I don’t even know where to start.  I’m all over the place again.  It’s probably because I should have written this blog a couple of days ago and gotten it off my chest, but when I really think about it, I don’t think I figured out what was going on until last night.  It was 1am, I was still watching tv, nothing that was interesting to keep me up that late, but I was ready to just keep going all night.  Two nights before that I didn’t sleep well, the night before that I went to bed past midnight and didn’t sleep well, and last night I went to bed at almost 1:30 and kept waking up over and over, did not sleep well at all.  Two nights ago I took one Advil pm, which usually is enough to keep me asleep all night, last night I took two Advil pm and still woke up all night long.  It gets worse every night.  This is not normal for me, the one thing I was always able to do was sleep, now I’m losing that.  But why?

This snow hit me harder than I ever imagined, or actually, I didn’t even think it would affect me.  But it did.  Because of course, if I think about it, Aires was the one who did most of the snow cleaning if he was home.  For a few years, when he traveled a lot for work, it was guaranteed that the big snow would come when he was out of town.  I guess it’s poetic that the biggest snow ever comes when he’s never coming back.  But he hasn’t travelled in a couple of years, and he’s been here.  He would have to be careful because of his lower back, but he was the one who did most of the snow cleaning.  I helped, the boys pretended to help, but he was the one.  And this time, there’s no Aires.  I’m the one out there, alone.  The boys were out there with me, the neighbors came to the rescue and really helped a LOT, but I was out there alone.  And this apparently was another first, not one that I had even planned for, not one that I thought would affect me.  It did.

Aires was also the one who got the boys out there, to play in the snow, to enjoy it. He encouraged them to go out and play in the snow.  I don’t.  I don’t like the snow, or the cold, or the mess, I’m plenty happy with them being inside.  Aires on the other hand was awesome at playing with them in the snow, he would help them build whatever they wanted to build, he would make a big pile of snow so they could play in it.  I guess I’m feeling a little guilty for not taking over in that aspect.   I just don’t like snow, or cold, and though I feel guilty, on the other hand, I don’t.  If they ask to go out, I will go, just like Jake asked to go play in the snow with the dogs today, we did that.  But if they don’t ask, I don’t encourage them to go out, daddy did.

In a way I guess I feel like I fell short on this one.  And it’s a double faceted thing here, it bothers me, but it doesn’t bother me.  Because I know that I don’t want to do it, but while in that internal conflict, it’s affecting me.  It’s also yet another reminder that I’m alone, though I’m not, I am.  I had many friends and even strangers offer to come help, I had neighbors who just walked over from their own cleaning up and came to help me, on two different days.  I’ve had people offer to bring me anything from the outside world, though I can drive out now.  Everyone’s been awesome, and I know we’re not alone, but that feeling of being alone never leaves.  I am alone, and new things keep happening to keep reminding me of it.  Not that I ever forget it, but new things just bring it all up to the surface again.

I’m sure that being overtired doesn’t help trying to sleep.  After cleaning that much snow two days in a row, I should have slept through the night without a problem.  The problem was in my head, and I had to let it it, so here it is.  I hope I get to sleep tonight, because I walk around tired, I just feel tired all the time.  It’s too much, it’s a lot, it’s never nice and calm and happy anymore inside my head.  I’ve slept less and less over the months, not by a lot, but many nights I sleep five hours.  I used to sleep seven, I can function perfectly on five, so I just stay up late, hoping to be so tired that I just crash.  And usually I do just crash as soon as the head hits the pillow.  Not lately.

But this is it, now that I’ve figured it out, and dealt with it, I should be able to go back to sleeping the whole night.  Unless Apollo gets his head on my pillow, starts to snore and breathe on my neck and then there’s no way I can stay asleep. 🙂 IMG_0067










This has been on my mind all day, today was one of the days we celebrated every year, the day we got engaged.  And the story has been going through my head all day as a movie that rewinds and plays again.

January 18th has been an important date for me since I can remember.  It was my grandmother’s birthday.  She passed away from breast cancer when I was eight, but she made a very big impression in my life in those eight years.  For the first couple of years of my life we lived with my grandparents.  I was actually born in their house, same house my dad was born in, different room.  My dad was an only child, so when I came along I was everything to my grandmother.  We had a very special relationship, to this day I think of her almost daily, I talk to her all the time.  The butterfly thing, it’s not a new thing for me, I have been talking to butterflies for a long, long time.  She too was taken from me, too young, too early.

