Sunday, December 21, 2008

I'm Engaged!


I'm not sure if anyone ever checks this blog anymore, but on the off chance that you have me on blogroll still, I wanted to let you know that T proposed last night! We're getting married!

-b

Saturday, July 19, 2008


Transition:
The moments, strung out over months,
Where I know I am no longer the woman I was,
but not quite the woman I am becoming


This quote comes from one of my favorite widow self help books. I truly feel like I have changed so much over the past four years, and that I'm still changing. For the most part, I like who I am now much more than who I was.

This blog has helped me become the person that I am now.

You, my readers, my friends, my family, have helped me become the person I am now.

I will be forever grateful for the amazing support I received here, both from people whom I know in real life, and from virtual strangers.

It is time for me to walk away from this blog. As much as I have loved writing it, and as helpful as it has been, it's time to say goodbye.

Thank you for helping me make this latest transition.

Much love,
b

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Taking Some Time Off

I'm finally feeling better after two weeks of back to back illnesses. Two weeks ago it was a nasty stomach bug, then last week it was some nasty head thing. Both kicked my ass severely, and caused me to miss quite a few school events that I was looking forward to. I was able to attend the last day of school party, but wasn't able to party quite as hard as I did last year. It was fun nonetheless.

Now summer has officially begun, and I have an amazing summer planned. The boys will be in day camp from 9-4 every day. I will be working out every morning, and then writing every afternoon. We joined the pool, so after camp we will spend an hour or two at the pool, eat dinner there, and then come home for showers and bed.

I will be taking an essay writing class that I am super excited for, and will hopefully be reading a ton.

That said, I think I may take the summer off from blogging. I just kind of need a break from checking in. Somehow it feels like a burden recently. Maybe it's because I've been so sick. I guess we'll see.

If anything super exciting (I can't imagine what :O) ) happens, I will post, but otherwise I will likely stay away for at least a month.

Enjoy July! I will be back.

love,
b


Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Last Day of School

It's hard to believe
that yet another year is done
This was a great one
and I'm sad to see it end
but I am so very excited
for summer vacation

Happy Summer!

-b (Sorry for the recent lack of posts. I've been really sick.)

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Dear Anonymous from New Haven, CT.,

Who are you? You read my blog regularly, and only make negative comments. You seem to despise me for living my life while still on occasion, missing my late husband.

Do you know me?

Have we met?

Why are you so bitter?

I've always responded to your comments. I dare you to respond to mine.

-b

Friday, June 13, 2008

June 14th

10 years ago tonight
I was anxiously awaiting
walking down the aisle
in the morning
it was raining
and rain always has made me anxious
but I wasn't at all anxious about becoming
a wife
I always felt like
I was meant to be a wife
On the morning of June 14, 1998
I became your wife

5 years ago tonight
I was anxiously awaiting
the birth of my first son
it was raining
and rain always has made me anxious
but I wasn't at all anxious about becoming
a mother
I always felt like
I was meant to be a
mother
On the morning of June 14, 2003
I became your mother

Happy 10th anniversary, Joe
Happy 5th birthday, Jacob

-b

Sunday, June 08, 2008

If I Should Fall Behind

Here is the song that was danced to during the ceremony. It was incredibly touching.


A Wedding

My cousin, Jeff got married last night
The wedding was one of the nicest I've been to
Not nice as in fancy
but nice as in genuine
Watching my cousin watching his bride
you could just tell
how much he loved her
They are both dancers
and their first dance was spectacular
with dips, and lifts, and twirls
Two of their friends performed an
interpretive dance during the ceremony
to one of my favorite Bruce Springsteen songs
(In fact, we played it at Joe's funeral)
It was really beautiful
and touching
To my cousin Jeff, and his beautiful Bride Tedessa
May you have many happy years together

my brother, his lovely wife, my parents, me, T
at our hotel prior to the wedding

Jeff and Tedessa under the chuppa that Jeff built himself
The wedding kiss


T and me

My sister and me






Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Dreaming of a Different Life

Every night this week
I have had a recurring dream
In the dream Joe is still alive
but he has been in hiding
for the past four years

He comes out of hiding
and shows up at my doorstep

I have so many mixed emotions
upon seeing him each night

Relief comes first
He's still here!
He can see Jacob graduate from preschool
He can finally meet Joshua

Anger comes next
Where has he been?
Why would he hide like that?
Does he have any idea what he's put me through?

Then along comes worry
Everyone will be so mad when they find out
we've been lying to them
I will owe people money
We'll be shunned

Then I feel conflicted
I want Joe to be alive
but he can't step into my life
the way my life is now

Then I wake up
Every night at the same point
I wake up

It's the crying that wakes me
I'm crying in my dream
and I'm crying in real life

It always takes me a minute to sort out
fact from fiction
to convince myself
that Joe really is dead
he is not hiding
there is no way

And then I feel sad
and empty
and alone

Anyone care to interpret this dream?

-b

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Sorry For the Previous Post

To make it up to you, I will post some pictures from the Memorial Day party that took place in my backyard.
The first grade team


a bunch of teachers


H (Mel's daughter) pushing Joshua


snapshot

Patrick playing with the kids

-b

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

We broke up today.

Was it something you said?

Was it something that I said?

No.

There was just nothing left to say.

You've been so good to me these past few years.

You've listened to me, guided me, advised me, and gave me the occasional dosage of tough love.

But I'm in a really good place now.

Life is good.

I laugh more than I cry.

I am relaxed more often than I'm worried.

I just no longer need to keep seeing you.

Maybe (probably) I will come back. I will sit in your office and share my problems, and you will guide me once again.

But for now, I am taking a break from you.

Goodbye my amazing therapist!

love,
b

Monday, May 26, 2008

Note To Self

Dear Self,
Next time you go hiking with the boys, and the boys are showing you a route they take with their teachers, leave a trail of breadcrumbs, or better yet, pay attention to where you are going. Because it's true, the boys do know how to follow the trail that leads to the hill, that leads to the dock, that leads to the fishermen.

But they don't know how to get back, and strangely enough, there seems to be multiple trails heading back, and the boys will argue over which trail is correct, and you will end up guessing the wrong trail and will have to backtrack for what seems like hours even though is far less than that, but with the sun beating down on you, and the boys fighting, and Josh reaching his arms up to be carried you will wish you were anywhere but there.

Then, because you are lost in the woods, you will start to imagine that there are coyotes, because there have been coyote sightings in Newton recently. You will wonder why you didn't bring snacks. You always bring snacks and right then everyone could use a snack. And if a coyote did approach you could throw your snack for the coyote, and gather the boys in your arms and run.

By the time you see the JCC you will be ready to bow down and kiss the ground in gratitude. Neither child will be speaking to you at that point, but you won't care. Your car is in view, and your car holds snacks and air conditioning, as well as a GPS system. You will no longer be lost.

Remember this all for next week when you try it again, OK?

-b

Sunday, May 25, 2008

http://cdn.harpercollins.com/harperimages/isbn/large/3/9780061283963.jpg
I just finished reading this book of short stories, and I could relate on some level to each story. I highly recommend it, if you are looking for a good read.

-b

Friday, May 23, 2008

The Library Card

A library card may seem like just another card to hold onto, another card to get lost, or stolen. To me a library card has always been a symbol of freedom, a pass to a world of knowledge. What could be better than a huge building filled with books that you get to take home for free? And these days there's videos, dvds, and cds. There is free internet, and best of all, there is quiet. Everyone, even the youngest of children know that the library is a place where voices are to be kept quiet, where only whisper voices are acceptable.

