This One Is For Robert K.

So, apparently I lied on February 5th when I said I was done posting on this blog. Although, in my defense I did say that I was going to stay non committal …  I left myself a little opening incase I felt moved to blog, and I happen to feel moved to blog.

Recently I decided to sell Ben’s Apple Extreme Something-Or-Other.  I didn’t really know what it was and had to google it in order to find out, but I did know that it wasn’t being used and hadn’t been used for the entire year.  Like everything else Ben bought it was essentially brand new with the box and everything it came with originally.

I put an ad on Craigslist and had several texts back and forth with some guy who wanted to buy it but he wanted me to drive it out to Pacific Center for him.  I may get a thrill from collecting a dollar or two by selling off unused items, but certainly not enough to drive into Vancouver to pass it on.  No thanks.  If you can’t come here to pick it up then you’d best find another one elsewhere.  (Silly guy, because it was a great deal.)  Anyway, the guy was a bit of a goof and kept texting me at all hours of the night over the course of last weekend until he finally believed me that I wouldn’t be bringing it to him.  He said he’d think about it, and then on Monday he texted me a photo of an Apple Extreme Something-Or-Other he had bought from someone else.  Really?  Not sure what the point of that was.  The conversation that followed went something like this:

Me: “and?”

Him:”I bought one from someone else so I don’t need to buy yours.”

Me: “good thing I didn’t drive to Vancouver then.”

Him: “well I would have bought yours if you had brought it to me.”

Me: “I am not that desperate for a  buck.”

So that was that and I was kind of chuckling over the fact that he seemed to think I would be shattered that he would not be making the purchase, when my phone went ‘ding’ and I looked at my email.  Lo and behold, right at that moment another gentleman was asking me if it was still for sale, and there began another conversation that made me smile:

Him: “Still have the Apple Extreme?”

Me: “Ironic that I should receive this email today (long story) but as it turns out I do have it.”

Him: “Perfect.  Tomorrow evening for pickup work for you?”

Me: “Well, apparently I will not be out on some wildly romantic Valentines excursion so it seems that tomorrow will in fact be a good time for pickup.”

Him: “I totally forgot about VDay being tomorrow!! How about Wednesday as my lovely wife expects me around!?”

Me: “Ha!  I’d suggest you pretend that it didn’t take an anonymous craigslist seller to remind you about Valentine’s Day.  Wednesday is fine.”

Him: “I pretend real well because at my age I forget real easy.”

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I got a laugh and a sale at the same time.

Wednesday night rolled around and my craigslist buyer arrived at my front door.  I opened the door and was greeted by Robert.  Robert-With-The-Friendly-Smile and cash in hand which I happily traded him for the Apple Extreme Something-Or-Other.  And then, surprise surprise, he handed me a gift bag containing a bottle of wine, a box of chocolate and a Starbucks card.  I was so puzzled until this lovely man explained.  He told me that he and his wife had read my blog.  So had their daughters.  And he told me he thought I was wonderful.  Then he gave me a hug and away he went, leaving me with tears in my eyes, a smile on my face and a reminder of how amazing people are.

I don’t know how to reach Robert K.  I sent him a FB message but we all know how those work when you aren’t “friends” with someone.  He’ll probably discover it in a few years. So I wanted to write another post that I hope he sees just to say …

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You made my one-day-after-Valentines-Day-alone a little sweeter.  And you reminded me about all the lovely people out there who are not Craigslist Killers (yes, that thought always crosses my mind before I sell something) but instead just want to bring a little light into someone else’s day.  I’m not amazing, but you are.  You are amazing, Robert and Robert’s wife.  Amazing.  Thank you.

You would think that for someone who suggested she may not blog again, that would be the end of this unexpected post. But it’s not. I have one more story about selling off Ben’s unused items that also made me laugh the day after I met The Amazing Robert.

Recently Raegan and I discovered a brand new OtterBox for an iPhone 6 plus (Ben’s) that was still in it’s package.  Neither of us could imagine why he hadn’t used it considering how expensive they are, but I have no need for it so I priced it for a quick sale on the local FB site.  It sold immediately and a lady came by to pick it up.  Sale over and I did not expect to hear from her again.  But I did.  I received a private FB message from her that read:

Hi Wendy. I had a look at the case when I got home tonight and I realized that it is not a Otter box you sold me. It is called a crseology case. A cheap Chinese import. I would like to know if this was a mistake.

