Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Woeful Wednesday

Another good quote...

“Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal~From a headstone in Ireland”

Went to bed with a headache last night. Had to take some Tylenol. I think I slept pretty much through the night but woke up around 4:30 am and couldn't go back to sleep. Got up and made breakfast then vacuumed the carpet. Didn't feel like dusting so I just said to heck with it. No one here but me to see the dust anyway. I really hate housework. Maybe one of these days I'll see if I can find a cleaning woman to come in a couple of times a month. Went out and watered my plants and filled the bird bath. I've noticed that I have 3 or 4 hummingbirds at my feeder every day. A couple of them are large for hummers. Went to Sam's Club and picked up a few things. It's no fun going to Sam's Club anymore. Ben used to love to go over there and just wander around the entire store to see what they had and to try the food samples. Tomorrow I go to The Gentle Barn for my first day of volunteering there. I'm beginning to wonder if have bitten off more than I can chew there. Especially the part about keeping the animals away from the 1000 lb pig and vice versa. Also, it's going to be in the 90's tomorrow and I'll be outside for 4 hours from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm. I'm going to put on a lot of sun block before I go and take my big brimmed straw hat. I promised them I'd be there so I will keep my promise. Went for an afternoon walk around 2:30, did 1.4 miles in 25 minutes. It was about 87º which was about 20º cooler than it has been. I cried most of the time I was walking. I just cannot seem to get by one single day anymore without shedding tears. Everything makes me think of Ben. Yesterday in our grief group, we were discussing one of the “new” stages of grief which is “Yearning”. I did some research on it today and found that a studies done with people attending grief support groups shows that “it's the constant nagging desire for one last word, one last touch, or one last sight of the person who has died. The word “yearning” describes it well. Also it has been observed that somewhere between 3-6 months the full reality of the death hits, and with it the full impact of the loss.” Ben has been gone for 11 weeks now (almost 3 months), so I think I am entering this “Yearning Grief Stage”.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Group Tuesday

Found this quote that I thought was very good...

“As long as I can I will look at this world for both of us. As long as I can I will laugh with the birds, I will sing with the flowers, I will pray to the stars, for both of us~Sascha”

Did a lot of crying again yesterday so last night I took ½ sedative to help me sleep. Cried more this morning because I got to thinking about day trips Ben and I would take on his days off and I thought of how I'll never be able to do that with him again. For some reason, it just seems that I am crying more now than I was before. Could be because I am spending more time alone at home lately. At first I was getting out with friends at least 2 or 3 times a week, now I'm lucky if it is once a week. Friends go back to their own lives and routines. My life and routine as I knew it is gone forever. It could also be that his birthday is coming up on September 9th. I went to my grief support group today. Not as many people showed up today as usual. DeDee was there and after group we went to the pizza parlor for lunch. We sat there for 3 hours and just gabbed. She and I can talk about our husbands for hours because we understand that we need this kind of therapy where other people don't want to hear us talk about them. Always have a good time when she and I get together. While at the senior center I ran into Lisa, the vocational nurse who works for my attorney and who was at Ben's hospital room so many times with me. It was good to see her again.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Mediocre Monday

Had trouble going to sleep again last night. I guess I should know by now that some nights I'll fall asleep quickly and others I'll lie there waiting for sleep to come. I stayed up watching a Hallmark movie “William & Catherine” until 11:00 pm. I took a sleep aid around 10:30 but it didn't seem to want to kick in. Finally went to sleep around midnight. Had to go pick up the groceries that I'd run out of so I went to Wal-Mart first and then headed up to Stater Brothers. Was already getting warm outside by 9:30 am. I keep telling myself that I need to get out and walk early in the morning, but I still cannot seem to get myself back into a regular walking schedule. I still just do not want to do anything but sit around the house, unless I have a lunch date with the girls. I received an email from Ben's sister Donna yesterday. She made the comment that she wished we could jump ahead about a year so the hurt would not be as bad as it is now. I had to tell her that I've learned from my grief group that it will still hurt a year from now. I just keep wondering if I will ever get over sitting here “waiting for Ben to come home”. Sounds crazy. Even though my mind knows he is gone forever, my heart just does not listen. Spent most of the day in the house with the A/C again today. At least tomorrow I will be going to the grief support group and then DeDee and I will go to lunch after. Watched more of “Antenna TV” today. Great old shows like “Father Knows Best” and “Burns & Allen”. Ben would have loved watching this channel. I also watched “Funny Girl” on TCM. Got up to 102 degrees today. Wish it would cool down.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Sleepy Sunday

Well, yesterday after the girl came and took the gas BBQ grill, I came back into the house and sobbed for about 20 minutes. I thought I was ready to let some things go, but then I guess I started thinking about when we first bought the grill, Ben would grill on it about 2 or 3 times a week. He loved grilled steaks. I could take them or leave them. We had not used that grill for quite awhile in the past year to year and a half. That's why I thought I'd have no problem giving it away, but then the memories flooded back. I took ½ of a Lorazepam (Ativan) pill to calm me down. It also helped me to sleep last night. I went to bed around 9:30 pm and I think I only woke up maybe once all night. But when I woke up this morning, I cried again thinking of Ben. I just hope that every time I try to get rid of something of Ben's or that has a memory connected to it, I don't cry. Today I discovered a television station that Ben would have loved. It's called “Antenna TV KTLA 5.2”. They show old TV shows from the 1950's, 1960' & 1970's. Old shows like “Circus Boy”, “Rin-Tin-Tin”, “Iron Horse”, “Burns & Allen” and “Hazel”. Ben would have really loved watching some of these shows. Went out around 9:00 am to buy Ben's Lottery Ticket and noticed it was already getting very warm. Almost 80º by 9:15. I decided that it was going to be another day to stay inside with the A/C. Also noticed first thing this morning that today was going to be a day of tears because ever since I got out of bed, every little thing has been setting me off. My friend Karren Meggitt called me to check up and see how I was doing. I also got another call from a “general contractor”. This is the 3rd time I've gotten a call like this. I'm assuming they saw a public notice of Ben's death because the know my name. I guess they start calling widows because they think the husband is now gone so the widow needs work done. All 3 time it has sounded like the same voice but the guy kept telling me he had not called me before, which I didn't believe because as I said, sounded like the same voice and he always says “hello Mrs. Waggoner, my name is (which he says so fast I never can catch what it is), and I'm a general contractor”. That's where I usually stop them because I tell them I do not need a general contractor for anything and I hand up. Today I told this guy to stop calling me. He claimed he had never called me before but I told him that I recognize his voice and again told him I do not need a general contract and to stop calling me and then I hung up. Don't know if that will stop him. Guess I'll have to start letting the answer machine pickup my calls again. I stopped doing that when Ben was in the hospital because it was usually the hospital or doctors calling me. Don't have to worry about that now so I need to get out of the habit of grabbing the phone as soon as it rings. And so goes another day of doing nothing but sitting around watching TV.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

