The Perfect Kind of Crazy

…my life as I know it

Twenty Months

Dear Jeff,

Twenty months. Twenty? How can that event be possible? Earlier today I double and then triple counted to make sure I was right. How have these months gone by so quickly? Yet sometimes it feels as if they have dragged on so slowly. Some days it still feels so fresh and raw and others it seems like you’ve been gone for twenty months.

For the most part my grief has changed. It’s not better. It’s not easier. It’s different. My soul is still shattered…there is a part of it that will never be completely healed. Just like there’s a part of my heart that will never be whole again. Those pieces, and that space, will always belong to you. Maybe it’s true what people have been saying…maybe you can have more than one soul mate. Fall in love with more than one person. If it is, and I meet him, those pieces and spaces will still belong to you.

I’m not ready to move forward in that area of my life. Probably won’t be for a while yet. Doesn’t mean I don’t get lonely. Doesn’t mean I like the quiet every day. Doesn’t mean that I miss the comfortable silence that we had. Doesn’t mean I don’t miss going to bed every night and waking up every morning next to someone. Next to you. I still wake up some nights because I have reached for your hand or scooted closer to your side because I was cold only to find an empty, cold space.

In those moments where I’m fuzzy headed from sleep is when I am most vulnerable to the pain. Just like being in the garage…in your space…I’m overwhelmed with sadness. I can’t begin to count the times I have stopped doing whatever it is or stopped looking for whatever I was searching for…. because the sadness is too much to bear. Every part of the garage holds a memory of you. Watching you fix something or tinker with whatever guys tinker with, while singing to the radio, Budweiser within reach, was one of my favorite things to do. You never thought I was listening or paying attention when you would try to show me how to do something…but…I did. I paid attention. I learned. I guess somewhere deep inside of me I knew that I would need to use those lessons some day.

Watching you teach the kids how to work on their rigs or how to use a tool or fix something are memories I hold close to my heart. All the Saturday mornings spent at Home Depot for the kids workshop…priceless. The love and pride you had for them would show all over your face…even when you wanted to pull your hair out because your patience was gone. You were that person for so many people. Not just for the the kids. Not just for me. You left holes in a lot of people’s hearts twenty months ago. Like mine, their’s will never be filled either.

You will always be My Love of a Lifetime.

Love, Me

XOXOXOX ❤️💋❤️💋❤️

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Days Like This

On days like this it would be easier to stay in bed and pretend that life isn’t going on around me. That people aren’t celebrating their dads, husbands, grandpas… Pretending doesn’t work tho… it’s only prolonging the inevitable. The emotions that are screaming to come out. The sadness that you see in your children’s eyes. The heart wrenching pain that you feel for not only yourself but for your babies as well.

My dad lost his battle with cancer five years ago. He was only 64. My children lost their gramps.

Nineteen months ago our lives were forever changed. My husband, best friend, partner in all things died. He was only 48.

Our children lost their dad, their friend, their go to for all things mechanical. The one that taught them how to fish, hunt, start a fire, use a tool, throw a baseball and kick a soccer ball. How to respect their mom. The one that showed our sons through actions how to be men and showed our daughter how a man should treat a woman. He taught them so many life lessons and had so many more to teach. They were cheated. They were robbed.

Jeff was a family man. He always put us first. Always. Without hesitation or question. He was a true friend. He was a great son and brother. He loyalty was immeasurable. He was so incredibly smart. He just knew stuff. All kinds of stuff. Random facts and dates. How? I quit trying to figure that out years ago.

Our life wasn’t always perfect. We made mistakes as parents. We made mistakes as husband and wife. We hurt each other. We disagreed. We argued. We fought. We had time where we struggled financially. But, at the end of the day one thing never wavered, LOVE. The love we had for each other. The love we had for our children. The love we had for those in our village. I never questioned his love for me. Our children never questioned his love for them. He didn’t say it often but he showed us daily through actions.

Happy Father’s Day, honey. We will forever be better people because you loved us.

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Dr. Seuss Wisdom

A friend of mine posted this on Facebook today and it really sums up where I’m at in life right now. Before Jeff died I thought I was doing a pretty good job at living my life following these principles. Sadly, now I truly understand the meaning of “Life is too Short.”

I do believe that things happen for a reason. At the time of Jeff’s death I think I knew he was destined for a greater purpose but I refused to let the thought come to mind. It was months before I could let myself see it. It’s still hard to accept. I still question why him. I still get mad at God for taking one of the good guys when there are so many bad people out there.

Together, with our children and his mom and brother, I chose to follow his wishes and selflessly give the gift of life to others. Five lives that we know of for sure. That was the reason God chose him. That was a gift that no one else could have given to those individuals at that time.

Now, as I move forward daily in my journey of healing and learning to live life without him, I’m taking chances. I’m still choosing to live my life. I’m allowing change to happen. Has it been easy? Hell no!! Have I fought some of them? Hell yes!!

