Being Here Now

The day before this posts is my birthday. I am now 49. Mike was 45 when we met; I was 31. It's hard to imagine I am that old now, and I spend a lot of time thinking back to Mike at my age. And I remember all the birthdays we spent together...I have kept all of the cards we gave each other. We always did something special, but he made me feel special every day of the year.

 

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Love and Magic...Does it Still Exist?

"Sometimes I feel like there’s a hole inside of me, an emptiness that at times seems to burn. I think if you lifted my heart to your ear, you could probably hear the ocean….I have this dream of being whole. Of not going to sleep each night, wanting. But still, sometimes, when the wind is warm or the crickets sing…I dream of a Love that even Time will lie down and be still for.  I just want someone to Love me. I want to be seen.  I don’t know.  Maybe I had my happiness.  I don’t want to believe it, but…"

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"Baby" Steps

Megan’s younger brother will be having a little boy sometime around late July, right around her birthday.  He’s getting married in October, just after my birthday.  Shelby is ten now, getting her straight A’s and growing like a weed.  This past sunday, Sarah, Shelby and I attended a baby shower for two friends that were originally close to Megan (they both have Cystic Fibrosis), but who were there for Shelby and I through her rejection.  They and Sarah have also begun forming a strong friendship, as they have welcomed her into our lives, and there's an underlying feeling that they have known each other forever.  

Recently, there has been an ongoing parade of happy news and big milestones from persons that were close to Megan.  Persons that are close to me.  I cannot imagine Megan being anything other than ecstatic...

...and it sucks in a way.

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Mixed Emotions

After two and a half months in Virginia helping my family through a medical crisis, I am finally back in Kona for a few final months. Kona, Hawaii, where I moved with my late husband in 2001. This magical, special and most beautiful place where we made so many memories.

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Love. Only love.

When calls my heart

To the distant past that is both yesterday and incalculably forever ago.

When calls my heart

To those feelings and emotions that seem so far distant

And so deeply buried

That they are unreachable.  Unrememberable. 

Cherished.  Loved.  Nurtured. 

Secure.  In Love.  Joyous.  Passionate.  Spontaneous.  Upbeat.

What becomes of this heart          

And those words that described a life, and a man,

Who gusted into my life and took my breath away with a whoof!

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My Sister

unnamed.jpgOne of the greatest gifts Joey ever gave me was his sister. She lived with us from the time we moved in together. And for six years after that. Her and her daughter were part of family. When they finally moved out because she got married it was very hard. It was like a part of our family left. She is not only my sister in law and best friend, she is just my sister. In fact that's normally how we refer to each other. She has been there for me through so many life moments. 

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On the Other End of the Line

tumblr_numvb8ZOxM1un8549o1_500_(1).jpgFor the past few months, I’ve been on a different end of grief… in the ranks of those who are supporting another. Back in December, one of my closest girlfriends found out that her mom has throat cancer (never smokes a day in her life, mind you). Their holiday season was complicated by chemo treatments and all the sickness that comes along with it. And then, smack in the middle of her mom’s treatment - the unthinkable happened. They found a large mass in her dad’s chest. It’s been several months now of waiting, tests, biopsies, and scans. It seems his was trickier to diagnose… but inevitably she got the news.

 

Early last month, she and our other best friend got on a video call together. On that call, came the words from her mouth about her dad’s condition that still have me in shock. Words like “untreatable” and “rare and aggressive cancer” and “can’t do surgery” and “six months to a year”. I couldn’t stop myself from crying. Hell, just writing this now, the tears are flowing. My heart is crumbling to know the kind of pain she is going through. To know that just last fall, she imagined her dad living well into his 80’s or 90’s. He is active, after all. They go snowboarding in Colorado every year. They go hiking and backpacking on a pretty regular basis too - one of their most recent trips being on the Appalachian Trail. He is kind and loving and giving. He simply should get to be around for much, much longer. 

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Imagination

Imagine if every time we fell asleep we found ourselves in a dream with them. Where we could still be with them, living as though nothing had changed. No fear of falling asleep but rather looking forward to slumber. They still breathe, but only in your dreams. Would it be enough? Recreating their lives, your lives together. Purely with your imagination. This is the story line of a movie I recently watched called Inception. And unless movies don’t affect your grief I don’t recommend watching this film. Although it was a good film, it set off suppressed emotions with my grief and I spent the night in pain, wishing I could dream of him. Wishing that he would come back, pleading with him to come back.

For months after he passed away I would cry to him each night “please visit me in my dreams” “I could live like this, if I could only see you, speak to you and hold you”. Even if only in my dreams. I would know it was him and not just a figure of my imagination. As crazy as it sounds I was content to have a relationship with his spirit so to speak for the rest of my life.

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I'm Not Okay

So next week, Im flying to Tampa, Florida, and attending Camp Widow for the 11th or 12th time, I think. I honestly have lost track of how many times I have attended as a presenter and given my comedic talk / performance on grief and loss. Maybe that's a good thing, maybe it's a bad thing, maybe its just a thing. 

 

Who cares. 

 

At the end of this month, I will be traveling back to NYC so I can give my TEDx talk, about grief and loss. It will be a huge honor, I am anxious and excited about it, and it will hopefully be something that, in time, will lead to other opportunities to speak. 

 

And, of course, I am still and always in the midst of writing my book, about the love story of me and my husband, his death, and about grief and loss. 

 

Anybody seeing a pattern here? 

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Not gone, Not gone

My husband is not gone from my life.

 

He is not here to regale us with his stories...I must retell them as best I can remember, with little or none of the flair I remember him having. He is not here to sing to us, to dance with his grandchildren, to laugh with his family.

 

But he is still around. I'm in Orlando at Disney World as I begin to write this, with my younger stepdaughter and her family. On the first morning of our three days, as we ready the three small grandchildren at the hotel, the eldest, the five year old boy, the only one Mike met, got dressed in his favorite Peter Pan costume. Mind you, Mike loved costumes and particularly loved Peter Pan - he really was the boy who never grew up. So seeing that child in his Robin Hood-esque hat, exactly like ones Mike would wear, wielding his plastic sword with the type of glee he unknowingly shares with his grandfather, was the first pang. But my stepdaughter had the Disney radio station playing on her phone, and of all the hundreds of songs, at that moment, a song from Newsies came on. Mike worked on Newsies...it was his favorite of all movies he ever worked on, and Seize the Day started playing in the midst of that moment of soaking up our little Lost Boy...tears. This is how Mike talks to all of us. We all have so many stories of what song came on at what moment, and maybe, it's just us, maybe, no one else will get it, or believe it...but we know. We just do. He is trying to tell us that he is with us. And we heard him, loud and clear.

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