Wednesday, December 31, 2008

happy new year.

the boys and i are off on a roadtrip tomorrow (very very early). we're heading west, and north. i have no reservations to stay anywhere. we're going to go where we go and find a place to stay when we arrive. new year, frest start. we're off to explore some new places. we'll be back in time for E to go to school on monday.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

quite frankly, today has sucked.

my stomach hurts again. i thought this part was over. why does it keep coming back? why did i come crashing down so hard after the brief time i felt the slightest bit alive on saturday night. why is E being so difficult. why is he pushing me to my limit. passed my limit. i'm not sure what to do with him. and today i can't stop crying. even in front of the boys. i don't know if it's christms being over and everyone being gone or my conversation with jan (about E) that made me shut down and leave her house. i couldn't be there any more. but i can't be here either. i have never felt so alone in my life. all i feel is emptiness. and hurt. and indecision. do i take the boys for a 10 hour drive? listen to them fight in the car? perhaps go insane myself? or do i wait. is the timing not right? i have no objectivity. i can't seem to make a decision to save my life. and i effin hate that.

during those brief few hours where i felt alive, not completely was wonderful. but now? it's back to feeling.....i don't even know how to explain it....just so bad. i can't keep feeling like this. i just can't. the boys fighting. me not sleeping. being unsure of what to do. i think this is what being dead on the inside must be like.

i want to believe in the idea that once again...some day....i will not feel like this. that there is something else out there for me. but right now, in this minute, i can't contemplate that idea. it just doesn't seem possible.

i have to force myself to get up. to do things for the boys. to undecorate the trees. to be mom. i just want that feeling i had on saturday night back and i'm not sure how to make that happen. is it fair that i have to stay here? how long do i have to live in the shadow? when is it okay to do something just for me. never? because i have these boys? because i am responsible for them? any decision i make will always be in their best interest...but it also has to be in my own interest.

why did my friend have to say to me today what she said. makes me feel so alone. the one person i had left now i feel like i don't have. i mean...seriously?? what next. i'm afraid to ask. why can't i just make a decision??!! why can't i just do....something! maybe it will be the wrong thing..maybe it won't. i'm just not sure i can move by myself. take us to a new place....and in the meantime i just feel like all this pressure is coming down on me and i have no way to escape.

i don't feel like doing anything. i just want to sleep. oh how i wish i could.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

too many decisions.

after having a house full for 8 days, now the house is quiet. and lonely again. i attempted to talk to the boys about our plans for the future. which include moving. and E was okay with it at first. but after a half an hour he came to me crying, telling me he doesn't want to move. so i eased his fears by telling him it's not something we're going to rush into. i know he feels security here in this house. that we shared with his daddy. but i also tried to explain to him that mommy doesn't like living here. that we wouldn't be leaving daddy behind (because he is inside our hearts and we have our memories of daddy). i don't think it really eased his fear. so then i told him if it happens, it's not going to be today, or tomorrow (kids are so literal)....that it's just something that we're thinking about. that we need to talk about.

on saturday night i went out with a friend of mine (someone i have known for many many years). he and i had a lot of fun. and it was nice. nice to not be a mom for a while. nice to just do something different. it was just fun. i stayed out until 6:30 am. christine and my mom were here with the boys and i had some freedom so i took advantage of it.

spending time with this friend was a trip. so many memories. it was just all good. i haven't had fun in a while. and it made me realize (now that everyone is gone and i'm back at being a mom 24/7/365) that i have to make some changes. i can't continue to go on in this existence (other than james not being here) our lives are the same. i was a stay at home mom before and i still am. at least for a while (i'm working out all our financial details as i can). don't get me wrong...our lives are not the same (i have no husband, the boys have no father)...but our lives are still the same. does that make sense? and now that i've stepped outside this new existence, and had some fun....i realize i need to make some changes. i guess i didn't realize how unhappy i was.

