Wednesday, November 22, 2017

I won't be giving thanks...

Dear Little B,

Tomorrow is a holiday here in the grand ole' US of A. I hate to tell you this; but hell, you already know 2017 is not going to be a fantastic year for you.  When the sun comes up tomorrow it will be the first day in my memory as an adult (a status you are fast approaching) that it will come without the roll out of bed, fire up the oven and proceed to cook and bake for hours a meal that will last about 20 minutes.  The reason is simple and yet hard to explain.

Kids, Football Games, Tackle, Sports
Thanksgiving is supposed to be a time of joy for a wife/mother who is taking care of her family. Turkey in the oven, pies cooling on the counter, pots of vegetables boiling on the stove, the first hints of Christmas carols coming from a television off in another room battling with the sounds of a football game being watched and cheers coming from another room. It is a time for family, smiles, and even some bickering.

Silhouette, Woman, Alone Today however, with only 24 hours to go, there is not an apple in site. No marshmallows to top sweet potatoes. Not a stick of butter or jar of gravy to be found. This year there are no children for me to provide for, no husband to happily stuff until he can't eat another morsel. No home to call your own.  It is an odd feeling. After so many years of being the one to answer the "I want" or "I need" phase for others, it completely slipped my mind to ever want or need anything for myself.

Holiday Table, Table SettingDon't get me wrong dear one. You will have many good holidays on your journey of becoming me. You will have years so full of love you feel your heart may not be able to be contained in your chest. You will have so many laughs that it will seem your face will crack open and the tears of mirth will never cease. It's the memories of those days yet to come for you that have been filling my heart and head over the last week.

I don't think I wish to be back then and be in those moments again. Quite honestly those were the moments that defined who I am. If they could be relived over and over, I can't guarantee that they would be as special. They were precious because they were the "that one time" moments and we (you and I) made the most of them and locked them away in our hearts and minds to break out when times get really dark and lonely. (which I'm sad to say they will)

Man, Bridge, Lonely, Sun, Walk, WintryThe only piece of advice I can give you in all of this dear younger me is to treasure it. What "it" you say? My answer is simple. ALL of it. Every moment you have, squeeze the most out of it. Don't be afraid to do things. In the dark of the winters night, go for a walk in the snow. Make love every chance you get with the man you love. Take in the beauty and serenity of it all. Skip rope with the kids and laugh when you all fall to the ground. Be silly and put the olives on your fingers with the kids. Have mac and cheese eating contests with your hands behind your back. Live life in every moment with those around you that you love because someday; time will slip away and loved ones will move on;

and sitting alone you won't feel so lonely because you will always have the memory of "that one time"...

Thankful for all the memories you will make,

Bigger Little B

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Going With The Flow...

Dear Littler B,

Hello dear littler me from across the many years. I wanted to reach out to you today because something has been on my mind of late that I just don't know how to deal with. Sadly, all the years that you will go through on your journey to becoming me may make you a bit wiser but don't give you all the answers. I hope you are not in the age where you are fooling yourself into believing that just because you have grown up means you have it all figured out.

Person, Old, Woman, Grandma, SeniorIn every life there are "defining moments" if you will. Situations or events that totally change who you are as a person and the way you live your life. Having children for example is one of those. First you are you, then you are mom. Never to be the "you" that you recognize again. It's not necessarily a bad thing, it's not necessarily a good thing. It's a complete change of how you do you and process the world around you. Some of it baby girl will be wonderful. The amazing feeling of becoming a mother or grandmother; the joy of becoming a wife is something that I would never change and would do all over if given the chance.

You my dear as you know from the brief situations I have outlined in letters past will have several such defining moments. I'm sad to say you will not always handle them well, such as the defining moment you became a widow. It has been 5 months and I can promise you, no matter how much you thought you had prepared for it you will not handle it well. You will be faced with having to do something you do not want; reinventing yourself. You will come to identify (a big term in this day and age) as mother, as grandmother, as wife. Now, with children grown you will not be needed really and without the identity of wife, what are you?

Girl, Forest, Road, Little GirlIdentity crisis is never a fun thing. What should you do with yourself? Who are you? Who should you become? These are the questions going through my head for months and I'm no closer to an answer than I was when I was you. It feels sometimes as if you are alone, walking through the woods of your life with no idea where the road goes or if it even leads out on the other side. 

