Friday, September 30, 2011

September Has Come And Gone

Today's quote:

“I'm holding on to something that used to be there hoping it will come back, knowing it won't”~Anonymous

Linda and I had a hike planned for this morning but when I turned my cell phone on this morning there was a text from her telling me that she had a very sore throat and a slight fever so she could not go for the hike. Her boyfriend has been sick almost all week, so she probably caught it from him. So I ran a load of laundry, then sat out on my patio with my laptop for awhile. The weather is nice for that now. Decided to wash both vehicles. There is a chance of rain this weekend, but they were both so filthy that I thought at least if I wash them now and it does rain, they won't end up “muddy” from the dirt that was on them. Plus it gave me something to do this morning. I really need to get the Corolla hand waxed over at the big car wash. Trimmed my hair with my Flowbee. By around 2:00 pm the sun was gone behind the clouds and it started looking like some storms might be moving in. By 3:00 pm it was even darker outside. The change in the weather started making me feel lonely again. I was doing pretty good most of the day. I guess it was because I was keeping myself busy. I just cannot believe that tomorrow is October 1st. I thought Ben would have been home recuperating by now.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

My Thoughts On Thursday

Today's quote:

“I wish that I could hold you now... I wish that I could touch you now... I wish that I could talk to you... be with you somehow”~Anonymous

Yesterday afternoon and into the evening, I shed a lot of tears. I was “talking” to Ben a lot too. As I've mentioned before, this is all “normal”, but these crying episodes just unexpectedly come over me. I'm told by other widows that one day, the crying episodes will be fewer and further apart. I sure hope so even though I'm also told that the more you cry for your lost love, that it shows how much you truly loved them. Picked up the Lotto tickets this morning and then mopped my kitchen floor. Forced myself to go for a 1.5 mile walk. At least today I didn't cry while out walking. I was however thinking about Ben and I was thinking how angry I am at Kaiser for not doing everything they could to find the second blockage in his intestine, which caused him to get so weak and eventually die. After my walk, I went out and sat on my patio for about an hour with my laptop. It was nice and breezy and I felt pretty good sitting out there. I used to sit out there in the morning on Ben's work days. I don't go out to sit much by myself anymore. I do go out there when my brother Keith is here visiting. I hope I can get back to enjoying my patio alone again. I really loved it so much when we first got it covered. Ben never really got to enjoy it. I don't like the fact that it is getting darker earlier now. I remember I used to tell Ben how much I loved autumn but that I hated the shorter days. I think I hate them more now that he is gone.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Got A Good Deal On A Pair Of Jeans Today

Today's quote:

“Good-bye is only truly painful if you know you'll never say hello again”~Anonymous

Slept in a little this morning then got up, had breakfast and headed over to Wal-Mart to pick up some groceries. While driving home, I was thinking about how they call our spouses “our better half”. Now that Ben is gone, I totally understand why they refer to them that way because when they pass away, it's like half of us is gone too, and it is our “better half”. Later I went over to Kohl's because I had received another free $10 gift card from them. I picked up a pair of Levis for $5.43 using the card. I sure hate it when I'm doing something like making lunch and a memory of something Ben did or said comes to mind and I start to cry. That happened to me today. I sobbed for about 5 minutes. These episodes sneak up on me when I least expect it. The sobbing can last just a few minutes or as long as 20 minutes. I just let the tears flow and then I wipe my eyes and go back to whatever I was doing. I have learned that I cannot control these moments, so I just let them “run their course”. The waste management company exchanged my 95 gallon trash bin for the 33 gallon trash bin today. The new one is really a lot smaller, but I'll bet I still won't fill it up each week. Got up to almost 100° here again today. I sure wish the fall weather would get here.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Group Tuesday and lunch with the girls

Today's quote:

“I miss the talks we used to have, I miss the voice I used to hear... I miss hearing your crazy but cool stories, and above all these... I just miss you”~Anonymous

Last night I was getting extremely sleepy while sitting on the sofa watching TV so I went to bed just before 10:00 PM thinking that I'd go right to sleep. Well guess what...the minute my head hit the pillow, I was wide awake. Did not go to sleep until almost 3:00 AM. Stayed in bed until about 8:15 AM but had to get up and get going because Linda was coming by to go with me to my grief support group. Quite a few people there today. We met DeDee there and after the group we went out for lunch. DeDee was telling some great stories today and had Linda and I laughing a lot. Now I'm home watching The Young & The Restless that I recorded while I was out. Got up to almost 100° here again. I was hoping the summer weather was done.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Weather Was Nice, But I Mostly Stayed Inside

Today's quote:

“I often catch myself constantly wondering how you are, sitting alone with my mind set so far, reminiscing about your smile, voice and touch, damn this life... I'm missing you too much!”~Anonymous

