Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Hump Day

Mid-week and I'm as weirded out as ever by how I feel and what's going on. I had 2 late night city council meetings the last two nights, soccer practice tonight, and another city council meeting on Thursday night. Grandma's and neighbors have been putting in overtime to help us out. Nathan stayed home on Monday sick so I started the week off a day behind with work. He went to school on Tuesday for a field trip to the zoo but threw up before they left so he came home again yesterday. Today he's back and I'm just watching the phone hoping not to get the call. He's got no fever, just an upset stomach and only Sunday night and the two mornings. The rest of the time he seems fine.

I got out of the shower over the weekend and since I was wearing nothing but my wedding ring Nathan was standing there (by the way if you have kids you just plain give up on privacy. I don't even bother closing the bathroom doors anymore because as soon as I sit on my throne Mocha paws at the door and both kids are in the room. They always turn on the fan --- now I know this becoming TMI --- and complain about me stinking up the joint but don't leave. I am so far behind in reading the newspaper and magazines because I've lost that time. By the way this all started in our old house because our master bath had a saloon style door and the kids/dogs would just walk underneath it) and he asked why I wore the ring. I started to tell him it was because I still loved Mommy but then some day when I take it off I didn't want him to think I didn't love Mommy anymore. So there I am still naked and rubbing myself all over (with the towel ya weirdos) while I have absolutely no good response to my inquisitive child. I don't even remember what I finally said now to him except to punish him severely for upsetting Daddy and feeling like it took me 10 minutes to say anything. Of course I didn't punish him but after he left the room my stomach was in knots and I just felt like an absolutely incompetent Dad.

Why do I still wear the ring? Why do I keep Hope's shampoo and razor in the shower and her jackets on the hooks by the front door? Why haven't I gone through our cabinets, our freezer that is overflowing, her closet, her part of the dresser, her night stand, the console in her car, her part of the bathroom, and her overnight bag from hospice? Why am I not freaked out that I can't find our family heir loom ring from my great-grandmother? Am I just numb? I feel guilty all the time I don't think about her more, but we're just so busy I can't even keep up with daily chores sometimes so sitting around getting upset and thinking about it just doesn't happen much lately. I feel like I should be doing much more soul searching and feeling her loss, but I just don't. I feel like I'm just numb at this point.

I was giving blood Friday of last week in the Big Red Bus that we've had come to our office for a long time now. I was the only one in the bus except the employees and they started talking about who they were giving the blood to. I just lost it for no reason at all and it was almost impossible to just sit there. The only other experience I can compare it to was one time when Hope in hospice I was getting a haircut with the boys and the hair dresser said she thought I had a discoloration on my head that I should get checked out (of course I still haven't done this). I just lost it with both kids getting cuts at the same time as I could feel my tears pushing the newly cut hair down my face. This poor lady had no idea of course what was going on until I finally pulled myself together enough to tell her. That was one uncomfortable hair cut the rest of that sitting and I was trying to hide being upset from the boys.

Wednesday is hump day, and I'm not quite over the hump yet this week. By the way I'll never forget and I took a picture of it years ago but one time I was doing an inspection at NASA outside the VAB where they have trains that deliver materials and parts. There was a sign on the caboose that simply said, "No Humping." Now I don't know what kind of a pervert freak humps trains but if it happens often enough at NASA there must be a website and fetish group into this. It's just one more thing that makes me miss Hope, and I'm sorry if her family is reading this (in fact stop now or this will get worse). I always said I would be honest and not hold back so here goes. They put ever possible side effect on every medication and cancer treatment brochure from anal bleeding to softening of bones, dry mouth, teeth and hair falling out, could cause cancer was one of my favorites, loss of breasts and tongue, to death. The one thing they don't put on the cancer treatment brochures that is difficult for the spouse to get used to is lack of humping (or intimacy which I'll use to be more PC).

Imagine having your first breast removed for over a year, having your second one removed then reconstruction of both, then indescribable dryness, feeling sick all the time, trying to gather enough strength just to get out of bed without nausea, then a portion of your tongue removed three times before they took over half of it away, radiation to the breasts and mouth, and all the time not being able to just simply kiss your husband. It's not something I've talked to anyone about over the last 7 years, but I started to lose my wife a long time ago to cancer. It just kept taking more and more of her until she was completely gone. I've missed her so much over the last 7 years at different times, and now all the time and I barely think about it lately. I can't explain it, it must just be a coping mechanism. If anyone finds the link to the train fetish site please send it to me. I'll try anything after all this time. Happy Hump Day!


Anna said...

Pam said...

I think you kind of answered your question about why don't you think about Hope all the time anymore. For the last 7 years you had to live with cancer and its attack on Hope. Those battles completely enveloped both of you. Yes, you made your peace with Hope at the end of her life but I think its the realization and acceptance that she is gone is what makes you feel so numb. Almost like - okay now what?

Unfortunately, the numbness doesn't stop life from happening. (Well, I'm sure there are some people who really do stop living while they grieve.) Your new life, the one without Hope, is still busy with work, meetings, kids puking, soccer games, laundry etc. and you are doing all of this single parent-style. Just because you don't think about her all the time doesn't mean you have forgotten her. Maybe that is why you still have your ring on and her shampoo on the shelf in the shower. Amid all of the craziness called life, a glance at your ring or a whiff of the shampoo gives you a brief moment to think about her, and maybe some special moment between the two of you, before the door swings open and two little guys come barging in with their arsenal of all things boy.

You will know when you are ready to remove her things. When you are you can do it alone or get her friends to help you. There are probably stories to be shared, along w/a pitcher of Margaritas, as you go through her things. It won't be painful when the time is right.

You are doing better than you know and I hope it keeps up! Of course, now I have to investigate the whole "No Humping" thing.What a hoot! Take care.

Anna Knowles said...

Hey Jake,
I'm still reading, and thinking about you. I'm sending another hug your way. (sorry about the virtual hug, but an actual one will cost me over $300).
Take Care, Anna :)

Anonymous said...

I agree with Pam completely! You have lived with this for a very long time and I'm sure if Hope was still here she would completely agree with you. I'm sure that you are on your way to mending. It seems you are getting ready to hit the "pissed off as hell" mode. Maybe not maybe your not that type of person but from your blogs it sounds like it to me. And that is fine you have the right to be angry.
You will find the right time to remove all of Hope's things and maybe you will never take your wedding ring off purhaps you will just move it to another finger.
Yes you are going to feel weird for awhile and even years down the road something will remind you of Hope and you will have that feeling all over again just not as bad. These things are normal what ever normal is.
So get mad be sad forget don't forget it will all work itself out in time. Time is what it's going to take and you can't be told how long this will take. Okay I'm sorry that I have rambled on or not made since. I'm not very good at this but just know you are going to be okay. You are doing a wonderful job with your boys and I'm sure sometimes you feel like you are lost however, Hope will guide you and love will show you the way!

Stay strong my friend!

Myra said...

Jake, Pam said it all. She is right.

As part of the family I read your blogs and the tears flow. Which give me time to share your grief too. My girls only got to see Hope that one weekend at Granmama's but not a week goes by that they do not talk about her. What an impression she made on them. Now that I am in the adoption process I know that Hope is watching over us. I was reading a note from her when I first put in the paper work for fostering this morning. It was hard to not be able to call her after leaving court yesterday to let her know the girls were now going to be adopted.

Being a single parent is difficult. But you are doing fine. Slow down and enjoy the boys. The three of you need this time to support each other. Even though they are young they will give you a hug or cry along with you. That will be more support than and adult could give.

Take care. Love to the wise men.

rach said...

Hope you are had a better end to your week!