Down the rabbit hole . . .

AliceInWonderland

You know when you take off running — just to slam to a dead stop? (No pun intended) Seriously, I was running to catch the door of the bank last week, just as it was closing — and completely missed the curb. My bad. Actually, it could have been worse – a lot worse. Lying on the cement, two things came to mind: is anything broken and, of course, did anyone see me. No to both, thank goodness. Luckily, my only casualties were scraped knuckles, one bruised elbow, a ripped pair of jeans (which still didn’t make designer status) and a completely raw knee. Ouch. But, hey, I wasn’t a “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” commercial.

What really tripped me up, though, was the smackdown of my confidence. I’m usually a pretty strong chick. I cry easily and am a total pushover for everyone I love but I take care of myself (almost as well) as I took care of my kids. Yet, one misstep on a curb and I’m suddenly back to Grief 101. What the…?

More than the raw sting of my knee, it was the raw absence that greeted me at home that really got to me. Somehow that morning, I was still surprised that my husband wasn’t there to ask what the heck happened. He’s has been gone for a year and a half and it should be pretty clear he wouldn’t be answering the door.  So why was I suddenly caught between a surprise pity party — and getting the fraud of the year award? Continue reading

“You Are You. Now isn’t that pleasant.”

winding_road

Dr. Seuss always nails it.

You are YOU — just a wee bit different than you were ‘before’.  The first time you check  the “widow” status on a form, have to change your emergency contact or start to say ‘honey, I’m home’ and realized no one is there, you are a different you. And it sucks. But it’s life now. Whether it happened with no warning or after months of dread, the title ‘widow’ is as foreign as if you shucked your identity for the Witness Protection Program. You feel  like you woke up on another planet — without rocket re-entry to your old life. This is it.

My husband is gone almost 10 months. I should be used to the title but ‘widow’ still doesn’t compute. To totally absorb it, means I need to accept the basic fact that my husband died and is never coming back. Before you think I’ve lost it entirely, of course I know he’s gone. I know he’s not just on a business trip; he’s not on a road trip. I get it.  I’m the one who found him that fateful night.

Cancer perched on the sidelines of every facet of our lives for years. Often sneaky, even silent, sometimes we ‘almost’ forgot it was even there. There were more emergent battles to fight. Debilitating treatment side-effects that dogged him constantly that we both knew would never leave. But sometimes even the most upsetting can be business as usual when you’re immersed in the day to day and you almost forget the gorilla waiting to pounce.  Continue reading

Celebrating the Knight who said — ‘pie’

FullSizeRenderThey say a knight in shining armor is a man who never had his metal tested. I met a few of them; I even dated them. You know, the dudes whose metal suit was actually tin foil. That’s why I almost missed the knight whose armor had as many dings and tarnishes as his car bumper. He was the real deal. He fought his share of dragons, especially the most fearsome of all. And when you constantly battle the beast, even the most deepest of loves have emotional jousts. But then again, as I stood all those years beside my husband, he had way more than his ‘metal’ tested. His spirit, self-confidence, courage and self-esteem were tried way beyond what most people can tolerate. And each time, he got back on that horse (or green Nissan) to battle another day.

Today is this knight’s birthday.

He loved everything about medieval knights. He had a little room full of toy collectible Knights of Agincourt who hung around castles he painstakingly crafted. This was a guy who took supreme pleasure in sharing his love of those men in armor with our grandsons at Medieval Times for their 5th birthdays. I could never decide who loved the pageantry more – him or them. The last time we were there, we joked that we had to rest up before we took one the smallest of the teenies but that will never happen. Grandpa knight died barely 2 months later. Continue reading