Sunday, October 30, 2011

This much I know is true…

Becoming a widow has changed my perspective in life, but my core values and beliefs have changed very little.  Below are some truths that are steadfast with me.  These are just "stream of consciousness" and are not in any organized order.  Some are serious...others are whimsical...but each expresses my heart.  Enjoy!

  • Choosing to smile will make you feel better.
  • Words hurt worse than sticks and stones.
  • Cherry Limeade from Sonic cures depression.
  • Ninety-eight percent of the things you worry about never happen.  The things that devastate you are ones you never imagined happening.
  • Failure only happens when you quit.
  • Forgiveness doesn't let someone off the gets their hooks out of you.
  • Being authentic is liberating...and takes a lot less effort and money than trying to be someone you're not.
  • Socks do disappear in the dryer.
  • People are lonely because they build walls instead of bridges.
  • Friends are the family you get to choose.
  • Being a whiner doesn't solve your troubles, but it does make people want to avoid you.
  • You can judge a person's character by how they treat someone who can't do anything for them.
  • You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have.
  • A person who has nothing to hide, hides nothing.
  • Mistakes are proof that you are trying.
  • Be kinder than necessary.  You never know what private battles a person is fighting.
  • Any statement followed by the word "but" is a lie.
  • It's okay to say NO.
  • When life knocks you to your knees, it's probably a good time to pray.
  • You can't do everything, but you can do something.  Choose to do something everyday that helps someone.
  • We are all guilty of underestimating the worth of people we love.
  • People who take joy in hurting others have massive self-worth issues.
  • Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.
  • Coffee is liquid sunrise.
  • Never settle.  Never.
  • Talking about isn't as important as praying about it.
  • It's important to listen to the whispers of your heart.
  • Your life is about a good as you decide it's going to be.
  • Never quit learning.  A mind is a terrible thing to waste.
  • Love IS the answer.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Live and Move

A year ago I was so consumed with grief that every movement was painful.  However, I knew that if I ever stopped moving that I would never get up.  So, I got through each day minute by minute.  
Then hour by hour.
Then day by day.

Sure, I was only going through the motions...but at least I was in motion. I was alive and functioning at a minimal level, but it kept me moving.  And moving helped me relearn how to live.

Then one day, I woke up and I had a buzz of energy.
Shock. How could this be?
Guilt set in.
I must be breaking all the rules of widowhood.

But the buzz of energy remained
And after a while, I admitted to myself
That it felt deliciously good.

And so through this year I have slowly eased back into life.
No, it's not the same life.
My husband's absence is always evident
And I miss him dreadfully.
But every moment of my day
Is not clouded by the patina of grief
nor is the undertow of pain so overwhelming.

Little by little
I'm loosing my hold on a past I cannot keep
And getting on with the life I have.


Monday, October 24, 2011


Okay, I'll admit it.  I've become addicted to Pinterest.  

If you're not familiar with this site, Pinterest is a Virtual Pinboard. It lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. Best of all, you can browse pinboards created by other people and get inspiration and great ideas from them.

I've become quite enamored with "upcycled" things...taking things you would throw away or buy at a thrift store or garage sale and turn them into something useful or beautiful.  You know what they say, one person's trash is another person's treasure...

I like the whole UPCYCLING idea.  

Cast away to keep sake.

Trash to treasure.

Useless to useful.

God is the Master upcycler.
He can take this damaged life of mine and breathe something wonderful into it.
I don't know God's timing, but I do know His intent:

"For I am about to do something new.
See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?
I will make a pathway through the wilderness.
I will create rivers in the dry wasteland." ~~ Isaiah 43:19~~

I'm ready for my UPCYCLE, Lord.
I'm trusting in Your will and schedule.


Sunday, October 23, 2011

Who shares your umbrella?

This past week during my fall break vacation to the beach we had a miserably rainy day.  The fog rolled in over the ocean and the low spots quickly filled with water.  There would be no beach bathing for us this day.

Not to be outdone by this storm, my friend and I ventured out to shop.  The problem was, we only had one umbrella, which we were determined to share. We giggled the whole way, each of us holding the umbrella in the middle.  Dashing from our car to the stores and stepping over (and sometimes through) the puddles, we made a good day of it together.

We came back to our condo a wet mess, but full of packages and bags.  The day was a success and I was glad that we didn't avoid the storm by staying inside.

That's how it's supposed to be, I thought. None of us are meant to walk through the rain alone. 

For too long, I tried to walk through the storm of my grief alone.  I was determined to carry the umbrella solo.  I don't know if I was too proud to ask for help, afraid my grief would scare people away, or simply didn't know what I needed.  How stupid of me to waste those months.

Jesus calls us to that middle place. He asks us to take hold of that handle. "Love one another," he says. One another--that's two people under the umbrella, giving and receiving and carrying the load together.

I have some friends that are going through some pretty bad storms in their lives right now.  It's time for me to hold out the umbrella and help share their load.

No storm lasts forever.  Eventually the skies will clear and we'll share the joy after the rain.  Maybe a rainbow will appear or we'll jump in a puddle or two.  And we'll be glad that we shared the umbrella together.


Monday, October 10, 2011


I love the Rascal Flatts song "Stand."  It's been my grief battle hymn since Steve died.  I've spent time on my knees, I wanted to give up, I've bent til I thought I would break...but when push came to shove, I've done alright.

A little bit of heaven floated down on me Saturday.  
I felt JOY...real joy.  
The joy of doing something good and for a good reason.  
The joy of accomplishment, camaraderie, of belonging.  

I danced again. 
I smiled again.

And the song was right...

"Every time you get up
And get back in the race
One more small piece of you
Starts to fall into place"

The pieces are slowing coming back together, Steve.
And I'm not just standing...
I'm dancing...
And I don't plan to hang up my dancing shoes.


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

God Wink

Saturday is a watershed night for me.  After 6 months of practice...costume and shoe purchases, eyelash extensions and a fake tan...I will perform on stage in our local Rotary Club's "Dancing With Our Stars" fund raiser for children's literacy.  

I was stunned to be asked to be a "star."  I have no ballroom dancing experience and I don't have a "high profile" in our community.  However, one of the organizers is a friend and she thought this challenge was just what I needed to get "the light back in my eyes."

I was blessed to be paired with a pro who was a patient, kind, and gentle teacher.  I was anxious about being touched, and he graciously waited until I was ready.  After several months without touching he finally said, "You know...eventually, we DO have to touch...close your eyes and dance."  And did I dance!  

We are dancing the samba and while every step isn't perfect, we really have a good time out there shaking our stuff.  I hope we do well Saturday, but even if we come in dead last, this has been a winning experience for me.

I've fallen in love with ballroom dancing.  I began taking a ballroom dancing continuing education class last night through the local university to expand and fine tune my skills.   It was a little awkward because I didn't have a partner and I felt that sinking sensation of being alone in a couples world again.  Then they played the first song to teach us the waltz, "With You I'm Born Again" by  Billy Preston and Syreeta Wright.

That song was sung at my wedding.
And it felt like Steve was saying..."Go for it baby!"
It was a God wink for sure.

I'm going for it, Steve.
I hope I make you proud.


Monday, October 3, 2011

Meltdown Monday

It was a meltdown Monday.
Tears.  Frustration.  Pain.  Longing.

Too many responsibilities on my plate.
Too many spinning plates.
Unexpected snags...
Unforeseen expenses...
Situations needing mending...

Shouldering life alone is not for the weak of heart.

When does this get easier?

Maybe tomorrow.