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Saturday, August 20, 2016

Wilbur Flies Again

Years ago, Bob found a vintage flamingo whirligig in an antique shop for $6.00. He named it "Wilbur" and Wilbur has been with us for the many trials and tribulations since then.

Wilbur was first installed on the balcony of our apartment:


Here's Wilbur decked out with a Christmas Bow with Bob

Wilbur then went on to become the mascot of my antique mall booth which was called "Diane's Florida Room":



And Bob even made him this (now rather faded) promotional sign:


After I closed my mall booth, Wilbur became an "inside bird" mounted in the bathroom of our old bungalow.  Unfortunately, he suffered many mishaps along the way, including on our move here-- yet another broken wing (the other wing had been broken, Bob had repaired it before):


Which try as I might, I could not seem to repair....

Then, I found a guy on e-bay who makes whirligigs and after a few emails back and forth, he offered to make Wilbur a new set of wings, which I just got this week.

Though unfortunately in the process of trying to install Wilbur on the porch, he suffered a severe fall and was decapitated.Yikes! ( I didn't take a picture of this -- it was too awful --- sorry)

I thought all was lost, but I finally managed to perform a successful neckectomy and glue him back together and also glue him to the post that Bob had made for him (had to do this because weirdly he didn't seem to fit anymore which is why he fell head-first on the deck) then got him all connected with the swivel gizmo that Bob concocted, into which the post fits, and found a clamp to secure him to the deck rail and now,Wilbur ("Our Guardian Flamingo Whirlygig") once again flies at The Pink House!


Wilbur's new wings! On our deck at the new Pink House

Bob would be pleased. And so am I.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Rain

I woke up again with rain beating on roof, it's the second, maybe third day in a row. This weather reminds of the weather after Bob died when it felt like the world was weeping with me.

My mood matches the weather. A sort of Edgar Allan Poe's single effect theory in action. I am gloomy as the sky.

For a long time, I have been afraid to blog my feelings. Afraid of -- what? Barbed wire comments. Nasty people. Bob's family comes to mind. They never liked me, never understood him. And grief is so personal.

At night, I sit on the back porch and watch the rain, telephone beside me, hoping for a friendly call that does not come.

It is so lonely here.

The guest house is now empty of Chris' things.

Yesterday, Bubba stopped by to drop of Bob's tools. The red metal toolbox from The Green Machine, the one we always carried in the trunk in case the car broke down. Funnels and rags and buckets for oil changes and checking the fluid levels. An empty gas can. The car jack that we once used to lift an antique cupboard up the wall. The green plastic Hawaiin lei that he had hung over the rear view mirror. So many memories there.

These things brought me to tears.

I had Bubba put everything in the garage -- I'll deal with it later. So I say. Even as Bob's clothes are still in the closet and in the drawers and the shorts he was to wear the day he died are still folded, waiting for him, on the bedroom trunk.....

Some days are worse than others. The rain does not help....


Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Second Visit with a Medium

So, I thought I was ready to go back to medium, have a conversation Bob. And I'd been thinking about this for a while and finally made an appointment and saw her yesterday.

I actually made a point of dressing up, wearing a sundress, putting on makeup, as if Bob and I had an actual date! Which we did -- at least I hoped.

The session got off to a rocky start, the medium having trouble "connecting" with Bob. Finally, she said she had made the connection and described his piercing blue eyes.

Then he told her that he was very concerned about me, that I was too sad, too depressed and needed to get it over it and be happy again and go with life and even date other men! And I thought whoa--
This was not what I expected to hear.

And I felt like I was disappointing Bob.

I felt like he was mad at me!

And then, I thought, well, is this really him she's "talking" to ??? Because the other thing she mentioned was that he was "bowling" up there (over there) on the other side. Yes, bowling, with a ball and lanes and making strikes, that kind of bowling. And I thought --- BOWLING? BOB? That didn't sound like him at all.

So I said to the medium that I needed more proof. She actually she told me if I wasn't satisfied, the session would be free --- so she tried again, asking Bob for some "proof".

I could see her concentrating, "listening" to him, and she says, he really liked my cooking. And I'm thinking that's pretty general and could apply to anyone but then she is concentrating again and says "Oh! that's terrible! that's just horrible!" and I'm thinking--what?

And she says, he tells me to tell you that he couldn't eat, that he actually had a tube --- some kind of tube in his tummy and that's how he ate.

And I'm thinking -- oh.

And she continues and tells me that he says he remembers when he couldn't talk at all, and you and he had to communicate through your eyes....

Oh.

She continues and tells me that he says you are a wonderful wife and you took very good care of him and you did it out of love, not obligation, not because you had too but because you loved him so much. And you took really good care of him and all those years he never had a bedsore because you took such good care of him. And he wants me to know he really appreciates that.

And he says that he's happy I chose to marry him because at first, I was very stubborn and didn't want to get married. And he's happy he convinced me to marry him because I was the love of his life.

And he went on to tell me that he is sad that we had so many plans and now he isn't there with me to finish those plans, but he loves the house and loves the landscaping.

And he says that "life over here" is not what he expected, not at all what he was taught in school. (Bob grew up Catholic.)

And he still loves me, unconditionally. Never wanted to hurt me. Feels bad that I am still hurting. Wants me to be happy, to go on with life and that we will meet again. And, also,  I should write my book and be sure to have it published in HARD COPY and NOT just electronically!

And then he signs off. I'm thinking, okay, I guess that was him after all!

