Hey, Mitch.

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Johnny got married this past weekend. Hopefully you saw. His bride, Tina,  was stunning. Megan went, and she even wore a dress. She was wearing her Vans, but,  still in a dress and looked gorgeous.

Our OCR group took over the bar area, and served everyone drinks all night, because we can never just sit still, and we always seem to have our hands in everything, helping wherever we can. I wish you were able to meet these people, babe. They’ve become some of my closest friends. They encourage me to keep going, and most of them only knew of you, what I told them, and they all love you, too. You were definitely a keeper, that’s for sure.

I think about how I hit the jackpot with you. I know you always claimed we were like the couple from King Of Queens, “I’m the fat guy with the super hot wife!” I love you. I love how you loved me. I love how we loved each other. It was beautifully meant to be. No question.

I was telling someone yesterday, about how I used to HATE when you shaved, because you would always leave a huge mess with your little red beard hairs all over the bathroom. I loved that red beard.

I followed that up with how I ran out of shaving cream, recently, and decided to use your shave bar, and how I sat on the floor of the shower, as the water blasted me, and cried my eyes out, because your little red beard hairs were still in the shave bar and dish. It smelled like you, and there was a little piece of you right there, like you were still here. But, you’re not. You’re no longer here, in my realm.

I survived that bout of tears, as I will survive many many more. I don’t fear my tears, anymore. I don’t fear crying in front of anyone. I don’t fear the reactions I may receive in the event of crying in the oddest of places. I just do. If someone asks if I am okay, I always tell them “I will be. Give me a minute.”

Race season is coming up, and it’s coming up FAST! I am hosting a workout with a few other KCOCR admins, this Saturday to help the general public get ready for Warrior Dash. It’s so cool, because it’s a free workout, and Warrior Dash posted it on their social media pages to help spread the word! Remember when I would get up at ungodly hours, and go work out at different gyms, with our tiny group? That tiny group is HUGE now. There’s almost 1,000 of us, and now I am one of the moderators, alongside some amazing people.

My strength and conditioning coach got an amazing opportunity to put his degree to use, and make some pretty great money (I am guessing about the money), and will be moving to New York! I’m super happy for him. He’s created a monster in me. HA! I’ve lost weight, built muscle and strength. I haven’t looked this good in decades!

OH!! You won’t believe this! I am down to a size 6! I can even fit in some 4s. It’s crazy! I haven’t been this small since before I got pregnant with Megan.

Speaking of Meg…

I’m at a loss. I can’t get her to clean her room. Her room, sadly, looks just like your basement bedroom always did. Moldy dishes, bottles of drinks all over. Goldfish crushed into the floor. Trash, clothes, and hangers EVERYWHERE!! Towels all over. You get it. You know what your room looked like. That’s what her’s is like, and it’s driving me insane. I mean, I get a little messy sometimes, now, but not dirty messy. Just stuff like a basket with 13 loads of clean laundry that needs to be folded and put away, or dishes after a big meal prepping day. I know. You probably think I’m crazy. I just can’t stand having a messy home anymore. I’m less exhausted this way. I don’t have to think too much about where my things are, and that makes me a happy person.

I also can’t get her to improve her grades. She is, well, lets just say it isn’t looking good.

I wish you were here to help me help her. I try. I try hard.

She is smart. I know she’s smart. She knows she’s smart. But, some stuff, she just doesn’t DO and it’s causing her to get bad grades.

She’ll get it. I know she will. She’ll figure out how badly failing classes will be for her, in the future.

If there is a God, please, tell her I need guidance, because she isn’t listening to me. Or him?

I have decided to attempt actual dating, now. Although I love you with so much vigor, and will always love you, whole heartedly, I have come to realize that there is a growing chamber of my heart that is going to allow me to love another person, some day. I’m not saying anytime soon, and it’ll never be the love that we shared, because that cannot be duplicated. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be a great love, too. Right? I know you’d want me to be happy, and you wouldn’t want me to be alone forever.

Oh! When I went on a date the other day, I ACTUALLY let him open the truck door for me, and accepted help in and out, like a lady should. Remember when I threw the feminist shit at you? “do NOT open my door for me! I am fully capable!” I’m so sorry. I was so young. I didn’t think about it being a nice gesture, or an act of respect. I’m growing more to understand the things I didn’t know while you were here. In some ways I am so sad that I didn’t figure these things out, while you were still alive. I wonder how I never realized some things. I should have let you be the man you wanted to be for me. I mean, you were definitely the man for me, but I didn’t allow you to be a typical gentleman, from the very beginning. There is so much Love and so much respect for you, that I wanted you to see me for the independent woman I really was.

I wasn’t “independent” then. I mean, sure, I could do this or that by myself, but I had no idea what was happening with bills, the bank account, or anything else, for that matter, for many many years.

