Tuesday, May 28, 2013

cake and table

Okay, wanna see something delicious? Boom 100_3341[1] There you go.  These, friends, are miniature pineapple upside down cakes.  I forgot the cherries on top, but they were no less delish.  A few years ago, my Mom had gotten this book, The Gentle Art of Domesticity by Jane Brocket.  In the book there is a little section about pineapples and she had bought this pan that as soon as I saw it I knew I had to have it.  Except that I never could bring myself to buy the pan. Why?  Idk, $25 for a cake pan that I had never even tried the cake seemed a little frivolous.  It still does but after Scott died I bought it, he always encouraged me to get whatever I wanted and I figured I could use the cheeriness of a cute little cake.  I tried this recipe except for the ground almonds I used almond flavoring because I'm allergic to almonds.  It turned out ah-mazing!  So, so good.

So, I'm living in a house that I never thought I'd be staying in for very long so I haven't really decorated or unpacked boxes.  Now, I realize I will be here awhile.  I really wanted a gateleg table for the kitchen because I like the openess of the kitchen but also need a table so if I have people over for dinner.  I didn't exactly find a gateleg table but I did find a really cute little table with drop leaves, and it's white so perfect. 100_3342[1] side view: 100_3343[1]
It fits perfectly in that little nook area and I have the chairs in another room to cut down on clutter and then when I need them I can just bring them out.  You can see Rocky's back in the top photo.  The pups are always so curious when I'm taking photos.

So, yesterday being Memorial Day I drove over to the cemetery.  I always used to tell Scott "happy Memorial Day" or "happy Veteran's Day" because he had been in the Army and I know he appreciated being acknowledged that way.  It was so beautiful, they had put a flag on every single grave so the hillside was covered with flags!  I didn't know that they would do that so I hadn't brought my camera.  As Jan likes to remind me, if I had a cell phone I could've gotten a picture. 

Last week was really tough.  Ups and downs.  Started out with my dryer breaking, the lawn mower was broken.  Then both got fixed.  I almost feel like the cloud of shock I've been in is starting to lift and there's more pain as realization sets in.  I feel like an empty shell, almost like just sleepwalking or something.  I don't know how to explain the strangeness and pain at the same time.  I miss him so much. 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

numbness and memories and stuff

Most of the time I feel so numb.  It must be some kind of self preservation.  I've heard over and over that everyone grieves in different ways.  I've read multiple blogs where people can't even get out of bed, can't stop crying, are in such dark spots that they don't even want to live themselves.  That's not me.  I'm just numb.  I can't believe he's gone.  I will probably say that 10 million times and you'll get sick of hearing it.  But I can't.  I know I am feeling stress because I have anxiety and my heart races out of my chest.  I also now have shingles.  Thanks, stress.

Tonight I was thinking about memories.  Sometimes I think I have the worst memory ever, and other times I can remember exactly a conversation and what was said.  I wish I could have kept better track of the millions of memories I have of Scott.  A friend recently asked me how I knew that I was special to Scott when he had been engaged before me.  When I met Scott I knew, absolutely KNEW that we would be together and be married.  And he felt the same way.  We had been set up on a blind date for our first date and I was just a goner.  Two days later I got a call from him asking me if I wanted to go out with him again and I said yes.  He drove up in his huge green ford truck, it was so loud! and his music was so loud and my heart was racing, butterflies.  He said he thought he'd take me up to Cohasset to see the first snow.  His great grandma and his grandparents lived up there, it's about 15 minutes out of Chico in the foothills.  So we drove the windy road up there and sure enough the first snow.  He introduced me to his great grandma who was at the beginning stages of Alzheimer's.  She made us hot chocolate and it was so cozy.  After that she always did remember me and I will cherish that memory, the warmth and the love.  Scott was a little bit of a badass when I met him, and then on this second date I got to know the real him.  The one who loved his family more than anything and sitting by the fire with them and playing guitar for them and included me in that, and we always loved a great cup of hot cocoa. 

I'll also always remember the first time I met his dad and that side of the family.  We drove up to Klamath in that huge green truck late at night and going from the heat of Chico and slowly it became freezing cold.  I knew I was in a different world.  The air felt crisper, more pure somehow.  I slept in the living room on a hide a bed and in the morning I was just barely awake and I could hear two little girl voices whispering to each other -"is that her?"  Those two curious girls were his sisters and they were and are the sweetest loving girls.  Scott loved this family just as fiercely and I learned to also.  His youngest brother was 4 when I met him and he was running around with the vacuum hose saying it was his bear gun.  That little blond boy is now 21 and 6 foot 10!  On the drive home from meeting this family Scott and I got engaged.

I have always been an awkward person.  I don't always know what to say or do in social situations.  But with Scott I always belonged.  I was always accepted and included.  He always put everyone at ease, he was funny and the life of any party.  With each side of his family he had 3 siblings, so 6 total.  I had not ever been around any sort of big family gathering so it was very intimidating to me at first, and then I so looked forward to holidays when we could be together with either side.  I was looking at photo albums last night and  realizing that when I look at the pictures I can remember what was happening at the time and how I felt and I need to write it all down.  More details.  I wrote general things like where we were and the dates, etc but I need to add more.  Like on our wedding day I was an hour late because I had to get my dress steamed and I wanted to have my makeup done and I had borrowed a friend's car that I had never driven and it snowed that day (in Tennessee!) and so I took some long way there and he was so nervous, standing outside smoking!  We just went to the justice of the peace but we were just as nervous and excited as if we had a huge wedding.  Now I wish we had waited and had a wedding with all our family there.  But, my best friend/sister Jeannette had given me a silver plate that was engraved with our names together with 1997 on it so we HAD so get married in 1997.  So, we were married on December 30, 1997. Looking back, of course, I know how ridiculous that is.  Anyhow, hindsight and all that.  I have many, many regrets - but marrying him is not one of them!  Just the manner in which we did. 

