Wednesday, December 28, 2011

'Tis the Season

Christmas, and the upcoming new year have been tougher than I'd expected. I'm not sure what I expected, but it was good, and I thin it sucked because it was good.

 Robin always loved Christmas, I think because she enjoyed giving things to others so much. She really loved it after we had kids. When we were poor(er) we always made it a point to get stuff for the kids, usually at the cost of something for each other.
 When we were doing better, we did the same thing. Her delight in giving rubbed off on me too. It's just something she enjoyed. Even towards the end, as sick as she was, she wanted me to load up a visa shopping card so she could buy me a present, and I wouldn't see the receipt.

 Just another in the long list of things we never got to do.

 But I focused on the kids this Christmas. I got them the things they asked for. Through the generosity of a lot of people I work with, presents from a mysterious Santa arrived at the house. So the Christmas for the kids was pretty big this year.

 We talked a lot about the real meanings of Christmas, and Christ's Sacrifice. We also talked a lot about feelings and enjoying the Holidays, even without Robin around.

 I've been focusing on trying to be patient with the kids. I don't know how I could possibly do it without my Mother-in-law. I feel bad that we are such a burden, but she has been a real blessing.

 The biggest change I've noticed in myself lately, is that I'm praying less. I start to, and then the feelings creep in. Bitterness, anger, sadness, disbelief, others. The feelings wash over me. Sometimes I yell. Usually I cry. Then it's over. I tried to pray, but didn't get very far.

 What I do find myself doing is talking to Robin. She doesn't answer, but I imagine her there, listening to me. I tell her about the things the kids did, I tell her about the things I did at work. I tell her about the things I want to accomplish.

 Then I feel like an ass. All we wanted to do was grow old together, and be those cute, in love old people.

 But you can't always get what you want. All you can do is move on. I think once the Holidays are over, it will be easier to deal with it again. It hurts now though.

 Soon it will be a new year though, and it can't come soon enough.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas

What a change from last year.

 Last year we were still figuring out her surgery, chemo schedule.

 This year, she's looking down on us from Heaven.

 I'm not sure how emotional it will be tomorrow, because Christmas was always Robin's favorite Holiday. We always managed to do it up pretty well, so I decided to carry that on this year.

 I focused on my children, because I wanted to show them we can still go on and enjoy it, and give to each other, even with it being so different. It will be rough, and I've been pretty depressed lately, but we are gonna make it through.

 I feel for all my friends deployed over Christmas, and all my friends who are going in to work tomorrow, instead of being with their families.

 The suck is still the suck, even if you are stateside.

 I'm sitting down to a little bit of Christmas cheer, and eventually sleep will come.
Tomorrow I'll enjoy my family, and I'll see what the future brings.

 2012 is going to be a better year, even if the world ends, or we have a zombie apocalypse.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

16 years. (1m10d)

 Today is the anniversary of my first date with Robin. It was in 1996. I don't think either of us knew what we were getting into. I certainly didn't

 Sixteen years later, after almost 12 years of Marriage, 3 beautiful children. After joy, pain, frustration, fear and sadness, I still love her.

 You never know what you are in for when you open your heart to someone. I found the love of my life.

 Too bad true happiness can never be in this world. True passion burns so hot that the gods become jealous and take it from us.

 That's the writer in me saying that, but it's true.

 Shakespeare agrees with me.

 I miss you honey. One hundred years wouldn't have been enough, so I can only be thankful for what we had.

 I'm sorry I took you to see Beavis and Butthead, but I was am, and will probably always be, a jackass.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Thank You (1m5d)

 I have gotten to the point where I'm ready to sit down and start on my thank-you cards. I had started them several times before, but I never got very far. The emotions they brought up were just a little too much for me to sit there and go through them.

 Now, though, I think I'm ready. I'm at the point now where I am having a much easier time discussing things with people, and just talking about things, especially the Holidays is coming a lot easier.

 I think the scar tissue is growing, and I'm thankful for it. I still have moments. pretty much daily, but I accept them, let them happen and then move on.

 It's still the little things I miss most. The conversations, holding hands when we watch television, random hugs throughout the day. The little stuff like that. The one that usually gets the tears flowing is when something the kids do makes me laugh, and I want to tell her about it. Then I remember.

