You know, when I started this journey as a widow, I looked at how well I managed everything, mentally. I thought I was doing great. No kidding. I felt like writing was helping me, so much, and that I was keeping myself away from a depressive state by working out on a regular basis.
In many ways, I was helping myself, as well as hindering myself.
I wrote about how writing became an emotional crutch. I am great at putting my feelings and thoughts on paper. Here’s why. What you don’t see? All of the OTHER stuff, that’s irrelevant to the topic at hand, that I ALWAYS add in, because that’s what pops into my mind, and my fingers click click click it out. You don’t see the disorganization of my thought process, because I clean it up before posting. You don’t see me cry because the things I type are so insanely deep, and painful.
You can’t see the mess. You see what I present to you.
That is basically where I have trapped myself.
Recently I was seeing a guy, and let me tell you, he probably thinks I am certifiable. On day two of hanging out, I realized a couple of my issues, and I SPOKE THEM OUT LOUD to him! I was literally just thinking out loud. Now, let me tell you, though, he had told me, many times, “I want to know all of you. The good. The bad. The beautiful and the Ugly. Will you show me?”
I thought, “Wowwww! That’s amazing!” I thought it was a big score. I mean, no man that I’ve met since my late husband has ever seen that many parts of me, nor has one REQUESTED it.
This guy, though… We met in the midst of one of my biggest self discovery phases. Considering how scary it has been for me, over those weeks, I can’t even imagine what went through that poor man’s mind.
It’s okay though. I am not going to talk crap, but it was very clear that we weren’t going anywhere beyond friends.
Over the last few days of us talking, all he did was respond to texts (never initiated) and when we talked on the phone he always sounded annoyed. When I would try to talk to him about stuff, via text, he would be cold and say “say it to my face.” Finally, I tried. I worked up the courage and fought the anxiety to go see him and talk to him about the things I couldn’t say, just days prior, and he refused to see me. He refused to even talk to me.
So, It’s clear we aren’t anything, and that’s okay. I have no hard feelings. I probably would have ran away from me a lot quicker than he did, to tell the truth. I called him when he told me “try saying it out loud. I don’t want a texting relationship.” He didn’t answer. So I texted him that I don’t think I even want him as a friend, because I don’t want another “friend” who ignores me. I put up with it for 6 months and refuse to do that shit again.”
The next morning, though… I felt awful and knew I ruined what could have been a fantastic workout partner, friendship. I texted him an apology (on Sunday) and left it alone. No word. I tried ONE last time, ordering edible arrangements and offering an apology and telling him where I would be if he wanted to give the friendship part a second chance (This got a biggest head shake and deep sigh from my girlfriends. I even deep sighed myself and kind of knew what would come of it.) No response.
I am complicated.
I am open.
I don’t lie.
I try my HARDEST when it comes to being a good person.
Do I hurt feelings sometimes? Sure. Not for fun, that’s for sure. I HATE hurting feelings, but shit happens sometimes and there’s no way around it.
I need someone who can hang with my ups and downs as I journey through my self discovery, but also tells me if I am being crazy. I need someone who won’t run at the first sign of a panic attack or if it takes me a day or two to organize and gather my thoughts and feelings, to speak them out loud. I need someone who can assure me that they only have eyes for me, and that they do every day, not just when I am with them.
Do I need that now? hell no.
Do I need that soon? Again. No.
But, when the time comes, and a man steps into my life, and thinks he actually wants to stay, he has to be strong enough to withstand my internal storms, and know that it’s not about him.
I workout for therapeutic release of negative energy. I journal privately as a form of therapy. I write, sharing my journey, as part of my therapy. I have an ACTUAL therapist, as a form of therapy, and I have stumbled into sleep hypnosis for anxiety, panic attacks, healthy habits, positive thinking and so on. I read everything I can get my hands on when it comes to overcoming anxiety and overthinking, and negative self talk. I wasn’t kidding when I said I was going to be working on myself. I am also not so naive to believe change will happen overnight.
I am okay with it. I am okay with steady improvements. I am okay with really taking the time I’ll need to find myself, and be comfortable with myself again.
And one day, I’ll meet a man who is okay with my process as well.
If I have said anything consistently for the last 3 years and 3 months it is this.
Everything Happens For a Reason.
I stand by that. I don’t want to gloat or brag or anything like that, so keep that in mind as I trace back through the years, that have led me exactly where I am today.
I work in health care, and I make very good money, with a pretty good security in my job, in all times of world happenings.
Why? How? Back when Megan was 3 years old, I went up to the worst school I could have possibly went to, and signed up for a $25,900 loan to get my associates in applied science. This was immediately after getting my GED, because I wanted to set a better example for my daughter.
Let me explain. I had such an urge to do this that I went through the entire process without consulting with my husband first. That’s not how we did things. He would have said “these loans are awful! We should look up another place to get a load through, before taking this huge step.” And me, I would have reacted as if he were telling me no, like it was a bad idea. I remember being at that school with the loan people, without his knowledge and the woman told me they were grants and that I wouldn’t have to pay grants back. I signed the 579,683 pages as she told me “what they said”, because I was in such a hurry to get started, so I would be ready!
I get my first job as a surgical tech and man! It was a $5/hour raise! It wasn’t what I expected it to be, but it was much more than what I was making prior. I went through absolute hell, with some of the WORST co-workers, but I held on. I trained and I stiffened my backbone, because I was SURE it was important. I would come home and cry to my husband about how awful my job was, and how awful the people were proving to be. I’d get written up for things that I never did, except maybe the times I rolled my eyes at coworkers. I always do that. Sue me. ha.
It was at that establishment where I learned not to trust anyone you work with. Sure, you can talk about your personal life, or listen to them talk about theirs, but never discuss anything about anyone you work with, no matter if it’s good or bad, unless you are praising them straight to their face, because even the kindest words could get twisted and turned and make you look like a bad human. I learned.
