Where to start, I know its been forever since the last post and I doubt if many if any aare still checking in but I feel that I need to a few things off my chest.
Needless to say the holidays were rough as I mentioned in the last post, the weather didnt make things any better. One of the worst winters here in Richmond in years. We had more snow in the last 12 months than in the last 10 years I heard one report say. The dogs loved playing in the snow. For some reason even though Rogue hates going out in the rain, and runs for cover when it thunders, both her and Jubilee love walking stading laying and even trying to catch snow flakes. Too bad they dont know how to shovel the drive way though. But the snows brought back memories of living in the apartment and walking Spike. Especially when we got our last big dump and you could lose the little guy as he walked, thank goodness for leashes.
Heather's father came out to visit the first part of February and fortunately our third straight snow storm actually turned to rain. There was plenty still on the ground to remind him of home. It was a great time, not that we really did much hung out saw Sherlock Holmes, went to a gun show. But it made me realize how lucky I am to have people like Will and Sharon. Like posting I am terrible at keeping in touch with those that are supportive and should be shot for it at times. They are always in my thoughts, I wish I could really let them know how much the mean and I appreciate them.
February 14th, Valentines day. OK lets be realistic it really sucked. Not only because Heather wasnt here to share it with but also because it was the 10 month mark since she passed. A double whammy if you like. I went to Starbucks that day, as I was ordering my drink the barista (Liz) asked if I had big plans and then caught herself and appologized. But what can you do it happened, there isnt any reason for someone to appologize and the more people do the more that I realize that I am not doing Heather or myself any good being stagnant. But February 14th also started the mental countdown to April 14th. Something that I tried to keep supressed but pop up every once in awhile (like 10 times a day). Fortunately work had me in overdrive to help, being short staffed that made more work for me and helped keep my mind (what there is of it ) busy.
Easter was antother strange holiday, I pulled the bunny ears out for the dogs but it just wasnt the same. I kept looking for the Peeps that Heather would let air dry so they were crunchy when she ate them.
The week of April 14th I was given a heads up that I was going to need to let an associate go, unfortunately it was scheduled for that day. I started to tense up the Friday prior and my staff and customers that know me could tell something was up. That Wednesday morning I was a wreck, I was no good to myself, the staff or my location. When my boss arrived around 9 am, I thought that it was so we could let the associate know that that was going to be their last day. Instead we went into the office began to talk and I broke, and broke very hard. I relived the begining to end with my boss, most of the time with my head in my hands and face red and covered in tears. I told him that I needed to leave when he asked if there was anything he could do. He covered my position I said my goodbyes and left. I was stumped I didnt know what to do or where to go.
As I pulled out of the garage I decided to retrace my steps that day last year. I started by going back to work went in and hung out for a bit. the lunch rush hadnt started yet so I was able to talk to the people I worked with. Once they started to get busy I left. I decided in the car that there were pages that still needed to be turned to close this chapter. I stopped at a local grocery and picked up 3 thank you cards and 3 dozen roses.
First stop MCV an the 8th floor. I had never came back to the hospital liked I planned to thank the staff like the clinic or oncology center. My chest grew tight as I pulled into the parking garage grabbed a card and a dozen roses and made my way inside. Walked passed the desk, got my ticket validated and made my way to the elevator. Nothing had changed except for the reason to be there. I still didnt know what my reaction was going to be when I got to the floor. I got off of the floor and caddy corner to the nursing station was Heather's room. I paused and as tears formed again I made my way to the desk. When I got there the nurses saw the roses in my hands and asked who the lucky lady was. Short simple and to the point I said that they were for you the staff handed off the rose and the card which inside simply said "Thank you for taking care of my Wife Heather A. Brown, 4-14-2009". I gave the best grin I could muster and turn to get the hell off of the floor. As I was waiting at the elevator, 3 of the nurses came around te corner to me. They pulled me to the side thanks me and told me how they remembered Heather and how great she was brave never any trouble. I recognized all three even though I never knew them by name. The one that I was really glad to see was the one who was with Heather's mom and I holding her wrist til the very end.
As bad as I needed to get the hell out of there there was a calming that came. Next stop was the ladies clinic.
For those of you who dont know the ladies clinic and oncology center are in the same building. I parked illegally in a pickup/dropoff zone grabbed the remaining cards and roses and headed to the oncology center. I got off of the elevator and made my way to the desk, flowers and cards in hand I asked if I could go back and see the girls. The receptionist as always with a huge smile buzzed me in. I got back to the treatment room it took aminute for the nurses that I knew to recognize me and come over. Again I was asked about the flowers and got the same surprised look when I handed them over we cahatted for about 15 seconds before they needed to get back to their patients. As one left she reached under the desk and pulled out Heather's pink umbrella and showed me.
Saying my goodbyes to the desk staff I made my way to the clinic side of the building, again I passed out the flowers and cards and asked for some reason if either of Heather's doctors were in. Doctor O'Connel was in the called back and they said she could see me in a minute. I waited in the lobby til called. You would be amazed at the looks a guy will get standing alone in a womans clinic lol. I was called and the nurse that took me back to an exam room was tellinig me how she remembered Heather. Good, bad indifferent or uncanny fate, the room that she took me to was the exam room that we were in when we were given the news. Not the most pleasant of feelings settled in my stomach.
Dr. O'Connel came in, it appeared that she had the makings of tears in the corners of her eyes as well. First she appologized for not making it to the celebration due to being on call. the we chatted but as I told her the only reason for being there was to thank her and Dr. Boreman for the care that they gave Heather, and treating HER and not a number on a chart. With that I left, surprising the car ws still there and no ticket and made my way home.
By the time I got home and let the girls out, gave them treats I went to the book case took Heather and sat on the couch. I looked at the cable box and the clock read 5:42.
One very important thing that I realized that day, I had supressed my feeling for a year trying to keep moving and yet was probably the worst thing I could have done. Not that I was in a kick up your heels good mood, but I was at a peace that I hadnt felt in a long long time. It still made me laugh that Heather found away out of tax day though lol.
The next few months have just been crazy busy at work not leaving much time for anything else.
Both Fathers day and Mothers day passed and I forgot to call or send cards out to people. Talk about feeling like crap, one of the responsibilities I havent completely taken over yet is keeping up with birthday, holidays, etc. involving cards or calls.
In June, antoher mental count down began. The day of the celebration. Even though I listen to Heather's voice mail greeting from time to time especially when I need a pick me up, It has been months since I looked at the pictures from the celebration. I opened the laptop and ran the slide show. Again I cried like a baby looking at all the people that Heather had touched and thinking of those that werent there that she had. I drove by parked but could not find my way into the library that day. Heather is still remembered this day at the library, I have been taking a little at a time books off of the shelves and donating them to library and each time a librarian will say how they remember Heather.
Now for the circle being complete, I didnt want to post anything until after last weekend. Last 4th of July Monday is when I lost my big buddy Gambit, damn do I still missi him. I know in my gut that he stayed long enough to get me through the rough parts before joining his mother and I will always be thankful for that.
In the words of one of Heather's favorite characters from the novels she read, Joe Pike, "Always forward never back". OK wife, time for me to move forward just keep me from being dumb. (and she thought her job was over HA!)
Which pretty much brings us to date.
Love you all
Scott Rogue and Jubilee