Random Update

Hi everyone ❤

My MRI was Wednesday, and on Friday I learned that they detected no lesions in my brain or cervical spine. This is good news and bad news all at once; what it means is more doctors, more tests, more questions. My doctor referred me to a neurologist so that will be the next step. The symptoms aren’t improving; most specifically, my thought and logic process. I have a very hard time connecting the dots. I’m also having serious issues with balance.

For reasons unknown to me, yesterday was a complete meltdown day. Complete. I write about it because people should understand what I’m going through but also anyone going through the same thing should know that sometimes, for NO reason whatsoever, you WILL lose your shit. You’ll cry, yell to the sky, you’ll want to give up, you’ll question how you can go on. I question this every day, but the meltdown thing is completely unpredictable. The only predictable thing is that it WILL happen. You just never know when, where, or what will trigger it.

My mental and emotional state aren’t improving at all. I don’t know why I’m here. I don’t know why the powers that be won’t gift me with a ticket out of this life, but I’ve been shit on by the powers that be so many times, I don’t expect any different. I’m going through the life motions as best as I can, and I get lost in my dogs and painting the woodwork throughout the house. Whenever my mind is still, my thoughts go to painful memories of the last few weeks of Michael’s life. That’s not the Michael or the marriage I want to remember. I want to remember the good times. I was hoping those memories would seep in and overpower my PTSD, but it’s not happening yet. And for the record, same story with my dad. My dad’s memories aren’t as painful because he didn’t suffer in the way Michael did. But they are there. If you’ve ever been the primary caregiver to someone you love who is dying a painful death, you understand. I’ve seen far too many souls that I love, take their last breaths. And it has changed who I am. If it didn’t change me, I’d be worried.

The New Year has never meant much to me. It’s just another page in the calendar. I don’t do resolutions, or predict that “this year, I’ll (fill in the blank).” I never really look back at the year that just passed. But this year, I did. The changing of the calendar was pretty sad for me. I truly still cannot believe all I lost in the span of a few months.  I can’t believe how much my world, my life, my heart, my personality, my home, and my outlook have changed. I don’t even recognize my reality any more. I don’t recognize this life of being single, sharing a home with someone I’m not married to, a different routine, a complete hole in my life and in my heart that doesn’t seem to be healing at all. I miss him. I miss our life. I would give anything to have him back.

The rescue is in dire straits. When I returned to work this week, I came back to the reality that almost all of our foster parents are unavailable. We’re in danger of shutting the rescue down very soon. Again, I can’t believe what I’ve lost and feel like I’m still losing.

What is meant to be, will be. I’ll continue to do the best I can, and I’m hoping that within a week I’ll have amazing pics of the house to show you. I’m hoping to be done with the woodwork soon!

Thank you as always for reading. ❤


~ Lisa

A Random Day in the Life

It’s been a long day. I had an MRI on my brain and my cervical spine. Testing for MS. That plus dealing with my life in general is just exhausting.

There’s so much stress. Financial. Emotional. Physical. Stress. And sometimes I don’t know if it’s all going to work out. I’m not accustomed to being poor. I’m not accustomed to being rich either, but I always knew I’d have whatever I needed. Now I don’t have that comfort any longer. I could write paragraphs and pages about the stress, but I don’t want to give it that much power. Let’s just leave it with, I’m going through unimaginable stress about countless things that I never thought I’d have to face.

This shit is not for the weak.

I stepped back into Facebook today. I’m keeping it light. I didn’t install the app on my phone and I don’t plan to. I also stepped back into rescue. I need to wake things up and keep things moving.

Time heals all wounds is a bunch of shit. I know it’s still very new and I’m still very raw, but I miss him more with each passing day. Each day just marks one more day since I’ve heard his voice or felt his touch. One more day since he existed. One more day apart and I only miss him and our life more and more.

So much has changed in a few short months, that I don’t know if anyone could process it all live-time. I feel like it will take me months or even years to wrap my head around my year and all I have lost. So much has changed that my life is barely recognizable.

