Thursday, August 13, 2015

A new start?

Hello All,
March has passed by and April is speeding along, too and still I can't find time to post on here. I was much more organized when I was working. Last month was good for me, I've recovered nicely from the surgery on my knee and am pain free! Right knee replacement in the late summer. I'll be like a 40 year old by fall! 
Courtney came home for her 40th Bday and joined Mackenzie, my friend Connie and me for a week in Gulf Shores over Spring Break. We are off again next Friday for 10 days in Cape San Blas with my sister and aunt. The ocean has always been a tonic for me, but I didn't get the usual peace this time. I've not found a good course for my life yet, I think. I'm hoping if I keep looking it will come. As crazy as it sounds coming from a pragmatic soul such as I, I keep waiting to feel Stephen King around me again. 

I wrote the above in April and didn't post it for some reason.

I'm posting today because until this week, I have still been waiting for Steve. I thought I'd accepted his death and was dealing with my loss as good as I could. But this week I have realized that isn't true. Deep inside I've never accepted it and I've been waiting for him. I have moved past denial and am grieving in a different way now...acceptance. It's rather like ripping the bandage off all over again, raw wounds, tears, memories of fifty shared years. But it is good. 
I finally cleared out his closets and donated his clothing to St. Vincents. I kept a few favorites to use in a quilt, if I can ever cut them up. Nina took of of his shirts to make a pillow for Shayla, of all the grandchildren, she needs something physical to hold on to that was Papaw's. The granddaughters went along to deliver the carful of boxes and I don't think I could have done it without them. Actually handing over clothing I'd seen him wear forever was painful. But Stephen King had always been one to shop and give back to recycling stores and I knew he would approve. 
I've cleaned and rearranged the two double closets that were his to hold some special clothes the boys wanted to keep ( his reenactment costumes and such), the winter clothing that Courtney keeps here for her winter visits and my seasonal clothing. The closet I use in the master is a single closet and holds only a season's worth of clothes. I'm reprinting and rearranging this room soon. It has always been more of a catch all for us than a bedroom and I'd like to see it as a room Courtney and the grandkids and other guests can use. That is my winter project this year. 
Our bed and the case goods that match it have been around for a long time, my grandmother gave it to my parents when they purchased their first two bedroom house. I slept on it with my sister growing up, then my mom gave it to my other grandmother. When grandma went to an apartment for seniors, I got the whole set back and have used it for 15 years as our bed. I think I'm tired of it. I've decided to store it and get myself a new bed, I need a new mattress anyway. I don't care for matching sets and can piece together storage for my things. As with the back bedroom, this one 
will get new paint. In fact, I'm ready to paint the rest of the rooms white. The taupe has served its time and I think a nice soft white will lighten my mood. A fall project, I think. 
As much as I'm content to sit and read and think for most of my day, I know that isn't what is good for me. I need a schedule, a routine that forces me to move, get out and shake up my live. I'm attempting it more and more. These projects will help. With my lupus I can't have strict demands on my body and need to rest more than most, but a routine will allow for those days, too. Just so all my days aren't resting (hiding) days. 
Tomorrow marks two years since he left us, we have more before we see him again. I need to live those years however many they may be. I plan too.  Talk to me! Love

Sunday, March 1, 2015

What a month! Feb. 2015

What a month Feb has been for me. I had a complete knee replacement on the 5th, spent four days in Bloomington Hospital, then transferred to IU Paoli for therapy for five days. My sister and her husband brought me to their home on Friday the 13th. They should have known better!
They got up to a cogged toilet which had to be replaced. Predictions were for a snowfall measuring above a foot were made. They were bringing me and my bum leg into their busy life. They should have known better!
Deb picked me up in my Jeep since we weren't sure I could stoop to getting into a sedan with the leg. We drove to the top of Paoli to The Inn on the Hill. There was a bit of snow clinging to the frozen ground, so she drove right thru the yard to the front porch. Curb service. All was well. Then came Sunday...
So much snow, everything canceled for Monday and Tuesday. Post-op check with surgeon, PT appointment, Buck's colonoscopy. We hunkered down, laughing at the weather. Another big blow on Wednesday stopped us again, but I was exercising and doing therapy just fine. Deb cooked and we ate every hour or so. It was good. By Thursday she says I threatened her with my cane, I continue to deny that, but whatever... I've been home alone for two months and find it challenging to listen to TV nonstop, maybe.
So Friday Sis decides we are going to go buy a car. Of course, they own the dealership so it was simple. My first time outside since knee surgery, 10 inch incision down my leg, coldest day of the winter, 8 inches of snow, I'm going to buy a car! Yeah, that sounds right. Actually, they had ordered my car weeks ago and it was ready to be picked up so off we went. It is a nice car, I like it. Chevy Equinox, white with brown/black leather, sun roof, all the bells n whistles. I'm ready for a road trip, except I cannot drive yet. Still no post-op check.
Then Saturday we wake to ice covering our Inn, the hill, the roads, the world. Followed by inches and inches of big heavy snow. It is a lovely scene laid out below us, Norman Rockwell could paint it,
Robert Frost could put in on paper in rhyme. Edgar Allan Poe could make it into a horror story.  I'm
thinking I'll never see my home again, never get away from the TV, never drive my new car ( insert big wet teardrops here).
By Monday the ice was melted except for the long winding drive from The Inn to the highway! But we daring drove down anyway. Our daddy didn't raise no cowardly wimps! The appointment with the surgeon went very well, he was impressed with my progress and Deb's nursing abilities. I was going home...alone! After stopping at the grocery to restock my fridge, Deb took me home. Amazingly, the little house was fine, the drive was plowed down to the gravel (thanks to my lovely neighbors) and the ramp was shoveled free of ice (thanks to my sweet son).
Tuesday I drove my new car to my first therapy session in 11 days, I was expecting pain and disappointment, but the therapist was impressed with my progress and gain in movement! Only one exercise hurt and hurt bad! Not even my knee, but my hip. Ouch, I hope that's not going out too. We added eight more exercises to my program, each designed to strengthen my legs and core muscles. I cannot believe I'm finally on my way to fit at 65. 💪
My days have settled into a quiet routine, trying to stay warm, limber and on target. I've sewn a bit, cleaned a bit and read way too much. This week begins twice a week workouts at therapy, putting final touches on Mom's house and showing it to the friends who want to buy it and pushing myself to get out and about more. I tend to morph into a recluse when I don't have things on my agenda, not a problem for me, but my family doesn't agree. Debbie doesn't like my spooky-eyed look! I'm fine, really, I just wish the weather would turn off to Spring or even late Winter. This deep freeze is killing me.
I have Spreak Break planned with my good friend in Gulf Shores for late March, a week in Cape San Blas with sisters and aunts in April and am heading back to OZ in June. I just need the patience to wait. Keeping my head up and my eyes clear. Talk to me, Ladies. Love, Hedy

