Hi Babe -
I never told you about our glamping trip in Guernville. It was awesome!! We didn’t quite get an airstream since they were sold out but we did get a happier camper!! EE named it Hubert!! It was super small and quaint, but we loved it. It was actually easier to get around the camper by walking around it from the outside!! I've attached a photo of Hubert for you!! I think you would have said, "Oh SY, what have you gotten me into this time!!" when you saw the camper if we were on this trip together!! 😂😂 Yup, we used communal bathrooms since the Hubert didn't have a built in bathroom!! But even the communal bathrooms were super nice!! We started the trip wine tasting in the area and then kayaking on the second day. The redwoods were simply majestic in the area. Everywhere you looked, the landscape was covered in redwoods. We kayaked for about 5 miles and it took us about 3 ½ hours. It was a Monday, so the ride was very serene and quiet; not a lot of people on the water. There were many times when I was paddling, all I could think about was you and my life without you. (You have a lot of time to think about things out in the woods with no wifi and cell service.) There were many times I wanted to scream at the top of my lungs at the universe and ask “Why me?! What did I do to deserve this?!” But, at the same time, as much as I want to curse the universe for what it has taken from me, I also have to be thankful for everything it has given to me as well during this journey. As much as it’s taken from me, it has also given back in manyfolds. Even though I’m going through the worst period in my life right now, I’ve never felt so much love and support from our family and friends, even my no nonsense, emotionless family has shown so much love and support (of course in their own way). Even in my darkest hour, I still feel so blessed, and I have no complaints!! I can be angry and curse the universe, but I also have to take a step back and be thankful for everything it has given to me as well. I would not be able to get to where I am right now without all the love and support from our family and friends near and far. The outpouring of love and support has been overwhelming and I’m so thankful for all of it. I’ve also been blessed with an amazing therapist, whose patience and guidance has taken me so far on this journey, even though I resist her most of the time, she continues to push me to never let fear be my boundary. Work has also been super supportive, and has many benefits to help with the grief process. Without all these things, I would not be where I am today. So, no matter how mad I am at the universe, I still have to take a step back and be thankful for everything it has given me to get through this journey.
EE and I called this adventure our #nofear trip. We made a pact to never let fear be the boundary of who we are destined to be. No matter the circumstance, we will always push through and never let fear be our boundary!! I will channel the warrior inside of me and find the strength and courage to continue living for the both of us. 💪🏽💪🏽💪🏽
Surprise!!! I threw you a 50th birthday party!! It was just like how you wanted it, small and intimate. Only family and close friends were invited. There was about 30-ish people in attendance, and we celebrated your milestone birthday and commemorated your life. I wanted to make sure you got the party you’ve been talking about for the last two years! It was bittersweet, and honestly, I wasn’t sure how it was going to turn out, or who would actually come, or how my emotional and mental temperament would be like at the party. Under my “normal” widow circumstance, I would have spent weeks mentally preparing myself for the event. I would somehow channel some sort of inner strength and courage to put on “my big girl pants” and show the world I was “Okay.” But this time, I didn’t. I mean, I wouldn’t even know where to start, and I also realized that there’s nothing okay with me so why bother pretending!! And, to be quite honest, I didn’t know how to mentally prepare for a birthday bash that I was throwing for my dead husband with his family and friends, who were reluctantly attending to not really celebrate your birthday per se, but to support me, a grieving widow who’s trying to find some sort of closure in her grief process by fulfilling a plan we had in a life that doesn’t exist anymore?! I mean, I’ve never gone through anything like this before, so where do I even start to try to mentally prepare myself for this?! Everything I had to mentally prepare myself for before this event were things I’ve done before (minus planning your memorial service and giving a speech at your memorial, but I had written a speech and practiced it everyday for weeks before the service because I was determined to give you a proper goodbye even if we weren't able to do it before you passed). These mental preparations were for things I used to do before you died, so they were more of mentally preparing myself to get back on the horse after a really bad fall, and not necessarily doing new things. But, this party was uncharted territory for me (and probably everybody involved)! This was something brand new and distinctly part of my new widowhood circumstance. I already had a few mental and emotional breakdowns planning and leading up to the event, so I figured, what’s another meltdown in front of 30-ish people anyways?! I mean, these are the people who have already seen me at my very worst, so there’s really nothing that can happen that they haven’t already seen. These are the people who saw me screaming out of my mind in the so-called ‘family room’ at the hospital when the doctors said, “I’m sorry to tell you that your husband passed away!” or when I had the mental breakdown and started pacing up and down the side of the hospital, out of my mind, ranting like a crazy lady for hours on end or when I ran towards your lifeless body, hugging and kissing you while your body laid covered under a white sheet on a hospital slab, begging you to wake up so we could go home together or when I was screaming, out of mind, and deranged coming home from the hospital and laying defeated, flat on the ground of our bedroom floor, unable to move because I couldn’t find the strength or courage to do anything but cry in disbelief that this was actually happening to me or when I wanted to go to sleep, so I could see you in my dreams or finally wake up from this horrible nightmare I was experiencing. So, in my mind, there’s really nothing that could happen that would be worse than what they’ve already witness or seen me go through. So, I winged it!
