Friday, December 7, 2012

I Did It

Well, I finally removed my rings last night. I took them off, then cried and wanted to put them back on. It's been a very hard night. I knew that it was time. I've been so aware of my rings for awhile now. I've worn them for 5 years, 3 of them without Chris. So, it was definitely time. I don't feel married anymore. But, I looked at the rings as a symbol of the love that we felt for each other. I know that my love for him is absolutely in no way diminished because I am not wearing the rings. But, why do I feel so awful today?

I have two wonderful children in my life right now, and they are what my focus is on. I cannot allow my grief to overtake my life. I will always grieve for Chris. Not a day will go by that I won't think of him and miss him. But, I just cannot allow the grief to take center stage. However, the 8th and 9th are always a difficult time for me, and this year is no exception.  Thankfully, I have two wonderful children that make life worth living. All that I have to do is look at them, or even their pictures, and I am reminded that my life certainly has purpose again.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

One Week Away

I have survived nearly 3 years without the love of my life. I still cry, just not nightly. I still miss him, with all my heart! I was fine, or relatively fine, on our wedding anniversary. I was content on Thanksgiving. Yet, "that day" is just one week away. I'm glad that it's on a Saturday night because every year, I light a candle at exactly 12:29 am on December 9. I also say a prayer for my beloved. So, at least this year, I will be able to stay awake without worrying about waking up so early for work the next morning.

I'm such a mess this year. I don't know why, so many great things have happened in my life. I have two wonderful children now. I'm getting ready for our first Christmas together. I have accomplished so much that I have wanted to do. Yet, there is this black cloud hanging over my head lately.

I think it's because I am more aware of my wedding rings than ever before. I am constantly fidgeting with it. Last night, I almost removed it. Permanently. But, I hesitated and decided to keep it on. I know that once I remove it, I will not put it back on. It's a decision that I've been pondering for awhile. And it's not a decision that I am going to make lightly. So, I have decided that I'm going to keep wearing it for just one more week.

It's been nearly three years and I am still clinging to Chris. I will always love him, no matter what. But, I just wonder if by continuing to wear this ring is what is keeping me clinging to the past? I know that he will always be with me, but am I still wanting something that I will never have by wearing this ring? I know that he is not returning. I know that the life that we had is over. I know that there has to be a time when I take more steps toward my future. I know that removing the ring does not mean that I love him any less, but for some reason, I'm so afraid to take it off. I know that he will not be forgotten. I know one day we will be reunited. So, one week it is... 12:29 am December 9.

Friday, November 2, 2012

All Soul's Day

Here it is. Another November 2, and I have to celebrate alone. It didn't hit me immediately this morning what day it was. But, when I realized that it was Friday, it hit me like a ton of bricks. I did not want to get out of bed. I wanted to stay there all day. How can it be that my life is filled with so many blessings right now and I feel so defeated?

I still love Chris and I still have this immense pain in my heart over what happened to him. I suspect that I always will feel this way.

I keep thinking of the day that he proposed. He was nicknamed "Cruise" because some people say that he resembled Tom Cruise (eh, I guess that I can see it.) Well, he lived up to that nickname the day that he proposed. I think of Tom Cruise jumping up and down on Oprah's couch when I remember that glorious day. He just about jumped up and down on the bed when he asked and I said yes!! I don't think that I had seen him smile bigger than that moment. We drove down to Ohio to get married, but ended up waiting until November 2, 2007. On that day, we went to the courthouse and said our vows. The judge that married us was such a wonderful man and he made that day even more special for us.

Being Catholic, and not to mention that one of Chris's cousin's is a priest, we wanted to renew our vows in the church. We picked the five year mark, I really don't remember the reason. Maybe we just agreed that it was a good number.

And here it is, the five year mark. And here I am celebrating this important anniversary without him. Well, I know that he is near, he is always near. And I'm sure that he's proud of what I have done and the blessings that are now a part of my life. But, I think that he might be saddened that on this day, I'm also sad instead of happy. I do count my blessings every day. And I'm thankful to be alive. However, I just can't help feeling like a huge piece of me is missing. Yes, I still have that hole in my heart and today, it beats very hard and is very painful.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Feelings of Despair

I hate having an "off" day. I hate those feelings of despair. Especially when they come at those times where you were just feeling OK. Lately, I've been very content with my life. Dare I even say "happy"? I have two wonderful blessings in my life and they are my pride and joy. I have finally started living the life that I wanted to live with Chris. Yes, it's very hard to do this without him. Yes, I think of him often. But, more often than not, those memories bring more smiles than tears. I know that he is proud of me and proud of what I have accomplished thus far.