Our 16 year wedding anniversary is coming up. It’s crazy to think we would have been married 16 years. Together for 19, come August. If I didn’t live the beautifully tragic love story of us, I wouldn’t believe it. Or I would, but I wouldn’t believe that the widow is still sane, and functioning for every day life. It’s like a story someone made up, so they could sell books or tickets to a movie.

But here I am, babe. You’d be proud, as you ever were, that I am not only an independent woman, raising one hell of an amazing daughter, but, I am helping to run our obstacle course group, working full time, keeping myself in shape and our home under control. I am making more time for friends and family, and I am living this life I was granted.

I miss your beard hair in my sink. I miss all of your nearly gone body wash and shampoo bottles in the shower. I miss the way you smelled after mowing the grass or rolling around on the floor playing with the dogs. I miss the way you would try to lock Megan or myself into a room by tying things to door knobs, or trying to play pranks. I miss all the things that made you who you were.

Forever love is forever, and that’s what we share. No matter the shift I feel within myself, It’s not a change in my love for you, at all. It’s a growing change. An amazing,  unbelievable growth within myself, that I never ever would have thought possible.

Until we meet again,

With all of my heart,

Tabbie

Hopefully the quality of my video is okay. I had to screen-record because I cannot download it. This was at The Life Celebration.

I Used to be a Christian

“The other day, when I was reading something you posted, it hit me. YOU are the writer!”

 

I know, the title is going to get everyone’s panties in a wad.

Chill out.

Read it.

You’ll get it.

I am 36 years old.

I have one HELL of a story to tell.

I’m not sure I’ll make money off of it, but it I do, I’ll have to A: change the names of the people so I don’t have to get their consent to tarnish their names, or B: Get consent from people I love dearly, to drag their names through the mud, because it’s a part of my story.

I remember when I was little. I remember going to church and loving Sunday school. I remember coloring and playing with other kids, praying at night for all of my loved ones and even all the strangers I never met, and never would meet to be safe. I was naive. I believed that if I prayed for EVERYONE, everyone would be safe. Then, one day, I was in shorts and a t-shirt, accepting Jesus into my heart as my lord and savior, as I was dunked into a pool of water in front of a congregation.

I was 7.

I remember, because I remember the look on my dad’s face when I told him I wanted to be baptized. It was a look I craved. A look of acceptance, of love, pride and happiness. I believed that Jesus was good and God loved all of mankind.

The older I got, the more confused I became. It wasn’t because of outside influences. It was because of everything I had read in the Bible.

I’m not going to bash the Bible, or God, or Jesus, or Christians.

I guess, I am writing this to say a few things. I am one of those “think outside the box” types of person. I know. You probably never would have guessed it, am I right? ha!

I have read the Bible. I have read it cover to cover a few times.

It. Makes. NO. Sense. It’s about as contradictory as anything could be.

But that’s okay. MOST of it is good guidelines for how to be a good person.

Jesus was this totally rad dude, who helped poor people, sex addicts, drug addicts, thieves and more! He totally loved them and taught them how to be good people. He proved to them that the choices they were making weren’t the only choices set out for them. He showed them that, although a rough road, a possible road. Right?

Totally cool guy. Loving, accepting, nurturing.

One of those guys you aspire to be like. Right?

Well, you don’t have to BELIEVE the Bible, to believe in the main character. Right?

Either way, my “faith” is different than it was when I was a child.

I have lived. I have observed. I have survived, and have stayed pretty damn level headed in the process.

At the point where one would finally break, I, instead,  keep striving for better. Not to GET something better, but to BE something better.

When I was a child, I believed that I would forever be protected. Nothing bad could happen to cause heartache or sadness, or the things that I have experienced through my 36 years of life.

Boy, was I wrong.

I say something that I know may piss off a lot of people, but I believe it one hundred percent.

Everything happens for a reason.

I’m sure many people who are grieving right now want to reach through their screens and slap the ever-loving shit out of me, right now.

I believe it. You do not have to. But, I do. I always will.

I REALLY met Mitch at a point in my life where I was really ready to call it quits with dating. I honestly never wanted to see another man in a dating manner again. (That was my dramatic teenage mind)

He walked into McDonald’s, smiled his brilliant smile at me, and told me I was coming to his birthday party.

You read that right. He didn’t ask if I’d go. He told me I was going.

“Hey, What are you doing this weekend? Oh? going to my birthday party. Okay, We’ll pick you up at 6!”

I was stunned. I was shocked. I was ALREADY in love with that boy, and he didn’t even know. We were both 17 years old.

He walked into that McDonald’s on the most perfect night, with the best “invite” to a birthday party I had ever received.

