Saturday, January 20, 2018

Thinking ...

Good morning! 
The last few days have been centered on the end of the year financials for Budville Motors, LLC, home of Hilltop Hot Rod Shop. The light at the end is getting brighter :). 
Looking forward to Tuesday, handing the CPA the flash drive and taking a deep breath. We know there will be questions and going over items, but this leg will be complete. 

Also laying a strategy map (of sorts) for this 2018 year with the business. Changes are coming, new & exciting changes, changes that we believe will mean growth and potential. 

I long to have another day to chase my ancestors. :) Love genealogy. Rick and I had so much fun years ago when we first got into it. We would sit for hours at the computer with I have notebooks of printed documentation gleaned and gathered from many sources. Looking thru pictures that we had, that his mom had, that Aunt Jerry had, wherever we could find a picture there was a story to be added. Then the hours of driving thru the country in search of that one cemetery that we had not found yet. I remember as though it were yesterday. Using the directions given to us, feeling like we were at the end of the world, driving thru a cow pasture, thinking - "there is no way there is a cemetery down here". Topping a good size rise, there it was! Surrounded by ancient trees, guarded by the iron fence. A family cemetery to Rick that no immediate family member had ever seen. He parked the car. We walked up the incline, squeaked open the iron gate, and began to walk around, reading the headstones. Fascinating! To read the very names that we had seen online and in the family Bibles. Here lies Rick's history. For several minutes we forgot to take pictures, time just stood still. It was as though we could hear the whispers of all the years. Amazing. Thank you Rick for taking that day off work. I loved you before, I loved you more then. Wow. What a great day that was, and how it makes me smile today. 

I do have a bit of news.
*A publisher has contacted me about turning this blog into a book. I am humbled, honored and overwhelmed! Rick believed in my writing, believed in me. He bought me a website several years before he died. I need to take those writings and put them here, this is the format the publishers use. 
I have talked to several people about this, asked for ideas, comments, suggestions. Brutally honest, please. 
Having never done anything like this, I am staggering with questions. 
Excited at the prospect of having a book published, even if no one buys it or reads it. Lol It was something Rick wanted me to do. So, Rick - I shall give it my best. I will "leave it all on the field". Whatever will be, will be. 
*I was contacted on Thursday afternoon (this week) to be a co-editor on another blog about life after loss. I am deeply humbled and greatly honored to be a part of this endeavor. Excited! 

In other news - Joshua sent me a text message on Thursday, asking me to download an app to my phone. I tried, but found it already installed on my phone. It is basically "FaceTime" for an Android thru Google. I got to SEE my son as we talked! Not only for that one conversation, but he called me yesterday morning - oh how good he looks! I long to wrap my arms around him, pat his face, kiss his cheek. It seems like it has only been yesterday, when in reality we are closing in on 2 years. :( 

That has been weighing heavy on my heart lately. 
I know that my kids and grandkids are doing good in this life - moving forward without their daddy and p-paw. Was I right or wrong in leaving Texas and coming to Kentucky? 
Was I right or wrong in staying this long without a trip back to see them? 
We have stayed in touch via Facebook, text messages, Facebook messenger, and of course the phone. Yet, I know we have missed those "life moments", those "day-to-day ups and downs". Yes, I would have missed everything here in Kentucky. 
Damn the complications.
Damn the questions without answers. 

Years ago, many years ago, and several times thru the years, I was told by an elderly widow to treasure the moments and times of our lives. To live with as few regrets as possible. To have the "attitude of gratitude" & make the mundane things of life an adventure and challenge. That one day I would understand, or hopefully not. 
As I write this today, I think back on those mundane moments, on the trying times. I am thankful today for those wise women (sad that they got this life), and for their teaching and correction to me. 

When I started on this grief journey all that I missed overwhelmed me day after day. About 6 months or so after Rick died, I made the choice to allow myself to miss ONE thing each day. Knowing that I would miss everything EVERY day. But allowing myself to actually focus on ONE thing each day. It has been a challenge on most days to just focus on that one thing. However, I know it has made me stronger at carrying the grief, and wiser at dealing with it all. 
Today, January 20, 2018 - I will miss making the bed. 

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Waiting ...

