The Sock In My Hand.

Have you ever found yourself holding something, and you don’t realize you’ve got a death-grip on it? Have you ever clung to rightly to an IDEA, that you couldn’t let it go? Let me tell you a little something that I learned recently.

The other night, I took my socks off and must have fallen asleep with a sock in my hand, because when I woke up the next morning, I was still clutching that sock in the same hand, so tightly that my knuckles were white, and my hand was sore! When I let go, there was a uncontrollable sigh of relief that escaped my lungs.

There’s a major significance between that sock and my life.

I have a tendency to not let things/ideas/people go, when I should. When I woke up, and I had that sock in my hand, I felt like I was coming upon some revelation about who I am.

I know I don’t let PEOPLE go, easily. I have discussed this before. When I have my mind set on something, it takes a while for me to change that way of thinking.

Like the guy (I know, I said the last blog was the last one about him, but bare with me… this part will be short), from the previous blogs. The guy I love, with such intensity that I am unaware of how to deal. It took me months to realize that I wasn’t IN LOVE with him, but only have a love for him, so much so, I would rather be his friend for life, and never lose him, rather than risking it all for sex. MONTHS of clinging to this idea that we would be together someday.

So yesterday, I fully let go of every thought of a possibility of being with him. There was this feeling of relief.

Thanks to that sock, I feel okay with this. Just days ago, it hurt to think of giving up that hope. Now though? It’s like a weight I never knew existed was lifted from my shoulders.

Thanks to that sock, that I was gripping so tightly, like I was afraid to lose it, I am going to be better at letting things go, that aren’t meant for me. Like ideas I dream up, or holding so tightly to people who just keep taking a step farther from me, with each passing day.

I am unaware of what this chapter is, in my life. I am also not too worried about it. What is meant to be WILL be, and I have to have faith that when it’s my time to shine, I’ll shine for the correct person. Myself.

I keep looking for the deeper meaning to everything and I have forgotten to live in the moment. I have forgotten to have fun NOW! Life is fleeting. I could be gone tomorrow. You could be gone tomorrow. Everyone could be gone tomorrow.

So, why was I so stuck on the “possibility” of something, rather than the reality of what is?

Me, of all people should know better than that. All I am doing, when I hold onto a possibility is hurting myself. If I continue to hurt myself, I will lose my friend, because he cannot stand to be the reason I am in pain. I am okay with letting go of those possibilities now. He never caused me pain. It was me all along.

I’ll never NOT regret turning him down, last year.

I will never forget, again, that I did that, but it was important in that moment. We had barely just started talking to each other on a regular basis. We’d always talk about how we are worth more than just sex, and I was serious. We would drink and text each-other all the time. We were never both drinking at the same time, or things would have gotten out of hand, quite quickly.

But, I’ll let go, now. For real, this time.

I am happy with letting go.

But let me be clear. Just because I am letting go doesn’t mean I’ve lost my sisterly/friend love for him. He’s a freaking superhuman, super-dad, and has been one of my best friends through all of this dating crap, and I’ll never forget that, nor will I downplay it. I wish I could tell everyone who he is, because most of you will be like “what?! Holy shit!” But I won’t share, for his privacy. I respect people, much more than most would think, when it comes to THEIR privacy. I share all of my feelings and my experiences, but I won’t ever reveal someone unless they ask me to.

But I wish I could share so everyone could see him through my eyes, and have my version of him embedded in their minds.

amazing.

Strong.

Super-dad.

Dedicated.

Smart.

Funny.

Great listener!

Encouraging.

Positive Thinker.

Good looking 😉

And a complete gentleman.

I’ll cut it off here, because I could laundry list all of the positives about him, for days. Women would be BEGGING for his name and number. Haha!

So… the sock in my hand was a lesson to myself.

Sometimes, you just have to have faith and let go.

Dreaming In Full Color

This isn’t one of my creative writing blogs. This is a legitimate dream of my late husband, with no sex happenings.

I think it had a bit to do with a guy I saw, recently, across the street from Freddy’s on Shawnee Mission Parkway. He looked just like Mitch. My heart skipped a beat, even.

