Saturday, November 29, 2008
Today, I sold our car. The car that Jeff bought me for Valentine's Day in 2006. The car Jeff died in. My little blue Toyota Matrix. It was small, safe and economical....But we had the truck for carrying larger loads and muddy dogs. I didn't need to bring multiple children in the car very often as I wasn't caring for anyone other than my kiddos or the occasional playdate.
But now, life is different. I am going to need to look to a future where I can bring in an income and care for my children alone. I need to be able to move objects by myself and cart various things home that would not fit in my little car.
So now, I own a minivan. I decided and made the deal myself. It was scary and I kept worrying that I was being taken advantage of....Possibly a bit paranoid. But I did it. Myself.
The kids and I quite like the van. It's a few years older than the car thus making it more affordable. It's clean and safe. It is blue just as my little car was...Jeff's favourite colour as Liv pointed out.
Liv had her trepidation about the van. She cried the first night and asked me to go get the car back because it reminded her of Daddy. I remembered crying when my dad talked of selling our little Vauxhal (a little white German car that our family had when I was a child - it`s floor was rusted out, we would watch the road go by as we drove along and we sang songs about `Daddy`s little Vauxhal`). It was certainly a different circumstance but I could empathize with her feelings of security and comfort in the car....especially after losing so much this year. But now, it is like a fort. She wants to show all her friends her new van. They ask to `play in the van`. I am loving the space and the ability to comfortably take our friends along.
So although one door has closed, another has opened. I do feel sad. I do have such fond memories of our little car that I had thought the kids would learn to drive. But I must be flexible and not hold onto things that do not provide the needs we now have just because they are a link to Jeff. This is a hard lesson to learn. But I am doing it.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
We started with a store bought (cringe) straw wreath to which we used hot glue to adhere four long red ribbons through the centre of the wreath.
I bought four small wood candle holders from the craft store which we painted green and glued to the wreath as well.
I lined up all the ribbons, tied a knot and hung it up! Simple! We are going to do some candle dipping this coming week to make some candles for the wreath (although traditionally three are purple and one is pink).
I love how it turned out! It looks so earthy to me....and Scandinavian.
While Liv and I worked on our masterpiece, Briar played in the bin of birdseed. So fun! An hours worth in fact!
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Monday, November 24, 2008
While searching for a Fuckles-proof kennel at one of the pet stores in town, an attendant came to give me a hand. I explained that the dog is having some issues with seperation anxiety since the recent death of my husband followed closely by the death of my other dog. She kindly gave me a hug (although I seem to now be immune to the tears that used to accompany any sentence that involved Jeff and death...it is just my life and I am used to saying it unfortunately.) She helped me pick out a fully metal kennel and we continued to talk about things that could help Freak-les feel more comforted in my absence.
I was explaining to her that this destructive behaviour has baffled me. That he has been a pretty good dog up until the death of Jeff and Eli. That he was annoying but sweet and great with kids (as I gestured to Liv and Briar as they looked in the window of the grooming salon with Robo's help).
Seemingly out of the blue, she says to me, "Do you mind if I ask you a personal question?" To which I agree with trepidation thinking that she'll ask me the standard, "How did he die?" or maybe "Do you want me to tell you that you have a bean stuck in your front teeth?" But no, she says, "Is this someone new in your life?" ......My brain goes "Huh?" I say, "Who? What?....Him?! Dear lord, NO. He's like....an uncle to the kids and has always been around." I laugh uncomfortably and wonder at the impetus behind this question. I am torn between laughing hysterically at the idea or feeling indignant. I am guessing she sensed my shock and spewed out some ridiculous explanation involving the dog feeling threatened by another person in the house. Bloody hell.
It seems to me that some people have preconceived notions of what a widow looks like. What her actions should be. That my life is their business. Maybe these people would lack the tact and sensitivity to know what is appropriate conversation in any situation and maybe I am feeling overly sensitive and presumptive but, dude, he could have been my brother or my boss. And even if he had been someone 'new in my life' it wouldn't have been any of her business....although I opened the door when I agreed to answer the personal question....I still find it funny....
