not thinking of big things today. Just feeling the sore that comes from not sleeping so well for many nights in a row and working my ass off. I put pumpkin chocolate chip bread in the oven a little while ago and as I swirled the gooey mess into the flour and cinnamon I found my mind doing odd circles around the history of baking. As in, who the hell ever thought of cracking unborn chicken babies into gloppy stuff like this, mixing it with some dusty shit, heating it up and hoping it would come out yummy? That person was either one of the most INCREDIBLE geniuses in history, or one hell of a nutcase. My best guess is they were somewhere in between.
Today is Frederick Fair day and there is no school. We are planning on going to our friend's house and hanging out in her heated pool. I figure that this is a good treat to hold over the heads of the kids to get them to clean their room. I cleaned it for them about a month ago. In less than an hour, it it was a mess again. I stopped cleaning it. Right now, I told them they are in their room until it's clean and, at the suggestion of a lady at school, they are "thinking of their room like a clock". They will work in one corner until it is clean, then move to the next, until it is done. They haven't been in there for 2 minutes and they are screaming and crying already. This should be interesting. I am not going in there. I will, however, try to report back how it goes....oh, man, the decibel level just went up. My daughter is screaming and pounding on the door, begging to get out while my son is telling her she can't. Apparently he didn't realize that pee breaks were allowed. Literal to the end, my son.
It is seemingly impossible for me to separate out the different parts of grief for me. The practical issues, like getting the house clean and everyone fed, mix with the emptiness of my bed, my hand, my heart. I look at my hands, my skin. I see some of my father and brother in them. I see scars and lines, small patches of pink and peeling skin from the psoriasis. I think my life is like my hands. Strong and soft and capable of many things. Clumsy in places, torn, starting to wrinkle, battered and scarred.
On the Widows Voice blog today, a woman wrote about how jealous she is of people who had decades. I feel that. John and I were together, more or less, for 12 years. But we were married for only 8. Exactly 3 weeks before he died. I can't really let myself think of him too much, too deeply. I don't know. At my support group, there are several women who talk about how their husbands totally spoiled them, pampered them, cherished them. I think I feel kind of sad because John wasn't so good at that. I have written it before, but he was so focused on his coaching, so engrossed in what he did, that I always felt jealous, like I took a back seat. And it tore him up. He did the aftermath well, by which I mean he always regretted not showing me enough, not using the right words, not getting the idea of how to do a gift...Last Christmas was the worst. I don't hold the hurt, though. I figure it was right before the tumor started causing serious issues, so his forgetfulness was likely due to that. But we did a wish list for all of us, all together, on amazon, right after Thanksgiving. All 5 of us, even Neil, sat on the couch together. I showed John, again, how to get to the amazon wishlist for me. We set up his. We went through and picked things together. One of the things I wanted was a pair of Chucks, something bright and fun and low top. That is the only thing he got me- although he got high tops and I can't wear them because they rub on my heels where the skin tears and rips with the psoriasis. And he lost them so that they didn't show up till much later. And on Christmas Eve, I had to stay up and wrap everything myself because he was sick. And on Christmas morning, the only gifts I had to open were the two from these sweet sweet people at church who gave us each a little something. And I couldn't even be upset-I couldn't share my hurt or sadness, because John was so incredibly sorry and angry that he had messed up. He kept trying to give me his stuff. I didn't like that at all. I told him that especially since I didn't get presents, the only gift I was getting was watching him and the kids enjoy the stuff they got. I was not about to let him ruin that for me.
I am afraid of my 40th birthday without him. I am afraid of Thanksgiving and Christmas and even New Year's Eve. And I get to go back to hating Valentine's Day. Easter I think will be mostly okay, because our tradition is to be outside. We would go for a hike and I think that will be a nice way to sort of connect with John...
Which reminds me...a lady at group last night said that she and her family have started doing something her husband had asked for. They got these two little wooden acorns that hold a small amount of ashes. They go on their travels and adventures, places the family had gone when her husband was alive. And the sprinkle a bit of his ashes out of the nut. They take a photo of the place and the nut and plan on making an album to see all the places he was, in life and now in small pieces forever. I think John would have loved that. I immediately thought of trying to get some of his ashes to Japan. But I couldn't give them to Dave because he has nothing to do with us anymore. Plus, the point is to go with the family, if possible.
That's another thing I think about. A different woman at group talked about how there is a member of her husband's family who crossed a line of intimacy with her and she had to cut him off. I don't want to say much about it, because it is her story. But it made me so mad at Dave. I asked to be held, and to lay beside him. Even with Cilly there, so that he understood that I wasn't asking for anything but closeness. And when it was apparent that he couldn't even do that, I hoped that we could just actually talk about stupid stuff. Create a real connection. And I never ever would have really hit on him. EVER. But just the asking and talking crossed his line. I have to respect that. But it seems so cold an stupid. I guess it doesn't matter. Because if that is how things are in his head, he wouldn't have been much comfort to me anyway. Someone that afraid of anything honest and tender and helpful makes me sort of sad.
I guess, all in all, I am doing mostly okay. I worry about some of the people and ways I am reaching for comfort. But they are working right now. And I am only being honest. And I am trying to keep telling myself that some of these thing that are helping so much right now are only temporary. Temporary. And there is no temporary that will hurt more than the temporary presence John had in my life. So whenever those things go, whenever I choose to stop them, I can handle it. Even if it hurts. Because how could it ever compare to losing him?