"Selling" Saturday

Tossed and turned all night again. I wake up so tired in the morning. I had planned on going for a morning walk before it got too hot, but it was already over 75º when I got up at 7:00 am, plus I had someone coming to buy my recumbent exercise bike that I had posted on Craig's list. He had called last night after 9:00 pm and wanted to come then and get it. I told him NO WAY! Anyway, he came by around 10:45 this morning and got it. By that time it was already over 90º, so no walk. Then I decided to post my old BBQ grill on Craig's List as a freebie. My phone has been ringing off the hook! I had to put a message on my answering machine to tell people that I promised the first woman who called that I would hold it until 4:00 pm for her, so I've been telling everyone else that if she does not take it, I will leave it on Craig's List and the first person who calls can come and get it. Wonder what Ben would think about me selling and “giving” these things away. He and I had not used the BBQ grill since last December and then we used it for his memorial service lunch, but I would not use it just for me. I have a small camping gas grill that I can use if I really get desperate for a grilled steak, which I don't think I will. Ben was the steak lover, not me. I've also posted Ben's collection of Andy Griffith collector plates on Craig's List plus my collection of Y&R collector plates. I have no use for them anymore. Got up to 107º here today.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Another Do Nothing Day

Went to be earlier last night but I just cannot sleep through the night anymore. I just have the strangest dreams (and I'm not taking medications) and I just toss and turn all night waking up every hour or so. I woke up around 4:30 am and went back to sleep and then work up at 6:30 am. It felt warm so I checked the outdoor temperature and it was already over 70 degrees. I had planned to get up and go for a morning walk, but decided against it as I was so tired from the tossing and turning. Mopped my kitchen floor, paid some bills and wrote some letters. Was on Skype with my brother Keith and he said that he is going to update his resume next week. I just keep worrying about him. I used to love Fridays especially when Ben did not have to work on Saturday because I knew that we had 3 days to spend together. Now every day is the same, get up, survive, go to bed.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Thursday...Some Good...Some Bad

I had not cried for a couple of days but I made up for it last night. I cried for about 30 minutes and the entire time I was “talking” to Ben telling him how much I loved him and how much I miss him. Needless to say, I didn't not go to sleep until around 1:30 am. Strange how on Tuesday night I could not keep my eyes open while watching TV and went to bed at 9:15 pm and went right to sleep, but the next night, I could not sleep if my life depended on it. Ran some errands this morning, got Ben's Lotto ticket, went to the post office, filled the 4Runner with gas and then went to the bank to cash the check I got for selling my gold and silver. Got some bad news from my brother Keith today. He got laid off from his job effectively immediately. The company has been taking a hit from the bad economy. His losing his job could cause our trip to see our brother Ron in October to be canceled. The company is giving Keith a severance package and he can claim unemployment once the severance runs out, but if he is able to find a job before the date we are planning to go to Ron's, we won't be able to go because he can't get a new job and then just take off for a vacation right away. Met with 5 of my retired girlfriends that I worked at Lockheed with for lunch today. We had a nice time as usual, shooting the breeze for hours. Now I'm back home feeling a little lonely and thinking and worrying about Keith and hoping that he has no problem finding a job soon.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A Very Warm Wednesday

Had to go over to Wal-Mart this morning and pick up some things I ran out of....the usual....milk, eggs, tomatoes, lettuce. I wanted to get over there early before it got too hot. Went to bed last night at 9:15 am because I could not hold my eyes open. I think I went to sleep right away but I woke up several times during the night. As usual the TV was on all night long. I woke up around 4:00 am and turned it off. I was sitting around this morning thinking about how when Ben was alive, I used to pray that I would die before him. It was the “selfish” part of me that could not stand to think about living my life without him. Now I am so thankful that he was not the one left behind to go through this terrible pain and loneliness. I really do not think he would have survived it. Yes, he was strong, but he did not have a lot of friends and he did not have any interests or hobbies, so I think he would have just sat in his chair and grieved for me. Maybe that sounds vain on my part, but I knew Ben for 38 years and I know how much he loved me and depended on me for so many things. Plus financially, I don't think he would have been able to get by. I'm afraid he might have lost the house. I'm actually getting more money now than when he was alive because I'm no longer paying for his health insurance plus I'm now getting his social security, but his income would have dropped a lot because he would have only gotten half of my pension from Lockheed. He could have gotten my social security which will be more than his, but he still would have been getting less money than he and I got together when he was alive. Took my little bit of old gold and my nine silver dollars to the Gold Buyer Depot and sold them. Got more money than I thought I would. It will pay for my trip and then some when I go with my brother Keith up to my brother Ron's in October.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