Overall the party was good, light-hearted, and bittersweet. Before the cake cutting session, we read goodbye letters to you from the PO box (I had a PO box setup for people to send you goodbye letters, and a few of your coworkers actually sent in letters), and people at the party had time to say a few words to reflect on your impact in their life. The plan was to read the goodbye letters, but two sentences into the first letter, I broke down and couldn’t find the strength to read anymore, so EE had to take over and read them for me. I also wanted to take a page out of your playbook by giving an impromptu thank you speech to everybody that attended, but that didn’t happened. I could barely sing happy birthday, so there was no way I would be able to deliver a thank you speech on the fly like you typically would. I was only able to get through the first verse of happy birthday when I had to stop because I knew I was about to lose it if I kept singing "happy birthday to you." Well, in my mind, it could have been a lot worse! I could have lost it to the point where I’d fallen on the ground in despair, sobbing uncontrollably, and scaring everybody there, but I didn’t!! So, overall, it was a victory for me!!
Anyways, the highlight of the event was the photo mural timeline of our story. I spent hours and hours scouring through photos from our childhood to when we first met to our wedding and to when I was all alone in this world. I found all sorts of photos locked away in boxes and digital files. All these tidbits and moments of our life preserved in photos that sat disorganized, unseen, and forgotten in boxes and digital files. It was like walking through the memory lane of our life and story to only realize that this life doesn’t exist anymore. That these happy photos of us smiling would one day end tragically and terribly. An ending that’s so full of pain and heartache and unfulfilled plans and dreams. Nobody would have guessed that our perfectly happy and complete life could end up turning into utter disarray and uncertainty in less than 20 minutes. This was definitely not on my radar or even anything that I could even fathom happening to me. But, it did. It’s completely unbelievable, and at times, it’s still very hard for me to grasp or even believe that this is really my life and that you are really not here anymore, even though I’ve been living this new reality for almost six months now. It’s still hard to believe at times, and my heart still skips a beat whenever I think about it and try to grasp that this is my new reality.
You don’t know how many nights I laid in tears looking through these photos. How many times I yearned for the days in the photos to come back. How badly I want to see your face and feel your embrace like in the photos again. How much I miss you and wish you were here with me again. You don’t know how many meltdowns I had working on the photo mural timeline of our story. Each photo felt like it was mocking me, serving as a constant reminder of the life I used to have but don’t have anymore. It was a stark reminder of this terrible new reality I was stuck in. How everything from our life was relegated to these snapshots in time of some memory or moment we shared, but I couldn’t remember exactly when, where, or what happened, making me realize even more how important it is to start chronicling our story and writing things down. I’ve come to realize how everything we have and own has its own story to tell and share. Even the most insignificant thing like the aluminum stockpot that doesn’t even work on the induction stove has a story to tell. Even the return address stamps tell a story of our life, of where we’ve been, and of where we’re going. But the biggest heartache was realizing that these photos coupled with the memories in my head were all I have left of you (figuratively speaking of course babe, I know I still have an entire house full of your things that I still haven’t quite figured out what to do with yet either). Whenever I look at the photos of us smiling on the mural timeline wall or hanging around the house, I can’t help but feel this intense pain and yearning in my heart, like somehow my entire world was taken from me, ripped away against my will, stolen from me without any rhyme or reason. Sometimes, I wonder if our life was the dream and I’ve finally woken up from it. Most of the time, I just want to sleep so I can see you in my dream and hear your voice and boisterous laughter and feel your embrace. The only time I find happiness now is when you visit me in my dreams. I constantly go to bed hoping you visit me in my dreams, so I can feel the warmth and love I used to have in my life, but now they only exist in my dreams.
I know you will always carry me through, especially when I can't do it on my own...
Happy Birthday Babe! You’re officially an old man now!!!
June has been very difficult. There are many reminders that you’re not here and I’m all alone in this world. You know it’s been really rough for me, so you came to comfort me the other day. The night when EE and I got back from glamping, I felt your presence so strongly when I was going to bed. I could feel you kneeling by my bedside, and you started telling me something (but of course I can’t remember what you said). I couldn’t see you, but I could feel your presence so strongly. I knew it was your spirit visiting me. It was so strong and felt so real. You kneeled by my bedside as I was laying on my right side in bed. You looked at me and was trying to encourage and lift my spirits up; you knew I needed. Then you said “I love you very much” (I think that’s what you said, which is typically what you would say in these situations), and then you climbed into bed next to me and spooned me tightly. You held me so tight. I felt so loved and protected. It felt so real that I didn’t realize it was a dream until I abruptly woke up. I had just fallen asleep it seemed like when I had this dream.
I woke up feeling indifferent. I’ve been waiting for you to come and give me a proper goodbye. Now that it's happened, I can’t even remember what you said to me. But I guess it doesn’t matter what you said, it’s how you made me feel in the dream that mattered. It’s like what I said at your memorial service, “I promise to be strong and continue to focus on all the love and laughter we’ve shared, and on the days I can't, I will let you and our love carry me through.” I know that’s why you came to visit me. You wanted to tell me that you were here to carry me through this difficult day and all the difficult days that lay before me. You've been looking forward to this day since you were 48!! I promise to fulfill the plans you wanted for your special day. I love and miss you so much that at times, it’s almost unbearable.
P.S. I think animal grief is like human grief. It comes and goes and hits more on certain days than others. Pebbles is back to laying in our bed in the dark. She looks so sad all the time now, like her world has turned upside down. Sasha started laying in your side of the closet like she’s waiting for you to come pick her up and hold her around the house and tell her how perfect she is. Bam has started laying on the bench by the front door (EE was the one who told me he did this. She says, “He sits on that bench all day waiting for you to come home!” But then I noticed, he was doing that even when I was home. So, maybe he’s waiting for someone else to come home. Jesse is breaking all the rules and taking advantage of mommy until daddy comes home. Biscuit, well, Biscuit is Biscuit! There isn’t much else to say about her. So, we’re all waiting for you to come home babe! Don’t make us wait too long!!
