How am I doing?

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I’ve had a few messages lately from people who only know me through this blog.  I’ve been MIA.  I guess when you start a blog because of a diagnosis like cancer and then disappear people wonder. I know I do and I’m always happy to see posts from the bloggers I follow. I have been reading regularly and commenting a bit, just haven’t had a lot to say, so here goes.

On the cancer front, as far as I know I’m still cancer free. I’ll know more after my upcoming 6 month check, but I don’t anticipate any bad news. I feel pretty good.

As for the rest of my life let’s see. I took a job, hated it, quit and decided to spend my time and cash building up my little business. That’s going really well and keeping me busy.  The downside (and reason I took the aforementioned hated job) is the isolation of working at home. I’ve done it for years but didn’t live alone as well.  I’m a self admitted home body so I’ve made an effort to get out more.  Weekly dinner and drinks with friends. Biweekly breakfast with another friend. Spending time with each of my parents and my husband’s mother each week and as much time with my girls as they can spare. I’ve made two trips to Texas . I’ve joined a group dedicated to helping teen mothers make a good start in life and I belong to another group of ladies who fund raise for local charities.  Both fun groups with a lot of really nice ladies.  I look forward to the meetings. I help a friend out occasionally with her catering business.  Keeping busy.

On the home front, I have been having a lot of work done on the house. I don’t feel the need to move as much as I did at first, but I doubt I will be here forever and why only fix it up to sell? I want to enjoy the results while I’m here.  I will admit this winter nearly did me in. I felt tested every damn day for one reason or another (me and every one else, huh?)  You would think I’d be happy to see summer but there are too many upcoming anniversaries and I would be happy to sleep through until Fall.  June 1st would have been our 29th wedding anniversary, June 6th is the one year anniversary of his death. July 10th is the 2nd anniversary of my sister’s death but I never marked the first in any significant way.I was still reeling from losing my husband.    I will officially be through all the “firsts” though.  I’ll let you know if that makes it any easier.

My mom and I were buying flowers the other day. I loaded up on baskets and flats. We were chatting back and forth and talking about what we should get for the cemetery. She picked something for my sister and I picked something for my husband. And it felt normal, which made me feel slightly sick to my stomach.

I’ve been slipped the senior discount a few times.  I see the double takes and the questioning looks and I silently dare them to ask. One kid was all of 17 and when I said “don’t be fooled by the hair” he laughed and I was happy to pay full price. When they don’t ask and give me the discount I say nothing.  One woman asked me the other day and it was the first time I was offended. She was at least my age and had about a half inch of gray roots showing.  I wanted to ask if she thought that bad dye job was fooling anyone. I’m not giving in and dying my hair but I think I will let it grow long and wild.  I’m hoping for the aging hippie look. I’ll probably end up with more of a crone vibe.

This post is all over the place, much like my mind these days. Sorry.

How am I doing? I’m doing well, finding my footing.  Thanks for asking. How are you doing?

Happy New Year

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Or as I like to say don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out, ’13.   I’ve stopped greeting each new year with “it has to be better than last year”.  Actually I never did that until the end of 2011, again in 2012 and now .. well you get the picture.  Apparently the universe likes messing with me so I am keeping my hopes for the new year to myself. I won’t write 2013 off completely. It did bring the amazing gift of my first grandson and I’ve surprised myself with things I can handle that I never in a million years thought I could or would ever have to.  

They say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. I say what didn’t kill me makes me want to mess someone up. Unfortunately there is no one to blame for any of it.  It’s just life and you know none of us are getting out of this alive.

Cheers!

My thoughts

… are kind of all over the place these days.   First of all the job. Yeah.  I may have made a mistake.  Probably should have let the dust settle a little bit.  I applied for this job exactly 3 weeks after my husband died. What the hell was I thinking?  I guess I panicked a little regarding finances, insurance, etc.  So.. here I am at 51 years old with 30 years experience working an entry level job for the insurance.  Don’t get me wrong.. the job is okay.. nothing terribly interesting, but busy and I like that. Love my coworkers.  The trouble you ask?  Somewhere along the way, during the shit storm what was my life over the past two years, I seem to have lost my filter.  Replacing it is on my short list (as in nevah gonna happen in this lifetime).  I simply don’t care what I say and to whom.   I just don’t. I don’t go out of my way to offend, but if you choose to be offended by something I say? Tuff shit. You can imagine how well that goes over in the work place.   One of my coworkers thought I was a bit on the prissy side until I let loose with a string of expletives. She was relieved.  It’s the hair. Fools em every time.

On  the home front. Ever wish you could have one more conversation with a loved one that had passed on?  Do you imagine it in your mind?  I have these little one sided conversations all the time with my sister and my husband (not out loud, I haven’t turned the bend completely).  They are usually mundane, every day things… nothing maudlin or sweetly out of character.  Today I wish I could ask my beloved why he kept certain items.  Like the princess tiara and the duck lips that sound like a kazoo. Yes. I tried them. Don’t judge me.  It’s been a stressful week. I think I will wear them to work tomorrow. The lips, not the tiara.  I’m saving that for special.

