Monday, April 1, 2013

Life v.3

Our marital home is sold.  Friends helped me purge, clean, pack and sell ... the penultimate night before completion, I sat on a box and spoke to Cliff ... and had a good long hard (and healing) cry.

I took pictures of his work ... the special extras he created (like the built-in bookcase, the architraving, the skylights, the meandering garden path .... these are just a few of my favourite things).  As well as his handwriting on bare plastered unfinished walls.  Plans interrupted.  Our dream.

I only kept an antique hexagonal small table and the dining table.  Our hardback books.  Treasured ornaments.  A Kent Peg Tile and two old chimney pots ... from the days when he ran across rooftops.  Cards we gave each other.  Sentimental precious things (worthless to others but priceless to me ... and am proud to report that all this stuff would fit in a trunk).  I have plans to display some of it, make it accessible to me should I wish to read through holiday memories, greeting cards etc.  There's no point boxing it up ... or else, why keep it?

Today marks Life v.3.  I complete on my new home and life in Spain .... in Andalucia.  Boxes await removal in storage.  Barney the wonder dog will join me 4 weeks after I move.  I miss my little companion immensely.

The little Spanish town's main road is a 5 minute walk from home - bars, restaurants, shops.

I can't decide whether to edit my blog (to hide some of the more "alarming to those peeps who have not lost a spouse" posts ... or shut it down entirely .... as I have to consider how a prospective client googling me may perceive me ... I've mentioned before that I reckon anyone who's not walked in my boots may think I'm insane ... whereas anyone widowed will see my ramblings as a sane reaction to an insane situation.

Guest bathroom


My street

Kitchen with brekkie bar

My en suite

Front porch with Cabrera Mountains in background

Partial picture of back terrace

I'll miss my soul mate till I take my last breath.  But ... enough is enough.  He'd tell me to pick myself up, brush myself down.  Build my strength and health back up.  Get my boobs and hips back ... LOL.  Enjoy my new home and work. Enjoy the simple things.  Smile.  Chill.  Look back with laughter and a smile.  Allow myself to cry whenever I need to.  Healing tears.  

I'm excited about decorating my new home with new IKEA furniture .... minimalist, adding colour and interest with our collection of loved ornaments and memories.  But it won't feel like home till my dog rocks up.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

an overdue update ...

Since my last post, Cliff's 4th grandchild was born (Rex Clifford), Christmas and New Year have passed us by, and I've emotionally "left" our home ...

I was honoured to be Jayde's birthing partner and the FIRST PERSON IN THE WORLD to hold Rex Clifford.  He's perfect.  We managed not to cry (or pass out) but found ourselves blinking at a rate of a million blinks per minute to disperse any tears bubbling at our tear ducts.  And you can almost see my chin wobbling in one of the photos.  It was fun having sleepovers with Amber (Cliff's first grandchild) for the two nights that Jayde was in hospital ... and we shared looking after Scarlett.

This magical experience was unfortunately followed by sad news.  One of my school friends died of sleep apnea whilst staying in a hotel LA, for a job interview.  We were all shocked and very upset as the news spread.  Eerily, he'd emailed me the week before to tell me how much he loved me.  After the tears, I found myself grateful to have had this gentle giant of a man as one of my friends ... and to have spent time with him a couple of years previously, at a school reunion.

And ... as the 4th Christmas/New Year approached ... I was totally amazed to find myself genuinely looking forward to the holidays again.  Excited even.  We had a quiet yet lovely time together as a family.  My big sister's cottage was made for Christmas ... the quintessential English country cottage with wood burning fire, beams and doors you (and even I ... at a height of 5' 2.5") have to bend down to fit through.

A real tree ... gifts put underneath on Xmas Eve, candles lit ... Xmas stockings ... and my sister spoiled us all with tree presents and gifts for the table too.

I lit a candle for Cliff of course.  Didn't make a big deal about it.  Just quiet.

