Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween

Hi folks, just checking in with you all. :) Hunter made it back, so life is pretty good because of that. Nancy's "celebration of life" is this Sunday, the same day Hunter and I leave for our anniversary trip to the coast. So it's bittersweet. I'm not feeling too hot today for some reason, might be getting a cold. However, tonight is the Friday show, and it's Halloween, so it should be fun, I'm hoping.

Monday, October 27, 2008

A bit better :)

Feeling better today, had a productive weekend with shows and home cleaning. Also, Hunter comes back this Wednesday, so my mood is improving that way as well. Have a good Monday everyone. :)

Friday, October 24, 2008


Tired, feeling down, want to go back to sleep for a few days.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Time heals all wounds

So the last week or so has been pretty rough... Mainly me cursing the universe for taking my friend so suddenly. This happens now only at night when all the distractions have ceased, and I'm just lying in bed with my thoughts.

Lately, during the day I just notice that I'll come across something I know Nancy would have liked, or some bit of gossip I want to tell her about, and I have to stop myself. One of my favorite thing to do was keep her up to date on the things going on in my life, and that's just not possible any more.

Hunter comes back soon, on the 29th. I can't wait, as it's been very lonely and empty since he's been gone, and Nancy's passing hasn't helped that much. I have a feeling I'll bawl like a baby about Nancy all over again when he gets back and I finally have someone to hold tight to.

But mainly, I know these things just take time. When my mother died back in 1999, I remember, months later, asking Nancy "Will I ever be able to think about her without crying?" And her answer was yes. At the moment, I'm still at that stage with Nancy, but I trust that eventually I will be able to think of her and be positive about what we shared together, and not just the loss that was created now that she's gone.

Last Friday I went over to her house to help her husband and daughter scan in a picture for her obituary, which actually appeared in today's local Eugene paper. I clipped it out for safe keeping from our work copy, as I don't get the paper at home. It's funny how your life can be reduced to what amounts to a list of facts. Anyway, while I was there, I picked up my digital camera and cables, which I had let her borrow. There were pictures and videos she had taken of her three dogs (the "girls" as she called them) taken less than a month ago up to present. In one of the videos, the dogs are racing around the house and knock over a fan. It's one of the happy memories of who she was I keep with me now. I've posted it below for you all to see, also. She loved to laugh, and was never afraid to. :)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

To my dear friend, Nancy McLaughlin

A good friend of mine, one of the closest I ever had, died today. She didn't have many close friends, but I loved her as a person and a friend, and I need to tell people about her. When someone touches your life so much, you want to let others know.

When I first started at the Utility I work at, I was pretty much a loner. I kept to myself, and hid in the shadows watching things from afar. I was 21, and the adults I worked with were like the adults I always knew: serious, trying to be sophisticated, very civil.

Then I met Nancy, who started there about a year after I did. She spoke her mind, because she felt the truth was more important than civility (at times). She got that from her father, who meant the world to her, and taught her that lying was akin to betraying trust. Because of this, and her propensity to be silly, Nancy became a big bright spot of color on an otherwise dingy business office scene. Call it unprofessional (and sometimes maybe it was) but it made me smile inside. She actually stopped to chat with me, and cared about what I had to say, so we continued having conversations on breaks and before work.

We started going to lunch together; at first because I didn't have a car, and later because it was a way to socialize outside of work and keep each other company. I occasionally went over after work; at first to watch movies I knew she would enjoy, and later to catch up on each other's lives. Lots of times we'd never even get to lunch, and spend the whole hour on whatever errand it was. Nancy was a free thinker, and tended to get sidetracked in stores, only ending up with what she had originally been looking for right up to when it was time to get back to work. We had fun though, once or twice when I'd be checking out with my credit card, she'd joke with the clerk to me: "Hey hon, that's not that stolen card we got, is it?" But I got her back as well, as she was buying a carton of cigarettes: "Mommy, didn't the doctor say you shouldn't smoke?"

I grew up scared of physical contact. As a kid, the only physical contact I got on a regular basis was tickling (my Dad thought it was funny, and I suppose it is in hindsight), so I had a nasty habit of flinching when I was touched. Hugs were out of the question, but I was okay with a handshake. It was Nancy who taught me to hug, and to actually come to want them because they were enjoyable. She loved getting hugs, so to be nice I started hugging her when we'd meet, even though I didn't really enjoy it. After a while, I did get used to it, and I started looking forward to the hugs. Nancy gave me the first steps toward a close, loving relationship like I have with Hunter now, and I thank her for it whenever I can. Like now. Thanks hon, you saved me from half a life; a life without love. Other people helped with this transition too: Rosa, Kain, Xankarth... but Nancy started it all off.