You will spend your life doing things for the sake of others so much that when the time comes and no one needs you, you have no idea what or who you are. It's an empty feeling my dear and I hate to give you this news but life is what it is. (you will come to HATE that phrase as well but it is an absolute accurate depiction.)

I will tell you this though, even on my darkest days of late... The days when I realize I am alone and may never have my own home or love again I always find a way to focus on the happy times and places that occurred over the time-span of you becoming me. It is always darkest before the dawn. For all that it is a cliche tomorrow is a new day.  Don't lose faith and don't lose hope. I tell you as much as I tell me.

Sunrise, Space, Outer, Globe, World
You will see some amazing things and go to wondrous places. You will be loved deeper than you ever imagined was possible. In my mind if those things could happen along the years between you and me, what might be in store between me becoming the person I will be 20 years from now?  I'm willing to be patient and see...

In hope,

Bigger Little B

Friday, November 17, 2017

Dear Little Bidy,

It's a cold week day here in 2017 fast approaching Thanksgiving. Music is cranked (songs you won't come to know for a couple decades), trying to get my clean-out on and singing on the top of my lungs. Things go in waves here. I've been crying my eyes out all morning and reminiscing. Days to come for you that I wish I could shield you from, however every minute will be worth it. I wouldn't change it for you even if I had that power in me.

I think it all started because I was reading some posts on Facebook (don't worry, you will understand all too well what that is in time) from someone you will meet in a year or two who inspires you to try to pursue a long time dream of yours. He will be coming back to school to give a talk in the library about how he pursued his dreams to be an actor. It was the last thing I was thinking about before going to sleep last night and it put me into dreams about being back in your time and being in the halls of high school being in the library and walking to the band room. I know those are your two favorite places to be, having been you.

When you become me dear little one, there are many things you will look back on fondly. You have the amazing ability to remember the smallest things and actually put yourself in the moment that was. While sometimes not fun when you become me, sometimes it is precisely that ability that brings you through some of your toughest moments. You can close your eyes and put yourself in just the time and place you want to be, feel the sun on your skin, hear the sounds of that time in your ear.

One of the things you will come to believe more and more as the days become years, is that all moments happen at the same time. As crazy as it sounds to you at your age (I know because you are me) when you are me and in the right place you will see. You can close your eyes and literally put yourself in a place and time that you've been before. At one moment your husband is taken too soon and the same moment he is sitting on the back porch laughing at the puppy. You can hear Dad playing his guitar or smell the heavenly scent of a pie from Roma's. That is the glory of living your life determined to make memories, not obsessed with having things. By the time you are my age little one, you will have had things and lost things. The important thing will never be about possessions but about the moments you created; with your children, with your friends, with your beloved husband.

I'm proud to be you. Your outlook on life dear little me is what has gotten me through some of my darkest times. Make your memories and be proud of them. Even the hard lessons. When the nights get longer and lonely for you at my age you will see; those are the things you will treasure, not the flat screen TV.


Bigger Little Bidy

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Starting Over...

Dear Littler B,

Hello there from a Saturday morning in 2017. I hope when this letter finds you, you will be having an absolutely boring day in whatever year you are in. I say that with all good intention in my heart, and the reason is that life becomes a roller coaster more often than you will want. That brings me to my subject of today. Starting over.

Credit: MemeCenter
Too many times throughout our life, we will have to start over. Be it in our jobs, love life, friendships, homes, pretty much every aspect of life. While that is a subject that many people fear, it can be good if you handle it right. Unfortunately, having been you once upon a time and the many versions of you to come; I can say we won't always handle it the best but we will get through it.

Right now is a perfect example. I have sat trying to type this letter to you 3 times (don't laugh) and irony upon irony, the computer has crashed each time forcing me to start over. (ok, laugh if you must) What will you do when you are me? Keep persevering and accomplish the task. Many people will choose to just give up. Walk away. That is what makes us different. We don't.

If there is something I can say I've always been a champion of (even before I was you) is that if we want something, no matter how many times we have to restart and reinvent ourselves, we go for it. Living in a state of fear will only serve to stagnate the soul and stunt your growth in becoming the you that you were meant to be. I know you are a firm believer in the fact that every human is born with a unique gift. People who are afraid of evolving sometimes never realize that gift and the possibility of who they may be.

