Monthly Archives: May 2012

One month

Today marks one month since Lucy passed away. My parents and I went to breakfast, and then we stopped by the cemetery to visit Lucy. They left about 10:30 this morning.

I saw my first monarch butterfly today. Lucy enjoyed butterflies and hummingbirds. The painted lady butterflies have been around for well over a month, but Lucy would be excited seeing the first monarch of the season. Late this afternoon I heard a fox yipping and barking. My guess is a pair is scouting locations for a den. It was this time last year a male and female were in the neighborhood.

The gardens really kicked into gear now that the weather has warmed up again and the rain has stopped for a few days. OK, so the fool living southwest of me is watering his back yard and then will gripe loudly and profanely about the mosquitoes. You would think that over five inches of rain the first ten days of the month would adequately moisten the soil down several inches. I know the ground clumped when I was planting glad bulbs today at a depth of four inches.

I had planted dahlias a couple of weeks of ago and they have sprouted. The string beans in the hanging planters are about an inch long now. All the blue flax is in full bloom and the white flax is starting to bloom. Lucy would be happy with her gardens now.

I’m behind on getting garden pictures taken and uploaded. The upcoming week will be incredibly busy, but I hope to squeeze in some time for photos. The forecast is temperatures in the 80’s almost the entire week, although Friday into Saturday looks stormy and sticky.

Happy Mother’s Day to everyone! One of my blessings is my mother is still alive. Lucy had lost her mother in August. This would have been Lucy’s first Mother’s Day without her mother. Now they are together.

Thank you for your time, and please take time to count your blessings. You have more than you think!

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Lucy was my rock

Lucy is in her final resting place today. Her inurnment service was at 1:00 this afternoon. The weather was beautiful and Rev. Naumann did an outstanding job at the service.

After my brother died fifteen years ago, Lucy and I decided on cremation after we left this world. We had visited Dawn Valley Memorial Park a couple of times while doing my family history research around ten years ago. Lucy had commented how much she liked Dawn Valley.

We both loved the outdoors. Lucy had gathered some interesting rocks through the years, which we have incorporated into our landscaping. When I was looking for a resting place for us, the boulder gardens were a unique feature. It was very appropriate. Lucy was my rock.

The boulder below is the one we will be sharing eternity. Lucy gets the right side, just as she did at home. The marker will be ready in about six weeks.

Our final resting place

Our final resting place

She is the farthest from our neighbors, is in the highest spot, and has the best view. There is a nature preserve close by. I saw red wing blackbirds, Canadian geese, goldfinches, and cardinals, and I heard bluebirds and robins before the service. We are close to a pond, marsh, trees including pines, a grassy area, and a flower garden. It’s very peaceful and I know Lucy would have selected the same spot.

Be sure to tell your loved ones how much you love them tonight.

Resting place view

We have the boulder at bottom right. The three rocks behind us are decoration; the rose quartz is stunning.

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“Nights are Forever Without You”

The England Dan and John Ford Coley hit from the mid 1970’s pretty much sums up how I am holding up now. I’m finally managing to get close to a full night’s sleep without waking up every couple of hours. I know the sleeping will get better. Right now, I’m trying to get a lot of the administrative stuff done before I start my new job. The challenge of the new job will also contribute to some insomnia, but that will abate when I start contributing and earning my keep.

Lucy wanted me to move forward. I’ve been trying to do many of the things Lucy and I would do together: walks, gardening, household chores, grocery shopping. It’s strange coming up from the basement office and not seeing her in her glider rocker watching TV or reading; that was always a good time to do something incredibly ridiculous to get her to laugh. When we would go for our almost nightly walks, I would get her smiling or laughing a couple of times; now it’s a quiet time to reflect. Gardening was semi-serious business for us and we enjoyed doing it; it still is enjoyable. I would help Lucy with household chores, though I was usually relegated to yard duty; I have a deeper appreciation for single mothers now since they do so much on their own. We both hated grocery shopping though I would try to lighten things up; now it’s a task to do.

