Earlier this week I made the trip from my home in Kona, once again, to my parents' house in Virginia. I am grateful for the reprieve back on the island, where I was able to attend my stepdaughter's wedding, visit with friends, my boyfriend, and find some rest. Now, I am in Charleston, SC with my mom. We planned this trip to see whether this area is a place we could all relocate. We will look at facilities for dad here, as well as some real estate. Dad is being cared for in a home in Virginia now, and my brother is back there as well at the moment, working on their house to be sold, and checking in on dad.Read more
I've lived in lots of places in my life so far. I was born in Maryland and raised in Arlington, Virginia until I was 6, at which time we moved to nearby McLean. I attended Georgetown University in Washington, DC and lived on campus there, moving each year, in the dorms and residential housing. After college I moved back in with my parents, and then in with my boyfriend in Arlington, and then he and I moved to another house in DC for awhile after that.Read more
One of the most precious gifts from my marriage to Mike is that I have, for the rest of my life, two beautiful stepdaughters. They were grown when I married him, but still very young, 18 and 22. Now, one is mother to three beautiful children and the other just got married this past weekend here in Kona. Let me tell you - I am deeply grateful I was able to be here for that. Caring for my dad the past five weeks in Virginia, with the unexpected turn of events in his condition, had me think I might not be able to leave. I never would have left had we not been able to settle things there so they were manageable, but somehow, his care got arranged, kind of at the last minute.
Well, the deed is done. Dad is in a home. But it's not his home. We are crippled with sadness.
Coming back to the house afterwards reminded me so much how it felt at my house after Mike died. Like the energy was sucked up into a vortex and we were left with this black emptiness.Read more
I sat down this chilly morning in Virginia to write this update. I'm working from my iPad here, and midway through I got up to take a shower. I closed my iPad. When I got back downstairs and opened it to continue writing there was, strangely, a song playing. I hadn't opened the music app on this thing - ever. I don't even know what music is on here and never use it for that. The song playing, much to my shock, of all things, was Peter Pan's You Can Fly. I have no idea how it even got on there.Read more
I'm taking advantage of a quiet moment when dad is sleeping to put down a few thoughts for this week's blog. Because when he is awake, our moments are not quiet.
Bless his heart, dad is just uncomfortable in his own skin. He can't sit still and is constantly asking for help, even though he's not sure what he needs help for. He is wobbly but he can stand and shuffle around with his walker enough to make it scary for us, afraid he could fall again, so he can't be left alone even for a minute. He knows us, but not what day it is, by any stretch. Or what he said or did five seconds ago. His sense of time seems to just be gone.Read more
For any new readers, this is a continuation of my current situation which involves being back in Virginia, where I grew up, from my home of 15 years in Kona, Hawaii, where I lived with my beautiful late husband until his death in 2013 and further into my strange new world without him with a new boyfriend and my dogs, until the foreclosure is complete some unknown months from now.Read more
Most of you who have been reading here for awhile know how my husband died. Mike had a heart attack in his sleep at age 59. It was the most devastating shock I've ever lived through and I will spend the rest of my life recovering from it. The pain of that grief, I know now, will always be there.Read more
I'm sitting here in my parent's beautiful backyard on this kind of surprisingly balmy early fall evening in Virginia wondering what on earth I can say about what's going on in my life right now. How can I describe the agony of change and decision and helplessness while keeping private things private? How can I honestly tell my dear fellow widows and widowers the truth of what we've been dealing with while also maintaining the dignity of my father? How do I reveal to my beautiful community of friends in Hawaii that I may be leaving? How do I reconcile the pain of the thought of that move with the many, many signs that are appearing that my future may lay elsewhere?Read more
I'm not sure how long I will be able to continue to write here at Widow’s Voice. It breaks my heart to think that, and to write that, but various things are moving at a seriously rapid pace and I can barely keep up.