My October blues are waning. I wake up feeling hopeful again and grateful for the ability to do just that…wake up. When my life was tinged with heartbreak, something else snuck up on me that I didn’t expect…a heightened sense of appreciation. Heartbreak and appreciation have enriched my life. Again, never, ever, ever, would I have chosen this path that ended with him dead, my boys fatherless, and me a widow, but, this heightening in appreciation makes me a better, more loving woman. I don’t take the little, everyday things for granted anymore. Waking up to a lovely day is never taken lightly. Do I always feel happy when I see it? No, and honestly there are still many days when I wonder if he can see the lovely day. This wondering does not take away the gratefulness that I feel when I see the lovely day.
Dave was one of those guys that really loved life. He was happy, fun and it was pretty tough to piss him off. He loved laughing, watching people, a good sports game (nearly any sport), playing pinball, gardening, hanging with his friends, walking the dog, playing with his boys…everyday stuff. After fourteen years together, this rubbed off on me a bit. I think the thing that still resonates with me most was that he knew he wanted to be happy and he pursued the things that made him happy. Often time that thought pulls me through rough days, because I knew he chose me…
Every year as October approaches, I start to slide. By the time my little boy’s birthday arrives, I am usually on the upswing again. My anticipation, a sneaky grief symptom, can alter my appreciation for the little things. The thoughts of “why?” and “how?” consume me. As the blues start to fade, I can see the strides I’ve made and the grace I’ve been given. I never thought I’d survive. I never thought I’d be able to control the pain. I never thought that I’d be able to feel happy again. Today, I sit here and I can tell you that most days, most days, really, most days, I do feel happy. I think he’d be very proud of me. It’s been a long journey of recreating and rebuilding after catastrophe, but I’m on my way and I am grateful, very grateful.
There were many moments when I thought that I would never appreciate a beautiful sunrise, my kiddos laughing, an outing with friends, or really anything for that matter. I felt dead. I felt void of feeling anything most days. I can gratefully say that those days are passed. I can feel the gambit again from joyful to angry (although angry never was really gone). I can be moved to tears by the beauty of the ocean or a sweet little baby’s scent…because, well, grace I guess. I can say with all my mind and soul that it’s not always tears of missing him anymore…there are my tears for my other feelings, not just heartbreak. Maybe this ongoing pursuit of happy is another gift he gave me when he left, maybe he really wanted me to own it and he’s been working behind the scenes the make it happen. Maybe, just maybe, it has been my job the whole time, who knows? Perhaps, the hard work of these years honoring this grief and the journey is beginning to show dividends. All I know is that I appreciate with all my being…I really never thought it was possible.
Today, happy is here.
Today, my heart appreciates my journey with him and since him.
Today, is filled with the ability to appreciate, who knew?