So it’s been a minute since I’ve updated this little ol blog of mine. I mean, does anyone still read this silly thing? Either way, I guess it doesn’t really matter. Starting this was just a way to update everyone on Matt and it’s truly become cathartic for me these last two years. Strange how things work out. Life is so very strange. At least it is for me.
So what have I been up to? Well, really only two things: Nursing school and my kids. And honestly, my kids the smaller piece of that pie for sure. A solid 75% of my time is devoted to either being at school or studying for school. I am experiencing a new level of exhaustion these days. My brain feels like it wants to explode most days and my stress levels have once again sky rocketed. I had been warned how awful and stressful and hard nursing school is and they were not lying. It’s so intense you guys. So hard. I’ve already cried at least twice and I am a month in. Then I remind myself that this? Is not hard. Watching the love of your life die of cancer is HARD. Raising 3 kids by yourself while grieving? HARD. Nursing school? I’m gonna OWN you.
So the other night I was tucking my babies in to bed and this feeling of absolute joy came over me. Hello, old friend, it has been a long time. I laid there and really relished the feeling. I said to myself, “I am happy. I feel content with this life.” Then immediately tears came to my eyes and I felt a wave of despair. This is my life now. Happy/Sad. No matter what happens now, for the rest of this life, everything I experience will be Happy/Sad. I go to school each day eager to learn. I am so passionate about becoming a nurse and I know it’s what I’m called to do. I love every minute of it, even the horrible moments when I want to scream during a test “WTF is THIS?!?” (which happens during every single test.) I still love it. Then I remember that Matt isn’t here to experience this with me. He doesn’t get to cheer me on. He won’t be at my graduation to hug me and say “I knew you could do it Babe.” And then I am Sad. But still Happy. It’s a confusing thing to experience for sure.
Matt missed another first day of school for our babies. The second year he wasn’t here. Happy/Sad. I bought a new car last month by myself you guys and he wasn’t here for that either. I was so happy and excited for myself and proud of myself. I’m driving off the lot with this huge smile and then I remember. Matt. Happy/Sad. All at once sometimes I think of all the things that can/will happen in the future and how they will be amazing and joyous times and Matt won’t be here to experience it with me. With his children. He will miss so damn much and I hate it. Our kids learning to drive, proms, first loves and heartbreaks, graduation from high school, college, marriages, grandchildren (this one tears me to pieces at the very thought of it)…..so many Happy/Sad moments yet to be experienced. And the biggest one….if I am ever brave enough to allow myself to experience love again, I can only imagine the amount of Happy/Sad that will bring. Buckets of it.
This is my life now though. I am learning to embrace it and be OK with it. Last week at school a girl looked at me and said “You are so happy, it’s truly unbelievable that you buried your husband last year.” Happy/Sad. I felt happy and proud that others see me as a happy person again, but then sad that they do. I still cry often, mostly at night in the shower when I tell Matt how much I miss him and I tell God that I just can’t find a way to forgive Him and I worry I never will. I am still very much so a broken version of Michelle, but I think I always will be. Somehow, someway, I am finding myself again. Finding the old happy, funny, mouthy Michelle and getting to know the new Michelle. Independent, strong, determined and happy. A year ago, I thought this life was absolutely impossible. I was totally convinced I could never experience anything good again and enjoy it without Matt. That wasn’t true at all and that’s Happy/Sad too.
I would love to tell you all that my life is exciting and interesting, but today, it’s normal and pretty boring. And I ADORE it. Jackson, Kingston and Hadley are adjusting well to their new schools and making new friends. They are really happy kids today and it makes me proud. We all laugh a lot these days and have settled into this life as a family of 4. It doesn’t mean Matt isn’t missed, he is missed in all things, every single day. His absence is never not felt. He’s around us and more and more we really feel him and even “see” him in so many ways. For instance, Jackson came home his first day of school and told my one of his teachers is named “Volare“. I mean, seriously? You can’t make that up. Like, that’s her first damn name. Volare. Ridiculous. I have so many stories like that. Little hellos from my Matt. He told me he would never leave me and he is keeping his word for sure.
So today in this moment I am mostly Happy and sometimes Sad. I think I can say the same for my kids. We are a happy little family of 4. We have a lot to be thankful for and I try my hardest each day to focus on that. I still HATE cancer. I hate that Matt is gone. I don’t have this all figured out and maybe I never will. But I am always trying. Always moving forward. Always loving and learning. I still want all of you to love your people. Cherish them. Soak them up. Forgive them. Really look at your person tonight before you go to bed and think how much you love them. Your life together. Soak up how lucky you are to have love and be loved. Because you are so, so lucky. I cannot tell you how much I miss that life. How much I miss being loved by a great man and loving a great man. How much I miss being a wife. Being treasured and adored. I have no words for it tonight. I told a friend earlier that it is an Ocean of emotions when I think of Matt. An infinite, swirling sea of all the things.
So tonight before you go to bed tell your person you love them and really mean it. Tomorrow is not promised friends, it really isn’t.