One Little Piece of Bone

This is a Really Real Widow Post.

Parker tripped off a step.

She was taking Siah out for a walk, something that fell on her shoulders far more often than mine, and Siah went the wrong way around the porch rail. Parker lost her footing and tripped off the edge of the porch.

She broke the tip of her bone, in a non weight bearing area that normally causes some pain but doesn’t even keep people off of their feet. Most people don’t even realize they broke it.

But hers never healed and 3 years ago today she went into surgery to have it removed and have some ligaments and tendons moved around so everything would heal properly.

I took some pictures and a video of her that day in the pre-surgery room.

She hated me taking her picture.

I’m kinda glad she did because it allowed me to get “the Parker look” on video.

She was still wearing the boot from surgery the day she died.

These next few weeks are a series of memories leading up to the day she died. These next few weeks are the final moments. The tension, the struggle. Things just weren’t right and I didn’t see it.

But it wasn’t my job to.

I can’t believe it’s been a full three years.

But I can’t believe it’s only been three years.

Time is a dichotomy.

I’ve felt this grief building in my gut since the beginning of the month, I knew it was coming.

But I’m not sad right now. I’m grieving for sure, but it’s not the gut punching sadness.

It’s hard to explain.

I miss her. I miss who she was and who she would be now.

I miss the Parker look when I would do something supremely unhelpful to the situation.

But I’m not sad. This isn’t that kind of grief.

I’m at peace with where life is right now.

But I also know that may change over the coming weeks as it gets closer to June 8th.

I hope she’s at peace where ever she is.

I don’t have a specific believe in an afterlife, but I don’t have a non-belief either. I know she’s somewhere even if it’s just the ashes in a box. She still exists either as matter or a soul, somewhere.

I hope she’s at peace, where ever that is.

She spent too much of her life not at peace.

One little piece of bone.

That’s all she broke.

 

 

The Duality of Mother’s Day

This is a Really Real Mother Post and also a Really Real Widow Post.

Mother’s Day is both wonderful and hard.

I’m love my role as a mother. I’ve loved every phase of motherhood even though there have been periods that were harder than others. I always found the joy in every part of my relationship with my son.

As a teen I wanted 5 kids and felt I was meant to be barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen. I wanted to be the quintessential housewife while also having dreams of a career. Above all I knew I wanted to be a mom.

Well, I got the title of mom much earlier than I planned and by giving birth at 19 I grew up right along side my son. We were a team.

In hindsight I’m glad he was my only. It set us up to have an incredible bond.

Things just have a way of working out the way they are supposed to.

When he was eight Parker came into our lives and grew into her role as his other mother.  She was never really step mom, she was equal mom, and eventually favorite mom, a title she still holds from the grave.

While he was very much her son, she wanted to give birth to her own biological child. At one point we had a donor and we tried. I still remember the look on her face when we realized her growing health problems meant we had to stop trying. In one of her last emails before she died she talked to a friend about both, how much she loves Draven and also how much she wanted a bio child and knew it would never happen.

I’m glad she got to experience motherhood and I hate that she never got to experience it in that way.

I know it broke her heart.

Every Mother’s Day she is on my mind. I didn’t just lose a wife, I lost the only other person with whom I will ever share the title of mother.

I’ve seen lots of posts on Facebook about how wonderful mother’s day is and also how hard mother’s day is and for me, it’s both.

So today I’m quietly reflecting on memories of raising my son and sharing that job with Parker.

I hope today is a happy day for you, whether it’s because you are celebrating mother’s day or because you find some other reason to smile.

Remember, motherhood doesn’t have to be about giving birth or raising children. Motherhood can also be about nurturing your own inner child, or the kids in the neighborhood, or chosen family, or fur (or scale or feather) babies, or any number of other ways one can nurture and protect.

I feel the need to thank everyone who has been following along with these posts. I appreciate you all.

 

 

 

Love Looks Different In Death

This is a Really Real Widow Post.

I’m kinda pissed.

And maybe it’s because I’m judging myself, or I feel judged where there is none.

But I’m pissed.

A friend shared a video about a widower who visits his wife’s grave every single day, taking three buses to get there.  And the video ends with, to see true love, look no further than that couple.

I don’t visit my late wife’s ashes every day and they are in my house.

But I don’t love her any less because of that.

I don’t even wear the necklace with her ashes in it all that often anymore.

But that doesn’t mean what we had wasn’t real.

I don’t cry every day anymore.

But that doesn’t mean I didn’t love her enough.

I don’t have to pay widow penance.

I don’t have to wear a black veil.

I don’t have to lovingly tend to her urn for hours every day.

I don’t have to prove that it was true love.

My anger at that video is probably irrational.  It’s a cute story, but it felt like it was saying true love needed to look like that after death.

True love can look like this too.  Parker and I were pretty damn amazing considering the life we were dealt.

We didn’t have much, but we had love.

Nothing I do, or don’t do now, can ever take that.

