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…


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

‘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.

Happy Anniversary!

It amazes me how many people I know that got married 18-22 years ago.

How many of them are still married.

How many of them are posting recently on Facebook about how they’re so happy to be celebrating their 18th, 19th, 20th, 21st, or 22nd anniversary and I love you SOOOOOO much.

How many of them I want to punch.

How much I want to cry about it.

Happy fricken anniversary.

It would have 18 years for me and Mark on Aug 21.

We *almost* got 13.

And I’m getting married to a new and amazing man soon-ish.

And I still want to tell all of them to STFU.

Don’t get me wrong.  I AM happy for them. I just want them to STFU about being happy about their anniversary when I didn’t get it.

Yep, totally selfish.  I wouldn’t actually tell them that though – I just send them a happy anniversary and move on.

But dammit.  Could you STOP with all the in-your-face love-y dove-y crap for a month or so?


Mar & Jane Wedding


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.

The First…

There’s not too many firsts left after 4 years gone.

This past weekend was two firsts.

The first wedding I’ve attended since he died.

The first “Smith” family gathering since he died.

This was the wedding of his nephew. It’s hard to believe that he’s missing out on so much.

Kids growing up, getting married, having kids…

The ceremony was beautiful.  The bride and groom were gorgeous. The setting was amazing…

And all throughout, there was a golden thread of sadness in my heart. What he’s missing out on.

I didn’t bring my Sexxy Chef with me.  I had RSVP’d before he was on the scene, didn’t think that was the best place to introduce him and ultimately, I needed to go through the wedding without Mark on my own.

I spent a lot of time with my grandson, dancing with him while he fell asleep. He gave me an excuse to be kind of anti-social and off on my own. He allowed me to just be… to feel and allow the emotions to wash over me without affecting anyone else’s good time.

It was a day of joy.  They don’t get the sorrow.  They don’t get how the sadness is always there like the sunburn that hasn’t yet healed and you go to scratch an itch and it suddenly flares up and HOLY FUCK THAT STILL HURTS.

That’s what the wedding did… it was the scratch on the burn. The joy of seeing Austin and Maddie get married scratched the pain of missing Mark.  And holy fuck does it still hurt.

Maddie and Austin

I’m so very happy for them. They are so beautifully in love, so incredibly happy. And I’m glad I was able to be there to share in their day.  I know Mark was there in spirit.

Happy Anniversary…

14  years ago today I married the man who was my best friend.

14 years ago today I promised to love him until death do us part.

14 years ago today I got pregnant with my 3rd (his 1st bio) child.

14 years ago today.

A life time.

Happy Anniversary Mark.  14 years ago today I promised to love you forever… and I will.  No matter where life takes me I will always love you.



Why are they so much more…. painful… than other days?

What makes the 6 month, the 9 month, the 1 year worse than 6 months and 17 days?

Why is Mother’s Day and Father’s Day so much worse?

New Years? Christmas? Thanksgiving? Easter?

Why is it that we place so much importance on those days?

He’s dead.  He’s not coming back.  He’s going to be gone whether it’s Christmas Eve, Christmas Day or July 10th.

He’s always going to be gone.

But they do hurt more.

In a few days… February 1, is our anniversary of when we got together.   It would have been 15 years.

Holy. Fucking. Hell.

In a chat on Widowed Village someone mentioned that her anniversary was coming up and she was going to CELEBRATE IT…  and at the end of the day, release a balloon and a handwritten note.

I love this.

15 freaking years.  15 years he’s been my Love, my life, my best friend… 15 years since he first called me up and said he wanted to get together.

I miss him.  I miss his presence.  I miss his strength.  I miss being able to talk to him.  It might sound strange – but in everything that’s going on with George – I want to be able to talk to him, get his feedback…and I can’t.  He was the one who was always there for me, always had my back and kept me strong.

In 5 days, another first will go by… largely unnoticed by anyone but me.   February 1 will ALWAYS have a special place in my heart.   It will ALWAYS be a day I remember…

Last year, he was waking up out of the drug-induced coma, and he was relatively awake on Feb 1.  I came to the hospital, saw him… and the first thing he said to me was “Happy Anniversary my Love”

Best freaking anniversary ever.

It’s still so surreal that he’s not here…

On February 1, I will go to his favourite spot on the river, and I will release a balloon for him…

Anniversaries of any sort hurt.  But there’s good memories, too.

I Miss You

I Finished It…

The cross stitch piece I was working on.   The one that caused me so much pain and anxiety and nausea that I could barely breathe.

I finished it last night…

There was some stress, some anxiety, I wouldn’t let anyone leave until I was done… but I finished it.

I’m going to have it framed, and then put it on my wall near him.

After I was done – we sat and checked out Bev’s wedding photos.

Don’t get me wrong – Bev was a gorgeous bride.  She had a dream wedding.  I love her and am extremely happy for her… Her pictures were amazing…

And they left me a little (ok a lot) sad.

I was looking at these pictures of this perfectly done, beautifully set wedding; this gorgeous porcelain doll bride and I wanted to cry.

He mother and father were there.  She was there.  Everyone was coupled up (that I could see) and I kept thinking… I miss him.. 😦

The other thought was that I couldn’t imagine being that happy again.  Loving someone so much that I wanted to share that moment with them…

At that moment, I felt so alone… 😦

She was gorgeous.  And oh so freaking happy.  And I’m happy for her.

The Wedding Video…

When we got married 13 years ago… my friends created a wedding video for us.

It got lost in the shuffle, didn’t make it to VHS, got stuck in a box got moved 3 or 4 times, and never made it into my hands.

I didn’t really think about the wedding video.  Every once in a while I asked about it, there was always things preventing it being transposed to a viewable tape.

A lost camera.  A lost cord.  A move.  Lots of reasons.   And 13 years later… I got it.

8 weeks after his death.

I never got to watch it with him.

I have, however, seen it 3 times this week.   I will watch it many more times.

I’m sad that I never got to watch this with him… but so eternally grateful I have it now.

It was lovely watching the ceremony.  It was nice seeing the “congratulations” and the first dance and the family and the whole thing…

But what got me…. what is more precious than anything… was the 30 seconds of the camera being on Mark.   Him looking into the camera, telling me he loves me.

Those moments of seeing HIM.  Hearing HIM.

He looks so much the same.  His voice sounds the same.

Those 30 seconds are worth more than anything to me…. I will never lose his laugh, his voice, his smile, or HIM….  He is forever captured in those 30 seconds – everything that connected him to me.  Everything that connected me to him.