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 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.

A Beautifully, Lopsided, Christmas Tree

So, I cry every now and then. It’s bound to happen. I don’t try to stop it. It usually doesn’t get horribly bad.

I hurt. I feel the loss at every turn. There’s no denying that.

When I am happy, there’s always a little trace of sadness. Also, very normal. I am ashamed of nothing.

I brought all of the Christmas stuff out of storage, this Monday. It’s been sitting in the hallway of my apartment.

Just a bunch of totes of Christmas stuff. So much Christmas stuff.

It was one of Mitch’s favorite holidays to decorate for.

We hit every store we could, last year, after the holiday. We have so much stuff. We have 4′ gingerbread men for outside. But I live in an apartment now.

Every time I’ve walked by the Christmas stuff, sitting in my hallway, my chest would tighten.

I knew it was going to hurt, but I was only guessing at how bad.

As I was clearing out the corner, where the tree is going, it hit me. I hadn’t even touched the Christmas stuff yet. My chest felt like it was ripping wide open, and my breath caught.

I, literally, crawled between my 2 shelves and started to cry. I scared the crap out of Megan, but, I can’t help it. She came out of her bedroom, and my baby girl put her arm on my shaking shoulders, and said “Mommy, just breeeeathe. It’s okay.” My little girl.

This. Fucking. Hurts.

I sobbed, I snotted. I. Cried. Whole body shuddering.

I cried for a Christmas without Mitch.

I cried for a daughter without her daddy.

I cried for a wife without her love.

I cried for the day I learned he was gone.

I cried for the loss of this man. My husband. Meg’s father. This best friend, son, and big brother.

I settled down, and wiped the tears away.

Together, Megan and I got the tree out of the damn box, and decorated the shit out of it.

That’s his most worn Seattle Seahawks hat.

I started going through the decorations, and came across a box of cards. I thought “SCORE! I don’t have to buy any cards, this year!”

And then I started opening them and what do you know?

Pre-signed cards, from a time before, in my handwriting.

From a time when we never would have expected to only have 2 names on cards this year. A time when everything wasn’t perfect, but everyone was happy and together, and alive.

I started to cry again. Not quite as noisily as before. I sat the cards aside, and decided to look, later. I needed to sort them out, because I didn’t want to give those out this year.

Later came, so I started going through the cards. Then I came across this…

I nearly lost my shit. I curled into myself, again, and began to wail, body still shaking from the first cry.

That’s Mitch’s handwriting.

These were the last Christmas cards he filled out.

I remember the day I decided to start signing the cards. I said, “Mitch! You have GOT to fill out some cards, or people are going to think you don’t like them.” I was TOTALLY kidding, of course! He laughed, and filled out some cards.

But I sorted those cards. I kept the ones he signed, and am tossing the ones I signed.

But we did it. We made it through, over, and under this obstacle. We climbed it, we dragged it, we rolled it, and rang the damn bell.

The. Tree. Is. Up.

I might cry, every time I look at it, but it’s there. It’s beautifully lit, and decorated.

I also did something he told me I needed to work on. I let Meg decorate most of it. There’s a whole side of the tree without ornaments, but it’s staying that way.

It’s beautifully lopsided, kind of like my life.

A Life Unplanned For

We all know, no one plans to lose a spouse. 

No child plays house, pretending their spouse dies. It’s just not something we do, as a human race. 

I attended a wedding, last night. It was an absolutely beautiful wedding. There were so many people there, and we dressed up, and looked great. 


As I sat, and watched the bride and groom’s first dance, I thought about how Mitch and I didn’t do that. We never had a “first dance”. 

There was supposed to be the father-daughter dance, and my chest started to hurt, as they started a video, and explained why her dad wasn’t there.

 My mind went into hyperdrive, skipped to the future, and I saw Meg, standing there, in her wedding dress, without her Dad. 


For a moment, I was broken. 

I probably cried more than the average person. I cried out of joy for the actual bride and groom, and the promise of a beautiful future together. And, I cried out of sadness, for Meg, as she won’t have her daddy to walk her down the aisle, or to have that first dance with her. My heart felt the joy and the pain, simultaneously. 

One year ago, if anyone tried to tell me I could feel such opposite feelings, at the same time, I would have laughed, and said “Yeah, right! One feeling would totally overpower the other!” 

I would have been wrong. 

