Alicia Lopez’s Musings

Posts Tagged ‘death

It’s really a few more days until March, but I have a lot of thoughts in my head that I thought I would put down in writing.

The signs of spring are beginning to show up in our mountain village; it’s not as cold as it has been, and believe it or not, some of my annuals are beginning to sprout; they are brave little souls, tempting the fates of weather.

I’m a little sad today, received the news that two of my old friends from El Paso had passed away to a better life. These two were originally my hubby’s pals, having all attended Bowie High School together, and graduating in the class of 1944. It was when young men were being drafted almost as soon as they got their diplomas; so they were separated by war. A few from that class did not make it back.

Life and circumstances intervened, but they kept in touch. When the high school reunions were in full swing, they met again, to plan their 45th and then their 50th. This was when I made my entrance into that selected list of Bowie Bears, an Austin High School Panther who, by osmosis, turned into a Bear.

We joined in full swing to get the reunions going, and for many years after, still met as a group and planned outings. We even went camping, and for some, it was a first. What fun we had!

Of course, all things slowed down as Father Time intervened; we managed a few luncheon get togethers when we visited our old home town. My hubby’s death slowed events even more; I still saw them once in a while, but fewer and fewer “osos” showed up.

So it was with great sadness that I learned of their deaths; Bobby, the greatest Sinatra and baseball fan, and Pepe, a golfer who enjoyed the camaraderie of others at the golf course when he could no longer play.

I know they have all met again in heaven, to continue their everlasting friendships in that forever land.

Adios, Osos Canosos

Hasta la Vista

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Happy New Year, Feliz Ano Nuevo!

Today marks the beginning of a new book,  page one , chapter one,  in our lives.  What we write on it, and the consequences will be up to us.

I hope that what I assemble will be hopeful and courageous, with a little bit of humor thrown in.  Hopeful in the sense that my life will be worth something  more other than just breathing, surely the good Lord kept me on this earth for a good reason. Courageous with a sense that I will be able to handle whatever comes my way with my normal sense of humor to sustain me.

This February will mark the second anniversary of my hubby’s passing, and I can see the difference in my life.  I still feel the loneliness, but that, I am told, will never go away, just diminish in strength.  I have done so many things I never did before, to the smallest of tasks (putting W D 40 on the hinges of my doors) to the largest (actually driving in the snow with all the advice I had gotten from my hubby in the past) to the mundane ( surviving a black out with candles all over the house).

For someone who had all the above, and everything else,  done by my spouse, I am a little proud of myself.  I know he certainly would be.

One thing that I wish I had paid more attention to is the upkeep of the car.  I wish I knew more about the mysterious workings of the engine, and all its components.  I have told the guys at my work to teach their spouses more about this, so if they ever find themselves in my situation they will be more knowledgeable; but as usual, this is something that they find falls in their domain.

I find myself thankful that I was my hubby’s helper in all his projects around the house, I know what each tool is for, and how to use it.  I am also very thankful for the son who lives here, who has taken over as my handyman.  He too learned a lot from his Dad while helping him with the bigger tasks.

I am also thankful for the companionship of my pooch, Chico, who is such a comfort to me.  People who do not have pets will not understand the strength you derive from the love and devotion of a furry little animal.  He is the one who faithfully waits for me by the door, who guards the house, who is there as either a sounding or a crying board, putting his paw on me, as if to say “I understand”.

While my life is not completely full,  it is still undergoing some of the growth that I know I will eventually have.  I will welcome and wait for it, for as long as it takes.

I am thankful for my health, my faith, my children, and my extended family.  These all help to fill the void.

Hasta La Vista

Today marks the twenty first month since my hubby’s passing.

It is the beginning of a ritual of counting months that started on that day.  I thought that if I could survive that first month, I would be on my way of learning to live alone.  It has been a very long process, and sometimes I wondered if I could make it.

The human body and mind has a resilience unmatched by none.  In the face of adversity and loss, it is still able to function, albeit at a lesser pace, but function it does. Look at me, twenty one months later I am still around, and still kicking.  The sense of loss never leaves, but I have learned to live with it.

