Saturday, April 14, 2018

My Story

Lately I find myself moving through the days, being with others, laughing, and living life. Days pass quickly and grief, sadness, and feelings of aloneness are kept at bay. Ed is not always at the forefront of my mind and when that dawned on me, it brought tears to my eyes. I guess it was the "guilt" of living life. I know with everything I believe, Ed would want nothing more for me than to be happy.  And if he's looking down and sees me laughing and enjoying life and opening my heart to others, I know it would make him smile. He would want nothing less for me. So it was surprising when I felt the tears filling my eyes and when I tried to articulate my feelings I defined it as doing a disservice to him. In my mind, I easily put him aside, tucked away as memory of my past life. But it was pointed out to me that I grieved for 5 years and there should be no guilt in learning to live and love again. Funny in an odd way, that I needed to be reminded of that.  I let the words sink in, searching my soul, and seeing if I could actually accept this thought.  My head agrees; my heart is taking longer to accept that.

I talked about "my past", we all have a past, right? Ed was in my past.  But once again I was corrected. It's not my past, it's my story.  Yes, I like that thought very much. My life with Ed is part of my story, a story I hope to continue writing and living. Which surprises me even as I write that. It wasn't so long ago I could barely think of getting through the day and the thought of a future, alone and sad, frightened me.  I now have visions and hope for a happy future...with great friends and maybe, if I'm lucky, with another someone special.

Those 31 years with Ed were a large chapter of my life, of my story.  If I'm blessed, maybe I'll live another 30 years and dare I dream that there could be another chapter?  If I'm so lucky, wouldn't my life story be grand...a large volume of either many chapters, or a couple very large and fulfilling chapters.

My story...I have a story from the past 5 years.  It's where I discovered myself.  The journey was very difficult at times, but I met some of the best people currently in my life.  They guided me through the storm and are the silver linings from these past 5 years. I am now ready to open myself and my heart to the possibility of finding another love in my life. I never expected that I would ever feel this way again, but life is full of surprises.

If I've learned nothing else these past 5 years, it's that life is short so embrace the moments, and live each day to the fullest. And with that, I know I am now ready to begin exploring and writing the next chapter of my story.  Making notes of the journey and hoping that maybe, just maybe, I'll look back in another 5, 10, or even 30 years and see that this next chapter was as large and full of life and love as my chapter with Ed.

Let my story continue....let the next chapter begin...

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Jigsaw Puzzles

Here I am again...another quiet Sunday morning.  How I love Sunday mornings...except for the one when I got the call that my brother passed away.  The 5th sadiversary of his passing is coming up next weekend and the memories of that day, that moment, that phone call, early Sunday morning replay in my mind clearly.

The memories are still hard to believe. That he is gone. That Ed is gone. That Larry is gone. The coming days and months will not be easy as I remember each of them and this milestone sadiversary.  I don't know what it is about 5 years.  It seems like yesterday; it seems like a lifetime ago. I wonder if the past ever existed or was it something I dreamt up in my head. It is the actual photographs around the house and tucked in photo albums that confirm for me that it was all real.  Another life....another time...another me.

But this Sunday morning is not to mourn those I lost and miss. No, this Sunday morning, as I sit with my strong cup of coffee and glance out the window at a cool, gray March day, I can see the promise of spring.  The hope of new life.

As I said before, my resolution for 2018 was to learn to live again and open my heart again.  Over the past 5 years, I have been blessed to meet some of my best friends.  I don't know what I would do without them and I never intend to find out.  They are there to laugh and share good times and they are there to lift me up when needed. We support each other through this crazy thing we call life. They are my rock and my foundation and keep me grounded. I've said it before...Ed was my everything "before".  Now my "after", I'm learning to allow others to fill in that "everything" in different ways.

As I'm navigating and venturing into unchartered waters, my friends are my anchor and they help bring me back to shore. I recall many years ago....5 to be exact....when I referred to the roller coaster of emotions during Ed's final weeks.  These past few weeks have also been a roller coaster of emotions, but different ones.  There has been laughter, smiles, tears, heartache, closeness, and adventure, all bundled up together. I still don't like roller coasters and so I'm trying to get off and take a slower ride...maybe a nice sail on quiet waters.

