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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
On January 25th, 2017, the best thing that ever walked into my life, fell asleep, and never woke up. That was 7 months and 2 days ago.
Many people tell me:
“You are so strong!”
“You’re an inspiration!”
“You’re doing so well!”
“I don’t know how you go on. I mean, I don’t think I could do it!”
My strength is something I absorb through all of my friends, family, and support system. I have the best group of people, out there, to encourage me in the things I want and need.
I hope to inspire many, who are grieving. It’s NEVER easy! There is NEVER a day that goes by, where I don’t think of Mitch. He and Meg were my EVERYTHING. This kind of loss isn’t something anyone “gets over” or “moves on” from. This kind of loss is something you LEARN AND GROW with.
I do well, again, because of my amazing support system. And I love every single one of you! 😘
You really don’t know how you can go on, until you are here, and HAVE to keep moving. It’s not something I wish anyone to even TRY imagining. It’s terrifying, and guy-wrenching, to say the least! But, moving forward is a MUST! Nothing great ever happens, living in the past. We must all live, in the now. One step at a time, even baby steps count. Leaps and bounds may set you back a bit, but you will learn. And, learning, my dear, is good.
Inside my daily mind:
Every day, I wake up, I think “damn, it’s raining, or damn it’s sunny!” Reach across my empty bed, to a place that should hold my husband. I don’t cry, when I do this, anymore. Well, I don’t cry EVERY time. Some days, the sense of loss is heavier than others. And that is just fine!
I get up, make my coffee, and try to relax into my day, drinking my cup of dark roast. I think about how Mitch would always complain that I kept buying dark roast, because he was a blonde roast kind of guy. I bought the kind I liked, and when he shopped, he ALSO bought the kind I liked. I did start buying both, to be fair.
I jump in the shower (most days) and get ready to start my day fresh. While I am enjoying a hot, cleansing shower, I think about how Mitch used to get giant cups, or even pitchers, sometimes, and fill them up with ice and cold water, and dump it on me, from over the shower curtain. I would get so mad, and laugh, every single time! It never failed.
I dry off, and start my moisturizing routine, and think about how Mitch would ALWAYS walk into the bedroom, as I started putting lotion on. He would walk in and be like “oh! You’re not dressed yet? *wink*! He would then either be very obvious that he was watching me, or try to pretend he was doing other things, and “bump into me” as he passed me.
I get dressed, and get my lunch packed and think how proud he would be that I USUALLY take my lunch to work. Saves me so much money!
As I leave for work, I always feel like I am forgetting something. Every time. This sensation of forgetting something, is because I would kiss Mitch, every morning, while he laid sleeping in bed. We never left without saying goodbye. It was our thing. So now, I don’t have that sleeping husband to kiss goodbye.
I’ll be at work, and something funny, or great, or terrible will happen, and I remember how I would always call, or text Mitch throughout the day, and he would be a smart ass, and make me laugh.
When I get off of work, I think about how I would call Mitch, and ask him what he was cooking for dinner. Ever single day, I would call him and ask. Then I would say “oh good! I’m starving!” Or “Okay, what do you want me to pick up?” And I remember that Tuesday night, January 24th, when he told me he was craving the turkeylicious chili from Eat fit go. His last dinner. His choice.
When I get home, and chat with Meg about her day, I think about how she has been here for however long she is there (depends on my call schedule) alone. I think about how this wouldn’t be a thing if Mitch were here. I think about how, before, she would tell me “Ugh! Daddy already ASKED me these questions!” 💙
When Megan tucks me into bed at night, she kisses me goodnight, then goes to her bedroom. This was the routine before her daddy died. She would tuck me in, and kiss me goodnight, then she would go to bed, and daddy would tuck HER in, kiss her goodnight. After tucking her in, he would come into our room, kiss me goodnight, and attempt frisky business, every night. Then, we would either get frisky, or I’d go to sleep and he would go watch sports or the news or the history channel. He’d come to bed at 11 or so, and go to sleep, and our routine would start all over again, when we woke up.
These are, obviously, not the only things that affect me, but these are the regular routine things that get me, more often.
Friday, before we left for Tulsa, Meg was looking for clothes to pack. As she was digging through her closet, she found this:
Those are her tiny handprints. This was a Father’s Day gift from her, quite a few years ago.
She started bawling.
It’s little reminders like these, that jump out, when they’re least expected, and tear us apart.
Honestly, though, I would RATHER have these little reminders that tear us to shreds, than no reminders at all. I think no reminders would be so much harder to handle.
