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
Yesterday, I was driving to my Soaring Spirits Widowed Social Group meetup that I co-lead.
We meet 2x per month, at various coffee shops and restaurants and such.
We provide friendship, support, and a place to safely be our widowed selves,
whether thats crying, laughing, venting, or anything in between.
Yesterday we met at a new location. A restaurant we had not yet met at before.
I had never been there before.
The location of the restaurant is on the right side of a street where a 4-way intersection meets.
Getting to the parking lot is a bit confusing.
I drove past the restaurant, because I couldnt find the entrance to it.
So I drove up a couple thousand feet up the road, made a left onto a secondary street, slowed down, put my directional on, and made a U-Turn to get back onto the street where the restaurant was.
In the midst of my U-turn, the driver who was behind me smashed into my car, on the left drivers rear side.
Suddenly, out of nowhere, my car was being pushed off the road by the impact, I was in a fog of some kind, and I had been slammed pretty hard.
One second, everything was fine and normal.
Then, with no warning at all,
And although a car accident is different than someone having a sudden heart attack and dying, as my husband did,
I know what both feel like. The shock and fog and cloudy feeling is no joke.
As we called 911 and asked each other "are you okay?" and all the other chaos that happens in the moments after an accident,
my mind felt thick and unsure. I felt in a daze of some kind. Like I was watching a movie in slow-motion, and not really understanding the plot.Read more
My new year begins each April 21.
That's the date of Chuck's death.
It's the only new year that carries any meaning for me.
What do I care about January 1?
April 21 is the day my life incinerated and I was eviscerated.
So it stands to reason, at least in my mind, that this is the day where I look back, and, insofar as I'm able, look ahead.Read more
What does one do, 6 years after being widowed?
Where do we stand?
What does life mean in the here and now?
Does the future finally carry meaning for us?
Or is life simply one filled with questions?
About ourselves, our lives, the life we lived, the life we have to live in the without...Read more
This isn't going to be an upbeat blog.
No apologies for that, but fair warning.
I don't have it in me today.Read more
Chuck and I sold our home in NJ in May 2009 to go out on the road and travel our country together.
No more rat race for us.
Just time together.
We had just shy of 4 years on the road together.
He died April 21, 2013.
11:21 pm is when he took his last breath.
In so many ways, I did too.
Take my last breath, I mean.
My breathing hasn't been the same since the hands of the clock ticked to 11:21 and froze.Read more
I'm coming up on 6 years since Chuck died.
It's weird how my brain works with time regarding his death.
For the first 5 years I counted in days and weeks and months.
In the last few weeks, I've found myself saying almost 6 years.
Once April 21 comes...which is my New Year, by the way, instead of January 1, I know I'll say it's been over 6 years now.
I'll know exactly, because I have a counter on my phone and I track those smaller moments of time...months, weeks, days, minutes, seconds.
I'm not quite sure why. I just do.Read more
I met Christina Rasmussen, from Second Firsts, early in my widowhood, on her first book tour.
She was in Boston and I was in NH, so I drove to the book store holding the event, and heard her speak for the first time.
It didn't change the emotions of my widowhood, but her words, her philosophy about life after loss touched me deeply.
It was my first true indication that I wasn't alone on this road.Read more
I have always hated change. Especially when something would change drastically or quickly, and I didnt have much choice in the matter. Like that time when I was about 7 years old and we went on a class field trip to a Maple Farm, and I somehow ended up with a gigantic ball of maple syrup in my long, curly, gorgeous hair. And then my dad, for reasons I cant quite remember (maybe my mom was away on business or something), took scissors, and CUT OFF MY HAIR so that it went from being down to my waist, to just below my ears. He couldnt get the huge ball of syrup out, so he cut it all off without telling me first. It was just suddenly gone.
Or that other time when 3rd grade ended, and the town decided that the street we lived on would no longer have bus pickup to school, and that instead we would be "bussed" over to the new school that was on the other end of town, because we were considered part of that district or county or whatever. So with no notice at all, I had to leave all my friends and go to this other school that I didnt want to go to.
There are so many other examples, but these two were the first that came into my mind.
So you can tell Im not bitter about them or anything.Read more
Whispers of memory
In the halls of Time
Drift through me
Like the clouds of mist
That suddenly appeared around us
as we wandered the soft ground of Muir Woods
so many years ago.