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Friday, August 30, 2013

The In-between

The best way I can describe how it feels to be in this situation is that I feel like I have an in-between life. There are so many choices to make, so many things to learn; and yet I can't/won't make any choices or learn any new things. I am afraid to commit to anything because it can be gone in the blink of an eye. I am finding it hard to commit to an outfit or a pair of shoes, let alone a future, a home, a person, a life....
     The in-between isn't a bad place to be, it is just frustrating. I feel like a newborn; dependent, scared, unable to do much. There is a big old world out there and when you go from charging ahead in it with a partner to navigating it alone, it can be a bit overwhelming. I am amazed at how many decisions I never made by myself. Even the simple decision of what to make for dinner can sometimes require a steeling of will not to ask for advice.
     The in-between can also make you feel needy. You never feel like you quite fit in any situation. Even a simple walk in the mall can drive you crazy. Couples holding hands, families with small children, husbands/boyfriends buying jewelry for their wives/girlfriends, not having anyone to tell you that you look great in that outfit or that those shoes make your ankles look fat.  So instead of taking the plunge and doing what you have to do, you grab a soft pretzel from the guy at the stand, a soda from the vending machine and pretend you forgot something in the car. You hate to call and ask your friends to join you because they all have their own lives, their own families, their own errands to run. You don't want to need to have someone with you, but you can't help it. You are in between the old you and the new you, and for now, the old you has won the battle.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Baby steps

Baby steps is what I have to keep telling myself. I got out of bed today! I took a shower today!  I kept the kids alive today! I went out into the world today! I didn't mouth off to the first person that irritated me today! These may seem like small, ordinary things, but in my world, I might as well have climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro.  It is amazing what worth you give these tiny accomplishments.  Remember to pack the little guy lunch every day for a week? Treated myself to a giant ice cream.  Finished my to do list? Went and bought myself a new pair of shoes.  Cooked (and I mean actually cooked, no take out) dinner every day for a week? Took myself out to my favorite restaurant for dinner and drinks.
     These baby steps were going to help me move forward. They were going to help me to cope. I was at a crossroads and they were going to help me choose my path. Did I want to sit at home curled up in a ball ignoring my life as it progressed without me? Sure. But I couldn't. I didn't. I had my kids to think of. My family. They were why I HAD to take these baby steps forward. They had no one else to take responsibility for raising them right but me. Every choice I was going to make from here on out was going to affect them directly.  That thought was so overwhelming. So I took a poll. I asked everyone I came in contact with on a regular basis what they thought I should do. Choices, choices. School? Work? Domestic goddess? While I would have most preferred to take the way of the ostrich and bury my head in the sand, the a overwhelming response to the poll was to go back to school.        
     Then all of the questions start floating around in my head again. What do I want to do for the rest of my life? What interests me? What is going to provide a stable life for me and my boys? Does stable necessarily mean interesting? Baby steps to the answers, I suppose.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Now what?

Well since feedback has been positive but requests have been for more, here goes.  Upon first starting  off on this journey, I was lost. B was my childhood sweetheart, my balance, my rock, the dark to my light, the father to my children, and now, in the blink of an eye, he was gone.  He was in a box on my windowsill. It sucked. I hid. I cried. I yelled. I formed unhealthy attachments. I tried to insert myself into other people's lives where I didn't really fit.  I ate too much. I drank too much. I stayed out too late.  Slowly but surely, I started to come out of the fog.  I realized that no one was going to help me. I had to do it myself. There was no life insurance. No education fund. No savings to speak of, as we had struggled so much before he passed and recently relocated back home to be near family. So.....what do I do?
     Starting from ground zero is really really hard. The paperwork was overwhelming. Never in one day had I had to come to terms so many times with death. Check this box for widowed. Marriage ended in death. Single, married, divorced, widowed.  Husband is deceased. So many boxes to check. So many bubbles to fill in. So many places to sign. Then it was done. I made it. I went home and hugged my kids super extra tight. Then the reality hit again like a ton of bricks. I had nothing. The apartment we had applied for we got the day after he died. There was no way I could afford it without him. My family was generous enough to transition from the kids and I visiting for the summer on vacation to semi-permanent status in their home. All of my belongings minus a suitcase each were in a 20x20 foot storage unit. What did I know how to do? Cook? Clean? Pack a mean lunch? How on earth was I going to provide for two very hungry, growing, school age boys?

Friday, August 23, 2013


Hi there! This has taken me 9 long months to be able to get to, but I think I am able to share. I am a 35 year old woman whose relatively healthy husband dropped dead of a heart attack a month shy of his 38th birthday. I am now a single girl, single mom, and fairly sarcastic human adrift in this crazy sea of widowhood like a boat with no anchor.
   It is amazing to get that phone call that changes your life. You are sitting there, having a beer with friends, and the phone rings. You let it go to voicemail because you don't want to be rude. Then it rings again. And again. You dial your voicemail to hear an unfamiliar voice on the other end of the line telling you your husband was taken to the hospital. You call his work, and they tell you it isn't good. Your friend drives you to the hospital because you can barely breathe, and when you get there they take you to the "bad news room". 45 minutes later your world changes FOREVER. You are a widow. You have to tell your kids that they are going to grow up without a dad. You talk to someone on the other end of your phone giving permission to harvest your husband's tissue, bones, and corneas. You talk to a funeral director and realize you can't afford anything but turning your beautiful, amazing, love of your life into a box of ashes. You have an amazing memorial service that a few people attend. You come face to face with your own mortality and a new reality.