Wednesday, July 17, 2013

A good example

Bringing up the fact that I am a widow in a normal conversation isn't that much of a struggle anymore.  I used to despise it for the sheer fact that I didn't want to make the other person feel bad.  Now, it has become a normal part of who I am and if I'm having a casual conversation that might lead in the direction of marriage, husband, what-have-you... I can mention it with ease.  Of course, the reactions don't change but I think I have become better able to handle them without feeling like I am ruining their day.  No, it's not ruining their day.  I hope to be a good example of overcoming tragedy.  That's what it is.  And lately, that's become more and more how I feel.  Not a sad story, but a good example.  That's what I hope to be.  No matter how distant I drift from the day my husband died, I want to always remember and respect everything I went through from day one until the present.  I am coming up on two years now.  This Saturday will be the two-year anniversary of Matt's death.  My boyfriend, the kids, and I will head up to Crystal Lake to be with the family and enjoy life.  I anticipate it being a good weekend.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

It's safe to say I have no idea what I want to do with the rest of my life.

I've been in off-and-on crisis mode for a few months now.  I'm not sure if nursing school is for me right NOW.  I think that completing my rigorous two-week CNA certification course next month will help give me a better idea.  I struggle to perform up to my standards with everything else I have going on right now but everything else I have going on isn't something I'm willing to give up so the question remains... can I handle a nursing school curriculum on top of it all?

The bottom line is, I'm in no rush.  I have also checked out Allied Health and Therapeutic Recreation, both of which would require significantly more time in school but if I'm going to start working... at some point (as a CNA or PCT)... I will be satisfied with that.  Nursing is not completely out of the question though.  I'm just trying to think about all my options here.  Not stressful at all!

 I never re-hashed my Grand Canyon hiking experience on here.  It was amazing!  My boyfriend was the perfect person with whom to share such an experience, too.  After all, it was for his 30th birthday but I love that he is adventurous and outdoorsy.  I can't exactly describe myself as "outdoorsy" but adventurous certainly fits my personality.  I also adapt to change well and obviously that characteristic has served me serendipitously (Google says it's a word) in the last 21 months.

Did I ever share our love story?  I probably didn't.  I was so hesitant about "voicing" what seemed to be a "crush" only 10 months after losing my husband; let alone, allow myself to nurture those feelings in the first place.  Here we are, almost one year later.  I was sure to keep my eyes and mind open to "signs", if you will, that my heart was in the right place.  As it turns out, it was.  I knew how fragile this relationship was; to take a very important friend in your life and cross over to a romance... danger danger!  Once that line is crossed, there is no going back.  I was especially scared not only for my sake, but for Noah and Chloe's sake for Matthew was and is an incredibly important father figure in their lives.  I can be a very impulsive person so to let these emotions simply swim around in my head for a WEEK was torture.  What if he started dating someone?  What if he WAS dating someone and I was clueless (he was very private about that kind of thing)?  Actually, I remember telling my therapist that had I known he was in a relationship (IF he was in a relationship), it would have made things a whole lot easier on me because I was having my own complex about it not even having a been a year since my husband died.  An easy reason to walk away?  Yes, please! Not to mention the delicacy of our friendship, as mentioned earlier.

I have to continue this story at another time... unfortunately, I have things to do today.  Like, an eight-mile run if it ever stops raining.  I was lucky to get four miles in yesterday in between rain showers.  I am running my second half marathon on Saturday!  I also need to get down to the tax office (where Matt works) to sign my documents and bring him lunch. :)  This story WILL be finished... eventually.

Friday, February 15, 2013

It was a good day.  I started out Valentine's Day with Noah's party at his daycare.  That was relatively fun.  He's at the age now where fun things like this become somewhat more interactive.  They passed out their Valentines to all their little friends, decorated cookies (and ate them) and... that was pretty much it.  Still fun. :)  I love how excited Noah gets about fun little holidays like Valentine's Day.

