Category Archives: God

I Feel Ugliness ……

…… raising its head from deep within my heart.
It came out of nowhere, like a sword cutting into me.                          
It came so quick, so deep, so painful that I feel overwhelmed.                   And so I do what I’ve learned to do when I’m overwhelmed, with tears flowing down my face.                                                                                                                                                  
I write.

I was minding my own business this morning.  I fixed myself a cup of coffee, settled down on the sofa and picked up my phone to check my emails, texts and FB thread.                  
And there it was.  
On Facebook.
Out of the blue.                                                                                  
A post by a friend whose husband died the week before Jim.  We haven’t kept up with each other, except through FB, but it was still a shock.  One that I didn’t see coming.  Nor, evidently did a lot of her FB friends. (Which is perfectly fine, in my opinion.)

She’s married.

That one small post took my breath away.  Literally.                          
It truly felt like a knife in the heart.
As I sat there, staring at my phone, trying to control my breathing, trying not to cry, I wondered, “Why?”.
Not why did she get married.
Why do I feel this way?
Where is this deep, stabbing pain coming from?
Why in the world does my heart feel like it’s turning green and then black?
What is going on??

I put my phone down and tried busying myself with other things …… but my brain kept going back to that post.
And my heart kept feeling ugly.

Don’t get me wrong (though that would be very easy to do because I, myself, feel very insane right now) …… I’m happy for her. Very happy.
I’m glad that she’s found love again. She had a wonderful husband who died way too young from a horrific disease, leaving her to raise their 5 children.
Of course, I felt a connection with her.

Where was this pain coming from?

So, here I am …… sitting at my computer, pouring my emotions out onto a keyboard like I have so many times before.
Only this feels a lot like the early days.
The days when all I could do is cry and write.
Write and cry.

I had decided that another marriage is not in the cards for me.
Why?
Well, most of me doesn’t want one.
After being in two relationships I didn’t want to be in another.
And really, it was the second one that did me in.
That’s the one that, to this day, makes me feel nauseous if I get a rare email from an online dating service.
I hate them with a passion and can’t delete them fast enough.
So yeah, there’s that.

I travel a lot.
I do a lot. Sometimes.
I do what I want. Most times.
I live in two cities.
I don’t see a man fitting into this life.

Could this life change …… for the right man?
Yes.
But …… do I want it to?
Ahhh …… there’s the rub.

Do I want to be in another relationship?
Not an easy question to answer.
It’s not just a no.
It’s not just a yes.

If I thought that God would give me a man “like” Jim, I’d jump at that.
I think.
Not like Jim, exactly.
But like Jim in that he’s a Godly man, knows how to treat a woman, knows how a Christian man treats a woman and loves me in spite of myself.

Do I believe that God could do that?
Yes, of course.

But do I believe that God will do that?
No, not at all.
Another rub.

I feel like I had my love.
God gave him to me once and it’s all I get.
I don’t deserve another.
Hell, I didn’t deserve the first one.

So, maybe …… just maybe …… I’m trying to convince myself that I don’t want another love …… because I don’t believe I’ll get another one.
The ol’ “reverse psychology thing”, eh?

I guess most of the time I can convince myself that I’m good alone.
In fact, I’m great.
I can travel, see shows, play with my grandson …… all whenever I want with no one to answer to, consult with, check in with.

And then I read a Facebook post.

And I cry.

So there you go.
No answers really, but I do feel calmer.
And yes, I’m publishing this just as I’ve always published the not-so-pretty-side of widowhood.
Because maybe I’m not the only one out here.
Crying over a Facebook post.
Surprised once again how fast and strong those damn waves can be.
But I’m still standing.
Painfully.

Nine ……

…… years.
One hundred and eight months.
Four hundred and sixty eight weeks.
Three thousand, two hundred and eighty five days.
Seventy eight thousand, eight hundred and fifty eight hours.

However you count it …… it’s been eons …… and it’s been an instant.

I know that to you, my first and only love, it’s been a blink of an eye.
And in that, I envy you.
Actually, I envy you a lot more in other ways, too.

I still …… and will always …… wish that it had been me.
Mostly.