"Training" Tuesday

I hate to say it but I'm starting to feel like I might start going through some of Ben's clothes soon and start giving some to charity. May not start this week...maybe next week, maybe not. I'll see how I feel about it once I start looking through his things. I was a little nervous about going to The Gentle Barn today. I almost felt like I was applying for a job, plus the fact that I'm basically a very shy person. This was a big step for me. Ben would not believe that I did this because he knew how "chicken" I always was about meeting new people and going places by myself. But after all of the "strangers" I had to deal with while he was in the hospital and since he died, I guess I've gotten a little more used to it. Still don't like it though. I know I'm on my own now for the rest of my life and that I no longer have him here to push me and support me, so I have to do these things on my own. I was at The Gentle Barn for an hour. There were two other women at the orientation too, one about my age and the other maybe in her 20's but we won't be volunteering together for now. There sure is a lot of stuff you have to remember. Not only do you pet and hug the animals, you have to make sure they have water, make sure you hose them down if it's a really hot day, especially the pigs as they can sunburn, and you have to clean up the animal poop. Found out that you do not have a “regular” schedule for volunteering. You talk with Michelle who does the scheduling and see what days they might need you and then you commit to the days you can work. I won't be going back until Thursday September 1st and I will be on what they call “Pixie Patrol”. Pixie is a little young goat and she can get into all kinds of trouble, so it will be my job to keep her out of trouble, plus back up the other Barn Buddy who will be there. I have not met the Barn Buddy who will be there with me yet. We have to keep certain animals away from each other as they do not get along sometimes, for instance, the 1000 lb. pig Biscuit intimidates the 800 lb. pig Zeus, so you have to keep them apart, in fact you have to try to keep most of the animals away from Biscuit because he pretty much intimidates all of the animals. So....I'll just have to see how it goes I guess and see if I enjoy it or not. They also asked us never to bring lunch that contains meat or dairy products out of respect for the animals at The Gentle Barn. The animals basically “rule” the place. It is NASTY HOT here today. At 3:30 pm it was 103°

Monday, August 22, 2011

Monday On The Sofa

Went for a 1.4 mile walk this morning. It was really nice the 60's and partly cloudy. But they are saying that this week we are going to be up in the 100's again. After my walk I had breakfast and then did a little cleaning. I keep wondering if the feeling that Ben is still alive somewhere and that someday he will be coming home will ever go away. I no longer envision him as the sick, weak man in the hospital bed. I envision him as he was before he got sick, standing there smiling at me. Each time I clean around the house, I seem to remove or put away something that reminds me of Ben. Today I cleaned off his sink counter in the master bathroom. Just basically sat the sofa all day and messed around on my computer and had the TV on. I never got a call from The Gentle Barn about my orientation for tomorrow so I called them to make sure it's still on and they said it was, so I'll head over there in the morning.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Satisfying Sunday

I stayed up until 11:00 last night watching a movie starring Valerie Bertinelli on Hallmark Channel last night. Went to bed and was still wide awake. Didn't go to sleep until around 1:00 am. I was having a dream, don't really remember what it was about, but I do remember there was a “glimpse” of Ben in it. I remember seeing him standing in a hallway. He had on one of his signature blue stripped shirts. I only saw him for a second and then he was gone. Got up around 7:00 am and made breakfast for Keith and myself. The weather was so nice this morning that we went out and sat on my patio for awhile. Keith told me how sleeping in the living room with Ben's ashes “freaks him out” for some reason. He said he used to sleep really well here at my house, but now he has strange dreams and keeps thinking about the ashes being there. I told him I'm here all day with them and never even think about them being there. Keith and I headed over to The Gentle Barn around 10:00 am. They have their open house every Sunday. As soon as we got there, I asked them how I go about volunteering. They gave me a form to fill out and then I spoke with Ellie the founder of The Barn. She seems to be a very nice lady. She said the need “Barn Buddies”. For this “job” they have shifts available Monday through Friday, either mornings (9:00 am to 1:00 pm) or afternoons (1:00 pm to 5:00 pm). I would prefer the mornings. As a “Barn Buddy” I would spend 4 hours in the “petting” area with the pigs, goats, sheep, llamas, chickens, turkeys, peacocks and emu. Basically the job consists of petting them, hugging them, brushing them, talking to them....just pretty much letting them know they are loved. Ellie told me that someone will call me tomorrow to confirm I will be coming to the volunteer orientation on Tuesday morning, then I guess I will decide what days I will do my volunteering. After leaving The Gentle Barn, we headed over to some of the local pet stores to see if they had any adoptions today. At PetCo, there was this sweet Australian Cattle Dog named Dolly that I liked. She is only a year old, so still kind of in the “puppy stage”. They told me she is housebroken too. She loves to walk on her leash, so she would be great for a hiking partner, but I'm still not ready because I want to get some trips out of the way before I get a dog. It would not be fair for me to get a dog and then start traveling and have to board it. I want to be able to let a dog get used to me and it's new home and taking some small trips I would not be able to do that. Keith left to head home around 2:30. Hated to see him go. I emailed my brother Ron and told him Keith had just left and then the phone rang and it was Ron. He said that since Keith just left and I was alone, he thought he'd call me to talk and keep me company for a little while. So I had a pretty good weekend.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Saturday With My Brother

My brother Keith is here with me for the weekend. It's always so nice to have him come and visit. I love the company and someone to converse with. We went over to the mall here in town and had lunch at “5 Guys Hamburgers”. I had never been to a 5 Guys and Keith kept telling me how good their burgers were and he was correct. After lunch we went over to the Apple Store and played around with the iPads for a little while and then walked around The Patios as the mall. Left there and came buy home to pick up our cameras and then headed over to Bridgeport Market Place to the duck pond. There were a lot of turtles there today. The ducks didn't like the hot weather and they kept trying to get into the shade. After we left there we drove over to Tesoro Adobe Historic Park. Ben and I had gone there on a Sunday last year and took the guided tour of the adobe, but Keith and I got there after touring hours today, so we just walked around the grounds. We might go for an early evening walk once the sun goes down a little. It didn't even get up to 90 degrees today, so it wasn't too bad outside.

