Somedays I really hate my life

Some days I really hate my life.

I know I am supposed to be grateful and all that stuff.  And I am.  

Sometimes I feel like I am faking it because it takes effort to be grateful.

No matter how grateful I am, it doesn’t erase what happened.  

It doesn’t fill the void of Bryon’s absence.

Some days I really hate my life.

I hate that I am inching closer to 40 and I am a single mother.  This wasn’t how it was supposed to be.

I hate seeing children with their fathers and knowing that my daughter doesn’t get hers.

I hate that I had to wait until I was 30 to find my soul mate and he still got ripped away from me while still in my 30’s.    

I hate the loneliness that comes with grief.  The truth is that I am not alone.  I have amazing friends that I am grateful for but they all have their significant others to comfort them in their grief over Bryon.  I don’t have Bryon to comfort me.  Because he is dead.

I hate the lost dreams.  The plans we had that will never happen.  I hate that I have to figure out what to do with the rest of my life without him.

Some days I really hate my life and today is one of those days.

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Exhaustion

I have come to a realization over the past couple of days…I am exhausted.

I am physically tired. I can feel it in my bones.

I am mentally tired.  

I am emotionally tired.

I am spiritually tired.

I always feel like I am behind the eight ball.

I have so much to do and no energy to do it. At times my life feels like an overwhelming mess.  Too much to do. My house is a mess. For the past year and a half, I felt that the mess in my house is just representative of my life.  But is the mess, both the literal and the figurative, ever going to get cleaned up?

I don’t know how to feel rested. I can’t remember the last time I felt rested. Was it before Bryon got sick or was it before my daughter was born? I cant remember.

I went from running on fear and adrenaline to being numb and in a fog. Now that the fog is lifting and life is starting to feel “normal”, I feel empty, hollow and drained.

This empty, hollow and drained feeling is discouraging because I feel like I have worked so hard to be positive.  I feel like I have worked hard to put myself first and it feels like I wated useless energy.

I could just stay home but then I am left alone with my thoughts which get depressing if left to their own devices.  I need the company of my friends right now.  But I am an introvert which means that I naturally need alone time which puts me in a contradictory situation.

When am I going to feel like I have sh*t together again?

Kind of grateful

I was happily married and thought I was with the man I would grow old with.

But life had other plans.

Life doesn’t care.

Life can be cruel.

Life doesn’t care who you are, where you have been or where you are going.

Life can rip your heart out.

Life can chew you up and spit you out.

Life can destroy the very foundation of everything you had and leave you to pick up the debris.

One of my worst nightmares came true.

Life made me a young widow.

What I would give to get my old life back.

My old life was innocent and selfish.  Innocent because I had the luxury of worrying about things that didn’t matter.  I didn’t know what true trauma was.  Selfish because I didn’t know how good I had it, nor did I take the time to appreciate what I had.

Bryon’s illness and death has changed me.  The whole experience has been hell, but I would do it all over again, even if it meant the same result.

I am grateful for the time I did have with Bryon.  I got to experience true love.

To have someone look at you like you are the only one in the room.

Where you can communicate with each other through your eyes from across a room.

To be so in sync with someone that you can finish their sentences.

Someone who would always hug you or hold your hand.

Someone who always rushes home after whatever work thing he/she had just to see you.

The list goes on.  Bryon wasn’t just my husband.  He was the love of my life and my best friend.  My partner in crime and my other half.  I always called him my “one and only” and my soul mate.  It makes my heart hurt to think that he probably won’t be my “one and only.”

But I know I am lucky.  Some people go through their whole lives without ever experiencing love.  But I did, because of Bryon.

I am grateful for all that Bryon gave me.  The love, the memories, the vacations, the laughter, the conversations.  For the fact that he worked so hard to provide for me and our daughter.  For the beautiful wedding and an amazing daughter.  For his faith in me.

He opened up a whole world for me.  I learned so much from him.

I am thankful that because of him, I feel whole as a person even by myself.  And because of him, I know that when the time comes for me to write the second chapter of my life’s great love story, I will not settle.

I was lucky to be your leading lady, Bryon McKim.

Late night ramblings of a widow #2

Late night ramblings…I can’t promise this post will be coherent.

It is late and I hate going to bed.

I hate being reminded that I am the only one that sleeps in my bed.

Well, unless my cat decides I am worthy of his presence.

My daughter got a toddler bed at Easter and it took her several months before she figured out she could physically get out of bed on her own.  So now there is a 50 percent chance she will make her way to my room in the early hours and climb into my bed.  And I will be too tired to care.  Unlike my cat, she is a cuddler.

