Alicia Lopez’s Musings

Posts Tagged ‘grieving

It hardly seems possible, but the falling pine needles announce that fall is coming.  My query is, where did summer go?

I know that part of the disappearance is the fact that I am now working at a job that I love, and the time just seems to fly by.

My working hours have taken over the lonely nights and weekends when I really felt the loss of my hubby the worst.  Now I am busy greeting people, being a ham on the microphone, and generally helping patrons at the casino in anyway that I can.  I find it most enjoyable to be able to talk to people; being home I only spoke with my pooch, who is a very good listener, but seldom makes comments.

I have my mornings at home when I can catch up on doing things that have to be done, or doing nothing at all.  That “”doing nothing at all” part is now done without any guilty feelings because I feel I have earned my rest.  I also rest on my laurels, as I have been told by several different people at work that I am doing a great job.  Isn’t it wonderful to hear that?

I experienced something new this past week end, I watched the horse races!  All these years in this beautiful pine country, and my hubby and I never went to the races.  All the hoopla involved never enthused us enough to attend.  Well,  I ended up going in to work with two hours of anticipation, and decided to sit in on some races.  They were quite exciting, and I can now see how people get so worked up over them.  The fact that the purse was at a high of  two and a quarter million dollars was nothing to sneeze at either.

The time  flew by also because I had a visit from my sister for the whole weekend.  We spend a lot of time talking, laughing, and sometimes even crying, as we both shared our  joys and our sorrows.  It is another thing that I miss, having the nearness of  kin, especially my sisters; we have always been very close.

I had an episode at church on Sunday, when my nose started bleeding and I could not stop it.  It took almost twenty minutes before it finally ended.  Since I had been having them more frequently, I went to the doctor.  You always imagine the worst, but it turned out that the membranes in my nostrils are swollen, and have hit some veins, which start the bleeding.  A prescription for some nose drops and a suggestion that I have a humidifier by my bed at night seems to have solved the problem; I certainly hope so, it is kind of scary when you can’t stop the bleeding.

So now it is time to prepare for fall and winter; as usual, I am probably the only person is this area who does not wish for snow. Since that is still a few months away, I will concentrate on enjoying the cool weather, and my viewings into Facebook where I see pictures of my great grand-daughter almost on a daily basis.  This is such a wonderful way to keep in touch, I recommend it to everyone–GET ON FACEBOOK!!!!

Hasta la Vista, you all  (I still have my Texas roots)

Yes, the June season is again in full swing, and I find myself, happy, sad, and mad.

Happy for all the graduates who have fulfilled their education goals, congratulations, especially to Dennis and Delaney Quintana, whom I saw grow up during our Democratic Party events.

Sad because Father’s Day is just another day for me now, with no one by my side to celebrate with; and also mad because at times I find myself asking, why me?  Especially when I see older couples, holding hands, laughing, talking, sharing moments; it is to hard to keep asking why them and not me.

Those moments finally pass and I take a deep breath, straighten my shoulders, and go on.

I finally got home after dog and house sitting for one daughter in McKinney,and spending quality time with my other daughter who also lives there; my son from Dallas came and kept me company too.  It was a relaxing time, spent reading, doing crossword puzzles, and keeping Frasier and Niles ( my two Westie grandpups) happy.

One thing I did not enjoy were the tornado warnings which hit the area on a Tuesday night.  My son called me and told me to stay at my other daughter’s house so I would not be alone in the worst case scenario.  We stayed tuned to the weather channel which gave periodic updates; it was no where near McKinney, but it did sweep across the Dallas area.  My son said he took precautions sitting in the hall surrounded by matresses and so forth.

The weatherman showed golf ball size hail which was falling in several counties; luckily we only saw rain.  Give me a good ole sandstorm any day.

I had to go see a doctor at the local emergency clinic; I had developed a very bad cough, and what I thought was chest congestion. With that problem there was no way I was going to get on a plane.  After a thorough examination, the results were there was nothing wrong with me, I was suffering from allergies. I was given a prescription for cough medication and told to go home and rest.  Well, the RX gave me plenty of rest, I could not stay awake!  Glad to say I was finally well enough to come back home.

My pooch was very happy to see me.  He had stayed at my son’s house in El Paso, and was ready to climb in the car and come back to his own yard.

After several days, we had a bear encounter.  Chico was barking hysterically at the kitchen door, I looked out and there was this big brown head, peeking in.  I thought at first it was a big dog, and made shooing noises, when he turned around, I saw it was a brown bear, and he had a companion!  They had climbed up the kitchen back stairs, and when I made noise, they turned around and scampered across to the front, then sauntered casually across to my neighbor’s house, through their back yard and on to the forest.

It has been so dry, they are coming down to residential areas looking for food.  I do not let my pooch out until I check  and make sure its safe.

Stay tuned for the next episode in the Perils of Alicia.

Hasta la Vista

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

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

Never, in all my years, did I ever think I was getting old.

