And then there are PEOPLE.
There is a beautiful moon in the sky above Seattle tonight… not quite Full, but it will be by this time tomorrow night.
I was looking up at the sky (in awe), the moon looks so big and close you can almost touch it.
In the cold and clear and darkness of night, I couldn’t help but think of Michele.
I walked into the house and popped onto FaceBook to take a look at her page. She passed away on April 1, 2013.
I wanted to write her a note and let her (and her family) know that I was thinking about her. I ran across a post on her Wall – for Michele « CoffeeJitters.
Michele was PEOPLE… even in the face of death she lived with grace, dignity and humor.
I have spent the majority of my adult life as a caregiver.
Not something that I begrudge. It has been and honor and a learning experience.
I’ve seen people come and people go. Families come together and break apart.
None of us knows when our time is “up”… we can only live each day to the best of our ability. Being the best we can be. Showing kindness to others and supporting those who are less fortunate than we are.
Some of the strongest and wealthiest people I have ever known were those who struggled the most and had the least. There is so much to learn from our everyday experiences.
Thank you Michele for being an example for the rest of us. I appreciate visiting your Facebook page and seeing the love notes that people leave for you.
You may not be “here” but you are here… and we are all better for having the opportunity to know you.
Don’t wast your time on people who suck your soul out of you. Life is too short. Invest your life in what matters, because in the end, what doesn’t matter… doesn’t matter.
- At 4:20 this afternoon, the world lost a brave and beautiful soul.
- This blog is about “Life as I Know It”… sometimes Life as I know It… is not ideal.
In an ideal world, good people would live long and healthy lives, be able to raise their children, and grow old with the ones that they love.
- M was a classmate of mine in High School. We were not “friends” – then.
- While we had some common friends, we did not hang out in the same circles or have the same interests – at least that was my interpretation of things.
- Some time after our 20 year reunion I got a friend request on Facebook. Looking back at the messages, it was December 2008. Quite frankly I was surprised, so much so that I actually inquired as to “why” M was requesting the connection.
- She responded that she was inspired by my relationship with my then husband (now WASband). At the time of the reunion, we had been married for 13 years and he had been chronically ill with complications from his bone marrow transplant for over 12 years. I had been married for 17 years when she contacted me – and I seriously doubt that had it not been for Facebook, we would have connected at all.
- Ironically this was about the time that I was seriously considering ending my marriage. I had done my best to keep it together but things had deteriorated to the point where there really was nothing left to salvage. M offered me perspective, from her perspective, as a person battling cancer and the complications associated with chronic and life threatening illness. I shared my perspective, as a spouse and caregiver.
- M is the person who coined the term WASband. I stole it and I’m not giving it back! We had a number of good laughs, a few cries, but even more so, I enjoyed getting to know M – as I really didn’t know her before.
- As consistently shared on her Facebook page, she had a wicked sense of humor and a wonderful outlook on the every day circumstances of life.
- We developed a friendship over the past few years. Not the same type of friendship that she had with others… I can’t tell you what she liked most and I don’t have stories about her growing up, or even any real knowledge about her adult life. I only know what we shared recently. Mostly about love, life and living with “illness”. This was mostly via email – we tried numerous times to get together, when I was in town visiting and then after I moved back home. Our schedules just never seemed to mesh. That was okay.
- We followed each others lives on Facebook and via our blogs. I learned a lot from her strength and determination to live. Watched as she struggled and LIVED and LOVED her daughters and others. Generous, loving, caring, and thoughtful. What a legacy.
- We all knew that this was coming. That there would be an end to her time here on earth. Of course we didn’t know when. It will happen to all of us at some point, but some people see it coming.
- I’m not sure which is better. I’m not sure that if I am presented with the same view that I would have the strength and courage to live as she lived or to try as hard as she did to stay alive. I’ve seen what cancer does. I’ve seen people survive and live, but I have seen many more die. I’ve seen what it does to families and experienced the results of the continual strain on relationships. Some relationships make it, many more don’t. Not for a lack of trying…
- Facebook is an interesting medium. To be as loved as M. The sentiments, stories and love that has been poured upon her and her family. That is what is inspiring. There are many things that I did not know about her, but the person that I got to know via our emails and messages is someone who I truly admire and care about.
