I planned to write a new thought ramble and thought of the title Learning The Ropes. I saw that it had already been used. So I read it. It deserves to be reprinted. The fun I had when my friend passed deserves to be shared again. My husband has joined my team on the other side. My husband was involved with ham radios. My CD player WOULD NOT play a CD I chose. When I was able to listen to it, I understood why. That same day I was NOT ABLE to change the TV to a program I wanted to watch. Giving up, I went out to fax a copy of his death certificate. Returning home — I was able to change the TV to that station. I won’t bore you with all the FUN I’m having. This Saturday we are gathering to celebrate my husband’s life with music, stories and fun. More than four days since he has passed, he has learned the ropes. LET THE FUN BEGIN.
Mischief is afoot. I would raise the white flag but I know it won’t do any good. It took me awhile to become aware that someone was in training. But I’m a bit slow at times. Christmas is coming and my life will be busy. Not necessarily with parties and celebrations but baking and decorating the house seems to take more time and effort than it used to. I refuse to admit that it is because I’m heavier and older. I can’t do anything about being older but wouldn’t you think I’d be able to do something about the weight? I needed a few ideas to write a ramble about so they would publish during the time I was occupied with Christmas. My friends in high places are happy to oblige.
Anyway back to training. My friend Dorothy passed on Tuesday. My favorite knife DISAPPEARED on Wednesday morning. I have searched and searched without success. I remember putting it in its holder on the sink — GONE! I think life was relatively calm from Wednesday to Sunday but then my memory isn’t what it used to be. I know I should keep notes of the happening in my life but I don’t unless my attention is drawn to a happening — like my knife disappearing.
Saturday we celebrated Dorothy’s life. Sunday got my attention. Did she have time to rest, visit with those on the other side and was now ready to expand her knowledge. I don’t know but Sunday got my attention. It started with my husband’s poker game floating face down in the toilet. When did it go for a swim? Good question. I went to Mass and let the rest of the household sleep. I walked and it started to rain as I entered church. The gospel was the same as the reading at the service on Saturday. Our music director was late and a cantor with an excellent voice lead us in song.
On the home front, my husband’s day was interesting. Vitamins and pills had a life of their own — falling on the floor and spreading around the desk. He mentioned other happenings but I don’t remember. We decided we should take life easy and go out for breakfast. The restaurant was so packed we left for another place. Everybody must have been out for breakfast, finding a parking spot at the restaurants was impossible. I won’t bore you with the search just let me say five restaurants later we finally stopped to eat. Thankfully the food was very good.
Returning home, I wanted a cup of tea. Eight boxes of tea cascaded out of the cabinet all over the floor. I often switch to herbal teas early in the day and I have an assortment. I was reminded of all the flavors as I picked up the boxes and tried to get them settled again. Sometimes one or two boxes will fall — as if someone is helping me with the choice — but eight??
I wrote CELEBRATING A LIFE. Evidently some of my writing didn’t pass — the computer refused to save it. I deleted and changed a few thoughts. The ramble was saved!
I wanted to print something off of the computer and used the computer in my husband’s office. Trouble, trouble again. The computer had issues, when it finally let me access my e-mails — they were all gone. I was reminded of the fun my family experienced after my father passed and was learning how to mess with electronics the day of his wake. Our son and our daughter’s boyfriend each had different computer issues on that day.
Four days to visit and rest — that is about right.
I knew my husband was a man of honor. This morning I opened the bible to Job 30. Normally I DON’T LIKE to open to Job. It usually alerts me to rough water. Today was different. “I wore my honesty like a garment.” Christian song early morning reminded me that I am loved. I am extremely fortunate in many ways. Our son moved home more than eight years ago to help his parents. I am not alone in the house. Yesterday it SNOWED. More than 3″. He took care of the steps and the sidewalk. I had started on the steps with a broom — only to quickly discover that there was too much snow on the steps already. I had planned to go to a Veteran ceremony but the snow changed my plans.
My husband enjoyed helping others. He was quick to give away stuff he was no longer using. I’m sure he is happy that the insulin he no longer needed has been given to a couple of people whose finances made getting insulin difficult. His clothes are also going to a couple of out reach places.
I have over 30 photo albums and piles of photos that never made it into an album. I found an album that I had put together using a photo service. I planned to send it to one of my husband’s sisters until I looked at it closely. I made the album when my husband and I returned from a trip back to his home in Maryland. We visited with three of his sisters, enjoyed a visit with his childhood friend and experienced more than a foot of snow arriving on the day we were scheduled to come back home. The pages are full of my memories of the trip. Since it was one of our last trips together, going through the pages with my notes — “A fellow at breakfast told stories of bear hunting. I was concerned that we would be in that area. The fellow told me not to worry. A note on one of the pages not only told the short story, but mentioned the bear hunting checkpoint sign.”
I’ve mentioned that I’m aware that I walk to a different drummer. I’m aware that I receive “help” from my “friends in high places.” I was wondering why I hadn’t noticed “help” from my husband. Sorrow does strange things. This morning I not only remembered my daughter needing a new battery in her car before she returned home. She had used her car with NO PROBLEMS taking her father back and forth to the doctors. She had moved her car in front of the house to make packing easier. She learned a new battery was needed when she planned to leave.
I’m an early riser, soon after my husband passed, I took my pens and books and calendars into the kitchen closing the door to not wake those who were sleeping downstairs. When I went to retrieve my pens they were gone. I remembered I had pens in a valentine box given to me by a dear friend. Opening the box, I found a red silk pouch containing a message. “This represents a: Life, b: Endurance, c: Hope, d: and Change.” It had a drawing of a butterfly and a personal note that I’ll keep private. It accompanied a butterfly magnetic pin. Last present and note I received from a special man.
It is with great sadness that I share the news that my husband of more than 55 years has passed over to the other side. We learned in September that he had pneumonia, then the mass in his lung was small cell cancer. He survived time in the hospital, kept his humor and quality of life. Chemo and having to wear oxygen began to take its toll. He did not like to wear the oxygen. He did not want to be a burden on me. He did not like the sore throat. He did not like that it hurt to eat. His favorite food became oatmeal with lots of butter, potato soup with lots of butter and chicken noodle soup with LOTS OF BUTTER A friend shared that her sister with cancer liked POTATO SOUP WITH LOTS OF BUTTER.
We applied for and received a handicapped parking placard. We submitted a form for handicapped parking. HE DID NOT NEED EITHER.
Although his body was responding to the chemo, masses were shrinking in his lungs, other parts of his body said this is enough. He passed over in the hospital at 1:18 in the morning. Both my son and daughter were there. They are having trouble sleeping in the one o’clock hour. Nights can be difficult. It depends on the track m y mind wants to take.
At first I was ANGRY. “Why did you leave me?” Then I realized I was being selfish. He DID NOT WANT to be handicapped. HE DID NOT WANT to be a burden on me. HE DID NOT WANT TO have to wear oxygen.
These thoughts and more in the same vein have helped during this time of “PROCESS.” Many things have been delayed. I’m not going to list them. I have been aware of “help” from the other side for many years. Now my husband has joined the team. Is he adding to the merriment. It is hard to tell. The Saturday when our daughter was heading back home, her car wouldn’t start. Although she used her car for trips to the hospital with out any troubles, she NEEDED A NEW BATTERY.
Cell phones and computers have a life of their own. Slowly, very slowly, I’m taking care of business. I’m dotting the i’s and crossing the “t’s”. And tomorrow will be another day.