Friday, April 30, 2010
I'm Moving Along
10:24 pm edt
I haven't "blogged" in a few days. When the day has ended I have sat here at the computer thinking about what to
say....and I don't know what to say. I had a very hard day Monday but thank God for my friends and family to support
Today I was very busy. I had one room for breakfast, two rooms to clean, two check-in's, banking and post-office
errands, lawn to cut, laundry to do, and a light fixture to replace in room six's bathroom. In spite of that busyness,
I had a emotional moment right after I served breakfast. That happens a lot. Breakfast was the time Ray and I
worked together....making things happen. And now I'm doing it alone...it hurts.
My emotions are like a roller-coaster. Some days I'm good, some days I'm not so good, some days I feel great.....I
know I just have to deal with it and accept it.
Ray's sister Marguerite has surgery today on her foot. I called to get an update, but am still waiting. She
should be here by the first of June. What a great help that will be.
My mom's birthday was today. I called her and she told me that my sister Katie was taking her to the Edison Inn
for lunch in Port Huron.
I'm trying to keep everything together...the pool, hot-tub,. breakfast, laundry, the lawn, the gardens, the bills.
God is with me....I know that. He has blessed me with great family, great friends, and great guests! - Jimmy
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Back to Normal?
10:27 pm edt
The past few days have been difficult Yesterday morning I awoke and noticed the exercise ball Ray was using to
strengthen his legs the last time I saw him alive. I touched the ball and it was like having a overwhelming wave rush
over me. I broke down and cried so intense. I haven't cried that intense since January 3, 2010. It lasted
a good four hours. I had an appointment with my grief counselor that afternoon, but I called her anyway. She suggested
I contact my doctor to see if I could take my next anti-anxiety medication now and she suggested I have someone drive me to
Holland Hospice. I was able to get Friedl to drive me there. I did somewhat recover. Friedl came by and
made dinner for me last night.
Today was an OK day. I got my haircut this afternoon. It was a cold day, yet sunny. I feel a little
better tonight. - Jimmy
Sunday, April 25, 2010
11:22 pm edt
My friends and family: Susie, Tony, Kelley, Carol, Frield, Philip, amd Michelle threw me a surprise birthday
party on Friday night! Wow, what a surprise!
I took Susie back to the airport today. Friedle and I went to the Allegan Antique and Fleamarket afterwards.
I miss Ray.
Friday, April 23, 2010
Today was a beautiful, sunny day here in Saugatuck. Susie and I went to Holland Quality Monument Company today to select
a headstone for Ray. The funeral director, Craig, and the woman from the monument company made us feel very comfortable.
They took the time we needed to feel comfortable in selecting the appropriate marker. It should be in place in about two
12:08 am edt
Afterwards, we bought some tulips and flowers to plant this weekend. Susie brought some plantings to place at Ray's grave.
Susie, Philip and I went to Friedl's for dinner tonight. An authentic Austrian dinner was made for my birthday celebration.
All in all, today was a "good" day. - Jimmy
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
3:48 pm edt
I slept on the first floor with Moscow last night. I awoke remembering it was my birthday. A day Ray would
make so special for 20 years! My first birthday in 20 years without him to share it with. I felt a little depressed
and dropped heavy tears. I took my medication and got out of bed...prepared to keep myself busy today. If I keep
busy, I won't be thinking about "things." It worked quite well. I went to the post office, Meijer, Sam's Club,
mowed the lawn, used the spreader to put "weed and feed" on the lawn. Threw out some old stuff and now I'm exhausted.
Susie's plane will be arriving in just over an hour so I have to get going soon.
I'm so glad she will be here with me. But, I promised myself I wouldn't get into any deep conversations tonight
or look at pictures or watch videos. I want today to end a happy day, not emotionally down for me. Maybe we can
do that tomorrow or Friday.
