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kmouse

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  1. Ugh. Ranks right there with what I've gotten from wids and nonwids: "Well, at least you didn't have kids." Yeah, that factor does make everything waaaay easier to deal with. (Strangely enough, six years hasn't been quite enough to resolve the missing him AND the kids we should have had together AND the decade of infertility we struggled with. Guess I'm not doing things correctly.) I've not been able to really ferret out if it's meant kindly or as a minimizer. *shrug*
  2. kmouse

    New Relationships....Post a Pic

    Lonepanda and kmouse Met as chatters, instantly smitten at the first DFW bago. Fourth anniversary coming up in May.
  3. Fast tracking kind of made me grin because part of what I've had to do in my process of looking up is forgive myself for my grief/mourning/loneliness/purposelessness taking so incredibly long. It took me really until very recently to open myself up fully to the understanding of just how devastated and lost I was. Recently I was part of conversation with some dear friends and said an expanded form of this: "The brutal truth is that R's death fucked me up so deeply, so badly, so entirely, that I couldn't recover without help, but sadly, even without all that [2 years of therapy] help, I was still an anxiety-ridden mess...so badly I left my career and slept away a year...because I was such a mess and then hid from the world in the second. I tried so hard to compensate, I hid so much of my pain, I worked myself dangerously close to my own death to keep the school going forward that even with those two years of concentrated help, I utterly fell apart when I finally laid it all down. I am finally, finally closing in on recovery and working towards finding who and what I am now. The trauma still shows its face in an exhausted adrenal system...an unexpected stressor like a missed alarm can throw me into a panic attack. I've had to draw tight boundaries on negative people/places/events. I'm intentionally seeking out fun/beauty/humor/wellness. I'll never be quite right again, but I've got some coping skills now and can manage. One of those elements of management (that D has had to learn to accommodate) is a need to plan ahead, know what's coming at me, understand next steps, etc. I never was terribly spontaneous, but now I feel like the kiddo in school on the spectrum that needs a social story and a visual schedule to manage my day. The PTSD is gone as far as I can tell, but I'm not sure the elements of suddenness and the tendrils of trauma will ever quite go away." Maybe the looking up really has come as I've been able to find those areas of sweetness despite the tendrils. I was so, so hard on myself for years. I didn't hide my grief well enough. I didn't "get better" fast enough. I wasn't happy enough despite being remarried. It seemed like no matter how fast I danced, what had to rebuilt and processed would be in its OWN time, not mine. I'm hoping one day I can add full self-forgiveness to the list of accomplishments. The true me that I hide fairly artfully was grievously wounded...maybe one of these days I'll be able to cut her some slack. ATJ, I hope you post your post on rebuilding. Rebuilding has been the most confounding, painful, frustrating thing I've ever been faced with. Seems like I mess it up more than I ever get it right, but I keep trying. It's a huge comfort to know others are out there plugging away at it, too.
  4. Cool topic! Life started to consistently "look up" probably about the time I stopped only looking within myself, if that makes any sense. It probably relates to the sentiments of my buddies Moke and Bluebird in that my identity wasn't widow anymore, rather, it had been absorbed and assimilated into the facets of me. When my worldview stopped being nearly entirely through the wid lens, I started looking up and out more...at people, towards places, considering events. Life stopped being just my story of what had happened to me and all I had lost, to reengaging with world. I'd say these days... ~I take deep pleasure in the smallest, sweetest moments. ~I trust myself and my instincts more than ever in my life...I've earned my stripes and have nothing to prove to anyone anymore. ~My faith has been challenged by fire and has come through tested and solid as a diamond. It's my dearest possession. ~I like interesting people even more than I did before. Conversely, I have zero problem nuking gigantic sphincters from my life. ~I feel unbelievable gratitude for the life I lived before and the life that has emerged from so much pain. ~I have a partner in this second half of my life that is helping me find adventure and fun. ~I am in awe that I have been given two of the most wonderful men in the world to love. And this one makes me tear up to think of it... Spring is coming early to my region this year. The year he died it was so cold and wet in mid-April. I wrote at some point that April wept with me. I've moved from dreading any evidence of the promise of returning life to seeing unbelievable beauty in this new spring. It's spring number seven without him and the world is almost painfully beautiful. I know all these signs of new life are as they've always been. My own eyes are what have changed. I had hopes in the way back days that things would look up and life would be worth living in the absence of R. They have and it is.
  5. I think a full half of my 2200+ posts at YWBB came from the good ole Bistro! *glances around* The place is looking good! Hey, wait. It's just missing something. *rustles around in the closet* HA! *hangs the disco ball* Perfect. I think I'll go whip up a mudslide and join Moke by the fire. kmouse...fan of all things sparkly
  6. "You should be glad you had that kind of a love...lots of people don't even get that. I probably wouldn't expect it again." -guy I supervised who then began a pattern of pestering me socially and trying to get me to go out with him (my husband was a flat stud and he was a dud. As IF.) "Well, now at least she can get married again to someone who can give her children." -one of my staff members (Richard and I had many years of infertility issues and had decided to adopt the day before he died.) And then there was the wid dad who wreaked major havoc in the wids w/o kids section on the old board a while back. Seem to enjoy pounding it into our childless heads that his reality was much worse than ours. Probably one of the only times I wanted to reach through the screen and rip the face off another wid. I'll never forget the awful things he said...damaging. Other than those, just garden variety cluelessness from people who cared, couldn't understand, but tried really hard. Those folks I cut lots of slack towards and listen for intent.
  7. kmouse

    What's in a name?

