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RobFTC

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  • Date Widowed
    Nov. 7, 2010
  • Cause of death
    Ovarian cancer


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  1. Hi folks, I'm Rob, and I was RobFTC on the old board as well. I was widowed in 2010, and twins a month away from turning 10; we lost Michelle to ovarian cancer after a 22-month fight. The old board was instrumental to deal with my loss, and I have met a decent number of old hands in person, and have got to know others virtually. I hosted a couple of bagos in northern Colorado, and hope we all get the chance to do something like that as soon as this scourge has been tamed. My kids are now 19 and both at home - one was actually in a dorm at an in-state college, but is home now, doing work online, while the other is also doing online work for the local community college. Their schools both announced that they were not reopening during spring break. We went down to the in-state college, home of the second-hottest-per-capita Covid-19 zone in the state, to move out of the dorm. We came closer that 10 feet to another person just once there, and twice more in the next county over at a hotel and when getting take-out food. The kids are doing well - they are a little more reclusive than I would like, but that's not too bad a thing right now. I started dating too early and made a lot of mistakes. I met someone and remarried Sept 2018, and we moved to a different house a year later. Time in the new house was tough - too much fighting - and I moved back to my unsold house in November. We're working on reconciling, and it was pretty good until a recent setback. With Covid, we haven't seen each other in person for awhile, which I know isn't helping. Since I work from home, the stay-at-home stuff is not that different from my norm, so except for being very selective about shopping, I am OK. What's hardest is knowing how many people we're losing, and how many more wids and losses this pandemic is creating. I am really aware of nursing homes right now. I don't know of any losses in my circles, but am worried about a few people, like my next-door neighbor, a nurse. If you are a recent wid, I am so sorry for your loss. If it's from Covid-19, OMG do I feel for you dealing with your enormous loss in this time of isolation. Know that you will survive this, know that your kids will survive this, know that you will take delight in things again, know that you can find love again if and when you become ready. And everyone - know that Covid-19 will change us and society some, but that we will survive this, too, and that good things will come out of it as well. Take care, Rob T
  2. RobFTC

    Marriage after widowhood

    Happy New Year, all! So things have continued to go in a good direction. We have met and done fun things and also spent time talking, and it's been good. We have been reading and then talking about chapters from "Couple Skills", and that has been good. We started up with the new counselor, and while the first session before Christmas was tense, it seemed to have helped, and the second session in the New Year was felt dramatically better. Christmas week was hard, but the void caused me to get my own copy of the book she's been working through, and that's given me a lot of understanding on what's underneath some of her tendencies and what's going on with our cyclic fights. I feel like I have better tools now. As a bonus, doing that reading has been met with a lot of appreciation. We spent New Year's Eve at a contra dance and kissed at midnight - something I had hoped for but really believed was out of reach not too long before it happened. We're still edging carefully towards the parenting discussion - I have felt that we need to get along better and want the relationship to work before we crack that nut, and that we need to do that in a counseling session. But soon. And we will need to bring my daughter into a counseling session some time as well. CW, thanks for your thoughts. We do have two different homes at the moment, and can maintain both as long as we watch spending. It is unclear whether we would be happy being married but living in separate homes for any significant amount of time, but it's also unclear when it will feel safe to be under one roof again. So I guess we will see how many hurdles we can clear and how that feels. We can't necessarily practice all of our fancy skills until we ARE under one roof again, so we may have to see how another leap of faith feels at some point. Take care and thanks for the support, Rob T
  3. RobFTC

    Marriage after widowhood

    Thanks T2B, Mac. Last night went very well. Fun, laughter, positive stuff at last. I also met with the pastor who married us (a long-time friend of my wife), and understand better where some of the fault lines are. Mostly, it's conflict about managing the kids (especially the one at home), what model of blending we want, and whether we can drain off some of the stress/hurt/mistrust over all of that. Better skills will help. It might be awhile before we know whether we can pull this off, but we at least know we would both prefer to do that, and have some positive incentive to do that. Take care, Rob T
  4. RobFTC

    Marriage after widowhood

    Hi folks, Thanks for the kind words. Things are better. I took a risk and asked if the amount of contact was right, and she said she wanted more, and that it felt weird to not know stuff - words I could have written. So we have been texting more. We have been on the phone a couple of times (which I like better than texting), and have seen each other briefly a couple of times for logistical purposes, and that's gone OK. We have a "first date" to go hear some music on Wednesday. Perhaps most importantly, we agreed to start working with the "Couple Skills" books, and we went through our first chapter on the phone tonight, and it felt good. We will eventually do counseling when we can get appointments set. T2B, I was a bum, I forgot about your response and went and did a radio show yesterday evening. But I can put the link to the recording up - I come in at about a minute and a half: https://archive.org/details/CelticJourneysKRFC/19-12-15-KRFC-Celtic-Journeys.mp3 Rob T
  5. RobFTC

