Posts Tagged ‘family’

At lot has happened recently, and it hasn’t even been quite a month since my last post. I guess it’s just that time of year.

December 11th was Duke Homecare and Hospice‘s annual “Lights of Remembrance” luminary service to remember our loved ones who have passed. Dad and I went last year. I remembered it being very sad, mostly because I realized that all of those lights also represented all of those caregivers who were experiencing the same acute grief that I was. It was comforting to be in the company of those who could understand me, but the sense I got of their combined feelings was overwhelming.

This year, my experience was very different. For one, the boy accompanied me. It was really nice to have his support and someone to talk through things with on the way home. For two, ever since the day after the anniversary of mom’s passing, I haven’t felt the same level of grief. I can think about her now with happy thoughts that, even though tinged with sadness, are not accompanied by the sharp poiLuminary CardLuminariesnt of grief. I was able to be happy that I had such a special a way to honor mom’s memory.

I think dad took it a lot harder than I did. He hasn’t been doing very well, still. I know it must be hard. I’d be having more trouble if I were still living in their house, surrounded by so many memories, both good and bad. He said he liked the message I put on this year’s placard. I thought it was appropriate.

I’ll be heading down to Florida to spend the week of Christmas with him. I’m looking forward to it for several reasons. One, I just realized that my dad is turning 70 next year. I would like to spend some more quality time with him while I have him here and healthy. Two, I feel like I haven’t gotten to see much of him lately. It will be nice for us to catch up.

While in Florida, I will get to meet a friend I’ve never met before (in person, anyway). We met a few years ago on a forum about diet and exercise. She’s a cool cat. I’m looking forward to hanging out with her. Even if my diet and exercise is nothing like it was back then. I’m afraid I haven’t exercised much at all this past month, and my diet has not been the best. One more thing to fix back up in the new year.

I’m afraid I have not gotten into the Christmas spirit this year. It hasn’t felt like Christmas at all. I hope it will once I help dad pick out a tree and put that up. The closest I’ve gotten to any kind of celebrating, besides an awesome company holiday party, is to paint my toes.


Not that it makes much difference…you never show your toes in winter anyway!

And one year ago yesterday, I met the boy in a chance encounter at speed dating. He almost didn’t go, but he decided to check it out at the last minute. I almost didn’t go because I was exhausted from driving to and from WV the day before to defend my thesis. But we went. And we somehow found each other. And over the past year, even though we’ve had a lot of ups and downs and a pretty hard break, I think we’ve only gone two full days without talking to each other.

We went on a fun road trip on Saturday to Greensboro to meet my best friend so the boy could buy a snare drum off him. (It’s a gorgeous drum!) We took our time and stopped at a lot of different places. We travel well together, which is a huge thing, really. It was one of the best days I’ve had in as long as I can remember.

Last night, we went out to acknowledge the date and had some drinks and sushi and curry. The restaurant had some glass jewelery on display that we were looking at for a bit, and he snuck off at some point to buy a bracelet to surprise me with when we got home.


Our relationship this time around is different, and it makes me wonder if we had to go through all the bullshit at the beginning so we could get it all out of the way and come back together as two friends who know each other completely. It’s hard for me to say things like “forever” after being divorced (ALMOST divorced–come on, Jan 4th!), but this just feels right. I’m happy in it, I’m comfortable in it, I’m looking forward to having this person in my life for as long as he wants to stay. How long that will be, who knows. I’m happy just for now to be here right now with what is.

This might be the most times I’ve used the word “happy” in a blog post. I think that means something. 😉



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This week has been both horrible and amazing. I suppose that’s only fair. Although, honestly, I’d settle for some boring ol’ normal at this point.

On Monday, I discovered completely by accident (believe me, I wish I hadn’t) that my ex of only one week and a few days was already in a relationship with someone else. Not only that, but with someone we met at the same time at his band’s last show in late July. I thought I’d been doing okay with the whole break-up thing, but I was surprised at how much that threw me for a loop.