    I registered just a couple days after losing my husband so my brain was pretty scrambled. My first name begins with a K, and my cat and very best buddy Mouse was sitting beside me when I was registering...kmouse was the best I could come up with. Not much of a reflection of personality, but it always reminds me of my sweet Mickey Mouse. Kelly
  8. kmouse

    Loss of the mother ship

    Exactly that. I confessed to dear friends last night that I've not missed jumping on YWBB a single day since Day #2...2,164 days. For the last many months into couple years, it's probably been more habit than necessity, but it was a comfort. Over time I'd wander a distance but look back just to make sure it was there, sometimes running full-speed back when I just needed to drop back in. Last night before I clicked out for the very last time, I took a few screen shots, captured a few posts, and then pulled my first post from April of 2009 and my last post in July of 2014. A much stronger and more resilient person wrote that last post...the story that was told in between is what takes my breath away. I am very glad for Widda, but today I am holding YWBB close to my heart and remembering. It will always hold, out there in the somewhere, the very essence of my deepest pains, my most intensely felt joys, the stumbling steps I made forward, and the renewal of my life. The incomparable k a gill, beloved Kansas City wid, had a bit of a lyric in her sig line coming from a favorite Beatles song, "And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make." A lot of love was given and received on the Mother Ship. YWBB was an comforting, challenging, sometimes frustrating, often entertaining, confounding friend. But it was a friend. I'll miss it quite a lot.
  9. kmouse

    The Journey - Mindy Wilsford

    I remember someone posting this on YWBB and it had a lot of resonance...
  10. kmouse