Aside from that part of the night, I had a good time, with great people. We celebrated the marriage of two people who fell so deeply into love, and decided to spend the rest of their lives together. 


Absolutely beautiful! 

I drank a bit, and after an evening of drinking and hanging out with friends, I had an overwhelming feeling. I don’t think I want to ever be married again. Maybe that’s just my widow-mind, right now. My marriage was perfect. Well, perfect for us. 

 It’s been less than a year, since Mitch passed. Sometimes, the days drag on, and other times, I can’t believe a whole week has gone by. 

Less than a year. 

Holidays are coming

This will be our first Thanksgiving without Mitch. Without his cucumber salad. I will make it for the McAnany family Thanksgiving, but it won’t be MITCH’s side dish. I’ll be the one making it. 

Christmas, I’m sure, is going to be the worst for me. I am terrified of December. 

One week before Christmas will be one year from the day everything started going bad. 

The day Mitch slipped and fell, and sprained his wrist. 

New Years, without that kiss. 

And then we move into January. 

I don’t want to.


I Choose To Smile. 

10/14/2017
If there is one thing for certain, it’s this. I share everything. I tell you of my pain. I tell you when I’m happy. I don’t hold back. 

I do, however avoid sharing too many details. 

Some readers may have read my blog titled “he”. I am seeing someone. I’m not going into detail again, you can check out the blog that talks about him. I say it here, to drive home the fact that I blog about everything. 

Tonight, I am at a bar, as I type, in Lawrence, Kansas. It’s called RBar. The last time I was here, Mitch was here. 

It was snowing. 

Kody was our driver. Roni sat shotgun. Mitch and I rode in the back seat. 

I’m here. 

As we walked in, from the lot across the street, memories flooded me. Mitch was so bored here, that night. (Until he got some drinks in him, and lit up he room) We people-watched and laughed at people. Not very nice, I know. But, that’s what we did. We didn’t laugh at anything that couldn’t be controlled, but we were laughing at the drunk ones that were acting like fools. His pseudo gout was starting to flare up, and he was annoyed with it. No-one knew, but me, because that’s the kind of man he was. That is the kind of man he will always be remembered as. 

I am, literally, sitting at a table, by myself, right now, to type about this. 

I was asked if I was okay,  just now, and had to convince the girl that I blog, and the urge to write hit me, right now, so I HAD to do it! 

She said okay, and went on about her drinking. 

So, the last time I was at that particular bar, (in an Uber, now!) Mitch was there. He was annoyed. He didn’t like hanging out with super young people. He just wanted to sit down, and have a drink. He wanted to be an “old man” as he referred to himself, more often than anyone would realize. 

He was 34,  yes .

He complained, often, that he felt like he was 69, because of his pseudo gout, and everything making living incredibly uncomfortable. 

But, damnit, if Mitch wasn’t one of the most positive human beings in the world…

When I think about Mitch, I think about him, the way he wanted me to: Alive, Funny, and happy. 

Sometimes, like I’ve talked about before, it throws me off, because, out of the blue it’ll slam me, right in the chest: “no more…” 

No more. 

Two simple words, that have such a huge meaning. 

Two simple words, that can break me, if thought at just the right moment. 

Two words…

Two words that, I am sure, will randomly pop into my mind, for the rest of my life. 

I often wonder what goes through the minds of his family, when they think about him. And I mean, I wonder what their phrase is, that catches them off guard. I know, it is fact, that when we think of his living being, it’s always happy.  Always funny. There’s always a joke, a movie line, song lyric, or an action that makes us all laugh or cry. That’s fact.

 I choose laughter. Sometimes, tears choose me, though. I try not to stop the tears when they do come. I just let them flow. 

I choose to miss him, and continue to love him, and remember him. I choose to carry him on, through memories, and talking about him. No one who ever met him will ever forget him. 

No one I meet will leave without knowing him, through me, and/or through Megan. 

His life was one full of love, laughter, and fun. 

I choose to remember. 

I choose to put one foot in front of the other, every single day. 

I choose to smile. 


 

Today, I Put Up Curtain Rods and Curtains, by Myself.

I’ll start with admitting that I love power tools. I do not own any power tools, though. 

I went to IKEA, to pick up curtains and rods and things to hang the rods and everything. 

I get home and have been super busy, until tonight. 

I put up those curtain rods, and hung my curtains. I don’t even have a leveler! 

