You Don't Look Like a Widow....

09_15_09.JPGI've heard that statement countless times in the past almost 4 years. I wondered early on, "what do widows look like then?" I knew what I thought they looked like before: old, black dress, and so very sad and lonely. Well, I had the sad and lonely part down pat. Old and a black dress? Not so much.

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My Running Identity

09_14_09.jpgThere were a number of athletic activities that Phil introduced me to during our marriage. He loved all things outdoors, he especially loved risky sports, fast cars, and physically challenging tasks. Our vacations always included exercise related activities in beautiful locations, and we would regularly spend several hours a day hiking, biking, or running

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A Blank Face

09_13_09.JPGPhil loved watches. When he died I think there were at least ten assorted time pieces stored in various places around the house. Several work watches were stored inside his nightstand, four more called his sports cabinet in the garage home, and he stashed his 'nice' watches inside his top dresser drawer. He rarely left the house without a watch strapped to his wrist, and he was gifted with an uncanny ability to guess the exact time of day without consulting his wrist. 

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Wax On, Wax Off

09_12_09.jpgIt is life's little things, the daily routines, that bring me peace in days of mental stormy weather. From vacuuming to paying the bills, they are those tiny moments we take out of our day to do the necessary (and the sometimes unnecessary) things that give my mind a break and time to focus on the doldrums before me. In what some could view as pesky tasks, I look forward to.

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No fixing.

09_11_09.jpgSchool is in session! I have looked forward to this day for over two months. Not because I want Anneke gone, because I don't, but because with the house empty of daughter and S.O. I get to write without distraction.

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Even the Vet

09_10_09.jpgOver the past four years I have become accustomed to filling in the blanks on various forms...marital status, spouse's name and date of birth, person to contact in case of emergency, etcetera, etcetera. In fact, if you asked me a few days ago, I would have told you that while filling out forms still annoys me I have learned to manage my feelings regarding the dreaded blanks on any form I fill out.

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What Not To Say

09_09_09.JPGOK .... forgive me, but I'm cheating today. I'm copying a post I put on my blog over a year ago ... just a couple of months after Jim died. I've had several requests to post it again, which I did on my blog earlier this year, and I thought I'd post it here, too.

It was a list of the top things that my children and I did NOT need to hear, but did, after Jim died. It's followed by a list of things we did need to hear.

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Can She Fix It? Yes, She Can!

09_08_09.JPGThis is a picture of Grayson and I waiting for Amtrak to take us to Disneyland almost 4 years ago. If you look closely, you can see Daniel's reflection in the glass behind us. He's taking the picture. I didn't realize until he was already gone that his reflection was captured in the photo, and he looks for all the world like a ghost, sort of watching us in the background. Sometimes this picture comforts me, and I do believe that he is watching over us. Other times, the picture just pisses me off; this is me not knowing the light at the end of the tunnel was a train. Either way, that discussion is for another day. 

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The Death March

09_07_09.JPGI dread deathiversaries, with my whole soul, as my daughter would say. This dread is instinctual, and has nothing to do with how happy I am in my current life. The creeping feeling of impending doom sneaks up on me at the same time every year, and at odd times when I am distracted by nostalgia or lost in a happy memory. Sometimes the feeling of dread appears as a great crashing wave, hitting me full force from behind and knocking me into the swirling sea of despair, shocked and unprepared. Other times I can hear the drumbeat of the death march from afar, and I have time to steel myself for what lies ahead.

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Just One

09_06_09.jpgFour years after Phil's death, I am still trying to work out how to do twice as many tasks with half the amount of hands. The anniversary of his death stirs up emotions for the kids each and every year. You would think I could anticipate their reactions to this day of remembering by now, but I can't. My own walk down memory lane includes my children, of course, but each year I get caught up in my own pain and then am surprised once again by theirs.

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