50 long years

50 years.

That is how long I can potentially be on this Earth.  That is if I live to my 90’s like both of my grandmothers.

50 long years.

I don’t know how I am going to do it.

To fill up all those years.

I went from being a person with her life planned out to being a person who is merely existing.

I am obviously still here for a reason.

And I want to see my daughter grow up and meet my grandchildren and maybe even my great-grandchildren.

My daughter (age 3) told me that she is going to be a mother when she grows up and that she is going to have four children.

So I guess that means for every theatrical temper tantrum I have to deal with, she will get it back times four.

Karma can be a beautiful thing.

But it is all going to be delightful as long as my daughter gets an education first.

People used to ask me why I was bothering with a second degree because I was married to a lawyer.  I always said that if something should- God forbid- happen to Bryon, I need to be able to support myself and my family.

I used to say that but I never thought it would actually be my reality.

But here I am.  Surviving?  Existing? Keeping my head above water?  Waiting to live again?

Without direction.  Lost.  Anxious.

Bryon is not here to solve all my problems.  He is not here to tell me that everything is going to be okay.

No idea what the future holds.

I have lost my faith.  In God.  In the Universe.

The future feels bleak and empty.

Scared to be lonely.

Scared to let someone else in.

Scared that I will be unhappy.

Scared that I won’t be able enough for my daughter.

Scared that I will always be sad.

Scared that I won’t make the best of my remaining years.

This is my life now.

For the next 50 long years.

 

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Good Vibrations Gratitude Friday #5

Every Friday I like to say what I am grateful for from this past week.

  1. I am thankful that my daughter and I got to spent a nice fall day at a local farm.  We rode the “Pumpkin Express”, looked at farm animals and picked up some pumpkins.

  2. I am thankful that my daughter had a great three year checkup at the Pediatrician.  I am thankful that she is healthy and doing well.
  3. I am thankful that I survived my daughters Halloween Party at school.  I was dreading it because I would have to be around these perfect middle class intact families with two parents.  This is our second Halloween without Bryon and while neither of us particularly cared for the holiday, we would still participate in all the kid activities.  The first Halloween I was protected by the widow fog but this Halloween, I don’t have the fog to protect me.  In some ways, these moments hurt more now.

    But it is hard to stay sad when I have I am around this girl.

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  4. I am thankful for a family full of great people who invite my daughter and I to go out trick or treating.  They also throw a good dinner party after.

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  5.  I am thankful for the rain because I actually like it.  I am also thankful that all my friends and family in New England were okay during the storm.

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What are you thankful for this week?

 

Why I think being a widow sucks

  1.  I have no one to kill bugs anymore. 

    When everything happened with Bryon, people kept telling me that I was so strong and that was because I had to be.  That applies in this scenario, albeit on a lesser scale.

  2. Car maintenance becomes my responsibility.

    Car maintenance is not my strong point.  One time when Bryon and I were dating, I half-jokingly said that whenever I heard my car make a noise, I would turn the radio up and hope it would go away.  Bryon was appalled by that answer and said that he was going to take care of the car maintenance.  I was glad to be relieved of that responsibility and I happily obliged.

  3. Actually everything is now my responsibility.  

    I have learned that Bryon did everything.  The car maintenance, killed the bugs, took care of the yard and the finances.  I pretty much changed diapers, made sure there was milk in the fridge and did a half assessed attempt to keep up with the laundry.

  4. The empty bed.

    Some nights I just hope my daughter crawls in just so I won’t be alone.

    Or the cat.

  5. No date nights with my love.

    No more romantic dinner.  No more dances at weddings.  While I have learned to be a more independent person, I do miss these nights with Bryon.  And sure, I could date but I am very “meh” at the thought of dating.

  6. Being the third/fifth/seventh/ninth wheel.

    While I am so happy that my friends still choose to keep me in their lives, I always feel like the odd person out.  It could not be any clearer that Bryon is missing.

  7. Lack of sex.

    I supposed I could fix that problem but the thought of some strange guy touching me just isn’t my style.

  8. Having to troubleshoot any electronic problem by myself. 

    My cell phone was possessed.  I ended up just buying a new one because it was easier.  (To be fair, it was overheating too which I took as a bad sign).

