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.

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.


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. 

It’s Really Been 8 Months and 1 Day. 


8 Months and 1 day. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I. Am. Doing. It!

I even remember to feed the cat! 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We have cried. 

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

We have been immensely sad, and heart-broken. 

We have learned. 

We have grown. 

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

We are moving, ever forward. 

One step at a time. 

One day at a time. 

One week.

One month. 

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

Keep moving, but never forget anything.

#OneFootInFrontOfTheOther

#MitchWood

#LoveAlways

7 Months After…

On January 25th, 2017, the best thing that ever walked into my life, fell asleep, and never woke up. That was 7 months and 2 days ago. 

Many people tell me:

 “You are so strong!” 

“You’re an inspiration!”

 “You’re doing so well!” 

“I don’t know how you go on. I mean, I don’t think I could do it!”

My strength is something I absorb through all of my friends, family, and support system. I have the best group of people, out there, to encourage me in the things I want and need. 

I hope to inspire many, who are grieving. It’s NEVER easy! There is NEVER a day that goes by, where I don’t think of Mitch. He and Meg were my EVERYTHING. This kind of loss isn’t something anyone “gets over” or “moves on” from. This kind of loss is something you LEARN AND GROW with. 

I do well, again, because of my amazing support system. And I love every single one of you! 😘

You really don’t know how you can go on, until you are here, and HAVE to keep moving. It’s not something I wish anyone to even TRY imagining. It’s terrifying, and guy-wrenching, to say the least! But, moving forward is a MUST! Nothing great ever happens, living in the past. We must all live, in the now. One step at a time, even baby steps count. Leaps and bounds may set you back a bit, but you will learn. And, learning, my dear, is good. 
Inside my daily mind:

Every day, I wake up, I think “damn, it’s raining, or damn it’s sunny!” Reach across my empty bed, to a place that should hold my husband. I don’t cry, when I do this, anymore. Well, I don’t cry EVERY time. Some days, the sense of loss is heavier than others. And that is just fine! 

I get up, make my coffee, and try to relax into my day, drinking my cup of dark roast. I think about how Mitch would always complain that I kept buying dark roast, because he was a blonde roast kind of guy. I bought the kind I liked, and when he shopped, he ALSO bought the kind I liked. I did start buying both, to be fair. 

I jump in the shower (most days) and get ready to start my day fresh. While I am enjoying a hot, cleansing shower, I think about how Mitch used to get giant cups, or even pitchers, sometimes, and fill them up with ice and cold water, and dump it on me, from over the shower curtain. I would get so mad, and laugh, every single time! It never failed. 

I dry off, and start my moisturizing routine, and think about how Mitch would ALWAYS walk into the bedroom, as I started putting lotion on. He would walk in and be like “oh! You’re not dressed yet? *wink*! He would then either be very obvious that he was watching me, or try to pretend he was doing other things, and “bump into me” as he passed me. 

I get dressed, and get my lunch packed and think how proud he would be that I USUALLY take my lunch to work. Saves me so much money! 

As I leave for work, I always feel like I am forgetting something. Every time. This sensation of forgetting something, is because I would kiss Mitch, every morning, while he laid sleeping in bed. We never left without saying goodbye. It was our thing. So now, I don’t have that sleeping husband to kiss goodbye. 

I’ll be at work, and something funny, or great, or terrible will happen, and I remember how I would always call, or text Mitch throughout the day, and he would be a smart ass, and make me laugh. 

When I get off of work, I think about how I would call Mitch, and ask him what he was cooking for dinner. Ever single day, I would call him and ask. Then I would say “oh good! I’m starving!” Or “Okay, what do you want me to pick up?” And I remember that Tuesday night, January 24th, when he told me he was craving the turkeylicious chili from Eat fit go. His last dinner. His choice. 

When I get home, and chat with Meg about her day, I think about how she has been here for however long she is there (depends on my call schedule) alone. I think about how this wouldn’t be a thing if Mitch were here. I think about how, before, she would tell me “Ugh! Daddy already ASKED me these questions!” 💙

When Megan tucks me into bed at night, she kisses me goodnight, then goes to her bedroom. This was the routine before her daddy died. She would tuck me in, and kiss me goodnight, then she would go to bed, and daddy would tuck HER in, kiss her goodnight. After tucking her in, he would come into our room, kiss me goodnight, and attempt frisky business, every night. Then, we would either get frisky, or I’d go to sleep and he would go watch sports or the news or the history channel. He’d come to bed at 11 or so, and go to sleep, and our routine would start all over again, when we woke up. 

These are, obviously, not the only things that affect me, but these are the regular routine things that get me, more often. 

Friday, before we left for Tulsa, Meg was looking for clothes to pack. As she was digging through her closet, she found this:


Those are her tiny handprints. This was a Father’s Day gift from her, quite a few years ago. 

She started bawling. 

It’s little reminders like these, that jump out, when they’re least expected, and tear us apart. 

Honestly, though, I would RATHER have these little reminders that tear us to shreds, than no reminders at all. I think no reminders would be so much harder to handle. 

Megan:

Megan, as a new middle-schooler, is now a part of a “grief group”. There are 3 or 4 other kids who have suffered significant loss, as well, and the social worker is working in getting them together, on a regular basis, to connect on a deeper level. I am SO happy about this! I am so glad she has an outlet, now, since she didn’t even want to try therapy. (She got that from her dad, no joke! He didn’t believe in therapy or psychologists!)

Megan and I:

So, as we grieve, we take each step, one at a time. We remember. We talk about him. We still love him. We will NEVER “get over it!”, and we are okay with that. We will never “move on!”, and we are okay with that, too. 

We are so unlucky in the way of losing Mitch, and so very lucky, in the way of our support system. 

We appreciate all of you! ❤️

A Rough Couple Of Days

Yesterday marked 5 months that Mitch has been gone. 

Yesterday, we were informed a family member has 2 weeks- 2 months left with us. 
Today, Megan had softball. 

She had a rough day behind the plate. She felt like she was screwing everything up. 

She started to cry. She cried hard, and for quite some time. 

The girls almost had to forfeit the game, because without Megan on the field, we didn’t have enough players to finish the game. 

I didn’t tell her to go out there. I told coach that I could never tell her to do that. Her emotional health is far more important to me, than any win or loss. 

Watching her cry, uncontrollably, for so many other reasons, outside of softball, hurt so bad. When she stood up, and walked out onto the ball field, by her own choice, was heart wrenching. Everyone out there watching the game, cheered for her. Even the other team’s parents were cheering for her. 

As the only person out there, that really understands what she is dealing with, and not being able to do anything to make it better, it sucks. I am her mom. I am supposed to comfort her when she is hurting. I can’t.

 All I can do is hold her until the tears stop.  When her tears stop, and she steps away, my heart breaks a little. Tears well up, and I fight them down.  

I have my good days, and I have my bad days. But, I don’t think my worst days hurt me as badly as Meg’s bad days do. 

I love her, so very deeply, that I can’t handle it when she is hurting. I mean, I CAN but I don’t like it, at all. 

It hurts. Bad. We miss him. 

5 Months Without Mitch.

While Mitch was alive, I was always worried that I would die before him. I was afraid that I would die, and leave him a single father, caring for our daughter. I was afraid he was cursed, you know. I didn’t want to die and leave him a widower. That wouldn’t be fair. He lost his mom, when he was very young. He grew up, pretty rough. 

That day, when I drove out to FedEx, exactly 5 months ago, and the officer dragged me into an office, and told me he was found, unresponsive, I was broken. I was broken, but, I was also relieved that I didn’t die, and leave HIM broken. 

I can’t say that he would be doing better or worse, right now, in this position. I CAN say, that I am so glad he doesn’t have to be the one going through this. That would not have been fair for him, at all. And, yes, I know that life isn’t fair. 

Someone posted this photo, on Facebook, and they said “thoughts?” 