Friday, August 19, 2011


Had trouble going to sleep again last night. Finally took a sleep aid pill around 1:00 am. I had turned the TV in the bedroom off but it was so quiet that I could not stand it, so I turned it back on but didn't watch it. Finally fell asleep with it on. Woke up around 5:30 am because I heard the TV, but I went back to sleep. Woke up again at 7:00 am and decided to get up. Went to Eyeglasses Direct to have them put some lenses with my new prescription into the frames of my “spare” eyeglasses. I cannot get by without my eyeglasses, so I must have 2 pair. After leaving Eyeglasses Direct, I went and got the 4Runner washed at the “quicky car wash”. I've always hated washing the 4Runner because it is so big. I need to take it somewhere soon and have it hand waxed as Ben did not get to do that this year. I don't mind washing my Corolla, so I might do that later today if it's not too hot outside. Eyeglasses Direct called me and said my glasses were ready (wow that was fast), so I went a picked them up. Guess with this economy, they are not very busy, plus I had my own frames so the did not have to order any. I wish I wasn't afraid to go hiking alone now. When Ben was alive and before I met Linda, I hiked alone for a couple of years because I had no one to go with me. I was never afraid to go alone back then. Of course Ben always worried about me while I was out. I would go hiking on the days that he had to work. I remember I would tell him as he left for work that I was going for a hike and where I was going. He always insisted that when I got to the parking area of the hike to call him, then to call him when I got back to the car after my hike and then to call him again once I got home. He'd always ask about how long the hike would take and if he didn't hear from me in a certain amount of time, he'd call me. He was always worried about me and always watching out for me. I think that's why I'm now afraid to go hiking alone. I feel that no one would know where I was in case anyone had to come looking for me. Looking forward to my brother Keith coming up this weekend. It will be nice to have company and a little conversation. I miss conversation.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Busy Morning Thursday

Did not have a good night. I started crying around 7:00 pm and this went on for about an hour. After I finally stopped, I felt exhausted. It's funny how that heavy sobbing can take everything out of you. I was trying to watch TV but got so sleepy that I finally went to bed around 9:15 and went right to sleep. But I did not get a good sleep because I had crazy dreams all night and I kept waking up about every hour or so. Just kept tossing and turning. Went to Wal-Mart and picked u a few things I had run out of. Went over to Costco and had them change the membership into my name and remove Ben from the membership. They told me I have a “second household member” free card if I need it, but that person MUST live at my address to take advantage of the card and she told me that they would have to prove that they lived at my address. They used to let you give it to any family member. I was going to give it to Keith or Ron, but since neither of them live with me I can't. Went up to Kohl's and used my free $10 gift card toward a new purse. Got a $40 purse for $13 and change because it was on sale for 45% off and the I got the extra $10 off. They had claimed we'd get up to 105 degrees here today but it only got up to 97 at my house.

This was sent to me by one of my online friends today. She lost her husband not long ago too.

"There are moments in life when you wish you could bring someone down from Heaven...and spend the day with them just one more time, give them one more hug, kiss them goodbye or hear their voice again. One more chance to say I Love you. In remembrance of our loved ones who are not here...gone but not forgotten.♥ "

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Warm & Muggy Wednesday

This morning when I woke up, I was thinking that Ben was in the other room on the computer. I thought that was strange because yesterday at grief group, Pete, one of the members said that sometimes he wakes up thinking his wife is in the kitchen making coffee. I had to get up about an hour earlier than normal because I had to take my 4Runner over to the Toyota dealer for service. I hate doing this as it was “Ben's job”, but I think he would be proud of me knowing that I have taken over the things he used to do and that I'm getting them done and taking care of things. I was at the dealer for over an hour waiting for the car. After I left there, I had to go over to the Kaiser pharmacy and pick up my refills for my blood pressure meds. Sometimes I don't know why I bother taking them. I no longer have any trust or faith in Kaiser. I'm afraid now to go for my physical/colonoscopy/female exams with them next year. Brought the 4Runner home and then jumped in the Corolla and headed over to Sam's Club to pick up a few things. I actually got a hamburger patty out of the freezer this morning along with a hamburger bun to defrost for dinner. Maybe some of my brain is coming back. I think Ben took it with him. After lunch, I went up to Stater Brothers Market. I needed to get some soda and some ice cream because my brother Keith is coming to spend the weekend with me. When Ben was in the hospital, I quit eating ice cream. It has always been my “vice”. When we were told that Ben was not going to be able to have is “beloved beer” anymore, I decided I'd give up my ice cream to kind of “help him along”, showing him that we could both give up something we loved. I should not eat a lot of ice cream because of my cholesterol, but I don't care anymore, so I eat it whenever I want now. Very warm and muggy here today.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Tuesday Group & Lunch With Friends

Woke up this morning and realized that I don't remember crying even once yesterday. Almost lost it a couple of times when reminiscing with Ed and Linda, but I held it together. It almost makes me feel guilty that I didn't cry even though I hate those times that I sob so hard that it feels like I cannot breathe. Felt a little “hung over” this morning when I woke up. Don't know why because I did not take anything to help me sleep last night. Had my grief support group today. After the group, Group was good today. Had a lot of good interactive discussions. DeDee, Linda and I went to Hometown Buffet for lunch. We were there for about 2 ½ hours, then we went over to Kmart to pick up some things. Got home around 4:30. Tomorrow morning I have to take the 4Runner over to the dealer at 8:00 am for service (lube, oil & filter), so hope I get some sleep tonight since I have to get up a little early.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Monday With Friends