It’s been awhile since I wrote. EE is here visiting for the month and I’ve been busy planning a surprise for you!!! I wanted to let you that I haven’t forgotten about you and that I love and miss you very much. These last few weeks has been an emotional journey, and I’m taking some time to privately work through it. I’m probably going to take a break from writing for the next couple of weeks, so I can focus on the surprise I have planned for you and on continuing to prune my garden. I’m also trying to read more about people who are on or going through a similar journey as me to gain different perspectives and insights, hoping it will help me on my journey.
Although I’ve already read Option B by Sheryl Sandberg, it was before you passed away, so I’m sure if I went to read it again, I would have a different perspective now. Last week, I was reading an article about how Sheryl felt after her husband passed away. She talked about how she had lost her self-confidence and had an “identity crisis,” is what I would call it, after her husband passed. Those words struck a chord when I read them since that’s the part of the journey I feel that I’m on right now. Trying to figure out who I am without you and who I need to be to survive this tragedy. As you know, self-discovery is never an easy thing, especially when you aren’t sure what you’re going to find or uncover. But, I’m learning a lot about your SY and how she has evolved since meeting you. Mostly for the better, but there are some things I didn’t even realize I stopped doing or being until now. It was almost like a part of me before I met you was slowly left behind over time and I didn’t even realize it, which isn’t a bad thing and is expected, but I guess I’m just realizing it now.
Anyways, I have to run. EE and I are going to glamping in the Russian River area. We’re going to be staying in airstreams!!! I wished I heard of this before you passed, since I know it would have been something you would totally want to do! We decided to go to commemorate your love for airstreams!!
It’s been a few days since I wrote, I was in the OC over the weekend for Baby JAY’s 1st birthday! Can you believe she’s 1 year old now? Doesn’t it feel like yesterday we were just celebrating her Red Egg and & Ginger Party? It’s amazing how quickly times flies. Sometimes, it feels like life is passing us by way too quickly! It was a little difficult to be back in So Cal, mainly because grandma doesn’t know you’ve passed, so she asks about you whenever you’re not there. I wonder at what point will I run out of excuses to tell her. Grandpa came to the party (which was at my sister’s house), which was surprising since it’s hard for him to get around nowadays. It’s almost like his health deteriorated so quickly in the last few months (it almost seems to coincide with when he found out you passed). When he was getting ready to leave, he glanced at me with these worried and sorrowful eyes, like he could feel the pain and sorrow that lays deep and unspoken inside my heart. I know he’s probably worried about me and wondering how I will manage the rest of my life without you. How will I ever find joy and happiness without you. As you know, I’m really close to my grandpa, and he knows I’m in a lot of pain, but he doesn’t even know what to say or how to support me. I mean, although there were many close calls, even he has never lost his spouse. I think about the look he gave me often, and it constantly brings me to tears. It’s like he knows I’m not okay, even if I don’t know it myself. His heart aches because he knows that mine is broken and shattered into a million pieces, and he doesn’t know how to take the pain away or how to help me glue the pieces back together.
Recently, I’ve come to realize that I’m not okay and there’s nothing normal about me or my life, even though that’s all I want people to think by putting up a facade that, even at times, deludes me as well. I think my therapist has been trying to get me to understand this for a long time now, but of course, I’m not hearing her. I sit in that chair and tell her there’s nothing wrong with me, why are people treating me differently. But, now I realize, there’s nothing normal about me, but I still want people to treat me normally. I don’t need to be handled or managed. People don’t need to walk on eggshells around me, and I definitely shouldn’t be holding anybody’s hands through my crisis. I shouldn’t have to pretend to be okay so people don’t feel uncomfortable around me. My therapist says I’m entering the phase of the grief process where I’m paying more attention to my feelings and emotions, figuring out the type and level of support I need from the people around me, and voicing my needs and wants to the people in my life. I guess this is the part where I'm cultivating by garden. Gosh, gardening is a lot of work, Babe!!
I love and miss you so much. Lately, I’ve been thinking about what our life would look like if you were still alive. How you would act or what you would say or the look you would give me at whatever moment or instance I’m in. I never ever wanted to go there before because I knew it would be too painful, but now I know and understand that this pain will never go away (so there’s no point in trying to rush through the process, so I can get to the end of the journey where I think I will be better and okay), and it’s okay to miss, want, and yearn for you because holding back the pain and fear just makes it harder. I have to start confronting my pain of losing you, conquering my fears of letting my heart miss and yearn for you, and finding the courage and strength to forge a life without you. I have to accept that you’re not coming home and this is a part of my story and of who I am now. I have to accept that your journey has ended while mine is still continuing and the universe has other plans for me, whether I like it or not.
This has been an interesting week. I feel like I've found my widow voice! It’s like I found the warrior within me! Last Friday, I was finally able to intercept a package that my friend from Singapore sent me. She sent it in early May to our old address (not realizing we had moved) and since I hadn’t said anything about it, she asked if I received a package from her?! It turned out it was delivered to the old house. After some back and forth with our realtor, I was finally able to pick it up last Friday. It was a silver bracelet with the word WARRIOR etched on it. And the enclosed card said, “Being a warrior is about having the quiet courage to say at the end of the day, ‘I will try again tomorrow.’” It was the perfect gift that arrived at the perfect time. It was like it was meant to be delayed before I could received it. I might not have been ready for it any earlier than when I got it. I’ve been wearing it since I received it last Friday, and without realizing it, I’ve grown stronger in the last week. It's like I've found my inner voice. Like I'm ready to speak my truth!! All the white noise that I’ve been sweeping under the rug and avoiding came to light!! I found the courage to say what I needed to say to the people who needed to hear my truth. Not sure if it was well received by all, but at least, I said what was on my mind. Now, I feel so liberated. Like this enormous weight has lifted from me. There’s still a lot more ground to cover, but it’s the first step in the right direction, if you ask me!! Even if some people might not be ready to hear what I have to say, I have to make my inner voice heard!! I can no longer remain silent. I must take the bull by the horns!! It's a constant struggle that never seems to end!! If it's not raging inside of me, it's raging outside of me!! Well, nobody ever said keeping up a garden was easy!! You usually do the gardening in the household, so I guess I never realized how hard it was to prune and maintain a large and vibrant garden. It’s a lot of work Babe! But, I guess I have to do it if I want to survive this journey!!
