Anger Management

I did my therapy session… for anger management… because I am “so angry all of the time!”

My therapist was on her phone the whole time. Even answered a personal call about where and when to meet for dinner. 👎

Any of my therapist friends out there have any advice?

PS: I have to continue until I am cleared, if I wish to keep my job.

And she muttered those 6 irritating words… “I know exactly how you feel!”

Then didn’t seem to believe me when she asked if I was ever mad at Mitch for dying. Hell no I’m not MAD, nor have I gotten mad at him for dying! He didn’t CHOOSE to die. He would have chose LIVING if offered that choice. She even rolled her eyes at me, when I said that!

We are in a circumstance that wasn’t chosen. Why do people assume I am angry? I get mad when I am told to do something that is wrong, and that is OK. I get irritated or annoyed when people tell

me “I know exactly how you feel.” Because, honestly, no you don’t.

Did you grow up with a father who basically walked away until you were 6 or 7, then decided to fight for custody, causing your brother and yourself to go to foster care? Did you grow up in my situation? Did you drop out of high school, live on the streets and not know when or if you were going to eat every day? Did you get a job and pay your way at age 16? Did you get married, then have a child, THEN decide to get your GED and college degree, while working at blockbuster on minimum wage? Did you struggle to make ends meet even though you KNOW you made enough money to cover everything? Did you have a slum-lord who refused to have the plumbing fixed? Did you finally get comfortable, and start seeing the bills fall away, because you went to your boss and said you don’t make enough money for what you do, to get a $6/hour raise? Then, did your HUSBAND (or wife) pass away, unexpectedly at age 34, in what was the PRIME of your lives? Have you balanced everything from your time to everyone else’s time, going out of town for races, and staying healthy, and making sure your child knows they are so loved? Have you REALLY been in my shoes? Do you REALLY know “EXACTLY” how I feel?

I’m not saying you don’t know how bad it hurts to lose someone. But every situation is NOT the same. That’s TRUTH!

I do not get mad about things I cannot control. I have all of my feelings in check, 99% of the time. Everyone is entitled to one loss of control in their life, and no one was harmed in my situation.

I was asked the same question, over and over, and the responses I got were mostly “uh huh” and “yeah?”. Barely looking up from her phone.

I am unhappy with my session. I felt like it was very unprofessional.

Until next session… on a day I told her wouldn’t work for me… but she scheduled it anyway. Okay… GREAT!

I can tell you all one thing. I have had many opportunities to become an angry, pissy, grouchy, horrible human being, and I CHOOSE happiness. I choose NOT anger, as often as I can.

I. Feel. GLORIOUS!

So, before you get mad and hate me for feeling glorious (I don’t really see that happening), let me explain.

Tonight, I went outside to run, for the first time in a while. I had it in my mind to do a 10 minute 30 second mile (average). I’ve only been running on treadmill, recently, and am averaging 9:30 minute miles. (Because it was inaccurate). I figured it was about a minute off per mile, but went with it, thinking, “okay. If my treadmill mile is 9:30 consistently, my outdoor mile will be about 10:30 consistently, and an unpaved trail will be closer to 11-12 minutes. Anyway.

I was listening to Macklemore.

So the lyrics to Macklemore’s songs strike me, quite often as

A: my thoughts.

B: Something Mitch would have said, or HAS said.

Here is one example:

🎶 I feel glorious, glorious

Got a chance to start again

I was born for this, born for this

It’s who I am, how could I forget?

I made it through the darkest part of the night

And now I see the sunrise

Now I feel glorious, glorious

I feel glorious, glorious 🎶

I feel like I was born to be strong. Period. In every way, imaginable. I am finally working on my physical strength, and I. Feel. GLORIOUS! My “chance to start again” is with my health. Mitch passing so young, from a natural cause, really woke me up, and made me get the fuck off of the couch. I am currently making it through the darkest night (the loss of Mitch) and there is sunrise! I find a ray and hold onto it.

I am here, hoping with all hope that I am helping one person see that the end of a life doesn’t mean the end of the world. It only means that we must grow stronger, and feel with everything we have. We must keep moving forward, because forward movement is progressive movement, and progressive movement is the only good movement.

Memories are great, and fantastic things. Pictures, videos, and scents.

Sometimes, I want to get lost in my memories of Mitch. I want to remember how warm and safe I felt, when he wrapped his arms around me. I want to feel his warmth, when I am cold, and tell him to get his stinky feet off of me.