See, everything is straight in my head. I understand the whole situation. I’m okay with us not being together as a couple. It really is the best decision for both of us. But I cannot get my head to convince the rest of me that everything’s working out just the way it’s supposed to. It always does. I KNOW that. I just don’t FEEL it right now.

So I flipped out a bit and got myself back on the couch to talk to someone. My previous lady is out on maternity leave, so I had to vomit up all this information on a new lady’s lap. I don’t think I like her, but I just needed someone to talk to, so it all worked out. She didn’t have any time to talk, what with the divorce and mom and breakup and new discovery and all of that stuff spewing out, but I sure felt better afterward.

Then late on Wednesday, one of my very best friends arrived from Russia via New York. We stayed up much too late for a weeknight talking about things, and then we hung out on Thursday before he headed off to see his family in Jacksonville. It was great. Our relationship started out with us kind of dating back in 2005 before I went into the Peace Corps, then we reconnected as friends through letters while I was there. (Sorry, folks, he’s married now.) What was great, though, was that he reminded me what it was like to be with someone who is continually striving to be better, who treats me like I’m something to be treasured, who supports me making healthy decisions. I’m so glad the timing worked out the way it did. Seeing him again and remembering all of these things I used to want relieved so much of the pressure I was feeling.

I’d warned my manager that I was having a rough week, and all of my co-workers know this will be my first birthday without mom around. They’ve all been great…tons of “let us know what we can do to help.” They took me out for a birthday lunch today at one of my favorite places, and it was the largest contingent of people we’ve ever had at one time going out to lunch together. Some of them kept telling me that I must be very popular! I said it might be a mix of that and a good restaurant choice…hehe.

Before we left, one of my co-workers told me to have a good day tomorrow. Not just that, but to MAKE it a good day because it was truly up to me. So many of the prominent Buddhists write about this all the time, about how “Happiness is available; please help yourself to it” (Thich Nhat Hanh). It’s so simple, yet so complex. He’s right, though. Every moment, I have the choice to be happy or not.

And then I got home to find flowers on my doorstep! Two of my very good friends, whom I haven’t seen in ages and ages, sent them to me to tell me they love me. Not just that, but some awesome beer glasses from yet another friend I haven’t seen in forever and more cards than I think I’ve ever gotten, all with sweet messages about how much mom would have wanted me to be happy and about how much they love me.

I’ve been saying lately that I don’t understand how I could possibly have so many friends and yet feel so lonely. I really don’t feel lonely anymore, though. I feel incredibly blessed to have so many people in my life who genuinely care about me and want to bolster me as I go through this horrible time.

I was freaking out because I didn’t want to be alone tonight at midnight. But to be honest, I’m happy it worked out that way. I’m having some beer. I’m going to clean the house (they replaced the a/c unit and it smells like the worker’s nasty BO, gross). I’m going to eat leftovers from my awesome lunch today and remember how lucky I am to work with such awesome people. I’ll probably watch a movie. I don’t even know if I’ll stay up until midnight. I bought stuff to make salmon benedict for breakfast tomorrow, and I got prosecco and OJ for mimosas. I was going to go on a hike, but it looks like it might rain…I might go anyway. Then I’ll get to see Ronnie’s dance company perform and have an awesome dinner with dad. I even bought a gluten-free cupcake while I was at the store this afternoon in case I don’t run into any birthday cake or the restaurant doesn’t have any gluten-free desserts. No excuse for any sadness! And my old trainer from the gym called and talked to me a bit, and I promised her I’d be back to the 6 AM classes as of Monday morning. It’s time to take my life back.

Thank you all SO SO SO very much for your continued love and support. One of the biggest things I learned from my recent relationship is that not everyone is lucky enough to have experienced unconditional love. I have it all around me. I don’t know what I did to deserve it, but I will be grateful. You are all giving me the strength to heal and move on from the incredible amount of loss I’ve suffered over the past year. Thank you.

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