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!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

These are a few of my favorite things

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens...just kidding. If Jim were here I'd be singing that at the top of my lungs as he covered his ears. My girlfriend Sara came to visit this weekend. It was my 36th birthday on Friday, and the best birthday I've had in years.

Two years ago Jim had just completed his first chemo treatment when my birthday came up. Last year he'd just passed away.

This year I got to do some of my favorite things:

1. Sara came for a visit. She's one of my best friends, and I just don't get to see her that often. This was a big treat.
2. The Kohler Food & Wine Experience was this weekend.
3. We ate cupcakes, drank wine, and ate dinners and lunches out.
4. My fabulous babysitters were here with the kids while we did exclusively adult things like went to wine tastings.

We've been living here for three years and this was the first year I've ever made it to the Kohler Food & Wine Experience.

This is not some little chintzy wine tasting at the grocery store. It's sponsored by Food & Wine magazine, and there were tons of celebrity chefs and all sorts of food experts here. Friday night we had tickets to a cheese and wine tasting with a famous sommelier/author from NYC and one of the country's foremost experts on cheese. It was really cool. While we were waiting in the lobby to get in, Sara nearly fell over with excitement "Look! There's Gail Simmons!" Um...who? It's not like we just spotted Brad Pitt. Apparently she was an Editor at Food & Wine magazine and she's a judge on Bravo's Top Chef. But Sara was delighted - we were clearly in the presence of someone who represented all things good and food to Sara.

We got to see a cooking demonstration with two of the Top Chef winners. And then we got to see a demonstration by one of the Top 10 new chefs in the country. Cool.

As a true Ferguson, I believe in doing everything in excess. We don't fiddle around with half or even a portion of anything. (Unless it's a hobby, in which case you can refer to my headless angel post. ;) ) But when it comes to eating, drinking, and being merry, it's hard to top a Ferguson. This was a banner weekend for me. Sara and I had a great time. We ate and drank to our hearts' content. (Well, to mine - Sara ate markedly less than me!) We talked non-stop. The only time we stopped talking was to sleep. And we caught up on a friendship that is so very special to me.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

That Lonely Sinking Feeling

There's a song by the Cowboy Junkies that perfectly describes my emotion at some times. It's almost manic with my highs and lows. I'm giddy with the possibilities of going out and having fun. The next moment I realize *why* I'm going out and having fun, and I come crashing down. The song's words are:

She says, "I'm getting that lonely sinking feeling, You know what I mean?"
With his hand on her back he's thinking,"Where does that leave me?"
Just when I think I've uncovered the secret
To peace and tranquility
That lonely sinking feeling creeps up on me

He says, "I'm seeing those doubt filled Questioning eyes
And I can't believe it's true"
With her head in her hands she sighs,
"It's me, not you"

It's not like I have anyone to be talking to about at this point - it's more the feeling of the song. The abject sadness in her voice speaks to my very core and it seems that this song was written for me. It's how I felt before I met Jim. All the time. Just when I thought I'd found someone, I knew it was all wrong. And it wasn't them, it was me. And that's how I feel now. It's just all wrong. I'm so angry with him for leaving me. I know it wasn't his choice but it doesn't make me feel any better. I'm angry that I'm lonely. I'm angry that I still cry at night. I'm angry that I can't just zone out and watch tv. And the worst part is that although I feel surface anger at Jim, it's not like this is a divorce I'm suffering through. There's no one to blame except cancer. I can't really be angry at Jim. I love him. I'm angry at him because I still love him.

I know there aren't any right answers. And maybe that's why Lonely Sinking Feeling really speaks to me. With Jim , it all seemed right. Jim put the world in order for me. Literally, but more important, figuratively. I can't expect that from someone else. I haven't had the Lonely Sinking Feeling in years. And here we are.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Partying like it's 1999

Okay so...for the past two nights I've gone out and stayed out late. Between Friday night and Saturday night I totaled 7 hours of sleep. That's 3 hours Friday and 4 hours last night. Normally I need 8 hours per night to function in any way, shape or form. I feel like I'm in college or something. Last night my babysitter got to go home after I closed down a bar. The last time I stayed up this late? When we first moved to Atlanta. So - 8 years ago?

It's good to have fun again. It's good to have such awesome friends. It's good to think about something besides cancer.

