Thirty flirty and thriving…

“..Why the 30s are the best years of your life.” This is a quote from one of my favorite movies. I will get back to that…
One year ago yesterday, I turned 29. Alex was gone for a short 3 months and I was still in the dark. I worked that day but in the morning, I called my mom to say that I literally couldn’t move. It was my birthday and I was without him. The pain was unbearable and I just couldn’t pick myself up. I made it through the day and chalked it up to surviving another first. What was the last year of my twenties to bring?
This past year has brought about a lot of firsts, a lot of changes, and both pain and happiness. And I made it…
Yesterday, I celebrated with my amazing friends, awesome family and a wonderful boyfriend. It was truly a great day. Alex was surely there in spirit and in stories. I think he would be so proud of the woman I have become and happy to see my new life.
I’ve been thinking about this “thirties are the best year of your life,” and have been bothered thinking that life could ever be better after his death. What I can say is… I’m happy again and excited to see what this next year (and more) have to bring.
What does it feel like to be 30? Well today… My whole body hurts ;)

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I’ll never be normal

I’m learning that no matter how much time has passed and life has moved on, I will never be completely “ok.” I’ll never be normal again… I will never be the person I once was. Things in movies bother me every time. Almost every movie mentions or jokes about suicide. So many have guns in them. I’ve been doing very well just laughing it off. One of my major coping mechanisms is usually to make inappropriate jokes about the situation and it gets me through. Last night was different. The sight of someone getting shot in the head and laying there dead sent me into a panic. I jumped up, couldn’t breathe and felt like vomiting. I tried to calm down and ended bursting into tears…. Here’s the kicker… I sobbed about my husband on my boyfriend’s chest. Even typing that sounds strange. All I can really say is, that’s my life… And I’m thankful to be with someone so understanding.

The basement

As you are all probably well aware… Alex died in my basement and yes, I still live in that house. I don’t spend much time down there and not because I’m scared or anything but for the sheer fact that really it’s just become a mess of a catch all for anything I don’t have space for. I’ve been talking about cleaning it out for ages. Today, a Fios installation tech had to go in the basement to set up my new internet. Upon looking at the way Alex had the routers and everything set up, he exclaimed “holy shiiiii…” Later, I overheard him on the phone telling his boss that my basement set up looked like Microsoft. The genius in Alex made it horribly complicated to get new internet service as they couldn’t figure out how to bypass what he had done. I was getting frustrated fast. Meanwhile, looking around, I decided today was the day. I spent 4 hours cleaning and packing, going through stuff and throwing things away. I ran up and down the stairs with heavy items probably 100 times. I found bags and bags of garbage left down there from the last time he cleaned down there. I went through and threw out the most random things of his. I deflated the slip and slide from his birthday party. Laying on the floor deflating, I couldn’t help but notice I was laying right near the spot I found him in… And could even still see flakes of blood rolling around on the floor. I just laughed it off… I guess that’s where I’m at now. I obviously had to explain to the verizon technician who had installed everything downstairs and why I didn’t know how to change passwords etc. In talking about the setup.. He said “well he thought he was doing the right thing at the time.” Funny how close that comment hit home… He thought that about other things too. Alex was probably laughing from the other side… And I’m glad I FINALLY cleaned out the basement!

The club

I’m always saddened to hear when someone else has “joined the club.” By this I mean the widow club, the survivors of suicide club etc. I’ve travelled the same path and though no two situations are the same, I find that those who come to me in the aftermath have such similar thoughts, feelings, questions. What were they thinking? Why? Did they regret it? Is it my fault? It saddens me to say that we never truly get those answers. I can only say that I had them too. In the beginning, it was scary yet so numbing. I was in a fog for so long. I think we all experience that traumatic fog. I remember needing to just tell someone everything in my head. Someone who could understand…. Almost 15 months later, I can say that I survived and I’m going to be okay. I am happy to share that with the world and anyone who needs the reassurance that this is horrible, but someday, you will get there. I know it may not seem like it now.
It would be strange to say that it makes me happy to be able to help someone who is where I once was… I don’t want anyone to be where I was. However, the tiny positive that came from this is I can help and I can listen.