I've tried to bring the boys to the library on a weekly basis, but must admit that the past few months have found our afternoons to be too busy to stop on our way home from school. Yesterday, after hearing Joshua plead to go to the library for weeks, I finally relented.

As we walked into the children's section I wondered aloud if Jacob was old enough for a library card. "He just needs to be able to print his name by himself," the librarian answered as she walked by.

I looked at Jacob and asked him if he'd be interested in getting his own library card. He nodded excitedly, and I grabbed an application from the desk.

We browsed for a while, then got in line with our books. Jacob wrote his name in his sloppy four year old handwriting, with his "b" hardly recognizable. Still, it was his very own library card! I could barely contain my enthusiasm.

"This is such an exciting event!" I said for maybe the 5th time.

"Stop saying that!" Jacob screamed. Mind you, we were still in the quiet library.

I looked down at Jacob, completely confused. "Why are you so angry?"

"Because it's not exciting. Stop saying it's exciting. I hate the library!" (again, screaming inside the library!)

Why do kids know exactly what to say to ruin a moment?

On the plus side, Joshua has been practicing writing his name since we got home so that he can get his own card.

-b

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Beach Day
This morning we drove to about 7 different beaches to scout out possible Scuba dives for T. The boys loved checking out all the different beaches, and I enjoyed taking pictures.


The boys walking back from beach # 5

the path that led to beach # 2
beach # 3?

Silliness on beach # 1

Stop taking my picture and wipe my nose!!!!!

-b

Thursday, May 15, 2008

A Message to B & C

Have an amazing weekend
I expect details
from both sides!

-b

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

90210

My sister called me yesterday with exciting news that she thought I didn't know.

R: Guess what show is coming back this fall?

B: Beverly Hills 90210! I can't wait!

R: You already knew this? I just read it!

B: Oh, my dear sister. don't you know that if there is any news about Beverly Hills 90210 I know it immediately?

R: Well did you know that they are just calling it 90210, and that they are dropping the Beverly Hills?

B: I did not know that, but it makes perfect sense. We all know what 90210 stands for. And I, for one, can't wait to see what those crazy kids from Beverly Hills are up to.

Who's with me?

-b


Saturday, May 10, 2008

Wait, I'm 33?

T and I were walking out of a local restaurant recently, and I thought I recognized an old friend from high school.

"Dave?" I said.
"No, Tom," Tom responded.
"Oh, sorry. You look just like an old friend of mine."
"No problem," Tom said.

T turned to me and asked who I had thought Tom was.

"Oh, just an old friend from high school," I said.
"B, that guy was 20 or 21 years old. How could he have been a friend of yours from high school?"
"But, but, but that's what Dave looked like last time I saw him," I protested.
"How long ago was that, B?'
"Um, maybe 10, 11 years ago?"
"Exactly my point, B."

When did my friends stop looking 20 or 21? And how did I get to be 33? I still feel like I'm 17. Honestly.

-b

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

One more on Joe

It still amazes me how much is expected of a widow/widower immediately after their spouse dies. I had to make more decisions within the first 24 hours after Joe died then I had ever made before. It started the moment I walked into the house after (finally) leaving the hospital. Scratch that, it started in the hospital!

After we left Joe's room, I had to meet with someone, I don't even know who! I had to tell that person what to do with Joe's body. What funeral home was he going to. Luckily, my whole family was there, and they had some knowledge about funeral homes. I announced that I wanted the rabbi who married us to officiate the funeral. This was all within an hour of him dying.

Then I got home, and as I walked in, the phone was ringing. It was the funeral home director wanting details from me. I remember sitting at my dining room table that was filled with food, thanks to my amazing friends. My friends were sitting around the table, and I was telling the funeral home director facts about Joe. Facts like his time of death, his place of birth, his Hebrew name, how did his face look upon his death, what would I like him dressed in for his funeral. i was in such shock still, and I had to answer these questions. It was like a really really bad dream.

The next day I had to pick a cemetery, pick a plot, pick a coffin, and negotiate the details of his service. Thank god my siblings and mother were with me. I don't know what I would have done without them. So many decisions, so many questions. It was awful.

My other saving grace were my friends. While I was out making these decisions, they were watching Jacob, cleaning (seriously cleaning)my house, making me meals, and shopping for funeral clothes for me. I actually came home to two outfit choices thanks to Anna and Jen (thanks guys!)

I also came home to an amazing photo tribute to Joe that was displayed at his funeral, and is now hanging in the play room. I feel so lucky to have such amazing friends who helped me through such a difficult time.

Here is the photo collage they made:
(click on image to make larger)
-b

Broken BrooklynShe has a broken pelvis and needed stitches on her leg. She's bruised up and down her belly, and she will require bed rest for the next month. But she is alive, and as sweet as ever. Thank you for all your concern.
-b

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

For The Record

I handled today really well
I made it through the school day
I even laughed
I was able to teach
and converse with teachers and parents
and only cried once

I brought the boys to the cemetery after school
and handled that really well too
No tears, no major pangs of sadness even

We came home with the plan of eating ice cream
in the backyard
before eating dinner
I was proud of myself
for being so carefree

Then the dog escaped the yard
and was run over by a car
that pretty much did me in

she is alive
but quite broken
kind of like me

-b

May 6th

As I was driving to school this morning, my sister called me to check in. I began to cry, and told her that I just really missed Joe. We talked about how we couldn't believe that it had been four years already. That just doesn't seem possible.

I then told her that I was worried that I was forgetting Joe stories, that I was losing memories. She said that she had been thinking about it and had come to the conclusion that all of his stories had been told. Not in the past week, but over the course of my almost 3 years on this blog.

Joe died when he was 31. There are only so many "stories" to tell about someone who dies at 31. Most days were normal ones. Joe would wake up, go to work, eat dinner, watch tv, go to sleep. When we had Jacob, his days were staying home Jacob, going to work, coming home, going to sleep. The stories that show how fun and crazy Joe were, the really big stories, those have been told.

And that made me all the sadder.

His stories should not have had to end so soon. He should not have had to die at 31. He should have been allowed to see his youngest son be born. I should have some stories to share about Joe and his children. But I don't.

Since I'm done sharing how Joe lived, here is the story of Joe dying. Here is the story of letting go.

Thursday

At around 6am the doctors woke me up and told me that my talk with Joe, and my arms around him had worked wonders. His oxygen levels had gone way up, and he was in better condition than he had been the night before. I went into the waiting room to share the good news with all the sleepless people who had gathered. Melanie left to call people with the good news. My step-father questioned if my mother really needed to fly home after all. I left the hospital for the first time in almost 24 hours to walk next door for coffee. I felt myself breathing for the first time in days.

But within a few hours, his oxygen levels went back down. The doctors had to perform the same procedure that they did in the middle of the night; turn him back over, this time onto his back.

When I was allowed to go back in the room to see Joe after they flipped him, I was shocked all over again by what I saw. I had become accustomed to the huge amount of fluid in him, the 40 pounds that he had gained in the past few days no longer phased me.

What was new was the discoloration in his arms and legs. They had turned blue. When I touched them, they were ice cold. Even through my gloved hands, they were too cold to touch. His eyes, which were closed, had blood continuously pouring out of them. I asked permission to wipe them dry, and it become a never ending struggle to keep the blood away. His ears no longer looked like ears. They were completely crusted over and curled up.

