Worst Experiment Ever!!

People often tell me how well I’ve done since Tim’s death 11 months ago today. Amazingly well, some would say. I appreciate their support so much because it’s exactly what Tim would want for me. He’d want me to smile, laugh, and continue to seek new adventures as we had done every chance we had!

Most of the 11 months has been a blur…When the shock of the doctor saying “he is not going to wake up” wore off, I put my “big girl panties on” (as Kim always says) and kept moving forward. I cried alone mostly, and pushed myself through some incredible things such as selling and buying cars, trading in one RV for another, handling his estate alone and figuring out all of the errands he used to handle that I now needed to add to my schedule.  I pushed through every single day with strength and courage UNTIL about two weeks ago…then it all seemed to fall apart.

Without a doubt, these past two weeks have been the most difficult by far since Tim passed. I’ve cried a lot every single day. I haven’t been able to focus on one thing for too long, but thankfully I’ve still managed to complete everything I needed to get done at work. I woke up the other morning thinking to myself “living without Tim has been an interesting experiment, and now I just want him to come home”….Of course we know that isn’t possible. I think I termed these months as an “experiment” because as a kid I loved science experiments. You had a hypothesis, and your task was to mix some stuff together, watch what happened and then record the findings. It was exciting to see what would happen and what the findings would be. So let me just say that emotionally, my living without Tim has been the worst damn experiment ever!

Sure I’ve survived and I haven’t burned up the kitchen or blown anything up, and I managed to get out of the house when the storm door handle fell off this past Monday and locked me in my own kitchen. But no matter how I look at all the positives of what I’ve accomplished since his death, my findings suck because all I want is for him to come back. This 11 month experiment confirmed exactly what I feared at the moment of his death – that every single minute from that point on I’d miss his smile, his laugh, his huge hugs, his knowledge of all shortcuts in the DMV so we could get around traffic, his warmth in dealing with all people, his love of food and travel… and most importantly, his love of me. We used to tease Tim all the time about his terribly lame jokes, but we still laughed at them each time he told them. I’d give anything to hear one of those jokes right now.

One of the things that has happened over the last two weeks is that I’m starting to feel really guilty about not recognizing that something seriously was wrong with Tim before he had the first stroke on July 10th. I know in my heart and mind that Tim’s stage four pancreatic cancer would have won even if I had insisted that he go to the doctor. He’d still be gone…I’ve also constantly been replaying the last 48 hours of his life over and over in my head … I can still see and hear the doctors and staff rushing around his room and his bed and I hear myself screaming, crying and encouraging him to hang on! Then all of a sudden a sense of calm came over me, allowing me to accept the inevitable in time to hold his hand, play his favorite Diana Ross songs, and make sure he knew how much I loved him.

Experiments can teach us a lot of lessons, some of which we don’t want to learn. Life at the moment for me seems to be one big experiment. Lots of things are being mixed together and I just await the outcome and decide what I need to do next. Though these upcoming weeks to the one year anniversary of his death will be tough, I know that we will enjoy the awesome pig roast and golf fundraiser we have coming up to honor Tim. My goals for right now are to continue to do and learn more things around the house, just as I learned to fix the door handle this week all by myself using one of my new wrenches, and to go as many places as possible in Memory Maker II (my RV). There are many more experiments in my future. I know I’ll make some mistakes and some of them won’t work out the way I’d like for them to. But I’ll keep doing them because experiments can also lead to amazing and life-changing discoveries. Since I can’t have Tim back, I’ll just pray for that!

This morning I’m off to do a Caregiver Retreat for my friends at Olney Memory Care. When they gave me a choice of dates, I selected this one purposely, so I’d be out of the house caring for others and allowing them to care for me! Love and miss you Tim, I’m dedicating today’s retreat to you!





4 thoughts on “Worst Experiment Ever!!

  1. Well I wanted to wait a bit to comment on this blog. But waiting did no good, I cry with you, I feel your pain. I won’t say I’m sorry as that seems so lame, there is nothing that anyone can say to help with your pain. I’m so glad that you have so many people around you that love you Ret. Know that you are not alone, don’t have to be alone, unless you want to be. There are so many of us who will hold your hand, give you that hug you need, listen as you vent or just want to talk or cry. While so many of us have said time and time again how strong you are, we also know there are going to be times when you don’t have to be so strong. Let us be strong for you when you need that. I love you so much Ret and I hate what you are going through and what you’ll still go through. I’m always here, for whatever you need.

    • Love you!!!!!! Yeah this has been an interesting stretch for me!! Some moments seem unbearable! And others we just laugh at!!!!! I know you’re here for me!! Will be forever grateful that you and Aunt Ruth came to hangout with me in NY last year!!

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