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Archive for August 4th, 2012

Roman Milestone Marker – wikipedia

 A milestone I had hoped I would not reach… WARNING:  feelings revealed…

I live in the house my husband and I moved into 20 years ago this past June. He hasn’t ‘visited’ in over 4 months. I sleep in the same bed we purchased just after we got married—my oldest daughter has been sleeping with me to keep me company—to keep an eye on me—because of health issues, the pain in the night and then there are the tears of heartache. It is so difficult to cry alone and not have my husband there to comfort me. Then I feel bad when my children find me sobbing. I am supposed to be strong. I am supposed to protect and comfort them. What have I become?

 

On a wall in our bedroom is a tapestry my husband purchased overseas while serving in Desert Storm. I was pregnant with our second daughter the majority of the time he was gone–memories. Much of the stuff on his side of the room has remained relatively unchanged—some has been removed, some rearranged. When I walk into the dressing room I see where his toiletries used to sit on the vanity, and in the walk-in closet his clothes remain just as he left them. When he moved out it was only for a few days—a couple of weeks at the most. Today, it has been 6 months.

 

Downstairs, where our wedding photo and anniversary tribute hung, there now hangs the parade photo of my mom I posted this week along with some trinkets from a family beach trip. In the living room are our many shot glasses we collected from different vacation spots and on the Welsh Dresser is his German mug collection along with the oil lamps, etc. I removed the photo with him and Arnold Palmer months ago along with Masters memorabilia. Then there are the tea pots and other lovely vases that once held beautiful flower arrangements he gave me as tokens of his love–more memories. He always wanted to give me flowers–one of the more romantic things about him. I have a huge glass jug that holds rose petals, small flowers, and ribbons from those arrangements of a time long ago. In contrast, I haven’t received anything since our anniversary last December which was a potted plant I picked out.

 

There other collections we have given each other over the years. Some of these are special because the girls were part of them. In the photo boxes are 100s of photos—thousands maybe—of vacation destinations, our family, and his family including relatives of his. On the media center are books, photo albums and scrapbooks, some filled with photos of family outings, special occasions, etc. There is one of me pinning on his badge when he graduated from the police academy, and there are those with him and our babies–him cuddling, holding, and playing with them through the years. Memories. Ghosts. To see all the music and movies we have collected over the years—extraordinary. Some he has taken with him; some left behind. Everything has a memory. Each wall, each item in this house… And, I don’t want to talk about the home videos he took of the girls when they were growing up. It hurts.

 

Everywhere I look I am reminded of him in one way or the other. I see where he didn’t put something away and I haven’t the heart to move it. Then there is the stuff on his table. It is almost like he passed away—taken in an instant never to return. It takes me back to the time my father died. I got into the habit years ago to keep a worn t-shirt (not sweaty) to the side in case my husband was killed—law enforcement… I wanted to keep one as a reminder of his scent—his antiperspirant and aftershave mixed with his smell. I would cuddle his shirt on nights when he was working, and at first after he moved out. I would cuddle his pillows but eventually I washed them. Today, I can hardly remember that smell I grew so accustomed to, the one that made me feel safe and secure. It’s funny about smells. There is usually a memory attached to them.

 

Slowly, I have removed things or put them out of view. Difficult. As I do, a piece of my heart is ripped apart again because I know that soon, if I keep it up, there will be no trace of him in the physical sense. Maybe this is what he meant to happen in the first place but he kept telling me and tells me today that it is his goal to move back home. On this day, my heart hurts so much. I have cried almost as much this week as when I first found out. Love…love doesn’t change; our minds change. Keep your loved ones close and let them know you care.

 

People can give advice and tell me what to do, but unless they are in my shoes they do not know what it’s like even if they have been here before. People can judge me and say how naïve I am. I am not naïve—I know that I have to proceed carefully because I could very easily shut the door, turn the lock and flip off the light. I don’t think most people know how easy that would be because I want the pain to stop. In fact, sometimes I think that would be better but then I think of my girls and the future. I want the best for everyone. I have been accused of being selfish and sometimes not selfish enough. I don’t wish this on my worst enemy. To have no family to go to, to cry on and desire comfort and understanding…I have limited friends—he was my best friend. Life. Life is not always easy no matter what you are faced with.

 

I have hoped that this would work out. Today, I don’t know but these are some of the things I have learned…

  • Take care of your heart—no matter what—because your spouse is in there.
  • Give compliments and caresses to deposit in your bank account of love so when things get tough your spouse will have them to help you.
  • You can discipline yourselves to keep your love alive, but you have to watch out for the other.
  • Always use your yokes, eagerly helping one another.
  • Be thankful for your spouse in the morning and at night and all between.
  • Tell them what they mean to you and how much you care.
  • Find words of encouragement and strokes of gratitude.
  • Hold their love carefully and tenderly, and never give up hope.

 

This has been the hardest time of my life. I knew there would be more tough times along the road of life, but bar the death of my spouse, I thought we would have each other to lean on through everything else. When I get down and depressed about my children seeing me being weak because I cry and all, I say something about it and you know what they say…  “Mom, you are the strongest person we know and you have nothing to be ashamed of—nothing to be sorry for.”

My girls…they make me proud…

Oh, the memories…

Oh, the ghosts!

 

Sometimes we have to be a part of some really sad times, but they make the mountaintops so much brighter.

Happy Gardening. May your valleys be shallow, your mountains bright and your gardens always green! 🙂

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