My goodness, it’s been a couple of weeks since I last posted! As I had mentioned in the previous blog, my year of “firsts” ended on October 9, 2014. One entire year since my husband passed away...and still…. it doesn’t seem possible that I will never see or hear him again while I am alive on this earth.
On that day, I got some phone calls from family and friends who were checking in with me. I appreciated that so much. But the way the day turned out was certainly not what I had expected….
…. about 5 weeks earlier, when a dear friend whom we had known for over 40 years called me. Her husband had suddenly collapsed and since she was a registered nurse, she got him into some doctors right away. They soon found a tumor on his spine and were also concerned about some severe pain he was having in his left hip. After more testing, the news came that he had cancer. So he began some radiation in hopes the tumor would reduce and his pain level would drop. As these things often go, he had continuing and escalating pain. He was sent to the same oncologist as my husband had last year. The doctor decided to supplement the radiation with a 3 week trial of chemotherapy. He had one chemo treatment and actually felt better. He had 2 great days and he and his wife and his daughter (who had flown in from California) got a lot of things done. I had suggested they get a will, a medical guardianship and DNR document done immediately. And also to make funeral arrangements so she didn’t have to stress about that when the time came. He had always taken care of all the finances and his wife had no idea what to do first. Two days after those couple of good days; he was in terrible pain and his wife finally got Hospice Home to find him a bed because he had felt a pop and his left hip had shattered. The oncologist said there was no use in trying to repair it because they had just confirmed that he had cancer everywhere. His wife called and asked if my son and I could witness the legal documents on that Wednesday. We went to the Hospice Home and met them and their attorney. He was mostly sleeping and probably drifting into a coma by then. We did witness all the documents. My son and I both talked between ourselves and felt that he wasn’t going to last much longer due to his coloring (or lack there-of) and his lack of response.
The next day my son and I were doing some errands together when I got the call. He had passed 6 hours earlier. The day before we had told his daughter that we knew my husband was just waiting for Jerry because they used to ride in a 2 man police car when they first got on the police department. I told his daughter that they would be “partnered up” riding together again in Heaven taking care of everyone. When she called, she said “my Daddy is with your husband now in Heaven.!” It was October 9th….the same day that my husband died a year before!! We all took such comfort in that, believing that the guys are together again, laughing and telling “police stories” and getting caught up on all the news.
It actually made my first anniversary without my husband easier because I had my friend to think about. I was able to help her with some police documents this week. In a few weeks, she has decided to move in with her daughter who lives in California. She had a year’s lease on the apt. she and Jerry had moved into a year ago. The management is waiving the last two months of her lease as a courtesy. Her daughter is looking for a larger apt. in the same complex she lives in now in California. They have gone through the house that is still for sale and selected several things to take to California. I will miss my friend but am happy that she will have a place to make new memories. She said she just can’t live alone ~ she never has and doesn’t want to have the stress of taking care of everything on her own.
According to Sarah Ban Breathnach’s book SIMPLE ABUNDANCE…
“If we are alive, we cannot escape loss. Loss is a part of real life. ”Have you ever thought, when something dreadful happens, a moment ago things were not like this; let it be then not now, anything but now?” The English novelist Mary Stewart asks. ”And you try and try to remake the time, but you know you can’t. So you try to hold the moment quite still and not let it move on and show itself.”
“Today might be tough for you. You might not want the next moment to show itself, to reveal the twists and turns of life’s mystery. But at least you have it. YOU still have life. A choice as to how you will live this precious day.”
“Don’t wish it away. Don’t waste it. Redeem one hour. Hold it close. Cherish it. Above all, be grateful for it. Let your thanks rise above the disappointment–opportunities lost, mistakes made, the clamor of all that has not yet come.”
“And if today is so horrendous that the gift doesn’t seem worth acknowledging, if you can’t find one moment to enjoy, one simple pleasure to savor, one friend to call, one person to love, one thing to share, one smile to offer, if life is so difficult you don’t want to bother living it to the fullest, then don’t live today for yourself. LIVE IT FOR THE ONE WHO IS GONE.”
I had lunch with another good friend. She is starting a new job on Monday. She hasn’t worked a 40 hour week for several years and she hasn’t worked part-time for several months. But she wanted to rebuild her retirement fund and thinks this will be a good way to do that. It’s the same type of work she had done for years ~ insurance claims handing and she already knows a couple of the employees so I think it will be a good fit. I can’t wait to have lunch with her again to find out how she likes it.
In-between all of that turmoil, I have planted some more plants for the winter. I have continued to transcribe for the Smithsonian Institute and recently worked on a diary of Gertrude Vanderbilt (Gloria’s aunt). It was written in 1890 when Gertrude was 15 years old. She traveled from New York to London to Paris and back to London and then back home to New York. It was quite interesting to read and transcribe.
The first of November I will begin writing my 4th book for NANO National November Novel Writing Challenge. I thought of a “working title” and just asked my granddaughter to draw a cover idea I have. She is very excited and I can’t wait to see what she has in mind…..If I use it as a cover, I am putting her name in my book as the illustrator!
I also managed to read a couple of books…
Visit Candyland in these pages and get a glimpse of a generous, glittering world revealing many of its surprising and funny secrets for the first time.
I have read both of Tori’s books and I was curious to read about Candy’s version. I picked this one up with and open mind and tried not to be influenced by too many reviews. It seems that most people who have read Candy Spelling’s memoir tend to give it more negative reviews than positive. I read this book for entertainment purposes and to hear what Candy had to say about her life. I was not going into this hoping to read the best work of literature ever published, nor did I have any unrealistic expectations. With that said I need to review this book for what it simply is. It is the story of a woman who becomes a celebrity through marriage.
Growing up I was a fan of Dynasty, The Love Boat and occasionally watched Fantasy Island. As I entered my teenage years I was a 90210 and Melrose Place fan. I looked forward to watching a new episode each week and I loved all that the shows had to offer. I knew Aaron Spelling was a very successful producer and his family was often talked about. Candy Spelling makes it a point to mention throughout that Aaron was one of the most successful and wealthy Hollywood producers. She also briefly mentions her “complicated” relationship with Tori, and of course she talks about their 70,000 plus square foot Mansion.
If you don’t think you care to know about the lavish life she led, then don’t read this book. If you’re looking for a quick read and an inside look at the Spelling legacy then pick it up. This is not the best book I ever read, but it wasn’t the worst either. I think that the reviewers who bash her for writing this book do it unnecessarily. It is not all that bad and it is pure entertainment.
THE BLESSINGS is a story about an ordinary family…or what most of us would expect an ordinary family to be. They support each other, they gather almost every week together for a meal to celebrate, mourn, discuss family matters or just to watch football games and eat. They are a close Irish-Catholic family in Philadelphia. Most of them never leave but those who do ~ eventually come back, even if it is only for a short time or a holiday. They have the same fears and problems that most of us have except they are always ready to forgive and move on. They endure sickness, death, birth, marriages, divorces and all of the things that make up life.
“There’s no shortage of novels about the quirks and tragedies of large families, but The Blessings is a uniquely poignant, prismatic look at an Irish-Catholic clan as it rallies after losing one of its own.”-Entertainment Weekly