Fun Fact about this blog. Almost all the posts on this blog are written between midnight and 2 am. Last night I chose to sleep instead. So I apologize for the post being up later than usual.
Time for some Good Vibrations Gratitude!
Last weekend my daughter and I were in a wedding of our good friends. These friend are very special to me and I am grateful that I got to be a part of their big day.
She makes me so proud.
That the storms missed Albany.
Being from New England, I joke that Albany is in the Midwest. But we don’t usually get tornado watches. I know watches just mean that the weather conditions are present where a tornado could begin. I know that tornado warnings are when you are supposed to stay calm while freaking out. But nope- anything with the word “tornado” in it freaks me out.
I am grateful that we missed the storms and grateful that my friends Downstate were safe.
Yesterday was my kitty’s “estimated” birthday. He turned nine. I didn’t remember it was his birthday until 3:15 pm. I guess that makes me a sh*tty cat mom. While he can be rather stand-offish to everyone else, he loves me. Bryon and I adopted him when he was studying for the NY Bar exam in 2011 so my cat and I have been through so much together.
Blue Bloods is one of my favorite shows. Like, I actually DVR it and watch it every week. I also binge watch it on Netflix when I need background noise.
I have been so emotionally invested in Jamie and Eddie. Way more than I ever was with Luke and Lorelei. What do they call it? Shipping? And they finally got together in the Season Finale! Yay!
Now if only Elena and Gabe can get together….though I am not nearly as emotionally invested in them as I was with Jamko.
(We are also going to ignore the fact that this song was popular during my freshman year in high school. Because I don’t feel like feeling old today.)
We are talking about this inner circle. And the non-pictured husbands and boyfriends.
I can’t imagine life without them. Not just because they got my through the worse of my grief and they don’t make me feel bad when I talk about Bryon. But just because they are awesome people. This might sound cheesy but for the first time in my life, I feel like I belong.
On Saturday these two adorable kids are getting married and I am grateful that I get to be a part of their day.
8 Years of Friendship with Robin Brillantes
Facebook reminded me that Robin Brillantes and I became Facebook friends eight years ago yesterday. She remains one of my most favorite people of all time. I couldn’t figure out how to play the cheesy video that Facebook compiled so you get this picture of us from last Saturday.
Of course one of our friends says that Facebook is the lowest form of friendship. But I am not going to worry about that with Robin Brillantes. Because we know our friendship is amazing because it is built on love, laughter and tacos.
That I am still remembered on Mother’s Day.
My daughter made the picture and cards at school and my parents sent the flowers and the teddy bear. Though my daughter has already claimed the teddy bear as hers. I had a feeling that they had that in mind when they ordered it…
We know what that means! Time for some Good Vibrations Gratitude!
My last post was my 200th post. Thank you for reading and for all your support!
While it seems that we have gone straight from winter to summer, I will take it.
A rainy but memorable day.
My daughter had her first field trip at a local farm. It was a great day, despite the rain. I was going to write more, but I think the event deserves its own post. But here is a preview.
Surviving wasps and ticks
Along with the warmer weather, we have been getting visits from unwanted guests.
My daughter had her first tick bite last night. I saw it in the morning. Now I know I must check her every night. I have never had a tick bite myself so I have never worried about it. Luckily I was able to get it all out with tweezers and we went to the pediatrician just in case. So I will keep an eye on it for a rash.
We also had a few hibernating queen paper wasps in the house. That freaked me out. I am not a fan of bugs. Killing bugs was Bryon’s job but now it is mine.
Sorry, I couldn’t resist. I laugh each and every time I saw that on my Facebook newsfeed. Though this was in a different context. Probably in the intended context.
Anyway, the day after I discovered the wasps was my routine treatment from the exterminator. Luckily Mr. Exterminator was very nice. He didn’t mind me staring at him adoringly because at that moment, he was my knight in shining armor. He even located a wasps nest on my garage and got rid of it.
