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

 

 

 

 

Toxic Humans and Me.

Today, I did something. I deleted and blocked a person from my life, that was toxic, to me. I decided to test the person first. I was right with my suspicions. Even though I know there’s no respect for me from said person, I will respect their privacy, and not share their name. But here goes!

Hello? Who the hell would come at me, expecting to have even the slightest chance at mentally abusing me? Who. The FUCK. do you think I am? Let me spell it out…

I’m the woman who had a rough start at life, being pulled from my parents and put into foster care, in first grade.

I went to 13 different schools, and didn’t graduate.

Lived on my own from age 15-17, couch surfing, and working, trying my damndest to stay alive.

I am the woman who met the man of her dreams, married him, had a baby, and Created a BEAUTIFUL family.

I took my adult ass to get my GED, then went to college, so I could set a better example for my baby girl.

I never gave up on my career. When I wasn’t being respected and given the pay I knew I was worth, for my position, I left.

When I felt as though I wasn’t getting paid my worth at my next job, I applied elsewhere to see what I could be making, and fought for it. I got it.

I am the woman who lost her husband, unexpectedly, on a Wednesday morning, while he was at work, my child at school, and myself too busy to realize he never read my text that morning.

I have been through hell. I walk through hell regularly. I don’t need toxic people in my life, and I WILL remove you.

I am a positive, uplifting, forgiving human. I love people. I love my family, my friends and my career. I believe everyone deserves a second chance.

I ALSO believe my opinion matters. Your opinions matter. Even if I disagree with them, they matter, because they are YOURS!

But know, I don’t fucking play.

Learning and Growing

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*GASP*

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

She had one, and he hadn’t had any.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Learn.

Grow.

Be a better human today, than you were yesterday.

Kindness Matters.

 

Thanksgiving Is Near

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

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

I am thankful for my current health.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Here is a family game night. ❤

 

Be Thankful for the laughter.

Always remember that beautiful sound.

 

 

Do You Know What You Want in Life? Sex? Relationships? Money?

Or, do you only THINK you know?

Recently, I had myself convinced I wanted to be something I am not. I wanted to let myself go, with abandon, and not give 2 shits about it.

I wanted to be this person, who I have never been. Or so I convinced myself. Maybe I do want it? Maybe not. Most likely, not.

I am still figuring things out.

I found I like things I never thought I would like, and that’s what I am going to take from this life lesson. Because, honestly, everything is a lesson, in life. Right?

After being with someone for nearly sixteen and a half years, it’s hard to really know what you want, outside of that relationship, and all of the things that come along with it.

Many of our friends would joke about who wore the pants in our relationship. They always said it was me. It was, mostly. And there’s nothing wrong with that. That’s just how we were. I, more dominant than he. (and before anyone gets all weirded out, I mean in every aspect of our relationship. Not just sexual.)

I had convinced myself that I don’t want those pants, again. I don’t. I say “convinced myself”, but I have figured out, I don’t ever want to be that person who is bossy, and bitchy, and argues, and always gets her way. I was spoiled. Mitch spoiled the shit out of me. I am NOT complaining, at all. He was perfect. Perfect for the person I was. Perfect for the family that we created. Perfect.

Becoming a widow has opened my eyes to many things that I could do differently, when it comes to the next step. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not ready for relationship status, and won’t be for a long time. That’s just not something I want, right now. I wanted sex, sure. But, I realized, after a very long, drunken, conversation, that I didn’t actually want what I was asking for, but for some reason, I thought I did. And that’s fine. I have no regrets.  But, enough about that.

In life, I want to be happy. That’s something that many people struggle with. I am doing everything in my power to keep myself and my daughter happy. Being widowed has shown me, no more “next year! We will do this NEXT YEAR!” No, we will do it NOW! Next year may never come for us. There’s a deep longing to be free. To do everything that I have ever wanted to do. That is one of the reasons I have started traveling. Short, weekend adventures, to run dirty, muddy, obstacle course races. The people I find myself surrounded by, during these races, are genuine people. They are happy. They are out there, playing in the mud, and swinging from the monkey bars, like overgrown children. Happy.

