What Is My Word?

I have decided to use a workbook in order to direct my life in a more positive way.  The first thing the workbook wants is a word that I will relate to during 2017.  This word is to direct me, inspire me and help me achieve a happy, shining life.  That is a great deal of importance placed on this one word.  So what word should I pick?

The journal says I should ask myself the following two questions.

  1.  What do I need more of?
  2.  What do I need less of?

The second question is easier to answer.  I need less stress.  I am worried about everything. I’m worried about my finances, I’m worried about my children, I’m worried about my house falling apart, I’m worried about my health, I’m worried about my business.  I have panic attacks where my heart pounds and I can’t breathe because the pressure across my chest is so intense.  This even happens while I’m sleeping!  And sleeping … I wish I could sleep a peaceful sleep.  I toss and turn and no longer dream.  I would love to sleep normally again.

So what do I need more of?  I would like to have more time with my children one on one.  With the phones put away and attention spent on each other.  I need to get back into a creative mode, where I produce something.  I waste so much time playing silly online games.  I need more balance in my life where I take care of myself, my children, my home and my finances/business.

I have narrowed my word list down to five words:  Believe, restore, build, explore and nourish. Which one should I pick?

Why Do I Write?

Someone asked me the other day how I’m dealing with my grief.  They were trying to get me to go see a grief counselor and I replied, “I’m seeing myself.”  I find that writing about my thoughts helps me to focus and I am hoping that when I reread some of the older posts I’ll see that I’m getting stronger.  I know in the beginning I felt incredible despair and blackness and felt life was hopeless.  I have better days now, and yes, I can say “days” instead of “moments”.  Now I still cry, sob actually, but I no longer have such an overwhelming desire to die.  I am discovering, and surrounding myself, with the people that want to be with me.  Family and friends that share in my grief and help me find a new normal for myself.  I am hurt by the disappearance of some people that I thought were concerned for me, people I thought that would be there for me during difficult times but they have either totally faded from my life or flit in and out without regard to my feelings.  But I am also surprised by how some people have swept into my life and put their arms around me to comfort me and give me strength.  They are my angels.



60 Seconds

I keep thinking that I just want one minute more with John.  Just one minute.  But then I try and think what would I do in that minute? Is there something I would ask him? I can’t think of anything. I wouldn’t waste the time asking if he loved me because I know he did.  Should I ask him if he is proud how I am handling things?  Nope … he would tell me he was always proud of me.  So what would I do with that minute?  I finally figured it out.  I just want home to hold me for a minute.  Just one reassuring hug for 60 seconds.  But I know I would be greedy and want more.  One minute a year, one minute a month, one minute a week … it would never be enough until I had him back with me full time.

I was trying to figure out what it is that I need right now. It is an odd feeling.  I am so lonely but not alone.  My family has been wonderful and supportive and I really am not alone but I sure am lonely. Today I went out with my brother, his wife and their grandaughter to Weeki Wachi.  We saw the mermaids perform, took a short boat ride down the Weeki Wachi river and walked around the grounds.  Beautiful, old style Florida fun but I missed having John with me.  I miss those shared moments where we could communicate our feelings without words and we just knew what the other was thinking.   I am surrounded by people but I have never felt so lonely.  I don’t know if that hole will ever be filled.


Four Months and Counting

Four months have passed.  It doesn’t get any easier but it is different.  I don’t sob as much anymore.  I tear up but everything stays inside.  Once in awhile (like when I was at the doctor’s office) I break down and cry but generally I am able to contain it.

It is not that it hurts less.  It is just different.  I feel sad and empty inside.  I can’t even listen to music right now because it brings emotions to close to the surface.  It is easier for me to just stay numb and then I can deal with the day. I am trying to figure out a play list to walk to that makes me happy instead of upsetting me all over again.

In a week I leave for Florida.  I’m glad to be going because I need a change of scenery.  I’m tired of working on bookkeeping and year ends and I’m tired of working on the house.  I feel like I’m fighting a losing battle.  I get one job done and another one appears.  I need some time for me.  I need to start taking care of myself.  I need to eat right, learn to relax and start walking again.  I spend too much time sitting at my desk working.  Time to stretch those legs!

