Not a Hummingbird but a Butterfly.

Happy Anniversary to my Love, my forever 49, my sexxy redhead.

I spent a couple hours today at a waterfall.  I have made it my mission to spread some of his ashes at places where he might have wanted to fish.  I want to leave a piece of him in all the spots he would have liked to spend time at.

I feel closer to him beside a river.  I feel his presence more than at any other time, when I’m by the water.


I stood on the shore of this creek, at the base of the waterfall, talking to him for about an hour.  Yelling at him.  Crying big heaving sobs that threatened to tear my soul out.

Asking, forever the question… WHY?  WHY did he have to die?  WHY did I have to do this on my own?

The only answer I can come up with is… so he didn’t have to suffer anymore.

He was in pain a lot of his last couple years.  Especially with the heart attacks, the ankylosing spondilytis, and then the last 6 months in the hospital due to pancreatitis.

He hurt.  All the time.  Every day.

And I get to be alone, so he doesn’t have to suffer anymore.

I always said I’d take the suffering, take the pain for him.   Well… I have.

I get to deal with, not the physical pain, but the emotional pain of not having him physically here.  And in trade, he’s pain free.  He’s not hurting anymore.

When I thought I was done crying, when I knew I was done yelling, I walked back towards my truck and sat beside the creek in the sun.


And of course started crying again.   And as I was crying… not a hummingbird, but a butterfly stopped and sat on my bag.  It moved too quickly and flitted off again before I could take a picture.

Usually he comes to me in a hummingbird; today he was a beautiful dark brown and orange butterfly.

I smiled… thanked him for showing me he was with me… and cried some more.

And the butterfly came back.  Flitted around my head.  Slowly enough that I could see the colours, feel his presence, wash over in the love.   And just know that he was there.

I have been asking him for several days now, to come visit me.  Show me that he’s there.  Show me that he’s around.  Begging him before I fall asleep to visit me in my dreams, wake me before he goes so I’ll remember him.  And each day I wake up from a dreamless sleep.

He’s listening though.  He just waited until I needed him the most.

Not a hummingbird, but a butterfly….

Happy Anniversary my Love.  Thank you for the visit, the cleansing tears, and the beautiful afternoon by a waterfall.


Took It Off Again

When my ex-boyfriend and I were trying to work things out, I took off my ash pendant.

For a while… I forgot that I had taken it off. It didn’t cross my mind that I had taken it off.

And then a couple days ago, I found it on my end table.  I wanted to put it away but was in the middle of something else, so I just put it on again.   I forgot about it… wearing jewelry just becomes part of my skin.  If I wear it long enough I feel naked without it on.  If I take it off…after a while I don’t notice its absence.  (ask me about my wedding rings – i haven’t noticed that my fingers are bear in months)

So I put the ash pendant on.

And it bugged me.

It’s heavy.  I don’t know how I didn’t notice that before. It’s REALLY heavy.

And it sits right in my cleavage.  Right where my heart is, right between my boobs. So as I move around it bounces against my boobs.

And… it wasn’t comfortable.   I love it.  It’s beautiful.  It’s a lovely reminder of my dead husband.

But it didn’t *feel* right being on my body again.

I wear him in my skin.  I wear him in my heart. He is forever a part of me.

Maybe, just maybe, I am coming to that place of accpetance and moving on?  Almost fully at the “don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened state of mind” that would be so lovely?


I’d like to think that I’m coming to a place of peace.   To a place of… yes, I am a widow.  Yes, it’s part of what defines me much as being a mom did, being a wife did, being a student does.  It defines me, shapes the way I look at the world, but it is no longer my WHOLE world.

It is a big part of it.  Until I get married again, I’ll still check “widow” on the box, even if I have to write the box in because someone didnt’ think to put it there. Because it is so very much a part of who I am.

But it is no longer the focus of my entire world.

I miss him with every breath.  I wish with ever fibre of my being that we could have had the life we planned.   I think though, that I’m coming to a place of acceptance of what is.   Of the change in our relationship, in the change in my life, in the story I am writing for my own life.

Christmas Is Coming!!

Yeah yeah… I know.  It comes every year.

Smartie pants.

I KNOW it comes every time this year.

Ok… that’s enough out of YOU… 😉

It’s come every year for the past 40 years of my life.  And every year… except the last two… I’ve been excited.

