Monday The 26th…

Monday is the 26th of August.  It is a day that I think is going to be tough for me.  You see, it is the first 26th of a month on a Monday since the month that my husband passed away.  I looked it up in the calendar and have to say, it is an odd thing to discover.  Then again, these days, there is a lot of that.

The day he passed away is one that I will never forget but is a bit fuzzy in a few places. I was in such shock that a lot didn’t register.  But that date and day of the week will continue to stick with me, as I am sure it does for everyone who loses a loved one.

For most of the week, I am pretty good and can concentrate on the positives that I still have in my life.  But, Mondays are always the hardest since that was the day that he died.  I often think over the events of that terrible morning and am saddened.

This Monday, I had lunch out with some of Kirk’s family.  It was wonderful to visit and catch up and talk about him for a little while.  His loss has been hard on all of us.  We all have funny stories about him and enjoy sharing them.   And we also share the tears. They will always be family for myself and for Ian.

This coming Monday, I will need to find some things to keep my mind busy and occupied.  I don’t want to over think it or think too much about it, and yet, I just might.  And, today, in anticipation of it, I am feeling like I just want to sit and be sad, watch a movie, and think about Kirk.

However, I cannot spend all day doing that.  I need to work, have a few commitments, and Ian will be home this afternoon for the weekend with homework to focus on.  Also, we have books to return to the library and a video as well, and we may eat out at a favorite restaurant.

I will have some down time though since that is important.  Some days I feel like I am not doing enough.  I am still working out things from his loss, still have things that I fail at, still have a house that isn’t quite up to Kirk’s standards, and some days am quite distracted from the responsibilities.

Overall though, I feel good about what I have been doing and how things are progressing.  I am not perfect and am only one person.  I am not nearly as driven as he was but am trying to stay motivated.  And, I also know that I need time for myself and time to rest.  I just have to remind myself that is okay.

This week, I watched an interview of Stephen Colbert by Anderson Cooper.  They talked about both having lost their fathers when they were boys.  It was interesting that both of them were about Ian’s age.  It was touching to hear both men talk about how this event shaped their lives. They also said how important it is to hear from others who are also grieving and share that experience.  They added that we all will grieve at some point in our lives.

I know a lot of people don’t like either of them, but I was touched to hear this conversation.  They didn’t have to discuss it, yet, it was on both of their minds.  Cooper said that many people don’t discuss grief and don’t often know how to approach it with those who have known loss.  His mother recently passed away so it is fresh to him.

He said it has helped hearing from others who have also suffered loss.  I agree and very much appreciate all of the friends and family who have shared their losses with me.  Many of us are on this journey of rebuilding our lives after a loss.

Despite all of the pain and loss that we have, we also have many blessings.  It is a blessing to be able to work at home and be here when Ian gets home from school.  I like being able to help him with his homework.

Our family and friends are also blessings.  We enjoy spending time with them, but still need time to ourselves.  I appreciate the loved ones who have reached out to us and continue to support us.  If I haven’t been the best friend or relative, I apologize.  Some days, it is all I can do to get dressed and take Ian to school.

Today I am thankful for:

  • Ian taking the last dose of his antibiotic this evening.  He has had an ear infection and will be able to eat more normally tomorrow.  We are happy and he knows exactly what he wants.
  • Times with my family laughing, talking, sharing a meal, and a prayer circle.
  • Dining out and long conversations with friends.
  • Buying a Monopoly game about my hometown this morning.  I look forward to playing this with family and may give it as a gift to a few loved ones.
  • Our routine that we are slowly getting back into.
  • Books and our local library.  I enjoy the adventures of someone else’s life and the distraction from my own thoughts.
  • Pictures of me with my two best guys that we have around the house.
  • Ian and I laughing over a funny expression, a funny face, being tickled, or a favorite joke.
  • Having had 20 amazing years with a man who loved me unconditionally and who I loved the same way.  He was and continues to be such a blessing.

For those of you grieving, I hope you have people to support you through the tough times and to share the happy ones.  I also hope that you have a faith to help you through it all.

Blessings to you and yours for a great weekend!  May you have time to be refreshed if that is what you need.  May you enjoy the company of others if that is what you need.  May you wallow for a while if that is what is needed.  And may you always, always love!

