This IS my journey, isn’t it?

It’s mine to grieve or celebrate or be happy or be sad whenever I damn well please…

Right?

This series of 4 photos my daughter in law did……tells it all. Taken in May 2015, we had gotten the all clear, no cancer showing up, happy news. In the back of my mind, I thought it too good to be true, but I kept that to myself.

We took our son Matteo and a couple friends over to my son’s camper to do a photo shoot. This is where his wife, Bec wanted to do them. Wow…did she pick it? or did she PICK IT!? The background was perfect.

Nick and Sue benefit

He did love me. This first photo says that loud and clear. I didn’t doubt it but sometimes it’s nice to see evidence. *smiles*

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Look at that smile. He could be naughty….but apparently I didn’t mind it being caught on camera. *thud*

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The laugh lines around his eyes and mouth….I miss those. I wish I could remember what he said here. It had me just laughing…I miss that smile, those arms around me.

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I titled this one “Nick most likely saying something entirely inappropriate.” But then that was a lot of times. He had a good sense of humor.

We had a good life. I just wish it was still going.

I miss him.

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Last nights voyage into the unknown….

Gawd, Nick has a lot of shit! I really do need to get photos of ‘during’…..which looks worse than ‘before’. There are a lot of things that are going up in to the attic now. They’ll be out of the way and stored. I’m constantly sorting in my head and I need to get some boxes up there first before I can do much more. There are too many boxes in the way. I also need to get boxes to label “garbage!” “magazines to donate” “manuals to keep” “cards and letters” “MORE toy cars”

I found 3 Valentine’s Day cards from him last night. They made me smile thru my tears. Hey, I’m getting better huh? I remember getting these cards and how I felt when he gave them to me. He could be a real romantic. I miss him so.

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I keep trying to smile and remember he told me repeatedly to go on with my life. Don’t dwell on him. Well, it’s not possible yet. He was a force to reckon with. He was loved by many. Friend to many. My best friend. You can’t NOT miss him. And there is no clear way to move on until I finish with him. Sorting thru all his possessions….that are now mine……is daunting.

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He will always be the love of my life. He will always be a presence in my life. He taught me to love. He taught me how to love. He taught me what loving someone was all about. And sometimes those memories get overwhelming. I could tell y’all stories…..

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Yesterday, I got a bit upset with some things some people were saying about how I am living my life now. I vented in an email to a friend. However I didn’t warn this person first. So………I apologize. I’ll warn ya first next time. Because I’m sure there will be another next time. It’s the nature of the beast called ‘losing a loved one’ and the way emotions can just grab you by the throat and will not let go.

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I do a lot of stopping, thinking, wondering and evaluating who I want in my life and who I don’t. Just like the bedroom upstairs I’m sorting thru, trying to decide what to keep, what to sell, and what to throw. I already have some people who haven’t spoken to me since Nick’s death. ‘Yer out of here since you proved what a friend YOU are.’ I’m not chasing anyone down to stay friends. If you can’t reach out to me, then I’m done. I have too much to do right now.

I need to simplify my life. And by sorting and removing and throwing and just LIVING…I’m doing that.

I made a decision this morning about these bedroom spaces……I’m going to redo bedroom #3 into a new student room. The room my student is using now? Is GiNORmous…..so I’M taking that one. My beautiful downstairs room? I’ll make into a guest room/office. The front bedroom? will stay the AirBnB and be used for other purposes too.

I need to mix my house up a bit. Moving my bedroom is the LAST thing I will be doing because I plan on enjoying that space as long as I can. I absolutely love it. But it is still my bedroom with Nick.  The color and layout may have changed, but the memories linger when I’m alone at night.

I want to start new. Can I do that? I hope so.

You all have a NICE day!

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It’s Thursday you stupid cam…oh wait…

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Another week is almost gone. Where does the time go? It seems I am busy every night after work. Monday I actually got to stay home. But I dug into the 3rd bedroom and it’s a bigger mess but a more workable one. I really need to get it set up as a bedroom.

Tuesday I was sposed to get a tattoo with my daughter. Somehow it fell through. Then K and I went to the football game in the rain. It was another great game, just not as full of fumbles, recoveries, and interceptions as the week before. And my Grandson’s team won! On to another playoff game on Saturday!

Wednesday. Every other Wednesday is fast becoming Broasted Chicken night with K. It’s really good food, fun atmosphere and good people to be with.

Thursday…tonite I am closing a show, then working on the 3rd bedroom, must remember to bring stepladder up from basement, then walking about 9ish as we’ve missed the last few nights.

Friday, Earn and I leave for IL to visit my favorite Mafia people. And maybe sell another radio. And relax for a weekend, sleep in, eat some more good food and visit with Mary, who’s son died the day of Nick’s funeral. I have some huge hugs for her.

