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Sunday, September 28, 2014

Jo MIA for Now

September 28, 2014

Trying very hard to get myself straightened out. Trying to figure out how I do this new normal. You know, my life after Momma’s passing. That is my life now and I don’t think it will change for some time. I have good moments every single day. Moments where I am ME and I am happy. I also have moments where I am MOMMA’S GIRL and missing her more than i can function around. I suppose those moments will lessen with time. I’m sure they will because I’ve lost other people I love and that’s how it worked. Problem here is, I’ve never lost Momma before. There is no one in my life who holds that piece of my heart. Oh, I have many loves. I am very blessed with people who care deeply about me and one or more of them reach out to me every day. So this isn’t a case of loneliness or self-pity at all. I am so very aware of how many people I can turn to for a laugh, a hug, a crying binge or whatever I need. This is about defining my new role as a human. This is about only having one Momma.

I am a wife. There are many wives out there who do a much better job at this than I, but I do love my husband and I will return to a somewhat functional wife shortly, I think. I am cooking a little now because I discovered that doing things I love does relax and soothe me, some. I have been keeping the house ready to show, it’s for sale and it must be ready, but not really quite as pristine as I prefer and I don’t seem to care much about that. Cleaning doesn’t make me calm, it just makes me tired. I try to return to the husband-wife life we had in a day to day way, but it’s not the life we had. It’s very different. It’s very quiet and I am so sad so often that I don’t want to have silly conversations with him. I don’t want to talk about moving. We can’t move until the house sells. I can’t make the house sell. I have to let go of all things I can’t change. He is stuck in daily comments about getting this house sold. I’m over that. It will sell, when it sells. PERIOD.

So much of what has happened since August 1 has been so clearly by Heavenly Design, that I am living a much more accepting role now. I am satisfied with the realtors we have, the marketing is excellent, the buyers just have to find it. I am okay with waiting because I see that the waiting has meaning. He can’t seem to grasp that. I can’t or don't have the energy to get him over to my side of this. It’s okay, he’ll get here, he always does. I am content to know I have done what I can do and I am trudging along daily because I know He has this. He will give me strength when I need it and wisdom to move forward or not. He will lead me and I will follow. I am reveling in the gift of Momma’s last days. It is my source of strength to remember how happy she was. To imagine how happy she is now. To understand that I gave what she needed and she gave what I needed. To accept that I am to continue now without her. His will has been done. I get it. I feel it. I do accept it. But the pain of life without her is still very raw and very strong. I am trying to push through it. I am trying to reinvent myself into a productive human. The mom I should be will return. Hang in there kids! The grandma I love being, she’ll be back, too. I just am not real sure when. But soon, I think.

Right now, in this moment, I believe I will just be. I will just allow myself to cry. I will allow myself to mourn. I will allow myself to remember the good days and the bad. I am going to be kind to me and maybe stop looking so hard for my new normal and just let it creep in. Patience please my family and friends. I’ll not stay here in this gloom very long. I will emerge with some dignity and some hope. I will become the person I am meant to be and I will be stronger, love more and have even deeper faith because I am the sum of all 64 years 8 months 19 days of being Momma’s girl and your wife, your mother, your grandmother, your sister or your friend. And I am in here.


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Momma Has Gone Home

In this life you have parents, if you're lucky, who guide you, set examples for you and knock you into last week, when needed. I had that. I had a sister and brother who were older than me to learn from and I did that. I learned how to maneuver through my teens without getting grounded. I did that mostly by staying out of trouble. I may have been grounded a time or two, but I don't remember.
What I do remember is mostly good or funny things and I think that's just right.

My dad passed in 1978 at the age of 56 leaving Momma alone in a world where she had never been alone. She lived 45 minutes from her closest kids. She had never paid a bill. Never used a checkbook. Didn't know whom they owed what nor whether or not she had enough money to pay them. With a little guidance from her children she took it all on head first. The once completely dependent woman became Miss Independence and she remained that until just a few years ago. Five years ago she gave up driving and became dependent on Jo's Taxi. It was nice to spend time with her and help her meet her needs at the same time. It was rarely an inconvenience. Our lives have been closely intertwined for the last 5 years.  More closely than ever before.

