Dear Mitch,

 

I know you are probably looking down at me wondering “what he hell are you DOING?” OR “Don’t! Not him! He’s a moron!”

Don’t worry. I’m not.

Not with him, or with him.

It’s okay. You remember, I like guy friends. I always had more male friends than female friends, growing up.

I think I have an equal amount of guy/girl friends, now.

But I do like dating. I like meeting all the new people, which is weird, but not too weird, since you know me.

I miss you, tremendously. I have this empty spot in my bed, that only you could fill. I prefer not sleeping next to someone, even if we have sex. I send them home, or to the couch. No, I’m not whoring it up. I just have sex every now and then with one guy.

You’re probably laughing at me, or wondering what the fuck is happening in my head because he’s so much younger. But, you also know, I have always said “If he’s old enough to buy me a drink… Legally… then he’s old enough for me!” Of course, back then, I was referring to the celebrities on TV (cough cough Zac Efron cough cough). haha!

I miss talking about the hot guys on TV and having your unnecessary, jealous stare. It was so funny. You would get so offended about the celebrities I would never meet. I would do it on purpose, just to get a rise out of you. Why? Because I LOVED that you were jealous. Your slight jealousy was comforting. I knew I’d never lose you. At least not to another woman.

I appreciate you. I appreciate all of the patience you held when I was freaking out, right after we got married. When I got “cold feet” post wedding vows. When “forever” sounded like a life sentence. You were there, but not all over me. You allowed me the space I needed, to clear my mind and really figure out who I was, and what I wanted.

Can you even believe that I thought I was a lesbian? I still laugh at that! I was REALLY freaking out about being married. Then, I reminded myself, it was you. YOU. The best of the best. No one other human on this planet could handle me. Not like you did. You spoiled me, in so many ways. Not materialistically, either.

You spoiled me with love. You showed me that good men DO exist, and let me tell you, I can spot them. You spoiled me by doing for me. After a long day at work, you made me mixed, fruity drinks, and ran me a bath with epsom salt. Not because you were trying to get in my pants, but because you loved me. You wanted me to be happy and felt that I deserved to relax.

Oh, remember when we gave each-other massages? That was so long ago. Like in our early 20s! haha! it got to a point where you would give me a massage first, then I would fall asleep and never give one back. Big mistake on my part, because you finally quit giving me massages, and I developed carpal tunnel.

Remember the Christmas 2003, when we decided it would be funny to tell everyone that we were having a baby? hahahahaha!! Oh man! That was so hilarious. Then, in January, we were pregnant. Easy as that. We found out March 3rd, but, still. It happened so fast.

I remember the conversation we had. We were on I35 in 75th street exit. It was Christmas, 2003. We decided we were strong enough, together, to handle ANYTHING. We decided to stop PREVENTING pregnancy.

Oh man. It happened so fast. We had the most perfect little baby. Oh,  I bet you’re freaking out, when you see her, now. I do have to say, at least she’s covered! She has a mouth like her mother, and the wit of her father. She will go far in life.

I am so glad you were able to stick around long enough for her to know, and remember how amazing you were. I am so glad that I won the bet that got me a baby before I turned 22 (actually 18 days after my 22nd birthday, but who’s counting?) If you won that bet, I would have been a widowed mom to a 4 year old! It goes to show that my belief in “everything happens for a reason” is real. I needed to have a preteen. I needed a well rounded kiddo. I needed a kid who understands far beyond her years. And that’s what we had. We had the perfect-for-us child. Weren’t we lucky? Aren’t I lucky, in that way?

Everyone always says, “I’m so sorry for you!”

I bite my tongue, because I want to ask why. “Why are you sorry that I was able to spend all that time with the most amazing man on earth?” I got 16.5 years with you! That was half your lifetime!

There are so many women who don’t have the luxury I have, of saying, “I found my perfect match. My perfect love. Someone who loved me unconditionally.” I have that! I had that. I was able to feel that. I was able to live that. I was so fucking lucky!

It’s so weird to say that, though. People are always so good at twisting words to make things sound bad.

