The Month of Changes

So much has happened in the past 37 days.

It started with a bachelorette party. On my dead husband’s birthday. Weirdness and shit. But fun.  Glitter dicks everywhere. Drunk me danced the night away. Drunk me decided to walk home late in the night with one of my bridesmaids.  Drunk me had a good time.  Hungover me was not impressed with drunk me. It was a weird thing, celebrating my upcoming nuptuals with a new guy on my dead guy’s birthday. My daughter planned the day and it was fantastic.

Then the wedding.  What a glorious, fantastic day. It was amazing and magical and incredible. My Smith family showed up which made it so much better. I stood there at my reception, staring at what is now all 6 branches of my family. The Smiths, the Cavanaghs, the Teichmans, the Mortimers, the Leylands, and the Beech’s. As I said then… some people are blessed to find one great love in their life. I have been blessed to find two. Loving my Sexxy Chef does not mean my love for my dead guy has changed. The heart expands and grows to encompass more love. And I am blessed far more than I feel I deserve with all the love that surrounds me.

Fairy Tale Wedding
Photo credit Throughout Time Photography

Last night… my 3rd child graduated. Mark was watching, somewhere, I know. The tiny baby who was smaller than our cat at the time… is now a grown up adult. Graduated from high school.  Ready to start life as an adult. But in that face… I still see the tiny baby. I still see the tiny human who kept me up for an hour every hour. And I remember all the plans we had, the promises we made, the hopes and dreams we had for the future and our children and grandchildren…

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Andrew Grad 2018

My heart hurts for all that he’s missing. But my heart is full of love and life and laughter at the same time. It’s a strange dichotomy.

It is June 23. Typically the time between May 18 and June 26 is a slow progression of increasing stress and pain and fighting to convince my brain that suicide is not an option. With all that has happened it has kept me distracted from that. It’s amazing how much LIVING can keep me from wanting to die.

I still hurt though. I sat in my living room last night, fighting tears, fighting the pain of him not being here, not really succeeding but holding it together enough.

The excitement is all done.  The planning/preparation for the wedding is complete.  Graduation has passed. And I’m faced with 3 more days before his angelversary.

I’m left with my thoughts, my feelings, and the reality of somehow balancing my love and excitement of being married to my new husband with the abject, overwhelming pain of not having my dead husband here. I’m not sure how to balance that. Any suggestions would be fantastic.

On the drive up to decorate the hall for my wedding, my graduate asked me why we had a picture of Dad. I said it was to go on the display of people who we miss and wish were here.  He was like… …ok… and I laughed and said… of course if Dad was here, we wouldn’t be doing this.  He laughed as well…and we carried on.

Such is the strange dichotomy of a remarried widow, a new wife, who has been blessed with a man who loves her enough to accept all of her… the past, the present and the future.

I am blessed.

Holding Hands Ceremony
Photo credit Throughout Time Photography

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‘Twas the Night Before the Wedding…

Can this be the only time I write this blog?  The night before my wedding?

Because I don’t believe in divorce.  And I sure as FUCK don’t want to be widowed twice…

So tonight, before I marry my Sexxy Chef, I’d like to make sure this is the only time I write, on my widows blog, that this is the night before my wedding.

I am full of conflicting emotions.

Excitement to be his wife.

Sad to let go of the name I’ve had for the majority of my adult life.

There was a conversation between my future sister-in-law and me tonight while we were decorating.

In the “memorial” for those who have passed… we included Mark.

She asked, somewhat hesitantly, “Is Ryan ok with this?”

Yes, yes he is.  He’s ok with it. He knows that I’m not coming into this marriage fresh and free with no past. He knows that part of my heart forever belongs to Mark.  He’s ok with it because Mark was my past and he is my future.

I don’t stop being a widow because I’m getting married.

I don’t just turn off the feelings about my dead husband because I’m about to have a live husband.

Changing my name doesn’t change how I feel about the men I love.

But I am blessed to have someone who loves me enough to walk through fire with me, to weather the grief storm with me, to build a future on a foundation of love with me.

So on the night before my wedding… sleeping alone in my bed for the first time in a long while… I get to reflect on how lucky I am to have loved, not once, but twice, enough to wear the title of wife. How lucky I am to have been someone’s happily ever after. How lucky I am that tomorrow, I get to marry the man I will spend the rest of my life loving.

Part of my vows to him:

I can’t promise to love you for the rest of your life, but I promise I will love you for the rest of mine. 

I will love Mark for the rest of my life.  I will love Ryan for the rest of my life.

My heart is big enough to love them both.

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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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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Finding Love Again

I’ve gone through a couple boyfriends since Mark died.

One was just for fun (George – he was my happy place) and the other I thought was my chapter 2 (my Metalhead Poet) but wasn’t.

I’ve hurt.  I’ve cried. I’ve gone on a number of crappy first dates through Plenty of Fish.  I had almost decided that I’m not destined to find love again.

And then I did. I found my Sexy Chef.

I met him on POF. Had a date.  Threatened to kill him. (literally – I said to him “I’m going to kill you if you don’t let me sleep).  Had another date.  Got into a fight type thing.  Told him flat out that I didn’t want to date him, and that I was happy to be friends but for a number of reasons (the fight being one of them) I didn’t want to date him.

We became friends. We talked.  A lot. And then… I started to fall for him.

He traveled six hours to take a chance that perhaps we might have a real connection.

We do.

We have an amazing connection. I’ve fallen in love with a man who is kind, considerate, respectful, loving, caring and so passionate and supportive about me being me.

We mesh well.  We communicate well. We… … do other things well. We are very compatible.

This weekend, I met his family – most of them. We spent a night with his mom and step-dad, his brother and his sister-in-law and his niece and nephews.

They are lovely people. Really freaking awesome people. Despite my overwhelming anxiety before I got there, I was quickly made to feel welcome and I felt at home.

It’s amazing, finding love again. Finding the place where bliss and joy meet in a potential future. And discovering that I can open my heart again.  Being able to place my heart in someone else’s hands, and trust that he will keep it safe… that is an amazing thing.

I have found love again. And it’s beautiful. And he loves me. In all my beautiful broken-ness.

One Day