishing, afraid that he would lose his good one. 

This seems to be solving the problem for me for the time being.  I haven’t had a question yet about being married with the ring on my right hand, and with his rings on my left hand I look for them with my thumb rather than for my own ring. 

Just thought I’d let you in on what occupies my brain wanderings these days.


Sunday, October 17, 2010

Arthur: The Service Dog

I’ve been reading my friend’s blogs, and they’re always putting in little anecdotes about cute things their kids said, and photos of the family.  So I have decided that I need to try to do more of that.  It makes the blog more interesting.  In the absence of kids, you’ll have to settle for photos of me.  Or Arthur.  But, since the most interesting thing I did today was pull a really big wad of hair out of my bathtub drain, and I didn’t think you’d want to see a photo of that, I thought I’d take a picture of the second most interesting thing I did today.

Arthur and I are in classes to train him to be my service dog.  Here’s the back-story, because it’s kinda cool.

I have been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  This is a pretty blanket term that they give to people that have had trauma in their life (see my August 24th post) and looks different for everyone.  For me, I get really high anxiety, and social situations are really hard.  So I got to the point where I never wanted to go anywhere (even the grocery store) if I couldn’t have my dog with me, because he totally calms me down.  When I get to where my heart is racing I can hold my dog and get my breathing under control.  To me this is a “naturopathic” way of dealing with it, so that I don’t have to take gross meds. 

When my sister was in town from London this summer I was telling her that I wished I could just get Arthur one of those vests so that he could come with me to the grocery store or wherever so that I could feel safer doing the stuff that I needed to do.  We said it as kind of a joke.

Then she read this article in the newspaper about a place here in Denver that will train your dog to be your Psychiatric Service Dog, using the dog that you already have, and here’s their number.   I promptly called them; we set up a time to meet and got the ball rolling.  It turns out that the woman who runs the place is also a widow, and so telling her my story was easy, plus she works with people like me all the time, so she was just so incredibly encouraging that I felt hope for the first time in a really long time.  We went to our evaluation and it ended up costing way less than I had anticipated, and we were underway!  I’m so excited about it.  Basically, this woman recognizes that Arthur is already doing the calming things for me that he needs to be doing, so he just needs training in how to be a good boy in public so that he looks like what people expect from service dogs.

He has his little blue vest, and I’ve started bringing him with me places.  Just a little at a time, to get me used to it as well as him.  I get asked about him every time I go in a place.  It’s hard, because it’s admitting how messed up I really am, but a friend pointed out that this is like my “scar” that I was looking for.  So that helped a little bit.  Also, people are SO curious.  “Is he a service dog?”  It’s hard not to be sarcastic.  “No, this is just his Halloween costume.”  Ok.  “Yes, he’s a service dog.”  “What kind of service dog is he?”  “He’s a psychiatric service dog.”  “So what does he do?”  Ok, they don’t realize how inappropriate they’re being.  Most people that I ever saw with service dogs before this were either for blind people or people in wheelchairs, where it was obvious what the dog was doing, (so it’s ok that they don’t automatically know).  So, I’ve had lots of friends make suggestions about what I should say to people.  “None of your f-ing business.”  And my favorite “He keeps me from flying into a homicidal rage when people ask me nosy questions.”  But I’ve decided that unless I’m in the mood to be snotty, I really would like to use it as an opportunity to educate people.  So yesterday I had a breakthrough.  When a woman was really pressing in on why I had this dog, she was obviously assuming that I was training him for someone else, and wondering what that person needed him for.  I told her that he was mine, and that that was actually a very personal question.  She was so sorry.  And she was very teachable.  It went really well.  So I think some version of that will be my response from now on.
Arthur and I after class today 
Anyway, we did private classes for a while, and he passed with getting the most wrong he possibly could.  Then we began the group classes last week.  At our first group class he was obviously the worst dog there.  I was embarrassed.  He kept looking up at me like “MOM, why are you so mad at me?  You don’t ever expect me to obey you.  Why are you so shocked?”  So something snapped in me at that class and I put the smackdown on him last week.  I told him “Sorry, Mister.  The party’s over.”  And I made him obey all week.  This week, he wasn’t the best boy in the class (we’re up against the dog they wrote the article about, after all), but he was definitely in the top 3.  I was very proud of him, and very proud of myself. 

Also, his paperwork came this week, so he’s official.  He has a photo id and everything.  I told him he just can’t lend it to his friends to get them into the bars, no matter how much they look like him.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Tug of War

I woke up at 5AM to go to the bathroom and couldn’t get back to sleep.  This was a huge problem in the beginning but hasn’t been a problem recently, so I was a little surprised by my brain wanderings.  Usually, lately, once I’m asleep, the battle’s won and I can get through till 10 or 11 like the teenager I must still think I am.