It may have something to do with my cousin reading cards for me. It was the night of Imbolc (which I really know nothing about, but it’s a “witchy holiday” is how I refer to it, since I don’t know. Lol)

My cousin read cards for 3 men who have entered my life recently, without knowing which she was reading about each time. Anyway. I’m a “weirdo”, and I have this fantastic pull when it comes to certain people, and there’s a telltale sign in my bones when someone is meant to be in my life long-term. When you just come out and say “you’re not going anywhere until we figure this out!” It gives off weirdo vibes to the max.

So, with each man she read the cards. With each one, The cards matched my initial gut reaction I experienced upon meeting or reconnection.

Now, onto my dream.

I fell asleep after my cousin left here. Mitch was there. He was across the street at a gas station looking like he’d never been gone, but also quite confused. No car, no wallet, nothing.

I went to him. He gasped and hugged me hard. He told me he missed me.

The dream flashed to a doctor’s office. I told him he had a heart condition and needed to keep it monitored so he didn’t disappear again.

The dream flashed to me being in a car, seeing Mitch through a window of our apartment, and he grabbed his chest. He grimaced. I stopped the car, ran inside and began cpr while screaming for someone to come help.

The dream shifted again. I saved his life this time. I was there and I saved him. I was scared he was going to leave me because of all the things I’ve done since he died.

I laid with my head in his lap crying as he stroked my hair. I told him I love him and I’d never stop loving him, but that I believed our journey together on earth was over. He told me “Your journey is just beginning. Keep following the path you’re on. What is meant to be, will be.”

I woke up with such a sense of closure, and such a sense of love and acceptance and a new sense of excitement to explore this part of my life.

He spoke words that I speak regularly, but it was as if someone was finally speaking them to me. Someone was finally reminding me that everything happens for a reason.

Every single meeting is meant to take place in each and every person’s life. Nothing is coincidence. Everything is purposeful. Don’t get angry when things don’t go your way. LEARN, then put your knew knowledge into action to create the life you’re meant to live.

That dream, my husband telling me to continue my path. Just wow. I, honestly, don’t even know what path I’m on. Am I on a path to be with my next “person”? Am I on a journey of further self-discovery, a deeper knowledge of myself, spiritually?

I guess, when it comes to this path I’m on, I’ll treat it like every other one,

I’ll keep putting

One Foot In Front Of The Other.

Happy Monday.

Divine.

I Got Issues. You Got’em Too.

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Many times, lately,  I find myself throwing myself into situations I should most definitely avoid. These situations are mainly men.

Men who aren’t right for me.

Men who I’m not right for.

When does it end?

When does “real” happen again?

When do I stop? Have I gotten myself into situations so often that it’s becoming natural for me?

I don’t NEED drama in my life. I don’t. Consciously, I don’t want it either, but, I seem to draw that shit in, each one filled more so than the last.

Meet a guy at a party. Start seeing him as a friend with benefits, but when I wanted more, it wasn’t an interest.

Have an AMAZING hookup, see the guy 2 more times, then nothing. Wrong guy for me. (You’ll read about him in my book)

Fall in love with this guy, because he’s perfection in a man, one of my best guy friends.  Wrong man for me. God Damnit!

Date a guy from school, who turned out to be absolutely horrible for me.

An ex came back into my life, and I am not sure this will work. Simply stated: I don’t trust him. I’m not sure if it’s his fault or if it’s my fault or if it’s a combination of both our faults, and our histories. Whatever the case, I don’t trust him, so I am paranoid, and my overthinking mind goes ballistic of it’s own accord. Thoughts and images of him with another woman raging through my mind. WHY? But, usually, my intuition is right, when it comes to this, so I am fucking terrified. The first night out with the ex, we damn near went to town in the bathroom at a bar. Thank god the glass fell off the sink and broke.  That isn’t me. Is it? Seems to be me, when I’m with him, oddly enough. Even when we were kids, making out, hot and heavy at the drive in theatre, with his dad in the front seat of the car. Always hot and heavy. Can’t keep our hands to ourselves. Never could. Like there’s no “simmer”. Gotta find that knob, or this won’t work either. 

I don’t want to change anyone. I know that’s something a lot of women do. I don’t. I stand strong in the statement “Only you can fix you.”