Did not sleep well last night. I stayed up to watch the rerun of the Hallmark movie that I fell asleep during on Saturday night. Went to bed around 11:00 but was wide awake so I took the laptop to bed with me. Got bored with that so watched a little TV until I finally fell asleep around 2:00 am after I took a sleep aid pill. Went outside this morning to fill the birdbath and water my plant and I noticed there was a soft cool breeze in the air. It felt a little like fall. Didn't feel like the warm breezes like we normally get in summer. According to the date, Ben has been gone 2 months today even though it was actually a Wednesday when he died. My friend Linda and I met Ben's best friend Ed at the Sizzler in Sunland, CA for lunch today. Ben and I used to meet Ed there at least every couple of months for lunch. After Ben died, Ed told me he wanted to keep up the tradition. Ed has taken Ben's passing very hard. Lunch was really nice. The last time Linda and I met with Ed was not long after Ben had passed away and I was very quiet that day, not contributing much to the conversation. I was feeling so low because having lunch with Ed just brought back how much more Ben was not there with us. Today I did much better. I almost lost it a couple of times when we'd talk about Ben, but I held it together. Very warm here today. When I picked up the mail I noticed that I got another $10 gift card from Kohl's, so I guess I'll be heading up there next week to look around. Got up to around 99 degrees.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

A Good Sunday

Had a rough night when I went to bed last night. I had started to watch another Hallmark movie around 9:00 pm but fell asleep, so missed most of it. Gave up on it and went to bed around 10:00. Something just “hit” me and I started sobbing. I even started hugging Ben's pillow, which I have never done before. This went on for about 15 minutes until I finally got up and took a half pill of my sedative and that seemed to calm me down. I fell asleep around 11:45. Yesterday evening I got an email from my friend DeDee. She wanted to know if I'd like to meet her at the mall for lunch Sunday and then come back to my house with her laptop because she wants me to show her how to do some things on it. DeDee is also a widow and understands how lonely it gets and it was so nice of her to ask me to spend some time with her today. She knows that weekends are bad for me. Went and bought Ben's Lotto ticket and came home and washed my sheets and towels. I met DeDee at the mall around 11:00 and we had lunch at Dink's New York Diner then we walked over to Sears Optical where I picked up my new eyeglasses. DeDee came back to my house for me to give her some “lessons” on how Facebook works and a few other things on her computer. I was also trying to show her how her new camera works and how to import the photos from her SD memory card to the laptop, but her SD card reader on the laptop would not read the card. When we'd put it into the computer, it said the card was empty. When I put the card into my laptop, the photos were there. I told her she might need a new card reader if those can be replaced. It sure nice to have someone to spend my Sunday with. Made it bearable for a change. Thanks DeDee.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Solitude Saturday

Stayed up last night watching another free On Demand movie. This one was called “Murder 101 – College Can Be Murder”. It starred Dick Van Dyke. It was one of his movies where he played a college professor and he dabbled in solving crime. It was pretty good. I went to sleep about 20 minutes after I went to bed but kept waking up all night long. I just hope that some day, I'll get back to where I can sleep through an entire night again. Got up and made myself some pancakes for breakfast then I cleaned the smaller of my two bathrooms. A little after 11:30 am, my older brother Ron called me from Paradise, CA. He said he knows that weekends are bad for me so he called “just to talk”. That was sweet of him. After talking with him, I called to see if my new eyeglasses were ready for me to pickup and they told me they would be ready for me to pickup tomorrow after 11:00 am. Watched another free On Demand movie called “Thicker Than Water” with Melissa Gilbert and Lindsay Wagner. Had someone call me about the recumbent exercise bicycle I have for sale on Craig's List. Have posted it 3 times now. The first time I got one call for it and they left a message as I was not home. I called back and got their voice mail but they never called back. Now this one wanted me to deliver the bike but I told her that I do not have a way to deliver it, plus it would be too heavy for me to lift. She said she will try to see if she can find someone to bring her to my house and if she does, she will call me back. Had lunch. Made a tuna patty and warmed up the left over noodles I had for dinner last night. Looked at the TV schedule and see that there is a movie for me to watch tonight at 8:00 pm on ION Television called “3000 Miles To Graceland”. Will have to try to figure out what to have for dinner tonight. Probably just end up with a frozen dinner. Went online and made an appointment to have the 4Runner serviced on Wednesday morning. I hate having to maintain the vehicles. That was Ben's “job”. I took care of the house and the finances and he was supposed to take care of the vehicles and me.

Friday, August 12, 2011

I Made It Through Another Friday

Slept a little better last night but still had a few strange dreams. Don't remember any of them though. Got up around 7:15 am and had breakfast and then drove over to Central Park in Saugus and did a 1.5 mile walk. Came home and was out filling my birdbath and watering my plants and I noticed that the house behind me was having new flooring installed. Just then I flashed back to Ben and me sitting on the patio watching DVDs the day our new carpet was installed last year and the memory made me cry. Seems like “everything” makes me think of Ben and causes me to cry these days. I guess this is the “depression” stage of grief. I put a boneless chicken breast in my crock pot this morning and later I'll add a packet of “Grandma's Noodles” that I bought at the store the other day. When I was a little kid, my mom used to put chicken in a pot on the stove and then she would get out her Bisquick and make home made egg noodles. It was always one of my favorite “comfort foods”. The “Grandma's Noodles” are a pretty close second to those noodles my mom made. Had lunch and watched The Young & the Restless then I watched a free On Demand movie called “Final Days Of Planet Earth”. It was a strange movie about huge insects from outer space coming back to earth on a shuttle and taking over earth by using humans as their food source. But it kept my mind occupied. After the movie I went out to get my mail and noticed that it is humid outside. Now I face another long, lonely weekend.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Thoughtful Thursday

