I made it! Today was my first day back to work, the start to what I hope will be a daily routine. I must say that it was fine and i’m not quite so sure what I was worried about. I guess I was more scared about the fact that my life is forced to move on..which is scary. After all of the packing and organization I did yesterday left me with a shotty night of sleep, I awoke feeling tired this morning. I was unsure how my fatigue would play into the day but it ended up being nothing worse than usual.
Throughout the day, I found myself checking my phone and email for a message from Ryan. Since he had been sick, he would spend the day at home and would typically send me a quick text checking in or with an update email on how he was feeling. I had to keep reminding myself that there would not be a text or email. I know this is sad right… Sorry no way around it. I try to be honest in my posts and sometimes it won’t be pretty. I made sure to get to work early in order to be able to leave around 4pm. I knew that I would want to start heading home around then to rest.
I came home to a stinky but urine and poop free home. Copper had an accident but since Rachel stopped in mid-day she cleaned it up. I suspect that the stench is lingering from the humidity. Good thing I made a small investment in a Scentsy unit. This thing really saves my nose. Prior to leaving this morning, I thought it would be a good idea to stay outside between the time I left until Rachel left for school. Here is the result of that:
Copper crying for his momma
Here he is now, tired out from his antics of being left alone. (Yes, that’s a Thunder Shirt)
Mom and Chuck are coming over tonight to help take some of Ryan’s things to Goodwill. Feeling better about the idea of parting with her personal belongings. Most of the items are clothing that I hope by donating, they will go to a good home. They will also help replace the mirror in my bedroom, the last piece of the room before the painting project is complete.
Today, I am thankful for: My coworkers, for not looking at me with that sad look and dreaded phrase..”How ya doin?” Being able to attend the Relay for Life this weekend, the strength of everyone at the event have really helped me to realize that I’m not alone. There are thousands of others in my community alone that are effected by cancer. Their positive and inspiring energy are wonderful. Finally for this song. I know it is intended to be about breast cancer but I feel that it applies to all.
Again, today I had high hopes for an afternoon of couch lounging and Lifetime movies. Reality: didn’t happen. I think that I am just too ancy to sit on the couch all day despite my overall constant fatigue. Part of my coping seems to be trying to keep busy. Here is how the day really went…
Woke up, ran a few errands which include purchasing a treadmill and going to Lowes. I had been scoping out treadmills for months. I enjoy running outside most but with the summer heat coming I thought I better move on the purchase. Plus I think that I deserve it. With Ryan being sick, it wasn’t really an appropriate time to buy one. For some reason, today was the day and I scurried over to the local sporting good store to make my purchase. To my excitement, they were offering free delivery and assembly and the model that I got was on sale.
I was in desperate need for a new weed wacker at Lowes. I believe that Ryan broke our last one but he swore to me up and down that somehow the trigger rotted away. ( The trigger was made of plastic and the unit was only two years old. What I think actually happened was that Ryan and the weed wacker got into it in the yard and the weed wacker lost. ) Anyway, I purchased a few other items for the yard and some bird seed. My bird feeder has been empty since the fall. The birds will be happy this week 🙂
When I got home, it was POURING. I must admit that I failed as a dog mom today. As I’ve mentioned before, Copper has separation anxiety. His symptoms include urinating on the floor when left alone. Aside from only leaving the house when absolutely necessary, if i’m only running a quick errand i’ll leave Copper to explore the yard on his own to avoid interior destruction. WELL a pop-up storm made it to the house before I did and Copper was SOAKED. I felt really really bad. He didn’t seem to mind too much.
Once we both dried off, I finished the bedroom painting project which I started in February. I had one wall left to paint and today was the day. It only took an hour or so but I had been dreading finishing the project. It is typically not my style to start something and take months to finish but due to Ryan’s health issues this project got put on the back burner. All I need is for the large mirror to be rehung on the wall and the room will be finished… for now.
When we moved into our house over two years ago every room in the house was painted the same beige color. We were slowly working to add color to a few of the rooms. So far the living room, kitchen and bedroom have been painted. Not sure if i’ll work on any other rooms soon but I had a thought to incorporate the accent gray from the bedroom into the bathroom off of the bedroom. We’ll see if I ever get to that. I have a few other projects that will have to come first.