The stars on Christmas night practically filled the sky and were so bright.  "Hello, Baba," I smiled, before blowing him a kiss skyward.  There were some silent tears that escaped a few times (usually in the shower, or outside whilst having a Marlboro Lite) but none of the big dramatic sobbing episodes that came with the first three years without my Baba.

After 2 weeks with my sister and coming home without Barney (he remains in a high class kennels in Suffolk so that packing up the house is easier ... he is a Houdini and clearing out stuff, packing it, giving it away means the front door will be open more often than not) was not easy.  I had a sobbing episodes and felt myself spiralling downwards rapidly.  So ... I got in the car and found myself at my friend's house.  I cried and asked if I could stay a couple of nights and she suggested I stay with her till I leave for Spain.  And I am.  I've left our home in every sense except for physically emptying it.  For now all focus remains on the paperwork to ensure that the sale completes quickly.  My latest ETA is 28th February ... hurrah!

Onwards to my new life (Life v.3) in Spain with Barney ... it's a busy time but I have help packing ... and more importantly, after spending a day there, I know I can return to my temporary "post restante" address by the coast ... appropriately spending my last days in the UK in the place where his invisible footprints remain.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Good news

My house is sold.

I leave our shared marital home in 5 weeks ... on the 21st January.

The house that my husband extended (to another third in size).  Walls that he built.  A new garage.  A workshop at the bottom of the back garden with Spanish hanging tiles on its roof.  The hot tub and the wooden hexagonal summer house he placed over it - with a glass roof, so I could lay there and gaze at the stars.  The downstairs toilet.  A staircase ripped out and a new one placed in the centre of the home. My amazing sanctuary ... with hues of blue in glass mosaic tiles, double jacuzzi, double shower, wall hanging toilet ... the lovely inset cabinet he made for our lounge ... the half finished new contemporary kitchen with NEFF ovens, American F/Freezer, the new roof, skylights, new built in cupboards, architrave ... and so much more.

I remember him working so hard.  Saying, "nearly there, Boo ... another 3 months and it'll be done."  But he had those 3 months stolen.

I remember him saying, "you walked right past it ... you didn't notice, did you?"  And I never did.  He'd laugh ... because he knew, that if the house was falling down, or a garage had been erected ... all I ever saw was him when I walked through that front door.

Walls that I leaned against in the early days after he died.  Touching them, or just standing there, leaning on them .... gave me some comfort.  Because his hands, his beautiful hands had built, plastered and painted them.  Wandering and lost through our home searching for I don't know what, and hysterically crying, sometimes a silent scream brought me to my knees, knowing I was verging on losing my sanity ... before stopping to lean on one of those cool comforting walls.  For minutes, sometimes for hours.

I still have the drawings he quickly sketched on blue squared paper, whilst explaining plans to me, checking I liked the ideas ... and they'll be cherished.  Sitting next to him with wonderment at his ability to do ANYTHING.

I'd walk in through the door and say, "where's my beautiful husband?"   And he'd say, "here I am."  Followed by a hug and kiss.  We had a spot.  In the kitchen.  Where we'd stand.  I remember how he'd look at me.  He'd listen to my boring babble about my day (I was doing really well at work that whole year), then we'd have a drink, prepare dinner (if he hadn't already made it) and then settle for some downtime.  (I'd sulk if he worked too late).  

It was a house full of love, happiness and laughter.

I also remember .... immediately after the stroke struck him down .... him raising his "good" arm up and down, in frustration, three times.  Each time he did so, saying, "no no no, not now," and realising that as he was dying, he only thought of me, not himself.  Because the house was not finished.  I didn't give a damn.  I could only see him.  I hid in the bathroom when the paramedics carried him down the stairs, somehow knowing that my beautiful, strong husband would not want me watching him.  Then flying down the stairs to join him in the ambulance.  He knew.  He knew what was coming ... in this house, when I was alone.

