So today was quite a day. Honestly it really started last night. I went to bed and just couldn’t stop thinking about Mark. I just miss him so much. My sister had posted this video of him on facebook from March 2013. It was SO him. I just kept thinking how broken I feel. How he took so much of me with him when he left. I am not the person I used to be and that is sad. I went through old emails from him and I just really miss feeling loved and cherished. That is the word, cherished. I haven’t felt that since he has been gone. And I probably miss that the most. Knowing that there is someone who loves me THAT much. Ugh, okay, done with that paragraph!
Back to today. Every morning is a bit hectic, trying to get the kids dressed, breakfast, brush teeth, and on the bus by 7:25. Then some housekeeping stuff (the usual, dishes, laundry, cleaning up). Drive out to pick out my foyer light fixture. Home in time for 2 deliveries and the Comcast man (because now I FINALLY have internet!!). Landscapers have been working since about 7:30am. Then I set up the furniture (thanks for the help M&D), drive E to dance, stop at Sam’s club, come home to make dinner (breakfast!), clean up the huge mess from making dinner, wash ANOTHER load of dishes (does it ever end??), finish folding the laundry, make my bed (today was sheet AND comforter day), snuggle all kids, making sure the older ones read for a bit. Boys are finally asleep, E is so happy we finally have Wi-Fi so she plays on the ipad for a while, then it’s bedtime. She comes in, I yell (I’m tired and not up for lots of interruptions since it is 9pm) but she has something serious to talk about. After quite an emotional conversation, we are lights out by 10:15pm. Now I’m watching Friends, looking for stuff for the house online, and just feeling totally drained. It is SO exhausting being the only person managing the house and the kids. Most days it feels okay, but days like today it feels, well, awful. Some days I’m like, ‘I wish every day was like today” and other days I’m like “I’m so glad not every day is like today.” Today was the latter.
Mark loved running. I think for him it was a huge stress reliever. He was a long distance runner and he was fast. Just like many other ways, he was the total opposite of me! But every once in a while, when I’d get on a health kick, I would decide to sign up for a long (for me) distance race. In November of 2009, my mom, sister and I decided to do the Soldier Field 10 miler. Then a week later I found out I was pregnant. Doing 10 miles while 7 months pregnant was not something I was capable of doing! So we signed up again the next year. This time Mark said he would pace me. I set my goal to complete it in under 2 hours (that’s under a 12 min/mile pace). There were a lot of not so nice words as he tried to encourage and push me through each mile. Around mile 6 I decided I didn’t care about my goal. Mark wasn’t letting me give up. When we could see the stadium, he told me to just keep running until I crossed the finish line. And that is what I did. My time was just over 1:58, I made my goal with a few minutes to spare. I know that would never have happened without Mark. He was my biggest supporter and I really miss that. I don’t want to be alone for the rest of my life, but I can’t imagine being with someone and NOT comparing him to Mark. They will be tough shoes to fill. I was one lucky lady.
See that waving hand with the grey shirt, that’s Mark 🙂
I’ve mentioned this song in a few of my posts, it pops up often on my Pandora. It is so perfect that I had to share the lyrics:
I’ve heard it said,
That people come into our lives
For a reason
Bringing something we must learn.
And we are lead to those
Who help us most to grow if we let them.
And we help them in return.
Well, I don’t know if I believe that’s true
But I know I’m who I am today
Because I knew you.
Like a comet pulled from orbit
As it passes a sun,
Like a stream that meets a boulder
Halfway through the wood.
Who can say if I’ve been changed for the better
But because I knew you.
I have been changed for good.
It well may be
That we will never meet again
In this lifetime.
So, let me say before we part:
So much of me
Is made of what I learned from you.
You’ll be with me
Like a handprint on my heart.
And now whatever way our stories end
I know you’ll have rewritten mine
By being my friend.
Like a ship blown from its mooring
By a wind off the sea.
Like a seed dropped by a sky bird
In a distant wood.
Who can say if I’ve been changed for the better
But because I knew you…
Because I knew you…
I have been changed for good.
