Unhappy Anniversary

Riverside National Cemetery

Riverside National Cemetery

Today I sit here alone in my room and mourn your loss. It’s been five years since you left me, Dale.

My heart is still full of love for you. I still pray for your return. Missing you terribly.

My intention today was to drive down to San Diego, as I’ve often done in the past. For some reason I just couldn’t see myself down there. Last night when I went to be I thought I’d feel differently in the morning, but I didn’t.

San Diego holds lots of memories for us. It’s a place where I feel close to you.

Before I head out to AZ to begin my new life – I’ll visit you at Riverside National. Once I made the decision not to go to San Diego, I thought it would be a good day to drive to the cemetery, but alas, I don’t even want to get out of my jammies.

My last cemetery visit will be a difficult one for me. Two months ago I left our home where you still had so much of a presence. Now I’m leaving you behind once again. I know, I know — I’ll never “leave you behind”.  You’re always in my heart. There’s not a day that I don’t think of you. But I feel  uncomfortable leaving you alone in the cemetery. You’re soul is in heaven – but your body isn’t. And I guess that’s what I’m having trouble with. Although I don’t go to the cemetery often, I know that you’re still close by. After my move to AZ, you won’t be as easy to visit. I really do feel as if I’m leaving you behind. I want you to come with me – and you will – in my heart.

Sweet Dreams My Love,

Eydie :)


A Time For Moving On

Dear Dale — I always feel guilty for not writing to you. But then I remember that I talk to you most every day. You are always in my thoughts – but most importantly – you’re in my heart.

Recently, you’ve been in my thoughts more than ever.

In my last letter to you I told you that I was selling the house. Well, it’s been sold for about two months now, and I’ve moved into Miriam’s house instead of Casa Grande.  They ended up be way too expensive for me and they wanted my income to be 2.5 times the rent. Hmmmm, if I had that kind of money – I could have kept the house. Anyway, I moved in with Miriam and she’s not charging me a lot of rent.

Sigh — living in her house hasn’t been what I thought it would be. It’s less than ideal – but you know that already, don’t you??  The situation was only supposed to be temporary anyway…and thank goodness I found a new place to live.

Originally, I was looking for a place in Corona. I love Corona, and it also holds many memories of you. Sadly, apartments are expensive and the low-income apartments are hard to get into. People don’t move out often because the rents are so low.  Regularly, I’ve been calling the renting agents at the places I’d like to live, but without any luck.

Sun Villa Resort ApartmentsAbout three weeks ago, however, I got a call from Marsha – the renting agent at Sun Villa Resort Apartments in Mesa, AZ.  AZ had been on the table a number of times, but I always set it aside because I truly love CA.  In the recent past, things have come up that made me realize that I need to be near Krista. I miss her so much, as well as Samantha. But when my back started to go out one night, I got scared. We both know that when my back goes out, I could be down for weeks, if not months. Who would take care of me??  Even when I had a cough and cold this past week, there really wasn’t anyone I could ask to get me meds and stuff. So I had to drag myself out of bed and to the store. And I have to be honest — I wasn’t in the best shape to drive. This experience was an eye-opener. I’m not getting younger – and eventually I’m going to need help. Sigh.  I don’t feel I can count on Amy for help.

Shortly after moving into Miriam’s, I ran into a crisis (at least for me it was a crisis), and I called Amy for help. I asked if I could move in with her. Long story short – she said no. It was heartbreaking for me to know that I could’t count on her for support.  Needless to say – we’re not really on the best of terms anymore.

Karen would have taken me in temporarily had I asked – but heck, I’m not moving to ice and snow. I love Karen dearly, but I know I’d be better off in sweltering hot AZ.

With all that said, I’m moving to Mesa, AZ on November 9th. My apartment will be ready for me on the 10th. Dale — I am so excited about this move!!

Moving in with Miriam was a good thing though. It made the transition from the house on Lorraine to being on my own not so much easier, but it will make the transition from CA to AZ easier.  When I left the house, I felt as if I had left you behind. There was so much in the house that had your footprint. You, as far as I was concerned, still lived there. Leaving you behind broke my heart.

Now as I prepare to move to AZ, I don’t have all those same feelings again – well, not until I realize that you’ll be at Riverside National and I’ll be 347 miles away from you.  I plan on visiting you before I leave – but then I think it might be too difficult. Sometimes I wish I had had you cremated – this way I could take you with me. But I know you didn’t want to be cremated.

There are so many unknowns related to my move. I’ve seen the apartments on their website, but not in person. I sent Krista over to meet with Marsha and see the apartment complex. She said I’d be happy there – and I have to trust her to know what I like AND that it’s a nice, clean place. She only saw the model, but she said everything looked good on the grounds as well. The apartment complex is a 55 and over, and it’s inside of a 55 and over residential complex, which is situated on a golf course. I suppose I can’t go wrong. Everyone tells me they’re sure it’s nice because it’s on a golf course. But who knows.  I have to keep remembering that Krista wouldn’t let me move into a place that was a dump.

