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.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

3 Years Ago Today

TJ -

I can't believe it has been 3 years without you. I still miss you very much and my love for you has not waned even slightly. I still have bad days but they are farther and farther apart. I am spending less time feeling sorry for myself and more time living. I suffered for so long after you were gone that it feels good to finally experience living again. By that, TJ, I mean truly living and not just faking it to keep those around me happy. So much has happened the last 3 years. Everything has changed......everything.

I moved out of our home and into a new house. I hated it, no, I despised it at first. Sure, I finally got the pool you would never let me have but I still wasn't happy here. TJ, I have no horse set up here. You built me the perfect horse set up and now I have nothing. Not having a horse set up has brought me to my knees sobbing many times over the past 2 1/2 years. I hate it. You gave me what I had dreamed of having when I was a little girl and now I have nothing.

Our dogs. Remember when we would talk about how great it was to have 3 young dogs all within a year of each other? We would also talk about how hard it was going to be when we lose them. Well damnit TJ, you left me alone to care for our aging dogs. Mickey Lou is the only one left. Putting Shiner down was the hardest. I felt as though I was losing you all over again. My heart ached for weeks and it threw me back into a deep depression. I hid my despair from my family and friends....something I had become very good at doing.

I have decided to keep the property down south. I finally went down last weekend to paint and it actually felt good to be home again. You were on my mind a lot during the weekend and I thought so much about our plans for the place. Packy is still there! Can you believe that sucker is still alive and piling stuff on the bathroom step?!?!

You wouldn't believe the people that just disappeared after you died. I learned who our true friends were and it was rather shocking who stepped up and who I haven't even talked to since your wake. My disappointment in some of our friends can't even begin to explain my feelings.

All in all, I am OK....and I really mean that. At least for right now. You are my soulmate and a huge part of me died right alongside of you. That part of me is gone forever, but I am rebuilding my life TJ. I am rebuilding slowly but I am making progress. I know in my heart that somehow, someway, it is you that is pushing me and giving me strength along the way. I often think about the many heart to heart talks we had after your diagnosis and it gives me strength to remember how much you believed in me. Thank you for everything you gave me those last few months of your life. I would not be where I am today without the advice you gave me. I still love you with all my heart TJ and I always will.

When you lose someone you get used to living day to day without them. But you will never get used to the "10 second heartbreak". That's the time it takes to wake to full consciousness each day and remember....." ~ Nina Guilbeau

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Rescuing "The Shack"

I finally took the time to rescue "The Shack". It has been neglected since TJ got sick....about 3 1/2 years ago. After he died I wasn't sure about much of anything in my life let alone what to do with our place down south. Well, I finally got it in my head that I should keep it and whip it back into shape again. A friend graciously agreed to help me get it back into shape with the promise of being able to hang out down there and do some horseback riding. So we both took a 4 day weekend, loaded his truck full of paint, generator, tools and headed south for 4 days. We spent Friday and Saturday doing repairs and painting the Main Shack and the Guest Shack. I was too tired and my back hurt too much to paint the bathroom on Saturday so we left that part for another time. Since the bathroom is the smallest building it should not take long next time we go down. On Sunday morning we thoroughly cleaned the inside of both shacks. Sam encountered a family of mice in living in the guest shack and even though it meant breaking a broom handle one of them didn't make it out alive and hopefully the others have left permanently. Later in the day we drove into town (Sunsites, AZ) and went to the local watering hole and had a couple of beers. Ironically, the local bar is named TJ's Bar & Grill!

 The bathroom that is in desperate need of paint. Note the pile of brush on the steps by our resident pack rat aka Packy. We will knock it all off every morning and every night he fills the step back up again. He sure is a hard worker!

 The shacks before paint....isn't it just awful?! I forgot to get a really good picture of them after paint.

 Sam is hard at work finishing up painting the trim. What a difference huh?

 The sunrise on Saturday morning. The mountain range you see to the east are the Chiricahua Mountains

This is a view looking west at the Dragoon Mountains. I have had the pleasure of riding horseback all through this mountain range. It is also where TJ's ashes are spread. He loved it down there.

