Happy New Year’s Eve

I lived a whole year as a widow.

as single

as a single mom

as a mom and a dad.

2014 was a whole  year of just me, and kids.

wow.

a year of literally putting one foot in front of the other.  I can’t say I had resolutions last year, I was kinda in the fuck that mode, I just wanted to get through the day and night.  I”m not sure I can even really make resolutions anymore.  I’m proud to make it through a day, night, week, month.

14 months without John.  I could have had a baby and the baby would have been 7 months old now.

Our children all turned ages,

Kaegan keeps getting more beautiful, a bit more attitude but still so lovely and kind.

Will is slowly getting taller even though he wants to be even taller but having some “fashion” has helped boost some self esteem.  He he he.

Anna, has gotten taller, bigger but still so joyful and full of life.

I”ve gotten bigger because I”ve sat a lot and ate whatever I wanted.  period.

so it’s getting a bit more harder to move and reach and I stay hot and I’m having trouble with my socks and shoes. so yeah, I gotta walk.  and have more salad and water.  I’m not getting a fit bit.  I’m not joining a gym.

2015 will be my 2nd year.  I will graduate with a master’s.  I might enter a doctoral program?  I might land a new job?  I might get healthy?  (wait.  I am going to get healthier)

I will camp this year more.  I will make more new friends.  I will participate with life more.  for me.  not just kids.

I might share this blog with more people?

If I do, I know at times I’ve ranted and there are some personal remarks about some specific people.  I might have to tweak that post or two.

I guess people will see grief

this blog was for me.  for me to vent and be safe.  but I discovered a dark loneliness that made me realize that I have to help others if that’s all there is left to do.

I still wonder why my best friend left me to wonder?

I still wonder why my parents and family did not call my children more?

I still wonder why my mom in law is ok with not seeing her grandchildren and instead holding a grudge against me is more powerful?

I wonder why no one called me on Christmas?  I promise myself that If I know someone is alone, I won’t let them be. I will call them at least.

My mom was sad to leave me the other day, she asked if I would be ok.  I turned to her and said, mom, i’m going to be ok.  later I thought, I wonder why she thought that?  I survived the winter of long darkness, with no phone calls, I survived spring coming and seeing all the new jobs of yard work we would need to do.  I survived soccer games and 3 school drop off’s in the morning.  I survived silly work stuff and left that behind.  I survived 5 classes with good grades.  I survived a research class with no instruction.  I survived denial.  I survived being without help.  I drove to the grocery store probably 200 times.  I did everything that John used to help me with.   I will be ok, but I am going to say/write this.

I am hurt for being left behind.

christmas.

ok, I don’t know if we need to up my meds or what but whoa…. stupid chrismas loneliness.  it’s was really pretty outside.  I took a nap.  cooked. watched and laid in the bed almost the whole day.  it really did not bring me cheer.

I don’t know how Bruce does it from The real full house.   They look so happy, he seems so happy, he is funny, real and here I am comparing myself to him.

I am trying to be more cheery.  For a while I quit posting on fb about grief trying to appear happy.  I even said I was happy.  i was kinda.  I am happy when I am busy.  and  yet I love to lay.

well today my parents arrive, and in a few days my brother will visit.  I guess I get to have my christmas now.

the kids seem well.  they all said they were sad I was sad.

i like christmas by the beach waaaaayyyyyyyyyyyy more.

Christmas Adam

Today I was introduced to the term Christmas Adam.

I heard everyone was doing Festivius but I was not, I like it but .  I did do Christmas Adam.  apparently one of my good friends co workers family…. whew… has dubbed the day before christmas eve, christmas adam.  get it?  It took me a moment and then I was happy.

today I went to a new brewery with one of my dearest friends that has become one of my dearest friends.  I knew we would be friends but this friendship is kinda bliss.  She is the kind I can be totally serious with, and yet really goofy, and crass and discuss deep shit and then tell each other when we are wrong.  and hugs.  she is a hugger and I like that.  she likes toddlers.  I like that.  she is brilliant  she is so real and flawed and open about this.  I admire her for jogging mountains and slurping shakes.  I know her struggles with fighting the food.

well we kinda splurged today.  Oyster beer.

a brewery, I met her there and we drank and tried a bunch.  We had oysters.  my first time.  I even did a raw one.  it was fine.  we had a BLT but with oysters and man that was the best sandwich I’ve ever had.  It was a rainy dreary day, we were at the bar, christmas lights around, crowd slowly came.  a new person to be introduced to showed up.  lovely.  but me hanging with my new friend who is edging up on that bff title.

i told her the truth about stuff, she kinda guessed.  I was super honest, it felt so clean.  clean.  clean with her and clean on what i said.

