Yeah...so I am a widow.  Words I hoped I'd never have to say. Words I, myself, still feel stunned by. Stumped. Six months ago was the start of our new life...and now, he's been gone two weeks...how is that possible?  This post will mark the first ever of posts not "checked" by him before posting. It still just doesn't feel "real." Despite his long battle, I can't help but say that I still feel blindsided. Sounds crazy to outsiders, probably...but I had such hope. I had such blind confidence that he'd make it; that we had so much love for each other that he couldn't possibly succumb.  He tried. We tried.  He fought long, and he fought hard, and he held on every possible second he could.  He was tired, and we could tell.  Tired of the fight that seemed endless. Tired of fearing the next set of bad news.  I can only say I'm grateful that his suffering is over. He went peacefully...without pain, without worry, surrounded by love in the home he grew up in.  He did what he could to assure us he was comfortable and loved us all.

I can't begin to even scratch the surface of how devastating the last few months were; and honestly, I won't even try right now. Some day, when my soul is starting to heal, I will share...but today is not that day.

I tried focusing on the big picture...I tried to figure out, very quickly, where I'm going to live and what I'm going to "do," but it was too much. Today I made a command decision...the first ever of my own (a daunting task to say the least), to not make anymore big decisions for a while.  I'll rent while I get my head on straight. I'll keep my kids in the community they know, with the people they know, the places they know, the friends they love...maybe in a year I'll be in better shape to make that big decision, but today is not that day.

Every day, these past 13 days, I've gotten up and done my best.  I can't say it was great, or sometimes even "ok," but it was what I can do. I've gotten up, had coffee, gotten my kids to school with the help of my mom in law, and gone to the gym. Not always on time. Not always without tears (whether from me, the kids, or both...). But we've done it. I've done my workouts, because my kids deserve the healthiest Mom I can give them, and I owe it to myself to be the best me. When I've wanted to give up and walk out, I think of him. I think of how hard  he fought just to stay here as long as he did, and I push harder.  He'd want me to. There will be days it'll come easier, but today is not that day.

I'm not a saint. I lose my patience. I panic. I zone out, check out, freak out.  I have moments where I ask myself "How are you not here???" and "How am I going to do this by myself??"  My confidence will come, but today is not that day.

For today, I keep it simple.  I try to get used to the simple new fact of my life...that I am a widow.  I can't wrap my head around the big picture, or even the medium picture. I can't focus on years out, months out, or even sometimes days out...I can only try and get used to that one simple statement.  That one, four word, half a sentence that implies that my whole world is forever changed.  Altered in a way that I cannot repair.  I can't fix it. I can't change it. I can only spend bits of my day learning to work around it.

All the "firsts" will be rough. Mother's Day. Father's Day. All of our birthdays. Our first vacation without him. Ben's preschool graduation. Our first trip to the beach. My first night out. Christmas.  It's all going to feel like a thousand cuts. But we'll do it. We'll feel the stab and hope that maybe the next time, it won't hurt as much. And maybe a little less the next, and the next.  It won't go away, that much I know...but maybe some day it'll be a pang, or an ache, instead of a knife twist.

So many of you have reached out these past weeks and months. I just wanted to thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for your unwavering support.  The positive vibes, notes, cards, food, visits and text messages have helped me stay strong. The pictures and memories shared have reminded me that our life wasn't always a brain tumor journey, but just a life...a wonderful, amazing life; filled with joy and laughter and beautiful memories to last me a lifetime.  Love to you all!!!!  I'll check back in soon. XOXO.