Friday, January 23, 2009


Hey there-

There is a plant in the sunroom that is dying.

It is not the only plant in the sunroom, but it was given to Bob and me from some good friends when he was first diagnosed. A nice arrangement with a purple african violet and some philodendron. I am surprised it has lasted this long, but that african violet had the most gorgeous blooms and it just kept on blooming.

The african violet petered out a few months ago and the philodendron is now on it's last legs. It is sad watching something alive die, even a plant. Why don't I just throw it out and put it out of it's misery I wonder? Why do I continue to pick off the browning leaves and water it?

The other night I was on Arthur's bunk bed reading him a story. Looking over at Henry's bunk I noticed that the quilt that Bob's sister, Kathy, made for the each of the boys out of Bob's T-shirts was beginning to show serious wear. The "Freddy Jones Band" T-shirt was in threads and the "Paws Down the Best Beer in Town" is illegible, all that is left is a tattered paw print. Are there enought T-shirts to make another quilt? Can I ask that of Kathy?

Then I went in the kitchen to unload the dishwasher and I found one of Bob's All Clad Ltd. pots in there. I tried not to think about Bob, sifting in his urn once again, at the thought of one of his beloved pans being washed in the harsh detergent and agitating water of the dishwasher. The once clear black finish looks mottled and gray.

Then our dryer broke which led to the purchase of a new washer and dryer which led to memories of the last washer and drier I bought when Bob and I were living in Portland. We bought the pair used for $200. Without talking specifics let's just say Mike and I spent more than $200 on the new set.

To make matters worse, one of the new kittens has torn a hole in the arm of the big chair with it's tiny claws as it frantically jumps to the window to watch the children walk to school. Bob proudly brought that chair home from a second hand store one day soon after Henry was born. The big chair played a big part in the life of our old house and continues to play a big part in the life of my new house, even the step-children affectionately call it the Big Chair, and it holds a coveted spot in the sunroom across from the dying plant.

Mike casually mentioned at dinner last night that getting the chair reupholstered would probably cost more than buying a new chair.

"I can't emotionally handle getting a new chair at this point," I blurted as tears sprung up in my eyes.

Everything from my life with Bob is looking old and worn and breaking.

One of the hardest things for me to reconcile after he died was that one day I would talk about Bob as if he were just someone I knew once. One day I would be able to talk about him the same way I talk about a roommate I once had in college. This person who had been the most important person in my life, my best friend, the father of my children, and the person who I was to grow old with would seem demoted somehow.

Intellectually I know this phenomenon is required. One can't function for an extended period of time with the kind of heightened state of emotion I felt initially every time his name was brought up or every time the boys and I sat in the big chair for bedtime stories.

But it's sad. Call me foolishly sentimental.

I know that these items are just things and that the real memories live in my heart and mind. (while these things may be aging too they are not likely to be replaced) That being said, I am so grateful for the boys and the tangible evidence of Bob and my relationship.

Sometimes, if not for Henry and Arthur, I am afraid I might think our entire relationship was merely a dream.

A wonderful dream.

Thanks for checking in-



  1. You are not foolishly sentimental. When Bill was diagnosed this summer it was a grim few weeks for us. One of our sprinkler sets was broken and a certain section of our grass was dying. I would stare at it and cry because the grass was dying. Then I decided that this grass was something I could help and control (unlike the cancer) so I put all my efforts into keeping that grass alive. It sounds so dumb, but it made me feel so much better!

    Always thinking of you,

  2. I will pick up the plants on Friday & try to bring them back, Mom can reupholster the chair (it will give her something to do) Kathy would LOVE to make another quilt...that's what she's been saying. Another Wellenstein trait…pretty soon Henry will be hauling second hand stuff back to the house – could be another big chair.