Also, the Warriors won the series in Game 4. (Which is a big deal, right?! I hope series is the right sports word to use in this instance! If not, oh wells! I apologize in advance.) Oh, one thing I forget to mention yesterday was that our wedding coincided with one of the Warriors’ championship games (it was the first time the Warriors made it to the playoffs in a very long time!) You said, “SY, what are we going to do if the Warriors make it to Game 4 (or whatever game it was)?! The game starts when we’re getting married!! How can I watch the game if we’re getting married?!” I said, “Well, we planned our wedding before the Warriors made it to the playoffs, so too bad. Anyways, everything is booked, we can’t move the wedding, and I think getting married should take precedence over the game!!” I’m sure you didn’t agree with me, but you oh wells! Even my brother called and teased you by saying, “What are you going to do if the Warriors make it to game 4?! Are you going to put up big screen TVs at your reception so we can watch the game?!” You actually toyed with that idea until I squashed it!! Your response was, “But babe, if we don’t put big screen TVs up at our reception, then everybody will be zoning out of our wedding because they will be too busy watching the game on their phones!!” I said, “If people want to watch the game instead of pay attention to our wedding, that’s fine with me! But I’m not going to put up big screen TVs at our reception so our guests can watch the game.” So, when the Warriors won in 2015, which was the first time in a really long time, you ran to find me and kept saying, “The world is going to end, SY!! The world is going to end!!” I was like, “what the heck are you talking about?!” “You don’t understand SY, the Warriors won the championship for the first time in XX years (I have no clue how long it was, hopefully people get the gist!!), I got married, and I started playing golf!!” I said “So?!” “Don’t you get it SY?! These were all the things I thought would never happened and they did!! So, the world must be ending soon!!” I just started laughing at you and said, “I guess you became the person you always despise!!” I don’t know Babe, maybe the world did end?! Maybe you were right?! You were always a very perspective person!! You always saw things before anyone else could, well at least before I could!! Oh speaking of the Warriors, I can see the fireworks going off for their celebration from our house!! I know if you were here, you’d say, “Babe, order me the championship hat!!! Hurry!!” You tell everybody that you have me order the championship hat every year the Warriors win because I can type faster than you (just in case they sell out before you can hit ‘place order’!)
Happy Anniversary Babe!!
Happy Anniversary Babe!!! I know it’s your 5 month deathversary, but today, I rather focus on our 3rd year wedding anniversary!!! Honestly, I wasn’t sure how I was going to be today! It was a toss up, but since I had such an emotional meltdown over the weekend, today ended up being just any other day!! There’s only so many emotional meltdowns I can manage on a weekly basis, you know what I mean?! Honestly, I think it was the Type A, high-functioning widow in me that subconsciously scheduled my emotional meltdown for our anniversary over the weekend so I could get on with life and work during the week!! But I did warn my boss just in case I had a rough morning and couldn’t come into the office. He kind of looked surprised when I showed up this morning. Also, my therapist wanted me to have some people on standby just in case I needed emotional support (not just for today, but in general). Now that it’s been 5 months since you passed, most people tend to forget you aren’t here anymore as their lives start to return to normal (you know, since they don’t live with you and aren’t reminded everyday that you aren’t here anymore - it’s easy to forget!!), while I’m still trying to put the pieces of my life back together. And since I’m able to manage my pain and grief better (because you know...time heals!!!), I will appear to the outside world like I’m doing better (whether I am or not in the inside is a different story). But since I appear to be better, people will stop asking how I’m doing or trying to support me since they aren’t sure if it’s still acceptable to talk about it or not (you know, because I seem so normal now!! Why remind her that her husband died?!) So, I have a few people on standby with a code word that means I’m not okay and need emotional support, but it doesn’t necessarily mean I want to talk about my pain or grief. It just means, I need to talk to someone about anything or nothing! So, I guess the fire department got the code word on Sunday night! (Yes, of course I know better than to make LH one of those people!!! He got more important things to be on call for than his recently widowed work wife!!)
Anyways, enough about all this grief talk - I’m over grief today! It can kiss my A** for all I care today! Let’s talk about our wedding and anniversary instead!! So, it usually goes something like this...I would get a text message from you at some point in the day, “Happy Anniversary Babe!” Then I would respond, “It’s our anniversary today?!” And you would say, “Yes!!” Then I would say, “Are you sure?!” For some reason, I can never remember our wedding date! I always tell people we got married on June 6th, and you would promptly correct me, “We got married on the 7th, not the 6th!” Then I would say, “Are you sure?!” “Yes, I’m positive SY!!” Then I would go and reference something with our wedding date on it (which we have a lot of throughout the house) to make sure you are correct! Then I would come back and say, “Yeah, you’re right!” You would shake your head and say, “Of course I’m right SY!” Well, in my defense, I would also get your birthday wrong every year, so it’s not like I’m singling out our wedding date to forget! For some reason I always think your birthday is June 19th instead of June 21st! (okay, I know the reason, but nobody needs to know I get your birthday mixed up with an ex-boyfriend!!) And whenever we go to a wedding, you would always lean in and quietly say, “Our wedding was better!!” Even when we attend weddings that were 100% fancier than ours, you would still lean in and quietly say, “Our wedding wasn’t as fancy but it more authentic and real than theirs!!” I would always given you the look and say, “Babe, of course you would think our wedding is the best! I’m sure everybody thinks that about their wedding! Just like how every parent thinks their kids is the best!” Then you would say, “No SY, our wedding was the best!! That’s a fact!!”
