I never forget that I'm a widow. I never forget that my husband is dead forever. I never forget my reality.
There are times. Moments. Feelings.
There is being with my family, staying at my parent's house, like this weekend, and getting lost inside of something that is beyond my widowhood - something that sees far past my life without my husband.
There is eating "lazy lobster" and steaks on the grill and mom's famous Red Cake, and having my brother prepare my lobster for me with the drawn butter the way I like, and taking away all the green guts and gross parts, so I don't have to look at it.
There is doing an Ice Bucket Challenge Video with my 5 year old nephew, who is insanely excited to be able to dump ice-cold water on Auntie Kelley's head, for all the world to see. There is sitting around the dining room table with an my parents and an old family friend, who is now elderly and alone and depressed, and sincerely trying to talk with her and maybe give her an ounce or two of hope.
There is making another 5 year old boy, the grandson of another family friend, laugh so hard that he makes his grandmother call us from the car 25 minutes after they have left, so he can talk to me on speaker phone and have me "say more funny things."
There is even the strange feeling of having an entire conversation with family friends, about how I raised $20,000 in a crowd-fund-sharing campaign, so that I can self-publish and promote and market my book about the death of my husband - and yet be able to talk about it in a way where I don't even feel like I'm talking about the death of my husband.
I never forget that my husband will be dead forever. It sits inside of my every inhale, releasing it's truth with each laboring breath. But sometimes, there is life. And sometimes, lately more often than not, life makes it's way inside of the inhale - pulling and tugging and begging for some attention. All of the people and all of the friends and all of the wondrous, ordinary, entertaining, beautiful pieces of time - ban together to smash my sadness and my grief and my loss on the ground and turn it into an irrelevant speck, even if it's only temporary. It is like a mini-vacation from my grief, sort of. Sometimes it only lasts a few minutes, or a few hours, or a day. But those few minutes or hours are enough time for me to be able to see into a future which will hold more of these vacations, more often. It is a weird feeling, and one that is impossible to adequately describe. The entire time that I am enjoying myself at whatever I am doing, I am also very aware that I am a widow and that my husband is dead. But it isn't what I'm thinking about. It isn't where the focus is. It isn't where the radar goes. And a year or two ago, I could have never said that. Back then, there were never these lapses in time where the widow thing went to the back of my brain or heart. It just didn't happen. And now it does. And really, that makes my tomorrows seem just a tiny bit less frightening.