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I was on a short road trip with a couple of my derby peeps today. At some point, someone said to me something about my posts on Facebook being more relaxed, calm and more at peace with being alone.

I sorta had to stop and think about that for a minute.

I am at peace with being alone.  I am at peace with not having someone to snuggle up to every night.

I am not lonely. Not right now. I am not struggling with how to do everything on my own, and who am I going to share my life with.

I have 2 beautiful, intelligent, articulate, funny and amazing young men I get to call my sons living with me.  Some days they are more than enough company. Some days they drive me nutty.  But I like just the “them and me” parts of our lives.

I wish they were a bit smaller, but then if they were.. .they wouldn’t have gotten as much time with their Dad before he died.   So I’m glad they’re not.

But they are amazing. And when they give me their time and attention, it’s an awesome time.  My Andrew is so funny and so fun to be around.  Luke is mostly his awesomely sweet self (unless he’s in hell monster teenaged mode)

But for the most part, I’m good with my time alone.  I get to control the TV.  I get to control the music.  I get to decide if I want steak or macaroni for dinner.  I paint the walls the colour I want.

I don’t feel a desperate need to find someone who wants to fill the hole because the hole HAS been filled.  I filled it.  I filled it with memories that make me smile, joy in my children, a life I love, and enjoyment of my own company.

Life is truly good.  And I don’t know that I’d trade what I have for what I had.  I miss him terribly.  But my life is GOOD and that’s amazing.


(disclaimer: I’m a widow, with widda brain.  I reserve the right to feel completely the opposite tomorrow… LOL)

His Life Meant Something

Working in the field I do, I don’t work with the same people forever.

Being deployed means I’ll end up working with and meeting a plethora of people from different backgrounds and different lives.

And none of them know my story.

How do I express to people that I’m not an only parent by choice?  How do I tell people I just met… “Yep, I have 4 kids, a grandbaby and a half and a dead husband” without the expressions of sympathy?

Expressions of sympathy are the best way to get me crying.  But people like to do them – a lot. “You’re so strong for talking about it.”  “I’m so sorry” “You’re too young”

Yep. Yep. and Yep.

But his life had meaning.  He loved to fish the waters we’re working to protect here.  He loved this area.  He was an amazing dad who loved his boys and dammit they deserved to have more than 11 & 12 years with him!!

But I have conversations with people and over and over I get to say “My husband died 3 years ago”  “my children have no living father”

And if the conversations get deeper… then we get to bring up how my 4 children have 2 different fathers and… THEY’RE BOTH DEAD.


But his life had meaning.   And he was (and still is) important to us.   So I NEED to honour him.  I NEED to remember him.  I need to tell stories and bring up memories and share experiences because he fucking MATTERED.

I just wish it didn’t shatter me so much every time.


Almost 2 Years

I’m in the home stretch.

2 years ago we were in the midst of a miraculous recovery from lactaid levels that were “not compatible with life” that came down to a healthy level again overnight.

I wish I’d known it was the beginning of the end.

I wish I’d known I would have just over 3 weeks left with him.

I wish I’d known.

I wouldn’t have done anything differently… maybe that last weekend I’d have visited instead of assuming that everything was going to be exactly as it had been for the past 5 months.

But I didn’t have the gift of foresight.  I did have the gift of 3 more weeks… but I didn’t know they would be the last 3 weeks.

It’s been almost 2 years.

I miss him as much now as I did the day he died.


Happy Birthday

It was your birthday yesterday.

It was a quiet day for us…. I put on your memorial video in the morning and watched it on the big screen… Luke & Andrew & Kadyn watched with me.

Andrew doesn’t really want to think about you being gone – I think he’s much like me in that he compartmentalizes what’s going on for him.  Put the grief in one box, the good stuff in another…

The problem is the box will eventually break open.

But yesterday was your birthday, and I had to bring you to the front lines of our life for just a moment.

I am so incredibly grateful for Michelle making that video.   For being able to watch it at any time.  For being able to hear your voice, your laughter, see your smile.

You brought such joy to our lives…

Perhaps our journey together was to teach you how to love, how to forgive and how to be a Dad… and teach me how to love, that I’m worth love and that it’s OK to love and let myself be loved.

Such a short time.   The hummingbirds that have come to me have shown me without a doubt that you are near, that you are watching.

I love you.  Happy Birthday Mark.

Mark's cake

Nana Jane

This morning, at 1.15am… Jeremy James (JJ) made his way into the world and I became a Nana.

I’m so freaking excited about being Nana.  I’m so over the moon excited about it.

I can’t wait to see him in person.

Jeremy James

I am so proud of my son and his lovely lady for bringing him into this world.

Mark wanted grandchildren… so very much…  I know he’s somewhere, watching over us.  I know he’s smiling down on Kyle and Holly and Jeremy…



I Have A Choice.

Today this was posted on my Quest group for OneFitWidow:

Thomas Edison


And someone commented that she couldn’t count the number of chronic diseases that could be avoided with clean diet and exercise.

