Why I am Choosing to Leave Social Media. And Random Thoughts…

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I made a post on my facebook wall. I told all of my friends, old and new, all of my family, and Mitch’s family.

I’m deleting facebook, snapchat, instagram, and so on. I won’t delete this blog, though.

Here is why:

That Wednesday morning, of January 25th, after my mandatory meeting, at work, and before going to the elementary school to send home flyers inviting moms to come coach Girls On the Run with me, I sat at my desktop (really a tower hooked up to our big screen tv in the man-cave) with the mouse hovering over “delete account”.

I was in that state for a good 5-10 minutes.

During those 5-10 minutes, I thought of all the things I have said, or have discussed with people.

When I was small, like 8-9 years old, I told my dad, “computers are the devil, and are going to ruin families!” Out of the mouths of babes, am I right?

Mitch and I discussed our social media obsessions, and how we were addicts, through and through. I was worse than him, but we were both bad.  We used to get pissed at each-other because he would be trying to talk to me, but my phone was in my face, or I would say something to him, and he would “acknowledge” it, but not remember what I had said. Any time Meg wanted to show me something, I would be like “hold on I’m doing something!” Know what I was doing? Reading a meme, or someone’s post on Facebook, or something that was definitely less important than what my DAUGHTER was trying to show me. And, we wonder why the kids of that generation seem to seek attention, regardless of what kind of attention it is. So many think that the responses you get on social media is more important, because look at how most of us react when our kids talk to us. I see it happen every day. I even catch myself doing it. We act annoyed that our kids want to talk to us, or show us something, that they’ve shown us at least 450 times, already. We, as parents, should make it a point to make everything our kids show or tell us, seem important. It may be the 900th time they’ve shown you, but when they’re teenagers, and NEED to tell you something that IS important, they won’t, because they will believe they are a bother, and that’s the last thing you want to happen. So many reasons exist that you should WANT your kid to talk openly with you.

When it comes to being with your friends, in person, it’s annoying when social media interrupts.

When I am sitting in a living room, restaurant, or out with friends in general, and they all have their faces stuck in their phones, I feel like I am unimportant. I was SOOOOOO guilty of “hold on!” so I could finish a status update, or respond to a silly comment on my post.

I want to reconnect with PEOPLE. Real people. I don’t want to live my life watching photos of friends who live down the street. I want to make time, and visit, in real life, and hug them. Human interaction is healing, and my experience shows me that actual interaction, rather than virtual interaction can ward off depression. It is great for our souls, to surround ourselves with people who love us, and who we love, and enjoy being around.

I don’t want to post whatever I post, and feel expectant of discussion. I would rather call my best friend, and talk to her on the phone.

I really feel like social media has made people socially awkward. Really though.

I went on a date with a guy, last week. He was so worried about his “shitty” car, that he didn’t want me to meet him outside. I don’t care about your car. When we met, inside the restaurant, he couldn’t look me in the face. He dodged my eye contact, like it was flames. Once he started acting all weird like that, I started talking about how I’m not looking for a boyfriend, and how my expectations in a man are really high, because my husband was amazing, and it will be hard for a guy to meet those standards.

I mean, really? When I told my friends about how he wouldn’t look at me when we were talking, and how it made me feel odd. Really odd. I deleted the dating apps first.

Bye, Tinder!

Bye, Bumble!

There’s nothing like meeting someone, in a good, face to face manner. I always felt like those apps were weird. You swipe though still photos of people, and you’re supposed to determine if you like them or not, based on photos and a tiny bio? I tried it. I met some pretty rad people. Back in the beginning, I met a lawyer, so I can ask lawyer-type questions to, if I need to. I met the couple, who are awesome, and I still chat with, once in a while.

But, to determine dating qualities? Nah, not so much. There is a connection that can only happen, standing right in front of another human. There is a spark, or there isn’t a spark. I can stand in front of the sexiest guy I know, and I have no desire to mess with him. And yes, I am talking about a real person, and he is gorgeous, but he isn’t “my type”. Hell, when I really first met Mitch, he was not my “type” physically. When he opened his mouth and started talking to me, he quickly became my type. His smile. The way he spoke with confidence, without being cocky. The way he walked. And his sense of humor, that I missed a lot of jokes from, in the beginning. All of those played a huge role in my attraction to him. Y’all think I have a dirty mind? Guess who taught me? Yeah, you got that right. HA! And when I found out that Meg had stumbled upon it, naturally, dear goddess, help me! She is her father’s daughter.

I’m a firm believer in spirit-people. There are people who are meant to be in your life. I’ve said it a million times. When you meet them, you just know. They could be meant to be a friend, significant other, or a shoulder. they could simply be there, just to help you through a short phase of your life.

