Random Thoughts

Deb’s chair on the back patio at sunset – missing you

January 2, 2013 – The holidays, post partem…Wow, certainly a lot rougher than I anticipated…in many ways a big setback along my journey.  I really thought I was stronger…but at least I am through it.

In hindsight Christmas was the hardest.  At the height of the holiday preparation frenzy – a phenomenom that I blissfully avoided for many many years – I was a frazzled and nerve-wracked wreck.  And on top of that the fever flu that hit me for a few days starting Christmas Eve, the same day I was solo hosting for the first time the annual Christmas Eve party, the same morning my sister attempted suicide.  What a strange justaposition of emotions as I wrapped Christmas presents while waiting for the police to tell us if she suceeded or not!  (Luckily, she did not, she is out of the hospital, and has a plan to move forward, but of course is still in need of prayers.)  The party was a hit, including the Christmas tribute to Debbie, but this longest of days didn’t end until 2 a.m., as the Santa duties feel 100% to me this year.  Emotionally and physically exhausting…

I need to start moving on; I need to establish a baseline, a baseline that allows for more than just survival.  I want to thrive again, to really live, but as I move into the second week without much sleep, it feels more like Spetmeber than a new year…

November 21, 2012 – The holidays…For grieving souls – keep a place set in your heart for those who won’t be with us this year.  Sit with him or her for a while; hold their hand, share a laugh, and feel the bitter tears; it is okay.  Keep a vision of that special person in your mind; and if you have the strength, share it with a friend.  Friend, just listen…sit there for a while, hold their hand, share a laugh or two, and feel the tears; it is okay.

November 13, 2012 – Hmm, maybe I need to be more cautious in what I post…just recently posted about “letting go”,  implying in my preaching that I’m moving forward in that direction.  So of course it is immediately tested…an alarm in the middle of the night (actually happened three times Sunday night!)  In the safety of morning daylight it was just low batteries warning me they needed replaced (they are now, and I’m now grateful for the reminder), but in the middle of the night it was a reminder of my aloneness in handling all alarms now.  My mind raced to the place of my fears, which I obviously haven’t let go of yet – was that the fire alarm, or the CO monitor?  I frantically search the house, check the furnace, and of course find nothing.  But fear and adrenaline now banish any possibility of returning to sleep, and I get up three times just to make sure the boys are still breathing (and the cat, too, who I put in the boys room, a feline canary in the coal mine – sorry Boo!) 

And the next day the lack of sleep made my missing wallet situation all the more burdensome.  I can’t believe I’ve lost my wallet again, the third time since Debbie died, after having never once lost in the the preceding 45 years – sigh, a reminder of the physical toll of stress (I wonder if short term memory loss is recoverable?)  Dammit, I’ve just now gotten all my finanical accounts in order, all the automatic bill pays set up again, and now I’ve got to cancel them all and start over again, not even to mention adding the fun task of visiting the DMV to my list.  When will I catch a break, whoa is me, poor poor pitiful me, dominates my thoughts Monday, and the low point comes when returning a message I hope will be news of my wallet’s whereabouts turns out to be from a collection agency regarding an unpaid bill left over from the onging of conversion my financial accounts, which I thought was done. 

But there is sleep the next night, and a hypnotic run in the cold dark, and I am thankful that I didn’t worry about the boys safety last night, and that we have a roof over our heads, no matter how many holes are in the walls holding up that roof, and that there are strong people in my life whose example I now lean on.  Gratitude is poweful, but so easy to lose sight of when fear rules.  Letting go of my fears will be hard, probably a lifelong process, not an end, and I guess sometimes you have to just keep your head down and take the next small step.  So I’d better get moving cancelling all my bank and credit cards and starting over again, and try to work on my smile while waiting in line at the DMV…

October 29 – 31, 2012 – Wow it really hits home that you are a single parent when you get sick.  Got walloped with a high fever that lasted 2 days, couldn’t get out of bed, missed two days of work, and apparantly Hurrican Sandy hit the inside of my house while I was down.  The kids were completely unsupervised (not even sure how they got home from school in the bad weather Tuesday) and ate cereal for dinner and whatever else they could make, didn’t clean up a thing, but they did do all their homework on their own and got themselves ready for school so I am grateful for that (although I think T wore the same clothes two day in a row.)  But from a selfish point of view, there is no one now to check on me, to run my temperature or get flu meds or a drink of water, or to drive me to the doctors; sigh, gotta take care of myself now, no matter how sick.  No big deal, I survivied, turns out it is strep throat, the meds are kicking in and the house will get clean and the dishes and wash done whenever. and we will move on…

October 19, 2012 – First birthday in 28 years not being shared with Debbie…

September 24, 2012 – 4:30 a.m. – RANT.  4:30, no one should be up at this time.  Have been working on my presentations since 2:30 – can’t sleep, might as well get things done.  Why can’t I sleep?  Too much to do, overwhelmed with these work deliverables on top of everything else.  Worked as much as I could over the weekend, so I still didn’t patch the siding or fix the roof.  Went to baseball tourney games all weekend instead, I guess that’s more important but now these things left undone haunt me at night.  The computer crapped out tonight too – when will I get that fixed?  Probably right after I get the microwave fixed, that’s been on my list for a while now too.  CCD tomorrow, who’s taking T?  Will I be home in time to pick them up – that means I can’t work any OT.  Oh yeah, that’s why I’m up now, that’s probably what woke me up.  And goddamn it, the company denied my life insurance claim Friday – I haven’t even had time to be mad about that!  And when will I have time to fight it?  Probably right after I finish all the paperwork to transfer over Deb’s 401(k) or do the thank you notes.  Gotta finish making vacation reservations and start packing somewhere in the next week, too.  Guess I should let the school know the boys will be missing a week sometime, too.  Crap, email from school, early dismissals and open house this week, that throws more wrinkles into an already unsettled week.  Damn I still didn’t rent the car for the trip to Akron Wednesday – hope I don’t fall asleep on the 3 hour drive to and from, sandwiched around a full work day, but now I’m already behind the sleep eight ball by getting only three hours of sleep tonight.  Oh to be able to sleep with regularity!!!  Sigh…keep plugging, everyone says it will get better and easier.  But when???  And will my sanity survive???

