Fat Girl Wearing Thin

Life beyond the loss.

   May 18

Going Away to Gather a Better Perspective

Since Patty passed away I have been at her house per her family’s request to sort through clothes, wash items, clean linens, etc.  I’ve gone every day for the last week and a half.  Not until yesterday did I realize how mentally draining it is to be in her personal space while she is missing, yet feeling her presence everywhere.  As of today, I’m officially resigning from that position. 

Today I started packing. 

My husband and I are going away for a few days.  We are taking some time to readjust, refocus and allow ourselves a moment to walk away from the storm.  Patty’s Memorial Service will be held the week before my surgery, just a few days after we get back.  I will be speaking there and need some time to figure out what I could possibly say that would convey how much she meant to me.  

We purchased our tickets for this trip many months ago – one of those ‘too good of a deal to pass up’ kind of sales.  Until recently though, this vacation has been very unwelcome.  The timing I thought, was terrible.  Once I faced the decision of having the hysterectomy, I wanted to cancel the trip and have it done immediately

But you know, if things had worked out that way I wouldn’t have been with Patty when she died.  I never would have had the privilege of taking care of her at the end of her life because I would have been recovering at home.  Now that she’s gone, having this trip land right in the middle of her death and my surgery is the biggest gift I could ask for; at times it’s been the only thing holding me together – so, I’m grateful to be going. 

We are headed back to the beach.  Where we do not intend to move from this spot, right here:


If I have time I will check in, leaving you with one of my favorite posts.  If not, I’ll see you back here sometime next week. 

Be good to you, and to everyone you love.

See you soon. 


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  1. NewMe says:

    There are so many platitudes that come to mind, and truly I would rather avoid them for all our sakes. However, it just seems appropriate to say that sometimes things happen for a reason.

    It was a wonderful thing that you were able to be with Patty at the end, but now you need some time to regather your strength. I think you were very wise to stop working through Patty’s belongings. Perhaps her family didn’t realize how emotionally draining it was for you. Love often goes far beyond blood ties.

    Have a great vacation and I look forward to hearing all about it when you get back!

  2. Hanlie says:

    Have fun, Ellen. I think this will be just what the doctor ordered.

  3. Roxie says:

    Bon voyage, dear Ellen.

  4. As my dear Dad always said, “things work out like they’re supposed to.” Retreat, relax, regroup…

  5. Funny how everything seems to work out sometimes. Glad this trip is there for you to look forward to. Take good care of yourself, Ellen. See you when you return.

  6. Caron says:

    A vacation sounds just perfect! Enjoy. :)

  7. Jan says:

    I’m so thankful you’ll get some time way. Sounds like the perfect time to get away. Praying you’ll have time to refocus and regroup. Also praying that you’ll find the words to say at Patty’s Memorial Service.

  8. Sounds like a the exact right time for vacation. Have a nice time and relax as much as possible! Cheers~

  9. Lisa says:

    Strange how some things work out just the way they were meant to be. How kind of you to stay with Patty’s family to help them begin the process of closing out her home. Perhaps their request for your assistance was to avoid having to face the emotions themselves.
    Several days parked in the sand in front of the ocean sounds perfect!

  10. debby says:

    Oh isn’t that wonderful how the timing worked out on that. I am so glad you will have this time for you.

  11. Cindy says:

    So very happy for you that you are taking this time for yourself. All the best and peace during your time away.

  12. vickie says:

    I agree the timing looked terrible (I would have been the same way with an added twist: meet me in the parking lot in 10 minutes, knock me out in my car and let’s get this surgery show on the road). But I also agree things really did work out in a way to allow you peace of mind. You got to be with her, you got to tidy things up, you can get out of town to recover and fortify, then you will have the closing ceremony, and be done in time for your surgery. There was a lot of empowerment and maturity in this post. Sounds as if you are on the right path and taking things at a reasonable pace. You do not seem to be trying to force things you can’t overpower and can’t control. You seem to be making the changes you need for yourself and your husband. Your boundaries seem to be in place and you are dealing well. Wear lots of sun block and have a peaceful rest time.

  13. Joan says:

    Bon voyage, Ellen. Just breathe and just be. xx

  14. Enjoy your regrouping time, Ellen….

  15. DebraSY says:

    Ahhhh. Good idea. Gathering perspective. Nice image.

    You already wrote something lovely a few posts ago that you can pull from, so you really don’t need to worry about your words. Peace to you, lady. Peace.

  16. Munchberry says:

    This post – it just cements what I said about you in my note today.

    Good idea to give up on sorting. My friend C did that when she lost her life time friend Bob. She felt like she had to be the one to wrap things up, but it nearly killed her. Sometimes you have to respect your limits.

    Timing. Interesting thoughts.

    Ya know when we were on the road, we stopped for gas before we needed to. Two lane sleepy road up to Kings Canyon. We got back on that road and about a mile up a terrible accident had just occurred. A woman hit an electric pole so hard that took it down and a few other poles with it. I think she may have been drunk. As we passed thru a diversion around the wreck I appreciated our stop and the odd stopping and how everything happens for a reason. Good or bad or curious. Grappling with the bad is a challenge of faith and stamina or a cementing reliance on it.

  17. didi says:

    I am glad that you took a little vacation. You have so much stress in your life right now that you completely deserve a break.
    Hope the two of you had a great time lounging on the beach.

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