Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Why No Blogging???

I have had this question via e-mail, phone calls, and in person lately. Some people have asked is this a good thing or bad thing? The real reason I haven't been blogging was because I was working on reprioritizing between paying bills, keeping up with work, communicating with friends, focusing on what's most important, and never taking my eye off the ball with the kids. The kids have always been number 1, and #2 still ends up being half of our dinner conversations between the three of us (it's amazing how many different conversations you can have about the most simple of human functions like pooping, farting, boogers, and penises). Well I can finally say for the most part I'm caught up, but much, much more importantly I have my priorities back in order.

Don't get me wrong, number 1 had never changed (the boys!). It's just that things like bills, work, the house, the yard, etc. had to move up the chart. Things like going out all the time, always having friends over, e-mails, blogging, phone calls, drinking, etc. needed to move down the chart. I spontaneously sent Whitney and Man-Marie a list one day of things I needed to improve on and set myself out on it. They responded as always with nude photos so I knew the #2 priority was still in order (porn site of my friends). Another friend, Andrea, helped me set priorities and realize even if sometimes I offended friends/family or heaven to mergatroy (somebody please e-mail me the feline that always said that line, I know it was a Hanna-Barbara cartoon) came across as one of the gay superfriends (or ambigiously gay duo) that was okay too as long as I was getting my priorities accomplished. Anna, I haven't forgotten your offer to go gay, if I could find my Robin (holy vaginaless life Batman!) I might just settle in, but not in CA anymore per judge's order.

I realized that I was overcompensating, pushing myself so hard to feel better because I'm always so positive that I wasn't where I was trying to convince myself I was (if that makes any sense it's kind of like when Superman flew so fast against the earth's spin he made time go in reverse to save Lois Lane --- who knew at the time that Lois Lane played by Margot Kidder was such a nut job?). I was trying to capture something that will never be here again, yet fly ahead so fast that I was skipping the most important parts --- feeling the pain of what I've been through. I am so lonely when I'm alone, so I tried to not be alone --- ever! That's not as easy as it sounds with two kids and no partner, but I did a pretty good job for a while faking it. I miss Hope still, but it's slowly not all the time.

My last 2 psycho appointments have gone incredibly well. One I cried like a baby as we brought up what Hope went through from her last major tongue surgery one year ago to almost the day to her final rest. She suffered so much more than I ever wrote about in the blogs or told anybody about. She almost died a few times, long before hospice. She wanted to end it all herself, the only thing stopping her was thinking about the kids or me finding her. I think I even wanted it some times, to watch her suffer, to watch the kids suffer, to know I was suffering but could not face it, makes that ride to Florida for the first time when we left our entire lives/family/friends behind at midnight in New England to "temporarily try Florida" feel like just watching a Saved by the Bell marathon (now by that I mean the original, not the college years --- because watching those is true suffering except the second season when Kelly Kapowski came back to the show). I have no regrets, I know I did everything humanly possible to help her but cancer was so much stronger than us in the end. Right now I can barely even see the screen through my tears, but that just might be game 7 coming back on me when the Magic could not miss a 3 pointer and our beloved undermanned Celtics took the Eastern Conference champs to the brink. Or maybe it's watching Big Papi swing the bat, either one of those will make me cry right now.

The last appointment with my psycho was much more positive. She said she could see a huge difference in me since I realized I was only fooling myself. I thought about the following lines from the Counting Crows song Come Around:

"I'm one of a million pieces fallen on the ground
It's one of the reasons when we say goodbye
We'll still come around
We will come around
I have waited for tomorrow from December 'til today
I have started loving sorrow along the way
I am calling from some city and I won't be there too long
I could wait and I could waste away
But what comes back is I hear you say we're gone
For all of the times that I go spinning up and down
When all of the things have died between us
Well, we'll still come around
We will come around
After I've been missing for a while
And you hear that summer's song
Haven't all the fading lines lingered on?
What I know is: she's going
When you know it, it's alright"

I think I finally know it, she's gone and it's alright. The three Wisemen will be alright. We will move on, we will be stronger, and I think I am beginning to do so in tiny baby steps. I still have so much trouble focusing on work sometimes, bills seem impossible, taxes, 401K's, defined benefit plans, proposals, invoices, balancing bank accounts, refinancing, home owner's insurance, lawn maintenance, pool cleaning, pressure washing, gutter cleaning, and all the rest come and go like I'm James T. Kirk overacting. "Must reach beepie walkie talkie thing and flip open so my hair piece pops up at the same time to call Bones to tell him he must be brought back to life for next scene to say dammit Jim, I'm just a doctor."

