Wednesday, August 22, 2012


Sleep has been escaping me the last few days.
And this year it is not due to the first days of school.
So I am grumpy.
And tired. 

A few nights ago, I had a somewhat disturbing dream.
Part of the dream I have about every other month.
I will describe that part of the dream first.
When I first moved out of my parents' house, I moved in with my boyfriend of the time.
One time, and only one time, when we broke up, I moved back home.
For about forty-eight hours. 
It was not a terrible experience.
But some reason, I am terrified the possibility of this occurring again.
So I dream of it.
At least every other month and, in the dream, for a weird variety of reasons.
I wake up immediately and I am relieved that I am actually at my own place.
And I do not need to move back home.
Or pack.
Or find a new place to live.

Well, a few nights ago, I dreamt I had to move home again.
But this time it was because Roger and I were getting divorced.
I was so upset because it was my second marriage. 
I have no idea who I married the first time.
My sister was living at home too. 
We were back to sharing a room.
She was helping me pack. 
Also, I can never find all my stuff during this reoccurring dream. 
Which is frustrating as hell.
In this particular dream, another ex-boyfriend of mine was helping me find a new place.
It was very strange but Roger was alive.
And he looked good but he would not talk to me.
I woke up in a panic.

Then last night I could not help but think of the shirt Roger wore August 21, 2008.
I still have it.
It hangs in my closet.
I have never worn it.
Although it has been washed once.
After he died. Boo on me.

I remember him coming home from the rental house.
It had been pouring from Tropical Storm Fay.
I had just straightened my hair chemically for the first time.
I remember where I was sitting on the sofa.
I remember Roger just standing there. After driving in pouring rain.
He was frustrated with driving.
I smiled at him. Trying to get him to notice my new hair.
Less than ten hours later.
My heartache begin.
And prayers went unanswered.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


Reality kicked in at the rehearsal.
I realized I was about to take vows again.
To another man.
I was about to be someone else's wife.
I started to cry.
Everyone thought it was the stress of the day.
I was not stressed about the wedding.
I hired great vendors.
The wedding was taken care of.
But my widow friend knew it was something else.
Something more emotional.
Something more abstract.
I was getting married.
This was real.

I know Roger would want me to marry again.
I have no doubt about that.
During my honeymoon with Mr. X, I had a strange nightmare.
Roger wanted Mr. X and me to re-do our ceremony so he could watch.
So we did.
He watched from the side line.
Afterwards, he said congrats.

It is strange saying husband to Mr. X.
I did not say it much at first.
For me, "husband" referred to another man.
A dead man.
He was a dead husband longer than he was a live one.
And thankfully I have not had to refer to Roger has my "first husband" or anything like that.
(I only had to correct the social security office in that I was NOT divorced but a widow to help her understand why I was keeping Roger's last name).

This past Saturday I had too much time alone.
I watched a sort of sad indie film (The High Cost of Living).
Then I was driving in the car listening to the song I walked down the aisle to in my wedding to Mr. X.
I just started crying.
The school year was done, I pretty much knew my work situation was solved, and we were home from the honeymoon.
I finally starting soaking everything in.
I am married.
I am married to a great guy.
But I was also married to another great guy.

It is scary being married again.
Scared for my heart.
Scared for Mr. X.
Scared for the future.

Yep, August is coming.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Gotta Love the Federal Government Or Maybe Not

I am called by my middle name.
Always have.
As a kid, it was annoying.
I was shy and having to tell my teachers the first day of school to call me "Star" instead of my first name was a dreaded experience.
What would the teacher say?
What would the other kids think?
But over the years, I started to like it. 
I noticed that my name was a conversation piece.
People would always ask about my name.
"Where does it come from?"  "Who named you?"  "Are your parents hippies?"
And as an added bonus, I could tell who knew me when the phone rang depending on what name they used.

When I married Roger, it was easy legally to change my name.
I dropped my maiden last name and added Roger's last name.
No problem really.
Except for just feeling weird about a new name.

When Mr. X and I become engaged, I was distraught with the name situation.
Mr. X wanted me to have his last name.
Which I get.  Which I want.
But how to change it?
I was concerned about my name being so long if I had four names.
And which parts go where into the standard three part forms if I had four?
And I did not want to drop "Star".
And I did not want to drop Roger's last name.
And I did not want to have a hyphenated last name after talking with some friends. 

What to do? What to do?
At least eight months of indecision, asking others, and debating within myself.
Finally I decided I would drop my first name. 
I got comfortable with that decision.
I got excited about my new upcoming name.
I made up my mind.

So when we came home from our honeymoon to find our marriage record, I was psyched. 
I could start the name change process.
First stop, the federal government's lovely Social Security Administration office.
I checked in.
Opened my book and started reading.
Miraculously after about thirty minutes, my number was called.
But then bad news.
Federal government.  Homeland Security.
Cannot change my given first name in anyway.
Cannot be dropped.
Cannot be added to. 
First names must stay exactly the same.
Ugh.  Ugh.  UGH!

