Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Dream a Little Dream

 A late night date with my dead husband.

I posted something on the Widow Chick Facebook page about having a dream about my husband. This subject was met with three different responses:

1. Those who've never had a dream about their spouses.
2. Those who have and love those dreams.
3. Those who have and sometimes have difficulty rebounding from them.

I fall into the third category. I (usually) LOVE the dream as it's happening. I'm sometimes just talking to my husband. Or he might just be there in the background.

Other times I found out that he's just been out of town and I immediately forgive him for letting me think he was dead (which, let me tell you, I would never do in real life).

Many times in my dream I'm thinking about all the explaining I'm going to need to do - the move, dating, buying furniture I know he'll hate - but I'm always falling over myself, forgiving him for taking off for the past 10 years.

I wake up disappointed. No, wait. That's the wrong word. Crushed. Sunk. I do everything I can to go back to sleep. And then face what I know will be an off day.

But usually I'm okay the day after. It's kind of like when you dream you've had a fight with someone. You're pissed when you wake up and then your subconscious shrugs it off and everything goes back to normal.

I don't know what it was about this particular dream, but I woke up shocked. Yes. SHOCKED. The first thing I thought was, "My God, I haven't seen him in 10 years." And the next thing I thought was, "I don't know when I'll see him again."

Which was a crushing blow.

10 Years.


I know what you're thinking. It's been 10 years. TEN YEARS. And this is just coming as a shock to me now?

I completely understand why you're confused. Because so am I. Am I really just now digesting the fact that I actually won't see him again?

I have no idea. But it does feel like that initial shock. So while I'm normally able to shake this off by the second day, today has me feeling more drained and weepy than I did yesterday. I feel like my soul has been pummeled and, the truth is, I'm really not sure when I'm going to snap out of this.

See, this is what most people don't understand. 

I'm really going to try and explain this. Just stick with me.

So, after I had that crazy realization ten years after my husband's death that I actually wouldn't be seeing him again, the next thought that popped into my brain is, "But I want to be with him RIGHT NOW."

Now, I've read posts by other widows who've said the same thing and my first thought is that they could be suicidal. I mean, when someone says they want to be with someone who is dead, what does that say to you?

But really for the first time yesterday morning, I kind of got it. I just wanted to be with him. I was so homesick for him that it was a physical ache. And if he can't be with me...why can't I be with him? I wasn't feeling like I wanted to leave this world; I have a great life, wonderful kids, friends I adore, and I'm having a new sofa delivered next week.

No, I don't want to die. I just want to be with my husband.

And I know there are many of you out there who will understand what I mean.

As if that wasn't enough.


This morning I got my kids off to school and I stretched out on my couch. I closed my eyes and I willed myself to go back to sleep, just for a few minutes.

Yes, I was tired (it takes me three hours to get all three kids going to school because of different start times. By the time they leave I already feel like I've put in a full day). But I realized that one of the main reasons why I was trying to get a little catnap in was to see if I could dream about my husband again.

Again, I know what you're thinking.

"She's saying she wants to be with her dead husband and now she's sleeping all of the time. Does anyone know the name of her therapist??"

I know, I know. And I'll call her in the next few days if I can't shake this off.

But it really doesn't come from a place of depression - I just figured if that's the only place I can see him, I might as well give it a try.

Of course, once I got a grip on what I was doing, I popped up, took my shower, and got on with my day. And when I started my car to run my errands, "our song" was on the radio.

I couldn't help but give myself a watery smile in the rearview mirror.

And then I said to the empty (?) car, "Thanks. But it's just not the same."

Thursday, March 16, 2017

I Worry About Worrying

 I'm worried that I'll always be worried.


I was in my car a couple of days ago, thinking about all that has been going on in the last few weeks. Let me give you a brief outline.

1. One daughter on antibiotics for a sinus infection.
2. One dog with a "hot spot" on his paw that he won't stop licking so he was sporting the cone of shame for a while.
3. One daughter with cysts in her ankle so bad she can barely walk.
4. One cat who had a cyst we didn't know about on her stomach burst (I'll spare you the details) and must now have surgery to the tune of several hundred dollars.

My son and I are fine (although I shouldn't have typed that - I'm pretty sure I've jinxed us), but I have thought about going ahead and taking our Christmas picture now with a kid in a boot, a daughter holding up her prescription bottle, and both pets in cones.

As I've told the kids, "If we were horses, they would have shot us by now."

Anyway, as you might imagine, I've been a little anxious lately as I carry this load (and the bills that come with it) on my own. And I was comforting myself as I was driving, thinking that at some point this will pass and things will be okay again.

And then I had this CRAZY realization that probably everyone else had the moment they discovered they were going to be parents, but it's taken me 15 years to really get.

I will never stop worrying. Because it doesn't matter how old my kids get...I will always be a parent.

Well, this sucks.

I'm one of those people who still can't get over the notion that there isn't some sort of end game to this thing called life. That there will be no point when I wake up and the bills will be paid, the family is healthy, the house is in perfect repair, and I'm generally happy with the state of the world.

And if that blessed moment ever does occur, it's hard for me to believe that it won't last.

So, I was sitting at this stoplight, realizing that I was always going to be worried about something.

And that has me worried.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

7:14 PM

I'm taking my youngest daughter in for an MRI tomorrow.

She's had pain in her ankle and two X-rays have proven inconclusive. There wasn't an incident that started the whole thing. She's been in pain for almost two months now - even though she's wearing the dreaded boot.

So tomorrow is the big day. And I've been okay with that. Until 7:14 this evening.

I was driving to pick her up from piano when I started thinking about what it could be. The doctor is fairly sure of what it is and that it can be resolved by wearing the boot or a cast, but she's not 100%. I could tell at the appointment that she waited until the last moment before she mentioned the word "tumor" and then quickly dismissed it as unlikely.

And that's what I thought, too. Until 7:14 tonight.

I had a flashback to about 12 years ago. My oldest daughter, then almost 4-years-old, had been complaining of back pain. When I mentioned it to her pediatrician during a routine check up, she immediately sat straight in her chair and said, "We don't often hear that from kids this age."

We did a urine test to make sure that it wasn't a kidney infection and then, on my 29th birthday, I landed with a thud on my living room chair - pregnant with my third and another toddler in a crib upstairs  - and listened to the doctor tell me that it wasn't a kidney infection.

"At this point, we will want to do a bone scan," she said.

"What are you looking for?" I asked. I hate asking questions I don't want to know the answer to.

"Arthritis or anything out of the ordinary," she replied. "And cancer."

I spent the next week - that's how long it took to get in for the scan - crippled with fear. I tried to imagine how this was going to work. How I would get a toddler to treatments with two babies. I envisioned our lives changing and couldn't even picture the outcome. I went to church and for the first time filled out a prayer card.

While my husband stayed irritatingly calm.

"They're not looking for something," he said. "They're just ruling everything out."

This is such a perfect example of us. How I saw things one way and he saw them another. He thought this was a good thing while all I could picture were heartbreaking scenes.

Until the scan happened, I made a huge effort to think the same way he did. But on the day of the test, I watched as they put my 4-year-old under and then cried in the bathroom for 15 minutes until I could make it into the waiting area.

That child is now 15-years-old and in perfect health. But I feel like I'm back in that situation...without my husband's balance to get me through.