Saturday, March 31, 2012

Feeling Lost

I just don't know what to do with myself or my time without Rod in my life. We obviously didn't spend every minute together, but most of our free time was spent together. We were one of those annoying couples who would rather do things together than on our own. Now, as evening and nighttime comes, I don't know what I'm supposed to be doing. I can't concentrate on TV - everything just seems silly or stupid - and all my friends are out with their loved ones. I just sit at home alone with the puppies, waiting for Rod to come back to us.

Yesterday was a very bad day. At one point I collapsed on the couch with heaving sobs. I just couldn't stop crying. So I woke up this morning knowing that today had to be better than yesterday. I forced myself to get out of the house, at least for a few hours. I went to Target and picked up two more curtain panels to completely cover the patio door, I went to Pier 1 and looked around, then went to American Eagle to try on some clothes. It felt like I was gone for hours. By the time I got back home, I realized that I was only gone for an hour and a half! Tonight I decided that I wanted to get some food rather than cook up another boring meal and I made my way to Acapulco. I sat down and ordered a margarita and at that moment, I knew I no longer wanted to be there. I hated being there on my own. I quickly put in my to go order and left as soon as it was ready. I felt like I didn't want to be there, but at the same time I didn't want to be home alone again.

And now it's 9 p.m. on a Saturday night. I see on Facebook and can hear outside my window that most everyone else is going out with their families or friends and having fun, and I'm in my sweats not knowing what to do with myself. Feeling jealous of the people who are having fun because I don't know how to have fun like that anymore. And I feel like a burden asking someone to do something with me. I try to put on a brave, smiling face when I'm around other people, but I know I'm just dragging them down, probably making them feel uncomfortable whenever I bring up Rod's name. 

It's been 27 days ... and things are not getting easier without Rod. I just feel lost without him.

Friday, March 30, 2012

High Five for Friday


This week has been such a struggle, and I don't think I have five things to be grateful for this week. However, right now I need to find some good things in my life, spots of sunshine in the sadness. So, here are my top five things from this week ...

1. I finished my thank you notes and got the last ones in the mail. I had so, so many to write. Thank goodness Rod's sister volunteered to write some to their family as well otherwise I'd probably still be writing! I'm sure I forgot someone, and if it was you, I'm sorry!
2. I had a fun work outing this week ... I got to go "shopping" at the Coach Outlet! Okay, I didn't actually do any shopping, but I did get to go do research at the store and look at all the pretty purses! I was a good girl though and didn't buy anything. Although I did find a pair of sunglasses I really wanted, but couldn't justify spending $69 on a pair when I already have numerous pairs of sunglasses.

3. While out researching Coach purses, I allowed myself to stop at one other store - the Loft outlet and picked up two tops for spring/ summer. This is my favorite. I love the color, I love the style, the ruffle, I can't wait to wear it!

4. I bought new curtains for the kitchen. Previously our curtains were this reddish color with a gold stripe. They were bought to match the old red paint, and were pretty thick and heavy. I wanted to switch out the curtains for something lighter and found these at Target. They're gray and white and match perfectly with the gray walls. But I think I need to pick up two more panels to get the look I like on the sliding glass doors.

5. The support I've been receiving from my friends, family and even people I barely know has been amazing. I am so thankful for every one of you who has stopped by this blog to read posts about my life with my husband, or wrote kind words on Facebook page, and especially to those who have called, emailed or sent a text to check up on me. I don't know how I would survive this without people who care about me and people who cared about Rod. Please keep checking in with me as the weeks go on. Thank you!

I am proof that even if you're having a crappy, sad week, there are still things to be thankful for and things that happened during the week that are happy. It might be the smallest of things, but I believe that it's good to remember the little things in life, the things that made you smile even if you feel like crying.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Memories of Us

The video below is snapshots of my life with Rod over the last six years. The pastor helped me put it together so it would play along with our song, Making Memories of Us, by Keith Urban during the funeral service. To me, this video is beautiful, a representation of our life together, and brings back so many memories ....

