Wednesday, December 30, 2015

December 30, 2015: The End and The Beginning

I think the hardest thing about losing someone is the loss of shared memories.  Some very good moments in my life happened with my husband who passed me by.  Remembering those times have been painful for me.  But, I now am taking personal ownership of those memories.

Yes, he was there but much more importantly, I was there!  I went on that trip to Rome. I bought the house I live in;  moved in, decorated and worked on it.  I escaped Hurricane Ike by going to Forth Worth.   I went on the cruise around Hawaii, the trips to Seattle, Victoria Island.  I OWN these memories.

It has been over 5 years now since my husband passed.  That's long enough.  I am now the sole owner of the memories of the life we shared.

I really miss my mother.  I lost her also.  She didn't choose to leave me and our shared moments behind.  Those memories feel different to me.  Remembering our times together make me feel wistful.

I long ago took ownership of any shared memories with my first husband.  It was difficult in the beginning.  We had 2 children together.  How could he abandon this life we had shared?  It took a few years but I took the sole possession of those memories.  I don't feel sad when I think of our years together.

Time really does heal our wounds.  It is a quickly disappearing commodity.  I don't intend to squander the time I have left.

A new year, 2016, is closing in- another time begins.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

September 26, 2015: getting rid of some of the past

My favorite cartoon character has always been Pepe LePew.  I loved how he would hop to chase Penelope the cat.

When I was dating the shithead, previously known as Jim, we would shop a lot together.  I was enjoying the freedom of being single and having the ability to buy whatever I wanted.  There was a Warner Brothers Store in the Galleria.  We'd go there and I'd buy more Catwoman stuff for my collection. The store also carried Pepe LePew.

It seemed to suit Jim and me perfectly.  He was Pepe and I was Penelope.  So, that started my Pepe collection.  We even had a Pepe and Penelope wedding cake topper and champagne flutes.

But then came Jim's accident and all the traumas that went with it.  I lost him a second time when he came home from the hospital and started hating me.  I feel like my heart is so scarred from these events.

I've been working hard at cutting away at the scar tissue.  Today I was able to get rid of some more.  I sold almost my entire Pepe and Penelope collection this morning.  I met a man who collected and sold memorabilia.  We agreed on $60.00 for the whole lot.  I threw in about 15 teapots as well.

Tonight I'll take Bert out to dinner with the money from the sale.

I've been having what I call "waves of sadness" for the past couple days.  After the divorce I packed the Pepe stuff into boxes and stored them in the laundry room.  I guess dragging it all out again brought up memories.

I wish there was a magic pill to erase the tragedies from my mind.  I would have to erase the good memories, too.  Jim and I had a wonderful 10 or so years together.  But those good memories bring up the horrible ones along with them.

I keep on working at my new life.  Eventually, the memories will fade away.  I don't even feel the pain anymore from the dissolution of my first marriage and that lasted for 23 years!

This, too, will pass.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

August 27, 2015

Today there is an article in the newspaper about the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.  It seemed like it happened a year or two ago to me.  Another part of aging, I guess- time speeds up.

It coincided with the first day that my ex was allowed to leave the county.  That's a long story in itself that I'm not ready to tell yet.

We packed up Mom, Sizzle and Beansie, Nickie and drove to Fort Worth to stay with my cousin, Rosemary.  I have many pleasant memories of our time staying with Rosemary.  It was nice to reconnect with family.

It seems so strange now.  I spoke to Rosemary on the phone a couple of months ago.  I'm still and always will be connected to her.  She's family. 

The person that I was so close to, who seemed a part of me - my ex - is no longer connected to me at all and never will be again.  He was my closest friend.

This proves to me that the saying "blood is thicker than water" is true.  Too bad it took me decades to understand that.  Understanding so many things comes with age.

I wouldn't want to go back in time.  But, I'd love to feel younger physically. 

Life is still scary to me.  I know that anything can happen at any moment and it's totally out of my control.  I think that is why depressed people commit suicide.  They are aware of our human limitations on deciding our own fates. At least they can control when they die.

I'm not depressed these days.  I have a good life now.  I have many wonderful memories of my old life.  If I didn't think so damned much, I wouldn't think about things like aging, time flying, family vs friends. 

I keep busy with my job, spending time with Bert, working on my creative projects.  I'm lucky.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

August 5, 2015

I was not going to blog about the meaning of today's date.  But, I just ran into someone that I hadn't seen in a few years.  He asked how I was doing.  He didn't know about my divorce or the events leading to it.  So, now that I'm thinking about it, I might as well write down a few of my thoughts.  (I always enjoy going back to my posts and reading what I was doing in the past.)

Today would have been my 15th wedding anniversary.  If the man I had married was still alive, we would have celebrated big time.  On our 10th I was still recovering from knee replacement surgery so we only went out to dinner.  We were hoping to travel on our 11th in 2011.  But, by then, only a shadow of my husband remained.

He slipped away bit by bit.  I understand.  Who wouldn't change after such a horrible injury?

By our 12th anniversary he had already secretly proposed to another woman, given her a ring and money but remained married to me.  The man I married 15 years ago would not have done such a treacherous thing. 

I will always love the man I married fifteen years ago.  That man is dead.

I never want to see the man I had to divorce in 2013 again.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

July 7, 2015: the meaning of growing old

Since Mom died I have felt old.  Before there was always someone close to me who was older.  Now I'm the grandma and matron.

