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Today is a BIG trigger


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First things first. My HUGE thanks to Marty for giving all of us this wonderful place to come to. It's probably been a big "money pit", but here it is anyway. Thank you Marty! And to everyone else here that I have quickly come to consider as friends, my thanks to each of you as well. I have a quick temper and I'm not always easy to get along with, so I thank you one and all for putting up with me.

Today is a trigger day I wish I didn't have to acknowledge. 18 months ago today I had to let my Cookie go. I guess there is some truth to the old addage that time heals all wounds. In its slow methodical way, it has made it possible for this grieving "crap" to become a bit more tolerable. That fire that raged in that empty hole in my gut doesn't seem to be as out of control anymore. I don't seem to pace around in this apartment bouncing off the walls nearly as much by now. There are some things that I still don't see much improvement in. Lack of ambition and motivation are still part of my everyday life. My get up and go just got up and went when Cookie passed. Now it still seems to take me all day to do what I used to do all day. And sleep. The evenings and nights are still my worst part of each day. I dread seeing the sun go down each evening. I still only average 3-4 hours sleep a nite. Sometimes less. Rarely more. Sometimes not at all. That empty space beside me just ain't supposed to be there. It wouldn't matter if I was trying to sleep on an army cot, barely wide enough for me to lay on. She's still supposed to be there beside me. Even after 18 months, I'm still affected by that.

I hope I don't come across as arrogant when I do these little short stories and talk about my wonderful Cookie. I fully understand that each and every one of us here had our special someone that we miss terribly. I know that I don't have a corner on that market. It just helps me somehow I guess to come here now and then and just express myself. But I in no way mean to diminish what everyone else had and is grieving over. 

Like far to many other people, I didn't grow up in a very good family environment. Most of what I learned in and about life I had to teach to myself. There usually ends up being something very wrong with that kind of picture. It's a bit hard to be your own teacher for that course called "Life 101" when you don't even know what the subject matter for that course is supposed to be. The lines get blurred very quickly. I grew up in small oilfield towns in Oklahoma in the 50's and 60's. Most of us had indoor plumbing, and some streets were even paved. And some of the hills had been leveled off. When we walked to and from school barefooted, it wasn't uphill both directions by the time I came along. But this magic box hadn't come along yet. Nowadays, you can find absolutely everything on this here internet doo-hickey and learn about it. 

I spent my first 26 years feeling alone in most ways, and I had become okay with being a "loner". I was 26 when Cookie and I tied the knot. She showed my how to crawl out of that "loner" shell. She allowed me to want to. And she was so wonderfully patient and tolerant  and understanding. She had been through a pretty rough childhood herself, so she was able to relate to someone like I was then. We were two lost souls, and God allowed us to find each other. With me, it was literally love at first sight. That chemistry and connection was immediately obvious. Instantly everything bad that had ever happened to me or that I had experienced prior to that instant just didn't seem to matter anymore. We got married on March 7th, 1975. And I never looked back. What a wonderful ride those 41+ years were. She was such a joy to behold. She loved life. Her laughter was such a joy to hear. She loved to cook. The kitchen was her palace. She could make a german choc. cake entirely from scratch that makes me salivate now just thinking about. For me it was her masterpiece. She would make me one as my birthday cake every year, until her health began to make it too hard to continue the tradition. Here main ingredient for everything she cooked was Love. She was always just such a joy to be with.  The first half of our marriage we spent working jobs together. Managing motels together. Things such as that. We were stuck up each other's "unmentionable area" 27 hours a day, 470 days a year. And loved it. Many people have marital problems eventually when they never have time apart from each other. Not us. We were like each other's oxygen. By the time of her passing, I had been lucky enough to have spent 2/3 of my life not having to be a loner anymore. Now, here I am. I've had to learn how to be a loner all over again. But somehow I have been able to accept it. The day I met her and fell in love, was like going to a library and picking out a book. I was so very lucky. I found the thickest one on the shelf. It took me 41 years to read it from cover to cover. And what a wonderful story it was. But unfortunately, every book has a last page. Am I sorry now that I ever started reading that book, knowing that I would eventually get to that last page? No way, no how. I had to turn the book back in, but I read it slowly and carefully. I remember every detail, and can re-live that book any time I want. It isn't the same as actually reading it, But it'll do.

I love you and miss everything about you every day, my Cookie.

One foot in front of the other...

Darrel

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Darrel,

We couldn't get enough time together either, if there were 25 hours in a day, we'd be happy spending all 25 together.

