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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It Was Meant To Be…

When I was in employment flux, between my first and second seasons at BC Wildfire, I went to a career counsellor, jumped through some hoops and decided on Licensed Practical Nurse as my upgrade/career path.

My reasons:

  1. The amazing nurses who inspired me.
  2. To be of service
  3. To be there for other people going through what I went through (simliar to #2)
  4. Employability.
  5. Mobility OR stability.

What I didn’t remember… was it was something I had thought about a long time ago.

This was part of an update post on April 13, 2012.  Almost 3 months after he initially went into the hospital.

Mark Healing Community Post

I can’t do a point/arrow/highlight on a picture in a wordpress blog, but right in the middle… It says..

“If I could do it over again I would go into nursing or surgery because that was AWESOME to watch.”

 “I would go into nursing”

And yah.  In 2 months, I will be in nursing.

It was meant to be.  It is happening.

I know for a lot of widows/widowers, the phrase “everything happens for a reason” is cause for white hot rage, seriously offended, going to throat punch the speaker reactions.

For me?  It’s the truth.

Everything happened.  For. A. REASON.

I am exactly where I should be in my life.

I am doing what I am supposed to.

All avenues, all options have closed off and the path towards nursing is brightly lit, clear and safe.

Path

I know where I’m supposed to go from here. I can see the way, and without EVERYTHING THAT HAPPENED…

I wouldn’t be here.

I’d be in Squamish still (miss my friends!) working with Co-operators, selling life insurance and probably doing an amazing job at it.

I’d have a husband who requires round the clock care with a recovery measured in years not months.

I’d be exhausted.  My kids would come second to my husband’s needs.  My husband would feel guilty about that.  He’d feel helpless and hopeless and lost and a burden.  I would probably spend more time trying to make him understand that he’s not a burden than just loving him, because he’d need that from me, from us.

The reality is, life would have amazing beautiful moments.  I would still be Mrs. Mark Smith.  I wouldn’t resent it for a moment.   But it would be my life, focussed entirely on my husband.

But now, I’m allowed to shine.

A friend of mine blogged a long time ago… he gave me my life back.  I know that he’d be here if he could… but in the end, he loved me, loved his family enough to let us out of the limbo we were in.  He loved us enough that he would have fought if there were any real options left.  But there weren’t.  So he let go, and let us move forward.

And now… where I’m supposed to be is coming to fruition.

I love him so much more for being willing to let go.  For doing what’s best for EVERYONE, instead of holding on and keeping us in that holding pattern.  It shows how amazing of a person he was.   And I wish everyone who reads this could have met him.  Could have known him.

He was so incredible and I was so blessed to have been loved by him.  So blessed to have been his wife for 13 years.  So blessed to be the mother of his children.  So very blessed to have loved him to his last breath.

Content

I am content these days.

I miss my Mark every day. He was my love, my sexxy man.  Had a lovely conversation with his brother last night… was feeling so incredibly lonely and then out of the blue Wade calls me to catch up.

I miss Mike every day.  He was mo chroi. It’s so weird to know he lives 5 mins away from me and we’re just *not* together. I don’t know if we’ll find a way back to each other.  I wish him happiness either way.  I hope he finds what he’s looking for, even if that’s not with me.

I have a tattoo for each of them on me.  They are both forever a part of me.

But overall, I’m content with my life.  I am more or less happy with the direction my life is going.  I have amazing opportunities appearing in my life.  I’m slowly building a circle of friends who I enjoy spending time with.  My boys and I are getting along and I think I’m doing fairly well with this whole ‘single parenting teenaged boys’ thing.

I said to someone about 2 months after he died… “If he wasn’t already dead I’d kill him for leaving me to raise teen boys by myself!!”

But I think I’m doing ok.

I’ll be ok.  I still grieve.  I still cry.  I still have moments/days of intense loneliness.   I curl up on my couch those days and pretend I’m being snuggled from behind.

But mostly… I’m content.   It’s a weird place to be, content.  It hasn’t happened in at least 4 years.

Peace

Reason for Everthing

I’ve been in Squamish for the past 2 days.

Well, sorta. I’m an hour north of Squamish in the rain forest.   There’s a massive fire up here and I’m part of the team that is working to put it out.

I’m living in a camp. It’s nice. Camping, but food is supplied and cooked, there’s showers and bathrooms, and a place to hide out from the rain if it happens.

But I’m *this* close to Squamish.

I went for a walk this morning before work started – sat on the river and meditated.   Realized that this was one of the rivers Mark fished.

For the first time… there wasn’t an overwhelming sadness, a grief storm, there was only a tug of longing that made me wish I could be sitting there with him.

Wouldn’t it be nice to be camping right there? Quiet and peaceful and listening to the river?

I miss him. Every day. I don’t have a day that goes by that I don’t think of him or what our life could have been.

And I wish, every day, that I had gotten to share my life with him.

But I loved him to his last breath. And I know he’s still with me. I know he’s still around, checking up on me, loving me.

There was a post on Facebook by a widda sister who had someone tell her that “things happen for a reason” and a lot of the other widows agreed that that was one of the most insensitive, throat-punch deserving comments that could be made.

I believe that things DO happen for a reason.   I may not like the reason. I may not WANT the reason. I may not SEE the reason, but there’s always a reason.

If my husband hadn’t died, I wouldn’t have reconnected with Mike. If I hadn’t reconnected with Mike, I wouldn’t have loved him and his kids. If I hadn’t loved him and his kids, I wouldn’t have moved to Quesnel. If I hadn’t moved, I wouldn’t have found the job at BC Wildfire. If I hadn’t had the job with BC Wildfire, I wouldn’t be in school. If I wasn’t going to school, I wouldn’t be working towards nursing.

