Friday, May 29, 2009

Can you read my mind?

I think many times in the last two years, I have mentioned in my blogs that Jim was a Superman. He loved comic books and superheros. He was always helping those in need from a small thing like a ride somewhere to helping them have the wedding they could never afford by holding it in our house. It was just his way.

Superman was one of Jim's favorite movies. He watched the version with Christopher Reeve too many times to count. A kazillion or more. We have lots of Superman stuff in the house. Many of them are t-shirts. The backwards S symbol on the right is from one of his favorites. It's a purple Bizarro Superman shirt. If you don't know what that means, google it. I wore it to sleep in last night and it is like eating chocolate. The shirt is a comfort and gave me warm smiles and good memories of Jim because when he wore it he was in good spirits and happy. A friend sent me this song in an email this morning. It seemed a good thing to share.

Sometimes with Jim I did feel like his 'Lois' and wondered if he could read my mind because he would know what to say, when to give me a hug and just how to make me smile. I can only hope that Jim is reading my mind now. He is missed here.

Can You Read My Mind

Can you read my mind?
Do you know what it is you do to me?
Don't know who you are
Just a friend from another star

Here I am, like a kid at the school
Holding hands with a god or a fool
Will you look at me, quivering,
Like a little girl, shivering
You can see right through me.

Can you read my mind?
Can you picture the things I'm thinking of?
Wondering why you are
All the wonderful things you are.
You can fly - You belong to the sky
You and I could belong to each other.

If you need a friend,
I'm the one to fly to
If you need to be loved
Here I am
Read my mind!

Will you look at me, quivering,
Like a little girl, shivering
You can see right through me.

If you need a friend,
I'm the one to fly to
If you need to be loved
Here I am
Read my mind!

Read my mind.

Jim's remembered and growing

Last year I sent an email out asking friends and family to do Jim the honor by planting something. My Aunt and Uncle did this. There is a beautiful flowering bush in their front lawn that they call "Jim's Bush". They sent me a picture about a month ago when it was in bloom. I love it.

When I stayed at my brothers at Easter time I was able to plant a bush in his backyard in Jim's honor. I used my brother backyard because ours will not fit any kind of plant other then in a pot. Anyway, in my brothers yard now is a small shrub that has a very pretty blue/purple bloom and is said to attract butterflies. It is called the caryopteris Dark Knight. I knew as soon as I saw it, I had to have one. Jim being the Superhero Comic book hero that he was, it was perfect. I put a small stone near it that had "I Love You" etched on the side. I hope it grows big and bushy and flowery.

I especially liked the "attracts" butterflies part of this plant because one thing that has stuck in my head is the wives tale - when you see a white butterfly, it is a loved one watching over you. I saw many white butterflies last year and hope to see them again this year.

Several other friends planted in Jim's honor. My friend Robin has a plants in the form of the Superman symbol in her backyard and another friend sent me a photo of the flowers she planted in her front yard.
I have been very lucky in being able to not only keep green and alive but also to have thrive, three plants that were sent in an arrangement to the funeral home at Jim's viewing. I don't know who sent them. I wish I did so I could thank them. I have not had luck in the past with houseplants. One was a peace lily that lives in my bathtub. In a planter, but in the tub because it has the best light for the plant.
The other two plants are at work and one is some vine that is amazing in it's growth. I smile as I see it because it is doing so well it makes me happy. Of course it is one of the 'easiest' houseplants to grow, but still, I used to have a black thumb. Now I feel more confident. This plant represents a love that someone had for Jim, and by them sending it, wanted me to know that he was special, not just to me but to others. The plant is a lot longer than this one in the photo, the vines reach down almost 3 feet. It has been fun to watch it grow over the last two years.

I am going to the nursery up the road tomorrow to look for another 'Jim' plant and try to see what I can find. I love the thought that plants are growing strong in honor of Jim.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

More thoughts

Here is the one thing that has been on my mind on and off today.
When Jim died I went into a pretty severe shock. There was all kinds of things with all kinds of people and no one really said 'okay betts here's what we need to do'. Looking back it seems things were figured out in a haphazard way. We were all in a bit of a shock. Some things were sort of done but others were forgotten. As I reflect maybe I should have done more. I created the photo board for his viewing and it was an all day project that taxed my emotions as I looked at our years in the pictures. His years.
Anyway, what I am sad about and thinking about is that there was no 'wake'. No time after the viewing for all of us friends and family to be comfortable and have some food together and talk and remember him. It makes me sad now. I feel like it should have happened, but no one organized it. The viewing itself was very nice and lots and lots of people showed up and lots spoke about how Jim affected their lives. So I will hold those memories dear to me.
I remember my father saying that Jim was like a son to him. This really struck deep in me because my dad is not one prone to say things like this. Many years ago I remember my Mom telling me how proud she was of Jim and I and that struck deep also.

