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.

A Life Unplanned For

We all know, no one plans to lose a spouse. 

No child plays house, pretending their spouse dies. It’s just not something we do, as a human race. 

I attended a wedding, last night. It was an absolutely beautiful wedding. There were so many people there, and we dressed up, and looked great. 


As I sat, and watched the bride and groom’s first dance, I thought about how Mitch and I didn’t do that. We never had a “first dance”. 

There was supposed to be the father-daughter dance, and my chest started to hurt, as they started a video, and explained why her dad wasn’t there.

 My mind went into hyperdrive, skipped to the future, and I saw Meg, standing there, in her wedding dress, without her Dad. 


For a moment, I was broken. 

I probably cried more than the average person. I cried out of joy for the actual bride and groom, and the promise of a beautiful future together. And, I cried out of sadness, for Meg, as she won’t have her daddy to walk her down the aisle, or to have that first dance with her. My heart felt the joy and the pain, simultaneously. 

One year ago, if anyone tried to tell me I could feel such opposite feelings, at the same time, I would have laughed, and said “Yeah, right! One feeling would totally overpower the other!” 

I would have been wrong. 

Aside from that part of the night, I had a good time, with great people. We celebrated the marriage of two people who fell so deeply into love, and decided to spend the rest of their lives together. 


Absolutely beautiful! 

I drank a bit, and after an evening of drinking and hanging out with friends, I had an overwhelming feeling. I don’t think I want to ever be married again. Maybe that’s just my widow-mind, right now. My marriage was perfect. Well, perfect for us. 

 It’s been less than a year, since Mitch passed. Sometimes, the days drag on, and other times, I can’t believe a whole week has gone by. 

Less than a year. 

Holidays are coming

This will be our first Thanksgiving without Mitch. Without his cucumber salad. I will make it for the McAnany family Thanksgiving, but it won’t be MITCH’s side dish. I’ll be the one making it. 

Christmas, I’m sure, is going to be the worst for me. I am terrified of December. 

One week before Christmas will be one year from the day everything started going bad. 

The day Mitch slipped and fell, and sprained his wrist. 

New Years, without that kiss. 

And then we move into January. 

I don’t want to.


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

Solo Parenting

I am so super stoked about Megan’s bday presents! I need to grab one more thing, and it’ll be complete! I hope she likes it all, as much as I think she will! ❤️ FYI, I cannot believe it is happening! Next Saturday, I will be the mother of a TEENAGER! 


Parenting alone is hard, sometimes. 

I can’t bring myself to refer to myself as a “single parent”, because I am not. I am a widowed parent. I am the mother to an amazing girl, who has lost her dad. 

I still have to make all of the decisions, alone. Sometimes, I ask the sky, the air (Mitch) what I should do. 

I don’t get answers. 

But I try to focus, really hard, to find the right answer. To make the best decisions. 

Megan is my number one. She is my everything. I just want to raise her the way Mitch wanted her raised. Well, to some length. If it were up to him, she would wear long dresses with long sleeves and high collared necks. This is where I would step in and say “it’s okay, Mitch. She is covered, and not sweating her face off.” 

The first time he saw her with lip gloss, ready to leave the house, he nearly pissed himself. 


I had to explain that the gloss was CLEAR just glittery and shiney. It was okay. Not like red or bright pink. He settled down. 

I encouraged Meg to play in makeup at home. Never to leave the house with it on, but to play in it, so she could learn, for when she got older, and WANTED to wear it. Because, let’s face it, she will want to wear it at some point, and I don’t want her walking out of the house looking like a two dollar hooker. 

Half of the time, Meg would get the makeup out, and make herself look like a monster, or a clown, or something incredibly strange. So I was even more okay with it. She was having fun, experimenting with makeup. 


Who knows? Maybe she will do makeup for a television show like the walking dead, movies, or actors like Johnny Depp, and directors like Tim Burton, when she grows up. It could happen. 

But, being the only parent means I have to be the bad mom and good mom. Or mean mom/nice mom. 

