Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Today is a snow day. I was lazy with my boys this morning, then began to get some things accomplished. In the widow-world, I made some huge accomplishments today, however, I can't write about them yet. I'd like to share them with you, but there are some people following my writings to use them against me, instead of following my writings to walk with me on my journey. Instead of sharing my small triumphs with you (which is always more inspirational) I am going to share two feelings I have had since December 31, 2009.

Panic and Fear of Abandonment

I will start with the very scary emotion of panic. When Dan had been at the gym longer than 2 hours, I was concerned. I wasn't overly concerned, and to be honest, I might have been a little annoyed. I was annoyed because I was hungry, I had put a pizza in the oven, it was finished, and I really wanted to eat it. I also wanted to wait for him to get home, so we could eat it together. A few unresponded to texts, and a couple of phone calls that left me with his voicemail, turned that concern into a touch of fear. Fast forward to the phone call from the police at the hospital and my crazed state getting to Howard County General. That feeling had now turned into panic.

Present Day: I am here, I am smiling, I am moving forward with my life. But wait, there is that feeling...panic. I can't get a hold of Jaime...panic. I try Ryan's cell because I can't reach her, no answer...panic. Someone I love walks out my front door...panic. Should I run after them and tell them I love them? Have I said I love you enough to them, so that they know? How many times can you tell someone to be careful, drive safely...etc, before you are no longer just a concerned loved one, you are a psycho?

When will my racing heart and panic stop? Am I going to fear the uncontrollable for the rest of my life? Is this why my blood pressure it that of a 90 year old man who has only eaten fast food his whole life?

This is where my fear of abandonment comes in. I get scared sometimes that my psycho tendencies might scare someone away. I try and lock up my fear most of the time, but, I know that most see it in my eyes. I hug harder and longer than most. I take a mental picture of faces before I leave or they leave. I am always thinking..."What if this is the last time I see this person." I HATE THAT! Just sitting here at my computer, writing this, has my heart pounding. I am thinking of the faces of everyone I love and praying that God will keep them safe always.

Lord~ Keep my loved ones safe and happy. Let none know first hand of the panic and fear I carry. Help me enjoy the peace of the day, and not waste precious minutes worrying about things only You can control. Let the ones that I adore, know that I adore them, in case there were ever a time I not be able to say it myself. Thank you for the old and new people you have placed on my path. Thank you for the light and guidance you have given on this journey. Allow me to continue my smiles, my strength, my courage, and allow me to do this without hate and fear. ~ Amen

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

An Unexpected Change

I love children, I love my students, and I LOVE the things that come out of their mouths sometimes.

Today, we were reviewing a lesson on "change." There are 5 generalizations that can be made about change: It is linked to time, it is random or orderly, natural or caused by humans, change is everywhere, and finally change is expected or unexpected.

I asked the students to give me some examples of these different generalizations. I am always amazed at some of the things they come up with that I never would. I sometimes wish that I had uninhibited, unguarded thinking. One of my students raised his hand and said, "Mrs. Shriner, you didn't expect that your husband would die, you've probably had to make a lot of changes because of that."

I don't think that I took a breath for a while. He caught me off guard, but what a connection! Yes, my life has taken a very unexpected change, and many things have differed because of it. Some of the other students looked at him in a manner as if to say, "what are you doing???" But, I didn't mind, it was a teachable moment. I spoke briefly of perseverance. I spoke of strength, friendship, and courage.

Amongst the beautiful quiet faces, my newest student, a bright little girl, smiled and said, "Mrs. Shriner, you are the most lively person I have ever met, I would have never thought you have been through such tragedy." What a compliment. If that is what they are seeing, I know I have come far, considerably far.

The somberness of the talk took a humorous turn when another precious student said, "Well at least you're beautiful and someone else is bound to love you." Then, another chimed in and said, "And your not even too old to have babies, so if like that's what you want, you still can."

Yes, my darlings, I want. I want many things for a full life. That includes never wanting to miss a precious talk with the young minds that will one day run this world.

Over a year ago, I felt like a large stone that had been dropped without warning into a cold river. Today, I am the ripples on the wake. I am reaching out, grasping, feeling, and attaining all that this short life has to offer.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

February 9th

On February 9, 1979 a beautiful (OK, to be honest....I used to tell Dan that he looked like smeagle the little creepy guy in Lord of the Rings but that's neither here nor there) boy was born.

Whether it was singing "Wind Beneath My Wings" in his fifth grade play or protecting my honor in high school, even though we didn't know each other that well then, Dan was always making an impression.

As I stood at the cemetery today, cold and and staring at the stone which holds his name, I smiled. What a life he lived. Yes, it was too short, but Dan traveled the world, fought for his country, had hundreds of friends, smiled every day, loved and married his best friend... I was lucky enough to be that girl. He LIVED, LOVED, LAUGHED...He WAS that poster/banner/sign found at every Home Goods store.

It is hard for me to wrap my head around the fact that I have now been on this Earth longer than he ever was, but I have SO MUCH more living left to do to catch up to his accomplishments, his feats, his legacy.

I know, I can tell, that this year is going to bring me smiles and continued healing. When I run and have my conversations with Dan, I can hear him telling me how proud he is of me. I hear his voice telling me to keep moving forward, to continue and finish the race that has been set out before me.

When I first started to run for distance and to compete in races, I didn't think I could do it. I puked after the first mile, my legs felt like jello after 3 miles, and it didn't seem to be getting any better. I had signed up to do a 7 mile relay race, and I was starting to get nervous that I would let my team down by being the weakest link. One gorgeous day I went outside and got into my "run zone" for the first time. I ran 6 miles without stopping. When I came back home I ran downstairs and said, "Dan, I think I am going to be able to do this." I will never forget his face, it had a confused stare and he said, "Of course you can." He never lacked in confidence for me, never.

I am never again going to lack confidence in myself, I love that he taught me that. I am confident that my smiles are genuine these days. My smiles were even genuine and confident today, as I thought of his life well lived.

I have a beautiful life ahead of me, I am confident of this, and I am going to live it well, too.

~Any life, no matter how long and complex it my be, is made up of a single moment- the moment in which a man finds out, once and for all, who he is. ~ Jorge Luis Borges