I also believe, with all of my heart, and deep, deep into my soul, that everything happens for a reason. Everything.

Mitch dying so young, from something that would be considered an old person’s death, made a bunch of people go to the doctor, and many found out they had issues that they were unaware of. It even, possibly, saved a few lives.

Mitch passing, oddly enough, has shown me how independent I really am. I used to always say, “Mitch, you can’t leave me! I wouldn’t know what to do, without someone making sure our bills are paid, regularly!” Mitch also cooked, and did most of the laundry. When I tell people he was perfect, I do not exaggerate.

EVERYTHING happens for a reason.

My mind is swirling with thoughts right now. I am having memories flash to the front of my mind, like when Mitch was laying in bed with me, and Meg was only 2-3 months old, and she woke up, hungry. He gently shook my shoulders, and asked if he could do anything to help me. He was upset that he couldn’t be of more help, since I was breast feeing, and not pumping or using bottles.

Little things like that bombard my brain every once in a while.

We were talking about how I planned to rid myself of social medias, and a coworker said “I could never do that! The things my kids said, when they were little, I posted about, and it pops up in my memories.”

That’s why I wanted to hang onto social medias. I was terrified of losing Mitch. But, the reality is this. I will never LOSE the memories of Mitch. I will forever have those, stowed in my mind, and deep in my heart. There are memories from everyone else, that can be talked about. I have lost Mitch’s physical form, but his ideas, and his love, and everything he ever was, will, forever, be with me, and with everyone else, who was truly a part of his life.

I actually tried to delete facebook, and it kept giving me an error code. So, instead, I have logged off, and removed the apps from my phone. I haven’t been on Since 6 o’clock, yesterday, and don’t plan on using the account, until I need to create an event, to send invites through. (I wish there was a separate type of event app, like how messenger is a separate entity.) Basically, I feel trapped in facebook. It’ll be okay. If I can quit smoking, and quit drinking soda, I can quit social media, too. (except this blog!)

Oh! I touched briefly on why I think social media has made people socially awkward, in real life, but I really think its made conversations strange, too. I think the “listening to respond” is so much worse than it has ever been before. I can say something, and no one actually hears it. Back to that ridiculous date I had, I said “Oh yeah! I am racing this weekend.” When he asked, for the 4th time, what my plans were, coming up. We had discussed my obsession for OCR, and I had mentioned the 3-Race weekend, and most importantly, how I never do Spartan or Tough Mudder.

He asked, “So, any big plans coming up?” And I responded “Yeah. Next weekend is a 3-Race weekend!”

And he asks, “Oh. What is it? A Tough Mudder?” Did he listen? His body was there, but his brain was elsewhere. I felt like I did a lot of repeating myself, and if you know me, you know I can’t stand that. I can’t stand it so much, that if I don’t hear you the first 2 times you say something, I say “never mind” and leave it at that. If it was important, you’ll ask me why I didn’t listen, and I will tell you how I am going deaf.

 

New Year’s Event

One year.

Not since the death of my amazing husband, no. One year ago was the last holiday I got to spend with him.

Facebook assaults or blesses me with “on this day”, every single day. As I see pictures from last year, I see how pale Mitch was. I believe, that he was already in a downward fall. Not last year. I didn’t see it a year ago. If I did, or if he did, we wouldn’t be in this situation. Or we would? I’ll never know, and with this, “what ifs” can’t tear you down, so I try to avoid the “if only” and “what if” thoughts.

In the photo, before the countdown, he is smiling. His beautiful face, pale. (He tried avoiding the camera all night, because he didn’t want the splint in any pictures. He hated that thing!)

These were the two photos from our last holiday together, that screamed at me, today.

New Year’s was a fun time, we spent with family and friends, every year. We loved bringing in the New year, surrounded by those we loved.

Mitch was always the life of the party. He made everyone around him feel good, and filled the room with laughter. It never failed.

I wish he was spending this new year’s holiday with us, too. I wish I could hear his big laugh, and wrap my arms around his big shoulders, and tell him I love him, over and over and over.

This year, he will be spending his New Year’s Eve with someone he hasn’t spent it with in many many years.

His mom. But, with all the family that has passed, he has a party going on, wherever they all are, and we all know it!!

Megan, Sandy, Paul, Scotty, and many many more.

Party On, Mitch. We miss the fuck out of you!

Thanksgiving Is Near

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

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

I am thankful for my current health.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Here is a family game night. ❤

 

Be Thankful for the laughter.

Always remember that beautiful sound.

 

 

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.


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. 

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

I Won’t Stop Sharing. 

There are things about me that I share too much. 

Not everyone needs to know all of my business.

But I won’t stop sharing. It’s not that I think everyone WANTS to know all of my business. I just put it out there. It makes me feel better. 