I was so fucking lucky in the way that I met you, had you, loved and was loved by you.

I was unlucky that you died.

But the beauty is that I was able to know you. I was able to have and to hold you.

You taught me how a man should treat a woman. Hell, you taught Meg how a woman deserved to be treated.

Amazing.

You will forever live in my mind and heart, and the hearts of so many who knew you, as amazing.

Ah

Maze

Ing!

My inspiration to be a better human.

My everything.

I miss you.

I am so glad that I had the opportunity to be graced with your presence.

I am so happy that I had the ability to be loved and spoiled by you.

Thank you.

Thank you for teaching me.

When you died, I thought I was done. I would never get to a point in my life where I could allow feelings for anyone again. It isn’t worth it, I would think to myself. I was mentally crippled by the loss of your presence in my life.

My mind said “WHAT THE FUCK IS HAPPENING??? How do I DO this?” I also had thoughts along the lines of “no one will want me.” But I didn’t care. I bought baggy clothes and hid my body so no-one would even WANT to look.

Those thoughts are pointless.

More importantly, I want you to know, that I hope you are proud of who I am, who I have become. I hope you are proud of my strength and ability to find happiness in such an awful experience.

There are days when I wake up in the morning, and really try to wrap my mind around the fact that you’re no longer here.

Every time I have that thought, my entire body reacts. It’s like I KNOW it is true, but my mind and my soul still refuse to believe.

That’s the impact you’ve left in my life.

With that, I must go to bed.

I will love you always.

I will forever cherish the memories we shared.

You will forever be in my mind and heart.

Love you always,

Ms. Tabbie Wood

 

 

 

 

Learning and Growing

 

As a widow, I know, it’s something we must all do. We must all learn and continue to grow as humans.

Our attitudes towards life and all that accompanies it, it what gets us to who we are, as humans. We can be good or we can be bad. Some of us are bad, and don’t even realize it. Some are so good, and don’t realize it.

Learning from the past is the best thing about being human. We know the outcome, once we have done something.

Think back to when you were a kid, and you heard someone say “if you mix vinegar and baking soda, it’ll bubble up, all over the place!”

Every single one of us HAD to try it out, as soon as we got home. It wasn’t something we were going to believe until we saw it with our own eyes.

As adults, it’s the same and its different. We learn how to balance our social life, family life, and work life. We have to LEARN it. It doesn’t come naturally, and it is not easy. So many times something or someone gets the shaft. It’s never intentional, as we are human, and we are continually learning. It’s a never-ending cycle of life, living and being.

Will we ever be who we are supposed to be, completely? Will we ever achieve complete self?

I don’t think so. I think with every part of life, we continue to grow.

I met a couple, recently. I was on a dating app, (yes, please don’t give me hell. It totally passes the time, and mostly makes me laugh, because some people are so incredibly ridiculous. But that’s a story for another time), and I matched up with this guy. He was kind of cute, and I swiped that I thought he was cute. He already liked me, so we matched up. I had to send the first message, and I did, because what could it hurt? I asked what he was looking for from that site, he said a friend with benefits. I chatted a bit more, and realized he was funny. He was kind of interesting. Then, a bomb was dropped.

“I have a girlfriend and we are in an open relationship.”

*GASP*

“I’m not into couples, man, but we can be friends.” Was what I told him. I was so curious, and always wanted to ask someone about how and why they chose to be in an open relationship. I asked so many questions, and he answered. He said “it’s human nature to want to have sex with multiple people.” I interjected, there. I told him that I was with the same man for sixteen and a half years, all the way up to the day he died, and never had the urge to actually step outside of our marriage for sex, so this boggled my mind.

I have zero interest in having a boyfriend/relationship with anyone, but making friends is fun. No kidding. They texted me one night, and asked if I wanted to meet them for dinner. I said sure, and headed to the restaurant.

I met her and him and we are all friends, now. I went out with them the other night, and ended up with them while they met another couple.

I promise. This is about growing. No, I am not sleeping with this couple, so no worries.