This morning at five I played tug of war instead.

That’s really what this phase of grief should be called.  Tug of war.  It’s this constant battle that I’m fighting between knowing that I have to let Sawan go, and wanting to keep him close.  It’s wanting to move on with my life and feeling like I’m betraying him by forgetting the little nuances of being married to him.  It’s feeling like if I’m not the bearer of his memories, then who will be?  So I have to remember every detail and when they slip away, feeling the huge loss all over again.

This morning the sadness was, like lots of mornings, not having him to snuggle me.  I struggled hard against the urge to imagine what life would be like if he were still here.  To have the fantasy for a moment.  And then, I tried to remember what he would look like before, in the half-light of morning, the silhouette of his body in the bed, and I couldn’t remember.  I panicked.  It came to me at last, but that was the point that I decided that I was no longer being productive in the bed, that sleep was elusive, and a pumpkin spice latte was the best solution.

The thing about a tug of war is that eventually one side wins.  I wonder what that will look like for me.  Maybe I’ll just get comfortable with the battle inside me.  For now I’ll just drink a lot of pumpkin spice lattes.


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Mother's Day


October is breast cancer awareness month.  I have had two women on my mind all month.  Here’s a small tribute to them.
***

Sawan lost his mom to breast cancer when he was 30.  She was an incredible woman, and I’m so sad that I never got to meet her.  October was always a hard month for him, it included her birthday, and the day that she died, and is also the month that everything is pink and everyone is so aware of breast cancer that he couldn’t get away from it.

Helen was a southern belle, she grew up in South Carolina.  She was a beauty queen, a nun, a playboy bunny, a flight attendant, a midwife, a mother, and she met Sawan’s dad at an ashram in India.  He and his sisters all have Indian names.  She lived a full life, even though it was tragically cut short.

I am so thankful to her for bearing and raising the son that she did.  It’s so weird to find myself missing someone that I never met.  I’m so glad that she didn’t live long enough to have to lose a child, but I sometimes wonder what she would say to me about losing him.  So many of mine and Sawan’s conversations would end with him crediting the way that she had raised him, I just sometimes selfishly wish she were still around to ask her wisdom and advice.
***


My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer five years ago.  She has been incredibly brave.  (Hmm, I wonder if she feels the same way about people telling her she’s brave as I do…) 

Sawan and I had only been dating six weeks when my mom was diagnosed, and looking back, with him having lost his mom, I’m not sure why he stuck around.  Especially considering this story: 

Remember how I told you that I’m a difficult woman to love?  I don’t take direction well.  Having been through this before, when I told him that my mom had found a lump in her breast and that it was malignant, and they were going to have to do treatment but they didn’t know what that looked like yet, he told me, “Well, the important thing is to stay positive.”  I freaked out.  I said “Or WHAT?  Or my mom is gonna die and it’s gonna be my fault?  Don’t tell me what to do.”  How’s that for the sweet new girlfriend?

Also, I shaved my head in solidarity.  Once again, maybe not the best idea for a brand-new relationship.  I just didn’t care.  He really didn’t want me to do it, and had told me as much, and I did it anyway, because it wasn’t about him, it was about my mom.  When the deed was done he told me that it made him feel like he didn’t matter.  I sweetly tried to explain to him that he mattered a lot, but something like my hair shouldn’t make him feel like he mattered more or less.  It worked, and he stuck around.  I wore really big earrings whenever I was around him for the next six weeks, though.

It was a long haul with the treatment.  Major surgery.  Chemo and radiation.  Watching my mom get back down to her highschool weight.  She lost all her hair, including the soft fuzz that covers your face.  I bring this up because it was my favorite thing about that time.

When I was little, I remember being put to bed by the babysitter, but being promised that mom and dad would come in and kiss me goodnight when they came in from their date.  I have this sweet memory of mom coming in, smelling like Estee Lauder’s Youth Dew, waking me and kissing me goodnight, full of all the yumminess and comfort of being a little kid and knowing that all was right with the world.  I remember the softness of her cheek, and the squishiness of her face against mine.  Her chemo cheeks were just so soft and reminded me of that embrace.

So here we are five years later, she’s cancer free and almost to the point where she’ll only have to go in once a year for a checkup.  She’s very excited about this, I want them to check every five minutes, but I guess I don’t get to decide.

