Saturday, February 28, 2009

The Bite of Bed Bugs

I've never seen a one, you know. Our house was always nice and clean. But lately, I've had my own version. Tonight is no exception. I just took my medicine about half an hour ago so I am hoping it will kick in soon.

I've been working on files this afternoon and tonight, between calls from my family. Both have been keeping me sane. I've found waiting too long between the medicine is not fun. I took a half one this morning so I could stay awake. But by noon, I knew I needed the other half. And I should have taken tonight's a bit earlier.

Around noon, I got a lovely card in the mail from a good friend who had also been at the funeral and she related a memory she had of Jerry and I. It was so painful I just fell apart again. It wasn't a bad memory. It was really something beautiful and perhaps someday I may be able to read it without dying inside. I'd like to think so but I am not really convinced. Guilt for all the forgotten things I should have done rolled back over me. He did love me. People saw it all the time. I wonder did I show that I loved him as much? I don't think I did. No one has ever said "I could tell you loved him."

I have a stack of files on my desk now, half a dozen. I've done well over a dozen today and a dozen still to go but I have time for the next batch later in the week. I am keeping away from any memory at all now. I can't think about anything. I have to regain my control and sanity. I can't function like this. I can't face another day. I can't sleep. I can't think. I don't want to.

How will I continue to exist with this weight crushing the breath from me? That's what it does. I can't get my breath at times. Like some fish cast onto the beach, struggling to find its way back to the water. I clutch something, my chest, my stomach, anything just to keep breathing and push back the hurt.

I have nothing to forgive Jerry for. It is all my own guilt. I can't get past it. I can't go around it and I can't climb over it. There is no escape from it. I've asked God to give me some acknowledgement that not only does he forgive me, but that Jerry does as well. Oh, I know that the last thing on Jerry's mind right now is me and my misery but how will I ever get past this point if I can't find some reassurance. I know that Jerry would never hate me but I do.

Perhaps Esau's problem was not that God would not forgive him. Perhaps Esau could never forgive himself.




Friday, February 27, 2009

Missing Pieces

I had a very odd day where nothing much got done. I was supposed to work on files and I had everything planned. I anticipated being ready for file work after noon.

I got up at 8 and I didn't want to but had to have lab work for my Monday doctor's appointment. I was supposed to have it on the 23rd but forgot. Can't imagine why. I didn't take medicine, eat or get my coffee because I wasn't sure if it was fasting or not and the order didn't say. I took the cautious side and didn't eat. I was there nearly an hour despite the fact that there were only two of us waiting for blood work. It was in the hospital out patient lab for heaven's sake.

Afterward, I stopped and got an OJ and a breakfast burrito from McDonald's and ate in the car. That took only another ten to twenty minutes. I like those and it cleared up the hunger pangs.

Then, I went to the funeral home and met with them about the bill. I paid the funeral expenses. I've never written a check that large and it was frightening. And the process was stressful, too. Somehow, this made it final and I knew that I had to get home and take my medicine. It was nearly 11 by then.

Once I got the meds I lay on the sofa and fell asleep and slept until two p.m.! I woke up and still felt tired and had a headache, which I still have. But my counseling appointment was at three so I got my coat and left for that.

I don't actually know what happened at that session. I'm sure it was profound but I simply feel defeated. I'm searching for missing pieces to my puzzle, remember. I'm stressed because I want the whole picture but the missing pieces are preventing it. After searching the room, I suspect my puzzle had a piece missing all along. It is rare but it has happened. I can package the puzzle in the box and take it back to the store and exchange it for one that has all the parts. But I want to find the missing piece.

I will never find the missing piece to the puzzle on my coffee table. I've searched everywhere. Three or four times. It simply isn't here.

I want Jerry home. I want to know what happened. I want to know why I didn't see the whole picture.

And Jerry will never come home. I will never know what happened. I will never know why I didn't see the whole picture. I can't go get a replacement and start over.

I can only finish the puzzle with the missing pieces left out.




Thursday, February 26, 2009

Midnight Wonderings

I am on my way to bed and decided to stop and put a few thoughts here. I am to see the counselor tomorrow at three. I have to go to the bank, go to the funeral home, and I have brought work home to do over the weekend.

