Saturday, October 17, 2009

The art of marriage's been awhile since I have written. To be honest, my mom's birthday and the cleaning of her closet wore me out....And, while I have had alot to write about, some of it isn't for right now....

Over the last week, I have contemplated the meaning of a good marriage. We have been married for four months, so I am sure that makes me an expert on good marriages. Although I could easily contend that we have been through more in our four short months than most people in the first four years. I, unfortunately, know a couple of people who have experienced or are about to experience a divorce. Of the people I know that are going through or have been through that life changing event, none have been attributed to abuse or adultery. However, the common theme is that they were married to the wrong person. The men that they married are not bad people. But, they weren't the right people for them. They got along well, but they didn't understand each other, or what was necessary to work together. And, while marriage and relationships involve sacrifice, it's also about self preservation. One of the many promises my parents made Bryce make was that he would love me for who I was. That meant, putting up with my sarcasm, my shopping, my crazy little dog, my impatience, my phone habit, and everything else that goes along with me. He promised them that he would never try to change me. And, he hasn't.

I have seen my own marriage at its finest over the last week. For those of you that don't know, I have the damn swine flu....and pneumonia. I am not sure where I picked this crap up, but I can assure it is one of the more horrible illnesses that I have had. I have felt like shit since Wednesday night. So, because I felt so bad, I didn't go to work on Thursday or Friday. And, because Bryce was really concerned about me, he stayed home too. He stayed home to take care of me despite the fact that I was refusing to go to the doctor because I could treat whatever I myself of course. I do have a master's degree in nursing and a Dad who is a pharmacist....No need to go the MD. He had brought me food, drinks, various meds, and whatever else I needed at the time. He has taken care of the dogs and kept me company. And, last night, when my friend Wilma finally convinced me that I needed to be seen based on my chest discomfort and shortness of breath....he drove my very scary self, to Urgent Care at KU. In under half an hour, I was diagnosed with Flu A/H1N1 and pneumonia. And, then he drove me around getting my meds and food...from Panera. Bryce despises Panera. Yet, it sounded good to me, so he went in. And, then, when we made it home, I didn't eat it, because it didn't taste very good to me.

Today, after a trip to Costco, he left my favorite drink from Sonic on the bedside table for me for when I woke up. I have no idea how long my nap was but I am guessing it was close to 3 hours. This was after he went to Starbucks for my latte this am....once again, BW doesn't do Starbucks either.

Marriages are about give and take. And, Bryce has done more giving than most. He has taken care of me from day 1. He and I are a good fit. We do what it takes to take care of each other. We are willing to make sacrifices. We are willing to do what it takes to make this work....forever. Like I said, I am no expert on marriages. But, I am pretty damn proud of the one I have.

Someday, Bryce will need me to take care of him. And, I will do it without complaint because I love him beyond belief and I couldn't imagine my life without him by my side.

As for my pig will eventually go away. And, I can't wait for that. I am over having to use an inhaler every couple of hours to breath, the exhaustion, and the quarantine. But, per my doctor, can't go anywhere until I have been fever free for greater than as of now, I still can't go in public. Yuck.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Closet cleaning...and a little about priorities

Last weekend, Bryce and I made a trip to La Crosse so that I could begin the closet cleaning proceess. For those of you that knew my mom, you know this was not an easy task. I got my clothes horse ways from both of my parents so the idea of going through her closet was a very daunting task. How was I ever going to make through all the drawers and multiple closets?? So, I started with the easy stuff...t shirts....casual stuff....countless black or white long sleeved tshirts... That seemed be the private joke between my mom and I. Each season, we had to get new black and white t shirts because our others probably looked worn...Well, nothing of my mom's had really ever looked I found quite a collection of those. Don't worry, I chose to replenish my own stock. Luckily for me, my aunt was in town last weekend as well so she was able to provide some much needed moral support. And, I was lucky enough to have one of my best friend's come over to do the same. They helped me through it. I actually did pretty well until I found a sweater/jacket that she had worn quite a bit before I got married. Because it was her, it wasn't dirty after being worn. So, it was hanging in the closet, and it smelled like her. Not sure really how to describe that smell, but it smelled like her. Right now, I am not sure if it is going to get washed or not. And, because she and I wore the same size most of the time, I have ALOT of new clothes. She had lots of things that I loved and most were ablet o fit me. So, I brought them home. My closet will now be full of some great Armani pieces and some other classics. Getting dressed is even harder now than it was before.
Going through her clothes has certainly had a much longer lasting effect that I had planned on. I have a very severe case of no motivation this week. I can't seem to make myself do anything...or if it does get done, it isn't in a timely manner. I have done a lot of sitting. And, I know why. Going through her closet means that she isn't coming back. I brought home her clothes because she doesn't need them. I have all of those beautiful things because she is gone. And, much like any of the other things of hers that I have now....I wish I didn't have them. I would give them all away to have my mom back. And, I want her back for good. I don't understand those people that wish for just one more day with their loved one. That wouldn't help. One more day will not fix my loneliness for my best friend.
Speaking of good friends...I observed a very valuable lesson again this week. You have to make your friendships with your good friends a priority. Good friends, that are with you through your worst, do not come along everyday. Therefore, when you are lucky enough to have a friend like that, you damn well better be thankful and do what you can to nurture that. It takes work and it's often about making choices. Choose what is important to you and take care of it. Don't let it go by the wayside for the latest passing trend.

