Lost in Loss

Hello blog readers. Cindi told me today that it felt like I fell of the face of the earth. I’ve been so active on social media and kinda spaced out that not everyone is on Facebook.

I’m posting all about life in the DR on Facebook. Multiple daily posts sometimes. I’ll talk about it here as well, but not to the extent of Facebook.

So, I will say that I love being here. I’m in a peaceful content place and I feel happy. I love the culture, the weather, the beauty, the work. I love it here. So far, so excellent. ❤

And it still sucks. But being in a place that I love makes such a difference. Being able to walk on the beach and see the ocean whenever I want makes such a difference. The pool is making a huge difference in my RA. I’m in a full flare-up (I can tell because I get nodules on my elbows and fingers), but I’m not in any discomfort. My hands and elbows swell from time to time, but it’s really not an issue. My back pain is an issue, even more so than before, but I’m also doing a lot more and lifting a lot more. I’m not sure what I’ll have to do about it. Surgery was the plan, but I’m not ready to take on another spinal fusion surgery.

So, as anyone who is paying attention knows, this is a hell month for me. I’ve handled things surprisingly well, or I was, when last week I heard that Michael’s Aunt Marlene and probably my favorite human in the world, was going into hospice. The moment I heard, I reached out to her son, Michael’s cousin Brian, and he arranged a video call for me to talk to her. I will never be able to express to him how grateful I am for that gift.

Marlene and Dave were always really important people in my life from the moment I met them. I had gone through the wringer meeting lots of friends and family members, some of whom were determined to call me Michael’s ex-wife’s name. Some who were determined to tell old inside jokes and stories and exclude me. Some who wouldn’t even acknowledge me because they thought I was Michael’s mid-life crisis. But not Marlene and Dave. The moment we met, I knew I had met a kindred spirit. She embraced me warmly, welcomed me into her home and heart, and never stopped welcoming me. She would occasionally jokingly call me the ex-wife’s name, but that was because she was a punk-ass. She and I shared the same sense of humor and found laughs among the mundane occasions where we were often sitting together. She and Dave adopted Michael and me, and they were the only people he wanted to see before he died. He asked for them, and they came. Marlene and Dave are a connection to Michael. She would tell me stories about him growing up. She knew him his whole life. She saw him born and then saw him die. 😥 She was our mom.

So, the video call. She and I video chatted for a while. She was in good spirits. She was ready to die, but not in a depressing way. She was bright, alert, coherent, funny, sweet, and loving. Just like she’s always been. While she’s lying in her death bed, she’s asking me if I’m happy. She needs to know, Lisa are you happy? 😥 And although we didn’t say the words, we both knew it was goodbye. On a video call. Sobbing into the camera, saying things that I wanted her to know. Her saying things that will stay with me forever. Then she said maybe we’d do this once a month. But we both knew we wouldn’t do it again. You’d think I would be better at this by now. But I’m not.

Marlene passed away on July 2. 😥

This has kicked my ass. When I’m busy working (I LOVE the work, I LOVE my job), I’m okay. But all it takes is a tiny trigger or someone asking me about it, and the dam breaks. I don’t know HOW many times a person can say goodbye to the most important people in their lives. This is three now right in a row. Can we call it done now? I’m running out of people to say goodbye to. 😥

Saying goodbye. It’s such a gift. The time with my dad and the things we got to say will stay with me always. Michael and I said goodbye too many times through too many scares –  I think it was 3 or 4 goodbyes. Marlene and I said goodbye. And I wonder, is it really better than not being able to? I can’t speak for anyone but myself. My mom died when we weren’t speaking to each other. We hadn’t spoken in over a year. And then I got the call that she was gone. There was no goodbye, no clearing the air, no making peace. She was just gone. And I’ll tell you, I think that was easier. But, easier isn’t always better. The opportunity to say goodbye is one you should take if you are ever given the chance. Ever. Not to apologize. Not to speak your peace. Just to say goodbye.

July 4 was a bitch. Last year I was in a hospital room with my dying husband watching fireworks out the window. It was a night that sticks out because there was a lot of drama going on as well, so it was just a gross time. I’m glad I wasn’t in the US for it. Soon will be the dreaded deathaversary. Then, my birthday. My 50th last year was horrible. I was home alone and had doritos for dinner. Then, our ANNIVERSARY!