Not to say it's been all bad. The kids both finished up school, and I've made a ton of new friends. We have BBQ's, pool parties, and many other excuses to get together (and yes Whitney not be alone). Reese had a full cap and gown graduation that was the cutest thing you've ever seen with the pre-K kids singing songs and just being pre-K kids. I cried during the ceremony, just thinking about Hope being there and how happy she would have been. I know she was there, but not the real Hope. It was just me sitting between two grandma's with the best intentions, some acquaintences that have become great friends, but just not the same as being there with Hope. We then had the first official day of summer with Nathan wrapping up his year, I took the day off and hit Sea World with the kids. We stayed at an incredible resort with a huge water slide, lazy river, and so much else to do. We stayed the whole long weekend and hit Sea World twice along with Downtown Disney. We did unfortunately lose Reese's Ya-yas, his favorite blanket he's always had that weekend. I've called the resort many, many times with no call back yet so I haven't given up all HOPE (there goes that word and feeling again).

At Sea World you can buy passes once and keep coming back for the rest of the year. It was just what the doctor ordered, an injection of holy shit we are still alive and let's make sure we take full advantage. The kids deserve it, it's been hopefully the toughest year of their lives (I can only HOPE it is the toughest year they ever face). We've been kicked in the balls, but thanks to all the love and support we've received we're getting back up better than ever. The next weekend we stayed in Orlando again for 3 more days at a first-class resort with Ella, Tina and Jon. I've done some work for Hubbs-Sea World and they gave the boys and I free behind the scene passes that were incredible. Not only did we get close up and personal with polar bears, boluga whales, dolpins, manatees, sea turtles, have an incredible buffet lunch with no seafood oddly enough (Reese's favorite part was lunch as he devoured more chicken wings then when Scott, Kurt and I used to competitively eat at the Quincy's buffet --- I can still remember the poor waitress that got our table finally just bringing us pitchers of soda instead of never helping another table out because she had to keep running back and forth for us), and the grande finale was taking us back stage to be with the latest Shamu (little known fact is that the orginal Shamu was in California and whichever is the largest killer whale they now call Shamu). We had the trainers meet and talk to us for at least 6o minutes, all the while they had their largest whale doing tricks, feeding, getting rubbed down, etc. I was hoping for a kiss, but unfortunately didn't get one (don't get me wrong though that trainer was cute --- he didn't have anything to hide though in that wet suit).

We even rented some bumper boats with water cannons as Reese and I took on Jon and Natedog (the paddle boats without water cannons weren't big fans of ours as we blasted them but it was fun for us). One more anectdote going back to Anna's wondering about my persuasion, it was gay day or gay weekend in Orlando this weekend too. You are supposed to wear a red shirt I'm told to show your pride. Well I wore a red shirt not realizing that was the case and borrowed a friend's camera because I lost my charger. The camera was her daughter's, quite the cute little pocket camera, and a beautiful pink/purple color I was told. I didn't even know it but I was showing off my gay pride too.

On Sunday last weekend we were at the resort, just got done with a day of swimming, playing, feasting at the Rainforest Cafe, and were getting ready to go to Sea World again for a couple of hours (we stayed only a mile from there) when I was checking my cellular for the time. I noticed the date, it was the 7th of June. I'd been so busy it had not even dawned on me that Hope passed away exactly 6 months ago. I have not had my wife or a mother for my children for 6 months, one-half of a year. I just lost it. I felt the fog coming back over me that it's taken almost 6 months to let pass, I couldn't think straight, was cold, upset, could not even talk at first, and just sobbing. I called a couple of different friends, talked to my mom, just didn't know what to do. I eventually calmed down, talked to the kids about why I was so sad, and as they always do because I never hide my feelings from them they comforted me. They didn't cry while I was inconsolable at moments, but they kept telling me it would be okay, held my hand, got me tissues, Nathan rubbed my back a bit, Reese hugged me softly as he so often does, and I genuinely started to feel better. We even ended up making it to Sea World later and had a great night. The moon was full, we watched Shamu Rocks followed by gorgeous fireworks that reached up close to Hope.

I see my psycho again tomorrow, but I feel good about how upset I got and then how quickly the boys helped me feel better. I have plenty to talk about as always, that's never been a problem for me. Natedog started basketball and I'm coaching his team again. His first game is this Saturday. He was at cub scout camp for the first week off from school, and zoo camp this week. Tomorrow after camp he's going to a 7-year old girl's birthday party. You should have seen the 3 wise boys at 8:45 PM tonight with "the store is closing" warnings being repeated and stare downs from the employees as we sifted through the Hannah Montana wear. We settled in on a beach theme including a pink Roxy beach bag, flowery flip flops, and a cool Roxy hat (Whitney don't let Kylie read my blog --- actually no kids should read my blog). When I got home Lindsey from next door came over and gave us the okay on the gifts but man it's tough shopping for women --- no matter what the age. My mom's birthday is in September, any advice out there??? Reese has always had a spot on his lip since birth that the pediatrician said not to worry about. Now the dentist is worried because of Hope's history so I have to take Reese on Friday to her same ENT (Ear Nose Throat) doc that did many of her surgeries and she became so incredibly close to. I mostly try not to think about it, there's no way I can go through this with the kids so I know Hope will help us get past this minor scare we'll forget about in a couple of months.