Remember him, I will. Get lost, I will not. It’s very important for me to keep a level head, and a warm heart. It’s important to me, to be a person children can look up to, and see, that with the worst of changes, everything can and WILL work out. I want other widows or widowers to see that it is OK to find happiness, in whatever way they need, as long as they aren’t hurting people in their pursuit of happiness.

You want to speak to a crowd of people about your loss? MAKE IT HAPPEN!

You wish to write a book? MAKE IT HAPPEN!

You want to sign up for those races?! DO IT!

Life is too short for WHAT IFS!

Be the strong you see in your heroes. Be it mental, physical, or whatever other forms of strong there are. Find it within yourself, and nurture it!

You Got This!

You Have No Idea How I Feel, So Do Not Assume You Do.

Please forgive me as I rant.

You. Do. Not. Know. EXACTLY. How. I. Feel!

Never, ever say that to a widow! NEVER! I don’t care if you’re a widow, or if your ex husband died, or if your boyfriend died, or if your cousin’s cat died, you will never know exactly how I feel.

I am astounded by the people who have the audacity to say this, straight to my face!

1: If you know “exactly how I feel” you would never utter those fucking words.

I am NOT angry all of the time. So, please don’t assume that is an accurate statement. It actually takes a LOT to make me angry, and even then, I rarely react, outside of becoming silent, because I don’t want to say something I can’t take back, or I slam doors. Yes, I am aware that slamming doors is childish, but, I do it. Well, I DID it. I chose door slamming when I was young, because no one gets hurt, unless it’s me, because the door bounces back at me. Yes, that has happened. You won’t see me slamming them anymore, since I built up so much strength, and managed to put a hole in the wall last time.

So, here is the deal, and this doesn’t just apply to me. Hell, it doesn’t apply to only widows either, but it didn’t bother me until I became one. Never EVER assume you know EXACTLY how anyone feels! You don’t! And you never will.

I lost my husband-best friend-father to my child-hero in January of this year. It’s been a crazy year so far. I have gotten MAD 1 time. ONCE!

As I type this, I am not angry, I was irritated/annoyed when someone told me they knew how I felt, and have been in my shoes… When actually they haven’t. They were in their OWN shoes, under their own circumstances. Just because YOU were angry all of the time does not mean that’s how I feel.

Just because I disagree with how something is done, doesn’t mean I am mad about it. Disagreeing is a perfect part of life. It means freedom! Just because I am annoyed or not satisfied, does not equal anger. It means I don’t like it. Big deal.

And for the record, anger is a real emotion. It is an acceptable emotion. It is something everyone on this earth should know and feel every once in a while. Without knowing anger, you cannot fully understand all other emotions. It’s a part of who we are. It is a part of you that lets you know that something isn’t right! I mean, to be honest, if you never get angry, you might possibly be getting walked on.

I FULLY recognize that slamming doors isn’t really a good idea. Sure. Duh. But, it happened, and I am here, and I’ll be taking anger counseling for it, until I am cleared by the therapist. Good times.

Don’t slam doors, because you could damage property.

But ALWAYS stand up for yourself! ALWAYS! Do not let anyone make you do something that isn’t right. Just, handle it with grace, like I NORMALLY do. ❤️

Spending the Holidays “With” Your Deceased Spouse.

I’ve dreamed of Mitch, nearly every night for the last week.

In these dreams, we are discussing what to buy for Megan for Christmas, and “Has she ACTUALLY been good, this year?” (The answer is yes. She has been amazing, especially under the circumstances!)

I had one where we were ACTUALLY Christmas shopping. He was being his normal self, throwing things into the carts of unsuspecting strangers. He was also picking up ugly sweaters, and talking about how much he wanted one, this year. (Talked to a friend, and she suggested, without knowing this dream, to get a tiny ugly sweater for his urn! OMG! AMAZING IDEA!) He also got Michael (his brother) something that was ACTUALLY at Target, yesterday! So, naturally, I bought the damn thing for Michael Dale! So, brother-in-Law, your gift was ACTUALLY from my dream-Mitch. I hope you like it!

Last night’s dream was weird! It reminded me of a cross between Home Alone, and the movie that Kevin watches in home alone, along with something that has happened to me a few times, and Meg once. (Keep the change you filthy animal! Bang bang pew pew pow!)

Real: When I was in Nebraska, we were driving down the street, and the street lights flickered as we went under them, and then went dark.

Real: When Meg and I were driving down 95th street, the street lights went out as we drove under them! It was crazy!

In my dream, I was at a bar, it was decorated for Christmas, and we were drinking, and dancing, and having a good time. Meg was at home, with friends, and sent me a text. “Mom! Check the string of lights around the bottle of alcohol in the corner of the bar!”

