Friday, May 30, 2014

Thoughts of Family

What does one do when their entire world is flipped upside down, when the familiar and comfortable become the unknown and displaced? So many options, so many thoughts, so many choices that I do not want to make, and feel that I am incapable of making at the moment without doing so irrationally.

I have family scattered out from Atlanta to the Twin Cities and even as far as Seattle Washington. Since I lost Adrienne I have been taking many trips traveling to visit with each of them and enjoy their support as well as company. This entire ordeal has truly opened my eyes to see just how blessed my family is to have the relationship with each other that we do. Every one of them were there for me in the darkest moment of my life and I could never thank them enough for that and pray that they know I would do the same for each and every one of them. It makes me so sad to see families that hold grudges and let time or distance tear their bond apart farther and farther until a close brother or family member becomes nothing more than an acquaintance or a distant friend. There are no problems, hardships, or wrongdoings that are too large that we cannot swallow our pride and mend the love or relationship we share with our families. At the end of the day, when all has gone wrong, you have fallen on your face, or have no strength to carry on it is your family that will be there to lift you up and carry you through that hard time.

The thought of relocating has crossed my mind frequently these last few months for this very reason, my relationship with my family. A portion of my desire to relocate is still geared towards running from everything and starting over but I promised myself that I would not make this decision for at least a year. I also do not want to make this decision until the thought of running is no longer there but it is based only on bettering myself or situation, because running is not going to fix anything.

My latest trip was a surprise visit to Minnesota and Wisconsin for Memorial Day weekend! Somehow no one found out that I was coming and was able to surprise everyone through the help of one of my sister in-laws! What a trip this has been, three brothers, three sister in-laws, one niece, one nephew, and a baby on the way. I miss being able to get in the car and drive to see everyone. Spending this quality time with everyone has brought me so much joy and I feel like I have slept better this week than I have in the last 5 or 6 months... There is just an irreplaceable feeling that I get while snuggling for a morning nap with my niece, or cuddled up on the couch with my nephew watching a movie. My family is so amazing, supportive, and full of love. Adrienne was and always will be apart of it as we continue to share fond stories or memories of her frequently. You were adored by not only me, but my family as well.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Five Months

May 13th, this marks 5 months that I have been here without you at my side. Nothing is easier, normal, or comfortable still, yet I have become more used to this loneliness I had not known until now. The 13th of each month is still so painful to me, and I see it approaching month after month like a dark storm front that cannot be escaped. "Pain that cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart until in our despair there comes wisdom through the awful grace of God." A very close friend gave me the book "Where is God When it Hurts" while in the hospital on and off for nearly a month at Adrienne's side. I picked it up a few times beginning to read it, but each time set it down and could not find the strength to continue diving deeper into it. Just recently I picked it up again and began picking it apart, reading some chapters twice just to make sure that I grasp its full depth. This is a powerful book and believe that I will be starting it again from the beginning as soon as I am through with the first read.

James 4:14 What do you know about tomorrow? How can you be so sure about your life? It is nothing more than the mist that appears for only a little while before it disappears.

I know nothing about tomorrow, other than the fact that it is not promised, it may bring pain, it may bring joy, but thinking of tomorrow is all too difficult when the weight of today is all I am able to handle.
At the end of another work day I came home to my amazing wonderful In-laws house where I am still staying. We moved in with them when the hospital visits became frequent, the pain became more intense and we needed all the support we could get. I am forever grateful for this second set of parents that I have been blessed with, and will ALWAYS be their son in-law. After our evening dinner and conversation I headed off to my lonely bedroom dropping my bags to the floor before the door closed. I turned on our First Dance Song "Make you Feel My Love" by Adele, knowing that it was going to cause me to break down, burying my face in her knit blanket that smelled of her perfume, I cried for what felt like hours until finally falling asleep. I hope you hear me when I cry to you. Love you always and forever peanut.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Busy Bees and A Pitiful "Sickie"

Well here it comes again... Another start to a weekend that I have no clue as to what I want to do, should do or actually plan to do... The beginning to weekends used to seem so sweet, exciting and brought a burst of energy and life to my attitude at the end of every work week. Now as I sit and ponder on the options of what sort of plans I could make for the next few off days nothing is near appealing as it used to be. Should I sit and relax at home (alone), should I take the top off the jeep and cruise to the warm sunny beach (solo), or should I go and hang out with all the couples that (WE) used to hang out with as the fifth wheel so to speak... I stay busy because I must to keep my sanity, but there used to be a time where I enjoyed the tranquility of our home on a Friday night.  I know many of the "adventures" I take look amazing and I'm blessed to be able to take them no doubt, but in all honesty not a single one of these options are how I want to spend my weekend, and at the end of the day I return home to an empty, cold bed.

