Gone But Not Forgotten

February 2nd marked the thirteen anniversary of the year I lost my beloved, Brian. He was only forty-six when he went to be with the Lord. Way too young in my opinion. Our older children were married with children of their own, but our youngest two were a junior and senior in high school. They have spent the last thirteen years without their dad by their side to witness their graduations, marriages, birth of their children and so much more. It breaks my heart that they have had to miss out on having him with them through so many events in their lives. I spend many days doing the what if game wondering if things would have been different over the past thirteen years if he were still with us. Of course, there is no way to know how our lives would have gone as no one can predict the future.

Some years the grief and sorrow around this time of year is worse than others. In years past the day of his burial on the fourth brings me more sorrow than the day he died. This year it was the day he passed that put me in a bucket of tears more than once. Some years the days go by as if it is just another day and I question why I feel that way and then other years I barely make it through the days before and after without feeling guilty, lonely and depressed.

Brian was a great man who was loved by everyone who knew him. He was an LPN for many years and his patients thought the world of him. He was the kind of person who never met a stranger and who would give you the shirt off his back if you needed it. Our marriage was not perfect, and neither was our family, but we made it through a lot of tough times together.

Some days I feel guilty that I no longer live in Tallahassee where he is buried so I can take flowers to his grave or go visit and tell him about all the things going on in the world. Yes, I did that when I lived there as it was therapeutic, but ever since I moved to Tennessee in 2009 my visits back are few and far between. I ask myself why I feel guilty and I can never seem to find an answer to that question.

Some people wonder why I still grieve for him when I have remarried. To me grief does not end just because you found someone else to love and be loved by. I love my husband, but I did not marry him to replace Brian. I married him to have a companion in my life. Brian will always hold a special place in my heart, and I will not apologize for that.

If you’re dealing with the grief of a lost loved one, feel free to reach out and provide any comforting information that you can or if you just need someone to talk to, you can reach out for that too.

I Must Always Remember to Breathe

Remembering to breathe when your met with major life decisions is not always an easy task. This past year has been a real struggle for me. It started in December of 2019 when my husband and I separated. That time did not last very long, but in the coming year there would be two other separations, one of which lasted about 3 months. I had filed for divorce and our court date had been set only to be post-poned and then set again. The final separation ended in September 2020.

I spent several months in counseling during 2020 trying to get past things from my past all the way back to childhood as part of the problems with my marriage were due to things that had happened to me that I had never healed from. Although the counseling helped to a degree, I stopped going, My therapist was good in some ways, but I did not agree with some of her methods, plus it was expensive and not covered by my insurance, so I give it up.

Through all these things, I was also working from home doing so in a forty-one-foot RV. When we were both in it, the space became very crowded in a matter of minutes, not hours. I am sure this also led to some of the problems we were experiencing at the time as well.

In September, we committed to making our marriage work and he came home. Part of working on our marriage meant buying a house that would provide space for me to have an office since I am working from home for the unforeseeable future. We closed on a house in December. I posted about that in a separate post.

Just when it looked like things would be better for us, we received the news that my husband has CANCER. “Remember to Breathe” has become my new motto as I tell myself this too shall pass. You see when a spouse has an illness such as this, it is not just him/her that suffers or goes through the steps of recovery. The other spouse must go through this with them.

This is not our first experience with him having a serious illness and now I prepare myself for what lies ahead, not knowing what tomorrow holds, how we will get through this stumbling block or what the future holds for us, much less him. Through it all I must remind myself to “Remember to Breathe”.

We had an appointment with the oncologist, and he decided on his treatment plan and now we wait until we can get started with that said plan. I lost all my patience years ago with my children, so waiting on someone to take this as seriously as I do and to get started is taking its toll on me already. While writing this post over several days as I kept changing my mind as to what I wanted to say, we got the appointment for March 9th for his first step in the treatment process.

I am having to rely on my crafty side to find some relaxation and remind myself that I have got this. Remind myself not to let this get the best of me. I must tell myself that it will be okay, and we will get through this, but there is a side of me that ask, “will we”? And if so, at what costs? Will he make it through this? Will I lose another spouse? There are so many unknowns and what ifs.

Keeping my depression in check during times like this is not easy. I know this has led to a lot of my recent weight gain (after losing 48 pounds last year). I must find a way to push through this and find a way to cope with whatever comes my way.

How do you cope with living with cancer? How do you support your spouse through this? How do you reach out for help and feel like people really do care and want to be there for you? 

