Thursday, November 25, 2010

just another day

... Just another day without El

Though today is thanksgiving I am not really acknowledging it. I have a hard time admitting being thankful for anything lately. Even so, I can't deny that there are things I am thankful for, the most being Elliott. But, I don't need a holiday to state that. I am thankful for Elliott's love and his presence in my life each and every second of everyday. I'm thankful to be loved unconditionally my the most amazing and handsome man I've ever met in my life...

I refuse to claim this day as my first holiday without El. I figure that if I'm not celebrating then it doesn't count. You can call it "widow logic."

Sunday, November 21, 2010

So, I haven't experienced that I want to rip your head off for no good reason except for the fact that "I'm a widow and your not" feeling until today...

Travel in general is hard, travel alone is a little tough, but traveling all by your lonesome as a widow just down right sucks. Well, let me rephrase that, because I love to travel it's the flight and the the airport that make it hard for me. The airplane and airport is like a cespool of seemingly happy couples of all ages and fresh young families embarking on holiday getaways. It's a blatant reminder of what I no longer posess— a future with my husband that includes children, anniversaries, travel plans, wrinkles, retirement... I could go on and on.

So back to my I feel like ripping your head off moment. I boarded my flight early this morning. The flight was oversold so there was a sea of people trying to get situated in their way too small airplane seats. I get to my row only to discover that a man is sitting in my seat and he swears it's his. That's ok because I didn't really want the middle seat any way. So the flight attendant verifies that I'm correct, but I tell him its fine I'll sit somewhere else. Score, he finds me an isle seat and I get all comfy and settled in. Just when I think the flight might be ok after all a woman appears out of nowhere and asks me to move so she can sit with her husband. She tells me if I move out of the exit row ( which has way more leg room) that oh, I can recline, like I give a crap about reclining. I felt like she was just so condescending to me. I understand wanting to sit with your husband I probably would have asked the same if Elliott was alive, but he's dead— and at that moment I really didn't need a reminder that I was the single girl who should give up her seat to the snobby married lady. Of course I pleasantly gave it up and moved, but not without my blood boiling. I realize that this is irrational to have been so angry but I've been through a lot and I deserve to have my little moment of irrationality.

There was a time when I really enjoyed going to the airport and boarding a plane. I mean it's never a blast or anything but traveling with El was always so nice. Somehow it always made me feel like an adult to be with my hubby boarding a plane and being excited to get away from home for a while. It was so nice to be able to just cuddle up and lean into him when I was squished into the sardine box they call seats. Now I always leave the plane cramped and stiff from trying so hard to stay in my own personal space or from leaning away from people who don't get the concept of personal space. El was always such the gentleman too, carrying the heaviest bags. He would always tell me it looked bad if the girl was carrying all the stuff. Good thing I bought new luggage with four nice wheels so I can manage by myself.

There are just so many reminders everywhere I go. I'm sitting in the Seattle airport right now on a six hour layover. Living in Alaska we almost always have to come through the Seattle airport so it's inevitable to not run into a bunch of stuff that reminds me of the trips when El and I passed through here. I remember every shop and book store we browsed to help pass the time. I remember where we sat in the food court, what he ate, what I ate, the coffee we ordered, everything. It hurts to be here, to be anywhere without him. It doesn't help that there's a song playing right now with lyrics like "i miss you and I want you and I need you but I can't have you." How ironic.

