Lovely Days

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Happy Anniversary.

When we talked about it a few months ago, it’s not the one that either of us thought we’d be having . I was looking forward to the ‘surprise date’ you were planning for us, and I think of it often… what was it?

What would we be doing right now? This morning?

That, I do know …

You would pop up to the first sound of your phone alarm – set to the song “Lovely Day” by Bill Withers, and I would pull the covers tighter, with my eyes still closed and listen as you opened drawers and selected a shirt from its hanger. On special days like Fridays (or anniversaries), I could hear you dancing or singing as you chose your ensemble. The creaking of the floor boards as you walked back and forth from the bathroom to our bedroom were like an extra blanket to me. Pure comfort.

Then, once your shower was finished, you were dressed and cleaned shaved. You always came and sat at the foot of the bed on my side, tucked into my little nook of blankets and the grumbled mess that I am in the morning. You would sit there, with your socks in your hand, and I would feel you thinking.

That’s when I would open my eyes.

This was our time to discuss plans for the day. See, it was the same thing every weekday morning:

6:45 a.m. Bill Withers’ Lovely Day

6:47a.m. Choose a shirt. Take a shower.

7a.m. Sit by Meg with socks and think.

My mornings are different now. They’re still the exact same replica of the one previous to itself, but the routine, itself, changed overnight. Mornings are difficult for me. You’re probably laughing because they always were, but this isn’t the “hit snooze 12 times” type of difficult.

I wake up every morning, sore from head to toe. The therapist tells me it’s because I’m a person who “internalizes” my emotions. I lay in bed and subconsciously beg God every morning that this isn’t true. Please tell me how to undo this. Immediately, I become angry with myself for even asking that.

Then there’s fear…

How am I going to get our babies and I through the day today? Do I have the strength to get up and make them breakfast? Get them to school?

Usually by this time, one of the kids has woken up, and I’m reminded that there is no questioning. There’s only doing.

And I’m doing my best.

6:45a.m. Lay in bed, awake.

6:47a.m. Pain, begging, fear..

7a.m. Get on with the day.

I know you’d be in awe of the way others have supported us. It makes me sad to know that some of these kind faces will never get the pleasure of hearing your enthusiastic voice. My God, do I miss your voice.

These are the things I miss the most. I miss my morning guy. I miss acting like you annoyed me, when secretly I admired your cheerful disposition and your energy. I’m really pissed at myself for not telling you every second of your beautiful life that I felt this way.

I’m sure our date would’ve been perfect, but it’s not the dates that I miss. It’s things like ordinary mornings and the sound of your voice.

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Texts and Tears

The last meme I that I texted to Scott: 


It was my signature move. The scene would go like this: I hug him whether he wants it or not. He grumbles a bit before letting out a nervous laugh; ultimately, succumbing to my adorable display of affection and hugging me back. I annoyed him in the best way possible… and the plan was to do it forever.

I was supposed to grow old with this man. We looked forward to being old people, reading our papers and getting our senior coffees at restaurants. He was naturally an old man already — one of those guys who was growing into his personality, and he particularly couldn’t wait to be a grandpa (which I always thought was odd but very sweet); he looked forward to being fun and playful and spoiling the heck out of our grand babies. My heart is broken, knowing that this dream is gone. Poof. Taken. Just like that.

It’s moments like these that I fight. I’m trying my best to not be an emotional mess, but when I look into the future too far, I feel great despair. Surviving grief has taught me to stay in the moment as much as I possibly can. Do not think about the silly, stupid, naive past. Do not think about the lost, never-to-be-seen, taken future. Sometimes that’s easier said than done though…

And suppose that’s ok too… I have no clue.


The Fantasy of a New Widow

I wish I could take up a drinking habit. I fantasize about it often these days.

Not the kind of habit where I go out with friends, get hammered, and hit the drive thru on the way home; All of us laughing, listening to Rihanna songs.

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No.

I want the nastiest most painful vodka. I want to be alone with my misery. I want to be alone and lose my mind. My eyes smeared of mascara, my hair greasy and unwashed… This is the fantasy I have for myself. A drinking habit.

It can’t happen though.

I have little people looking to me for guidance through this confusing time. I have dear loved ones watching me, ready to catch me… and I really don’t want anyone to have to catch me.

I also have a belated husband who took great pride in my happiness. So I have to be happy. I have to wash my hair and drink coffee. I have to cry into a glass of good wine before going to bed early because the kids wake up for school in the morning. For him, I have to find happy.

But I really want vodka.

 

Cooking with Crazy 

It’s Friday. And I have the night off, so that means I want to make dinner.

I love making dinner. I’m not a mom who complains about this one. 

Cleaning the bathrooms? Yes. 

Folding laundry? Eww. 

But cooking …I love it. 

There are definitely issues when someone, like me, in my situation, steps up to the stove. And I will get to that. 

For now, let’s talk about what I made.

Shrimp scampi over riced cauliflower. 

So simple. So easy. And just good. (Most things, when kept simple, are good.)