One of the most commonly occurring statements to me, seems to be, “I’d love to have sex with you, but you are just my friend.

Why am I good enough for sex, good enough as a friend, but not good enough to be a partner? Why is the first thing every man wants, when it comes to me,  sex? Seriously.

So, instead of keeping my standards high, I lower and lower until the bar is just stepped over, like nothing matters.

When will this end?

I know my worth. I quit talking about my worth out loud, because I don’t want to sound like a conceited, stuck-up bitch. You know? I’m not trying to scare potential male suitors away. ha. Or maybe that’s what I SHOULD do. Maybe Survival of the Fittest is how I should treat it.

I’m a LOT. I am sure I’ve said it before, somewhere in all of these writings. I was way up then wayyyyyy down, yesterday.

I left the bar, to go get pepto for Meg, and come home. I sat in the parking lot of CVS, snot crying because my head is so twisted, and knotted over so many thoughts, and I can’t get it straight. I can’t untie the knots, and smooth the strings. Am I in love with my friend? I mean, the whole world shifted and I haven’t been able to NOT think about him all of the time. Anytime I kissed a guy, I felt like I was cheating. I felt like I was cheating on a chance to be with him. And maybe, MAYBE I created a version of him that isn’t who he is, but who I see and want him to be. Maybe I fell in love with an illusion. I don’t know.

I just want the tangles in my brain to stop.

I want it to unwind, but every time I pull a string, it makes the knots more and tighter.

I want easy, for fuck’s sake!

I mean, I am not naive enough to believe that having a relationship will be simple, but I want the trust to come naturally. Why is it SO hard for me, now? I had zero issues trusting Mitch. But he sat down with me, before our second date, and told me, “I don’t trust you.” Zero intro to the statement, and just a touch of explanation after. Then, I proved myself to him.

Maybe… Maybe I’ll just take a dating hiatus again.

When I don’t fight for attention.

When I feel wanted for more than my body.

When I feel like a partner.

When I get a say in when we see each-other, rather than the guy always calling the shots.

When he makes me feel beautiful at my worst.

When I am so obviously the only one he thinks about and wants to be with.

When I never have to question if he’s lying.

When he proves he’s worthy of my company.

Then… THEN I’ll step into something.

 

Until then… Respect my mess, because it is a part of this package.

 

 

 

 

 

 

This Is The Worst Month Of The Year.

I don’t base everything off of astrology, but this month has been pretty fucking spot-on, so far.

“You will be more open about your love interest.” Check! Especially since I have the best Pseudo name for him. 

“You will be very popular amongst people mid-month, as your charm draws people in.” Check! 

“Do not make any decisions based on emotion, until later in the month.” Check!

 

This month is a rough month for me. It was a rough month financially, before Mitch passed, and it’s been mentally rough since he has passed.

His 3 year Deathiversary is in 12 days.

I feel the days drawing near.

I feel the tears well in my eyes, and I know that no matter what I do, no matter who I get involved with, no matter what happens, this month will kick my ass emotionally.

Astrologically speaking, I should have an amazing month as long as I don’t make any big decisions.

I am not making any decisions this month, because this month would be the worst month to do that.

Small things have been weighing on my mind, and right now, they seem huge.

Small things are killing me, and I am standing here, shoving them away, one at a time.

I cannot allow January to break me, every year.

It’s a thought I have, but as each day speeds by, my heart aches a little deeper. The pain becomes a little sharper. The memories flood me. The party at my co-worker’s house, with a bunch of my favorite people that Mitch was able to attend. He couldn’t sleep that night. He held my hair when I puked. He told me everything was going to be okay. He drove home the next day. He pulled over so I could puke on our way home. He laughed and blamed the funny tasting water I had with breakfast, and not the 2 bottles of wine I had for dinner the night before. The dinner during Restaurant week with friends that Mitch refused to go to, because he just didn’t feel well. Me dancing my way out the door, singing “all cried out” by allure and 112, on my way to that dinner. Mitch calling for dinner from Eat. Fit. Go. Tuesday night, because he was craving their Turkey chili.

No one can get ahold of Mitch on Wednesday. Have I seen him?

The drive to the FedEx Hub.