Most of you reading these posts know that I am a very talkative person, and that I am VERY opinionated. I learned to be different, because of that place. I went through hell, just to learn that I can’t trust anyone. I became the “watcher”. I got the urge, after 4 years in the same place, to move on. I wanted to do more than just the same surgery over and over. I knew I was good and I felt like I was being limited in my career.
So I vamped up my resume, and I shot it out to every hospital in the area.
First interview was a dud. I was devastated and scared that I would never be enough to move from the area I was at. All I wanted to do was scrub trauma surgeries. I wanted to be able to do anything that came through the doors.
Second interview. Flop.
Third interview, SCORE!
Trauma center, they were desperate, and offered me the job straight away! I took a pay cut, to do more and take more call. I was promised performance based raises. If I wasn’t promised that, I wouldn’t have taken the job. I am excellent at what I do, and I learn swiftly. I faked confidence in that interview, so hard, and it worked.
I started my career in a trauma center OR, and it was amazing! Everyone was like family, straight away! I sat back, though, and I listened. I watched how everyone interacted with each-other, and how each person spoke when another left the room. For a week and a half, everyone made jabs at how quiet I was. I was very reserved. I asked appropriate questions and didn’t fuck around. I was there for work, not for friends.
When “raise” time came around, I was informed that there were no performance reviews and everyone got the same percent raise, no matter how they performed.
I got a 30 cent raise.
I was pissed. I applied across the board again, in 2016, and landed an interview at a surgery center that was about to start doing heavy total joint surgeries, and they wanted me to lead the ortho team.
I accepted the position, with $4/hour raise, and turned in my notice only to my nurse manager and director of the OR.
My nurse manager grabbed me, that day in late summer 2016, and asked me what it would take to keep me. I told him what the other facility offered and he talked me up, so high, to the people in charge and got me up an additional $4/hr. So I stayed. I loved (hell I still love most of those crazy bastards that held my hand and showed me how to do trauma) my work family so dearly that I couldn’t leave. I got this $8/hour raise and was so excited! I finally felt like my bosses really cared about me, as a person.
That winter, we started getting caught up with debt. I even urged Mitch to let me set up autopay for my student loans so we could start repairing my credit. In late December, after much ado, he finally agreed. We were finally on an upward climb and I made great money. He made great money. We were getting somewhere.
Then, in January, he died.
I had to call my work and tell them I wouldn’t be back for a while, because I didn’t know how long it would take me to feel up to it. Because of my amazing work family, I was able to take 3 weeks off, completely paid with co-workers’ paid time off donations. These people were why I didn’t want to leave. Those people really took care of me. They checked in on me, daily and made sure I was doing okay. On top of donating PTO, they started a collection of money, to help pay for everything that comes along with death. Let me just tell you, dying is expensive as fuck for everyone who is left alive. (no hard feelings, btw. It’s just a fact) Please, make sure you have a life insurance policy. We had just renewed our insurance that previous November and the option for Mitch to have life insurance was removed. Either he didn’t keep it, or it was no longer an option, but that’s the fact of the matter.
Because I stayed with that facility, and kept the work family relationships I had, I was able to keep my job with them.
In late 2017, my boss, the director of the OR decided to call me into her office to tell me I was not grieving the loss of my husband properly and that I needed to go to counseling, and blah blah blah.
I was very offended that she thought she had the right to discuss my grieving process, considering she was a nurse. She knows everyone grieves different. I, Kindly, told her, “I’ll agree to disagree with you, right now. I am going back to my OR to get ready for my next total joint.”
For the next year she wrote me up for everything she possibly could. Even made-up things. I went from absolutely loving my job to dreading it every day, because of that woman. But I did it. I did it because I was the sole living parent of a 13 year old child. A child who depends on my income to eat and have 4 walls and a roof. I held my tongue. I never screwed up. Then, a disagreement and I was fired.
I was devastated. I had never been fired before in my life, aside from the time I was fired 9 hours after I announced my pregnancy at the bar I managed.
So here I was, the day before my scheduled flight to California, with no reliable source of income. What did I do? I shot my resume to every single hospital and surgery center in the metro area. I applied with a travel agency, for possible local travel positions, and drank beer and cried the rest of that day.
I drunkenly packed my bag for California and prepared for our long weekend in a state we’ve never been.
Friday, Megan and I landed at LAX, met our long time internet friends, face to face, for the very first time, and it was amazing. We went to Rodeo Drive and walked into some of the most ridiculous stores. Meg was DYING to see the inside of the Gucci store, so we went there. My phone rang. I answered. It was a hospital wondering if I could come in to interview on monday morning.
I apologized and explained my whereabouts and asked if we could do Tuesday, instead. She agreed and I tried to enjoy the rest of my mini-vacation. I received an email from another hospital and they wanted to set up a phone interview, so I set that up for another day that week.
It was looking very promising.
I get back to KC, and come straight home, and lay out my interview clothes for the next day. Nervous and excited and optimistic as always, I went to bed, alarm set and planned on nailing that interview.
I was doing amazing, until the HR lady asked me “why did you decide to change hospitals?” and I couldn’t answer. I am a TERRIBLE liar, and hadn’t ever had a problem with this question. “I was fired.” I managed to squeak out. She asked why and I didn’t know how to answer that. I just confirmed that it wasn’t a patient care issue.
She asked me to sit outside of her office and wait for the director of surgery and the charge nurse/nurse manager to come get me for the second part of the interview. 45 minutes passed by and no one came. The HR lady came out with the “I am so sorry, but they got super busy upstairs and aren’t able to come down and get you for the second part of the interview. They’ll call you when they have availability.”
I knew they weren’t going to call me.