Everyone who has worked hard on the second annual Bryon C. McKim Derby Party
Saturday will be the second annual Bryon C. McKim Derby Party. I am thankful for everyone who donated their goods and their time toward this event. We raise money for my daughter’s education trust and toward the establishment of scholarships to be set up in Bryon’s memory at Siena College and Albany Law School. If you are in the Albany area, we hope to see you.
Tickets can be purchased here or you can buy them at the door.
You know what means- time for some Good Vibrations Gratitude!
Here are the 5 things I am grateful for this week:
I don’t really remember life without my cousin H-bomb. My earliest memory of her was in my Nana’s kitchen. I had to have been around my daughter’s age (3 and a half. Can’t forget that half.) My Nana was feeding H-bomb, who was sitting in a high chair. I want to say that the Price is Right was playing on a black and white TV but I could be wrong. If it wasn’t on, it should have been.
H-bomb has pretty much seen me through all stages of life- hyper kid, awkward middle schooler, high schooler, college kid, singleton, politico, wife, mother, widow and…whatever weird stage I am in now. And she has been my best friend through it all.
Going to the House of Seven Gables
As I said in my last post about my trip to Boston, I finally got to go to the House of Seven Gables. I had wanted to go about 20 years ago but no one wanted to go with me. I was excited that H-bomb and the gang were going.We kept joking that all my dreams from 20 year ago were finally coming true. I don’t know if the spirit of my younger self comes alive more when I am around H-bomb or if I am more in touch with it due to all my self-reflection over the past year and a half.
I am also thankful I am getting this period of time to examine and reflect on my life and choose to live my life more deliberately.
My future son-in-law’s birthday
Okay, I don’t know if this boy will be my son-in-law someday. It started as a joke. This little boy is the son of Bryon’s best friend. He is 5 months older than my daughter and it has always been the joke that they will get married someday.The other day we (my daughter, my future son-in-law, his mom-and one of my besties, her younger son and I) were walking out of daycare. My daughter and my future son-in-law are ahead of us and there is a random lady there.
Future son-in-law (to random lady): I am going to marry her. His mom/my bestie, me, and everyone within earshot: Awwwwww! Random lady: Can I come? My daughter: No.
We need to work on being more gracious and tactful.
This past weekend was my future son-in-law’s 4th birthday and we went to his school party at the trampoline place.
On Tuesday night (the night before his actual birthday) we all saw Disney Jr Dance Party at the historic Palace Theater. Ironically I only got pics with my daughter and the birthday boys little brother. Ooops.
Whether the kids end up marrying each other or not, it is an amazing experience to watch them grow up together and see their friendship grow.
Spending time with my friend Gentel/Corks and Forks Event
Last weekend I got to see my friend Gentel (she blogs here). Gentel and her boyfriend were in Albany for the weekend and invited me to attend the Corks and Forks fundraiser to raise awareness for Huntington’s Disease. I didn’t know much about Huntington’s Disease. You can read more about the disease here.It was a great event. And it was great to spend time with Gentel and her boyfriend.
I hope to see them sometime soon.
Everyone in my life
I know this is a broad one but I am thankful for everyone in my life.For everyone who is there for me and my daughter.
For everyone who messages me and checks up on me if they think I am sad.
For everyone who has offered to help me.
For everyone who listens to me. And for everyone that shares their stories with me.
For everyone who encourages me.
For everyone who sends me funny texts and SnapChats.
For everyone who helps me create happy memories.
I think about close friends, new friends, old friends, school friends, work friends, political friends, widow friends, internet friends, Maine friends, New York friends and former friends.
I truly believe that everyone has been in my life for a reason. I am thankful for all the love, light and laughter in my life. I am also choosing to be thankful for all those who have caused pain. Because that pain has helped shape my character and taught me the importance of treating people better.
I am thankful for all those who have played a role in my life.
I just want to start this out by saying that I am not taking any pills. Only the occasional Ibuprofen or antacid. I am only using that term metaphorically.
But I decided to write about the hardest things that I have had to accept.
Not having closure
I just want to preface this part that there is no easy way to watch someone you love die.
But I didn’t always think that.
For a long time, I was jealous of almost every other widow. I was jealous of the widows who lost their spouses quickly because they didn’t have to watch them suffer. I was jealous of the spouses who had a diagnosis and a life expectancy because they got to chance to say what needed to be said.
