Archive for July, 2006
I came back from vacation to find my email jammed with all sorts of feedback to The Dream. What surprised me though wasn’t the number of responses but the mixed feedback it generated.
On the negative side, one person wrote that she felt bad for Marathon Girl and that I shouldn’t have let a dream about my late wife bother me so much seeing how they “mean nothing to me.” Another said the article was further proof that I had never moved on from the death of my first wife.
As for those who liked it, one woman wrote that being married to a ex-widower for 11 years, said that she could relate to one of those “out of the blue things” that happen when you’re married to a widower. Another reader said that it made her admire Marathon Girl strength even more seeing how there are many who wouldn’t be able to deal with the baggage that comes with marrying a widowed person.
Whether readers liked it or hated it seemed like just about everyone who commented or emailed wanted to know how Marathon Girl felt about the entire incident. (I’ll get to that in a minute.) First let me explain why I even bothered writing The Dream and sharing it on my website.
Writing is the way I best collect my thoughts and try to understand what happens in my life. So after the dream, I felt the need to write something about it seeing how this was the first time I had dreamed about my since her death almost five years ago. The first draft of this article was a journal entry I wrote the day after the dream. This version was left unread in my journal until June when flipping back through it I decided to see if writing a more detailed version of events could help.
When the version I posed was complete, I was hesitant to share it on my website. Though I share quite a bit of my life with Marathon Girl and my family’s life on this website, I share only those I think would be of help or insightful to those who read this blog. Most of the stuff related to my life are stored in the safe confines of my journal — never to be read by anyone other than Marathon Girl until after I’m dead. I finally decided to share it and hoped it would illustrate one of the many unique challenges that are part of our marriage. When you marry a widowed person, the former spouse is part of the marriage. Not a big, everyday part but a part nonetheless and incidences like the one described in The Dream tend to pop up occasionally — though they’ve become less frequent the longer Marathon Girl and I have been together.
So, how Marathon Girl feel about this whole experience? She was hurt. Very hurt. However, it wasn’t the dream but my reaction to it — the fact that the dream was powerful enough that it reduced me to tears — is what really hurt. Everyone who’s married wants to feel like they are the most important person in their spouse’s life. For those who have read the essay, put yourself in Marathon Girl’s shoes and think about what it would feel like if the love of your life dreamed about a former spouse. Stings, doesn’t it?
Though I’ve mentioned this at least a dozen times before, I’m very fortunate to have Marathon Girl as my wife. Marrying a widowed person isn’t for everyone. It takes a special person to want to be the second spouse because issues like this come up from time to time and it’s something a lot of people would have a difficult time dealing with no matter how infrequent these moments are. I had this dream back in April. So far his has been the only serious “first wife” moment Marathon Girl and I have experienced this year. Will we have another “first wife” moment this year? I hope not. Our marriage is much easier without these occasional speed bumps. But if another incident were to arrive, our marriage is strong enough and channels of communication good enough that we can talk about and work through whatever comes up.
Finally, about a dozen people signed up for my mailing list after the July update went out. I’ll include the link to The Dream in my August update for those who were signing up with the hopes of reading it. However, if you can’t wait two weeks or so for the next update, send me an email and if you’re email address appears in my mailing list and I’ll send you the link so you can read what all the fuss is about.
July 31st, 2006
The day after returning home from vacation, Aidan became sick. Diagnois: croup. Just as he started getting better, Steven started running a fever and not feeling well. Not sure what his problem is yet (he doesn’t have the respitory problems Aidan had) but he didn’t sleep much last night. This has left Marathon Girl and I quite tired today. So glad it’s Friday. I’m looking forward to a weekend with (hopefully) lots of sleep.
Oh yeah. And my Tigers continue to dominate baseball and have a nice 8.5 game cushion on the stumbling White Sox. Go Tigers.
July 28th, 2006
A three hour car ride goes by in no time when you have Marathon Girl to talk with.
Drinking large quantities of water makes it hard to drive with out at least stopping once.
When it’s 104 degrees outside, it makes me very glad can keep the inside of the minivan a constant 71 degrees.
Aidan is fascinated by farm animals. Steven is fascinated by new faces.
Even on vacation, I’m glad our kids have nap time. After chasing after our kids all morning, Marathon Girl and I need some downtime too.
Not only am I the only Detroit Tiger fan in the state of Utah, I’m also the only Tiger fan in the state of Idaho.
I think if we let Aidan live on a dairy farm, he’d be the happiest boy in the world.
Aidan thought cows were the coolest animal until one of them tried to lick him. After that he was convinced cows ate little boys.
The nice thing about Grandmothers is not only are they good cooks, they seem to have an endless supply of good food in their house.
I was amazed how well Aidan got along with his cousins, even though they were several years older than him.
I love our minivan more and more. Taking the same trip in one of our old cars would have been nearly as enjoyable.
One of the best parts of a vacation is being able to discover new running routes.
