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Saturday, September 26, 2015

Unexpected Happy Memories

One thing that I had long been meaning to do was to take our wedding video which was recorded on VHS and have it converted to a DVD. I was, in fact, planning to do this for a surprise for Bob on our wedding anniversary.  Unfortunately, he died before then....

And I could kick myself for that.  (Memo to everyone: don't put things off -- you never know.)

Anyway, on our wedding anniversary, I actually dug up that VHS tape to take to a recording place and have it converted.  I found, while looking for the wedding tape, two other VHS tapes, one clearly marked as a "vintage fashion show" that I had done in 1993 and the other tape was mysteriously unmarked.  I decided to take them all.

After dropping off the tapes, I got a call from the recording place telling me that the unmarked video was a birthday party for someone named "Shirley" and I thought, hmmm.... Now, I know two Shirleys, one which would be an aunt and I couldn't imagine why I'd have a video of her party, and the other being a dear old friend, whom I haven't seen for years. So assumed it was the latter -- but still couldn't figure out why I had a party video of her birthday...

I picked the DVD's up yesterday and imagine my surprise when I popped the party DVD in and the first thing on it was Bob and me! Oh my.  I will share some clips here.  You will have to excuse the quality which because of the age of the original VHS tapes (1994) and technology is rather grainy and the audio is not perfect....  Here's the first one.

I tell you, I nearly fell off my chair as the party video progressed and there was Bob and me dancing to our song!!! Which is (I'll Stop the World and) Melt With You by Modern English.  Because the song is copyrighted there may be some pop-up ads (sorry) but YouTube informs me this is the only way to legally put it here.  Here it is.

I must say, I was crying tears of joy and then some. I am overjoyed to have this tape of us dancing to our song.

One thing that had always amazed me about Bob was how accepting he was of all my friends and what a motley crew of them I had back then!  Friends that were professional business women, teachers, feminist activists, lesbians, all the way to single moms on welfare and an ex-con on parole.  Bob accepted every one of them with open arms.

Another thing I loved about Bob was he was never afraid to get up and dance, even if he was the only guy out there on the dance floor.  Here's a clip of Bob dancing with us girls.

The woman with the long, long hair is the birthday girl.

And the tape reminded me of how much fun we used to have -- and boy oh boy, did we love to dance!! I've never had a better dance partner. We really tore up the floor together. And it didn't matter what the song. As this video proves, of us dancing to "The Devil Came Down to Georgia" by the Charlie Daniels band and its NOT an easy song to dance to, in fact it's pretty exhausting.  Unfortunately, the person taping this cut Bob's head off several times because of our height difference (Bob being 6'3" and me 5'4") but still I love it. It reminds me of how much fun we had. And again, ads may appear...

And lastly, our birthday message to Shirley.

Yesterday, I spent all afternoon and evening watching and rewatching this tape and crying tears of both joy and grief and feeling so much love for Bob and feeling so very blessed to have been loved by him....

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Finally, A Dream

The medium had told me that Bob would visit me in my dreams, and of course, I've been waiting for him and early this morning, he finally did appear.

And I don't remember the "plot" of the dream, or if there was even a plot, but I remember Bob, looking just like he did when we married 21 years ago and I felt so very embraced by love, surrounded by love and I woke up feeling so much love around me.

It was a beautiful thing.

I wanted to go back to sleep, to go back to him.

But of course, as soon as I woke up, another blonde appeared (this one with a big nose and brown eyes) and began licking my face -- so duty called and I got up...

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

And I've been up to ...

So, I've been trying to take Bob's advice (through the medium) to get out and about more, meet people and make friends, and last week managed to stay pretty busy.

On Monday, I actually picked up the phone and called a neighbor lady who had dropped by to offer condolences and gave me her phone number, saying, we should get together some time.  I don't know why this is so hard for me to do (i.e. pick up the phone) but I did it and made a date to go out for dinner later in the week.

On Wednesday, I went out to lunch with Tiffany (our realtor who has since become a friend).  Afterwards, when she dropped me off at home, she said "let's do this again!" And I said, "What are you doing on the 16th?" (Which is our 21st wedding anniversary, tomorrow.) So, we have a date for lunch tomorrow. As I know, I do not need to spend this day alone.

On Thursday, I went to Grief Counseling Group, which was a very hard one as we all had to tell our "death stories". And jeepers, I cried and cried while telling mine... But afterwards, Jennifer (the neighbor lady) and I went down to the beach for supper and drinks and to watch the sunset at a funky little beach bar and grill.

On Friday, I got my hair trimmed at the Day Spa -- which is so nice and relaxing with the soft music, low lights and a free glass of wine!

Today, I met with a dog trainer and signed up for lessons for Kona and I. I hate to say, I still cannot control her on leash -- Kona is still jerking hard on leash-- which is her biggest problem. I don't think she was ever walked on leash before --- There's also a few other issues that need to be addressed, such as jumping up.  I've had 3 other dogs, all of which I trained myself -- but I never started with one as old as 4 years before -- so I am needing some help with her. I do admit it. Anyway -- my thought here is (if she does well with the basic obedience training) I am seriously considering taking her the next step and have her trained and certified as a "Therapy Dog". I think it might be something fun for us to do together -- visit hospitals/nursing homes.  I talked with the trainer about this possibility and he did think that Kona has the right temperament for that type of work. (She's really very mellow.)  He also said she doesn't need "much" training as opposed to a lot of the other dogs he's worked with and he can do the therapy dog training too.

Tomorrow, on our wedding anniversary, I have lunch set with Tiffany and a date for drinks later that night with Jennifer and also a couple of other neighbors. The grief counselor told me to "honor" the day, not necessarily "celebrate" it -- which is what I plan to do.

Then Thursday, back to Grief Group Counseling.

I am feeling a bit calmer these days... though still subject to "grief bursts" (as the counselor calls them).

Training starts for Kona next week, Wednesday, 9:00 a.m.  I've already ordered our supplies: 6 foot leash (mine's 4 ft.), a "martingale collar" (in pink! ha! she looks good in pink) and a 30 foot training leash for "recall" exercises.  Training will be one on one, and at our house, and also outside training on the street and at the park and even Home Depot training. This, I think, will be fun! I am excited about it. A lot will depend on Kona, of course. Wish us luck!

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Bob Radio

So, pretty much everyone knows Bob was cremated and Bob wanted me to find some "real cool" antique urn to house his ashes until the time of my death when our ashes can be mixed together and scattered over the Gulf of Mexico.

And I was in quandary over exactly what "real cool" antique thing I was going to use, and first perused the funeral home's "urn" catalogs which I must say, all in there were pretty hideous and way expensive and certainly not "antique looking". Then I made a few scouting trips to antique shops etc. looking for something suitable and came up, again, empty-handed.

I wanted something not just "real cool" but something that also reflected Bob and the things he loved.

Then, I hit upon an idea to use something we already owned, that was Bob's, that in fact Bob had purchased himself because it was "real cool". And I recruited Bubba, our mechanic, to help me with the project and Bubba delivered it today:

And yes, I know that looks not like an "urn" but like a 1940's Philco radio, because, that is what it is.  Bob had purchased it years ago and it's never worked.  In fact, he had two of the same model and was planning to use parts of each of them and, putting them together, have a working radio.  This is a project that never got completed because of his stroke. Bob adored antique radios, in fact I have several really cool working antique radios in the house that Bob restored.

So anyway -- Bubba took one of the non-working 1940's Philco radios, gutted it (saving the parts for me to sell along with the other model) and fitted it with a non-warming LED light (so the station dial lights up!) and made a wooden backing that could be sealed tight.

And it wasn't easy -- took Bubba some time, especially figuring our how to get a light in there that wouldn't get hot and set the whole plastic bag of ashes a-fire. But he finally did it.

And today he brought it over and helped me store the ashes inside and sealed the back. And when I thanked him for it, he told me it was "no problem" as it was a pleasure to do it as Bob was his friend.

And now I have a "Bob Radio" that I can turn the knob and the dial lights up for a pretty cool night light!   I think Bob would have been very pleased.

Thanks Bubba!!!!! You're a gem and a true friend!!!!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

A Message From The Other Side -- ?

OK, so this is weird, and happened a couple weeks ago, while David, my nephew, was visiting.