I lost another friend for being so real.

Im talking code a bit for protection.  but

I’m just happy about real honestly and silliness and brain stretching.  Christmas Adam was in a new place for me, it was with a bestie, it was fun.  I like Christmas Adam.

church talk

So off we run to church this morning, Anna has choir rehearsal and needs to get dressed so we were outa the house earlier.  I made Will go with us and he kinda dressed up thanks to Kaegan.  We sat 3rd row back, me on the end so I could get some pics of Anna.   I’m sitting with handsome Will and beautiful Kaegan. I see the older people staring at us.  I know, my kids are cute.  I wonder if they think, “where is their dad?”  I wonder why their dad is not here?  We watch Anna perform and she was lovely.  She joins us afterwards and she joins us in the pew, I hear the people around us as she comes to us.  I’m sure they thought, oh wow, she has 3 children.  I’m sure they think Anna is cute too.  (just imagining)  Anna leaves to change out of her robes and we sit all together.  I don’t have my ring on, but I have my necklace.  Do they wonder?  Sometimes I make sure that my hand is seen so they see there is no ring.  So they don’t think about my husband missing this.  Then they have to wonder, what happened?  most people probably think it’s divorce since we are so young.  I bet they don’t think, he died.  but he did.  He died. So I sit in the pew and today I thought back on what it was like when we were 5.  I can remember not so long ago, that it was just 2 of us.  John and I.  then Kaegan joined us.  Then Will, then anna.  Sometimes it felt like a parade  when we walked in, with all of us finding a seat.  I honestly have to say those are my proudest moments of motherhood.  I had like ducklings that followed me.  I loved it.  It was better than teaching.  years later we left our little church where we lost hope.  We moved away and I remember John and I squeezing hands when we visited a church that we liked.  We visited our church that I later joined too.  I remember Will liked it and John did too.  I never thought to think, one day you will come back and it will be 4.  4.  Myself and my darlings.  Sometimes now, I think almost like they were always just mine.  The beauty of motherhood is if you can, being able to carry them in your belly.  Oh I have held them for so long and here they are still beside me.  I still feel so lost in a pew without him.  Maybe he would have been helping, maybe we might not have been able to sit together always but when we did, we always looked so fine.  I thought I might cry today, but I did not.  Instead I felt the emotion of proud.  I was so proud to be Anna’s mom.  I was so proud to have my children beside me.  I am so proud to go to the grocery store with all 3.  When I have all 3 around me, I can feel myself strong.  I feel all the emptiness of not having John but at the same time,  I can feel him.  If he had been there today, he would have been so proud.  When John was proud, he was almost obnoxious.  I sometimes would get embarrassed about how “narrow” he would act.  All he could see is our child he was proud of.  In hindsight.  I’m so happy they experienced that.  I”m so happy they made him proud and he showed it big time.  When he saw them, he saw only them.  Oh he would tell them, he was so proud of them.  Today I think I could feel him near me and I could hear things he would say and do.  I could hear him encourage me to say the things he would say.  I’m not him, but I can deliver his messages.  He is so proud of you.  He thinks you look so beautiful and handsome.  He thinks you did such a wonderful job in church.  Christmas time is nothing but full on memory evoking moments.  From ornaments to last day of school for winter break. to shopping and so on.  struggling to find what to be thankful for when all  you can do is think how much you miss what you did have.  Get up Ash, get up and go, keep going. keep cleaning or throwing away.  keep laughing.

pity party

well my friends can’t go to dinner.

and screens are laying in my yard.  shit needs to be put up.  I need the gutters cleaned.  the sink is clogged.  I need glass put into the doors instead of screens. I asked my guy “friend” if he would show me or tell me how, he was like, ummm no i’m not really good at that kind of stuff, he said he would help me with money, travel and if I need someone killed but he won’t clean my gutters.  so i cried.

then I cried because i miss being held.  I miss hugging so much.  but by a man.

i miss sex.

but I don’t want to have sex just to have sex.  I want it to matter.  so i cried.

i miss john.

john could do all those things.