I have been pondering life.

I have spent so much time living with blinders on and I never realized all the life that goes on.

I was on a run recently with Kimmy Gibbler and we were near train tracks and an Amtrak train went by.  I pointed out that the train was full of people heading to Western New York and that each person had their own agenda.

There were also other runners, joggers and walkers.  There were the maintenance men.  There was the homeless person sitting on a bench.  There were bunny rabbits in the grass.

So much life around.  Does it even matter?  Does it even affect me?

When I was back in Maine last weekend, I had breakfast with an old friend.  I will call her Charlotte because I don’t usually use real names and that was her name in French class.  I sat next to her and my name was Emilie.  Charlotte and Emilie.  Except the “E” had one of those accents on it and I can’t be bothered to try to figure out how to type with one.  Just being honest.

Charlotte said several things to me that made me think.  Some of it was about religion.  She definitely gave me some things to think about.  But if you are one of my religious friends reading this- don’t get too excited.  I am just thinking.

One of the other things that she brought up was the whole concept of the butterfly effect.  I honestly have never given much thought into it.  But it made sense to me.  Greed in the healthcare system has a trickle down effect that can affect patient care.  Laziness of doctors in overprescribing antibiotics plays into antibiotic resistance as well as the corporate greed that fuels the usage of putting antibiotics into our meat.

I was so fascinated by this concept that I spent some time on the internet reading it.  I also read Andy Andrews book about it.  It is a very quick yet powerful read.  And I am not just saying that because he talks about Joshua Chamberlain which automatically wins over this history buff from Maine.

Fun fact about me: I was a history major at the University of Southern Maine.  Your senior thesis was written while enrolled in your History 400 class and each offering had a different theme.  My final semester I was so excited that Maine History was offered in one of the sections.  But I did not write my thesis on Joshua Chamberlain.  I wrote it about French Canadian immigration to Maine’s mill towns.  I don’t have a copy.  It probably sucked and I am sure I could write a much better paper now.  Maybe I will write history books someday.

Everything we do matters.  It might not seem that way to us on a daily basis but our actions matter.  Positive actions create more positivity and negative actions create more negativity.  If you spend your time making those around you feel good, you are putting more positivity into the world which will have a butterfly effect.  You could be causing good for people you don’t even know and you may never know the magnitude of your good actions.

The same is true on the negative side.  Don’t be negative people!

Kimmy Gibbler always says that the world needs more hi-fives and less negativity.

It also makes me think about intricate our lives paths are.

When I was in Vegas last February, my friend and I had visited Mandalay Bay.  As I was walking around Mandalay Bay, I was thinking about how I attended the 2005 Young Republican National Convention.  If I hadn’t attended that event, I never would have gotten involved with the Young Republican National Federation.  I never would have met some of my closest friends from that organization.  I never would have met Bryon.  I never would have moved to New York.  My daughter would have never been born.  I wouldn’t even know my Albany family.

I have no idea what my life would be like if I had not attended that one event.

My life unfolded this way for a reason (and is still unfolding.)  Everyone is in my life for a reason.  Every opportunity in my life currently is there for a reason.  I may not be sure what it is yet, but I am right where I belong.

Chicago 2017: Navy Pier

During my weekend in Chicago I really wanted to go take my daughter on the Ferris Wheel at Navy Pier.

I first rode on the Ferris Wheel in 2004.  It was the Monday after Thanksgiving.  I had attended a wedding in Wisconsin and it was ten days after my Grandma Sullivan died.  I had found out while I was working.  It was a Friday and my father and I had been planning to leave that day to try to get to Massachusetts before she passed but we were too late.

I can still remember what I did in those ten days:

Friday- Grandma died.
Saturday- Went to Massachusetts (5 hours away from my home in Maine).
Sunday- Grandma’s wake.
Monday- Grandma’s funeral.
Tuesday- Went back to Maine.
Wednesday- Helped my mother prepare for Thanksgiving
Thursday- Thanksgiving
Friday- Flew from Bangor, ME to Madison, WI (via Cincinnati) to attend the wedding of a friend that I had attended university with while I was in England.  My cousin (from the other side of the family) was crazy enough to fly up from Florida to attend as my guest.
Saturday- Wedding just outside of Madison, WI
Sunday-  Went to Milwaukee with my cousin.  We went to the Milwaukee Public Museum, had lunch at Usingers, and toured the Colonel Pabst Mansion.

