Sunday, June 27, 2010

A friend passed this on today, and it was a good reminder for me.

"Death is nothing at all. I have only slipped away into the next room. I am I, and you are you. Whatever we were to each other, that we still are. Call me by my old familiar name, speak to me in the easy way which you always used. Put no difference in your tone, wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow. Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes we enjoyed together. Play, smile, think of me, pray for me. Let my name be ever the household word that it always was, let it be spoken without effort, without the trace of a shadow on it. Life means all that it ever meant. It is the same as it ever was; there is unbroken continuity. Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight? I am waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just round the corner. All is well." ~Henry Scott Holland

Saturday, June 26, 2010

I wish you Peace

Sitting here, blogging on my patio, I feel more peaceful than I have in long time. I have been thinking about peacefulness and where to find it lately. Ii can't really answer the questions. A few weeks ago one of my fabulous widow friends and I were talking, catching up on other things in our lives besides widow-blues. She had mentioned her mom tries to help by taking her to a place where she finds the most peace. It made me think about where I find peace. The best and possibly only answer I have at the moment is early in the morning, when the darkness has gone, but not quite all the way. When it's not too warm yet, and I get the off chance of feeling a breeze in through our window. Lily usually gets up earlier than me to tell me she needs to go outside. After we do that routine we come back in, I feed her, she eats and we lay back down for a bit. I hear the birds and my mind feels more clear than any other time. I miss him in a way that doesn't drag me down the dark path, but just in a way you feel when you haven't talked to you best friend in years. I haven't talked to my best friend in years. I guess that's not true, I talk to him all the time. He just doesn't respond the same way I expect, or in anyway I can understand. But I trust that he hears me. Maybe only for my peace of mind, but he hears me, and that's my peaceful time. The only place I can come up with. I have little control over it, because soon the sun gets brighter and the humidity rises and I have to get out of my 3rd floor bedroom. Once I do it's time to keep busy.

Lily has been sick. All day yesterday she was vomiting, first her food, then some peanut butter (I thought she was all better) then just her stomach juices, then water right after she drank it. It so reminded me of the flu that I detest having. I took her to the vet, they said there were no signs it was something that wouldn't pass, gave her fluids and an injection to stop her nausea. Then I was told how to make her bland food diet, how to give her more meds for the vomiting and diarrhea for the next couple days and what to watch out for. She finally ate a little more than 1/4 cup of food just about an hour ago. I swear I wanted to throw a party, pop a bottle of champagne, or something. Thank goodness she is fine. Of course I was being dramatic and paranoid that something severe was suddenly wrong with her. I am telling you this because now that she is better we are both sitting on the porch (shes actually licking up dirt and leaves right now...) and I think that in any peaceful scenario I have she has to be there. She's my other half for now.

I want to know how to keep going. I want to try, but it gets so overwhelming sometimes. The opposite of my peaceful times are my times of madness. Oddly they are the opposite time of day as well- when the sun goes down, I go a little crazy. I get overwhelmed, I get sad, I almost always go to bed angry about things that happened that are less important than losing Mike. I want to reach out to someone, someone who will say the right thing, someone who can comfort me, someone who will talk to me about what I'm feeling, someone who will listen. I want that comfort again. I don't remember who's blog I was reading earlier but I took away from it the realization that the comfort is gone and it won't be back in the same way I had with Mike. It's so very true. I don't know if it is because the innocence and ignorance of those days are long since shattered, or just knowing that the person that is magnetically drawn to your soul is standing right there with his arms around you, but it won't ever be the same.

So where do I turn now for comfort? Where do I find my peace? Homework questions for the chapter I'm in right now.

(completely stolen pic)

Friday, June 25, 2010

A little overdue- 2nd Annual Cpt. MJM Golf Outing Update

2nd Annual Capt. Michael J. Medders Memorial Scholarship Golf Outing :)

The Army Guys this year :)

The day was hot and sticky but wonderful. It was filled with stories, drinks, family, friends, memories, steaks, cigars and raffle prizes... and a little golf on the side :) Unfortunately I am not sure of the final numbers but we were able to raise more money than last year. We had more than once hole sponsor for every hole, some had 3. All the money we raised from the raffle went to the Wounded Warrior Project. It all went spectacular.

A big thank you to all of you who were able to throw your support, time, money and love to us by helping out in one way or another! Couldn't be done without you!

p.s. there is a video of my keg stand, and if I can get ahold of it, I will for sure post it for you :)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

One of Those Days

5 days from what would be our one year wedding anniversary and I'm consumed with weddings and showers and gifts for weddings and travel plans for weddings and rsvps for weddings and invitations for weddings and bachelorette parties and honeymoons...

