July is a tough month for me. It’s the anniversary of our independence day in America. It is my son Austin’s birthday month, but I don’t know where he is. Haven’t heard from him in almost 4 years now and that’s hard…but that’s subject of another post someday. July is also the month when Mike was born. July is also the month when Mike was first diagnosed—with death, aka pancreatic cancer.
Our wedding anniversary is in July and my mother’s birthday is was in July.
It’s a curious thing that this month has so much weight, so much importance to me yet no one outside of ME knows it. I wonder if it shows…how this month hurts. I wonder if it shows that this month is significant but I keep it to myself because it seems to me that its only significant to me so why bring it up? If I mention it at all, its with disconnection…I tick off the days one after the other as if they happened to someone else and I’m merely relaying a story that belongs to someone else. No emotion, no feeling, no thoughts about the dates because they are only significant to me. Besides, no one really cares about what used to be my life.
When August begins I breathe a sigh of relief and give thanks that I got through what I know is a tough month. I also think, all I have to get through in August is the day of my dad’s death which was two days before his birthday. I can handle that!
I’m finding myself thinking about Mike a lot more often these days. I wonder if he’s looking down on me from Heaven and just shaking his head and the stupid things I’ve done since he died. I wonder where my son is and I wonder if he’ll ever come back. I think about my mother too but not much as she had a tendency to be mean. I understand what may have caused that meanness…her parents sending her to boarding school when she was young and never letting her come home, her parents caring more about her brother than her…she was misunderstood and it turned to anger and bitterness. But I get that, I guess. I wonder if she’s found peace and quiet and acceptance in Heaven where I know she is today.
I have found myself talking to Mike…in my head…more now than I have ever done before. I still miss him very much to this very day. I miss that one person that knew me so well–maybe even better than I knew myself. I miss that person that loved me completely, faults and all, and loved me in spite of them or because of them.
I miss my best friend. I miss my champion. I miss my husband. I miss him, still. Even now I miss him. But its been too long to talk about anymore. Its been too long for it to be a matter of fact of my life. Its been too long for most people. But it feels like yesterday some days.
Its been long enough that it is a private affair now, between me, God and Mike. No one knows what I mean unless they’ve been through it, are in it and that’s alright with me, sort of. But it does give me a sense of extreme loneliness sometimes that I live in a world of what could have been, what should have been and what isn’t…and that hurts.
Daily Prompt: Turn, Turn, Turn
For many of us, winter is blooming into Spring, or fall hardening into winter. Which season do you most look forward to?
I look forward to Spring. Shedding the winter gloom from mind, body and spirit that for me is so utterly depressing. During winter the trees and plants are bare and often I look at them wondering if they are dead. I worry too that they are dead because I spent some money and a lot of effort landscaping my yard.
I know plants go dormant but that isn’t enough to convince me that they are still alive. I need Spring to come. I need the last snowfall, the last frost to be history because I need to see the new growth in plants. When the calendar indicates that Spring is coming I clean out the birdfeeders, I ready the garden for planting of new vegetables, I prune off the dead growth and I wait for the weather to change. I love the hummingbirds, butterflies, new bunnies, quail and the birds nesting on the patio.
I don’t really do well in the cold winter months. Never mind the short, dark, cold, and gloomy days. The cold brings physical pain for me as well with all my broken bones from a motorcycle accident. I need Spring to come so I can start to defrost! So the pain will abate and I can get back to living again!
Where I live, Mother Nature tends to be fickle. We recently had a couple of days of 80-degree temperatures. A few weeks ago it was snowing. It will reach 110 on most days in the summer. Today however, it is about 50 and windy. Forecast warns us to be prepared for 80 mph wind gusts.
Health advisories for the area due to high winds are in effect. Air Quality Index (AQI) may reach levels unsafe for sensitive individuals, according to the advisory, so those with respiratory, heart or lung diseases should minimize outdoor activity.
Oh great! Nothing stays put in such winds. For the record it is always windy where I live but we’re used to 25 mph wind gusts, 80 is pushing it! Even for us!
Signs are waving in the wind, threatening to come loose from their poles. Tumble weeds the size of small cars are rolling unfettered down the street; Trees are trying to bend with the wind and not break; the blue sky is gone, eclipsed by the tan dust clouds. The sun is trying hard to shine through but at best it is just a soft glowing orange ball in the sky right now.
Small animals and children definitely need to stay inside unless they want to inadvertently find themselves living a reality version of Wizard of Oz.
I hate the wind. I hate the noise it makes. I hate the dust that is created from these winds. The general populace does not see the value in landscaping. The towns do not see the value in sidewalks or streetlights in the outlining areas so there are miles and miles of dirt. Dirt. Dirt. Dirt. This dust gets picked up happily by the wind and blown around as if we’re just in a dirt bowl. The dust is often so fine that it sifts it way into everything. Nothing is immune from the dust. It is willful and determined and will succeed in getting into everything! Eyes, ears, sealed homes, cars…it doesn’t matter. We’re being “dusted” as I write this. It will take days to clear the dust. By the time I’ve cleared all the dust in my home, I’ll have to start all over again because the wind started blowing again!
Alas, Spring. I love it…but I do not love the strong winds that come along with it!
My most favorite thing about Spring though is that I can look at the calendar and know—just KNOW THAT SUMMER IS COMING!!!
Summer is THE best time of the year for me! I love the long warm days that seem to go on forever. Seeing the heat on the hot asphalt on the road waving in the sunlight serves as a warning…drink!!! Water, that is
Bar-B-Ques with friends in the back yard or at the beach, the lake or the river; riding the Harley across the desert and getting burned like a piece of fried chicken; going to a baseball game during the day is probably one of the most decadent things one can do in the summer. Beer and hotdogs, pretzels and peanuts AND baseball? Who can beat that?!
