I was driving up to my store tonight and a new sign had gone up today at the front of what had been the town’s bowling alley. I drive by the place every time I go to my store. They bowling alley had been totally gutted and remodeled inside and out. I had no idea what it was going to be. I rarely look at our local newspaper, and since my store is closed, I am totally out of the loop.
I had been watching and trying to guess what was going into that building. I decided it was going to be an outlet for alcohol. Then, they started erecting a canopy that wrapped around the building. Next two large flag poles appeared. Ah, ha. Then, it hit me. I told Shelby it looked like it might be a V.A. Hall. like the one over in Lubbock. The old V.A. Hall down in the park was used for lots of activities, so this makes sense, especially since people can now buy beer and wine even in the grocery store and Walmart.
Tonight, I saw the sign. The new business will be the Kingsridge Funeral Home. The wrap around awning now makes sense for in climate weather. Plenty of parking. Back doors that are probably for access for the caskets. Maybe even for the cars. The place is huge.
Kingsridge Funeral Home. Patti was cremated at Lakeridge Funeral Home in Lubbock. How ironic that the names are similar. How ironic that the location, big as it is, will be in my direct path to my store down at the square. I was up at my store four times today , twice since Shelby came home tonight. On my final return, I told Shelby the name of the place and all at once it hit me that it’s a funeral home.
I had promised Patti that she would not have a funeral in this little town. She did not want people staring down at her in a casket. I shared her feelings about not wanting a funeral. Patti’s body was picked up the night she passed. The following night, Shelby and I went to see her and then Patti was cremated later in the evening. A week later, we picked up her ashes that were stored in a beautiful box with her name engraved, and she now rests here in the living room, where she can always be close to us. How ironic that overtime, I go downtown, I will be reminded of her, as if she will be forgotten.
When Shelby was driving to work this morning, a song came on. Part way through the song, she had to pull over to the side of the road where she sat and cried. When she told me about it tonight, she played the song for me, then we both cried for awhile. Some days are better than others, but so far, there really are no days that I am not upset before the night is over. We are both still New Grievers, so it’s all okay.
Tonight, I found two more boxes of knitting yarn that Patti had purchased without my knowing about it. I sort of overlooked her yarn purchases. It was her hard-earned money. She never took vacations. She never took even one Summer Semester off. She worked both semesters.
I think she planned on knitting and cross stitching during her retirement years. Alzheimer’s Disease stopped all her retirement. She got to the point where all she did with the yarn was roll the skeins into balls. Then she would place them in pastic zip-lock bags. Sometimes she would take one out and start a knitting project, but then stop. A few minutes later, she would be rolling more yarn into balls. I remember when she got to the point that she could not knit at all. She had hundreds of patterns that she collected. She simply could not read her notes or count the stitches.
It was just one more activity the Alzheimer’s Disease robbed her of before she died.
I remember walking around Kim Village, Okinawa, now Japan. I remember the little shops, the clubs, the little stores. I remember sitting on a rooftop and cooking chicken wings on an open fire. We just threw the wings in the fire and waited until the skin was good and black. We would sit up there, eating chicken wings, drinking cheap Akadama wine, and watching the sun set over the ocean.
We made the best of each day, never knowing if the next day we might be flying over to combat in Viet Nam. Somehow, those were good evenings I think it may have been the fact that we did not think we would be returning to the U.S.A. As Marines who were taught that most of us would die in Viet Nam. We were trained to be “lean, mean fighting machines.” We had lots of friends in the village. We made friends with the shop owners and their families. We knew the local police and frequently helped them stop problems with some of the Marines who were there on R&R for a couple of days. We made friends with the girls who worked in the night clubs. We learned not to judge the ladies who worked in the bars. They were simply doing what they had to do to survive.
I remember the cool evenings as the breeze drifted in off the ocean. The evenings after dinners, the locals sat outside and while the children played, music could be heard from many houses. I came to love the music of the different instruments. Many evenings we sat on top of the houses, listened tothe music, and sat in Lotus positions and meditated.
I remember the smell of the various foods that were being cooked around the village. Most of what I ate was really good, but there were some foods that were disgusting to smell, see, or taste.
Those were good times.
I have hung on to this for many years. I think it’s about time to cut and polish some cabochons.
This is a picture of a Coconut from Las Choyas, Mexico. I cut it in half on my 14″ Barranca Rock Saw.
I have lots of Coconuts and Thunder Eggs to cut. I am currently waiting on a 15″Lortone Flat Lap Polisher to arrive. It is not new, but I am hopeful that it will still get the job done. It’s a double decker, which will be nice to have too. I will be cutting some large rocks which I have bought from Rock Hounds who sell online. I am looking forward to being able to flat lap polish some of the larger slabs. I already have a horizontal flat lap machine and a slanted flat lap machine for smaller pieces.
I love cutting rocks. I feel so fortunate to be the first person to see what God has hidden inside these ancient marvels.
Seems like everyone has a suggestion about how I should return to daily life. I am not ready. That’s all there is to it. I’m just not ready. I have not given up on life. I am actively setting up a jewelry studio and a lapidary studio in my home. I am preparing to venture forth into daily life soon, but not quite yet.
Grieving has been horrendous. I think I would have been doing better if the doctor had not decreased my sleeping medication. I was taken off of it cold-turkey for a couple of months right after my wife passed away. Once the doctor finally decided I could take my sleeping medicine again, she only prescribed half my effective dosage. Now, I have trouble going to sleep. Then I wake up frequently. I am awake every morning when my daughter leaves for work. I don’t remember the last time I had a good dream. I wake up tired and not feeling like doing anything. I have to force myself to bother eating breakfast.
I spent the last few days attempting to delete pictures off my cell phone, but they keep coming back. I have moved copies over to a web site for storage. I think I will go back to using a camera, instead of the cell phone. I may start making some short videos out in m studio. I have most of my jewelry supplies and tools more or less in place. I still need to add flash back arrestor on my Little Smith Torch. I will order one next week.
Of all the silly things I have to do this weekend, I have to set up a mailbox out at the curb. Apparently, our mail carriers are insisting that we move our mail boxes from our porches out to the curb. It’s kind of silly since so many cars are parked on the street. It’s not like the carriers can stop their trucks in front of the mail boxes with cars in the way. It’s just one more way the Postal System is trying to save money. I am not happy about our mail being out at the street for just anyone to steal.
I don’t know how to get back to my daily life just yet. I still have so many pictures to save to the computer. I have so many of my wife’s possessions to work my way through. I can not even imagine being done by the end of the year. For all I know, at the rate I’m going, I may not be done a year from now. It’s difficult to be reminded a thousand times a day of the suffering of my wife as she made her journey through Alzheimer’s Disease. I have so many pictures to remind me of her day-to-day trials and tribulations. I keep thinking I should have done more. Then my daughter tries to tell me, I did more than what was expected.
I guess this is my daily life for now. It kind of sucks.