Friday, July 24, 2009

Happy Birthday Jack

Today would have been Jack's 53rd birthday. So, happy birthday to a man who was a wonderful husband and father. He was generous and a good friend. He lived his beliefs. I'm very glad he was born. And he left us way too soon.

Please drink a toast to Jack today sometime. (For those who don't know, he loved a good tequila.) Me, I plan on toasting him with some of what's left of the delicious cherry cordial he made last year and wearing an outfit he would have really liked and a necklace he gave me this Valentine's day. And remembering him all day.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

The Birds & the Bees

As I was waking up this morning, I remembered a story that Jack told me from when he was a kid about how parents can overexplain stuff:

When he was a little boy, he asked his mom, "Mommy, where did I come from?

His mother then went into an explanation of the reproductive process. I'm assuming it was age appropriate.

To which Jack replied, "No, Mommy! Scotty came from Cleveland. Where did I come from?"

That story still makes me chuckle.

As if that's not enough, this morning the girls and I were listening to an album by the Zac Brown Band, a country band & a current family favorite. In response to the words in a song, Sarah asked, "Mommy, what do lovers do?" Ummmmm . . . I think I stumbled through it ok.

Monday, July 13, 2009

So long, Solund

Solund, Lone Stallion of the Appocolypse (AKA the Jeep) is going to his new home. I sold the Jeep today, and he is being shipped to Alaska. Hopefully, he'll have many fun 4-wheel drive adventures up there with his new family. OK, they probably won't think of him as a part of the family, but Jack did. Jack so loved that car. But, I'm glad to have that piece of business taken care of.

Monday, July 6, 2009


As just about everybody knows, Jack died at home. 911 was called, and they came and did their thing. He died in the shower, and they moved him from the master bath to the bedroom to work on him on the floor. This is the kind of memory I'd rather not have, but it will probably always be with me. It seems now like I find reminders of that night without warning. Today I was cleaning the floors ~ sweeping & mopping the hardwood. I found one last cap from the code meds under his altar. (It's not the first. I'm sure they cleaned up when they were done, but they forgot some little stuff.) And I've swept in there before today, too! Being an RN, I know what it is when I see it. I'm hoping that's the last one. But it was a reminder that I wasn't expecting. Then, I picked up an old piece of paper that was stuck under my desk. At the top was Jack's writing. It was just the beginning of a shopping list, but still. I just miss him so much. I'd so much rather have him here.

Meanwhile, Sarah's in the other room where all of his magickal stuff is having a "service" with her imaginary friends for Papa (their name for Jack). There's dancing time and time to talk about your memories of him. Wow. What a kid.

On the bright side, at least my floors are clean. At last.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

What is Strength?

Ever since Jack died, more than one person has told me that I'm "strong." So today's question is: What is "strength?"

As a couple, Jack and I were strong. I was stronger with him than I was alone. We got through a lot of stuff including an out-of-state move, layoffs, me being a stay-at-home mom and setting my career aside for a few years & a baby that needed serious surgery before she was 3 months old. (She's fine now.) We also adapted to Jack's heart disease, and we got more regular exercise and changed our diet. Low sodium, low fat, Subway, and the YMCA became a way of life for us. And now it's as if half of me is gone. Yet people still think I'm "strong."

Strength is continuing with life even though you don't want to without the person you love most there with you. Strength is putting one foot in front of the other, no matter how slow. Strength is coming up with a new weekly routine for the kids so they have a sense of stability. Strength is maintaining nighttime rituals and adapting them as needed since one person who did them with you is gone. Strength is finding new support people after someone you thought was a close friend ends the frienship, without telling you why, just a couple of weeks after your husband has died. Strength is taking care of business, paying bills, and dealing with insurance companies and hearing Jack say, "Thank you for taking care of that." in your head. Strength is putting his beloved Jeep up for sale even though your 5 year-old has begged you not to because by the Jeep being gone she'll "know Papa is really gone and isn't coming back." Strength is maintaining your "no" to your child in the store no matter the begging or tantrum because you know consistency is better than your kid thinking that the louder they yell, the more likely you are to change your mind. Strength is maintaining discipline with your kids no matter how much you want to "just let it go." Strength is going back to the YMCA and getting back on that damned treadmill despite wondering "why bother?" after what you went through with your husband.

The list could go on and on. What I've learned is that just because a person is "strong" doesn't mean that it's an easy thing to be strong. It's what has to be done for your own well being and that of your children even if it is hard as hell sometimes.