Friday, January 29, 2010


i had a dream about you earlier this week. we were in a swimming pool. there were lots of other people there too. we were in the deep end. i held on to your neck. you kept me above water. kind of like those summer days back in 2005 when we would swim at the princeton walk community pool after work. back when we were friends that hadn't admitted our secrets. and you'd make me laugh about my neighbors and find something for us to throw back and forth.

in my dream, i knew i was the only person who could see you. but i told you i was going to hold on and talk to you anyway. knowing that i'd look crazy.

alone in the deep end, talking to no one.

Monday, January 25, 2010


those of you who know me well, or maybe even not so well, know that i stay pretty busy. it's been this way for a while. there's times when the load on my plate borders on levels of insanity (or drives me close to it). but for the most part, busy is my normal. it's what i know. and i tend to manage.

one might think that with Jarronn's passing, things would have slowed down a bit. we spent a lot of time together. went a lot of places together. a void was definitely created when he died. time was freed up.

but that time was also quickly filled. filled first with dozens of phone calls and visits. filled next with making arrangements and paperwork. filled with conversations about feelings, faith, and the meaning of things. filled with work. filled with a school semester. filled with board meetings. filled with meeting up with old friends. filled with making new friends. filled with tidying my house. filled with making sense of my thoughts. and even filled with writing a fraction of my thoughts on this blog.

things are busy. i know. but maybe things are too busy? perhaps. being busy keeps me occupied. distracted. entertained. but maybe it leaves me with too little time to do those things that i don't want to do. the thinking. the crying. the sorting. things i need to do. i guess.

where's the line between keeping busy to get through something and being too busy to get through something?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

back to jamaica

last week i went to jamaica. and this time, my mother(-in-law) came along with me. Jarronn and i had talked about getting her down there for awhile, so i was excited that the time had come for her to visit a place i love and he loved so much. her first trip to the island. and a chance for her to experience things Jarronn did over the course of his three trips there.

when we landed last sunday, the weather was unseasonably cold. 62 degrees and raining. coldest i've ever felt it in jamaica. so the plans we had of being on the beach by 3 p.m. that afternoon evaporated quickly. the next day was overcast and barely 70 degrees. i stayed optimistic that the weather would turn around and prayed that the vacation would be able to live up to the hype. thankfully, the sun came out on day 3, and we made it to the beach.

the trip flowed with lots of good times. spent time in the sun. took a day trip to negril. rode on the catamaran. spent nights out on the town. climbed dunn's river falls. got out of a speeding ticket from the police. ate lots of ackee and saltfish. and beef/chicken/veggie patties. caught up with friends. and got through a 500-page novel.

and my mother(-in-law) had a great time, which she so deserved.

of course it was bittersweet that Jarronn couldn't be there too. in some ways, it's hard to feel the same way i used to about my visits, now that he's gone. i imagine him everywhere. on the boat, snorkeling in the water, sitting on the couch, snapping photos, eating in restaurants, sleeping in his bed, practicing patois, and riding in the car. it meant a lot to me that i was able to introduce him to this place and that he absolutely loved it.

here are some photos from the trip, and for nostalgic purposes, there are a few from the trip Jarronn and i took there in july 2008 at the end.

Saturday, January 16, 2010


there are still days when i cry. but for the most part, the full out tears have been replaced by what i call "the sting." that feeling you get behind your eyes right before the tears start to form. some kind of memory flows into my mind, and i become overwhelmed. hurting. missing. longing. questioning. and then comes the sting. the burning. the pain in my eyes.

i blink hard. but never long. the former helps to soothe the pain and to prevent the onslaught of tears. the latter gives them the freedom to pool in my eyes.

i feel the sting multiple times a day. and so i'm used to it now. sometimes i wonder if i should be letting the tears fall, but there comes a point where you just don't want to cry anymore. or at least not as much.

so the sting is there. an invisible pain. mine to feel, but for no one to see.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

the business of death

the paperwork never seems to end. mail pours in, and the contents of most envelopes require attention. phone calls, faxes, form completion. i try to keep track of pre-addressed envelopes and my copies of documents. dealing with all of this right after Jarronn died was overwhelming. but i told myself it would all be resolved within a few months. it's been more than five months, and there's no end in sight.

i do my best to tackle a few things each day. some days, i'm completely unsuccessful. i look up after a day of work and realize i never even reached in my purse to pull out the day's papers. other days, i take on the task. i make phone calls. i usually have to explain that my husband passed away. the person on the line (usually) tells me they're sorry for my loss. i say thank you. and i know it's something they've learned to say as part of their customer service training. i try to get through this part as fast as possible. it typically feels unreal. and still, i've become more comfortable with it all. more rehearsed with the script.

what makes this all extra-tiring is when i can't simply resolve an issue. when i make a phone call to follow up on something, and i'm told i need to fax some special form. or wait to receive something in the mail. or that i can't access the information i want. there's nothing more frustrating than being ready to take care of something, to cross it off my long list of to-do's, but not being able to. i know the next day might not provide as many free moments, and i hate the thought of one more thing hanging over my head.

as much as i want to ignore it all, i know i have no choice but to deal with it. have to get it organized. have to keep it together. have to make phone calls. have to make copies. have to fax forms. have to mail letters. it's the business of death.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

holidays and new year

it's a new year. like a lot of people, i was glad to say good-bye to 2009.

getting through the holidays wasn't easy, but it wasn't particularly tough either. december 25 and january 31 without Jarronn don't really feel different than january 5 without him. i spent the time with my family -- christmas with my mom and new year's with my dad. i tried my best to make all of the phone calls that Jarronn would have made to family and friends. i couldn't quite keep up the way he would have.

i thought about how he and i spent christmas 2008 apart, each with our own families. the reasoning being that it was the "last christmas for the rest of our lives" that we could do such a thing. we'd be together on christmas, in one place, for years to come.

because we were saving for the wedding, we didn't exchange any major gifts for christmas. Jarronn bought me some work out clothes for the gym (a place i haven't been to since he passed). and i bought him a tie i never got to see him wear. i promise that's not because he didn't like it. just because it was for a special occasion. :-)

this was the year for us to do the christmas tree, something that Jarronn loved. but again, i didn't have the energy or desire to get it together. i'm hoping next year will bring something different.


so like i said -- and we all know -- the new year is here. i honestly haven't quite bought into the whole idea that 2010 will be much better than 2009. i guess on one hand, it's hard to imagine how things could get any worse. but on the other hand, i cringe at being naiive and know that anything can change in an instant. 2009 was supposed to be a great year. the year dreams came true. the year to kick off the rest of my life. it was that kind of year until july 30 hit. so now, it's just hard to have high expectations about the year ahead.

but i'll face it. and i'll do so with a new found understanding of what a difference a year can make. and i'll hope for better things. and i'll try to make sense of some things. and i won't live life with assumptions -- about anything.