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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Pura Vida

I'm in Costa Rica with my best friend and my beautiful daughters.  We are here for a month; something that seems both extravagant and yet absolutely necessary as a way to escape many of the stressful things I have been focused on for the last few months.  It's beautiful here, and the people and the culture are renewing to the spirit.  There is a joy they exude in their daily lives despite how simply they live.  A happiness that settles in your bones when you realize you can be happy with so much less.  A friend told us of a survey recently published in which Costa Rica was rated number 1 of the happiest places to live. It is easy to see why and get lulled into the idea of leaving all of your old life behind and starting over here.  Afterall, the country's motto is Pura Vida: the pure life.  It really seems like a little slice of heaven here.

Strangely we left on the 2 year anniversary of his death and somehow when I booked the flights I didn't make the connection in my head about the date.  But now I think I might make it a yearly tradition to be here on the anniversary. It's peaceful, and calm, and restorative.  It's the closest to heaven I can pura vida.

Sunday, June 17, 2012


Today is Father's Day. In years past this day has made me profoundly sad for the loss of my own father and for the loss of my childrens' father.  But for some reason today I don't feel sad. Perhaps it's because I just spent an entire weekend with all of my extended family. Today I feel lucky.

Lucky that there are many men in our lives who are wonderful father figures to me and my girls, and who provide excellent examples of what it means to be a great father.  Numerous uncles, cousins, and friends, my phenomenal father in-law, my brother, my brother in-law, my boyfriend...I feel lucky to witness the love all of these men have for their children and families.  I feel lucky that my girls have so many wonderful examples of active fathers who love, protect, and provide for their families. 

I feel lucky that I even have a reason to celebrate this day.  I feel lucky that I get to reflect on what an awesome father my dad was while he was here.  I feel lucky that Andie and I got the chance to have our own beautiful children together and I get to remember the complete adoration he had for them.  I feel so lucky and incredibly blessed that my girls and I have so much love and support surrounding us not only today, but every day.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

In honor

This past Sunday was the 2nd Annual Triple A 5k run in honor of Andie.  We had a phenomenal turn out and raised money for the Guadalupe County 100 club, an organization that provides support the the families of fallen officers.  It felt so good to give back to the organization that helped me so greatly in the weeks after Andie died.  I am honored to be able to know the wonderful men and women that dedicate their time to this organization.  We did a balloon release at the end and sent our balloons "to heaven to see Daddy."  It was emotional but also heartwarming and I felt a sense of peace throughout the day.  I know he'd be happy that we were celebrating him instead of mourning him.

On Monday, the 2 year anniversary, we will board a plane for Costa Rica.  I cannot believe that two years have already flown by.  I am looking forward to being in a place away from the normal hustle and bustle of our lives where I can focus and reflect on how far the three of us have come in the past two years.  So much of the hurt and pain has been replaced with laughter and love.  I'm excited to get away from our lives here for a little bit and have the opportunity to live an adventure, relish in my children, and remind myself what really matters in life. 

Monday, June 4, 2012

The in between...

The 2 year anniversary is edging closer each day now.  For a couple of weeks the flashbacks have been coming.  Re-living the awful moments of the night of his death, the day before, and the blur of days after. Remembering all that I said, and all that I didn't say.  Telling him I needed him to stay but refusing to tell him I loved him out of the irrational fear that if I said it, it meant I accepted that I was about to lose him.  I remember making the phone calls, hearing the unbelieving exclamations of friends and family on the other end.   Crawling in bed on his side the night we arrived home without him and laying on his pillow so I could smell him.  I've never returned to my side of the bed, I've taken over his side as my own.   Watching over 65 police cars escort the hearse to the graveside service.  Hearing the 21 gun salute and the bag pipes. Countless officers standing at attention to pay respect to my husband.  Feeling so honored that all these people loved, admired, and respected him...yet he chose me to share a life with.  Walking through each memory and moment in my mind in slow motion as if trying to discern some new detail that will make it all make sense.  But it doesn't ever make sense.  I come out of it just as bewildered as the day it happened and literally find myself shaking my head in disbelief. 

I cry more these days while watching the girls.  This is the hardest part of the loss for me.  They are made of his DNA, they look like him, they crinkle their nose like him when they laugh, they are a part of him cell by cell, yet will never know him.  There are no words for this part of the pain.

In the in between space between sleep and a wakefulness is when I dream of him now. It is only in this place that I can hear his laugh and recognize his voice. The familiar tilt of his head and sideways glance he'd give.  These the are the details that I can't remember anymore when I'm fully awake and consciousness knows better, I think, than to let me know him that intimately while I'm fully cognizant. I am not strong enough...

The in between is so fitting for so much of my life.  In between an old life and new.  In between healing and grieving.  In between being a widow to one man and something special to another.  In between comfort and pain.  In between holding on and letting go.  Staying stuck and moving on.  The only thing that remains the same between the two worlds is the love that is there...

For in love, there is no in between. It just is.