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Open Wounds

15 August, 2017
I needed to write tonight as I am quite shaken to my core over the loss of a friend and the path my friend and her girls find themselves on. There have been moments over the past 36 hours that I have not wanted to share what I am experiencing because it truly does not compare to the pain they are experiencing. However, I decided to write because this moment I am in, will be experienced by other widows at some point in their life. The wounds will reopen while we hold those dear to us up, in their darkest moment.
It is in these times that we must revisit the moments that gave us strength and hope. This is one of my most powerful moments:
In my second year of widowhood, I travelled to a very healing place for a short trip. It was Year Two that I found myself in the darkest moments I have ever experienced. I knew I had to do something before the darkness overtook me.
I met with a therapist each day I was there. I had a Native American bodyworker channeling his ancestors’ spirits as I received the most amazing healing work. I met with a spiritual and life guide who provided a safe space to help me move forward and who also gave me tools to do so. I ran the paths in silence and ate the food in silence. Only interacting with those I was working with in healing sessions. I had energy work done by a woman who was so powerful, I can’t even begin to describe the visions I saw nor express the love I felt surrounding me.
It was on one of the last days I was there that I decided to walk the labyrinth. It took me a little bit to take the first step and I remember running past it twice before I felt ready. The path to walk was not wide and forced me to step carefully. As I wound my way around towards the center, there were times where my step faltered, where my head became dizzy, where my breath left me. The steps before I reached center were blurred with my tears streaming down my face and I felt myself collapsing to the ground as my feet took me one more step closer to center.
It was there, in the center, through my tears, that I saw handwritten notes, rocks placed in cairns, feathers, shells, pieces of cloth, of all the people who had taken the path I had just taken. Tokens placed in the earth. Tokens of their love and their connection. In this Center, I let the tears flow, the cries find their voice. I did not have a stone to set atop a cairn, nor a note or picture to leave. Instead, my tears rolled off my cheeks and onto the ground, my cries permeated the air and the silence – these were my tokens left there in that sacred space.
As I took my first step from the center of the labyrinth, I felt this wave of energy flow into me and the dark recesses of my grieving spirit. I took another step and it became more and more visible in the air around me. Then, I took another step and heard chanting and felt hands on my shoulders and on my arms. I closed my eyes and as I did so, I saw people standing beside me, lining the path of the labyrinth as it wound around, their hands gently guiding me, holding me, resting on me, giving me their strength and the strength of all who walked before me.
My eyes were open to the energy of life, of Spirit, and the ancestors of that land. I was given a gift in those moments. A reminder that I am never alone and that even in the darkest of times, even when I am unable to see clearly through the grief and the tears, they are beside me. Not just the ancestors of that land but my ancestors and every person that has walked this path before me, everyone I have known who has left this plane of existence before me, and all of those who love me and support me on this side of the veil, and most especially the husband that left me too soon.
In my grief and in my darkness all I could see was a vast chasm, a walk I was taking alone. The tears and the cries and this space I found myself in, allowed me to see the connection through the veil of life and death. The connection and the love of friends and family that surrounded me in my greatest time of need (and still do) and the connection that can never be severed between the living and the dead.
It is this experience that I am reminded of, as I grieve for my friend and her girls and for her husband. This is not the first tragedy to strike since Doug’s death but it certainly is one of them that has shaken me to my core. I would not wish these first days, months, and years of grief on my own worst enemy. I want to save her from this experience, from the sadness, the hurt, the anger, the loss. I want to shield her girls and just skip them all ahead to the future when the grief is less tortuous and where the tears still exist but laughter is part of every day. Where life is lived fully, authentically, and honestly.  I want to gather her friend, who is also at the one-year mark of losing her husband and tell her that she is strong and her loss and this loss at such a difficult time – she is also held up by all those who have come before her, her ancestors, her husband, her community, her friends. It will get better. I promise it will get better. The hurt, the anger, the grief, will lessen the grip – the roller coaster will level out and you will learn the dips and valleys because grief will always be a part of you but it will change.
As I do not have this power yet, I will take my place in the labyrinth, one of the living who has walked the road they find themselves on, who walks a path of loss and grief, and hold them both and all those who come after me – as part of the oneness of us all.
Love lives. It will always live.