I took my medicine later tonight and I am really tired now and can hardly keep my eyes open. Dave and Mike were both here earlier tonight. Mike left around 9 and Dave around 10. It is strange and I don't know what to make of it but tonight is the first time things have felt "normal", whatever that means. Maybe taking the medicine later makes it work better.

I stayed at work until 6 to tie up loose ends and I was beginning to feel a bit stressed by then. I almost took the meds when I got home but I don't think I can handle another sleepless night and function. I was really dragging the last two days and felt very down at times.

I am not crying at the drop of a hate but I am analyzing things to death. Perhaps not a good choice of words. I'm getting lots of calls from family and friends and that is helping keep me focused on other things for a bit. But the constant analysis of all that happened to Jerry are hard to deal with. I keep trying to understand what happened, how I missed so much, why he didn't talk to me.

I'm going to bed now. My eyes are just too heavy. Maybe tomorrow will bring answers that I can understand.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Night In An Empty House

It was three in the morning before I got to sleep after I went to bed last night. I don't know if that will happen tonight. I think part of the reason was I took my meds when I got home and went to sleep on the couch for about two hours. It happened again tonight.And it was worse because I was exhausted. Mike was here and tried to get me to go to bed but I was so sleepy I couldn't move. I finally got up when he left and have sat here watching a show on HULU.

I am tired but I am concerned I won't be able to get to sleep again. I see the counselor Friday and I will discuss the sleep problem then. I had a bad day today and if I don't get enough sleep, I may have a worse one tomorrow.

When I got home today I sat and cried for half an hour. Too many questions, regrets, anguish. Such anguish for all that is lost. It is just so empty here. I miss my family. Mike comes over and stays a few hours but MIke and I don't really talk. We are just together most of that time. He is in his own world and that is usually on the phone. It I had cable he would have sat down and watched his shows but I shut that off. We don't do things together. Although Saturday he wants me to go to the store with him to buy groceries. Dave and Becca and Sarah would come over if I asked but I find that my sweet Sarah is too much after a while. I get so tired and the noise begins to get to me. I don't understand that. I adore her and she is such a joy.

When I was at my aunt's I spent time doing things with them and putting a puzzle together with my uncle, watching television. I have a puzzle on the table now but I can't do it. The house is so empty. I feel like I am in a barn rambling around looking for someone.

How long does this last? What am I supposed to do? I can't really write, read, watch television... well, I've been watching videos that I fall asleep during, I can't listen to music, I can't think. I don't know what to do. I feel like running somewhere but there is no where to go.

This evening when I got home, I remembered when Mama died. I was 17 and Jerry and I had just started dating. I met him on November 27, 1973. She died January 2, 1974. I married Jerry on January 11, 1974. Yes, crazy. But it lasted 35 years. Well, we worked hard at it. But I remembered how he was there to pick up the pieces that my life had suddenly been shattered into. He helped me piece them together into a new life and although I suffered such heartache from her loss, he was always there to protect me and give me some sanity. Eventually, I was able to find my own path... but not alone. I don't like being alone in this sense. I like my personal time but Jerry was always in the next room or across the room. I had my own interest but he was always watching and smiling if I looked at him. He moved around and played the television too loud.

This. . . hollowness . . . void . . . this is unbearable. This directionless rambling is frightening. The lack of purpose is . . . is like death itself. I'm buried in a box in the ground.


Monday, February 23, 2009

Counting Days

I wonder when I will stop counting days. Every time I see a date I find myself saying things like "That was five days before Jerry died" or "that was ten days before Jerry died" or That was thirty days before Jerry died". I have never been so good a math as I am now. I look at posts that I wrote in the days before and I know exactly how many days it was done before Jerry died, how many days since Jerry died. The 29th of January has suddenly become some bizarre pivotal point in my life and every thing I see, say, and do revolves around that date. I automatically calculate where the event lies in reference to the 29.

I also find I can't bear to look at the number 29! It is crazy. I know it i crazy.

I am spending my second night in a vacant house. I am constantly amazed at how empty the house feels. It never felt so before. Dave, Becca, Sarah and Mike were here tonight for supper. Once they were all gone, I felt the breath leave the house and the silence set in. I have been watching a video but it doesn't matter. No sound seems to be able to break this deafening silence that hovers over the place. Even now, as I write, there is a stillness and quiet that is unusual.

