Tuesday, June 15, 2010

I just went in and did a little updating on Karl's FB, so of course I've been in tears the past hour, but as I think about how much I miss him, I can't help but feel grateful for the life he left me.

I've also been so crazy amazed by our kid lately, and I hope wherever he is he can see the delightful little boy Elliot's becoming. He's so like his Daddy - charming, intelligent, totally into leggos, and won't give you a one word answer when he can instead talk your ear off for a whole minute, but the gist of it is still, "Yes."

Life isn't fair. If it were fair, he'd be here to enjoy this time with me - with us. He'd have had enough of a scare that he'd be taking better care of himself, and loving life that much more. His son would know how much he loved him, and how proud he was.

No, it isn't fair. But life isn't bad either. We all have only so much time, and how we choose to spend it matters. Those of us who are here can still stand in the sun and let it shine on out faces. We can run through fountains and spin in circles and laugh at nothing at all. We can appreciate the life we have, make it bigger and better, and in so doing honor the memories of those who go before us.

I'll always miss Karl, but I'll never despair. It's the only way I know to tip the scale. The more pain there is in death, the more joy we need in life. The more I miss him, the more I have to savor the gifts he left.

I may not make it back before Sunday, so I'll just say it now; Happy Father's Day, wherever else you are, I know you are alive in our little monkey. I love you.


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Hi there, monkeys. Yeah, it's been a while. I'm mostly writing at BrachiatingBaby now, but I still think about the Fulcrum a lot.

I went to a wedding this past weekend. Actually, I was the matron of honor, but thankfully that was never actually put in print. Matron sounds rather dowdy and a little dull. I think maid may have been more appropriate, not because I'm so svelte and exciting I deny the Matron tag, but because I did a fair bit of cleaning and toting things about. I was certainly honored to play the role, tho, and i think I did it admirably.

Weddings have been an emotional challenge, obviously. I miss Karl all the time, but particularly when everything around me is all about marriage. I feel the empty spot at my side heavily. It's so strange that before I lost Karl, I hardly had attended a wedding that I wasn't working, and since he died I've been to so many. He should have attended every one with me, and the unfairness of it manifests in a throbbing that's like dizziness in my chest.

Saturday's blue sky and warm breeze couldn't have been more beautiful if we'd ordered them. I stood on the beach beside my dear friend, and smiled with real joy watching her marry a man I believe is worthy of her. Her sister, who also stood with her, is expecting her first child in July. Standing between them, enveloped by such hope and happiness, I dared to wish for all things, and to believe in the possibility of another chance.

It's such a strange state to exist in - this half life, double life - whatever life it is I'm living. I was joined, and unjoined, and split in between. Part of me lives for him, part of him lives in me, but that doesn't exclude me from being whole in myself.

There's just this feeling in my head, or my heart, or my soul - wherever feelings come from. I used to have it all figured out, you know, and now I barely believe that dreams and reality aren't mixed up, and my waking self is really the dreamer... but the feeling I have, no matter where it comes from, it's warm. It's hopeful. I believe the promise it whispers, especially when I feel it's fingertips brushing the world, bringing to life so many dreams - weddings, babies, dances, kisses...

I dreamed of laying in a field, looking up through branches both frosted white and budding green, leaves fluttering, filtering sunshine. If only I could paint, surely I could make it understood.

The promise is made, the universe knows.

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Friday, January 22, 2010

I got a phone call from a friend yesterday that took me straight back to August 08. A friend of a friend, one whom I liked quite a bit but never really got to know, died suddenly while he was home alone. He had two high school age daughters; one of them found him when she got home from school.

While I don't think there really is an answer for "why" this happens, beyond the obvious medical explanations, I still think it's terribly unfair that some people get more time than others. I think it's especially sad when good parents don't get as much time as they should with their children, and children lose their parents early in life.

All I can think is that we have to remember that we don't know when our time will be up, so make the most of every moment. Spend time where it matters - close to those you love.


