Is That You?

This is a Really Real Widow Post.

Dear Parker,

Just typing those words brought tears to my eyes.

I can’t believe it’s been three years since I last heard your voice.

I can’t believe it’s been three years since I last saw you breathing.

You’ve missed too much.

Kidlet’s grown up now. He moved out to Seattle and lives with his girlfriend. You would be SO Fucking proud of the man he has become. He’s doing so much better than we ever did and I can only see him going further.

I’ve been fighting harder than we ever did when you were alive. That’s the one thing you gave to me by leaving. The will to go on. I realized what was at stake and I gave it everything. I’ve gotten so much healthier mentally and physically. As my favorite niece on your side would put it, I’ve pulled so many damn weeds and I’ve grown a lot of flowers in their place.

Speaking of my favorite niece on your side, you should see her now. She’s doing so well, but I’m sure she writes you her own letters. She’s such an amazing writer and her voice  . . oh, her voice. I can’t wait to attend her first major concert. She’s done so much work on herself since you’ve been gone.

There’s a firefly that’s been hanging out on my porch pretty much around the clock for the past week. Is that you? I don’t even know if I believe it could be you but the thing seems to be there every morning and every night when I take Siah out and it just won’t leave me alone, so maybe, just maybe . . .

I’m sorry that our last words were so hurtful. I’m sorry I was so angry. I’m sorry we went through so much and didn’t have any outlet except for each other. I wish I could take it all back.

And I wish you could have seen that it would get better. I wish you could be here to see the other side. I wish you wouldn’t have lost your battle with this soul sucking bullshit.

But I get it, I really do.

Sometimes I’m not sure how I keep going either.

I miss you, and I love you.

Question of the Day: Personal Olympics

Today’s question is:

If you could turn any activity into an Olympic sport, what would you have a good chance at winning a medal for?

I really would make this easier on myself if I picked questions that I could answer without too much introspection.

If it didn’t have to be an activity, I would pick resilience because I have gotten back on my metaphorical feet more times than I can count, but the question asks specifically for an activity.

Hmm.

Seriously, it’s like, 10 minutes later and I’m still thinking about this.

Part of the problem is that I’m determined not to pick something that’s a veiled put down. I’m not going to go for the quick and dirty ones like “napping” or “procrastination” or some other thing that isn’t really a skill. (Although I wish I had the ability to really nap instead of cat nap.)

I want to pick something I’m actually good at, because I do have talents and I deserve to pat myself on the back for them.

I have a hard time with that concept.

I spend far too much time putting myself down and belittling my strengths.

Oooooh, I’ve got it!

Being a homemaker.

I could win an Olympic medal for being a homemaker.

But not because I have the cleanest house (believe me, I don’t, it’s a cluttered clusterfuck most of the time), or because dinner is like something from a 5 star restaurant, or because the laundry baskets are always empty.

I could win a medal because I enjoy it and because I’m always striving to take care of the people I love through taking care of our environment, and feeding us amazing food, and making sure we have clean clothes to wear.

I could win a medal because it’s the way I show love, and I have so much love to show.

Awwww, I got all mushy-gushy lovey-dovey.

So, what about you? Think outside of the box and try not to put yourself down.

If you could turn any activity into an Olympic sport, what would you have a good chance at winning a medal for?

 

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.

 

 

 

Joy Sucking Ghost Wife

This is a Really Real Widow Post.

I’m supposed to be on cloud nine right now.

And on one hand I am (Probably my left hand, the one wearing my shiny new ring.)

On the other hand, I’m stuck in widow hell.

There is so much grief over my happiness.  Grief I didn’t expect.  And I don’t know what to do with it, where to put it, where to store it this time around.  You’d think by now, I’d be used to this.

Every major event brings with it mourning because Parker isn’t here to see it and be a part of it.

But I don’t want Parker to be a part of my engagement to Wonder Woman.

