Friday, September 30, 2011


Dearest Trick~
You are my sunshine, my only sunshine. You make me happy when sky’s are gray. You’ll never know dear, how much I love you ~ please don’t take my sunshine away. The past few days have been dark, there seems to be no sunshine, no light, no separation of the gray that fills my life. The word MISS does not encompass the magnitude of how my heart hurts, how I long for you. My friends tell me that there will be days like this, the ones when getting out of bed and onto the couch is a big deal. The ones where having a dog is the only reason I drag myself out the door. Many don’t want to hear that. They do not want to know that in the quiet of my apartment I cry with more sound then a marching band. That my soul bleeds more then a river flows. That the emptiness in my life shakes me to the core, on my knees begging for some peace, some small reprieve from this pain. Oh, how I long for the sunshine, for you!
I guess that sitting in this darkness of life is needed. That it is part of the process. Maybe it is okay to not always be super strong. It is okay to let the pain in and float around in it for a bit. How can I not hurt, my sunshine, my love was taken away. You were ripped from my arms and sent to a new address that is NOT listed. I put this unrealistic pressure on myself to every moment, every day be your voice ~ be  strong. But, I can’t. I can’t pretend that I am put together when behind closed doors I am falling into pieces. 
I know that each day , each hour, each minute there is a new opportunity for the sun to shine. I know that you are working hard to move the clouds in my life. I still feel you, I just miss you. You are and will always be my sunlight. You are the warmth that I crave. I know I can’t have you back here with me. And sometimes even I think to myself “damn this isn’t fair, he was too young, I am too young”! But I hold on to the moments when the sun gets to dance on my face, when I hear your voice on the wind, when I feel your touch in the raindrops. You are my sunshine, my only sunshine. You make me happy when sky’s are gray. I love you my sunshine!
Around the world and back again~

Thursday, September 29, 2011


Dearest Trick~
The pain, the darkness is more than I can put into words. I have found yoga to be the one time when I am so connected to you. The one time when I can shut off the pain, push the darkness away and “just be”. It is a place for me to grow, to heal, to learn. I twist my body into new positions I never thought possible, just as I twist my life into new directions in order to function.
This week we learned about our Guru. I always pictured some bald , tanned man who was older, wise, sitting with legs crossed wrapped in robes. I always thought a Guru was this all knowing old man on a hill type of person. That he would speak in metaphors and you would need to THINK about every word he said to truly understand what lessons he was teaching. I learned that I was wrong. That I had misconceptions for what and who MY guru is!
You see my love, a GURU at the core is someone who brings you light in the darkness. A GURU is the one who teaches you about yourself and how to experience this life we are given to the fullest. You my dear, you are my GURU. You have taught me how to laugh in the rain. You have taught me how to love the underdog ~ hey you made me a Cubs fan, need I say more. You taught me to believe in myself. You taught me that anything is possible if you just dream. You taught me to enjoy the climb when getting up the mountain of life. You taught me to face my fears, okay you laughed at my fears (especially when it came to Halloween and my irrational fear of the boogie man). You taught me to try new things. You taught me that failure is not real, as even when you lack to succeed you learn something new. You taught me that good is GREAT. You taught me to play with toys no matter how old I get. You taught me that passion for something silly is better then no passion at all. You taught me that we could never be poor (no matter how little money was in the bank) because we were “givers” and rich in goodness. You taught me to smile in the rough times. You taught me that tears clean the soul. You taught me so many things.
You are my Guru. You are my bald man in the “sky” teaching me lessons even from afar. You are wise beyond the short amount of years you got to grace this earth. You were my light in life. Now the world seems so dark without you. I need my Guru ~ I need him here. I need you to enlighten me on how to survive this hell I call daily life. Then I close my eyes. I let the tears roll down my face and I take a deep breath. Then there you are, for a brief moment, there you are embracing me ~ reminding me to just simply put one foot in front of the other. I miss you my Guru. I miss hugging and walk, laughing and talking to MY wise man. Thank you for the endless lessons you taught me. I shall forever be your student.
Around the world and back again~