Where you go on vacation isn’t nearly as important as who goes with you. For example you can go to a fairly normal, everyday place and have fun because you’re with good company. On the other hand, you can go to a very exotic place and hate it because your traveling companions annoy you. Fortunately I have Marathon Girl to travel with and can have a good time wherever I go.
Nothing beats sleeping in your own bed.
July 25th, 2006
The website for my radio show went up this morning. You can see it at theabelhour.com
July 19th, 2006
This is what I dreamed: My late wife Krista and I were walking through fields of alfalfa near my parent’s house — something we often did when we were first dating. In the dream it was summer and hot and the alfalfa scraped against our jeans as we walked. We were holding hands and Krista kept smiling at me. I turned to say something to her when the dream shifted. Now I was walking the streets of downtown Ogden toward a red brick church with a white steeple. I clutched the hand of my second wife, Julianna. We were dressed in black and heading to Krista’s funeral. The sidewalk was crowded with others, also dressed in black, walking to the church. As we approached the church’s large wooden doors, the funeral director asked if I wanted a moment alone with Krista’s body before services began. I nodded and was taken to a small room in the basement. The room had bare cement walls. A florescent light was suspended from the ceiling. Krista was lying on a stainless steel table directly under the light. She didn’t look dead; rather, she looked like she was sleeping. Krista was wearing a forest green dress and matching shoes. Her blonde hair was straight and shoulder length, just the way I recall her wearing it the last year of her life. I stared at the body for a few moments then reached out to hold her hand. Before I touched it Krista opened her eyes and said, “Abel, what are you doing?”
That was where the dream ended and why I was unable to fall back asleep at three twenty-one in the morning.
Want to read the rest? Subscribe to my mailing list
to read about the complications of dreaming about my late wife. The link to the rest of the story goes out Thursday morning.
July 18th, 2006
Excerpt from Nothing Good About Grief July 6, 2006:
I regret the fact that I chose to go to the office – a place that cares so little about the people running the business – on that Tuesday morning back in September of 2004.
I might have saved his life had I stayed home.
Instead, I played little Miss Corporate Citizen – risking my life as I drove the 40+ miles to the office through sheets of rain and over the chewed-up tree branches that scattered the road following Hurricane Frances.
And Rich died on my kitchen floor.
I’ll be sharing my thoughts on this post first thing on my radio show today.
Thank you Go Go Yubari for letting me share this on the air.
July 17th, 2006
My poem The End of the World was published on StrongVerse.org
today. You can read the poem here
Those who are familiar with my old blog might remember that the poem was inspired by a run I took on cold March morning.
July 14th, 2006
Thanks for all the congrats for our little bundle of joy that should be arriving sometime in mid-December. We find out in two weeks if it’s a boy or a girl. Marathon Girl is hoping for a girl because she’s severely outnumbered at home. I really don’t care what it is. I just want it to arrive healthy and on time.
We planned on having a third child but not this soon. The plan was to have Marathon Girl run a marathon or two this year and then try for number three. What’s that saying about the best laid plans of mice and men? Does anyone really know the end of that quote? Anyway, Marathon Girl has retired any plans to run a marathon until next year though she’s still running six days a week. Running wise I don’t know what we’re going to do once number three arrives since they don’t manufacture triple-wide strollers.
(On a side note, I made a subtle hint that something was up back in April. Aside from Mr. Sensitive who knows I like to throw subtle hints into my blog just to see if anyone is paying attention, no one else wondered why I noticed that pregnancy tests were kept behind lock and key? When I posted it, I thought several of you might wonder. Maybe I should have mentioned how I went to the store on a Sunday night only to be dismayed that pregnancy tests were locked up and I was going to have to wait another 12 hours to purchase it! It’s not easy to sleep at night when you don’t know whether or not your wife is pregnant.)
Second, I saw the doctor yesterday about my toe. He was unable to find anything wrong with it. Maybe the X-rays will reveal something. I hope so. I really don’t want to give up running — at least for a long period of time. The good news is that aside from the toe I’m in great health.
Finally, I had a wonderful time with Aidan last night lifting weights. Occasionally he accompanies me to the basement and “helps” me with my weight routines. Most of his help involves him counting to ten (well trying to count to ten, anyway) while I lift. But last night I gave him a two pound dumbbell bar and showed him how to curl it with his arms. He thought it was cool that he was lifting weights like his dad and would do his best to count to ten while he curled the bar. What a fun kid. And to think I’ll have three of them to play with by the end of the year. How exciting!
July 13th, 2006
Sixty-eight degrees and partly cloudy is the perfect running weather. Unfortunately in July it’s nearly impossible to find cool running weather. Saturday, Marathon Girl and I took the kids for a run at eight in the morning and it was already over eighty degrees.
There’s nothing like breaking in a new pair of running shoes.
My big toe has been in pain every time I run for the last two months. When asked my Marathon Girl why I won’t see a doctor about it, I tell her I’m worried the doctor telling me I have to take a break from running.