Today, when I was having my tea, I could picture those last few moments with my husband.  I had heard a noise and came into the family room where his bed was located.  I took his hand, he opened his eyes and looked at me.  And he took his last breath.  I closed his eyes and held on to him for as long as I could before I called the nurse to come pronounce his death.

When the funeral home came they made the family go to the back yard.  They didn’t want us to see them take John out of the house.  I came back in after they transferred him to the guerney and watched silently while they wheeled him down the driveway to the hearse.  John was leaving the house for the last time. I still can picture this in my head so perfectly.

Now he is here in the house … in spirit .. with me.  I have decided that I want to live in the house until I die and I want to die in the same exact spot he did and I want to take that final journey out of the house the way he did.  And I know, that when I make that trip, he will be beside me holding my hand.

I love you John.  I miss you so much.  Words can’t even express how much.  Forever and all ways.

P.S.  After I wrote this I decided I needed to go out for some air.  I was standing near where John died when there was two distinct thuds from closeby.  My son’s girlfriend and I looked at each other thinking we both did something but we hadn’t.  This happened at exactly the time John passed away 4 months ago.  Proves to me he is still here with me.


I hate it when people tell me they are sorry I lost my husband.  I didn’t lose him; he died.  He is gone.  It is not like I can find him under a cushion or in a closet somewhere.  He is not lost.  I am lost.  Not him.

I have been very busy this past month.  The main floor renovations are almost complete.  The rooms have been painted, the hardwood is laid, new furniture is in and it is looking good.  They will replace the gas fireplace this week and I have someone coming to hang the light fixture in my dining room.  We filled two dumpsters and a third one is almost full.  I think by Sunday the main floor of my house will be finished with the exception of the new windows.

A friend of mine hired me to help at his office while his bookkeeper was on vacation.  I worked for two weeks and really enjoyed it.  I bought some new “work” clothes and it felt good going out.  I really don’t think I was “needed” there but they certainly made me feel welcome.  It was a nice change of pace and for those hours I mostly concentrated on work and not John.  I could feel him with me in a very supportive way.

I still don’t sleep well.  I sleep on a tiny edge of my bed (on my husband’s side) and the rest of the bed is covered in clothes.  I’m going through his clothes and mine and donating bags and bags to Value Village.  Most of my clothes are dated and I have so many of them that I will never need to buy new ones again. But I can’t bear to get rid of John’s Hawaiian shirts and his Jimmy Buffet ones.  They are John.  I’ve been doing laundry and every dirty shirt of his that I find I cry into and try and smell him just one more time. I hold his shirts and try and feel him.  I miss him so very much.

I finally broke down and called my doctor on Friday to ask him for sleeping pills.  Surprise … surprise he is on holidays until the middle of October.  Is this a sign from John that I shouldn’t use sleeping pills?  I need more sleep though because when I’m tired I’m more emotional.  I went out today and bought some over the counter sleeping medication and I hope that it will help me get at least 7 hours sleep tonight.  With sleep I’ll heal.  I’ll get stronger every day.

Over the past three months I have thought a great deal about death.  I feel guilty that I am alive and John isn’t.  He should be here enjoying his retirement.  If there was any way we could have traded places I would have gladly done it for him.  He worked so hard his entire life that he deserved to spend some golden years.  He took such good care of me and the rest of the family that he truly deserved to be the one that lived.

I also understand how people can die of a broken heart.  I think of dying all the time now.  I  admit I thought of suicide.  I feel so alone and broken that death would be welcome but I have to wait until it is my time.  I never believed in an afterlife until John got ill.  One day in the hospital John was looking off into the distance.  I asked him what he was looking at and he looked at me with genuine surprise.  He answered that my dad was there.  I could see him smiling.  He nodded and then said my dad was leaving (to walk down the lane way) and he’d be back.  John didn’t remember telling my daughter and I this but we had many talks over the next weeks.  He told me that he knew there was something beyond the life that we have here.  He promised he would always be near me.  He told me that he would be the wind blowing past me, that I would feel him if I could quiet my mind.  I see him when I dream (which is very rare now).  Now I have to be strong and rebuild my life.  I need to be good so that when it is my time to die that I will be reunited with John.  We will spend eternity together.  I believe this with my whole heart.

