Sunday, July 31, 2011

So So Sunday

Had to take a sleep aid again last night. I was awake until almost midnight. This morning when I woke up, I could not remember what day it was. Don't know why it would matter though since I have no reason to get out of bed anymore. When I finally did get up, I washed my sheets and towels, then I walked down to the local liquor store to buy Ben's Lotto ticket for Wednesday. So at least I got in a 1.9 mile walk today. I thought on the way home that I should start carrying a box of Kleenex with me everywhere I go because it seems like I start crying at the drop of a hat these days. I don't even need to have a reason to start the tears to flow. I finally got around to “cleaning” off my dining room table. I had a lot of the stuff from the mortuary and Ben's memorial sitting there. For now I just stuck it in a drawer, but I needed to get it off the table as I was getting so sad looking at it. One of these days I will feel up to cleaning/straightening closets and drawers, but not yet. Stayed inside most of the day. It stayed cloudy and overcast all day which was nice because it stayed cool outside. Had my front door and sliding door from the living room to the patio open all day until the A/C came on a little after 2:30 pm. Earlier I smelled wet pavement and noticed that a few large rain drops were falling, but that only lasted about 5 minutes. Uploaded some photos to my photo sites on the Internet to share with everyone. Most of my day was spent, as usual, messing around on my computer with the TV on in the background.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Sad To Say...I Hate Saturdays

I decided last night that I am not going to take a sleeping pill. I went to bed a little after 10:00 pm and went to sleep around 10:20 pm but did not sleep well. I tossed and turned all night. Woke up around 5:30 am. Got up around 6:30 am and by 7:30 am, I was on the road to Santa Paula for their Citrus Classic Hot Air Balloon Fest. I really need to give up on going every year. I've been going every year for about the past 4 years now and every time it is totally overcast and the balloons cannot lift off. So they just sit there on the ground, all inflated, for about a hour or so and then when they decide the sun is not going to burn off the clouds, they deflate the balloons. So what's the use? The city of Santa Paula should change the date of this festival to a time when they don't have the marine layer. So needless to say, by 9:00 am, I was back home. I'm really hating trying to drive with tears flooding my eyes. All the way home I was thinking about Ben and so I cried all the way home. Once I got here, I decided to go out and do some yard work to try to get rid of some of the stress. It may have been overcast about 30 miles towards the coast but it's a beautiful morning here in Canyon Country. I pulled weeds for about an hour. Didn't help the stress at all because Ben is on my mind from the time I wake up in the morning until I go to sleep at night. He is all I think about. After lunch, I just sat on the sofa all day with the TV on playing online computer games. I hate weekends so much. I do nothing but cry on the weekends. You would think that I would eventually run out of tears, but they just keep coming. There are times that I start thinking about the reality that I have to live the rest of my life without Ben and that I will never see him or hear his voice again and I totally feel like I am going to lose my mind. It all seems so unreal and so impossible. How can the person I loved more than life itself be gone? This has already been a very long day.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Friday With My Friend

Well I slept pretty good another night but I'm afraid it's because I've been taking the sleep aid pills. I don't want to get where I depend on them to help me sleep. I went to bed at 10:00 last night and went to sleep almost right away and I slept through the entire night again. I remember having strange dreams but when morning comes, I don't remember what the dreams were. I'm thinking the sleep aid may be causing the strange dreams even though it is just an OTC that I buy at Wal-Mart. It's their own brand. I was sitting on the sofa this morning thinking about the lonely weekend approaching and I remember how one of my “widow friends” that I met online made the comment about how she hates the entire concept of widowhood. She said “the whole thing totally sucks”. How often do I repeat those words? There really is no other way to describe it. When you shared your life with that very special person and suddenly they are removed from your life, the emptiness is so overwhelming. I kept wondering if Ben and I had ever had children and they were in my life right now, would I still feel this way. But as I have discovered from my widow friends who do have children and grandchildren, they still feel that total emptiness. It's something no one can understand until they go through it personally. I was so glad that Linda emailed me and said she was going over to Sam's Club and Wal-Mart this morning and said I could ride over with her if I wanted something to do. These days I'll jump at anything anyone offers so I don't have to stay home alone all day. She picked me up a little after 10:00 am. She was trying to upgrade her phone at Sam's but has to wait for something on her contract to get fixed before they can upgrade her, so then we went over to Wal-Mart for her to exchange a blouse she had bought. After that, she asked if we could go to lunch somewhere, so we ended up going to Dinks New York Deli which is the place DeDee took me last week. After lunch, we walked around The Patios and ended up going into the new Apple Store to ask a few questions about the iPads. She dropped me back by home around 1:30 pm. Linda's son and his family are coming up to visit her this weekend, so she booked a couple of rooms over at La Quinta Inn and she is heading over there later this afternoon to be with them. I paid some bills and then gave myself a haircut with my Flowbee. I always feel sad when I do that now because I used to always give Ben a trim with it before I would cut my hair.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

My Thursday

Had a pretty good night's sleep again last night. I took a sleep aid pill around 10:00 pm, watched “Hot In Cleveland” and “Happily Divorced” and then went to bed. Fell asleep in about 15 minutes. Had strange dreams all night, but I don't remember what they were about. I actually slept through the entire night too. Woke up around 6:15 am, but stayed in bed until about 7:30 am. Got up and went for a morning walk. Did 1.4 miles which isn't really very much, but at least I got out. Came home and had breakfast then I mopped my kitchen, entry, small bathroom and my laundry room. While they were drying, I went to get Ben's Lotto ticket for Saturday and then went over to Wal-Mart. I needed to get some door mats. When I came home, I called the main office for my community to talk with them about taking Ben's name off the lease. I called them Monday but the woman I was supposed to talk to was not there and I was told she would call me back, but she never did, so I called again and got her this time, but she seemed a little confused about what was needed to take Ben's name off of the lease, so I told her after I get a copy of my trust and the name change papers for the house that I will come over to the office in person and work with her. She also could not understand why the lease bill comes with ONLY Ben's name on it since my name is also on the lease. She said it should have been coming in both names. Hopefully it will be taken care of soon. I swept my front porch and my patio and noticed it was getting pretty warm. Came back into the house and watched my soap and had my lunch. My wonderful friend Mary Lou Voils who I worked with me for many years at Lockheed and who now lives in Virginia called me in the afternoon to see how I'm doing. She and Ben loved each other so much. The rest of the day I just vegged on the sofa and watched TV.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Wednesday Was Pretty Good