September 13, 2012  – Bad Day.  Woke up at 4, an hour before the alarm, might as well finish defragging the computer – that wasn’t as quick as hoped, now I’m in a rush to get my workout in, cut short my already skimpy breathing and gratitude meditation, gotta get to the homework and lunches.  C’mon let’s go boys, were running behind, eat, comb your hair let’s get moving.  Boy #1, you’re stopping after football to walk your bro home from a friend’s.  Boy #1 balks, dad’s patience snaps like an over-tensioned guitar string – shouting escalates to screaming, until all three of us are upset, Boy #2 crying, Boy #1 cussing, Dad broken, just wants to crawl back into bed and start over.  Where is our loving, ever-patient Peacemaker?!?!  This is so goddamn unfair!  Boy #1 leaves house in a huff, slams door on my heart…

I don’t crawl into bed, I crawl to work, already exhausted and nearly falling asleep on the morning commute.  Phone blinking red, 7 messages waiting, emails pouring in; 1/2 pot of coffee is the norm now.  Oh god, the balancing spreadsheet has a tear, a big tear, $4M.  Spend day trying to cover my butt, frantically beating the bushes for offsets.  Does boss already know?  Do I fess up?  When will I be fired?  Don’t have time to figure it out today, forgot my personal phone, gotta go back home and make sure kids are okay.  They are not home; frantic search ensues.  Boy #2 found safe at friend’s, Boy #1 stuck at football field with an injury.  A dozen harried calls and a plan is hatched that depends on the kindness of strangers; deep breathe and then I trust in the Plan.

It’s now near midnight; my head is pounding, I am exhausted, mentally and emotionally drained.  But I am incredibly buoyed; I met a group of people tonight that define courage.  A grief support group – yes, there are intimate, personal tales of tradgedy, trials and tribulations.  Yes, there are tears – but how  refreshing to see tears in the open, not cloistered in the backrooms and shadows!  And there is also laughter, and cookies, and genuine sharing, and people look you in the eye, not with pity or fear, but as someone who understands.  Grief shared is grief lessened, and the weight that just a few hours ago threatened to crush me is now bearable.  I can do this one more day…

It is well past dark when I get home, and my boys are huddled in the safety of their beds, this whole being home alone thing not yet within their comfort zones.  But there is a joyous reunion, apologies flow freely, followed by hugs and unusually polite chatter as an entire day’s worth of news and emotions pour out.  We share cookies and all help with Boy #2’s homework.  The house is a mess, no chores are done, the dishwasher is still full, and the cat puke will stay right where it is until I step in it tomorrow morning.  But it’s all good, it’s all right…I give thanks for another powerful day in this incredible journey.  Amen.

September 9-10, 2012 – RANT – After only 4 hours of restless sleep Saturday night, I’m awake at 4 a.m., worried about a big presentation I have to give at work Monday afternoon.  The computer is fired up at 6 a.m. Sunday morning, and I get a good 4 hours of work in before the kids are up.  It stays on all day, and in between loads of laundry, getting the kids fed (three time a day again!), the dishes, mowing part of the yard, etc., I actually do get enough done on the presentation that I think I can finish it in the morning.  Morning starts at 4 a.m., get a couple hours in before sunrise, have to make emergency arrangements to have someone take the littel guy to school, but I am in the office close to 8.  At 1 minute after two I’m walking into the board room, copies still warm, and I actually pull off the presentation.  Holy shit, big relief.  But seriously, this is how life is going to be for the next decade or so?  I have two giant presentations on Sept. 26, and 6 hours of travel time that day on top of it – how am I going to get ready for and pull off those presentations?  And how am I going to do this and still keep my sanity, let alone have some time to actually grieve???  Sigh…

August 30, 2012– Out of the blue, Trevor told me he’s surprised I’m doing his backpack the way mom used to; even putting it in the same place.  He followed that up with a big hug and a thank you…well that will get me through a few more days 🙂

August 28, 2012 – Didn’t sleep again last night, trying, frustrating day, I’m exhausted and it’s only Tuesday.  But amazed at an unexpected source of inspiration – my kids.  Jake made the starting 7th grade football team, through sheer hard work; so proud of him, and he loves it!  Trevor took on catching in his kid-pitch league, did well, even took a foul ball off the face mask, and he loved it too.  If they can do it, so can I…

August 24, 2012 – So I’m filling out more paperwork lately than H&R block on April 15th.  The hardest part?  Checking the Unmarried box on all these forms.  So weird…

And I just can’t come to terms yet with being labeled a “widower” and “single parent”…

August 17, 2012 – At the White Pond Road Exit from I-77 in Akron, a panhandler sits at the red light.  I’ve passed him dozens of times, and have always looked the other way.  Today I read his sign: “Everybody needs a little help sometime.”  Amen brother.  I have been blessed with great friends and family, and I am lucky for all the support I have; not everyone enjoys this – I am a lucky man.  I gave the guy $5…

One thought on “Random Thoughts

  1. When I read your blogs, I feel such emotions, I cannot put into words how much heart and soul you write with. Continue this pain-filled, yet hopeful journey. You’re a great blessing to others!

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