I asked the nurse about his arms and legs. She explained that when your body's blood levels get very low, the blow circulates around the organs that need it most. Therefore it stops circulating through the limbs. I asked if he would lose his limbs, and she told me that was a possibility.

I didn't leave Joe's side all day. I kept rubbing his arms in legs in a vain attempt to warm them up. I also never stopped talking to him. I never stopped telling him to fight. I never stopped talking about our future, and our childrens' futures. I also kept singing him a song that he would always sing to Jacob. But every time I would sing it, my voice would break, and the tears would start up. I just couldn't believe what was happening before my eyes. I couldn't believe what was happening to my future.

My sister and the nurse insisted that I lie down, but I refused to leave the room. They set me up on a chair in the corner of the room. While I was sitting there, I heard my sister remark on how cold Joe was. The nurse decided to take his temperature. This was a disaster. Joe's tongue had become so enlarged, she couldn't get the thermometer under it. When she finally was able to get it in, it registered 92 degrees fahrenheit. This shocked me enough to get back up, and continue talking to him.

At around 3:30, my mother finally arrived. I was never in my life so relieved to see her. And so it was, for the next two hours my mother, sister and I stood by Joe and told him various stories, most of them funny.

At around 5 pm my sister went to eat some salad. She was also pregnant, and had not been eating or sleeping nearly enough. My mother insisted that I lay back down on the chair in the corner of the room.

I lay down, closed my eyes, and listened to my mother's familiar voice as she talked to Joe. She told him that my sister was eating salad, and that I was finally resting. I think that was Joe's signal. He had waited for my mother to get there, he had waited for me to relax just a bit, and now it was time for him to go.

I heard the heart monitor making a strange sound. I sat right up and asked the nurse what was going on. My mother told me to lie back down, but the nurse told her no, that not only should I not lie down, but that someone should get my sister. I stood up and rushed to the bed. The nurse looked in my eyes and said, "This is it. He's going."

The room was suddenly filled with all of the doctors who had been treating him, along with numerous residents. I didn't notice any of them as I began letting go.

I had taken off my gloves when I lay down, but now I instinctively ran my hands through his hair. I suddenly realized what I had done and looked at the nurse. She told me not to worry, to touch him all I wanted. And so my hands never left his body. Finally we were skin to skin. For the last time, I was touching my husband.

I told Joe that is was ok, he had tried so hard to fight, but now it was time to let go, and rest. I promised him that I would talk to the boys about him every day, that they would know him through me. I promised him that I would be strong, and would make him proud. I told him how proud I was of him, and how much I loved him.

Then I panicked. I changed my mind. I wasn't ready to let go. I looked up at the nurse and said, "I've changed my mind. He can't go! Can I tell him to fight again?"

She looked at me with tears in her eyes. "You can tell him whatever you want. But he's going."

My sister has told me since, that at that point she wanted to scream at all the doctors to do something, to save him. But as she looked around she could see that they were all crying too. She knew that there was nothing left for them to do.

I went back to telling Joe to go. I promised him we would be ok. I promised him he would never be forgotten. I let him go.

And then he was gone. The heart monitor showed that his heart was no longer beating. The doctor gently announced that he was gone. I insisted that he was lying, because Joe's stomach was still rising and falling. He then unplugged a machine, and his body lay still.

The doctors told me that they would give me privacy, and that I could stay with Joe for as long as I wanted. I remember standing there with my mother, sobbing. I kept asking her how I was supposed to leave him. How can you walk away from the love of your life? How can you say goodbye?

But he was already gone. The body that remained wasn't Joe. It didn't even resemble Joe anymore.

I had let him go.

I am still letting him go.

It's just so hard.

-b

(To everyone who took the time to read this entire story, I thank you for letting me keep my promise to Joe. He will not be forgotten.)

Monday, May 05, 2008

May 5th
.

May 5, 2004 was a Wednesday. It was quite possibly, the longest day in my life. It was certainly one of the worst. I hope you'll read about it here
.
I'm struggling on the memory front tonight. I have so many, but they all feel blurred together. I'm scared that I'm losing my memories of him. Instead of a memory, I think I'll write a letter to him. Please, if you have a memory, will you share it? Please?


Dear Joe,
You used to have the most amazing voice. It was so deep. Al never met you but she spoke to you on the phone a few times and used to call you Mr. Sexy. You had what I called a radio voice. You were meant to be on the radio. Not only did you have a great voice but you were a great commentator. You were quick, and witty, and super funny. I miss your voice. I have it saved in two places. Our old answering machine, and one scene of video. I haven't played either since you died. I'm afraid of how I'll react upon hearing your voice. Sometimes I hear it in my dreams, but it's not your old voice. It's a scared voice; the voice you had in the hospital. I hate that your voice was taken from you. I hate that I never got to hear it those final days.

Do you remember when we went for pre-marital counseling? The whole time the rabbi was talking to us, and asking us questions, you were pacing the room. You never sat next to me, never held my hand. You were a wreck. I was sure the rabbi would say that she wouldn't marry us. But despite your pacing, you gave really good answers about me. When asked why you wanted to marry me, you told the rabbi that you knew I would be a great mother to our future kids. You told her that I was a good cook, and that you loved being around me. She married us despite your pacing. My sister has said that you walked down the aisle with the biggest grin that she had ever seen. You were that happy. The rabbi officiated your funeral as well. She shared the story of our pre-marital counseling, but in her version we were sitting snuggled together on her couch. I like the real version more. It's more you.

Do you remember the day I miscarried? Strangely enough we had discovered that I was pregnant on May 6, 2002. We were so excited and told everyone we knew. At the end of June I had heavy bleeding, and we both knew something bad had happened. We came home from the hospital that night and lay in bed together and watched a marathon of House Hunters. We snuggled, and cried, and planned to plant a rose bush in honor of the baby that wasn't, and in between we debated which house would be picked. 13 months later Jacob entered the world, and the year after that you were dead. When Jacob was born I remember us saying, "If only we had known a year ago when we were so sad that we'd have this amazing baby a year later." And then when you died I kept thinking, if only we had known when Jacob was born that a year later you'd be gone....

You came to me last night in my dreams, Joe. It wasn't a good dream. I ended up crying all night. Send me good dreams tonight, ok? Four years ago tonight was our last night together. I know you knew that I was there with you. Tomorrow I will go to work and the boys will go to school, and then we will come visit you at the cemetery. Joshua had an interesting theory of how the rocks that we leave at the cemetery get to you. He said that storks pick them up, and fly them up to heaven. Jacob quickly corrected him by saying, "Actually, aliens come down and fly in their spaceships up to heaven, right mommy?" You sons are so ridiculously cute, Joe. I hope you know that. I hope you are still watching us. I hope.

Tomorrow will likely be bad. But that's ok. We will get through it like always. I will cry and share memories with those that will listen. We haven't forgotten you Joe. You have not been forgotten.
love,
b


.


Sunday, May 04, 2008

May 4th

May 4, 2004 fell on a Tuesday. It was the first time I saw Joe since he was hospitalized on Saturday. It was a bad day. To read about it, (and who wouldn't want to read about it after that lead up! :O) ) click here.

May 30, 1997

During my 8 year courtship with Joe, we broke up twice. The first time was the summer before his senior year of college, and my sophomore year of college. It lasted for about 3 weeks. The second time was when I was a senior in college and he was out in the real world.

