Sunday, April 27, 2008

Landmarks in time...

During my absence from writing a couple of major landmarks took place in our family. First of all, my wife and I celebrated our anniversary. Twenty-three years of being together. And most of that time has been very good. Sure, we bicker about things at times. But not very often and not very intently. We generally get along very well.

And surprisingly, this year filled with sadness and difficulty within our extended family, has actually been a year that I've felt particularly close to my wife. Sharing our grief, supporting each other, and encouraging each other has been a really amazing bonding experience for us. We've become closer than ever. I hate the circumstances that caused it. But I treasure the new-found closeness that makes our marriage better than ever.

The other big landmark was a birthday. Son17 blew out the candles and became Son18. And of course we celebrated with a nice dinner out, a yummy chocolate cake, and plenty of gifts. And he was very happy with the gifts since he got exactly what he requested - an iPod Nano, the second season of LOST on DVD, an iTunes gift card, and some gigantic Lego model called the Exoforce Mobile Devastator. He got a few small things as well, but that was his "big four" and he was most happy.

A belated blogger Happy Anniversary to my wife and Happy Birthday to Son18!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Slowly coming back...

Well when I wrote my last post, I had no idea it would be 59 days before I sat down to write again. But before I even attempt to bring you up to date, I must start with some gratitude. So many of you have been so awesome while I've been absent from the blogosphere. Some of you have continued to leave comments now and then. Others have sent e-mail. Kati and Winston and May and Lisa and Joanne and Darren and Whimsical and Wizard and so many more. In most cases, I didn't write back. But that doesn't mean I didn't love hearing from you. Your brief words lifted me up on many occasions. And I thank you.

So...what happened? Well, my family went through a very tough time in December when my niece died in the sledding accident. I wrote about that. And we pushed through and tried to have a good Christmas. And it felt as if we were just getting our feet under us when my mom passed away in February. And that was pretty much when I stopped.

As an only child and the only immediate family member still around, I've had to step up and try to deal with every aspect of her life now that she is gone. There has been a maze of lawyers and financial folks as we tried to piece together things in a timely way to do tax returns for us and for her. And I think my last post about the piles of papers probably clued you in to the fact that she was not the most organized about pulling together important papers has proven more difficult than I ever imagined.

And then there is her home. Her things. Eighty-three years of living. And we've tried to cope with that. I've traveled to GA twice for a week at a time...and my wife has been there for a week in between my trips. And I never realized how difficult it could be to go through someone else's stuff. I could sort and pack things in my house. Cause I know what I have. I know where it is. But there, everything is a matter of discovery and then deciding what to do with it. Some things we want. Some things we don't want. Do we donate it? Tag sale it? Trash it? So far some of all three have taken place. But it is really hard to let it go. Things I totally have no desire to own are still difficult to get rid of. My mom or my dad wanted those things. They bought them. Saved them. These things had meaning and value to them. And it feels callous to just get rid of them. But that is what must be done.

And you would think all that would be enough. But that isn't the end of the story. I just recently returned from my last trip to GA...and the day I flew home, when I arrived home, I got the call that my aunt in GA had passed away. This was the aunt who basically raised me while both my parents worked full time. I had seen her recently. Talked with her. Knew she was not doing well. But didn't realize just how fragile she was. And the timing of it...just as I arrived home...made it impossible for me to turn right around and travel back to GA again. I'm out of days to take off from work. I'm exhausted from the travel. I'm emotionally spent. So the best I could muster was to send flowers.

It is enough. Three deaths. Dealing with an estate - small but seriously unorganized. Time away from my own family. We are all tired, physically and emotionally.

And that is why I've not written. I had nothing to offer other than just bemoaning the current state of affairs in my life. And it would have been just too easy for me to sink into self pity.

But little by little, at work, with my family, and now here...I'm starting to reclaim what feels like a normal life. We still have a house to sell in GA (and gee, isn't the housing market just dandy?!?!). We still have the actual move to deal with in terms of getting what we want from GA to CT. But I'm starting to feel like we are gonna get through it and move on with life.

And some days, when I wasn't so sure about our ability to move on, your words would pop up and cheer me up. Thank you.

It is good to be back...even it may be somewhat sporadic for a while before I get back to my usual routine of visiting your blogs and writing my own. But hey, sporadic is better than nothing!