So far, I’ve been pretty lucky with Meg. We have a very open mom/daughter relationship. At least I encourage the openness. Some days she talks, and others she is silent. 

She did tell me, any time she holds the urn necklaces, she gets a severe, sudden headache, that goes away as soon as she sets it down. So, I no longer ask her where her “dad” is. 

I know she has her necklace safely tucked away, somewhere. 

I know she loves and remembers her dad. I also know it hurts her to talk of him in the past tense. She has done so, more and more, but not a lot. That’s okay,  too. We all grieve differently, no one way is better than the next. 


Megan is a one of a kind kid. She is beautiful, talented, and smart. She has the world in front of her, and a whole life ahead. 

My main concern is making sure she knows her voice is heard. Her ideas are important. Her opinions are hers, and no one should force her to change. I want her to know how amazing she is, not because I am her mom, but because she IS amazing! 

But, really, being the mean mom is my least favorite thing. I’m not good at it. This is where I feel like I might fail. Discipline. 

Well, wish me luck, as I enter this brand new work of parenting a teenage daughter, alone. 

Solo Parenting

I am so super stoked about Megan’s bday presents! I need to grab one more thing, and it’ll be complete! I hope she likes it all, as much as I think she will! ❤️ FYI, I cannot believe it is happening! Next Saturday, I will be the mother of a TEENAGER! 


Parenting alone is hard, sometimes. 

I can’t bring myself to refer to myself as a “single parent”, because I am not. I am a widowed parent. I am the mother to an amazing girl, who has lost her dad. 

I still have to make all of the decisions, alone. Sometimes, I ask the sky, the air (Mitch) what I should do. 

I don’t get answers. 

But I try to focus, really hard, to find the right answer. To make the best decisions. 

Megan is my number one. She is my everything. I just want to raise her the way Mitch wanted her raised. Well, to some length. If it were up to him, she would wear long dresses with long sleeves and high collared necks. This is where I would step in and say “it’s okay, Mitch. She is covered, and not sweating her face off.” 

The first time he saw her with lip gloss, ready to leave the house, he nearly pissed himself. 


I had to explain that the gloss was CLEAR just glittery and shiney. It was okay. Not like red or bright pink. He settled down. 

I encouraged Meg to play in makeup at home. Never to leave the house with it on, but to play in it, so she could learn, for when she got older, and WANTED to wear it. Because, let’s face it, she will want to wear it at some point, and I don’t want her walking out of the house looking like a two dollar hooker. 

Half of the time, Meg would get the makeup out, and make herself look like a monster, or a clown, or something incredibly strange. So I was even more okay with it. She was having fun, experimenting with makeup. 


Who knows? Maybe she will do makeup for a television show like the walking dead, movies, or actors like Johnny Depp, and directors like Tim Burton, when she grows up. It could happen. 

But, being the only parent means I have to be the bad mom and good mom. Or mean mom/nice mom. 

So far, I’ve been pretty lucky with Meg. We have a very open mom/daughter relationship. At least I encourage the openness. Some days she talks, and others she is silent. 

She did tell me, any time she holds the urn necklaces, she gets a severe, sudden headache, that goes away as soon as she sets it down. So, I no longer ask her where her “dad” is. 

I know she has her necklace safely tucked away, somewhere. 

I know she loves and remembers her dad. I also know it hurts her to talk of him in the past tense. She has done so, more and more, but not a lot. That’s okay,  too. We all grieve differently, no one way is better than the next. 


Megan is a one of a kind kid. She is beautiful, talented, and smart. She has the world in front of her, and a whole life ahead. 

My main concern is making sure she knows her voice is heard. Her ideas are important. Her opinions are hers, and no one should force her to change. I want her to know how amazing she is, not because I am her mom, but because she IS amazing! 

But, really, being the mean mom is my least favorite thing. I’m not good at it. This is where I feel like I might fail. Discipline. 

Well, wish me luck, as I enter this brand new work of parenting a teenage daughter, alone. 