Does Grief Ever Go Away

Twelve years ago today was one of the worse days of my life. I had been going on adrenaline for several days as on the 30th of January we brought my husband home to live out his final days near the family. It would be several hours before I was able to get rest as rest was something I didn’t want to do as I didn’t want to leave him alone for one minute. Family came in and out over the next couple of days and on the evening of the 1st I dosed off between 10 and 12 pm. When I woke up startled that I had even fallen asleep I looked over at the man I loved more than anything and saw a tear stained face looking back at me. I felt like the worse wife in the world as he had to take his last breath alone as I sat there sleeping instead of being by his side. The next 36 – 48 hours would be the toughest hours of my life.

Although he had planned for this day way before this moment, I was still not prepared for what I would be facing. The past six weeks had been nothing but hospitals and lots of prayers hoping for a miracle that we never got. Instead I had the most terrifying ride of my life when he was driven from Gainesville to Tallahassee in an ambulance that I insisted on riding in so I would be with him if he did not survive the trip.

The day he died was on a Saturday and since it was so early in the morning when everything happened and because we had done a lot of pre-planning, I was able to finalize everything rather quickly and had his funeral scheduled for the 4th. Because my daughter’s wedding was on the 16th, I was not able to grieve until much later as I wanted her day to be special regardless of what we had all just been through. A few days after the wedding I went back to work, which I had not been at in eight weeks and after a couple days I walked out of my job to figure life out.

It was at this point that the grief really hit me and depression set in that lasted for several months. Hell, if I was being honest, it lasted for years and there’s still times when it rules its ugly head.

After 12 years I’m still grieving, even though I have remarried it still hits me like a tone of bricks come February and I hate to see this month come around each year. To be honest I don’t know that I will ever stop missing him and wishing he were still here. Our memories are forever in my heart.

I love you Brian! You will never be forgotten.

I wanted to share some of his favorite memories. 

In August 2001 we took the two younger kids on their first trip to Disney World, which was his favorite place to visit.

Another pic from that 2001 trip.

In December 2001, him and I went on a trip to the smokey mountains. This was a pic along the drive up the mountain towards Cades Cove.

This was his favorite pic during his real estate days. He looked so handsome.

This is from his sons wedding on September 17, 2005. He was so proud of his son and would do anything and everything for him.

In February 2006, he welcomed his first granddaughter into the world. This pic was taken in June of that year.

Come August of the year 2007 another grandson was born into the family.

He was so proud of all his grandchildren, but these two had a special place in his heart.

In October 2007 we had this family picture taken, which would be the last family pic of the whole gang together.

In November 2007 we were sealed in the church.

Hello Fall

HELLO FALL

I can’t believe it’s already Fall. It’s been 7 months since I’ve written anything here on the blog.  Like a lot of other things in my life, I lost my passion for something that I use to love doing. Depression and busyness will do that to you. It’s probably more to do with my depression, than with being busy as other than going to work 5 days a week, all I do is sit around the house and watch the days go by.

Somewhere along the way in my post I mentioned that we had settled down in Clarksville and I had gotten a job in Nashville, which is about an hours drive away. Well after about 3 days of making the drive, we decided we would move to Nashville, It’s easy to up and move anytime the mood strikes when you live in an RV.  We moved to a place right on Percy Priest Lake. The location is only about 2 miles from the house I was living in when I met Greg (my husband). 

WEIGHT LOSS

I had been giving updates about my weight loss back in the beginning of the year. I am ashamed to admit that the weightloss didn’t last long either. When I started blogging about that I was trying to do it on my own and I just kept hitting walls everywhere I turned. Then at one point I tried Thrive, but that ended up making me feel more blah than I could handle. I have health issues that I have to take into consideration when trying different products that are out there and this one just wasn’t going to do it long term. In about 5-6 weeks time I had only dropped 7 pounds, but I’m sure I have put those pounds back on and probably added a few more in the process.

BOUGHT A HOUSE

After much debate we have signed a contract for a house. We debated whether we would stay in the Nashville area where my job is or move back to Clarksville where my husband would prefer to live and where we could get more bang for a buck and both of those reasons won out and now I will be driving over an hour per day one way to go to work. Not sure how long I will be able to manage that, but we will see how it plays out. We are supposed to close on October 15th. I’m looking forward to being in a house, but not so sure about the location. We took the dogs over today to run in the backyard and to see if the sod in the front yard had been finished, but they have yet to do any of the things that need to be done. 

HOPE

My hope is to get back into the swing of life once we get moved. I’m looking forward to decorating the house and enjoying life in a bigger space. There are still so many unknowns with this new chapter, but I’m sure I will conquer them just like I have conquered all the unknowns in my past. 

RV FOR SALE

Once we make the move we will be trying to sell our 2017 Montana 3791rd model as well as the 2016 Ford F-350 that pulls it as we will be hanging up our traveling shoes. If we want to travel we’ll do it by plane, car or cruise ship as we would really like to see Hawaii and Alaska.