Once again, it’s all so surreal. I’m dreaming about Michael a LOT lately, and they are very clear dreams that I remember fully. I’m waking up in a fog that he’s still here. It’s all starting over again. I don’t think it will ever end. I will always find myself in this orb of disbelief. Is this real? Was he real? What is real, anyway? How the hell am I living in a country that I never saw until a few months ago? How has so much changed in a year? It really is unbelievable. If I wasn’t living it, I wouldn’t believe it.

There are lots of good things happening in my life too. I do love this place and I love the people I’m working with. I love where I am. I love the work I’m able to participate in. My dogs are happy. We see horses, donkeys, cows and chickens right outside our door. I take the dogs to the beach often. It’s a beautiful, peaceful place. The only thing missing is him. ❤

Next blog: Photos and tales of life in the Dominican Republic.

Peace,

Lisa

Things that make ME go hmmmm

It was mentioned to me yesterday by a friend that when I post about grief (the original purpose of this blog), I get very minimal comments. But when I posted about the DR, everyone comments.

Kinda makes me feel like a lot of people are here to just watch my pain. They don’t really care about it as they have nothing to say; or they aren’t really comfortable with it maybe – which really makes them kinda voyeuristic. I guess that makes me feel a little bit like a freak show. The train wreck that everyone’s watching to see what’ll happen next. If this describes you, please move on. This is a vulnerable place for me and I don’t really have a desire to become someone’s entertainment.

There’s no need to comment about how you just never know what to say. There’s no need to explain how much you care but you’re just left speechless. Really. Don’t.

That’s all for today!

One Year Ago; The First Death of Many

I’ve got some new followers this week. Thanks for looking. 🙂 

I thought now might be a good time to share my “About the Writer” with you on the very good chance that you haven’t clicked on that. If you haven’t read about me or who I am, please do so.

Everything in there is all still true! It’s like I could have written it yesterday.

I’m still incredibly raw. Emotional. Sensitive. Scared. Alone. Lonely. Sad. I literally think about Michael almost every minute of every day. I talk to him, I grab the phone to text him. I look at the time wondering when he will be home.

I’m still stunned by it all. I still sometimes have to remember this is REAL. And then other times I have to remind myself that HE was real. This isn’t a life I would wish on anyone. I mean that. Anyone.

Surrogate Momma/Marlene in hospice has hit me hard. 😥 Nothing more to say about that except I wish I could see her. 😥

My tenant screwing me over is hitting me really hard financially and stress-wise. The change in jobs is really hard. I’m not used to working with people who don’t know much about my morals or ethics or integrity or drive or rescue abilities or heart. I need a car and that’s taking time. And I find myself once again wondering how much one person can take. And why everything I do has to be “hard” or fought for.

Today I shut myself in the house, napped, sobbed, and tried to deal with my shit.  Tomorrow is the bad day for me that I talked about last night. One year ago tomorrow, my life changed forever. It was the day my heart and my spirit died. It was the last time that I had any hope that he would survive. One year ago tomorrow was the first time we said goodbye :'(.  Sadly the universe didn’t think that was enough; we would be forced into several awful, gut-wrenching, soul crushing goodbyes before it really was his time.

So, don’t be jealous of me, friends. Yes, I’m in a beautiful place now. I just relocated to the Dominican Republic which is a whole other topic in itself. The fresh environment will be good for me. And while I NEEDED to get away from the place where everyone knew me as Michael’s widow, it’s also tough to be in a place where nobody knew him at all. My efforts to keep his memory alive are incredibly important to me and nobody else here.  I’m living in paradise, but the internal hell stays constant. My heart and my spirit never recovered, and I’m a shallow version of what I used to be. No matter where I am, he’s still gone.

 

Peace,

~ Lisa

 

Trigger (not)Happy

When I started this blog, it was because I was in an indescribable, unbearable amount of pain. Writing was always an outlet for me, but never more so than when Michael was dying. I found that updating the Caring Bridge site was helpful to more than our followers. Just writing it out, processing it, re-thinking it, helped me reframe the world I was living in. It added some logic and order to a world that was completely out of my control. It slowed down the hell ride and took me away from the unbearable torture that was my life. When I write, I focus on the topic like an outsider. It’s weird, but it helps me.

Anyhow, when I started this blog, it was about being a widow. Well, it was about grief. Which was directly connected to being a widow.

But something and someone got lost in the mix.

I miss my dad.