It’s just another thing that I took for granted. I never had to do any of the stuff that a man would “typically” do. 

But I did it, today. I’ve done it, for eight months, 2 weeks and 2 days. 

I built a book shelf. I’ve hung shelves. I have gone to the car dealership, and bought a brand new car. I’ve hung photos, and art. I have hosted a party. 

I have done the cooking, the cleaning, the driving, the nurturing, the punishing, the praising, and the caring, when it comes to Meg. 

I have been playing the role of 2 people for these 8.5 months. 

I used the winnings from a scratch-off ticket (that my awesome, amazing brother bought me for my bday), to buy all of my adult-like curtains. 

I work. I pay the bills. I rarely sit down. 

This life is go-go-go! 

I am learning, and will continue to do so, how to find the happiness. I will always find the silver lining, sure. Being truly happy is something that can be tricky. I have to tell myself, “It is okay to laugh, Tabbie! It. Is. Ok!” 

Not all the time, but sometimes. You may catch it on my face, every now and then. I will have a thought, and my face feels like it loses all the blood supply. My mouth goes slack, and my heart skips a beat. I, sometimes, will cry right after, or the feeling will pass. 

It. Is. Okay. To Smile! 

It is. 

I know it is. 

Sometimes, there is a memory that makes my chest ache, because I know, I’ll never see or hear Mitch again. I’ll never sit and listen to him tell jokes, or watch him make a whole room of strangers fall in love with him. 

I’ll never lay with him, again. I’ll never hold his hand or kiss his lips. 

I’ve, honestly, come to terms with all of  this. But, every now and then, it sneaks up, and bites me, right in the heart. 

How could it not? It’s only been 8 months, 2 weeks, and 2 days! Not even a whole year. 

The way my mind has worked through all of this, completely surprises me. I never knew I had it in me. 

I lost the man who had my whole heart, for longer than any other person in my life. 

Before he died, I thought, many times (because, again, we had some pretty fucking morbid conversations, during our life together), that I would lose my mind, if he died first. 

I used to tell Mitch, “there are three people on this planet that their death would put me in a mental ward.” I believed it would be him, my brother Brady, and Megan. 

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’d be devastated if I lost any of my brothers. But, throughout life, Brady has been through almost every journey, WITH me. From foster care, to our mom’s not-so-great choices of boyfriends, high school, the loss of our step brother, our uncle, and most recently, the loss of his best friend, his “brother”, my husband. 

We have a closer bond than any of my other siblings and I.  It’s just how life worked out. 

But, now. I think back to those conversations with Mitch, all those times, through the years. 

I had no idea I had it in me, to carry on, to keep moving forward. 

Everyone at work knows about Mitch, obviously, but when I meet new people, be they reps or new docs, or new nurse hires, I tell them “Hi, my name is Tabbie, and I was widowed in January. My late hisbabd’s name is Mitch, and I tell you this because I openly speak about it, regularly.”

After the initial shock and stumbling over their “I’m so sorry!” everyone asks! EVERYONE! It’s okay! It gives me a chance to talk about how awesome he was, and how it’s so important to know your family history, and to have yourself checked regularly, if heart disease runs in your family. 

It really opens people’s eyes, because after we chat, they’ll ask me “how old was he, if you don’t mind?” And when I tell them he was only 34, their jaws hit the floor. It never fails. It CAN happen to you! 

This birthday, 10/10/2017, my 35th, was the first birthday I spent without Mitch, since my 17th birthday. I was with him for my 18th bday, through every birthday after, until this one. I did okay. Much better than expected, on my birthday. 

Megan’s bday is coming up, and I’m not quite sure what to expect. We are going to worlds of fun, again. Last year, Mitch and I took 6 or 7 girls to worlds of fun, for Meg’s 12th bday. Now I’ll be taking Meg and 3-4 friends, by myself. I’m positive memories are going to bring me to my knees, but, I guess I won’t really know until we are there. I’ve surprised myself before…

With that, I wish you good night. I’ll tell you sweet dreams. 

He. 

I like him. 

It hurts, but it is also amazing. 

I like him. 

He isn’t afraid of Mitch. 

He isn’t afraid of my grieving process. 

I like him. 

He isn’t jealous of Mitch.

He understands.

Not completely, but he underatands enough to allow me to grieve. 

He is kind.

I like him.

He cares.

