Monday, May 2, 2016

May Day

So, Spring has sprung – & blown & thundered & RAINED a lot in most states east of the Rockies. And here in northwestern NM at the Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary. . .it’s sort of still winter. During April, we had 3, maybe 4, mornings with light cover of snow that melted (or evaporated) within hours, & early morning temps still hovering around freezing. I even had to go outside in the dark Saturday night to dust the snow off my satellite dish several times. And Sunday, May 1st snowed, sleeted, & rained all day long. The high temp was only  44°. Unfortunately, I HAD to get water, so while emptying the water from the bladder on the pickup cab, the water didn’t want to drain into my fresh water tank & big, wet, COLD snow flakes were stinging my face. I had to go inside to warm up to try again. Finally got fresh water tank filled, but that short sunny break I started out during wasn’t long enough to get my one chore of the day accomplished. We’ve actually had a couple of thunder storms with some lightening even. I don’t understand how Kira thinks sitting on my head at 2am is going to make her safer from the thunder, but that’s what she does. I’m still bundled up in my winter coat (didn’t need it all winter) walking over to the office to work. However, I prefer putting on extra clothes to wanting to remove clothes to be comfortable (weather wise).

Not too much exciting to report on. I’ve enjoyed having a mailing address to order things on line: cat food cause PetSmart in Albuquerque is a LONG drive; Kira’s brewer’s yeast (cause GNC is in Albuquerque also) to keep her skin from itching during shedding; a new battery for my nearly 2 year old Samsung Galaxy S5 smart phone (still runs down too fast [cause I’m on it all  the time maybe]), & a new skillet. Yes, this non-cook needed a new non-stick skillet to replace the one that has finally worn out. I got the Gotham Steel skillet advertised on TV. Seems to work well, doesn’t stick, & cleans pretty easily – just what I wanted. OK, so I don’t fix anything very intricate; it usually isn’t worth my effort. Obviously, I’m not a ‘foodie’, but having the right tool for certain jobs makes it much better.

The only break in my work/read/watch TV/walk Kira/do chores routine has been my friends Aubrey & Sally returning for a couple of short visits. Aubrey has been helping out rehabbing one of the volunteer cabins. He’s been in hog heaven. I made another trip to Wal-Mart in Gallup, mainly for food. BUT. . .my pickup didn’t want to start that morning AGAIN. That was the fourth time in four months, so common sense insisted I get a new battery finally. Turns out the old one was the original 6 year old battery. Definitely time.

Work has been varied. I spent a week scanning photographs of previous rescue wolves & another week tweaking & identifying the photos that had writing on the back. Fun project. I’ve rolled coins, written thank you cards for contributions, & updated email & mailing addresses. This past week, I compiled email or mailing addresses in a spreadsheet for people who sponsored a rescue wolf last year so we can email or mail gentle reminders that it’s time to do it again. I was very happy to find I still knew how to create a mail merge in Microsoft Word to grab the data from the spreadsheet to generate the emails & letters. And no one else in the office knew that could even be done. Whoo hoo for senior citizens!

My hair is still too red, even after another dye job. Guess it’ll just have to grow out which isn’t a real problem since it’s only an inch long (or tall). I’m getting stronger in the kneeling down & getting back up without holding onto something area. And I’m not gaining any weight (fat) back – mainly cause there’s only one place around to eat out & I’m existing on my own cooking [or lack thereof]. My cheap air mattress blew a gasket so got replaced. My little manual espresso maker is such a joy tho. Quickly makes such a good cup of coffee. My only complaint is a lack of socializing. There’s just not been many campers around to chat with. Oh and my cell signal is so slow (or non-existant at times) that phone calls are limited to one spot at the back of the trailer. I miss taking Kira for a walk & having various campers around to stop & talk to.

Finally tho after 6½ months since Jeff’s death, I’m sensing a subtle change. I go weeks now without any tears & hours without missing Jeff. A death negates all hope for the expected future, so acceptance & change takes awhile to develop. I don’t feel quite as traumatized nor wanting to hide from the world. I know there’s no real how-to guide for recovering from grief nor a specific timeframe, but knowing what’s normal would be appreciated. My main tool has been distractions to keep the memories from bombarding me. Still – a lot of alone time has been productive.

Actually, I noticed this shift in my feelings last week when I read this on Facebook & it felt like Jeff was talking to me (just like he let me know it was past time to get a new battery).

“When I come to the end of the road, And the sun has set for me, I want no rites in a gloom-filled room. Why cry for a soul set free? Miss me a little – but not too long. And not with you head bowed low. Remember the love that we once shared. Miss me – but let me go. For this is a journey that we all must take, And each must go alone. It’s all a part of the Master’s plan, A step on the road to home. When you are lonely & sick of heart, Go to the friends we know & bury your sorrows in doing good deeds. Miss me – but let me ago.” ~~Author unknown

One of my best friend’s lost her younger sister last week. It wasn’t a surprise but her battle with cancer was fairly short. Still, the family knew her wishes & they got to talk about her feelings & what they’re do afterward. I missed that with Jeff since he just couldn’t tell me he was dying. Even as clueless as I was, I knew he was sliding down hill quickly, & at least it didn’t happen in an instant, like a car crash or heart attack. We had a few preparatory discussions months earlier.

The loss of a spouse, good friend, or pet companion (maybe even a beloved car) just leaves such a HUGE hole in a life that it’s a wonder anyone ever gets back to a normal life. And the older the survivor is, even with a more realistic perception of “life”, the bigger the “hole” is. I dread the loss of my parents & my critters – just more “holes” to adjust to. But, isn’t going on with your life the whole idea, somehow honoring the memories? And I guess that happens by finally letting go of what was. That’s the struggle. Not coming to terms with the memories or lost plans & hopes, but managing to make new plans & hopes & memories. Maybe I’m starting to let go of my life with Jeff & looking forward instead of backwards. Not forgetting – just not stuck or paralyzed anymore. Geez, I hate the idea of letting Jeff go tho (kind of like being the only person naked in a crowd), but I’d want him to go on if I left first. And in all honesty, those distractions I search for are all about not sliding down the rabbit hole into a huge pity party. Avoidance!! Procrastination!! Denial!!! I actually think I’m not wanting to let go of the lifestyle as well as how I felt being with Jeff, the traveling around & seeing new scenes, or just the feel of tires going down the road [with HIM doing the driving & me photographing]. Jeff was not always pleasant to live with (even considering how helpful & sensitive he was), & I totally enjoy my freedom to do whatever or go wherever I want when I want now. Although I get bored, depressed, frustrated, & restless sitting in the same spot for months (regardless of how much I enjoy the location, weather, & scenery), I’m just not feeling adventurous without someone with me to share the experience. Maybe that’ll change too – or I’ll find a travel companion or two.

My heart will go on!


  1. Hi Glenda, I love your writing. And so good to hear that the healing process continues.
    The weather is bound to get better soon, hang in there!

  2. I think your experience feels 'normal' to me. After losing our oldest son last year (fighting one of last year's Alberta forest fires), I find that getting out hiking and being more active is a way I can honour him.

  3. You have expressed feelings of grief I had trouble expressing. Thanks for sharing and being so open. ~~~Joan


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