US Bank Can Dere-lick My Balls

When Bob died the paperwork alone was an overwhelming task, and I was fortunate to have people helping me, people lined up to handle things, and most everything in order. Still, there were things that got overlooked, and I'm sure that is a normal part of the process. A small stock account with almost no money in it, or a bill that got missed, or a bank account long since forgotten would slip through the cracks, and over the past almost-three years, I'd do my best to sort it all out.

Having moved twice since his death, things are a bit more complicated by forwarded or not-forwarded mail. The US Postal Service, it turns out, is somewhat inconsistent in their ability to forward items. Sometimes they manage to get it right, and sometimes they don't. For example, I recently received a forwarded postcard about my son's long-since-forgotten savings account at US Bank with information saying it was going to be turned over to the State of California because it had been inactive for so long. Interesting, as this was the first notice we'd received about his account. Also interesting as my daughter has an account at the same bank opened at the same time, yet no notice arrived for her. 

So I contacted US Bank. I told them our situation. It turns out that Bob and I still had a joint account there that was also deemed inactive. They could change the address on our joint account, savings account, and a credit line (one we had attempted to close MANY TIMES) over the phone and update the information for it, but since I wasn't the guardian on the children's accounts (US Bank only allows one guardian on accounts opened for a minor), I would have to appear at a US Bank branch in person with a copy of the death certificate and my identification in order to make any changes to the children's accounts.

I explained that I was holding in my hand a piece of paper from US Bank asking me to confirm that my son's account was still active. And, as the trustee for my late husband's estate, I was entitled to complete the paperwork they'd sent me, I could fill it out and mail it without appearing in their branch office—they said, no I would still need to come in.

I asked if I could fax or email the death certificate. I asked this of the person on the phone. I asked this of their online help desk. I asked this of their support person on twitter. I received no reply from twitter. I was told no by the person on the phone, and I was told by the person online that my joint account was now active, but only one guardian could be on the children's accounts, and then I never heard back from them.

So I did what I was authorized to do as a representative of my late husband. 

I logged into our joint account on his behalf. I updated the addresses of the children's accounts to our current address. I transferred the funds from our children's accounts into our joint account, and I submitted a payment to myself as their guardian, which I will then dispense to them. 

US Bank, in an effort to "protect" the security of our accounts failed. Instead, they lost a customer. I would have been fine leaving my kids' savings accounts with them, but not after the stupid hoops they wanted me to jump through and lack of followup I received from their organization. I'll keep my money with my current bank. I find it impossible to believe that I would need to appear in person to verify my husband's death. If I'd had to do that with every account after his death I'd have lost my fucking mind. They are a bank. Certainly they have the ability to receive a fax or email of a death certificate. Shame on you, US Bank. 

Oh, and how secure is it to send a confirmation of an address change on account to the prior address that then gets forwarded to the new address? Pro move, US Bank. Pro move. Glad our money is no longer sitting in your bank, no matter how little it was.


 

Suicide Is Not Selfish: Listen To What I'm Saying

Wut?

Is dying from cancer selfish? Did my husband not try hard enough to get better from the disease that afflicted him? Did the doctors not try all of the treatments available to him to cure him? His death from cancer wasn't because he was selfish.

And someone who dies because of suicide is not selfish. Depression is a disease. It is not a choice. Treatment can be complicated. It is not a matter of willpower to just "get over it." (More than 90% of the people who die from suicide has risk factors related to depression or other mental disorder, or a substance-abuse disorder—often combined with a mental disorder.)¹

So, when I see remarks about suicide being a selfish act, I call bullshit. Loudly. 

Do the grieving have a right to be angry with the loss of their loved ones? Fuck yes! Depression, just like cancer, robs us of too many too soon

And unlike cancer, mental illness is still taboo to discuss. It's hard to find treatment. And the stigma of telling people you struggle with a mental illness will give you pause in the workplace, with friends, and with family members who don't understand that it IS a disease and not a choice, that you are not weak, that you would love nothing more than to "get over it."