Listen to it here on youtube.com!
Imagine that one year from now your life will be completely different than it is right now. One year ago I was planning a trip with Mark and the kids to the apple orchard. We were ordering tickets to attend an NIU game, where we met yet never attended a game together. I was getting ready to celebrate my 35th birthday and we bought a groupon to celebrate E’s birthday at a waterpark over Thanksgiving weekend. Then I woke up one morning, made breakfast for the kids, opened an envelope on the counter and my life was forever changed. I often wish I could remember the person I was before I opened that envelope. How did I view life? What were my priorities? In so many ways I was innocent and naive. And I liked it that way. I remember looking at the date on the paper thinking, “is this going to be a meaningful date for me?” The answer, unfortunately, was yes.
We have owned the house for 2 weeks, been living here just over a week. I have to say the transition has gone a lot better than I expected. It’s so strange because sometimes I am so thankful and love the special touches I was able to make by building a brand new house. But mostly I just wish Mark was here to see it and share it with us. I work really hard not to get caught up in the wishes because I know they are unattainable. And the best way to be happy is to create new wishes. I just want it to be easier. I have mostly been able to keep it positive, but sometimes the thoughts creep in. He will never know this place. My dad left his hat here and it was hanging on the back on the kitchen chair. I lost it. Knowing Mark’s stuff will never be left lying around. Knowing I have a new bed that is only mine and not ours. Just when I think it’s better, I’m right back there. It’s an exhausting roller coaster and I don’t know when it stops (or IF it stops… what a terrible thought.)
So again I’m just taking it day by day. As always working hard to focus on the positive.
Maybe most of you moms out there already know this, but it wasn’t until today that it really sunk in. I focus about 95% of my time on my kids (the other 5% is in a miscellaneous category). Lately the “me” category has been 0%. Okay, sounds like I’m being dramatic, right? This isn’t a pity post, this is a realization… Like, whoa, I really need to work on balancing my percentages. Today as I was driving to the counselor’s office, I realized I was wearing the same shirt I went to bed in and hadn’t even looked in a mirror before leaving the house (leading to some, what I call, “lion” hair). Granted, things have been a little (okay a lot) crazy trying to settle into the new house. I guess I feel like I am just doing my best to manage everything as usual (dance, soccer, school) but also trying to unpack and set up an entire new house.
Every day more and more is getting done and I am figuring out how to manage everything. And ya know what, if I happen to forget to send a lunch on S’s first day of Time Out for Fun, it could be worse. Every night the kids are safely tucked in their beds. And there are smiles and laughter in the house. At least I got a shower tonight… Step in the right direction.
New chapter starts now… in one hour I will be at the closing of our new house. And by “our,” I mean the kids’ and mine. It is truly a bittersweet moment. On the one hand, I am so thankful to be able to have this amazing new place to raise the kids. On the other hand, it means we are taking yet another step forward into this life without Mark. It is another big and scary change for all of us, but I know in time, it will be “ours” and we will love it.
‘E’ has been really nervous about the big move. I remind her that we have done WAY harder and scarier things than this. Yep, we sure have. I know this will be another big adjustment after living with my family for the past almost 3 months. I am hoping for a smooth transition and lots of joy over all the positive changes that come with it.
I can’t say it enough, but it is so true. I am so thankful for everything my parents have done for us these past 10 months. Not only the big things like, well, letting us live here for the past 3 months, but for all the little things. Making us dinner and taking the kids to the park. Tucking the kids in at night and letting me run to the store kids-free. Watching HGTV at night and making me go to the gym even when I didn’t want to 😉 It’s all these big and little things that have made the past 3 months, while maybe a little stressful, also fun. I know we will look back and say, ‘remember when….’ so, THANK YOU. We love you guys so much and can’t wait until we are settled and can begin enjoying our new house with you 🙂
Wish me luck at the closing… it may be a while before I get back on here to post, but I will try! Lots of big changes and just hoping we can all adjust quickly!