Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A Different Kind of Fairy Tale

I haven't blogged in a while (except for the past week) and even less than that, I haven't read any blogs in as much time. Tonight I figured I would and the first (and only) one I read sparked something inside me. It's the latest post from the blog "A Grteful People" titled "My Version of The Notebook Sequal."

The pictures are from her family photo shoot with Marine husband and two young children. They are beautiful photos that look straight out of a magazine. I see this young, beautiful mom a family to match. It was bitter-sweet reading the post and seeing the pictures. It was so much sweeter than anything bitter, but I did feel a moment of saddness for myself, but it quickly disappeared as I admired this family. I'm not a "misery loves company" type person. I see happy people-- families/ couples-- and I get happy knowing that someone out there is happy. I sat there for a few minutes thinking how they look like they have a fairy tale life and it made my heart smile. I know behind closed doors everything is different and with two little ones running around there is sheer caos at times, but in the still pictures there is such love, peacefulness and elogance.

The fairy tales I read to my daughter are ones with a prince and princess and riding off into the sunset after the prince rescues her from a far worse life than she had deserved. There is no typical prince here, yet in my eyes one better-- a Marine.

I don't know why I got so lost in the idea, but none-the-less it's in my head. I miss my Marine all the time. I wish we had amazing family pictures together. I wish he was here right now and I'd probably scheduel a photo shoot for the tomorrow. But alas, he is not here. It doesn't mean I have given up on the idea of a fairy tale. Why can't I get a second chance at a fairy tale? I would love and adore a "Happily Ever After" and maybe it wouldn't be my original ideal ending, but with now as my new starting point I could really use Happily Ever After.

Most people who know me... okay, okay, Everyone who knows me knows that I have been extremely closed minded about dating anyone who is not a Marine since Tom died. I tried going on dates with civilians, soldiers, and Airmen, but I just couldn't get over the fact that they weren't Marines or at least hadn't been Marines in the past. I am really trying to not think that way. I will say that military is preferable for me and it doesn't have to be active duty now, but at some point and just because I feel like they will understand me a little better and where I'm coming from. I do have a thing for Marines though and everything Marine Corps. That is where my affinity lays and always shall.

I don't know, but looking at the pictures tonight just made me think how nice it would be to have THAT again. To be married to a Marine and to have that life with a Marine husband and at least my two kids. Maybe it seems like I'm trying to replace what I once had, but I'm not. Nothing will ever be what I had and in some ways that's a good thing. I just feel most comfortable in that life and tonight it just brought up all these feelings about having my Marine "prince" come sweep me off my feet and have that Happily Ever After fairy tale ending...

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Miss You

Dear Tommy,

I. Miss. You.... A LOT!

I wonder what life would be like if you didn't die that day. I wonder what we would be doing right now in this very moment instead. I hate playing the "What...If" game, but I'm playing it anyway right now.

I could really use a hug and kiss from you. I love the way you kissed me. I wish your arms were around me right now. Guess wishing is all I can do.

Love Always,

Monday, August 22, 2011

A Great Weekend

Jena came to visit this weekend. It's always so nice to have a good friend come for a visit. We went to Savannah and Hilton Head Island on Saturday. Savannah is my favorite place in the world. We ate at Moon River. I love it and take everyone there. It's Tom's and my place for sure, but kind of reminds me of "C" as well. I guess by now I should just be calling Savannah MY place. I love everything about it. Sometimes those memories creep up and get to me when I'm there. I think having Jena with me that night was really good. She understands and she accepts it all and she can get my mind off of it all, too.

Jena came down because she needed a weekend away. We are both facing similar decisions in life right now, so I completely understand where she is coming from. It's great to have those friends who just get it and after every sentence it's that smile, or nod that says "I know, trust me, I know." Friends like Jena are Rare! I'm blessed to have her friendship. We are very different and very much alike at the same time. We can both be a little crazy and like to have fun when we go out, but we can also have a great time just hanging out and relaxing. We wear our hearts on our sleeves, though I've been told since Tom died I'm much more guarded. It's nice to have a friend I don't have to be guarded around.

