A TRUE STORY OF HOW BECOMING A WIDOW AND SINGLE PARENT CHALLENGED MANY BELIEFS THAT HAD ONCE BEEN PART OF ME
I share this, not because I am having a difficult day, but because on this date 27 years ago, difficult doesn’t begin to describe the day my life was ripped to shreds after my husband died from injuries of a mysterious wreck (story for another day).
I was 25 years old with a soon to be three-year old. As all marriages, every day was not perfect but on July 28, 1990, I had no idea how perfect my marriage would look when it no longer existed.
Words of sympathy from kind faces were in every corner. My understanding and love of people faded. My patience no longer existed and if one more person said, “you have to be strong for your daughter” I worried that I would throat punch some little lady that only meant well. Someone somewhere helped because I’d hear those words for many years.
Lately, I’ve seen or read about several young widows with small children. My heart skips beats, my stomach knots up thinking about their next coming years, dance recitals, ball games, plays, and overnight stays. Too many sleepless nights pissed having to make a parenting decision alone.
We have all been told, when life gives you lemons, make lemonade; Don’t wait for the storm to pass but learn to dance in the rain. That all seemed possible until the day came, I lost a part of my heart in order to say my final unrequited goodbyes to my other half.
Strength always found me, which silently became my cheerleader. I mastered how to smile on the outside until I felt it on the inside. No doubt, I am a research addict when there is something I want to know. Determination to turn over every stone, bring down every library to understand why I was chosen for this experience. How did God, anyone or anything know I had the strength for this. How did I decide on what lesson for this lifetime prior to this lifetime. None of my organized religious beliefs could give me answers. Nor was I yet convinced on we choose our experiences from a spiritual view. If I chose this experience, I had been drugged with something stronger than what I’ve tried here on earth and I’ve not lived a flawless life. Let’s leave that one alone.
Once a member of the organized religion, I recall hearing the preacher say, “she has been laid to rest, to never awaken again”. How that one comment haunted me. I begged (really, I ran away overnight to my friends) my parents to not make me go to church and eventually, I realized I could believe and be spiritual without belonging to any one organization that had beliefs I felt were incorrect. Never aware of why I felt strongly about this until the death of my husband. I guess you can call it intuition about my future years.
After the loss of my husband, I had to know if he was asleep forever or if he could see me wiping down baseboards at 2 a.m when I couldn’t sleep. Could he see the twenty plus times a night I would
make sure our daughter was breathing? Could he hear me asking for his approval when I thought the next date was the next one? (God bless him on the times I asked that, smh) Could he see the times I cried? Could he see what he called my devil eyes before every dance recital because he should be there for his daughter? Could he see my child-like temper tantrums when I had to read the directions and put together a toy on Christmas Eve? Could he hear me scream, Fuck you, Fuck Christmas, Fuck Santa up the ass with the Christmas tree? God help me, did he see the Christmas I destroyed, yanking down the Christmas tree and carrying out the door only to drag it back in on Christmas Eve decorated with tears and snotsicles.
I had remembered my Granny saying, “seek and ye shall find” and that I did. My experiences invited me to search for answers that no human was telling me.
- It was at a dance recital that I feared my daughter could see I was clapping through tears when she waved at me. At the end, she came running to say she waved at her Daddy sitting next to me.
- It was the morning I was dressing my daughter and she told me how her Dad had tucked her in last night.
- It was the first day of school when my daughter looked up at the sky and said, Daddy, don’t I look pretty today.
- It was the times I couldn’t find the strength but I could find a smile when I’d see a flash of him in the mirror standing behind me.
- It was a song that would come on that only he could have written to me.
- It was my Mother-n-law’s call that she had seen Jay and each time that call came, one of us were sick or sad.
- It was the time I tried to drive drunk but when I woke up I noticed him riding with me.
- It was the Medium that had no idea but explained the calls I would get with no one on the other end, not even a dial tone. “He wants you to know he is not dead”
- It was the Medium that said he wanted me to hear a song but I would turn the station every time it came on. “A Bad Goodbye”.
- It was the Medium that said, he is laughing and wants you to know, “if you call on me, I hear you even when you are cursing me”.
- It was the Medium that said, Kelloggs it’s me. Now think what you will, there was no way this Medium knew what or why he called me Kelloggs.