I want to be successful. I want to continue to be successful in my career, in my friendships, and in my LIFE. There’s nothing wrong with being an independent woman. I really hate that the way I had to realize how independent I am, was losing the love of my life, my soulmate, the father of my child.

I have had a rough few days, thinking about everything. I go through phases. Sometimes, I accept what is my life. Other times, I question it all. But, the last few days have been more like living in a dream. I am back to that. Like, I am going to wake up, soon, and everything that’s wrong in the world will be right again. I just need to let the dream go a little bit longer. Just a little while longer. I’ll wake up, soon.

But I am awake. I am completely aware of how awake I truly am.

I have started to spread Mitch’s ashes, as I travel. I placed him in the Grassy Knoll in Dallas, TX. I know it sounds insane, but Mitch was such a nerd, he would have LOVED it there. I placed him by a quote from Kennedy’s speech, that he never was able to give. It reads:

“We in this country, in this generation. Are-by destiny rather than choice-the watchmen on the walls of world freedom. We ask, therefore, that we may be worthy of our power and responsibility, that we may exercise our strength with wisdom and restraint, and that we may achieve in our time and for all time the ancient vision of “peace on earth, and good will toward men.” That must always be our goal, and the righteousness of our cause must always underlie our strength. For as was written long ago: “Except the lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.”
–John Fitzgerald Kennedy

It’s a beautiful place, with beautiful words. And just to make it so much more emotional, there was a man, playing the violin, in the gazebo, and we could hear his music, as we spread the ash. I cried, harder than I’ve cried in a long time, that afternoon. Spreading his ashes was like conformation that he is actually, physically, gone from this place. It hurt. It hurt so bad.

I think that’s when I started to feel like I was in a dream. Or, like I am just a character in a movie, following the script I was given. It’s a very strange sensation. I am not sure what to think of it. I am not sure where to go with it. I am not sure if anyone else feels this way, or if it’s just my widow-brain.

I was chatting with a friend. A very handsome friend, but no worries there, we are both very dedicated to our children, live 1,000 miles apart, and if anything went down between us, it would be at least 6 years from now. ;P But we were chatting. We were talking about how I have always wanted to live in the country, and how he has always wanted big city life. Funny how that worked out, huh? But, my point, we were talking about being single, and how it sucks, but it is what it is. I told him that I feel like people are scared of me. He asked why, I told him, because I am a widow. That’s terrifying to so many people. And that’s okay! I’ll say, you should not be scared of me, because of my being a widow. I’m not exactly sure what there is to be afraid of, but if anyone has any insight, please, share!

I know, that in the future, I will want a relationship. I will want something fun, exciting, sexually adventurous and strong. Key words: In. The. Future. Not now, not next month, and probably not next year. But, I already know that it  will be something I want. I can see it in my head.  Right now, though,  I want to continue to find myself. It’s important to me, to find out who this new woman is. Not knowing myself will be a problem, for any future endeavours.

So please, bear with me, here, as I continue to search within myself, and find out everything I ACTUALLY want. Sexually, in life, or in general. Only I can discover these things.

And keep in mind, this is much harder for me, than anyone will ever realize. I struggle with myself, daily. Like, do you really want to do that? Yes. No. Yes. No. It’s a cycle that I must work through. I’ve only talked to one man about this stuff. Poor guy. I’ve treated him like he’s my private journal, rather than a friend. Sorry, man. I’m working on it.

Now, about money. I know what I want in the money department. I want to be comfortable. I don’t need to be dirty rich, I can’t go back to paycheck-paycheck. I like where I am, with savings, with budgeting, with being able to vacation. I like it. I know that when I do start dating, my number one thing with be, that man has got to have his own self comfortable, financially. I don’t want to worry about someone else’s struggles. That sounds terrible, but I am being completely honest. I have my own money. I have my own savings. I am financially stable, and don’t plan on screwing that pooch. I think, even if in 5-6 years, I end up married to someone else, (IF!) I would not merge bank accounts. I am working too hard to fix all the shit that we screwed up, as youngins. I will never risk ruining my hard work.

In all honesty, I really don’t care about YOUR money, just as long as you have your OWN, and aren’t interested in MINE. Does that make sense? I’m not into sharing anymore. 😉 (dear goddess, I sound like a bitch. oh well. I know the truth.)