Actually got sleep last night. I took a sleep aid around 9:45 pm before I watched “Hawthorne”. Went to bed at 11:00 PM and went to sleep around 10 or 15 minutes after my head hit the pillow. Woke up a couple of times during the night but was able to go back to sleep. I woke up around 5:30 am but dozed off again. Turned on the morning news at 6:00 am and got out of bed at 7:00 am. Linda and DeDee got here around 9:00 am and we headed up to Ventura, CA. We first went to a park high on a hill looking over the city of Ventura and the Pacific ocean. Took a few photographs there, then headed down into town. We walked down Main Street and checked out a few thrift stores then we went to a 50's Diner called The Busy Bee. After lunch the sun had finally popped through the clouds so we drove back up to the park on the hill again to see if we could get some better photos as it had been overcast when we went there in the morning. Then we drove over to Ventura Harbor Village and walked around there for awhile. The harbor is across the street from the beach, so we went over there and walked down to the breakwater. On the way home, we stopped in Fillmore, CA at their railroad station and City Hall to walk around some and then we stopped by the Fillmore Fish Hatchery to check out the wetlands and take some photos of some herons. Got back home around 4:30 pm. All in all, it was a pretty nice day with my good friends. The only thing that I kept thinking about was that I felt like Ben was at work and I was just out with friends for the day and that Ben would be home from work around 5:00 pm. Then when I came into the empty house, reality came back.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Today Is Tuesday

Could not go to sleep at all last night. After I watched “Rizzoli & Isles”, I went to bed at 11:00 pm. Turned on the TV in the bedroom like I always do because I've gotten to where I cannot go to sleep without it on because it's just too quiet in the room without Ben's snoring. I was channel surfing for about 30 minutes then decided to turn the sound way down to where I could just barely hear it and tried to roll over and go to sleep, but it didn't work. I kept tossing and turning and finally got up and came into the living room and turned on the TV in here around 1:30 am. Watched 2 episodes of “The Golden Girls” and then tried to go to sleep again. By now it was 2:30 am and I still could not go to sleep. My eyes were so tired and were burning. I finally took a couple of Tylenol because I was getting a headache and about 15 minutes later, I fell asleep. Woke up around 4:30 am and went back to sleep for about an hour then woke up again. Laid there staring at the ceiling, so I finally turned on the morning news. Stayed in bed until a little after 7:00 am. Got up and had breakfast, then waited for Linda to get here to go over to the Grief Support Group. DeDee didn't go to the group today as she is helping a friend pack to move. Like last week, the group was very crowded and we had a couple of new faces again. I was hoping I didn't fall asleep because I was just so tired from only getting about 2 hours of sleep. Also had a bad headache from lack of sleep. After the group, Linda and I went to have lunch and then headed home. She had to get home a do some laundry. When I got home, I found a package on my front porch. It was a sympathy from my friend Candi and her husband. It was full of “comfort foods” which is exactly all that I am eating now. It was so sweet of them to send it. I am trying to sell an Recumbent Exercise Bike and a 36” Exercise Trampoline and I had put it on Craig's list yesterday. Had a voice message on my phone when I got home, so I called the person back and got their voice mail. Tonight I'll watch “Hawthorne” on TV before I try to get some sleep.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Mostly OK Monday

Started getting extremely sleepy last night around 9:30 pm. Went to bed around 10:00 pm with the TV on but I think I went right to sleep for once. Tossed and turned most of the night and woke up around 5:30 am, but stayed in bed until almost 7:00 am. Even though I knew I had things to do today, I just did not want to get up and face yet another day without Ben. Since the memorial is now over, I seem to feel worse. I need to find out from some of my widowed friends online if this is a “normal” feeling. Maybe it's because I've just closed the first chapter of my widowhood and now I am starting the next chapter. I was crying quite a bit before, but now I cry over the stupidest little things. I went to Wal-Mart this morning to pick up a few things that I've run out of. I took one of my cloth Wal-Mart reusable bags in to carry my groceries out. As I was walking out the door, the bag tore and my groceries fell on the ground. A nice young man who was entering the store came over and helped me pick my stuff up. Thank goodness I only had a few things in the bag. I got into the car and I just started crying because of that damn bag. When Ben was alive, that would have been a “funny thing” that I would have called him about and shared with him because he would have been at work today. We would have laughed about it and that would have been the end of it. But he is not there for me to call and when I thought of that, I just started sobbing. It is hard to drive your car when your eyes are full of tears and you cannot stop crying. That's what I mean about crying over the stupidest little things. Now that the numbness of his death has worn off and the memorial is over, I feel all of the sadness and the pain. After Wal-Mart I hung out at home awhile. I filled my birdbath, watered my plants and filled my hummingbird feeder, then went over to get my cleaning deposit back from the community office for the clubhouse we used for the memorial/life celebration. After that, I headed over to Sam's Club to pick up some things I needed there. Got back home and put things away, then I called the corporate office of our community to see if the woman I need to talk to about my land lease was there. She wasn't, so I left a message to have her call me. I need to have Ben's name removed from the lease and have mine on it. I was going to watch my soap and then make lunch when my brother Ron called me and we talked for awhile. I'm glad he calls me now and then to see how I am doing. Right after I hung up, my friend Karren called me to see how I am doing. We talked for about 45 minutes. I finally got around to making my lunch around 1:00 pm. Since my house had not been cleaned in months, I dusted a couple of weeks ago but had not vacuumed, so decided I'd better to that, so finally got the vacuum out this afternoon. When I went into my bedroom to move things off the floor so I could vacuum, I picked up Ben's shoes that are still on the floor on his side of the bed and I immediately started sobbing/wailing. Cried the entire time I vacuumed. Also the bag of his clothes that I brought home from the hospital on the night of February 28 when he had his first surgery is still on the floor next to the rocking chair in the bedroom and I cried when I picked that up too. I just do NOT feel like doing anything with his clothes right now, so they will just stay in that bag on the floor. So for the rest of the afternoon, I watched my soap (I always record it just in case) and I've been watching re-runs of “The Closer” and “Ghost Whisperer”. Tonight I will watch new episodes “Eureka”, “The Closer” and “Rizzoli & Isles”. When I watch my TV shows, it helps keep my mind occupied for a few hours until I have to force myself to go to bed. So that was my day. Hope all of you had a good one.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Sunday Afternoon Sadness

