I am my boss’s Secret Santa, talk about pressure!
I got him candy, some silly socks as requested and I handcrafted decor for his office.
But as I was reading his profile, this tie came to mind!
And so I gifted him my husband’s tie. This is what I wrote on the note:
I believe gifts have to have a story. That they have to be practical, that they are better when they are handmade, and that second hand is always best.
Like this tie.
Though not handmade, it is practical, it is second-hand, and it has a story.
Boy does it have a story.
This tie was owned by the greatest man I’ve ever known.
Had you complimented his tie while he was wearing it, he would have taken it off and given it to you without question. Even as a total stranger, but in return, he would have asked for you to listen to one of his infamous dad-jokes which would have likely been made up on the spot.
He was the type of guy who would never leave a room without making at least one friend.
He was a NAVY vet who was funny, kind, wise, easy-going, and always stood up for what was right even if it went against the status quo.
He would have loved knowing that this tie is going to be worn by an elementary school principal, his best audience after all happened to be 5-12yr olds. They always laughed at his jokes!
Don’t be surprised if magically you start thinking up of random knock-knock jokes, puns, etc. It’s likely some of the Wesley Magic woven inside of it.
Merry Christmas, I hope you like the story of this tie.
In a complicated relationship with…
About two months ago I decided it was time.
Time to wear my wedding rings differently.
Wearing them on my left hand just felt fake. Like I was in denial. But not wearing them at all wasn’t an option.
So I’ve been wearing them on my right hand. On the days when the grief is heavy, I wear them on my left (so please be kind to me if you see me wearing them on my left).
This grief thing is so complicated. It’s a continuous internal struggle with self-doubt and questioning the things that may seem so simple to others.
Friends, it isn’t that simple.
The struggle is real!
Real hard, real confusing, real crazy, real sad, real comforting, real beautiful, real weird, real UGH!
Welcome to my bedroom.
I did it!
All but one photo came down.
No more wedding, His & Her’s bedroom wall.
It’s now just HERS.
I changed the bedding to bright, happy florals. My mom made me pillowcases out of two of his shirts, and I kept his pillow case that still smells like him to snuggle up to like a blankie when I go to sleep.
Widowhood is weird, confusing, lonely, and of course, sad.
But if you don’t let the sadness overtake you, happiness lies in the love that once was and with that comes freedom.
“You are worthy of new beginnings”
Yes you are!
Shortly after his passing, the world began to fall apart.
His presence made THAT much of an impact on this world.
Six months ago I couldn’t even picture surviving the 5 minutes ahead of me.
Somehow, I’ve managed to do it for six whole months!
In the last six months, I’ve had a lot of therapy.
I’ve cried quite possibly more than I’ve cried in my entire life!
I’ve read about 1,000 books.
I’ve lost 13 lbs
I’ve learned to cook for one.
I’ve managed to pay all the bills on time.
I landed an amazing job.
I’ve met about 100 new friends.
I’ve taken up running.
I’ve managed to open my eyes every day.
Somehow managed to get out of bed.
And somehow remembered to breathe.
I miss him still.
I love him even more now!
I remember him in everything I do.
And I talk about him any chance that I get.
Crazy how six months can fly by, yet at the same time, it seems like an eternity ago.
I’ve done a lot of healing in the last six months and I look forward to all the healing that’s to come.
… A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance.
How to honor him on this 7th wedding anniversary?
When honestly all I want to do is stay in bed and cry.
But how would that honor him?
I can’t think of anything except for honoring him by remembering the way he loved me.
Man did this man L-O-V-E me!
On our 4th anniversary, he took to the keyboard and blessed me with these words that I will forever cherish.
And this is just a small example of how daily he would show and tell me how much he loved me (even when we fought).
The last paragraph hit me hard. (his full post below)
“When I remember my dad telling. me that day to finish something, to just do something, I can now say that I have and I will. I will finish my life on this earth with you as my bride, my best friend.”
Oh, Bubba. How my life has been blessed to have had you for the last fourteen years.
Thank you for finishing up your life on this earth with me as your bride. (I love how he always called me his bride and not his wife.)
You never gave up on me, though we had it rough for the first couple of years of our marriage. And you put up with so much of my stubbornness. My life has forever been blessed to have had you share your life with me for those short years.