I have withheld, from a great many people, friends and family. But, all will come out, eventually. When the timing is right, and when I decide. I have actually been told by a couple of men that they either A: wanted me to write about them in my blog, or B: “Please don’t write about me!” I laughed at the guy who asked me not to write about him, because that’s what I do. I’m not going to tell you his name, but the idiot sent me a picture of his crotch! 🙄 

Yes, I’m jumping into dating. No, I’m not looking for “Mr. Right”. I just want to hang out, and have a good time, with an adult who may not know my entire history. Someone that I can have fun with (not necessarily of the sexual nature, either!) and then be okay with seeing or not seeing again. 

I am on a dating app, and I see people I know. I start laughing, and have swiped some, just to make things awkward (hey there sales rep! 😜). Ha! 

Right now, I’m just trying to make the best of this. I have most of my ducks, lined nicely, and orderly, and my child is well cared for. I deserve to have fun, every now and then. 

I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings for going out with people. That’s not my intention. I’m not “over” Mitch, and I know I’ve said it before, so I may be a bit repetitive, but, I’ll never be OVER Mitchell. Never. He is the most important human to have ever walked into my life, and that doesn’t go away. He gave me the best thing, any man can ever give a woman, and that was unconditional love, loyalty, and compassion. And, he always let me win the arguments. 😜 

Mitch set this bar, and this bar is so high. So, very, very high. It would never be fair to compare any other man to Mitch. The other man would lose every time. But it’s okay to give chances. It’s okay to expect the important things, like kindness, acceptance, and sense of humor. 

Another reason I am not looking for “Mr. Right”, is because it wouldn’t be fair to him, or to me. (Or to Megan, for crying out loud!) 

In the event that I found Mr. Right, tomorrow, and he loved me, like Mitch loved me, and wanted to give me the world, I would tear him apart. I obviously wouldn’t do it, on purpose, but, it would happen. Holidays are approaching, and I feel my heart becoming heavier, dreading Megan’s 13th birthday, and our first thanksgiving and Christmas without him. How fair would it be to have a man so into me, be crushed by something so natural? I couldn’t live happily with myself, hurting someone, even though it’s a natural process. 

As for me, I know, the man who gets my heart, next (if I ever give it away again), will be one lucky bastard. And I don’t mean that in a conceited way, either. I mean that in the way that I already know I’ll love harder. I’ll be more kind, and compassionate. It’s a different kind of love, that I’ll have. I already know. I’ll be the one giving my everything. What happens if I give my everything to someone, and they break me? That would be hard. It would hurt. That wouldn’t be fair. 

It’s also not fair to ask someone to match my level of wisdom, when they’re not me. They’re not walking my path. This is my path, that’s been laid out for me, and I must walk it, run it, or drag myself through it. I can’t ask people to wear my shoes. I can only tell you what my path is like. That’s the best I can do, and all I ask is for you to listen, without judgement. 

So, as for me dating, again. It’s for fun, and that’s about all I can give.  One day, I’ll be able to give more. One day, when I’m able to give more, I hope I run into the “first first date in 17 years”, man. He was fun, and funny, and good. And he is kind to the people he meets. That’s cool, right? I’ve read his customer reviews online (business owner/operator). All of his business reviews are 5/5 stars and mention him by name. That’s impressive. 

I find myself sensoring more. I mean, to be completely honest, I’ve friend-zoned one of my guy friends, and have my one female that I talk to. These two humans know EVERYTHING about me. Everything. Ins and outs of EVERYTHING. Every tiny detail, that people shouldn’t know. I’m letting them “shrink” me. Haha! Not really, but the guy that’s been friend-zoned is my insight into the single male brain, and my girlfriend is the insight into my mind. 

These two people are the best! I’ve thought about starting a group chat with them, so I could see their responses to my questions right by each-other. But, these two friends have allowed me to be a little more sensored. “Tabbie, you shouldn’t share that. That’s too much.” “If a woman made that offer to me, I’d be all over it, unless I was all up in my feelings about her.” These things make me smile, and think twice before sharing certain things. 

I decided I needed a single, straight guy friend, to help my understanding of the male brain. I thought about it, and remembered how in tune with my guy friends I used to be. I was always  one of the guys, growing up. And I’m not complaining, but I lost that touch, during the nearly 17 years with Mitch. I didn’t give a f*ck. I knew what MITCH liked and wanted, and that’s all I cared about. Everyone else could’ve fallen off a cliff, with their genitals ablaze, and I wouldn’t have noticed. 

#LiveLifeFree #BeYourBestYou #OneFootInFrontOfTheOther

7 Months After…

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:

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. 

We appreciate all of you! ❤️

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. 😉 

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. 😉 
❤💋💙💋💚💋💛💋💜💋
8/22/2015

No posts. 😔

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. 👌

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.