Cannot believe I haven't blogged in four months. That's a new record for me. The last entry post was on the second anniversary of my becoming a widow.
So much has happened since.
I'm switching gears.
After twenty eight months of being Mark's widow, of trying so hard to fit the mold of what I thought I needed to be for my sons and for myself,
I relinquish the title.
Yep. You read that correctly. The long-suffering widow is no more.
I feel like I've been in the world's biggest-slow-to-change chrysalis or cocoon. Put into it against my will, I've made it a comfy space, filled with memories and mementos from a time in my life that is over. Although I didn't like it at first, the confining size and close quarters became second nature. It has been my safe spot through my grief journey.
But all good things must come to an end. In the past two months, I've evidently morphed from a caterpillar into something more beautiful, with wings. And this little formerly-cozy snuggie has become too tight. I can't stretch my wings inside its small perimeter.
I've outgrown the space. I've changed.
My most important role, that of mother to two of the most exquisite boys God ever created, remains the same. I can be a good mom whether I'm a caterpillar or a butterfly (or any variation thereof).
But what about me? I am ready to be known as something other than "just" a widow. That adjective is one I have worn with honor, but I no longer want to be defined by it anymore.
I am a single woman, 50 years young. There's much more to life than sitting in a dark cocoon. The chrysalis, filled with photos, memories, clothes, and other reminders of a lifetime ago, needs to be cleaned out.
My boys will be given first choice of any and all of their dad's stuff. And a lot of stuff there is, in a storage building and a closet that I have yet to touch.
His closet holds a plethora of clothes, shoes, and baseball cards. His sons will get first dibs. The rest will be given (with their approval, of course) to either Goodwill or AmVets.
He certainly doesn't need them anymore.
And neither do I.
This healing, this breaking out of my cocoon, is both exciting and a wee bit scary for me.
It's past time to do this.
The best example I can be to AJ and Ben is an active, happy, single mom, who is embracing life and all it has to offer with open arms and open hands.
No holding back. Nothing off limits.
And my heart?
It's open, too, for the first time in a long time.
That, in itself, is a miracle.
A close friend tells me today I have been in survival mode for the past 2 plus years.
I like that comparison.
But I've been there, done that. Surviving isn't living, it's just going through the motions.
There's so much more to life than just surviving.
Yesterday I laid down my widow's millstone at the altar during Communion, asking God to help me spread my new-found wings.
Last night I momentarily reconsidered, struggling to get that heavy thing back around my neck.
Lucky for me, it doesn't fit over the wings :)
It is my hope and my fervent prayer that God continues to use me in the midst of my circumstances in order to help others.
Because I'm so much more than "just" a widow.
Thank you, God, for restoration. And for helping me begin writing a fresh new chapter in my life.
This unimagined journey has finally become sweet.
It's about time.