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Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Reading, Swimming, Trying To Get My Act Together

I know this blog has been quiet. It's been a hard and hectic time here at The Pink House. Bob's death anniversary threw me into an emotional loop and add to that house maintenance issues, including a dead "salt cell" in the pool, which unbeknownst to me, made the water so caustic that my hair turned brittle and began to fall out...

Add dentists and shrink and therapy appointments. A pesky debt collector calling insisting I owe $14,000 on a "gold" VISA card -- I've never owned a gold card of any sort -- so I turned that mess over to my lawyer, but do think it's some kind of scam.  Not to mention a ton of telemarketers and election survey calls -- my phone is always ringing, driving me batty, even though I don't pick up if I don't know the caller ID number, I still get messages on the machine. And add my lawn maintenance guy with legal issues and not being able to do his job....

I've been a bit of a wreck. And also exhausted.

My therapist says, "Be kind to yourself."

So I am trying. Been reading a lot. Just finished "The Afterlife Revolution" and working through "Bridging Two Realms" and "365 Ways to Raise Your Frequency", the latter given to me by my therapist. The thinking behind all of this is to awaken and raise your vibration, thus making it possible to communicate, telepathically, with the spirit world.

Call me crazy. But I can hear Bob saying, "whatever" even as I write this....

I've also been working on meditation and sensing auras, neither is easy, but they say it takes time and patience.  Unfortunately, though I have time, I'm not so good with the "patience" part... And I have trouble, after so many years of "noise", Bob always wanting the radio or TV on, then the beeping of medical equipment, I have trouble dealing with a house that seems suddenly so very quiet, too quiet.

Today, for the first time since Bob's death, I took the dog for an early morning walk. Something I used to always do when Bob was alive, as it was the only time I could really get out of the house. I would go after disconnecting his nightly feeding pump and giving him morning meds, I would take Boomer out at the crack of dawn, while Bob listened to "rock and roll" on the radio (LOUDER, his request always before I left the house) and then he would do his leg exercises in bed. It wasn't a long walk, because I couldn't leave Bob alone that long, but it was always a relaxing part of the day. And when I arrived back home, I was always greeted with a "Phew!" from Bob, letting me know he got his exercises done...

I'd forgotten how tranquil it is in the early dawn, with the sun just beginning to rise, birds beginning to sing.... though it's beginning to get too hot and humid for a long walk, even in the morning.

Two weeks without the pool (under repair) was stressful. I was up to 120 laps and now, that I can get back into it, I'm only hitting 80... lost a bit of strength, I guess... along with some of my hair....

My memoir about 1/3 through -- rough draft.... though I haven't written much lately. Will try to "begin again" with it this week.

Just priming my fingertips here in preparation for that next jump....




Monday, May 28, 2018

May 28th

Three years ago, today, Bob left this world.

This is how I like to imagine him, on the other side, with Zenith (our beloved Siamese) on his shoulder.

Zenith followed him, died two weeks later.

God, Bob loved that cat so much, and she loved him. Had to pull her off his dead body -- on the stretcher while they took his body out the door, and then she struggled out of my arms and ran to follow him... and I had to grab her, so she wouldn't run out the door...


Miss you, love you, so much, sweetheart. My heart still breaks, everyday.

And miss you, love you too, Zenith....

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Gloomy Holiday Ahead

So, the "tropical depression" has been upgraded to a "named tropical storm", Alberto, which is heading our direction. We are now under a "tropical storm warning".

And it's not even "Hurricane Season" yet. That's not supposed to start until June....

I am stocked up to "hunker down" as we expect a lot of rain and wind. That means dog food, cat food, vodka and cheese puffs for me. ha!


On top of the clouds, rain and storm, Monday will mark 3 years since Bob's death.

I have been dreading this anniversary for more than a month, though my therapist says this is a "normal" reaction to this upcoming "anniversary".

"Normal." What a word... But "normal" to feel like it's all happening again. "Normal" to wake each day and think, "Bob was alive, today, 3 years ago." Until Monday, which is also Memorial Day, when it will be "Bob died three years ago this morning."

Jeepers. Seems like just yesterday.

I still miss him with all my heart.

And this weather is certainly not helping.

The sky weeps. The wind wails. Darkness fills the house during the day.

This weather, which is already beginning today, is expected to last through Memorial Day, and we will still be feeling the effects well into next week....


Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Tropical Depression

Which is our weather forecast and that amounts to lots of rain and dreary, gloomy days.... doesn't help one's mood.

Been a few tough weeks for me. Went to a "Grief Healing Retreat" earlier this month, a one day affair which I hoped would teach us coping techniques. Went with two of my widow friends. So that part was nice.

There were about 30 people there, two men, the rest women. As they began the retreat, I notice, once again, I am pretty much the youngest person in the room, with the exception of the one guy who lost his mother. The beginning "introductions" included a woman reading that poem/song/bible verse about "a reason for every season, a time to live and time die," you know the one and I began to "dissociate" (as my shrink calls it) so I took the advice of my therapist, who said when this begins to happen, I should try to "touch" things, concrete things, to pull myself back to realty. So I fled. To the bathroom, thought I was going to puke, fortunately didn't, then just clung to the sink, ran the water, touched the water, took deep breaths, then tried to open my little box for some Xanax, couldn't get it open. Fortunately, one of my friends came in to check on me, and she got the box open. Took some Xanax and returned to the conference room, much calmer.

Then we broke out into groups for different workshops. The first one was to walk a labyrinth which was in a darkened room. I'd never done such a thing before and the woman presenting the workshop explained that it was an "ancient sacred space" and used for centuries and used to "center" oneself, release stress and anxiety and "open" yourself to receive life's gifts.

