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.

17 Years…

If Mitch hadn’t have died, we would be celebrating 17 years, OFFICIALLY, together, today. 17! 

Now, I’m widowed. 

Today. Fucking. Sucks!

I avoided most of my Facebook “on this day” posts, so I could make it through the day, without losing my shit. 

I held myself together until about 3:30pm. I’ve been crying off and on since. 

It hurts so bad. So fucking bad. My chest hurts. Like it’s cracking open, all over again. 

I’m going to share the Facebook posts I’ve made throughout the years, wishing Mitch a happy anniversary. 


8/22/2010

OMIGOSH!!! With all that has been going on, I almost forgot! HAPPY 10 YEAR ANNIVERSARY Mitch Wood! ❀ YOU

8/22/2011

11 years ago, today, I asked this guy, “So, are we, like, a couple now?” And he responded, “Sure.” We have been together ever since. And. Happy bday Zaida!!!

8/22/2012

12 years ago, today, I stood outside of Mitch’s white mustang, as he sat in the driver’s seat, getting ready to head home. I leaned in the car, kissed him, and said, “So, are we, like, a couple, now?” And he said, “Sure.” We have been together since that day! Happy 12 years, Mitch McCullough Wood! I love you!!! 
And, HAPPY BIG 18 Zaida Wood!!!!! So, growed up, now!!! =( Love you Sis!! =D
8/22/2013

13 years ago, Mitch and I had a conversation, that went like this:
Me: So, are we, like, a couple, now?

Mitch: Sure.
And we’ve been together ever since. πŸ˜‰ 
❀

8/22/2014

I got lazy:


Just kidding. I posted:

Mitch McCullough Wood. 14 years! Holy cow! We were 2 and 3 years younger than Zaida is now, when we made our relationship official. 

It feels like forever, in the way that I don’t remember a life without you. I can’t even imagine what life would be like without you, and your giant, confusing, crazy, fun family. And I don’t want to imagine that. 
I am the luckiest lady in the world to have you. 
The most significant word in our vocabulary: sure.
It’s amazing how one little word changed our lives, so incredibly.
I love you, and cannot wait to see what fun we can create in the future. 
 I know some people don’t even acknowledge their “dating anniversary”, but, most people don’t have their little sister’s birthday the same day, as a yearly reminder. 😘 
Speaking of that…
Happy birthday, Zaida. You have grown into such a beautiful woman, with an amazing heart, and I’m so very proud of you. I’m especially proud of you for figuring out a hairbrush. There for a while, I figured it was never going to happen. πŸ˜‰ 
β€πŸ’‹πŸ’™πŸ’‹πŸ’šπŸ’‹πŸ’›πŸ’‹πŸ’œπŸ’‹
8/22/2015

No posts. πŸ˜”

8/22/2016

No posts… 😳
I bet you can’t guess which one threw me over the edge… 
I still don’t feel like this is really real. I feel like I’m in the Truman Show, and everyone is watching me cry for a man that’s not really gone. 

But, that must be a defense mechanism, because my HEART feels like he’s gone. It’s a feeling that I cannot describe to anyone, no matter how many words I use. 

I’m lucky to be a realistic woman, who understands the whole reality of this situation. 

Someone asked me, today, if going out on a date was weird. My immediate response shocked me! 

“No,” I responded, “It was almost natural.” 

I Baffled my own mind! 

It was. I’m a great people-person. I love talking to people. It’s always been one of my favorite things to do. You can ask my mom. 😜

So, The other night, on this date, he asks, “so what is it you’re looking for?” 

I think I finally know the answer! 

It’s not to fill a void, because I’m smarter than that. Trying to fill THAT particular void would have horrible, horrible consequences! Not me. Too smart for that. 

It’s for distraction! It seems like it was for a little distraction from my life. It was fun. I was definitely distracted, and I smiled. I laughed. I made jokes. And,  I had fun. 

Little distractions, here and there, are great. 

So, thanks, Mr. H, for giving me a distraction, I so badly needed. πŸ‘Œ

August is HARD. 

Football starts.

Mitch’s bday.

Our “official couple” anniversary. 

August is the feeliest of all feely months. 

I’m tired. 

I miss him. 

Fuck “tired”!

I am fucking exhausted! 

I am mad, but not in a dangerous way. 

This is not fair, at all, for any of us, especially Megan and myself. 

My chest hurts. It has hurt so much this month. Not in a medical way, but in the way that my breath catches, and I hold back tears to appease those around me. I don’t lie, but I don’t over-share anymore, either, because I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. Which, is fine, because I feel worse hurting feelings, than than I do holding it to myself, and 2-3 very close girlfriends. 

Life is still moving. It’s going up, and down, and infinite directions. 

It’s time to really grab hold, and see where it takes me. 

I love life, but I don’t love everything about it. 

Without the bad, you know not, how truly good the good is. 

Sleep well, friends and family. 

I Am Tired

Exhausted would be a better word to use. I am exhausted.

It’s only Wednesday, and this week has been incredible, sad, scary, but, most of all, it’s been FUN!

It’s been very fun! A Concert on Monday, with a great friend, who I hope to get to hang out with more often, followed by a mom/daughter day on Tuesday getting our hair, and nails done, went out for dinner, and had ice cream cones, from our favorite ice cream shop.

Today, I will go watch Meg catch for her softball team, and hopefully slay the competition. (I’m THAT softball mom.)

I’ve been a bit more sad than normal, this week, and I realize why. Father’s day is on Sunday. This is going to be a rough one.

