Snow days have never been completely straightforward for me. I, of course, like many others, envision the whole family home enjoying the day together. I guess that’s what I remember from childhood.
Adulthood was different. Starting with college, living on-campus, in a very snowy area, they truly did not exist. For most storms, with the occasional exception, life went on as usual.
Alex and I braved our share of snow storms together. Some were exactly that, we were both home, shoveling, playing in the snow, hibernating in the house, together. Others were not. One of the scariest days of my life was a winter night. We were living in Delaware and he still worked in New Jersey. The storm began, and there was no word on whether he’d have to work the next day. It was a Sunday afternoon, and he decided to pack up and start heading north. I was LIVID. I was SURE work would close. But he didn’t want to risk it. On a normal day, he would be heading up the next morning, and returning for for a few hours the following evening. What normally would be a two hour drive, would turn into a nightmare. I was mad at the weather! We had limited time together already, and now it was taking away almost half of our weekend. Still, he had to get to work.
The drive was a nightmare in his tiny car. He slid, he got stuck, he drove very slowly up major highways with limited visibility. Finally, the car was stuck for good. He grabbed his bags, and WALKED the rest of the way. (Thankfully only a few miles.) I spent hours upon hours pacing waiting to hear he made it somewhere safe. He did. Work closed. And he was trapped, in NJ, in a storm, for the next few DAYS. He could have spent those days trapped with ME.
He’s been gone five years now and I have adapted to being on my own. I have had times of braving the storm to go to work, and days where I have been lucky to stay home. While it used to bother me immensely to be “trapped” home, it doesn’t so much anymore.
Yesterday, it was clear that a storm was coming and it was likely schools would be closed. I prepared myself for the day(s) ahead. I’d be home, with Lex, hoping not to deal with too much shoveling, or the thought of setting up my generator alone.
My other half does not live here. Already our typical night together was cut short due to planning childcare for the next day. It was really starting to weigh on me that we’d be “trapped” in separate houses dealing with the storm. It frustrated me that it could mean we wouldn’t see each other today, and even possibly tomorrow. It annoyed me that I would be dealing with the storm myself. Stupid weather!
And then it hit me. In the scheme of things, it’s no big deal. I know how to do this myself. I’m not going to complain about Alexa and I home watching the snow together. It is what it is. The storm will be what it will be. And I’m just going to go with it.
1. “He’s in a better place.”
Really? Is He? Are you sure? Why is that “place” better than here with me? Either way, I’m NOT in a better place! And you’re probably the same person that actually thinks he’s in Hell!
2. “I understand how you feel.” / “I feel the same way”
But do you? I really don’t think you do. Have you lost your husband? At 28? To suicide? Even if you have, do you have the same feelings about it? Did you have the same relationship? Do you have the same life I do? Do you have a baby? Is it EXACTLY the same.. NOPE. You’re not me. No matter what, your feelings are YOURS and no one can fully understand.
3. “You’re young. You’ll remarry.”
Will I? Do you know that for sure? Does it even matter right now? So I shouldn’t grieve this one because I can just go out and replace him?
4. “It could be worse.”
Really? How? Fine… maybe it could be, but does that mean this doesn’t SUCK ASS?!
5. “At least…” (anything) / “Be thankful that…”
No.. just no… none of that is helpful.
6. “It’s God’s plan.” / “God will protect you.”
Oh! That makes it okay? Some invisible man in the sky decided to destroy my life so I’m just supposed to be cool with it? How do you know if I believe in God. Why will “he” protect me but didn’t protect him? Keep it to yourself.
7. “He wouldn’t want you to…” / “He wanted this.”
I don’t really care what he wants. Right now, it’s about what I want! / Do you really think HE wanted to die? The logical, happy, stable side of him did NOT. I can assure you. And even if he did, I DIDN’T. Does that mean I shouldn’t grieve?!
8. “Life goes on.”
Yeah no shit… yours will go on just fine. Mine has to be rebuilt.
9. “Everything happens for a reason.”
While I do believe this, I don’t want to hear it! I’ll NEVER find a good reason for someone to die that young.
10. Any complaint about YOUR husband.
Shut up!! Screw the toilet seat being up. Screw that he’s at work at night. Whatever the stupid complaint is. Furthermore, I don’t want to see two people fighting over who changes the next diaper. I CHANGED THEM ALL.
