Anniversaries

4 days ago, it was the 19th anniversary of Mark telling me he loved me.

4 days ago, it was Valentines day.

I’m not big on the “hallmark” holiday that is Valentines Day.

He loves me… he tells me daily.  He shows me in the little things he does.  I don’t need a holiday to celebrate our love.

I have our anniversary.

I have the anniversary of the day he first told me he loves me.

I have those little days and moments and memories.

And now I don’t share them with him.  I remember them. I remember that on the anniversary of the day he told me he loved me, he told me “Happy Anniversary” 5 years ago.  Only 4 months before he died.

I remember the day he told me… how everything in my world tilted on it’s axis.

And I have my Sexxy Chef who works on Valentines…. so the day for us is fairly meaningless. We did have a dinner a couple nights before, he gave me the most beautiful purple rose, and he gave me some chocolates.  It was sweet, romantic and amazingly beautiful.

But Valentine’s Day? I spent a couple hours being sad. Remembering Mark and the love we shared.  Missing him.  Missing the connection we had.

I love him still. I always will.

February 14 is a day on the calendar. It’s also the day he first told me he loved me. But it means nothing in terms of the hallmark holiday that generates so much income for local businesses….

Long-Live-Love

Dreams

I dreamed about him the other night.

It was the first time in… I don’t know how long…

He was sick. I had already met my Sexxy Chef.  Fallen in love.  We knew he wasn’t going to survive. I don’t understand how in the dream I could have fallen in love with someone else… but there it was.

So I went to see him again as they were taking him off machines.

Then… weirdness… he woke up.

They disconnected the ventilator.  He started breathing on his own. He started talking to me.

And suddenly, I found myself stuck in the position of having to explain to my husband… that I was engaged to my Sexxy Chef.  Showed off the ring and everything.

In my dream I was crying because how? How am I supposed to love someone else when my husband is RIGHT THERE?

He spoke to me. He let me know that it was ok, that he loved me and that it was ok for me to be in love with someone else.

Which made waking up next to the Sexxy Chef even more … discombobulating?

How do I go from hugging and holding my dead husband to hugging and holding my live fiance?

The dream didn’t make me cry – but I did have difficulty processing that one.

I struggle with just being “happy” about my future.  I feel the need to modify statements like “I’ve never been so happy” with things like “… since Mark died”

Or if I’m blogging here about how very happy I am, there’s always got to be some “but that doesn’t take away from my life with Mark” type sentence or paragraph.

I loved Mark, with all my heart and soul. I will always love him.  He was the love of my life… then.

I love my Sexxy Chef… with all my heart and soul.  I will always love him.  He is the love of my life… now.

The two can co-exist.  And I think he came to me in that dream to let me know that I don’t have to modify my love for the Sexxy Chef with something about Mark because the one does not cancel out the other.

Long-Live-Love

I Said YES!!

Sometimes, the world conspires to make you incredibly, irrevokably happy.

On November 5, in the early hours of the morning, my Sexxy Chef proposed to me.

Of course I said YES!!

 

 

 

The ring is being sized. I can’t wear it for a couple weeks – and that’s ok.

The date has been chosen.  Location is 95% sure – I just need to see it again and confirm that YES, I can set up the wedding the way I want in the space that’s available.

Plans… plans… and more plans.

Love happens again.  Happiness happens again.

It’s the weirdest thing, being so incredibly, amazingly happy – with that thread of sorrow going through it all.

The guilt of “how can I be this happy when he’s still dead?”

Going through so many things that I did for the first wedding.  Making plans.

I don’t even know how to explain it.

I’m ridiculously HAPPY and I want to shout it to the world.  I can’t wait to start my life with my Sexxy Chef.  I can’t wait to be Mrs. Sexxy Chef.

But I’ve been Mrs. Smith for the majority of my adult life.  It will be 19 years of being Mrs. Smith when I become Mrs. Sexxy Chef.

That’s weird to me.  Never mind the fact that I’m trying to wrap my head around what will be my new name.

New Beginnings

I’ve got an amazing new beginning ahead of me. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. But man… did I have to lose so much to get what’s ahead of me?

I’m happy. I’m in love.  I’m looking forward to a long, happy, healthy future with my Sexxy Chef.

But I want to tell my Mark all about how happy I am.  He’d be happy for me.  He’d celebrate with me.

Long live love.

Changes

There have been big changes in my life recently.

I’ve got a new Love, he’s amazing, he’s incredible, we’re perfect on so many levels its scary.

He brings joy to my life.

I slow him down, he speeds me up, we complement and balance each other well.

Today… he moved in.  Fully. Completely.  All his stuff here.  And he’s here.

There’s a light sabre in my house.

A storm trooper helmet.

A whole lotta New England Patriots swag.

Clothes and stuff that aren’t mine.

