Tuesday, December 17, 2013

A Holiday Break

I want to preface this post by saying that I thought I was doing so well, I really did. But then the holidays rolled around and suddenly, I felt like I was back in September and kept replaying everything back in my mind. Every moment that led up to it. All the doctor appointments and treatments, and all the pain and the suffering, and I felt like I was sinking deeper and deeper into depression. This is my first holiday since I was 19 years old that my husband won’t be a part of. But you know what? I am ok.

Well, at least today I am.

Today is always the best day of the school year: the last day before Christmas Break. Everyone is happy. There are children singing Christmas carols in the lobby, led by the Head of School and the senior class. There are presents. There are my co-workers, some of whom I truly love. Oh, hell. I like all of them but some of them . . . they are my true friends and I love them. We have been through so much together.


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Tonight I got sushi for dinner from my favorite Asian restaurant in nearby Newark, DE. I brought it home, poured a glass of wine, and shot this photo with my cell phone. The chopsticks are only in there for aesthetic purposes. I am inept with chopsticks and prefer to use a fork. Oh, the horror.

I don’t care if you think less of me right now. But I really do wish I could use chopsticks. I think there’s something wrong with my fingers . . .

I am watching The Truth About Cats and Dogs on TV. I bagged the national news for the second time this week after hearing all the bad news happening on my local Baltimore station and turned on this cute little movie.

Later, I plan on watching The Oranges, which just came from Netflix. It’s supposed to be a “comic tale of redefining happiness.” I don’t remember putting it in my queue and am hoping to be pleasantly surprised.

* insert snort of derision here *


Ok, I heard this on the way home from school today and was mesmerized by it. The tune, by Local Natives, just seemed to go so well with my happy heart and after reading up on the filming of the official video, I was even more intrigued.

This is what The Wild Honey Pie has to say about it:

One of our favorite bands, Local Natives, just posted their video for “Ceilings” made of patched clips shot entirely from their phones. Singer-guitarist, Taylor Rice, explains: ”This video was recorded between bus calls and soundchecks, truck stops and stage times over the last couple of months on tour, mostly in Europe. Whether shot in decades-closed german car factories, places of legendary spanish architecture, or on bikes in amsterdam it was filmed on our phones in the cracks between shows which make up 97% of our lives as touring musicians. The themes of surrealism in Ceilings work with the patchwork of days cultures and memories that stream by in a blur on a summer festival run. hope you enjoy the glimpse, most of which has already washed through.”

I recognized the Spanish architecture from photos my son took while visiting there last year and then realized that all of the videos looked like they were taken in Europe. But it’s the song itself that makes me feel good. The video was just the icing on the cake.


Speaking of which, I’m closing with this. I found it on onecoolthingaday.com, a site my son, Shaun, told me about and one that I check now and again just for cool stuff. I find that I’m mostly drawn to the bird videos.

I have a busy holiday planned. I figured if I kept active and made a lot of plans, that I’d get through it much easier. So far, so good. Today I planned to wash the car and visit a friend after work, then get sushi and watch a movie.


Tomorrow I have something even more exciting planned. Dinner with dear friends, and their daughter. We’ll celebrate her birthday.

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Until next time, my friends ~

123 Signature[5]


mkd said...

I love the photo and the sentiments on chopsticks - very true - I don't want to have to work that hard to eat (though it might help my diet!)

May you find peace in al of the warm memories of your husband this holiday season

The Furry Gnome said...

Hope you do have a peaceful holiday. Many of us will think about you, even though we're faraway.

Anonymous said...

I really can't imagine how you must be feeling ... I'm missing my father terribly but losing a husband I'm sure is a whole different sadness. I have thought about you this holiday and really pray you get through it with more happiness than sadness. But if you want to cry...do so.

I wish you lots of peace this Christmas. ♥♥♥

Jeanne Walker said...

So happy that you are making plans and following through...it's what he would want you to do! Good days, bad days...they are all part of life. Loving someone means that you will continue to love them when they are no longer with us! Treat yourself with love and kindness. Be a blessing to others and you will receive a blessing in return double-fold. Wishing you and yours a Merry Christmas full of love, joy, peace and delight! Hugs!