I love quiet and have always hated constantly running televisions and radios or stereos. But this silence is unaffected by such things. My cable was disconnected today and it was very strange to feel as if I should turn on the television since I didn't have that feeling when it was connected. Now, I feel it necessary to have sound.

So many odd things happening.

We are noticing that Sarah has become fearful for some reason. She stops and looks as if she is seeing something and then gets very frightened. She's doing this at home and here. Of course, I'm keeping a lot of lights off in rooms we are not in but it is unlike her to experience any kind of fear here in the house. She is two and a half so it could be the terrible twos and a growing awareness of fear that is common to all children.

We also think she may be experiencing some grief and doesn't know how to express it. She knows he is gone. However, this apparent "seeing" things is not unusual for her. When she was less than a year old we watch her once stare at a door and giggle and laugh for nearly half an hour. We couldn't figure out what she was laughing at since it was a closed door and there was nothing there and she was only an infant. So, we always wondered if Sarah could see angels. I don't know that she is seeing anything at this point but I don't know much about such things. I've told her mother to have her prayed for in the event that she is experiencing some distress over all that has happened and it is manifesting as fear. Sarah was in the house the night Jerry died and did witness all the terrible emotional trauma. She had to be affected by it. Pray for her.

It is late again. I must go to bed.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

On The Edge

I know I am insane. I know it all sounds so foolish and mixed up. I can't think straight half the time. I will be perfectly normal and it seems as if everything is just as it was. Then, something, a thought or word or fear will bring everything back.

Paying bills was hell. I kept going over how hard we had it for the last year because Jerry couldn't keep track of things and we kept getting overdrawn. I remembered at the first part of January I told him everything was going to be fine because he had finally let me have total control of the assets and we actually had a little money ahead for the first time in a year. He looked so relieved and almost happy. We talked about what we could do by the end of summer. Where we'd go. For the first time in two years we both felt hopeful and as if we had something to look forward to. How very stupid we were.

Proverbs 13:12 says, "Hope deferred maketh the heart sick;". I understand the depth of Jerry's despair. So much hope lost until his heart was too sick to bear it.. Today, I watched as all we'd hoped for slid down into the chasm at my feet.

Lost in the Fog

I've been paying the bills that are due and trying to figure out how I am going to manage to keep things going on half the income. I have no idea really. I've spent the day freaking out over it.

I called and cancelled the cable but have kept the internet and phone. I could cancel unlimited long distance but that will isolate me because I have no family here. I could cancel the internet but that too would further isolate me since I have some family on here and my internet contacts. I am not sure what to do there. I may have to look for a cheaper alternative but it will limit what I can do on here if I have to find a cheaper service.

For a long time we didn't have long distance but used a phone card we bought at Wal-mart or Sam's Club. We rarely ever used it up. But we had each other to talk to and the boys so we only called a few people. Those days are gone. Mike calls me several times a day because he is afraid for me. He just came over because he couldn't get me on the phone. I was on the phone with someone else and couldn't answer. He was terrified. My aunt and uncle are calling all the time as is my sister in Florida and one of my brothers. And I need the phone for local calls and if I needed help. I have to keep the phone.

My car is going to be the biggest problem and I know once the insurance comes through I can do something to fix that but I don't know how long it will take. I could refinance the house but as it is now, it will be paid off about the time I am retired and I can't see still having house payment debt hanging over my head at 62.

Let's just face it. If my job goes, everything goes now. So, it is rather pointless to even wonder what is going to happen since I do have an income. My necessities are all I am looking at but there won't be house repairs that were planned for the summer, or any other time.

I am going to ask the doctors to re-evaluate my medicines since my insurance is going up in June and I don't see continuing to pay nearly $200 a month in co-pays for medicine. The only things I will need for survival are the diabetic medicine and BP meds. The rest will just have to go. I will take something over the counter for the RA pain and deal with it. I have until June to get that worked out. That's when the insurance will go up.

I am going to probably cut my retirement deductions. I have a voluntary portion that I can cut that will give me about $50 more a month. That will pay the water bill I think.