Megan, as a new middle-schooler, is now a part of a “grief group”. There are 3 or 4 other kids who have suffered significant loss, as well, and the social worker is working in getting them together, on a regular basis, to connect on a deeper level. I am SO happy about this! I am so glad she has an outlet, now, since she didn’t even want to try therapy. (She got that from her dad, no joke! He didn’t believe in therapy or psychologists!)
Megan and I:
So, as we grieve, we take each step, one at a time. We remember. We talk about him. We still love him. We will NEVER “get over it!”, and we are okay with that. We will never “move on!”, and we are okay with that, too.
We are so unlucky in the way of losing Mitch, and so very lucky, in the way of our support system.
I dreamed of Mitch, Thursday night! I didn’t want to wake up. It was a very “normal” dream.
He was here, at my apartment, like he had never been gone. He was laying in my favorite spot on the couch, and we were discussing whether or not, he should go get a job, since we were doing so well, without a second income.
I told him no. I told him to stay home, take care of home stuff, and we would be okay.
He told me I should probably change my tax status, back to married, instead of widowed, because he didn’t want us to get in trouble on outer taxes, ever again.
It wasn’t a sexy dream. It was as if he really was here, discussing the crap that we discussed on a regular basis, before. Money, paying bills, Megan and school. Like he had never left.
In my dream, though, I KNEW he had been gone all this time, yet, there he was, looking mighty alive.
However, I never saw his face.
What in the world could that mean?! I haven’t forgotten what he looks like. I haven’t forgotten his voice or anything. His voice is crystal clear in my dream. Except that one, where I couldn’t hear him at all.
I miss him so much, and all I want is one of his big bear hugs, where he smothers me in his chest. I want to breathe in his scent, one more time. Breathe him deep into my soul. Every now and then, I’ll get a quick whiff of him, but as quickly as it comes, it’s gone.
I RARELY dream about him, and when I do, it’s strange. Once, just his voice, like he was trying to find me, and nothing else. Once, just him, but I couldn’t hear him, even though he was talking to me, right in front of my face. And this latest dream, where I could see his waist, legs and feet. The details in his feet, like his veins, and bones, the way they looked when he sat with his feet propped on the arm of the couch, one foot crossed over the other. It’s all in there, in my brain. I remember every detail of him.
He is my soulmate. There’s no question about that. We were put together so many times before we realized we were meant for each other.
At age 17, I knew, the first time I kissed him, that he was my forever guy. Forever wasn’t as long as it was supposed to be.
When I moved into his house 2 weeks after we started dating, everyone said we were nuts! Horrible idea! (In their defense, in a normal teenage situation, it would have been a horrible idea. I don’t recommend it to everyone. We KNEW!) When we got engaged a year and a half after we started dating, (2/2002), everyone said we were being ridiculous! No one realized how perfectly we were made for each other. That’s okay, though! We knew! When we got married, at age 20, not even old enough to LEGALLY drink our champagne, we were congratulated, yes, but also told we were crazy! “You’re too young! It’ll never last! Bad idea!” Again, in most cases, statistically, these are all true statements. In our case, they weren’t true. We. Fucking. KNEW!
I was slightly annoyed, when we were younger, about people continually telling us we were doing things wrong. But, the older we got, the closer we grew together, and the more everyone else saw it. They KNEW! They KNOW now!
I miss him. I miss my partner, my best friend, my biggest cheerleader, my lover, my husband.
It hurts, but, I’m healing. I know that’s what this is. I can’t, and won’t be “broken” forever. Scarred? Sure, absolutely!
Beautifully, and uniquely scarred. So unlike anyone else.
I really hope there is an afterlife. I hope Mitch was welcomed by his momma, and family and friends that passed before him, and that he welcomed his grandma Sandy, with that big, bear hug, that I miss so much.
May they be partying it up, in the happiest of afterlives.
Yesterday marked 5 months that Mitch has been gone.
Yesterday, we were informed a family member has 2 weeks- 2 months left with us.
Today, Megan had softball.
She had a rough day behind the plate. She felt like she was screwing everything up.
She started to cry. She cried hard, and for quite some time.
The girls almost had to forfeit the game, because without Megan on the field, we didn’t have enough players to finish the game.
I didn’t tell her to go out there. I told coach that I could never tell her to do that. Her emotional health is far more important to me, than any win or loss.
Watching her cry, uncontrollably, for so many other reasons, outside of softball, hurt so bad. When she stood up, and walked out onto the ball field, by her own choice, was heart wrenching. Everyone out there watching the game, cheered for her. Even the other team’s parents were cheering for her.