Wes post on July 6, 2017:
The older I get, the more amazed I become by the longetivity of some things – especially now that I’ve gained the perspective of time as a man in his mid forties. As a teenager, I, as with just about everyone else alive, had only my teenage conception time. Understandably so, all of our older friends and acquaintances have much more experience than us and thusly, their experience of time is much more different than ours.
Both you and I have friends who have retired from the military; lived in their homes for decades; been married for forty plus years.
I can remember back in the early 2000’s a relationship I had with someone for five years came to an end. I told my parents, who both liked her very much. My dad, rest his soul, was visibly upset.
“Why can’t you just finish something?! Just do something.”
I thought I was already on that train. However, from the outside looking in, I obviously wasn’t.
Fast forward to St. Patrick’s Day 2006, and I met you; who would know that you would become my bride and partner for life. I didn’t know it then, but now I do and I’m so very excited and eager to build a life with you; much like the lives of some of our friends and acquaintances at church, only our own story.
When we looked into each others’ eyes on this day in 2013, I’m pretty sure neither of us had any idea of the path God would take us on, just like we currently don’t know the path on which God currently has us and will take us in the future. I’m just so extremely happy and excited that I get to travel down God’s path with you, my love.
One of the final scenes in an all-time favorite movie of mine, For The Love of The Game, depicts Billy Chapel (Kevin Costner) after arguably one of the greatest days of his life; he threw a perfect game – no small feat in baseball (140 years, only 23 perfect games).
What should have been one of the happiest days of his life quickly became meaningless as he was hit by the reality that he no longer had the love of his life, Jane Aubry (Kelly Preston), with him to share. He felt empty without her and he couldn’t feel a single iota of the jubilation his fans felt after the perfect game. I can honestly say that when I have a triumphant moment, I feel empty until I get to share it with you.
To quote Dorothy Boyd (Renee Zellweger) in Jerry Maguire, “You complete me.” You do. I love to cook for you; I love to surprise you; I love seeing the joy in your eyes, especially when I know that it was me who brought it to you.
My love, mi amor, there are so many things I long to share with you; so many memories I yearn to create. When I remember my dad telling me that day to finish something, to just do something, I can now say that I have and I will. I will finish my life on this earth with you as my bride, my best friend. I love you and it only grows stronger the longer we are together.
Happy 4th Anniversary, honey Mimi, my love.
I’ve been avoiding Greta.
This chick has been trying to get in for the last week or so.
So, last night I let her in.
I realized she’ll likely be here for a week or so since our 7th wedding anniversary is coming up on July 6th.
You can stay for a week, but you better leave the second the clock strikes midnight on July 7th!
If I ever decide to remarry, please remind me not to do it on a holiday weekend.
What do these 3 brides have in common?
The 3 of us belong to a club that none of us EVER signed up for…
The Young Widows Club.
I met these two amazingly strong women through this (unofficial) club (their stories below) .
The three of us lost our husbands 3 days apart of each other.
Kelsey lost her Brad on 2/15/20, I lost my Wesley on 2/18/20, and Sarah lost Scott on 2/21/20.
Today we celebrate (odd word to use) International Widows Day.
We get a day?
So, do we win anything?
How do we celebrate?
How can you help us (or a widow) today?
Tell us that you are thinking about us!
Share a funny memory of our husbands with us.
And say their names!
Being a widow sucks!
We hope that you never join our club.
Now drop everything that you are doing and go hug your husband!
Tell him you love him.
And forget that minimal thing he did last night to piss you off!
In her words…
Scott and I were married on 9/1/18. We were friends in college but didn’t date. We reconnected in 2017 and knew instantly that we wanted to get married and spend our lives together. We bought a farm property in Oklahoma and loved spending time with our animals and friends/family. We struggled with infertility since the beginning of our marriage and did 2 rounds of IVF. On my way back home from our 2nd round in Barbados, I got a phone call that Scott had suffered a seizure and heart attach while reaching a college class. Scott was in the ICU unconscious and passed 3 days later. He was an organ donor and saved several lives with his gift. We have 2 frozen embryos in Barbados and I hope to transfer one as soon as Covid allows for travel to resume.
In her words…
Brad and I met in December of 2017. Although both being shy, we quickly knew we deeply loved each other and wanted to spend our lives following Jesus together. We got married in September of 2018. My husband continually displayed the Lord’s love and kindness in all he did and said, including using his degree in mechanics to fix cars and really anything that needed repaired.