I think if God is real, he laughed when I swore to all things holy that I would NEVER name my child Megan, when I was 15 years old…

Que the laughter…

My favorite human, aka my daughter, is Megan. I can’t even imagine her with a different name.

Just as I remember the first time he “asked” me out, I remember our last night together. I remember what he had for dinner. I remember what movie we watched. I remember the words he spoke, as if they were gospel.

I remember his hand as he held mine during that movie.

I remember the next day, when I walked… ran to the doors of the FedEx Hub only to be dragged into an office and told that he was gone. I remember thinking “There’s no way there is a god. There’s no way a god would take such a man from this earth. No way!”

I always joked with Mitch about how I didn’t remember life before him. I think I phrased it wrong. I remembered life before him, but it felt like another lifetime. Like everything was happening as it should .

When he died, I had that same feeling. Everything is falling into place. Everything is exactly as it should be.

I hate it. Megan hates it. Our families hate it.

But that feeling. Gawwwwwd that feeling.

I’ve thought so many times that if anyone knew how I felt, how I felt as thought this is meant to be, I’d be looked at as heartless.

Now, though, I know I am not. I know my family and my friends, my coworkers and my past coworkers know that I am not heartless.

Mitch, I believe, completed his mission here. Whatever his mission was, he completed it, and he did it FAST.

I can tell you that whoever was supposed to learn from him, learned well.

Whatever it was he taught, he taught it without knowing he did.

I feel like I was a part of his mission, but definitely not the whole of it.

He taught me to be kind, even when I didn’t want to be. He taught me to see everyone’s point of view, and not take sides. He taught me that I have the ability to be amazing, I just needed to put forth the effort. (still trying, babe!) He taught me, most of all, that good men did still exist. He taught me that there were really still good fathers. He taught me that I am so much stronger than I ever imagined I could be.

I could write a book about how much like Jesus Mitch was. He never “laid hands on” and “healed” people like the Bible says Jesus did, but he sure did heal people with his words, his kindness, his acceptance, and his love. He talked to everyone, and he helped everyone.

So, again, I say: I used to be a Christian.

Now, I no longer align myself with any one religion, but, I believe that something is out there. Something is in charge and we are mere pawns in a game.

Am I winning?

Am I losing?

I guess I will only know when I pass on to the next realm.

Until then, I will continue my path of love and acceptance. I will not intentionally harm anyone. I will cherish my family and friends. I will teach kindness, empathy, and happiness through example.

 

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All Out Honesty

Vulnerability.

Openness.

Honesty.

Sharing.

I’ve been holding back. This blog is supposed to be me being straight forward about how I am dealing. So, here goes.

I’ve been holding onto information, again, for fear that I will be judged, ridiculed, etc. (I don’t know why I fear this as it’s never really something that happens.) I think its just a stigma that’s attached to the title “widow”.

I am an oversharer, but I try to be graceful in what I say. TRY being the key word.

I can’t always be graceful.

I have to say, I am participating in the dating scene, however, I am uninterested in the dating apps. I actually met someone, face to face, and we talked for the entire night. Until about 3am.

I took him home.

Yeah. That’s the kind of shit I’ve been holding back on. Yes, I understand that I am a “single” woman, and have the right to do whatever I damn well please. But…

Taking a guy home like that isn’t my game. I don’t do that kind of thing.

I don’t want to get into too much detail, or get all weird, but there was just something truly honest about the guy. (for fuck’s sake, don’t let me be wrong.)

Only time will tell, truthfully.

This leads me to another thing.

Sure, I have OBVIOUSLY slept with men, since I was widowed. That’s not news. It’s just a fact. I’m no whore, by any means, and if I were, that’d be just fine too. (but I’m definitely not.)

With those guys, it was an agreed upon thing, that there were no strings. I didn’t want that. I didn’t want to try too hard to make things work, when things wouldn’t work because of how broken I was. I didn’t believe that I was worthy of an actual relationship. I didn’t believe that I was going to have the ability to give as much as I could receive.

I’ve mentioned before that I am sure when it comes to the point where I am ready to be in a relationship, I would know.

I know.

I don’t know if this guy I met is “the guy”. It’s too soon to even think like that. Every person we meet through life, we meet for a reason.

Happenstance? Naw. I don’t really believe in that.

We were both at the same place at the same time, neither of us frequent flyers to that place.

Every single person.

Every single thing.

All of it.

It’s all happening for a reason.

This guy may not be “THE GUY”, but he may very well be one of the ones who has helped make it clear to me that I am ready.

I want to go into so much more detail about everything, but now’s not the time.

I can say, when I woke up the next morning, and he was laying there, we had a conversation, and he told me, as I was taking 3 aleve, that his “heart tries to kill him”. MY heart sank.

I thought, “well fuck. What the fuck did I get myself into?”