I responded with this: 

“I’ve been widowed for almost 5 months. I am breathing, standing, walking, climbing, running, sprinting, hurdling, etc. it sucks so so so bad! But here’s my reasoning: My husband was the kind of man who made the BEST of EVERY situation. It didn’t matter what the situation was, he looked at the silver lining. He found the good that came from every bad thing. He taught me to do the same. With my husband’s death, at the young age of 34, of natural causes (heart failure), many many family and friends flocked to their doctor, to have their hearts checked. Some found they were healthy as could be, others found they needed further checking, because their white blood count was off, or their whatever was bad. It’s been a hell of a ride this last 4.95 months, and I am heart-broken, but I have a 12 year old daughter who NEEDS me! My husband has passed on, so he no longer NEEDS me. He would NOT have wanted me to screw up my and our daughter’s lives, because I am sad, or heartbroken, or have depressed days. He would have said “look, Tabbie, my death saved my dad’s life!” Because it DID! So, I will sprint, and breathe, and walk, dance and stand. Some days I may wobble, or fall, but I will keep putting one foot in front of the other. I hate this, but I will SURVIVE! We all will.”
I feel like people believe I make widowhood look easy. I don’t try to. This isn’t easy, at all.  I try to live each day. I try to make our lives happy, even when we are sad. I go through times where I feel guilty for thinking other men are attractive, or if I have sexual thoughts about them. I also know that having those thoughts and feelings are totally normal. I am only 34! I am a HEALTHY 34. I am not acting on each thought. That’s where we would have a problem.  But, thinking about things is not a crime. It’s just something that happens. 

Again, not easy. 

One income. I’ve had people say, “Well, there’s one less person, so one less income shouldn’t be too bad.” Well, when you are used to living with double the money you have, it is a TOTAL adjustment! 

I know, that the things people say, are meant to be comforting, and coming from some people, it is comforting. When it comes from someone I am not close to, it doesn’t come out like that. It isn’t taken like that. For some reason, it really is irritating. 

I have always known that I adapt to change pretty well. I typicallyvadapt to change better than most people I know. However, I didn’t realize how well adapted I am, until it was brought to my attention, that I am USED to sleeping alone, already. I have no desire to have someone sleeping next to me. I thought I was going to need friends to sleepover, in the beginning, and I never did. Meg and I slept on an air mattress together for nearly 3 weeks, and both of us got so uncomfortable, she started sleeping on the couch, until we moved into our apartment. I have reverted back to being a bed-hog. I am regretting my decision, to buy a queen bed, rather than a king. I had a king bed, when I was a teenager. I think when Meg gets a “new bed” it’ll be my bed, and I’m getting a king. All that room! 

Now, unrealistically speaking, I would give everything I own away, if it meant I could share a floor with Mitch. But, that’s unrealistic. I can’t BRING HIM BACK! No matter how much I want it, it doesn’t work like that. No matter how hard I cry, or how much I miss him, it just doesn’t work that way. 

Maybe, when my time comes, I’ll see him again. He was a good person. I try to be a good person. Maybe that means our afterlives will be good, if there really is an afterlife. 

I could totally see Mitch and I haunting people, together. Hilariously haunting family and close friends. 

Honestly, I still don’t get signs from Mitch. I haven’t dreamed about him, except the only 2 dreams I had. Maybe he leaves me alone, because he is afraid I’ll lose my shit? Maybe he leaves me alone because I am “doing just fine”? Maybe he thinks I need to continue to “be the inspiration” that I have become? Maybe, he doesn’t visit me, because he is afraid I will be committed to a psych ward, and leave Meg without a parent? Maybe he doesn’t visit, because I told him he wasn’t allowed to haunt me? Jokingly, of course, because when one dies, they can do whatever they want. 😉 And maybe, JUST maybe, he doesn’t visit, because he can’t. Maybe that’s not a true option, after death. Whatever the case, he doesn’t visit me or leave me signs, like I hear everyone else talk about. I have little tidbits of “oh my, Mitch would have said that!” But, nothing too ghostly. 

So, here I sit, 5 months without my Mitchell. I am stronger than I have ever been, in all of my life. I am happy in all areas of life except the part where I am a widow. I still truly believe that EVERYTHING happens for a reason, even if we haven’t figured out that reason, yet. 

Maybe it’s something so simple as my words, helping someone get through THEIR grieving process, just a little bit easier? Who knows if I’ll EVER know the reasoning behind Mitch’s death, outside of the scientific, biological part. 

Keep Living. 

