Wednesday, April 25, 2012

You Never Even Call Me By My Name...

Well, I'm outing my boyfriend.  No longer am I am going to call him by a pseudonym; the idea of calling him "Antonio" was conceived when he was just some guy I was dating, one I expected to be part of a string of men I would write about as I chronicled my life as a widow who was sticking her foot in the dating pool.

It doesn't feel right to call him Antonio anymore.  When I write about him, and our life together, I find my flow of thought is interrupted and my writing slowed when I have to stop my flying fingers from typing out exactly what I'm thinking, word for word.  It doesn't feel right to call him a name that was designed to protect his identity and to keep some semblance of privacy for my dating life.

From now on, I'm calling him Sheldon.

I love Sheldon Gonzalez, and I don't care who knows it.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Ups and Downs

For the most part, things are going well in my life and I've learned to handle grief and live with it.  That doesn't mean I don't still have bad days and awful moments.

About a week ago, I took a nap, and for some reason, I awoke with the thought, "Why did Brian die?"  I couldn't stop thinking about him, and I'm still struggling to figure out the why -- what is my purpose in life?  What was his?  What is the point of it all? 

Without him, I don't have as much direction.  There are an unlimited number of directions I could go, paths I could travel with my life.  It can be overwhelming and frightening.  Which is right?  How will I know?

Right now, I just have to put all my efforts into making the life that I'm living now the best it can be.  Still, I have days when I just want to cry, when I don't want to get out of bed, when I can't stop missing Brian and all I want to do is talk about him, look at his pictures, and when I long to hear his voice and his laugh so strongly my soul aches.  I think the worst are the days when "Why?" keeps floating around my mind, as though it were bouncing off my skull, ready to permeate my next thought and to sear itself into every moment of my being.


Sunday, April 1, 2012

Spring has Sprung!

Our backyard is full of activity -- a family of birds with a nest full of babies has settled into the birdhouse high above the fenceline next to the tree, squirrels are coming over the fence for corn from our squirrel feeder (a gift to Antonio from Brian's parents), flowers and trees are blooming, the rose bush is growing up its lattice nicely.  The cats all enjoy the backyard too, in their own ways.  Mittons has been hiding in the bushes, trying to catch lizards.  Picaboo watches birds closely, prowling toward them when she's feeling brave.  Ellie enjoys chattering away at the birds...from a safe distance away, of course. 

The sights and sounds of spring are so beautiful.  I'm lucky.  Life does go on - and that's a blessing.

Oh, baby...some rambling thoughts

For the first time in my life, I'm seriously thinking about babies.  Not just because it seems like most of my friends have either had a baby or gotten pregnant in the last 12 months -- though that certainly reminds me that the window of opportunity is finite, and that I can see that window closing with each year that passes.  My best friends from grade school, high school, college, and law school all have babies now, or ones on the way.  I'm 31, so it makes sense that people are starting now.  Knowing that the risk of complications (as well as difficulty conceiving) go up significantly after age 35, there isn't a lot of time left to for two pregnancies, considering that many people need some time to try, then carry and deliver, then physically/emotionally/financially recover a bit between children. 

Brian would have been a great father.  "Antonio" will be too.  I hope I'll be as good a parent as either of them.  I look forward to trying and learning through the experience with Antonio.  He is someone who inspires me to be a better person, which I think will carry over into parenting extremely well.  Still, that will have to wait.  We aren't married yet, and I am forging a new career.  I don't know exactly when, but it is at least on the horizon, and something I am actually longing for.

In the meantime, I have nieces and the children of friends to dote on and spoil.  A lot of these babes were born after Brian died.  Two and a half years ago, we loved hanging out with Kristine & Bobby, playing video games while we enjoyed wine, beer and the latest in party hors d'oeuvres. I miss that time together, the four of us.  Now, he's dead, I'm in Texas living with a boyfriend and starting a new career, and they have changed jobs and had a baby girl nearly six months ago.  She just took the baby to visit Brian's grave. They left her rattle behind for him as a memento of the visit. I feel glad that she will grow up hearing his name spoken, knowing that he existed and was loved dearly. I wonder how I will handle the topic with my own children. How do children understand death?

It's odd -- everyone's lives went on after he died.   Cognitively, that makes sense.  I must admit, my life went on, so of course everyone else's did too.  But it's weird to think that life itself marches on -- people are born, people die, people move, people change jobs, people marry, people divorce.  All without Brian.  The world doesn't have him now. Babies that were born in 2010 or later won't ever know him.  It's bizarre to me, and cements the permanancy of our loss.  Not only do I have to live the rest of my life without him, but there are people who will never have the privilege to know him, to hear his voice or his laugh, to feel special the way he made everyone feel. 

When I have children, they will be people who never would have existed but for Brian's death.  And the children we might have together never got to be born because of his death.  What did the world miss out on?  What will it get?  What will my children be like?

It's all connected.  The impact of Brian's life, and his death, spreads far and wide.  The world will be different for both.  And I'm in the middle of this sea of change and uncertainty, just riding it out and trying to figure out where to go from here.  There must be some reason for it all.  For the time being, I just know that I still cry, I still miss him, and sometimes I just have to write.  I have to reach out and help people with what I know, and sometimes I have to reach out for help myself.  And, someday, I have to have children.