I decided that since Mom died I had to Christmas shop somewhere other than places I did it with my Mom....usually she was on the phone with me while I did mine, if we weren't together. So, not long after she died, I decided it was Chicago with my friend and we started talking about plans. My friend and I both needed the break after a pretty rotten summer for both of us. So, shopping and a girl's weekend sounded like a great idea. Unfortunately, my travel partner made other plans....rather than choosing her friend's much needed girl's weekend (for both), she chose a weekend away with a new love interest... No, I am not jealous about her choosing someone else over me. I could care less about that. However, I don't like choosing to spend a weekend with a new love interest over a friend you had long term plans with....a friend who has been there when you needed her because your days have been pretty darn dark too. However, one of my other amazing friends knows me well enough to know how difficult the next couple of months will be. So, when I was without a travel buddy she said that she would make the arrangements necessary so that she could go. She's giving up time with her son, the extra money from her part time job that helps her pay for grad school, and the class she teaches on Friday because she knew that I needed her. And, I love her for that. She is amazing.
Life is about taking care of each other. Telling your friends that you love them and showing them how much. Taking care of your spouse when they need it, and even when they don't. It's about thanking others for busting their hump to make your day better. And, it's also about taking care of yourself. Doing what you can to make your own day better...For some of us, that means sitting there and staring and holding onto your crazy little dog who is so darned in tuned to your emotions.
Bottom line...take care of each other because it's your responsibility.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Your birthday..without you.

Damn it. That is how I felt most of the day today. Why in God's name do I have to be here, celebrating her birthday without her?! I got very little sleep last night and was prepared to face the day with everything I had. I was bound and determined that I would not sob the entire day. I booked myself full of errands and activities that would celebrate her. I started at the HyVee floral department picking up flowers for her. She was never really into pink roses, but I thought they were beautiful and red was entirely too cliche. My next stop was Starbucks....she would go there if she could on her day. After my trip for a latte, it was time to go to KU. I went to the hospital today to honor her birthday. The bad coffee we were served while Mom was there brought us alot of comfort. So, in honor of her birthday, I took much better coffee up to the Neuro ICU....wrapped up of course. It will help someone else. Unfortunately, the wonderful manager that I was supposed to visit wasn't there, one of her little ones was sick and she was at home. Once again, damn it. I really needed to see her. To make up for it, I made trips around the hospital to see others that I love there.

While this all sounds fairly benign, I am leaving out a large elephant. As I was parking in the KU garage, my Dad called with news. Mr. Elliott passed away this am. Damn it. Damn it. Damn it. For those of you who have no idea who he is, Mr. Elliott was almost family. My Dad worked in Mr. Elliott's jewelry store while he was in school at K-State. Mr. Elliott was still in business at the age of 89, He is responsible for the beautiful diamond that Bryce gave me and almost every single piece of jewelry that my Mom received. He had an incredible eye and was a classy man. In some ways, he was like a grandfather to me. He was certainly a wonderful example for my dad. And, as a student at KSU, I used to go visit him on a regular basis. maybe I wanted to see all the jewels, but I also wanted to see him. I loved sitting in his office and hearing his latest stories. The most heartbreaking part of his death today is that his granddaughter (who he raised) gets married on Saturday. Shannon and I are close to the same age and unfortunately, now we are in the same boat. The reassuring part of this unfortunate story is that I know that Mom was waiting for him when he arrived this am. In my mind, I see her standing behind St. Peter saying, "Hey should really see the diamonds here..." And, he would say.." Oh Mary, you doll, they will look wonderful on you." On some level, I think it is pretty fitting that they are in heaven together. This was the first birthday in over 40 years that something from Mr. Elliott was not a consideration for my Mom from my Dad. So, I would like to think that Mr. Elliott took care of that today shortly after his arrival.

