Yesterday I forced myself out of my house for the first Memorial Day since Michael died. Memorial Day, Veteran’s Day, his death day, and our anniversary I like to hide. It is easier for me that way. On those days denial is good. I have some great friends, who happen to be widows like me, that planned a few things to honor our heroes….and it forced me out of my hole. I am glad they did. I’m glad I took a step.
The kids and I were able to write on a paper lantern and send it up to heaven for Daddy. Even little Landon participated in this. It was sweet and really a nice moment to share with my friends and my kids…despite the fact that we almost burnt down a few houses in the process.
I was having a rough afternoon, I was good until I was getting ready to leave my house…and then my day turned for the worse. As soon as I got there I was in tears. I cried most of the way there on the phone with my mother-in-law. I almost turned around and went back to my hole, aka my house. She told me not to and encouraged me to go despite the pain in my heart. She was right to do so. I cried in front of people I didn’t know…ate too much cheesecake…and then I was calm. The problem was that my day which naturally wasn’t good was pushed to a whole different level because of people.
I have to learn to not let people hurt my heart, but it is hard. I have to remember that Michael and I had this crazy, beautiful love that nothing can touch….no one else’s years or memories can touch the time I spent with him and our love. I met Michael when he was 21. I was 22. We were both young and things were undetermined but we were drawn to each with such force that our lives were irrevocably changed in an instant. So much so that people would tell us that when they saw us standing next to each other or talking that they thought we had been one for years. We just had that much symmetry. I realize he had a life before me…that’s obvious because I did not know him since he was born…but all that matters to me is my time with him, the husband he was, the father he was, and the Marine he was…because he was unstoppable in those three roles. I don’t care about all the stupid things he did and mistakes he made before me. There were things he did and a number of people who contributed to his life…but he broke out of any mold anyone ever put him into, that’s just how he did things. He made himself the man I fell in love with. He created the Marine I was proud of. He on his own became the parent that he was by my side, no one else’s. It was his sweat, blood, tears, and determination that made him who he was. The person a lot of people knew was not the man I knew. Some people, mostly the guys he deployed with during his two tours in Iraq, saw Michael transform in front of their eyes. They also saw me drive him mad and his unconditional love for me despite it all.
I got home last night full of anxiety and I started puking as I always do when I have a bit of a panic…turns out though that I also had a bug!!! I stayed in bed until this afternoon and thought about a lot. My life, my love, my past, my future…all I can do is rest in my truth.
Things are mostly settled now, I think, but it is still hard to not let my heart hurt. I’ll try to shield myself a little better in the future…because all humans are a ball of emotions and we all say things we regret and don’t necessarily mean.