I'm only thinking out loud here. I don't have a clue but this is the realities of death. The living have to figure out how to survive. My advice is you better start counting cost now.

I know that Jerry really believed I'd still get his disability check, despite my arguing with him that I would not. He never really believed It. Someone told him I would. I did the research through the VA and told him that was not true. He didn't believe me. I don't think he worried about me for that reason. Maybe that was why he didn't really take care of his own needs. Maybe he thought I'd be better off without him.

I have a job so that's a plus. It is a good job and as long as I have it I'll be able to live. I guess. I can keep the roof over my head, even if the walls fall off at some point. I can keep utilities on if I scrimp on them a bit. Dryer will be gone by the spring.. Clothesline will be up. I may or may not be able to keep my car but I have to try and keep it. No more cell minutes even if it is pay as you go. By the time I pay all the debts I have to pay I might be able to buy some groceries and gas for the car. No long trips either.

I just don't know what is going to happen. I've never been in such a dismal place except when Jerry and I both got out of work. But that was so long ago and we still had his disability to pay basics until we got on our feet.

I don't want to think anymore. I'm tired.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Wheaties in a Cup

I left the coffee on the warmer all night and didn't know it. I could stand a spoon in it but instead I have added my sweetner and creamer and am drinking it. I haven't eaten yet and I find my eating habits have diminished considerably. But since I may need to chew the coffee, I may be able to forego the wheaties all together. I actually hate Wheaties.

I woke up after a dream in which I was talking to someone. I don't know who but I stuck my fingers in my ears and said, "I am not going to listen to this. I'm not going to listen to this." It seems I was in a pleasant mood in the dream because I woke up at that point. But I have no idea what they were trying to say to me or who was saying it. I felt as if there were two people talking to me. And I want to know what they were trying to tell me. I believe in dreams. King David did, too, and so did several prophets. That's good enough for me.

Then, I got up and felt normal. The house is still empty, vacant, waiting for Jerry to come home. But no one is here with me. My sister had to be at work by 7.

Once up, I walked around talking about all my marriage. To no one? To God? To Jerry? {shrug} Don't know. Thirty-five years is a long time and over all, it was a happy life. Yesterday I broke at the memory of the birth of our children. He was there both times and who will I share that joy with now? The trips we took? Our cruise down the Rhein River when I was so pregnant with Mike and "Ring my Bell" was blaring on the lower deck so loud we had to sit top-side to avoid going deaf. It was freezing cold and I didn't have a jacket because the day had been warm. I curled up close to him and tried to stay warm and stared into the dark. I have no memory of our conversation, just a boat cruising along a German river in the dark disco music floating on the breeze.

We did have several bad spots about mid-way through th emarriage. Very nearly divorced about 1980, came very close indeed. But I prayed and fasted and I believe the Lord saved the marriage. Yet after that, we couldn't go back beyond that point in many ways. We still loved each other but the relationship was somehow different. He blamed himself and I blamed me. Still, we put it behind us and had wonderful times together. Until he began to get sick in 1989.

Gradually, his medical problems grew. He lost the job that made him proud and gave him dignity. He lost physical abilities that humiliated him. He couldn't get a good job - so much for taking care of Vets and giving them self-esteem. The VA and you employers out there, you don't give a tinker's damn and never have about the dignity of these men who served you and your country. My husband lost dignity after dignity until there was nothing left for him but a cashier's job we were desperate for. And finally, his health affected the marriage in sad or painful ways that neither of us knew how to deal with and he couldn't face. He had to wear a machine to breath in his sleep... he hated it and stopped. He simply lived in pain from all of it, he in silence and I in anger, hoping to see Sarah grow up. He kept saying it the last two months. Did he know? I begin to think he did.

And I lost sight of it buried beneath an ever increasing weight of responsibilities that had once been shared. I didn't understand what was happening since his back surgery three years ago. I was misdirected by pain medications prescribed by a pill pushing idiot. Pills that probably mask the symptoms of a heart crushed by disappointment and life.

