I'm Struggling

Dena

I'm Struggling

Dena
I am really struggling these past few days.

I have spent the past month or so packing and now have everything packed other than what we will be using between now and the 27th when we move. Up to now, I think I've just been on autopilot, trying to get everything organized, make last minute decisions, line up movers that Rick will be okay with, trying to include him in the process, etc.

Now that everything is as done as it can be, I just feel empty and sad. All of our almost 16 years is packed away in boxes. Our entire life together now fits in one room, neatly organized and labeled. When I look around at the empty walls and nearly empty rooms, I can't help but grieve everything that has been lost. The living room that Rick remodeled, the corner section he designed for the wood stove we can no longer safely use, the rug that has a path worn down the middle from all the foot traffic over the years. The kitchen that was the gathering place for family and friends that Rick can no longer handle having around, the knicks on the countertop from where I taught his daughter to cook, the cupboards that were always overflowing with dishes and goodies, now lay bare and almost empty. The bathroom that we designed and remodeled ourselves as our first big project together, because everyone always said if we wanted to know if we could withstand anything to do a remodeling project together...lol.

The fancy vanity faucets, the once perfect shade of paint, now faded with time, the floor we spent hours "debating" now showing its age, that bathtub that was the bane of our existence now sits there almost mockingly at how our biggest problem was once as mundane as installing a bathtub. And our bedroom, that is almost my undoing. I look at that room and still remember the first night we spent together, I still see the outlines on the walls of pictures we chose, I see the outline of his gun rack and remember our fall hunting trips and gravel pit shooting practices, I look in our nearly empty closet and can't help but think of all the times he would ask how I could possibly take up so much room with my clothes and shoes. If he could only "see" it now, he would be proud that I've purged and donated at least half of my wardrobe.

I see those three holes I punched in the wall when we were prediagnosis and life was spiraling out of control that I purposely left to remind myself that even on my worst day, I'm so much better at coping than I was then. I know that this move is the best decision and it is very much needed.

I know that in less than two weeks we will have so much more room, a handicap accessible bathroom, a more open living space, and so much more, but there won't be the same familiarity and personality. This house is home because of us, this house showcased who we were, this house allowed you to walk through the door and get a glimpse into us. Little details here and there showed everyone that I loved cooking and baking, that Rick loved hunting, fishing, and 4-wheeling, that we loved to tackle a remodeling project and took the time to add our personal touches in the process.

The new house will be just that, a house, and even though in time I will make it a home, it will be a home that reflects who we are now, not who we were. It will show that Rick can no longer do carpentry work or safely handle guns, that his life now consists of pacing and watching TV in his recliner, that the once vibrant man who loved life now struggles to remember his own name. The man who once made all the decisions and commanded respect now needs me to tell him what he needs to do next and change his depends.

I know it sounds like I'm trying to live in the past, but that's not it, I just feel like I'm leaving behind that last part of the old Rick, and it's a lot harder than I ever thought it would be and I'm struggling.

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Dena

Thank you everyone. We are two days out from starting the move and as it gets closer, Rick is getting more anxious and unsettled. He knows we are moving, where we're moving, and why, but I don't think he really understands everything. Thankfully we are moving right next door, into the house he grew up in that we bought from his mother when his father passed years ago. It was all handicap accessible for his dad and his neurologist feels that, since the house will be familiar from his childhood, it should be easier on him than if I had opted to buy a new home. \n\nI'm keeping my fingers crossed and praying everything goes as smoothly as possible. It just started snowing here, so that will be one more bump in this already rocky road.

jan

Thanks, Dena, for taking the time to share your story. It is certainly understandable that you would feel empty and sad. In spite of that, it sounds like you are staying focused and getting done what you must for your husband's safety and well-being. Please keep us informed on how it is going.

Dena, your blog is very powerful. I can feel the grief, sadness, the loss, the acceptance,the transitioning and so much more. It is such a compelling slice of your life and I am moved by it. I understand your struggles and I know there is nothing I could say to ease your sorrow. I just want you to know you are not alone and thank you for sharing.