My necklace broke today that was the last present Hope gave me. It's the second time and luckily a good friend Judy sells jewelry and is hooking me up again with a replacement. I only mention this because I was devastated the first time it happened, and now this time I just took it in stride. I think that is one more sign of progress. Speaking of progress, the Red Sox shut out the evil Yankees tonight 7-0 and the Magic came back strong to make the Finales a series again at 2 games to 1. Except for the Celtics, the Magic are my second favorite team but I always root for whoever is playing the Lakers (only the Yankees are more hated in the Wise household, and it's close between the two teams). My brother is coming this Friday and staying for just over a week. He and I have a tradition we missed last year for obvious reasons of the two of us taking a long man's weekend with just us. We are heading south with no plans at all, no reservations, just an opportunity to do whatever the hell we want to do. I think it's exactly what both of us need, me especially. I can't wait, I can't freaking wait!

As long as I can keep up my priorities, I'll keep blogging. I truly love it, was surprised and happy to hear from so many that were worried about us because I had not been blogging, and it does truly help me. I'm not back yet, but for the first time think I'm truly getting there the right way --- slowly and "step by step" (by the way does anyone remember that sitcom that was truly one of the worst of all time?). Except for sports, I still haven't watched any TV since before Hope passed away, still have not gone through the pantry, her closet, her clothes, her purse, her night stand, taken off my wedding ring, taken off my HOPE bracelet, slept on her side or the middle of the bed, taken her razor, soap or shampoo out of the shower, or even cancelled her cellular phone even though I pay for it every month. I have rearranged the pool deck a bit, am planning some more major landscaping and yard changes, I am using both towel racks, and am ready to do many of those other things now as time allows.

One last thing, I am sure because I was so emotional on Sunday night I had a dream about Hope coming and talking to me for the first time. I never remember my dreams but this time I did. In my dream she spoke to me directly, told me I was doing well, that she missed me, and assured me she was very happy. During the course of this conversation I swear to you I woke up and continued the conversation. I was wide awake for a while after that just rethinking the dream/connection with Hope. Maybe in my dream I was waking up but not in reality. Whatever it was, Hope communicating directly with me or otherwise, I know she's right. I'm doing better now although not where I want to be yet, I know she misses me and I feel the same, and I know she's happy. She is not suffering anymore and she is with us every moment. I love you like water Hope, please come visit me anytime. You promised to haunt me, and I'm following through with all my promises so far so it's on you now...


Myrtle's Mayhem said...

Glad to read this update and hear you are doing better. We have missed you!


p.s. Who doesn't remember Suzanne Somers and Patrick Duffy in Step by Step!

Anonymous said...

Snagglepuss is the carton character whom always said “heavens to meratroid” and “exit stage left”. -Nick

rach said...

Glad to read about your progress and fun with the boys! Hope your week with Kurt was a blast!
Can't wait to see you boys next month...and we want details of your trip! :)

Myra said...

Keep it up Jake. You will get there in your own time.
I know how it is being the single parent. In your next conversation with Hope let her know I am going to adopt the girls. She always was so possiive about me having the girls. They only met her the one time but talk about her often and Hope has many balloon in Heaven with her now.
Love to you and the boys.
Aunt Myra

Whitney said...

Kylie loved the outfit that "your friend" picked out at the last minute. Especially the little Gator in the bag.

Alyson said...

I have to admit I was one of those not really wanting to ask, but wondering when there'd be a blog. Glad to read your update and hear of tears and joy and dreamy visits. Always thinking of you and the boys.

Jennifer P said...

Hey! So glad to get the update! And I'm pleased to hear you are healing (in your own time and your own way). I think of you and the boys every day. Love you!

Anna Knowles said...

No matter how many friends and family members you have close and distant comforting you, I know nothing can compare to the comfort Hope gives you. I'm so so glad she was there to comfort and talk with you that night. What a miraculous and amazing experience. Take Care.
Thinking of you and your boys,

Pam Anderson said...

Even though I missed the blogging, I'm glad it was because you were busy living and enjoying your life. Sounds like the Wisemen are on the right track and it is a fast one. Glad your visit with Hope gave you comfort and hope. (Maybe next time she will warn you about red shirts and pink cameras - I'm sure she got a kick out of that!) Thinking of you often!
Keep on keepin' on!