Then, that weekend my best friend/coworker of many years called and asked if I knew this ortho rep, and I said no. She told me he asked about me in a surgery and the surgeon and her stopped working and proceeded to tell him how amazing I was. See, a director asked him if he had ever heard of me. He hadn’t, but he happened to be standing in an OR, with my best friend, and a surgeon who I loved working with, who enjoyed having me in the OR with her.
Everything happens for a reason!
I had the phone interview and that went so badly, I wasn’t sure I would ever get a job. I still hadn’t heard anything from the place I had the sit down interview, and I began to get scared. I saw unemployment, and my late husband’s social security and me having to change fields of work, because I couldn’t get hired anywhere, because no one wanted someone who had been fired.
Then, I got a phone call. “We heard about you, from this ortho rep, and he had a lot of fantastic things to say about you.” (thanks, buddy. Your words saved me!) I cried. I had never heard that man’s name before, and I had never gotten the pleasure of working with him at my previous job, but between my old co-workers and this man as the link between the two, I was offered the opportunity to come interview on the surgery unit, and damn near offered the position on the spot. I wasn’t officially offered it, because they had more interviews to do, but they said, multiple times, “we wouldn’t have called you like we did, if we weren’t highly interested in you. We were basically told we would be crazy not to hire you.”
When I first started I was scared. I was timid around the new coworkers. I didn’t say much. When they asked what made me change jobs, I just told them. “I was fired.” They were shocked. They all went to the director and nurse manager and asked if they knew I had been fired. They were reassured that I wasn’t a danger to patients or anyone for that matter, and that it was a disagreement between my old boss and myself that had nothing to do with workplace behavior.
One door was slammed and when the wind blew me through the open window, I landed on a cloud.
I will say it over and over again. Everything happens for a reason. Everything happens for a reason. Everything happens for a reason. EVERYTHING!
I hope you understand that now, I make double what Mitch and I made when we first started dating, and triple what I made before I graduated college.
I am working hard at being a single mother. I never, in my life, imagined I would be in this situation.
A single mother?
It could never happen!
I was wrong, and everything has prepared me for where I am at, in this exact time in the world we are living in. If I can tell anyone anything, its to listen to that voice that tells you to quit being afraid, and to ACT. Don’t be afraid to get that new career, try new things, enroll into college for a career that will make you happier.
Have you ever found yourself holding something, and you don’t realize you’ve got a death-grip on it? Have you ever clung to rightly to an IDEA, that you couldn’t let it go? Let me tell you a little something that I learned recently.
The other night, I took my socks off and must have fallen asleep with a sock in my hand, because when I woke up the next morning, I was still clutching that sock in the same hand, so tightly that my knuckles were white, and my hand was sore! When I let go, there was a uncontrollable sigh of relief that escaped my lungs.
There’s a major significance between that sock and my life.
I have a tendency to not let things/ideas/people go, when I should. When I woke up, and I had that sock in my hand, I felt like I was coming upon some revelation about who I am.
I know I don’t let PEOPLE go, easily. I have discussed this before. When I have my mind set on something, it takes a while for me to change that way of thinking.
Like the guy (I know, I said the last blog was the last one about him, but bare with me… this part will be short), from the previous blogs. The guy I love, with such intensity that I am unaware of how to deal. It took me months to realize that I wasn’t IN LOVE with him, but only have a love for him, so much so, I would rather be his friend for life, and never lose him, rather than risking it all for sex. MONTHS of clinging to this idea that we would be together someday.
So yesterday, I fully let go of every thought of a possibility of being with him. There was this feeling of relief.
Thanks to that sock, I feel okay with this. Just days ago, it hurt to think of giving up that hope. Now though? It’s like a weight I never knew existed was lifted from my shoulders.
Thanks to that sock, that I was gripping so tightly, like I was afraid to lose it, I am going to be better at letting things go, that aren’t meant for me. Like ideas I dream up, or holding so tightly to people who just keep taking a step farther from me, with each passing day.
I am unaware of what this chapter is, in my life. I am also not too worried about it. What is meant to be WILL be, and I have to have faith that when it’s my time to shine, I’ll shine for the correct person. Myself.
I keep looking for the deeper meaning to everything and I have forgotten to live in the moment. I have forgotten to have fun NOW! Life is fleeting. I could be gone tomorrow. You could be gone tomorrow. Everyone could be gone tomorrow.
So, why was I so stuck on the “possibility” of something, rather than the reality of what is?
Me, of all people should know better than that. All I am doing, when I hold onto a possibility is hurting myself. If I continue to hurt myself, I will lose my friend, because he cannot stand to be the reason I am in pain. I am okay with letting go of those possibilities now. He never caused me pain. It was me all along.
I’ll never NOT regret turning him down, last year.
I will never forget, again, that I did that, but it was important in that moment. We had barely just started talking to each other on a regular basis. We’d always talk about how we are worth more than just sex, and I was serious. We would drink and text each-other all the time. We were never both drinking at the same time, or things would have gotten out of hand, quite quickly.
But, I’ll let go, now. For real, this time.
I am happy with letting go.
But let me be clear. Just because I am letting go doesn’t mean I’ve lost my sisterly/friend love for him. He’s a freaking superhuman, super-dad, and has been one of my best friends through all of this dating crap, and I’ll never forget that, nor will I downplay it. I wish I could tell everyone who he is, because most of you will be like “what?! Holy shit!” But I won’t share, for his privacy. I respect people, much more than most would think, when it comes to THEIR privacy. I share all of my feelings and my experiences, but I won’t ever reveal someone unless they ask me to.
But I wish I could share so everyone could see him through my eyes, and have my version of him embedded in their minds.
Good looking 😉
And a complete gentleman.
I’ll cut it off here, because I could laundry list all of the positives about him, for days. Women would be BEGGING for his name and number. Haha!
So… the sock in my hand was a lesson to myself.
Sometimes, you just have to have faith and let go.
