Friday, August 26, 2016

As Told by Louise

The other day, Louise asked how your face looked when we met. In attempting to translate that, I thought she was asking about how you looked when you were younger. (background: we have been looking at a lot of pictures lately, and the girls have been asking questions about the way people's looks change over time.)

I told her you were very handsome (of course). But then she rephrased her question for me... "No, Mommy. How did Daddy's face look when he saw how beautiful you were."

This is romance as told by a five year old. She imagined you, dropped jaw, gazing in awe at my beauty. She's clearly been reading too many romance novels. I'm quite fond of this version though.

Later, I imagined this conversation if you had been there. I think you would have demonstrated your "beauty awe" face, and it would have been similar to your "stinky trash" face. I would have "hmph"-ed, and you would have grinned. Louise would have scolded you too. But then you would have corrected yourself.

I told her what you always told me... that it was my smile that you noticed first. I think I'm going to adopt her version for future tellings though!

I love you, babe.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Right Here, Right Now

In the past: resigning from a job that I loved, losing my husband to ALS, losing my dad the same year

In the future: figuring out how to get back to work, struggling to be a good single mom

Many sources of stress and woe.

But right now... in this moment, life is pretty damn sweet.

I won't take this golden moment for granted. The rest can wait until tomorrow (or the next day).

Night, night.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Big Dates

The big dates on the calendar seem to trigger a few days of brooding. Birthdays, holidays... this time it's the first day of school. Louise is starting kindergarten tomorrow, and Cora starts third grade.

It always seems strange without Tony; something (someone) is missing. The celebrations are always shadowed by that for me, and then I get frustrated that I can't just enjoy the moment. Well, that's never going to go away. I will carry this for the rest of my life. The girls won't remember "normal" celebrations with Tony... they'll just know he's not here with us. I shouldn't expect it to go away, but maybe it will be easier as time passes.

I'll do my best to enjoy and savor these moments, after all, what's important is that I'm here. I'll make sure to tell the girls how proud Tony is of them. And I'll allow myself some time to be broody... I think it's the best way to learn to carry this.

Monday, August 8, 2016

My socialites

We all know people who have remarried quickly after losing a spouse. Some people are lucky enough to find love again. Sometimes I'm sure it's mainly to relieve loneliness. I've heard that a local woman said that she remarried quickly because no one invites you out when you are a widow.

In my experience, there's a lot of truth to that. I understand it though. By definition, I am a third wheel, and I'm far past the age when that's usual. Of course, I've had a pretty depressed social life for years... having babies and living with ALS does that too. Not getting invites isn't really new.
It may be a blessing and a curse. It's hard to meet new people and make new friends, but I'm also not really up for that either. This is hardly the point in my life when I am my most engaging. 

What I have learned, is that my girls make all the difference for me. Sometimes when we get invited out, I know that the girls are the best addition to the event. I've decided that's 100% okay. When they show up, they take over. They distract everyone and demand attention constantly. They let me tag along and hang out on the periphery. Hopefully, everyone gets something out of it. 

I truly wonder how Tony and I could have gotten through this without the girls, and this is just another example of how much they help. They keep me going every day. I hope I can do as much for them as they have for me. 

P.S. This is not a cheap attempt to solicit invitations (I promise)... just an observation. I could prepare myself for some parts of widowhood, others have taken me totally by surprise.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Scholarship Update

This appeared in the latest issue of the VMI Alumni Review... There are some pretty flattering remarks about Tony and I... his deserved, mine I'm not sure.

It's great to see it getting a little publicity though! We need more donations to make it over the mark though... if you are willing to help, everything is appreciated!

Give to the Tony Conway '01 Memorial Scholarship