To many.....18 is just a number. To me it embodies so much more than that. It is the age when you become an adult. So many kids look forward to this age with such envy. We were always in such a hurry to be 18. We could do what we wanted because we were adults and we could vote. I guess we could choose to buy tobacco if we wanted and purchase lotto tickets. We could even sign our own permission slips! I remember this being one of my favorite things. I always signed my Mom's name anyway - she would never remember to sign my stuff and I was a good kid - so she allowed me to do this. I always told her any time I had to sign it.
To me and my family, however, 18 has a much different meaning. 18 was always Malea's lucky number. I don't know why it was - just every time a number was involved for her - it was 18. Dave asked me to marry him on the 18th of February. It was a special day for me for a long time. We got married on the 8th so I guess the number 8 is likely more significant than the 1.
In 2014 the number 18 became the worst number I could ever imagine. The date that Dave died. It was no longer Malea's favorite number. For quite a few months - probably close to 2 years - that date on the calendar I was just in a bad mood. Sometimes I wouldn't know why I was just in blah - but then I'd realize it was the 18th. My body just knew it was a bad day.
It just occurred to me though that I'm getting married in 2018. I don't know that May will ever be a good month for us (Malea told me she refused to come to the wedding if I got married in May) - but maybe we can turn this 18 around. I have to believe that because it once was such a good day - it can be an awesome year!!! 1998 was a really really bad year for me. 2008 was pretty good though - as that is when Keagan was born. 1988 was pretty good - Selena was born then and then 1978 of course was an awesome year - because I was born then :) I did turn 1998 around though as that is when I actually met Dave - so maybe the 8's are good to me. Please be good to me 2018!!!!
When Dave died, I was determined that I would be alone for the rest of my life. I was only 36, but who would want a widowed single mom of 2 kids? I pretty much put it out of my mind. I longed so much for the warmth of someone to be there for me. Someone to love me and someone to talk to and that would always be on my side.
My marriage to Dave wasn't perfect.....but it was pretty close. I can't imagine many better marriages than ours. I never thought I could have what we had again. I had told Dave probably about a year before he died that if he ever died - I would want to marry again. I had read an article that said if you had a happy marriage you were more likely to want to marry again. For a while I just wanted someone to help me around the house. I wanted to have a partner, but since I didn't think anyone would be intersted in me - I just wanted a friend.
It took me 2 years to even think about dating. Then nobody was really good enough. I just was testing the waters to see what kind of people were out there. The pool wasn't that great. I think I went through nearly every online dating site and found some real I hate to say losers - but they definitely weren't winners. I didn't tell anyone that I was doing this. I didn't even tell my kids. After a while I had a friend that I actually did tell - and she was really supportive. She cautioned me to be careful.
I was ready to give up when I met James. I had gone on a few dates and they just didn't go anywhere. It was mostly me - but a couple were them that didn't want to continue. James was a breath of fresh air. He had a job, a decent car and just seemed really down to Earth. I didn't feel like he had an agenda. He had 2 girls around my daughter's age . One big negative - he lived in Ohio!!! I can't date someone from Ohio. He was really close to my Grandpa though - so I figured - hey - that isn't too far. He worked 3rd shift and in order to meet him soon enough I had to go to him. I was able to watch his softball game that he played in with his church. It was pretty lonely sitting there talking to nobody - but I really enjoyed watching him. He was shy and cute and just adorable with his kids. I didn't meet his kids - they happened to show up at the game to see him.
James and I haven't known each other long but it has been a wonderful time. We are so in love and can't wait to start our lives together. I can't wait for him to find a job here and be able to see each other every day. Now it is pretty much weekends only and that seems forever away.
We have had some bumps in the road. I'm not sure how I will do as a step Mom. Navigating life with an ex wife has not be easy or glamorous and has really pushed me to my limit at times. James and I are a great team and we believe in the power of prayer. We know that God can help us through this and I believe it will bring us even closer in the long run.
Please pray that James will find a great job - on first shift fairly close to my house. He is a great worker and is leaving a job that he's comfortable with in order to be with me. I love him so much for moving his life rather than me uprooting everything we have here. Pray also for me that I can have the patience I need and tolerance to work through this whole 2nd wife/step-Mom thing. I know I let my emotions get in the way at times and I really am trying to be calm and level headed.