Funny enough, I already know a couple of people who live in Mesa and one in Gilbert. It’s nice to know that I already have friends. Plus Jeremy’s step mom is there. I only met her twice (briefly), but we’ve been talking on FB, and we’re both looking forward to getting to know each other better.

I’m in Starbucks right now. Been here for a few hours already.  Miriam has her brother and sister-in-law visiting from Texas, and this afternoon her kids and grandkids are coming over for dinner. I was invited, but I’m going to escape. I’m not interested in spending time with them.

Oh, did I tell you that I bought a car??  Ed Garland, my realtor (from the Elks Lodge – remember when I used to sit for his open houses?). Anyway, he had a 2004 Honda Accord for sale. I bought it for $5,000. It only had 67.000 miles on it. I think I got a great deal!  It’s fun to drive too. The Dodge Ram was getting old – but it still has a lot of spunk in her. Jeremy is driving it now.

And I finally bought a MacBook Air. My HP was heading south real fast. I needed a new laptop. Since I don’t forsee me buying another one after this – I decided to just go for the best. It’s only got a small 13″ screen, but it’s still big enough for me to design websites. I’m loving my Mac — and take it with me almost everywhere.

Okay — I’m sure there’s more I should be telling you, but heck, you know it all already. I know you’re watching out for me from heaven — although, what’s with not visiting me anymore???? I figured you weren’t going to come to me at Miriam’s house — but I sure hope you find me in AZ.

Love you….

Sweet Dreams My Love,

Eydie :)


Dear Dale,

I’m so scared. I need you to visit with me. I need your guidance.

For_SaleI put the house up for sale. Ed Garland came on Tuesday and the For Sale sign went up on Thursday. Ed is going to start asking for $345,000. That’s more than I thought I could get. Krista and I have begun the de-cluttering process. Ed will take pictures on Wednesday, so we have to clear out some stuff to make the rooms look better in pictures. It’s been an overwhelming task for Krista and I. Jeremy and Haylee are living in Mesa, AZ. Sami fractured her foot, is in a cast, and using crutches. Between my knees and Krista’s back – we’re the blind leading the blind. I have offers from people who are willing to help, though. I’m praying it all works out.

I’m still praying that I’m doing the right thing. Yes…I DO know I’m doing the right thing. The kids NEED to be on their own. I NEED to be on my own.

Ugggg — we went to Casa Grande yesterday to see an apartment. OMG – Dale, it’s so flippin’ small. What the hell am I supposed to do with all my stuff? There isn’t much room for an office in either the living room or bedroom. I suppose I could downsize a lot of office stuff. There’s a huge possibility that I don’t need all the stuff I have. I’ve been a pack rat – so I’m sure I can throw away so much stuff.

Krista and I have to remember to chunk things down and take small steps.  We both have a tendency to look at the big picture – and then this whole new journey becomes overwhelming. Krista is scared too. Jeremy isn’t happy in his new job. He feels he isn’t catching on quick enough. He’s too hard on himself — the guys he’s working with tell him he’ll learn it and not to worry.  Also, it’s more labor intensive than he thought it would be. His knee is pretty scraped up. Enough so that he’s going to Urgent Care out there.  He wants to quit and come back home.  I’m freaked out enough – but that just made it worse.  I can’t move forward until he does.  I won’t let Krista and Sami homeless.  Haylee is with her Aunt Jen in Mesa – I would hope that they could keep her there if push comes to shove. Jeremy could continue to “coach hop”. But Krista and Sami are a different story.

Sooooo — selling the house has infused so many new emotions and feelings inside of me. To me, selling the house and moving into an apartment is cutting off the last physical connections I have with you. I won’t be able to “see” you walking around the house or sitting in your chair in the old office. I won’t be able to “see” or “hear” you cooking in the kitchen. This is YOUR house, Dale. It still breathes your breath. Your essence is still occupying the space.

I’ve begun to grieve all over again. It’s crazy…and I don’t like the way I’m feeling. I’ve worked hard at getting to where I am emotionally. I’ve gone through all the stages of grief and acceptance finally arrived. But now — now it starts all over again. This move is the final step towards letting go.

One thing I won’t miss, however, is being in our bedroom day in and day out. Daily,when I sit at my desk to work, I face the closet. I SEE you getting out of bed and trying to stand up. I SEE you coughing. I SEE you going into a seizure. I SEE you falling. I SEE myself trying to help you breathe.  I SEE the video playing EVERYDAY!

