Saturday, December 19, 2015

Crazy Christmas Carols and Widow Rage.

I want to know where are the Christmas carols for Widows?   Instead of singing about snuggling up to the fire with that special someone. Where is the Christmas song for the Crazy and insane?   I want a song that is upbeat to keep me going with a deep bass and possibly some heavy metal undertones.  I want a song that talks about trying to hang Christmas lights on a tree by yourself, It's not like one could ask your 5 year old to hold the strand of lights and the ladder for you.   How about the constant chaos that ensues while trying to figure out what christmas decorations to hang,. like should you hang your late husband's stocking up or not. Or should you just go and buy all new ones so you don't have to be filled with "Remember the time when..." . The  memories that break your already breaking heart.  I want a christmas song that lets me cry my eyes out all the while screaming at the top of my lungs with some laughter thrown in. Because at some  point I just crack and eventually everything is funny.
  Honestly where is that Christmas song?  Who is going to write it?  I can sing it, if you can write it. 

  I  have tried numerous times to be "Jolly."  After all, it's been six freaking years! You wouldn't think I would still want to punch someone in the face if I have to hear "Walking in a winter wonderland", again.    To be honest this is the first Christmas that I have actually been  really angry.  I have so much to be grateful for, so many blessings and new beginnings around me and yet I am still filled with the Bah humbugs or better yet Widow Rage.  I think mostly I am mad that I am not Jolly. I so badly want to be. Its just not there. And It may never be there again.  This of course makes me feel sad and weepy. How could I not be happy at Christmas? So many great memories and so many wonderful ones to create.  We have made it 6 years!  We have created those new traditions. But its the old ones that still get to me. I miss putting on the Harry Connick Jr. Christmas album, and dancing around while happily getting out the ornaments and remembering each memory. From our first christmas together to baby's first christmas. Instead I pull out ornaments and I am filled with flashbacks of the very first christmas without Pete.   With my big pregnant belly trying to keep tears from drowning me as I watched the kids decorate the tree.  Or the year after when I tried to put christmas lights on the tree by myself. Or even this year when I opened the box of my favorite snowmen decorations only to find that a snowglobe had broken and now all of them are molded and ruined.  Dread filled me, and Widow Rage kicked in.  I'm still here, sifting through the memories like wading through a muddy barn lot after a huge thunderstorm.  Those memories that stare me in the face reminding me of being so young and innocent. The memories that I keep trying desperately to shove to the bottom of the box buried with my old Christmas stocking. You know, the cutesy ones, where everyone's matches and they all have a theme.
     There was something about the snowman box that just pushed me over the limit. I think it is because it's the only box that had memories that I made, memories of learning to find my own way. These crazy snowmen gave me a reason to smile, with their chubby round bodies and scarves around their necks. I have snowmen holding holding buckets of snowballs. Snowmen, riding a sled, Tall snowmen, short snowmen, snowmen with big round bases, and snowmen with earmuffs holding a red heart that says Jesus warms my heart.   But, my absolutely favorite one is soft and fuzzy with his stick arms holding a sparkly star and has a piece of holly tucked into the band around his top hat.   These were the first decorations that made me laugh at Christmas, the first smile, the first thing I looked forward to for christmas decorations were these jolly snowmen.   they just looked at me with happy innocent faces.  While they are inanimate objects, but to me they represented more.  They were my friends and they were just mine. Not Pete's, not the kids and Pete's. not even just for the kids. They were my Christmas memories that helped me to find some Christmas spirit on my own.
     One of the hardest things about widowhood is trying to figure out what makes you happy, and brings you joy and a smile to your face.  Since the tragic crash of your whole world crumbling down around you, one has to learn who they are now, without their other half physically present.   The only thing I knew those first few years without him was that I was a widow and an only parent. How was I going to bring jolly Christmas joy back into this house and in myself? I didn't know, but there was something about the snowmen them made me feel something, other than lost. They didn't look at me with that pitiful "oh you poor dear" expression. They didn't tell me sorry for your loss.  They didn't even have an overwhelming amount of christmas colors or sayings all over them. They just had a happy smile, and a scarf.    On one side it shouldn't matter that these snowmen are ruined, it's just some stuffed and wooden snowmen.  I mean,  I have a new husband, a new last name, I don't have to stand on the ladder by myself, or try and put the ribbon on the tree alone.  But even with all of that, it's still there.  The reminder and the pain of  heartbreak, loss, and  sadness.   Damn snowglobe and  snowmen, with their molded bottoms, and mildew aroma.   Stupid loss.  Stupid Christmas decorations.  

 Now, I have to figure out what to do with them.  They are ruined. Some of them are black with mold, some of them are squished, my favorite snowman snow globe has no water in it since it is the culprit for all the mess.   A part of me does not want to throw them away. I can't keep them, but I don't want to just put them back in their box and throw them away in the trashcan. Where they will sit in the cold waiting for the trash person to pick them up  and take them to a landfill where they will spend the rest of their existence.    
The thing is, those snowmen don't know they are molded, and smell bad.. They just keep smiling. They don't know it's been hard to get into this christmas spirit. They don't know that I have decorated and undecorated the christmas tree three times, they don't know that I have hated the Christmas season and buying presents and trying to run around and get everything done. They just know to smile and wait for me to bring them out of the box and place them on the mantle, or on the light switch, or on the speakers.  They sit and smile, and do what they do. They bring joy to whomever enjoys them. 

