Monday, October 31, 2011

The Path

Dearest Trick ~
In life we do not always have choices when it comes to the paths we are thrust upon.  I did not decide to be on the trail of widowhood, as I would guess no one ever would. But, my love, we always have options on how we walk down the paths of life.
We can crawl and complain about the hardships of the unevenly paved road. We can skip and hop among the weeds growing in the cracks of our journey. We can run fast eager to get to the next bend, unaware of the beauty that surrounds us in the expedition. We can walk softly taking in each breath, each moment. We can step hard and leave marks, “footsteps” for those that might come behind us. We can dance unaware of the pebbles and holes in the trail. We can sit and refuse to move not acknowledging the fact that the path will not change.  We can be in a daze and stumble until we reach the next fork in the road. There are many ways we can travel down the path of life. How we travel, how we perceive this journey on earth, how we take it all in or ignore it all ~ that is the choice, that is what makes us unique and special.

So here I am on a road I never pictured. The ground is uneven as life can be unfair at times. There are many potholes (hardships) that I can see behind me and in the journey ahead. The question lies in IF I focus on the holes or if I see that this pain, this hardship, this journey, creates growth and memories that will one day comfort me. I walk carefully as to not trip on the potholes of life, but still willing to step on the cracks in this adventure. I am willing to take the pain that this quest has thrust in my direction. Yet I refuse to stop and sit for too long. When I sit, I find it a time to be covered in the shade of friendship, in the rest of the burden of the trail I am on. I walk! I walk with my head held high. I walk with my eyes fixed on the horizon but aware of the path behind me. The road of life can be hard. The surroundings are not always beautiful butterflies and flowers. At times the trees lack to have fruit to eat. But, to focus just on that, to sit and look only at what lacks to be on this road ~ it is not me, it is not what I want out of the adventure we call life.

As humans we all too often think only about how rough our days are. We only focus on our problems and tend to blow them out of proportion. I need to step away from that type of thought. I think if everyone stopped for a moment and realized that the rain on their journey will help the flowers grow at some point, that the unpaved path is an adventure not a hardship~ maybe we all would be a little happier, a little more peaceful, and little more complete. I WALK! I walk in the sun as you shine down on me. I walk in the storms that life has tossed my way. I walk in the cool morning breeze that kisses my face as you once did. I walk in the fear of not knowing where this road leads. I walk! I walk and look at the birds nesting reminding me that life does go on. I walk past the fossils etched into the rocks letting me know that many have come before me and many will come after me. I walk knowing that never do I need to totally walk alone. All I ever need to do is close my eyes and you walk with me! And so I walk on, each step hard but earned, each mile creating a new version of ME. Memories of you soften the journey.
Around the world and back again~

Saturday, October 29, 2011

1/2 year

Dearest Trick~
A half of a year~ 6 months, so much can happen in that time. In the length of time since you have been gone babies have gone from bellies into the world. Children have gone from crawling to walking. Teens have gone from asking parents for a ride to driving them. Friends have gone from single to living with a partner. People have picked up new hobbies and mastered them. A semester of education has been completed for some who are in school. Friends have trained and ran a marathon.  New houses were found, bid on, bought and moved into. Friends went form engaged to married. People have moved states and moved their lives in positive directions.  New lives were created. The list goes on and on.

In the 6 months I HAVE ~ learned to breath through the pain, walk with no hand to hold, travel alone, pay the bills and TRY to balance a check book. I have moved to a new state, slept in a bed that lacks to bring rest, and climbed many mountains. I have thrown myself into therapy, bent my body like a pretzel in yoga, cared for our dog, unpacked your things. I have seen a new person in the mirror, cried an endless amount of tears, laughed over memories and explored new places. I have taken RISKS, shared my heart, exposed my soul, and undressed my feeling for all to see. In ½ year I have GROWN against my will, but did it.

They say that time heals everything. I beg to differ. Today I find to be harder then last month or the month before. This milestone seems unreal and it pulls you further from me. How did I survive this long? How is it that each day I find the strength to go on? Then I close my eyes and realize that it is so simple ~ YOU. I have made the growth I have because I have YOU and your spirit holding on to me, supporting me when I want to fall. I have YOU and memories of your laughter to make me smile through the pain. I have YOU leading me to the help and support I need to get through this ~ through the loss of the best person I know.

So be it 6 months, 6 years, 6 decades ~ I will ALWAYS love you!
Around the world and back again~

Friday, October 28, 2011


Dearest Trick~
The smell of your warm oatmeal and chocolate chip cookies with a touch of cinnamon wafting through the air has been erased from my nose but not from my mind. There is this art in remembering a person, a place, at memory due to a smell. Fried chicken always brings my mind back to childhood and Jimmy who cared for me and left for heaven when I was VERY young. Este Lauder perfume brings the hairs of my arms up as memories of Grammy run through my head. Lilly of the valley mixed with sunscreen makes me giggle as my mom dances in the deep place I hold for just her in my heart and mind. And yesterday I smelled YOU!

