So I moved back to my home state of Massachusetts at the end of last year, after 26 years in NYC, to finish writing my book, live with my parents temporarily, and get back on track financially, after 5 years of struggling pretty hard following the sudden death of my dear husband Don.
Living with mom and dad at age 45 is sobering. It feels like going backwards. Going from my active and independent social life in NYC, to smalltown suburbia where your parents know your every move, is just strange. The first few months here, I had no car, no job, and not much of a life. I came here to write the book, and that is what Ive been doing. But you can only write so many hours in a day, and so many days in a week. After awhile, my eyes start to hurt, I lose focus, or Ive just had enough emotional toll for one day and cant do it anymore.
The past few months, things have started to brighten up some. I have started feeling more like an adult again. I started dating on the dating sites here, mostly so Id have something to do on weekends and have a social life. I picked up a small, part-time job working as the Social Media advisor for a local Real Estate Agent, I got myself on my parent’s car insurance so that I could have access to driving a car, and I started a local Massachusetts Soaring Spirits Regional Group, planning 2x per month social gatherings for widowed people. And then, about 6 weeks ago, from one of my many dating experiences on the dating site, I found my person. My “next great love story.” I fell in love.
And then, soon after all of that, I got really sick. Right as things were starting to find their rhythm, everything went into full-stop hiatus. A great big stall in my life. I went to the ER twice in one week. Once, because I was so lightheaded, I almost hit the deck while brushing my teeth. And the other time, because I woke up with the worst headache I had ever experienced in my life. Tests were done. Catscans. Brain scans. EKG’s. Heart stuff. Blood was drawn. And drawn. And drawn. More tests. More being sent home and not being able to move from dizziness and nausea. Being so tired that simply taking a shower made me out of breath and finished for the day. Not being able to read words on a screen, look at a TV, or hold a conversation even, because it made me so dizzy the rooom wouldnt stop spinning.
We finally got a diagnosis. Vertigo, which Ive had before and its a nightmare, combined with a virus called CMV – a form of mononucleosis, that generally sticks around for a month or so, elevating your liver levels to the point where your urine turns a scary color, and your eyes and face turn jaundice and yellow. There is no appetite, NO energy, and no life. Every part of me felt so lifeless. I was terrified. My new love was also terrified. We JUST found each other, and now I was going to fucking die??? Yeah, this is how the mind of a widowed person thinks.
So Its now been a few weeks, and Im starting to get better. The doctor said every day, I will feel better and better, get back more energy, and slowly get back into life. My liver numbers are back at normal range, and I have more bloodwork Monday to make sure everything is going in the right direction. I am hopeful to be on a plane with my doctor’s blessing in a week and a half, to San Diego, to give my latest presentation at Camp Widow. The last 2 weeks, I couldnt write these blogs. Today, I can. It feels good to be getting pieces of me back again.
Its been very scary to be sick with something, and not know what the hell is wrong. My mind went to some pretty bad places, thinking I had horrific brain tumors or that I had a heart attack the day before the 6 year death anniversary of my husband’s death, from a massive heart attack. Oh – right. Did I mention that all this started the day before the 6 year death anniversary of my beloved Don, so I was forced to go to my BIGGEST grief trigger place, the ER, and re-live all the horrific pieces of “that day” in my mind? Yeah. That was fun. It’s been a rough few weeks.
However, when you spend a few weeks being hostage in the house, and going nowhere at all except back and forth to the hospital for more appointments or blood work or ER visits, it forces you to slow your mind and heart. I am so thankful that I am here in my home state while all this is happening, and with my parents, because they have taken such great care of me, and Massachusetts has one of the best health insurance programs for people not working like me, so Ive been able to see all the doctors and specialists and get all the proper tests done and everything that needed to be done to ensure that I wasnt going to fucking die.
Its also given me a chance to really sit and think about the wonder and the beauty of finding love again after loss. Its been such a long, hard road for me after losing Don, filled with heartache and false starts. But I never gave up on love. I worked hard for it, and I put myself out there again and again, even after having my heart shattered several times. And now, it is here. He is here. And the timing couldn’t be more perfect.
My life has taken a short hiatus, but when I am sitting perfectly still, looking into his beautiful bluish-green eyes – for the first time in a long time, I can see my future. And it makes me smile.