Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Oh What A Beautiful Morning

I am fully convinced that God puts us where we need to be all the time.  I have been pissing and moaning this entire time in Atlanta.  The traffic, the people, the expense, among other things.  On the brighter side, I have spent more time with my Grand Kids in six months than I did the whole time I lived in Allegan, MI.  The restaurants here are great, and I get treated to dinners and lunches and brunches a lot by my Family.  And I missed the worst Winter Michigan has seen in fifty years.   

Most of you know that I have been feeling like this move was a mistake on my part.  But had I not come down here I would be up north kicking myself for not going.  So let's call it a learning experience.  Yes, right.......an expensive learning experience, but I cannot let that stand in my way.  Not now, not when I am trying to re-invent myself.   Sounds like a big job, but it must be done, because my life has changed and I am no longer Sam Bond's wife.  I am his widow.  A moniker I could due without, but it is what it is.  I need to look ahead and try to imagine my life without my husband, because up to now I have just been reacting to his death.  I must consciously plan a life without him.  He would be the first one to tell me this, so I will go with it.  

Today I woke up and the birds were singing and the sun was shining and I felt better than I have in a while, especially since the time change.  When I took the dogs out, I realized it was going to be really warm so I got myself around to walk.  I felt like taking a different route and I think that changed my attitude also.  As I was walking it dawned on me that I was exactly where I belonged today.  That this past six months HAD been a learning experience.  Once again I had to go through this to appreciate everyone and everything in my life and exactly where I fit into what had temporarily been a puzzle to me.  I feel like the darkness is starting to lift, and I must make it a point to keep all this in mind and keep moving forward with my new life.  

So boys and girls I am on my way back to Kalamazoo, MI, where the majority of my family and friends reside.  Where I am most comfortable, where my roots are,  where my heart is.  It is where I will spend the majority of my time, and as it stands now, I am welcome to visit the kids in Atlanta anytime I would like and stay with them.  To me that is the best of both worlds.  

Look out Kalamazoo, T Bond is coming home!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

The Adventure Of It All

"Look at this as an adventure,"  I donned my Santa Hat and after searching every where for my packing tape (including the garage) in the pouring rain,  my package was ready to be mailed.  Yesterday I had seen a post office right around the corner from me, so I loaded the box into my car, (in the pouring rain) and drove over there.  CLOSED SATURDAYS the sign read.  RATS I said.  Went back to my car (in the pouring rain) and tried to find a post office that was open today.  Thank God for navigation,  but got lost.  So I pulled into the Home Depot parking lot and tried again.  I navigated from there to the post office.  By now I am used to making two trips to arrive at one destination.    It's a good thing I have no time constraints.

So I arrived at the post office only to be told that the line was not where I was standing (the sign said it was), but I let the woman go ahead of me.  I knew people would be gunning for me because of the hat, but I was going to be cheerful, dammit.  The postal employees were friendly, referring to me as Mrs. Santa Claus.  Mission accomplished, package in the mail.

"I deserve a Skinny Peppermint Mocha Latte."  So I drive to Starbucks, which I can see from the post office.  So in the pouring rain I drive over and try to get in the drive-thru.  Evidently,  I was blocking a drive and this woman in a Lincoln Continental kept honking at me to move, so I pulled up so she could get around me.  I tried to stare her down but she wouldn't make eye contact.  Again it must be the hat and Michigan license plate.  The thickness of my skin needs to increase, but at 63 I am thinking that is a lost cause.  Personally I am sick of people being butts.  So I just smile at them and then say what I really think when they are not around.

I know I put myself in this situation,  but I do so enjoy being around the kids.  They love me and I love them, and that's the way it will always be no matter where I live.  I wish I would have realized that before I moved myself down here.  But it's only for a year,  I will look at it as an adventure.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Searching For Normal

I don't know where I belong.  There,  I've said it.  It's here in black and white and yellow and green polka dots.

Right now I am staying in Atlanta, to be with my Grand kids who moved down here this summer.  After selling our home on Lake Allegan,  being in Kalamazoo didn't feel like the place to be right now.  The weather is a damn site better (one of my Dad's sayings).   Since being down here, I have seen the kids and spent more time with them than the last couple of years when I was living only 30 miles from them.  That's the upside.

My life and everything I identify with has been turned upside down.  I am lost.  My precious Sam is gone and he is not coming back.  What the hell do I do now?  I am feeling my way through  the darkness.   It is going to take time and the things I do will puzzle some.  Truthfully,  I have not given myself the time I need.  

Right now I can't say this is a permanent move.  It probably won't be, but I will enjoy the time here with the kids who will help me heal. 

The reality is that I now have a new normal which I have yet to recognize,  let alone adjust to. 

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Giving Thanks

Sitting here in my Mother's living room on Thanksgiving morning, I am compelled to post.  Thankful for so much that I have,  it is difficult.  Where to begin?

I am thankful for having my Husband and best friend for over thirty years.  We made so many happy memories and he has left part of himself in our Son Andrew.  Through example he taught him how to treat others, especially those he loves, a good work ethic, and maybe what not to do at times.  You do not have to be blood to have a child and leave a legacy. 

I am thankful for my immediate Family, Andrew, Max and Addie.  They are the reason I keep on going.  They are the light of my life.  I am so lucky to have my Mom who is ninety and very healthy and ambulatory,  my Brothers and their Families.  How I enjoy seeing all of my Nieces and Nephews and their Children grow and become responsible citizens of the world.  I am in awe of all of them.  They bring me such joy.

I am especially thankful for our Military who selflessly leave their Families for months, sometimes years at a time to protect the freedom that we so enjoy and take for granted all too often.

