My Crazy Courage…

Red background with Black letters spelling courageCrazy courage is doing what is right for me, doing what I have to when I was in an emotional state that can become self-defeating, when I lost the passion for life itself. Courage is when I stand up and brush the dirt off and face all the difficulty, uncertainty, and pain by overcoming the fear that has overtaken my rational mind.  When I add the crazy to the courage I am adding an intense enthusiasm that will show others that I have a mission to complete, even if that mission is to get out of bed.

It is when I ignore the voice that is telling me, you are not able to do it.  It is not letting those fears and the pain control me anymore.  It gives me the strength to surpass all of the weaknesses I may be feel.  The state of vulnerability I may feel scares me, but when I learned how to eliminate that and replace it with courage I have control again.

Crazy courage is what it took to become myself again or some form of myself. It allows change to happen. It’s the courage to push past your pride, ask for help and accept the support people want to give you. Crazy courage allows me to tell myself the truth.  I would lie to myself about my own reality and at times I would believe those lies. I cannot close my eyes in hopes that my truths will go away.

I listen to that crazy courage voice inside of me, the one that is telling me you can do it and ignore the voice that sometimes tells me I can’t.  I take some deep breaths, count to ten, close my eyes and listen to what my body and mind are saying.  At times, the crazy courage inside of me was soft whispers that hard for me to hear, but if I sit long enough and I will hear them.

When I hear and feel the crazy courage, I pull it out and bring it to the surface.  I might wear it like a mask if I need to so I can get passed the first 30 seconds.  I got to a point when I no longer have to listen to the whispers and it is on the surface so I can face what scares me.

I say give it 30 seconds of crazy courage and you will be surprised by what you are able to accomplish. It takes a lot of crazy courage to face those things you don’t want to do, but you have to do them anyway.

This level of courage is obtainable by anyone and I used it.  It’s the courage that I used to get out of bed and face the world again.  It was the strength that I found inside of myself to do what was necessary to survive and to continue to be a mother to my children after my husband was killed.

There are still times when I feel something inside of me saying, I do not believe you are strong enough. But I am strong.  I just have to continue to believe in love…for life and for myself.  And use my own crazy courage.

Being Thankful!

Scrabble letter spelling out being thankful. on white background with pink flowersOn the day before Thanksgiving, I think it is suiting to talk about what I am thankful for.  There are several family traditions that happen during this holiday, but I believe the one common practice is to give thanks. 

I am thankful for my two children.  They are two amazing boys that make me laugh, cry and frustrated, amongst many other emotions.  What they do most is make me feel proud to be their mother.  They have accomplished and overcome so many things in their short lives.  They show me that anything is possible.  I am in awe at their strength and unconditional love they have for others.

The time I was able to spend with my late husband is something to be thankful for.  It was not as long as I planned for, but he taught me so much.  He helped create the person I am today and his death has created an undefined appreciation that I have for life now.  He left me with that one final gift in my life.

My family and friends have been there for me in the ups and downs.  With their help I was able to get through things in my life, I once thought impossible.  I probably could have done it on my own, but their support made it so much easier for me. 

I am thankful for the organizations that have supported my families and other families throughout the United States.  For all of you that follow me and read my words.  You give me inspiration and confidence that what I am doing is important.

I am also thankful for my admirer.  I did not think that it would be possible to love another man after losing my husband, but it is.  I am grateful he has entered my life.  We are able to look into one another’s eyes and really see each other.  He shows me each day who I am and gives me boundless love.

So thankful for all the love that surrounds me, strength, beautiful moments and joyful memories. May beautiful moments, joyful memories and love surround you during the holiday. 

Justice needed for closure…

Picture of a gold scale od justicePetraeus is involved in a new scandal centered around integrity, honesty and being faithful.  I find it interesting that these allegations are coming to light during the hearings for the Libya attack.  They seem to overshadow the fact that Americans were killed in Libya on September 11th.  The personnel who are involved in the scandal now may have a tarnished and diminished character. This may impact how their testimony is received for happenings in Libya; what they testify as to what happened during Libya might be taken with a grain of salt.  

