Thursday, July 30, 2015

Where the Hell are you Going?

Do you ever have one of those moments that jolts you awake...even though you're not sleeping?

I do.

I love it when that happens.  There's just something that clicks in my head and lets me knows that it's something important and I suddenly feel awake.

And both the feeling of something important happening and feeling truly awake are kind of rare occurrences.

I enjoy my laziness and my sleep.  Especially at the same time.

Anyway, I was sitting with my family the other night, enjoying the Lyle Lovett concert at Red Rocks (I don't care what your musical tastes are...that man is a song-writing genius) when he introduced his fiddle player and asked him to play a song on his own.

Luke Bulla took over the microphone and in a voice as clear as a bell began to sing while strumming his fiddle.  For the life of me, I can't remember the name of the song, but one line made me sit up straighter. And it went something like....

I won't know where I'm going until I know where I've been.

And I don't think one sentence could have summed up this summer for me better than that.

Here's the hard part.  You have to embrace your past in order to get on with the future.  But sometimes the past is like the person you're trying to save in the deep end of the pool:  You can either allow it to take you both down or you can smack it in the face and take control in order to save you both.

Okay.  That was a weird analogy.  I just came up with it.  So roll with me.

I didn't realize until recently what a strangle-hold my past has had on me.  How paralyzed I was.  How it took making major changes, personally and professionally, to find the release I needed.

But you can't completely escape your past.  I know that and I don't want to.  It's just a matter of deciding how much power I'm going to allow it to have.

Am I going to sink or swim?


It's been eight years.  And I know exactly what's happened to me.  I can tell you the story of how my husband died.  I can tell you how the kids and I have survived. 

I see it now and I understand it more.  And I get it.  I really can't know where I'm going until I know where I've been.  And that takes perspective.  And in many has nothing to do with widowhood.
I can see my past as a mother and I can appreciate where that experience is sending me.

I can see who I've dated and can understand their places (not too many places, Mom) in my life.

I can see all of the memories I thought were so unimportant when they happened as the pieces of my life that I should appreciate the most.

Because those memories aren't just my past.  

They're where I've been.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

What the...?

I get a lot more traffic on this blog when I'm unhappy.

I get it.  That's why I have a subscription to US Weekly.  It's not that I want to see people's just that I want to feel like a real person when shit hits the fan.  And celebrity shit seems bigger than mine; therefore I feel better that my shit doesn't warrant a cover story in US Weekly.


I'm happy.  So, if you don't like that, just stop reading now.  I'm not going to dig down to that deep unhappy place to appease the masses. Not to say I won't be unhappy again.  So, stay tuned for later posts if that's what you're looking for.


"I was just thinking of you," said the voicemail recording.  "I know this is a really hard time for you.  Just call me when you get a chance."


Today is July 16th.  Years ago (maybe even last year) I was detailing how agonizing this date was for me.  This was the day of the accident.  Tomorrow would be the full day at the hospital.  The next would be the day he died.

Eight years ago.

And I almost forgot.

It's here, I know it is.  But somehow it doesn't hurt quite as much.  It's not crippling.  It's here and I can give it a slight nod as it passes...and not fall down, gripping its ankles like a person life forgot as I did before.

It's here.

And I'm happy.


To quote my children:  "Whaaaa...?"

I know.  I feel the same way.

If someone had told my shaky, nauseous self last year that this anniversary was going to pass with barely a tremor, I would have said, "Girl, you're crazy."

Actually, it probably would have been more like, "Shut the f--- up and hand me a bucket."

But that's where I am.  No bucket.  No shakes. No nauseous.  I'm living a whole new life I didn't even know was out there.  It has nothing to do with finding a new relationship.  I'm alone and I like it.  The kids are the same; driving me crazy one minute and endearing the next.  I've stopped waiting for my life to begin and for the first time in eight years I actually feel like I'm living it.

I'm in it.

Monday, July 6, 2015

I Don't Know What to Say

I don't know how to start this blog.  I guess I should just start by telling the truth.

I am so happy.

For months I wondered what this would feel like.  My stuff is in a new place.  My kids are still trying to figure out where everything is.  My cat looks at me, completely bewildered, wondering where in the hell she is.

She's home.


I've gone back and forth on the whole moving thing for a long time.  Let's see...Brad died almost exactly eight years seven and a half years ago I thought about moving.  And I didn't and I was right.

Until I did.  And I was right then, too.

This is just like everything else we've been through on this road; what's hard for you is a speed bump to someone else and a small twist in the road to someone else might derail you.

It's personal.

In this new house, I don't see the spot where my husband said goodbye for the last time.  I don't see where the Christmas tree has been for the last twelve years, eight of them without him.  I don't see the work bench he built.  I don't walk the lawn wondering if he likes the way I'm mowing it.

It wasn't easy.  These last few weeks have been like, yet again, ripping off a band-aid.  As I cleaned the kids' rooms, I shared a silent memory in each one and shut the door quietly as if kissing each one goodbye: the border Brad pasted to Haley's room when she was five; the border I painted in Michael's when he was a baby; Sarah...she came home from the hospital to that house. 

I looked around my room and remembered for the last time that morning my husband said goodbye.

 I loved that house for being a home...and I hated it for trapping me. 

It was simultaneously a source of comfort and pain.


And now?

Here I am.  I'm typing this in a new room.  Kids are laughing outside.  I'm surrounded by boxes.  I have a glass of red wine next to me.  I don't like the color of this room, but I can change it because it's mine. 

It's mine.