There are times that I sit here with thoughts swirling around in my head & my heart overflowing with what I want to write, and yet, the words do not come easy. It's almost as if I stammer and stutter over the keys on this keyboard. Times that rather than pounding out a blog in a matter of moments, it takes a process of thinking, wondering, second guessing, deleting it all, starting over, walk away, come back, look at my fingers and wonder - "Why do you not type what is within me without all this?"
This morning is one such time.
I have thought much about Rick this week. Nothing new there, he's always in my thoughts, but this week has been a bit different. Rick was a true American & Texas Patriot. He often said that if you cut him he would bleed red, white & blue. There is so much, well everything, that I miss about him. There are the heart beats that my mind says, "He's on the truck, will be calling any minute now, and I will go home to him." Then, the gut punch. He's just gone. Never to return. I must go on alone, without him. Take a deep breath, let out the sigh (regardless of what those around think or say). And press forward. One breath at a time, moment by moment, step by step. More like 3 steps forward and 2-4 back. But I guess I'm too stubborn to give up. Well, and I promised him, our kids and grandkids, that I would NOT give up. That no matter what, I would continue on. So, I simply do.
I have learned a lot about life these last 4 years. And I have learned a lot about ME, too.
We always told our kids, and grandkids, as well as anyone else who came to us for counsel and/or advice:
"You have to decide what YOU can live with ... and what YOU can live without. No life is perfect. You just have to take the good, the bad, the indifferent, and make it as perfect as you can - - for YOU."
I realized just this week that that is exactly what I have been doing - especially the last 6 weeks or so.
I have written some about all that I do not want, while asking myself that all important question: "Margaret, what DO you want?"
This is MY life now. The life I had, lived, loved, and enjoyed, with my Sweetheart - is gone. A memory in my writings, in pictures, and held always close to my heart. Now this is MY life, MY time.
What DO i want?
*I want a morning cup of coffee in quietness & stillness. Preferably sitting in a rocker, on a porch - or in a porch swing. Listening to the birds singing, the wind rustling the leaves of the trees, feeling the breath of air lightly touching my face.
*A comfortable bed to lay down in at night, after the day is done, when these old bones are weary, and the spirit is simply tired.
*As Maureen said in The Quiet Man: "I want me things about me, and this I shall have!"
*A vehicle that is realistically dependent and comfortable. To be able to go where I want, when I want, and stay as long as I want - - even if just to take an afternoon drive down a country road.
*A cup of coffee in the morning, and a glass of wine in the evening.
*A good book always at hand to read.
*Fresh flowers, simple wildflowers are wonderful.
*Freedom to post on any venue of social media (including this website) of where I am, who I am with, and what I am doing.
*Arms that are willing to hug me, without being asked.
*A purpose to get up each morning.
*Direction for where I am supposed to be, what I am supposed to do.
*The list goes on ... some of which can be found HERE.
There are thoughts that I am asking for too much. That I am not deserving of this.
Then, my heart cries out! After all that I have endured, and survived? This is NOT too much!
Also, something else that I have come to realize.
I have made mistakes these 4 years without Rick. No "Life Manual for Grief Walking" was given to me. No wise words of counsel or advice from someone who had lived this life before me.
Yes, a lot of words from I'm sure (or at least I hope) well meaning family & friends, some of who were widows & widowers on the same walk, and often within the same time frame as me.
I have been judged, criticized, and condemned.
I have been told that others were going to "make a call" and talk to those that in my life and "FIX" everything for me. In those words, I found myself feeling more alone and scared than I had been since the morning I looked into Rick's eyes and saw nothing. I pulled away from everyone for a time, not even writing. Certainly not answering questions directed at "how are you doing?" or "how's life going?" I deflected everything right back to the person I was chatting with, or talking to on the phone. Little to nothing about me, or my life. It has been one of the darkest periods of my life, bar none.
When I lost my sister, who listened without judgment or criticism, who only gave counsel when asked - I shut down for a period of time. Just going thru the motions, playing my part well enough that others were at least somewhat satisfied.
These "Mistakes" that everyone seems so quick to judge me for - they are NOT the mistakes that keep me awake at night. They are NOT the mistakes that I pound my head and heart over and over with 2nd guessing and wonderings and questioning.
There have been less than 5 people, not counting my sister, these 4 years who have truly listened to my heart. And even they have come at me with "what I would do", or "are you crazy?", or "why in the Hell are you doing this?" Sigh.
My life is complicated and like a puzzle that I am trying to put together. Imagine having a 2000 piece puzzle to put together, in a certain amount of time given, and no picture to guide you. IMAGINE that! And you have the tiniest glimpse into what my life is like.
Give me a Damn break! I am doing the best I can. I am doing what at this moment feels best for me. I know that I am learning as I go. And that I will have many regrets (I already do). Each moment, each day, is bringing new revelation and realizations now. The numbness is gone. I am seeing more clearly.
Your support would be greatly appreciated. Your kindness would be treasured.
I am also learning my limits.
*What I am responsible for, and what I am not - often at the consternation and frustration of others, simply because I am refusing to cover their butt any longer. No, I will not throw someone under the bus, but NO I will not take responsibility for what is not me and mine. I'm done.
*Exhausted from walking on eggshells in this life. Eggshells because of my choices. Because of my political beliefs. Because of my religious convictions. Because of the way I was raised. Because of the State I was born in, and that I love. Because of my ancestors, my heritage. Because of the experiences I have had in these 58 years. Because of the love I have for my children and grandchildren. Because of the grief that I carry deep within my soul. Because of a whole host of things that make me WHO I AM. Others can either deal with it or scroll on by - whether my writings, my social media posts, or my life. I don't care anymore. This is ME.
I still have much to learn. Sadly, it is slow going. Still haven't found that damn manual.
Hmmm...maybe it's time someone wrote one.
Hmmm...maybe that someone is me. It's a thought.
Anyway, I'm living.
Learning as I go.
Searching for laughter.
Making memories out of the moments.
Loving best I know how-to.
TRYING to give it my everything, to leave it all on the field. (Reference to "Facing the Giants", a great movie by the way)