 

*I hope that anyone who reads this understands that demons lie within each of us. There are times where these demons take over and all hope is lost. It is in these times that I hope you will reach out and get help because no matter how dark things appear to be – there is always hope. If you are struggling right now, there are people to help you at any time of the day – please pick up the phone and reach out. The National Suicide Hotline is there to help you, to show you the Hope. Please call them: 1-800-273-8255.

At the 1 Year Mark

25 July, 2016

In a couple days, it will officially be our 1 year anniversary from the day we walked into our new house in our new city.

Saturday marked the day when we locked our doors for the last time, after having a wonderful evening amongst friends in a house without furniture but a house filled with love. I’m quite positive all the happiness, the love, the laughter, was felt by the new family who entered the house the next morning…

Walking into that house 6 years prior, I fell in love with it. The signs were significant that I was doing exactly what I needed to do. My world was turned upside down, my future obliterated when Doug died. Finding this house made me feel like I had a place, that I would have a future – I didn’t know what it would entail but I knew it was the right decision.

It was five years later that I started feeling a pull back to this city, where my son was born and a city that I enjoyed so much. It wasn’t the first time I had wanted to be here – I was meant to live here…and I was going back home.

This past year has brought a time of transition but Lido and I rock transitions now…we know what we need to do to feed our soul, anchor ourselves and embrace all of the great things around us – even when it is a little difficult. Taking hikes in the park by our house allows us the quiet and the solitude to just be. Walking in silence, talking about things, opening our eyes to the little things around us, has helped in this transition to this new life out here. Lido has had his ups and downs but after the first few months at school, he flourished and now the only thing I’m worried about is the basic (and not so basic) parenting worries we all have for our kids no matter our circumstances.

The coast calls to us on a monthly basis. We have explored new areas and new beaches and frequented the old places. I am able to share stories with him. Stories of my life with Doug out here, where we grew up as a couple, just him and I. The adventures we had, the places we explored, where we celebrated. I wasn’t sure how I would react to being in “this place” and I’ve been surprised at my feelings of being surrounded by all of these memories – seeing the ghosts of our life, walking ahead of Lido and I. It brings me peace. A peace that I didn’t expect. Some of the more difficult places, as I drive by where I had “the phone call”, pulled over to throw up – well, that place is a bit difficult to pass but as I do, I hold it in love and ride the wave…

The sights we see on a daily basis are wonderful to behold and I’m constantly amazed at the beauty that surrounds us. I have loved this place for most of my life. Some of my first memories are of here, when my Mom and I lived here for a while…my green puffy down coat and playing in the water beneath a waterfall…many of you don’t know that I’ve lived here before. When I was three – this part of the country got into my bones and I always knew I’d return here.

I’ve begun to earnestly work on the house and make the changes I knew I wanted to make when I bought it. We are making friends and becoming part of the community more and more and reconnecting with old friends. Liam loves the stories I have about our life out here and more importantly – we love writing our new stories and that was what this move was all about – writing our story.

 

The biggest realization (or actually, reminder)  I’ve had over the past year is that this life we live, no matter our circumstances, no matter our past, is amazingly beautiful and when we embrace living it – even in the darkest of dark moments – our story is something to behold and it is equally amazing to see how moments can change everything and our biggest part in the story…to live it with gusto, with love, with compassion, with hope. There will be detractors and there will be people in your life that do not understand or tell you that you are running away or doing it wrong and it is up to you to keep putting pen to paper and writing YOUR story. When you stand firm in what you want in your life, what you want to surround yourself with, the people you want a part of your life – the voices of the naysayers and the detractors are hushed because of the roar of the supporters who love you and want to see where the journey takes you.