Not a good night last night. I went to bed at 11:00 but found myself thinking about Ben and eventually found myself in the living room crying and talking to his urn. I kept thinking of all he had to suffer through at the hospital and then he didn't survive. I kept thinking how unfair it was and how much I hated seeing him so weak with tubes up his nose, down his throat, in his veins, etc. I finally fell asleep around midnight but then I started dreaming. I do remember one dream and it was very strange. In the dream I had to go to the doctor for something, but the doctor was my attorney. The building where I had to go see her was very strange and there were a lot of people just wandering aimlessly around the halls. I remember in the dream that I saw a woman I used to work with many years ago walking down one of the halls and she seemed to be in some kind of a trance. Very strange. After breakfast, I drove over to Bridgeport and walked around the man-made lake. I did 1.94 miles. While walking around, I started to remember how when Ben was in the hospital, how he looked forward to my visits. It was funny because the nurses would tell me that before I got there, he'd ask them if I was coming and when would I get there. They said that when I'd leave in the afternoon, he'd act sad and then he'd act happy when I'd walk into his room every morning. I'd tease him and ask him if he missed me and he'd kind of look off into space with a quizzical look on his face like he was thinking about that question and then he'd roll his eyes and smile at me and say yes. He was always joking and teasing me. I miss that so much. Didn't really do much else today. I had lunch and watched my soap and then I watched a movie on FX called “Meet Dave”. It was a little strange but it kept me occupied.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Weepy Wednesday

Woke up around 6:40 this morning. Did not go to sleep until after midnight. I stayed in bed until about 7:30 and then got up and headed over to Wal-Mart to get some groceries that I had run out of. When I got out of the car to go into the store, the car door came back on me and hit my elbow. Now my elbow is swollen and bruised and my entire arm hurts now. I don't go on “normal” grocery shopping trips anymore. Ben and I used to do a huge grocery list and once a month, we'd go and really stock up on the non-perishables. Ben loved going to the grocery store. Now I just go and pick up what I've run out of. It's no fun going grocery shopping anymore. I'm in and out in about 15 or 20 minutes. Came home and had breakfast...bacon, eggs and toast. I know I'm supposed to watch my cholesterol intake but I just don't care anymore. I had a “cry” this morning. I started noticing stuff around the house that was Ben's, like his little electronic poker game and blackjack game, the zippered sweatshirt that he wore all the time when it was cool, which is still on the back of his chair where he left it in February. The cheap reading glasses he bought at The Dollar Tree. I still cannot wrap my brain around the fact that everything in this house, including the house and the vehicles, etc. are now “mine” and not “ours”. I cannot get it in my head that I alone, am responsible for everything now. I used to love my life. Now I HATE it. I would rather not have any of it and just have him back. Judy, the therapist who heads up my grief group gave us this quote yesterday ‎"You think that their dying is the worst thing that could happen. Then they stay dead." It is so true. Every time I go to do something that was Ben's “job” around the house, I just start sobbing. I went over to Sam's Club to get some things there that I needed and then came home and cried some more. After I watched my soap, I decided to go for a walk. It was about 82 degrees, so I didn't think it would be too hot. I only did 1.4 miles. I took my MP3 with me and wouldn't you I'm listening to my music, “The Dance” by Garth Brooks comes on my MP3 and stupid me...instead of changing the music, I listened to it and there I was crying my eyes out while I was walking down the path. I was sitting on the sofa watching a rerun of “The Closer” around 3:15 pm and I fell asleep. Heard the trash truck out front and it woke me up.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Tuesday Group & Lunch Out

Slept a little better last night even though I didn't actually get to sleep until around midnight. I slept through most of the night. Had strange dreams, but once again, I did not remember any of them once I woke up. I do know though that Ben was not in any of them. I have not dreamt of him since right after he died. Watched a hummingbird at my feeder this morning while I waited for Linda to come to go to my Grief Support Group with me. The group was much smaller today. We were thinking that a lot of the people went to the Ventura Country Fair on the Senior Center Trip Bus today. Today was “Senior's Day” at the fair. Linda and I had originally planned to go today, but when we heard it was “Senior's Day” we changed our minds because we were thinking how crowded it would be with all of the senior centers taking busloads of people up there from all over. After the group, DeDee, Linda and I went to the pizza buffet for lunch. I'm starting to get a little “burned out” on the pizza, so I think next week, I may suggest we go elsewhere. On the way home, Linda and I stopped by Wal-Mart. My paper shredder “crapped” out on me this morning. Something inside of it broke. I was shredding something this morning when I was paying some bills and I heard a “thunk” noise and when I lifted the top off of the shredder there was something on the inside “rattling” around. I've had that shredder for about 5 years, so I decided it was time to get a new one. Wal-Mart had one on sale for $20. Came home and after Linda left, I gathered up my trash to put out for collection tomorrow and washed all of my waste baskets out really good. Got up into the low 90's here today but didn't feel that hot because there is a strong breeze blowing.