This isn’t one of my creative writing blogs. This is a legitimate dream of my late husband, with no sex happenings.
I think it had a bit to do with a guy I saw, recently, across the street from Freddy’s on Shawnee Mission Parkway. He looked just like Mitch. My heart skipped a beat, even.
It may have something to do with my cousin reading cards for me. It was the night of Imbolc (which I really know nothing about, but it’s a “witchy holiday” is how I refer to it, since I don’t know. Lol)
My cousin read cards for 3 men who have entered my life recently, without knowing which she was reading about each time. Anyway. I’m a “weirdo”, and I have this fantastic pull when it comes to certain people, and there’s a telltale sign in my bones when someone is meant to be in my life long-term. When you just come out and say “you’re not going anywhere until we figure this out!” It gives off weirdo vibes to the max.
So, with each man she read the cards. With each one, The cards matched my initial gut reaction I experienced upon meeting or reconnection.
Now, onto my dream.
I fell asleep after my cousin left here. Mitch was there. He was across the street at a gas station looking like he’d never been gone, but also quite confused. No car, no wallet, nothing.
I went to him. He gasped and hugged me hard. He told me he missed me.
The dream flashed to a doctor’s office. I told him he had a heart condition and needed to keep it monitored so he didn’t disappear again.
The dream flashed to me being in a car, seeing Mitch through a window of our apartment, and he grabbed his chest. He grimaced. I stopped the car, ran inside and began cpr while screaming for someone to come help.
The dream shifted again. I saved his life this time. I was there and I saved him. I was scared he was going to leave me because of all the things I’ve done since he died.
I laid with my head in his lap crying as he stroked my hair. I told him I love him and I’d never stop loving him, but that I believed our journey together on earth was over. He told me “Your journey is just beginning. Keep following the path you’re on. What is meant to be, will be.”
I woke up with such a sense of closure, and such a sense of love and acceptance and a new sense of excitement to explore this part of my life.
He spoke words that I speak regularly, but it was as if someone was finally speaking them to me. Someone was finally reminding me that everything happens for a reason.
Every single meeting is meant to take place in each and every person’s life. Nothing is coincidence. Everything is purposeful. Don’t get angry when things don’t go your way. LEARN, then put your knew knowledge into action to create the life you’re meant to live.
That dream, my husband telling me to continue my path. Just wow. I, honestly, don’t even know what path I’m on. Am I on a path to be with my next “person”? Am I on a journey of further self-discovery, a deeper knowledge of myself, spiritually?
I guess, when it comes to this path I’m on, I’ll treat it like every other one,
I don’t base everything off of astrology, but this month has been pretty fucking spot-on, so far.
“You will be more open about your love interest.” Check! Especially since I have the best Pseudo name for him.
“You will be very popular amongst people mid-month, as your charm draws people in.” Check!
“Do not make any decisions based on emotion, until later in the month.” Check!
This month is a rough month for me. It was a rough month financially, before Mitch passed, and it’s been mentally rough since he has passed.
His 3 year Deathiversary is in 12 days.
I feel the days drawing near.
I feel the tears well in my eyes, and I know that no matter what I do, no matter who I get involved with, no matter what happens, this month will kick my ass emotionally.
Astrologically speaking, I should have an amazing month as long as I don’t make any big decisions.
I am not making any decisions this month, because this month would be the worst month to do that.
Small things have been weighing on my mind, and right now, they seem huge.
Small things are killing me, and I am standing here, shoving them away, one at a time.
I cannot allow January to break me, every year.
It’s a thought I have, but as each day speeds by, my heart aches a little deeper. The pain becomes a little sharper. The memories flood me. The party at my co-worker’s house, with a bunch of my favorite people that Mitch was able to attend. He couldn’t sleep that night. He held my hair when I puked. He told me everything was going to be okay. He drove home the next day. He pulled over so I could puke on our way home. He laughed and blamed the funny tasting water I had with breakfast, and not the 2 bottles of wine I had for dinner the night before. The dinner during Restaurant week with friends that Mitch refused to go to, because he just didn’t feel well. Me dancing my way out the door, singing “all cried out” by allure and 112, on my way to that dinner. Mitch calling for dinner from Eat. Fit. Go. Tuesday night, because he was craving their Turkey chili.
No one can get ahold of Mitch on Wednesday. Have I seen him?
The drive to the FedEx Hub.
The blur that encompassed me as the officer pulled me into Julie’s office.
The ripping pain that started the moment I saw the police cars, finishing me, as she spoke the words I knew I would hear.
The blur of that day. The Drive to John and Tracey’s. The drive to Michael Dale’s house. “Enough!” Brady said and took me back to his house.
The blur of people coming and going.
Midwest transplant calling once and being rejected to talk to me, because of timing.
Midwest transplant calling again, as I sat with a semi circle of seated family members, mourning the loss of a human so amazing.
Laughing while on the phone with midwest transplant, about the meaning of someone’s name, and the immediate shame I felt as all eyes were on me.
I feel like I have been hyper-active on social media lately. I feel like I get like that when I have something that I want to say, but just don’t know how to say it.
Instead, I say everything except the one thing I wish to say.
I write privately, now, to try to understand myself a little more. It’s not quite the same as writing and sharing with everyone who cares to read it.
I enjoy sharing my mind, my feeling, my everything with people. I am still in the mindset that maybe, just maybe someone out there needs to understand that they are NOT alone.
Did you know that I do want love again?
I can’t remember if I’ve shared that in a private journal, or on this blog, but it’s true.
I know I will never have the same kind of love I had with Mitch, but, I know that I have so much more to give. It bubbles and glops over at times.
I love life. I love everything that comes with living.
I don’t want to have sex with people, just for the sake of having sex.
I want to be with someone who looks at me in a way that says he’s not able to get enough of me. Soak me in, and miss me when I am gone.
