Wednesday, May 31, 2006

I am feeling a bit more hopeful this week, but still upset about Henry whose health is having serious ups and downs. It's breaking my heart. He's still very happy to see us though which gives me some comfort. He still flashes that truly bizarre smile. Our friend Evans says he looks demented. But he's having major problems getting around. If he would just stay on the first floor things might be better, but he follows us up and down the steps all day long which taxes his joints.

We're headed to Provence on Friday for a week in a villa and a night in Nice, where we spent a few really lovely days last year. We're hooking up with our dear friends from Munich Lise, Richard, Bev, Gary, Jen and Paul. Last year we stayed at Will and Tara's place near Avignon. This year we are staying further east - just outside of a village called Cotignac. We splashed out a bit this year renting a villa with a pool and a summer kitchen, where we'll probably be hanging the whole time. Last year's trip was great and I hope this year's is a repeat. We had so much fun shopping in the markets, sightseeing all day and cooking at night. We would load up on wine from the vineyards and "taste" the night away! Really relaxing. Throw in some fun games and it was a hoot!

I need to get away more than I can begin to tell you. The past few months have been so emotionally draining - it'll be good to be away from things, if only for a week.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

The past few days have been really hard on me and I am not sure why. Last night I cried buckets - I just could not get myself under control. Everything was making me sad - from some dumb television show to the sight of poor Henry limping across the room.

I feel like my entire life changed in an instant when my mom died. I just can't imagine that I am not ever going to talk to her or laugh with her again. I didn't realize how much I loved her until she died. Sure, I loved her and I knew it, but now every day resonates with grief and sorrow. I have good moments, and even whole good days but I keep coming back to it. It just hurts like hell.

I keep trying to remember happier days and return time and time again to being a kid, sitting around the table, discussing everything under the sun. I also see us all on the beach. It's always late in the afternoon. She's sitting there with her long black braid down the back of her orange flowered bathing suit watching us as we run in and out of the surf. It seems like a long time ago - I guess it's forty years or so.

How did I get so old? How did the years go by so past? I got out of high school 29 years ago which just doesn't seem possible. In my head, I'm still 18, goofing with Kathy and with not a care in the world. I still feel like that same young girl but I see someone old looking back at me when I glance in the mirror. Kathy and I had some private moments at the funeral and she touched me greatly with her memories of my mom and our youth. She couldn't stop crying. She really was overcome with emotion and though I knew she really loved my mom, I knew some of it was for our lost youth, for all the years gone by. I feel it too. Lately, I'm so aware of my own mortality, of aging. I guess it's got everything to do with losing my mom.

I remember speaking to Bob and Grace in Starbucks shortly after I got married and I told them how perfectly happy and content I was feeling, but that I was fearful of the other shoe dropping. I was so afraid of something bursting my bubble. I'm still happy, yet full of grief and sorrow. Does that make sense? Every single day with Chris is good, but I'm feeling so much loss.

Joanna told me I have to go through this to get to the other side and she's right. Knowing it doesn't make it any easier though.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

First things first: Henry appears to improving slowly by surely. Thanks for all your positive thoughts.

It's been a really nice weekend. Friday night we went to teh Greek Fest with Lisa and Mike, which, as always was alot of fun. Great food, good music and a whole lot of booze flowing. I managed to keep myself in check as did Lisa, but Mike and Chris went on an Ouzo drinking spree from which Chris was still recovering yesterday afternoon.

I went to Platt's Nursery with Melissa and Joanna and bought a slew of perennials which I will put in during the week. I have an easy five or six more trips down there - filling up the back of the wagon. Today I put in a bunch of herbs - the usual stuff plus some thai basil, sorrel, tarragon and a few other less everyday herbs. We've been in the yard all day - it's shaping up well.

Tom came by and the three of us went to see Bob and Danny's spec house and it's great. Tom loves that stuff so it was fun to take him.

