Alicia Lopez’s Musings

Posts Tagged ‘widow

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

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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

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

I don’t really care if the groundhog saw his shadow to signify more winter comings.

I have just seen the earth beginning to sprout with what will be the rejuvenation of some of my flowerbeds.  I now know what John Denver meant when he sang “Rocky Mountain High”.  My Ruidoso High sent my spirits soaring; Spring is really coming and will be here before too long.

After the long winter we have had, just this sign brought joy to my heart. The aftermath of the last snow is still evident on the north part of my street where the sun never shines; the once beautiful snow has turned to a huge glob of  ice and it will take many more days of warmth to melt it.  I don’t care, I can wait.

The days have been beautiful, and I am not even listening to the weather reports for fear that they will report another winter low system.  Let me enjoy my moment.

With the warmer weather arriving I am also prepping for several events which are in the near future .  One of the biggest being the bridal shower being planned in Dallas for my one and only grand daughter who will be married in May, wearing my wedding gown,  which was also worn by her mother.  If this is not the culmination of seeing “your children’s children” which is part of the Catholic wedding ceremony, then I don’t know what is.

It is at times such as these that I miss my hubby most of all.  We were supposed to share all these experiences, and although he did get to see “his children’s children”, he did not live to see them married. He would have reveled with the pure joy of it, and perhaps we would have reminisced about our own wedding, 59 years ago.

There is a song in Spanish called “Como Han Pasado Los Anos” which translated means, how the years have gone by.  We used to dance to it on our anniversaries, reliving the good and putting aside the bad.  It will always be in my heart.

On to the future, with the wedding to be in New York where our granddaughter lives; I am already excited, not only for the nuptials, but to visit the Big Apple again.  It is such a vibrant city, and yes, it seems like it never sleeps.  I almost feel like kicking my heels and strutting.  Don’t worry, before I do, I will exercise a bit; don’t want to pull anything out of joint.

Hasta La Vista