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.

I Dreamed of Him, Last Night

Last night was the first dream I’ve had of my husband, since he passed. I woke up wishing it to be real.

I dreamed that he never sprained his wrist, never caught that cold, and that he never had the gout flare-up. I dreamed that he still had the crampy legs, and the chest pain.

I dreamed that I MADE him go to the hospital. I dreamed that he was going to be just fine.

Why did he have to have  a sore throat before the cough started? Without the sore throat, it wouldn’t have seemed like he caught my cold, and the chest pain couldn’t have been attributed to the cough.

Why did he have to fall and sprain his wrist? Why did he have to have a gout flare-up?

I am angry! I am so mad that he had all of these things that would point the heart symptoms away from the heart. I am so sad, because I am SURE we, even him, would have taken it more seriously, if he didn’t have something to blame each symptom for. My heart aches, because I know, there’s nothing I can do about it now, but help spread the word, and pray no-one else suffers what we are all suffering.

I thought about Mitch all day, at work yesterday. I found myself “dazing off” multiple times. I was between surgeries, and lost it. I cried, out loud, body shaking with each sob. There were a few unfamiliar faces in the OR, who didn’t know my story, that I am SURE I scared the piss out of. I am sorry if I scared you. I am sorry if I ever scare anyone with my body wracking sobs. Sometimes, it just comes, and I don’t even try to control it.

I miss him terribly, and every morning, when I wake up, I wish I was waking up in that crappy house, with my big stinky dogs, and my big teddy bear husband, with his arms around me, or with him trying to press his morning boner into my thigh, because that’s more like something he would do.

So, today, I will wear his Gray Seattle Seahawks hoodie, that I stole from him, long before he passed, and think about him more.

 111wwmdbracelet

This is a bracelet stands for “What Would Mitch Do?” It means, if you feel like dancing, dance, because that’s what he would do. He wouldn’t care who was watching. He would also keep calm in any event. (Unless the Seattle Seahawks were involved. He was never calm about football.) My friend had them made, and is selling them for $5 each, so we can put money into savings for my 12  year old daughter. Friends are the best, but I wear my bracelet, every day, as does Meg. ❤ If you are interested in one, just message Lisa. She will take care of everything! If you’re not interested, that’s fine too.

You can still ask yourself, “WWMD?”