i mean of course i have been unhappy, my husband died. but it's been a couple of months....and i guess i have found a way to deal on a daily basis. just go about your day not feeling much of anything (except for occasional waves of complete and utter grief), always concentrating on the boys. and it wasn't until i spent some time away from the boys and focused a bit on myself that i realized how i have been living. for the first time since james died i felt a glimmer of hope......a bit excited. and omg it was so nice. and now that it's gone it makes me realize just how miserable i have been. and i need to find a way out. a way for me to survive. i do have to think about me. and not just the boys. and i think i. me. that I need to move. and that is big and scary. it's one more change for the boys. and i'm not sure if it's selfish or not. i have no objectivity. i just know that i feel like if i don't move my spirit will be crushed. i'm not sure if i will even feel any differently in a new place. but i'll never know if i don't go.

it's going to be a big step. i can't really contemplate packing up this entire house and moving everything by myself. but i think i need to do that. i have hated living here since i moved here. and why i moved here is another story entirely. the reason i stayed was james. now that he is not here, i think it is time for us to go.

which is scary. because we will be moving to a place (as of yet undetermined) where we will know no one. no one will be able to help us. we will more than likely be moving far away from family. right now my brother, christine and the boys are 2.5 hours away. it's not right next door but we do see each other (especially now that james isn't here).

so if we move, we will lose that. the boys love their cousins (and their time with their cousins and they would lose that). but there is a possibility to gain so much more. i want to live by the ocean. i need it. i have wanted to live by the ocean since i moved away from it 22 years ago. 22 effin years. i feel like i must make some decisions for myself. but also taking into consideration the boys' needs.

i have begun explaining what moving really means. a new school for E. packing up all our furniture (E seemed to think we would leave all our belongings here)....i am starting the process. i'm seriously contemplating putting the boys in the car on tuesday and driving west and north. but first i need to do a little research.

i am unsure of how to choose a place for us to live. but i know if i do nothing i will remain unhappy here. i am wholly responsible for the boys. but i also have to take care of me. do what is right for me so that i can have a chance at being happy. so that the boys can see that...and then i can take better care of them.

i have been thinking since james died that i have to take care of the boys. and i do. but i have just recently realized i also have to take care of me. and that may mean leaving this place. which is going to be so so hard on the boys.

a fresh place to live. a new start. it's scary. but i think it's what we're going to do. it means the boys won't see thier grandma anymore (james' mom). sounds like a big loss but really it's not. they don't see her that much now...she is pretty checked out and aloof anyway). she is still very very wrapped up in the sadness of losing her son. i'm not sure what to do to help her and it may be mean, but i have to focus on me and my children.

so i'm thinking. it may take a while to sell my house (especially with the way the housing market is). but if i don't even try it definitely won't sell. i'm not going to take E out of school (he needs what stability we have). so when this school year ends....we may be making some big changes.

i can paint anywhere. i can create greeting cards anywhere. so i can continue to built my etsy shop and figure out what it is i am going to do with my life.

all throughout writing this entry, E has been sitting here with me and we have been talking. and crying. he really doens't want to move. believe me, it is scary to me. so i can only imagine how scary it sounds to the boys. so once again i'm figuring out what it is that we are going to do.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

christmas is four days away.

i got through thanksgiving relatively well.
yes, it was hard. but i was so busy (haveing 18 people over will do that).
based on my reaction to thanksgiving i thought i would be able to get through christmas.
well, i'm getting through christmas...but i didn't think i would be as affected by it as i am.
all the in the last four's just been almost unbearable. i can't stop thinking about james when he died. about him being in the mortuary for so many days...about him having to have the defibrilator cut out of his body before he could be cremated. why does my mind go there? why do i see these images in my mind? why can't i stop thinking about them?