Well first there was Father’s Hallmark Hell Day where you have to aggressively work to avoid being reminded that your dad AND your husband are dead. Well, I shouldn’t say be reminded. Because you never forget even for a second. I should say, have it rubbed in your face.

Then, Sunday was my Dad’s birthday. I didn’t even realize it until I asked someone what the date was. Because I suck.

And here’s a fun widow word: Trigger. Basically any date or event that means or meant something can be a trigger. I’m heading into trigger hell. This is going to be a really, really hard month.

In a couple of days, it will be one year since I took Michael to the hospital for what would be the last time. It was the start of the marathon stretch at the U of MN. It was when talks began between Cindi, Warren and me about possibly having to go and physically take him out of the hospital against orders because I promised him I wouldn’t let him die in a hospital. It was the beginning of the end. 😥 It was the start of me sobbing in the front yard because Cindi saw me pull in and was walking over to check on me. It was the start of so many horrible things.

Yes, he did come home from that hospital stay. But in my mind and in my heart, June 28 was the day I lost my husband, and his wife. It was the day we both died.

July 4 will forever be an awful holiday for me. Last July 4, Michael was semi-comatose and I watched fireworks from his hospital room. I’m really glad I left the states before that party starts up.

Tonight, I learned that someone very dear to Michael and to me is in hospice. Michael’s aunt Marlene, also my surrogate mom. I can’t say enough about Marlene and Dave. They’re warm, accepting, loving. Marlene is the mom everyone wants. She has all the qualities that you want in a mom, but that my own mother did not have. Warmth, a true selfless love for me and a desire only for those she loves to be happy, nurturing, funny, sarcastic, and real. Don’t let the word surrogate fool you. This woman is the mom I chose. I’m losing my mom. And another tie to Michael.

I got to video chat with Marlene tonight. It was so emotional. I walked the beach alone before the call and again after. I wish I could make sense of it all. I love her so much. And this isn’t about me. But god dammit.

I’m jumping into the new job with both feet as soon as I get a car. Hopefully next week. It’s a very busy month of July for the rescue. I’m nervous about the upcoming deathiversary. It hasn’t even been a year. I can’t believe how much life has changed.

I’m proud of myself for acknowledging the loss of my dad finally. It hurts a lot but it’s a necessary process.

I’ve been on a good upswing for a bit, and I knew when the craziness died down, reality would still be here. I’m proud of myself for knowing this and being prepared (as prepared as one can be for gut-wrenching emotional agony). I’m proud of myself for letting my process flow and not trying to control it. This results in me being an emotional hot mess at times, but believe it or not I’m proud of that too. I’m not worried about what anyone thinks. When they go through what I’ve been through and lose all I have lost, they can decide if I’m over emotional. Until then, they accept me or they don’t. The Lisa that died would have never broken down in front of others. The Lisa that died didn’t cry at work. The Lisa that died was a different person. What’s left of me is what I am. Broken and trying really really hard to rebuild something. I don’t know what. Rebuild something that resembles a content life on my own. I just didn’t know that I was going to lose my chosen mom too.

Peace,

Lisa

Shock & Awe Campaign

Hello! This post is LOOOOONGGGGG. Grab a beverage.

Wow, SO much to write about. I’m in the Dominican Republic – YAY!!! This is my first day with internet!

The trip
The trip started off really nice, a beautiful sunrise at MSP airport. Then all hell broke loose. One of my bags was too heavy so I was the girl at the check-in counter with all my shit spread out on the floor, taking things out of my suitcase to throw away. Meanwhile, the airline dog travel nazi lady was ogling the kennel with Cass and Bella. Walking around it. Calling over her peers. Whispering. Shaking their heads. And all my shit is still on the floor as I take things out, weigh the suitcase again, take more things out, weigh the suitcase again. The culprit? My desktop computer. It got a little banged up but it’s working and all is well!

