Life Does NOT Look ......


...... the way I expected it to look ...... 6 years ago.

Six years ago he was still alive. 
Although for only 14 more days,  unbeknownst to any of us.

Over the years, I remember looking at people I knew, who had lost their spouse, and wondering, "What were they thinking 24 hours before?"  Seriously.  I thought that.  I wondered.
I don't know why.
But I did.

And then it happened to me.

And I knew that other people were thinking, "What was she thinking about ...... the day before?"
Well, I'll tell you.
I was thinking, "Thank You, God.  All of the kids are now home."  The last one had arrived Saturday night.  She experienced a few hours with Jim on Sunday, before his aorta tore in the middle of the night on Sunday/Monday.
I was thinking, "I can't believe that Dan Fogelberg died today."  If you had read my blog back then, you would've seen that post.  The last post I wrote before Jim died.
I was thinking,"My Christmas shopping is done!  Now I can sit back and enjoy the time with my kids and the holidays."

That's the kind of thing I was thinking ..... only hours before my life went to hell.
Those are some of the thoughts I had ...... in my innocence, in my naivety, in my "before".

And now?  What are my thoughts now?
First and foremost ...... my life does NOT look at all like I expected it to look.

Oh, I had thoughts of living in NYC.  Jim and I had discussed the idea ...... a bit.  He thought it was a great idea. 
And then he died.

So I had thought of us living here.
But I'd never thought of just me living here.
Me and two daughters.
With one son wanting to move here and my third daughter wanting to join us.

I pictured the two of us living in TX, where all of our friends were.
But I knew that we'd have to move in the next couple of years.  His job would have required that.  But we both figured that we would ultimately move back to TX one day.

It's funny (not ha-ha) how fast life can change.
One day you think you know how everything is, and will be, going.
You think you finally have a handle on things.
And then one day, you wake up to find that you don't.
And that you really never did.

So my life doesn't look like I thought it would.
But that doesn't mean that it's horrible.
It was.  For a very long time.
I don't like thinking about that time.

But slowly, sometimes at almost a snail's pace, things changed.  I changed.
I knew that I had a choice to make.
Before that point I had no strength to make a choice.  Any choice.
But one day ...... one day, I did.
I had to choose to either ...... die ...... or live.
I knew what Jim would want me to choose.  And by then, I knew what I wanted to choose.
I was done with Death.  He had taken over too much of my life.  He had moved in and taken ownership over too many things.
It was time to kick him the hell out.
And so I did.

I never pictured losing the friends I lost.
Or gaining the amazing friends I've gained.

It didn't happen over night.  Nothing along this path does, with the exception of the actual death that starts us here.
It's a very long, very dark, very painful and very cold valley.  We all have to walk through it.  At our own pace.

I made it through that valley.  And now I can say that life doesn't look the way I expected it to when I went in.
I never thought I'd be happy again.
I never thought I"d enjoy life again.
I never thought my heart would stop feeling painfully broken.
I never thought I'd really want to live again.
I was wrong.

I never thought I'd be a person who could offer hope to anyone else.
But here I am.
And that's why I write.
The only reason I write.

No, life doesn't look the way I thought it would ...... 6 years ago.
But that doesn't mean it's not good.

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