Thanks to all who called and wished me a happy birthday. It's not the same today, but it's another "first" for
me. - Jimmy
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
9:29 pm edt
Today I spent a portion on the day cleaning off the pool/patio furniture. Working on the deck. It "hit me"
that Ray wasn't here. Every year we would get the pool/deck area ready for the season. It just seemed so unfair
that he wasn't here.
Each day gets easier for me. Time allows me to deal with things, cry, grow, and heal the wounds. At the same
time I deal with thinking about the unreality of Ray not being here.\
Tomorrow is my birthday. Susie will be coming in from Colorado for four nights to share my birthday. I am
looking forward to it.
Every day I heal more. - Jimmy
Monday, April 19, 2010
Scott and Mary Ellen
11:04 pm edt
Scott and Mary Ellen came in early this morning. Unfortunately they planned to go home tonight. I thought
they were staying a couple days. Scott got the pool deck fixed. Plus, he took me to get new pool chairs.
Friedl came by tonight after her visit to her cardiologist....with good news. So, Scott, Mary Ellen, Friedl and
I had dinner together (carry out from the bowling alley). - Jimmy
Sunday, April 18, 2010
Sunday in Saugatuck
10:08 pm edt
Today was a cold day, but sunny. I didn't really do too much. My motivation level is real, real low lately
(like for the last three months). I seem to do only what I "HAVE" to do. Or, what I "WANT" to do.
Bob and Craig left before I came downstairs this morning (Bob had to get home to study.) They opened the pool this
weekend and did a lot of yard work...I keep noticing things each time I see the yard. How great.
For the first time in weeks I cried at the cemetery today. I felt very emotional today. It was somewhat of
a hard day. But, going to see David Sedaris in Grand Rapids tonight helped take my mind off things. Six of us
went to San Chez (a tapas bistro) for dinner and then to DeVoss Performance Hall to see David Sedaris. Very funny!
Today is the 15th anniversary of my dad's death. Maybe that had something to do with my emotions today....maybe
I am sleeping in room 3 with Moscow tonight. It's her "turn."
My brother, Rich, is doing good after his surgery last Friday. -Jimmy
Saturday, April 17, 2010
Kirby House Anniversary
5:25 pm edt
Today is the anniversary of Ray's and my purchase of the Kirby House...April 17, 1998. Entering the 13th summer
season of running the bed and breakfast. It will be nice to have Ray's sister Marguerite here to run the business with
me this summer...and maybe longer.
Yesterday I took Ray's name off the "signature" of the email confirmation letter I send out. It was very difficult
to do. But I had to. It would be too confusing to guests. Yet, it feels so disrespectful at the same time.
As long as I own the house, however, he will ALWAYS be a part of it somehow. I will make sure of that.
Ray's sister Susie is coming in Wednesday for four nights. She is celebrating my birthday with me (April 21).
On the 22nd we're going to pick out a tombstone for Ray. His gravesite is so bland looking.
On Monday, Scott, Ray's brother, is coming in for a couple nights. He is going to help me fix some "issues" with
the deck. Having family here this week will be so nice for me.
Today is sunny yet cold. I did take my walk though. I am going to have Chili tonight. Ray made it last
November and he always cooked in HUGE batches and froze portions so we would have food available. He was always so happy
to cook for me. I have to admit, that is something that "won my heart."
Bob and Craig (my guests this weekend that opened the pool) did a bunch of yard work for me today. They even swept
the front porch and steps!!! Wow, how did I get so lucky! - Jimmy
Friday, April 16, 2010
Post Tax Day
9:10 pm edt
Today is the day after "tax day." I'm all set with that, actually earlier than other years.
Craig and Bob checked in today and opened the pool! I am ready for the season.
I talked with Kathleen today (Ray's sister). A real nice conversation. Also talked with Susie...she'll be
here in a few days.
Sunday night I'm going to see David Sedaris in Grand Rapids. I am sooooo looking forward to that.
Love you Ray.....Jimmy
Thursday, April 15, 2010
11:58 pm edt
A gorgous day here in Saugatuck. I didn't do too much;
Friedl came over for dinner.