christmas was a special time for us.
i loved figuring out what to put in his stocking.
i waited with such anticipation to find out what he put in mine.
we had special stockings we exchanged between the two of us before the boys were even out of bed. it was just something special. for us. the stockings hang on the fireplace mantle and i look at them so many times a day. and it reminds me that james isn't here. it may sound strange, but sometimes i still can't believe he's dead. i can't believe i'll never see him again. be held by him. hold his hand. touch his face. kiss him. breathe in while i'm next to him...just take him in..smell him. feel him.

it's good to have family here. but it doesn't take away the sadness that i feel. it just makes me busier while i feel that sadness. i sort of feel like i'm on auto pilot again (which is how a felt right after james died). and it surprises me. i would think that i wouldn't go back to feeling that way. i know i am tired. that is a big part of it. i never thought a person could be this tired. i say that and then two weeks later i say holy crap. i never thought a person could be THIS tired. and i just seem to get more tired. i'm back to not sleeping. waking up and tossing and turning. going to bed late (because i've been busy) and having to get up early with the boys. makes me wonder how much the human body can tolerate. apparently it's quite a lot.

in the beginning of this christmas season i was less sad than i am now. i was able to enjoy a bit of shopping (me getting stocking stuffers for the boys). i enjoyed the smell of the tree in the family room. the beautiful decorations. but now all the joy seems to be gone. dramatic, i know. let me explain that. i smile, and laugh...and act like all is well. but it really is just going through the motions. i am not feeling happy or joyous right now. i should be. i have a lot to be thankful for (my boys...a home to live in)...but this year i just don't feel much of anything. except for sadness. maybe it's just because of christmas and me being so tired. i hope to find my way back to being positive. i am sure i will smile and enjoy watching the magic (when the boys come downstairs and see what santa left them). i hope to get back to being able to feel things again.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

i think this was the beginning of the end.

this will be a no photo post. i don't like no photo posts....but i just wanted to write about something i've been thinking a lot about. here's an entry i made from march 19, 2007:

i'm pretty sure today has been the longest day of my life. at least in recent history. actually for the past few weeks my days have been full of long days. but today was....almost other worldly. surreal. but now i am home. the boys are tucked in safe. they have their mommy back. grandma is back at home. isn't it strange how one day can feel like a week? or longer? i swear....the day isn't even quite over yet it feels like it happened a lifetime ago. and so it is done. the end of indecision.the decision has been made. it is the end of indecision and the beginning of living with the consequences, hoping the right choice has been made. because there is no going has just been the most incredibly difficult day. you can't even imagine. while you can be a couple with someone, no matter what you are going through you ultimately end up going through it alone. at some point you are separated. come back together after it's done...but for that are alone. one of you here and the other of you there. one experiencing one side and the other the other. each alone. did i mention that today has absolutely been one of the most suckiest horrible days of my life? well it was. and god how i tried to keep it away from the boys. to not let this touch them absolutely any more than it had to.our lives have been forever changed today. for better? for worse? what more is to come our way? i don't even want to think about it. not today. i just can't. i have never in my life ever felt so alone as i did today. i am independent. i do not like relying on anyone for anything. well...except for james for technical stuff. but come on. it's technical stuff and i suck at it. but for everything else? i am self-reliant. i've just had to become that. but sometimes i feel like it would be nice to have people there to help support me. i am sure to someone who doesn't really know me this post may seem dramatic. even cryptic. yes something is clearly happening here. and i'm not saying what. i'm just trying to work through all the craziness. to sort it out. it's hard.ever wonder if you're strong enough for a situation? well if you ask me, there is no way to know until you're actually in a particular situation. you deal with what comes. when it's happening you do what you have to to get through it. you feel so much isolation, loneliness, helplessness, and many more emotions. you struggle to find your way out of the drowning sea of all that is coming at you. and you do. one way or the other you do. you have to.i should be in bed. i am truly exhausted. i have never felt my body shake like i did today. seriously. and to know that it may not be over. but hoping that for least for now....that it is. so that we have time to regroup before being hit with anything else.i couldn't wait to get home and just hold my boys. i needed them tonight. and they needed me. they had a rough day too.