Everything happens for a reason in my life. I truly believe that. I met Robert and Patricia and Ellen and they inspired me to be better, be more, be who they were for me.   And because of where I am in my life and my job situation – I can be.

The relationship with Mike – I love him and I miss him. But there’s things *I* need to do, things I need that I don’t know if he can give me – at all, or just not now. There’s a reason we’re not together, I’m just not sure what the reason is. (yes we can go on all the reasons that things failed but they are not the *reason* why we’re not together. There’s another reason, a deeper reason why all the minor reasons caused the relationship to end) I want to get back together with him – but I think if that were to happen right now, we’d both end up miserable again. There’s some things we both need to do.   My TimeHop showed me a status that I made a year ago about how grateful I was that he had the faith and the conviction that we’d end up back together. That he’d held on to that belief for so long. I have a hard time believing that he held on to that belief only for us to not end up together.   There’s a reason for what’s going on right now.  I just don’t know what the reason is, yet.

The broken-ness is healing, I think. I’m at just over 3 years, and a lot of the broken parts of me feel whole… some of them for the first time ever.

I don’t know where my widowed journey will take me – if I will always identify as a widow. I’ve met a couple widows who don’t identify as widows any longer. They’ve remarried and they say they are a ‘former widow’ because of it. For me, that makes no sense.   But for them, it makes perfect sense.   And so, I don’t know.

But I do know that I get to find out.   There’s a reason for everything… I just have to be patient and wait to see what it is.20150727_071513[1]

The view as I sat contemplating my world, my widowhood, my life….

Anger

I’ve had anger pop up lately.

I’m angry that he died.  That the beautiful life we planned was cut short.  That he’s not here to see the amazing grandbabies.  That I’m raising two young men to adulthood without his influence.  That he’s not HERE for me to lean into.  That he’s missing out on so much.

I’m angry that Father’s Day is coming up and I have NO IDEA what to do to honour him. Or if the boys and Katie WANT to honour him.  I’m angry that they don’t have their father to celebrate.

I’m angry that he left me.  That I’m alone. That I have to date again if I don’t want to be alone.  That all the good things, all the sad things, all the frustrating things go unsaid because he’s NOT HERE.

I’m angry because he’s not here.

(as a side note, I’m reading this and the children’s book “Red Is Best” keeps popping up in my head.  Thanks Mark for the giggle in the midst of the anger)

I’m angry because I’ll never again know what it’s like to kiss him to insensibility.  I’ll never again feel his arms around me, hear his heartbeat, feel his warmth.   I’ll never again have him run his fingertips up my back while I’m trying to read before falling asleep because he’s trying to get my “ahem” attention. (he usually succeeded)

I’m angry because I don’t know if what I’m doing is right.  Because I could always bounce ideas off him.  He was beyond smart.  Tested at 20+ years of education.  Only finished gr. 10.  And he was so freaking smart.  And I don’t have that to bounce my thoughts against anymore.

I’m angry because he died.

And so many other’s get to live.

In 9 days it will be 3 years.  Every year I inch closer and closer to 49, the age he is forever.  And I’m angry that there will come a day when I’ll be older than him.  I was never supposed to be older than him.

I Miss You

Missing Someone I Love

“I am ok with being sad about missing someone I love.”

These were words I said to my ex when I was talking to him this morning about how TimeHop was pulling back status’ and pictures from past years and they were either about him or Mark.

The one that got me was one where it was Father’s Day and we’d had a lovely cuddle, amazing conversation and beautiful connection and how much I love him.

And it made me sad.

And the ones about Mark made me sad.

Because I miss people I love.

AND THAT’S OK.

I miss him.  I miss the good times, I miss Mark, I miss all of it.

I’m a single, widowed woman who is raising 2 boys on her own.   My daughter is begrudgingly here, helping out the best she can, but she feels like I don’t need her (I DO!! I NEED MY DAUGHTER RIGHT NOW).

And I miss those lazy Sunday mornings where I’m snuggled up to someone I love, having those amazing conversations and beautiful connections.

I miss them.

And I’m ok with being sad because of that.

I know the day will end up being a good one.  I’ve got an extra day off, I feel better, sort of, and my kids are all here.

And it’s all good.

I am a beautiful, emotional, vibrant woman who loves deeply, who grieves hard, who misses those she loves.

And that’s ok.

It's Going to be Ok Someday

Valentine’s Day 3rd Edition

This is my 3rd Valentine’s Day without my Mark.

This is, however, only my first Valentine’s Day alone in 17 years.

First Valentine’s – I had a single friend over and she and I celebrated together.

Second Valentine’s – I was in a relationship.

This Valentine’s?  I’m single.   I don’t even have a date.

But you know what?  That’s. OK.

This was my Facebook status this morning:

17 years ago today he first told me he loved me. 3 years ago today he was awake from his coma and said happy Anniversary. Today, I get to spend my first Valentine’s alone in 17 years. BUT… I choose to celebrate ME. Happy Valentine’s Day to ME. The person I’m going to be with for the rest of my life. The person that’s going to celebrate every single success I have. The person that’s going comfort me in my lows. The person who I will wake up with EVERY SINGLE DAY for the rest of my life.

Happy Valentine’s to ME. Today, I will take myself to a movie, buy myself a flower, and remind myself how awesome it is that I have ME in my life 🙂

And you know what?

I’m happy.  I’m about to head out to buy me flowers and watch a movie on my own.   And I’m looking forward to it.

Happy Valentine’s Day Mark.

And Happy Valentine’s Day to each and every one of you reading this today.   Long live love.  Love transcends all space and time and YOU ARE LOVED.

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