Friday, January 28, 2011

The Dentist

Hey there,

Funny story.

I brought my mother-in-law (Bob's mom)to the dentist recently. She has some complications going on with her teeth and gums and dentures. I will spare you all the details of what is going on and suffice it to say we are trying to keep her from needing a full set of dentures and that isn't always easy when a person is 87 years old. (brush and floss people, brush and floss)

Anyway, following the appointment the dentist was very kindly and patiently giving me the information about what we should be doing to care for her gums and current partials and what we should do if there is a problem.

I must have given the dentist some kind of look like this was too much information for me because she stopped suddenly and said;

"Maybe your husband could call me with any questions or concerns."

At which point I continued my blank stare and thought to myself;

"Why in the world would Mike call you about Bob's mom's teeth?"

At which point the very nice dentist must have decided I was either daffy or just plain stupid since she felt the need to clarify; "You know, her son, have her son give me a call."

Ah, I now understood the confusion.

"Yes, I will," I said, smiling, almost laughing, because what I really wanted to say was; "Listen lady, if you hear from her son you let me know because I have some things I need to say to him!"

Sometimes my worlds have collided so seamlessly that I don't even know who people are talking about when they say the word "husband". Current, late, Bob, Mike, live, dead, first, second, it's all the same to me apparently.

Thanks for checking in-


Friday, January 14, 2011

Daddy First

Hey there-

I was making Arthur's bed yesterday when he suddenly skipped into the room.

"Mom, if I could I would want to talk to Martin Luther King Jr., Einstein, and Daddy," he said breathlessly.

"Wow, that would be cool," I said from the top of the bunk bed. I was thinking what good company Bob was keeping and how thrilled he must be to be grouped with Einstein, his hero.

"Well, I would want to see Daddy first actually, yea, Daddy first."

Then Arthur scurried back out of the room on his tip toes.

Smart boy.

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Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Hey there,

Last night I was trimming Arthur's fingernails before he went to bed. I sat on the toilet with the garbage can between my knees and he stood to the side of me with his little hand outstretched. We were in Mike and my bathroom since we couldn't find a pair of clippers in the kid's bathroom. (shocking, I know)

Next to the toilet, hanging on the wall is some kind of contraption I bought when Bob and I lived in Portland that holds all my jewelry. The earrings nest in individual indentations and the necklaces and bracelets hang from little posts at the bottom. Arthur gazed at the necklaces while I trimmed up his nails and babbled about my memories of my dad (his grandpa) trimming my nails on Saturday nights before church the next morning and how he would sit on the toilet, just like I was right now, with the garbage can between his knees to catch the fallen nails.

Arthur asked if he could wear one of the necklaces and I said "no", explaining the necklace had been my grandmother's and it had been a gift from my grandfather to her and after she died I got it and I wore it at Mike and my wedding. He wanted to know which necklace I wore for "his daddy's wedding" so I carefully removed the fresh water pearl necklace that my dad brought all of us girls home after one of his business trips to Japan so Arthur could look at it. Then Arthur asked me about the necklace I had made from Bob and my wedding rings, so we talked about that for a moment. Then he asked about a locket I have that a friend's mom gave me when I graduated from college.

Arthur began to rank the items in order of importance.

While he did this ranking and confirming with me which ones he could wear and which ones he couldn't he suddenly said; "When I have children they won't ever meet my daddy."

"No, they won't, unfortunately," I agreed.

"So, they won't have a grandpa like I have a grandpa."

"Well, they'll have Mike, and he will be their grandpa," I explained.

"Will I tell them that he's their step-grandpa?" he wondered.

"You can explain whatever you want to them, but this is a long time away, we don't have to figure out what your children will call Mike tonight."

"But my children will call you grandma, like I call my grandma, grandma, right?"


"Will my children call my grandpa grandpa when he sees them, just like I do?"

Up to this point I was enjoying the conversation, thinking it was cute and funny and fascinating, but now I began to get a little melancholy. It's doubtful that Arthur's grandpa will ever meet Arthur's children.

Shit, more death to come, more grieving for myself and my children. Man, can't we get a pass on this one? Haven't we dealt with enough already? Can't everyone just live forever?

Well, as "they" say; grief is the price you pay for love. And right now Arthur isn't focused on his losses or his potential grief, he seems to be enjoying all the love he has surrounding him and how he might explain it all to his future children one day.

More power to you Arthur, live in the moment.

Thanks for checking in-


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Picture Thing

Hey there-

I'm a bit on the sentimental side.

I like pictures and I save letters and ticket stubs from "important" concerts and shows and I collect little items from trips that I place around the house so they can collect dust.

When Bob first died my sentimentality increased exponentially and I became obsessed with keeping two of everything "for the boys".

Two bikes, two of his favorite recipes I framed, two quilts were made from his get the idea.

As time has gone on some items that were deemed important have lost their importance, or I have completely forgotten what I thought was important about the item to begin with. I.e a certain canister of oatmeal, or a couch.

But the pictures remain around the house.

It's the pictures that can really trip people up when trying to understand our "situation" and how Mike "deals with the sainted dead spouse thing".

Now, I have been around many widow/ers and the picture thing is dealt with in as many different ways as there are for a person to die. Anywhere from total removal to continued prominent placing on a main wall seems to be the norm.

For Mike and I the picture issue came up rather quickly in our relationship. I know many of you know the story of Mike's struggle with the pictures and his wondering where he fit into my life. Then there was my "supportive" response that three months into our relationship was a little soon to be expecting lots of pictures around the house, ten years into it maybe, but not three months.

"You have to earn your spot on the wall buddy," I believe was my thoughtful response.

True to my word, now five years in, there are many more pictures of Mike and his children and us as a couple and family on various trips and doing various activities.

There are also many pictures of Bob, of Bob and I, and of Bob and the boys that remain hanging on the walls and tucked on shelves. (yes, we do have lots of pictures around the house. I said I liked pictures.)

And I have to say I don't get the problem people have with pictures of your dead spouse being around the house. I don't keep them above my bed, that might be a problem. No one seems to think it is weird that I have a picture of my dead grandmother displayed on the shelf, not a single person has ever commented on that fact being strange or wondered how Mike feels about that.

I guess it is the fact of the love relationship that confuses people. Mike certainly knows that I was married before, and that I loved Bob, it is no secret where the boys come from. Why should the past, their history, be hidden from them as if it were not valued?

I understand that one day the pictures of Mike will outnumber the pictures of Bob, if we are lucky enough that is. And if we aren't, and Mike were to exit before that happened, I would keep the pictures I do have of him up and expect that my next husband would understand just as Mike has.

Understand that I was loved, it's not a bad thing.

Thanks for checking in-