As the only person out there, that really understands what she is dealing with, and not being able to do anything to make it better, it sucks. I am her mom. I am supposed to comfort her when she is hurting. I can’t.
All I can do is hold her until the tears stop. When her tears stop, and she steps away, my heart breaks a little. Tears well up, and I fight them down.
I have my good days, and I have my bad days. But, I don’t think my worst days hurt me as badly as Meg’s bad days do.
I love her, so very deeply, that I can’t handle it when she is hurting. I mean, I CAN but I don’t like it, at all.
While Mitch was alive, I was always worried that I would die before him. I was afraid that I would die, and leave him a single father, caring for our daughter. I was afraid he was cursed, you know. I didn’t want to die and leave him a widower. That wouldn’t be fair. He lost his mom, when he was very young. He grew up, pretty rough.
That day, when I drove out to FedEx, exactly 5 months ago, and the officer dragged me into an office, and told me he was found, unresponsive, I was broken. I was broken, but, I was also relieved that I didn’t die, and leave HIM broken.
I can’t say that he would be doing better or worse, right now, in this position. I CAN say, that I am so glad he doesn’t have to be the one going through this. That would not have been fair for him, at all. And, yes, I know that life isn’t fair.
Someone posted this photo, on Facebook, and they said “thoughts?”
I responded with this:
“I’ve been widowed for almost 5 months. I am breathing, standing, walking, climbing, running, sprinting, hurdling, etc. it sucks so so so bad! But here’s my reasoning: My husband was the kind of man who made the BEST of EVERY situation. It didn’t matter what the situation was, he looked at the silver lining. He found the good that came from every bad thing. He taught me to do the same. With my husband’s death, at the young age of 34, of natural causes (heart failure), many many family and friends flocked to their doctor, to have their hearts checked. Some found they were healthy as could be, others found they needed further checking, because their white blood count was off, or their whatever was bad. It’s been a hell of a ride this last 4.95 months, and I am heart-broken, but I have a 12 year old daughter who NEEDS me! My husband has passed on, so he no longer NEEDS me. He would NOT have wanted me to screw up my and our daughter’s lives, because I am sad, or heartbroken, or have depressed days. He would have said “look, Tabbie, my death saved my dad’s life!” Because it DID! So, I will sprint, and breathe, and walk, dance and stand. Some days I may wobble, or fall, but I will keep putting one foot in front of the other. I hate this, but I will SURVIVE! We all will.”
I feel like people believe I make widowhood look easy. I don’t try to. This isn’t easy, at all. I try to live each day. I try to make our lives happy, even when we are sad. I go through times where I feel guilty for thinking other men are attractive, or if I have sexual thoughts about them. I also know that having those thoughts and feelings are totally normal. I am only 34! I am a HEALTHY 34. I am not acting on each thought. That’s where we would have a problem. But, thinking about things is not a crime. It’s just something that happens.
Again, not easy.
One income. I’ve had people say, “Well, there’s one less person, so one less income shouldn’t be too bad.” Well, when you are used to living with double the money you have, it is a TOTAL adjustment!
I know, that the things people say, are meant to be comforting, and coming from some people, it is comforting. When it comes from someone I am not close to, it doesn’t come out like that. It isn’t taken like that. For some reason, it really is irritating.
I have always known that I adapt to change pretty well. I typicallyvadapt to change better than most people I know. However, I didn’t realize how well adapted I am, until it was brought to my attention, that I am USED to sleeping alone, already. I have no desire to have someone sleeping next to me. I thought I was going to need friends to sleepover, in the beginning, and I never did. Meg and I slept on an air mattress together for nearly 3 weeks, and both of us got so uncomfortable, she started sleeping on the couch, until we moved into our apartment. I have reverted back to being a bed-hog. I am regretting my decision, to buy a queen bed, rather than a king. I had a king bed, when I was a teenager. I think when Meg gets a “new bed” it’ll be my bed, and I’m getting a king. All that room!
Now, unrealistically speaking, I would give everything I own away, if it meant I could share a floor with Mitch. But, that’s unrealistic. I can’t BRING HIM BACK! No matter how much I want it, it doesn’t work like that. No matter how hard I cry, or how much I miss him, it just doesn’t work that way.
Maybe, when my time comes, I’ll see him again. He was a good person. I try to be a good person. Maybe that means our afterlives will be good, if there really is an afterlife.
I could totally see Mitch and I haunting people, together. Hilariously haunting family and close friends.