When was the last time you were asked to donate to a mental health cause? How many colored ribbon magnets do you see on cars for depression or suicide? 

How many do you see for cancer? Which types? What colors? I bet you can name at least three colors and what cancers they represent, and another few ribbons for other causes, none of which relate to mental health.

Nowhere in the list of risk factors for suicide will you find selfishness. Shock. Awe. Or, just logical if you stop and think about it. 

 

If you are in a crisis and need help right away:

Call this toll-free number, available 24 hours a day, every day: 1-800-273-TALK (8255). You will reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, a service available to anyone. You may call for yourself or for someone you care about. All calls are confidential.

Celebrating Life: Bob's Birthday

You would have been forty-three this year. We spent your last birthday together in the hospital; it was your 40th. Inpatient chemo in Santa Clara, I think. Or was that Christmas. No, I think Christmas was in Hayward.

These are the details that get blurry for me, and I'm not sure why I want them to be important, because they aren't. You'd laugh that I think they should be. We weren't about birthdays or holidays or the events. We were about the everyday moments. That's why we worked as a couple for all those years. So this past weekend, for you and for me and for life, I celebrated outside in the world around me.

One Barb

Follow

Triple Gall

InorOut

2 Barbs

Ascending a Sugarloaf

Ridge Top Trail

Loookout

Panorama - Ridge

Mt Diablo in the Backdrop

Peeking Peaking

Three Barbs

I miss you every day, and I thank you.

Thank you for letting me love you, for loving me, and for being an amazing father, husband, son, brother, and friend. Thank you for being real, and flawed, and human and for letting me be the same. Thank you for sharing over half your life with me, growing up together and not apart; learning how to be partners and parents together; make mistakes, and fix them. Thank you for teaching our children, loving our children, and inspiring them.

Thank you for showing me how a marriage and partnership can work, so that I knew what to expect for and of myself and of someone else in the next go 'round. Thank you for teaching me how to give to someone else, love someone else, care for someone else in his hour of need, and figure out what matters in life, so that there are no regrets at the end of the day.

And thank you for our children—they continue to be the light of my world, the pain in my ass, the laughter in my day, the love of my life, and the two most uniquely different expressions of the same genetic material to be enjoyed under one roof. Thank you. Eternally, in the truest sense, grateful. 

Thurston Howell or Bob?  You make the call.

 

 

 

 



Reasons And Excuses

I walked uphill to school, well the bus stop. Both ways. In the snow. Didn't we all?

And I want better for my kids. Don't we all?

And I want to make sure to impart the lessons I learned that were worth learning, and the ones my late husband learned that were worth learning. Because that's what I view as my job. It's what we, as parents, decided was IMPORTANT. And I want to honor that.

So, when my child tells me, "the reason I didn't do X" or the "reason I haven't Y," I need to step in as the only parent left on the scene. Because that's how this works.

And in my world, a reason is an excuse.

And excuses are a reason for not doing what you need to do, what you have committed to do, or what you are obligated to do.

When you preface a statement with, "The reason I didn't," what I hear is, "My excuse for not doing," and that doesn't fly with me. It doesn't fly in the world. It won't fly when you are a grown-ass man or woman, and you need to fix that shit pronto.

Apologies are excellent. Make them when you fuck up. Own your mistakes, and then fix them. But do not make excuses for yourself. Be responsible for your actions. Always. 

Did you forget your homework?

That sucks. I guess you'll experience the consequences.

Did you get in a car accident?

Accidents happen.

Fix it.

Do you have trouble completing your assignments on time due to a disability? 

Get that accommodated. And do your work. You are still expected to complete your work.

It is your responsibility to get your shit in order. It is your job to make sure you get your needs met. Your job. Nobody else's. Your happiness comes from you. It always will.

And if you need help, it is your job to ask for it.

Do I know that it can be hard to ask for help? FUCK YES!

But sitting around with your thumb up your ass making EXCUSES? 