Nancy had a secret, that only those close to her knew. She wore her heart on her sleeve, because it's who she was. However, to protect herself, she pretended the things that hurt didn't matter, by joking about them and appearing to brush them off. When she would feel insecure or out of place, she'd joke around or become sarcastic to cover it up. Underneith it all was the real Nancy, the one who cared and opened her heart to those around her. This is the Nancy I saw every time I visited.

She was laid off from the Utility about three years ago, but I still tried to visit once a week, and at first wrote a daily morning email to her. I confess since I have been living with Hunter that the emails weren't as common, but she understood, I'm sure of it. Having to leave the Utility was kind of a blessing, looking back on it. Work really stressed her out, and therefore made her angry lots of the time. I'm really glad she got to spend her last few years working in the garden, among the flowers and plants she enjoyed - her dogs scampering around her feet and eating the berries.

I'll miss you, hon, my dear friend. I'll miss how much you cared about me, and I'll miss helping you and making your troubled life just a little easier, even if all I did was listen.

Goodbye, Nancy :)

Monday, October 13, 2008

Just your average update

Hey there everyone! Just had a moment and thought I'd fill you all in on current goings on. I haven't actually been up to a lot, except working around the house and catching up on some much neglected video games and stuff like that. Cleaned out the kitchen garden area yesterday, as the zucchinis and squash have all withered and dried up. Looks a bit nicer out there now. I talk to Hunter pretty much every day in chat, and occasionally on the phone too. It really does help to hear his voice, and it especially helps to be chatting like we are. It's still very lonely around the house. Frogg is there, of course, and we talk and such like we always have when things are quiet and before/during/after shows, but it's not the kind of relationship I have with Hunter, obviously ;)

Hunter's doing okay down in LA, for the most part. Also lonely like I am, but in a few days his folks will return and he'll have more company, for which I'm grateful. It's funny how if you have a lot of friends and family, you wish for peace and quiet, and a place to be by yourself. But once you have that, you realize it's actually pretty boring and dull, and it was the interactions with others that made you feel the most alive.

I managed to make it to the Home and Garden show Saturday, which was kind of fun to walk around and see the exhibits, and then out for lunch with my friend Joel. Then we had our usual shows, and Sunday I wasn't feelin' too hot so I stayed home and did some light cleaning and cooking.

Tonight Frogg's out at his guitar lesson (he gives them to kids when he can!) and I'll be cooking up large batches of chicken to use on salads and sammiches the upcoming weeks to save money :D Tuesday we have a show, and then Wednesday I'm hoping to stop by and see a good friend of mine who lives south of me (if she's feeling okay, hi Nancy!).

Anyway, I hope you all are doing well enough considering the change in seasons. I certainly love the cooler weather!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Update - Missing Hunter :(

Hey there folks. Don't know if people read this blog much, but I'll make another post. So, last Monday the 29th Hunter left for LA, to help his folks out for the month. It's been a little over a week now, and it certainly feels different.

Now remember, I have never been in a close relationship, let alone a live-in one before, so this is taking quite a bit of adjustment for me. I find myself falling back into the patterns I had before I met him, which is a good and bad thing.

Good, in terms that I get the time I like to play video games and read, and do whatever, without missing time with Hunter (since that's impossible at the moment).

Bad though, in that I feel like there's a part of me that's missing... A replacement for the inner voice I have that I pose questions to. (Hunter's a far better and more reasonable inner voice than my own :D) A presence that I miss at key points in the day, like the morning, mealtimes, and bedtime.

It just feels once again like the world has no color and I have no anchor. Like I'm just afloat, fretting that I'm maybe not on top of things and that something is slipping away. Worrying that there's something else I should be doing. Well, whatever the opposite of "centered" is. Chatting in Yahoo is nice, and it keeps us in touch, but that's all it does. I guess I never knew how empty my life was before finally finding someone. I just had to rediscover that recently; how much I used to have to fill my life with distractions so I wouldn't realize how lonely life really was.

Well, all that aside, we're just trying to cope the best we can. He gets back on the 29th, which is still over 20 days away. :( Just hanging in there, keeping busy, and that's all we can do.