I have read that after the 3rd month of losing your spouse the grief is stronger and I agree with that. I know that everything I am going through and everything I am feeling is perfectly normal, so I know not to worry about it, but I just hate feeling this way all the time. About 30 minutes after I got out of bed this morning, I had already had a bout of crying. It was a short one. Cleaned house today and ran a few errands. I called our local waste management. I saw in their newsletter that I could save 20% on my trash bill by turning in my 95 gallon trash container and having it replaced with a 33 gallon container. Since I'm the only one here now, I don't make much trash. A lot of it goes into the recycle container. There have been some weeks where I have not even put the trash container out since there wasn't much in it. I'll save almost $4 per month and since I pay it every 3 months, I'll save about $12 each billing cycle. That will almost get me one month free since the monthly rate will drop from $18 and change down to $14 and change. May as well save money wherever I can. Got up to the mid-80's today. Was able to leave the sliding patio door and the front door open all day and did not turn on the A/C. They say we will be getting warmer again by the end of the week. Too bad because I'm enjoying this cooler weather.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

After Several "Good" Days, I Knew It Couldn't Last

Today's quote:

“Today was just one of those days where everything I did reminded me of you and every song I heard somehow related to you. I hate days like today, because they remind me of the one thing I don't have”~Anonymous

I was feeling so “normal” when my brother Keith was here the past few days. It was so nice to have someone here in the evenings to talk to and it was even nice preparing meals for someone. Ben's memory was still in my mind and in my heart, but it was more on the “back burner” for a few days, but the minute Keith left to head for home, Ben's memory came forward again and the lonely ache came back. Cried for about 15 minutes last night. Woke up so sleepy this morning and my legs were sore. Don't know if the Friday hike just caught up with me or what. I went to bed at 10:00 pm last night and went right to sleep, but I just cannot stay asleep all night. I wake up several times. If I could stop doing that, I might be able to get a good night's sleep. It was very overcast when I woke up this morning. I knew it was still dark, but then my bedroom is always dark because I have tinted windows and black-out curtains. I always kept it that way for Ben as he liked to go to bed early. I kept telling myself that I needed to get out and walk since it was so cool outside. I still have trouble getting myself psyched up to walk. I used to love to go out walking when Ben would be at work and I would walk every day. Now it's like a chore for me. I finally forced myself to go for a walk around 9:30 am. I did 2 miles in 30 minutes. I think I have finally figured out why I don't like walking alone anymore. When I'm home alone, yes, I think about Ben constantly, but I have the television and my computer to deter my thoughts, but when I'm out walking, even though I have my MP3 player with me, all I do is think about Ben and the yearning and ache becomes uncontrollable and I always start to cry. I know the crying is good for me, but sometimes it overwhelms me. I washed my sheets and towels today and also decided to change from my “summer” comforter to my “winter” comforter, so I washed the summer one and put it away. Today was a very “teary” day for some reason. I was sitting on the sofa eating my lunch and I glanced over at Ben's “shrine”. I saw the picture of him smiling at me and I thought he looked so alive and wondered how in the hell he could be dead and I broke down and just sobbed. I guess the tears have been backing up because I have not cried for about 4 days and today the dam gates have opened up.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

It's Saturday, but I keep thinking it's Sunday

Today's quote:

“Sometimes, no matter how much faith we have, we lose people. But you never forget them. And sometimes, it's those memories that give us the strength to go on.”~Anonymous

Keith and I sat out on the patio last evening and watched the lightning in the clouds for awhile. The storm was far away and we could not even hear the thunder. I think I slept pretty good. Went to sleep around 11:30 pm or so. Got up this morning and made waffles for Keith and myself, then we headed out for a few errands. We went to Kmart and I bought a new pair of hiking boots. They are made by Coleman and the normal price was $24.95 but I got them for $12.48 as they were on sale for half price. I guess they think “hiking season” is over since summer just ended, but to me, hiking season is just starting. Fall, Winter and Spring are the best time to hike here in SoCal.  I stopped by Time Warner's office to see about changing my account with them from Ben's name into my name. I have my TV cable and my Internet with them. Well they told me they have just changed their rules this year that if you want to change a name on an account, you have to cancel the current account and set up a new one, which means I would have had to give them back all of their equipment and then open up a new account, get all new equipment, and I'd have to change my email address. I didn't want to do that, so they just suggested that I leave it in his name as long as the bill gets paid. So that's another thing I can now scratch off my list of things to change. Only two more things left on the list. We took a drive up to Pyramid Lake to the visitor center there and spent about 30 minutes looking around at the exhibits. Keith left to go home around 3:00 pm and now I'm feeling a little lonely.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Great Day With My Brother And My Friend

Today's quote:

“I miss you when I'm sad. I miss you when I'm lonely. But most of all, I miss you when I'm happy”~Anonymous

Linda picked Keith and I up this morning around 9:00 am and we headed up the coast to Carpinteria, CA to hike on the Carpinteria Bluffs. It was really an enjoyable day for me. I actually felt “normal” again and that was such a wonderful feeling. Of course I thought of Ben several times today, but I was thinking that he would be happy to know I was having a good time with my brother and best friend. We parked just ½ block from the ocean and walked through the Carpinteria State Park Camp Ground and found the Bluff Trail. We took some side trails that lead right along the cliffs overlooking the beach and then we walked along the railroad tracks for awhile. There is a seal rookery below the bluffs and we saw several seals in the water, but they never came ashore. On the way back to the car, we walked along the water's edge, picking up shells and checking out the birds and seaweed. Took lots of photographs and a few videos. Stopped by a little “food shack” and had a great lunch. On the way back down the coast, we stopped once again in Ventura and went up to Serra Cross Park to take more photos there. All in all, it was a really nice day.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Happy My Brother Is Here Visiting

