July 2, 2010

There’s Only an ‘I’ in Team

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , at 11:23 pm by letterstoelias

I can’t believe how long I’ve let it go since I’ve really written.  I am busy, yes – extremely busy – but that hasn’t stopped me before.  I think it’s just that I have SO very much that I want to say, but just can’t seem to find a way to say it in any way that will make sense to anyone other than me.  Though, were you here, I know you would get it.

I think that’s one of the things that is so hard right now.  Not having ‘that person’ who gets you, completely.  A teammate.  Someone who will know exactly what you want/need/feel with just a glance.  Someone to sit in comfortable silence with, or to talk with about anything.  There is SO much going on right now, and I don’t have ‘that person’ to share it with.  I don’t have you.  There are others in my life I can share things with, and I am grateful for that – but I still can’t shake the lonely feeling.  It’s just not the same.

I used to love weekends.  You and I would wake up with C between us.  Eventually e would join us and the four of us would stay in bed for what seemed like half the day.  E would play ‘mountain’ on your knees.  There would be plenty of tickles and giggles.  Then, we would finally roll out of bed and you would make an amazing breakfast of some sort, before getting on with the chores/errands of the day.

We made such a great team.  At times we would work together on tasks – and, no, we didn’t ‘always’ work perfectly together, but usually.  We would always try to find ways to make the tedious more fun.  When working on something independently of each other we would thank/compliment/congratulate/acknowledge the other (most of the time).  We supported each other.

I miss being part of a team.  Now, weekends are usually just the girls and me – they play with each other while I play ‘catch-up’ around the house.  It’s not even just about all the work there is to be done – it’s the lack of companionship in it all.  Now, here’s no one to pat my back.  No one to kiss my cheek and say, “Thanks”.  No one to sit back with, relax with, and admire our accomplishments.  No one to share in the good, and the bad of parenting.   No one to assure me that I am doing a great job with them.

I miss having someone to share my life with.  Someone with the same, vested interest in it all.  I miss being held.

As for the store – I’ve been mad busy with it, but it has been a positive focus for me.  So far I am still confident that this was a good decision (even though I still get freaked out by it now and then).  I am thankful that there have been a few people who have pitched in to help.  Of course my parents.  They come by the store often and help out with whatever they can.  I know they worry, but they are supportive and seem excited about it too, which is nice.  Bridie has been spending hours on the phone with me each week helping out with orders and I couldn’t possibly be doing this without her help.  Ally has done an amazing job on my logo and website.  Stuart and my Dad helped me go into town to get the slatwall (I planned to do it myself, and that would have been an absolute gong show!) and they helped hang it last weekend.  Rob and Greg helped me move my desk and some shelving to the store recently.

I still find it incredibly difficult to ‘ask’ for help (though it’s not as hard to say ‘yes’ to offered help, at least) . . . . I’m trying to get better at it as there have just been some things that I really can’t do on my own (like the slatwall excursion), but sometimes it feels like it takes more energy to ask for help rather than fighting through something on my own.  Also being stubborn and independent naturally doesn’t help matters.

That’s why it warms my heart and makes me smile so much as just the other day when an email popped up from Caitlin with the subject line ‘Need a hand?’  She was here for a few days this week helping out at home and the store, with the girls and cooking (and she taught me how to make her awesome vegetarian gravy!  YUM!)  And, just now I got an email from my Auntie Cath offering to come over soon as well.  Hopefully we can work something out, as help aside, it’s just nice to have company once in a while too (and the girls love nothing more then when someone comes for a sleepover).

I think the last few weeks were tough as well with passing through father’s day, and the girls dance recital again.  It was a bit easier this year I suppose, but it’s still not easy knowing that there should be two parents watching and cheering them on.  They had so much fun, and you would have loved to see them perform.  They also both just got over colds once again, and when they get sick it always wears me down that extra bit more.  After father’s day, C started saying ‘I really, really want my Daddy back’.  Every day, multiple times a day.  It seems to have faded down now, but while I’m happy to know she misses you, I would have been happy to have her go back to ‘I’m really, really hungry’ instead.  She also will often say, ‘Daddy can hear me!’ after she says good night to you.