So, way back, 24 years ago, Aires and I had been talking about getting married.  As usual, we talked about everything, one of the things we had decided was that I would go with him to pick the ring, he wanted to make sure I would love the ring, really love it.  I had some money saved up from working, so we also decided that we would start buying things for the house ahead of time, and just keep them stored in my room at my parents house.

On this day, we went out, all set to buy our first item, there was a sale of course, and we went to buy a TV.  When we were at the mall, he surprised me by saying we were also going to buy the ring, if I found the one I liked.  Off we went to the jewelry store, I found the one and we were both very happy and very excited about what the future held for us.

Aires was going to keep the ring, and then at whatever date he deemed fit, he was going to propose in whichever manner he decided he wanted to do it.  But… and there’s always a but, it didn’t exactly go down that way.  As the salesman was getting the ring paperwork ready, one of the things he put on the receipt was the date.  January 18.  That’s the first time it hit me that it was the 18th!

As we walked to the car, happy and talking, TV in hand (okay, in cart, it was really heavy!), in the back of my mind the 18th kept flashing.

At that time, Aires drove a Mustang, there’s no real space in that car for a huge TV box.  We had to put it in the passenger seat and I went in the back seat.  We were all ready to drive home, and I told him not to turn on the car.  I told him how this was the 18th, that it was a very special date for me, and a very good omen, or at least I believed so.  We knew our age was against us making it in today’s world, but in our hearts we knew we’d make it.  Making it official on the birthday of my grandmother would be the best, the only way I would want to get engaged.  I didn’t care about dinner, or special place, or down on one knee, I didn’t really want “the way it’s supposed to be”, I wanted my own special moment, and that moment was my grandmother’s birthday.

So, right there, Aires in the driver’s seat, me in the back seat, he proposed to me.  I know to most people this is one of the most ridiculous ways to get engaged, but to me it was the most wonderful and beautiful moment.  Not only did I get engaged on my grandmother’s birthday, without it having been planned, it was just meant to be that way.  It also showed me how much Aires loved me, that he gave up all the plans he had for a special proposal to make me happy.   This is how it was to be for the rest of our lives together, he did anything and everything he could to make my happy.

Now they are both butterflies, but this day will forever be so very important to me.

Screen Shot 2016-01-19 at 1.11.03 AM

Seven Months

Today is marks seven months since Aires passed away.  It’s also January, a New Year, and though I didn’t mention it on my New Year’s goals, this year I’m going to try, and try is the key word here, to not be stuck on three days a month.  It’s hard to basically not really function from the 6th to the 12th of every month.  Counting the days in between, not knowing what to do, what to think, what to say, how to act all those days.  Not to the world, to myself, I get stuck, sometimes I feel almost paralyzed, it’s like it’s all happening all over again.  I remember the days, I remember what I did those days, I relive the whole thing month after month.  It’s hard, crippling sometimes.

So this year, I’m trying to change things a little bit.  I’m trying to get myself to pick one day, concentrate all of it on the one day.  I know it’s going to take a few months to get it through my head, and I also know that the other dates will pop up here and there and still sneak on me.  But hopefully, in time, I can make the 8th the only day I’m sad about.  And maybe even more hopefully, with lots and lots of time, maybe, just maybe, there will be a month when the 8th comes and goes and I won’t even realize it’s the 8th of the month.  Unless it’s the month of June, I won’t be able to ever live through June as a normal month anymore.

Once again today, as in some past months, I was able to stay busy today.  Very busy in fact, and busy is good, concentrating on something, having a mission in mind, planning, staying focused about it, helps not think of other things.  Today I did a home visit in Warrenton for prospective adopters and eventually fosters, then I went down to Ladysmith where I picked up a dog to bring up to a foster that I just did the home visit at the beginning of the week.  I picked him up, drove up just in time to get the boys from school and all three of us took Hanz to the foster.  I was home for a few hours and then went to a friend’s awesome home theater for a cool fun movie.  The kind of movie that doesn’t make you think, keeps you entertained, has lots of action and humor in between.