I recently unpacked a box that had your toiletries in it. I could not toss the items out but found myself placing them softly where they always belonged. Next to my body wash I placed yours. Next to my shampoo I rested your shave cream, positioned your razor next to mine. For a moment it was as it always has been ~ our scents side by side.  It felt right, it felt real; it felt like a little piece of home was back.

Yesterday as I tossed off my clothes and let the water dance on my skin I picked up YOU. I opened your soap and inhaled memories. I breathed in the time when I jumped into the shower just to hug you with ALL my clothes on.  I found your body wash filling my puff and instantly you were there. The smell of you poured millions of memories into my soul. Here I was with conditioner running into my eyes and YOU was all I felt, all I saw, all I needed, all I smelled.

It was easy to dance through the rough waters of my days when you are on the nose and mind. It was as if my olfactory glans opened my heart to letting you walk with me. I know I will never be able to walk TO you again, but how wonderful it feels to know you walk beside me. The mix of Suave and shave cream softly covered my body as a blanket of snow covers the ground. Each step yesterday was somehow softened because you were with me. How simple a thing ~ a smell ~ can rearrange the concept of a day.

And so I inhale~ I inhale the new challenges before me. I inhale the fear and the excitement of new journeys. I inhale the memories of the past. I inhale laughter and joy. I inhale your smile, your voice, and your words that are etched on my being. I inhale strength. I inhale the essence of who WE were and who I now have to be. I inhale it all. It is funny how smells can bring us back. How they can bring a smile to our face and a tear to our eyes. I embrace the scent of your life. I grip the smell of your dreams and the aroma of the life you never got to finish out. So I walk with your smell on my skin and I know what my job is~ to step kindly, live fully, and make you proud.
Around the world and back again~

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Dearest Trick~
Slumber, rest, sleep, snooze, recharging,  siesta, doze, forty winks, nap… these words are just words ~ they lack to be apart of my daily life. Mr. Sandman please bring me a dream!!!!! The bed seems hopelessly large. I find myself rolling in to the center and surrounding myself with pillows. I do this in hopes that maybe I will not feel the empty space, the place where you belong. I lay there staring at the ceiling hoping that sleep will for a moment alleviate this pain. That slumber would soften the hurt that physically lives in the muscles of my life.

For almost 6 months I have fought to get rest. I have begged to for a moment not be “in” this hurt, this awake state of truth. And last night as the minutes turned into hours, in the darkness of the early morning, in the exhaustion of life ~ I felt hope. I have come to realize that I do not need to fight the fatigue of the world I live in. That at night I can “dream”, be it a daydream or “night dream” if we should be technical. And in that moment I came to understand that this is the hours WE can share! This time that I beat myself up, when I replay the horror of the last moments of your time on earth, the time that I normally let my vulnerability and fears of being alone forever encompass me, it is in those moments, those hours that I can be with you! I can talk aloud and I am sure you will hear me. I can remember the magical moments that have become a part of my past. I can replay the wonderful advice you have instilled in me over our amazing years together. I can cry to YOU and tell you how I feel. I can revisit you in the silence of the early hours and dance in your arms once again. Instead of fighting my mind, I can let it float to a time when you and I were one.

My world shifted last night. I now can embrace the insomnia of widowhood. I shall slip on a comfy nighty, roll into the center of the bed, fluff the pillows, turn out the lights, and share my day ~ my thoughts~ my pain ~ my growth~ my LOVE with you. Looking forward to seeing you tonight!
Around the world and back again~

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Authentic Self

 Dearest Trick~
I think that most of us go through life not sure of who we are. It is hard finding your authentic self and being true to it. But here I find myself ~ given this hard gift you have blessed me with. This opportunity for all the labels, all the things I and others identify me AS pulled away, and what is left behind is authentically, truly, totally WHO I am!  It is scary and uncharted territory ~ this search for self.  As humans we think we are what we do, what we have, what roles we play. For years if someone asked about who I was I am sure the fact that I taught rough inner city special education would be the first thing out of their mouth.  I played the part of teacher. It is gone from my life. What is left is me! I must admit I am really finding out who ME really is for the first time.

I thought that who I was came simply from the fact that I did a great job at my choice of career, that I WAS the person who was this great wife of the ultimate nerd. I thought my actions as your wife made up who I was. This is not true. Most of us spend our entire lives wanting MORE, fighting for the promotion, climbing the ladder, jealous of another, creating more clutter, visualizing bigger and better toys and items. It is as if these THINGS we own justify who and what we are. How inappropriate of a thought that actually is.

