Friday, February 22, 2013

Grabbing at Small Things

I’ve not been shy about my February challenges.  Last Thursday was yet another birthday without her.  Next Thursday is our 9th wedding anniversary.  Adding more spice, January this year was filled with its own new craptastic days.  I really feel like I’m due some amazingly great things to balance this all out.  But I suppose that’s the same ridiculous last minute mumble a soon-to-be-broken gambler utters as he slides what’s left of his life savings toward red after twenty bank-breaking ball bounces into black.  Surely, after all this, it’s bound to turn around.

Well, I’m tired of waiting for it to turn around.  I can’t change what happened last month.  I can’t (and wouldn’t) change what happened 9 years ago.  And if I wasn’t born 43 years ago on the 14th then you certainly wouldn’t be reading what I’m typing, for sure!  So, to hell with it all!  So how about some things I’m positive about?

Kali, who lived her entire life in Niko’s (my baby’s) shadow, has been spoiled rotten with love and treats since Niko’s Angel Day.  Much to my surprise, she’s been learning every trick I’ve been teaching her (slowly).  I always thought of her as, well, special in the kind of ride-the-short-bus and please-stop-eating-glue kind of way but maybe I’ve been wrong.  No matter what, we’ve been having a great time bonding, playing Frisbee, learning tricks and just being buds.  Yeah, it’s obvious at times that she misses her sister, just like I do, but we’ve been doing that together, too.

The garden is starting to come alive again. That means it’s time to start planting. Bring on the jalapeños, caladiums, hydrangeas, and lilies!  Of course, there are sprinkler heads to repair and myriad dead plants to cut back, but spring is coming and with a little push it’ll be beautiful.  I love putting down the little springlings and watching them bloom into wonderful plants.  This year, I’m going to put down more flowering plants than I have in years.

Motorcycle weather is almost upon us.  My beautiful beast of a bike has been sitting patiently waiting for some much-deserved attention.  In just a week or two, I’ll be back on two wheels pissing off soccer moms and grumpy old men all over Austin again with my loud pipes.  It’ll be fabulous!  The road is calling me.  There just might be a multi-day trip in my near future.

It’s going to be a good year.  I’m going to make it a good year. You’ll see.


Yeah, I’m reaching.  I’m grabbing at small things and I won’t stop. I know what great is and I’ll be back there again.  I’m not sure when but I can tell you when I won’t give up and that’s today.  Today is a great day, even if it’s just because the garden is growing and Kali and I play Frisbee together and I get to ride my motorcycle.  Tomorrow, hell, I’ll do the same.

It has been almost four years now (four years in May, for those who are counting) and you’d think that by now it’d be like reflecting on when I skinned my knee back in ’09.  At least that’s what people would like it to be.  But it still hurts, although not as much. Now, it’s still a matter of redefining who I am.  I can tell you this for sure: I’m not done yet.


  1. How I have been thinking the same crazy thought that I am due a really big good turnaround! I too am tired of waiting, but your advice is good, because for now I will choose to focus on what is working and postive. I have two wonderfully loving cats who often join me when I am feeling low and unloved. They make me feel better with their sweet affection for me. Here it has snowed like crazy, but for the last few days it has been sunny, so I will be happy for the sunshine! Thanks for letting me know that I am not alone in missing my love, yet wanting to choose hope over despair!

  2. Great new word for me "craptastic".

    You are so much luckier to be in the south, winter is still upon us in Michigan. Grey days tinged with white snow, maybe you see the sun once in awhile. This winter has me realizing I need to plan to get out of here next winter, I can't do this anymore. There's nothing even to reach and grab for, except the snow scoop and plow keys.

    Been trying to figure out who I am for 3+ years, still have no idea, I'm stuck in a place I don't want to be, and know I am the only one that can find my way out. The wound is still festering, hampering my healing. Some days I tend to it gently, others I just want to let it bleed.

    The little joys in life I experience are sometimes few and far between, but I'll have make them happen more, like you are, Chris. Why dwell on the negative, find any little positive thing to get moving ahead. Go get on that bike and piss off those soccer Moms and grumpy old men!

