A Day In the Life-Photo Blogging the Addie Way

Last night, a  friend of mine threatened to kill me if I started a photo blog. I don’t blame her. I hate the damn things too.

All the real life most of them seem to be chronicling seems very unreal to me. All the “after a very softly focused breakfast of of 3 perfectly ripe strawberries, a croissant they whipped up with butter from the prize-winning super photogenic Jersey cow they keep in the backyard , all served on Royal Doulton, accented by a doily that was hand tatted for Queen Victoria, and then running five miles before going to yoga class on the beach” gets to be a bit much.

I’ve written about a lot of real life on my blog, and most of it isn’t anything like you would see on the thick, perfectly matte pages of an upscale lifestyle magazine. But I did just get a really nice camera, so I thought I’d share my early morning routine. Let’s start with breakfast..

 

 

 

Pretty glamorous, huh. I’ve got CoffeeMate too.

 

 

 

Here’s a shot of the sun coming up from my porch…

With everything so overgrown, you can’t even see my neighbors mobile home, or that I need to spend a good portion of my real life day mowing the yard. Oh and how’s this for the beauty of everyday life? I have to get this thing out of my house…

 

Yep, that’s a furry flying emissary from hell know as the Missouri Brown Bat. I made his acquaintance first thing this morning. I will make every effort to rehome him in the most elegant way befitting the writer of a photoblog. Perhaps I’ll invite him to share a Mimosa in the conservatory, more likely I’ll try to trap him between my broom and dust pan and throw him out the door. I’m thinking I won’t be quick enough to snap a shot of him flying off into his new life, but for you, my gentle readers, I’ll try.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then I believe I will take to my bed.

Envying my lifestyle yet?

 

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The Widow’s Debutante Ball

I made it through yesterday, through the last year. If on this day last year, you asked me if I be around in a year, I couldn’t have been sure.

Like so  many milestones, I don’t feel a bit different after its passing. Now I don’t feel the all encompassing, debilitating, agony of fresh grieving, I still grieve, and it still hurts. I can go to the store, club meetings, doctors appointments, without feeling like everybody is looking at me, feeling sorry for me, watching to see if I’ll lose it. I’m no longer the woman whose husband just died, I’m just a widow.

I still don’t know what being just a widow means. Since a year has passed, I know I’m supposed to rejoin society, whatever that means  I almost feel like I should have some kind of weird widow’s debutante ball.

At this ball people could gather and wait for the widows to enter. We’d all be veiled and covered in black, once entered we would remove our black garments to reveal colorful and stylish clothing beneath. We would be welcomed back with dances, gifts and good wishes. Everyone of us widows would be gracious and smile. But the smiles wouldn’t be because we were truly happy or ready to rejoin the world. We would smile because we all would have learned to take anything offered. We would know how little we have and to never turn down any act of kindness, they are few and far between. We would smile because, for one night, we would be distracted from the loneliness that is, and probably always will be, our constant companion. After the party we would go home and everything would be the same.

OK, the above is too bleak, too negative, too dark. I have moved on. I’m not alone. I do really smile and laugh. I’m blessed and loved. Loved more than I could ever imagine, and I can return that love.

But part of me will always be at that ball.

 

James Taylor Made Me Cry

True Story Magazine, pulpy, always a photo on the front of a young woman on the front with a blurb about what she had done for love? True Story had a monthly feature called “My Visit from Beyond”. My high school bestie and I used to love to read those out loud to each other, complete with weird sound effects. The sound effects were used to punctuate the lameness of the stories that consisted of lonely lovelorn women seeing shadows of lovers from past lives in doorways and dead aunts telling them where they had hidden their pearls.

Circa 1985, proving that interesting things only happened to people in soft focus in the ’80s.

I have no doubt my skepticism about all things paranormal spring from this experience. Not only did these experience with the ‘other world’ seem mundane, they were obviously wish fulfillment fantasies.

Now I wonder. This morning I turned on the radio, the first song I heard was James Taylor’s Fire and Rain. I’ve never paid much attention to the 1970’s singer/songwriter types, but being of a certain age, there is no way you don’t know that song. Heck, I had never realized it was about someone dying, it was just something that played in the background a lot when I was a kid.

That song had me in tears before the first chorus. The mixture of grief, realization, self disgust, and finally laughter through tears, at my silliness was intense. Seriously how could I, Addie Pray, be breaking down will listening to James Taylor? Then I figured it out, it was ‘my visit from beyond’, David was haunting me, sending me a message.

