Saturday, May 31, 2008

And the award goes to...

Hello internets! Perhaps you thought I'd left you. No no, I've just been busy with my surgery-fied mother and cat and a trip to my homeland. I have lots to tell you, and I'll get to that eventually. But first, we have some business to attend to--I must announce the winners of my Pay It Forward contest!

Without further ado, they are:

Congratulations, ladies! Please e-mail your postal mailing address to me at heidireneeblog at gmail dot com.

Now, a commercial that never fails to crack me up:

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

One is the loneliest number.

Work was so busy today that I wasn't able to deal with a single e-mail in my inbox. By the end of the day, it had ballooned to 150 unread messages. I am not looking forward to seeing how it has grown in the morning.

On top of that, Jason will be traveling for his job for most of the next two weeks. This week he's going a couple different places in the Northeast, but next week he will be in Nevada for four days. That means I'll be alone for my mom's heart surgery. My sister and my mom's boyfriend will be staying at my mom's place in Worcester, but I'll have to go back and forth to take care of our cats. It's going to be tough.

On nights like this one, when I'm alone and the nighttime quiet has settled in, I begin to feel like I'm back in Virginia Beach, just me, Jacob and Jasper (that's him in the picture), waiting through those constant two-week mini-dets for my fiancé to come home... and then through the longer, more agonizing one, when months (and the endless, endless ocean) were the only thing between me and getting married.

During those months I wore Jason's dog tags every moment* (except when I was in the shower). I wore them under my clothes at work. I wore them to bed. I wore them to the gym. I could hear it clink when I moved. It was the closest I could get to having him with me. Having that disc engraved with his name, social security number, blood type, and religious affiliation around my neck made me feel like I was holding him close to my heart, not just a piece of metal. Feeling it around my neck comforted me as I tossed and turned night after night.

I have a horrible time falling asleep without Jason, and that hasn't gotten any better now that he's out of the military. The anxiety is still there. On nights I'm alone, like tonight, I stay up late flipping channels to avoid sitting in bed unable to drift off. I dread lying there without my husband by my side, so I stay awake until I'm dead tired and can't keep my eyes open. Tonight I'm speeding the process along with a healthy dose of orange-tangerine juice and rum. I can feel my mind starting to slow down, but it doesn't make the empty spot on the left side of our bed any more full. He is such a part of me, the emptiness he leaves behind can't be filled by anything or anyone but him.

Maybe Jacob, Jasper, or Lola will join me tonight and purr me to sleep.

P.S. There's still time to enter my Pay It Forward contest--leave a comment here!

* Because Jason worked on aircraft, he wasn't allowed to wear dog tags. The powers that be wouldn't take the risk of FOD (foreign object debris) getting loose in the jets because it could cause a system to malfunction. He and the other people in his squadron had to sew their coveralls pockets shut so they couldn't take anything into their workspace with them.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Pay It Forward (or, how to get presents from me)

After spending a couple of days at my mom's to take her to have a heart catheterization, I arrived home late Tuesday night to discover a lovely surprise: my Pay It Forward package from my lovely Angelika (of Angelaboration)!

Included in the haul: a festive Chinese paper lantern (which my cats absolutely love!), a pin (which I'm wearing in the picture of me, so it's not in the picture of everything), a lipstick case (with a design keeping with the Asian theme) containing a Skittles-flavored Lipsmacker, a pack of "certified vegetarian" gum (my Angela, she knows me well), an also Asian-themed change purse (which I totally need because my wallet doesn't hold coins very well), a Chicago postcard, a cute butterfly notebook (perfect for stowing in my purse for those flash-of-inspiration moments I so often have when I'm not near my laptop), and an awesome mix CD (including my song du jour, "Shake It" by Metro Station--I'd heard it once on the radio and immediately started dancing in my car seat, but never knew what it was... and now I know!).

Thank you, Angelika!

So here's where you, readers, come in.

Part of winning Angela's Pay It Forward contest is that I have to do my own, to pass on the good deed--to pay it (the good deed) forward. I pass on the good deed--in small gift form--to you (three of you, that's the rule), then you, in turn, pass it on to three other people by holding a contest on your own blog. The goodness multiplies onward from there! To read more about the concept of Pay It Forward, read Angela's entry.

Now... Do you want some goodies? Leave a comment! I'll draw three names at random once I have a good amount of entrants. Good luck!