I also hate that Parker has to be dead for me to have an engagement to Wonder Woman.

And I just want to be engaged, lovingly engaged, happily engaged, without it pulling up all of these feelings about a ghost.  It’s as if I’m still afraid of hurting her even though she’s dead and gone.  But I don’t even want to be thinking about any of this, I just want to be engaged.

A woman, engaged, to her fiancee.

I don’t want to be a widow right now.  I just want to enjoy this ring on my finger.

But the more I push these emotions away, the more I push them down and the more I reject this grief, the more it will push back.

I just need to learn how to let these emotions have their space with this.  They caught me off guard with the intensity and persistence and I wasn’t prepared.  Sometimes grief comes back up at inopportune times, and I don’t really get a choice in that.

I feel guilty about it.  I feel guilty for being a widow who is now engaged, and I feel guilty for being engaged and thinking about my widowhood.

Widowing ain’t easy.

Monday Question of the Day!

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If you could convince everyone in the world to do one thing at least once, what would it be?

I would convince everyone to do a professional photo shoot.  Photos are so important and no matter how many reasons you convince yourself that you need to wait to be thinner, happier, have a better home, better reason, better clothes, more money, etc.  Just get the photos done.  I’m so glad my fiancee and I went and I really wish my late wife and I would have made the time/found the money to get a set done at least once.

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The Question?

This is a Really Real Mental Health Post.

And a Really Real Relationship Post.

And a Really Real Widow Post.

This is a post I’m writing Saturday morning but I won’t post till at least Saturday night because Wonder Woman cannot know about it.

I’m more anxious than I can ever remember being, and I cannot talk to the one person I want to talk to most.

I’ve kept secrets all week long from the one person I don’t want to keep secrets from.

But it’s for her own good.

Tonight is the night.

Tonight I ask her to marry me.  Tonight I ask her to be my forever.  A step I wasn’t sure I’d ever want to take again after it was taken from me so suddenly.

Right now I’m more anxious than I can ever remember being but also more excited.  I’m thinking of all of the things that can go wrong tonight, but also thinking of the look on her face and all the ways this can go right.

I’m not a great secret keeper, I think she has it figured out by now, that it’s happening tonight, but she has no way of knowing when or how.

She’s done so many amazing things with me, taken me on trips and experiences that I’ve never gotten to have before.  I wanted her to have this experience.  I wanted our derby people to be there to see this.  I wanted the world to see this.  I’m so thankful that from my little idea of “I want it to happen at the roller derby bout” to this final idea, there has been so much input from the people around us.  This wasn’t just me, it was a group effort and it is going to be amazing.

But I’m so very fucking anxious.  I don’t do crowds and I don’t do public speaking and tonight I’ll be standing up in front of a crowd with a mic to ask my girl to marry me.

But I don’t get to leave my widowhood behind, even in this, unfortunately.  Mixed in with the excitement and the anxiety is a guilt.  Is it too soon, am I leaving Parker behind by moving forward.  Am I forgetting who she was and what we had by asking someone else to stand in the space she once held.  Am I giving up my title of widow because I want to take on the title of wife?

There’s also a grief.  The grief of knowing how much I have grieved to be at this place after 2 years and 9 months.  I couldn’t have predicted this, and in the shock of my newly formed grief I couldn’t have believed that in less than 3 years I’d be asking another woman to marry me.  I didn’t think I’d ever believe in forever again.

But I’m not naive.  Forever is something we hope for, and wish for, and strive for.  But even a ring doesn’t guarantee forever.  It can be taken away in an instant.  I could go to bed a fiance, go to bed a wife, and wake up a widow, again.  I’m constantly thinking of all of the things that can go wrong in a relationship, all the things that can go wrong in our life.

But I’m also thinking of all of the things that can go right.

With this knowledge I am asking Wonder Woman to marry me.

I’m the most excited, and the most anxious, I can ever remember being.

Tonight is the night.

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.

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And she said yes!