“Happy Birthday” Dearest Andrew

The last few weeks have been quite emotional for me. I can not go into all of the details quite yet, pending some investigations. It’s always easier to talk about something once it is completed. Right now, it would be a lot of speculation so I’m going to hold off. Just remind me later that I promised details.

So, as I’m sure you have guessed by the title, today was Andrew’s birthday. He should have turned 34 today. Yes, for all of you paying attention, I’m 42. So what? Lol.

Last year, I bought him a dozen cupcakes, 12 different flavors. I bought him concert tickets to see Brantley Gilbert because Aaron Lewis was opening & Andrew LOVED Aaron Lewis. We had so much fun at that concert. But we always had fun. It was part of why I loved him.

I am a cheap laugh, a laugh whore, if you will. I can giggle at almost anything. And laughing is my drug of choice. If you make me laugh, I’m yours for life. And make me laugh he did. Constantly. If we were on the phone, I would rarely speak because he would get me laughing right away & keep telling me story after story. If we were together, he would also tell me stories or he would tickle me. But my favorite was his dancing. Oh no, not because he was good. He was horrible.

One night I was feeling a bit cranky. I don’t recall why. It’s not important. But he turned on the radio, told me to dance. We did this all the time so it wasn’t a strange suggestion. (We typically expressed our feelings through music because he was emotionally handicapped. It was safest for him this way.) So this one particular night he asked me to dance & feeling extra smarmy, I said no. I sat on the couch & pouted. So he begins to dance. A horrible, tall, awkward, white man dance that no eye should see. But I saw it. And I began to giggle. And the more I giggled, the more he danced. Finally I was cracking up. When the song was over, I said to him “you are crazy. Don’t quit your day job.” He wrapped me in his arms, asked “Did I make you laugh?” Giggling like a school girl, I answered “yes.” He replied “that’s all I wanted.” And I was twitterpated. (See Bambi)

Today was a monumental first in the line of firsts in grief. Last week was the 6 months mark and today was his birthday. His family & oldest friends went to the gravesite tonight. I was not invited. That hurt more than I expected it to, more than my brain says it should. I miss him too. I hurt & ache from his loss. But because we were a private relationship, I grieve alone. I have a few friends & family that understand (maybe they don’t & pretend very well) how deeply I still hurt. But mostly I cry alone at night because it’s easier than trying to explain to someone something they never saw. Does that even make sense? His friends & family knew about me. We had talked on speakerphone numerous times. I would “hi mom!” or “hi dad!” from across the room at least once a week. His mom said she would quit calling on Thursday evening because that had become her normal night to call but we were always together on Thursday. He teased her & told her I was getting tired of the interruption. Then he told her the truth. I was glad she called. I never felt she was an interruption. She was his mother. She was part of who he was. She created this man I loved & I loved watching him talk to her. He adored her. He wanted her life to be easy & perfect.

It breaks my heart to know how different today was from last year. For Andrew’s family & friends. For me. I understand why I wasn’t invited. I am a reminder of their loss. They don’t “know” me other than the girl he spent a lot of time with and was always on the other end of the phone. It still stings. I will not allow any animosity towards them to creep in. I’m not that girl. I will only continue to pray for them, I know some of their pain. I’m not his mother or father, brother or oldest friend. But I was with him day in & day out. I had fallen in love with that goofy horrible dancer.

Happy Birthday Baby. I pray your party in heaven was lovely. I hope the cake was red velvet. I hope you ate some bang bang shrimp. I hope you watched me work really hard today. I held myself together almost completely. Just a few tears fell before I crawled into bed. I love you still. I miss you much. Good night sweetheart.

💗

Matilda Grace

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Dearest Andrew-Month 6

Dear sweet sweet Andrew,

Today is the 6 month anniversary of your death. Seems odd to call it an anniversary. Those are typically joyful celebrations of marriage or other happy occasions. In our case, it marks the end of our chapters. The finality of it is hardly relayed in the word anniversary. Yes, every month, every year there will be more of them, but I am facing them alone. Without you. Seems unfair. Sometimes it makes me want to lash out & yell at you about how I hate that you have done this to me, how you abandoned me & left me wallowing in this messy hell I have no idea how to get out from. Then I stand up. Remind myself that all I truly have to do is continue to walk forward & eventually I will be past the tears, the guilt & the heartache I feel now.

