Archive | Healing

leaving this home

It’s here. Tomorrow, the big moving trucks come to whisk away our things to our new home. We sure are going to miss this house and the beautiful land around it.

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The front view of the house.

We moved here before Greg and I were married so this house has been with us through a lot; Greg asked me to marry him in the backyard, we had our wedding in the front yard, started life as a family with the birth of both girls, lots of dinners inside and parties out in the yard, years of just being us, and then Greg’s cancer and death.

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This was the view of our wedding ceremony from our bedroom window.

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The backyard, our wedding reception.

This house has been like another family member, one that holds us in, keeps us warm and helps us feel safe.

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A snowstorm in 2008.

We tried to sell this house on and off for 4 years. I think maybe we knew we were still going to need it and just couldn’t really let it go, until now.

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The back view of the house.

We will miss this house and all the good and bad times we got through here, together. We’re leaving a little piece of Greg here and that feels right, that a bit of our family will always be here.

Goodbye Briar Lane.

xxx,

Mariah

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slowing down

I’m a very social person. I love being busy, doing things, going places.  But Greg wasn’t like that and when he was alive, we had a fairly slow life. He worked 2nd shift and I chose to/was able to be a stay-at-home mom. I’ve always considered myself lucky for that and very thankful to Greg for working so hard that I could be home. Since Squirmy and Squeaky were young, we didn’t have to wake up for school, work, anything, so we rarely felt rushed. The girls were our alarm clock and they would climb into our bed in the morning to play under the sheets, read books or watch a video if Greg and I weren’t ready to get up…zzzzzzzzzzzzz.

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Greg and Squirmy at Horicon Marsh

We were able to choose if we wanted to go to a play group or story time that day, wander to the park or around our yard, ride bikes, stop over at a neighbor’s for lemonade (Hi Jan!), without being rushed to get to some class or event. And that felt good.

When Greg got sick, things sped up. And they haven’t really slowed down much since.

A week or two ago, as we were driving from one event to another, I asked the girls, “Do you like doing all this stuff and going all these places or would you like to slow down?”  Nine times out of then, when I ask them both a question they say something different. But not this time. They both said, with enthusiasm, “SLOW DOWN!”.

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Greg and Squeaky at 4th of July in Monona

Yeah, I agree. This is all great stuff and I’m thankful we live in a community where so much is available and we have lots of friends we want to see, but sometimes I can hear Greg telling me to slow down a little, stop planning so many things! I think of the times that I left him with the girls to run an errand (thinking he would take them somewhere or do something eventful with them) and they would be in the same place I left them in, still playing, reading books, flopping around, happy as clams.

I’m hoping the move will help us slow down a bit, something I need help doing.

So, here’s to taking a deep breath and slowing down.

xxx,

Mariah

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goodbye to BLOO

Greg named his car Blue. But since the correct spelling wasn’t available for Wisconsin license plates, he settled for “BLOO”. He loved this car. He bought it when we first started dating, it was like a fresh start for him. Everything about it was bright and cheerful. The light blue exterior, the light leather interior. (Do I sound like a car commercial?) It helped that he always had good music playing in it too. It was the car he took me for dates in when we first got together and after having kids and driving the minivan, it once again became our “date car”.

I sold BLOO last weekend. :(

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I was just about to give up after it had been on Craigslist for over a week with absolutely no interest. I was prepared to slash the price to just get rid of it and had arranged for a friend to take it and sell it for thousands less. Literally, two seconds after making plans for him to come and get it that evening, I got a text from a guy wanting to see the car asap. And that’s when I broke down. It seemed like I had been waiting and waiting to sell his car and was getting anxious about where to store it, how to take care of it, that I wouldn’t be able to drive it enough (It NEEDS to be driven, you know!), etc. But it was too real that someone wanted to see it at that moment and I was overwhelmed. I broke down in front of the girls. Squeaky came over and rubbed my back. Squirmy walked away from me but I realized she was going to get me a tissue. We talked about it and then Mama felt a little better. I also got in touch with a neighbor who came over to help since I’ve never sold a car myself before. Thanks again, Scott!

So, about the buyer. There is a connection with his name. My grandpa’s name was Kenneth. I never knew him because he died at age 46. Greg’s middle name was Kenneth and he ALSO died at age 46. The rabbi at Greg’s funeral was Kenneth. And when the guy who came to look at BLOO last Friday shook my hand and said, “Hi. I’m Ken”, I wanted to look up into the sky with my hands outstretched and yell… “Okay, Baby – Thank you!” …but I didn’t want to freak the people out so I just did that yelling thing in my head.

Sometimes it sounds like a stretch when I try to explain it to someone, but it’s a connection that gave me comfort that Greg’s car was going to exactly the right person.

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Squeaky*, Squirmy and I took a drive in BLOO and posed for some pictures before it was gone.

