I had to leave work early today. I knew when I was driving in at 7:24am that I probably wasn’t gonna make it that long. I knew at 6:50am that I was probably gonna be useless. As well as at 6:15am when the first harp started the progression from a musical instrument made to create beautiful sounds… to a car horn made to scare the shit out of someone who is unaware of the tin can behind them. It’s my version of the “Sunrise Alarm”… something which I will never own.
At 5:04am, when I woke up in Kateri’s chair, I really just didn’t want to go to work. But… you know… sometimes we have to do things even if we don’t want to… so I bounced my way up to bed, to at least get the feeling of waking up under the cozy covers! Wrapped in perfectly weighted sheets and blankets with just the right amount of chill in the air… yes please! And just made better by the pressure on the feet and ankles from the king size duvet. (Which… FYI… doesn’t help the “Seize the Day!” motivational side of things) A duvet that somehow got packed into our belongings when we were leaving a ranch gig over a decade ago. And by “somehow”… I mean “Kateri stole it”. (Now before you judge us too hard… the people were dishonest, disrespectful, assholes who used inappropriate words and sometimes threw temper tantrums… just take my word for it. Ya, ya, ya… they had some good qualities too, but c’mon… there are some things you just don’t do… or say)
The last little stretch (week… and a half… ish) has been kinda rough for me. Kateri’s birthday is coming up on Sunday… St. Patty’s… and I think it’s been bringing up a lot of things. I’m gonna write something on her birthday so I’m not gonna get into that right now, but Kateri loved being half Irish and being born on St. Patty’s Day. Her birthday had a big role in her life… and it was a big part of ours’s, as well. These types of dates… the “first ones as a widower” types… are always emotional to some degree or another, but I think this one kinda put me in a funk. It has made me miss Kateri more… because there is so much attached to the day… the memories… the meanings. I’ve been emotional… I’ve been sad… and I’ve been crying a lot. I’ve been crying… more. It’s somewhat annoying.
Part of what I’m having a hard time with is the “All-Inclusive Experience” being a widower provides. It’s relentless. The brain just doesn’t stop. There are periods where I can balance the “loss” and “living”. There have been times where “living” overshadowed “loss”! Other times… not so much. Right now, it just so happens to be a “loss” time. Yes, there is still “living” happening… just not a ton… and mostly in comfy clothes.
There is a numbness I have felt all through this, a kind of floating/zombie like thing. It was definitely stronger at the beginning, but I have noticed that it’s still there. Once in a while it will go away when I’m focused on something like snowshoeing, work, or eating Chinese food, but it’s still present. It’s a fog that doesn’t allow me to see things. I can tell that the light hitting the naked birch trees from the west and casting shadows on the snow covered ground is a beautiful sight out my windows, but it just doesn’t impress me the way it used to. I have stood between the schoolhouse and the chicken coop to watch the sun go down… and the sunsets were gorgeous, but then they end and I’m like, “Yup, that was a sunset.”. Of course, one time I turned my head and saw all the ladies huddled in the corner of their yard next to the coop and the picture it provided me brought up so many memories of Kateri… good memories… fun memories of chickens in trucks, on decks, and in bathrooms… that I realized I sorta rely on them when I feel lost and lonely. They help me temporarily clear a bit of fog and see a little bit of beauty. And then I get closer to the coop and remember that they also crap everywhere and are pretty much just looking to me for food… and water.
Although I talk to the chickens every day, I haven’t really talked to many people… or been social. I’ve been keeping to myself lately. Not really sure why… just have been. I’ve had ambitions to go out n about… to drive up to BTown and drop off a thank you “card”… to ask a friend about engraving something… to randomly stop by a friend’s work in Essex and snag a hug… to see a friend who’s doing his dance with cancer… and to give him a hug. I wanted to stop by a studio… a kitchen… a restaurant. I actually drove up there… it was a beautiful drive… and then never got out of the Jeep except to get some gas. On the way home I wanted to stop by a friend’s soon to be restaurant!… didn’t even do that. I had intentions!… of course, intentions only go so far when it comes to seeing people. Yup… I’m a jerk and didn’t even say hello!
(A jerk is a tug, a tug is a boat, a boat goes in water, water is nature, nature is beautiful… thanks for the compliment!)
Well there… all of that sad shit just to get to a point where I could raise my spirits by giving myself a compliment! In actuality, I don’t need to give myself compliments to try and make myself feel better. I’m a lucky person and have some good people in my life who are supportive, loving, and fun. There are a shit ton of things in my life that I am grateful for. There are a lot of good things in my life… many more than horrible ones. The horrible ones are just… well… kinda gross. This is a hard experience to go through and there are a lot of challenges, but people have been going through it ever since the first Pat fell in love with the first Pat… first Pat loved first Pat back… and then first Pat died from Metastatic Melanoma in the brain… with mutations. People survive death. It just kind of sucks that it’s a part of the gig.
Widower Notes n Thoughts:
- It’s good to know people who can make pork and shrimp dumplings… and who bring them to your house… who eat them with you… and then leave you big bags of them. I’m in a pattern of 5 a night.
- The snow is definitely melting. Kateri would want me to hook up the sump pump… I should probably do that.
- I miss holding Kateri’s hand… always on her right… as we made fun of couples doing the uncomfortable walk. (It’s not comfortable… don’t do it… your partner will thank you. They don’t think it’s comfortable either… they’re just being nice)
- I have a hard time watching anything about losing a spouse/partner/parent/kid. New show on Netflix?… nope! Hell, I’m getting emotional during sitcoms about high school kids, puberty, and first loves!
- There are four packages of pills (Smarties) left in the house… I don’t know how I feel about that. (I know there are only two in the picture… I put two next to Kateri on the jelly cupboard… just because)
- I still can’t make myself go to bed. I always plan to hit the hay early… I just don’t.
- Smoliver… I miss Kateri calling him Smoliver… and all her little nicknames for people she loved.
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