Just like the jigsaw puzzle that is on my dining room table, I'm trying to fit together the pieces of my life. But it takes time and with patience things come together and the picture becomes clearer...

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Better to Walk than Run

What a difference a couple weeks can make.  My last post I had ventured into a world of happiness where I dared to dream.  I truly felt "happy" and was smiling and laughing more and opened my heart. And just as quickly, it came crashing down. It was just over a week now and the memories of the heartache can still cause a lump in my throat and bring tears to my eyes.

The pain was different this time. My life has been so insulated over 30 years of being with a man who loved me unconditionally and was always there for me.  I was spoiled...and lucky...all wrapped up together and I know it.  The pain was different this time.  The pain I've felt over the past 5 years was a pain of loss that I had no control over, that Ed had no control over.  It was the pain of grief that I just had to ride the wave of, knowing it would ebb and flow over time.  The pain of loss, the pain of a future that would never be.  But it was not because of a lack of respect or was simply the cards we were dealt, that I was dealt, and nothing could have or would have changed the outcome.

The pain of a week ago was a result of human actions. Actions that could have been handled differently and should have. That if the situation was handled in a more mature, adult manner, the heartache may still have been there but maybe not as hurtful?  I guess I'll never know.

Instead, I just need to learn from it and get back up and brush myself off.  I learned a lot about myself  and others over the past couple weeks.  Us humans are a strange bunch.  But what I've learned the most and what I'm surprised I even need to be reminded of, is that life is short and it is meant to be spent with people who make you laugh and smile and treat you with respect.  Life is an adventure to be lived and with 2018, I'm trying to start to live again.  I tripped coming out of the gate, but I'm hoping I'm on better footing now and have learned to walk a little stronger and not run so fast.

Enjoy the day, enjoy the moment, enjoy the journey....  I'm trying. I'll be sure to let you know how it goes...

Saturday, February 3, 2018


"Happy" that what I've been feeling lately?

I recognize and acknowledge happy moments. After the new year, I opened my 2017 "gratitude" jar.  Those little slips of paper where I captured a moment of happiness, laughter, special times with friends or family.  Moments of recognizing the beauty in nature or special times with friends where we laughed and enjoyed each other, or when I tried new things.  They were all highlights of my year.  Specific moments noted in time.  I kept those slips of paper because I wanted to keep those reminders of the special people in my life who brought me joy.  "Joy"....another word I rarely use and over the past years, I wondered if I would ever find or feel "joy" again.

I think I am now or at least I'm en'joy'ing life these past few weeks. I smile more and I'm happier. I think Ed would be happy too. As a total stranger told me yesterday, "he wants you to be happy". It's not the first time I've heard this and I know it is true because even in life, that is all Ed wanted was for me to be happy and he gave me that (well, at least most days! lol).

Now it is up to me to find that what I do and with people who make me happy.

I have my gratitude jar again this year and I'm hoping 2018 will see that jar overflowing with little slips of paper. Only time will tell.  Following the great advise of my closest friends, I'm just enjoying the moment, enjoying the day.  And, yes, I can truly say that right now, and for the past couple weeks, I am happy and it feels good.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Christmas Peace

It's the Wednesday after Christmas.  The house is quiet and empty. Dan was here the past 5 days and it is hard to express in words how much he fills this house, and my heart, with warmth and love. His presence is what fills the void without Ed here.

We celebrated Christmas with my family, Ed's family, and then just me and Dan together and each celebration was "good".  I enjoyed spending time with family and I did not experience the usual overwhelmness that comes from too much activity. Christmas Day itself was just me and Dan. It was nice to just stay home as snow fell outside. We did venture out to cleanup snow late morning but the rest of the day of simply staying home, playing games and enjoying a meal together. It was a relaxing day but didn't quite feel like Christmas. If I was home alone, I know I definitely would not have liked it!

Naturally thoughts of Ed crossed my mind, our minds, often. Dan and I talked about what Ed would think about things we did (or didn't) do. But sadness and grief stayed at bay. Now, don't get me wrong...of course I missed Ed. But they were fleeting moments that came and went and I moved on enjoying the day.  As I write this, it does bring some level of sadness because grief is not consuming my life which is a good thing but also sad because it means I'm moving forward. It is hard to articulate but it is disconcerting feeling, both good and bad all wrapped up in one.  But I also know that this feeling can change quickly, so I'm capturing it here and appreciating it.