Our Wedding ... I've said this before, and I'll say it many times again: our wedding was a perfect day. That day I woke up feeling incredibly happy. I had no stress, no qualms, just joy. I think our wedding was the most beautiful wedding I've ever attended. (I might be a little biased, of course!) I don't remember anything going wrong, I just remember happiness, tears of joy and saying "I Do" to the man I love. I remember dancing to Making Memories of Us and thinking that I was incredibly lucky to have married a man who loved me more than anything in the world.

Our Honeymoon ... We spent our honeymoon in a cottage along Lake Superior in Bayfield, WI. It might not have been the tropical destination I had dreamed of, but it was a great location. We spent our days sightseeing and playing in the water. We were able to bring our two dogs with us and it was the perfect start to our life as a family.

Trips to the Zoo ...  Rod and I loved going to the zoo. We tried to go every summer or fall. We've been to both the Minnesota Zoo and Como Zoo. One year we spent our anniversary at the zoo, and it was a fun way to celebrate such a special day.

NASCAR ... Rod tried so hard to make me a fan of NASCAR. It was his obsession. I would watch the occasional race with him, and he even got me to wear a Dale Jr. hat! Our house even is decorated with NASCAR diecast cars. Now it's hard for me to watch a race without thinking of him.

Family ... Family is very important to me, and also to Rod. We are so blessed to have amazing families - our parents, siblings and extended relatives. Rod and I started our family with Daisy, then added Mercedes, and finally Lucky. Along the way, we sadly lost Daisy, but in the end had a wonderful family of with the two of us and our two furry babies.

I have so many wonderful memories that I will keep on sharing, and I hope you keep on reading!

I don't think this video works on an iPad (no video showed on my iPad at least), so here's the link to the YouTube video: Memories of Rod. Hopefully now anyone who wants to view it can!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

A Note on Being "Brave"

Throughout these last few weeks, so many people have commented on how "brave" or "strong" I am. Although they mean well, the last thing I feel is brave or strong. All I feel is sad and alone. I am doing what I have to do. I had to plan the funeral. I had to write thank you notes to all the very kind and generous people in Rod's life. I have to go back to work and pay my bills. I'm not doing these things because I'm strong or brave; I'm doing these things because I'm the only one who can do these things. No one else is going to pay my bills. No one else is going to take my dogs for daily walks, take them to the groomer and vet, or buy the dog food. No one else is going to buy my groceries for me or make me dinner. No one else is going to deal with changing the bills to my name and selling Rod's car. I am all alone. 

I know my friends and family are there for me. I understand that. But, without Rod here, I really am all alone. There isn't anyone in my home to comfort me. There isn't anyone to wrap me in a big hug when I lose it over my cereal in the morning. There isn't anyone here with me right now to wipe the tears from my eyes as I try to write this post.

Yesterday during our staff meeting, my boss brought up having get togethers this summer with the staff and our families. Fun family outings. My first thought was "but I don't have a family." I almost lost it right there in the middle of our meeting. And yes, I know I have my parents, my brother, my nephew, my in-laws, but I don't have MY family anymore - I don't have Rod.

Losing my husband is a heart break unlike any other. It's not the same as losing a friend, or an uncle or a grandparent. Many people try to compare my grief to how they felt when they lost someone, but, I promise, it's not the same. Rod and I were joined as one in marriage, and we did everything together. I lost my husband, my partner, my best friend, my family in one unexpected night. If you haven't lost a spouse, be grateful that you don't understand this grief.

I definitely don't feel like I'm brave or strong. I feel just the opposite. I feel like my strength is gone because Rod provided most of that for me. Now all I want to do is cuddle up on the couch with the puppies and cry. 