I have no idea how she knew to look at it, but, I followed her direction, and looked at it. All the lights were out, except the red ones, Mitch’s favorite color. The red ones were flashing. (Maybe a mix of Stranger Things, too!) a stranger came up, and said “That’s Morse code!” And wrote it down. The lights were telling me to GO HOME NOW!

So, I paid my tab, and got an Uber. As the Uber drove towards my home, the street lights flickered and went out, as we went under each light.

I get home, and run inside, and up the stairs, to find Meg in her bay window (yes I have a house in this dream and it is huge and gorgeous!) pointing outside.

There is her father. Riding a bicycle, in circles around our culdesac (Mitch always wanted to live on a culdesac) He was carrying something. He looked kind of scary, then I realized it was because he looked exactly like his bitmoji cartoon. He pulled out a big gun, and started shooting up the neighbor’s home. He was laughing! Meg and I were horrified!

Then, he was gone! We ran outside to go see if the neighbors were okay. And when we stepped out, we looked up, and the neighbor’s house was decorated for Christmas, so beautifully, with no signs of gunfire. It wasn’t decorated prior to him “shooting” it up.

The gun was a special, Christmas gun. And I know, if Mitch were alive, and that thing were real, he would own it.

So, as far as the title of this blog goes, I feel like I am getting more time with Mitch, than I have been getting. We’ve been Christmas shopping, and going over Christmas lists, and he even reminded me to buy something that I had forgotten to get, for Megan! (I am aware these are dreams, so don’t go calling the crazy house!)

Life has been so busy. And it’s just going to keep moving. I have been blessed with the ability to remember my dreams, so I will cherish each and every dream I get to have of him.

Happiest of Holidays to you all.

Signs Everywhere

I’m not going to lie. I’m not going to hide it. I’m not going to pretend it isn’t happening.

I am seeing someone. I have been seeing him since September 22nd.

I was on my way to see him, friday night, because he lives out of town, and I was feeling a bit overwhelmed and questioning my decisions in life. I silently begged for a sign that I was doing the right thing. I feel like it could possibly be too soon, but, only I can really know. I think that my feelings might be a smidge influenced by the outside world with the “too soon” stuff, too.

But, I asked for a sign. I received a few.

A falling ball of fire! I would say a “shooting star” but, it wasn’t in the sky! It was right above land. If there were dried up trees, a fire would have happened!

6 smoke lines, all coming to a point in the direction I was headed. Think airplane smoke trails. It was strange.

Then, on my way home, I was listening to the P!nk station on amazon music, and “Rod” Stewart came on!

There are a couple of things that hit me about this.

The song was Time after Time.

The guy I’m seeing… his name is Rodney… or “Rod” for short!

The lyrics to the song, start out like this:

“What good are words I say to you?

They can’t convey to you what’s in my heart

If you could hear instead

The things I’ve left unsaid”

But, the crazy thing is that Rod Stewart came on the Pink station. That doesn’t even make sense!

When I was driving home, two cars cut me off…

both of those cars had plate holders and car decals that said “woodhouse”

My last name is Wood.

Coming to our home meant you were going to then”woodhouse” for a get together. Or the “Woodheads” houses

The fact that Rod Stewart came on, and the guy I’m seeing goes by “Rod” was insane. The lyrics to the song hit me, and I cried.

I, initially, skipped the song. But then I thought “wait! What the fuck is Rod Stewart doing on the Pink station?!” So I clicked back and listened to the words.

Wow!

Insanity!

And the last thing was the smell of cigar smoke, filling my car. As many of you know, I don’t smoke. I quit smoking a few years ago, and Mitch quit smoking cigarettes a year-ish before he died. He did, however, enjoy a fat, smelly cigar, from time to time. He also even had a candle that smelled like cigars, for his man cave!

I said it on Facebook, and I’ll say it here, too. Maybe I am reading too deeply into these happenings. Maybe they aren’t actually signs from beyond. But, what if they are?

Am I being told to continue, or am I being told to stop? Is my loyalty, or sanity being questioned? Is there anything I need to worry about?

I’m unsure.

I feel one way, but is it biased?

Am I reading it the way I am, because that’s what I WANT it to mean? Or is this real? Are these signs from beyond, telling me it’s okay? Are they signs telling me not to continue? I don’t feel like that’s what it is, though. It’s a light, free feeling, rather than a heavy, guilt laden feeling.

I guess I won’t ever actually know, but what I do know is that Rod has read all of these blogs, and doesn’t guilt-trip me about taking care of my daughter, or still crying about losing Mitch.

