Thursday, October 14, 2010
Okay, yeah, that all sounded a little melodramatic yesterday when I said it. I didn't mean so much, "I have no future at all now! *sob*", as simply that what we'd planned isn't going to work out and I have to chart a new course, for which I as yet have absolutely no plan. It's more along the lines of the Reinhart School of Had I But Known...
I have no idea about grief support groups, but I've never been much of a group type person - never even liked Weight Watchers. I trust myself to get through this, like I've gotten through other tough times. I'm getting tired of all the crying - as I mentioned to someone here- and I can just imagine how tiresome it must be for the poor folks around me.
The Hospice people haven't been in touch in a little while and that's fine. I have the cremains (love the word) here now and we're not planning any sort of service, at least at the moment. Stuff - little stuff especially, to which I've always been particularly vulnerable - catches me off-guard now and again and I choke up, but all and all Im trying to look forward rather than backward, tie up loose ends (who knew there would be so many?) and move on. Unsteadily, maybe a little crookedly, but on.
The first couple days I relied on a loose mix of Xanax, AppleJack, and Subway, but I've cut those either down or out - besides, if I don't start cooking daily soon, I'm going to drown in CSA potatoes and baby eggplants. And we can't have that. Somewhere around here I've got a great recipe for an eggplant/apple casserole, which is perfect for these fall nights.
As I recall, some terribly clever person pointed out that the only certainty was change. Nothing like getting whacked in the head with an aphorism to get your focus back to where it should be.
I am thinking of changing my name here. Scooter was my husband's nickname for me, and it makes me unnecessarily sad to see it, so I think I'll change it .... only I have no idea what to change it to. Any suggestions? And remember, this is a family newspaper.
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
(I actually came over to the computer to pay my electric bill, but got distracted and here I am.)
I keep trying to compare this to when my mother died two years ago, and this morning I understood the difference: when a parent dies and you clean out the house and put everything away, you are essentially letting go of your past. It was over anyway, of course, and you're just dealing with the tangible reminders of it.
When your husband dies, you have to let go of the future that the two of you had planned together. I know there never were any guarantees, but you automatically count on certain things, and giving them up is hard, hard. The past is still defined, but the future you "knew" is gone and there are no guidelines for a new one - it just feels like no future at all.
I know that's not right, that there will be a future of what I make it and all that - I honestly do acknowledge the truth of that - but putting one foot in front of the other and walking alone into the completely open future doesn't feel like liberation and possibilities. Not yet anyway. Maybe someday.
Now for that electric bill.
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
MTNGRL says:, "... believe me a day will come that what has happened is not the first and last thing you think about. It takes a while but it will be that way."
Today has been a bad day. They don't alternate with good ones so much as every day has patches of each, in varying amounts. It's hard to believe it's been a week. I think it was easier in the beginning because it was such a physical and emotional relief not to sit bedside day and night. Now the reality is really starting to sink in.
Thank you, each and every one who has taken a moment to comment on a blog or send me an email. It helps so much with the alone feeling - kids, as much as you love them, never really know the grown-up you and so are a different sort of comfort than an adult who has been there (and once you get to a certain age, you have, or you know someone who has.) I'm rambling here, and phrasing things badly, so I think I"ll sign off for tonight. It's been a really long day.
Saturday, October 09, 2010
John passed away Tuesday, in the very early morning hours. I still have trouble believing it, and alternate between being perfectly fine and being totally weak-legged overwhelmed with sorrow. I know it'll get better, I really do...I just can't imagine how or when.
While I am neither particularly vengeful nor litigious, it seemed impossible to me that his Ct scans in February apparently showed no cancer, and by late September he had advanced, end-stage liver cancer. I was sorta/kinda considering consulting a malpractice attorney. However, I had several email swaps with an oncologist at Mt. Sinai, who reviewed every image and every report John had had in the last year, and his opinion is that in February he had no cancer and by late September it was very advanced. The doctor - and this guy is widely considered to be one of the top hepatic oncologists in the world - said that such rapid progress is unusual but by no means unheard of. And I'm glad. I don't know how I could have lived with the "if only-s" - if only we'd gotten a second opinion faster, gone to Mt Sinai sooner, paid more attention - I dunno. That whole bag of pain doesn't have to be opened, and I'm grateful.
Kids are doing as well as can be expected, each in her own way. I gave the college one the option of taking the quarter off, but she chose to go back to school and I'm glad she did. The older one who is taking a year off between college and grad school is home with me and is, in theory, helping me get the place cleaned up and sorted and all that. We haven't made much progress yet.
In other, but related, news, I suddenly found myself a hay farmer. While I'm a certified NYS nursery professional and horticultural this, that and the other, I don't know beans about hay. Someone asked me what sort of tractor we had, and the only answer I had for him was, "It's blue." Half the equipment we have I can't identify; a couple pieces look more like a helicopter crash than a machine. Anyway, Steve came out today to walk around and talk to me. Steve knows everything there is to know about hay and cows and fields and soil nutrients and what you feed to this animal as opposed to that one and what they sleep on and how many bales of what size and weight you get out of X number of acres and on and on and on. So far he's convinced me that a) I have lots of good hay-able land but that b) I need to recertify my organic status and c) it would make much more sense to make big bales ( one covers with plastic using an extremely cool machine) than the small bales I currently seem to make.
So far, the only thing I'm absolutely set on is that I *do not* want cows. I don't want to be a dairy farmer. I don't care that NY has lots of them and they do well. I don't care that my barns are perfect for cows and look at all that... whatever it's called when they eat what's growing out of the ground. Foraging? Grazing? Whatever. No cows. No. Cows. No chickens, either. I loathe chickens - except when they're scared and they run away, flapping their arms and shouting. That just never gets old for me, so I imagine if I did have chickens, they'd all die of coronaries from my constant harassment of them, just to see them run away.
But (thank God) it's autumn, and I don't have to make any big Hay Decisions right away. Steve said I should Brush (Bush?) Hog all the fields and then ... I forget what it's called already, but you throw seeds over the newly mown ground and apparently it comes up in the spring and is all happy. So I can do that ... with the Brush/Bush Hog and the blue tractor.
And then... I guess we'll just have to see what happens next.
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
We sent all his records, images, etc. to a hepatic oncologist at Mt. Sinai for a second opinion, but so far no word other than, "The CT from March looked good [that was the only one I had on hand to send him - the others come from other hospitals] but a lot can happen in seven months." No kidding.
I try to focus on the present and not "awfulize" too much about the future. My daughters are both here (although the younger one goes back to college next week) and we all sort of prop one another up and take turns giving in to complete collapses.
Other than that, two things keep me going: the first is that, at 55, I've lived enough life to know that no matter how dreadful it seems, things do get better, and one day after the other broken hearts, like broken bones, do knit even though at the time it feels impossible. The other thing that keeps me going is the gifts that you guys give me with your notes and caring. It's amazing how much difference a kind word can make, and I'm am so blessed to have you all in my corner.
My daughters bought me a fancy cell phone - apparently my old one, which i used to make and receive calls, was insufficiently advanced. Now I can access the Internet, have spoken directions to get me from here and there (if I should ever go anywhere more complex than the grocery), take pictures, make movies, record symphonies and dozens of other things. Now if I could only figure out how to make and receive telephone calls...
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