Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The New Widow Card

So there's this guy...he likes me and I like him
And when we are together, we giggle.
With him, I remember how much I like to laugh, the kind of laughter that makes my belly hurt.

And then
there's this other guy, who when he smiles at me
I can't say a damn thing intelligent.
The energy coming off of him says "Good kisser."
If only I could find the courage to see if I'm right.

And then there were those silly police officers
whose eyes followed me as I walked by their car.
So I swung my hips just little more than usual, I sashayed.

And it felt good.

I love men.

I adore how stupid they get or how bold I feel around them. How quickly they lose themselves in "Excuse me, can you help me? I'm so frustrated."

And now I see, really see that, I am free to love men and that the one I choose is lucky.

And I wonder, is it fun and exciting because I'm NOT that widow who is forlorn and missing her husband so much she can't see the men in front of her. Or is it fun and exciting because I am discovering the new Kim. The "this is what I have to offer" Kim?

It's fun to be that woman who looks at cute men and goes
"Mmm, mmm, mmmm."

I get silly and goofy but this time, 17 years after Art won my heart, I feel the control. I remember...(or is it that I am experiencing it for the first time?) that I am a woman. I glorious sensual 46 yr old woman.

Tall (sort of), beautiful and quick witted.

I know how flirt. How to lay my hand on a man's arm at that exact moment when we laugh, or to salsa with that flare or to say "I really appreciate your effort." and mean it.

I remember how good it is to know they're watching me, wanting me in their simple man ways.

I love what a smile will do for them, and how I can get that extra discount, the little favor, the phone number with that smile.

Somewhere I remember that power. It was the power I had over Art, only then I didn't believe him. I didn't believe that he really loved me on my "fat" days or my "I hate the world days."

And I see. That his love was kind and warm and even now it gives me the courage and the power to put new pieces into the new Kim. To say, "No, you are not right for me." To stay in myself in a relationship instead of in him in a relationship.

And with Art's love from those 17 years, this is what I think I am:

Funny and opinionated and smart. Driven to make a difference and I like to have fun, goofy, let's not get caught fun. I'm the don't-even-come-near-me-if-you-can't-make-me laugh or have never watched Monty Python or have not traveled to some place exotic gal.

I'm the emotional growth, spiritual person. So if you don't know what's in your baggage, if you don't believe in a higher power, if you have not done your work, if you have not fallen to your knees seeing all that you don't know, don't call.

I'm gratitude girl. If you have never appreciated the way your mail arrives 6 days a week, or how wonderful your nanny is or how on certain days, all the traffic lights are green, you won't even get my number.

And this body of mine?
Has the markings of a life well lived. It's sagging in the breast but has an ass that remains "young." This body has lose skin over it's belly. That belly comes alive and will writhe under just the right touch.....if you're lucky.

Did I mention that I laugh loudly and I will tell you when you make me mad? Did I tell you I love adventure but you will have to talk me into it?

I am all these things and I am not
all pretty, or all those things all the time.
I am stubborn and sometimes unkind. I have a quick, sharp tongue that few have been able to rival.

But it is who I am and
all good.

Art taught me that.

This is the new widow card.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Ashes to Life

Pallas and Ezra with Art in the box with the bow.

Last weekend......

We're at the ranch.
It's my cousin's place.
90 acres
horses, sheep, ponds, creeks

It's our second home. It's the place where we escape our noisy city lives. It's the place Art wanted to be sprinkled. I left part of him here in May 09, 1 month after his death. I left him in a box. That was placed above my cousin's book shelf.

Today was time to take some of him home to LA. And then spread him out here, down by the creek his favorite place at the ranch.

Ezra and Pallas wanted to see his ashes. So they took the box and sat outside with it.
We opened the box. And then Ezra touched his father.

"I want to keep some of the ashes with me." he said.

"That way I can keep daddy forever."

Sunday, September 19, 2010


"Mom, I wish Daddy hadn't died then you wouldn't have to do so much."

His statement came at the end of an argument about monitoring their Xbox use, something they bought by pooling their allowance and working jobs for neighbors.

I had just listed, in detail all that I have to monitor. The list was something like this

"I have to make sure you:
get up for school
eat breakfast
get ready for school
get to school
get picked up from school
get fed snacks
get fed dinner
get your homework done
get your teeth brushed
get to bed on time...and then
I paused for effect
I have to start all over again the next morning."

And after his comment, I feel like shit.

And then I hug him.

He smiles, gives me a kiss and I know that this burden that he carries as a child without a father will not be too big for him. He walks away returns for a quick hug and then says

"We'll be Okay. We already are."