Monday, September 26, 2011


Dearest Trick~
I feel like I have been striped naked for the world to see. I dread that at times I was able to hide behind my clothes of life. I was able to hide behind the label of being a special ed teacher, the task of being a wife, the luxury of being a friend. I feared being undressed. I dared not to look in the mirror, as I disliked what I saw. I covered my body. I covered my feelings. I covered my fears. I covered anything and everything that made me have to be naked both physically and emotionally. 
Now I am tossed out into the universe, undressed, uncovered, open for the world to stare at. In a way that is what being a widow feels like.  All of my stretch marks of life are there to be viewed. The ones that came from eating too much and the ones that came from the hardships of carrying the load as we buried not one or two, but three of our parents. The cellulite on the back of my thighs that came from the pain of not being able to have children. The rolls on my tummy that were created by the ups and downs and ins and outs of life we all must take. I hid this. I painted a picture of being strong and happy even when I crawled  in my own skin. And now I can’t hide, I can’t pretend that tomorrow will be a better day. I can’t diet my way to a better life. I can’t cover this pain in am XL black shirt. I AM NAKED! I am here and you are not. I am hurting and no one really understands. I am vulnerable and sad. I am exposed for all to see.
I am trying to learn that being naked is ok. I am trying to be comfortable in my own skin, in this new life I have been tossed into. I am learning that pain is part of emerging into this life, this new person. And so I have to stand here for the world see ~ NAKED, stripped of all that I was. 
I guess that being naked is being your authentic self. You can’t hide behind what you want others to view you as. I am real, all of me ~ the good, the bad, the ugly, the special, the unique, all of it. In this undressed new life I have, I see in the mirror what you saw. I see the woman that you loved, all of her. And it is scary, but it is me. Here I am naked~ here I am without you. How did this all happen? How do I hold my head high? I miss you.
~ Around the world and back again

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Dinner for one

Dearest Trick~
It is no fun making dinner for one. Meals are more than just food. They are a time to reflect on the day, a time to feed the soul, a time to share of yourself, a time to listen, a time to talk, a time to be part of more than just what enters our mouths. Something that we all do ~ dinner. Something that for so long I took for granted. Yes, I know that often with opposite schedules we did not get to eat those meals of life together. But when we did ~ it was magical. I thought I put on a pedestal the chances we had cook our lives, sauté our ideas and simmer our experiences. But now I realize that I did take it all for granted as I thought the opportunity to have such “meals of life” was endless!
How hard it is to pull out pots and pans, to chop and mix for just me. It seems useless to do all that “work” for one. Food lacks to taste good anymore. I find myself eating what is needed, what is easy. The art of creating meals has lost its appeal. But I find that in the weird moments when I enjoy being in the kitchen you are with me. I hear your voice in the bubbling of water, I hear your laugh in the sizzling of oil. I miss you. I miss wanting to eat ~ wanting to feed all of who I am,  I miss feeding YOU. 
Around the world and back again~

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


Dear Trick~
There is no GPS to being a young widow. There is no map to tell me how to navigate through this hell I seem to call my life. I desperately want to hear that annoying woman's voice saying, "turn left at the pain and go 300 miles~ turn right and cry for 10 days." It is so hard being LOST in all of this. It is like I am wandering with no destination and no idea where I might be heading.

It is beyond scary not to know at all what life might be like. I know that at some point this sharp pain will lessen but I have no guide to tell me when that will be. How "should" a widow act? What things "should" I be doing? How do I fill out all the paperwork? How do I not take personally that fact that I am now called MS. and not MRS? There is no GPS for this, and I really want one. You know that I was never good with directions. Prior to having a talk voice coming from a box on the dash of our car, you always did dry runs with me when I needed to go somewhere new. It is so hard because there is no planing for this, there is no dry run when you lose someone as wonderful as you so suddenly. You were always amazing with maps. You collected them, loved reading them. Hey, you could find your way around Spain and France when we traveled and those maps were not in English. You amazed me with your ability to FIND YOUR WAY in life. I dread that I am lost. I am traveling with no map, no directions, no destination and most of all~ with no YOU.

