Wednesday, August 20, 2014

With and Without You

It's interesting. We've showed up, and everything has flowed our way. Some things we saw coming, others we could never.

The timing is unreal. One example - Dave happened to walk into a company who said they were just talking about how they needed to hire someone. This company interviewed him on the spot. An offer soon followed. We have since found the perfect house, put ours on the market, and are now in escrow. They both close on Dave's birthday - September 8th!

Once we decided on Tahoe, Dave asked if I was ready? "Absolutely!" I said. I've been waiting for what seems forever!

The question asked of me from every direction after is, "Are you so excited about moving to Tahoe!" I'm like a deer caught in the headlights, especially at first. I smile, hesitate, and am unsure of how to answer. I imagine they may be expecting a completely different reaction.

My response is twofold.

Right after the accident, I trained myself, not because it might be a good idea, but out of survival. At the time, I didn't take it day to day, I lived minute to minute. I vividly remember times when our world was so intense - I took the clock by the second. Without a doubt, this conditioning is what carried me through the years - and still does.

Since Aviana's been gone, I've noticed my grip loosen, but not by much. I realize there's a lot to be said about this way of living - it suits me well - so I hold on. Being present and living for today has a way of taking the stress, anxiety, and crazy, out of everything. It's the complete opposite of the way I used to be.

For the majority of the time, I not only love the bubble I've created, but try my best to stay within as much as possible.  So when asked early on, my preference was to stay right there, rather than visit another place of if the move were to become a true reality and what it all meant if it really happened. When I journey to all Tahoe means, it's sometimes extraordinary, but can also be painful.

For the past months, I've definitely had to face all that's unending and complicated about grief, which can make what seems a simple, harmless, question result in a complex answer within my head. That's why I end up standing with a half smile on my face, and question marks all over my face. "How should I answer? How can I say this in super simple terms? Hmmmm. Yes?"

Excited is an interesting word for me. It certainly makes me think? Rather... wonder? I feel fleeting moments often. I don't know that you've ever seen someone as squirmy with anticipation at the sight of the download bar on iTunes, or every time a newly created recipe comes out a million percent picture and taste worthy, or the seconds just before any sort of kindness, or with my hair blowing in the wind, or dancing the way we do to that perfect downloaded song, and of course, any of the many with my sweet Rainey. But overall, I think it's more the smaller day-to-day where I truly lose myself. These moments are less complicated.

The short of it is !yes! I'm excited to move to Tahoe. It's all I've ever wanted. Tahoe is home to me. I left my heart many years ago, and now I'm lucky enough to return. I'm able to again become one, in the place I feel most me. Who could ask for anything more? Right?

So why the hesitation? Where is the all out, jump around, one would expect?

The long of it is - I don't think it will ever happen - with either of us. Our girl is gone. The second Dave told me, the next were also filled with her beautiful face and all that meant. I see it in both of us. It's like a thin veil. An invisible haze. Even in the happiest and most exciting of times, there's still this light dusting, which has eternally settled upon us. Does it get better? Some I've talked to say yes,  and that I'm too early in? I'm curious. I know everyone is different, but I'd love to hear.

We have these new eyes. We see everything differently. We feel outrageously alive. We live our lives in a whole new way. We appreciate much more. We love on this new and amazing level. We this. We that. But over everything - she's gone. And there is some sort of flat - because she always will be. In our hearts and in everything we do, think, see, say, and every change we make - she will always be gone, gone, gone. And while I know this truth in everyday life, as much as Tahoe is everything to me - it's like a magnifying glass is held over, and what I see in big, black, bold, letters is - my dream is coming true because of her injury. Much like the irrational thoughts of 5 years ago, they're back. They are similar to the ones of finally becoming the mom I always dreamed of once she was hurt. I was finally well on my way before, but the accident catapulted me to places that may have taken me years, if ever - and it was all due to her injury. I used to say - she took the fall for me. Once again, those very same feelings were creeping around. I had to let them, to give them time and space, until they were ready to leave.

So what does Tahoe mean? I know Dave would've been content staying put; it's where he grew up. I know where we lived would have been second string to his work. I know he wasn't wild about Aviana growing up in Tahoe. I know he wasn't willing to make the many sacrifices one needs to live in such a beautiful place. I know he would never have budged before retirement had it not been for the accident. I know. I know. I know her injury is the reason for the shift in perspective. All this perspective. Perspective is the greatest gift, but what a cost! My forever dream of Tahoe is coming true, but the cost is staggering. I know. I know. It was ridiculous to think. I am usually able to look towards what's good, what we have, and what is left. This was hard to go through, but necessary?