Wow

Sometimes things still come and just smack you in the face. I love Grey’s anatomy and could not wait to find the time to sit down and watch it. Even on the website, there are commercials. The first thing I saw was an advertisement for the show Resurrection in which they said “what would you do if your loved ones returned?” Wow! Not something I ever thought of. What would I do? Would I welcome him with open arms? Would I tell him sorry, life has gone on? Clearly it can’t happen so what does it matter? Still… It stopped me for a moment. Next, the show started. This stuff usually doesn’t bother me but only minutes in, the view of a doctor doing CPR came on. With every chest compression, blood came out of the side of the patient’s head. I’ve seen this in person, for real, and I was the one doing CPR. This is one of my mental images forever burned in my head, that I wish would disappear. Next they discussed his brain matter…. Something discussed with me as well that dreadful night. At that point, I shut it off. I’ll try again another night. I’m no longer interested this evening.
Life has moved on and I am happy again. I guess these little things still don’t go away though.

If today was your last day…

Yes.. My blog post today is Nickelback Lyrics. I heard this song on the radio today and really listened to the lyrics…There are some great thoughts in here that we should take to heart. “Each day’s a gift and not a given right.”

“If Today Was Your Last Day”

My best friend gave me the best advice
He said each day’s a gift and not a given right
Leave no stone unturned, leave your fears behind
And try to take the path less traveled by
That first step you take is the longest strideIf today was your last day
And tomorrow was too late
Could you say goodbye to yesterday?
Would you live each moment like your last?
Leave old pictures in the past
Donate every dime you have?
If today was your last day

Against the grain should be a way of life
What’s worth the prize is always worth the fight
Every second counts ’cause there’s no second try
So live like you’ll never live it twice
Don’t take the free ride in your own life

If today was your last day
And tomorrow was too late
Could you say goodbye to yesterday?
Would you live each moment like your last?
Leave old pictures in the past
Donate every dime you have?
Would you call old friends you never see?
Reminisce old memories
Would you forgive your enemies?
Would you find that one you’re dreamin’ of?
Swear up and down to God above
That you finally fall in love
If today was your last day

If today was your last day
Would you make your mark by mending a broken heart?
You know it’s never too late to shoot for the stars
Regardless of who you are
So do whatever it takes
‘Cause you can’t rewind a moment in this life
Let nothin’ stand in your way
Cause the hands of time are never on your side

If today was your last day
And tomorrow was too late
Could you say goodbye to yesterday?

Would you live each moment like your last?
Leave old pictures in the past
Donate every dime you have?
Would you call old friends you never see?
Reminisce old memories
Would you forgive your enemies?
Would you find that one you’re dreamin’ of?
Swear up and down to God above
That you finally fall in love
If today was your last day

 

Time flies? Or does it?

Sometimes it truly amazes me how much time has passed and how different life is now. Other times I can’t believe how relevant he still is in my life and how many things I still relate to him. He still comes up in conversation constantly. He’s a huge part of my life and always will be.
I went to the graveyard yesterday and seeing the “2012″ on the stone amazed me… Considering the fact that it’s now 2014. Although, it was still 2012 for only a few hours when he died. I don’t go to the graveyard as much and I don’t spend as much time as I used to. Part of me feels a little guilty, but that’s a normal thing over time. The photos of him on the wall now feel strange. I can’t really put into words why. I don’t really want to stare at my past I guess. They are still there and I don’t know that I’m in any rush to remove them, but they just don’t have the same feeling. Alexa changes every day and I hate that she doesn’t have her dad. But man that little girl has so many people who love her. No matter what I have been through, I will never regret one moment because Alex gave me the most important thing in the world, my baby girl. Well I guess she isn’t really a baby anymore. I’ll admit, in the tough moments with her, I beg him for help because he should be here to experience this with me. But he’s not, and that’s okay. It has to be.
It’s not a secret to those in my life that I am moving on and dating again. I know Alex would want me to be happy. It sounds cliche but he wanted the best for me. He just had a strange view of it. I’m ready… And I’m excited to see what the future will bring. It’s funny how in the beginning you just can’t imagine that it’s possible to get to this place. But you really do get there… It’s a long, tough, awful road. You never really get over it, but you get through it. I vowed not to die with him. I haven’t and I’m happy with who I’ve become and the progress I’ve made. I know he’s cheering me on from the other side. I deserve the chance to be happy again.

