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Showing posts from December, 2016

as always.

to my daughter,

immunity is a powerful concept and a hard won reality.  we chase it in all arenas it seems.  it is seen time and time again throughout history and stories, which you will learn.  the fountain of life, vaccines, some immunity is fiction and some is reality.

let me be clear, there will be some who say you can win immunity for your heart, this is a lie. your heart can never be immune, for you will always love.  for years, i thought i had won that immunity.  the cost was high, but i thought, finally i've put in my time with suffering and have won.  i have earned the right to love without fear of abandonment or hurt.  i have won immunity.  this, this was a mirage.  immunity cannot be gained.

and so the pendulum will swing, you will discover that immunity is a lie and so you will say, i will shield, i will block, i will armor.  this too baby, is a lie.  there is no defense that does not first injure you.  there is no armor that will let love flow without the risk of inju…

how i've surived and how you can too.

it's funny, there are hundreds of women that are thrust into this role every day, the widow role.  maybe becoming a single mom, maybe just marked by the death of a spouse.  and somehow i have found myself already eight months out from it.  i look back and think "how did i survive?" even though, in all honesty, i have a very clear idea of how it was done.  i've been wanting to write this for a while (because i know you haven't heard from me much recently and are just WAITING for more posts - ha!)
because although i have done this with the grace of jackie kennedy i know there are so many women out there who are just waiting for my sage advice on this subject matter.



so in no particular order, here are my top steps for surviving as a widow written entirely from my perspective and bias



(1) focus on the immediate moment.  immediate moments can be your saving grace.  my life is pretty much still really freaking hard, but i pull myself back.  right now i am sitting in s…

if you're looking for a way (a way to restart) you don't want the keys to my heart.

there is only so much distracting one can do, i suppose.  it has become a valve, which for the most part, i can shut off, i actually have trouble turning it on.  99% of the time i can look at pictures, videos, of us, they almost don't mean anything.  the meaning has been sucked from them, a color photograph faded in the sunshine.  but when they do mean something, when i feel it, i feel it to my bone marrow.  i feel it in every cell, the pain the hurt the hell.  it is then i have trouble breathing, it is then my chest hurts with a physical pain i have never experienced before.

what i had (RIPPED away).  and there is this fine line i walk right?  i crave what i had while not ever being able to get burned like that again.  i have read some advice would be a loose way to say it of women who have loved again after tragedy and the consensus is, no right way to do it, just know it takes someone special, especially then kids are involved.

i have had to rework (and continue) to rework my…
you're getting halfway up the mountain and you just keep jumping off cliffs.  they don't exist but you put them there.  then you wonder why it feels so rocky when you land.  you are refusing to climb higher, instead you keep burying.

girl watchchu doing to yourself.
own worst enemy
bringing it down
down on yourself


stop reaching, hand slapped down.  you can't have it, you aren't worth it, stop stop stop.  just jump.  just stop.  the noise is loud, it's too loud, the lights are bright, they're too bright, it's haunting.  a loop you can't stop, you can't ever stop it.

I wanna stop these nightmares
I just wanna touch your face
All you see is all my feats 
All I see is all my flaws
All I hear is all my demons
Even through your applause
All you see is all my flights
Well all I see is all my falls
All you see is all my rights
All I see is all my wrongs



shhh.  don't admit your faith is weak.
CUT the scene, that's a wrap.

reflection.

i watched a video that my iPhone made, a video of 2016.  and it had just all of these beautiful and painful moments just wrapped into this four minute video.

the depth of my pain this year has been, at times, unbearable to the point where i wished for death.

but i saw so much smiling in those videos.  so many sweet moments and so many memories that happened when i was in a fog that felt all encompassing.



this year i felt the church's love in a way i have never before felt
this year i was able to take my kids on a disney cruise because of my co-workers at carters and the fundraiser they did for me
this year i was able to move because people came and packed and loaded me and helped with the cost of moving
this year my kids had a play set built for them while they were in another state
this year we imposed on people over and over again with our loud, yelling and crying little family of three
this year my daughter made beautiful friendships because people weren't afraid to reach …

in the in between.