My nephew Matt just left to go back to Paramount, CA to his girlfriend's parents house. They will spend the night there and leave to head back to Paradise, CA tomorrow. I started to cry as he was ready to climb into his truck and leave. I'm so glad he stayed here last night after the memorial. After being with all of my friends and family yesterday, I would have felt very lonely last night if I had to face an empty house. It was nice to have his company.  I could not get to sleep last night even thought Matt noticed I kept nodding off while he and I were sitting on the sofa watching TV around 10:00 to 11:00 pm. Went to bed at 11:00 pm and turned on the TV. Could not go to sleep so around midnight, I got up and took a sleeping pill. Went to sleep around 12:30 am. Woke up around 5:30 am, but dozed off and on until around 6:45 am, so I just got up. Matt got up a little bit later. We went over to the Placerita Nature Center. I wanted to show Matt some of the areas I hike. Left there and went up by Vasquez Rocks County Park and then back home. Stayed there for awhile then went to lunch at Weinerschnitzel. After lunch we drove around town. I drove him by a couple of my other hiking areas. Hoping that soon he will be able to come and stay with me a few days and he and I can do some hiking, maybe in the fall or spring when the weather is not so hot. Then we drove up by Castiac Lake and then home. He left a little after 4:00 pm. So now I face the empty house on a lonely Sunday evening/night. Need to decide what I am going to have for dinner in awhile.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Made It Through The Memorial

Actually fell asleep around 11:00 pm last night so I got some sleep. Linda got here around 9:00 am and we got the keys for the clubhouse and headed over there to start setting up everything. My friend Sandi showed up to help us set up the tables, chairs, etc. Everything went very smoothly. We had about 50 people…friends, relatives, etc. Linda and some of my other friends took care of all of the food preparations and Linda's boyfriend Manny grilled the beef and chicken. It was delicious. Could not believe all of the food we had and everything was so good. After the guests arrived, my brother Keith and a couple of his friends played music and Keith sang. I had asked Keith to sing "The Dance" as I felt it was perfect for the occasion and he also sang "Annie's Song". Keith talked about his memories of Ben as did my friend Linda, Ben's brother Lanny, Ben's sister Donna, my niece Stephanie and Ben's nephew Matt. Keith spoke of how God originally never intended for humans to die, but then when Adam and Eve ate the apple, "death" became a reality and part of "life". Then we ate and as I said, the food was delicious and everyone enjoyed themselves. I'll admit that I cried some when Keith sang "The Dance". I loved the stories that Lanny and Donna told about when they grew up with Ben. There were even a few that I had never heard before. My nephew Matt came down from Paradise, CA to attend the memorial and he is staying with me tonight so I don't have to be alone. He said he thought I probably would not want to be alone after the memorial and he was right. All in all, it all went very well. Thanks to my brother for all that he did today and to all of my friends and family who showed up at the memorial. I love you all.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Busy Friday

Did not get to sleep last night until about 1:15 am. I'm told it's called "grief induced insomnia". Got up early because Linda was coming by at 7:45 am to follow me over to the Toyota dealer so I could get my car fixed and checked out. She was going to drive me back home, but as it turned out, the service advisor told us we could wait as it would only take about an hour. Once I told him why I was there, he said this is a common occurrence. He said that the "splash plates" under the engine have plastics fasteners and when something hits them, they snap off and since my plate was still there and would not have to be replaced it would not take long. So the put new fasteners and checked out to make sure there was no other damage and in an hour and $49.00 later, I was out of there. I was relieved it was ONLY $49.00. Brought Linda's car back to my house and then went by Home Depot get a sprinkler part I needed then went by Wal-Mart and then headed over to a thrift shop in Newhall where Linda wanted to donate some clothing. Went to Costco to pick up the chicken thighs for the memorial tomorrow. Came back to my house and I sat on the sofa and cried for about 30 minutes as Linda listened to me talk about Ben.  Then we decided where we wanted to go for lunch. Ended up at Arby's. After lunch we went by the store and got some bags of ice for the memorial. Came back to my house to make sure we had everything we need for tomorrow. We were going to go out for a ride and take some photos, but just ended up staying at my house. Linda left a little after 2:00 pm and I did a load of laundry. People keep asking me if I'm "looking forward" to the memorial tomorrow because it is to celebrate Ben's life, but no, I am not looking forward to it. I am looking forward to seeing friends and family, but not to the sobbing I know I will do. Linda keeps telling me that tomorrow I am NOT to worry about the food or anything else. She said my job is to just greet everyone at the door. She knows me too well. She knows I am the type who would be trying to "supervise" everything. But I know it's all in good hands with her taking care of it. I just feel like tomorrow is the "beginning of the end" and that bothers me some.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

OK Thursday

Cried some this morning. There are some days that my eyes just seem to "leak" and won't stop. DeDee showed up a little after 10:30 am. We went to Sam's Club and she bought a small digital camera. I need to "train" her on how to use it (LOL). After Sam's, we went out to lunch at a place I'd never been. It's called Dinks New York Deli and is located in our mall. DeDee bought my lunch and it was very good. We spent a little longer than we expected having lunch and talking, then headed over to my house for me to start helping DeDee learn how to use her camera. The battery was not charged, so we didn't get very far. We have planned for her to come to my house a week from Saturday for me to help her learn how to use it and how to upload the photos to her computer, etc. She left to go home around 4:30 pm. Tomorrow I have to get up and be ready to get my car over to the Toyota dealer by 8:00 am to see if they can fix the thing under my car. Now I feel "alone" again and I need to decide if I'm going to have anything for dinner. We had 1/2 sandwich and a salad for lunch and the sandwich was as big as a whole one, so I'm not really that hungry.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Wednesday Woes