Life isn’t perfect and I make mistakes on a daily basis. It hasn’t been easy to be here the past year but without the hard parts, the beauty wouldn’t be as great. I’ve lost friendships, family…and those losses weigh heavily on me but I’ve learned that sometimes all you can do is send love to those people – from a distance – and that’s okay. I struggle with this but I stand firmly in wanting to live this life fully because honestly – why the fuck did Doug die? If I shrivel up, stay in my house, not get out and experience things…what does his death mean then? What does his life mean? What does my life mean?

Take a chance on life and live it fully. See the beauty in the simple and little things…the most amazing things do not need to be great. Support those around you – be happy for their successes and love them through their losses. Go out and live your life and take chances and be open to opportunities. Live love. Live authentically.

…and come visit us…its beautiful here.

Love always, in this life and the next,

Me

 

 

Move

20 April, 2015

Gosh – I haven’t posted here for a while…

No worries though as I’m writing elsewhere as well but I thought I might visit this page a bit more often now that things are moving…and Lido and I are moving…

Yup, that’s right! We are moving!

I started this blog when Doug and I moved to Portland in order for family and friends to keep track of our adventures. Who knew Facebook would quickly become the place to track people…but I still like this avenue and that is why I am picking this blog back up.

To get you all (whomever you might be) caught up on our lives, we are headed back to the wonderful Pacific Northwest in just a few short weeks. The house has been sold, house-hunting trip has been scheduled, movers ready to move our stuff…

And I couldn’t be more excited.

Stay tuned…

Year Five

23 September, 2014

Five Years.

It can’t possibly be true.

But it is.

This year, I found myself not in the tumultuous countdown of days but rather practicing the ability to block all feeling. I didn’t want to revisit the memories of our last weekend together. That last minute trip to the coast. I didn’t want to relive Lido’s birthday evening. I didn’t want to relive running from the car to the bakery shop to get cupcakes – a chocolate lovers for you, a sunflower one for Lido and a vanilla one for me. The smells, the sounds. The drive home from the birthday party that Saturday. Just you and me.

Unfortunately the practice of blocking all of this out means that it will come out eventually…and hit hard. It also feels so much worse when it seems that very few reach out any more. I still hurt. What you may be seeing on the outside, the face, the smile, the doing things, making memories – it isn’t all without pain. In fact, there is still much pain in every action. Every. Single. Action. Every day as our son does new things, learns new things, goes through growing pains, goes through happy moments – it is all still painful.

A phone call on the day he died wouldn’t kill you. A simple message. Nothing more than letting me know you are thinking about him. About us.

Not leaving us completely alone. No ties to you any longer. Not a part of a whole.

This is what has been on my mind the past 24 hours.

Then I remember those that have reached out. The note sent snail mail from a friend with a short simple note. The few texts I received from friends both old and new. These I hold onto.

I hold onto the memories I made with our son over the past week. It had been a long time since we traveled anywhere. It was nice. All I saw each day were hundreds of yellow and white butterflies. I even found a yellow and white butterfly shell on the ocean floor while I was snorkeling. They actually look like angel wings. Whenever I need him the most, I always seem to see yellow and white butterflies. They came in abundance.

I hold onto what I tell my clients – live life! Look for the people that are truly in your life and support you and love you. And above all else – Let It Go.

It was truly an amazing trip and we were able to take an enormous amount of donations to a school close to where we were staying. I’ll be blogging about that or at least sharing the link of the blog from the organization we worked with. We snorkeled and saw an amazing amount of starfish – massive starfish. Lido was a pro and spent a good three hours in the water one day just snorkeling in open water. He tans just like his Dad. He has his smile. He has so many similar qualities of the both of us. He is an amazing child and I loved when he woke up the day after my birthday – the day his Dad died – and said “Mom, I forgot to give you your birthday present. I can give you a couple right now though” and proceeds to give me the biggest hug and kiss ever. These are the very first words I’d like to hear on that day…it couldn’t have been more perfect.