Today's quote:

“I miss the way you used to hug me, I miss the way you used to kiss my lips, but most of all I miss the way you held me and my heart. I miss you...”~Anonymous

Got up, had breakfast and headed over to WalMart I originally went to find an inexpensive waffle maker as I have not had one in years and wanted to start having waffles in the morning again. I was buying the frozen ones and they just don't “do it” for me. While at WalMart, I also purchased a 5-cup Mr. Coffee brewer for my brother Keith. Bought it to surprise him. I have never drank coffee, nor did Ben so whenever Keith would come to the house, he'd have to have instant coffee or he'd bring some coffee from his home in a thermos. I decided that since he comes to stay with me more now and to thank him for being such a wonderful brother that I would buy him a brewer that he can keep here for when he visits. Now we will just have to buy him some coffee. I didn't buy any yet because do not know what kind he likes. Keith got here just a little after 11:30 and we headed over to Der Wienerschnitzel for lunch. After that we went to the tire place and had them check the air pressure in my tires and then we hit a few stores around town. Got very cloudy here this afternoon and it got very hot and humid. I received my paperwork on my house back from the County Recorder today so “Ben's & My” house is now legally just “My” house. Makes me a little sad.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Good Day For A Hike

Today's quote:

“It's not a 'good-bye', only a long 'I'll see you later'”

There is a commercial on TV I just hate seeing. It's for “Humana Health Insurance”. They say how “if you do not have that one thing or person in your life that really brings   you joy and makes you happy, that you are not fulfilled or truly living life to it's fullest”. Well DUH! Linda came over a little after 8:00 am and we went over to East/Rice Canyons and hike the Rice Canyon Trail. It was about a 2 ½ mile hike. Linda had never been on this trail before and I had not been on it since October 2008 when I hiked it alone. We both really enjoyed the hike. After the hike, we went out to lunch and sat and talked for an hour or so. Now that I am home, I need to check out the photos I took while hiking and get them posted online. Had a pretty good day. Cried a little at lunch when Linda and I were discussing Ben, but she understands. Tomorrow my brother Keith will be here around 12:00 noon or so. I'm going to actually cook a dinner from him. I'm going to fix a ham and a cheesy potato casserole.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Not Much To Say Today

Today's quote:

“Where you used to be, there is a hole in the world, which I find myself constantly walking around in the daytime, and falling in at night. I miss you like hell”~Edna St Vincent Millay

I've gained back 10 of the pounds that I lost when Ben was in the hospital and right after he died. Guess that proves I'm eating. I need to start watching it now so I don't gain all of the weight back. I had lost a total of 20 lbs. I think all of the eating out I've been doing is what's making me gain it back because I sure don't cook for myself like I did when I cooked for Ben. Didn't get to sleep until about 2:00 am this morning. Went to my grief group alone today. Linda was not feeling well and DeDee had to get her truck serviced. We had a couple of people at the group today that I had never seen before, but found out that they had been there before, just not in awhile. Since the girls were not there to go out to lunch after group, I headed straight home to fix myself something to eat. For some reason, all the way home, I was feeling really down. When I got home and walked into the house, my tears started to flow. This time there was nothing specific that made me cry, just felt like crying, so I did. I am so looking forward to this weekend as my brother Keith is coming Thursday and spending 3 or 4 days with me.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Mellow Monday

Today's quote:

“I miss your love I miss your touch, But I’m feeling you everyday”~Anonymous

Well I'm glad another lonely weekend is over. I hate the reality that Ben will never be here with me again, but I have to try to accept it. I don't think I'll ever understand why the weekends are so much harder on me than the week days. You would think they'd be the same, but there is just something about Saturday and Sunday that just make me feel lonelier. When Ben was alive, he worked every-other Saturday, but every-other weekend, we had 3 whole days we spent together all day and I think that has something to do with it. Today I was reading a “widows blog” and the post mentioned that “we are loneliest when we are in a crowd”. How true that quote is. When I'm out in public and I see older couples holding hands or sitting in a restaurant sharing a meal, I think “that's supposed to be Ben and me”. I got a couple of more things off the list of things I need to do since Ben passed away. Went to the Auto Club and renewed the registrations on both vehicles and while I was there, I requested to have Ben's membership changed into my name. Ben was the primary on it and I was the second. I also had the office here in my community fax some paperwork over to their main office to see about getting Ben's name removed from my land lease. I'm still waiting to get the paperwork back from the county recorder showing that the house in now in my name only. My attorney sent that out the first week in August and I have not gotten anything back yet, but those government offices are always slow. I still have about 3 other things to get changed. 2 of them are not a big deal, but I have not changed the bank accounts yet as my attorney said to wait in case any refund checks come back in just Ben's name. My older brother called and we talked for awhile. Got up to about 97° here today. Will be glad when it cools done. They say it should on Wednesday which is good because Linda and I have a hike planned for that morning.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Sleepy Sunday