I said “Excuse me?” and he repeated himself. I thought maybe, just maybe, I misheard him. He had to get home to take his heart meds.

Okay god, or goddess, or gods of the world. I see your hand. I see your hand, and I’ll play.

I pointed to my husband’s shelf, with our wedding photo, his box, and his seattle Seahawks hat, and replied “So did my husband’s”.

I think he damn near fell off the bed. We chatted a little about what happened, and how we weren’t aware of Mitch’s heart, until after he passed.

But I like the guy.

I like him in a way that I am pretty okay with working a little harder to find time to spend together, even if it’s just to go out for dinner, and talk. I could be wrong about him. I’m prepared for that. Mentally, I am fully prepared to be wrong.

I did get drunk in Nashville, and texted him and asked him if he was a good guy. Yeah. I went there. I’m a little unfiltered at times.

He said he thinks he is.

We will see.

I wasn’t wanting to find myself in a situation like this, if you can even call it a situation, really. Just a thought.

It sounds so weird and super girly “ohhhh ahhhhh” type stuff.

It’s not. It’s just that I am willing to find time in my schedule, to see a person that isn’t family or a friend I’ve known for a while. Those of you who know me know that’s not how I play. My schedule is ridiculously booked all the time. I have to plan way far in advance, if I want to see people. It has to be scheduled. It’s dumb. I know. But I race, and I work, and I train for races, and I take call shifts at work. It’s a thing. It’s a whole big crazy thing.

But I love it. I love what I do. I love the busy life. I love taking Meg to different states and her having people she knows in every state we go to.

I’m very tired, and there is so much more I want to say, so hold on. It’s probably going to get bouncy.

I saw a post yesterday and I just had to take it. It makes me think of how most men react to me. They act like I am fragile.

Guys hear widow, and think they’re going to really hurt me if they don’t want to see me again.

I think it’s so funny. Like hysterical even. If we meet, and you aren’t interested, just be honest. Not being interested is 100% acceptable.

If all you want is a hook-up, be up front and honest about it. I’ll survive.

If you actually want something from me, say so.

it’s not a game. There’s no reason to string someone along, if you have zero intentions of seeing them again. There’s no reason to pretend like you want to keep in touch if all you wanted was a hookup, or if you aren’t actually interested in anything further than sex.

I just don’t understand.

All. Out. Honesty.

I deleted my dating apps.

All of them.

I want to try with him.

Define Yourself

     Sometimes, I sit and I wonder what people think of me. I don’t wonder too deeply on it, but I do think about it from time to time. When it comes to being an “open book”, you can count on me  to be that person. If I hook-up with someone, all of my closest girlfriends know. If I start to like someone, even when I know I shouldn’t, my closest friends know.

     I’m not real keen on keeping my life private. I never really cared about what people know about me. I don’t hide things, I don’t pretend to be someone I am not, and I don’t avoid things. I just live.

So, can you look at yourself in the mirror and define you? List 10 things about yourself, good or bad, and be comfortable telling friends, family, or even a complete stranger?

I want to list 10 things that define me, and tell you why I chose those words. I will list 5 positive things and 5 thins that are possibly negative, depending on your beliefs, and lifestyle choices.

     10 Things That Make Me Me. 

 

  1. Healthy.   I have taken the time, over the last few months, to improve my eating habits and be sure that I am eating Healthy. I have been working on my physical form for a while, because I want my insides to be healthy, as well.
  2. Athlete. I am not elite. I am not the fastest. I am not the strongest. But I am an OCR athlete. I workout so that I can do better at Obstacle course races, as well as be a healthier human.
  3. Talkative. I was blessed with the gift of gab. I promise I can have a conversation with just about any person I come across. I have a bit of life experiences and a little knowledge on a lot of subjects, so I can chat it up. If someone talks about something I don’t know about, I have them talk to me about it. Then, I learn a bit about something new, and store it for the future. My coworkers ask if my and my best friend’s names should be the other way around. “Are you sure you aren’t Gabbi, and she’s Tabbie?” My mom even called me “Gabby Tabby” when I was a small child. When I got my report card, in kindergarten, I had all “Y” grades. My brother told me it meant “yak yak yak!” I talk. I talk a lot sometimes. Sometimes I say really important things, and sometimes I have no idea what’s coming out of my mouth. You never know what is about to be said when I am around. I keep everyone on their toes.
  4. Organized. Everything has it’s place, and it should go there. It drives some people crazy, especially my teenage daughter.
  5. Spontaneously scheduled. You never know what I am going to do, or how I am going to do it. I am trying something new, or going somewhere new, on a regular basis. I’m living my life the best way I know how. I say spontaneously scheduled, because I will decide on a Tuesday to go to Georgia that Friday, then plan it and make it work.
  6. Free Thinker. I don’t conform. I never have, and I never will. I don’t fit into anyone’s box. I am my own person. In a world full of Left and Right, I am dead center, and I don’t care what anyone else thinks about that. The world isn’t black and white, it is black and white with a whole lot of grey between, and I make it a point to see the grey in everything.
  7. Optimistic Realist. I’ve gone into deeper detail on this before. I find that silver lining, in any situation, but I also am realistic. I know and see the lines between reality and fantasy. I don’t long for unrealistic things, nor do I let my kid or friends believe they can do impossible things.
  8. Widow. I am a widow, through and through. I can be completely straight faced and talk about my husband one day, and snot cry all over you, saying the same thing, the next. It’s very hit or miss with my emotions, but I don’t fight them. I also don’t allow them to control me. I believe that I am stronger, emotionally, now.
  9. Mom. I am a mother. My daughter is the most important human to me. Period. When it comes to “mothering” you can find me packing snacks for road trips, always having things we are going to need, like paper towels or extra underwear.
  10. Sexual. I am a very sexual human being. I flirt without the goal of actually having sex with people. I have a sexual sense of humor, and feel no shame about it. I am also sexual in the way that if I meet someone, we connect on a sexual level, then I may or may not “hook up” with them. I’m not on the prowl, by any means. If I do meet someone, and sleep with them, I intentionally avoid all passes by other people, and wait to see if anything more comes of that situation. I’m in no hurry.

