Thursday, February 14, 2019

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Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day was always special to me and Mr. T. We got engaged on Valentine's Day back when we were just babies. Well, at least it felt like we were babies, we were so young and untried.

Twenty-five years later (25!??!?) we decided to recreate that moment. To be truthful, the recreation was a lot nicer than the original which was more of a discussion than a proposal.

It was such a special night, so perfect.

Other Valentine's Days have been a little more lowkey.

Like the time we went to Cracker Barrel

Or Waffle House

 And sometimes we went a little fancier

Yes, most of our special moments have included food.

The great thing is, it never really mattered where we were or what we ate or what we did. Being together was always the most important part of Valentine's Day.

And I guess that's why today hasn't been as hard as I thought it would be. Of course I'm sad that we can't be together anymore but I have so many beautiful memories so I've been focusing on them and it ended up being good day. For that I am grateful.

Saturday, February 9, 2019


That's my girl! 

I've never lived by myself before. I went from my parents' house to living with roommates (boy I hated that) to getting married and living with Taz for over 32 years.

Luckily I am an introvert and I don't need to be around people all the time but, damn, being by yourself ALL the time really sucks.

Taz and I were such chums. We were always going places and doing things. He worked really hard during the week so my mission was always to find something fun for us to do on weekends. He always called me the Director of Fun and I took that job seriously. 

All of this is to say that it's pretty lonely now and I don't know how I'd make it without my Charlie girl. She is sweet and sassy and goofy. She knows how to cheer me up when the feelings start to overwhelm.

She is my everything and I just wanted to give her a little shout out on this Saturday night.


Thursday, February 7, 2019

What I Now Know

 I know it's been a while since I've blogged and I hate to come back with bad news but there's no getting around it.

On November 22, 2018 (Thanksgiving day) I had to say goodbye to Mr. T forever after 34 years together. I'm still pretty much in disbelief and sadder than I've ever been in my life.

2018 was the best year we've had in a long time...until it wasn't.

I have lots of thoughts and I want to share them as I make this journey but right now I want to share a few of the things I've learned in the last 3 months.

For me, it’s more like sitting in the beautiful house, a bomb goes off and when you open your eyes everything is still exactly the same, the beautiful house is still there around you just like it was before. And yet, everything is different. It’s like the oxygen was sucked out of the room. Everything around you is still in color but you feel like you’re in grayscale and fading even if other people don’t see you that way.

It’s a million different things and I think it’s different for each person. Some people detach and can’t feel any emotion. Some feel every emotion but way out of proportion. Some people crawl into bed and never want to get out until a friend/family comes by and forces them out. Some of us know there is no one there to pull us out of the abyss so we can’t even fall in.

Some people can’t stand to be at home because there are too many memories or too much silence. I’m the opposite, I take comfort from my house and love to be there. My house makes me smile. It helps that Charlie is there with me.

It’s going from being a fairly self-sufficient individual to someone who feels inadequate to the task of daily living.
It’s driving to work every day with tears streaming down your face, sometimes silently, sometimes accompanied by noises you didn’t know you could make.
It’s waking up on Christmas morning totally and completely alone. No one else is around and no one will be around or contacting you all damn day.
It’s feeling disappointed that there are no presents and then feeling small because you’re disappointed at something so meaningless.
It's having to spend Christmas day dealing with your ancient and needy mother.
It's knowing there is no one who is ever going to help you with your mother.
It's knowing that the future you had looked forward to with your sister and husband without having to deal with your mother's needs will never come.
It's knowing you never even got a chance to grieve for your sister.
It’s dreading weekends and holidays because endless hours stretch in front of you.
It’s not caring about what or when you eat.
It’s practically passing out when hunger finally kicks in.
It’s feeling physically weak when you’ve never felt weak before.
It’s knowing that no grief you’ve ever known before, not even grief for a beloved parent, feels like this or has the same impact on your daily life.
It’s knowing that no one that’s not “in the club” really understands even though they think they do.
It’s being part of the shitty club.
It’s hearing people in the club still struggling 10 years later.
It’s knowing you’re going to let down a friend by not taking a job but you know you won’t be able to physically put in the hours and that it’s not right for you.
It’s losing yourself in a book or movie and forgetting for a little while only to have it explode in your heart when you remember.
It’s walking through a place you used to enjoy together and then you smell the glazed almonds, which you don’t even like but they were his favorite treat, and you suddenly can’t breathe.
It's not being able to wrap your brain around the fact that this really happened and waiting to wake up from the worst nightmare ever.
It's knowing you'll never wake up.
It’s being at a place you used to eat together or sit together or laugh together and feeling a knife slicing through your heart.
It’s making yourself stay up too late each night, until you’re exhausted, so that you can go to bed and pass out and not think.
It’s waking up exhausted each morning because you went to bed too late and didn’t get enough sleep.
It’s rejoicing over finding pictures you didn’t remember, wallowing in them and then having to stop because it’s making him too real and it’s going to hurt too much to never see him in person again.
It’s being sad about friends that have disappeared from your life.
It’s worry about how your future is going to change and not for the better.
It’s being terrified of being homeless or ending up the unwanted relative that has to move in.
It’s wondering how you’re going to make it through the next 40 years.
It’s anger over life’s circumstances that took you from being prepared financially for all of this to not being prepared.
It’s pain knowing that you not being prepared and having to struggle was his worst nightmare and worry that kept him up at night..
It’s horrific knowing his worst nightmare came true.
It's worry that you're not going to make it.
It’s missing his cooking.
It’s apathy at ever cooking again.
It’s embarrassing to burst into tears and not be able to talk about some subjects.
It’s frustrating about needing to talk about those subjects.
It’s turning to writing, which you love, to work out the grief and then having to stop because you’re dissolved in tears and you’re at work or you’re at home and you’re scaring the dog.
It’s needing to bring more Kleenex to work.
It’s knowing that your reactions make people uncomfortable.
It’s looking up at an event and catching someone staring at the widow.
It’s wondering if you’re crying too much.
It’s wondering if you’re smiling too much.
It’s wanting to be out and doing something fun.
It’s suddenly wanting to go home.
It’s desperately needing to be home to the point that you think you might not make it there from needing it so much.
It’s talking out loud in an empty house.
It’s missing those daily phone calls on his drive home that used to annoy you because you needed to fix dinner or you wanted to keep watching that tv show.
It’s being glad you stayed on the daily phone calls and listened anyway.
It's joy that he wanted to make those daily phone calls.
It’s being happy you were able to travel so much.
It’s being angry you weren’t able to travel much the last few years.
It’s being eternally grateful for the perfect week in Carmel in September.
It’s sadness that you’ll never live in Carmel again.
It’s knowing that it wouldn’t be the same anyway.
It’s wanting to travel but feeling grief at not being able to make those new memories together.
It’s needing to make those memories for him.
It’s wanting to travel but knowing you can’t even afford the gas for a road trip up the coast.
It’s defeat.
It’s getting back up again.
It’s the day you make it to work without tears.
It’s the next day when you don’t.
It’s knowing you’ll keep trying.
It’s laughter when you do something stupid on the road and you can hear his voice.
It’s joy at a happy memory.
It's knowing that this will make people uncomfortable and feel like they don't know what to say.
It is what it is.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Shifu day