Today's quote:

“I dropped a tear in the ocean. The day you find it is the day I will stop missing you”~Anonymous

It is so amazing how sitting around on the sofa doing nothing all day can make me more tired than if I went out on a 4 mile hike. I felt exhausted last night. Went to bed at 10:00 but woke up off and on all night as usual. Woke up around 6:00 am but still felt very sleepy, so went back to sleep until around 7:30 am. Got up and went for a 1.5 mile walk before making breakfast and tossing my sheets and towels into the washing machine. Drove over to the post office and mailed a couple of letters. The weather was very nice out but they still say we are heading for another heat wave this week. I am not looking forward to that. I want the fall weather to get here. Watched more movies on LMN. Today they showed several “made for TV mysteries”. Around 1:00 PM I fell asleep on the sofa and woke up around 2:00 PM.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Salamander Saturday

Today's quote:

“You may be out of my sight… but never out of my mind… I Miss You! ”~Anonymous

Woke to another overcast morning. I prefer this cooler weather to the hot weather we were having, but it does make me a little depressed without Ben. When I got up this morning and went to my closet to get my clothes, I noticed some kind of movement on the floor next to me. I looked and saw what I think was a salamander sitting there. Scared the crap out of me! I went and got my grabber stick and got hold of it and tossed it out the door into the yard. I probably squished it but it had no business being inside my house! I do not like reptiles. I lucked out all know how much I hate weekends since Ben passed away. I try to keep busy but it's not always that easy to do. Well today the Lifetime Movie HD Channel has been showing Nora Roberts movies all day. Nora Roberts was one of my favorite authors when I was able to comprehend what I was reading before Ben passed. So I vegged out on the sofa all day in front of the TV. The guy who inspects my Puronics Water System Tank every 6 months or so came by this afternoon and said since I'm the only one here now, he won't have to come check it as much because I'm using less water. They will come in June 2012 to flush the tank and remove the old carbon and fill it with new carbon. I get that service free the first time. Thank goodness I should not need it again for the next 3 years after that because I'll have to pay for it next time. I really need to try to get out for a walk tomorrow.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Not Too Bad Of A Day

Today's quote:

“When I miss you, I don’t have to go far … I just have to look inside my heart because that’s where I’ll find you.”~Anonymous

Yesterday, I was reading a post on Facebook from another widow and she said that her son told her that he missed his dad and she told her son, “I don't just miss him, I ache for him”. That word “ache” really says it all. I've talked about having a broken heart and how it is actually a physical feeling we widows have and the word “ache” describes it more than anything else could. I have so many good online friends who read my “journal” daily. Many of them tell me that they felt the “knew” Ben personally because of my story. They followed it all through Ben's hospital stay to his passing and now they follow my “new life”. So many of them write to me and tell me how bad they feel for me and how what I write brings them to tears and that they worry about me. Please know that I appreciate your support and that even though it may sometimes not sound like it, I am doing just fine in my journey through grief. Writing my feelings down was suggested by my therapist at my grief group and I've also seen on so many websites that keeping a “journal” about your feelings helps you to get these feelings out of you systems just as tears do. Besides helping me get through this, the worst time of my life, perhaps it will also help other widows to know that what they are going through is “normal”, that they are not the only ones with these thoughts and feelings. Also it might help people who have not lived through this kind of a loss what widowhood is all about and possibly help them when they must face this kind of grief. I often wonder if there will ever come a time that I will no longer start to cry when I least expect it. I was out watering my plants on the patio this morning and suddenly, my tears began to flow. Then I went for a late morning walk and once again, the tears came. I “talk” to Ben while I'm out walking.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Back On The Trail Thursday

Today's quote:

“I heard someone whisper your name, but when I turned around to see who it was, I was alone. Then I realized that it was my heart telling me that I miss you”~Anonymous

Walking around Santa Paula yesterday must have worn me out because I started falling asleep on the sofa around 8:45 pm last night. I went to bed around 9:15 and I think I went right to sleep, but I kept waking up all night, so still did not get a solid night of sleep. Today Ben has been gone 3 months. Linda came by a little after 8:00 am this morning and we went for a hike. We only hiked about 2 miles or so. Could not find the trail that we wanted to follow. We just hiked until we ran out of trail then turned around and came back. When I got home, I took a shower and then made lunch and watched “The Young & The Restless”. When that was over, I drove over to Kohl's. I had received another free $10 gift card from them, so I bought a long sleeved T-shirt to prepare for the cooler weather that will be coming soon. Only cost me $2.16 with the $10 off. When I got home something set me off and I had about a 10 minute cry. I think it was because I remember how when I'd buy blouses or whatever, Ben would always want to see what I bought. I started thinking how it's no fun for me to go shopping like that anymore. I used to love to go when he was alive. He'd be at work and I'd take a “Me Day” and hit all the stores like Wal-Mart, Target, Kohl's, K-mart, etc. I looked forward to it and enjoyed it so much. Now I do not look forward to or enjoy anything anymore. Life has no purpose without Ben. I'll survive somehow though. That's what he would have wanted me to do.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Walking Tour Wednesday