This month marks six years since I started running regularly. Considering the mileage I’ve put on over the years I should consider myself lucky that a painful big toe is the only injury I’ve suffered during that time. (Yes, I’m seeing a doctor about it later in the week.)
Marathon Girl is still the most impressive runner on the planet. She never lets anything stop her from running including a surprise pregnancy. Now I’m really glad we bought a minivan.
My favorite part of church is teaching Sunday school to 16- and 17-year olds. For the most part they pay more attention, ask more questions, and participate in the lesson more than the adult classes I occasionally teach.
I’ve finally worked out a schedule where I’m reading regularly again. In the last two weeks I’ve read Lost Light and Anansi Boys and I hightly ecommend both of them. Up next: The Closers, I Know This Much is True, Conquests and Cultures, and a biography.
Despite all that’s going on in my life I’m still finding time to write books. Right now I’m splitting my time on a self-help book about dating a widower I’m co-authoring with another person and a work of fiction. My goal is to have them both completed by the end of the year.
It’s nice to know there’s one other person who didn’t like Superman Returns. Maybe by next week I’ll find another person who agrees with me that the movie was a major disappointment on so many levels.
The Detroit Tigers head into the All-Star break with 59 wins. That’s quite impressive considering just a few years ago they struggled to win that many games in an entire season.
July 10th, 2006
For those who listen regularly to my radio show and have emailed questions about the show, guests, and topics discussed fear not: my show will have it’s own website up soon. For those who have wanted a copy of the principles of life, here they are as follows:
The Principles of Life
- You are responsible for your own happiness
- You cannot control the thoughts or actions of others, but you must control your own
- You always have a choice, no one can force you to do anything without your permission
- How you react to life’s events defines who you are
- Every challenge that you overcome makes you stronger
- When you are going through tough times, look at the big picture
- Life is a gift. Be a good steward and work better your own life and the lives of others
And for those who are new and want to listen, the show is broadcast from 11 a.m.-noon MST and can be heard on KSRR 1400 AM in Utah and outside of broadcast range you can stream the show online here.
July 6th, 2006
It was Marathon Girl’s birthday this weekend and as one of her birthday presents I found a babysitter and took her out for dinner and a movie. Since it was her birthday, Marathon Girl picked the movie. Her choice? Superman Returns.
Did I mention I have the best wife in the world? Does she want to see a chick flick or some other silly movie? Nope. She picks a comic book/action movie. How many women would do that when there are at lest two or three chick flicks playing at the same time. Not many. That’s why Marathon Girl rocks.
Anyway, I was excited to see the Superman Returns. Hollywood has done a great job with movies based on comic books as of late (e.g., Spiderman 1 & 2, X-Men 1 & 2 (haven’t ‘see the third one yet), Batman Returns) so I was looking forward to seeing this one too. However, I was extremely disappointed.
*** WARNING: I’m going to discuss Superman Returns and possibly reveal some plot details. If you’d rather not read about it before you see it, stop now! ***
I was never a fan of the original Superman movies with Christopher Reeve. I thought they were cheesy, poorly written, and fairly cheesy. I also thought Lex Luthor was the biggest idiot in the entire world. I was never able to care about him or hate him as a character and he really never seemed very evil in the movies. I was hoping Superman Returns would divorce itself from the original movies and start over a la Batman Begins especially once I learned the director (Bryan Singer) and writers (Michael Dougherty and Dan Harris) who brought us the first two X-Men movies were in charge.
Instead Superman Returns wants to overtly pay tribute to the first movies. (And I have to wonder how much of a tribute people would want to play of the first one if Christopher Reeve hadn’t become such an icon.) I still didn’t care one bit about Lex Luthor and wondered how someone so incredibly smart could surround himself with the dumbest people in the world. The cheese factor from the first movies was just as heavy. And would it hurt to round out a couple of characters such as Jimmy Olsen so they wouldn’t be so cliche and annoying.
And talk about inconstancies involving Superman’s powers revolving around kryptonite. One minute he’s near the stuff and he’s as week as a kitten. But when he’s trying to save the world and big shards of the stuff are inches from his face, it doesn’t seem to affect him? Hello. Please don’t insult our intelligence.
Yes, there are some improvements and some great scenes in the movie. Superman saving the airplane was great and stopping a bank robber was well done and adding the love triangle with Lois, her love and Superman created some great tension and a nice human element to the film. The best, most emotional scene in the entire movie is when Superman and Lois Lane meet on top of the Daily Planet building and he flies her above Gotham.
If the writers and director of Superman Returns would have been willing to take a more original approach with the movie, I think it could have been great. Instead, Superman Returns is a reminder how disappointing the original Superman movies are and left much to be desired.
(And if anyone wants to know, Marathon Girl really liked Superman Returns. But she liked the original Superman movies too. So if you’re a fan of the original movies, you’ll probably like this one. If not, you’ll probably hate it.)
Superman Returns: **1/2 stars (out of 4)
July 5th, 2006