    1. totally with ya, Cathy. Love the 'craptastic' word. Living in chicagoland, definitely have garden-envy right now. And, yep, need to dig out the positives, shine 'em up and keep 'em on the mantel of my life so I can remind myself that no, it doesn't ALL suck. it'll be 3 years this coming July. I think I'll throw a party that day! My hubs would have LOVED that.

  3. Good for you, the effort matters. The attitude matters. Those small things matter. I am thankful if I can make it to work wearing something other than pajamas after being dragged around the house by grief every morning. And if I remember to take my travel mug full of coffee along with me,I consider it a miracle. I hope you have a beautiful day today.

  4. Chris,
    It sounds like you are a garden ready to have blossoms emerging from the soil that has been nurtured but stained with too many tears. I wish you a wonderful time of redefinition and growth my friend. Take good care next Thursday. Thank you for your comment today about my Tim's BD. And Happy Belated BD to you!

  5. I too feel the angnuish and pain expressed here and have more than my fair share of "craptastic" days. However, I read a post elsewhere that indicated they were giving in to death...and it spurred me to write a response as below. I sure hope it helps anyone that is having another challenging day:

    I refuse to let death win!

    I have been exactly where a lot of people have been at (and still find myself fighting the urge to capitulate the fight)...ready to give in to “Death” as having won the battle. I lost Ron, the love of my life, 10 months ago after a very short time together. I, however, refuse to give in to death! It cannot take away my treasured memories, it cannot take away the unconditional love we had for each other, it cannot take away our moment in this life together, it cannot take away the eternity that we will eventually have together, it cannot take away the life lessons I have been forced to learn by having this loss thrown in my face, it cannot take away the fact that I am here to celebrate our life together and ensure all are aware of what we had together, it cannot take away the fact that I am among a fortunate few to know what experiencing authentic love is like, it will not take away the smile I will eventually have on my face when I can say "Death-you have thrown a challenge at me/us-just watch us accept that challenge and throw it back at you with the following comment - Challenge accepted! Now just watch me/us rise above you and crush you to oblivion-you will not win, you will cower and hide and look for others to bully and intimidate, but you will never win..."


  6. Chris, I feel exactly the same. Coming up on 3 years and continue to look upward and ask God for just a couple of crumbs.... pleasurable things in lieu of adversity. We all are due our share of good things. Like you and the other Anon, I too, have not yet "found" myself.

    Only those of us here can absolutely understand the superman(woman) effort it takes to focus on the positives. So, I am standing to applaud you!!!!!

    Thanks for inspiring!

  7. Thank you Cris for this hopeful and encouraging post. I look forward to the day I can say, "it still hurts, but not as much." Getting close to the one year sad-iversary (May 4). I'm hopeful that someday I'll feel just a little bit better as I move along on this new journey.

  8. it....will use often. Seriously though, yes, it is getting better but somethings it still causes physical pain in my heart. Never knew that could happen. I hope it never happens again. It has only been a year since he died. I hope in 4 years the physical pain will be greatly lessened and that I can look at pictures of him and him with the kids without pain

  9. I'm nearing number four myself. It's crazy-sad to think about the four years my husband has missed. Can it really be nearly four years? It seems like just yesterday that it happened, but forever since I last heard his voice.
    I am ready to move forward through the grief, yet it maintains some sort of hold on me. My heart will never forget. The grief is continually changing, but this process of finding and redefining myself certainly is complicated!

  10. Anon above, I agree, just passed 3 years, seems like forever and only yesterday at the same time. I found a dvd he had made last week, he is talking filming the kids skiing. His voice stopped me in my tracks, I so want to hear more of it.

    Sadly, I think grief will always have a hold of us, some days tighter than others. Figuring out who I am and what I'm doing here now is my main job. Not liking it, but there must be a reason to go on.

    "Do what you can, with what you have, where you are".
    Teddy Roosevelt

  11. Chris, I'm glad you're looking forward to riding season. My husband and I rode, and while I have my own, I became so content riding on the back with him. It will be 4 years in May for me, and I've only put a few hundred miles on my bike. I keep thinking, okay, this is the season I will find the joy of riding again - but it doesn't happen. I keep it, because letting go of his 2 bikes was hard enough.. It's just sad when I ride now.