This past week I keep asking myself the same question and no, it’s not “why?”
I keep asking myself, “who am I?”
I don’t seem to have that part of my life figured out anymore. Lately, I look in the mirror and I see a person I don’t recognize. I thought I knew myself pretty well before Anthony died.
I had a pretty good handle on me. As a person, and woman. I thought I knew my strengths and weaknesses.
I was well-educated, successful and hardworking woman. I was proud of my life and accomplishments.
I had 3 handsome, good-hearted sons and lived a fairly turmoil filled life. I had ups and downs like everyone else. I had health issues. I fought them and took pride in my dedication to fitness and nutrition.
I dreaded the scale, counted calories, worried about where to eat dinner on a Friday.
I have a good job, that I enjoy and a company I care about. I loved my blog and knowing I was sharing fun and motivating tidbits for us midlife gals (and my younger readers too, I gave you a good role model).
I also sat up all night in fear when Joey or Anthony didn’t come home on time (or at all). I yelled and screamed my head off at the scale of their stupidity, often. I wondered who would be lucky enough to marry my prizes one day.
I was fairly normal. Nothing special on the grand scale of life.
Now I astound myself. Literally. I have never had to be more brave. I didn’t think I had the resilience in me to face losing one of my children, but we often surprise ourselves when we have no other choice. There is a big difference between forced bravery and chosen. Forced bravery requires a lifetime commitment. And you have no options.
I do try to find peace.
My morning Starbucks runs are accompanied by me looking at the sky to hopefully see Anthony’s face. I hear him in my ear, “Hi Ma.”
“Hey Pudding Pop, I love you.”
“I love you too Ma.”
“Is it ok up there? You alright?”
“Yeah, it’s ok, really beautiful, but I miss you guys.”
“I miss you too Baby. I will see you again one day.”
By this point I arrive at my office door; as I push the rotating glass a tear wells up in my eye. Without fail.
Is this my life now? Talking to the sky?
My relationships, in all aspects of my life have changed. I value my alone time even more, yet I embrace the true comfort of my closest friends.
How do I walk towards the rest of my days without my beloved son? How does it all matter? I was part of a full hand, 5. Now we are 4 living and 1 in Heaven.
I hate when people who don’t know me ask how many children I have.
“I have 3, a 21 year old, 17 year old and a 24 year old. He passed away in February.”
The look of shock on the questioners face and the sympathetic response comes next.
Is that my life now? Sympathetic responses? I will forever have a son in Heaven. An empty place at my table. It’s something I have to come to grips with.
There is a whole in my heart. I feel it. Will I eternally be incomplete now?
Rushing towards the finish line is so unimportant now. I no longer push myself. Hence the lack of writing recently. I love it, don’t get me wrong, but I am struggling to find something interesting to say.
I went ahead and cut my hair short again. My previous superficial goal of having long hair on my 50th birthday just isn’t worth pursuing.
I no longer feel comfort in my own skin. Self-doubt plagues me in the pursuit of a “new normal.” If that term even exists.
Every facet of my life is under scrutiny. Who am I??
I did manage to find a song that helps to express how I feel inside. Carrie Underwood’s Smoke Break.
Tonight after work I plan on sitting on my front porch, glass in hand, and take a smoke brake. I don’t smoke, but it’s a break. Contemplate my next steps in life.
I need to figure out who I am now. I am more complex than I have given myself credit for.
Right now, Starbucks in hand, it’s time to say hello to my Pudding Pop…