Don’t worry Babe, I won’t tell anybody that you were groomszilla throughout the entire wedding planning process and drove me crazy. You even dictated what colors our parents should wear to our wedding by sending them swatches of the approved colors for our wedding. When my mom’s dress color wasn’t from your approved color list, you told me I had to say something to her. I said, “My parents aren’t going to match the bridal color schemes for our wedding. That’s just not something they do!! If you want my mom to buy a different color dress, then you can tell her yourself because I don’t care what color she wears!!” I guess you were smart enough to realize it was a losing battle with my parents and gave up (even my dad’s black suit wasn’t acceptable)!! But, I guess you didn’t extend the same courtesy to your mom because a little while before our wedding, I get a text from your mom apologizing that she couldn’t find a dress that strictly matched the gray you wanted her to wear. I told her, “You will have to take it up with your son because I wouldn’t care if you showed up to our wedding in a hot pink dress as long as you came!” She thanked me for understanding since you were giving her a hard time about it (somehow she thought it was me that expected her to adhere to a strict color code for our wedding!! As if she didn’t know her son!!) Oh, and don’t forget the Vera Wang suit you wore and insisted your entire bridal party to wear also (even the ring bearer!!) When you picked the suit, I said, “You’re wearing Vera Wang?! I’m not even wearing a Vera Wang wedding dress!! My wedding dress was on sale, can’t you find something more affordable?!” Nope, you and your bridal party was wearing Vera Wang and that was that! Even the guy at the suit rental place commented on how involved you were in the entire suit selection process. He said, “Wow, he’s really involved in the decisions. Most of the time, the groom just comes to get measured but it’s the bride that make all the decisions!!” I wasn’t sure if it was a compliment or if he just pitied me!! Well, I have to admit, you guys did look really good though!! Oh yeah, how can I forget, you even had a problem with the bridesmaid dresses not being the same style and the color was slightly off the approved color list!! I told you to not worry about my people. Just make sure your people show up on time and your brother wasn’t MIA on the day of the wedding!! (Except for KT, your entire wedding party is notorious for being really fashionably LATE!!)
After we got our wedding video, I would show you the video whenever you got made at me for something I did or didn’t do!! Once you finished watching the video, you would smile and say, “What a great day!!!” and you would forget you were even mad at me!!
Okay Babe, I’ll admit it - our wedding day was pretty awesome!! Why don’t you watch our wedding video again?! Maybe you will stop being mad and haunting me in my dreams!! I also added some photos also ❤️❤️❤️
I love you Babe! Happy Anniversary!! Remember who said it first this year!!
P.S. I know, I clean up nicely!! You even told me that you wished I cleaned up like that on a daily basis!! 😂😜🤣 (You're lucky I have a good sense of humor!!)
P.S.S. OMG, how did I almost forget that you told me I had to wear heals for the wedding or else you were going to walk off the stage and not marry me!! You said, "All I ask from you is that for one day in your life, you wear heels!! I don't think that is too much to ask for! And I will check also, if you're not wearing heels, I will walk off that stage and not marry you!!" 🤦🏻♀️🤦🏻♀️😜 I even tried to get my podiatrist to you write you a note that said I couldn't wear heels for health reasons, but the doctor said, "I'm going to have to agree with your fiancé. You should wear heels!" Not even wedges, they had to be heels!!
Stop testing me...
Today was a rough day. I was exhausted by the time I got home. I ate dinner and was trying to catch up on some work but couldn’t cause I was so sleepy so I had to take a nap around 8pm (which you know I never do and has totally thrown my sleep pattern off). Last night was rough (actually the entire weekend was rough), I didn’t end up going to bed until after 2am. I went to bed around 12:30am and before I fell asleep, I heard this faint beeping noise. I wasn’t sure what it was so I just thought it was my mind playing tricks on me, so I just ignored it. But maybe about 15 minutes later, the beeping noise was a lot louder and I couldn’t figure out what it could be. So, I got out of bed and started walking around the house, the only thing I could think of was the battery on the smoke / carbon monoxide detector needed to be replaced or it was the carbon monoxide detector going off. So, responsibly, I called the non-emergency phone number for the fire department to get some advice on how to distinguish if it’s carbon monoxide or battery change warning. Well, the dispatch lady wouldn’t advise over the phone and only said she can send someone to check it out. I insisted she walk me through it over the phone, maybe after 5 to 10 minutes of back and forth, I reluctantly agreed for someone to come out, but I said no sirens since it’s late and I don’t want to wake anybody up in the neighborhood. Well, two fire trucks and three firemen later (which seemed like overkill to send so many people) sweeping the house, they determined that one of the older smoke detectors needed a battery change. I felt like such an idiot, and you know me, then I felt like I had to explain myself for wasting resources and their time. I told them I called the non-emergency line to get help but the dispatch wouldn’t help me over the phone and I didn’t want the house to burn down while I was at work and that you usually handled this stuff but you died and I had no clue, so I panicked and probably over-reacted (I think it’s was from watching Station 19 where one of the episode showed a smoke detector that kept going off intermittently when there wasn’t a fire, so she thought the detector was broken and ignored it for days, and it turned out to be some crazy invisible fire that was building up in the roof took the entire apartment building down and killed all these people -- I know what you’re thinking, “SY, that’s a TV show!!!” Well, in my defense, you woke up and died for no apparent reason; something that seems like it would only happes in the TV shows and movies, but it happened to me, so I think I was somewhat justified for overreacting in this case!!) Next thing you know, I break down in tears as I’m trying to justify myself, and the firemen are consoling me and tell me that this is their job and that I will be okay. I guess I’m lucky I got nice firemen last night and not socially inept EMTs that says, “I was one of the technicians that brought your husband in the ambulance. Sorry for your loss, I hope you have a better day!!" After they left, I also realized the beeping noise could have been the tattle tale thing we have for the animals to not jump on the sofa, but I swear it was a different beeping noise than the tattle tale, because that I know and can recognize. (But then again, with widow's brain, my mind tends to play tricks on me as well!! So, honestly, who freakin' knows!!) I just felt really 🤦🏻♀️🤦🏻♀️🤦🏻♀️.
