Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Honeymoon 1988

John and I went to one of those honeymoon places in the Poconos after our Church wedding in 1988. You know the ones with the heart-shaped beds and in-room pools. It was lots of fun.

Monday, August 11, 2014

John's Garden

I had John's Memorial Garden worked on last week. Some of the plants had died and needed to be replaced and it desperately needed wedding. I had tried to do my best but the cacti were out to get me. So I called on the guys who do my grounds maintenance and they did a wonderful job.
I took some pictures afterwards. There was a lovely yellow butterfly floating around and it made me think that perhaps Jphn was showing me how much he liked what I had done.
But I was in for an even better surprise.
When I uploaded the pictures to my computer there was a secret in the first one. A haziness. I zoomed in on it and it appeared to be an ethereal orb. I like to think that John was visiting the Garden himself and we were admiring it together.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

"Everything I Own"

You sheltered me from harm
Kept me warm, kept me warm
You gave my life to me
Set me free, set me free
The finest years I ever knew
Were all the years I had with you

And I would give anything I own
Give up my life, my heart, my home
I would give everything I own
Just to have you back again

You taught me how to love
What it's of, what it's of
You never said too much
But still you showed the way
And I knew from watching you
Nobody else could ever know
The part of me that can't let go

And I would give anything I own
Give up my life, my heart, my home
I would give everything I own
Just to have you back again

Is there someone you know
You're loving them so
But taking them all for granted
You may lose them one day
Someone takes them away
And they don't hear the words you long to say

I would give anything I own
Give up my life, my heart, my home
I would give everything I own
Just to have you back again
Just to touch you once again

Saturday, July 26, 2014

That old bugaboo - "You are grieving too long"

My doctor told me this week that I have been grieving too long. That since it has been longer than six months and I am still sad that I should think about taking an antidepressant. I reminded him that not only did I lose the love of my life in the last four years but I also lost my mother-in-law who I was caring for for 2 1/2 years, that I had to put down 4 of the 6 pets that John and I shared, plus my relationship with my mother totally fell apart [and it was never good anyway].
He agreed that that was a lot to experience and backed off, saying we should put antidepressants on the back burner for now. 
But even if that hadn't happened, I don't think years is "too long" to grieve. How do you put into words what it feels like to lose your other half suddenly and without any warning? John and I loved each other for 32 years and I am to be "over it" in just 4?
It's not like I sit around in a dirty house all day mourning. I do things. My house is kept up, the pets are taken care of, I eat and sleep, I meet friends for outings, I even eat out and go to the movies by myself.
But I am sad. There is always a baseline of sadness that will never go away and I accept that. That is my life. And that is okay. Why can't it be okay for others? Who's to say how long to grieve is enough? The answer is no one. It's no one's business but mine.
I was explaining this to a friend over lunch the next day and she understood. She lost her mother when she was twelve. It's been 50 years and she is still feeling the effects. Not that she cries every day or tears her clothing. But it's a loss and she feels it. It has shaped who she is and that is neither good nor bad. It just is.
We are the sum total of our experiences and we can't go around numbing those feelings and experiences with pills.
I don't mind feeling John's loss. I don't like it. I wish he were here and I know in my heart that if by some miracle he were to walk through our front door and life would go back to the way it was before, there would be no sadness and no need for anyone to suggest antidepressants. So that tells me pills are not the answer. This is situational, not chemical. Fogging me up with antidepressants is not going to change reality. It will just mess up my driving and my reasoning.
As I explained to my friend, this sadness baseline is like driving a shopping cart with a bad wheel. I can get the job done but I have to push harder and sometimes I steer in a direction I don't want to go. And sometimes the cart seizes up and I have to move backwards and go forward again to get going. But I'll get there.
This is one of the first pictures I ever took of John. He is holding one of my cats Squeaker. John used to call this picture "The Boneless Cat" because of how relaxed she was. One of the first things I learned about John was that he loved cats and that made me love him more. So few men love them or at least admit that they do.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Memory lane

John at his college graduation from Old Dominion in June 1970. I found these pictures when I was closing up his Mom's house. There were many pictures and even John's baby book and saved curls of his baby hair. So precious now.

Monday, July 21, 2014

We're still us

This was one of John's favorite songs. Now when I hear it it could be from John to me or from me to John. We are still us. We always will be. John still lives. I know he is still with me and always will be.

You're Still You

Through the darkness
I can see your light
And you will always shine
And I can feel your heart in mine
Your face I've memorized
I idolize just you

I look up to
Everything you are
In my eyes you do no wrong
I've loved you for so long
And after all is said and done
You're still you
After all
You're still you

You walk past me
I can feel your pain
Time changes everything
One truth always stays the same
You're still you
After all
You're still you

I look up to
Everything you are
In my eyes you do no wrong
And I believe in you
Although you never asked me to
I will remember you
And what life put you through

And in this cruel and lonely world
I found one love
You're still you
After all
You're still you