- Sometimes, when we become adults, and the insecurities of being a teenager are gone, we really learn about who we are and get that second opportunity to meet people we once knew in a new and different way.
- I am fortunate that I have some great friends. Some people I have known my entire life, some for a long time and others for a very short period. I am learning, and continue to learn the value of life. Thankful for every day that I have and the people who I get to spend it with.
Thank you M for your strong and courageous life. For being who you are and sharing your life and strength with the rest of us.
Rest in Peace…
… and stayed for a funeral.
A year ago in May I was given a Tlingit name. A great honor that carries a huge responsibility. Even though I had a name, I was not able to use it in public until it was presented to me as part of a formal ceremony, during a Ku.éex’.
That was supposed to happen in November of 2011 but a death in the clan caused the party to be postponed until October of this year.
What is a Ku.éex’?
The Ku.éex’ is a ceremony in which the deceased member or members and ancestors of a clan are remembered. It is a time for the surviving clan members to push away their sorrow after a year of mourning, to celebrate life, to reaffirm their social and kinship bonds, and to ceremoniously present their clan at.oow (clan regalia, objects, songs and stories). It is a time to honor the members of the opposite side—moiety—who comforted the grieving clan and who assisted with the funeral as well as the burial or cremation.
I was adopted into my Tlingit family by my “sister” Carolyn. She and her husband John have been teaching me and guiding me with regard to Tlingit customs and culture for the past couple of years.
In 2008 I had an opportunity to participate in a “canoe journey” from Hoonah to Juneau as part of Celebration 2008. It was my introduction to Tlingit culture and it was amazing! It was the beginning of a change in my life that it indescribable.
This was another amazing trip where I continued to explore my life and found a wonderful group of people who I wanted to be around.
This is the trip where Fred and I became fast friends … so much so that he arranged with his mom to adopt me as his sister (we met on the first trip in 2008 but didn’t really connect at the time).
Shortly after this trip, I was on my way to Tribal Journey in Washington for a canoe journey that would change everything. It was an eye-opening experience and the place where I determined that I was no longer willing to settle for a marriage that was dead and a love that was long gone.
I wanted the type of relationship and love that I was seeing with other couples. One of mutual love and respect. I wondered why I didn’t have that in my life… I had no idea that I could and would have this as part of my life.
As it turns out, I am fortunate that Fred’s mom did not adopt me when she was planning to… Fred and I did not intend on falling in love, it just happened. We were friends first, lover’s later. Had I been adopted as his sister, we would not have been able to be together… I am fortunate that Carolyn was willing and wanted me to be part of her family. Fred is Raven (Yéil) and I am Eagle (Ch’aak’)
My Tlingit family is:
My Tlingit name is: Ah Dah Néik.
Plans interrupted: Fred was not going to be able to come up for the party because of his work schedule but he ended up flying up the day after I arrived when we found out his mom was not expected to live the night.
She had been invited to the party to represent her family and her house. I was sad to learn that she was not going to be able to attend when she fell and fractured her pelvis. Just a few short days later the family was gathering at her side saying goodbye.
Fred was in Point Roberts working a fish opening. He had to bring the boat back, a six-hour trip, catch a plane in Bellingham to get to Juneau. He arrived at about 9:30 PM and his mom passed at just about 10:40 PM that same night.
It was a difficult night for everyone. Fred chose to return to the Ku.éex’, surrounded by friends and family, supported in his time of grief.
I didn’t know his mamma for very long. The time she spent with us was precious and I wish that she had been my mother-in-law for the past 20 some years… but alas she was not.
