About three years ago I started joking with Michele that I wanted to wear a black t-shirt with word "bitter" printed on it to identify myself as a bitter widow. She refused to let me, more out of fear of the reaction of my poor grieving family members than anything else, but her point was well taken. Wearing the bitter t-shirt would only be funny if all who saw me wear it could be truly comfortable in the knowledge that I was not actually bitter.Read more
I married Phillip Hernandez on June 16, 2000. Our first date was January 16, 2000~and there were more than a few people who openly questioned our sanity when we announced our intention to marry. Divorce rates for blended families were quoted to us, some wondered aloud how we could be certain this was the right choice after such a short courtship, and other people shook their heads in wonder at our rash behavior.Read more
Over the past four years grief and I have reluctantly become friends. Grief is not the kind of friend I can call in the middle of the night when I am sad, but rather the kind of friend who sits quietly at the end of my bed while I cry myself to sleep. Grief may be away for weeks or even months at a time, but the knock of this friend is now as familiar to me as my own voice. There is no need to explain my sorrow to grief; she understands my process better than I do. Grief knows I will get up again no matter how hard I have been hit by her power, and patiently stands as a witness to my ability to regain my balance time and time again. When grief calls, I stop what I am doing because I have learned that she must be answered. When I quit trying to escape her, I found an unexpected comfort by her side. She calls me and repels me; guides me and confuses me; moves me forward and throws me back.Read more
I never went to the movies solo. For as long as I can remember I had someone to my left or right to share my popcorn and Sour Patch Kids with. Michael, on the other hand, loved catching the latest flick on his own. It was as if he had some freedom I hadn't quite mastered.Read more
Sometime after Mike's funeral, someone put a book into my hand. The book was Ruthless Trust by Brennan Manning.
Although I did not get past chapter one, (I was unable to concentrate long enough to read much at all and I am pretty sure I have a different spiritual leaning than the author), the title spoke to me. It still speaks to me, almost nine years later when life happens differently than I think it should.
I've been glancing at David's journal for the past week. It sits on a special bookshelf in our living room. I used to read it every night before my pathetic attempt at sleep but it's been a while since I've opened the pages. This small, brown, soft leather journal is eminently special to me. His hands have touched every page of the tattered book, on a good day or bad day this journal was his connection to me. His outlet when I couldn't be. Finally, today, I opened it... for the hundredth time.
David's front journal entry, November 24, 2005:
"Baby, not everything in this book is going to be easy to read. These are my thoughts and feelings. My fears and Love notes. I am going to spill my guts, try to write songs and pour out my heart. When I'm done... this is for you.
I love you with all my heart, Nicole.
....for very long.
I find that it's emotionally and physically impossible for me to sit and just think about Jim. I cannot reflect on memories.
I can only think of him in snatches of time. And only for a moment.
I wonder if this is how most people deal with grief?Read more
This picture is a narrow, winding street in the village of Stamford, England. It's a gorgeous town of stone buildings, quaint shops, quiet pubs, and lovely sheep fields. I've more than a few memories of the place. I'm not thinking about the little town though as I look at this photo. I'm entranced by the path the road is portraying, and I'm considering what is around the corner.Read more
This is me with our awesome Thursday girl (Nicole), and our amazing Saturday girl (Taryn). We met for sushi in Texas last January, and spent some time together talking widow. Yes, I do think there is a widow language!Read more
"Once you choose hope, anything is possible." ~Christopher Reeve
There was a time, not really that long ago, when I did not want to choose hope. Possibility was a word that applied to other people, so why would I care about hope?