Have You Ever?

Have you ever had a moment where you think about what you would say to someone if they ever asked you “if you could be anywhere right now; past, present, future, whatever. Where would you be? It’s kind of like being asked if you could take your dream vacation, describe it.

When Kelsie was still here, our most dreaded household chore was laundry. Like, we avoided it as often as possible. We finally sorted out that if she washed it, I would fold it because I was particular about whatever it is she thought I was particular about, probably socks. Now though I have to do all of it. But, like laundry is all fun and games until it has to be folded and put away. Which would explain the two loads I just dumped onto my bed so that I would be forced to finally fold them.

I started thinking about what I would give to have Kelsie alive, with me, in our old bedroom, folding laundry and helping me put it away. Actually, what I would give just to have her alive period. I don’t care about the wedding, or really anything. What I would give just to be able to have more of those boring, mundane moments. Whether it was just holding hands in the car, laying in bed before we fell asleep, sitting on the deck drinking coffee before we had to shower and get ready for church, walking the dogs, cooking together, or even just watching hockey and drinking cider after a shitty day at work.

Have you ever thought about what you would give to hear a loved one say “I love you” one last time after they have already passed? I have, but I don’t think I could ever give enough. Just for one more “I love you.” Just for one more hug. Just for one more dimpled smile. Just for one more look into those poop brown eyes. Just, for one more.

I wonder, have you ever…

Racing Thoughts

Not being able to work, because of the injuries I sustained in the car accident, has been both a blessing and curse. It’s been nearly 3 months and I estimate another 3 before I can return to work. This gives me almost too much time to think, to reflect and ponder aimlessly on every detail of my life that I can remember from the last few years.

There is some quote about how words cut deeper than sticks or stones ever could and leave more painful scars. Right now, in this moment, with all that I have gone through, I think that I finally understand what that means. A little perspective, in my life I have had two knee surgeries as a result of playing soccer and now 4ish years later it’s not even something that I think about. More recently, the car accident, I broke my nose, my orbit, a rib, my leg, and shattered my humerus and elbow. Fighting through this is cake, it’s what I was raised to do; fight until it’s over and not a moment sooner. My right arm is little more than a glorified paperweight at this point, it’s held together by screws, plates and nothing short of a thousand prayers that I get function back again. I’ll always have a 12 inch scar running down my arm, but one day I’ll barely remember that my arm was shattered. The physical scars will almost always fade away in one way or another.

Let’s talk about the emotional scars I carry. My fiancée was killed immediately in the accident, I have no memory of the 10 days after, the thoughts, the feelings and the most recent memories that I have of Kelsie. Not without having to strain my memory to think of any bit I can get to. I can feel how much she loved me, how much she wanted a life with me, the kids we will never have, the life we had roughly planned out. I know all of these things, I will carry them with me forever, because it’s all that I have left.

What has been bothering me the most is that through all of this no one has seen me cry, no one has seen me break down, no one has been on the receiving end of my rage that I keep bottled up inside always on the verge of coming out. And yet my brain can only remember being told that I’m not a good person, that I’m too negative and a whole host of other things attacking my character. I get up every morning and I fight to take my next breath, I fight to keep going, and if I didn’t still wear my engagement ring no one would ever know that my other half, my better half, died before we could have a life.

Life is about more than just surviving

But sometimes you have to learn how to survive again before you can live.

It almost shames me that that attack on who I am clouds my mind when all I should be doing is grieving and focusing on healing physically. Do I get sad sometimes, of course, the human who was to be my wife 7 months after her funeral is gone, but no one will ever know how I really feel, no one will ever see me break unless I want them to. No one is 100% all the time, I’m no exception, but what I can tell you is that now no one sees anything but the mask of my being 100%. That’s not fair to me.

It’s okay to not be okay

Kelsie taught me that, after working for months to break through and repair the damage done by your words. It’s not healthy to perfectly okay all the time.