A more funny incident happened when I went to the drugstore to fill Freckles prescription for antidepressants. While handing me the medication, the pharmacist laughingly explained to me that I shouldn't leave the medication where the dog can get it in case he's having suicidal thoughts. That it may leave him with a dry mouth or constipation. I asked the pharmacist if he often filled prescriptions for canines. He said that while they often did, he had never seen one for antidepressants for a dog. Laughing, he asked me what I did to the dog to make him so upset. I looked at him and said, "Well, first my husband died. Then my other dog died." I think I could have just left it with 'my husband died'. He looked at me with a completely straight stare and I could almost see him replay our conversation with horror. No smile. No hint of his previously expressed sense of humour. "Oh", he says, "You can pay at the front counter." I felt badly for his discomfort but wondered at the society we live in where it is 'wrong' to laugh when faced with hard times. That stoic faces and hushed speech are used when talking about those we have so loved and are now gone from us.
Both of these incidents have reminded me of people's prejudices and judgments regarding others. We all do this. Since Jeff's death, I have learned that these preconceived opinions hurt more than I knew before. But I also am realizing that Ellen Degeneres is so wise when she says, "Other people's opinions are none of my business." I am trying to live my life in a way that helps my kids get through these hard times, puts a smile on all of our faces and protects our future and not worry what anyone else believes is 'right'. I am learning to trust that I know what is 'right' for us. And this may not be right for anyone else.
Friday, November 21, 2008
- light switch at Marnie's (completely pulling it off of the wall bearing the wires).
- two door knobs (they still work but are dented and pocked).
- trim around the front door.
- drywall beside the front door.
- backyard gate (bent, chainlink removed, hole dug underneath)
- most surprising of all, one extra-large Varikennel. (He completely annihilated it in two hours and managed to escape free to reak havoc upon various household fixtures).
He is now on medication for anxiety (aka seperation anxiety) and has a new metal kennel. I have started filling his Kong (a type of dog toy) with peanut butter to attempt to keep him busy while we're out. I am attempting to minimize the cues that we are leaving.
It's is just odd. He has never been my favourite (only because he is not Eli and is very exuberant with his affection) but he has always been sweet to the kids, undestructive, and clean. After Jeff died, he started killing (although we only got chickens after Jeff was gone so this one isn't completely fair). After Eli died, he was fine for a month....and now this. He's lost it. I am angry.....but I feel a small amount of empathy for his acting out. If ingesting drywall would make me feel better, I would do it too.
I am so pleased with how they've turned out. In fact, Liv is so tickled because everyone seems to notice her new attire and compliment her on them....even her buddy, Kale.
Monday, November 17, 2008
Unfortunately, almost all the legs broke off the little herd I had created. Then Jeff died. Briar didn't get a wooden creation made by his daddy.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Since losing Jeff, I find the same phenomenon occurring within various productions regarding widowhood. 'P.S. I Love You' and 'Grey's Anatomy' annoy the fuck out of me now. I mean, really?
I am a cynical, crabby widow bitch. Pshaw.
Friday, November 14, 2008
I am finding that as I emerge from whatever you would call that place...shock? hell?....I forget that Jeff is gone more often. I don't think 'forget' is actually the correct word. The fear of the moment is not as sharp and it is easy to remember and to sink into my now pseudo life as it was/would have been. I think this may be denial. I try to avoid his photos. They just make me remember the feel of the curls at the back of his neck. The smell on his clothes. The shape of his feet. It hurts too much and makes me long for him so intensely it physically hurts. I steer my mind away from the pain. I try to tell myself that it is okay. That I am strong and I am surviving.
But I have more of those moments where I think, "I can't wait to tell Jeff!" "When Jeff gets home..." I can't totally understand why these thoughts are actually increasing, other than that somehow, the last moments I had with him cease to be the last moments I remember of him. In someways, it feels as if March 25th, 2008 happened years ago and that he has been with me since. Maybe, I'm just going insane. Maybe my brain is coping by sending me on a mental trip....but this is so NOT a holiday.
