Winnie the Pooh

Happy Birthday, Disney Store, Where Our Romance Bloomed!

Ben liked scooting through the princess tower at the Disney Store in the Palisades Mall, NY!

Today is the 30th anniversary of the Disney Store. Who would think of the Disney Store as a romantic date idea? We did, and that is exactly where Ben and I began our relationship. When we started spending time together, we always took a stroll through the Disney Store. We had so much fun looking at the toys and quizzing each other on Disney trivia. The flagship NYC store on Fifth Avenue was a special destination on our dates and we always looked forward to seeing new merchandise and exclusive NYC items. Ben knew that Disney was a definite way to my heart, and he expanded my Disney collection by many, many things! And, he always scored points by suggesting a walk to the flagship NYC store on Fifth Avenue. I miss that store- it was quite beautiful. But, wherever we traveled, whenever we found a Disney Store, we were happy shoppers!

I think that my favorite memory of the Disney Store was walking through the flagship location one day and hearing, with great excitement, “Abby, look, it’s Piglet and his best friend, Pooh!” Ben had spotted the figurine in this picture.

Disney Store,Winnie the Pooh,Piglet

Piglet and his Best Friend Pooh!
A very special figurine with very sweet memories.

I laughed as he caught himself and jokingly lamented that he was macho before he met me (not so macho, trust me!) He later got it for me as a surprise and I treasure it for those memories. From that point on, we would always exclaim, “Look, it’s Piglet and his best friend Pooh!” whenever we spotted things with these two best friends. This figurine and memories of our sweet times at the Disney Stores always make me smile because it is a sweet reminder of this man I loved who was such a romantic and such a child at heart. It’s nice to think back to the very early, pre-ALS days of our relationship.

Disney Store

A Valentine’s Day gift from Ben with Piglet and his best friend Pooh!

Happy Birthday, Disney Store!

Ben at the Disney Store in the Palisades Mall, NY

Oh Bother!

Grief,Disney,Winnie the Pooh

The Many Adventures of Winnie The Pooh
Walt Disney Productions

 

For the first time since I started blogging, back in July 2016, last week I was having a hard time writing. I was feeling down, and writing was not helping me the way it usually does. I could not figure out why, and it bothered me.

I write a lot about reshaping my life, which has been an ongoing process. Even though he is gone, Ben has been included in my decisions in redecorating my apartment, traveling, spending my time. I often see things through his eyes and our eyes. Writing about these things, incorporating the Disney things that inspire and console me, is an important part of my healing. So, why was I suddenly having a hard time?

Finding out that the school where I teach is closing got me thinking- more- about how I want my future to look. I have been working hard to reshape my present and I’ve been feeling good about the steps I have taken to deal with grief, honor Ben and even support other caregivers and people with ALS. I even just wrote a post about how I’ve been finding myself. I do have more and more good days in the present, but I flounder when I think about the future. Last week, when I felt overwhelmed with grief again, I panicked and got angry at myself for stepping back into the pain, but it was actually looking ahead that was pushing me forward into anxiety. I realized that I am not only redefining my life in the short term, but also in the long term, and that includes redefining my relationship with Ben. But, I listen to Dory and “just keep swimming.”

Going to “Beauty and the Beast” without Ben compounded my sad acknowledgment that there are “us” things that I will do without him. It has been a year and a half since Ben left this world. I have put some routines in place, but he is very present in my existence. Somehow, when I went to see “Beauty and the Beast” I strongly felt his absence. Missing him is one thing, but living with his absence is another. That he is absent might seem like stating the obvious, and, of course, it is, but up until this point, my thoughts have so revolved around him that on some levels I have felt like I was still in our relationship. Maybe I need to fool myself, maybe it is just part of grieving, but it has kept him with me.

Once I started to piece together what was getting me down, I felt motivated to write this post. I do give myself the time to feel, and once I begin to sort out the “why” of the feelings, I do begin to feel better. At least, I understand my emotions, which allows me to be more patient with myself. In grief, as time moves on, we question our feelings, our thoughts and our “progress” as we step back into the land of the living. At a certain point, we might ask ourselves if we should be “over” the setbacks. And, if we don’t question it ourselves, we often have people around us who will point it out (click here for a way to deal with them)! I am finding that there are and will be steps forward and steps back, there will be adjustments, and there will be what feel like slaps of reality. They hurt. Sometimes, to work through the bad patches, I need the support of friends and family whom I trust to be honest but compassionate. Sometimes, I just need time to be in the moments. But, I do believe that it’s all okay. Or, it will be.

I always welcome your comments and experiences in the reply section below.