Megan’s first father’s day without her dad. My heart aches for her. My heart aches for ME! I never had the opportunity to have the beautiful father-daughter bond, that Megan and Mitchell shared. I used to just sit back, and watch them, in awe of how amazing they were together. I got to see that it is real. Sometimes, those perfect movie families can be REAL! Sunday is definitely going to be a rough day. We will have a drink with Mitch for father’s day (Brady and I. Not Megan!), in Florida.

I have felt very close to tears, multiple times this week. Hell, I cried at the hair salon, last night! I was blogging, but decided I didn’t like that blog, because it was just awful, and it would most likely piss people off. So, I deleted it.

I am in no mood to keep pissing people off. I am just living my life, like I need to do.

I am really goal oriented, and have discovered, I typically get the things that I want. I work for them, and I get them. Proudly. I am not sure why I wasn’t trying before. Maybe I just didn’t care, before. I was happy with my life. I am figuring out how to be happy, still. It’s different, now. I am always running. I work, I parent, I am supposed to cook, regularly (haha!), and make sure the apartment is clean, and then I have to also adult! Pay bills, get my oil changed. The works!

So, in the last 4 months, I have learned to do all of the things that Mitch did, and continue to take care of the things I used to take care of. It is exhausting! I decided I didn’t want to just work and sleep, and clean, and pay bills. I decided that with all of the “UNfun” stuff, there should be something fun thrown in there, too! Something just for me, or just for Megan, or just for us together.

So, If I am exhausted, it’s because I am making time for the fun. We need that. Everyone needs it. I recommend that.

Between the tear filled days, we must find the happiness. We must laugh, and tell our memories. We must keep our good people close, and cut loose the ones who try to bring us down. There’s enough going on in my head, that I do not need, or WANT anyone’s attempts at mind games. No time for that. I have many more important things to focus on. Β So the only thing to do, is cut them loose. It could be a friend, or part of your family. It doesn’t matter, if they attempt mind games, say goodbye. You will thank yourself, in the long run.

Now, it’s time for me to do that “adulting” stuff, I talked about earlier.

 

haircuts

 

Car Dealership VS The 34 Year Old Widow

So, I have been running around, like a 5-year-old, who got the Barbie she always wanted, for Christmas.

I BOUGHT A CAR! A brand new, never owned before, car!

I was at the car dealership for six and a half hours, getting them to lower the price/monthly payments/interest rate. I have been telling everyone, who will listen, about said event.

I went in strong. I started spouting off all of these numbers, like I REALLY knew what I was talking about, and THEN I sat down. The salesman leaned forward, eyes wide, mouth agape, and said, “Where are you getting all of your information? It’s all very accurate, but, where?”

My brother told me what to say. He told me what questions to ask. I knew what I was looking for, but I have always just been the woman at the dealership with her husband. Now, don’t get me wrong. that statement was sarcastic. It means that I was, basically, overlooked when we were car shopping. Not by Mitch. The salesmen wouldn’t talk to me. They would always direct every question to Mitch, as if I had no clue what I wanted, or needed.

I know my credit is crappy. I said it, immediately after telling the salesman what I wanted, and what I “knew”. I felt good.

I felt STRONG! Independent! Like a fucking goddess!

I got what I wanted, just with a bit higher interest rate, and, I get it. I was lucky to even get approved for a loan, to begin with. But, by golly, I sure did get it, and I sure did get it REAL close to what I was asking for.

 

On the downside. I came home, and all I wanted to do was tell Mitch how amazing I was, at the dealership. Reality hit, and felt tears and sobs coming, but I was so exhausted from haggling, that I just passed out. I had to work today, so sleep took over.

I didn’t eat dinner last night, because I was too busy buying a car.

My brother is in the process of packing all of his stuff, since he is moving out of his smaller home, into a larger one, VERY SOON! He was storing Mitch’s things in his basement for me. It’s all here. My halls were lined with all things Mitch, when I got home.

I see all of his stuff through the clear totes.

I was sad, because my seattle seahawks stick family decals were gone. I was sad, because that car Mitch drove, that always made my heart jump, even though I KNEW he wouldn’t be here, is gone.

I may look strong, and brave, on the outside. On the inside, I am jello. I am scared. I am in so much pain, I can’t even describe it.

I bought a car! Yay!

I traded Mitch’s car. Not-so-yay.

Yes, I laugh. Yes, I love. Yes, I can be happy for those around me, who are getting engaged, buying new homes, or having new babies. I am genuinely happy for your happiness.

I am also happy for MY happy things. I’ve talked about it before. I am happy that I bought this new car. I am so happy that I can afford it. I am happy that when it’s paid off, it’ll still be under warranty, and Megan get it, when she turns 18.

All of that happiness, but, I am devastated that Mitch died. I fucking hate it. I hate that I don’t have him with me. I hate that Megan will be a teenage girl, without her daddy. Β It’s not fair! He would have been SO amazing with her, through her teen years. He had so much patience! Watch THIS video, to see.

I remembered, a few days ago, that just about a week before Mitch died, I was talking to a friend about how I wouldn’t have to ever worry about being a single mother, because Mitch was phenomenal! Even if he was messy, he was amazing!

And, since he was so amazing, I have taken the best of his shirts, jerseys, hats, etc, and split them up, amongst his 8 siblings, and parents.

I am excited to give them each, their own little Mitch souvenirs. I don’t expect them to wear the clothing, or hats, or anything like that. But, to have it, and hug it, or put it on a pillow to hug, when they are missing him, will be nice.

God, gods, goddesses! I am SO glad we married young! I got to be with him, for HALF of his life! I got HALF! That’s AMAZING! More than half would have been better, but damn! We are only 34.

I’ve also had to stop wearing my wedding ring, on my finger. I have added it to my urn necklace, and his ring. It looks very good, together.