Forever and Always, Always and Forever

This is a Really Real Widow Post.

Sometimes it just hits me.

She’s gone forever.

Sometimes, I’m just answering a question “Who had the biggest impact on who you have become?” and I realize, she’ll never get to experience the person I am now.

Always and Forever, Forever and Always is what we used to say.  And for a long time I said we were still Always and Forever, Forever and Always, in a different sort of way.

Today it hit me that she’s also gone, Always and Forever, Forever and Always.

Sometimes, that emptiness in the pit of my stomach feels like it is infinitely deep.  Like the tears may never stop coming.

Like, as much as I changed my life for the better after she died, the hole she left behind will never close.

Yesterday I felt like maybe, I wanted to take down the shelf in the house that is still dedicated to her and I.  Today I’m glad I didn’t.  This ebb and flow of emotions.  The waves of grief and moving forward.  The desire to leave it in the past and the push of feelings into my present.

I miss her.

Right this moment I’m having a very hard time with the idea that she’s gone, forever.

I miss her touch, I miss her voice, I miss who she was, and I hate that I’ll never know who she would have been.

I hate that she’ll never experience this version of me.

I wonder what she’d think about my new love of pink.  I wonder how she’d feel about my love of unicorns and bright colors.  I wonder how she’d feel about me sharing everything on Facebook and the blog so freely.

I wonder if I’d even be doing it if she hadn’t died.

I miss her today.

I hate that she left me.

I’m happy with my present life.  I don’t want to give it up.  I wouldn’t want to make a choice and I’m glad I don’t have to.

But I can’t believe she’s gone, Always and Forever, Forever and Always.

Just to watch her breathe.

This is a Really Real Widow Post.

I had a bad dream this morning.

I won’t go into details, but in it I became a sorta kinda widow this time around.

The kinda widow that isn’t really a widow, because she looses her fiancee. So what are you when you don’t lose a spouse because you aren’t married yet, but the person you were supposed to marry, dies.

And I woke up gasping, because this can’t happen to me twice.  I can’t lose “the love of my life” twice in one life, and I rolled over to watch her breathe (I’ve done that on so many other occasions), but she’s not home.

So for just a second I thought of calling her at 6 in the morning just to hear her voice on the other end of the phone.

But, that would be rude.  And that would be letting anxiety win.

This is life as a widow.  Early morning dreams of death and dying and of it happening again.

Life as a widow is really meaning it when I need to know you got there safely because I know what my anxiety will be doing until I have that confirmation.

Life as a widow is stopping at the doorway to our room some mornings just to watch her breathe.

It doesn’t happen as often anymore.  I have it under better under control.  My brain feels more secure in the fact that Wonder Woman will still be alive when I wake up.  That she will come home safely after work each night.

I panic less often, reaching for her warmth to feel her chest rise and fall.

But when it happens and she’s not home I’m left gasping at 6 am.  How do I really know this wasn’t some sign.

How do I know she’s she’s still okay.

Oh look.

She just commented on something on Facebook.

Crisis averted.

Given Up

This is a Really Real Mental Health Post.

And a Really Real Widow Post.

One of those ones that maybe blurs the lines a bit.

Yesterday, one of the people who run the DBT group said, basically, with so much that has been thrown at me in my life, it’s great that I have such a positive outlook, and that I keep getting back up.  A lot of other people would have just given up.

Well no shit.  I only got 2 out of the 3 of us out alive.

That’s not saying that Parker gave up, because I refuse to believe that.  But she couldn’t keep fighting anymore.

People say that my words help them and others.  People say that I’m inspirational.  People say that I’m strong.  People say that I’m doing better than I think I am.

Mostly, I’m just doing everything I can figure out to do to stay, fucking, alive.

Because I know the alternative and right now, out of the family that went through that hell, more of us have lived then have died, and I’d rather not flip the ratio.

What does giving up look like anyway?

Is it even death, really?

We HAD given up!  Parker and I spent a lot of years in a state of giving up.  We weren’t living, we were just waiting for death, not moving forward, completely stagnated.  There was no hope, was no joy, was no reason to keep going but we didn’t even care enough, most of the time, to look for a way to die.

Until she did care enough to look for a way to die and she succeeded.

Which gave me a reason to care enough to look for reasons to actually live.

I hate that it took Parker’s death for me to see how important life is.  At the beginning, I often said that she died so I didn’t, because I was headed down that road.

So, I guess I get what they mean when they say someone else would have given up.  But it’s not really an option for me anymore.  Been there, done that, and now, I’m living for two of us.

I’m carrying the weight of a dead woman on my back because I have to keep living, really living, for her too.

Giving up isn’t an option.

Tuesday-Question of the Day!

Would you want to relive the best year of your life if it meant you also had to relive the worst?

Absolutely fucking not.

For one, we’re not meant to go back, good or bad. I’m right where I’m meant to be, here in the present.

For two, I don’t want to go through losing Parker again. No way. There isn’t enough of anything in the world.

What about you?