That's cute, but it's still an excuse!

Own your shit. Make it work. 

To review:

  1. Own your shit.
  2. Don't make excuses.
  3. You are responsible for your success and happiness.
  4. Ask for help when you need it, but ultimately the responsibility for your life is yours.
  5. Natural consequences are part of life not some evil plot to destroy you.
  6. Deal with it.
  7. I love you.
 
 

 

How It Changes

I used to have themed Christmas trees. I had seven in the living room, and the kids each had one and I'm pretty sure a couple small ones were scattered about, too. A snowman tree, Santa tree, angel tree, and trees for just my ornaments, my husband's, the kids' ornaments—it was the only time I really decorated for a holiday. I have ornaments from every Christmas of my life, and it shows. My first Christmas, alone? I have at least five ornaments. And every year I greet them like old friends. Or I used to.

 

 


My Santa and angel from 1969 are something I know will be there in their cotton-candy pink glory each year.

 

But it's hard now. Because in between them are mixed golf ball Santas and Sponge Bobs who belonged to my late husband, and every time I unwrap that piece of paper that used to feel like an early Christmas gift, I now feel a mix of anticipation and fear.

 


Because I want to honor his memory, and I want my children to know their father is still part of our celebration of the holidays (and every day), but I also know that it's a painful reminder of loss with each unwrapped piece of our history.

 

That first year, I couldn't even bring the ornaments out of the attic. Last year, I got them onto the tree, but somebody else had to put them away. This year, it took me three tries and a meltdown in the shed to get the decorations into the house.

But it gets better. I was able to help hang some of his ornaments on the tree. And children are the balm of healing like no other salve of this earth. As I watched them hang too many ornaments from the tips of a single branch, it made me smile. Some day they will know that the branches are stronger toward the trunk, but right now they want nothing more than to make sure the beauty of their ornament is seen RIGHT NOW. RIGHT HERE. UP FRONT. And who can blame them for that kind of passion? Even the tree tries its hardest to support their dreams.

 

 

 

 

Another Circle Around The Sun: Another Birthday Approaches

He's almost 16, and you won't be here for this birthday, either. And I hate that. I hate it for him and I hate it for all of the reasons.

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He's taller than me now, which means he'd be taller than you, too.

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And he's amazing. He is so independent you'd be blown away. And so caring. Nearly every day he checks in with us to see how our days went, give us hugs, and he's genuinely concerned about his family. He loves your parents and makes an effort to stay involved in their lives, all on his own. He is all of the things you would want him to be and even more. His personality is still very much the same as the day he was born, and yet he is nearly grown. Funny how that works.

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And as the sadness at your not being here overwhelms me, the joy that he is doing so well fills me, too. You were right. We are okay. Maybe even a smidgen better than okay. I am so sorry you missed this part. We miss you. Thank you for all you gave us that got us here.

The Dog Ate My Post

I wrote a lovely post about being thankful for my journey and the people who make it possible. And then I bitched a bit (A LOT) about how I loathe Everything Mail, from the bills to the items that arrive addressed for people who don't live or live here and all the muck in between, and then added some lovely pictures annnnd poof, it was all gone. So, you're getting the Cliff's Notes version with some pictures. If you need me, I'll be outside burning mail in the fire pit. Or maybe I'll break in the fireplace. Decisions.

Hiding In The Bathroom When You're Not The Bloggess

When you hear your dead husband's distinct giggle come hopping out of a living non-relative's mouth, do you:
A. Tell that person how cool it was to hear a dead man's laugh? Ask for a repeat performance and offer them a Coors Light.
B. Stare at the person like you've seen a ghost. Tell them you don't believe in ghosts, but thanks for the cool impression. Offer them a shot of Jack.
C. Quietly scurry off to the bathroom where you try to do your very best impression of The Bloggess, but realize you have to cut it short because you've forgotten to bring snacks, an entourage, and the bathroom is entirely too small. Then make do by hyperventilating, sobbing, recalling the first dream you had after Bob died where he appeared and you awoke remembering he was dead and how this feels so gut-rippingly similar, and then pry your head out as best you can and return to the world, everyone not buying that you're just suffering from allergy eyes. Drink all the drinks. Or at least consider it.