The blur that encompassed me as the officer pulled me into Julie’s office.

The ripping pain that started the moment I saw the police cars, finishing me, as she spoke the words I knew I would hear.

The blur of that day. The Drive to John and Tracey’s.  The drive to Michael Dale’s house. “Enough!” Brady said and took me back to his house.

The blur of people coming and going.

Midwest transplant calling once and being rejected to talk to me, because of timing.

Midwest transplant calling again, as I sat with a semi circle of seated family members, mourning the loss of a human so amazing.

Laughing while on the phone with midwest transplant, about the meaning of someone’s name, and the immediate shame I felt as all eyes were on me.

This.

Month.

Will….

break me.

Every single year.

 

So.

No big decisions.

No relationships.

No throwing in the towel.

No big purchases.

No job changes.

No changes.

Everything stays the same.

I break in peace.

 

My Next…

I feel like I have been hyper-active on social media lately. I feel like I get like that when I have something that I want to say, but just don’t know how to say it.

Instead, I say everything except the one thing I wish to say.

I write privately, now, to try to understand myself a little more. It’s not quite the same as writing and sharing with everyone who cares to read it.

I enjoy sharing my mind, my feeling, my everything with people. I am still in the mindset that maybe, just maybe someone out there needs to understand that they are NOT alone.

Did you know that I do want love again?

I can’t remember if I’ve shared that in a private journal, or on this blog, but it’s true.

I know I will never have the same kind of love I had with Mitch, but, I know that I have so much more to give. It bubbles and glops over at times.

I love life. I love everything that comes with living.

I don’t want to have sex with people, just for the sake of having sex.

I want to be with someone who looks at me in a way that says he’s not able to get enough of me. Soak me in, and miss me when I am gone.

My next husband will be kind, yet assertive. Hell, we all know I’m pretty indecisive about things, like where to go for dinner, or what movie to see first. (PICK the scary one, and tacos… oh! or burgers!)

My next will have his shit in order. He will love me for everything I am, and everything I am not.

He will take me by the hand and lead me into a better version of me. He will encourage me to succeed. He will invite me out with his friends. He won’t want to hide me.

My next will almost surely have kids, because I am a sucker for an amazing father.

He will know that I am always here. I won’t leave in the bad times. And he won’t leave me in my bad times, either.

I know it won’t be the same as it was with Mitch, because I know that in the wake of his death, I have learned that you cannot take for granted the things that people do for you. The things that usually go unnoticed or aren’t hyped up, anymore.

Opening doors, and paying for dinner.

Driving us to our dates, rather than meeting places.

To be 37, and widowed, is not for the faint of heart.

This.

Shit.

Sucks.

But I have learned so much. I have learned about me. I have learned about men. I have learned about dating. I have learned that dating sites are the fucking devil.

And most of all, I have learned my worth. Of course, when you’re with someone for half of your life, you just kind of know your worth with that person.

When you are, essentially, abandoned, you’re left questioning your self-worth. You’re left wondering if you’ll ever be good enough for another man, again.

You’re left in this mindset that you’re broken, and no one is going to want to walk into that. I’ve seen the faces of the men I’ve gone on dates with, when I mention that my husband died. It always comes up, because they’ll say something like, “What’s such a great woman, like you, still doing single?” And I am 100% honest, even if I really like a guy. ESPECIALLY if I really like a guy. “Well, sir, my husband died.”

Side-eye.

Deep breath.

Release of air.

“Wow. How? Is it okay if I ask?”

Every. Single. Time.

Then, I never see them again. I’m okay with that. It’s better than them pretending to be okay with me, and then breaking things off down the road.  I am a seriously complicated woman. It’s going to take a hell of a man to understand and accept me.

My next will understand that I’m an absolute wreck 3 days every year. 1/25, 5/24, and 8/18. 4 days if you count the day I put the Christmas tree up. I may want to lay in bed all day and cry. I may want to run 20 miles and then come home and cook enough food for an army. My next will understand.

One day, and I believe this, whole-heartedly, Mitch will shove him in my direction.

My next will have a lot in common with me, but still have his own thing.

My next will love sports, but not be too crazy about them.