Monday, August 8, 2011

"Enjoyable" Monday

Well, I don't know what was wrong with me last night, but I could not go to sleep. Finally took a sleep aid pill around 1:30 am and I think I got to sleep around 2:00 am. Woke up around 4:30 am and realized TV was still on so I turned it off and went back to sleep until just before 7:00 am. Got up and made breakfast and waited for Linda to get here to go to the Ventura County Fair. She drove since I had not gotten much sleep. We got there just a few minutes after they opened. Was overcast the whole time we were there which was nice because it was about 15 degrees cooler there than it was in Santa Clarita. The fairgrounds is right on the beach, so that's why it stays cool there. We went through all of the exhibit buildings, had lunch at a chicken stand, checked out the livestock then went over into the fun zone to watch all of the young people on the crazy rides. I looked for the woman who is a friend of my friend Charlotte, but never did find her. She was supposed to be showing her goats at the fair. After we left the fairgrounds, we walked over to the beach and walked along the coast for a little while. Then we drove back up to Serra Cross Park to take some photos of the fairgrounds from there. Left there and headed home. There were a few times when Linda and I were talking about Ben and I cried, but all in all, it was a pretty good day. Even though I know that Ben will not be coming home from work around 5:00 pm for dinner, I still have that “inner clock” telling me that I need to get home before he does. It's a habit that is going to probably take me a long time to get out of.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Sunday On The Sofa

Yesterday, in the late afternoon, I took ½ of my Lorazepam pill to calm the anxiety that was starting to consume me. Around 9:45 pm, I started getting sleepy so I went to bed and I think I went to sleep just a little after 10:00. As usual, I turned the TV on to “replace” the sound of Ben's snoring. I woke up around 4:30 am and realized the TV was still on, but I fell right back to sleep without turning it off and stayed in bed until around 7:30. Got up and walked down to the local liquor store to buy Ben's Lotto tickets for Wednesday, came back home and had some waffles for breakfast then washed my sheets and towels. Noticed my hummingbird feeder was empty and that there was a little hummer hovering around it, so I went out and refilled it and also refilled the birdbath. Got an email from my friend DeDee telling me that she cannot go to the Ventura County Fair with Linda and me tomorrow because her house painters are not quite finished with the job and she wants to be there while they are there. I don't blame her. She too is a widow and I have found that widowhood makes you very protective of what you have left in your life. So it will just be Linda and me with the exhibits and the farm animals. Have to see if I can locate Sandy Van Echo who is a friend of my friend Charlotte Gemigniani. Sandy raises goats as does Charlotte and she is showing them at the fair. We will have to plan another outing with DeDee. I notice that it does not take much to make me cry these days. I don't think I cried as much when Ben first died. Now I cry every day, several times a day, and as I said, anything can trigger it. What a wasted day. Didn't really do anything all day but veg on the sofa and watch TV. But that's what I do most of the time now days.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Solitary Saturday

Stayed up watching TV last night until about 12:15 am. After I fell asleep, I think I didn't wake up all night except maybe once to go to the bathroom. Woke up around 6:30 and decided to get up and go for a morning walk. Did 1.84 miles. While walking, I cried a little because I remembered something Lanny (Ben's brother) had said at Ben's memorial. He said that I was the best thing that ever happened to Ben. No Lanny....Ben was the best thing that ever happened to me. He made me whole. I've been trying to figure out why I am having such a hard time getting back to walking every day like I did before Ben got sick and I think I finally came up with the reason. I always walked alone in the morning. Some days Ben went to work and I left for my walk when he left for work. On the days he was home, he'd see me off and then wait for me to come back home. On his work days, he would always tell me to call him when I got home from my walk. If I forgot to do that, he'd call in about 40 minutes to see where I was and he'd yell at me for not calling because he was worried something had happened to me. On the days he was home and I'd walk, if I was not back in a good amount of time, he'd jump in the car and come looking for me. He always wanted to know where I was walking so he'd know where to look. I think because I knew I had someone watching out for me that way, I was not afraid to go out walking alone. Now that he is gone, I feel that no one is here to watch over me and it kind of scares me to go out alone because I know how Ben was always worried about me being out there alone. After I met Linda and she started hiking with me, he told me how glad he was that I found someone to hike with because he never liked the fact that I was out in the canyons hiking alone all the time. Ben took good care of me. After lunch, I decided to go for a drive. Had no idea where to go, so I headed up Bouquet Canyon. Bad decision. The last time I was up in this canyon was with Ben on one of our Sunday drives. Plus he and I used to camp there when we were dating many years ago. All of the campgrounds up there are not gone, but the memories still flooded back just about the time my eyes flooded with tears. I took a few photos at the reservoir and then came back home.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Fruitful Friday

Slept pretty much through the night last night. Fell asleep around 11:30 and work up this morning around 6:30. Got up and by 7:10 am I was out for a 2.4 mile walk. It was nice and cool (around 60°) so it was a good walk. Came home and made a muffin/egg/ham/cheese sandwich for my breakfast. Did a load of laundry and then headed over to Stater Brothers to pick up some ice cream and some other stuff I needed. I am getting close to running out of the Lorazepam from when they gave it to me for anxiety when Ben first went into the hospital, so I emailed my doctor and asked if he could give me more. He emailed me back and said he put in a prescription for me to go pick up. He gave me half the dosage since I told him that I cut the pills in half because a whole pill makes me very drowsy and I cannot do anything when I'm like that. I don't like taking drugs, but I felt I needed something for my anxiety. My doctor also gave me a phone number for a counselor in Kaiser's Mental Health department in case I felt I needed professional health. I don't trust Kaiser anymore so I just told him that I'm going to a grief support group weekly at the senior center and that a family psycho therapist leads the group and he said that was fine as long as I was getting some kind of help. I went to my attorney's office after lunch and they went through all of my living trust, power of attorney and my health care directive with me to make sure I understood everything and then we signed, initialed and notarized all of the paperwork, so now my brothers will inherit everything and everyone will know that I'm not to be hooked up to life support if I'm brain dead and there is no hope for me to survive. They are still working on getting Ben's name off of my house deed and other investments. After I left Jane's office, I stopped by the Kaiser pharmacy and picked up the prescription for my sedative then stopped and put gas in the 4Runner and came home. Paid some bills and now I'm in front of the TV again with it on and me not paying much attention to it. The weekend is coming and you all know how bad those are for me. I'm hoping that maybe taking the sedative will help me get through it some.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Tearful Thursday

