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9 Months

widow Oct 15, 2019

Originally Published on 3/4/19

Today is March 4th. Every month on the fourth I’m reminded that life goes on. The world keeps spinning, regardless what happens in your own little world. It’s been exactly 9 months since my little world imploded.

9 months since my husband got up to go to bed. “I’m going to bed.” “Okay, goodnight, love you.” “Love you.”

9 months since I heard a noise in my bedroom and got up to see what it was.

9 months since I made my first-ever 911 call.

9 months since my husband reached up from clutching his chest and cupped my face in his hand. Time stood still. He just looked at me. And then he was gone.

9 months since I did chest compressions guided by the 911 operator. You’re supposed to do it to the tune of “Stayin’ Alive”, which is some dark irony.

9 months since the EMTs arrived and made me leave my bedroom as they performed CPR to restart my husband’s heart. They were able to get a heart beat and they moved him to the ambulance.

9 months since I put the oldest in charge and told him his dad was going to be okay and we would be home soon. He was the only one awake at the time.

9 months since I raced after the ambulance, doing 90 down the highway a little after midnight.

9 months since I sprinted through a desolate hospital in the wee hours of the morning.

9 months since I waited for hours alone in the family waiting room for them to tell me he was fine and would pull through.

9 months since the doctor, instead, told me he was on life support and in critical condition and would be for the foreseeable future. He did not know why his heart stopped or continued to stop after they were able to restart it.

9 months since they told me I needed to be prepared to make a decision for my husband’s life in the next few days if his condition didn’t get better.

9 months since I heard “code blue in the ICU” on the intercom as I stood outside his hospital room alone watching him make that decision for me as the room filled with doctors and nurses trying to bring him back.

9 months since the doctor told me there was nothing else they could do.

9 months since I collapsed into the nurse standing next to me.

9 months since I was alone in the hospital, in my life and in the world because half of me was suddenly gone.

9 months since I climbed into his hospital bed and just laid there crying for hours until my family got there.

9 months since I had to wake the kids up for school as if it was a normal school day and tell them their dad was gone.

9 months since I sat in my living room in a complete daze as friends and family came in and out of my house for the next couple of weeks.

9 months.

But in those 9 months, I’ve found my footing as myself. I’ve been supported and loved and helped by friends, family and internet friends. I’m still working on myself, and it’s a day by day process to find a new normal, but I’m well on my way. I still think of Jason all the time – more than just daily. Every little thing reminds me of him in some way, whether it’s the half-used jar of pizza sauce and green olives I see every time I open my fridge from the last time we make pizza together, an inside joke, something we did together like going to kids’ events, something I think he would like now, like all the awesome movies that are about to come out, etc. Now those moments and happy memories usually make me smile because of what we had, not cry because of what I lost.

It’s been 9 months since my world crashed down around me.

It’s been 8 months since I started throwing myself into work and my business. At first, I did it as a distraction. Now I do it because I don’t have a second income anymore as a fallback. I have to earn money.

It’s been 7 months since I celebrated my first birthday alone after Jason died. I had an all-day client meeting, but they knew it was my birthday and they brought in cupcakes. It was good to be around familiar faces. It was an unseasonably cool day for a Texas summer, and the weather was perfect. I think that was Jason’s gift to me.

It’s been 6 months since I sent my son to school for his first day back without sending any other kids to school since they moved in with their mom. Jason always loved hearing about the kids’ day at school on their first day back. We usually celebrated as a family with froyo and he would FaceTime his youngest 2 kids.

It’s been 5 months since the holidays started, beginning with Halloween. I thought October-January was going to be really tough, and it was tough, but I think I braced for the difficulty and distracted myself with my son’s excitement. January was actually my hardest month since summer, because there was no more distraction.

It’s been 4 months since my best month yet for my business. I’m still working and growing and accepting new clients, but that month was exceptionally great and gave me the ability to be able to focus on my son during the holidays.

It’s been 3 months since Christmas time. I didn’t decorate the outside of my house and barely decorated the inside. I did make my son a new stocking that looks similar to mine because we’re starting new traditions as we both move forward.

It’s been 2 months since I started the new year on my own and learned how to change my own car battery.

It’s been 1 month since I had Jason’s youngest 2 kids over to celebrate the one of their birthdays. I’m lucky to still get to see all of the kiddos.

Day by day, moment by moment, I’m putting my life together. Not back together, because I can’t go back. I’m a different person now and I’m doing everything again for the first time as the person I am now.

I heard this one Kenny Chesney song randomly for the first time last week, and then like 3 more times after that. It’s cheesy as hell, but I can relate to every word.

I ain’t lonely, but I spend a lot of time alone
More than I’d like to, but I’m okay with staying home
My how the last few months have changed
I’m smilin’ more despite the pain

I breathe in, I breathe out
Got friends to call who let me talk about
What ain’t workin’, what’s still hurtin’
All the things I feel like cussin’ out
Now and then I let it go
I ride the waves I can’t control
I’m learning how to build a better boat

I’m not sad every day anymore, but I am constantly reminded of Jason. He was my person, my best friend and my soul mate. Thinking of him makes me smile and it always will. For now, I’m forging on, rallying to life my freaking life.

Because I’m still here.

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