I had been pressuring Joe for a ring (hmm, I am noticing a pattern.) During Christmas break Joe told me through tears that we needed to break up. He was worried that we had been together so long that maybe we were only together because it felt safe and comfortable. He was worried that we would get engaged and married and then realize that it was a mistake.

To say I was heartbroken would be an understatement. I felt like my world had fallen apart. I cried for days and days, and then I decided to stop feeling sad, and live a little. I figured if Joe and I were destined to be together we would be together.

I moved in with my friend Suzy who was going through a divorce, and we nicknamed our house the "judge me not house." Many mornings we would look at each other and say, "Judge me not." I was having a blast, and was greatly enjoying my freedom as a single woman.

I have no idea what Joe was doing during this time. We never discussed it later. I assume that he was out there dating/sleeping around a bit. This was our chance, and I like to think that we both took advantage of it.

Two months after we broke up we saw each other for the first time. When we broke up, we set the date, and agreed not to speak during the time in between.

I remember nervously pulling up to his townhouse the cold February morning. I was wearing a super short dress from Express (I had gotten very skinny after the break up, and had to flaunt it.) and I remember Joe looking me up and down as I walked towards him.

We hugged hello, and it felt like I had come home. Being single was fun and exciting, but Joe was my home. You know how when you go on vacation it's great, but getting home afterwards feels even better? That's what it was like.

We spent the day together, which led to spending the night together, which led to the day , which led to the night....You get the idea. We both knew. This was it. We were meant to be together.

Once we announced that we were officially back together (although I don't know if Joe told anyone that we had ever broken up. Brett? I know his family never knew.) it was clear that we would be getting engaged. Joe knew that I wanted to be engaged before I graduated college, because I knew I would never see most of my classmates again, and I wanted them to know that I would be marrying Joe.

Two days before graduation was a beautiful Sunday. Joe asked me if I wanted to go to the Swan Boats, one of our favorite spots when we first started dating. We arrived to find a very long line of families waiting to ride. There is little that bothers me more than waiting in a long line, so I told Joe that we should do something else, but he said he was going to talk to the people that run the boats.

He came back and told me that he inquired about us being extras in a movie that was being filmed at the Public Gardens, and that they were contacting the movie producers. He said we might as well wait in line, because we needed to wait to hear the answer anyways.

When we got to the front of the line the workers said that the movie didn't need any extras but that we could board the swan boats for free. We got on, and despite the line being super long, our swan was almost empty. There was no one in the two rows in front of us, and no one behind us. I remember thinking that it was odd.

Halfway through the boat ride Joe dropped his camera onto the floor of the boat. He got down to pick up the camera, and stayed down on one knee.

"Elizabeth Ellen S...., will you please do me the honor of becoming my wife?" Joe pulled a ring box out of his pocket and presented me with a perfect round diamond. He handed his camera to the people in the front of the boat and they took pictures of us.

Even though I knew it was coming, it still managed to surprise me.

Of course I said yes, and was able to show everyone at graduation that I was engaged. (Engaged at 22, what was I thinking????)

One year later we were married.

Today I feel so freaking homesick.

-b


Saturday, May 03, 2008

May 3rd
I just sobbed in temple after standing for the Mourner's kaddish (a prayer you say at anniversaries.) I had to walk out and go into the bathroom. The Rabbi's wife followed me and talked to me until I was calm enough to return. Very sweet. I can't believe how grief just takes over me. I miss him so much right now. It feels like it was yesterday, not four years ago. To read about May 3, 2004, click here. To read more about Joe alive and well, read on.


On September 26, 1995 Joe and I attended the Bruins game at the Boston Garden. It was the last even to be held at the Garden, as a new building had already been built in its place, and it was to be torn down the following week.

I was glad to see the new building, but Joe had a love for the old Garden and was sad that it's time had come to an end. He wanted to keep a piece of it with him always.

So he brought a saw with him to the game. Yes, you read that correctly, Joe carried a saw with him into the Bruins game. (Can you imagine this happening post 9/11? Would never be possible. But back in 1995, there were no body searches walking into a stadium, and so Joe kept the saw tucked into his jacket.)

We sat down in our seats and the game began. Every time the Bruins scored, or were close to scoring, everyone would stand up and cheer them on. Joe took those opportunities to saw the back of his seat. The first time he did it he got quite a few stares, but by the fifth or sixth time nobody paid any attention.

The whole row of seats would shake every time he would saw away, and I was worried Joe would be arrested if anyone turned him in. I kept yelling, "You'll get arrested! Stop!" And Joe would reply, "It'll be worth it!"

By the end of the game Joe had successfully sawed the back of his chair. (You know the part with the number on it?) Our whole row cheered for Joe, and I took his picture with the back of the chair in his hands.

We later framed the chair, along with the ticket, a picture of Joe holding the seat, a poster, and a special puck they gave out that night. We still have it hanging up in the playroom.

When I look at the framed "art" I always smile. It pretty much sums Joe up. He never did things half-assed. It was all or nothing in his world. That was how he lived, that was how he died.

-b

Friday, May 02, 2008

May 2nd

To continue reading Joe's hospitalization story click here. I hope it's getting read, but I am liking posting memories of Joe this week. It's kind of strange to me that so many of you never knew Joe. I feel like everyone knew Joe. That's the kind of personality he had. Everyone knew him.

Pregnant with Joshua
(I looked through the archives to see if I had posted this story before. I felt like I had, but I couldn't find it. I apologize if you have read it before.)

When Jacob was four months old, we conceived Joshua. It was not a planned pregnancy by any stretch of the imagination. We were planning on spacing our kids a couple of years apart. We were watching a Red Sox game on our porch, Jacob was napping in his room, it was a commercial break, Joe and I looked at each other, decided to seize the moment, ran upstairs, and were back down for the bottom of the inning.

I was still nursing exclusively, and had not yet gotten my period (sorry Brett, Patrick, and Owen. I think you're the only guys that read this...) The likelihood of me getting pregnant seemed slim, and we did nothing to protect against it. But we both knew we were taking a risk that afternoon.

About a month later I was taking a walk with my neighbor, Chris, and our boys. I mentioned to her that I hadn't been feeling great, that I had been a little nauseous, and was throwing up a few times a day. "It feels almost like I'm pregnant," I said.

Chris looked at me wide eyed and insisted that I buy a pregnancy test from Walgreens. I told her I was sure that I wasn't pregnant, but I would buy one just too be positive.

We got to my house and Chris waited outside with the boys while I ran upstairs to the bathroom. You know how some tests take a few minutes to get the two lines? Well this one turned immediately. Two dark lines staring at me in the face.

I ran downstairs and showed Chris but was convinced that the test was faulty. I drank 3 quick glasses of water and ran upstairs to take test number two. Two more immediate dark lines.

I was undeniably pregnant.

I called Mel on the phone and told her to come over immediately. She thought something was wrong with Jacob and rushed over. She found me sitting in the corner of my living room, two positive tests sitting on the couch. She tried not to laugh at my misfortune but had great difficulty because I had been giving her a very hard time for purposely getting pregnant with #2 when #1 was only 6 months. And here I had beaten her crazy record by 2 months.

At this point I was having a bit of a breakdown. Me, having a breakdown? Impossible! My biggest concern was telling Joe. How in the world was I going to tell him that I was pregnant again? I was sure he would turn around, get in his car, go to a bar and get drunk. I knew that it took the two of us to get in the mess we were in, but I expected him to blame me.