    Bago Testimonials

    As I was taking my last stroll through YWBB before it goes dark, I found my earlier bago testimonial: Re: Bago Testimonials - 01/21/13 06:28 PM Just saying bago puts a smile on my face. :-D As a veteran of little bagos, big bagos, epic bagos, and chill little bago-ets between just a couple wids, I've never met a bago I haven't thoroughly enjoyed. I'm fairly introverted and it takes me a while to warm up to people but at bagos I've never failed to have the feeling that I can just kick back, relax, be myself, and roll with the ride. Our KC group was able to get together pretty often back in the day. The years have brought new marriages, relocations, life changes, and sadly even loss of our own k a gill. These ladies were the ones to reach out to me first, grab me into their group, and show me that laughing and crying can coexist. Over time they helped me find my way to several rounds of Widdas Gone Wild, Columbia luncheons, a ghost hunting bago in Kansas, and lots of dinners (Mokie even got me to eat some alligator at one of those.) I count them as some of my dearest friends in life. Over time I found the confidence to even jump out of my comfort zone...and had a blast at the DFW bago. This one was a game changer for me in so many ways. I was nursing grief, the pains of a job wearing me out, and some things in my soul that needed healing. Sitting in the middle of that group...and I can't really explain how...something realigned itself. I came back to KC feeling for the first time that I could handle life on my own and it could be a good one. There's more to this story, but that belongs in a different section for a different time. smile I also walked away from this bago with even deeper friendships, some that have become simply family to me. You'd have to really know me and my personality to understand how foreign the above was. I found bravery and courage inside that I didn't know existed before I walked into that first bago. My life had been defined before by my family, my work, my schooling, etc. Bagos opened a new world to me and one in which I was *me*. These people know *me* and are ok with who I am...happiness, sadness, and all. They are my soul brothers and sisters who understand why I don't always smile but they are ok with my dorky sense of humor and proclivity for naughty jokes. Over time the defining trait that brought us together has become less the singular focus...we've become simply dear friends who enjoy and value one another. If you are on the fence about a bago, pm a bago vet and just ask about their experiences. Sometimes legend can make a bago sound like a wanton bacchanalia when in reality it just a group of wid yukking it up over great food and drinks. (Don't tell, but Widdas Gone Wild is all about lounging on docks and floating on a great lake surrounded by the BESTEST people. Sometimes the wild just comes from the wild laughter. wink ) K 2015 Update: Still and always a major bago fan! ;D
  11. You are so amazingly talented...those are GORGEOUS!!!!
  12. So much agreement! There are names that pop up...SemperFidelis/A Tout Jamais being one!...that bring a feeling of immediate comfort. Back in my earliest days when I felt broken nearly beyond repair, reading your beautiful words and the words of other vets helped me get my feet back under me. It's interesting to now be a vet myself and I still get that feeling of comfort. You each matter more than I can express. As always, your words are exquisite and thank you for sharing them. I nodded my head often through the read, and with additional vigor at, "I suppose many of us have never quite cut the virtual umbilical cord. We seem to like its elasticity, something that stretches as we go forward, but holds a certain sense of ?belonging?." I'm not sure I'll ever not need that cord, even if I wander. Welcome back! K
  13. It's been a big help over time to connect with others who lost their loves to a heart attack or issues relating to the heart. I lost my husband very suddenly to a heart attack and it was extremely difficult to process his death for a very long time because it was so incredibly sudden. I hit a brick wall out of the blue while life was cruising along at a beautiful speed...he was fine one minute and gone the next. This thread really helped lots of us at YWBB over the years and we'd welcome hearing your story... Re: how many sudden heart attacks - 05/24/09 11:50 AM My Richard died April 13, 2009 of Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease. He was asymtomatic until 30 minutes before he died and even then, his symptoms didn't have us entirely alarmed. Richard had left me a voicemail about 9:45AM on his way to a meeting. He sounded fine and told me he'd call me after his meeting. I happened to be in my office at 10:15AM when he called again. He told me he wasn't feeling great and asked me to come on home. He'd never, ever done that before so I scooted on out of there. I talked to him on the way home and what he described was kind of flu-ish. He told me he had sweated through his clothes (now I know to be alarmed at that...I thought he might be spiking a fever and wasn't terribly worried as he'd had the stomach flu a week before.) He said his lungs were a little achy, kind of like asthma. I had him go take an aspirin just in case and chatted with him on my drive home. I got home about 10:45 and grabbed the laptop to get insurance info to make a doctor's appointment. At this point his temp was a little low, but his color was ok and we were talking like normal. I put him on the phone with the insurance company nurses to run his symptoms by them. I heard him talking to them in the front room, his voice was normal, I could hear him saying "No, my chest doesn't hurt. I feel better when I am standing up. No, it doesn't hurt to breathe. No, my arm and jaw don't hurt." I heard him get out of his chair and thought he was coming back to the bedroom to ask me something. I heard kind of an odd sound in the hall and went to see (not a crash, no bad sounds, nothing scary really.) I saw him kind of crumpled in the hall. He didn't really fall...it was like a light switched off and he sank down like a child. I rolled him to his side to clear his airways, called 911, and worked to give basic first aid. We live a mile from a brand new, major hospital and the paramedics arrived within about two minutes. It was right at 11:15AM. Although he had a few gasping breaths, I could tell my Richard was gone from me. They were able to get a very irregular rhythm in the ambulance but weren't able to maintain it at the emergency room. I knew when they brought the chaplain in that things weren't good. They let me go see him as they worked on him and the doctor followed me back to the little room and told me he was gone. Most likely, if he'd had the heart attack in the emergency room with a cardiac surgeon on hand, the end result would have been the same. To sum it all up, I was a wife when I kissed him goodbye at 7:30AM, was a worried wife heading home to take care of his sick self at 10:15AM, and a widow by 11:15AM. When I got the official cause of death it wasn't a shock per se. The way events rolled out pointed clearly that direction. What was so surprising was that he had no symptoms. He was 52 years old, had normal cholesterol and blood pressure levels. He was a lifelong athlete...gym rat and runner of marathons. We were married 11 1/2 years and I worried myself silly because I was terrified he might develop Parkinson's or Alzheimer's like the majority of the men in his family. We had a 15 year age difference, so I'd worried about losing him early, but I never had any inkling that he would slip out of my life in a breath. I distinctly remember thinking how rotten it would be to lose him young...I was envisioning him at 70 and me at 55. Not him at 52 and me at 37. What I've learned from this is to truly treasure each moment we are given and not take one single thing for granted. I made a lot of assumptions about my future...dreams, fears, hopes. What I know now is to treasure the present and leave the rest to God. My husband was called home entirely too soon, but we had a lifetime of love in our 11 1/2 years. I miss him with everything in me, but I am forever grateful for the ongoing gifts of his love and our life together. K
  14. kmouse

    The reality of being widowed

    Mary, if I had any words that could even begin to help, I would have offered them so long ago. I just wish things were different for you. For the boys. For your family. All I can offer is my love and daily prayers...we know the God of the impossible. I pray so many things for you, beginning with hope and strength. The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. ~Psalm 23 All my love... K
  15. Just had to throw a comment out into the ether of something I really appreciated about YWBB. The folks that designed the layout of sections made a deliberate decision to put the wids WITHOUT kids section before the wids with kids section. It was just a sweet recognition that lots of us here would have given anything to have children with our loves and have now been denied that opportunity forever and always...they wanted to spare us having to be reminded every time we cruised to "our spot." It was a sweet nod of compassion. I miss that. 6 years later and it's not any easier to be reminded that I'll never be a mother to his children.

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