Petraeus, as the Director of the CIA, should be a man whose character emanates integrity, honesty, and certainly faithfulness, as well as having the ability to be covert and prudent…these are all qualities in which suite the man who is the head of the CIA. A person whose job it is to be discreet as possible did not do a very good job of covering up his tracks with his assumed affair.  Talking about his character is one thing, but what about what he has done to his wife?  The shame that he has brought upon his family is evident but in my opinion, he has also dishonored them.  What is this saying about the leaders of America? 

I do not understand how people are unable to keep their pants on, entering into an extramarital affair and breaking the vows that they have promised to their spouse.  These things infuriate me more now since my husband was killed.  I try not to judge, but Petraeus stated that he denied having an affair with anyone other than Broadwell.  Both parties in this case were married.  I cannot understand how people take marriage and their family so lightly.  

Think about the families that have been effected by the Libya attack and the figureheads that were supposed to keep their loved ones safe.  The heartache that the families must feel at the lack of support from the US government. This is just outright sickening!

There are innocent victims and families involved in all of this. The Obama administration  was trying to say a video of a no name person caused all of these riots that led to American deaths, this I find hard to believe.  Finally coming out much later calling it a terrorist attack.  Really?  I mean, it took place on September 11th and would have needed to have been planned out unless it is that easy to raid a US Embassy.  In that case, we may need to look at the security that the US Embassy has in place. 

All in all, this should be about the victims and getting them justice.  It is nearly impossible to feel closure from the death of a loved one until you feel justice has been given to those that have caused the death.  This is going to take a very long time for these families to feel like justice has been served if even they will ever feel that way.  

I hope these families are able to find comfort one day and be able to grieve the loss of their loved one.  To feel closure and for those that committed the crimes or did not do their part in preventing this act from happening get their justice for the victims and for their families. 

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” – Martin Luther King, Jr. 

Fast Forward

pond in autumn.  woman wearing red coat siting on a benchAfter I heard the words your husband is dead I sobbed for a brief moment.  Then my thoughts went to my children.  How was I going to tell them that their father was dead?  It brought instant pain to my heart.  For the first time in life, I knew how someone could die from a broken heart.  The emotional pain consumed my body.  The anticipation of what I might feel next was overwhelming. 

You might think that during those first few weeks you experience the worst emotional struggle in your life.  Sad to say you haven’t even started…

I know that is not very uplifting, but honesty might get you through the next few moments of your journey.  

You begin to feel numb.  Your tears subside a little and you wonder why.  Is it normal not to cry now every time you hear his or her name?  Yes, it can be.  

Then there is a time when you want to hit the fast forward button to spare yourself from feeling any more.  I would meet other widows who were much farther in their journey than mine, and I would be jealous.  I could not even wrap my mind around how they were capable of functioning.  

I wanted to push fast forward and be in their shoes.  I wanted to laugh without guilt, to look at my children without tears and to face the world without fear.  What I discovered was that they too had walked this journey and that is why they were capable now.  

What made me realize this was meeting others who had lost their loved ones many years ago and hit the fast forward button.  They were still walking in my shoes. They did not let grief take over.  It frightened them so much that they couldn’t.  It depleted them, and they did not let go.  When I was in the room with them I could feel the heartache that was there. The grief absorbed into me.  I got up from my chair, ran out of the room and kept running.  I found a peaceful place near a pond and sat on a bench.  I sobbed.  It felt like I was sobbing for all of them.  I was releasing all of the pain and anger that had devoured them. 

Sitting alone listening to my own sobs provided me with an understanding.  I needed to choose which path I would take.  Would I hit fast forward or face what scared me?  I chose to face what scared me, and in those moments by the pond I began to hear the whispers of my crazy courage.  

Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear.” – Ambrose Redmoon

Widowed Blog Hop

Welcome to the brand new Widowed Blog Hop! A blog hop basically allows bloggers to add their blog to a list for visiting other blogs, following blogs you like, and gaining followers. We’d love you to join us!