Here I am, the 5th wheel, curious as hell, about this new couple. Those of you who know me, know I can’t keep my mouth shut for too long, especially after I’ve had beer, and even worse, when I am curious. I really am curious.

This couple was cute. Adorable even! They seemed to be even more curious than I was. I could tell they were new to the “open thing” but didn’t want to ask, outright, because I am not dating these two either. ha!

I listened as the 4 talked about this and that, and life and their jobs, and all the small talk.  I was giggling inside. My friends were asking their new friends how long they had been together and how long they had been married. No one asked the question I was dying to know! So, I asked.

I leaned forward in my chair, and asked, “and, how long have you been open?”

All four heads swung my direction, like “did she just ask that?” After I asked, I wondered if it was a question you aren’t supposed to ask. Then, I realized I didn’t care if I was or wasn’t supposed to ask. I was curious, and they were adorable, and potentially going to date my friends. Or maybe just sleep with them? I don’t know? So, they responded.

They said, almost shyly, “um. one month?” So, I asked another question.

“How many dates have you had since becoming open?”

She had one, and he hadn’t had any.

I feel like, the encounter with these people, all four of them, is allowing my brain to grow, and become more accepting of a human beings.

I have learned that people can legitimately be in a relationship, and be completely committed, yet still have sex with other people. It may not be my idea of a perfect relationship, and it may not be your idea of a perfect relationship, but who cares? They are honest with each other, and they are honest with everyone they meet. If everyone knows everything, and everyone is agreeable, then why can’t they do what they want to do? Right?

I had never even thought of an open relationship as something people can manage to live with, however, after meeting this couple, and learning their ability to be 100% honest with each-other all the time, it made me believe that there are actually honest people in the world. And that’s fucking amazing!

I am not saying that my friends aren’t honest, or anything like that. So don’t get me wrong.

I just come from a group of people who are with one person, and sleeping with people outside of your current relationship is frowned upon, or looked down on. If one of my friend’s husbands slept with another woman, it would be considered “cheating” because it wouldn’t be known by both parties.

It is such a touchy topic, I know. But, I am a learner, and I am growing as a human being. I thoroughly enjoy other humans and learning the why behind who they are. I do not judge them, and I don’t degrade them. I embrace them. Of course, there are lines, ya know. Being of age and of the same consenting species are big musts. So please, don’t try to use that with this.

My favorite thing, in life, is meeting people, and hearing their stories. It’s fascinating to learn why people are the way they are.

I highly suggest, next time you encounter someone who believes differently than you do, or lives a lifestyle you can’t even imagine, to ask them questions. Learn about it. Open your mind to understand that just because they are different from you, doesn’t mean they are wrong. If it isn’t illegal, and isn’t hurting people, why should we get mad? Why should we have such strong feelings opposing people’s lifestyles?

 

Learn.

Grow.

Be a better human today, than you were yesterday.

Kindness Matters.

 

Days that are “More”.

There are days that are “more” than other days. They aren’t worse, or better. They are just MORE.

It’s hard to describe many of the feelings, or emotions that I feel with on a daily basis.

Today, I sat down, and I FINALLY cleaned out these two boxes that have been sitting next to my desk, since I moved into this apartment. I have, honestly, avoided it, because I figured it was just full of bull-shit bills, and crap I wanted to avoid, or maybe stuff I have already taken care of.

It was all a bunch of crap I had already taken care of.

And two sets of handcuffs.

Two of Mitch’s old Driver’s Licenses.

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I sat on the floor of my bedroom, because the boxes were there. And I laughed so hard that I started to cry. I laughed, because I had JUST finished reading my “on this day” on facebook, and Mitch had posted a link, trying to coax me into anal sex, 2 years ago.

Then, right after I read that, an old friend shared one of MY status updates from 7 years ago, where Mitch and I bantered back and forth about how badly he wanted me.

After reading those, I was a little broken, again. (regularly occurring theme in a widow’s life.)

So, to occupy my mind, I sit down to clean out those boxes.