My next husband will be kind, yet assertive. Hell, we all know I’m pretty indecisive about things, like where to go for dinner, or what movie to see first. (PICK the scary one, and tacos… oh! or burgers!)
My next will have his shit in order. He will love me for everything I am, and everything I am not.
He will take me by the hand and lead me into a better version of me. He will encourage me to succeed. He will invite me out with his friends. He won’t want to hide me.
My next will almost surely have kids, because I am a sucker for an amazing father.
He will know that I am always here. I won’t leave in the bad times. And he won’t leave me in my bad times, either.
I know it won’t be the same as it was with Mitch, because I know that in the wake of his death, I have learned that you cannot take for granted the things that people do for you. The things that usually go unnoticed or aren’t hyped up, anymore.
Opening doors, and paying for dinner.
Driving us to our dates, rather than meeting places.
To be 37, and widowed, is not for the faint of heart.
But I have learned so much. I have learned about me. I have learned about men. I have learned about dating. I have learned that dating sites are the fucking devil.
And most of all, I have learned my worth. Of course, when you’re with someone for half of your life, you just kind of know your worth with that person.
When you are, essentially, abandoned, you’re left questioning your self-worth. You’re left wondering if you’ll ever be good enough for another man, again.
You’re left in this mindset that you’re broken, and no one is going to want to walk into that. I’ve seen the faces of the men I’ve gone on dates with, when I mention that my husband died. It always comes up, because they’ll say something like, “What’s such a great woman, like you, still doing single?” And I am 100% honest, even if I really like a guy. ESPECIALLY if I really like a guy. “Well, sir, my husband died.”
Release of air.
“Wow. How? Is it okay if I ask?”
Every. Single. Time.
Then, I never see them again. I’m okay with that. It’s better than them pretending to be okay with me, and then breaking things off down the road. I am a seriously complicated woman. It’s going to take a hell of a man to understand and accept me.
My next will understand that I’m an absolute wreck 3 days every year. 1/25, 5/24, and 8/18. 4 days if you count the day I put the Christmas tree up. I may want to lay in bed all day and cry. I may want to run 20 miles and then come home and cook enough food for an army. My next will understand.
One day, and I believe this, whole-heartedly, Mitch will shove him in my direction.
My next will have a lot in common with me, but still have his own thing.
My next will love sports, but not be too crazy about them.
My next will love his career, so he doesn’t come home super cranky all the time.
My next will be vulnerable around me, open with his feelings, and let me comb his hair with my fingers as he lays with his head in my lap, to tell me about his shift.
And most importantly. The most important thing about my next. He will not be threatened by my love for my husband, for I have plenty more love to give. He will understand that without my husband, I wouldn’t be the person I am, today. He will not replace my husband, nor will he want to, but he will pick up where Mitch left off, and that’s okay.
I see him, in my mind’s eye. Not a physical him, but a spiritual him. A beautiful soul. Someone who is the other half of my very soul.
So, there are a lot of stories about this and that on the internet. Everyone loses someone, so what makes my loss any more interesting or something that anyone wants to read.
“It’s so painful to read. I just can’t do it.”
“It’s too personal. Not in my wheelhouse.”
That’s cool. My feelings aren’t hurt. I TOTALLY understand.
So, my idea of God and his sense of humor.
I’ve gone my entire life, only really knowing one good man, before I met Mitch. (My brother was still young and going through some things. He wasn’t “great man” status just yet. Great brother? absolutely!)
And get this. The greatest man I knew was ALSO named Mitch. He is my uncle. When My uncle Mitch met my (at the time) boyfriend, Mitch, my uncle was the one who gave him the father speech. “My niece is worthy of someone great. Do not hurt her. You will regret it.” type of speech. When my Mitch told me that, I cried. I had never thought myself worthy of anything more than temporary commitment.
Wow, did my Mitch prove me wrong! Then, if God is real, he took him from me. Really fucking funny, God. I’m not laughing, and neither are any of the people who met him.
I’ve talked about the bar Mitch set when it came to how a man should treat a woman.
Slowly, over time, I have lowered that bar.
It had gotten pretty fucking low, actually. I seriously have dated some pretty fucked up dudes, and at the time, I didn’t think anything of it.
Then, I received an insanely rude, quite disgusting text from an ex, and I just lost it. I was SO pissed off, that I texted a couple of my girlfriends and my recently acquired guy friend.
My guy friend called me and proceeded to tell me that I am worth so much more than those kinds of texts. He was so nice, and I just bawled. I was, literally, snotting everywhere. I wasn’t hurt by the text. The text pissed. me. off. It made me wonder what the hell I was doing.
I was talking about my birthday with my guy friend and he said he wanted to take me out for my birthday. I had a date the night of my bday, so I threw out some other days that I could be available. I didn’t say the day before my birthday, because that was “tomorrow”, in my mind and not enough notice.
He suggested we go out that morning. Not on a date. Just a friend taking a friend out for her birthday.
For it not being a date, he treated me like a queen. He opened every door. He paid. During the movie, he left to use the restroom and grab something caffeinated and asked if I wanted anything from the concession stands.
I know. It does not sound like much at all, when its typed out. But to me, it was everything.
I didn’t even REALIZE how low I put my bar of standards and expectations.
It was unacceptably low.
Thank goodness I became friends with a man who has been the only one to meet my initial expectations, when it comes to dating. Who knows how long I would have left that bar so low? Who knows how much lower it would have gone?
What the FUCK was I teaching my DAUGHTER?
Thanks, friend, for grabbing my lowered bar, and placing it back on the top, where it should have always stayed. Thank you. I appreciate you, even though you won’t read this. And if you do, I’ll be surprised.
