One day at a time

December 21, 2013 in Lymphoma by Reta Reed

I’ve debated what to do with this blog, now that the purpose for the blog is gone. But maybe the purpose has just changed. I started the blog for Jeff with every intention of passing it to him, not just so he could keep everyone updated about what’s going on with his treatment, but so he could have a place to vent. I guess I’ll continue to vent and continue to keep everyone updated about how life without him continues.

The kids had time out of school last week with the “Icemageddon”, but they went back to school Wednesday. The school counselor talked to Travis’s third grade class to tell them about Jeff’s passing. Over the next couple of days, handmade sympathy cards and gift cards came home with Travis. (One priceless quote “I hope you can still get food and be happy”. LOL. Aren’t kids the greatest?) He was very proud of those cards and I’ve saved them in a keepsake folder for him.

One day last week I was going through the mail and Travis noted an envelope addressed to Jeffry Reed. He said “Jeffry Reed? Ugh. But Jeffry Reed is dead.” I told him that not everyone knows that and they still send him mail. Still, his words just hit me wrong and I teared up. He gave me a big hug, then went off to play. He’s processing things in his own way.

Travis has a Hexbug Aquabot that he plays with in the bathtub. You put it in the water and it goes. You take it out of the water and it stops. Well he had it in the bathtub with him then took it out and it wouldn’t stop. I shook it thinking water had gotten inside and was still completing the connection, but it kept going. I figured I’d just have to take the batteries out and laid it on the counter, fin still flipping. I got Travis ready for bed and we heard it finally stop. I got an idea. I told Travis “You know how I told you that you have a body and a spirit? Well even though Dad’s body isn’t with us, his spirit is still in your heart and in your memories, right? Some people believe that spirits can also show they are with us in other ways. Maybe Dad was making the Aquabot go, to let you know he’s watching over you and making sure you wash behind your ears and brush your teeth.” Travis said “Yeah” with tears in his eyes. I asked him if it was okay that Dad watches over him and he said “Yeah”.

I went back to work this week. Did I break some unwritten widow rule? A few coworkers were surprised to hear I was back. Well, I just don’t “sit” well, widow or not, and like to be busy. I’m still taking it slowly. I only worked Monday, Wednesday and Friday but felt productive. I also love my coworkers work family, so it was good to be surrounded by them again/still.

20131221_104950[1]We had found an old toy rocket in Jeff’s mancave when cleaning over the weekend and Travis’s face lit up. We talked about how fun that was and Travis said we should do that again. So, we checked the weather forecast and decided Tuesday would be the day, after his dentist appointment. (I also managed to get the oil changed in my car, got the car washed, donated some computer electronics to a recycler, and made a nifty wreath out of Jeff’s old game CDs.) We invited our friends up the street and headed to the park. We had three engines and a brand-new rocket. The boys had fun launching the rocket then hunting it down after it landed (once in the creek). They played at the playground afterward until it was time to get Kristen from school. Kristen had a choir concert that evening and I even wrangled Alex into going to show our support. Each group sang beautifully and we heard some awesome soloists! All in all, it was a great day.

Thursday I got with my friend, Lisa, and did some shopping and had a wonderful lunch before picking up our boys at school. I forgot what it was like to do things with a friend. Jeff and I were never joined at the hip, but neither of us did much outside of work or family time. We are just homebodies, though we certainly enjoy company.

20131220_083148[1]Yesterday was Travis’s holiday party at school. Alex and I went and Travis was so excited to have us there. Charmer that he is, he is always surrounded by his friends. Notice that they’re usually girls? IMG_1932[1]

Last night I took my mom and the kids to the Gift of Lights and Snotown at Texas Motor Speedway. The lights were nice and we sang Christmas songs (badly and loudly) while driving slowly through the scenes. The snow hill was really fun, but it was SO COLD last night! The wind was killer and we just couldn’t stand it for very long. We made a couple runs down the  hill and played in the snow area a bit before giving up. Kristen called it lame, but I still consider it a good time. We stopped at the new Dairy Queen in our neighborhood and got food and goodies. We watched the movie “Now You See Me” until late. Another good day.

So, you see, we’re doing okay. Do I think about Jeff daily? Of course. Do I cry daily? Yup. Is it getting easier being without my husband/friend/confidant/? Hell no. I’m loving making new memories and spending quality time with the kids and with friends. I don’t like the alone time – driving in the car or lying in bed. Those are the times when my mind goes “there”. I’m grieving. I’m not trying to stifle it, but just take it in small doses. I know this is a long road.