Today I am sad…

On this Friday, I am sad.  Most days I can focus and stay busy but for some reason this morning, I keep crying and thinking of my loss. I am sad so I decided to write about it. Hopefully, I will be better when I finish. We’ll see.

Not only is it our personal loss, but things that have been happening this week that are contributing to my feelings. The news of recent shootings in Gilroy, California, then in El Paso, Texas, and later in Dayton, Ohio, have been almost too much to process and to handle.

The fact that so many people were killed in such a short time with all of these incidents is stunning.  I feel for those left behind and know the pain of an unexpected loss. Thankfully, my husband was at home before going to the hospital.  I said goodbye to him at the hospital in a quiet emergency department.

I cannot even fathom what these families dealt with in the aftermath of such horror and carnage. Trying to find the hospital, getting there, trying to find the answers, and then knowing you’d never get to talk to that loved one again.

I have been thinking about the couple who shielded their baby from the gunshots and died in the process. I then weep at their bravery and sacrifice and hope and pray that baby will be okay.  I hope that baby one day will know the love his parents had for him.

I think about all of the first responders who had to work through such horror and the trauma surgeons trying to save yet another gunshot victim.  And, again I weep. These people shouldn’t have to continue to deal with this and try to comfort so many families.  I cannot imagine their stress.

I also think that we need to do something.  Last weekend, I watched a story on CBS Sunday Morning of a panel of trauma surgeons who are working together to plan better how these mass incidents are handled.  Many of them were spurred on by someone from the NRA saying that these doctors need to “stay in their lane.”

One of the doctors posted a picture of an empty chair and stated that that was her lane. You see that chair is where she sits to deliver the news that someone had died. Chills. These doctors do have to deal with the damage to the bodies and the hearts and minds of those loved ones who are left behind.

I have been in that room with a doctor giving such news. I know the pain that those families felt.  I know the shock they must have been in.  I am thankful that there are such people willing to give such awful news.  I don’t think I could do it.

I will never forget that day when we were told that Kirk didn’t make it after working with him for over an hour.  My mother cried out, I did, and we all started weeping. Our doctor and nurse were compassionate but still the pain is beyond measure and so hard to process.

As far as the mass shootings, I hope and pray that we don’t start becoming immune to these incidents.  We could since they keep happening so frequently, although they happen in so many places that are supposed to be safe.  Any and all losses are terrible since each life has value.

My prayer is that something can be done to change this.  I am just not sure how that will be done with so many conflicts and personal interests that people bring to the table. But do we really need weapons that can kill 9 people in 30 seconds?  Would a deer hunter use such a weapon?  I doubt it and think it also shouldn’t be used on people.

I am also sad about some personal items.  I hate that Kirk isn’t here to spend time with Ian and myself or with his family and friends. I hate he isn’t hear to encourage Ian as he starts his 6th grade year of school or help him with his homework. I hate he isn’t here to watch a favorite show or movie with us.  I hate he isn’t here to pray with us before we eat or laugh when we talk about our day.

I also hate that he isn’t with us when we go to church. Some days when I am at church, I am overwhelmed with sadness. You see that is where Kirk and I met, where we were married, and finally where we had his memorial service.  Ian and I still go since my parents also attend, but it is a challenge at times.

There are a lot of good memories there and some sad ones too.  It is nice to see people who I have known for years and are curious about how we are doing.  It has always been a special place so I continue to try and be strong and carry on.

Despite the sadness, there is much to be thankful for.  It is now the weekend with time to refresh and see some friends and family.  There is homework to do, work projects to focus on, and other activities to keep us busy.  We are thinking of seeing a movie and having lunch out.  And, there may be haircuts and library visits as well.

We are making plans for this year and maybe next and there are things that Ian is looking forward to. So that is all good.  Yet, the sadness remains a constant. It ebbs and flows, depending how tired we are, what we are thinking about, and if the day means something to us or not. Some days, there is more happiness than sadness. Those days feel like a win.

I have to say writing about how I am feeling always helps.  It helps to let go of the thoughts and tears.  So I, thankfully, am feeling better and can now get on with my day.  I try to look forward to what is ahead.

