Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Perfect Moment Monday-June 2013-Bullseye!

Yes, I know it is no longer many things these days, the best of intentions are derailed by playtime.   Here is the thing my six year old Munchkin WANTS to play with ME.  He always has, but at this age, I know this childhood bliss is limited and mom will soon be second fiddle to a whole bunch of things-so I will soak it in while I can!

So here is my perfect moment from the month. 

Munchkin is now a Cub Scout, which means that he was eligible to attend Cub Scout Camp.  He has been looking forward to it for an entire year, ever since his cousin who is a year older went last summer and has raved about how cool it was.  To a six year old that means the world. 

Let me tell you, it lived up to the childhood hype.  The camp was impeccably run.  The kids had a great time.   Now mind you,  my Munchkin was the youngest and smallest one there and also the only one to not have been exposed to a lot of the activities previously as the other first time kids had older brothers in the pack and have been before.  Like Archery for example.

Scouts run things in a manner in which you have to earn things (like arrowheads for bullseyes and bear claws for bullseyes on the bb gun range).  This means that starting out the week, Munchkin had BIG things at stake for a six year old.  When we started, he absolutely could not hit a target to save his life.  He was crushed when he came off that range empty handed.   It did not matter to him that less than 1/2 of our pack earned a prize, all that mattered was that he did not.  He was in tears.  My heart broke for him.  His cousin a year older told him that it would be ok, that by the end of the week he would be able to make a bullseye and get a prize. 

Those words coming from his cousin meant more to me than anything.   That another child would show such open compassion-that is nearly a perfect world.  There was not taunting, no name calling not any of that.  Simply his cousin's arm around his shoulder as he wiped his tears and the two of them walking towards my brother and I. 

And you know what, by the end of the week, he did in fact earn his prize and there was not a prouder kiddo or parent at that camp. 

Below are a few reminders about Perfect Moment Monday:

Perfect Moment Monday is about noticing a perfect moment rather than creating one. Perfect moments can be momentous or ordinary or somewhere in between.
On the last Monday of each month we engage in mindfulness about something that is right with our world. Everyone is welcome to join.
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Tuesday, June 25, 2013


We had defined sides of the bed for sleeping.  I was always on the left side of the bed, he was always on the right.  It just was. 

It has been over five years since the day he died, however I still find myself on the left side of the bed.  I now have a smaller bed that has been in three different places in three different bedrooms and the result is still the same...I stay perched on my side, and his stays empty. 

Even though I isn't HIS side, never was, he never slept in this bed, he never slept on these sheets, he never used these pillows or blankets.  Heck--he has never even stepped foot into my house.  I know this.   My brain knows it, I am pretty sure that my heart knows it.

At night, there is an icy chill that emanates from his side of MY bed.  It creeps over to me and just reminds me that I am alone.  That I don't have anyone to share my bed.  That Robert is gone, and not just gone, but he. is. dead.  He is never coming back and I will NEVER again spend a night nestled safe in his arms with my head on his chest.  Really this feeling of icy loneliness is getting very old. 

I have done everything that I can think to do.  I decorated my bedroom.  I selected a beach theme and enlisted my mom who is awesome at decorating to help me pull it together.  I have a beautiful painting, new sheets and comforter.  A really cool lamp and other accessories.  I selected my bedroom so that the light comes in and spills over the bed in the morning.  It is bright and warm and cozy.  But it hasn't helped.    The ice still fills the room in the dead of night. 

So I take a deep breath and I suck it up and I lay down and I go to sleep.   In the morning I awake and it is the same thing over again.   I am alone and there is no one in my bed besides me....well unless Munchkin is sick and has wandered into mommy's bed in the middle of the night, then I am usually awakened at a pre-dawn hour by a squirmy octopus in my bed.

Don't you know, kids grow extra limbs and flail them endlessly when they are in your bed, in their own beds--they sleep perfectly still and awake in the same position that you kissed them goodnight. 
So I kiss Munchkin good morning and look around and I say a prayer of thanks for all of the things that I do have and I hope that one day, this particular feeling fades to a distant memory. 

Monday, June 24, 2013

International Widows Day

Yesterday was International Widows Day as declared by United Nations. 
While things are not rosy here in the USA for Widows, at the very least we don't have customs that strip us of other rights. 