    Marriage after widowhood

    Thanks for all the support, and especially to those with whom I had contact outside the site. Thanksgiving week has been good. My youngest (by two minutes) has been home, and she's just so good to have around. The resident kid is nowhere near as easy or connected. Tomorrow is Sunday, and Twin B heads back to school and I have to go do a lonely radio show that nobody listens to, so I find the emotions of the situation seeping in. When I moved out, I gave her the only house and mailbox keys I had ever had, and told her that. And it appears from debit card transactions that she changed the locks anyway. The profound lack of trust inherent in that is hard. A woman trusted me to shepherd her to death's very door and now I'm not trustworthy enough to vouch for a damned key. It happens, I guess, in these situations. When I moved out, she didn't trust that I hadn't, in fact taken her damned hammer or that I would make sure she got a few mispacked travel books or surge suppressors back. She did wish me a Happy Thanksgiving on the day. I asked if she was with family, and got just a one-word answer, no idea until the Facebook post where she actually was. But with some emotions back, I don't notice that I miss her or love her. The fighting seems to have blown up the attachment. When I lost attachment a previous time, it felt like the roots of my soul were coming out; here, it feels like I am going straight to being sad rather than wishing I could get the connection back. Maybe that's telling me something? I don't know. I'm OK, it's just hard right now. Tomorrow will be better. I miss chat. Thanks for listening. Take care, Rob T
  6. Hi folks, Last September, I got remarried. This September, we moved to a lovely house in the neighboring town. A week ago today, my daughter and I moved back into my still-empty house. It sucks. I feel like a failure, even as I appreciate the peace we have now. Some background - in August, we got my kids moved into dorms at the same in-state college a few hours away. One is still there, the other lasted one night and said "I can't do this, I have to withdraw." So we moved with her. The dreams of making love in every room in the house being dashed was the least of it. Instead of a new start and cooperation, we fought more and more often. A fight last Monday was about how we should approach the next counseling appointment. And my daughter's relationship with her went from "needs improvement" to "five-alarms". She has some stuff going on. The book "How We Love" has a quiz that tags her as a "vacillator" - I'm her Prince Charming until I disappoint or poke her feelings of inadequacy, at which point I'm demonized. I've sat through eviscerations that rocked me, and dealt with double-standards where every statement I made can be examined but hers are not open to the same, and gotten to know how long and detailed her list of resentments are. Nobody who's met her would believe it. And guess what, I'm no angel, either - I hate some of what I said and did. I got out to save my sanity, since we were 10x better at creating new issues than solving any of them. I didn't know I could pack up my stuff in two and a half days. I should have has us get counseling going six months ago. I should have broken out my favorite "Couple Skills" books around that time, too. We should have been doing checkins to avoid letting resentments pile up. I should have lead more as we tried to react to my daughter being with us. I wanted my reactions to be more measured without being a doormat, but I could not do that fast enough as things got worse. Lots to reflect on. Not for the faint of heart, this. I am, for the moment, much better off alone than in that situation, even through the holiday season. We may do further work, it's hard to say and I don't need to make that decision yet. For now, we need time. I'll take prayers if you got 'em. Take care, Rob T
  7. Yes, a couple - but we're moving further from the best one. Silly us, buying the house we wanted because the kids had committed to go to college! This is also the kid who has resisted learning to drive. Take care, Rob T
  8. Yes, Julester3 - I had a thought later about what kind of meltdown she would have if we had left already. She could have made some epic bad decisions. Take care, Rob T
  9. Well, well - my oldest twin keeps finding ways to surprise me. Both twins settled on Western Colorado University, about a 4.5 hour drive from here, and so we have been prepping them for some time. The packing to leave home was lit - they had never moved, so they had no idea what to do and too much happened at the last moment. But we launched Tuesday, to get them to move-in and orientation on Wednesday. We got them all moved in, and things seemed good. Then yesterday, as we were attending parent orientation and they were supposed to be off doing their stuff, I get a text from The Oldest. She was freaked out by all of the strangers and not feeling like she could actually be alone anywhere, and wanted to withdraw. We loop in a couple of orientation staff and her school mentor, and then meet her to talk. She's rock-solid about this not being a fit for her, and she needed to leave now. We could not talk her out of it or convince her to give it a week, and talking about our imminent move to a new house and how her "normal" is kind of gone didn't sway her, either. We couldn't even give her a ride home - we'd taken the rear seats out of the van for all the stuff. The younger twin was sad, but still excited to be there - I've never seen such different reactions to the same circumstances. Kathy was beyond awesome about all of this. So she got out of classes, arranged to leave her dorm, and we packed up her stuff again, put it in the van, figured out how she could get home on the bus (leaving at 6am!), and headed home. I expected to be sad about leaving kids at school but excited for their future - that's true for one, but I feel a sense of failure and fears for the future of the other one. She got on the bus this morning, and will be traveling about 12 hours to get home. We have some thoughts about what we're going to need to see her doing. When we got home, I joked that we should watch "Failure To Launch" some time, and Kathy joked, "with <the kid>"! Take care, Rob T
  10. Tybec - I am so sorry. I get it - I wondered if this would be the outcome for awhile. But it still sucks to pull the trigger on a decision like this. You gave it a more-than-fair try, so you needn't look back. I hope your path ahead is better. Take care, Rob T
  11. Congrats, RyanAmysMom - my late wife had a PhD in Biomedical Engineering, in her case it was drug delivery via degradable polymers (plastics that rot). I had considered that option back in my university days due to some work I knew about, figuring out how to control motors in prosthetic limbs, but wasn't sure I could handle the fabrication needed to play well in that space. Several interesting things there.
  12. Thanks for the thread! I probably should have started one. Here's that post in case anyone missed it and wondered. -- High school graduation was today. One twin walked, which was great to see - I worried about her. She was failing half her classes a month ago, after an antidepressant gap sent her into a bad spiral for a month. On the way in, her horticulture teacher said she was impressed by her in the latter part of the class. Her sister did not walk - because she hasn't quite passed everything, but still could, if she can turn in work in one last class in the next few days. Seniors are done, it's like they have been raptured, but school runs a bit longer for lower grades. She had an insane schedule this semester - eight classes, no lunch break, no spare period at school to work on stuff. And she didn't step up work at home, really. It's been a concern since February, when she was failing half of her classes. I'm riding herd on her solo because my wife is out of town for a funeral of her best friend during childhood (what a crappy choice!). I'm not proud, I've offered bribes/rewards when stuff get turned in. I ran into one of her teachers afterwards, and she again expressed love for her and said she knew she would develop well. I melt when teachers love my kids. -- And to add - she made it! We finally heard mid-week last week that she had passed the mysterious credit-recovery online class we'd wondered about, and she landed enough writing to get a 64% in the scariest class. She'd been at 5% in that class at one point, so this was a pretty epic recovery. I took her over to check out, and talked to a couple of teachers and a counselor, and it was SO good to celebrate with them! Now, we're trying to get them into regular schedules, to get going on college details, and to get started on the yard work we offered them as an alternative to getting real jobs. Still some conversations to be had! We'll do a college visit this weekend. Take care, Rob T
  13. RobFTC