Snow days! I love snow. Always have. Never got that much growing up in Texas. Wished for many a "White Christmas" or a "Snow day" from school. Received very few thru the years.
We moved to Oregon in 1994, leaving Texas in February. So I was greeted by much snow on the way, and the first night we were there - oh what a snowfall we had! I was a bigger kid over it all than our kids were. Lol
Lived in Oregon for 14 months, then in later years lived in Idaho for 7 years. Loved every moment of the snow. Course, it melts and makes a mess ... and goes away. But while it is here - wow. I have been told "Snowflakes are kisses from heaven" - perhaps it is just a longing heart that aches so much to believe those words.

I will be going back thru my journals during these 112 days and sharing some of the experiences, thoughts, and emotions of the last few years. I started reading my writings yesterday - some made me smile. Yes, there were also tears as I remembered. 

Today is a struggle for me. Seems everything I put my hand to takes twice as long (or longer), with little satisfaction or joy. Going thru the motions. 

Listening to "Drift Away" now ... Oh wow. What a perfect song ... what a perfect time to hear it. 

As I wrote once several years ago - - "I am waiting for the storm to pass - wondering what will be left." 

I still wait. 
I still wonder. 
Some moments the storm clouds seem to lighten, the thunder is farther from hearing, and the rains aren't pelting so hard. 
Then, there are moments like this - - has the storm ever raged so intense? 

My hope lies in that tomorrow is another day. Another try. 
Until then - 
Just breathe.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Catching up

Catch up morning! :)
*Work - working on the various points of inventory and end of year financials, getting it all ready to hand over to the CPA for 2017. While still doing each day. I love working here. My boss is awesome - a sweet Southern gentleman. It is refreshing to spend the days with someone that is so enjoyable to be around. The cars & trucks, the sights & smells that they offer. The people that come in to "just take a look around", wanting to remember the good ol' days. I miss it all when we are closed for the day.
             - going into the office today. Watching the weather & the roads. Not a lot of snow, yet. Snow is in the forecast for later today. I love snow, and I love it more better (*wink*) when I am in the warm house, with a hot cup of coffee - looking out the window. Lol

*Me - sleeping deeper and better, for most nights. I did have a couple of these nights where the loneliness was so overwhelming I either couldn't go to sleep, or I couldn't stay asleep. What a hard lesson to learn - how lonely the silence can be. Yes, there are times when the silence of night is welcome, peaceful, and serene. Those are coming more often now. Thankfully. Heart & mind are weary of the other ones - where the silence literally screams and tortures.
       - I did get a good long walk in on Thursday. It was cool, but nice. Felt good to stretch my legs. I am anxious for spring so that I can walk more often. I am thinking about joining a gym. Not sure yet. If I had a vehicle? I would do it without question. I would love to have the access to a treadmill. One of these days ...

*Writing - well ... obviously I haven't been doing a lot of that, considering that today is 4 days of catching up. Lol. However, not writing has not been due to depression or discouragement. This time? It has been because of being busy and involved in other things. :) Makes me smile.

*Genealogy - oh what a great day yesterday was! It was cold, 0* when I got up, snow glistening in the morning sun, coffee hot in the cup ... and open on the computer! I hit a brick wall on one leg. I could not get past my 6th great-grandfather on the Price leg. With the wisdom and advice of a special friend, I was led thru that brick wall and on the other side? Found my 10th great-grandfather! Found some very interesting stories along the way, too! Yes! A great day! We were enjoying the ancestor hunt so much that it was hard to call it a day at 1 a.m. this morning :) !

*I need a vehicle. I do not have the money to just buy one, and I have not found anyone yet who is willing to let me pay one out. Sigh. So, I continue to look ... watch the classifieds ... and wait. My patience is being tried and tested. Sigh. Thinking that a SUV, or mini-van, would work the best for me. Better on fuel mileage than a truck. More storage capability - and without a place to call "home"? Well, I need some storage space that I can get into when I need something. Yet, it would sit up off the road more than a car. I look.

*The wonderings of where should I be? I don't want to be a burden to family or friends. I try to stay out of the way, to not interfere with their lives. I know that no matter how hard I try, I am. :( So, in this too - it never leaves my mind and thoughts. I am always on the "hunt", searching, calling, texting, emailing - be it a room, an RV, a caregiver position that is live-in ... always looking.