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The girls yelled, “Bye Daddie’s car!” as Ken drove it away.

xxx,

Mariah

*I bought Squeaky a new winter jacket and snow pants that I had her try on. She wouldn’t take it off. saying, “I’m wearing it until winter!” So I let her wear it outside until she started sweating and it was sticking to her. :)

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one last time!

We move at the end of this month (ZOINKS!!!!) and there are so many things we want to do while we’re still living here…one last time! Last week, we went to Ella’s Deli for dinner to have matzo ball soup and ride the carousel. We really haven’t been there many times so it’s not that nostalgic to us but the last time we were there, the girls discovered they love matzo ball soup. So it’s one restaurant they’ll be eating something other than mac-n-cheese, grilled cheese or chicken nuggets!  Plus, there’s the carousel!

We talked and slurped our soup (more slurping!) but mostly looked around at all the crazy things all over the ceiling and walls. Bart Simpson was ‘flying’ over our table while we ate and Betty Boop was swinging just behind us. That place is a trip.

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In the past, Squeaky refused to ride a carousel horse (she would always sits on the bench for little tykes) but just as it started going, she screeched, “I want to ride on a horse!”. As she was climbing on, she told me, “I might be a little scared but I’m brave.” What a big girl! We were the only people on the carousel and when it was done, we all wanted to go AGAIN…so we did.

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With all the work it takes to organize and coordinate and pack up to move,  it’s even fun for me to pack in all this fun stuff…one last time!

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xxx,

Mariah

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family drawings

My grandma had surgery about a week ago and weren’t able to visit so we decided to make pictures to send for her hospital room. It was the first time, since Greg died, that I had drawn a picture of our family. I first drew the three of us and it looked all wrong. I couldn’t just leave him out, he is still so much a part of our family. So, I stared at the paper for a minute and then decided to add him…in the sky. Squirmy said, “Make him laying on the clouds!” So I did. :) Squirmy chose to draw a hand holding a bouquet of flowers and Squeaky drew a rainbow with lots of ‘words’ on it.

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Have a happy fall weekend.

xxx,

Mariah

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365 reasons why i love you

12-25-11photos 067For Hanukkah in 2011, Squirmy, Squeaky and I gave Greg a jar filled with little pieces of paper filled with 365 reasons why we loved him.

I have never seen him so excited about a gift. He held onto that jar and carried it with him for days, like a little kid. It ended up on his nightstand and he would, for months and months, open up that jar in the morning while we snuggled in bed, to start reading. The girls would help him pick them out and he’d read each one out loud…well, not the x-rated ones! They would get so excited when one was from them.

I spent a lot of time on this long list. I thought about all the obvious reasons I loved Greg which was a long list but I was struggling to not repeat myself after 250 or something like that. Then I started thinking about the things that made him who he is, his quirks and even things that annoyed me about him! And it was ALL of these little things, rolled into one that made him HIM and acknowledging them to him was probably why this gift meant so much.

Here are some of my favorites (sorry, it got kind of long…at least I’m not making you read all 365!):

  • I love you because…you think that ‘getting up’ in the morning is having your eyes open. – Red
  • I love you because…not only do you NOT leave the toilet seat up, you even put the cover down.  – Red
  • I love you because…you do funny dances.  – Red
  • I love you because…you are good-hearted.  – Red
  • I love you because…you always make me laugh when I’m supposed to be mad at you!  – Red
  • I love you because… you don’t care what others think of you.  – Red
  • I love you because…you have a soothing voice. – Red
  • I love you because…you have a martial arts background and would beat someone up for me…if needed. – Red
  • I love you because…you don’t mind when your mother-in-law stays with us.  – Red
  • I love you because…you almost destroy clothing in order to get rid of a visible brand name.  – Red
  • I love you because…you never yell.  – Red
  • I love you because…if I don’t know where you are, you are most likely in bed or on the toilet!  – Red
  • I love you because…you think and act like Larry David…and you’re proud of it!  Sigh.  – Red
  • I love you because…you drive with the sunroof open even when it’s freezing outside! – Red
  • I love you because…you put your hand on my leg when we drive.  – Red
  • I love you because…you comfort our children. – Red
  • I love you because… when you have a chore to do, you go balls to the walls like you’re being timed.  – Red
  • I love you because…you like perfume only 1 squirt at at time…or less.  – Red
  • I love you because…you need to choose the perfect playlist for every, I mean EVERY task. – Red
  • I love you because…you yell goodbye and I love you and wave out your sunroof every day when you leave for work.  – Squirmy and Squeaky
  • I love you because…you throw pizza dough into the air.  – Squirmy
  • I love you because…you stood on your head in Squeaky’s room one time…a long, long time ago.  – Squirmy
  • I love you because… you draw silly faces on my check-in sheet at preschool.  – Squirmy
  • I love you because…you explain things to me. -Squirmy
  • I love you because…you wear your Uffington horse and robot shirts.  – Squirmy
  • I love you because…you don’t discount anything I say.  – Squirmy
  • I love you because…you put a sock on your nose like a nose.  – Squeaky and Squirmy
  • I love you because…you always have time for us. – Squirmy, Squeaky and Red

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe following year, Greg made a jar for me. I have our two jars next to each other and will keep them together. It’s another comforting reminder of what we shared.