I remember him burying our rottweiler, Hammer.  Six foot under.  A burial fit for a king or a viking.  With his meatballs, a roast turkey, sausages, ice cream, milky bar buttons, all his toys, his collar and so much more.  He took so much care placing all his belongings (the toys filled an entire big dustbin bag), a water bowl you could bath a baby in.  He wouldn't let me watch.  Digging.  He couldn't see for tears.  It was Boxing Day.

I remember decorating our back reception room (under his supervision) and enjoying it so much.  I remember having a tantrum and stomped off declaring that he may as well do it himself, if he was going to hover over me as I mowed the lawn (he was breathing down my neck, manically moving the lead constantly).  I remember decorating our home for the most magical Christmas-times in my life.  The Santa's are still on display from 4 years ago ... I never gained enough courage to take them down.

I vowed I would NEVER leave this house.  It gave me comfort of a sort.  But after 3 years passed, along with two burglaries, accompanied by peeps "helping" me, whilst helping themselves.  It took away my confidence.  It made me question everything.  It stopped me asking for help.  So, after more time, I became isolated, more ill (physically and mentally) and it was simply a house where I could sob as soon as I crossed its threshold.  I lost hope.  I lost energy and motivation.  My dog destroyed furniture, fittings, barked incessantly if I even went upstairs.  I became a prisoner in my own front reception room.  Heat and hot water failed.  Peeps let me down on stuff they were supposed to do.  I didn't take the trash out for 9 MONTHS (unless it was smelly stuff).  Light bulbs popped.  The home became darker and darker ... reflecting my state of mind.  Then it overwhelmed me.  So my solution was to not answer the door.

Finally ... I woke up.  Realised just how ill I'd been.  And set about selling the house.

I shall take pictures of the details of the work and care he put into our home and make a Mixbook.  Inside the book will be a pressed fern leaf from where Hammer is buried.  A handful of Cliff's ashes will be sprinkled over Hammer's resting place.

The home that made me so happy morphed into a house that made me sad and stressed and contributed to my failing mental health.

It will fund my new home in Spain.  Where Barney (my long haired Jack Russell Terrier) and I are emigrating to.  After 4 years of sheer hell, I've smelled the coffee ... this is for me.  I've helped others.  Considered them.  Tolerated them talking to me like shit because I have grace.  Questioned whether my decreasing mental health has caused me to imagine shit or whether peeps really did shit on me.  And ... yes, they did.  Tried different tactics ... explaining that I had a public school education, which was then improved by my husband mentoring me through street education, and somehow he left me with the ability he had of predicting what peeps were going to do (way before they'd even thought of it) .... explaining all this.  Them nodding.  Then somehow they had an arrogance - assumed they were not included in this.  Like they were smarter or something.  Fucking hell ... if they were, they wouldn't have to scam me, right?  Well, good riddance to them in 5 weeks - hurrah!  A bonus :-)  It's in my genetic makeup to help peeps in any way I can.  I just can't help myself. It's a fucking compulsion.  That said, after giving (especially in my state) for the past 4 years above all ... they've beaten the addiction to do so out of me.  I'm going to look after me and my little dog now.  Us first.  If you need money, go and fucking earn it.  If you want practical help or advice, try and remember it'd be nice to be thanked for it - maybe taken out for dinner or something if I've invested hours or days in doing so.  Then again, it might not be an issue ... when you ask, you might find that I'm too busy, just like you were when I asked you for help for the first time in my life. That breaking my heart  ... and how disgusted Cliff would have been ... and I didn't talk about it to anyone ... but it hardened my resolve.  And for that, I thank you.  Really.  Truth.

Cliff will be relieved.  He'd hate that I stayed here if it made me so depressed.

