Thursday, September 24, 2015

Fall Sadness, Holidays, and a New Wardrobe

I'm loving the fall weather, but fall is bringing up some unpleasant memories.  These last 4+ months, I've worked hard to squash memories of Rudy being sick and instead, have tried to train my mind to switch to memories of happy times.  I'm having less success now and I suppose it's inevitable that the next few months will be pretty much a minefield.

I suppose I need to start reading lots of articles like this.

October is the month that Rudy first thought he had bronchitis.  He went to the doctor and had x-rays.  They found a tumor.  November was the grim diagnosis and the beginning of the merry-go-round of tests and chemo.  Every holiday has a memory of sickness.  Every holiday will also have a memory of happy times in past years.  Rudy loved the holidays.  Will I ever be able to love them again?  I'm so mad at myself for feeling this way.  I've been brilliant at controlling how I look at things and now I'm losing my control.  I'm absolutely dreading Thanksgiving and Christmas.  I swear, if it weren't for all my pet craziness, I'd leave town.  I want to run away.

Seriously, I do NOT want to ruin gatherings
for everyone by acting like this!
This little crying girl cracks me up.
See how I'm able to have fun even while being pitiful?

Also, in the fall are two family reunions.  Rudy loved those even more than holidays.  I don't know why, but I think I'll be able to handle those a little better than the holidays.  I keep wondering why and just have no idea.  They'll be sad, but I don't feel like I could have a meltdown.  Just the thought of Thanksgiving and Christmas makes me feel panicky.  There is a tiny little doubt in my head about these reunions.  What if I just think I'll be OK, but get there and lose it?  Darn it.  Where has my mind control gone?  I'm doing exactly the things I know not to do.

Another weird thing I'm having trouble with is my wardrobe.  So many of my fall clothes have memories attached to them.  How shallow is that?  I wore this sweater when Rudy was told he was going to die and there was nothing they could do.  I might as well toss that sweater if I can't get myself under control.  I wore that outfit to his first meeting at CTCA.  Every fall and winter thing I have is associated with chemo and doctor visits and scans and emergency room visits.

I've been buying new clothes like crazy.  You may think I've suddenly become a style maven, but there's a bit more to it than that.  I'm trying to make the buying process fun and I'm trying to find things I can love wearing, but it's not exactly a happy fashion transformation.  It's a necessary fashion transformation.  Last year's clothes make me cry.

I really believe that after I get through the rest of this year I might be able to turn a corner and focus on joy again.  I'd like to turn a corner before then.  I'd like to figure out how I can be present at holiday gatherings without ruining them for everyone else.  I can't believe it's only September and I'm worried about that.  That's stupid!  I don't like doing stupid things.  I need to snap out of it, right?

Here's something that occurs to me, showing that karma's a bitch.  I can remember seeing widows throughout my life who suddenly spruced themselves up and/or suddenly began redecorating or moving to a new home or going on trips or doing happy things.  All sorts of things occurred to me - they must not have loved their husbands all that much, they must have inherited a bunch of money, they must be thinking about getting another man... the judgmental list goes on. (I will say that I was more judgmental about it when I was young and had gotten a bit more understanding in the last few years.  Still I racked up a good bit of widow-judgment karma in my twenties, thirties, and forties.) Well, here I am, right smack in the middle of the things I judged.  I get it now.  I understand ALL the reasons now.  Lesson learned.  Don't judge me. I personally care very little if you do, but for your own sake, just remember... karma's a bitch.