Here are my ingredients (as adapted from Pinterest):

Edit

I found this list of ingredients in Pinterert and knew I could work with them. Rather than using a carb heavy pasta, I decided to combine this recipe with a new fave of mine: cauliflower rice. 

The whole thing took about 20 minutes all together. Very fast and easy. 

1. Peel and mince garlic *Note: this is the most time consuming step – and while it’s not that difficult, everything else is smooth sailing afterwards.

2. Heat olive oil in a skillet add garlic and shrimp ( with tails cut off)

3. Mince cauliflower in a food processor *buy a food processor – it sounds intimidating but it’s so easy and life changing, really. Go buy one. Like, now.

4. Deglaze the pan with juice of one lemon and a half cup of dry white wine 

5. Add a cup of chicken broth. Keep heat at med-high.

6. Add riced cauliflower

7. Chop parsley – This is the first time I’ve ever bought or cooked with parsley. It’s not necessary for flavor but is a 100% improvement on the appearance of the dish, which is just lookin like white grits up until this point. Mentally, you will enjoy your dinner so much more with it.

8. Add parsley; total cool time of this dish should be about 5 mins or until the liquid has evaporated out. 

So what’s going on in the meantime with my kids? What’s happening while mommy pretends to be Nigella Lawson?

Let’s see what I meant before when I said there are “issues” when someone in my “situation” tries to cook…

Baby J repeatedly got it into our fridge, and at one point, was caught DRINKING Parmesan cheese.

The girls spent that 20 minutes wrestling. You think boys are the only ones who wrestle? I used to too… Nope. Gracie now has a loose tooth, which she’s pretty excited about. She even ran to go clean her room for the tooth fairies anticipated arrival. (Thanks Grandma L for that idea)

So you see, I’m not exactly cooking in peace and wouldn’t blame another mom who just said eff it and ordered a Friday night pizza.

If you have a personality like me though, once your into something, you’re entranced. Bottomline, I’m a mad woman in the kitchen. 

After the liquid is evaporated, I cover and remove my skillet from the heat, and I allow it to sit while I set up plates. 

This keeps it hot, and gives that cauliflower a wee bit more cook time.

I know what else you’re wondering…

What did I do with the leftover wine?

Ahhh… Here’s a little Mommy refreshment for after dinner and baths. 

A little dry champagne and frozen blueberries – complete with antioxidants! So you can feel good about getting boozed up 😉

(This sparkling wine is like 80% off at Kroger right now, and if you buy 4 bottles, you get an additional 10% off. Just sayin. ) Comment and let me know if you try some variation of these!

Have a happy Labor Day weekend!

Big Love,

Meg 

Old Lady Changing

” How old would you be if you didn’t know your age?”

The late Dr. Wayne Dwyer asked this question, and I have to be honest, I feel OLD.

I’d blame it on the minivan or the three kids that roll in it, but that’s not really fair now. Is it? 

The truth of the matter is that I feel old because I’ve not been properly taking care of myself. 

I recently started working at a health care facility for the elderly and those who can no longer care for themselve; it’s been eye-opening. 

I want to be as healthy as I can for as long as I can. 

And that’s why I’ve really made the commitment to set a solid example for those three kids rolling in that minivan.

I’m talking salads and workouts.

Food for Thought

I believe in food.

I believe food heals.

I believe the power of food is greatly underestimated.

For, food is what every living being wakes up for. It’s what they work for. Often, it’s what they go to bed at night, wondering where its source will come from (for many humans, this is still the case.)

Tonight, my husband and I cooked a meal. Shrimp stir fry.

 He cut the tails off of the shrimp, while I prepped the veggies and other ingredients. During this time, we discussed our day. We decided what should happen with our youngest daughter. We even lightly touched base about opening our own business someday.

I had waited all day to see him, and he, I.

And this meal was our couple’s therapy. It was the mediator of our conversation.

“Can you hand me that cup?” One would ask, as if it were the punctuation of our sentences…

Food heals.

For us tonight, it brought two people, who each had separate days, living near separate lives, together.

I love food.

I could have never declared that 10 years ago.

Oh, the shame for a 20 year old girl to say she loves food. Especially, the chocolate I would eat in secrecy. The fast food. The foods whose big, shiny advertisements brought me to the local grocer like a zombie looking for a brain.

*Must. have. Oreos.*

But that’s not food.

I understand that now.

Oreos and other substances that deem themselves “food” are addictive and deadly. They are not what I love.

Food heals.

Things with shiny, advertisements often do not heal.

Our skin should glow! Our hearts should fill with vigor! Our veins should coarse with energy not diabetes.

You can’t have the conversation we had, when you’re eating a bag of cookies in the dark. To eat this meal that was made with love and feel its nutrients making you stronger, you must know that another, flashier meal won’t do the same for you – when even the ants will not consume it.

When did food become devalued in our world? What kind of organism purposely poisons itself? What other mammal on God’s green earth does not spend their time looking for sustenance.

Because in our world, sustenance of food is also sustenance of soul.