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Matt and I were together for 10 wonderful years - met in 1998, married in 2002, until his untimely death on November 15, 2008. We have two beautiful, healthy children - Jacob (born 5/04) and Sydney (born 5/07)... the most precious gifts he could have ever given me.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The difference between men and women....

(As we're eating dinner tonight)

Sydney to Jacob: "Do you know why I was angry?"

Jacob: "Why?"

Sydney: "Because I was hungry!"

Jacob: "Do you know why I was hungry?"

Sydney: "Why?"

Jacob: "Because I was HUNGRY!"

Me, trying to recall word for word what was said during this conversation while typing it out here: "Jacob, what did you say about being hungry?"

Jacob: "I don't remember... I didn't say anything about being hungry."

Sydney: "YES YOU DID!"

HAHAHAHAHA!!!!!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Growing pains.

I feel a bit better after getting all that out. I've forgotten how therapeudic writing is... Lately, though, when I sit down to write an emotional post, I feel like I've already written it, and in some cases I have. Same old thing - blah blah blah. It's old. I think this is a big part of what's been wrong with me lately... I'm having growing pains. I don't fit into my skin anymore, and now I have to figure out where I do fit in or grow some new skin.

I actually did write something similar to this post, too... I found it, re-read it, and it reminded me of some important things. Lessons four, five and seven, in particular...

Right now, I'm off to practice Lesson number six. Good night, and Happy Easter!

Eureka!

I'm such an idiot. This is the third year in a row that I have procrastinated birthday plans for my kids, and the reason is that I'm always in a funk during the month before. Any coincidence? A big part of this funk is their birthday.

I don't want my poor kids to have a cloud over their mommy because their birthdays are coming up. I know how to change it- change my thought process. Try to train myself to think more of the positives this time of year rather than dwell on the negatives. Easier said that done. Can it be done?

Ugh.

Sydney has "magic powers" that allow her to see Daddy.

She role plays with Jacob and tells him, "Let's play mommy, daddy and baby! You be the daddy..."

Just yesterday, she called me "Mutha." Matt used to call his mom "Mutha." Could not believe my ears - she said it just the way he used to. Reminded me of when she called her pigtails "happy head." Matt used to call our friend Cy's hair "happy hair" when he'd let it grow longer because it seems to grow up and out rather than down and long. One of the first times I put Sydney's hair in pigtails, she looked in the mirror and called it "happy head."

It's really amazing the ways Matt comes out in his kids. If someone would have told me these things, I don't think I would have believed them unless I experienced them for myself.

Jacob lovingly prunes the Sycamore tree we planted in the front yard in Matt's honor by picking the dead leaves off of it, and putting flowers on it from the bush that conceals our front window. He and Sydney call it "flowers for daddy."

Yesterday, Jacob was holding a jelly bean between his fingers and squeezed it. He showed me and said, "Is this how daddy's heart broke? Like this?" I explained to him that the heart is a muscle and there are tubes called arteries that are connected to it that help the blood pump from the heart into the rest of the body. The accident made one of his arteries break off of his heart, but that's only one of the boo boos he got. Technically, Matt's entire torso was compressed, so he actually could be right.

Sydney was talking over the fence to our neighbor and proceeded to explain something about her daddy. Normally I would intervene and help cushion the awkwardness for the recipient of this uncomfortable information, but I didn't. Instead, I turned and walked into the house. I was cooking dinner and just didn't want to deal with it.

I was making pancakes for the kids this morning, and as I stood by the stove, I could vividly picture Matt holding the frying pan with one hand and flipping his eggs in one smooth motion. I thought to myself, "I need a distraction" and then the song "Arms of the Angel" pops into my head because of that one line, "I need some distraction..." which causes me to further spiral into grief. UGH!

As I type, Sydney is drawing a picture for daddy.

This is the kind of thing that goes on daily. It's comforting on some level, but at the same time, hurts. Right now, I'm not in a place emotionally where I can handle it. I'm just raw.

I'm trying to figure out what the hell is going on with me that I'm such a wreck lately. One factor could be the approach of Easter. Matt never got to spend an Easter with his daughter. He had to work (at his new job) on Easter Sunday - Sydney's first Easter, and couldn't be there when they woke up to find their baskets. The feelings I had that morning are similar to the ones I have now.

I'm finding myself wallowing in all of it, and I'm wondering at what point is it healthy to let myself feel it versus making myself crazy? I can see that I'm pushing everyone and everything away right now, and I'm trying to correct that. I'm tired of analyzing this shit, too. I'm just tired, and on top of it, I have bronchitis that my doctors don't think requires antibiotics. How sick do I need to be before they think it's appropriate to start meds? Don't they realize I need to function well enough to care for two little kids and a house?

There's a part of me that also thinks that on some level, I have a sense of entitlement just because I'm widowed and a single parent. Like, no one should be hurtful to me or challenge me to cause me pain or stress, or do the same to my kids. Like, life should make some sort of exception for us considering all we're already enduring. HA! I know life doesn't work that way. Especially since there are people out there who still have living spouses and parents, and have it worse. Also, being the control freak I am, I'm feeling particularly insane right now because there is nothing that seems to be within my control - including my own emotions.

