the indefinite continued progress of existence and events in the past, present, and future regarded as a whole.
Time is tricky. Does it really heal or does it just give us a chance to learn?
There was a time when I literally said, "fuck you, Time, I don't have time for you". I didn't want to wait on Time to heal me. I wanted to be healed right then and there. I didn't feel like I had time to wait on Time. Everyone said, "just give it some time, things will be better after you make it through the first year."
Here we are my friends. A year to be exact. A year since I realized it only takes 2 seconds for your life to completely change. A year since my little boy lost his dad. A year since I became a widow.
I made it a year.
I looked back on my posts about losing Charles. The first one I wrote, in particular...I keep going back to it, re-reading it, playing it over and over again in my head. I wrote it somewhere around a week after his death. The gist of it went a little something like this:
As a natural part of life, we experience many firsts and many lasts. Like everything in our little world, some of those firsts and lasts come and go without a thought and then some will actually have a huge impact on us. Here's the crappy part about not knowing the future, we are always aware when we're experiencing a first but we don't always know when we're experiencing a last.
It has been one week since my husband passed away. It was a sudden, unexpected death.
I've had a week to reflect on all my lasts. The last time we tag teamed a dirty diaper together, the last time we went to church together, the last time we blew bubbles with Kaleb, the last time we kissed, the last time I saw him, the last time I talked to him, the last time...there are so many lasts.
The funny thing about all those lasts is, you can't get them back or have a chance to do them over. They are forever. You can sit and ponder on them all you want but they are what they are.
Along with thinking about all the lasts, I'm already experiencing so many firsts. The firsts are quickly proving to be the hardest. The first time I stayed at our house alone, the first time I went to church alone, the first time I had to play catch with Kaleb alone, the first time I tackled bath/pajamas alone, the first time I told Kaleb that daddy went to be with Jesus.
My heart is obviously broken. It's only been a week. I know I have a very long road ahead of me. Every day that passes, I'm sure I'll remember a last and in the very same day, I'll experience another first. It's a part of my life now.
I read that and wonder, how in the hell was I ever able to muster up something so profound during that time. I mean, that first paragraph is some pretty deep shit. The funny thing is, I have no recollection of even writing it. Not a clue if I wrote it during the day, or during a sleepless night. No idea if it came easy, or I if I sat there with tears in my eyes.
When I read it now, I think, "wow, at that time, you had no idea what you were really in for." I have to kinda laugh at the part that says, "it's been a week since he passed..." I said that like it had been a significant amount of time that I made it through; strong enough to write a post, strong enough to survive a week. But in reality, I had no fucking clue.
Seven days into this life, I had no clue how it would effect me; how the sting would still be there after months and months. I had no clue that even after 365 days, the freight train would still hit at the most random times. I had no clue that coming across the death certificates, time and time again, would make me feel like I needed to puke. I had no clue that after 365 days, looking at an old family photo would hurt because of how much it feels like a lifetime ago. It feels like our 4 years of marriage was just a dream and this, this is actually the real life. I just had no idea.
I also had no idea how it would change me. Time. Time wore on me and changed me. I'm different than I was 365 days ago. I'm less tolerant of society and people. I'm less tolerant to the he said/she said bullshit and I'm not afraid to show that I don't care. I used to be patient and kind. I used to listen to that crap when people would gossip and carry on. I just don't fucking care about it because, Time, time has taught me to see that life is too short for those type encounters.
Time has made me less tolerant to my own child. I remember how I felt 366 days ago towards Kaleb. I had the all the time in the world for my little man. You'd almost never hear me complain about how the toddler-ism was taking over my life. You would have never heard me complain about wanting him to leave me alone. And I would have never heard myself lose my temper with him and yell. Time has changed the type of mother I am. I see myself as a short fused mom. A mom that doesn't have time for toddler-isms and a mom that fuses when I shouldn't.
Time has changed my wants and dreams. I used to want 2 or 3 kids. I used to want a life long love that moved mountains. I used to dream. I used to want. Now? Now, Time has taught me different. Time has made me question if I ever want kids again. Time has made me wonder if I ever want to be married again. Time has taught me that I'll never have those answers until the Time is right.
Death effects me differently now, too. In these last 365 days, I lost my husband and then my last 2 remaining grandparents. While, of course, losing my grandparents was really tough, it seemed like an old hat after losing a spouse. Death isn't a scary thing to me anymore. It's a very factual thing. The fact that I feel this way about death now, makes me a little sad. It makes me sad that I feel the need to sit here and tell you, talk about death with your spouse. Get an idea of how they feel about it. Make decisions. Get a clear cut plan of what you would do if the day should come, where you're left alone. Talk about wants and wishes. Talk about finances. Talk about your dreams for your children. Charles and I never talked about any of this. I only knew that he wanted to be cremated. After that, I knew nothing. And let's be real honest here, the burial is really just 1 small choice made in the first week. I'm talking about life long decisions that include the well being of everyone he/she ever loved. Time taught me we should have done this.
So here we are, 365 days later. Here I sit. A million and 1 things still on my heart and mind. A million and 1 questions still unanswered. A million and 1 changes to my very being. But here I still sit. A single mother. A widow. A survivor.
Time might have made me less tolerant with very little patience but it also made me a survivor. I'm stronger. I'm wiser. I'm heart-felt when I say, "I love you." I'm closer with God. I'm closer with Kaleb. Time gave me nothing but time. I take the time to hug. I take the time to go to the playground after work. I take the time to remind Kaleb he's never alone. I take the time to let him tell me about his day. I take the time for ice-cream treats just because. I take the time to say little prayers all through day. I take the time to write. I take the time to laugh and cry. I take time for life.
So, Time. Time might not have healed me completely, it probably will never completely heal, but it certainly helped and it absolutely taught me more than I would have ever imagined. I gave time a chance and I'd say, overall, it proved itself to me.
365 days changed me immensely. I'm no better, I'm no worse; I'm just different and that's okay because that's life. I'm ready for time to show me what the next 365 days has in store.
I'd like to dedicate this post to Charles, Kaleb and the Lord above. Without Charles, I wouldn't have Kaleb, without Kaleb I wouldn't have a reason to live and without God, I wouldn't have been blessed with Time and the million and 1 prayers I received the last 365 days. I love all of you more than life itself.