Tuesday, April 29, 2008


Eleven months.

It has been a heartwrenching journey. I still wait at night to hear the door slam on the truck and his feet on the stairs. I still wonder why it was him that is gone. Eleven months later and the pain of his death is still, still here with me. The hole in my chest has scabbed and I am able to get thru whole days at a time without crying. I am not able to get thru any day without desperately missing his touch, laughter, wit, voice and gaze at me.

Jim, I watched the animals grazing last night at the safari like restuarant and all I could think of was you. How much you would enjoy that. It was something we never saw together, but seeing it alone made me very sad you weren't at my side.
Jim, I watched little princesses dancing in the streets of he magical kingdom and it was wonderful to see their smiles. We would have had fun pointing to them and giggling with them. I ache that you weren't there with me.
Jim, my love, I know it will be said that you were there, you were at my side, but I wanted the real living breathing you to love.

Eleven months and I am still hanging in there. I guess you were right.

Jim, I love you. I miss you and I am trying hard to get along with you gone.

Friday, April 25, 2008


A break for a few days while I go on a mini vacation. Not much to say at the moment and I am hoping some sun, some pool and some good friends will be a relaxation.

Hugs to all!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Sense of Scents

I wrote this as a comment on Rachel's blog, but I want to put it down here.

I have never been upset about it before, but since Jim died I have been very sad I have no sense of smell. Yes I can taste food (i know i shouldn't but i do) but no smell. I can't smell his scent in the shirts or his aftershave. I realize after reading rachels blog today that the photos are my link. The photos that I was so sad about this morning. They are the 'smell' of Jim for me.

I was thinking about scent even before I read rachels blog, I was out shopping and my eyes found on a shelf of men's cologne, the Halston z-14. Jim's scent. I remembered one christmas standing in line to buy some for him at a Macy's or some such. The woman was suggesting some other stuff, but Jim had always ever worn that.

So it was a scent filled day.


You know, sitting here looking at some of the pictures that I have of Jim and us, I got very sad. I was thinking back to a time when, no life wasn't perfect, but that captured moment was. And then I thought about why it made me so sad, not because I want to go back to that moment, but more because I realize that there will be no more to be taken. Jim will never again be captured with that huge ear to ear grin on his face and the expression that cries of an embracing of life.

No matter what was thrown at him in the lemon department, Jim found a way to make lemonade in the end.

In between all the crap that he had to suffer thru with work and such, he found a way to squeeze some fun in there. I am glad to have had the time with him I did, but I really don't want him to be gone. I want to come back in a month and show off some new pictures that we took when we went to .....fill in the blank.

I am thirsty for some of Jim's lemonade.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Calm weekend

Just a quiet sunday morning. The summer has started and the heat and humidity were testing me yesterday. Today will be just some rambling sunday morning thoughts.

I am going to call my sister in law today to ask her for some photos that she took of Jim when we were down to visit last March. I have emailed her three times but have gotten no response. None of Jim's family has been in contact with me since august 2007. I have heard that this is not uncommon with in laws and the widows though. My family and my family of friends has helped and offered support and that fills the gap.

I find it odd though that I am living in their house. Well, the one they grew up in and I walk around sometimes touching a wall or looking at a door thinking that as kids Jim and they ran around here. I have an oil tank in the basement covered in 60's graffiti from Jim's sister and friends. It is funny to look at it when I go down there. There is a big trunk down there that is under the stairs and hasn't been opened since Jim and I moved here five years ago. And who knows how long before that. The wine in the cellar that Jim's dad made is still there but more for decoration than for using. I am going to work on organizing the basement in a couple weeks. I have a whole weekend set aside for that.

I did do some work in the backyard. Work that Jim and I talked about doing. A dream that we wanted to do together, but since he is gone, I finished myself. It is one of the few dreams of ours that I can finish myself. We have a plot of dirt/grass/weeds that is 4 foot by 7 foot and I have wanted to put flat stones down there to make it more like a patio. I know I am not doing it like the landscapers and I know that there will be weeds popping thru, but I got about five stones down and it looks okay. There is a calmness to be found in working in the yard. I was on my knees and digging and leveling things off and having two dogs that wanted to help me dig. There was music playing from the boom box and it filled the yard. I thank my dad for teaching me to love classical music. I don't know who has done what in it but I know that I like the music.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

This Light

I received this gift from Linda. Thank you Linda, it touched me deeply and it is beside Jim's urn now.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


In the last six months I have discovered a wonderful group of friends that have come forward to show me that life can go on.