Thank you so much for all of the support. I never thought I would ever find someone to love me let alone be perfect for me. I'm truly blessed twice in my life. I only hope that I can bring as much joy to his life as he is bringing to mine!!
Since I didn't post the best update yesterday and I've realized that my updates have really been quite sporadic. I don't want to only post negative things.
Keagan is doing very well in 3rd grade. He seems to like his teacher. He is always using these new big words and in the right context. That is one of my most favorite parts about watching your kids grow. He has suckered our exchange students in to being his own personal friends. He always convinces one of them to entertain him every day. They either go on the trampoline with him, ride bikes or this week he was trying to teach Dema to do a cartwheel ;)
Malea is doing well overall. She currently has all A's and this is so great for me and her. She's really focusing on this since she's all about going to a good college. She has her permit and is driving as much as she can. I have turned in to the crazy Mom. Seriously - it is quite stressful driving with a new driver. She really isn't that bad - she just likes to speed and also likes to turn corners really fast!!
I was talking to her the other day about the last 3 years. She's really grown. She actually said that she's glad this happened to her when it did. Not to sound heartless either. She greatly misses her Dad. She isn't happy that she's gone. However she really likes the person she is turning in to. She has more empathy and just is all around a better person due to what she's gone through. This was an awesome discussion to have with her. I have had similar thoughts myself.
Then there is me :) I'm currently doing quite well. I am not doing well with my diet and exercise. Having 4 kids and all that goes on with them is a lot more than I thought it would be. I never have time to get to the gym. I generally only have 1 free evening and that is spent goingto see James. Then there is James. He is seriously the bright spot of every day for me. I wish I could see him every day, but at least I get to talk to him daily. He listens to me and that is what I need. He doesn't have a lot of advice for me for what I've gone through - but he listens. Sometimes that is all I need. He's there to tell me "It will be ok". For some reason - I just need to hear that sometimes. We generally spend 3 days per week together. One evening during the week at his house and then on the weekends he comes to see me usually Friday and Saturday or just Saturday.
James checks off every possible item that I would have ever thought of to put on a list. The only thing that I would change would be for him to live closer. When I need a hug (which is far too often probably) - I wish I could just run over and get one. Two hours round trip is probably a big long for a hug.
I am a different person than I was when I was with Dave. As Malea said about herself that she's appreciative that she went through this. I am as well. I would not wish it on anyone. God knew what he was doing though. We are going to have an amazing life together and for that I am very grateful!!! I just have to be patient in the mean time - which is quite difficult for me to do ;)
Every time I think I move forward and Malea moves forward - something pops up. Grief is a horrible thing, but really that isn't even part of this issue. It just makes us feel things more deeply.
For many years I struggled with the fact that people don't care about me. I have a few people that do - and I have a lot of people that I have wanted to keep in contact with. If I want it - it is all me. If I don't reach out - I don't hear from them. It gets tiring being the only one that reaches out.
Guess what? - I really am over that. I stopped trying about a year ago. I was tired of feeling sad as to why people didn't want anything to do with me. Now it is because I was sad over losing Dave I am sure. However - it was before he died that it was just as bad. I had him though and he was all that mattered. I worried about my kids all the time - because I felt the same way about them. He felt the same way. Dave always said that they had us and that was all that mattered. Having me be the only one now - really does suck.
This was a big discussion with Malea last night. She is now realizing this. She thinks if she were to die - absolutely nobody would care (except me). Do you know how that made me feel? It really sucks. You know what sucks even more - I can't tell her any different. It is sad that in some ways she really has pushed people away. She's made it kind of difficult to get to know her. She's actually doing really well now. She has some really good friends. She's so scared that I'm the only one that cares though. I know James would be there for her and I told her that. She is scared to let anyone in - because nobody stays :(
I have lots of family - they love us and I know they care. People are just busy with their own lives. I finally realize this and really try to be aware of it. The truth is - if you really want to be in someone's life - you will make time. I know that is true and I really suck lately especially with trying to make time for some people. I get people being busy - I'm one of the busiest people I know. If I am invited to something - I try to make it work.
I don't want anyone saying that they care - I know people will say that. I just want people to think about it. We really are doing very well. As a family we are doing awesome. Things are going well and we have lots of really happy days. Some days we just get beat down and well we'll get back up. I just wish this wasn't reality. I'd love to hear from anyone else in the same boat and how you work it out.