For those who have asked, I am eating properly. I dropped a lot of weight mostly because Lucy and I changed our diets to help her cancer battle. I’m still down almost 70 pounds and intend to keep it off. I had bought a suit about four years ago for a sales presentation. I showed Lucy’s siblings how it no longer fit “Biggest Loser” style. The pants nearly went around me twice.

I had a friend tell me a long time ago that just because you no longer cry for someone doesn’t mean you no longer love that person. What happens is as the sadness and sorrow diminish, happy memories fill in those spots. I’m already finding that out firsthand. Love conquers sorrow.

Everyone’s kindnesses are helping so much now. Thank you, Ginger, for sending a nice sympathy card and note today. Thank you, Julie, for calling to see how I was doing and for getting me to laugh a little. Thank you, Cathy from GBS, taking time from your hectic schedule to allow me to pick up Lucy’s belongings at work. Each of those acts is deeply appreciated.

So here’s hoping for some rare events in the near future: rainless days in May and the Twins winning some ballgames. Let your loved ones know you love them and thank you for your time.

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So today’s NOT Mother’s Day

After wishing Suzy and Julie a happy Mother’s Day, I realized I was a week early. At least I didn’t mail my mother her card yet.

After another major soaking today, I think we can say we’re out of the drought. The storm rumbled through at about 2:00 am and ended by 2:45 am. It dumped 1.42″ of rain and some pea-sized hail. I can’t see any garden damage, but that might take a couple of days to show up.

Lucy knew about my new job. I had interviewed on March 20th and we found out the next morning that Lucy’s battle turned significantly worse. I called them to turn down the position. Later that day I heard back they would hold the job open while Lucy needed me.

I had promised Lucy I would take care of some tasks for her this year. The basement steps are almost fully painted and my back and knees are letting me know it. That was on hold because I didn’t want to expose her to paint fumes. Even low odor paint with no Volatile Organic Chemicals (VOCs) still off-gases as it dries.

So even though it’s not Mother’s Day, give your mom a hug anyway. She’s earned it!

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“The Sky is Crying”

Lucy’s MP3 player has about 1,400 songs on it (all legal, of course). One of them, Stevie Ray Vaughn’s cover of “The Sky is Crying”, seems appropriate today. My backyard picked up 1.11″ of rain since midnight, and 1.46″ since the yesterday. The Twin Cities metro area was about 5″ behind on rain. I don’t see any standing water despite all the rain. I also haven’t seen any state birds (mosquitoes)…yet. I swear the Siberian irises have scuba gear on now.

The garden planting is almost complete despite the downpour. The garden work has been very therapeutic for me. Lucy and I would eagerly await the arrival of gardening weather. It gave us some wonderful quality time together through the years.

It’s been a tough week dealing with the administrative minutiae that needs done once a person dies. With the exception of one local financial institution, everyone I have dealt with has been sympathetic and helpful. Lucy and I tried to cover all the bases to reduce the hoop jumping for the surviving spouse, but it’s still tough.

Most of you know I start a new job on May 14th. I’ll be working in Eden Prairie as a Sr. Software Engineer for a company that is growing quickly but intelligently. The job is demanding and I’ll need to be as close to 100% as possible when I start. That’s why I’m trying my best to get the administrative stuff done so quickly.

Thank you again to everyone who has called, emailed, or visited. Words cannot describe how you have helped me.

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An unexpected gift

I am still receiving sympathy cards. Yesterday’s mail also included a card and memorial candle from Fairview Hospice. They will call me tomorrow with information about purchasing additional candles.

Lucy enjoyed dahlias and lilies. Yesterday before the storm hit, I planted four dinner plate dahlias, two canna lilies and nine Oriental lilies. I’m also going to take another whack at growing morning glorys around the arbor near her rose garden. Like last year, I’ll be planting borage, cardinal flax, and bluebonnets. I know I’m running about a month late on some of the seeds. Now we’re getting into a rainy period. Yesterday saw ¾” of rain, which helped put a dent in the drought we have been in since July of last year. Here’s hoping we don’t get a hatching of mosquitoes to go with the rain.

Give your loved ones a hug from me tonight.

hospice candle

The Hospice memorial candle

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