I am at a point in my life where I actually want to live each moment. I want to grow old to watch my children accomplish each and every one of their dreams. I wake up each morning thankful that I am on this earth for another day. I count my blessings and am grateful for each and every one.

Yet, something happened yesterday. I was in the car with my daughter when a song came on the radio. A song that always, always reminds me of Chris. I smiled through the song and fondly remembered him singing and "dancing" around on our first date. Later in the day, I was driving alone when I had this profound sadness. I thought at first it was because I was leaving my children at my parents for the night. Then I realized that it was this vast hole in my heart that will never heal. I am just a week away from the fifth wedding anniversary. I haven't had this empty, heart crushing despair in quite some time. I hate it. I think everyday that I want to live my life to the fullest and when I've finally accomplished everything that I am supposed to accomplish, I will be reunited with Chris. Yet, sometimes, there is this nagging feeling in my heart, this bone crushing feeling that something is wrong with my life and realizing that what is wrong is that Chris isn't here to share this wonderful life that I've been given.

I can only hope that after time, these feelings of despair will fade. However, I'm not going to hold my breath on it.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

It's Been Awhile

I know that it's been awhile since I sat down and wrote anything. It's not because I don't have anything to write, I have plenty to say, it's rather not having the time. I now have two wonderful, beautiful children in my home!! It's exhausting to say the least. I work full time, plus a little extra sometimes on the weekends. I admire those men and women that were parents at the time that they lose their spouses! Not only are you grieving, but you have to take care of the children, maintain the house, and take care of the children's grief as well.

I love these kids. Even though I loved Chris with all of my heart, I never knew that I could love another human like this again. Of course, it's a different kind of love. But, I would have done anything for Chris and I certainly would do anything for my children as well. I truly thought that my heart was broken beyond repair when Chris passed away. But, I have learned that the heart can heal. Yes, there are scars that occasionally cause immense pain. But, when I hear the laughter in my home, or see a smile on my kid's faces, the pain lessens.

Chris and I went to the courthouse and eloped. We had our reasons for rushing our wedding, so that is why we didn't marry in the church. It was very important for us to say our vows in church though. So, we made a promise to each other that on our fifth wedding anniversary, we would renew our vows in our church. In just over two weeks, it will be our fifth anniversary. I can't help but be sad and depressed. We will never get to say our vows in the church. This year will mark more anniversary's that we have been apart than we celebrated together. I'm not going to lie, it hurts.

Thank goodness I have my wonderful children in my life. They have been such a wonderful blessing. The only thing that would make my life even better right now is if Chris was at my side helping me raise our children.



Monday, August 20, 2012

Missing Chris

I woke up this morning missing Chris. He was the first thing on my mind this morning. You may not think that it is such a big deal, but it really is. While I still miss Chris nearly every moment of every day, I hate to say that he isn't always the first thing that I think of in the mornings anymore. I don't know if it's good or if it's bad. But, the past two morning's, he was the first thing on my mind.

I think that it has to do with a run-in with someone. This someone, as it turns out, is going through some stuff in her own life. I was warned, by many people to stay away from her; but, I have a very soft heart and didn't listen. She told some lies about me and someone that I care about deeply. When I confronted her with it, she got nasty and told more lies. I guess that some people don't understand that when you are caught in one lie, you can't be believed no matter what else you say and I dismissed anything else that she had to say.

So, it got me to thinking that maybe if Chris were here, this wouldn't have happened. She might have turned out to be a better person. Chris was such a loving, giving, and caring person that he couldn't help but affect those around him. I know that in the past, this person came to Chris and looked up to him. So, it gave me just one more reason to miss him.

I certainly didn't dwell on this. But, it really gave me pause to think about the impact that he had on other people's lives. And it made me miss him even more.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Faking it

I went through the greater part of this journey faking my happiness. I faked laughter when a coworker told a joke, I faked a smile when greeted in the morning. It was very easy to do too.