Around the globe, there are people that are widowed that then have to face losing their house, their children, their property.  They may be forced to marry a member of their husband's family.  They may not be allowed to actually own property which means that they along with their children could be out on the street.  WOW, talk about perspective.   I had to sell my house, but it was mine to sell.  I moved across the country and lived with my parents but that was MY choice.  I had choices.  I know I am lucky.

Yesterday, Soaring Spirits Loss Foundation took the opportunity to feature love stories of widows on their FB page.  

Our love story was lucky enough to be picked.  I was so excited to share Robert's smile and love with other people.  It actually made me happy to be able to share him and our history with other people.   I thought that it would be hard, but really it wasn't.  I was excited to have other people have a glimpse into us and our love before our world was shattered. 

As I looked through all of the posts, I saw happy and smiling people.  I saw that before everyone was shattered, we smiled.  We were happy. Before we were shattered we were happy. 

This is something that I hadn't really put a lot of thought to.  I know we were happy, I know we had a great marriage, I say it all the time.  But SEEING our happiness with my own eyes, that was a new perspective.  So while yesterday was all about advocating and bringing to light circumstances around the globe, what it really did was open my eyes.  It opened my eyes to the pure joy that I used to feel and instead of making me sad, it made me want to have that again. 

Saturday, June 22, 2013

A closing and a Begining

This past week Munchkin completed Kindergarten.  I have had the privilege of volunteering in his classroom many times this year.  Over the past 9 months I have seen him and his classmate grow-both in size and in knowledge.

As I was walking him to school on the last day, I had the thought that this has been a transitional year for him.  He is transitioning from a small child into a kid.  The child who held my hand on the first day of school now knows the routine.  Where to go what to do and how to get along.  The child who didn't want to sit still, now sits patiently in his seat and does his work without being asked.

He is excited for the next school year and the next phase.  Instead of trepidation-he looks forward with joyful anticipation.

As I reflected on this, I realize that I too am in a transitional period.  Gone are the days of silently sobbing for hours on end as I try to get work done in the office.   Mostly gone are the flashback and nightmares in the middle of the night.  Thankfully those have become few and far between. 

Instead, we have a routine.  I get up, I get us ready, we go on and we do.  We move forward through life and keep on going.  We have learned the routine and we have mastered it.  Soon, hopefully life will bring us a new chapter and we will learn that one as well.  

Our current chapter involves mastering yard work without breaking out in hives....AKA ask my brother very nicely to do it for me :)

I guess the big transition for me is looking forward to new things-being excited for things to come.  Perhaps Munchkin and I really are not that much different!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The Club No One Wants to Join-June Widowed Blog Hop

Each of us have a different circumstance and a different view.  Hopefully, if you are reading you can find some comfort and camaraderie in our words.

While everyone I have talked to has a different analogy for living life widowed, the one thing that we can all agree is that this is a club that no one is banging down the door to join!  Nope, not at all!  Who in their right mind chooses the utter heartbreak, the sobbing, the brokenness that comes from losing half of yourself?  The sleepless nights, where the icy cold from the sheets on the other side of the bed leach into your bones and make every fiber of your being aware that you are alone, really alone, like no adult in the house to call 911 if you had a heart attack alone.

Who chooses to raise kids, working through grief that are dealing with their own grief by themselves?  Who chooses to have to have tough conversations with very tiny humans about things that grown ups can't even comprehend?   Who chooses to be the odd man out?  To feel completely alone in a room full of people that all have their spouses or significant others?  That's right no one.  Zip, Zilch Nada!

What I can tell you, is that there are a great many people who have taken their circumstances and risen to a place of grace and beauty.  They learn that there is much more to life than the rat race.  That you really do need to stop and pause, because life is fleeting.   That there are men and women whom have walked this path before you and have come out on the other side of the chasm of tragedy and are OK.  They have a new chapter and they have happiness again.  They have not forgotten their loved one, but they have chosen to live and to love again.  

And do you know how they did it?  They functioned one minute at a time trudging through the heartbreak and tears.   Moving forward and turning the page takes time, and it takes work and it is different for everyone.  Don't measure your journey against anyone, just know that the journey gets easier.   Perhaps, by reading our words you can see that even though your pain is so deep that you can hardly breathe, that someday, maybe not tomorrow, but someday, you will take a deep breath and smile.  A true smile, one that will light you from within.