I could not go to sleep last night and finally ended up taking a sleep aid pill around 12:30 am and went to sleep around 1:00 am. Woke up a little after 6:30 am and got up. Had breakfast and turned on the TV for awhile. I must have fallen asleep because I woke up around 10:15 am and realized that Linda would be here soon. We were going to lunch with DeDee and Judy in Burbank. We met them over by our Stater Brothers market and I drove down to the valley. As we were going down the freeway, I was about 6 car links behind a flatbed big rig and he ran over a piece of tire which came down in the road right in front of me and I could not avoid hitting it. We went to lunch at Fuddruckers then decided to drive around a little and look at some of our old stomping grounds when we worked at Lockheed when it was still in Burbank. Got home around 2:30 pm or so. I decided to look under the front of my car to see if everything looked OK, but I see where there is a piece of plastic that was knocked loose and is "dangling" under the car. I made an appointment with the Toyota dealer on Friday morning to take the car over to see if they can fix it or replace it and check to see if there was any other damage. Taking the cars to be fixed for stuff like this was always Ben's job. I miss him not being here to help me with these kinds of things.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Grief Group Tuesday

Linda came by a little after 9:00 am to drive me over to the senior center for my Grief Support Group. DeDee met us there. Had a very large group today, maybe about 20 to 25 people or so, with about 3 or 4 new people. Had a lot of good conversation in the group today. What's good is that Judy, the therapist who leads the group, always gets us to laugh. I find that very helpful. It's nice to see that these people who are living the worst experience in their lives can still laugh. There are certain people who ask a lot of questions or have a lot to talk about, then there are others who just sit there and never say a word. But we all have a common bond. Seems like more men are coming to the group now. There were at least 7 of them there today and it's nice to see that they are able to open up and share their grief with everyone. After the group, Linda, DeDee and I hit our normal pizza parlor for the lunch buffet. We didn't stay quite as long today because I had to get home so that I'd be here for my handyman when he comes by to install my ceiling fan on the patio. He should be here in a little while. So far I have had a pretty good day. I cried some this morning before Linda got here, but that was because I had an online friend email me and say "I hope you have a lot of photos of Ben for his memorial on Saturday". Well, I have a lot of photos, but they are not printed out. I came up with the idea to put a bunch of photos on a flash drive and take one of my laptops to the memorial on Saturday and put the slideshow from the flash drive on the computer to run continuously during the memorial. I downloaded about 90 photos of Ben, some of Ben and myself.

Monday, July 18, 2011

OK Monday - So Far

Went to bed around 11:00 last night and went to sleep in about 30 minutes. Kept waking up all night long. Woke up around 6:45 am and thought about staying in bed but forced myself to get up and decided to go out for a morning walk. I did 2.4 miles. The weather was pretty nice as it was still in the 60's at that time. When I got back  home, I made breakfast. After breakfast, I decided to go out and pick up a few things I needed at the grocery store then went over to Wal-Mart. I needed a few things there too and had been thinking about getting a Brita Filter Water Pitcher for awhile and saw that they had one on sale, so I picked it up. Hope it improves the taste of my water. My brother Ron called me not long after I got home. Watched my soap and had my lunch. Kept "thinking" about vacuuming the carpet, but never got around to it. Today's is Ben's sister's birthday, so I sent her an email to wish her a "happy birthday" even though I knew it was not really a happy one for her. I told her that I don't know how I am going to make it through the memorial on Saturday. We've been planning it for about a month, but now that it is almost her, I'm scared. I am not looking forward to it much because it kind of brings an "end" to things and that frightens me. I don't know how I'm going to hold it all together on Saturday

Sunday, July 17, 2011

My Sunday

Last night I really had a bad night. Did a lot of sobbing/wailing, being very mad at God because He took Ben from me. Went to bed around 10:00 pm but could not go to sleep. I think I finally went to sleep around 1:30 am. Got up around 7:45 am and had breakfast and washed my sheets and towels. Then I went out and washed both of my vehicles. They were both filthy. When I was done doing that I decided I'd head for Kohl's since I had received a $10 gift card from them. When Ben was in the hospital, I received a couple of those cards but was not in the mood to go shopping, so I had given the cards to my friend Linda to use. I'm still not really in that much of a mood to shop, but I thought it might help keep my mind occupied. On the way to Kohl's, I stopped a bought Ben's Super Lotto ticket. Did good at Kohl's. I found 2 nice T-shirts for $5.99 each, so with the card, they only cost me $2.15 out of pocket. After I left Kohl's, I headed over to Target to look at their discount racks, but found nothing, then I drove by PetSmart to see if they had the adoption dogs there, but they were not there yet. I assume they come later in the day. Came home and made my bed and put the towels away. Made lunch and watched a little TV. Checked out Facebook and noticed it was "National Ice Cream Day" and remembered I was almost out of ice cream. I had given up ice cream when Ben was in the hospital, but after he died, I started eating it again because it "gives me a little comfort". Seems like all I am eating is "comfort foods" which are not really good for me, but they are easier to make for just one person. I headed over to the market and picked up a couple half-gallons of ice cream. When I got home, I decided to dust everything in the house. I had not dusted in over 5 months, so everything was covered in 2 or 3 layers of the stuff. Thought about going for a walk, but by then it was in the mid-90s outside so it was too hot. Thought about going for a drive to take photos somewhere, but just cannot think about where to go. As I had said before, when Ben was alive, he would want to go for a drive every Sunday, but he usually drove and he would just jump behind the wheel of the car and head out aimlessly. I don't like to do that by myself. So I've just been sitting on the sofa watching HGTV and playing online computer games. I've had a slight headache most of the day. Probably from lack of sleep.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Kay's Day - 07/16/2011