I don’t really keep track of how long it’s been since Michael left (you’ll find most widows don’t really mark monthly anniversaries, at least in my experience), but I know that as time passes, it makes me more sad. It still feels like it was yesterday to me, but the world around me has moved on. I’m locked in a time-warp and I feel like I’m getting more and more out of touch with the world that is passing me by.

Tonight is my weekly major dose of poison drugs. I’m tolerating them pretty well. They don’t seem to be helping much yet, but I’m told it can take up to 8 weeks to see results. Tonight is Week 6.

So there you have it. A day in the life. Try not to be too jealous. 😉


~ Lisa

Helliday Season is Almost Over!

Today, I wake in a good mood because this season is almost OVER! This is reason to celebrate for me. The past three months of holiday commercials, songs, decor, and festivities have been a torture that only a fresh widow could understand.

There’s a lot happening in my life. My daughter is moving in this weekend, and in new developments, my sister will be coming to live with me in February. Her life has come to a crossroads and finally we decided that it makes sense for her to come here. She will be on hand to help with caregiving as my condition deteriorates.

My condition: Ugh. I’m still taking all the drugs. The nodules have improved or lessened, but the swelling and inability to grab or pick things up continues. I’m also having other symptoms, and will see my doc about that on Monday.

There’s been some family stuff this week that has been devastating. I can’t talk about it, but I can tell you that I learned some things that really have me wondering if my whole parenting life has been a lie. My mind is only capable of handling small bits at a time, so I don’t know if I’ve really gotten my head around everything yet. There’s time. Once this seeps into the crevices of my brain and I fully understand it, I’m sure it will torture me for the rest of my life

I’ve made some plans to get out of town in the near future. It’s time for me to start exploring other parts of the country in a search for my eventual place of residence. It’s not happening anytime soon, which is nice because it gives me time to take a short trip here or there to investigate the places I’m interested in.

I’m re-entering the real world next week. My leave of absence is coming to an end, and it’s time to get back on social media. I’m making real efforts to manage my workload. I’m not really ready or emotionally capable of handling too much right now, so some tweaks have been made to my responsibilities. My board of directors has been amazing. It’s time to get back to saving lives. ❤

Socially, lots of people have disappeared from my life. It’s okay, I was prepared and warned by others that this would happen. Most of Michael’s camp has disappeared and I don’t hear from them any longer. Many of my fun friendships no longer exist. But the gift is, as the smoke clears there are the few, the loving, the amazing friends. ❤ And for that I’m so incredibly grateful.

I’m starting to come back to reality, and I’m continuing to try and learn about the new me. The Lisa I know, the Lisa you all know, is gone. She died on July 30. I’m still learning about the new Lisa. The core of who I am hasn’t changed, but my personality sure has. My philosophies and beliefs have changed. My thoughts and my feelings have changed. All that I thought I believed and knew, has been turned upside down. As I rebuild it all, the pieces are still there but they don’t fit together any longer so they are going someplace else. All the pieces are here, but they fit differently now. As time passes, this list will change, but here’s what I see in myself that’s completely different.

  • I’m quieter, and far more insecure
  • I don’t believe in God any longer
  • I don’t have any goals or hope for the future; I’m just on auto pilot
  • I no longer expect anything from anyone in my personal life. I’m grateful for what they do, and completely over expecting that anyone owes me anything.
  • I’ve become a better dog parent because I am mindfully taking time with each of them and all of them every day. I’m really enjoying them more than ever.
  • I’ve learned that I am alone. I learned it in a sad way after finding myself alone when I didn’t expect to be, but that goes toward forgiveness (read below).
  • I’ve accepted that my life isn’t at all what I planned, worked so hard for, or wanted. This carries with it a small bit of depression, but also freedom to do what I want and not worry about the consequences.
  • I’ve gotten very very good at forgiveness. That friend who hasn’t contacted you in months and then sends an email apologizing because they didn’t know what to say? Forgive. The friendship will never be the same, but forgive. The friend who will be there no matter what, but who you haven’t heard from? Or the friend who thinks they are giving advice and helping but instead is overstepping and hurtful? Forgive. The people who judge or make jokes of my situation? Forgive. They don’t owe me anything. Nobody does. I remember every day that poison only corrodes the container it’s carried in. Forgive. Increase the distance if you need to, but forgive.

