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Hi All,

Last night as I tried to go to sleep, and was telling Tom I love him as I still do each night, I thought of one way in which I have changed for the better.

I am no longer totally afraid to be alone in my house at night. I use to be so scared and listened to every creak and crack in the wood, to the wind in the trees, to the sounds of cars out on the road. In my almost 40 years with Tom I wasn't alone much. And he was so strong and so take-charge, I just left that part of the worry to him. Not that he worried. He wasn't afraid of any of that. Or so it seemed. But I was. The few times he would be away I acted like a ninny in my own home. Shut the curtains, keep my eyes open in the darkened room and listen while my heart raced. In our own home!

Now I have to grip up. To become comfortable in the home that we both loved. And for the most part, I HAVE. I like to think that Tom is watching me and he would be so proud of me.

I have to find some things that I now can do that I didn't bother doing before as I navigate this lonely sea. And yes, I know that Tom would be pleased, as he loved our place as much as I do. A friend came by the other day and said, "you can feel Tom in the house" and I had to laugh inside me. Well yes. His shoes are by the door, his hat on the hook by the door, his paintings on the walls, his clothes in the closet.......yep, he is here, big time. Photos of him peek out all over the place.

Now I have to quit sitting and get up. But I wonder, what new strength have you GAINED as you suffer such horrible loss.

In peace, Valley

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Valley,

I love this topic and am so proud that you can see the growth in yourself. I had to think really hard about what my strength is now because it is easier to find things I don't think I could do. I used to be able to sit in the passenger seat while Bob drove everywhere, so when it was just me, I became petrified, too afraid to go anywhere for fear of getting lost. But, I have driven to more places than I thought I ever could, thanks to mapquest. I get lost sometimes and have to ask for directions, but I do get there eventually.

I have had to face my own fears in this house, also, the latest and worst being a bat that showed up at 11pm when it was just my daughter and I at home. It was my absolute biggest fear, but I knew I had to get it out of the house and managed to do just that (with a whole lot of screaming and my skin crawling off my body and hiding behind my back) but I did it.

So, way to go girl! We can do this!

Kath

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post-13158-125497125335_thumb.jpgI to sat in the passenger seat and would get lost if i had to drive. Rick did all the driving. But thanks to my son i now have a reliable vehicle and a gps and its great. My daughter and i recently went on a road trip to where her dad grew up and it was so kewl. The two of us like Thelma and Louise. we took a few wrong turns but got there none the less. We explored all the things that he use to tell us about. The place where he fished the old mill he broke the window to,his school,church. she even carved his name in a log by the river. Ive driven more places now also. My stomach would knot up and still does. But I can do it . I'm at the house alone now but im not afraid. I knew rick would be watching over me. This is where we were happy and sad too. I have the bats in the house that he use to get. He would laugh at me coming down stair with a blanket over my head with the tennis racket. I never had to say a word he just knew what it was for. Now I have a tennis racket for the bats along with a baseball bat. Just in case any intruders. His shoes and boots are also by the door along with his hat and coats.I have pictures of him all over to. What I also was proud about was I changed my faucet all by myself. Sounds silly but it was huge to me and I'm also getting windows for the house which was a decision i had to make buy myself. My kids want me to move in with them but im not ready for that yet. Maybe in time. I have so many things that i want to do yet.I have made a list and cross each one as i do it. Ive even started guitar lessons. Something i always wanted to do. I to tell Rick I love him every night. I think he would be proud of all that i have accomplished so far.

post-13158-125497128911_thumb.jpg

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My driving confidence has improved, I have sorted my own finances out, I learned to drive on the wrong side of the road (abroad), have managed to make plans, have become more analytical, have more empathy, am stronger than I ever knew.

Mrs B - PLEASE do not ever pick up a weapon that someone else can take off you and use against you ...

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I don't know that I've learned much in the way of tasks, but just knowing that I survived it makes me feel I can survive whatever I have to...as I proved last year when I went through a horrible divorce. The tools we learn for survival are there with us always. I feel I interact differently with people than I used to, like I consider more things that they might be going through whereas before I might not have noticed.

I know George would be proud of me for finding a new job, for surviving everything I've been through, for handling finances...and of my son for all the help he's lent me, and my daughter for being there for me when he died, all of that would have meant a lot to him. One thing I've learned is that family is everything. And I know he'd be proud of me for not letting his brothers and friends take advantage of me (and he'd kick their a** if he could!).

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