Transform. Adapt. Modify. Convert.
They all mean the same thing.
They are all different ways of saying change. And nothing quite changes your life like the death of your spouse, especially when you’ve spent most of your adult life with them.
So here I am, suddenly and unexpectedly widowed at age 37. In the blink of an eye, I am single. In a moments notice, I am half of an equation. And when you’ve been a part of the “you + them” equation as long as I have, I feel like an identity crisis is called for. When you spend 18 years with the same person who has seen you at your best (young, tight, wrinkles, well rested) and your worst (stretch marks, C-section scars, totally exhausted and a thicker mommy bod), and that person accepted you regardless, it’s hard to start over.
He accepted me every step of the way, and loved me often more than I loved my self. Each stage my body went through; weight loss and gain.
Every failed hair experiment.
Now, I am supposed to start over.
Now is the time for change because there is no other choice, my hand has been forced, everything is different. Beyond the drastic haircuts and new clothing that saw me through breakups past, I am a new person. A woman who drinks a little too much, and curses too often. A mother who is striving everyday to make sure my kids are happy and healthy, and if nothing else, clean and fed. I am surviving as best I can and sometimes that will mean being in a hole so deep and wide and dark that it seems I am unreachable. Sometimes I am okay, able to smile, laugh and enjoy myself.
This is my journey, and I don’t care what anyone thinks, if they approve, or are happy with my choices. Until you’ve spent even a few moments in my shoes your judgements mean nothing to me.
So if I drink too much, get tattoos, have things pierced, stay up too late, curse too much, party too often, cry, yell, laugh, have bad days or good days, it’s none of anyone’s concern as long as I am caring for my kids and showing up to work.
I am a phoenix rising from his ashes.
I am changed.