Anyways, I feel like you are really putting me through the wringer Babe. I feel like you’re testing me to make sure I can live this life on my own. I still haven’t figured out the light bulb situation on my own. I still need help changing them. I almost feel like I’m protesting this one by not even trying to conquer the light bulb thing. It’s almost like I’m telling you I don’t freaking care if our light bulbs don't match - they’re just light bulbs. Their primary function is to serve one purpose and one purpose only: to provide light! Nothing more and nothing less. Why do we need so many different types and kind? Seriously?! You are over the top sometimes with these light bulbs. You had special ones for different occasions and you would switch them out whenever you needed to for a specific event / occasion. I always thought that was over the top!! So, maybe I'm protesting and putting my foot down on this one!! The next test was whether I could competently look after the animals on my own, which I failed when I didn’t even realize my ‘precious Jesse’ as you like to call him was left to fend for himself outside overnight since you were the one that always noticed if an animal is missing or up to mischief. Whenever it got too quiet, you start investigating!! (You did this with me also!!! This is how you usually catch me in the act of doing something I shouldn't be doing!!) The animals are lucky if they have water in their bowl most of the time since that was something you took care of as well. Okay, do we really have to go there and talk about the doors and windows??!! So a few times (okay, more than a few times, you happy?!), I’ve gone to bed with some doors unlocked because I don’t sweep the house and check every door and window is closed and locked before I go to bed like you do. Everytime I notice a door or slider unlocked for who knows how many days, I constantly hear you saying, “SY, you will never learn until someone comes into the house and kills you!” Then last night, the whole smoke detector thing. I don’t know if I failed or passed that one. I mean if it was more serious, I’m sure I passed. But who knows. Oh, let’s not forget you trying to scare me in my dreams when I was napping on Sunday also. I feel like that’s you trying to pop up and scare me s***less like whenever you came home from work to make sure I’m alert and ready to sound the alarm if there’s stranger danger lurking. You jumped out at me in the dream like you do when you come home sometimes whenever I'm not paying attention or don't even notice that you came through the door because I'm so immersed in whatever I'm doing to notice or be alert in my surroundings. Yes, I know, most of the time, I failed that test when you were still alive, and you would get so frustrated and say, “SY, that’s what you do when someone jumps out at you?! You don’t fight or attack?! You just stand there stun and screaming?? You can run or fight or claw my eyes out, but instead you chose to shriek in fear?!” I would respond, “Because I know it’s you, you want me to claw your eyes out and attack you?!” Then you would say, “Yes, I do want you to claw my eyes out and attack me. Then I would know you ready and prepared for stranger danger!! Right now, you are not showing to me that you are in any way ready or prepared to fight against stranger danger!! Have I taught you anything?! What would you do if I’m not here to protect you?!” And I would promptly respond with, “I’m sure I will know how to act appropriately if there's a real stranger danger situation!!” I guess now, I really do need to be more alert and aware of my surrounding (Yes, I know, I’m completely oblivious of my surroundings, you don't have to remind me!!). But, I’ve always had you for this - so it’s hard for me to be alert and aware of my surrounding and situation when I’ve never had to be before. I guess it’s the little things in life that we take for granted. We don’t realize what we have until it’s gone; like something as simple as taking a breath. When it’s gone, it’s gone, whether we are ready for it or not.
Jesse, the street cat...