 

 

There’s my list. I told you some may be things that make you think differently about me. Something may surprise you. Something may piss you off. Something may make you love me more. Something might make you want to hang out with me.

It is what it is. I am sure there are other words that people would use to describe me, but this is about self definition. Self awareness. How I view me. the top 10 things. I could have included things like “spunky, empath, strong, willful, hyper, silly, etc”, but I’ll stick with the 10.

Can you do it? I ask you, throw out 10 words that you feel describe you. I don’t need a description for each, but if you put it, I’ll read it.

I write this entry, because its important to know yourself. You may find you can’t pick 10 words. You may find 400 words.

Who?

Are?

You?

Do you know?

Share your beautiful YOU with the world. (or with my readers and me!)

 

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What Is Life, Without A Little Death?

Here death strikes again.

So many people, such a short time.

It has happened since long before any of us, and will continue with us and way after us.

Death

It’s inevitable.

We all live our lives. We go and go. Some of us are moving so quickly through life, that we are missing out on the things that really are the more important things.

I was guilty of this. I’m not ashamed to admit it. I have since figured out a better balance, though.

I love my family.

I love my friends.

I love racing, and birthdays, and listening to my people talk about their lives, and the things that they are passionate about.

I’m not very good at asking the questions, or initiating conversation, but that’s because I will listen to you tell me about your passions, your grief, your day at work.

When Mitch died, in January of 2017, I was confused. I wasn’t angry, I didn’t really wonder why, so much as “What the Fuck?” It wasn’t an angry wtf, so much as a confused, how could this have happened type question. Once we knew the science and biology behind, I stopped asking. I knew.

That question was answered.

You hear people say, all of the time, “god only gives you what he knows you can handle.” If you believe in God, this has to be true.

You may not know you have it in you, until LIFE (or death really), slaps you in the face.

Wednesday, after I ran 10 miles and was in my car, headed to get some food, I received a phone call. My father in law lost his girlfriend. (They might as well had been married. They had that connection, and that unconditional love. They were only missing the legal documentation).

Let me throw out a little back story on this man, without going too deep into details, or anything.

This man was married to my husband’s biological mother. He adopted my husband, and had 2 more children with his wife, Megan.

When Megan was in her early-mid twenties (I don’t want to screw up on the details), she was murdered in a bar, by a crazy man.

This man, Mike, became a widower father to 3 children, one of which was a tiny baby girl.

He did not handle that well. I mean, who could blame him, right? His wife was murdered. What was he supposed to do?

Fast forward through some addictions and runaways, some verbal fights, and a bit of time in jail, a couple of marriages, divorces and a couple more kids, grandbabies and sobriety.

Here we are, he’s the father of 5 now. He’s gotten his head together, he’s trying very hard to be a good man.

His eldest son dies. The son he adopted, when the son was just a boy, and had his mother ripped from him. The father who may have had his problems surviving this life, lost his son.

He had an amazing woman by his side, to help keep him together. She was there to keep him steady, and remind him that he would be okay. He would make it through this.

Fast forward a little over 2 years, and his girlfriend is now with his first wife, and eldest son.

If god is real, and only gives people what they can handle, he sees something heroic in Mike.

I’m so devastated, for him, and can’t even begin to imagine how his mind is processing.

I’ve been told I’ve handled all of my adversity with grace, and I don’t know. It’s what everyone on the outside sees, when my insides are a screaming and tangled and threatening escape.

