Saturday, February 15, 2014

Whoa! Didn't see that coming!

First of all, let me say that I turned my calendar page.  Yay!  Go me.

Next, I have been thinking about all the things that sneak up on me and rattle me when I least expect it.  I think about Terry every.single.day.  Every thing, every place, every decision, every worry, involves me picturing what his opinion would be if he were here.  But, he isn't, and I am the ultimate decision maker about my reactions and decisions.  At least I know I'm still giving him reference.  Though I know, it is futile.

I miss him.

I miss him in a way that no one will ever be able to understand. And, though he is in my thoughts on a daily basis, in the end...it's just me.  And I keep moving.  Keep on without him.

I've been thinking that as the second anniversary of my boyfriend approaches, that I'm doing pretty well.  I've got this.  Time passes.  I should be over this by now.  Nope.  I have discovered that small things happen that show up out of nowhere and shake my soul.

For example:  Last week, we (the girls, their husbands, and children) went to Cafe Rio.  Erika and Tyler are moving to Southern California soon and taking my little darling grand girls.  We keep having "Good bye dinners"!  It's great. We laugh and enjoy food together.  Bask in the cuteness of Eloise and Hazel.  It's the best.  And, while I'm going to cry and cry when they actually leave me here, I am just drinking in the happiness we all have when we're together.  Happy as little clams.  (How are clams happy?  I never got that one.  Oh well.)

Then, when I least expect it, and for pretty crazy reasons, something happens and I'm filled with longing for Terry.  After our dinner, as we prepared to leave, I saw one of Melissa's friends from High School.  He gave me a long, tight hug.  The kind of hug that isn't just a regular hug.  I don't know if you've ever experienced this kind of hug.  I call it the "You don't have to say anything" hug.  His soul told mine that he missed Terry and that he was so sorry for the void left in my life because he had a hole in his, too.

In that five full second hug, I relived those content feelings of many weekends where our house was full of teenagers who were comfortable in our home.  The friendships and fun.  The thousands of fruit snacks and cans of soda.  The games.  The noise!  (Oh, that noise.  I loved it!) The second hand couch those kids put on our porch to have a place to hang out.  And I KNEW they were there because they loved Terry.  Of course, my daughters were gorgeous and pretty awesome and so were the other teens I helped raise who were also there.  But...in the end...they loved Terry the most.  They were there because Terry made them feel at home and special.  Sam's hug reminded me of that.  I cried in the car the whole way home.

Then, just this past Wednesday, I was rushing into my classroom to start the school day.  I had been gone from those dolls Monday and Tuesday because of meetings so I was extra excited to be back.  As I hurried along to put all of my "stuff" down, I fell off of my favorite, adorable shoes and broke my ankle.  Not pretty.  But, I didn't cry.  It hurt but I was mostly laughing at myself because I kept picturing my fall. (Why do we laugh when people fall down?  Because it's hysterical, that's why!)   The administrators and other teachers came to help me out.  But, before I could get up, I was told I had to give a call to Worker's Comp to give my information.  No problem.

That was the second thing this week that I didn't see coming.

Operator:  Name?
Me:    Tami Anderson
Operator:  Birthdate?
Me:  June 7, 1963
Operator:  Marital Status?
Me: .....umm....that's a hard one.

I looked at all the people staring at me.  Then fixed them on my best sister/friend Kathe and started sobbing as I willed myself to say:  Widow

That's a hard word to say.  If you've ever had to say it when you're describing yourself, you know what I mean.  It was really the first time I'd said it out loud.  "Widow"  I hate that word.


So, now I'm bracing myself for the coming week.  I realize it will be of no use.  I can be as strong as I will myself to be.  But, guess what?  Somethings, you just don't see coming.






Saturday, February 1, 2014

Why I Will Always Hate February




February is the pits!  Valentine's Day without a my valentine.  President's Day when all the good presidents are dead.  Punxsutawney Phil will most likely see his shadow tomorrow...six more weeks of Winter.  Erika and Tyler are moving to So. California (but, I'm not going to talk about that).  The Olympics start on the 7th (yay!) but will have to close on the 23rd (boo!).  They're in Sochi, Russia (where??) and the public restrooms there have double toilet stalls (double boo!!).

Worst of all, it will be the second anniversary of my boyfriend's untimely death.

Last year on February 1st I wrote about "Turning Pages".   Calendar pages.  I wrote about how difficult it was to physically turn the January page to February.  It would somehow reinforce that my Terry would be gone for an entire year.  Impossible.  As if not turning a calendar page could bring him back.  As if.  But, I eventually turned it and the world didn't fall apart.  Most likely because it had already done so a year before.  You can read that post here:  http://candadiantami.blogspot.com/2013/02/turning-pages.html if you are so inclined.

