Alicia Lopez’s Musings

Posts Tagged ‘death

I have been getting stronger every day that passes.  There are actually days when I don’t cry, and I go to bed thinking that I must have missed something, perhaps a thought, a phrase, a picture, an item that reminds me of my loss.

There are so many memories, the majority happy ones.  Every once in a while I do remember some sad happenings in our fifty eight years of marriage, but those are the minority; I even smile at some of them, thinking how we overcame them. I grin and even laugh out loud at some of the quirky moments.

Today I cried.  It was over a silly plant that I forgot to bring in, after warnings of the first frost hit our area.  That plant was one which my beloved tendered through sunny and foggy days, one which had significant meaning to him since I had given it to him as a birthday present.

Sago palm is the name, and we first discovered that specie when we lived in California; our Japanese neighbors gave us one as a house warming gift when we first moved in.  We never imagined that the palm would survive anywhere else except in that sunny state.

I was quite surprised to find them blooming in a nursery in the mountains of New Mexico; so knowing how much he enjoyed them, I purchased one.  He was so thrilled and enthralled with their beauty.  I was a witness to the care and love he bestowed on this green plant of nature.

When I remembered it was still outside,  I got out of bed  (it was two in the morning) rushed out, and brought it in.  And then I cried.

My tears were for the possibility of losing it, after he had tended it for so long.  I had already lost him, could I stand another loss, no matter how small?  Would this symbol of his love for nature  survive my neglect?

I have been enduring his departure at a very heavy price, will Mother Nature allow me to have this one vestige of his life to cling to?

Please Lord, let it live.

Hasta la vista

sago

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September 10, 1950.

A day that lives in my heart, evoking memories of  a happy event which changed our lives forever.

Today would have been our 59th wedding anniversary.

I think back and remember the excitement we felt, ready to take on the world, for we had each other and nothing could stop us.

Exiting the church, a friend of my new hubby informed him that he had just been recalled into the Navy.  This was the beginning of the Korean War, and so for the first few months of our newly wedded bliss, this little black cloud hung over our heads, as he was also in the Naval Reserve.

Thank heaven the call never came.

So much has changed since that day, it is almost impossible to believe.  We now live in a world of new innovations which did not exist at that time; computers, television, cell phones, newer and newer electronic devises, faster automobiles, heating and cooling  sun powered units, microwave ovens.  How did we ever get along without them?  We even saw man land on the moon! Since then we have witnessed numerous excursions into outer space.

Wrapped up in our lives and the children that followed, we were also very aware of the happenings around us.  We experienced the many events which are now a part of history; the assassination of a President and his brother, and also that of a civil rights icon and many men and women who fought for their rights.

As man is also the worst enemy of man, we have gone through several wars, with more ferocious and destructive weapons.  Will we ever learn?

Life is so short, enjoy every minute of it; turn around and half of your existence is gone.

What I wouldn’t give to have my love here with me, fifty eight years were not nearly enough.

Hasta la vista

100_0601I found myself, for the first time since my beloved died, looking  forward to coming home.

It has been six months.  Each time I returned from a visit to children and relatives, I realized that I was entering the same empty house that I had left, and the pain hit.  It has not lessened, but just the joy of arriving at  the house which we so lovingly tended, helps to ease the eternal feeling of loss.

I gaze with pride at the newly painted deck, the freshly mowed lawn,  and think, this is My house.

Although I have been gearing myself towards selling, sometimes thinking of it gets overwhelming.  Never to enjoy again the feeling of self esteem over the additions that we both made, the office, storage room, the wall papering, painting, the covered wrap around deck, the parquet floor in the kitchen.  They all served to enhance and increase the value of our home.  Offsetting these thoughts are the lonely days and nights, in a village where I have loads of acquaintances, but very few friends.

I don’t know who was most upset , my pooch or I, after finding that deer had eaten all my flowers while we were away.  I consider these four legged creatures my friends, as long as they eat the wild flowers that grow all over the place, but not the little  plants which I so lovingly cared for and tended.  They were blooming profusely when I left, now there are only stumps left.

Today the culprit showed up again.  It was a stag with four point horns; he was getting ready to jump over the fence into our yard, when my great protector sensed him, and flew out in a rage, as far as the steps, from where he barked ferociously.

The stag only stared at him, and stood his ground,until I came out and told him to leave.  He dared me for a bit, but then finally turned around and left. I’m sure he’ll try to get back in and get the rest of the flowers, but we will be on guard.

My visit to our children in Dallas was wonderful, I got to see all of them and had the bonus of seeing my granddaughter, who lives in New York, fly in while I was there.  I met her boyfriend, a very nice young man whom I approve of.  They are talking marriage, and I certainly hope the best for them, for, as the song goes “I’ve had a love of my own”.

Believe it or not, after 30 years since my last bowling game, I went bowling again!  It was with my granddaughter and her sweetie, and we had a roaring good time.  When we went home my son in law informed me that he had a score of 72 at golf, and I retorted that score was our high  at bowling, so you can imagine what our game looked like.

The days are getting shorter, and the feeling of fall is in the air.  I don’t know whether to be happy or sad.

Hasta la vista

Two weeks ago I began a new page in my life; I decided to start a painting project which my hubby and I had put off for a year because of his declining health.  He loved to sit by the window and view the many changes of the day, from dawn to dusk.  He always said “We’ve got to paint the deck, it really needs it”.

