Welcome to She-Kept-Going. I’m excited and nervous to begin this process. I know it’s been brewing inside me for a while, but what it will ultimately become is something I’m still figuring out. I hope you’ll be patient as I work to tweak the site and get all the little nuisances’ figured out and that you’ll check back soon (and hopefully I’ll have those things taken care of).
As I work to make the stirrings of my heart come to fruition, the timing is not necessarily the best. In a nutshell, I am a fifty year old woman who has been widowed twice in ten years, and December 6, 2017 will be the one year anniversary of my second husbands passing from ALS. So, taking on the task of shaping the concept of a blog into a reality, in that same week, is probably going to be something I look back on and think, “WHAT was I thinking?”. But the truth is, the need to do this – NOW – is something I can’t fully explain and it is somehow tied to this first anniversary. It’s as if this whole concept went from, it will happen, to it must happen and it must happen before Dec. 6th.
-Why? I don’t know yet. Perhaps it’s a way to not focus on this date – which has loomed before me since Dec. 7, 2016. Perhaps it’s a way to be distracted from the Christmas Tree that stands in my den half decorated, and the mantle that doesn’t have one Christmas trimming sitting upon it or attached to it. Because to decorate the mantle means I have to open up the box that has Don’s stocking inside – and I don’t want to face that task just yet.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I don’t want to celebrate or decorate, I simply find that when I go to do it, the desire slips away and I find myself holding an ornament and looking at it as if I have no earthly idea what it is or where it goes. I feel spacey and disconnected from reality. I know if I look at that ornament, really look at it, I’m going to have to look at a picture of us from our wedding day and read the words, “Our First Christmas 2010” and all the feelings of love, and hope for a future, and what we were supposed to experience, mingle together with the reality of a disease that took him from our lives way sooner than we expected – and with his death – also came the death of the future I thought we would have together. So putting that ornament on the tree isn’t as simple as it seems or as joyous as it used to be.
Maybe your thinking, “Then put that one down and get another one”, and I get that thought, it’s logical – but grief isn’t logical – and our ornaments are a series of life events and a reflection of special moments from the past. Just about any ornament I pick up has a beautiful memory from the past attached to it, and instead of smiling and reliving those moments, they becomes sand paper to my heart.
The Dalmatian ornament or the picture of the kids encircled by spray painted puzzle pieces, reminds me of my kids childhood which is sweet, but it also reminds me that their father is also gone and that they will never get another Christmas morning with him. It reminds me that as my son welcomes a daughter into his life in February and when my daughter gets married in May – Dad won’t be there.
So, decorating for Christmas, which was once a highly anticipated event, rivaled only by my birthday, now seems like more of an emotional boot camp for my heart, and perhaps, just maybe, that’s the reason beginning this blog has become a need instead of a desire. It’s become a way of escaping the reality of what lies before me. It’s allowing me to immerse myself in something that’s bigger than me – something that has a purpose – and something that hopefully helps someone else. Someone who is facing a similar heartache at a time of year they really want to be experiencing genuine joy. Joy that’s not laced with emotional land mines every time they look at their Christmas Tree, or hear a special song, or look at the calendar.
So….that’s a window into my world and hopefully answers the question to – what’s this blog about? It’s about me, sharing my story and my thoughts and my feelings with a world of other people who just may be able to relate, and in so doing, begin to feel less alone. Especially when they are standing in front a glowing Christmas tree adorned with ornaments they love and a mantle with stocking that dangle down, waiting to be filled – they will know that there is someone else, someone they may never meet in person, who understands the emptiness and pain they are feeling, and who also wants to sing carols and decorate their house without it stabbing them in the heart. And while we may not be able to comfort one another in person, perhaps just knowing that there are other hearts aching as badly as theirs, will bring some sort of comfort to them today – and in the days to come.
From my heart to yours,