But death. Death is one thing we are all going to face.

Death is inevitable, and I don’t think we should fear it. I’m not afraid. I don’t want to die, and I’d never do anything to speed up the process, or invite it sooner. I want to live into my old age, maybe meet a second soulmate, and grow old together with them. I want to have grandbabies and a son-in-law (or daughter-in-law. I’m not picky)

I want to watch my daughter grow into a woman, and watch her find her soulmate, fall madly in love, marry, and grow into her adulthood.

I really love living. I think that Mike is realizing that he loves living as well. Even through the grief that seems to keep being added to his plate, he becomes just a little bit stronger, each round.

I wanted to share his story, because many people judge. Many people do not KNOW. People will never truly understand. But, just the briefest summary of the shot hand this man was felt, and he’s still here. He’s still standing. He is STILL putting one foot in front of the other.

The world we are on is still spinning.

The bills still need to be paid.

Our work here isn’t done, yet.

Death: The only thing guaranteed of life.

Live while you can!

Find happiness!

Be who you are!

Never stop saying their name!

Mary. Megan. Mitch. Sandra. Annie. Gramma and Grandpa McAnany.

Only their bodies are gone. We are forever able to remember them through our pictures, and our memories. We have videos, and voices recorded, now.

On the days we miss them the most, I think their spirits are the closest. Our human form cannot process their presence without their human form, so we interpret their spiritual presence as sadness, and yearning, and missing them.

We FEEL them, but we cannot touch or see them.

May all of our loved ones be partying like rock-stars.

Annie.

Has.

Arrived!

We will miss her, of course. But she is definitely in good hands now.

I Want Something Real.

I know I’ve said a million times, before that I’m not interested in relationships, or having a boyfriend or whatever terminology I had used.

My reasoning for not wanting this type of relationship in my life is to avoid the possibility of heartache, that can accompany such a relationship.

Does anyone trust anymore?

Is there anyone out there who still believes that monogamy is important, not only for your mental health, but for your sexual health as well?

I can’t and I can believe how I got myself into feeling like I wasn’t worthy of being a second half of another relationship. “I’m broken.” “It wouldn’t be fair to you, to date me.” Etc etc etc.

To be fair, to myself, I AM worthy. I am more worthy than I have ever given myself credit for. My life experiences have taught me how to care deeper, and love stronger than I ever have. I’ve learned to appreciate the little things, and enjoy the happy moments.

The life I was given is one of many, MANY ups and downs. I’m talking about all the back, since I was a small child. Foster care. High school drop out. Mentally and physically abused by my mom’s husband. Always living as if I weren’t sure if we were going to be able to pay the bills. Losing my husband, then losing my job.

Luckily, I have survived, and I have grown, and I am thriving. I am learning.

It’s hard to admit that. It hurts to admit that the horrible, awful things that have happened to me, have all made me a better human. I don’t know why it hurts me to admit it. I feel like, admitting how I’ve grown, is like saying “it’s a good thing all these bad things happened!” And it feels like I’m asking the world to throw me what It’s got, like I’m trying to prove to the world, or to god, or the goddess, or gods that I can’t be broken. And that’s not what I want. I’m not looking for more pain and agony. I don’t need to prove myself to anyone or anything. I just need to keep moving, progressively forward.

I mean, I am a better person today, than I was 10 years ago, 20 years ago, 5 years ago.

Being forced to find myself has been one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do.

But, finding me, and finding my worth, and knowing what I have to offer makes me like me.

I’m content being alone, and avoiding the people who only want one thing. I’m not sorry that I had my phase of hooking up with people, or having friends with benefits. Without that step in my life, I don’t think I would have realized how much it really does suck to go on, as if I don’t want someone around. Something real. Something with substance.

I do. I want substance. I want all the feels. I want the love that I know I deserve, and I want to find someone who I can trust and fall in love with.

I use the term “find someone” loosely. I’m not looking, but I’m not closed to the idea anymore.

I feel, as I write this, that I am opening myself up to so much criticism, and possibly questions.

I also feel as though, some parts of this may sound like a conceited princess. I get that. But, what I say is true.

I deserve more than hookups and friends with benefits.

Let me get into “friends with benefits” for just a second, while I am thinking about it.

Benefits.

Sex?

What about compassion, and love, and support, and having someone by your side, for the duration?

What about sharing your life?

What benefits are there, when you have sex with a friend?

None. I can tell you this from experience. Someone gets attached, and the other doesn’t. The one who becomes attached, or begins to have expectations ends up hurt, while the other friend just goes on about their life.

It happens.

That doesn’t seem too beneficial to me.

It sounds like the mindset of people who are too afraid to commit and too afraid to get hurt, and too afraid to FEEL!

I know.

I was there.

I’m no longer afraid to feel.