I like him.

I won’t tell everyone his name, for I am afraid not everyone will be okay with my liking him, but, I will tell you, he is kind, understanding, affectionate, and caring. He doesn’t want to replace Mitch, he is 100% okay, coming after him. He thinks Meg is an awesome kid. He thinks I am amazing. 

I don’t know how long we will last, but, I’d be okay knowing I met a man as amazing as he, after knowing and being with Mitch for so long. 

I will say I was unlucky to lose Mitch, no doubt! I was, however, lucky to have gotten half of his lifetime. Half of it, with me. I grew up with him. I learned from him. I taught him. We loved and lived for each other. He shaped me into the woman I am. 

This new one. He knows that I wouldn’t be the woman I am, without those years with Mitch. He would thank Mitch, if he could, for helping to shape me into me. 

How can I be so unlucky, yet so insanely lucky at the same time? 

Trust me, saying, to myself, that I’m “lucky” is a very hard, strange thing. I have to separate the things that are unlucky (Mitch passing away), and the things that count as “lucky”: having 16.5 years with one of the most amazing men on the planet, followed by someone who is amazing and awesome in his own way. I must have been one hell of a saint In My previous life, because, to deserve the men who walk into my life, and choose to stay, (the good ones) I must have done something amazing, right? 

I have to admit, that I am a bit on the odd side. I am not afraid to share how I feel, and for me, that makes them uncomfortable. Luckily, I have learned that the ones who feel uncomfortable with how I feel are the ones that aren’t worth my time. The one who sticks around and understands, or at least tries, is someone worth trying for. 

He texts me, every night, “good night, hottie! Sweet dreams”

And every morning he sends me “good morning! Hope your day is amazing!” Text. 

That, in and of itself, is quite amazing to me. 

I like him. 

It’s Really Been 8 Months and 1 Day. 


8 Months and 1 day. 

Mitch and I would always joke about how we couldn’t remember life without each other. Like we had been together forever. Our minds may have blocked all things prior to our getting together. 

It’s strange though. I mean, the sensations are awkward for me. I remember every single thing, about him being here. I remember his laugh. I remember his voice. I remember how he would try to be all sexy, and fall off of the bed.  I remember everything. It is how my mind works. 

I am so lucky to have been blessed with the life, and love of Mitch Wood. 16.5 years of being loved like I was a queen. 16.5 years of being doted on, of always being right, of bliss. 

For the last 8 months, I have learned that there are people who you thought you could trust, who you absolutely cannot trust, and there are people who you think are something they are not. I have found that some of my favorite people are, obviously, my and Mitch’s families. (They are all my family, but, for clarification purposes, I’ll say Mitch’s fam). 

There have been times where my intuition was wrong. I was guided into the wrong direction, because I felt like it was right. I haven’t really had to rely much on intuition, or my “feelies” as I refer to them, in a very long time, because I didn’t have anyone trying to get close to me, intimately. My feelies are rusty. They’re getting better. I am reading people better and better every day. 

8 Months ago, I was absolutely terrified of living alone, as I had NEVER lived by myself, let alone caring for another human life! 

Now, I am doing it. I am paying the bills, I have savings. I pay for Meg to play sports. 

I. Am. Doing. It!

I even remember to feed the cat! 

As hard as the last 8 months has been, physically, emotionally, and mentally, I have learned so much! 

Some things are things I didn’t want to learn, ever, in all my life. (Hello, being a widow isn’t something I wanted to learn how to do!)  But other things, like learning that I can be independent. I am good at being independent. 

I have learned that, because I went to college, and then fought for a raise, so that I was being paid what I was worth, I can afford to pay ALL of my bills, save money, AND play. I never would have imagined that would have been possible. Not in a million years. 

Now, please, don’t get me wrong. I know that money doesn’t create happiness. But, paying the bills, without worry, relieves stress. 

That was one thing that we worried about more than anything. We always worried about it. We had enough to pay the bills, and started to figure out how to keep some extra, but, some new debt collector would pop up, and there it all went, again. That was the story of our lives. 

Now, I only have one after me, and they’re stupid. An old apartment complex I lived at had a horrible flea problem, prior to me having any animals, ANNNNND some water damages caused by the pipes in the apartment, and they are charging me $2000, for the carpet. I called multiple times about the fleas, and when I called about the water leaking from my lights, it took them 3 days to come out and fix it. I told them to send it to collections, because I’m not paying it. Crazy bastards. 