A fresh start.  Warmer climes.  Healthy food.  A slower pace of life.  Working from home.  Daily walks.  Swimming.  Different priorities.  I can't wait to cook again - from scratch.  Excited about launching my new business as a Virtual Assistant.  Hosting visiting family and friends.  A finished, easy to maintain, smaller home.  With a log burning fire for the colder months.  A pool.  No carpets.  No work needed.  A small automatic town car.  Flip-flops and sundresses.  No makeup required :-)

I know that in 5 weeks I will have a MAJOR EPIC meltdown.  Of course I will.  But only for that day. Then I know that a huge weight will have been lifted from my shoulders.  I'm not taking furniture.  Only books, clothes, sentimental stuff, clothes, kitchenware, ornaments etc.  A fresh start.

And I have a feeling ... that I'll start to feel better ... physically, mentally, spiritually ... gain a little weight and build my stamina.

Villa hunting will follow.  I canNOT wait!

Baba, I've learned that you cannot be found in these walls, or in a pile of jeans, or socks for that matter. You are in my heart.  I carry you in my heart.

and just in case .... the remaining ashes will be spread around my new home.  But you are with me wherever I go.

Thank you for working so hard for me.  For taking care of me even after you left.  So that I had the option to start my Life v.3*

* Life v.1 = life with Parents/Boarding School
* Life v.2 = life with Cliff
* Life v.3 = life in Spain 

Oh, and that (Life v.3) is the name of my new blog (launching around March 2013).

I'm getting there, Baba.  Finally.  Making good on my promise to you as I told you it was okay to leave me, that I would be okay.  It's taken 4 years, but in the grand scheme of things, tis but a blink of an eye.  

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Saturday, November 10, 2012

and I've made a decision ....

When I have settled in Spain ... and am about to launch my VA biz ... I'm taking down my blog.

My decision is based on two reasons:

1.  It feels as though I've had two lives .... the first being with my parents, the second with Cliff ... and I'll be embarking on my third.  A fresh start.

2.  It's reputation protection.  Let's be honest.  If a prospective client does a google search on me and reads this blog, I wouldn't blame him if he went running for the hills.  Only the widowed know that my writings are testament to my having a sane reaction to an insane situation.  The untouched will simply think I'm insane.

And, I'm going to Myrtle Beach ... however, my reason for going is not part of my healing process.  I'll be very honest.  I'm going to socialise and see peeps who have become close friends family ... and I just want to chill out in the sun, drink margaritas, laugh and have fun.  Spend time with Kathy Papajohn and all those familiar faces that I've grown to love so much.  It's a break.  And that my friends, speaks volumes.  It tells me how far I've come in this 4 year journey.

Pulling my head out of the sand

My "brother from another mother" has bailed me out with an interest free loan for 6 months.  *sigh of relief*

I now have enough funds to see me through until my house sells / the PPI refund comes through (the latter is still a work in progress ... I've just filled out and mailed in more forms - hopefully the last of them).

Knowing I have a cash-flow again has given me the energy to sort other stuff out ... I've found a buyer for Cliff's Kent Pegs, a buyer for his confederate notes, a reasonably priced storage facility for the boxes of stuff that will be shipped out to Spain when I've found a villa ... a dog kennel a couple of miles from my sister's for Barney (as I'm moving in with her when the house is packed up/emptied and she has two rag doll cats so Barney can't stay with me ... but at least I can walk him every day to make it up to him).

Fred (my other dog) has gone to a dog's charity and he will not be re-homed due to his behavioural issues.  I just couldn't kill him.

I've learned to say "NO!" and actually done so on several occasions recently.  I've confronted peeps on their treatment of me ... and boy did that shock some of them.

I've said, "sure I can give you a lift but I need the petrol money".  I've not shared my cigarettes like they're going out of fashion.

I've pulled in favours.  Yes, I'll pick them up (they don't have their own transport) but again, no fancy food, no free cigarettes, no bottles of vodka, no extra cash .... lean times.)

If peeps want stuff that I'm going to trash, they'll have to sort out the logistics of getting it to their homes ... or load my car and pay for fuel.  The free bus stops here.  Now.

I got so fucking bored of predicting peeps' next moves before they've even thought of it themselves.  And then not being disappointed (typed with thick treacle-y sarcasm).  So, now I take temptation out of the equation or spell shit out so damn CLEAR, that it's almost offensive, but somehow they are not offended.

