This blog is for Jim Marventano's family and friends to review his status and updates while he goes through treatment for Stage IV Colon Cancer. We can beat it together!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Felt like blogging

I've felt like blogging lately, but I haven't known what to say. It's been a big couple of weeks. We spent a week at the cabin, and the first weekend we were there we had 10 adults (12 counting my folks) and 12 kids visit. I asked all the girls that I took to Chicago and their families. It was nuts. We had a great time. We got completely mosquito bitten, the kids played on the beach and nearly lit themselves on fire with was great.

During that weekend I didn't have a lot of time to think about Jim. We were on the go most of the time. There was one evening when we were all sitting around the table laughing and telling stories, and I really felt the loss. Jim was a great story teller, with lots of funny one-liners. I am still struggling with other couples - not that I don't want to be with them, of course I do...but goodness it does make me sad. I really feel it when I'm sitting there alone. We took a fun picture of everyone together and I was at the edge of the picture with my kids...alone. My friend Lisa's husband wasn't there either because he had to work, but somehow, in my's just different. Plus Lisa is just a different girl than me - she's right in the middle of everything making people laugh.

Mid-week I had a major meltdown day - I was stuggling with Rachel and feeling like a bad parent. As a consequence for some of her actions she had to miss a bonfire. She was crying her her head off upstairs, and I was crying my head off downstairs...and then my lucky star fell off. My star necklace somehow came apart and the star fell to the ground. I freaked. I thought Jim was sending me a sign that I wasn't being a good mom. My mother tried to calm me down and tell me that maybe he was sending me a sign that I shouldn't be so hard on myself. Either way, I had a difficult time regaining control. (In retrospect, I was being a good mom by making Rachel miss the bonfire, but boy was it tough.)

And at the end of the week we had our friends the Schumachers visit for 4th of July. We had a great time then, too. But in some ways that was also tough - Liz and Tom never got to meet Jim, but Jim and Tom would have had a ball together. They both really like all the outdoorsy stuff - fishing, hunting, dogs...whatever. I'm pretty sure that Jim and Tom would have taken off for some musky fishing and left me and Liz with the kids for the whole weekend.

Liz, Tom and I all went and shot sporting clays while we were there. I was very nervous - it was the first time I'd held a gun in four years. We were matched up with a few other people, and we got to chatting. I was tempted to explain why Jim wasn't there (from pretty much the moment we got there) but then the woman that was shooting with us said "I'll bet your husband is home with all the kids, right?" Awkward. "Um, no, unfortunately I'm recently widowed." Sometimes I wonder if people think I'm lying. I guess that's not something that anyone would ever lie about, but to look at me on the street (or on the sporting clays course) you'd never know it. I told her that Jim was a great shooter and that was part of what I was doing there - honoring his memory by doing things he wanted to do with our kids. I told her that I was hoping to get good enough that I could show Rachel and Jake how to shoot when they get older. Even though I was very sad without him it was a good thing to do. I forgot how much I enjoyed shooting. I stink! But I got my best score ever on the clays course - a 32 out of 100. I told you I stink! But that's just me picking up a gun - I need to take lessons. Clearly. :) Maybe Jim was helping me. But not too much - he'd be happier if I took lessons.

I'm happy more often than I'm sad now. The sadness still breaks in at the strangest times - sitting and laughing with friends, singing along to a happy song in the car, sitting on the dock on a peaceful evening. I sometimes wonder if I'll ever be able to just be happy all the time. I think I will. Sometimes the loneliness gets to me. I could use a hug. Not a friend hug or a mom and dad hug, not a kid hug - a really nice warm hug from my spouse. I think that's the thing I miss most.

Jim is being remembered and honored in so many ways. Four of his friends - Dave, Mark, Joel and Scott all went on the Musky Marauder trip this year. I was so delighted that they all went. Dave and Joel were initiated into the Musky Marauders, and I just know Jim was laughing at that. And guess what? Scott won the Ultimate Marauder Award (UMA) - he caught the biggest musky on the trip. The Marauders had the trophy laser engraved and designated it "The Jim Marventano Memorial Sportsmen's Award". It's a huge gaudy trophy that I know Jim would have been dying to win. I was praying that one of the four guys would win it - Scott really loves fishing, so I'm so glad for him that he won it. Maybe Jim was helping out there, too.

I like to believe that as we do things to honor him, Jim is with us. I don't really know if he is or isn't, but it's comforting for me to think that he might be able to see my lousy shooting, to see David and Joel drinking shots of horseradish, and cheering as Scott reeled in his enormous musky.

The Marauder trip was a smashing success this year. As I visited the cabin I wondered how those four guys felt. They'd gone out on the boat to visit Jim's ashes. I know that each of them must have been celebrating him and mourning the loss at the same time. Being up north just makes me feel closer to Jim. I wondered if they felt that, or if they were pretty much feeling regret over having to do a horseradish shot. It's such a hodgepodge of emotion - happy one minute, sad the next. I guess any time I can feel closer to Jim, even if it's mixed with heavy emotion, is worth it.

It's sort of a random post today. I wasn't really sure what I wanted to write about, but I got the things down that I've been mulling over. Wishing everyone well.