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Time to Rejoin Life

Sunday, September 15, 2013

I can't believe Tommy has been gone almost two months. In one way it seems like just yesterday, yet in another it feels like it's been forever since I last saw him. There have been some very tough times, especially his birthday on August 17th and September 10th which was four years from the date of his diagnosis. We were looking forward to visiting his surgeon on his five year anniversary, but that was not to be.

I have mostly let myself go the last two months by eating whatever I wanted with minimal exercise. Actually, my main form of exercise has been yard work, something Tommy had taken care of right up until the end. I've found myself watching more TV than I used to and not spending as much time with my friends as I should. I've been putting on a good face for family and friends and so they think I'm amazingly strong; nothing could be further from the truth. When I'm alone I often find myself roaming about my house, but not really knowing why. I haven't been out on a real hike and I haven't been kayaking (although Cliff has certainly tried to get me out). I haven't been sleeping well at night and so I'm often very tired during the day. In other words, I've been doing nothing healthy.

I did take one trip to the mountains a couple of weeks ago. I think I was just so mentally exhausted that I wanted to get away alone, so I headed to my uncle's vacation house in West Jefferson. Tommy and I used to go up there often so it felt very strange driving up by myself. It was a good weekend with a lot of time to revisit some of our favorite spots and even more time to think. It's the best rest I've had in weeks and I came home feeling a bit better. Following are some pictures I took that weekend.

Inside historic St. Mary's Episcopal Church in West Jefferson, NC.

Blowing Rock, NC

The tiny town of Todd, NC

Of course the bakery had fresh, homemade apple turnovers, and yes, I had one. It was wonderful!

Morning mist from the deck of my uncle's house. It was the perfect place for morning coffee.

Sunset on the North Fork New River

A stop along the Blue Ridge Parkway

Yesterday morning I opened the back door to let Thor out and the cool morning air came rushing in around me. I have always loved fall and the crisp air seemed to breathe new life into me. The truth is that I've been avoiding living since Tommy's passing, maybe feeling a little guilty about going on without him. Tommy was a fighter and enjoyed every minute he had, even while battling cancer, so who am I to simply sit down and let life pass me by? He worried about how his passing would effect everyone, so I cannot let his fears become a reality. He would be so disappointed. It is time for me to rejoin life while keeping Tommy close in my heart.

So today I will drag myself off of my couch and Thor and I will head to Pilot Mountain or Hanging Rock to enjoy this beautiful weather today. I will get back to logging my food and exercise and I plan to spend more time with my friends. I'm also going to Florida in early December to visit family, something I am really looking forward to. In the meantime, my youngest son is getting married in three weeks and I feel honored that they have asked me to perform the ceremony.

By the way, I'm becoming a real handyman around the house. It seems that everything began breaking down in the last two months. My sons and I have tackled the jobs and, with the exception of mounting a new mower tire on the rim (had to take it to Firestone), we have accomplished all of our own repairs.

I appreciate all of the nice comments, private messages and goodies from you all. Again, I haven't been as active here as I should have, but that is now going to change as I work to get back to being a part of life instead of being a spectator.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    What a beautiful post. Sending good thoughts your way during this tough time.
    1619 days ago
  • ODAT1117
    Welcome back to you and Thor!!! :-) One day at a time, and just keep remember what Tommy would have wanted you to do.......

    You CAN do this.......one step, one day at a time.......
    1652 days ago
  • RAMONA1954
    Thanks for sharing! I love this area so much too. Know that you're in my thoughts and prayers as you go through this. I know how you are feeling. It's definitely different and so many emotions to go through. emoticon
    1661 days ago
    Thanks for sharing. Know that you are in our thoughts.
    1673 days ago
    It's good to see you blogging again.

    It sounds as if you are taking care of yourself through this difficult time. I'm glad that you are able to find rest and comfort while enjoying nature, and I hope the fall weather continues to invite you out of doors.

    I'm glad you have family members who care and who are nearby.

    And how thoughtful that your husband worried about how you would be after his passing - and what a tribute to him that he is your inspiration to rejoin your life.


    1683 days ago
    I'm so glad to see you back. Grieving is so hard and what you've been doing is part of the grieving process. But then there comes a time to start to move forward and live again. For each person that time is different and the grief process is a very individual thing. I know you will still grieve for a long time, but I'm glad you feel you can start to get out and do some things again. The mountains you went to look like a beautiful place to be and to work on healing some. Glad you had the chance and the place to do that. My thoughts and prayers are with you as you continue on this journey of life with it's twists and bends and highs and lows. Hope you enjoyed your time out yesterday.
    1683 days ago
    Cindy, so glad to hear from you. You have been in my thoughts and prayers. It was nice to hear that you & Thor got out and had a beautiful day outside....as always, your pictures are lovely! Just remember, one day at a time and know that you have many people who care about you.
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    1683 days ago
    What a beautiful area. I'm so glad you and Thor took the trip. Thor is mourning too I bet, so you can help each other out with getting back into the swing of things. Take a day at a time, and know we are all here for you!! emoticon
    1683 days ago
  • _JODI404
    Dearest Cindy,

    It is so good to hear from you. You & Thor have remained in my thoughts and prayers.

    After such a profound loss, the passage of time does seem rather surreal. I understand exactly what you mean when it feels like forever and yesterday at the same time. Birthdays, anniversaries, holidays -- all are extra hard. Harder than the already daily hard for sure.

    Every loss is a very unique and individual experience. Those who have also lost those they loved very deeply can relate in may ways though. Just getting out of bed and getting through the work day can be so challenging. I can't even imagine immediately be able to worry about food and exercise. The rest of life keeps moving right along and that can be so hard to cope with. It can feel like a black hole, very surreal. While I was grieving the loss of my parents, I could not sleep well either. I would be worn down and physically exhausted but my brain would race with thoughts and nothing I could do would stop it. I longed for an "off" switch. Over time that gradually eased...but it is quite a hardship and does make for long work days.