I highly recommend doing this or something like it for someone you love. It takes a lot of thought, but it’s worth it. It’s worth it for the recipient but it will probably also help you remember the reasons you fell in love. It may even help you discover some things you truly love about that person that you may not have ever realized.

xxx,

Mariah

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for the record

A few weeks ago, I received a summons to report for jury duty. Sigh. Why am I being called for jury duty for the first time NOW?  Well, I think I might know why.

I had to go through a little paperwork to be excused for jury duty this time. But in the process, I was put in touch with the jury clerk in Madison…someone I needed to talk to in order to get the following information…

Back up to spring of 2012…When Greg was summoned for jury duty, I remember he had a good time and was excited to tell me all about it. On some questionnaire he wrote out his age in days instead of years, which is SO Greg! I also remember a story he was very proud to tell me. The judge was asking questions during jury selection and Greg got something about ME put on the record. I have a horrible memory and that’s all I remember about it, but getting my own summons for jury duty brought it back up.

As I was making my case to be excused (I’m moving), I decided to ask the jury clerk if she could look into the records for me, to find anything from the day Greg was there.  I had JUST come across a paper with Greg’s jury pool number and ID on it about a month ago. She told me there is not usually a transcript routinely prepared unless there is a request for one or an appeal but that she would look into it. Twenty minutes later, she called me back and said that she talked to the court reporter and they both remembered Greg and this certain instance in the courtroom. AND SHE FOUND THE TRANSCRIPT. She said, “I’m folding it up right now and sending it to you.” And then I could hear her start to cry. She managed to get the words out, “It’s really nice.” And then I started crying. And then we were both sobbing and I hope she heard me say thank you about ten times before I finally hung up. I felt a little rude but it seemed silly to stay on the phone crying!

It turns out the part about me was what Greg had written on that form, my occupation. So here it is:

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Just another example of what a sweetie Greg was. Thank you for this, Baby.

And thank you to the Dane County jury clerk, Maureen, for treating this as an important matter and finding it for me.

xxx,

Mariah

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tremble before greg’s high score

Greg loved video games. He played a lot growing up and was brilliant at Robotron. A friend told us about a Vintage Arcade Week at the Wisconsin Historical Society back in 2007. So of course he went and he won two t-shirts for getting the highest score on Robotron and another game. The girls (especially Squirmy) loved it when he wore one of his “robot shirts” and would always want him to name all the characters. He knew all of them and would list them off one by one!

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One of the places Greg loved going to was Rossi’s Pizza in Monona, WI. When he had the chance to do something by himself (because his wife is not a fan of video games), he’d head to Rossi’s for a slice of  “pie” and some arcade games.

Rossi's pizza

When Greg got sick, we talked a lot about making a list of things that made him happy and he loved; things he could do one last time. But he got so sick, so quickly, he wasn’t able to even start that list.

After a long morning at the hospital sometime in April, Greg was feeling okay, even though he had to wear a mask because of the neutropenia he had developed after chemotherapy. We were planning on getting something to eat on the way home and I asked him if he wanted to go to Rossi’s. He lit up and said, “Really?” like we were going to play hooky or something.  It was so hard during that time because we were gone from Squirmy and Squeaky so much, we were usually so anxious to get back home to them. So this was a big deal, especially since I was the one suggesting it.

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Greg played two or three games but got really tired out from them. While I’ve never really liked video games I have played Ms. Pac Man a few times. So, I played Ms. Pac Man while he leaned back on a stool and watched me. He was impressed that I was getting so into it. Ha! He was happy, doing something he loved. And it was nice that we could share that happy moment together, one last time.

And before we left, I wrote something like, “I love my hubby forever!” on the chalkboard wall in the bathroom.  :)

xxx,

Mariah

 

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why kissing glue?

Welcome to my blog. A blog about me and my family. Why kissing glue?  When Greg and I were married in our front yard, there was a song that we chose as we walked in our front door and took a few moments to make-out (ha!) as a new, married couple. The song was “I’d Like That” by XTC, Greg’s absolute favorite band. It’s a lovely song. A line in the song that I’ve always liked sings,

“I’d smile so much my face would crack in two,
and you could fix it with your kissing glue.”

In the spirit of healing, what this blog is all about, a little kissing glue might help. That’s why kissing glue.

xxx,

Mariah

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