And that’s it in a nutshell. It’s a lot, but at the same time the more things change the more they stay the same. He’s still gone,  I still miss him terribly, and it is what it is.

Thanks for tuning in. ❤


~ Lisa

I’m getting through

Hi everyone,

I didn’t realize that by taking a blogging break, I would cause so much concern from so many. I apologize.

I’m here. I won’t say I’m okay, but I’ll say I’m getting through.

After six long and stressful months, I am so excited to say that as of yesterday, I now have flooring and baseboards! This project is officially DONE. It was the worst experience I could have ever imagined, and I’m so glad it’s behind me. Kinda. In spite of legal advice to the contrary, I’m taking my first contractor to small claims court. If I lose, I lose. But I want to be able to say I tried to recover some of the funds I lost. What he did to me is not okay on any level, and I can’t let it rest. But in good news, I LOVE the finished result.



And yes I’m still planning to post pics of the house, but things are a bit out of order since I’m preparing for my daughter to move in, which will be right around the New Year.

I’m not celebrating the holiday this year. I’m not scrooging either, but just not observing it this year. No decorations, no gifts, no shopping, no cards. It’s just too difficult for me to deal with.

I’ll post some random things here and there so you all know I’m okay. I’m sorry to have worried you.



Memories; Pictures can say 1000 words

Hello everyone ❤

First, I wanted to say I’ve decided to take a blogging break. I’m putting so much sadness out into the universe and I’m not comfortable with it. I think I’m in a depth of pain that no longer can be done any justice by blogging about it. I feel like my screams are going out into cyberspace and echoing through the wavelengths and just creating an energy that isn’t good in the world.

I’ve never experienced pain like this before. The PTSD is overwhelming. The memories of Michael’s rapid illness and death haunt me, mostly at night. I wake to his screams and cries regularly, and it takes me a few minutes to realize it’s in my head. The images of his decline invade my mind and take me down a road to remembering my dad’s death too. I may be driving to the store, and in that few minutes all I see is a slideshow of the deaths of the two men I loved more than anything in this world. I close my eyes and see the suffering and remember the painful goodbyes. I hear the sounds of the dying; the wailing, the rambling, the rattling. I recall conversations and wonder if he was coherent when we had them. I have photos of him during that time that are so painful that I wonder if I should delete them, but I can’t bring myself to delete anything Michael-related. I desperately search for signs of Michael all the time because I truly don’t feel strong enough to live without feeling his presence. I catch myself thinking I should call my (now dead – oops that’s right) dad. When I was on my girls getaway, many many times I thought “I should call (now dead) Michael and check in”. Reality isn’t easy for me to keep up with. As my physical condition deteriorates, I’m constantly reminded of why this is happening. And I tease Michael aloud, telling him he’s killing me but he’s doing a shitty job of it. RA? Really? If you’re gonna ruin my life, give me something that will do me in instead of slow suffering, would ya?

I miss him so much. Nothing will ever, ever be the same again.

My goal was to hopefully help other widows at some point and right now, I’m not helpful. I’m whiny, depressed, needy, inconsolable, pissy, grumpy, self-pitying, sick, and tired. I’m questioning my sanity and my reason for living. My instincts are keeping me inward and isolating. I’ve never been through anything like this before. There’s no textbook. No amount of therapy in the world makes it better. It’s just unbearable, indescribable, horrific, nightmarish, brutal, unrelenting, unforgiving pain. It’s hell on earth. Hell.

It’s not a good time in my head right now. And I know those who actually do read this, don’t know what to do with it. And it leads to silence, and me questioning what I’m doing, and every reader questioning what the hell they can even say to me. It’s causing me more and more insecurity, so I’m stepping away for a bit until I can hopefully get my head straight.