Travel, leads to growth. You always taught me that. And so, I am trying to see the growth in this adventure I am taking. I am trying to not panic when I am lost in a sea of confusion. I am trying to be okay with not being able to take out a map to find my way home. I guess what makes it hard is that home is where the heart is ~ so my home is with you. I might not know where to turn, what roads to take, or where I will end up. But, I know that you are watching over me, proud of each step I make in a new direction. That gives me the strength to venture on in the dark hours, in the rain, in the storm we call widowhood. It would be easier if I had a talking woman on the dash board of life telling me what to do and where to go. But, a GPS, a map, directions... none of it exists. So I move forward each day unsure of where the day will lead me. I dance in the fear and swim in the pain. The road may be hard, but I am on it. If you could send a sign, some directions, I would gladly accept them. Since I know that can't be ~ I keep trucking, I keep moving, I keep loving you!
Around the world and back again~

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


Dearest Trick~
Friends, it is the thing I think you can't live without. You were beyond my other half, you were my best friend. You know what that is ~ the person you share all your secrets with. The one who knows all your dreams, even the silly ones that will never come to pass. The one who lacks to judge you when you laugh and pee at the same time (okay and snort as well). The one who holds your hair back when you are sick. The one who stays up all night and listens to you cry when your heart is broken. The one who loves things you love just because you love it. The one who makes you stronger and lets you be weak when needed. The one who is there for you in your darkest hours. The one who pumps you up and deflates you when you are a little too full of yourself. The one who will travel endless hours just to sit in a dive diner with you and drink really bad coffee. The one who will laugh with you ENDLESSLY.

Now is when I need friends the most. I think that as humans we all need that connection. How lucky we were to have had such wonderful people in our lives that we get to call friends (even those that are technically family). And you being the greatest friend I ever had, you made sure that my true friends were there ~ in their own ways, playing their own roles to help me through this. I want you to not worry about me as my "friends" are helping me in their own special ways to navigate this new world I live in, to make it through this pain I feel right now.

I have friends that show their support by being on the phone daily with me. Always there any hour of the day to listen to me. I am blessed that they also share about themselves as they do not want me to be consumed by this pain I live in. I have friends that show their support by sending unexpected packages in the mail ~ always bringing a smile to my face when needed. I have friends that show support by writing e-mails or posting on Facebook. I have friends that live across the the hallway and make sure I get out of bed each day by giving me the task of making smoothies for them. Such a simple thing, but important as it makes me feel that I am still NEEDED daily. I have friends that have shown their support by not calling, or writing or reaching out at all. The fact that the loss of you is too painful to them reminds me how lucky I was to have had almost 11 years with you. Some show there support by opening their doors and hearts, by sharing their bedrooms and living rooms and kitchens with me. And some have supported me so much that they have told me the truth even when it hurts. They have walked me into the deep end of this pool of pain, but assured me that they will be there with open arms when I climb out. Some have made me laugh in this darkness and reminded me that it is okay to do so. Some have come out of the woodwork. People I have not spoken to or heard from in years, there for me with a kind word or a silent smile. Some have shown support by bringing me outdoors, sharing the sunrise, the sunset, a walk or a hike ~ reconnecting me with the earth. Some have shared stories and tears to show their support. Some have kept things the same even when they are completely different like Sunday talks even when we are in different states.

To live we need food, shelter, air, water but I have learned that most of all we need LOVE. We need other humans to touch us , to wrap their arms around our beings, to wrap their love around our souls. Although I lack to have you here, my friends have shown me love that I never knew could be. I am so grateful that this world is filled with such wonderful people and that I get to have them in my life. I miss you my BEST friend ~ but I am supported, I am okay (even when I am falling apart), I am loved.
Around the world and back again

Thursday, September 15, 2011

5 Years

Dearest Trick~
In therapy the other day (yes I go all the time ~ how else could I navigate this world without you) I was asked where I see myself in 5 years. That question was like a slow motion car crash you see in the movies. You know the ones where the whole audience is screaming "watch out" "hit the brakes" "swerve left"...
I crashed into the brick wall I call life. I had no answer. I know you wish I had no answer for a ton of  things while you were here and now that you are gone ~ I am without words.

