loving a widow

i remember swiping on bumble and one guy's profile said "please be over your ex" i kind of chuckled to myself and swiped left because Lord knows, i was never going to be over Jim.

dating as a widow is tricky, adding in kids is trickier.  there is no easy way to love a widow, to be with a widow, to play a role in her life.  it takes a really special person to say, "i acknowledge that hole in your heart and i know my puzzle piece will never fit the same, but i still want to be included" it takes a really special person to say, "i know you are hurting, i know you miss him, i want to hold you"

there are so many things that if you were to ask me i would confidently reply that i knew it all.  when i was married to jim, i emphatically told alayne she was dating wrong because she kept dating guys her own age or a little younger.

"young guys are players, i would never date a younger guy"

fast forward a couple years and i have suddenly found myself with a guy quite a bit younger than me.

before we started dating, i told christian, "listen, my life is set.  i've got my kids and i've got my life and there will be sacrifices made in a relationship, but most of them won't come from me.  you have to decide if that's what you want and if that's something you are ready for."

after spending so many years in my early twenties and teenage years doing my best to conform to the guy's or society's standards of what was deemed lovable, it was quite a turn to stand there and say "this is my life, get on board or get out"

i think a lot of single mom's can probably identify with that.  the changes that having children brings to your relationship dynamic, but none more keenly know this than a widow.  there is no every other weekend, no split custody or night's at dads, it is me, on all the time.

it is hard to describe to outsiders what a relationship looks like post-marriage.  hard to show what Christian means to our family, impossible to explain how we can be so close-knit or so sure in such a small amount of time.

all i can tell you is, those people out there, who love widows and kids who have lost a parent.  the men and women who are every day putting in work for a family that looks different and acts different than most, the men and women who say, i know you saw forever looking differently than what we have now, and i'm okay with that.  those people need to be acknowledged, to be celebrated, and to be thanked, because they are truly gifts from God.

and if you are widow, and you wonder how to accept love, be open to it, it's worth it.  i know forever didn't go as you planned, i know life dealt you a shitty hand, but let those eyes you have now be forever changed to focus on what is important, on what is to be gained and on what matters.  grief changes you forever, but it doesn't ruin you.

when life moves on

letting go i think is probably the most difficult of life lessons.  loose grip.  we see our friends and their choices and we think "oh i wouldn't do that" or "i would do that differently" and part of this is just our mind, our mind preparing for different circumstances, for making sure we are ready and prepared for what comes our way, although that is never truly possible.

i think ultimately at the end of the day we all live in a very broken and hurt world and we are all just trying to create our own happiness and find our own path.  and you have to allow others to find that path.

be supportive
show up
show compassion

to the dreamers

now, now comes the difficult part, being prepared for new dreams, dreams that i haven't thought of, dreams that will catch me by surprise, dreams that were not and are not part of my plan.  but even in living out new dreams, i will always have the gift of those five weeks.  the five weeks where i lived my heaven. 

that was written going on just a year ago.  it is weird and oddly comforting to have this journey documented somewhat.  especially as i find myself living those new dreams.  we are so limited with our comparisons, our striving to make life so black and white.  my thoughts, limited, "is my life better?" 

we always want to be achieving, making sure we are hitting that goal mark.  i am not set adrift as i once was.  actually last night i looked around a table of my friends and realized, how happy i was.  how happy these people made me, what beautiful and wonderful things we had coming our way.  

what do my goals look like? 
what do i want? 
what is it that sparks my soul?

also this is a total side note, but did you know that it can be august 3, and you still may not have heard from grad school.  wtf state.  i am assuming, probably correctly, that i did not get in for this year.  i also take that information with the knowledge that it could mean next year i'll be in a different space, a different school, and i'll think to myself "thank god i didn't get in last year"

that happens too often right.  i have all of these ideas and i don't know, not many are coming to fruition, i feel daunted by the next step.  scared to spend money for education, unsure of where money is coming from.  

i started looking at houses recently and it honestly sent me into a complete tailspin.  i feel immobilized, striving to find the BEST solution, the best option, so i run around frenzied and end up  not being able to make a decision at all.  we can so easily get caught into the next thing that i find myself forgetting that i actually quite like where i live and the convenience and my kids school.  

i'm trying so hard to find the right thing maybe i'm missing that for now i am in the right thing.

(deep breath) in and out.  in and out.
reminder, bria, the world existed for years and years without the chaos of your mind adding its chatter to it
reminder, the world will continue to exist for years and years when your mind ceases to contribute

deep breath (in and out)
in and out
it's the beginning of the end
the end of the beginning
the prime of their life

we quantify and qualify
we measure and judge
as if 
as if we are the gods
looking down
preparing the peoples for their lives
how long did they live? 
too short, taken too soon

who are we to judge?
what is soon, what is long?
what comes next?
none know except those who have been

at times i long to join them
at times i grow so heavy
in and out, in and out
what do you have?
look at it in the eyes
feel the arms around you

what is here now?
is it good?
is it worthy?
does it have value?
in and out.
stay present my dear.