What Is Life, Without A Little Death?

Here death strikes again.

So many people, such a short time.

It has happened since long before any of us, and will continue with us and way after us.

Death

It’s inevitable.

We all live our lives. We go and go. Some of us are moving so quickly through life, that we are missing out on the things that really are the more important things.

I was guilty of this. I’m not ashamed to admit it. I have since figured out a better balance, though.

I love my family.

I love my friends.

I love racing, and birthdays, and listening to my people talk about their lives, and the things that they are passionate about.

I’m not very good at asking the questions, or initiating conversation, but that’s because I will listen to you tell me about your passions, your grief, your day at work.

When Mitch died, in January of 2017, I was confused. I wasn’t angry, I didn’t really wonder why, so much as “What the Fuck?” It wasn’t an angry wtf, so much as a confused, how could this have happened type question. Once we knew the science and biology behind, I stopped asking. I knew.

That question was answered.

You hear people say, all of the time, “god only gives you what he knows you can handle.” If you believe in God, this has to be true.

You may not know you have it in you, until LIFE (or death really), slaps you in the face.

Wednesday, after I ran 10 miles and was in my car, headed to get some food, I received a phone call. My father in law lost his girlfriend. (They might as well had been married. They had that connection, and that unconditional love. They were only missing the legal documentation).

Let me throw out a little back story on this man, without going too deep into details, or anything.

This man was married to my husband’s biological mother. He adopted my husband, and had 2 more children with his wife, Megan.

When Megan was in her early-mid twenties (I don’t want to screw up on the details), she was murdered in a bar, by a crazy man.

This man, Mike, became a widower father to 3 children, one of which was a tiny baby girl.

He did not handle that well. I mean, who could blame him, right? His wife was murdered. What was he supposed to do?

Fast forward through some addictions and runaways, some verbal fights, and a bit of time in jail, a couple of marriages, divorces and a couple more kids, grandbabies and sobriety.

Here we are, he’s the father of 5 now. He’s gotten his head together, he’s trying very hard to be a good man.

His eldest son dies. The son he adopted, when the son was just a boy, and had his mother ripped from him. The father who may have had his problems surviving this life, lost his son.

He had an amazing woman by his side, to help keep him together. She was there to keep him steady, and remind him that he would be okay. He would make it through this.

Fast forward a little over 2 years, and his girlfriend is now with his first wife, and eldest son.

If god is real, and only gives people what they can handle, he sees something heroic in Mike.

I’m so devastated, for him, and can’t even begin to imagine how his mind is processing.

I’ve been told I’ve handled all of my adversity with grace, and I don’t know. It’s what everyone on the outside sees, when my insides are a screaming and tangled and threatening escape.

But death. Death is one thing we are all going to face.

Death is inevitable, and I don’t think we should fear it. I’m not afraid. I don’t want to die, and I’d never do anything to speed up the process, or invite it sooner. I want to live into my old age, maybe meet a second soulmate, and grow old together with them. I want to have grandbabies and a son-in-law (or daughter-in-law. I’m not picky)

I want to watch my daughter grow into a woman, and watch her find her soulmate, fall madly in love, marry, and grow into her adulthood.

I really love living. I think that Mike is realizing that he loves living as well. Even through the grief that seems to keep being added to his plate, he becomes just a little bit stronger, each round.

I wanted to share his story, because many people judge. Many people do not KNOW. People will never truly understand. But, just the briefest summary of the shot hand this man was felt, and he’s still here. He’s still standing. He is STILL putting one foot in front of the other.

The world we are on is still spinning.

The bills still need to be paid.

Our work here isn’t done, yet.

Death: The only thing guaranteed of life.

Live while you can!

Find happiness!

Be who you are!

Never stop saying their name!

Mary. Megan. Mitch. Sandra. Annie. Gramma and Grandpa McAnany.

Only their bodies are gone. We are forever able to remember them through our pictures, and our memories. We have videos, and voices recorded, now.

On the days we miss them the most, I think their spirits are the closest. Our human form cannot process their presence without their human form, so we interpret their spiritual presence as sadness, and yearning, and missing them.

We FEEL them, but we cannot touch or see them.

May all of our loved ones be partying like rock-stars.

Annie.

Has.

Arrived!

We will miss her, of course. But she is definitely in good hands now.

I See So Much Mitch, in My Daughter’s Face.

The other day, my daughter says “Mom, you should check your photo album, because there are some pretty sweet pics I took for you.”