God’s sense of humor, here? I’ve mentioned how amazing my friend is. I knew he was pretty amazing before experiencing him in person, for the first time since our teen years. I was never physically attracted to him. I even told my work-wife (Love you Lisa!) that I wish I was physically attracted to him. I asked, silently as well, “Why can’t I be attracted to HIM?” Some may call it a prayer. I called out to everyone and no one, and when I saw him, that morning, all I could see was how handsome and kind and amazing he was.
Oh, for FUCK’S SAKE!
You choose NOW to “answer my prayers?”
You dangle perfection in front of my face, knowing damn well that it’s a fucking triangle of doom??
It’s okay. It is. I am a mature adult, and I just thought, “Well damn. Maybe he does exist? Maybe he just thinks he’s fucking hilarious? Maybe, my life is a sitcom, and he’s laughing as he pulls these strings and watches me stumble about.”
I’m gonna laugh right back and keep him as my damn friend, and that’s that!
Maybe The whole purpose of this friend coming into my life, when he did was to help me with my expectations. Hell, I had been helping him ask a girl out that he has been crushing on for a while. (hence the triangle comment above)
And today, TODAY, God people came to my door with booklets. I don’t do well with any people coming door to door, for any reason. It bothers me.
Then, as I sat at the dining room table, after cleaning up a bit, I realized I had just done something the Bible says will put me in hell!!
FUCK! FUCK! DOUBLE FUCK!
I turned a person away, that was trying to share the word of god with me.
If I go to hell for that, I will be in hell with a lot of people I know. My husband included. You know, since he didn’t believe in the Bible or organized religion.
God, if you’re out there, I don’t think this is funny. I don’t know if you’re real, and that’s got to be because this would be the first prayer that was answered, that I didn’t realize was a prayer in the first place.
Johnny got married this past weekend. Hopefully you saw. His bride, Tina, was stunning. Megan went, and she even wore a dress. She was wearing her Vans, but, still in a dress and looked gorgeous.
Our OCR group took over the bar area, and served everyone drinks all night, because we can never just sit still, and we always seem to have our hands in everything, helping wherever we can. I wish you were able to meet these people, babe. They’ve become some of my closest friends. They encourage me to keep going, and most of them only knew of you, what I told them, and they all love you, too. You were definitely a keeper, that’s for sure.
I think about how I hit the jackpot with you. I know you always claimed we were like the couple from King Of Queens, “I’m the fat guy with the super hot wife!” I love you. I love how you loved me. I love how we loved each other. It was beautifully meant to be. No question.
I was telling someone yesterday, about how I used to HATE when you shaved, because you would always leave a huge mess with your little red beard hairs all over the bathroom. I loved that red beard.
I followed that up with how I ran out of shaving cream, recently, and decided to use your shave bar, and how I sat on the floor of the shower, as the water blasted me, and cried my eyes out, because your little red beard hairs were still in the shave bar and dish. It smelled like you, and there was a little piece of you right there, like you were still here. But, you’re not. You’re no longer here, in my realm.
I survived that bout of tears, as I will survive many many more. I don’t fear my tears, anymore. I don’t fear crying in front of anyone. I don’t fear the reactions I may receive in the event of crying in the oddest of places. I just do. If someone asks if I am okay, I always tell them “I will be. Give me a minute.”
Race season is coming up, and it’s coming up FAST! I am hosting a workout with a few other KCOCR admins, this Saturday to help the general public get ready for Warrior Dash. It’s so cool, because it’s a free workout, and Warrior Dash posted it on their social media pages to help spread the word! Remember when I would get up at ungodly hours, and go work out at different gyms, with our tiny group? That tiny group is HUGE now. There’s almost 1,000 of us, and now I am one of the moderators, alongside some amazing people.
My strength and conditioning coach got an amazing opportunity to put his degree to use, and make some pretty great money (I am guessing about the money), and will be moving to New York! I’m super happy for him. He’s created a monster in me. HA! I’ve lost weight, built muscle and strength. I haven’t looked this good in decades!
OH!! You won’t believe this! I am down to a size 6! I can even fit in some 4s. It’s crazy! I haven’t been this small since before I got pregnant with Megan.
Speaking of Meg…
I’m at a loss. I can’t get her to clean her room. Her room, sadly, looks just like your basement bedroom always did. Moldy dishes, bottles of drinks all over. Goldfish crushed into the floor. Trash, clothes, and hangers EVERYWHERE!! Towels all over. You get it. You know what your room looked like. That’s what her’s is like, and it’s driving me insane. I mean, I get a little messy sometimes, now, but not dirty messy. Just stuff like a basket with 13 loads of clean laundry that needs to be folded and put away, or dishes after a big meal prepping day. I know. You probably think I’m crazy. I just can’t stand having a messy home anymore. I’m less exhausted this way. I don’t have to think too much about where my things are, and that makes me a happy person.
I also can’t get her to improve her grades. She is, well, lets just say it isn’t looking good.
I wish you were here to help me help her. I try. I try hard.
She is smart. I know she’s smart. She knows she’s smart. But, some stuff, she just doesn’t DO and it’s causing her to get bad grades.
She’ll get it. I know she will. She’ll figure out how badly failing classes will be for her, in the future.
If there is a God, please, tell her I need guidance, because she isn’t listening to me. Or him?
I have decided to attempt actual dating, now. Although I love you with so much vigor, and will always love you, whole heartedly, I have come to realize that there is a growing chamber of my heart that is going to allow me to love another person, some day. I’m not saying anytime soon, and it’ll never be the love that we shared, because that cannot be duplicated. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be a great love, too. Right? I know you’d want me to be happy, and you wouldn’t want me to be alone forever.