Today's quote:

“Why is it that when you miss someone so much that your heart is ready to disintegrate, you hear the saddest song on the radio?”~anonymous

Headed over to the Toyota dealer this morning to get my Corolla serviced and to have the smog inspection done on it. Ben would be so proud of me :-). Linda picked me up at the dealer and we headed up to Santa Paula to pick up her $250 prize for a contest she had entered in July at their Hot Air Balloon Festival. It was for creating a “green” craft and her recycled plastic bag tote won first prize. After they took her picture for their newsletter, she and I walked around Old Town Santa Paula and looked at their murals. We decided to drive up to Ventura for lunch and went to Andria's Fish Market for lunch. We both ordered fish and chips. For around $11 your get 7 or 8 big pieces of deep fried and a big basket of French fries. It was warm and sunny in Santa Paula but cloudy and overcast in Ventura, but then they are right on the beach. We headed back home and picked up my car at the dealer. I stopped by and filled the Corolla with gas and then headed home. Had a nice day.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Hearing Thunder On Tuesday Afternoon

Today's quote:

"There is no despair so absolute as that which comes with the first moments of our first great sorrow, when we have not yet known what it is to have suffered and be healed, to have despaired and recovered hope." George Eliot

Was awake until around 1:00 am this morning. It figures....I had been going to sleep around 9:30 or 10:00 PM for the past few nights and now I'm back to the staying awake again. As I said before, I'll have a couple of good nights and then I'm back to the insomnia. Today was my grief support group. I thought today's session was one of our best. A lot of good discussion. I really felt like today's group was helpful to me. Even though I naturally have my “bad” days, I am so glad that I decided to start going to a grief support group right after Ben died because I really feel that being with other people who are going through the same loss as I am is helpful to me. DeDee and I went to lunch after the group and I told her that last night I had a “revelation”. I was watching “Rizzoli & Isles” and I guess I was pretty wrapped up in the storyline. The show broke for a commercial and suddenly I realized that I had not been thinking about Ben for the past 15 or 20 minutes. That's the first time I had had a feeling like that in the past 3 months. I'm thinking that this is a “good thing”. Linda had planned on going to lunch with us but she was not done with her volunteer work at the senior center. I'll be having lunch with her tomorrow. Temperatures got into the mid 90's today and sunny with some really big thunderheads. Around 3:00 pm I started hearing thunder and got some huge rain drops but not a lot.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Monday With My Friends The Meggitts

Today's quote:

“They that love beyond the world cannot be separated by it. Death cannot kill what never dies”~William Penn

I went to bed exhausted last night due to having a bad evening thinking about Ben and crying. I had not had a "sobbing" cry in quite awhile, had one last night. I've been thinking about my brother Keith and I going to northern California to visit our older brother Ron. I remember when we used to go and Ben would stay home, I'd be OK for the first 2 days or so and then I would start missing Ben so much. I called him several times every day while I was up there and I remember how on the drive coming home, I could not wait to get home and get a big hug from Ben. I just realized that if Keith and I get to go up to see Ron in a few weeks that Ben will not be here when I get home to give me that hug. I've been going to sleep a little earlier now, but I dream a lot and I wake up several times during the night so I'm still not getting good sleep. My friends Karren & Wally Meggitt came by a little after noon and took me to lunch at Dink's New York Deli over at the local mall. It was so nice to see them. I had not seen them since March when Ben was in the hospital and Karren stayed with me a few nights. We came back to my house after lunch and sat and talked about Ben and I showed them the slide show of photos I have of him before they had to head back home. Of course, once they left, the loneliness of the empty house set in again, but all in all, it was not too bad of a day.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Sentimental Sunday

Today's quote:

“Grief is a tidal wave that over takes you, smashes down upon you with unimaginable force, sweeps you up into its darkness, where you tumble and crash against unidentifiable surfaces, only to be thrown out on an unknown beach, bruised, reshaped...Grief will make a new person out of you, if it doesn't kill you in the making”~Stephanie Ericsson

Today was a “double sad” day for me since it was the 10th anniversary of 9/11 plus Ben not being here. I listened to the reading of the names of the casualties of 9/11 on CNN for awhile, did a load of laundry, then took advantage of the overcast weather and went outside to clean up the flowerbed in my front yard. At the same time I pulled some weeds and I also flushed my hot water heater, something that I usually do in the spring, but since I was running back and forth to the hospital every day back then, I did not have time to do. The sun came out around 10:00 am, so I opened up my front door and the sliding door to the patio and sat down to watch some TV. Weather was beautiful today. Thought about going for a drive, but instead decided to stay home and clean up a few things. I went through some papers that I'd been meaning to go through for a long time. Also cleaned up the kitchen island. Watched a movie on the Hallmark Channel. I noticed today I was reminiscing about trips Ben and I used to take together. I've always done that when the weather starts to get nice. Even back when Ben was alive I would do that. But now I realize that I will never be able to go on a trip with him again and it brings tears to my eyes and takes my breath away. I cannot see myself ever really enjoying a trip away from home again without him, especially places that were special to us.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Saturday Wasn't Too Bad