Where am I going to be. What could I possible dream of. The past few days it has danced and tumbled in my mind. Hard as I might, I can't seem to picture anything. Me, the queen of planning, the artist of dreaming has lost her skills to do so. How does one picture a life when life is not at all as one pictured? How can I even think about dreaming when all my dreams have always lead to you. And I do mean ALWAYS! Even as a little girl I had a thing for red heads. I would take sheets and drape them over me and pretend to be a bride. I never had a picture of the man ~ the knight in shinning armor (or in your case the knight in shinning duck tape) but I knew what he would be like. He would be tall and kind, he would make me laugh and laugh with me. He would be smart but silly, a grown up with the eyes of a child. He would see the good in me and I would adore all of him. Yup, I married that man I dreamed of as a small child. I got to wear a white dress and dance in his arms.

If someone asked me 5 months ago where I would be in 5 years, I could give a detailed list. It would include a child and a house, maybe a published book or two or three, and most all at the top of the list would be YOU. Now, nothing. So for a few days now I have sat in the pain. I have sat in my thoughts. I guess for the the first time in life it might be okay to not know where tomorrow leads me. I have to be at peace with that. I am not sure where I will be in 5 years. I am not sure what dreams I may have between now and then. But one thing is for sure, you will still be with me in my heart! Be it 5 years, 10 years, 50 years ~ you will always be the man of my dreams. I love you.
Around the world and back again!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Thank you

Dearest Trick~
Thank you for seeing the real me. Thank you for teaching me how to laugh at myself. Thank you for showing me that there is a difference between Star Trek and Star Wars. Thank you for making a home with me. Thank you for holding my hand in the darkness. Thank you for baking many, many, many birthday cakes. Thank you for reminding me that no matter how old we get~ we should always PLAY! Thank you for sharing your heart. Thank you for being one of those crazy "city bikers" that weave in between cars that use to drive me nuts. Thank you for grabbing me and dancing in the kitchen when ever life needed the pause button hit. Thank you for supporting every diet I was ever on. Thank you for loving me even when I wasn't on one. Thank you for dreaming of being more then just "us". Thank you for adopting Norm the wonder dog with me. Thank you for seeing me as smart when I lacked to. Thank you for laughing at me each and every Halloween because I am so irrational about monsters and the boggie man. Thank you for crying and letting your pain show. Thank you for the endless 'waiting stories' you told after a shift at the restaurant.  Thank you for always having a sparkle in your eyes when even the word Spiderman was mentioned. Thank you for always appreciating the little things I did for you. Thank you for marrying me!!!!!! Thank you for understanding my choice in jobs and supporting me even on the hard days. Thank you for helping me grade papers on late nights. Thank you for snowball fights and walks in the rain. Thank you for making a trip to the library an adventure. Thank you for finally teaching me how to sorta read a map. Thank you for always driving. Thank you for making my love for camping a passion. Thank you for always pushing me to grow. Thank you for hosting Thanksgiving each year and cooking the BEST pies ever! Thank you for being the best part of who I am. Thank you for 'meat and potatoes' as your attempt to get my VERY long stories shorter ~ it never worked you know. Thank you for listening to those stories again and again and again and always smiling. Thank you for flowers brought home for no reason at all. Thank you for never growing up, but staying that 12 year old kid reading comics.

Thank you for telling me what you wanted if ever we should have to grace the earth with out one another. Thank you for celebrating our love every day. Thank you for the love notes you left on the board in the kitchen as they are now etched on my soul. Thank you for your last words (not sound) being "I love you Ali". Thank you for somehow giving me the strength to get out of bed each day. Thank you for being the sun that now shines on my face. Thank you for the music I no longer hear from your trombone but the birds that you send in my direction. Thank you for giving me so many funny memories that when the pain becomes much to hard to handle I can think of those times and laugh. Thank you for making a mark on my heart. Thank you for loving me ~ all of me as I am. Thank you for showing me how to love myself. Thank you for holding on until others got to the hospital so I would not be alone. Thank you for watching over me. Thank you for still making me smile just by thinking about you. Thank you my love for all the amazing years we go together! Thank you for being YOU! Thank you for giving me the greatest person in the world to miss!!!!!!
Around the world and back again~

Saturday, September 10, 2011

baby steps

Dearest Trick~
 It is funny how baby steps can add up to giant leaps! Each day I take more baby steps to healing. I find a way to put one foot in front of the other. And when it all is added together I have leaped into new levels of growth. I would being lying if I said any of this is easy. It is beyond hard! Yet each day I take a step, and each day I grow.