I love you and miss you everyday little penguin. It’s been 2.5 months and it still hasn’t gotten any easier to not have you by my side.

10 Seconds

Hey Little Pengüino,

I don’t know why today is so much harder than all the others, maybe because I’m starting to feel everything again. My arm fucking hurts and my leg feels like it’s going to give out, but all I keep thinking about is the support, love and unwavering devotion you would have given me if you were still here.

I’m sitting on our deck, drinking my first cup of coffee in 5 weeks and all I can think about is all the times we used to do the same on our mornings off, or the dinners we would eat when it was nice enough. Atlas I don’t think knows what to do, she keeps going to her spot to look out, but she is just so lost; she misses you and Juneau, she misses her momma.

Everyday I think about how I am supposed to move forward, not the actual moving forward, but like how am I even supposed to comprehend the possibility of even doing that? We never really thought we had that many friends, but let me tell you in times of need those who think the most of you show up and holy shit have they. I don’t know how you would feel about Jack Jack coming back into my life since he left, but surprisingly he’s the one I can count on most. He understands in a way my parents and our co-workers can’t. He doesn’t sympathize with my loss, but like your mom he gets it and is perfectly content just letting me talk about you as we knew you and as I knew you, to let me talk about religion and how I don’t know how I am ever going to be able to move forward without you, to have the future we planned. He understands that I lost sight of my future, but doesn’t try to force me to find it again. With my luck I will live a very long life and not see you again until I’m old, you took the white lighter from me, you weren’t supposed to do that, we were supposed to throw it over a cliff together and live another 50 birthdays together surrounded by Isaac and Riley’s children, our grandchildren.

You were it for me LP, you showed me a love I never thought I was worthy of, you showed me a future I could never have dreamed for myself, and you gave me a life I never want to let go of. How do I move forward, not on, but forward from that? Maybe time will tell, maybe it won’t. Just know that I still love you with all that I have and all that I am. You are my sun, my moon, and my stars. When I am called home I hope that you are the one to meet me at the door.

Until I hold you again,


What I didn’t get to say enough

Hey Little Penguin-I’ve been thinking a lot since I woke up and just knew you were no longer with me, that our future was just dreams and fantasy, and I would never get to tell you another cheesy pick up line just to hear you laugh. I’m not sure how long it’s going to take me to write this or how many parts it’s going to be, but there is just so much I need to say, and if God works the way we always thought, you will hear every single word.

I think a lot of people have learned a lot these last nearly 3 weeks. I don’t think as many people who showed up to your rosary and funeral knew just how big of a role church played in your life. So I’ll start there. Thank you. Thank you for walking the path with me to bring the Lord back into my life, I think it’s been almost a year now since I started attending mass regularly with your family and just because you are no longer there to show me the way, it doesn’t mean I will stop. You know I woke up a week after the accident and I just remember feeling more sad and angry than I think I ever have before. I remember something you said to me once “God doesn’t give us anything more than we can handle” I don’t think you’re wrong but since waking up and not remembering a damn thing and having too much time to think, not to mention the three different chaplains coming to see me every day, I’d like to make a small change to that. “God does not give us anything more than he can handle the repercussions of” let me explain. He knows a lot of us are hurt, are sad, are angry, and just don’t understand, but He knows we will come back to him, be it in hopes of finding answers or to seek comfort. Let me tell you, I know your family is struggling with losing you and me well, I get to permanently miss you for the rest of my mortal life. But I, we, will always love you.

I know that you knew I loved you and I know that you loved me. I find peace in that. Thank you for teaching me how to love and be loved.

Thank you for being the Little Dipper to my Big Dipper, the Robin to my Batman, the Batman to my Joker, the belt to my Orion, the moon to my nights, Atlas’ momma, but most of all thank you for being mine and letting me be yours.

Just know how much we all miss you, for a variety of different reasons unique to each of us, and while we have yet to find comfort in our loss of you we know you are still with us each and every day.