Just don't want to do any more favours.  Not till the balance is restored somewhat.  It's hard ... to help peeps is hard-wired into my very genetic makeup.  Live and learn, Mayhew.  Live and learn.  As Cliff always said to me, "you can't help anyone else if you've not sorted yourself out."

I miss his wisdom, his guidance and his mentoring.  But I've learned that there are a handful of very smart peeps out there, who have my interests at heart and talk things through with me so that I see, with crystal clarity, what the good and bad catalysts are in my life, my behaviour ... (again, I owe gratitude to my "brother from another mother", as well as other old school friends.)

And, I've had an enormous clanging wake-up call.  One of my tribe.  One of my very own.  One of the sweetest men I ever knew, who grew into a big bear of a man, and who gave bear hugs (almost) as good as Cliff's (I AM biased) has died.  A few days ago, whilst on business in LA.  We are all saddened and shocked.  It's made me realise that if I don't look after myself, it could be me next ... so, I've been walking the dog, eating better food and I found a great muscle and energy building shake that is low in sugar ... and wow does it make me feel good.  No more sleeping on the sofa for days on end, in denial.

Mrs Mayhew has finally pulled her finger out of her arse.   Da, da, daaaaaaa.

The house has been purged.  YAY.
Now my driveway looks like a landfill.   BOOOOOO.

But my neighbour has offered to fill the car up and we'll take the whole lot to the tip on Monday.

House has had a healthy value put on it ... and when it sells, I'll be looking at a key-ready villa (something like this one - with a low no-maintenance garden.  Not taking furniture ... just ornaments, linen, clothes, books and sentimental stuff like cards and photos.  And I have a helper to box it up :-)

There's a huge IKEA near where Barney and I are relocating to.  Cheap, my taste, fresh start.   My health is improving ... grief and illness has overlapped like a Venn diagram - I know I'll always miss and love Cliff ... however, taking the stress of an unfinished house and feeling so so ill out of the picture .... may prove to be the injection of motivation and relaxed lifestyle that is the real prescription required.

My virtual biz is 95% ready to launch - just need land and fax numbers ... then BOOOOOOM!!!!  And, my property consultant, who's become a friend, has informed me that the local town hall is screaming out for TEFL tutors ... so even if I don't need the extra cash, I'm going to teach for 5 hours per week, just to build up my network locally, meet peeps ....

I'm just remembering that deep deep deep, somewhere there is that girl that a magic man built up to believe in herself.  To believe that she could do anything she set her mind to.  That she was smart enough to do more.  Four years ago she was smug married.  Happy and fulfilled at work.  On a roll.  Then the magic in that man had to go somewhere else, albeit part of it remained within her heart, soul and very being.  She's beginning to remember.  She's shovelling the shit aside, the magic is starting to show itself ... a pinprick in the darkness.  

Peeps may have head-fucked me ... and this time my Baba was not here to manage me through it ... but the song remained the same ... and I can remember all his words ... and so I am listening to him again.  I'm picking myself up.  I'll let him heal me again ... and, he'd be so relieved ... once again, I've come through it ... without hatred or bitterness.  But one thing is different this time ... I shan't give them another chance to shit down my throat again.  I can't afford to ... for another bout of bringing me to my knees may result in me not standing up again.

They're all very fortunate ... if I was a power crazy bitter old hag, I could have torn a scar right through one town and left headless bodies in my wake.  But it wouldn't have made me feel better.  Just as well I have a conscience, huh?  I don't care about their actions ... I care about my reaction to their actions.

But, they better be careful out there ... I've reached my tipping point.  Don't mistake kindness as a weakness.  Be grateful that I don't humiliate you when you talk down to me ... don't forget that I helped you.  Just because I'm grieving and ill doesn't mean I'm suddenly stupid.  I just have more grace in my pinky than you do.  That's all.  I swallow it ... but shake my head inwardly.  Tread carefully, for you are no angels ... I have the benefit of a privileged education coupled with a very different education courtesy of my husband ... together - they make a lethal combo.  Just as well I use it wisely.

