Yesterday left me shaking my head in confusion. Am I the crazy one?
*I got my third notification that my paycheck would be short almost $700 due to my going over my sick leave balance in June. The first time I was told about this was during the summer via phone call. This was followed up by email in August. Okay. Understood. Yesterday I received yet another email alerting me to this information. Am I missing something? Why so many notices? I understand I will not have the money come payday. Is there something else I should be thinking of? On a separate note, it is a shame that the 70+ hours of annual leave that Dave was not entitled to as part of the payout (caps at 240 hours), was not something I could use.
*Last night Parker went to a “tween” dinner at the Life with Cancer Center. She was enthusiastic about going and actually enjoyed being around other kids who were in a similar boat. While the kids were crafting, eating pizza and talking, I spoke to a couple of moms. The inevitable questions about our spouses arose from type of cancer to when they died. One conversation went something like this –
Mom 1: When did your husband die?
Mom 1: This June? This past June?
Me: Yes, it has been 12 weeks.
Mom 1 & 2: Ohhhh.
They both looked at me with concern. I wondered what that meant. Were they surprised we were there? Did I look like I was holding it together pretty well for 3 months out? Did they think I might meltdown on the spot? Mom 2 wanted to be sure that I knew that the 6-8 month range might be when it hits me hard. I half jokingly said that it hits me hard every other day. Crickets. They again both looked at me with concern. I felt like I should go home, crawl in to bed, and stay there.
*Maybe it is me. I do think that there are times when I over estimate what I can handle. I have been to Hayfield 3 times since Dave died – for the vigil, to pick up the tortoises and to pack up his office. So when my boss approached me on Friday after getting a phone call from the interim principal at Hayfield who was inquiring about Dave’s phone and computer, I didn’t think it would be a huge deal to return them and touch base about the fundraiser while I was there. I was wrong.
I don’t know if it was being asked to look at the pictures on the wall of the past Hayfield principals. The intent was that I admire the picture of a former principal who happened to be visiting yesterday. I could not tear my eyes away from the picture of my beautiful husband – taken when he was the picture of health and happiness. (Worth mentioning, the retired visiting principal, Mr. Lutz, was very kind and sincere as he expressed his condolences. I remember that Dave had only the highest of praise for him.)
Maybe it was being escorted back to Dave’s office which was the last place I wanted to be. Awkward conversation about Dave, his chair and the marching band ensued followed by me unpacking and unloading assorted items like Dave’s laptops, chargers, phone, keys. I stood there uncomfortably while the keys were tested in the door and desk drawers. Minutes felt like an eternity. In defense of the person I was with, he does not know me. He didn’t really know Dave. And I was clearly making him incredibly uncomfortable. I am sure he is a fine man and leader.
I cried most of the drive home.
I went to bed last night wondering if I am doing this all wrong. In some ways, it would be easy to let the heartache and sadness take the lead. But I don’t think I have that option because of the kids. What kind of example would that be? If only I could protect myself from further situations that leave me muddled and distressed.