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‘In the Event of my Death…’

Reblogging this because it’s an important topic for all couples, regardless of your age, state of health, whether or not you have children. We had those conversations, mainly because of the sudden death of my sister and my cancer diagnosis. He, of course, was going to live forever. Being eleven years younger I always had a sense I would be widowed at some point until the events of 2012, which seemed to level the playing field a bit. And to Wife After Death, ask yourself what you would want for him, had you gone first. xxoo

Wife After Death

If you are lucky enough to still have your spouse intact, I have a question.

Do you ever discuss, you know, the D word? Is ‘death’ part of your warm, couply vocabulary, or is it one of those subjects like exes and the fact that it took him SO FUCKING LONG to propose that is never broached?

Even after He was critically ill, and the click-whoosh of His mechanical heart valve kept me awake at night, my husband and I never discussed what would happen in the event of the other’s death. It was taboo, I guess because it had almost been reality and neither of us wanted to think about the what ifs.

Besides, that Registrar in the hospital, the little fella with whom I high-fived like a fucking cheerleader when I saw him months later in the heart clinic, stated quite clearly that Mark ‘would have a normal life span’…

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Christmas in July (August..whatever)

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Going through one of the many collections that have taken up space in my life and cupboards for nearly 30 years I decided to display the shot glasses on a little shelf.  I was washing them and reminiscing about where we purchased them. Some were gifts so I get to live those memories of trips to Paris and many tropical islands vicariously.   The best ones were the ones we bought on our own trips. New York, Boston, New Orleans, Texas, Florida. A few from his single days. Then there were the ones from Santa’s Village and Storyland.  Really? We bought shot glasses on these family trips?  I don’t recall doing that. I do recall wanting to drink. Badly.  For those of you who don’t live in New England, Storyland and Santa’s Village are in the beautiful White Mountains of New Hampshire located conveniently near each other. So near that after spending an entire day trudging through one, the little cherubs are sure to spot the one you didn’t visit.  Parents, you know how that goes.   We are approximately 3 hours away.  Most people would spend the night. Maybe do one park each day over a weekend. Not Mr. Frugal. He liked making it a day trip. We would leave the house at 6 or 7 a.m.,  my sister and her family coming along in their own car, drive for three hours, stop a few times to pee, eat, pee, puke (not me.. Thing 3). Finally we would arrive.  Complain about the gate fees, take a few forced family photos (one of them of my nephew even made it into the book Awkward Family Photos  – true story), walk until our feet were bleeding, buy over priced toys and souvenirs (I bet those shot glasses were not cheap!).   Storyland was just what you would imagine.  Like speed reading a children’s book on acid.  Santa’s Village (where we invariably visited on a day when it was 90 degrees with 100% humidity) had many of the same rides but with a Christmas theme, a fully suited Santa (he had to have a fan in his pants.. I don’t know how he survived otherwise), singing elves, mangy reindeer.  All the stuff of great childhood memories.   After a full day, we would pile the sweaty, tired kids into the car and reverse direction.. puke, pee, eat, pee.

So yeah, buying the shot glasses.. no memory at all. Wanting a drink (or three).. like it was yesterday!

If I had it do to all over again I would in a heart beat and I can’t wait to take my grandchildren. 🙂

Here’s the little prince  in the picture that made him famous. In my family alone we have about a dozen copies of this book.

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I’m sure he was just mad because we made him let the little one drive. She looks like she’s having fun, but she was probably talking smack every time they were out of earshot,.

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Adventures in banking

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My husband loved to play bank.  His favorite game was getting services and not paying any fees.  Consequently this involved moving our money frequently, sometimes as often as several times in one year.  When I questioned the wisdom of doing this I was told “it’s all here in the notebook”.   This was a battle I wasn’t going to win and he was extremely careful with money, so I let him have his fun. Mistake number one. After 30 years together no one should be having fun.  Especially when it involves computers,  cash and secret  extremely creative passwords.

I have been spending my time cheerfully contacting banks, both local and afar, armed with account numbers, user names and passwords, his social, my social, my blood type and the secret family recipe for tourtiere pie. My list of where we don’t have money has far exceeded my list of where we do and I am painstakingly crossing off each institution.  Having narrowed it down I have either sent a copy of the death certificate with my written instructions on what I want done with the account or, in the case of local banks, taken care of it in person.  Each time the account was closed, within a week there has been a letter addressed to him informing him that someone (I would assume they mean me.. the co-owner of the accounts, wife, widow, holder of the paperwork confirming he is no longer making banking decisions) has closed his account.  He is to contact them immediately if those were not his wishes.  Can I get a big round of what the fuck?  Seriously.