Wednesday, December 10, 2014

As Two Turns Into Three

Tomorrow is that semi-awkward date that comes around each year. A date that holds a lot of weight, pressure, and meaning to me but few others. I walk around during the day, all-knowing, but hardly anyone knows that behind a smile is a plethora of thoughts about the significance of the 11th. Some great others difficult. I don't expect anyone to hold that date so close to their own heart, but unless you've been through it, you can't quite understand how lonely and secluded it can make you feel.

I think a lot of it is just the pressure of it all. Wondering what I "should" do, even though there isn't any right answer. I feel as if treating it like just another day is absolutely insufficient. Doing nothing doesn't feel right to me. But how does one use the day to mark their late husband's death? For a birthday, you celebrate another year older but what do you do for, uhm well, for a "death day"? 

The first year family and friends gathered at his childhood home, watched a couple of videos in memory of him, looked through cards and photos, and shared memories of his life and our time with him. It was a perfect way to celebrate. I felt so full of love. Love for me, and love for Spencer. But this year his family isn't here, I don't have any friends who live here that knew him. I suppose you can understand why it's so easy to feel a little bit empty on that day. 

December 11th presents a feeling very similar to shortly after I lost him. Perhaps it's appropriate given that this time of year I'm reflecting the time around when he died. The whole day it's a feeling like something is missing. It's one where you can be in a crowded room surrounded by people you love and some of the best company, but yet still have a feeling of being empty and lonely. It is a paradox; When I'm with people, I want to be alone. When I'm alone, I desperately want to be with people. A feeling of never being quite satisfied with the current situation.

I want to be with people because sometimes being alone with my own thoughts is overwhelming. But I think one reason I want to be alone so much when I am with others is because no one really knows what to say. It's that whole "elephant in the room" situation. People try to tiptoe around the subject always worried about saying the wrong thing instead of overtly saying, "Hey, I know you miss him, I miss him too. This is my favorite memory of him...." Sometimes saying nothing at all is worse than saying the wrong thing. It's been three years. I've healed. It's OKAY to say something to me. It's OKAY to talk about him. 

You know how rare it is for anyone to mention him to me anymore? I can't even remember the last time that I had a conversation about Spencer or shared a memory about him. And while that is okay, because I know I always hold those memories in my heart, it's also really, really nice to have someone to share these stories with every once in awhile. It helps me feel like I am keeping his memory alive. That we aren't forgetting about him and that there are still other people aside from myself who love and miss him, too. 

But despite on how I "should" spend tomorrow, overall I just want to remember Spencer and I'd love for you to help me do so. I want to remember his life and not so much his death. I am so thankful and lucky to have shared a small part of my life with him and how amazing it was to be his wife.


Sweetpea --

There are nights where I kind of sit in disbelief knowing that it's been 3 years since I last saw your smile, held your hand, kissed your lips, gazed into your big bright eyes. Three years. Some days I truly can't believe it's been so long, and other days it feels like it's been such a short period of time. Weird how time can play tricks on a person like that. Making it seem like both forever and just yesterday with each passing tick of the clock.

Each year, month and week it gets better. Slowly but surely this has gotten easier. The beginning of year 2 was brutal. Much worse than the first year, but as it has come to an end I feel at peace. The difference between the start and end of this year is literally like night and day. I don't know that there was a specific turning point, I don't know that I necessarily made any major discovery or anything like that... but as year two without you slowly (and quickly) turns into year three I find myself in the best place I feel like I can be. I am filled with love, passion, and joy again. I am so overwhelmingly happy.

I can finally see a future starting to come together with you in my heart rather than by my side.