Mitch was there. I am sure he was there, and he was laughing at me. At me? Maybe with me? Most likely, though, he was laughing at me.

It’s THESE things that make days like today, MORE. I feel so much, yet I never let it control me. Today, was so much more, than an average “I miss Mitch” day.

Today, I ugly-snot-cried, in the shower, for a good 20 minutes, before putting on my make-up and doing my hair.

And, I looked GOOD today. No puffy or tired eyes, like I normally have when I cry.

MORE.

I was able to hear my Aunt tell me about the dream she was able to have about Mitch.

Before I decided to have a party for Mitch’s birthday, she dreamed that I threw a party to celebrate Mitch’s day. She dreamed that he walked into the party, and had no idea he had died. She got to talk with him, during the party.

I am so happy that she got to dream of him. I am also a bit jealous, because I still haven’t had more than the 2 dreams of him. I don’t try to dream of him, because I know it’s futile.

I can dream about things I want to dream about, sure, but having a REAL dream of Mitch, has to come naturally. It’s not something that can be forced.

Sometimes, I wonder if my mind blocks it. I have had 2 dreams, in which I feel as though I have RIPPED myself out of the dreams. I ended the dreams, before they were supposed to end. I clawed myself from dreamland to being awake. I use these words “ripped” and “clawed” because I feel like that is what best describes how it felt. Traumatic.

It’s so hard to describe these types of things, and not sound like a loon. But, describe, I will try!

I am so thankful to have family, and friends, who are open,and talk to me. I never want Mitch to become a subject that anyone feels too afraid to bring up, or talk about. If you want to talk about Mitch, and tell me how much you miss him, please, DO IT! I know we all miss him, and my guess is that not a soul misses him more than Megan and myself, but, this is NOT  competition to be won or lost. We ALL have lost, here. We have ALL lost Mitch. I would NEVER try to “one-up” anyone about it. Ever.

In the beginning, maybe. I wasn’t thinking about anyone other than Megan and myself. I felt horrible when it all came flooding me. Because, I didn’t think about my brother, being the first person Mitch talked to every morning, to the last person he spoke to, before bed. They were so close. I didn’t think about that, in the beginning, but now, I do.

I think about how his baby sisters and brothers could ALWAYS call him, and he would talk to them about ANYTHING. Zaida would call any and every time she had any kind of issue she didn’t know how to handle.  Katy knew she always had Mitch in her corner, always, no matter what! Michael and Mitchell had gotten much much closer over that last few years. Heather, oh man. Heather. Heather was Mitch’s personality twin, on all levels. I always joked that “If I were a lesbian, I’d try to turn her!” haha! To be completely honest, I am not sure how often Summer and Mitch talked, or how often John John and Mitch talked. I know Jack and Mitch didn’t get to hang out, or talk much, because of the huge age gap. But, I know Mitch loved every single one of his siblings, and would have done anything for any one of them.

He was NEVER good at making the first phone call. Not in all of the years I knew him. I gave him MY phone number, and I was the one who called him, first. I’m not even sure how I got his phone number, either.

I know he loved Brady, like he was his real brother. Hell, I am pretty sure, if Mitch ever left me, he would have moved in with Brady, and Brady would have LET HIM! ha!  He was so glad that they were able to be close. He loved Nate, too. Nate always impressed him, with his speed, and drive to get stuff done, when he “jumped” for fedex drivers.

Can I just say, I am sorry, family, for not thinking of YOUR loss, right away. I’m not sure it would be different if it were to all happen again. I am not sure my brain would be able to process in a way that allowed me to think like that, that soon. But, if I COULD change it, I would. Know that I do think of each and every one of you, on a daily basis.

I also want to tell everyone, again, that as our hearts heal, there will always be scars. Let’s make the scars beautiful. Let’s make them gold, like the Japanese fix old pottery, that crack or chip. Use gold to mend the broken pieces back together. It will never be normal, again, but it CAN still be BEAUTIFUL!

If you are curious what I mean, check out this post, that a friend shared with me, in the very beginning. It talks about how

 

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.  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.

 

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