Six suitcases and a messed up wrist

Kinda sounds like a drinking song?

So real quick…my wrist. Yesterday I was packing and purging…MOSTLY moving things out to the garage for my upcoming moving sale NEXT WEEKEND (holy shit where is time going!). So I’m moving along, moving along, music playing, I’m working through some of my “feelings” by sweating and punishing some boxes 😉 and all of a sudden – POP. I heard it. I kinda felt it but it felt more like I had bumped into something really hard. I instinctively started flinging my hand up and down because I hurt it, and of course cussing something about a mother or something…and I’m flinging my hand when I realize my arm is about one second ahead of my hand. It looked like my hand was detached! It didn’t hurt but it was disgusting. So off the the urgent care I go, they head me over to the ER and they pop it back in (THAT hurt like a MOTHER). They give me some iv pain meds, wait for them to wear off, and I go home. Now it’s in a brace but the brace hurts too. Whatever. It was actually funny before it started to hurt. You should have seen the faces in the waiting room. Good times. Good times.

But what I REALLY want to talk about is Six Suitcases. Literally and philosophically, spiritually or whatever. I would give almost ANYTHING for mass participation on this post, because I am really, really interested in what everyone has to say.

six suitcases.jpg

So, back to it. Six Suitcases.

Six Suitcases Part 1: The literal meaning.

I am flying down to the DR with the president of the rescue down there, and we are taking all of my dogs on that flight (in cabin with us). Each of us can check 3 bags. I can also pay for another 2 bags. He will be using 1-2 bags, so I may have one of his baggage allowance. Plus my 3 and I’ll pay to check 2 more.

So that’s six suitcases. That is what I have to condense my entire life down to before June 20.

Well not forever. I can store some things. I will be shipping some things in a container but that may take a couple months to arrive. I can have some things brought down later with friends, but that’s trivial. So, I have to put everything I need to live on a day to day basis into six suitcases.

Now, one of those suitcases (EASILY one – MAYBE 2) will be devoted to dog stuff. Their beds actually. Then I have yoga mats. Bella needs them or she will slip (permanently dislocated shoulder from the floors 😥 Did I tell you that?). I’m thinking okay, maybe i can fit the yoga mats and the dog stuff into two suitcases.

That’s four suitcases left.

One suitcase is going to be devoted to Michael’s things or other things that are very important to me and is non-negotiable.

Now I’m down to three.

It sounds silly maybe, or perhaps materialistic – nothing could be further from the truth as I’m getting rid of everything – BUT there are some items, home kind of stuff that I need with me. I just do. They mean something and I need them.  And my dad’s minerals. I can’t take them all, and will store them until I can get them down in trickles, but I need to take a few of those with me. Other “hard” items like A coffee pot (they’re really expensive down there). There’s another suitcase gone.

Down to two.

I keep whittling down and whittling down. I keep putting more in the moving sale than I intended to. I keep adding to the goodwill pile. More and more and more is going, so it’s not an issue of me letting things go. I’m really looking at each item and letting a lot of things go. By the way, looking at each item and going through all of these things is exhausting, depressing, and in general just defeating. Seriously.

I just don’t know if I need to reprioritize.

For example: Do I just suck it up and buy new appliances down there even though they cost more? Momma needs a coffee pot. NOT negotiable. Do I strip the dog beds and take JUST the covers and find new stuffing down there so they take up less room? You KNOW I need to make this move happy for them. All just me thinking out loud questions.

So, enough about me. Six suitcases. PLEASE tell me, WHAT WOULD YOU BRING? This is the REAL LIFE version of desert island. PLEASE play!

Peace,

~ Lisa

 

Quicksand, Lessons, Indescribable Friendship

Hello faithful friends ❤

So much. So much to update. I’ll try to keep it brief and coherent.

Let’s see. Where to start.

My health sucks. I’m doing the best I can. The warmer weather does help what I call “statue body” where everything on my body freezes or seizes, so that’s good news. The not so good news is that my insurance sucks and won’t cover the one drug all of these experts are prescribing to me – Lyrica. I also still haven’t gotten Xeljanz because of the same sucky insurance issue, so I’m flying without a net as far as pain management goes.

My life. Wow. A lot.

I’m most likely selling the house at some point in the not-so-far future. It’s too expensive and too much for me to keep up with.

My sister is moving back to Colorado. She will be leaving in about 3 weeks. She’s not in love with my plan (for her, she’s very supportive of me though) and she’s not in love with Minnesota, so she’s heading back to try to make things work in CO again.

I’m taking a vacation soon. I’m not sharing details about where or when, because I’m a paranoid freak now that I am single and I don’t want people knowing when I’m not at home. I will post amazing pictures and stories upon my return.

In the grief department, well what can I say. It’s quicksand. It’s constantly swimming against a strong slushy undertow. Some days I exhaust myself just to stay put in one place. Some days, I’m immersed to my head. Some days, I climb out a little. Some days, I find myself deeper than I was the day before. It’s a moment-to-moment swing that very few understand.

