Letting Go

Letting go is coming to the realization that something is not what you thought it once was, and letting go of that dream. Letting go is the cold reality of knowing you can never go back to that place of truth again, that moment in time where you felt truly loved, or when you felt truly at home.

I am not a fan of this “letting go”.  I am all for holding on, and riding it out during the worst storms, but there are some things that are not within my control, and that breaks my heart, and it breaks my spirit when I look to my future, and the future of my children, and my children’s children.

My husband died, and I had no control over that. I do not have control over how I grieve when I am alone, but I do have control over how I react when our children are watching me, or when I choose to not show someone how truly broken I am. This constant, exhausting, daily denial that everything is “okay”, as I go about my day, and do everything that is expected of me as a mother, because that is my role, and anything else that I may want, or may want to become, will have to wait. And that is okay, because I will always put my children first.

I had to leave my home. My grandparents raised me in this home. I raised my children in this home, and our family lived and loved in this home.  My grandma looked out into the beautiful sunsets every evening, as I did every evening, and they brought me peace and solace, but mostly, they brought me to tears for so many reasons. I was finally where I was supposed to be. Everything was as it should be. There is only one person in this world, that understood that to the core, and that person would have fought for our home, tooth and nail.

I had to buy another car. I walked away from the car that Ross and I bought together. The car we drove to the beach in, and laughed and joked, and sang stupid songs in. It was a part of us, just like our home, and just like our beautiful children, who are firmly holding on to any piece of their father that they can, but their fingers are slipping and they are panicking. They live in a bubble of disbelief.

I bought a home, and I bought a car, and I have these things, because Ross died. Ross gave me this new life, and I sit here, and I am lost, and still floundering about, not knowing where to go from here. But I have GONE many places, and DONE many things, physically. I took our kids on a cruise to the Bahamas, and though it didn’t feel much like a vacation, it was AWAY, and it was soothing, and it calmed my endless sobbing. At the same time, it revealed to me the realities that I am facing, such as loneliness, trust issues, and feeling like I am not strong or good enough to be a mother and a father. That confidence is dull and blurry some days, and then other days, I am rocking as Mom. The vacation reminded me that I really DID have a great guy, that could be trusted 110%, because I watched this portrael of a loving couple, with two gorgeous daughters, have their own delightful vacation. I was envious, and even a little bit angry. But then the force of it hit me, and this sweet wife wasn’t around, and her arrogant husband was flirting with young, drunk girls, and his daughters were tossed aside and didn’t matter in that moment. That wasn’t a loving couple, but it was a creation, like a fake Facebook profile, but with real pain and real heartbreak. It reminded me of the single life, and it reminded me that I didn’t want it.

It is all gone, but I am NOT letting go.  I can still see Ross, and feel him laughing at me, even mocking me, as he often did, and I can feel him reach for me, when I am hunched over, at my wits end. He is here, and even though it is not the same as having him physically, that is all that I have, and I will take it. I know there are many women out there, that have never felt loved, and I carry that with me, every morning that I wake up with pain in my heart, and every night that I toss and turn in bed, with all the worries rattling in my head. I carry that love with me, because it is all that remains. Love, and Mom, and Reagan and Bailey, and all of our broken pieces, dumped into one big pile, as we stumble and fall, and fight to put those pieces back together, until they appear to some have resemblance of a life.

Stumble, and fall, and fight…..that is what our life has become, and that is how we survive.

 

The Weight of the World

Neither sunless day,

Nor starless night,

Compare’s to pain’s darksome light

 

The still earth’s breath,

What stifling heat,

When all pain and silence come to meet

 

So is it not the tulip’s bloom,

And still the ocean’s tide?

Can one’s soul sadness cause

All others to collide?

 

We are each one single heartbeat,

Just one grain of sand,

Yet the weight of this world,

We are expected to withstand

Cruising Without You

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Dear Ross,
Seventeen years, then suddenly, without warning, you are gone. You aren’t working out of town, and you won’t be texting me, “I am trying to get back, but had to pull over because I was falling asleep”, or pictures of an awesome dinner you feasted on, just so you could laugh at my sarcastic response. Gone are the funny texts throughout the day, the way you backfire snored, the way we both tried on clothes with the same level of frustration, and our secret little lingo when the kids were close, and how we tried to not move our lips so they couldn’t hear us discuss how we wouldn’t drive by Target so Bailey wouldn’t ask for a toy. All of that laughter is gone, and brutally replaced with a raw open wound.