So I have four names now.
First Star Roger's Mr. X's. 
I have two middle names.
Which of course is the shortest field of most forms.
This should be fun... Sigh.

Federal government strikes again.

Friday, June 1, 2012


I am getting married tomorrow.
To. mor. row!!
So many feelings.

I woke up at 7am.
I could not go back to sleep.
I am going to be married.
But I was married.
I was happily married.
Before my life was ripped away from me.

I am so scared.
Scared it is going to be ripped away again.
I cannot go through that again.
Scared Mr. X will leave me.
Scared life will not be as I think.
As I need.
As I want.

It is weird to think I will not be a widow anymore.
At least to most people.
People will think I have forgotten Roger.
Or that I have moved on.
That I do not think of him.

The truth is I think of Roger all the time.
And even more so the last few days.

I cannot even begin to describe how hurt I am that some of Roger's family has abandoned me.
They don't visit when they are in Orlando.
They did not even RSVP to the wedding, respond to messages, texts, or phone calls.
I feel like this wedding is the line in the sand with them.

Some people in my future may never know Roger existed in my life.
And in some ways that is good.
And in other ways it makes me sad.

I am trying hard to focus on the positive feelings.
Push away the fear.
Enjoy the day.
Enjoy my new husband.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Peace Lily

When Roger died, I asked for others not to buy me flowers but plants.
I could not handle more dead things laying around my house.
So I received a few plants.
Three are still living.
One small peace lily, a larger peace lily, and a vine.

The vine has been amazing.
It has grown a lot and has even bloomed a few times.
It sits in the kitchen where it fights with the blinds for light.
It is also a succulent so I do not have to worry if I forget to water it.
Which tends to happen.

The large peace lily is living yes but it has never been very healthy.
I guess it does not like its location.
The leaves are ragged edges all year long.
It has never bloomed again.
I am not sure if it has even grown much.
But it sits right outside the kitchen window and I stare at it wondering if I should move it or just let it be.

The small peace lily has waxed and waned.
A few times I thought it was going to die.
Sometimes it would not get watered.
But it always came back.
Last summer I even had to repot it.
So in a new pot and outside on the patio it went.
I figured if it died outside at least I wouldn't have to witness it in my kitchen.

This past weekend as I was walking by the windows to the patio I noticed something.
I walked out onto the patio and noticed two things.
Two blooms.
After four years, it has finally bloomed again.

Maybe it is a sign.
Or maybe it is a sign that I needed.
Yes, I did the right thing by re-financing my house.
Yes, Mr. X is a good match and will be an excellent husband.
Yes, things will be good this time.

Monday, April 23, 2012

40 Some More Days

Weddings should be a time of stress, excitement, and happiness.
But I feel like I am tainted.
I am excited.
I am happy.
I am stressed.
I am also scared.
Not of things at the wedding going wrong.
But of life going wrong.

For my birthday, I want a wife card.
But what if I am not a wife on my birthday.

Mr. X talked about having a wife for Christmas this year.
But what if...

Part of me is so beyond scared.

What if life falls apart again?
I do not know if I have the strength to go through this again.
As all widows know, we are still going through it the first time on a daily basis.
But to have double....

Please dear God.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Birds of Change

I love weird, sad, odd movies.
And have for a long time.  Yes, I still see mainstream movies and I am not quite a movie snob but I will go to something where I am the only person in the theatre.
Netflix recommends categories like "Emotional Independent Father-Son Movies" and "Oscar Winning Dark Movies" and "Witty Dysfunctional Family Comedies".
And something I learned somewhere.
God knows where.
I heard or read that birds in movies symbolize change in the plot.
Sometimes good.
Sometimes bad.
But always a symbol of change.
And in these movies that I love, I see it.
Suddenly a scene to the sky with a flock of birds soaring through the sky.
And the movie turns.
I have a bird in my photography business logo for this reason.
Healing. New beginnings.

I have been debating a new tattoo for a while.
A bird has been one of the contenders.
Something I could see when I wanted.
Not so hidden away.
So I picked my foot.
And I picked birds.
This is what I did today.

And as I looked down at the bigger bird.
Completely unintentional, I saw my dad.
He was into our Cherokee heritage and loved eagles.
After it was all over.
And I was back in the car, the tears came.
I miss him so much.
I see him in the mirror and now I will see him everywhere I go.

Thursday, March 15, 2012


You were a dork.
I was hesitant.
I was scared.
I fought back against falling for you.
You were my best friend.
You were patient.
And kind.
Slowly I got close to you.
You kept pulling me closer.
I let you in.
My walls came down.
I loved you.
You loved me.
I believed in marriage.
I was happy.
I was settled.
My soul felt content.
And complete.