ANYWAY, in order to move the dresser out of in front of the wall that was yet to be painted, I had to empty the drawers. So, logically, I emptied Ryan’s side and continued to empty his closet and overflow wardrobe out of the spare bedroom. I packed everything into trash bags to go to the Goodwill. I went a little overboard and continued to go through most of his things on the second floor and separate what I want to keep and what will be donated. Everything is currently in bags in the upstairs hallway awaiting pickup. I have to admit, i’m having a hard time putting my feelings into words right now. Sad just doesn’t cut it this time. The thought of his belongings leaving the house makes his death a reality. Not that I haven’t realized he passed but this makes it real, just like the thought of going back to work makes things feel real to me. I guess this is normal progression but who knows… certainly not me.
Today, I am thankful for: The sale at Dick’s on treadmills. Copper, he was ready to snuggle when I had a moment of weakness today. Chuck and his truck for coming to pick up my Goodwill donations. Ryan’s Grandma D. for always giving us photos of Ryan and his brothers as kids. I had a lovely time looking at them this afternoon.
Originally, I had every intention of laying around all weekend. I have been super tired recently and know that this next week back at work will be super tough. I had something to do mid day with the desire of returning home to an afternoon of cheesy lifetime movies. BUT, when I woke up this morning I realized that today was our town’s Relay For Life event. I had only been to one of these events several years ago and was not really been able to appreciate the meaning.
Me excited to go to the RFL
Copper excited to go to the RFL
I decided that there was no time like the present to attend. I planned to go with Copper but when my friend Noelle called and offer to go along I couldn’t resist. Once we showed up, I was super stoked that we got a sweet parking spot. The event website said that parking could be an issue and that there was a possibility that I would have to park at a secondary location and ride the shuttle. I wasn’t into this, either was Copper. Anywho, we arrived and ran into some friends before we even walked in the gate. Who were there supporting Krystal’s Kause. I didn’t have the honor of knowing Krystal but know her family. I was hoping that I would have a chance to catch up with Krystal’s family at the event. So that was good.
A few of Krystal’s luminaria’s
As I was approaching the gate, I didn’t see any other dogs. I was a bit worried because I wanted Copper to attend but turns out he wasn’t permitted. I was bummed but was fortunate that Noelle’s husband offered to pick him up and hang with him for the afternoon.
Noelle and Copper
Noelle’s husband picking up Copper
So once Copper was picked up, we headed in to the event for the second time. I stopped by the luminaria stand to purchase one for Ryan. Noelle and I made ours together. They had all kinds of fun accessories to decorate the bags but I know that Ryan would be pissed if I ‘girled up’ his bag. I can just hear him saying “Megan, why’d you have to make me look like a girl… not cool <insert eye roll here>” So, I opted for a blue marker, since he was fond of the color blue. Next year, i’m def. getting one early to glitz it up with a picture or something.
Me holding Ryan’s luminaria. Is that weird that I was smiling? I guess I was more proud that he was represented than happy. (No worries, I was rocking my sunscreen)
After this we checked out most of the booths and walked several laps. The overall positive energy at this event was amazing. It truly was inspirational and I felt proud to be apart of something so big. I didn’t participate in a team or volunteer but I hope to do something next year. We stopped at the Bark for Life tent. I got to talking to the man from the event and he revealed to me that he was Santa Paws during their Holiday photo shoot at our Vet’s office. What a coincidence because, we took Copper there this winter for his photo. 🙂
Look at my little cute man.
Anyway, we ended up staying for several hours chatting and enjoying the atmosphere. Eating some yummy ice cream from Bruster’s was a plus too.
In about an hour or so we are planning to go back to see the lumineria’s lit. In a way, i’m excited to see the beauty of the thousands of little candles. The meaning behind the candles leaves me speechless. To see them all lit and know that they are representing someone who has cancer will be amazing.
I’ll leave you with this if you can read it. I thought it was nice.
Today, I am thankful for the opportunity to attend such a lovely event. Also for the support of thousands of people who are working through the same obstacles as me. I would like to thank the organizers of this event, they truly are angles working towards a great cause. AND Thanks to Noelle for coming with me!
So when I started this blog, my intentions were to write something insightful each day. Yesterday I simply didn’t have anything that I felt would be a good contribution. Plus, I ended up having a beer or two in the evening with Ryan’s brother and was in no state to write. For all future purposes, i’ll refer to Ryan’s brothers as my brothers, not brother-in-laws.
As my week is winding down and i’m starting to mentally prepare to return to work, I’ve been thinking about how important it is to stay connected with friends and family. The past few months have demonstrated this concept but I hadn’t realized the importance until recently. Although I’ve lost touch with many friends and even some family members throughout the years I feel that now is the time to make sure i’m contributing to the relationships that i’d like to continue.