If you know someone who had been on pain meds for more than a year without a serious illness, get help now. That is NOT normal. That is addiction and will kill them. Remind them that pain felt means they are alive. Pain unfelt is death. These medicines affect the heart. Sleep apnea is a death sentence. If you live with a snorer, stay awake and listen to the breathing. If they have brief periods where they stop breathing, get help now, even if you have to threaten divorce. It will kill them. And if they are diagnosed, do not allow pride to stop them from using the machine. If you love them, fight every step of the way. And pray.


Friday, February 20, 2009

The Raveled Sleeve of Care

Macbeth said that sleep knits "the raveled sleeve of care" but I am here to tell you that it isn't true. I'm so tired. I worked here at home all day and I'm as tired as I would have been had I gone to work.I was glad to be out of the office, but as for sleep, I doubt it will ever mend the tears in my soul.

I feel perfectly normal for a moment and then, I turn a corner, glimpse a photo, see a sock, open a drawer, open a door, smell a scent, remember a smile, or a shared joy and hordes of demons come screaming at me and snatch my breath away. I can only gasp, clutch the nearest support, and cover my face in a feeble attempt to hide from the slashes and taunts of memories. A torrent of pain washes over me and everything is twisted and foreign and I'm cast into a place I do not know and where no one knows me.

There is no name for this pain. No word is adequate to describe it. And no sinner ever felt such a weight of guilt, regret, and remorse.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Day 23

Another day ends. I took my meds when I got home and I am suitably numb to most things. I still feel but the panic attacks have abated and now it is just a hollow shell that remains.

The house is deathly quiet. I hear all the clocks ticking. There are two, one in my living room and one in my personal bathroom. I never noticed them before. This afternoon I had to take the battery out of Jerry's clock. It drove me crazy when he was alive. It taunts me now.

I also had to change the sound machine setting. Jerry and I always turned it on to ocean sounds at night to fall asleep to. I am now listening to rain. How stupid is that? I love the ocean sound but can't bear to listen to it. The thought of it brings back unbearable images.

I saw the counselor at 3 and ran over 15 minutes. Bet that cost a bundle. Mostly background information on me. Who I was, where I came from, who my family was, my education. How dysfunctional my family was and is. LOL, I always find that rather interesting to relate. People have such funny expressions when you shock them. Have I ever been depressed, in counseling, etc. Yes.

We discovered we had two mutual friends who were my teachers. And like every person who has ever gotten to know the real me says, he made the comment I believe I've come to consider an insult. "You're a survivor," he said. I told him I was tired of it because it was hard work. He agreed it was. I go back next Friday to see how I am faring and how the meds are working. Call if I feel crazy or something like that.

My sister left a pot of vegetable soup on the stove and I had a bowl when I got home. I watched television and fell asleep for about an hour. I have spent the last hour working on a puzzle that my uncle and I started before I went to Atlanta. Now, I think there is a piece missing. It worried me for some reason. It's a new puzzle but Mike had bought a sofa this week and put it in the den until he could get it to his place. He moved the table over with the puzzle on it. Today he moved the sofa out mussed the puzzle when he moved the table. So, I think the piece is lost as a result of that. I found one piece on a chair. I searched three times for the other piece and can't find it. So, I may not finish the thing.

I put away dishes my sister washed, talked to a fella from the funeral home who wanted to talk to me about pre-planning my own funeral. That's a bit unreal since I don't even have the insurance settled yet. But logic says it is the right thing to consider, in light of recent events.

Huh, logic. I suppose it returns eventually.

I just spent the last 45 minutes talking to Becca and Sarah.

Now, I'm going to get ready for bed. The day is finally over.

I don't know about tomorrow.




Passage of Days

Seems as if the days pass at the speed of a snail. I am muddling along on this new med but feel myself slipping farther and farther behind in my work. I have my appointment with a counselor at 3 p.m. today so we'll see how that goes.

I am going to try and take tomorrow off and take work home so I can just sit and review files. I won't have the forms I need but I can still review the files for missing items.