So grab a drink, coffee-perhaps something a little stronger, sit back and walk with us.  

Link to blog hop page....

Samantha of the Crazy Courage blog
Janine of One Breath At A Time
Red’s The M3 Blog
Christine of Widow Island
Tim’s Diary of a Widower
Running Forward: Abel Keogh’s Blog
Tamara of Artful Living After Loss
Jessica at Buttons to Beans
Missing Bobby: A Widow’s Journey
The Grief Toolbox
The Widow’s Mite: Encouragement for Widows
Widowed Yogi
Choosing Grace Today

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Blissful Day...

This morning had the potential to be a really, really crappy day.  However, Munchkin awoke in a great mood without a sign of the wheezing that has plagued him all week.  I decided then and there that I was determined to have a great day.  We enjoyed breakfast and then decided to get moving.

I had a bunch of things that I *thought* we should get done TODAY.  Like going to the library and grocery shopping.

Well, while we were out gallivanting, we just had fun.  Munchkin wanted to go to a park.  He picked the one clear across town from where we live, so we filled  up some water bottles I grabbed my camera and we headed over there.  I got some FANTASTIC pictures of his beautiful toothless grin and he was having a grand old time.   He made a new friend and I was chatting with the mom and petting the sweetest puppy.

After nearly two hours of him laughing, he decided that it was time to go.  We went and got his hair cut at the barber.  The barber has known our family for decades and is just a great person.  Munchkin enjoys it and we were just chatting.  I make Munchkin pay the barber and the barber teases him about shaving-it is their ritual!

It was time for us to go see Epic the movie.  It was good, but be warned there are two teenagers who have lost parents and it is an under-story to the plot-of course we picked up on it right away.  It was still a very good movie and the topics were handled well.  Even though you don't know what happened or how long they have lost their parents, you can see the effect it has on them as they go through their lives.

Then we went to the mall and I got a few outfits for me and some makeup.  We shared a pretzel and some silly "I spy" moments.  We were generally just laughing and being silly on one of the benches.  It was absolutely blissful.

It felt so good to just be present in the moment and enjoy spending the day together.   As we were finishing shopping my best friend called and wanted to know if we wanted to meet for dinner.   I of course said yes not knowing that leaving the mall at that moment meant we were heading into a monsoon!   Well, it was raining so hard that we were soaked in two steps so instead of running to the car, we decided to see who could stomp the puddles the highest and took our sweet time getting to the car.  I mean I wasn't wearing a white shirt so there really was not a reason to hurry :)

After dinner, I got to spend some much needed time with my best friend, who encouraged me to get rid of a bunch of clothes that are now way too big so I did, I am pretty sure that I put into the donate pile more things than I bought which is definitely a great thing!

At the end of the day, I didn't get done any of the things that I thought we just *HAD* to get done today, but I think that spending the day with Munchkin in unhurried bliss was just what we both needed.

Chores and Connections

Quite possibly one of the most frustrating things about being an only parent is the fact that there isn't any one to help with anything. When we were married, we had a clear division of chores, inside was mine, outside was his. I didn't mess with his garage and he didn't mess with my craft room. It worked for us. Saturday mornings were chore days, he would cut grass and putz around outside. I would clean inside and putz in the kitchen or craft room. Around lunch time we would be done and go on with our day.

Now, I have no one to divide and conquer with, consequently getting ready for a party at my house is a HUGE undertaking.

This past week, I mowed my lawn for the first time. I have a tractor that came with my house, but it needed a new battery, so I also have Robert's lawnmower. It took me two and a half hours but I did it. As I was using his lawnmower, it hit me, that this may possibly be the only useful thing of this that I kept to use at my house. As my sweat poured down my arms and onto the handle, I had the realization that my sweat was mixing with his once again. It was a peaceful feeling. I am not sure that I have words to really describe what it felt like, other than to say that for a brief moment I felt connected to him once again. Physically connected.

For the first time that I can remember, that connection was not quickly replaced with an empty longing. And I was proud of myself. I conquered the wasn't perfect and it was messy, but I did it.