Facing Shadows

Facing Shadows

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.

Grace Potter = amazeballs

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.

23 thoughts on “Facing Shadows

  1. I’ve seen the root beer in the stores here but I’ve been leary. Sounds like good stuff though! SO jealous about the music festival! Love the sleeping Pascale!

  2. I thought of you a lot this weekend. I’m glad you were with friends and family.

    Do they put ice cream in alcoholic root beer to make root beer floats? Because that would be awesome…

  3. i had my first experience with alcoholic root beer Friday night at the wake of a dear friend. Totally helped.

  4. I’ve had this root beer! It is most delicious! Sounds like the trip away was a good idea… change of scenery and a chance to hang out with friends. Great pics as always!

  5. Husbands recommendation: put ice cream in the alcoholic root beer–best root beer float ever! 🙂 I’m so glad you enjoyed being away for a bit, and had adorable puppies to come home to.

  6. Grace Potter is a musical goddess who makes everything better!!!!! I saw her at Bel Chere 5 years ago and her music made a really crappy day turn out to be one of the most fantastic nights ever! (Cash, credit cards, cameras, iPods, etc was stolen out of my house and friends’ cars during the night and it ended up being one of the “friends” that was staying with us! Yeah, she’s never been invited back….)

    Basically seeing Grace Potter live solves all of life’s problems 😉 Glad you were able to enjoy her powers of awesomeness (and alcoholic root beer) this past weekend!

  7. Glad you got to have a nice little getaway. Way to make lemonade out of lemons….or on a more relevant note, alcoholic root beer out of root beer 🙂

  8. Finding things that make your heart feel full, even if your buddy sadness is still tagging along, is awesome. I’m glad you made it through. I hereby bequeath your widow first anniversary merit badge, which I have absolutely no authority to do, but there’s no one to stop me either.

  9. Okay so alcoholic root beer sounds much better than root beer Schnapps. I’ve had the Schnapps. It failed to deliver. Or at least to what I was expecting anyways. I’d rather try your version. I’ll have to look for it at one of the stores here…

    What’s not to love about Grace Potter?

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