Our weather has changed drastically. We've dropped over 20° in the last few days. I love the cooler weather, I just wish the sun would shine. I started my day with plans of cutting back the daisies, cleaning up the day lillys, and pulling weeds. All of the above are about two weeks overdue. None of them got done. This morning I was sitting in the kitchen reading the Sunday newspaper, drinking coffee, and planning my yard work activities. Then I started remembering Sunday the way it used to be. Up early, go to church, come home, Dan fixing breakfast, me setting the table, discussing the day's activities, doing dishes, planning dinner, baking a cake or pie, etc. etc. Normal mundane things that we all take for granted. Then reality hits me...Dan's stroke, near death so many times, Dan never cooking in the kitchen of our new house, not enjoying gardening in our new house, not really enjoying anything anymore. I found myself sitting in the kitchen crying, so I decided to pay bills instead of doing yard work. Haven't paid my bills yet either, just sitting here reading emails and surfing the web. What a waste of time. The weeds and bills will still be there tomorrow. Hopefully the sun will be out too. I find that weekends are the hardest times for me. Will I ever be able to remember without crying? I certainly hope so.
I've been going through Dan's clothes, giving some to the son of my best friend, some to Jeff and his family. I will give a lot of them to a friend whose son is in his 50's and has Downs Syndrome. He's in a group home and his mom tells me that his clothes seem to just disappear. His roommate is blind and has no family that visits. I find this so incredibly sad. I've got most of Dan's clothes on the bed and in the closet in the spare bedroom. Both pre and post stroke Dan was a clothes hound. He loved to shop and he liked to look good. When he shopped after his stroke I'd leave the bags sit for a couple of weeks and then start making my rounds returning the items that he had purchased. Only occasionally did he ask "what happened to that (fill in the blank) that I just bought?" lol
The process of going through Dan's "things" makes me very sad and sometimes I end up crying. He LOVED shoes almost as much as I do. I started going through the shoes yesterday and ended up on the closet floor crying like a baby...crying over a pair of blue dockers that he wore all the time, or his Celtic green sneakers he's had for 40+ years and still wore occasionally. I get this emotional over his shoes and flannel shirts; you can imagine how I am when I open the top drawer of his chest of drawers. This drawer has been his "private" drawer for 30 years. Although there's nothing in there that I shouldn't see, I was always FORBIDDEN to open the drawer. It was actually a joke between the two of us. Well, that drawer is still Dan's "private" drawer, every time I open it I end up crying. So, the contents stay untouched.
Last week a friend asked me if I was starting to relax and unwind from the stress of caregiving for the last four years. I hadn't really thought about that before but yes, I am. I'm more relaxed than I've been in a long, long time. I miss Dan terribly, but I know that I have to move on and get my own life back. I'm working on it. It's just a slow process.