Valentine’s Day

We were never the couple to go all out on Valentine’s Day. Some years I’d say “Don’t get me anything” and then I’d get him a card to which he would respond with “I thought we weren’t getting each other anything?!” and then he’d roll his eyes. I think by our third year together he finally realized that when I said “don’t get me anything” I actually meant, don’t spend of a ton of money but get me a card that says all the things you never do! So simple cards it was except some years we never celebrated at all. I highly regret only keeping cards for a week after before throwing them into the recycle pile….

I remember going out for dinner one year on Valentine’s Day but it was only because we both had the day off! The next year we spent Valentine’s day doing our taxes! I know, so romantic!

Our last Valentine’s Day before Josh got sick was spent in Mexico. We were there over Amelia’s 1st Birthday and I remember not wanting to go! Not only because I was still in nursing school but because he wanted me to take my blonde hair blue eyed beauty to a country I’ve never been to before. It was her first plane ride and first trip outside of the U.S.  She was a trooper just like her daddy 😉 I am so glad I went even if I spent 50% of my time indoors on the wifi doing assignments!  I never would have gone had he not pushed me and reassured me that everything would be ok. 

I really haven’t been one to go all out on this love filled hallmark holiday but as a mom, I was forced to conform and buy my kid Valentines and attach treats! I had all but forgotten until two neighborhood families rang the doorbell and dropped of cute Valentine’s for Amelia! She was pretty excited! Thank you Kollman and Schmitz families 🙂

So, this morning I dressed her in red and dropped her off at daycare to celebrate “I love you” day with friends and headed to work. On the drive I found myself crying….again….except this time it was because I don’t have Josh to give all my love to. Even in the midst of “don’t get me anything” there’s a sadness that lingers. “Til death do us part” is a crock because death does not end love.

I will love Josh well beyond the grave.

Valentine’s Day is what you make it and I remember always hating it before I met Josh because I usually spent it alone. Then, I met Josh and decided it was nice to be loved year round but I still was not about to pay $40 for a box of chocolates! I always said to wait until after Valentines Day when it all went on sale! I mean really, then you get more for your money right?!

This year, although it hurts and I miss my soulmate, I will continue to remember, cherish, and honor him by continuing to put one foot in front of the other…. even if there are days I can’t see where I’m going beyond my tear filled eyes.

I may even buy myself some flowers and chocolate tomorrow because after all, flowers are pretty, chocolate tastes good, and everything’s better when you don’t pay full price!

I miss you Josh. I will love you always. Happy Valentine’s Day in Heaven.

Dear Joe

I know many have thought  “Who is this Joe?” “What on earth is she doing?””Is this guy nuts?!”

Well, this is Joe———————>

Some people come into your life for a short time but they are exactly what you need in that moment. Joe was that for me.

Joe and I started talking online just before Thanksgiving. My first Thanksgiving without Josh. He stayed through Josh’s first birthday being gone, our First Christmas without him and we almost made it to Amelia’s first birthday without her daddy but alas, we have called it quits.

Neither one of really saw it coming but when you jump in with both feet, deep conversations come later. This past week faith was brought into the picture.

I am a believer and he is not. He is still a wonderful person and a great dad to his girls but after days of debating and running through every possible scenario on how it could work, we realized it just wasn’t going to. 

We were right for each other but we weren’t right for eachother’s children. Another thing we had in common was putting our children first.

I have to admit I didn’t see us calling it quits. We were so much alike, “you me same” but there were a lot of differences and the biggie fell on faith.

I can compromise to a certain extent in life but I cannot give up on my faith. I have every reason to believe God doesn’t exist but I still do.

Life is never easy but you just have to make it worth it.

“When you see nothing but damaged goods, I see something good in the making, I’m not finished yet, When you see wounded, I see mended” -Matthew West “Mended”.

Dear Joe, if you’re reading this, know that you are a wonderful dad, person and partner. The way you love is appreciated and what you’ve been through changed you for the better. I am glad that I met you when I did and I’m grateful you stayed as long as you could. Even if it was only a short while.  You were exactly what I needed in those moments and yes, I thank God that you came into my life. You breathed life back into me and put a smile on my face. You made me feel loved through my brokenness and showed me it was all possible.  You allowed me to be broken, allowed me to be silly, and you even thought I was funny!
 I would have otherwise spent the rest of my life shooting every happy thought down because “Why would anyone want to love someone as broken as me?” We wanted to be apart of each others lives and saw every aspect of it working out and it’s tough knowing it didn’t. It hurts. But because you came and stayed when you did, you will forever be apart of my life because you helped me get to where I am right now, in this moment. 

Joe, I was a boat stuck in a bottle and you put wind back in my sails. I cannot say thank you enough for being you. I wish you the best of luck and pray you find happiness. Thank you for becoming apart of my journey!


Still Yours

It’s been a crazy week with school and my tech business and travels etc. I flew to Los Angeles to attend a leader led convention with my company and had such a great time! It was insightful and motivating. My travels fell on the 6 month anniversary of losing Josh and to say it was hard is an understatement. Everything in my life, my mind and my heart is a constant tug of war of how I thought it should be and what it actually is.