On August 5, she left her beautiful and beloved apartment to take up residence with Roomy and I and her two grandpups. She did this willingly and was welcomed lovingly. Life was much better for us with her under our roof. She was eating better, drinking more water and being treated pretty much like a queen. For the most part, it was our pleasure to care for her. Stress happened, but it was never more important than her safety and happiness. She was happy. We were happy.

On September 9 at 2 am I was awakened by her calling my name. I reached her in seconds and saw her collapse on the hall floor just short of my bedroom doorway.  I bent to help her up. She did not assist me at all. She always helped get herself up. I sat on the floor holding her head and shoulders in my lap while Roomy called Life Alert. Before he finished giving them details, she took her last breath and I continued to hold, kiss and cry.  Momma had left for her reward knowing she was loved. Hearing my voice tell her so. Feeling wanted and part of this household, not a visitor. I am grateful for those moments. Momma began her journey to Dad from the loving arms of her baby.

I miss her already. But I carry no regrets. I loved her fully and for the most part, gave her the best I had. I am so filled with awe. The house didn't sell because she wasn't meant to go south. The house is off the market this week because we need to mourn. She was here with us because God sent her here to pass in love, not alone.

God bless her soul and Momma, thanks for being Momma.  Give Dad a big hug and lots of love from us. I know he's been waiting a long time for your arrival.


Saturday, September 6, 2014

Thoughts for a Saturday

Yesterday we dropped our realtor at the end of the 90 day contract. The home we have loved and improved for our own comfort and happiness has been viewed by 14 prospective buyers. Some couples, some singles and a couple of extended families. The failure to provide the much coveted open floor plan and the apparently much coveted bathtub, has produced zero offers.

Strange because we have often complained about how noisy this kitchen is. Everyone who is in the living room can clearly hear (actually magnified) every sound made during food prep. Dishes seem to be slammed onto the solid surface cupboard or banged into the dishwasher, when in fact, they are simply being placed. Opening up the stairway wall would achieve that open concept, but it would also increase that annoying racket. It's my belief that people who want that, haven't ever lived with cooking and clean-up IN the living room. Maybe that's just me.

And the bathtub issue has blown me away! We spent $7000 removing the tub and installing an oversized stepin shower. It's awesome and very easy to clean. We have three full bathrooms and all have walkin showers. Why? Because in the last twenty years no one has taken a bath and every week I still cleaned a bathtub. On the floor, on my hands and knees, I cleaned a tub that no one living here wanted or used. Asking around, I found very few people who take baths and fewer who liked cleaning their tub. We thought we we're increasing the "want" factor, but apparently we did not.

We added an in-law suite in the basement. Finished the entire floor into a kitchen, full bath, laundry room, bedroom, tanning room and family room. Essentially doubling the living space of our home. Has that been a benefit? No one has said so.

We have a whole house generator which automatically runs everything 10 seconds after a power outage. Cost? $6000 and it's one year old.  Benefit? Nope.

The pool and landscaped backyard is appreciated, but not worth our asking price apparently.  I suppose the cost of all of that seems minimal, unless you're the one paying for it. Yes, everyone likes it, but still no offers.

I am so disappointed. I am so deflated. I am so ready to move to Florida. I need to be re-energized.
I need an offer. I need a serious buyer who will love living here.

It's so hard for me to understand why everyone doesn't just feel at home here. The first time I walked in the front door, not this one cuz we just replaced that 2 years ago, I looked around and knew it was our home. I have never regretted the purchase for a single moment. I have honestly loved this house from that moment.

I need THAT to happen. Soon. THAT buyer needs to find us and their new, nearly maintenance free home.

Tomorrow we begin round two. Realtors who know how important online listings are. Realtors who will council us with their expertise and listen to our needs.  I only regret that we didn't go this way first. But everything happens as it's supposed to happen and tomorrow is a new beginning in this process.

I promise the new buyer that this house will become their home the moment they hold that closing paper and they will relish every summer day they spend in that pool, on that deck or poolside with a cool drink.

It's coming soon. I know it is.