Before I do, I wanted to share this picture with you. I had forgotten all about this photo, but with my daughter moving in next weekend I’m cleaning some things out. This was taken in 2005. Michael surprised me with an early morning balloon ride. It was amazing! We drank champagne as the sun rose. We swooped down really low and picked grapefruits off the trees. We floated above everything and felt no wind, because we were the wind. We traveled with it, so it was surprisingly quiet and still up there. It was one of his favorite memories right up until he died. But the power of the photo is this: When we had it taken and they handed it to us, Michael said “Wow. I think this is the first photo I’ve ever seen myself smiling.” We got home and sure enough, looked through hundreds of photos and couldn’t find any with a smile. Sometimes a grin, but you never saw his teeth. He said this picture was the perfect definition of who he was now. Happy, secure, and where he belonged. One picture says so much. ❤


Thank you for reading if you are, and thank you for reaching out if you are. I’ll be back when I feel I have something of value to share.

Peace Out,

~ Lisa

Holidays, Health, Big Questions

Hello loyal followers ❤

This is a brain dump today. I am under so much stress that I need to pound it out on the keyboard or I’ll implode.

I never go out at night. I didn’t realize this until last night. I had to go pick up a prescription and as I was driving to the pharmacy, I was almost blinded by the christmas lights and displays. I drove by homes with beautiful trees in the front windows. I passed cars with wreaths on the grills and santa hats on the antennas.

He should be here. Why the fuck isn’t he here?

My health is getting worse every day despite my best efforts otherwise. My joints and my spine are constantly painful. My hands are so swollen that I can no longer do the things I love to do – the things that became an outlet for my stress. I can no longer paint, I can’t color because my hands cannot grip the markers or pencils. I cannot do my puzzles because my fingers won’t grip. I can’t sand or stain my woodwork for the same reasons. It’s difficult for me to type but I won’t give that up. This inability to do the things I love has just added to my depression and darkness. For a minute or two, the darkness was simply a dull gray. Now, it’s black. Just darkness. Just a vacuum where feelings, love, a sense of purpose, and joy should be.

I’m feeling impulsive. Again, I’m the flailing hose without anyone to ground me. I want to sell the house. I want to relocate. I want to die. I want to escape to a hermit-like existence. I want to be near the ocean. I want to be where it’s warm and sunny. I want to be where there are no memories, where nobody looks at me like a pathetic pity case, where I don’t have to worry about running into my son who hates me or the contractor who hates me or anyone else who has ever wished anything bad upon me. I want to die – did I mention that? This was OUR world, and I no longer feel I belong here. But, I don’t feel I belong anywhere. I really don’t want to keep doing this without him. I’m trying. I’m pushing. I’m working on this every single day. But the reality always comes through. I’m wishing my life away and I don’t want to be here without him. I don’t think I can keep doing it. But yet, here I am.

Many people have told me that reading this blog is painful or difficult. I know it is. This is my life, every single moment of every single day of every single week of every single month. Painful. Difficult. Without meaning. Without purpose. Alone. Empty. Realizing that this life only mattered because he was in it. Realizing that he made me who I was, and I’m no longer that person or any person really. I’m just a being, taking up space, wishing my life away.

It’s such a waste. And he should be here.

I’m tired of writing the same thing over and over again. I’m tired of hearing my own broken record. I’m tired of my reality, and I’m not sure if blogging about it is helping or not.  Writing does help me, but I wonder if I should journal privately sometimes. My thoughts and my life are extremely dark. I think about dying all the time. I think about Michael all the time. I see him in my dreams. I would give anything to talk to him again. To ask him what it’s like where he is. To ask him what he thinks I should do. To hear him tell me he loves me one more time. I would love for him to tell me it’s okay, and that I can leave this world because I’ve done enough. Without his love, I feel like nothing. I just wish I could talk to him one more time. ❤ He should be here. He didn’t want to die. He wanted to live, and yet here I am wishing my life away.

Such a waste.


~ Lisa


You Can Run, But…

Well, you know the rest.

I had a great and much needed getaway. It was really nice to step out of reality for a few days. Michael was on my mind 24/7. But it was nice to sleep in a different setting, sleep in, stay up late, and be someplace new.