Monday, October 15, 2012


I think I might be getting used to going to social functions alone.  It doesn't fill me with fear or sadness these days.

Last night I went to my goddaughter's Engagement Dinner.  Without Cliff, clearly.

I enjoyed every minute ... I wallowed in memories of her ... the first time I held her, aged 48 hours ... to the little pig-tailed cutie, the teenager ... now a gorgeous auburn haired beauty of a woman.  My heart is happy for her ... I immediately liked loved her fiancĂ© and his parents too.  It was a great night.  Lovely to be ensconced into my BFF's family - a place I feel very much at home.

And the food was .... mmmmmmmm nom nom nom.  A hearty soup, pasta ragu, sorbet, cappuccino and one vodka and diet coke :-)

I did cry when I parked in the driveway, but mainly because I knew the heating and hot water wasn't working and the temperature had dropped to zero ... and because, well it's an emotional thing ... realising your goddaughter has got engaged and the years have gone .... when DID she grow up.  How did THAT happen.  How are my BFF and I both nearing the big 5-0?

I was thinking about this "getting used to thing" and couldn't decide if it was a good thing, or whether I should be sad that I'm in this place.  I think he'd be happy for me though.  And, then I checked out my widow friend Lynette's blog, to find she'd written along the same lines.  Weird huh?  No wonder we're off to Hawaii together in a year's time.

Here's the big speech from last night - it's marvellous.  Very British.  Very funny.  

Thursday, October 11, 2012

update on stolen fairy dust

So ...

after sending texts to two numbers - I was finally graced with a response.  I have been promised a payment on Tuesday.  (I have a feeling that I would have been ignored had I not texted her other half though).

The person who I let down, albeit because I was extremely ill, has not bothered to ask how I am ... I guess my boiler will now go unfixed.

and ... my peeps have been back in touch and are helping me again tomorrow ... I know they think that all is fine and dandy again ... and I can't be bothered to spell out the consequences of them not doing what they said they would do .... the impact on me is - a further delay of 4 weeks.  Because the plan of action was interrupted, unfortunately other logistical support will now be put off till peeps return from their two-week holiday ... so my house should be on the market NOW, and it will not be till end October.

Funds are scarily low ... and I have no illusion that come the end of this month, the same peeps will be chasing me to deliver on what I said I would do ... even though they have not.  It sounds snottily ungrateful.  I do so appreciate it - they've done loads, but I was relying on them and now I'm even more stressed.

Maybe it's my fault.  I thought I'd made my predicament clear.  But perhaps I should have spelled it out, like A leads to B and this leads to C ... blah blah blah.

So, I'm trying to sell the Kent pegs, good timber in storage in the garden, as well as old collectible chimney pots.

And tomorrow Matt will hopefully manage to open the safe ... so I can sell the confederate banknotes, and get my mitts on the cash in there.  

I've chased my PPI claim, asking them to update me on the progress of my settlement, and received a credit card (with limit of £1k) this week (even though I didn't request it!)

What a fucking nightmare.  And to top it off, the man whose car I scratched has phoned to say he's sick of going round in circles trying to claim on my insurance, so I'm going to pay it (£300) and keep my no-claims bonus.  I'd have to pay a surplus, it's a no-brainer, but unwelcome ....

FFS, I so do NOT want to ask my big sis for a loan - ARGHHHHHHHH.

Off to the doc again tomorrow .... hopefully, I'll feel a bit better after?

And it'll be good to see Kirsty and Matt - just to have some human contact and noise in the house.

and I have NO idea why the first paragraph is highlighted in white????

Monday, October 8, 2012

Now that the magic has gone

Didn't take long.   The magic from last night has been cast away by someone who has let me down.  And they're blanking me.  Owe me money.   Let me down.   They know how ill I am and that I need it for food.  But their word is jack.