If you are also grieving, I hope you can do that too, along with the loss and sadness.  Blessings to you and yours. May you have comfort if you are grieving.  May you cherish the time with your loved ones as we will do.  And, may you and I remember to always, always love.

I Hate Being Sick

There are very few things that I hate but being sick is one of them.  Actually having my son sick is worse and makes me feel helpless.  It is hard to see him miserable and in pain.  Sadly, we both were quite ill over the last five days.

Ian and I had the stomach bug with plenty going on at both ends.  He had it first, was feeling better, and then I started with it.  To say we had a shitty few days is an understatement and not just an expression.  It was a rough few days.  Luckily, my hubby didn’t get sick and I am very glad of that.

Over the weekend, I called the on-call doctor at 2 a.m. and later that day at 10:30 a.m. Since we weren’t well enough to go to see anyone, it was nice to be able to chat with them and be told what to expect — 24 to 48 hours.  We knew the rest.

There were a few times over the weekend that I cried  And, a few others when I  prayed.  I asked for help for Ian to feel better and for myself as well.  All day Monday, I was either in the bathroom, on the bathroom floor or on the bed.  Miserable and I am so thankful it is over. Thankfully we didn’t have the bug at the same time.

After I started feeling better, I thought of those having chemo treatments. This is how they must feel on a regular basis as they are battling cancer.  As miserable as our illness was, it was over in two days.  My heart goes out to the brave men and women with cancer who deal with this for weeks at a time.  And, for those with chronic illnesses.

I am glad that I can semi-joke about it now since I sure couldn’t during the illness itself.  It was miserable and we spent more time in the bathroom than we care to count.  Lots of washing as well — both laundry and parts of the bathroom with bleach, and plenty of Lysol as well as the dishwasher.

My cousin gave us a great order of food to eat once our systems settled down.  I had never heard of it before but was pleasantly surprised that it worked.  Thanks to her.  It is BRAT — bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast.  Each item has to be eaten and the stomach back to normal before continuing on.  What a blessing this was.  As were ice chips and popsicles.

It seems that quite a few people at Ian’s school were sick as well — both kids, teachers, and other parents.  So I have a few requests for future illnesses.  Parents, let’s please keep those kids at home when they are sick.  I am begging you.  No one wants illnesses like this.  Trust me.

If they are throwing up, they need to stay home. Period.   A few years ago, I remember walking Ian into school when a girl came in and said she had just thrown up.  EXCUSE ME??!!!  I remember hearing that kids shouldn’t go back to school until 24 hours after they are finished with this. And, she just did.  I was livid.  However, I couldn’t do anything since I didn’t know her or her parents.  I think she told her teacher who took care of it.

Secondly, any fever of 100 or more, they also need to stay home.  I am also concerned at anything above 99.   Also, lots of snot, sneezing, and other issues might be cause for a day at home as well.  So much better to keep them home and able to get better than to spread a bug throughout the school.

I am not sure exactly what our school nurse would request, but I am sure that she would have items to add.  I will have to ask her.

Today I am thankful for:

  • Lots of sleep that helped us get better
  • Bananas, rice, applesauce, toast
  • Hot tea
  • Chicken and rice soup
  • Going back to our routine this morning
  • Popsicles
  • My parents for their help during this bug
  • My hubby for his help and support
  • Lysol and bleach cleaner
  • Our washing machine and dishwasher
  • Hot showers
  • Being well again

No Time To Be Sick

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAHi and Happy Tuesday. Can you believe that there are just 10 days until Christmas?  I sure can’t.  At this most busy time of year, there is no time to be sick.  And, it is a bummer to be sick.  Yet that is exactly what I am dealing with that today and have for the last few days.

On Friday of last week, I started feeling rough – sore throat, cough, and overly tired.  Then Saturday morning, I went to see our on-call doctor.  He diagnosed me with an upper respiratory infection and bronchitis.  ARG!

I spent the rest of the weekend resting — reading, lying on the couch, taking naps, extra sleep, drinking lots of hot tea, eating soup, watching movies and television, and not able to do anything that we had planned to do.  And, I have been taking my medication which is helping.

