Archive | April, 2014

more love

When Greg and I were married, I never gave another man a second glance. I remember a friend once making a comment about a guy who was good-looking and I surprised myself by realizing…”Holy shit – I haven’t thought of another man as good-looking since December of ’04!” 

But can you guess what I did a week or so after Greg died? I started looking at other men – constantly! And not just good-looking men (or men that I was attracted to), but ALL men of ALL ages! I wondered if they were single. I imagined what kind of husband or boyfriend they were. I even imagined…well, you know. And I think it was all Greg’s fault! :) I was getting constant attention from someone who adored me and all of the sudden that was gone. It was like I was going through withdrawal. I tried looking up this up as an official “stage of grief” but I couldn’t find the “obsessing about other men” stage! :) I feel like I can write about it now because I’m past it, in fact it really only lasted a couple weeks.

I remember one of the things I loved about getting married was the thought that I would never have to date again!!!! (Insert huge smile turning into a drooping, sad face…)

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And now? Now, I’m starting to feel like it’s okay to move on. It’s an awkward time for this because we’re coming up on the anniversary of Greg’s death. I have possibly even chosen a bad time to begin this process. In some ways, I still feel like our family is this tight little unit and Greg’s spot is still saved, just an empty seat, all of us waiting for him to come back. But the thought of dating isn’t as annoying or daunting anymore. I’m actually looking forward to it, in this new life that I’m now living.

A couple weeks ago, I did something that I am pretty proud of. One day I thought of asking someone out and the next day I did…to their face! It felt really good. As I was debating it, I thought to myself, “I’ve been through my husband dying! Will a little embarrassment or rejection from a stranger feel anywhere near that bad?” The answer was no and so I did it.

When I was at the support group for widows last month, a woman was explaining how she had lost her boyfriend 7 years ago. She was telling us she was still single and said, “I don’t have room in my heart for anyone else.” Oh, that made me sad. It must be what she needs to do or thinks she needs to do but that wasn’t something that I could relate to.  When I was pregnant with my second child, I remember my friend Jill telling me, “It might seem like you can’t possibly love your second child as much as your first, but you don’t have to push aside any love for your first child. You just make more love in your heart.” She’s a wise friend, that Jilly.

So that’s what I’m going to do – make more love in my heart – because I know that Greg loved me enough to want me/us to be taken care of, in whatever way I/we need. And that will always be comforting.

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Making more love in our hearts for Squeaky!

Is it going to be hard? Possibly. Probably. Will having children effect the way I go about it? Yes. Is it going to be a process? Yes. Will it at some point feel too much or too soon? Possibly. Will I then back-off a bit? Absolutely.

Like anything I’ve faced since losing Greg, nothing seems as hard as I imagined it being in the past. He gave me a positive, solid relationship as a foundation for the rest of my life. It was a relationship that I learned a lot from – I now know what I want and I know how something great feels. Is that out there for me again? I hope so.

Wish me luck. And luck. And more luck. Because I guess this could take awhile.

xxx,

Mariah

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bliss lane

I met Greg when we worked together in Minnesota about 10 years ago. He lived in a house on Bliss Lane in Bloomington that he absolutely loved. It was a California-style ranch, I think. It had no basement and the walls stopped short of the ceiling so it was all open on the top. Greg was so proud of the space and used to love showing people this house.

The girls and I just got back from a 5-day road trip to the Twin Cities and River Falls, WI to see some great, old friends and great, old places. As I was pointing places out, “That’s where Daddy and I met and played basketball together on the roof of that building…That is where Daddy’s office was…This is where I used to live when I started dating your Daddy”…, Squeaky asks me, “Mama – why are you showing us all this stuff?”

Bliss Lane was one of the stops we made.

We pulled up to the house mid-morning on Thursday, behind the owner who just happened to be coming home at that exact time. He let us take some photos and invited us inside to see what had been done to the place since Greg had owned it. I guess he likes showing other people the house too. :)

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I wish I could have had a moment to just take a deep breath and feel Greg in that house. But I was standing right next to this stranger (in HIS house!) and didn’t really want to break down right there so I scooted the girls out of there after a couple minutes. Greg would have loved to see this house again. I could just hear him say to me, “Good job, Red!”

So…my dear, little Squeaky…I know that these places don’t mean a lot to you now, that houses are just houses and buildings are just buildings. But this building, this restaurant, this basketball court and this house – especially this house – just might someday help you understand a little bit of who your wonderful Daddy was.

Until then, I’m showing you all this stuff…for me.

xxx,

Mariah

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tofu cheese shells

Have you ever thought to put tofu, egg and cheese into a dish? I think it’s strange and for some reason it reminds me of the Paul Simon song, Mother and Child Reunion, except that was about a chicken and egg dish that Paul saw on a Chinese restaurant’s menu. Did you know that’s how the song got that title? It’s true. Greg taught me that! He was full of that kind of knowledge, probably after reading it in one of his Bathroom Readers!

Anyway, on to tofu…

My Aunt Cathy gave me a book of her favorite recipes and this one was in it. It’s yum. My girls like it too except I have to keep the sauce off of a few of the shells because they don’t like sauce. Oh and this recipe originally called for cannelloni but I swore too much while trying to fill those effing things! Shells are easier. :)

Tofu Cheese Shells
14 oz tofu, crumbled
3 oz. grated mozzarella
2 oz. grated cheddar
2 oz. grated parmesan
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tsp. fresh parsley
basil leaves
salt and pepper
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
jumbo shells (you won’t use the entire box – my girls will eat the leftover plain shells for a snack over the next couple days)
1 jar spaghetti sauce or homemade

Preheat oven to 350. Add all ingredients except shells and sauce to tofu. Cook shells. Fill with mixture into greased 8×11 pan. Top with sauce. Bake until heated through, 35 minutes.

Sorry, no pretty pictures to show…but, try it!

xxx,

Mariah

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