Before I get to the point, I must say, this neighborhood is a pretty cool neighborhood.  They have a very active Neighborhood Association and one of the things they do is have a monthly "Porch Party" which is always held at someone's house (not necessarily on the porch) and it's potluck and BYOB.

Well, that Friday that David was here, the Porch Party was held right next door.  That neighbor had asked me, not once, not twice but three times -- if I would come, so I could hardly refuse. Since David was there visiting, I took him with me. And I was glad to have the company, as it is weird/uncomfortable for me to go to something like that all alone.

So David made some pickle rolls and we took a six pack and trotted next door.  And had pretty good time, meeting some neighbors, etc.

We stayed until the end and went back home, talked awhile on the porch, then retired to bed.

It's become my habit to take the I-Pad to bed with me, just to check messages, etc., maybe play a game of late night Scrabble against the computer until I'm tired.  The I-Pad is usually on the charger and, that night, when I disconnected the plug, a picture popped on the screen.

Now, this is odd.  Because the screen was still "locked". As I haven't slid that little slider bar "slide to unlock" thingy over...

And this was the picture:
 And then, another picture appeared:

 And then this third one, an ad for a faucet ---

I know it's hard to read, but the ad says "Masterpieces made here.  Experience a gallery where you are the artist. Where you can see, touch and feel your home the way you want to..."  Then junk about the faucets and where to buy them...

And I thought -- what the F --?

Because this had never happened before, I mean I use the I-Pad all the time, and never is there any pictures on the blank screen -- and how do these pictures show up while the thing is still LOCKED? I mean, you have to slide the bar, unlock the thing, then touch an app to see anything --- get anywhere on this I-Pad ---

And the three photos kept trolling by, like a slideshow. Continuously trolling by. And the slide bar was still saying it was "LOCKED".

And I was so freaked out, I actually got out my camera.  Because I thought --- this is a message from Bob!!! It must be!!!

But then, I'll admit, we'd had a few beers so I might not have been thinking too clearly that night....

Well, the next day, I actually googled this, i.e: how to make pictures appear on a LOCKED I-Pad and found there's actually a way to do this in the settings.  So I checked the settings, and actually found these pictures loaded up -- but could not figure out how to make them into slideshow on the locked screen like they did that night --- and still can't figure out how to do it. And it's never happened before or since... In fact, I can't even seem to make it do this -- as much as tried.

And have no clue how these pictures even ended up in the settings (they are the only ones there), as it certainly wasn't me, and I know Bob couldn't have done it while he was alive and the only other two people who ever had access to the I-Pad were his CNA and his speech therapist, but don't think they would have done this...

Oh-kay -- perhaps I'm nuts and it was just a weird fluke. But I'm thinking it was a message. The thumbs up from Bob for going to that party! (The medium said he said he wanted me to get out and make friends.) The road (in pink!) to the future?  But, then, what's with the faucet ad??? Which is real strange. Except about art and masterpieces and making your home the way you want to....


Maybe I am going crazy.  Maybe not.

What do you think? Am I nuts?

Friday, September 4, 2015

Death Threat

First of all, I'd like to thank everyone who left such wonderful comments on my last blog post. You all have kept me going this past week. And I really appreciate it.

Then, this morning, I logged on and found a new comment. Comment #32. Which, besides being nasty, basically sounds like a death threat...

I was going to delete it. But then, I tracked it back through my site meter and I know who the author is---

I won't say her name here, but let me say it's really quite sad.

I left the comment for everyone to view.  I really don't know what this person is talking about  i.e.: "monetary value" I "cheated the State for"? huh?  Bob never got any benefits from the state except share of cost Medicaid, which, by the by, true to form, they want to be reimbursed for every penny now that he's deceased.... and they will be. And Social Security already pulled Bob's last check, as he did not live out the full month of May. (Note to everyone: if you're going die, die on the first of the month!)

So anyway, I left the comment in case anything happens to me, the police will be able to track her down through my computer.

Meanwhile, I went to the grief support group yesterday, which left me so emotionally raw and shaking, that I bolted out the door at the end.  I probably should've stayed and talked to the other two widows there, but there's always next time, I guess.

This is going to be a hard month, as September 16th will be our 21st wedding anniversary.

Trying to take it one day at a time.