I just read an article about criminals faking mental illness and how it's really not that easy to fake. I will admit that it hit home for me. This monster that killed Chris, or perhaps his lawyer, decided that he was not mentally competent to stand trial. So, the trial was postponed to allow him to be examined. I really truly had mixed feelings about it. I initially thought that he was faking it. And then fear set in that he would be able to fool the doctors. Even despite my own doctor, that works for the state to examine mental competency, assuring me that it is not easy to fake, I was afraid.

Yet, I thought that if he was really, truly mentally ill, then he absolutely needed help. I almost wished that he was mentally ill because what he did was senseless and then I thought possibly, I would get some answers. But, alas he was found competent. As a matter of fact, they held the trial earlier than anticipated because the doctors declared him competent much earlier than they had anticipated.

I was relieved. He was going to stand trial and be held accountable for his actions. Yet, a part of me was very sad because I knew in that instant that I would never get my answers as to why this had to happen. I was also so very glad that he wasn't able to fool the doctors and get away with it.

So, here I am, two years after the trial has ended and after reading just one article, I feel as if it happened yesterday. I think that I'm getting really good at faking something else. And that's forgiveness. I don't forgive him for what he did, and I don't anticipate that I ever will. But, I can give the appearance that I do by locking him in the back of my mind and pretending that he doesn't exist. That's the best that I can do.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

The Bed

Awhile ago, I realized that I didn't just sleep on my side of the bed. If my back was to Chris's side, I would sleep as far away from his side as I could get without falling off the bed. If I slept facing his side, I got as close to his side of the bed as I could, without actually sleeping on his side of the bed. And when I slept facing his way, I held his pillow as tight as I could. And yes, I actually would spritz it with his cologne every now and then.

Something happened between then and now. I now sleep dead center in the bed. I don't know when it happened, but it did. It doesn't matter which way I'm facing, I'm always right in the center of the bed. I do occasionally hold his pillow tight. But, more often than not, Brutus has decided to sleep in Chris's empty spot and I cuddle with him. Hence his new nickname, "Cuddlebuddy". I've actually noticed that unless I'm upset and need the comfort of his pillow, like a security blanket for me, I sleep facing which ever side my Cuddlebuddy is on. 

Yep, I take up the entire bed now and my little minpin dictates which way I sleep these days. I cuddle with him instead of my husband. But, he brings me comfort because my husband no longer can.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Another Birthday

Well here it is. My third birthday without Chris. Surprisingly, I am doing well today. Great, in fact. The past two years, I was deeply depressed. I thought how can I be happy and enjoy my day without Chris? How could I celebrate another year without him?

Well, I don't know if it's having my daughter in my life, or that I am beginning to "heal", but I have been smiling all day. I don't expect anything from anyone, yet my co-workers have made me feel special today. One even bought me a beautiful and delicious cake!! (That I won't dare bring the rest of it home.)

So, I'm another year older and it's another year without Chris. Yet, I'm living my life and even though I still can't wait until the day that I am reunited with him, I am making a birthday wish of many, many more to come.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

International Widow's Day

Today, June 23, is International Widow's Day. It is a United Nations ratified day of action to address the “poverty and injustice faced by millions of widows and their dependents in many countries”. While I don't live in a country that shuns it's widows, or worse, and I have not suffered any great injustices, I still have experienced the "stigma" of being a relatively young widow. 

I want to thank each and every widow that I know personally and via the Internet. I cannot stress enough how tough the past two and a half years have been for me and how much my widow(er) friends have been there for me. I was so distraught with grief in those first few months (OK, maybe my intense grief lasted well over the first year) that I seriously did not want to live in this cruel world. I did not want to live in a world without Chris. 

Don't even get me started with the horrors that I had to witness.

However, in addition to my family (which includes Chris's family), there was a group of people that supported me. They let me know that it was OK to feel what I was feeling and that they were always going to be there for me. Those are my "widda's". Most of my smiles and belly laughs come from having dinner with them. Or reading something that one has written on the Internet. 

They "get it". At two and a half years, I don't have to hide my tears from them. I don't have to hear how I have to move on or get over it. They have been and always will be there for me. 

