Yeah, yeah, I know. That’s not a word. Sue me. Neither was “internet” thirty years ago so there you have it.
One year ago, on the day (Friday) you’re likely reading this (I’m writing it very late Thursday night) I began to sit down and write about what’s happening in my life and in the lives of my kids. This came seven months after losing my wife, Andrea. We’d been married 18 years – she died on our anniversary – and just a few weeks before her birthday.
When I started writing two themes started to emerge from the computer:
The struggles we had in our daily lives. I didn’t have to learn to cook, my Mom and Dad both were really good at making sure I did that. I didn’t have to learn to clean, we were inherently scruffy anyway. I already did the bills – poorly – and do to this day. The only thing I didn’t do was laundry and I’ve gotten better and the stuff is clean so no complaints, folks. The struggles, though, were with coping. My kids grew closer…to me and to each other. “We are stronger together than when we’re apart” is the new credo of my household. It’s never been truer. But we struggled, I’ll not lie. Noah had major issues trying to control his temper. Hannah nearly failed 7th grade. Abbi had to change schools and start out as the “new kid” in a gigantic high school. Sam . . . he had to come back out from behind the four walls he’d built around himself and be the fun, energetic kid he was before losing his Mom.
The love story. A year ago I was still feeling the heartbreak. There’s something about that loss, that pain and suffering, that sparks long forgotten synapses. The electrical impulses fire to regions of your memory that you’d long thought were gone and you get a rush of events and things that transpired twenty years ago. I don’t think, necessarily, that it’s just people whose girlfriend or spouses die. I truly think that any loss, even a horrible breakup, can spark this. But in those instances you know why you broke up. In the other you wonder why it had to happen. I regained memories from the most amazing early days of our relationship. I saw arguments that I’m embarrassed ever happened. I felt the horrible pangs all over again of struggling with a woman who’d been date raped in college and didn’t know how to contend with her own sexuality for years after.
I looked over at the other side of the bed and felt the emptiness every night.
There have been so many posts I don’t honestly remember what I’d written in all of them. I went through dealing with my own demons and disappointing my own set of close friends and family. I struggled with the fact that I am no longer married.
Are the struggles over? Not by a major stretch, no.
Is this blog the same?
Not by any stretch, either.
I’ve noticed a few things since then. I write for other people now, too, so that tendency starts to filter over to this blog. I cook and make recipes and I share them. The kids are growing more adjusted and growing more each day. The struggles are changing to routines . . . just a little. Day . . . by . . . day. (Stop singing Godspell. I know you’re doing it. Stop. Just stop!)
So is the love story over? Well . . . the story’s over. The love hasn’t died, it’s still there, but there are no additions to the story. While one year ago I saw vivid memories, each single day tore another away, like the waves from the tide pulling clumps of a sandcastle off the beach and melting them into the sea. That’s partly why I wrote them down, so everyone – including my kids – would see why I fell in love. But I came to terms in all this time with the fact that the love can remain with the story ending. We didn’t have a fairytale, I don’t suppose, but we did love each other very much.
That, my friends, brings me part and parcel to the blogiversary. The name, derived from a saying on the wall, looked like one that would have an expiration date. It doesn’t. What started as a detail of the struggles of our new life and the influence the past had on that change has become something else again. Now we look at where we’re going and what it will take to get there. I see college for my little girl; high school for my middle; middle school for the twins. All of it changing in just a short time.
That remains to be seen at this point. I can say for sure that I’m stronger than I was when I started this a year ago. I can look at a beautiful woman on the street or tell my daughter that I think Olivia Wilde is hot without feeling guilty about thinking that any more.
The last year saw me coming to terms, finally, with the fact that “our” story had ended. My story, on the other hand, now has a new beginning-I just haven’t finished writing it yet.
Our Story Begins. Happy blogiversary, everyone!