Thursday, September 17, 2009

Catharsis, comfort,and a few carats

Today is the 2 month anniversary of my mom's death. On some level, it seems like she has been gone forever, and on another level, the emotions of that day continue to be incredibly raw. Today is also the 3 month anniversary of our marriage. In many ways, I feel that our marriage is much more mature than some people after 5 years. On some level, I am angry that we lost that honeymoon period; however, I am thankful that I have the marriage that I do. I would not be able to get through most days if it were not for Bryce. He is my rock and my comfort.

Since my last update, I have come to some new realizations. Catharsis is necessary on a daily basis. In the last couple of weeks, I have felt the need to purge certain things from my life. I feel the need to purge all things that are no longer necessary, cause me heartache, or relationships that are no longer loving/supportive. Unfortunately, some of these relationships, I am not able to Hopefully soon, I will be able to do that as well. Last weekend, I went through another purging of the Olathe house. I went through the clothes I have moved here (not many) and got rid of everything that i haven't worn since I moved in. If I haven't worn it in two months and it's for summer.....see ya later. If the shoes hurt or look cheap or Mom didn't like them, they are gone. If the outfit looks cheap, makes me look fat, or Mom didn't like it, it's outta here. It is not worth filling my life with unneccesary clutter. It could be really interesting when we start to unload the storage unit someday...I have a feeling that I will be taking truck loads to the Goodwill and JLKC Thrift Shop. If we haven't really needed it since it's been there, do we really need it?!?! And, in the vein of catharsis.....the City House went on the market last weekend. As much as I love that home, I am ready to be rid of that constant reminder of another life. And, as of this weekend, I have decided that I am done with the Volkswagen. It will be sold this week. Don't get all worried....I won't be walking everywhere or using the buses now ;) I have decided to keep Mom's car. Getting rid of things makes me feel better.....There is a feeling of victory for me in carrying a bag full of crap to the garage to go out with the weekly trash.

I also strive to find comfort in every day. Comfort these days comes in many forms. Hugs from Bryce, snuggles from Claire, and a great cup of coffee top the list. I had given up coffee, except for a weekly treat, in the interest of cost a few years ago. However, now, I feel that it comforts me when I stop to get some in the am. To me, there is nothing better than my decaf latte from Starbucks in the am. Even if I am running late for work, I stop. I need something to make me feel better and if that has a snowball's chance at making my day manageable, I am going to do it. I also take comfort in the light of a new day. Waking up in the am means that I lived through the day before. Somedays, that provides alot of comfort to me. I also take comfort in the good weather. I know that Mom is sending that my way. Although,I would have to admit that until about a week ago, I didn't even notice the weather. I noticed if the sun was shining or if it was raining, I did not notice whether it was hot or cold...For some reason, none of that registered with me. It is beginning to register.

Speaking of weather, I am beginning to get very nervous about the upcoming fall and winter. For years, I have struggled with the time change and the shorter days. In my normal life, I would become depressed when I went to work in the dark and came home in the dark. I can't imagine how that will be this fall and winter. However, because I do know that, I have started on an action plan with my therapist. I am investing in a sun lamp. Who knows if the damn thing will help, but based on the darkness I have already seen, I am praying that it will help me get through. Or maybe I will just move to Mexico.....sounds good right?!

I still struggle with what to say. How are you doing continues to be a loaded question. I doubt people really want to hear, "well, today is less shitty so far than yesterday." So, I am the master of saying that "I am ok" and that "Each day is different." For those of you that have done this, you know that OK is not a bad place to be. There are varying levels of ok, but ok in general is tolerable. One of my good friends from college called me today and asked me what to say about how she is doing at her mom's family reunion....her mom passed away just over a year ago. We had to laugh about how we really felt and what we really wanted to say....I shared some of my more diplomatic answers. And, it made me pause to realize that, this really never does go away.

Joy. I have found that I struggle with everyone else's celebration. It is very difficult for me to imagine celebrating and being joyful about something. It's not that I am not happy for whatever the event is or whomever else is's just hard. I am jealous. I am mad. I am frustrated. I am all of those things because many of my friend's celebrations are things that I will never share with my mom. I will never share the joy of telling her of a job promotion, pregnancy, baby's firsts, or a wonderful gift. I know that deep down I am happy about all of these things for everyone else, but I am heartbroken that I will never be able to share that specific joy with my mom.

The giant elephant in the room. When someone close to you dies, that damn elephant is in almost every room. He is in every room and nobody really wants to talk about him. He sits there and sucks the air out of the room and makes it almost suffocating. Friday night, my dad, Bryce, and I went to dinner. It was our first dinner in KC without my mom. Her chair was at the table, her comments about that restaurant were in my head, and her drink order was ready....but she wasn't there. Dad and I couldn't stand to look at her place and poor Bryce felt the incredible awkwardness. I know it will get easier. But, until there, our dinner groups need to be larger. I also experienced something new. I am now the first one to order. Dumb, I know, but now I am the first one to order dinner. That's not my assignment. Mom is supposed to be first.

I have always known how important it is to tell someone that you love them....and mean it. And, I do that everyday. But, I have also come the conclusion that it is worth telling someone everyday that you appreciate them. We often don't say thank you enough or let others know how much we appreciate them. Well, guess what, that life is over too. It's time to let people know how much I appreciate them. It might be in an email, love in the mail, a gift, a phone call, a text, or a letter. But, it is time to do that and make it a way of life. Everyone of us is entitled to love and appreciation and I am going to do what I can to share mine.

Carats. Over my parents 40 years and one month of marriage, my dad showered my mom with many beautiful jewels. I strive each day to wear something of hers. I wear one, if not both, of the wedding bands that she wore each day. And, I strive to find the perfect other addition to go along with those. Yes, I do wear scrubs everyday to work and the jewelry is way too nice for those....But, that jewelry is part of her legacy and a sign of my father's love for her.....and I am very proud to model it.

Speaking of my dad, he is doing ok. He had a good check at the cardiologist this last week and that made me feel better....for about a minute. He is skinny and looks as sad as I do at times, but he is functioning. But, hopefully, I will help him with the shrinking waistline. I sent him home with 15 individually prepared, home cooked meals for his freezer. They will be good for dinner after a long day at Walgreen's.

I know that I have been very long winded tonight...but I really needed to write. It, too, makes me feel better. If only I could figure out a way to get paid for that?!

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