I remember at times I used to get stressed out when Adrienne would always make so many plans for us, throughout the week, and all weekend long. I would often say baby why don't we just chill this weekend, or I'm too tired to do that on a work night, trying everything in the book to weasel my way out of it.  Every time I tried to talk her out of whatever plans she had made for us it would typically end in failure. She had a way of getting exactly what she wanted, especially from me. It was that beautiful smile, or the way she pouted when I said no, or maybe the way she would try and wheel and deal with me not giving up until I gave in. Either way I always ended up having a great time doing whatever it was that we had planned and she would look at me on the late night ride home with those big brown eyes and softly say through a big grin, "I told you so."

This post compared to the one where I found bits of joy in buying myself a Birthday gift is a display of the emotional roller coaster I have been on for the last 5 months plus. All I can do is embrace the bits of joy when they come, allow the grief to be released when needed, and as I have said before, take it one day at a time. No one has the instructional handbook to this process, and every one of us traveling this dark, unfamiliar road is doing so at a different pace, different pattern and have different needs.

P.S. I laid up on the couch all day sick yesterday for the very first time without her to take care of me.... Let me just tell you that I was pitiful before, milking all the love and attention from her that I could, but now without her I actually had to man up, suck it up and take care of myself. She was the best at taking care of me when I was a "sickie" as she called it. One more of the many, many little things of beauty that I miss about my wife...

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Random Thoughts, On A Sunny Day In May

The outdoors have always been a means of therapy, and stress relief for me, more so now than ever before. These last few weeks I feel were a complete blur to me and I felt as if I had absolutely no control. Staying busy is all that I know to do to keep my mind from wondering places that it does not need to be. I just ran and ran all weekend only coming home to sleep and know that I need to slow it down at least just a little bit.  It still feels impossible to make decisions that used to be so mundane  or easy to make and I am so afraid of not having plans, that ill end up sitting in my room, sad, alone and drowning in tears or deep thoughts. After years of having her here to make plans with I am trying to adapt to making them on my own, but I often feel incapable of the simplest of choices, stressing out for no reason at all.

Things were so simple, so sweet, easy and seamed to just fall into place naturally when Adrienne was by my side. I miss the comfort that I found in her daily, and how together, things seamed so concrete even though that was not always the case. When we have that person we love by our side 24-7, the one who understands us, that knows what we are feeling, needing or wanting there is an irreplaceable sense of comfort that many of us often or easily take for granted. I myself am guilty of it at times, but never have I in my life seen things from the perspective at which I am seeing them now, and now know better. I could surely use that hand to hold, ear to listen or her caring heart to understand and comfort me.

I am fortunate to be surrounded by so many amazing friends and to have a great, supportive family, but there are still many days where I feel completely alone. I think these are the days where I end up running to wherever the road leads me, weather it be a last minute road trip to the beach, or to visit family out of state. Most of the time I am already out the door and on my way to anywhere but there before I even realize whats going on... This is not to make me forget about the grief, because I will never stop talking about Adrienne, nor stop reflecting upon all of the happy memories we shared together. The grief, the pain, the hurt, loneliness and void I carry everywhere I go and in all that I do. At the moment it is a part of who I am, and although it may change over time it will be a part of me forever. I will not drown in it, I refuse to.  You are dearly missed my love.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Milestone Birthday

All this week I was dreading Thursday, as it was May 1st and my thirtieth Birthday. I can honestly say that this is the first Birthday in my life that I was not excited about or looking forward to. Not because it was the "BIG" 30, because of the fact that my loving wife who always made these significant days so much more meaningful and important. She always surprised me with a gift, party, or in any other way that she could to make me feel like the most special guy in the world. Her heart was so big and she loved to do that not only for me but also for friends and family. My father in-law had his Birthday last month and I know that he was feeling the same way that I did this entire week. This broke my heart, and even though we took him to dinner, and got him some pretty neat gifts, it just was not the same.

I was in the dumps with this day fast approaching and decided that I had to do something to bring a bit of joy to cheer me up, as I know she we would want. I traded our family car in for a Jeep, which is what I have wanted since before I was able to drive. Logically, it makes no sense, and I might regret it down the road but I don't even care at all because right now, in this very moment, I am happy. That is all I was trying to accomplish, so call it a midlife crisis, a simple gift, or call it what you will but I was simply trying to bring some joy and happiness that I would have normally had if she was here to celebrate with me. She knew how much I loved them and we always joked about her buying me one when she finished her PA schooling. I can see her riding shotgun, hair blowing in the wind, feet on the dash, and jamming out to the stereo as we skipped town for one of our adventures!  I Love you Adrienne Marie, Thank you for loving me and for all of our memories together. You still have my heart...