I cleaned up the yard some. -Jimmy
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
8:22 pm edt
Today is Wednesday, April 14, 2010. Just another day. Just another day in my new life. I feel so awkward
going to "social" events. It used to be "Jim and Ray" (or "Ray and Jim") but now it's just "Jim." The dynamics
of my life have changed.
Scott is coming here next week to help me fix some things. Susie will be here for my birthday and Marguerite will
be here in late May to be my "co-innkeeper."
It feels like summer today. The temperatures are awesome. I grilled pork chops tonight for my dinner.
Monday, April 12, 2010
My New Life
7:45 pm edt
Getting back home after the "cruise/vacation" has brought back emotions, memories and feelings. I had grief counseling
today. I learned a lot about myself, feelings, and accepting the feelings and defining who "I" am. It's too complicated
to go into detail in this blog.
Today was a nice spring day here. I did breakfast for my guests. Went to grief counseling, stopped in at
Sam's Club, went to the cemetery and paid bills. I even fit a short walk in. I've got to get my full walks back
Susie is coming in next week on my birthday. How nice is that!? I still mourn and grieve, but I think I'm
getting "better" every day.
Peace, love and God bless, Jimmy.
Sunday, April 11, 2010
6:27 pm edt
Ray at our November 2009 Cooking Class.
Four months ago today Ray had his surgery. How could I have ever imagined what my life would look like four months
later. At times I feel I have acknowledge the reality of his death, and then there are days like today where it just
doesn't seem real.
It's such a sunny day today. Ray would have been in the yard today for sure! I do have one room staying tonight
and tomorrow night. I'm learning to do "Ray's jobs." Cooking, putting flowers about the house, and yard work.
It will be nice when Ray's sister Marguerite comes here. I look forward to her company.
I miss Ray. - Jimmy
Friday, April 9, 2010
A New Life
10:14 pm edt
Today I spent most of the day doing "nothing." I took some reservations, gift certificate, cleaned some windows,
the porch and the front walk, but I really took it easy today otherwise.
My cat Wiley would not leave me alone today. He followed me everywhere, in bed, in the office, upstairs...he was
It was a sunny day today here, in the mid 40's but very spring like. This evening was a bit difficult, being alone
on the front porch trying to enjoy the evening....ususally something Ray and I would do at the end of the day.
I'm getting better a little bit each day. But I miss my best friend. When I visit him at the cemetery I talk
to him as if I was talking on the phone....as one sided conversation.
My brother's surgery was successful today. All is fine. Thank God.
That's all for today - Jimmy
Thursday, April 8, 2010
5:06 pm edt
My mom (Audrey) and I on the cruise ship.
I am finally home after two weeks. The Caribbean cruise I took with my mom was great. It was so nice to spend
quality time with her and get my mind cleared. I had a few days of sadness, especially my first day on the ship.
Mom was there to give me comfort and get me through.
We ate a lot! The food was the best of the four cruises I have taken. Ray would have loved it,
tons of lobster at the lunch buffet! The service was equally as good. Our weather was fantastic every day and
I even got a good tan for a German/Irish boy.
We saw the ancient Myan ruins of Tulum in Mexico. We took a tram-tour on Grand Caymen. And we shopped and
walked like crazy.
While we were in Ft. Lauderdale we went to this "Festival Flea Market." I thought my
mom had died and gone to heaven! It was a huge indoor flea market with clothes, jewelry, watches, shoes, sunglasses,
My friend Candy came by last night and brought me dinner (and ate with me too). That was nice, I didn't have to
be alone. Tonight I am venturing out to Friedl's for dinner. First time I've gone out to someone's house in two
months. I think I'm ready and can make the walk home with no issues.
I've got a ton of catching up to do so I will close for now. Time to get back to my new "normal."
My brother Rich is having surgery tomorrow. Pray for him! - Jim