Saturday…..mellow day. Sleeping in and enjoying some down time before I start all my November shows. Every Saturday. I think I’ll leave my Escape loaded and save my back and some time.

Sunday, I’m coming home. Want to finish up that 3rd bedroom so my son can start his demo. I’m still trying to decide if I want it as my bedroom or as another guest room. I’d turn my bedroom into a guest room/office then. And set up the upstairs room, which will be bigger, just like downstairs. If I can. Hmmmmmmmmm  ~ just remembered ~ only one small window…..might be kinda IFFY. Even with the WALK IN CLOSET I’ve been promised!! heh heh heh.

Monday is Halloween, Tuesday is Free, as is Wednesday, Thursday and not Friday as I have to set up for a show almost an hour away. I may be staying over at my son’s house for that one and save myself 2 hours of driving.

And so the November madness starts.

And thank you, Doug, for the following PA…..

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My love to you all….

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We need each other….

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I keep finding that out every day. There are people I simply NEED to speak with, see or have interaction with every day to make me ‘whole’. Luckily one of them lives with me.

Earn has turned out to be THE best thing that could have happened to me. She is the sweetest young lady I’ve met in a long time. She is so easy to get along with, funny, conversations can be a HOOT….I’m so glad I said yes to another student instead of spending this first year alone.

The store room is getting cleaned out now. What a flippin’ mess. So much stuff is getting thrown away. I’m done storing things that are never used.

Last night was a playoff game. THEY WON!! So on to Grand Meadow Saturday. Fingers crossed. My friend K took this photo close to halftime. I kind of like it! Give me ‘the mysterious air’. *chuckles*

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I’m off to visit my ‘Illinois Mafia’ this weekend. I really need to connect with Mary. Her son died the day of Nick’s funeral. I love these people so I need to see them.

It’s raining again today, dreary, cold, wet, icky, and I feel a cold coming on.

YAY!

I’d rather be home….in bed….with a good…………….book. Ya, that’s it.

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I may not get up as QUICK

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….as I used to. But I do still get up.

Life keeps hitting me over and over.

First Nick, then Barry, Joan, Ron (from home church), Aunt Eunice, Lucas being attacked by a dog…..

There’s more. Just can’t think of it all right now.

“That which does not kill us, only makes us stronger.”

God must think I’m a real badass!

 

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Another light in my life…..is gone.

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RIP Auntie.

I love you so.

Well, yesterday just sucked.

First it was the 2nd anniversary of the start of Nick’s Journey into Cancer. I was already having a thought-filled, memory invoking, bad kind of day. Remembering how excited we were to have, what we thought was, the ‘problem fixed’ and we were on our way home about 4-4:30pm. Only to have the first of many nights from Hell. I should have known then it was too good to be true.

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Second, my wonderful Auntie in the photo above, passed away about 4pm.  Her daughter T and I had spoken the night before and I got the scoop on what was happening. When she told me Auntie was struggling to breathe, I just flashed back to when Nick was doing the same in the bed by the window in the living room. He lasted 12 hours once that started. When I talked to T about quarter of 5. Her first words were “You are just gonna not like Oct 20th at all now.” I’d suspected all day things were going to be sad but wow….Hit me like a ton of bricks. I knew when she answered the phone by the tone of her voice it was bad.

 

All of Dad’s side in that generation are 80 and 90+ with my mom being the youngest at 81. I know I’m going to start losing them. It will be devastating. And I’ll muddle along as best I can.

What else are you gonna do?

Third, my #5 grandson was attacked by a chocolate lab at 4pm and about lost his right ear. Tore the outside 1/3″ off from the lobe almost all the way to the top. It was hanging on by a 1/4″ piece at the top. Three layers of stitches later, he’ll keep his ear. I’d post a photo but it’s WAY too grisly to see.

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They BETTER put that dog down since this is the SECOND time he’s attacked and bitten. It should have been put down the FIRST time.

So all in all, Oct 20th, around 4pm, will become a day and time I’ll dread. I’ll need something good to happen to turn that around.

Today dawned bright, sunny and crisp. I would love to go for a walk tonight but I have to load up my stuff for a show in Whitehall tomorrow.

Tomorrow night is Wine, Women and 50 Shades of Grey.

I need some smiles after yesterday…..

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Participating in life……

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I love that kid to the moon and back…

Actually I love all my ‘kids’, be they my kids, grandkids, foreign kids, in-law kids and friends of my kids…….I have a great  bunch of people with them.

