|There were happy times!|
|And there were sad times.|
I don't remember too much about January, 2013. I just know it was cold. The weather was cold. My life was cold. My husband of 23 years continued to not speak to me though we lived in the same house and slept in the same bed. He had not spoken to me in months and we crept about the house avoiding each other. I avoided him because it was painful that he would not look at me or speak to me. If I asked him a question he would shrug, nod, shake his head, and sometimes give a one word answer. We were on different work schedules so it wasn't too hard to avoid him most of the time. He avoided me, because, from my own deductions, he just didn't love me or want to be around me anymore.
February, 2013 wasn't just cold, it was frigid! It rained, snowed, iced over. The coldness inside our home continued to freeze also. Trying to talk about the situation only brought anger, yelling, and more coldness.
|Snow, February 2013. Rabbit Farm Road. Loganville, GA.|
|A visit from Amber, Abel, Greyson and Jessica. February 2013.|
March, 2013, was a time for decisions. I decided I could not take my life as it was anymore. I informed my husband I would be moving out in one week for a formal separation. I think he was very relieved. I moved into a small, three bedroom house that was built in 1936. My daughter, Jessica, moved with me. She had just graduated from UGA in December and moved back home. Having her with me during the move was a blessing.
Right from the start, moving out was a challenge. For 23 years my husband had paid all the major bills we had. He was 100% an excellent provider in the way of a home, cars and repairs, and so much I cannot even list it all. My part was providing our health insurance, groceries, car insurance, cable bill, my own and my children's extracurricular activities. But now I had to pay rent, all the utilities, food, etc. for me and Jessica, as at the time she was not working. It was tough.
Thank God for my family, who swept in with trucks and arms and loaded up all my furniture and belongings I needed immediately and brought it to my new home. They also cleaned the new place and helped clean the old place. I did not take everything from the house. I took a bed that was Amber's when she lived at home and the dresser that goes with it. I took the love seat and a tv that my husband had given me for our bedroom years ago. I took the kitchen table and chairs and a few odds and ends furniture that my stepdad had built for me. I left him the rest of the living room suit (couch, book shelves, end table). I left him our bedroom suit. He had his own tv and computers and other odds and ends furniture. Jess had stuff we could use from her apartment in storage. We brought her microwave oven, toaster oven, big screen tv, and other items that we could use.
Slowly, by careful management of my money and being very frugal, me and Jess made a new home in our little bitty house.
|Mine and Jess' new home. March 2013.|
|Me, Amber, Abel, Greyson and Chris. Easter 2013.|
|My Grandson, Greyson, celebrated his 2nd birthday with a party at Burger King.|
April, 2013 brought with it the news that my husband was filing for divorce. We only had communication through texting and a very few emails. We worked out the details of our divorce that way, as my attempts to call him were ignored.
I tried very hard to stay busy. Trying to cram a three story house and over 20 years of collecting stuff into a one story house kept me quite busy. I took stuff to Goodwill. I gave stuff away. I had a yard sale. I tried to find a place for everything I couldn't bear to part with. Whew!
In the meantime, I tried to have a normal life and tried to make things normal for Jess and my older daughter, Amber, and her family too.
|Jess, friend Paige, Amber and me - The Color Run Atlanta.|
|Greyson and Abel. Abel trying to catch up with big brother!|
|Weiner Roast at my house to thank my family for helping me in my move.|
In May, 2013, my brother Bobby, and his wife, Faye, have a graduation party for their son, my nephew, Cody. It is a happy time for Bobby and Faye, in an otherwise hard time for them. Bobby was diagnosed with stage 3 lung cancer in 2012. It was his wish to live to see his son graduate high school. No one knew for sure he would make it. He did, plus got to be at his graduation celebration!
|Cody and Faye at his graduation party.|
|Me and Jess at the little free zoo in Athens.|
|Greyson looking at the bears at the free zoo in Athens.|
|A beautiful flower...me and Jess visited the Athens Botanical Gardens to try out her new camera.|
|Abel at a kids' play zone at Athens Square Mall.|
June, 2013...the divorce is final. It's weird to think about saying vows and at the time, you mean everything you say. Till death do we part. I guess at the time you beleive it and you mean it. He really seemed to. You feel like you let God down. But what choice did I have in the matter. I had asked him to go to counseling and he said no.