I”ve gained so much weight because I did what I only had to do.  and i enjoyed bad food and wine.  but now I’ve got to get healthy again.  I gave away all my skinny clothes.  all my favs.  good bye turquoise jacket.  goodbye kelly green button up with a cool ruffle.  goodbye kacki’s.  goodbye short plaid skirt that I wore with a black turtle neck and high black boots.

I felt so sexy then.  I don’t think I was but man it did feel good to feel good about yourself.  damn i worked so hard for it.  and one day I said no. and well 5 years later, and almost 100 pounds more.  here I am.

I think if I lose weight then I’ll be taking care of myself, going outside, making good endorphins, give me  something to do, lose weight, move better, hurt less, look better.  that should be enough but then I think, well maybe someone will find me attractive and then I can have sex and hug and admire someone cleaning my gutters.

I think well do I want to switch teams?  A lovely lady might be so nurturing to me.  but then I really like those man hugs.  yeah, I guess I will cheer for the man team.

oh man, a pity party before christmas.  wonder what christmas eve will look like emotionally?  I guess I need to find a book to read.  I wish it would snow.  I wish someone would go to the grocery store for me and get all the things I want and then I’ll cook and cook and they will eat and tell me how good it is.

oh man.  I miss my old life.

3 A’s

hey –

I got 3 A’s in grad school.

I worked 20 isn hours a week.

single mom, i’m a single mom.

grieved

healed

lots and lots of therapy.

and

I got 3A’s.  in grad school.

1 more semester left.

Well, at least you have the kids

I’ve heard about this one.  I’ve heard about it on the other widow/widowers blogs and groups I”m in.  I’ve chuckled at the video’s shared of widow or widowers making fun of shit people say to you.  I’ve had a couple of God ones. but this one was said last night at my second party I attempted for the holidays.

Well it’s hard for my mother…. I mean, at least you have the children to get you out.

WHAT?  I mean W H A T?

ok i need to say what I wanted too say to her.

ohhh well, actually it’s not.  No it’s not. It’s not easy to watch your children miss their dad.  no, at least your mom has her daughter and grandchildren in the same god damn neighborhood.  If she needs a hand, she can just ask and all 5 of you can come over.

I know she hurts, God knows I know she does.  50 years, really, that is just amazing and I can’t imagine trying life now.  My grief is not the same, nor is anyone’s but MY GRIEF IS NOT FUCKING EASIER THAN HER GRIEF.

My grief is alone a lot.  I get to be different, I get to at the time in life where my children’s schedules pick up.  I don’t have anyone in the neighborhood to come and help me.  Hey in fact, remember when you casually mentioned you all needed help with your son getting him to school because you did not know what you were going to do, even though there is 2 of you and you own your own fucking business?  yeah, I said I would carpool, but then I noticed you never called me to set it up and meanwhile I’m taking all 3 of my kids to school while you take your one and you pass me everyday.  yeah thanks.

it’s not easy, to sit at games, concerts, school open houses, meetings as one and know …. Im literally one.  While everyone sits as two or maybe even 3, with grandparents, but guess what neighbor ding a ling, you sit at these things as 2 or 3, bECAUSE YOU MOM CAN GO.  I don’t have grandparents in my neighborhood.  i’m doing this by myself.  BY MYSELF.

I fucking quit my job so I did not have to start paying back student loans for a degree I could not finish. I quit my job and gave up retirement and health insurance so i can FUCKING TAKE MY KIDS TO SCHOOL AND BE HERE WHEN THEY GET HOME.   all by myself.

I hype my troops up on sunday to go to church and we go, I go in alone.  I hear things about love and missing and it grips my heart and i can’t breathe, it hurts so much, and tears flow and I can’t stop them.  then people stare.  why is she crying?  why is she hurting?  and no one asks, no one touches.

