Well… I’m heading back home to Vermont! It was a quick trip to Boise to see my family… specifically my mother… but, I am soooo happy that I did it. The look on her face when I walked through her door I will cherish forever. The fact that I have never done something like that (surprise my family… or anyone… by just showing up) has made me think about the life I have coming up in front of me… this new life where I am solely responsible for what I want to do… and how I want to do it. My perspectives have changed on everything. What I view as important has changed. My goals in life have changed. All because my life has changed with the loss of Kateri.
With this trip, I feel as though I have taken another step in grabbing control of my life. After almost a year without Kateri, it was one of the few actions that has given me a sense of , “I’ve got this! I’m not helpless! I have control!”. It has also reinforced for me that there are a shit ton of people out there that are willing to help me out as I go through this process, whether they be friends, family, co-workers, or strangers.
The goal wasn’t just to surprise my mom with a happy go lucky visit… I needed to see her for myself. When you just lost your wife due to cancer and your mother is living with cancer in the lungs and brain (who was diagnosed before Kateri), but you live 2,400 miles away… things go through your head… a lot of bad things start creeping their way into the ol’ noggin. Questions come up. Images start showing up… based on nothing except for what is swirling around up there. When I got off the phone with her last Tuesday, I realized the only thing that would help me stop the swirling was to see her with my own eyes… to hold her with my own arms… to sit next to her on the couch and talk… and it could be about nothing. (Or… watch reality TV shows about malnourished lemurs and the veterinarians who take care of them!)
I’ll just say that sitting on this plane, heading back to The Green Mountain State, flying in the direction of my little red schoolhouse… going home… I feel a hundred times better than I did at 3:45am on Friday when I started my journey out west. Those worrisome images that had found their way into my head a week ago have been replaced with relief and the expectation that there will be more than a few other trips for us to chill with each other because… well… she’s doing fantastic! I mean, she’s not running marathons and we won’t be doing any bungee jumping any time soon (I don’t think), but she’s doing much better than… you know… I expected!
I will always hold my mom up on a pedestal. Not just because she’s “Mom”, but because she is an impressive woman… an impressive person. She is strong… she is compassionate… she is selfless. Like a lot of us, she has had challenges in her life. For me, any speed bumps that I have hit at 35mph, she has been the perfect example of how to face those bumps with positivity, strength, and grace… whether she agrees with my assessment or not! I love her… and I’m glad I took my life in my own hands so that I could tell her that in person. It was a good trip.
Thirty Days of Mo(u)rning
Day 22… woke up at 7:40ish, laid there… alarm went off at 8:00am. I set the alarm because I need to get into a more regular routine and didn’t want to accidently sleep until 10 or something.
Finished writing notes for yesterday.
a. Cried a bit after thinking about how much I miss her… rough.
Keith came over around 10:40ish so that we could go for a drive.
a. Stopped at the gas station in Bradford for some drinks (V-water for me)
b. Went across the bridge to 25 on the way to Rumney.
a. It was strange doing something that Kateri and I did a lot except being the passenger and not with Kateri. We came to a town near Wentworth that has a Rocket in the green. Before we got there, I mentioned that I thought there was a Rocket (no idea why I capitalize it) around here… 3 seconds later we pass the Rocket.
b. It was also strange going for a drive and having the opportunity to watch shit go by, but everything is still kind of a blur… it’s that numbness.
c. Took some side roads. One just looped around. One dead ended (no pun intended) at the Glenclif Healthcare Facility. It was cool. Perched on top of a hill. Kind of creepy. Wouldn’t want to be there at night. Have no idea what type of “healthcare” they provide.
d. Was gonna eat in Woodsville but went to Tuttle’s Family Diner in Wells River. Never been there before and can’t tell you how many times Kateri and I went through there.
a. It was a good experience. It was nice to sit at a counter. The place was a little thrown together, but my Ruben (pretty sure that’s how it was spelled on the menu!) was good and the service was friendly, but not overbearing… entertaining at certain points, but good. Keith and I were even told we have beautiful eyes.
e. Came home, sat on the porch for a second, Keith took off.
Finished sanding the bathroom drywall. It went much quicker today. The frickin dust gets EVERYWHERE! Wiped down the walls with a sponge and tried to clean it up as much as possible. Left the cardboard down for when I paint… well, primer… hopefully tomorrow.
Got cleaned up. Had to get the dust out of every crick and cranny. I’m excited to add the primer, then I can pull up the cardboard, add a sink and mirror, and have a mostly functioning bathroom upstairs!
Played music pretty loud all the way to Worthy. Ended on the Caliente Station. It’s just fun to listen to once in a while… I have no idea what they are talking about, but it’s got some moves to it.
Keith and Michelle came up behind me when I was turning in South Royalton.
a. Bauman and Laura were the next to show, then Sarah L., and Jeff and Cristina. It was a nice group of people.
b. Not really being in the loop lately, it was a nice surprise that I saw Sarah… she’s just a wonderful human.
c. Got the ol’ Worthy Burger with cheddar and bacon. That’s why you go there.
d. Had nice conversations with Jeff and Sarah. Filled Bauman in on what I’ve been up to the last few weeks. Told Sarah about how I want to write a book or something… she’s gonna speak to some writer friends for me to see how stuff like that goes.
a. If I can get paid some money to write… I’ve gotta try… what have I got to lose? (I told Keith that on our little drive)
e. Ate inside in the corner. It was comfortable enough. Really, we stood a fare amount of the time.
Drove home and decided to just brush teeth, get clean, and crawl into bed. I want to wake up earlier tomorrow and I can use the computer in bed so might as well give it a try.
a. On the way home, I thought about how I am in the process of figuring out who I am… again. Almost like when you are younger and insecure, but I don’t have those insecurities. I know it will take time, but it falls in line with the, “here’s your new life… what are you going to do with it? How are you going to act? How are you going to live your life?”
Went to actual bed around the one-two.
Widower Notes n Thoughts:
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