My Life is Not a Tragedy

My life is not a tragedy.  For a long time I felt like “why did this horrible thing have to happen to ME?”  What did I do to deserve this fate?  I have lived my life being good.  Doing the “right” thing.  Being happy and nice and positive.  And boom.  It’s gone in an instant.  My whole world view has changed.  I would often think, ‘I cannot believe that THIS is my story.’  Yet it is.  But I am beginning to realize something I hadn’t realized before.

My life is not a tragedy.  Because I met the boy of my dreams 16 years ago living across the hall from me in college.  I was 19 and I met my best friend who would eventually become my husband and the amazing father to our 3 wonderful kids.  I got to be a beautiful bride.  I got to feel 3 babies grow inside of me, knowing they were made from real, true love.  I got to watch sunsets and hold hands and go to romantic dinners and have someone truly care about where I was and how I was doing.  I got to go on vacations and play family game nights and snuggle in a queen size bed with 5 people.  I got to smile and laugh and feel the comfort of knowing someone was there always looking out for me and wanting to make me happy.

My life is not a tragedy because while I had this tragic thing happen, I have had SO much more than most people ever have.  I am 35 and I have a lot of my story left to live.  I have 3 of the best kids in the whole world.  They are who they are because Mark and I were there for them growing up.  I had 15 years with this amazing person.  I always loved the saying, “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”  It is so true.  I am making a choice to be thankful.  For everything I had, and for everything I have. 

Duet

A few days ago I was at the gym on the treadmill.  I use my phone to listen to Pandora while I’m working out and I had on the “Wicked” station for broadway musical music (a change from my usual will.i.am or Missy Elliott).  The song “For Good” came on from said musical.  For those of you who have never heard it, listen to it.  It is an awesome song.  It is a duet between the two “witches” Elphaba and Glinda.  As I was listening to it, I began to think about how my life before was a duet.  When Mark was here, we were in harmony.  If I needed a break, he was there to take over and vice versa.  We made beautiful music together.  Once you’ve been singing as a duet, it is not easy to become a soloist.  However, that is where I am.  I am trying to figure out how to sing this song of life on my own.  It is so much more than just missing everything he did for our family.  It is the comfort of knowing I was on this “ride” with someone else.  I miss having a person to “go to” and talk about everything the kids are doing.  I miss having MY person.

I ended up switching stations because these thoughts just got too sad and I didn’t want to cry while on the treadmill at my crowded gym.  Back to will.i.am and barreling through life.  Will it always be this hard?  Will I ever be able to truly “move forward?”  I can’t imagine ever feeling as happy and comfortable as I did when Mark was here.  He was my favorite sweatshirt, warm and cozy and fit just right.  I don’t want to have to do that all again.  Oh how I wish I could sing my duet with him again.

Duet

A few days ago I was at the gym on the treadmill.  I use my phone to listen to Pandora while I’m working out and I had on the “Wicked” station for broadway musical music (a change from my usual will.i.am or Missy Elliott).  The song “For Good” came on from said musical.  For those of you who have never heard it, listen to it.  It is an awesome song.  It is a duet between the two “witches” Elphaba and Glinda.  As I was listening to it, I began to think about how my life before was a duet.  When Mark was here, we were in harmony.  If I needed a break, he was there to take over and vice versa.  We made beautiful music together.  Once you’ve been singing as a duet, it is not easy to become a soloist.  However, that is where I am.  I am trying to figure out how to sing this song of life on my own.  It is so much more than just missing everything he did for our family.  It is the comfort of knowing I was on this “ride” with someone else.  I miss having a person to “go to” and talk about everything the kids are doing.  I miss having MY person.

I ended up switching stations because these thoughts just got too sad and I didn’t want to cry while on the treadmill at my crowded gym.  Back to will.i.am and barreling through life.  Will it always be this hard?  Will I ever be able to truly “move forward?”  I can’t imagine ever feeling as happy and comfortable as I did when Mark was here.  He was my favorite sweatshirt, warm and cozy and fit just right.  I don’t want to have to do that all again.  Oh how I wish I could sing my duet with him again.