So, here I am facing another turn of the calendar.  It has got to be easier this year right??  I mean, two years is a long time.  I should be a little more "together" when it comes to silly little calendars.  I've learned many things over the past two years.  One being, I can NEVER just assume that my life and feelings will play out the way I imagined them.  This crazy heart inside has a mind of it's own and is usually connected to my tears.

I faced my beautiful new calendar from Melissa Rae last night.  It was like facing off with a boxing opponent.  If I turned January to February, I just knew I'd get punched in the face.  So, I left it on January again.  Take THAT, February!

Last night I reread all of my blog posts from last February...the year anniversary of Terry's death.  I was sobbing my eyes out (as I knew I would) and feeling all of those feelings all over again.  I should have stopped.  But, it felt good to hurt.  What?  I know.  I can't describe it.  Sometimes when I hurt, I feel better.  Maybe I need a therapist.

So, after reading the post from February 1, 2013, I remembered that I had Eloise with me last year.  As luck would have it, I have her this year as well.  Just the two of us.  We went to lunch with some friends then headed out to the Provo Cemetery to visit Pop Pop.  We arrived to find a LARGE group of people waiting to bury their departed loved one.  We walked closer and I started to worry that the group had congregated on top of Terry's spot.  Getting closer and closer,  I could feel all of these wonderful people actually exuding a palpable love for their dear one.  It was peaceful.  Like an invisible shield around that sacred occasion.  We found my boyfriend's spot...within three feet of the mourning family.  We'd have to make it quick.  There wasn't enough snow to fashion snowball hearts like last year.  Just some hard snow/ice left over from the last snowfall.  So, we made heart imprints with our feet, said "We love you, Pop Pop!", and that was it.  A tradition has begun.

I guess I can be grateful that it isn't a leap year and that February is just 28 days long.  Hopefully, I'll have turned that calendar page by then.


                     



This photo has me so confused.  Those hearts are actually pressed into the snow by our shoes.
I have stared at it in every possible way and I can only see them
popping up.
I'm not going crazy...am I?
Please tell me you see it that way.





Thursday, November 28, 2013

In the Spirit of Thanksgiving



I LOVE the message of this video.  Every November, it causes me to reflect about what I'm grateful for...family, friends, food, a job.  Thankful to have loved a wonderful man who shaped me into the person he left behind to wallow in self-pity every now and again.  But, I love those who have blessed my live even in the tiniest of ways.  So...thank you!  I appreciate each one of you.

                       

Friday, November 8, 2013

Life

I'm usually a VERY optimistic person.  I can take trials and turn them upside down into learning experiences.  If someone tells me I can't...I will.  If someone says things could never get better, I find a way to make them even better.  I have huge wrinkles in my forehead from trying to smile all the time.  You get the picture.  It's in my nature.  I know it bugs a lot of people who just want to complain and look for the negative in the world.  "Wo is me."  Not in my vocabulary.

But not today.  It's been a hard day (and 10 days for that matter).  I've had horrible chest congestion, pain, and coughing fits like I've never had before.   I haven't felt like myself. It could be the medicine (Prednisone) I was prescribed.  The pharmacist told me "It will certainly put you on edge".  And it has.  Only, not in a mad or angry type of an edge but a "Wo is me" type of edge.  I cried and cried today after school for no real apparent reason other than a couple of sweet little first grade  journals I was reading.  Then when I got to my house, I had an overwhelming sense of loneliness.  I needed my boyfriend sitting in his chair working on his latest art piece, waiting for...me.  Why isn't he still here with me?  I need someone to vent to and to talk to about my day. I miss that daily tradition...more than usual.  And, I realized that it was only HIM that I wanted today.  Things only HE could listen to and understand.  Today there was no replacement for him.  So the tears have been my solace.

One of my fellow teachers asked me this today, "Did you go through those stages of grief after Terry died?"  My answer was that there is NO cycle.  The cycle doesn't exist...only pieces of that cycle that come along whenever they feel like it.  Randomly.  Ever so randomly.  Just when I think I've got the whole thing under control, it hits me and punches me in the throat.
I know that this giant lump in my throat will one day (most likely tomorrow) go away. The worst part is not knowing when it will lodge itself there again.



Sunday, July 21, 2013

Old Lady's Bucket List

I know, I know!  Bucket lists are silly and cliche.  But, do I care?  Nope.  I gave lots of thought to my 50 life goals for my 50th birthday.  I've got some good ones and some iffy ones.  But, now I have some things to work on to keep me alive for 30-50 more years.  So, here you go...no mocking allowed.


