Tuesday, May 27, 2008

a good week

after a rough weekend on mother's day, i was glad to have had a good couple of weeks. last wednesday my sister and i stopped in at the in-patient hospice unit where russ had stayed 2 times for respite and 2 times for symptom management. the nurses there were great with him and it was good to see a few of them again. sue and i had also decided to give some of the contributions we received after russ died to vitas hospice for the wonderful care he received from them. as a result, a plaque (albeit small) was placed on the wall of donations. the above pictures are of sue and i standing in front of the wall of plaques and a close up of his inscription. i especially like the "you done good" part.

we picked last wednesday to go as one of the nurses had called me over the previous weekend to say that their marketing people would be there to do a promotional video for physicians and families to see. they asked if i would be willing to be in the video and say something. i agreed not really knowing what i was agreeing to. what i thought would be a short thing turned out to be a 2 hour ordeal. i really didn't mind though as i got to see and be filmed with Dr. Q, who took care of russ when he was there, see and be filmed with a wonderful chaplin, also named russ, as well as see some of the nurses. sue was in the part of the filming with the chaplin but left the interaction with Dr. Q up to me as well as the personal testimony. i had to laugh for as long as i was there, the video crew was to be there 2 full days - all for a 2-4 min. video. i will probably be on 10-15 seconds but it was for a good cause. i made them promise to send me a copy. maybe i will be able to put it on my blog for you all to see. don't hold your breath though....

last weekend for memorial day we went up to door county. some of the grass seed bob and i planted is starting to sprout as well as the pachysandras we planted i think will make it. i was also thrilled to see the dafodills blooming. last fall, bob and i found them in the garage. they had to be at least 2+ years old at the time. gene would have bought them and never got them planted, i'm sure because russ wouldn't have understood what she wanted him to do. for the heck of it, we planted them and they all came up, just beautiful. i know gene is looking down smiling.

bob was also able to get russ' car started and running that had been sitting up there for over 2 1/2 years as well. i was about ready to just call someone to have it towed away but our neighbor has a plane and periodically flies up to door county and was looking for a car to drive when up there. bob said after he unlocked the wheels which had rusted shut (it was me that came up with the idea to use coke and whaala) and charged the battery, he got in and said, "ok russ, do you think it will start?" guess what, it started right up! bob said he can just hear russ telling everyone up in heaven "ya know i had this car that hadn't been driven in almost 3 years and it started right up!"

the weather was great and it was nice to be where both gene and russ lived and loved life. the cemetery was decorated with flags by the graves of those who had served for us. i did a little salute to russ as i thanked him and all of the others who have served this country to keep us free.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

a rough weekend

mother's day came and went. it was rougher than i thought. this was my first mother's day that i wasn't pre-occupied with russ since gene died so i really felt the absence of my mom. i have found myself crying at all sorts of little things lately that remind me of her.

it probably didn't help that i wasn't able to see either of my two boys on sunday either. mark had a final on sunday and matt had one monday so i told him to stay at school and study. i don't regret my decision but it was still awful lonely. it was nice to be with bob and his mom, but it wasn't the same, it wasn't MY mom. honestly, i think i would have been happier sitting home alone, feeling sorry for myself. it was the first mother's day since i've been a mother that i didn't spend it with my boys, or my mom, and the first one that really hit me that my mother is truly gone.

i went to the rescheduled "delayed grief" seminar a few weeks ago and it made me realize that that is what i'm going through. for so long my grief for gene was wrapped around taking care of russ that i put it off, avoided it, and probably even wanted to subconsciously. shortly after russ died there were things that needed taken care of but now i have nothing to occupy my idle time and wham, it's hitting me front and center. i know i have to walk through this grief and deal with it, that i can't go around it, yet i just want to move on and be happy again.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

labor of love

this past weekend bob and i went up to door county to tend to some spring cleanup outside. with russ' deterioration, the past few years have slipped by without the yard work getting done, except what really needed it. understandably, it seemed only the bare necessities were done. last summer the bushes in front of gene & russ bedroom had pretty much died (maybe a foreshadowing???). we were hoping they would come back to life last summer but never seemed to. this past saturday morning was spent digging out the bushes. (above picture, if you look closely that is lake michigan in the top part of the picture - it is a gorgeous view from the bedroom window) i think we will probably just plant some grass seed and see how it looks, we can always do something different later. we spent some of saturday and most of sunday raking up dead leaves from under trees (that had collected a couple of years worth) as well as raking and carrying more brush and debris deep in the woods. we were both pretty tired and a little sore but i must say it made me feel good and i felt a great sense of accomplishment afterwards. SO much so i decided we will go back up this weekend and try to complete what we didn't have time to finish. both boys will be studying for finals this weekend and mark actually has a final on sunday so they will not be home. also, i figure i can feel close to gene knowing it is her gift from me this year and we will also stop and see bob's mom on our way home on sunday. i hope everyone has a nice mother's day weekend this year. i know it will be tough for many but know i'll be thinking of you all.