Saturday was fun. I'm in a different mind set now and it was great to go out, meet new people, have a few drinks, chill by the water, and have those deep meaningful life talks about where we've been and where we are going. We met these really cool people who were there for a frisbee tournament and then started talking to some Army guys just back from deployment. They had their ball that night and one of the guys kind of seemed like an arrogant jerk before we got into conversation and his friend made a comment about Marines (we all know they have a rivalry). I told him not to make a comment like that to me and once he realized why he was apologetic. They were all pretty cool (ya know for being Army and all-- just kidding). It was nice chatting with them and their wives. I miss being a military wife. It's just so nice to be around people who understand me on THAT level even if only for a few minutes.

We left Savannah and met up with a friend and his roommates on the island. It was a great way to end the night. Sunday we had movie night and laughed until we cried. But of course we had to get into a deep conversation with one of our guy friends on the phone until 1am-ish. That put lots of things into perspective and I know I have tons to think about now (as does Jena, lol). Ugh! When will life be simple? Not sure it ever will be, but I'm just going to keep on living and doing what I need to do and hopefully one day life will be simple. I don't want boring or ordinary, just simple!

We went back to Hilton Head today (Avery was in school), just went and had lunch by the water, relaxed, and talked. I don't know what it is about that place, but I can be having the worst day (though today was a great day to start with), and as soon as I get on that island I feel at peace. I love this whole area down here. I know I need to move and get away, but if I can't be in Southern California then here is where I feel the most peace. Sitting by the water is such a soothing thing for me. I want to spend all my time out there and just soak it all up. If I could bottle it and take it with me I can honestly say I'd rarely have a bad day. Neither Jena nor I wanted to leave. She felt the same way there. I think I found one of my places to go and just write. I've been looking for that-- a place where I feel at peace to just sit and write; a place where my soul is full, happy, and at peace. I'm ready for that in life right now.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Widow Breakdown @ Work

I play my iPod and put it on shuffle while I'm taking a shower and getting ready for the day. Well, for the past 2 weeks or so (all except for 3 days) while I am in the shower my iPod has been playing songs that remind me of Tom. When I get out of the shower though, it plays songs that remind me of my ex-bf. It's a little weird-- and by a little I mean a lot.

The night before this first started happening I learned of the death of a guy from Tom's unit (later found out there were 2 others). So I was already upset over this news, then the songs started playing first thing in the morning. I cried a little and then went to work. I figured it would be a good distraction and was looking forward to it. Haha! So I am standing there as my manager is going over "game day" with the associates working that day including my good friend Kate and a brand new guy. And of course what starts to play? Yup of course, one of the songs that can bring me to my knees when I'm in a widow mood.

I start to cry and run into the back. Kate comes back and turns the song off. I went back out and thankfully we had a shipment come in that day and he kept me working in the back on that. I couldn't deal with people that day. Later I was talking to another manager about it and he said he heard, and knew it was the "wrong song" that set me off.

Now I understand that not everyone has had to deal with death and not everyone who does will deal with it the same way. I really do understand this, but the other day at work my "widow breakdown" got brought up and one of the newer employees who was not there really pissed me off. He asked what made me cry and I said it was a song that reminded me of my husband. His response: "Are you that sensitive that a song made you cry?" I didn't particularly like the way he said it either. I had a few choice words for him... I kept them in my head, but I wanted to explain to this person what it's like to be a widow, what it's like to have the love of your life die and to miss this man everyday of your life, to wake up every morning without him next to you knowing you won't see or talk to him again and to go to bed every night alone knowing that you won't see him the next day either or ever again. I wanted to explain that we don't choose when or what will trigger us to break down and cry and that sometimes I can listen to that song (and many others) and won't even blink an eye, but sometimes... sometimes when the circumstances are just right that little things like a smell or a song or a memory will bring us to our knees at a moments notice.

I was really mad at this guy, but I let it go. Well, I let it go at work and decided to write about it here instead. If crying over the fact that my husband died makes me "sensitive" I will always be considered sensitive and I am ok with that.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Too Much To Handle

I wonder how long I need to lay low and stay off the radar before life can go back to being the way I need and want it to be? It would be awesome if I had a remote like on the movie "Click" --without the bad side effects. Besides going back and changing the obvious, right now I really would like to fast forward to being a part of the real world again. For now I'm just trying to focus on me and calm the waters. They have always been a little choppy in my life, but since Tom died the waters have had outrageous waves and my boat is about to capsize if I don't do something now and I don't know how to swim, nor can I find a life vest, so before I totally spin my life out of control to where I can't handle it anymore, I will change it.