OMG.  I could feel my face turn red and there wasn’t even anyone around to see.  I quickly looked at the photos I had taken of the case (kept in the original Otterbox) and discovered that she was right.  The word “Crseology” was stamped right on it and I had never noticed. How completely humiliating.  I had to convince a complete stranger that I had not intentionally ripped her off and that in fact it was all Ben’s fault.  Lol. I felt like I was stammering with embarrassment as I wrote back to her.

Needless to say I returned her money with my head hanging in shame (metaphorically, since I actually eTransferred it back to her).  I have no idea how that phone case made it into an Otterbox case, but here is my best guess.  I suspect that my sweet Ben who always liked to save a buck ordered an Otterbox online by someone who was advertising them for cheap.  Not one to pass up a bargain, I suspect he made that purchase from an unreliable seller and got ripped off but didn’t want to tell me about it because he thought I would tease and torment him relentlessly.  Which I would have, to be honest.

Now you may ask yourself why Ben wouldn’t have just thrown the case and the box in the garbage so that I would never find out, right?  That would have been the reasonable thing to do, but this is Ben we’re talking about.  Ben The Hoarder who never threw anything away.  Ben The Hoarder who kept every box from everything he ever purchased, “just incase.”  (Admittedly though, his need to save boxes has earned me some extra money over this last year when I have been able to advertise items that still have their original packaging. So I guess it might not have been the worst habit ever.)  I suspect that he just couldn’t bring himself to get rid of it.  “Just incase.”

I imagine he is laughing his head off over my awkward moment, since he knows I would have laughed at him if I had known what happened at the time.

That’s all for today, folks.  I’ll see if the mood hits me again.

Hug your families.

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I Still Look For Him

I still look for Ben.  Yes I do.  Not so much in person (although I do confess to scanning the cafeteria at work in hopes of catching a glimpse.  And also,  I can’t get a coffee from the office Tim Hortons without picturing a particular moment where Ben and I were once standing nearby having a rare chat while working), but rather, I tend to look for him online.  The internet.

I have read everything that exists about Ben on the internet.  In fact, I wrote most of it. But still I look, as though I’m hoping he might post a new picture or write something in a new guitar forum.  I continue to read and re-read all the online comments on his obituary, and I continue to regret not having had a written guest book at his service.  I like to read about him and about how others felt about him.  I like to hear his name.

When I run out of things to look at online about Ben, I do a little further research about Collecting Duct Carcinoma just to see if there are any new breakthroughs.  Don’t ask me why.  I can’t imagine if I would be elated or royally pissed off if there was a breakthrough. (Elated for others, pissed off that it didn’t happen in time for Ben.) Recently I did find this online … the conclusion of a 2016 study:

Conclusions: Our analysis identifies several coding and non-coding transcripts differentially expressed in CDC vs CCC and normal kidney, resulting in alteration of a number of cellular pathways associated with cancer pathogenesis, progression and prognosis. These results pave the way to a deeper understanding of a rare tumor as CDC, driving the development of new, targeted therapies for this aggressive disease.

Well.  At least its nice to know scientists are still looking into it.  From the rest of the article I gleaned that there may be a gene problem in people with CDC.  But then again I have a difficult time deciphering the science-speak so I could be wrong.

In any case, I have now lived 10 1/2 months without My Love.  It is officially December, Christmas is rapidly approaching, and I still look for him. I wonder how long that will go on for?  The instructor for the workshop I’m currently taking would love that I just said that.  She wants us to get curious about our thoughts and feelings instead of being judge-y about them.  So there it is.  I am curious as to how long I will continue to search online for signs of my dead husband.  Maybe it’ll take forever.  I won’t judge myself.

When I can’t find anything new online about Ben or about Collecting Duct Carcinoma, I then spend time searching for people who can understand me.  In other words … widows. I am not fond of that word.  Widow.  Widow. Widow.  Blech.  But still, the only people who can understand me happen to be those people, and I long to be surrounded by them. Surrounded by people who “get” me.  Yes, yes, I know other people love me and have even experienced other forms of loss themselves.  I am not suggesting that one loss is better or worse than another … they are all terrible, but they are different.  If you haven’t lost your life partner then you don’t know how I feel, and that can make a person feel very alone.  At least, it certainly makes me feel alone.  So I’m all over the internet throwing in as many different search terms as I can think of in an effort to find people who understand me … “widow” “death of spouse” “husband died” “I’m too young for this shit” “why the fuck did my husband die” … stuff like that.  (I should probably spend time googling how to cure a foul mouth.  But I digress …)