- It was the email I received on Mother’s Day and the subject line read, ”from JayBird” only to open and find a photo of red roses. When I typed a reply only to receive the mailer daemon message.
- It was a wreck my daughter was in that she would explain how scared she was when she couldn’t get out of the car and how it was her Dad that opened the door and helped her out.
- It was the first O.B.E. that would forever change the way I viewed life here on the earth. It was the experience of seeing human form and energy form of someone I loved dearly. It was an overnight trip that is a story for another day. It was all I needed to no longer have doubt that we can still connect to those no longer on earth.
The proof always has a way of appearing when I get clumsy or into my emotions and seeking solitude. All I can say is with the research and my beliefs that our bodies are vehicles carrying our souls and when this vehicle can’t go another mile, we let it go but we don’t stop driving or living.
THE BOOKS AND WORDS THAT CARRIED ME THROUGH
I read way too many books to list them all but here are a few of my favorites that helped me through the first few years of being widowed. I highly recommend for anyone seeking something of depth but definitely for a widow or anyone that has lost a loved one.
Many Lives Many Masters -“The True Story of a Prominent Pshychiatrist Dr. Brian Weiss was astonished and skeptical when one of his patients began recalling past-life traumas that seemed to hold the key to her recurring nightmares and anxiety attacks.
Only Love Is Real – “true story of souls bound by eternal love, focusing on the incredible tale of two patients” A fascinating story that will open your mind. Explore the mystery, wisdom and wonder of life and love. * (Bernie Siegel MD, Author of Life, Medicine and Miracles) * A gripping love story that transcends time… this book makes you truly believe that we all really do have soulmates, and that “only love is real”. * (Raymond Moody MD, Author of Life After Death)
The Seat of the Soul – “Authentic Power – humans are immortal souls first, physical beings second, and that once we become conscious of this transformation–once we align our personalities with our soul–we will stimulate our spiritual growth and become better people in the process.”
DON’T LET THEM LEAVE WITH A BAD GOODBYE
FROM HER TO HIM AND FROM HIM TO HER
I smelled you in every breeze
I saw a glance of you in mirrors
I heard you whisper my name
I sang the songs only you could have written
I had the dreams only you could have directed
I saw your grin in a lover that broke my heart for another
I saw your charm in a lover that would only smother
I saw your love for life in a lover, but no matter how hard I tried, I didn’t fit the mold
I felt your light-hearted jealousy in a lover that left me in the cold
I felt the touch of your lips in a lover who introduced me to a life of fiction
I felt the touch of your hand in a lover that used the other for addiction
So wrong I continue to be,
A desire to see those eyes looking back at me
The eyes that blinked, I love you
The eyes that said I’m proud and blessed
The eyes that said you were guilty as you confessed
The eyes that I’d see upon waking staring down at me
The eyes that looked around a full room but always back to me with gratitude.
So wrong I continue to be,
I can’t help but long for that known heart next to me
The heart that beat to see my smiles
The heart that rode with me for miles
The heart that wouldn’t give up and made me stay
The heart I hear in my dreams when I think I’ve lost my way
So wrong I continue to be,
I patiently wait for a hug that touches all of me
The hug that lets me know you are my person, my main squeeze.
The hug that says you are here to support my dreams, help put me at ease.
The hug that pulls away sins and pains from my past.
The hug that awakens me at last
The hug that says, to you, I give my strength
and no matter how far, I’ll go the length
Drifting off to sleep,
I hear you whisper, I’ve never gone awaySometimes I’m in the breeze, Sometimes I fly in as a Blue Jay
Sometimes a mirror allows me to see your smile.
While the songwriter sleeps, I write words with spiritual schemes
I am here helping you to believe if no other way, then in your dreams
When you saw me in others it was me who whispered to their soul,
show her a glimpse of comfort to help her loosen control.
It was with each of those souls you loved
they were chosen in showing you I live, my beloved.
It was with each soul that brought pain,
disappointed you and left you out in the rain.
We were all guides to help you use this gift you hold
Please do not turn away a soul that may hold the key,
It may be through that love in which you have all of me.
Should at anytime you feel lost and blue,
Open that envelope of my silly poems to you.
In loving memory of Edward Jay Hinton (JayBird)
August 8, 1964 – July 28, 1990