Two days ago, I experienced my first Mother's Day without Megan. Had you asked me back in January how I would have handled it, I would have expressed sheer terror at the prospect. At that time, just two months since losing her, all I could imagine was that I would be an emotional train wreck, and would probably have just called my mother and mother-in-law to wish them a happy day, and stayed holed up in my house.
That isn't what occurred, however. Yesterday was "OK", for lack of a better term.
Our tradition for the past few years had been for Shelby and I to wake up early, go downstairs, make a mess of the kitchen preparing bacon, eggs, pancakes, and coffee, and bring it to Megan in bed, along with a card and a small gift. Shelby would turn some cartoons on and we'd sit and talk, all three of us, until Megan was ready to get out of bed. It was a simple acknowledgment of how special she was, and that we would do anything for her. We would clean up the kitchen and get our day started, where we would be visiting our parents and probably going out to dinner in the evening.
I woke up Sunday at that same early time that I always do, fully aware that it was Mother's Day, and painfully acknowledging the fact that for the first time in eight years, Megan wasn't there to cook breakfast for. The dogs, having woke me up, were fed and let outside, and I went back to bed. The bacon stayed in the freezer, and the coffee pot sat there cold.
Do you remember this place? Do you remember how much Shelby loves coming here? It was the first place that Shelby and I ever took a hike, and it's the final place, a year ago, that you and I took a walk. I can still remember Shelby running around, picking up last year’s acorns, the few remaining ones left alone by the squirrels at least. I remember holding your hand and just walking, letting her be fascinated by nature, as she always was, and still is. We strolled...slowly. You had already been in rejection for a few months, but you weren't sick enough yet that you couldn't shuffle along.
Shelby needs to have an example of what a caring, devoted man, father, and husband should be. She is a mere 8 years old, but I believe most readers here will understand when I state that, well, I might not be here by the time she's 18. It's a cold, hard truth that should never be swept under the rug or glossed over, and I can unfortunately speak from experience.Read more
Megan had not only given me permission to "move on" again once she was gone, she had outright demanded it, years before she died. She refused to take my heart with her, leaving a hole in me that could never be filled. This is why, in the deepest pit of my soul, I believe she has brought someone new into my life in the best way possible: unexpectedly.
By random occurrence, I have met a new woman. I wasn't out looking for a date, or even looking at women as something desirable or needed, when she just happened to sit down next to me at a bar where I was hanging out with some mutual friends. I was completely numb at the time, with no desire to interact with anyone, so I was just gritting my teeth and trying to act "normal" by making small talk.
Then she sat down. Damn.
For years, I have wandered outside. When I was very young, on through my teenage years, I would often times find myself on my Aunt's cattle farm, traipsing around the back lots, playing in the creeks, or just generally exploring the land and finding interesting spots to spend time with my brother and cousins. We were always outside. We camped, fished, shot at old oil cans, roamed, watched birds or squirrels, built little shelters or dammed the creeks with a shovel and time, stared at the stars, and generally didn't have a care in the world. I was a kid...that's the way it should beRead more
"...until my last breath." My wife Megan and I had those words tattooed onto our forearms on February 8th, 2014. It was my suggestion, and she was completely taken aback by it. Not because she wasn't sold on the idea of a little ink (she had sixteen tattoos already), but because I suggested it and came up with the whole plan. I only had two tattoos at the time, so it wasn't my "thing", and she found it one of the most romantic gestures I had ever made. Yeah, we were weird like that.