Saturday, January 21, 2012

18 months

18 months ago I was sitting in the hospital waiting for the surgery to be done.  It was only supposed to take maybe 4 or 5 hours.  Yet I was still waiting there in the room and it was 7 hours later.  I think I knew.  I didn't want to believe it, but I knew.  I had this eery feeling all night.  I was sick to my stomach.  Was it because I was 6 months pregnant?  Or was it because I had some kind of idea I was going to become a widow at the young age of 35.   I didn't know.  I look back now and I should have prepared myself more.  I think I kept too much of a positive attitude.  Not only for Patrick to be happy, but because I am not sure I wanted to "know" everything that was going on. I know people kept a lot from me. Family, friends and the doctors.  I get it.  They didn't want me to end up in the hospital, too.  I would at some point like to know what really happened.  What were the conversations people had with Patrick.  What did he say?  I wish many times over that I could have or should have spent more time with him.  It was just so busy every day.  He was so drugged up and in so much pain, I wanted him to rest as much as possible.  It was hard with having nurses come in all the time or visitors.  I felt like I was working at a front desk reception at a convention it was so busy.  I did have a few times where it was just him and I.  I felt guilty, because then his friends and family wouldn't be able to come in.  I just wanted alone time.  We didn't get much of that in the hospital.  I wanted to spend every night there with him.  But he wanted me to go home and get sleep.  I only spent one night there with him and it was horrible.  It was the night before  his 2nd surgery.  He wasn't getting enough oxygen, so he had to have a breathing machine.  It was so painful for him and for me to watch.  That night he told me he was done with everything and wanted to give up.  That was the only time I yelled at him and let him see me cry.  He couldn't give up.  He couldn't leave me or our soon to be daughter.  He then listened to the nurse and went on fighting.  I just wish he could have fought more.  For him. For me. For Olivia.  I just don't think he had it in him anymore.  He was so damaged from the leukemia and heart attack.  I wonder if he knew he was going to die and just kept it from me.  I know he was trying to stay strong for me, too.  He didn't have to.

I still remember walking in the room and his body was covered with a white sheet.  His eyes were closed.  I held his hand and kissed his head.  It was Patrick, but he wasn't there.  He was gone.  I was alone.  I was no longer a wife.  No longer a Mrs.  I was a widow.  Not single. Not married.  Alone.  No matter  how many people you have surrounding you all the time (Family and friends), as a widow, you are still alone.  You run your errands alone. Fix things around the house alone.  Cook dinner or go to dinner alone.  Sleep alone.  You end up talking to yourself or yelling at pictures, because you are alone. No more couples' showers, dinner dates, movies, Valentines' day, anniversaries, birthdays or anything.  I still find myself having a hard time not buying him something when I'm shopping.  I always liked to bring him home a surprise.

I came across this website today and it is very well written to the New Widows out there.  Hope you are able to catch a glimpse of what it might be like.  Then some of you out there can stop your bitching because your husband left his shoes in the living room or he didn't take the garbage out.  I feel so sad for you that you have to do that because he didn't.  Boo hoo.  Try one week doing everything for yourself.  If you get frustrated, good.  Then you are starting to understand.  Oh and you complain because he's gone away hunting, for business or a boys weekend and it's just you and your child(ren)?  It's only been that way for me.  I don't even know what it would be like if I did have help.  No clue.  I've been to the grocery store twice by myself in 15 months.  I rarely get alone time.  If I do want to go out with friends or do something on my own, I have to find a sitter.  Not have my husband, ex-husband or significant other watch them. 

My widow friends and I talk about this all the time.  No one will EVER get what it's like to be an ONLY parent, young widow or alone unless you had your husband/wife die.  You will never understand.  You might come kind of close, but that is about it.

Well, now that I've either made people cry or pissed them off, I'm going to change subjects.

Olivia will be 15 months in a couple of weeks.  She is running around and learning new words all the time.  She is a funny girl, too.  Patrick would be so proud of her.  I know she'll end up on stage somewhere.  Comedy club or entertaining.  She takes after him that way.

She's a fabulous eater.  She hasn't turned any food down yet.  It's almost like a challenge for me to try things with her.  Recently she had perch, clam chowder, guacamole and salsa.  Her favorites are fruit, veggies and yogurt.  I have to save that for the end of dinner and hide it.  Otherwise she will eat too much of it.  I'm pretty lucky she's so good with that.

She laughs every time she toots or burps.  I know Patrick would be right along side of her laughing.  I do.  To me for some reason, farts will always be funny. 

She is growing like a weed. I can't wait to see what she is at her next appointment.  She is just about into all 18 month clothes.  She LOVES shoes.  I'm in trouble. She loves reading books and she does that a lot with her grandma.

This coming week I will be gone from Monday morning until Friday afternoon.  I will be in San Francisco for work.  I'm looking forward to the event, but it will be a long time away from my baby.  I'm lucky to have my parents take her all week. 

Olivia is getting better with day care.  She goes 3 days a week.  She does still cry when I drop her off or pick her up.  She's been very clingy lately.  She does have a friend Molly there that she plays with.  I still want to be there some day during nap time.  I would love to see how they get a room full of one year olds to all sleep in their sleeping bag for 2 hours. Amazing.

Shut it.  Every door, drawer, cabinet, refrigerator, etc.  Olivia has to "shut it".  That has been her favorite word following, "hot", "shoes", "Maaaahhhhm" and "hi kids".  We are working on words all the time.  She thinks she's pretty hot stuff now that she can say, "up". 

We have also welcomed a new baby into our family. My brother and sister in law had a baby last week.  Nathan Patrick Zimmerman.   He is so adorable and looks just like his older brother.  The kids are so excited to have a baby brother.  I have a few things to bring over to Shauna that he can use.  One of them being a Chicago Bears bib.  He has to wear it at least once, right?

Tomorrow will consist of laundry, playing with Olivia, a nap, packing for her week at Grandma and Grandpa's house and packing for my trip for the week.  My house isn't going to be the cleanest when I leave.  I'd rather spend time with Olivia.  So for those that stop by...sorry!

Have a wonderful rest of the weekend.  Stay warm. Have fun.  Don't take your husbands for granted.  Love your babies.  Rock them to sleep.  It's the best feeling in the world and one that I will miss this week.

All bundled up

Olivia with her Justin Bieber haircut

Mike with Nathan Patrick Zimmerman

Olivia on her first day of school

Her sleeping bag for school