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Sunday, October 23, 2016


It seems like a hundred years ago, in another lifetime, but I still remember the first time I walked into this house with the realtor. It was, in fact, one of the first houses I looked at during our house search. And my first impression of this house, besides the ugly siding on the outside, was "no fireplace".

In fact, I wrote that on the MLS sheet that I had in my hand. "No fireplace." And I wanted to immediately turn around and head out the door, but our realtor convinced me that since we were there, and the house empty, we should "look around".

Which we did.  Second thing I noticed was the house had a great floor plan for a wheelchair. Hardwood floors. Wide doorways. And a hallway large enough to spin a wheelchair around in a circle. And room for a wheelchair ramp in back with easy access to a parking spot...

But still, "no fireplace". And Bob and I both loved our old house with its original wood burning fireplace and that seemed a lot to give up.

Later, after looking at what seemed like umpteen million houses, none of which would easily accommodate a wheelchair --- I asked our realtor to go back and look at that "ugly house with no fireplace, but the great floor plan." And we did.  And I still loved the floor plan and the neighborhood was beautiful. And our realtor said, "Diane, you can always change the house, you can't a neighborhood."

We pulled up the corner on a section of the vinyl siding (in back) to check if the original clapboard was intact underneath. It was.  And I thought, well, perhaps we can put in a fireplace....

In January 2015, on what would be Bob's last birthday, Bob and I went antiquing and found a beautiful antique wooden fireplace mantel which has been in our garage ever since, as you all know what happened that spring....

Exploratory surgery on the wall where the original fireplace existed.
I finally found a contractor willing to work with me and that old fireplace mantel, no easy feat, and also discovered the house originally had a fireplace which was removed at some point.  We had hoped to use the old fireplace hearth, but we discovered, after some exploratory surgery on the wall, the old hearth had been bricked in and the cost to reopen and redo the chimney because of new building codes would be prohibitive...

And after meeting with fireplace experts, exploring all the options, I decided the easiest route would be to put in a high tech electric fireplace. Work began last week.

I'm very pleased with the results and I think Bob would be too!

I just wish he were here to see it....

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Wedding Bands

I took Bob's and my wedding band to a local jeweler and had them cleaned, re-antiqued and fitted together as one band. Picked them up today.

The picture does not do it justice!  Had trouble photographing it because it sparkles so much now that it is cleaned up!

I am very happy with the results and plan to wear them on my wedding ring finger, regardless of what people say --- because I am still married to him......

Friday, October 14, 2016


Mornings are still the hardest.  It's not so much the waking up, but the putting one's feet on the floor. It still hits me. The house is so quiet. Another day without Bob begins.

I used to feel his spirit here. I don't anymore. It's as though he has abandoned me, again.

The mornings now are cool. A crispness in the air. This was always my favorite time of the year.

I am trying.  I talk to my shrink every other month, my therapist every other week, they both say it is "too early" and the grieving process is a long one. They both say it takes time, years, to recover from such a loss.

I go out with my widow friends, also some other friends, though sometimes I decline, especially when music and drinking are involved. I find I have no tolerance for a party.

Sometimes I wish it was back in the Victorian days, where a widow wore black for years and everyone understood and treated her with respectful distance.

I still have days where I don't leave the house, keep the shades drawn.

Mornings are for crying. I am surprised when it hits --- and I shouldn't be, because it always hits me in the morning.

This week, I took our wedding bands to a jeweler. I'm having them resized, fitted together, so I can wear them as one ring.

My hands feel naked without them.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Bracing for Wind

Hurricane Matthew will be pummeling the east coast of Florida beginning tonight, fortunately we are on the other side of the state and expecting only a "wind event" with tropical storm force winds.

It's scary to think what the folks on the other side of the state are dealing with....  Last time we had a hurricane come through our area, Bob and I boarded up the house. Don't what I'd do without Bob's help and this new house has no boards/etc.

Prayers to fellow Floridians on the east coast.

Me, I'll be tucking away anything "flyable" in the yard and porches! Hoping power stays on and trees stay standing!

And certainly missing Bob, feeling so alone, more than ever at times like this.....

Friday, September 23, 2016

Four Widows in a Cinderella Carriage

OK, we all may have lost our Prince Charmings, but that doesn't mean we can't go for the carriage ride!
This pic taken on Sept. 16th.
Fellow widows from the last grief group treated me to dinner in honor of my & Bob's wedding anniversary
and afterwards, I treated them to the carriage ride.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Favorite Poem

This poem has always been one of my favorites, for long time, since I was teenager. It was written by Edgar Allan Poe in 1849 in honor of his wife after she died. It's been on my mind lately. Now, meaning more, than ever.  Thought I'd share:

It was many and many a year ago,
In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
By the name of Annabel Lee
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
Than to love and be loved by me.

I was a child and she was child,
In this kingdom by the sea:
But we loved with love that was more than love--
I and my Annabel Lee
With a love that the winged seraphs of heaven
Coveted her and me
And this was the reason that, long ago,
In this kingdom by the sea,
A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling
my beautiful Annabel Lee;
So that her highborn kinsmen came
and bore her away from me
To shut her up in a sepulchre
In this kingdom by the sea.

The angels, not half so happy in heaven,
Went envying her and me
Yes! that was the reason (as all men know,
In this kingdom by the sea)
That the wind came out of the cloud by night
Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee.

But our love it was stronger by far than the love
Of those who were older than we --
Of many far wiser than we;
And neither the angels in heaven above,
Nor the demons down under the sea,
Can ever dissever my soul from the soul
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee

For the moon never beams without bringing me dreams
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And the stars never rise but I feel the bright eyes
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee
And so, all the night tide, I lie down by the side
Of my darling, my darling, my life and my bride
In the sepulchre there by the sea
In her tomb by the sounding sea.

My favorite line from this poem has always been
"we loved with a love that was more than love."
As a young woman, I thought that was the most romantic thing I'd ever read.
And wondered if I'd ever have that kind of love.

And then I met Bob and knew I had found the "love that was more than love"
And now he's dead, the whole poem rings so true.

And now I need to find the way to write something as beautiful in memory of Bob and the love we shared.