Your death tore off of me all the labels and identifiers I always associated with my concept of SELF. My endless dream of becoming a mother and sharing parenthood with the most amazing man I knew instantly disappeared. This concept of a role I saw myself in my whole life (since childhood) vanished in a blink of an eye and the end beep of a machine. The label of being a good and supportive wife, this thing I was so completely proud of ~ well poof it was dismissed into the universe as well. For so many years WHO I thought I was closely related to being part of this duo. When your lungs no longer took in air, when your incredible mind ceased to create thought~ in that second I became lost. I could not even fathom the thought of returning to the classroom at this horrible point in my life. And so this image I painted of myself as this strong unbreakable teacher was taken off my soul, like a winter jacket hung up in the spring~ I hung up who most saw me as.  What was left in that hospital room was the shell (the body) that held the greatest spirit I ever knew (YOU), and the shell of a woman I was unsure of.

You might have been the only person I have met thus far that was authentically YOU. Never did you introduce yourself as what you did for a living or what you dreamed of doing for a living. Age did not hold hostage your choice to be true to yourself and play with toys until your last days. Where you came from never created a picture for others to pain you in. You were 100% YOU!!!! Trick, you had this astonishing ability to be aware of yourself and true to it. I have always admired that.

SO now no longer a teacher, a wife, a want –to be- parent, no longer much of anything ~ I find my EVERYTHING. I see WHO I really am when I look in the mirror. I understand my opinions because they now are formed from deep within me. My ego is in check and I am aware of it. The ego can no long control how I feel about others or myself. What a hard but amazing present I received from you. You forced me (due to your death) to sit in silence and HEAR my spirit ~ listen to it, and acknowledge it. I hope for my friends, for family, hell, for the whole world to be able to see and hear their authentic self prior to the loss of everything ~ the loss of their loved one. I hope that when I get ready to join you in heaven (many, many, many years from now) I will look back and say that from age 35 on I was 100% authentically ME. Missing YOU from the depths of my true self.
Around the world and back again~

Friday, October 21, 2011


Dearest Trick~
A friend once told me that expectations are our way of imposing disappointment and our wants on another. Yet, as humans we all have expectations. I am slowly learning that mine cause pain that lacks to be needed. I have these expectations that everyone would know what to do, how to act, how to make ME feel better. But, how could that be if I do not know what I need or how to feel.  We all have these unique roles in life, our relationships with others. My role has always been the “giver”.  So now I have this expectation of myself as the “taker” and my dear ~ that does NOT work.

My life STOPPED but others, their worlds continued to spin. It has been so hard since I had this expectation that all my friends would rally around and “fix” me. How can one fix something that is broken beyond repair? My expectations have set me up for disappointment. Of course life goes on. Of course my friends go back to their jobs, their daily lives, their families. I am sure that from time to time I pop into their heads. I know that there must be moments that you float into their mind as well. Yet, they live. They lack to know what to say, what to do, how to act. How can I have ANY expectations of anyone when I do not have the faintest idea on what I need, what I want, or how I want it?

It is funny how my life has been since you left for heaven. I had this expectation that the love, support, strength that overflowed at your “celebration” would be what I would have all the time. How unrealistic is that?! But I went from a funeral where over 700 people attended to sitting solo in an apartment in a strange state in a unfamiliar new world. Truth be told my mailbox did not overflow with cards ~ babe I got 7… yes 7 condolence cards. No, meals have not been made for me and people expect ME to come to them not the other way around. I let this hurt me. I let the moments when I call everyone on speed dial and no one answers serve as a sign. A sign about how alone I really am. But that is forced expectations that should not LIVE in my world. I should embrace the rare moments that the phone does ring. I should enjoy the random package that shows up at my door from time to time. I should clasp the love that is expressed via social media, as this is how society supports one another these days. I should release the expectations!

And so I am! I have NO expectations of anyone because I am not yet sure what expectations I have of myself. I am honoring the kindness (however big or small it may be) from those that reach out. I am doing the one thing I know YOU expect from me~ I inhale and I exhale. And then I repeat! Expectations are such a silly thing that we enforce on our souls. How much softer my heart is now that I understand that. I had these expectations of you… and I must say you far surpassed them! I expected you to be happy ~ no one laughed as loudly and brightly as you. I expected you to follow your dreams~ no one embraced even the smallest of roles like you did. I expected you to be honest~ the only time you ever told a fib was when you were trying to set up a surprise party for me (so impressive)! I expected you to live life to the fullest~ you did until your very last breath! The only expectation I ever had for you is why I can no longer have expectations for anyone ever again~ I expected you to grow OLD with me!!!

And so I close with love and HOPES (not expectations) that you are in peace.
Around the world and back again~