My life changed dramatically and forever when I lost TJ.

I welcome you to follow along as I adjust to my "new normal".

It is not all puppies and ice cream but it is my life....real and honest.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Are You A Pack Rat?

If you are one of those that answer yes to the above question then I plead with you to make the following New Year's Resolutions. Also, if you answered no but people have told you that you are then these resolutions are for you too.


2. Go through all the stuff you have accumulated and have a giant yard sell, give to charity, anything......just get rid of the stuff you no longer need.

With TJ gone I now have the burden of going through all of the stuff he/we accumulated over the past 16 years. I like to think that I am not a pack rat but I of course have too much stuff too, it just happens to be different stuff than what TJ saved. You know, girlie stuff ..... shoes .... clothes .... jewelry, etc. All of which the excess will be in the yard sale or going to charity. TJ's stuff on the other hand is almost overwhelming to me. These pictures are what the garage looked like after bringing all the boxes down out of the attic.

Tell me.......where the heck do you start when it looks like that!!!! Well, what I did was just dig in and hit it hard. I pretty much got it done today but I worked at it all day and I am exhausted. I threw away so much stuff it was unbelievable. Some stuff I put in boxes to ship to his Father and Sister and some stuff in boxes to ship to his kids. I probably have 4 to 6 boxes to ship. I hope to get them packed properly over the weekend and ship at least some of them next week. This is going to cost me a fortune in shipping so I don't think I will do it all at once.

Moral of the story? Someone, be it your spouse, significant other, parents or your kids will have to sort through all your stuff when you are gone, so try to make it as easy on them as possible.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

Since I don't have to cook today I have the time to do a quick Thanksgiving post. So to all my American friends and family Happy Thanksgiving and to those of you in other parts of the world I hope you just have an exceptional day.
When I first woke up this morning I really thought that this year I have absolutely nothing to be thankful for. But, as I sat and thought about that I quickly realized how that could not be further from the truth. Heck, was I not surrounded (in my bed even) by 4 dogs that love me unconditionally! I have family that lives close by and some in other parts of the country, but no matter where they are I know they are thinking of me and are grateful for me as I am grateful for them. Then of course there are my friends....many of whom went out of their way to invite me to their homes today. All of which are very concerned that I not be home alone today. Now, that is really something to be grateful for!! And those of you in blogland, your encouraging words really mean a lot to me and I am grateful to call all of you my friends and be a part of this wonderful community.

First time in 15 years that I have not cooked so it is kinda odd today for me but then again kinda nice not to have the stress. I really like leftover turkey so I bought a turkey breast to cook either today or tomorrow depending on how much time I spend visiting friends.

Happy Thanksgiving all and if I am able to find things to be thankful for today I know all of you can.....have a wonderful day with family and friends!!

Monday, November 23, 2009

I'm Movin' On

First, I want to thank all my faithful blog followers that have stuck with me through this tough time. A special shout out to Pauline, your emails and comments have really inspired me to return to blogging, I too feel we have developed a special connection even though we have never met and your continued concern for me warms my heart more than you know. But, I am back to let everyone know that:

I'M MOVING ON !!!!!!!!!!!

I am done with this mourning stuff. I have read that people in the past would mourn for a year and wear black the whole time. What is up with that?!?! I know for a fact (we had time to discuss this) that TJ wants me to go on with my life and not mope around. Yes, I do run across things that are sentimental while cleaning out the house but the crying is over as well as the mourning. I spent 7 months consumed by cancer and taking care of TJ. I gave him what he wanted in the end. He was home, in our bed, and I was by his side holding his hand. I take a lot of comfort in that and feel that there was no more that I could have done for him. Well, it is finally my turn to take care of me and only me. I no longer have to answer to anyone and frankly I think I am kinda liking it.

Having said all that I am not saying that I no longer miss TJ or think about him. I do miss him and he is often in my mind. One of my personal coping mechanisms is when I begin to get depressed or sad about him being gone I think of something I did not like about him or about fights we had or about how he become a different person the last 3 years we were together. The last 3 years he turned to a different interest and even started hanging with new friends. I really missed him and the man that I fell in love with 16 years ago. Fortunately, after his cancer diagnosis, he came back to me and once again was ready (when he got well) to return to our old lifestyle. I was really hoping that would be a reality but deep inside I knew different and so did he. On good days we would walk the property, discuss repairs that must be made before bringing horses in, and talk about the old times with horses. He couldn't wait to get better, finish that car, sell it, and reinvest in horses again. Even though I knew that he was not going to get better, as did he, I was just happy to have my old TJ back again. The real TJ that I so very much loved.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Still Trudging Through the Week Hour By Hour

Well, it is not always hour by hour, sometimes it is even minute by minute. At times it feels like TJ is just on a trip and will be returning home any day now, but then something will happen or a thought will pop into my head and I come to the realization that he is not coming home any time soon or for that matter ever. This reality really hit me yesterday when they called from the mortuary to let me know his ashes were ready for me to pick up. When I hung up from that phone call I felt like I had hit a block wall with full force. The reality of what has happened brought me to my knees like it has not yet done. I realized that he will never be home again and that I am alone for now and for the foreseeable future. The sheer emotion of it all just coarsed through my entire body and I was frozen with fear. I felt utterly helpless and literally sick to my stomach. Fortunately this like all the other emotions I go through passed with a little bit of time. I don't know when I will go pick up his ashes but it will be within the next week and hopefully I have more of a grip on what has happened to my life.