I owe a huge thank you to Sam for agreeing to help me down there. I can't imagine doing everything that needed to be done all by myself. TJ & I had planned to build an actual house down there as our retirement home. I thought my dreams of that were over when I lost him. But I now have renewed faith that someday I will live down there full time. I have often said that my home is in Cochise, I just happen to work in the Phoenix area. So this past weekend was like going home for me.....bittersweet, yet it sure felt good to be home again.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

I Have Been MIA

Yes, I have been MIA. No blog reading, no blog writing. Nada...nothing. If you have been a reader of mine for a while you know I do this periodically. Life just gets in the way. Things finally picked up at work and that left me less time for reading and writing. When things were slow I got in the habit of doing those things while at work.

October is also a rough month for me. It was on this day 3 years ago that Dr. N told TJ there was nothing else he could do for him. He suggested we call in Hospice to control his pain for the time he had left. I was crushed and scared. I will never forget the look in TJ's eyes as he looked over at me and asked me if I was going to be OK. I, of course, told him I would be fine. But the reality of it was that what little bit of me that hadn't already died was preparing to die right alongside of him. I just wasn't prepared for how much of myself I was going to lose. I had no idea that my spirit and zest for life would be gone when he was.

On a brighter note. My boss suggested to me that I work at home 1 or 2 days a week. I worked at home for 11 years while TJ & I ran a business. While it was good to "go" back to work in 2008 I am looking forward to working at home part time again. I will be starting off working at home just one day a week and providing it all goes well, and I assure you it will, I will increase that to 2 days a week. I could not be happier about this. But more importantly, Tater Tot is absolutely thrilled. Today was my first day working at home again and when he realized I wasn't leaving he grabbed a toy and ran laps through the house. Seeing his joy was priceless.

I was actually fairly busy today, but being able to turn my head and see him happily chewing on his bone made my day. He stayed on the bench by my desk all day long.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

My Opinion Of The New Sitcom "Go On"

I must begin this with a disclaimer of sorts. I rarely watch TV other than local news for weather and traffic in the morning. I don't go to movies. I haven't been to a movie theater since 1983 (my senior year of high school and I sure wasn't there for the movie *wink*). I don't know the names or faces of actors/actresses. I have no idea what good or bad acting looks like. The last sitcom I remember watching is MASH. Show up unannounced at my house on any given evening and I can pretty much guarantee you that I won't be wasting my time staring at the television. What you will find me doing is sitting outside, playing with the dogs, reading, writing blogs, or doing some type of household project.

Having said all that. What I am is a widow and the show Go On is about a widower. I heard about it on Twitter. Yes, I do confess to wasting loads of time on Twitter....but mostly at work....shhhhh. I looked it up on the internet and subscribed to it on Hulu.

I find it very funny. It pokes fun at the death of a spouse or significant other like I thought only those of us who had been there can do. The show mainly focuses around the widower and his fellow group therapy attendees. Having never attended group therapy I can only assume that one would find as diverse a group of people as the show portrays. It highlights how different people have very different grief journeys and how each deals with their grief in very different ways.

What I especially like is that it portrays the widower not as a sobbing mess, but one who is trying to push through it all. He is attempting to make all things look normal to his employer and his friends, when all the time nothing is normal for him. They show glimpses of him alone and missing his wife. They show how long and lonely the evenings and nights can be. Another accurate portrayal is of his friends, not his group therapy friends, but his co-workers and friends from before his wife's passing. The show portrays them as not "getting it". They try to understand but it is very obvious they don't. His group therapy friends, on the other hand, do understand and hence the relationship between them grows.

I will continue to watch the show to see how it evolves. I also saw on Twitter yesterday that the show has been picked up for a full season. I can only guess that there are others who are enjoying it also. If you have seen it I would love to read your opinion and if you haven't you might give it a shot. It is definitely worth the 20 minutes it takes me to watch it once a week, which is about my maximum weekly TV viewing.

Monday, October 1, 2012

October - The Season For Creepies

October 1st today. The beginning of the Halloween season. While I abhor dressing up in costume, I do love to decorate my house for Halloween. Yesterday I excitedly got my Halloween storage tote out of the shed. As I carried it into the house I noticed how light it felt. It was when I opened it that I remembered why. Last year I got rid of the majority of my decorations with the intention of purchasing some new ones this year. I had only kept a few pieces. The afternoon I had planned to spend decorating took me all of about 10 minutes. It was very disappointing and anti-climatic for me.

In the spirit of Halloween I want to leave you with something I found to be quite creepy

EWWWW!!! I fished this drowned guy out of my pool on Saturday morning. The largest one so far. It gave me the eebie jeebies thinking he was that close to my house.