annnnd a year ago today was the worst day of my life, but the best day of yours.
The hardest. Most challenging. Most fulfilling year.
here’s a little word vomit where my hearts been. cue lots of vulnerability.
I’m still learning to heal. give myself grace. learning to love better. stronger. it hurts. but I’ve spent the year hurting and feeling and healing. exploring. living. being on my own. the things he taught me to always do. no regrets. chasing the sunrise and sitting in the quiet. watch the birds but never miss the butterflies.
you never really see the impact somebody made on you until their gone. he made me feel so safe. secure. loved. he just really made me a better human. and in a moment all of that is gone.
most days I still don’t believe it. even when his cancer was so bad and he couldn’t eat, he would still call me every morning for scrambled egg breakfasts and steak dinners.
Imagine if we all loved like that. the most SELFLESS kinda love.
I find him in the sunrises. at the end of a hike. at the bottom of a waterfall. in the clouds of an airplane. The smells of a fire. the early mornings. I want to spend as many days. as many moments as I can in these places. closest to him.
The first couple of months I let myself get to this really sad place. Never thought I would really get out of it. But it clicked for me that that is SO not what he wants. That is SO not why he fought through cancer for two years. He fought for Saturday morning coffee. He fought to see me become a nurse. He fought to see Olivia’s first day of kindergarten. To see Cassidy lose her two front teeth. To hold the hands of his great-grandchildren. He fought to go on a hike and watch the birds. He fought for the simplicity and beauty of life. I have to do that for him. I have to live for him.
He saw so much beauty in this life.
Since last October 9th, I went on a cruise to Mexico. Spent Christmas in Boston. I packed everything up and moved to the beach for three months. i watched the sunrise over the ocean and talked to him. Skied, hiked, camped. Laughed. Cried. Been on my own. I went on a 10 day trip of my dreams out west. and most importantly, I started nursing school. These are the places I see him. I feel him. I find my peace and comfort. I pray this high to travel and explore and dream never dies.
Grief comes in waves. Some waves that seem just so big they crash you all the way to shore. But in between these waves, there seems to be life. And life that can be so beautiful. Like my first day of nursing school. That feeling of fall. Seeing Olivia at the zoo for the first time. Weddings and Saturdays morning runs. And you have effortless gratitude for those moments. Way more gratitude than those people who haven’t seen those 80-foot tall waves. Holidays. Birthdays. Anniversaries. Those hurt. But when you get through it, there’s this really cool peace. You’re ok. Soaking wet, bruised, and sandy, but nonetheless – you made it through.
We have a 100% survival rate for all hard days.
I was so innocent a year ago to what poppy’s death would do to me. Heck ya, there are days I just wanna crawl in a ball and cry. There are days I just want to freaking ask him if I’m doing alright. Go on a drive with him. Man, he loved to drive. But I’m so thankful I’m not the person I was a year ago. I’ve learned the beauty of vulnerability. I’ve learned to love more intentionally.
And I’ve really just learned my strength. We are resilient creatures.
Poppy was probably the biggest part of where my confidence has always come from. The reason I always felt beautiful, smart, secure– since losing him, words of affirmation have been big for me.
Before a big nursing school competency assessment last week, I was so so nervous. And I talked to my professor before and said, “are people normally this nervous?” and she literally grabbed my hands and told me –“ you know what to do. you have proven yourself. And nerves just mean you really care.” It was so simple - but man that ROCKED me. It just felt like pops was holding me in his right hand. Nursing school is hard. It's the thing poppy was always most proud of. And I have needed those words. (from someone besides my mom) (shoutout mom #1 fan). Find people who celebrate your wins. And the ones that do – oh my gosh pour life and love and gratitude and intention into those relationships.
You’re never really the same after loss. Bad days seem temporary. Good days seem so beautiful. Little things really don't bother you anymore. And you get this crazy amount of empathy for people. All people. I know wholeheartedly it will make me a better nurse. A better daughter. Better sister. Better wife and mom one day. And while the pain hurts, the growth is really, really cool.
My mom asked me the other night if she thinks we’ll ever be really happy again. the kind of happy you don’t have to work at.
It’s hard to answer that right now. a lot of days I have to work really hard at being happy. l. This past year the prayer was always survival. Survive my first birthday without him. Our first Christmas. Our first October 9th. But I think the prayer over this next year is happiness that surpasses all understanding. In the midst of hard days. in the midst of grief. in the midst of it all. I pray we find our happiness again. I know we will. Good things take time.
I guess the moral of it all is to love big. Live fearlessly. Be bold, brave. Just try and leave the world a little better than ya found it. I know poppy did.
We will never move on from this. But we will move forward. Stronger.
I miss him. I miss him. I miss him.
Thank God for the promise of Heaven.
Bob Offerman. I could write a book on how you changed my world. Life with you was so easy. You were my heartbeat. I don't know what I ever did to deserve that kind of love. Once in a lifetime kinda love. You made me so much better. Cheers to one whole year in the coolest place ever. Can’t wait to see you there.
you were my best. forever and always.
Annnnd if you're still here reading this - thanks for always being in our corner. This was kinda all over the place – but that's really how my hearts been. Through the hardest year ever. Better days are ahead. Really, really thankful.