Blessed

blessedToday I sit here with so much ahead of me.  I think about my children and how they are growing.  They seem to be advancing faster than I can keep up.  I do constantly tell them that I plan on putting a brick on their head to keep them from growing.

I think about my “new” life with a man that has welcomed myself and my children into his life with open arms.  Now as a widow you have a little baggage that comes along with that.  So the mere fact that I got a second look from him after knowing this was a win for me.  My life with him seems different that that of my late husbands.  I was not sure how I could love anyone as much as my late husband, but it is possible. To have two men in my life that love and loved me for who I am is quite a blessing.

I am a different person now than I was before though. I sometimes wonder if my late husband would recognize me and we would still be the same as I am not.  I also think about how strong and confident my fiancé is.  How he accepts the facts of my late husband and I.  How he lets me grieve when I need to holding me tighter with each tear.  How I must have done something right in my life to have this now, after I thought for so long that I would never have another deep love again.

So today, I sit here, blessed with my life, children, future husband and all of my family (which does include many sets of in laws…lol).

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Overcome your Fear…

fearWe can fear many things, but the definition is always the same.  Fear can hold us back from doing things that could be important or it will create anxiety that pushes us down a path that is not where we want to go. I recently read an article about a woman who feared flying and how she overcame that fear.

Fear seems to be one of the hardest things to overcome. I think that anyone that has ever lost a loved one knows the fear that comes after the loss.  The fear that keeps you from getting out of bed, leaving the house or even looking at yourself in the mirror.  It’s the overall fear to face your life without your loved one.

Fear is something we all need to push through to move forward in our lives.  In the article the woman made a statement that resonated with me.  She said she was so worried about the what ifs that she forgot about the what if.  So instead of… what if I told him not to go to work or what if I would have done more good in my life?  You can ask… what if I were to smile again? What if I find love?  What if I become content with my life?

I think she makes a valuable point.  It’s about training ourselves and the way we can perceive our future. Fear is a strong emotion, but it is also something that you can overcome.

“There is a time to take counsel of your fears, and there is a time to never listen to any fear.” ~George S. Patton

Check out what others are talking about on the Widow’s Blog Hop!

Interment

cemeteryRecently I have been thinking about interring my late husband.  He was cremated when he died and has remained in his urn in my bedroom.  There is some conflict with this as it is a final goodbye to him.

I have come to believe that a person needs to be interred.  All may not share this belief, but it is one I do now.  Before my husband’s death, I never gave much thought to it.  I have been to several funerals…mostly of my grandparents.  I have seen both an urn and a casket being buried.  For some reason, seeing a casket being lowered into the ground felt more emotional than an urn.  Maybe it has something to do with my subconscious.

I really have no idea how I will feel once Mike is laid to rest.  I wonder if the fact that he was cremating and seeing the urn will have any less impact than if it were his casket.   All I can say is that I recently have had a lot of anxiety about this.  It also came with some emotions that I was not prepared for.

People say that time makes things easier and I am not sure if that is completely true.  I think it does make some things easier (a.k.a you can control your emotions a little better).   I just do not think I will be able to prepare myself for this, just as I was unable to prepare myself for his death.

Thinking about this has also created a desire to plan my own funeral and make all the decisions that come with it.  I know I am young, but so was my husband when he died.  I am one week away from being one year older than my late husband at his death.

It’s remarkable how events continue to change your perspective and continue to center you to allow you to question what needs questioned, speak freely and hug what’s important to you most.

December’s Widowed Blog Hop!

an egg with bold letter HOPIt’s the first Wednesday of the month and you know what that means…Widowed Blog Hop! 
 
Life is full of surprises.  There are moments when you feel like nothing good will come of it and others when a light shines on given opportunities.  I asked myself quite often how I can change or influence others in a good way.  How I can take the death of my husband and use it to benefit others. This may sound like a “crazy” question, but that is what goes through my mind.  I want other widows and widowers to not feel alone in their grief.  Don’t get me wrong, it is a journey that you will get through on your own but we all need support. I feel blessed that I have been able to connect with some great people who have something in common with me.  And that’s losing their spouse.

We are all in different places in our journey, but have taken a step forward in our life story without our spouse.   The support you get from someone who has been down your path or some variation of it is irreplaceable. 

I want to commend all of the men and women that take the time to give us a glimpse of their reality.  The words they share can bring a whole realm of emotions and that is when you know it is written honestly from the heart. 

We have some new participants this month and I encourage all of my readers to check out what they have been doing and posting. 
 
For ease, below is the list of participants in the hop. 
Thank you for taking the time to hear our stories, feelings and what we think. 
Samantha

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. 

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

My First Date…

Woman looking out a window through the shade.  With one hand near her mouth biting her nails. I can remember the day when I looked up from my fish and realized I started to develop feelings for my friend.  I was not sure what to do with them.  I tried to rationalize them, then I thought can this even be possible?  I waited a few weeks before I let him know.  Then of all things I text him.  Which makes me laugh.  I should have probably told him face to face. 

After our short text exchange we decided to go on a date to discuss this change of events.  Moving from friendship to romantic definitely needed to be discussed.  At this point I had no idea how he felt about me.  I knew he was a supportive friend, but could or did his feeling change as mine did.  That was the question I ran through my head over and over. Then I would analyze the times we hung out to see if he was giving me any sort of inclination that his feelings had. 

By the time our date happened the pressure in my head was about to explode.  Not to mention wondering what my children thought.  I did not want to mention anything to them until the “adults”  had their conversation.

I changed my clothes several times, probably putting too much thought into what I was going to wear.  I walked out of my bedroom leaving my clothes strung all over the place and feeling very confident that I looked good. 

I waited, peering out the window for his arrival.  I wondered then how people would judge me, let alone judge him.  This was a big deal to me.  The first person I had feelings for after Mike…I never thought it would be possible.

As he pulled into my driveway, my fears changes to excitement.  I thought tonight all of my questions will be answered.  Some wishful thinking that all of the answers would come in one night…

Come back next week to find out what happened next…