9 months

Yesterday was 9 months.  It is so hard to believe I’ve lived for 9 whole months without his smile, his laugh, his snuggles.  It seems like each day that goes by without Mark, the kids and I just miss him a little more.  In some ways it is easier.  The pain isn’t as intense as it was the first few months.  But in other ways, it’s harder.  This is REAL.  He isn’t coming back.  And the kids are really beginning to understand that.  Especially ‘S’.  Ever since his birthday, he has been asking so much more about him.  Letting me know he misses him.  It was hard enough meeting the older 2 kids’ emotional needs, but now I have all 3.  I’m drained.  I don’t want to have to talk to my kids about death.  And missing playing catch with daddy in the yard because “he threw them the highest.”  It’s so hard because I have my own stuff plus all their stuff too.  It can really get overwhelming.

‘E’ told me she is scared to start the school year.  “Last year daddy was here.”  Yep.  I know.  Believe me, I wish he was here too.  But we will just have to figure out this new life as we go.  Starting a new school year, moving into a new house… lots of changes coming up and it’s scary.  So keep praying we can get through it 🙂

So, I couldn’t post without at least one paragraph about Robin Williams.  Yes, it is bringing back lots of feelings I had pushed down.  I told my parents I mainly feel sympathy for his family, but on a much grander scale.  Because I know how difficult it is to be the survivor.  Left behind to pick up the pieces and mend our family.  When the kids are crying for daddy, I do get mad.  I shouldn’t have to do this by myself.  Mark made this family with me and he should be here.  And then I think of how he was feeling that day.  And well, I don’t stay mad for very long.  I just feel sad.  I can only imagine how hard this is for Robin Williams’ family, being SO in the spotlight.  On the surface maybe Mark’s death seems similar, but the reality is, Robin Williams’ struggled with addiction and depression his whole adult life.  I will NEVER understand how Mark was able to keep these dark feelings hidden from me for so long.  They were so bad that they overtook him that morning.  After seeming totally “normal” just hours before.  It is still so hard for me to even believe that he was “depressed”… I just never saw it.  And I don’t believe that he was faking it for long.  And if he was, well that is the saddest thing of all.

Another bump

So it’s August.  Maybe it’s a full moon or maybe it’s just a sign that it’s time to go back to school.  Teacher assignments came out today.  I knew as soon as I saw E’s that she wasn’t going to be happy.  She hadn’t gotten the teacher she wanted.  Nothing I could do, as she is part of their enrichment program and she had to be assigned to the teacher taking those students.  However, I hadn’t given much thought to the fact that there was a possibility that none of her friends would be in her class.  As it turns out, not only did this happen, but they all have the teacher she wanted.  Believe me, my kids know life isn’t always fair, and this is just another bump in the road.

This was a precursor to the meltdown, which was brought on by my taking away playdoh.  In their defense, it’s been a LONG summer… and E and S have nothing this week (B is at camp) so it’s been a lot of park and playing on the Wii.  Anyways, long story short, she was feeling it today.  And it came out in some pretty emotionally draining ways.  Tears were shed on both sides and sometimes it is so hard to know when she is just mad she didn’t get her way and when she is really upset and missing daddy.  I think part of it is that some part of her wishes he was here because when I say no, she has nobody else to go to.  I think she resents me.  Wow, that was hard to type.  I know she loves me and I’m not shy about letting her know how much I love her.  I just wish I could take away all her hurt and bury it deep in the ground so she’d never have to see or feel it again.  I know that’s not possible.

This on top of the dreaded anniversary coming up.  Mark’s birthday and our anniversary is coming up this Friday.  I don’t know what we will do.  I don’t know what I even WANT to do.  I sort of want to just stay in bed and not do anything.  But I know that’s not possible… the kids will want to do something.  I’m not saying anything about it… I will talk to my counselor and see what she thinks… I don’t want to let it pass by and then they ask a few days later like, we didn’t do anything for daddy’s birthday?  I just don’t know the answer, like a lot of things.  And that sucks.

So this is a bummer of a post.  But today is sort of feeling like a bummer of a day.  I told E tonight before bed that sometimes we just have to make a decision to focus on the positive and not think about the negative.  It isn’t always easy.  But each day I make an effort… some days are easier than others.  Today was a doozy.