*Grief monster - has been lying low for the most part lately. Except for yesterday morning. I fixed breakfast - bacon, scrambled eggs, biscuits and gravy. It was fun to cook, and tasted good. I had been hungry for biscuits and gravy without realizing it. Oh so good! I turned from the living room to walk back into the kitchen. Looked up - saw the leftovers sitting on the stove, the smells of just cooked food, dirty dishes waiting to be washed, and the memories of "when". Blindsided gut punch. For a moment I was back ... cooking for Rick & the kids ... back when life was "perfect" and I didn't realize all the changes that were coming. Wow. My heart crumbled. I stood strong and did not crumple to the floor like I wanted to do. I held firm against the tears, even tho my mind was roaring with the memories, and my heart was shattered all over again. I breathed. Just breathed. It took a little bit to quit shaking, and even now as I write about it, I am shaking. Damn grief monster.

*I am weary. These moments of wanting someone to swoop in and rescue me - at least for a little while. I press on ... knowing that if there is a hero for me, it is me. :( 

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Learning to love

Learning to love.
I have been told "you do not learn to love, you either love or you don't".
That's wrong.
At least for a widow/widower.
When the love of your heart & life has been stripped out of your arms, your world is shaken to the core.
You question everything from that moment forward.
Your worth. Your value.
Your abilities.

There is a rebuilding from the brokenness, from the ashes.
So, yes, there is a learning to love again.

Even in learning to love your children & grandchildren again.
Where before death you loved them as part of 2. Now after death, you love them for both - for your own heart, and for the one who died. You realize something - those children & grandchildren do not deserve to be loved LESS, just because of the loss. In order to love them for both - YES, there is a learning of HOW-TO.

​You learn to love your friends, as one.
For me, that has been a challenge, continues.
Rick & I had our "own friends", yes. But not as many as we had "our friends".
Now that I am not an "our" - well, it certainly changes the dynamics. I am trying to understand that my contact, my presence, is a vivid reminder of his absence. Therefore, being around me, even just texting or talking, has become uncomfortable. Whether it is the absence of my husband, or the presence of my grief - perhaps it is a combination of both. Either way, there is a deeper alone-ness than just being without Rick.
I am learning, sadly, that more often than I care to admit, it is better to just love someone from afar. I tell myself that people are like the ebbs and flows of the tide - some people come, some people go ... and some just take the trash out to sea.

You even learn how to love your family. As one.
You wouldn't think this would be so hard. Yet, it is.
When you became an "our", or a "we", your attention became divided. Even if you stayed in contact with your family, it was a divided contact.
Now? You aren't the same person as you were before you became a "we", yet, no longer are you a "we".
Just weird for all parties.

So, YES - we LEARN to love again.
It doesn't come easy. 

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

My heart thoughts

A few thoughts over the last couple of days:
As for me?
I know my heart and my mind.
I will always love Rick, therefore I will always grieve for him.
I also know there is nothing more I can do for him - except to live this life in such a way that he would be proud of me and say, "You done good girl" (which is what he often said to me thru the years)

Life moves forward.
It is time for me to own my grief, to wear it with honor and with respect.
It is time to live this life given to me.

We will all have regrets - that is a given.
We have been given the chance to choose our regrets, and I want to choose more wisely than what I perhaps have done these first 32 months. My one defense? No one gave me a manual for living this life as a widow. No one came along beside me and walked me thru it all, either.

I will make mistakes along this journey.
However, I want to be able to look back on this chapter of my life and know that at least I tried.
I didn't just sit down, give up, quit and wallow in the grief.
I have been accused of doing just that, wallowing in the grief. Perhaps I have to some degree, but honestly? If you have ever gone thru intense loss & grief, tell me you did not have moments of wallowing in it!

Having said that, my heart is open to loving again, and to being loved.
Be it friends, or "more".
I am not seeking it, nor do I expect it.
If it is to be, it will happen.
If not, then I will do this life alone - even if it be without friends or family.
My heart & my mind are open.

I know me - my value & my worth.
I also know my shortcomings, faults and flaws.
Knowing the world that we live in today?
I realize not many are willing to look past my short comings.
That is ok - they must live with their choices as well.
​At least I know I am a Victoria Secret's model - even tho it is such a secret that not even Victoria knows it! ;) lol
Just wanted to let you know where my heart is
I love you 

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Pressing Forward

Yesterday came and went, spent busy with computer work - the end of year financials.
I am beginning to see the glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel ... just hoping it isn't a train! Sigh.