Why the fuck is it that I am expected.   That I have to do what I say I'm going to do.  And no other fucker has to?

I'm inconsolable.   Angry.   It's made me ill.  

And last week my phone calls went unanswered when all I wanted was advice ... which they knew.   After years of helping ... it was too much to ask.   Until today when they wanted a favour.  FFS.

And one more thing.   It's fucking cruel to give someone this ill.   This vulnerable.  This stressed.   It's cruel to give them hope.   Then take it away.  To say one thing.  And then pretend you didn't. Then blank me.   Don't you understand the consequences on my mental health.  And other shit?

You're all hurting and killing me.  Literally.   I'm going to have a fucking stroke.

So glad I went

It was our friend Marcus' 50th Birthday ... and he arranged a private function to celebrate ... at The Pavilion in Broadstairs.

Big blue cake.
Live music courtesy of EK1, followed by a set that got everyone's feet moving.
Old friends and faces.
Good bar staff.

I have no idea why, but I felt nervous about going.  Without my Cliffy.  I bought Marcus a bottle of Hine cognac and a piss-taking, personalised Moonpig card.  It felt like the gift that Cliff would have selected himself ... I just wanted him to know that he is special and appreciated.  I really was touched that he thought to invite me and how he and Lloyd both mentioned my weight loss without making me feel self-conscious.  I explained about the undiagnosed (till a month ago) thyroid issue and they accepted that, although Marcus did say (three times) ... eat MORE (seriously, the man would be shocked ... I think I eat as much as the pair of them).

It took me a shedload of self-motivation to get ready and get there.  But I did.  And I am so so glad I went.  Still buzzing with the sheer joy of being immersed in that old familiar circle.  I liked that peeps talked about Cliff to me, and that others told me of many conversations mentioning him all evening.

I rocked up at a fashionable late time of 22h00, announcing my name to security.  He grinned and said, "I know who you are!  Margo Mayhew, good to see you ... in you go."

I got a drink and started looking for Lloyd and Angie because I feel confident in their company.  They were sitting down and it was wonderful to see them, and looking so well.  It wasn't long before Brian found me, then Marcus, Saeid, and other faces.  Old School.  It wasn't long before I felt completely at home in my surroundings.

OMFG.  "Two devils and a vampirette!"  LOL

After two and a half hours, I didn't want the night to end, but licencing laws dictated otherwise.  I spent most of the evening chatting with Saeid - he is a brother from another mother.  Truly.  I LOVED that he totally got it when I confided in him that I had no desire to re-marry or otherwise.  He just SO got it.  And agreed that I didn't HAVE to have a man to be complete.  Or happy.  That it was possible to be happy and widowed/single.

And something else happened tonight ... I spotted a woman.  Something in the way she moved.  Glimpsed her face and that lovely chestnut hair.  "Nat?" I said, incredulously.  "OMG, Margo!"    Huge huge hug.   Smiles, more hugs.  "Margo," she blurted in one fast loud sentence.  "I lost my husband a year ago."  "Oh, Nat" massive bear hug.  "Oh, sweetheart, I'm sorry."  Eye contact. Then I shared, "I lost my husband too, three and a half years ago."   Another big bear hug.  "It's been 25 years!"   "We were meant to meet today."  Nat beckons Dave (her brother) over, who almost starts screaming and jumping with excitement.  Phone numbers are exchanged ... they were on their way out - kismet.  Kismet.

We'll be in touch.  Not to share gloom and doom.  But I have almost two years on her.  Stuff to share.  

We looked in each other's eyes once more.  "It's fucking shit, isn't it, Nat?" "Yes, it is."   Emotional squeeze good-bye.  WOW.   As Nat said, we were so close.  We share fun memories.  From care-free and grief-free days.  And we were instantly easy in each other's company once again.

Can't wait to see her.

