Sunday, September 27, 2015

51 weeks

At this time a week from now I have no idea what I'll be feeling or how I'll handle it being a year down to the date and time we of lost Tim. It's going to be extremely hard but the biggest difference between the anniversary next week and that time last year is that now I have hope. A few weeks ago I hit a turning point and have been anxious about it not lasting or getting as down as I was previously but somehow my feeling of hope has persevered. I feel guilty about it a lot regardless of what my therapist says but I've also come to the conclusion that even if Tim had a miraculous turnaround and was cured of the cancer, he would be miserable right now. Completely dependent upon oxygen and a wheelchair, not able to participate in life as he would want to do and I think that has given me some form of peace in a twisted way. I still fantasize every day about what life could've been had he never gotten sick or had he never taken that turn for the worse last year. I still imagine what we'd be doing at this moment had those things never happened and would love to have that life, whatever shape it may take but at the same time I know the reality of the situation would've had us trapped inside and without visitors last winter due to how severe the flu season was. It wouldn't have had Tim disappearing every weekend to a football game with me harping on him about taking time to help me around the house this fall, it would be filled with prepping for another flu season and the constant fear of Tim catching some kind of respiratory illness and ultimately he would've been absolutely miserable.

This past week we dedicated the I TOR conference room in Tim's memory and I know he'd be so honored. I've had friends offering dinners, stopping by to say hi, hanging out, sending cards, etc. and through the time I spend with them be it on the phone, on FaceTime or in person, I feel his love. Today was my youngest nieces dedication at church with a reception here after. At one point her older sister was running around interacting and playing with everyone as I cleaned up inside (likely due to the cake and ice cream and candy corn I kept offering up). In that moment I could almost visualize she & Tim playing as he once did with Steven's oldest two. I can't begin to express how much I wish that was reality.

For now I'm doing ok, my meds are finally regulated, I have the best support system I could ever dream of between family, friends, doctors, etc. and I'm truly living in each moment and facing each day as it comes instead of worrying of what will come after. I'm scared of next Sunday and the feelings and memories that will come from that day but honestly it's the day after that scares me more as I have approached each day with the comfort of seeing what Tim and I were doing a year ago on that date which gives me a sense of comfort. Oct 5 will be the first time I can't do that. I have no doubt that I will make it though but these days really knock the wind out of me and it feels like it's hard to recover from the blows. Regardless I haven't stopped trying. It's a fight every single day to get up out of bed and I count the hours until I can climb back in. But I am fighting and fighting hard to be ok, to reclaim my life and slowly but surely to move forward, always carrying Tim right with me.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

My body knows even when I dont...

It's really strange how my body has taken over my emotions the last few weeks. Somehow I intuitively know the days that were bad ones with Tim's health and wake up feeling "off". Today was the first "good" day I've had in weeks now. My sleeping pill is no longer working so I'm back to hanging out wide awake until 3AM again no matter how much melatonin, warm milk, hot relaxing baths, etc. I supplement with. Luckily I have an appointment with my doctor again this week and can hopefully get everything adjusted quickly this time and get back to sleeping again. Tonight I supplemented with Benedryl, fingers crossed that it works and that I don't oversleep tomorrow morning. 

In the spirit of being as candid as I've always been: I keep meaning to come back here but in a way I'm also trying to reclaim my life and my anonymity, as happy as I am to hear that these posts have helped others and I'll leave them up as long as blogger lets me so hopefully they may continue to do so as well as to spread Tim's voice and story and as much as they help me to express and vent I'm the person who hates crying in front of other people as its so awkward (had lots of those awkward moments in the past few years). I also miss the days of kind strangers not knowing my life story and personal thoughts, so as with everything else in my life these days I'm trying to find a balance. We started this as a way to make life easier and keep everyone updated on Tim's status without having to rehash the whole story over and over again and I've kept it up for the same reason, except now to share what is going on with my life now.

Its a little over 3 weeks until the year anniversary of losing Tim, its a hard pill to swallow. In some ways I can't believe its only been a year, in others I can't believe its already been a year. It feels like yesterday that we were hanging out and talking. I can still hear his voice and laughter when I think about him. Slowly but surely the horrendous images of him on that last day are not the first that pop into my head when I think of him, but they are of happier times, of him and Maddy giving me the stink eye when I would try to get into our bed (God forbid I disturb their cuddle sessions :) ), the way when he really laughed hard he would sound just like the count from Sesame Street but when he was "giggling" he'd chuckle and as he teased me he always would make this high pitch heeehh heh hehe, just how proud and in awe he was of all of his achievements with promoting iTOR. I mentioned to some friends tonight as how I get recognized when I say my name sometimes, not because of anything I've done but always as "Tim Bright's wife" That is a honor I'm so happy to have as my own, it sounds so crazy and possessive to say but Tim shared so much of himself with others but that title is one of the things no one else besides me can ever claim and I truly love being able to do so. 

