Archive for January, 2010


I’m not a big fan of cleaning.  I do it when it needs done, but I do it while continually muttering under my breath about hiring a cleaning person.  Jim loved to clean.  Seriously.  He even did the bathrooms.  While he said he didn’t like cleaning bathrooms, he totally loved it when they were all sparkly.  So among the many things that are daily reminders of missing him, add to the list: cleaning.  It’s now got its own double whammy.  Not only do I dislike it in general, I dislike it more because it reminds me of him.  Then again, nearly everything in my days reminds me of him anyway.


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Little Miss Independent

Hadley is starting to try to do lots of things on her own.  She definitely has distinct ideas of what she wants and how she wants them.  We spent 45 minutes the other day getting various animals and dolls to sit just the way she wanted them in their basket.  She would say, “Monkey, sit!” and then Monkey would apparently sit the wrong way so she would have to take him out and start all over.  Finally, we got everyone to cooperate.

Everybody sit!

She also spent some time explaining the ropes to newcomers Lilli and dolly.

"...and all the doggies are nice, but Boris is sometimes cranky, so stick with me."

And her most recent act was standing on our back step and telling me to close the door.  She was outside with the dogs and apparently didn’t need me to have the door open just to make sure she was okay. 

Close the door, Mommy!

She’ll be rolling her eyes and saying, “Oh, MOM!” any day now.  *sigh*

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Carolina on my Mind

We took our first vacation together in January, 1997.  We didn’t have much of a plan – just to drive until we got to the  Atlantic.  We ended up in North Carolina at a tiny spot on the map called Stumpy Point.  Nearly every vacation we took after that was to North Carolina.   On our last trip there in February, 2006, we stayed at a rental on the beach with our dogs and decided that we were going to get a beach rental every time we came back.

The only discussions Jim and I about anything to do with funeral plans were done only in passing.  Until March, when it was clear that I was going to be the one to carry out his wishes.  We’d discussed that each of us wanted to be cremated when we were gone, so I already knew that’s how he wanted it.  He reminded me about that again, asking that I make sure it happened.  We didn’t have any conversations about what I should do after that.  We didn’t need to, I knew he would have chosen North Carolina.

And it’s starting to feel like it’s time.  I can feel the coast calling me.  He would have been itching to go on vacation by now…four years is too long to go without a trip.  So Carolina has been on my mind for a few weeks now.  I don’t really want to say goodbye to him again but keeping his ashes is never going to bring him back.

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Long Distance Calling

Hadley has a little pull telephone from Grandmother and Grandfather.  She hasn’t played with it for awhile since it’s been hidden under some other toys, but tonight she found it.  She’s currently in a phase where she uses many different things as phones: a thermometer, a cash register receipt, a pen.  She usually hands the “phone” to me and tells me who it is.  Recent callers have been Uncle Graham, Susan, Uncle Rob, Maya, and Grandmother or Grandfather.  Tonight, it was Daddy.  I was in the kitchen emptying and reloading the dishwasher.   She was sitting in the play yard that we use as a giant toy box when I heard, “Hi Daddy!  Where are you?”  I gave her some things to say to him, which she dutifully repeated.  “How you doing?  Are you all right?  Miss you.”  It was surprisingly not as sad as I would have imagined.  But she’s asked a few times “Where Daddy go?”  So far I’ve gotten away with simply, “He’s not here right now.”  The time is coming, though, and  I only hope that I’ll find the right way to try to explain it to her.

Who knew that a toy phone could get such great reception?

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Oh Christmas Tree!

I like to leave the Christmas tree up for quite some time after December 25.  I’ve always been that way.  One year, I only took it down on January 28 because the city tree recycling centers were closing that weekend.  So I’m really not too bothered by ours still being up this year.  It’s a real tree and it adds a lovely Christmasy smell to the room.  However, it’s starting to droop so the time is going to come soon. 

I’m fairly certain that the little one is going to be a bit upset when it comes down.  One of the houses we pass each day just recently put their Santa away.  When she saw that, she said, “Where Santa go, Mommy?”  When I said he probably went inside, she said, forlornly, “Santa…”  Each night when I take her up to bed, she says good night to different things (books, toys, dolls) as we leave the living room, but she cries as she says, “Santa…” (her stocking) and, “Christmas liiiiighhtttsss…”

Granted, I feel a little like that inside each year when the ornaments go away and the tree is discarded.  So maybe we’ll both leave our own trail of tears in the snow this year.

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Today marks 21 months since the day that felt like the longest one I ever had to endure.  The day I had to watch Jim’s body give up.  I choose to believe the hospice nurse, who told us that in those last hours he wasn’t aware of what was going on.  I’m not so sure that was true, as his eyes seemed to be trying to communicate with me.  Or maybe that was just wishful thinking.

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