Monday, April 25, 2011


One week ago today, was the first Monday of Spring Break. When I went to sleep on Sunday night, I was so excited about sleeping in that I was having trouble falling asleep. Instead of awaking around noon as I had hoped, my eyes opened around 6:00. I knew I didn't have to get up, so I smiled and hunkered down further in the covers. The light had just begun to fill the room. It was that early morning light that looks more like the sun going down, than when it is rising. That primordial light creeps into the room and casts a blue shade onto everything in it's path. A memory flooded me.

There were so many early mornings, especially on weekends, that I would wake right around this time. I would look at my sleeping husband and notice that the blue cast made his brown Italian skin darker than normal. Then I would sit up ever so slightly to peek at the boys. It never failed that they would be sharing a bed sleeping as yin and yang. I would lay down again, smiling. My eyes would sweep over all of the imperfections of our house, and still, I would be smiling. The thought that constantly ran through my head was, "I love my family."

I would be fidgety enough at this point where Dan would have awakened and I would tell him, "I love our family." He would give a grin. That grin said to me a few things: 1. I'd like you to shhhhhh, because I am sleeping, 2. I think it's funny that you consider the dogs we rescued our sons, and 3. I love our family, too. It was mornings like this that led to our wedding song being "Sunday Morning" by Maroon 5.

Even though the family dynamic has changed, Dan will always be a part of it. This past Monday, I continued to think of how much I love my family. My mother and step father are the two most supportive people I know. They back my every decision with love. They comfort me when I need to be a child again, because the world is too cruel. They look at me with pride in their eyes. My father and step mother share in that support. I am still daddy's little girl, and if I hurt, so does he. My sister...I could spend hours on to find a word that encompasses all that she is to me, but when I put my mind to it, all I come up with is everything. She is everything to me. Ryan is the best brother-in-law in the world, and his entire family has taken me in, as if I were blood related. Lilly owns my heart. My friends are extensions of my family, and I pray I treat them that way, so that they always know it. Easter Sunday was spent at Heidi and Billy's and again, I am treated by their family, as one of their own. And now there is Nick.

One week later, and early this morning, I dropped Nick off at the repair shop to pick up his car. We went to get coffee and then parted ways. I had a stupid grin on my face the whole way home. There are so many things about that man that make me smile, I don't even think he knows. I thought about last night and how he and his father spent the holiday with me and Merediths/Lyons/McDonels. I flashed back to a text I received from Gretchen, Heidi's sister. She told me that it was amazing to witness Dan with us, shining down on me last night at dinner. I can only believe that is Dan's way of telling me and others that he is proud of me, and that he shines in my happiness.

It is an amazing feeling to be happy again.

I think the future will always be a scary concept to me. I know all too well, that I can't control any of my plan, or the plan of others. I can only pray. I pray that there will come a time when I wake in the blue light, every morning. I will sit up and (hopefully) look over at a man who accepted the broken parts of a widow, and knew how much more love she had to give. Then my glance will turn to the boys, but as I slowly raise up, I will also be listening down the hallway for little sounds made by baby sons or daughters. I will remember my past, and everything that has made me the person I am. I will whole heartily and without taking one second for granted, cherish the present. I will thank the Lord for my many blessings and continue to say..."I love my family."

"If the family were a container, it would be a nest, and enduring nest, loosely woven, expansive and open. If the family were a fruit, it would be an orange, a circle of sections, held together, but separable-each segment distinct. If the family were a boat, it would be a canoe that makes no progress unless everyone paddles. If the family were a sport, it would be baseball: a long, slow, nonviolent game that is never over until the last out. If the family were a building, it would be an old but solid structure that contains human history, and appeals to those who see the carved moldings under all the plaster, the wide plank floors under the linoleum, the possibilities." ~ Letty Cottin Pogrebin

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Dreams Continue

Why are most of the dreams I have about Dan not ones that I'd like to remember? I had a dream the other night (again) that Dan came back. I am constantly trying to convince him to get to a doctor and he never wants to listen to me. We were at a party and all he wanted to do was spend time with his friends. He was annoyed with me and annoyed that I kept telling him that there was something wrong with his heart. He laughed at me and said, "Yes, clairvoyant Tiffin...I'm sure I'm going to die soon, sure." I started to cry and he told me that I always made a scene to get attention. I woke up, confused and angry. Dan- If you are going to come to me in a dream, will you at least try to be a little nice?

I don't understand why we have to fight in my dreams. Are these issues that I feel were never resolved with us? There was no "closure"to our relationship and I wonder if subconsciously I am trying to "work out" problems and find answers to questions I consciously know I won't have answered until the day I am called Home.

If I had these answers, would it make me less panicky when Nick walks out of the door? Less anxious when my loved ones don't respond right away to a phone call or text? Would I still have the timorous feeling when someone talks about a gym or running on a treadmill?

I never thought I would do many of the things that I've done since Dan has died. For example, I just KNEW I would be alone, lonely, unable to be loved, and unable to love. As I type, Nick is laying by side. He probably thinks he is still watching TV, but he has dozed off. As I look at him, my heart fills with warmth and the butterflies have a party in my stomach. I can't believe I have found another best friend in a man.

That being said, maybe one day my tremulous way of thinking will be proven wrong as well. There is so much happiness in my life right now (my precious Lilly who I love so much it hurts, my new nephew to be, Roman, the laughs I can only have with my sister, the fact that I am going to be a Godmother, spring break 3 days away, wet kisses from my boys, and yes, the cutie pie that is next to me right now) that when these "episodes" of panic and fear happen, I feel like I momentarily take two steps back.

On a funny "dream note" I had a dream the other night that I was part of a math club and I took it very seriously. If you know me, you are cracking up right now.