The day flew by, I didn’t think about what the 8th really means to me too many times, it came up, many times during the day, but something to do with the day’s plan would take my attention away.  It worked.  I think of all month marks, this has been the “easiest” thus far.  If only I could make sure to completely plan my day so full every 8th…

Something else I’m trying to achieve, to actually train my brain to go straight from sad memories to happy memories.  When I think of something sad, I try to redirect my thoughts to a happy memory.  It still takes some work to do it, and it doesn’t always stay in the happy memory, many times it goes back to the memory of the hospital, but the point is, I’m trying, I came up with a plan, and I’m trying.

The realization that I will be sad forever, came up as soon as I got to the hospital and saw Aires.  The doctor told me he wouldn’t make it, but I didn’t really need her to tell me, I knew.  I didn’t accept it, I was in total denial, I knew I was in denial and in shock, I knew he wouldn’t be here with us anymore, but didn’t accept it, still don’t, really.  And though I’ll be sad I have to find a way to make that just be part of my life.  It is what it is, it’s there, all the time.  It’s part of the new me, I’m used to it by now, and so it becomes easier.  Now that I’ve assimilated that as part of who I am, there’s no fighting it, there’s not trying to get over it, it’s just there, forever.  Accepting that almost has given a sense of peace, I wanted to hurt less, I wanted to change it, to make it more like it was before.  But it’s impossible, it’s not going to happen.  So I accepted it, and it has allowed me to somehow live through today not having to feel too extra sad or hurt or bad.

I don’t know if this will continue to be, I’m sure there will be months where the pain will be unbearable again, it will surface, because it’s there.  All I know is that for this month, I was able to have today not be horrible.  Of course if you talk to my shoulders and upper back, they might tell you a different story, but we’ll leave them out of this for now.


New Year

Well, here we are, it’s 2016.  It caught me very much by surprise, but New Year’s was much harder for me than Christmas was.  At first it felt very strange, why was I in so much worst shape for a New Year than I had been for Christmas.  First I thought that it was because we had family and friends here, we were distracted, but somehow that didn’t answer it, that wasn’t it.  I kept digging and digging, why was I feeling so horrible?  Then I realized that this is the first New Year, since I was 18 years old that I’ve started a New Year “alone”.  I know I’m not alone, I have my boys, I have my furbabies, I have many wonderful, very dear to me and close to my heart friends, I have family, but I don’t have a partner, a better half, a soulmate, a best friend, a half of me.

I didn’t realize it at the time, but I started to feel that “I’m alone” kind of desperation, that only someone in my kind of situation is familiar with, when I started to think of what wishes to make at midnight.  We have a Portuguese custom that in the last 12 seconds before the New Year we eat one pine nut every second and make a wish for the New Year.  They are not resolutions, they are wishes, things we hope will happen/come true in the coming year.  All of my wishes were about the boys, the furbabies and me.  Just little old me.  I didn’t realize it at the time, but that’s when it started, the feeling of emptiness and being empty and alone.  It got worse and worse, at midnight I could have screamed I felt so completely whack.  After the clock hit 12 and the celebrations were over, I had to figure out what was wrong, and that’s when I realized it.  It’s the first year that I don’t have anything on my 12 wishes about “us”.  There’s no “try to have at least one date night a month”, there was no “have at least one, but better if two trips just the two of us this year”, or “be a better wife”.

This year, instead of resolutions (which were hard to keep anyway, and I never really believed much in the principal of it, if I want to do something, I can start/resolve to do it anytime, I don’t need the beginning of a new year to start doing it), I decided to have goals.  I feel that with goals, if I don’t make it, at least I tried, and I gave it my best.  It was never something I set as I had to do, as a resolution, it’s something that I’m striving towards, hoping to achieve, giving it my best shot.

  • I hope to continue to stay strong for my boys, guide them through life in a way that both daddy and I will be proud of them.  I hope to inspire them to be the best they can be, to stay strong when adversity hits, to go through life giving it their all/their best, fight for what they believe in, to be good sons, good family members, good friends (though some of this may have to wait… the teenage years are starting…).
  • I will continue to bring up Aires in every conversation possible, I will continue to remember him in a fun way, talk about all the fun things and the good memories we have of him, make him still be part of our family.
  • I will continue to encourage the boys to study, have good grades, be involved in sports and any other activity they may enjoy.
  • I will do my best to keep our lives as normal as possible, the last six months haven’t been easy to say the least, but we have kept up with life as best as we can make it close to normal.  I hope that we are able to continue to do the same, while at the same time making new memories, creating new traditions.
  • I will do my best to continue to make the boys feel safe and secure in their future, feel that we are okay, that we can do this, no matter how hard it is, whatever is thrown our way, we can make it through.

