Monthly Archives: August 2015

Grief Is An Asshole

Nobody told me that the second year of widowhood would be harder than the first year.

If they did, I don’t remember it.

If they did, I’m sure I probably thought “Bullshit. Nothing can be worse than this!”

Boy was I wrong.

Grief is an asshole. It doesn’t care that you’re having a string of pretty good days. It doesn’t care that you are starting to think that “hey I’m actually happy” again. It jumps out and grabs you when you least expect it. You can’t ever feel safe because the bogey man is just waiting for you to drop your guard so he can knock the living shit out of you.

Prince Charming’s birthday is on Wednesday.

I should be buying him a Steeler’s jersey or a Jimmy Johnson shirt or some fancy new ham radio gadget that he’s had his eye on for months. I should be planning a lovely dinner with him and his children at one of his favorite restaurants.

Instead I placed an order for roses to place on his headstone. I’m planning on taking a beer with me to the cemetery when I take the flowers to him. I’m taking the day off of work because I can’t bear the thought of trying to be “okay” when every fiber of my being will be anything but “okay” that day. I’m planning on going to dinner with his mom because Prince Charming’s birthday also happens to be the day of his parent’s wedding anniversary. He was born on their first wedding anniversary . . . Prince Charming would be 53 this year and his parents would have been married 54 years this year.

This sucks on a colossal scale.

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“As Soon As . . . ” Is Right Now

I can’t remember where exactly I read the above quote but I remember it was in the last couple of months. It really hit home with me . . .

When Prince Charming was alive, we said this all the time.

“As soon as the house is paid off, we will do XXXXXX.”

“As soon as (insert work problem here) is over, we will do XXXXX.”

“As soon as (whatever excuse we had to not do something), we will do XXXXX.”

Unfortunately, we never got to do many of the “as soon as” things on our list. I became very aware that life is short, time is precious, and you need to do the things you want to do and not put them off.

But that didn’t stop me from putting things off.

Then I read the article I mentioned earlier and I thought that it was time for me to start doing the “as soon as” things on my list . . . and quite soon after reading that article, I found this lovely item when I was cleaning the cupboards trying to find a place for yet another coffee mug.

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This belonged to Prince Charming. He bought it when we visited The Biltmore the summer before he died. We had lunch at the Stable Café – a restaurant on the grounds of The Biltmore that used to be the horse stable. Prince Charming ordered a beer with his lunch and it arrived in a glass just like this one. He liked the glass so much he bought one as a souvenir so he could drink beer out of it once we got back home.   I honestly can’t remember if he ever drank beer out of it or not. See, he thought he was a bit of a clutz and was afraid that he would drop the glass and break it . . . he intended to save it for “special occasions” and put it in the cupboard.

Until the other day, I had totally forgotten about the glass. And when I found it, I made a decision that it was time to use the glass. It was time to stop putting off all the things I’ve been wanting to do because of one reason or another. I realized that “as soon as” really is now. What am I waiting for? I’m never going to get any younger. The time isn’t ever going to be “right” for this, that, or the other thing that I want to do. If I want to do it, then I need to do it. Now. No explanation about why I want to or need to do it . . . just make a plan and do it. No regrets. No excuses.

Which is easier said than done. Especially for the Middle Child with a massive amount of Catholic Girl guilt about everything. But I’m trying. I’ve made some steps in the right direction. The decision about the new deck was one huge step in the right direction.

Hopefully I can keep making steps in the right direction . . . because “as soon as” really is now!

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Finding My Way

Construction started on the changes to The Little House on August 3 as planned.

I’ll admit that I waffled more than just a little bit about whether I was making the right decision.  I worried that the vision I had in my head would not be what I ended up with.  I worried about what would I do with the dogs during the construction.  How would they react to strange men in their house?  How would they deal with the chaos of construction?  How would I deal with the chaos of construction?  I’ve never done anything like this by myself before . . . another “first” for me . . .

The mud room was demolished and work has started on the new covered deck.

The construction guys are wonderful young men that have a fabulous work ethic.  They understand that I’m new to the single girl homeowner thing.  They understand how important Rocky and Millie are to me and fuss over them as if they were their own pets.  They make sure the back gate is secured, they make sure there isn’t anything that will hurt the dogs.  They happily stop what they are doing to give them love and attention when the dogs go out to potty.  They even put up a temporary blockade at the edge of the deck so Millie wouldn’t be tempted to play “SuperDog” and jump (which didn’t work because she jumped anyway).

But most importantly, they understand how important it is to me to make the new addition match the older part of the deck.  Remodeling the old part of the deck was the last project that Prince Charming and I worked on together.

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This is Rocky sitting on the original back steps to The Little House.  As you can see, he’s a little confused about what happened to the big room that used to be there.

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This is the bigger picture . . . the old deck is to the right.

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This is what I came home to last night . . . and when I realized that yes the vision in my head was going to be exactly what I was going to have!!

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This is when I KNEW I had picked the perfect crew to do this job for me.  See those steps?  Those are the ones that Prince Charming worried himself silly about when he was remodeling the old deck.  He was so worried that he was going to get it wrong and was so proud of himself when they were a perfect fit.  I told Construction Guy Boss that we had to save those stairs and make them work for the new deck.  Once I explained why I had to have “those” stairs, he understood completely and assured me that he would make them work.  And bless his heart . . . he did just that . . . and didn’t laugh at me when I stood on those stairs with tears in my eyes last night.

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This is the what the project looked like when I went to work this afternoon.  I have railings!  I have balusters!  There’s lattice to keep Adventure Dog Millie from climbing under the deck to get into mischief!  Once again, Rocky is the Inspector General of the project.  If you look close by the tree to the left, you’ll see Millie.  She’s more interested in the construction materials and the job site trailer than in the actual work being done.

Yes I still have all kinds of anxiety about my future but I’m (finally) starting to learn to trust myself and my instincts.

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