My next will love his career, so he doesn’t come home super cranky all the time.

My next will be vulnerable around me, open with his feelings, and let me comb his hair with my fingers as he lays with his head in my lap, to tell me about his shift.

And most importantly. The most important thing about my next. He will not be threatened by my love for my husband, for I have plenty more love to give. He will understand that without my husband, I wouldn’t be the person I am, today. He will not replace my husband, nor will he want to,  but he will pick up where Mitch left off, and that’s okay.

I see him, in my mind’s eye. Not a physical him, but a spiritual him. A beautiful soul. Someone who is the other half of my very soul.

 

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Hey, Mitch.

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Johnny got married this past weekend. Hopefully you saw. His bride, Tina,  was stunning. Megan went, and she even wore a dress. She was wearing her Vans, but,  still in a dress and looked gorgeous.

Our OCR group took over the bar area, and served everyone drinks all night, because we can never just sit still, and we always seem to have our hands in everything, helping wherever we can. I wish you were able to meet these people, babe. They’ve become some of my closest friends. They encourage me to keep going, and most of them only knew of you, what I told them, and they all love you, too. You were definitely a keeper, that’s for sure.

I think about how I hit the jackpot with you. I know you always claimed we were like the couple from King Of Queens, “I’m the fat guy with the super hot wife!” I love you. I love how you loved me. I love how we loved each other. It was beautifully meant to be. No question.

I was telling someone yesterday, about how I used to HATE when you shaved, because you would always leave a huge mess with your little red beard hairs all over the bathroom. I loved that red beard.

I followed that up with how I ran out of shaving cream, recently, and decided to use your shave bar, and how I sat on the floor of the shower, as the water blasted me, and cried my eyes out, because your little red beard hairs were still in the shave bar and dish. It smelled like you, and there was a little piece of you right there, like you were still here. But, you’re not. You’re no longer here, in my realm.

I survived that bout of tears, as I will survive many many more. I don’t fear my tears, anymore. I don’t fear crying in front of anyone. I don’t fear the reactions I may receive in the event of crying in the oddest of places. I just do. If someone asks if I am okay, I always tell them “I will be. Give me a minute.”

Race season is coming up, and it’s coming up FAST! I am hosting a workout with a few other KCOCR admins, this Saturday to help the general public get ready for Warrior Dash. It’s so cool, because it’s a free workout, and Warrior Dash posted it on their social media pages to help spread the word! Remember when I would get up at ungodly hours, and go work out at different gyms, with our tiny group? That tiny group is HUGE now. There’s almost 1,000 of us, and now I am one of the moderators, alongside some amazing people.

My strength and conditioning coach got an amazing opportunity to put his degree to use, and make some pretty great money (I am guessing about the money), and will be moving to New York! I’m super happy for him. He’s created a monster in me. HA! I’ve lost weight, built muscle and strength. I haven’t looked this good in decades!

OH!! You won’t believe this! I am down to a size 6! I can even fit in some 4s. It’s crazy! I haven’t been this small since before I got pregnant with Megan.

Speaking of Meg…

I’m at a loss. I can’t get her to clean her room. Her room, sadly, looks just like your basement bedroom always did. Moldy dishes, bottles of drinks all over. Goldfish crushed into the floor. Trash, clothes, and hangers EVERYWHERE!! Towels all over. You get it. You know what your room looked like. That’s what her’s is like, and it’s driving me insane. I mean, I get a little messy sometimes, now, but not dirty messy. Just stuff like a basket with 13 loads of clean laundry that needs to be folded and put away, or dishes after a big meal prepping day. I know. You probably think I’m crazy. I just can’t stand having a messy home anymore. I’m less exhausted this way. I don’t have to think too much about where my things are, and that makes me a happy person.

I also can’t get her to improve her grades. She is, well, lets just say it isn’t looking good.

I wish you were here to help me help her. I try. I try hard.

She is smart. I know she’s smart. She knows she’s smart. But, some stuff, she just doesn’t DO and it’s causing her to get bad grades.

She’ll get it. I know she will. She’ll figure out how badly failing classes will be for her, in the future.

If there is a God, please, tell her I need guidance, because she isn’t listening to me. Or him?

