Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Ups and Downs

This really is such a strange time for me. I thought about a month ago...."hey, I think I am doing pretty good here!" Then a week ago....."things are worse than ever....I can't do this". Then, yesterday, and even the day before...."I am going to be ok....just one day at a time". Hope. So I realize, I guess, that there is not going to be any real 'pattern' that I can look to and say "that is how things are going to go". No, it really does seem to be a total mystery and I never know from one day to the next how I will feel. One person will say to me, "it's going to take a year", and then another, "it will take two years".....and then others I feel have the thought...."come on, get on with it". How do they know? How does anyone know? They don't, and neither do I. And that is why living one day at a time is so very valuable to me. I need to do it, and with God's help I will.

I have decided though, that I need to stay somewhat busy. Way busier than I would normally be if I had a mate by my side. Or maybe...certainly....a different kind of busy and one that I am not extremely fond of but given the option it is my best choice. Like last night. I have been trying to be a little more proactive on my plans because I have had way too many evenings creep up on me with nothing to do and no one to do them with. Of course, I could get on the phone at 6 o'clock and find something to do in no time. I could even go to one of my kids homes, no problem. But by the time 6 o'clock rolls around, I am torn between wanting/needing something, and the lack of motivation to do anything about it. I am usually at that point a bit depressed, so I don't want to make the effort to get out and go. So I stay TV and yes, I hate to say it, feel sorry for myself. Back to last night....I actually texted a friend in the morning (I don't know her very well, but she is single so I glob on) and asked if she would like to join me for a dinner bite. "Yes...would love to"....GREAT....I had a plan, and my whole day felt better because I knew I had a place to go and someone to visit with. So....there it is. That different kind of busy. I really like that lady and I had a good time, but she is not my first choice. I would much rather be busy at home, cooking a simple dinner, setting a lovely table, lighting a candle.....

When I look back on this past week, I do see effort on my part in getting out and being around people. In fact, it seems like I have been around people a lot. On Thursday night, I signed up for a winemaker's dinner here in the Carmel Valley village. I did my homework ahead of time.... looked at the evite list of those who were coming and recognized a couple I knew....talked with my horse trainer who gives me lessons...her family are the winemakers so, yes, she will be there. I called the restaurant...."how will the seating be?" and was happy to find out that it would be family style seating with several large tables. Good. I did it. I went alone and ended up sitting next to the couple I already knew. They invited me to join their group of friends for happy hour on Friday nights.... "come join us....we need new blood!" So...I have a standing Friday night gig and I hope I like it. And then on Friday afternoon, I met friends for lunch....Friday night dinner with Bryna's family, Saturday....a feel sorry for myself dinner with kids. Monday, lunch with friends. Yes, I am around people a lot it seems. I need them. I am trying to find the right balance between being alone too much, and being with people. I like people, love 'em really, but too much wears me out, and not enough I begin to sink. Like I said, this really is a strange time for me. How long will it be before that strangeness goes away and I feel normal again and find my place? A year? Two? Tomorrow? Only God knows. All I know is that today is a beautiful new day and I want to live it well.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Three Months

Today. Three months. Kenny left.

It is still hard for me to believe that he is gone and almost harder for me to believe he was ever really here. Did I really have this great love? Was it truly as wonderful as I remember it to be? Did I really get completely swept off my feet by this prince of a man? Yes...yes, I did. It is true and I know it....and it makes me both happy and sad just thinking about it....about him. And I do think about him...all the time. Like church on Sunday. I was standing with the others, singing a worship song, and my mind went back. Back to when Kenny was tall and strong and healthy. We stood together in that pew, with his arm around my waist, his voice singing along with mine and everyone else's too. He was beautiful, and altogether perfect in my eyes. I felt loved. Secure. After every service it was tradition that he would scoop me up in a big bear hug. At times I almost felt embarrassed by it, but not Kenny. He was never shy in showing his affection for me no matter where we were. And so, this past Sunday....I stood alone in that pew. Of course others were around me, but I suddenly felt alone and I could not stop my tears.

Yes....I did have a great love. And the thought of it often saddens me and brings me to tears. Tears because it was so short lived....still so young....and with so much more to experience. But I know that beyond the tears, and the deep feelings of loss, there is a joy. A happy knowing. I had it great. I had it all. I had the best.

