Monday mornings are typically tough getting back into the grind but when your person’s birthday consumes that first day of a new week’s energy you can barely make it through the day let alone the week. This is the second birthday without him. These milestones seem to be flying by faster and faster but the space Tin filled seems to be just as big as the day he passed. It sometimes feels like I am drowning in the waves of emptiness. There is no other way to describe it.Read more
It's Sunday again.
Right about now, I should hear you happily humming as you walk down the stairs to start the coffee.
As I lay in our bed, I should notice the familiar sound of the beans grinding.
Soon, the smell of coffee should be thick in the air.
There should be music playing in the kitchen.
And, any moment now, my phone should ding and the screen should light up with
- your name.
Right now, you should be sending me my "Good Morning Beautiful" text message.
The same familiar, heartfelt 3 word message you lovingly sent to me every single day.
You sent me this message to me every morning.
You sent this text on your way to work, or from home in our kitchen where you should be right now on this Sunday morning.
You should be making coffee and texting me from the kitchen table.
But, you're not here.
I'm spending another Sunday without you.
This past week, Mike wrote about how we are continuing a dream he and his late-wife Megan shared as we are looking into getting a camper next year. There were a lot of dreams I had with Drew that never came true too. Even just planning a wedding and spending time on every little detail was something I never got to do with him. Much less a wedding itself. Hell, we didn’t even get to live together yet because we were waiting until he was done with flight school and got his first flying job. We were only a few months into him getting that job, and were finally ready to embark on so many new adventures together that we never got to. Our honeymoon plan was to get a small camper in fact, and travel across the country for a few weeks.
Seven years later, Mike and I live together. We are engaged, and I am happily planning away every little detail while trying not to hear the whispers of “What if he dies before you ever get to the wedding?”. We’ve already done so many of the things that Drew and I never got to do. And I’ve done a lot of things that I was only beginning to dream about when he died. I’ve been selling my art and photography and teaching healing workshops. Much of these are dreams that came out of the ashes of his death… dreams that I didn’t realize were buried deep inside me until he died and I had a perspective shift. Or dreams - like writing on this blog - that evolved from my experience with grief and my passion to help support others through it.
There are dreams that I paused when he died. Like the idea of buying that little camper. It was a bit of a different dream than the one Mike and Megan shared. For us, it was a “someday” dream of a tiny teardrop trailer, while they were actively pursuing purchasing a larger travel trailer for their little family. But still, there was a shared dream there that we can now reignite.Read more
The Fourth of July - All things summer right? It’s cookouts, pool, family, sunscreen and fireworks. All the freedoms you get living in the good ole USA. It’s funny how the word freedom is used. By definition, freedom means you are not enslaved or forced to act or be a certain way. You are not trapped. Of course, for the USA freedom means all of those things to show our independence. Interesting, that word freedom, because it is purely based on one’s perception of the situation.Read more
I’ve been in Texas on vacation for a few weeks, hence my absence here. I have however been waiting to share something very special that happened while we were down there. If you’re new here, I lost my fiance Drew 7 years ago in a crash. I am now engaged to a widower, Mike, and we have this new little blended family together with his daughter Shelby. When we go back to Texas for visits, we are usually visiting all of my friends and also, Drew’s family. We stay with them for usually half the trip. In fact, we sleep in Drew's bedroom, which weirdly enough isn't ever weird at all.
Since day one they have loved me as part of their own family. The week after Drew died, his mom and I were sitting together hugging and crying and she told me that when the day comes that I am with someone new, she would be honored to be the Mother of the Bride. Yeah, I cried a lot.
Since I lost my own mom when I was nine, these words have continued to be some of the most memorable of my life. They told me so much about the heart of this woman, who was enduring the worst shock and pain of losing her son - her firstborn - only a week before. It told me that she felt the same way I did, that she and I were each other’s connection to him and we were never letting that go. Over time, it has grown into so much more.
It is no surprise then, that when Mike proposed to me (At Drew's parents' house on Christmas Eve, which I wrote about here), she was the one and only person I could imagine having with me to go dress shopping. So, while Mike, Shelby and I were down in Texas, Drew’s mom and I went out one afternoon together to go wedding dress shopping. We thought initially we’d just see what’s out there, not expecting to find THE one. What unfolded was one of the most beautifully bittersweet and incredibly surreal moments of my life.Read more
Well, it’s that time of year again. I’m here in Texas, with Sarah and Shelby, to celebrate you. This is what, year...five for me? That seems crazy. We went to your grave today, and it’s I guess looking good as ever. The little heart shaped rocks, the trinkets...the helicopters; they’re all still there. Your mom had some pretty nice flowers set up too. Lilies, I think. I dunno. I’m pretty sure you don’t care all that much, considering that it’s been 7 years, and your loved ones are still making it a point to come by and “tidy up”.
Anyway, you should have seen it tonight. Your parents are totally loving having Shelby around. Playing ping-pong with her, your mother showing Shelby around her business, rendering Peanut both in awe of all of the scientific equipment, and speechless, your dad and I telling “dad jokes” to her, and even letting her drive the farm vehicles around. It’s almost like Shelby is their granddaughter.Read more
I’m sitting in Mike’s spot at the kitchen table.
Wondering how to put my love for this man into words.
As I’m sitting here,
I can’t help but notice that he’s everywhere in this house.
Once upon a time, he sat in this same chair I’m sitting on now.
I notice that my elbow is on the table and I am cupping my cheek in my hand
-exactly like Mike used to do as he sat here, occupying this very same spot.
I remember his wine glass used to be where mine is right now.
There are echoes of him everywhere.
Right at this very moment, my new fiance Mike and daughter Shelby are visiting my late-fiance's family in Texas. We have been here before. We spent Christmas with them in fact this past year. It still is so strange and surreal and beautiful to me how this all works. Mike and I stay in Drew’s old bedroom. Shelby sleeps in his sister’s old room. And we spend all this time hanging out with his family, in their house, with all of their memories. All of the memories of my old life. Somehow it just all works. It just all blends in this wonderful way - all based off love.
One of the most surreal experiences of this is having Mike’s daughter Shelby here… and how excited she is to come to Drew’s parents ranch to see all the animals. To see the cactus and scorpions and the beaches on Padre Island - my hometown. It’s so awesome getting to be the one to expose her to the state I grew up in and all the things I love.
It’s sometimes hard to know that I get so little time to share with her the things I grew up with in my life since we live so far away. Sometimes I wish so much I could share more of my own world with them, for longer. But when we do come down, and I do get to share with them this life that was my life, that was a life I shared with Drew, and a life I lived even long before I met him… it feels so good. It feels so beautiful and rewarding and loving and amazing. I don’t know any other way to say it besides, I feel so safe and secure in this world in a way I don’t when I’m not in Texas. I just feel grounded here.Read more
This landscape of widowhood.
The Alaskan tundra.
The Sahara Desert.
The Austrailian Outback.
Every side road in between cities and towns.
The past month or two has been tough. This time of year usually is. It’s the time of year that led up to when Drew died. These months were some of the happiest in our relationship. He had just gotten his first job as a pilot and was finally living his dreams. We were beginning to look towards our future together, towards a wedding and a new chapter of togetherness. We were at the height of everything and going exciting places… when the crash changed all of that in an instant.
It’s already a hard enough time of year. In the background of living day to day life, I get flashes of memories of the last time we went out to dinner together, or the last time we went for a hike or the last birthday we celebrated together. Flashes of all the happiness and laughter that were ended so abruptly in a crash.
On top of all of that, our anniversary is just a week before the day he died. Forever those two events slam into me almost simultaneously… a one-two punch. And of course it has been on my mind for weeks now leading up to this week. But this time, something else happened on our anniversary a few days ago.
This time, the thing that I never ever wanted to happen, happened. For the entire day of our anniversary…
For the entire day, I was completely unaware of what day it even was. And the whole thing went by without my even realizing it was that special day. It is the horror of all horrors as a widow... to forget an important day. And let me tell you, when it first hit me, I was completely horrified.Read more