One. Foot. In. Front. Of. The. Other. 

Skip. Hop. Run. Jump. Walk. 

Keep going. 

Father’s Day Without Dad

So, today has been such a bittersweet, heart happy/wrenching kind of day. 

Let’s talk about the good, because, we all already know about the bad. My heart has been so heavy, today, but we managed to have so much fun, as well.

Today started early. 4:30am, up and making breakfast for my 2 brothers, my mom and Megan. 

My two brothers and I went out on the ocean, to do some deep sea fishing. It was amazing. 2 hours in, my little brother started to puke. We told him to take the Dramamine, but he refused, saying he would be fine. HA! He puked like 5 times, and I got the first one recorded! I laughed so hard! 
And I said “I told you to take that stuff!” 

He hugged the palm tree when he got to dry land. 

Since he wasn’t going to make it the remaining 4 hours, Brady and I swapped him out for our mom, and went back out there. It was so amazing. Mom caught fish. I caught fish. Brady caught fish. And before the swap, Nate caught some too! 

I caught a Cobie and had to throw it back, but it was pretty cool! It looked like a mini shark! He held it because we had to keep it alive to send home, so it wouldn’t be too hurt. 


Here were the ones we caught and got to keep. Plus the two Nate caught before his barfin’ party. 


We used Brady’s GoPro to record us sending Mitch’s ash into the ocean. And of course, the wind changed and blew his ash right into our faces! That definitely lightened the mood. 

Megan didn’t want to go out that far in the ocean, so she lounged around, all day, until we got back, and Brady decided to take her for a Helicopter ride! Yes! You read that correctly! Meg went up into a helicopter, and proceeded to “squish” things below, just like her dad would have done. 

When we arrived, we went straight to the beach, and sent Mitch out. He would have loved every little bit of this vacation.

 Every. Little. Thing. 


Please, excuse my face. This was immediately after our 16 hour drive. 

I hate that Megan has to spend this, and every following Father’s Day, without her amazing father. It isn’t fair. But, LIFE isn’t fair. Thank the gods we already know and understand this, because if we didn’t, we would be angry. We would be defeated. We would be far more broken than we are. 

Happy Father’s Day, Mitchell John. We miss you. We love you. We will carry on your laughter, and your positive attitude toward life. We will continue to live our lives to the fullest, and never miss an opportunity to be kind to someone.  Our lives have been forever altered with your passing, but we will make it! You were the most amazing father, husband, and friend. You gave us the greatest gift (outside of your love) of all! Your family, who is OUR family, still. I am SO happy that Meg was old enough to have that bond with you. It’s such an amazing thing. 

What Do I Want?

Good news. Bad News. News.

Yesterday, I found out a friend’s step-father died. This morning, I found out a woman I know, the mother of a little girl I coached, died. these people were not old! They didn’t die from old age.

People are passing away, left and right. It’s insanity! We will never know when our time comes, until it is upon us.  It got me thinking. What is it I want from this life?

So, here it is.

In life, I want to be energetic. I want to inspire people to do good. I want people to look at me and say, “Damn. I want to be like her, when I grow up.”

I want to be like Mitch. Everyone wanted to be like him. Right?

In death, I want people to say, “We really lost a great one, with her. The world will never be the same!”

I want love, in life. I want to give and receive all of the love, I can endure. I want to be a great friend. I want to truly listen when people talk to me. I want to be there.

I want to be the kind of mother that makes other kids jealous of Megan. (no offense, mom-friends.) I want to make Megan’s life easier, but, not restrain her from her full potential. She’s going to be amazing! (she already is, and she’s only 12)

I want to be everyone’s big sister, in the way that Mitch was everyone’s big brother.

I want to navigate through life, similar to how Mitch did, only MORE.

I want to be the Aunt that nieces and nephews can confide in, happily.

I want to live beyond my years.

I also want to be the type of Mom that Megan wants to be like, when she grows up. I want to set an example worth following.

I want to pay my bills on time, and maybe, one day, buy a condo or a loft.

I want to be the kind of person that can walk into a room of strangers, and walk away with a room full of new friends.

I will.

I can.

Who’s going to stop me? IMG_20150401_170454

Only I can stop ME.