Seriously.. just listen to them. Remind them that you’re there. Check in (without asking how they’re doing.) Hug them. Cry with them. Validate that this really sucks. Include them in things but understand if they choose not to join. Show up with food. Help them with day to day tasks. Remind them they are loved. Just be a friend.
What a month it has been!!! The proof arrived, I made a few adjustments and finally at about 2am, I approved it. I knew I’d be chomping at the bit waiting the 2-3 days until it went live on Amazon. Out of curiosity, when I woke up that morning, I went right to Amazon and there it was! It was already available for purchase! My heart was jumping for joy. It wasn’t until later in the day that I realized that it was exactly 5 years, to the day, that the blog began. It was just meant to be that day. Within 36 hours, it made it to number 14 in its category. That’s a bestseller! Wow! I never in my wildest dreams expected anything like that.
The outpouring of support has left me speechless. Just like in the early days of the blog, people are constantly reaching out to me to tell me how they relate, and how my story is helping. It’s happening! It grew! I hope it continues to make a difference.
It feels as though my journey has come full circle. It went from encouraging my survival, helping me hang onto whatever sanity I had left, to thriving, to now having the opportunity to help others. Everything I’d hoped for, came true. I said from the beginning that I wanted to make the trauma I had been handed mean something. I wanted to take tragedy and turn it into something positive. I’m doing it.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for supporting me. I plan to keep writing, keep encouraging, and keep making a difference.
I finally got to hold my book in my hands and read through it!!!! It’s so exciting that I have no words. Few more tweaks and it’ll be ready to go in the next couple of days!!! I’m taking pre-orders up until I place the final big order. It could be as soon as tomorrow night! Ahh!
Once it’s done, it’ll be released for purchase on Amazon. This journey has been amazing but I can’t wait to be done!
Today, I watched another family say goodbye to someone else lost way too soon. I struggled with the decision to allow my daughter to say goodbye to a teacher she loved. She was faced with the death of her father way too early in life, and it became a normal part of her world. I strongly believe in allowing her to learn, understand and grieve as she chooses. I believe death is a part of life and won’t hide that from her. I agreed to allow her the closure she was asking for. I’m so proud of my girl for insisting she get to honor him, and support his loved ones today. It brought up a lot of old pain and feelings for me. Still, I’m happy with the decision I made. She certainly isn’t your average 5 year old. She amazes me every day, and so much more today seeing how loving, caring and mature she is. Tonight I’m thinking about what it’s like when everything is over. The funeral is done, and everyone is going back to their normal lives. That’s when reality sets in and the ones close have to find their new “normal.” Tonight, I’m thinking about them. Life is short. Hold your loved ones close. I’m incredibly lucky to have my chapter two and I promise not to take that for granted.
Here it is!! The first look at the cover! After everything is reviewed, I should be able to order my proof tonight. I cannot wait to hold it in my hands!
Though the Indiegogo campaign officially ended overnight last night, I was able to keep it up without a timeframe. There is still time to pre-order! Once it is officially released, I will take down the page and replace with an Amazon link. Thank you all for supporting my dream!
It’s been a crazy weekend here in California and it’s still going! For those that don’t know, I have so much going on. I thrive on the madness and there are so many things I want to accomplish in life. You only live once and there are so many things I want to experience. I’ve been juggling a lot! I’m on the other side of the country for a conference for my business and it’s been inspiring! I love what I do and it’s only made it more exciting. My direct sales involvement was truly a life line for me in the beginning. It got me out of my shell (my widow bubble,) brought new friends into my life, gave me goals to work toward, plus fun! (And a little extra money.) I could go on forever!
While here, I’ve been emailing back and forth getting the final book touches done. It’s so cool to see it LOOK like a book! There are only 3 days left on my Indiegogo campaign and I’m at 95%!!! I need some help hitting my goal. Click that photo on the side to help me out!
I’m excited to get back home to finish up the book, meet more goals with my business, and there are so many exciting things coming with Ignite Your Light! Plus, I cannot wait to see my little girl after being away from her this weekend!!
I’m headed to the beach real quick (my happy place) and then flying back late at night! Check out the fun…. and I’ll catch ya when I get back!
