Life After

Today makes 3 weeks. It’s been 3 weeks since the day I was told, by an officer, that my beautiful, perfect, husband had been found, deceased.

A lot has happened from then to now. We had a life celebration, and honored him the only way we knew how: CELEBRATING HIM. The place we were able to secure for his celebration of life was beautiful. It was HUGE. I remember acting like a spoiled rotten child, when everyone asked “Are you sure? This place is REALLY expensive. Are you sure we can’t do it somewhere else?” I did everything short of stomping my feet, telling everyone “YES! THIS IS THE ONLY PLACE THAT WILL DO!’ It could hold over 500 people! I needed the room for everyone to fit.

This was no funeral! This was a big-ass party! Mitch didn’t make you cry, he made you laugh. He doesn’t want us all moping around, crying for him, although, I am sure his ego is boosted, wherever he is.

I hated that I had to have this kind of party, but I am happy that it turned out EXACTLY how he would have wanted it.

I stayed with my brother for 2 weeks, and some days. I slept on an air mattress and my kiddo slept on the couch. During this time, we planned everything out. We made lists. We checked off each thing we did, that needed to be done.

My life in word form:
Close the joint checking account. Open a new one.Breathe. New one is already open, deposit all money into new checking account. Can you afford that house? No. Breathe.  Should we find a new place? Yes. Breathe.  Want to look at apartments? Yes. These are close. They were tiny. Breathe.  Get Megan back into a routine. Look and lease an apartment. Breathe.  Pack. Get boxes. Breathe. Pack more. Sell things. Find home for dogs. Breathe. Pack more. Sell more. Still looking for home, for my dogs. File taxes. Breathe.   Start moving boxes into apartment. Megan’s social security number (which wasn’t really hers) was already being claimed by someone else.)  Sell more stuff. Finish packing. Buy furniture. Pick up furniture. Breathe.  Watch my brother and friend put furniture together. Bring more boxes to apartment. Moving Day. Breathe. Move everything in 2 trips, with 5-6 vehicles. Unpack. Organize. Unpack more. Breathe. Keep routine. Megan’s 6th grade mixer, at school. Dinner with family monday. Shop for Valentine gifts for Meg. Dinner with family Tuesday. Skating party Wednesday. Breathe. Cat to the Vet tomorrow morning…

I’m go go go, and there doesn’t seem to be a stopping point. S0 during each thing I must do, I stop,  take in my surroundings, and breathe deep. I remind myself that I am still alive. I am still here.  I have 2 songs that run through my head on a regular. One by Greenday  and the other by Sia.

 

Tonight, I got to sit and talk with a friend, who also lost her husband, young. We chatted about how every journey is different, and, not one of us really knows exactly what the other is feeling, or experiencing. I talk a lot. I talk about Mitch. I have to hold on to those memories, because that is what keeps me sane. She can’t talk about her husband, because it makes her so very sad, because he had cancer.  Her journey is different. My husband passed suddenly, and her’s was a much slower process. I didn’t see my husband after, and she was there for the entire process.

I can’t IMAGINE what she went through. Not even in the least. I won’t even pretend I can fathom it. All I do know, is that we lost our men. The fathers of our children. I know we both ache for our children. I also know that we are both fierce, strong, smart women, who know exactly how to do, what we need to do, to protect our children. And, protect our children, we must! Its us against the world, and if I placed bets, I’d put my money on the “us”.

and I leave you with this oldie but goodie.

daddymeganxmas
Daddy’s Girl

An Uncomfortable Day

Today, I caught myself being a real B*tch to a few people. That’s not me! I am not that kind of monster! I caught it, and immediately apologized and explained my situation, but followed that up with “not that it excuses my behavior.” 

My morning started off, pretty okay. I drove Megan to her friend’s house, so she could hang out for a bit, then ride to school with her. I remembered I needed to go to the tax place, and take care of some stuff, so I stopped in there, on my way back to my apartment. I needed to go to the social security office, and verify Megan’s social security number, and have them send me a new copy, since hers was missing. 

Well, I got back to the apartment, and had an hour to spare, so I unpacked a few things, then decided to do my hair and makeup! 

Mascara. Eye shadow. Eyeliner. The works. 

I get to the social security office and they tell me the online demographic page on Megan’s school file wasn’t sufficient for identification! I had to drive 20 minutes back to the school, crying, mind you, because I didn’t have the stuff I needed. I got to the school, cleaned my face up, and went in. The school actually printed the same page I had pulled up, the one I was told wasn’t good enough. So, the secretary printed everything she could think of. I love that woman! 