Fred’s family is:
XUTSNOOWÚ KWÁAN: ANGOON BROWN BEAR FORT, a.k.a.: XUDZIDAA KWÁAN — BURNT WOOD TRIBE RAVEN MOIETY Deisheetaan (Beaver) Yéil S’aagi Hít (RAVEN’S BONES HOUSE)
His Tlingit Name is: Xá.naax’
He comes from a large family, most of which were in Juneau when his mom passed.
This is not exactly how I envisioned meeting everyone.
As always, facing death and dealing with grief is difficult. Families either come together or pull apart. Having been through this not too long ago myself, my only goal was to be there for Fred and support him as best as I could.
There are a lot of things to be taken into consideration… with the memorial service behind us the next big milestones are the 40 day party and then a Deisheetaan Ku.éex’ next year.
There isn’t any way to describe how I feel about Fred. Other than blessed, and fortunate. My heart is full. I am happy. Nothing feels as good as this does.
I came to realize a few years ago that I no longer loved my WASband.
How did I know?
I listened to myself, and I listened to how I described him. I listened to the words I used when I was angry, hurt or frustrated. I listened to the words that I used during the divorce process.
It wasn’t always this way. I didn’t start out being resentful and angry. My resentment developed over time, so did the language that I chose to use.
When we married, I loved him. When he was ill, struggling to survive, I loved him.
For many years, I endured verbal abuse. Excuses bandied about included “people hurt those they love the most.”
Never once during his illness did I berate or belittle him. I didn’t comment on his appearance – I honestly didn’t notice any difference. He was handsome to me throughout his treatment and recovery – during all phases.
No doubt about it, he was struggling. I spent an enormous amount of energy trying to build him up. Trying to help him feel better about himself… the words I used then were very different. They were kind and loving.
I thought the abuse would stop if he felt better about himself.
I did not understand that I couldn’t do any of that for him. He had to do that himself. The abuse didn’t stop, it only got worse. The less dependent he was on me, the more abusive he became.
I made excuses for him too. “He’s on prednisone”, “he has suffered so much”, “he’s in pain”… “he didn’t mean it…”, “he’s sorry, he’ll never do it again…”
But he did.
I never bought into the line that people do not have a responsibility for their words. I heard excuse after excuse… the same as above.
I remember once my response, after a particularly bad assault, was “if you know that ‘this’ does this to you, then you are aware enough to make a different choice.”
If you are irritable or grumpy when you are hungry, eat… tired, in pain? Do something about it. Medication make you irritable? Deal with it.
It was difficult to deal with because when I was in pain, tired, hungry, ill… I wasn’t “allowed” act the way he did.
After he was “better” I couldn’t hold it in anymore and then I started mirroring his behaviors. It wasn’t until he was “better” that I found him to be “ugly”… all of his various treatments and physical changes weren’t what was ugly, it was his inner being. He had become ugly from the inside out.
I reached a point where I could no longer let his words slide off my back. They hurt. And they left scars.
This became very clear, unexpectedly, last night. The scars.
Someone said something out of frustration that stung. Actually, it felt like a dagger being plunged into my heart.
Every once in a while I am faced with a trigger. Fortunately they are fewer and further between.
I suffer from PTSD… I have become very aware of when I am experiencing symptoms, although sometimes I realize it after the fact.
What did I notice last night?
Right after the incident, I shut down. Reminiscent of my main coping method – detachment. My other “trick” - emotional “numbing,” or feeling as though I don’t care about anything, or need anyone. And, my favorite (sarcastic) strong, uncomfortable reactions to situations that remind you of the event… even if they are exaggerated.
What I’ve learned
I believe that the words one uses, reflect how they feel about a person. When expressed in anger or frustration, those words are the true expression of how the person is viewed.
We can often hide our true feelings when everything is running smoothly but when anger and frustration are present it is more difficult to choose your words and from my experience, what a person really thinks comes flying out of their mouth.
I decided during the divorce process that I would never resort to these behaviors again. Never.