And I just hear this part of a Joshua Radin song repeating in my head
"So I crawl underneath my blanket
Where I can hide away,
I know I can't take it
'Cause I see now, it's just one of those days"

I was bargaining with my life last night, as I often find myself doing. So I start by talking about all the things I'd rather do. (of course at the end you come to "I'd rather do anything.")

I'd have another kidney stone.
I'd have a kidney stone everyday.
I'd live in a shack with no electric, no air, no cable, no phone. And no running water. If you could be there.
I'd live in mud. Or snow.
I'd rather do 2 deployments, back to back.
No. 5 deployments.
I'd go 3 years without seeing you if I knew you'd come back.
No I'd go 10.

then I literally think to myself,
I would go an unlimited amount of time without seeing you if I knew I got to be with you forever.
There it is.
Then I realize. That's what I'm doing.
And I laugh. Damn. I just tricked myself into saying I would do what I'm doing, just for you.

Isn't that a crazy realization?

"One Of Those Days" Joshua Radin
"Wait right here"
Is all she said to me
And so right here I stay
Time has reached our home
And I've been left alone
It's carried her away
And everyone keeps saying,
"Nothing helps but time"
Time is all I own
And time won't stop replaying
Over in my mind
I watch the hours slow down
So I crawl underneath my blanket
Where I can hide away,
I know I can't take it
'Cause I see now, it's just one of those days
Now a year has passed
Alone I stay inside
And I await the rain
To wash away your face
So I don't have to hide
The sight of you is painful
So I crawl underneath my blanket
Where I can hide away,
I know I can't take it anymore
'Cause I see now, it's just one of those days
And I can't stop seeing your face
I can't stop seeing your face every place
So I crawl underneath my blanket
Where I can hide away,
I know I can't take it anymore
'Cause I see now, it's just one of those days

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Wordsworth: From Desideria

Surprized by joy— impatient as the wind—

I turned to share the transport— O with whom

But thee— deep buried in the silent tomb,

That spot which no vicissitude can find?
--William Wordsworth (1770-1850)

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Lonely in the here and now.

I felt so close to Mike all weekend (last weekend). The whole weekend, in my mind, I was only there and having those experiences because of him. I know he points me in the right direction, especially when I need help, and because of what was so important to him, I am now in the position to meet these amazing women who have become such close friends and pivotal people in my healing process. So when I get back and the buzz wears off, sitting around all day and doing nothing feels so lonely. Of course I am physically not around anyone, besides my constant companion Lily :) But also because when I do spend time with people it is so clear to me that everyone's lives keep going. I don't know if it's jealousy that I want to be where they are, or not feel the things I feel, or the desire to just be back to a blissfully ignorant state when life is just regular, but it's hard for me.

So I'm lonely. Lonely without my beautiful AWP friends, lonely without my love, lonely without the few people outside those categories that I would like to be with.

I will love the light for it shows me the way. Yet I will endure the darkness for it shows me the stars.
- Og Mandine

Friday, June 4, 2010

At this moment I'm just angry. Ahh the roller coaster of grief.

I'm mad in very unfair ways. I am mad at people for nothing. I'm mad that I am alone again. I am mad that somehow to do things that make me happy I have a series of strings I have to pull at just the right angle, get everything set up just so, so that no one ever thinks I'm doing the wrong thing. When in the world did I begin to care so much about what other people thought? Why does everything that happens piss me off? Why do I feel like I always find myself thinking things should happen different ways? People talk and I sit there and squirm. People are pulling away, and they should. Their lives and my life just aren't the same. I can't fake it. I try, I try to go with the flow but it doesn't make sense to me. So many things seem so absolutely pointless compared to the things that should matter. I just want to scream- Those stupid things do not matter! They don't! Everyone has forgotten. Not everyone. Some. I'm angry.

No matter what I do I can't bring him back. I just want him back. I want him to see the new bedroom furniture. I want him to help me move shit back into the guest bedroom. I want to stop avoiding certain spots in my house because I've left it that way since the day I knew he wasn't coming home. So much is different and I just want him here for it. We just wanted a normal life. I don't even have wedding memories to hang on to. I can't wear my rings on any fucking finger without someone having an opinion about it. The worst part is I don't even know where I want to wear them. Wearing them where they should be makes me mad we didn't get that. Wearing them where I have them now makes me mad that that's not where they belong. I'm so tired of trying to explain every single action I take. I am tired of trying to figure out what Mike would want or what Mike would say. I just want him to be here and do what he would want or say what he would say. It's not my job to figure it out. If I could conjure up what Mike is in my mind it wouldn't be truly him anyway. It would be him based on what I thought. That's not what I want. I want him based on him, rooted in him, and only him. He's the only one who can be that. Now I'm just rambling...

