I can't believe it's been a month since Gary's passing, but it certainly has been a busy month. At times I felt overwhelmed with all the paperwork and phone calls, but got most of it under control now. It seems I'm the only one who was efficient and organized, so a lot of things were "hurry up and wait." I was told by the local Social Security office "It all takes time, don't get ahead of us. You're just one person and we deal with millions on a daily basis." Good to know I'm nothing more than the tiny flea on an elephant's *beep*. They deposited Gary's January social security into our joint bank account on Feb. 12 (2 days after he passed away); and I was told it was okay to pay bills with it since he was owed that from the month of January, so I did just that. Two weeks later, on Feb. 24 they put a freeze hold on that deposit and I had to scramble around getting funds from my money market account in another bank and run to Casa Grande to deposit it in the joint account to avoid an overdraft. Lucky for me I had the funds to do that, but was more than a little teed off that three people told me it was okay to spend it; then the Feds held it back, and to this day have that HOLD placed on it.
Gary's pensions from the union were much easier getting switched over to the widow benefit and the one small life insurance policy didn't need the copy of death certificate and paid up in two weeks - quickest and easiest process so far. We had prepaid plans with the Neptune Society for cremation, so they had him for nearly two weeks before they got the death certificate from the county in order to proceed with cremation, then notified me when they shipped him back to Colorado. I got a call from the cemetery back in Colorado when his urn arrived there and they were to tuck him in next to our son at our grave site (prepaid also) and get started on the monument to put on the plot. It will not be ready before our anniversary in April, so I will wait and go back to Colorado the first week in June and have a Celebration of Life service for him then. I have spoken to the American Legion in the hometown in Colorado and made arrangements to use their facilities for the service and luncheon. I've also arranged with a cousin of Gary's to cater the luncheon for us and am praying he is fully recovered from his cancer surgery (removal of toes and maybe part of foot) by then. If not, I'm sure his wife is fully capable of handling the event for him.
The fur babies have been especially clingy since Gary's passing. I leave them alone for a few hours at a time a couple times a week to get out for groceries and a little time for me, but when I return home they are all over me and don't want to leave my side. One of my favorite waitresses from the local restaurant where I often go for breakfast or lunch had a birthday last week, so I took her out to the pita place on Saturday night, then we went to the local senior RV park and listened to music where a friend of ours was playing good ole' country music in the park. It was nice to get out just for a bit of relaxation and I slept really good that night.
I got notification from the local Homeowner's Association that my house is in need of paint.......like I didn't already know that, but now the pressure is on to get it done. I have 60 days to let them know what color paint I picked out from their list; and since I'm so efficient I had already bought paint to match the existing color and the stucco border wall that I had done last summer, so now I'm hoping I can match that with their color selection (which has changed) as a 5-gal. bucket of that paint was $129 and I can't take it back for refund since it was a custom color. I had planned to start on the trim as soon as the rain is finished this week, but now I have to wait on the color approval from HOA after I send in the form they provided for me to let them know my plans. I'll wait and see if things go smoothly, but won't hold my breath on it, especially since I got their notification on Friday the 13th....
I'm hoping for better days ahead, but for now just going with the flow and trying to find a new normal in my life. It's quiet here ...I'm alone much of the time, but not lonely since I have the two little dogs who keep me going.