Sunday, March 2nd, 2014 at
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.
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.
Tuesday, February 25th, 2014 at
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.
Saturday, February 15th, 2014 at
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.
Friday, February 7th, 2014 at
A huge weight has been lifted! My class is over and somehow… I passed!!! I am now a certified pet loss counselor. I am so relieved this is behind me. It has been a major source of stress in my life and it’s done!
I have had one drag of a cigarette in the last 3 days. I didn’t enjoy it and it reminded me to keep going! It’s stressful and there are certainly some hard moments but I’m doing ok.
Today, I went though every ounce of clothing I own. I came up with 4 garbage bags to donate and 3 to throw away. I am still finding little bits of Alex’s clothes here and there. Items that I was clinging to are now gone. I have the quilt. That’s all I need. I took a huge step today. While digging through the closet I found the bag of my bloody clothes from that night. I’m almost embarrassed to admit I still have them. Well HAD them. I’m not sure why I kept them a year ago… I’m not sure why I never went back and got rid of them (except that I never look in the back of my closet). But today, I opened that bag, looked them over and said “it’s time to go.” Beyond that, I got rid of some leftover maternity clothes that were hanging around and so many clothes that are just way too big on me now. I vow to never fit in them again… Therefore, it’s time to go!
Tomorrow starts another NJ weekend. I always look forward to them. This time, I get to just go as an adult and not as a mom. Ok well I’m still a mom and will be missing Alexa… And I’m not sure how much of an adult I will be acting like at a roller skating party. Still, I’m excited.
Life is good… Sometimes I just need to remind myself to relax and just stop to smell the roses.
Wednesday, February 5th, 2014 at
We all know the significance of 12/31/12, however it was also the day I started smoking again. As I had done in the past, smoking was something I clung to in the face of stress. That night, as soon as the paramedics arrived, I ran to the garage and grabbed a cigarette. I really didn’t know what else to do in that moment. I’ve been smoking ever since.
Smoking was a huge source of disagreement between us over the years. When we met, we both smoked so it worked out well. As years passed and I decided it was time to quit, he was not supportive. When I was craving, he would tell me to give up. When he wanted to smoke, well it was just too bad that it made quitting awful for me to have it blown in my face. He promised he would quit when I got pregnant. He didn’t. He swore he had quit after she was born. He didn’t. I never wanted to smoke around Alexa. This was such a HUGE thing for me… So now I’m a hypocrite. I’m doing exactly what I did not want him doing.
For the period in time that I became a non-smoker, the smell disgusted me. I couldn’t stand smelling it on him and I did not enjoy the taste of kissing him. I went back to smoking once a day to keep it from bothering me. (Until I got pregnant of course.)
So here we are now. I’ve made it over a year. I don’t look to every cigarette to get me through a terrible moment. I don’t have super anxiety to smoke for. I have a habit. I smoke at the same times every day and in the same situations.
Alexa is older now, and though I don’t smoke in front of her, she knows when mommy goes to the garage. She can grab them out of my pockets. I smell and it gets on her. I know I need to do this.
I started my last relationship as a smoker and that had some serious implications associated with it.
I want to start my next as a non-smoker.
As with my weight loss, I’m not expecting a miracle. I vow to significantly cut back and not be a “regular” smoker. I have an e-cig which is really just not the same but something at least lol. I have acupuncture needles in my ears… Let’s do this.
Tuesday, February 4th, 2014 at
My letter to Ellen Degeneres:
My name is Heather. On December 31, 2012, my husband suddenly took his own life. I was 28 years old. My world was shattered in a blink of an eye and it has truly been the hardest year of my life. I was determined to make something positive of this horrible experience and created a blog. I wanted to help others travelling a similar journey, and have an avenue to express my feelings. My daughter was seven months old at the time, and has become a huge Finding Nemo fan. Ellen, during times that were particularly rough, I would hear your voice telling me to “just keep swimming.” I found myself ending a lot of the stories of my life with the same phrase. It became my motto and a theme within my blog. I recently finished getting my arm tattooed with that phrase. It is a constant reminder that no matter what comes my way, I can keep going. I have attached a photo for you to see. I want to thank you for being that voice in my head, every time I needed it. Though I am moving forward, sometimes I just need that reminder.
Thursday, January 30th, 2014 at
A few months back, I won “dinner for two” to a buffet Alex loved. One of my favorite photos of him was taken there. We had not been there in a long time, but I related to it as “his” place. Still, I refused to waste the tickets. It was a good night with a good friend but still, it felt so strange. I did not like seeing where “the photo” was taken. I did not like looking through the buffet at all the foods Alex loved. I got through it… Like I do everything else.
Recently, I experienced another place that I would previously considered as “our place.” I have vivid memories of going there nights Alexa was in the hospital. We loved unlimited wings night. He spent a lot of time there for staff meetings, and I would meet him after. This time, however, there was nothing strange. It didn’t feel like “our place” anymore. It was a good experience. I even ate the wings and laughed about some of the memories there.
More steps forward? Who knows… But I’m glad it didnt bother me.
