Tuesday, August 10, 2010

On a trip

This is the day I leave for parts south. I have some anxieties about cutting myself off from everything that is familiar and comfortable. But so many people have told me that it will be good for me, that I believe them and feel I must do it.

The "kids" will get along without me, but I will miss seeing Spike off to College, and seeing the other grandchildren frequently. But then I will see our Australian grandchildren, whom I see very infrequently.

I felt like a heel leaving poor little Ella at the kennel this morning. But there were lots of dogs there playing in the enclosures. So maybe she will find a friend. I feel very confident with the kennel owner and trainer. He will look after her well. We have had lots of conversations and e-mails about her.

Over the last few weeks, I have begun to realize just how awful those last eighteen months must have been for Di, and how willing she was for it to end. That last month in the nursing home was the final straw, and she clearly did not want to continue like that. We promised her that we would not let her die there, so we brought her home,  but she lasted only a couple of days. Goodbye my darling. I am off on an adventure that you would have enjoyed so much. But I will have to do it solo - or rather, with a different friend. I will be thinking of you a lot. Peace and love, Geoff

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Five Days

It is five days since my last post. Does that mean that my need to write about my grief is decreasing? Or have I just been too busy getting ready for the trip?

Tonight I had the two local families for dinner, steak, baked potato, corn on the cob, with salad provided by Terri and Pete, and peaches with ice cram and butterscotch sauce, (provided by Mark and Jennifer). It was good to see them all before I leave. It's kind of a tradition.

It feels strange going off on a solo adventure when Di's  ashes lie buried in the Cathedral memorial Garden. Perhaps this is what they mean by survivor's guilt.  She loved taking cruise vacations. I said good bye to her this morning, after service, though I am sure she will be traveling with me in spirit. The biodegradable container with a small, reserved portion of her ashes is packed, and will be scattered on the Pacific from the cruise ship as per her wishes.

I am getting more used to aloneness, and don't feel quite as lonely as I did at first. There are a few neighbors who make a point of talking to me, but for the most part I see very few of them. In this neighborhood people stay inside in the air conditioning during the summer, and the heating during the winter.

However, I am looking forward to having the company of Richard, at least, during the next three weeks. And there will be hundreds of passengers abroad, all of whom will have interesting stories. Some of them will have been aboard for the whole world cruise. We  are just buying into the last leg, LA to Sydney. Well, I am up for the adventure. We will see what transpires. More when we are on board-if not before. Peace and love be to everyone. Geoff

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Reestablishing one's credentials

 Without the physical presence of Di and her love, I seem to have lost a lot of confidence. She was there always, and I think, we jointly felt that if there was an emergency, then the other would be there to support and help handle it. It was a stout platform on which to build confidence and self esteem. Now that is something I have lost, and, with it, a lot of confidence.

But my life and career has been a series of reestablishing credentials in a new environment, so, I guess this is yet another occasion where I have to reestablish my credentials as a single survivor.   I wish I didn't have to, but there is no alternative. It is OK to talk about "going on alone" in those intimate near death conversations, but it really is rather difficult. When walking a trail one needs a map and a plan. I feel that I have lost both, and there are very few sign posts. If I keep walking and surround myself with love, I am sure  I will find the way eventually, though I may land in a few thickets of despair along the way, from time to time. Maybe it is time to read "Pilgrim's Progress" again. Love and peace to all.  Please pray for me as I take myself far out of my comfort zone, and begin my trip to Australia next Tuesday. Geoff.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

A nice meal with family

Mark is very generous, and makes it a point to invite me to dinner each Sunday night, Tonight's menu was out of "Cooking Light" and was delicious, low fat Mexican food. I take Ella. She and Cody seem to have reached a compromise, and there is no growling now, unless food is an issue. The kids also are emotionally generous and there are hugs all around when I arrive and depart. Also went to see Matt play soccer yesterday in 90+ degree heat. It must have been exhausting to play in that heat. Matt has a nice sunburned beak today. They won their first game, (the one I saw),but lost the second 1-0. I was very impressed with their passing and ball control. Matt has moved up a step, into the 18-19 group of players. He is only 16, so he is playing now with more experienced players, with more skills.

I am accepting more and more now that life with Di, memorable and pleasant though it was, is in the past, and I have to adjust to the present. Fortunate I am, in having friends and family looking out for my welfare, Numerous times I have been taken to lunch or dinner by friends and family. When I come back I will have to start returning that hospitality. In the meantime I am extremely grateful.

Next Sunday will be the last time I will sing with the Cathedral choir this summer. I am not prepared to commit to the time needed to sing in the choir during the academic year. Besides, with a paralyzed hemidiaphragm, (after our accident in 1999), I no longer sing well, technically. I do not have good enough breath control. Unless I can sing well, I would rather not sing. Besides, in the next quarter I will be back on the roster of scripture readers. That will give me a sufficient part in the services,

Well. now to the arrangements necessary for the cruise, and getting to LA. I wish I had booked earlier flights, but it now costs too much to change them. so will arrive in LA about midnight. But we have nothing to do the next day, except get to the ship between 1 and 3 pm, and embark. So I should be able to sleep in just a little. Boarding pass and luggage tags are already preprinted. So, all I have to do is pack, and get Ella to the kennels very early on the 10th. Love and peace to all, Geoff