Nothing would make him laugh more than seeing me break down over a song like that. It’s so not me, and so David to play a paranormal practical joke on me. God, I loved that man.

I really hope it was him trying to make laugh today.

I’m Fine. Considering….

I’m Fine, I really am…..considering.

I’m very close to the one year mark of the big bad. Sometimes it’s hard to believe so much time has passed, sometimes it seems like it was much longer ago that I lost David. In this last year I haven’t moved through time in the same way I did before. Some things have moved incredibly fast, others seem not to move at all. I think part of me will always be stuck in the horrifying time when I lost him.

But I’m fine. Considering. Life has gone on, the world has keep turning, and even if I haven’t been completely involved in that forward march at all times, I’ve kept my sense of the movement. As I move into the next year, one thing I fear is people will think I’m over it. I’m not, and I’m not going to be. The passage of time doesn’t change what happened. I’m changed. I may be moving forward, but I haven’t forgotten. It will always be a part of who I am.

Some folks understand I’ll not be the same. They’ve let me know they are still here for me and I can’t tell you how much that means to me. They are my true friends. They know, no matter how fine I seem, I’m still carrying this thing.

It’s been a bittersweet year, good things, wonderful things, have come my way along with the bad. They stand out starkly and beautifully, and they always will. I’ve been given gifts that opened the world back up to me, made me know living is worthwhile, let me know that my ability to love didn’t die.

I have no idea what I want to say here. Just that I’m fine. At least for now.

 

In and Out of Sync

Yesterday was a rough one. David’s death has been a catalyst for lots of other things. Sometimes loss paralyzes people, sometimes it makes them frantic. Most people experience periods of both. When the folks who cared deeply about the person lost aren’t in sync in their periods of paralysis and excess activity it can be hard.

There are folks that always seem to be in sync with each other, no matter the situation, or how much time has passed since they last saw each other. It was that way with David and a friend of his. They were friends as children, extremely close as teenagers though they lived far from each other, and constant companions in young adulthood. Their lives took different directions and communication was just here and there as they got older, but when they were together, it was as if they were never apart. They were true friends.

I think he probably cared about David as much as any one in the world. His grief breaks my heart. He was my friend too and I hate to hear the pain in his voice. Grief is a strange thing, you don’t just grieve for the one that’s gone, you grieve for the loss others feel.

He’s coming to see me today. It’s going to be hard, but I hope he finds some closure, peace, or whatever he can. I hope I can help.

For some reason this song always makes me think of him. He’s a real what you give kind of guy.

I’ve Lost My Balance

In the past few weeks the world has become both smaller and larger.

My own little everyday world has shrunk by half. The demands of keeping everything running smoothly have become simpler.  I don’t have anyone to feed, I just eat when I can. I don’t have enough laundry to worry about sorting it. The clutter around the house has been frozen in time. Many of the things left out a few weeks ago, waiting to find a place, are still waiting. Some of this clutter will be acted upon, saved, filed, other things will never their intended use here. Maybe someone else will find use for these little things, maybe they won’t. I don’t know yet.

Everything outside my door has become bigger by two, maybe more.  I’ve always been independent, have taken care of my own things and my own business, but it was good to know I had some back-up when I needed it. My friends and family are there, but it’s not the same. It’s not their job to take care of me, I’m not supposed to be the person taken into account about the decisions they, or I, make.

The best definition I have ever heard of marriage was that it is an institution that makes you take another person into account in every decision. I was comfortable in that, I didn’t see it as limiting. I saw it as the opportunity to take advantage of another viewpoint, another set of skills, the wealth of another experience. David and I were very much alike, but our thought processes were very different. He was more mechanical, logical, a gatherer of all essential pieces before beginning. I tend to run a lot more on emotion, passion and anger. He kept me out of a lot of trouble and I pushed him toward things he might not have done.

I find myself asking myself what he would have done a lot lately. I usually think I know, but I can’t be sure.

I know I’m going to lose my balance and crash now when I wouldn’t before in some situations. It frightens me.

I’m Not Strong

I’m not strong, I do probably look that way, but it’s an unintentional front. I am gutted, sad, screaming inside. I want my David back. I want to punch the fucking Universe in the face. I cannot fathom that my poor sweet husband had to go through that, he deserved better.

David wasn’t done. He still had so many things he wanted to do. I cry not just for the things we would do together, but the things he would achieve, the things he would make, the stuff he would make work. I cry for the beautiful days he won’t see and the good meals he won’t eat.

Losing him seems to be much too much about me and not nearly enough about him sometimes.

Make no mistake this is about David.

My sweet, smart, curious, and ambitious David.