I enjoyed several good conversations with friends, one in person, and the rest thru Facebook messenger.
It feels good to reconnect myself.
I have no expectations of "long-term" relationships, or even friendships.
I wish I could find strength and courage to build on conversations.
I cannot allow my heart to hope for more than this one conversation, this moment.
"Hope deferred makes the heart sick."
I can't believe my heart will take suffering much more heart - sickness at this stage of my life.
Maybe down the road.
Too raw, too vulnerable, now.

I am neither seeking, nor asking/expecting, the rest of my life to be lived "in love" with someone, nor that someone would ever love me again.
I had that with Rick. He loved me. I loved him.
Not giving up, just reconciling my own heart to not being loved from this moment forward.
We grew up together. I know for sure I will never have that again, it simply is not possible.
Yes, I would like the chance to grow old with someone. Knowing that the probability is not high of that happening, I do not build upon the dream fancy of it.
I am a good woman. Not ancient, but certainly not young either.
I know my worth & my value. I know what I "bring to the table". I am damn good at loving & serving, being that helper in life.
I also know my shortcomings, faults and flaws.
So far, the whole package is not desirable. Not marketable.

I am struggling a little with "survivor guilt" or just plain guilt for being able to say "I'm doing good".
I still often wonder why I lived and Rick did not.
But for that matter, why did I live when so many did not?
Is it ok for me to be doing good after only 32 months, when so many are not doing very well after years on this journey?
I know that everyone moves along the grief walk at their own pace.
I also have no illusions that my dark and down moments are over.
Grief is like the ebb and flow of the tides - it comes ... and it goes.
I find myself wrestling with the thoughts, "Is it ok to be doing good?" "Is it ok to enjoy doing good?" vs "How can I be doing good? It's only been 32 months." "Rick isn't here, how can I be good at all?" "Not knowing where I am going to be tonight, next week, next month, how can I be good?" vs "Life is just life. Not all good, not all bad. Just life. Enjoy the moments. Life goes on."

I miss Rick's wisdom and perspective.
I miss the safety of talking things over with him - he didn't judge, seldom criticized. He just let me talk things out. I would always say, "Thank you". His answer? "I didn't do anything. You already knew the answers." I miss him so much.

This week will be a week of pressing forward for me.
**Finish the end of the year computer & paperwork.
**Hand it over to the CPA.
**The new regulation "AS IS" forms all filled out and placed in the cars.
**Continue working on the inventory records.
**Balance my checkbook, closing out 2017.
**Pay bills that are due this week, no more waiting till the last day (or past).
**New glasses should be here first of the week, I hope so!
**Clean up my phone - download pictures to the computer, delete old messages, delete unused apps.
**Start working on cleaning up the computer - saving the pictures into folders, then transferring over to flash drives ... finally deleting them from the computer!
**Using the arm weights & bands to begin tightening (hopefully) and firming (please let it be) my back & arms.
**Still seeking answers for "Where should I be?" "What should I be doing?"

One week at a time.
One day at a time.
Moment by moment.
Life goes on.
My choice is to march forward with it.
Living, laughing, and yes, LOVING, my way through it all.

Friday, January 5, 2018

Step by step

Ok, let's try this again. Sigh.
No idea what happened to the post of yesterday. Cyber-eaten is the only answer I have.

I don't expect anyone to be reading this every day, not like I have an exciting life (yet). However, this is MY life, as Rick's widow. Closing out the 3rd year and beginning the 4th. The shock & numbness is gone - well, for the most part. There are moments still when a literal shock wave will hit me, take me to the floor in tears. Then there is the numbness that comes and goes at will, I never know when it will hit. The widow's fog is clearer, yet it remains, too. I have been given words of assurance that I am NOT crazy, but rather, surviving widowhood. All a process. All is my new "normal". (It sucks! But, as Rick would say - "it is what it is".)

Waiting (impatiently, I might add) for my new glasses. I know that these are one of the causes of the headaches. Looking forward to letting these gooooooooooo! :)

Working on the 2017 end of year financials for Budville Motors, LLC. Hoping to have it all ready to hand off to the CPA no later than first of next week (preferably tomorrow, but not looking so good on that).

