I realize I haven’t posted for some time. I’ve been struggling, but in a new way. It seems I have battle after battle to fight, whether they are legal or tax challenges that relate to my husband’s death. I’m just so tired. I am doing tax returns this year and all the clients that come to see me want to talk about John. It is not easy to tell the story over and over again. I never want to cry in front of them. Everyone makes a comment like “you are an inspiration to all of us”, or “you are so strong” or the one I hate most “you look great” (because I have lost weight). I am not an inspiration, not strong and I feel like shit. They don’t realize that as soon as everyone is gone that I cry. I wake up crying, go to sleep crying. I feel like crap.
This week has been one of the worst I’ve had in a long time. I don’t want to rehash everything but my company is being audited by CRA (this is a non-issue but just frustrating right now), I had to file the estate tax return for my husband for the IRS because we held property in the US and had issues with my new car. On top of all that it is tax season and I have had so many clients here this week and employee who barely shows up. There are no excuses during tax season not to be at work! So I’ve had even a rougher go the last little while. On top of that I’m having heart tests done. I’m not trying to be a doctor but I know there is a problem. I’ve always had a weird thing with my heart where it races and sometimes I get light headed and feel faint. But now I’m getting worried. It happens more and more lately. I hope it is just that I need a pacemaker to regulate the heartbeat or medication. I have always said I don’t want open heart surgery and now … well even more so now. If my heart is physically broken it can match my emotional heart.
Now I feel like I need to wrap things up. Get things organized. Make sure my son can take care of himself (he actually finishes college today). I need to train him and my daughter on taking over the business or simply close it down. I have a “to do” list.
If I’m to move forward I need to change that attitude. Find something to live for. My kids are all self sufficient so once my list is done I don’t need to “live” for them.
My next blog I will begin telling stories from my past. How I met John, how we fell in love, how our life was together. I’ll tell stories from my childhood and leave an online legacy. Gives me something to do.
Forever and all ways … I will love you John.
Grief is the strongest emotion I have ever felt. It has taken over all my feelings of love and hope, erased all the joy and life out of me. The only time I sleep is when I take a sleeping pill and it is a dreamless sleep. A restless, dreamless sleep.
Over and over again I reach out for John and he is not there. He is not there when I need him, he is not there when I need my hand held, he is not there when I am scared or tired, he is not there when I turn to show him something I discovered. All that happens is that momentary joy turns to overwhelming sadness when I realize I don’t have him here to share it with. He wasn’t here for the world series, he wasn’t here to see his Orioles get beaten my Blue Jays and he won’t be here for any more of the events in my life.
I am going to fight this though because that is what John would have wanted me to do. While he was dying he held me and told me that I was strong enough to get through this. He never was wrong before so why should he be wrong now? I need to find that strength within me and beat this thing called “grief”. I am still alive.
I’m not sure how to do this … how to defeat this overpowering thing called grief. I want to smile again, really smile, when I hear Christmas songs or see a child playing in the surf. I want to feel better and not spend my days curled up on my bed just staring out the window. I know where I want to be but I have to figure out how to get there.
I need to be like a super hero … like Dr. Strange or Batman and take this loss and turn it into something positive. John believed in me. I need to believe in me.
It would have been my 35th anniversary today. John and I planned to spend the entire month of October celebrating in Hawaii. We made such wonderful plans, a week on Oahu, a week on the Big Island, a week on Kauai and a week cruising all of the islands. Instead I am in Florida wishing with my whole heart that I could have one more hug, one more kiss, one more moment with the man I loved.
I’m sure everyone feels their wedding day was special or unusual but I felt mine really was. The night before we were married John put his back out scraping a plate after dinner (I think that was the last time he helped clear the table). He could barely move on our wedding day (which is why he looks so stiff in our wedding photos).
We were to be married at City Hall at 3 pm. Around noon his brother (our best man) called and said he could no longer be our best man. He said he couldn’t do it in good conscience because he felt our marriage was wrong. John had been married before and had two children from his first marriage. John was shattered. It was bad enough that one brother just refused to attend the wedding and now his other brother would no longer be our best man. Fortunately my brother agreed to step in. It was, as they say, the beginning of a beautiful friendship between my brother and John.
Even with all this family turmoil John and I were incredibly happy on our wedding day. My family loved John and accepted him into the fold. John and I had many happy years together and our family grew. As I said before we had a daughter and a son and the two daughters from his first marriage spent a great deal of time with us. (The oldest actually moved in with us when she was 14 and stayed with us until she finished college and the next one lived with us for almost ten years while she was an adult.)
But suddenly things were not so perfect. John changed drastically and our relationship suffered. I don’t want to concentrate on it here as it is in the past and I feel it has to do with his undiagnosed diabetes. Whenever John’s sugar levels were high he would be quite difficult to be with and once he was diagnosed we knew how to handle it. But there was a period of 4 to 5 years where our relationship suffered because of it. Once he got his diabetes under control we decided to reconcile. For our 25th anniversary we decided to show the world we were united and we renewed our vows on a pirate ship out on the gulf of Mexico. For the next ten years (until his illness) we were incredibly happy together.
John and I weren’t just married; we were in business together. This meant we spent more time together than most couples. We were an extension of each other and that was wonderful. I would drive John crazy when I’d finish sentences for him but it just showed me how in sync we were together. There were times I was in Florida and he was back home but we would talk several times a day on the telephone and we shared everything with each other. We were a team.
Today I celebrate the time we did have together. Every moment, every smile, every kiss, every tear, every laugh … every second we spent together. I was very lucky to find my soul mate. Many people go through their entire lives looking and never find them. He was and still is my happiness.
FOREVER AND ALL WAYS
I love water. When I was young I had a canoe and small sailboat and I spent hours at the cottage on the water. As I got older I started coming to Florida. For a few years we had a condo on the Gulf of Mexico. I would watch the waves and dream of the ocean. I wanted to sail on the water, feel the spray on my face and watch the dolphins play in the wake.
I will never have an ocean-going sailboat but I have been on a cruise ship. I know it is not the same, but I have spent hours on the balcony watching the water. It is like heaven to me.
Today I touched heaven again. Tourist heaven, but heaven nonetheless. I went on a tug boat out onto the Gulf of Mexico to look for dolphins with my son and his girlfriend. I loved the motion of the boat, the sun on my face and smell of the salt water. Within the first few minutes of the trip I spotted a solitary dolphin. The boat headed out to the Gulf to see if we could find any other dolphins. Gulf was choppy so the spray was fierce and waves lapped into the boat. We came back to the intercoastal and found the original dolphin. The dolphin played in the wake of the boat. Watching him play filled me with such a feeling of joy and peace.
Tonight I hope to dream of the ocean.