this post was about the day james had a defibrilator implanted into his chest. it was set to go off if his heart rate went above 220 bpm and sustained at that rate. james' doctors feared he might die from 'sudden death' which is when your heart starts racing (he had an enlaged heart and electrical problems...arrythmia....taccychardia). james made the decision (after thinking about it for three years) to have the defibrilator implanted ONLY for his boys' sake. he wanted to be here for them. turns out it didn't help him one bit. it never went off. well....that may not be true. it may have gone off when his heart stopped while he was in the ER, that was never confirmed to me. but when you have a defibrilator, the doctors put a magnet on it while they are working on you so they don't get shocked (the magnet stops it from going off). but after all that he went through, the defibrilator in on way saved his life. or prolonged his life. or benefitted him in any way. what it did do was make james more self-conscious about the lump (you could see it under his skin if you knew what you were looking for). it made him change the way he lived his life. always in fear of the effing thing going off. it was set to beep before it shocked him. and sometimes we would hear strange noises...both look at each other...then look at his chest wondering if he was about to get shocked.

the reason i was cryptic in my post about that day was because james didn't want anyone to know about the unit. and i needed to get it out. so i did, but without actually saying what had happened that day.

and i think that was the beginning of the end. i look back on that day, and what transpired after that day....and i wonder. i wonder if we made the right decision. i still think about james so so so much every single day. now that i am alone (the boys are in bed), the house is's when i miss him the most.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

again, i have a lot to say.

ethan had a christmas program at school on tuesday. snapped this photo of me and alexander.
E had a small speaking part (introducing a song). that's him, right in the middle, right next to the little girl in the dress with the black on top. oh, and just an fyi...i've been informed that is his girlfriend. um...girlfriend? i don't think so thank you very much mr. i'm only the in second grade!
i had a hard time holding it together at the christmas program. that is something james wouldn't have missed for the world. and i don't know if it was the christmas theme, the christmas music or just the fact that james wasn't there alone that made it so hard. alexander and i were sitting on the floor (the place was packed). and it was all i could do not to break down in wrenching sobs in front of all those people. but i didn't. i maintained. but my just never ends. that feeling of emptiness. loneliness. feeling like my world is still upside down and i'm trying to find a way to right things.
i want to thank every person who checked out my etsy shop. on sunday night (three days ago) i put in 15 items. today, all are gone but three. thank you to every single person who purchased something. i will be adding new items soon so check back if you're interested. it was nice for me to feel like i have purpose again (even if it was brief). painting, and actually selling my art....that is an amazing thing. at the end of E's program, the PFA president asked anyone who could, to pick a snowman off the angel tree that was in the lunchroom. it's for families at E's school who need help during this christmas season. alexander and i walked over to the tree and chose a family to sponsor. that is what i will be doing with some of the money made from my most recent etsy update. so thank you.
i think i mentioned this before, but i'm having sort of flashbacks (inside my mind i see he turned blue, and purple while he was dying). sorry....maybe tmi...i know it's tmi for me. i don't know how i will ever get that image out of my brain. i still question myself. did i make the right decision. will the boys understand when they are older and i tell them everything. i want james back so bad it actually physically hurts. a song can break the dam and the emotions start flooding out. i saw an ambulance driving down the freeway and my mind immediately started thinking about james...being taken from work to the hospital in an ambulance. i always think about what it was like for him. i think about what it felt like for him to live the best life he could with dilated cardiomyopathy. i still can't even freaking believe this has all happened. i mean, i know it has...but how can this have happened?! how are we supposed to go on and find any kind of normal. am i going to be enough to help the boys? i mean, i have to be. i'm all they have. they are all i have. it just makes me hurt so imcredibly much when i look at E, i see how sad he is and i think about him growing up without james. i still get stuck on the fact that it is just not fair. right now at this very second i feel like i am going to throw up thinking about the boys growing up without their father. i am shaking and my body is cold. even though i'm sitting on a heater vent. nothing can make this stop.
i took the boys to the solace tree. it's a place for kids who have lost a parent or other family member. the kids do different things and are given the opportunity to talk if they want. E told me he talked about james. and about grandpa (james' dad who died last year). E talkd about scampi (who died right before james) and granny (james' grandma who died three weeks ago). that is so much more death than any 7 year old should have to deal with. so i'm doing what i can to help E....i need him to be okay...eventually....but i'm so worried about him. how sad he is, how he's not really living, but instead, sort of only half putting himself out there. i need to find a way to being him out again. to make him feel safe. i can never bring james back...but i need to find a way to help ethan. to protect him. i just want him to know how much i love him...and it breaks my heart to see him hurting so much.
tomorrow.....yet another meeting (and i'll probably be given yet another list of things i 'must' do). i still have so so many things to address. like finding cheaper health insurance. my will (so the boys are taken care of should something happen to me). just actually getting our bills paid. dealing with the hospital and doctor never ends. so now i'm going to bed. so i can get up tomorrow...and just go from there.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

