Everything’s Dependent

There are many things that make widowhood difficult. Too many to count. Widowhood is reveals who we are as people. It makes your weaknesses all too clear and it can show strengths you never knew you had.

Randy’s death revealed a lot about me, as a person. It seemed like every day I was learning more about myself. There were things I saw that I wasn’t very happy with. Usually though, it was just interesting to see how life changes a person.

When you are a widow, you spend a lot of time by yourself. The grocery shopping, the bank, the laundry, the car maintenance, etc. You usually do it all alone. When you are a widow with children, you do all those things when you can manage to squeeze it in. I found myself going to Wal-Mart and the grocery store at night. It might be 10pm before I walked into the store. I noticed I felt strange.

At first, I wasn’t sure what I was feeling. I was use to feeling sad when I did errands and took care of appointments by myself. Even anxious sometimes. This was different. And then it dawned on me, I was scared. Why would I be scared? Now that I was alone, suddenly I was afraid of the dark?

When I was young, 17 or 18 years old, I used to run errands the same way. Randy would stay at home with the baby and I would make quick runs to the store. Over time, the baby got older and we made a lot of trips together. If we couldn’t do it together, we just didn’t do it. We rarely went out without the other one. In fact, we rarely went out without the kids. It created a dependency that I had no idea existed. I always considered myself independent.

Randy worked nights. I use to taking out the trash, cleaning everything, and dropping the kids off at school. Standing on my own two feet after his death was one thing I didn’t think I had to worry about.

It seems time passes us by faster than we can realize. We were young when we found each other. We were young when he died. Even though we were so young, we still had spent 10 years of our lives together, almost 7 of that was as a married couple. After years with my spouse, I had because reliant on his company. He was my boundary and my security blanket. Now, he was gone and so was my comfort.

I had to learn to live again…without him. I had to regain my independence. Day by day it happened.

If you find yourself feeling anxious or scared, look at what is going on when it happens. Are you afraid of the dark? Before you can work on each piece to become whole, you have to be able to see all the pieces. The worst has already happened, right? Staring down the fear is the first step in the right direction. Whatever happens, it can’t possibly hurt more than losing your spouse. Don’t be afraid to step out of your box and become whole on your own.

I know not all of  you listen to country music, maybe none of you. I listen to it all. As discussed in my last post, there are words that just jump at me and stick with me. The style of music doesn’t matter. What matters is whatever I am reading, whatever I am feeling, makes sense to me. This chorus makes sense to me:

Straight ahead, never turn round

Don’t back up, don’t back down

Full throttle, wide open

You get tired and you don’t show it

Dig a little deeper when you think you can’t dig no more


That’s the only way I know

I post this because it describes, in a very general way, how I face each new challenge. I post it so that maybe it can help you face your fears. You don’t have to be afraid of the dark.



Never Before-1999

Randy and I went through a very rough period. I felt like I had grown up. Like I had given up all of me to be a wife and mother while he slept, worked, and played like we were still 18 and kid free. I tried talked to him about it. I tried talking, I tried screaming, I tried throwing things, and I even tried ignoring it. Nothing, and I mean nothing worked.

One day I just told him, we had to be done. We had to separate or he had to change. I knew full well I could end up a single mom and miserable. Since I already felt like one, I figured it wouldn’t make too much of a difference. He was very unhappy about my decision. His way of dealing with what I told him was to ignore it, just as he had done all the conversations before.

To drive the point home and maker sure I was prepared if this lead to a life apart, I got a full-time job and put Kayla and Brendan in day care. Kayla still carries that scare today. She hated every second of it.

Getting that job really drove the point home. He was remorseful. He wanted to turn things back to the way they were. He hadn’t noticed how unhappy I was during that time. Even though I was practically shouting it from the roof tops! I guess it was easier being blind to how unhappy I really was.

I wasn’t giving in this time. I knew he hadn’t wanted to change before. I didn’t believe he really wanted to change now. I think he just wanted to be comfortable again. That wasn’t enough for me. I guess maybe part of me wanted him to stay uncomfortable, too. I know I had been for so long; it was his turn.

I kept trying to get him to actually move out. I wanted him to see what life would be without me. I guess, if I am being honest, I wanted to know what life would be like without him. I guess I probably did want some freedom. I had gone straight from my parents house to his house with a baby. That is a lot to wonder about. A lot to soak in. And, at some point, your mind wonders: what did I miss?

One night he came home early for work, which scared me. That is never a good sign. He was in tears, literally. He told me he was a mess at work. He was a machinist at a metalizing company. They would spray metal onto parts and he would machine the parts back down to specs. He worked on aircraft parts mostly, but did some parts for NASA as well. He had messed up a couple $50,000 parts because his mind couldn’t stay focused. He was afraid he was going to lose his job. He also was afraid of losing his life. He felt unstable, like he could snap and take his own life.

Those words scared me. That is never what I wanted. We started talking. We talked and talked. We talked and cried together for over six hours. It turns out, how we were raised conflicted with each other and created some huge misunderstandings. We told each other things that were unpleasant to hear. For the first time, we were acting like adults and we were very honest.

That was the turning point. That is when I knew we were salvageable. We could be us only better. We could be the us that I had dreamed about.

We put a halt to all plans of separation. For the first time in a long time, I let him hold me until the kids woke up the next morning. We only got a few hours sleep that night, but it was the most restful sleep I had had in years.

I was tired the next day, but somehow, I had plenty of energy as I walked on cloud 9 all day. I knew the worst was behind us. Even though I knew we still had plenty of work to do, we were going to be fine.

While he slept before work (he worked nights), I wrote this….

Never Before

Never before have I ever felt

So safe and loved

Never before has anyone let

Me come before them

Never before have I wanted

Something so badly

Never before has being alone

Felt so scary

Never before had I felt I had found home

Until I found you.

February 23, 1999

Times are rocky still, but after long talks that last the night through,

I feel much better.  Better with each passing day.

Oh, it’s so cheesy, but what a glimpse into what I was feeling then. I find it amazing to view my old writing.