I'll write about something positive soon, I promise (like the wonderful break I had a couple of weeks ago that I should be reveling in!).

Thursday, April 21, 2011

My cup is empty.

I've been in a deep, dark funk for a while. Haven't been quite like this in some time. It's not that things are necessarily going badly in my life, I'm just going through some sort of stage, and I'm not really even sure what it's about yet. Maybe growth of some sort. All I know is it's painful, exhausting, and I'm looking forward to this heavy fog lifting.

In the meantime, to my friends, family, readers, please be patient with me while I try to get filled up again. I have nothing to give right now.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Little miracles...

I have been completely overwhelmed with pretty much everything to the point where I haven't been able to function enough to get anything accomplished - personally, professionally, or otherwise (as you can tell from this recent post). After some serious soul searching, I came to some realizations that either I didn't want to see or just couldn't see because I was too close to it. That's a topic for another post, but while doing this soul searching, I decided I would plant the garden I've always wanted to plant.

Anyone who knows me well knows that I do not have a green thumb - in fact, I usually call it the 'black thumb of death' since I usually end up killing anything in my yard or house (thank God the kids and bunny aren't plants). I decided that despite this, I would attempt to plant my own vegetables, some fruits and even some flowers. I've got this pretty little house with a cute little yard, why not give it a shot!

My typical M.O. is to get a grand idea and then not follow through, but I actually did it! Although I've neglected most of my other responsibilities in order to get it done, it's actually worked to my benefit to do that. By having the garden my main focus, it gave me time to clear my head of all the other clutter that's been drowning me. I've been focused on paying attention to how much direct sunlight certain areas of my yard get, planning out where the best place for a garden would be, what I could plant, strategizing how the kids can help with the least amount of destruction, and all the other details of planting a successful garden.

The kids have been a big part of this process when they're home, but while they're at school, it's been just me and the dirt and seeds. Back to basics.

We're planting broccoli, carrots, onions, okra, corn, tomatoes, green beans, spinach, zucchini, pumpkins, cantaloupe, watermelon, black-eyed susans, sunflowers, and cosmos (yeah, perhaps I'm being a little overly ambitious). I even got a little grape vine and a raspberry bush (which just look like one little stick each right now). But one of the most exciting things I've planted are some seeds that I brought with me from Buffalo.

Matt was the one with the green thumb. He knew the names of just about everything that came out of the ground, and how to care for it properly. His mom taught him a whole lot about gardening, and she would grow most of her flowers from seed.

The summer before he died was no different - he planted a whole crop of impatiens in front of our house, and in August when the seed pods were ready to burst, I went along and collected as many as I could. I had so much fun with that part of it, and so did Jacob. Even Sydney started getting in on it. Some of the pods were so full that you barely had to touch them and they'd burst their little seeds all over the ground. I managed to fill up one of Sydney's empty baby food jars with the seeds we were able to harvest. That was August of 2008. Matt died that November.

That baby food jar had been tucked away in our home in Buffalo, moved with us to California, and tucked away again until recently. The seeds are now almost three years old, but now that I've got the ambition to plant something, I got really excited about seeing if there's any life left in them.

Part of me has been very hopeful that something will sprout, but there's a part of me that's been trying to prepare myself for the possibility that I've simply waited too long to plant them and that they're too old to produce.

We did a lot of the planting last week, and a bunch more this week. Yesterday, I noticed that there is life springing up from the pots with the seeds from the impatiens - the seeds that came from the flowers that Matt planted in our front yard with his very own hands. I could not be more thrilled!!!! And now they're here, in our new yard of our new home. Planted by my hands and the hands of his children.

Inside each of those seeds is an embryo. Life. Little miracles. I have tons of little miracles popping up all over the place, and I am so thankful.

Now that the majority of that work is done (for now), I can shift some focus back onto the responsibilities I've neglected, while I enjoy watching all this new life growing around me.

Would I be overzealous if I decided to house some chickens in the back yard to use as fertilizer, egg producers and compost makers?

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Lapses in Memory...

A couple of weeks ago I was talking with my oldest nephew Michael who said he's thinking of coming to California to visit this summer. I was so excited and started thinking of all the things I can share with him from my new life on this coast.

I said, "You'll get to see my house!"

Michael: "Did you move?"

Me: "No - I haven't moved since I moved to L.A....?"

Michael: "Then I already saw it when I was out last year."

Me: "Oh my god."

How is it possible that I could I have forgotten about my nephew's visit?!

Then, I was talking with my cousin Lorinda who recently got engaged and is planning her wedding. Lorinda and her fiance Dan live in Texas, and will be getting married there. I'll be standing up in her wedding (YAY!!) and when we were talking about it the other day, I told her how excited I am that I'll finally get to meet her fiance! She said I already met him once - when they were in Buffalo the summer after Matt died, right before I moved.

This time it wasn't quite as shocking, but it still surprised me that I could have such sizable chunks of my life escape my memory like that from that first year and a half after Matt's death. Why can't those memories be the ones I really would prefer not to remember, like the morning of, and just about every single detail and emotion for the next few days after that?

I wonder what else I don't remember...

Camp Widow

Camp Widow has it's very own website now! Check it out, and then register to attend this August! You'll be SO glad you did. =)

I need reminded.