Today is my birthday.  Its my second birthday without Handsome Husband.  I’m 56 in regular years, but…its my second birthday without Handsome Husband and that number  holds so much more power than my actual years of being on this earth.  The day, the number 56, is means nothing to me, which I realize probably sounds so very depressing but to me is neither one thing or another.  It just is what it is. But don’t stop reading-there is more to it, I promise.

See that massive hole in the ground  in front of you that is so huge its cavernous?  That hole appears to be all black volcanic rock, broken up with sharp and brittle gaps separated with what seems like bottomless crevasses between them, stretching down, down, down into nothingness.collageThe bottom is invisible  from the top. But if you could see the bottom and you looked closely, somewhere maybe around a 1/3rd of the way from the bottom, there is a barely discernible figure, clad in, surprisingly but it’s why you can make this figure out at all…yes, pink. It’s a woman.  On her back is a clearly very heavy backpack and her feet are clod in climbing boots.  Her hair is matted to her head with sweat and her fingers are red and cut from grasping the rocks for leverage and to keep from falling backwards into the blackness.  If you could see her eyes from that distance, you’d see that their cornflower blue is clouded with devastation and loss but sharp with determination.  She doesn’t look up; her eyes are trained directly on the rocks in front of her.  It’s a slow climb, as she must continually pause to gather her strength and take a gasping breath.

She’s in survival mode.  It uses up everything physical, everything emotional and everything spiritual and mental that is in her to raise her foot one more time to lever herself up one more rock.  And you know what?  Its okay.  She’s a sweaty, devastated with grief, FWG and its okay.  She isn’t sad about being sad, she is just doing what needs to be done.b2513ddfbf608eb4ebc36d9f2712dfb2

Would you like to know what keeps her breathing?   Study this~

d178be5975dab55c10a98ddaa6c9c73dThere is a quote that says there is a crack in everything.  That’s how the light gets in.

You, my family, my friends, my fellow Tabbers, my military family, my Second Firsts family, my angel sisters of Tapestries of Hope, my SOTF, my Glampers, my faithful blog followers, my fellow widows, met and not yet met-all of you who are my community.  You are the cracks.  You are the ones who are letting the light into my heart and soul and you keep me climbing those black rocks.  Out of the darkness.

What else is there for me to say on this birthday but thank you?  From me, and I know, from Hands0me Husband, who would hug each of you individually for the love you are giving to the woman he loved more than himself.

I bow my head to you in acknowledgement.



20 thoughts on “YOU~

  1. Well, a very wonderful and peaceful birthday to you. Reading your blog this morning was a great gift to me as I go about my challenges of the day. The photos are great and make so much sense!! Thanks to you and, again, a very happy birthday.

  2. Happy Birthday Alison. You are a gifted writer and person. Sending wishes for much love & health to you this year and perhaps Happiness may come along too. Look for the joy in the little places everyday. Also, look for the miracles that occur everyday. I read in a book recently that “a miracle is just simply a change in perspective.” Enjoy the love that surrounds you today, may it be a re-birth dear friend…♡♡♡♡♡

    • Judith,
      I remember in hospice talking to the kids about redefining the word “miracle”. So many would say to me “maybe a miracle will happen”, meaning, of course, that Chuck would get better. I knew, of course, that wasn’t going to happen but maybe, just maybe, we could change our perspective of the word and make it mean something. That miracle did indeed happen-he lived his final weeks, and died, immersed and surrounded by the love he’d given to all of us for so many years. In the year since, in this time going forward, going back out on the road, I’m fully aware that I have little to do with it-I need to only show up where I need to be (and I can’t explain where that is necessarily). Its all there for me already.

      I feel loved by you and so many~

  3. Happy Birthday my surviving fellow woman warrior. This related so much to what I am experiencing in going forth with the sadness of not having my sweet Brent by my side. He is in a better place without pain and sorrow, although we who remain are filled with loss. There is a crack in my heart and the light shines in from all my friends and family who love me and let me express my sorrow of loosing a beautiful son. Travel well my friend until we meet to make the pink scarfs. See you soon. D

  4. Hi, I’m also a widow.But now I’ve had some years to adjust. Reading the book “DESTINY OF SOULS” by Michael Newton helped me tremendously. If you feel like it you can see him on You Tube. Best wishes & keep climbing !

  5. HAPPY BIRTHDAY ALISON. I love this post. Without your birth, Handsome Husband would never have met or had you or vice versa. 56 doesn’t mean anything. I get that and understand that. There is so much metaphorical irony when it comes to “birth” day. Your mom went through whatever she had to in order to bring a beautiful, smart, vulnerable, lively and loving woman into this world. When you were little, you had no idea what obstacles would be in your paths. The twists, turns and roads you’ve taken throughout America were vast and long. Shared with your husband that only you and him would ever experience together. That word “birth” day also means learning a new way to “birth” yourself into discovery of family, friends and all that you’ve mentioned in your post after HH had past to wherever he is now. The new life you live now could never be compared with the one shared with your husband. I’m just so thankful that you’ve been able to birth your daughter and sons to prepare you for this new birth in life that you will experience.

    Coming out of a womb is one thing, but finding a new birth in life, that’s a challenge. FWG you were prepping for since you could say your first words. You didn’t know it, but you were preparing to be a FWG. Your sons and daughter didn’t know what their mother would have to go through in life to find HH, but you did. Now that he’s gone, they are there for you still. When they were little, they relied on you to be there to help them bandaid skinned knees, to give hugs to when they were alone, scared, afraid, brokenhearted. Now, it’s there turn to help you. No, they won’t make you a better on the inside, but nonetheless, they are there for you. They’d do anything for you that they could or can. Being 56 years old is just an age, but all of those years you’ve lived, you were preparing for that FWG role.

    I think you may be aware of this, but through your life shared with HH, you have impacted, you BOTH have impacted the world with your story. The journey’s you’ve taken together and a part…and now getting ready to take a 6 month long journey with Kamahooptra, you all are teaching the rest of us lessons about love, loss and self discovery. No matter how happy or EFFING painful it is, you’re sharing. We are taking this journey with you virtually, some a part of it physically and some emotionally, we’re all so grateful for blessing us with your wisdom, love and loss. We all will never walk in your shoes or feel what you feel, but we all appreciate your soul.

    I’m thankful for your birthday. The one from the womb, the birth of your life with HH and the “after life” since HH is gone. As I reach my arms slowly to the sky, glance at the moon, take a deep breath and slowly let out the air, your spirit is with me. Your children’s spirit is vibrant…your daughter is prepping for her journey with you. The Pink Magic is getting ready for the road once again. HH is somewhere smiling. He’s that white light in the darkest crevass. He’s the warmth of the sun on a chilly morning and he’s the refreshing cool breeze on a hot summers day.

    I say Happy Birthday. It may not be happy for you, but I am happy for you. I am happy you got to share something with a man that no one will EVER experience the same way with a man of their own. Thank you, for your birthday. Thank you, for transforming into a FWG. Thank you Kamahooptra for sharing with your mom and doing this journey for your dad.

    From one FWG to another, take the road less traveled and keep your eye to the sky.


    • Audra,
      There are so many words to say in response to the beauty of your note, I don’t know where to start.

      I do know that the life I lived for the last 4 years with my husband prepared me to live this life now and, though I have trust in very little, I do somehow know that I have very little to do with what’s happening; my job is to show up and let it unfold.

      Our kids-oh, how proud he’d be of who they have become in the year since his death. They were good kids before that, but their hearts just burst open in the time since as they’ve loved and supported me. I thank god for them every day.

      I am so filled with gratitude too, for friends such as you who reach out to me with such love.

      Eyes on the sky, Audra. Nothin’ but Love~

      • You’re very welcome! I can’t wait to “travel” with you along your paths, hear testimonials and see pictures of you along your journey. Sending much love as always! You can do this! Nothin’ but love~~~


  6. Beautifully said. I will hug you gently as you follow this journey as a fellow too young widow myself at 55 and faithful journey follower. Do something special for you on this birthday. Know Handsome Husband is with you every day, walking beside you as you peel off your grief.

Talk to me~

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