This is a hard day (week) for me.

Two years ago today my life was turning upside down. I had handed in my notice to the only job I've ever loved so that we could start a new life in Florida after two years of  hell difficulties. It seemed like a fair trade - my one piece of happiness for security for my family.

But as I was getting ready to move, I realized that my beloved Shifu wasn't himself and on March 27, 2015 it became obvious that he wouldn't be making the move to Florida with us.

We spent a last day with him, drove to the beach, fed him McDonalds hamburgers and fries (the only food he'd eaten in days) and told him how much we loved him. It was a special, very hard, memorable day and I'll always be grateful that we were given the chance to make those memories before we had to say that final goodbye the next day.

For my sanity's sake I don't spend a lot of time looking back to those days but I can't help but think of my little Shifu Peanut this week.

Friday, December 30, 2016

So long 2016!

Somebody has been a very bad blogger, hasn't she?

I really did have all these great plans of documenting our move from California to Florida and all of our adventures in the sunshine state. 

Really, I did!

But somehow my very busy schedule (first full-time job in 20+ years, 2 singing rehearsals each week and being responsible for my 94 year old mother who lives 40 miles away) has kicked my butt and I find myself with no energy to think about anything when I finally get home each night. Heck, for the first time in my adult life, I can barely keep my eyes open past 9pm. I mean, who is this person? I used to make fun (in the nicest way possible, of course) of people that went to bed early and now I am one.

So, despite my best intentions, all those wonderful blog posts about my new Florida life just haven't been written. Which is a shame because we really are having fun in Florida and I want to share it with all of you.

Which leads me to my one and only New Years resolution for 2017 


For the past few weeks I've been getting the same message from the universe - write. 

Maybe there are things to say. Maybe there are things I need to learn. Maybe documenting my weird little journey is what I need to do for myself or someone else. Who knows, I just know I need to write and so somehow I'm going to get a handle on my schedule and make writing a priority.

And take pictures, of course. Here are a couple to get this whole thing started...

See you in 2017! 

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

happy place

Did you miss me?

You might have noticed that I took a little break from blogging. It's not that I didn't have many things to say or that nothing was happening. Just the opposite, there were too many things to say and way too many things happening. I didn't know where to begin and I had no idea what was going to happen so I decided to wait until things were more settled.

In April we had to make a big change in our lives. We packed all our stuff into storage in California, put as much as we could into 2 suitcases and flew off into the FLORIDA!

Yeah, you read that right - we're back in Florida. Bet you didn't see that coming, did you? We didn't either but it seemed like the only right thing to do.

It was a scary decision, we came here with no jobs, no idea how we were going to rebuild our lives. Let's face it, we were kind of terrified but excited too because we have always loved Florida. We were also exhausted, moving is not fun.

We've been here 2 months now and life is finally starting to settle into a nice pattern. There are still a couple of major challenges but I've watched God knock down so many hurdles recently, I can't help but feel hopeful.