I get tired, I think, of people saying all the right things. They mean well. I'm not unaware of that. Yes, I know he's in a better place. But I want him here. I know he is not in pain. I didn't want him in pain but I wanted him better here. I wanted my life back. That's what I prayed for over and over. My life was with Jerry. It wasn't without him. I wanted to be able to go to the park on picnics, to the mountains on camping trips, to dinner, to church, to a ride along a country road or a tramp in the woods with him. I wanted all the things we had before he got sick. I want the person who knew all about me. Knew how stubborn I was, all my faults and the good things about me. . .if there were any. For a long time I don't think there have been any good things about me at all. There is no one left who knows me. I was 17 when we married. My links to my past are gone except for my aunt.

If I could just roll the clock back to January 27th with a chance to change even one day I think I could bear it.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A Personal Note

I wanted to come in before I conk out and say with as much lucidity as I have had for several weeks now that you are all a lifeline. Your emails, PM's, and comments are a sort of anchor to sanity and hope. I love you all for that. Do not give up on me, please. I really need you all. If I am not here from time to time, it is not because I don't want to be but because I simply can't find the words. And if I have not read all your posts, it is just because I find myself reading the same words over and over and not understanding them. I'm sorry. I always enjoy your blogs and this is hard for me. I feel disloyal to people who have become so special to me.

I went to the doctor today and asked them to give me a stronger medicine that would still allow me to work. They have given me Xanax and I am to try and see how it works. I fell apart on the way home... again. His suffering, I just keep remembering it and it is agony that I didn't, couldn't help him with it. My husband was suffering so much and I seemed to have missed it. I was so unfeeling but he never said, "I'm in pain. I'm not happy. I need help." When I remember, I want to die. As I drove home I could only cry and pray. I know God would not torment me in this way but my guilt is so overwhelming. Why did I stay so angry with him? Why did I not see what was happening? Why would he not tell me, confide in me? Did he think I didn't care?

Of course, Mike was waiting, as usual, to put his arms around me and just say, "It will be all right, Mom." For those who do not know my oldest son personally, we share a long history of heartache that I do not often share for his sake. Mike was born with learning disabilities, is deaf in one ear, and has some other problems. I believe he is an undiagnosed manic depressive. Our life together has been filled with wounds, struggle, rejection and great difficult with the world around him. He is often not understood or liked by most people he meets. But he is the most faithful and loyal son one could ever wish for. I always know Mike will be there when I am in trouble. He went and got the new med and I took it. And he has stayed here with me. He will go home at ten when his show goes off. Just having him in the house is enough comfort. Pray for my Mike. He struggles with daily living, selling blood to pay for his bills. But he never ask me for a single thing. My sister will stay with me when she gets off.

I'm tired now and will be going to bed, I think, when I finish this post. Something I couldn't do with the Ativan I was taking. It helped my sleep but I couldn't shut off my mind. I think the Xanax is helping a bit better tonight.

I am also scheduled to see a counselor on Thursday afternoon. They feel I will benefit from it and well, I just looked at the nurse practitioner and said, "Just tell me what to do." Not my usual mindset at all. Those of you who do know me, know that no one ever tells me what to do. Jerry knew that, too. I always know what to do. But I don't now. I've never been in this place.

When I got back to work after the doctor's appt, my wonderful boss, only a three years older than my son, talked with me. He felt I came back to work too soon but I told him I had no choice because of the money. He said he understood and wants to work out a work schedule that will give me some extra time to recover. If I need to take a two hour lunch I need only to let him know. He wants me to take a four day work week for a few weeks. I again pointed out I needed the money and it wasn't fair to him to allow my own work to fall behind. He said, "Don't worry about that. I'm going to pay you to be off. Besides, I know you won't take advantage of this. I know you'll work to make it up when you can."

If you read my past posts about my old boss you all know how this touched me. I remember praying that God would send me a good boss. I have to say I think he did. Pray for him because I would feel terrible if his kindness caused him any problem. I plan to bring work home to do this Friday. I think it would be good for me to be away from the office and have something to occupy my time. But he could get in serious trouble for paying me. When I mentioned this, he smiled and said, "I'm not worried about it."

To my new friend blicktx, thank you for your personal messages. They have been comforting and encouraging. Jilly was right, you are a great lady and I am glad to have met you.

I've some added others too during this time and you too have been a comfort. For those who have just popped in to be an encouragement, thank you for you kindness. I will eventually get by your sites to thank you properly.