Honestly, I still don’t get signs from Mitch. I haven’t dreamed about him, except the only 2 dreams I had. Maybe he leaves me alone, because he is afraid I’ll lose my shit? Maybe he leaves me alone because I am “doing just fine”? Maybe he thinks I need to continue to “be the inspiration” that I have become? Maybe, he doesn’t visit me, because he is afraid I will be committed to a psych ward, and leave Meg without a parent? Maybe he doesn’t visit, because I told him he wasn’t allowed to haunt me? Jokingly, of course, because when one dies, they can do whatever they want. 😉 And maybe, JUST maybe, he doesn’t visit, because he can’t. Maybe that’s not a true option, after death. Whatever the case, he doesn’t visit me or leave me signs, like I hear everyone else talk about. I have little tidbits of “oh my, Mitch would have said that!” But, nothing too ghostly.
So, here I sit, 5 months without my Mitchell. I am stronger than I have ever been, in all of my life. I am happy in all areas of life except the part where I am a widow. I still truly believe that EVERYTHING happens for a reason, even if we haven’t figured out that reason, yet.
Maybe it’s something so simple as my words, helping someone get through THEIR grieving process, just a little bit easier? Who knows if I’ll EVER know the reasoning behind Mitch’s death, outside of the scientific, biological part.
So, today has been such a bittersweet, heart happy/wrenching kind of day.
Let’s talk about the good, because, we all already know about the bad. My heart has been so heavy, today, but we managed to have so much fun, as well.
Today started early. 4:30am, up and making breakfast for my 2 brothers, my mom and Megan.
My two brothers and I went out on the ocean, to do some deep sea fishing. It was amazing. 2 hours in, my little brother started to puke. We told him to take the Dramamine, but he refused, saying he would be fine. HA! He puked like 5 times, and I got the first one recorded! I laughed so hard!
And I said “I told you to take that stuff!”
He hugged the palm tree when he got to dry land.
Since he wasn’t going to make it the remaining 4 hours, Brady and I swapped him out for our mom, and went back out there. It was so amazing. Mom caught fish. I caught fish. Brady caught fish. And before the swap, Nate caught some too!
I caught a Cobie and had to throw it back, but it was pretty cool! It looked like a mini shark! He held it because we had to keep it alive to send home, so it wouldn’t be too hurt.
Here were the ones we caught and got to keep. Plus the two Nate caught before his barfin’ party.
We used Brady’s GoPro to record us sending Mitch’s ash into the ocean. And of course, the wind changed and blew his ash right into our faces! That definitely lightened the mood.
Megan didn’t want to go out that far in the ocean, so she lounged around, all day, until we got back, and Brady decided to take her for a Helicopter ride! Yes! You read that correctly! Meg went up into a helicopter, and proceeded to “squish” things below, just like her dad would have done.
When we arrived, we went straight to the beach, and sent Mitch out. He would have loved every little bit of this vacation.
Every. Little. Thing.
Please, excuse my face. This was immediately after our 16 hour drive.
I hate that Megan has to spend this, and every following Father’s Day, without her amazing father. It isn’t fair. But, LIFE isn’t fair. Thank the gods we already know and understand this, because if we didn’t, we would be angry. We would be defeated. We would be far more broken than we are.
Happy Father’s Day, Mitchell John. We miss you. We love you. We will carry on your laughter, and your positive attitude toward life. We will continue to live our lives to the fullest, and never miss an opportunity to be kind to someone. Our lives have been forever altered with your passing, but we will make it! You were the most amazing father, husband, and friend. You gave us the greatest gift (outside of your love) of all! Your family, who is OUR family, still. I am SO happy that Meg was old enough to have that bond with you. It’s such an amazing thing.
I will apologize in advance, for this post. I have so much to say, and haven’t really thought it through, yet.
I have found myself in tears, a lot the last couple of days. I think my strength is dwindling, with the migraine I’ve had. I found myself on Mitch’s facebook page, looking through old videos and photos. Man, I miss him so much! His goofy smile, his “everything will be fine” mentality, his warm hug, that made everything really feel like it was going to be fine.
As I scrolled through the pictures on his facebook, laughing at the memes he made or shared, the pictures of him and Megan, and the ones of us, I realized, I can tell you things that happened the days that most of those pics were taken. I can tell you that in this picture, we had argued, right before getting out of the car, at his Aunt Cindy’s house. I don’t remember what we argued about, but I remember we were having a tiff. All ended up fine, as it always did with us. I mean, who can stay mad at those dimples?
