Rough and tough

I may some day be able to use rough and tough to describe me but until that day it describes some of my days. What sucks about days like this other than the obvious is that they most of the time have no warning.

I had a great time out with a friend last night. I was in great spirits and haven’t laughed that much in a long time and then this morning I was just sad.

I wish I could say that something someone said set me off or something someone did but no. It is difficult to do much of anything on these days. Today we have spent most of the day inside. We could be going to the Iowa state football game tonight but I have decided to just stay home. If I take time to think about it I am sure the game is part of the reason I am down. The looming 9 year wedding anniversary that would have been next week probably doesn’t help either.

Anyone that says that “year 2” gets easier is full of shit. For me, I think it has been in many cases worse. I honestly think that the whole year one was brought to you by adrenaline.

My message for this blog is to always be understanding to people. You never know what battle they are facing in that moment. Maybe they are just having a rough and tough day.

Feels like yesterday

 Today I went to lunch with one of Jay’s co-workers…a good friend…the last person to see him alive.  Before I go any further,  I should warn you that this may be an emotional blog but I feel the strength to write it so I’m going for it.

I have lunch with this person on a regular basis.  Some of you may wonder if it is difficult to be around him or wonder what we would be able to talk about.  I will first state that he is someone that Jay respected because of his intelligence and his values.  I find comfort having lunch and chatting with him.  And the more I get to know about him and his family; I see clearer what Jay respected and liked about him. 

Why am I comforted by him?  That answer is easy.  He is the one person that was able to give me the details of Jay’s last hour of his life.  And he did.    Having that information has helped me in so many ways and I fully believe helped me come to terms with Jay’s death. 

Some may find this next piece of information interesting but I swear it to be the truth.  After I received Jay’s autopsy and had 2 doctors explain it to me the first person I had to talk to about it was this friend.  The next person was the other person that saw Jay in that hour which was his personal trainer.  I felt compelled to tell them what the doctors had learned and more importantly tell them “Thank you” for everything they did to help Jay as well as that there was nothing that they could have done differently to bring him back. I didn’t want to tell family about the information that had been told to me, I HAD to tell these two people.  I cannot explain it any other way then it was my mission to talk to them and explain.   I think Jay wanted them to know.

I have talked previously about the pediatric heart disease they said Jay had that caused his heart attack but I don’t believe I have talked about the events of that day so here it goes. 

It was a normal day.  Jay worked out during his lunches and he was doing just that.  After his workout he went to clean up before returning to work.  At this point, his friend walked into the locker room after working out…they joked around and then continued getting cleaned up.  In the corner of his eye, Jay’s friend saw him collapse.  What I can tell you is it was not the workout he did that caused his heart attack, nor the fall that caused them to not be able to bring him back.  He was gone before he hit the ground.  How they can know that I have no idea…all I know is that in some small way, I find comfort in that. 

I only blog about this today because as we finished lunch I looked at him and said…can you believe it’s been almost a year and a half?  His response was…”Feels like yesterday doesn’t it?”

Mr. Independent

While hanging out with friends last night and watching Aaron we laughed about how independent he has become in just the last week.  My friend looked at me and said…”That’s your next blog.”  I love it when people tell me what to blog about. J 

I have been looking for a way to talk about the topic of independence and dependence.  Ha!…I had to be careful typing that so I didn’t type “depends.”  I digress. 

So let’s get to talking about little Mr. Independent.  It is amazing watching as Aaron takes steps to thinking he can do things all by himself.  And if not by himself…the way HE wants.  Wow.  I was giving him a piece of bread the other day and he told me “No.”  Then he pointed to the bread bag and said “Please.”  I was confused until I opened up the bread bag and put it in front of him.  He put his hand in the bag and picked out a piece of bread by himself.  He smiled and said “Thank you!”   It wasn’t that he didn’t want bread…but he wanted to get it himself. 

I find it interesting that here is Aaron who WANTS to do things on his own.  He wants to learn…do…and experience.  And then there is me that would much rather have help and have someone to share the experiences.  I am so proud of our little boy.  He is such a loving caring soul like his daddy.  He smiles…says “hi”…blows kisses to just about anyone and can make anyone’s day better just being part of it and giving them his big Aaron smile.

As a mom with a little boy I have told myself to be careful.  Why?  I don’t want him to be scared to do things on his own…be a “boy.”  As a now single mom that only wants the best for my little man it is a constant struggle to remember that he is going to fall…he is going to play in the dirt and he is play rough with kids.  He wants and deserves his independence. 