Melanie took off before Joe got home, and I began pacing the house. I was trying every technique I knew of to calm myself down, but nothing was working.

Joe's car pulled in the driveway and I sat at the dining room table, tetst held tightly in my hand,

Joe took one look at me and knew something was wrong.

"What's wrong?" he asked.

"Something really terrible happened," I answered.

"Are you pregnant?" he guessed. (I still don't know how he guessed it so quickly.)

"Yes."

"That's not terrible," Joe responded.

"It's not?"

"No! It's great, actually."

"It's great?"

"Yes. It's great. Who knows, b, maybe in two years you wouldn't be able to get pregnant. Maybe I wouldn't be able to get you pregnant. You never know what will happen in the future."

Neither of us could possibly imaging how true his words were. Neither of us could have possibly predicted that Joe wouldn't be alive that summer when Joshua was born. But whenever someone asks me if Joshua was planned or an accident (and believe me, people ask that all the time!) I say that he was a planned accident. Joe and I may not have planned him, but something bigger than us did. (I'm not getting all religious on you, but I do believe in fate.)

Joe was thrilled to be having a second son, and never once called him an accident. He was proud of his super sperm that beat the odds at getting me pregnant at a time when we didn't think it was at all likely. He told all of his friends that we were expecting again, and never once showed any doubt that it was a good idea.

Joe was a great dad. One of the saddest things about him dying four years ago was that he never got to meet his second son.

-b
Brett's (BCA's) story for the day
(mine will be posted later along with a link for today)

One day during high school times/age, Joe and I went down to the market near my house to buy some food to cook on the grill for that weekend. My mom was never a (good) cook, but his mom made her look like Rachel Ray, so he ate at my house quite a bit.

I was driving my mom's 5 speed Audi GT Coupe, a truly hideous car that had red leather interior (sad, I know), and as I parked the car on the side of the grocery store and we got out, we noticed that the car I parked next to (which was unlocked and with open windows) had a barrel keg in it's back seat.

Joe's eyes lit up the way only people who knew him know that they could. I talked him off the ledge and we went into the store to shop for grillables. We were in there for at least 30 mins, a reasonable enough time for the owner of the car to have come and gone, taking their keg with them. But when we came out, the car was still there.

Joe reached in and shook the keg, "It's full!" or something like that, he said. And so in a moment that will forever be blurry in my memory, in approximately 15 seconds time, Joe and I, weighing in total probably no more than 275 pounds ourselves, lifted this over 200 pound and awkward to carry full-barrel keg of beer out of this person's backseat and into the trunk of my mother's car. It didn't even really fit, so we had to push and wedge it down into the small sized trunk.

And then we were gone.

We took it back to my house for our newly planned weekend festivities. I called another group of friends to join us, who I knew had a pony pump we needed to extract the beer from it's aluminum jail.

And while I don't remember his exact words, Joe said something to the likes of, "we can charge everyone $10 per cup." I squashed that one as fast as he uttered it and we all had a grand time that weekend. Oh, and we also got the $50 "back" for returning the empty keg on Monday after school.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

May 1st

Four years ago today Joe entered the hospital never to return home again. To read a detailed account of that day, click here. Now for a memory of the day.

Owen's post below got me thinking back to my high school days with Joe. We began dating when I was 15, and he was 17. he had a car, but lived an hour away. Typically he would come visit me on Saturday mornings, and spend the day, but within 6 months or so of dating he started spending entire weekends with me. In the beginning my mom made him sleep downstairs, but soon gave up and let him sleep in my room.

My first year of dating Joe I was a bit of an emotional mess. I had a lot going on in my family, and I hate to complain about it because many others went through similar upsets in their families, but I just took it very hard.

Owen mentioned in his entry that my mom was hardly ever around, and I think that's a pretty accurate account. She wasn't neglectful or anything. She was just busy living her life, and kind of left me to live mine.

Joe was my rock. Even at 17 he was my rock. I would call him in the middle of the night sobbing, and he would drive an hour to be with me. I would fall apart on a date, and he would just hold me in his arms. He was very protective of me, and tried his best to help me through my emotional upsets. (Again, nothing crazy, just family upheaval that many others faced.)

One morning I had a fight with my mother. I don't remember what it was about, but it was big. I called Joe from school all upset. Within an hour he was at my school (He was a senior and was already done for the year. It must have been early June.) He waited for me to finish my classes then we got in his car. I asked him where we were going, and he wouldn't tell me.

We drove north to New Hampshire and ended up at Canobie Lake Park, a local amusement park. He led me to the biggest roller coaster there, and he told me that my life was like a roller coaster right now, with lots of huge highs, and lots of low lows. He promised me that he would ride them out with me, the highs and the lows.

We got on the roller coaster and held hands tightly as it went up and down, up and down. "I'm with you, Betsy," he said each time it reached the top and we were waiting for the descent. "I'm with you."

And he was. He stuck with me through some really hard times. He was a good man, even at 17.

-b
Owen's memory of Joe
Thank you for posting Owen!
Owen said...

My story about Joe (per your request - but it is somewhat long so feel free to remove it): The first time I met Joe was in your old house. It was a few weeks after you had started dating. For some reason, one of the first things you did together was buy a tremendously huge stereo. You were 15 or something and you and your new boyfriend had just bought a tremendously huge stereo together.

Anyway, I walked into your house (it was a summer day, and that whole summer it seemed like you owned the house because I never once caught a glimpse of your mother). You and Joe were sitting on the couch in the living room, toying with the gigantic remote for your tremendously huge stereo.

You seemed like a middle aged couple; you had a giant house all to yourself, a giant stereo with a huge remote control, and you were teenagers. You introduced me to Joe, and he immediately starting showing me all the functionality of his gigantic remote control.

Someone else might have done this and it would have come across as boring and as small talk. But with Joe, it wasn't boring and it wasn't small talk. It was him being very excited about his remote control and feeling totally comfortable sharing his excitement with me, his new friend. He was a very very easy guy to become friends with.

(my memory for today will be posted later today. -b)

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

April 30th

Tonight marks the four year anniversary of the last night Joe and I spent together at home. The last night I lay in his arms. The last night we had a normal conversation. To read more about that night click here.

If you read the story, please leave a comment on this post.

I have decided to share links to Joe's story each night, as well as share stories of life with Joe each night. If you knew Joe, please post a story in the comment section, or in an email to me. I will add them to the main posts. Please help me celebrate Joe's life, as well as remember the tragic way he died. He deserves it.

My Wife Is A Dirty Bird
(Story suggested by my sister)

On a rainy Friday afternoon in September, 2000, Joe and I headed to Logan Airport. We were flying to Detroit to visit friends. We were excited that we were not only seeing them, but we were going to see the Red Sox play against the Tigers.

When we arrived at the airport we checked the boarding sign and read that our flight was cancelled. Not delayed, cancelled. We went up to the check in person and inquired about our flight. Due to weather elsewhere, the plane we were supposed to take was unable to get into Boston. They put us on a new flight scheduled to leave five hours later.

We were frustrated but decided to make the best out of the situation. We headed over to the Northwest Business Club. Joe walked up to the counter in his jeans and baseball hat and informed the woman working that due to our cancelled flight, we wanted to relax in the lounge while we waited five hours. The woman looked Joe up and down, and concealed a laugh.