 All in all though, I think I'm doing well. I think the whole family is doing better. I've realized that I'm having a hard time reconciling things with God, mostly because it hurts that she had to suffer so much. I accepted that she was dying, so instead I prayed that she wouldn't suffer.

 But she did. It was the hardest thing I ever did to watch that and hold her hand and try to comfort her through it. In the end, I almost feel betrayed.

 I realize it's because I'm heartbroken. I wish she could have talked to me at the end. But that last day, all she could manage was: "I love you", "Amen", and a laugh. That still hurts, especially sine I miss talking with her pretty much more than anything.

 I'll get through it though. I still pray. I pray a lot. I'm not expecting answers, I'm just voicing my opinions and feelings. This too shall pass.

 The biggest thing I wanted to say today, hence the title, was thank you. I want to send out my heartfelt thanks for all the prayers and contributions and kind words of support. The biggest blessing through all this was the love that was shown to Robin, my family and I through all of this. That was the biggest impact.

 It is amazing, and humbling to have the amount of love poured out on us that we had. No thank you notes I can write will ever capture that, or even reach everyone who gave of themselves.

 So I figured saying thank you here, where so many of you discovered our struggle, is as good a start as any.

 Thank you all.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

One Month Out

 So far I have been doing well with slowing down on posting. I ended up taking a bit of a break from my writing to focus on Christmas and whatnot with the holidays coming up. That has worked out pretty well. I feel like I decompressed a bit, and I think I'm ready to start work on some of my bigger projects.

 A month out. I can hardly believe it.

 As much as we think, in those moments of pain and loss, that we will never move past it, we do. We might not actively move forward for some time, but time keeps moving on. The wheel continues to grind forward, pushed ever on by enseen hands, and those sharp seeds are crumbled down as it passes over and over in it's travel.

 You wake up one day and find that you can start taking steps again. I've been back to work a little over a week now, and that's going well. It is restoring that sense of normalcy I'd been looking for for so long. It's funny, but the hardest part of my day is when I walk out to the car and check my phone.

 I find that I'm expecting to see a message from Robin, but it isn't there, it won't be there. It usually take a moment for everything to register, and it does. There is that pang of sadness, like the one I'm having while I write this, but I usually just take a deep breath, and finish what I was doing.

 I keep getting asked at work why I'm back so soon. I look at the calendar, and it was almost a month before I came back. I had been off almost a month before she died as well. I guess what I'm saying, is to me, it felt like a much longer time. Add to that the sense of guilty relief that comes when someone who has been sick for a while passes on, and to me it felt like a lot longer stretch of time. It felt as if months passed.

 You might ask what I mean by guilty relief, but I can't think of a better way to put it. Robin was sick for a year, and I had to watch her slowly die. At the end, she had lost so much, and I knew it was a relief for her. It was a relief for us as well. But you feel guilty. You feel guilty for feeling glad that it's over. But in the end, you start to get rid of that guilt, when you realize that it's alright to have that sense of relief. It was a long, hard, painful road, but you are at the end of it. Your loved one isn't with you at the finish line, as they have moved off to the winner's circle, so you don't have them to share those feelings with.

 I think you have to embrace that feeling, and it's hard to do that. We can embrace it because of Hope. We can rest on that Hope, because we know are loved ones are waiting for us with God, and someday we will join them.

 Any of you who know me, know that I feel that faith is a very personal thing. It is between you and God, however you feel about Him. He is on the other side of the equation waiting on you to make a choice. No one can do it for you. That is your personal Faith. My Faith, and my inner strength, and the strength from Robin and my family and friends is what has carried me through this. Emotionally, it has been, and will be a rollercoaster. My Faith has stayed strong, though. I may have had questions, and anger, and hurt; I still do, and I'm sure I will for some time. But I still have my faith.

 If I didn't, I know I wouldn't be here now, writing still. I'd rather be with her, away from the pain, but like one of my friends told me: "Your story isn't done yet. You still have shit to do."

 So here we are, a month out. How do I feel about it? I'm still sad, but the wounds are beginning to scar over. I have a life to continue with, and a story to keep writing.

 I have a Christmas to make spectacular for my children. And their smiles and hugs and "I love you's" make it easier to keep going.