I will NEVER allow myself to get into a situation where I attack the person I love with words that hurt. If I ever get to that point again – where I start thinking about a person in negative way, I will end the relationship. BEFORE I lower myself to name calling.
Love does not including hurting those that you love… It just doesn’t.
The unexpected life adventures of a newlywed couple…What is “normal” anyway?
One thing that struck me early on in our marriage and with my role as a care-giver was what became “normal” in our daily lives.
One day we were happily living our lives and the next (literally) it was like I was living with a stranger. It happened that quick. We had only been married about two months when he changed… it was like Jekyll and Hyde.
Most newlyweds are thinking about starting their families or purchasing their first homes.
It took nearly a year to figure out what was “wrong” and then we were thrust into a world we were not prepared for.
We were trying to figure out how to pay for medications AND rent… medical procedures AND food…
Coordinating housing 900+ miles away from home where he was going for medical care and who would be available to assist with caring for my husband during his treatment and medical procedures while I stayed at home working in order to maintain the health care insurance that would pay for his transplant and follow-up care.
One particularly poignant memory during our “transplant journey” was of a very young girl in the hospital. She had spent her entire tiny life in and out of the hospital. Getting poked and prodded, being infused with chemo, blood and medications. She was chubby from the Prednisone and barely had any hair on top of her head but was very hairy from the Cyclosporine… hair growing in all of the wrong places. Thick eyebrows and chubby cheeks. The tell tale signs of transplant patients…
Yet she was happy. Her smile was beautiful and her little voice just sang.
Scenes like this really helped keep things in perspective. No matter how bad things seemed, there was always someone worse off than we were.
I couldn’t help but think that this little girl didn’t know anything different. This was her life. This is what was “normal” for her. She didn’t know that being a little girl did not “normally” include the things that she was experiencing on a daily basis.
Most people have no idea what occurs in a family or with couples dealing with chronic or serious/critical illnesses.
Normal for us is so far beyond the realm of experience for most people.
For us, not only did we have the regular “stuff” of life; working, housekeeping, and family, we also had appointments, treatments, blood transfusions, infection control procedures and so much more.
As the spouse of a critically/chronically ill person I had the additional responsibility of maintaining health insurance for my spouse, working full-time and then coming home and taking care of him and the house. I was fortunate that his family was there to assist the first few years. Both a blessing and a curse… I could not have done it without them however.
I am thankful that I did not have children in addition to my husband. I saw spouses struggling to meet the needs of their children and their spouses… I really don’t know how they did it other than they really didn’t have a choice. As with so many things we just do what we have to do and do not question it.
I learned early on that I needed to refresh and recharge regularly in order to maintain my own optimal health. I knew that I would not be able to take care of him if I was not healthy myself.
In the early years of his illness I combined my need for physical activity with volunteering as a swimming instructor. I also volunteered with the local community band and high school marching band. These were great activities that helped keep me centered and balanced.
A big challenge was balancing my need to work and my responsibilities for his care. Making and attending doctors appointments, picking up medications, administering those medications and treatments, monitoring his health and keeping track of symptoms and reactions. I was learning how to do things that I never imagined I would have to do.
I was fortunate that I had jobs where I had some flexibility and I also had some fantastic managers. I worked extra hard at work to make sure that I was pulling my weight and would not be perceived as shirking my duties. My biggest fear (next to becoming a widow) was that I would lose my job and the insurance.
This was our “normal”… we didn’t know any differently. We just did what we had to do and lived our lives the best that we could.
The most excruciating part for me was the uncertainty of life and the constant worry about his health and well-being. Every phone call, every appointment, every hospitalization… I will never know exactly what he was feeling. That would require that I was actually in his shoes. The only thing that I could do was care for him and about him. To be there for him.
My experience and observation has shown me that spouses/care-givers experience the process, but in a different way. I know that for myself I felt helpless. There was nothing that I could do to make things better. I had no magic wand that would make the illness go away. Nothing that would bring him back to the health that he once had. Nothing that could convince him that I loved him even when he didn’t love himself.