I’ve been totally pumped.

My house VOMITS Christmas.

My kids think it’s too much.

I love it.  Just love it.

Except Christmas 2012.   6 months after Mark died.

And Christmas 2013.  18 months after Mark died and my first Christmas in Quesnel.

I didn’t love it.

I didn’t do anything Christmas-y.

I mean, I sorta did.  But I was mostly miserable about it.

I have a beautiful picture of me and my kids the first Christmas after their Dad died.


I love this pic.   It has me, my kids and Mark watching over us by the Angel.

Last year, I took a pic of Mike’s boys and mine.

Tree Decorating night  2013

It was a good picture, overall.   Even though I couldn’t get Andrew to smile 😉 😛

But I wasn’t really happy those years.  I was, deep down, miserable.  And some surface miserable too.  I tried.  I tried SO hard to get in the Christmas spirit.  But I just … couldn’t.

It hurt.  It hurt SO FREAKING MUCH. to be doing Christmas without Mark.

But this year…. something magical has happened.

I’m… dare I say… excited… about Christmas.  About life.  About my world.

I’m happy with a lot of my recent choices.   I’m becoming more content in myself.  I’m learning to live in my world and in my skin and in my thoughts.

And… Christmas is coming!   In like… A MONTH!   And I’m DECORATING.  And EXCITED!!!  Yep.  I am.

My poor boys.  They don’t know what’s going to hit them… :p

I have Christmas songs going around in my head… *snicker*  Wait until they start coming out 😀

Sneaky Triggers…

L:  Mom, can I call my friend and ask if I can go for a sleep over there?

Me:  No it’s Father’s Day tomor…. never mind.  Go ahead.

L: Ok.

Yeah.  Father’s Day doesn’t have the same meaning anymore.  And now I get to hurt because for a moment, I forgot.

I got the downstairs kitchen cleaned in the process of trying to distract myself from the hurt.

AND found the source of the smell I’ve been trying to track down for the last few days.

Mark watching over us again, I suppose – if it wasn’t for that random trigger – I wouldn’t have cleaned up the kitchen, and I wouldn’t have found that the burner was on and melting the cooler sitting on it.   It was a fire danger… and now we’re safe.

Happy Father’s Day Mark.   We miss you.

Mark in Fruitvale

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

Visits From Mark

The hummingbird has special meaning to me since Mark died.

I wrote about it in this post way back when this was all new and fresh.

I believe with all my heart that when a hummingbird comes around it’s Mark saying hello, it’s him letting me know that he’s still with us.

Coloured Memorial Tattoo

This is the memorial tattoo I had done for him.

Tomorrow is his birthday.   He would have been 51. Seriously.  51. Too freaking young to die.

This week – I have had a visit from a hummingbird on two seperate occasions.

I don’t have any hummingbird feeders.  I don’t have any hummingbird attractants.  But I get hummingbirds come visit me.

I love the little visits… the reminders that he’s still around.

It’s been 23 months.  I’m with someone new.  I’m building a life.

But I still think about him each and every day.

Love you Mark… always…

16 Years Ago

16 years ago tomorrow, Valentines Day, was the first time Mark ever said he loved me.

We didn’t realize it was Valentine’s Day.

We were at work…  and it came out.

And we celebrated that day as the day we officially “got together” for the rest of our time together.

Even though we’d been together for 2 weeks at that point.

Even though he hadn’t *quite* left his ex.

We celebrated Valentines Day not as a commercially marketed “this is the day you must romance your partner” day, but as the day we first expressed our love.

We didn’t even celebrate Valentines Day that year.

To this day – I couldn’t tell you what day he officially asked me to marry him – but I’ll never forget the day he first told me he loved me.

We’ll ignore the fact that he broke up with me the day after…and then the day after that he woke me up with “I want to spend my life with you”

Because none of that matters now.

What matters is that we got to spend 14 years together expressing our love on Valentines Day… the day he first told me he loved me.

Happy Valentine’s Mark.  I love you.  I will always love you (I have Whitney Houston running through my head… And IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII-EEEE-IIIIIIIIIIIIIII will always love YOUUUUUUUUUUUUUU) and I am so grateful that you sent Mike to me.  I know you had a hand in him finding me again.  I got the messages from you that he was the right one, and that you approved.

I love you.



Broken Heart

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.

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