And ... I can't wait to hug my BFF to thank her for the offer of a bed locally.  (I know it was really in case I was upset at the end of the night, having partied without him.)  I love her so much.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


I have hope again.


Thanks to beautiful, loyal, caring, giving (hope-giving TM) friends ...

and as well as having hope back in my heart and back in my life, my house will be on the market by October 1st.


except, "Thank You".

Sunday, September 23, 2012

aaaah, that explains things

BEFORE I FORGET - if you are a "new" widow/er - PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE arrange for a medical check-up around the six month anniversary.  Loss and grief can manifest itself as physical / medical condition(s).  This post refers to the impact my loss had on my health.  The mind/body connection is so so strong.

Please also read my friend's blog post about the massive toll that grief has taken on her body here.

It has taken three and a half years of widowhood for me to change ...

from this ....

to this ....


So, I've been researching about Diabetes Type II (high blood sugar), Over-active thyroid (fast metabolism), B12 deficiency ... all of which I have been diagnosed with ...

and guess what, they share many symptoms ... and affect each other ... in a vicious circle ... 

high blood pressure
digestive problems - bloating (interestingly substituting gluten free and lactose free groceries in my diet has helped this somewhat)
high cholesterol
increased heart rate
feeling hot 
itchy skin
weight loss
swollen legs/ankles
difficulty to concentrate
weak auto-immunity
lack of energy
resistance to exercise due to weakness, loss of muscle, esp in limbs
no motivation
bleeding gums
joint pain
numb feet
loss of balance
increased appetite
infections - ear
tooth decay

to name a few.  I already have "Diabetes for Dummies", and have ordered Could it be B12? "Thyroid for Dummies" as well as a "Coconut Recipe Book" and some coconut oil as a substitute for butter, oil etc - to improve my cholesterol levels.  

Education is key in fighting this fight.  And research is my thing.  

I know that the DASH Diet is the best eating plan for diabetes, making some minor tweaks for the thyroid issue (e.g.  I thought that I was being healthy eating raw broccoli - it actually exacerbates the goitre, like a few other vegetables ... unless it is cooked.)  I have a DASH shopping list and will amend it accordingly.  E.g.  Bananas are GREAT for diabetics, but should be rationed for thyroid problems.

Now I know why I've found it near impossible to get anything physical done ... why I've been so low, why I've been struggling, why ... even when I was sticking to my diet rigorously ... my glucose levels were not hitting target.

To have an explanation is a relief.  Because I have to tell you, that I have not been me ... for a long time.  Having these conditions go undiagnosed for too long means I have to build myself up from rock bottom ... but hey, for a widow ... been there, done that, got the t-shirt.  Re-reading recent posts I sound like a whiny, making myself a fucking victim, poor widow me, self-pitying .... meh.  You get the picture.   Grief too has played its part ... but I think that all of it - the whole kit n kaboodle has got mixed up in my mind, body and soul's blender - overlapping, with no defined boundaries.  Mind you, this is no surprise ... a holistic approach is the only approach IMHO.

Back to the doc tomorrow.  I'm going to ask for a monthly B12 jab and look forward to my Rx for thyroid.  I'm going to suggest not taking a statin or BP pills as - treating these conditions holistically should take care of those nasty little side-effects.  And, I'm going to discuss the benefits of insulin vs. pills to control the diabetes, taking into consideration the medical benefits that metformin has on diabetes and thyroid issues.  (I don't know if you can take insulin and metformin.)  I must be desperate to get better LOL ... if I'm contemplating needles over pills.

I'm in the right state of mind ... add the right meds into the mix, short dog-walks building up into longer ones, friends helping me to purge and pack, the DASH eating plan, a zinc supplement, cooked broccoli ;-)

yes, he is a little dog, and yes he drags me along

Onward and upwards ....

forwards, sideways ....

slowly .... one step at a time.

whinge-free positive blogging TM

... and ... da da da ... 

I have ordered one of those e-cigarette things.  Yes, I really have.