I drove all the way back to the social security offices, and waited for about 3 hours. I was finally seen at one of the windows, which by the way, why were there only 3 open windows on the busiest day of the week?! 😩

Oh! And the papers that matched the page I showed were ENOUGH! So, all that wasted time driving… 

I was so hungry! 

I got the verified number, called the tax place, and told them I had the verified number, and asked if we could fix it over the phone. She said she thought I would “FOR SURE” need to come back (alllllll the way back by the school), and sign the papers again. 

Wrong! 

More wasted time. I could have been unpacking. 

Long story short, the cable guy came, hooked up my cable boxes wrong. The dvr box doesn’t work. I was on the phone with said cable company for over 30 minutes, trying to get that stupid thing hooked up right, only to find it didn’t work, AFTER I disconnected the call with customer service. 

I had to go get Megan, so, I drove back out by the school, again. On my way there, I got a call from the guy who took my dogs for a week, so they could go to their vet appointments before being rehomed.  I can’t have them in my apartment, and I can’t afford a house, without my husband’s income. Anyway. His neighbors called animal control, because they were “scared for their life”! 🙄 

I cried, a lot. 

I went up to the house and had Meg get her stuff together. We ran by My brother’s and picked up our stuff. And came home. My brother-in-law was here.  I made dinner, one of Mitch and Megan’s favorites: Veal, pasta, Italian dressing and feta cheese. 

Back to the stupid, non working dvr box. 

On the phone again with said cable company. Rebooted the darn thing 2 times, and it still doesn’t work! They won’t be back until Wednesday. 😑

I cried about 10 times today. I wanted to scream and punch people, but I know that will solve nothing. Words came out of my mouth, that I shouldn’t have said, and even though I apologized, it doesn’t make it okay. It’s never okay to be an asshole. 

I did get out, and got Megan some Valentine stuff.  That put a little smile on my face. 

My brother helped me today, while I was stuck at the social security office. He went back to my old house, to do one final sweep.  My brother-in-law came over and helped Meg unpack her room while I was cooking dinner. He also put my “over the toilet storage shelves” together. The dog situation is taken care of, and tomorrow is a new day. 

But, all in all, today was a day of uncomfortable feelings. 

I coach Girls on the Run, and we teach that feelings are not good or bad, but, comfortable or uncomfortable. 

I am hoping for a more comfortable feelings day, tomorrow. 
#2Weeks5Days

15 year High school reunion. 

2 Weeks, 4 Days without My Soulmate

It’s been 2 weeks and 4 days since my husband passed, unexpectedly. 

I feel like I am vibrating from within. 

I have moved from the house we rented, together, and have gotten an apartment, in the same school district, so there isn’t so much more change for my 12 year old. She went back to school this past Monday, and I am going back to work on February 20th. 

So much has happened in the last 2.5 weeks. I feel like he is still here, but, he’s not. 

I feel like every day I rebuild my heart, only to have it shatter, each night.

 I have 2 closets in my new apartment. One is Mine, and one has his things in it. I can’t bear to pull his things from his dresser, and put it in a box. I have a special tote and very large ziplock bags for the items that still smell like him, and other special things. 

I see my hands when I am talking with people, and they’re shaking. They are always shaking. I feel scared. I’ve never been alone before. Now I am a mother of a gorgeous 12 year old girl, without her father. My heart aches for her. My heart aches for me. 

Atherosclerotic Coronary Vascular Disease is what took my husband, best friend, and Megan’s daddy, too soon. 

If you didn’t know us, personally, it’s important to know that my husband left his mark on everyone he met, even those he only knew through Internet groups. 

When we held his Life Celebration, I had to get a building that would fit at least 400 people. Everyone kept asking me “Are you sure? Really sure? Nowhere else?” I said “Yes! It has to be there!” 

We held his Celebration of Life in a huge venue space called Mission Theatre. We were wanting to renew our vows there. The place was packed. Elbow to elbow, standing, wall-to-wall. I walked up the stairs, to get an overhead view, and it was beautiful! Not an empty space in the building! 

Mitch always said not to have a funeral, because he hated funerals. He also didn’t want anyone to see him after he passed, because that was not the memory he wanted in the minds of his loved ones. His body wasn’t even there. We had a cash bar. We had his playlist playing. So many friends and family in one place. We even had “open mic” where people got up, and shared their memories of Mitch. It was beautiful.

His wishes were met. He never wanted anything. He was perfectly happy, with Meg and me. That’s what he always said. But we talked about death and what we would want the other to fo, and we talked about it, possibly more often than any normal people do. 

Many people told me, that evening, that it was the best life celebration they had ever witnessed, and hope they can have something similar when they pass.

He was a very loved man, and Megan and I are feeling the love from all of OUR people, now. 

Thank you for being here. 