This is actual footage of me*.

quicksand

Grief is not a journey. It’s a permanent state of life. It’s not something to get through or with an end. It’s something you have to learn to walk with, life with. It’s a part of you. The emptiness is permanent. The heartbreak is irreversible. It is who I am. I am a widow. I am a widow before my time. I’ll never make sense of why. Some days, I accept it and I really have a good state of mind that my relationship with Michael is strong and powerful, it’s just moved to a spiritual level. Some days, I wake up and it takes me a few minutes to remember he’s never coming back. The nights are the worst. Everyone goes to bed around 10-10:30 here and then it’s quiet. Then the distractions, the dogs barking and playing, the conversations, the TV, and the noise of the day stops. And then I’m alone. With Michael. And my fears. My memories. And my racing mind.

I still have frequent nightmares. Well actually I would call them night terrors except they aren’t. I wake up almost every night (usually a few times a night) to his cries for help. I wake up almost every morning in a panic that he called out for me last night and I slept through it. Those are those blissful few minutes I referred to earlier when I think he’s still alive. My dreams, when I remember them, are filled with the pain of those last few weeks watching the man I love deteriorate and lose his battle. In my waking hours, the memories are nice. At night, they turn evil on me.

Lessons

I’m learning so much. I’m learning about who I am without the attachment or title of wife. I’m learning that I need to live alone. It turns out I’m not an easy roommate. I’m not difficult on purpose. I’m just grieving. And it’s hard for people to understand, impossible for me to explain, and definitely harder for people to live with someone who is unpredictable. I don’t feel I’m ever unkind. But I do weird things like change light bulbs at 10pm. Change my mind 100 times a day and make it impossible to keep up with. Get a whim and pull everything out of the shed for the yard. Go through phases where I eat nothing for 2 days, then eat junk food for a day, and so on. Get a burst of energy and trim the bushes. Be extremely lethargic and fatigued and stay in my pajamas until noon. It’s difficult for roommates to follow my vibe, and difficult for me to explain it to them. So the lesson learned is that Lisa needs to live alone for everyone’s sake.

This is the actual book that is being written about me.*

roommate

 

Indescribable Friendship

If one thing good came from losing Michael, it was this. Although many people have followed my story and many people reached out with kindness, one person shone through. I had never met her. She wasn’t an adopter or a volunteer. She wasn’t an old friend. She bought wreaths from the rescue Xmas fundraiser the year before and met Michael very briefly when she came to the house to pick it up. But she saw my story on FB, and she read about Michael’s passing. And she reached out to me to tell me how he had impacted her in that short meeting to pick up wreaths.

She kept reaching out to me. We exchanged lots of emails. She is a widow too, and something compelled her to KEEP reaching out to me. Sometimes it’s just an email saying she’s thinking of me. Sometimes it’s a quick comment on one of my blog posts. Sometimes more.

She’s become my confidant. She was my safe place. Close enough to understand but JUST far enough removed that I could share things with her without fear of judgment or information leaks ;). She understood and understands me and all I’m going through. She’s walked before me on this road. She knows the pain. She validated me and made it okay to say what I needed to say. Challenged me, held me accountable, but always did so with a no-nonsense loving nature about her that made me feel I’d known her my whole life.

Yesterday, I met her face to face for the first time. A quick coffee date turned into almost 3 hours of talking about the past, the present, and the future. We talked about dreams, she helped me sort some thoughts out, offered to help me in some pretty amazing ways with the rescue, and filled my soul. She touched me so much, because she paid attention. She knew my deal. She knew what I liked and didn’t. She knew what I feel. And she was never scared. Even when I’d post a bitchy blog or call her out on something, she never flinched. And now, through the pain and loss of Michael…I’ve found a lifelong friend and soul sister who I think is going to be a strong influencer in the rest of my life.

friend-quote-true-realize

A long time ago I gave everyone who said “I think about you a lot, I just haven’t reached out because I don’t know what to say” a free pass. I don’t want to make anyone uncomfortable, and I’ve easily let them go. I have enough to wrap my head around and enough to worry about without worrying about how my loss makes other people feel. It sounds cold, but the reality is that if my husband passing away makes you uncomfortable, unfortunately there’s nothing I can do about that.

I’ve made/ strengthened some amazing friendships and relationships since Michael had to say goodbye. I’ve lost many too, and that’s okay. I’m focused on what I’ve gained, and one thing I can say – one gift I’ve been given; I really, really know that my circle of friends loves me. I really, really have fine tuned my circle and my social bubble to surround myself with people who love me, and who I love. People who accept me, and who I accept. People who will do anything they can to help me, and people I will do anything I can to help. There’s no time for anything else.  And that is one thing I can say I never had until everything and everyone in my world including me was put to the test. I now know who my “family” is and that’s a really, really good feeling.

Thank you, Michael. ❤ Always and still, forever…looking out for me. Just like you promised. ❤

Peace,

~ Lisa

* No, it’s not.