Doug will always be in my thoughts. He is in my thoughts every single day. Please remember that as time passes, those that have lost, especially those closest to the loss – the spouse in this instance – still need your words. Still need your encouragement, your love. Don’t do it from afar. Even when it looks like I’m doing fine, I may not be. Even when it looks like I’m moving forward with my life, I still miss him with all of my heart. Most actions and most thoughts in my life include a part of him somewhere in my brain.

Year Five.

Sucks.

The Empty Guinness Can in the Cupboard

17 May, 2014

Tonight I went to dinner with an old friend. A friend the that has known me, well, forever, when forever counted.

It was a perfect evening. An evening which included understanding without explanation. It included memories that only encompassed two words. 

My friend, you see, was one of the first people to arrive at my side after Doug died. She was actually the second person to arrive in the aftermath. I remember clearly the first. She arrived that next morning I think. I can’t honestly remember clearly btu I do remember that I was sitting on the sofa, directly across from the front door. I had been thinking about what I was going to say to her when she arrived and how I needed to keep it all together…

She walked through the door, I looked at her, seeing she was trying to keep it together as well and I only remember the embrace. Her breaking down in  my arms, sobbing. Not sure what to do, what to say…

My friend tonight – she followed soon after. They were there that second night. Sleeping in the same bed. A grown’s man dream of three women in the same bed together. 

Tonight, over four years later, once again, taught me something about friendship. About grief. 

It had been a long time since seeing my friend. She and I go back many years…decades. 

It was at one point in our conversation that she said, “I don’t know how this will make you feel and I’m sorry if you cry but I’m sure I’ll cry as well but I still have the empty Guiness can that I drank when we went to the crash site. I have it up in a cabinet above the stove. Sometimes, I open the cabinet and it falls over or I have to move it and I always think of Doug – I hate Guinness. That is the one and only Guinness I ever drank”. 

I remember that. Several of my and Doug’s close friends flew in to Portland within days of his death. I knew a few of them would try to go the crash site and I wanted them to go there without being disturbed and I wanted to go myself. So I made it happen.  I rode in a jeep with two of my closest girlfriends and found myself pointing out landmarks and talking about the coffee places we passed on the way as well as the size of the trees…can we say “shock”…nothing more from me.

We had to hike a ways back to the crash site. 

I remember looking at one particular tree that was set a little off of the direct impact site and just feeling his presence there. Seeing him leaned up against that tree smoking a cigarette and drinking a Guiness and reaching out to me. Just letting me know he was ok. 

I remember drinking a beer there. I may have smoked a cigarette. I remember just trying to be strong enough for his friends. For my friends. Trying to not completely break down. I think I eventually did. I honestly don’t remember. 

But tonight, tonight, I remember seeing a friend celebrating the road I’ve travelled as well as feeling that she hasn’t been there for every step. I could tell it weighed heavily on her. Then she shared the fact that she had that empty Guinness can in her cupboard, not sure what to do with it…

Oh, the gift of knowing that it is there. 

I have no words. 

There is such comfort.

The hardest thing about this is the fact that it took four years to share. And that is okay. One of the biggest things I’ve struggled with is knowing whether or not I’m the only one grieving Doug’s death. 

Sure, you could say that it is ridiculous to think I am the only one grieving. 

Grief though, can be very isolating as I have found it to be and I don’t blame friend or family for this – I just think that sometimes and often-times this is just how it is. 

Tonight, I looked at my friend and told her that I didn’t want to not know about these things. I want to know – it brings me comfort. It makes me feel less alone. It makes me feel that our existence is really worth something. Instead of worrying about upsetting me, worry about not telling me enough. 

I want to hear stories. I want to know how you are grieving. I want to know how you are celebrating. 