At night, although I have a small full-size bed, I sleep on “your” side of the bed. I get in and out of the bed on “your” side. My feet touch the carpet where you died.


Revelation —- I think that video, and the fact that you are still so much a part of the house might be the reason I’m not doing what I need to do with my business.  NO – I’m not blaming you. I’m blaming myself for allowing myself to be consumed with your memory – and consumed with feeling self-pity, and wanting others to pity me.  I WANT people to feel sorry for me. I WANT others to do things for me. OMG —- Is that how I really want my life to play out? The poor widow. People feeling sorry for me?

NO — I want people to see me as a survivor. I want them to see a woman who overcame her circumstances and succeeded in spite of her losses. When I divorced the first husband, I was a go-getter. Now, as a widow – I’ve lost that drive. Grrrrr…… I’m going to rekindle that drive – and make it go into high gear.

YUP — moving is the best thing I could do. So, I’ll move into Casa Grande, or another 55+ community, but at the same time, I’ll be driving myself to success so that I can get a bigger and better apartment.condo. I don’t need the hassle of home ownership anymore. That ship has sailed.

Dale — I’ll always remember you. If no one else does — I will. You were my best friend and I miss you tremendously. Nothing could erase your memory from my heart. But I do have to erase that damn video — especially if it’s what’s holding me back.

Love you for eternity,

Sweet Dreams My Love,

Eydie :)

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A New Journey: I’m Scared

I wrote to you back on May 1st about the possibility of losing the house. Well, it’s probably going to happen. Since that letter to you, I got a letter from OCWEN — apparently the loan modification you worked on with them is an adjustable rate mortgage, and now it’s come due. In addition to the $400 the mortgage is going up, let’s add another $200 for the ARM.  You know… I totally forgot that the load mod was an ARM. The moment I got the letter – my brain kicked in.

I hope you’re not going to be be disappointed but I’m going to put the house up for sale and move into an apartment. Jeremy found a job in Mesa. He went out on Friday for a job interview he had set up fro Monday. Jason, his half-brother (the one they all stayed with when you threw them out), helped him get a job with the home construction company he works for. I believe that Jeremy can start next week. Krista is a bit upset/sad – she really doesn’t want to move to AZ. Her roots are here. She’ll miss me, and of course I’ll miss her. So much is changing….and so quickly too.

I’ve thought about just renting the two bedrooms – but if I get lousy people in then I’m stuck. And that won’t give me the independence I’ve been yearning.  But if I sell the house, then I feel as if I’m cutting the last ties I have with you. Everyday I see things that remind me of you. The whole house is YOU! It still has your breath inside and outside.  I’m afraid I won’t get much for the house, and the solar panels I had put on the roof may be an issue when selling. The house has been falling apart of the lasts 4 years. I haven’t had the money to do much to it in the way of improvements. And that’s just another reason to sell. I can’t keep it up. I can’t do it justice. It needs a total gut job. I don’t have the money or the know-how. Now…. if you helped me win the lottery — there’s a chance I can keep the house. I still have your Super Lotto Plus ticket on the corkboard behind me.  If I play it – can you pull a few strings? LOL

I’m scared, Dale. Real scared. I don’t know if what I’m doing is the right thing. Do I sell or try to rent? If I sell am I giving up? I’ve worked so hard to keep the house. I’m tired now. I think I fought a good fight, and it’s time to let go and start over. Life will be simpler, I pray. I know that the grass isn’t greener on the other side. I know that there will be pitfalls living in an apartment. I just have to figure out which decision will be the least complicated, and the most beneficial to me – emotionally, physically and financially.  I mention physically because I’m concerned that I won’t have the convenience of the driveway and the short walk from the truck into the house.  Apartment living won’t be as easy in that respect. My parking spot might be so far away from the apartment. Then I’ve got to walk through the building to get to my apartment.  On the other hand, I’ll be walking more – and that’s a good thing. My knees are a huge concern – and once my knees start hurting, the pain runs up into my hips and back.  I know it’s mostly my weight – so the parking/walking thing is probably a good thing. Not at first, I’m sure, but in the long run it should be a positive. I just have to keep that mindset.

Also concerning me is the packing and moving itself. Again…my physical condition is not conducive to the intense labor. I’ll have to make it a point of throwing something out every time I head outside. I still need to sell the Limoges, but still need pricing. I contacted a company that buys and sells Limoges – but their response was dumb. I’ll have to re-read their email to me and try to make some sense of it.  In regards to the P38…I’m going to ask Evin if he’s still interested in it and have him do some pricing research. I need to buy a new laptop, and I’m fixed on buying a MacBook Air. I have a balance on my Best Buy card, plus with the sale of the P38, I can buy the Mac I want. Peggy said her son can get them cheaper… I’ll have to talk to her and get his phone number.

