I survived the first anniversary without Tim. If they made widow merit badges, that would be a big one.
Honestly, dreading the day was worse than the actual day. I knew it was going to be rough, so I scheduled a trip back to North Carolina to see family and friends. It was the first time I’d been back home since everything has happened, and I wasn’t sure how things would feel.
When emotions can be rocky, I find food helps.
And alcoholic root beer – that really helps.
Aside from discovering the magic that is alcoholic soda, I made a trip to the NC State Fair (post coming soon to a blog near you) and went to a music festival with a friend. Even though it was sub zero temperatures… otherwise known as 50 degrees (Texas has killed my cold weather tolerance), the festival was a great time.
As I sat outside, slightly shivering, having drinks with old friends, I realized that this summer has been really shitty. We talked about life back in high school and college, and those seemed like such happier times. I smiled looking back and talking about the journey we’ve been on, but I smiled thinking about the future too. I wish I could remember the exact quote, but I once read a passage from a famous poet. He said that he was able to write the best when he was most depressed. Not because he was feeling a lot through his sadness, but because the depression made the happier times come back so clearly. That’s how I feel lately. Despite everything, I can still laugh now and I know I’ll laugh more in the future. Maybe the alcoholic root beer helped, but even in the midst of my grief – my heart was full.
Feeling so relaxed and happy with my friends, I wondered if I would be reluctant to come home to Austin. When Sunday evening rolled around, I was ready to come back to “my” state. I’ve got friends to laugh with here too (even without the root beer). I picked up my dogs and relaxed on the couch while they napped.
That made my heart full too.
This was something big to get through, and there will be others still. Being on the other side of it is empowering, but getting through this is attainable. Hell, with enough root beer and support from loved ones it’s downright doable.