I talked to Jena about life in the past few months and I love that she is totally honest with me about everything and doesn't sugar coat it. People are shocked when they hear our conversations because we give each other such raw honesty that most people wonder how we are still friends. The thing is that we both appreciate the honesty that most people are afraid of and know that even when we say something that may hurt the other's feelings, it's truth and it comes from a place of love and respect. We try to build each other up and when one needs to get kicked in the butt to get in gear we can always trust the advice of the other.

So, not only have I been overwhelmed myself lately, I have also been overwhelming to others. I wish I had talked to her about this sooner, but better late than never. I have been seeing my life spinning, but I think when I put it out there to some fellow widows that I Needed widow time and then saw that a few of them got together without me it was a realization that I have been too much to handle. I'll be honest and say that it's not Just since Tom that I get like this. There have been several times in life that I have become so stuck on my own life and having pitty parties and had the attitude that the world revolves around me, but it's been like this for a much longer time frame now since Tom's death. I'm not proud of it, nor do I like it. I don't like myself right now, so how could others like me at this point? But I see it, and I am changing it.

I need to get back to the gym again and start eating right because I am a Totally different person when I go to the gym and at least attempt to eat healthy. It's amazing the difference in my personality and attitude when I work out vs. when I don't. I'm such a better person when I work out. I am more positive, have energy, and I'm more likable (to others and myself). I guess tomorrow I should start being serious about it again-- diet and gym!

As I write this the U2 song 'Stuck in Moment' came on. "It's just a moment, this time will pass." I guess as I started this I was thinking how nice it would be to have that remote and fast forward life, but ya know, this is just a moment in my life and while I always search for the quick fixes in life I have learned (and by learnED I mean learnING) that there aren't quick fixes and that is just the way life goes. I just have to relax and live and it will get there. Time goes by fast and my life will be where it needs to be sooner than later with the right attitude and mind set. I just need to not worry about anything else and just enjoy the ride.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Lost and Found

Do you know who I am? No really I'm asking because I don't know. Apparently this has been the subconscious question I have been asking EVERYONE about ME for far too long now. I haven't realized it on the level I needed to until recently, but now I can see that is what I was doing. I have been running and hiding from the real world for, oh... say 15 months and 4 days, perhaps. I have been trying to escape from reality. Funny thing is that "C" has told me many times that I don't know what reality is. Wrong. I know what reality is and I Choose to run from it.

I have been trying to figure out my life for a long time and trying to figure out who I am now. I know who I am as a person and back in January I really felt like I found myself, my true self again. I didn't feel lost so much anymore and then somewhere in the past 3 months or so I lost that person. I'll be real here and say that I haven't been the greatest person ever. I haven't held true to my values or character or my convicitions in life. I haven't treated people the way I normally do, nor how I should. I have been a bit mean and I feel bad about it. I really couldn't give a straight answer as to why because I'm not really sure. I'm not proud of myself, but I have to say that I have some amazing friends that have pointed out my faults and still love me none-the-less. I am so thankful and so blessed because not only are they wonderful, they have helped me get back to being the real me (again).

My life has been on drama-overload lately and I got to my breaking point with it. I think I have embraced the drama that has been my life since Tom died because it's what I was used to. Back in December when my relationship with "C" first started to have drama, I talked to one of my guy friends about it. I asked his advice about if I should end things with "C" and he said, "No! That is not at all what I'm saying." I was shocked. I figured as a good friend trying to tell me this guy was no good for me that he would automatically tell me to dump the guy. 'What?' Was all I could say in my moment of shock. He told me, "This guy is perfect for you. All you know anymore is drama and this guy is complete drama, so you should stay with him. You're not drama so you need it in your life." (His explanation on that last sentence was amusing and probably very true but he brought our other friend into it to explain so I'll leave it out for now.) But he was right in the sense that drama was all I knew. Ever since Tom came home from Iraq my life was crazy, and drama had become my comfort zone-- not one I recommend for sure, but it was the one thing I understood.

