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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, January 31, 2013

One more time.

Did I say we're not moving again? I may have mentioned that here...

I'm sick of even typing the words "move" and "moving" at this point, let alone doing it. But there's one more left in us.


Sunday, January 27, 2013

50 Months.

Strange little side note...

When I was on the plane heading to Florida, the flight attendant made an announcement over the loudpseaker that one of the couples on board was celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary. My first thought after hearing that was, "This is my 50 month anniversary as a widow."

Now, I haven't been counting. Honestly. Not in terms of months, anyway. But after that thought entered my mind, I counted just how many months it's been, and lo and behold, it IS 50.

I guess there is a part of me that still gets twinges of jealousy at those couples who've been able to be together for so long.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Girls' weekend!!

On a much happier note, I had a glorious weekend with my besties from high school last weekend! Karin, Connie and I all met in Kissimmee, FL where our other high school best friend Jennifer lives with her beautiful family.

It could NOT have come at a better time. It's the first time we've done this in over 20 years (God - when I think about the rediculous amount of time that has passed, we can't let that happen again).

We went without the kids which was weird and liberating at the same time. My awesome neighbor/friends took good care of my kiddos for the three days I was gone. So very grateful to have these people in our lives - I know the kids were happy and in good hands. We're really going to miss them when we move back to Buffalo (again). That's a topic for another whole post that I may not even end up posting about. Some things don't need explanation...

We stayed at Jenny's house and it was like a slumber party when we were teens, but even better. We went dancing the first night and while I didn't think I had it in me to stay up past 10pm, we didn't get home till 3am!! We had such a blast. Then the next day we went to Universal Studios and got to see an awesome Harry Potter set up (Jacob would have been so jealous so I haven't told him about it- I feel kind of guilty that he wasn't there for it) and I got my picture taken with the Grinch (yeah - some guilt again that neither of my kids were there for that, either). I had a turkey leg (those are AMAZING) and all kinds of other treats. I think that's the BEST part of going to theme parks - the FOOD! I'll have to post some pics once I get them uploaded - it was so much fun!!

I am so incredibly blessed with the most amazing friends anyone could ever wish for. For all that has gone wrong in my life, my friends are SO right. I couldn't be more grateful. =)

Friday, January 25, 2013

F@%* Cancer.

I'm not even sure how to start this post...

My sweet friend Deena passed away from complications of her treatment of breast cancer. She fought long and hard. She had an extremely aggressive form, and if it wasn't for her tireless advocacy, wouldn't have made it this far. She not only became a strong advocate for herself, but for others as well. She did everything she could to survive as long as she did - mainly for her children. The thought of leaving them was pure torture to her. As if going through the fear of cancer and the treatments wasn't agonizing enough. I can't even imagine the hell.

Her son is 8 and her daughter is 5. Same ages as Jacob and Sydney...  I wrote about our visit with Deena and her beautiful family in this post when we were living in California. During those four days, we talked about life and death. It made me feel good that our talks about death brought her comfort. She said everyone was afraid to mention the word or the idea to her, and it was a relief for her to be able to talk about it with me. I think that after being touched so intimately by it and it being a part of me, I'm more comfortable discussing it.

We always seemed to have a connection - from the time Matt was trying to encourage me to move to AZ when Deena and Rob lived there, to having our kids at the same time (she was due with Ryan about the time I was due with Jacob, and I ended up going before her because Jacob was a month early). She had such a beautiful light about her. I am so incredibly grateful for that time in California with Deena, and to have been her friend for so many years.

I've said this already to some of our mutual friends, but I have a very strong feeling she wouldn't want people to say that she "lost her battle" with cancer, because she didn't lose. She fought valiantly. Her body gave out, but she didn't lose. I, personally, hate that expression - which could explain why I feel like she might not like it, either.

Our incredible group of friends wrote letters to her while she was still alive so she could read them and know how much we love and admire her. Another one of our friends organized a greeting card drive for her. We each got her cards for specific occasions so Deena could fill them out ahead of time. It ensured that through the years as her children grow, their dad could give them a card from their mom.

Another mutual friend of ours wrote a beautiful article about her here.

Although we knew it was inevitable, nothing in the world can quite prepare you for the end. I just can't believe Deena isn't on this earth anymore. I can't talk to her on the phone or text with her anymore. My heart aches for her husband and children, and for everyone else she leaves behind.

Here's one of the photos of our kids together - they were like two sets of twins and got along great!


Saturday, January 12, 2013

Realizations.

After four years, I think I've finally realized something pretty important.

I will never get over Matt's death. Never. And it pisses me off - I mean, really, truly angers me deeply, when someone implies that I should be over it. I wouldn't have expected that reaction from myself at this point; especially since I thought that's where I should be at by now, too. But having gotten to this point, I now have an understanding that only those have who have been through a similar experience:

You don't get over it. You get through. 

I'm not saying I will never love another - I'm still open to that possibility someday, but if/when I do, he will not "get me over" losing Matt. He will have to accept that Matt will always be a part of me. A part of our children. A part of our lives. And hold a big part of our hearts. He will have to be patient, understanding, empathetic and kind. And patient. Did I mention patient?

But I am so not in a place in my life right now where I'm willing to invite that "someone" into my heart. I was, but not now. Not for a long time, and I'm completely OK with that. I've finally gotten it through my head that what I need and want in my life are my children, my friends and my family. That's all. And some peace.


Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Year of Learning.

Or, the Year of Mistakes (same thing, right?). Or, Four Years of Insanity.

Whatever you want to call it, this year trumps any bad decisions or lapses in judgement I may have had over the last four years. I guess you have to hit rock bottom before you can start going up.

2013, I believe - I pray, will be a better year. 2012 was the year of major follies. I'm trying to forgive myself for them. I hope everyone else can, too.

All I can do is be thankful that my children remain well adjusted and happy, and that I can mostly afford to repair some of the damage that's been done. And, that my friends and family will forgive me. I need to work on doing that myself, but if the shoe was on the other foot, I would forgive - especially if it was one of my kids. Everyone makes mistakes, and if God can forgive, I should be able to, too. Easier said than done, though.

One of the other things I've learned is that although I've felt sane mostly throughout these four fucking insane years, this is the most insane I've felt - at least in a long time. I don't look back on my posts, so I'm sure I've posted something about insanity at some point.

Anyway, I have a theory... I'm kind of thinking that when you feel the most insane is when you're actually gaining clarity (and sanity). I'm probably seeing things more clear now than I have in four years, and it's a really bitter pill. Bitter, painful, etc. I kind of like the clarity, though. But it makes me realize just how "bat shit crazy" I really have been over this time period (thanks for the quote, Paul).

As I'm sure I've said before, I'm infinitely grateful for my awesome kids, and the endless support and love from most of my friends and family. I really don't think I could have made it without them. I'm grateful I'm still alive and breathing at four years out, when I thought for sure I'd be dead at four days out. And aside from losing Matt, I'm pretty damn blessed. (Does that cancel each other out? Well, you get the point...)

I have a lot to live for. My kids are the number one reason. My friends and family. Aside from losing Matt, and from all the stupid mistakes I've made since, my life really isn't bad at all.

I just need to get over this latest hurdle. Please pray for us.