Remind me never to sign up for any neuropsych experiments involving electrodes zapping my memories into action. I'd need Xanax Popsicles or something.

Goddamn, Facebook: Opening The Gate

Life events are a thing now. I know because I added one today. 

It's called Loss of a Loved One.

I apologize if you were one of my followers who saw a giant update of this life event. See, I also updated my birthplace, hometown, and the date of my new relationship. However those events didn't make it to my timeline. I guess because I didn't attach a photo. Noted for future reference.

I try to be mindful of doing things on Facebook like commenting on my late husband's page or posting pictures of him because I know it flags so many people automatically, and I know that when others do the same, it flags me. And I'm not always in the right frame of mind for that to happen. I'm not always ready. My kids might not be ready to see their dad's face and mine go scrolling by on a Thursday after school. So, I try to plan for things like this to be purposeful and meaningful, not so willy-nilly.

This is how my mind usually works. 

Too hard sometimes. Not hard enough others, apparently. 

But this post today of this particular life event gathered quite a bit of attention, which even I wasn't expecting or ready to see. I was just absentmindedly updating my life events on Facebook, as you do. It's just that my life story includes the loss of a loved one (whose doesn't, I hear you ask). So, I added that life event. And opened a tiny gate. Some people needed to see him, I think. Others offered supportive comments. And some of it felt good. Some of it felt unexpected like I hadn't realized what I had put out there into that space, which is so strange for me because, as I said, I am typically hyper-aware of how much a single photo or post about him can attract attention. I guess I was really just in my own little world for those few seconds it took to post that life event.

I do not regret adding my life event, but I do hope I didn't disrupt someone's day in a way that was hurtful for them or made their day more difficult. I know it can be hard to see your loved one scroll past in a space you don't control. It's one thing to choose to read a blog post about them on a site belonging to somebody else, which you choose to visit, but to see them pop up as a status out of the blue can be a bit of a shock. So, if that happened for somebody today, I am truly sorry. That wasn't my intent. I just wanted it noted that at one point in my life I lost my somebody I loved very much. And I haven't forgotten him. Even if my relationship status says other than widowed. That journey is still mine. 

Things That Are Just Wrong: A Short List

I have opinions. This is my blog. I am going to share them now. (If you're one of those easily offended or sensitive types, you should sit or something.)

Things that are just wrong:


  • people who don't eat the rind of good cheese—people have no idea what they're missing;

  • jockstraps that show through sheer football pants—I'm blaming you, Nike;

  • Mitt Romney thinking that the death of my late husband makes my children view themselves as entitled victims because they receive survivor benefits.


I have been incredibly quiet here on my blog about politics this presidential election, but I'm going to speak up right now. Why? This is just too personal for me.

Yes, it has been personal on many other occasions, but I have addressed those elsewhere, and I felt that was sufficient, and I would deal with that at the ballots in November.

This? It's too much.

I collected my first legitimate, taxes-paid, paycheck when I was barely old enough to sign my name in cursive. I know this because I have the Social Security card to prove it. Back in the day you didn't get your Social Security card at birth; you got it when you worked for the first time or needed it for identification. That paycheck included money withheld for Social Security. I believe I was somewhere around eight years old. I worked for my father doing inventory for a family business, counting parts, something a child could do. I earned minimum wage.

By the time I was in my teens, I worked part-time after school and longer hours in the summers, again paying into the "system." I filed my taxes every year.

When I was in my early 20s, I got married to Bob, who had also been working since he was a teenager. He too paid into Social Security and paid his taxes. We had two kids. I became a stay-at-home mom when I was pregnant with our second child, working part-time and freelance, both of us still paying taxes and contributing to Social Security.