We lasted longer than most. I cared for him for nearly 20 years. Of the married couples that started treatment the same time he did, 1/2 of the spouses died before they left the hospital, of the 1/2 that were left 1/2 of those got separated/divorced before the process was completed and of those, we were the only ones still married after 3 years… I think he may actually be the only person still living out of all of those that we met.
Being the spouse of a critically/chronically ill person is difficult. Being the person who is critically/chronically ill is difficult.
Heck, marriage, even in the best of circumstances, is difficult. Throw in the rest of the stress and trauma and you have a mix for potential disaster… not to mention marriage failure. Sometimes even the most loving couples can’t keep it together.
The closest analogy that I can think of is when people talk about “education differences”… meaning that when one person starts to learn and grow the other person feels left behind or threatened. His realm of experience in one aspect became so different from mine that I could no longer relate to him. He became very angry and hostile toward me because I “didn’t know” what he was going through. It isn’t that the people are no longer compatible but only that their realm of experience and their realities are so different that they no longer have anything in common.
The WASband and I reached that place a very long time ago. We were living separate lives. As much as I wanted to participate, he shut me out. As much as I tried to understand what he was going through, he rejected me. He was angry and I couldn’t compete with his interests. I stopped trying.
The only thing we had in common after a few years was his “illness” and my role in caring for him when he was unable to care for himself. When he got better, he no longer needed me. I felt like an unwanted appendage, until the next time he needed me. I was a necessary inconvenience.
Thinking back, we didn’t have a chance. If he hadn’t been ill we most likely would have been divorced years (and years) ago.
I was reading a blog post the other day that summed it all up pretty succinctly… even though Gen Y Girl was writing on a completely different topic.
“I think when you’re young, you’re hoping that this person will be the right one, the one you’re going to be in love with forever. But sometimes you want that so much that you create something that really isn’t there.” ~ Johnny Depp
Tags: caregiving, Chronic Illness, Critial/Serious Illness, Death and Dying, health care insurance, learning experience, living with a stranger, mental-health, newlywed couple, Positive Thinking, transplant journey, WASband
ONE of the things that I keep in mind when feeling overwhelmed as a care-giver is that there is no “off” switch for our loved ones.
At the end of the day we (the care-givers) are healthy and can live our lives in a relatively “normal” fashion. Aches and pains may be a minor inconvenience for us but they are a constant for those who are chronically or seriously ill.
Days are marked by how well our loved ones feel and which appointment or treatment they are scheduled for. Keeping track of time, making sure that medications are properly administered, and appointments are kept, bills are paid, jobs are attended to (and/or children)… the uncertainty of the future.
They don’t get to flip a switch and determine which days they will feel well enough to do the things that the rest if us take for granted.
Along those same lines, as a caregiver we don’t get an off switch either. Living with a chronically or critically ill person is a 24/7/365 proposition. We don’t get to finish our shift and clock out. Sometimes coming home from work is when the real work begins…
I was married at 25 and within a few short months realized that my husband was ill…very ill. It took nearly a year of multiple misdiagnosis before he was finally diagnosed with CML (chronic myelogenous leukemia)… which the doctors believed he had for over two years (a year before we got married) … within weeks he had a bone-marrow transplant.
He is 19 years post transplant … he has been able to work, at least part if not full-time during that time, but he has also endured multiple medical procedures and invasive treatments. There were three distinct times when I felt that I was going to be a widow before I was 30.
He has already outlived his life expectancy and the members of his cohort.
We are 19 months into our legal separation, but were “apart” and living in the same house for many, many years prior to that. I stayed long after the marriage was over because that is what I thought I was supposed to do.
I did not stay out of pity, I stayed out of love. It wasn’t until a few years ago while having a discussion with my father that I realized that love would not keep the marriage together. I felt like a failure. I had honored my vows but could not make my husband love me. I was alone.
My father reminded me that marriage takes two (2) people and in his words, “I was in a marriage of one (1), and had been for quite some time.” I was not a failure he said, my marriage was a failure.
