Monday, September 18, 2006

Back in NJ

After a very nice weekend in Pittsburgh, I'm back in New Jersey. I had such a great time. I will provide a link to some of the pics I took as soon as I upload them to photobucket.

The only downside to my weekend was the intense desire to have Pablo share it with me. In 2004, we had made plans to take a mini-tour of several stadiums: Cleveland, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, and Baltimore. We only made it to Baltimore that year. I have wonderful memories of that weekend spent in Maryland, but I wish he was here, to join me as I explore more ballparks.

When do you stop feeling that pull in your stomach at the fact that he will never again join you in the awe of seeing a new ballpark for the first time? When do you stop feeling the sadness in your heart at seeing all the other couples and families out at the ballpark, knowing that that should have been you? When do you stop feeling the bitterness rise in your throat at the sight of all the dads with their kids, either cuddling the babies or explaining the game to the older kids?

I don't know. And that scares me. A lot more than I'm willing to admit.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Off on a Road Trip

Greetings from Pittsburgh!

My sister, J., and I are in Pittsburgh, to enjoy a little culture, a little sight-seeing. Okay, just kidding. Everyone knows there's nothing to see, no culture, in Pittsburgh. Ok, I'm kidding again!

Anyways, after an ordeal with Southwest that involved me, a Roberto Clemente biography, a bag of Lifesavers, and four hours of just sitting on a tarmac, we finally made it to Pitt. We still haven't gone into Pittsburgh proper, but from what we've seen so far is really nice. Nicer than I expected. Lots of hills, lots of green. I like that.

There was a bit of turbulence on the flight from Philly, and I know I visibly blanched during the hardest bits. The man sitting next to me was probably seconds away from asking me if I needed a barf bag. I wasn't close to that at all. I just had tons of thoughts churning through my head - what if something happened to me? Who would take care of Sammy? I also thought of Pablo, waiting for me in Heaven. I thought of those poor people a few weeks ago who were killed in that plane crash in Kentucky. But most of all I thought - I DON'T WANT TO DIE!

Like Gary Allen said in his great song "I Just Got Back From Hell":
Gonna learn to live again
But I think I’ll sit a spell
Tell the world that I’m alive
And I just got back from hell

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Remembering September 11

I remember bits of Sept. 10th clearly. I was in law school then, a first year intent on doing well, but also enjoying myself. I remember I was sitting in the cafeteria, and I had a blue sweater on. Weird, the details that stick. I remember spilling a cup of coffee on myself, due to my clumsiness. I remember I went back to my dorm room to change, but I don't remember much else.

Sept. 11th dawned like any other day (like days that change our life ususally do). I don't remember what clothes I wore, but as usual, I was running late to class and probably just slapped on the first thing I saw. I had class at 8:30 am, and barely made it. We plunged into the topic of Property and how property law interacts with online sites such as Napster, Kazaa and the like.

It wasn't till almost 9:45 that we even found out what had happened. Our Property professor was also the dean of the school, and while we blithely talked about things of no consequence (really, compared to what was going on 20 miles away). The dean of academic affairs blustered into the room, and he looked visibly upset. I remember he whispered something in the Dean's ear, and the Dean blanched. I thought "wow, something must have happened to Dean Deutch's family. Someone must've gotten into a car accident or something." Dean D. then turned to us (and I remember thinking "Oh my God, he's going to tell us what happened?!") The words he said next will forever be etched into my brain: "The country's under attack. Planes flew into the World Trade Center. There's been a bomb at the State Dept. in DC, and another plane flew into the Pentagon. There are planes headed for the White House." (Remember, rumors were flying rampant, and no one knew yet what exactly was going to happen. I don't remember packing my stuff, but I do remember standing in front of a small radio in the cafeteria, listening to the news. My roommate and I were clutching each other when we heard the anguished cries over the air: "The tower is collapsing!" The second tower came down shortly thereafter, and the two anchors of the Downtown Manhattan skyline were gone.

But even beyond that, far greater on my mind, was all the people who had gone to work a little earlier and had sadly met their deaths. All the people who heroically rushed in, as everyone else was fleeing. Five years later, I still think of those people often. Even though I knew no one who perished in the towers, or in Pennsylvania, or at the Pentagon, I still feel for those who were killed by the terrorists, for nothing more than boarding a plane, or going to work, or risking their own lives for others.

9/11: We will never forget.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Potty Training

One of the most peaceful places in the world has to be the bathroom. It's probably the only place where you are completely left alone. I mean, you're not exactly going to take your cell phone in there while you take a shower. And answering any pesky calls would totally defeat the purpose of a long, leisurely bubble bath. And I don't think anyone wants to talk to someone on the toilet.

