Alicia Lopez’s Musings

Posts Tagged ‘moving on

Yes, that much awaited month of June has arrived!

Here in my mountain home it has arrived, bone dry.  We have been hoping for rain, but it has eluded us, and the fires have started.  You have probably heard of the large one devouring acres in the Gila; we have had a smaller one here, in the Hondo Valley, which has been 90% contained at last count.  Fire is the dreaded word that we mountain dwellers abhor, and do everything in our power to avoid.

In our village of Ruidoso outdoor smoking is prohibited, and I hope all our visitors adhere to that.  It is not that we don’t want you enjoying our mountains and coolness,  it is just that we ask you respect our environment and our home.

Other than that, the summer season is in full swing.  The racing season started on the Memorial Day weekend, and we had quite a crowd at the Ruidoso Downs Racetrack.  I say  “we” because I am part of that  scene, being employed at  Billy the Kid Casino adjacent to the track.  Parking is at a premium, and when we find one, we are jubilant.  I am not going to reveal the parking space which I have found, not too many people know about it.  It is not that far from the building, but I still get walked to my car by the security guards, God Bless them.

I still love my job, it has taken my life into new directions, having people to talk to, and  laugh with.  It  has  done away with a lot of the lonely times.  After three years I still miss my hubby, but have learned to live with the loss.

This month we will be celebrating the 50th birthday of my youngest, and his siblings will be here  to rib him about old age. Not too much ribbing as  they are now all over fifty, and I still think of myself as young!  To me, age is just a number; there are now a few more aches and pains, but I have been blessed with good health and good genes; my mom lived to 99!

There is sadness within my familia, as two brother in-laws are deteriorating in health; it will be only a matter of time before they too leave this earth.  I talk to my sisters often, and offer whatever encouragement I can, and I travel to El Paso at least once every three weeks to be with them.  My sister in California is the one most out of reach, but always in our hearts, prayers, and thoughts.

Another sadness is the fire that devastated my son’s home in El Paso; I went to see it on my last trip there, although he had asked me not to.  My view of the house was of a burned out shell, the roof  had been removed and what could be saved was taken, not much left.  They are lucky to be alive, thanks to their little dog and a neighbor who woke them.  As I told them, things can be replaced, but not human life.

The jubilation of June is now taken one day at a time.

Love and good health to all.

Hasta La Vista

Yes, I who thought I was brilliant in all aspects of my life, including my job, had a very humbling action taken against me.

I was not laid off from my job, I was terminated!  The reason given is very disputable; I was told that customer’s had complained about me, not who or why or when, just that.  It came like a bolt out of the blue, because the priority in every job I have ever had has been that the customer comes first.  They are the reason you are there, they are the ones who pay you, and therefore, they are actually your employers.

So to be told that because of them you are terminated, simply does not compute.  I accept it, what else can you do?  It is a very humbling experience and one that I do not wish on anyone.

I thought I was doing a very good job, and had no inkling or warning from the executives that in their estimation, this was not so.  It has been said that there is a first time for everything, and in all my years of work, this is the first termination.

So I am trying to pick up the pieces of my life again, and coming again to a crossroads.  The specter of selling the house looms ahead of me, and some very serious thinking has to be done.  I am praying for guidance from above.

I visited my hubbie’s grave at Fort Bliss National Cemetery this week-end.  I also prayed for guidance there, after telling him the circumstances of my job loss.  I could almost hear him say *#%&*^%$, because he knew my dedication to any job that I took, and my zeal to perform it accurately.  But I knew that he would also say into each life some rain must fall, and this is a torrent which I must bear.

I am very sad to be writing this, and you, my faithful readers, do not deserve this; but you have shared my triumphs, my sadness, and my joys, so I have taken the liberty of sharing with you this very humbling experience.  Pray for me.

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

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could turn the clock back, just like we do every fall?  Of course, you would have to choose how far back to go, an hour, a day, a year?

In my fantasies, I would go back at least ten years, when my hubby was still in good health, when he and I thought we had the world in our hands.  We had good jobs, good health, a fantastic bevy of grown children, and we could look forward to growing old together.

Of course, old was not a word my hubby believed in.  He always thought and acted young, and I was swept along with him.  We were so sure we had earned the place where we then stood, and we enjoyed every minute of it.

Then was then, and now is now.  You cannot turn back time, and only memories keep it alive.  I have plenty of those, and sometimes when I’m not even thinking, they crop up at unbidden times.

