This story might be a little intimate. It’s about my morning routine. I know, seems innocent enough, but when you think about it, we are all very unique in how we wake up to the day. It feels pretty personal to admit that while I am generally an optimistic person, I am not, and never have been, a “morning person”. It takes me a while to get going – and I can’t blame this one on grief. In fact, not everyone in my history has had the patience for my early morning persona; she’s kind of high-maintenance, and needs gentle coaxing. But those who have understood this, and have loved me despite my grouchy early morning demeanor, are gems. When I was young, my dad was always really sweet to me in the mornings. My husband too, bringing me my coffee. My dog? Not so much. She doesn’t really apply that “fine touch” when it comes to waking me up.
I see another storm coming, too. The storm of “firsts”. The initial wave already hit – my birthday – and it was crippling. It really knocked me down, and I wasn’t expecting it. But I am happy to report, that I am back up, hobbling around. For the moment. So I thought I’d take this opportunity to post something “softer” than my last rant. I actually wrote this before my birthday, before I realized just how hard some of these upcoming anniversaries would be.
The first snow fell today, well “official” snow, one worth mentioning. And I’m one of those kids…if they say it is going to snow during the night, I wake up every couple of hours to peek out and make sure it has started falling. Not only is it in my nature, it’s in my blood (I am part Swiss). I love snow.
So out we went, the dog and me, for our morning walk. And she kept pulling on the leash, spurting this way and that, she was excited too. I really wanted to let her go, to run free and be crazy. Because if there’s one thing about walking an excited dog on a snowy sidewalk…it’s called “dangerous”. The dog pulls, you slip, and you are on your ass. A broken ass is not a laughing matter. Not when there’s shoveling to do.
Man. I’m under it today.
And it’s only Saturday.
I know why they are afraid to ask, “how was your weekend”? On Monday, it will be written all over my face. The signature look of grief. It would be a compliment to call it a “hot mess”.
Most of the week, I am in “zombie mode”. On Fridays, I crumble. Saturday is “mad dog” day. I walk around in circles trying to remember where I hid my bone, or put my keys, unable to settle in a comfortable spot. But better drop that ass quickly because here comes Sunday! The variety-pack of anxiety, fear, and what-the-hell-happened-to-my-life?
Monday. It’s just not something people can take – early in the morning – seeing the big gaping hole in my chest, the dark circles under my eyes. Weekends are for rest and recovery, aren’t they? I’d be afraid to ask, too. So away we go, allowing clients, deadlines and pressing needs distract, derail and lead us all astray from the important things in life.
A presumptuous young doctor, (strutting around in his self-perceived cloak of immortality), asked my husband what he would “do” with his precious remaining time. I think the guy was seriously expecting some kind of fantastical answer about blasting up into space, base jumping from the Eiffel Tower, or frolicking over to Disney, and sucking on Mickey Mouse’s dick. Is that offensive? Well, so is asking deathly-ill people what they are going to “do” before they die.
Seriously. I wanted to punch him. But then my husband answered. And he melted my heart.
“The only thing I want to do, is go home, and spend time with my beautiful wife, our dog, my family. Enjoy our garden, sit out on the front deck with my coffee, listen to the birds…I don’t need to go anywhere to find what is most important.”
Is it any wonder my weekends feel like a barren landscape, leaving me with dried-out eyes, and a mouth full of sand? It’s not something happy-hour and a little mascara can fix. I’m still under it, and can only dream of being over it.
Though I guess my morning cup of coffee does help…cheers, baby. Thank you for seeing the beauty.
Of course there is currently much talk about the holidays, and how to cope with them after experiencing loss. I understand the good intentions behind discussing, thinking, and preparing for the upcoming season. And that it might not be a bad idea to have a “plan” in place….
Me and my husband – we were our own little unit. A self-sufficient satellite station. We both grew up with families that were low-key about the holidays, wonderful families with virtually no drama or expectations about where we spent our Thanksgiving, or Christmas, families that also happened to be very far away – mine, across the country, his, on an entirely different continent. So we all actually felt it was more enjoyable for everyone to visit in the off-seasons, without any of the potential holiday travel fiascos. Continue reading
I just read that despite the economy, people continue to increase spending on their dogs. These four-legged creatures have become such integrated parts of our families. There is a four-legged, furry one that I share my home with. Yes, I am a dog owner. Albeit, a tormented one.
“Cleo” is just over a year old…strong-willed and still full of explosive (and destructive) puppy energy. We got Cleo as a puppy, for my husband. And to be honest, ever since his death, I swing wildly back and forth as to whether or not I can handle this dog. Owning a dog was not a decision I took lightly, and “giving one away” is not either. Continue reading