Then Bob died of cancer.

Guess what we, as the survivors of his death are entitled to?

Life without him. Sweet benefit, huh? Yeah, my kids think so, too.

Also, after working and paying into Social Security benefits for the requisite period of time, based on a complex calculation, our family receives survivor benefits for a period of time to allow us to make up for the wages lost due to his death.

We are not lazy.

We do pay federal income tax, actually, contrary to what Mitt Romney would like you to think.

I do not expect Mitt Romney to worry about me, so it's okay that he's agreed not to. Why? Because he has no idea what it is like to be me. He has never lived in my shoes. He has no empathy for me. He would have no idea how to worry about me. I'll handle the worry. We've done just fine without him so far, thank you very much.

Now, do I feel that my family is entitled to the benefits my husband and I paid for over the years we worked? Hell yes! I would feel that way whether we had paid for those benefits through a private entity or Social Security. That's why we have Social Security. It's also why my husband and I had life insurance, which we paid for every month. Did I feel entitled to receive that benefit? Yes, I did. We paid for it.

What I would most enjoy right now is for Mitt Romney to explain to my children how it is that they are lazy, entitled, and/or victims whom he will not be worrying about because their father died of cancer. Because while I do not need him to worry about me, my children might want to know why someone who's running for president of this nation would dare to make such a bold statement about his future constituents.

How To Help: You Have To Eat

When we were in the throes of grieving, food made such a difference. I know it took a lot of coordination behind the scenes on the part of many to make it come together, but it meant so much for us to have those meals, no matter how simple or complex. 

And sometimes that help came from the most surprising places and people, sometimes people I didn't know and had never met, so I'm going to ask here for a favor in case there's someone out there reading who is feeling the need to give to another family in need.

I met Elaine in college and we reconnected after Bob's death. She has taken on the task of coordinating meals for a father and his two daughters. The family was in the midst of relocating to California for the father's job when his wife, 8 months pregnant, was killed in during the drive out here. He and his two daughters are now in California, in a new place, without Mom or the baby they were soon expecting. 

I know people often said they couldn't imagine my pain when Bob died, and I cannot imagine this family's pain. What I can do is give them food. It's a simple thing. It's an important thing. And sometimes that's all we can do.

Elaine has set up a site to collect the funds needed to have a month's worth of dinners prepared by Dream Dinners—an absolutely fabulous idea because there are some days when you're fine and some when you just can't get it together. (If you aren't familiar with the Dream Dinners concept, check them out. I love the concept and relied on something similar, especially when we were living in and out of hospitals and doctors offices.) 

When I last checked, we were 33% of the way toward meeting the goal of providing a month of meals for this dad and his two little girls. I think it would be very easy for us to hit 100%, don't you? Give a dollar or give a bunch of dollars, if you're able. And give somebody you love a hug. 

Meals for family that lost Mother in car accident

 

Organizer's Description

I'm collecting money towards a month of meals for a family that lost their mom (and her unborn child - she was 8 months pregnant) in a tragic car accident last week during a cross country move. The meals are for the dad and their 2 young daughters and will come from Dream Dinners fully ready to cook. Contributions of any amount (even $5 will help!) can be made online
 
Reply deadline
September 16, 2012

Outtakes: Labor Day 2012

We're a unique couple. #casabesttogether


I guess I could call this post fruits and veggies, but it's just a couple of snaps from the weekend—a working weekend. Lots to do here at Casa Best Together. The garden is ready for fall planting and, as you can see, we had a bit of a zucchini harvest. Carl (nee Charlie) has suited up to assist with renovations on the homestead. Safety is crucial even for the four-legged among us. Or maybe I just like to see what I can get him to wear on his face. He's a good sport.Safety first on the job site. #lhasa

The never-ending sprinkler repairs continue. Oh, the joys of half-acre irrigation, legacy systems, and wells. There's got to be a special place in hell for people who plant non-native trees and plants. Slowly we'll get that remedied. In the meantime, we'll enjoy their shade and hope they don't do too much damage.