I am supposed to go back to work on Monday but I am not sure that I am ready. I am still very emotionally unstable and don't know if I can handle it yet. I want to, but I am thinking another week of working from home would do me some good. Will have to talk to my boss about that.

In spite of the emotional roller coaster I have been on something wonderful happened to me today courtesy of my fellow blogger, Pauline from The Paddock, she has given me an award. If you frequently read my comments then you are familiar with her. She has left the kindest words for me and even when TJ was so terribly ill and I did not blog for a few weeks she emailed me to let me know TJ & I were in her thoughts.

Part of accepting this particular award is that you have to give one word answers to a series of questions and chose 6 other bloggers to pass the award along to. The questions are kinda silly but first I want to list my 6 bloggers and in no particular order and no particular reason other than the fact that I enjoy reading their blogs.

Daria - Living With Cancer
Jane - A journey of Another Kind
Bill - Cancer Can Suck It
WhiteStone - Wanna Walk Along
Shabby Girl - A Fish's Beach Wishes
Deb - My Husband's Cancer RCC

Now for the silly questions:

1. Where is your cell phone? Desk
2. Your Hair? Curly
3. Your Mother? Crazy
4. Your Father? Deceased
5. Your Favorite Food? Mexican
6. Your Dream Last Night? None
7. Your Favorite Drink? Wine
8. Your Dream/Goal? Dunno
9. What Room Are You In? Home Office
10. Your Hobby? Animals
11. Your Fear? Future
12. Where Do You Want To Be In 6 Years? Dunno
13. Where Were You Last Night? Hitchin Post
14. Something That You Aren't? Secure
15. Muffins? What???
16. Wish List Item? Kindle2
17. Where Did You Grow Up? Indiana
18. Last Thing You Did? Phone
19. What Are You Wearing? Jeans
20. Your TV? Old
21. Your Pets? Awesome!!!
22. Friends? Many
23. Your Life? Uncertain
24. Your Mood? Sad
25. Missing Someone? Hell Yes !!!!
26. Vehicle? GMC
27. Something You're Not Wearing? Shoes
28. Your Favorite Store? Feed
29. Your Favorite Color? Purple
30. When Was The Last Time You Laughed? Last Night
31. Last Time You Cried? Today
32. Your Best Friend? More than 1
33. One Place That I Go To Over & Over? Mountains
34. One Person Who Emails Me Regularly? Father-In-Law
35. Favorite Place To Eat? Home

Sunday, November 1, 2009

I Am Actually OK

Well, it has been 1 week since losing TJ and I think all things considered I am doing OK. He did not want a traditional service; he wanted me to have a party so that is exactly what I did. Friday night beginning at 6:00 PM we began a celebration of TJ's life and boy was it a celebration. I know over 100 people were here throughout the night and lots of TJ stories being told. I put together a DVD of pictures to play continously on the TV and everyone was mesmerized by it. Although it brought lots of tears from men and women alike it also brought back many good memories of TJ and his love for life itself. I was overwhelmed by the mere number of people who showed up to celebrate his life and offer support to me.

As for me I think I am doing pretty much OK. I do have my moments but they pass. Tonight I burnt my steak that I cooked for myself on the grill.....TJ always cooked my steaks perfectly......I cried and cried. It is odd to me that something so minor can bring me to my knees with pain and sorrow. I don't know how long this will last but I do hope it is over soon....I hate the hurt, the pain and most of all I hate the fear. The fear of a very unknown future for myself is overwhelming.

On a brighter note some guys came by today to pick up and return the tables and chairs I borrowed for TJ's party. We had a couple beers together and I asked them to get some boxes down out of the attic for me to go through. I informed them that there were probably only about 8 - 10 boxes so it wouldn't take long. Well.......Mr. Pack Rat himself had a garage full of boxes up there. I had no idea!!!! Some were empty ??!!?? But most seemed to be full of just miscellaneous stuff that should have been tossed quite a while ago. Anyway, we all had quite a laugh at the sheer volume of stuff up there and swore that TJ was laughing at us hauling all of that stuff down out of the attic. In light of this I have decided that my first project is to go through the garage (which is full of attic boxes now). Then I will begin on the rest of the house. I know this will be heartbreaking but it is a task that must be done. Wish me luck!!