It is hard to believe it has been 8 months since Marks death. Some days I wake up and ask myself did all of that really happen? Yes, it did. I am a widow. My kids no longer have a father. As a mom I want to shield my kids from pain, but I cannot take any of this away. It is an experience they were chosen to have at this young age in their lives. As a parent we can usually share our experiences with them on things because we have been there, done that, but this will be a lesson they will share with me someday. We try our best to ride the waves of grief. You cannot avoid or escape grief. It is best to face it and work thought it. If you don't, it will always be there, festering, and it will find you, making life harder. Don't get me wrong, I don't think you ever fully get over it and are cured from grief. I believe by dealing with it you learn how to positively cope and live. Because that is what we need to do, live.
Much has happened since I last wrote and too much to get into detail. In July, we celebrated what would have been Marks 42nd birthday with our dear friends the Sterns. We had wonderful food and made a toast in his honor. I started a new job and as unsure and scary as it was at first, and at such a hard time in life, it has been a good change for me. Svenja, our German exchange student came to live with us for three weeks this fall. It was a wonderful experience and would recommend it to anyone. We all celebrated birthdays with the twins starting it off turning 13, then myself, and most recently with Matt turning 18! We celebrated by pulling off a surprise party for him. The look on his face was priceless! So far I have been surviving three teenage boys in the house! But I do feel like I live at the grocery store.
The holidays were different but manageable. Those that are familiar with our cat Simon and his naughtiness appreciate that we could not put our Christmas tree up in the family room as we have always done. He would not leave it alone. So,this year it went up in our basement family area so that we could keep the door shut and the cat upstairs. I was sad at first, but realized that it was a blessing in disguise for me. A new area to celebrate and open our gifts and it made the pain of his absence more bearable. Since his "spot" was not empty as we never celebrated there before. I could share with you all some of the difficulties the boys and I have had over the months. But those are private to me. And I am sure you all can imagine some of those dark days. As for today, we are managing along. The memories and talking about Mark are not as painful and I can talk more about him without breaking down in tears. I think about Mark and miss him everyday.
Despite all we have been through we have much to be thankful for. I am thankful for the years I spent with Mark and the family we created. I am also thankful for the village that surrounds and supports my family every day. I honestly don’t know what I would do without them. We can laugh again and make plans. I will live in today.