the last 359 days and counting



I've actually been terrified of looking back over the notes I made about a year ago.  Specifically, I opened a Google document to track my days - the notes about all the Estate mess, notes about what I would tell a new widow based on my experience, and mostly notes about the timeline.  Because having  already been through a few days of not knowing what I was doing, where I was going, or how the &*%$ to pay for it or even get myself out of bed to try - I had enough sense to write some things down.  Now I can't make myself look at it.  

And I guess I would want to start writing today with the announcement that my smile at work or other responsible adult activities, my ability to function, feed my kids - albeit frozen food everything, plus a jar of peanut butter - isn't necessarily a reflection of the state of my heart at any given moment.  Because I think there has to be a scientific term for all the directions that such a mix of dark and sharp and deep places I never even knew were there would shine.  Or not shine.  What's the right term for feeling like poop a certain percentage of the time?  




I've had people at work comment on how I must be doing so well because I'm happy in class.  Y'all, I'm happy in class because my mind gets to think of something else other than what it does the entire rest of the time when I'm not.  And then again there are the days that people pretty much know to just dance, as it were, and leave me the heck alone.  Thar she blows... I think might be a fair estimate -  if you look me directly in the eye at just the right moment and ask me how I'm doing.  Especially after you've just laughed at how silly/ridiculous/tiresome your husband is, was or can be - doing the normal things that couples do.  Because I don't get normal anymore.  

And old news, yes, but nothing will make me more upset and, if being totally truthful - which I have always prided myself on in this blog - than when I get the attempts at comfort words, well wishes, and Lord help us all, advice about life and going on and dealing or coping, when the person talking is half of a living pair.  A pair of hearts still together.  A pair of minds to make decisions.  A pair of working individuals to support a family.  A pair of voices to talk about the day, the kids, the broken people, places and things.  Oh, and did I tell you that last week when it was a wind chill of 6 degrees that the front door knob fell off?  Yes.  Yes it did.  But Fireman Dave didn't buy just a regular ol doorknob that could easily be replaced.  He went all top of the line designer, special order size and shape, and we ended up trying a whole host of options while freezing and deciding to just plug up the hole with whatever would keep the wind out for the night and planned to use the deadbolt and key to exit as any emergency arose.  

And I will note right here, that the backdoor knob has also been missing for approximately a million years and we have yet to figure that one out  - but how at this time even 6 months ago I would've been in a crying heap over the weight of such a disaster.  But now?  I'm pretty much all about , What the hell? as the answer to every question.  And then I decide if we may or may not die from it.  I think things may be progressing along nicely.  

Would bitter be a good word to describe the new me?  Maybe one day a week, give or take a day here and there.  I've been labeled as  - the ones I know of anyway - aggressive, offensive, mean.  Most of those have been from the male persuasion who can't figure out what to do with me. But in all fairness, I'll accept mean depending on the circumstance - but I stand by my conviciton that I probably earned the right.  I think Fireman Dave would be proud, actually.  

But I don't think the term, strong, is totally correct.  Maybe persistent is a fair description. Because I've had to be for as long as I can remember.  But though a large part of me wants to just quit the whole game today, as I have for the last 359 and counting, the mom part of me makes me drag my variety of emotions out of the bed every day to provide a life for the boys - in my only hope that they end up with a better one than I did.  




I found the restaurant receipt for what may have been our last Date Day Wednesday last November.  It's on the refrigerator door now.  And I'm trying to remember our last week together as a family, but not sure I can or really want to - right now anyway.  I will tell you this:  we took this last family picture one year ago today in Vicksburg, Mississippi.  We were on an official college tour with Kid 1 and stopped to see the sights.  I remember it being cold and how Fireman Dave gave me his oversized coat to wear as we walked the historic battlefield.  And I remember him talking to Kid 3 about death and burial and all the things  - and me just listening in as he taught the ever important life lessons that he always did as Dad.  

And we stayed in a super nice AirBnB rental house close to the Millsaps campus and all 5 of us sat on the sectional sofa and watched a movie that night.  The memory of which one hasn't come back to me yet.  Then we spent the next 5 days together being clueless and happy.    

I guess the funny thing is that for months I had been praying for God to show me what was next.  But just like the majority of us out there who haven't figured out that this world isn't really on our side, I assumed it would be a mid life career choice or travel or the adoption of a kid who needed us.  I was as blind to the possibilities as most people I encounter every day.  But now I'm not.  


post script - October 18 would've been our 20th wedding anniversary and I decided the best way to celebrate it was to drive 6.5 hours to take a kid out for pizza, dress in purple and rent a house for all my babies and me to be together. 

Persistence.  

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