Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Almost Nine Months

You know, I haven't mentioned lately how I've been doing..... For newcomers to my blog, my husband was diagnosed with colon/liver cancer last July and died in August. I'm 67 and live alone now, well, except for my dear 4 leggeds. Family and my incredibly awesome friends have helped so much to make this transistion to single woman easier.

My 2 dogs, 3 cats, 4 horses, and 16 alpacas are an excellent reason to get out of bed in the morning. I've never thought of being too depressed to get moving and frankly, before Smitty's death, there were a couple of mornings when it felt like too much effort and I had no good reason to face the world. I know that these animal friends are sending me good energy all the time - the cat and dogs in the house, - cats, horses, and alpacas in the barn.

Because of them I am quite physically active. Keeping the pooh picked up from these critters keeps me moving. Billie (my across the road neighbor) and I walk 2 miles every morning and ride our bikes a couple every evening - weather permitting.

Sometimes I do a reflection and think about what it was like a year ago when we didn't even know that Smitty was sick. Sometimes I get out his journals and take a look at what was "normal" for us.

Strangely enough, the only time now that I feel the overwhelming, oh, my gawd, he's gone feeling is when I'm alone in the car. Don't really know what that's about.....maybe it's a safe place to be sad.

This is Smitty with our first granddaughter and his Haflinger pony, Thor. He loved them both.

I regret that the kids and I never had a "so you're leaving" discussion with him.....

What has brought up these thoughts is that yesterday I spun for classes at a nearby elementary school and at lunch a woman said - Isn't it interesting that when a couple isn't close, the survivor does real well, but with really close couples, the survivor has a hard time because the two of them had become one. This really pissed me off at the time - and it still does. How absurd to make a comment like that...

18 comments:

ooglebloops said...

What a sweet picture!!Animals,a support system, and keeping busy are the best medicine. I admire your strength!!!

HanamiGallery said...

im sorry for your loss. that comment that woman said while eating lunch is rtarded, so dont think of her. im glad you found something you enjoy and a lot of things to look forward to each day.

critter Lover said...

I think you are doing very well with the adjustments that were thrust upon you over the last 9 months!!! You are an inspiration for me and many others, I'm sure. That doesn't mean there aren't tough moments for you, I know, but somehow, you keep going AND smiling! The 4 leggeds really do add companionship! I'm SO thankful for them in our lives!

Jody said...

I agree...that woman should put a sock in it!

Michele / akkasha said...

It is so hard when you loose someone you love. I still miss my parents (who passed away when I was in my teens). I think of them often even now that it is over 20 years later. I think loved ones are always a part of our hearts.

I am glad you have the animals to keep you moving. It does help that you have them and so many wonderful people in your life.

Gwendolyn said...

And what makes people think they know what is 'close' for a couple. We all have our own way about things. The one redeeming factor is that this woman probably has no social skills any time, not only with you, or else how could such a thing come out of her mouth.
My uncle died May 3. He lived on a mountain north of san francisco with his girlfriend, a compost toilet, one heated room, and various animals. He did not believe in the medical establishment and chose not to pursue treatment for his illness. Yet I received an email from his sons wife that had been sent to 25 people claiming he chose not to let them know what was wrong with him and that they are angry and confused. They never visited or called and now my uncle is at fault because they had no relationship with him. It made me angry that she chose to impose her beliefs onto the situation instead of accepting who he was and respecting his choices. Hey, does this even have anything to do with your blog??? not sure but thanks for the opportunity to vent. Guess the underlying thought is let people be who they chose to be, and don't impart your beliefs onto them.

Pat said...

I started reading your blog in Sept right after Smitty passed, and have admired you so much for going on with your life. you are truly an inspiration. I have learned alot from you from reading your blog. I raise alpacas, too
and you have so much experience and info that helps beginners like me
thank you
Pat

Debbie said...

How dare she! She obviously doesn't have anything better to do with her time than talk rubbish.

KnitCave said...

