Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Perfect Master Bath

I'm addicted to HGTV, and all their home buying/designing television shows. What I like best is House Hunters, where the mostly happy couples go looking for their perfect home. Of utmost importance to many of them is the size of the master bedroom and bath. Without fail, they always get so excited when they see a double sink. "How perfect! Now we don't have to share. We each get our own sink!"

I never had much of a master bedroom at my old home. It was a small room created out of the basement, but we really loved the privacy it provided. We also had a very small bathroom, and we shared a very small vanity and cabinet. The idea of a large vanity with double sinks seemed only for those happy couples on t.v.

Well, alas, my new home has a huge master bedroom, and a huge beautiful bathroom. It has a big sunken tub, a nice sized shower for two, a private room for the toilet, and drum roll extremely long vanity with double sinks.

I have so much space, I don't know what to do. I set up all my things in "my cabinet" and arranged my toiletries nicely on "my side of the vanity." What is painfully clear is that this bathroom was meant for two. Now, between you and me, if you open the unused side of the cabinet you will find a few of Michael's things. I couldn't resist. Outside it though, I tried to not create a 'Michael shrine.' The problem is, what do I do with the unused side of the vanity and sink?

When my parents were visiting, my mother wasted no time arranging all her make up and lady items all around the vacant vanity. It felt nice seeing the east side being used. I didn't feel so alone when using the bathroom. Now that my parents are back home, it is empty once again.

Here's where I need help. What do I do with the vacant side?

Should I rent it out? Maybe one of my neighbors really need the added space when it comes to bathroom time. Maybe one of the neighboring couples are always getting in each other's way and starting out each day in a fight. Renting it out to one of them might be just what they need to maintain a happy home. It would have the benefit of me not feeling so strikingly alone each morning and each night. It might also bring in a little added income.

I suppose I could always find me a rent boy, and he could use that side of the vanity.

What? That would not be very respectable? I might be setting a bad example for my kids? Well, maybe your right.

Okay, if you are going to get so high and mighty about how I make use of this empty space, then perhaps you should give me some good ideas.

Well. I'm waiting....

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Don't Take It Personally


I'm not sure where to start, but this title was with me throughout the day.

I keep having this nagging feeling that I am disappointing people. I have definitely sort of dropped out. I haven't been to my yoga class in many weeks, haven't seen the gym in ages, haven't visited anyone, haven't called anyone, and haven't really left my house other than to go to work, or to pick up my folks for Christmas. I didn't call anyone to wish them a Merry Christmas, and completely flaked out about Chanukah.

There have been calls sent my way that never got returned. There have been cards received without a response. I'm sure many have wondered if I have been abducted by aliens. I think that is what I would like them to believe, then I would have no responsibility for my lack of action.

I'm sorry. Please don't take it personally.

I just don't feel like participating in life right now. I don't want to have fun. I don't want to make polite conversation. I don't want to wear a smile. I don't want to be challenged. I don't want to be cheered up. I don't want to be told what I need to be doing. I don't want to see that worried look. I don't want to hear the overt concern. I don't want advice. I don't want sympathy. I don't want human contact.

I'm sorry once again. And please, don't take it personally.

I'm not proud. I'm definitely not where I would like to be, but at the same time I don't really desire to be anywhere else right now.

Maybe I'm hibernating.

Saturday, December 25, 2010


Luce Blu

"Well, the weather outside is frightful...."

Actually, it's not so bad at the moment. We here in Southern California have suffered through too much rain as of late, and after a couple of nice sunny days, it appears that the clouds are rolling back in.

Let's hope my grief doesn't follow suit.

I've tried my best to make this another generic Christmas. Last year I stayed at home, which was San Francisco at the time. This year I did the same, but went and collected my parents first. I decided it would be nice to have them here for the weekend, as they really wanted to see my new home, and I really wanted a distraction from my usual depressed self.

Success. Sort of.