Tuesday, January 28th, 2014 at
There is so much going on in my life that I do not know where to even begin. I know I have not updated everyone in a while. First, I said goodbye to my childhood puppy, as he passed away last week. Losing someone is nothing new to me, but no matter what the circumstances, it is tough. I was hurt that Alex was not going to be there to help me through it, yet felt that Pedro would have a familiar face greeting him on the other side. I’m limping through my Pet loss course. Not such great timing for such a class.
This weekend I went to an Origami Owl regional meeting. I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect but knew it would be a fun experience. Though I complained about 200 women having one bathroom (yes I used the men’s room) and was concerned it would be a big sales pitch, I had a great time. We did get a lot of customer service and sales tips, but what I really took home was so much more. It was amazingly inspirational and just what I needed. Here are some of the things I want to share:
Live life with no regrets
Don’t worry yourself about what other people think of you
Be yourself.. no matter what
Don’t be afraid to make a fool of yourself
Be happy with who you are
Follow your dreams
Don’t wait for a tragedy to change you into the person you want to be
Live life to the fullest NOW
Do something you’ve never done before this year and every year
Live alive, come alive
I agree with every one of these and will do my best to follow them.
In other news… Valentine’s day is coming UGH. That’s the approach I could take. Yet, I am trying not to. I’m offering great specials for Valentine’s day gifts and have found that so many women are ordering for themselves. I admire this. You can’t look to someone else to create your happiness, make it yourself. Though I still wouldn’t mind some roses showing up at my door hahaha. Or coffee… coffee is always a good thing. I know I have a Valentine looking down on me and I think he would be proud of the woman I have become in the past year.
The last week has brought a lot of closure to things. My tattoo is done and I’m so excited. I finally got back Alex’s shirt quilt. It feels good to have and I have put it away for Alexa. I went through and took down more reminders of him. It’s time… And it felt good. I can’t erase the past but I certainly want to live in the present and look toward the future.
Life is a lot of ups and downs… The past few weeks have been exactly that. I have a lot to look forward to in the future.
Sunday, January 19th, 2014 at
Though, as I’ve mentioned earlier, I still have not totally ruled out having another child someday, I have made the conscious decision to get rid of Alexa’s things as she out grows them. When questioned on this, I typically state that I don’t know if I will ever need them… Who knows of I will ever have another child and if I do, will it even be a girl? So, I was packing up some clothes for a newborn family member yesterday and was digging through bins to find the right sizes. I couldn’t help but notice the sheer dread that came about as I saw each item. I couldn’t wait to bag them up and pass them on. These clothes actually gave me a sickening reminder of a bad time. Though Alexa was 7 months old at the time of his death, she was wearing clothes sized for a 3 month old. All of these outfits made me think about whether Alex was alive to see them. Many reminded me of the months of sadness after his death. It felt good that they will be used in a happy time now. It’s amazing how such simple benign items can so strongly dredge up old memories and feelings. I want to keep moving forward and not ever feel the way I did or be reminded of the feelings “in the beginning.”
Tuesday, January 14th, 2014 at
I have a lot going on! Besides my normal school work, I (crazily) decided to take a course to get certified in pet loss. I mean why not? I’m working on a counseling degree, I work in Vet medicine, and have dealt with it myself. This course is hard and takes up a lot of time. Every moment I am torn between working on regular school work, this class, or one of my other responsibilities. It is demanding and the teacher is demanding. Assignments are sent on Friday night and due the following Friday at noon. It seemed that this would work out well considering Thursday is my “me” day. Instead, I was reprimanded for “waiting until the last minute to hand it in.” It was requested that every attempt is made to hand in assignments earlier in the week. I can’t help but feel that it is unfair to accuse me of not being focused and “slacking” because my one child-free day happens to be the day before things are due. If it were due on Monday, the work would still be done on the Thursday before. I find that in this situation, I’m being penalized for being a single mother… Clearly not my fault and not my choice. I’m not going to ignore my child on other days, when Thursday is seemingly a perfectly appropriate time. It is causing more stress than I would like, but I chose to take this course and I will meddle through. In sneaking in some reading today, I couldn’t help but feel that even in reading about pet loss, it still always brings up my life and situation…. A whole section on depression and suicide… I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. My “real” school is boring… I’m not enjoying reading about ethics but it is just part of the deal… Makes me question my judgements and morals lately. I’m known for putting others before me… But sometimes I have to take care of myself and not feel guilty about it… Easier said than done. I’ve had many waves of ups and downs lately… Sometimes within the same hour. I’m getting used to my second year and realizing that all it means is this is really my life. There are no more firsts and no more changes to get used to… This is it so I had better get comfortable and enjoy the ride (to the best of my ability.) I take on too much… I like feeling busy but this one more thing I took on may have been too much. I don’t want to give up… I can do it.
I got to meet my/Alexa’s new baby cousin last week. I forgot what it was like to hold such a new little life. I love the stage that Alexa is at but finally realize why people miss the baby stage and want another… It made me want another. Obviously I’m missing a large part of the equation. I thought I had resigned myself to Alexa being an only child but I’m second guessing that. It makes me wonder so much about what the future has to bring.
As usual… All I can say in all this is “Just keep swimming….”
I had to update with this screenshot lol