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Happy New Year!

Hello my friends, it is 2015! Imagine that! The first year I can really remember is 1954, I suppose I must have been in kindergarten and had to write the date. Seems like the day before yesterday, I can feel the scratchiness of my wool coat, the cold biting my nose and fingers and the scariness of riding in a taxicab alone to school. Funny where our minds take us when we turn them loose to chase down memories. We lived in town then about 5 blocks from school and on bad days Mom would call Dot to take me to school in the cab so she didn't have to get my little sister out in the cold. Debbie had asthma and winters were rough on her as a small child. Not much better now, poor thing.
I could sit all day and let my mind run back through my sixty five years (some days I do), but I don't have time for that today. A few years ago, we began a new tradition of spending New Years Day in Evansville as a family, seeing movies, eating in favorite places and a bit of shopping. Each year has varied as to who is along, always me and my grand girls, usually the Momma's and little boys, sometimes the guys. This year everyone is going! The boys have worked so much this fall, even the day after Christmas! But they both have this weekend off. We want to see Wild and it isn't playing in Valley so we will see it there. I missed MockingJay and want to see it, too. The little boys won't be watching Wild so we will switch off and some of us will take them to a kids film. I am not a movie person, but I do love this day out with family and the big screen. Tonight we will all eat at Biaggis, a great Italian restaurant even Stephen King loved. Beautiful table settings, linen napkins, soft lights and the best pasta and bread around. Tomorrow we will gather for breakfast then leave for home as we wish, some staying to shop at Target, others driving straight back, eager to get on with a weekend at home. You can make your own guess as to which bunch does what! For me it is a chance to visit with my kids, eat, see good films and talk about the past year and the future.
 I'm so happy we started this while Steve was with us, it seems more of a real tradition this way. Not trying to create a new normal. My new normal doesn't feel normal yet, I feel out of place still. I realize I had no time to acclimate to widowhood before jumping back into caring for Mom, but I
wonder if there will ever be a normal again. We spent nearly fifty years creating this life and then it is over in a heartbeat.
We have started emptying Mom's house this past week. My goodness what an undertaking! That woman saved everything, but not in a typical hoarding way. No, everything is clean, ironed or dusted, folded neatly or wrapped in tissue paper, ready for the next person to wear or use or sit up on a shelf. I have to remember Not to do this to my kids! Reminiscing is wonderful, but as Deb says, "the first saved hankie is sweet, the 14th is ridiculous!" Or lamp or basket or chicken or picture frame or afghan or sheet set or shoe or red sweater! Dishes, China, plates/plate hangers, glass baskets, and three double closets of clothes! The little woman had it all and kept it! Debbie and I have decided
Mom is rolling on Heaven's floor, laughing at us trying to decide what to do with it all. We are attempting to give away most of it, we do not want a sale or auction of our parents' possessions. Ours is a very large extended family, with several starting housekeeping or downsizing so we have managed to share lots of furniture and housekeeping items. We all have sentimental favorites, such as; Mom's iron chicken fryer, a cricket rocker, a piece of jewelry, etc, which ensures everyone some piece of them.
The New Years weekend is almost over, it's Sunday afternoon as I pick up my iPad and finish this post. Time to really begin anew. I look forward to this year 2015 in hope that it will be easier than the last few years for my family. But we have faith that whatever challenges we face will be met with grace. No big goals or resolutions for me this year, I intend to eat the elephant one bite at a time. (For all my transformed counselor buddies!) God bless you all. Love