June 1, 2014

I’ve dreaded this month all year. Since last June I dreaded it. He went home to be with God 9 days after my birthday. I turned 40 and my best friend threw me a birthday party at her place. It was an all nighter for sure. Jason had to work 12 hours the next morning, he had to be there by 6 AM. Instead of eating a good dinner, having a few cold ones, and going home, like I suggested, and subsequently bagged him to do, he did all that and stayed by my side until the wee hours of the morning. He never even slept. He left the party and went straight to work. He made my birthday by sacrificing sleep, his own comfort, and time. He always did these things for me. He made it a habit of making me the center of his world, and more importantly, making me feel this way. He loved me more than most men love a woman. He gave me a gift worth far more than any tangible treasure, he demonstrated how I should be loved. How a good man loves. This is priceless insight. The best way to teach children how being in a loving relationship makes for a good life is to illustrate it to them through behavior, not by dictating. Jason helped me show our boys what this looks like, and even better, what it means as a husband and father.

 

I have the capacity to know this now. I have the presence of mind to step back from my broken heart and our tragedy, and know how incredibly blessed we are. I was loved by a truly lion-hearted man. The kind of man that put everyone in his family before himself. I don’t know why I was chosen to live such a privilege, but I have and it has made me the woman I am, therefore I am forever indebted to Jason, because he helped me learn how to love and appreciate a good man, because of how he loved me. I could never repay him for such a beautiful life, other than to do the best I can to finish raising our boys, and honoring the legacy that he left me. Jason helped define me as a woman. He helped create who I am, even when I didn’t see him doing this. I want to live my life in a way that celebrates this blessing, a way that makes him proud of who I have become as an individual. This has been a major struggle for me, finding my own individuality. When half of yourself is gone, you’re forced to face the void, and determine what to do about the space that requires filling. Sometimes, you don’t even realize there is a space there, until it’s exposed. I will probably continue to struggle with this, but I suppose a lot of people do at some point in their lives.

 

There was a point in my life last summer, when I didn’t care if I lived or died. I didn’t want to eat, because I found no satisfaction or joy in eating anymore. My taste buds didn’t work, actually, most of my body’s normal capacities weren’t on par. The morning of June 26, 2013 I felt as though I had been beaten within an inch of my life, yet there were no bruises or handprints on me. I felt like I couldn’t breathe, my skin hurt, my eyes burned, it was excruciating to just exist, I hated being alive, and my senses were completely knocked out of whack. I felt like I couldn’t hear, I stopped eating because it wasn’t necessary, I saw everything around me happening, but it felt like I wasn’t living it. I felt like I was watching it. It felt like someone else’s dredged up nightmare that was a lie, because how could this be my life? This wasn’t supposed to happen. He was invincible. He was my Superman. He was my everything, and I had never in all my 40 years imagined that he could be taken away.

Now, almost one year later I understand the precious and fleeting concept called life. I learned the hard way. I learned through experience, and there is no more real way to understand a life lesson than that. I still have my bad days, my sleepless nights, my tear-filled family Sundays, and a broken heart. I still long for his arms around me, his breath on my neck, and his voice in my ear, how could I not? I have lived over 2/3’s of my life for Jason, and I can say now with all sincerity that nothing was in vain. My life with Jason was a dream come true. He gave me what every woman wants, and then some. I have absolutely no regrets about my life with him, the good, bad, and ugly were a part of our relationship, it made us who we were, together, and that was fabulous! Now, I can take this time to work on me. I need to make me whole again, for myself, not for anyone else. I want to love again. I want to have someone in my life that is important to me. I don’t want to rush this, and I don’t want anything fabricated. I want real. I want what we all want. I don’t want what I had, that’s not for me to replicate. I want to feel the way I did, and know I can again. Maybe not quite the same, but something worth feeling. I’ll take this time to heal and build a better self, and maybe someday someone will roll along and appreciate all the cracks and scars on me. Maybe they won’t care about them, maybe they’ll even love them. But more importantly, I need to love me, and maybe even miraculously see what it was that Jason loved so much about me. I always wondered about that….he made it look so damned easy 🙂

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