Thursday, June 19, 2014

Rainy Thursday.

I was awaken today by the heavy downpour outside. I can hear the raindrops beating rhythmically against the windowpane producing a chant of their own. "Stay in bed, stay in bed," over and over again. I can visualize the drabness of the day, the gray sky, the wetness of the street, the chill and discomfort of a rainy day. This is a perfect day to stay home.

Then I smiled knowing that rain or not, I stayed home most days in a self-imposed isolation anyway. Duh!

If you have been reading my blog, you know all too well by now that my loneliness had imprisoned me for the past four months. I made a conscious decision not to go out into the world and socialize. What for? I know that socializing with others would not automatically make me feel less alone or lonely knowing that I don't have that one person in my life who knows me better than I do. A sea full of people may help fill the void but it can not replace the closeness that I craved.

And since my isolation had prevented me to stay current with the goings-on in my town, how can I hold a conversation when I don't even have an interesting thing to talk about when I go out in public? I can't just comment about the weather all the time, can I?

My husband on the other hand was a well-read person with a high IQ that he could strike up a conversation with anyone on the face of the earth and hold his own on a wide variety of topics. I knew, because I watched him do it. He never forget anything he'd ever learned, read or saw. He has a knack of dishing out funny stories made up, or real. Of course, I know a little technique of engaging strangers in a conversation, I'm just not as good at it as he was. Sometimes I am able to threw a wise-crack in from time to time, but I am always an observer, not a participant.

Whoa...! The shrill ringing of the alarm intrudes on my journey of remembrance. I got out of bed as the heavy downpour now turned to drizzle. As much as I would love to spend this day indoor, however, responsibilities necessitate my going out. Today I have to take my car to the motor shop for an oil change -another one of those things I was forced to learn to do on my own. With Ken gone, I am faced with tackling tasks he did so well. Now you see why everyday I am constantly reminded of his absence.

On my way to the motor shop, the rain had stopped. All of a sudden I no longer felt the discomfort of the wet, miserable day. The gray drabness of the day had not changed, but it no longer appeared that way to me. I was oblivious of my physical surroundings, because I was thinking of the impact of yesterday's event. It warmed my heart to know that I have touched the life of someone I should have known three years ago. He is a revelation that I never expected to come in my most vulnerable time. Yet in the same breath had given me strength knowing that even with my husband gone, part of him will still be around.

I am home now yet the smile never left my face. I could feel the warmth of the sun hidden beyond those heavy, gray clouds.

Indeed the sun is always there behind the clouds...

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Dear Ken,

It’s Tuesday. I sit here wishing you would come through the door after a card game at the VFW.

I have many things to tell you. First and foremost, is that I am coping and I‘ve survived. That would surely make you happy because you always put me first, and wanted to see me secure and well. Even when you were struggling with your illness, you worry about me all the time. You knew how much I depended on you and how lost I'd be without you.

But I think you'd be proud of me as I am doing okay. This past month I did exactly what you told me to do. I sold the truck, the bike, the boat, the firearms, the shop. I have returned to work, and it felt good to be in touch with the outside world again.

Most important of all, I am still here at our home. I have no desire to move elsewhere. In fact, I have finished re-roofing the house and I am now getting on changing the sidings. I often find myself wondering what color would you have chosen, but then again I figure you will let me pick the color anyway. One of the worst regrets I have is that you couldn't have lived to see the new look.

I also felt guilty for inheriting everything you have worked for, your whole life. Even though I knew you arranged it so that I wouldn't have to struggle financially. Still, many times I felt bitter that you were cheated out of the years we planned to be carefree together. You wanted us to travel more, remember?

I miss you every day Ken, but I am getting better. I won't lie that this past weeks my feelings of misery was becoming less and less as you faded further into the past. I don't lay awake crying at night anymore, nor do I get up and roam the house, sobbing and cursing your untimely death. However, I do sometimes suddenly wake up early in the morning panicked and feeling something horrible has happened. Yet as I calmed myself, I would begin to realize that I'm okay, that nothing is wrong and I let my memories go from sorrow to joy, to our happy times together. But the one thing that will never go away is how I miss sharing every day's events with you. The small, insignificant, and the major ones too. I know mostly how you'd feel and respond, but still, I miss hearing you say it...and oh yes, I miss the comfort of your big bear hug, the overwhelming security of being wrapped in your strong arms.

Yet, as selfishly as I want you here with me, I would never have wanted you to have lived a moment in the kind of horrible pain and suffering that your illness would have caused you. I have accepted that your sudden death was a mercy granted you because you were a wonderful, caring, giving human being.
I'm not the only one who misses you. Both our families miss you and you live in their hearts as well. I have talked to so many people in the community who miss you too, and they always say they can't believe they won’t see you driving around town anymore. That is the legacy of a good man.

Yes, you are not perfect. You have made some bad choices in life, but who haven’t? I was not married to the person you were then, but the person that you have become.

I still love you Ken and I always will.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014


When Ken died I took the responsibility of caring for the things he left behind. I did not expect that it entails so many activities. That dealing with the practical matters regarding the estate can be very overwhelming.

But I won't bore you with the tedious legal process. I will instead talk about the excitement of the auction event I just had.

“Well Jedd, I do need to sell this shop, and everything in it. Tell me you can help me.”

I was talking to my auctioneer Jedd Dulas while standing in the middle of the shop looking at all the stuff that Ken had accumulated over the years. Tools hanging from wall to wall and equipment that covered every space of the floor. Ken do not only own many tools, he has three or more of the same item. There are items still in original boxes, and many still with price tags on them.

“An auction of this property and the items here will draw a good crowd, get you good prices and I can get this behind you so you can worry about other things.”

That's the reply I wanted to hear and I believed him.

Mick and Mike thought that auctioning off our property and everything in it will prove to be both convenient and successful. Besides, in a competitive buying environment, they believe that selling by auction is the best way to achieve true market value for our property.

And they are correct. As always.

I have never been to an auction event before so I don't know what to expect. But knowing that I am letting go of things that Ken had worked hard to own over the years made me emotional. So it is an under statement if I say I was feeling giddy and nervous the morning of the auction day. I was glad though that Mick, Mike, Pat and Jim were there to support me, and my son Cedric made sure he captured the excitement of the moment.

There isn't anything more exciting than watching a bidding war take place over our stuff. Like any typical estate auction, there are equipment, tools, construction materials, furniture, electrical items, firearms, vehicles, property … all sorts of things.

Looking around the crowd, I think that most bidders came to buy fairly specific items. There are those who came merely for construction items and tools, while there are those who came for the vehicles and still those who just want firearms and still others who came solely to bid for the shop.

Jedd started from the items on the trailers and worked his way to the bigger ones and concluded with the firearms. He stood in front of a crowd of bidders and recited the bid he has, and the bid he wanted in a rapid fashion. Items were sold in as little as 15 seconds … typically concluded with the word, “Sold!” I was mystified by the fast-talking and repetitive numbers bellowing through the air as the mood built up. I could not keep up with numbers. It was so fast I could not even make out where he was at, by the time "sold" was called. Maybe that's just the way it should be so he can keep the bidders attention and get them emotionally involve. The fast rhythm seems to suggests an urgency, and sends out a message that one need to make a decision quick.

And quickly they responded, hence despite the massive number of items to sell, it was over by three in the afternoon. I was pleased by how my auction turned out. Everything was sold and I know those things will be put to good use by those who have bought them.

Now that is over, I can start worrying on other things...


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