Even though I am moving forward with my life and I am reaching those goals that I have set, I will always need and have my widda's to walk with me every step of the way.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Moving Forward, Again

It's 2:30am and I can't sleep because I'm replaying my day over and over again. There comes a time in your life where you have to break down the barriers and say that you are not going to let anything stop you from moving forward. I am at that point today. I woke up this morning just like every other morning expecting nothing special. But, things have been strained the past couple of days, and I completely let them get the best of me. Well, something remarkable happened this evening and I had an epiphany. I am more determined to reach my goals. I got an inspiring email that had me sitting up and remembering what my goals in life are and that I'm not going to let anything stand in my way. So, I am getting back on track and I am more determined to see it happen!!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Two and a Half Years

I absolutely cannot believe that tomorrow it will have been two and a half years since I got that fateful phone call. And Saturday will mark two and a half years since he's been gone. Where has the time gone? It feels like just yesterday that we were laughing on the sofa before I went to work. It was just moments ago that we were eating our last meal together. Yet at the same time, if feels like an eternity since I've seen him.

Two and a half years is longer than we were married. How can that be? How can he be gone longer than we were married? At some point, I knew that this day would arrive. I just had no idea that it would knock me over like it did.

Yes, the world keeps spinning and I used to think that I was just along for the ride, oblivious to the time that was passing me by. The past few months with my daughter have been wonderful. I do know that if Chris were here, she would not have been in my life. But, I don't look at is as Chris had to pass away for this. I look at it as she came into my life to lift the grief that was holding me down. And help me start a new chapter in my life.

I can no longer look at the what if's. I have to accept my life for what it is, what has happened, and how I ended up here. I'm in a relatively good place now. My life is finally getting into order and my plans are finally coming to fruition. The only thing missing is Chris. I try not to dwell on it, and I still talk to him. I still hold his pillow close at night. I don't know how much longer I will be like this. But, I do know that I will never stop missing him. Two and a half years is just a drop in the bucket as far as how much time I will spend missing him. He was truly my first love, and I will forever preserve a spot in my heart for him.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Realization

I had a nice Memorial weekend up at Higgin's Lake. I've always found it to be very peaceful up there. However, this weekend something clicked inside my head. I'd realized that it's been almost two and a half years since he passed away. I couldn't believe it. That is longer than we were married. How could this have happened? Wasn't it just yesterday that he literally jumped out of our bed and asked me to marry him? Wasn't it just yesterday that Judge Somers married us? Wasn't it just yesterday that we were sitting on the couch talking about the toy snowmobile that I bought his son for Christmas? I know that it wasn't, but it sure feels that way.

I miss him terribly. As much as I love going to the house up there, I sometimes dread it as well. That was where we spent our honeymoon. That was where we spent our last vacation together. I remember them both like they were yesterday. I kept replaying those two weekends in my mind.

I will always remember fondly us cuddling in front of the fireplace to get warm and not wanting to let go of each other when the room warmed up. I smile every time I think of him putting up the tent behind the house so that he could still get the feel of camping out, and also of him running a long extension cord to the tent so that I would feel comfortable with my laptop and other electronics.

He was thoughtful. He treated me so kindly and always wanted me to know that I was loved. I miss him. I miss everything about him. Yes, even the traits that I complained about! If I could have him back, I would let him smoke all he wanted in the house. You have no idea how I long to smell his cigarette smoke.

I can't believe that in just a couple of weeks it will have been two and a half years. The world certainly does keep spinning and time keeps ticking even though he's gone. So, I am doing my best to live and live my life for both of us. But, where in the world did all that time go?

Monday, May 21, 2012

Meltdowns

Life has been stressful lately. I've been keeping it together as best as I can. However, some of the time, it just gets too much to bear and I have a mini meltdown. I've learned from the past that if I feel the tears coming, I need to let them roll down my face. It's just really hard when the meltdown occurs while I'm driving with my daughter in the car! Thank God it only happened once while driving with her!

It's this single parenting thing. It's life's little wrenches being thrown into my gears. It's not having Chris here to tell me that everything will be OK. For the most part, I'm happy. I'm doing OK. But, there are those moments where every little thing adds up and I can't help but breakdown and let the tears fall.