Every morning when I awake, Ben is the first thing on my mind. Mostly the fact that he is not here with me anymore. Something I see or do reminds me of him or something he would say and then my tears flow. Today I had to go for an eye exam to see if I need new glasses. They want me to come back in a month or so to have them dilate my eyes so they can check inside. I told them I have to see if I can find someone to drive me. Normally Ben would drive me to these exams because the doctor would dilate my eyes and I could not drive myself back home. I thought this morning about him not being here to take me and I cried. When our loved ones are here with us, we don't stop to think how much we depend on them for these little things in life and how they were the only person in the world we could depend on for everything. Then I remembered how Ben was having eye problems. He could not see out of his left eye anymore due to eye surgery he had last October, so eventually he would not have been able to drive. He never complained about having to go to the eye doctor at Kaiser every 6 weeks. Even his eye doctor told me after Ben died that some patients stood out in his mind and Ben was one of them because he said with all of Ben's eye problems and them having to give him injections in the eye and Ben having to use several eye drops all the time, that Ben always come into the office in a good mood and with a great sense of humor. He told me most of his patients whine and complain, but Ben never did. When I got home from the eye doctor and came into the empty house, I felt even worse. Every time I do something that we used to do together, I just hurt so much.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

A Few Tears On Wednesday

Day started off not too bad. I'm sleeping a little better because I'm taking one of my sleep aids every night around 9:30 or 10:00 so I can go to sleep. Sometimes I still don't drift off until midnight, but I don't seem to be waking up all night long. I'm still waking up around 5:30 to 6:00 am so I'm still only getting 5 or 6 hours of sleep. Got up and made breakfast, then headed over to Target to pick up a flameless candle. My friend DeDee always laughs about her “shrine” she has in her bedroom for her late husband. Well I thought it was sweet, so I've started a “Ben Shrine”. I have it on my fireplace hearth in the living room. I consists of Ben's urn, a vase of flowers, his photo and now the flameless candle. After Target, I drove over to Kmart to see about getting a “bean bag” portable dash mount for my new GPS. I didn't want to mount it on the permanent windshield mount because people see that mount attached to the window and they break into your vehicle looking for the GPS. With the bean bag mount, I can take it off the dash and hide it in the trunk or wherever. When I was walking through the stores, I kept thinking how much a HATE my “new” life without Ben. There is such a large hole in my heart. actually do physically feel a pain in the middle of your chest because of your heart being broken. While I was out, I tried my new GPS to see how it works. Worked good except I notice that the voice gets a little confused sometimes about if the final destination is located on the left or on the right. When I got home, I was looking for something in my bedroom closet and I happened to run across Ben's baseball mitt and baseball. He used to play baseball about 30 years ago when he worked at Cooper's Hardware Store and they had a team who played against other stores. Well all I had to do was see that mitt and the sobbing started. My brother Ron called me from Paradise, CA around noon. Was nice to hear from him. Hot here again today. I'll be glad when it cools down so I can start walking more and Linda and I can get out for some 

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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Therapeutic Tuesday

My brother Keith showed up at my door this morning. His job sent him here to Santa Clarita today to do a noise reading. I went to my Grief Support Group where I caught up with my friend DeDee. Had about 20 people there today and about 3 new people. Seems like every week we are getting more and more new members. There was one woman there who asked why she was still feeling so bad and not feeling like she was getting any better. She didn't tell us how long she had been widowed, but she said she thinks about nothing except for the fact that her husband is no longer here with her. I can kind of relate to that. One of the guys in the group said he could not get his head around the “why” his wife died. Judy, our therapist said it's not good to ask “why” because the answers we get will lead to more “whys”. Then he asked how long the “water works” will go on. Judy told him it's different for everyone. Keith did his day time readings for his work while I was at the group and then he met DeDee and me at Round Table Pizza for lunch. After we left the pizza parlor and DeDee headed home, Keith and I went out looking at GPSs. I did buy on at Wal-Mart and I hope I'll like it. I didn't want to pay a lot for one, so I got an inexpensive small one but it did come with the lifetime map updates. I will have to buy a AC charger for it as it only came with a car charger and a USB that plugs into the computer. Will have to go out and look for one of those this week. Linda and I had a hike planned for tomorrow, but she emailed me and said she was not feeling well so has asked that we reschedule. Keith will be with me until around 7:00 pm when he'll have to head back out to do his night time readings for his work and then he will head for home in Orange, CA.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Monday, Monday

Got out of bed around 7:00 am and the first thing I did was think of Ben not being here and I cried. I see in my bank account that Lockheed and Kaiser have now removed Ben from my health insurance plan so I will have more money on my pension check each month and I see that they also reimbursed me for the months of June and July when I had already paid for his health insurance premium. I would much rather have Ben than that extra money.
I guess now that I have the extra money, I will buy the GPS I've been thinking about buying and also I want to get a digital picture frame to put a lot of photos of Ben in. Decided to go over to WalMart and pick up a few groceries that I needed. I didn't take the time to look at the GPSs or the frames when I went there this morning. When I got home, I was sitting watching my soap opera and got up to go make my lunch and for a moment, I was thinking that Ben was at work and I wanted to call him, but then reality hit me that he is dead and I started sobbing again. Everyone keeps telling me it will get better, but right now it just seems to be getting worse. I know it's because the numbness has worn off and the reality has set in. Around 1:00 pm I just had to get out of the house, so I headed over to Target to look at their GPS devices. The didn't have very many, so then I headed over to WalMart, who had even less. I then drove to Best Buy and they had a lot of them, but they were more expensive than either Target or WalMart. I did not buy one yet, but I did get to kind of play around with them. I did buy a 7” digital picture frame while I was at WalMart. Got it for $49. Was not really a very good day for me today. I just felt very anxious all day. Had not had the feeling of anxiety yet, today was the first time.