Maybe it was because we never developed the “marriage relationship” due to the quick onset of his illness early on in our marriage. Maybe it was the fatigue of the daily trials and tribulations, the stress that we were both experiencing.
I have learned so much from this journey. Some things are hard to share but I am finding that writing about my experiences is helping me move forward in my life, hopefully he’ll move forward in his as well.
Maybe you’ll learn something from my/our experiences that can save your marriage. While very few of us signed up for this kind of adventure when we met, and /or fell in love with our spouses, we trudge along doing the best we can.
Not surprisingly (truly) very few couples actually survive long-term chronic illness. Our marriage survived longer than most and most definitely longer than it should have.
My WASband and I no longer speak so I am hoping that a new acquaintance will help me provide some perspective from the viewpoint of the person receiving the care. To provide a balanced discussion of some of the issues that we face – as couples – when dealing with chronic or serious illness in our relationships.
This is from my perspective as a spouse. There are different (yet possibly similar) issues when caring for a child or sibling, parent or friend.
Care-givers may get a break now and then, but the responsibilities are completely different for primary care-givers and those who support us.
Some topics that I want to write about may be TMI or taboo for some – but then again these topics are real and they do impact the marriage/partner relationship.
What topics? Effects of care-giving, intimacy, anger, resentment, exhaustion, work/life balance, asking for and accepting help, financial/legal issues, medical care/physician relations, care-giver fatigue/illness, family – the ties that bind and gag, and possibly some other topics that are not coming to mind at this moment.
I will write about how I dealt with the issues and what changed that finally made me choose to end the marriage.
That was the most difficult decision I have ever had to make… I am not sorry about it though. In the end, it was his life or mine.
I am choosing to live.
Here is an excerpt:
“… *I* am now the one who is in need of care… and I am painfully aware of the burden I am creating for those around me. Love has been replaced with pity, waning tolerance and isolation… it often has me wondering why I am even here…” NomDebPlume
I really did not know how to respond but felt that it was important to address the concept that being a caregiver is not a burden…
The burden that I personally felt came from many years of dealing with my WASbands struggles with self-esteem and his anger at the world, which was often directed toward me.
The saying that “people hurt the ones they love the most” is a bunch of crap.
It is an excuse for bad behavior. I can’t tell you how many times my WASband said that to me… he hurt me because he loved me? Really?
He hurt me because I allowed him to. I was the closest person when he was angry and therefore I was the one who got the brunt of his anger and lashing out.
He wouldn’t have pulled half the stuff he did with anyone else. They would not have tolerated it. They would have walked away.
“That is the challenge Companion. To take what has happened to you and learn from it. Nothing is quite so destructive as pity, especially self-pity. No event in life is so terrible that one cannot rise above it.”
― Robin Hobb, Ship of Destiny
This is a true statement. I have yet to come across a situation that has not taught me something or helped me to become a better person.
There is NO WAY that I would ever discount what a person experiences who is dealing with chronic or serious/terminal health issues. What I have witnessed with my WASband, my family and while working in hospitals, I would never wish on anyone.
I also understand that fear and pain play a HUGE part in actions and behaviors. Some things I could forgive and forget… others not so much.
For instance, as my father’s illness progressed, it became very difficult for him to do even the most basic of things and he would get frustrated. He would try to tell us what he needed and we could see the frustration in his face and gestures when we were not understanding what he needed. At times he would even get snappy.
At no time did I ever feel personally attacked. My father was patient and kind and would stop what he was trying to do and wait until we could find a different way to communicate and solve the issue. He had accepted his life and the inevitable outcome. He showed love and appreciation until the very end.
He often commented that he did not want to be a burden. HE WASN’T…
He made sure that my mom continued with her activities and got out with her friends, even after he became home bound. He knew that her life would have to continue after his death and he didn’t want for her to become isolated.
This is of course my interpretation of their situation. He and I often talked about the role of the care-giver. My parents had a lot of experience in that arena.