I have been asking myself over and over again, why did this have to happen? I know that my life would be drastically changed if Chris were still here. I know that I would not have my beautiful daughter. But, I can't help but wonder what if? Would we have a daughter together? Where would we be?

Losing Chris has been the single hardest thing that I have ever had to contend with. I still feel the hole left in my heart. I know that it will always be there. I just wish that it didn't hurt so much. Even after almost two and a half years. In the midst of my meltdowns (which really aren't as bad as they were) the single most thing that would alleviate them is Chris. However, if he were still with us, I wouldn't be having these meltdowns.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Dare I Say It?

Life at this moment is good, things are going smoothly and according to my plans. My daughter came into my life Friday April 13th at 2 pm. And she's absolutely adorable!! I feel so lucky to have her in my life. For privacy reasons, I can't discuss the details about her. Just know that I love her very much and feel that she's an absolute blessing. And I think she's going to help me heal my heart.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter

It's my second Easter without Chris. It's not any easier. However, I'm finally ready to host a family holiday and the entire family will be here, including my grandma (Chris's grandma). I think this is a step forward in my healing. I tried to host a family holiday before but couldn't. Thanksgiving was the last holiday that we spent together and we hosted the family. So far, no tears. I don't know how I'll be at the end of the day. But for now, I'm remembering only the happy times.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

My License

I was surprised to get my mail yesterday. I received an actual paper license for my fostering. I'm so excited to start this journey, yet I'm scared too. I have no idea what child I will welcome into my home. Boy, girl. Toddler, teenager. Shy, outgoing. I really just want to make a difference in a child's life. I know that the most difficult thing will be having to say goodbye when he or she goes home to his/her family. Well, it will be bittersweet. I will be overjoyed that this child will be going back to his/her family where he/she belongs, yet I will miss him/her in my home. I already know this. But, hopefully the time spent with this child will be rewarding for both him/her and me.

All this has me thinking of my stepson a lot lately. His birthday is in a few days. I miss him terribly. But, his mother won't permit me to see him. I have given him Christmas gifts in the past, and I thought about giving him a birthday present. But, the mother doesn't bother to thank me or have him thank me in any form. She doesn't even have my grandmother (well, Chris's grandmother, who gives him my gifts) thank me from him. So, I think that in lieu of a gift, I will make another deposit to his college fund. I've tried making amends with her, but to no avail. The only person missing out is Chris's son. I am the person that knew Chris best over the last few years of his life. And she doesn't want his son to know the sober Chris or me. I made a scrapbook for my stepson. But, I was told that it would probably be best if I didn't give it to him just yet. I doubt that he will ever get that book. I just can't see her allowing me to give it to him. I even set aside some of Chris's belongings to give to him and told her that my stepson could come over and get them. Well, I'm sure that it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that she never came by to pick them up.

At least I can say that I've tried. I've made attempts to see him, I've made attempts to give him some of his father's things. However, I've accepted that he is no longer in my life. I will always love my stepson and keep a special place in my heart for him. It's a shame, but I will have my own child and a foster child to nurture and love. I'm anxiously awaiting the phone call that they have a child matched up with me. Despite me missing Chris desperately and missing his son as well, life is good. And I only see it getting better. I truly believe that Chris is my guardian angel looking out for me. Getting this license is just the beginning of the rest of my life.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Dreams Don't Die

For a long time after Chris's passing, I thought that my dreams ended when his life ended. But, I have made some personal strides in my life and I no longer believe that. I know that just because Chris isn't here doesn't mean that my dreams have to fade. They are just altered a bit.

I struggled whether to make this news public or not. But, I decided to announce my news because there are so many new widows each day who thought like I did about dreams fading away. They struggle thinking that their world has ended and can no longer go on. (At least that is precisely how I felt for thirteen months after his passing.) So, I decided to write a little about my dreams and goals and how I'm not going to let them die.

I can now say that I am not letting our dreams die. I had a wake up from a widower that got me thinking. Did I want to live my life just existing, or did I actually want to live my life?? I have chosen to follow his lead and I am now living my life for both Chris and myself.