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Praying for you on this difficult day. These days are tough. Sunday will be the anniversary of Lori and my first date. We both worked at the same company and we had been emailing(back in the days before instant messaging) each other on the company email. Lori saved and printed a great deal of the emails for posterity and, my how glad I am that she did. I wonder how we got any work done as we emailed each other constantly. We had worked together for about 9 months and we had a mutual friend that always had to hear about us talking about the other one and how we were interested. Well one day she stopped us both and said. "Lori this is Sean. Sean this is Lori" and walked away. We started emailing and then one day she invited me out for drinks after work. I agreed but we both wondered if the other would invite co-workers for a happy hour. In the back of our minds we both hoped it would be just us but we were not sure. I got to the restaurant and saw her there alone. I walked up and asked if it was just us. She said yes and I said I didn't invite anyone either. There were those million butterflies. We saw each other the next night and the next and the next and the rest is history. That was the first day of the best fourteen years of my life. I read those emails last night and balled like a baby. BUT. There were many happy tears mixed in. It was like I was living it all over again. It was like she was there. I got to escape to a place I haven't been to for a while and it felt really good.

 

I hope you can get to that happy place no matter how fleeting.

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Exactly. Susan was so happy cheering me up with her beautiful smile & telling me "Don't worry about it". How am I gonna live without that? She made it too good.

 I'm glad you can get to the happy place, Eagle. The pain of the loss grabs me by the throat before that happens for me. 

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Tom, I know that my 2 cents worth isn't even worth 2 cents. But, if it will help any I'll say...Don't worry about it. In all seriousness, my experience has been that time does seem to have worked in my favor. At least, with some of the issues anyway. This time last year I was still pretty much wallowing in the muck and mire. Some days I still have to force myself to put that first foot out there, but then it gets easier after that first or second step. For awhile last year I thought I was going to grow roots. It was just too much of an effort to do anything---everything.  But there has been some improvement. The loving and missing my wife every day will never stop. I don't even want it to. But it has gotten some better just to get thru a day. Your time to begin seeing that improvement will come. But be accepting of the backsliding. That will happen also.  Here's wishing you better days, my friend.

One foot in front of the other...

Darrel

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I'm sorry this is a tough day and my prayers are with you.  None of us had enough time and our hearts are so broken there aren't enough words.  But yes thank you Marty for creating this place of safety for all of us to talk.  

Hugs Darrel

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1 hour ago, olemisfit said:

The loving and missing my wife every day will never stop. I don't even want it to.

Yes. Exactly. It is the pain that diminishes, however slowly, over time ~ but the loving and missing never goes away

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Billy and I are coming up on our 56th on July 3rd.  I would not have cared to have 56 more.  But, we were not perfect.  I think there might have been 2-3 times (or more) that both of us would have been happier somewhere else rather than together, but the trouble was neither of us could escape the other and there had to be a reason for that.  I had to have him with me or he had to have me with him.  He was stronger than me and I was a tiny bit over 5 feet with him being nearly 6'3" and lots of times he had to use those long hands and arms to just hold me off.  I might be swinging, but could never connect.  Finally I would wear down and it was funny.  No need to go into anything except he was the best friend I ever had and I will miss him the rest of my days.  No difference than anyone else.  And as far as my childhood days, my mom and dad were hard on me but I think I grew up a very idealistic life, escaped it, but Mama and Daddy did not have a book on how to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.  They did their best.  So did Billy.  I could have done things better, but I didn't, and that's all I have to say about that.  

I say things wrong lots of times.  Billy used to get tickled because I would talk backward, he understood me.  " I would not have cared to have 56 more" was supposed to mean I would have loved to have had 56 more.  Sometimes I need a translator that understands redneck southern.

But the main thing is, I love reading all of your love stories.  

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1 hour ago, Marg M said:

he was the best friend I ever had and I will miss him the rest of my days.  No difference than anyone else.  

 

5 hours ago, MartyT said:

It is the pain that diminishes, however slowly, over time ~ but the loving and missing never goes away

After 30 + years in my case, nothing will ever change in our Friendship/trust, truly my best friend......And Marty, thank God the pain  does diminish, otherwise I would have died by now.......Tough month coming up...

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Kevin, you are one of the men on here who gives me courage to "go on" (as if there is a choice), and George gives me courage by praying for me.  Kay is a voice of reason in a storm, when despondency wants to take over.  Marty is a saver many times with her voices of reason.  Butch hangs in while the storm beats all around him and gives each of us a smile when we see little Gracie.  Gwen, you are one person I wish I could say something positive to, someone I wish I could talk to but we would probably just both break down and cry all night.  Then, maybe some haywirey TV show could make us lose the moody blues for a few minutes.  If I was 20 years younger we sure could hang one on (but I am a bad drunk, I just throw up a lot).  It does not take me but three drinks, so that would not be fun for long.  I wish I had answers for all of us, heck, I wish I had answers for me.  

