Okay, so here is my dilemma. What am I supposed to do when life is going well. Or, well enough?
I have been publicly writing, blogging, for three and a half years now. At first it was to keep family and friends up to date with Michael's battle with his brain cancer. Back then I wrote about medical updates, explaining the next chemotherapy trial, the progression of his tumor, then the ultimate message of his death. During that time I tried to talk honestly as possible, yet also balancing Michael's desire for some privacy. In between the difficult messages, were words of hope, and of true joy. I have to remember that even though our world was turned upside down, there were some wonderful days and weeks. During those two years we had many celebrations, and many reasons to be thankful.
Filling in for Jackie today with a post I wrote almost four years ago. Even today, I can clearly remember the feeling of wanting to be dead. It would have been terrifying if I were capable of feeling anything besides empty, but in that moment all I wanted was to be with Phil. Of all the words I have written over the past 5.8 months the ones I share here remind me most powerfully of how far I have come since the day that one life ended, and another unwillingly began.Read more
Recently I spent eight days with one of my favorite people in the world. You all know her as our Tuesday blogger, I call her tacalla. You've heard one or the other of us use that term here on the blog (tacalla is the Spanish word for two things that share the same name), as a way of explaining our shared Michel/lleness. Just imagine for a minute the hilarious looks on the faces of our fellow vacationers when we introduced ourselves. Hi, I'm Michele. And I am Michelle. Yes, we both said Michel/lle. No, we are not twins. Yes, we confuse people all the time. No, we aren't sisters...our parents did not suffer from a serious lack of creativity or a desire to adhere to an age old family tradition. After several questions to determine why we share a name the person being introduced to us inevitably asked THE question...well then how did you meet?Read more
Pictures of me in my current state of happiness make me nervous. I look at this photo with a sense of wonder at the fact that my smile looks genuine. The empty look that has shadowed my features for years appears to have faded. I am tempted to compare this photo to one of my "before" photos to see if I can tell the difference between these versions of my happy self. Will the scars of loss be somehow visible? Is the shadow of death really gone, or is it just lying in wait?Read more
.... is a funny thing.
Other times .... not so much.
This was Jim's favorite picture frame with one of his favorite pictures of our children. It was taken about 13 years ago, around the same time I gave him the frame. Meaning, in "my time", about 10 years .... "before".
I love the idea that there is a time, and a season, for all things, but change has always been hard for me. I like sameness, actually I used to thrive in the familiar. But the transformation that has happened in my life since Phil's death has taught me to accept my uneasiness regarding change as par for my particular course knowing that some of the most amazing blessings in my life are a direct result of changes I would not have made, should anyone have given me a choice.Read more
My personal growth, as well as dedication to the American Widow Project, has brought me more healing than I could have ever fathomed. I still attend each event hoping to get as much out of it as a widow who RSVPed, and continuously I am not disappointed. This evening though, I received a call that meant so very much to me.Read more
***I'd like to take a moment out of my life to make this announcement***
I like being me.
I like being the wife and widow of a hero.
I like the knowledge that I have the best of family, friends and pets.
What do you see when you look at this picture? I see love, fun, teamwork, happiness. A couple of years ago this picture, as happy as it is, would have made me sad. I would have seen sadness, loss, something missing. Unexpectedly, I am finally able to see what is there instead of always focusing on what or who is not. It's huge. It also happened without me noticing the subtle difference.Read more
Am I turning my husband.....
.... into a saint?
After really sitting down to think about it and to honestly delve into the recesses of my mind (which was an exhausting trip, by the way) .... I think I can honestly say ...... no.