Today's quote:

“Do not protect yourself from grief by a fence, but rather by your friends”~Czech Proverb

For some reason, after I got home from going to lunch with the girls yesterday, I felt totally exhausted. I stretched out on the sofa in front of the TV and actually kept dozing off, so I took a shower and got my jammies on around 5:30 pm and just relaxed. I continued dozing off watching the TV so I finally got off the sofa around 9:00 and went to bed, which as you know, is early for me these days. I feel to sleep almost immediately and I think I slept through the night. Had some dreams, but do not remember what they were. When I woke up this morning, I felt “hung over” even though I do not drink alcohol. Stayed in bed for awhile. After I got up, I went for a 1.5 mile walk. It was really nice and cool outside this morning. After lunch, I was sitting in the living room watching the movie “My Girl” on ABC Family HD. I had the front door and sliding door to the patio open. I started hearing thunder and then it started raining big drops. Smelled good and I really enjoy the sound of the thunder. Then I heard a train whistle across the valley. I wished Ben was here to enjoy this with me. He loved the sound of the train whistles and he'd really be enjoying this weather. I just went outside to look at the weather again. The sun is shining here, but to the northeast, there is a huge storm cell. Looks like it might be heading this way. Heard that northeast of us in Acton that they have been having flash floods for about an hour along with huge hail. Wonder if it will get to me? If so, I'll have to log off the computer.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Ben's 61st Birthday (Or his "60 Forever Day")

Today's quote:

“Tearless grief bleeds inwardly”~Christian Nevell Bovee

Did not get to sleep until almost 2:00 am this morning. Don't know if it was because Keith had been here for 3 days and had just left to go home yesterday evening, so I knew I was alone again, or if it was because today would have been Ben's 61st birthday. Once I did go to sleep, I think I slept through the night. Sometimes I do not remember if I get up at night or not. I woke up around 6:00 am and could not go back to sleep. I do not understand how I get by on only 4 or 5 hours of sleep each night. When Ben was alive, I always got 7 or 8 hours. I met my friends Linda, DeDee and Judy at Backwoods Inn at 11:45 am for lunch. We toasted Ben and then we ate and sat there and talked for about 3 hours. It felt cooler outside today. Thermometer read 96° but it still felt cooler. Tomorrow it's only supposed to be about 85° here. Now for another lonely weekend.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Thursday With My Brother

Today's quote:

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted”~Jesus Christ on the Mount, Matthew 5:4

Keith and I were a little lazy this morning. I woke up around 6:45 am and saw that he still had the door closed to the computer room where he sleeps, so I just stayed in bed until I heard him get up. Made pancakes for breakfast then we went over to Wal-Mart so I could pickup a few groceries. We were out running around almost all morning, going to different stores, then over to Arby's for lunch around noon. I am NOT looking forward to him leaving to go home this evening. It has been so nice having someone here with me these past 3 days. Nice having someone to talk to at night while watching TV. I helped Keith by printing out his resume. His printer at home is not working properly. Tomorrow is Ben's birthday. I am meeting with 3 of my girlfriends for lunch at Ben's favorite steak house here in Santa Clarita. I'm looking forward to having lunch with the girls but I'm not looking forward to Ben's birthday without him.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Car All Waxed Wednesday

Today's quote:

“The pain passes but the beauty remains”~Pierre Auguste

Made breakfast for Keith and I this morning and then we headed over to have my tires rotated on the 4Runner. They told me that my rear brake drums needed to be adjusted, so got that done too. Then we went to the Verizon Store as I really intended to buy an iPhone 4 today. Had to wait around about 15 minutes as they were really busy. When they finally got to me and I told them what I wanted, they told me it was NOT time for my upgrade, which I already knew. They then told me that they suggested I wait until after February 24th when I can get an upgrade because they could not give me the phone for $199 unless I also switched my home phone over to their home phone system. I would have had to pay full price for iPhone without the home phone package. Full price for the phone is anywhere between $425 and $600. To switch over to their home phone system, would have cost me around $125 and then the cell phone would have been $199, but I just didn't care about changing my home phone system right now. Also the iPhone 5 is due to come out in October sometime, so I guess I'm waiting until the end of February. We left the Verizon Store and headed over to the Canyon Car Wash and left the 4Runner to washed and waxed while we walked across the street to the Route 66 Grill for lunch. I think Ben would be proud of me for taking good care of his 4Runner. We also went to a few other stores. Very hot outside. Got up to around 104° so we finally came back home to the A/C. When Keith is here visiting me, I feel a little more “normal” than when I'm alone. Keith used to sometimes come to visit when Ben was working. I think I keep feeling like Ben is as work while Keith and I are out running around, even though I know in the back of my mind that this is not true. Keith told me he slept good last night and he thinks it's because I had him sleep on the air bed in the computer room instead of in the living room with Ben's ashes. I think I mentioned before that he said for some reason knowing the ashes were in the room with him freaked him out.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Nice To Have Company