This post sounds almost normal to me and I can't imagine where it is coming from except this med had relieved some of the anxiety, as it is meant to do. Part of me wants that and another part feels I should be suffering. My only concern is that I won't be able to get off this in a reasonable time. Again, those who know me know I am very anti-medication, particularly mood altering medications. For once, I think I'll forget that.

I"ll say good night now. And thank you all. I don't know when I'll be this sane again but I will post again soon.

Say I love you to those you love before you fall asleep tonight. Call them, long distance if you must. Look in their faces if possible and search below the surface. If you wake up in the night, kiss those close to you. You may never get another chance. Never assume everything is all right.

I forgot the one rule my grandmother taught me. Never let the sun go down on your wrath. Never go to bed angry. Never forget to say I love you before you sleep.

Will he ever forgive me? Will he know how very much I loved him? Will he ever know that I would have done anything to save him if he had only talked to me?

No Choices

My life is filled with them. They say we choose our lot in life. I can only remember one choice that was solely mine. Marrying Jerry, over protest from our families. Going to college in case I had to support us. Moving to this wasteland, the worst choice we ever made.

I don't remember any other choices I ever got to make. In fact, I could count the lack of choices and never reach the end. Things just were what they were and I had to deal with it. The latest is that I have to work. I don't have a choice in this. I can't survive at all if I don't. Jerry's income kept us afloat and gave us an ability to breath. Jerry's death has taken my ability to breath and the income that kept us afloat with it. I don't know what I'm going to do, or how I will manage. And for the first time in memory, I find that I don't actually care. It just doesn't matter much today.

I want to go home and sleep. I'm so tired. It's just noon and already I just want to sleep. I want to forget everything.


Monday, February 16, 2009

Home

I got in about 5 p.m. and unloaded the car. Mike left as soon as he got his car loaded and went home. So, I am here alone. I don't know what I'm supposed to do next.

At just that point my phone rang. My aunt called, then I called one of my college friends that had left a message while I was away. While on the phone with her, my brother Bill called. After I hung up, my brother-in-law called. So the last two hours were spent talking to people. I think that is my only salvation at the time.

I'm still alone and I think I will just get my bath and get ready for bed. I have to go to work tomorrow. I don't know how to do anything, it seems. I feel as if time has just stopped or is crawling by. Or maybe actually speeding by.

How very empty my home is. No one is here.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Away for a Few Days

I am leaving today for Atlanta. Mike is going to help me drive and because I can't be alone at this point. I will return either Sunday or Monday.

Thank you all for your prayers.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Three Weeks in Hell

I don't know if I'll ever get home without falling apart. I did manage to stay in control until I went to the pharmacy to pick up my refills. The pharmacy where Jerry worked for two years. When I got home I got Mike to go get us some supper. I sat down to send a note to someone and I so wanted to see him. So, I went to the memorial slide show. I don't think it is good for me to look at the memorial photos anymore. I shattered into a million pieces. All I could do was scream. If I'd been in public I'd have been so humiliated but I couldn't stop. I suppose it is good that my neighbors are so far away and I am the last house on a dead end street.

I am overwhelmed with guilt and I don't know how to stop. Every minute of that last day and the night up to the minute he died and my feeble attempts to do CPR play over and over. I see every thing, hear every word and sound. I see him shoveling the snow and smiling at me playing in it like a kid. I relive every unkind word, every hurtful thing I ever did to him, every time I yelled at him, every misunderstanding, every failure to grasp what was happening to him roars at me like a tidal wave and I am completely helpless to stop it. I hate myself. Not that's too mild a term. I despise myself. This man loved me beyond any thing I deserved and during the worst time of his life I failed him. I lost him because I didn't pay attention to the signs of heart failure. I KNOW this stuff! Do you hear me? I KNOW WHAT THOSE ARE. I SAW THEM! But I was so angry with him. He wouldn't do the things that helped him get better. He took pain killers. I now realize they were to stop the pain he didn't realize was heart pains. Why did that doctor now investigate where this pain was coming from?

My poor Mike, walked back in and found me. I think he nearly dropped our dinner. He did what he could and finally called my uncle. They want me to come there for a couple of days. So, I may drive to Atlanta tomorrow to spend the next several days with them. I have to be back to work on Tuesday. I think I'll have to take Mike with me because being alone is not good right now. I can't deal with the voices and the pictures in my mind. They're worse when I'm alone.