Airline dog travel nazi approaches me and says that two dogs can only travel in one kennel if they are puppies. I say, oh I thought it was a weight thing – not an age thing. Mark steps in and surely enough we were right – but my two dogs were “stuffed” in the bag “like tacos” lol. Nazi lady felt that if I just took out the SUPER THIN blanket, that would suffice. 🙄

MEANWHILE, I’ve gathered all of my things, selected the stuff I have to get rid of, and I’m looking for a trash can. Dog airline nazi lady asks me something, and I tell her I’m so sorry I’m just frazzled. I just lost my husband, I’m moving to a new country. She then says “omg he just told us that too (Mark). We don’t want you to have to lose anything else. We’re going to get you a bag for that stuff, and you take it on the plane. We’ll call ahead to let them know.” Cool! Super cool, yeah? But wait for it…

It was a black trash bag. I carried it to the gate, sat with it, looked at it, pondered on it, and decided I wasn’t going to be the person shlepping across the world through airports with a trash bag. So the stuff got tossed regardless. And then come to find out Mark’s shirt was inside out all day…so really, I’m super glad I didn’t take the trash bag because then we would have been THOSE people. Instead, it was just MARK that was those people so I’m good. 😂 In nice news, airline nazi lady called ahead and Mark and I got to preboard the last flight from MIA to POP.

Dogs did great, no issues at all. And we’re all here and settled!

All at the front door!
It was SOOOOO good to see Rosie. She’s showing everyone the ropes.
Chilling after a dip in the pool

The House
The house is awesome! The only complaint I have is that it’s made for or by giants. The closets, cabinets, and even the mirrors in the bathrooms are made for GIANTS. Why is there a chair in my bathroom? Because the mirrors are so high, I need to stand on it to check my business.

Tall? I feel kinda discriminated against #shortpeopleproblems
Closets are at LEAST 10′ tall!
So I can see myself in the mirror. 😀
Nothing will ever be in that cabinet. Just saying.

Debbie is a badass. I mean, yeah. I built an entire shed in a day. I thought I was pretty damn handy. But I had NEVER drilled concrete before. We mounted a TV and had the cable company come out, but the TV won’t stay on. LOL But MAN! That drill is something! Debbie has been over about 712 times so far helping with the hiccups. I think they bother her more than they bother me.

Rawr!

Having a pool is so cool. When I got here, there had been some electrical issues, so it was green. Debbie shocked it (along with shocking the tadpoles and almost frogs) and in just a day it looked like this! Bella and Cass BOTH walked right into it the first day, like they didn’t know it was water. Turns out, both of them are great swimmers! Since then, I have to watch like a hawk if Bella is out there. She can’t see much and it scares me a little.

I’m no animal biologist, but that ain’t no tadpole. That’s almost a FROG. Sorry buddy.
What a difference a day makes!

So many “weird” things to get used to. Here’s some interesting stuff about living here!
– You can’t drink the water! Bottled water. Even for brushing your teeth.

This is a switch that tells me if street power is on. It goes out frequently. I have backup power that kicks in if that happens, but I watch the light to make sure. If the street power is out, I need to try and conserve energy while I’m on the battery backups.

The Life
I’ve only been here a few days so I have a lot to learn and see! First there is a sticky frog. It’s about as wide and as long as three fingers. Debbie said they’re harmless! If you see one inside, just pick it up and toss it out. That made me throw up in my mouth a little.

Put all your fingers together. Drop your thumb and pinky. That’s how big he is.

The beach is a quick walk out my door. I’ve taken all the dogs, two at a time. They all enjoy it except scaredy cat Baby Faye. She won’t get TOO close to the water. I think it’ll happen. 🙂

I have chickens, cows, and horses as neighbors 🙂

Everything happens earlier here or really late. It gets REALLY hot so a lot happens in the mornings. Also, it gets darker earlier. It feels a lot busier in the day but for a shorter period of time. The Dominicans party late into the night. Sometimes I can hear music drifting this way. Last night we went to Sosua and partied for a bit!

 

I was really scared to drive but I’ve been driving with Debbie and I think I’m doing alright! It’s very different here. There don’t seem to be any laws as much as just people going with the flow. Pass when you want, do whatever you want, just pay attention. People don’t get pissy if you pass them or if you don’t. It’s just every man for himself and try not to get hit or hit anyone. Not as scary as I thought it would be.

I still have a lot of settling in to do. I’ve been super exhausted and trying to catch up on rest too.

I feel at peace. I feel home. My spirit is definitely in its element. I’ve had no panic attacks or regrets.

I have so much more to share, but I’ll leave you for now with a ton of photos.

Peace,

~ Lisa

 

A stopped clock. It’s always 11:26 here!
For 10 years, I tried to grow bougainvillea in MN. I potted it. Winterized it. It always died. It’s my FAVORITE. This is outside my front door. Interesting tidbit: the bright colors aren’t flowers, they are leaves!
Giggling Geckos Lane
From the back
Winky used to live at Debbie’s. LOL she’s Debbie’s dog but she hangs out here with Baby Faye.