Today's quote:

“Tears are the silent language of grief”~Voltaire

I had to take a sleep aid pill last night for the first time in over a week. Stayed up and watch “The Closer” and “Rizzoli & Isles” last night, went to bed at 11:00 pm but could not go to sleep. After I took the pill, I went to sleep just before 1:00 am. Met DeDee at the Senior Center for our Grief Support Group. Had a pretty good turn-out. As usual, our therapist (Judy) made sure to tell us that no matter what stage of grief we are in, whatever we are doing or feeling is exactly what we are supposed to be doing and feeling. She always assures us that everyone goes through their grief in their own way and no matter what people tell you, there are no “set” rules for how we grieve. After group, we drove over to Round Table Pizza and met with my brother Keith and had a nice lunch. Keith is staying with me for a few days so it will be nice having someone to have conversation with in the evenings. Tomorrow morning, I have an appointment to get the tires on the 4Runner rotated at 9:00 and then I'm going to check on getting the 4Runner washed and hand-waxed. Ben used to get it hand-waxed once a year and he didn't get it down before he got sick.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Lonely Labor Day Monday

Today's quote:

“Mourning is one of the most profound human experiences that it is possible to have... The deep capacity to weep for the loss of a loved one and to continue to treasure the memory of that loss is one of our noblest human traits”~Shneidman

I used to think that the words “broken heart” were just that...words. Since Ben passed away, I know that a broken heart is actually a physical condition that truly does exist. Some days you feel like there is an empty spot in your chest where your heart used to be, other days you feel like a dagger has been plunged into your chest. Sometimes you feel like you can hardly breathe. Some days you barely cry a single tear-drop while other days, you cry so much that you wonder where all of the tears are coming from. Some days you feel so lonesome and so empty inside that you wonder where you will ever find the strength to go on living without that special person by your side. You knew that one day in your life that there was the probability that you would lose that special person, but you never expected it to happen so soon or for it to hurt this bad. There is no way anyone can understand this completely until they actually go through it for themselves. Very dark and cloudy outside when I woke up this morning at 6:30 am. Strange because we usually do not have this kind of weather during the summer. Since my brother Keith is coming up for a few days to visit me, I decided to go through Ben's sock drawer to see if there were any of his socks that Keith could use. When I pulled the drawer out of the dresser, I heard something “rolling” around in the bottom of the drawer. I took out all of the socks and there were 2 small pieces of a tooth and a silver filling. I guess Ben had lost a filling and never told me about it. Have no idea why he put these things in the bottom of his underwear drawer plus why they were lying in there loose, and I have no idea why he never told me unless it was because we did not have dental insurance. Well when I saw this, I just could not part with these little pieces. Sounds crazy, but this was Ben's tooth and very much a part of him plus contains his DNA. I put them into a small plastic bag and put the bag into the little silver box that contains some of his ashes. Went for a walk before lunch. It was totally cloudy but 80ยบ and humid. Spent most of the day on the sofa watching TV again.

Another quote from me (not the Internet):

“Don't cry because he because he lived”~Me

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Relaxing Sunday

Today's quote:

“Tears have a wisdom all their own. They come when a person has relaxed enough to let go and to work through their sorrow. They are the natural bleeding of an emotional wound, carrying the poison out of the system. Here lies the road to recovery”~F. Alexander Magoun

Had to go buy Ben's Lotto ticket this morning plus the ticket that he and I always share with our friend Ed. Ed refers to it as the EBK Krazee Ticket (EBK standing for Ed/Ben/Kay). I buy it for Wednesday's drawing and Ed buys it for Saturday's drawing. To tell the truth, I'd feel really bad if we won the Lotto jackpot. Ben was the one who was so into playing and always hoping we'd win “big”. It just would not be the same to win a lot of money without him being here to spend it with. I had been waiting for the guy who sold us our whole house water filter to come by today and do the 6 month check on the tank, but he called about an hour before he was supposed to come and said he had to reschedule. DeDee showed up around 11:30 and we headed over to Route 66 Grill for lunch. We sat there for about an hour and a half eating and talking then headed back to my house for me to give her some more camera and computer lessons. She left just before 4:30 pm. Had a pretty good day.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Sofa (all day) Saturday

Today's quote:

“There are things that we don't want to happen but have to accept, things we don't want to know but have to learn, and people we can't live without but have to let go”~Author Unknown