I did write somewhere today asking a question about why I could not talk to Billy anymore.  I bookmarked the place.  It has my email.  I think the last thing answered was 2013.  I doubt I will hear anything.  Definitely don't want to read anything else that might bother me.  Oh yeah, I don't know how to find where I bookmarked the place.  

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You know, washateria always comes up with a red line under it.  I want my own washer and dryer again.  I have a teenager that loves big hanging clothes and when hers get dirty she heads for mine.  Laundromat does not have a red line.  Hmmmm.............redneck southern again.  Love you too Gwen, and you know you have lots more.  That's why I like this forum, most folks take us like we are.  We do have testy folks sometimes, but that's life.  I think I will use that word without the red line under it.  :D 

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Marg,

Right click on washateria, then click "add to dictionary" and you won't get the red line anymore.  I think we should be able to make up whatever word fits! :)

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My word for it would be "hell-hole."  What is it they say "you don't miss your water till your well's run dry?"  I hate putting my clothes into machines other people use.  Lots of things you don't think out when you do something in haste.  Still glad to be away from the house.

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Main floor Laundry is an Absolute bonus...It was a Condition Angela had when buying new house, I see why now......But I remember back in the beginning,the Coin Laundromats, waiting for machines to come available, folding everything up, babies crying.........memories  

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"Wash-room" with 20 washers and 20 dryers and it is only a stone's throw from my front door.  I have a buggy with two big wheels and two smaller ones that holds at least 3 loads of clothes, soap and all the stuff that goes with it, so I have everything with me except a washer and dryer.  I make it easy on myself.  

You all know, I could do 20 times more things by myself if I only knew Billy was back home.  I was still a "young" woman.  Now I am ancient and scared to leave the house.  But, I do it anyhow.

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Marg,

As much as I am looking forward to getting out of this city and moving to the mountains, there is a certain fear of the unknown hovering. I have lived in this house for 50 years with all of the conveniences as they became available. I can't imagine not having my own washer and dryer, a self cleaning oven, a huge freezer, an icemaker, my own bathroom, etc. and yet I had none of those things 55 years ago and I got along fine. I have become spoiled over the years. My house is not big(only 1500 sq. ft), but our budget for a new location is very small. I know we will end up in an older mobile home. Two grown men, two big dogs, and little ol' me. It will be interesting to say the least. Some mobile homes have laundry areas, some not. Perhaps I will welcome a trip to the laundromat. There won't be much room to hide for peace and quiet.

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Karen, the longest I lived in one place was 17 years.  I had to keep my kids in the same school, like I was kept in the same one 12 years.  My little granddaughter has gone from one to the other with drastic results.  It works for some kids, for some it doesn't.   We lived on the lake (was to be our retirement home) for a number of years, we had the house built with a big porch to watch out over the peaceful lake.  Louisiana lakes are really not peaceful, lots of noise, and we very seldom sat on that porch.  Could not leave fast enough.  Billy caught an 8 pound bass off the dock and after that, it just lost its appeal. I cannot imagine staying in one house 50 years.  Either I could not leave, or I could not leave fast enough.  Knowing me, I just am a nomad at heart.  

I do not regret leaving the big house in the small town.  It was never home, no matter how long we lived there.  I loved the tiny RV we lived in right after we married more than any other place, except the RV we retired in.  So, an apartment suits me fine.  As I have said, it would not suit Billy fine at all.  An older man and woman live one apartment down from us and she is looking forward to moving into a trailer.  She has heart trouble and he has blood clots in his legs.  He is a big man although she does all the heavy lifting. They have been here a long time.  Myself, I want an apartment in the city closest to us.  That is where my kids graduated high school and we lived the longest.  This is not for sentimental reasons though, it is to have a washer and dryer in my apartment.  Hard to find here in this little city.  I need to be close to the 2-3 colleges for my granddaughter, if I can lean her that way.  If not, it will be close to jobs.  (Not for me, I'm through with that).  

Good luck with the privacy stuff.  My granddaughter's friend is coming for a week soon and I look forward to retiring to my room and just reading.  

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22 hours ago, Marg M said:

My word for it would be "hell-hole."