I realized that my last post was all the way back in April. Wow!! Not sure what that means.
Well I was pretty busy with various things. I had also been trying to seriously date. I went on a couple - well 4 - they were all very nice. I knew I was ready for the possibility of love again. I knew I'd be really picky because well I had a great guy and I deserve the best.
It isn't that easy dating as a widow. It actually really sucks. Most of the time I didn't tell people right away that I was a widow. I always ended up telling them fairly soon because well it is a pretty big deal. I always have my kids - granted Malea can babysit Keagan now - but still they are always around. I can't really ship them off somewhere and there is no Dad to have them every other weekend or anything. Also - if anything ever worked out - my kids would be around and they'd have to be willing to have them be around.
I've tried online dating for a little over a year now.
I have never felt more alone than I did yesterday.
It was definitely not the worst day of my life - it will be hard to top that day. I was in utter shock at the time. I need to always try to remember what the worst day of my life was and tell myself that nothing can top that. When I get upset - I've never been very rational though.
I can't go in to details as it most likely will never be resolved. I'm not sure how things stand with some people and whether some relationships are permanently damaged.
I just know that as I sat there on my bed crying - with both of my kids super upset - I realized how truly alone I was. I was able to calm both kids down - but had nobody to talk to or comfort me. Sometimes I forget that this is my life. I'm on my own. I'm hoping we aren't back to square one with Malea - I truly hope this didn't damage her more :(
It is so hard to have someone stand by you and support you for 15 years just not be there anymore. I've been without him for 3 years almost now and it still is hard to believe some days. I still remember how much he was there for me. I can still sit there and pretty much know what he would have said to make me feel better. Nobody knew how much he supported me - how great he was at both listening and advice. Sometimes he got mad that I didn't take his advice because it was just too hard for me to follow through on. He cared so much about me and wanted the best for me. I just wish I could not guess what he would say to me now and just know :(
Last night as I was waiting for Keagan to get out of the pool - our song was on at the hotel. I had not really even noticed that they played music until that point. It was very faint - but I'd recognize that song even very quietly in a loud room. Maybe he was telling me I would be ok? I can't convince myself of that....or dream about it. I wish he would just be in a dream or something - but instead I just have these crazy dreams instead of me being in band camp....lol.
Malea wasn't feeling well today. Unfortunately she seems to be taking after me and starting to get migraines :( We'll have to figure out what to do about it. I didn't start getting them until high school. I think it has something to do with school. Things get more stressful in school younger now and she's taking quite a few high school classes. We didn't discuss it much at the doctor. They couldn't really do anything for me either. However hers do seem worse than mine were. I don't remember missing school for mine. She keeps getting this horrible vertigo with hers. We go back to the doctor in 3 months to check her blood again, but I might have to try to get her in earlier.
Since Malea stayed home today and I already got a late start to the day I just started out in a bad mood. I gradually got worse and just started getting very angry at Dave. Why did he leave me? I have too much on my plate and could really use an extra hand. He would have been able to help. I'm so stressed with the lack of time I have left through the end of the year. I really wanted to chaperone Keagan's field trip and I just really can't with how little time I have left :( He's not too happy about it. I always try to make it a point to chaperone since I don't get to do too much else with the class. I didn't chaperone this trip for Malea - Dave did - so I feel like I should really try to do it. I just don't think I have the time :(
I drive by the tree every day. Today I just looked at it and was so angry. Why do I have to be here doing all of this by myself? Why do I have to go about my day telling random people all the accomplishments I'm making when he would be so happy for me and so encouraging. I seek out other people to be as excited as I am. It is so dumb....wish I didn't feel the need to brag or have other people join me in my excitement. This challenge has been great because we have to tell people about what we do to get the points. That ends Friday so I won't be doing that anymore.
Grrr....I don't like being mad at him.
Imagine having a love so great that it makes you happy every day. Think Noah from the Notebook. He loved Allie so much even throught their time apart and she obviously loved him too. Their love was so great.
Now imagine that love blossoming in to a beautiful family. That man turned in to such a great father. He still showed great respect for the mother as well since he would constantly reprimand the children for not respecting her. He was the fun Dad - always thinking of adventures to take the kids on. Reading to the kids and making up funny stories when they didn't want to go to bed. He gave the best horse back rides and could throw the kids in the pool better than anyone.