A mutual friend of ours once told me that he always flies a kite on the anniversary of the death of his Father and that he did the same on the anniversary of Doug’s death. I like that thought. I like thinking that day will always be treasured as a special day. A day of remembrance of a friendship, relationship, mentorship. I like thinking that every time my friend opens her cupboard, she sees a little bit of Doug hidden away. Possibly popping out unexpectedly when the time is right. Remembering the hugs and the laughter. Especially the hugs. 

It makes me feel so not alone in my grief. It makes me remember that it was all real. That it wasn’t a dream. 

You sharing stories may make me cry but those stores fill my heart. Those stories you have, that are unique to your relationship with Doug are the thing that keep me going some days. They make me remember that it was all real. That he was real. Even as I move forward in this life, these stories – these stories – are running through my storyline. They are connected to me. They are a part of me. 

They help me. They inspire me. 

The can of Guinness in the cupboard is the same story of the box of ashes in my closet…

It is a reminder of a brilliant, loving, amazing life. A life that may not have been center stage for you but one one that would always remind you of what is real.

I share this only because I know that my friendship has grown through the sharing of the Guinness in the cupboard…We all should be so bold. There needs to be no fear of upsetting the situation more. No fear of releasing the waterfall of tears…all of that is ever present in some degree or another. 

I want to know and hear how you are grieving. How you have grieved. 

I see how important it is that I share the same with friends and family that have lost deeply…

Sarah, I remember the beauty of your Mom on your wedding day. I will be forever moved by your love for her through her sickness and death. I will never forget your tender touch and soothing nature. What I saw in you, being a part of that moment in time, will forever guide me. I blame you for my reentry into a spiritual belief. That early morning/late night in the chapel, kneeling when I didn’t want to kneel…but finding peace through your peace…that, my friend, will forever reside so deep in my heart. I see your Mom’s death as part of my rebirth. I saw her spirit then, sitting before you in the waiting room, smiling down on you and exuding this sense of peace and knowing that you, you would be fine. You my friend, are amazing. Your Mom – man – I learned so much from her in such a short period of time. I want you to know that I think of her often. I look to her as a guardian angel – directing me to help those less fortunate. I think of her most every day. Honestly, it is when I think of you that she is taking the spotlight…

Angie. I remember holding you. Or maybe it was you holding me…You were the first to arrive. You were the first to try and get me out to have some fun. I look at your support and I hope you know that I see your losses in a new light. I feel them. I witness them. I have a new understanding and view of loss and all I want to say to you – I love you. I love you for being exactly who I’ve needed you to be. I love you.

Staci. Your story tonight made me realize that there are people out “there” that need to read this. That may have no words or not know what to do when they are standing front and just off to the side of a great loss. What is it that you say? What is it that you do? Share. Communicate and meet the person exactly where they are at the moment – that is what we have both walked away with tonight. You were the second person to arrive by my side. I will never forget sleeping in my bed, flanked by you and Angie. Thinking how Doug would totally love the fact that three beautiful girls were in his bed…I also want you to know, that I think of you and your loss of your father. I acknowledge and remember him. I don’t want you to ever think I don’t see that as part of your life or our friendship.

There are so many others that have made a huge impact on my life and my journey but this isn’t about that – this is about what it is to remember – to share. Share the stories. Share your memories. Share with those that have lost. 

The stories help more than you know. Sharing how you remember them, honor them helps heal. 

So long have I gone only knowing my own grief. Knowing only my own stories. Not knowing if his life meant anything to anyone but me…share. 

Don’t assume they know or understand that you miss them too. Share the little things. Share the non-things. Just share. 

My heart is full knowing that there is an empty Guinness can in the Cupboard that goes along with the box of ashes in my closet…maybe we need to have the two meet sometime…

Where the Cat is Laying

13 May, 2014

Last night was rough.

Lately, Lido has been asking me to lay down with him when he goes to bed. I haven’t but maybe a couple times and last night was one of those times. There was a cool, almost cold, breeze blowing in through the open windows and the sun was just beginning to set. As we laid there we just chatted about different things. No real agenda. Just laying next to each other, enjoying our time. 