Low Tide High Style said...

Great videos! I used to wonder why my grandmother and great aunts seemed so sad around the holidays, and didn't like to listen to certain Christmas carols, sadly now with both of my parents gone I somewhat understand. Glad you are finding ways to keep busy and to deal with your grief, it's all part of the healing process I suppose.

xo Kat

Mr. Black said...

That sushi looks good. Haven't had any in a while. I like the IDEA of chopsticks. I always try to use them, but, eh. Forget it.

(This is the lady talking. Not Mr. Black, the cat [why I think I must clarify that, I don't know.]).

I also like the little tree in the background.

Donna S. said...


I do think keeping busy is a good idea. I just dropped an email to a couple of friends of mine, 1 just lost her husband in late October & the other slightly over a year ago. I can't imagine how different things must feel.

Hope you can experience some joy between the sadness!! Thinking of you.

Daryl said...

hugs .. and use your fingers, i do!

Jill of All Trades said...

Oooo, sushi! Love! Staying busy is good I think. Sending love and hugs through the bloggy world! Carla

Carolynn Anctil said...

I've been wondering how you're doing with the approach of the holiday season. Keeping busy with friends will help and so will movies. It doesn't hurt to have a good cry once in a while, if you need to.

I haven't heard of the movie, Oranges. I'll have to watch for it.

Take care of yourself, Kate. Give George a squeeze from me.

Nellie said...

Sending along wishes for a peaceful holiday for you, Kate. Hugs, Nellie

The JR said...

Oh don't feel bad....I'm 1/2 Japanese and I use my fingers :)

Happy Holidays!

Pam said...

It's all about creating your new reality. Fill it with happy moments, even those when you are alone.

As for the chopsticks, I grew up using them and use them all the time, especially when cooking. I almost think you have to "develop" the right muscles, though. So, what the heck, use your fingers! Sometimes it is just easier.

Merry Christmas and much happiness and peace to your home.

Pam (in Colorado)

Lee Anna said...

Hi Kate,
Take care, have a good Christmas and let things happen.
It does get easier, it just takes a while.
Lee Anna

Karen said...

"What the heart has once owned and had, it shall never lose."

~ Henry Ward Beecher

I hope this brings you a little comfort today . . .

Warm Regards,


GailO said...

Reading...and listening....to this post just made me happy because you sound so OK:)

Sushi is definitely impossible with chopsticks!


beth said...

hi sweet girl....

thank you for your words today....you put things in perspective for me.
just as i was feeling a bit, oh whatever...
holiday shmoliday.

thank you....xoox

jo said...

One day at a time, Kate. Baby steps all the say.

leahtbug said...

I am new to your site, came over from The pioneer Womans site.. I think it was fate. This is my first holiday season without my husband also, I lost him this May. It's been a hard road and yes I am lonely but everyday is a step forward. Love your pictures and George too of coarse and hope to be a regular visitor if it's okay.

Hedy King said...

Yes Kate, we think we are all right then...I'm having the same issue. Day by day, step by step, bird by bird.
Speaking of which, your video was fascinating. Let's do what we can to enjoy the season, hoping some joy sneaks in around the edges. Take care. Hedy

JC said...

I absolutely loved the bird ballet. That's one of the coolest things I've ever seen.

Donna Boucher said...

Stunning birds.

Annie said...

I love to hear that others haven't quite been able to "embrace" chopsticks. And thank you for all your thoughtful messages and beautiful pictures throughout the year. Allow yourself time to heal. Keep in contact with caring people and get plenty of dog kisses. Both are good for you.

Annie said...

Thinking of you Kate.

Your post about your feelings Reminds me of something someone said, that grief was a bit like the ocean, sometimes calm, sometimes it comes up and knocks you over for a bit!

And I do like the bit by bit, bird by bird approach! Love that book by Anne Lamott.

May God go with you and all your family this Christmas Holiday season!