I got neither.
Bryon’s illness was unexpected. And he was put on a breathing machine so he couldn’t talk. And he was so weak that he couldn’t write. He could mouth words but I couldn’t always read them correctly.
I had so many things I wanted to tell him when he got better. And I will never get to.
During those months, I did not know if he was going to live or die. Obviously I was hoping for the better outcome. For five months, I lived day by day, desperately clinging to hope.
A friend of mine referred to it as limbo but it was complete hell.
After I was told there was nothing left that could be done, a part of me was relieved that the nightmare was going to be over soon. It wasn’t going to end the way I wanted it to end, but at least it was going to end.
Never getting to that sweet spot
Anyone who has ever been married knows that marriage isn’t always easy. Bryon and I loved each other fiercely but we both had strong personalities which presented it’s own set of challenges. We both struggled with our own vulnerabilities. We were also competitive.
For many years, I was resentful that I had to leave Maine and relocate to New York. And I made sure Bryon knew it.
But we pushed through. We became parents and we settled into our life as a family. I truly believe our last year was our best. We were just about to get to a really sweet spot in our marriage and it was all taken away.
Letting go of the “what ifs” and the guilt
In the early days of widowhood, I kept wondering what if? I thought about all the “what ifs” that accompanied his illness and his death.
I thought about all the “what ifs” that accompanied our relationship. What if I had been a better wife? What if I hadn’t argued with him about XY and Z?
This has been one of the hardest things to accept. That I did everything I could do to and that it wasn’t my fault. I needed to accept that sometimes horrible things just happen. And this one happened to me.
Even if he survived, things would never have been the same
When Bryon first died, I would always think about how much better my life would be if Bryon hadn’t died. Especially when things would go wrong around the house.
I had a jolt of reality and this was a painful jolt.
During those early months, whenever I would wish Bryon were still alive, I imagined him as he was before he got sick. The strong and healthy Bryon I knew. But over time, I began to admit to myself that had Bryon survived, he would have been a very sick and disabled man.
Our life would have been very different. I wouldn’t be living the comfortable married life I once knew. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed between working full time and being a single mother but had Bryon survived, I would still be working full time, taking care of my daughter and I would have had to take care of a very sick husband.
Don’t get me wrong, I would have done it. You know…in sickness and in health. But I wouldn’t have had the life I knew before. My life would have been much harder.
Reconciling the past and the present
One of the hardest things I have had to accept if that there is no reconciling my past and my present.
During the early months of grief, I would have given anything to get Bryon back.
But the further removed I become to my old life, the more I change. And I have to admit to myself that I don’t want to be the person I was when Bryon was alive.
I have memories that I treasure from our life together but I was such a different person back then. And I don’t want to be that person. She didn’t appreciate what she had. She was ungrateful. But I can’t hold it against my younger self. She didn’t know how good of a life she had and how easily that life could change. And there was no way she could know.
I am a different person now. The trauma of widowhood pushed me to re-examine my life and do some soul searching. For the first time in my life, I actually like myself. As time goes forward, the harder it becomes to imagine my old life. Because if I had my old life, I wouldn’t have my new self. But even if I could bring my new self into my old life, would Bryon even like my new self?
Here are the 5 things I am thankful for this week.
1. Being busy
I am writing on my phone while travelling. The WordPress app always messes up my formatting so I apologize for that. I also apologize for the lack of posts and the brevity of them. I had a three day turnaround between Philly and Boston. Well, Boston-ish.
I am thankful for the excitement in my life.
2. Weekend in Philly.
Last weekend I went to Philly with the girls for friend bachelorette party. I am thankful for be a part of it and that my parents watched my daughter so I could be a part of it.
Philly post coming.
3. Boston with my cousins.
My cousin is up from Florida and I took a few days off to spend time with them.
Boston(ish) post coming.
4. Living near history
I love that I live so close to cities with so much history.
5. My bestie!!!
My best friend had her birthday yesterday and I am so thankful to have her in my life.