Now imagine that you are the woman that has all that. Wouldn't you think your life was a fairy tale? You were blessed beyond what you deserved. You had your moments where you didn't appreciate what you had - but after thinking about it - you always came back to remembering that you had it better than most. You had a great love and a great father. It is pretty rare to have both in the same man.
Now imagine - that all of that is taken away in the blink of an eye :( Life goes from on top of the world to the gates of hell in 3 minutes (I always think of it that way since I talked to him 3 minutes before he died). That is my life.
How do you think about the future with anything but dread when you had what I had? How do you look at your children without thinking of all that they are missing out on not knowing their father. Not having him there to walk your daughter down the aisle. Not having him there to teach your son how to ride his mountain bike through the trails. They are both so much like their dad. They have his love of adventure. I can see that dwindling the more they hang out with me - since I lack that capability.
Doing a study on forgiveness didn't really help me. I feel like I blame myself for a lot - but it is all stuff that I didn't put on myself - it just happened- but I don't know that there is anyone or anything to forgive. I feel like it is something I need to forgive - not a someone. I feel like I need to forget and not forgive. I need to forget what I had. How can I do that? That would be forgetting about the best part of me.
Reading "The Shack" has helped a little actually. However - he actually had things to forgive - someone killed his daughter. He held all that resentment and rightfully so. Nobody took Dave - at least not that I know of. It was a fluke accident or maybe a purposeful accident - I'll never know the answer to that. I could forgive him- but I don't really blame him. I don't feel like he would have left us on purpose. The dreams right after he died made me think that it was just a fluke accident as well. The book alludes to the fact that God didn't make the sadness happen - and he could have intervened - but only by not creating man in the first place. That makes a lot of sense to me. It is still hard to wrap my head around.
Before anyone says I need counseling - it really doesn't help. It doesn't get my lawn mowed, or the trash out. It doesn't get my closet built or my oil changed. It doesn't pick up anything at the store that I need when I don't feel good or pick up dinner. I have very little availability to do stuff with Malea alone. We always tried to make sure that happened on a pretty regular basis - we would go on dates with each kid several times per year. Then we would also make sure to get dates together once in a while. That probably happened less often. Dave got plenty of nights out with the boys as well. Occasionally Dave would make sure to take the kids out so that I could clean the house without the distraction. I can't even remember the last time I was able to do that.
I just wish people could imagine more what it is like to be living what I'm living. Maybe I'd catch a break rather than the constant judging that I get instead. Or even the 'I'm sorry's' - with fake 'if you need anything let me know' words behind that.
I am doing better - we all are doing better. We'll never be like we were before though.
I'm hoping Malea will be happy in the future - that she'll have wonderful friends. She'll see how much potential she has and that she'll thrive and see that her life can be amazing.
My hope for Keagan is that somehow we find someone that will take him fishing. Someone that will teach him how to catch a ball or play basketball with him. I try - but I don't even know how to play. That he won't fall through the cracks but I lack so much free time to be able to do stuff with him. I hope he develops some friendships that will maybe help teach him some things that only boys seem to know without the agressiveness that may come along with it.
I just hope that I can live a long life and be an amazing Grandma to my grandkids. I hope that is a long way off - but maybe only about 10 years or so away. I hope that my kids don't move too far away and that I don't feel like a burden to them. I hope that I can lose the weight I'm trying to lose and actually be happy with the way I look for once in my life....and keep it that way.
Earlier in the week I posted about forgiveness. I have always been one that forgives very easily. I give so many second and third chances - and it hasn't always been good for me. I just think that there is so much good in people and I'm nice - so I hope they see that and not let me down. However - one way that I forgive people is to blame myself. They wouldn't have wronged me if I was a better person or if I would have treated them differently. This always is what eats at me. I always think if I were better then people wouldn't treat me bad.
I have a few people that I'm struggling with right now - the main issue that I wonder is how do you forgive someone that is constantly being mean. I could forgive them - and I generally do - but they just keep doing the same thing over and over again. I think one particular person is just a mean spiteful person anyway. It isn't someone I can part ways with either as I can't control that they are in my life. They certainly make my days very sad and lonely though and I really try to avoid them at all costs.
