Monday, May 23, 2011

Took The Kids to Disney. Turns Out I Was The One Who Was Growing Up


I’m back.

I’m both proud and embarrassed to say that this last week has been the longest I have not blogged in over a year. say that I got through it.  And embarrassed because I had some withdrawals.

As some of you saw on Facebook, I lugged my computer on my vacation, only to find that where I was staying had no internet.  This was both a blessing and a curse.  I missed everyone...but I also spent some quality one-on-one time with my three kids.

It’s been an interesting week.  I brought my kids down to Disney World, a vacation that I have been working toward for years and wasn’t sure I would ever see:  Partly because it’s expensive and partly because I wasn’t sure if I could do it on my own.  But I’m lucky for two reasons:  One, I found an amazing deal, thanks to my travel agent (Endless Travel).  And two, because my parents agreed to go with me (I can’t put their link here because they haven’t worked out how they will hire themselves out yet).

We had a good time.  Actually...we had a great time.  Sure, we had the usual meltdowns and exhaustion.  But for the most part, we did okay.

And that’s what surprised me.

I posted something in the middle of the week about taking the kids to see a place where my husband and I once lived.  It was actually the first house we had together as a married couple.  I booked an extra day for us in Florida to see our old “stomping grounds” in Satellite Beach (and for my Brevard County friends...I apologize that we couldn’t meet.  But we were literally there for a few hours).  I wanted to show them where their dad worked, where we lived, and the places we loved to go to when we were there.  But it had all changed so much...that I couldn’t.

The biggest change was that our house on the Air Force base was gone.  Not just gone...but gone.  Even the roads had been taken out. 

It was like it was never there.

I kept waiting all day for that to bother me.  Once again, I showed the kids a piece of our past that had been taken away or that they couldn’t imagine.  I tried to point out the launch pads that they couldn’t see.  I tried to make them understand memories they weren’t there for.  And I tried to get them excited about seeing a place that meant so much.

But it didn’t mean much.  It didn’t mean much to them.  It meant a lot to me.

I have spent a few months both looking forward and dreading this week.  Being at Disney World with a lot of “complete” families and wondering if that would bother me.  But I think that (as a lot of you will understand)’s the anticipation of the event that’s the worst.  Once it was actually just was and I lived in the moment.

At some point during the week, I stopped fighting the unwelcome feelings and just let them in.  I’m learning that fighting it only makes it worse.  Letting it all wash over you acknowledges where you’ve been.  And sometimes....where you’re going.

As with anything, including the “enemy” grief:  Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.

I don’t know if anyone else will understand this...but this week was HUGE for me.  I took my kids on a “family” vacation...and I didn’t question every 2 seconds...what would he do if he could be here?  I was okay with living in the moment and just having a good time.  I suddenly had the feeling that I was living my life.  And not trying to live what could have been.

I spent a week completely grateful for every moment, without regret.  Without sadness.  Without a ghost.

I saw where my husband and I first shared a home...gone.  Completely if it had never been there.  But it didn’t matter.  Because I knew it had.

And no one else has to understand the magnitude of any of that.   

But I do.

For more blogs and articles from other widow(er) writers, join us at!  

© Catherine Tidd 2011


  1. you spent the weekend without "a ghost" I can totally relate... and I am still waiting for that moment .... Thank you for posting...

  2. That is a huge step. I remember when I made that step. For me it was about living in the moment as a more complete person. Being me with no strings attached.

    Thanks for sharing your journey.

  3. Thanks for sharing. When my spouse was alive we returned to visit two of our early homes; both were surprisingly gone and their absence shocked us. We also returned to where we met and found it changed. Time has marched on.... But the memories are good and I've learned to cherish them.
    I especially liked your comment "trying not to live what could have been" --so true! Grieving while trying to forge a new chapter in our lives is not easy, but doable.
    Thanks again.