When Jay was alive it was nice because we could depend on each other no matter what.  We didn’t have to do anything alone.  Some things we did do on our own but we never really had to because we had each other. 

So in the journey Aaron is gaining his independence and letting his mommy know how much he loves it.  And his mommy is gaining her independence as well and learning to love it.

One Way…Foward.

As college football starts this weekend I look at the poster I have for Iowa State and it says “ONE WAY.  FORWARD.” I took a picture of it and put it as my cover photo on FB to show support of the team but also as a reminder to myself. 

One of my very good friends has said this to me many times.  Infact sometimes it is has been as simple as a text or email that ends with one word.  “Forward.” 

To me this is such a powerful word.  It has pushed me through some really difficult times because it speaks to the thought to keep going.  Not to “Move on” which for me as a widow irritates me because it says to me move on…forget about Jay as a part of our lives.  I know that is never the intent but that is the undertone.  Or “Get on with it” or “don’t think about it”.  Those are two other phrases that irritate me.  I won’t get on with it and I refuse to not think about it.  I will move forward though, THAT I can do. 

To move forward to me means that I can work to understand the past and the present and help others to understand but still live life.  As much as I want Iowa State to have an undefeated season, the probability of that happening isn’t good (for ANY team not just Iowa State to be clear) but after each game they will move forward to the next game and try their hardest to do their best. 

So win or lose of the game or struggle in life we move one way…forward.


 Just recently I have been playing with the idea of taking a trip all by myself.  I was not the “traveler” of the relationship so for me to be pondering this is different….to put it nicely. 

It isn’t that I wouldn’t travel…in fact one summer/fall we had what we liked to call “Taber Tripolooza.”  We traveled to Minneapolis, Chicago, Kansas City, St. Louis and then ended up with a trip to Arizona.  It was this group of trips where we concluded that any location more than 10 hours away needed a serious discussion about flying.  Yes…we drove to Arizona detouring through Colorado Springs, CO to meet one of his co-workers.  We joked about the trip afterwards but now I am grateful we did it.  It was that trip that we learned a lot about ourselves and others.  I have great memories of that trip. 

Back to me…why all the sudden do I play with the idea of taking a trip…let alone a trip by myself.  I need silence.  I want to wake up with no expectations of the day.  I want to wake up and look out my window and see the ocean.  So yes, I have even narrowed it down to locations.  I want to sit on a balcony and enjoy the sunrise and sunset should I choose to be awake when these happen.  I don’t need places to shop or eat.  We have places here to do that.  I need something I cannot get here and that is silence.  Here I feel the need to be around noise.  I need to talk to people and interact with them but I don’t feel that is what I need for my trip. 

Now I face the “next step” which is deciding and planning.  My decider and planner is gone so sooner rather than later I will figure it out and off I will be…to silence.

I miss him

I miss his smile.

I miss arguing with him.

I miss his hugs…his bear hug I truly hope this makes you feel better hugs.

I miss his laugh. 

I miss him always wanting to make plans.

I miss his determination.

I miss his kindness. 

I miss his orneriness.

I miss his opinions.

I miss his touch. 

I miss his surprises.

I miss his presence. 

I miss my best friend.


So yesterday I was talking to someone about a situation that happened almost a year ago.  I will not go into details but the situation lent itself to make me very angry.  Anger led to bitterness and I didn’t feel like myself and it hurt to feel the way I did.  As I talked about the situation yesterday I felt the anger and bitterness flood back. 

Ironically, my Griefshare emails this week have been about anger making a person bitter as well as good vs. bad anger.  Boy do I wish I would have had these emails during this time last year.  The emails state that you can either “be bitter” or “get better”.  Isn’t that so true?  In my situation it comes back to the death of Jay but I can think of so many other situations where it would be best to get better versus being bitter. 

I remember talking to a good friend of mine last year at this time about the situation occurring and I told her I was “over it.”  She looked at me…kind of laughed and said “no you’re not.”  There is nothing more frustrating when you are angry and bitter for someone to be right and you be so wrong because she was right, I wasn’t over it.  After yesterday, I’m not sure I am over it yet and that is frustrating as hell. 

So to be bitter or better…I choose better but it may take me a little more time to get where I want to be.

Eye love you

Eye love you

The inspiration for this blog comes from a couple places. First a song of course…Debbie Gibson’s “Lost in Your Eyes”. The second…Aaron’s eyes.

If I had a dollar for every time someone has looked at Aaron and said “He has the most beautiful eyes.” I would have a lot of money. He has his daddy’s eyes. They are so blue that you can almost see right through them.

