about the men i love... for the girls that are my world.

Friday, December 2, 2016

The In Between

This is probably similar to subjects that I've blogged on before, but I'm too tired to go back and read through everything, and it's on my heart tonight. So, bear with me, if you will...
Today, December 2nd, would have been Brian's 34th birthday. Instead, he will forever be 26 years old, as the wrinkles around my eyes get deeper and my age continues to carry on.
He celebrated his birthday in heaven this year.
For the 8th time.
And, we, celebrated his life, down here on earth.
It was a pretty normal day as far as our routine goes around here. I got up with Natalie, and helped her off to school, the only difference was having to help her with her clothes and hair, since she broke her arm two days ago. Same went with Kate, she was off to school and Charli and I went to the YMCA.
Kate helped me to bake some chocolate cupcakes in honor of Natalie's Daddy Brian's birthday. She picked the recipe with a chocolate ganache frosting, nice choice kid. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't shoving one of those bad boys in my mouth right now as I type this.
But today, I wasn't really sad. Of course I knew it was his birthday and of course I thought about the fact that we always attended a Kansas City Chiefs football game, as a celebration for both of our birthdays. Which game would we have gone to this year? Would it have been their last game? Probably not, since it was in Denver, but who knows? If so, he would have loved that one....
Anyway, I was doing pretty well until we got to the cemetery. We always decorate for Christmas time on his birthday, but Natalie made a point to say we needed a Happy Birthday sign this year.
Fair enough.
Kate insisted it be sparkly and glittery.
Ok, done.
It was when I was trying to shove the wooden post into the hard, cold, ground and I nearly broke the darn thing in half, that I looked over at the packaging..... "cake topper" it said.
This decorative item was supposed to be on the top of a cake, not in the ground, in front of a grave stone.
I just about lost it.
But I didn't. I swallowed my tears and laughed at my girls who were giggling, and nibbling bites out of their cupcakes, even though I specifically said they couldn't eat them until we sang happy birthday.
I'll be damned if I didn't get that "cake topper" into the ground. Just where Natalie wanted it. And as I was sitting there, in the freezing cold, I was looking at the dates etched in stone.
Today is the day his life started. And September 28th, 2009, was when it tragically ended.
But that dash in between.... is so much more.
It's full of memories, and so many good days. So many specific moments in time, and laughs, and milestones.  And of course some bad ones too.
But that's just it, that's life.
Your life is not defined by the two dates they put on your head stone.
It's all about the in between.
And that's what makes grief such a unique and personal situation. It's the days when you are thinking, I should be sad.... it's an important day. And the days that are your average, ordinary, run of the mill days, but a thousand memories flood in, and out of nowhere you are a sobbing mess and have to pull yourself together.
Grief is an individual as a fingerprint. No two people are the same. Nor should they be.
One of the best memories I have, was an impromptu day trip to Kansas City. I think it was during the late summer of 2009. We were driving back home and out of nowhere Brian grabbed my hand, and said "You know I love you? You are my everything."
I have no idea what day this event occurred on. But I remember it like it was yesterday. And I know one thing for sure.... it wasn't on December 2 or September 28th.
It was somewhere else.
Somewhere in between.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

It isn't perfect... It isn't pretty.

It's been awhile....  I wasn't going to post anything about today. Things didn't really go as planned. But then I decided something, I'm all about sharing the reality of grief, the good, the bad and the ugly. Because if it will help one person, then so be it. It's worth it. So here it goes.
Today, was a bit on the ugly side.
Ok, a lot on the ugly side.
The embarrassing side.
The side of grief that you desperately try to avoid, to keep locked up inside.
But sometimes, sometimes you just can't.
I took a Conceal Carry Class this weekend. I've been wanting to do it for awhile now. I always used the excuse for not wanting to carry a handgun, being that I wasn't comfortable, didn't know enough about the mechanics, etc. I've never been afraid of guns. Just never knowledgeable or comfortable with them either.
Then, a fantastic, too good to pass up, class became available, so it was time. I was excited. It was intriguing to learn about the basics, and empowering, thinking I could learn to protect myself.
Then the time came for qualifications, at the range.
I thought I'd be just fine.
The guy next to me started shooting. Every shot, every casing falling to the floor, shook me to the core. I couldn't stop it, and I couldn't suppress it. Almost 8 years later, the thought of that sound, and my husband Brian fighting for his life, took me right back.
I couldn't hold it in. And I started crying. Not the pretty kind of "tears rolling down your cheek" crying. But the sobbing, blood shot eyes, mascara running, UGLY crying.
And then I got mad. I got mad that I couldn't control my emotions. I couldn't hide my grief, I couldn't stay strong.
But you know what.... Where there once was great love, there is great grief. I've forgotten who quoted the original statement, so please forgive me, but it couldn't be more true.
I was so mad. So angry that there are terrible people out there, who want to harm someone, purely because of the uniform they wear.
I was beat down. Mentally defeated. And I wanted to quit, I wanted nothing more that to leave. To say.... I'm sorry, but I can't do this.
But then, all of a sudden I could feel Brian, I could feel him smile and roll his eyes and say "Sarah, get yourself together, are you kidding me??? You CAN do this!"
So, I pulled myself together, and I finished.
And I passed.
It wasn't perfect, and it wasn't pretty.
But you know what? Life isn't either.
My target kind of looks like shit (sorry for the language).... but I'm still learning.
And, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't pretending that it was the person who killed my husband, so that seems about appropriate now doesn't it?
Here's the real deal... grief sucks. Grief comes out of nowhere, and it slaps you in the face when you least expect it. But it's also a reminder of great love and a great person.
And for that, I'll take it whenever, wherever. Because he's worth it...  Always, and forever.