Don't get me wrong dear one. There are sometimes when it just seems too much, like the present me trying to start over after losing the man who will become your heart and your husband. In one month (I don't say this to scare, only prepare) you will lose husband, job, home, and car. There are times like that I admit that you won't have the desire to move on. You will say and do stupid things. In the end, however, you will realize that you have no choice but to start over.

I will tell you what I tell all those facing the same situation. Don't be afraid of beginning again, you can become what ever you want to be, be whom ever you wish to be, go where you want to go. Be afraid of doing nothing. If you do nothing, absolutely nothing happens.

In starting over, it doesn't mean leaving all behind. Some people just never understand that. You can carry over to the new you anything you wish. I can tell you darling, when you become me there are many things that by my age will be firmly set in stone. Things that, not that I can't change but choose not to change. Things that are part of what will make you me and will show who truly wants to be part of our life. If they can't accept these pieces of me, they really don't belong as part of our lives. Don't try to change me, love me for who I am. Accept me for who I am and who I want to be or there is no hope.

Here are some examples:

  1. At the end of a long workday, I don't like to play the “What do you want for dinner” game.

  2. I love to sing karaoke (yes you will eventually return to the stage, though not the one you wish.)

  3. A home should be a good mix of tastes or it is not welcoming to all. A home is never going to be a home if you don't feel you belong.

  4. A meal without meat doesn't really count as a meal, it's more of a snack.

  5. Once I'm woken up, there is no going back to sleep. This will lead to many nights of insomnia so if you want me to be in a good mood, don't wake me up. Adding to this, I sleep with the television on for just this reason. It comforts me hearing and not being in the dark. If I'm woken in the middle of the night and it's pitch dark, I won't go back to sleep and will be miserable.

  6. No one should be all deciding on what is on television. I have shows I like to watch and respect that others have their shows. Don't assume and don't control. That is a sure path to disaster.

  7. I consider myself somewhat intelligent. I can not tolerate or stomach condescending people.

  8. Sometimes, whether you want to or not; you need to do what the other person wants and not bitch and moan. (even under your breath) Compromise is the spice of life.

  9. If I am quiet, it's not usually a good sign.

  10. I have no tolerance for inconsiderate people. People who are just so wrapped up in themselves that they do not take opinion, feelings, needs or desires into account and learn to blend.

It's ok to be you sweetheart, what is not ok is to allow yourself to be surrounded by people who don't accept you for you. It's not ok to warp everything you are or believe in just so you can fit in or not be alone. I promise you, if you stay true to you – the right ones will be there. Remember, I've been you; I know.

This is me,

Bigger Little B

Inspiration across the years

Anna Kendrick – When I'm Gone
John Lennon – Starting Over
The Beatles – Don't Let Me Down
Van Morrison – Into the Mystic
Ed Sheeran – Thinking Outloud
Johnny Nash – I Can See Clearly
Pretenders – Pack it Up
Beatles – Here Comes the Sun
Evanescence – Bring Me To Life
Camera Obscura – Lets Get Out of This Country
Sophie Tucker – Life Begins at Forty
Linkin Park – Breaking the Habit

Rachel Platten – Fight Song

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Not Always Great to Tolerate...

Dear Littler B,

It has been a while since I've written to you. I know my last several letters to you have started out like that; however when the time passes and you become me you will understand exactly why. All I can ask of you is patience and indulgence until I can get back to our regular schedule.

It is a hot Sunday afternoon here in 2017, one that is supposed to be "Fall".  That word is a bit laughable being that you will eventually migrate to the southern state of Tennessee. Real Fall does not actually happen here. You will end up with about 2 weeks of cool weather until the "winter" sets in. (also quite laughable based on the season you are used to).

In the meantime, today I am here to talk to you today about tolerance. There are many forms of tolerance. I've added the exact definition as per below for any who may see this letter outside of us. This subject came to my mind today because of an occurrence with a local man who today has gone into a church and open fired on the congregation. It makes me think of all the time that has elapsed in the journey of you becoming me. The changes you will see and go through my dear little one, are enough to make a weaker person run scared and hide under the security of their blankets and weep. I don't tell you this to scare you, but to ensure you that you are so much stronger than you realize or will ever give yourself credit for.

