Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Broken & Unloveable?

Things have been great in my life, the best they've been in a very long time. I recently started a new job in a wonderful environment, with some amazing people! I have the best friends a girl could ask for, ones that would do anything for me whenever I needed it. But there's still this feeling I can't shake. It's this time, November, the 26th to be exact. It would be 8 years since he made me his, for what was supposed to be forever. 

In August, I had someone tell me that certain dates (i.e., the anniversary of his death) should not have such an impact on me, and that they affect my relationships in ways they shouldn't. This left me feeling so broken, and so incredibly unloveable. Like no one could ever love me again because of the pain I can't seem to just "get over." 

Then I realized... It's ok to still grieve, it's ok to still be sad at times. It doesn't mean I'm broken, it doesn't mean I can't love or be loved again. In fact, it means that I know love deeper than I did 8 years ago, to have the one you gave your heart to taken away. What it means is that I am human, that I have feelings and emotion for those who I love and care for. 

While I know that the challenges that this life has brought me will not be easy for a man to take on, I also know that the man that God has for me will be accepting and love me despite the fact that certain times may be harder on me than others. God's timing is perfect, and while it hasn't been easy in the past, and isn't easy now, I rest in Him and his unchanging love and grace.

"Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in the time of need." Hebrews 4:16 (KJV).

Monday, September 23, 2013

My Decision

Since my love was killed, I had the desire to remember him in a very specific way, one that would be very special and unique to our relationship. I went back and forth, weighing the pros and cons, but I finally decided that I wanted to do it, and I was going to follow through. And I did. On my 28th birthday, and the night before my his 35th birthday (his third in heaven), I took that step. 

I got a tattoo.

I know that many people will not approve of or be happy with my decision, but that's exactly it; it's MY decision. One that took me two years to make, and one that I am happy I made. It has meaning, very deep meaning. I will share that meaning with you now.....

I met my love on November 21st, 2004. He asked me to be his on February 15th, 2005. He deployed a few weeks later to Iraq. During this deployment, he wrote me a letter that read "Mary, be strong and of good curage. I will return to you Lord willing. my life is in his hands and my heart is in yourss. I love u Luke." Yes, I know there are grammatical errors in that quote, but that is exactly how he wrote it. He wasn't great at spelling, but he knew how to convey his love and devotion to me through his words, it never mattered if it was spelled wrong, just knowing what I meant to him made my world go round.

I had those words forever inscribed on my left forearm, in his writing. I wanted it close to my heart, a place where he will always be. I talked to the boys before I had it done, and they were very supportive of my decision. When I showed Tyson, he became emotional and was very excited to see a part of his daddy on me. He and Zachary continue to ask me to read the words to them, they love hearing it read to them over and over, and also love sharing with people that I now have a letter that he wrote me on my arm. I know people will wonder if I have thought about the possibility of remarriage and how that will make that man feel. To be honest, Luke was my first love and he will always be my first love and will always hold a special place in my heart for not just that reason, but he is also the father to our three sons, and was an amazing man. To be painfully blunt, if a man has a problem with it, then he is not meant for me.

I thought this would be the easiest way to show people my decision and to give the background and importance of it. I ask that while you may object or have your personal views on this, which I respect, that you please respect me and my choice and the meaning that it has to me.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Not Fitting in

I have done all I know to do. I am in a good church, I am involved in the community, I reach out to people, I spend time with my family; and yet, I don't fit in. I feel like an outcast, the third wheel, the outsider, the WIDOW. I've seen the people whispering as they look at me, followed by the turned head and the lips that read "aww..." I know our situation makes them uncomfortable, because they don't know what to say, or how to act. Avoidance is often the easiest, yet most hurtful choice. 

I love our home, and the boys' school, but I'm feeling so unsettled again for some reason. It could be the recent breakup, or my loves' 35th birthday coming up in a few weeks. No matter what the reason is, my heart is aching more than it has in a long time, and while I long for that lifelong companionship of finding "the one," or "the second one," I really just have the simple desire to have friends. I have the best friends in the world, you very select few know who you are. But, all but one of these friends lives in another state. I have an UH-MAZING family; one who changed their lives for me and my boys when our world was literally turned upside down. However, I never thought that in my THIRD year of grief, I would not only still be single, but that I would have such a yearning for friendship. Thank you, once again, for being a listening eye. Love to all, Mary.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