I can’t write for too long today since it’s late and I’m exhausted, but I wanted to tell you that Jesse slept outside last night because I didn’t do a headcount before going to bed. The dogs were acting crazy before I was going to bed, but I thought maybe there was a critter outside, not that they were trying to tell me that Jesse is outside and wants to come back in. No wonder the dogs were going crazy. Yes, I know, you always tell me to watch the dogs’ behavior and antics since they are usually trying to tell me something or alerting me of something, but you know me! I never pay attention to these things. You know, I’m hard of hearing, so I never hear him meowing outside when he’s ready to come back inside when he escapes to the great outdoors. You’re usually the one that hears him and lets him back in! He had gotten outside earlier in the day but then magically appeared for the dinner feeding. I didn’t realize he got outside again after he ate his dinner until I went to fed the animals in the morning, and Jesse didn’t come for his morning feeding. I should have known something was wrong when he wasn’t sleeping next to me last night and walking all over me and kneading me to wake up and feed him this morning. When he didn’t come for the morning feeding, I thought he was locked up in a room or drawer or closet somewhere, so I searched the entire house and couldn't find him. Then it occurred to me that I had left the sliders open and there’s a hole in one of the screen door from Bam Bam scratching at it (I know, this would never happen if you were still alive! And, if it did happen, Bam Bam would be on a major timeout or missing a paw or something along those lines!!!) I called his name and he didn’t come out, so I started to get worried. Luckily, YA was coming over for breakfast, so he climbed down to look for him underneath the deck area (since you know that’s where he likes to go hangout and hide whenever he gets loose). No such luck (well at least YA couldn't see or find him). So, I’m starting to freak out, thinking he got attacked or eaten by a mountain lion or fox or goat or something. Then out of nowhere, we hear this meowing and look outside and guess who finally decided to come home. We opened the slider and he waltzes inside the house like nothing and walks towards his food and starts eating. He looked like he had slept in a bush somewhere, he had leaves and brush stuck on his head and along the side of his body! Well, I was definitely relieved, but I hope he learns a valuable lesson today that Daddy isn’t here anymore, and Mommy doesn’t do a headcount before she goes to bed, so he better come home before the street lights turn on!! Mommy got too many thing going on in her head that she can't kept up with his escape artist antics. This is the first time in the entire 12 years I’ve had him that I didn't realize he wasn't home and I left him to sleep outside!! My poor baby...but really, I hope he learned a valuable lesson today - at least it wasn’t too cold last night!
Also, I had a very scary dream about you when I was napping today! You scared the S*** out of me - I hope you’re not mad at me or something, but honestly, I really don’t like it when you scare and haunt me in my dreams! It usually wakes me up abruptly, and I'm uneasy for the rest of the day! Why can't you just be nice and come to visit and tell me nice things like how much you love and miss me instead of saying angrily, "Stop telling YA and MY my business!" Ironically, neither of these people read the blog and I haven't told them anything about you lately, so I really don't know what you're talking about!
P.S. I finally found a home for your fish tank! I posted an ad on craig's list and a bunch of people emailed me since it was free. The first person that emailed me said he was going to come and pick it up today at 9:30am. When he didn't show up at 10:30am, I called him and he said he was going to come around 12:30 or 1pm instead (like I had nothing else better to do than wait for him). I asked him, if he wasn't going to make it on time, why didn't he let me know in advance or make other arrangements instead of just not saying anything and thinking he can come whenever he wanted? He had all these excuses, so I just told him forget it! I ended up emailing the second person that contacted me (anyways, when I saw the emails come in, I honed in on the second person anyways, but I wanted to be fair and give it to the first person that emailed me!) But I responded to him and said the tank was taken already but if anything changes, I will let him know. So, after I got off the phone with the first guy, I emailed the second person. He didn't respond right away, and I got an undeliverable message, so I tried again in the afternoon and told them to call me if they still wanted the tank. They called and we arranged for the pick-up to be at 6pm. I told them what happened with the other guy and that if they weren't prompt, then I will move down the list. I wanted to make sure I gave the tank to someone who was really wanted the tank and will take care of it, not some irresponsible flake who doesn't show up on time and with no follow-up either. This person arrived promptly at 6pm and was super excited and stoked when he saw the tank. He didn't speak English, but it was obvious with his excitement. The kid with him tells us (YA was here, I wouldn't have some stranger come to our house when I'm alone don't worry Babe!) that the fish tank will be for arowana!!! After he tells us that, YA and I just looked at each, and we both knew it was going to the right home. Since Samy was an arowana also and you love arowanas!! It was bittersweet, and I didn't cry (I almost did, but I was able to fight it back!)
I’ve been thinking why I’ve been having writer’s block and I realize, it’s hard to tell you that I’m getting ready to leave our life behind (even though I plan to pack up some things and bring them with me). It’s very hard for me to tell you I’m getting ready to really say goodbye to you and working towards living in a world where you don’t exist and will never be coming home again. I know you aren’t here anymore, and I’ve learn to live in this new reality, but I still continue to live life as if you were still alive except I do everything on my own. I haven’t really changed much in my life, and I didn’t think I needed to either, but my therapist says if I continue like I do, then I’m just living in the middle room and not taking the next step. She says a lot of people stay in the middle room for a long time and I should continue to live there until I’m ready. But nothing will ever change if I do nothing to change it. In order for change to happen, there needs to be a catalyst. I’m not saying I’m ready to open the door and walk through to a life with you, but I do need acknowledge that that door does exist and I shouldn’t be afraid to look at it, and I can start taking baby steps to start preparing myself while I’m in the middle room so that when I’m ready, I will be prepared for the next part of the journey. This will probably be the steepest climb up the mountain on this journey that I have to take, so I have to take it slow and and make sure I’m grounded and have my footing through the whole climb or else I might fall down and end up further behind than where I am now. So, now that I’m starting to prepare for the next stage on this journey, I find it really hard to tell you about it. I feel like I have to tell you that I’m getting ready to break-up with you (which you know is not something I want to do, but I don’t have much choice or say in the matter). So, it’s been really hard to say, “I love you and miss you so much but I have to say goodbye and leave you now.” You don’t know how hard it is for me to even say that to you. I’m afraid you might get mad and not understand why I have to leave you. You know I don’t want to, but I can’t stay in the middle room forever either. Right now, I feel like I’m straddling two worlds that are in direct conflict with each other. It’s been a constant struggle and battle to figure out how I’m feeling and knowing what to do.