"The lounge is for members only, sir."
"Okay, how can I join?" Joe asked, not batting an eye.
"It's a $250 annual charge." (I don't really remember the cost, but it was something like that)
"It's open bar, correct?" Joe inquired.
"Yes. It's a self service open bar," the lady responded.
"All the better," Joe said, as he handed her his credit card.

Joe then proceeded to drink $250 worth of alcohol while we waited to board our plane. He insisted that it was like an all you can eat buffet. he had to get his money's worth.

For five hours I sat in the fancy lounge filled with businessmen waiting to go home, watching my husband get more and more drunk. Those that knew Joe, know that he was not a quiet drunk. He started to sing, and to flip his baseball cap high in the air. I was getting nervous that we wouldn't be allowed to board the plane.

Joe excused himself, and I assumed he was going to the bathroom. He came back a few minutes later with a giant stuffed bear with Northwest gear on him.

"This is for you, baby," Joe slurred. "You're my little teddy bear, and you looked nervous so I had to buy this for you."

Just then then called our flight. Filled with relief I pulled Joe up, and started walking us to the door. That's when the yelling started.

"MY WIFE IS A DIRTY BIRD!"

I looked over at Joe in horror. He screamed it again, "My wife is a dirty bird!"

"Joe!" "They are not going to let us on the plane! Stop!" I begged.

"My wife is a dirty bird," he whispered, grinning ear to ear.

We boarded the plane and I managed to get Joe settled in next to me. The smell of alcohol permeated the air, and I knew it was all due to Joe.

"Just so everyone knows, my wife is a dirty bird!" Joe yelled one more time. Then he put his arms around me, laid his head on my shoulder and promptly fell fast asleep. Somehow he managed to wake up in Detroit completely sober.

I'm not even sure where he got the dirty bird thing, but he laughed every time I shared the story with him. He of course had no recollection of any of it, but my proof to him that he was drunker than drunk was when his credit card showed that he paid $300 for a stupid stuffed bear.

-b

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

To Post or not To Post
That is the question

For the past two years I have posted Joe's story during the days leading up to his death. I have done it for a number of reasons. One reason was it was cathartic for me, one reason was to share his story with my readers, many of whom didn't know his story. The most important reason for me was so his story wouldn't be forgotten. I was so scared of his story being forgotten.

I am torn this year on posting his story. I am not sure I have any new readers, and in fact think I have lost readers over the past year. Assuming that's true, you have all read his story once or twice, and probably don't want to read it again. So I am nervous that I will post the story and it won't get read, and that will depress me.

That said, I'm also not sure that Joe's story should be Joe's story. Joe lived like no one else I have ever met. The way Joe lived should be his story, not the way he died. So maybe we should share stories of how he lived? Maybe I should do both?

What do you think? What should I do? Please advise.

Help me

-b

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Kind of at a loss

It's that time of year again
surprisingly, I made it through April much better than the past few years
But it's almost May
and I don't need to look at a calendar to know that
My body, my mind, my soul
all know it on their own
I'm at that place where I can't close my eyes
without reliving the past
I can't drive my car
without crying
I have no desire to make small talk
so please humor me
and don't try
I just want to be alone
yet surrounded
that may make sense to some of you
but I suspect some readers will take issue
with the fact that I'm grieving
yet again
while hoping that T will propose
yet again
and I'm not sure that I can say anything
that will make you understand
because clearly you don't understand me
not that I fault you for that
I don't understand myself right now either
-b

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Montreal Moments

T and I walked through a beautiful park designed by the same man who designed Central Park, and The Public Gardens in Boston. It was beautiful, but we kept walking uphill higher and higher, and then we had to climb one billion stairs. But at the end we had the whole city behind us. I asked some poor girl who was huffing and puffing to take our picture. I'm glad she agreed.


On Sundays, in this particular park, drummers gather together and drum for hours. All types of people congregate to listen and dance. Watching this was my favorite moment of the whole trip.

Wherever we go, T buys me beaver pens. It's an inside joke, but if you know it, hopefully you're laughing. He bought me two, just in case I break the first one. :O)

My new kitchen
(Blogger is having some issues. Please disregard tiny pic above. Blogger won't allow me to delete it)
I ordered new hardware for the cabinets, and the bottom picture shows the hardware that has come in so far. The new floor will be installed in 2 weeks, and then I am done. I really love it. Hope you do too!


-b

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Conversation With T on Tuesday Morning During Breakfast
(Montreal has amazing food, btw)

T: What's wrong?
B: Nothing. (sulking. anyone who knows me knows that I can't hide my feelings for a second.)
T: Clearly something is wrong. May as well tell me.
B: No. It will only get me in trouble.
T: Just spill it.
B: I just....I just had an expectation for this week, and I'm realizing that it's not going to happen, and I'm feeling sad.
T: What were you expecting?
B: What do you think I was expecting?
T: I don't know. A ring?
B: Yep.
T: I'm sorry. I hate that you're disappointed.
B: Well, I'm not going to be the only disappointed one. EVERYONE thought we would get engaged this week.
T: Everyone?
B: Yes, everyone.
T: Who exactly, is everyone?
B: My family, my friends, my coworkers, my widow group, my blog readers...
T: Your blog readers?
B: Yes, my blog readers. They thought you would propose this week too.
T: And you know this because...
B: They are smart! And any smart person with a brain knew that this was the week you were supposed to propose! And now I have to go back and tell everyone that you didn't, and I feel so stupid.
T: Would it help if I told you that there is a plan?
B: (sniffing) Is there a plan?
T: Yes. It doesn't involve Montreal, but there is a plan, and there has been for a while.
B: OK, that helps.
T: Be sure to pass that on to everyone, so no one else is disappointed.
B: OK. It will help, but they're all still gonna be mad at you, you know.
T: I can't win, can I?
B: Not until you propose. Then you will win.

-b

p.s. the rest of the week was amazing. Many things to share, but guess who stayed at our hotel? The Boston Bruins! Sadly they lost, and Montreal went nuts, but they stayed in our hotel! I evn got pictures taken with them. Unfortunately, I couldn't identify a single one, but it was cool nonetheless.

Friday, April 18, 2008


Journeys

sleeping late in a king size downy bed
sipping lattes while reading my book
eating croissants, steak frites, and fresh baguettes
lingering at museums for as long as we please
late dinners at candlelit restaurants
walking the streets while looking for nothing
horse drawn carriage rides through historic streets
long soaks in a deep tub, showers made for two
sleeping in my lover's arms
with no worry of being awoken by children or dogs

I will be doing all of the above for the next week
I will post back on Friday
have a great week

-b





Wednesday, April 16, 2008

When I first started this blog, I posted about my favorite widow book, "Companion Through the Darkness." The author became a widow while pregnant, and I could relate to so many of her definitions of words. I came across the old entry tonight, and was happy to see that I no longer could relate to many of the definitions. Here is the old list, with my updates in color:

Grief:
The act of accepting forced change;
a constant state of my existence,
in varying degrees from white hot to disgruntlement;
a sign that I am truly alive.
I can't say that I am still grieving the way I once was. The kind of grieving that stays with you from the moment you wake up until the moment you go to sleep, and even once you are asleep, it haunts you in your dreams. I grieve still, but it comes in spurts. It hits me when I least expect it, and it leaves me just as quickly as it hits me. And I am so grateful for that.