Then, Panda Kitty jumped up on the bed. We had been laying there enjoying the silence when she decided to take up space right next to Lido. She loves licking his hair, much like she did with Doug, and tonight she just cuddled up as close to him as possible. It was so nice laying there, hearing him giggle because Panda wouldn’t stop licking him or nudging up against him. 

I felt so at peace. I felt so grateful for the moment I was in. There were no outside thoughts entering my head, rather, I noticed how I was completely in the moment (except for that moment I recon). 

Then…

Lido said, “this is really nice but I really want my Dad to be laying where the cat is laying”. 

Smack.

Grief.

Straight through my heart. 

He covered his eyes with his arms and tried to keep the tears from surfacing. 

I just lay there. No idea what to say. No idea what to do. 

Only feeling the exact same sentiment. My mind taking me straight to imagining what it would be like with him right there beside us. Giggling with Lido. Just being. 

A sob broke through the wall his little arms made over his face. He turned over to me and just threw himself on me. 

I held him close. 

I tried wrapping my entire body around him, making no room for the grief, the sadness. 

We stayed like that for close to an hour. Him sobbing. Me, just holding him tight. 

 

Today has been tough. Its the end of the school year and we will be moving on to another new adventure at a new school. We’ve been cleaning the house and getting rid of things we no longer need or want. We’ve been inviting Mr. New and his kids into our life more and more. So many changes. 

Sometimes, honestly, I’d love to just keep things exactly as they have been. No new relationships. No new opportunities. Just staying exactly the same. Just the two of us. Just our thing. 

Its when the changes happen and the opportunities come that the fear creeps in. Its these moments that the loss feels so great again, so fresh. I miss the comfort that knowing most everything about each other brought. I miss the comfort of my unawareness of tragedy. 

 

This afternoon I had to just sit for a moment. To just cry. To say his name. To ask him to just give me a sign that he was around. To ask him for just one more hug. To ask him to just make me feel better. 

Through my tears, as I looked out the window, I saw something yellow dart past. Then again from the other direction. I was still crying and as if on cue, the moment I just needed a sign the most, the brightest yellow bird landed on top of the cherry tree we planted for him. That bright yellow bird looked at me through the window, cocked its head and flew off again. 

I dried my tears, smiled and went about my day knowing that he was indeed watching me, loving me and comforting me. I don’t get signs like this one very often and I certainly needed this one – one that I would never miss understanding. 

 

After picking Lido up from school, I told him about what happened. 

He asked if I had brought any snacks.

 

Ahhh…grief and children. They process in a very unique way. 

Training Wheels

16 April, 2014

I bought my son a bike for his 4th birthday. A bright blue bike with shiny metal and training wheels – included a bell that he had to have. 

He’s ridden it about a dozen times in the year and a half he’s had it…and I may be exaggerating with that number. It’s probably less than a dozen times – a handful?

The first year, he always opted for his razor or one of the little balance bikes that were too small for him. I didn’t really mind as I knew the ‘real’ bike was a little too big for him. I was just anxious for him to have a ‘real’ bike. One I could teach him to ride.

Fast forward to this spring.

Several weeks ago, he wanted to take the bike out to ride and I run next to him. He always loves going running with me but (unfortunately) is too big for a stroller. So, we headed out with the bike he has so far ridden a handful of times and had a good, short bike/run. A week later as we were driving home from his school he says to me from the backseat “Mom, I want to go ride my bike but I want to take off just one training wheel. Just one okay? Just one.” 

We got home, grabbed the bike, headed down to the trail and took one training wheel off. It took two minutes of him trying to ride, knuckles turning white, and his little body stiff as a board with fear before he told me he didn’t want to do this – he needed both training wheels. 

