Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Wish I could go back in time

I wish I could tell my old self to take better pictures. To take more pictures of John. Of us.
You never think pictures matter until they are all you have.
I scanned a few more pictures today but I was struck by how many pictures I took that I thought were important at the time. Now I can't even remember what some of them were of.
And the pictures I took of John were terrible in terms of lighting and focus.
I am learning so much from the photography course I am taking. I just wish I could use it to help my old self.
April 1993

Friday, October 7, 2016

John continues to show up

I have been having grief surges again lately.
I don't know why. There are no anniversaries that I can blame. Maybe there doesn't have to be a reason other than I just miss John so much and that is never going to change or go away.
It's okay.
But despite all that, John is showing me that he is still here. He knows what is going on with me and he is helping me get by.
Cases in point:
  • By a strange set of coincidences I found a new handyman a couple of weeks ago. The circumstances were so odd that when I realized the connection I literally sat back and said "Wow" out loud. This man is an absolute treasure and I know I can trust him with my house.
  • I have been following a certain medium for several years. I have read all her books. I have a Cd series of hers and I went to see her give a very good presentation last year in Phoenix. For some reason her story just resonated with me and I fantasized about having a reading from her, knowing it would never happen because she is based out of Florida and rarely comes out this way. Plus, her waiting list is over a year long and my situation is not special enough to get her attention. Then last week, another set of circumstances happened and lo and behold, I have a reading with her scheduled for next May! 
  • Finally, I have been estranged from my brother for many years. The details don't matter but I had given up on a solution and just resigned myself to loving him from afar. Then a few weeks ago, out of the blue at 5:52 AM John's alarm clock went off. Of course it woke me up. And just as quickly as it chimed [twice], it turned off. I didn't turn it off. I hadn't set it. The cats were nowhere near it and he cleaning ladies hadn't been here in several weeks. There was no earthly reason for it to go off. I ignored it. Figured it was John but could not think what it meant. Days later I realized that the time was the same as my sister's birth date. 5:52 = May 1952. Thinking maybe something was wrong and I should get involved, I texted my sister with a question about our mother who is now living with our brother. She didn't have the information I wanted so I decided to swallow my pride and emailed my brother. That was all it took. He was so happy to hear from me. We have reconciled and are emailing steadily back and forth now, mending the years. I have to believe my Honey was doing his best to get my attention for this to happen.
I still miss John. I am still sad. I would give anything to have him walk through our house door and give me a big hug and have life go back to the way it was.
But since that can't happen, I will be happy and thankful knowing he is still very much alive and still loving me.
'Til we are together again, Baby...

Sunday, September 25, 2016

I finished my book!

I have been writing a book about John and me and about my experiences - spiritually and metaphysically - since he passed.
It's titled I Will Never Leave You.
It is now finished and gone through two complete edits.
Tomorrow it goes to my readers for proofing and suggestions.
Soon, it will be published.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

These are the good ole days

Over the course of our relationship and marriage, John and I enjoyed many different employment opportunities. John started out [at the time I met him] as a case manager/therapist in a child and adolescent mental health clinic. Later on, he went to nursing school. I have always been a nurse but I have worked in many different specialties - psychiatry mostly, but also preemie nursery, surgical, medical, operating room, just to name a few. Not only was I a floor nurse but I worked my way through management from charge nurse to Head Nurse to Supervisor to eventually Director of Nursing. Later on I went back to school, got my degree and some additional training in legal nursing and forensics and started my own legal nurse consulting business. I think I enjoyed that the most.
But probably the most challenging episode was when John and I worked as agency nurses back in the late 80's to mid 90's. We were sent to places we would never have been otherwise. Because we could pick and choose where and when we worked, we chose to go to hospitals that required us to drive several hours each week and we picked shifts that paid the most. Consequently, our most lucrative assignment was in Hershey PA on the oncology unit. There we worked two 16 hour shifts every weekend driving two and half hours down from our home outside Wilkes Barre PA on Friday afternoon and driving back home on Sunday morning.
The upside to this grueling schedule was that we were off from Sunday to Thursday every week!
We had plenty of time to play and do other things and we were making what we liked to refer to as a "boatload" [at the time] of money. We were finally able to put money aside for retirement.
But we were able to enjoy our time together too.
We took a vacation every month.
We slept in. We relaxed.
We were in the process of remodeling our home and had the time to do it.
And we had time to just enjoy each other's company.
John said over and over that we were going to look back and call those days the "good old days". Except he said it in present tense at the time. "These are the good ole days." I remember how much that impressed me at the time.
He was right, of course [although now I refer to all my days with John as the good old days].
But what he taught me was precious. He was telling me we needed to enjoy those days for what they were when they were, not wait until years down the road and then pine for them.
It was a valuable lesson.
One of the things I remember about my father is that he used to always say "Some day".
Some day we would...
Some day we would have...
Some day we would go...
Most of the time he never got to do or have any of those things and he missed what was in front of him along the way.
He was the opposite of the "good old days" theory. He was wishing for what hadn't happened yet.
That's not a good way to live either.
And I was in danger of carrying on that legacy until John.
John opened my eyes and my heart and for that I am very grateful.
Every day is a good old day.
Even if it's swinging on the porch swing with your honey.
Or sitting quietly and watching a bird hopping across the lawn.
Or looking at a sunset and admiring the beautiful colors.
Life is to be lived, not wished or pined for.
John is not physically here with me now but I can still look at the world as if he is.
And I can be grateful for that gift he gave me and know it was given with love.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Widow Tunnel Syndrome

I have been on the computer way too much in the last week. Between a part-time job that I have [and enjoy!], working on my business with my two friends [From Grief To Peace], and just plain web-surfing, my mousing hand has started to complain - loudly!
So I have been trying to limit my time online - on the computer, on my iPad, and on my iPhone.
My chiropractor has suggested I wear a soft brace on my wrist and while it helps to alleviate the pain by keeping my wrist straight, it definitely restricts my typing ability - which is probably what she had in mind.
But all this denial of social access has got me thinking.
Why does all this online time call to me so much?
It didn't used to be this way.
I used to have a life.
Truth be told - I still do of course.
But it's not the same.
A few short years ago, I was living with the man of my dreams. Now I only see him in my dreams. My reality is I am a widow. My life has drastically changed. There is no longer someone to ask about my day - and for me to ask about his. No discussion of world events, no laughing over the latest antics of our fur-children, no talk of the weather, extended family members, the budget, plans, frustrations - nothing.
Just me and my shadow as the old song goes.
If I'm late coming from somewhere there is no one to worry why, no one to call to reassure.
And if I don't wake up tomorrow who will notice besides the furballs?
I am not trying to sound maudlin. It's just how things are.
Even though I have wonderful friends, the truth is they have their lives - and I have mine and mine is solitary.
And so I turn to the airwaves for a connection.
We all need that connection, if only briefly. "It is not good for man to be alone" - or a woman.
And so I have a pain in my wrist from communicating. The pain hasn't reached the proportions of carpal tunnel syndrome - yet.
I have dubbed it widow tunnel syndrome. Me at one end of my fingertips, the world at the other end.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Our 35th Wedding Anniversary

It's our 35th wedding anniversary tomorrow.
I know John would have bought me flowers so I decided to celebrate as he would have and I ordered these for us.
Thank you, Sweetheart.