Cognizance:
A momentary lapse into sanity,
where I realized that my insanity is a sane reaction
to an utterly insane event.
You'll have to tell me if I still am acting crazy.

Inertia:
The place I find myself caught in;
not the past, not the present, and not yet the future.
Utter emptiness.
I no longer feel empty. I feel like I'm really, truly living, and loving life.

Hanging on:
Something I do,
but I don't know why.
I remember feeling this way. I don't feel this way anymore.

Mourning:
The total insanity
that followed in the months after he died,
from which I have emerged different,
taller, stronger, more armored, more soft;
the process of sorting the seeds
into manageable, orderly piles.
Love this one.

Mystery:
The maze of thoughts
I have about where you went.
Yep.

Happiness:
A state of being
that I don't believe
will ever come to me again.
I am happy.

Rage:
The state I use to survive
seemingly endless moments
of intolerable pain.
Went through that.

Gratitude:
The feeling I have now for even the smallest progress,
for my expectations are so low I am difficult to disappoint.
I do feel like I appreciate things that most take for granted. I hope I do, anyways.

Envy:
When I forget that to trade places
with another is simply to trade problems;
the state I find myself in
when I think that my pain, my tragedy
is greater than anyone else's.
I still struggle with this. I have a great deal of trouble sympathizing with those losing a loved one that is older, that has lived his/her life. I just don't feel the sympathy that I used to feel. I wish this wasn't so.

Child:
The life you left behind to keep me living.
My boys.

Pity:
The rasp that opens my shameful wound;
the look on people's faces
where they haven't a clue what to say to me,
and when (I suspect) they want to believe
that it will never happen to them.
This still happens, but much less frequently.

Transitional Lover:
A person who took me across the gulf
between your death and my life.
I've had a few of those.

Epiphany:
The moment I realized
he was never coming home again.
Still haven't really realized that yet. Four years later, and his bathrobe is still hanging in the closet. He might need it you know.

Magic:
Something that still exists
if I listen
and follow the signs.
Something that breathes hope into me
when I least expect it.
Oh yes, I believe.

-b

Monday, April 14, 2008

Giddy

This weekend T and I will travel to Montreal
We are going without children
and will be gone for 5 nights
while I will miss the boys terribly
I can hardly contain my excitement
at the idea of being away with T
for so long


-b

p.s. Any recs on things to do in Montreal?

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Demo Continued


The worst part is the dust
and the fact that I can't use my dishwasher

-b

Wednesday, April 09, 2008


Let The Demolition Begin



Wish me luck
-b


Sunday, April 06, 2008

Conversation with Joshua

b: Joshua, mommy is getting very frustrated. I have asked you THREE times to change your clothes, and you still haven't gotten started!

J: (Looking at me with a sly smile) Mommy, you look sooo beautiful today.

b: (feeling terrible for yelling) Aww, that's sweet of you Josh. Thank you.

J: I love you sooo much, mommy.

b: I love you too.

J: (with giant grin) I know just what to say to make you happy.

Yes, at age 3.8, my son has mastered the art of manipulation. I would say that he learned it from his father, but.... Does that mean he learned it from me? No, must be T. :O)

-b

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Pregnant Man?

Can we please discuss the pregnant man????
I am watching Oprah
and just can't get over it
They seem like nice people
but, but, but
something just seems not right about this
Am I being too closed minded?
Please discuss

-b

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

5 Things...

I was tagged by another favorite blogger over at Wisconsin mommy for a five things meme Interestingly, she and I have an awful lot in common. Be sure to check out her blog.

First, the rules:
1. Each player answers the questions about themselves.
2. At the end of the post, the player then tags five people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves a comment letting them know they've been tagged and to ask them to play along and to read your blog.

What I was doing 10 years ago - 1998
1. Preparing to get married! Yes, this June would have been my 10 year anniversary. I was a young bride.
2. Finishing my first year of teaching. I started out teaching kindergarten, and have moved my way up to third grade.
3. Waking up every morning at 5 to get to step aerobics to get in shape for my wedding.
4. Getting a new kitten.
5. Living a pretty carefree life.

Five things on my to-do list today
1. Fold laundry (always have this on my to-do list)
2. Watch American Idol
3. Bake with the boys
4. Buy Melanie a birthday present (happy birthday, Mel!)
5. Work on chapter 11 of my book.

Snacks I enjoy
1. Cut up fruit
2. Freshly baked cookies
3. Ice cream
4. Nachos
5. Cereal

Things I would do if I were a billionaire
1. Buy a very large house with staff
2. Quit my job and write full time
3. Buy a vacation house on the beach
4. Donate to charities I care about
5. Travel regularly

Five of my bad habits
1. I am messy
2. I am on the computer way too often
3. I leave laundry in the washing machine for days at a time
4. I eat junk food
5. I watch the crappiest tv ever made

Five places I have lived
1. Newton, MA
2. Natick, MA
3. Boston, MA
4. Cambridge, MA
5. Where I live now, MA
There is something very sad about this list.....

Five jobs I've had
1. Teacher
2. Camp counselor
3. Nanny
4. Cafe worker
5. Barnes and Noble employee (for two days)

I tag JRowe, Pentha, Brett, Kyle, and Joan.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

More Random facts

1. My first boyfriend was named Andrew and he lived in Roslyn, NY. I met him on a cruise during my freshman year of high school. We spent the whole week together and I fell in love. We continued "dating" for a few months after the cruise. he used to write me the cheesiest love letters that Owen would read to my study hall classmates. I loved those letters, cheesy as they were. I visited him in NY during my April vacation, but he broke up with me in May. We met up again the following February vacation on another cruise. I was dating Joe at the time, but couldn't resist kissing Andrew. I confessed to Joe upon my return home and he was mad at first, but forgave me when I told him that Andrew told me that my kissing skills had greatly improved since I started dating Joe. I googled Andrew recently and he is a therapist in San Francisco. he works with abused children using yoga as therapy.

2. I love carbs. Give me a big bowl of pasta, a bagel with cream cheese, crusty french bread with butter, or a bowl of rice krispies. It's all good. If I could change one eating habit I have, it would be to cut out carbs. But that's really all I like to eat. Meat does nothing for me, and in fact, it often grosses me out. My typical lunch this year has been a bowl of cereal and a bagel.

3. I have had 4 dogs in my life, including Brooklyn. The first dog was named Molly. She was very sweet, and well behaved, but was hit by a truck and killed. My next dog was Joey, and he was crazy. We didn't keep him for very long. My third dog was Emma (long before the name became trendy). We got Emma when I was in the 5th grade, and I immediately fell for her. She was very sweet, and very cute, but was never trained properly. She would escape our backyard and chase people. She would pee and poop everywhere in the house, and chewed furniture. She had major anxiety issues, and the older she got, the worse her behavior became. When I was in the 9th grade we ended up giving her away. I was so sad and mad at my mom. Brooklyn reminds me a bit of Emma. As crazy as she makes me, I hope to keep her for the long haul. No promises, but I'm going to try.

4. When I go to the movies I like to sit in the back row, which drives most people nuts. The reason for this preference, is that I hate when people talk in the movies. It drives me crazy! But I notice it most if the talking/noise comes from behind me. If I am in the back, the chances of me being annoyed by noise is significantly less than if I am in the middle of the theater. Last night T and I went to the movies and saw a great little movie.
I wanted to sit in the back row, but T wanted to sit smack dab in the middle of the theater. Sure enough there was an older couple sitting directly behind us. The movie started, and apparently the husband wasn't aware that the movie had subtitles. Every few minutes I would hear "What does that say?" "Why are their subtitles if they are speaking English?" They actually weren't that bad once the movie got going, so the seats ended up fine, but if the talking had continued I would have had to say something to them, or move, otherwise the movie would have been intolerable.