So I have decided I’m going to start new tomorrow.  I’m going to eat better, sleep better, move more, listen to happy music and be productive.  I’m going to try and heal my heart, never forgetting John but working towards being a person that he would be proud of.  Then someday we will be together again and spend forever united.

Forever and all ways.



True Blue

A friend of mine died a couple of weeks ago. I just found out.

When I say “friend” he certainly was not a friend in a traditional sense.

We had not spoken in over 10 years and other than the odd email we barely communicated. However, he was part of the tapestry of my life and I will miss him.

I met Kalk online back in 1995.  Wow … that was a long time ago.  I was going through a difficult time in my life and needed a friend.  The internet was blossoming, MSN was introduced in August with Windows 95. Suddenly we were all able to chat instantly with people across the world, or in our backyard.  Some went for baseball chats or sex chats.  Me … I wanted distance from my life so I hung out in a chat room named “the billabong”.  The majority of the people in the room were from Australia.  I loved the culture, the tales, the warmth of the people.  I felt like I was in a special place … accepted and that I was special.  I felt like I belonged somewhere and I needed that at that point in my life.

After almost a year of chatting online I decided to go visit my new friends in Australia.  David was the main friend I was visiting.  After a few days adjusting to the time difference the two of us left Warrnambool and travelled through the Outback.  It was the adventure of a lifetime.  I saw  things I could never imagine, from crocodiles attacking wild horses in Kakadu, emus hitting the windows of the ute trying to get at me, kangaroos bounding across the open outback and touching the amazing spiritual centre, Uluru.

I took this adventure with my new friend David.  He was a big man, rugged, rough and bearlike. He was twice my size.  He acted like my bodyguard all through the dangerous things we did in the outback.  He loved everything Aussie … living in the wrong time.  He should have been born 50 years earlier.  He loved the brush, he loved his sunburnt country.  I am happy that I took this trip with him from Warrnambool to Darwin and back again.  He had never been outside Australia, actually had never been to the outback either.  The outback was where he belonged though … he was part of that hard, dry landscape.  He would have lived a longer, happier life there.

In February 1998 I went back to Australia to visit David and brought my children.  He was receiving a medal for 25 years of service with SES (State Emergency Service) and was the proudest moment of his life.  We toured all over Victoria, camping in the Grampians, spending time in Melbourne (my daughter went toured the morgue), we saw the Melbourne jail and visited so many friends.

My daughter went back and spent 6 weeks with David when she was a teenager and I went back for the last time early in 2000.  When I returned from this trip the relationship was strained and we only ever communicated again by the odd email.  He had gone back to college and suddenly became difficult to talk with … he felt he knew everything. Over the next twelve years we exchanged a few emails, usually when he was in crisis.  He was letting his health go … he had always been a big man but now he stopped exercising and became huge.  He started smoking again and ended up in the hospital several times with various problems.  He got good marks at college (he studied social work) but failed the placement section two years in a row.  He would not listen to those in authority.  As the student he felt he knew more than the people already in the profession.  He became bitter and angry.  Most of his real life friends dropped away while he accumulated more and more online friends.  He had a huge falling out with his brother (they were estranged most of their lives but had their final falling out a few years ago).  He spent all of his time online dispensing his “worldly” advice to others.  I had to ask him to stop writing me because all he did was lecture me on my life choices.  I removed him from my Facebook account because I didn’t want him to comment on my life.  I am happy with my life.

He wrote me in 2010 when my father passed away.  It was a beautiful letter, telling me about his father and his memories.  It was like hearing from the old David.  I was deeply depressed at the time (2010 was a bad year for me) so I just sent him a one line note saying I thanked him for his thoughts.  Other than a few mass emailed jokes I didn’t hear from him again until late December 2012.  He wrote me that he had spent two weeks in the hospital after breaking his foot and that he was sorry he didn’t send me a birthday note (he didn’t send one December 2011).  He told me he’d be following the doctors orders because he was worried about losing his foot but we knew he wouldn’t bother.  I never responded to his email.

He died January 14.

