Thursday, July 29, 2010

My Old Man

The title of this post is the title of a Joni Mitchell song. I find myself singing these lyrics to myself frequently these days:
"the beds too big, the frying pans too wide". In this song Joni's man is gone singing in the park verses, yeah, well, you know.

There's so many things to try and adjust to besides the obvious; being so alone, lost at times, tsunami waves of pain. There's also learning how to buy food for one. After 31 years of stocking the 'frig for a guy who had a great appetite and loved my cooking I'm now faced with food going bad on me. I buy the smallest little thing of milk and have to remind myself not to grab the biggest bunch of broccoli. I guess the upside is I can now buy black olives and Brussel Sprouts as I like these but Jim didn't so I just wouldn't bother to buy them .... why? when I was the only one who would eat them? Well, yes, I'm the ONLY ONE who will eat them.

"The frying pans too wide" ....

The bed hasn't felt too big, to be honest. I have a dog who likes sleeping up there with me and tends to really stretch out thus taking up more then her share ... Jim would do this too. But the nights, ah .... people ask me "how you sleeping?" and I say "OK". Truth is, I no longer sleep deeply all night long. But I haven't done this for over 2 years while Jim was sick. If I'm not laying awake at 2:00 or 3:00 (or both) just thinking and unable to get back to sleep then I feel I've slept OK. Now, I'm awake often, aware of Jim's absence every time I wake, glad for this little fury beast who is so tactile, but feeling "me and these lonesome blues, collide".

In Mitchell's song she sings how when her old man comes home "and he takes me in his loving arms, and he tells me all his troubles and he tells me all my charms" .... painful reality for me. My old man isn't coming home, is he? I no longer have that one person who, simply, adores me. There is no one I can ask "which shoes should I wear?", or as Clapton sang in his song "she said, 'do I look alright?', and I say yes, you look wonderful tonight". That simple exchange between two people in love is so intimate, honest and trusting .... another tough new norm for me.

I still swear at God sometimes as this new life I am being forced to live just sucks so bad and I don't like the fact that I have to use a smaller frying pan. And maybe I don't really care if I look alright anyway.

Loving you all back -
PS - I do read all your comments. It means a lot to me to know you're out there! Thank you.


  1. My Leonard died February 25, 2010. I understand you. Keep writing and I'll keep reading. Yesterday was just like a step back to February 26. And here I thought I was making progress! LOL I can relate about the bed... Thank God for dogs.... they are good company. I don't undertand why my Chance can't answer back yet! LOL

  2. My mom passed away July 16. My dad is here with John and me but he leaves tomorrow and will be with my sister and her family til August 10 and then he will return home to Fla. Last night we saw Paul McCartney on a PBS show and the song Yesterday really affected my dad. So after 68 years of marriage and knowing my mom since 7th grade he goes back home to their condo alone. My mom had a lot of health challenges but my dad took such good care of her.
    I hope it won't be too sad for him and that he can do okay.
    I miss my mom too. Love you Mary. Rita RL