 

 

Phoning It In WIth Faux Toes

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We went for a short run during Peanut's riding time this week. So nice to get our run in early before the heat hit.

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My cabana boy does good work. He's passionate about his job. Also, easy on the eyes. 

Photo on 8 10 12 at 3 14 PM  2

Sometimes you are left questioning the budget of certain retailers whose catalogs arrive in your mailbox. Way to buck that economic downturn, Needless Markup! 

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Life. Lemons. Vodka.

Thank you for stopping in for this installment of "Phoning it in with Faux Toes."

Thinking About Her: My Other Grandmother

I just had my forty-third birthday. By that time, my grandmother had given birth to her second child, now a year old. Her firstborn, my father, was three. The year was 1949. By the time my father was eleven, my grandmother would be burying her husband and raising her two children alone in California. 

I never thought of my grandmother as a young widow. I never thought of my grandmother as young. 

When I arrived on the scene, my grandmother was on old lady who would tell you to kiss her on the cheek because she'd been "eating onions." 

My aunt and my father stood over six feet tall, but my grandmother was lucky to hit five feet standing on a hill. 

Even in her 80s, she still had natural streaks of light brown through her graying hair. She lived on her own until the day she died—fiercely independent, using an electric ringer to do her laundry well into MY childhood, giving her series of overfed Pomeranians the same name (which, for the life of me, I cannot recall right now—something with an "L" I think), and placing little notes on the back of everything ever given to her so that when she died you got back the things you gave her (a great lesson in not giving shitty gifts). 

She loved to dance, and talk on the phone—a ship-to-shore operator for more years than I can remember—and would always make you hang up when you called her so she could call you back on her dime, because Ma Bell gave her a deal for all those years of service as a single working mother. 

She immigrated to this country without any of her siblings or her parents. I don't know why. She was the oldest. She never spoke a word of Norwegian in my presence. She never had an accent. I never knew her political beliefs, but she'd mail me unaccompanied, unexplained clippings from the National Enquirer throughout my life, and boxes of See's Candy at the holidays. 

My mother didn't care for her, or didn't like her, or didn't understand her, and I think that's why we didn't spend much time with her, but honestly, I don't really know why I didn't see my dad's mother much. I just know that I wish I had gotten to know her better. I think we have some parallels in our lives that I didn't see coming—nobody could have seen them coming—that would have been well-served by us spending some more time together.

As I raise my fatherless children, I wish I could sit with her and ask her things. As I encounter difficult times with family members who don't understand, I wish I could ask her things. I wish I could sit with her one more time for one of her manicures.

Instead, I sit in front of the cabinet I inherited when she passed away and remember how I sat in front of it as a little girl in her house. I remember asking her about the items it held, some of them it still holds. I remember her stories. I try to tell them to the little girls in my house when they ask. I try to hear her voice.

It has occurred to me, mid-packing, that I might possess more teacups than the average girl.

Birthday Door

I'm not sure what typical people ask for on their birthdays. I asked for a door.

Last year I asked for a hot tub delivery. Yes, the delivery. Not the hot tub itself. I already had that. I just wanted it delivered to our new digs and didn't want to have to deal with the headache of coordinating having it craned out of my old house and trucked to the new one.

This year, I wanted a door.

I'd say I'm easy to please, but that's probably a lie.

I don't mind paying for my gifts, helping install them, and I can't recall ever returning one. 

However, the chances you're going to find something for me at the mall are slim. I buy my own clothes. If there's a book I want to read, I get it. I don't want more crap. I'd rather have antiques from my family than something from Restoration Hardware. And I already have plenty. I don't need more knick knacks to dust. I don't like decorations that lack stories. I like history, humor, functionality, and beauty in the things around me. 

So, a door.

A birthday door.

Door

 

 

On Comparing Loss

Should we? It's done. Divorce gets compared to death. I have opinions about that.

