Alicia Lopez’s Musings

Posts Tagged ‘personal

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

It finally arrived!

After weeks of snow warnings, we awoke this morning to a beautiful white, pristine, winter wonderland.

Not that we got that much, but at my house, it covered the lawn, the parking lot, my car, and all surrounding areas.  It snowed almost all day yesterday, but  very slow, almost grudgingly, as if Mother Nature was still not sure about it.  I estimate about two inches of the white gold dropped, albeit, unwillingly.  If my hubby was still living, he would be faxing our children the great message, “ITS SNOWING!”.  He kept such a message close by the fax machine, almost as if he was urging it to happen. He loved the snow and would go out, as soon as he was able, to take pictures. God, how I miss him.

Ski Apache, our ski resort, received at least 15 inches, and the skiers must be shouting for joy; I know the merchants of the town are doing just that.

Viewing the weather report, northern New Mexico received more than their share, at least two feet were estimated to fall in some areas.

As for myself, I loaded up on books.  My sister and I have a lending library between ourselves, where we exchange books as we read them.  On her last visit she brought me a bag full, so I have plenty to keep me entertained.

My pooch does not like the snow, and keeps trying not to go out.  I have to open the door, and push him out, before he has a chance to retreat.  Once out, he will run out, do his business and return as quickly as possible, to lay in front of the fireplace; “Ah, this is the life, he comments”, in doggy body language.

My physical therapist discharged me this week, so I get to do all the exercises at home.  He gave me three rubberized strips which I am to use.  It took a little bit of time for me to figure out how to do this, I tied one to the leg of my bed, the other to the bedroom door, and kept the third to use  inventfully.  I put this over the door, and use it for my arm exercises; because they are rubberized, I pull against them and really feel it.  If I am snowbound for more than two days, I will develop  arm and leg muscles to put athletes to shame!

It is 7:00 in the morning as I am writing this, and dark as Hades.  I hope the sun comes out soon.

BRR– Hasta la Vista

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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

Me?  On steroids?

Never in a million years would I have believed it, until last week when my doctor advised me he was placing me on some for a week.

This all evolved after I finished the massive job of re-painting the deck.  I felt fine, no problem.  Two weeks after the last strokes were taken, my back began to hurt.  It continued for a week until I finally decided I had better see a doctor, maybe I had wrenched it with all the bending, or, horrors of horrors, maybe I had a tumor!  All these thoughts kept me sleepless until I saw him two days later.

First thing he asked me was “What have you been doing?”  After relating my story, he stated he suspected I had been up to something which was uncommon to me.   All the bending and twisting had put too much strain on my latent-loaded back; so he prescribed muscle relaxants and a pain killer, with a cortisone shot as dessert.  They worked well, the pain went away, and I was happy.

This lasted two weeks, then all of a sudden, I found that I could not walk without  pain in my right leg and hip.  I tried the magic muscle relaxants, but they refused to help.  Since the long Labor Day Holiday was approaching, I called the doctor on Friday, and he ordered the steroids for me.  My first thought was, will I get real big muscles on my arms, will my legs expand to where I can not wear long pants, will I get dependent on them?  Thinking of all the athletes and their problems with steroids did not give me a big feeling of confidence.  They were only prescribed for six days, so that wasn’t too bad.

Tomorrow will be the last day; they have to be taken on diminishing amounts.  They have helped considerably, the only complaint I had is that I couldn’t do anything.  The leg pain was so bad, even the lightest of tasks seemed to be too much; me, who could go all day without stopping, was now a very close friend of the couch.

My pooch was quite upset with me, I could no longer take him on our daily walks.  He did his best to remind me of them, jumping up and down , running to his leash, sitting and begging, all to no avail.

I have read three books, dozens of  magazines, watched television, and pouted.  I also played countless games of Scrabble against my computer.  It beat me several times , using words I had never heard of  until I got smart and discovered the “hint” column.  This gave me access to its built in dictionary, and I finally was able to get even.  Is this considered cheating?  Not in my present state of mind.

I also visited the local casinos, where I could sit and get some entertainment.

Today I thought I would write on my blog, not only to keep in touch, but to keep from going crazy.

Monday I had X rays taken, and the wonderful doctor who runs that department at our local hospital, and who was my hubby’s radiologist, gave me the results.  He came to me, smiled, and said he had bad news.  He told me I was getting old.  I told him I had some suspicions, and he had just confirmed them.

For starters, the beginning of arthritis in my hip, mal-alignment of the spinal column, wearing of the “cushions” between the spinal cords, etc.  I was just happy that I did not have a tumor, or some horrible disease.  Old age I can take.

Some therapy and mild prescriptions are on the way.  I can happily say that I felt good enough today to start shampooing the rugs.

Well, I can’t spend all day on the couch, or at the casino.  One wears away my bottom, and the other my pocket book.

Hasta la vista

woman_on_steroids

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


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