Wednesday, August 24, 2011

My B!tc#

I hate this day.  I hate it.

August 24, 2009 was the worst day of my life.  I highly doubt that that could be changed.

But, here’s the deal.  I have dreaded it for weeks.  I’ve tried to figure out a strategy for survival and have worked myself into a frenzy about it.  I woke up this morning with this strategy in mind:

I’m done giving in to this day.  I’m sad today, but I’m always going to miss Sawan, today doesn’t need to be different.  I refuse to let this day win.  I refuse to let this day take the joy of my memories of my husband from me.  I’m making August 24th my bitch.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Caught in the Undertow

Grief is like an ocean.  It’s like you’re standing, facing the shore.  You get used to the waves breaking at your feet.  Sometimes, you’re deeper in the water; sometimes you’re in the shallower water, and those waves breaking feels more manageable.  Because you don’t get to choose to face them, you don’t know when the big waves are coming, and they’ll grab you, you lose your footing, and can get pulled out by the undertow.  You’re underwater again, like in the beginning, sputtering and struggling for air.  You get thrashed around, torn up by the stuff on the bottom.  Eventually, you find your way to the surface, find your feet beneath you again, and begin the journey back to the shore, to the smaller, more manageable waves.

This is August.  I knew I was in for “deeper waves” this month.  There are just so many anniversaries in August.

I feel a little like I got caught in the undertow this last weekend, though.

We’re having a family reunion.  It’s been so great to see family for a reason that’s fun and not for a funeral, but it’s also brought up grief in a way that I was not prepared for.

As part of the reunion, we celebrated my grandmother, “Grandmom’s” 85th birthday.  We took pictures with her and all of the great-grandchildren.  I had no babies to offer for the photo.  That may sound silly, but it broke my heart.  In a situation like this weekend, when there’s kiddos everywhere, I feel an actual physical ache in my arms because they’re empty.

I’ve been grieving the husband I lost, but I’ve been grieving for my baby, the one in my dreams, too.

I hope, to get back to the ocean metaphor, that maybe, when all is said and done, my soul will have a really awesome tan and look great in a two piece with all of the exercise I’m getting out in the ocean.

Most of the "Greatgrandkids" on the bench, waiting their turn for the homerun derby.

Afterword, we had real Oklahoma watermelon.  De-lish!

Monday, August 8, 2011


Sawan didn’t care for cake.  So when I was making dinner for family and a couple of friends last week for his birthday, I made this:

Cool whip Pie
In large mixing bowl, blend 1 can condensed milk (Eagle Brand), ¼ cup lemon juice.  Add 1 large Cool whip—fold in 1 package frozen (thawed and drained) berries (I used mixed berries, but I think just blueberries or strawberries would have been yummier).  Pour into pie shell (graham cracker crust).  Chill 3-4 hours.

It’s a recipe that Sawan had made once for a holiday, and it came from a cookbook that his mom had put together before she died (all in her own handwriting) of recipes that she always made.  It was delicious.

I had fun looking through the cookbook, because it had lots of things in it that he had made for me, recipes that he had added in his own handwriting, and little notes to the sides of other’s recipes with the way that he had changed them. 

We also planted an oak tree in his memory in the back yard.  At the funeral, instead of flowers, someone sent this really cool gift box that was a “memory tree.”  It had a little pot and soil and seeds for an oak tree.  Because I was such a mess, my mom has been the keeper of the oak tree.  It has barely made it.  So, instead of that, my parents bought a bigger, more substantial one to go in the backyard, and we planted it on Sawan’s birthday. 

Sawan was a recovering alcoholic.  So, Fresca was his beverage of choice.  We had some that night, and poured one out into the tree for him.  I think he would have found this hilarious.
Pouring in the Fresca...

Arthur and I next to the finished product.
I did pretty well on August 2.  I cooked food, made a pie, celebrated a birthday.  The next day, I had two appointments, then immediately came home and took a long nap, then went to bed by 8:30.  I’ve done some version of that every day since.  I’m just kind of a mess.  I’m still grieving, I guess.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Happy Birthday, Sawan.

Today my husband would have been 42.

I’ve spent my day so far between feelings of complete sadness, remembering fun stuff we did that has made me laugh, and the total bewilderment of, “Is this really my life?  How did I get here?”

Last year, I don’t even remember what we did on August 2.  I do remember, though, that on the 24th (the day that he died) everyone asked me what I was going to do, and some suggested that I celebrate.  That just felt so wrong to me.  The 24th is a day that I will always passionately hate.  It’s the day that took him away from me.  But I felt that I had missed my opportunity to really celebrate his life, and that since August 2nd is the day that gave him to me; I should have had a celebration then.  So today I’m celebrating.

From his 40th birthday party, August 2, 2009
He was kind.  He was loving.  He was manly.  He was a great storyteller.  He was funny, and loved to laugh.  He took amazing care of me.  He made the best grilled cheese.  He was incredibly sexy.  I could go on and on.  I celebrate him today.