I never thought "walking" could be so difficult. It is an action I have done every day of MY life since I was little. But now I long for a time when I needed to be carried. That is not an option for me, thus I take baby steps. One step at a time, balancing the hardship of losing you with the reality of being on my own.

I take baby steps when our doggie doesn't want to leave the front door because he is waiting for you to come in. I take baby steps when I answer a call dealing with bills in regards to you. I take baby steps when I get on a plane to go to events (like the wedding I will journey to next week). I take baby steps when I go to therapy. I take baby steps when I truly look in the mirror and find the face of the woman you married looking back at me. I take baby steps when I forgive those who have not or can not be there for me right now. I take baby steps when I accept that for the first time in my life it is okay for me to be a little (and I mean only a little) self centered. I take baby steps when I climb into an empty bed knowing it shall never be filled with you. I take baby steps when I listen to other peoples issues and walk away from my pain for a moment. I take baby steps when I allow myself the chance to laugh. I take baby steps when I cry from the deepest core of my being. I take baby steps when I let others in. I take baby steps when I let my guard down and trust that not everyone will leave, will die, will hurt my soul.

And then time comes. You blink and the days and hours have added into weeks and months. And all the baby steps have added into leaps of growth. I have leaped into strength I never thought I had. I have leaped into a woman you would  be proud of. I have leaped into a person who is learning to stand up for herself, knowing I deserve the best and not settling for less then that. I have leaped into the "Ali" you always saw in me.

All the steps and the leaps ~ all of them are hard and heartbreaking. This "walking" sucks because you cannot walk with me. I loved walking with you at my side. I loved the footprints of life that we were able to make as a couple. Now I step alone, I leap solo and walk by myself. But all I have to do is close my eyes and you are there cheering me on as I WALK into this new life. I miss you and hope that you are able to walk in heaven in peace.
Around the world and back again~

Friday, September 9, 2011


Dearest Trick~
Floaties~ you know that water wings that kids wear in the pool~ I wanted to thank you for the pair you metaphorically put on my arms the day you left this earth. You see my love, for months now I have been treading water. I am exhausted to an extent that there lacks to be words to express. Each part of my body, spirit and soul hurts and longs for true sleep. I am in the deep end, I am treading and trying not to go under. The ladder to the pool of life seems very far away. At times when life tosses a big cannonball of a person into the water, I fear I will drown. It is true at times I have swallowed water. I have gasped for breath because the pain of you not being here is so great. I have gotten "Charlie horse" and leg cramps from trying to just function each day without going under.

But drown, that will never happen! You being the awesome person you are~ you gave me floaties before you left. Not the cheap orange ones you get at the dollar store. Nope you went all out. You went to the pool supply and got my really cute white ones with tropical fish on them and purple insides. And yes they are tight and maybe a little too small. And due to that I have pain, I need that pain ~ the pain of you not being here with me. But, I know that I will always be able to float. No matter how big the waves, how hard the lesson, how rough the waters ~ your love for me, your belief in who I am and my strength, well it keeps me treading, it keeps me breathing, it keeps me swimming in the deep end.

I know one day I will make it to the ladder and climb out of this pool of pain. I know I will emerge a stronger woman ~ a stronger swimmer. I know that I will feel the warmth of the sun as it finally dries my skin. But today is not that day. Tomorrow might not be either. And that my love is okay. I will swim in this pain. I will gasp for memories of you. I will float on our love. I guess the biggest thing I have learned  in these past few months is that we all can float no matter how much our soul aches. We all can be overwhelmed by the waters of life but have the skills to rise. I long for the raft to come and help me to the side, help me to the ladder. But you see no one can fix this. No one can heal me or save me. So there is no raft. I must tread alone and when I am lucky a friend can swim by and keep me company as I learn new strokes.