Another goal: Get back into my ancestry. Rick and I had so many good hours putting this together, gathering pictures, visiting the cemeteries, researching and recording. I want to finish what we started. Giving our kids and grandkids a legacy & history that they can touch, see & read.
--updated all my ancestry info @
--joined (at least as a guest) another research site
--talking with a friend who is very knowledgeable about genealogy
--starting to organize my pictures so that I can upload them

Also working on my website. Rick believed in me, said that I had a "talent", a "gift", of writing. He believed so strongly that he bought me this website and asked me to be brutally honest about our life - good days & bad. He said, "Honey, if what you write can help just one person deal with their troubles & life, then nothing we are going thru is in vain." So, from this heartbeat forward, this website will be dedicated to the one who believed in me when no one else, including myself, did. *I love you Rick, always*

I made a pot of chicken stew on Wednesday. Which made the house smell so good. Chicken, tomatoes, green beans, corn, potatoes, baby carrots, a bit of oregano, basil, garlic powder. Simmer for several hours until potatoes & carrots were tender. A hot pan of cornbread with real butter. good it was!

Still thinking & wondering about my future. Where to be. What to do. I think the hardest thing to think about is HOW. I have to think about it all - but focus on today, this moment.
Rick was so insistent that I have a vehicle, one that worked properly, dependable, well-maintained, and always full of gas. All I had to do was get in it, and drive. God, how I miss that man! Sigh. 

Thursday, January 4, 2018

What happened???

What the hell happened? I just spent the last 30 minutes writing a post, clicked "Publish" and it is gone! I am not a happy blogger at this moment! UGH! The widow fog that insists on hanging tough will not let me remember all that I wrote! ARGHHHHHHH! Try again tomorrow :( 

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

I did it!

Ok - so yesterday I took the challenge to myself.
1. I kept my eye appointment! Good report was my reward. *My astigmatism has improved, so my new glasses will not be as strong. *No retina damage whatsoever. *No signs of macular degeneration. He said that was unusual, because at my age (56) there is usually some beginning signs of wearing and age on the macular - but mine looks great!
2. I took a deep breath, gathered my courage - and got my hair cut. I know to some that won't mean much, nor be such a "big deal". However, for 35 years Rick chose my hair style, going with me to get it done. In these 32 months since he died, I have just kept to the same style as when he died. Until yesterday.
Therefore, yesterday's hair cut WAS a big deal to me.
3. I also was a bit more careful of what I ate, how much, when, as well as what.
4. It was too cold to go for a walk. Would love to have a treadmill (as well as a place to keep it). Perhaps that will be one of those "later in the year" goals.

Still a lot of questions remain about where I am supposed to be, what I am supposed to be doing. The life of a widow is not easy.
But I am going to press on, be a bad-ass, kick-ass, warrior. The grief monster will NOT take me down. I may stumble, I may fall, I will make mistakes, and yes, I will have regrets. But I will also rise from the ashes and press forward.

My heart doesn't stop remembering those last months with Rick. All the pain & suffering he endured. All that it took from me to keep him calm.
We had some good moments in those months. We talked a lot. A lot. I guess the shock & numbness has worn off enough that his words are returning to my mind & heart.

Life goes on. 

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Walking on

-2* here in Central Kentucky, with a real feel of -17*.
I call "Bullshit"! Rick & I have spent many hilarious hours around the table playing that card game, Bullshit, with our kids & grandkids - but this is no game! It is too damn cold! Yes, it makes the coffee even "gooder" - but still! Brrrrrr 


3 years ago today. Rick slept late. We had brunch & coffee. Thought it was just going to be a lazy day of settling back into our RV after a week or so at the old house. Sometime around lunch Rick sat down at the table, and said, "I need you to look at something for me. I think there is a problem." His voice was laden with concern. My heart stopped for a beat. I turned around, looked at him, and in his eyes I saw "Fear". That was something I very rarely saw in his eyes.
I asked him what was going on. He simply stood up, pulled down his pants, and pointed to his "manhood". I looked down and what I saw. OMG! Flaming red, swollen, you could see the pulsing of pain.
I looked back at his face, and tears were on his cheeks.
I immediately called his dialysis nurse. She said it sounded like a "simple yeast infection" - not unusual in a dialysis patient. She consulted with the nephrologist, called me back. 2 prescriptions called in, drink lots of water, increase dialysis solution at night, wash with warm water a couple of times a day, keep as dry as possible.
21 days, 3 doctor appointments & 4 prescriptions later, pain beyond what he could tolerate (more than once in those 21 days he begged me to just take the kitchen butcher knife and "cut it OFF!") ... we found out it was not a "simple yeast infection".
3 years ago today, the final downward spiral began.

