I'm a sucker for Hallmark movies (Channel 191 in Parlin).  I just finished bawling my eyes out watching the last thirty minutes of "Annie's Point," starring Betty White.  It's the story of an older woman who misses her husband, who recently passed, so much.  She decides to drive cross-country with her granddaughter to spread her husband's ashes over their special spot, the crashing waves of Carmel (CA).  

I learned that much like the character of Annie, Betty White misses her dead husband, whom she greets every morning when she passes his photo in her home. 

I know that Mom does the same.  I know that's why she can't stand to be away from home more than a few days.  And when I visit home I, too, greet Dad.  I remind myself that it really hasn't been that long since Dad passed.  Only 53 days.  Yes, we're counting.  

I am so grateful that we had the opportunity to spread Dad's ashes along the Keyport (NJ) pier where we last spent time together, just 15 minutes away from our home.  I'll have to go there soon again.

I am overwhelmed with sadness and love every time we drive down the NJ Turnpike, and I miss my Dad so much.  These upcoming holidays are going to be challenging.   Mom will be leaving the Monday before Thanksgiving for a two-month retreat to the Philippines.  She won't be here for Christmas or New Year's.   I worry that she will be overwrought with tremendous grief having to make this trip on her own.  But I am frequently reminded that she is a strong woman who has experienced so much already.  And maybe she needs to make this trip alone.  I feel extreme guilt (I know, a useless feeling) that I can't go with her right now.  We've talked, and I know she understands.  

A good friend reminds me that I am doing the best I can, that it's amazing given all that's happened what with my Dad's passing and recently having been laid off from work, I'm not completely dysfunctional and reclusive.  Yes, it is amazing.  I have to admit, it's not always easy to keep it together, especially in front of my Mom, Al, friends or during any family gatherings.  I am . . . doing my best.