I wish that you were still here to continue the good that you were doing.
I wish that you were still here to be with our sons and to continue to guide them.
I wish that you were here to give our daughters away, to love their partners, to be blessed by their children.
I wish that you were here to do a better job than I have, or will.

But I don’t wish you the pain.
I don’t wish you the loneliness.
I don’t wish you the missing of half of your heart.
I don’t wish you the cold, inky darkness that comes less often, but still comes.

I don’t wish you the loss of the expectations of “what was to be”.
I don’t wish you the loss of friendships.
I don’t wish you the loss of innocence.
I don’t wish you the loss of joy.

Joy is still here, though it took a while to make an appearance.
Or to be felt.
But it’s not the same joy as before.
How could it be?

Yet it is joy, nonetheless, and I don’t take it for granted.
I don’t take anything for granted.
And thankfully …… I can honestly say …… that I never took you for granted.
I felt thankful, almost every single day of our life together, that you were in mine.
I felt surprise, almost every single day of our life together, that God gave me you.
I have no expectations that He will give me another love.

You see, I never felt that I deserved you.
Ever.
Which made me all the more grateful for you.

So now, nine years later, I can publicly admit that “what I deserved” …… caught up with me.
Nine years ago today.

Part of me would like to have love again.
Part of me feels exhausted at the thought.
And most of me knows that it’s not in the cards.
Lightning won’t strike twice in my life.
And that’s ok.
Mostly.

I have a good life.
I can’t complain.
Or …… I shouldn’t complain.
So I try not to.

All 6 kids are now amazing adults.
Daughter #2 has blessed us with a grandson.
Not in the usual way, but then she rarely did things in the “usual way”, did she?
Daughter #3 married this year.
She married a man who reminds me so much of you when we were that age that sometimes it catches my breath.
You’d love him, too.

Daughter #1 has had quite the life in the last 9 years, starting with Harvard, which you didn’t get to know about.
She’s had more of a struggle finding out where she belongs, but she has love.
It might not be the love that we expected, but it’s love and it’s a constant in her life.
She’s doing well and she’ll be ok.

Son #1 is doing pretty much what we thought he’d be doing …… working hard and living life on his own terms.
He’s happy …… and I’m proud.

Son #2 took the hard road, as we knew he would. I wish that you could see him now. Maybe you can? I’d love to think so. He continued to march to his own drum beat and is successful and living life to the fullest.
My heart nearly bursts when I think of him.

And Son #3.
Truthfully, he’s the one who makes me miss you most.
I miss you at Homecoming.
I miss you when I’m watching the games on TV.
I miss you so very much supporting him at our school.
He’s a Cowboy through and through.
The pride I feel for him and how hard he’s worked to be involved and yet maintain an excellent GPA is indescribable.

I love each of them fiercely.
Because I love them for both of us.

Yes, my life is good.
Different, but good.
I live in a town I never would’ve believed I’d EVER live.
I spend way more time with a two year old than I would’ve ever imagined.
And I have a tiny little dog that I never would’ve believed I’d love as much as I do.
Who’d of thunk?

It’s a different life.
One I didn’t plan.
One I wish I didn’t have to live without you.
But there you go.

I miss you.
I will never stop missing you.
And I will never not cry when I type those words.

I hope you can see me.
I hope you can feel my love.
And I hope, more than anything else, that you’re proud of me.
It’s been hard, Jim.
So very hard.

But I’m living.
For me …… and for you.
And I think that’s something.

I love you tons.
And I’ll see you soon.

So Thankful …… And Yet ……

…… Jim, and the missing of him, is never far from my mind. Most especially at 2:34 in the morning. Sleep has been elusive since 10 p.m. Its elusiveness leaves a gaping hole inside of me …… where the missing of Jim slides into, and runneth over. A lot.
I miss that man.
Always.
Daily.

The missing of him no longer brings the acute pain it once did. It can, and usually does, bring some tears, but not the debilitating torrent it once brought.
But make no mistake …… I miss him. I love him. I crave him. My heart hurts from the missing of him.
Even in the midst of so much thankfulness.
And maybe especially in the midst.
Because he was, and always will be, the person I am most thankful for.
Always and forever.