Thankfully, Ian was able to find plenty to do on his own and was fine with being home and having time to himself.  And, Kirk was also able to find things to do.  All of us needed the extra time to rest and enjoyed it, as much as you can.

I don’t know about you but I have never liked being sick.  I always want my mother, feel sad and sorry for myself, and am just not quite myself.  I have to realize that when I am sick, I will feel bad and yucky, and realize I must give myself time to get better.  That is hard when there is so much to do each and every day.  A friend of mine pointed out that the priority for us is to get better.  She too is sick and realizes that everything else can wait.  Our health must come first.

So I am staying home, resting, and giving my body time to heal.  That means more things canceled for today and getting more behind on my shopping.   I have started but still have much to do.  I like to make fudge and other things, but that will wait until I am better.  At least I will still have time once I do get better.  And, hopefully since so much is going around, people will understand.

Another thing to put into perspective is that this is a short-term illness in the grand scheme of things.  I am so blessed not to have a chronic debilitating condition, surgery to heal from, or cancer treatment.  I know many people – both family and friends — who are dealing with all of these things.  They have so much each day to handle and navigate.  I pray for them and do what I can to help them.

And, I don’t mean to whine.  So I want to share some things I am thankful for:

  • Being a stay-at-home mom who has time to get well
  • A spouse who has helped me and always does
  • A child who loves to be at home
  • Good books to get lost in
  • Naps on the couch
  • Lovely music
  • Listening to my mother sing at a Christmas party
  • Enjoying family traditions with my parents
  • Friends who help when I need them
  • A good yearly checkup (before this latest issue)
  • Medication that helps heal
  • Hot tea and hot soup
  • Extra long hugs and cuddles
  • Prayers and support of loved ones
  • That there are still 10 days until Christmas
  • Advent and the wonder of Christmas
  • The anticipation of visits with loved ones

If you are sick or dealing with an illness, a loss, or a scary diagnosis, may you be blessed and healed very soon.  And, may you know that you are loved and cared for.   God’s blessings to you!

To Dancing In The Rain

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAHi and Happy Monday.  I came across a great photo this morning on Facebook.  It had a quote that said, “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about learning to dance in the rain.”

This really spoke to me today.  Isn’t that so true?  Life sometimes is really hard.  It is painful and sad, and it can be hard to get out of bed in the morning.  But most of the time, we still have to figure out a way to get out of bed and start our day.

Sometimes at least for me, it is good to have some time to have a good cry, grieve and be sad.  It helps to feel what I need to feel for a little while, and I can then try to see the good that is there along with the bad.

I am not saying it is easy and often the hurt and pain don’t just fade away.  It takes time and often lots of it.  Each day, I hope and pray to wake up and find things easier to deal with.  Some days are good and some are bad.

Over the weekend, my parents went to funerals or receiving friends for two men who we all have known for years.  One was a co-worker of my dad and also of mine.  He was 68 years old.  The other was a friend from church.  He lived to be 90 years old and had an amazing and long life.

Both of these men meant a lot to their friends and families and had great lives.  They will be missed.  My prayer is that their families and friends can remember all of the wonderful times that they enjoyed and celebrate their lives.

Losing people is always hard but celebrating them and remembering all that they meant to us can help with that hurt.  The saying of one day at a time truly applies in the case of losing our loved ones.

Struggles in life can also wear us down.  We watched the 10 year anniversary show on Hurricane Katrina last night.  It was amazing to see all of the devastation again and the pain and suffering that so many people in numerous states dealt with.

Yet, after time and effort, communities have been rebuilt, homes have been rebuilt, and families have rebuilt.  These stories were inspirational and uplifting.  Despite all of the heartache, people helped one another and got back on their feet again.  That is something to celebrate!

May we always remember to be kind to one another and helpful.  May we bear one another’s burdens.  May we remember to let our loved ones know how much we do love them.  May we remember to dance in the rain.  And may we remember to always have hope.

A closing prayer: “Dear Lord as we deal with struggles, please help us to remember that you are always there for comfort and strength.  May we also lean on our loved ones and help each other through the challenges of life.  And, may we remember that better days are ahead.  Amen.”