I was driving to work to the new job, which happens to be only a block away from the old job. Consequently, I drive the same way to the new job as I did the old job. While driving I remembered those first days, weeks of going back to work after Mike had died.
Even though it had been some months since his death I was still dealing with “loose ends” that resulted from his death. The astronomical medical bills, what to do with his things, the lack of life insurance and the mounting debt along with my unemployed status. I was also dealing with two lawsuits filed against me as a result of Mike’s death; one by his son and the other by his ex-wife. These lawsuits were funded by my in-laws, Mike’s parents. I wrote about SOME of it here under Category: Courtroom Drama. http://rosechimera.wordpress.com/2007/04/18/his-first-wife-sued-me/
Every single day I would drive to work crying. I couldn’t listen to the radio because it seemed every song held some memory of Mike and me and therefore pain. I found I could listen to only one song. Over and over repeatedly I played the song on my iPod. It would make me cry, but I felt better when listening to it. This one song was the only song I listened to, literally for months! The song is by the group Hillsong and when they came to Los Angeles in a concert I went to see them–because I HAD to! The video below is from that concert.
I knew I must have just lost my mind, listening to the one song over and over for so many days. I knew I had to break whatever sick habit I had found myself in so I rode in silence with only my thoughts to keep me company. It really made no difference. Even when I insisted I not play that song it was still in my head. It was as if I was addicted to a song! Can that really happen?
I would cry from the time I got into my car to the time I arrived at work. I would steel myself for the day and be somewhat ok while working. I’d cry in the morning when boss wasn’t looking. I’d cry at lunchtime and I’d cry in the afternoons. When a client came in or I had to answer the phone I managed to suck it up and stop the waterfall of tears.
I would tell myself if I can stop crying to do my job then I should just stop the crying! If I keep it up I’ll become dehydrated. I would leave work and cry on my way home. Every single day it was the same thing. Every single day for weeks and weeks…months the same thing…drive to work sobbing the entire way, listening to THE SONG.
I thought I was being irrational. I thought I was being weak. I thought perhaps I’ve had some sort of mental breakdown and that was the reason behind the tears.
Only two people in the world, other than me, knew about this song…my daughter and my friend Les W. They knew I listened to the song and sobbed. Neither of them criticized nor told me that I needed to stop. Neither even offered an opinion one way or the other that I recall. If they had offered an opinion it would have been kind and understanding.
I eventually dragged myself to a doctor. I knew there was something wrong with me, or I thought there was. This time I wanted a miracle pill. Something that would set the world back on its axis. The doctor wanted to give me pills. Ok, will it stop me crying? Will it plug up the floodgates? He said they might. You see, my reluctance about going to a doctor for treatment of something I considered to just be emotional ..in my head was because I had gone to a doctor about four weeks after Mike had died.
I had woken up one day and my hands were in extreme pain…as if I had slammed them repeatedly in a heavy car door. I couldn’t use them, I couldn’t function. So I went to our primary care physician. He was Mike’s doctor too. He knew somehow that Mike had died and I suppose he and his staff had thought I came to him for….well I don’t know really. His nurse came in to talk to me and then she started crying. She didn’t say anything but just hugged me and fled the room. I was sitting acting stoic and composed. Doctor came in and sat down in his rolling stool and said, “there’s nothing I can give you that will make it better. There’s nothing I can give you that will make it hurt less.” Ok. Thanks. But, uh…I’m not here for that, its my hands you see? There’s something wrong with them and I can’t use them. He was a little surprised I guess because he had misunderstood why I was there. That was ok with me though I didn’t hold his mistake against him.
I was referred to a specialist who did tests, xrays, gave me pills, shots in my hands and braces to wear…but was unable to tell me what was wrong with my hands. Eventually that treatment worked and the pain subsided and eventually went away.
Grief is a horrible thing to go through alone. No one to tell you if its right or if its wrong or if you’re not handling life well. No one to tell you anything because they simply can’t. Grief is a very personal thing. We all go through it alone and even differently. We’ve all heard that there’s stages of grief and I know from experience that one goes through these stages at different times. I also learned that grief waits…patiently for you to acknowledge it. A week, month, even years it will wait.
Perhaps it was getting hit with the two lawsuits just four months after Mike died that caused me to derail off the grief train. I had to focus on the legal fallout of Mike’s death and how it impacted me. It was easy to focus on that rather than his absence.
While I was in the throes of the lawsuits my sister (whom I had not seen nor spoken to in 14 years since our father died) called me to tell me mom was dying. Mom had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer just like Mike.
I wondered what I had done to have to be burdened with so much?
Mike’s death, the lawsuits and now mom too?
How much can one person handle without suffering a complete breakdown…one that cannot be recovered from?
Apparently, more than that since I’m still here and conscious!
Life does go on though doesn’t it? Even when we might not want it to.
I listened to that song today. I’m like one of Pavlov’s dogs…I just started sobbing at about the fifth cord. Did I sob because of the memory of how important that song was to me? I don’t know. Did I sob because of whatever reason the song caused me to in the first place? I don’t know. The song certainly “speaks to my heart” and it holds a lot of meaning for me. The words kept me going through some of the absolutely darkest days of my entire life. I do know that it had the same impact on me today as it did during those first days I first drove to work.
Whenever I need a good cry, that release of emotions that build up all I have to do is listen to that song, and the flood gates open. I feel better afterward though and perhaps that’s the wonder of music for so many of us. It causes us to FEEL even when we don’t want to.
- Songs that help you through difficult times. – All I know (paulleion.me)