Friday, October 26, 2012
I’ve had a lot of emotions stirring lately. I think it’s because so much has changed in my life in such a relatively short period of time and it’s hard to wrap my mind around just how vast the changes have been…and how swiftly life continues to move.
The girls were 10 months old when he died…now they are over 3. They could not feed themselves, dress themselves, walk, or talk…they could not do anything independently. I carried them everywhere. I fed them. I consoled them.
Now they speak in full conversations, they not only dress themselves but have opinions about what they want to wear, they use the potty by themselves. They not only walk, but run, and jump, and climb. They brush their own teeth. They sleep through the night. They say, “Mommy, I love you so much,” and ask me to say their prayers with them when I tuck them in at night. They ask who their Daddy is and what is his name. They cry for him when they are upset with me, though they are crying for someone they have no tangible memory of.
I am so very happy now with my life, even happier than I ever remember being before. My girls are so very happy. And yet strangely, it makes me immensely sad to admit that I am so happy, so content, so fulfilled. It feels like a betrayal in a sense. It feels like it means I’m okay with leaving him behind while we move forward. I feels like people will think I have forgotten him…something that couldn’t be farther from the truth. I still think of him multiple times a day and it still takes my breath away for just a second.
None of us are the same as we were then and it makes me feel so far away from him. He doesn’t know the people we are today, he never will and that feels so final. He will never know his children the way I do, and in the ways I am privileged to get to continue learning them.
Life feels like that river that Heraclitus referred to…ever swiftly moving…you can’t step in the same place twice, you can’t make it stand still and have the past integrate with the present no matter how badly you want it to…
For it is not the same life…and you are not the same you.
Posted by Brooke Simmons at 9:31 AM
Thursday, October 4, 2012
Today would've been 9 years that we had been married. I try to imagine what our life would be like now together. We would've weathered the storms of getting to the toddler years together. No doubt it would've shifted us and changed us to learn to parent together. And I wonder how we would have fared. Things were in flux when he died. Our twins were only 10 months old and we were still trying to grasp the idea of parenting, and who we were as parents, and who we were becoming to each other in those roles. All of that seems like such a blur and I'm amazed I have made it this far alone.
People say I have changed. Of course I have. You can't go through something like this and not be transformed. A friend commented to me recently that she could tell I was really happy and that I seemed like the "old" me again...the person I was before I even met Andie. Normally this would upset me, but it didn't. Because I feel it too and I feel at peace with it. I am more authentically me than I have been for a very long time. I am living for me now and not for who I think I should be. I realize looking back that I was subtly shifting into who I thought Andie wanted me to be, though I never asked him if that was what he really wanted. Ironically, the girl Andie fell in love with, the authentic me, is who I shifted away from over the years and only in an effort to please him. Yet I wonder if this is where some of our marital struggles came from...was I trying to be someone I thought he wanted, yet all he ever really wanted was the true me, so he started to not understand me.
I find myself back in that place of hopeful happiness like I did in the early days of our marriage, and again have found someone who loves me for me. I believe that God had a hand in bringing me this man, and that Andie has blessed it because he knows it is good for my soul. Because he knows that this man allows me to feel comfortable returning to the girl I was...the girl I want to be. To being the very girl that Andie fell in love with and vowed 9 years ago today, to love forever.
Posted by Brooke Simmons at 4:09 PM