many things.

there is more than just the emotional side of the death of your husband. you are then also hit with the financial aspect. since ethan was born (7 years ago) i have been stay at home mom. james was our sole money maker. well, except for the last couple of months before he died. that's when i opened my etsy shop (so it was basically brand new when james died) so uh...yeah, i'm not exactly going to retire on the income i made. i had only had 7 sales before james died. i temporarily closed the shop after james died. well, a couple weeks after he died, that's when i remembered oh yea, i should close my shop since i'm not paying any attention to it whatsoever.

i paint for many reasons (stay with me here) there IS a point to this. i paint as a form of expression. it's a form of release. it's how i lose myself (which i so need to do). it's my passion. it's also, i hope, a way for me to make some money. that is something i do have to think about now. so yes, i paint (not with the thought of gee, i hope i can sell this), but for the artistic outlet. i said...a few months ago a few friends talked me into opening an etsy shop. and i sold a few pieces. so i figured now really is as good a time as any to try to build my shop. at this time i have no income. not to say we're destitute. we're not. but the man responsible for making our house payment and all that blah blah know that story. so. i painted. and i added this piece to my shop. am i going to make huge amounts of money from my shop? um. no. but at least it's something. a place to start.

part of my new outlook (being positive) is to focus on something positive. and for yesterday (and today) that has been my etsy shop. i was up until 2am last night and back up at 6am to put things together to add to my shop. it felt good to have purpose.
this is a card i made (it's blank inside). i turned one of my original paintings into this card and handmade the envelope. the envelope is textured cardstock which i stitched together. the stitching is messy and shows and i really love how it turned out! you can find this in my shop here.
this is also in my shop. it's a gift card holder. you can either hang it from the tree or attach it to a smaller gift (tie it on with ribbon) which i'm doing for three of my nephews for christmas. i got them each a small toy (and am also giving them a barnes & noble gift card attached to their small gift). i made these gift card holders because there really is nothing (at least i don't think) to put gift cards into. they either need to go into a card/envelope or...well...what do you do with them?! i like the idea of just hanging it from the tree. so go take a look if you're so inclined. :)

it was two months ago today that james died. two months. i really can't believe i've been without him for that long. it hit me yesterday (while doing a bit of christmas shopping). i felt lonely. we used to leave the boys with james' mom and sneak away for a couple of hours together and do some shopping. yesterday it was just me. and i felt really lonely. everywhere i turned there were decorations, and people but even so, i still felt very alone.

it doesn't really feel like christmas time to me. i'm still stuck in the time warp of the death of my husband. my best friend. and it just doesn't feel like christmas. but it is. so i go through the motions, put up the trees, get lights on the house, christmas shop (for the boys) and from the outside, it all looks and seems normal. but i still feel far from normal.