I Choose To Smile. 

10/14/2017
If there is one thing for certain, it’s this. I share everything. I tell you of my pain. I tell you when I’m happy. I don’t hold back. 

I do, however avoid sharing too many details. 

Some readers may have read my blog titled “he”. I am seeing someone. I’m not going into detail again, you can check out the blog that talks about him. I say it here, to drive home the fact that I blog about everything. 

Tonight, I am at a bar, as I type, in Lawrence, Kansas. It’s called RBar. The last time I was here, Mitch was here. 

It was snowing. 

Kody was our driver. Roni sat shotgun. Mitch and I rode in the back seat. 

I’m here. 

As we walked in, from the lot across the street, memories flooded me. Mitch was so bored here, that night. (Until he got some drinks in him, and lit up he room) We people-watched and laughed at people. Not very nice, I know. But, that’s what we did. We didn’t laugh at anything that couldn’t be controlled, but we were laughing at the drunk ones that were acting like fools. His pseudo gout was starting to flare up, and he was annoyed with it. No-one knew, but me, because that’s the kind of man he was. That is the kind of man he will always be remembered as. 

I am, literally, sitting at a table, by myself, right now, to type about this. 

I was asked if I was okay,  just now, and had to convince the girl that I blog, and the urge to write hit me, right now, so I HAD to do it! 

She said okay, and went on about her drinking. 

So, the last time I was at that particular bar, (in an Uber, now!) Mitch was there. He was annoyed. He didn’t like hanging out with super young people. He just wanted to sit down, and have a drink. He wanted to be an “old man” as he referred to himself, more often than anyone would realize. 

He was 34,  yes .

He complained, often, that he felt like he was 69, because of his pseudo gout, and everything making living incredibly uncomfortable. 

But, damnit, if Mitch wasn’t one of the most positive human beings in the world…

When I think about Mitch, I think about him, the way he wanted me to: Alive, Funny, and happy. 

Sometimes, like I’ve talked about before, it throws me off, because, out of the blue it’ll slam me, right in the chest: “no more…” 

No more. 

Two simple words, that have such a huge meaning. 

Two simple words, that can break me, if thought at just the right moment. 

Two words…

Two words that, I am sure, will randomly pop into my mind, for the rest of my life. 

I often wonder what goes through the minds of his family, when they think about him. And I mean, I wonder what their phrase is, that catches them off guard. I know, it is fact, that when we think of his living being, it’s always happy.  Always funny. There’s always a joke, a movie line, song lyric, or an action that makes us all laugh or cry. That’s fact.

 I choose laughter. Sometimes, tears choose me, though. I try not to stop the tears when they do come. I just let them flow. 

I choose to miss him, and continue to love him, and remember him. I choose to carry him on, through memories, and talking about him. No one who ever met him will ever forget him. 

No one I meet will leave without knowing him, through me, and/or through Megan. 

His life was one full of love, laughter, and fun. 

I choose to remember. 

I choose to put one foot in front of the other, every single day. 

I choose to smile. 


 

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

The Things I Have Done, So Far, This Year. 


This year has been one hell of a ride, so far.

I’ve done so many things that I never expected I would ever do. 

I, unfortunately, became a widow, at the age of 34, in January. Most already know the details of that, and I won’t relive it, in this post. 

In February, I paid off all of our tax debt, which was absolutely insane. That amount of money was a pretty large chunk of change.  I set up autopay for my student loans. 

In February, I went to Liberty tax and filed our taxes. It was overwhelming. I had never filed taxes, without Mitch there. Never! 

In March, I bought a new car. A brand new car. I never thought I could get a brand new car. I figured I would be stuck with dud cars for the rest of my life. Also, in March, I officially hired JRen Fitness, to whip me into a healthier me. 

In April, I signed up for the Conquer the Gauntlet Lifetime pass. It has been so rewarding!  I’ve met so many people, because of this, who have become friends, some who I consider my race family. 

