Keeping time.

Noted:  It is September.

Every crappy thing to ever happen to me happened in the fall.  Pretty much.  And yet, it’s still my favorite time of year.  The first chilly Saturday afternoon to wear track pants and long sleeve tshirts.  The pumpkin candles, body wash and room spray.  The scarecrows and pumpkins.  The crisp mornings and warm afternoons.  And the food.  

I will not survive the fall on a diet.  WW is not supposed to be a diet.  It’s supposed to be a lifestyle change.  And I’m not so sure I want to make the change in the fall.  To me, it’s about the apple orchard trips (and making homemade apple jelly, apple crisp, apple pie) and pumpkin pies.  It’s about chili soup and football.  Casseroles, muffins, hot chocolate.  Bring it on.

But then I remember all that is tied to fall and my chest hurts.

Will was born in the fall.  Will got sick in the fall.

Will died in the fall.

Stephen died in the fall.

It’s been almost a year.  And not an overly long year either.  Granted, the days are sometimes unending but we made it through.  The individual moments are getting fuzzy around the edges.  I still feel like he’s missing.  I feel like he should be there.  I can only tell Ella so many times that he isn’t coming back.  His voice is fuzzy in my head.  The edges of his cancer have softened.

I don’t remember him as bald and swollen from steroids.  I remember the thickness of his hair as I cut it in the kitchen with a child or two looking on.

I don’t remember the coughing.  I remember the laughter.  I remember the phone calls at the end of every work day.

I don’t remember the blank look in his eyes right after a seizure but I do remember the one finger under my chin, tilting my face to his so he could kiss me.

This is going to be hard.  The changing of the seasons is another reminder of life going on.  The littles are growing.  There are things in our house that he never saw, including the house for that matter.  I have learned new recipes and made new friends.  Ella can ride a bike.  Amelia can talk and is ready to start potty training.  We get up every day and go about our business of going on.

I still wish that I could have paused.  I still wish that I could have had that debilitating, take to my bed, Gone with the Wind kind of grief.  I never had that.  And it’s probably too late for it.  And not healthy not that I think about it.  I’m not sure I’m capable of shutting down now without at least one someone saying “What’s her deal?” 

I miss him.  I feel his absence every. single. day.  But I am not paralyzed by it. 

The next month or so is going to be one of those countdown things.  For example, I didn’t know (one year ago today) that he had a month to live.  I didn’t know that the back pain was more than sleeping wrong; that it was the tumors growing on his spinal nerves.  I didn’t know that his general weakness was more than just all that chemo making him tired.  I didn’t know that I was watching him die.

One year ago, he saw his best friend and college roommate, Dennis, for the last time.  We all had supper together and when Stephen got up to go to the bathroom Dennis said, “How’s he really doing?”  Dennis could see it.  I couldn’t.  I had the blinders on that a daily caregiver must have.  But he saw it.  (note to self: pick up the phone and call Dennis….just do it….)

One year ago, I started the Lexapro.  Probably about, oh, four months too late.  I was incapable of making a decision.  I couldn’t handle the highs and lows.  I was angry alot about things I couldn’t control.  The Lexapro has helped I will say that.  Not a ton of side effects either which I was worried about. 

So this is how we roll, keeping time with the calendar.  The days click along.  The memories click around like tires on the pavement, each bump rattling my bones.  It’s going to be a rough month for me, a rough season.  There’s alot knocking around in my head.  There’s so much to remember and so much to say; so much fear and even more denial. 

Hold on and ride this with me.


4 thoughts on “Keeping time.

  1. Hey there,

    It’s alreilly from DSD — I’ll hold on and ride with you! I’ll cry with you, laugh with you, and live with you! You are so strong – even when you don’t think you are!

    I just wanted to say HI and let you know that I love your writings – the good- the bad – and the ugly….

    And I wish you a good fall, with good memories, and AMAZING tasting, fat free, apple pie (that is zero points on WW of course)!

    🙂 AL

  2. Hey…your blog reminds me of a passage in the Extraordinary book you recommended….”When someone you loves dies, and you’re not expecting it, you don’t lose her all at once; you lose her in pieces over a long time-the way the mail stops coming, and her scent fades from the pillows and even from the clothes in her closet and drawers. Gradually, you accumulate the parts of her that are gone. Just when the day comes-when there’s a particular missing part that overwhelms you with the feeling that she’s gone, forever-ther comes another day, and another specifically missing part.”

    I will always “ride” with you.


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