Thank you for the floaties. Thank you for the knowledge that even in my darkest moments you have given  me the skills and strength to survive! I am honored that my water wings of life have come from you!
Around the world and back again~

Sunday, September 4, 2011

The Pain

Dearest Trick~
I fear I never really knew what pain was. Sure I have had pain in my life,
 but nothing comes close to this.
 How does one put this type of pain in words??
 It is like having a million paper cuts and every minute of everyday being covered in salt
 and then having it rubbed in hard.
 It is like being in the deep end of the pool and you can't swim.
 It is like running from the bad guy in a horror movie and you can't scream and there
 lacks to be an end to the movie.
 It is like not being able to breathe for long periods of time, and when you
 finally get a gasp of air the world punches you in the gut. It is like being lost with no water 
or food and you are starving to death. It is like walking on two broken legs that never have 
been able to heal. It is like having every hair in your head slowly
pulled out one by one. And all of this would be easy compared to the pain that must be
 endured living in a world without 

When I held you that last time in the hospital no one told me that I was about to walk 
into the worst pain. No one said a 
girl who has so many words (like I do) would never be able to express what this pain is like.
 And so I dance in the pain as it
is needed in order for me to grow. I let it in as I know I must feel it in order to still feel you.
 I can only pray that you 
are no longer in pain. And one day when we meet again this pain will seem so long ago and so simple. 
Around the world and back again~


Dearest Trick~
 You know you married a powerful woman!!! You reminded me of that all the time. And yes I no longer have you here to remind me, but somehow in the darkest of hours ~ I hear your voice. I have the power to navigate through this grief in MY way. It is funny how everyone has an image of what my grief should look like, how I should act. I am dealing with this one step at a time one day at a time with POWER. I have the power to not let others and their issues affect who I am. I dread to say that I was for the past few months, but today is a new day and a new chance to be in touch with the powerful person that you married.

I have the power to navigate the world alone. I must admit that this fact has scared me. But I can float through the rough waves and swim in the still water of life solo when needed. Yes, it would be easier having others there with me. Swimming alone is not always fun. But there is power in the loneliness and truth in the fear. When I get the chance to enjoy a moment around others that is truly honest and kind I am thankful for the power within to be able to hold on to those moments until the next one comes around.

At a time when the whole world sees me as weak, when it is expected and accepted as a fact ~ I feel YOU cheering me on, reminding me of the power that lives inside my soul. I might have slipped back to old ways, to being the person who says YES to everyone and SORRY for things that lack to be in my control. I know I have spent a long time letting that part of me go. But I have the POWER to go back to who I am , to stand up for myself, to walk away from those that hurt me, to embrace those that are kind, and to go through this journey of grief MY WAY with out judgement. I continue to celebrate you and the love we shared.

I will always be your powerful wife!
Around the world and back again~

Saturday, September 3, 2011


Dearest Trick~
I am alone all the time. It is the single thing I find the hardest about all of this. The unending pain of not having you here always seems to rear its ugly head when I think about how endlessly alone I really am. I am alone when I walk the dog. I am alone when I unpack our things. I am alone when I pay the bills. I am alone when I go to the store. I am alone when I watch TV. I am alone when go to bed. I am alone when I eat a meal. I am alone when I travel.... All of these are alone times that I can work through. They are a part of my life and as I am learning a part of many peoples lives.

What is hard is being alone for the following and know you will NEVER be here with me for them~
I am alone when I dream. I am alone when I hope. I am alone when I dance in the sunlight. I am alone when the rain pounds on my soul. I am alone when I start a new journey. I am alone when I have a nightmare. I am alone when I think of the future. I am alone when I laugh deep from within. I am alone when I cry. I am alone when I try something new that is scary. I am alone when I have an idea. I am alone when I think of YOU.

The word dislike will never encompass how hard it is to truly be alone. There can be a million people around me and without you here ~ well I am alone. Missing you more than you know.
Around the world and back again~