Passing time

So it’s my first weekend at home without Mr. D. And this week I’ve been out on Wednesday night, on Friday night, and I’m going out tonight.

In other words, I’m keeping myself busy.

Given the travel circus of last weekend and the late nights Wednesday and last night, you’d think I’d’ve been able to sleep all morning today. Not the case. I got up to take the dog out at 8 and could not go back to sleep.

So I watched Pride and Prejudice — the 2005 version with Kiera Knightly and Matthew Macfadyen (yum) — and now I’m watching Office Space. It’s an odd way to find yourself spending the hours before 10 am on a Saturday morning, especially when you’re accustomed to not getting up before 9:30 most Saturdays.

I guess the upside is that I have a ton of time to get some stuff done today. Clean the kitchen, do laundry, put clothes away, take the dog on a solid walk…all things I can get done in the 9 hours before I meet my dinner companions tonight.

Unexpectedly poignant things

Our movers come in just about two weeks to pack us up and take our stuff out east so I’ve been doing a lot of stuff this week in anticipation of that. Surprisingly, a lot of these things have been sort of emotionally fraught for me. Which is weird. Less weird for some of them than others, of course.

Less weird:

  • Telling our dog walker we’re moving and what our last day will be.
  • Making a list of my necessities for the six weeks I’ll be here after the movers come.
  • Making a rental car reservation for the trip to my in-laws’ when I’ll drop the dog off for six weeks.

More weird:

  • Changing our address for our car and renter’s insurance.
  • Arranging cancellation of the cable (mostly because we have a few special shows recorded on our DVR that have been there for three years that will go away when the box does).
  • Setting a stop-service order on our electricity account.

Maybe it’s just that I’ve done all of these things, well, TODAY and they are only emotionally heavy in combination. Whatever the case may be, I think I just want to get past it all and be excited again.

Tired

We said goodbye to my grandfather on Saturday. The services were lovely — my grandfather was well-loved by not only his family but also by his community, and both turned out to celebrate his life.

Mr. D. was also able to make it and I was so glad to see him. It made the whole separation easier, too — seeing him so soon made the time apart so far just seem like a business trip, a short interval — and it’s making the time ahead feel the same. Skype helps with that.

So all things considered, I’m handling both of the upheavals of the last 10 days pretty well. Except I’m kind of not.

First, I’m exhausted from the weekend — I slept in four different beds in the four different nights I was away. I drove the Texas triangle — San Antonio to Corpus to Houston and back to San Antonio — over a 60 hour period. I, of course, attended a rosary and a funeral and a graveside service and a wake (more or less) and a reception; I also went to a wedding shower and several family dinners.

Drop all that on top of plugging away at the work assignment that never ends (I just keep chipping away at it and it never goes away), living in an apartment that is apparently hot sh!t (landlord’s been showing it nonstop since last week — thankfully I was out of town for most of it), ferrying the dog back and forth to and from the kennel, and worrying about general (though mostly temporary) financial constraints and you have a recipe for total weariness.

I have three weeks, more or less, until the movers come to pack me up and take my stuff (and my dog, who is keeping me sane right now) and I’m hoping to spend those weeks regaining my sanity — keeping organized and tidy and rested and healthy. The weeks after that are going to be rough, but if I can get into a good, balanced place first, hopefully it won’t throw me into a complete downward spiral.

I leave you with one tired dog. He looks like I feel.

Loss, part 2

It’s very morbid to make plans to attend a funeral for someone who is still living. But because airlines are less and less willing to make bereavement fares available (or affordable), this is the way it must be.  It looks like Mr. D. will be able to make it, at least, for which I am exceedingly thankful, and that cuts our time apart to a mere six weeks.  (Well, five and a half, if I am generous with what constitutes a half week.) And he’ll be next to me as I say goodbye to my last grandparent — and possibly visit my hometown for the last time.

It’s odd to say that, but once my grandfather is gone, there won’t be any real reason for me to go back to my hometown. Neither of my parents live there, nor do any of my high school friends (at least not the ones I keep in touch with). I’ll have a few aunts, uncles, and cousins still there, but I’m more likely to see them at family reunions in another part of the state, or while visiting my dad.