I got to go with Amber and Chris to St. Simon's Island for a week. Jess went along too. We had a lot of fun going to the beach, the pool, site-seeing, shopping and eating.
|Amber and Jess at the beach, St. Simon's Island.|
|Greyson on the beach.|
|Abel on the beach.|
|Bobby. 48 years old.|
My brother Bobby celebrated his 48th birthday.
July, 2013...Summer is in full swing. Me, my Aunt Judy and Mama went to the fireworks celebration in Auburn, Georgia. I guess that was the high light of the month. Still trying to get used to being a 'single' person again. I did venture out to bars with friends. But nothing and no one interests me.
|Abel and Greyson looking out the window into the back yard of their home, which is the woods.|
August, 2013. The hottest part of summer arrives and Jess and I do well keeping our house at a comfortable high 70-something degrees. We are still learning how to live on the cheap. We rarely splurge on anything. If we do, its usually a meal out or a movie.
Even though Jess graduated in December, she is still taking classes over the summer. She is taking classes required in order to apply for nursing school. This is what she is shooting for. So a couple of times a week she is in class and on line classes too. And she got a job! It's her first 'real' job and she got a good taste of how it is to work with a bunch of women of different ages, different ethnic backgrounds, and different stations in life.
I have my good moments, and my bad moments. Then I have my really, really, bad moments. I am not sure it is my husband I miss, because he had become so distant and shut off from me, how can I miss that?
I did and still do miss the man I married. The man who worked so hard to earn a good living so we could have a nice home and nice things. I miss the man who liked to go to movies and out to eat with me and the kids. I miss just having him in the house, not so much to do things with, but just feeling safe, even if he is upstairs in his office half the night.
I miss my bedroom at my old house. I had painted it blue. Three walls a beautiful, ocean inspired blue. The fourth wall a darker shade of the same blue. My picture 'The Meandering River' over the bed. My bird pictures on the walls. The closet I hated because it wasn't big enough, and the bathroom, because it was big enough.
My husband, since early in our marriage, stayed away from the house during the times we were mostly awake. He slept late in the mornings and got up after we had all left for work or school. He worked late and mostly didn't come home until we had all turned in for the night. During the times he did come home before our bedtime, he stayed in his office upstairs working on some project or another and didn't come to bed till we had all been asleep for hours. Sometimes, it felt as if I were not married at all, except he provided us a nice home and kept everything in working order and good repair.
I'm not saying he wasn't EVER home when we were. Except for certain times during our marriage, he was always at home at night. I had given up years ago trying to stay awake until he got home. It woke me up when he came to bed at 10:00pm, 11:00pm, midnight, or later. But in the last few years, it no longer woke me. I didn't know if he had come home or not until I woke the next morning.
Friends and family said they could never live that way. I would have said that too, except the changes were mostly gradual, so that you really don't realize it's happening until its too late. And then, when you bring up the fact you don't like how things are, you are asked, Why is this a problem all of a sudden? I guess that's a valid question.
