So…..my husband died.

I know that’s blunt. But what is the right way to let you know? Might as well just say it.

4 months ago my husband died. It was unexpected.

 Who knew sleep apnea could kill you. 

Maybe you did.

We thought it just interrupted sleep and could wreak havoc on your body long term. 

We were wrong.

I’ve always been a positive person. In high school I had to come up with a phrase in theater class. Something like a motto I guess. Mine was “Let a smile be your umbrella and no one will rain on your parade.” My theater friends aka cynics loved giving me a hard time about it. And I do know that I built off of a phrase that already existed. lol But it seemed to fit me. 

And through the years there were lots of times when someone tried to rain on my parade, but it didn’t seem to bother me too much. I knew I was strong. I knew I had something to offer even when someone else didn’t see it right away. I believed that my thoughts create my reality. If you can believe it, you can achieve it! Energy goes where attention flows. A positive outlook can create a positive outcome. <—— I think I just made that one up. It’s pretty good. Can you tell I love self help books? 

And then my husband died. 

Positive thinking was not going to change that. 

So I had to decide pretty quickly….was I going to keep my motto? I never imagined it would be my husband that rained on my parade. He was always helping me hold the fucking umbrella. Can you tell I love metaphors? 

We had a few days with him in the hospital before he died. I remember thinking, “What a blessing. He could have died in a hotel room on a business trip. He could have died at home before I came downstairs and noticed something was wrong. What a blessing.” 

His parents and brother were able to say goodbye. His kids could see him one last time. He became an organ donor. Those are blessings.

And that’s how it started. That’s how I coped. I started looking for the blessings. OK fine… I also started binge reading any book I could find on the soul or the afterlife. It was a problem. I had like 4 books going at once along with multiple videos open to mediums connecting to the dead. I know that freaks some people out. It comforted me. I wanted to talk to him again. I wanted to know he was around. I believe that the soul lives on. I believe that some are more connected to that world than others.  

I started looking for ways to connect with other widows. I needed to see what it looks like 6 months in, 1 year in, 10 years in. So I met some amazing women. And connected. And I thought, what a fucking blessing. To be inspired by them. To learn from them. To connect. Because that’s what my soul wants to do. Connect with people. 

I wear his watch. And his wedding ring around my neck.

I also got a tattoo of his pet name for me in his handwriting. He called me Sweetie. I swear, it takes everything I have not to become the painted lady and get his handwriting all over me. Kind of like Angelina Jolie but maybe a bit creepier. Although she wore a vial of blood around her neck, so maybe not. I can feel him rolling his eyes and saying- stop using me as an excuse to get a tattoo. lol sweetie

I’m not sure why I am writing this out with the intention of posting it. I think it’s partly because I’ve been MIA on my Carpool Confessions page and I wanted to let you know why. I think it’s partly because I feel proud of myself for how I’m handling it and I want to share it. Maybe it can encourage or inspire someone else to look for the blessings. 

In one of the million books I’ve read, it said something like “In the midst of tragedy can come great beauty.” I’m paraphrasing, but I love that idea.  I’ve seen a lot of beauty in the last 4 months. Because of my family, my friends, my community, my kids, my own strength. Connections.

I did have to look for it. The sadness can definitely cloud your perception. But I am holding on to my umbrella. And it seems to be working ok. 

I just wanted you to know.

KAB_7967-2

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A lesson from Young MC

You know him right? The one hit wonder rapper from 1989~ish. young mc

His voice is haunting me.

(Yes I know what the song is about, but don’t you take lyrics and apply them to your life all the time? You do. Don’t you?) So here’s the deal:

My kids are creative. They are imaginative. They are exhausting. crazy kids

If I said yes to half the things my kids asked me to do, we’d never sit down. So I say no and leave the room. And then the words of the prolyphic Young MC come to mind…

Just Bust A Move, Whitney.

“From frustration first inclination is to become a monk and leave the situation.”

Damn straight I want to leave the situation. Hey MC, you are young and don’t have kids. I’m tired and their ideas are elaborate or loud or messy or include me or (gasp) all of the above! I don’t want to bust a move.  So of course the kids “get shot down cause <their> overzealous.”

“A girl runs up with somethin to prove, So don’t just stand there, bust a move”

Shut up, MC! I’m trying to read my Facebook newsfeed. Ain’t nobody got time for a bake sale. But he won’t shut up, it’s like an earworm. Come on Whitney, just bust a move.  Ugh. Damn.  I think of the experience they will get from the yes. I don’t do it all the time but I do try to say maybe instead of no…that gives me some time to think about it.

“You run over there without a second to lose, And what comes next, hey bust a move.”

So the no becomes a maybe…. that many times turns into a yes. My laziness shouldn’t be the reason to not do something. Besides, I gotta get Young MC off my back.

Mom, may we have a car party? Yes! Let’s bust a move!

!IMG_6494

Mom, may we have ice cream for lunch?Yes! Let’s bust a move!

kids2

Can we make an obstacle course in the garage? Yes! Let’s bust a move!

obstacle course

Can we get our pets and our friends and their pets and have a pet parade through the neighborhood? Umm no. What? I’m not Mother Teresa.

So my friends…..

Now you know what to do, go, bust a move!

Don’t say no too quickly. Say maybe. (Unless they ask for a pet parade and then it is totally acceptable to say no.) A maybe that possibly turns into a yes. Because when I think back, the yes made a pretty good memory. xoxoxo

Young MC not doing it for you? Allow Brian Williams to inspire you.

http://youtu.be/vwc9_nqX6Zc