Then I had a dentist appointment... no cavities so that's always a plus.  Especially considering I don't have dental insurance.  I finally made an appointment for Noah to go with me at my next checkup and then he will have his teeth cleaned.  The appointment isn't until August so  I think by then, he will be okay.  I think even now if he were to go to the dentist he would do fine.

I was starving by the time I was finished at the dentist so I thought I would treat myself to something special (the boyfriend was working all day).  I felt guilty at the thought of getting some fabulous Thai food at this restaurant we both love in East Grand Rapids... without getting some for him, as well.  I thought Valentine's Day is all about doing awkward things.  SO I picked some food up for both of us and went to bring it to him at his office... and waited... and waited... and waited some more.  I knew he had clients through the lunch hour and then finally he was finished.  I devoted my time to deliver lunch to my pseudo-hubby after his super busy day.  Complete with a sarcastic/cheesy Valentine's Day card.  Couldn't help myself.

I thought I would for sure bring some flowers to my late husband's grave and say a prayer, meditate, etc.  But I ended up not having time.  We invited my mom over for dinner and Chloe's classroom party was at 4:00 so I went straight back to the daycare from the boyfriend's office.  There are just not enough hours in the day.  I would like to start updating my blog more, as well.  It's something I think about often.

Speaking of the blog, I have been contemplating changing the "aura" of it.  When I started this blog, it was an outlet for me.  A place to express my deepest emotions following the loss of my husband.  It wasn't only for myself, but for anyone else who might be experiencing a loss of their own.  I am so far beyond that point in my life that I've been thinking about changing it ever so slightly to focus more on life after loss.  I would like it to circulate more around the idea that normal life after losing your other half IS possible... and maybe every now and then reminisce about those dark days and share what helped me through it.  I think about July 20, 2011 almost every day, if not every day, and although it was such a heartwrenching day, it was also such a pivotal time in my life.  It's just amazing how everything... every blessing, every tragedy, every challenge, every accomplishment... has brought me to where I am at this very moment and I wouldn't change a thing about it.  God is good.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

hey there.

I thought I would make an entry on a whim.  I think about writing often, but to actually do it... well, I haven't been so great at that part.

I started a new semester at Grand Valley.  In fact, it's my LAST semester before I apply to the nursing program.  If, of course, I'm eligible or they waive my overall GPA requirement.  My grades last semester weren't ideal but I got a B+ in anatomy & physiology II and that was a pleasant surprise (it's not my strong point).  I really wanted at least an A- in microbiology but the last unit proved to be my weak point so my would-be A turned into a B+.  Genetics was disappointing since my professor sucked (there's no better way to put it) so I ended up with a B- in that class which I don' believe is an accurate representation.  If I could re-take any class, it would be that one (with a different professor, of course).

I'm going back to Gilda's Club as a volunteer!  Since I am only taking two classes this semester (although they are difficult), I want to start actually doing something again.  I think I am also going to attend Walker Medical to get CNA certified this summer.

I'm turning 28 this year which is weird because I will then be older than my husband was when he died.  He would be celebrating his 30th this July.  However, my boyfriend will be celebrating his 30th in March, conveniently over my spring break, so we will be doing so in the Grand Canyon!  Life is short, right?  I told him we could go anywhere for his birthday and Grand Canyon it is.  We are so excited to go hiking there and I have a special activity planned on the day of his birthday (which is actually a series of activities).  It is going to be amazing.  The only difficult thing will be leaving the kids behind for five days.  I haven't been apart from them for more than two nights in a row.  I hate to wish away their "toddlerhood", but I look forward to being able to take them with us on vacations like this once they are a few years older.

We are all moved into our new house, now it's just going to be a matter of (a long) time before everything has been settled and organized.  We are still waiting on our couches and I want those before I start to buy other things.  It's a slow process.  I also want work done in the basement... put in a full bathroom and finish the playroom/guest room.  I hope to get that going soon (I'm obviously not DIYing that).

Well, I need to run some errands today and get some study time in so unfortunately this has to be short and sweet.  Overall, life is good and I never could have imagined it as such a year ago!  I'm so blessed.