My girls played sports and were involved in all kinds of activities and clubs over the years. Amber played basketball from the time she was in 3rd grade to 8th grade. Jess tried many sports...soccer, swim team, basketball, tennis. She was also in scouts and school choir. My husband rarely attended any of these events. I mentioned it to him one time, he said he didn't mind them being in sports and clubs and stuff, but he never cared for sports and had no interest in watching sports. Ok.
|Greyson and Abel play outside on a hot August day.|
|Catawba worms. Gross!|
|At least something good comes from disgusting caterpillars!|
|Fascinating spiders abound in August...Cellar Spider. Or as we called them as kids, Writing spiders.|
September, 2013...We celebrated Abel's first birthday at Chik-filet. It felt good to have friends and family around us again. With all the sadness going on in my life...a divorce, the death of a new friend, my brother battling cancer, it was nice to have some happiness going on.
|Happy Birthday to Abel, with Poppa Mahaffey, Chris (Dada), Cow, Amber, Greyson and Granddad Tim.|
|Greyson, Amber and Abel on the paddle boat at Fort Yargo.|
|Greyson and Poppa at Poppa's house.|
|Abel enjoying time with Poppa!|
October, 2013. Things were going okay in October...but things changed. My brother's cancer had, over the summer, seem to be under control. But in late September he got news that the trial drug he had been taken had not been able to stop the cancer from growing. He had tough decisions to make. Stop all treatment and live as long as he could without being sick from treatments...or try a new, stronger chemo, that would make him feel bad, but might help him live longer? I know he struggled with this decision. But I think the desire to live and to be with his wife and son longer helped him decide to try more treatment.
Me and Mama had decided to go to Faye and Bobby's house that Sunday. We took them a meal I had made for them. Bobby lay on his cot in the living room and he never got up while we were there. He would respond to questions with a nod or smile, but he never really sat up, opened his eyes, or talked. Faye explained to us he was weak and tired. The chemo had made him very hoarse and he had a cough. When we were leaving I heard him cough and commented on how terrible it sounded. I thought maybe he had pneumonia.
The next morning my sister-in-law had to call 9-1-1. Bobby was not getting oxygen. By the time she saw him in the E.R...he was already turning a dark color. When me and Mama got there, I was shocked by the dark grey and black his skin was, especially around his eyes and mouth. They were just going to start to intubate him when we arrived. The hospital in Winder got him stabilized and he was transported by ambulance to Athens Regional Hospital. Shortly after he arrived there, he passed away. It was one of the hardest things I've ever gone through. But for my sister-in-law, Faye, it was the WORST thing she had ever gone through.
My brother was buried on October 17th. Again, the family gathered, but more of them, and from farther away. Bobby and Faye's friends gathered. Friends of all members of our family gathered. We cried. We laughed. We remembered.
|Brother Bobby, about 3 years old.|
|Bobby, Christmas 2012.|
|Greyson and Abel...growing so big!|
|Abel at the pumpkin patch.|
|Greyson and his silly self!|
November, 2013. A time for Thanksgiving. Amidst all the pain and hurting, there is time and opportunity to forgive others and to forgive yourself. Did I hurt someone? Did I do enough? Did I make the right decision? And what if....what if....what if? If only...
Jessica found a new job...a really good job, doing something in her field that she went to school for (Biology). Her new job is about an hour and half away from where we live in Winder, so she moved to be closer to her job. And closer to her boyfriend. I am a true empty nester now.
Again, I struggled with losing someone. But no young adult wants to live with their parents forever, and I totally understand that and totally support her in her move.
This is house is small when people come to visit. It is big when you are home alone. I can hear every creak, bump and rattle. I have a very hard time sleeping at night. I stay up as late as I can, watching shows on Netflix. (I cannot afford cable right now. Netflix is only $8.00 a month and its powered by the internet I already have in order to have the computer). I watch Frazier every night. It is my routine and it helps me keep my sanity. I don't know what will take Frazier 's place once I have watched all the episodes. I will deal with that when it comes.
I am trying to continue watching the stuff me and my husband watched together, and stuff me and Jess watched together. It is sad, but comforting too.
Me and my girls celebrated Thanksgiving a week after Thanksgiving, in the North Georgia Mountains. It was nice staying in a cabin and getting out and roaming about during the day. Jess came for one day, I was there three. Amber, Chris and the boys stayed the week. We ate T.G. dinner at Glenda's in Cleveland. We walked around Helen and Dahlonega. We did a tiny bit of Christmas shopping.