As a parent you hope that your child gets all of your “good” qualities. Aaron did just that and one of Jay’s best qualities was his eyes. One of the first things I fell in love with when I met Jay was his eyes and I was so excited when Aaron was born with blue eyes.

Whenever I look at Aaron I see Jay. This is a good thing for those wondering. It can be sad but it is good.

This brings me to a topic to discuss. Isn’t amazing what you can see about a person when you look in their eyes. I have seen many things in the last 2 years. I have seen happiness and sadness. Excitement and dread. I have even seen honesty as well as deceit. All of these I have seen without a person even saying a word.

When I first looked into Jay’s eyes I saw a kind loving soul. Anyone that knew Jay and spent any time with him would tell you that is exactly what he was…a kind and loving soul. I work hard every day for people to see strength in my eyes. Some days are harder then others.

What do people see when they look into your eyes?

Wanna Date?

The other day someone asked me the question “How are you feeling about dating again?”  Luckily I like the person otherwise I may have just shut down but instead we had the conversation.  The nuts and bolts of the conversation are below.

Dating is something I NEVER expected or wanted to have to do again.  But here I am…faced with this scary monster of a thing that if I want another relationship I will have to tackle.  It is scary as hell. 

How do I not compare them to Jay?  How do they not compare themselves to Jay?  Jay was the perfect combination of two of my previous relationships.  I asked for that in my life and I got it.  What are the odds that I will find that again?  Those first two questions stop me in my tracks.  And then the next thought scares me even more.  Dating now isn’t like it was before…now it isn’t just about me…it is about US.  Dating used to be fun…now it is stressful because it isn’t just about me, it is about Aaron as well.  The person has to be someone that I would eventually trust with Aaron.  No pressure on either side right?  Good grief.    Then there is the thought that the person will have to know they will never replace Jay as Aaron’s father…as the father of my child or as the man that I loved more than life itself.  Again, no pressure. 

So “How do I feel about dating again?”…it no longer creeps me out…it just scares me to death.

There You’ll Be

I don’t believe in recreating the wheel so when a blog or song says it all that is what you will get from me. Yesterday I was driving somewhere and the song “There You’ll Be” by Faith Hill played on the radio.  The lyrics are below if you would like to read them.  I love songs that I don’t need to Google to know what was said.  Let me step back…I love all music.  It all serves some purpose whether it is to give you energy…help you through anger…or help you spend time to reflect and slow you down.  This one did the latter.  I heard the lyrics but then had to Google them so I could read what was being said.  Her video is for the movie “Pearl Harbor” for those that didn’t know.  This in itself could have made me sad but I actually smiled because when we went on our honeymoon to Hawaii one of the things Jay HAD to see was the Pearl Harbor Memorial.  I wanted to be on the beach…he wanted to see all of the sites.  We compromised and did both. 😉  For those who didn’t know, my brother is also in the National Air Guard so the movie and video remind me of the protection my brother and so many others give to this wonderful country.  These things always give me pause, reflection and perspective.  All good things to have.

This song comes to my attention at an interesting time because just the other day I had the epiphany that I am a widow.  Yes, I said I had an epiphany.  It has happened a few times where my brain just stops and I realize what I am and what I have done and had to do.  Early on in this journey this thought used to stop in me in my tracks and I was paralyzed.  I read the lyrics below and I begin to have a different reaction.  I realize he will always be here.  In everything I do…in everything I think…he will always be here.  Instead of being sad and mad I feel so incredibly lucky.  I had and continue to HAVE an amazing person in my life and I will love him for the rest of my life and I am OK with that.

There You’ll Be  — Faith Hill

When I think back on these times and the dreams we left behind
I’ll be glad cause I was blessed to get to have you in my life
When I look back on these days I’ll look and see your face
You’re right there for me

In my dreams I’ll always see you soar above the sky
In my heart there’ll always be a place for you for all my life
I’ll keep a part of you with me
And everywhere I am there you’ll be
And everywhere I am there you’ll be

Well you showed me how it feels to feel the sky within my reach
And I always will remember all the strength you gave to me
Your love made me make it through ooh I owe so much to you
You’re right there for me

In my dreams I’ll always see you soul above the sky
In my heart there’ll always be a place for you for all my life
I’ll keep a part of you with me
And everywhere I am there you’ll be

Cause I always saw in you my light my strength
And I want to thank you now for all the ways
You’re right there for me
(you’re right there for me)
You’re right there for me

In my dreams I’ll always see you soul above the sky
In my heart there’ll always be a place for you for all my life
I’ll keep a part of you with me
And everywhere I am there you’ll be
And everywhere I am there you’ll be
There you’ll be