He knows that if Mitch were still here, he wouldn’t have a chance in hell, with me. He treats me like a queen, and like I am strong, and independent. He is kind and accepting, and doesn’t overwhelm me. He also holds the door open and pays for dinner.

But the signs!

How can one ignore them?

What do I do with them?

I’ll continue to enjoy all of the signs, from change found in my purse, to the smell of cigars in my car. I know he’s here, but not HERE.

When We Were Three

Life wasn’t easy, no way.

Love was easy.

Happiness was simple.

We worked hard.

We played harder.

I will be meeting with this same photographer, December 10th, to have our photos done, again, this year.

She does beautiful work. And she captured our true family. ❤️

This year, it’ll be a bit different, but that’s the surprise.

We are now, two, strong, fierce ladies, weaving our way through this unimagined world, without Mitch.

We’ve got this!

He lives on in memories, pictures, dreams and our hearts!

His physical body may not be here, but he is everywhere.

10 Months

It has been 10 months since I received the horrible news that my husband was found dead.

10 months of wobbly emotions. 10 months of trying to figure out how to maintain his part and my part of parenting. 10 months of looking into my baby girl’s eyes, and seeing so much of her father. 10 months of pain, and heartache intertwined with happiness and pride.

For the last 10 months I have made great strides in improving who I am, mentally, physically, and emotionally. I joke about being “absent” with friends and family, who don’t work out with me, but I am actually not. I make it a point to text, call or visit family, whenever I can. I course, I am busy, quite often, and I won’t give up my workouts for anyone other than Megan. (Unless important things come up, like weddings, etc.)

Every time I feel like I don’t want to do that workout, I remember that I CAN get sick. I CAN leave this earthly body before “my time”, (whatever THAT means). If I don’t take care of ME, who will take care of Megan?

I would be the ghostly mother, haunting the shit out of whoever Megan’s caregiver would be, (Brady…) because that’s who I am. I wouldn’t be done yet. I need her to know all of her dad, and all of her momma. I need her to know that life has it’s serious downs, but, damnit, there is ALWAYS something good, somewhere, if you look hard.

Sometimes the good is so obvious that you miss it.

Don’t miss it. Don’t take the good for advantage. Appreciate it. Revel in it! Be the good in someone else’s life, too! Don’t do it for YOU. Don’t do it to see what you can get from it. I promise, it’ll feel good, just putting a smile on someone else’s face.

Mitch was the guy that always held the door for whoever was walking in or out behind him. He would open the door and stand aside, if he came upon a door someone was walking opposite him, through. He was always trying to be the good, without expectations from other people (except a simple “thank you”. When people wouldn’t say that you, it would piss him off.)

Say thank you!

Say please. Say thank you. Don’t assume that guy wants in your pants, just because he held the door open for you. Don’t assume that woman wants to jump you, just because she is nice to you.

Ten months a widow.

Thanksgiving is Here, and I am Sure My Body and Mind are Being Protected by Some Outside Force.

I almost feel like I’m turning into a Sociopath. I mean, I KNOW I am not, but I have felt like crying since I woke up, and not one tear has fallen.

My mind keeps saying “remember, be happy for what you HAVE!” I am. I am so happy for everything and everyone I have in my life.

I am EXCITED to see my families, today.

I woke up, when I could have slept in, and met some friends on a dam, to do HILL SPRINTS, followed by a little over 3.5 mile run.

I HATE that Mitch isn’t here, to get the green slime, or the turkey. Or to be found dipping the cheese cubes into the nacho cheese. My heart is ACHING, but my mind keeps jumping in “get it together, Woman! It hurts, but you have so much to be thankful for!” And the pain will subside for a bit.

It’s like I am numbed, again, for today. Like the saying “God only gives you what you can handle.” If God is real, he is holding me today. I feel light, and cheery as fuck, right now.

I am baking brownies, and getting even more excited to see everyone, and share the brownies with everyone.

I made them from scratch, and they are, basically, the most delicious (healthy… shhhhh! Don’t tell anyone) brownies, ever!

Soy free, dairy free, and gluten free! Also, no sugar! ❤️

I really hope no one is watching, waiting for me to break.

I am home from the festivities.

I had a great time with all of the family today. (Most of the family)

We ate, we talked, we enjoyed each-other’s company. I came home, and soaked in an epsom salt bath. I feel good.

I was truly worried that I was going to break, as I’ve been held together for so long. I didn’t. I stayed whole, and put together, the whole time. I am wholly me, still and always.

