|(Do you like my picture for this blog? I totally have that outfit.)|
I've been putting off my Father's Day blog because after six years, I know that I could write one thing one day and feel completely different the next. So now that I'm an old, wise widow (okay...maybe just old), I know to procrastinate on this one a little.
Let me preface this by saying my usual - please don't read this or any other blog I've written (or any blog anyone else has written) and assume that you're on the same path. Because while our circumstances might be similar, our experiences could be completely different. So, as I've said before, don't assume that because I'm having a bad day, hour, year, or decade...that you are destined to do the same.
If this were radio I would have had someone read that really fast.
I'm doing okay this year. Honestly, I am. And the reason why I put this blog off is because I thought the same damn thing last year about a week before Father's Day...only to have a breakdown two days before and not recover until Labor Day.
I thought I had this widow thing in the bag. Seriously, during year four...I was in the zone, slam dunking my widowness and "winning" like the female version of Charlie Sheen. Only sober and without a one-man show.
So imagine my surprise when, during year five, my mind thought I had this completely figured out and my body went, "Waaaait a minute. Back it up there, my friend. Don't think you've got a handle on this. And to make sure you really realize that I'm going to give you hives, make you sick, twist your ankle twice in a month, and stick something in your other foot that will make it completely impossible for you to walk for three months."
That's why, this year, I've kept my head down, worked on not making eye-contact with my grief, and refused to let my mind get too cocky. Because...well...you just never know when your body is going to rebel.
But I'm good. Year six. Father's Day Eve. I'm walking on both feet, my itchiness is at a minimum, and so far I'm not popping antihistamines like they're Tic Tacs. And I can't tell you how grateful I am for that.
That doesn't mean it doesn't hurt. In some ways, each milestone is like another mini-death because I'm losing, yet again, an experience that I feel like I should be having. I know that I will go up to the cemetery in the morning with my three kids and have that feeling yet again that can only be described as surreal-ly unfair. Even after six years, I know that the moment I see that headstone with that name and those dates I will think, "What in the hell am I doing here?" And by the time I go to bed tomorrow night, I will be breathing a sigh of relief that it's over and I have 365 days to dread the next one.
As some of you know, Father's Day begins my own cluster of crappy dates because immediately following it are my birthday, the anniversary of his death, and our wedding anniversary. I don't know one widow(er) out there who doesn't have a cluster like this in some way - whether it involves the holidays or just important personal dates - and it truly sucks. Sometimes I feel like one of those cartoons that gets steamrolled - only my steamroller is grief and I can only hope that I pop back to my original form sometime around the 21st of July.
But today I'm okay. Who knows? Maybe year six is the year I'll have it all figured out. Or maybe I'll be a complete mess next year and realize that I'm destined to have a nervous breakdown on the odd-numbered years.
But I'm feeling good now.
And as we all know we have to grab on to that feeling when we can. Because we're never guaranteed how long it will last.
Widow Chick (aka, Catherine Tidd) is the owner of www.theWiddahood.com and the author of the upcoming memoir Confessions of a Mediocre Widow (Jan. 2014). She is also a writer for The Denver Post's Mile High Mamas and a contributor to several books on grief and renewal.