• Plant a full on vegetable garden...and keep it alive!
•Visit Washington D.C
• Learn at least five "go to" origami sculptures
• See Adam Levine Live
• Learn to make sushi
• See the Mona Lisa in the Louvre
• Go on a cruise
• Learn to groom dogs
• Learn the Thriller dance routine
Run a marathon Run Run another 5K
• Round out my list of continents:  Africa, Europe, Australia, and Antarctica)
• Ride a mechanical bull
• Visit the Galapagos Islands
• Go back to Sri Lanka
• Embrace Veganism for at least one consecutive year
• Watch every movie to ever win the Oscar for best picture award
• Attend a "Forks Over Knives" convention
• Ride a camel on a Wednesday  (get it?  Hump Day!)
• Stay up all night and go straight to work the next morning
• Bake a bagel from scratch
• Visit all 50 states
• Walk through a drive-thru
• Be on a game show (preferably Hollywood Game Night, The Price is Right, or Jeopardy)
• Be on a reality TV show
• Get a Phd
• Attend EVERY grandchild's baptism (just like my parents did!)
• Sell some doodles
• Refinish my bedroom furniture
• Do Habitat for Humanity
• Learn to play the harmonica
• Tour the "Downton Abbey" house
• Learn five magic tricks to mystify my friends
• Teach abroad for one year
• Learn to shoot a pistol
• Eat at the number one ranked restaurant in the world:  El Celler de Can Roca (Spain)
• Take a one week hiatus from technology
• Drive on the Autobhan
• Attend Mardi Gras
Chase a tornado Chase an ice cream truck
• Try my hand at geocaching
• Chop vegetables the way professional chefs do
•  Meet up with my online/real life friend, Pam, every year.
• Read every Newbery Award winner
• Learn to ski (I live in Utah!  I should know this by now)
• Attend Time Out For Women
• Get to level 200 on Candy Crush (so sad)
• Become a Yogi!  (Yoga expert)



I made it to 48!  I will fill in the last two with your suggestions.  Most creative wins!




Monday, July 15, 2013

FIFTY!

 Have I mentioned that my daughters are the best daughters in the land?  Well, they are.  I turned 50 on June 7th this year.  Those darling girls made me feel like a queen.  They were surprising me at every turn.  

So...are you ready to hear all about it?  There are a lot of pictures.  You've been warned.  Here we go.


We decided to spend the day in Salt Lake City.  I hadn't been on the new Frontrunner so we parked our cars and hopped on the train.  I loved it.  It was clean and air conditioned.  And I was with my four best gals.

1.  Erika, Hazel, and me
2.  Melissa and Eloise
3.  Pretty little Hazel
4.  Melissa and Hazel
5.  Me with every wrinkle I've earned over the past 50 years.


During the ride up to SLC, the girls made an Instagram hashtag #50gramsforgramitami.  They tried to post 50 pictures of the day but only made it to 33.  That's okay because that's how old I feel!  :)  

Here are just three of the Instagrams added:
1.  My Colorado cutie, Isabel
2.  Her adorable twin brother, Milo
3.  A sneeze from my newest granddaughter, Ivy!
We made it to downtown City Creek Center and shopped our hearts out.  Every time I picked up something to buy, those daughters of mine would step in front of me and pay for it.  I had planned to buy myself some fancy readers from Brighton.  When I realized they were paying for everything, I just couldn't act excited about the glasses (even thought I was!) and said I'd just get them later.

1.  Shopping at LUSH to buy some bath bombs.  Notice Erika in the background.  According to her fingers, I'm only 5 years old!  Thanks, E.
2.  Melissa giving me a high five as I left a kids store.  Why?  Well, as I was leaving, the worker looked at Eloise in the stroller and said TO ME:  "Your daughter is so cute!"  YES!  I've still got it!
3.  Melissa paying for two orange cups I fell in love with at Anthropologie.
4.  Eloise polishing off my Diet Coke.
5.  Eloise and me trying on the Tangled wigs in the Disney store.


We ate lunch at The Blue Lemon.  I had a delicious Dirty Diet Coke.  Perfection.  Eloise even mocked a little kid who was screaming and not using very good manners.  Picture her screaming right back and then laughing hysterically.  Yup, that's what it was like.


Being the "city girls" we were, we hopped back onto TRAX and wound our way to Trolley Square so that Mel and Erika could go to Lulu Lemon and I could go to Whole Foods.  We had to walk a few blocks and it was so hot.  But we made it and no one cried.  Not even me.

1.  Melissa and Hazel cooling off in Pottery Barn.
2.  Erika looking cool in Pottery Barn.
3.  E and H in Whole Foods
4.  MACARONS
5.  She hasn't stopped wearing her shades since she got them at the Disney store.