As usual, I didn't get to sleep until about midnight. Even though I go to bed around 10:00 am, I just lay there awake. Got up around 7:00 am and headed over to the Home Depot and bought an indoor/outdoor ceiling fan/light for my patio. Came back home and did a load of laundry and deep cleaned my master bathroom. Went online and answered email and checked out Facebook, then I turned on the TV and watched some of the home improvement shows on HGTV. That's about all I watch most of the day, every day. Had my lunch and then my handyman came by and fixed my sprinkler siphon. He told me he will come back on Tuesday after he gets off work here in the community and install the fan on the patio. Decided to watch a movie on a DVD. Now it's just a little after 4:00 pm and I just had a crying jag. I got to thinking how Ben would be coming home in about 45 minutes if he had been at work today. God I miss him so much.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Kay's Day - 07/15/2011

Today it is one month since Ben passed away. I was afraid it would be a very hard day for me, but so far so good. My brother Keith had spent the night since he had to do some sound readings for his job. He and I headed over to the Caregiver's Support Group at the senior center this morning and Linda met us there. After the group, we went to lunch and then Linda had to go pick up here eye glasses, so Keith and I headed by to my house. Keith left for home and I wanted for Linda to come by to go to my appointment with my attorney with me. We were going to give her the information to set up my Trust, Health Directive and Power Of Attorney. Also she is going to have her paralegal get Ben's name removed from the house. I've done just about all of the other changes, only have a few left, so that was the main thing I wanted them to help me with. I go back to see her on August 5th to sign all of the papers for my Estate Planning. Now I am waiting for my handyman to come by. One of my sprinkler siphon valves is not working right and I need him to put a new one in for me. Also want to ask him about putting an outdoor ceiling fan with a light on my patio so I can start using it more. Ben as never real big about sitting out on the patio, but when the weather is nice, I like to go out there with my computer, or when Keith comes over, we like to go out there and sit in the evenings. Not looking forward to the weekend because they seem to be hard on me, but I'm going to try to stay busy if I can. I need to do some housework and wash the cars.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Kay's Day - 07/14/2011

There was a thick marine layer today that kept the sun from coming through the clouds, so it was a perfect day for a summer hike…not too hot and no worry about rattlesnakes. Linda came by to pick me up around 7:30 am and we headed over to Placerita Canyon. My brother Keith and I had just hiked there about a week and a half ago, but he and I only did 2 miles. Linda and I did the entire Canyon Trail which is 4.5 miles in and back. When we got there, we were the only hikers, but we started running into more people on our return trip. After our hike, Linda dropped me off at home so I could change clothes and Linda went home to change clothes, then she came back and picked me up to go have lunch and then we came back to my house to put some of Ben's ashes into the little boxes I had bought for Ben's brother and sister. We also put the remainder of Ben's ashes in the urn I bought for him on Then we took the locks of hair the mortuary had cut for me and I put them in frames with my favorite photo of Ben. I got a frame for myself and one each for Ben's brother and sister. My brother Keith had some field work for his job here in Santa Clarita today, so he came by just while Linda and I were busy with the ashes and locks of hair, had his lunch and then headed out for his field work. Linda left a little after that, but Keith will be back here when he gets his work done and he will have dinner with me and stay the night. It will be nice to have some company here tonight.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Kay's Day - 07/13/2001

Didn't do much today. Last night I took a sleep aid tablet around 12:00 midnight. Stayed up until 11:00 pm watching "Hawthorne". Woke up around 6:15 am but was still very sleepy, so I went back to bed and slept until around 8:15 am. Got up and made breakfast, then my brother Ron called me. After that I went over to Wal-Mart to pick up a few groceries. Had one of those drives where a song came on the radio called "I Still Miss You" and my eyes filled up with tears, but I just could not change the station. Every song I hear reminds me of Ben somehow. When I see older couples out together, I think of Ben and think "why isn't he here with me?" He is on my mind every minute of every day. They tell me at my grief group that this is very "normal". I'm told that one day, he won't be on my mind constantly. He'll be in my memory but not every waking minute. When I got back from Wal-Mart, I called and made an eye exam appointment for myself then I went out and filled my birdbath and watered my potted plant. Watched my soap and had lunch. Linda called and said she had stopped by Stater Brothers and picked up some bottles of soda for the memorial and she wanted to bring them by and put them in my closet. Played a few video games on my laptop. My brother Keith emailed and said he is coming up to Santa Clarita tomorrow to do a sound study for his work so he will be here in the afternoon and is planning on spending the night with me and then he will head home sometime on Friday. It will be nice to have some company during the evening.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Kay's Day - 07/12/2011

Had a hard time staying asleep last night. I stayed up until 11:00 pm watching TV and tried to go to sleep after that. Wasn't sleepy, so I tried to do a little reading, but only got through about 3 or 4 pages. Turned the TV in the bedroom on, but nothing was on, so I turned it off and tried to go to sleep around 12:00 midnight. It was too quiet, so I turned the TV back on. Finally fell asleep, but kept waking up about every 45 minutes to an hour and looking at the clock. I kept thinking I had been asleep for a long time, but it was just a few minutes each time. I was having strange dreams, but Ben was not in any of them. I don't remember any of the dreams now. Woke up around 5:30 am and tried to go back to sleep but couldn't, so I turned on the news at 6:00 am and got up around 7:00 am. Fixed a bowl of cereal and then went online and took care of a couple more of the credit card accounts with Ben's name on them. Linda came by around 9:00 am and we headed over to the senior center for the Grief Support Group. DeDee showed up about 15 minutes after we got there. Had a really good group today. Several new people and a lot of good conversation and information. After the group, Linda, DeDee and I went to Round Table Pizza for their lunch buffet. Seems to be our once a week place now. Got home about 45 minutes ago.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Kay's Day - 07/11/2011