Maybe it's an unconcious thing, but they are there and it helps. I sometimes forget that they are there when I am feeling really way lonely and missing Jim, but sometimes I do remember they are there and know I can call them.

Having a friend come over with no reason other than to just hang out. Not to ask 'how are you doing, what are you going to do with your life, are you getting better'. To let me heal as I need to.

Instead they come to watch a movie, have some dinner or go for a walk with me and the dogs. To talk to me about things going on with them, to plan on things to do in the summer and to gossip about other friends. It is really nice. The feeling of fellowship and acceptance of my limitations is something to count on with a friend.

These are friends that can handle me being grouchy at times because they know I am in the midst of some wild mood swings. They can handle me sending them an email that babbles on about the woes of my life right then. They can handle me calling them and crying. They can handle me saying 'Help, I need to get out of the house'. I am not talking about just one person but a nice half dozen friends that support me in different ways. Some live very close, some I can only reach by phone or email, some are relatives and some I have never met (yet).

Thank you my friends! For the hugs, the rides, the sharing of your time, the comments on the blog, the small gifts to make me feel remembered. Thank you!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Pleasant surprise

I was whizzing thru the hard drive that has all the photos on it and found a folder filled with ones I had forgotten. Here is a montage of them.

Here is Jim at a club annual party. He didn't want his picture taken. But he is still smiling.

Jim and I at Medieval Times in Florida. I am looking a little crispy and not from the alcohol. Florida sun. This is our first taste of Medieval, we had fun, so we went to one of them up here and celebrated Jim's 50th birthday.

Here is Jim doing a very typical Jim thing. Bunny ears. On anyone in the photo. In this case it is the knight. Too funny. I don't know if there are many group shot photos in which Jim is not giving someone bunny ears. Silly man.

These two had me laughing. Mercury relaxing on the couch. What a face!

Saturday, April 12, 2008


So last night I had a memory flash I don't want to forget. Until last night I hadn't thought/remembered this.

Jim's feet. His crappy toes with toenails he would cut too far and they would bleed. It was a regular thing. His skinny ass feet and boney ankles. His white almost hairless skin where no sun touched. You could see where the socks ended because of the line that was there.

And I remembered running my fingers on them. Touching his skin and hearing his voice and yes, licking his toes. I wished I had taken a photo of them. Weird as it sounds, I realized as I started thinking of them, that I miss that part of him too.

Cleaning the bathroom tonight I pulled out the aftershave he used. The same brand in all the years that I knew him. Halston z-14. I put some on my wrists, neck and under my nose. It's the bottle I got him for christmas. His last christmas.

I feel like in some way I am committing self abuse. Forcing myself to feel this pain that I have kept bottled up for weeks. Forcing to get it out I guess. yes, it has been here and has been kept under the lock and key that makes me think things are getting better. Sometimes they are and sometimes they aren't. They will be better tomorrow because this coming out and it's a purge.

I am taking a deep breathe and going down to sit with the dogs and watch some Marx brothers movies. I will try not to think about the image of Jim on the couch, stretched out with a dog on one side, and his feet on my lap. His feet.

added comment - an hour after posting this and I am feeling better. I went downstairs, watched some tv and put my head on my dog Mercury's chest. It was nice to feel a chest breathing and hear the heartbeat. I could close my eyes and imagine in bed with Jim. But he wasn't that hairy. Anyway, the cat started purring and came and layed down next to me. It was a wonderful festival of unconditional love. Thank god for our pets.

Not today

There will come a day
when the tears of sorrow
will softly flow into
tears of remembrance...
and your heart will begin
to heal itself...and grieving
will be interrupted by episodes
of joy...and you will hear
the whisper of hope.
There will come a day
when you will welcome the
tears of remembrance...
as a sunshower of the soul...
a turning of the tide...
a promise of peace.
There will come a day
when you will...
risk loving...
go on believing...
and treasure the
tears of remembering.


