Yesterday was 4 months exactly since I lost my sonshine. I haven't been able to cook since the day he passed away. It was simply too painful to make dinner for just myself and not for me and Andy. I don't know that I'll ever be able to make Hamburger Helper again. I still have 3 boxes of Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Cocoa Krispies in my cupboard. God knows I won't eat them, but it gives me comfort having them in there. A little piece of my old normal, I guess.
So last week I told myself I couldn't live on takeout food forever. It's not healthy and it's not as good as mine.I decided to try to dip my toe in the water and cook 2 meals a week for awhile to get myself used to the idea. I decided to make something nice and have Ken come over and eat with me. I made a ham recipe I found that was coated in brown sugar and cooked in a sangria/pineapple sauce, mashed potatoes, and fresh peas from the farmer's market. What can I say? It was fabulous! Now, Andy and I both detest(ed) leftovers. They are the worst! So I froze the rest of the ham to use later for ham and cabbage or scalloped potatoes. But cooking that dinner was an important milestone, and I have bought a week's worth of groceries this week for the first time in 4 months. I believe I have broken the negative feeling by forcing myself to cook something. Leftovers are still going to be a problem...can't do it...won't do it. But maybe I can learn to adjust recipes. We'll see. I'll worry about that later. For now, I'm focusing on making at least 2 home-cooked meals and maybe more!
I'm really trying to take baby steps forward, and here's why...something important was confirmed for me yesterday. Andy wants me to be happy, and he needs me to be happy. A couple weeks after he died, I was having a conversation with him, and I clearly heard him say to me "Lighten up, Mom. It's going to be ok." I was literally drowning in grief at the time and it just wasn't possible, try as I might. I was just trying to breathe. Each day breathing becomes a little easier despite the cavernous lows I still feel on some days.
Anyway, I was reading the blog of a bereaved mother yesterday. Her son had been gone a year, and she had recently had a major breakthrough. Let me first say that we grieving mothers are able to feel our chilren's sprits and have conversations with them. That's because there really is no death, just another realm. The woman's son told her that he really needed her to be happy in order for him to be completely happy and he further said "Lighten up, Mom." Sound familiar? I was blown away that she heard the exact same message from her son that I had heard from Andy. Later I went to Ken's to cook out. He had had a very bad several days in the abyss, but he seemed much better. When I asked him why, he said he had felt Andy's presence helping him and telling him "Lighten up, Dad!' THREE times "lighten up" called to mind in one day. There are no coincidences.
So, my life's goal moving forward is to lighten up and try to enjoy the rest of my life, even though it's not as good as it used to be and never will be. I have said from the beginning, "Andy, if you are happy, I can be happy, so please be happy!" I now understand that I must be happy for him to have the total joy he so deserves, and by God, I will do it. I waited 30 years for him the first time, and I will wait as many more as it takes to be reunited with him. I'd wait on him forever if I had to. I will honor him by being the best I can be and by fulfilling my mission here on earth, whatever that may be. I believe it will be revealed to me in time if I listen to my heart. I will still have horrible days, but I will not let them stay or take over my life. It's all for you, Andy. I love you like no other. You are my sunshine now and forever. Not goodbye, but 'til we meet again on that joyful day. Until that day, may you every moment have the joy of children.