Eliminating ghosts

I had given Kim’s phone to my granddaughter after clearing its contents. Vanessa, being a nine-year-old kid, immediately started sending texts to her aunts and uncles which, of course, since the entry remained in their Contacts list, came from Kim. After the initial shock, they were angry at Vanessa.

Rather than maintain an unused phone number as a memorial, I fell upon the solution by which I would change the numbers between the cellular-enabled iPad I gave Kim for Christmas many years ago and the phone. Since iPads cannot place calls and they text (from what I can tell) through their associated Apple ID rather than via the phone number, this would alleviate the issue. Reviewing Verizon’s site, I found the I had the ability to swap numbers between devices on the same account via a few mouse clicks.

Sweet! So I did it. Not so sweet.

The end result was that the iPhone could not place or receive calls (or anything else, from what I could tell), so a call was made to Verizon support via their horrible robotic operator. After about an hour and a half, and having to swap SIM cards back and forth, the tier 2 technician I was working with got the issue resolved, and Kim’s number will be silent until the day I pull the plug on the iPad. Minor disaster averted. And once again, I have to give Verizon’s support team kudos for friendliness, knowledge, professionalism, and “stick-to-it-ive-ness” – but I truly hope I don’t have to call them again anytime soon.

Last night was another oddly sleepless night. Unlike the last time, I didn’t pop awake with things on my mind – they were there when I went to bed and wouldn’t turn me loose. Thoughts ranging from an unfortunate display of immaturity my freshman year in high school (Sorry, JaNele – you deserved a better response than what I gave. It’s 44 years late, but I do apologize.), to more modern incidents and concerns. The ol’ sleep monitor showed it, too – the first night logging under 50% “restful sleep” since I started using the thing. These episodes are not frequent, but they’re somewhat unpredictable – and I’m not a big fan of unpredictability.

Feeding into this one is, of course, the phone/iPad debacle, but I also received a new laptop for work – the provisioning of which is always a rare treat! I always forget to export the VBA programs that I write to drive a lot of my efficiencies and end up having to rewrite them (which isn’t very efficient). That, and reconnecting files with their programs is a rare treat, too. Finally, the new laptop smoked my primary flash drive and, though I’m an apostle of frequent backups, I hadn’t backed it up all through Kim’s ordeal. I have recovered the files from it, but the utility I use recovers veritably EVERY file stub on the drive, so there’s a lot of sorting, testing, and cleaning up going on – all during that happy time we prepare to be fiscally eviscerated by the IRS…

And that, too, will be a new adventure, just as the 1989 tax year, the year Kim and I married, was. For the last 30 days of 2020, I guess I’m a “qualified widower,” instead of the “married” man I was for the last two days of 1989.

Sigh. At least it keeps me busy.

What does not kill us…

A sleepless night…

Huh! I really don’t know what’s going on, but I could not fall asleep last night. Well, I *did* eventually fall asleep, but the last time I looked at the clock, it was well after 0200 – that’s 4, 4-1/2 hours of laying there awake. This is not “me.” I normally don’t have any issues falling asleep unless I’m anxious about something, but I can’t think of anything I might be anxious about.

Maybe it’s that pendulum thing.

Friday was, for lack of a better term, unremarkable. My mood was good, and we did our “family Friday” as usual. Chris, Kenny, and I went down, cleaned the wine thief, and drew a sample of a wildflower mead Chris and I brewed just around the time he graduated from high school – so about 9 years ago. It smelled great, and the flavor, once balanced with some fresh honey, was very good – we plan to get some cherry extract, and then we’ll bottle it as a cherry melomel. It’s been so long since I’ve brewed anything, I may need to get ahold of my friend Ken Schramm for reminders on the Bill Pfeiffer method.

But, in all, it was a pretty decent day. I cannot conceive of why I had such difficulty drawing it to a close.

