And Though She Be But Little

Last night we were sitting in the restaurant and there was a table of four boys sitting across the aisle from us. They were being a little too loud for comfort.
Without missing a beat, Lila turns to them and yells, “Hey! Be quiet!” I quickly tried to quiet Lila down because I didn’t want to cause a scene and young boys are prone to cause one.
Then I thought of how much she reminded me of Linzi in that moment and how fearless she was. She didn’t care who it was, how much bigger they were, or their social status, or financial standing. If she found somebody in the wrong, she didn’t hesitate to call them into question.
It’s what attracted me to her initially. I admired her willingness to tell me where I was going wrong and what I needed to do to be better. She pushed me to be better. To do more.
That same feistiness and fearlessness is already instilled in our little one.
I miss that woman something awful in moments such as that.
One of her favorite phrases was a line from Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, “And though she be but little, she is fierce.”
It’s a perfect way to describe my wife. It’s a perfect way to describe our daughter.
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Book Anxiety

So, after about 3 and a half years or so of writing and not writing and then writing again, and then the last 6 months or so of REALLY doing a TON of writing and not being able to look at computer screens anymore because my eyes hurt so bad - I am finally finished writing my book. It is FINISHED!!!! 

I handed it over to my editor 2 days ago, and now he will edit and make suggestions on things like grammar, structure, spelling, and a little bit of content. And then it will be ready for uploading and publishing and that whole process by early June, so that it will be 100% OUT and available for purchase and shipping etc., in time for July 13th. That weekend is Camp Widow in San Diego. My great hope is that I will be there as a presenter, this time with my book on sale at the Camp Widow bookstore, for the first time. More importantly, July 13th will be the 7 year anniversary of Don's death, so it's really important to me to be able to honor and recognize that day, with this book finally being out there for the public. I hope like hell that it helps people; brings them comfort, hope, or a few moments of knowing someone else understands. 

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My Mind; My Power

I’ve been really down lately. I don’t know exactly why, but I have some ideas. Work has been overwhelmingly stressful, and I’ve been constantly sick. I will think I’m better from one sickness and a day later I seem to have something else. Every time I get sick or I have a really hard day at work (which is often) I seem to sink a little bit lower in how I feel about myself and my abilities. I’ve been sleeping a lot, having very little energy and motivation to do anything, missing Mike, and thinking miserable thoughts. I want to be functioning like my usual self, but I just can’t seem to do it. Then that frustrates me even more that I can’t seem to pick myself up and I get even more upset and stressed with myself. It’s a hard cycle for me to break.

Last week I went from sleeping pretty much all weekend and cancelling all plans, going to work Monday to then be throwing up Monday night, to having a cold by Wednesday that is still not completely gone. I had an appointment booked with a Naturopath at the end of the week that I booked quite a long time ago. I felt like cancelling but I decided to go to see if I could somehow boost my immune system. When she asked what I wanted to discuss I explained how I’m stressed and sick and probably got off topic with details. The poor doctor was probably thinking she’s not a therapist. However, she said something that popped out to me. She said, “So what strategies do you have for handling your stress? You can’t always avoid stressful situations but what do you do to help yourself?”

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Missing Him on 40

I’m on the road again.

I left Arizona, headed to Arkansas, a few days ago. Or maybe it was a week ago, now. I’m kind of tired after driving some long ass days.

Tune up on my car. New tires, brakes on my rig, PinkMagic, fixed.

Our daughter was road tripping to Arkansas with me, to see the opera camp where I work for the summer. It’s my second year back there, as the groundskeeper.

We were planning a fairly easy trip, stopping to visit family in Denver, taking our time.

Well, as they say…

The best laid plans of mice and men…

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Ink to Remember, Part 2

breathe_easy_tat.jpgI’m going to do the easy thing today, and feed off of Sarah’s sunday post.  I was in the woods for the first time in a while this past weekend, while Sarah’s sister came into town for a few days.  They got to have their weekend together, while I got 24 hours or so next to a campfire.

Her sister got her first tattoo on Saturday.  From her son, Sarah’s nephew. As Sarah watched, she thought of various tattoos that she might get.  Ink that she has thought about for years. New ideas for shared tattoos with her sister. Memorial tattoos, signifying Drew.  

She hated that her mind went to death when contemplating what she would get.  As she wrote, even a shared, “fun” tattoo with her sister would ultimately, end up as a reminder that one of them is gone.  It’s inevitable, and I get it.

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Over the last 532 days, I have taken a fair bit of time to think about my future.  After much thought and consideration, I have concluded that my life will be magical again - eventually.  I know that my life will be everything I ever dreamed it could be.  Life will be beautiful - again.  Maybe even more lovely than I've ever imagined...  And, the truth is, so will yours if you want it to be.

A year ago, if someone told me that my life would fall into place again I would have hoped what they were telling me was right.  The problem is that hope does not provide a sense of contentment because hope can only take you so far.  It is just a starting point.  There is a big difference between hoping and knowing.  Now, inside my heart, I know, without a doubt, that I will be okay.  In truth, I know that I will be better than okay.  And, let me be completely realistic, this peace of mind has been well earned. I have spent the better part of seventeen-and-a-half months working hard to come to this place.  The sense of peace I am feeling hasn't come easy, but it is well deserved. 

