Monday, December 29, 2008

December 29

19 months

82 weeks

13,920 hours

And I find that I can sit and remember the details of that night/morning so sharply that it is like I am there again. Coming home is a blur, but sitting in the hospital and touching Jim, a cold Jim, and realizing that he was dead adn that it would be the last time to touch him, to see his face, to feel his hair and I can remember running my fingers thru his hair. It hurt too much to touch his skin, it was too cold, but the hair, feeling it is a still very vivid memory.

835,200 minutes

Sunday, December 28, 2008


Jimisms - a unique to Jim way of doing something. He did it, he could explain the reasoning and he made it all seem to make sense.

1) "No natural Exit"
When in a parking lot and you go to leave, following the way the parking pattern goes and the way the street you want to reach is angled, yet when you get to where there should be an exit....there isn't.
Jim would say that the lot had no natural exits - the instinctual way to leave the area, but instead there were the exits planned by men.

2)"Better safe then sorry"
This is buying something, like a cd or a tool, because you can't remember if you have it or where it is. Jim usually didn't know that he had the item already but would know that he needed or wanted it. I found lots of screwdrivers and there are about 6 cd's that are doubles and the second ones (or maybe the first) are still sealed/never been opened.

I found myself doing this the other day while at Home Depot. I knew that I needed duct tape, knew that we had some at home, knew that I had no idea where it was, and bought another roll.

3) Not sure what to call this one, but Jim would fill the gas up to a certain 'offbeat' amount. He would stop at 20.10 or 30.30 or some such. He said it was so that when he looked at the checking account he would remember that was for the gas.

This is another Jimism that I found myself doing. I am not even sure why because I don't look at my statements that often. I guess it is because it was a habit with him.

I know there are more things that he did throughout life that were so ingrained they were even realized as a habit or a quirk, so I will be back with more later.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Friends - thank you

Merry Christmas!

I would like to take a moment and thank family and friends. For helping turn what could have been a pretty horrible holiday into something tolerable. By being there for me in a subtle way. For opening homes and allowing me to spend time. Allowing may not be the best word, but sharing is. Sharing in the friendship that is twofold, mine for them and theirs for me.

A party and a dinner and just a 'spend the afternoon' has helped. I knew that the traditional brunch at my Dad's was not going to be possible, not last year with no car and not this year with no Dad there. I would be looking for him, expecting him. My friend Elaine, when she heard I was going to be sitting at home maybe doing laundry, stepped up and invited me to her Mom's brunch. It reminded me so much of times when I invited friends to my own mom's for thanksgiving or easter when they had no place to go. This is what friendship do for each other.

My brother called me bright and early this morning to say thanks for the gifts I sent out and to see how things were here. Me and the dogs were up, both of us fed and we were watching A Christmas Story. That is a family tradition here, one that Jim started and that I will carry on. Besides loving the movie, we always thought that the young Jim looked a little bit like Ralphie, and that made it special. The glasses and the blonde hair.

Have a Happy Holiday!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Night air

It’s past midnight and I step outside,
Inside, our kids are in bed and the cat wanders around
Here I find the air is cool and I exhale.
My breath shows in the night air.

I miss you.

I think this and feel the volcano that simmers below begin to rise.
Hold on there. Not now.
The pain is reigned in and resigned.
The breath like a dragon's, dissipates into the darkness.

With every breath I take,
With every breath exhaled.

I miss you.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Time Travel.

One of my favorite themes in science fiction. Several excellent books come to mind. Replay by Ken Grimwood and Time enough for Love by Robert Heinlein is another.

I am not going to go into the thought of what if I could go back in time to tell Jim....something. Exercise more? eat right? don't get that job?

Rather the question came up on a social internet board - What would you do if you were transported back to early September 2001.

He said -

I was watching the pilot episode of the American version of "Life on Mars" recently. He is a time traveler and it is set in New York City. The main character (Sam, if it matters) doesn't believe he's in 1973 until the big reveal at the end of the show where he turns around and sees the World Trade Center.

Well, that's quite a shock for him. It was for me, too. I wasn't
expecting it and it surprised me how much it hurt.

But it got me to thinking. If you were to go back in time, through some accident, whether a warp hole or you got stuck in Doc Browns Time Machine accidentally or whatever, and you arrived in early September 2001, with no documentation from the future, nothing that would not exist in that time frame, how would you convince people you were from the future and how would you stop 9/11?

The discussion went on from there amongst us friends to come up with different ways. Bomb threat? Go on the air with Howard Stern? Call the FBI and try to convince them with info you know because it was revealed afterwards?

I wondered if there was a way to stop the planes from even taking off or maybe finding a way to get on the plane and stop it there. I did like this solution, one man said

This one is easy.....I don't have to convince anyone of who I am or what I know. All I have to do is get them to take box cutters seriously and accept the idea of a kamikaze airliner.
On September 8, I will hijack a plane using a box
cutter. I will threaten and scare a few random passengers and order the plane to "buzz" NYC below the level of higher buildings (ie, to make it clear what COULD
happen). But I will ultimately allow the plane to land safely.
The Powers That Be will now take the box/knife as a serious weapon and the idea of a kamikaze airliner will be presented in a manner that can NOT be ignored.

If I couldn't do that for some reason, I would do a combination of trying to get the story out to the government, law enforcement and the media, while also calling in bomb threats and such to the airlines and airports and the buildings. If I had time, I'd talk to someone at every company in and around the twin towers and also to the firefighters and cops. Maybe all of that would be futile, but I'd try.