During one of my many online searches I found something called Camp Widow.  There is one in Toronto, one in Florida and one in San Diego.  Each one is held once a year, with the one in Florida coming up next March.  I think I will go, even though it scares the shit out of me. What could it hurt? If nothing else, I’ll spend a few days in Florida.  Or perhaps I’ll wait until August and go to San Diego, which would be less expensive but oh so far in the future.  I don’t know if I can wait that long to be around people like me.  I currently feel like I’m from another planet and I need my own peeps, even if I haven’t met them yet. Take me home ….  (I feel like I should put a picture of John Denver in here.  Or maybe one of a country road)

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This week my Grey’s Group (Grey’s Anatomy, not Grey Cup.  Gray Cup?  Whatever.) came over to help me with dragging Christmas out from under the stairs.  By the end of the night the family room looked something like this:

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I put the tree in the opposite corner from where we had it last year.  I didn’t want to block Ben from having a proper view of Christmas.

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Right below the star on the tree you will see the first Christmas ornament we ever bought together. Christmas 1993.  Terribly tacky but oh how I love it.

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Right below that you will see the space I have left for the 2016 ornament that is currently en route in the mail. The last Saint-Onge Five ornament.  I will show you when it arrives.

By the end of the weekend the rest of the house looked something like this:

                       Note the live boughs going up the railing.  Pretty crafty, if I do say so myself.

You may recall a few months back how I was unable to bring myself to dispose of Ben’s toothbrush, until one day my cleaning lady asked me if I had a spare one that she could use.  In that instant I was suddenly able to part with Ben’s toothbrush without blinking an eye, because it was the practical thing to do.  She needed a toothbrush and I had one just sitting there.  Well, recently I’ve had the dilemma of what to do about Ben’s Christmas stocking.  To hang or not to hang.  After stewing about it and crying over it, the problem was again solved in an instant when Jaime asked, “Mom … can I have a new stocking this Christmas?” And then, when she saw the look on my face that can only mean “I-am-sick-of-wasting-money-on-things-you-already-have” she casually said, “Well maybe I could just have Dad’s.”

So there you have it.  Problem solved.  Ben’s stocking now belongs to Jaime.  And the spot where Ben’s  once hung will remain empty.  A reminder that no one can fill his socks 🙂

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So, it was a somewhat rough week but in the end it turned out ok with a few overall improvements that happened today.  The first was that an old friend and colleague of Ben’s moved back to BC and started work in my section.  That was nice.  I love to be around people who knew Ben at different times in his life.  It means I get to hear Ben’s name and I get to hear stories I may not have heard before.  It means I get to be reminded that others loved Ben too.

I also had the opportunity to have a solid laugh today with Zak … at Ben’s expense.  Zak had received a parking ticket for which the fine is $35 now or $50 later.  I told Zak he should go to court instead of paying, admit the offence but ask for a reduction in fine to zero dollars. I told him that when he gets to court he should tell the Justice of the Peace that he has to save all his money for school because his Dad went and died on him and therefore will no longer be paying for Zak’s college education.  The look on Zak’s face was priceless until he realized I was joking and started laughing.  And then Zak pointed out that he should probably save the “My-Dad-Died” excuse for a point in time where he was facing at least a $500 fine as opposed to a $35 fine.  He felt Ben might be insulted at only being able to save Zak $35 bucks.  And we laughed at that.  And we laughed again because Ben would have laughed too.

The final improvement to my week was this.  Fruit salad for dessert.

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Give your family some love tonight.  xo

And The Grief Goes On…

I’m sure this is the longest I have gone without blogging since the day we started writing about this fun fest called cancer.  With a small ‘c’.  I’ve thought about writing lately, but when the mood has hit I have looked warily at my computer and have ultimately decided that I would rather bury my head under the covers and try to find some solace in sleep.  I wonder if I am “over” blogging.  I’m not sure.  I suspect it is more about the blanket of grief hanging over our lives that seems to get heavier as we approach Christmas. As we approach the anniversary of Ben’s death.  As we approach a time where every first without Ben has passed.

I believe I mentioned that I recently joined a Grief Group.  I hate that name, by the way.  I find myself embarrassed to say “Just heading off to Grief Group now.”  In any case, I did join a Grief Group because that is what I’m doing right now.  I’m grieving.  And it takes a shit load of energy, believe me.  Grieving is not for the faint of heart, and I recommend trying to avoid it at all costs.  Make sure your loved ones wear their seat belts, look both ways before crossing the road, eat their vegetables, and ask them to try to not get old.