It was time to head back to Provo.  We navigated our way back to the Frontrunner and barely...and I DO mean barely...made it on time.  The doors had closed and then miraculously they opened them back up, saving us about an hour!  We were all deliriously tired and happy all at the same time.  

BUT...we weren't done yet.  We had to meet the husbands later for dinner.  So, the girls suggested pedicures.  We headed to our favorite place.  I have never taken youngsters to a nail salon and let me tell you, it probably won't happen again.  I held Eloise on my lap the whole time with Hazel in the car seat at my side.


1.  Sleepy Hazel and me waiting for TRAX.
2.  She's done.
3.  My view whilst getting my toes done.
4.  The little Vietnamese lady handing Hazel off to her mom.  By the way she was holding Hazel, we didn't know if she thought Haz had cooties or what.  We were terrified that she' drop that little girl.  She didn't...hallelujah!
5.  Our finished toes.

After pedicures it was close to 6:00 and Tyler ended up having to "work extra hours and wouldn't be able to meet us for dinner."  That was just fine.  We went to a favorite spot, Mountain West Burrito!  Yum!  Veggie and Vegan options there.  Luckily, Danny was able to come with us.  We had a fun, leisurely, and delicious meal.  I was ready to head home.  But the girls suggested we go to "The Chocolate" for their famous Kazookie.  My plan was to switch to a Vegan diet the next day so I thought a last bite of ice cream would be just the thing to end the day.  Luckily, Tyler was able to meet us there.

WEeeelllllll...I was carrying Eloise up the stairs chatting with Tyler as I went.  When to my SURPRISE I looked up and there was a room full of friends and family.  At first I thought "What the heck are Rachel and Janelle doing here?"  Then many people in my life came into view.  Then it hit me:  I was at my very first surprise party and it was for ME!  Those girls!   I had no idea.  I usually pick up on those kinds of things.  Not this time.  Maybe turning 50 had dulled my senses.  

(This time I'll label top to bottom, left to right)
1.  My delicious Mountain West Burrito
2.  Brant (my nephew), Janelle and Rachel (my fellow first grade teachers), Me w/Hazel, Angela and her daughter Lecshia (next door neighbors from Lehi), Adrianne (my niece), and Erika.
3.  Kathy (her husband was there as well but not pictured) and Melissa my friends from work.  Melissa moved to Blanding last year and drove five hours just to come to my party.  Ahhhhh!
4.  Me with Eloise and the green wall.
5.  Me with Hazel, Sarah (one of my fake daughters), Erika, and Melissa.  See that space?  That was a special place for another pretend daughter, Mallory, who couldn't come because she lives in Belgium!  I'll forgive her.  Her mother, Sue, came in her place (no picture, unfortunately).
5.  No comment.
6.  Those two amazing daughters of mine!
7.  Melissa and me, again, with Rachel (another friend I used to teach with).
8.  Again:   I just realized that this is the same picture as number one but with Brant cropped out!  Sorry Brant.

I can't believe I didn't have photos of:  Sue, Ariel (Brant's wife), Lynn (Kathy's husband), Danny!, Tyler!, Danny's mother, Linda, his sister Mia, and Mia's boyfriend, Kiegan.  Plus, I missed:  Jordan (Sarah's husband) and, of course, I missed my boyfriend.

I went to bed a very happy woman that night.  I was reminded what a great family I have.  Also, what amazing friends I have (both old and new).  I'm a lucky person.  I know it.  Another thing I know...my first 50 years were awesomely unique and never boring.  I really am looking forward to the next 50.  I have the bucket list to prove it.  (Another post for another day).



PS:  Those girls had one more surprise for me...Erika had secretly sneaked back to Brighton and bought me my insanely expensive readers.  I think of this lovely birthday every time I put them on.


Thursday, June 27, 2013

Comfort

The most comforting words I have heard or read since the worst day were sent to my by a friend.  (Thanks, Julie)  Every time I have read it through, every time, I hear Terry speaking the words to me.  I love them.  I love him.  

Death is Nothing at All

Death is nothing at all.
I have only slipped away to the next room.
I am I and you are you.
Whatever we were to each other,
That, we still are.

Call me by my old familiar name.
Speak to me in the easy way
which you always used.
Put no difference into your tone.
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.

Laugh as we always laughed
at the little jokes we enjoyed together.
Play, smile, think of me. Pray for me.
Let my name be ever the household word
that it always was.
Let it be spoken without effect.
Without the trace of a shadow on it.

Life means all that it ever meant.
It is the same that it ever was.
There is absolute unbroken continuity.
Why should I be out of mind
because I am out of sight?

I am but waiting for you.
For an interval.
Somewhere. Very near.
Just around the corner.

All is well. 


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