when james first died i didn't know how i was going to do it. i had no clue. but i've been doing it. for two months. for two months i have done it (and i'm sort of shocked by that). so much of that two months has sucked. i can't even tell you how much. i still can't even believe it's been two months. but i can tell you i have never felt so exhausted in my life. so totally and completely exhausted.

and if i think about the future it overwhelms me to the point i cannot function. it literally overwhelms me. but if i take it day by day....i might be able to manage one day. then another. and another. so that's what i'm doing. just got done reading story and tucking the boys in. i have a few things i need to get done and then i am going to bed.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

a painting.

some really remarkable people have been reading my blog. i say that because some of you have left me amazing comments. well...not some.....ALL of you who have left comments are amazing. i thank you. i want to say first, to those that have told me they find me inspiring, i am wow'd by that. i don't see me, picking up the pieces of our lives and going on to be in any way remarkable or inspiring. there just is nothing else TO do. but i want to thank each and every person who comes here and leaves comments. i read them all. i appreciate them all.

i painted. this is not the first thing i have painted since james died. the first two i threw in the trash. this one i'm not absolutely in love with. but i needed a place to start. and this is it. it's very henri matisse inspired. this is what i did today while E was in schol and alexander was resting. i listened to trans-siberian orchestra and painted. i didn't think about anything. i just focused on paint. and color. and nothing else. painting makes my heart race. it makes me feel alive. i can take a deep breath when i paint. and i felt a little bit of that today. i also felt empty. it's hard to describe those conflicting feelings....feeling them all at the same time. i know james would be happy that i painted. i am happy that i painted. i have been afraid i would never be able to paint again. i'm not even sure why i painted this particular piece. i had nothing in mind when i started. this is just what happened. i started....and when i was done, this is what i had created. i love that about painting. i just never know what's going to happen until it happens. at some point i hope to put some pieces back in my etsy shop. i'm going to turn some of my paintings into greeting cards as well and add those to my shop. not sure when, but i'm going to work on it. slowly. i hope.

i have been doing a lot of thinking. it occurred to me yesterday that what i do from here forward is a choice. i can choose to be sad, not get out of basically give up. or i can choose to live. well, i can't chose the give up option. i chose the other option. i choose to go on, make things the best they can be for the boys. i am sad. oh yes i am. especially the last three days. not even sure why but the last three days have sucked. so bad. they just have. but they are just days that suck. i know, in the end, i must choose to do what i can to go on with my life. to make it meaningful. to somehow fill up this emptiness. i walked upstairs to the loft today and thought to myself, 'why do i feel so bad?! i mean, i just feel horrible.' my shoulders hurt. my head hurt. i just crap. then it occurred to me. this new reality. that's why i was feeling that way. i can't just magically get over james. that just won't happen. and i will have good days and bad days. i just need to make a conscious effort to come out of this in the long run.

i thought that if it were me that died, and left james with the boys, i would really want him to go on. and to ultimately build a new life. to do what he could for the boys. that really is what i would want. now i'm not saying i'm going to do that in the next week, month or even year. but i am making a choice to try to be positive, to be happy for the years we had with james and just go from there.

it's funny that i can 'want' to be positive but then today, just break down on and off all day for absolutely no reason. i miss james so much. i really wanted to call him this morning. but couldn't. and it just hit me. again. like it does over and over again. it's the strangest thing. sometimes i actually expect james to come home. then i realize. holy crap. what was i thinking?! he's not coming home! but it's weird. it's like he's so in my heart that i just keep expecting him to come home. i know he's not going to. i'm not living in denial. i wish i was, but i'm not. it's just a strange surreal feeling i've been having lately. sort of like flashbacks. i think about when i first goto to the ER and saw him. i think about what he must have gone through during all the tests they did on him. they did SO many. i just think. all the time. and often wonder what i could have done differently. what i should have done differently. but most of all, i just miss james.