Something I also did these past two Christmases without Michael, was to simplify my decorating, and put up only new decorations. It has helped me feel a bit festive, make the kids and my parents smile, and not remind me Christmases past when I was much happier with Michael beside me. It was going great until I left the house last night to pick up my daughter from work. She ended up working late, which kept me waiting in the parking lot for over an hour, then found that she was not ready, in my mind, to really participate in our Christmas Eve celebration. A lot of anger came out, as there have been a couple of unresolved issues that I needed to call her on. While on my way back to the house I called and asked my youngest son to please set the table for our formal dinner. I had spent a good part of the afternoon cooking a turkey, and all the trimmings. Well, my son took it upon himself to unpack some "fancy" wine glasses that he felt we needed to properly serve our chilled sparkling cider. When I walked in the door, my new dining table was set with Michael's more ornate wine glasses that I had purposefully not unpacked. Not only that, he had broken one while unpacking. He must have seen my reaction, and began to explain why he had chosen the glasses. I let him know it was fine, then quickly joined the group for dinner. Once I had finished forcing the food down, I excused myself to go finish wrapping presents, and to have a good cry.

It was a good release to cry. I then pulled myself together, and brought out the rest of the gifts, and set up the deserts for everyone to enjoy. The kids then happily opened their gifts early, and we had a good time. I had purchased some Victorian "Crackers", which were filled with jokes and trivia. My parents really enjoyed these, so we sat around popping the crackers, and cracking up with all the lame jokes.

This morning we all got up early, and went to Christmas Mass at the local Catholic church. It felt very strange, yet also very comforting. I have pulled away from attending a church, as my anger at God for taking Michael away, coupled with my anger with his followers taking away my right to marry, made for a less than spiritual experience. The kids had also been feeling the same way I had, yet also seemed to really get something out of attending today's mass. Who knows, maybe we will find our way back before next Christmas arrives.

Today has been good. I'm not feeling very joyous, but I'm also not feeling extremely sad. I'm just feeling quiet, and contemplative. I think this will be the week that I also make a return to my yoga class. I think it is time to resurface, and begin interacting with other adults once again. There is going to be a New Years Eve Yoga Flow Class. We will be ushering in the new year with our various poses and meditational states. Perhaps it's just what I need.

I hope each of you can find something that brings you peace, and something that helps you take that next step forward. You have each been a great source of support to me, and provide me with a reason to keep expressing myself.

Love to all.


Friday, December 24, 2010

Holiday Greeting

Wishing you all the happiest of holidays. I'm having computer problems so my post is being done via my iPhone.

Short and brief. I love you all. Thanks for reading, and for being such an important part of my journey.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

I Thought...I Wish.

Deep In Thought


Another busy day at work. By the end of the day I was the only one left in the office. Most had left for the day, and many had left for time off for the holidays. Man, do I wish I could take time off right now. Being new, and with little to no vacation time earned, I will be working straight through the holidays. And judging by the stack of boxes that border each room in my new home, I haven't made much progress in the unpacking department.

I left the quiet office, and walked out into the cold night. Mine was one of the few cars still left in the lot. How symbolic for me. All alone in the dark cold night. As usual, I got into my car, took a deep breath, and let the tears flow. This time I cried more than usual. It's the holiday season, and most people are filled with joy. I wish I could be joyous. I sat there in the car, sobbing, and feeling angry and resentful once again. Why did I only get three and a half years with my husband? Why do others get what seems like an eternity? Why do I return home every night alone? Well, the kids are there, but you know what I mean.

I feel so cheated. I feel so let down by life. I feel so let down by God. I'm trying to psyche myself up for an early Christmas celebration with my extended family on Saturday. We will be gathering at my parents home that day since each of my brothers and their wives will spend Christmas in their own homes. They will experience the joy of waking up next to the person they love, and exchange gifts, and cuddle next to the fire. I on the other hand, will be sitting here desperately clutching my laptop, which is my only extension to what feels like real life.

What hurts the most is that it doesn't feel like my family understands how hard this still is for me. They love me, and are good to me, but I don't think they get how hard it is to hear so much laughter and joy. They don't see how it rips my heart apart just being around them, and seeing how happy they are. When I am with them the conversation often turns to issues of being a couple, and the jokes fly about things they say and do with their spouses. I'm a good brother, and I just smile, or try to discretely separate myself from the situation.

I know there is nothing anyone can do to change what life has dealt me. I get it. I know that I have to learn to move forward, and I am. It just hurts like hell, and in times like these, the holidays, I do find myself thinking about how different we thought life would be. Michael and I had it all planned out. We talked about the house we would buy together. We talked about working on that house together. We talked about growing old together. We pictured ourselves, two old men, sitting on the porch, resting with a cold beverage after working all afternoon in the yard. I thought about how lovely life would be, always sleeping next to that person who loves me, and who I love with all my heart.

