It is an amazing life I have lead. Every day that I wake up, I find something new for which to be grateful. Despite the pain of my life, which only serves to make the sweet that much sweeter, I have been so blessed.
I have been blessed with two beautiful children, one of whom is now in the afterlife, watching over me. My son is a grown man, living on his own, enjoying the company of friends, working hard, and working at getting to exactly the college degree he wants. He is wise, intelligent, and sensitive. Just seeing how he has blossomed has been a tremendous blessing. How did we survive that? How did we get past the pain of losing Stephanie? It's a miracle. We're still alive, still breathing. And I am grateful.
No longer wanting to die and be with her, I am actually beginning to enjoy my life again. Yesterday, I truly realized all of this.
My sister, who had been in an abusive relationship for the last few years, is now living with me. Together we get through out day, through our growth and our pain. We work together to clean the house, to fix things that are broken, to clean up the yard. It's amazing to me. I no longer want to stop breathing. I have a new sense of life and purpose. I no longer feel so lonely and distraught.
As part of Christmas presents, I bought train tickets for my nephew and his girlfriend to come up to Raleigh (to my son's house) and then ride up with him to see us. So the last week has been joyous and a little stressful :-) I don't really like to cook, but I made a big pan of lasagna that was a big hit with the kids. Yesterday, my sister and I got up and made a big pan of Southern-style cornbread dressing and two pumpkin pies. We all went over to my friends' house at 3 and joined her, her wife, and more of their friends. A dozen of us ate until we were in pain, laughed, shared some holiday joy, and listened as Zan read "Big Bob and the Winter Holiday Potato" - unquestionably one of the funniest holiday traditions I've ever been a part of.
When we were getting ready to leave, they found out it was Brad's (my nephew) birthday. They sang a really funny song - the Viking Birthday Dirge (if you're into the SCA, you know it). We were all laughing and singing it as we left. Three of us fell into a deep sleep after we got home. Wow, was a it a great day!
It's been three years since I had a holiday with Stephanie, and the last Thanksgiving we had together - which, of course, we didn't know would be the last - she drank her way through dinner. I didn't know it was the last of the holidays and celebrations I had with her, but I knew that that year I HAD to spend all those moments with the kids. It was like a drive inside me to be sure they were at the house, no matter what.
If I could go back in time, I would still have done what I did - which is to encourage her to get sober and ask her not to come back to the table until she could stop drinking. I'm glad that when she died, she died sober. At least she had a few good months in which she was able to think clearly and feel alive.
This life is full of blessings, and rather than struggling to want to be alive and get out of bed each day, I am embracing life again.
I hope that you all had a blessed holiday with your families. Love them, hug them often, tell them how you feel. Today may be the last time you have the opportunity. Take nothing for granted.
Peace - D