Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Widowed at 41

On Tuesday, May 19th, I came home from work and found my 37-yr-old husband dead.

Let that sink in. Really, let it sink in.

The initial shock and trauma have passed. The memorial service was beautiful and arranged to a T as Kelly had requested. His parents have now become part of the group of bereaved parents that I never wanted to be in. I am a widow at 41. My child is fatherless at 2.

In the past 8 days, I have seen sides of people that are surprising, shocking even, to me. My friends have been amazing, as they always are. Three core members of my posse dropped everything and came to my side the night I found him. They stayed with me for hours as my house was combed by police and my husband taken from here for the last time.

There are others. Others who believe they knew him better than anyone else. Others, who, believe that they have "rights" to him. I have spoken to people individually. I have tried to be reasonable. It hasn't been successful. This is why I write today.

We have been married a little over three years. We have been together for five. We have lived together for four years. So, during the past five years, I saw him almost every day. It was I who held Kelly when he was scared, crying, or sick. Were you there when we lost two pregnancies? Were you there when I threw up for hours on end, day after day, for 22 weeks of my pregnancy with Emory? No, but he was.

Were you here when we bickered? Were you here when the ugly sides of both of us came out? No. You may have heard from one or both of us, but you didn't see what really happened. My friend, Julie, saw more than most. She had the unfortunate knack of being here on a couple of days when ugliness was spewing. I believe she would answer questions if you really want to argue what you think you know.

There are people who have started social media pages and events using my husband's name without my knowledge. When I asked for that to be stopped, not only was my request not honored, I was criticized and disrespected.

My heart is broken. It breaks over and over. I come in my door and see the place where I last saw Kelly and it wasn't pretty. My beautiful, wise child asks in different ways every day for his daddy. I am the sole party able to handle the legal aspects of his death. I am out of work, so there are financial concerns.

My funny, sweet, imperfect husband has been dead for 8 days. People, you need to back off. Things I may be happy to see occur in the future are not appropriate now. I cannot believe that I am being pushed about festivals! For the love of God and the memory of the man you say you love, please stop. Please let me grieve and try to get my life in some kind of new order. I should be doing nothing except necessities and taking care of Emory.

Thank you to all of the family, friends, coworkers, and strangers who have shown me love and compassion. You are greatly appreciated and cherished.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Merry Christmas to All

I have not even managed to make a quarterly posting this year! Eeeeeeeee...this parenting a typical toddler is no joke!

My year has been filled with joys and sorrows, as most years are. I lost my job of 5+ years at Brenner Children's Hospital. I was part of a large layoff last spring. I enjoyed a couple of months being a SAHM to my wonderful boy, then jumped back in as a hospice social worker. I love the work I do. I miss the hospital. I do not miss the 10-hr shifts! I saw my rainbow baby boy walk and run and climb! I receive daily hugs and kisses. When he's sad or hurt or tired, he says, "Mommy hold you" or "Mommy's baby". I reply, "Yes, you are Mommy's baby". I hold him until he wants down or I have to pee. I'd hold him all day, every day if he'd let me and I didn't have to work. Or pee. Pesky bodily functions get in the way of my joy! BUT, I am thrilled that he does not want that. He is growing and developing astronomically fast! He speaks around a 3-yr-old level. His pediatrician is always showing him off to her colleagues. I feel so amazed by him daily and thankful to no end.

My nephew, Justin, died at age 25 on Friday.

You can read some of my older blog posts here to refresh your memory of him. He had a spinal cord injury that resulted in paralysis. He’d battled many issues related to that during the past 39 months. This time, he said he was tired and done. It was sad because of his age. The true sadness came years ago as he wandered onto a path of drugs, criminal behavior and then mental illness found its way to him. I hope he is truly at peace now.

My husband went from a part-time worker and SAHD while I worked to a small business owner! It’s been a huge change for our family. There have certainly been speed bumps. He’s getting over them pretty impressively.

My heart still hurts for Olivia. The void that she left will never be filled. I am thankful that time has helped the sharp pain become duller. I am beyond grateful that I have a healthy, beautiful, rambunctious little boy who requires so much of me that I don’t sit and dwell on the hurt. It is kind of like a sunset amongst clouds now. The rays peek in and out, but they aren’t the most visible now. I’m ok with that. Being happy doesn’t mean I don’t love her. It means I’ve kept living. Those two things aren’t mutually exclusive.

As Emory’s independence grows, I hope to get back to writing. I miss the outlet. I don’t think people are dying to know my thoughts. Writing them and sharing them is for me.  I hope that someone who’s going through similar things may find something useful in my words. Thank you for taking the time to read them.

I wish you all a Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah, and all that jazz!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Hello? Is Anyone Out There?

Geez, Louise (and everyone else not named Louise who is reading)....I used to write every day.  Now, the most I write is a text message or 12.  I'm either at work or with my sweet Emory.  Typing is not possible with him.  He loves the computer and tries very hard to help me.  Last night, he found apps on Windows 8 that I didn't even know existed.  Maybe if I let him help, he'll figure it out since I don't seem to be able.

