Happy-ish Holidays Y'all!
Thanksgiving was Tracy's favorite holiday and when he could no longer eat he STILL loved it because he couldn't wait to see people's reactions to his recipes so this one is still bittersweet.
(Maybe I should say bettersweet-
as it was a bit better than last year in some ways).
Tracy loved to make meals to bring friends and family together.
Our Daughter Rachel has run that gantlet with amazing success this year again.
The Austin Orphan's Thanksgiving
was an incredible success
and we have already discussed
how to upgrade it for next year.
As happy as I was to spend time with family and new friends, there is still that constant reaction to want to "tell Tracy" oh- look at this, did you hear that? What do we do about this?
I keep thinking I should be farther along in my healing journey after a whole YEAR which feels like 10 lifetimes. And yet the year has flown by too.
I hear that from others in my situation as well.
Time makes no sense anymore (and I wasn't too good about it BEFORE our ALS Journey).
I have done my best to stay in touch with all the new friends (and a few old ones)
that are part of the
~Dead Spouse Society~
-A club none of us wants to be part of
but are forced into.
I am/was NOT one to race to join support groups
and pour out my problems
(no matter how good it is for me).
But I am finding there is this natural migration towards those who have lived in the trenches.
The great thing about it is the absolute freedom there is between us,
some of whom don't know each other very well at all.
It feels fairly easy to express the Truth of our situation to each other in a way I had not experienced previous to our ALS journey.
We can make crude, rude, sad, honest, hilarious, disgusting, outrageous, nonsensical jokes or conversations about ANYTHING to each other because we have all LIVED it.
There is no judgement.
Life's rules don't apply to us in the same ways anymore because
- really- what are ya gonna do to us?
We have survived (??? at least partly)
the WORST that life can throw at us so
What are they gonna do to us?
Sure I gripe and get ticked about average stuff
but none of those are REAL PROBLEMS anymore.
Honestly- I am surprised how helpful it has been for me to chat and share with these strangers that have become important heroic friends.
I still don't have the courage Tracy showed to brutally share the realities of all this journey has heaped upon me, but I am light years from where I started in 2011.
I keep thinking I am gonna help others
but I seem to get more than I am giving and am continuously surprised by that.
( Slow learner here).
Before ALS I was a very private person
and I really, really miss privacy on every level.
But what I learned from Tracy is that his sharing made such a difference in so many people's lives, in so many ways, it feels selfish to me to not attempt to allow others to learn from our experience
( in hopes they can skip some of the hardships of our trials and many many errors).
If I can save even one person a day of misery in any way- it's worth that sacrifice.
Friends and family often express the idea
(sometimes verbally, sometimes in body language, actions, expressions or what they won't or don't say)
that I might be healthier and happier if I would just take some time away from it all to let myself heal.
I have tried. Really I have.
But it seems like each time I do,
the Universe will throw a text my way or a situation or a phone call or commercial or another person's health issue in my way,
creating an absolute impasse,
unless I find a way to deal with it.
I am so so thankful to all those who helped
Tracy and me
and that continues even now.
If it wasn't for those who were kind enough to reach out and communicate and share and support and listen or tell a shockingly accurate situational story
I don't know where I would be.
Thank you all for the love and encouragement and friendship and jokes and pranks.
Thank you for remembering Tracy
and sharing photos and stories of his crazy life.
Agree or disagree
but do it all from a place of love
because I have learned
that as corny as it sounds-
It really is all that matters.