Katherine's birth had a profound effect on me. The reality that Mike was gone forever, never to know his beautiful granddaughter, cast a shadow over what should have been simply a joyous event. I was devastated thinking of this little girl growing up without Mike’s playful presence in her life. I was not thinking clearly…but I was feeling deeply, and it was a dark, bleak and lonely place. So when the musician suggested another evening together that next week something jolted my psyche. I know, looking back, that I threw caution to the wind. As I'm typing this, Mike's voice is echoing in my head that line from Conan the Barbarian he used to love to quote, "(s)he did not care any longer..."
The feeling of “different” in this new year is hard to ignore. The blustery and yes, chilly, air here in this Hawaii January at our altitude somehow serves to remind me that changes will continue to happen, and the unexpected might still be lurking around the corner. When I woke up this morning I lay there for a few minutes thinking about the day ahead of me and I was remembering the feeling I used to wake with when Mike was alive. That sense of routine and comfortable familiarity I never thought would change so soon. I also again remembered one of the many little things I miss: I always woke to really good hot coffee. That was one of Mike’s happy duties, as he woke far earlier than I did. That first morning, February 17, 2013, when I woke to a cold carafe, I knew something was terribly wrong. Of the millions of small adjustments we make in the wake of our spouse’s deaths, for me, learning to make a decent pot of coffee was one of the first I had to tackle. So today, as is now my new routine, I got up to start the brew myself.Read more
Today is a very big day. In just a few hours, I will be loading up nine of my large framed photos and delivering them safely to the local hospital for my first solo art exhibition. It is a lifelong dream come true. And mostly, it has been incredible. I told my counselor the other day that it feels like a dream… that it feels like I got dropped into someone else's life all of the sudden and that I got really lucky, because their life happens to be all the things that I always wanted my own life to be. Like, hey, I could get used to this!
But of course, it's not ALL the things I wanted my life to be. We all know that. He is not here. I may 100% believe that he can see everything I'm doing and he is working overtime to help align things and forge this new path for me… but that doesn't change the fact that he cannot stand next to me for this moment.
About a week or so ago, my mom found this great quote from a much older widowed lady who was featured in a photography / interview project on a website called "Humans of New York." She saved the quote for me because she thought it sounded exactly like something that Don would have said to me, if his death wasn't sudden, and if he had the chance. It is this:
"When my husband was dying, I said to him, 'Moe, how am I supposed to go on without you?' He said to me, 'Take the love that you have for me, and spread it around.'"
He died on a Tuesday. I can still remember screaming those animal sounds into the phone, tones I'd never heard come out of myself. Deep, guttural defiances... yelled at his dad on the other end of the line – every cell of me rejecting the words from his broken voice, “No baby, he's not okay...” The room is spinning. I remember flashes only. I remember pacing like a caged animal in the shock of it all, and coming back to the bedside where I stared at one of those old-timey pictures of us on the wall, in a teal frame, which I'd hung only days earlier. Suddenly, I am in the hallway, down on my knees, screaming still. Then on the floor, in the bedroom, calling my best friends, the first words I say, over & over, “You have to come over. You HAVE to come over!” followed by barely breathing words, “It's Drew. He was in a crash...... he... didn't make it...” I am lost in space. Gasping. Grasping at anything I can, but nothing exists. I am plummeting through an empty black void – a vast nothing. It is somewhere not earthly. In the explosive event of his death, I have left my body too. It is 8pm, June 12, 2012. I am 29 years old. And the love of my life, my future husband, is dead.Read more
There are lots of fun observations to be made about the picture above...let's not go there ;) What I love about this picture is that it reminds me of a great day on a great vacation with a great friend. I think I've said before that I sometimes have to remind myself of all the good things and make a list. It's always a long list of good things, and in the past 4 years that list has always included Michele. Yesterday was the anniversary of Michele's husband Phil's death - his "deathiversary" as we choose to call it.Read more
A warm hello to my fellow widows,
Many of us widows are juggling lots of balls. I know I am. Just when I believe that I have gotten into a good routine…bam…something can come along to throw me off track or be a cause of frustration. It can be a new change of sort either at work or at home. Now, for example, summer is ending, school is beginning and there are new work responsibilities and challenges occurring. As we all know, change is always present, therefore we must change with it. It is not always easy, but there are some things we can do along the way that might help.Read more
.... with less waves and more new memories. At least for today.
And that's how I take my days ..... one at a time.Read more