Sounded good.

When it was my turn, I found myself first very dizzy, and worried I would fall down. We were told to be "quiet and reflective" through the process. At the center, we were to stop and "open" ourselves and "let go" of our negative emotions, then begin the way back. On the way back, for some darn reason, I thought I was lost and would never get out and I began giggling, trying to stifle it, but you know how that goes, and pretty soon I am uncontrollably laughing and can't stop. Very strange. I think I sort of blew that experience for some in the group.

Then there was "music therapy" which was not all what I expected. I expected, I guess, to be taught ways to use music to "heal" instead, the man leading the group gave us all a piece of paper with the lyrics based on Stevie Wonder's song "I Just Called to Say I Love You" adapted to "I Just Want to Say I Love You" and the words, with blanks left open for us to write on, beginning with "Remember when we'd: __________ without you, just isn't the same."  Then, "I miss your _____, your ______" and "No one can replace that _________ side of you."

Mine went like this "Remember when we'd drive to the beach, car windows rolled down, radio blaring, wind in our hair, the beach without you just isn't the same. And memories are all I have today. I miss your face, your voice. No one can replace that wonderful side of you.  So I what I feel is something true.... and it ends with I just want to say I love you, I just want to show how much I care, I just want to say I love you and I mean it from the bottom of my heart."

And then the man leading the group, took up his guitar, and sang each of our songs.

I tell you, when he did this, there was not a dry eye in the room. And later, that night, just thinking about the "music therapy", I had a total breakdown. That wailing, sobbing, snot running down your chin, can't stop kind of breakdown.

So much for "healing"... The workshop did end with some beneficial meditation techniques and a butterfly release, which was lovely....  but still....

Since then, I've been pretty depressed, sort of counting the days until Bob's death anniversary (28th of this month) and this darn Tropical Depression certainly does not help. Nor does it help that I accidentally "blew up" my pool -- I kid you not. Well I didn't blow up the actual pool, just the pump when I went to turn off the solar heat, I did something wrong and the next thing I know is I've got a geyser of water shooting in the air behind our house. So haven't been able to use the pool for more than a week now and that's the one thing that reduces my stress and relaxes me. Waiting for the technician who is supposed to be here sometime today and hate to think what the bill is going to be... but hope he gets here soon, because the rain has been filling the pool to the brim and will surely overflow and I can't drain it without the pump running and certainly do not want my back yard flooded.

Just another day, here at The Pink House....



Tuesday, May 1, 2018

I did it....

Installed the new phone, had read all the directions, then unplugged our old phone with our greeting on it, then plugged in the new phone with 2 extensions, running the wires for the extensions, etc., etc. and put our old phone in a box and put it in the closet...

and then sat down and I cried and cried and cried....  tried to call a couple people, no one answered...  watched some TV -- ate too much... did go for my daily swim...

shoot....  still crying...

"Life sucks then you die"

-- that's a quote Bob used to say (with a laugh)....

hard sad day, all around...

And I wonder, Why am I still here?

Saturday, April 28, 2018

More Baby Steps...

Today, they had the annual "drop off" unused narcotics day at our local police station. And I still had some Fentanyl patches in the cupboard.  So I took them to the police station and dropped them off. And got back into the car and broke down in tears....

And another thing, been going on, is our cordless phone is "dying" -- and I've not changed the "greeting" message at all since Bob died.

A little backstory -- our former cordless phone "died" after Bob's stroke. It still had the "greeting" with Bob's voice sounding perfectly normal and when the phone died, we went and bought a new one and I thought, jeepers, I'll have to record the "greeting" and then, had a "brilliant" idea, because Bob was still here and maybe he could record a greeting.

So I worked a simple script for him. And of course, with his aphasia, he kept screwing it up. So I finally thought, okay, we can do one of those "cute couple's" messages, you know the ones, where two are talking saying "Hi, this is Diane and" and the other says "Bob" and figured all he needed to remember was his name and after I say "leave a message", he was supposed to say "Bye" at the end.

We tried this, I don't know, 16-20 times, and he kept screwing up, to the point we were both laughing so hard, then finally when re-recording he got the"Bob" part right! Yay! --  but when it was time to say "Bye" he said "Diane" instead and I started laughing, he was laughing then silent and finally said Bye bye -- and when I played it back Bob said "That's funny!" so I kept it plus I was tired... and I figured there was time to retry again.. but we never did.

And after he died I just kept that last "greeting" on our answering machine... Bob and me, laughing.... jeepers. The good old, bad old times... and I couldn't bare to erase it.

Some people have told me "never change it!" and that it's beautiful and makes them laugh but others have told me "it's morbid" as he's dead, and then others (like my pool cleaning service) were surprised and confused, thinking Bob was still here....

So I guess, it's time to change the greeting... jeepers will be 3 years next month... But I still didn't want erase that old message, felt so much erasing another part of Bob...

And as the phone has been acting up, ready to die -- I went from the police station dropped off the patches then, in tears, drove to Best Buy, and got a new cordless phone, because I don't want to lose that 'greeting' message, figuring if I "save" the phone it before it dies, I will always have that recording to listen to and maybe can get that recording transferred to a flash drive or something.

Today, I experimented using my TracPhone to call our number and my camera to record the greeting message:    Here it is: hope you can hear it! Click to enlarge if you can't hear it... and to those of you who are used to calling me, there will probably be a bland automated greeting, soon...  but know you got the right number...