And slowly you died.
Six long, long days.
Then gone.
You left.
My heart split wide open.
I love you still.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

4 years

Four years ago, you gave me one of the best days of my life.
I remember the ride from the ceremony to take some pictures.
We were both so happy.
So on top of the world.
I was so happy to be your wife.
You were very hyper.

Thank you for everything.
Thank you for being you.
Thank you for giving me this life.
No matter how hard some days.
I am thankful.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Other House - Part 2

As I noted, at the end of January, my renters moved out.
And in that, Mr. X and I have done a lot of time at the house preparing it for new renters.
We had to paint about half the house, install a new over the range microwave, steam the carpets, and some light cleaning.

Well after we selected the new color.
And as we were painting the walls, I started to think.
[Painting does that to me. Maybe the monotony?] 
"Would Roger like this color?"
"What would he think?"
"Wow, would he even recognize it now with all the new colors inside and out?"

And then meeting potential new tenants.  
I miss his handling most of this.
I miss him being in charge of the other house. 

And as another family moves in over the next few weeks, I wonder what he would think of them.
Am I choosing the right people?  
Will they be good to the house?  

Not to mention how this is all happening in February.
Of all months, February.  
At least it is not August.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Twenty One

In my class, I have been teaching about mechanical interactions.
Things like friction and drag.
And the perfect example of drag is, of course, skydiving.

When I was fifteen or so, I made a promise to myself and my high school best friend that we would go bungee jumping before sixteen and skydiving before twenty-one.
We went bungee jumping in Gatlinburg, Tennessee the summer before I turned sixteen.
Five years later, my twenty-first birthday was creeping up.
So I decided since my twenty-first birthday was on a boring ol' Monday, I would go skydiving the weekend before.
I found some friends who said they would go.
We went to the place, signed the paper work, watched the safety video, but weather was a no go.

My actual birthday, I went to class like a good girl and on my way home noticed the weather looked like perfect skydiving weather.
And in a time before cell phones were flooding our pockets, I drove home to call Skydive Deland.
I got home and the light was blinking.
They had left a message on my answering machine.
I called my friend but she was too busy spending time with her boyfriend.

So I rushed over, alone.
My adrenaline was pumping.
My eyes were big.
I could not quit smiling.
Life was good.
Twenty-one was good.

Of course, I bought the VHS tape of my jump but I have not watched it in years due to the fact it is VHS.
My homeroom (reading) class, who is also in my science classes, were amazed I had been skydiving and asked to watch the video.
And since Fridays are generally more relaxed and my classroom has a tape player, I brought in the video.

Twenty-one year old me.  I have not seen you in so long.
You did not even know that your next birthday would be spent living in New York City.
You had not even fell in love yet. Even though you had a long term boyfriend before this time.
That would happen for the first time later that month.
You had not even traveled to far off places and did not even have a passport.
You had no idea what life would hold for you.
You were mature but yet life was full of surprises still.
Your friend Tom will still be your friend.
You will be a teacher in about ten years.

And you will lose so much.
You will hurt and bleed. And you will scar.
You will be in a serious accident where the unbelievable comes true.
You will be your happiest and your lowest all in six months time.
And you will jump again.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Other House

Much to the surprise of a lot of my friends, I own a second house.
Roger's first house.
And since we moved out in 2007, I have had the same renters.
They are awesome.
They take care of the house.
They take care of the yard.
And just fantastic people in general.

I knew this day would come.
I prayed it would not.
And it is a bittersweet feeling.
They bought a (different) house.
I am happy for them.
But I am sad to lose them as renters.
Since they moved in, (we) I have never had to worry about the house at all.
I did not even really have to think about it which is probably why my friends do not realize I own a second house.

Today as I was thinking about the house and my renters, I remembered something.
The night before.
They saw him last.
Roger had gone to that house because of Tropical Storm Fay rains.

I remember Roger recounting his visit.
Talking about how their oldest son asked about me.
My renter later told me how he kept saying "my wife" like she did not know my name.
She said it was really cute.

And now the last people to see Roger are leaving my life.
I could hope they will keep in touch but I know that is unrealistic.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Road

For so many years, I saw people almost do the exact same mistake the other driver made in our accident.
In the wrong lane for the direction they wanted to go.
So they would violently get into the correct lane.
Cutting off other drivers.
Running off the road.
I wondered who designed such a terrible highway fork.
On a southbound road, to go east, drivers had to be in the left lane.
And vice versa.

I remember when the state posted your "Drive Safely" sign.
I remember how upset when I saw the location.
It was so far away from the road.
The other driver would never see it.
Other people would never see it.
And logic said, "Perhaps they are going to do some construction soon."

Then a year or so ago, they started.
And for a while now, Roger's sign has been hidden.
I keep waiting.
I keep hoping to see it again.

And while I wait, they did it.
They fixed the road.
It finally makes sense.
No longer can people make the same mistake.
And for that I am relieved.