it seems to me that the biggest struggle is wanting what i don't have.  alayne and i have always had opposite dating lives, ha.  when i was engaged and married she was out doing alayne, living her life, she bought her own place, she's made huge career advancements.  and at times it felt like i was just stuck you know.  my life didn't feel like it was advancing because my life wasn't really, our lives were advancing.

my personal advancements were slow and few.  they happened, of course.  i was discussing with my counselor how, of course, when i compare the personal growth i've had in the past eight months to the personal growth i had in five years of marriage, it can be skewed.  i've had nothing but time, nothing to do but grow.  in the last year of my marriage i was pregnant, started working again and took care of three additional people beyond myself and my own pregnancy.

anywayyyys.  this is a very roundabout post about how i struggle in the in between.  es…

known.

to be known is one of the most wonderful feelings in the world.



to be heard, seen, understood, to make an impact, to connect, to reach.  life is lived in those moments, the moments where we are known.

if you find that in your marriage, then you are lucky indeed.  we sum up events with single words: birth, death, widow, divorce, marriage.  a single word, as if that accurately describes the shifting sand of the days and months of those events.  as if a single word gives insight into what it feels like when you see your baby's face for the first time, the moment when you walk down the aisle to him.

the moment where you stand there in a viewing room in twinsburg, ohio and say goodbye to your lover.

i walked in with them, addy grasping my hand tightly, lane on my hip, wearing my dress from elly's service.  a week and a half after i did the same walk up to my daughter.  that moment he died, that moment we ceased to be, it almost swallowed me whole.

i walked up to him losing a part …
mentally i've been placing myself at about six months out from everything.  in my head i think, "six months ago you were jim's wife, six months ago you had your family" but the truth is we've somehow crept up to eight months.  it doesn't feel oddly significant in any way like six months did, it's just that somehow i feel stuck at that half year mark.

i am a living dichotomy right now.  my emotions are level but my actions can swing.  "it's ok!" "it's not ok" round and round back and forth.  it is a constant pulling myself back, reigning myself in.  it's not something i've ever been good at.

and just there, i've done it again.  constantly undermining myself and my actions.  i give so many things a broad sweep, but when it comes to myself, the same doesn't hold true.  the broad brush i paint others in becomes a fountain pen with no room for error.


i want to look at myself and say "it's ok"
i want t…

shadows.

the shadows are swirling a bit.  my mind has been consumed by them, lethargy and indifference rearing their ugly heads the past 24 hours.  it rained all day today, at least the sky seemed to say, it's ok, i get it.

i remember you pure and warm
in the belly of a midnight sun
you were playing on those dark clouds
but they didn't come 



you, you, you.  do you get why i had to trade our life in for my own?  i know all these widows who are like "well i would just think to myself what would so and so do and then i would take that into account" and i'm over here just thinking "mmm.... that doesn't sound like what i do"

you, you, you.  i remember it was shortly after it happened, jumper came on the radio and i almost lost control of the car.  all of my connecting points with you have gone out.  the only surviving remains of me are ones that were untouched by you.

being without you has numbed me to the joy of still being here.  being without you has broken me do…

six.

to the girl i was six years ago,

oh sweetheart.  you poor, naive, little girl.  i know, i know you knew enough that when you stood up there you were cognizant of the fact that you really had no idea what you were getting into with marriage.  i know that you were mostly excited, but a little bit scared if you could actually fulfill that role of someone's wife.  i know that you had no idea what it would be like that first winter, that first year, living with him.

i know you felt incredible love and a strong sense of unity, which was to be continually eclipsed throughout the next five and a half years.  i know that you felt sure you were looking into the face of your eternal rock.

i wish i could give you advice, i wish i could give you some words of wisdom to help you navigate.  navigate the rocky first year while you struggled with depression and adjusting to marriage to someone who in all honesty, you didn't know that well.  words of wisdom for when adelynn entered the picture …