I have been thinking a lot. My brain has been in overdrive, and I just lay here, and think, “This is really happening? This is really my life? Why? What the hell did I do? Why does whoever is in charge think this was necessary? This sucks! I am strong, but damnit, I don’t want to be!”
Things like this are a regular cycle through my head, recently.
A small part of me is still hoping this is a joke. Or maybe Mitch witnessed something, and is actually in the witness protection program. But, my realistic mind overrules those thoughts. I know what’s real. No matter how much I wish it wasn’t, this is fact. Mitch has passed on, and is without pain or worries. He is free. He is with his mom, grandmother, and many of the greats.
I am here. Meg is here. We are making the best of this situation. We are not just surviving, we are THRIVING. We are being the best that WE can be. We are working to better ourselves each day, with every step and every human encounter we make.
As I lay here, and mourn the loss of such an inspiration to my life, I know it is just my selfish nature, wanting to keep him just for us. He was MINE, and I only shared with Megan. When she was born, he became OURS.
I read, quite a bit, like I’ve said in previous blogs. I actually read a new one, within the last couple of days about “Widows should only date widowers.” My initial thought was “WHAT? WHY??” Then, “NO THANK YOU!” As I read along, and it makes quite a few points about why it should be that way, I still disagree. I think that the right person for any widow or widower, will be the person who is the strongest, and the one with the most understanding. It’ll be the person who doesn’t get jealous over a deceased spouse. It’ll be the one who says “Let’s go to *insert place here* and take some ash!”
It doesn’t have to be a widower. It doesn’t have to be someone who “understands”. It just needs to be someone STRONG. Someone who is willing to understand YOU as a person grieving, and know that there can be a bond, but a different kind of bond that you shared with your deceased love.
I am going to talk about Mitch, probably until the day I die, because he was hilarious, and such a HUGE part of my life, not to mention, he fathered my amazing daughter. So, STRONG and secure in oneself, are a must, when it comes to that point in my life. And, honestly, who knows when I will ever be to the “dating” point? It could be months, it could be years, it could be never, or tomorrow?
It’s funny, when I think about dating. I had seriously sworn off all men, the night before Mitch came into McDonald’s and invited me to his 18th bday party. Sworn. Off. All. Men! I was done! I had it and didn’t even care to talk to them.
Then, in walked Mitch with his dazzling (ornery) smile, with those dimples to die for.
It was over. I was finished. We were going to get married. Plain and simple. I knew it, and I hadn’t even kissed him yet. But, I sure had plans to put my lips on him. And I did. In front of ALL of his friends. I don’t think one person, at his birthday party, missed our first kiss.
And then came our very brief “dating”. We took Michael and Katy to their skate parties, because going with a super awesome big brother and his girlfriend is WAYYYYY cooler than going with the dreaded parents.
Our first movie date is questionable. We can’t remember if it was Coyote Ugly at the Drive in, or Bring It On at the theater. Neither of us could remember. We didn’t actually care.
I remember walking in front of some strip mall somewhere, and we used to write things on the palm of each other’s hands, with our fingertips, and try to guess what we were spelling.
That was how he told me he loved me, for the first time.
I remember our first apartment, together. We were insane! We picked one of the most expensive complexes with one of the most expensive layouts we could find, and only lasted about 3 months there. We were 18, and had our 17 and 16-year-old friends move in with us. We all lost or quit our jobs. How does one pay rent and bills without a job? hmmmm….
We moved out.
After that, for Mitch and I, it was a downward spiral with bills and bill collectors, and we were sued once for a car accident, in which our car insurance company dropped us instead of paying for the other car to be repaired! We were so broke that we nearly lost our shit when we were sued for $1,000. Really? We couldn’t manage that? I worked at mcd’s, he worked at Two Men and a Truck. I think collectively, we made about 36,000 a year. Then, I was put on bedrest, about 2 months before Megan was due. Pregnancy and I didn’t get along. Reason number 1 that we didn’t have more children.
Luckily, the older we got, the better we became with taking care of our bills in a reasonable manner. But, enough about that. Bills and money are boring, when it’s not about winning millions, or earning millions.
Many of you read this each time I post a new blog, some may not, and that’s okay. If this is your fist time reading, It is important to know that my husband was 34 when he died from heart failure. His heart just stopped ticking. Now, you’ll understand the next part of this story.