So this funeral is going to represent not only the end of my grandfather’s long, full life but also the end of my childhood, and in a very tangible way.  Coming as it does at a time of huge transition for me, I’ll admit that I am not dealing with it all very well.

One day at a time.

I’m up and down.

Yesterday was a pretty good day, even if I did have a moment during church when I was convinced my grandfather had just died. (He hadn’t.) It’s quiet around the house, but it’s no weirder than when Mr. D would go on business trips or out of town interviews or weekends away for bachelor parties. As the week goes on, I think it’ll stop feeling like he’s just gone for a few days—but then, I’ll be getting used to him being gone at the same time, so hopefully it’ll just gradually transition into a new normal.

Still, I have my moments of sadness. I wouldn’t wish them away, though—they reassure me that I’m still feeling things. I’ve been down the path of numb depression and I’d rather not go back there, thankyouverymuch.

Being alone is also tough because I don’t really want to do things—I’m always thinking, “Oh, I can do that tomorrow.” So my new challenge is going to be avoiding procrastination. And whatever the version of procrastination is where you just don’t get it done, ever. Like cooking dinner—I haven’t done that yet. I don’t really like cooking for myself (and I’ve been sad, so I haven’t been really hungry). But it’s not healthy for me to have toast three times a day. Dinner must be cooked! And the gym must be gone to! And the apartment must be kept clean and tidy so getting it ready for showings isn’t a major task!

Over all of this, what’s keeping me sane is knowing that this new normal won’t have to be normal for very long. Only four weeks until the apartment is packed up and moved, after all. And then only two more weeks until I move out entirely, followed by one week to breathlessly anticipate going to visit Mr. D, capped off by three short weeks finishing up things at work and saying goodbye to this city.

But for now, it’s one day at a time.

Loss

Well this is lining up to be a shitty week.

My grandfather was diagnosed last year with terminal lymphoma. He is 89 years old, has diabetes, some cardiovascular problems—and his wife of 60 years, my grandmother, passed away 15 months ago. So we’ve been anticipating his passing for a while now. But honestly, he’s been doing pretty well lately. We were down visiting him over Memorial Day weekend, and he was lucid and mobile, still eating a solid breakfast in the morning, and his spirits were good. I understand that he’s been gradually declining over the last several weeks but from what his doctors said, we thought he had another three or four weeks.

But my dad just called to tell me that he’s had a big downturn in the last day and a half. He’s running a fever, not awake at all, and the hospice nurse believes he has 72 hours left.

That means, of course, that if he passes that quickly and the funeral is this week, Mr. D. won’t be able to come for it, having just started his new job. And that, frankly, really sucks. It’s going to be hard enough for me to deal with losing my grandfather—the man is a giant, physically and spiritually, and he has been such an important part of my life—but dealing with his death without my husband?  Oof.

And to top it off with a statement that’s going to sound hideously self-involved, I had kind of anticipated my grandfather’s funeral being an unscheduled visit for Mr. D. and I, coming (as we all expected) somewhere in the middle of the 7 weeks we’ll go without seeing one another. Unfortunately that won’t be the case.

So it’s been pretty much a shitty day and I don’t think the rest of the week is going to be any better.

The longest 10 weeks

Today is the first day of the longest 10 weeks of my life. Mr. D. leaves in about half an hour for parts east. I join him in 10 weeks.

  • In 4 weeks, the movers will come and pack up our apartment.
  • In 6 weeks, I’ll move out of our apartment and into that tiny sublet.
  • In 7 weeks, I’ll visit Mr. D. and our new house and help him make it home.
  • And in 10 weeks, Mr. D. will fly out here to help me make my own drive east.

It’s finally happening, after what feels like years of talking and thinking about it—we’re going to be living apart. I’ve been on an emotional roller coaster for the last 2 weeks, of course, but I think it’s finally out of my system. We had a lovely dinner last night at our favorite restaurant (where they brought us complimentary “bon voyage” champagne and cookies, just part of why I love that place so much), and a leisurely stroll back home in the night air. And it fortified us both. I think we’re both now as ready as we can be for a difficult few weeks—and excited to get to the other side of it and start a new chapter in our lives.

(Update: I was wrong. Not out of my system. Am a wreck.)