I found this poem after a gut wrenching evening of tears and why's and after getting up to find myself on the internet looking for something to make me feel like living again.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Morning at work

I guess the not feeling good/feeling lonely is sort of a purge. I am pleased to say I am feeling better mentally today. Or at least stable and not thinking of things I shouldn't like what really is there here for me anymore and stupid husband, doctors, heart, of the last couple years and why didn't we do things differently. The flowers are blooming and that is a good sign. The daffodils will come back every year to bring the bright sunny color with them. I smile to see them.

I am at work, enjoying the job of building my company website and playing with photographs, graphics and html which I knew nothing about a year ago.

Outside there is 72 degree weather, I have chicken salad, it's sunny out and I am wearing sunglasses.

Hit it.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

warm air

This is sort of just a hit and run. It was a beautiful day - mid 60's, sun was out and a warm breeze. I had my traditional first spring dinner out in the yard tonight. Took a book, turned on the tunes and has a sandwich while the dogs watched from beyond the patio. They would be in my lap if I let them.

Opening the windows and letting the warm air in to freshen up the house is nice. Hearing all the neigbhors and goings ons reminds me of Rear Window with Jimmy Stewart. I can tell you who lives across the alley and what they had for dinner.

I can't quite explain the feelings that I get hit with, except being home, and alone, really sucks. I think I am finally getting used to it. And then, bam. So maybe the time I am feeling used to it will stretch, but after having someone to turn to for so many years, not having someone is a tough act. There are things that I am just too tired to do and would have Jim to help with. To act together in getting done. I know I will get past it, but god, I sure miss him.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

bleh night

It's quarter to three, there's nobody here, except you and me....

Well, it's not really quarter to three, and there is nobody here but me. The song doesn't quite make it.

Odd evening. I had a decent day, came home and was eating dinner when "King of Queens" came on tv and I heard the lyrics and lost all semblance of control. My dogs got my sandwich and I cried for awhile.

"My eyes are getting weary. My back is getting tight.
I’m sitting here in traffic on the Queensborough Bridge tonight.
But I don’t care 'cause all I want to do
Is cash my check and drive right home to you.

Cause Baby, all my life, I will be driving home to you."

Jim would drive home and call me as he was driving to tell me he was on his way. That he was driving home to me. He didn't say that because of the song, but just because. I have heard that song in the last few months and each time I can feel my chest start to clench. Jim was a Doug Heffernan kind of guy. Simple, wanting more and working hard.

From that moment at the table on the night spiraled downward. How do you explain the feeling that engulfs you as you think of what is lost and can't be touched anymore. I ended up going up to bed and sleeping for a few hours. Which is why I am up now.

I got up, took a dog for a short walk and sat with them and watched tv for a bit. MASH is my new sitcom of choice. A couple months ago it was Andy Griffith and I love lucy, but I guess I have moved up in decades. I ended the evening with a dog on either side of me and each giving me comfort. I needed it. Their simple action of laying their heads on my lap helped me get grounded again and settle down. I petted them and talked to them and watched Radar and Hawkeye and the gang.

The evening is ending better than it started. I just hope I can get up in the morning for work. It's times like this that I wish I had more sick days.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Bismo's Dream

An amazing email from a friend -------------------------

"Betts, I still read the blog regularly (even if I don't comment much), I don't envy you the journey but I think it's great that you can share it with so many.

I must admit I still think of Jim pretty often, and can't believe it's getting close to a year...I actually had a dream about Jim a few months ago, been meaning to mention this for quite a while but never seems like something I wanted to sit down and write.

I dreamed that while my wife and I were walking the strip in Las Vegas last fall. watching some sidewalk shows, Jim and some other guy came around the corner, laughing and talking!

I took him aside and told him you were worried sick about him and we'd thought he was gone, he just smiled and said it was alright, he'd talk to you soon... but didn't seem worried.

I actually got angry and started berating him about the way he was treating people... and interestingly enough at that point he wasn't Jim any more, he was now one of my co-workers who sometimes has been known to make mistakes. Almost as if my subconscious couldn't deal with chewing out the dead guy? The dream freaked me out but sure was interesting!