So my ex & I have been getting along fairly well lately. I will save the deets for later. But I know your first question would have been “does he want you back?” No. He does not, nor I him. But it’s nice to find that place we once had many, many years ago. He said to me the other day that it is time to remove your picture from my phone background & start dating. I told him I wasn’t sure I was ready. He said I never will be if I keep ahold of you so tightly. I told him a quick story about my two besties teasing me at work one day as I was talking to a male co-worker. One asked if I had dinner plans. The other was trying to give him my phone number. He said “did you go out?” “NO!” I replied. “Why didn’t you ask him out?” “Because I’m old fashioned & I’m not doing that!” I answered. He just laughed & said I was silly. You used to say I was silly.

I explained to him that part of me feels guilty. I am here to make the choice to date again, not date again, go to work, see my family & friends. I feel guilty that you are gone & no longer have those choices. Why do I feel guilty? I wish I knew. Maybe because you were saving me from myself that night. Because I was at my breaking point & was ready to give up. Yet here I am & you are gone.

I also am fearful. What happens if I do go out? What if he tries to kiss me? What happens if I actually have fun? What happens if he asks me out again? What happens if we begin a relationship? What happens to YOU?!? Where will you be in those situations? Right now, I keep you very close, in my heart. What if someone else tries to kick you out because they want in there? Can you both reside there peacefully? What happens if I put my best effort in to making things work with a new guy but I just can’t do it? I will have hurt an innocent person by mixing him up in my crazy. What if I flip out with a panic attack?

Any, all or none of these scenarios are possible. Right now, none. No one is knocking at this girls door. Sometimes I think I’m ready. I have grown a lot. I have cried a lot. I have learned a lot. But I’m still nervous. So sweet Andrew, what do you think? To date or not to date, that is the question. Actually, I don’t think that is THE question. It’s just one of many.

So here I am. 6 months later. Still crying. Still missing. Still wondering. Still wishing. But also, now, curious. What does my future hold? Who does my future hold?

My darling Andrew, I wish the answers were you. I wish I could hear you call me silly girl. I miss your voice. I wish we could have gone fishing this summer. Oh how I loved making you bait my hook & then before you could get your pole back in the water, make you take my slimey new fish off & rebait my hook. I wish we had been able to go boating. I was so looking forward to that. And redoing your grandpa’s  motorcycle. We were going to have a fun summer. Now it’s almost over. It has been rainy & gloomy, like I have felt. I have done nothing worth mention. I have survived. I guess that’s good enough for now.

When I pray, I ask God to give you a big hug. I ask him to make sure you know how loved you are here. To make sure you know how much I love you. I know my prayers are working. I find a little more strength. A little more peace. A lot more laughter. I know God is standing with me through this. He must be, without Him, I would never have made it.

I love you dearly my sweet Andrew. I will see you again when I get to heaven. But if you are ever passing by, please stop and whisper in my ear “silly girl.”

Much love,

Matilda Grace

Roomie

I know that I’m a week behind. I apologize if this has kept you up nights wondering if I would continue. Have no worries, my loves, I am here and fine. Just got a bit behind schedule this week. So what should we talk about today? The current issues of life? My parents? My son? Frankly, the options are unlimited. I’m actually not going to discuss the current crazy situation in my life. I want to wait a few weeks until I see how it plays out. It’s a doozie.

Let’s instead discuss you. I keep prattling on and on about this thing I call life but I know very little about YOU. I know. You are wondering how on earth we could possibly discuss your life through this blog. I would venture to guess it will be easier than you think. No, I’m not psychic. I’m a Christian, remember? Not really compatible.

