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I try to think back to when I was a little girl...

did I have those ideas of being a bride and having a dreamy wedding? You know, that fairy tale, ball and gown day, fit for a prince and princess kind of day?? ...I really do not have ANY recollection of that thought.  I really do not think that thought ever crossed my mind actually, not even growing into my adolescence did I have that desire.

I do however remember always admiring my parents relationship.  I remember thinking how fortunate they were to have one another, and how lucky my sister and I were to have both our parents in a happy marriage.  I really remember wanting that for my future... it was never about the 'wedding' was the union that I longed for.  That togetherness. That bond.  The unconditional love and support.  The partnership.  Always wanting the best for the other, and always thinking of the other person.  My childhood was pleasant and full of happy memories.

I thank my parents for that.

There was a point in my life where I forced that dream of finding that one special person.  Before magically stumbling across my husband I was in a relationship that was no good for me--a horrible fit.  The pivotal point for me was when my sister and I threw my parents a surprise 25th wedding anniversary, and my bf at the time was ruining it for me.  I knew then and there that I wasn't going to settle... I didn't care how old I was, I wasn't going to just be married... I wanted THAT special bond.  One like me parents shared. A special, rare connection...a special, rare love.

It was so prominent that night.

Their night.

Their special 'silver metal' night.

They shined like the stars that they are.

So here I sit today.  Sharing the parenting role with NO ONE.  just me.  This is not at all what I imagined.  Maybe I didn't picture that dreamy wedding day as a little girl, but I definitely had no aspirations to have become a widow at the age of 26, 8 mos pregnant and more in love and full of devastation facing THIS new reality.

Craig and I may never get our 'silver metal' night, our son will not be throwing us a surprise 25th wedding anniversary... sadly we didn't even get the chance to celebrate one.  However, I know deep in my heart that I didn't sell out, I didn't give in and settle for marriage... I held out until I felt it, and once I did, I didn't hesitate either... when I met Craig, it was instantaneous! we knew.  We may not have known what we knew, but it didn't take too long to figure it out... we were meant to be together,... meant to get married.  My dream of finding that special bond, one like my parents shared... it finally happened... and I was 24.

It breaks my heart that it was stolen from me this soon.  BUT I am still hopeful.

My what- would- be one year wedding anniversary is approaching next month and I am feeling the sadness of him not being here overwhelm me.  My parents are also celebrating their 28 years together this Saturday.

I recently spent some time with my mother, and she sensed my sadness and asked how I was feeling.  And I told her that I missed him.  She said, "you know Stacy, I've really missed the shit too... I find myself thinking about the 2 of you, and I know that your anniversary is approaching you, and that's got to be hard."

I nodded with agreement, fought back tears, and continued feeding my son (he's eating solids now... I made him some green beans)

She then says "you know, it took me 25 years to know what you knew about Craig" 

I laughed- thinking to myself 'is this something she's just saying?!---of course it is"

She continues "I'm serious Stacy, your relationship was inspiring to watch, and I think it's because you guys didn't have t.v. that you knew so much about one another, and people could see that. It was remarkable."

I laughed again.

It was comforting, but also saddening. 

so there I was, sitting with the one woman who is the other half of the couple that I have always looked up to, always aspired to be like... and she says THAT!!!?

I am hopeful.  why?  Because my son has always allowed me to be that way (born 3 weeks after Craig died).  He has been my sidekick through this journey, and he doesn't even know it.  He gives me hope everyday, and eventually when the day comes and HE needs that hope, I will have the strength to give it back.

Who knows what the future holds?

I know that love is what keeps the world going; love is what makes life worth living... and I know that I am looking forward to living and feeling life once again.  That knowledge alone could be a recipe for stumbling upon love once again?-a new bond?

time will tell.

I will not settle.  I will not force it.  But if I do get the chance to ever feel it again- I won't hesitate either.

a certain someone special said it about his wife-and I have to agree... "Craig set the bar"

so although I know there's no comparing Craig to anyone..., I know how happy I was when I was with him... and I will not settle for less than that!


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Comment by twinsmum on May 22, 2012 at 9:36pm

love this read and I agree....My Craig also set the bar and I won't settle for anything less than that neither.  Yes it will be different I understand that but in the new relationship we will be happy and we will map out a future for us.