I mean, really, if you call the FBI and say you are from the future and you know for a fact that 19 terrorists are going to use box cutters to crash airplanes into the World Trade Center on 9/11, they are either going to think you are a kook and ignore you or they are going to think you are in on it and come arrest you.

Some of you may remember the details sufficiently that if they believed you, you could maybe point out people involved, what flights from what airports or whatever, but I have to admit that most of those minute details have flown from my mind after 7 years.

I remember the anger, most definitely, but other than Flight 93, I couldn't tell you the flight numbers of the other 3 planes. I don't remember the names of the 19 guys. I suspect I'm not the only one. And even if you did remember those details, how would you get to somebody high enough to stop it? How would you convince them you weren't making it up?I think it would be very frustrating to watch as 9/11 got closer and closer and nobody believed you and you couldn't stop the tragedy.

In the book I mentioned Replay by Ken Grimwood, the main character is transported back to his college years in 1962. He doesn't understand at first but as he realizes it he starts making money on sports events and then suddenly realizes that he can save Kennedy. He tries and fails. He then watches them arrest some other than Oswald and this person gets executed like Oswald did. The book goes on from there and he relives 5 times.

The questions that time travel raises have always interested me.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Moon

I am driving down the highway and looking at this absolutely beautiful full moon. The crispness of the night air must help because the moon is like crystal hung in the sky.
It reminds me of when Jim and I went climbing. Climbing to the top of the house, to the roof. Back in 2003 Mercury (or maybe Mars?) was closest to Earth for a few days/weeks. And it didn't happen that often. I can't remember the details. I just remember it was a big astrological deal. So Jim and I pulled the old telescope out of the box in the basement and he set up some ladders and we went up to the top of the house. Two stories up. Oh boy.
This was no easy thing. First, I have a weird fear of the vertigo feeling that comes from being up high. I can't stand on the edge of a balcony that is more than a few stories up. I hate and refuse to go on ferris wheels and roller coasters. Though, with trust, thru the years, I got on them with Jim. Still scared, but able to hold on to him. But that's a different post.
Climbing the first ladder was okay because Jim kept a hand on me the whole time. Then there was the second roof to go up and that was a bit worse. I ended up shutting my eyes and keeping them closed most of the time! He worked with me and with his voice helping, soothing me, and I got up there. Once we got up to the top I was okay. The rowhouses in our area all have flat roofs. I could stay in the middle and not have to look over the edge. It makes it easy to sit up there at night and watch the stars. We did this for 3 nights running. And it was beautiful.
There were many things that alone, I would not do, but with Jim, well, it seemed okay. He made it okay. With a hand to grab and him talking to me, I could almost sometimes handle it. Often I would get my muster up, get on the ride or such and then lose it half way through. This happened on a ride we went on that was set up like a ski lift (those little chairs) and you rode over the park and looked at the beautiful view. I can't remember the park now, maybe Hershey, maybe one in NH.
Maybe I would have been okay if there had been someplace for my feet to set on. Having my feet dangle really thru me into a tizzy. I ended up with eyes tight shut and Jim moving his feet over so mine could rest on his. I peaked at the great view that he was telling me about a couple times but I was so glad to hit the ground I almost kissed it.
Poor Jim, he was an adventurer and always wanted to go on the thrill rides and me, I just wanted to watch. He had a dream of going parachuting and taking as many of his siblings as would go. He wanted to get a hot air balloon to experience that feeling of flying. As close as he could get. I think if his sight had been better he would have loved to be a pilot. He would have enjoyed that.
This post turned into something other than talking about the moon. Well, I can go back to the moon just by saying there were many many Moons that Jim and I shared. Walking in the moonlight in Boston, with dogs running in front of us. Driving in the moonlight as we traveled - Jim prefered driving at night when the roads were clear. Me, sitting on the stoop, the moon shining at the end of the street (see photo at top) and waiting for Jim to come home from a long days work.
A very special memory is one of the moon sending beams of a very special light to play on my man's skin and give us a magical time of love making. We were in this house, we were just married and we were enjoying ourselves. Jim commented on how the moonlight seemed to be seeking out just the right spots to highlight on me and I kissed all the spots it highlighted on him. We giggled and caressed and were entranced. Knowing this love is such a wonderful thing.
And with that I end this post.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


"I miss you even more than I could have believed; and I was prepared to miss you a good deal."

--Vita Sackville-West

I am just the blog of quotes this week. This one was on my nieces Facebook page and I read it and felt it hit me deep inside. It is amazing how the power of just a few words can capture the feeling.


A scene from one of my favorite books and authors

"God is an iron," he said. "Did you know that?"
He went on, "If a person who indulges in gluttony is a glutton, and a person who commits a felony is a felon, then God is an iron."

I have always appreciated, noticed and even chuckled at ironic situations. I find myself in one now. I agreed to move to baltimore on the promise that we would only be here for 5 years. Five years to renovate and relocate and rent the house out. Those five years were up in May 2007 and Jim got out, but I had to stay.

I would have stayed here forever with no more whining if I only knew. Jim was ready to go, we had put in transfer applications at his job and things looked good. So maybe in 2010 (8 years later) I can get out of here. I just want to have a place for the dogs to run around a bit like our old house in Boston. Grass would be nice.

Another favorite quote, from the same author -

Shared pain is lessened; shared joy, increased — thus do we refute entropy.

Writing and sharing of my pain has lessened it. Sharing the joy I have found in life since that tragic moment, increases the joy that life can give.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Lights that guide us

Found on a friends memorial page. The page is a memorial to their beautiful three children, now angels and shining down from above.

Yeish kochavim she'oram magia artza
Rak ka'asher heim atzmam avdu v'einam
Yeish anashim sheziv zichram mei'ir
Ka'asher heim atzmam einam od b'tocheinu

Orot eileh hamavhikim b'cheshkat halayil
Heim, heim, shemarim la'adam et haderech, et haderech

{There are stars up above
So far away we only see their light
Long long after the star itself is gone
And so it is with people that we loved
Their memories keep shining,
Ever brightly, though their time with us is done.

But the stars that light up the darkest night
These are the lights that guide us
As we live our days these are the ways
We remember, we remember.}

Meditation by Hannah SeneshEnglish translation by Jeff Klepper

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Cookies and Lights

Three and a half dozen cookies later......

I started with peanut butter Kiss cookies. I used both chocolate kisses and 'candy cane' kisses. The chocolate held the kiss shape a lot better, the candy cane became a striped circle of chocolate and candy cane flavor. Not bad, in fact kind of a neat design.

And yes, that is Mercury, patiently waiting, waiting, waiting for one to drop. He was out of luck.

I then mixed some sugar cookie dough and tried the cookie press. I think the dough was a little soft. It didn't respond well to the press for the first half of the making. I ended up having to press the dough onto the rack and then with a knife carefully slice it off the press. It worked to a degree.

I also mixed some sugar cookie dough up and made two logs. One is a reddish/dark pink color and one is the plain. I am going to chill them and then roll them flat, put them on top of each other and then roll them up into a log and slice. The idea is spiral cookies. I hope it works. I can't remember the exact sequence of what to do, I am running from memory of making them with my mom.

Ah Mom. We always had logs of cookie dough in the fridge for fast slice and cooking. Thinking of this, I am realizing now, years later that she was probably doing this because the 'toll house cookie' came out in the stores. She knew she could do the same thing cheaper and figured out a way. Or, maybe even an easier explanation...that is how she learned it from her Grandmother.

All in all it was a fun morning. I am putting some laundry in and now going to sloth for an hour or two with the dogs on the couch.

I picked up some lights to decorate the front window of the house. I decided to not go the traditional lights and found instead some really nice snowflake shaped lights. They are large enough to be seen as snowflakes and there are only nine of them so they won't overwhelm the window. I am also going to cut out some snowflakes myself and put them on the glass. The lights went up with no problem but I can't figure out how to hide the tape holding them to the glass. I need to check Home Depot or such. They do look pretty.

It was a fun afternoon. Warm cookies, cold milk and cutting out snowflakes.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Fortunately and Online Shopping

This is probably a vent or maybe a pro/con post. I ordered a few things online this year for christmas. The first of the four orders came today.

I am going to jump here to one of my favorite childrens books is one I found at a library my friend worked at. It is called Fortunately and it's basically a good things/bad things happens to this boy on his adventure book. It makes for a fun way to deal with the curves that life sends you. For some reason I feel like I may have posted about this book before.

Fortunately by Remy Charlip

Fortunately, Ned was invited to a surprise party.
Unfortunately, the party was a thousand miles away.
Fortunately, a friend loaned Ned an airplane.
Unfortunately, the motor exploded.
Fortunately, there was a parachute in the airplane.
Unfortunately, there was a hole in the parachute.

What else could go wrong as Ned tries to get to the party? Readers will cheer as Ned's luck turns from good to bad to good again, while clever illustrations tell the story of his wacky adventure and narrow escapes.

So the book goes that way, my story goes this way -

Fortunately I found online some gifts for family.
Unfortunately I did have to pay for them.

Fortunately, my order arrived very quickly.
Unfortunately it was the wrong item.

Fortunately I could reorder the right one.
Unfortunately it would take a few more days to get here.

Fortunately when I called Customer service they said, oh, we will credit your account and you can donate it to charity (pretty cool) and we stop there and we wait to see what happens when the other order arrives.

Next -

Fortunately I was able to find the stereo headphones I wanted. Unfortunately I got an email saying they took my order but now realize they are out of stock.

Fortunately it is a gift for myself and I don't have to reship it.
Unfortunately though it means I may get it after christmas.

Next - well we will see what happens next....

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


I can't believe it but I am actually looking around the neighborhood and thinking of christmas lights this year.

In thinking about it, I thought about the box of them in the basement. I don't think I want to hang them. They were 'our' lights and decorations. I sort of like the idea of getting my own, but then flip over right away and feel sad that I won't use 'ours'.

The trick is also that Jim was the decoration guy. He hung the lights, put up the tree and all that. Me, I just will be happy with a table top tree and some lights in the windows.

I don't know what I will do yet. But if I do anything worth showing, I will post a pic here!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Just more pics

Just some more pics from my Thanksgiving day weekend.

This one is a friend of mine I never met in person till that weekend and we have been friends via online message boards for going on two years now. She lives not far from my bro and it was great to finally meet and hang out together.


Here is the Thanksgiving crew on Saturday before my plane was to leave. My older brother is on the far left, 4 years older than me.
My great nephew Jack at age 2 has renamed everyone in the family. Mostly because he can't wrap his tongue around some sounds and spits out something close. Grandmom is Nona, Granddad (my brother) is Deedo, Great grandpap is Frufoo and so on. I became Gabby. Short for Great Aunt Betsy. This was not his creation, it was my brothers. Jackjack was happy to call me Besse. I think my brother wanted me to have a fun name. I don't know when, but at some point I started to call him Jackjack and it has stuck with me. That may be Gabby's name for her Great Nephew.
This is Jackjack at the Thanksgiving day Table. He was given a turkey leg and gnawed on it. He liked waving it around more than eating it.

My favorite pic of the visit - Jackjack is a Thomas the train nut and they set up the trains for around the tree. My brother has a control that makes the train go and stop and the whistle blow. Jackjack is listening for the train.

Here is Jackjack and Deedo walking back from the visit to the zoo and the festival of lights that was held there. Jackjack was able to tell us what almost every animal 'said' and was especially good at elephants and penquins.


Monday, December 1, 2008


I would like to print this blog out - if anyone reading has any suggestions on how to do this - please comment. I am not looking to print it as a self published book, what I have seen online (blog 2 print) makes that too expensive (unless there is a cheaper way) But maybe a way to reformat it to make it print friendly so I could print it out myself.

Oh, I am trying new formats within the Blogger world to see what may be better for printing.


Sunday, November 30, 2008

Saturday was 18 months and Ohio

Saturday morning I woke up cold and crying. I knew it was because I was missing Jim, I just wasn't sure what set it off. It was my subconscious. In the excitement of Thanksgiving had forgotten that Saturday was the 29th. In fact, even as I was crying and not understanding why, I had forgotten the date.

Of course, crying and not knowing why is not uncommon anymore. I usually figure it is the release of the stress of the holiday. I usually figure it is a general why (missing Jim) and not a specific that I can put a finger on.

My sister in law gets lots of points from me for just coming out, helping me thru the meltdown by handing me tissues and rubbing my back a little. Support without saying the cliches.

Saturday was November 29th and 18 months since Jim died. I write that and realize that I have come a long way from June 14th when I started this blog. The blog has helped me to stay a viable member of society by allowing me to release thoughts that would otherwise have been trapped. Allowing me to say Jim's name, to write memories down and to talk about things that are past being talked about in the 'outside' world. I feel awkward sometimes when doing something with a friend and think "Jim and I always....fill in the blank" and then say it. There is sometimes a silence or it's like I said nothing at all and sometimes an agreement. I have often thought but not said and just nodded to myself in my head. Here on the blog I can say it out loud. Well, write it out loud. And that helps.

The world and my life have moved on, though I really didn't want it to, I had no choice.

Sunday I went to see a gorgeous movie. The film 'Australia'. I went with two friends and that was fun. What a beautiful movie and Hugh Jackman who starred in it was awesome. Good looking and good acting.

Then there was the movie. What a wonderful movie and it swept you up in the story. I was so into thru the whole three hours. Australia the movie reminded me of The Thorn Birds and of Gone with Wind and a little of any of the great sweeping western epics where man battles nature, and other men to win the land and triumph.

Then came one of those moments. It suddenly hits me - even after all this time - it hits me that Jim is gone. It was in a scene towards the end which had a character saying "You're alive!" and with those words I lost it inside. I sat there in the theatre and I all I could think was that I wish with all my heart I could say that. It was a tear jerking scene and my friend brought tissues and that helped, she was getting into it also, so my wet eyes weren't odd.

It was just those two words that I want so much to say. I was mad at some stupid movie character for being able to say. I know I won't ever be able to say them, but I that is why I write. So somewhere, he is not lost. Somewhere he is alive.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Turkey day evening

Thanksgiving evening.

Full of turkey. Full of family fun. Full of a lot of good thoughts.

Just wanted to write this because my mind has been going most of the day at full speed. I am winding down now, but it is the kind of winding down where all of a sudden you are 'boom', dropping off to sleep. That is coming soon I know.

I had a great day spending time with my brother and his family. My nieces are wonderful and I am wishing that I had been more in their lives before this. They have embraced me totally and it is really neat. Tonight as we were doing dishes my sister in law asked what I was doing for Christmas.

That gave me a really good feeling. I was family.

I write this because my brother has lived far away from me for many years. 20 or more. So we were not able to be a part of each others families lives and to get to know each other or watch neices grow up. It has been that way with all the siblings - not really close geographically, so not really close in family events - birthdays and holidays and such. It is nice to find after all these years that the tie is still there.

Both my nieces took me in and talked to me, showed me around the house, let me hold the baby and let me help them make some of the dishes for tonights dinner. Friendly and outgoing, it made the day a good time.

I think I hear some pecan pie calling my name.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

T day!

Thanksgiving. Again. Where did the year go.
I think I am saying that phrase at almost every major holiday. The days seem to whiz on by and suddenly we are at the end of the year again. Phew.
I hope a good holiday is found by all. Turkey day is my favorite day. I just love turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, peas and cranberry sauce. YUM!!
I have gone to many thanksgiving dinners and have cooked and hosted many over the years. My first one was the first year away from home and several of my friends got together - none of us could make it home, so we each brought a 'dish'. I made the turkey. When I carved it, I realized that there was something inside. Yep, I cooked the neck and bag of stuff. I never had seen my mom actually take that stuff out. Oh well, it still tasted really good.
When we lived in Boston my Mom came to visit for Thanksgiving dinner. I will always remember that because it is the last time I saw my mom alive. It was also the visit that she told me she was so happy I married Jim and that he has been so good to me and for me over the years. She told me that he was her favorite spouse of one of her children. I know she loved it when he showed up to pick them up at the airport and had flowers for her (I was at work and didnt know it).
Last year when I was at my sisters for Thanksgiving, I performed a ceremony of remembrance. I am visiting my brother this year and am not sure if I will be able to do this again. I will do it when I come home, maybe before Christmas, but not at my bro's. It's a comfort factor.
This is an exciting visit out to my brothers, it is a first time visit for me to his house so I will be on totally unfamiliar turf. Excited but a little nervous. So, as odd as it sounds, I am taking my own pillow (the one with Jim's shirt buttoned around it under the pillowcase). I smile because that is basically taking up most of the suitcase, so I had to pack less clothes. Not that I need a lot of clothes for 3 days, but I still found it amusing. Ah the little things in life.

So, on this note, I go back to the tough job of thinking about the glorious turkey that awaits.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Found under the bed

Oh boy!!

I went looking under my bed today. Looking for the winter clothes I had folded and put away last year. Well, see, since it was last year I couldn't quite remember where I had put them. I think I used one of those vacuum air seal bags they show on tv and you can buy at Walmart. I just am not sure now where I put it. They weren't under the bed like I thought, but I did find other stuff.

3 pairs of Jim's shoes - very dusty and forgotten. I didn't even realize they were under there. A pair of Taz head slippers. Again, Jim's. Again, forgotten. Lots and lots of tissues, paper and a couple socks that had snuck under there and never got out. Dust bunnies where breeding rabbits.

I didn't find what I was looking for but I found other things. I am not sure what to do with the shoes. I guess, same as what I did with the others - salvation army. It seems the best thing.

It is interesting because over the last 18 months, I have gotten Jim's stuff in certain places where I know where they are. I have some tee shirts in one spot and dress shirts hanging in one area of the closet and I am not surprised when I see them. Follow me? and then to have something pop up throws me off balance. Makes me sit back and go hunh. Makes me sit back and remember.

I have to hit the basement tomorrow and check some areas there. That is more dust. Oh boy.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Not quite humbug

The beginning of the Christmas holidays is closing in. I am feeling better this year at this time, then I was last year at this time. But my partner in this is missing. I am not sure if I wrote about it last year or not, but Jim was the spirit of Christmas. I mean, he would really get into decorating the tree and putting up lights and sending cards out and my 'feel' to the holiday was me getting caught up in his happiness. I am going today to do some gift shopping for others and maybe being out and about will help.
These two pics were taken up north at my friends house in NH. Her two sons and our dog Gryphon were just chilling with Jim. It was sometime around Christmas or New Years I believe. The photos were taken with a 35mm film camera so the color is a bit off after all this time. But it makes it more fun.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Our truest power

"Our ability to love is our truest power,
our greatest power as human beings." -
Paul Michael Glaser

A quote from one of my childhood heroes - Starsky. Yep of Starsky and Hutch, 1975 a couple of cute cops and a wicked cool car. I was a fan. I owned that sweater he wore, the sneakers he had on and even painted my bike red with a white stripe. I had a book plastered with photos and articles from Teen beat and other teen magazines.
The love he spoke about that he and his wife Elizabeth had was something very special. You could hear it in his voice.
He met her while driving down Santa Monica Boulevard in Hollywood. They smiled at each other, then Paul motioned for Elizabeth to pull over, flirted with her and then invited her out for Chinese food. Well as the story goes, they both knew that there was a connection. It was love.
He went on to star in Starsky and Hutch and they went on to get married.
In 1981, Elizabeth contracted HIV through a blood transfusion while giving birth to the couple's first child, Ariel, and unkowingly passed it on to her children thru breastfeeding. They didn't find out about the virus until four years later, at which time both Ariel and son Jake (born October 1984) were also found to be HIV positive.
Ariel Glaser died in August 1988; Elizabeth Glaser died in 1994, after founding the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation in 1988.
Paul Michael Glaser and his wife had a very special love for each other.
He writes about his grief. "I think it is important to acknowledge our powerlessness in our understanding of 'grieving', because while we grieve for the physical presence of those we have loved and lost, we are also grieving for our being powerless to prevent it."
Powerless and frustrated are two feelings that I am familiar with.
I read an interview the other day from Rhonda Mac, comedian Bernie Mac's wife. He died just recently and she talked about her grieving. She said one time she walked into their bedroom. "I could smell his cologne. I inhaled and I said, 'You're here'. I was turning around and saying, 'Hey Bernard'. It stayed with me for about five minutes."
It is something many of us grieving the loss of our loved one feels. A fleeting moment of comfort. I know I get this from Jim's flannel shirts. Close your eyes. Take a deep breath, know that though he is gone, you are not alone. That you can be strong.
She goes on to say she still feels the comedian's presence at home. "When I turn a corner, I'm still thinking, 'I'm going to see him. I've had moments where I've woken up and I've sworn I could feel him smacking me on the back of the leg. I'll say, 'That hurts. I told you to stop. You're still so heavy-handed, even on the other side.'" Those moments are "very comforting," she says with a smile.

Our ablity to love is our truest power. To love and be loved.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Bizarro Dream

i just woke up.

its 6 15am. i can't see the keyboard through the sleepy eyes.

i had to write this down.


That was written this morning. I woke from a dream and lay thinking about it for a couple seconds and realized I needed to write it down. It had very clear images and was in color and even good 'sound'. I wrote it down but it was in some strange early morning not awake language so I am translating -

I was in a car with my friend Cindy and an old old boss of mine (of Jim and mine). We started out talking about Cindy's cat (cindy doesn't own a cat) and how Cindy's cat was to be used to 'service' another friends cat. Cindy wasn't sure it could be done without some human being scratched. The old boss asked if the cat still had claws and I was sitting in the back seat and in my head (in my head in my dream) I envisioned Cindy pushing on the cats paw to extend the claws. She didn't do that in the dream, I just imagined it. You with me so far?

Cindy said something about her cat not being the problem but the other cat, 'man he has some claws.' And we all laughed. I stopped to think about how her male cat was going to service the other male cat and then in an instant the thought left me.

The old boss then asked how I was doing and was I missing Jim a lot. I said yes of course, I miss his laughter. Then he said "oh well we didn't know he laughed, we only knew him as a blood sucking leech, you knew him a lot better" (yes a quote from a dream).

Cindy and I both told the guy in loud voices for a car that Jim was always laughing. The guy then asked if I would give a 5 minute speech at a dinner in Jim's honor.

It was then that Cindy asked me if she should make this turn and I said yes and suddenly we were way off going the way home. I realized we were in the wrong part of town and having to double back to get to the house. I started to say this and point, and then woke up.

All I could think of was what I wanted to say "I knew him as a man of laughter, so full of laughter.

"blood sucking leech". That's a hell of a term to hear in a dream. Hunh. Interesting because the old old boss is the one that fired Jim suddenly and with no warning or reason. Also interesting because my other good friend who knew both the old boss and Jim was talking to me last night. I guess that got stuck in my head.

Not quite sure what my brain was doing with Cindy's cat.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Selfish and space

Something I didn't realize till I saw this picture. And studied it a bit.
I was a bit selfish. Or maybe needy in a certain aspect. It came to me as I looked at this picture and where it was taken.

I remember this picture because it was taken at our home in Boston, just before we went to the Halloween party in PA that was a yearly event. We didn't always make it to the party, and we were in Boston this year, but it was a fun event my cousin threw and we tried to go as often as possible. I went this year without really knowing what my costume would be, just one of Batman's villianess loves. I ended up being Poison Ivy, a redheaded arch villianess that shows up in one of the movies but in many of the comics.

Jim had worked hard on the Batman outfit. The mask was not quite right and on my way home from work I found a rubber one based on the then new movie. I am glad I found the pics that have him in almost the same pose. That top one was, again, one that I hadn't seen in years and had forgotten it existed. I really love looking at/sorting thru pics.

It was perfect and he looked great. He had worked on getting the bat symbol correct and debated the points of having the oval around the bat or not and what material to make the cape out of. He put thought into it. And I think in the end, it showed it.

So onto the part of my being selfish.

The first pic was taken in my 'office' in our house in Boston. A room that was totally 'me'. See the dalmatians on the shelves - me. I am sitting here writing this from a room that is both 'office' and library and closet area for me. Neither was really Jim's space. Though his exercise equipment was there, and his comics are there, I took over this room. In a house with only 4 rooms and a small basement, I took one of the rooms and made it more mine than his.

It was the same in our apartment before the townhouse. One room was a guest room/office/library. It was a place for me to put up posters and books. Most of them mine.

To show it wasn't all about me, in our townhouse we had 3 bedrooms - and never any company, so one room was his to do with and one was mine. In Boston, Jim did have a room on the first floor for his space. I guess as I type this out and remember, it wasn't really as bad as I first thought (which is why I type this stuff out, so I can help my swiss cheese brain remember).

But, Jim did always allow me to have the space. We both respected each others need to have some personal space and it seems he was more willing to fill my need for space over his need. He never spoke about it, but helped me by putting the computer and shelves where I could use them daily.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Couch potatoes

Spent the night sorting out pictures. I decided to show some of Jim and his dogs, relaxing. Anytime Jim was on the couch, Mercury and Tigger were there with him. I think he is the reason they are now couch potatoes. Yes, they went on long long walks, but in the end, he would put a movie in and cuddle up with them. Sometimes if I moved quick, I could slide in next to him. Sometimes we would have a dog between us. Now I have carried on the tradition and will sit on the couch with a dog on either side. They don't climb into my lap the way they did for Jim.
I just realized Jim is on the same couch thru all the pics. Um. Yep. It lasted a long time and did it's duty. It has been replaced. By this nice white one - which is why the blue cover is there.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

A new favorite pic of mine

While moving some files from a disc to my computer, I discovered some photos I had not seen in a long time/forgotten about. This is my new favorite of Jim. In his Bizarro Superman shirt, with the white flowers and the bright sunshine and that hint of a smile.

At the dog park on a beautiful sunday afternoon.

Jim in action

Jim in Motion. The following pics are from various events. Some were taken of Jim when he wasn't expecting it so he wasn't 'posing' for them.

He played Auctioneer for our cinema club and had a blast trying to get members to bid on various items.

The next set were taken at a family reunion touch football game. Jim is there in the dark blue shirt with tan shorts. Trying to out run those two girls.

A pass is being tossed his way, and my brother is yelling "go long!"

He is running for it.

Caught and he slides down onto the ground.

At our cinema club, this was taken before they knew it.

This was taken when they knew it - and then retaken - thanks to Jim and that bunny ear thing he does. Some time I have to do a post filled with just Jim giving people bunny ears in the pics. There are a lot of shots like that.

Tears and trashmen

I am doing some more of that cleaning today. Well, actually I did the major stuff yesterday, today it is laundry and watching movies.

Highlight of my day yesterday was freaking the man at the dump out.

I tossed an excerise ellipictal trainer that Jim bought me 8 years ago for christmas. I actually picked it out and swore I would use it. Just like a little kid. I did for a bit but then he used it more and I sort of stopped. It sat in the room for the last 2 years not used by either of us because of a broken foot pedal. This was a stand on it and push the handles and step on the pedals to make it go dealie and without being able to step on the pedals it wasn't much good.

So, I struggled to get the heavy beast downstairs, I hauled it outside and bungie corded it into the trunk and took it to the dump. At the dump the guy looked at me and the bike and said "where is your help?". I looked back at him and said I have no help, it's just me." He said I had to throw it into the dumpster, I couldn't just set it next to it. I don't know why but that defeated me. I looked at him, started tearing up and said okay I will, and started out do just that. I was overwhelmingly tired all of a sudden.

It was that 'you have to do it' thought. I couldn't come that far and not get it out of my car so I got out. Not knowing how I would do what he asked. He came around to the trunk and he grabbed one end of it and helped me. I had tears in my eyes and was wiping my sleeve with my shirt and all I could think of was that I came that far.

Well, we got it up into the dumpster and it was mostly him doing it. I got in the car and drove off about 30 feet and parked and cried some more. Why? I don't know. I looked down at my filthy arm where something smeared on it, my very dirty fingernails and my red eyes. I just had to release the emotion of one, 'it was gone' thought and two, sadness .

When I thought about it later, I was reminded of when my brother came and helped me clear out some of the basement. Jim's excerise stuff when then. And a few months ago the other big excerise multi trainer was given to a friend. I am clearing out things of his that I won't have use for and that really are too big for this small house. As nice as it makes the room, it makes me sad to see it go.

As I write that I note in my head that much of Jim is still in the house. Comics, books, some clothing, action figures and lots of photos. His fingerprint is still very strong here. I have been told that over time this will change and be more muted. But at this time, I can't imagine even if I were to move tomorrow, having a place that wouldn't have some of Jim in it.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Money money money

From Abba and more recently Mama Mia. Somehow the lyrics just really fit.

I work all night, I work all day, to pay the bills I have to pay
Ain't it sad
And still there never seems to be a single penny left for me
That's too bad

In my dreams I have a plan
If I got me a wealthy man
I wouldn't have to work at all, I'd fool around and have a ball

Money, money, money
Must be funny
In the rich man's world
Money, money, money
Always sunny
In the rich man's world

All the things I could do
If I had a little money
It's a rich man's world
A man like that is hard to find but I can't get him off my mind
Ain't it sad
And if he happens to be free I bet he wouldn't fancy me
That's too bad
So I must leave, I'll have to go
To Las Vegas or Monaco
And win a fortune in a game, my life will never be the same

Money, money, money
Must be funny
In the rich man's world
Money, money, money
Always sunny
In the rich man's world

All the things I could do If I had a little money
It's a rich man's world
Money, money, money
Must be funny
In the rich man's world
Money, money, money
Always sunny
In the rich man's world

All the things
I could do
If I had a little money
It's a rich man's world
It's a rich man's world

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A yellow house

I have talked of doing this for years...literally since we moved here back in 2002. Something to make the house 'pop' and stand out and look different than all the others on the street. All the other streets of the city.

Well, the painting is done. I picked the color and the accent color. Here are some daily pics of the transformation.
At the start -

After one day -
Special look to the windows -

And completed - a wonderful finish to the coolest house on the block now!

Not a great picture, I may update it with one taken from a real camera and not just my cellphone camera.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

November 9th Diabetes Blog Day

I just read on a good friends blog that today is the annual Diabetes blog day.
Jim had diabetes since he was 39. When he was 38 he started to pee alot in the middle of the night, drink lots of water and look sort of pale. He also lost a lot of weight, but he thought that was because he was working out and such. It wasn't.
He felt sick one night and we went to the ER. They took a glucose test and it came back at 700. They said they didn't know how he was alive. Anyway that was the start of the diabetes dance.
He lived with it, suffered with it, raged at it, submitted to it and never beat it. He took insulin shots and watched his diet and cheated on his diet. The diabetes was a good reason why he died. It effects different people different ways. Some lose feeling in toes and fingers and thus lose toes as our friend did and my father did. Others have problems in their heart and other major organs. As Jim did.
There are so many ways to assist diabetics now and new tcchnology is coming out everyday. The insulin pump is a great alternative to needles. A simple device that monitors levels as you go thru your day. Easier than a shot. Jim had to give himself shots several times a day. I never was able to do this for him. I guess if I had to I would have but it always gave me the jeebies.
I often tested my blood along side Jim's and was able to learn that my sugar level is under control. I do know that in my family diabetes is not a worry, but blood pressure is.
Today is Diabetes Blog day. November 14th is World Diabetes Day. Information is sent out to all over the world in many formats...not just blogs.
Their campaign this year is Children and Diabetes - No Child Should Die of Diabetes.
Here is a quote from their website -
Diabetes is a deadly disease. Each year, almost 4 million people die from diabetes- related causes. Children, particularly in countries where there is limited access to diabetes care and supplies, die young.
  • Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA), a build-up of excess acids in the body as a result of uncontrolled diabetes, is the major cause of death in children with type 1 diabetes. With early diagnosis and access to care, the development of severe DKA should be preventable.
  • .
  • Insulin was discovered more than 85 years ago. Today children in many parts of the world still die because this essential drug is not available to them.
  • .
  • Children with diabetes should monitor their blood sugar regularly to help control their diabetes. This monitoring equipment is often unavailable or not affordable.
  • .
  • In Zambia, a child with type 1 diabetes can expect to live an average of 11 years. In Mali, the same child can expect to live for only 30 months. In Mozambique the child is likely to die within a year.
Be aware for yourself, your children, your loved ones and your friends. Diabetes is just no fun.