The rest of today was an interesting mix of emotions....and lots of tears. I went to church with a friend of Mom's today at noon. I always feel better when I am there. I am close to God and close to Mom. And, Stan actually offers healing prayers on Thursdays. Needless to say, I practically ran to the altar for that one. As I kneeled before him, I sobbed. Part of it was wishing that I didn't feel so broken and the other part of it was glad that I was there asking God for help. He will help me. But, in my classic form, I forgot my kleenex even though I knew there would be tears. Mom would have gotten me for that one. Thankfully, Ellen was there with me to help on that front...She's a Mom so she always has kleenex.

To be honest, I am emotionally spent. At this point, I don't even feel like writing anymore tonight. So, I'm calling it a night. The summary is: today sucked on a variety of levels. I miss my Mom.

God Given Talents...

Today was a day where I was able to witness the God given talents of many. My day was filled with various errands but on some level, today was a day of amazement. I had a really great session with my therapist. She is so capable and gifted when it comes to relating to, and encouraging me. Today, we talked alot about my career. She knows that I am struggling to find fulfillment in my current job and my life as a nurse. The average person would think that a career as a nurse would be incredibly satisfying. Unfortunately, right now, it isn't. I don't have those warm, fuzzy feelings about nursing that I am supposed to have. Everything seems to be able to get in the way of being a 'good' nurse. Politics, lack of resources, and non compliant patients to name a few. we talked about how I am going to fix that. At this point, I am not sure what the answer is, but I at least have a plan to figure it out. When I start figuring it out...I will let you know.

One of my friends really impressed me this afternoon. She is unfortunately out of work right now. Lucky for her, she was released out of a rotten, unfulfilling job. And, because she is a smart woman, she has her finances in order and saved like crazy for the worst. Yeah for her. However, while that is admirable, that is not what impressed me the most. My friend is one of those people who is really in touch with who she is. She knows what is important in life and what isn't. She knows how to be a good friend and how to listen or respond when you need her to. She recognizes her weaknesses and busts her butt to fix them. And, she's about to take a huge risk. She has previously worked with a life coach and has now decided that she needs to get certified as well. She's going to be damn good at it. She knows what it takes to be happy...and not in the sense of "I drive a Honda Odyssey and lives in my beige house in the burbs." She understands that money can't fix all your problems and that good relationships are worth fighting for. She's going to get out of corporate America and make a difference. And, I would have to say that she has pretty darn good chance of being successful. She will be independently employed and will be able to avoid lots of the ever present bulls---. She is the kind of person I would recommend anyone else to for fixing their life. I am proud of her.

Today was also my first accupuncture treatment in a while. And, I am so glad that I was able to go today. I had started going last spring in a last ditch effort to help my migraines and some of my endometriosis issues. After a few treatments, I really felt like it was starting to make a difference. And, based on all of the issues that I have been having, it was time to go back. Bob, my accupuncturist, amazes me. I told him very little about the last few months and he was able to name off a litany of symptoms that I have been having by looking at my tongue and feeling my in the heck does he do that!?!?! So, I got needled for an hour and then given my herbs to do a little more work on this 'hot' system of mine. My liver and heart are really hot and we need to cool them down. Ok Bob...if you say so, and it makes me feel better, sign me up.

Tonight, however, was the true display of God given talents. A friend of mine was unable to use her Dave Matthews Band tickets for tonight. So, I decided to take two off her hands. DMB is one of the few bands that Bryce and I agree on. For the most part, we have opposite taste in in, he likes yelling and screaming with rotten lyrics, and I don't. However, we both love DMB. Those guys are amazing. Everyone of the seven men in the band is incredibly talented. I could listen to his drummer (solo) for hours. He is are the other members of the band. Those men are so gifted and so blessed to be doing what they love. You can see it in their face when they play. They LOVE what they are doing and they are lucky enough to get paid to do it. As an added bonus, we were also able to see a true American legend perform with him. The Willie Nelson. Ok, so most of you could probably care less about Willie, or think he's crazy. Willie walks to the beat of his own drummer. And, he plays one hell of a guitar. It was so fun to see him tonight as well as see him do Gravedigger with Dave. It was so nice to spend an evening not worrying about the next house project, running errands, and thinking about something else other than putting one foot in front of the other. Tonight I was moving some sort of a dance motion. Although my moves were not nearly as special as the old stoner that was sitting in front of us....that old boy had just gotten off of the Reefer Express.

Alright, it's after 1. Tomorrow (today, now) is Mom's birthday and I will be very busy celebrating in her honor all day tomorrow. I have alot of love to spread and probably quite a few tears. I have a feeling that she's having a big party tomorrow too. It would probably involve a few cocktails, a few smokes, a good steak ( well done---NOOOO pink), a great pair of shoes, and a little Neil Diamond.