New year's is approaching and I'm approaching it with apprehension.  New Year's always seems to be a time to look back at the past year...what did you do? what did you accomplish? And then to set goals for the new year.  It's also a reminder that time continues to march on. Life continues on whether you want it to or not.  But there's a few more days of 2017 to enjoy which I plan to do.  THEN, I'll worry about 2018 and "goals".

For now, I'm simply going to continue to enjoy Christmas...the decorations, the music, the cards received from loved ones, and mostly, the peace and love that still fills this house by Dan's presence.

Merry Christmas All!

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Walls Filled with Love

It is the Sunday after Thanksgiving.  The house is quiet and once again I'm spending a quiet Sunday morning with a cup of coffee.

Now that Thanksgiving is behind us, the Christmas rush has begun. I'm not necessarily happy about that. I love Christmas...or at least most days I do. I like the lights and decorations and the music. I don't like the commercialism and hustle and bustle of shopping and overindulging. The madness of shopping and gift giving takes over simply enjoying the holiday.

Dan is home this weekend and it is the highlight of my life. I know I am so blessed to have him in my life and I know I say this often. But he has made my Thanksgiving and weekend filled with happiness. There is nothing better than spending time with him. We've done chores around the house (leaves are done!), gone to see a show (Trans-Siberian Orchestra!), and have simply hung out together watching Netflix or playing cards and board games. I love that we are homebodies.

There have been many days over the years since Ed passed when, if it wasn't for Dan, I don't think I could have gone on.  He was my reason for living. I know that's not a fair responsibility to place on a child, no matter what age, but it is the life and cards that were dealt to us. Thankfully for me, Dan stepped up to the plate. I wish the burden didn't fall solely on him. These are times when I'm sorry that he doesn't have any siblings to share the burden. But, then again, if he did, we may not have the relationship we do. We can read each other's minds and are often thinking the same thing. We are very good friends. Dare I say best friends?

However, Dan will be leaving today and that makes me sad. But I will hold the happy moments in my heart and be thankful. Thankful for this warm and loving home that Ed and I created and that Dan and I continue to fill with laughter and love. I have dreams of someday moving to my next chapter...a new location, a new home.  Days like today, though, I wonder if I could ever really leave this home.  Time will tell.  For today, though, I'll allow it to wrap me in the warmth of love and memories that fill these walls.

God, I love this kid!

The gang on Thanksgiving at Mom's

From Trans-Siberian Orchestra show that Dan and I went to

The turkey Dan and I cooked. Our first...and it came out pretty good!

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Rainy, Quiet Sunday

It's my favorite time of the week...Sunday morning.  There is no alarm and no where to rush off to. It's raining outside but I don't mind because I have no where I have to go. Knowing it was going to rain, I finished my outdoor tasks yesterday so I feel good about that. Today I plan to make a beef stew so it fills the house with warm, wonderful smells. I have several indoor projects I plan to tackle and I'm just happy to be at home.

I am doing better today. The sadness that engulfed me just a week ago has lifted. I'm not sure why, just like I'm not sure why it hit me so hard last week. But there is a lightness in my steps and I was eager to get out of bed this morning to begin tackling my To Do list.

I am getting excited about the upcoming holidays. I'm going to try hard to learn to simplify because I just want to enjoy the time and the season.  I know part of my excitement is that Dan will be home this week for the long Thanksgiving weekend. Spending time with him is one of my most favorite things to do and fills this home with much love.

Whatever it is though that has improved my mood, I'm going with it. For as fast as the wave of grief and sadness can still engulf me, it thankfully moves on just as quickly. An empty and alone future still disconcerts me, but, at least for today, it is not consuming my thoughts.

Today I am ready to face the world.  Be sure to check back could be a different story. But I can't control tomorrow, so I'll enjoy today and ride this wave until it crashes and tosses me...

Happy Thanksgiving...

My Story

Lately I find myself moving through the days, being with others, laughing, and living life. Days pass quickly and grief, sadness, and feelin...