As I look back on my life, it seems like it was a long series of losses.  As I grow older, the losses are getting closer and closer together.  I have had friends die or get very sick, children grow up and leave, pets die.  The worse losses were when my husband had his accident and subsequently abandoned me.  Then Mom died.

Today I heard that Mom's youngest brother, Mil died.

Old age has gotten more difficult for people in recent years.  Now we watch our parents dwindle in abilities and die - a foreshadowing of our own future.  Before people did not live so long.  My parents didn't have to watch their parents grow feeble and sickly before they died.  Their parents died at younger ages.

People did not have to watch their friends suffer through chemotherapy or heart bypass surgeries.

I'm not sure that medicine has done us humans a favor by prolonging our lives.  Human beings were not made to live so long.  Our parts fall apart bit by bit through accidents, arthritis, illness,  cancers, etc. No one wants to die young but perhaps it is really the better way to end up.

Maybe I'm just suffering another bout of depression.  I know my "good" years are dwindling quickly.  There are still so many places that I'd like to go and things I'd like to do.  But physically I'm declining and may not be able to live my dreams.  I wonder whether I should just quit working and travel while I still am able.  Or should I just settle down and be content with what I have.

What possible difference will it make if I take a trip to Istanbul or Charleston or Alaska?  I will make memories and those memories will die with me.

I have a pretty good life.  I have a man who loves me, a job that I enjoy, lots of hobbies that I excel at, own a home, have no debts.  Most of the world's people would envy me.

Earlier today I looked at some photos of my former life.  I thought I had become strong enough to face the memories.  I looked at photos taken when Jim, Mom and I lived together.  We were happy and I appreciated it at the time.  Those times were snatched away from me so quickly in November 2010.  I had no time to prepare.  I will never celebrate another birthday with Mom or another anniversary with my husband.  Those days are gone forever.  How can I not mourn?  Does the mourning ever end?

Thursday, April 2, 2015

April 2, 2015

Happy Easter! I made a pair of mini felt bunny ears for my boss and me. Then I had to make several more pairs out of paper for people in the office today.
The idea for these came from:…/sewing-tuesday-easter-bu…

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

March 10, 2015

I used to wonder over and over why my ex-husband betrayed me so horribly.  He had some serious problems before we met.   My therapist said that Jim lost his way again after his accident.  That I had been his moral compass.

A friend of mine who is a psychologist finally gave me a theory that made some sense to me.  I had told him how happy Jim had seemed in the hospital and the nursing home. In the hospital and nursing home he received lots of attention - from nurses, doctors, physical and occupational therapists, plus he interacted with the other patients. And I was there with him many hours each day also.

Once he returned home he was faced with the reality of his situation.  I continued to go to work, care for the house, do the shopping, etc. as before.  He was at home except when he went to rehab.  Even my mother was doing more than he could- walking around with her walker, reading.

I was saddened by the change in our lives but I was getting help with a therapist.  Jim used to tell me that our problems were my depression.  He was just fine, mentally, according to him.

My friend said Jim was exhibiting depression as he came to terms with his new lifestyle.  He needed help with every little thing.  His depression led him to find someone to blame (me) and turn to the new people in his life - his daytime caretakers, especially the young Mexican girl, Claudia.  She was happily taking care of him while she was getting paid.  I found out that she used to be a stripper and a hooker.  I don't know whether she told Jim about her past or not.  Somehow she tuned in to Jim's past sex addiction problems.  She manipulated him and he was a very willing victim.  Eventually he gave her an engagement ring and thousands of dollars.

People that I meet now and hear some of my story seem to assume that our marriage had been unhappy before the accident.  That isn't true.  We both were very happy.  As the paramedics carried Jim out on a stretcher in November 2010, he told me that the last ten years had been the happiest years of his life.  He was afraid he would die before I got to the hospital to be with him.

Now my years of being with Jim seem kind of surreal.  I run across a picture of us together.  We were smiling and doing things together.  I can remember the time when the photo was taken but it seems like it was during a whole different lifetime.

This has been a giant leap forward for me.  The pain is getting much less.  Of course, the passage of time has been a great help.  But, my friend's advice gave me the biggest boost.  It makes sense with what happened.

The events were unimaginable and horrific.  They made me fully aware of my powerlessness.  I can make some life choices according to what happens to and around me.  I do not consider myself so self important to think that the things that happen to me happen for a reason.  The world has and will continue to go on without me in it.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

February 12, 2015: D-Day x 2

Two years ago today my divorce became final.  Life is good.

The pain from my ex' betrayal is still with me but it's easing.  It really sucked to lose my husband twice.  First, he fell and became quadriplegic.  Then he "fell in love" with Claudia, his young caregiver.   Even after he broke up with her and I forgave him, he announced "I don't love you.  I don't even like you and I'm not sorry for what I did" at a marriage counseling session. That was our final counseling session.  The next day I met with my divorce attorney.

I remember the date, 2/12/2013 because it was exactly 60 days, the shortest legal time, after I filed for divorce.  I filed on 12/12/2012.  It's funny.  Jim thought that 12/12/12 was a special day because of the number repetition.  He thought everybody should do something memorable on that day.  I filed on 12/12/12 because it was the earliest possible date after our final counseling session.

I don't remember when the divorce from my first marriage was final.  That was a very painful time, too.  Now I rarely even think of those years.  I have high hopes that 2011 and 2012 will fade away, too. 

Being so severely hurt twice is enough.  I don't want to get married again.  Ex#2 used to talk about how we would grow old together.  Obviously, marriage does not give you that guarantee.