In the beginning, I was struggling in a way. It seemed the first week especially, I was leaving some tears everywhere. My logical, rational, mind understood perfectly. My emotional, missing her terribly one did not. In all good, there may always be some sad and tears. I'm sure all of you who've loved and lost understand the duality. A lightening speed of emotion, and then, zapped to the ground - knowing it may always be this way? The truth is - I'm good with that. Feeling keeps her close, and I never want her far. Whatever the emotion - I'll take it. I want to feel, rather than not.

I was a little off in the beginning, but with the help of those above, the spinning soon stopped. I have always felt that Aviana wants us to live - to be happy - to make the best and most of each day - so that's what we do.  But this held a different feeling altogether. It was much like the last months of her life. Some things closely mirrored the same sort that happened then. In almost every way, they were guiding us to the woods of Lake Tahoe. I kind of once again feel as though we were just going through the motions. I've been given the same calm, relaxed, feeling from that time and the day of her service. For all these reasons, which I can't possibly deny, most all the sad tears have been replaced by happy ones.


  1. I don't know what to say. For me, grief is something that doesn't get better. There is no other side. There is no getting over it. You learn to live through it. You, my girl, know about living through ANYTHING!!!! One of my best friends explained it to me like this; things never stop being shitty, you just learn to live with it and it becomes less shitty. And it's true for me. I can find fun and happiness in things, in life, in the normal mundane things but it's still THERE. Always. Always with me. Four and a half years later and there are times when it feels like it just happened. And then there are times when I feel that we are learning to live all over. Our lives are over. We'll never have our old lives back. That's done and over with. But we are learning to live a new life without sissy. A life without her before seemed to be impossible yet you know we do things we always previously thought were impossible. The impossible becomes not just possible but DOABLE. You have to. Again, I'm not telling you anything that you don't already know or have lived through or know yourself or that we haven't talked about.

    I love you and I think all of us are happy enough for you to be moving back to your Tahoe (in your Tahoe) that you can spill all the tears you want.

    I love you stripey Jen. Always stripes and hearts with you. Always.

    ||||||\\\\\\///////|||||||| <3 <3 <3 <3

    1. I can relate - there is no getting over, just learning to live with, so many years later and it feels like it just happened, yet we are learning to live over again, do things we previously thought impossible! So much truth! So much!

      I love you!

      Where's my stripy Cam?

  2. So, you ARE moving? And you have a tentative date? I am happy for you, and think it is a great change. I do not have any experience that matches yours, but I know that you are so emotional, spiritual and deep (Dave too), that you are not leaving anything other than specific walls and doors. She is everywhere, and she wants to be with you in a place that she knows makes you happy. Even if it will sometimes make you sad. You honor her every minute of every day, no matter where you are. And you take her everywhere, so take her to the most beautiful place you know and love!!!

    1. Thank you so much, for every word! You are so right! In the end, they truly are walls and doors. I was saving something along the exact lines of what you wrote for my post on Aviana's room specifically. You and I are on the exact same wavelength. She is everywhere, and wherever I go, she is there! You got it girl! We got it girl! True. True.True.

      Love you!!

  3. "We have these new eyes. We see everything differently. We feel outrageously alive. We live our lives in a whole new way. We appreciate much more. We love on this new and amazing level. We this. We that. But over everything - she's gone." Now that you explain it, I can see the duality that you're talking about. I'm so sorry that she isn't moving to Tahoe with you. This must be so different than the way you used to imagine it. I'm so sorry, I wish I could undo and change it all. So many things about this make me sad, but I'm happy for the two of you that you are following your dreams. It sounds like right now in this moment you & Dave are on the specific path in life that you are supposed to be on. My friend's husband is an electrician and he can't find a job. My aunt and uncle's house stayed on the market for months before it finally sold so they could move back to Pennsylvania. Everything for ya'll is clicking right into place. That has to be a sign. But I believe in destiny (IDK, maybe I've seen too many episodes of Lost). Stay in tune with each other and your gut feelings and you can't go wrong. Make decisions big and small that bring peace. Stay where the peace is when you find it. That's what I try to do. I love ya'll!

    1. Thank you love. You understand everything. Just everything. I wish you were here...

  4. This post makes all the sense in the world to me. I can only imagine what a bittersweet move and experience this is. My thoughts are with you and I will look forward to reading about your adventures in Tahoe

    1. Thank you.

      I think about you all.the.time.

      Love you Erin.

  5. I'm so excited to go on this adventure with you. The beauty of Lake Tahoe just fits you all perfectly.

  6. So happy for you that your Tahoe dream is coming true! May peace find you in beautiful Lake Tahoe.

  7. I am so happy for you both. <3 - Jillian