bunchofgrapes: (The Avengers - Dynamic)
[personal profile] bunchofgrapes
I'm a little late sending this but thank you to everyone who sent cards, good thoughts and hugs after the passing of my stepfather. It really does mean a lot. Mom has been doing okay. One of the things that gave her a lot of comfort was coming home the same day John passed away and as she made the turn for their house, she looked up and in the clear blue sky, the entrails from two jets had made a cross. She said that was a sign from John to let her know he's alright and she can move on.

I talked to her Christmas morning and she was surprisingly upbeat. She and my stepfather had their own little routine on Christmas morning so I know she was dreading the day. However, a neighbor who lives behind her lost her husband a year ago so she came over early and she and my mom shared coffee and happy thoughts. I think it's going to be good to have another widow living close by. Already mom is talking about moving forward so that's good. She still has to get through New Year's Eve though. That would have been their 20th wedding anniversary.

It's funny how grief hits you: never when you're prepared; always when you're not. For me it was Christmas Eve. I went to church with my dad and stepmother and something about the songs they played just made me think of John. It was probably good that I was sad because otherwise I would have laughed my way through the service. I told my dad later that we were "rocking for Jesus". It was a very new, very contemporary church with an video and sound system that would make George Lucas proud. I'm not into new, contemporary churches. Give me a traditional church with pews (this one had padded chairs that could have been part of a cheesy dinette set), and a choir, and old guys in brown suits who pass the collection plate. We usually go to a church like that on Christmas Eve but this year my dad wanted to go to this place. He and my stepmother used to go to the older, smaller church many years ago. He apologized later and said we'd continue to go to Columbia. He didn't like it either.

I hope Christmas was very good to all of you. My pretend husband was extremely good to me: new Coach handbag (a small one that I can use on the weekends) and a new Life Fitness recumbent bike to replace the very aged, but still working treadmill. I decided on the recumbent bike because of a heal spur and plantar fasciitis, all caused by walking on the treadmill (I'm an at least half an hour, 5 days a week on the treadmill kind of girl). Because of the foot issues, I can't run on it and I decided that once my foot is better, I can walk on the trails outside. I've been using the recumbent bike at work and I've been getting a great workout so it just made sense to get one. Plus, I can read or play video games on the bike. On the treadmill it's all I could do to walk in a straight line (I also have an inner ear problem). So yeah, I'm very excited for the new bike. They deliver it on Thursday.

In the "my neighbors think I'm crazy" category we are currently having massive gusts of wind that tend to scatter things. Last night I stupidly set out my recycling because you never know what time the recycling truck comes along. At 6am this morning the sound of the bin's contents being scattered along the sidewalk woke me up. So, like the conscientious neighbor I am, I got dressed and went outside to pick up the contents of the bin (yes, in the gusty, biting wind). You'd think there wouldn't be anyone stirring at 6am but no, one of the neighbors came out to move their two big trash bins to the curb. He looked over, said "good morning" and then went back inside, you know, like it's every day he sees the crazy lady on the corner outside picking up cans in her neighbor's yard.

One last thing. If you haven't watched it, everyone here should check out the first Emma Peel season of The Avengers. Do it, people! Doooo ittt!

Date: 2010-12-27 11:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cincoflex.livejournal.com
oh babe, I know exactly what you mean about the first Christmas after a loss. After my father died, my mother took us to Hawaii for Christmas, because she told us she just couldn't do anything traditional for that first one, including listening to my dad's recording of 'Night Before Christmas' and she was right--it helped us get through it.

As for churches, yeah, I'm with you too--I shopped around for a place when we first moved here, and one of the 'contemporary' churches left me cold, particularly when the sermon was delivered not by a pastor or priest, but by some congregation member who was coincidentally running for city council.

Give me hard wooden pews, candles and rituals; I'm old-fashioned that way myself.

And, just so I can make you slightly jealous, VR gave me the most beautiful coffeetable book on the Avengers. I'm going to savor that over the next few evenings!


Date: 2010-12-28 12:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mingsmommy.livejournal.com
It's funny how grief hits you: never when you're prepared; always when you're not.

That's the way I've always been. Somehow, I think being prepared for it is it's own way of grieving and it doesn't hit quite as hard. After my mom died, I braced myself for all of the firsts...first Christmas, first birthday, first Mother's Day, thinking, "Oh, this is gonna suck." But it wasn't so bad. But when the seconds hit...they HIT. I think I was prepared for the firsts but not the seconds to hurt.

I am keeping you and your mom in my prayers.

And wow! Is your pretend husband good to you!!!

Date: 2010-12-28 04:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] boubabe14.livejournal.com
Glad you were able to take solace and comfort where and when you could. I dread the day one of my parents dies. Dad turns 80 in February.

Although I miss the moonlit sdnow on Christmas night, I do not miss the windy, biting cold gusts that can come with it. My sis and niece very much enjoyed the sunny beach days. Stay warm!

ETA: Loved the green message of your Christmas card. Plus, frog...bonus!
Edited Date: 2010-12-28 04:24 am (UTC)

Date: 2010-12-28 07:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] snowydragon1776.livejournal.com
I'm an at least half an hour, 5 days a week on the treadmill kind of girl) I do this as well and go for a walk outside on the weekend. I've also been walking to and from the metro.

I agree about the Avengers EVERYONE needs to watch this.

I'm glad you and your mother are cooping. I know how hard it is to loss someone.


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