I have decided to attempt actual dating, now. Although I love you with so much vigor, and will always love you, whole heartedly, I have come to realize that there is a growing chamber of my heart that is going to allow me to love another person, some day. I’m not saying anytime soon, and it’ll never be the love that we shared, because that cannot be duplicated. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be a great love, too. Right? I know you’d want me to be happy, and you wouldn’t want me to be alone forever.

Oh! When I went on a date the other day, I ACTUALLY let him open the truck door for me, and accepted help in and out, like a lady should. Remember when I threw the feminist shit at you? “do NOT open my door for me! I am fully capable!” I’m so sorry. I was so young. I didn’t think about it being a nice gesture, or an act of respect. I’m growing more to understand the things I didn’t know while you were here. In some ways I am so sad that I didn’t figure these things out, while you were still alive. I wonder how I never realized some things. I should have let you be the man you wanted to be for me. I mean, you were definitely the man for me, but I didn’t allow you to be a typical gentleman, from the very beginning. There is so much Love and so much respect for you, that I wanted you to see me for the independent woman I really was.

I wasn’t “independent” then. I mean, sure, I could do this or that by myself, but I had no idea what was happening with bills, the bank account, or anything else, for that matter, for many many years.

Our 16 year wedding anniversary is coming up. It’s crazy to think we would have been married 16 years. Together for 19, come August. If I didn’t live the beautifully tragic love story of us, I wouldn’t believe it. Or I would, but I wouldn’t believe that the widow is still sane, and functioning for every day life. It’s like a story someone made up, so they could sell books or tickets to a movie.

But here I am, babe. You’d be proud, as you ever were, that I am not only an independent woman, raising one hell of an amazing daughter, but, I am helping to run our obstacle course group, working full time, keeping myself in shape and our home under control. I am making more time for friends and family, and I am living this life I was granted.

I miss your beard hair in my sink. I miss all of your nearly gone body wash and shampoo bottles in the shower. I miss the way you smelled after mowing the grass or rolling around on the floor playing with the dogs. I miss the way you would try to lock Megan or myself into a room by tying things to door knobs, or trying to play pranks. I miss all the things that made you who you were.

Forever love is forever, and that’s what we share. No matter the shift I feel within myself, It’s not a change in my love for you, at all. It’s a growing change. An amazing,  unbelievable growth within myself, that I never ever would have thought possible.

Until we meet again,

With all of my heart,

Tabbie

Hopefully the quality of my video is okay. I had to screen-record because I cannot download it. This was at The Life Celebration.

I Used to be a Christian

“The other day, when I was reading something you posted, it hit me. YOU are the writer!”

 

I know, the title is going to get everyone’s panties in a wad.

Chill out.

Read it.

You’ll get it.

I am 36 years old.

I have one HELL of a story to tell.

I’m not sure I’ll make money off of it, but it I do, I’ll have to A: change the names of the people so I don’t have to get their consent to tarnish their names, or B: Get consent from people I love dearly, to drag their names through the mud, because it’s a part of my story.

I remember when I was little. I remember going to church and loving Sunday school. I remember coloring and playing with other kids, praying at night for all of my loved ones and even all the strangers I never met, and never would meet to be safe. I was naive. I believed that if I prayed for EVERYONE, everyone would be safe. Then, one day, I was in shorts and a t-shirt, accepting Jesus into my heart as my lord and savior, as I was dunked into a pool of water in front of a congregation.

I was 7.

I remember, because I remember the look on my dad’s face when I told him I wanted to be baptized. It was a look I craved. A look of acceptance, of love, pride and happiness. I believed that Jesus was good and God loved all of mankind.

The older I got, the more confused I became. It wasn’t because of outside influences. It was because of everything I had read in the Bible.

I’m not going to bash the Bible, or God, or Jesus, or Christians.

I guess, I am writing this to say a few things. I am one of those “think outside the box” types of person. I know. You probably never would have guessed it, am I right? ha!

I have read the Bible. I have read it cover to cover a few times.

It. Makes. NO. Sense. It’s about as contradictory as anything could be.

But that’s okay. MOST of it is good guidelines for how to be a good person.