The girls have been incredibly awesome, coming along with me to the store every day.  It’s tough because, although I feel incredibly fortunate that – at this point – they love going and they have generally been having fun there (plenty of boxes to play in & colour, along with bubble wrap to pop . . . ), I know there are many other things that it would be great for them to be doing as well.  We get to spend all day, every day together – but I’m not really ‘with’ them much of the time, and as great as they are, there is SO much more I could be doing if they weren’t there now and then.  I know this is the craziest part of the whole thing right now and that once the doors are open for a bit, things will settle, but it’s hard when we are at the store all day, and when we get home and I’m about to make dinner, E asks to go to the park to ride bikes.  I would love to take her, but as I am the only parent, it’s just not possible if we are going to be able to eat.  It was great when Caitlin came, as she made dinner and I was able to take the girls out for a bit of a bike ride – but it would be nice to be able to do that more often.  I’ll just have to figure out how to plan my time better.  Since you died they get so much less of me – but they also know without a doubt, every day, how very much they are loved by both of us.  I feel lucky to be their mom, and I tell them so.

It’s not easy doing this on our own.  We are doing it though.  For you.  There is a widow’s conference coming up in San Diego that I would love to go to – most of my ‘widow friends’ are going and it would be amazing to meet them in person.  I could fly for free on points.  The hotel would be almost nothing as I could share a room, the girls could be looked after here by Buz and Sian, so it would just be my registration fee as a cost – but there is the store.  I will have only just been open for a couple of weeks.  It’s only two days I’d be gone while it’s open . . . but it’s tough.  I think it would be incredibly valuable to go – and there would always be something in the way of going no matter when it happened I’m sure – but to be able to meet a bunch of other women (and the odd male widower) who are going through the same, balancing work, parenting, life and loss would be amazing.  We’ll see . . . . I keep wavering on the possibility of it, but I do want to go.  Badly.

Anyhow, I should probably get back to researching pos systems and a few other orders before calling it a night.  In a few weeks it will have been the 14yr anniversary of when we started dating.  Of our first kiss.  The fireworks (literally and figuratively).

I miss you, with all my heart, soul, body and mind.


P.S.  I Love You



  1. Hi Chelsea,

    I’ve been thinking of you. Glad to hear the store is moving along as planned. I sure understand missing being part of a great team. Life without our partner, our team mate, is so damn hard. As I read your beautiful words my heart aches along with yours.

    On a more positive note, I sure hope you are able to come to Camp Widow!!!!! I’m also working on how I can get over to shop at your store (and have a visit!) while we’re out in your neck of the woods. I’ll be in touch!

    Take care,
    Love Deb

    • letterstoelias said,

      Hey Deb,

      I’m glad to hear you made it to the coast ok, and I can’t wait for you to make it up the coast a little for a visit! I can imagine it must be so bittersweet to be taking on sailing without Austin . . . my heart is out there on the water with you all.


  2. megan said,

    having that effortless team. Exactly. Knowing it will either be the duration of this life without that team again, without being held and loved, or it will be, some time, another team that is not the one you love. both are crappy.

    I go back and forth on widow camp. Kind of out of reach financially, but that could be solved, I bet. I would like to be Among My Own Kind. but also afraid it would all be too surreal, coming so soon after the first anniversary – How did I get here? What happened to my life?

    Thank you for your words, as always.

    ~ megan

    • letterstoelias said,

      Hi Megan,

      Thanks for your comment – I’ve pretty much decided to go to Camp Widow now. I think it will be hugely beneficial and I’ve talked with a few who went last year when it was about the same time frame, and they said they were incredibly thankful to have gone.

      Perhaps I’ll see you there . . .

  3. Maria said,

    I admire you for being so open about missing being part of a team. Right now, I’m going through the same thing. I miss having that partner and companion to just live life with. Our relationship seems to have been very much like yours, from what I read. It was like breathing. I’m scared to death of the possibility of that again. Or that I’ll keep looking for something like it and never find it. I can’t even fathom it, and that scares me. It makes it hard for me to admit that I’m lonely, too.

    It’s a very bitter pill to have to put on a brave face and continue living, especially with children. My youngest was 19 months when her father passed, and she’s just now asking me why we can’t go to Heaven to see him. I don’t always know what to tell her, but I try to steer the conversation into different directions. I know this won’t work forever.

    Anyway, I wanted you to know that I still love the way you express yourself here. It’s beautiful and painful and almost exactly how I feel, in my own situation. Bless you.

    (Also, I’m still on the fence about Camp Widow. But I’d like to go to meet some of the wonderful people I’ve met on this journey – yourself included.)

    • letterstoelias said,

      Hi Maria,

      Caia was 19 months when Elias died as well . . . things have changed so much for her in the last few months in particular, as I’m sure you know. It is a tough road to be on with little ones. Thank you for your comment, and understanding (though I’m sorry that you do).

      As I mentioned to Megan, I should be going to Camp Widow now (just need to book the tickets and register), so maybe I’ll see you there?

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