Nothing in the journey of life has been easy for me but I always try to make the journey worth it. Even if that means putting myself out there and being uncomfortable. Network marketing is not where I ever thought Id be but I am learning and growing through it and have found a new company that is bigger than myself to become a part of. I only hope to succeed to the best of my abilities.

While at home today in between laundry and homework, I walked past our piano which has two songs of sheet music on it. It’s just a place I’ve set them to keep them out of the way and it didn’t dawn on me until today how crucial the placement is….

When Josh was sick I always sang “Still” to him for encouragement and to lift our hope off of the ground. Exodus 14:14 reminds us that the Lord will fight for us we need only to be still. Even now, Amelia still calls it “Daddy’s song” because she knows that song was always for her daddy.

I recently sang the song “Yours” at a friends wedding and sort of just placed it on the piano next to my bouquet from the wedding and then went about my business. The thing with this song, is it reminds me of Joe. It always has and always will.

There I was playing tug of war with myself again and in one casual instance I realize I am still yours Josh, and I always will be but I am also where I am meant to be. Even if where I am meant to be is not where I saw myself when I said “I do”.

Above the pieces of music are stones we received from the funeral and my favorite photo of Josh and I. Just to the left of those is a nutcracker that Joe gave me because it is a female soldier.

I constantly worry if I am doing the right things , headed the right direction, and being a good mom.

I don’t want to be so afraid of losing that I don’t try.

I want to learn, I want to grow and I want to love.

I am broken, I am bruised and I will always be hurting but just because I am all of those things, doesn’t mean I can’t smile.

There’s strength in a shattered heart that blossoms amid trials and tribulations and I know God isn’t done with me yet.

I have walked through hell and back and there’s no stopping where I will go as long as I continue to surround myself with the right crowd. They say your vibe attracts your tribe and I’ve found quite the group of supporters through business and in life.

Each bringing their own inspiration to my life. I am blessed with the support of Josh’s family and my own family. I am blessed with the love that Josh left me with and the love Joe so willingly gives to this shattered soul.

Two songs. Two very different men. One heart.

Still Yours.

Faith > Fear

Today as I was unpacking an old suitcase I need for my upcoming travels, I found an Anniversary card from Josh. I smiled for a moment and then sobbed. My heart broke all over again as I read his words that referenced our future. If only we had known, maybe we would have lived a little differently or taken more chances together.

What I do know is what we had was impeccable. I wake up everyday still proud to have been you wife! I am still very much angry that I only had you for 7 years. That will never be enough. Ever.  But for whatever reason God decided that was all I get and it makes me angry especially on days like today when I find these cards and think about all of the future that we won’t get to share. You won’t get to witness the birth of your next child or Amelia’s first day of school. You won’t get to see me graduate for the 4th and final time! You won’t be here to hold me when I cry out for you or beg for just one more “I Love you” .

It all hurts. I’m still angry. I’m learning to be happy and I continue to choose joy after the tears have dried.

This Friday I leave for Los Angeles to learn more about a business opportunity I have decided to embark on and the very next day will mark 6 months since I’ve lost you. It will be a weekend filled with emotion as I am nervous for this new endeavor, excited at the opportunity and still missing you.

I’ve tried to learn to move forward because moving on is not an option. I will never get over you but I can strive to make myself happy by allowing myself to take chances and make mistakes. I will learn and I will grow and you will be in my heart every step of the way.

I’ve been dating Joe for about 2 months now and I never saw him coming, well, maybe I saw him walk in but I never thought he’d stay. We talk about you and then we talk about he and I. He’s still standing by me when I break down in tears over you and he helps lift me up on these hard days. It’s hard to think of you without crying  and Joe gets that and he isn’t at all upset about it.

I was terrified to go on a date. I was terrified to start something new in the work world. I was and am terrified of the future but I continue to let my faith be stronger than my fear.

It is scary and painful to move forward without your soulmate but it’s not impossible. It takes courage, strength, and a whole lot of faith.

How to react?

I’ve found lately and since Josh’s death, that people just simply do not know how to react. Grieving is  such a lonely process and sometimes even I don’t know how to react.

What I do know is that despite my loss, I still want to be included. I am aware that it was always “Josh and Tash”. We were a team and a great pair.

Now it seems there are days that I can see people gathering with friends and making memories based off their facebook posts and it hits me….we weren’t invited. I wasn’t invited. There is still a “we” factor with our daughter but the friends we called friends seem to have forgotten and it’s only been under 6 months.

How do I approach them with this without making them feel bad? In my case, I blog about it….

There are so many emotions that go through my mind in the matter of minutes. In one breath, I’m ok, the next, I am a wreck.

I don’t always know how to react or what exactly I want on an hourly basis but what I do know is that Josh still lives within my heart and just because he is gone, doesn’t mean we can’t talk about him, remember him, and laugh at all the hilarity that was within our relationship. I know that I still want to feel included even if I don’t show up. Each day is different but an invite to at least let me know you haven’t forgotten about us all together would be nice. Invite us even if you don’t think we will come…we might surprise you.

Just remember that we are here. We are hurting but we want to move forward too and get a sense of normalcy. If you would have invited “Josh and Tash” then invite Natasha and Amelia too….