One widow I met said that her life as like a purse turned upside down, its contents crashing to the ground, scattering and breaking all over.“That was my life." Then she said "I’m like, where do I start picking up pieces, and what do I do? I had no idea what to do, it is difficult to talk to family and friends about my feelings."

Though they try to help her through the grieving process, she said they do not always understand.

Me, I would liken it to a wall hanging. A big handmade one that has the thick threads and the wonderful twists and turns and colors in the weaving. The threads of life. With Jim and I supplying the threads and pattern. We were beating the twists and adding color each day. Our life together took us years to find and once together we weren't letting anything stop the joining of our threads. I would say we found some knots along the way. We worked them out and continued on. We had splashes of fun and that was the color.

Yes, a tapestry of our life. A beautiful work of two people in love and loving and as such laughing. It also was unfinished and suddenly stopped. Jim's death was a cut across the weave and threads to left in shock and some tangled and others just never to be picked up again.

Cut off straight across in the middle of the weaving and there are these threads hanging down, raw and rough and not knowing where to go. Those are me. Those threads are the rest of what was our life. Gone. Seeing the pieces on the other side of the loom of life and not able to reach them anymore. Dreams and goals and hopes.

We were in the middle of the weaving. Who does that? who ruins a beautiful thing, why? Why?

No, those confused threads didn't know how to start the weaving up again. Feeling like the weaver dropped it and left it on it's own to start all over half way thru the beautiful work that was life.

How to pick up the pieces? Which ones to start with? It was tough. It took a long time and yet it still feels like yesterday.

Oh, the threads have started weaving themselves again, but it is slow and it hurts when they touch each other. There is pain because of the missing element in the threads, it is not found in the fabric, it is not there anymore to make make the weave whole again, to add a joy and color to the piece. That missing element is Jim.

Wish me luck

Wish me luck.

Today at 4pm I am holding the first "young widows in baltimore" meeting. I was feeling depressed at my 2nd year demarc and tried to get into another grief group. All of them that I found were just not close by. So, I went to which is a very wide open website for people to create a group/club and others to search for what they may want/need.

I found the cinema club I (and Jim) belonged to for 5 years there. At I started one for Young Widows/widowers.I scheduled a meeting last month and was the only one there, but that was more a time and date issue. This month there are 4 yes's to coming and 2 maybe's.

I am not sure exactly what we will talk about but I think it will be introductions and such.Next month I hope to be in a library or more private place than a restaurant. The idea is much like this forum. To let others that have lost spouses and partners to know they are not alone in the sea of family and friends that try to understand.

Early after Jim's death I attended a hospice based Young widwows grief group and it was 6 weeks. It helped immensely to be able to speak to someone who was young and had lost their partner suddenly and unexpectedly. I didn't know where else to go for some help, it had been 3 months and I had other groups turning me away because "it was too soon" I was told by one grief group. I started this blog to get some of the hurt, anger, frustration and mostly to not lose memories that were very precious to me. I may not ever lose them, but I know with medication I am taking my memory is not what it used to be.

One thing I found in that group was that no matter what problem I had come to face, it’s always better to have someone who has been through same thing and talk about feelings that will be genuinely understood. Some of the women had lost their husbands 3 or 4 years ago. But the group ended and the friendships we had promised each other sort of floundered because of other influences.

What I would like to try and create with this meeting is a group of widows/widowers who can talk about their grief and how they handled it. Vent, or cry or offer tips to each other. But also a group that can go shoot pool or play minature golf or sit and have dinner and not worry about being that 5th person out.

I am not sure what we will talk about this afternoon, but I am going in positive because the response I have gotten were one of need for something closer to home. That was my objective, to start a group for young widows that didn't involve an hour or longer drive to reach it. Each month we may have more members and I know the way groups work, some will come and go. I feel good just for starting it up, I can only hope for it's success in filling a need here.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Once a week

As much as possible, I take pictures. I am sure you can tell from the blogs. I like to take pictures. However, I often wish I had a little camera in my head that would let me take a photo of what I am seeing and then think "wouldn't that be a cool pic!". It usually is a something that changes so fast that I can't whip the camera out. I want, well you know, a bionic camera eye.
I purchased a DSLR camera (digital single lens reflex camera) last year and have not used it to it's potential. I am also experimenting with the capabilities of my new smartphone camera. So, one blog a week will be some photos that I have taken in that week, from either the DSLR or the G1. Sometimes it will be what I call an 'artsy' photo and sometimes just people in an unposed spur of the moment, true life shot.
To start the fun off I offer these from the DSLR -
Our neighborhood had a community garden this summer here a couple of the little helpers. They were very enthusiastic about having things grow. Planting some seeds and then watching it - as if the seed would sprout before their very eyes.
I love tiger lilies. I love the bright vibrant color.
Do have the Bulls or Frogs or Horses or some other animal sculpture that are decorated by various groups and placed all over your city? I know they were big in the late 90's. We have Fish here. This is the back end of the Fish sculpture down the street from me. I love the colors here.
This is part of a mural that is near our city zoo. I love the eyes and the Crocodile smile that you can see here. Do you here the ticking inside? (think peter pan)
And these 'still lifes' were taken with my new G1 camera. The camera on the smartphone is good in good lighting with a steady hand, but not so great in low light or just to point and shoot. Anyway, these were vegatables brought to the City food bank that I where I volunteer. As soon as I saw them the little camera in my head started clicking and I was glad that I at least had the camera in the phone. I found the lettuce to be 'crisp' in the photo, the bok choy to look like it was just picked and the colors of the squash, purple califlower and radishes to be great.