Monday, March 31, 2014

18 days ...

I feel like a little kid. I am counting down the days to my birthday like a little girl about to turn 10! Turning 10 is a big milestone. I remember the excitement of finally being "double digits." Now, I am giddy about turning 40.

Some people dread a milestone birthday, especially birthdays after 29! I am looking forward  to this birthday for a couple of reasons.

The biggest reason is the symbolism of closing the chapter on my 30s. My 30s started out on a huge high. About one month after I turned 30, I found out I was having twins. Holy crap ... twins! I was excited and scared at the same time. As my 30s progressed, I was balancing working full time and raising three children. I certainly didn't do this on my own. My husband, Steve, was an amazing father to Steven, Emma and Stella. He adored all four of us.

Behind his smile that could light up a room was an ongoing struggle with major depression. That never mattered to me. I cared for him and took over caring for the kids when the depression reared its ugly head. It wasn't always easy, but I did what I needed to do because I loved him and I loved our family.

By the time I turned 35, his illness was the worst I had ever seen it. That was the same year my life changed forever.

The next four years have been a roller coaster. There have been ups and downs and tunnels where I couldn't always see in front of me. Amid the sadness, I've also had the opportunity to meet so many other women and men from across the country who have been widowed. There's something comforting about being in the company of other people who really "get it."

Another reason I'm excited about turning 40 is the unknown. I don't know what lies ahead, and that's exciting. As I move forward to the next chapter, I know I possess a confidence I didn't have in my early 30s. I also know I am surrounded by love, love of family and friends.

As I move forward onto my 40s, I'll never forget the love and loss I experienced in my 30s. It will always be part of me ... always. Still, I move forward, living my new normal.

Here's to 18 more days ... and a journey that continues.


Monday, March 10, 2014

One word critique for "Resurrection," disrespectful

For anyone who has lost a loved one, the fact that our loved one is gone from this Earth is painfully clear. Although we may wish our loved one was still with us or wish that somehow he or she could come back to us from the "great beyond," we know it's just not possible.

The first time I saw the commercial promoting the new show, "Resurrection," I got mad. The premise of the show made me mad. In the commercial, a man opens his door to find a little boy who supposedly had died 32 years ago and was returning home to his parents. The father and mother both are in disbelief that their son, who still appears to be around 9 years old, is standing on their doorstep. In another scene, a woman is sitting in a church. When a man approaches her, she asks, "Did I really die?"

After seeing the commercial for what seemed like the hundredth time, it was the song that eventually sent me over the edge. "I'm comin home ... I'm comin home."

No. People who have died don't come home.

In my little world, I define "home" as being here with me. In that case, no, Steve isn't coming home. I hate that. But, that is real.

A few nights ago, my son, Stevie, and I were sitting in our living room. I was watching TV and he was playing on his iPad. Of course, the commercial came on again. Without even looking up from his iPad, Stevie said, "That's disrespectful." When I asked him if he was referring to the show, he said yes and went on to say that the idea of the show is disrespectful to people who have lost someone.

How insightful.

This is just my opinion, but yes, I feel like the idea behind the show is disrespectful. I'll never open my front door to find Steve standing there. I'll never walk into a church and find Steve sitting in a pew questioning whether he had died.

Maybe there are other people who find comfort in the fantasy that their loved one would return "home."

I just don't find comfort in that.

Regardless, my journey continues.