I couldn’t resist posting this Wayne’s World clip.

On Monday my cousin was crazy enough to take a bus to Chicago with me.  She was crazy enough walk around Chicago with me for 12 hours in the cold, November rain.  We had pizza at Gino’s, walked by Wrigley field, went to the top of Sears tower and rode the Ferris Wheel at Navy Pier.

I have no pictures of myself on the Ferris Wheel but here is one of me on the El.

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Chicago 2004

And because I talking about the cold November rain got this song stuck in my head…here you go-

I returned to Maine that Tuesday.

There were lots of things that I did not know at that time.  I had just gotten involved in politics but I had not even heard of the Young Republicans.  18 months after that trip to Chicago, I would attend the Young Republican Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C.  On that trip, I would attend a party at the Romanian Embassy and on the shuttle bus ride there, I would sit behind a girl from Chicago who would become on of my best friends. (You met her here)

In the fall of 2007, I was living in Southern Indiana with another friend from the Young Republicans.  I was on a three months contract for work.  My roommate and I drove up to Chicago to see my best friend and another good friend in Chicago.  We had dinner at an Italian restaurant and then went to Navy Pier.  And we rode the Ferris Wheel.

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Chicago 2007
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Chicago 2007
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Chicago 2007

In 2007 we were single girls travelling around the country, attending political meetings and partying with future leaders and elected officials (some of them surprised us).

In 2012, we both got married.  I got married in September in Albany and she got married in December in Mexico.  Her location was a bit more exotic than mine but it didn’t matter.  We were both there for each other on our big days.

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Albany, 2012
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Mexico, 2012

We both had our daughters in 2014.  Her daughter came in April and mine came in September.  They are exactly 5 months apart.

And she was there for me when Bryon died.  She made the trip to Albany (along with the other lovely lady in her wedding photo).  They actually already had the plans to be in NYC the weekend that ended up being the weekend of Bryon’s funeral.  His birthday was the day after his funeral and she made arrangements to meet my father halfway between NYC and Albany to bring our daughter to see him for his birthday.   I told Bryon that he would see our daughter, as long as the doctors said it was okay.  He was excited.

But he died a week before his birthday.

And now I am here.  A widow.  Travelling as much as a I can this year to make up for the fact that I spent most of 2016 in an ICU room watching Bryon slowly die.  And because I promised him as he was dying that I would still take our daughter on adventures.

So that brings me to Chicago in 2017.  With my best friend and our young daughters.  And I wanted to go to Navy Pier to ride the Ferris Wheel…again.

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Chicago 2017
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Chicago 2017
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Chicago 2017
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Chicago 2017
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Chicago 2017
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Chicago 2017
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Chicago 2017
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Chicago 2017
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Chicago 2017

Both of the little ones enjoyed the ride.  I can’t remember if it was my friends daughters first time or not.  I think it’s safe to say that when my daughter and I return, that we will go on the Ferris Wheel again.  Maybe next time, she will be tall enough for some of the other rides.

 

Just a quick note

The last ten days have been a whirlwind.  My daughter and I traveled to Chicago to see my best friend and her daughter and the following weekend we went to Maine for my other best friend’s wedding.  I had a great time on both of these trips.  They were good for my soul.  I will blog about these adventures as I catch up over the next couple of days.

There will even be food pics.

I am trying to not be overwhelmed by all the catching up I need to do.  I am trying to embrace the chaos.  Yes, my life is crazy, but I am spending time with amazing people and having some great experiences.  

I have so much to write about.  I just need to find more hours in the day to write.  I just need a few days to catch up and re-center.  And once I do that,  I will share my two recent trips, the garden post I promised Roda, awards posts and everything else.  I hope to resume commenting on my blogging friends’ posts soon.  And I haven’t forgotten about a post for you Linda!

10 Things I Miss About You

This poem is inspired by a poem in one of Bryon’s favorite movies.

I miss that you didn’t take life too seriously,
that you just didn’t care.

I miss arguing with you about stupid stuff,
like the length of your hair,

I miss being annoyed by all the sports on TV,

I miss our conversations,
even the ones about poop and pee,

I miss that you planned our vacations,
though you always gave me a say,

I miss that you kept me safe,
and always assured me that everything would be okay,

I miss that you would always make me laugh,
whenever I was mad,

I miss that our daughter will never know her Dad,

I miss that you would always steal my pillow,

I miss that you are not here and I am all alone.
I wish you were here,
so I didn’t have to be a fucking widow.