Woke up around 6:00 am with a really bad headache. I had been having a really strange dream and woke up a little “startled”, but immediately forgot everything about the dream except that it was strange. Went back to sleep and woke up about an hour later and the headache was gone, so I decided to get up. Put the towels and sheets into the washing machine and had breakfast. One of my widowed online friends had posted something on Facebook that gave me an idea. Last week was her late husband's birthday. Her best girlfriend had just moved and they were going to hang pictures and arrange furniture. My friend took her husband's ashes along, set them on the table with candles so her husband could “supervise” the move and they called it his “69 Forever” party. I have lunch planned with a couple of girlfriends for Ben's birthday next Friday. I told them I didn't want to spend that day alone, so we have planned to go to Ben's favorite steakhouse here in town. I've decided to call it Ben's “60 Forever” party and I'll bring the little silver box that contains a few of his ashes with me so he will be there with us. Most of his ashes are in the urn, but I do have a small amount of them in the box to take with me if and when I travel. I wouldn't want to carry the urn everywhere, even though some people do that and it came with nice cloth bag in case I wanted to take it with me. But don't think we will do the “candle thing”. Hope this doesn't freak out the girls who are going with me (LOL). Called and made an appointment to have the tires on the 4Runner rotated when Keith is here next Wednesday. The quotes I've been sending each day have been from the Internet, but here is one straight from me...”Widows know what empty feels like”.

Friday, September 2, 2011

How Can It Be September Already?

Today's quote:

“Courage is being afraid but going on anyhow”~Dan Rather

Got up and went for a 1.4 mile walk first thing this morning. I noticed that my legs and feet hurt now when I walk. Guess it's because I don't walk every day like I used too. I hope that when Linda and I get back to hiking this fall that I'll be OK on the trails. I think I have figured out another reason why I don't like going out for my walks now, when I'm walking alone, my mind wanders directly to Ben, as it does at home, but then I start to cry while walking and when I pass other people, I've got tears streaming down my face. This morning while walking I got to thinking about Ben's last day of his life. I started thinking about me holding him and telling him how much I loved him and thanking him for loving me and being such a good husband. I started sobbing as I was walking. Luckily I had worn a baseball cap so I could dip the brim down so people could not see my tears. My friend DeDee emailed me this morning and asked if I wanted to get together on Sunday, so thank goodness I have something planned for one day over the long holiday weekend. Was out back watering the plants and noticed that someone has moved into the house behind me. It had been empty for almost a year. They have 2 yappy dogs. Ben would have hated that. The people who lived there before had yappy dogs and it drove him nuts. He was so glad when they moved out of the house. Hopefully the dogs will get used to their new home and not yap so much. Got an email from Brittney who works at Fast Undercar where Ben used to work. She told me that they all talk about Ben all of the time and that his timecard is still in its usual spot. She said they can't stand to take it down. Ben would be so pleased to know that and I told her it means so much to me to know that they are keeping his memory alive and I'm sure it will mean a lot to Ben's brother and sister too. I actually took a short nap this afternoon.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Temblor Thursday

Today's quote:

“No one ever really dies as long as they took the time to leave us with fond memories”~Chris Sorensen

Got up a little earlier than normal this morning so I could get some things done before I headed over for my first day of volunteering. I thought of Ben and started crying. I was wondering what he would think about me “getting out there” and taking care of myself. I thought of how I can never share my feelings and thoughts with him anymore and that's what made me cry. The little hummers were at the feeder early this morning. Guess they wanted to get out before the heat. So I hate to say this, but I did NOT like volunteering today. I was extremely bored. Wasn't so bad when I first got there. All of the animals were walking around and coming up to me. I was petting them and talking to them. The other person there with me today was a woman in her 30's. She was nice, but she didn't seem like she wanted to have much conversation. She would hang out on the other side of the barnyard from me. I'd go sit by her and try to start talking with her, but she didn't say much, so I'd move on. All of the animals decided to go to sleep around 9:45 am, so for the next 2 to 2 ½ hours, there was nothing to do but just sit. I was barely getting phone service there, so I could not really call anyone. I was able to send out a couple of text messages, but I had to walk around the barnyard until I could find a signal. I had hoped that the animals would have been more active and that there would have been at least a couple of people there to have a little conversation with. I'm thinking that if the other woman would have been more my age, we would have been able to sit and talk. The animals started to wake up and move around again about 15 minutes before it was time for us to leave. I could not wait to get home and take a shower. I felt so dirty. When I got home I jumped into the shower. I got out and made a lunch and sat down on the sofa to eat and a 4.2 earthquake hit. Scared the heck out of me. It only lasted about 5 seconds. Felt like the sofa was falling out from under me then the house shook a little. I could hear the rumble. I grabbed my cell phone and called my brother Keith in Orange, CA. He did not feel it as he was about 50 miles away from the epicenter (Newhall, CA) and he was driving his car. He kept telling me I'd be OK. I then called my friend DeDee over in Sylmar, CA to make sure she was OK. She too had just sat down to have lunch and felt the quake. She was about the same distance from the epicenter as me, only on the other side of it. We had just talked about this last Tuesday at lunch, about how both of us were afraid to think about the next big quake that will come since both of us are now without our husbands. Anyway, I guess I'll have to think about finding volunteer work somewhere else. When I went into the office to sign out after my volunteer shift was done, there was no one there for me to talk to, so I guess if they call me, I'll just have to tell them that it was just not what I was looking for.