I'm going to have to put my babysitters on a payroll this month. It's just a busy month. It's a welcome relief.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

The Toothfairy

Rachel lost her first tooth tonight. It's been wiggly for a while. I bought her a little Toothfairy pillow shaped like a cupcake. It's really cute. She actually swallowed her tooth at dinner! So instead of leaving her tooth she colored a picture for the Toothfairy. I told her the Toothfairy would understand, and she would know that Rachel lost a tooth even if she didn't have it in her pillow.

You know what's silly? The Toothfairy is one of those things I never envisioned being alone. I imagined me and Jim doing the Toothfairy thing together - you know, sneaking into her room all squirrely and excited. I figured one of us would run to the store and get something special like a silver dollar. But unfortunately I didn't think to get a silver dollar (I wasn't expecting the tooth to come out quite this soon...) and I'm going to have to go up there alone.

Of course it's still exciting. I just miss having another adult to share it with. We called all of our family tonight so she could tell them about the tooth. But for me, there was just something missing. Someone else. We said our prayers and told Daddy all about the tooth. She was pretty excited.

In other news it was a smashingly good day. Jake and I went over and got the bug registered - I can drive it legally now! Tomorrow is supposed to be sunny and around 65. I've got to take advantage of the weather while I've still got it, because I plan to close up the car the first week of November.

And I ordered a personalized license plate for it. FUN 4 3. I figured that's exactly what it is - fun for the three of us. That's why I bought it.

There are peaks and valleys in every day. I guess there are for everyone, no matter what their situation. We have more peaks than valleys, and for that I am truly grateful.

Now please excuse me while I polish up four quarters and speed them up to my daughter's room. Because no matter what, she's going to be delighted to find out the Toothfairy paid her a visit.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Yep, that was me

Screaming at my kids in the Wal-Mart parking lot? Rest assured, Sheboygan. That was your fair widow freaking out. No need to ask. It was me in a full-bore temper tantrum.

Got something to say? Go ahead, make my day.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

3:30am thoughts of a neurotic widow/mom

Sleeping peacefully in my bed when I hear Jake cry out. Maybe he'll stop. I just lay there hoping he'll just fall back asleep. His cries get more insistent. Finally, he starts calling for Daddy. Poops. I need to get up. I get him settled back down and to sleep. Rachel wakes up and wants to sleep with me. She'll kick me all night. I get her settled and back to sleep. In her bed, not mine. I snuggle back into my bed. But my eyes are wide open now.

Why did he call for Daddy? Am I placing too much emphasis on a father that isn't coming home? It's not like he's just gone on a business trip.

Just go to sleep, Kate. Worry about it tomorrow.

If I keep sleeping on my side am I going to pinch a nerve in my arm? Remember how that happened after Jake was born?

Why am I still sleeping on one side of the bed when I know perfectly well he can't come back? Will I ever move to the middle of the bed?

Why does Rachel try and sleep with me? Is it because half the bed is open, or because she's lacking something because her father isn't here?

Did I sign all of Rachel's permission slips and put everything in her school folder?

If I move to the middle of the bed, is that a statement that I've given up hope that I'll ever share the bed again?

I don't want to be alone for the rest of my life. But wait, I don't want people to think I'm just looking for a dad for my kids, either. I'd rather be alone than in a lackluster relationship.

I wonder if I'll really learn to fix the VW engine? It seemed to be idling high the other day. And where the heck is the title? I've been hanging around by the mailbox.

Good heavens, Kate, are you going to waste sleep time thinking about this stuff? GO TO SLEEP.

Am I so chicken that I can't make my way over to LTC to find out about nursing school?

But I sure could use a hug. Physical contact would be *really* welcome. Not that I'm desperate. I'm not.

I hope I get a job. But if I get a job, how will I manage all the stuff I've volunteered for at school? What if I don't get a job? How will I balance a job and school? I don't have a very good study ethic.

I've lost a lot of weight. I like the gym. Good thing I only ate two cookies tonight. I don't want to ruin it now.

Okay, I need to relax. I'll say my prayers again.

God, thanks all the blessings in my life. Thank you for my beautiful children. They are a wonderful reminder of their Daddy. Thank you for giving me love at least once in my life. Thank you for new opportunities every day. Thank you for my health and the ability to move forward in life.