  9. Being an only parent is exhausting.

    I know every situation with a single parent is different and some non widowed single parents are only parents and can relate.  But when you are a widowed parent, you are the only parent.  You have your kids 24/7.  They don’t go to their other parent on the weekends.  Between parenting, full time work, blogging,  fitness, housework, and dealing with grief, I am exhausted.  Then you have to throw in the new responsibilities like killing bugs and car maintenance on top of it.  I am lucky to get more than 5 hours of sleep in a night.  It’s a good thing I don’t want to have sex.  I wouldn’t have time for it.

  10. Single parent judgement. 

    It doesn’t matter how many stories I read to her, how many places I take her to, how many cute outfits I put her in or the fact that I am able to have her in dance classes and gymnastics.  People begin to judge every parenting decision you make and talk to you like you are ignorant and uneducated.  It’s like one day I was like all the other parents- married, educated and successful and now I am viewed as “white trash”.

    Just to be clear, I didn’t ask nor plan to become a widowed mother.  I wish I could have Bryon back.  He would put all those Judgey McJudedgersons in their place.  (Bryon always did that.  If I was being grumpy, he would say “Someone is being a Grumpy McGrumperson”.)  Actually he probably wouldn’t have cared what they thought.

  11. PTSD

    I generally process everything okay, but I know that if I ever date or marry again, I will always worry that that man was going to die.  It happened once, it can happen again.  Will I ever get to be carefree again?

    And while I generally stay calm in situations and get ice or ibuprofen or whatever, I worry about cuts.  Bryon had one infection after another and went into septic shock many times.  So even though it’s unlikely, anytime my daughter or I gets a cut, I bring out the neosporin and the Frozen band-aids because I am paranoid about sepsis.

 

Good Vibrations Gratitude Friday #4

It dawned on me that I should be setting the mood to these gratitude posts.

1. I am thankful that my teen years were during the 1990’s.

Saved by the Bell, Beverly Hills 90210, Flannel shirts, scruchies…the list goes on.

I began the 1990’s as a fifth grader and closed them out 11 days after I returned from my semester abroad during my junior year in college.  So I got to experience a tiny part of elementary school, all my middle school and high school years and most of my college years in this decade.

2. On the way to my daughters gym class, she wanted to sing “Let It Go” so we listened and belted it out.  We did, in fact, let it go.  That is how the McKim girls roll.  Though I admit it started to get old after the fifth time.  But I know she will not always be my sweet little girl.  There will come a day when she will be too cool to want to sing with me.

3.  Pee-peeing in the potty.  My daughter hasn’t shown much interest in peeing in the potty.  Her teachers at daycare and I decided last week to start putting her in underwear.  Tuesday and Thursday were accident free days and Wednesday we only had one (poop) so I am encouraged.  I see the light at the end of the tunnel!

And I am sure when she is a teenager, she will love that I shared this in the blog.  I will have to remind her that she was so proud and told everyone and anyone.

4.  I am thankful for my health.  I know it seems like a simple thing but it’s actually a huge thing.  I have legs that work, organs that function and I am in a position where there is nothing holding me back from improving myself physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.

5.  Fall foliage.  The best time to be alive in the Northeast.

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Daily Prompt: Identity

Daily Prompt  https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/identity/

                                                                        * * *

She was a wife.

It was a role that she was proud of.

She and her husband had eight wonderful years together.

They had a wonderful wedding, a little starter home and went on adventures.

They became parents together.

They full-filled their vows to each other.  Till death do they part.

Now she is a widow.

Though she is among friends, she is alone.

She has been open about her grief but few people know the real her.

Her true self.

They just see her as a widow and a mother.

Most people aren’t interested in knowing the real her.  It’s easier to just keep seeing her as the person they once knew.

She is too boring.  Too ordinary.

She misses her husband.  Every cell in her body aches for him.

But sometimes she is tired of just being a widow.

She is no longer the person she once was but she can’t go back.

Too much has changed.

She isn’t sure who she is becoming or where she is going.

All she knows is that she doesn’t want to stay where she currently is and that it is impossible to go back.

A third birthday fiesta

We celebrated my daughters third birthday this past weekend.  It was a small celebration with the Albany family, but we are still a pretty crazy bunch.  Celebrations like this are very bittersweet without Bryon, but we still had a good time.  I was tired, but very thankful for those in my daughters life.

 

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.