I also went on a one day girls' outting to the mountains with my cousins in November. We ended up in Cherokee, N.C. and I spent $5.00 at the casino, but found some good Christmas gifts in shops on the way there and back.
The cold weather came with November. I cannot afford a big heating bill, so I keep the thermostat low. Amber and Chris like that! I walk around with sweaters and scarves on. But the bills get larger and the paycheck does not, so I don't mind throwing on extra clothing and a heating blanket.
|Abel playing with train set at Georgia State Fair, Perry.|
|Greyson at Georgia State Fair, Perry.|
|Greyson and Abel at cabin in Cleveland. Thanksgiving.|
|The boys in Helen, GA.|
|Jess and Amber. Helen, GA.|
|Amber, Chris and Greyson. Thanksgiving dinner at Glenda's in Cleveland.|
|Cherokee, NC - mid November.|
December, 2013. Christmas. A time to celebrate the birth of our Lord, Jesus Christ. A time to hurry. A time to use your credit card. A time to spend with family, more family, your other family, and friends.
We started the month with Granny's Girl's Christmas Tea at my daughter, Amber's. She lives in South Georgia so we all trekked down there with sleeping bags and pillows to party and slumber. It was a lot of hard work but it was all worth it because we laughed, ate, and had a blast.
The weekend before Christmas, Amber, Chris and the boys, and Jess came over and we celebrated Christmas. Then we visited with Mama so the boys could see 'Granny'. We finished off the weekend with Christmas dinner at my brother Edward (Bo) 's house with a visit from Santa (which scared the boys half to death) and everything.
I spent Christmas day with my Mama and brother and sister in law came over too.
|Jess, me and Amber|
|Me and Santa Clause|
|Chris, Greyson, Amber, Abel and Mama|
|Amber, Grace and Jess|
|Greyson and Abel...Santa came to Mimi's house|
|Granny's Girls Christmas Party, front row, me and Stacy, Middle Row Amber, Jess and Annette, back row Michele, Judy and Sharon|
|My brother's Memory will live forever in our hearts.|
|My Trigger Thumb Release Surgery was in early December. All healed up now!|
I am finally kind of getting used to having the house to myself. I watch what I want to watch on t.v. I eat what I want to eat and don't cook if I can avoid it. I took over the bedroom Jess used when she lived here. I keep the heat on very low and it's helped the cats fluff up a bit. I rarely have visitors, but its ok. I have always been a bit of a loner. By choice? By nature? I don't know. Maybe I learned it?
I celebrated the New Year at home by myself under a heated blanket and having a Breaking Bad marathon. I'm on season 5. I was supposed to be in South Georgia with my grandsons for New Year's Eve, but my car broke a week ago. It's in the shop waiting for repairs. So I am home.
The fireworks at 12:00 a.m. freaked my two cats out and they turned on each other and had a hissing and growling and howling match. Fun Stuff!
It is time to let go of 2013 and embrace 2014. I am hoping to continue to heal from my divorce. I'm hoping to line my empty nest with soft and fuzzy stuff to make a more loving, enjoyable home. I'm hoping to get a raise at work this year. It is my goal to get my car is good working order and spend the rest of my life paying off the credit card bills it will take to do that. I plan to spend more time with family and friends. I hope to help my sister-in-law recover from losing her husband, my brother. I am looking forward to 2014 with hope, healing and great expectations!
And finally...last but not least....our Pets, 2013.
|Sam. Was Amber and Chris' cat, came to live with me, Summer 2013.|
|Lex. Jess' cat. He lives with me now that Jess has moved out.|
|Buffy. Amber has had her a LONG time! LOL!|
|Foxy, and her pup, Henry. They joined the family in the fall of 2013. Greyson and Abel's dogs.|
|Kolby. Jess got her for Christmas!|
|Stormy. Sweet, gentle, a boy's best friend. Hit and killed by a car in the summer of 2013. God rest her soul.|