5. I moved off campus my sophomore year of college, and I think that was a big mistake. I loved my freshman year, and felt like I had many close friends and was part of a community. For some reason I became obsessed with the idea of getting an apartment the following year. I moved out with a friend, and we had a really nice apartment in a really bad neighborhood. I became a commuter, and never really fit in at school. If I could do it again, I would have stayed on campus at least another year.

-b

Thursday, March 27, 2008

5 random facts about me
inspired by Patrick's suggestion
hopefully I've never shared these facts before
If you like them, I'll write 5 more


1) When I was a kid, I used to hide under my bed and say a prayer every time it rained heavily. Now I don't hide under my bed, but I still get just as anxious. Sometimes I will lay in bed and put the covers over my head and hope that when I wake up the rain will have stopped. I have no idea where this rain anxiety came from, but think it may stem from a movie I watched as a kid where it rained so hard, all living things died and oceans were formed. I know, I have issues. But when I look at things like this I can't help but think one day soon my fears will become a reality.

2) Sometimes I miss the freedom of being fat. (Not that I'm what you'd call skinny now, but I don't think I'm fat either.) That may sound really odd, because there isn't too much that allows you to be free when you're fat. It was hard to go clothes shopping, I often felt insecure, and I hated how I looked. But I ate whatever I wanted, and sometimes I miss that freedom. I hate worrying about what I might gain if I eat a croissant, or a bowl of ice cream. I haven't eaten ice cream since I started my diet last summer! When I'm walking down the aisle at the grocery store I look at the Breyer's Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream with such longing, I can practically taste it on my tongue. But instead I buy weight watchers desserts, or skinny cow desserts, which are tasty and low in points, but not at all the same as Breyer's mint chip. I'm thinking those of you who have struggled with weight will relate, but maybe tis is more of me being crazy.

3) Sometimes I get through an entire day without thinking about Joe. Other days I can't get him off of my mind at all. Every story, every song, every joke, every person on tv all remind me of him. The days when I don't think of him at all are much easier days, but when I think of him I typically don't even get sad anymore. He's become a happy, distant memory for the most part. I'm thankful for that.

4) I'm a little worried about my trip to Montreal this April. Typically April is a very hard month for me. The past three years I have sunk into a deep depression for the whole month, as it is the build up to Joe's death anniversary. April vacation is usually the hardest week of all. I get very moody, cry easily, and don't want to talk. What if this happens while I am away with T? Can I escape this pattern by going away? I certainly hope so.

5) This morning I dropped the boys off at their babysitter's house. Their preschool is closed for the day. They undid their seatbelts, got out of their carseats, opened their doors (power sliding, but still), got out of the car, walked up to the door and rang the bell. Their sitter opened the door and waved at me. I drove away thinking, "How did I get to this point?" My kids have become so independent, and I love it! I'm terrified of starting over with a new baby, and if T and I get married, we will (hopefully) have a baby together. I know that it will be wonderful, but we just got to the easy part! I never even had to put the car in park! How to go back to infant seats, and diapers, and bottles, and night feedings.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Ask me anything

I don't have much to say these days
even at therapy today
I was pretty much speechless
I know, it's hard to picture me speechless
but I was
nothing bad is going on
nothing exciting is going on
life is just continuing on its merry way

I want to write something interesting
so help me out
ask me some good questions
and hopefully they'll inspire
a decent entry

-b

Monday, March 24, 2008

Been Busy

I have lots of pictures to share with you
Been a very busy few days
Between Purim
Traveling to and from NJ
in less than 24 hours
and of course
Easter
It's been nuts here
all in a good way
but I'm too tired
to download pictures
or share any cute stories
Besides
I must conserve all of my energy
tonight is the season premiere
of The Hills
*sigh*
Doesn't get any better than that

-b

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Speaking of Springsteen

Check out this song


In my dream my love was lost, I lived by luck and faith.
I carried you inside of me, and praied it wouldn't be to late.
Now I'm standin' on this empty road, where nothin' moves but the wind...


Back in your arms, back in your arms again..
Back in your arms, back in your arms again.
Back in your arms, back in your arms again.


You said once I was your treasure, and I saw your face in every store
The promises we make at night, oh that's all they are
Unless we fill them with faith and love they're emty as a howlin' wind.
Now darlin' I just wanna be


Back in your arms, back in your arms again..
Back in your arms, back in your arms again.
Back in your arms, back in your arms again.

You came to me with love and kindness, but all my life I've been a prisoner
of my own blindness
I met you with indifference, and I don't know why.

Now I wake from my dream, I wake from my dream to this world.
Where all the shadow and darkness and a dark sky unfurls.
And all the love I've thrown away and lost, honey I'm longing for again.
Now there's nothing that I wouldn't do if I could be

Back in your arms, back in your arms again.
Back in your arms, back in your arms again.
Back in your arms, back in your arms again.
Back in your arms




-b

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Dreaming of Someone Lost

You came to me in my dream last night
I could see you, touch you, hear you
your voice was crystal clear
I have missed your voice
had forgotten how deep and strong it was

you sang to me

Like a vision she dances across the porch
as the radio plays
Roy Orbison singing for the lonely
Hey that's me and I want you only
Don't turn me home again
I just can't face myself alone again

Waking up this morning was hard
I wanted the singing to continue
I wanted you here
I shared my dream with T
he smiled and asked if your voice was
any better than mine

In my dream
it was magical

In my dream
it was magical

-b

Monday, March 17, 2008

Balloons

Here is the conversation we had in the car today:

Jacob: Mommy look! Balloons are in the sky!

Josh: they are going to daddy, they are going to daddy!

Jacob: Mommy, what will daddy do with all those balloons?

b: I don't know. What do you think he'll do with them?

Jacob: I think he will hand them out to people. When they die and go to heaven, daddy will be waiting for them with balloons.

b: I'll bet you're right. Your daddy sure did love to welcome people to a party.

Inside I had to chuckle. Joe might be handing out cigars to welcome people, but for some reason I can't picture him handing out balloons. Can you?

-b

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Quick Updates

I've stayed away from the computer all weekend. I've actually read an entire novel today! I can accomplish great things when I stay away. I'm sorry that I never reported back about Brooklyn though.

She is fine. She miraculously passed the objects that were clogging up her intestines. (It was a red plastic toy wrapped up in underwear. Don't ask.) She came home Friday night, and appears to be completely back to herself. I must publicly thank Michele, my dear friend from Widow Group. She is a Veterinary Surgeon, and for the second time in Brooklyn's short life, has come to her rescue. Michele, I so appreciate you taking the time to make a house call, and for helping me make the decisions that I made. You are amazing.

I had a great weekend, but ate and drank way too much. On Friday night I went out with two of my cousins whom I almost never get to see. We had an amazing time catching up, and I am so happy that I went out with them. First we had dinner here
followed by drinks here.

Last night my parents took T and I out to celebrate his 30th birthday. We had a fine meal here.
But I made the mistake of drinking too much and eating a huge dessert! Not so much fun once we returned home.

Life is good. I feel content. Hope your weekends went as well.

-b