Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Change... The Bowie Kind.

I think change, be it huge or small, profound or insignificant, is probably one of the most difficult aspects of life. Something that we can yearn for in one moment and run in terror from in the next. Getting to a place in which being open to change, accepting that it is inevitable and not struggling against it is a huge part of our growth as a person. 
I have always been spontaneous,  a walk through the fire kind of person.  But, deep, significant change has more often than not thrown me for a loop. I like to have a plan. I may not always adhere to said plan, but I like the comfort of it.
Of course,  this year has been full of change. The plans I had, the plans WE had, those are no longer an option. I will no longer be able to be content in a notoriously underpaid proffession... I'm now responsible for the entirety of my families financial well being. I have to figure out how to handle that now. I am no longer parenting as a team... and while I thankfully have an amazing support system, at the end of the day I alone am responsible for my children and thier ability to face the world as an adult. Daunting, especially when you factor in that both my children are approaching the teen years. Every time something new comes up, something I may not be used to dealing with, I have a moment (or hour, or day) of "this isn't fair! I shouldn't have to do this!" and then I do it anyway. And I get stronger. More capable. 
I have changed. A lot. There are things that are just no longer important to me. There are things that are now incredibly important to me. I'm getting better at asking for help and taking it when it is offered. There are conversations I now force myself (and others) to have, because talking about the tough stuff has become essential to me, simply because I am used to it now. Carrying on in the face of judgement and disapproval,  it isn't so scary anymore. Living with the unknown has become routine. Accepting that I may be fine this morning and inconsolable this afternoon is difficult,  but I am handling my own fragility in the best way I can.
Letting go and remembering that this is my life now... it is happening. A little bit here and there, but it is sinking in. Living in a fantasy that things will someday be back to normal is counterintuitive... there is no normal. There is just now.
Admitting that I am sad, easily upset, unfocused and sensitive -vulnerable- is not fun or easy, but it just is.
Admitting that I am finding moments of happiness is even harder. As if, by admitting that I am not really crying everyday anymore,  that it is easier to look at pictures or talk about him, that I am enjoying myself more than I am not, that is somehow a betrayal.  That his death was any less traumatic,  that I must not have loved him enough.
I miss him every day. I most likely always will. But clinging to grief, wishing things were different than they are? I just can't keep doing that. Only Jason and I truly knew our relationship. And although we had and continue to have the love and support of everyone around us, he was the one dying. And I was the one watching, knowing I would have to keep living, without him. And that? That is what he wanted me to do. It is the only way I can truly honor him and keep him alive in our hearts... I have to keep going.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

To The Mountains

Jason and I loved camping.
It was something that was a part of both of our childhoods and when we were dating we spent lots of time camping out on the beach and in the jungle. When we moved back home to California we made it a point to take at least a couple of camping trips a year... Ozzie was seven months old the first time he went camping.
A few years ago we were camping at one of our favorite spots up in the mountains when Jason reconnected with some old friends. He began playing poker with them and when they invited us to come along on their annual family camping trip, we decided to go. He had been playing with them for awhile (and had known most of them for a long time) but I had yet to meet them and was pretty anxious. I can be awkward. I've never had the easiest time making friends... I'm a lot better about it now, but I've spent most of my life without a huge circle of friends. I find it difficult to make small talk and always seem to say exactly the wrong thing. But, he kept reassuring me that it would be great, that they were all very laid back and he thought we would all get along well.
He was right.
The group of friends I made on that trip have become as important to me as my own family. For the first time I felt accepted and it really gave me the confidence I needed to develop other friendships,  all on my own. They've been with us, through all of this. Jason & I talked about the trip this summer, one we both knew he would not be making. He made me promise to go and to keep going.
And so I am. I would be lying if I said I was looking forward to it. In a way, yes. That was his favorite place on earth, those mountains were his personal paradise. His spirit is there, but it is everywhere for me and I'm worried that it may be overwhelming to be there without him. But the kids are especially excited... and as I write this my twelve year old is vaccuuming out my car and planning out how we are going to pack everything in. He watched and helped his dad enough times that he obviously feels that it is a job that now falls to him. (I will be double checking, of course, but I'm confident he'll do a good job.) He's mentioned that I should probably have my oil changed before the trip. It makes me incredibly proud and unbearably sad.
So, off we go. Another first. But, we will be surrounded by loved ones and I've always been a big believer in the power of fresh air, bright stars and s' mores (... not to mention my friend David's excellent bloody mary's) to ease lifes troubles.