I have learned that I can still share thoughts and ideas with my hubby, in the silence of  our home which we both loved, and which is filled with memories; the Greek fishermen’s caps which he wore constantly, his collection of music, even his eyeglasses which he kept by our bed,on a funny big nose stand.

When I leave the house, those memories stay behind, to be supplemented by normal everyday occurances.  My job keeps me busy, my mind expands with the meeting of new people, and new occurances.  I have never lost my sense of humor, but it seems to be rejuvenating.

I look forward to the coming holidays; our village has begun to decorate the main street with dazzling silver boughs and the local merchants have placed the white shimmering lights on their stores, and as the song goes, “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas”.

For the first time in several years, I will have my three sons here with me for  this weekend; only the sons without my daughters in law .  It will be different, but nice. 

Next week, my daughter, son in law, and grandson from Dallas will be here for the Thanksgiving holiday,  the son who lives here and my small grandson will be present also; my cup runneth over.

The past holidays are just that, past and gone.  Time marchs on, and I have to march along with it.  So, start those drum rolls, begin the beat, and watch me strut.

Hasta la Vista

Have you ever come to a crossroads in your life, pausing and looking right and left, wondering which road is your destiny?

I have come to that exact spot and am a little “bothered and bewildered” as the song states.  My predicament stems from the question , should I sell my house and move back to my hometown of El Paso, or should I stay and brave the loneliness, and uncertainty of my life as it stands now?

My husband and I loved our life here in Ruidoso, but since his death I have found myself doubting my existence in this beautiful peace of earth.  I visit my children in Dallas and El Paso, and love my stay there, but the missing link is still back home among the peaceful pines.  I miss the calm, the serenity, the beauty and my house; but most of all, I miss my hubby.  Would it be different anywhere else?  It has been seventeen months since his passing, and each day brings me closer to that decision.  Financially, I would be better off by selling, but spiritually, I’m not sure.

I have spent the last few weeks painting and sprucing up the house, with the help of the son who lives here.  My biggest regret in selling would be leaving him here; he has taken his Dad’s place as my handyman, and  daily support system.

The house has not been put up for sale, but word of mouth has brought several people to see it.  Hope is eternal, and if it is God’s will, then it will happen.  I place myself at his mercy.

The weather has been wonderful, we are getting some rain almost every day, so the forest is at its pristine best.  The days are cool, the temperature drops about 20 degrees after the moisture from heaven, so when I see the weather reports from around the country, I am so happy I am at this place at this time .

My hometown beckons to me, I have two sisters there, a son, and countless livelong friends; I also have my hubby at the Fort Bliss National Cemetary.  Here in the cool pines I have many acquaintances, but very few friends.   Do you see my predicament?

Hasta La Vista

Almost the entire world believes that the New Year starts on January 1.  I believed it too until I realized that my world was not in sync with everyone else’s.

My world, as I saw it then, ended on February 20, 2009, the date of my husband’s passing.  I could not see past that date to any future.  After 59 years of marriage losing your life partner was just too much to digest.  How could I possibly live without him?  As I have stated before, my faith and my children sustained me through the hardest days of my life, and continue to do so to this day.

I did live, and continue to do so, without him by my side.  I speak to him everyday, as I did when he was alive, telling him of my problems, what I accomplished that day, and things that I put aside.  It comforts me, and I believe that he hears me.

Our children all came to Ruidoso to attend the first anniversary mass of his death at our place of worship, St Joseph’s Mescalero Apache Mission in Mescalero, New Mexico.  How he loved that church and its community; when we first attended mass there he told me he felt like he was finally home.  Being there has also helped me to cope, and I believe the congregation  has been a large part of it.

My heart was filled with gratitude and pride when I saw all our family there, not only our children, but sisters, nieces, and brothers-in-law, who drove from El Paso to attend.  My cup runneth over.

After the mass everyone congregated at the church hall, and I had so many people come and speak to me about him.  He used to sing in the choir, and Father Paul, our pastor, commented on the fact that he missed seeing his smiling face every Sunday.

It was a very personalized service, and I will always to grateful for that.

My New Year started that day; I will go forward to the future, praying for the best; keeping his memory alive in my heart, because  he was, after all,  the love of my live.