I am assuming there are almost 10 of you reading this because you know me and love me. (HI Mom! Hi Besties!! Hugs!) Now, obviously, I know these people fairly well. I could probably blog about their lives just as easily as I do my own. Heck, I could pick one person I know a day and blog a quick little post about their life and keep myself busy for several years. Maybe I will do just that. Better keep reading. One day, you might find yourself in my title. LOL! (my ornery side kicked in!)

The other people reading this, well, I don’t know your personal details. Nor will I. But I know you are reading my post so I can assume you are 1) curious about my life 2) you have no freaking clue or 3) something that you have read is resonating within you somewhere, somehow. Since I find my day to day life bland and uninteresting, those of you that said it is about curiosity, must be wondering about how I maintain a fairly decent level of intelligence, the ability to work full time and not drool on myself following the insanity I have shared thus far. Weeelllll…..don’t put too much weight into the lack of drool thing. 🙂 Just teasing. I only drool in my sleep. If you said you have no freaking idea why you keep reading this bunk, I would say you really fall into the third category. See? That wasn’t hard at all.

Now, why does what I’m posting resonate within you? Somewhere, somehow, for some reason, I am speaking to a part of you that needs to know that you are not alone in your fears, your feelings, your lack of hope, your hope for hope, your need to be freed of the past, and/or so many other thoughts that run through your mind leaving you to wonder if you are absolutely nuts or if anyone else thinks like you. Oh Hear Ye, Hear Ye! YOU ARE NOT ALONE! None of us are. We are one smile away from another human. We are one prayer away from God. We are one 911 phone call away from a First Responder. Does this keep us from feeling alone? Nope. But it does remind us that all of the people we pass by every day is a potential shoulder to cry on, or may need one themselves.

Ok, enough about you. Let me tell you a quick story about how I came to have a roommate. After Andrew died, one of my sister’s flew in from Florida to spend a week with me. My family was afraid for me to be alone, as they should have been. As she was preparing to leave, they were still freaking out (in the most loving of freak out ways) so I sent a text to my friend from church. She said she would come stay with me for a few weeks. She had NO IDEA why I needed someone. She just packed a bag and showed up. While she was here, I realized it was best for me to have HER around. Not just “someone,” but this specific someone. Now, I have mentioned before, I have amazing friends and family, so finding someone to stay with me for a few days, even weeks would not have been impossible. But to find one that I knew without a doubt was meant to live with me, that’s big. We get along spectacularly, we live our own lives, buy our own food, wash our own clothes and when we get time together we cherish it. It happens much less than people would think. This morning, we ran to Cracker Barrel for a spontaneous breakfast and we stopped to play in the toy sand box before we left. A few weeks ago, a strange bird had us trapped outside of our door. We were armed with open umbrellas huddled on the porch and we were laughing so hard, I almost wet my pants (TMI? Sorry). I bring this up to show you that is how quickly God swooped in and saved my life. I have no doubt in my mind that without this beautiful, bright, vibrant friend sensing my text meant something serious was going on, I WOULD be that girl with the drool. I would not have the smile on my face that I have. She is consistently with me enough to encourage, to support, to allow me to cry, to remind me of scripture, to bring me a glass of water or make a cup of tea or to watch Netflix or to stand in our bedroom doors having a quick chat before bed.

So I ask you this…Are You Alone? Why? Reach out. Send that text! I am not saying it erases everything. I still cry. I still ache. I still miss him so very very much. But even when I feel so isolated, I can’t bear the thought of spending another minute without him, I realize I can’t bear the thought of my life without this silly sand box, owl loving, smoothie drinking girl. I thank God every day that He knew who I needed that day. She has blessed me ever since.

We all need at least one person in our corner. To motivate us, make us pee our pants laughing or pick us up when we fall. If you don’t know who that is in your life, take a quick inventory. Odds are, you have more than one, I know I do. If you don’t, we need to have a serious talk. The best way to make friends, is to be a friend. So get out there and be friendly! Don’t be creepy about it, but make some dang friends.

Get up, love the uglies, make some friends. Challenge of the week: Reach out to someone you haven’t spoken to in at least 4 months. Put an end to that silence. Report back in.

And remember, in case no one tells you this week: I LOVE YOU! Have a blessed week!