Comment by Arnie (New Normal) on May 17, 2012 at 11:41am

Stacey, well so very well spoken. I will tell you I feel the same way my Judy set the bar and I will not settle just for the first pretty face or nice kind words. The Spark I felt with Judy was instant, and for all of our marraige she was always first in my life. I to have had the best of the best with my Mom and Dad. My biological sperm donor left when i was 2 one day i need to thank him, wherever he is. It was because of him leaving that Mom met MY DAD and here i sit so much later in life and saw my Dad leave my Mom when he died he told mom to be happy and do whats best for her. She said the EXACT same words as you, "you set the bar so high no one could ever reach it" My wife loved my folks and it was always our plan to move them in but Dad never made it and now Judy did not either. Mom now lives with me as if not my house would be full of echo's . I will say you are on the right path put that beautiful boy first always as I know you will. The right MAN will not do anything less than love him like his own and will help keep the memory of Craig Alive. Take it from me my entire life i never felt like Pop was not my Dad,,,, I know you will not find what you are looking for as he will find you when you least expect it... Until then be the best darn Mom you can and remember you always have your extended family here with us. You are very deep and insightful so please let me know if you want to share tears as next month would have been our wedding anniversary also, ours was June 23rd....

Be well and be who you are no one can take that from you, ever.

Comment by nathanmue on May 16, 2012 at 4:13pm

Awesome blog Stace, I feel the same way about my parents! I can't agree more.

Comment by AEDforever (Ali) on May 15, 2012 at 4:29pm

You are an amazing woman

Comment by Suz on May 15, 2012 at 12:35am

I admire you so much. You are younger than my daughter and as strong and tough as they come. I know you may not see that all the time but when you say, 'I will not settle," I just feel it deep in my bones. I know there is much more happiness for you ahead,



Comment by rodsgurl09 on May 14, 2012 at 9:20am

(((Stacy))) so beautifully written. I too celebrated my first wedding anniversary alone, I feel your sorrow. Love lives on.... xo

Comment by Joyce on May 12, 2012 at 6:09am

Beautifully written Stacy, I hope you share it with your mother.  Hugs.

Comment by Ace on May 11, 2012 at 8:33pm

Sweet Stacy - You never did settle and you found Craig you definitely do not need to settle in the future. 

At camp we learned that us Widows are a hot commodity and in high demand. The happier we can become the law of attraction will kick in eventually. the new normal Happy takes time, and even at that it ebbs and flows for awhile and eventually you have more happier moments during the day than not. Not having that first anniversary is tough, but you know how much love you had for each other and not having the next day and the next day is no easier.....It is one more day to get through.  Our hearts have so much loss already and a gaping hole that takes much effort to keep beating steady enough to let us get anything done other than lie in bed under the covers. That is exactly what I would of done for my non-22, 23, 24 but oh no not the 25th I was with people I could accept in to my heart...lots of empty space there now...but the only reason I could even let them in is because they already had a glimps of what my heart less beats felt like...excruiating and breath taking away from me....a heart I had to will to keep beating...because with the loss of my partner I no longer breathed normally took such effort to get air in....Well this non-anniversary I was surrounded by friends and not once during the day did I find the need to concentrate on keeping breathing...and had gotten if lifted by the love of you and all the other WV campers. If today May 1oth  is the non anniversary day...I pray that this difficult day was eased some by your sharing it with us and letting us be in your heart to help you get the next difficult day......(tomorrow) All the days are not easy...we know. ((((((xoxxoHugs)))))) oh please share with us some green bean feeding pics! Some of us can remember how much fun that clean up can be on certain days.

Comment by Rebirth.Tanya (Tanya) on May 11, 2012 at 7:15pm
So beautifully written Stacy, and my heart goes out to you during this extra tender time. As long as you keep your heart open all things are possible, and I am one of many that is living proof of that...

Reading your post reminded me so much of a song I had in my "mourning music" playlists-

"It's Only Love That Gets You Through" by Sade

Girl you are rich even with nothing
And you know tenderness comes from pain
It's amazing how you love
And love is kind and love can give
And get no gain

[1] - It's down a rugged road you've come
Though you had every reason
You didn't come undone
Somehow you made it to the other side
You didn't suffer in vain

You forgive those who have trespassed against you
And you know tenderness comes from pain
It's amazing how you love
And love is kind and love can give
And love needs no gain

[Repeat 1]

You didn't suffer in vain
You know it's only love
That gets you through
Only love, it's only love
It's only love that gets you through

Sending you a big hug and wishing you love, strength, comfort, and a Mother's Day filled with peace and warm memories...

Tanya xo
Comment by BrittneyR on May 11, 2012 at 9:18am

I Hope that you do find that special someone again, hoping that we all do :)

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