Slouching toward the New Normal

Not much has changed, other than basically everything. How does that happen? What’s it feel like? I’ll let you know.  The sameness involves #4 going to school, and my daily householdy housewifey stuff.  They say don’t make any major changes for a year. I am about 6 months in now. The major changes have all been the ones forced on me and honestly, I think those have been handled fairly well and with a minimum of screaming and alcohol. I won’t say none, just ask the kids when they come in and see a 6-pack of hard cider with death threat notes attached if anyone touches it. Also cashews. For some reason a bottle of cider and a handful of cashews are as good as any tranquilizer.

Some things have been let go, the past 6 months, but seem ready to get some attention now. Particularly the garden. Poor thing, I picked some tomatoes and a few green beans, and the sunflowers were glorious…but other than that, it was a bust this Summer. Oh, and there was a cantaloupe. It was wonderful. But everything else, all the stuff Himself would have applauded…the squash (nope), peppers (meh), potatoes (ok, got like 3 of them and are going to replant and try for the Fall)…Nope, nope and nope. It hurt to go out there. Himself wasn’t in his shop 20 feet away, not listening to Lynyrd Skynyrd and making noises and furniture. I didn’t want to be there.

Now, though…i think it’s time. #1 is coming over later today and we’re going to pull stuff out and weed and prep and generally make it ready for a Fall planting of root things and brassica things and salad things. All the lovely stuff that will actually grow through the mild Winter and keep us in delicious food. Optimism for the future is returning…in small ways to be sure, but there it is. Himself would approve.

All the Gummint Paperwork and Legalities are just about done. His estate has gone through Probate (he didn’t have a Will) and I am officially the Administrator and can tend to business.  Insurance funky stuff (holy cow the funky stuff…) is just about done…I hope. He is probably stirring up his own ashes that we are using the despised Obamacare, but private coverage would cost more than half my monthly income. I don’t despise it one bit. He contributed many many tax dollars over the year, and I consider it as using those. But oy…the paperwork and phone calls and more paperworks and confusions and having no idea of what to use for verifications…thank You, God, for intelligent advisers at the bank who know what’s what and how to do things.

One thing I wonder, though, somewhat angrily at times…If it is this complicated for me, and I am a relatively intelligent person who has successfully navigated the legal waters and investment shores…how much more ridiculous is it for someone with little education and intellectual skills to figure this out? How do THEY get the insurance twists and turns dealt with? I will say this, though…A woman from the Health Care Marketplace Gummint Agency Thing called me, having discovered a mistake in my favor, and walked me through it all. Maybe that’s how they do it. She was amazingly helpful. And, after getting a couple of letters from the insurance company fussing at me, I checked online to pay, and the corrections had already been made. awesome. She told me she was going to handle that for me. God bless her.

Himself would be proud of me for managing everything.Of course, if he were here I wouldn’t have to be, so I don’t really like that I have to, but I have discovered a person inside that has sense and fortitude, that I didn’t know was there. Gradually, things are getting taken care of. People are being patient and helpful, but the part I have to do, acquiring the papers and mailing them off and keeping track of everything and the stuff I didn’t really pay any attention to until 6 months ago. I reckon single women do this all the time and probably wonder what all the fuss is about.

Try seeing it this way…the opposite happens to you. You go from being independent and handling it all, not having to consider another person’s desires for anything…what to fix for dinner, when to go to bed and what to do when you get there, any of that stuff…then suddenly without any warning at all, another person is thrown into your life and you have to make these radical changes…and you don’t even get to think about it first, or get to know him or anything…just BOOM there’s another person living there, sleeping with you, eating the food. imagine how that would feel.  If you’ve ever had a baby, remember the dramatic change when he/she was born?

So many changes, and it all looks the same. That giant axe he bought for chopping wood (since the fireplace was cleaned and all ) still leans against the hearth. I still sleep on the left side of the bed, not even messing up the right side. His glasses are on his dresser, that still has his clothes in it. Really, looking around, the only thing that has dramatically changed is the size of the food in the freezer. Pints of soup instead of quarts. Half gallons of milk instead of gallons and so on. And the dining table is full of paperwork and a big bag of dog food, because #4 is pretty busy in the evening and I’m not setting the table for myself. Maybe I should declare a Family Night Supper and have all the boys (and girlfriend) over once a week.

I still have to remind myself he’s gone.  Yesterday after getting some news about one of his relatives, I thought “oh he needs to know this!” then thought “crap.” that wasn’t the word I used but I am trying to be less crude. Whenever there’s a leak or a rattle or something amiss, i have to remind myself that I am the one who has to deal with it. There’s no more making of notes to ask Himself about it. No more asking Himself about some piece of mail or official phone call or gathering juicy tidbits of stuff from the Soap Opera that was His Work.

Sigh…I’m making it. Kind of grudgingly and not with much dignity…but making it.

Image result for reluctant dog


About rootietoot

I do what I can.
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6 Responses to Slouching toward the New Normal

  1. jerseechik says:

    Dignity is over-rated; I let mine go with the first bout of morning sickness.

    I have an un-asked-for suggestion: set a tray for yourself, especially if you eat in front of the tv or computer or if the table is too full. You deserve a setting. You really do.

    • rootietoot says:

      I am reminded of when #1 was young, like elementary school age. He’d come home from school and he’d set himself a place for his snack, complete with cloth napkin and a flower in a vase. That was so sweet!

  2. joannajenkins50 says:

    “Optimism for the future is returning…” That’s a good way to putting it, Rootie.
    Sigh– It’s been an amazing 6 months for you and I am so very sorry you have had to deal with a moment of it. But I’m pretty sure Himself is glowing with pride over the job you’re doing.

    I love the pic you included with your post– It really speaks volumes! But honestly, I’ve so admired the grace with which you’ve handled everything. Your loaded with dignity!

    Love the idea of a weekly family dinner… and in the Fall you can share some of your harvest with the kids!

    xoxo jj

  3. Judy says:

    I think weekly supper together might be too much. Pick a date that would work for everyone, like the 3rd Sunday of every month or the 2nd Thursday, whatever, and then stick to that date–every single month on that date. The kids will get used to the schedule and make their plans accordingly. Working in the garden can be therapeutic, but it gives me too much time to think. I don’t like too much time to think. Around 9 months on your journey, might be a good time to start to pack away reminders AND to put your body in the center of the bed to sleep. You may also want to Google the nearest Grief Share program and start to attend the meetings. I was practically forced to go, but in the end, it was so very helpful.

  4. Have the T-shirt says:

    You seem to be doing a wonderful job with all this change.
    I think either setting a place for yourself or a tray is a good idea. Now is a time to be extra nice to yourself and to start some new routines, good routines.
    I love that picture. How often does life drag us kicking and screaming into one disaster or another?!

  5. Bella Rum says:

    Good grief, I cannot believe it’s been six months. Life marches on, doesn’t it? Sometimes it drags us along kicking and screaming. I had not doubt that you would find that you have more fortitude than you ever thought you had. It’s funny how when we go through something life-changing, we are often the last to know about our strengths. Sometimes we seem more surprised about it than others do. It’s good that you’ve gotten a lot of the details ironed out and behind you. Get those boys together for dinner once in a while.

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