Friday, August 21, 2015
Monday, August 17, 2015
The new frontier
As the summer winds down, I find myself often contemplating my place in the world. I gave up everything to take care of Tony, and it was 100% the right thing to do. But that consequently created an even bigger black hole in my life when he died. I don't have work, I don't have a daily routine, and I often don't feel like I have my own place in the world.
I think it is weighing on me now because of the time of year. After Tony died, it was really just survival mode for awhile. When summer came, the girls and I took many opportunities to travel and explore... things we couldn't do when Tony was not well. But now school is starting again... the focus of my days (the girls) will be gone much more, and I'll have much more time to myself. This is both thrilling (I can take a nap!) and scary (what the hell will I do with myself all day?). I'm certainly not worried about the first few weeks of school, because I have plenty to do... but what about January, February? Those months are already rough to drag yourself through.
This is also the first autumn in a series of firsts without Tony. Even after I was no longer gearing up to go back to work, I was shuttling Tony to and from soccer practice... and now that is gone too. I really want to maintain my relationship with VMI soccer and its families, but it will be more peripheral. That's only natural because I'm no longer married to a coach... but I will always be a friendly face for the players and families, and the mother of their most adoring fans.
I have a place with my family, and of course as a mother to the girls... and with my friends, far and near... but none of those is close to replacing the vacuum left by an abandoned career and a departed soul mate. I find myself with a toehold in a few places, but never a firm footing.
I am far from outgoing, and social events are really not my natural habitat. Making new friends is difficult, and right now being around couples can feel very isolating. In short, I have quite an uphill climb in front of me.
It's part of the process, I know. And while I knew Tony was going to leave me, this is one of those subtle shifts in life that I could not predict. I'm sure there will be more unanticipated hurdles, and I'll do my best to clear them. In the meantime, if you see me out somewhere, forgive my awkward small talk!
Saturday, August 15, 2015
Ice Bucket Challenge 2015
I can't say how much last year's videos meant to Tony and I, it was mind boggling. We spent all day and most of the night trying to respond to everyone. And it was the only time we felt like something was being accomplished for ALS.
If only 1/10 the money is raised this year, it will still be awesome. They are making progress... painfully slow... and they need our help.
Here is my attempt this year... and may Tony forgive me for my bad editing ability!
Thursday, August 6, 2015
My dad has battled cancer in one form or another for about 10 years. In June, he started chemo to hopefully knock it back down again. After dealing with all the unpleasantness of chemo, the doctor told him that it had made the cancer cells more aggressive, instead of killing them off. Two weeks later, August 1st, he died.
I don't really know the words to describe the emotions I've had. It doesn't seem fair that this happened so quickly after Tony, but I know there is no fair. I do know that I was getting my feet back under me again a little, and this has certainly washed them out again.
In less than 6 months, I've lost the two most important men in my life, and I can't help comparing the effects. Tony was my best friend, and constant companion. I planned to spend the rest of my life with him. My dad represented more of my past, my formative years. He's the reason I make cucumber sandwiches the way I do, and that I'm always paying attention to the weather. And whenever there was a problem I couldn't tackle, he was the guy I called.
In many ways, they couldn't have been more different. But I loved them both, and they both loved me. That's all that really matters.
And as much as I support gender equality, sometimes it's just really nice to have a man around to help with problems large and small. I've lost both of my main men now.
So, once again I'll start to climb back out of the dark... and next time I get stuck in the snow, I'll be scrolling through my rolodex.