Gone isn’t permanent or even accurate. You didn’t leave. You DIED, and I have only said it out loud twice, and it stung as bad as the day that I lost you. I said it to someone that I would never see again. I was practicing the words, for fear they wouldn’t make it past my lips. Because saying them, makes them real, and I can’t do real yet. I can do moving forward forcefully without hesitation, and not pausing to let myself embrace the cold reality of your passing.
I have guilt. I didn’t show enough love, I didn’t show enough appreciation for how hard you worked, to keep me at home with the kids. I DO love you, and I am over the moon with appreciation for you, and all that you have provided for me, and our children, and I will forever be grateful to you, for taking such good care of us. Such good care, that you worked yourself into an early grave, while it never occurred to me, that such a thing could actually happen. That I possibly downplayed or belittled every little illness…exhaustion…fatigue. Had you known that you were at death’s door, then you would have left your job, taken my warnings more to heart, and cared more about your physical health, for the sake of your children and your family. For YOUR sake!
I can see you, as clear as yesterday, and how you had stumbled backward, and the way you were shivering in your sleep, with flu-like symptoms. You went to sleep on the couch feeling terrible, and I told you that I would leave you alone, and not bicker about household nonsense. And I didn’t. Had I bickered, then maybe I would have noticed that you were in distress at some point during the night, or maybe I wouldn’t have noticed, because maybe you really did pass away peacefully in your sleep. Either way, I was not laying right next to you, and I will never have that closure.
I didn’t know you were already gone, when I fixed breakfast, and went about my morning routine. I do remember thinking, wow, he is really too tired to even snore. And looking back, I can see how that rings painfully true. Your poor tired body gave out, and you didn’t even know it would, because had you known, then you wouldn’t have argued about your eating and sleeping habits, your long hours, or debated with me about taking care of yourself. You never saw it coming. That breaks my heart.  You never would have let this happen, had you seen it coming. The kids would not have lost their dad at such a young age, Tyler would not have lost his best friend, and I would not have lost the only man in my life, that has ever given me security, reassurance, and certainty.
This vacation with the kids have been filled with my saddest days. We are without you, and the only reason why we are here, is because you died, and we are fighting to find some hope, even if it is just a tiny glimmer. I sit here, on a CRUISE, feeling mournful and empty. Everything beautiful makes me want to cry. When Bailey reaches her peak of no return, I want to crumble and break, because there is no one to fall back on. There is no one who truly understands, to the core, how isolating it is, to be the parent of an autistic child. And Reagan……I always know when he has you in his thoughts, and that is quite often, because that same watery-eyed expression crosses over him, and he is a lost little boy, looking for his father.
I don’t know how to go from Married to Widow, from Mrs. to Ms., and I find it difficult to speak in past tense. Speaking in the past tense feels wrong, and you were here, and everything about your spirit and soul mattered. You were an incredible daddy, and you couldn’t STAND to be away from your kids.
Everything about your death feels wrong, as if some terrible mistake was made, and had a slight twist or turn been different, you would still be with us. This isn’t right. This isn’t right, has been echoing in my head, for almost six months now.
And now, in the early morning hours, with the sun barely breaking, and I am in the middle of this big powerful ocean, I look over at your beautiful sleeping children, and my heart aches so badly. They will never see you again, or embrace you again. Never be tickled by you again. How devastating for our son, to try and bring his own father back to life!!  How does a child recover from that? Will our poor, sweet Reagan carry the weight of that forever?
I love you, and I miss you. I am so terribly sad that I didn’t tell you as often as you deserved. I would change so many things, just to have you back. I really would, right this second. I cannot tell you how sorry that I am, over and over, until I have nothing left. I am lost, broken, and I am having such difficulty finding my own path. I carry our children, but find myself displaced, as if my legs have crumbled beneath me, and there is nothing to grab a hold of. It is like drowning, this urgency of loss, as I look out into this dark, angry ocean, in all of its frenzied turmoil. I can relate to others giving up on life, and at the same time, and I can relate to the desperate need to cling to anything that makes you feel grounded.
But I will never find anything more sad, then the lost and hopeless stare of our children’s eyes, and how they don’t know how to move forward, and how they turn to me for every single movement. Every….single….movement. I feel like I have let them down, and have continued to let them down, but I am FIGHTING with everything that I have inside me, to stay focused and strong. Our babies are terrified, unsettled, and now they know, that life can end without warning.
They know, tender to the touch PAIN, at ages 9 and 10, and they should NOT be consumed with grief.
This is not right.

#cruisingwithoutyou