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Old 05-07-2014, 03:02 PM   #253
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Maggie, you're still being a normal, grieving widow. Waking up in the middle of the night and going over everything is common. I think our need to understand what has happened makes us tell our story to everyone and to ourselves helps bring it into perspective. The story gets shorter and shorter as we develop understanding and that makes it easier for us to move along through the rest of our lives. One day you'll notice you are sleeping better and telling a very short story.

If you are doing this a year from now, then you can worry about being narcissistic. Not now.

After my father died, my mother talked to him each night. She never got an answer, but she never listened to anybody anyway. She came to accept that she didn't get an answer.

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Old 05-07-2014, 03:39 PM   #254
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Thank you, Gene. You're so wise and rational.

I am doing and feeling what recent widows do and feel, I know that. Have my worse moments, and days, but they pass. I talk to Doug every day, and last thing when I go to bed. I may always do that.

Starting to read some other threads, and one of these days I'll start posting. When I feel like being positive and light-hearted.

Sleeping well the night before makes a huge difference in the state of one's day. I think I'm going to like this new sleeping med.

It is quite warm and humid here today. June in May. Bought a few plants and tended to a few outdoor things. Now, inside with the AC.


Maggie
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Old 05-08-2014, 01:04 PM   #255
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Spent almost 3 hours this morning getting english ivy planted for the trellis panels we put up last fall, and my favorite pink impatiens in by the back stoop......and hauling 5 Gorilla Carts heaped full of ground up stump from the front yard to the tree line at the back of the property. Love that Gorilla Cart.

Sleeping so much better! Deep, drooling-a-bit sleep. So improves my quality of life.

I recall our plans to be in Illinois most of this summer, for the first time since we retired in 2007. I wanted to see my flower garden in bloom.....see what I could add, or should remove, and be sure the lilac bushes we put in last year were fully and happily established.

We were going to spend some long weekends at a few public campgrounds we had checked out near the Mississippi River, take the grands to Madeline Island for a week late July and then head toward the west coast after that. Intended to get Nevada filled in on our map....the last of the lower 48 states to camp in in the Interstate.

And so, as I'm digging/planting/hauling this morning, very aware of how deeply my life has changed, I'm thinking...."be careful what you wish for".

I am starting to feel that we had an inkling, somewhere deep in our subconscious, that our so-very-fortunate retirement life together was coming to an end. We spoke most days of how incredibly lucky we had been, to have been able to travel the country together for all these years. We had seen so much, fallen in love with beautiful places and made some wonderful new friends.

Some say the soul knows that their window in time to leave this earth is upon them. Looking back, at some of the things that occurred in the last few months of our life together, I'm starting to believe that is true.

Already best friends, being together 24-7 in retirement and on the road brought a new level of knowing and understanding each other, and deepened our bond. It felt like a charmed life, in a way, and something we felt we must verbally acknowledge our gratitude for so as not to jinx it. Doug referred to his retirement life as "an embarrassment of riches".

The stars had aligned in 2007.....we found the Interstate, just what we wanted and last year's model at a great price. 6 months later, we retired from the hellish-to-work-for SOI, after jumping at an early retirement option we discovered for those 55 or older with 25 or more years of service.

Took us seconds to make the decision to leave.....put in our notice, and we were gone. We left on the same day, always the plan, and never looked back nor regretted it for an instant.

Yep, we had the time of our lives. I am so very grateful to have had Doug and his love in my life. I am a better person because of that relationship, I know it. He felt the same.

Now, I'm crying. I've written too much and let my thoughts and feelings run away with me a bit. Tomorrow is 2 months since Doug was stricken at one of our favorite campgrounds in St. Marys, Georgia.

Life will never be the same, but it was a wonderful life and I have lots of beautiful memories to reflect on.

One of the things we were most grateful for in our retirement life was discovering these Forums and the many delightful people we have met through them.

Who knew these Forums-folks we so enjoyed would one day become such an amazing, loving and deeply appreciated source of support and strength for me when Doug died so suddenly.

It was meant to be, and has made all the difference to me, let me tell you.

Have made a few, benign posts. Doing okay, muddling along and getting on with what needs to be done.

Thank you, all.


XO Maggie
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Old 05-08-2014, 05:49 PM   #256
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you shared the life I dream of...hugs, gail
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Old 05-08-2014, 08:00 PM   #257
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Maggie, I would say that through your willingness to share so openly you are providing ALL of us an "embarrassment of riches." Fact is, all of us will go through (or have gone through) the loss of loved ones. I know that there are those who have read your postings who are now looking at the important people in their lives just a bit differently. Perhaps this important -- albeit unwanted -- journey you're on is a greater gift than you'll ever know. Barry
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Old 05-08-2014, 08:17 PM   #258
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Everything happens for a reason, they say, and I have believed that for longer than I can remember.

I have shared my journey, here, and so many people....many of whom Doug and I never met.....have shared themselves.....lifting, carrying and supporting me these past 2 months.

