The Joy

John Clarke once said, "True love is the joy of life." Now I don't know John but after this past week I have to add on to these words of inspiration he probably spoke many years ago.

Now as I personally know, true love is hands down numero uno in my joy book but the second greatest joy is being around others who have been touched by its graces. This past week, as Nicole mentioned in her blog, we've been at another AWP event. Skydiving with the Golden Knights and doing a "Celebration of our hero's lives" golf tournament was amazing, but seeing the smiles on the faces of my fellow widows and hearing their stories of true love is what makes these outings so amazing.

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Teens Taking up the Slack - Sweet Sixteen.

06_26_09.JPGIt is Anneke’s ‘Sweet Sixteen’ today.

On the one hand, I can’t really believe this day has arrived and her father is still gone. Like somehow, at some point he should have walked in the front door and with little fanfare saying “I’m back.” It has been 8 plus years. She has been without him longer than she had him. I should know better by now.

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Celebrating the Journey at Hole 8

06_25_09.jpgThis week is a big week for the widows in my life- the military widows of The American Widow Project. Wednesday, we had our first annual charity golf tournament for the organization. Each golf hole was dedicated to the soul mate of an AWP member. 

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Masks ....

06_23_09.jpeg.... are very heavy to wear for a long period of time and they tend to make my face sweat.

I really thought that I was done wearing them after Jim died.  I couldn't wear them.  I didn't have the energy to snap them into place and keep them from sliding off.

So I didn't.

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Learning to Focus

06_22_09.JPGA comment made by a special friend about yesterday's post got me thinking about the fact that people who have lost someone instrumental in their lives tend to view the world from a new, and unwanted, vantage point. After Phil's death I remember thinking that death swooped in and stole my rose colored glasses...leaving me with a pair of dark shades instead. I was quite certain that rose was no longer my color.

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The Little Things

06_21_09.JPG"It may seem boring, but it is the boring things I remember the most."
~Russell, Adventure Scout from the animated film Up

My daughter and I went to see the film Up last weekend. The buzz about the film was all good, but the widow buzz held a warning...good film, heart wrenching theme, message that may speak straight to your heart. Once again, the widow buzz did not disappoint.

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In the Park

What is a park to you? A place to walk your dogs, read a book among nature, or just listen to the chirping birds?

For me, I'll be honest with you all....Starting at the age of 16 the park became a place where Michael and I could get away from our parents, sit on a picnic table and have lunch , and do what teenagers do (I'll let your imagination go wild). As we grew older it was a place for us to soak up the sun and read from our favorite authors.

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The self-centeredness of grief.

06_19_09.JPGDear Wonderful Widows.

Grieving is a self-centered act. It must be. It requires paying attention to one’s own broken heart, taking the time needed to adjust to a very different existence, and learning to live in a changed world. Grieving requires self-care.

This is especially true for widows with children. We eventually find that the only way our children will be OK is if we are OK.  And the only way we will be OK is if we are willing to tend to ourselves.

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Next Box.

06_18_09.jpgI've moved twice since David passed. Both moves necessary, emotional, and exhausting. I moved into this house 3 months ago. I had unopened boxes from both moves and at some point I just stopped unpacking. Those that remained were shoved into the guest bedroom with the door shut. From time to time I would consider opening the door and organizing the crap I piled on the bed and in the closet... Until this week, it was only a thought. I had completely forgotten what was even in the boxes I kept hidden away. 

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Sometimes It's So Painful ... I Just Have to Laugh

06_17_09.JPGDo you ever have one of those days when you think that nothing, NOTHING could top the last stupid thing that happened to you?

Today was one of those days.

I had three very stupid, and potentially painful, items in my mailbox.

 

All three were from our government.

I will refrain from saying any more on that.

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