And then I Fell in Love

It has been awhile since I've written. In fact, my last post was the day before I met him. The last four months have been full of ups and downs. I met a man, someone that I thought was amazing, someone I fell in love with, the first person I fell in love with since my husband. In a short 4 months, I had given my heart to this man, and then I was left with a broken heart, missing someone that I thought I loved and that I thought loved me. I'm sad, I'm mad, and I'm angry. I am always so guarded with my heart, to protect it from being broken, but I can still remember exactly when I fell in love with him. I was concerned with how quickly we began dating since his prior relationship, but he assured and reassured me that he was ready, and had time to date and fall in love again. Our kids knew each other, they all got along, I liked his kids and they liked me, my boys liked him and he liked them. We even went camping together, as a "family." He met my family and I had met his, he met my friends and people in my church, and I his. And then we hit a wall, he was different, and now it's over. Just like that, someone I loved is gone, again. My heart breaks because I just want my boys to have a dad again, they long for it, but I cannot settle for someone who is not ready or willing to commit themselves to a family, and who I do not line up with concerning my religious convictions. This pain is temporary, I am fully aware of the fact that the love I felt for him is much different than the love I had for Luke, but it still hurts. I'm ready to really fall in love, to find the one for me, to remarry, and for the boys to have a dad again. While it hurts so bad, I am thankful that I am able to see red flags and be aware of things when they need to be addressed. That shows strength and growth in my grief. I trust that God has someone in store for us, and while I'm emotionally ready, God's timing is not yet. Please pray for patience and healing, as I truly have a desire to love again.
Thank you for your listening eye,


Thursday, April 4, 2013

To Have Again

The pain of feeling seems like my heart is beating once more. It's exciting, fun, and fulfilling to be wanted again. Though at times it feels like a heart struggling to thrive and pulse. As it opens, the old scars open new wounds, ultimately slashing and cutting those wounds deeper, making more visible scars that leave permanent damage. My heart has a void, and the sparkle in my eyes is gone and trying to wander it's way back into the desired spot. My hands want to be held, my lips desire to be kissed, and my heart yearns to be filled with the love I once had, a love it hopes to have again.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Children Who Grieve - Tyson

Grief is a tricky thing, sometimes it feels as though it has gone away or faded somewhat, but then it creeps back into your life and smacks you in the face. There are times where all I want is him - to go back to the way it was - but I know it can't be that way again. I am able to understand the reality of our situation, but my kids cannot. I remember the day that my love was killed, and Tyson began crying with me when I told them the news. He was only 4, but able to understand so much more than I had ever imagined he would have been able to. Zachary was only 2, so he just followed us and began crying, but didn't really know why. Over the last 18 months, my family has experienced many different feelings associated with grief, but there are a few things in particular that I have experienced that always stand out in my mind. I've chosen one recent experience from each child that I will cover; today is Tyson's turn!

Tyson - My biggest boy, the "daddy" as my love told him to be before he left for his last deployment. He has a heavy load on his shoulders and sometimes asks if he's the father of the family now. It is confusing for him, but he takes pride in wanting to be like his Hero. The month of January was a hard month for our family; I'm not exactly sure why as there are no significant dates regarding our relationship or family in that month, but grief hit all of us very hard last month. I needed to watch videos, look at pictures, listen to voice mails, smell his scent, be around anything that reminded me of him. The boys would want to see as well, but one time it hit Tyson a little harder than the rest of us. He ran up to his room and buried his head in his mattress and just cried. I climbed up the ladder and began asking him why he was crying. He sat up and looked at me with tears in those big, beautiful eyes and said "It's my fault he died!" He went on to tell me that because he liked the Marines so much, that is why daddy stayed in the Marine Corps and went to Afghanistan and died. It broke my heart to think that he felt as though it was HIS fault that this happened. I cried with him and told him that it was not his fault, and that God needed him in heaven. After a few minutes of crying together, we got our acts together and continued on with our day. It's amazing what a good, occasional cry can do for a soul! Below are bullets of what exactly we faced and how I handled it.

  • I reassured him that it was not his fault, and gave Biblical reasons why it was not true. 
  • I cried with him - It's ok to show emotion in front of our children, they need to know that it's ok to be sad sometimes! But, they also need to know that it's ok to be happy and experience life without their loved one still around.
  • We pulled ourselves together and went on with the day. I always like to give a little perspective when dealing with a situation. I bring it down to their level and tell them how fortunate we are to be taken care of the way we are and that mommy can still be at home with him, he has food to eat, a great family and church, and a wonderful school.
  • Distraction - I like to do something fun with them after we experience some tough grief. Whether it's a craft, cuddling, having a snack together, or whatever else it may be, they like feeling and knowing that they are special and important.
  • I LOVE YOU - I am reminded to always tell them I love them, even if I'm upset with them. You never know what can happen and how fast things can change. You can't wrap them in your arms and tell them that you love them too much, ever.