For example, I found tears in my eyes when I witnessed my wonderful boss busily opening a package which contained a new tool he had purchased, and it reminded me of the joy that my hubby took in any new tool he acquired.  I had a lump in my throat when he came back from a trip and handed his wife a gift he brought to her; there were many times in my life when I had the same happiness of knowing I was always in my hubby’s thoughts.

I find myself envying an older couple holding hands; that could have been us.  I have gone up to total strangers and told them how lucky they are, and not to take anything for granted.

With the holidays coming up, more and more memories will appear, I do not dread them; I even look forward to enjoying most of them. This year the traditional Thanksgiving will not happen, as two of my children who live in Dallas cannot come to Ruidoso to be with us, and the son who lives in El Paso will celebrate with his wife’s family this year.  I will still have two children and their families to keep me company.  Two is much better than none.

Happy Thanksgiving to all.

Hasta la Vista

Each day of my life now seems like a newly purchased book;  I am eager to start that first page and find new adventure and perhaps some mysteries;  I am, after all,  one of the biggest readers of mystery novels, next to my sister.

Before I begin on my page of the day, let me reveal to you about the “lending” library that she and I have.  I purchase a book, read it, and send it to her.  She does the same, but the books she returns seem to have multiplied like bunnies; I send her three, she returns twelve.  That mystery is solved when she explains that her daughter, also an avid reader, sends her novels she has purchased and read, so I end up with shopping bags full of books.

Before I began my new job I could finish a book in two days, and after compiling those, I would travel to my local paperback exchange, and return with even more books. My reading has slowed down a bit, as I have my days filled now with my new job.

This is when the new pages of my life begin;  I actually look forward to getting up in the morning with my day scheduled for work.  I never knew how much I enjoyed working until I no longer had a job.  There is just so much you can do around the house, and when those chores are finished, the rest of the day looms ahead.  I volunteered with my local Democratic Party, something my hubby and I did together, he was such an avid Democrat.  When his illness progressed he could not do as much, and I preferred to keep him company, so my volunteering dwindled.  I am just beginning to get back in that groove.

Each day brings new things into my life, new people I can talk to.  When I was home alone my conversations were mostly with my pooch, who listened intently, and agreed with everything I said.  He was, and still is, my constant companion, being privy to my saddest moments, sharing my tears with him, and also my happy thoughts.

I hurry home to him at noon, let him out in the yard, have my lunch, play with him a bit, give him a “dental” treat, and leave.  In the evening, the same schedule follows;  he demands more petting now since I am gone for the day.

My new pages are now filled with the wonderful views of the beginning of fall.  The days are quite cool in the mornings and evenings.  We had the annual motorcycle rally last week in our village, and the roar of the “motos” were heard everywhere, and you have not seem anything until  you view the hundreds and hundreds of  bikers filling every inch of space in your town. They are all welcomed, but you can hear the combined sighs of relief when they leave; we have the serenity back.

So, life goes on, and I float along with it.  Next week will be the annual Aspencade weekend, when the leaves are beginning to turn to the lovely golds and reds.

Come see it with me.

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

I journeyed back today from my visit to our children in Dallas.  The time passes so swiftly, I can hardly believe a week has gone by.

This is the norm, the days pass by so slowly when you are looking forward to that trip, and they fly by when you are actually at your destination and enjoying the assorted family members surrounding you.

We spend the majority of the time talking, laughing, remembering, and sometimes crying.  As the holidays approach, we look forward to them with some trepidation.  This will be the first holiday season without my beloved.  To them it will be the first without their father, and grandfather.  He was so enthusiastic about everything that pertained to this time, that he infused it to everyone.

We will change a few things about the celebration, having decided to draw names this year for the first time in our history;  I can say in half a century, since he and I were married fifty eight years. We always did the shopping together, he carrying the packages and giving his nod of approval for whatever I chose.  His expertise was with the manly things, the girly ones he usually left to me.

This Thanksgiving we will all be together, except for my granddaughter who lives in New York, and a grandson who cannot bear to leave his dog in a kennel.  I told him if I didn’t have three dogs  already invited to the feast, I would tell him to bring his Maddie, but she is much larger than the other three pooches and I can foresee problems.  People who are not dog lovers will wonder at his decision to not come, but I completely understand;  I have been a dog person for years.

So, I look forward to their coming and to our time together.  They always love Ruidoso, and cannot bear the thought that one day I may have to sell the house and leave, but Father Time has a way of diminishing mere mortals, and I am a realist.  I will have to move closer to where I have more family and medical support, although my son who lives here tells me he would take care of me by himself, but I would not tie him down to an ailing mother, he still has his own life to live.

Hopefully that will be in the future, relegated to “some day”.  My health is good, and I am slowly but surely learning to live again.

Hasta la Vista