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Weekend Shenanigans: Pumpkin Pie Paradise


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My wife passed away October 28, 2012, at 11:37pm.  I was at her side and it was, not surprisingly, the worst day of my life.  That night, after her body was taken from our home, I felt like an alien, hovering around the house with an emptiness that I hope will never be replicated. 

 

This feeling of loneliness and detachment would go on for weeks.  You wonder how people can carry on with cell phone conversations, get the mail and drive their cars.  You float through the days, and worst of all, the nights.  The nights are when you get the creepy crawlies of the mind.  You keep telling yourself to adjust, to adapt.  To just be normal.  Have a cell phone conversation and drive your car like everyone else without getting dizzy or wondering if the car you’re driving is real and maybe everything is just make believe and you’ll get plopped back down to normalcy once the alien feeling is done messing with you.

 

For obvious reasons, I wasn’t looking forward to the anniversary of my wife’s passing.  The Date Chick has made things alot easier these last couple of months, but an anniversary is an anniversary, and I’m not the type that just moves on from major events.  I am curious of those who just carry on like nothing’s happened after a major life event.  And though it’s been a year, I think someone like me needs to slowly taper off with the memorializing.  I can’t hit a year mark and say, “that’s that.”

 

I made plans with my mother-in-law to go down to my mom’s house.  I put my wife’s ashes in the ocean there and we wanted to remember her which is just what we did.  There’s really not much to write about.  We were all so quiet.  There’s no rule book for this stuff so you just move with what you think is the correct thing to do at that moment.  We waited for sundown and it was a good sunset, the sun tucking behind the clouds on the horizon as we looked out, not saying a word.  One by one, we tossed flowers in the Pacific.

 

My wife loved Halloween.  She had this goofy sign she’d put up outside our house that said “Boo to you.”  I always laughed and made fun of the sign, good naturedly.  When she was really sick, I put the sign outside near the front door.  Every day, I’d open the door so she could see the sign from inside and say, “Boo to you.”  If she could, she’d let out a little laugh.  I wanted her to have a sense of normalcy, no matter how small.

 

I put the sign out before the anniversary of my wife’s passing.  Right about where I put it last year.  The week leading up to October 28 was not much fun. 

 

A neighbor moved in to the house across the street from us about a year ago.  She had gotten divorced and purchased the house for her and her two kids.  While taking care of my wife, I’d watch the new neighbor, and her mom decorate and furnish the home.  I went over and introduced myself.  She hadn’t told her kids about their new home yet.  She wanted to surprise them just before Halloween.  One of the last things she did was put out Halloween decorations.  I looked out the window as the kids were finally shown their new home.  They were so excited.  I was happy for their new lives. 

 

Over the last month, I noticed that neither my neighbor nor her kids had been home.  Her car was not in the driveway.  A couple weeks ago, a lady was taking out the trashcans, so I went over and asked what was going on.  This lady was the sister of my neighbor.  She explained that my neighbor had lung cancer some time ago and it had returned in an aggressive manner.  It had spread into her brain and it wasn’t looking good.  I felt so bad and explained my situation, telling her that I would do whatever she needed if there was anything I could do.

 

A few days before my wife’s anniversary, a medical transport van backed into my neighbor’s driveway.  My neighbor was taken through her doorway on a stretcher.  I knew instantly what was going on:  she was being taken home to pass away in the home she had so proudly put together one year earlier. 

I had flashbacks to my previous October...the assorted cars coming and going. The unmistakable clothing of the hospice nurses.  The food deliveries.  The lights being kept on all night.  The hushed chats between family members in the driveway. 

 

Not to belabor the point or try to gain sympathy, but this road is an impossible one to take.  You don’t realize how wonderful the mundane is until it’s taken from you.  And as I constantly emphasize, the smaller transgressions become a pleasure to deal with.  Because, you are forced to learn how awful ‘real’ problems can make life.  Flip me off in traffic?  Whatever.  Car needs repair?  That sucks and it’s going to cost money, but it’s money and more can be made.  And so on...

 

One of the last things I got my wife at the supermarket was a pumpkin spice coffee creamer.  She loved pumpkin flavored anything.  When she had her first tumor, the docs put her on steroids and she craved pumpkin pie.  She ate a whole one in a day.  I got home and told her I wanted a piece of that pumpkin pie.  “I ate it all...I don’t know what’s wrong with me.  I’m craving it right now.”  I laughed.  It’s one of my best memories.  I got her another one.

 

I kept that bottle of pumpkin spice creamer in the ‘fridge the entire year, throwing it out this Sunday.  It was time.  I thought of her when I took it out.  She would’ve said, “get rid of that thing!”  There are still plenty of her things I can’t bring myself to get rid of, however. 

 

For the past year, I kept her toothbrush next to mine in the cabinet above the bathroom sink.  After brushing my teeth, I’d return my toothbrush and place it so it would touch hers.  It’s a little thing, but it’s representative.  This weekend, I thought it was time to separate her toothbrush so I put it in another cabinet.  For whatever reason, I don’t want to abandon it completely, but I also recognize that it wouldn’t be good for my long term state-of-mind to have that toothbrush next to mine.  I don’t want to get all Norman Bates-like.

 

I mentioned before that my wife gives me little signs she’s paying attention.  When the anniversary of her passing came around, I went to Starbucks, where Coldplay’s “Paradise” started up on their speaker system just as I walked in.  This was my wife’s last favorite song and I had an instrumental version played at her funeral.  The song always makes me sad for obvious reasons, but I also think my wife uses it to remind me she’s watching over me.  So it’s not all bad.

