How sweet it is

15 08 2016

 

August 15 is a special day. It has been since 1982 when I married my soul mate. Ed has not been here to celebrate with me since April of 2011. This makes me sad and every August 15th I feel the ache in my heart and I cry a little, usually a couple of times throughout the day. I have come to accept that it is normal to miss someone so much that it can cause tears. What was surprising to me is the actually ache in my heart. I used to think the term “heartache” was a metaphor but my heart physically hurts when I think of how much I miss him and still love him. This all sounds a bit morbid but if you can stick with me, you will see I am going in another direction with this. I believe all the actions I just described are normal parts of grief. Grief is not a dirty word. I have had to give myself permission to express my sorrow. It only means I have loved deeply.
I have loved deeply. What an honor that is. What a gift to be able to grow and mature in that love and learn to trust another human being. I had that one person that I could count on through all of life’s winding roads. One person who knew I was filled with insecurities, imperfection and inconsistency and he loved me anyway. He couldn’t help himself any more than I could turn my love for him off. We were both far from perfect and we accepted that in each other. If I was mad at him, yes, it happened, he learned to leave me alone for a while until my hot Italian temper had time to cool off. Before the day was through he would put his arms around me and remind me that I couldn’t stay mad at him. He was so stinking cute, and he was right. We practiced the Biblical principal of not letting the sun go down on our anger. There is a free wisdom tidbit for you. it is important to the life of a relationship. Do not leave things unresolved.

unnamed

Today is a special day. I have felt the familiar ache in my heart and I have shed some tears because I miss my Eddie. But sorrow and grief will not define this special day. I have washed my face, brushed my teeth and put a little mascara on. I have called the florist and ordered flowers to be sent to the house. I will celebrate that fact that I have loved so deeply that I am still in love with one man. I am celebrating the fact that I have been fortunate enough to be loved and understood by a soul mate. I honor my husband today and I feel a touch of pride that I was Eddie the baker’s wife until death parted us. This is a joyous day.





This widow’s walk

9 01 2016

2016 might just be the year of the big breakthrough for this widow. There, I said it. Widow. I still don’t like to say it but I am gradually giving in to the  concept. I am not in denial of Ed’s passing. I know in the depth of my being that Ed is with his Savior in Heaven and he is not coming back!  I  wouldn’t  want him to.

I have been in denial of the fact that I am no longer married. It doesn’t seem quite fair that I have no say in the matter. I did not fall out of love. I was not cheated on or angry with or in any way mistreated by my husband. I was in love with Ed right up until his last breath. I am still in love with him.

We talked about some things pertaining to his imminent  passing away but none of our talking or thinking was about the fact that I would no longer be his wife. When Ed died, I became his widow. I hate that part. I could not reconcile it in my heart or in my mind. It has not been a graceful transition, to say the least. It felt all wrong to take my wedding band off and yet it felt like a lie to keep it on. Although, I did keep it on for a long time. I finally found a way that felt “okay” not to wear my wedding band on my hand. I found a necklace that allowed me to wear both our rings around my neck.

This has been my 5th birthday, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year without my Ed. I am coming to terms with the fact that I am not married anymore. On New Years day, I did not put my necklace on. I have looked at it every day since and made a decision not to wear it today. I have tried this before and after a day or two have experienced such anxiety that I had to put it back on. It has been 9 days today without my commitment being worn around my neck. It is okay. I did not break my commitment. I fulfilled it.

I have said it before, grief is different in everyone. We each have to find our own path through the process. Sometimes we can follow a portion of the path that someone else has traveled. Most of the time we have to blaze our own trail. I can still weep with the thought of how much I miss my man. I am on the journey. One step, one day, and sometimes one hour at a time.

Last night, I had a small dinner party with 4 of my close friends. I cooked a pot of marinara sauce and meatballs like I used to do. As we sat around the table in my modest kitchen with full bellies, I took a moment to look around the table. Everyone was at peace and looked contented. Everyone there knew my Ed and were not self conscious to speak his name in a conversation. What really struck me was that we were all laughing, sharing food, stories and talk of movies. Fellowship. My home was alive with fellowship. Ah, but that is for another post.

 





What does New Normal look like?

2 12 2011

To the very best of my knowledge, I have never been “normal”. So, my quest for a new normal has proven to be elusive at best. But, that can be a good thing. My new normal is mine and I am creating it as I go along this journey of widowhood.

Some of the things that are new to me:

  • My conversations no longer include “we”, “us”, “our”.
  • When I walk into the house, I am not greeted by “Hi my love!”
  • There is no one here to cook a full on Thanksgiving dinner for.
  • There was no birthday present from my love this year and there will be no Christmas gift either.

Okay, that is all I can list right now because I am bawling again and that was not my intent. I was trying to give some helpful advice about coping with missing a loved one during the holidays. This is an incredibly painful journey to New Normal.

Some of the things I am doing to survive:

  • Renting a room in my house (short term) to a person I have worked with on a couple of shows while she is in town for work.
  • Traveled to Madrid to do something for someone else.
  • Stepping away from music ministry for the first time in 30 years of being a Christian.
  • Brooming the negative drama and people from my life for a while.
  • Taking Bella on a road trip to spend Christmas with family who lives far away.
  • Remodeling my 20 year old kitchen.

Some decisions I am putting on a back burner for now:

  • Plastic surgery.
  • Embellishing my aging body with some ink art.
  • Installing wood floors.
  • Putting a sunroom addition on the house (complete with jacuzzi).
  • Adopting 2 more dogs.
  • Going back to school to become a Bible counselor.

Through this life experience I am drawing closer to God. That doesn’t mean I am getting Holy. Rather it means I am a mess and can not even find the strength to breath without Him. I can not feel His presence in my life right now but I know that I know He has promised NEVER to leave me or forsake me. Wether I ever feel His presence again, He has done miraculous deeds for me. It is most important for me to remember and rehearse what I know He has done in my life already and what His word says He will do in my future. I don’t know what He is going to do but I know it will be a future filled with peace and hope.

This is His Word to me:

“For I know the thoughts that I think towards you,” says the Lord, “thoughts of peace and not of evil,to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11

God is not done with me yet. Light the path Lord and I will travel on it… with You. But if You are not going, I am not going.

Amen