Monday, April 24, 2017

Shredding/shedding/renewing

There is a myth that has been perpetuated for years that we replace all the cells in a human body every 7 years. It's not true. Or rather, to be more accurate, that is partially true
Cells are replaced in our body at various rates of turnover. And some cells - the neurons in our brains - are never replaced.
But it's a nice romantic thought that we can be born anew every few years. Which begs the question - why can I not lose these 10 pounds? But that's a story for another day.
Yet, this theory, flawed as it is, does add some romanticism to the number 7 and change.
And so I find myself coming up on the 7th anniversary of John's death and looking for the magical renewal. I can't say that it has happened although I do feel that I have come a long way from the person I was almost 7 years ago when I awoke on the saddest day of my life.
I've learned a lot - about grief and myself. Being a widow was not something I contemplated on May 23rd. But on May 24th that is what I was.
I have grown into this unwanted role and attempted to come to peace with it. It has not been easy.
One of the things I struggled with most was realizing and accepting that John was not coming home ever again. For a long time I didn't want to change anything - not one thing - in the house. It was as if my brain and my heart were afraid he would return and wonder where things were, where his stuff was. And truth be told, I needed to pretend that was the case. To do any less would have invited madness.
But time does heal. Slowly.
And so finally this past month I was able to take on the monumental task of transforming John's office into a space I could occupy.
John had turned the bonus room off our bedroom - a small room with no door, just an archway - into his own little room, complete with oak rolltop desk, bookcases, computer, etc. It wasn't pretty but it was functional and it was his own space to do with as he pleased.
After he died, I couldn't even bear to go into it. Just being in there for even a few minutes gave me physical symptoms and I would have to leave.
So the room became a catch-all place for stuff and gradually became really unsightly.
My solution was to put a screen across the doorway and not look.
But I knew someday I would be able to fix all that.
And now as the magic 7 approached, I decided the time was now.
So for the past few weeks I have been sorting, and throwing away, and going through.
I made 15 boxes of paperwork to be shredded. I am having a company come to the house to shred all that for me this week.
I threw away a lot of junk. 
I took his desk chair for my own so now I can sit where he sat.
I cleaned.
And now it’s done.
It’s going to be a reading/meditation room.
Yesterday I smudged it. I bought some new pieces to put in there – a chair, a rug, a cabinet to house my crystals and singing bowls. I hung my Indian chime bells.
The cats and I are enjoying the space once again. I feel close to John in the room. His desk is still there - it's behind the screen. But I can read and meditate here and just be. 
I think John would approve.



Thursday, April 13, 2017

Happy birthday, John!

Today is John's birthday - 74!
We've had some great birthday celebrations over the years starting with our first one together when he turned 35.
I am celebrating with him in my heart today.
Love you, Honey.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

My dear sweet uncle

My uncle - a man who has been a father to me - passed away after a brief illness this past Wednesday night.
I will miss him so much.


This is a video I made of some pictures of him. Give it a few seconds to load.

http://www.smilebox.com/playBlog/4e4455794d546b314e544d3d0d0a&blogview=true


Wednesday, March 29, 2017

I miss cooking

I miss cooking. Not the every day type of cooking. Not the "We're home from work and it's late and we're starving and what can we throw together?" type of cooking or even the usual run of the mill every day cooking.
No, I miss the cooking days John and I used to have every so often. There were some Saturdays that we would decide to make soup and it would literally take all day. There was one particular soup that was our favorite - potato soup.
Potato soup started out early in the morning by peeling a mound of potatoes. Then we made what was called Garbage Soup. This was a soup that was simmered for hours by making a soup of the potato peels and lots of garlic and spices. This made a broth to base the potato soup on. Some of it we saved and froze for minestrone on another soup Saturday.
After the garbage soup was just right we made the wonderful potato soup. Its aroma would fill the apartment, making us hungry and impatient. To tempt our taste buds even more, I would bake some bread to dunk in the soup. In the early days I made the bread by hand, kneading it on the kitchen counter top, getting out any frustrations from life in its bulk. Later, when we had more money, we bought a bread maker and just timed everything to be ready together.
Then - then! - that evening we would sit down and feast on our day's work - potato soup and crunchy bread. A feast for a king.
Was it an especially tasty meal? Yes, because - potato soup. What's not to like about potato soup? But there was more to it than that.
Making potato soup is one of my favorite memories about my earth life with John. I go back to it often. And I talk about it to my friends with fondness. Making soup with John was a treasure because we spent happy time together. We laughed. We talked. We played with our fur-babies. We hung out in the kitchen all day together. Nothing else mattered on those days. We lived in our own world surrounded by good smells, good food, and love. Lots of love.
There were other meals that we made that took all day, too - lasagna and fried chicken are two that I remember. Each of them reside in my heart for the same reason - more for the love than the actual food.
Today I eat a lot of frozen dinners, usually in front of the TV. Dinner for one just doesn't have that appeal. I could make the soups and lasagna again but it's not the same. I'd rather just cherish the memory of the days I spent with John.
But I miss the cooking - and I miss him.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Our Church wedding anniversary

John and I eloped in 1981. Years later we decided to have our marriage blessed in our Church. It was a wonderful magical day. 29 years ago!

Friday, March 17, 2017

39 years ago!

John and I became a couple on St. Patrick's Day 39 years ago.


Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Bunkie Day - 37 years!

John and I moved in together 37 years ago today.
He made us lasagna that night to mark the occasion.
He nicknamed today Bunkie Day and we celebrated it every year. It's still a wonderful day to me.