So much is happening right now. Dale, I need your guidance. I need you to help me make decisions and send me signs that selling the house is the right thing to do. I also need signs that Krista and the family moving to AZ is the right thing to do as well. They NEED to be on their own, and I NEED to be on my own. I was hoping I’d be on my own in a condo at the beach, but that dream seems to be alluding me.

I would also love your help in building my grief coaching business. Please help me find the confidence I need to move forward and find clients and places to hold Grief Clusters (groups). I’m reading The Artist’s Way and doing The Morning Pages. The author suggests doing creative clusters – I like the word ‘cluster’, but I don’t’ want it to sound hokey either. Currently, I’m working with Angela Alexander on building a grief conference in October 2016. It’s called, “Good Mourning and Good Grief” conference.  Parkview Hospital has okayed the use of their meeting facility. We have Lauren, our event planner, working on details and Angela and I are working on the marketing end with a Facebook Page and Group, our website and monthly teleseminars. See…didn’t I tell you that so much was happening in my life right now. Whew – sometimes I feel overwhelmed.

Well, I need to start my day. I overslept this morning and now I must get moving. I love you still….and I miss you terribly. You are always in my thoughts and in my heart. And the more I dig into the grief coaching and working on the conference, the more you’re thought of and the more I love you.

Sweet Dreams My Love,
Eydie :)

Happy 17th Anniversary, Dale

Dear Dale,

So much on my mind these days. Thinking about selling the house, the kids are thinking about moving back to Arizona (and I have thoughts of that as well), the business is not going as I planned, and money is just not coming in fast enough to keep up.

Dale Stumpf, Riverside National CemeteryWhile I was visiting  your grave on Wednesday I totally forgot that the following day was goiIng to be our 17th wedding anniversary. Thursday morning rolled around and I looked at my calendar – and there it was — I noted our anniversary, but sadly, I had forgotten. I began to cry. There I was — WITH you at the cemetery on Wednesday, and I totally forgot about the day we got married. I even hummed a few bars of “I Cross My Heart” as I touched the words on your headstone (See the video below).

I tried thinking about when I could get out there again. Geeze – you’re NOT that far!  But, I have to have a full open day because I just don’t know how I’ll be after my visit. Sometimes (most times) I’m good, but there have been times when I haven’t been good. Sigh.


Well, Dale… you know that I think of you every day. My heart still belongs to you.

Sweet Dreams My Love,

Eydie :)


I’m Afraid I’m Going To Lose Everything

Dear Dale — I haven’t been worried about life in a long time. Even money worries seem to slide off of me. No – I’m not making any more money. I’m not financially sound by any means.

The new mortgage bill came in. I had been expecting an increase of $215 (and a few extra dollars for increased taxes and such), but instead, my new mortgage is $1,447ish. I broke down and cried. And, I cried myself to sleep last night. Honestly, I just don’t know where the money is going to come from. Krista is still out of work, and Jeremy is back to subbing. His salary varies from month to month.

I’m filled with worry and dread. Having these feelings are not helping, I know. If anything, these feelings are only going to lead to more poverty.

Dale, I do my best to stay positive. I DO!!!  But I keep getting this crap thrown in my face. I’m tired of it.

I feel lost. I don’t know what my next step is.  I should know – but I don’t. I’m tired. I’m tired of struggling. I’m tired of living from pay check to pay check. I just don’t know what to do next.

I need you, Dale. I need you to guide me. Tell me what I need to do. What is my next step? Who do I call? What words do I use to promote both businesses? I need guidance. Please help me – PLEASE!!!! I need you more than ever!

Sweet Dreams My Love,

Eydie :)

Dear Dale —- Well, life has been moving along quite nicely. I’ve picked up a couple of new websites, and today I had a meeting with a pizza place in Norco. Most likely I’ll get that account. Julie, the daughter of the owner, and I got along quite well.

Yesterday I went to Angela Tayes-Alexander’s film premiere in Pomona. I’ve been resisting reading her book, “Miracles in Action”, for YEARS, but I knew that I couldn’t put off hearing her story anymore.   Angela’s amazing story is that she’s a mother who lost two of her children in a horrific auto accident on the 215 freeway in Moreno Valley, and how she now inspires others to stand strong… We may not see it, but there is a reason for our journey… No matter how painful it is…there’s a reason.

I have been searching for the past 4 1/2 years for the reason for my journey – and I know for sure that it’s that God wants me to help others heal. Although I’d rather not be going on this journey – because it means that I don’t have you anymore – I graciously accept the challenge.

Sweet Dale — my heart still aches for you. Tears still flow from my eyes, and my heart still weighs heavy. I don’t think I’ll ever stop feeling love for you.  You were always the man for me — and you’ll always be the man for me.

Sweet Dreams My Love,

Eydie :)


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