I’m no longer scared of being hurt, scared so deeply that I’d rather not feel the good things, too.

I’m no longer afraid of the things that I once had, and in my mind, I will always have.

Love.

Love is the scariest feeling.

It’s a feeling where you become so vulnerable, and you lay your heart out there, but not just out there. You’re placing your heart into the hands of someone else, and trusting them to keep it going strong.

You’re trusting someone to not drop it, or squeeze it. You’re trusting them to nurture it, and allow it to flourish, to grow and become bigger, and to create this bond, as you, too, hold their heart in the palms of your hands, not crushing or dropping it, also nurturing their heart, allowing it to flourish and become larger and able to take the love between one another and allow it to grow deeper and deeper.

Love is infinite, and unconditional.

Love isn’t on days you pick and choose. It’s on all of the days.

It’s on the days that you are sick or they are sick. It’s on the days when you’re being an asshole or she’s being a bitch.

Love is always.

Love is forever.

Love is work.

Love is pain.

Love is bliss.

Love is the very best of friendships.

Love is something I’m no longer afraid of.

No more fear.

That Voice In My Head

There’s this voice in my head. It’s been there for about 3 or so years. It talks to me, only when I need it most. It says only one phrase.

But it’s not what you think. Someone spoke these words to me, at the beginning of my health and fitness journey.

I was running at Shawnee mission Park, and someone came up behind me, and said “just keep moving. Just keep moving.” As we were running up the hill, all I wanted to do was stop, walk, or just sit.

This voice has been a constant in my mind, urging me to ”just keep moving.”

From losing weight, working out, or running up hills, the voice plays when I need it.

When Mitch died, the voice was silent for a few days.

After day three, when my brother insisted I figure out my bills and make a budget, the voice started again. It was quiet, like a whisper, and slowly became a prevalent part of my everyday mindset.

“Just keep moving. Just keep moving.”

The person who spoke those words has no idea how he’s stuck with me, encouraging me to keep moving. Don’t stop. Progress. When life gets hard, get tougher than life.

Just.

Keep.

Moving.

Sure, stop and rest, but keep a forward movement. Keep going, even when you want to quit, or when things get hard. When you think you can’t move any farther, take one more step. Put that foot right in front of the other, and keep moving!

You’ll get through, if you push.

Don’t. Stop!

Don’t give up.

You will Survive!

You will grow stronger.

You will become better.

I See So Much Mitch, in My Daughter’s Face.

The other day, my daughter says “Mom, you should check your photo album, because there are some pretty sweet pics I took for you.”

I knew it was going to be a ton of selfies. It’s what she does. I finished my workout, and checked my phone, and there were 30-ish photos, of her, most in black and white.

I’ve always known Mitch’s traits were stronger in her, than mine. But, seeing these particular photos, really REALLY proves it.

I may or may not have cried, looking at these photos. My little (who is clearly taller than me) is absolutely beautiful, inside and out, with a LOT of her father’s sense of humor.

Looking at her does NOT make me sad, like I’ve seen it does to other people in our situation. Looking at her, and seeing him live through her brings tears of joy to my eyes. Absolute, joy, that he will live on, through her.

There are things that make me miss Mitch more than other things. Like all this snow we’ve had recently. He would have been BEGGING me to go sledding.

I would have said no, and suggested he take a friend, and kids.

I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with snow. I hate when it touches my skin, but I think it’s absolutely beautiful! I’m about to sound like one of THOSE kind of women, but seeing all the glistening snow reminds me of all the happiest Christmas, and romance movies. I love standing outside and spinning in circles, taking in the beauty of the snow covered tree branches and rooftops. I feel a bit of hope, when I look at it. The smell of snow, is the smell of happiness, and purity, innocence, and clarity. If all of those could be smell, it’d be the smell of fresh snow.

I do love sunshine and beaches more, because, well, I enjoy outdoor activities that don’t involve snow touching my skin. Sand is a welcome touch though. Sunshine, and ocean water, bbqs at the park, and trail running on mountain bike trails. Most of my races are in the warmer climates, and traveling is easier.

But, none of those summer things give the feeling if hope. Maybe that’s why there’s been all this snow. Maybe it gives a lot of people hope, and whoever is in charge of snowfall, (god, goddess, Mother Nature, whatever you believe) decided “It’s time!” And has been dumping on us, consistently for 2 months now.

Every time the snow melts completely, it snows again. This is our spring snow. It doesn’t look too bad, today.

_________________________________________

I feel as though my posts are fewer and fewer theses days, but I realize, maybe it’s because I talk about Mitch every single day. I make social media updates, see all the pictures, and have accepted my fate, as the woman widowed at 34. The widowed mother of a teenage daughter, who couldn’t be any easier to have a child, than she is exactly how she is.