My sister, Phyllis, is here tonight. She is very sick, though, and I am taking her to the doctor tomorrow. She has this terrible cold but she gets bronchitis very badly every year. She has no insurance at all so it is going to cost a mint but I can't let her stay sick like this.

I need to stop now. I'm very tired. I'm sorry this is so depressing. I'll try and do better next time.




Tuesday, February 10, 2009

An Empty House

I did not do well at work today. Around noon I just broke apart. I had to close my door and it was nearly half an hour before I recovered enough to finish the day.

I asked Mike to come over and be here when I got home so the house wouldn't seem so empty but before I ever got home I was sobbing so badly that I had to get control of myself so I could drive. Mike met me at the door and hug me and let me cry on his shoulder. Once I got back under control I took a hot shower and ate a pizza.

Over the weekend I had bought a lot of puzzles. I always loved doing them but have not in several years. My uncle likes them too and we spent several days working on puzzles. I realized it kept my mind occupied.So, I went and bought some. Tonight I tried putting together a puzzle my sister and uncle had started on Saturday. I have just cried for hours it seems and when I realized the puzzle had done all it could and I simply could no longer focus on it, I came to check my mail before going to bed.

I am simply exhausted. It is a tired I can't ever remember experiencing before. Every step is an effort, every thought a strain. Everyone keeps calling and checking on me and that is nice to know. I just don't know what to say. Are you all right? No. I exist.

Let me say all you that have stopped and expressed your concern and offered your prayers, I am so very grateful and I do read them. They have let me know that there are people praying and at the moment, I don't have much else going for me. So, thank you for both prayers and compassion. I wish I could hug you all.

I'm going to bed now. I just can't really think anymore tonight.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Back to Work

I went back to work to day to be greeted with mounds of paperwork. It was depressing and almost overwhelming. I had to leave early to meet with the Social Security Administration regarding a death benefit they pay toward burial cost. It is small but every dollar helps.

I'm just getting ready for bed. My aunt, uncle and sister, Roselynn are all still here. They have all caught that awful cold I had. I had a relapse after Jerry died and had to get antibiotics. Tonight they all are taking antibiotics.

Everyone has been very kind and my family had just been wonderful. My brothers have been calling nearly every day and though I have missed their calls at times, I am so touched that they have shown their concern. During the worst days of my life, they surrounded me and that was the greatest blessing to me. They are not all living for God but they are such wonderful brothers and sisters. I love them all so much.

I am . . . moving forward. I can't say improving. I can't say coping. I don't think either word conveys what I feel. I am in a fog moving forward, hands extended and praying that somewhere ahead is something solid that will give me stability. There are moments that I wish I could reach out and there he would be. I'd grab his hand and cling for life. But I feel him moving farther away each day. I can't describe this. There is a growing void, a hollowness. I say sometimes, "Jerry, please come home." He can't, of course, but I want him to come home.

At 9:30 p.m. last night no one had to tell me what time it was. I asked my sister, "It's 9:30, isn't it?" She nodded. I said, "I thought so." It was time to pick him up from work.

Everyone says the same things to me. I understand but they are so meaningless. It will get better. You'll feel better. But I feel as if I am simply moving through that fog.

I'm really tired tonight and I am going to go to bed. I have been unable to get some of the images out of my head and sleep has not been good some nights. I am certified in CPR and first aid but I have to tell you that never, ever, ever, ever will I administer CPR again. I am required to be certified at my job but I will never use it again. It was the most terrible experience I've ever had and I am unable to shut out the memories of that night.

Pray for me. I know that God is with me. I know he cares. I know he is watching over me. I just can't move another step because I don't know what direction to move in.


Saturday, February 7, 2009

What Do I Say?

I am stopping in to thank all my friends here who have sent their condolences over the past two weeks. I don't know what I can say to any of you. I am so very sad that there are no words to express it and I can't think of anything I to say. What does one say in moments like this? And where does one go from here? I am so lost and confused. I just want him to come home. I want to wake up and find it is all a very bad dream..



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