I knew it was going to be a ton of selfies. It’s what she does. I finished my workout, and checked my phone, and there were 30-ish photos, of her, most in black and white.

I’ve always known Mitch’s traits were stronger in her, than mine. But, seeing these particular photos, really REALLY proves it.

I may or may not have cried, looking at these photos. My little (who is clearly taller than me) is absolutely beautiful, inside and out, with a LOT of her father’s sense of humor.

Looking at her does NOT make me sad, like I’ve seen it does to other people in our situation. Looking at her, and seeing him live through her brings tears of joy to my eyes. Absolute, joy, that he will live on, through her.

There are things that make me miss Mitch more than other things. Like all this snow we’ve had recently. He would have been BEGGING me to go sledding.

I would have said no, and suggested he take a friend, and kids.

I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with snow. I hate when it touches my skin, but I think it’s absolutely beautiful! I’m about to sound like one of THOSE kind of women, but seeing all the glistening snow reminds me of all the happiest Christmas, and romance movies. I love standing outside and spinning in circles, taking in the beauty of the snow covered tree branches and rooftops. I feel a bit of hope, when I look at it. The smell of snow, is the smell of happiness, and purity, innocence, and clarity. If all of those could be smell, it’d be the smell of fresh snow.

I do love sunshine and beaches more, because, well, I enjoy outdoor activities that don’t involve snow touching my skin. Sand is a welcome touch though. Sunshine, and ocean water, bbqs at the park, and trail running on mountain bike trails. Most of my races are in the warmer climates, and traveling is easier.

But, none of those summer things give the feeling if hope. Maybe that’s why there’s been all this snow. Maybe it gives a lot of people hope, and whoever is in charge of snowfall, (god, goddess, Mother Nature, whatever you believe) decided “It’s time!” And has been dumping on us, consistently for 2 months now.

Every time the snow melts completely, it snows again. This is our spring snow. It doesn’t look too bad, today.

_________________________________________

I feel as though my posts are fewer and fewer theses days, but I realize, maybe it’s because I talk about Mitch every single day. I make social media updates, see all the pictures, and have accepted my fate, as the woman widowed at 34. The widowed mother of a teenage daughter, who couldn’t be any easier to have a child, than she is exactly how she is.

I think, daily, about how proud I am of myself, for fighting to get paid what I was worth, in October of 2016, because if I didn’t, I’d be making $10/hr less than what I make now, and most likely be living the roommate life, or living in a tiny, uncomfortable apartment, somewhere that I don’t want to live. Megan even mentions it, once in a while.

Well, it is time for me to get my day started, so until next time, friends and family.

Much love to you all. And may anyone suffering from such a loss, find hope of happiness, and laughter, in things around you. Remember, there’s always a silver lining, and if we focus on the beauty, rather than the ugly, we can keep on putting

One foot in front of the other.

And always remember, you aren’t moving on, or forgetting anything. You are only moving forward, and making progressive movement.

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!

A Beautifully, Lopsided, Christmas Tree

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This. Fucking. Hurts.

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

I cried for a Christmas without Mitch.

I cried for a daughter without her daddy.

I cried for a wife without her love.

I cried for the day I learned he was gone.

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

I settled down, and wiped the tears away.

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

That’s his most worn Seattle Seahawks hat.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That’s Mitch’s handwriting.

These were the last Christmas cards he filled out.

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

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

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

The. Tree. Is. Up.

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

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

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

9 Months A Widow

A lot can happen in 9 months. Hell, you can conceive a baby, have it grow from one cell into a newborn baby in that little of time. 

Your heart can break over and over and over, in that amount of time. 

Your daughter can experience her first boyfriend AND first breakup in that short of time. 

Good god, I miss the crap out of you. Your easy laugh. Your bright smile. Even your stinky ass feet. 

I miss random, goofy Facebook posts, and random texts. 

I miss it all, but I am trying to find my “happy”. 

You’d be proud of Zaida, Katy, and Michael! They’ve done SO good these last 9 months. Hannah is beautiful, and Katy and Bobby are doing so good with her!! Zaida is going to Emporia! Michael has the same job, and he’s killin it. 

Summer and Boni, Heather, John John, Savannah, and Jack are all doing well. (I haven’t heard anything bad really) 

John and Tracey, Mike, Dee, grandma Kathleen and Aunt Cindy, and Grandpa Parsons all keep up with us, and haven’t lost touch. 

