Tag Archives: wife

The Day

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*Today is the third anniversary of my husband’s death.

It started off normal enough, however, I did not foresee the tragedy that was heading my way… 

I decided to turn in early because I had planned to surprise my husband by going to look for a new car with him the following morning.  He was barely speaking to me because I disagreed that he needed one.

I was asleep by the time he got off of work, but he made sure to come to our bedroom and ask if Jazmine was awake. He was especially fond of my niece and spent most of his hours at home with her undertow. I replied she was not and dozed back off.

Less than an hour later, he came back in the bedroom and turned on the light. In obvious distress, he told me he did not feel well.  Still drowsy, I halfheartedly asked what was wrong.  He responded that he was having chest pains.  About a year earlier, he asked me to stop making spicy foods because his “heartburn” was getting worse. Therefore I attributed his discomfort to that and asked him if he tried taking an antacid.  He said he had but he would try taking some more.  When I heard him fumbling around in the medicine cabinet, I grew alarmed.

He came back into the bedroom and I noticed he was sweating profusely and breathing heavily.  I asked him if he was having pain in his left arm as well.  He said he was and I thought came to me that he might be having a heart attack. However, it still didn’t register as being a real possibility considering he was only 30 years old. 

I decided to call for an ambulance and while I was on the phone with the operator, he was stretching.  She instructed me to have him to sit down but he said he could not because he was so uncomfortable.  I got off the phone and proceeded to help him to the livingroom to wait for the paramedics to arrive.

Midway there he stumbled and I caught him as best I could.  We finally made it to the sofa and not a second later, he jumped up abruptly and started stumbling about.  He was headed toward the door because he could not breathe and wanted to go outside for air.  He collapsed in the doorway as the ambulance pulled up front.

Ethan heard the noise as well as my panicked voice and came into the livingroom.  I told him to go lay back down because I did not want him to see his father in such a condition. He did.

The paramedics were able to get him conscious by sticking something down his throat that made him vomit.  This was followed by a series of questions that he was able to answer although his speech was slurred and weak. 

During this time they tried to keep me out of the livingroom, but I refused. I was informed by the head paramedic that my husband was “very, very, very, very, very, very, very sick” and that something was definitely going on in the heart region and they needed to take him in right away.  In Indiana, those who are not be transported are not allowed to ride in the ambulance, so I told the paramedic that I would be right behind them. 

His last words to me were “make sure you come” as he squeezed my hand.  I replied “of course!”

Nic was spending the night with a friend and Evan was still in residential treatment. I am ashamed to say that I left Jazmin and Ethan alone at home as I quickly threw something on over my pajamas and sped to the hospital.

I was not allowed in the room, but I walked past several times and say a hoard of medical professionals working on him. I sat in the waiting room for a few hours placing calls to friends and family. Two nurses came and introduced themselves and checked on me periodically.

After a while, the doctor, flanked by a nurse came out to talk to me.  He introduced himself and asked me what happened. I started giving him a recap and as I was talking, there was something about the way that he was listening so intently that made me stop and ask him “Is my husband still alive?” When he replied no, I immediately started screaming and fell to the floor. I never expected to hear that. My mother had died exactly nine months prior for goodness sakes!

The two angels disguised as nurses came to my side praying and holding me. Shortly people started to arrive, his two close childhood friends, a cousin, my bil and his wife, my aunts (all three with spouses), my sister, and cousins. My mil and other sil were in Detroit but I had already called them with the news.

We tried to get a hold of his sister that lived in town to no avail( I was later blamed by her that she did not get to make it to his bedside).  I even held his body for hours in hopes that she would make it to the hospital. I finally got back home around 6am and passed out from sheer exhaustion, disbelief, and distress.

And it was only the beginning of a tumultuous journey and I would need all my energy and sense of equilibrium to help me get through the terror of it all…

Something to Think About

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It is my hope that all you stepmom readers will learn something from my experience of losing both my husband and stepsons.  Some stepmoms may wonder why they should try to get along with the mother of the kids.  Why shouldn’t you is what I want to know?  I realize that some mothers are difficult to endure.  Some  are hostile, weird, crazy, jealous, insensitive, manipulative, beastly, petty—fill in the blank.  Eliza was all that and then some!  You might be thinking, Well you don’t know my husband’s ex!  While I might not know her personally, I do know the archetype.

Even though I know I tried my very best to smooth things over between she and I (in the last two years), she didn’t.  I could only control myself, and rightly focused on changing my attitude about her instead of trying to force  her to be different.

Therefore, I want to make sure that you are doing everything on your end to be peacable.  Please pick and choose your battles and think of your situation with the end in mind.  We all know that stepparents have no legal rights to their stepchildren.  Your husband is truly that connecting force between you two.  Unless, you have a stable relationship with the mother, that is (especially in the event of death and/or the children are not of age).  No him or her=no stepchildren.  You can’t force/demand/court order the biological parent to allow you to interact with their kids.   

