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Showing posts from August, 2016

everything is still at four am.

i've been up since four today.  i am laying here in my bed, alone.  i had a cup of tea after i woke up to help settle my mind.  it's been three nights of dreams.  you know those people that are like "oh gracious, i just never remember my dreams" or the more infuriating, "i don't dream" (SIDE NOTE: YES YOU DO!) (another side note: thanks google!)

i want to punch those people in the face.  i mean sometimes at least.  my dreams are haunting.  even at their best i never wake up happy because of my dreams.  it's been like this since i was a child.  i remember in college one night i dreamt so vividly about being murdered that i stayed up the entire night after it and cleaned our whole apartment.  the girls probably didn't know what hit them.  waking up for an eight am class (brutal!) to see their chipper roommate mopping away after scrubbing out the microwave

"hey guys just had some extra time! just working away here, don't mind me! oh what? …


i get these moments.  they are coming less and less frequently of course, but they still come.  tonight is friday night.  for those of you who are unaware, friday night is a couple's night.  it's a bottle of red, take out and let's talk about our feelings kind of night.

the kids went hard today, playing and running around and in turn, i put in a good amount of effort at bedtime as they were both overtired and doing their just absolute favorite game which is trading off screaming.  all of a sudden, like magic, they were both out by 7:23.  in my old life, this would have me running around, celebrating in sweats, jim and i high-fiving at our good fortune and amount of TV we could cram in together, cuddled on the couch.

tonight i just stood there, looking at the numbers on my stove.  the stark realization that my life-sharer was absent, and would forever be absent.

sometimes i wonder if i'm really healing or just getting better at blocking it out.  mentally, most of the …


where hope comes from.

i am working on a memoir, just writing really at this stage.  hoping beyond hope that eventually my story will be shared.  it's amazing as i sit here in starbucks, writing down what has happened to me, to the people i love, there is a voice that sneaks in, "you are damaged, people won't want to be with you if they find out, you bring destruction wherever you go, look at what has been done to you, you deserve this"

and it's weird, i do have this amazing trifecta of death in my life while yet i endure.  i'm not really sure why i am the one who has survived.  i would have obviously traded places in a second to secure elly's future.

my wounds are gaping.  there is no doubt that for me, i could never be made whole without a creator. what would fill the wounds i have endured?  what would give me worth and value when everything i love is torn asunder?

you know how when you're watching a reality show and you see a girl on there sleepin…

life we expect over life we're given

one of the undying truths i have discovered through this process is that few of us live the life we imagine.  sure, some do.  but most have speed bumps thrown their way throughout life.  whether it's a divorce or death or financial insecurity, many start over, many rebuild, many take stock throughout their thirties, forties, fifties and think "well this isn't where i thought i would be"

granted... all things considered, mine is more tragic than most.  even outside of these most recent events my life has seen its fill of trying circumstances.  by the age of eight i had seen abuse and death in my family.  not exactly what you would hope for, but certainly it has given me the coping mechanisms i have now.  

as i navigate these next steps, the great unknown, there are many that have opinions and voices into my life.  everyone wants what's best for me and everyone has their own idea of what that is.
people... i don't even know what that is.  but i know what i want…


yesterday alayne was telling me about an interview she watched with paralympic swimmer Brad Snyder who went blind in Afghanistan.  when he went to sleep at night he used to dream he could see again, when he would wake up, of course the reality would be that he couldn't.  so every night, dread would hit him, that adjustment to reality of what was lost is intense, as i can attest.  then someone mentioned to work on changing his perspective over time, to look at it as a gift that for eight hours, his eyesight was restored.

for five weeks, i lived out exactly what i had pictured as my earthly dream.  to a "T".  there aren't a ton of people on earth that can say they did that.  whether it's because you want to have kids and can't, end up never getting married, don't fulfill your career goals, WHATEVER, a lot of people don't get their dream.  and i- for a brief moment, had mine.  what a gift.  to know that i lived my idea of my best life on earth.

now, now …


never before has the gospel made so much and so little sense to me.  here is a fundamental truth i have found to be alive and well in my own life and those around me: we were made for love.  to love and be loved.

wanna level?  when i had jim and you know all the members of my immediate family alive, i didn't have a whole lot of need for God.  i was so so happy and so so loved.  jim loved me well.  i didn't notice any large holes lurking in my life, i was very very fulfilled.

i had been a church attendant and private school attendant all my life.  ultimately the gospel felt fake to me and it seemed like most used it as an manipulation tool.  all these christians running around singing about Jesus with their perfect lives and perfect teeth.  i was over it.  jim's background in christianity was confusing but ultimately he had more faith than me throughout most of our relationship as i found myself not even believing in any sort of afterlife.

then what i had chosen as my lig…

just in case.

just in case i was sitting there thinking, whew, am i glad i don't have a partner left to raise these two kids with!

just in case i was sitting there thinking, man oh man, am i glad no one gets to face medical situations with me anymore!

just in case i was sitting there thinking, it's not that bad.

it is, it truly is.  and it really doesn't get much more difficult for me then when i face medical concerns for my remaining two kids alone.  in the short three and a half months since jim died i've faced a surgery and now a potentially life-threatening allergy.  awesome.

the doctors for me is a sore spot as a widow.  the forms asking for father's information, the "is there an alternate number?" question or worse, having to tell them to take his number off, sitting there without my rings, as the doctors come in and out and i wonder what they think, about the fact that my kid's father isn't at his surgery, isn't at her allergy testing.  i sit there, …
his presence is fading.  when he first passed away i felt him with me everywhere... i kept expecting him to round the corner, eyes crinkled with a smile, a "hey babe" thrown my way.  or even round the corner with a frown on his face, upset from his latest talk show about the current political climate of our country.  (if i had buried him, he would be rolling over in it right now).  sometimes that's when i get the most mad is when i realize he left me with trump and clinton as our candidates.

it is both good and bad.  the shadow is everywhere.  i am under a cloud.  aurora, solon, hudson, stow... they all hold memories, good times and bad, regrets and promises unfulfilled.  a drive in movie, the county fair, a fancy night out in downtown cleveland... whispers of the life that i will never live and the shadow of the life i had

this shadow is so big and so long.  the shadow remains while his presence fades.  very little of me expects him anymore... i actually get surprised w…


the waves have stopped.  instead i am adrift, in this ocean.  once in a while my head bobs under and there is no relief from the water, the water, the water.
it overwhelms and my eyes burn from the harsh reflection of the sun.  i am at once at peace and overcome.

when i hear sirens it throws me to that day.  i've never liked them, i used to offer up silent prayers for whomever they were going to help.  now i realize that sometimes it is already too late to pray by the time you hear them.  if only,ifonly,ifonly.  a whisper of a thought (this could be different) but of course, it isn't, it won't, it can't.  why? WHY?  there are no answers.

choose from available options:
E. none of the above
You are with me in the quiet where my soul finds rest.  I turn to you, a small child, overcome with emotions, my mind frayed at the seams, weeping and grasping.  You cradle me - your arms encircling me... Barely whispering breathe "there there child, it's ok it's ok" I shudder and shake against your unmovable force while the grief overcomes me.

You are with me in the storm as my fists beat out against the injustice.  As I raise my voice in fury and scream out against the unfair the unfair the unfair.  A hurricane sweeps across the land my fury wrapped in it, it screams out in the silence "he is gone she is gone he is gone she is gone" a drumbeat against my soul as I search for answers that aren't there, as I find meaning and restoration instead.

I didn't choose this! I didn't choose this! I didn't choose this!!!
Let me back, let me back, let me back.
I want to be back.

The child is always screaming. All is lost all is lost.  My head does no…