Every single one of us misses you. 

That will never change. 
I am working out, regularly. I am COOKING! I am making it a point to hang out with my friends, new and old. 
It’s been exactly 9 months, since you’ve gone on, to whatever came next for you. I really hope that wherever you are, you are happy, pain free, and hanging with all the greats! Going by the life you led, here on earth, you deserve the best, wherever you have gone. 

You were one HELLUVA human being! I am so proud that you chose me, out of all the choices you had to pick from. 

I was one lucky bitch! 

I think you’d be proud of me, too. I mean, that’s what everyone tells me, and I am starting to believe it. 

I am more serious than ever to eat right, work out regularly, and am already signed up for 10 obstacle course races for next year, and am about to make it 11. Meg joins me for all of the CTG races, because she is AMAZING in the merch tent. Good God she is fantastic with people, just like you always were! 

Her teachers (most of them) love her, and she jokes with them on their level, but also as a child. You know, like the Shrek movies! PG enough for kids, but funny for adults too. 

I am trying to encourage her to be more physically actuve, but, it’s not working, right now. 

I am terrified of being a solo mom, to a teenage girl! I was TOTALLY relying on you to be around for the “daddy’s girl” part, because it’s inevitable, all teenag  girls hate their moms for some portion of their teen lives. I don’t want to do it! I will survive it, but it’s going to suck when that time comes, and kicks me in the ass. 

But I’ll keep moving. I’ll keep “mom-ing”. I’ll try to be everything I can be, and everything that you were for her. 

I am only human. But, I will try. 

I hope you are proud of me. I make sure I’m a good person, and always am considerate of those around me. I really do think about all the ways you were a better human than most people I know. And when I say better than most, there are a very few humans who are equally as good as you were. But, when I meet one, I acknowledge them. 

Oh! And another thing you’d be so proud of!! 

I cooked dinner tonight! A super healthy, tasty dish, and even made a healthy bread to go with it!  I wish I knew how to cook like this, before, because I’m slaying the kitchen, now! 

I made chicken “ala King”. Onions and leeks and coconut cream, and red peppers and spices! I am so excited about this new food adventure I am on! I never want to stop! Not kidding, I’ve spent so much on groceries this week because I didn’t have the staple ingredients for healthy cooking/baking. Now I do. 

It.

Is.

On!

Not only did I make a meal from scratch, I freaking cleaned the kitchen afterward! This is where you’d pat me on the back and say “welcome to my world!” That’s what you did all the time! It may not have always been healthy, but, by god, you could cook! 

I remember the day I overheard you tell me friends that you enjoyed cooking. I though, “Holy damn! JACKPOT!”  I didn’t like cooking. Now, however, it’s another way to release the stresses of everyday life. I am learning, from an amazing human, about cooking, and eating clean. No one has ever taken the time to say “get this brand, over this because *insert reason here*” it is so much better when you have the reasons as to WHY one is better than the other, and CHEAP is always a favorite word! 

So, I am here, in this world, missing you, in your new world, but, I am O K. We are O K. It sucks, but we will live, until it’s our time to exit this world, and possibly,  join you in your world. 
 

So much love to you, Mitchell John. No matter what EVER happens in THIS world, my new world without you, I will NEVER stop loving you. No matter who I date, if I ever fall in love again and wind up remarried, I will NEVER. STOP. LOVING. YOU! Never. You are my number 1, and most notable love of my life. 

You are my Mitch. 

My hero. 

My soul mate. 

Love you always, 

Tabbie

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This life is go-go-go! 

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

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

It. Is. Okay. To Smile! 

It is. 

I know it is. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

He. 

I like him. 

It hurts, but it is also amazing. 

I like him. 

He isn’t afraid of Mitch. 

He isn’t afraid of my grieving process. 

I like him. 

He isn’t jealous of Mitch.

He understands.

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

He is kind.

I like him.

He cares.

I like him.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I like him. 

It’s Really Been 8 Months and 1 Day. 


8 Months and 1 day. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I. Am. Doing. It!

I even remember to feed the cat! 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We have cried. 

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

We have been immensely sad, and heart-broken. 

We have learned. 

We have grown. 

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

We are moving, ever forward. 

One step at a time. 

One day at a time. 

One week.

One month. 

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

Keep moving, but never forget anything.

#OneFootInFrontOfTheOther

#MitchWood

#LoveAlways

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! ❤️

Another Dream of Mitch! 


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.