Though, I never really left. I've just not been sleeping much at all for the past almost week and I often cannot write after staying awake for four days.
I read a book series for myself. It was nice to have something I wanted to read, wanted to finish. I don't think I've had a "fun" read since Wash died. I have some books and novels to catch up on.
So, aside from the reading.
Things have been good and things have been tough.
The hard stuff first.
I have lost about a stone (14lbs) in the last two weeks. Not for really trying, or stress, but mostly due to lack of food. This is hard to be honest about, which is likely why I have not said anything, but I don't really have money to get food anymore. SNAP (either due to Arizona State frak-ups, or Federal [Congress] Frakery) has been reduced for me, and with no income, I'm trying to eat on about ~$20.00 for 7 days.
I have no grocery stores I can get to by myself or walking, and I have no funds for a bus pass, since they increased the rates back in March. I have the CVS and the Farmer's Market. Both have a small selection of foods, and both are pretty expensive compared to national brand grocery chains. I do have friends who take me to one of the stores a few miles South of where I live, maybe once or twice a month, but I'm still on a stretched budget. So, I've been averaging about one "meal" a day.
This I am sure is contributing to my tiredness.
I have a lovely friend who is also an animal lover who has been helping me to buy cat-food so the kitties are taken care of. I have a lovely reader here who sent litter as well, which we are all-ALL- very happy for. (Thank you, K.)
But, I have about $36 to my name, and $4 in SNAP food benefits to last me until well into next month. Which is hard. It is hard to be 26 years old and having to ask my mother for help to buy toilet paper, and peanut butter. I have not had much of any luck with finding a short term, or part-time job. Most business close or get smaller for the summer when all the students and SnowBirds leave, and the few who remain, or who move here in the summer before school starts have seemed to taken all the open jobs around here.
I am worried. I have no idea honestly how I am going to pay rent, electricity (it's in the 100sF now. Would you like to live in the sun with no A/C?) or my internet; which is mandatory for me now, as I'm doing some things to get ready for college this summer.
Wash had no life insurance. Neither of us had even health insurance when he was sick!
Side note: our appeal date for AHCCCS was originally on Oct 28th, 2009. I had applied in August when Wash was ill and I knew he needed a real doctor, not a undergrad student at the college health center, and we were denied. I often try not to think how many more weeks or months I might have had with him if the tumor was removed 3 months sooner than it was.
No funds, no insurance, no savings. The bit we had went to our wedding in March of that year; and the whole thing was done for under $1000. Once Wash was not working, not able to work, from the tumor none of us knew was there, my savings were gone to pay rent and food. His parents, before they blamed me for his illness -and death- did help us that summer. I remember Wash crying so much. I remember being told by his father that "this was the true Wash, you're seeing his real personality coming out. He is lazy and unmotivated." Which, really, was entirely untrue- however it was correct in that those were the symptoms of his tumor manifesting.
I try not to be angry about that summer. None of us knew what was really going on inside his brain. The tumor growing, killing healthy cells, pushing his brain- swelling inside his skull. He was not able to be honest with me, or his family, or his friends, or the few campus doctors he did see. None of us put it together until he was in the hospital on Oct 26th.
I try not to think about how it could have been different.
I often fail, but I try.
This May marks 3 years of me being "unemployed"- as my State and the Federal government do not recognize being a fulltime caregiver for your spouse as "employed". Though it should be. Caregivers at home help keep the patient's Quality of Life high, and help keep Medical care costs down by not needing a bed in a care-giving facility. Those of us doing it for the people we love though, we are not paid or compensated. Even though most often in a situation where one partner/spouse is needing the care and the other doing it; neither of them often has income, or enough, coming in. Try living as a terminally ill person with special dietary needs, medication costs, rent, and electricity on ~$800/month. Or less. Often less.
It's hard. It is hard to say to someone who is dying, "No you can't, we cannot afford it."
I've been doing a lot of processing of my feelings, obviously. Which lately has included a lot of tears. I'm not fighting it, and it hurts, but the pain seems to dull more quickly when I don't fight it.
Moving more to the good, now.
I got some sleep last night/this morning. [5am-2pm]
As I was lying down last night, I smelled him. On our-my- pillow, and his bear Hoban. That was a great comfort to me. Maybe that helped. Or, maybe I just hit my wall of not sleeping more than 3 hours since last Thursday.
He would have been so happy and excited for me.
I got in to my college programme. I'm doing fundraising to cover the costs; like the down-payment for classes, and uniforms, and airfare. I am also applying like mad to every scholarship that I can. I am working hard on this, because this is for me. I have not done anything for myself since Wash was ill, even before.
I took a holiday in late spring of 2008. I married Wash in early 2009. That is really the only things that come to mind over the last 5 years that were in any way "for myself".
I want this. I want to go back to school, at least, in this small way. It is a summer term, so just under 2 months long, and not as much pressure as re-enrolling for a whole school year, or even a normal term. That might still be too much for me right now.
But this? This is perfect.
It is an all women's college. Dorm life. A town about the size of where I live, in Tempe. Lots of gardens. Outside classes. Peaceful parks. More so, it is in Israel and is history I can study and touch. This is a chance for me. This is a chance for me to find something inside myself. Some passion.
When I was about 8 years old, I read a novel (the third in a long, and still continuing series) that moved me and impressed on me so much I still re-read it yearly. A strong young heroine, adventures, dangers, and in this book- a trip to Israel. Archaeological sites and digs, and reading in original Hebrew and Aramaic words written by human hand thousands of years ago.
To me, that was the epitome of excitement. A small fire inside me started when I read that book, and I knew in my lifetime I wanted to travel there. I wanted to have a chance to walk in the Old City. I wanted to read those words written so so so long ago. I wanted to smell the air; so different I imagine from anywhere else I've been.
I have that chance now. More. I have a chance to learn for myself. To seek out the direction to continue on.
There is no "moving forward" or "moving on" from my husband's death. It will always be with me, and a part of me. But, I have been able over the last few months to heal enough to begin to see the world with me in it instead of mourning the loss of the we.
This is a large and important step, and I am recognizing that.
My therapy team is also quite encouraging in this, as are my family and all my friends.
I like to think they are happy to see my desire to do something-anything- again. In a way, I am too.
There is still a part of me that wants to just sit in my closet, hold his TARDIS urn, and cry. Forever.
I'm growing to see that not only is that closer to impossible, it gives me no quality of life. That, he would mind.
School, though? Things being different, him being alive, both of us working, he would take me out to celebrate and encourage me every step of the way on this. He is the cheerleader inside my head. Much cuter than Teri/Ferrell though.
Things going well and I can raise the funds, get scholarships, and take care of all the other details? I'll be in Safed by the end of June and back home sometime in August.
I am also working on a few projects to hopefully get some of the novellas/short stories Wash wrote and illustrated published. The cancer could not take his creative imagination from him, and perhaps knowing that his works, his passions, were "alive" in a way, being read, being appreciated, will help me. Knowing that he is not forgotten.
That is where I am at.
My belly might be hungry, but my self has Hope to feed on again.