One aspect of sleep that has been troubling to me is that, since the day Kim passed, I have not had a dream with her in it that I can recall. Not one. My sleep tracker generally tells me that normally, 60-75% of my sack time is in the “restful” state, which I think implies dreamless, deep sleep. That leaves 25-40% in REM. But no dreams, good or bad, of Kim. I wonder why? What is the subconscious telling me? Oh, well.

Today looks like it will be pretty uneventful. I had planned to visit my mom, but, as the day wears on, it does not look likely as planned tasks that require my presence at home to complete are taking a lot longer than I had thought they would – it’s after 1300, and I’m only about 1/4 of the way through what I had expected to get done today. She has my sister and niece there (likely others, too), so I know she will not be lonely for family. It just feels like the time with her is getting thin, with the recurrence of her latest health issue. Maybe I’ll get this wrapped up in time to stop over later this afternoon.


I really feel alone at the moment. The ear thing seems to have made way for a virulent sinus and upper respiratory infection that made it VERY difficult to sleep last night. Coughing, bringing things out of the sinuses and throat, choking on it. If I got three hours of sleep, I was lucky. And, unfortunately, laying in bed, unable to sleep, battling this crud has made me depressed in a way I haven’t experienced in a very, very long time.

It’s a bit of a ‘little boy” depression, I guess. It has its root in memories of how Kim would take care of me when I would get bronchitis – and bronchitis has been the bane of my existence. Now it’s just me. At least when I’d get hit with something like this away from home and had to take care of myself then, I had the knowledge that she was at home, and I could call her up and whine to her in my discomfort – a compassionate voice, albeit hundreds of miles away. And now, it’s just me.

It was a hard realization, in the dark unable to sleep.

I guess there will be more of these realizations as life continues onward.

A day in the life…

Saturday! A day to sleep in. I managed an additional couple of hours in the sack, but, then, “brain things in my head” started up, and I got up. Part of the reason may be that I have the thermostat set the same for Saturday as on weekdays, and, when the heat kicks on, it just gets too darned hot to sleep. I guess I should spend a little time with it and reprogram it. Too, I should figure out how to make the dagnabbit Apple watch not go off to wake me up for work on Saturday. I mean: since I don’t work on Saturday.

Maybe later…

Normally, Jillian runs to my mom’s with me on Saturday, but I don’t think she’s quite feeling 100%. Jeanette had bronchitis and laryngitis, and I think she gave it to Jillian and me – I’ve got a sore throat, congestion, runny nose, and headache, and Jillian was complaining of a sore throat. So, I had to be sure to leave my mask on while I was with mom. It ain’t COVID, but bronchitis is *not* what mom needs right about now…

I spent a good 4, 4-1/2 hours with her today, not doing anything really more than being there. She likes the company, even though she has 24-hour caregivers. Oh, and I fixed the coffee drawer. And made her a tuna-salad sandwich.

I discovered one of her caregivers’ boyfriend passed away a couple of weeks before I lost Kim, so I was able to have a conversation with her about grief and dealing with it. She’s a youngster and really torn up over it. Funny, though: I’ve talked with her several times before, and you’d never have guessed that that recent tragedy was with her. My mom has a way of opening people up, I guess. I hope our conversation helped, but her’s is just like mine: lines cut in glass – it’s going to take a lot of time to wear those edges down to where they don’t hurt. My heart goes out to her.

At home, I helped Kenny carry a press he bought down to the basement and then set to work finishing up a purpose-built, heavily insulated shipping box in order to send a couple of packages of Kowalski hot dogs back east for my sister. I guess you just can’t get good Polish hot dogs on the east coast – the Philistines!

One thing I noticed: the congestion that is coming with this cold (or whatever) is wreaking havoc on whatever is going on with my right ear! My balance has been horrible, and I had to catch myself more than once on the stairs. I guess I’ll be like Fred Sanford – “I’m coming to join ya, Kim!” as I cartwheel down the stairs one day.

Ah, well. Not today. I guess He still has more he wants to do with me.

I guess I’ll log into work and approve my team’s timecards. Then, I think I’ll go to bed…