I started to write something to honor the men we have lost in recognition of Memorial Day. Then I realized that I couldn't write anything more poignant or beautiful than what Nicole has already posted. And so I am re-posting her Thursday post with this addition...there are no words of thanks that adequately honor the sacrifices made by the men and women who serve in the military today, nor the families they leave behind when they make the ultimate sacrifice. The only thing I can think to say is that each of you are heroes, and we owe you a debt that can never be repaid. Taryn and Nicole...you honor the men you lost by your courage, your determination to make a difference, and your belief that love never dies, thank you. ~ Michele Neff HernandezRead more
For the past ten years, my vision of my happy place has been the same: a tiny beach on the island of Caye Caulker, Belize. Daniel and I spent 14 fantastic days there in the summer of 1999. At the worst of times when I have wanted to scream "calgon take me away"...this little oasis is the picture in my mind's eye. I haven't been back there since then and we always swore we would go. In 2000 we had Grayson, and life became so full that the trip took a backseat. We took plenty of other trips, just not that one.
This year is 10 years since my last visit to my happy place. I have been very tempted to go there in August, to celebrate what would have been our 17th wedding anniversary. That actually hurt to type. It's hard to believe it would be 17 years, I haven't seen him since 13. Damn death.Read more
This past weekend was my fourth Mother's Day without Daniel. The last three have been very difficult for me, and had I had time to think about it, I would have dreaded this one too. Oddly enough I was too busy to think about whether the weekend would be hard or not.
It was hard in a different way this year. I missed him, as I usually do, but it was so much less of a bitter feeling that it surprised me. No pity party this year, no envy of other mom's with adoring husbands to wait on them hand and foot (or not, as the case may be). I wished Daniel could be there to enjoy it and his absence was noticeable as it usually is. I wished he could have spent some quality time with me and with Grayson making me breakfast or whatever they might have done. I missed him of course, but the overall feeling I had for the weekend wasn't bitter or angry or envious, it was grateful.Read more
Sports practices, music lessons, school meetings, homework, school projects, dinner every night, getting multiple children to different locations at the same start time, crying for daddy, asking where he went, consoling, advising, figuring out what the best solution to the problem is when you only have one opinion to consider....any of this sound familiar? The list of the duties of a single, widowed, mom is so long I haven't even scratched the surface here. Not only is the list very long, but there is not another person with whom you can split the list. Remember those days? You take son here, I will take daughter there. Would you please go into his bedroom...I went in last time he called! What should we do with this problem? What do you mean I am overreacting?! Oh, the things I miss about having a parenting partner.Read more
David and I were born only two days apart, out of all the years I've known him we've only been able to spend 3 birthdays together... Our 16th, our 21st, and our 22nd birthdays... (Picture taken at Six Flags California, April 2006, our 21st Birthdays)
Previously, I looked forward to new years to come, new challenges... another birthday... life. Right now, just thinking of turning another year older without him leaves me with a knot in my stomach. How is this possible? How is it that time can fearlessly move forward without the love of life and without my consent?Read more
Wishing someone a good day or a nice holiday weekend seems innocuous enough most of the time...but as a new widow well meant wishes from family, friends or strangers struck me like arrows. How exactly am I supposed to have a good day? Why do I care about this holiday? Have you forgotten for a moment that my husband is dead? Some days I could accept the kind words for what they were, other days I lashed out at unsuspecting humans with no screen for the kind of pain I was in.
So today, at my own personal risk, I am going to wish those of you who celebrate this day a Happy Easter. Yes, you heard me right, Happy Easter.
Tomorrow is Daniel's 39th birthday. I haven't seen him since he was 35, and that thought surprises me in a way that seems ridiculous. I know he's been gone three and a half years, but not seeing him since he was 35? "Inconceivable!" The passage of time is a mystery to me. There are moments when it seems like he just left, and others when it feels like a lifetime since we last talked. Time passes regardless, and it appears to pick up speed with each year.
My husband used to call Valentine’s Day ‘So What Day’…romantic, huh? He thought greeting cards were a waste of trees; that buying flowers because someone told you to defeated the purpose; and that going to dinner on the big day just to eat from a limited menu and have servers anxiously awaiting your departure from the table was ridiculous. I will admit that we fought about this on a few occasions…who wants to be the only girl in the office that didn’t get flowers? Eventually we settled into our own brand of celebrating our love, both on the big day, and on the other 364 days of the year.Read more
New Year's Day is a reflective holiday for me. How would I rate last year overall? Are there any obvious changes that I can make to improve the coming year? When I look back at the past 365 days can I say that I am proud of the way I lived them? Self-reflection, however, is extremely challenging when grief has walked into your life unbidden and unwanted. Do these questions still apply when you are grieving? Can you reflect on life without a distinct bias when your entire world is upside down? What change, short of a miraculous return of my husband, could be made to improve my life after his death?Read more