Archive for February, 2014

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.

It’s time to go.

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.

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Smoking

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.

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Thanks where it is due

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.
Thank you,
Heather Cruz
www.thewidownextdoor.com

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