It is April 5th again.
Another birthday for me. Another year without Pat.
Today is the day that is the marking point which splits my life into the life before and my life after. Today is the day Pat died, two years ago. I can’t believe another year has come and gone with out him. This year flew by. It wasn’t an easy year, but it was better than the year before. It started off pretty rough. The boys were struggling. They were missing their dad in a bad way. Issues were starting to boil to the surface and emotions were running high. I had quit my job and was searching for something new. I wanted to change my life and do something I loved. I gave it a try…I didn’t like it. I ended up deciding to take the year off . The boys needed me. I needed the time.
I needed time to sort through my thoughts, my feelings, my emotions. I needed to figure out who I was, what I wanted and where I wanted to go. It was quite a year of reflection and focus on me. I needed to be home with the boys. It gave them comfort knowing I was home. I could be there in the morning before school and waiting for them when they arrived home from their day. I was able to give them the comfort and stability of knowing I was simply there. We all needed this year.
We had our ups and downs with grief this year. We struggled without Pat. We miss him every day. The sadness is different now. It is more sadness about what he is missing… That he should be here to be apart of things. That life would be so different if he was here. The pain doesn’t ache as intensely in my heart like it did two years ago. Now it is a struggle to keep going in the day-to-day grind of life, on my own. It is still trying to forge this new path and live life on my own terms. It is the struggle with finding balance as a single mom and a single woman.
As I come to this day each year, it is like New Year’s Eve for me. This is when my year changes because this is when my life changed. It is ironic that today is also my birthday because it was a rebirth when he died…not one that I wanted, but I started a new life this day. I started all over. I use this day to reflect on the past year; where I have been, what I have done, and where I want to go from here. Here is how I see it:
A lot changed in year 2…We settled into our new home, I left my job in search of a new job, I got rid of Pat’s car, and my old car, I went through all of his belongings and began to give them away, I made new friends, let go of old friends, made new relationships, and set new goals. I traveled a lot; I wrote a lot. I met me and got to know me better. I’ve figured out what I want out of life and started making plans to go out and get it all. I have had a lot of crying and confusion and loneliness and being scared of the future. BUT, I have also had a lot of laughs and good times, new memories and hope for the future. It was a roller coaster of a year and a lot of work. I went through times where I thought Pat would be disappointed in me for not being out there living fully quite yet. I have had times where I was disappointed in me for not just taking a risk and reaching for my dreams. I have a had a lot of times where I felt so alone and so judged for how and why I make the decisions I make. Sometimes I feel like no one understands me and where I am. Sometimes I think I am crazy and my perspective on life is messed up. I’ve had some bad days.
And then I find peace again. Because I have had good days. I have had days of laugh and love and happiness. I have felt excitement, hope and pure joy. I have had times of wonder and learning and reaching for something new. And I know that what is right for me, is what is right. Pat would want nothing more than for us to be happy in our lives the way we want to live it. I am going to live life again…actually, no…I am living life again. It is just different from the life before so sometimes I forget to see it as living. I am doing what I want to do, it is just taking time for the full path to be revealed. I am leaving it in God’s hands and trusting in the fact that in time all will reveal itself. For now, I am going to try to keep living my life the way I want to live without any concern for others opinions and others judgment. Not as easy as it sounds, but what I keep trying to do.
As for the boys…they are a constant struggle. And these teenage years are aging me faster than father time can. I am not sure I am cut out to be a single parent and I am positive I am screwing them up more and more each day. But one thing is for sure, I love those boys more than anything. They are the reason I keep going and they are the reason I want to continue to be better. I will keep pushing on and doing my very best everyday for them, even though they are absolutely pushing me to the brink.
They are doing better than I would have expected two years ago. They are growing into amazing people. They have their times of struggles, but they are mostly happy. They are figuring things out with their dad around the best they can. I am amazed at their strength and perseverance. They simply amaze me.
As for what is ahead of me…I only see good. It is what I am choosing to see. I think I am finding my place again. I think I am starting to feel alive again. I miss Pat. I love Pat. I so wish he was here today to celebrate my birthday. And I know he is. He is always here with me and the boys. I think he would be proud of how far we have come and excited to see where we are going. The only thing he would be disappointed in is the fact that he isn’t here to share in our growth and progress. But I know he is there watching over us with a smile on his face and love in his heart. We are his pride and joy and not one year, not two years, not all the time the world is going to change that. His death changed us and our lives forever, but our love will never fade.