For a moment I felt guilty about not taking the time to respond to him.  I should have realized he was scared but I put it out of my head.  He was no longer the man I once knew.  He hadn’t been employed for over a dozen years.  He rejoined the labour party but really just expected the government to take care of him while he sat on his computer.  He used his health as an excuse.  Yes, in the beginning he was diabetic but he allowed himself to develop many more problems just because he could not push himself away from his online friends.

I will miss my old friend David.  But he has been dead for quite some time to me.  I mourn him today.

And When I Die …

I want the people who love me to be able to say, “oh she lived a wacky, loving, happy life”.

When I was growing up my favourite aunt was considered “eccentric”.  I loved going to her place.  She lived in an old farm-house in a small village outside a small town.  She was larger than life, loud, flamboyant and creative.  When I was small I would go and explore her house while the family would visit.  There were secret passageways between the walls, I spent hours creeping along the walls and finding new passageways.  As I got older I spent more and more time in her company and I would listen to her stories about faeries living in the trees, of how we should treat nature and her religious beliefs.  She believed she was a modern-day Druid.

When my daughter was born I would take her up to the farm with me.  My aunt was a master weaver and she was teaching me how to spin.  We would take the freshly shorn wool, carded it, spun it and died it together while my daughter played beside us.  I loved those afternoons.  I knew people who my aunt was eccentric, crazy, wacky but I thought she was wonderful.  Her home was a drop in centre for all sorts of people, artists, gays, cerebral people … it was like a melting pot.  Once my son was  born it became difficult for me to go visit there anymore.

My aunt’s funeral was an event.  Her ex-husband was the host.  It was packed with all sorts of people.  My mother clucked and clucked … by this time she and her sister hadn’t spoken to each other for years.  I mourned the light that had left this earth.

So this is the long way around to say I want to be that kind of person.  I want my creative juices to flow, I want to live a fun life.  My life has become boring for the past twenty years.  Work consumed me. I had some many dreams and they went by the wayside.  I wanted to design jewellery, create glass creations but there just wasn’t any time.  I lost so much time and I want it back.

So now it is time to fly kites, slay dragons, rekindle my passions and embrace my inner wackiness.  There is no more “tomorrow” … time is running out.

I want to make a difference in someone’s life and change my own.  Help me.  Give me any advice you have!

Happy New Year

I have fallen off the blogging wagon. It wasn’t that I didn’t have anything to say; it was more that I was tired when I was back up north. Too many things to do there and not enough time. I’m back in the sunny (ok .. it really hasn’t been that sunny here but I’ll pretend it is) south

I have been back here for a week and I’m getting my life in order. The place is clean and organized so now I start concentrating on me!

So … tomorrow I continue the journey. Join me.

One is the Loneliest Number

Actually over the past couple of month’s I’ve realized that I don’t mind being alone. I have done things I’ve never done … gone to sit down restaurants by myself, to the beach, walked along the boardwalk at John’s Pass and went Black Friday shopping alone. I was alone, but in this high-tech world, I’m not lonely. My daughter has written to me each day and I’ve video chatted with my grandson and his mom a couple of times also. I face-timed with my husband, son and granddaughter. It was all good. 🙂

Tomorrow I’m heading home. While I’m very happy to be going home I’m also happy to have found out that I’m a strong, independent woman who can be happy alone.

Spirits, Ghosts & The Afterlife .. Continued

The other night my father phoned me. Yes … I know he is dead but he phoned me.

I was sleeping and I heard the phone ring. I reached up … answered it and I knew it was him. Usually when the phone rings at night I panic thinking it is bad news but this time a feeling of peace flooded me.

He spoke, not really formed words, but I heard him say to me that he loved me, was proud of me and that I made him proud.

He hung up.

Since that moment I have stopped feeling the guilt that I carried over the last two years. I know he understood that I loved him and had tried to do my best. I feel my heart is lighter and I am no longer stuck in the grief that I let him down.

I went to his grave the next day, put Christmas flowers on it and a poppy. He always wore a poppy in November. I felt a warm breeze while I stood there looking at his grave.

This also made me realize that there is something beyond death. I’m not really a religious person but a spiritual one. I know there is more than just this space … this place and that someday I will be there watching over my loved ones.

I love you dad. I will always love you … always miss you but the time of grieving is over. Keep watching over me and our family.

As you always said to me, life is too short … go enjoy it. That is exactly what I plan to do.