Thursday, February 25, 2010

Here It Is, My Story (Part 1)

While many of you know I am a widow, I have never told "my story".  Tomorrow marks the 9th anniversary of my husband's death.  While I certainly don't fit the part of the grieving widow, the reality that I have been a widow far longer than I was ever a wife sometimes sits funny with me.  While I am not always the greatest at articulating my journey, I have decided to share to the best of my ability what brought me here.


Illustration from Artistablog

Take yourself back to 1997.  I was a young adult, recently graduated from high school.  As a teenager, I had the opportunity to attend college in place of traditional high school curriculum.  During that time, my parents divorced.  My dad and Baby Brother moved to Chicago and then to Boston for a spell, eventually bringing them back to Chicago.  I dated and had plenty of boyfriends.  I wasn't always very nice to them.  In the summer of 1996, my best friend was killed in a tragic accident at work.  In short, my life to this point had been far from idyllic.  I had decided I needed to take some time away from school and sort myself out.  I got an apartment with a very close girlfriend and got a job as a manager in a coffee shop at a little place called The Mall of America.

I don't recall the first time I saw him.  He was a manager at an eyeglass store.  I remember he wasn't a coffee drinker, but he came in every morning for a hot apple cider.  I remember him always trying to chat me up while he waited, but I never really paid much attention.  He frequently would say things like, "We should grab a drink sometime." as he was leaving.  Usually I just smiled and replied, "We'll see you tomorrow."  I was 19.  He was 25.

I recall things going on this way for a few months, and finally one day instead of just the casual chat, he said to me, "So, when do I get to buy you that drink?"  I remember laughing and telling him I was too young for him to buy me a drink and that I didn't date customers.  He was cute, had a great laugh, and a mischevious sparkle in his eye, but I had my sights set on someone else.

The next day he asked if he could take me to lunch.  Again, I politely declined.  Later that day, he returned with a To Go box of my favorite meal from a restaurant down the hall.  He told me since he couldn't take me to lunch, he'd bring lunch to me. He continued to ask me out daily for a month.  I continued to decline for a month.  Finally, after all of my co-workers telling me to just go, I accepted.  I let him take me to dinner.  It was October 1997.  We were inseparable from that point.  In February, he asked me to marry him.  I was 20.  I had never met anyone that made me laugh the way he did.  I had never met anyone I could talk with the way we did.  He made me feel like I was the only person in the room.  I said yes.  In April, we found out I was pregnant with The Boy.  We married in September,  It was a small outdoor wedding with only close friends and family.  I was on Cloud 9.

The Boy was born December 30, 1998.  We spent our first New Year's Eve in the hospital as a brand new family of 3.  Little did I know that in days, my world would be turned up side down.

22 comments:

Lee the Hot Flash Queen said...

I am so proud of you for sharing your story! I know how hard this is for you and I love you!

Senorita said...

Thanks for sharing your story. I've always wanted to know, but I didn't want to intrude.

adrienzgirl said...

Oh Mama, you are so brave! You really are taking us on your journey! Love you!

Daffy said...

I'm ready and right behind you...you know, incase you need me to prod your ass....

Seriously, you are such an amazing woman that I feel so blessed to know. Our chat times are special and all kinds of awesome. Your strength and fortitude coupled with your humbleness, outlook on life and super solid advice makes for such a dynamite combination. Not to mention you're super hawt rockin' that purple hair! I admire you in so many ways!

You have my unwavering attention....I'm ready for the next part :O)

Michele said...

Wow... what a brave and soul wrenching thing to do. I'll be with you all the way, as you travel down this road again.
You are an amazing, strong, exceptional woman.

I "heart" you.

Andrea (ace1028) said...

I honestly had no idea. I appreciate you sharing your story and want you to know we support you through the journey of telling or re-telling as much as you can or want to share. {Hugs}

Dual Mom said...

Thanks for sharing your story with us. I'm looking forward to getting "to know" you a little bit better.

Wym said...

Thank you for sharing. So far it is a beautiful memior. I hope that holds true for you as well.

singedwingangel said...

OH as a newbie here I feel so behind on this.. but I am waiting for the second part... I would love to know your story..

April said...

I'm new here too. Thanks for sharing your story!

Mike said...

Thanks for sharing. It's a beautiful share.

Nancy C said...

Your readers are supporting you as you share this story. So far, I'm totally sucked in.

Tattoos and Teething Rings said...

I know this can't be easy, but it will hopefully help you sort things out in a relatively safe environment, with lots of love and support. Can't wait for the rest of the story...

anya said...

This is incredibly bittersweet. My heart goes out to you!
He sounds like such a sweetheart - and determined! He wasn't going to stop until he had you! Very romantic.

Danielle said...

I am not new, but I don't comment often. Thanks for sharing your story with us! We are here for you.

Alicia said...

oh mamasita....i know this can't be easy to share, but i hope a part of you is healing with every day that passes...thanks for having the strength to share your story! love you lady!! big hugs!!

The Blue Zoo said...

You are very brave, and very awesome. What else is there to say? =)

Zen Mama said...

My eyes are filled with tears as I read your story. I'll continue reading...

Found you at Life Without Pink.

Jewel said...

Thank you for sharing, very brave, hard to read let alone write.

Jessica New Fuselier said...

WOW...

Maris Ehlers Photography said...

You are very brave. I know you probably scoff at that and think "what choice do I have", but your bravery is evident in your words, your journey, and how you move on.

My recent post about forgiveness by a six year old on a post-it-note: http://marisehlersphotography.blogspot.com/2011/05/lesson-in-forgiveness-from-six-year-old.html

Kelley said...

I am gearing myself up to read your journey. I need to get some Kleenex first. I already needed some for this post alone. Thanks so much for sharing your story with us!

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