In May, I left work at 3pm, hopped in my car, with 2 girlfriends, and drove, all the way to Georgia. We got there at 5am, and decided to nap for an hour before racing time. I ran my first official CTG! It was amazing! At the end of May, I released some stress, in a way that I knew how. 

I had sex with someone who ISN’T Mitch. (Definitely, I never saw this in my 2017 plans!) 


In June, I drove to Dallas Texas, for a conquer the Gauntlet. I found out that I can drive, easily, for 8 hours, before my ass starts cramping. I took Meg to the JFK museum, and we left Mitch at a restaurant and in the grassy Knoll. 

In July, we didn’t do much celebrating for Independence Day, since it was my scheduled holiday. That was strange. 

Meg started volunteering for the race Merch tent. She was killing it, in sales. She is doing so much better speaking to “strangers” (customers, and it transferred over to her ordering her own food at restaurants, too!)

I’ve been to Tulsa, and Iowa, for races, as well. 

I went to Nebraska for a workout with some race friends. Just because it sounded like a good thing to do. (It WAS!) 

I never would have thought that I’d be in the place I am, right now. 

This year has been trying. I have definitely had my bad days. I have sat down, on the edge of my bed and cried, for hours, about things I can’t control. Once those tears are released, I feel like it is like letting my worries go. Letting them free into the universe. I can’t worry about the things I can’t control. It’s fruitless. It’s unnecessary stress, that I CAN refuse to have. 

I can be happy, without feelings of guilt. 

I can have fun, without guilt.

I can keep taking steps, forward, without guilt. 

I can be sad, and happy, at the same time. 

I can be myself, an individual. 

I can be a mom.

I can be a friend.

I can say things and do things that most people are too aftaid to do or say. And I don’t do it, for attention. I don’t need that kind of attention, ya know? I do it, so other women and men, who are experiencing the same feelings I have, never feel alone. 

POST-widowhood Happiness

I know that this blog is about me being a widow, but I hope that anyone who has lost a loved one, can get some sort of hope from my story. 

I NEED people to keep hope. Or faith, or whatever you want to call it. 

It’s important to me, that people who are devestated right now, know that happiness IS possible. 

You may not believe me, right now. Hell, I wouldn’t have believed me, either. 

But, I promise you, it is possible. 

It’s beautifully intertwined with sadness, and excitement, anger and love.

 The happiness that first comes, is one heavily dosed with guilt. You find yourself laughing, then you turn around, and start crying, because, you feel guilty about laughing, about feeling that feeling that makes you laugh. 

The happiness that comes after, is pure. It’s a new kind of happy. I don’t know if I can explain it well enough, but I will try. 

Happiness before the loss of someone who is such a huge, positive part of your life, is happiness. It is normal, happy, where you may take things for granted. It’s not something to be ashamed of. It’s just normal. The happiness now, post guilt laden happiness, is so much deeper. 

It’s a kind of happy that starts down in your belly, and moves up, and through the chest, to burst out, and just be. It’s one where you appreciate the things that make you happy. You don’t take for granted, anything, anymore. You know how quickly the happiness and good can go away. 

It’s a kind of happy that I wish everyone could feel, but, for me, it took a terrible, horrible, tragic loss, to open my eyes, my mind, and my heart. And I don’t wish this kind of loss on my worst enemy. 

I feel like putting that into words doesn’t do it justice. I can’t explain it, any better than that, but that’s just not enough. 

That’s the best I can give. 

Another thing I have noticed is that my desire to make people happy, is far above what it ever was, before. I can say “thank you.” I can say “I appreciate you.” I can say many things, but instead, I’ve been more likely to SHOW you, of late. A hug, a kind gesture, or a gift. Something that goes with the words. It’s not a form of “repayment” or “to create equality”. It’s because it’s what I WANT… no… it’s what I NEED to do, to be a happy human. I want everyone who positively impacts my life to know they have. Period. 

It’s about using actions, because they speak louder than words. 


#DontWorryBeHappy

#OneFootInFrontOfTheOther