My truth

I appreciate the comments I get on this blog, however one really struck a chord with me today and I felt the need to respond with my thoughts.

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I am not speaking poorly of him. When writing my feelings, I write my truth. If you have truly read my blog, you know that I speak very highly of my husband. I loved him with all of my heart and he loved me too. However, he was not perfect, and neither am I. We both, as humans, made mistakes. When it came to quitting smoking, no he was not supportive. That was one small thing out of many other things he did support me on. Again, this blog is to get out my feelings, and I only speak my truth.
Furthermore, if you are going to criticize me, do it openly and with your real name. I know who you really are. I open my world to everyone with my real name and real face. Give the same courtesy.

Disney and more

Well everyone has been asking me how Disney was so here it goes. I could lie and say it’s the best place on earth and I can’t wait to go back, but I won’t. Truth is, it was tough. First, the simple fact that traveling on a plane alone with a 21 month old is not easy. I couldn’t explain it all to her and had to take things as they come. The multiple people asking “oh, are you traveling alone with her?” Started to get to me. I smiled and said yes and moved along but it bugged me. Yes, I’m alone with her. That’s my life. She vomited all over the plane, something I should have expected, and I got through it. Otherwise, she did very well. I was out of my comfort zone and though that didn’t used to bother me, it does now. We got through the first day at magic kingdom, and though she was really too young to understand it, we had some fun. At the end, upon the realization that I spent a day at Disney without Alex, I cried through the whole monorail ride. She had her first Disney experience without her dad, and the last time I was there was with him. I spent four days with Alex’s family, a constant reminder that he should be there with us! This was another experience that reminded me that everything in her life will be experienced without her dad. Overall anxiety was high, it was a rough experience for her, but we did it. I am at my highest stress levels when I worry about things being tough on her.
I’m moving on and doing well without him. There comes a point where you have to be past all the trauma and enjoy your life. I’m getting there. Now, my sadness comes from what Alexa misses out on. I’m perfectly capable of raising her on my own, but she shouldn’t have to miss out on experiences with her father. It hurts me that she does.
I was discussing parenting with someone recently and said that I figure it out as I go along and don’t always know if I’m doing the right thing. The response was “you won’t mess her up.” All I could think was I’m scared I will when I have to tell her the truth. I guess I’ll always be scared of that. She didn’t deserve this, and neither did I. But those are the cards we were dealt and I will deal with the responsibility of explaining things to her. It sucks that she won’t remember him but as terrible as it sounds, it’s better that way. She won’t know to miss him.
I see traits in my personality that were not there before. I’ve never been so insecure and indecisive ever. Yet, I don’t think I’ve ever been as strong. In the past, I felt my life was set. I had my job, house, child, husband. Everything I wanted… Now I feel like I don’t know where my life is going. I want my life to be set again. I want to be as happy as I was again. I’ll get there I guess. I need to just relax and enjoy the ride. I’ve learned so much about appreciating what you have. I never thought he would be gone. I never thought I wouldn’t have the chance to tell him how much he meant to me. I’ve learned to say what I’m thinking and appreciate every moment. Don’t take anyone for granted. I won’t ever do that again.

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It’s Valentine’s day again

This year I decided to completely get through the holiday before writing about it…. As last year I started out saying that it didn’t mean anything, then ate my words. Valentines day is all about how you look at it. An anti-single day for couples only? A Hallmark holiday? A day to appreciate your loved ones? Single or not, it is important to appreciate the people in your life every day. Tell your significant other how much they mean to you… Hug your children whenever you can. Don’t wait until the calendar says so or until it’s too late. Appreciate the good in yourself every day. Flowers and candy are great (I mean I am a girl) but really it’s the thought that counts…
Appreciate everyone in your life on a day about “love.” Thank your best friend, your child, your parents, the guy who makes you smile even though he’s not yours. And if you are feeling sad and single… That’s ok… There’s always next year.
Happy Valentines day (belated) to everyone in my life… And to my angel on the other side.

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