Last week, I got 'Jeff mail'. It was from the sheriff's office. I worried that I had forgotten to pay his speeding ticket and now they were going to take him/me to court. I tore the envelope open to find a jury summons. A jury summons. Those of you who knew Jeff well will know why I then burst into laughter. Jeff on a jury! Hilarious! I couldn't wait to tell him....Then I sat down and sobbed. I couldn't tell him. I couldn't laugh with him about the absurdity of a jury summons for Jeff. I would never laugh with him.
And now, I just have to keep walking. These kids need to be fed. The house needs to be cleaned. The washer needs repairing. I need to pick up a parcel....I feel like we're....I'm pretending that life goes on. And sometimes, I think I'm doing okay. Like when you learn to ride a bike and you're thinking, "LOOK! I'm doing it! I'm doing it!" And then you fly over your handlebars and get gravel shoved up your nostrils and scraped knees. I'm angry about how this life is.
I don't want to move on. I feel like I'm rebelling. I do things that would have never occurred to me before. I just don't care anymore. I have nothing to lose (except my kids and I would fight to bodily death for them). Everything is...empty and ridiculous. Things I enjoyed in my life 'before' are devoid of meaning. I scoff at the stupidity of society and the motivations behind most actions. It's all vacuous crap....But then, on the other hand, I find myself staring at people and wondering what their story is. How did they get this way? I am falling in love with elderly people who have been through so much. Who have endured wars and lost children and the loves of their lives. Have suffered atrocities and terrors. Still they stand. Some have found meaning. Some have gained the spark back in their eyes. They are my heroes. I want to hear them. I want to ask them how long it was before 'they' returned. I want to know that I am not alone in grief. I want to hear that people have suffered....worse and lived to live again.
My brain and my emotions have left me. They left an empty shell. An automaton. I exist. I don't live. I died as he took his last breath.....But maybe. Maybe tomorrow. Maybe one day, I will live again. I can't see it now. But if I look to people who have endured and survived through horror, I know there may be hope.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Monday, November 10, 2008
We've used ice cube trays, muffin tins, jello molds, etc. Let them dry for 24 hours and pop them out for in the bath. Keep them in a dry place or they won't work when you want to use them. We pry them out of the mold with a butter knife but I have read that if you oil your mold, the bomb will pop out more easily.
Thursday, November 06, 2008
The one thing that freaks me out, however, is the fact that if something happens to me, my kids will be orphans. So although I`d worry about illness, etc. before, I am now downright paranoid.
A quick morning scan of my symptoms via the internet has introduced the bloody terror that my body is harbouring Saroidosis, Leptospirosis, Hodgkins disease, Rubella, Kawasaki Disease (although this is a child`s disease), etc. I am perpetually telling my sister to stay off the computer when searching for medical advice. I only meant to see if my symptoms warranted a trip to the doctor...I need to listen to my own advice and STOP LOOKING FOR MEDICAL ADVICE ON THE INTERNET!!!!
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
Then, the next day comes and mommy is sick with whatever ailment they have been battling. I feel achey and cold. My glands are swollen and I want to be tucked into bed with a hotwater bottle.Then. Then! My sweet and thoughtful little six year old takes her little brother to the kitchen. I can hear them crashing around and giggling. I lay there anticipating and dreading the mess that I will have to clean up when I emerge from the coccoon of my cozy bed. Suddenly, two bright and sweet little faces bounce into my room with the larger one carrying a tray of food. Mommy's favourite breakfast of yogourt and granola and their standard morning fare of cinnamon toast. We sit in my bed eating with Liv so pleased that she could help and me so pleased with the empathy that she is expressing. And although again, I was anticipating the sugary crumbs I'd have to clean up, I am so thankful that I have these two little people to share my home with.
Later, when I pull out that vaccuum cleaner, an eager two year old tugs the hose from my hand and proclaims, "I do it, Mommy!" I happily relinquish the clean-up to him and relish the fact that I have such sweet, funny and kind little ones in my life. Thank you, you two. Mommy is so lucky to have you....even when you're not making breakfast or vaccuuming. Even when we have a stomping, growling, crabby day, I am so very blessed.
Monday, November 03, 2008
Please know, all of you, that it will be paid forward...
Thank you. Sincerely. Thank you.