The thing is that drama never ended with "C" even when our relationship did. When I started dating "K" I just didn't know how to deal with him and his lack of drama. The calmest my life has been in a long time was when "K" was in my life. I felt good about myself and my life and the direction it was headed at that point. I couldn't sit here and explain why I felt the way I did, but I just remember having those thoughts then. I messed up things on that one, but it was a learning experience for sure. I think I've allowed so much drama in my life because it keeps me distracted from reality. And there has been plenty lately. I'll be honest and say most of my drama over the past 15 months has been related to boys (and not just boys I date, but boys who Want to date me), my family, and my drinking (oh it was bad for a while back in the beginning of the year and I don't drink often anymore-- and finally reached a point where I'm going to limit my amount when I do drink). It seems like I need to learn all my lessons the hard way.

I didn't realize how much drama was going on in my life because I was so wrapped up in it. I mean there have been a few times when I have seen my life getting out of control and needed to reign it back in, but this is on a different level and I'm at a point where I'm ready to run from the world and hide in a little hut all by myself and never come out (well only if the hut was a 5 star hotel room suit, lol). I just need to learn to chill for a little while; Take a break and then slowly get back into the real world. I'm going to work and write and take a few small, low key trips. If this plan isn't working well in a few months I'm starting back to school to get my Master's... again, lol. I was going to start again next month, but my Mom told me the other day she didn't think I was ready for it. That made me doubt it, too, and if I was swayed that quickly then it looks like she's right. And I need to figure out where I'll be living before I start classes because I don't want to move in the middle of a semester either.

I ran into people from my home church today (I really was going to go, but Miss Avery didn't want to cooperate), anyway, one person said "I didn't know you were here. I can't keep up with you." Haha, I told her I can't even keep up with me, and that's the sad truth. I just want to calm down and take a step back, reevaluate my life a bit and Finally focus! I finally feel like I'm on the right road now and need to stay on it this time!

I've been running too much. I mean anytime life gets a little hard anymore I am out the door! Well, the running is over because let's be honest, there are times in life when running is not an option, so I need to remember what it's like to face the hard times. We won't even discus the running I do... Uh, I mean did... with Tom's death. Though, I have been much better with that one the, I still have my running moments.

Ok, so, I just used to word drama more than should ever be used for any reason! Moving

Back in NC

I'm here in our NC house. Avery is watching Dora on the couch not feeling well and telling me this house is better than our other house and she doesn't want to leave here. I'm supposed to be getting the house ready for renters, but somehow I just can't. I don't even want to go through anything. I have such anxiety over even looking in the closets. What am I supposed to do with all of our stuff? I mean yes, obviously there is storage, but there is so much that I still need to sort through and I can tell you I have no motivation, nor the mental will power to do so. Oh, my. I just want someone else to handle all this. Actually truth be told I wish this wasn't an issue at all, but this is the life I have been dealt and I'm going to have to put my big girl panites on and deal with it... just not this weekend.

I'm really going to have to be ok with this decision and just go with it. I feel like I'm at home here and don't want to move away-- oh wait I did that about 10 months ago, but it was different because I am up here All the time anyway and have that comfort knowing that I can come whenever I want. I just need to deal with the fact that other people will be living here and I can't come home anytime I want-- that I can't come and be close to Tom. I know that Avery is really upset and really wants to be here at the NC house all the time, but that's because she knows and understands that this is where Daddy was when she was a baby and I know she misses him. She talks about him a lot, especially when we are here. It breaks my heart when my babies talk about their Daddy, what they remember and missing him. This house comforts me a lot. I have peace here, but I don't want to "retreat." I want to be strong enough to keep going. I guess we will see soon enough how this all turns out.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The House

Well, Tommy, I haven't written to you on here in a while, so I figure why not do so tonight? I mean I am going home for the weekend as I have people moving into our house next month and I need to start getting it ready for the renters. Wow let me tell you how hard of a dicision that was! There is no way I could sell it, I can't afford to pay for it and the apartment anymore, and so I have been struggling with if I move back there or rent it out.

I don't feel you here with me anymore, but I still feel you close when I am in our home in NC. It breaks my heart to think I can't just go there and visit randomly when I get the notion to, which we know I do a lot! I probably go up about once a month and now it'll be at least a whole year before I can go again. I've been waiting for life to just show me what I'm supposed to be doing and waiting for everything to just drop in my lap. I figure I tend to try to rush things just so I can feel secure in knowing what is coming around the corner, but we know that life doesn't work that way. So I try to just let life show me what to do. And these people basically came to me.