This changed drastically last week when I limped home after celebrating Mother’s Day with my children in Dallas.  My right leg had been bothering me for the past couple of weeks, I even went to the doctor, who prescribed medication for the pain.  It never gave me any relief, and pending my trip, I wanted to be free of any hindrance.  So I opted to buy some over the counter meds which had worked for me before, and  did again.

I started doing the exercises suggested by a physical therapist, bending, stretching, etc.  I was OK for a while, and suddenly out of the blue, my leg would buckle with the pain. This happened at the height of my buying spree with the gift certificates I received for Mother’s Day. 

Have you ever had to hold on to anything available to keep the weight off one leg?  I did just that, on a display rack, which came tumbling down.  How embarrassing, being on the floor along with all the clothes.  Everyone was very sympathetic and helpful, but my humiliation was complete when I could not stand up.  Right then and there I did my “bend and touch your toes” exercise, which must have confused everybody.  To me, it was the only thing I could do, to stretch those muscles which had crimped on my back.  After several of these, I was able to walk again, with as much dignity as I could muster.

Then came the question, am I getting old?  I never considered years, my hubby and I always thought young.  In fact, the song that best describes our relationship is called “You make me feel so young”; and we lived those words.

But people, there comes a time when you feel so miserable, not being able to do the things that came so natural .

I decided to fight this feeling, and went to see an orthopedic doctor.  He took x-rays of my hips, and declared them to be in good shape.  (I was already thinking hip replacement)  He did recommend an MRI of my back, his thinking being that the muscles there were in a mass of crimping, leaning on a nerve that runs down my leg.  They scheduled me for tomorrow, and I am ready; if his reasoning turns out true, then he can cure me with shots.

Although shots on my back are not my favorite things to get, I do want to get rid of the pain, because I want to dance at my grand daughter’s wedding.  My dancing partner is no longer here, but I will rope my sons or sons in law to dance.  What better place to make a fool of myself than a family wedding.

I wonder what the people in New York will think of me?  I hope they will see a happy, youthful grandmother, kicking her heels in happiness at seeing her “children’s children” joined in matrimony.

Hasta La Vista

Well, my week of dog and house sitter ended on a happy note, and I started my trek back home, although I tell my hubby no place is home without him.  My own pooch, Chico. and my son’s dauschund are “kissing cousins” and get along well together; so well that when we leave for home we have to put Corky in a bedroom and close the door because he goes bananas when he sees we are going without him.

The week seemed to fly by, and I got to see a lot of my friends, and spent time with my two sisters.  I window shopped at the big stores, and missed Louie some more.  When we went to the “big city” and the malls, we would split up and keep in touch by cell phone, except when he forgot to turn his on.  This was followed by an all out hunt at his favorite places, Radio Shack, and any store with kitchen wares, where I would usually find him.

El Paso has grown so much from the small lazy city we both grew up in.  I did visit the Bowie Bakery, where it has stood for many years, serving our people .   My sister and I bought the sweet breads of our youth, and relived experiences.  We did not grow up in South El Paso like my hubby, but I shared memories that he related to me.  The old Bowie High School he attended is now Roosevelt school, but the building is the same.

My trip back home was marred by car trouble, although I had the oil changed and the tires checked before starting.  At the Border Patrol check point a dinging sound went off and the light on the car icon came on.  Not knowing what it meant, I waited until the Border Patrolman asked me for my citizenship, and I replied by asking him what the icon meant.  He was very nice and told me I should have the engine checked in Alamogordo.

I stopped at the first car parts store I came to;   A message had appeared on the screen showing “power steering”.  The men at the store were very helpful but very confused because they could not find where the fluid should be installed.  They checked their computer, the car’s instruction book, and told me they could not help me; the power steering was computerized, and I would have to go to the  dealer.

Great News, there is no Chevrolet dealer in Alamogordo.  I hit the panic button and called my son in Ruidoso and he came to get me.  Well, as it happens, when he started the car, the icon was not visible, and the steering wheel was fine!  We drove around for about an hour, and it worked perfectly, so I decided to drive on in, and the car behaved beautifully.  However, I am taking it to the dealer this morning, I think it was just a warning, and I sure don’t want to be caught again.

There, the Perils of Alicia have ended.  I am back home for a few days and will be leaving soon for Dallas; looking forward to seeing my children and grandchildren in Big D, and of course, my future grandson-in-law.  Hey Scott, did you tell your buddies your fiancee’s  grandma beat you at bowling?

A final note, the auto dealer says he ran a computer analysis and that it showed the car needed a new steering column to the tune of $600.00; he just happened to have the part in stock and could have it ready that same day.  I called my son  and he told them to forget it, we picked it up and took it to another shop which also checked it with the computer.   Guess what?  No codes showed and nothing was wrong with the steering column.  I guess the dealer figured he had a big sale with a woman who did not know anything about cars (which I dont) but I have my sons to guide me.  The mechanic told me the band thingy (not his words) was worn and loose and should be replaced, when the car heated it would send wrong messages to the computer.

Guess I’m just lucky to have sons who know about cars and an honest mechanic on my side. Oh, by the way, I had to pay the dealer $79.00 for the analysis and he would not give me a print out on it.

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


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