Last night we went to a low key barbecue at Melissa and Bill's which was just the ticket. Marv and Tony were there and we really enjoy being in their company I so it was fun. It was chilly and we had a fire going out back and it smelled great and warmed us up.
Now over to my mom's (she's gone but I can't stop referring to it as her house - go figure) for dinner. Gina's making pasta and homemade gravy. Yum.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

 Posted by Picasa
 Posted by Picasa
Henry is really ailing and I am beside myself with worry and a very real fear that we might be close to some kind of end. I never realized how much you could love an animal until I got him. It's really almost unbearable.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

It's been a really nice weekend. Friday night, we had a nice meal at Tre Famiglia on Haddon Avenue with Melissa and Bill. We sat outside and it was extremely pleasant. We went through an alarming amount of wine - and the only reason I say alarming is because we went out on Thursday night with Craig, Maria and Sarah and drank a lot of wine with our meal. A lot of wine. So two nights in a row was rough. We've cut way back on our imbibing so now when I hit the sauce on a weeknight, I really feel it.

Last night was quiet, just the two of us at home, watching Ang Lee's The Wedding Banquet, a lovely film.

Tonight we're going to Lisa and Mike's for a Thai inspired barbecue. I'm making Thai beef salad, Lisa is making chicken satay and Melissa is making some sort of sesame shrimp. Mmmm...

Henry really on the mend by the way. Laura and Gerry, two really nice folks from town, stopped by to lend us a small set of portable steps to make it easier for Henry to get on the bed, which to me was a really sweet and kind gesture.

Right. Off to the yard with today's New York Times. Sun, blue sky and the best newspaper in the world. I love life!!!

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Since my mom died, I’ve been taking stock of my life. One of the things preoccupying me is the serendipitous route my life took after getting serious with Chris. I liked him when I first met him in 1997, but we were both younger and I don’t think either one of us had what it took to have a serious relationship. I needed to hit myself over the head a few dozen more times and he ahd some wild oats to sow. But when I happened on him again in 2003, there was instant chemistry, mutual respect and a real give and take between us, enough that we took that huge leap of having a monogamous transatlantic relationship and after that seemed to be working well, having me move to Europe.

I have a few friends who are looking for the kind of bond Chris and I share and I keep wondering why I am in this really healthy, refreshingly honest and good relationship and they aren’t. I did make some conscious choices which had some bearing on things, but what led me to be open to such a serious relationship after only one night of drinking and talking in Munich? One kiss and the deal was sealed. Is the readiness all or is there some element of fate and luck also at play here? I have no idea. I just know that my life has completely turned around and that nurturing our relationship and our mutual happiness is my top priority. I feel lucky.
We had a really nice green curry the other night at Lisa and Mike’s place. Lisa’s kindness to me has been extraordinary. She’s been there with food, hospitality and an ear which truly listens. She’s very tied to her family so I think she understands the enormity of losing a beloved family member.

In other news, Henry seems to be improving – just a bit slower than I’d like.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Our visitors left a week ago last Sunday. Their time with us was wonderful and really timed perfectly considering recent events. Lise is wonderful – I feel so close to her, Richard too, and it was great getting to know Gulsemin better. She’s a wonderful woman – warm, open minded, completely sweet and charming. We had some good chats and a lot of laughter between all of us. The last night they were here, the five of us had a really nice night. It was pouring rain and no one wanted to go out so we cooked a load of food, opened many bottles of wine and just had the most relaxing enjoyable time imaginable.

Jen and Paul were here for the first few days. It was great to see them too. We threw a huge keg party on Friday and invited a load of people. It was beautiful weather so everyone was on the front porch and in the yard. The party was going full bore until three in the morning. It was great. Headaches and hangovers all around on Saturday. But lots and lots of laugh and a bunch of love flowing too.

Now it’s back to the real world of work and dealing with my mom’s death. It’s hitting me especially hard now that all the excitement of the European guests has passed. I knew it was going too easily. I’m okay about it all though. I feel really at peace with it, but the thing I cannot fathom is never sitting down and sharing a meal with my mom again. It’s strange. Again, I am so glad I came back from Europe when I did. The exact reason for coming home was my family and my mom’s advanced age. I would prefer to have had much more time with her, but I am really happy we had some time and that she saw me all settled down and an almost respectable woman!

There’s one other thing going on which is upsetting me. Our dog Henry has lyme disease and is seriously ailing. He’s under the care of a competent and caring vet, but it is still extremely disturbing to see him so diminished. I cannot even begin to think of losing him. Chris and I both love him almost as much as we love one another. He really is the kindest, sweetest, most affectionate dog EVER.