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Anyway, I joined the Grief Group and I quite like the ladies I have met, although I find myself wanting to throw my arms around them and say “I’m so sorry” about a dozen times a night.  None of them are whiners, but their stories are just so sad.  I suppose mine is sad too. (Fucking cancer.  Fucking bad hearts.)  We get handouts at the end of each night … and one of them was an article published in the Globe and Mail in 2014.  The article resonated with me, and I will share some of the author’s words here in this blog post.  But before I do, I would like to state for the record that we here in the west do grieving WRONG. In fact, we do it terribly.  I now understand why, back in the day, people wore all black for a year or wore black bands around their arms to signify their grief. We should revert back to those days.  (Perhaps just the arm bands rather then the all black clothing.  All black clothing in 2016 simply means Goth.  So that would be confusing.)

Do you know why people once wore black arm bands?  Because they were fucking grieving and the world needed to know it.  Wearing black arm bands probably prevented people from directing questions to the bereaved like “Hey chick!  How ya doin’?!”  Or comments like “Er Mah Gawd I cannot wait for Christmas!!!! Aren’t you so excited for the holidays?!”  Yes, I am aware that people mean well and that it is easy for them to forget that I probably don’t give a flying shit that Christmas is coming.  And I know that asking someone how they’re doing is just something we say out of habit as we pass by each other in the hall at work or in the grocery store.  But that is really my whole point about the arm bands.  If we lived in a society where everyone around us could easily see when someone is grieving, we could better avoid comments that accidently make the bereaved want to punch a screwdriver through their own head.

I currently live about 70% of my time in a very sad world.  Because I’m grieving.  And while I’m grieving, I’m also still trying to be a parent.  Not only am I trying to be a parent, I’m trying to be TWO parents.  Think about that shit for a moment.  I would prefer to spend my every moment watching video clips of Ben and I in better days.  Failing that, I like to pass the time by researching how to cure Collecting Duct Carcinoma on the off chance I can also figure out how to time travel. Then I will be prepared with a cure before we even receive the diagnosis.  Instead, I not only have to be the Mom but I also have to be the Dad.  And not just any Dad … one of the best Dads.  One of the most hands on Dads there could have ever been.  That is some hard shit to do, let me tell you.  And so I live 70% of my time in a sad world right now and that is quite alright, thankyouverymuch.  Don’t you think it would be a bit odd if I didn’t?  I’m moving through it though, but slowly.

Living in a sad world doesn’t mean I never again see the sun.  It doesn’t mean I assume I’ll never be happy again.  I will.  I know I will.  That’s kind of a given because that is who I am. I like to be happy.  I prefer to be happy.  But right now I’m grieving.  I can still go from happy to sad in .05 seconds and you won’t have a clue how or why it happened.  It could be a song, a smell, a word … it doesn’t matter.  It just happens.  Every single place I go on any given day, I have been there before with Ben.  So it is easy for moments to hit where I have to remind myself to breathe.

I happen to appreciate the fact that I am allowing myself to grieve properly.  I believe it will make it easier for me live however many years I have left in whatever form of happiness I am able to find.  I believe that if I let myself grieve as I need to that I will ultimately be a better mom.  A better daughter.  A better sister and a better friend.  Maybe one day a better partner to another man.  Who knows.  But I do know what I need to do right now, which is to just grieve without time limits being placed on me.  I’m working through some heavy shit.

Here’s a few of my favourite lines out of the article in The Globe and Mail.

“With spousal bereavement, things don’t get better, just different.  Everything feels wrong.  A rift exists between us, as I go on and he doesn’t.  Time comes between us.  When sutures refuse to hold, the wound opens unpredictably.  So it is for the widow or widower: The world assumes that time has done its proverbial work and “healed” us.  No.  We bleed still, our amputation aches.  The wound never heals because our partner is gone, forever.  Time heals nothing.”

“In the first fresh agonies of separation I howled like a distressed animal (which I was).  Sanity receded.  My centre gutted, mindless chores helped to ground me.  I struggled against the desire to call out for help, not wanting to trouble others, sensing even early on that few would understand the depths in which I floundered.”

And finally, after making reference to the Victorians’ shield of mourning dress, she said “Today, many deny death’s reality by doling out advice (“keep busy” or “take a trip”) with more enthusiasm than logic, as if all the bereaved need is a distraction.”

I like those last words.  “As if all the bereaved need is a distraction.”  That is a common theme amongst those who love me and want me to hurt less.  I get it.  I don’t want to watch those I love suffer either.  But it is for our own sake that we don’t want the people we love to hurt, because watching someone we love go through pain is unbearable. It hurts.  So if we can just convince them that they are happy, then we too can be happy again.  If only it were that simple.