We will host the Hop on the first Wednesday of each month. This will allow all of us the time to visit all of the links in the Hop. By visiting each of the links from participating bloggers, we will make new friends while furthering a dynamic and engaged community of widowed bloggers. Please encourage your other blogger friends to leave comments including their own links.

How to Participate:

1. Visit each of the links below – both hosts and participants – and read their post. Leave them a comment with encouragement, commiseration, community, or however else the post touches you.

Hosts:

Samantha of the Crazy Courage blog

Janine of One Breath At A Time

Rachel of A Little Pink in a World of Camo

Christine of Widow Island

Kiki of Life After Steve

Robin of The Fresh Widow

Ferree of Widow’s Christian Place

Brooke of 2 Peas in the Pod

Paul of Death is an Imposter

Red’s Momma’s Money Matters

Participants:

Becky’s Choosing Grace Today

Cindy’s Widow’s Pursuits

Tim’s Diary of a Widower

The Official Site of Abel Keogh

2. In the comment section of the hosts’ sites, leave a link to any related post, for example on the day-to-day issues you face, memories you have of your spouse, events you’ve attended, etc. These are things many of us discuss via our blogs anyway, so it likely won’t be out of your realm of experience.

3. It would really help us get the word out about the Widowed Blog Hop if you would tweet, share, and spread the word about the Hop!  Please use hashtags #Widowed and #BlogHop.

Interested in being a host next month? Please email crazycourage@hotmail.com.

My First Date continued…

front car window.  A man and woman holding hands resting on a center consoleAs we drove away from my house, we settled into the ease of our friendship, talking about what we did that day.  I looked over at him with disbelief, how can a person’s heart feel so much pain for months, feel like it was broken beyond repair — then in a given moment transcend.  The two feelings collided, creating a hurricane of thoughts and emotions ready to explode like a shaken soda bottle.  

We arrived at an ice skating rink, which was a surprise to me.  I had only been skating once in my life, unless you count the times growing up where I had put on old skates and tried to skate down the gravel road next to my house after an ice storm.  He had played hockey growing up, so skating probably came second nature to him like riding a bike.  

people on ice skating rinkWe snapped our skates on tightly and walked to the ice.  I went on hesitantly, but soon was skating with some comfort.  I watched as he gliding around the ice, lapping me a few times.  Then he came up behind me, grabbed my sides and pushed me along.  His touch on my hips sent tingles up my back and this assured me that the feeling I thought I was having was most definitely true.  I had feelings for him beyond our friendship.  We skated around, laughing and enjoying ourselves.  In those moments, I was able to wipe away all the anguish that had consumed me and there was even more hope in my journey and in my life story.  

Hunger called and we left the rink to eat.  During dinner, I decided to start the conversation that I had been waiting to have for some time now.  I told him how I felt and that I never imagined feeling this way about someone after Mike died.  

I thought that those possibilities of love left the day Mike took his last breath – that my heart would not mend and be capable of love again.  

He looked back at me over his salad and we discussed a line that would get crossed.  A line that he was not sure if he wanted to or would be able to cross.  It was about brotherhood, about respecting Mike and about what was right no matter how he might feel about me. 

This invisible line was hard for me to understand and took me time to really “get” what he was saying.  I knew though, that I needed to be patient because committing to me would be a decision that needed to be weighed in his mind.  He was a man of respect and integrity.  He needed to be all in and make that leap with confidence.  I had adoration for that.  This is one of the reasons I was drawn to him. 

Leaving dinner that night, I was a bit confused.  I was not sure how this would turn out in the end.  I knew that I wanted him in my life.  He had helped my children and me through some of the hardest moments.  I just preferred it be more than a friendship, but I was willing to compromise if I needed. 

It was a quiet drive home.  The sun had set and darkness had fallen.  I began to fall asleep. I think the emotional struggle I had built up drained the energy out of me.  I reached over and grabbed his hand into mine.  I was hoping for a sign, either he would embrace it or shy away.  With delight he held my hand back.  This was a turning point and I knew that our life would begin together in the near future. 

“Love isn’t love until we share it, but the real fulfillment in life is finding love and sharing it with someone who can freely and without any conflict love us faithfully in return.” – Joe D. Mango