My rule of thumb was always that as a care-giver it is important to remember that we cannot take care of others if we are not taking care of ourselves. Care-givers are not martyrs – or at least they shouldn’t be. You do what you have to do to make sure that your loved ones are getting the care that they need. There are sacrifices but there are a lot of rewards as well.
There are resources out there and we need to utilize them. No one has to do this (care-giving) alone.
I enjoyed being able to assist my father when I could. I also understood his need to do those things that he was able to do on his own.
My mom also expresses her concern about being a burden… SHE ISN’T… my parents have been excellent examples for what it means to be cared for and cared about.
The times that I cannot forgive and forget involve my WASband and his continual abuse of his situation. He used his role as patient as an excuse and still does. He would apologize for his actions and behaviors and then repeat them. Over and over again.
He always had a reason or excuse for his behaviors. It was the medication, the pain, the low self-esteem, and on and on… my question was always this… at what point do you recognize your triggers and work to change your reaction.
“While pity shows a lack of respect for other human beings, compassion has its roots in a deep respect for others. Pity is an emotion; compassion is a connection. Compassion sees the other as equal. Compassion happens when we care for another person enough to make his or her problems our own.”
― Matt Litton, The Mockingbird Parables: Transforming Lives Through the Power of Story
I felt what he felt, even if in a different way. I cried for his circumstances. I fought for his rights. I wanted the best for him. I wanted him to have the best quality of life that he could.
In 2009 I had more than enough of his behaviors and actions and required that he go back to his physician for an evaluation of his mental and physical health and a substance abuse evaluation. I was DONE back then and let him know that a condition of our staying married was that he would have to do what his physicians suggested.
I actually spoke to his long-time practitioner and explained some of the issues that we were having. My comment was this “If there is a medical reason for his behaviors I can work with that. I will work to see that he gets the care and treatment that he needs. If he is just being an asshole, then I am truly done.” The response from his practitioner was this… “I am sorry to say that I feel that he is just being an asshole.”
He came back from that trip with a list of recommendations that he never followed through with. He continued his behaviors and they actually got worse.
It should not have been a surprise a year later when I told him that I wanted a divorce. Yet it seemed to be… it was then that he told me he was going “into treatment”… too little too late and he still hasn’t done so to my knowledge.
The WASband used to say that he didn’t want me to stay with him out of pity. I never pitied him, EVER.
It wasn’t until he started taking advantage of my compassion and love that I started being resentful. It wasn’t until he intentionally continued with behaviors that he knew were hurtful toward me that I determined that love was not enough to keep us together.
Week 2 results – so far so good… just about what I expected.
Week 2 – Week of 03/03/2012
Weekly Weight – Loss/ + Gain: -2.6 lbs
Total Weight – Loss/ + Gain: -8.2 lbs
Inches Lost: 2.8
Fitness/Activity: 2 Days, 8.21 miles, 222:41 min (3.70 hours)
1. Walked – 3.5 mi, 1:43:15 minutes, Pace 30:28 min/mi, 323 kCal
2. Walked – 4.71 mi, 1:59:26 minutes, Pace 25:29 min/mi, 374 kCal
Challenges this week?
Motivation. Motivation has been a challenge. Been busy with work and my other full-time job – my divorce. It just sucks the life out of me – the divorce, not the job.
Fred has been a huge help with my food choices. I appreciate that when we are snacking he brings out fruit… so much better than my previous choices, including ice cream.
Exercise was also a challenge. While we did get out for two walks this week and the miles were more than last week I found it difficult to get out as often as I would have liked… again, spending too much time on “projects” that should not be taking this much time. My WASbands attorney has too much time on his hands.
I was also distracted by my kitty Sam. He needed me this week.
Apparently Aristotle is missing him…
In all seriousness, my kitty Sam brought me a great amount of comfort.in the 20+ years he was part of my life. He was 23 (we think)…
It has only been a short while (September 2011) that we placed Tucker to rest. In January my daddy passed away and now Sam. Is it okay if I get a break… for just a little while? My parents were not very happy when I moved home the first time with my pets in tow, but my daddy loved Sam.