I am thankful for the little things, being able to have a hot shower every day,  enough money to  buy food and help others if I choose.  Oh I forgot.  I am thankful for my two canine kids, Waylon and Honey who gladly (sometimes grudgingly) hop in the car and accompany me on my travels.  Even though at times they can be pretty messy.  After our trip from Atlanta to Kalamazoo my car looked like we had field-dressed a deer in it.  It's nothing that won't clean up at some point.

We will all pause today and give thanks for what we have and what we have lost, for all of it makes us what we are today.

Monday, October 7, 2013

It Takes A Village To Move Me

Well, most of my earthly possessions are packed on a moving van and sitting in a warehouse awaiting the middle of October (which is fast approaching) when my new apartment will be ready in Atlanta.  It was no easy task to get to this point.  Seems like since the middle of April I have been busy either getting the house ready to put on the market, painting, organizing, cleaning, listing the house, showings, negotiating the sale, THEN the real work began.  Somehow I had to get my stuff from point A to point B.

Sorely missing in all this was my life partner who always did the majority of work involved in moving us from place to place.  As I was packing boxes left over from our last move, his  handwriting was everywhere on the boxes, bringing back memories of late night carpet shampooing, endless trips back and forth to the new residences, and making our new places home.

For the first time in almost 30 years, I am on my own.  How in the world am I going to get all of this done and be out on time?  Not wanting to be a pain to anyone, it seemed that as people volunteered to help, I would take them up on it for a day.  So when my next door neighborhood Chelle volunteered she came over and helped me pack up my dining room and kitchen.  We did it in an afternoon and it was a good thing.  Next my bestie from junior high,  Mary Ellen came and helped me pack more boxes and pile them up in the living room.  Then Priscilla Swiat who is always there to rescue me whenever I am in need came when she could and was with me the day the moving van came and left with my stuff.  Could not have done it without her, especially when I tried to put Waylon in the car and he stood at the front door wanting to go back in.  I still tear up just thinking about the scene.  The bottom line is that I have a wonderful network of friends that love me and would do anything to help.

And don't even get me started on my moving sale..The angels that visited me that day were numerous.  Again Mary Ellen and my Niece Kelli were there for crowd control and Tim DeHaan (a modern day picker) who bought a lot and then hauled away everything else and even took my stuff that needed shredding and burned it for me.  And all this time I am sure Sam is rooting me on.

The last year and half has tested me to a level which at times I am not sure I can endure.  So why not drop everything and move to Atlanta to start over.  Am I Nuts?  Probably, but my therapist says I am okay.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Those Who Seek God

I know I said today that I would be packing, but I feel compelled to blog.  As some of you know I will be moving to Atlanta in a few weeks.  This turn of events has caused me to take a good hard look at my life and what has affected me.

After an eight year journey of trying to work our way back to Michigan, from the Pacific Northwest, we finally made it in 2011.  It was a blessing really as Sam's Cancer returned and we were able to be among friends and family during the last year and a half of his life.  Looking back this is just one example of God taking us in his hands and placing us where we needed to be. 

When I became a widow,  it was altogether new territory.  Even when you are technically widowed, you really don't know how to act.  I fought the title for a full year, only recently changing my status on Facebook.  During my first visit to Fr. Jorgensen after Sam died, he asked me if I would mind if he gave my name and number to Loretta Cone.  She founded the group "Not Alone" after she lost her husband unexpectedly 15 or so years ago.  She was just what the doctor ordered, although at the time I wasn't so sure.  She came to the house and we had a great talk and she reassured me of so many things that our faith teaches us about death and eternal life.  I continued in my fog for over a year, but never forgot Loretta.  I would see her at Mass every once in a while, until a few months ago, when after church, she invited me to breakfast with the girls.  What a treat they all are.  Mostly widows, but not all.  They took me in and gave me something to look forward to.  Something so simple, something so special.  I will miss all of you ladies so much,  you have a special place always in my heart.

I enter this new phase of my life with mixed emotions, desperately wanting to be with my Grandchildren, but hesitant about leaving all that is familiar.  Lifelong friends and extended family.  So yet again I will face the challenge of making new friends, but knowing this time where to look and who to look for.   I will look for God in all the people I meet.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Since You've Been Gone

My Dear Sam:

Today marks the first anniversary of your passing from this world into the next.  Words can never come close to expressing what my life is like without you.  This year has been full of firsts, starting a week after you died with our 29th wedding anniversary.  You almost made it and I found your card you bought me in the Jeep when I was cleaning it out.  Then it was your Birthday and the Buddy Guy and Johnny Lang concert you bought tickets for and were looking forward to.  Mary, Jay and I went and I could feel you there with us.  I have to admit I really like Johnny Lang.

 Last week I finally sold the Fat Boy.  Perry's bought it and I had a nice chat with Dick Perry.  We sat in his office and talked about you and your Dad and how they called you Junior and about the Knuckle head that was stolen from Uncle Vern's barn.  He tried to find Gordy Cole so I could talk to him but to no avail.  I remember the last time you went there how disappointed you were that it wasn't the same.  Dick told me he did not recognize you until you had left.  He was sorry for that.

Father Jim said Mass for you today at Nazareth.  That is such a beautiful chapel, so grand, yet peaceful.  The homily spoke to friendship when Christ said you are no longer a servant, but my friend and how Christ laid down his life for us and wants us to have an intimate friendship with him.  We were best friends and I can't remember how many times I wished it was me who was sick.  I would have gladly died for you.  You got angry every time I mentioned it.

I feel you with me a lot of the time.  You have helped me in oh so many ways.  Like when I need help starting the lawn mower and snow blower, and finding things that I have misplaced.  I hope you hear me when I tell you I love you every night before I go to bed.  I know you are in heaven, please put in a good word for me as I am looking forward to seeing you again.  You are ever in my heart.