There was a tweak.

A pain.

A ripping tearing bit of grief that threatened to wash over me.

And then I thought…. it’s true.

We knew it.  We believed it.  We made bad choices.

But I have a choice now.

The tweak is still there.  The heavy grief and the pain….

But along with it, the knowledge that I can make a choice.  I can be sad and wallow in the grief of loss, the grief of choices made, the grief of what could have been…

Or I can change what will be.

I see my future in my mother, in my grandmother, in my aunt.  I see my genetic make up.   But I also have the choice of eating differently, moving differently, changing my life and my children’s lives.

I’m still sad… but I have a choice as to how my life will be.

And my life will be beautiful and amazing.

I have that choice.

My only regret is that I didn’t realize it before it was too late for him.

Reflecting on 2013

2013 has by far been the most… unsettled I’ve experienced. 

I was dating someone. 

We broke up. 

I stepped away from derby as a skater for the season.

I had several first dates. 

I met someone from my past. 

I was the head NSO for my league. 

I did a lot of travelling back and forth between Squamish and Quesnel.

I found out I was going to be a Grandma. 

I went to San Diego for Camp Widow. 

I went to Edmonton to surprise my oldest. 

I quit my job. 

I packed my house and moved to Quesnel. 

I moved in with someone.

I started up a Regional group for Soaring Spirits

I started a new job. 

I became a full time step-mom to 3 more boys. 

I bought a truck.  (Ok, I didn’t buy one… WE bought one)

I went through my 2nd Christmas without Mark. 

I went through my first Christmas with Mike. 

So many blessings, so many amazing things, so many changes. 

I love my life.  I love where I am and who I’m with and how my life is going. 

I love the opportunities that are presenting themselves. 

I love the man who has become my Chapter 2.   I love his boys, I love our life and where it’s heading. 

2013 was the year of change for me.   

I’m looking forward to what 2014 brings. 

Happy New Year…. and many blessings to you and yours. 

2014 New Years





One Year Ago…

I was so so deep in grief… I don’t know how I managed to survive that first 6 months.

I was angry.

I was at peace.

I was all over the place.

Now… I’m just here… low level depression and sadness punctuated with deep grief and intense joy.

Not nearly as all over the place as I was, and much more relaxed about life.

I still miss you Mark.  Almost 18 months since you’ve been gone.

Mark's Urn

Tattoo (Today’s Daily Prompt)

Coloured Memorial Tattoo


This is the memorial tattoo I got for my husband shortly after he died.  I had won some tattoo time, and used it to get the tattoo for him.

Someone asked me when I got it… “What if the next guy doesn’t like it?”

My response was “Then he’s not the next right guy”

And the guy has no problem with it.  He’s the next right guy.  He’s an amazing 2nd chapter.   He makes me happy.

This was my 5th tattoo.  I want more.   I love decorating my body in this way.  I regret none of them.

The only regret I have with this tattoo is that I had a reason to get it.

Mark will forever be a part of me… in my heart, in my love, and he’s part of the tattoo… forever part of me.

Another Memorial

Since I’ve been travelling back and forth between Squamish and Quesnel, I keep driving over the Duffy Lake Road.

There’s this one spot on the road as you’re travelling north where people have collected rocks and put initials on the side of the hill.

I’ve been wanting to put Mark’s initials there for a while now.

Usually – I have some excuse – we’re running late, it’s too dark, I didn’t realize where we are and it’s not safe to stop, I don’t want to stop, blah blah blah…

The other day, we were driving along, and I came to that spot, and we decided to stop.

We gathered rocks.

We did a trial run on the ground.

Then we carried a laundry basket full of rocks (it’s friggen heavy y’all!!!) up the side of the hill.

We put his initials there… took some pictures… then headed back down.   Got in the van, and I realized, I’d forgotten to leave the dime.

My lovely Katie ran back up the hill to leave the dime for us.

Mark has been leaving dimes for me forever – it seems fitting that I should leave dimes for him.

Carrying the basket gave me blisters where my ring was.   It had to come off.  So I took off my wedding ring, put it on the chain that held my memorial pendant… and there it stayed.

I used to wonder how my step-mom could go without wearing my dad’s rings and pendant.  I didn’t get it.   Now I do.

There comes a time when you look at the past, and realize that despite how beautiful and amazing it was… it was the past, and you’re living in the now.

I miss Mark. I miss him with every fibre of my being.  When I stop and think about the enormity of losing him, it takes my breath away, punches me in the gut and leaves me gasping in tears.   I can’t imagine life without him.

But I am living.  I have children.  I have a home.  I have a job.  I have an amazing man who is my Chapter 2.   I have a story that is not yet over and I have a beautiful amazing future ahead of me.

My pendant and my wedding ring reside in my jewellery box now.  It feels like the right time.  I will always love Mark.  I will always miss Mark.   I will always always always carry him with me.

He’s a part of my soul.

And my future is full of possibilities, promises and love.

Memorial Boys


Memorial Distance


Moving on