 It's kind of like being a recovering widow.  For me, I keep moving forward with a smile in hopes that one day I won't open the box of Christmas ornaments and instantly want to put the box back in the attic. It's the hope, that I will once again enjoy the holiday season without being plagued by the fact that it's the 6th Christmas without him, and the 6th Christmas eve that he won't blow out his candles on his birthday cake.    

If I put my jolly self on and gain some perspective I can see that they will be fine. They aren't living and breathing, and they don't have a pulse.  I can pick out the ones that are the worst. Hug them, thank them for their service, and wrap them in a plastic bag. Then put them back into their molded box, close the lid  and set them on the curb.  The ones that aren't black and molded, I could febreeze and hope for the best. Because after all isn't that what we Crazy widows do?   We scream and yell and get mad, and in my case break something, slam something, or even hit a wall with my wrist. But in the end, I take a deep breath, and know that I have to keep moving forward.  Like these snowmen, I will smile and share my story, in Hopes that someone will enjoy knowing they aren't alone.  I will find a songwriter to help me write a real Christmas carol that's true and funny about surviving the holidays, It could be called the Crazy redhaired Christmas,  or a "Widow carol."  But most importantly, I will hug my children and hold hands with two husbands. A physical one on my right and an angelic one on my left.  For it was baby Jesus who grew to be a man, who created a beautiful angelic place for me to meet my Christmas angel, again someday.  


Saturday, September 19, 2015

Crazy Recovering Widow.

      Grieving is a strange beast.  When tragedy struck,  I never thought I would  be able to live or breathe again.  But like everything else, time went on.  I eventually learned to live again.  The most unexpected thing happened... I learned to even love again.  A couple months ago and even bigger life event took place, I got married.  I got. married!   I am a wife again.  Let me tell you how surreal it was.  I walked down the aisle with my boys on either side of me holding my hands, my body trembled as I held my breath.  I gazed down end of the aisle to my handsome groom.  I swear I was floating. Was this really happening?    A moment flashed in my mind.  It was a cold cloudy day in November.  I wore a long grey coat over my large pregnant belly. The cold wind blew across my face but I didn't feel its bite of winter.  I looked out across the cemetery at my brother in law and my step sister placed in different spots around the grounds as I tried to figure out the best place to lay my late husband to rest.   The baby moved in my belly and I thought to myself, "Well, that was fun. and I guess that's it."  I thought I lived my life.  I looked at my brother in law, walked over to him and decided the spot he was standing in was the one I wanted.  My lifeless eyes looked at him as I asked him if the plot next to that one was available.  He looked me in the eye and said "Kathryn, you're 30 years old. You don't need the one next to him."
  "I don't want some random person next to him. "
 "We can put it on hold, and if you still want it in 6 weeks then we will buy it."  I looked down at the trampled down brown grass at my feet then back up into his eyes and sighed "Ok."
  Needless to say when that 6 weeks was up we bought it anyway.   I blinked back into reality. Here I was in a beautiful beaded wedding dress. The sun beat down on the top of my head. Smiling faces and beautiful music filled the open air.  I licked my lips and took a deep breath.  The boys left my side, taking their place as groomsmen next to my future husband. I turned and handed my flowers to my daughter who stood beside me.  I turned back around and looked into Jason's smiling face. Holding my hands in his he gently squeezed as he said his vows. The sun warmed my body as I took my turn saying my vows.  The minister announced us Husband and Wife.  We did it.  I did it.  With God's help we had learned to live again, and love deeply.  
 Then why the heartache?  I don't know.  I  will always miss him. I will always wish to see his face, and I will always want to step into his hug.    I woke up this morning missing Pete. Just him. His smile, his hug.   I stared out the window at the rain beating on the window pane and the kids muffled voices.   I am happy and sad too.  I guess Bittersweet is a better word for it.   My eyes filled with tears as I wished for a phone to call Heaven.  If he has to live there, at least let me talk to him occasionally.  Or maybe we could face time.  Maybe God, could just let me see his work in Heaven.  Pete was always a man of God, as I have said in the past he knew he would leave this earth before me. He always said "What's there to be sad about, We will be with Jesus."   So is it selfish to miss him?  
  My aunt and I were talking yesterday about my Grandmother who recently passed.  We talked about the little signs that she left for us.  Grandmother was always saving twisty ties, bread sacks, and rubber bands.  Her little quirks are what we all have in our own homes.  Twisty ties really do work for almost anything that's broken.   My aunt told me about how she kept finding twisty ties in random places. It was like her way of saying she was still here with us.   I told her about how Pete used to knock paper off the refrigerator.   I would come out in the morning and there would be the kids artwork all over the floor. I would smile and know it was him.     I know my grandmother is happy, I know Pete is happy, It's us left behind that misses them.   So what does a Crazy Recovering Widow do with these emotions of being happy and grateful wrapped up in moments of sadness and missing an Angel husband doing God's work?    I keep walking.  I keep dreaming, I keep working at this crazy journey.  But, I don't have to go it alone.  I have three crazy kids, a loving husband, A guardian angel and the love and strength of God.    So I will embrace the tears as the come, I will let the overwhelming emotions spill from my eyes as I remember. But then I will take a deep breath grab the hand of a strong man who loves me the woman, me the widow, and me the Crazy Red Haired Lady.