HOPE and FUN and B.A.D.

A couple weeks ago, Squirmy and I attended Camp HOPE for a weekend of healing with other children and families with similar stories.

Squirmy was in a group of five little girls. When we got there, she went right with her group saying to me, “Bye Mama – see you tomorrow!” I looked at her with a shocked, hurt expression. She giggled and said, “Or maybe sooner!!!” She had a great time and loved her first real “camp” experience.

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I met a lot of other women who had lost their husbands. It was interesting to hear all of their stories. Some were effected by suicide, some women didn’t have great relationships with their husbands and had their own guilt about not missing them or of already moving on, some women had relationships like mine and Greg. Their experiences were all so different than mine but we were all going through the same thing.

One woman pulled me aside and said, “I just love your story.” I love it too and it really felt like Greg was with me at camp. I felt him around more than I have in a long time – maybe because it was the longest amount of time that I’ve had to focus on reflecting without everyday life getting in the way. In most everything we did over the weekend, I felt his presence. We had a drumming session and I could feel Greg banging on those drums with me. I remember thinking, “Greg is loving this.”

We had a yoga session and did a couple partner positions. The instructor asked for someone to help her demonstrate a move and I volunteered. It reminded me of Greg and I in our birthing class when we demonstrated every time because no other couple was willing to. I remember feeling Greg with me.

I climbed to the top of a climbing wall with relative ease, the entire time feeling Greg climbing with me – POSSIBLY giving me a little smack on my behind for a boost! :) I remember thinking, “Greg is loving this.” I could even hear him say, “Good job, Baby!” and felt him kiss my forehead when I got to the bottom after I gracefully (Okay…NOT so gracefully) bounced down.

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I made a collage while I was there and had to laugh that there happened to be a picture of Larry David (the creator of Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm – both some of Greg’s favorite shows) in one of the magazines. Of course I cut it out so in the middle of this collage with all these beautiful pictures and quotes, there is a cutout of Larry David! I can see Greg with a big smile, delighted by the fact that I included him in my collage.

At one of our group sessions I told everyone how I used to get so mad at Greg for leaving his dirty socks around the house. And how I would give anything to pick up those socks now. The girls peel off their socks and leave them on the floor and every time I pick them up, I think of Greg. I could just see Greg laughing about his socks on the floor, saying, “See! Leaving my socks on the floor has become a very important part of the past! You should have been thanking me all those years!”

I’ve been reminded lately how much fun I had with Greg. And sometimes when I’m not having fun, I imagine he’s with me to cheer me up. I know I’ve said it before but he made things fun just by being present. Not because he was the life of the party but because he was the life of MY party. :) He wasn’t phased by things not going just as planned and he was able to calm me down and make me smile when I WAS. Let’s just say that maybe happened a lot. :) He loved to make me laugh and relax when I was at my most uptight. One of the reasons I loved him so much was because he could do this for me. And I’m sure one of the reasons he loved me so much is because he could do this for me.

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I’ve been trying to have more fun with the girls. Trying not to be so concerned about getting places and doing things we don’t really need to do. Trying to just let them play and take their time and be silly with them while they’re doing it. We’ve been listening to more of Greg’s music and the girls really like some Big Audio Dynamite (B.A.D.). Yesterday as we were driving and I started a B.A.D album, Squeaky yelled to me from the back seat, “Mama – Roll down all the windows and crank up the music!!!” So this is what we jammed out to…turn it up…

Rush by Big Audio Dynamite

If I have my time again
I would do it all the same
Ain’t change a single thing
Even when I was the blind
For the heartache and the pain
Got a cause throughout my ears
How I’d love to be your man
Through the laughter and the tears

Situation no win
Rush for the change of atmosphere
I can’t go on so I give in
Gotta get myself right outta here

Now I’m fully grown
And I know where it’s at
Somehow I stayed thin
While the other guys got fat
All the chances that are blown
And the times that I’ve been down
I didn’t get to high
Kept my feet on the ground

Situation no win
Rush for the change of atmosphere
I can’t go on so I give in
Gotta get myself right outta here

And of all my friends
You’ve been the best to me
Soon will be tha day
When I repay you hands and knees
Broken hearts are hard to mend
I know I’ve had my share
But life just carries on
Even when I’m not there

Situation no win
Rush for the change of atmosphere
I can’t go on so I give in
Gotta get myself right outta here

Situation no win
Rush for the change of atmosphere
I can’t go on so I give in
Gotta get myself right outta here

Gotta get myself right
Gotta get myself right
Gotta get myself right
Outta there

Gotta get myself right
Gotta get myself right
Gotta get myself right
Outta there

xxx,

Mariah

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