YOUR MOM CAN GET A HUG FROM YOU , YOUR CHILDREN ANYTIME. I touched your mom to say hello and she barely talked to me.  Maybe she is hurting.  maybe she is not friendly, I don’t know. but I do know the deep dark dispare she feels.

At least I have the kids.  I do have my kids.  I do.  I can even breath and calm down from venting as I repeat those words.

I do have my precious precious darlings who give me something to live for.  but it’s not easy.  don’t tell me

at least I have the kids.  it fucking blows to hear that and grieve for myself and teach them how to grieve too.  The worst of all this is watching your babies grieve, and cry and scream for your love.  Your mom got to say goodbye.  If I said, at least she got to say goodbye then you would then get to write about how that’s not ok.

grief sucks- bottom line.  and I like to say fuck cancer too for you dad.  and your mom’s husband.

fuck diabetes. a disease took my husband too.

A bit from Anna

So a few weeks ago Anna was doing a writing in school and she wrote about Church.  This is newer for her, especially with everything we have been doing with Church.  As much as I made fun of Church and thought it was over, I have fallen in love with this Church and so have my children.  Anyway I shared it with my friend who is over the Family and children’s ministry and she turned it into the Evotional  so here it is.

I wanted to write this week’s evotional about “community.” As I was mulling over what this concept means to me, the mother of one of our second graders shared with me a paragraph that her daughter wrote about our church for a school project:
“On Sunday afternoon my mom, sister, brother, friends and me went to church. We had a cook out. My church’s name is Grace Covenant. It’s a good church. In the morning we went to church, we went downstairs. We told them about ourselves. We were turning into members. Then we went home and after three hours we went back. When we got back to the church I went to my music choir to sing. Then my mom picked me up from choir, we went downstairs and had dinner then we had a cookout. At the cookout they played football and I got hurt two times, so I played with the balls. They had yummy stuff too, I ate a lot. I was sad to go, but then I remembered that I do this every Sunday.”
I cannot describe our community any better than that.

College Girl

I’ve been spending a lot of time lately looking like a college kid.  meaning, I often put on a hoodie, some sort of pant and take the kids to school. then I come in and sit down at the computer and start my day.  and I stay there, then I go get the kids and ….. then I go to bed.  I take my hoodie off and pants off and waaala.  pi’s are still on.

I have not showered as much.  I have discovered cold feet.  but no bra and deodorant or brushing hair.  I do brush teeth because one day I forgot and K got in the car and she said it smelled like bad breath and I knew it was me.  WE have had ALOT OF pizza and pasta.  I can see the light at the end of the semester tunnel.  I’ve got big dreams.  I’m going to probably wear yoga pants and do stuff. and not sit at the computer.  I”m going to read some fiction.  I’m going to organize my closet and maybe do Will and Anna’s.  I”m going to do stuff.  i’m going to cook.

I’m hoping I”ll be ok with all of this.  It’s all I have.  so I need to do it.  I’ve been working on walking away from friendships that are not there for me and I had been spending time nurturing them along.  It’s hard to walk away when you are not loved the same way and…. I am also at the other end of this.  I am dealing as well for the first time of someone walking away from me.  I think it’s a lot like when your boyfriend or girlfriend broke up with you in high school and you really thought things were good.  well, it hurts and you have memories and pics.  One of my best friends walked away from me.  I even chased her and asked why.  The worst part was she said, it just was not meant to be.  WTF?

What?  I babysat your kids when you studied for your comps?  You bought me my first vibrator?  We nursed each other’s hearts when we went through bad work stuff.  We made fun of people and agreed that we were both awesome.  It was really an awesome thing I thought I had with her.  I moved further away and had some breakdowns and I guess that’s what did us in?  I’m not sure but I”ve had a bunch of emotions regarding her ending it with me.

So in my quest for healing, I’ve embraced being good to myself.  putting me first.  I’m getting ready to move me so I can get healthy.  my back seems to be doing better as well as my cough.  Let’s see if I can keep going.

College girl is getting close to getting her masters completed and that feels good.  but i raised the bar and I want that PhD now and so I still see the train tracks.  oh this journey I’m on.