This is in my silverware drawer. I’m afraid to ask. I assume that I’ll know when I need to use it. lol
My first cooked meal! Grilled cheese 🙂

 

Signs that I’m home. My front porch.
a work in progress ❤

 

 

Utter Exhaustion

I don’t know how to feel. The last month has been nonstop back breaking work, ending with 2 days of a moving sale. After weeks of sifting through memories, tonight my house, our home, is almost empty.

I’m feeling just so touched and moved by all the love I felt and the people who came by. I’m feeling anxious and excited. I’m feeling scared. Nervous. Impatient to go. Ready. Sad. Lonely. Overwhelmed. Hopeless. Hopeful. Pick it and it’s washing over me. Except doubt. I’m in a really good place with my decision.

The sale was packed with visits from friends which was exhausting in the best way. And tonight, I’m sitting in the one recliner that remains, the only soft place to sit. I’m sleeping on a twin sized air mattress tonight. The dogs are confused and stressed. The house is echoing. It’s no longer our home. It’s just a house now. A house with painful reminders of what was and what should still be.

It has been a painful period. Trigger after trigger. Timing. Changes. Pressure. And all I want to do is fall into my bed that I don’t own and rest for days. I just want to rest.

Tonight when the last friend left after keeping me company in my empty house and watching the Office while eating on TV trays, I had a good cry. This has been so much fucking harder than I ever imagined. I don’t really know, and I find myself asking this again, how much one person can handle. It’s just amazing in a horrible way how much life has changed in so brief a time. It’s more unbelievable to me to look at how much work I’ve done.

I’m worried that I’ll have a meltdown. I’m worried I’ll go to the opposite extreme and throw myself so much into work that I stuff this away. I just feel so incredibly emotionally fragile right now. I feel vulnerable and like I could just shatter apart with the slightest impact.

A few people today told me they were jealous of me.

In a few days I’m leaving everything we made together. Our empty home brings me back to the first day we saw this place and knew we wanted it. To the hours and hours of work each week, the trees planted with ashes of our sweet babies.

Plans, goals, projects, dreams. Wiped out. I look around tonight and cry for what should have been. It’s shocking to see the house so bare.

We thought we’d grow old and die here.

We only got one part of that right. 😢

While so many doors are opening, so many are closing too. Openings and closings, endings and beginnings. I’m looking forward to what will be and hating the reason that these wonderful things are happening.

I miss my husband. 💔

Don’t be jealous.

Peace,

~ Lisa

Dear Michael

Dear Michael,

Wow. Today knocked me down. First, I wake up to an old photo you plant on my phone in the middle of the night, and then I REALLY wake up to the FB memory of us leaving the hospital after your diagnosis. Remember that? When we thought you had liver cancer and you would live? Good times.

I’m so fucking sad that I decided I wanted to write about some of your more surprising, funnier, or more embarrassing shit. I wanted to write some things because you are SO STRONG in my heart today that I have to get this out of me or I’ll cry myself into a tsunami of pain that I don’t know if I can recover from right now. I have to keep my eye on the ball. I have to get packed. I have to get out of here. So, I’m hoping that writing to you and about you will help me and ground me. And I hope I don’t embarrass you too much. ❤

It’s interesting. When I met you, everyone called you Mike. But you had introduced yourself to me as Michael, and I never called you anything different. When you met new people, they’d ask “mind if I call you Mike?” and you’d say, “I prefer Michael”. There’s a meaning to this. Stick with me.

I wonder if anyone knows how filthy your mouth could be, and always at the most inappropriate times! I wonder if anyone knows that something physically was wrong with you and you were literally unable to whisper. Because you’d be “whispering” foul language to me at the worst times (“oh Jesus effing christ are you fucking kidding me right now lady?” and other things of this nature), and EVERYONE could hear you, and you didn’t ever believe me! LOL Babe, they heard you. Every time. Funerals. Reunions. Lunches with mom. The line at Panera. They all heard you.

I wonder if anyone knows you were wickedly sarcastic. You were really good at psyching people out because you’d invent a story and stick it out to the bitter end. No matter how stupid it was. You were a race car driver. You invented the pet rock. There was a store call HISbergers that carried only men’s apparel. Whatever it was.