My real issue is me. I struggle so much with holding on to a lot that I can't control. I have the same issue with me and wondering how I can forgive myself when I will do the same stuff over again:
How can I forgive myself for not being enough for my kids?
How can I forgive myslef for not knowing that Dave was on the road when I was talking to him minutes before he died?
How can I forgive myself for being only ok at pretty much everything?
How can I forgive myself for something I don't know how to explain?
I'm constantly beating myself up about my lack of close friendships and what I'm doing that people don't like. I wish I could just go up to people and say - what is so wrong with me? I'm really nice I think - but maybe I complain too much. I have a hard time if anyone gives me a compliment and I rarely tell the truth when people ask how I am. I don't just tell random people that I lost my husband - other than my small group last week - I usually wait quite a while before I say something about it. It is hard because I want people to know that I'm not a single Mom by choice and I'm not divorced. Then they look at me with sad eyes and say they are sorry. I just wanted them to know - I'm still me - I may not be the same person I was before - but I have a lot to offer. I actually think I'm pretty amazing in many ways. I can do so many things that some people can't even imagine. However - I don't want to sound conceited either.
I really didn't think this forgiveness thing would be so hard. I guess I never thought about how much I have going on that I need to forgive myself for. I'm holding on to most of it and I don't know how to let go of it. Counseling could maybe help - I've gone to 2 different counselors and I tried to contact another one. They all want me to make friends - I've been trying for about 19 years and it hasn't worked well so far. I guess going to small group is a step - but that only is another 2 weeks - so then I have to figure out something after that. Crossfit is the closest thing I've had to friends in many years. I don't always talk to people there - but I feel like they are all friends since we're going through the same crazy things together. We are all in different places in our lives but for that hour - we are all making our bodies do what it doesn't want to do!! That is the best thing for me really. After this week - I really am going to try to at least make 1 regular CF class. Hopefully I'll be at my old house less and maybe it will sell....it certainly would take one huge burden off my shoulders!!
I know that is a stupid question. There isn't a way to know if what you are doing is the right way to go or if you are making a bad decision. You can only go with how you think and feel at the time of the decision. You may constantly question it and come back to it and realize you went the wrong way - but there are no certainties in life.
Malea has been struggling lately. She's actually doing really well. She's been very happy and we haven't had too many issues where we butt heads lately. It is nice to be in that place. However - she's having a tough time with friends. She currently doesn't have any friends. She says she has people to talk to at school - but they would never hang out. She's just in a tough place. I remember being there. For me -it happened in 6th grade. She's had a rough couple of years. I'm sure she's pushed some people away that will never come back. I think she attracted some of these so called friends because of how down she was. I can't say that I'm sad at the loss of a couple of these friendships. I never have felt that they were good for her. I have never felt that she had any friends that truly cared about her. I suppose you don't really ever have that in middle school.
Unfortunately for her - I'm in the same boat and have been for the past 20 years. I don't have one person that would hang out with me either. I have people that I occasionally talk to when I see them. Most of those people I don't even know their phone number - but even if I did - I woud never call them. However - I think Malea is pretty awesome. Her love of anime and horror films is quite strange to me - but other than that - she's pretty fun. Just last night she was rolling around the floor laughing becasue she couldn't stop. Granted - she was laughing at me and my lack of being able to be as flexible as her - but it was nice to see her like that. Sometimes I feel bad that she's the person I go to for advice - to ask her if my outfit looks ok. I normally don't think she's listening to me or telling me the truth - but she's the one I go to.
Malea is seriously thinking of changing schools next year. She wants to go to the district I work in. I had planned on maybe switching Keagan in 2 years. Next year my favorite teacher will be his teacher and I want to keep him there. It would be hard allowing her to do anything extra if she's 45 minutes from home. I could keep a closer eye on her from here for sure. I just don't know. I like Three Rivers and I like that any event she would do is very close to our house. She rarely has friends over now - so it would be nearly impossible with the distance of the new school. If I had not just bought our house and really love it there - I would just move. We wouldn't get as nice of a house and definitely wouldn't have a pool if we decided to move though. I'm just really in a tight spot trying to weight the options.
I am a wife and mother of 2. I have many different interests - baking, home renovations, music, education ;)