The little things

Recently, a friend asked, are you happy?

I replied, “As happy as I can be.”

They didn’t know what that meant and asked me to elaborate so I tried to explain it.

Simply put: Yes I am happy but not as happy as I could be if Josh were still here.

Losing Josh meant losing a piece of myself that I will never get back. I am sure one day I will find a full happy again but for now I am making my own happy.

I am in a constant state of wishing I had someone to share my free time with even if I don’t get a ton of it.

Many say, well you have Amelia and once Gabriel gets here, you really wont have time… the thing is, I will.  Even now, I have time. Be it, an hour after work or two hours after bedtime. Some nights, I don’t want to sit in bed alone. Maybe I want to watch a movie instead of just laying down. Maybe I want to come home from work and cook with someone who wants more than chicken nuggets.

My love language, if you’ve ever taken that quiz, is touch. Again people say, well you get hugs from your kids… correct, I do and they make any bad day seem good  however, my kids will not rub my back or let me rest in their lap while they play with my hair.

It’s a different level of companionship. I just recently turned 31 and theres plenty of life left in me to give and receive love.

I’m also not in a rush.

As I mentioned, I recently had a birthday, and I cried that morning. I cried because I knew there would be no surprise bouquet of flowers or small gift waiting for me. The little things really do turn out to be the big things in life and although, I am happy, I still miss the little things.

No longer do I have someone who gets me and can handle my assertiveness as some would call it…. no longer is someone patient enough to understand the heart behind my walls.

No one has taken the time to understand that while I do still hurt, I am happy and its a weird combination to live with but I am doing it.

I am making memories for our daughter and striving to give her a happy childhood filled with as many little things as possible. 

Little “Mommy/Daughter” days sprinkled throughout that she can look back on.

Bringing her to dance and constantly making sure she knows how beautiful and smart she is. I pray she always listens to that and believes it.

There are so many little things that make up our days and we get to choose how we respond. Some days, it’s a little thing that can ruin our day but we can choose to focus on a separate little thing that brightens our day.

I have and will continue to choose joy and a smile over feeling sorry for myself and being angry at God (which I still am on occasion btw). I trust that one day someone will take the time to really understand the complexity that is widowhood and will take the three of us on without hesitation.

So when you wonder what I’m up to and how I’m doing, know that I am staying busy making memories of the little things and I am incredibly happy to get the chances to do so. I miss my husband and I miss being a wife but being a mom is the greatest blessing! To feel baby growing brings extra joy and I know that I will soon feel another new happy as I navigate the scary territory that is having a baby boy!

This life is what you make it and I choose to make it a happy one. So enjoy the little things while you can.

Date Night

I have had a few “date nights” this week.

The first with my mother and sister who so graciously came to help organize the baby’s room and help with Amelia while also helping clean the house.

The next was a date with my in-laws that was also compounded from the night before with my mother and sister. There we all were, in the garage sifting through boxes of memories, totes Josh had packed with random items, and gear he never got the chance to use for hunting seasons.

It was incredibly emotional. We all kept our heads about us however, at times, you could see the pain in our eyes and the occasional tear down our cheek.

The greatest thing that I found was the card Josh gave to me on our wedding day.  I had been thinking about it these last few days and there it was. He wrote more than just his name and that was huge for a man of so few words.

The third date night was tonight. Parents had gone home, and I headed into town to drop off donations.

My in-laws took Amelia through Sunday as I have a wedding to attend tomorrow so tonight, was kid free!

I decided to treat myself to dinner and a movie. However, the movie didn’t pan out because it was sold out…. apparently you can buy tickets online now to guarantee a spot in the theatre 😉

So I began to drive home all the while thinking, would I enjoy lone date nights with myself more if I had a husband here that I needed a break from?

Often I see wives complain about how much their husbands frustrate them and I too was once one of them. Would I have appreciated this night off more if he was still here? Probably.

There was a large piece of me that decided to call it a date night with myself to make it sound better but it really can’t take away the sour taste of loneliness.

I stopped at Josh’s grave on the way home from the theatre to complain to him about the awful manure smell from the fields around us that he made me move close to. His grandfather taught him, and so he taught me that that manure smell, is actually the smell of money… so if you’re ever wondering what money smells like….it smells like shit. 😉

I also reminded him (and myself essentially) that while alone nights are more lonely than they should be, I am doing ok. I reminded him to save me a spot because I still plan to hound him the second I walk through those pearly gates! Until then, I am taking care of Amelia, myself, and baby Gabriel….

I am already in the third trimester now with our son and my has the time flown by. Josh would be beaming with pride if he was here knowing we created a baby boy! His name will be Gabriel Michael and he is due January 6th.

Amelia came a few days late so it should be interesting to see if he follows suit….

Even though “date night” tends to get lonely when I cant keep my mind occupied, and although it ended with me doing dishes, I was able to pull into a clean garage, an organized house, and a comfy bed.

So while my take on date nights have become more and more untraditional, I am grateful that even if I end the night alone, I’ve got an amazing family who are only one call away and a great God who continues to bless me with the strength to carry on.

He did not promise a life without pain and suffering but He does promise to give us rest.

The Lord replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”- Exodus 33:14

Anniversaries…

First, let me again apologize for not writing regularly. I meant to but the frustration with this platform kept me from dedicating time. I’m not technology savvy and being a single mom means learning over some time…. Thank you to those who continue to send messages through the site and remind me, that you are indeed thinking of us, praying for us, and keeping me accountable for expressing this journey. It is much appreciated!

In my last post I discussed reliving the awful final weeks. On July 14, 2018, it would have been our 6th Wedding anniversary. A part of me wanted to stay in bed all day and shut the world out. There was still anger in my heart. I didn’t have the most pleasant up bringing and my life was changed for the better when I met Josh only for God to rip that away too. I felt like no matter how much good I was doing, it still wasn’t enough. However, instead of wallowing in self pity, I took Amelia to where Josh proposed and we had a picnic. I think that will be the tradition because it really brought back the highlights of that day.

July 27th was again a tough anniversary. The one year of Josh passing away. Again, staying bed and crying would have been great but again, it’s just not in me to wallow. Instead we got together as a family, visited his grave and attempted a balloon release with notes to heaven. We then came back to our house and had a lot of Josh’s favorites for dinner, including his mom’s beef stroganoff which everyone knows is my least favorite! Alas, I ate it, as I always did because it was Josh’s favorite.

August was filled with our annual trip to Itasca State park! We had about 50 people this year ranging in ages from 4 months old to 68 years old!! Amelia went fishing and a had a few sleepovers in Nana and Papas camper. We had our usual bingo night, potluck night, donut mornings and happy hours. We also went to the Headwaters for our annual photo 🙂 It was again bitter sweet as Josh’s presence was sorely missed. It hasn’t gotten any less painful but as a family we have all become stronger. There’s still a long road ahead filled with ups and downs but together we are managing.

The end of August we had a family BBQ at our house and my Dad and sister Cheyenne flew in from Michigan to celebrate. Amelia was able to help with rib preparation and play with lots of friends! It was wonderful to have family and friends over to celebrate. The last time we had all been together was Josh’s funeral and I didn’t want that to be the case so now we have a happy gathering to fall back on. I hope we get to do that more often in the coming years! 

The greatest thing Josh gave to me was a loving family, not just our children, but the love of his family too. We have continued to walk this journey together and will continue hand in hand for the rest of our lives.