Therefore, the bathroom has become the only place where I am completely alone with my thoughts. (I also do a lot of thinking in the car, but there I'm sometimes distracted by the radio or the radio or Baby Girl.) The bathroom is the place where some of the most obscure memories of Pablo come back to me. It's where I get the saddest. I guess during the rest of the day, I'm usually able to easily distract myself with something else. That's usually not the case in the bathroom. There's but so much within those four walls. I know I could take a book in there with me, but I guess I cherish those few precious minutes where I can really work through a little bit of my grief.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

The First No-Hitter in Two Years:

Yeah, I know, this isn't a sports blog. So I won't be talking about the no-hitter in and of itself. Just the effects it had on me.

Last night, Anibal Sanchez of the Florida Marlins pitched the first no-hitter in more than two years. What does this have to do with Wanda, you ask? Simple. Baseball was an essential part of the life I shared with Pablo. We bonded over the games we watched, and we taught each other different aspects of the game he introduced to me. A game I eventually came to love.

The last no-hitter thrown in baseball was back in May 2004. When Pablo was still with us... I can't help but think back to happier days. Back then, I was days away from graduating from law school, two months away from getting pregnant, three months from our first wedding anniversary...

The reason it's hard for me is it just reinforces the fact that I am on my own from here on out. Obviously, where I miss him most is in my bed. Okay, kidding. It's in all the little things Sammy does, that I wish I could share with him. But on a lesser scale, I also wish I could share this amazing Mets season. They're on the verge of the playoffs for the first time since 2000, and they're favorites to go to the World Series in the NL, but it will mean just a little bit less not to have my favorite baseball fan to share it with.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Rain, Rain, Go Away:

There are few things more depressing than rainy days. One of those things is a rainy week. I swear, the last time I saw the sun must've been sometime in June. Of 2002. Seriously, this rain wreaks havoc on my normally sunny disposition. Okay, I lie. I have no sunny disposition. But I'm usually cheerful enough. However, I am hating all this fucking rain. Not only is it chillier when it rains, but also looks like it's getting darker sooner, because of the cloudy weather.

Besides that, everyone just seems pissed when it's rainy. They're just rushing to get to their destination 'cause really - who wants to be out in the rain?

Anyway, yes I realize I just spent an entire post writing about something as mundane as the rain, but that's really all that's been going on lately.

Monday, September 04, 2006

All's Well That Ends Well(?):

At least that's over. The wedding, I mean. I was fine during the ceremony, mainly thanks to The Girl, my daughter. (She's 17 months old.) The church was mostly empty due to the remnants of Hurricane Ernesto, and she used the opportunity to scream and run around like a little maniac.

The reception itself was a little harder to deal with. First, I hated how I looked. The dress I bought fit me horribly, but serves me right for not even trying it on. I hope to never wear that black sack ever again. (I have a wedding to go to in April, and I hope to be a lot more svelte by then.) Everyone looked so great, and I just felt like a lump. Secondly, of course everyone was there with their SOs. If Pablo were still alive, we would've been together the longest, since we got together back in August of 1996. There was one part where I was talking with my brother-in-law, and The Girl was dancing around, and I just had a keen sense of longing for Pablo to be there with us - I couldn't control the tears. I hate crying in public, because it makes other people uncomfortable (although really, I should just say "fuck 'em all!" and cry my heart out, but it's also a matter of pride). I tried to mask my tears, but several of my uncles and aunts noticed and came over to hug me, or squeeze my hand. Which I greatly appreciated, even if I did want to hide the fact that I was crying.

I miss you, baby.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Weddings and Funerals:

Tomorrow, I'll be going to my first wedding since Pablo's death, and I have been dreading this for months.

It's my cousin's wedding, and I had been secretly hoping for a minor injury (to my hand or foot) so I wouldn't have to go. Don't worry, I wasn't throwing myself down stairs or anything, but I wouldn't have been heartbroken if I oculdn't have been able to go.

Why am I so scared to go? I really don't feel like re-living all the memories of my own wedding day in that same church a little over three years ago. The same church where Pablo's funeral was held 19 months ago. Sure, I go to mass there every Sunday. But there're no wedding ceremonies during Sunday mass. I'm sure it'll be a bittersweet experience. I'm very happy for my cousin, because even though she and her husband have been married since 1999, they will have their marriage blessed by the Church. But it's still hard to re-live the same ceremony that I had, but all alone.

And then, of course, comes the reception. Oh, joy. I have to get all dressed up for absolutely nobody. Don't get me wrong, I take pride in my appearance, but I did enjoy his compliments when I took care to look my best. Also, I really don't feel my prettiest right now. I know I have to lose weight. And I'm not looking forward to the comments tomorrow about my weight gain.

Sigh. I just hope to survive tomorrow, without too many tears.