I have come to believe that everything in my life is going according to plan.  A plan that is much bigger than me or Mike.  I do not know exactly what the plan is; but, I know that I am being lead in the right direction.  Recently, my mindset has become different and I am better for the change.  I am more content since I've acknowledged that the plan itself is none of my business.  Sure, it's my life and I am obviously interested in the outcome; but, I mean it, what happens to me is really not for me to worry about.  I am much more at peace now that I have loosened the reigns; and, I am confident that my future is in better hands than mine. 

Since I have removed myself from the responsibility of leading me in the right direction, I no longer feel that it is necessary to plan every little detail about my life.  I am so grateful that I am no longer endlessly strategizing and envisioning elaborate scenarios in my mind.  Existing with this mindset was completely exhausting and unnecessary.  It's ironic, now, I do less; and, this has made all the difference.  Less is really more. 

I know that whatever will be, will be - in spite of what I do, or do not do.  It seems so simple, but for the longest time this concept was beyond me. After Mike died I thought I had to "fix" my life and my broken self.  Now, I understand that my life is going to be exactly as it is intended to be and the best thing I can do is move aside and let things unfold. I know this might sounds lofty, or naive, or over simplistic.  I assure you, I am not trying to sugarcoat my thoughts.  I am just sharing what I've come to know.  I really believe that by relinquishing the control I was desperately clinging to I am now heading in the right direction, in spite of myself. 

In the past, when I was trying to steer my life, I was holding the wheel so tight that I wasn't enjoying the drive.  I was missing the point.  Now, I have stopped trying to control my destiny.  I am no longer interfering in the direction of my life because I have faith that I am being lead towards the future I am intended to live.  And, now, I am finally able to relax a bit.  But, I am an overachiever so relaxing hasn't lasted as long as I hoped... 

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Ink to Remember

I'm writing you all on my phone, in the back room of a tattoo shop in Cleveland. An odd place to write from, and no, I'm not the one getting the tattoo… but my sister is. Her first. My nephew, her son, is apprenticing as a tattoo artist and is doing hers. This is in so many ways so very cool. Getting to be here for it and watch is something I'm grateful for… even though I've chickened out from getting one myself!

Sitting here, I am already dreaming of coming back for my first tattoo. I already know of two I want for certain.. both are memorials to Drew. I had decided to wait 5 years from his death and if I was still certain about one, I would get it. Well, I'm creeping I to six years now, and as coincidence would have it my nephew just moved to town to do tattoo work.. it seems like a sign.

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Five Years My Love

My Dear Linzi,


Five Years, my love. Five Years.


We would’ve been married five years today.


Yet another milestone you won’t be able to see or celebrate with me. What would we have done? Where would I have taken you? Who would’ve watched Lila that night? Would I have cooked for you? All questions that will forever remain unanswered and unknown.


My, where has the time gone?


It trailed off in the wake of your absence. Everywhere. Nowhere. I’m not sure. It’s been difficult to pay attention to the passage of time anymore. One more second is just another second closer to seeing you again. How long am I trapped in this prison of pain, my love?


The tears still fall just as freely as they did back then. The thought of you is still as bittersweet as the day I woke up to you gone, reconciling with myself that the night before actually happened.


I miss the arguments. I miss your encouragement and your compliments. I miss the disagreements over silly things like preference of condiments. I miss laughing at anything that didn’t make sense. I miss your critiques meant to help me do better than I once did.


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Second Time Around

Does our soul get more than one soulmate? 


And no. 

This is what I believe. .... 

Our soul is perhaps the biggest part of our makeup, as human beings. It is what carries all the important stuff. Emotion, heart, love. I think that with life experience, age, and time, our souls change and alter some. I think after the death of a partner or spouse, our souls become different. They transform. Sure, the core of who we are remains - some personality traits, things like that. But our soul, the way we view the world, the way we love - changes drastically after the death of a partner or spouse. So, to me, the soul and the person I was, when I was with my husband and loved by him, is not the same soul and person I am today, because of his death. That soul deserved love. This one does too. The way I love is different now, and the person I am today, has a soulmate. My first soulmate lives on in my heart, and through all my memories and stories about us. As his widow, I feel honored and privileged to be the one to carry out his legacy, and build my own, on the foundation that is love. The bricks are all built from love. 

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And Yet Another Tragedy

It seems every time I listen to the news there has been another tragedy and more people have died. On Monday a rented van mounted the sidewalk and killed 10 people and injured 15 in Toronto. On purpose. This person literally had no regard for human life. There was no empathy; how scary is that? How can someone be so incredibly detached from people and the world? What was wrong with him? I know that they must be mentally ill but that means nothing at all to the people whose lives have been turned upside down by one person’s deranged actions. It is not an excuse. It infuriates me that these innocent people lost their lives so senselessly.

Yes, it is great that people come together to support the community and I keep seeing the phrase that we should look for the helpers. But really, I just feel annoyed. We shouldn’t have to look for the helpers because this never should have happened. It’s because we lack any control over the situation that we are forced to respond and help afterwards as our only option. We are working backwards and will never prevent this type of violence from happening if we just help after the fact. The damage is already done. Those people are never coming back. We can punish that man all we want but he still killed all those people. And let’s be honest, unfortunately, he won’t be the last to do it. He certainly wasn’t the first.

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