We are even fond of comparing how we grieve our losses and their scale of impact in our lives—was my loss greater than yours? Did I grieve the same as that other widow; was it long enough; was it too long?

I do know one thing: it's not a contest. Everybody experiences grief differently.

How I experienced the loss of my husband to cancer is going to be different from how another young widow experiences her loss of her spouse to an unexpected traffic accident. It's going to be different from the widow who loses his partner to suicide. What about the widow of the murder victim? Or the man who was estranged from his wife at the time of her death—what does that grief look like?

So. Many. Things. Affect. Grief.

I had time to say goodbye to my husband. I had time to grieve WITH him. I had a lot of years WITH him. I was never angry with him. I never felt like he left me on purpose. I wasn't surprised. Nothing was left unsaid. Our marriage wasn't an unhappy one.

But, I absolutely understand how that kind of pain and grief exists. I have cried with friends in that kind of pain, who have that kind of confusion and those unresolved feelings and questions. 

I also had children with him. Does that make it easier or harder? I don't know. It just makes it different from not having kids together. It makes it different from if we had grown children or an infant at the time of his death.

So. Many. Factors.

I wasn't left penniless or in a mountain of debt. I wasn't left without a will or specific instructions about his funeral and final wishes. 

I was left with some other weird shit to deal with, but that's pretty normal from what I can tell. If you make it through the loss of a spouse at a young age with ALL of your exact same friends and family members still by your side in the same configuration, I want your name and number—and so will a bunch of other widows, because it is NOT the norm. 

When life changes you, there is often a changing of the guard around you. Learn to roll with it and life will be so much easier. You can't control their grief process any more than you can control your own, and quite frankly, it ain't your job, Scarlett. 

What I was left without was my best friend, somebody who knew me better than I knew myself, and my compass in the world. THAT was some scary shit. I was vulnerable to being taken advantage of by opportunistic people who could smell blood in the water, and that sucked. 

But I was also left with a wonderful new world of opportunities, friendships, family, and LIFE, which I keep living. Every day I chip away at a little bit more of this thing, and it's been good. 

Our losses aren't the same—none of them, except to say that we are missing something that is no longer there. In my case, the loss is permanent. I wouldn't change it, though, because it would mean not having had him, and I cannot imagine giving that back. Our lives are too enriched by that experience. Loss makes room for something else, even when it hurts like hell. The memories and the love and the awesome that he and I shared fill in all around the life that comes next, at least that's how it works for me. 

I can't write your story.

Circular Days: Nora Ephron And Our Boxes

We are finally moving.

Still and finally.

And the floors still aren't done. And the walls aren't quite painted.

But, we're moving. Because, well, that's  how life works. They will be done, but ready or not, HERE WE COME.

Except for the boxes.

So, now I play Tetris with the boxes. 

Tetris

And then I breathe, and check in with the world, and find out that Nora Ephron is dead, which is absolute bullshit and totally unfair. Death is often unfair, but also so very much a part of life that I'm not sure why we still feel that way about it. Still, it's unfair to those of us hanging around after to be left without those who leave us. It sucks. No more Nora Ephron.

Just boxes. And Tetris.

Lots of memories in there. Also books. So. Many. Books.

It's an odd thing arranging your life into boxes and then into a bigger box. At the end, you end up in a box of your own—pine or something of the sort. Your stuff becomes somebody else's stuff to put into boxes and move around. The circle of boxes continues.

Life. Death. Boxes.

RIP, Nora Ephron. I loved your work. I hope somebody loves moving your boxes around.

Boxes Or Matches

It's finally time to move out of our rental house and into the home I purchased back in March, which means we've been packing. And packing. And packing.

The wine is huddled in fear.

I have wondered aloud about the number of teacups I possess.

And there are. So. Many. Games. I'm convinced they were breeding in that game closet.

My non-essential footwear is packed.

And we are ALL more than ready to go to bed and wake up to THIS beautiful space each day, even with the work we have left to do. THIS makes it all so much fun.