I learned that I can negotiate like none other! It took all night long, but I got a new car, and got the price down to what I wanted it to be. I also got he interest as low as I could get it, with my crappy credit. But, I learned I could do it! 

When I cry, now, it’s for less time than before. It’s at the memories of Mitch, that, first, make me laugh, then I cry, because he is gone. 

I look at pictures, and sometimes, they kill me. Other times, I laugh and retell the story behind the photos, inducing laughter from anyone who is around. 

Megan has even started saying things like “remember when daddy would do *insert goofy shit here*,” and start laughing. 

Within the last 8 months, Meg and I have had so much personal growths, and have had to deal with things we never wanted to deal with. 

We have cried. 

We have broken down, to where we had to pull off the side of the road, and hold each-other. 

We have been immensely sad, and heart-broken. 

We have learned. 

We have grown. 

We have found some semblance of happiness, in this post Mitch Wood world. 

We are moving, ever forward. 

One step at a time. 

One day at a time. 

One week.

One month. 

Each day, we put one foot in front of the other. But we never forget the life Mitch gave us. We never forget his huge heart, or his goofy faces. We never forget the pride he showed, any time Meg accomplished something she was working for, whether it was a math problem, or catching in softball. 

Keep moving, but never forget anything.

#OneFootInFrontOfTheOther

#MitchWood

#LoveAlways

The Things I Have Done, So Far, This Year. 


This year has been one hell of a ride, so far.

I’ve done so many things that I never expected I would ever do. 

I, unfortunately, became a widow, at the age of 34, in January. Most already know the details of that, and I won’t relive it, in this post. 

In February, I paid off all of our tax debt, which was absolutely insane. That amount of money was a pretty large chunk of change.  I set up autopay for my student loans. 

In February, I went to Liberty tax and filed our taxes. It was overwhelming. I had never filed taxes, without Mitch there. Never! 

In March, I bought a new car. A brand new car. I never thought I could get a brand new car. I figured I would be stuck with dud cars for the rest of my life. Also, in March, I officially hired JRen Fitness, to whip me into a healthier me. 

In April, I signed up for the Conquer the Gauntlet Lifetime pass. It has been so rewarding!  I’ve met so many people, because of this, who have become friends, some who I consider my race family. 

In May, I left work at 3pm, hopped in my car, with 2 girlfriends, and drove, all the way to Georgia. We got there at 5am, and decided to nap for an hour before racing time. I ran my first official CTG! It was amazing! At the end of May, I released some stress, in a way that I knew how. 

I had sex with someone who ISN’T Mitch. (Definitely, I never saw this in my 2017 plans!) 


In June, I drove to Dallas Texas, for a conquer the Gauntlet. I found out that I can drive, easily, for 8 hours, before my ass starts cramping. I took Meg to the JFK museum, and we left Mitch at a restaurant and in the grassy Knoll. 

In July, we didn’t do much celebrating for Independence Day, since it was my scheduled holiday. That was strange. 

Meg started volunteering for the race Merch tent. She was killing it, in sales. She is doing so much better speaking to “strangers” (customers, and it transferred over to her ordering her own food at restaurants, too!)

I’ve been to Tulsa, and Iowa, for races, as well. 

I went to Nebraska for a workout with some race friends. Just because it sounded like a good thing to do. (It WAS!) 

I never would have thought that I’d be in the place I am, right now. 

This year has been trying. I have definitely had my bad days. I have sat down, on the edge of my bed and cried, for hours, about things I can’t control. Once those tears are released, I feel like it is like letting my worries go. Letting them free into the universe. I can’t worry about the things I can’t control. It’s fruitless. It’s unnecessary stress, that I CAN refuse to have. 

I can be happy, without feelings of guilt. 

I can have fun, without guilt.

I can keep taking steps, forward, without guilt. 

I can be sad, and happy, at the same time. 

I can be myself, an individual. 

I can be a mom.

I can be a friend.

I can say things and do things that most people are too aftaid to do or say. And I don’t do it, for attention. I don’t need that kind of attention, ya know? I do it, so other women and men, who are experiencing the same feelings I have, never feel alone. 

POST-widowhood Happiness

I know that this blog is about me being a widow, but I hope that anyone who has lost a loved one, can get some sort of hope from my story. 