Sammy became a part of my family in 1992/3 after my other kitty passed away. My dog Newton was so lonely without his kitty friend that I went to the pound to see if I could find him a new companion.
I really vacillated about whether or not I wanted another cat.
Kitten, cat, kitten, cat?
Kitten = year of hell, Cat = may not like dog… oh the choice…
I went to the local shelter and all that was available were a bunch of kittens in quarantine and three adult cats, two who were still lactating and didn’t want anything to do with me… and… this white cat who was pressing himself nearly through the bars of the cage.
I was intrigued… Why was he at the shelter? A stray? NO… he was RELEASED…
Here is a summary of his BIO…
Essentially it read:
BAD CAT, BAD BAD CAT… spray’s, tried to kill other cat in the house, BAD CAT, BAD CAT, neutered, loves female of the house, loves dogs $10.
I WAS SOLD!
He was NONE of those awful things the bio shared… except that he did love dogs AND he loved me… He did not like other cats, no doubt about that… he belonged in a ONE CAT household. Dogs were fine… cat’s were not.
I have had many cats over the years but Sam was MY kitty. We were inseparable. He slept in the crook of my arm and layed on top of me anytime I was sedentary for more than a moment. He followed me around the house and told me when it was time to go to bed.
He has been through so much with me. He’s moved over 11 times… the most recent was our move back to “America” He was just at the vet two weeks ago. We wanted to make sure that he would be able to make the trip – he got a good report and actually did very well on the ferry. Better than our younger kitty.
It wasn’t until we arrived at my mom’s that he started to fail… back in my old bedroom.
We took a nap today, a long nap. I knew it was time. So did he.
He surprised me every year that he was still kicking. Stubborn darn cat! I’m going to miss him.
What does that mean anyway? “Waiting for a break”… a break from the whirlwind of life? A break in the clouds?
Moving is never easy and either is dealing with the every day ups and downs of life. Divorce, death, jobs, grocery shopping, bills… that is life.
It would be nice if things slowed down for a bit… I am not asking for a “break”, maybe just a “vacation.” It seems like the divorce is taking much too much time and energy. This alone could be a full-time job. My best days are those where the divorce is not even on the “to do” list. Not so much this morning.
Today’s agenda includes putting together, yet again, the supporting documentation for the property and debt tables. How many times do I have to do this? Apparently at least one more time. It really is exhausting…
Yesterday, now yesterday I got a break. We took a walk… a relatively long walk… it was nice.
Was able to listen to a bunch of frogs singing a chorus in the slough. Isn’t that a great sound?
Our route today took us to a few of the beach parks that I grew up around…
A nice walk overall. Very peaceful, just what I needed.
I just love the things I can see around me… even in the middle of the “city”.
Can’t wait to see this wall again with new growth.
So many things to see that are “hidden” away in the woods.
It has been a pretty difficult few days as well because my kitty Sam is nearing the end of his life. He’s not “struggling” per se, he’s just sleeping more and responding less.
Not eating very much if anything… at 23 he’s lived a pretty good life. Before we moved to “America” we had him assessed by our veterinarian to see if he was “fit enough” to travel. At the time we were seriously thinking that he would have to be euthanized but after his evaluation the vet said that he really felt that it was “not his time”. Sam absolutely amazes me with his tenacity to live.
He actually did fabulously during our trip. Must have been his “last” big adventure.
He’s home again… I guess this is what I mean about “needing a break”. The positive side of having all of this “stuff” happen at the same time… at least it isn’t dragging on forever. I’ll be able to grieve, let it go, and move on with the rest of my life.
We are spending this time really loving on him, letting him know how much he means to us. He’s been through thick and thin with me… the only “man” other than my daddy who has been here with me over the long haul. He’s been there and done that with me. I’ll miss him.