There is so much for which I am thankful:
* Our children
* Our parents and siblings
* Our grandchild, who looks at pictures of Jim and gleefully calls out, “Gran pa pa!”
And as sweet and precious and wonderful as that is, it also saddens my heart. It will always be bittersweet, this raising of grandchildren. Because he should be here to experience the pure joy that is grandparenting.
Instead, this amazing experience was stolen from him.
Or that’s my take anyway.

I am so very thankful for him.
For what we had.
For all we did.
For all we said.
For how we loved.

Over the past few years I’ve come to the realization that there will be no other man.
And while that realization can cause me to feel sad at times, it also brings acceptance, contentment, and peace, because it’s exactly what I want.
Or don’t want.                                                                                                                                         Either way, I know that I don’t want to have another relationship.

I experienced life with my best friend. It wasn’t always perfect, but it was always right. We knew that God brought us together, that was never in doubt. Once in awhile we questioned His plan …… SIX kids, God?? SIX??? Are you sure??! …… but we knew it was His plan so we just went with it. Because …… what else could we do?!

I do believe that we were soulmates. And while I think you can have more than one, I don’t believe God has that in store for me.
And I’m good with that.                                                                                                                             It’s what I want.
Mostly.
There are times I feel sad at the thought of growing old alone, but my life is full and busy and satisfying right now.

I am thankful.
For so very much.
But especially for 27 years of knowing, and loving, that man. And for being on the receiving end of his love. Which was huge.

And now, it’s 3:08 a.m. Maybe now that I’ve expressed these feelings via a keyboard, sleep will come.
Hopefully.

But if not, it just gives me four more hours of remembering. And loving the remembering.
Even when it hurts.

Turning Things Around ……

…… isn’t something I’ve always been able to do these past almost-9 years.  In fact, it was impossible to do the first few years.

I think that’s something that most people don’t get.  And by “most people”, I mean the people who haven’t had to live through the loss of their spouse or child.  Most of them expect you to grab your bootstraps and pull yourself up and out of the murk.  At least after a year.

But now, thankfully, I’m able to stop the deep, dark thoughts and focus on something better.  For those of you who haven’t reached that point yet, I hurt for you.

Today I thought about this being another “holiday weekend” where I have no plans and no spouse to hang with.  More specifically, I don’t have Jim.
And I hate that.  I really, really hate it.

But then I decided to open up a window and check the weather.  Metaphorically and physically.
Actually, just physically. The metaphorical part occured to me a bit later.
What? I can’t always be deep.

Anyway, the weather turned out to be amazing. The temps were in the low 70’s all day. Some people wore sweaters or jackets.
Some people are nuts.

I decided to get out of the apartment and take Gracie for a walk. She was a bit tired today because we partied last night in celebration of her second birthday.
Well, I did most of the celebrating …… she mostly looked at me like I was crazy.
She also didn’t appreciate the fact that I dressed her up to celebrate.

So I decided to take her to the Park.
Of course, it helped that she decided to do this:

She does know how to work it.

So we spent some time in the Park. It was beautiful. And it felt like fall.
Or at least fall in Texas.

After that I came back and listened to the OSU game. Which we won.
Whoop.

Then I decided that I would order in for dinner and start a Gene Wilder movie-thon.

I turned the day around. On purpose.
Not something I could always do in my “after”.
But something I’m glad I can do now.
Of course, it also helps that I decided to go back on my meds a couple of months ago. I took the advice from a friend. Thank you, WT.
I got tired of being sad all of the time.
Hopefully I’ll just keep taking them and won’t try to go off of them again.
Hopefully.

For those of you who don’t have to take meds for depression, I can’t explain this to you. I know it doesn’t make sense. I feel better, “normal”, when I’m on them. Even though I never needed them in my “before”.
Which is mostly why I try to go off of them.
Ugh.

Anyway, it’s been a good day.
Different from the day it started out to be.
Thankfully.

I’ll never miss him any less.
Never.
But at least I can turn around and find some light now.
And that’s pretty dang huge.

A Ball of Sadness ……

…… is a post that I’ve been considering for almost 3 weeks now.
I have hesitated to write it because of the subject matter …… and the mixed feelings I have about it.

It started with a Saturday night dinner with my wonderful friend J and her family here in NY.  There were 10 of us and we had a great time.  The food was terrific (Indian … yum!) and the wine was delicious.  We had a great time                                                                                                            .