    Sexy Widowed Saturday Night!

    Saturday night at home, catching up on a TV series I have been letting build up for months. I need another drink, but I'm not sure what I can add to a rye and coke that won't give me a headache. High school graduation was today. One twin walked, which was great to see - I worried about her. She was failing half her classes a month ago, after an antidepressant gap sent her into a bad spiral for a month. On the way in, her horticulture teacher said she was impressed by her in the latter part of the class. Her sister did not walk - because she hasn't quite passed everything, but still could, if she can turn in work in one last class in the next few days. Seniors are done, it's like they have been raptured, but school runs a bit longer for lower grades. She had an insane schedule this semester - eight classes, no lunch break, no spare period at school to work on stuff. And she didn't step up work at home, really. It's been a concern since February, when she was failing half of her classes. I'm riding herd on her solo because my wife is out of town for a funeral of her best friend during childhood (what a crappy choice!). I'm not proud, I've offered bribes/rewards when stuff get turned in. I ran into one of her teachers afterwards, and she again expressed love for her and said she knew she would develop well. I melt when teachers love my kids. I thought of their Mom more during the ceremony than I have in some time. It sucked to be doing it alone. Some grad parties tomorrow will help. Take care, Rob T
  14. RobFTC

    There are worse things than death

    I has looked over this thread until now. I am friends with this amazing woman on FB, and started seeing her posts about it; it took awhile for the magnitude of what had happened to sink in. I kinda wanted to let people here know, but thought I was not necessarily going to do it well or be known to very many people these days - thanks, Mike, you did it well. I see the faith, I see the cries of pain, and I can only imagine how it must be for them. Lots of prayers for all.
  15. RobFTC

    My very own Widow Island

    Happy belated 50th, Helen! Glad to hear good things from you! Three good things: 1. Family life (including my new wife) is great, even as we deal with the chaos of my 18-year-olds' upcoming graduation. 2. Spring is here, and I will be able to ride my bike again soon. 3. Music remains a source of meaning and fun in my life, and I am back on the radio on Sunday.

Personal Information

  • Date Widowed
    Nov. 7, 2010
  • Cause of death
    Ovarian cancer


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