Oh! When I went on a date the other day, I ACTUALLY let him open the truck door for me, and accepted help in and out, like a lady should. Remember when I threw the feminist shit at you? “do NOT open my door for me! I am fully capable!” I’m so sorry. I was so young. I didn’t think about it being a nice gesture, or an act of respect. I’m growing more to understand the things I didn’t know while you were here. In some ways I am so sad that I didn’t figure these things out, while you were still alive. I wonder how I never realized some things. I should have let you be the man you wanted to be for me. I mean, you were definitely the man for me, but I didn’t allow you to be a typical gentleman, from the very beginning. There is so much Love and so much respect for you, that I wanted you to see me for the independent woman I really was.
I wasn’t “independent” then. I mean, sure, I could do this or that by myself, but I had no idea what was happening with bills, the bank account, or anything else, for that matter, for many many years.
Our 16 year wedding anniversary is coming up. It’s crazy to think we would have been married 16 years. Together for 19, come August. If I didn’t live the beautifully tragic love story of us, I wouldn’t believe it. Or I would, but I wouldn’t believe that the widow is still sane, and functioning for every day life. It’s like a story someone made up, so they could sell books or tickets to a movie.
But here I am, babe. You’d be proud, as you ever were, that I am not only an independent woman, raising one hell of an amazing daughter, but, I am helping to run our obstacle course group, working full time, keeping myself in shape and our home under control. I am making more time for friends and family, and I am living this life I was granted.
I miss your beard hair in my sink. I miss all of your nearly gone body wash and shampoo bottles in the shower. I miss the way you smelled after mowing the grass or rolling around on the floor playing with the dogs. I miss the way you would try to lock Megan or myself into a room by tying things to door knobs, or trying to play pranks. I miss all the things that made you who you were.
Forever love is forever, and that’s what we share. No matter the shift I feel within myself, It’s not a change in my love for you, at all. It’s a growing change. An amazing, unbelievable growth within myself, that I never ever would have thought possible.
Until we meet again,
With all of my heart,
Hopefully the quality of my video is okay. I had to screen-record because I cannot download it. This was at The Life Celebration.
“The other day, when I was reading something you posted, it hit me. YOU are the writer!”
I know, the title is going to get everyone’s panties in a wad.
You’ll get it.
I am 36 years old.
I have one HELL of a story to tell.
I’m not sure I’ll make money off of it, but it I do, I’ll have to A: change the names of the people so I don’t have to get their consent to tarnish their names, or B: Get consent from people I love dearly, to drag their names through the mud, because it’s a part of my story.
I remember when I was little. I remember going to church and loving Sunday school. I remember coloring and playing with other kids, praying at night for all of my loved ones and even all the strangers I never met, and never would meet to be safe. I was naive. I believed that if I prayed for EVERYONE, everyone would be safe. Then, one day, I was in shorts and a t-shirt, accepting Jesus into my heart as my lord and savior, as I was dunked into a pool of water in front of a congregation.
I was 7.
I remember, because I remember the look on my dad’s face when I told him I wanted to be baptized. It was a look I craved. A look of acceptance, of love, pride and happiness. I believed that Jesus was good and God loved all of mankind.
The older I got, the more confused I became. It wasn’t because of outside influences. It was because of everything I had read in the Bible.
I’m not going to bash the Bible, or God, or Jesus, or Christians.
I guess, I am writing this to say a few things. I am one of those “think outside the box” types of person. I know. You probably never would have guessed it, am I right? ha!
I have read the Bible. I have read it cover to cover a few times.
It. Makes. NO. Sense. It’s about as contradictory as anything could be.
But that’s okay. MOST of it is good guidelines for how to be a good person.
Jesus was this totally rad dude, who helped poor people, sex addicts, drug addicts, thieves and more! He totally loved them and taught them how to be good people. He proved to them that the choices they were making weren’t the only choices set out for them. He showed them that, although a rough road, a possible road. Right?
Totally cool guy. Loving, accepting, nurturing.
One of those guys you aspire to be like. Right?
Well, you don’t have to BELIEVE the Bible, to believe in the main character. Right?
Either way, my “faith” is different than it was when I was a child.
I have lived. I have observed. I have survived, and have stayed pretty damn level headed in the process.
At the point where one would finally break, I, instead, keep striving for better. Not to GET something better, but to BE something better.
When I was a child, I believed that I would forever be protected. Nothing bad could happen to cause heartache or sadness, or the things that I have experienced through my 36 years of life.
Boy, was I wrong.
I say something that I know may piss off a lot of people, but I believe it one hundred percent.
Everything happens for a reason.
I’m sure many people who are grieving right now want to reach through their screens and slap the ever-loving shit out of me, right now.
I believe it. You do not have to. But, I do. I always will.
I REALLY met Mitch at a point in my life where I was really ready to call it quits with dating. I honestly never wanted to see another man in a dating manner again. (That was my dramatic teenage mind)
He walked into McDonald’s, smiled his brilliant smile at me, and told me I was coming to his birthday party.
You read that right. He didn’t ask if I’d go. He told me I was going.
“Hey, What are you doing this weekend? Oh? going to my birthday party. Okay, We’ll pick you up at 6!”
I was stunned. I was shocked. I was ALREADY in love with that boy, and he didn’t even know. We were both 17 years old.
He walked into that McDonald’s on the most perfect night, with the best “invite” to a birthday party I had ever received.
I think if God is real, he laughed when I swore to all things holy that I would NEVER name my child Megan, when I was 15 years old…
Que the laughter…
My favorite human, aka my daughter, is Megan. I can’t even imagine her with a different name.
Just as I remember the first time he “asked” me out, I remember our last night together. I remember what he had for dinner. I remember what movie we watched. I remember the words he spoke, as if they were gospel.
I remember his hand as he held mine during that movie.
I remember the next day, when I walked… ran to the doors of the FedEx Hub only to be dragged into an office and told that he was gone. I remember thinking “There’s no way there is a god. There’s no way a god would take such a man from this earth. No way!”