As we walked out of the restaurant, J noticed that its next door neighbor was a psychic.  He had a sign up to do readings for $10, I think.  His store was downstairs, below street level, but it was a nice looking store in a good neighborhood.  J decided to go down and talk to him.  Then she stayed for a “reading”.  Her brother in law then decided to go down and wait to have one done after she was finished.

I had never seen, or talked to, a psychic.  I’d never even been tempted to do so.  I grew up in the Southern Baptist church, where such a thing is preached against.  Even after Jim died, I never thought about talking to a psychic.  Now that I know a few hundred (at least) other widowed people, I have several friends who have done so.  All of them have reported positive outcomes.  But still …… I’ve never given it a lot of thought.

That night, after J was done, she came up the stairs and back to the sidewalk where the rest of us were waiting and said, “This guy is real.”  I said, “Really?” and she nodded.  She said that she really liked him.  And suddenly, I thought, “Why not?”  It was only about 10-15 minutes and I wanted to see what this was all about.  I was skeptical.  I was beyond skeptical.  Even as I sat down on the sofa across from him.  Maybe he knew that.  Maybe he didn’t.

He didn’t tell my fortune.  He didn’t tell me that he saw dead people.  He did nothing amazing. Except this:   As I sat down and made myself semi-comfortable on the sofa, he did the same.  Then he looked at me.  I looked at him, totally waiting for him to say something that I could laugh about later.  He paused for a moment …… and then he said, “I sense in you a ball of sadness.  It’s deep within you and you hide it from most people.  You smile and laugh on the outside, and most of the time you even feel the laughter, but it’s still there. You don’t let everyone see it.  Something happened …… I’d say it happened about 9 years ago.  It changed your life forever.  You’re moving forward with your life, but the ball of sadness is still within you.”

Jim died 9 years ago this December.  To say I was stunned is putting it mildly.  Though I never gave him any indication that he was right.  I just kept looking at him, waiting to see what else he would say.  I never nodded or said anything.  I just waited.  And listened.

He also said that I had experienced another hurt after that.  A friend, a good friend, had betrayed me and hurt me tremendously.  That hurt had done a lot of damage and many things changed after that.  He said that I didn’t let it stop me, or control me, but that I used it to move forward and to let go of the negative in my life. He was right.

He only spoke a few minutes more and then we were done and it was the next person’s turn.  I’m not sure I connected with the rest of what he said, but to be fair, I also wasn’t listening at 100% because I couldn’t believe how spot on he had been.

Again, he didn’t do anything spectacular.  There were no thumping tables.  No lights going off and on.  Jim didn’t  “come forward”.  Or speak through him.  Or whatever.

He just read me.  He saw me.  He saw into me.  He saw my ball of sadness.  The one I don’t talk about too much anymore, because honestly?  I don’t think anyone wants to hear about it all that much.  (Excluding other widowed people, of course.)

Yeah, I write about it sometimes, but I do that for the people who are on this path with me. So that they’ll know they aren’t alone.  So they’ll know that someone else gets it.  Even after almost 9 years.  As obscene as that number feels to me.

My take away?  I’m good.  My life is good.  I am blessed.  Beyond belief.  I have 7 wonderful children (don’t forget Son #4).  They’re adults but they’re still, and always will be, my children.  I have a beautiful, adorable, amazing gift of a grandson.  I live where I want to live and do what I want to do.  I’m blessed to be able to help people …… in all kinds of ways.

I can say, “God is good” …… and believe it.

But.    There is, and always will be, a ball of sadness within me.  I miss him.  Every. Single. Day.    Even when I’m not aware of it.  Even when I’m happy.  Even when I’m feeling blessed.

I miss him.  And there’s nothing I can do about it.  Nor would I want to.

I didn’t learn anything that I didn’t already know.  I was just surprised that a complete stranger could say it so well.

I Don’t Deserve ……

…… any of the kind, supportive words that I’ve been given. I’m sure my children would be the first to testify to this.

I didn’t do anything except finally admit publicly what I’ve known, but could not reveal, for several years.
My children have been much braver than I. I don’t think they worried for one second about what people would think about them being their true selves.
I’m sorry to admit that I did worry about that.

Again, I didn’t really care what people would think about my children … or me. I cared about the friendships that I knew would end once people voiced their thoughts to me.
I’m not sure that even makes sense.

My views, beliefs, and thoughts have changed a lot since Jim died. I’ve come to learn that things are not always black and white.
But many of the people I’ve loved and respected for years don’t see the varied hues.
I’m ok with that. I don’t think we all have to totally agree on everything. I can respect someone who thinks/believes differently than me.

What I can’t deal with is someone who would vocalize their judgement of my children to me. Especially for something they did not choose.

So I remained quiet. In order to keep friendships. In order to keep the peace.

So much for peace.

I am a Christ-follower.
I am a mother.
I am rarely, if ever, totally right.

But as a Christ-following mother …… I can tell you this …… who you love is NOT a choice. Not for most people anyway.
Not for my children.
Not for me.

As a Christ-following mother …… I can tell you that I know my child has always been gay. Just as I have always been heterosexual.

As a Christ-following mother …… I can tell you that I do NOT believe that my child is sinning by being gay …… by being what he/she was born to be.
What kind of god would label love a sin? A love you have no control over?

I know that many would disagree with me. I wonder how many of those people have children who are gay?

And …… as a Christ-follower …… I can tell you this: Christ was/is/always will be about love. Love.
Love is love is love is love.
Love.

I think that’s about all I have to say on this subject. Of course, I can always change my mind, but I don’t want to turn this blog into a religious/political forum on gay rights.

It’s just about my life.
My life without Jim.
My life in spite of being without Jim.

My children are a part of that life.
Which probably doesn’t thrill them at all.

Love is love is love is love is love.

Love is Love is Love is Love ……

I have been blown away….. by the support, encouragement, and love that I’ve received since my last post.

Really.  I haven’t been too sure as to how to respond, so I’ve waited.  But I don’t want to wait too long because I want you to know how much you’ve meant to me.

The depression thing …… well, that’s only a part of what’s been going on and it’s not something that I’m concerned about.  Trust me, if it were, I’d be back on the meds in a heart beat.  Because I have.  Several times.
This time it feels different.
I know that part of the reason I don’t want to be on them is because I never needed them before Jim died.
Damn it to hell.
His death changed so much of me.
Without my permission.
Without my knowledge.
But there you go.

I’ve been mostly on anti-depressants for 8 years.  Enough is enough.  Or so I hope.

My last post wasn’t so much about depression, as it was the trifecta that was occurring in my/our world.

First, I’ve been missing Jim.  I think that usually happens this time of year.  I just want to hear his voice.  I want to know that he’s here, that he sees us and that he cares.
And that he approves.  I guess that would be the biggest thing.
But, as the age old song goes, “You can’t always get what you want.”

And then that damn Orlando thing happened …… and I decided that I’d had enough.
I’m done with hiding my children from my “friends”.
I’m done with pretending that one’s just too busy to be dating and settling down.

You see, I grew up and have remained in a conservative Christian background.  I have loved the people I’ve worshipped with and yes, worked with. Immensely.

But I knew that if I were to even whisper that I thought one of my children were gay, relationships would change.  Some would even end.
And I wasn’t ready for that.

I loved certain people so much that I couldn’t tell them that I had a gay child/children because I didn’t want to hear the condemnation that I was sure would come spewing forth.  That would mean the end of a friendship.  And I wasn’t ready for that.

But then came Orlando.
And now I don’t give a damn what people think, or believe, or spew forth, about my children.

I, and I alone, along with Christ, know my children.  I know their hearts, and I know their souls.  I’ve watched them grow up from toddlers in the church to teens.  I’ve seen some of them leave the church because of the hypocrisy they encountered there.  Heck, I saw my own parents leave the church for the same reason.

Yes, I knew early on that one of our children was gay.  Or was most likely gay.
No, I never said a word to Jim.  I can’t know for sure what he would’ve said, but I believe that he would’ve had a more difficult time accepting it than I did.

I do believe he would’ve come around, though.  And I don’t believe for one moment that he would’ve dis-owned or kicked our child out of our home because of this.

I know that this will come as a shock to certain family members, as well as friends.  And for that, I’m sorry.
Again, I didn’t feel it was my story to tell.
I still don’t.

I think it’s obscene that we expect our gay children to “come out”, while our heterosexual children just grow up and marry.

So there you go.  I have two gay children.
Whom I love very much.
And whom I hope find love and happiness and family life, in the same way I hope that for their siblings.
I know that Christ loves all 6 of my children.
No if’s and’s or but’s.

I wish that Jim were here with me to have my back now.
But he’s not.
It’s just me.
And that’s ok.
Because it has to be.

To those of you who will no longer be in my life because of your beliefs, it was nice knowing you and I wish you the best.

To those of you who don’t give a rat’s ass about who my children love, thank you.
So very much.
Because I need you.

I love my children.
All 6 of them.
I’m proud of my children.
All 6 of them.
And nothing, no … nothing, can change that.
I may not always agree with their choices or decisions, but I will always love and accept them.
As would Jim.

Depression ……

the whole Crew…… And so much more.

Depression……. never seems to visit at a convenient time.  Or maybe that’s just me.

The past few days have been hard for me, and yet I’m unable to say why.  We made it past May, our anniversary, 3 of our children’s birthdays, etc.  It’s now the middle of June.  My birthday is around the corner, but that doesn’t seem to be looming large.
Or does it?

Maybe I’m not giving it enough credit.
I’ll be 56.
Still single.
Still expecting to be single for the rest of my life.
But that can be good ….. and yet not so good.

I weaned myself off of my antidepressants early this year (Yes, I can hear your tsk, tsks, head shakes, and finger wagging from here).  But it was very slow and hey ….. if I was able to make it through my daughter’s wedding (where I looked worse than I have (weight-wise) in YEARS) and survive, then I think I did pretty damn well.

I made it through moving homes (and not selling one …. YET), through adopting Little Man, unpacking an entire house by myself, and then moving back to NY.

I’ve been doing really well, if i do say so myself.

And then.

Then these last few days have brought me no sleep, and an onslaught of tears.
I am in the throes of missing Jim.
Missing him hard.
Missing him constantly.
Missing his voice.
Missing his hand.
Just ……. the missing of him.

No explanation.
No answers.
No whys.

It just is what it is.

And then add to this missing of him …… the unfathomable horror that occurred in Orlando this weekend.
Orlando — a place that has meant nothing but fun for my children, for me and for Jim.
Many times.

And now it means death.
And hate.
And horror.

It also means that it’s time for me to stop hiding behind my children.
I have 6 wonderful, beautiful children.
Two of them are gay.
One, I had no doubt about as this child grew.
The other, I really never saw it coming.

I haven’t been public about this before because I’ve believed it’s not my story to tell.  So I still won’t tell it.
But I will say that I love these two children just as much, or maybe a bit harder, than the other 4.
They were brought up the exact same way their siblings were.  They received the same amount of unconditional love, the same expectations, the same discipline.
I believe that God loves them the very same way that He loved them when they were barely inside of me. I don’t believe that Christ’s love changes with the wind. Or depends on who you love.

I don’t believe the way they love/who they love is a sin.  I don’t believe in a God who would create love and then penalize certain children for experiencing it.

I may lose many friends over this.

But that’s ok, because they most likely weren’t my friends anyway.

More tears come now as I wonder if my children will feel forever unsafe ……. solely because of who they love.  Not who they CHOOSE to love, but who they fall in love with.  Just as I did.
Just as Jim did.

The tears flow.

And now I will lose more friends.
Meh.

I have no problem with Americans owning guns.
I agree it’s a right in this country.
But I can no longer condone the ownership/usage of assault rifles.  Guns that rattle off bullets by the second.  Guns that are used because the user wants to feel “tough’, “masculine” ,  “macho”,  “in control”.
Or because he wants to kill as many people as possible in a very short amount of time.

I am done. I can’t stand by any longer, no matter what area of the country I’m from, no matter who I’m related to, and say nothing.
I am sickened by the lack of action on getting these types of guns out of the hands of our children and out of our country.

Delete me if you must.  Because isn’t that what this country’s come to?  If we don’t agree with someone, we delete them.  We used to talk to each other, to share our differences.
Now we delete.
From Facebook.

From Twitter.

From Instagram.

From Life.

A Tale of Two ……

IMG_3977
(Tonight’s dinner.  And yes, I made it.  And it was as delicious as it looks.)

…… Worlds.

I know that many friends live vicariously through me and my life in New York.
And I get that.
And am ok with it.

I think that no one lives vicariously through my being widowed.
And I get that.
And am ok with it.

I know that I have a wonderful life.
I know that I have no reason to complain.
And so I try not to.
Much.

But ……
I feel torn between two worlds.

One world is my life in NY, going to shows, seeing sights, trying to make a life for myself here and in Texas.
Loving time spent with my children and my grandchild.

In this world I am self sufficient, independent, happy to be able to do what I want, when I want.  I love being able to travel between the two states, and elsewhere.  I am 100% grateful that I’m able to live this life this way and I don’t take it for granted.  I know that I was blessed to have the marriage that I had, with the perfect husband/best friend for me.  And I know that I may never find that kind of love again, but that’s ok …… because at least I had it.

Then there’s the other world.  The one in which I still do all of these things, still know all of these things and am still grateful for all of them.
But …… I feel lonely.
I miss having someone to be with.
Someone to have fun with.
Someone to talk to, argue with, laugh with, share things with.
Someone to hold hands with.
Someone to love.

And while I was blessed to have it, and know that I may have to be content with having had it once …… I really want to have it again.

Living alone can be very lonely.
Especially at the end of the day.

Why am I writing about this?
To let you know …… to make you aware, in case you’re not …… that while you may think that someone has a great life, a fun life, a busy life …… and that maybe every once in a while you might feel a twinge of envy for the life they lead …… we all have …… something.
No one has a perfect life.

No one.

And a person can be busy, active, traveling, show-seeing, blessed …… and still feel very lonely.

Very blessed.  And very lonely.
Torn between two worlds.

You May Get Awfully Tired ……

…… of seeing this face.
Though I highly doubt it.
Because …… this face!

IMG_3314

He’s all ours now.
Well, technically, he’s all Daughter #2’s.  But she has to share.  🙂

The hearing was …… well, it was certainly surprising.

Before it really started, the judge was asking D2’s attorney some questions.  She didn’t seem all that happy with the answers and seemed to indicate that she would not be on board with Little Man’s adoption today.
Most of us inwardly groaned and settled in, bracing ourselves to hear that this would not be finished today, but at some point in the near future.

The attorney questioned the case worker, and then D2.  And she described her life over these past 20 months …… and her love (and ours) for Little Man.  She also said what she feared would happen if he were to not stay with her.

I don’t think there were many dry eyes in the room.

She did a great, and very calm job.

After almost two hours both attorneys were basically done (D2’s and Little Man’s). The judge then questioned them.
Again, we thought we’d be returning to this court room at some future date to continue this journey.

And then, almost out of the blue, she looked up and said, “I’m signing the orders for termination and for adoption.  And for the name change.”

Daughter #3 and I were sitting together and we both gasped in surprise.  And then burst into tears.  I really was stunned.
The judge looked over at us and smiled.  I smiled at her through my tears and mouthed, “Thank you.”
She asked if there were enough tissue boxes in the room.
Fortunately, there were.

So it is done.
Little Man is 100% part of our family.
Forever.
Thank You, God.

He not only carries our last name, but his middle name is James.
After his grandfather, who would’ve burst into tears himself upon hearing that.

We had a celebratory dinner tonight.  Just him, Daughter #2, Daughter #3, and their good friend/attorney.  Oh, and me.  We hope to have a party next weekend to celebrate in a big way.
On our way out of the restaurant, who should we bump into but Chip and Joanna (if you don’t know who they are, you don’t watch “Fixer Upper”, and …… I’m sorry), who had already heard the news through the Waco grapevine.

You have to love small towns.  🙂

I’m headed to Chicago tomorrow for my niece’s high school graduation.  I know I’ll have a great time.  I’m just praying that I’ll be able to get back home without having to sleep on a cot in O’Hare.
Please, God.

Before I go, I’m going to leave you with some pictures.
And a video.

Be careful.  The cuteness overload may be too much for some people.
But you might as well get used to it.
Because ……
This.
Face!!