As you see in my case, it is to your benefit to get along with the mother of the children.  I truly wish that Eliza would have honored my role and feelings.  There is no compelling reason that Nicholas and I should not have the boys in our lives.  It still hurts that she is punishing us in this manner.

If you are giving it the best that you’ve got, I heartily encourage you to keep up the good work!  Life offers few fairy tale endings and your efforts alone may not produce the desired outcome.  But speaking from experience, you won’t regret trying.

I do, however, wish that I would have had this attitude from the very inception.  While I wasn’t the one who started the fires and mostly ignored her combustive behavior, I wouldn’t have spit on her if she was on fire (as the old saying goes)!  I felt like it wasn’t my “job” to appease her (or get along with her) in any manner.  Afterall, it was her who was causing trouble, being difficult, and behaving in a bellicose manner!

So if you are holding onto grudges, insecurites, myths about the ex, things your stepchildren told you she said,  past hurts, or any other minute issues (and if it’s not life or death—IT IS SMALL!) stop while you still have time to regroup, reflect, and reposition yourself.  Like it or not, she will always be their mother.  You can’t “wish” her away or pretend she doesn’t exist.  Figure out exactly what you want your blended family life to be and go for it.  Wake up and change directions while you still can.  Most anything is possible because everyday is a new day.  Even if you can’t have peace with her because of her relunctance (or disinterest) you can have it within for trying.

With that being said,  if you still can’t think of any reason under the sun as to why it would be a good idea to be on stable ground with your husband’s ex; think about your stepchild(ren) and your life without them in it.

Have You Hugged Your Husband Today?

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My husband was a very affectionate man.  He loved to hug and kiss me.  He liked to cuddle, too.  We always held hands while driving, even if we were not traveling far.  He ended every conversation whether long or short with “I love you.”  I was his most prized possession.

I miss him.  I miss his touch, his laughter, his essence….I loved the very smell of him.  His chest was my favorite pillow. 

His life was a cup in which I heartily drank from.  Nobody filled me quite like him.

After reading this post,  I urge you to go hug your husband just for me.  Even if he is not in your presence, send him a “hug” via text message, email, or phone.  And really put one on him when you do lay eyes on him.

Girls, I can hardly wait for the day that I will be able to hug the one I love again!

Sallie Mae Needs a New Pair of Shoes!

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We spent the weekend in the Queen City.  We left the house pretty late and I kept dosing off on the way there.  It was well past my bedtime but I refused to go to sleep.  My husband, a.k.a. the king of the road, has created his own rules for driving.  He joked that if he would have allowed me to drive that we might have ended up in Germany.  I quipped better Germany than the hospital!

Our first stop was at a popular casino.  My husband was itching to get on the Craps table.  The place was crowded, lively, and smoky.  I must have missed the memo that read “Must have cigarette in hand to enter.”  Almost everyone had a cigarette in one hand and a drink in the other.  The only saving grace was the size of the casino.  Therefore I wasn’t totally engulfed by smoke.

Out of courtesy my husband played a few slot machines with me.  He quickly won $100 and was ready to move on to bigger and better things.  He headed upstairs where apparently the “real” players play. 

I stayed in the lowly basement and decided to concentrate on playing the penny, nickel, and dime slots.  Plus, it was one of the designated smoke-free areas.  Feeling adventurous I played a few rounds on the dollar machines.  You can probably tell that I am not a high roller by any means.  I promised myself that any jackpots I won would go straight to Sallie Mae. 

$50 and a case of carpel tunnel later, I was ready to go.  I checked the time and was shocked that we had already been there for three hours!  I made my way to the Craps table and waited semi-patiently for my husband to finish up.  I had no idea what was going on and really was not interested in knowing either. 

I was a bit annoyed because everyone at the table was smoking–my husband included.  But knowing how I detest smoke, he put out his cigarette when he saw me approaching.  One while it was so unbearable that I had to move.  The guy next to him, who I’ll call Smokey the Bandit, kept lighting forest fires immediately after distinguishing one.

An hour later I played a game of shooting poisonous darts at my husband’s back.  Every so often he would turn around and say that he was almost ready.  Then he would give me money to keep me occupied.  Eventually I started pocketing his bribes.

Tired of standing I finally took a seat, wishing that I had charged my Ipod or stuffed a book in my purse.  Some weird, seedy man kept giving me the once over—-twice.  I was so ready to go!

Thirty minutes later my husband was satisfied with his winnings.  At 4:35am he cashed in and we headed out.

We grabbed a bite to eat before checking into the hotel.  The rest of the weekend was spent shopping and relaxing.  Our final stop was at Pappadeux’s for dinner.

Sadly, Sallie Mae still needs a new pair of shoes.