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The Bravest and the Strongest

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I want to talk about my boys. I want to try to express what they mean to me. Not just as a proud mom, but as a widow. My boys are 18 and 10. Jay (The youngest), was one month shy of turning 9 when Jerry died, and Tyler had just turned 17 the month before. I have never been able to put myself in their shoes during this time to understand their grief. I have tried, I have worried, I have cried and held them. I have looked upon their tear streamed faces as they watched people talk about who their Dad was to them, and what he meant to them. Inside, I have no idea how they were grasping that fact that he was gone...forever.



Lets talk about Tyler. My first born, my rock, my blue eyed boy (I mean young man). He is quiet, and does not outwardly show his feelings. He is not emotional, well at least to most of the world. In the last few days of Jerrys life, he stepped up. He was there, he insisted on being in the ICU with Jerry and held his hand. He held his brother the moments after Jerry too…

What you are missing....

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What you are missing....

He’s 18 now and just as amazing as you would expect him to be. We raised an unbelievable kid who is now a man. He is respectful, kind, gentle, motivated, smart, and ready for his future. He doesn’t talk about it but I know everything he does is from an inspiration from you. He knows as much as I do how hard you worked and that hard work pays off. He watched you all those years and respected your work ethic. He knew you did what you love and he is chasing that dream. He’s a looks after his mom, just as I am sure you would have told him to. He misses you...bad. He doesn’t have to say it but I see that he does. You instilled unbelievable things in his young man and I know you would be so proud.


And now the 10 year old...your legacy, your namesake. The last time you saw him he was still 8. He is still my baby, still cuddling every chance he gets and telling me how much he loves me many times a day. Of course he is smart but he’s a secret genius. He still has to lear…

Another First.

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It is Valentines Day. I think of Jerry and how much we loved each other. I also smile and even laugh thinking about some of the Valentines days that he would forget to get me card, or to make a reservation. I could never get mad because he would make a joke and make me smile, and he ALWAYS made up for it. Him forgetting, had nothing to do with how he felt about me. He worked so hard all the time, and he would just lose track of it. He knew, and I knew, that chocolates and flowers did not represent our love. Our life did. Yes he would buy me flowers, and we would have a romantic evening together, but our love was our life. Our children, and our smiles reflected that. 

Last year on this day he was in the hospital and was and out of sleep most of the day. I had gone home to see the boys for an hour or so, and shower. When I came back to the hospital, I showed him the card that Tyler and Jay bought me. He said "oh babe, I didn't know it was Valentines Day I didn't get you anyt…

We didn't die too

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This past year has taught me a lot. I talk about it all the time. I am different, changed, not the same person I was before. Grief does that. It rips at your inner core, the bottom of your soul, and pulls all of who you are out of you, thrown into a blender and tossed in the air. Then you have to kind of stand there with a bucket and catch what is left of you hope that some things have stayed in tact. 

When Jerry died, I felt so lost. when you lose your husband and you have kids, it deepens the sadness, and heartache, because not only are you grieving for yourself, you are grieving for them too. I look back and I know that some things I have done or said in the last year with my boys has not been the ideal way to do things when someone dies. But who said I have to do it a certain way? Everyone is different in how they feel, grieve, and grow. It is hard for me to talk to my boys about their grief. It literally feels like my insides are being ripped out when I have a conversation about…

2017

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What can I say to 2017.... You brought me pain, sorrow, tears, loss,heartbreak, devastation, confusion, grief, anger, made me a widow. But also I had strength, resilience, hope, smiles, purpose, and fight.  This was the worst year of my life, but it has changed me. I can’t change losing Jerry. I can’t bring him back, and I miss him EVERY day. My heart aches for him. But I am not the same woman I was for the last 39 years. 2017 changed me. I am looking to the future, living and loving each day the the fullest. Becoming stronger and more independent than I ever thought I could be. My children have been through hell and back with me and we are going to have a year of positive things. Tyler turns 18, graduates HS and will start College, Jay will turn 10, I will turn 40. I will start a new career and find new self by not moving on, but moving forward. I never imagined being here at this point in my life. I never thought I would have to walk through this fire, but I am starting to come out…

All by myself

Christmas is a week away. I have pretty much gotten all of the shopping done, my home is decorated beautifully, and I even hosted a party last weekend. I am going through this month on auto pilot. Trying not to think about last year, how hard this month was for us. The dates are looming ahead of me, reminding me of the scariest days of my life. Yet, I somehow have been able to pull off finishing my pre licensing course for real estate, shopped for christmas, and spend time with my friends and the boys...all by myself. But I have been doing this for a long time, I have not been giving myself credit for taking charge of my life. Jerry and I always said we were a team and we truly were. We always made decisions together. Making sure we checked with the other one before making a final decision on a lot of things. Obviously I am the only one left to do this now, he is not here for me to ask what he thinks about it. I made a lot of decisions in the first few months after Jerry died, mostly …

One more light

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Few people close to me know this. So I guess here it is for you all to hear.  When people die the ones they love tend to look for signs, when they think their loved one is there with them, or moments when they say they feel them. They say cardinals, butterflies, etc are signs that they are near. I have struggled with this after Jerry died. You see, I always believed that if someone that close to me died, that they would be able to send me signals or make sure I felt them there. But after he died...he was just gone. He was the urn that I clutched in my arms in a 6 hour plane right to NC. He was the smell of his clothes and cologne. He was in Jays eyes. But I didn’t “feel” him.  I have had lengthy conversations with my mother about how I don’t feel him. In a nutshell she has told me that if I want to feel him I will, or if I truly say it and look for him, he will be there. I told her that I am too skeptical and really felt like he is just gone and cannot give me signs. There have been s…