The title of this post was taken from the song Smile by Uncle Kracker.
I've had some interesting comments made to me over the last year, and I thought I would share. These are things that new widows or widowers do not like to hear.
1) You're young, you'll find someone else.
2) You're going to have a hard time finding someone willing to take on three kids.
3) How long are you going to play the widow card?
Wait a minute...what? Surly this lady did not just ask me that "How long are you going to play the widow card?" ...what? I don't...what? Are you...what? Widow card? You mean like in the game of Spades where a spade can trump a card from any other suit? You mean like I'm using the fact that I'm a widow to...what? I can't really think of any benefits to losing my husband. Thanks so much.
4) Are you feeling any better about things?
5) Did he have life insurance? How much?
6) You're actually staying at your house?
Yes, I am. What else am I supposed to do? It's my home, it's what the kids know. It's where they feel close to their dad. Since when do I have to justify where I'm staying.
7) My husband is getting on my nerves.
I don't think that people realize that I didn't get my copy of the book How to handle losing a spouse AND make others happy. Instead I just got to pick out a casket, but thanks.
I wrote that about seven months ago, but just wasn't sure what to do with it. I look back at how cynical I was at some points this last year, and I think how sad. I can only chalk it up to survival mode. When I read that partial post and then I read what I really wanted to post today I had to smile a little. I've come a long way.
I'm actually doing fairly well right now. School is almost over, 5 and a half days for students :), and I'm looking forward to summer. I have floundered over the last year. I've felt like my life was in a constant limbo, but a very dear coworker made a comment the other day that really put things into perspective for me. It was something close to this "Melanie, you're at the top of the mountain, and you can go either way." Meaning I can continue to push forward and allow myself a life with laugher, love, and new experiences, or I can turn around and focus on the destruction of the past year. This last year has been about simply making it through, and there is so much I don't remember. I guess my whole point is that I'm choosing to take all my wonderful memories and continue LIVING my life. I don't want another year in which the only way I remember what I did was by reading this blog. I want to live.
I like to smile and I like to have fun. My kids need to see me this way. Yesterday John and I went out while mom watched the kids for us. I think this picture says enough.
I know it's difficult for some people to know that I have someone special in my life. I was part of "Mike and Mel" for 15 years, and I know this is hard. I'm not trying to replace Mike or our memories. I'm trying to smile and find some hope for my future. Mike always said I had the most beautiful smile in the whole world. I know with all of my heart that he would want me to be happy, but most of all he would want me to smile.