I often think about how my parents must feel.  They loved Ben as much as anyone could love a son, and they lost him.  Oh, how that must hurt.  But in addition to the pain they feel from having Ben ripped from their lives, they also have to watch their daughter suffer without any clear end date to the suffering.  That has to hurt even more.

My husband died.  I have to check the box that says ‘widow’ on government forms.  I really resent that.  I probably always will.  Which means that five years from now, or ten years from now when I am forced to check off that box, I will be sad.  Again.  Do you know why? Because Ben is dead.  That’s why.  I think that’s a pretty acceptable reason.

I still want to talk to Ben every single day.  I want to tell him that Chris got promoted and has transferred from Ottawa to Green Timbers. I want to tell him that Dennis retired.  I want to tell him that Jeff will be coming back this summer.  The other day I wanted to tell him about the guy who came into my office perturbed about something that I thought was ridiculously insignificant.  I wanted to text Ben and tell him the story, and say “Can you believe that you are dead, and this guy wanted me to care about who should repair the cars?”  I want to tell him that I miss him, and I love him, and I want him to come home.

The kids and I finished the design for the marker for Ben’s grave.  For 12 years Ben and I regularly walked through the graveyard and I often wondered if one of us would actually end up there.  I guess now I know the answer to that question.  Ben’s picture will be placed where the white oval is in the drawing:

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Dear Ben

Dear Ben,

Yesterday was our son’s 20th birthday.  It seems like just yesterday that he was born, and we were young, and life was wide open before us.  In a million years I did not ever imagine that 20 short years later you would not be beside me to celebrate his day.

Over the last four-ish months various significant days have passed (your birthday, Jaime’s birthday, my birthday etc), and I have been able to remember exactly where you and I were on that day any number of years ago. As each event has passed I have found myself thinking “if I had known how much time was left, would I have done anything different?”

I have mulled that thought over countless times, and I have finally come to the conclusion that the answer lies somewhere in between a “yes” and a “no.” 

I wish that I was emphatically able to answer “No!  I would change nothing!  I was perfect. I loved you every minute of every day, and I treated you with gentleness, kindness and love at all times, and vice versa.”  But that isn’t the answer, because that isn’t the truth.  We did not do those things at all times, but we did do them most of the time.  (Some of the time?  No … over the span of 23 years I think we did them most of the time.)

The answer is also not an emphatic “Yes!  I would change everything! I would have loved you more and been kinder and more considerate at all times.  I would not have ever argued with you, and I would not have insisted on having my way, ever.  I would have given you exactly what you wanted every time you asked, I would have swallowed my frustrations and I would have spent every day telling you how perfect you were.”  That’s not the truth either, and I don’t wish I had done that.  I doubt you would wish that of me either. If I was the perfect partner it would have made your life easier for a short while, but it also would have bored you silly.  I know you were never looking for a partner who was just a “yes” person. Neither was I.

The truth is that I loved you fiercely, most of the time, and I know you did the same.  And I know you appreciated the ferocity with which I loved you, which sometimes meant I ferociously disliked you too.  But I always loved you.  And vice versa.  Some years were harder than others, but I always hung on and loved you when others may have let go. The same goes for you – you always hung on. That’s why we worked.

I do now know that most of our disagreements were a waste of time (life is just too short – you taught me that) and I do wish I could have a do-over and take some of them back, but not all of them. Because sometimes you were very wrong, and we both knew it.  🙂

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(You would have laughed at that.  I’m smiling now as I think of you laughing.)

If I had known on the day that our son was born that we would only get to celebrate 19 of his birthdays together, I would have cried and said “how will I be able to do this without you?” And you would have said, “You won’t have to. I will be by your side for 19 years and then you will continue on.”  You were very practical like that.

So I suppose that in the end, there is not a lot I would have done differently.  Who would have wanted to risk the possibility of doing things differently and ending up not having our kids?  Not you.  Not I.  There is no point in living with regret (as you were fond of saying), and truthfully we really had very little to regret and so much to appreciate.

I’m glad we did it our way.  I know you were too.

I do wish we had managed to travel more together.  I will never forget you saying that to me towards the end – that you wished we had travelled more.  Ben, I hope you have travelled the world by now and marvelled at all the wonders.  I promise you I will encourage the kids to do so. Carpe Diem, baby.  Carpe diem.

