Friday, May 27, 2011

Pomp and Circumstance

Question of the day: How does any mother get through a high school graduation ceremony without shedding any tears?

Please let me know by Sunday. I really would appreciate it.

Andrea's graduating on Sunday with 700 classmates lovingly watched by her parents, all four grandparents, two aunts, her brother and assorted friends. The end of an era for her and the beginning of bigger and better things.

Sad for me in a way: All my babies are through high school. No more school buses at the crack of dawn. No more teacher conferences, school assemblies, concerts or permission slips.

Ah, well, it's not THAT sad.

I'm so proud of my daughter. She's definitely had more challenges than most young people her age. Yet through it all, she's become a hard-working, loving young woman.

And that is worth celebrating!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Life Goes On!

After days of clouds and rain, the sun is out and it's an utterly BEAUTIFUL day in southwestern Ohio. When I took Daisy for her walk this morning, I was so happy to see the sun, I sang. Good thing the neighbors weren't awake! Only God appreciates my singing! At least Daisy didn't run and hide, lol. Today is the best I've felt in ages.

Tomorrow is a BIG day - all of Michael's trains, models, equipment, etc. get packaged up and taken to the auctioneering facility. I have no clue how long it's going to take. Every time I venture into one of the train rooms, I open a drawer or cupboard and find more stuff. I am so grateful to have found an auction house which will take care of these things for me. Otherwise, the task would have quickly overwhelmed me.

AND, today is a big day for Andrea - she starts her new job at Pet Smart. She will be a pet bather. Andrea is so excited about it.

My girl has a lot of positive things going for her right now. She has a boyfriend, got her driver's license, graduates in a week and now has a job. Once we get her schedule at Pet Smart and can find the time, I'm taking her to Florida for her graduation gift. And, of course, she starts at the university in September. Exciting times!

Michael's eldest daughter, Leah, e-mailed me yesterday. She has "custody" of Michael's ashes at the moment and finds herself talking to him throughout the day. It sounds like my family in England are going on with their lives much as we are here in Ohio.

I went to quilt club at church on Monday and we finished piecing one of the charity quilts we're going to donate. I also finished piecing a project I picked up at the International Quilt Show the day before Michael passed away - a wall hanging with verses from Psalms. It will be so nice to have it quilted and hanging on a wall in my bedroom. Don't think I'll get much quilting time in the next week with all the cleaning, yard work and graduation preparations. Top on the quilting list though are the lap quilts for the Hospice angels. I want those done and presented by the middle of June. It'll be a good closure for them as well as me.

Love ya,

Friday, May 13, 2011


It seems each week that passes brings a new "milestone" without Michael. Easter, Mother's Day and coming up graduation. He's been gone one whole month. Just doesn't seem possible - at times I think it's been longer than 30 days. In my mind, it seems like yesterday.

We've had our share of things going "KAPLOOEY" around the house. First, the oven quit last weekend. Three days later - $117 and it's fixed. The truck tire on the passenger side kept going flat - pulled the screw out of the tread and $21 to Firestone - it's fixed. I'm quite proud of myself for being able to take care of these things without a melt-down. But, what happened last night made me lose my composure.

Monsoon season appearing to be over, the back yard grass was in dire need of a trim, so I pulled the push mower out of the shed. Filled it up with petrol. It started OK and cut the grass just fine - for about ten seconds. After struggling with the machine stopping and starting for 20 minutes, I had enough!

I pushed the thing into the driveway and started to yell, "YOU STUPID MOWER! WHY WON'T YOU RUN????!!" Then I kicked the thing into submission, twice. "Yeah, that'll show it," I thought to myself. My neighbor witnessed it all and was laughing hysterically.

Then, I pulled the cord. VOILA! It started and sounded normal. I was able to finish cutting the grass afterall.

The moral of the story: If it don't work; kick it.

So, I'm learning to survive and thrive. Not to mention improving my kicking game.

Love ya,

Friday, May 6, 2011

Sweet Surprise

Last night I was tidying up the kitchen, when I found two English chocolate bars hidden behind the bread box. Andrea swore she knew nothing about stashing them there. So, it must have been Michael.

The last time I purchased Yorkies and Crunchies was at Christmastime. The only thing I could figure out was Michael put them there to hide them for future consumption and to keep them away from the resident chocoholics.

Nevertheless, I enjoyed a piece of Yorkie last night. There is nothing like good English chocolate.

Thank you, Michael!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

A New Month

Each week seems to bring another "first" without Michael. Last week it was "first" Easter. Now today, it's first new month.

My mood seems to be all over the boards the last few days. Friday was by far the worst day for me in three weeks. Work was a disaster - I had to decline a lot of business which my friend wrote. I know it was the proper thing to do from a risk standpoint, but that fact certainly didn't help when I knew I was contributing to my friend's worst work week in 30 years. I also had to cancel my counseling appointment this week because of work. After nearly two hours of overtime, I drove home and found the life insurance check in the mail.

I suppose some people would think that was a good thing - Michael's way of helping me out in the future. However, I saw it as an "official" telling me he truly was gone. I couldn't talk to anybody on Saturday without bursting into tears. I deposited the check into an account and I will "forget" about it for a few months.

Today? Much better. I went to church and celebrated the Lord's day with my friends. No tears! How's that for an achievement? Andrea's out with her dad, so I took the opportunity to get some sewing done - finished the paper pieced blocks for my church quilting group and two blocks for a super secret project. As soon as Andrea returns, we're headed to my brother's house for dinner. I made a pineapple-upside down cake for dessert - my dad's favorite. I hadn't made one for years since Michael wasn't a big fan of that cake.

I talked with a friend at the "Raise the Walls" event at church yesterday. She lost her husband a year ago and has offered to be my "mentor" through the process I'm going through. She explained the roller-coaster of emotions I'm going through is perfectly natural. But, it will get better, she promised.

Some good news - Andrea passed her driver's license test on Thursday. I'm not sure who was more nervous about the test - me or her? LOL The relief on that young woman's face after the test was priceless. Now, she can concentrate on getting a job.

So, life goes on. Every day another hurdle crossed. Sleep gets easier. And I'm doing things I LIKE to do and am not making any plans beyond tomorrow. Last night I watched "Doctor Zhivago", one of my favorite movies to watch when I want to feel better. I have a handle of movies like that and I intend on popping them each into the DVD player when the need arises in the coming days.

And you know what? My sewing machine seemed happy to see me again.

Love ya,