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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.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

The Sweetest Thing

The play structure in our back yard includes this cool play house - almost like a fort. It's set about four feet off the ground, has stairs leading up to it, two little windows, and two little entrances. It's pretty darn cool.

Sydney asked a couple of times to spend the night in it this summer, and it just never seemed to work out. The other night, she asked again... I told her that it definitely can't happen on a school night, and that I would think about it if we had good weather this weekend. 

Then after some thought, I decided to just come out with it: "You know what, honey? I'm just really not comfortable with you sleeping in there by yourself.

Fully expecting to hear a bunch of whining and opposition, she surprised me and quietly let me continue.

"When I tuck my children in at night, I lock all the doors to the house. I like knowing that my children are tucked away safely in our home, all secure under the same roof with me. If you're in the play house, you're not only under a different roof, but those doors can't lock. In fact, one of them doesn't even close all the way. I just don't feel comfortable with that unless I'm in there with you, and we both can't fit. So I'm really sorry, but I'm just not okay with you sleeping in there." 

She looked at me and said, "That is THE SWEETEST THING I have ever heard you say, Mommy!" (She speaks very animatedly, so she said it just how it looks - haha!)

This girl is something else - she never ceases to amaze me with the things that come out of her wise and articulate little mouth every single day. She's seven years old! 

Fortunately she not only accepts my decision, but even agrees with me. I felt the need to record this; especially since I know there will be many times that I'm going to want some proof that she did agree with me about something!  =P

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Defining "widowhood"

Those who have been reading my blog for any amount of time know that I have been involved with a group called Soaring Spirits which is a top-noch organization for widowed people. They bring people together who have suffered the life-altering loss of the person they intended to spend their rest of their life with. "Diverse, inclusive, and secular" are some of the words they use to describe themselves. Positive, happy, full of love, and non-judgmental are just a few more words to describe them... I've been involved with Soaring Spirits right from the very beginning - merely months out of widowhood - and they have helped me and so many others immeasurably. I've also had the opportunity to give a little back to them in different ways over the years. I've made lifelong friends through them as well.

In addition to Soaring Spirits, I have become a member of a few other Facebook groups that also deal with the issue of widowhood - one is specifically for the younger set, one is for people with young children. I had also recently joined a local group from a different website (the only local group I could find) that was relatively new that I was so excited to find. I suggested to the organizer that he create a Facebook page since Facebook offers a much easier platform for the members to communicate than the original site they were on. I was worried members' messages would be easily missed - especially in a time of need. Messages would spontaneously delete halfway through typing them which made it frustrating and discouraging to communicate at all. He was very receptive to that idea and needed help setting it up, and I was happy to assist. I had only been a member for a couple of weeks at that point, and not very active because I was having such a hard time with the original site. 

While creating the Facebook page, I was also asked to assist with membership approval. At that point, I began to learn that inclusion into the group was likely limited to only those who were in a "traditional" marriage. My heart sank. As gently as I could, I suggested that unless the group is titled something more specific and that intent is made known upfront, I felt they should include anyone that has lost the person they expected to spend the rest of their life with - married or not. That kind of loss (aside from losing a child) is possibly the worst pain anyone can experience. If I am going to be involved in membership approval, I could not, in good conscience, turn anyone away grieving that loss. Unfortunately, that suggestion was received with ambivalent reluctance, and no clear decision was made, which made me believe he wasn't open minded to that idea. 

At that point, another member of the group also wanted to talk to me, quoting from the Bible for probably a solid ten minutes to give evidence of their now more obvious intention of excluding certain potential members. I ended up giving her a little speech that went something like this: