grief · Life · loss · Poetry · Self confidence · Self-love · Thoughts · Words

Most Days

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Most days I’m sitting idle at the intersection of hope and despair.

Either it is all going to work out or I will completely fail.

There seems to be no gray area.

It’s all or nothing.

Most days I’m wishing away the moments, thinking about the way things could be, the way they should be.

Regretting the past and all the mistakes I can’t erase.

It seems I journey back to the days of long ago more than I plan for the days ahead.

Most days I feel like I’m running around in circles.

The same endless day happening over and over.

Rinse, wash, repeat.

Most days I’m just trying to get through the day without getting lost in time.

I wake up in the morning and it’s as though my day has been fast-forwarded to night’s darkness in the blink of an eye.

I long to feel truly alive and in the present.

To feel this sense of purpose that everyone talks about.

To have a purpose.

But most days, I’m just existing.

Breathing my way through another twenty-four hours.

friends · grief · Life · loss · love · Poetry · Relationships · Words

Longing for you

goodbye

You are my entire weakness. 

Every time I see you I want you but I know I can never have you. 

You belong to someone else. 

If life were different, another time, another place, we would be soul mates instead of friends. 

I know you feel it too. I see it in the way you look at me, the longing, the sadness.

I hear it in your voice when you say my name.

I wish I could stop feeling this way but my heart is so dedicated to you. 

It skips a beat every time you are near me and a thousand tiny butterflies set flight. 

I desire to know a life with you. 

The taste of your mouth on mine, the feel of your skin against my own, your hand slipping through mine.

We’d spend dark nights concealed by the shadow of the moon and early mornings in the suns balmy rays.

I wish, but when did wishing for something ever make it real?

We will stay familiar as friends.

I will laugh and smile when I see you and feign that I don’t feel a thing. 

And when you leave with her, you will be taking a piece of me with you once again. 

This is the way it must be. 

In this version of time we are not destined to be. 

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Beauty · Faith · God · grief · Happiness · Life · loss · love · Marriage · Parenting · Relationships · Religion · Words

Stop waiting before it’s too late.

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Waiting 

We are all waiting for something. 

To be Thinner. 

To be Happier. 

To be Richer. 

To be More Fulfilled. 

What if one day, on our death beds, our bodies nearly paralyzed from old age, we were only waiting for death to come and take us. 

Would we look back on our lives and see that we never stopped waiting?

If only we had lost the weight, we’d have worn that bathing suit. The one hidden in the back of the drawer that we always told ourselves “next year”. 

If only we’d had more money we would’ve been more fulfilled, led a happier life. We made money, but it was never enough so that we were rich (or so we thought). 

And lying there in that bed, your body nothing like it used to be, a weaker version of the once strong counterpart, would you be glad that you had waited? That you were never enough to be enough. 

The bathing suit eventually got thrown away and never enjoyed the suns warm rays or the splash of cool water. While our children and husband played on the shore and swam in the deep, we sat in a chair on the sidelines, watching, wishing, waiting.

The job we had, finally ended in retirement. We had so many years clocked at a place that took up a huge portion of our lives but we never really enjoyed one day of it. We were too busy wishing for more, never really seeing how blessed we were to have this job in the first place. After all it provided us our homes, cars, food, clothes and so much more. 

Lying there in that dark hospital room, hearing the beeping of the monitors, the steady rhythm of our heartbeat, surely we will wish we had stopped waiting to participate in our life. We will weep, saddled with regret. Things like being thin enough to wear a bathing suit or having more money will seem so small and insignificant in the end. In the sum of life, we will know how little these things truly meant, but it will be much too late to fix it. 

Right now, before it is no longer an option to live without the restrictions of old age, you have two choices:

1. Keep waiting

2. Start living today

The one you choose will determine everything.

regret

grief · Life · loss · love · Relationships

Losing You

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That day is etched in my mind and it will be forever, this I have no doubt.

I was in the shower. I remember feeling like something was off but I didn’t know what it could be. I’d felt like that since I had woken up. Was this a premonition? My son, who was 2 years old at the time, was safely napping in his room. My husband was safely at work, I had recently spoken to him, but something just felt not quite right. I brushed it off and tried to enjoy the hot water as it melted into my skin. A few minutes later the phone rang and I quickly grabbed a towel, dried off as best I could in a few seconds and dashed out of the running water to answer. My dad’s voice filled the silence and my world came crashing down around me. “Jay’s gone” he said. Confused I asked “Gone where?”. “He’s dead Jennifer” my dad cried. I was speechless for a moment then “What do you mean he’s dead. He can’t be. He just had his 39th birthday 9 days ago. It’s not possible.” Tears streamed down my face as I continued to argue with my dad about why he must be mistaken, my brother, Jay, was much too young. In our broken state we never spoke about how he had actually died. I, in my disbelief, my dad in his deep misery. “Call your mom will you?” he asked me. “Please call her and make sure she’s ok, then you need to go get her so that she’s not alone”. Our call ended and my next one, to my mom, began as It suddenly occurred to me that I had no idea how he had died.  She was distraught and in the same disbelief that I was in. “He was at work and just fell over and died but I’m sure once we get to the hospital this will all be a huge mistake. I bet he will be okay” she said.  I agreed with her because who just suddenly dies at 39? Especially someone who isn’t sick. Someone I just spoke to the day before. This had to be wrong. I proceeded to call my husband at work as I ran into the living room and fell down on my knees, crying out. My son woke and ran to me. I didn’t mean to startle him, but like a glass overflowing with too much liquid, my own body could not contain the grief.

One moment ran into the next and my mom, husband and I were finally entering the doors at the hospital, only two of us certain that my brother was still alive. Our hearts racing, we quickly found out that the hope we were holding on to, we would be forced to let go of it. Holding hands, we were all shown into a room, the darkest, coldest room I’ve ever been in. I still hate thinking about that room. My brother was there, lying on a cold, silver table with a white sheet draped casually across him. I wanted to run. I wanted to get out but instead I bravely walked closer and peered down at his face. Only it wasn’t him. Death seemed to have stolen away his very essence. It was his body, his face, his hair but not him. His soul, what made him who he was, was gone. It was the strangest feeling to be standing there, in that small, cold room, the white walls seeming to close in on me, and noticing death up close. I had no idea what it would be like, seeing lifelessness up close. I felt light-headed, dizzy, scared, sad, so many emotions colliding together all at once. I took his hand, kissed his forehead and did my best to hold it together for my mom. He was my brother and my grief was an endless deep, but she had lost a son, I couldn’t even imagine the depths of her loss. We soon found out that his cause of death was from an electrical imbalance that had caused his heart to stop beating. “It happened so fast” the Dr. told us, “He died instantly and didn’t even know what was happening” he finished, trying to comfort us. Comfort was the last thing we felt in that despairing moment.

Not a day goes by that I don’t think about my brother and wonder what he would’ve accomplished. Would he have gotten married and had kids of his own? I think about all the years he’s missed out on being an uncle, something he was so excited about. I now have three boys and know he would’ve loved being a part of their lives. We’re all missing him and the impact he would’ve had on us. We will never really know what would’ve been. His story ended sooner than it should have. I feel like there were still so many chapters left to write.

Death is hard. It rips out a piece of you that you never get back. It destroys you. Time has been my savior though. Lots of time. Years. Time takes all the little broken pieces and slowly starts to rebuild them. Yes, they are cracked and not perfect but one day they seem to kind of resemble what used to be. Some days the pain gets into the cracks and you just learn how to deal with it. Other days the cracks let air in and you can breathe and live without suffering. One thing death cannot take away from me is the 39 years I got with him and all the memories we made.

Today I sit, looking out the window, with a heavy heart. The world is big and beautiful and amazing but it will never be whole again. It will never be the same.