So today, the 24th, marks the third month. But there is another date coming up that I know will be difficult too. September 3rd. Kenny and I had the pleasure of celebrating only one anniversary together and this September 3rd would be our second. I will have to do my best to plan ahead, but I have found that the best laid plans still cannot cover the pain of my reality. I suppose, in some ways, the pain is suppose to be felt and not to be pushed down, and stuffed inside. In fact, I am sure that is so. Yes....I will feel the pain more that day than most. And I will do something that day....even have fun...I will genuinely smile and feel happy and content. And I will let sorrow and tears in as well. I will not be able to stop it. But it will be ok. It will be fine. And I will be ok...and I will be fine. Life is a journey we are on as we make our way home, and often it is filled with a lot of hard and difficult things to endure. But there are good things too. Really, really good things. And for those, I am most grateful. I am not sure what is ahead for me, but I am sure it will be more of the same. Both good and bad, happy and sad, difficult and easy. This life is like that. A passage of days.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Bedtime Stories

When Kenny was here, we would read books together before we went to sleep. He actually read more than I did and the thing he liked the best is that I would so quickly fall asleep. When we first started reading together we would both be in bed, Kenny propped up and I scrunched down, legs entwined. Then eventually, Kenny found it better if he could sit in his wheelchair. He would place the chair right under the overhead light and begin reading. I usually lasted just a few pages but he would keep reading out loud anyway. Then we went to a Kindle because it was easier to hold and he could "turn" the pages more easily. His breathing became more and more difficult, yet it didn't deter him from reading out loud. And then, eventually the Kindle became too difficult to hold and that was the end of Kenny reading to me.

He had an idea that he thought was great, but I didn't think so. He wanted to record his reading so that I could play it after he was gone. He thought if I was having difficulty it would help me fall asleep and that I would find it comforting. Maybe so, but I don't know. I just know that so often at night now, when it's time to go to bed and read, I sometimes just turn out the light instead. I lay there and think, and wish to God I had him beside me, legs entwined, lulling me to sleep once again with our latest read.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

On the Outside....

On the outside it looks like I am doing pretty well. I was at Carmel Valley Ranch last night having a glass of wine and dining with friends that gathered. Whenever Kenny and I would go out I would always ask, "Pants, or dress"? He would always, without exception say, "dress". He liked dresses and so do I. So I wore a bright orangish dress last night, feeling like I might be a little on the dressy side compared to most. I wore silver, low heeled sandals to tone it down which I felt compensated for the high heels that were present elsewhere. Looking back, I wasn't dressy. I wasn't standing out in my attire. But I felt dressy, and nice, and bright, and so much different on the outside than how I felt on the inside.

I often think of the movie "Gone With the Wind" where Scarlet had to wear her black mourning clothes when the husband she cared nothing about died. She was at a charity ball and her feet were keeping step to the music as she leaned behind the counter. She wanted to be out there kicking up her heels and having fun with the rest of them. On the outside though, she was proper....she looked the part of the dutiful wife in mourning. But on the inside....she danced. I had my bright orangish dress on last night with shiny silver sandals ....a bright shiny bangle on my wrist....a glass of wine in my hand. I was laughing among friends and all looked right in my world. But there is something missing. Something big. And no matter how I matter what fun things I might do... no matter how things might appear on the outside...there is a hole inside. A sadness. A loss so great I am having a hard time understanding it. I miss Kenny, plain and simple.

I know the days will get easier and I believe there will come a day when the inside matches the outside. When the cheery, bright me on the outside is in sync with the cheery, bright me on the inside. Some days are easier than others and I think I am just in a little clump of bad ones. It is hard to look back, and it is hard to look ahead. I feel a little stuck in the "here and now" and it is a "here and now" that I don't really like. And even now, as I write this, I realize that I do indeed have many true, deep down to my very soul, happy moments. That my life is still good and I have much to be thankful for. And I believe that the great hole that I feel, the sadness, and the loss will dim and fade over time. It won't be so front and center as it is now. But one thing that will definitely never, ever fade.....Kenny. No, no matter what, he will never dim, he will always and forever shine brightly in my eyes and heart.