I thought about becoming grandparents together. I thought about all the travel we would do. I thought about all the passionate nights of sex we would have, even through our "golden years." I thought about all the ornaments we would collect over the years, and how much fun we would have reminiscing while decorating the tree each year. I thought about all the traditions we would create together. I thought about how we would use our wedding china for every special dinner. I thought about how happy we would be.

As I may have mentioned in the past, I rarely dream. In fact, I have only seen Michael in my dreams on two occasions since he died, and both times were about his final days. I tell myself that I don't allow myself to dream so that it won't hold me back, yet I now find myself wishing I could. I wish I could have this fantasy life in my dream world. I wish I could be visited by Michael, or that I could go visit him where ever he may be. I wish I could feel his embrace, or to see his smile once again. When I can't sleep at night I talk to him. I ask him to come back to me, if only for a minute. I tell him I won't be afraid, and I won't even tell a soul that he was here. Yet, nothing.

It's no good, none of this is helping me. Even as I write this I am telling myself that these things are not good for me. I tell myself that if I really thought it would help me, that I would be dreaming about him. I hate that about myself. I know what's good for me, so I don't allow myself to be self indulgent. Well, maybe just a little.

If you are still reading, then bless you. I don't know if I could stick with this if these thoughts were not pouring out of my own head. I hate whining. But as my kids say, don't be a hater!

Okay, I feel better now. I just needed to get this all out.

I'll be fine.


Wednesday, December 15, 2010


No hope

I want to thank each of you who read, and each that leave me messages. I take each of your thoughts to heart, and use them as my mantra each day. I am trying to draw strength from the encouragement.

The emotional turbulence that is often my oldest son has settled down a bit. New psychiatrist, new medication, and perhaps just time, has brought back some stability. I was definitely at breaking point, and I pray that this reprieve will last awhile. It has become increasing difficult to have the same presence of mind, or surplus of patience, that I once had when things got this challenging.

I also find that there is little about daily life that lifts me from my depression. I get breaks from the new low during my work day. My office mate and I often have good conversations, and even have a good laugh here and there. My work with families is rewarding, and I take great pride in providing a service to the parents of young children who are exhibiting delays in their development. I really feel like I have much to offer, and they are always so eager for help and support. But it's those long pieces of time, in between these brief distractions, where I find myself consumed by my sadness.

I know people are concerned, and I know they wish I was further along in this process, but I don't have the will to be something I am not, happy. This is not to say I am closed off to happiness, just that it isn't present at this time.

I can endure. I can keep myself afloat, but I have to be who I am. I feel like something will soon happen that will be the catalyst for change in my heart. I'm not sure what it is, but it will happen.

I am not without hope, just lacking inspiration.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Missing in Action

Moon shadow - self portrait

That's me, missing in action.

I have been missing from this blog for some time now. It seemed that for the past year, this blog defined me. It provided me a much needed outlet, and it kept others connected to me.

I have also been missing in action from myself, and from my kids.

I have been really lost and overwhelmed. My life became suddenly very busy, closing escrow, packing up once again, and then moving this past weekend. On top of that I have been going through another extremely challenging time with my oldest son. I have contemplated placing him back into residential care, as our home life has begun to feel like a battleground.

With all of these challenges I have become increasingly aware that I no longer have what it takes. I am no longer capable of responding to life's difficulties the way I used to. This is no surprise, as we all know that I am a wounded soul. I guess many of you who read this might be saying the same about yourselves. And although I understand why I am this way, I don't like it. I feel like the quality of my life has been forever changed.

Funny, even through his crazy manic, rage filled days, Dante continues to complain that I am no longer the same person. He is angry that I am so depressed. He wants to see me out doing things, and to see happiness and optimism in my face. I think that for awhile, I was able to pull it off somewhat better. These days my efforts have been futile. There is nothing within my reserve, and I find myself feeling quite weary.

I fear that if I don't bounce back soon, the lives of my children will be seriously altered. Their daily lives are so complicated to begin with, that having a father who is less able to maintain the stability they seek, is only compromising whatever hopes they have of feeling secure. I wish I could just snap out of this, but being cognitively aware of my situation doesn't lend itself to any type of easy solution.

Perhaps life just gets too complicated. Perhaps God does give some of us too much to handle. Perhaps we can find ourselves lost in this sea of grief and stress. Perhaps we just go missing. For how long, I do not know.

I am lost. The old me is gone. The new me is less than.

I am missing in action.