I think, daily, about how proud I am of myself, for fighting to get paid what I was worth, in October of 2016, because if I didn’t, I’d be making $10/hr less than what I make now, and most likely be living the roommate life, or living in a tiny, uncomfortable apartment, somewhere that I don’t want to live. Megan even mentions it, once in a while.

Well, it is time for me to get my day started, so until next time, friends and family.

Much love to you all. And may anyone suffering from such a loss, find hope of happiness, and laughter, in things around you. Remember, there’s always a silver lining, and if we focus on the beauty, rather than the ugly, we can keep on putting

One foot in front of the other.

And always remember, you aren’t moving on, or forgetting anything. You are only moving forward, and making progressive movement.

3 Valentine’s Days, Without My Regular Horror Movie Date

I mentioned before, how I have made it through this holiday, because we didn’t celebrate Valentine’s Day, like most people do.

Valentine’s Day is one of those holidays between holidays to make people feel the need to spend money.

We never fell for that crap. However, we would always go see whatever scary movie was in theaters, on the weekend before or after the holiday.

This year, I feel like, the tradition continues, only, my new “horror movie date” will be my daughter. We are going to see Happy Death Day 2, tomorrow night, after dress shopping for my sister’s wedding.

That’s just something else that popped into my head. Now, for the more thoughtful, stuff that’s been going through my mind since Super Bowl Sunday.

I have an acquaintance, who’s mother lost her husband (of 30+ years!), and he brought her to my brother’s Super Bowl party. I didn’t realize who she was, until the end of the night, and I introduced myself to her, and we chatted.

It’s so funny, really. And by funny I mean odd, weird, crazy.

Where I have a lot of people who think I SHOULDN’T date, she has people asking her, regularly “are you dating anyone? Are you seeing someone? Etc” She doesn’t want to. She has zero desire to have an intimate relationship with anyone, like she had with her late husband.

I admire her strength, and her ability to speak those words out loud, and NOT feel ashamed! Her husband died a couple of months after mine did. She had double the years with him, than I had with Mitch.

Our love for our men is strong, individualized, like a thumbprint. Similar in many ways, yet, each uniquely our own.

Our widow journeys the same in the way that we lost our best friends, livers, other halves of ourselves, but, that’s where the similarities end.

And that, THAT is beautiful! We are still both strong, independent widows, living this life we NEVER thought possible.

Her husband was substantially younger than she was. She mentioned words I will never forget. I felt them too. I know this thought.

“It wasn’t supposed to happen like this!”

They were too young.

Hers 10 or so years younger than her, mine, only 34 years old.

Too young.

Not the way it was planned in either of our heads.

But this is our life now.

We make the best of it.

We continue to speak their name.

We continue to show people their pictures.

I wish I would have gotten a picture with her, and permission to post it on here, but I did not do either. I was too interested in talking with her, hearing her story.

(👆🏼With their permission, of course👆🏼)

2 Years: Loss Through the Eyes of a 14 Year Old Girl

So, I’ve been asked, multiple times, by multiple people how Megan is doing, when is she going to start writing, etc.

She wrote something, today.

I leave you with this.

two years ago, my whole life changed. Well close to it. I was at school one day, just enjoying myself, having fun, and talking with friends. I was going to go to a mathletics party that day, instead one of my closest’s friend’s mom picked me up. I was extremely confused, and she didn’t tell me what was going on. I realized she was driving me to Brady’s house, now I was really confused. I got inside and said to my mom “I was at a PARTY and I liked it” or something along the lines of that. Everyone in the room (Brady, Katy, and my mom I think) looked extremely sad. I immediately stopped laughing and was even more confused. My mom told me to sit down and pointed to my smsd pin I got from school that said “kindness matters” or something like that. Me, still confused, didn’t say anything. My mom started crying again, and told me that my dad has passed. I shut down, and started crying. Crying harder than I EVER can remember. I’ve had nightmares about this kind of stuff happening before, but never did I ever think it would actually happen. Katy Wood (his sister) was also there, she was crying. I remember telling her “it’ll be okay” (something like that) and I hugged her. Everyone was at Brady’s house, I stayed in their guest room because I don’t like being around so many people, especially when they’re sad. I was in a group chat on my iPad for school, and I told them about it. My friend Triniti stayed home from school to stay with me, because I’m not a big fan of being alone.

These past 2 years have been stressful, sad, adventurous, and exciting. Me and my mom have went out of the state many times, and poured beer on my dad’s ash, because he always wanted to drink a beer in every state, so we’re letting him do that. To this day, I miss him still, I’ll have nights where I still cry about it.

In the past (around a year, a year and a half ago) I used to be like “hey when’s dad gonna come home” and then I would get sad, realizing that he wouldn’t. I’m nearly crying in my third hour class typing all of this out, but it was worth it.