Many very fine people here, and it's a good thing you've done.


XO Maggie
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Old 05-09-2014, 04:33 PM   #259
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Maggie

My condolences on the loss of your Doug.

My father passed about the same time as Doug two months ago.

You posts have been of great comfort to me in dealing not only with my loss but helping understand the emotions that my 80 year old mother must be experiencing. Thanks.
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Old 05-09-2014, 05:03 PM   #260
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Thank you, and my condolences on the loss of your father.

Doug always said "death is a part of life", and so it is, but that doesn't help those left behind.

Give your mother a hug and a kiss on the cheek for me, and tell her I wish her strength and peace.


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Old 05-10-2014, 08:25 AM   #261
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And so, as I'm looking for signs that Doug's spirit is around me, and asking him to give them, I get them. He is here, and wants me to know.

When we were home , always late October to mid-January or so, and a couple of stretches thru the spring and early summer, we subscribed to the 2-out-at-a-time DVD subscription through Netflix.

Doug being a huge fan of all things old....including movies and movie stars....Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall were two of his favorites.

We own "Casablanca", and have watched it together more times than I could count. We had had "Key Largo" at the top of our Netflix list the last couple of years, but there was always a "very long wait".

Some time after I returned home in mid-March, I restarted Netflix and saw that it was now "a short wait".

2 movies already out, sitting here, waiting to be watched, I got an email from Netlix that Key Largo was available from a nearby facility and was being sent to me.....in spite of the fact that I already had two out.

Here it is, the 2-month anniversary of Doug's death, and one of his favorite movies of all time....which we had never seen together....has arrived.

A sign? I choose "yes", and believe we will watch this together later today.


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Old 05-11-2014, 12:16 PM   #262
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Old 05-11-2014, 05:36 PM   #263
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Maggie,

Since Barb and I retired in 2000, we've been together virtually every day—she took a few trips to see her parents while I worked on something at home, and a few nights away with some lady friends. That sure felt weird after being with her all the time. We, like you, have travelled all over and travel well together. Now we are remodeling another house together, and when the work gets frustrating, we can give each other a pep talk.

I know not every couple wants to be together all the time, but to be with my best friend, lover and companion all the time is wonderful. Not every day is blissful, but after 28 years together we have figured out how to get through bad moments. I understand what you have had and have an inkling of what you are missing.

Life will not be the same, but it can be good. Nevada awaits. Try out US 50, the Loneliest Road. The scenery is great, the road is good, and bring your own food. And then you can drive the Extraterrestrial Highway.

But, I must say "The Maltese Falcon" is the best of the Bogart movies.

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Old 05-11-2014, 06:58 PM   #264
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Thanks, Gene.

Being joined at the hip is not for everyone, but we did it pretty well and liked it most of the time. Had our moments, like everyone else, but felt it was a gift we shared together.

I watched Casablanca last night, and would like to think that Doug was next to me on the sofa. It was good, but lacked substance, IMO. If I remember what Doug has told me, this movie was the beginning of the Bogart-Bacall romance, and she was just 18, I think.

We have seen Maltese Falcon, but Casablanca is our favorite.

I am afraid of heights, and won't drive mountains, so don't know that I will get to Nevada. May be a route that avoids mountains, but I won't be thinking that direction any time soon.

I think there is some fear on the part of my kids that I will be 1,000 or more miles from home, become seriously ill, break a bone, etc., and need to be rescued. Doug was always there to take care of me when I tore the cartilage in my knee, had a close encounter with a wild burro at Custer State Park, sprained an ankle, etc.

Lily can do just so much, and doesn't drive, dump, fill the fresh water tank, etc. I will have to be especially careful with any solo travel I do.

Emma Grace, grandbaby who will be 7 in July, said today "This will be my first birthday without Grandpa". He was her favorite, and she misses him. "A year of firsts", my sister called it.

Yep.


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Old 05-11-2014, 10:23 PM   #265
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Maggie, I think the Bogart/Becall romance started into another movie—the one with 2 rich sisters, BeCall being one of them. I can't remember much more about it. Everyone was trying to manipulate everyone else. Becall was very sexy in it despite her tough gal persona.

Two routes west with less mountain driving—South Pass through Wyoming (I-80) is not bad. The "pass" is really flat and was part of the Oregon Trail. Or I-40 through NM and Arizona is not too bad. I do not care for height either and feel better when I am driving and in control. I'm pretty used to mountain roads so I do ok (I've driven 2 track, off camber mining roads with thousand foot dropoffs and my heart pounding, but the Going to the Sun Highway was the worst).

You are probably more capable than you fear you aren't. We learn all our lives from others by observing, otherwise we'd never learn to talk. Just watching Doug and listening to him, you know a lot—he was teaching you for now. You'll stumble a little, but you'll get it. Maybe Lily can drive—have you ever asked her?

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Old 05-12-2014, 06:00 AM   #266
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Lily says "no thank you".

Maybe some day, not just yet.



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