On more of a personal note,

  • I will try to wear make up as often as I used to before.  I don’t ever wear make up much, but in the last six months I may have put it on three times?  I don’t know that it will make me feel better when I do, but there are situations when I should.
  • I will try hard to wear more color, to make Josh happy.
  • I will try hard to lose all the extra weight I’ve piled on.  I had lost 10 pounds, and then December got into the real swing of things and I basically emotionally ate through the holidays.  Every time I didn’t feel good, I ate, every time I didn’t feel good, I ate, every time things got hard to handle, I ate, and so on.  I put those 10 back on and probably more, I haven’t weighed myself in a while, I’m afraid of what the scale will say.  I don’t feel good, I don’t look good, I need to lose weight, for me, because I want to, not for anything else, anybody else, not to look better, to feel better.
  • I will try to continue to put myself first, this is a tricky one, because I would never put myself before my kids, but at the same time, I do have to put myself first sometimes.  I will continue to get my haircuts, because I love my haircut, I will try to continue to have my nails done, because it makes me feel good, I will get a massage here and there, when I need it because my shoulders won’t move anymore.  I will continue to have girl lunches and dinners whenever possible, this one is a tricky one because I don’t like leaving the boys too often, but I need my time too.  If the opportunity comes up for a girls trip, and I can afford it, I will go and not feel guilty of my time away.
  • I will try to not think too far into the future, I hope to stop myself when I do start going down that train of thought.  Every time I think of the future, I kind of have a little panic attack, I have nothing!  Everything used to be planned, it was all for certain, we knew exactly what we were going to do.  Now that it’s just me, that plan just doesn’t look as appealing as it did before.  But I have no other plan, no other ideas, it’s all a big blank.  I’m not used to blank, to not knowing, to uncertainty.  It doesn’t go well with my personality, I need to know, I need to have a plan.  In order to not keep panicking, I will just avert my thoughts of the future, keep it to the present and the near future.
  • I will try to continue to be true to myself as a person, the person that I’ve always been, the person I’ve become along the way, the person I will hopefully continue to improve upon.  I feel like I’m divided in two inside, there’s the part that was the married me, part of a twosome, that part is now empty and will continue to be, I’m okay with that, I don’t want that to change, I’m okay with that reality.  The other half of me, that hasn’t changed, I’m still a friend, part of a family, a volunteer, an organizer, I drive people crazy, I speak before I think, I tell you like it is whether you want to hear it or not, I’m a crazy loyal friend (until you piss me off), I love to laugh, I love to have fun with the girls, I love to make people happy, I love to help in any way I can, I love to drop off little anonymous surprises to people who need them.  All this things I hope to continue to be, for this I know that I have to keep my empty side in check, because if I don’t, the sadness from that side will start to take over the other side, I know that, I’m aware of that, and I will continue to try to keep the two sides separate.  I don’t want to live my life in sadness all the time, for me, my sanity, my own happiness, and for the boys, to give them the example, that we can be both sad, but at the same time happy and continue to live good lives.
  • I really really really hope to find a job with good benefits that allows me to still spend time with the boys, but at the same time to provide for our future a little bit too.  I need to get a full time job, I’ve hoped to be able to stay home with them one year, just so there aren’t too many changes too close together.  I’ve made it to six months, we’re still doing okay, they’re doing okay, I hope that the “perfect” job will come along where I can still be here for them/with them as much as possible, be here not too long after they leave for school, leave for work not too long before they leave for school.  I know I’m asking for too much, but I’m very much hoping that this will happen for me/us.

I’m sure there are more, but these are the ones I remember and am thinking about right now, as the year starts.  My alone goals are hopes and wishes I have to make it a good year for all five of us.  I hope we figure out what’s wrong with Apollo sometime this year, sooner would be better than later, but I will continue to look for a diagnosis for him.

Happy 2016 everyone!  I hope it brings us all less bad news, from within our families, from families close to us that are like family, from families in our community and extended families of our friends.  I hope 2016 brings us all health, love and happiness.  That all the news are positive news.