1 year anniversary–Jeni

For me, apparently, my grief recovery from my husband’s loss was going to be scattered with other losses in a variety of forms.  At the 3 month mark (February), I lost my grandmother on my mother’s side.  September brought Hurricane Ike to Indiana and flooded the entire lower level of the house.  More than half of what we owned was lost and the house had to be rebuilt.  The beginning of November brought the loss of Mamaw, my father’s mother.  November 28th would mark my one year point.

Everyone seemed to want me to be whole.  I just wasn’t.  One day I would be fine…the next a blubbering mess.  I had joined dancing classes to give me and my kids something fun and positive to do once a week.

I think one of the best ways to explain the jumble of emotions surrounding the anniversary is to allow you to see the flow of my facebook postings that month with some explanation.

November 14th–is wishing she was dancing right now.

Obviously, this is referring to the classes.  They allowed me and the kids some time together to focus on something other than our losses.  While my kids learned to salsa and master other ballroom dances, I basically focused on not tripping or stepping on anyone.   Still…it was a welcome release from the everyday.

15th–is excited about getting the kids into new rooms!;is hoping to see my brother at church tomorrow

We had spent a lot of time rebuilding. Getting the kids back in their rooms definitely seemed like progress.  At least something was improving.

Prior to my husband’s death, nobody thought they would ever see my brother in church except for weddings and funerals.  In fact, the first time he came to church, I fully expected lightning to strike…however, part of this journey led my brother to not only attend my church regularly, but also to become very involved.  God certainly does work miracles…even in the midst of tragedy.

18th–wishes her kids would get along and that the house was clean

When we adopted the kids, I never thought I would be doing the parenting gig solo.  Being a new parent was difficult enough together and now I had to face it alone as a single mother of 3 teens.  Like most single mothers, I had to be breadwinner, mother, father and most everything else.  On top of it, there was the grief process.  I had little energy and a lot to do.  If I could get through the job and parenting, then I had the house to maintain.  I really needed a cleaning fairy.

19th–is getting a new roof today

Did I mention that a Hurricane hit the house?   A new roof was just a portion of the renovations.

21–is wishing that the 28th was over and done with already!; is trying to finish up her day and have a wonderful dinner with her family

I was dreading the upcoming anniversary.  Not only was it the anniversary of Bob’s death,  it was also my sister-in-law’s birthday.  My family was struggling with how to honor the date and still celebrate a birthday.  The last thing I felt like was celebrating (more stories on “new” family celebrations coming).  I was trying to enjoy this day and build up my reserves for THAT DAY.

The family was planning a dinner out as we normally did for birthdays; however, we were having the dinner at one of Bob’s favorite locations.  I just wanted to crawl into a hole.

24–surprised at the emotional roller coaster of this week; will soon be heading to her son’s basketball game; is praying for a better future.; cannot stop the tears tonight

I just wanted things to get better.  My kids deserved better than this….I deserved better than this.  The tears kept coming.  I couldn’t stop them.  I tried to be strong for the kids but I just wanted everything to be so different than it was.

25–is starting a new day!; loves it when God chooses the restaurant!; is getting ready to DANCE!; is going to watch some stupid tv

Such a mish mosh of emotions.  At least I could escape into mindless television for a little while.

26–is not at work…but just as busy

Busy is better than idle time.  Idle time gives me time to think and time to cry.

28–today is a year and it still sucks; thinks November 28th should be struck from the calendar

I never wanted THAT DAY to happen.  I wanted it removed from the calendar and from my memory.  Somehow, it seemed that would make it so it had never happened.  Yet, that couldn’t be done.  It had happened…Bob was dead ….and I still had to go on living.

29-is beginning to see the floor in the living room…amazing!; is thrilled that the painting of the brick is done!

Simple progress on the house.

30–is going to bed after a very emotional and packed weekend

Life is just emotional or totally void of emotion.  Either one sucks.

12/1–a year ago today, we buried Bob and the weather was just as bad that day

The day we buried my husband, there was a terrible snow and ice storm.  We stood freezing at his graveside.  Apparently, one year later, the weather wasn’t any better.

12/2–is grateful for a new year and for the many roses among all the flipping thorns!

My husband had a habit of sending me peach roses with a blue carnation (that’s another story) and this was my way of referencing all the sucky stuff that had happened that year and to say I was going to continue despite everything.

12/3–is Defying Gravity

After seeing Wicked, this became one of my favorite quotes and one of my motivational mottos when I needed a boost.

12/4–is ecstatic that her fireplace is being reinstalled today.; just heard…the fireplace is in!

This was a very important part of fixing the house after the hurricane.  The fireplace was one of Bob’s last projects, and I had been afraid that it would be lost.  Losing it would have been like losing Bob again.  I didn’t think I could handle it and I was excited that it had been saved and was restored.

12/8–is tired of drama and tragedy;  just wants everything in its place

I was looking for peace.  I wanted things to be normal.  I wasn’t ready to face the fact that life would never be “normal” again.  Life had forever changed and had to be rebuilt.  We had to build a new life…find a new normal.

12/9–is glad today is coming to an end; is going to bed

12/10–is getting ready to face another day

I often alternated between these two emotions of getting through yet another day and fortifying myself to face another day.

12/11–Every Day is an Adventure!

This had become my husband’s mantra after we adopted the kids.  Whenever we felt overwhelmed, overjoyed or just in the middle of everything….he would yell this out to remind us that life was there to be taken by the horns each and every day.

I still had other things to go through in my journey.  There would be other struggles and other joys.  Eventually, I would find the strength to go on.  Eventually, I would find love again but this was my life at the time of the first anniversary of his death.  Life would find and create a new normal…a new path…but this was part of the journey.