I NEED people to keep hope. Or faith, or whatever you want to call it. 

It’s important to me, that people who are devestated right now, know that happiness IS possible. 

You may not believe me, right now. Hell, I wouldn’t have believed me, either. 

But, I promise you, it is possible. 

It’s beautifully intertwined with sadness, and excitement, anger and love.

 The happiness that first comes, is one heavily dosed with guilt. You find yourself laughing, then you turn around, and start crying, because, you feel guilty about laughing, about feeling that feeling that makes you laugh. 

The happiness that comes after, is pure. It’s a new kind of happy. I don’t know if I can explain it well enough, but I will try. 

Happiness before the loss of someone who is such a huge, positive part of your life, is happiness. It is normal, happy, where you may take things for granted. It’s not something to be ashamed of. It’s just normal. The happiness now, post guilt laden happiness, is so much deeper. 

It’s a kind of happy that starts down in your belly, and moves up, and through the chest, to burst out, and just be. It’s one where you appreciate the things that make you happy. You don’t take for granted, anything, anymore. You know how quickly the happiness and good can go away. 

It’s a kind of happy that I wish everyone could feel, but, for me, it took a terrible, horrible, tragic loss, to open my eyes, my mind, and my heart. And I don’t wish this kind of loss on my worst enemy. 

I feel like putting that into words doesn’t do it justice. I can’t explain it, any better than that, but that’s just not enough. 

That’s the best I can give. 

Another thing I have noticed is that my desire to make people happy, is far above what it ever was, before. I can say “thank you.” I can say “I appreciate you.” I can say many things, but instead, I’ve been more likely to SHOW you, of late. A hug, a kind gesture, or a gift. Something that goes with the words. It’s not a form of “repayment” or “to create equality”. It’s because it’s what I WANT… no… it’s what I NEED to do, to be a happy human. I want everyone who positively impacts my life to know they have. Period. 

It’s about using actions, because they speak louder than words. 


#DontWorryBeHappy

#OneFootInFrontOfTheOther

Do Me A Favor


The next time you happen to come across a widow, of any age, engage. 

Ask them questions, but not about being a widow, or about their late husband or late wife. 

Ask them how their job is. Ask them about their gramdkids. Ask them about their desires in life. 

Ask them their drink of choice, and buy them a drink, even if it’s just an iced tea or a drink. Pepper. 

Tell them they are strong, because they are. As a widow myself, I know the strength it takes to take each step every day. I know the feeling of being judged, for things that only feel natural. 

I know the pain of wanting something more, but, being afraid of loss. 

I know the feeling of loss. I know the feeling of fear that I’ll lose my extra family, if I fuck up. (Even if it is mostly an irrational fear). 

I told my work fam that I was going to start dating. A woman, a coworker, who I love, very much tells me, every time I see her, “Tabbie, you know I think it’s too soon.” 

Love you, lady, but, I will be the judge of that. Kissy face emoji. 

I don’t take it bad that she tells me this. She cares about me. She worries about my heart, mind, and soul. 

She also knows that I am very strong-willed and would never do anything that I had ANY doubts about. I only go full force if I am 100% sure. 

I am 100% sure. 

I’m moving forward. 

I am taking each step as they come. 

I am terrified, but excitement is there, as well. 

I received the most amazing of messages, it had me crying my eyes out. And honestly, as I was screenshotting and cropping to hide the identity of the sender, I, obviously, read the messages again, and started crying… again. 


Amen! Life is NOT about the breathtaking moments. It’s about the moments that take your breath away. ❤️

Let your breath be stolen. And let it be stolen often. 

Cherish those moments. 

Love with your whole heart. It’s scary, but worth it. Holding back doesn’t allow for the full feelings to shine through. When you love wholeheartedly, you do things you would never do, in another case, or for another human. You go out of your way to make that person happy. 

I’m not fully vested in astrology, but, I do feel very in Line with my sign: Libra.

My sign says I bring balance. I believe that. I feel that is a true assessment of who I am as a human. I hate an imbalance in fairness, love, friendships, etc. 

I love to make people happy. 

I can’t help it. I don’t do too much, to make people happy, but I will be damned if I have a friend or loved one who is upset About anything that I have done. I will work to make it better. 

Anyway, I just wanted to share with y’all the amazing, heartfelt message I received. (Well, parts of it anyway). 

Goodnight, world.