I was wholly me, while Mitch was here, but we were also 2 halves of a whole US. For so many years I was a part of a “We”, not an “I, me, my.”

Things are so different, now.

Mitch, I hope your thanksgiving gathering was fantastically filled with amazing people. We love you and miss you horribly. Most of us still can’t believe you are gone.

No Death Sentence In OUR Near Future!

As I get each day’s “on this day” memories through Facebook, I can’t help but think ” damn. We had no idea that Mitch was going to die in 2 short months. No clue!”

He looks healthy. He looks happy. He was excited about life and everything that it had to offer.

Even though we were in terrible debt.

Even though we had tax issues. Even though our credit was so terribly poor we couldn’t get a loan for $20 if we tried.

He was happy. We were happy. We had each-other. We had a purpose. We were raising Megan to be a kind, giving, loving human being.

Now I try, but this 13 year old drama queen, who I love with my entire being, is going to kill me.

I often ask myself if she would be behaving the way she is, if Mitch were here.

She says piss and ass and shit, and I can’t do anything but tell her “not allowed in public, Megan!” Because I, actually, swear like a sailor. Mitch was the one who had that in check, not me!

I know that Meg is a good kid, and sometimes does some not so great things. I just remind her that she wouldn’t like it if anyone did that or ask her how it would make her feel if someone did whatever to her. She doesn’t really care what other people say or do to her. She just, basically, like me, says “fuck it”!

There are so many other, more important things in life to worry about, than what others think or feel about you.

Yes, aspire to be kind and loving. Never be mean, and always offer a helping hand when you can.

This is the only way the human race will survive. Be kind.

The day Mitch died, Meg came home from school, and was wearing a button. It said simply: Kindness Matters.

It does.

So, 1 year ago, today, I had a photo shoot set up, for family photos. It cost us almost every penny we had in the bank, but damnit, we were doing the thing! Period.

We got dressed, did our hair, and looked good for our very last family photos.

But a year ago, we were thinking it was the start of a new tradition. I wanted to hire Beckie every year, and have her do our photos.

How swiftly life can change!

How abruptly the rug can be pulled from under your feet.

Don’t ever think that it can’t happen to you. Don’t ever get to a point where you believe you are invincible, because we aren’t. We are all mortal, with fragile lives.

Be aware of your health. Be aware of the things you put into your body, be they medications, fast food or an apple.

Thanksgiving Is Near

I am sure there are many people who question, “What do you have to be thankful for?” Because my husband passed away. I am definitely not thankful for that. That’s for certain!

But, I am thankful for quite a lot, actually.

I am thankful for my current health.

I am thankful for my family and friends. (to be clear, alllllllll of Mitchell’s family, is now MINE! I kept them all.)

I am thankful to have the daughter that I was so lucky to have. I could have ended up with a complete A-hole, but, she’s pretty cool.

I am thankful for my employment. I have a work family that has also been by my side, through this journey.

I am thankful that I fell into OCR, prior to Mitch passing, and really found out how AMAZING the OCR community is. Every one of them stood by my side, ready to be there when I was ready to get back into high gear.

Good gracious, I am so thankful for everything else in my life. If Mitch passing has taught me anything at all, it is to be MORE thankful, and appreciate it all.

All of it. The good, the bad, and the ugly.

I am at a point in my journey as a widow, where I have been told many people will have already tapered away. This is not how it’s working for me. I am happy that everyone has stuck by me.

I had a very bad day at work, the day after I put up the Christmas tree. I cried through about 10 minutes of a total knee surgery, and the surgeon was great to me. He didn’t get mad. He didn’t ask what was wrong. He just offered me a little break, by allowing me to get it out.

Everything was silent around me (as they kept working, I fell away), all I could do was think of Mitch. I thought about how he always begged to put the tree up early. He would sneak a Christmas decoration in, and see if I would notice. It was more of a game with us. I would get sick of looking at the Christmas decor, where he loved it. If it went up Thanksgiving night, It came down New Years day. If it went up early, it came down December 26th. It was just our way. It’s how we rolled.

I was able to pull myself together and rejoin the surgical team, in what seemed like a very long time. Come to find out, it was really only about 10 minutes.

Oh! One of the many things I am so very thankful for is the videos Mitch left on the computer. I feel like everyone needs to hear his voice.

This was last year, our Ugly Sweater party. Caution: Foul Language was used in the making of this video… For those of you who know his voice, his laugh, this is for you. He isn’t shown very much, but you sure can hear him, and it’s beautiful.

 

Here is a family game night. ❤

 

Be Thankful for the laughter.

Always remember that beautiful sound.