Thanks mom, for fighting the cancer like the tiny little warrior that you are.  I’m very proud of you.  Thank you also for being my sounding board and support with my grief.  I love you so much.
January, 2006



Friday, October 8, 2010

Gallery


I have been thinking that, since I have a readership of, like my friend Addie says, tens of you, and some of you (and this makes me feel really cool) are total strangers, and don’t have access to my Facebook page or Sawan's, it might be nice if you had some images of the people I talk about most.  So here’s a small gallery of photos for you.


Sawan was the fisherman extraordinaire.  This photo doesn’t really do justice to the caliber of fisherman that he was, but I had literally thousands of pictures to choose from (he had a picture of nearly every fish he ever caught) so I chose one that showed what his face really looked like.






This is one of my favorite photos of Sawan.  It’s from Summer 2008 at Pirate’s cove.  I love it because it shows what kind of man he was, not afraid to look silly, just wanting to be inclusive.  He had it on his Facebook page with the caption “My awesome nephews, Bridger and Caid.”






In love in San Francisco, 2007. 




Our wedding in Mexico, July 1, 2007.
  

This is Arthur.  The best dog in the world.




Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Don't forget the lyrics

Was it Wynonna that said “When you hit rock bottom there’s just two ways to go, straight up, and sideways?”

I feel that way sometimes.  Like it’s hard to measure my journey by progress.  And really, why am I trying?  Who do I have to measure myself against, anyway, and whose expectations are they about how I “should” be doing?  Only my own, I suppose.  The thing about calling it a journey, though, is that I feel that I should be moving forward and sometimes I feel like I’m moving sideways. 

I think I’m learning these days to feel comfortable in my skin with where I’m at.  I think I’m actually doing better, because I’m noticing that I don’t feel the numbing sensation of grief ALL the time.  This is a mixed bag, because I feel stuff more.  The bad days are really bad.  But, I think I’m having more good days, too.

I’m also noticing that I feel lonely.  This is a recent development.  At first, I was alone with my grief.  The grief was numbing.  I was ok with being alone all the time.  In fact, I enjoyed it (or at least needed it).  Now all of a sudden, I feel lonely. 

In the beginning I felt like I had this mantra that I didn’t mean to say, but it kept occurring to me like a new thought.  It was “How did I get here?”  These days it’s “I’m alone.”  I think that this is maybe my own personal version of the whole 5 steps of grief or something, and now I’m in the acceptance phase?

I have promised myself that I would let people in to how dark it can really be.  I’m still not quite that brave.  I’m writing about it about 10 days after the fact, when I’ve gotten to the point that I can see a little humor in the situation, but I’m not pulling any punches here.  This part really sucks. 

I spent a Saturday night at home, crying, missing my husband, and generally feeling sorry for myself.  I kept catching myself humming “Another Saturday night and I aint got nobody, I got some money cuz’ I just got paid, how I wish I had someone to talk to, I’m in an awful way.”  And when you start singing the oldies, you know things are bad.  The downward spiral continued with me thinking about how all three of my nephews aged four to seven have girlfriends.  Even THEY have someone.  But not me.  “Poor, poor, pitiful me.”  Then I moved on to Linda Ronstadt. 

I actually feel like this loneliness thing is a good thing.  Like in some ways it is progress.  I was sharing this with a friend and she asked if maybe this meant that I was ready to go out with someone?  I said that it was an idea that I had considered, but no one was asking.  She excitedly offered to set me up.   It was an idea that she had had for a few weeks but hadn’t known how to broach the subject with me.  It’s really funny because I had shared this with a few people, that maybe I was ready, but the prospect of an ACTUAL date scared the bejezuz out of me.  (I told her I’d think about it.  I’ll get back to you.) 

The thing is, and this may be an epiphany to all of you single women out there, but I felt lonely sometimes even when I was married.  Sawan didn’t complete me.  He didn’t always get me.  He didn’t always try to.   So it doesn’t feel like a relationship would necessarily “solve” this loneliness problem for me.  I’m not sure that it’s a problem to be solved.  I guess that I know that the true longing of my soul is completion that I won’t see this side of heaven.  Which brings me to even more lyrics, my song (the only one I can think of for widows) "Homesick" by Mercy Me*.

*I know what you’re thinking.  I always say that Contemporary Christian music is the last stop for the untalented.  But it’s my song.

I’ll leave you with this.  I’m learning to be comfortable with the unsolved questions in my life, like:
Does “journey” have to mean “moving forward”?
What do I do with my life now?
What’s next?
And, from my favorite Killers song, Are we Human, or are we Dancer?