Friday, March 11, 2011

Ants in the Pants

Before Rick got sick, I loved reading and gardening.  I was so out of sorts after his death; I had no interest in anything I had been before.  Reading had always been an escape for me; I felt that I had to alert and couldn’t afford mentally to escape in a book.  I didn’t have much focus and suffered from a terrible case of the “ants in the pants”.  It is a horrible thing to always be abuzz about something, always shaking my foot, always looking around, always worried about something.

Our lawn mower was not working in the spring when the grass began to grow.  I took it out of the shed and tried and tried and tried but it was not cooperating.  Our grass continued to grow and since I had bigger fish to fry, it just grew some more.  When our grass in the front yard became completely out control, my neighbor (the landscaper) came across the road and did my lawn too.  I was so grateful and at the same time freaked out about it.

After Rick’s death I felt immobilized.  I just couldn’t bring myself to get to the store to get the mower.  Every time my neighbor cut my lawn, I could hear him out there and I would sit by the front door on the floor with my back against the wall and cry.  Jack asked, “Mom, what’s wrong?”  “James’s dad shouldn’t be doing the lawn; we should.” I replied.  I just couldn’t get it together.  Perhaps it was because the lawn had always been Rick’s domain or that I just couldn’t face it alone.  Either way, it was extremely painful to listen to the mower outside.

I didn’t plant any flowers and didn’t even clean out the flowerbeds; Rick and I had always done those things together.  When I came home, I saw a mess where pretty pink impatiens had always greeted me on my way to the door.  I didn’t care.  I could see no joy in digging in the dirt like I used to.

When Rick was dying, I was afraid of losing him completely.  It was a pleasant surprise to have his thoughts in my head.  I thought I might not feel like I had a road map for this new life but he was there in my heart.  I could hear him, not in the way you might think I was going crazy but in the same way that my parents’ voices were in my head from a lifetime of advice and wisdom passed.  I didn’t know his thoughts would still be mine; I hadn’t expected it.

Even though I had decided to move in a year, I was also afraid of moving from the house where we had made our home together.  The thought of leaving made think of losing those memories forever.  My boys were happy at the thought of moving closer to their cousins which was the plan.  We were only a mile away on Poplar Rd. but I wanted to feel like Jack and Matt were in the same neighborhood.  I felt I needed the security of family close by.  It was a year away and I could only concentrate on one day at a time as I navigated this world without Rick.


  1. I love the part about hearing Rick's voice and relating it to how your parents' voices are always in your head. When my grandmother passed, I experienced the same thing. The morning before her funeral I was looking in the mirror and checking my appearance. I was looking right at the mirror of her vanity and I could hear her say, "You like nice, Matilda".

  2. I have loved reading your story. I started about four hours ago and have just finished with today's post. I wish I could express myself as eloquently as you have but I wanted to leave you a note and tell you how special your story is and how mesmerized I have been reading it. You are a very, very special lady.

  3. @ Susan,
    I think that is what keeps them alive. As long as we have memories of them, they're still alive in our hearts.

  4. @Donna,
    Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. I had been feeling that it might be silly to post my story and then I read your post. I appreciate your supportive words. Thanks again for take the time to read my story.