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Now Choose Life

Choose to Live Your Life in Abundance in the after--- after the spouse dies, after the marriage ends, after the kids leave. Join me on my journey of CHOOSING LIFE in my after. This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live- Deut 30:19

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April 26, 2016

Special Anniversary- would have been 30 years

Today would (should) have been my 30th wedding anniversary with Randy. But, we were only given 26- It was 26 years on April 26, 2012- then three days later he was gone. Life had different plans for me than the plans I had for myself. It would be really easy to be sad today and dwell on the negatives, but Randy was too wonderful for me to do that. I am choosing today to be thankful for the years that we had together, and especially be thankful for the two biggest blessings that came out of our life together- C and M. I’m also thankful to have Dr T. in my life- a man who understands, and who, with me, will never allow Randy to be a stranger in our life and family. It was 26+ good years- and for that I am very thankful today!!

The above was my personal Facebook post for the day.

I still read many "widow blogs."  Over and Over I've read about a phenomenon in which your body seems to physically know that an important date is approaching.  I can truly say that I have experience on many occasions that my body knows of a certain date even when I haven't consciously been thinking of it all that much.

The first year after losing Randy, I became physically sick the week before our anniversary and anniversary of his death.  Just so sick that I had to go to bed.  This year is different-- I don't feel like I've thought about the two upcoming dates in April, but out of the blue, I just find myself crying-- not even feeling really sad, but just crying for no reason.  I guess that is just part of it!!  A part that I really don't like-  but I guess there really isn't much of anything about all of this that I like.

In my Grief Share class that I took years ago, they used the phrase- "Do The Next Thing"  I used that so much to help me that first year.  I would not allow myself to sit around and dwell on things-  I got up and did something- the next thing.  But today, I've not done much of anything.  I think after four years, I deserve a day to do nothing and reflect on my life.  It has been a sad day!!  

I'd love to know if others experience the same physical phenomenon as it gets closer to significant dates.  
April 10, 2016

The Rainbow Comes and Goes

I love to read biographies and memoirs.  In fact for years, when I was working in education and raising my kids, I read more professional type books during the school year, but in the summer I always found a long biography to read about someone.  I am fascinated with people's lives.  How the simplest encounter can change someone's life forever-  I am wowed by that.

One thing that I have noticed so much- especially after R passing away is that so many people who go on to do great things in life have suffered a huge setback in their younger days.  Most of the time it is that they have lost a parent.  I remember telling my children this not long after losing R-  C and I had traveled to Europe to meet M after her study abroad in Madrid.  While we were staying a few days in Paris, I remember breaking down one afternoon to them and them telling me that I had to learn to deal with this....  and it just came to me-- my kids were going to overcome the death or their father and it was only going to make them stronger--just like all of those biographies that I had read.

I love Anderson Cooper.  I think he is the most down to earth, genuine person on TV.  I think he is handsome-  I love his grey hair and piercing blue eyes!!  So when I realized several years ago that his mother was Gloria Vanderbilt and that he too had lost a parent at a young age - plus the terrible fact that his brother committed suicide-- I was very intrigued.

I pre ordered the book he wrote with his mom The Rainbow Comes and Goes  and started reading it on our flight back from Jamaica.  It is an easy read, but is full of magnificent stories about his relationship with his mother.  I love that he calls his father "Daddy"-  I guess it is such a southern thing to do and I just love it.

The main theme that I took from the book is the idea of moving forward after a tragedy.  I felt that huge need to move forward after losing R.  Sometimes I wonder if I moved forward too quickly, but I can't go back and change anything that I have done.  I felt that my children needed to see me move forward so that they too could move forward in a healthy manor.

One part of the book Gloria talks about a quote by Virgil "Perhaps some day it will be pleasant to remember even this."

She goes on to say in the book "Whenever you're restless or miserable, if you can imagine that at some point you may look back on that moment fondly, it may make the present more bearable.  Even what appears to be a terrible problem my in the future turn out to be a positive change.  You just never know."

Of course there is no way that I can ever look back on losing R fondly, but I can look back on some of the things that have happened and realize that good does come out of bad if we allow it.  My relationship with C would never be what it is today if we hadn't gone through hell together.

I highly recommend reading The Rainbow Comes and Goes.    Read it and allow the words to have meaning in your own life.

April 07, 2016

Jamaica Mon

We just got back from a family trip to Jamaica.  It was so much fun and was our first trip for this "new family" of ours.  It is still hard to believe how much my life has changed in 4 years.  The end of this month will be four years since R died.  So much has changed... so much has happened.

The trip was a great new beginning.  It was me, Dr T, M, C and Molly's boyfriend, and Molly's best friend.  C doesn't have anyone special in his life right now and I didn't want him to feel funny so I thought it would be great for BFF to go.  She is like part of our family.  The thing about the people who went on this trip is that we are all bonded in a weird way-  we have all experienced a premature loss in our lives.  That is right-- all for the of 20 somethings have lost a parent.

I just thought this trip would be good not only for my little family, but for boyfriend and BFF.  We talked some about our losses, but didn't dwell on them.  We just know that that is a common thread of our lives that we share.

The strange thing for me is that once again I find myself a bit blue coming home from this trip.  It is just the reality that everything is so new and we will never have that old life back.  It makes me sad for me and it really makes me sad for my kids.  Everyone got along, but one evening it dawned on me when I was hanging on every word that came out of the kids' mouths... Dr. T's life doesn't revolve around this.  He likes my kids.  He thinks they are great, but he didn't watch them grow up.  It is just a different dynamic.  I know it is nothing new.  Families of divorce and widows who remarry deal with it all the time, but this is my reality and sometimes it just hits me in a funny way.

Once again, I'm experiencing the growing pains of this new life.  Once again, I'm experiencing the bitter with the sweet.  But the wonderful thing is that I'm alive and I am experiencing it all.