"Never thought we'd have a last kiss; Never imagined we'd end like this; Your name, forever the name on my lips" ~Taylor Swift, "Last Kiss"

Monday, March 26, 2012

Hiding from a Mouse

Today I am really struggling. Struggling to feel normal, to feel happy, to get things done. I just feel sad. However, I feel like I want to talk about Rod and remember our life together rather than focus on the sadness that has taken over my life. Here is a story of how Rod helped me in the beginning of our relationship ...

Shortly after Rod and I started dating, I had what I would call a traumatic experience (or at least at that time). I was living in this super crappy house that I had rented and winter was just around the corner. Well, rodents and other gross things like to find warm places to live for the coming winter and my house seemed like a good home to a few mice. I had a cat, but she was declawed and didn't find too much interest in chasing the mice away. 

The first time I noticed the mouse that had taken up residence in my bedroom was in the middle of the night. I freaked out and ran into the living room. Then, a mouse started crawling up the couch where I was sitting. I started to scream, grabbed my cat and my phone and left the house. 

It was pretty chilly outside since it was only about 4 or 5 a.m. so I couldn't just sit outside. I hid inside my car and called Rod. He is a pretty heavy sleeper, but he eventually woke up to my incessant calls. I was hysterical. I'm pretty sure he laughed at me when he could finally understand that I had mice in my house. However, he did come over right away to rescue me. And he didn't even make fun of me! He just gave me a great big hug and told me he'd take care of it.

He went into the house and packed up some of my stuff for me so I didn't have to go back in there. I remember yelling at him to grab my contacts and pajamas, and don't forget cat food because I was too afraid to go back into the house. He was so nice to pack up my stuff and let me stay at his house! 

To this day, I am still terrified of mice. I have gotten to the point where I don't scream and lock myself in my car, but Rod always was the one that had to find them and trap them. Thank goodness we haven't had any mice inside of our home now!

I love that from the beginning Rod took care of me and was there to comfort me. He was great at telling me that things would be okay and he always gave the best hugs. I miss those hugs.

Friday, March 23, 2012

High Five for Friday

I think now, more than most weeks, I need to be reminded of the little things in life that I'm thankful for this week. Every day is such a struggle for me (read why here and here), but there are bright spots in this time of sadness. So, today I'm linking up with Lauren at From My Grey Desk for her weekly High Five for Friday

1. On Tuesday, my lovely friend and neighbor Amber and I went out for drinks and dinner at Acapulco. Night time is the toughest time for me right now, and it was great that she got me out of the house. Plus, I love going out for margaritas and Mexican food!

2. This week's New Girl episode made me laugh hysterically. I didn't watch the episode until Wednesday night, and Wednesday was a very sad day for me, so laughing out loud at New Girl was very therapeutic. I loved the whole episode, but my favorite part was with the Japanese toilet spraying at her - hilarious!! If you haven't checked out this show, I highly recommend it. It plays on Fox.


3. I went back to work this week after having the last two weeks off. It's nice to be busy during the day and start to get settled into a routine again.

4. For the first time in my married life, I went and got the oil changed in my car. My husband was planning on taking it in on that Monday so it never got done. The oil change light had been on for awhile, so I figured I should probably suck it up and take it somewhere. I found a coupon for a local business and brought it in. It wasn't nearly as painful as I thought it would be, and I bought myself hot pink carnations as a reward!

5.  Yesterday I decided to treat myself to a trip to the salon and get my highlights touched up and got an inch of yucky ends cut off. I was super overdue for highlights and a hair cut. I usually stretch it out for about eight weeks, but it's been 11 due to everything going on and I figured it was about time I went. I, of course, cried telling my stylist what had happened, but she was so nice and gave me a huge discount! People are so amazing!

I hope everyone can find the good things in life and always remember to be thankful for them no matter how small!

Until next time~

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Story of Us

I planned to have a lifetime with Rod, but my lifetime with him was short ... too short to really be called a lifetime. Much shorter than the lifetime I expected. As I look back on our life together, I know that it is a life I will never forget.