Jesus was this totally rad dude, who helped poor people, sex addicts, drug addicts, thieves and more! He totally loved them and taught them how to be good people. He proved to them that the choices they were making weren’t the only choices set out for them. He showed them that, although a rough road, a possible road. Right?

Totally cool guy. Loving, accepting, nurturing.

One of those guys you aspire to be like. Right?

Well, you don’t have to BELIEVE the Bible, to believe in the main character. Right?

Either way, my “faith” is different than it was when I was a child.

I have lived. I have observed. I have survived, and have stayed pretty damn level headed in the process.

At the point where one would finally break, I, instead,  keep striving for better. Not to GET something better, but to BE something better.

When I was a child, I believed that I would forever be protected. Nothing bad could happen to cause heartache or sadness, or the things that I have experienced through my 36 years of life.

Boy, was I wrong.

I say something that I know may piss off a lot of people, but I believe it one hundred percent.

Everything happens for a reason.

I’m sure many people who are grieving right now want to reach through their screens and slap the ever-loving shit out of me, right now.

I believe it. You do not have to. But, I do. I always will.

I REALLY met Mitch at a point in my life where I was really ready to call it quits with dating. I honestly never wanted to see another man in a dating manner again. (That was my dramatic teenage mind)

He walked into McDonald’s, smiled his brilliant smile at me, and told me I was coming to his birthday party.

You read that right. He didn’t ask if I’d go. He told me I was going.

“Hey, What are you doing this weekend? Oh? going to my birthday party. Okay, We’ll pick you up at 6!”

I was stunned. I was shocked. I was ALREADY in love with that boy, and he didn’t even know. We were both 17 years old.

He walked into that McDonald’s on the most perfect night, with the best “invite” to a birthday party I had ever received.

I think if God is real, he laughed when I swore to all things holy that I would NEVER name my child Megan, when I was 15 years old…

Que the laughter…

My favorite human, aka my daughter, is Megan. I can’t even imagine her with a different name.

Just as I remember the first time he “asked” me out, I remember our last night together. I remember what he had for dinner. I remember what movie we watched. I remember the words he spoke, as if they were gospel.

I remember his hand as he held mine during that movie.

I remember the next day, when I walked… ran to the doors of the FedEx Hub only to be dragged into an office and told that he was gone. I remember thinking “There’s no way there is a god. There’s no way a god would take such a man from this earth. No way!”

I always joked with Mitch about how I didn’t remember life before him. I think I phrased it wrong. I remembered life before him, but it felt like another lifetime. Like everything was happening as it should .

When he died, I had that same feeling. Everything is falling into place. Everything is exactly as it should be.

I hate it. Megan hates it. Our families hate it.

But that feeling. Gawwwwwd that feeling.

I’ve thought so many times that if anyone knew how I felt, how I felt as thought this is meant to be, I’d be looked at as heartless.

Now, though, I know I am not. I know my family and my friends, my coworkers and my past coworkers know that I am not heartless.

Mitch, I believe, completed his mission here. Whatever his mission was, he completed it, and he did it FAST.

I can tell you that whoever was supposed to learn from him, learned well.

Whatever it was he taught, he taught it without knowing he did.

I feel like I was a part of his mission, but definitely not the whole of it.

He taught me to be kind, even when I didn’t want to be. He taught me to see everyone’s point of view, and not take sides. He taught me that I have the ability to be amazing, I just needed to put forth the effort. (still trying, babe!) He taught me, most of all, that good men did still exist. He taught me that there were really still good fathers. He taught me that I am so much stronger than I ever imagined I could be.

I could write a book about how much like Jesus Mitch was. He never “laid hands on” and “healed” people like the Bible says Jesus did, but he sure did heal people with his words, his kindness, his acceptance, and his love. He talked to everyone, and he helped everyone.

So, again, I say: I used to be a Christian.

Now, I no longer align myself with any one religion, but, I believe that something is out there. Something is in charge and we are mere pawns in a game.

Am I winning?

Am I losing?

I guess I will only know when I pass on to the next realm.

Until then, I will continue my path of love and acceptance. I will not intentionally harm anyone. I will cherish my family and friends. I will teach kindness, empathy, and happiness through example.

 

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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.

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