Ups and downs.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Memorial Day Weekend- the details

So I absolutely have to write about this Memorial Day weekend. I've been finding it difficult to put any of what we did into a simple blog post. We did so much and I could recap only the physical details. More than that I was able to feel so much, but what we feel is hard to describe in just words.

I left Friday morning and the entire 6 hour drive to DC I kept thinking I should have left earlier, several of my friends were already there. We met up and just talked in the hotel room for a while before getting ready for dinner. I was able to meet Glenda before dinner, which was such an honor! We did dinner at the hotel and then headed to the Vietnam memorial to find her husband Bruce’s name on the wall. There were members of the Rolling Thunder everywhere when we got there and rain was poring down. We fit all the ladies under 3 umbrellas and took off to search for the name. Minutes after we found his name the bagpipes began, Amazing Grace. It was an instant reaction for us as we grabbed each other and our tears joined the rain. After amazing grace, they played Taps. No one moved. Then big hugs for all of us. We tried to fix our makeup and get some pictures with Bruce’s name. As we walked out of the memorial I was searching for a friend, trying to check out all the faces in the crowd, looking for blond, looking for Kim. I found her, snuck over and we hugged. She said hi to all the girls and we were all able to chat for a bit. We met and shared the pins we wear with another widow that our PBS man, Jim, knew, then headed into a cab to Georgetown. We spent some time talking, laughing and drying off at the restaurant then went back to the hotel bar for some drinks and pool games. As we got to the hotel Allison spotted Lt. Dan. The Lt. Dan, Gary Sinise. Jim got him to come over and meet us, along with Dennis Haysbert and Joe Mantegna. We were all flabbergasted and trying to act cool, like this is something we do everyday. Each one of them took the time to get to know us and we took some pictures.

I was able to meet Tatitana’s mom who is so similar to her, it’s beautiful! She has such a high energy and she was hanging out with us from time to time. It gave me insight to where one of my best friends comes from. Some of Allison’s family was there and it was so nice to be able to share some time, especially with her (slightly famous) father. Taryn’s parents were also there and they are clearly very special people.

Saturday was very emotional for all of us, we began in Arlington at the Kennedy wreath laying. We then went to Section 60 where the Iraq and Afghanistan veterans rest. Brooke and Kim both have their Love’s buried there and to see them in their intimate moments was a privilege for me. We decorated Frankie’s spot and all touched a rose before we left it with him. We left roses for Warren, and told him his girl is in our hands and we've got her back! We were also able to talk with some of the other people paying their respects, leave them flowers, and thank them for what they've given. Some of the women we know were not able to be there with us so we searched the area and took pictures, laid roses and delivered any messages. There were also several spots we just had to stop and admire. Pictures adorned wreathes, put in frames, taped on the back, left with loved ones to represent them or catch them up on their lives. It was very touching.

After we left Arlington I was drained, hungry, hot, tired and I lost it a little on the phone with my mom. I couldn't get over how many people were buried there, across the whole cemetery, and in Section 60 alone. I know the pain that it has caused our group of women, our families, and so many of us weren't there. I couldn't imagine the amount of pain that was spread throughout that cemetery and how far it reached. I was worried about things back here, and not being here for Mike this Memorial Day. My mother assured me that I am honoring his legacy and living how he would live, which is exactly what I needed.

We ate some lunch, hung out a little longer; I got some hugs to pull me out of my fall for the moment. Then we got a tour of the Capital. After the tour we got ready for a dinner at Clyde’s with our PBS friends and it was delicious. That night we planned to do a little self-led night walking tour. I ended up opting out of the tour to talk to one of Mike’s friends and it was a good conversation. We shared some memories, and we were able to share that we are both still hurting, and that’s ok. I was really comforted after the phone call and I could feel Mike being proud and happy. Overwhelmed, I went to bed early and caught up on sleep.

The next day we had some quality time at the eastern market and then began getting ready for the Memorial Day concert. We were lucky enough to get transported over to the concert early and sit in our reserved seats in the 1st and 2nd rows! The concert was amazing, especially that close. I feel so lucky to have been part of this weekend. If you missed the concert there are two clips below.

Brad Paisley- Then- National Memorial Day Concert

AJ Cook and Blythe Danner- Taryn and Glenda's story

These are the details of this weekend. The feelings that accompanied me are more than I can tap into right now...