A thoughtless, meaningless and hurtful comment, try not to dwell on it.

The picture is lovely and I thank you for sharing.

Cher said...

That was a pretty thoughtless comment from that woman. My mother had died and I wrote to tell a friend. The letter I got back was "We had a sick relative too, but it turned out with much better results." That was the last time I spoke/written to her.
Thoughtless people should have their mouths duct taped shut.

sharon said...

It is good that you are proving her wrong. Just keep on coping in your own effective way.

Carly said...

I'm so glad to hear you are doing well, but horrified at what that woman said to you. Unfortunately we as humans develop our beliefs on what we've seen and heard, she obviously doesn't know you very well - because you have proven her theory wrong. Another unfortunate part of human nature is that we have trouble keeping our mouths shut. I can't tell you how many times I wished I had kept a sock in it. She may even be agonizing now at what a horrible thing she said to you.

I never knew how close I was to my Grandma until she died. I thought that because she lived far away and I hardly ever saw her that she wasn't that important to me. When she died I realized that she had been the one to teach me to knit and read and appreciate the lovely things that nature has to offer. It was so sad at her funeral. She had never seen anything I had knitted other than that first little swatch she sent me home working on as a 10 year old girl. I dressed my son in the sweater I had just made him to show her and I hope she saw it. I believe she did.

Nancy in PA said...

Like Pat, I have been reading your blog since around the time your husband died. I also find you to be a great inspiration.

I worry how I would be able to carry on with my alpacas should something happen to my husband. You are proof that a strong marriage leaves one with the confidence and strength to carry on, knowing that is what your loved one would want you to do.

Zanzibah Alpacas said...

Hi Maple,
I've just read your latest blog ! and who needs enemies, when you have friends like that !...I'm sure that your husband Smitty would be very proud of you, after what you have achieved !...also the fact that you are keeping the dream alive, and enjoying your animals, he would not want you to loose sight of that. I'm sure that his spirit lives on with you and your animal family. Ignorant comments like that should be disregarded in the bin....where they belong......I would be pissed off too with that sort of comment !!....Precious memories, no-one can spoil....LOL ..Jayne

Zuleika said...

What a beautiful photo!
You getting sad in the car is probably due to you being alone and isolated in there, with only your thoughts.
That was a silly comment for her to make. Does she know your husband passed?
Where couples are concerned, I think it's more of a case of letting your sadness overwhelm you and feeling you have nothing to live for. Then maybe the other spouse passes too.
For you, even though you suffered such an immense loss, you're not letting it overwhelm you. You still have a job to do, animals to care for, and you're keeping busy. It also helps that you have such great friends to help you through it.
You are truly blessed. :-)

Sinclair said...

I agree, that woman was way out of line, and very wrong to make assumptions about other people. It is not about whether a couple was close; it is about each person's coping mechanism. I am sorry for your loss. My dad died of liver/lung cancer 10 years ago next month. He was only 52. I found it difficult to know if or when one is supposed to have the "so you're leaving and I'm going to miss you" talk. Everybody spent so much time ignoring the elephant in the room and hoping it wasn't real. But even with words unsaid, I know he knew, and I knew how he felt, so I think it is okay that way.

I need to get to exercising...I think you are much more fit than I am with your walking and biking daily!

muchadored said...

Maple, this was such a touching post. I'm so glad that your family, friends, and furry critters give you joy and support. You are really an inspiration. And as for that women, sometimes people can be so insensitive it makes me want to scream. I'd imagine that this had something to do with her own experiences/insecurity in her own relationship. Gross. I can feel the love you and Smitty had every time I read a post you write about him.

skiingweaver said...

Ooh! Ooooh! Those aren't happy oohs - picture little tendrils of steam coming out of the top of my head. The sheer awfulness of that comment!! Horrible, horrible woman! Big, big hugs for you, Ms. Maple, you're an inspiration. Poops on that rotten woman. Pbpbpbththth.

Map