46-14 over Lanesboro last night! WOOOOOOOOOT !! It was the most exciting game I’ve seen in a long time…LOVED it! The blonde kid I’m hugging plays almost the whole game every game. I’m so proud of him……

L to R: Grandson Cullan, me, Brandon and wife Becca (my son and dil) Jay and Tay (foster sons) and in the green, little Diva Miss Juliana Rose, sister to Cullan and 3 more brothers. Spoiled? nah….She snuggled with Nonna last night and shared popcorn with me.

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Earn and I went to the game and she froze. It got kinda chilly. I’m wearing my half a dead cow. But we didn’t care! We were screaming along with the rest of them!

I got home about 10:30pm and went up to walk with K. I’m noticing things ARE actually toning up a bit. *or maybe I’m just hoping* I’m getting to where I’m craving the walking like I do with water now that I don’t drink soda anymore.

Lemon, ice cubes and water. My favorite drink…next to Smirnoff. *snortz*

K pulled out a box of old photos. Uh oh….One of my favorite things to do. Next thing I know it’s 1:30am…crap! I’m draggin’ ass today.

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My 228lb buddy, Louie. He’s such a love….Yes, his head is the size of a basketball. He adores me. And I just love him to bits. He’s such an affectionate hairball……

I had left my phone in the car to charge. When I got in the car to head home, there was a message on my phone. My 93 year old aunt I am going to see in Michigan over Thanksgiving is in ICU. They have now moved her to palliative care. And we wait. She is a very strong woman with lots of reasons and a strong will to live. Prayers would be appreciated.

I think about the possibility of losing another so important in my life, and it about incapacitates me.  Auntie has always ‘been there’ for everyone. She’s been the ‘cornerstone’ of this family since Gramma Lola died in 1991.

I can’t do the ‘one every 6 month’ thing like I did in ’89-’91. 5 people. One every 6 months or so. All I did was go to funerals and wakes. It was nuts. Or the Jan 2013. Jan 5 – Jan 15 thing where Nick and I lost 10 people. One every day. From his brother to parents of dear friends. It was another rough row.

And as painful as it’s been losing those I love, I’m not pulling into myself and going numb. I have kids and grandchildren who need me and I love them too much to not be there. Yes, I was numb for a bit but I still participated in life. There is no other option. And those that struggle should remember the rest of us are here for them.

After the last two years, not many should be more withdrawn than I. Today is the 2 year anniversary of the start of Nick’s cancer journey.

Today.

I should be laying in bed unable to get up. But I’m at work. I’m laughing at , oops, I mean with customers and participating in life.

And I have another football game Tuesday night.

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I need SOMETHING dammit…..

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I’m free to do whatever I want. I don’t HAVE to be home at 5pm. I don’t have to answer to anyone. I can see anyone I want, I can do anything I want. And yet I don’t……because I feel lost.

I don’t like feeling lost. Like I don’t have an anchor. Nick was my anchor. Always pulling me home and to him.

I don’t have that anymore.

Earn pulls me home but as my child. Not as my life. Jegs and Sprint too, but as animals that need cared for.

I haven’t been ‘single’ since 1980.

(Oh shuddup you)

Jaysus…when I put it out there, that makes me feel OLD!

I’m not though. I have a lot of life left in me.

One day this wall around my heart will crumble. And I’ll find an anchor again.

I just need patience.

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There are times I know this is true….

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The song Nick sang………..was the one I could hear.

As he could hear mine.

Lots of people thought Nick wasn’t good looking, smart, or worthy of me. I don’t know why. To me, he was the handsomest thing EVAH! I loved my conversations with him. Lively and fun. He was very smart. And my heart was content when I was with him.

I had supper last night with Nick’s best friend from way back. Joe and I got to reminiscing. The stories he told brought back more memories for me. Our mutual love for Nick will keep us as friends forever.

It was wonderful hearing the same old stories again. Joe told the one about hiding Nick’s beer in the crisper drawer of his fridge. Men NEVER go in there! Only this time, I could hear Nick’s voice saying “You drank all my fucking beer???” aaaaaaaaaaaaaahahhahahaha. You can imagine my thoughts when my daughter showed me the inside of her new fridge…only to see the beer in the same place Joe had hidden Nick’s all those years ago!

As wonderful as these memories are, they are also painful.

Driving into work today, after I hung up the phone with a fun and funny conversation with K, it hit me again, and I started losing it. Just as I am doing again typing this all out.

Maybe you all don’t want to hear it anymore.

So don’t read me.

It’s helping me to put this down “On Paper” so to speak. I think if I’d had better knowledge of blogs and their therapeutic effect back during my divorce, I’d have been better able to handle it.

I just know getting this stuff out of my head, helps me.

I miss him more than words can say.

And maybe, just maybe, one day I’ll tear down the wall around my heart and love again. I just know it will never be close to what I had with Nick.

That is a once in a lifetime thing.

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