Monday, March 28, 2011


Last year around this time I remember posting an angry blog, something about "stupid daffodils" and the fact that Mother Nature could be so insensitive to my broken heart. How was this beautiful daffodil sprouting from the dirt when my life was so impenetrable by the sun? I distinctly remember a night when I took out the trash. I rolled the trashcan over one of the daffodils and it felt good. I then proceeded to stomp, crush, kick, and tear the rest of the innocent flowers from the still cold ground. I cried the angriest tears a human cry. Afterwards, I came inside and fell on my knees. I was covered in dirt and tears and I was alone. I kept telling will always be alone, this is it, you will always feel like this, why is everything just "continuing" to exist when you so badly want it to cease completely?

I am thankful my life did not cease. I am thankful that during those times of pure despair, I was never really alone at all.

Recently those same flowers have found their way to the surface again. Smiling every day at the sun that begins to hit them in the wee hours of the morning. I began to notice them sprouting one day as Nick and I were walking out of the house. I, for a split second, remembered the anger, hurt, and fear that came with the newness of Spring last year. Then as fast as it came on, it was gone. Left in my heart and on my face, was a smile. Had Nick turned around and seen the cheesy smile on my face, he'd probably wonder if I was hittin' the sauce that morning! But, for those short minutes I felt an overwhelming sense of pride about how far I've come down this winding road. And as I hurried to catch up with him, and grabbed around his arm, I felt ready for whatever the future has to offer.

Because those daffodils are growing haphazardly in the, "flower bed" (and I use that term extremely lightly) I am going to dig them up tomorrow. I will make a bouquet and take them to the cemetery. Dan and I spent long hours and days working in the yard every spring and fall making it pretty, but you would never guess it now. I let my apathy for anything beautiful and anything that required energy to push me deeper into my shell, last year. My shell has since cracked and the coldness has lifted off of me like fog over a bay. I want to take to Dan some of the resplendent fruits of his labor. I am going to tell him that everything bright and beautiful will always remind me of his smile. I will lay the flowers over his name as I tell him (even though he already knows) that I am okay. Not just okay, but good.

A light exists in spring

not present on the year

at any other period

~Emily Dickinson

Monday, March 14, 2011


I have written before of my anxieties and fear of abandonment by my loved ones since the passing of Dan. Some days are better than others. Some days my thoughts are not consumed by the possible losses my soul might endure. Other days, the thoughts of mischance lay heavily on my heart.

Last Friday, I turned on the Today Show as I was getting ready for work. The news was teeming with coverage of the Earthquake in Japan. When word of tragedy enters my brain these days, it's different than before. I truly believe that I can feel other's pain. I laid my hand on my heart. I do this often now, and am not sure if it is because I physically feel the pain in my heart, or, because I know how vital the heart is to life.

I say a silent prayer. It starts as a general prayer for those affected. This prayer makes me feel as small as a grain of sand on the bottom of the vast ocean. My thoughts shift to the pain I know of first hand. I think of the widows, especially the young ones. I think about how they woke up on a Friday morning, with plans of the weekend dancing in their head. They rolled over and touched the shoulder of their husband, never imagining it was last time they would see them alive. My mind swirls. I think of the young widowers, then parent-less children, fearful mothers, daughters, fathers, sons. How can nature: strong, powerful, untimorous, incredibly beautiful, also be so cruel and unmerciful? How do you comfort the ones catastrophe has been afflicted upon?

Keep praying Tiffin. Remember that YOU ARE as small as that grain of sand. You will never know the answer to "why" as long as you walk this earth. These people have a plan, just like you. It might not be the plan they saw for themselves, but there will be light on their road, just like there was on yours. Pray that they see the beauty in that light, sooner than later.

Calamity such as this, adds to the weight on my chest. When will I be able to not fear for the lives of the ones I love? Will there be a day when I only enjoy the love, and not have thoughts of loss in the back of mind?

Like the wild creatures of the world, I have learned to greatly appreciate the survival of the day. I would like also, to come into the peace of not taxing my life with the forethought of grief.

Monday, March 7, 2011

A New Chapter

Yesterday my last surviving Grandparent, my Mother's Mother passed away. Stella Lawson Phelps lived a good long life.

It was raining yesterday. It was raining when I woke up in the morning, and it was raining when I got the news of her passing. This seems to be a pattern for loss in my life. The night Dan was brought Home, the rain was puddling everywhere my eyes darted. I hated the rain for the longest time. Every time I saw the ominous sky I would curse God and my existence here. And when the sun decided to come out, I would curse it too, catechizing its reasoning for my torture.

I don't remember the exact day that I stopped hating the rain, and I don't remember the exact day that I stopped hating the sun when it rose, what I do know, is that I look at both of these phenomena as blessings from a Creator that will one day give me all the answers I seek.

The rain drops that fell yesterday were the happy tears of my Grandmother's friends, family, and her beloved husband, my Grandad, greeting her as she entered the pearly gates. I spoke to my Grandma on Friday. She was not alert, but I believe she heard what I was saying. I told her to hug Dan for me. Really, I told her to give him a HUGE hug (because that always made him uncomfortable and I think it's funny). I also told her to go ahead and call him by the wrong name, because she always did. In between the tears that streamed down my face, I smiled, and prayed for my Grandma's peace. The whole room was crying, not sobbing, but soft tears of goodbye. I looked at my sister in this solemn moment and couldn't contain my laughter. She was wiping her precious tears off of her face (with the cheapest toilet paper know to man), and had some stuck to her face. I am not talking about a little toilet paper, Jaime had actually paper-mached her cheek, and I couldn't stop the giggles. Straight out of the movie, "Steel Magnolias" Jaime and I smiled and said, "Laughter through tears is my favorite emotion." And this remains true.

My favorite emotion is laughter, that being said, I am invariably trying to guide myself toward happiness. This past December, I literally stumbled into my new found happiness.

I met a tall drink of water by the name of Nick Smith, and the best part about us is that we became instant friends. I wasn't looking for anyone, and frankly, didn't know if it was possible. I am so happy we took a chance on each other. I knew that it would take a strong man to be with a widow. "Ghosts of Husbands Past" has to be an uncomfortable, and even concerning way to start a relationship, but he did. He accepts me for who I once was, he likes me for who I am, and respects who I strive to be. I appreciate his acceptance, am intrigued by his mind, warmed by his soul, and never take one of our many laughs together for granted. (I also happen to love his crooked little smile)

Every little step on this journey has been new and scary. This particular step is scary in a fun way.

Before I changed my relationship status on Facebook today, I wondered what my widowed friends would think, Dan's friends, my friends. I then remembered all the support I've gotten over the past year and longer. There is no one that is of importance in my life, that wants to see anything but my happiness. And for that, I thank you.

This is the beginning of a new set of chapters. A new story, a different path off the same winding road. Continue to walk with me friends, now in the light, since it is because of you that I shine.