Yes, I remember, more clearly than I ever thought I would. It is like a movie playing back in my mind. I can see his face, hear his voice, feel his tear under my finger as I wiped it away.
I also remember how naive, or was it being in denial, I was. I kept reassuring him that everything would be "ok". That I had had many yeast infections over the years. We even searched "yeast infections" on the web, the dangers, the causes, the treatments, etc...
There is a part of my heart that is now accepting of it all - it truly was the beginning of the end. In that acceptance, I find an amount of guilt. Guilt because I didn't see it then, or if I saw it, if my heart knew it then, I refused to admit it. I was so intent on him being better, getting well, and our life together continuing. I wonder if I missed something that could have made that happen?
It's over. Done. He is gone. Nothing I do is ever going to bring him back.
But in these questions, in the depths of guilt and regret - - there is a hell. No answers. No peace.
All I can do is take a deep breath and one more step forward.

As I was writing this I was overcome with fear, grief, anger, guilt, and a hundred other emotions. I stepped away from the computer, brushed my hair, put it up - and in doing so, I also looked in the mirror. I see the grief still weighing heavily on my heart. I see the emptiness in my eyes. I see that life goes on - even when I don't want it to anymore.

I'm tired. Weary deep in my heart. I miss so damn much about Rick & about our life together.
Over is a cruel word.

Because of the cold weather I was considering not going to the eye doctor this afternoon. But I think it best to bundle up, brave the cold, and go. Get out of the house. Do this for ME. One step forward.
Alone is also a very cruel word. 

Monday, January 1, 2018

2018. A Continuation of LIFE.

Today is the last "good" memory I have of Rick. 3 years ago tomorrow the final downward spiral began.
So there are memories flooding my heart and mind, sharp & clear memories - as tho that "today" is happening now, without a thought that tomorrow our Hell begins. Sigh.

As I sat waiting on the New Year to make its appearance last night, I thought about all those nights with Rick & our kids. Very few were spent just "us". Our place was the gathering place for young & old. Finger foods & a game of Uno. Laughter. Music. Teasing. Just good times. Good times.

I sit here at the computer this morning, cold. It is 10* here in Central Kentucky, with a thin coating of snow on the ground. No wind blowing, almost an eerie silence in this early moment of 2018.
My thoughts turn to "resolutions", you know those famous words of January 1 that are mostly broken and forgotten by January 15?
I don't think I will make any.

However, I am making some goals.

Since it is 112 more "wake-ups" before beginning my 4th year as a widow, I am going to take these 112 days and focus on "ME".
This is completely & absolutely out of my comfort zone.
I find joy in serving others.
There is a completeness of my life when I put others first.
...a car will only go so far on a tank of gas, there has to be a time to stop for a fill up.

These 112 days are going to be my "stop, for a fill up".

I realized something these last few days. In all those years with Rick, he filled me up.
He would get his parents to take the kids for a few days ...
Take off work for a couple of days so that we could just get away, with no destination in mind ...
The "just because" flowers, usually a flower he would stop his day to pick and protect until he got home ...
The hundreds of little notes left thru the house over the years ...
Cooking with me so I was not alone in the kitchen ...
A million conversations - listening, letting me talk out my frustrations & worries.

Now? There is no one to fill me up.
It is up to me to stop, take stock of the "fuel tank" & either continue on the journey, or pull over and fill up.

So, what are my goals these 112 days?
How do I want to end this 3rd year of being a widow?
How do I want to begin my 4th year?