All these home upkeeps we did together, me being his assistant.  So it is no wonder that I learned the fundamentals of  building, carpentry, plumbing, painting.  I decided to put this small knowledge to good use and start with the deck.

I assembled all tools required, as I remembered them.  I could feel his presence urging me on when I became discouraged, such as forgetting to have a rag handy for wiping off drops of paint, etc.  Once I stepped on such a drop and had to quickly take off my shoes and clean them before I went in the house.

It has been two weeks, and today was the day I finally put the second coat of paint on all that wood!  All that is needed now is to put the sealer.  I did have some help for the past two weekends, my daughters from Dallas and my sons in law flew in to give me a hand, and of course I always have the presence of the one son who lives locally and always watches over me.  Without them I would not have progressed this far.  I am so lucky to have five children who are always willing to help in one way or another.

I had quite a conversation with some neighbors who dropped by while I was painting.  They were  four deer who stopped to eat some leafs from my trees, and did not mind that I was there.  They continued to feed their bodies while I continued to feed my soul.  I spoke to my husband and asked his opinion on my painting.  I knew he would say that I was doing very well, but was a little bit on the messy side. Those had always been his comments while alive, so why should they change with his passing?

I have started to learn the art of living alone;  I am not quite there yet and still have my moments, but they are beginning to be further apart.  I had never watched daytime television, but I now find myself watching the game shows, such as “The Price is Right”, “Deal of no Deal” etc.  I sometimes fantasize appearing on the shows and winning all that money; I might try it someday.  I don’t think I will act as crazy as some of the contestants, but then , you never know.

My little pooch and I walk the trail around one of the local golf courses every day, and it has turned out to be good exercise for both of us.  We meet all kinds of people and pets, and take the time to speak to them.

So life goes on,  and I am floating along with it.

Hasta la Vista

Sunrise

There’s a wonderful world out there.

I had forgotten about it since the death of my husband five months ago.  My world was wound around the pain of losing him, the loneliness of being without him, the confusion of being alone.

Some of the above has dissipated, but I cannot say that all of it is gone; I have been slowly reawakening to the world around me.

Yes, even the closest people to me have already gone back to their lives, and I realize that I must at least begin to do the same.

I came back home after two weeks of traveling between children’s homes, and even visited Florida, to a house of a friend, who is an extended family member.  She too, is a widow, and gave me many insights in to our mutual situations.  Unlike me, she has been widowed for five years, and has formed a new life in a new community.  I hope eventually, I will be able to do the same.

While there, my daughter, son-in-law, and I walked the beach every morning.  It took me longer because I stopped to talk to people, which has always been my nature.

I compared my pooch, back in El Paso with my son, to the pets they were walking, and I spoke doggie talk to them.

I stopped and conversed with parents and their children, admired their sand castles, and was amazed at one family who constructed a huge sea turtle.  The next day, the tide had eaten half of it.  I collected sea shells.

Speaking with a lot of single women, I found out that the majority of them were also widows, and we commiserated with each other.  There is a group out there that, through mutual grief, is bound together.

Back home again, I threw myself into the yard work which I had neglected.  The lawn and garden was a shared joy with my beloved, and I found solace in getting it into shape.

I started attending meetings with my Democratic party, and I was welcomed with open arms.  I began walking with my constant four legged companion.

Slowly but surely, the world around me is coming into focus.  The mountains are gloriously green, with the daily temperature in the 70’s and 80s’, and the nights nice and cool.  My husband’s pet name for our haven was “Cool Pines”.

Yes, there is a wonderful world out there.  I hope to discover more of it soon.

Hasta la vista.

Well, here I am again, back home after spending several weeks traveling between children, sisters, and family.  My trip back was highly anticipated and dreaded at the same time; anticipated because, as the saying goes, “There’s no place like home”.  Unlike Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, I could not just click my heels, and be back home where everything would be the same.  I came back to the same empty house.

However, this time, I had plans to keep myself busy.  The yard work was waiting, the scrapbook was just begun, and I still had to go through files and files of paperwork, deciding what was to be kept and what was to be shredded.  I had returned with dozens of books to read, letters to write, and bills to pay.  The semblance of an average day was almost upon me.

Not having a job to go to, after years of working, I could easily get up late every morning, but I find myself not able to sleep after 6:00 A. M.  My constant companion, a mutt named Chico, who is part Boston Terrier and something else, is up at that time and ready to start the day.  He takes it upon himself to chase away all intruders in our yard, be it cats, birds, and even deer.

One meeting of a large stag and my pooch took place not too long ago.  I had let him out the door without first checking to see what he would be chasing.  He took off like a wild beast, barking his head off, only to encounter a huge mammoth with horns.  He quickly retreated to the safety of the house and continued to bark from the front window.  Situations such as these make me laugh, and I forget my loneliness for a while.

With summer upon us, the woods are lovely, and old Mother Nature has awakened from her long winter’s sleep.  The blue jays have returned, looking for the peanuts which I set out for them; soon the hummingbirds will make their appearance.  The bears are also awake now, but I have not seen any of them.  The bear locks which were installed in our dumpster keeps them at bay.

I am grateful for those locks, remembering several years ago when we returned home to find a large bear sitting in our driveway, eating his meal from our dumpster-cafeteria.  We honked, blinked the lights, and made all sorts of noises.  He looked at us, ignored us, and went on eating.  After ten or fifteen minutes of this stand-off, we gave up and decided to quietly exit the car and go into our house.

He was still there when we went to bed.   To the victor belong the spoils.

Until next time, Hasta la vista.

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