Didn't get to sleep until 12:00 pm last night. I had taken 1/4 of one of my Ativan pill to try to "take the edge off". Usually they knock me out and put me to sleep, but last night it didn't help me sleep at all. It did keep me calm though so I didn't have a major crying jag. Got up around 7:00 am and made breakfast. Went to pick Linda up around 10:15 am and we headed over to the dedication for the new Haskell Canyon Open Space. Took some photos there then left and came by my house to get some stuff together that I wanted to give to the Goodwill. One of the items, they did not want to take, so we took it over to the Salvation Army and they took it. Then we went to lunch before heading up to Acton to pick up Linda's camera that she had left at my friend Marce's house last week. Took the "scenic route" going up and coming back instead of taking the freeway. On the way home we stopped at a little TV/Movie Set in Soledad Canyon in Acton. Took more photos there. I dropped Linda back home around 2:30 pm and headed home. I hate coming home to an empty house. I told Linda that it's like I feel Ben is at work and she and I are out running around like we did back when he was alive and that I'll come home and around 5:00 pm he will pull into the driveway, home from work and ready for dinner. Then reality sets in and I remember that he's never coming home again. I went up and got the mail and had received a sympathy card from my dear friend Mary Lou Voils whom I have known for 43 years. Mary Lou is in her mid-80's now. She worked with me at Lockheed for many years and she was the first person to speak to me on my first day I started working there. She just loved Ben and he loved her too. She now lives in Virginia but when she used to live in Burbank, CA Ben and I would go over and pick her up and take her to lunch at Fuddruckers for a hamburger. Anyway, I opened the card and she had put a little note in it telling me how bad she feels about him dying and there was also a small envelope inside the card. I opened the envelope and there was a $100 bill inside. I just started crying my eyes out. Once I calmed down, I immediately got on the phone and called her to thank her and tell her she did not have to do that. She said that she loved Ben and I so much that she just felt like she had to do something and she didn't know what else to do. She told me to use it toward the memorial or anything else I needed it for. I was on the phone with her for about 10 minutes and I cried the entire time I was talking with her. I have such wonderful friends.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Kay's Day - 07/10/2011

Had a really bad night last night. Before I went to bed, I started crying and it was not just a "normal" cry it was a sobbing and not being able to breathe cry. Until you lose a spouse, you will never know what this kind of crying is. It causes your chest to hurt, it gives you a terrible headache and it just makes you feel sick. You cannot stop crying no matter what you do. I finally got to sleep around 11:30 pm or so. Tossed and turned all night, had strange dreams but Ben was not in them. Woke up very early and felt terrible, so went back to sleep and finally woke up around 7:00 am. Today is my brother Keith's birthday, so I got online and sent him a Happy Birthday Note. Got up and put my sheets and towels in the wash. Made myself breakfast and then once I put the laundry into the dryer, I went to buy Ben's lotto ticket and then I went over to the post office to send out a copy of his death certificate to one of our credit card accounts. Yesterday evening, I went online and contacted several of our credit card accounts to find out what I needed to do to have Ben's name taken off of the accounts. A few of them had answered me already and one said to send them a photo-copy of his death certificate, so I wanted to get that out in the mail. When I got back home I actually decided to deep clean my small bathroom. It made me feel pretty good that I finally got around to doing something a little "normal". Got the laundry out of the dryer and made the bed. After I finished I made lunch and watched a little TV. I had thought about going for a drive somewhere like Ben and I used to do on Sundays, but I had no idea where I wanted to go. When Ben was here, we'd just jump in the car and he'd just take off driving and we'd be gone for a couple of hours. Since I had no idea where to go, I decided to go outside and cut pack some of my flower beds, sweep the patio and pull some weeds on the slope to the north of our house. That took about an hour or so. Came back in the house and played a few games on the computer. Around 3:00 pm, my friend DeDee called to see how I was doing. We talked for about an hour. Now I'm sitting her watching "Ice Road Truckers" on the History Channel. I still don't feel very well after all the crying I did last night. My chest (or lungs) hurt from the sobbing and my head has been killing me.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Kay's Day - 07/09/2011 - Very Boring

Not much to tell you about my day today. Went to bed at 10:00 pm last night, woke up very early. Don't remember what time it was. Went back to sleep and didn't wake up again until 7:00 am. Got up had breakfast, washed my clothes for the week. Cried a little. Have been doing nothing but messing around on the computer ALL day. Have the TV on, but have not been paying much attention to it. After the gardener left, I went out and filled up my hummingbird feeder. Had lunch. Cried some more. Back to playing games on the computer and that's it. Sorry I was so boring today.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Kay's Day - 07/08/2011

Actually got some sleep last night. Had dreams, but don't remember really what they were. I'm pretty sure Ben was not in them last night. Woke up around 5:00 am. Seems like I wake up between 5:00 and 5:30 am every morning, but then I go back to sleep for a couple of hours if I can. When I got up this morning, I had the feeling again about "why do I bother getting up?" but this morning I did actually have a purpose for getting up. Linda was coming by at 8:45 am to take me by the post office and then over to the senior center for the Caregiver's Support Group. This morning for some reason, I could not stop crying. It was as if my eyeballs were "leaking". I was ok once we got t the support group. Had a lot of members there today and again they told me how much they like me being there with them. A couple of them gave me a big hug and told me how they think about me and worry about me during the week. After the group, Linda and I went to lunch and the we stopped by Aaron Brothers Frame Store so I could buy some nice frames for some photos I have of Ben. After that we drove by a place that our city has just purchased from the county to preserve as an "open space" for hiking and recreation. We wanted to see where it was because they are having a dedication there Monday morning and we are going to go to that and we wanted to see where it was. When we left there, we went to one of the thrift stores. Linda wanted to show me a table that she saw that she might buy to use for one of the mosaic projects that our friend Marce has gotten us all interested in. When I got home, I had a voicemail from my attorney's office. I was supposed to see her on Tuesday to do my estate documents, but we had to reschedule it for next Friday. Now I have a headache and my eyes are really tires and sore from crying this morning. I took some Tylenol and put some "Tears" eye drops in my eyes. Hope that helps.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Kay's Day - 07/07/2011