Credit: Odyssey
People talk about tolerance in the aspect of religion or race. When you become me you will have heard many times about the need to practice more tolerance, especially as three of your 4 children will be Jewish. Today's shooting smacks very much of a recent church shooting centered around race. I know how you feel when it comes to all this stuff because over the years separating us the sentiment has never changed. Never have I understood the theory of hate. Never have I felt the feeling of discrimination for others. Though the decades that separate us seem like a very long time to you, life is truly too short to ever embody those types of sentiments. Peace can never be found in a society that turns against itself. I'm sorry to say that this has not changed since my days as you.

Credit: EliteTrack
Don't get me wrong dear one. Having tolerance does not mean you have to deal with everything and everyone. (See definition 4 below) The act or capacity of enduring. Throughout the many years it will take you to develop into the wise woman (haha) that is me, you will force yourself to tolerate or endure many things. Yearly, weekly and daily.

There will be much that you accept and put up with that others will simply not. There will be good and bad to this. Be sure my love that you step back and look at the big picture when you are going through things that seem unendurable yet you persevere. If there is no benefit to you or those you love, why are you doing it?  Are you doing it because you fear change? Fear the unknown on the other side? I can promise you now that while it will not be easy, you and all humans tend to tolerate a lot more than they need to.

Do not doubt yourself my young self. I encourage you to not accept that which does not serve. I encourage you to let go of hurtful, harmful or narrow-minded relationships. Do the unexpected and release negativity in order to open enough room to embrace positivity. That which does not nurture the big picture can tend to become very toxic.  As Morpheus (don't worry, you'll learn who that is later) puts it... FREE YOUR MIND.

What people get so wrong is that they believe that they have to take a negative approach with regards to tolerance. When something is more than they can endure in their own mind, they pull out a can of paint or pull down a statue or worse yet pull out a gun. Not enough people understand that that never solves any issue, only inflames it. Take a positive approach or walk away. Mom is right when she says to you "you get more bees with honey".

I am proud of you for being as level-headed and balanced as you are. Your open-mindedness is a virtue. You can usually diffuse any situation and can usually communicate with all. I am glad that is a gift you were given that has remained through the years. It has without a doubt served us well.

I know I have gone on and on here dear littler me so I will end my letter here with just one thought. There is a very old Cherokee story that unbelievably you will not encounter for many many years. I am proud that for the majority of your life you have lived the wisdom of this story without ever even having heard it. Maybe not as much as I would have liked, but tomorrow is a new day and today is not yet done.

Credit: JesseJeanine

Hopefully yours,

Bigger Little B


[tol-er-uh ns] 

a fair, objective, and permissive attitude toward those whose opinions, beliefs, practices, racial or ethnic origins, etc., differ from one's own; freedom from bigotry.
a fair, objective, and permissive attitude toward opinions, beliefs, and practices that differ from one's own.
interest in and concern for ideas, opinions, practices, etc., foreign to one's own; a liberal, undogmatic viewpoint.
the act or capacity of enduring; endurance:
My tolerance of noise is limited.
Medicine/Medical, Immunology.
  1. the power of enduring or resisting the action of a drug, poison,etc.:
    a tolerance to antibiotics.
  2. the lack of or low levels of immune response to transplanted tissue or other foreign substance that is normally immunogenic.
  1. the permissible range of variation in a dimension of an object.
    Compare allowance (def 8).
  2. the permissible variation of an object or objects in some characteristic such as hardness, weight, or quantity.
Also called allowanceCoining. a permissible deviation in the fineness and weight of coin, owing to the difficulty of securing exact conformity to the standard prescribed by law.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Summer is gone...

Dear Husband,

Today is September 21, and the first day of fall. The weather is cooling down and the Sun is setting early in the day. How fast this summer has flown. I cannot count the amount of time that I turned to tell you something, or rest home from work to share good news. I've gotten a new job, I've gotten a raise, I busted through my goals for the day, I'm going to Comic Con, the baby is standing on her own.

And then I realize...

You are not there.

Yesterday was three months. Just saying it sounds absurd. Three months ago you were taken away from me. Three months ago you died. It almost feels like a huge practical joke someone is playing on me. With Halloween right around the corner, your favorite holiday, the time is just going too fast.

Little girl is growing up so fast. You would be so proud as she's hitting her milestones. I hope you can see her where you are, though you'll never get to hold her again or hold me.