I always joked with Mitch about how I didn’t remember life before him. I think I phrased it wrong. I remembered life before him, but it felt like another lifetime. Like everything was happening as it should .
When he died, I had that same feeling. Everything is falling into place. Everything is exactly as it should be.
I hate it. Megan hates it. Our families hate it.
But that feeling. Gawwwwwd that feeling.
I’ve thought so many times that if anyone knew how I felt, how I felt as thought this is meant to be, I’d be looked at as heartless.
Now, though, I know I am not. I know my family and my friends, my coworkers and my past coworkers know that I am not heartless.
Mitch, I believe, completed his mission here. Whatever his mission was, he completed it, and he did it FAST.
I can tell you that whoever was supposed to learn from him, learned well.
Whatever it was he taught, he taught it without knowing he did.
I feel like I was a part of his mission, but definitely not the whole of it.
He taught me to be kind, even when I didn’t want to be. He taught me to see everyone’s point of view, and not take sides. He taught me that I have the ability to be amazing, I just needed to put forth the effort. (still trying, babe!) He taught me, most of all, that good men did still exist. He taught me that there were really still good fathers. He taught me that I am so much stronger than I ever imagined I could be.
I could write a book about how much like Jesus Mitch was. He never “laid hands on” and “healed” people like the Bible says Jesus did, but he sure did heal people with his words, his kindness, his acceptance, and his love. He talked to everyone, and he helped everyone.
So, again, I say: I used to be a Christian.
Now, I no longer align myself with any one religion, but, I believe that something is out there. Something is in charge and we are mere pawns in a game.
Am I winning?
Am I losing?
I guess I will only know when I pass on to the next realm.
Until then, I will continue my path of love and acceptance. I will not intentionally harm anyone. I will cherish my family and friends. I will teach kindness, empathy, and happiness through example.
It has happened since long before any of us, and will continue with us and way after us.
We all live our lives. We go and go. Some of us are moving so quickly through life, that we are missing out on the things that really are the more important things.
I was guilty of this. I’m not ashamed to admit it. I have since figured out a better balance, though.
I love my family.
I love my friends.
I love racing, and birthdays, and listening to my people talk about their lives, and the things that they are passionate about.
I’m not very good at asking the questions, or initiating conversation, but that’s because I will listen to you tell me about your passions, your grief, your day at work.
When Mitch died, in January of 2017, I was confused. I wasn’t angry, I didn’t really wonder why, so much as “What the Fuck?” It wasn’t an angry wtf, so much as a confused, how could this have happened type question. Once we knew the science and biology behind, I stopped asking. I knew.
That question was answered.
You hear people say, all of the time, “god only gives you what he knows you can handle.” If you believe in God, this has to be true.
You may not know you have it in you, until LIFE (or death really), slaps you in the face.
Wednesday, after I ran 10 miles and was in my car, headed to get some food, I received a phone call. My father in law lost his girlfriend. (They might as well had been married. They had that connection, and that unconditional love. They were only missing the legal documentation).
Let me throw out a little back story on this man, without going too deep into details, or anything.
This man was married to my husband’s biological mother. He adopted my husband, and had 2 more children with his wife, Megan.
When Megan was in her early-mid twenties (I don’t want to screw up on the details), she was murdered in a bar, by a crazy man.
This man, Mike, became a widower father to 3 children, one of which was a tiny baby girl.
He did not handle that well. I mean, who could blame him, right? His wife was murdered. What was he supposed to do?
Fast forward through some addictions and runaways, some verbal fights, and a bit of time in jail, a couple of marriages, divorces and a couple more kids, grandbabies and sobriety.
Here we are, he’s the father of 5 now. He’s gotten his head together, he’s trying very hard to be a good man.
His eldest son dies. The son he adopted, when the son was just a boy, and had his mother ripped from him. The father who may have had his problems surviving this life, lost his son.
He had an amazing woman by his side, to help keep him together. She was there to keep him steady, and remind him that he would be okay. He would make it through this.
Fast forward a little over 2 years, and his girlfriend is now with his first wife, and eldest son.
If god is real, and only gives people what they can handle, he sees something heroic in Mike.
I’m so devastated, for him, and can’t even begin to imagine how his mind is processing.
I’ve been told I’ve handled all of my adversity with grace, and I don’t know. It’s what everyone on the outside sees, when my insides are a screaming and tangled and threatening escape.
But death. Death is one thing we are all going to face.
Death is inevitable, and I don’t think we should fear it. I’m not afraid. I don’t want to die, and I’d never do anything to speed up the process, or invite it sooner. I want to live into my old age, maybe meet a second soulmate, and grow old together with them. I want to have grandbabies and a son-in-law (or daughter-in-law. I’m not picky)
I want to watch my daughter grow into a woman, and watch her find her soulmate, fall madly in love, marry, and grow into her adulthood.
I really love living. I think that Mike is realizing that he loves living as well. Even through the grief that seems to keep being added to his plate, he becomes just a little bit stronger, each round.
I wanted to share his story, because many people judge. Many people do not KNOW. People will never truly understand. But, just the briefest summary of the shot hand this man was felt, and he’s still here. He’s still standing. He is STILL putting one foot in front of the other.
The world we are on is still spinning.
The bills still need to be paid.
Our work here isn’t done, yet.
Death: The only thing guaranteed of life.
Live while you can!
Be who you are!
Never stop saying their name!
Mary. Megan. Mitch. Sandra. Annie. Gramma and Grandpa McAnany.
Only their bodies are gone. We are forever able to remember them through our pictures, and our memories. We have videos, and voices recorded, now.
On the days we miss them the most, I think their spirits are the closest. Our human form cannot process their presence without their human form, so we interpret their spiritual presence as sadness, and yearning, and missing them.
We FEEL them, but we cannot touch or see them.
May all of our loved ones be partying like rock-stars.
We will miss her, of course. But she is definitely in good hands now.