One of the dreams that we had was to have children. I am proud to say that I have not let that dream die. I will be a mommy. Some little girl or boy will call me "mommy." Is this the way that I dreamed that it would happen? No, absolutely not. I dreamed that my child would be calling Chris "daddy". But, life changed that for me. A monster came into his life and changed that for me. I will never hear my child call Chris "daddy". And yes, my heart breaks. So, this news of becoming a mother was very bittersweet. But, this is something that I dearly wanted and I know that Chris is happy for me.

In the meantime, I have taken a year long journey to become a foster parent. I am so very pleased to announce that just last week I was licensed to foster children. So, in addition to having a child with Chris's last name, I will help a child in need. The only thing that would make me happier right now is to have Chris at my side to welcome these children into our lives.

So, keep your dreams alive. Even though your life has changed dramatically, your dreams don't have to fade away.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

The Right to be Happy

Today was my first day off in over two months and my first full weekend off in almost three months. It was an incredibly beautiful day. I drove down the freeway with the sunroof open and the windows down. The radio was blasting. I loudly sang along with Fun, Grouplove, and Childish Gambino. I realized just how happy I was in that moment. I mean, how could I not be happy listening to that music on a day like today? But I quickly wondered if I had a right to be happy. How could I be happy, this happy when Chris suffered such a horrific end to his life? Today is St. Patrick's Day and I'm part Irish. I should be happy today, not questioning it! Today is also the second sadiversary of a dear friends husband's passing too. I should be in NYC with her. But, I know that she has many people surrounding her that love her. Yet, I felt awful when I was smiling and I thought of her. Then I started to think of all my widda friends and all of their spouses who can't enjoy this wonderful day with us. Well, let's just say that my good mood was no more. I so desperately want to be happy and live my life for Chris and me both. But it is so hard when I constantly think about what we would or should be doing on a beautiful day like today. Not a day goes by that I don't think of him and wonder what we would be doing. It really sucks when I feel that I can't even enjoy a smile or the sunshine anymore.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Contentment

What a roller coaster ride the past month has been. I have so many positive things going on in my life that I should be happy. But, because Chris isn't here everything is overshadowed in greyness. Maybe it's that I just came off of have horrific nightmares. Or it could be that I was just sick. Or possibly Leslies one year sadiversary? It could even be the weather. Who knows? All that I know is that right here, right now I should be happy. But I can't muster a smile for the sake of happiness. Sure when someone says hello to me, I can flash a genuine smile for a moment. But, that moment is fleeting.

 I know that there are all these wonderful things happening to me in my life. I acknowledge them all. I embrace them. I even look forward to the future. I plan for the future. I live my life not just for today, but for tomorrow as well. I just can't get beyond contentment for my life. I think that possibly once I'm able to announce that I've reached one of my goals I will be happy. But for now, it's lonely contentment for me.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A Downward Spiral

I woke up February 14th as if it were just another day. My day proceeded normally; well as normally as normal goes these days anyway. Then a chipper coworker went out of his way to say "Happy Valentine's Day Ann!" I really wanted to let him know that you really don't wish widows a happy Valentine's Day. Especially widows like me that still wear their wedding ring. But, I suppose that he was just trying to be nice. What it did for me was start this downward spiral of grief.

 It wasn't just that day. It also snowed here right before the 14th. I used to think that the snow was so beautiful. So pristine. Now, however, when I see snow falling I can only think of cleaning off my car, getting that fateful phone call, then finally seeing Chris alive for the last time. Snow is no longer beautiful for me. It is tainted. All I see now is the dirty snow at the side of the road instead of the crystalline white on the trees.

Another event was the year sadiversary of my dear friend Leslie's passing. I can't believe that it has been a full year since she has been an angel in heaven. She was already an angel here on earth. Truly she was. My heart just sank on February 11th as I remembered what a wonderful impact she made on my life.

 So, I can't pinpoint exactly which event started it. It may have just been a combination of all three. But ever since February 14th I have been having the most horrific nightmares. I am able to sleep. But, I dread closing my eyes because I am thrust back into that night of December 8, 2009. If  I'm not having images of that night, I'm dreaming of other horrible things that I'm sure the censors wouldn't allow in the general movies. I wake up like that scared little girl; that girl that was afraid of the dark and couldn't sleep with the closet open. I want to immediately turn on the lights. I hold my dog close for comfort and fall back asleep only to be right back in another nightmare.

 Is this what my life has become? Am I to live my nights afraid of the dark? Am I going to be fine for awhile then suddenly have horrible, grizzly, graphic dreams? I hope not because I have finally found my footing for the future and I want to live a normal, or as normal as normal gets, life.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Smiling

I've found that recently I've begun to smile again. Not that fake smile where you put it on so that everyone will think that things are OK. It's a genuine smile, look in my eyes when I smile and you'll see that it's genuine. When someone asks how I'm doing, I smile big and say "good." And wow, I actually mean it.

I don't hang my head down when I walk. I hold my head up high because as terrible as this tragedy was, I am still alive. My life has meaning and purpose again. The monster that ended Chris's life and made mine a living hell is banished to prison with no chance of ever seeing freedom again. I have sighed a huge sigh of relief, and gotten back up on the horse (so to speak).

Life isn't all sunshine and rainbows, I learned that the hard way. But, when times are good for me, like they are right now, I can't see the dark clouds. I'm by no means "over it" or "moving on"; I am merely beginning to see that I have a life in front of me and I want to be happy. And today, as I write these words, I am very happy.

Monday, January 23, 2012

It's Over

Finally, it's all over. The monster's appeal was denied. I actually have mixed feelings about it. I want to be happy that there is no chance that he will be free, yet the whole reason that he won't be free is because Chris was murdered.

I read the entire decision last night and it was filled with "we disagree", and "we hold that defendant’s constitutional rights were not violated and therefore, he is not entitled to reversal"! I sighed a huge sigh of relief and couldn't sleep after I read it.

I am still filled with hate for this monster. I even hate to see his name, and I refuse to write it anymore. Yet, I want the world to know what a monster he is and what he did to my beloved Christopher.

For the past year and a half, I have had this black cloud over my head. What if he is granted a new trial? What if the verdict is reversed? What if, what if, what if... Now, I don't have to worry about that. I know that this monster will never know freedom. He took that freedom from Chris, and Chris made sure that his freedom was taken away too.

Now, I just need to get him out of my head and go back to pretending that he does not exist.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

A Great Start

I really wasn't expecting a good start to the new year. I was thinking more that it was going to come in with a whimper rather than a bang. The bang came a few days after the new year, but it's here and I'm excited. I want to shout from the rooftops what is going on. But, it's not "official" yet, so I'm going to keep being cryptic. Just know that I am one step closer to my Big Goal. I think that I got the approval that I needed, I'm just waiting for it to be official. Then the waiting in the next step begins. I am elated. I'm relieved. I haven't felt this good since 8:10 pm on December 8, 2009. I can't believe that it has been that long since I've felt true happiness for my future.

Yet, there's a sadness behind it. When I got home from work last night and cuddled up with Chris's pillow, I found myself talking to him about it. He is the one that I wanted to tell right away. He is the one that I wanted to share my happiness with. But, I can't have him hug me back and hear him say, "wonderful baby!" So, my feelings are conflicted. I'm so very happy for what is happening in my life, especially that I'd thought that this chapter in my life was closing. Yet, I'm so sad because the ONE person that I want to share it with is no longer here. My eyes kept looking around the bedroom last night for him. I long to feel his touch on my face, to see his smile, and to hear him say that he's happy for me. I just hope that he's smiling down on me and is indeed happy for what is happening in my life.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Another New Year

Here I am alone on another New Years Day. The only difference between this year and the last two is that I'm not wallowing in my sorrow. I'm alone today because I chose to be alone today. Of course I wish that Chris was here beside me and I wasn't writing these words. But, that is not my life. That is just a dream. I still can't believe that he's gone. I hate that it's one more year that we will be apart. I hate that the clock keeps ticking away and time keeps rolling along. But, I have accepted it. It doesn't mean that I have to like it though. I still have hate and anger in my heart for he monster that murdered him. It's just another year that I won't forgive him. Why should I? He took away the absolute most precious thing to me. He also took away my hopes and dreams. I felt like I died that awful day. I am not making any resolutions this year. I feel that all that I can do is continue to survive. I haven't survived this, I continue to survive. It's not over for me. I have to live without Chris every day and every night, I am reminded that he's not here. So, I continue to survive another year without him.