Those days

For Jimbo

Thank you for the days,

Those endless days,

Those sacred days you gave me.

I'm thinking of the days,

I won't forget a single day,

Believe me

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Betsy and Mercury and Tigger

Taken last week by a friend. I don't have many of me and the dogs because I am usually the one behind the camera. Which I don't mind, except sometimes, it is nice to see yourself. Then I grab at my hair and think 'oh my god why didn't he tell me it looked like that'. Mercury and I went out for a walk and the photographer followed. Then we came back and snuggled on the back porch with Tigger.


Monday, May 25, 2009

As long as I live

As long as I can
I will look at this world
For both of us.

As long as I can
I will laugh with the birds,
I will sing with the flowers,
I will pray to the stars,
For both of us.

As long as I can
I will remember
How many things
On this earth
Were your joy,
and I will live
As well as you
Would want me to live
As long as I can.

For Both of Us," Wintersun

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Not much here

It's thursday and it's warm out and I am not sure where this will go but I wanted to write. So it will be a rambling blog.

My life right now is a creative mass of super stress and super brain exploding situations.

Super stress at work as the clock ticks down on the date of the Community Health fair that I am the organizer of and is being sponsored by the office. I am finding exibitors, making calls, emails and checking off lists. I didn't know it would be this difficult or that I would be doing it alone. Wow, doesn't that sound familiar.

Brain exploding situation is Mercury and what is happening with him. The vet said it was a matter of one or two months depending on his pain level. The cancer is back, the pain is still there when he eats sometimes. He is quiet and snuggly most of the time. Looking at me with those brown eyes that are melting my heart and making me cry for him. Then ten minutes later, if it involves getting up and going outside for a walk...he is ready, chipper and up.

It hurts just to know that he won't be around soon. But I am trying to do the best I can for him. I am afraid that I just won't know 'when' the time will come. I don't want him to be in pain, but I don't want to let him go yet either.

There is more stacked on top of both of these, but that's the big gist of it. Last week was the super stress, this week has been more 'get 'er done' type of mood. The health fair is sneaking up on me (June 20) and I have to get more people locked into coming.

I realized today at lunch with a friend that I have not eaten at home since Monday at lunch. Monday night I went to dinner with friends, same for Tuesday night and Wednesday night. Wednesday lunch I was out with our office to celebrate one woman getting her masters. I will be home eating left overs from the doggie bags tonight. It's been fun, different foods each night and different places to enjoy. Tuesday night was some really great Greek food, yesterday lunch was a fantastic turkey cheeseburger with sweet potato fries. Yummy.

Monday, May 18, 2009


I Find Your Love
I'll catch your smile on someone's face
Your whisper in the wind's embrace
Through diamond stars and songs and dreams
I find your love in everything
The sun, the sky, the rolling sea
All conspire to comfort me
From sorrow's edge life's beauty seems
To find your love in everything
I've come to trust the hope it brings
To find your love in everything
Even as I fall apart,
Even through my shattered heart
I'll catch your smile on someone's face.....amazing grace

The poem was found on a messageboard for those that have lost loved ones. I read it and thought of the smiles that Jim always had. And the special ones he had for me.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Drool and flowers