I miss him so much.

My daughter is moving into the house for six months. She needs a reboot and I need her, so we decided that this makes sense right now. She’ll be slowly moving in over the next week or so.

Every day, I’m learning. While I was away, I learned that I literally feel homeless. I don’t really feel I belong anywhere. Michael was home. The only reason I ended up in MN was because of him. This was his world, not mine. I still feel like a square peg in a round hole here. Our plan was that we’d eventually move somewhere warm. Now, I still want someplace warm and things are going on with my health that may dictate that at some point, but I’m just in a spiral. I have nowhere to go but can go anywhere. Anywhere. Some might find that freeing. I personally find it heartbreaking. My plane landed today and Michael wasn’t there to greet me. He would have been there with a heavy coat for me and he would have had me sit in the heated car while he waited for my luggage. Today, I carried my own heavy bag across the cold lot to catch the Lyft driver. I rode home without Michael’s conversation and hugs, and pulled into a dark driveway. And walked into 4 very happy dogs. And no Michael.

This isn’t right. It’s just so wrong that this is my reality. It’s wrong on so many levels. I don’t know what I did to deserve this suffering. I have tried to live a life of honesty and integrity. I’ve tried to show kindness to humans and animals. I’ve tried to use my life to serve others. But the hits just keep coming.

I believe that our purpose on this earth and in this life is to love. And I don’t know how much more love I’m capable of. I don’t know at what point your heart, your ability to love, breaks. I’m not ready to get back to reality, and the sad part is that my life right now is hardly reality. I’m still on a kinda-leave from work. I’m still not leaving the house much. I’m still not “doing” my whole life. I don’t know how or if I’ll ever get there. But even this buffered version of reality is just too much.

And the holidays? Just shit icing on my already shit cake. Just a little extra topping on the shit that is my life.

Part 2: Death Becomes Her

It seems that death surrounds me. For the past 2 years, I have been in some state of grief or preparing for a deeply personal loss. These aren’t casual acquaintances; these were core losses. If any of you were at Michael’s service, you may remember a woman who got up to speak. She was an adopter (had her dog there with her) and she spoke of how long she drove to come to honor my husband. This woman (I’ll call her “L”) and I had gotten off to a rocky start. She had applied to adopt a dog and we denied her because she was out of our area. Well, she told us off but good and actually won me over with her spunk. I approved the adoption and earned a supporter. This morning I received a sad text from L. Her husband passed away in his sleep last night. I didn’t know how to feel. I was both honored and terrified that she reached out to me, and based on the timing I assume I was one of the first people she contacted. She said she really wanted to talk with me soon, and mentioned a service. I offered her what words of comfort I could. I told her that she’s walking into hell and that I was here for her. I told her those things because that’s what would have helped me. Just someone to not sugar coat, not say “we’ll get through this” because there is no WE right now, not dismiss it or push it aside or suggest you go out because you’ll feel better. Someone to say, this sucks. You’ll never be the same. Your life is about to suck on the biggest level you can imagine. And I’ll be here anytime for anything at all without judging or overstepping. And someone who means it. So my gift to her was honesty, and to mean it when I say I’m here for her.

Then I came home to a sad letter. I mentioned a short while ago a casual acquaintance/adopter “SS” who passed away and that he had impacted my life, and I was saddened to hear of his death. Today I received a letter from an attorney for a probate hearing, as our rescue was named as a beneficiary in his estate. He loved the dog he adopted from us so much, that he put us in his will. I didn’t know how to feel about this either. He impacted my life for reasons I don’t understand. We talked once in a while, very casually. We shared the same birthday as Facebook reminds me each year. And to think that we impacted him so much that we’re in his will, well it’s just overwhelming.

I also came home to a letter about my Social Security Death Benefit. For any of you who haven’t experienced this, Social Security sends widows a one-time death benefit of $255. I don’t know where this number came from but I’d honestly rather not receive it. How do you value a life at $255? It feels gross.

That’s all my news for now. Taking chemo drugs tonight so we’ll see how it goes this week.


~ Lisa