So, it’s been–
16 months since my husband was so unexpectedly taken from me. 12 months of blogging about it. I’ve experienced levels of pain that I never even knew existed. I still do. There are triggers everywhere-they hit me when I least expect them. The punch to the stomach. The eyes burning. My hands shaking as I say “Oh Jake” aloud for the 7 millionth time. This is not something to get through. This is how I will live-for the rest of my life.
You know what though? I used to dread 4:10pm every single day. Without realizing it, I just started dreading every Wednesday. Eventually, I was only dreading the 27th of every month. Now, its the holidays, anniversaries, and triggers that I dread. The memories are the hardest, because I don’t know when to expect them. But I am so grateful I have them. Even when they hurt.
I was thinking about my subtitle for this blog…”how I navigate the world without Jake”. I think back over the past 12 months (the first 4 months didn’t really count. I wasn’t navigating anything. I was just being carried along). I have made good choices and some choices that could’ve been better (like saying “yes sir” to a 5th beer–yeah, could’ve made a better choice that time). I have tried so many new things that I have been thinking about for several years but never attempted. Big things happened, yes. But mostly, I navigated my way through the last 12 months in the small moments. The cool part is-I tend to recognize the moments while I am in them more than I ever had in the BEFORE.
Jake was very intelligent. He was a mathematician. My oldest son is on his school math team this year. He had an all day competition on a Saturday against so many other schools. I only went to the closing ceremony. But I know, if Jake were alive, he would have been there all day long. He would have loved every second of it and he would have been so proud of his son. How sad. Sad isn’t a strong enough word-I don’t know if a such a word exists. Sad for my husband that he is missing out on so much. His children’s lives. Sad for my kids that their dad isn’t here for them. Sad for me because I miss him so much.
During the closing ceremony, a student got up and recited 350 digits of pi. Yup-350. My first few thoughts/actions were #1–“Why? Do I ever use pi in my life? Why would anybody ever need to know 350 digits of pi?”, which led to me texting a dad down the row from me and asking him if he brought his flask, and if so-I’d meet him out in the parking lot. Unfortunately, he didn’t bring it with him. Then I thought about Jake. I thought about how Jake would have tried to explain to me why we all need to know about pi and how it applies to our daily lives. He would’ve gotten about one minute into his monologue and I would have been thinking about laundry or the beach or something. I would love for him to be here explaining the relevance of pi to me. I would probably still be daydreaming about the ocean, but he’d be here.
I continue to have a hard time accepting that Jake is gone. I really struggle with the pure fact that one minute he was here-and the next he was gone. My mind can’t grasp this concept. What the fuck happened to Jake? Where did he go? How could he be here and then all of a sudden NOT be? My brain tells me its 100% nonsense. It can’t happen. It doesn’t make sense.
I’ve said it many times over the past year–I’m forever changed. I will never be the same person I was in the BEFORE. I know this sounds crazy, but lately I’ve felt Jake “with” me. There was a recent situation and I handled it in a way I never would have before. I swear I felt Jake pat me on the back and whisper “Atta girl”. Sometimes I’ll have my music on “shuffle” and every song that comes on is a “Jake” song. Jake appreciated and loved music so much-and there are certain songs that I appreciate because he did. I have never believed in the idea of a “soul mate”. Not until after I lost Jake. My definition of soul mate is probably different from the traditional. I believe a soul mate is someone who knows you as deeply as anybody can know a person, and still loves you (even if they don’t like you sometimes). I believe we can have many soul mates in and throughout our lives. I believe some of my best friends are my soul mates. I don’t necessarily believe it is a romantic idea. I don’t believe we share our true selves with many people. Jake knew me and I knew him. Our relationship was not a fairy tale, but we most certainly were soul mates. I still need him.
This past year I’ve noticed my strengths and weaknesses more than ever. I’ve proven to myself over and over–“I can do this”. Sometimes I wonder how I’m going to get through the next minute-and all of a sudden a year has gone by and I realize that I got through every minute that I didn’t think I could.