Thursday, November 29, 2007
Today I was driving home on a country road, in the middle of nowhere, and what do I see on the side of the road, standing at the edge of a driveway?
A BIG, BEAUTIFUL, BLACK great dane.
She was the spitting image of my young Carlie without her ears cropped and her coat shiny. I almost pulled the car over so I could pet her. Just looking at her I could practically feel how soft and big her head would be.
TODAY this happened, the day after I posted about Carlie. I have not laid eyes on another great dane, much less a black one that looked exactly like my dog, since the last day I saw Carlie.
Ohhhh I want a great dane!!
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Lots of times when the kids and I leave the house to go somewhere I am struck by how much our life has changed. It used to be, when we left, Luke was in charge of "doing trucks". This meant that he needed to put the two ride-on trucks that the kids have, on the couch so that Carlie (our greant dane) would not lay on the couch while we were gone.
Carlie was such a great dog. I remember the day I saw and fell in love with a great dane on a walk with my friend Lisa. I knew instantly when I saw that huge lanky lovable animal, that was the dog for me. After Joe and I moved into our house, he secretly researched breeders and found some puppies that would be available around Christmas time. One day I met him at work in Portsmouth and we were supposed to go do some errands together. We left in his truck and he said he had to drop off a package somewhere. FOUR HOURS LATER we were in Connecticut at a breeder's house and I was picking out my new puppy. We visited her 3 times before we could even take her home. We would drive to Connecticut and see the dog and then go to Foxwoods and spend the night. It was so much fun.
As with many young married dog-owners, Carlie was our baby before we had babies. Back in those days, Carlie was allowed anywhere she wanted to go...couch, bed, anywhere. For the first few years that we had her she was definitely my dog. She followed me around, she slept with me until Joe came to bed and she would not get up in the morning until I got up. Most people do not remember those years with me and Carlie. When I had kids, she slipped down the totem-pole so to speak. My focus was on the kids all the time. Joe picked up the slack with her, and became "his dog". She followed him around, she was there to greet him every night when he came home, tail wagging.
Even still, during all those years when she would be considered to the outside eye as "Joe's dog", I would pat her and look her in the eye and I would secretly say to her, "You're my dog Carlie, you and I know the truth".
We had to put Carlie down on June 16 and it was one of the most awful experiences that Joe and I ever had together. We both were in tears in the waiting room....while it was happening....afterwards. We were both absolute wrecks. We sat the kids down after it was done and I explained to them that Carlie had died. We were going to plant a tree for her in our yard.
Joe struggled the first few times that he came through the door from work and there was no Carlie. I would meet him at the door, have the kids be outside, etc just to change it up so that Carlie not being there would not be so apparent for him.
After a couple of weeks we received Carlie's ashes in a wooden box. Joe put the box on my armoire in our bedroom and I never even touched the box until after Joe's accident.
5 weeks and 4 days after Carlie died, Joe was gone too. Carlie is buried with Joe. It is unbelievable.
Lots of times when the kids and I leave our house I have to stop myself from my habit of saying "Luke, did you do trucks?" as I said so many times before. When I am at home at night sometimes I hear a noise and at first I think it's Carlie and I have to remind myself that she's not here.
Sometimes in a weak moment, when I feel desperately hopeless in all that has changed, I think in my head.... "I don't even have my dog".
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
A few days ago Joe's brother, Jeff, and I were in contact via email. There is part of an email that I wrote to him that keeps repeating in my head over and over. When I was typing the words in this email it was true and pure to how I feel. This is the part I keep thinking about:
....."I can't go back to my life before I was with Joe because I have two young children to take care of. It was always Joe's wish for me to stay home with our kids and I did that, and here I am. I love my children Jeff, with all my heart, and there is nothing I would not do for them, but I lived for Joe. He was everything to me. I always knew my children were going to grow up and live their own lives and have their own families. But Joe was mine forever. I just don't know how to face the future without him."
In all fairness, there should have been another line at the end of this email. It would read:
"But I will."
I will face the future as crappy as it looks right now.
I feel somewhat vulnerable to admit that "I lived for Joe". It's not as pathetic as it sounds though, since we were in a good, healthy, equally-loving relationship. However, this topic of how much of myself was wrapped up in Joe is something I think about often these days.
Saturday, November 17, 2007
There is a conversation that I have wanted to have with Luke for quite some time, but I knew I had to wait until the moment was right. It could not be forced in order to be effective.
He is very difficult to talk to about Joe because basically, he does not talk about it. He swears he does not think about his dad very often. I have not been able to figure out if this is true or if he doesn't want to admit it for some reason, a reason that he may not even understand. I am hoping that at some point I understand him better in terms of this loss.
I know that when Luke hears about someone dying (anyone), he gets a look on his face that I can best describe as "stress" and he gets a little teary. He often starts acting silly or physical in some way.