    The trip to the mountains sounds so lovely. The pictures (as always!) are wonderful. Since it was restful and helped you feel better, I hope that maybe you can go again soon. Sounds like good therapy for mind, heart, and soul.

    I do love Fall also. Maybe the change of season is the perfect time for you to take those initial baby steps of getting back to taking good care of yourself in whatever way that works for you -- but allowing yourself to be on your priority list again. I don't think Tommy would be disappointed in you -- what you are experiencing is difficult beyond comprehension. I do think he will be quite pleased if you feel it is time now to "rejoin life"-- with Tommy always close in your heart.

    I hope that you & Thor had a wonderful time enjoying the cooler weather together this weekend. I'm sure he enjoyed that very much! It's so nice that you have a few very special times just ahead to look forward to with your son's wedding, and vacation in Florida with your family.

    Kudos to you on your handywoman skills! I'm afraid I would be rather useless and probably hire out. It's wonderful that you have your sons to help and that you are able to tackle new challenges like those repairs.

    Please don't feel like you "should have" done this or that. You have walked through so much pain... it takes time to sort through it all and feel even slightly ready to resume truly "living" again. Everyone's timeline is different. No one should judge another.

    I just know that you really are a lot stronger than you give yourself credit for. I hope taking these first steps back into nature and hiking will be so good for you. I hope it brings you some measure of enjoyment. You are allowed to be happy -- Tommy would want that so much for you.

    Keeping you & Thor in my prayers and sending you lots of light, positive thoughts, hugs and prayers for peace, healing, comfort, and some much needed restful sleep.
    Grace and strength I believe you have got covered already.

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    1683 days ago
    I have been thinking about you so often since I read that fateful blog about Tommy. You should not feel guilty that you are going on without Tommy, he would love to know that you kept moving on, and living your life to the fullest.
    You and Thor are so deep in my heart, I think of you often, and pray for both of you.

    Big emoticon
    1683 days ago
    Welcome back - to all that you have put on hold. I'm glad to have you back!
    1683 days ago
    Cindy, we're so happy to have you back and admire you for all the things you shared in your blog. Your life has changed drastically and it takes time to reorganize your time, thoughts, and commitments. Glad you were able to find some peace and rest while in the mountains. emoticon
    1684 days ago
    P.S. Your pictures are beautiful! Thanks for sharing them...and I am glad you had the apple turnover at the Mercantile...I wish I could have joined you!
    I will think of you having a beautiful day at your son's wedding!
    1684 days ago

    Comment edited on: 9/15/2013 7:17:00 PM
    My dear sweet friend,
    It is so good to hear from you...you were missed. As I read your blog my heart so goes out to you! I feel your grief and struggle to get back into life! It is so hard to move on and leave behind everything you knew to be "life"! I give you such credit for not giving up and continuing on in a dazed state...it would be easier! But you are right...Tommy would never want that for you and I (we, Sparkers) do not want that for you. You are in my thoughts and prayers, my friend...I am here should you need a shoulder...sometimes it is easier to unload to someone who cares but you have not meet and can just let it out. I know Tommy is with you, and I know how bad it is he is not here physically...healing and loving hugs to you!
    Thank you for coming back!
    1684 days ago
    I'm glad to see you back. Certainly the process of mourning is very difficult.

    It does sound exciting that your youngest son is getting married!

    Hmmm, I suspect your household things that have been breaking down were in a conspiracy to keep you occupied!

    May God bless you and heal you!
    1684 days ago
    I'm so glad you are doing much better! Those are wonderful pictures you took! I'm glad you have Thor to help you too!
    1684 days ago
  • DOODIE59
    Hi Cindy
    I am so glad you are working through your grief -- there's no way around it. You just have to work through it. I'm glad, too, that you have a real and strongly supportive family around you.
    How is Thor doing?
    Thinking of you,
    1684 days ago
    Dear Cindy.....

    There are many reasons to mourn.....and your's is universal and a true life passage. But in the words you wrote and in the beautiful photos you made --- I hear and see a strength and a purpose - - and the will to move on (as they say)...with your life. Tommy will always, always be in your heart - in your life - in a supportive role -- encouraging you from above. I know he's so proud of you - of the person you are. Having lived through the loss of many people I loved ---- I can guarantee that time heals. And that's a promise. While you will always pillow Tommy in that 'soft' place in your heart - please know the hurt will diminish. And the time will come when memories of Tommy will elicit smiles - not tears....not guilt.

    And - not taking care of yourself is so normal at a time like this. It's good to hear, however, that you've come around to seeing that letting yourself go - is not what you really want to do - nor would Tommy. One step at a time.

    You are truly one of the most special people I've ever crossed paths with.....a real inspiration.
    Hugs (big ones) to Thor!!

    Best love and hugs...... Libby
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    1684 days ago
  • VICKI1215
    Glad you're back! I know it's tough....my mom still struggles at times but know that he is always around you. Take care. Prayers for your healing!
    1684 days ago
  • LIZZYP609
    SOOO glad to hear from you. This last two months have been as I would expect. I am not sure I would be ready to rejoin life after "only" two months. Good for you.
    Remember to take things slow. if you don't get every meal tracked today then don't worry! Just say well that is better than I did yesterday and move on.
    1684 days ago
    I am sending prayers and welcoming you back. I am so sorry for your loss. You are finding the beauty and sweetness - that is so evident.
    Thinking of you,
    1684 days ago
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