Hasta La Vista

I returned home today after a week and a half of traveling.  I spiraled off to Dallas and surrounding areas to visit my daughters and son who live there.

My trip had a double purpose, seeing them, and house and dog sitting.  I enjoyed both tremendously.  The pooches are a couple of six month old Westies, just as cute as they can be.  They are brothers from the same litter, so of course they had to have appropriate names.  After much thought and debate, their names became Niles and Frazier (as from the old Frazier television show).

They are very playful, and thank goodness , they are finally house broken.   As siblings go, they also have quarrels which can become quite noisy.  They learned quickly when grandma said “Stop” they were to end the barking and snarling.  Oh, and grandma also likes to read, so they are not to climb up on her lap or demand petting while she is thus occupied.  Its not very different from teaching your children the rights and wrongs of living.  Stern warnings usually accomplish the task.

I was not prepared for the weather there.  I had been told it was in the 80’s, so I took summer clothing.  When I arrived, a big storm hit, including tornado warnings, and the weather turned cold.  I borrowed my son-in-law’s warm sweat tops, and lived in them for a while.

As usual on my visits, all the family hangs out together, and we celebrated one grandson’s and daughter- in- laws birthdays with a lot of joking and laughing.  I did have a moment  in the bedroom I occupied; one of my beloved’s Greek sailor hats that he wore constantly was on display.  It took that glance to bring on the tears; I can’t help it, they come unexpected and unannounced.

My pooch and I were happy to return home, and begin our lives again.  The weather had turned colder, and we have the glorious golds and reds on the trees  surrounding our village.  Fall is here and winter not too long behind.  I will be considered a traitor when I state that I am not looking forward to it; I love the snow, but cannot drive in it.  The merchants love it, as it signifies the skiers will be arriving. I too will welcome them, from the safety of my easy chair in front of the fireplace.

Hasta la vista

The Puppies

I have been in hog heaven for the past two weekends; first my two wonderful daughters flew in from Dallas to spend one week end and then my two sisters, one from El Paso, the other from California, came to see me.

Those days are always the hardest for me to spend alone.  That is when my hubby and I did everything around the house and garden, shopped, dined, went to the slots and tried out luck.  We also went out of town every few months, Dallas, El Paso, Albuquerque and Santa Fe.  We loved to explore and try new things, especially new restaurants.

The first week end my daughters and I spent talking, walking, laughing, eating, and shopping.  The days flew by so fast, before I knew it,  they were gone.  I endured the following days because I knew my sisters were coming .

They arrived and we also spent a lot of time reminiscing on the old days, even going back when we were young and still lived at home.  My older sister and I did a lot of things together, once we were so bored when our parents were not home that we took turns taking pictures of each other in different places and quirky poses.  So of course, we took the photo albums out and laughed at ourselves.

I am nine years older than my younger sister, so my thoughts of her were as a baby girl, who took my place in the house as supreme being.  I never envied her that position because I loved her with all my heart, and I still do.

Our conversations also centered on the antics of my beloved,  he was such a card.  We laughed and cried together at some of the comments he was always making.  This has served as a catharsis for my soul.  Speaking of him and remembering him are also a part of healing.   This is not always understood by a majority of people, who think that if they mention his name I will fall apart.  I tend to do this alone, in the privacy of my home.

My sisters and I also spent time in the kitchen, cooking, exchanging recipes, and  helpful hints on easier ways of doing things.  After all, we have a combined total of one hundred sixty seven years of married lives, which gives us quite an edge over newly weds.  Oh, we also talked about different ways of handling our husbands!

My older sister and her husband (who was wonderful by enduring our ceaseless talking) left two days ago, and I will have my younger sister for another week, so I am deliriously happy.  I know that she has an allergy to dog hair, and has been  supportive of my love for my pooch.  He, in turn, tries his best to get her to pet him, doing his one and only trick of sitting up and begging.  It hasn’t happened yet, but maybe on our trip back to El Paso

I will be visiting my children in Dallas the week after she leaves, so will still have plenty of company.

To paraphrase  from one of Dean Martin’s old songs, “How lucky can one gal be?”

Hasta la vista

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