The Path Less Traveled

I am a rebel. I always have been. I do my homework and get good grades but then I sneak out to go to the party. You know? In other words, I've always done what was generally expected of me, but then I also tend to kind of run away and do what I want later.

I went to college but did not go to law school like everyone else I knew. I did not get a serious job for the government like many of my peers, but instead ran away to Hollywood. I did not marry someone my own age and have kids and a regular suburban life, but instead I married an older man and became wife #3 to a unique ham of a man and a stepmom to two grown girls. I did not choose to live in a familiar home town but instead moved to about the most remote spot on the planet and did whatever it took to afford to live there.

Then, my husband died.

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It's 2 AM. Do I Know Where my Brain is?

When does this change?  The missing-ness?  Does the emptiness ever fill up?  

I know that there are no solid answers for my questions but they invade my brain during my days and in the middle of the night.

Sleeping with my arms wrapped around a soft pillow, trying to find some comfort in the feel of something, anything, pressed to my body. Does the longing ever leave?

Resting my head on his pillow that has traveled with me for the 100,000 miles since his death.  If I put my head where his was, will I feel closer to him?

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Devolve

I’m a mess lately.  Around the start of this past holiday season, I began regressing to a point where I am again a cynical, grumpy, and in general, angry person.  It has nothing to do with Sarah, Shelby, work, or even the holidays, really.  It truly does have everything to do with the fact that Megan is no longer here.  

It’s not her death, specifically though, that caused this descent into a person I once was.  It’s the remembrance of where she and I were at this time of year, not long before her death.  It's the knowing that there were things that we were “working on” that were quite obviously put on hold when her organ rejection appeared.  It’s the sense of any progress we had made being “all for naught” upon her death.

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Family time for the soul

gwl.jpgThis week we had some downtime and a day off school. So my sister and I took the kids to great wolf lodge for the night. This place holds lots of great and special memories for us as a family. We started going there when my now 7 year old daughter was just a baby. All the kids have been with their dad and have their own memories of being there. 


Now we are creating new memories together and I'm learning to be ok with that. I am realizing that this is part of moving forward. You have to continue to live and have wonderful times because that's living and that's what our loved ones would want. 

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Building New Wings Ain't Easy

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For the first few years after Drew died, I lived in between lives. Back then, I remember distinctly feeling that way. Many of the photographs I took spoke to this. I wasn’t in my old life, nor was I in what I would define as a new life.

I recall wondering what it would be like to one day live in a new life, instead of the in-between. Back then, I couldn’t even fathom that idea… and largely, I didn’t want to. I had found an odd comfort in my in-between world. It’s the place that first began to rebuild myself - this new self. I actually didn’t even know how that new self would be able to enter into a new life. I didn’t know what a new life would look like.

I also remember those first glimpses into a new life… it was an internal feeling inside me. A feeling I don’t know how to explain, other than it being a shift that I didn’t consciously make myself. It was as if my soul, or the universe, or something began to whisper to me, saying that it was time… that change was on the horizon. I could feel it in my bones, even before meeting Mike - which I would define as the catalyst that throttled me into new life.

I was in no way prepared for my “re-entry” into life. I had grown so comfortable in the space of my grief, to the point that we became friends. I didn’t really want to leave that space, though I knew I would one day have to. I had spent years exploring in my own emotions and soul… through words and photographs and paintings and such. Creating from my grief became such a part of me, that I didn’t know how to keep creating as I re-entered life. I really still don’t know how, to be honest...

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Wanting Love

I feel like I feel too much and think too much when really I shouldn’t overthink the concept at all. Just flow with life and the new beginnings it may bring. Enjoy it for all that it is and could be. Instead though, I feel guilty and scared. Scared that if I allow myself to love again, that love will be taken away. Guilty that I have thoughts of wanting to be with another. Craving intimate moments, soulful conversations, touch, cuddles, sharing stories and laughter, looking into another’s eyes, hearing the words “I love you” and feeling loved. I miss all of these things so much. To me these have always been what makes life worth living, being able to share in life and love with another. I feel guilty for wanting to feel love again. 

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Bringing You Closer

A couple of weeks ago, I gave away some of Don's music things - a VOX amp, (like the one The Beatles used, which I know because my husband told me that ALL THE TIME) an equalizer, sound mixer, and more - to a close family friend who is both a sound engineer/ editor, and musician / drummer. I have always given away things that belonged to Don - based on whenever it felt right to me. Right person, right time. Lots of things I have kept, and will keep forever, because they belong with me and nobody else. Like the guitar that I bought him for Christmas one year, that he cherished so much. Or his recliner chair that he napped in and had kitty cats sleeping in his lap on, and that we referred to as his "Archie Bunker chair." All of that, and more, stays with me. But other things, I donated or gave to friends - but always with meaning.

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Limbo Girl

In a few weeks we will hit the four year mark of Mike's death. Four years. On that day I will have survived 1,460 days without him.

I only got 5040 days with him.

Life for those of us left behind continues to speed by. Some days I panic a little that grief has stolen so much time. Then I realize how much grief has taught me, and how much I have grown during this period.

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This Love, this Love, this Love~

Valentine’s Day draws near and I know that many of us anticipate a day filled with reminders of how our person isn’t here with us, and the pain that gets all twisted up with his or her absence.

I get it, and I feel it too.  My and Chuck’s anniversary is just a few days later.  Double whammy in the gut.

But, yeah, Valentine’s Day.  As cheesy as it can be, as overblown as it often is, still, for me, it’s one more day to celebrate Love.  And I’m all about the Love, as most of you know.  Love. Love. Love.

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Needing the Deads' Voice

Just two weeks ago, I wrote of a friend that was, at the time, fighting for her life in the ICU, hoping for a lung transplant.  She was on death’s door, and no one could guess if she would make it another week, waiting for a donor.

 I am happy to say, that, as of yesterday, she received her transplant.  A call came in late in the night on Sunday, and by 8:00 AM, she was being wheeled into surgery.  That’s all well and good.  It’s great news, in fact.  It’s one less person that is going to die from Cystic Fibrosis this week.  I witnessed Megan’s brother Jason in almost the exact same state, back in 2005.  He didn’t make it.  I witnessed Megan in almost the exact same state in 2011.  She DID make it.  It’s always hit or miss, but in this particular case, it was a “hit”.

But.  There’s always a “but”.

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