Fast forward to a week after this outing and again, on the way home, he says to me from the backseat, “Mom, I want to ride my bike without any training wheels. I won’t both of them off okay. Both of them. Not just one. Both of them. Okay Mom? Okay?” 

“Okay buddy” I say to him a little surprised at how adamant he was being that both training wheels be taken off. It wasn’t until yesterday that we really had time after school (and the weather cooperated) for him to get back out there and ride. The sun was out, the weather was nice and as I was talking to a neighbor, he came up to me with his Spider-Man costume in hand and asked me, “Mom, can I put my Spider-Man suit on to ride my bike?” 

“Sure buddy, go put it on and we will head on out to the trail”.

So, we headed out, Spider-Man and his bike with both training wheels still on but being taken off once we hit the trail, riding in front of me – full of spirit and excitement.

At the trail, I could only get one training wheel off and honestly – he pitched a FIT. I started getting angry not wanting this moment to be ruined by a pissy five-year-old and plus, I really thought he needed to practice a bit more with just one training wheel on rather than just throwing the both of them off and riding off into the sunset with a broken arm or leg…

I talked him into trying out just one again and he obliged and as he rode off, he was practicing getting the other wheel off of the ground and as he did so he whooped and hollered and turned around saying “okay Mom – now both of them!!!”

We walked back to the house to get a socket wrench to take the other one off and as we were walking I had this conversation going on in my head ‘I don’t want him to get discouraged and does he really know what this means and can he really do it and what if he falls, okay, I have my cell phone shit its almost out of batteries and crap he’s only ridden this damn thing like five times and he doesn’t want the training wheels on – why the hell did i pay for the training wheels…’

The socket wrench was found. The lone training wheel came off and Spider-Man and I headed back downy to the trail where there was nice soft grass and no thousand pound moving vehicles to worry about…

We were in the middle of the path. Spider-Man on his bike. My right hand holding onto the seat, my left the handle bars. Both of his feet were on the pedals ready to go. “Okay buddy. You ready? Now just remember, balance with your butt. Relax your arms and just pedal fast and try going straight. I’ll push you off and be right here beside you.” 

“Okay Mom. I’m ready. Let’s go.” 

A slow jog started, my hands still clutched to the bike. I let go of the handle bars and picked up my pace to keep up with his pedaling and within seconds….

“okay Mom you can let go now”

And he was off. 

No falling. No broken arms. No broken legs. Just a little boy in his Spider-Man costume full of determination and belief in himself – riding ahead of me whooping and hollering “woooohoooo – I’m doing it Mom, I’m doing it!”

Behind him, I’m crying and jumping up and down with my arms raised and screaming “YOUR DOING IT YOUR DOING IT KEEP GOING KEEP GOING BABY”!!!!

I remember a moment about five years ago. Doug was sitting on the sofa and Lido was playing on the floor and Doug said “I just had this great thought. I just can’t wait until I teach him to ride a bike. That moment is going to be awesome. Just awesome.”

Yesterday, as I held onto his bike, the seconds before I let go, I just kept thinking of that moment – five years ago when his Dad was looking forward to this moment. The very moment I found myself in. 

It is the moments like these that take my breath away and I find myself walking both within the moment and outside of it. Taking in everything little thing that was going on, burning the sound of his whooping and hollering into my brain, the excitement, the smiles – everything – while grieving the loss of this moment for his Dad. 

I was taught a lesson yesterday. With the changes that are taking place in our life and embarking on new chapters – sometimes its best to just throw both training wheels off and go for it. I feel that I’ve been walking slowly but steadily forward, training wheels still on, fears still there but not letting them get too close to the surface to mess with my plans. After yesterday though, seeing my son make this decision, knowing he had been thinking about this for weeks, dreaming about it, running it all through his head, practicing in his mind – and then literally just going out there and doing it – well – I’m throwing the training wheels off too. 

It was a great reminder to live boldly. Live fiercely. 

…and wearing a Spider-Man costume while doing it, isn’t such a bad idea.

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