I met Rod in the spring of 2004. He charmed me with all of his corny jokes, his sarcasm, and he finally convinced me to start dating. Then, on February 15, 2005, he asked me to marry him. I of course said yes, and on July 15, 2006 we got married in a beautiful and joyous ceremony. The most perfect and best day of my life.

Over these last few years we have had many ups and many, many struggles. Through it all, Rod's mantra was "we'll figure it out together." He has always been the calm in my sea of stress and worry. And somehow, we always figured it out. We made it through our struggles. These last couple of years have been the best of our life - we both are very happy in our jobs, have reconnected with old friends, and found a house that we made into our home. The first place I have felt like it was home in long time. A home that is filled with love, laughter, two crazy dogs and, of course, many, many NASCAR die cast cars. 

Just as we were starting to make plans for the next part of our life, God stepped in with a different plan. And on March 4th, 2012 I lost my husband. My best friend. My love.

As I look back over the last seven and a half years of our life together, I know that although it was short, I was given a great love. I have been able to share my life with an amazing partner. Rod is my love, and somehow I will figure it out and learn to live without him by my side, but will know he is always in my heart.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

A Shattered World

This March has been the toughest month of my life. On March 4th, my heart was broken and my world was shattered. My husband passed away at 3:30am that Sunday. His death was very unexpected, very sudden, and very, very sad. He died of a massive heart attack in our home. He was only 40 years old.

Finding Rod early that Sunday was the worst moment of my life, and having to plan his funeral was the second. How do you plan a funeral when you've never talked about it? Never imagined that it would come this soon?

Every day I have to remind myself that he is gone. There are many, many times that I have called out to him, or reached for my phone to send him a quick text. Then I remember that he won't answer, or isn't there.

I am taking it day by day. Going through the motions to get things done that have to be done. Most days I want to stay in bed, but I force myself to get up, eat breakfast, take a shower and walk the dogs. I am so very sad, but my life is still going on and I can't hide forever. A few things keep me going every day: 
~ My dogs. They have to be fed, walked and demand attention.
~ My family, friends and neighbors. I have amazing people in my life that check in on me every day.
~ Knowing that God has a plan. I don't understand it yet, and I really don't like it, but God has a reason. 

I miss Rod's story telling, his jokes, his smile, hearing about his day and, most of all, his hugs. I miss him every second, every minute, every hour of every day.

Friday, March 2, 2012

High Five for Friday


It's Friday!! Lauren, over at From My Grey Desk blog, is having her weekly link party for High Five for Friday: five favorite things that happened over the week. I love how this reminds me to be thankful for the little things in my life!

1. I finally found a new iPhone case! Originally I was going to order a Kate Spade one I saw online that was white with gold polka dots, but some of the reviews were not so nice, so I picked up this one at Best Buy. It's gold, it glitters, it's PERFECT!!

2. Easter candy is in stores! This past week we went to Target and pretty much the only thing I bought was Easter candy. The BEST candy is made for the Easter holiday! I put Peeps (the pink ones of course), Cadbury Creme Eggs, Cadbury Mini Eggs and Robin Eggs in my basket. My waistline should be grateful that Easter candy only comes out once a year!

3. This winter has been a strange one here in Minnesota - warmer than usual and little to no snow. However, winter found us this week and dumped a bunch of snow on us. We got about 10 inches where I live and I believe my parents got about 14 inches or so. My reaction is similar to this tree's: what the ?? Help me!!

4. My dog however loves the snow. Yesterday on our walk all he wanted to do was play in it. His favorite way to play is have me kick snow at him so he can chase the snowballs. Well, that means he comes home soaking wet. Then, he'll play it up and start shaking and whining until I cover him up and cuddle with him.

5. I don't wear much brown, but I saw this shirt on ModCloth and want it. How cute is it with the bunnies? And I love the collar. I better hurry up and decide if I want it. I just saw that the other two items I had my eye on are already sold out!

I hope you all had a great week! Remember to be thankful for the big and little things in your life!

Until next time~