1. New eye glasses. I have had these since a month or so after Rick died. It was such a traumatic moment, going to the eye doctor alone, picking out my frames alone. I have put it off for one reason or another. My appointment is at 2 p.m. tomorrow! Eye exam & new glasses.
2. New haircut. My hair has been in the same basic style for years. The one I have chosen may be a mistake - but Rick always said that one good thing about a bad haircut? It would grow out. Lol.
3. Balance my checkbook. I know that should be a "given", and it used to be. I was the one who kept our books, and when that statement came in each month it did not matter how long it took me, the checkbook was balanced within 2 cents of what the bank said. I may never get that close again, but having a bucket of receipts in my purse, and not knowing how close the bank and I are? No more.
4. I have lost about 150 pounds since Rick died. I still would like to lose a bit more. Beginning today I will be more careful with what I eat and drink, all things in moderation. No strict dieting for me. Diets are meant to fail - at least in my experience. A lifestyle change. Something I can live the rest of my life doing.
5. I have some areas of my body that I want to tone & firm up. Again, not going to get radical about this, because I don't want to fail. I want this to be a lifestyle, beginning today.
6. Dental work. I hate having dental work done. I know, who doesn't, right? For me, I can handle going to the dentist, having the work done, even spending the money for it all. What is the hardest for me is afterwards. Every part of my body heals quickly and very well. Except my mouth. Not just hours later am I hurting, but days & even weeks later. But it is time. For me. Alone. Before. During. And yes, after.
7. A vehicle. One that I can have a measure of trust in. I know that any vehicle can break down, leave you stranded, cost money to fix. Rick bought me a Honda Element in 2014. He was assured that he had credit life on it. We were never told that the underwriter's group rejected credit life because he was on dialysis. So, when he died, I lost the car. I tried to keep it, even contacted 2 lawyers. My name was nowhere on the paperwork, only Rick's. Again, he thought that was what needed to be done in order to protect me and ensure that I would have the car if he died. Because my name was not on the paperwork, they would have to speak with him for authorization for me to even make a payment. The day they picked up the car was the 2nd worst day of this nightmare. I have had 2 vehicles since, neither one dependable - or lasting. I have now been without a vehicle for about a year. Depending on friends to either take me everywhere, or allow me to use their vehicle. Enough is enough. I need a vehicle!

There will be more goals as I go along these 112 days. I have some goals for the year, or years, to come. For now though? I am going to focus on these 112 days. Closing out this 3rd year, and beginning the 4th year, the best ME I can be. 

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Hard lessons of 2017

The last day of 2017.
It has been a mixed year - laughter & love, tears & sorrow. Which just means - it has been a year of Life.

I've learned that no matter what I do, sometimes it just is not enough.

I've also learned that some people do not get the concept of friendship in bad times as well as in good times. Brings new (and sad) understanding to "fair weather friends".

A hard lesson is that grief does not go away, even with time.
Grief does not get lighter, nor easier.
Yes, we get stronger at carrying the grief, wiser in knowing how to live with it.

Louis L'Amour said this about the desert - - "You can fight against it and you will die. If you learn to live in it, & with it, you will."
It works that way with grief.
Finding ways to live in it, with it.

I think the hardest lesson this year was learning that others, even those who are walking this journey of grief, do not "get" the way I process & deal with it. I don't expect anyone to completely understand, however, support & encouragement goes a long way. 

The weekend Rick died someone asked me how I was doing, how I was going to get through it all.
My answer then - and my answer now:
(1) I will cry until I laugh, and laugh until I cry.
(2) I will just breathe when I can do nothing else.
(3) Leading me to live this journey one moment at a time.
Which was deemed a "good solid answer" then.
However, now? Not so much.
Not even by my co-widowers.

I "share too much". I "don't share enough".
I "cry at the drop of a hat". I "have a cold & black heart".
I "am wallowing in the grief".
I "can't have loved Rick if I am in any way ready to move forward".
I "can't just stay in the grief, it is time to pull the big girl panties up and live!"

The realization that I cannot please everyone, hell, I can't seem to please ANY one, bites hard.
But in that realization there is a resolve to live this life the best way I know how.
Yes, I will make mistakes.
Yes, those mistakes will affect others in my life.
When all is said & done?
This is MY life. MY journey. MY grief.
I alone will answer for MY mistakes.
I alone will give an account for the choices and decisions I have made.

A life alone. Now ... and then.
The only hope I can have?
That I will make less mistakes as time passes.

Saying good-bye to 2017 ... wondering about 2018.