I was reading a blog earlier, The Widow's Voice and one of the ladies that writes on it was saying that she lived pretty much her whole adult life with her husband and now she is trying to find out who she is without him.  Scott and I were both super independant so in a way I don't feel that I don't know who I am without him but somehow I also do.  I was thinking the other day who am I going to bounce political rants off of???  He was so up to date on everything political and would indulge my ranting, no judgement.  No judgement.  That is what I'm really missing.  That safety which exists between a husband and wife.  My safety zone is gone. 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013


I have another post brewing, but it is going to take a bit and possibly be v. long so in the meantime I will ramble on.  I'm a muller.  I think about things for a long time, chew on it and the thoughts roll around in my head for awhile.  In January I had come aross a blog that was devastating to read.  It's a guy, Matt Logelin, whose wife died 24 hours after giving birth to their premature baby.  Suddenly widowed and a single dad to a premature baby.  I still cannot fathom what that would be like.  I read his blog a bit and then on January 18th I bought the book, Two Kisses for Maddy from Amazon.   I always read the end of the book first, and since I had been reading his blog I knew how the story would go pretty much anyways.  For some reason, I couldn't finish this book.

Last summer I had a moment when I thought, "what would happen if Scott died?"  In my head I went through the process of - okay well I'd have to take care of the dogs, go through all the stuff, and then was like "snap out of it!!!" and made myself stop thinking of that.  I didn't want to even entertain the possibility.  Because that would never happen anyway and I didn't want to even put it out there.

And now.  Now I'm thinking - was God trying to prepare me?  Reading that blog is heartwrenching at best.  From reading it I've come across links to other widows.  In a way it's good for me to find them so early in this process to know that I'm not alone and that other people understand this pain.  Not that I thought I was the only person to lose a spouse, but it's a different pain.  When my Grandpa died I felt pain, and regrets and sorrow - but not like this.  He had been 85 and sick for awhile.  Scott was 37 and it was a shock.

Tonight I stopped at the post office on the way home to get stamps so I could get my mother's day cards out.  The guy in front of me sort of looked familiar, but I've worked in lots of doctor's offices so a lot of people look familiar to me.  As he was walking by he stopped and said I looked familiar too - was I married to Scott?  And then it's the panic of does he know already, am I going to have to say it?  Or what if I just act like nothing if he doesn't bring it up do I have to?  So here I am stuttering over myself and I ask if he had heard what happened and he had.  Then the questions start.  Were we still together?  What happened?  How are you?  Do you need anything?  I didn't say v. much and he left.  It was my turn at the counter.  And I fell apart.  Complete meltdown at the counter.  I couldn't get air, gasping, crying and my throat was closed off so couldn't get words out either.  The lady was v. nice and gave me a kleenex.  I got one word out - stamps.  Because for craps sake I had to get those cards out!.  Lame.  I eventually regained some semblance of composure and walked myself out to my car where I could have a whole body heaving sob.

I know that these things are going to happen.  I know it will not always be like this.  All I can say is boo to grief.  Boo to death. 

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

precious cargo

Last week in the mail I rec'd the information from the cemetery about where Scott's plot is located and since then I really wanted to see it.  Last night after work I loaded up the boys and drove over to Eagle Point National Cemetery.
It really is a beautiful cemetery.  Not that I ever thought I'd say that about one, but it is. 100_3337[1] And, since I am still myself I also wanted to check to make sure they had spelled precious correctly on the stone.  Why did I put "precious cargo"?  I knew Scott for 17 years and during that whole time every time one of us would go on a trip without the other we would say "Keep the rubber side down, keep it between the ditches, you're carrying precious cargo."  Every. single. time.  I knelt down to brush off some cut grass before taking this picture and found that the stone had been warmed by the sun and still felt warm to the touch.  What a difference from the cold of his forehead in the funeral home.  It made me glad that he is in a spot that will be kept warm by the sun.  I know it's just ashes that are buried there but I felt closer to him and it was nice.  I miss him so much, my heart feels like it is turning in on itself, like my chest is caving in.  My eyes feel raw and grainy like I've taken them out and rolled them in salt.  I guess without taking them out, I have.  I feel nauseous all the time.  I can't understand where he's gone.  Why is he gone?   And then my mind will touch on his death, that he's not coming back and I panic.  I can't breathe.  Mercifully that doesn't last long....until a few minutes later I'm wondering again where is he, where has he gone?
Every time we got off the phone or would leave each other we'd say "I love you".  I haven't heard that in 27 days.  I know friends and family and others love me.  What I'm talking about is different.  I don't know how to explain what my thought is here.  I am so, SO glad I saved voicemails.
After some tears and talking to him about what not I drove the rest of the way to Medford and picked up some cheeseburgers for the boys.  The sun had finally sunk down behind the hills and turned them purple and the sky was a golden with a tinge of pink - my favorite kind.  I think God gave that to me special to let me know that He loves me too.

This is Scott's view now: