Wow! I was gone so long from blogging that the whole blogspot layout was reformatted!
So why the hiatus?
I don't have much to say. I have thoughtfully considered closing down this blog. But the permanent hole in my family, in my heart, and in my life is all documented here. And I hope and pray it isn't the end of the story.
I have come to realize some very important things. I have let Brian's death define me. Believe me, I tried not to. I tried very hard. The other day I when I was thinking about him, I realized it had been a while since my thoughts of him included his illness. That made me so happy. Because I never believed that his illness and death defined who HE was.
I look in the mirror and it is who I AM. It is ok if you all don't see it, don't understand it, or don't agree with me. It is the truth. How sad is that? He would be really pissed at me about it too.
Recently, a widow friend wrote on her blog about the loss of intimacy in her life. Being touched. On purpose. It cut to the core of how I have become somewhat of a hollow shell in this respect. I don't get hugged. And I frankly don't want you to come up and hug me the next time you see me. It has been 4 years and almost 3 months, and I'm not sure it is something I want right now. It is just funny how affectionate my life was before.
Before the firestorm that stole the future I had planned, the future I wanted, the future that was mine at one time, full of being loved and cherished.
Thank God our son is so charming and affectionate like his father. He told me recently when the One Direction song Beautiful came on, that he wanted that to be my ringtone someday when he gets a cell phone. He is 8. I almost ran out and bought him a cell phone right then!
So lately my sadness has centered around the fact that I am trying to refocus my life. At one point in my life, I considered myself a real go-getter, full of motivation, initiative and enthusiasm. I am trying to find my way back to that. I have spent a lot of time in prayer and reflection, in hopes of finding whoever it is underneath this cloud of grief. Some hopes and dreams are starting to emerge, maybe even resurface.
So much of my life in the past 15 years has been full of turmoil, chaos, loss, sadness and loneliness. It is no wonder I find myself clinging to a routine...monotonous, boring, sometimes unproductive. That routine of my life is at least not chaotic, does not bring more sadness, and gives me comfort in that consistency.
But this also makes me complacent. I have battled an almost lackadaisical attitude. I have certain passions that have surfaced over the past few years, including the Ministry Center and Scrip. Those things nourish my soul and bring me happiness. And they also keep me busy enough not to get anything else done. Double-edged sword, maybe?
For most of the time Brian has been gone, but especially lately, I find myself selfishly missing him simply because he was my biggest cheerleader. I do surround myself constantly with other motivated and enthusiastic people, many of my family and friends. They are great cheerleaders too. But they aren't Brian. And he is the one I want. He is the one who knew how to push me, to stand by me, and to encourage me. I have been trying a lot lately to imagine what I think he would say to me. Right now, it is a huge struggle to pull that motivation from within myself, to look ahead to the future, to what I want with my family and professionally, what I just want in terms of following a dream and making a difference. I want to snuggle up on the couch with him and hear him tell me it will all be ok, or to hear him tell me I deserve better than what has presently become my life, or maybe even to tell me the hard stuff and remind me of my dreams, to remind me what I need to change, and to assure me he will help me along the way.
So sometimes when I think maybe the hole in my life is starting to slowly close, I step back and realize maybe the hole has become so large that it is now almost an unrecognizable hole, but instead now a part of the landscape of my life.
I haven't blogged for a while because I honestly feel like I don't have much else to say. I don't want to be a downer, and I don't want to sugar coat things either. Things really are good right now. The kids are getting old enough that all my responsibilities don't actually make me crazy anymore. Part of that is probably because I had to start letting some things go, and not try to be perfect at everything. Don't worry, I have accomplished that most definitely...the not being perfect part.
A lot of my silence is because I have learned how judgmental people can be. I am sure each of you has a thought on where I should be in my grieving process. So do I. The funny thing is, some days I look at myself and think, wow, I have come so far and I am getting used to the afterlife I was left with...all its many blessings and my beautiful children, family and friends. And other days I am taken back, sitting next to Brian's bed, whispering into his ear that he could go to Heaven now, that I would be ok, wondering if I would die right along with him and thinking my life is over. As hurtful as it is, I am mostly at a point of just getting a chuckle out of those who think they know how a widow should be or feel. It totally cracks me up. Our society is not equipped to deal with a 30-something widow. I don't want to hear how I will find someone someday. I already did and he is dead now. And so what if I don't want to ever find someone again? Or what if I don't feel like it now, but maybe someday I feel differently? Or I don't? Come on! I'm a Heflin girl, and I was raised to be very independent and strong-minded. I don't need a man to feel valued.
So why do I miss it so much? It is Brian. HE is who I miss. Oh sure, I miss being a couple, going places, making plans together. I miss someone asking me how my day was, and really wanting to know. I miss mattering to someone on an intimate relationship level. I think that is human nature. But HE is who I miss. His laugh, his smile, his genuine concern for me and our family, just HIM.
As I move forward...and I do feel myself moving forward...I am working to sort through what all I learned from Brian, what gifts he gave me and instilled in me, and how I can bring those out and celebrate a future. A new future. That doesn't look anything like what I thought it would look like. Honestly, right now it is a future I can't really even envision, or haven't even allowed myself to. All my future plans were shot all to hell, and it makes it hard to look ahead and want to imagine or hope.
But I am trying. And hey, that is quite a bit better than I was doing, even a year ago. I need some goals, some challenges, some dreams. I am reluctant to ask God for them, as He has sent me more than my share of challenges over the years. I am just trying to trust Him, to believe that He hasn't forgotten me, and to understand that maybe I haven't been listening, that maybe I am not seeing what His plans are for me because all I want to see is what is no longer possible.
You might have read before on my blog that Brian's favorite time of day was 11:11. He thought it was a lucky time, and the kids and I always watch for that time and make a wish. And you know what I always wish for? That my husband wasn't dead. Jeez. So the other day, randomly driving along, I noticed the car clock said 11:11. I started to wish my normal wish. And I was overcome with this feeling that it was time to stop wishing for this. It was time to stop even letting that be a part of my wishful thinking. Even in a fairytale life, I know straight up that it isn't happening. So I wished to win the lottery because dang!...I have a better chance of that wish coming true! But seriously.
Things have been different lately. I went to my dad's for Father's Day. I celebrated with Tye. But beyond that, Brian was not mentioned all day. I guess that is what happens after so many years. And maybe that is ok. I planned to go to the cemetery. But I didn't. I didn't want to think about him being dead, so I just celebrated the gift of Tye. For the first time since Brian died, I didn't feel quite as sad.
Until a few days later when Tye said why didn't we celebrate Father's Day for Daddy. How fair is that? I tried to blow past it to save myself the heartache. I sunk down into the blanket of silence surrounding the day, allowing myself the comfort of not facing it, yet taking away from a child who needs to always celebrate Father's Day. So it is a regret. And I won't do it that way next year, if anything because death is hard, and I'm not going to try to make it easier on myself at the expense of Tye's longing to be close to Brian. Sigh...
It is over halfway through summer. And I have really enjoyed myself. I have been less than productive, but I don't care. I don't know if that is a good thing or not. I so badly needed a break after a very long spring with hardly any time off. And I've had fun just being lazy, relaxing, and playing at the pool. But it is going to end. And my real life will be back with a vengeance. And I don't want to hate my life. I want to love it and enjoy it and cherish it. Something has to change, and I am trying to find the courage within myself to do just that. God, why is this so hard?
My kids are growing up before my eyes. I feel sad that I have been shrouded in grief for so many years, and that several years before that I was busy fighting melanoma. Love takes you down a path you don't always know, and I can only hope that whatever has been missed over the last years is made up for with my unconditional love for my children. They are amazing and so resilient, strong-willed and independent just as I am. I'm thankful that my grief has not totally screwed them up, even though I know dealing with me has probably been a challenge for them. Their love sustains me right now, and for that I am eternally blessed.
Thanks for checking in...