16 Months Without Him

August 29th, 2022

It has been…

16 months

73 weeks

508 days

12,175 hours

730,748 minutes

43,831,897 seconds

… since Leland left me. Broken down like this is more dramatic.

Last year, I never, never, never thought I’d reach this place (I really didn’t want to). The first time I looked up this statistic I was going to blog about it – but, no. It wasn’t time. It still jerked my chain.

NOW, now I am able to see those stats and smile. Yes, he left me but I know where he is. I know I’ll see him again. No, we won’t have the same relationship. Heaven is focused on Jesus and God. But I’ve heard… we can have our mansions next to one another, visit one another, and check out heaven (he can show me cool stuff).

I am getting ready to go into the second bedroom closet today and pack up Leland’s things (finally). I’d seen the advice that it is important to wait until you’re ready.

Healing time. People have asked how I am. So much better than I was. I have been working with God to focus forward. To let go of so much. To plan a life that is full and yes, dare I say, fun? Hey. If he didn’t want me to have fun without him, he shouldn’t have left me here.

Some people act like I should never talk about him again. Some think that if I am doing better, either (1) I’m not facing reality or (2) I didn’t esteem our love highly if I can get over it (ha). I have a (3) for them – our love was so precious and deep, and he loved me so purely and unconditionally that he would kick my bootie if I wasted my life even thought he’s gone. 

Life is too precious and short not to find ways to enjoy it to the max. And as my son says, we honor Leland by living the best life we can because that’s what he taught us.

♥♥

Momentary Maudlin

June 1st, 2022


I heard this song today (Monday, Memorial Day). It’s been around for a while (2011) but I didn’t know it. I had never heard it. It’s from a musical called “Ghost” (I saw the film in the 90’s). The song is called “With You” and today, for some reason, it was just how I felt. Maudlin.

Maudlin: maud·lin. adj. Effusively sad or full of self-pity; extremely sentimental:

Yep, that described me today. Effusively sad. Full of self-pity. Extremely sentimental. HEY!! Don’t judge. The important thing is that I didn’t STAY down. 

I was going through his clothes today. Some still smell like him. Delicious. I liked that. No, I didn’t decide to sleep in his t-shirts… but I thought about it. So much of him left behind. It’s time to pack up for donation. I think. I still can’t drive by our old home but I’m going to, someday. 

I did learn something about myself. Yes, this song’s words were perfect about losing him. It jerked tears out of me. It let me temporarily go to a place of missing the heck out of Leland. BUT. I knew. I knew I could not stay there.

It was a momentary speck of time, allowing myself 4 minutes and 25 seconds of falling into memories of times past, looking at screensaver pictures of him and remembering when they were taken and what we were doing. I remembered all times he slow danced with me. I remember every wild place we made love. So many memories. And, yes. Choking up and talking to the ceiling, to him.

Then I sat up, shook off the maudlin and realized this: IF Leland saw me from heaven, wallowing for 4 minutes and 25 seconds, he wouldn’t like it. He wouldn’t want me falling into the mulligrubs. He would be shaking his head. He would not be pleased.

It was kind of nice remembering some of the special things about him. It is okay BECAUSE I won’t stay here. I can’t. If I focus backwards then I won’t be able to move forward. Much as I don’t like him leaving me here, I do have to move forward.

Josh (son) has absolutely forbidden me to leave him right now. I have books to finish. I have the rest of my life to live to the best of my ability without him. I face forward and breathe. One inhale and exhale at a time. 

Without him.

But I did enjoy this song for 4 minutes and 25 seconds. Shhhh! Don’t tell Josh. 

♥♥

Mulligrubs, Meriam-Webster:  : a despondent, sullen, or ill-tempered mood : sulks, (the) blues. 

 

 

The Year Since He’s Been Gone

April 8th, 2022

 

One of Leland’s favorite movies was Pixar’s “Finding Nemo”.  One of my favorite parts was the character Dory. Dory had the perfect answer to how I survived this past year without the love of my life. Her answer to when life gets you down is to “Just keep swimming”.

That’s what I’ve done. I just kept on keeping on. I put one foot in front of the other and just kept swimming in this pool called life. God sustained me completely since I chose to live.

Joshua (son) absolutely would NOT allow me to give up, give in and give out. He threw my words back in my face. He would tell me, “We need to honor Dad’s walk with God” or “We will make him proud” or “He taught us so much so we can’t let that go.” There were times I wanted to punch him in the face… but he was texting and not anywhere near my hands. No mullygrubs.

I asked him once when he got so smart. His reply? “I did listen to what you and dad taught me. Mom. I may not have seemed like it at the time, but I did.” That was obvious because while dealing with his own sadness, he was a ROCK helping me this past year.

Photo Bombed Food Picture

Today is the anniversary of him leaving me. Do I miss him? Every. Single. Day. Will I see him again? Thank God, yes. I have some things to say to him about leaving me here without him. It sucks.

Is he having fun in Heaven? Most assuredly. I’ve studied enough about Heaven this past year to actually be jealous. Heaven is so much more than we know. No playing harps on clouds. It’s a REAL place.

But… life has gone on. And on. And on. Walking out this temporary journey. Growing whole again. Realizing that colors are coming back into my black and white world. Smiling, laughing, living.

Knowing that life is all about putting one fin in front of the other… JUST KEEP SWIMMING.

New Beginning – January 1, 2022

January 1st, 2022

gratitude

I have pretty much been in a daze since April so I missed most of this year.

I survived Thanksgiving, Leland’s November birthday and Christmas! I call in a win. I did really okay – until Christmas. I solved that by planning to simply ignore it! 

My 9′ tree is too tall for this house. Leland loved decorating for Christmas so I didn’t even unpack anything (it was in storage so I couldn’t have found it anyway). I planned to simply thank God for His son and call it a night. I was going to be a semi-scrooge.

Friends had other ideas. One sent me a goody box with odds and ends – things I love – but each one was wrapped up in Christmas paper and I wasn’t allowed to open them until Christmas morning. She gave me something so special – something to look forward to besides spending a day missing Leland. Thank you, Shelly.

One gave me cash and commanded that I only use it to buy what I needed for a special Christmas dinner. So I did and had a very special meal. without slaving over a hot stove or choking on it because I was crying too hard. Then she turned around and sent me provision such as a case of toilet paper, paper towels, laundry soap, and the like. Thank you, Carolyn.

My neighbors (whom I really don’t know) checked up on me.  People texted or called. There were so many little things that made the week extraordinary. No one would leave me alone so I wasn’t allowed to be a semi-reclusive scrooge.  Thank you to Mona, Susan, Michelle, Barbara, Joshua, and so many others.

Going into this New Year, it is a time of new beginnings. NO. I don’t want to go on without Leland – what’s the fun in that? But since he decided to party hearty in heaven, I decided I was going to live. 

Thank you to everyone who has kept me in their prayers. Thank you for showing me the love of God. Thank you for being there for me. Thank you for checking on me. Thank you for being a sounding board when I needed one. Thank you for your words of wisdom. Thank you for financial and material help. Thank you for just showing me how blessed I am.

Most of all, thank you to God, who challenged me to live. 

Yeah, and okay – thank you for not allowing me to be a semi-reclusive scrooge.

zazzle.com

 

He Said, “Dance With Me”

October 31st, 2021

In a little over a week, it will have been 7 months since Leland moved to heaven without me. I still remember sitting there arguing with God that I should be able to come on, too. He disagreed.

Seven months later, I can report that I am going to live and thrive. I can say that without feeling guilty (finally). I am able to breathe without it feeling as if I have a broken rib, pain. Breath that hurts because of the agony in my heart. 

My son Josh, Mr. Bossy Britches, has taken up the mantle of quoting his dad’s wise sayings, and throwing in his own. While dealing with his own pain, he constantly preached to me that I was going to make it. He would nag that I couldn’t insult his dad’s faith, memory, or who he was and what he stood for, by falling apart. 

Yes, there were times I wanted to smack him. I didn’t. He was right and we both survived.

No, I didn’t feel as if I could go on, putting one foot in front of the other. There were times I did not want to get out of bed but I had to. It hurt so badly that I spent a lot of time just sitting and staring. And, as my friend Susan told me after she lost her 46 year old son to a stupid surgery accident a month prior – it’s perfectly okay to just sit.

I still don’t leave the house much, but I do leave. I still don’t want to talk to people who knew us, but I have. I am just now able to read people’s emails sent to me from back then; I just couldn’t in the beginning.

I still have a little bit of trouble looking at his many pictures. I can’t listen to his playlists of all his favorite songs. These things just overwhelm me with memories right now. But that’s okay, too. Someday they won’t hurt. 

I heard this song today. It is one I found to give to Leland. It was a way I expressed my love to him – finding songs that fit our relationship (and vice versa). He loved this song because it expressed who he was. He was always asking me to dance with him. He always worked to keep “the world” away from us. He protected what we had.

It doesn’t hurt, this song. It is one of the sweeter memories I have of him. I am pretty sure somewhere in past posts, I had already shared this song.

Today it is a poignant memory with the definition being, ‘something that is moving or touching but also slightly painful.”  That describes this memory – it hurts so good.

Thank you to everyone who prayed for me. I am grateful.

♥♥

One in A Million… Him

August 20th, 2021

 

I only had 27 years with the love of my life. We didn’t meet until we were 41 and 42. I often wonder, since he moved out and went to heaven, if I would rather have had 27 years then lose him – or would I rather have not had him at all so that I didn’t have to deal with the pain of life without him.

This song was one of the ones we loved to dance to in the living room, candles, usually fireplace fire, romance. I would always try to sing it to him – he loved my voice – but every single time, I choked up and couldn’t get past the lump in my throat. He loved that, too.

I don’t know if I told you this story or not, but he couldn’t dance. He had no rhythm and no matter what, just couldn’t find it. This is the type of man he was:

The first Christmas after we married (in March), his office was having a huge party at the country club. We got to dress up (he wore his suit, and I glittered). After we arrived at the country club, he sat in the car for a minute, then confessed: “I can’t dance.” 

I said, “Okaaay?” – and he went on, “I know you love to dance. I wanted you to have a wonderful time tonight” and I tried to interrupt to tell him that just being with him was wonderful enough but he went on:

“I asked God to teach me how to slow dance. To help me to move enough that we could dance without me embarrassing you.”  I said, “As if…”

And that evening was everything a woman could dream of. Dancing in the arms of a manly man who loved her enough to admit he couldn’t dance, and admit he asked for supernatural help.

No, we didn’t dip and swing out.  We wouldn’t have won any dance contests, either. But if there was a prize for the most romantic man and gesture ever, he won. That night was magical.

He moved slowly, with a slow type of rhythm. He moved his feet correctly. He held me so close and whispered sweet love words in my ear… well no, not really. He was 6’2″ and I was 5’1″ so he would have had to lean over a LOT.

So the truth – with or without him. 27 years or none. I choose the 27 years I had him. I had something rare, something few people ever find. Yes, it was cut short but I was able to experience a one in a million him.  I am grateful.  

A One in a Million You Lyrics