Thursday, June 28, 2012
I am so ready to heal and move on. Today my daughter and I ordered the monument for Stephen and my graves. It's pretty much identical to my grandparents', my parents' and my oldest brother & his widow's headstones. The only difference is that I want religious symbols instead of flowers on the top corners. Because marrying has fallen out of fashion, my maiden name will appear in brackets whereas in the past it was just assumed that the marital name at the top of the headstone was the woman's last name and the maiden name underneath was for clarification of who her parents were. As Stephen is buried in my family's cluster of plots, it helps explain why there's only one Demitroff in the cemetery. I also used full dates instead of just the year of birth and year of death because my mother was into genealogy in a big way and I've inherited 5 filing cabinet draws of her research notes. Don't have a clue what I'll do with the information. Think my mom was hoping I'd write a novel based on Lord Selkirk's Baldoon Settlement. My father used to walk the dike all the time looking for any holes created by the muskrats. Now that it's reverted back to wetlands, there's a pond instead of a field on one side of the dike and the river on the other side of the dike. Today it was my first day as the walker of the dike. I want the river wildlife to accept me as part of their ecosystem and that won't happen until they learn I can be trusted. Yesterday I wore a dress instead of jeans. I suppose it was because my mother and grandmother always wore dresses and I did too until I went to university. Girls weren't allowed to wear slacks to either elementary or high school during the '50s and '60s. Actually it was considered provocative if one had a jiggly bum so it was girdle or garter belts until some genius invented pantyhose. On a farm it was more like Jane Austen. My grandmother was born in 1880 so she was a Victorian and Victorians had to be ready at a moments notice to look like the farm could support ladies of leisure who read a lot, played the piano and raised money to keep the church doors open and send aid to even poorer women in other corners of the world. All those years of women's lib and this apple has rolled back under the tree it came from.
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
The 5th month of widowhood was really hard. It was when deferred deadlines started piling up. Despite working every day on the move, I hadn't made near the progress I'd expected. My daughter says I overthink everything rather than taking a risk and just going for it. My number 1 priority was keeping my health stable which was achieveable. My number 2 priority was moving. That was a more difficult goal. The pain of living amidst Stephen's stuff and the pain of closing the door on that whole married chapter of life were paralyzing. Not wanting to leave and not wanting to stay were powerful equal and opposite forces. Finally I ended the deadlock by getting on a plane and flying to Halifax. My husband only flew to the East coast for the wedding and my son and his family now live in a totally different area of Nova Scotia so there's little of Stephen here. Two weeks away has been very healing. Between the German Shepherd and the 15th month old toddler, the present moment is always in focus. The next priority is figuring out the family dynamics now that one key member is no longer with us. Up to this point, the family has been consistently expanding with the marriages and grandbabies. Now my adult children have to be solidly adult as does their mother. We're all transitioning to new levels of maturity. We can do it - it's just a matter of acknowledging the leadership skills that we've acquired over the years but have never truly affirmed in each other because Stephen was our patriarch.