To pass some time I got a manicure, I know it's crazy to get a manicure at the airport but I have a lot of time to kill. Anyway I still refuse to take off my wedding ring. When the manicurist saw it she said "oh are you in engaged?" "No I'm a widow I just don't want to take my ring off." It was the first time someone asked about my ring since El was killed. It was a little surreal, at my age I look more like a newlywed than a widow,oh how I wish that were the case. But I'm a widow and I had a beautiful marriage and an absolutely out of this world amazing husband. That's what that ring represents and I can't bear to take it off.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

I hate cleaning

I have realized along with my new found hatred for cooking, I hate cleaning too...
In preparation for leaving my home yet again and Flying to California I am trying to tidy up a bit. I haven’t cleaned the floors in my room since Elliott was killed. Who am I kidding I have barely cleaned the house at all. The dust bunnies or as we would say in the Marines Corps— “ghost turds” were horrendous. It made me feel even more like a widow, a black widow spider who has weaved an intricate web of dust debris from corner to corner to cocoon herself within the chaos she calls a bedroom.
After a little bit of vacuuming and shifting of accumulated random items I have neglected to put in their proper place, I am completely exhausted. I mean I am physically and mentally just spent. I have barely exerted myself and all I want to do is curl up on the couch and zone out again.
There is still so much to do, mop the floors, pack my bags, finish the laundry, tidy the kitchen ... and thats just the surface stuff. Eventually I will have to get to the deep cleaning and organizing that I fear I will never have the energy desire or drive to do.
I really used to enjoy cleaning and organizing. I learned the most about cleaning when I was in the Marines. Every friday we would have a field day where you would clean every inch of your barracks room and we would do the same kind of thing at work in our shop and the aircraft hanger. Of course there was always an inspection to follow, so if you didn’t want to loose any weekend time you were going to work your ass off. I remember one time my Sergeant Major sent out an email to the whole squadron stating they should all take a look at my room as an example of how to clean for a field day. I was really proud of that.
 Elliott was damn good at cleaning too. He helped out a lot in the house, but his specialty was keeping the vehicles, electronics and garage sparkling— he was a pro at doing the dishes too. My favorite time to clean the house was when Elliott was at work. As a firefighter he worked twenty-four hour shifts. I would stay up late at night and put some music on. Then I would just tackle whatever needed to be done. Elliott would usually call me several times while on shift, just to check in and see what I was doing. I would never tell him I was mopping the floors or deep cleaning the kitchen. I think I just really liked to surprise him by coming home to a sparkling clean house. 
In the morning when he got home, he would come back to the room where I was still cozy in bed. Ooohhhhh (sigh) how I miss that so much, the sound of him unlocking the door and his footsteps down the hall— waking up to his voice ... On the days that I had cleaned he always noticed. He always made sure to tell me “ the floors look really nice babe,” or “thanks for cleaning the kitchen babe,” or  “organizing the mail and filing the paperwork...” It didn’t matter what I had done, he would notice and he would make sure to let me know he appreciated the effort I put into our home.
Now, there is no praise for the effort I put in, no words of appreciation from the man of my dreams. It’s just me and the dogs and I’m sure the dogs don’t really care about the floors. I have to clean so that I don’t become a crazy widow living in a filthy environment like on the show “Hoarders.”  Before there was joy in keeping the house nice for my little family. I was a wife and I enjoyed some of the responsibility that came with the title. As a widow there is no joy in cleaning, except maybe the brief distraction it provides. Mostly it’s just tedious, exhausting, and another reminder I am alone... 

I need a break

... I kind of don't know where to start. I am disappointed in myself. I had lofty goals of blogging regularly and Lately I just have not had the energy to type anything out. I have so much that happens and so much that runs through my mind that I want to share ... Yet by the time I am ready to type it seems my mind draws a blank.

I maybe shouldn't be so hard on myself I've had a lot of crap thrown at me lately. I wish there was a way to say that more eloquently, but crap is crap. For the last three weeks in a row I have awakened to phone calls with tragic news. Two deaths and a very bad injury. It seems as if my family just can't catch a break. I am so frustrated because all I want to do is grieve for my husband and I can't even focus on that because my family needs me right now. They won't ask for my help but I can't just stay home when they are dealing with so much. So instead of doing my grief work I must stay numb and do what I can to help keep what I have left of a family from destruction.