I have been very busy. I have been to Georgia, near St. Louis, and in Fort Worth and Dallas, TX. That’s just in the last month. I have taken a vow to better health. I have hired a trainer (JRenFitness) and have been trying my damnedest to keep up with the regime. Sometimes it’s hard to keep up, because of my job, but I try. I think I may have overdone it recently, so I am happy to be taking a mini-break. I am planning 3 or 4 more travel weekends soon, for racing. But first, I go to Florida with my family. I am excited to do workouts at the butt-crack of dawn on the beach. It will be our first family vacation, ever. It’ll be my first time seeing the ocean. It’ll be my first time in Florida. There will be a lot of firsts that Meg and I will do together.
One thing we will not shy away from? Talking about her dad. I am sure there will be very emotional times, while we are there. I am sure we will laugh. I am sure we will cry. I am sure we will have an amazing time.
We. Are. Still. Alive.
When I was in the ER for this terrible migraine, they came in to ask me all the questions for billing, and they asked “Is your emergency contact still Mitch Wood at…” and I started crying, and said no. Of course the next question was “marital status, still married?” I said “no, widowed” and kept crying. I didn’t think that qeustion would effect me as it did, but it did. And I was alone in the room with the poor girl taking all of my information.
Now, it’s weird for me to think of myself as “single” because that word is so much less than what I am. I am not with anyone, anymore, but I am a complicated mess of human emotion. I will never be “normal” again. And that’s okay. Who wants “normal” anyway? “Normal” is overrated.
If this is the first time you’ve read my blog, I suggest going back to the beginning, and getting caught up.
I haven’t really dreamed much about Mitch since he passed. I don’t know why. I don’t look for him in my dreams, because I feel like that will just set me up for disappointment. The few dreams I’ve had of him, have been of him, being his usual silly self. In the couple that I have had, he was rubbing his penis on me. Not bare penis, but, more like a dry humping with clothes on. He would do that, all the time. It didn’t matter where we were. He would wait for Megan to turn her back to us, and do it. So, those little split-second dream-flashes were funny, and comforting. They would make me wake up, and I would giggle, and shed a tear.
Last night. I dreamed about Mitch all night. It was a strange sensation. My dream bounced back and forth between a house I’ve never seen, and me chasing Megan down Southwest Blvd, near the i35 bridge, where I grew up.
Mitch and I were talking, in my dream, but it was like I was trapped and didn’t know what was being said. I was looking through my own eyes, but, I couldn’t hear what he was saying. I couldn’t even hear what I was saying in response. He would laugh, but I couldn’t hear him. I could see him clearly. He sat on the couch, and there were children between us. He leaned forward, and said something, and I couldn’t understand. Dream Me knew, but I couldn’t hear. He nodded, like “watch”, then it was me, chasing Megan down the street. She ran down into a parking area of a car repair shop. She refused to come with me. She was being very unlike herself. Very rebellious. I was telling her to get in the car, and she kept saying “No, I don’t have to.” There were people, everywhere, staring at us. I started counting.
Dream Meg said “Oh, how high are you going?” in a very snarky-you-won’t-do-anything way.
She started walking to a box full of clothes, in this parking area, and grabs a shirt.
And I spanked her. She wasn’t listening. I whomped her right on her butt, in front of everyone.
Then we started giggling.
We were laughing about me spanking her.
Then we were back in this house, I’ve never seen. Mitch was nodding. I couldn’t hear, again.
Then he nods forward, again. He’s showing me something, again.
It’s me, telling him we should have more babies. My exact words were “Maybe we should just quit trying to prevent pregnancy.”
He said, “How about we keep practicing, and wait longer.”
Back in the house, He looks and just gives me the “good thing we didn’t” grin.
At this point, I am almost positive I was sobbing, in bed. I have a vague feeling that I was crying last night, and, kind of remember being partially awakened by my own sobs.
I held on to the dream for as long as I could. It was like he was telling me it was all for a reason, but the reason wasn’t revealed.
Like him showing me our conversation about more babies, and how he said no. He said no, for a reason. He may not have realized the reason, when he was here, and when we had that conversation, but, it was like he realized it, now.
Each day, it gets better and worse. It’s not fair that he’s not with us anymore. It hurts so bad, to think of that. I miss him so much. I miss his laugh. I miss his embrace. I miss his dry humping my leg. I miss him pissing me off, because he couldn’t have a serious conversation. I miss his whiskey nights, and him trying to talk religion and politics with me. I miss his presence. I miss his big headedness. I miss his perfect demeanor. I miss his ability to keep his cool under any circumstance. I miss his way with Megan, his ease at being a father of a little girl. I. Miss. Him.