This past week has been a whirlwind of moments. At work, at home, out and about. Keeping up has been hard to do. And coordinating it has been tricky. My blog posts have been neglected.
Mercury and I go to the vets tomorrow to see what is up. But I already know. He is showing the same symptoms with food that he was showing a few months ago. And the base of his tongue - what is left of it - is very red. I need to see how much he is suffering, if antibiotics and pain meds may help more and make decisions. I was hoping for more time.
That is either the cancer coming back or irratation when he eats. I am trying to make the food up myself and feed him, but he wants to eat, to chew, to taste. He walks around looking for things to try and eat. He is trying so hard to make it work. Then it gets stuck in the front of his mouth and he doesn't have the tongue to push it loose. Then it just becomes a drooling mess.
Home is a challenge because with Mercury sick keeping things clean is nigh impossible. Things like the couch, my pants, my shirt my arms, the kitchen floor - they all get drool in various stages of ickiness on them. I have him regulated to two rooms and outside. I sat down last night to watch Lost and he came up, rubbed his face on my shirt and looked up at me. My shirt was soaked but his eyes stopped me from saying anything. I took the shirt off, wiped the rest of his mouth and chest with it and tossed it in the wash. Then I cried a little for him and yes, for me too and gave him another pain pill.
I have about a dozen or so pictures of the two dogs in the doorway to the house. They love to sit there and just smell the outside. To watch the neighbors up and down the street and enjoy the breeze. I am usually on the steps just below the doorway making sure that a) they don't run out and b) the cat doesn't run out. I was sitting there the other day when I thought "photo op" and came back out with the camera.
The bright light this week was in the wonderful amass of colors in my backyard. I went back out and got some more flowers and potted them for various spots around the yard. I also got this great hose - it is a coil hose. I love it because of the small yard, but especially because of the nozzle. To be able to 'shower' the flowers or 'jet' the concrete where the dogs pee or just 'mist' in the early morning is really neat. It is a simple pleasure, a simple toy, for a simple mind.
The picture to the right is the yard. And it ends just about at the end of the grill in the right corner. Small and cozy. The graffiti on the back wall is mine. I did that one afternoon when I was tired of just looking back there and seeing the fence. It is a larger version of a doodling design that I find myself doing whenever I have paper and a pen and am on the phone. It is different all the time and there is some pyschological things to be said about it, but I don't know what.
I can't remember the name of the flowers in the hangling baskets. Purple bursts of Pleasure. Well, this picture doesn't do them justice, but I absolutely love the colors and find them uplifting when I look at them.
To look out at once was grey cement, grey fence and bare dirt where there should be grass, and see all this is cool for me. I find that I shake my head up and down saying 'yep, you got it right this time'. That makes me smile.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

2 hours

Aren't Saturdays great? It can be either a day of energy and ambition or a day of sloth. I decided to combine the two. Energy for two hours, sloth for two hours. It works.

I got up energized and did some cleaning. My cleaning has become straightening the areas that the public may walk in and see. The upstairs gets a once over and hanging of clothes. Not a great method. Every once in awhile I really attack the other areas - bedroom and office and ignore the downstairs.

Then it was sit hang out in the yard and pretend that I am gardening when really I am talking to the dogs and admiring the plants that are in bloom. Good choices this year and the yard really pops.

I have talked about the Sundays that Jim and I had - drives to no where and days spent together. Saturdays for most of the marriage either he or I or both of us had to work. That was one reason Sundays were so special. The last couple years before he died, I was working 9-5 and M-F, so my Saturdays were my own. I enjoyed this sort of 'personal space' day. I would do chores, run errands and yet still have the quiet house and ability to read or watch tv without worrying about coordinating things with Jim.

It is still strange to have 7 days a week like that now. I have to think about the dogs and cat, but not about the other human and what they might need. It has only been in the last six months that I have really come to realize this. Going to see my brother at Thanksgiving was a turning point in that I traveled, where I wanted and when I wanted. And I could do that again...if I wanted. It is interesting how things sometimes just 'click'. Oh I certainly would happily give up this freedom to have Jim back, but my brain is finally acknowledging that he isn't coming back. Unless I finally do wake up and find that it has been a life lesson for me (think wizard of oz or christmas carol). Though I wonder if it counts when I still talk to him.

So now my relaxing two hours is up and it is onward to errands.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


What an interesting month May is.

I never noticed it before, but there is a lot going on. May 1st is May day. May 2nd, well that's my brothers birthday, May 4th is May the Fourth be with You day, May 5th is Cinco de Mayo day. All that in just one week.

Coming up is Mothers Day, Memorial Day and Jim's memorial day. This is enough special days for 3 months.

I realized tonight that we are becoming our parents. They always said it would happen, but it is. My siblings and I got together this past saturday and we were comparing stories and sharing family events. 3 of the 4 of us talked about falling asleep on the couch around 9pm and then waking just as the news came on at eleven. I was one of those 3. I found myself doing it again tonight. Dinner and dishes done. Dogs walked. Settling down on the couch to watch some tv and finding myself falling asleep.

I thought about how my mom would do that and I would say "no way - if I ever get that tired I would go to bed". Silly young me didn't think that what she was doing was what I was trying to do tonight. Spend time with the kids. I feel like I never really spend time with the dogs except on the couch or on a walk. Mom may have been pushing herself to stay awake so she could be around us as kids. Ah, if we only knew.