I just returned home and before I can even catch my breath it's off again to see how I can be of assistance. I actually just returned from an amazing retreat with some wonderful women, widows ... soul sisters. I have been longing to write about my experience but with all the chaos swirling around me I just can't find the words yet... but I'm planning on sharing soon. I'm planning on writing more when I can catch a little bit of a break ...

Sunday, November 14, 2010

treading water

...Sitting here on the couch not knowing what to do. The tears begin to fall...
 I ask my self “how did I get here?” I mean I used to be the one who had it all together. Just a few short months ago I was a wife and homemaker a student and avid crafter. I was a good friend and sister and daughter. I was the one giving support and encouraging words to friends and family in need. I was happy and in love. I was blessed to be married to the man of my dreams, a man who loved me deeply and passionately. I was in ignorant bliss— ignorant to the pain of life and the reality of the world.
How could my life change so fundamentally to the core, in just seconds,  without my permission? How could I be so out of control of my life and my future.

Today I am a widow, a sad and lonely soul— Lost and searching for my other half. I am floating in a vast sea of grief and I am searching for the lighthouse to show me the way to shore, but it is no where in site. The waves are violent and cold. Sometimes they sting when they crash against my body. Other times the waves are so chilling I just go numb. I want to let go. I’m tired, I’m ready to stop treading water. I’m ready to drown but for some reason I’m staying afloat and it feels like torture to keep my head above water.
I know there are some things left worth fighting for, I just have a hard time admitting it.  Are those things enough? 
What would Elliott be doing right now? Would he be treading water too? Would he be hanging on, if I received the bullet? I want to honor him so badly, I want to do what he would do, he was the best person I have ever known. I want to be like him.

death knocks again

Death knocks on the door again ... no we won’t open it, not this time. The world feels like it’s spinning out of control. 
Last week my family lost yet another beautiful young soul. Within three and a half months of another two of us in the family have had to claim the title of widow and widower. Those are words that at our young age just should not exist in our vocabulary. Yet in an instant a split second in time we have become experts on the term. 
Now death threatens again, just one week later. My uncle, my moms only brother was found last night on the side of the road. Bloody and bashed with trauma to the head... he’s in the hospital now having emergency brain surgery. 
I have not been angry with God up until this point. I am still not angry with God. But, I feel like I’m being pushed to the edge of a cliff. I feel like the universe is playing a trick on me to see how far I can be pushed until I fall over. 
 I have gone numb again. My brain knows I should be worried and I should be a basket case, and I should be pacing the the hall until I get good news... Until I get the news that the surgery went well and he’s recovering just fine. But no I sit on the couch numb and void of emotion. It makes me feel like a robot or a zombie with no soul. 

Saturday, November 13, 2010


Today marks four months that I’ve been alive without my beautiful husband. How have I walked this earth for four months without him by my side? How have I taken each and every breath I’ve taken to sustain life without him on this earth? Each and every second that passes seems unbearable so how is it that the seconds have turned to minutes, minutes gave way to hours and then turned into days, and now days have become months ... 
I feel like it has only been a just few weeks since he was so violently ripped from this world. I feel like I was widowed just yesterday. Have I really been able to claim the title for four months now?
I wonder, when will it really sink in. I know that he is dead, I know that I won’t hear the door click unlocked in the morning when he returns home from a long shift at the firehouse. I know that I’ll never hear him say “ I love you babe” , or feel his strong arms hold me close to him as I fall asleep at night. I know all of the things I miss and grieve for... I just can’t yet fully comprehend it. I cannot fully comprehend the finality of it all. Is this really my life now? 
Every day this feeling just looms over me ... I feel as if I am waiting, just waiting and waiting. What am I waiting for? I have no clue. It is not a conscience decision to wait made within my brain. It must be a sub-conscience feeling manifested in my heart and soul. You see deep down my heart and soul is waiting for El to come home, or to communicate with me, or to just let me feel his love once again. My heart and soul believes that our love is stronger than death. So I wait and I wait and I wait ...