At Ryan’s memorial I was able to reconnect with several friends that I had recently lost touch with. For example a close girlfriend and I had recently lost touch over the past several months. Where we had once made an effort to checkin via email or text at least once a week we were now going months without speaking. I was beginning to think that she was just too busy to be my friend. Before this story moves any further, I must say that I am one of those people who occasionally has things fly out of my mouth without an internal filter. Anyway- she attended Ryan’s memorial service and while speaking with her a comment flew out of my mouth that went a little something like this.. “Wow girl, you have gotten bad at communicating, you should really work on that.” After I said it, I was thinking, oh shoot.. insert foot now. To be honest, I felt kind of bad that I said it but on another hand, didn’t, I wanted to call her out on her lack of friendship. Fortunately for me, she wasn’t mad and reached out to me a few days later stating that she wanted to make a better effort at communicating and that my comment got her thinking. I am happy to say, that we are going to work on things.
Also during the past weeks I have been fortunate to be able to spend a lot of time with my family and friends. I don’t have a good way to end this entry except to say that I’m planning to work on my relationships and hope that those i’m reaching out to will too. PS- Shout out to my NJ girl Katie.
Today I’m thankful for: A good meal with friends and family.
For those of you who don’t know me, you are probably asking.. Doesn’t this girl have a job? How does she have time for all of this blogging and dog loving? Well, yes, I have a job, I just haven’t been there in a while. I have been really fortunate to have been able to stay with Ryan while he was hospitalized. Oh yea, you bet I was that girl who brought her pj’s and slippers to the hospital. Thank goodness the hospital had a decent supply of cots and our local hospital always placed Ryan in a private room. There was ample room for me, my cot and all of my junk. If he was hospitalized, so was I.
Even when he wasn’t in the hospital but going to outpatient therapy each day, I was able to attend most of his appointments. I didn’t realize it at the time but despite Ryan being sick since February, we were able to spend some decent quality time together. I will be eternally grateful for those moments.
I’ll be going back to work next week. To be honest, i’m not sure how i’m feeling about it either. I really enjoy my job and the people that I work with but going back will be like going back to reality. The best way that I know how to describe my current state is ‘extended shock.’ Yes, I have been dealing with tons of grown up things that the typical 26 year old wouldn’t fathom but it will be weird. I like to describe myself as pretty outgoing. For some reason now, i’m finding myself dodging the neighbors or anyone else that have yet to learn of Ryan’s passing.
In trying to analyze this as I type, I guess i’m just a bit uncomfortable with going over to a kind-of-sort-of acquaintance and saying B-T-W, Ryan died last week. It’s awkward for both parties. I’ll have to let the cat out of the bag soon, I can’t keep pretending I just don’t see people or pretend to not notice that they are standing next to me because i’m wearing my ear buds. Little do they know, yes I can see them and i’m not really listening to anything in my ear buds, they are just a prop. Sometimes I find myself wishing that I had Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak. (NERD ALERT)
So, now that i’ve rambled my original subject for today’s post was supposed to be about a video I found in my travels last night.
This video brought a tear to my eye, not so much for the imagery but for the message. After watching, I did a little research on the David Cornfield Melanoma Fund. David Cornfield passed away from Melanoma and his wife, who happens to be the woman in the video holding the photo of the family created this fund to promote melanoma awareness and to honor David’s life. I though, how cool! Ryan and I had always talked about his wish to help spread awareness of this disease and i’d like to work toward this goal even though he is not with us. I want people to hear his story and I want people to stop saying things like ‘oh it’s only skin cancer.’ This video got my wheels turning and I thought it would be lovely to share.
Enough with the cancer talk today. You are probably chomping at the bit to hear about Copper’s day. Well our Poppy (my grandfather) came over today to tinker around near the ac unit. If you recall that the ac was broken, well now it’s fixed but Poppy likes to watch the repair person to make sure they are doing their job.
After this, we went to Chick Fil-A, a favorite pastime of Poppy’s. We decided to take the food back to his place since it was too hot to leave Copper in the car. One thing I should mention is that Copper has SEVERE separation anxiety! So it’s better to take him wherever I go rather then leave him at home. I’ll get into this in a later post. Here are a few photos of our Chick-Fil-A antics.
Copper, was watching me eat. For some reason he thought I wanted to share. He was wrong.
He wouldn’t have enjoyed by wrap anyway. He isn’t too fond of vegetables.