My job is going well, I think, most days I feel completely lost and unqualified but I try to remind myself that this is how I've been at the beginning of every job and it will get better (at least we all can hope ;)). My house is finally almost at the point I feel I can call it done, as most know Tim & I closed on this house last July and started renovations right after so the majority of those were being done while he was in the hospital (it was as horrible as it sounds). This is why we lived with his parents for the short stints he was out of the hospital which I'm glad worked out that way as it made me feel so much safer to nap, go check on the renovations or just simply take a little break. My girlfriends moved me and Maddy in last November (p.s. its not a large house but I'm still figuring out where they stashed things for me) and renovations continued until the early part of the summer. I'm finally starting to grow grass in most places of my yard (thank God for no more red clay everywhere) and I am finally starting to feel safe and almost like this is home for me. My bedroom is sparse and at some point I'd like to start fresh with new linens but as with most things associated to my time with Tim I'm not quite ready to make that leap just yet. 

Maddy has made me take that leap with a few things as she recently decided that me not being home during the day was completely unacceptable and crushed a nice vase and picture frame (keep in mind that this destructor also ate through my blinds about a month after me getting them and went through a phase in which she peed her way through my house. Other than that we've become pretty close again. When I'm home she refuses to be in a different room than me and follows me around. Not an issue most times but it becomes pretty comical as I'm cleaning or doing something causing me to walk back and forth and my little shadow becomes very frustrated that she can't just settle in anywhere. She's also decided that her bed (which is a double layered memory foam mattress - Tim's idea not mine) is unacceptable most days and likes to sleep on mine now...right where my feet should go.

I saw one of Tim's former co-workers the other day and he kept remarking how much better I look now than the last time he saw me sometime right after the funeral. Looking back I can see what's different. I still have many very bad, very dark, very sad days but the difference is now I can see a light again and know that this is just a blip on the radar. I don't think I will ever be the person I was before and I mourn for her. I strongly doubt I can ever approach life again with that much positivism and exuberance because I've lived through the worst that can happen. I'm a lot more free than I ever was before though, the only "things" I truly care about are the ones that are attached to memories of Tim. I like others and would like to protect my investments (specifically my new couch that Maddy treats as her own personal jungle gym) but I no longer would be devastated to lose things. My relationships with family members and friends are better than they ever have been before and I'm finally (slowly and kind of) learning to ask for help when I need it. Speaking of, if anyone is mad at their spouse please feel free to volunteer them over here, I'm always needing trash to be taken out, dishes to be unloaded, laundry to be done or a lawnmower to be tamed (it hates me as much as I despise it) as those were chores Tim took care of and apparently some part of my brain seems to think he'll still be managing them so I ignore them for awhile.

I'm slowly but surely starting to find a sense of peace within myself and am finding that maybe I do want to step into Tim's shoes to speak to others about iTOR and what they do and how they are helping our community. I hate publicly speaking almost more than unloading a dishwasher but I'm beginning to feel drawn in. I'll give it my first shot next Tuesday at an event in Tim's memory.

Tuesday is the day that iTOR will be dedicating their conference room (where Tim sat in countless Cancer Center Advancement Council meetings) as the Tim Bright Conference Room thanks to the incredibly generous donations by so many of you after his passing. I've been told that (if I understand correctly) those exceeded $100,000 and still trickle in from time to time. That's an amazing legacy to be left by Tim and I hope he would be so proud that his legacy continues. I know I am. I've heard the phrase "gifting begets gifting" and I can only hope that those reading the plaque about Tim's legacy as they walk down the hall will be inspired in some way by his story. I'll try to post a picture of it up here soon. 

Grief seems to be a very selfish and desolate emotion. I often forget that others miss Tim as much as I do and how much he made a difference in someone else's life. I just see life moving on without him here to enjoy it. I've had a few little reminders today that he's still affecting so many people and you've no idea how happy that makes me as well as how it pulls me out of my lonely little bubble to help understand that I'm not the only one wishing he was still here. Some days some stupid little stunt, i.e. me being asked to be in my new office's Fantasy Football Team when anyone who knows me knows just how much of a joke that is, reminds me that he's still getting the last laugh. I'm sure he's up there somewhere causing as much havoc as he possibly can.