It is then, on those words, I know he will be Okay. I know because he has that stubborn focus of his father and my tender heart.

He will be OK.

Sunday, September 12, 2010


Warning: This post may be unsettling. It was written in June. I didn’t post it because I didn’t want someone calling Child Protection Services, a threat that was made. Please know that I am better. Please know that I continue to fight and function. Please know that I am here.

I thought about it today.
And yesterday
Actually been thinking about it for 5 days straight.
Considering different ways to do it. Quick, painless ways to do it.

I’ve been thinking about killing myself.

The fact that I am writing about this means, I think….I am working past this feeling.

I hope.

This running of me, the running of my children’s lives, the running of my business, the worry of money, the worry of asking for help…..again and again and again.

It’s stretched me beyond ….

I am so thin, wispy…..

I can’t see myself.

Father’s Day, a school wide celebration called Moving Up Day, the death of a husband’s a friend, the running out of money, the knowledge again, that there is no protecting my children, just shielding them and offering them tools that I feel leave them ill equipped to handle life.

Tools to cope, where are mine?

I know suicide would be selfish.
I know that it is possible that my children would never understand.
And I know that I am in extraordinary pain.
And I know that dying would be quieter, easier and would end the pain. I know this is what my husband felt when during his battle with cancer he said to me

“I’m just so tired.

I just want to rest.”

And he did finally, get to rest.

I know that you, the reader may call me cowardly, a horrible selfish mother.

And you would be right and you would be wrong. The pain is so intense that I feel my kids would be better off without this monster mother I have become, roaming freely in the world, angry, mean, blowing up for no good reason at random. Spewing hate and self doubt, shame.

I find myself looking at another shopping list, listening to another bickering session between my kids, packing another lunch, making another play date phone call, trying to stretch $1 into $2 and then going to bed and doing it all over again the next day. I find it all too much. And I ask,

“Is this all there is?”

After the intense loss, after starting to be OK without him, after the grief has turned deep and mellow, is this all there is? Is this what I was fighting to get too?

I remember when Art and I would share the weekends. One morning one of us got to sleep in. For a few hours in a week, one of us got time to ourselves to do whatever we wanted to do. I remember we provided for each other with back-up, guidance, help, humor (I have forgotten what it feels like to have a really big belly laugh!) I remember feeling like I could fall down cause not only was there someone there to pick me up but to clean up the mess as well.

I’m not allowed to fall now.

The wave of grief has me so far down that swimming to air, if I knew which way was up, feels like it would take too much energy. Energy I simply don’t have.

My friend said, “Imagine BP (the oil company) losing ½ their staff during this crisis. That’s what happened to you. You lost half your staff when Art died and you were in crisis and still are.”

That makes me smile. It puts an image to the burden I feel.

He follows with “You need a break.” And I want to smack him. How do you take a break from kids who can’t stand to have you go away?

Everyone says “You need a break." and yet no one suggests exactly how that break is supposed to happen, nor do those words follow with an offer of help, in any way. It’s like the airplane thing when they say put the mask on yourself first. What if your mask is all tangled up, barely within reach, in knots?

I am tired. I have been beaten.

Uncle life, Uncle. You win.

I am no good.

I am no good to my children.

I am tired and I just need a rest.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Ours to Mine

Our wedding rings are no more.

His was so huge. My 6'6" husband had fingers that matched his size.
When he died, I removed his ring
and put it into the ring box that I kept my diamond in.

I don't remember when I took off my wedding bands.
Long enough so that wearing a ring on my "wedding" finger feels odd.

I needed something that would represent us, who we were, who we will always be.
Something that spoke to our commitment to each other, our fights, our love making, our sense of humor, our thought provoking, intelligent conversations.

Something that said moved 8 times, birthed two kids at home, had dogs, interrupted each other to read interesting or beautiful sentences from books. Something that said didn't like to be tickled, loved to hold me, incredible father, kind, endearing, stubborn. Something that spoke of our love of Monty Python, riding race bikes and moving our bodies in any form of athleticism only because it felt good. Something that spoke to our competitiveness with each other. Something that held our dissatisfaction of the world and our desire and actions to make it better.

I needed something that would not get in the way of my committing to someone else, but something that would remind me that yes I was fiercely loved for exactly who I am.
Yes, I was worth the time.

Something that will give me hope to being loved like that again ... only differently.

And so I had our rings, his wedding band, my wedding band, the anniversary band and the diamond he gave me, I had them melted and put back together, differently.

Just like me.