Ah, my boy.  I am like an alcoholic with him.  I can never spend enough time with him.  When I wake up and see that beautiful face next to me, it's like a high.  When I'm away from him, I feel sad and incomplete and all I want is to hold him.  I'll take this addiction any day.

He's 1.  HE'S ONE!  How did that happen????  I feel like the past year has been the fastest of my life.  I am behind in almost every aspect of daily living.  My house is cluttered beyond belief.  My desk drawers are cluttered beyond belief.  I wear pony tails more often than not.  It's all ok.  It may not be for everyone, but it is for me.

Today, this happened:

Why is this a big deal?  Why does it make me giggle?  Why did I not scold him?  

Because he can do it.  He can crawl to the toilet, pull up, and toss in a toy.  I never had the chance to scold Olivia for putting things in the toilet.  I never had to pull her down off the side of a piece of furniture.  I never had to stop her from dumping out the dog's water bowl.  Emory hasn't done anything dangerous yet.  He hasn't done anything that could be a bad habit.  He's simply exploring his world.  I applaud it!  I applaud him!  
People who have never had a child with special needs do not understand this.  I get chided for not telling him "no".  I have a beautiful, healthy, curious TODDLER.  I will let him toddle and flush the toilet as many times as he likes until I can't pay the water bill.  (That happened, too, this morning).  He also rolled off the toilet paper.  Oh, well....

I'll leave you with a couple of pictures of this beautiful boy.  

Could you tell him 'no'?  I thought not.  

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013

It's been three months since I posted anything!  In blogger time, that seems like an eternity.  In my real life, it seems like three days.

I could not allow Thanksgiving to pass without public acknowledgment of the things for which I give thanks.  This year, especially, I am thankful.  Gone are the Thanksgivings of dread. 

This sweet, happy boy has renewed and restored my soul.  No, I have not forgotten Olivia.  Yes, I still miss her every single day.  Now, that is not all I feel.  I am thrilled to feel happy again!  I love mothering.  I love everything about it.  I'm sleep deprived.  I need a mani/pedi.  My house isn't company clean.  I'm poor.  Not a single one of those things matters.  Every day, I thank God for the gift of motherhood and for another day spent with Emory. 

I am more thankful for my husband as well.  Seeing him as a father is like cleaning a dirty pair of eyeglasses.  I see him differently.  I see parts of him that I haven't seen before. 

As we go into this holiday season, I hope each of you finds things that make you happy and thankful.  I hope that you find peace, happiness and pie!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

The Midnight Train

That's where my thoughts start, stop, get derailed, and eventually crash. It's been two months plus some days since I posted last. I think about it, usually around midnight as I'm trying to drift off to sleep. At that point, there's usually a wee one attached to me and typing isn't a possibility. This happens night after night and I think, "I haven't _____ in a long time." The blank might be: written, read, clipped my nails or any other number of things I don't have much time to do. More often than not, I just don't have two free hands. I know people who only have one hand must be able to do things, but being used to having two, I can't figure it out.
I sat down to write this earlier. I had starts and stops and finally, just ate a handful of Cheerios and went with it. There are probably multiple Cheerios on the floor now…
There have been a lot of things in the news this summer that I have thoughts on. Summer itself is a head scratcher. Exactly when, in North Carolina, have there been consecutive nights in August where air conditioning isn't needed because it's so cool outside? I don't remember a time. When I was a kid, we didn't have a/c until I was in about 7th grade, though. We used to roll those windows open and let the hot dust fly in. Yes, North Carolina in the heat of summer on a dirt road…I don't miss those days at all. I digress.
The things I've paid most attention to are the egregious actions of my home state's governor and legislature. Education has been slashed like Edward Scissorhands' most recent shrub. Wet-behind-the-ears youngsters who supported our guvna have received pay raises over $25k, though. Voting rights have been targeted. Women's rights have been targeted. It's as if I'm living in the state in the decades before I was even born. I read a quote the other day; I don't remember the source, which sums up the war on women's rights. "Roe v Wade was not the beginning of abortions. It was the end to women dying from abortions." I think it's atrocious that our officials want to put us back at least 40 years.
I used to love residing in NC. I liked being southern. I don't anymore. I'm embarrassed. I'm concerned for the children of this state who aren't wealthy enough for private education, including my own. I'm concerned for women who find themselves in the horrific situation of an unwanted pregnancy. By the way, adoption is not an alternative to pregnancy. It's an alternative to parenting. I struggled to have a living, healthy child. I still don't think anyone should have the right to tell me what to do with my uterus. Nevertheless, I am stuck here for the foreseeable future thanks to the economy. I can't just pick up and move to a more progressive, education-appreciating state.
For now, I'll watch the news with hopes of Moral Mondays growing and showing these officials that they do NOT speak for all of us, or even the majority of us. Polls are showing that. I will love, nurture and raise this beautiful baby boy by whom my husband and I have been so richly blessed. I will continue to work. I will continue to chip away at Mt. Clothesmore on my days off and I will continue to have my random thoughts aboard the midnight train to dreamland.