It… feels weird and awesome at the same time.  Very much a “hey this is it. we’re TOGETHER” moment walking in the door and seeing his stuff.

Before, there was a transience to the relationship.  He was here, but essentially living out of a suitcase.  He was wearing the same clothes for 4 months.

It felt… however much we talked about a future, that there was an option to go back.

Now there’s not.

He’s here.  And I have a future with him.

He loves me, I love him, and he respects and honours the love I have for Mark.

I am amazed at how my life has changed…

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I Just Found Out…

4+ years.

And I get a message:  I’ve been thinking about Mark a lot lately and thought I’d look him up and just found out he’d passed….

4+ years.

Shouldn’t the times of having to tell people be over by now?

Shouldn’t the moments of having to console someone while I’m crying be over?

They aren’t.  And that’s ok.

I was given a gift this morning.  A gift of someone who wanted to talk about Mark. Who remembers Mark.  Who can tell me stories I didn’t know of Mark.

That, my fellow widows, is the most amazing gift of all.

Yes, I cried.

Yes, I was sad.

But OMG…. to be able to hear someone talk about Mark and tell me the stories they remember… that is a gift.

And then I was given another gift… the gift of unconditional love.  The gift of my Sexxy Chef loving me, holding me while I cried, kissing away my tears, then making me smile because he is *that* awesome.

I’m blessed in so many ways.

I love my life.  I love the life Before … and the life After…

But thank you to whatever part of the universe that blessed me with the gift of memories of Mark… even if they weren’t mine.

17 Years

As I write this, my new Love is in our bed, sleeping peacefully because he has to work in the morning.  I have no where to be; I have some stuff to do at home but for the most part, my next 3 weeks are my own.

I snuck out of the bedroom. I wanted a few minutes to myself to write this post and I haven’t managed to get them today.  It’s been a busy day.  My friend from Vancouver Island was up visiting this weekend.  My daughter was over printing pictures of my grandson. The drive to the airport was just over an hour and when I got home, there were extra people in the house.

It’s hard to just feel when there are people around.  My house was too people-y.

On the way back from the airport, I had a cry. I talked to him. I yelled at him.I raged against the unfairness of it all.

I was supposed to have 50 years with him and I got barely 14. Not quite 13 married.

There’s a part of me that still rages about that.  Because, yanno, I miss him.  I miss his smile. I miss his laugh.  I miss the look in his eyes when he thought I wasn’t noticing.

But there’s the part of me that doesn’t.

I have a beautiful life in so many ways.

I’m going  back to school – and able to make a difference in other people’s lives.

I’ve met people who are amazing and fun and make a HUGE difference in mine.

I’ve got a new love who loves me intensely.

I’ve got a good life.

And none of it.  NONE of it would have happened if he was still here.

I miss him. I miss my Mark with so much intensity that I don’t know how to breathe when I think of it.

I miss him.  And I’m grateful for every. single. day. I got with him. He taught me so much and allowed me to become more myself than I would have been able to without him.

I wish I could be celebrating the end of an amazing day with Mark. I wish he were here to see his grandsons.  I wish, with all my heart, that we had gotten those 50 years.

But as the saying goes… if wishes were horses…

I can’t change the past. I can honour him, honour our life together, do good for other people, but I can’t change the past.

Happy Anniversary my Love.  I will love you for the rest of my life. You left me with beautiful memories, four amazing children, and a lifetime of love. I was your happy ever after. I got the fairy tale of “until death” and I wouldn’t change a thing. I’d love you and walk that journey with you again if I were asked – even knowing that our paths would diverge.

I love you.

A Myriad of Emotions

I’m happy.  Ridiculously happy. And I feel like crying.

I said to the Sexy Chef when we were shopping for groceries… “I don’t like always being the sad one you know.”

It’s exhausting. I’m sad.  I’m happy. Every damn thing is tinged with sadness. Everything.

At this moment, I want to take my Sexy Chef to bed.  I want to rock his world.  And I want to bawl.  I feel broken and brittle and like I’m going to fall apart at the slightest thing.

I don’t like feeling like this.  The joys of widowhood are that I am forever fighting with the sadness.  I LOVE my sexy chef. He brings such joy to my life.  He’s kind and considerate and loves me for exactly who I am. I want to revel in that. I want to lose myself in him.

Fuck widowhood. Fuck having to forever have that golden thread of grief running through every damn thing I do.

I want to feel joy with the blissful ignorance of someone who hasn’t known loss.

I want to lose myself in a moment without the knowledge that life can change in just one moment.

And in the kitchen, he pulls me around, makes me look him in the eye and says to me… “You’re ok.”

And for one second, I can, I do, lose myself in the moment and forget that it might change when I blink.

For one second… I am lost in the love of a man who loves me for me.  The good, the bad, and the broken.

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