Two days before you died I lay beside you in your hospital bed, hands entwined, tears in my our eyes, and I asked you what you wanted for me even though I'd heard it a thousand times before. It was my way of asking, "Where do I even go from here? What am I supposed to do with my life without you here?" without ever muttering those words. The biggest gift you could have ever given me were the words and the message that it's okay to move forward whenever I am ready to do so. To never be afraid to find and to do what makes me happy. To be true to myself. To find someone to be happy with. To find love once again. Thank you for giving me your blessing even though I can't even begin to imagine how painful it was for you to say. It's a gift to me that will keep on giving for the rest of my life. Thank you as it has helped feelings of guilt subside as I move forward with my life. Thank you for saying the words that help get me through knowing that this is what you want for me... for me to find happiness in everything I do. Thank you.

Spencer I just hope that in my jumbled little world, with all of the crazy twists and turns that it has taken these last three years... well I just hope that somehow I have managed to make you proud of me. I'm sure there are decisions I've made that have you shaking your head at me. I know that I've done things that have no doubt been a let down. But with that aside and in the overall picture, I hope that whatever you are you're looking at me with a smile, with love, with joy, and are proud of who I've become and the future that I have set for myself.

I miss you and your quirks and I'll keep you in my heart forever. I love you, Pea. I love you so much.

I carry your heart with me, I carry it in my heart.

Friday, December 5, 2014

To my wine drinking, story telling, hell of a good friend

"Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Some stay for a while and leave footprints on our hearts and we are changed forever."

Thank you, friend, for so so much. Throughout these last three months you have been so much for me. You have meant so much to me. You have given me confidence, made me feel like I can be myself, helped me continue to come out of my shell and be who I desire to be. 

You've taught me skills and helped expand my knowledge. You've tested me, challenged me, been more than willing to work with me and help me to become better. Not only just because I've asked, but because you've wanted to. You have been more than willing to go the extra mile to help me succeed. 

You've taken a load off of me at work, willing volunteering to do draws both outpatient and in, offering to do Tuesday morning draws at Hester Home, going up to HH on off days for draws, always keeping busy. Doing some of the busy work that I've been so used to doing. Always having a good attitude. 

You've listened to my rants while I've listened to yours, have been my confidant, my sounding board, the one I trust and go to when I need a listening ear. You were there from the start when I started planning the next chapter in my life I'm about to venture into and you've given me truly invaluable insight and help with what to do. Even though I will continue to be scared and unsure about the next steps you've helped calm me and help me realize that I can do this and it will work out. That I am really doing the right thing for ME.

You've helped me understand and balance my past, present, and future because you yourself have had to do the same. Helped me work through some of these inner emotions and figuring out that super fine line I fight with as I'm letting someone else in and trying to keep my past in my heart.

I don't know that there is any conceivable way to express my thanks to how good of a friend you've been to me. Strangers that blossomed into a friends and it's a friendship that I can only hope is just beginning.

I've enjoyed so many memories with you. Bitching all the way to Colby to shop until we dropped, nasty wine that got us buzzed, delicious scampi and staying up late, Wii bowling and far too much wine on Thanksgiving.... It's all memories I wouldn't trade for the world and I'm so grateful to have. It's been so fun spending time with you and getting to know you. I wish we had more time because I feel like we've only scratched the surface. 

I'm really going to miss weekends with you, your hysterical story telling, snickering at creeper in the corner, laughing with you, turning lights off on you, and all the other little silly, stupid things we did instead of work! =) You certainly know how to make it fun.

But what I'm going to miss most is the friendship we've built and the confidant I've gained.

The lab will feel so empty without you there. You brought so much life, joy, and humor to not only my life but to our little corner in the hospital. You are a ray of sunshine and know how to brighten things up and make it a place people want to be. Working with you has been SUCH a pleasure and I'm we're going to miss you dearly. In my honest opinion, you're irreplaceable. You're skills are top notch, you pick up on things so naturally, and your optimism and patient-comes-first mentality are to be emulated. You fit in right away and definitely became part of our little lab family. Truly our whole hospital family. I'm not sure we'll find another quite like you.

This isn't goodbye, only see you later. I hope our paths cross again in the future. Come join me for wine in California, my friend. A tasting will be quickly arranged and we'll toast to friends and new beginnings. Love ya, Theresa. I wish you the very best with everything and may only good things be in your future.

Miss you already.