When I started this blog years ago, I made a promise to myself that I would blog twice a week. And for a couple of years...I stuck to it. But lately, life has been getting in the way and so I'm going to make that promise again (yes, I'm re-promising) - not because I think the world is so interested in my life, but because this blog has become a diary of sorts to me. Through it, I have documented so much during the last few years and it's been such a help for me to see where I've been and how far I've come.
Bottom line...I need to get back to it. For me.
I've tried to write as honestly as I can - some moments have been funny, some not so much. As many
coming out in January that, much like the blog, is raw, funny (I hope), talks about the lessons I've learned and some that took me a while to get. I've worked on this book, off and on, for years and even now when I read the early copy of it, I have a hard time believing that I went through what I did.
A feeling that I'm sure all of us widows and widowers share.
And now it's here - a new chapter in my life (no pun intended. Well, maybe it was a little). This moment in my life that I've worked so hard to get to - talking to people about publicity, book signings, and above all, hopefully getting out and meeting so many of the online friends I have made who have helped me through this journey.
I can't wait. And I want to remember it all. So...back to blogging.
I'm going to honest with you. This summer pretty much blew chunks (to use a colorful phrase from my children). I went into it thinking that I would make it the best it could be since last summer also blew. But the truth is, sometimes we can go into times in our lives with the sunniest outlook possible and still have fate rain on our parade. And this summer was a downpour.
I'm typing this from the new "office space" I've carved out of my bedroom because my basement office has been underwater most of the summer. It is now waterless, but also carpet-less and in some spots drywall-less. Framing is exposed and everything has been turned upside down. I've documented this in previous blogs where I went from crying hysterically to my parents to shrugging my shoulders at the gallons and gallons of water that came pouring through my window. And now, I'm to the point where I need to contact so many contractors I feel paralyzed. So, after I type this...I'm going to start making a list so that I can bite off small chunks at a time.
Because sometimes baby steps is what it takes to get through.
I know that someday I will look back on this summer and admire myself for how strong I was (most of the time). But right now, all I can say is that it really blew.
And to quote Forrest Gump: "That's all I have to say about that."
A while back, I wrote a blog about a funeral I attended for a former neighbor who lost her son when he was just in his twenties. I have thought of her so many times, but (and I swore I would never do this) haven't talked to her in a while.
Really. I should know better.
I ran into her last week at Hobby Lobby. We stood in the fabric section, catching up on pretty meaningless news and then I said, "Okay. The dreaded question. How are you really doing?"
And she's okay. Or as okay as we all were when we went through an unimaginable loss, which is to say she probably wasn't. But she did what we all are able to do sometimes - talk about what has happened and how our lives have unfolded since then with dry eyes that we can't explain because moments later we'll get in our cars and hear a song that will make us cry our eyes out in the parking lot.
But somehow we got on the topic of the crazy things people say after loss - you know, the thing most of us shake our heads in wonder about. And pretty soon we were both laughing so hard we could hardly speak.
"Some woman was complaining to me about her husband's death right after my son's death and actually said to me 'why couldn't it have been my son?'," she said, laughing so hard at the absurdity of it she could hardly speak.
I couldn't help it. I started cracking up, too.
"Some woman told me about a friend of hers just days after my husband's death who was in an accident similar to my husband's and was decapitated," I countered.
Which sent us into another roar of laughter.
Other women walked by wide-eyed as she and I laughed harder than I've laughed in months about her son who I know she misses with all of her heart and my husband who I'm still trying to learn how to live without. We leaned on our carts for support and finally dried our eyes.
"People don't get this," I said, finally calming down.
"Nope," she said, taking a deep breath. "But if you can't laugh at it sometimes, you'll go crazy."
Find more of Catherine's work at www.catherinetidd.com and more from other widow(er) bloggers at www.theWiddahood.com.