Alexa has been more and more interested about learning about her dad. Early on in the journey, I packed up a bin labeled “Alex.” At this point, I wasn’t even really sure what I had put in there. We opened it this weekend. She was excited to see a special rubix cube, origami items he made and put all over her incubator in the hospital, his hat, a blanket made from his shirts, stuffed animals we had gotten each other… She went through and looked at everything. There were items from my wedding, old photos, his baby book… all kinds of random things. Many items, I was ready to allow Alexa to take and do whatever she wanted with them. Some, I still felt needed to be packed away again. I am at a place in life where I do not want my wedding photo displayed. I don’t want reminders of him all over the house. I will not, however, tell her she cannot have these items displayed in her room. That’s her territory and I believe she should be able to memorialize him however she wants there. She doesn’t remember him. But this is a way she can connect, and “know” him. It’s nice to see her happy and excited about it. These items don’t hold sadness or pain for her. She looks so cute in his hat…
I received this message from someone close to me this evening. I didn’t know anything about it. I don’t even know his name. Here is my response…
“Didn’t know about it.”
“Without any details, I’m tempted to say that facing charges, jail time and all that, I can see why someone would do that. I could see that people will paint him as evil and say ‘problem solved’ or ‘he deserved it’ or whatever. Still, he has a family I’m sure. He has a mom. He has people that love him and I hurt for them.”
Ignite Your Inner Leader
What does that mean?
Almost a year ago, I heard about a seminar called “Ignite Your Inner Leader.” Sounds like it’s about leadership, right? I could use that! I was in a leadership role in my direct sales company. I’m a mom (that’s a leader, right?) I have multiple “jobs” that could use improved leadership skills. Plus, I heard you get to walk on glass! That could be cool! I also heard someone proposed at the last one. This must really be the experience of a lifetime. I had always been labeled by others as “a leader” but what does that mean? I wanted to figure it out.
I had decided to do the next upcoming seminar! I felt as though I was unsure of my place in the world. I had been working my same job for the past 7 years, and though it was what I always planned on doing with my life, I wanted so much more. I had been in the direct sales world for the past 4ish years and while it was going well, it was not exactly where I wanted to be. I dabbled in other things as well, but nothing that was really a main focus. Really, I was all over the place. I was single when I made the decision to register . Sidenote: there was a huge lapse in my writing so those that do not know me personally, do not know the whole story. I’ll summarize it with saying, my relationship failed, my boyfriend left, and Alexa and I were living in “our house” and I was figuring out life on my own yet again. My home became a business. My direct sales companies had taken over rooms, time, life. I was dabbling in ways to improve myself and my life.
The goal was to figure out what I was doing with MY life. In the time between signing up for the seminar and the weekend finally arriving, life had already changed so much! Jewelry In Candles (the company I was known for) closed, and I was sent to a new company to start fresh. Lularoe had taken over so much of my time and house and life that it had become a burden, not an excitement. After 6 months of separation, many ups and downs, and figuring things out, we made the decision to rebuild our relationship. Life was changing fast! I couldn’t wait to see what the seminar would bring.
It started with “why are you here?”
“Learn more about why I do the things I do. What direction I’m supposed to take. I have many goals and dreams but don’t know what I really want. I have to many “jobs” but don’t know where the focus should be. I want to lead my team to success. I’ve made so many positive changes to my life and I want to continue. I want to inspire people. I want to use my trauma to make a difference. I want to make his life worth something. I want to learn to help balance motherhood with my career and relationship.”
I got that, and so much more!
Yes, I learned about leadership. More importantly, I learned so much about myself, my patterns, what I really wanted out of life, what was important to me in a fulfilling career, what I wanted out of my relationship. I learned how to communicate more effectively with my child and my partner. I figured out exactly what I wanted out of life and how to get there. I learned invaluable coaching skills. I appreciated things in life more. I literally had no idea I was holding onto past trauma from Alex and putting it on my daughter. I could write an entire post about just that revelation. I quickly, with the help of amazing people there, figured out how to work past that. I discovered things from my marriage that were affecting my relationship. I discovered things I was not understanding about “my ideal” versus reality. I learned how to understand my significant other better, even with having significantly different life experiences and communication styles. And yes, I walked on glass, and bent rebar with my throat!
I made more progress in life in 3 days, than in years. I’m forever grateful for the experience.
Did you know that all human behavior is driven by six human needs? Did you know that all behaviors are driven by the avoidance of pain and the desire of pleasure? I didn’t…
Have you ever thought to yourself “am I enough?” Sure you have.
Check out my glass walk video!!