Reflections

So as 2015 comes to a close, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking.  It was almost a year ago when the idea of dating didn’t seem totally repulsive.  I even went on some online sites (free ones) and well, here I am, almost a year later, never having actually gone on one single date since then.  To be honest, I didn’t put in a lot of effort.  It was more just adjusting to the THOUGHT of actually going on a date with someone other than Mark.  So I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about why this is such a scary thought.  And here is what I figured out…

So, after I had ‘E’ I was in love.  Those of you with kids know what I’m talking about.  Not something you can even put into words, right?  We always knew that we would give her a sibling at some point.  2 years later, B came along.  I will never forget before going to the hospital to have him, sobbing.  Worrying how would I split my love between 2 kids?  Not possible!  I felt so guilty for bringing another baby into our lives, as if this would be taking something away from E.  You all know how that ended!

And you’d think after learning this lesson once before I would not feel this way after getting pregnant a 3rd time.  NOPE!  I imagined that E & B would have less of me since I now had to split my love for another child.  I remember looking through pictures a few days after S was born, and I came to a picture of me holding B holding S (he was only 2 1/2 after all!) and in the picture, B is looking up at me, and I’m looking down at my two boys.  I started bawling… thinking B was looking at me thinking “are you still going to love me as much?”  True story.

Okay, I know what you’re thinking.  Get to the point.  The point is, every time my heart needed to, it was able to expand and love, even when I didn’t know if it could.  This is what I’m hoping will happen at the right time with the right person.  I can’t imagine loving someone as much as I love Mark.  Because, just to be clear, I. Still. Love. Mark.  That will not change.  And that’s okay, because based on my past experience, I know that I will be able to make room for someone new when the time is right.  And I feel hopeful.  And I am making a commitment that in 2016 I will go on a date.  I don’t know when or with whom.  (Just as a sidenote, this is a terrifying thought… but that’s another blog post.)  After over 2 years solo, I’m ready to have someone to spend time with.  Give myself part of ME back.  And as I’m sitting here typing, the song “For Good” comes on, which always makes me think of Mark.  And I know he is with me… guiding me in my choices and decisions… and I know he’d approve of this one.

December already?

So it’s here, again… December.  It’s horrible because it used to be my favorite time of the year.  I was one of those people who loved that 93.9 started playing Christmas music the day after Halloween.  The first Christmas after Mark died I really don’t remember.  I know my parents were living with me at the time, but honestly it is erased.  My brain was still in trauma mode and we got through it, but it wasn’t “real.”  I feel like last year was our real “first” Christmas without Mark.  New house, new life, no daddy on Christmas morning.  I made plans to leave on Christmas day to take the kids downtown because I was “running away” from being sad on that day.  And here we are, our 3rd Christmas without Mark.  It’s just as hard as the first two.  I am dreading it… and I hate that.  Another thing that’s been taken away from me, my love of the holidays.  I know, I know.  It’s a choice.  I will decide to be happy that day, but sometimes I don’t want to decide, sometimes I wish I just felt it, honestly and truly.  Will it always be this hard?  I will never stop missing Mark, after 2 years I’ve learned that.  How can we find new joy?  Will life ever feel “easy” again?  Don’t get me wrong, we have moments of try joy.  The other day the kids and I started busting a move in the kitchen, laughing so hard, I actually paused and thought, when was the last time we did this, had this feeling?  It felt different, real.  I’ve thought a lot about why the holidays are so hard.  For me, it’s not about family, because year-round we are about family.  It’s remembering the amazing memories we made with Mark, realizing that not another memory with him will ever be made again.  And it’s devastating, because he was a great memory maker.