Two days ago, I experienced my first Mother's Day without Megan. Had you asked me back in January how I would have handled it, I would have expressed sheer terror at the prospect. At that time, just two months since losing her, all I could imagine was that I would be an emotional train wreck, and would probably have just called my mother and mother-in-law to wish them a happy day, and stayed holed up in my house.
That isn't what occurred, however. Yesterday was "OK", for lack of a better term.
Our tradition for the past few years had been for Shelby and I to wake up early, go downstairs, make a mess of the kitchen preparing bacon, eggs, pancakes, and coffee, and bring it to Megan in bed, along with a card and a small gift. Shelby would turn some cartoons on and we'd sit and talk, all three of us, until Megan was ready to get out of bed. It was a simple acknowledgment of how special she was, and that we would do anything for her. We would clean up the kitchen and get our day started, where we would be visiting our parents and probably going out to dinner in the evening.
I woke up Sunday at that same early time that I always do, fully aware that it was Mother's Day, and painfully acknowledging the fact that for the first time in eight years, Megan wasn't there to cook breakfast for. The dogs, having woke me up, were fed and let outside, and I went back to bed. The bacon stayed in the freezer, and the coffee pot sat there cold.
Do you remember this place? Do you remember how much Shelby loves coming here? It was the first place that Shelby and I ever took a hike, and it's the final place, a year ago, that you and I took a walk. I can still remember Shelby running around, picking up last year’s acorns, the few remaining ones left alone by the squirrels at least. I remember holding your hand and just walking, letting her be fascinated by nature, as she always was, and still is. We strolled...slowly. You had already been in rejection for a few months, but you weren't sick enough yet that you couldn't shuffle along.
Shelby needs to have an example of what a caring, devoted man, father, and husband should be. She is a mere 8 years old, but I believe most readers here will understand when I state that, well, I might not be here by the time she's 18. It's a cold, hard truth that should never be swept under the rug or glossed over, and I can unfortunately speak from experience.Read more
( I'm filling in for Amanda because the storms in Australia have knocked out Internet access. She'll be back again next week.)
I’ve got a battle-axe that I carry with me everywhere I go. I’ve had it since Jan 5, 2007 when it was given to me by a doctor who said the words “cancer” and “urgent.” Its blade is sharp and still bloody from previous use.
Maggie died in May 2009. I’ve been writing on Widow’s Voice since April 2011. I don’t write as often as the other bloggers because I guess I’m the quiet one. Yet I hope that my infrequency has been inversely reflected in the intensity of my posts; I’ve been open and honest and shared all that I’ve been working through. My path – the same path you are on – sadly leaves only one set of footprints in the sand. Yet, for some reason and maybe you feel the same, I’ve felt that my job is to keep drawing another set of footprints.Read more
It’s been a long time since I cried for three straight hours. I forgot how many rolls of toilet paper I can go through per hour. (Yes, I use toilet paper instead of Kleenex. TP is more efficient, less messy and much cheaper. When you are clocking nose blows at between 2 to 3 RPH – rolls per hour - cost matters.) I also forgot how bad the headaches can be.Read more
So much has happened in such a small amount of time that my head is spinning even as I type. I now live in downtown Austin with cars and people and dog walking and concrete which, for a country boy, is quite the change. I have a new job that’s challenging, engaging and, quite frankly, fun. Life is completely different than just a few weeks ago, let alone a month or a year ago. So much has changed. And I’m ok with all of it. A new world of possibilities has appeared in front of me and I’m happy to be right where I am. Wow, it’s been a long time since I’ve been able to say that.Read more
Somewhere between suffering that terrible first Christmas party alone and “Whoo hoo! It’s a Christmas party!” was my last weekend. This is the third holiday party season without my Angel holding my hand (and likely suggesting I wear a different shirt.) I had been dreading the holiday parties but my anticipation of misery far exceeded reality. I was both surprised and relieved.Read more
The Business of Change that I started back in mid-September continues on. There’s just so much stuff to go through and just so little willpower on my part. Despite all the difficult work packing her 118 pair of shoes into boxes, only one box has made it to a new home. (I remind myself that one is better than none – and even one is still a change.) That one box full of adventures not taken was dropped off yesterday. I’m sure the nice lady at Safe Place found it odd that “Do you need a receipt?” was a reason to burst into tears. But I took the receipt, tried to drive straight and by the time I was half-way home I had stopped crying. That’s a real improvement.Read more
After a week of being less social that usual, last Friday night sucked. Really, really sucked. I have no idea what triggered the mess. I wasn’t wallowing around in old wedding pictures. I hadn't gone back in time to read our Great Cancer Adventure blog (reading about our last days together still transforms me into a wailing mess of a man.) But for some reason, Friday evening was the night an ugly freight train of emotion hit me like never before. Maybe the train’s always been there but I have always had some judo to derail it before it picked up speed. Friday, it was just me, dark thoughts and a fast moving train.Read more