It's only a year and in this lifetime that still awaits me, what is one going to do? I've already survived over a year (15 months and 1 day to be super exact) so I can go another year without being at that house. Maybe by then I'll be ready to sell it, who knows. All I know is that it's one less decision I have to make at the moment and one less huge bill I have to think about every month.

I miss you so much, Tommy! I just wish you were here to tell me I'm over reacting yet again and everything will be alright. I miss your arms around me and feeling like nothing else in the world even exists-- because when I was in your arms, nothing else did. I love you with all my heart and miss you as much. Everyday brings me one day closer to being with you again. I wish I knew what you were doing right now. Time for me to go to sleep and maybe dream about you? It's been a while.

Love always,

A Widow's Dating World (Part 2)

This has been in the draft box since June. I suppose it's time to post what I wrote then with a little editing that is needed on the story...

Why do some widows choose to date so soon after while others wait longer or never agian? There are just as many reasons as there are widows and I would be doing a diservice if I tried to answer for anyone else, but I can say that I have heard some say they will never date again because "he was it, there will never be anyone else for me" and for them if no one else can compare then there is no point. Others just want to ease the pain or fill the void or are really truly ready for something more. Each widow has her reasons and it's not right to sit there and make assumptions as to what they may be.

As for me? Well, the day before Tom killed himself he told me it was time for him to step back and let some other man take over his family. This obviously floored me and left me speechless and I tried to tell him he was wrong. Well, less than 24 hours later I became a widow. I didn't think about dating for a while and really hated the idea of someone else "taking over" Tom's roll. But at the same time as time went on I knew I didn't want to be alone. I didn't want my kids to grow up without a father. I loved nothing more than having a family and wanted that again. The last few years with Tom were hard (I've discussed this before) and I already felt a little alone, not that anything compared to when he died, mind you.

The idea of ever dating again within the first few weeks was only there because of what Tom said and I felt like it was my duty to find my kids a dad. But then it became about me. I went through what many would call a selfish phase in my life and to be honest I wouldn't say I'm completely out of it (though every decision I have made since last June with my kids has been because I believe it's what is best for them). Dating someone (and rightfully so) became about me-- who made me happy and who was best for me. And if the person is right for me then obviously the person will be right for my kids, too. But my kids weren't the focus. I may have lost sight of that a few times and thought about settling for their sake, but as fate would have it, that never came to pass.

So I started going to the gym at the beginning of the year and one of the trainers and I got into a conversation about how I am a Marine's widow and how he is a former Marine. He told me about his friend and how we should hang out sometime. Eventually it happened and we hit it off. We will call him "K." Well "K" and "C" aren't really the best of friends which makes this a little... interesting for us all since they worked together. "K" is really different and was really hard to figure out. He said he didn't do drama, and really, I never really experienced drama with him-- except for the drama I created. All my life has been for 4 years is drama. It's all I know. I think the 'no drama' is one of the things I really liked about "K" but I didn't know how to handle it.

"K" and I dated a little while and he really helped me heal after "C" and get stronger. He showed me what kind of man I want. And honestly, when I was with him I felt "safe." The same kind of safe I did with Tom. I had a hard time letting go of that, but I think "K" also played games with me (yes even with not being able to figure him out or what he was really doing with me I still felt safe-- so hard to explain). And when I say games I mean No Where near on the level that "C" did, but for a while I totally allowed it. We don't talk anymore and truthfully it makes me sad. I have so much respect for "K" as a Marine and a man. That is something that I find so rare anymore-- being able to have that kind of respect for a man. He's the "bad ass" type, but when we were together he treated me well. I know it may seem silly, but he actually got me a Mother's Day card and even now I have to say that is one of the sweetest things ever. It meant so much to me. "C" didn't even send me a Happy Birthday Text until half way through the day of my b-day and we had known each other a while longer. Even with the way things turned out with "K" I still only have positive things to say and probably always will. When I picture in my mind what a Marine Should look like, he comes to mind as the epitomy of the perfect Marine-- maybe needs some work in the relationship area, but I think I should just blame myself for falling for guys that are still in love with their exes, lol.

Learning lessons the hard way seems to be the only way I learn them. Maybe one day I will take the easy route... Maybe, lol.