 

grief · Happiness · Life · loss · love · Poetry · Relationships · Starting over · Words

Letting go of what was supposed to be

He watches her from behind the noisy bar. He sits in the corner, a hidden figure among the crowded room and neon lights. She has no idea that his eyes are glaring at her. She has no idea that she’s being watched. He wonders “What would she do if she saw him? How would she respond to his presence?” A chill runs down his spine just thinking about it, a bit of nervousness. He could just get up and walk away, he isn’t trapped in this corner after all; but something keeps him glued there. No, not something, someone. Her. She could always captivate him and hold him hostage. Tonight is no different.

Watching her he remembers. The way her lips tasted. The smell of her skin. The feel of her hand in his. Her smile. Her voice, usually soft and sweet. Her anger – that he remembers the most clearly. Her tears. His pleas. Yelling. Two hearts breaking.

She laughs at something and it reminds him of a time not long ago, when her laughter was aimed at something he had said. He studies her. She’s now in awe of something HE is saying, the strange man that sits beside her at the bar, the man who has taken his place. He watches them.

She is stunningly beautiful in that naive sort of way. She could always look in the mirror and never see, who he saw. She had picked apart her flaws with a vengeance and as often as he had told her that she was perfect, she never seemed to believe him. Does this new man tell her she is perfect and beautiful too? Does she believe him?

He messed up. A few drinks at a lousy office party and in those few damn hours, he had ruined his life and his future, which used to be so defined. He had lost her over one too many downed glasses of that poisonous alcohol and a warm body that wasn’t hers. What was the matter with him? How could he have been so stupid?

Forgiveness is a tricky thing and even if you come clean and bleed your heart out, there’s  no guarantee that you will be forgiven. He was not. She was hurt and trust had been broken. It was over.

He is still in love with her. Will there ever come a time when he is not?

She is so familiar to him. He knows her heartbeat, it used to beat in sync with his own. He watches her. Someone that he can no longer have. A single tear streams down his face and he feels a deep, deep sorrow close to despair.

He rises from his corner, deciding that it’s time to leave, time to try to move on without her. With one last glance, he looks at her, his past. He turns his back and ,one foot in front of the other, he walks slowly into a new beginning, unaware that she is watching him as he leaves.

grief · Happiness · Life · loss · love · Relationships · Words

Missed Call

I can still remember his twisted smile, the way his mouth curved to one side right before he laughed. I can still see him in my minds eye. Forever 39 years old. Forever in my heart.

I lost my brother in 2006 and in some ways, all these years later, it feels like I dreamed him up. Faded memories become blurry and I wonder if they really ever happened but then there are the pictures. I see him in his teens, full of wonder and bursting with excitement. I see him in his twenties, friends have their arms slung across his back with drunk smiles. I see him in his thirties, holding my firstborn son, looking down on him with total love and awe. He only ever got to spend 2 years being an uncle. His love in those 2 years was something fierce though. My son was the apple of his eye and he just ate him up. He was 37 at the time, with no kids of his own, and I think that being an uncle filled a kind of hole in his heart.

When he was 39, he left us and to say it was sudden wouldn’t even begin to describe it. One minute he was calling me on the phone and then the next minute my phone is ringing and someone is telling me that he’s gone. 

The thing about death is, that even though we know it can creep up on us at anytime, we never really believe that it will. We carry on believing that death is for the old and sick and so we go about our days not giving much attention to it. We leave people with unkind words or empty stares because we will definitely see them again and work things out. We don’t apologize because we need time and we’ll definitely do it tomorrow. I mean, there’s always tomorrow, right? 

I had no time to say goodbye and no way to call him back. He wanted to talk to me and I was busy so I let his call go to voicemail and the next day he was gone. That isn’t fair. I had his number and had every intention to call him back (tomorrow) but now he would never answer. This time, my call would forever go to HIS voicemail.

I love my brother and there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t wish I would’ve answered that call and been able to talk with him one last time. What was it that he would have told me? Was it important? 

Don’t take time for granted because it might be running out soon. Time is never guaranteed, it’s unpredictable and fleeting.

Cherish the people you love and leave anger behind before you walk away from them. Anger never made things right.

Say I’m sorry, even if your not ready to. Swallow your pride.

Say I love you, more than you should.

And answer your phone…..it could be that the person calling will have no way of getting in touch with you tomorrow. 

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