Well I still had rats on the patio last night. I decided to get rid of the 1/2 bag of birdseed I had and give up on feeding the little feathered friends except for the hummers. I only paid $5.00 for the birdseed so…anyway, hopefully once all the birdseed is off the patio and plucked out of the grass by the lawn mower and by the birds and rats, the rats will stop coming every night. I also went to Wal-Mart this morning an bought some D-Con Rat Pellets and put them out on the patio. My niece Darrah told me that she used them in their basement once and that they really do kill the rats, so I hope that will do the job. I noticed that the rats did not take the poison cube I put out yesterday. They left it right where it was, but I also put out 2 more of them just in case they want to take them back to their nest. Didn't get to sleep until around midnight again. Took a sleep aid which made me groggy when I woke up this morning around 6:15 am. I took my blood pressure meds and then went back to bed and didn't get up until around 8:00 am. Had breakfast and then went to buy Ben's Lotto ticket (I'm still playing it for him), then went and put gas in the 4Runner and then over to Wal-Mart to pick up a few things. Came home and put the rat poison out and got rid of the bird seed. Watched TV all morning then went over to my insurance agent's office to have the take Ben's name off of our auto insurance, homeowner's insurance and earthquake insurance. Also filled out the paperwork to inherit Ben's ROTH IRA and take his name off of our joint investment account. Every time I remove his name from something we had together, it puts another knife through my heart. Took Linda over to her eye doctor but the ended up not dilating her eyes this time. I need to make an eye appointment for myself soon. Time for dinner.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Kay's Day - 07/06/2011

Today I had lunch with my retired girlfriends. We have known each other for so long, we are like family. Linda went with me because all of my girlfriends wanted to meet her. She came to my hours around 10:30 am and then we went to pick up Sandi at her house and then we picked up DeDee at Costco. Met Kay (yes we have the same name), Gail, Marce and Judy at the Sizzler in Palmdale. Diana, who still works at Lockheed showed up a few minutes later. After lunch, all of us except Judy and Diana drove over to Marce's house in Acton, CA. She wanted to show us the mosaic art a craft that she has started doing. She has created a really cool table top for her patio, a couple of vases and a small side table. She was thinking that it might be something that some of us might like to start doing as a hobby. Marce and her husband Wayne live in a really cute house and have a great backyard. Wayne was my cube mate for a couple of years when I worked at Lockheed. While in their backyard we could hear thunder rolling over the high desert. Got home around 3:30 pm. It was so nice to get with my girlfriends again. I had not seen them since before Ben had gotten sick.

Me, Judy, Gail, Kay, Sandi, Marce, Diana, DeDee and Linda (kneeling)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Kay's Day - 07/05/2011

Went to bed last night around 11:15 pm and fell asleep around 11:45 pm or so. I took a sleep aid around 10:00 pm. Around 8:45 pm last night, I went outside to see if I could see the International Space Station when it flew over, and I did see it. Then the fireworks started going off, so I stayed outside for awhile to watch them. Came inside around 9:30 pm. I had noticed that "something" had "taken" the cube of rat poison I had placed in 3 areas of the patio. I figured it was the rat. Around 10:00 pm, I looked out at the patio from the sliding door and saw not just one rat, but about 5 of them. The big one that I saw the other night must be a mama because there were 4 little ones out there now too. They rat when I turned on the patio light and I saw that the were running to the side of the garage, so this morning I went out to look in that area to see how they were getting into the back yard. I saw that there was a space between the fence and the garage that was just the right size for them to squeeze through. I put a brick over the space on one side of the fence and on the other side, I put a piece of wood so hopefully now they won't be able to get into the back yard. Will watch tonight. Got up just before 7:00 am. I needed to call the Lockheed Employee Service Center on the east coast to make sure they would take Ben off of my Kaiser Health Insurance Plan so I won't have to keep paying premiums on him and to find out if they needed an original copy or a photo-copy of his death certificate. So I got that taken care of. I emailed the agent who handles our car insurance, homeowner's insurance and earthquake insurance to make an appointment with them to come by and get his name off of those policies. Waiting to hear back from them on that. Left around 9:30 am to head over to the senior center to my grief support group. My friend DeDee met me there in the parking lot. We had a full house there today…had a lot of good discussion. There is a guy named Pete in the group. Don't know when he lost his wife, but it was interesting to discover that men have the same pain and feelings that we woman have when we lose our spouse. After the group, DeDee and I went to Round Table Pizza for lunch. As usual we sat there for over 2 hours just talking about our husbands. We always lose track of time doing that. On the way home I stopped by the drug store and picked up some "Tears" eye drops. My eyes have been so tired and sore from the crying. Now I'm sitting here watching reruns of "The Ghost Whisperer".

Monday, July 4, 2011

Kay's Day - 07/04/2011

Very boring day for me today. Did not get to sleep last night until 2:15 am. It seems that when I am with people the day before and then they go home, I seem to have more trouble going to sleep on those nights. I noticed it last week when I was out with some friends and now I noticed it after Keith left yesterday. I slept in until around 8:15 am this morning and I was still extremely tired when I woke up. My eyes are very tired and sore from crying and from lack of sleep. During the night when I was lying awake, I got up and wandered around the house a couple of times. Once I looked out on the patio and noticed that there was a rat running around on the patio. I'm guessing it is there because I put out wild birdseed and the seed that falls on the ground from the feeder ends up in corner of the patio and the rat comes out at night to eat the seed in the corner. After I got up and had breakfast, I drove over to Home Depot and got some rat poison. Came home and cleaned up the seed in the corner of the patio and put cubes of rat poison in about 3 places. Came in and watched TV for awhile until it was time to make lunch so I did that and watched my soap opera. After that I drove over to the grocery store to pick up a couple of items. The store was very crowded. Came back home and turned on The Twilight Zone marathon. Around 1:30 pm I fell asleep on the sofa and woke up around 3:15 pm. Now I am very groggy and my eyes are still very tired and sore. Ben and I never really did much on holidays, but at least he was home from work on those days and we spent them together. We'd watch TV and then maybe go out for a drive. This being along really sucks.


