So, I don’t just have one “7 month mark”. I have many. There’s the 23rd, the 25th, the 26th, the 27th, the 28th and the 30th—and these dates will mark something every single month. On the 27th of this month (which is by far the worst of all the dates), I chose to cope by having a friend over and drinking the most delicious beer I have ever tasted. “Berserker” crafted by the Midnight Sun Brewing Company in Alaska. I had picked this bottle up on a visit to Bend, Oregon. I had never had it before but the kid in the store recommended it. My friend and I really liked it and spent some time fanatically trying to figure out where we could buy more. My friend even called her husband and asked him to make a run to Bend (@ 6 hours away) to buy us more. My brother owns a restaurant. He has connections! I asked him. His beer rep basically told him “Good luck with that”. Apparently, my new favorite beer is very difficult to get your hands on. I even wrote to the Brewing Company! They never wrote back. I suppose it’s a good thing. There’s probably a very good reason for me that this beer is hard to find. (But if anybody out there has any connections……;-)
I learned so much about great beer from Jake. Really good beer was one of his passions. He and his buddy had plans of opening their own brewery someday. They used to go to this place where people could craft their own beer, taste the beers of others, etc. He taught me that Porters have chocolate in them. One of his favorites for while was Black Butte Porter crafted by the Deschutes Brewing Company in Oregon. I have a special place in my heart for Deschutes. Shortly “AFTER”, my brother and his wife did many things to help me and support me. They knew financially I was in a bad place and they also wanted to honor Jake at their restaurant. The bar there has rotating taps-but my brother ordered a whole bunch of barrels of Black Butte Porter and was going to donate a profit of each one sold to my family. When the rep from the company found out why my brother had ordered so much, they donated even more barrels. I sent a thankful e-mail to the man in charge at Deschutes, along with some tidbits about Jake. Less than 12 hours later, I received a reply from the man in charge, offering not only his condolences, but anything he could do to help. Especially if I needed beer. I love that man. I love Deschutes. Go buy some. Try the Black Butte Porter. It has chocolate in it. Yum.
This past week was a rough one for me. It just so happened that my first grader had “Family PE Night” this week. This is a night at school that is exactly what you would think it would be. Whole families going to the gym at school and playing PE games together (in my days it was called “gym class” and not nearly as fun). I really, really didn’t want to go. I have had a very hard time in the “AFTER” attending events like this. The people-the happiness-the yelling and cheering-the “fun”. My first grader begged me to take him. So I took him and my oldest son. But I couldn’t participate. I couldn’t even force myself to do it. I sat on the sidelines as Jake and Owen joined another family. Every once in a while I remembered to plant a fake smile on my face. But for the most part, I didn’t feel like I was there. I was stuck in my head–reliving. I think I relive “it” so much so that maybe one of these times I can change the outcome. Regardless, I found myself thinking–someday my first grader is going to remember this day and talk about how his mother was there physically, but she wasn’t really there. I wonder if he’ll think it was even worth it to go in the first place.
Yesterday, I came very close to making an offer on a house. I haven’t sold my house. I keep thinking I should downsize. It’s the practical thing to do. I really liked the house and right now the market is so hot that homes are on the market 2-3 days before they are sold at higher than asking price. I didn’t make an offer. I came back to my house. I remembered that it probably wasn’t a good idea to make such a big decision within the first year of a tragedy like this. But the thing is–how do I ever leave this home? This was our dream home. Mine and Jake’s. Yes the bathrooms are dated with scalloped sinks and lavender faux marble swirls and lots of gold. But we bought this house for the property and the potential. We loved this house. But it’s also insanely hard for me to live here. Confronted with memories in every nook and cranny. I hope I can start appreciating the good ones someday. But I’m still stuck at that tree. I can’t go outside and enjoy the property because of the magnetism of that tree. Not a good magnetic force either. I can’t let my kids go outside and play in our beautiful yard alone because of all the recent bear and cougar sightings. But I can’t go and play outside with them because of the tree. I also can’t imagine leaving this house behind for good. Because it was ours. Jake used to talk about how we’d be old and sitting in comfy chairs on the back patio laughing about the time the kids decided it was a good idea to ride Big Wheels down the hill straight into the outside walls of the house. It’s all fun and games until…..
My brother gave me a sweatshirt for Christmas. It was an old sweatshirt that he loved. He washed it, wrapped it, and gave it to me for Christmas. I cried. If you look at the hood, it says”Powerful Human”. I love it. I wear it all the time. I want to be a powerful human. Physically. Mentally. Emotionally. Socially. Powerful. I want my kids to be powerful humans. But how do I get there? How do I become a powerful human when I barely feel like a person most of the time? I don’t know how. But when I ask myself “What am I moving towards?”, now I have an answer. I’m going to be a powerful human.