Somewhere miles from where I stand, a young woman is holding her small child and being told she is loved by her husband. While I'm grateful she's okay, I will never forgive the choice she made that day that took you away from me. You know Facebook is one of my weaknesses, but it is not worth the loss to use it while driving. No one is Bulletproof. No one gets away with it all the time. That day, you lost for a crime that was not your own. That day she got away with causing a chain of events that would take you away from all who knew and loved you.

They always say it won't happen to me. I can handle my phone and driving... and then it does happen. You never saw a penny for your pain, or the many bills that I now have left. I know it wasn't about the money but that would have made the last two years easier while you lingered and suffered.

It's a sunny day today, I choose to focus on that instead of the moment  I held your hand as you slipped into your Forever sleep. Or the fact that the car is still a paper weight and everything we owned is in storage well I still do not have a home.

There is so much that breaks me down and it is hard some days to focus on the positives. Fall is setting in and the trees are starting to turn beautiful colors. I see you in them. This was your favorite time of year. The horror movies are coming out, decorations are everywhere, what costumes shall we have this year my love?

Trying not to feel hollow,

Your wife.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Dear Husband...

Dear Husband,

It has been a month of Sundays since my last letter here. With your health and trying to keep up with everything that needed to be done, it has been difficult to continue writing my letters. Generally, my letters are sent across time to a younger me letting her know that things are going to be ok. Today, however, my love I write to you. Those who have watched and read my letters will understand the segue and not be too upset as I am trying to get back into my writing. Where I will go from here I don't know but for the next few letters, I believe I will address them to you.

You died on a Tuesday. It was June 20th at 4:25 in the morning. I did everything I could to beg you to fight but I knew in my heart how tired you were and how much pain you were in.  I've gone through so many emotions over the past month (almost two). I seem to sway most between loneliness, anger disbelief. I did not handle things as well as I could have I suppose. I found a little relief in smashing some things. It was a suggestion by the grief counselor.  Mostly I broke those coffee cups from Christmas. It struck me as the pieces flew across the kitchen floor that it truly looked like an outward depiction of what was happening to my heart, mind, and life. I hope you would not be too mad at me for having smashed the Darth Vader bank I got you for your birthday. I realized when I did that I had to stop. So I did.

You would be happy to know that I am no longer working the job I had when you were here beside me. I know how much you hated me working in a bar and being close to alcohol. You never drank and despised the fact that I did. After you left me, I had way too much of it. It was hard not to want to escape the sadness and emptiness that your absence caused. With you, I knew who I was and what I was supposed to do. I had somewhere I belonged. I had an identity. I AM WIFE. That part of me is gone and I don't know what I am anymore.

I started to stabilize a bit up until I got that official piece of paper with all the details of where, when, etc. It made me so mad that it only noted the day and not the time. 4:25am. I don't know why. You would be proud of our young friend though, and I love him so much for it.  He stuck by me through the night as I got (not proudly) raging drunk. Something that he said has stuck with me every day. It upset me because they didn't take the time to notice. I did. 4:25am. It hurt to know that at that time every morning, it will be a day without you. Then a week without you. Soon a month without you. Now, almost an entire summer without you in it. Before long, I will look back and it will be something that happened a year ago. How do I reconcile that? Part of me realizes that I never will.

We had a lot of tough times of husband of mine, but we had some wonderful times too. We did a lot more in our decade than a lot of people do in a life time. I miss you so very much. I am trying to handle things better than I have over the past two months. Not always successfully, but I keep trying. I started a new job yesterday. I think you would be proud of me. It truly hurt not to celebrate that. It's the first time since that day we met that I didn't have that. I always loved that we found a way to celebrate the good things that happened to us no matter how small they were. Just to recognize the good things and not let the hardships break our spirits. Last night was very hard for me without that as I curled up in the front seat of the car with Angus on my lap and my blanket over me. I wept the kind of gut wrenching tears that take all ability to breathe or feel outside of the sorrow. It was another one of those moments of clarity that I was truly and utterly alone.

I know this is all very heavy and anyone reading will probably not read past the first paragraph, but I know you always encouraged me to write and this letter is for you. I want you to know how thankful I am that you chose to share the rest of your life with me. You were a beautiful spirit and loved me so very much. I will treasure each of the days we were lucky enough to share until the end of mine. I don't know where the road goes from here but know where ever you are I will strive to make you proud of me.

Loving you always,

Your Wife.