I apologize for not mentioning it sooner but again, never felt like the right time to just sit down and put it on "paper". But it was good to see him, and he was happy.
- Bismo"

Isn't that just amazing? I am still shaking my head and wondering just how this all works. My mood swung so much as I read the dream. Imagine, Jim was in other people's dreams. I can't stop smiling as I think about it. Okay, to be honest, some tears too, but they are because it means that Jim is being remembered by others...besides me. What a wonderful feeling for me that is to know. And heck, Bismo was willing to berate Jim in my behalf. But the last line - "he was happy" - made it very special.

I can stretch this a bit, maybe Jim is visiting other friends of ours and they are forgotten dreams. Oh and the 'other guy' he turned the corner with may have been Jim's brother who died from cancer, long and ugly, just six weeks before Jim had. I can see them roaming Vegas together.

Backround - Bismo and I have been friends since sometime around...what? 1985? ...and when he and Jim met after we married, they were comfortable right away. Accepted into the 'family'. That was important. I think it was the act of Bis offering Jim a beer that did it. Again, it was Star Trek fans finding other fan friends.

I have now started thinking about other dreams I have had - non Jim dreams but ones with people I know in them. My Mom is the only other person I have seen in dreams that is now passed away. That was a few months ago when she was helping me pack up the kitchen. Well, in the dream she was. For Bismo's dream I would love to find out when you had the dream and compare it to mine and see if Jim was in both our dreams on the same night or same week or something. Just curiousity.

Thank you Bismo for sharing the dream remembrance with me.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Tripped over them

I was going thru some pic files, looking for photos of my dad and all of his children. I wanted to send him four photos, one with each of us and him. Not all four of us together, but more like a one on one thing. I think I got all of them. So, in looking for these, I tripped over a couple of Jim photos that I have to post.

Here is Jim at my Dad's farm. He is playing horseshoes, he was good at this. To watch his smooth hand action as he tossed the shoe and to see him line it all up, if I said it was poetry in motion you may laugh because it was just a game of horseshoes, but I saw it that way. He focused on getting things right and enjoyed this moment for both the relaxed social time it gave him and also the fun of winning. Which he did, a lot.

My older brother and our dog Mercury are also in the pic (my brother is the one in blue). I like this picture because it is a natural candid shot. Just a couple of guys having some fun. I was just walking around taking photos and caught this moment. It was taken at one of the multi-family reunions/picnics that my Dad hosts in the summer.

Now for another very candid shot, here is a rare picture of Jim.

His backside.

Yep, I realized when looking at it that I haven't seen his backside in awhile because all the photos are of his face and front and such. I miss his cute little backside. I am glad I tripped over this.

As a note, Jim never wore shorts. Even in the summer he stuck to the khakis or dockers. The only time he exposed his legs was to go swimming. This was taken at the other end of the horseshoe area. The guys in the distance are a younger brother and older cousin.

This next pic is a real surprise. It is photo of a younger Jim, pre betsy. He is with his two children, John and Michelle. I am thinking they just got off a ride at a theme park or such. I don't know. I love the looks on all their faces. Happiness and fun. Jim looks pleased and proud to be their Dad.

And now, as requested by a friend, some more pet pics. Tigger and Mercury, then Mercury, then Tigger, then Jim's cat Figaro.

Figaro is sitting on the table that is by the front window. He is a beautiful tuxedo cat. He was Jim's cat for sure. He is now 15 years old and has become very friendly with me. It is nice that he is. I know it is because he misses Jim's attention. I know I have mentioned this before, but I was thinking of it again tonight.
It is nice to sit and pet him and hear the purring noise that the cats make. Very hypnotic. I have turned off the tv some nights just to listen to his purrs. Of course, as soon as I do that Tigger gets all attitude about the fact that I am giving the cat attention and not her. Dogs. What can you do?
Looking at pictures is a balancing act. I don't know why the last couple days have been especially tough. I keep finding the pain happening and the tears coming and I am not home so I know I can't really let loose. Otherwise my face looks funny and people stare. I mean, not that I care, but it still bugs me. So I come home and cry a bit and cuddle with the pet family here.
Finding these photos have soothed things a little. But the balance in sadness at looking at the photo and thinking this is gone, but a smile in remembering what we had and what an interesting addition Jim was to this world and to me.