Saturday, April 2, 2011

My K2

Okay, I confess. I ahd to go back and read the "About Me" section. I needed a reminder. Do you have those? The little things you read or see that help you get perspective when you've just tripped over the crack in the sidewalk and scaling the sheer face of K2 is on the calendar for next week?

My K2 is simple. Okay, it really isn't, but it feels better to say it is.

Last year my husband and I separated less than a month after our 19th anniversary. It was kind of strange in that I was devestated but not surprised, and in some ways, I was relieved. I don't know if you've ever been so tired of fighting for something or against something that you're just glad to not fight anymore. That was me.

I thought I was getting a handle on a new normal when my mom was diagnosed with cancer a month later. Two weeks later she was living with the children and me. Two weeks after that, she returned to live with my stepdad. A month later I received a call. Mom was sick, and my stepdad didn't know what to do. He didn't know what was wrong. I did. The tumors had won, and we were in the final days of the battle. Five days later, my mom died.

I can honestly tell you that was five months ago, and I'm not sure I have had the time to consciously miss my mom.

A month after I told Mom goodbye, we buried my uncle. I had lived with him when I was in college. He was wonderful, and he was gone.

A few weeks after that, my suspicions were confirmed, and I knew my husband wasn't coming home. The separation had transformed into preparation for divorce.

I went to bed and cried...for about two weeks.

Christmas came, and I tried to soak it in. Well, I tried to soak in the good stuff. It seemed like only a piece of what it had always been. I had no parents there. My dad died years ago. Mom was gone, and my stepdad was with his family. My ex-husband-in-the-making, my brother, and my children were there, and I tried to memorize the moments knowing next year there would be no husband and my brother planned to be gone. I tried to grasp anything that looked like what it used to be while letting it be a stepping stone into what life was becoming.

Two weeks later, I filed a petition for divorce.

And I went back to bed and cried.

As we approached mid-February, my mind seemed to count the days until my divorce was final and my marriage was over. It wasn't the marriage I had dreamed of, but I had dreamed it could be, and saying it wasn't going to be was harder than I ever imagined. As each day passed, on one hand I wanted to move on, to get beyond the farce we had created...even in our separation. I wanted to start a new life like he had already begun to do. On the other hand, with each passing day, we came closer to the reality that we had failed, that "till death do you part" had been exchanged for "unless I think this is too hard and want something easier".

Then about 12:15 am, February 15th, I wrapped my bathrobe around me to answer the door. I hoped it was a neighbor in need of something...anything. It wasn't.

My husband had suffered a massive heart attack. He was gone.

Nearly seven weeks later, I am a widow, not an ex-wife. I am figuring out the balance of being a wife whose husband left nine months ago and a mom whose children's dad died less than two months ago. I am trying to roll with the grief of losing so much and the reality that we wouldn't have been getting a divorce if there really was that much to lose. I am mostly finished settling the estate, and I ready for my life to no longer be focused on the dead. I'm ready to focus on the living.

I am ready to actively pursue and live a life that I love, not just tolerate or endure. It is the life I want my children to live, with courageous abandon of the normal so they can wildly pursue the extraordinary.

I want to be an extraordinary example of that kind of living.

That is my K2.

6 comments:

StevenSauke said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
sharilyn said...

"It is the life I want [my children] to live, with courageous abandon of the normal so they can wildly pursue the extraordinary...."

words for us all to live by...

love you...

sharilyn said...

ps. i find it interesting you created this new blog on april fool's day 'cause it sounds like deadly serious business here, if you ask me... and your mama di'n't raise no fool! :)

Lisa Buffaloe said...

Sweet friend, I'm cheering you on and praying with you as your journey continues--Beyond the K2.

Love you!

mizzbrizz said...

Jerri, I so loved your post on (in)Courage a few weeks back that I came here today to connect with your whole story. I am so sorry for the loss of your husband and the father to your children most importantly. May God bless and guide you in your K2 triumph!

Jerri Kelley said...

Mizzbrizz, so glad you came over! You've blessed me tremendously. I pray I am a blessing to you as well.