So what happened today... and this is a very small point but one that I wanted Luke to understand because I have a feeling that he worries about me and my loss. We were sitting on the couch, and Alyssa was on the floor sleeping (exhausted from a night full of throwing up, begging for drinks and generally just being awfully sick).
Luke asked me..."What are you thinking about?" (this is a question he often asks me now when I am quiet, looking away or whatever).
Robin: "I am thinking about how tired I am." (I meant that literally, just tired from being up all night with Alyssa)
Luke: "I was thinking about daddy."
Robin: "Oh...What were you thinking?"
Luke: "Nothing." At this point Luke started jabbering about baseball. He often does this and pushing him to get him to talk or elaborate does not work.
Robin: "I miss your dad so much Luke. I wish he was here right now".
Luke: quiet....not saying anything.
Robin: "Luke, I want you to know something...I want you to know that mommy has always had a great life. I had a great life before I met daddy and I wish we had more time with him, and even though I am so sad right now, I know I will have great future....and I know that you and Alyssa are going to also have great lives because I am your mommy and I am going to make sure of it".
Luke: "Before daddy??" (This reaction was like music to my ears....and it was exactly what I was expecting....and the reason why I wanted to have this conversation with Luke. He doesn't know or think that there was ever a mommy without daddy...why would he know this? I believe that this is part of why he would worry about me. I wanted him to know that I had a good life before I ever met Joe, because it might give him some confidence in our future.
Robin: "Yes Luke, mommy had a really good life before I ever even met your dad. I was 23 when I met him and I knew him for 12 years".
That's where the conversation ended. There was no jabbering anymore from Luke, no weird looks...no silliness. He just looked at me contentedly and did not say anything.
I know my son, and I know that this small piece of information gives him a new way to think about things.
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Thursday, November 8, 2007
Monday, November 5, 2007
I am often wondering in my head....is it enough?
The love that I have for my children, the time I spend with them, the things I do for them...I just wonder, can I give them what they need? Will it be enough?
I used to think how lucky my children were to have Joe for a father. He was fun and played games with them and sat with them and read them books. He was loving and outgoing and so unafraid of the world. He was so BIG.
I wanted and thought our children would learn how to live by example. In my head I thought they would learn "X" from their father and learn "X" from their mother....and they would learn what a loving and repectful marriage was from Joe and I...and they would learn that our family of 4 was a precious unit...and they would always feel safe and comforted in their home. I was living that before the accident and now it's gone.
I know that we have friends and family and many people that love us. And I know that we are not "alone". But I also know that that dream above is gone. That is difficult.
So I am always wondering, can I provide my children with all they need to not just get by in life, but to thrive? The way they would have if Joe was here?
The other question I think about and am somewhat haunted by is....Was it enough? I think of this in terms of Joe and I, so specifically....Was I enough? I feel a certain amount of pressure to have been the wife of someone who died young. It probably sounds silly....or...whatever...but I just wonder if I did enough for him.
Please do not comment to this post.
Saturday, November 3, 2007
So for the last three months I have been dreading the topic coming up. When we talk about our last name, or when Alyssa says it, as she likes to do now, I am afraid that my silliness will come to Luke's mind and make him as sad as it makes me.
He doesn't say anything about it.
Friday, November 2, 2007
That person would:
...understand why one minute I am pissed at Joe for having a motorcycle and the next minute I am grateful that he had a motorcycle.
...know that no matter what I say about Joe, be it in a moment when I am angry at him, that I have the deepest love that one person can have for another. Nothing that I say changes that.
...keep telling me that everything will be okay.
...not call me and expect me to talk for any length of time.
...send me emails.
...tell me stories of other kids who live without their fathers (for whatever reasons) and how they don't seem to have a hole in their heart.
...not tell me detailed stories of other people's grief or their own (about Joe). I can not handle it. Unless I ask.
...not ask me to make plans too far in advance.
...not tell me/let me hear stories of how they found out about Joe's accident. Unless I ask.
...keep bad news from me that I don't need to hear.
...go for walks with me.
...not care that my house is a mess, and not expect me to wait on them when they are here.
...keep telling me that one day I will be happy again and I will think of Joe with a good feeling.
...help me figure out how to store Joe's things. But not make me do it.
...help me through Friday nights. And Sundays.
...show me that this is life......this is not the end of the world. That people get through this.
...know that I was half of the marriage.
...know that the Disco ball was mine.
...give me easy, fast, healthy recipes to feed my kids.
...not be as sad about Joe as I am.
...help me pass time.
...let me know that they think about me often.
...let me know that they will put up with my doom and gloom, for as long as it lasts.
...remember that my toothbrush is the only one in the holder.
Thursday, November 1, 2007
How do you go on when the person you were going to share the rest of your life with just never comes home?
No hearing his voice again.
No seeing his face again.
No spending time with him again.
Not another moment with him.
But all of his stuff is still here.
I am living with this every moment of every day. This is my life now. I don't even know how to make sense of it.