It’s going to be a bumpy ride now, but we’ve got each other. Family, friends, and even cyber-pals. 

I received this from one of his fantasy football, or just football trash talkers groups. 

He was a HUGE Seattle Seahawks fan. ❤
 

January 25th, 2017

The day my life changed. The day I lost my best friend and lover,  and my daughter lost her amazing father. It started as a normal day. I went in for a mandatory staff meeting, at work, Megan got up, got ready for school, and Mitch (my husband) got up, and went to work. 

I got home, typed up a bunch of stuff for Girls on the run. I sent Mitch a text message, and he didn’t respond. Sometimes, he didn’t read my texts, so that was normal. I figured out what I was asking him, anyway, so I wasn’t too worried. 

I had a team of girls, but NEEDED coaches. I went to the school, and printed 400 copies, to pass out to every student, so every parent got the chance to volunteer. I was there until about 11:45 or so. 

I left, and had sent Mitch a couple texts, just letting him know what I was doing. We were like that. “Hey babe! Heading home from the school.” And a joking, “Are you still living?!” He never responded. 

Sometimes, he didn’t respond. I only started to worry when my brother (who is also his boss) texted me, and asked if he was responding to me. That wasn’t normal. If I couldn’t get ahold of him, he was with my brother, and if my brother couldn’t get ahold of him, he was with me. 

 Fear set in. But not that he had died. Oh no. Never that. He MUST have been cheating! (Lesser of the two evils here. Give me a break) I started to pull into my driveway, and said “f-ck it!” And drove straight. I was on my way to rip my husband a new one, for not answering my texts or phone calls. I was mad. 

I got to the street his “hub” was and saw an SUV officer pull up, and park on the street, and walk into the hub.

 I sped up, and flew into the parking lot, my heart was racing. I got out and walked around the corner of the building, to the entrance. I saw two more police cars with their lights flashing, silently. 

I tried to get into the building, but you need a badge. The saw me, and let me in. 

Officers were everywhere.

One grabbed me by the arm, and dragged me into the office and shut the door. 

I knew. I didn’t want to know, but I already knew, before she spoke the words. 

I wailed. 

I am alone now. 

Oh my God! I had to tell the family. 

My brother came, and hugged me. They were best friends, co-workers, and brothers-in-law. 

We cried together. 

I told him we had to go tell his family. We stopped at his biological Father’s house first, because that’s what popped into my head first. Then drove to his brother’s place, to tell him. I could feel my heart shattering, and all the pieces hitting the floor. 

My brother said no more. We brought my brother in law back to my brother’s house and theyvstarted making phone calls. I stared out the window for hours. I was waiting for the “JUST KIDDING! Gotchya!” But it never came. 

I didn’t want to tell my sweet, beautiful, loving, caring, kind, STRONG little girl, that her daddy passed. 

At some point, I pulled myself together and called a friend to pick her up from school. She did, without question. 

Also, during my time of staring out the window, wishing I could wake up, we received a phone call, that they believed it was his heart, but would t know for sure, until after an autopsy. 

Our daughter walked through the door and gave me crap about pulling her from her Mathletics party. I asked her to sit down. She sat down between my brother and I, and I told her. Well first, I pointed at her button, and told her “Remember this, always.” It said “kindness matters”. She started to look worried. I told her that her daddy had passed away, that morning, and they believed it was a heart attack. She cried. Her Aunt Katy, Mitch’s little sister, sat down and cried just a little, and Megan sat straight up, wiper the tears from her eyes, and wrapped her arms around her aunt, and said “Everything is going to be OK, Aunt Katy.”

I started to cry harder. 

Somewhere between that and the transplant call, people had dropped off tons of food, and my brother’s house was full of family and close friends. 

I got a phone call from Midwest Transplant, because my beautiful, perfect husband was an organ donor. I work in an OR and know how time sensitive it is, when it comes to donating. I say here, in front of many many family members, mine and his, and calmly answered the million and one questions, that come along with donating tissue. 

I was numb. I felt like everyone was staring at me, expecting me to shatter into a million pieces, right there in the middle of my brother’s living room. I thought I should have. I mean. How was I still in one piece? 

My husband was able to donate both corneas, bone and connective tissue, vessels, and skin. His donations will help 2 people see, and over 50 people in pain! 

He was a beautiful, kind, funny, amazing man, and he forever changed me as a human. He was the best thing to ever walk into my life, and helped in the creation of our perfect daughter. 

He will never be forgotten. He will never lose his place in my heart, or in the hearts of those he met. He brought so much joy and laughter to everyone who had the pleasure of meeting him. 

He was taken too soon, from this world, from me, from Meg. 

One of our last photos together.