My life changed dramatically and forever when I lost TJ.

I welcome you to follow along as I adjust to my "new normal".

It is not all puppies and ice cream but it is my life....real and honest.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Double Infinity

Tuesday, October 25th was the 2nd anniversary of TJ's death. I have been waiting for that particular day for some time as I had made plans a while back for what I wanted to do.  Since his death I have memorialized him many times by donating to different cancer charities in his name. That is something I will probably continue to do, but with less frequency.  I am a firm believer in charity and recently have found some other charities I would like to support. I don't want the rest of my life to be about cancer and what it took from me.

I decided to do something for me on Tuesday. It ensures that TJ will forever be with me. It also shows that I am alive and I intend to live the rest of my life to the fullest.

Double Infinity

The black infinity symbol has TJ's ashes mixed with it and being black symbolizes death and the end of his life, although I will love him and carry him in my heart for infinity.

The lavender infinity is for me. It symbolizes growth, my life and my future.

I chose my wrist so when things get tough, as I know they will, I can put my wrist across my heart and know TJ is with me.

If we take eternity to mean not infinite temporal duration but timelessness, then eternal life belongs to those who live in the present." ~ Ludwig Wittgenstein

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Two Years Ago Today

Wow! Just. Wow. I can hardly believe it has been 2 years since TJ died. There are times when it seems like just yesterday, but mostly it seems like my life with TJ is so far, far in the past.  Yes, I think of him often. He didn't deserve the hand he was dealt. He was too young to lose his life to cancer. He was a good man and deserved to live a long and healthy life.  I miss him.  I will miss him every day for the rest of my life.

The fact is though....I am not the one who died and I needed to continue on and have a happy life.  It took me a while to reach that point without a doubt.  I always believed it, but I wasn't living it. I had a lot happen in my life after he died.  I couldn't afford our home on my own so I had to move, I had to put one of our dogs down, my Mom died, I was in a horrible truck accident, and the hardest thing was that I had to put his dog, Shiner, down. Yes, it has been a tough 2 years, but in my opinion I have kicked ass!

I told people in the beginning, "It is all about me now!" No more compromising, I do what I want to do, with whom I want to do it.  I have embraced being single.  I love it! I do date, but I keep them at a distance.  I have been seeing a guy since July and we have an agreement that we only see each other every other week. Sometimes even that is too much for me. I like the freedom that being single brings with it. I am truly enjoying working on projects around my house on the weekends. I even impress myself with what I am able to accomplish on my own.

When I bought my house I got one with a pool.  TJ never wanted a pool. I also now have a fireplace that I love. TJ & I didn't have a fireplace in our home. I put pink in my bedroom and master bath. Something TJ would never have tolerated.  Most recently, I put a RED vanity top in my master bath. I have always loved and wanted a red top but TJ always put his foot down.

So, today, I am celebrating and not bemoaning that TJ has been gone 2 years.  I am celebrating ME. I am celebrating that I can do this and I can do it well. I am celebrating how far I have come and my new plans for the future.  I do have a future. A future full of life and love. I am not just living, I am thriving!

Am I tooting my own horn? Hell yes I am! My life changed dramatically and forever when I lost TJ.  It is not always puppies and ice cream but it is pretty darn good. Even when it isn't good, I have learned to hunker down and wait for the storm to pass.  Storms always pass, and when they do the sun comes out. Sometimes there is even a rainbow after the storm.

It's not the strongest that survive, nor the most's the one most adaptable to change. ~ Darwin

I have spoken with a friend, fellow widow and blogger about how I feel about the anniversary of TJ's death and this is what she had to say .

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


I think I have turned a corner in adjusting to my "new normal". This might have happened in part due to the fact that I am finally feeling significantly less pain from my accident.  I also think time has a lot to do with it. Frankly, I am not sure exactly what the trigger was and at this point I don't care. What I do know is that I am happy and for now that is all that matters.

In the beginning, I felt powerless to let go of the the life TJ and I shared. I felt as though I needed to carry it with me forever. I let it dictate my daily life, at least on some level. By doing this I was stuck and as I have said before, I am tired of being stuck and it is time for me to let go and be free again. I know this isn't as easy as it sounds but it is a choice I have to make for myself.

I was overwhelmed with options for my future and I have weeded many of them out. I found I was reading too much into the future, yet still dwelling on the past. I will never have what I had with TJ; the good and the bad. I am capable though, of having a beautiful day today and a beautiful tomorrow. To me, this means letting go of who I have been and do something differently.

There is no such thing as "normal" and there is not a specific way I "should" be or anything I am "supposed" to do.  It is up to me to determine what will make my life meaningful and joyful.  I have to walk the path that is right for me.  Most importantly I believe I have discovered that path. At this point it is more like an unmaintained trail but I know it will lead me to something great and wonderful.

"No matter how hard the past, you can always begin again." ~ Buddha

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Stop And Smell The Roses

Even though the title is cliche and many of us hear it from time to time, I am going to guess that the majority of us don't actually do it. I know I don't or at least I haven't in the past.

Last week I took Thursday and Friday off work to get some home improvement projects done around the house and clean out and organize my garage.  On my way home from work on Wednesday I stopped and got all the materials I would need for the weekend so I wouldn't have to take the time to drive to town for anything.  Once home I made a list of all the projects I wanted to complete and divided them into 3 days; planning to rest on Sunday.  I packed the majority of the projects into Thursday and Friday.  My plan was to work 12 to 16 hour days on both of those days and then have a light day on Saturday.

By Saturday morning I was completely exhausted.  I had managed to stick to my schedule by working feverishly.  While I somewhat enjoyed accomplishing things it was mostly about sticking to my schedule.  The first thing on my list for Saturday morning was to repair the goat pen fence.  As I was drinking coffee I was getting worked up knowing this was a time consuming project, but one that really needed to get done.  I was cursing the fact that it was going to take up so much of my morning.

As I was sitting uncomfortably on rocks, surrounded by goat poo and chasing the girls away from my tools I looked up and realized the sun had just popped over the top of the Superstition Mountains.  What a beautiful sight, I thought to myself. I paused for a few minutes to enjoy the beauty of the mountain that made me fall in love with Arizona back in the early 80's. I smiled. I remembered how much TJ loved those mountains also. I smiled again. I went back to fixing fence.  A bit later I heard some rustling coming from the wash that runs through my property. It was a group of coyotes.  I paused as they passed a mere 15 feet from me, looking at me warily.  I then watched them wander off into the desert. I smiled again. It wasn't long before a covey of quail ran by cooing ever so softly and then a very small rabbit hopped up and just stared at me. I once again paused and focused on his deep eyes and his soft fur.  Before I knew it I was done fixing fence. One more time I paused and looked around me.  I thought about how lucky I am to live where I live. I thought about how grateful I am and how many things I have to be grateful for. I said out loud "I have a pretty damn good life!"

Yes, it took me longer to fix the fence than I had anticipated, but it was worth it.  Down the road I won't remember that I fixed the fence in my self imposed time frame. I will remember the sun coming over the Superstitions, the coyotes and the other wildlife that stopped by.  The rest of my Saturday was better for it.

"Every day brings a choice: to practice stress or to practice peace." ~ Joan Borysenko