Unknown said...

Christmas blessings, dear Kate...

Bluebird49 said...

That's funny--I don't have a sushi place near me, and I love it. Today, we left home, stopped in Waynesboro, VA on our way to spend the holidays with our son and his little family for the week. The reason to stop? Sushi! I love it, and I splurged, and our grandson and son love it, too, so we all had a good time eating it. We all used forks and the chopsticks are still in the car! (Please don't think less of me!) ;P

That first holiday--when you think you're doing so well...well, our daughter died when she was 31---in August of 1998. I was on edge of 17 when she was born, so we truly grew up together. Our son was born 6 years later, after I had lost 3 babies in between--but I never got to know those little babies. I knew her so very well--we were best friends--because literally, we grew up together!
I won't even pretend I handled her sudden death well--I have seen people who've lost and they can carry on so well, almost like nothing happened-- even comforting and waiting on everyone else. That wasn't me. I wasn't even really "there." Oh, physically, I was with my family--but not really any other way. The only thing that kept me from dying myself, I think, is my faith, my family, her little boy, and the fact that I was in SHOCK--shock, and for a good while.
And you go on, and you do, and you think you're doing "well"---but it's shock more often than we even know! And that lasts as long as we need it to--'cause I think it is a heavenly gift---that wonderful shock. And I had her 7 year-old son--our grandson--to help look after! To get off to school, to help with homework, to be there when he cried for his mama, and I cried for my daughter.

So, we go on---and that's life.

And, Kate--you're doing well, but don't think you are going to---or have to--be perfectly well--cause it won't happen. But--you ARE making some things happen that you want for you---little things, big things, baby steps, bigger steps!

Thanks for making my world more than a bit better---just by being here--at Country Girl's Manor with George and Miss Blackie and a lot of memories--and they, those meomries--they will ALWAYS be!
Merry Christmas, Kate.
hugs, Trudy

Thistle Cove Farm said...

Kate, I've got to tell you...okay is subjective. There are days, lots of them and I'm okay, then there are weeks, lots of them, and I'm not okay. Right now, I'm just waiting for the other side of January. I'm doing my best to ignore December and all it means.
I'm not telling you any of this, Kate, to depress you or jerk you around. I'm telling you because no matter what you're feeling or when you're feeling it...it's okay.
The things I've always done right, and are still doing right, are taking care of all the animals. They've never lacked since Dave died; I might have lacked but the animals...never. It's what's kept me sane even though the shock has been a constant companion.
Yesterday's blog post is about taking care of the vehicle...it all rests on your shoulders now but there are some things that NEED to be done. Considering the vehicle keeps you safe, taking care of it is a 'need to do' job.
Give George a cuddle and cry; sometimes, it's exactly what's needed.

Kerri Farley said...

Merry Christmas Kate...... I'm sending you Positive Vibes, Prayers and Thoughts of Peace and Comfort for your Christmas.
Thank you for the Birdie Ballet :)

Lee Owenby said...

Merry Christmas Kate. I hope your holidays are filled with friends, family and fun activities. Stay busy.

Suzanne said...

Merry Christmas, Kate

DesertHen said...

What a cute little snowman wine corker! Lovely photo too. Wishing you a Merry Christmas!

Lili said...

Stopping by with a virtual holiday hug Kate. Thinking of you throughout the season and hoping your camera has been busy capturing sweet little surprises for us. xoxo

Tug said...

I hope you had a Merry Christmas Kate, thinking of you and sending a prayer or more.

Anonymous said...

Christmas is just darn hard sometimes…and that's ok. Mine was tough this year. I am going to just roll with it…it's all I can do. I hope you found much peace too and being with friends and family. Big (((hugs))) to you my friend! xo

Reena said...

Apothic Red! My favorite wine ... So dangerous. I can drink a whole bottle in an evening. So bad!

One foot in front of another my dear friend. One step at a time.

Cloudia said...

Thanks for surmounting my personal fear with grace, proving to all that survival is not only possible, but strangely, painfully beautiful.