 

Plus, I have Date Chick now, whom I’ll talk about another time.  We had a nice weekend.  But this Shenanigan is for my wife, who is no doubt having all the pumpkin pie she wants in heaven. 

Edited by DowningRules
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`

"Not to belabor the point or try to gain sympathy, but this road is an impossible one to take.  You don’t realize how wonderful the mundane is until it’s taken from you.  And as I constantly emphasize, the smaller transgressions become a pleasure to deal with.  Because, you are forced to learn how awful ‘real’ problems can make life.  Flip me off in traffic?  Whatever.  Car needs repair?  That sucks and it’s going to cost money, but it’s money and more can be made.  And so on..."

 

This is an incredibly wise way to live one's life. 

 

I love everything pumpkin too.

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My wife passed away October 28, 2012, at 11:37pm.  I was at her side and it was, not surprisingly, the worst day of my life.  That night, after her body was taken from our home, I felt like an alien, hovering around the house with an emptiness that I hope will never be replicated. 

 

This feeling of loneliness and detachment would go on for weeks.  You wonder how people can carry on with cell phone conversations, get the mail and drive their cars.  You float through the days, and worst of all, the nights.  The nights are when you get the creepy crawlies of the mind.  You keep telling yourself to adjust, to adapt.  To just be normal.  Have a cell phone conversation and drive your car like everyone else without getting dizzy or wondering if the car you’re driving is real and maybe everything is just make believe and you’ll get plopped back down to normalcy once the alien feeling is done messing with you.

 

DR,

I totally understand this feeling you describe. I would go to work, after my wife passed, and then come home and say to myself "what did I just do all day and how did I even get there and back". I also remember that floating sensation or being in a fog feeling too.

 

I'm glad you made it through. I use those anniversaries as a time to reflect. To me it's not a day of celebration.....just reflection. Her birthday is a day we celebrate. I hate the constant reminders throughout the year......not the ones of the good times but the ones of her illness and her untimely passing.

 

Glad you made it through the day DR.

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i have to make sure i'm ready to read these threads. there is so much personal stuff in them and i often find myself thinking how would i handle things were i in that situation. thank you for sharing your journey with us. i hope it helps you as much as it affects us.

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Posts like these are why I sound like an elitist asshole on the main forum and don't take this place, sports in general, or what the Angels do seriously. There are a lot more important things in life. Thanks for the perspective to everyone, DR.

I read DR's posts like this and it makes me hate the main board as well.  We have guys on the main board that constantly bitch about every move and non move the Angels make like somehow they are being wronged.  Then you have a guy like DR, who has every reason in the world to bitch and complain and yet he doesn't.  All he does is post beautiful posts and is grateful for what he had.  DR, you're the best. 

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i have to make sure i'm ready to read these threads. there is so much personal stuff in them and i often find myself thinking how would i handle things were i in that situation. thank you for sharing your journey with us. i hope it helps you as much as it affects us.

I usually copy and paste these posts and email them to my girl then she will read them at work.  This one, well I just couldn't.  She wouldn't have been able to work after reading this, she would have been a mess. 

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DR, no one would ever accuse you of fishing for sympathy. What you say is too obviously heartfelt. I am sitting here with tears in my eyes from reading it. It was the same kind of weekend for me. The anniversary of my mother's passing was the day after your anniversary. For some reason it has been particularly vivid this year, with a lot of reminders. I can't explain it.

 

My thoughts and prayers are with you, my friend.

Edited by Vegas Halo Fan
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Thanks for all the support and comments, everyone.  VladFan, good to know I'm not/wasn't the only one with those weird feelings.  I can only describe it as alien and you can't comprehend the possibility of having a 'regular day' and you're in awe of those that do.

 

VegasHalo, I'm sorry for your mom's passing.  I recently learned that 'Saints Days' are celebrated on the day of that saints' passing and not their birthday.  I thought that was interesting. 

 

Stradling, how cool that you email the posts to your wife and she reads to her office.  It makes me think of WWII on the homefront when letters were read out loud to family and friends.  I'm picturing a roomfull of women in 1940s dresses crying with tissues in their laps.  Probably giving myself too much credit for that one, but it's an image.

 

And finally, please don't let my Shenanigans detract from the purpose of the main Angels forum. It's a great place to vent and we all need somewhere to go to do just that.  I've been guilty in the past of, perhaps, going overboard there but I've tried to keep personal attacks and name calling out of the mix which isn't hard to do if you've got something tangible to say.  We just need to remember that there's someone else on the other side of that Internets connection with real problems and so on. 

 

I was so indifferent this past Angels season, with my wife not there to go to games with me.  I don't know if it's her memory that makes me less interested, or if her passing put the previously felt frustration of an Angels loss at the bottom of my list of things to be pissed off about.

 

That said, what do you people think about the Vernon Wells for Mike Napoli trade?

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I didn't say it correctly, but meant a broader context....not really diminishing the main board. for instance, if I find myself going back and forth with someone more then 2-3 times I feel like a goofball and laugh at myself knowing there are more important things in life than trying to be right on the internet or changing someones opinion. I'm glad a message board can be an outlet for someone than say harboring strong feelings and maybe neglecting their kids or being moody with their spouse because their team blew another game.

I mainly meant we come across things daily thar remind us if what's important, for me these stories are some of those things. Sorry it came out wrong.

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DR, there's one thing you may have above everyone else on this board. Tremendous perspective.

Thank you for sharing a little piece of your memories which encourage us to squeeze our wives hands a little tighter, and hug our children a little bit stronger today and every day.

Edited by Jeff S.
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