I KNOW that not many people had ever seen you drunk, at least not as Michael (more on that later – stick with me). It didn’t happen often. But those that did, knew that if you were drunk, you almost insisted that everyone around you was, too. We’d have get-togethers, and your admission charge at the door was that whoever entered had to take a shot of Yaeger. Yes, Yaeger. You made the worst, strongest drinks in the world. The worst. But you were a great drunk. Many a night, you had to get me home safely after a night of shenanigans and you were also a great drunk caretaker. One night, I had my head hanging out the car window all the way back to the hotel and I begged you not to let me die like Anna Nicole. You NEVER let me forget it! But you took really good care of me that night and I didn’t die like Anna Nicole, so there ya go.

I wonder if people know that I met a man who was pretty neutral about dogs. You would casually pet them and expect them to go away. You were a “no dogs on the couch” guy. I think that lasted about 8 or 9 minutes. You always said I changed you. But I think I just gave you a safe space to be who you were meant to be. I wonder if they knew that you became just as passionate about saving dogs as I was. I wonder if they knew how much you cringed when they told you how patient or wonderful you were to “let” me do this rescue stuff.

I wonder if people know we didn’t celebrate Valentine’s Day because we thought it was stupid, and we forgot our anniversary half the time. We were never the “selfie” couple and didn’t banter back and forth on FB for the world to see our love. We didn’t care about that and had nothing to prove.

I wonder if people know how much we went through and the depth of our commitment. They don’t need to know. I just wonder if they do. Your mom, my kids, your kids, my dad, our animals, my health, your health. I’m clearing out the house and I have come across exactly 24 boxes of animal cremains.

I wonder if they know that every time one of our rescue’s animals passed away, we took some of their ashes and planted them in our backyard with a baby tree and there is now a Good Karma tree that will live forever. I wonder if they know that you and I cried for every one of them, together burying those ashes.

I wonder if they know how amazingly strong you were. When your mom died and I was doing her hair and makeup for the reviewal, you were my strength when I lost my breath. And it was YOUR mom. And when you delivered her eulogy, you were the symbol of strength and grace. When my son disowned me, your strength and clear-headedness got me through it. When I was losing and then lost my dad, you were EVERYTHING. You took care of EVERYTHING. You led his memorial service and you spoke eloquently and beautifully, and you had the strength of stone when shit got real.  You physically and emotionally held me up. Literally. Held me up when I started to collapse.

I know that not many people know of your pain and your history and your past. I will keep it that way, but what I can share is that here’s where the “Michael” part comes in. And it’s one of the things you told me (there were so many) that I will ALWAYS keep in my heart. ALWAYS.

So many people knew Mike and loved him. Most of the people that loved and knew Mike through his whole life fell away when you were Michael. I wonder if the people who hurt you, know they hurt you. I wonder if they know that when they rejected me and our relationship, you took that personally and let them go. I suspect they don’t know.

You told me that you didn’t like to be called Mike because it took you to sad and painful memories. It took you to a life that wasn’t yours and you didn’t want to go back to. And you told me that meeting me, gave you YOU back. You never wanted to be Mike again because Michael meant a life of acceptance and love with no conditions or expectations. I think I’ll always remember it most, because you told me this a few times in our lives together, but you made sure you told me that when you knew it was time to say good bye.

I’ll never share our last conversations because those belong to us. And I hope you are okay with me sharing this part. Because one of the biggest gifts you could have ever given me was thanking me for letting you be Michael, after a lifetime of living by other people’s expectations. In the end, to tell me that your biggest regret was not meeting me sooner because you didn’t know who you were until you met me. About a week before you died, I climbed in bed with you and we lied together looking at photos. You kept comparing old pics and more recent ones and pointing out to me, “Look. See? I was never smiling. Now look. See? Smiling in every one.” By making sure I knew this before you died, you told me that I did it right. You let me know that I was a good wife and a good person, and that I had made a difference in your life. You erased everyone that had ever judged me or made me feel like you were too good for me. You wiped away everyone who told me how lucky I was to be married to such a saint or a patient man (read: he loves you a lot, do you deserve it?) You erased everyone who had rejected me or broken my heart. You wiped away years of pain and sadness and doubt. And while I died on July 30 with you, that is one of the few sparks of light that kept me alive, was knowing that you died knowing you were loved, accepted, wanted, adored, and valued just as you were. That you KNEW, you FINALLY knew, what a beautiful man the authentic Michael Booth was. And selfishly, I needed to know that you knew that. That you truly, truly believed that you were as wonderful as I told you you were.

Until I see you in the middle of the night tonight ❤

Me