Jeff wouldn’t want me to curl up and hide. He would want me to take the bull by the horns and kick it’s ass. He would expect me to live. He would hope that I find love again…I’m not ready yet. But someday. I’m learning from others who have walked this path that I can still be in love with Jeff and love someone else. It will be a different kind of love and I’m learning that that’s okay. It’s normal. I can’t imagine a life where he’s not a part of it. Where we don’t celebrate him and talk about the good times.

I’ll leave you with this.

Life IS too short & tomorrow is NEVER guaranteed.

Don’t be so busy making a living that you forget to live your life.

Treat others as you would want to be treated.

Be kind. Be humble. Be generous.

ALWAYS pay it forward.

Forgiving someone who hurt you doesn’t mean forgetting. It means you are healing.

Love without boundaries.

Give without expectations.

Love yourself. YOU are worth it.

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Your Garage

Honey,

I’m sitting here in the garage, on one of your stools, music going, putting the wax coat on the entry way table I painted and my mind is beginning to wander. I can’t help but to think how pissed you would be if you saw the mess in here. When Troy saw it the first time he said something along the lines of “Damn girl, Jeff would be so pissed if he saw this.” He was giving me shit…we laughed about it.

I can see you working on some project out here and hear you singing along with the radio. I miss hearing you sing… In the shower, driving, tinkering with stuff, with whatever is on TV…Grease.

I spend as little time in here as possible…it’s too hard to be in here without you. But, we both know what a messy painter I am and I wasn’t about to get chalk paint and wax on my new floors. When I use one of your tools I still leave the drawer open so I know where to put it back. Stop shaking your head at me.. I put them in the right spot. Although no matter how careful I was, you always knew if I was in your tool box. 🙂 Not that you cared if I used them…I’m just good at loosing stuff.

The kitchen remodel is coming to an end. As excited as I am about having my kitchen back, I’m equally as sad. It means that it’s time to start cleaning out the garage… bags of your clothes, your hunting box, your work stuff, everything that was in your truck is on your work bench. All of needs to be gone through. Alex is going to help me figure out what to sell and what to keep and help me get it organized again. The kids and I will never have a need for a welder or a plethora of other things in here. Don’t worry, your Big Bottom calendar is staying put! That was something the boys and Alex said needed to stay.

I’m not looking forward to that project. It’s going to hurt. I’m going to cry. I’m going to be sad. I’m going to be angry. Once it’s done I know I will have taken another step in healing. Another step forward. Another step in my journey of learning to live without you. Bonus…I will be able to park in here!

I often wonder if you would be proud of me. So many changes have taken place since you died. Hard changes. Gut wrenching changes. All necessary for me to heal. To move forward. I couldn’t live in our home the way it was. I had to make it a little less us and a little more me. Not because I wanted to erase you. Not because I didn’t want to remember all of the good times. But because my heart couldn’t handle it. I know it’s what you would want. All the times you talked about how your Grandpa never changed a single thing after Grandma died goes through my mind. I know without a shadow of a doubt you wouldn’t want that for me or the kids.

After focusing only on my mental and emotional health the first 14 months you were gone I was feeling pretty crappy. Lack of energy. I was ready for a life style change so, I saw a doctor..had blood work done..was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. I know, shouldn’t have been surprised with the family history on Dad’s side.. but I was. That was 20 weeks ago… I’ve lost weight. I’m eating healthier… toast and frozen pizza wasn’t exactly a good diet. I’m getting active again. I’m all the kids have and I want to be able to play with our grandkids and still have energy.

Well, I suppose I should head inside now. This is the most time I’ve spent out here. This will always be your garage. Dad’s garage. Dad’s tools. Dad’s work bench. Dad’s gun safe. Your space. One day I will be able to be out here and laugh at the memories and not cry because it hurts too much to remember. Until next time.

You will always be my Love of a Lifetime.

Love you always,

Me

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My Why

She is my why. When Jeff died she was only nine months old. She and her mama, my beautiful daughter, stayed with me for two months. In many ways she saved me. She saved me from staying in the dark place. From giving in to the depression. From allowing myself to wallow in self pity. God knew what he was doing when He gave her to us.

For months she was my reason for getting up every day. For eating. For showering and getting dressed. For living. For taking those first steps in healing. In learning to live life without Jeff. She would sleep with me more nights than not.

I thank God for giving her to us not only because she saved me but because Jeff got to know the joy of being a Grandpa. God he loved her. He loved babies. This tough, rugged, sometimes gruff and grumpy man loved his babies. There’s something sexy about watching the man you are in love with holding your babies. He was a natural daddy. He loved his children fiercely. Deeply. He may not have always said it…but he showed it. Our children knew without a doubt how much love that he had for them.

Eighteen months later and she is still one of my biggest reason for continuing to move forward. To be a better person. To be healthier. To take care of myself. Now, we are expecting a little sister this summer!

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