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.


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.


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


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

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!


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.


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


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


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:

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.

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.

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.

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.

The maze of thoughts
I have about where you went.

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

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

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.


Monday, April 14, 2008


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


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


Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Let The Demolition Begin

Wish me luck

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)


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


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.