Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter, John!

This is a picture from our last Easter together. John helped me take this by distracting Toby long enough so I could get a good shot.
Missing you, Sweetheart, but I know you are watching over us.

Monday, March 25, 2013

34 Months

Yesterday marked 34 months. I purposely didn’t write yesterday thinking that maybe I shouldn’t keep marking the months like that. Trying to look forward, not back.
You know what?
Just because I didn’t write about it doesn’t mean I wasn’t acutely aware of it, especially since it was also a Sunday.
If I knew when I was going to leave this world and be back with John I would count forward but I don’t know that. All I can concentrate on is when he left and how everything turned to sadness since then.
I know there have been some good things coming out of his passing – donations, more spirituality, an opportunity to spend all that time with his Mom and care for her, etc. But I would like to think those things would have happened anyway.
Of course there is no way to know but I sure would have liked to have had the chance.
We were so good together. Our relationship would only have gotten better. I just don’t understand why we didn’t have that chance.
What am I supposed to be doing that I wouldn’t have done if he were here?
I really want to do what I am supposed to be doing.
I don’t want his passing to be in vain.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Our Church Wedding

25 years ago today John and I were remarried in the Church. We were originally married by a Justice of the Peace in 1981. But in 1988 John received an annulment from his first marriage and so we were married again in Our Lady of Victory Church in Harvey's Lake, PA.
We had a wonderful party afterwards. John was so handsome in his tuxedo.

I am sad that John isn't here to celebrate this day with me but I have many happy memories from that day and I know he does too. We often talked about that day and how happy we were.
There is another reason to be sad today. This morning our sweet Jessie girl went over the Rainbow Bridge. I am going to miss her so much. I am just now starting to sense what her loss means.
But I know John is happy to have her with him and I know she is very happy to be with him too. I can just see her doing what John used to call her "full body wag"  - what she used to do when she was especially happy to see us. I can even hear her making happy noises. I'm glad they are together. John loved her so much.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Happy St. Patrick's Day, Sweetheart!

Thirty-five years ago today, we had our first date. My very own Irishman. Green beer, painted sparkly shamrocks on our cheeks, and an Irish bar named Donahue's. What more could a girl ask for?

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Friday, March 15, 2013

Bunkie Day

Happy Bunkie Day, Sweetheart!
John coined that phrase when he moved in with me in 1980. We were bunkies, bunkmates and so he made up Bunkie Day. And every year we celebrated it.
And Bunkie became his nickname for me.
Today would have been 33 years since our first Bunkie Day!
John made us lasagna that night to celebrate.

Happy Bunkie Day, John! I'm still your Bunkie. I will always be your Bunkie.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

And still grief surprises me

It's almost three years. I thought grief held no more surprises for me. I thought I had it all figured out. That the feelings of sadness would ebb and flow but for the most part I had reached a plateau.
How wrong I was.
Grief sneaks up on you, grabs hold and shakes you when you least expect it.
Over the last year I have bought two houses - one up north to summer in and one near my home with John that I planned on moving into this month. Then I was going to sell the home we had together for the last twenty years. I had mentally divided the furniture up, deciding what was going to go into which house.
Yet in the back of my mind was a big doubt. I had dragged my feet regarding the house up north - I had never replaced the carpeting as I said I would, never installed a phone line or cable. I didn't even know where my mailbox was. I never bonded with the house. And it wasn't the house's fault. It's  a beautiful house.
It just didn't feel like mine.
Same with the new house down here. I had measured every room. I had made appointments for the carpeting to be replaced, the handyman was set up to make the place safe for the kids.
And then Toby, one of our dogs, became ill. I took her to the vet this past Friday and received the news that she was more than a little sick, she was very sick. She might even have cancer and may need to be put down at some point soon. I won't know for sure until this coming week when more tests are done but I can tell by looking at her that she doesn't feel good.
And that's when it all came crashing down on me.
Friday I cried as if John had just passed away. I cried for Toby. I cried for me. I cried for John. My heart was breaking all over again.
And it was then I knew.
I can't leave this home. I can't move my furniture. I'm not ready. I may never be "ready" whatever that means. I need to stay here. I need my things. I need my things with John just as they were. It gives me security that I desperately need right now.
I have been running ever since John passed. I haven't stopped. Yes, there were reasons. Good reasons. I needed to take care of finances, I needed to take care of his Mom, I needed to settle her estate.
But all the time I was doing and rushing around and just plain running. I never stopped.
Now I need to stop.
Just. stop.
I need to take care of Toby and I need to take care of me.
I know some people will think I am crazy for giving up those homes but that's OK.
I can just tell them it was my grief and I made some mistakes. They are just houses. They can be sold. No harm done.
What matters now is what is going on inside of me.
I need to give myself time and space to reconnect with myself.
I don't know how long that will take. It might take me for the rest of my life.
And that's OK.
I'm worth it.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Today is my birthday

Today I turned 65 years old. It was supposed to be a day John and I were looking forward to. It meant he could officially retire since I would be eligible for Medicare and he wouldn't have to work to keep me on his insurance. So much for plans.
But I felt John with me today. I know if he were here he would have made a big deal out of today. We would have laughed at my age and wondered how we got to be this old. He would have taken me out to dinner and bought me a present. But most of all we would have been together and that was the most important of all.
But that is not how it was.
Instead I celebrated with friends and that was good too. I have had friends take me out to lunch [all week] and dinner and I have had phone calls and cards and wishes on the Internet. I feel loved and very blessed.
And I know John is with me and he loves me. And I love him. Always.