Monday, January 04, 2010

Lately I've been thinking a lot about how I've changed since Karl died. You see all these movies where somebody's lost their spouse, and what ticks me off lately is that often it seems like the only way they are allowed to be happy, healthy, or whole again is to find the next spouse, who is, in fact, the same person as the one they lost.

"She could peel a whole apple in one long piece."

"He only does that with you."

The last year has been challenging, obviously. I had been lucky enough to find somebody who loved me and took care of me, more than I knew till he was gone. I've learned to be my own cheerleader, my own chef, and my own friend. Not that I don't have an amazing support nework who also does this, but I really didn't do it for myself before. I was far more critical of my own thoughts and actions.

Now I cut myself a lot more slack than I used to, and am far less inclined to feel guilty or put up with crap. Maybe it's the part of Karl that stayed behind in me - the part that loved me most - that reminds me now that I am worth loving. And because I'm able to forgive myself for being weak, I think I'm stronger.

"The Missing Piece Meets the Big O" has a much healthier take on moving forward. It's not so much about finding what you are missing as realizing that you have it in you to be whole on your own. It may be challenging and awkward and wobbly as the ragged edges get smoothed out, but keep working at it, and soon you're rolling right along. Maybe slower than before, maybe smaller than before, but whole all the same, and able to grow.


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

I didn't know i had gmail set to record chats. Most of my chatting with Karl was on FB, but it turns out I have some saved conversations on gmail too. They made me so happy, I have to share. An unexpected Christmas present from Google.

12:07 PM Karl: meep
12:08 PM whatever happened to our cheap hotel rooms? Do we still have that?
me: erm, i dunno
Karl: we should find out
me: i think at least one expired
Karl: and go somewhere
and snuggle
in a cheap hotel
me: when when when???
Karl: my lovely wife
me: :)
12:09 PM Karl: sometime soon
me: do you have a spring breal?
Karl: The friday and Monday
four day weekend
but that's not until April
12:10 PM me: hmmm
Karl: It's only March tomorrow
me: well..... any sooner long weekends?
Karl: nope
12:11 PM it's a shitty term
the kids have the twelf off
but I have a work day
me: doesn't leave much snuggle time
12:12 PM Karl: nope
me: and me turning into an elephant and all
Karl: are you swelling?
me: my jeans don't fit today
Karl: Have you been on the scale
time to go shopping
12:13 PM me: i've lost weight acc. to the scale
2 lbs
Karl: maybe the ababy is eating you
me: eeeek!
Karl: hehehehehehe
12:14 PM me: baby's in my belly = shouldn't be eating me
bad baby
12:15 PM Karl: hehe
I am being a bad daddy
I should be grading
me: uh oh
Karl: but I am not
so sad
12:16 PM me: no, you are allowed a little time off
to chat up your wife
Karl: ok
me: ergh. bellyache.
12:17 PM Karl: what are you up to today?
are you going to the safehouse?
I tried to clean a little this morning so that the place would devolve so fast
cleaning up after myself I mean
12:18 PM me: i'll go in to safehouse this afternoon
after lunch
12:20 PM Karl: I emailed Liz about the thing next Friday at the Scottish arms
she told me to tell you hello
12:21 PM me: i tell her hello in return
Karl: are we doing Vanessa's tonight?
me: I think so - are we not?
Karl: I just remembered it
I'm up for it
12:22 PM me: should be fun - she really wants to have more people time
12:23 PM Karl: yes
me: if I add the cheese knives to mom's order
and dill stuff
that puts us over 300
but then what do we buy???
12:24 PM aaaaaaaahhrrggg?
Karl: ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!
12:26 PM Honey, I don't know... oh, the apple peeler for my folks
as a gift for their 50th
me: ok
that's what we'rll do
12:27 PM Karl: are you sure?
are there more fun options?
12:28 PM me: i'm looking
Karl: ok