Even though it’s been almost five months since you passed, sometimes it’s still hard to believe that you are not here anymore. There are moments when my heart skips a beat and the wind gets knocked out of me when I think, “He’s really not here anymore!” It’s like the ocean waves are crashes against me, but I don’t get pulled underwater anymore, and I don’t feel like I’m drowning either, but it still hits me very hard even though I don’t lose my footing when the ocean waves are crashing against me now. Grief continues to come and go like the ebb and flow of the ocean, the pain doesn’t hurt any less than when it first happened, but it’s not as devastating and I don’t feel like I’m drowning anymore. I know you aren’t here anymore, but there are moments where it’s still hard to believe that you aren’t here anymore either. It’s a weird feeling to know one thing to be true and definitive but also hard to believe and accept at the same time. It’s like I’m constantly at odds with myself - knowing but wanting to believe in something else and hoping that I will still wake up from this nightmare. It’s hard to believe that one day I was happily married and feeling like I was on top of the world and in a blink of an eye, everything shattered and my entire world was turned upside down.
A little while ago, I had to contact the home owners insurance lady about something and she asked how I was doing. I responded with “I’m doing okay. It still feels surreal but less alternate universe, if you know what I mean!” That’s how I feel most of the time now, it still feels strange and surreal, but less like I’m trapped in some alternate universe trying to find a way home to earth 1.
I took a break from writing and came across an article about a widower whose wife died of pulmonary embolism after giving birth to their daughter. She was in the hospital and they still couldn’t save her from the pulmonary embolism (but this was 10 years ago and I'm sure more is known know about PE now), and just like that, she died 27 hours after giving birth at the ripe age of 30 before she was even able to carry her daughter. They were high school sweethearts and married for three years (similar to our story, but we were older when we started dating and we didn’t have a baby! Which you don’t know how thankful I am...I can’t even imagine going through this pain and grief while dealing with a baby or kid. It seems impossible to be a good parent while going through this tragedy, but I know it happens all the time!! Just dealing with the animals is a lot of work. Watching them grieve was hard. I didn’t know how to help them through their pain, especially Pebbles and Sasha! But, just like mommy, the babies are starting get back to their normal selves as well. The dogs are playing with each other again and Pebble is less sad and depressed. Sasha is starting to come out and play more - but sometimes I can’t tell if she hides because she doesn’t want her drops or if she misses you, it’s probably a little bit of both.) Anyways, back to the article I was reading. They started a pregnancy blog to chronicle their journey towards parenthood, but it ended up turning into a blog about being a single father and widower. The husband decided to continue blogging and it proved to be cathartic (which is the same for me as well), and he ended up writing a book and starting a foundation in his wife’s name! It’s amazing how he was able to channel his tragedy into something so positive. I can’t even fathom what he must have been going through, even though I’m going through it now. He just recently got remarried in February of this year (10 years later! So, if I follow this trend, it will be when I’m about 50!! Hmmm…..)
In the season finale of Grey’s Anatomy (Yes, I’m changing the subject, please keep up Babe!), Meredith is helping her daughter Lola get ready for Alex and Jo’s wedding, and Lola asks Meredith, “Mommy, when will you get married again?” Meredith laughs and says that you don’t get to two great love story in one life. Once is enough and that she doesn’t want to be greedy! Her daughter responds with love isn’t like candy where you’re greedy if you get more than one! Sometimes I think about this and wonder if I can ever love anyone again. Will there ever be enough room in my heart for someone else?? Honestly, I have no clue! But what I do know is that we always said, “If we don’t work out, we’d probably never get married again!” The time and investment it takes to build a relationship to the level we got ours to seems very daunting whenever I think about having to start over again. I mean, we didn’t decide to get married until 12 years later. But at the same time, I’m not even 40 years old yet, I can’t imagine spending the rest of my life alone when I know how great and amazing it was to be madly in love with your partner. To have love and laughter in your home and heart. To look at your partner after being together for 14 years like you just met and fell in love. It’s hard to have all that in your life and not to want and crave it again. I know I’ve never said it, but I’m sure it’s assumed how much my heart misses and yearns for you. I could fill all my days and time having fun with family and friends, but there’s always something missing--YOU! In my last therapy session, I told my therapist that I’m starting to feel very lonely. Even though I see friends and family on a regular basis, I miss the sense of closeness and intimacy I had with you. No matter how full my calendar is, I still feel very lonely and alone most of the time. I don’t think having a large and vibrant garden will ever fill my heart or stop the pain, but I guess it will help make it more bearable.
There are times I feel like I’m waiting for you to come visit me in my dreams so we can have that fairytale goodbye that happens in the movies or on TV. Where we tell each other how much we love each other before the person dies, instead of staring at each other blankly and speechless. It’s hard for me to not get upset whenever I play that scene back in my head. I can’t believe my last words to you was, “Stop panicking and breathing so hard!” And your last words to me was, “Okay!” We sat next to each other and I watched you trying to breath while you were on your knees. When the EMT brought the gurney and before you got on, you turned towards me and grabbed both of my shoulders and we just stared at each other, speechless. You were looking at me like you were trying to remember what I looked like. You looked like you were afraid this was going to be the last time you would see me and you didn’t want to forget what I looked like. You looked so scared, but you also looked so worried at the same time. All I could see in your face when we were staring at each other was, “What’s going to happen to my wife?! I don’t want to leave her yet!!” I can’t get that look out of my head. It continues to haunt me and I can’t help but feel I want a different ending. I want you to come back in my dreams so we can have our last conversation and say goodbye. I want a proper Hollywood goodbye ending, Babe. Is that too much to ask for?!
A grieving widow who is trying to find meaning and purpose from her tragic event.