The medium tells me that Bob is "an old soul" and that he will not return to earth, and neither will I -- that this is my last time on this plane, and when I pass I will meet up with him and we will spend the rest of eternity together....

And when I'm preparing to leave, the medium tells me about Chris. She says that Chris and I were sisters, in a past life, and we lived in Germany during WWII. That Chris died during the war and was immediately reincarnated, but I lived a long life.  And that is why we had such a fond affection for each other in this life....

And I thought funny, that, because Chris' daughter always says, "You guys were like sisters." And Chris was born in 1942....








Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Baby Steps

So, this past month I actually went out for an evening (dinner and music) which is something I haven't done in I can't even remember how long --- this was with my new "widows group" -- four of us from the last grief group I attended.  It was one of the widow's first wedding anniversaries without her hubby and we wanted to do something special for her.

Problem was that she wanted to go to a place that was about 40 miles away and involved going over the very scary Skyway Bridge (popular suicide jump bridge) and it would be at night, in the dark!, coming home and I am not particularly fond of night driving even when a scary bridge is not involved! Heck, I am not particularly fond of driving on that bridge during the day.

So, I said I'd go if someone else would drive.

The original plan was for all of us to meet at one spot and then Peggy would drive us all, but I was worried about getting to the pick-up place because of the night driving thing and so another widow offered to pick me up at home and bring me with her.  I know this is part of my neurotic behavior since Bob passed, but... after we made that plan, another widow also did not want to drive to the pick-up spot and OK, good!  I'm not the only neurotic here!

So it went down like this:  Linda came to my house (close to hers) and Candy picked us both up here and drove us out to the pick-up spot where Peggy picked us up! It was like musical cars -- but it worked.

I was also so darn anxious about this whole thing -- making sure my mom and dad had all contact numbers in case something happened to us and we (4 widows) went over the edge of the bridge or something equally bad and wanted to make sure my parents would contact my vet to pick up Kona (and feed Ripley and the fish, yes I still have Chris' fish) if I was dead or hospitalized....

Well, nothing happened. We made it there fine, had a good dinner, listened to the band playing and got home just fine. All that worry for nothing.

But funny, I wasn't the only one in this group who was anxious. Turned out one of the other widows contacted her neighbor to "make sure" her car came home that night and to make sure the neighbor had her contact numbers if the car didn't show up! She had also seen two hearses earlier that day and thought it was some creepy sign...

It's nice to know that grief does this stuff to other people too.

My therapist/shrink said it was good to confront fears like this -- and soon I'll be able to do such things without freaking out. We'll see....

Then yesterday, I replaced the shower head in the bathroom. Now, I know that isn't a big deal, but I had been putting this off and off because I was afraid I'd mess it up somehow.  I am pretty good with a paint brush, or refinishing, or even rebuilding a screen window or rewiring an outlet, but anything to do with plumbing gives me the creeps.

We've had a long standing problem with the bathroom shower.  It does not have much pressure.  Thus, the tankless water heater doesn't respond very well when it's turned on.   This has been a long ongoing problem, even when the contractor was working on our house and his plumber could not seem to fix it.  So you have to wait and wait for hot water and lately it had gotten so bad that the only way I could get hot water in the shower was to also turn the hot water in the bathroom faucet on.  I've been doing that for months.

And I was thinking maybe it was a problem with the shower head.  I was thinking I should replace it. And I finally got the gumption to do so yesterday and bought a powerful shower head (the highest GPM I could find) and, you know, it took 15 minutes (not even) to take the old shower head off and get the new one on and this morning I took the most luxerious HOT pounding shower ever in that bathroom!  I did it -- stupidly waited forever but I finally did it!  And to think, the plumber couldn't figure this one out.

I know these are just baby steps --- but it's a start and it's amazing how grieving can destroy one's confidence. And I still miss Bob so very very much.


Thursday, July 21, 2016

Bob's Pool

One of the things that Bob had wanted, and I wanted for him, was a therapy pool.  It was one of the things on my list when looking for a new house -- either a house with a pool or room to put one in.  It was also something I had spoken about to our attorney during our mediation i.e: enough money for a house with a pool.

I had always heard such good things about aqua therapy for stroke survivors, but, unfortunately, the one place in town that offered aqua therapy would not accept Bob into the program because he was incontinent.

And that's why I wanted Bob to have his very own pool (to pee in! ha) along with a wheelchair lift device, and I'd priced all these things out including a private therapist willing to work with him. And that was the plan which was approved by his trust fund.

Of course, everyone knows what happened to that plan.

I have spent a long time debating what to do with pool plan and the money set aside by the trust for this project.  After talking with our realtor (who assured me it was an investment and would increase value of the house) and other folks, I finally decided, I would go ahead with our plan even though Bob will only be able to enjoy it in spirit.

And perhaps it would do me some good, to continue with our plan for our house, and once finished, it would provide "therapy" for me.

They started excavating earlier this year in what was basically a dirt and weedy backyard:



The pool is a small pool, and it's "eco-friendly", i.e. salt water and solar heated.  Bob would be pleased.  In fact, these "in process" photos make me feel he approves:

Orbs? 

Since I didn't need to put in a wheelchair lift or a heat pump, I was able to splurge a little on adding water features and "dog friendly" sun shelf.

I am so glad I went through with this project, it has brought real joy into my life for the first time since Bob passed away.  I swim every day and do aqua aerobics.  It's a great stress reliever and Kona loves it, too.



Just finished the final touch -- landscaping!