We actually have a place ten miles from my house called Hell Hole.  I've been to it, scary place!  It's where I got about 50 bee stings, I didn't know you could turn direction and go in mid air, but I did that time!  In the video it appears they hiked to the bottom, I'd never do that without ropes.  A year or two ago a teenage girl had to be rescued from it.  That's why it's not on most maps and there are no signs, maps of it, they don't want to encourage people to go there, nor do they want the liability. At 3:11 into the video it starts to show the break in the earth with the sheer drop.  I do have a "map" to the area.

  

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Darrel,

The triggers come from all sides, some surprising when they hit you. Today, July 4... I have maintained otherwise that Dana's downward health spiral started July 8, when she fell, injuring her jaw and breaking her neck. And that was the BIG start. But as I reminisce this morning, I remember that she went to a July 4 outing, ate some bad grilled salmon, and had food poisoning for the next 2-3 days. So she was dehydrated I'm sure. Couple that with a house not far north of Houston with broken air conditioning, and stubbornness that she would "be fine without AC," and you have the heat stroke or whatever incident that caused her to faint.

NOTE: THE FOLLOWING TWO PARAGRAPHS ARE KIND OF GRAPHIC.

She obviously dropped suddenly, and based on the position in which they found her, I figure she caught her chin on the edge of the cabinet. Probably had a pot and utensils in her hands, because they were strewn on the floor around her, and she probably hit them in some way because her ear was split open and she had a gouge on her forehead. When I got to Texas and went to the hospital, the whole left side of her face from forehead to jaw was one big bruise. Eye was black.

I know what position she was found in, because the blood that pooled and dried around her head before they found her made a silhouette on the kitchen floor. Before I cleaned it, I took pictures of it. I am not sure why, I just felt the need to record what I saw. From what I could tell they had to literally peel her from the dried blood on the floor. So I figure she was there several hours. Maybe as many as 24. You can clearly see the outline, including the way her hair settled around. All recorded in blood.

July 8, when I called the police and they went in and found her, was a looming trigger.  But with my reflection this morning, that whole week is now a trigger. July 8 was exactly 2 weeks to the day after she went home from our perfect visit in NC.

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Dave,

Her not having someone there to find her right away makes it all the harder, I can see how the whole week would be a trigger.  Thinking of you as you get through this week...

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Dave, I spent 43 years typing symptoms, clinics, discharge summaries, death summaries, consults, and about 27 of those years were spent typing nothing but surgery.  There was always one word that I would have to look up to make sure I spelled it correctly (well, more than one word), but this word struck home with me for some reason.  And we, that live home alone, they have that commercial advertising "I've fallen and I cannot get up" for a real reason they don't tell you about.  If you live alone, and I am not trying to transfer fear, but a medic alert system is something we all need and I would say as we get older, but it can happen to us even if we are young.  If you fall, if you hit your head, if you are in one position for too long without medical help you can develop rhabdomyolysis.  (Rhabdomyolysis is a condition in which damaged skeletal muscle breaks down rapidly), and this happens if we fall and cannot get back up.  I am no doctor, I don't want to dispense fear, but in reading that some of you that live alone, in reading that you are investigating these systems, it is a very smart thing to do.  

In the Netflix series "Frankie and Grace" they are women of my age.  One falls and cannot get up.  She is not hurt, but her back is bad and she just cannot get up.  The other one tries to help which hurts her back and they are both on the floor.  I think if you can roll around, keeping the blood circulating you can possibly reach a phone, which is what they did.  But, I do not think the medic alert system is a bad idea at all if you live alone.  

And, I'm sorry Dave that you have all that on your mind.  Sometimes we think something is unthinkable, we have plans that won't be disrupted.  We have our whole life ahead of us.  Now we can live the life we planned for.  I was going to have another miracle, only it didn't happen.  

I'm not sure I should even put this here, but maybe a tiny bit of fear might save a life.  Myself, I am from the tip of my toes all the way to the top of my head nothing but fear 99.9% of the time.   

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Dave, my heart goes with you as you have this specific trigger. It doesn't make it easier but it does help to share it because it will help others to know they are not alone and it helps you to get it out of your head and heart, I lived alone for many years before I met my Beloved, Rose Anne, but being alone now is different. My sense of safety, security, and stability is tested in different ways. 

My Dad is 85 and lives alone. Although my sister and I call him at different times of the day, there is still a concern that he might fall and injure himself.  He has already slipped and fallen a few times. There are several devices available and you have prompted me to order one that is compatible with his home security system. I will be praying that you will be comforted during this difficult time, brother. - Shalom

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