11 minutes
12:40 PM me: ok
i don't teach math either
i'm clearly on crack
Karl: were we ok
on the numbers?
me: i added them the other night
and came up with totally different numbers
now i only have $250
12:41 PM Karl: double check everyone's orders
12:42 PM Mom, Sue, Vanessa, Mellissa, us, Terry, Julie
all there?
me: yep
12:43 PM i'm adding item by item
Karl: did we buy two of everything?
me: and nowhere near 300
12:44 PM which is fine
i just get $0 in stuff
12:45 PM whatever
Karl: pyramid schemes have great pyramid appeal cause they're made with consumer demands that are real....
to the tune of tater skins
12:46 PM me: stupid pyramid
12:47 PM i'm just getting the cheese set at $10 off
Karl: ok
ok, must work
c u late
12:48 PM r
me: k.

28 minutes
1:16 PM Karl: meep
1:17 PM meeple
me: mooop
Karl: zweeply
I am so bad
me: zoooooooba
Karl: I got nothing done in my prep
me: bad bad bad
Karl: yeah well
1:18 PM I have first hour prep tomorrow
that rocks for getting work done
me: it'll all work out
it usually does
Karl: third hour prep you are already exhausted
I'm not worried
I'm smerply
me: oooh. shmerply. i see.
1:19 PM Karl: somewhere there is a little us growing
I dreamt about frogs last night
me: itty bitty tadpole
Karl: I dreamt we had a little aquatic frog
1:20 PM maybe we should get one
those dog watering things are on sale at petsmart
I think I'll get one on my way home
I also have to stop at ITT
me: ok
Karl: for some paperwork
me: i have to call a doctor
i'm all nervous
1:21 PM Karl: Tempe or Sandy?
me: start with tempe beause she sent me a name
Karl: ok
the bell will ring soon
and then I must teach
me: diiiing
1:22 PM Karl: soon
not yet
three minutes
or sooooooo
me: ooh. gniiiid
Karl: all our fish seem so happy
I watched them all last night before you got home
me: were they smiling?
1:23 PM Karl: singing actually
me: that's pretty happy
1:25 PM Karl: there's the bell
I must salivate now
c u


Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Mom kept Elliot last night. I taught for a friend at Third Degree, who had to go home for her grandfather's funeral. I'm not very good at nights alone. I cry more when Elliot's not in the house.

I had one of those dreams that is so happy it hurts to wake up. I was pregnant, and Karl was alive. We were staying with my grandmother in Arkansas. She's really been gone for years now, but there she was, so excited about my baby, and full of questions about Elliot. She stood at her kitchen table sorting through hand made baby clothes - tiny little sweaters and socks...

I remember sitting on her couch, my hand on my belly. I remember that full, solid, melon like quality, and the comfort of feeling the baby move. I said "I hope it's a girl," but I didn't really. Even as I said it, I knew it was another boy, and I was glad.

I was due in October. Elliot and his baby brother would have close birthdays. They'd be three years apart.

That had always been my plan.


Thursday, November 26, 2009

Things I'm Thankful For

Elliot, who makes me smile even when life's trowing rotten tomatoes

My family, who would love me even if I did give up, so they keep me going

My friends, who encourage me, inspire me, and make me laugh

My home and my neighbors. I love living with the memories I have here, and knowing the people around me care

PSRS - Karl's retirement plan, and the beautiful loophole that lets me spend so much time with my son without worrying about how we'll pay for food on the table or the roof over our heads

Time - there may never be enough, but I'm so glad I have what I do of it.

Thursday morning music class and Thursday night knitting, keeping me a little social despite my isolationist tendencies

Strength, Hope, and Resilience, which make up a critical part of my character. Whether it's nurture or nature, I'm grateful to my parents for giving me these

Digital Photography for making it so easy to take a walk down memory lane, share the latest moments of our lives with friends across the country, and freedom to go ahead and shoot 100 pictures of that sunset, one of em' will turn out, and it's just pixels - nothing to waste

Indoor plumbing. No list is complete without this one

Happy Thanksgiving - I hope your own list of blessings is long, and your day is full of reminders of warmth, love, a happiness to add to the list.