My husband was born with a lung defect, which nearly took his life in 2014. After coming out of his coma and beginning the healing process, he gave his life to Christ. The doctors were unsure if complications of his lung defect would resurface, but there wasn’t anything that could be done to prevent it… without high, high, high risks.
Brad then lived a healthy and active life, while being closely monitored by his doctors. He had no signs of sickness until January, 2020. The doctors then tried many procedures, however, he passed away of severe complications at the age of 25 years old. February 15, 2020 is the day he went to Heaven. Three of his vital organs were donated to save lives, which so beautifully displays what he wanted to do with his life, and in his passing: to continue to give of himself to serve others and point them to Jesus.
It’s been four months and I miss my husband more than words can express. I am taking it one day at a time, because looking ahead is too overwhelming. I do know I will see and spend eternity with Brad in heaven. I look forward to that. But in the mean time, God has me here for a purpose.
It’s amazing how much progress one can make in 100 days!
Maybe this is why the first 100th day of school is often celebrated in elementary schools.
100 days makes a huge difference when one puts in their work!
And grief work is hard work!
As I’ve mentioned before, I’m so grateful for everyone who has helped through the process, because I couldn’t have done all this work without you; including every single author of all the books I’ve read in the last 100 days.
I’ve probably read more books in the last 100 days than I did the entire six years of high school!
Just kidding, four.
Four years of high school. (List of books here).
Grief still visits me every day. (I’ve named her Greta).
Some days Greta visits longer than others, but most days she comes and hands me a box of tissues and has a cup of coffee with me.
We pray, and then she leaves.
Until her next visit.
On some of her visits, she’s a total B*** and decides to stay all day!
She angers me with frustration at the duties that come with the death of a spouse.
There have even been times that she’s made me mad at Wes for leaving me in this mess!(Don’t worry, I don’t stay mad, it’s just part of Greta’s personality).
You’d be surprised how many people will ask for a death certificate.
So many times I’ve wanted to yell at people over the phone saying:
“WHY THE HECK WOULD I LIE ABOUT MY HUSBAND DYING!”
Then I realize that people probably have lied, which is why the rules are in place.
This 100th day has me feeling more energetic, happy, hopeful, and even considering a move out of the county (more on that as/if things unfold).
Here’s what I know.
I know that if Wes could see me, he would be proud.He’d give me a thumbs up and a cheesy smile.
He would also be making jokes at some of the decisions I’ve made and shaking his head at me for taking over his closet and his work area. (I can actually hear his voice in my head with his reactions).
And he wouldn’t be surprised by any of my moves.
I’m so predictable.
And he knew me so well 🤣
I knew that if the first 100 days didn’t kill me, they’d only make me stronger.
I’m glad they didn’t kill me, cause I’m definitely feeling stronger.
*signs off singing the Kelly Clarkson song
I ventured out today!
All by myself!
Pre-grief Mimi would venture out all the time! Especially while Wes was at work.
But not since his passing.
Granted the world has been closed since two weeks after his passing (which has helped speed up the grief process), but I couldn’t even fathom getting to the point of being able to go outdoors by myself.
And I did!
I put on my entire face
(more than just my eyebrows)
and went to Hobby Lobby.
Which, if you know us, you know that Wes worked there for a couple of years. Though he left two or so years ago, there are a lot of people that still work there that recognize me.
I was stopped a couple of times.
I was asked how I was doing, you know the regular and the awkward questions.
I managed to get through the conversations with 0 tears, although once I got back in the car, the tears just flowed and I said to myself:
“Crap! I didn’t want to cry. I’m wearing mascara!”
Wes would probably be laughing at that.
This venture left me feeling like a true survivor, feeling like a little kid.
I’m still standing…
(Sorry just watched Rocketman) 🤣
Throwing it back to life before COVID…
I miss life before COVID.
Things I want to do:
Go to church!
Shop without having to follow stupid arrows and without having to wear a mask!
Drink a mule, wine, a beer, a whatever at an actual bar with actual people!
Hug, I want to hug all the people and I’m not even a hugger!
Eat sushi at a restaurant!
Drink coffee at the little cafe by my apartment while I work on my laptop!
I want to go to a wedding.
Who’s getting married?
Go to a freaking movie!!!!
I want to go to a Posh N Sip!
I also want to hear those annoying kids that use to play outside all the time.
I miss that too!!!
I want life before COVID back!
There should be a COVID slogan:
COVID, ruining lives and killing vibes
COVID rant over.
Thanks for listening!