I miss you Ben.  Sometimes, like right now as I write you this letter, my whole body aches from missing you.  I miss your laugh so much. You had a great laugh.  Today someone from Ottawa emailed me to say they missed you (oh how I loved reading that), and they talked about what an infectious laugh you had.  You did. I hope you laugh every day now.

I am learning how to do some things around the house that I never had to do before, although I am constantly pissed off that I have to do it at all.  You’re in the dog house for that.  The computers frustrate me to no end. I still don’t have Netflix, although I pay for it every month.  That would piss you off!  Today the door on the dishwasher refused to close so now I have to wash by hand (whaaaat??), one of the kitchen drawers is broken, and those damn latches on both gates still don’t work. I’m pretty choked that you didn’t fix them.  Procrastination was not your best trait.

The kids are managing as well as any teenager could. They miss you, and truth be told, it hurts them to talk about you out loud.  I know this because I have asked, and I watch the quick flash of pain across their faces when I say I miss you. But you also taught them to laugh, and so that is what they try to do.

  

I bought him the same obscenely expensive frying pan that I bought you a year ago.  I figured you would think that was a good choice.

Raegan has been sick and was at home for several days last week. It turns out that she used her down time to google you, and she found our blog. I was a little anxious about that when she told me.  I did not ask her to stop reading it, although I was tempted (and she told me she wouldn’t read it any more if I didn’t want her to), but I did tell her that she might want to think about it first.  I told her it’s painful sometimes, but that’s because we loved you so much. Later on that day she sent me this text, which contained an excerpt from one of your blog posts last year:

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She was looking for reminders of how you loved her.  

Jaime has been suffering with the same stomach problems she has always had, although they are worse now.  I have tried to explain “gluten free” to her as I know you would want me to, but she is stubborn. I think she got that from you.

She has been concerned about telling her new boss that we are leaving for several weeks this summer.  She was afraid he wouldn’t understand.  Today she got to see once again that people are good, as he not only told her that she could go and there are more important things than work, but he let her know that he lost his own wife three years ago. He told her he understood.

She is managing better most nights now, but there is a hole in her heart like the rest of us have. You can take pride in the fact that you meant so much to all of us, but because we loved you so much it is hard to move through the pain.  One day at a time is all we can do. Sometimes one moment.

Last night I broke my finger. (I am writing this from Emergency at Surrey Memorial.  I didn’t go last night because I hoped it would fix itself.  That didn’t work out.) I saw the xray today – it doesn’t look pretty.  If you have any pull in the afterlife, could you please help me out with some quick healing?  I am particularly annoyed that I can now only get 9 fingers done when I get my manicure.

You are still the first person I want to tell when anything happens, so I was particularly unhappy to break my finger and find myself unable to commiserate with you.  I still reach for my phone daily to call you or text you.  What’s the deal with THAT?!  Sometimes I cave in and send you a text anyway.  You never answer, but on the upside I have yet to receive an angry text from whomever may now have your number, telling me I should stop texting him / her and go talk to a shrink instead. So that’s good.

I often wish I hadn’t been so quick to delete your online presence, even though I know you would have wanted that and quite frankly, I know you would think that’s part of what made me an awesome wife. Because I remembered stuff like that!  Still, it would be nice to go back through your accounts sometimes, I think, even though you weren’t much of a poster.  I’m glad I screen shot(ted) many of your texts.  

*********break while I talk to the doctor**********

Well, I have just walked out of the hospital with my finger nicely splinted, so I should sign off.  I want to get away from this place.  I hate being in the hospital because I see you everywhere, and I remember the shitty news we got in every room.

i see dead people 2

I remember all the beds you layed in at Surrey Memorial while I tried to find that balance between getting pain relief for you but not being too assertive incase I pissed off the only people who could help.  (I still laugh when I recall you telling the nurse with pink lipstick that she talked too much and needed to learn to listen more.  Lol). 

The nurse who helped out today remembered me.  That was nice, and sad at the same time.  When I walked out of the hospital just now I refused to use the hand sanitizer in an act of defiance.  Not sure who I was defying, really, but as I walked past it I thought of the zillion times I stopped at that pump over the last year so that I wouldn’t make you sick.  Well, now my stubbornness means I can’t touch anything until I get home and wash my hands. I guess I didn’t teach anyone a lesson, did I? 

I miss you, Ben.  Your name is always on the tip of my tongue and at the forefront of my thoughts.  But I am managing, just like I promised, so you don’t need to worry.  One day at a time.

Someone put this online:

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Today, I’ll have a day.
Love,
Your bride
xoxox