Sunday, July 3, 2011

Kay's Day - 07/03/2011

Keith left about 15 minutes ago to head home. When he drove away, I came into the house and sat and cried for about 5 minutes. Sundays seem to be one of my worst days without Ben. Keith and I had a nice 2 days. As I said yesterday, picking up Ben's ashes didn't get to me as much as I thought it would. However, Keith told me this morning that he was a little "creeped out" trying to sleep on the sofa here in the living room because he kept thinking about Ben's ashes sitting over on the hearth of the fireplace. I was surprised that he said that because things like that usually don't bother him. This morning we went for an early hike over in Placerita Canyon. We wanted to "beat the heat" so we left right after 7:00 am. For awhile, there was no one on the trail but us, but as we started hiking back down to the parking lot at the Nature Center, we started passing people who were on their way up the canyon. We did a 2 mile hike. Probably would have gone a little more but it was already starting to get warm just after 8:00 am. When we got back down to the Nature Center, we went over to look at the hawk and the owl they have caged there. We came back home and I made some breakfast for us and did a load of laundry. After I put it in the dryer, we went out again. I decided to go by where Ben had purchased the tires on our Corolla because it was time to have them rotated again and I thought that I'd go by there while Keith was with me to have that done. The guy there knew Ben because Ben used to deliver auto parts to them. He told me he was really sorry to hear about Ben passing. He was very nice and told me to come by at least once a month to have them check the air pressure in my tires. We then went to Sam's Club because there were a few items I needed there. Came home and took the laundry out of the dryer then we went out for lunch. Came home and watched a little of "The Twilight Zone" marathon then Keith had to leave for home. I really hated for him to leave.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Cremation Locket

I was asked to explain what a "cremation locket" is. Mortuaries sell them and you can also buy them online. Some are actually jewelery that is made from the ashes themselves. Others, like mine, are gold or silver and have a very small amount of the ashes inside of them. The one I got from the mortuary is sterling silver and is smaller than I thought it would be. The ones I've seen online are bigger and they have a screw-on top. Mine is "bolted" together. I had never heard of them either until some online friends told me about them. The are a lot less expensive if you buy them online than at the mortuary.

Kay's Day - 07/02/2011

Got up around 7:00 am, had breakfast, then went over to the post office to mail out the last AT&T telephone bill that was in Ben's name. Bought some stamps while there because I'll probably have to send out more paperwork to some of the credit card places to close some of Ben's accounts. Keith got here between 10:00 am and 10:30 am. We headed over to the mortuary to pickup Ben's ashes. It wasn't as bad as I thought it might be except that I did get a little teary eyed when they brought the box with Ben's ashes in and set it on the table in front of me. They gave me 3 locks of his hair, but they only put paperclips on them, so some of them lost some of the hair from the paperclips into the envelope they put them in so I will have to try to put the locks back together. I bought some blue ribbon to tie around the locks. Blue was Ben's favorite color. The cremation locket ended up being a lot smaller than I thought it was going to be, but it's still nice to have. I went this afternoon and bought a nice sterling silver chain for the locket at Kmart. They had a 50% off the chains today only, so I lucked out on that. Went to Wal-Mart to see about getting a couple of Carbon Monoxide Detectors, but they didn't have the kind I wanted, so we stopped by the Home Depot and they had exactly what I wanted there. We went to lunch at Carl's Jr. It's well over 100° here again today. If we go for a walk, it will be after the sun goes down some. I have Ben's ashes sitting on the hearth in front of my fire place. Keith and I actually opened the box to see what the ashes looked like and we were surprised to find that they are not gray as we had expected, but more the color of sand. I've been second thinking taking his ashes up to Ferndale, CA. I guess that's why they always tell widows and widowers to make any major changes or do anything major for a long time until you are more in your "right" mind. Sometimes I now think that if I take them up to Ferndale that I don't know if I could really part with them. I'll have to think on it a lot before I do anything. If I decide to keep them, I know that sells cremation urns online and they are really nice looking and not very expensive. In awhile we will go out on the patio and grill up a couple of small steaks that I still had in the freezer. Ben was the big steak eater, not me. I probably won't buy steaks anymore after these are gone.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Kay's Day - 07/01/2011

Before I went to my group this morning, I went by the clubhouse office to pay my land lease and also to confirm that I will be using the clubhouse for Ben's memorial on July 23rd.  I then went to the Caregiver's Support Group at the senior center this morning. Only 6 people plus the Judy (the therapist) showed up today. I guess the others are either heading out of town for July 4th or out shopping for BBQ's etc. I mentioned at the group that I had considered quitting that group since I now go to the Grief Support Group, but again they told me they want to me continue coming and Judy said "it's like the mafia…once you are in, you cannot get out". Then she laughed. A couple of the ladies asked me to join them for lunch, but I bowed out. I was not in the mood to go out to lunch today plus I needed to go by the grocery store on the way home and get a few more things for when Keith is here over the weekend. The store was pretty crowded with shoppers. When I got home, I fixed myself some lunch and watched my soap. I got the telephone bill from AT&T in the mail. I saw that the collect call that Ben made from the hospital that one night he was so upset and called me on the bill. I started to cry because I remember how upset he was that night and how much he wanted to talk. I could not believe that that one call cost over $20. Ben would have had a fit if he knew that. He hated AT&T. I also received a letter from Lockheed (the company that I used to work for) telling me that they need an original copy of Ben's death certificate by July 16th to take his name off of my health insurance plan so I won't have to keep paying for him on the premium. I won't have the certificates until tomorrow and then I need to call Lockheed with some questions and I cannot do that until Tuesday. They don't give you much time to get things sent to them. It got up to 101°F here today, so obviously I did not do an afternoon walk. Keith will be here around 10:00 or 10:30 am tomorrow morning and we will head right over to the mortuary to pick up Ben's ashes.