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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Tell me lies...

I was just saying to someone the other day how strange my life feels.  How quickly all of it seems to be flying though what time I had with Andie was really only a dream.  It's hard to grasp that I built a life with someone and now it has all just vanished.  If I didn't have my girls as tangible proof that he and I existed as a unit together I would go mad not really believing that any of it really happened at all.  Even looking at Addie smiling in the rearview mirror this morning on the way to school I struggled to see that she resembles him.  I was trying to see what everyone else sees but it has been so long since I've actually seen his face, and the girls have changed so much in that time that I barely see the connection anymore.  They are becoming their own selves more and more each day. Slipping even further from him as they come to look more feminine and less babyish. 

I came across this quote the other day:
"Life asked death,
'Why do people love me and hate you?'
Death responded, 'Because you are a beautiful lie and I am a painful truth.'"

It does really seem that way some days...that all the great and good was really just a lie, an illusion, a phantom-like dream and reality never really hit me until the day he died. The truth being that none of it really lasts as long as we want it to. Now that I am trying to move on and enjoy life again I wonder if I'm just telling myself sweet little lies about how good it can be or will be...nervous about when the truth will strike again.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

I've been nominated...

My blog has been nominated to be in the Top 25 Moms with Inspiring Families - 2012 list on Circle of Moms!

I'd love to have your vote to get into the Top 25 to be featured on the Circle of Moms website where my blog will reach more and more readers each day!  

To help me out, click the badge below, or at the top of my page...when you get to the site scroll down to find my blog then click the "thumbs up" button next to my blog to vote.  You can vote up to one time per day. Pretty simple!   Thanks for all your support!

Monday, February 13, 2012


We do cuddles on the couch every night before bed and as we walk to their room we say goodnight to a picture of Daddy and ask him to bring us sweet dreams. Usually the girls kiss the picture and say "night night Daddy". We've always done this ritual despite the fact that he is really only an abstract being to them. I have always felt it was important for them to know him in some sense, even if it's just in pictures.

Over the weekend while we were doing cuddles on the couch Addie blurted out, "I need daddy." I didn't really know how to respond at first and she said it again, to which I replied, "I know baby, I need daddy too." She seemed content for a few minutes but then kept on saying she needed him in a yearning way. I don't know what prompted it. I asked her if she wanted to go see his picture and give it kisses, but that would not appease her. Then she went down the list of her favorite people as she often does, and asked if they were coming over.
"Is Shay Shay coming?" I tell her no.
"Is grandma Coco coming?" I tell her no.
"Is Daddy coming?" No, he's not coming either.

I put her to bed and spiraled into a dark place. A place I have not been for many months. The kind of pain that literally hurts in your chest and takes your breath away. There is no pain as great as that you feel for your own children when there is absolutely nothing you can do to ease theirs. When there are questions to which you have no decent answer. Nothing makes you feel more inadequate.

He is on her mind a lot these days. Later in the weekend she drew a picture and said she wanted to show it to him. Today when I picked her up from school she pulled out a piece Valentine artwork she made and said she wanted to show him that too. Then on the drive home she handed me a piece of paper from her school folder and said it was "for Daddy".

I knew the day would come that they would have questions, or would realize that they are different in that they don't have a father in the way other children do...I just didn't think it would be so soon. I know this is something that will continually come up over the years as they hit each new developmental stage and begin to understand his absence in different ways. I just hope the answers start to come a little easier...

Friday, February 3, 2012

Live for now

"The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles, but the live in the present moment wisely and earnestly." - Buddha

One thing I am grateful for in this process of loss is how it has forced me to discover the real me. It has forced me to understand that life is fleeting and I want to enjoy the rest of mine as much as possible. I want to feel alive and excited about my future. It has forced me to see that spontaneity and having fun is actually okay, I don't have to carefully and meticulously plan my life so as to always be the "responsible" one. It has shown me that it's okay to make mistakes, it's okay to do things my way and not care so much about what others think, and it's okay to take risks. I've learned so much about myself in the past year and a half.  Grief has taught me to take an honest look at who I am and what I believe in.  It has made me more aware of what is truly important to me.

Some of you may remember that not long after Andie died I briefly, but seriously considered packing up and moving to Costa Rica for a year. I had the sudden urge to flee everything I had ever known and start over. I wanted to not take one more minute for granted and wanted to take advantage of every opportunity to do something fun, and exhilarating, and crazy.

Well, while I am not moving to Costa Rica permanently, I have rented a house there for a month this summer. I want my girls to have fun childhood memories to look back on. I want them to remember the mother as someone who enjoyed life, and really lived. I have made a promise to myself that every summer we will travel somewhere fun, and exciting, and to a place where they can learn about the world and a different culture.

I've also decided to get a tattoo. Something Andie would totally be against. But that's okay, because I've decided to get the tattoo for me. I haven't completely decided on the design yet but it will be something in honor of him. I'm sure it will incorporate my mantra "Push" to remind to always keep pushing.

Keep pushing the boundaries of my comfort level.

Keep pushing myself to grow as a person.

Keep pushing myself to move forward and live authentically for me.

Just keep pushing...

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Push me...

This is hard
This is hard
This is hard
This seems to be the refrain running through my mind most of the time these days. Aspects of my grief are being brought out daily as each new day is a new experience with someone new and I am constantly reconciling the new with the old. Constantly readjusting my focus. Constantly experiencing happiness and joy with the underlying tinge of sadness that this isn’t really how it was all supposed to turn out. The tears come so easy these days. Quick and hot on my cheeks. I am not the tough, strong girl I used to be. I allow myself to be more in touch with my emotions these days but it hurts. I question whether I am really ready to be in another relationship yet if I feel so emotional about all of this. But the answer is that you’re never really ready- no matter when it happens all of these issues will bubble up and you have to endure to move past it.

I thought I had gotten to a place of calm functioning with my grief. I was not doubled over in pain every day anymore. I could make it several days in a row sometimes weeks without crying. So to have it all brought back out and on the surface again feels doubly painful and confusing. How could something that makes me so happy bring me so much heartache. All I can think is…
No, I’m not going back here.
I was past this.
I don’t want to feel this again.

But I have to. You cannot know how grief will color and overshadow everything you do for the rest of your life until you walk into each and every new experience. You cannot prepare yourself for how it will feel to fall in love with someone else until it starts happening. And it hurts because you grieve all over again for the loss of the one you once loved. You can’t begin to understand how it will feel to have another person literally in his place at the table, sitting beside you in church, and holding the children, until you see it happening.

Being with someone new and trying to put all of my trust in them to be there for me only reignites my abandonment issues. The two most important men in my life both died suddenly and unexpectedly… my father when I was 15, and 15 years later it was my husband. The fear of that kind of loss happening again is paralyzing. I simply could not manage to pick myself back up from that kind of devastation.

I don’t want to revisit the pain so it seems easier to run from it. I think about sabotaging what I have in this new relationship and I even give it a pretty good effort, but in the end can’t bring myself to walk away from this incredible man who is so freaking understanding of it all. Who wants to help me heal and wants to be beside me in the process to support me through it. And as he reminds me, I could put this off but inevitably I will be with someone someday and all of this will come out again. Pay now or pay later.

So in pushing him away I’m really acting out of self-preservation but in doing so then I stay stuck. This is when I need someone to push me. To be behind me and say it’s all going to be okay and I will survive this. And he does. He does so with such dignity and gentle encouragement that I can’t help but believe him.
So I’ll continue to let him push me.
But damn it hurts.