Sunday, December 26, 2010

No matter how old...

I got a phone call today...Well, I got the phone call last night and returned it this afternoon. It was my Grandma Crabtree. One thing I think all of you should know is, I love my family more than anything. So, when I found out why my Grandma called me I was truly touched. She said she was proud of me, which to me is the highest honor anyone could ever give me.

Let me take you back a little before I tell you exactly what she told me on the phone...

Lately something has been weighing on my heart. I have really been thinking of New Beginnings and where I want it to go, the things I want to do with it, and what I want it to really stand for. When I first started it I was in a very different part of my life. I was still very bitter at how young I was and being a widow. I concentrated so much on my youth and felt no one older than me could REALLY understand what I was feeling. So that is why I wanted my support groups and foundation to focus mainly on Young Widows and Widowers.

However, as time has passed and I have seen so many widows and widowers of all different ages connect and inspire each other I am starting to see that we all can relate on some level no matter where we are in life's journey.

So, the phone call...My Grandma had spoken to my Aunt Kay over the weekend. My Aunt Kay lost my Uncle this past June and she had said that she had been on my Facebook Page New Beginnings. I had absolutely no idea that she even knew about my Facebook Page, but I was excited when I had heard she knew about it. She told my Grandma how much it has helped her and even though she wasn't a "Young" widow that I had helped her so much through these past few months and it has spoken to her in so many ways. That is when my Grandma told me she was proud of me.

The whole reason I started the FB page and the foundation was to help others, inspire people, connect, and to make sure no widow/widower felt alone. I was touched when I found out that I have helped out a family member. Like I said before, I love my family, every single part of it. So to know I helped her, well, there are no words. It reminded me, once again, why I do what I do, but it also reminded me that young or young at heart, we (widows/widowers) all come from a common place, the loss of a loved one.

With that being said, I feel as if God is calling me to open the umbrella and remove the "Young" from the foundation's name. I will still have specific support groups for Young Widows and Widowers but will also have support groups for all ages.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Wrapping

Christmas shopping for me this year has had a very different feeling than it has had the past three years. This year I actually have some Christmas cheer. I want to listen to the songs on the radio that talk about sleigh rides and rockin' around the Christmas Tree. I walk through the stores with a smile on my face and have patience for those on the roads that seem to be in such a hurry to get from store to store. Although, there seems to be a bit of sadness, the weight in my heart has definitely lifted.

You see, something came to me as I was wrapping my sons gifts this year. As I carefully taped the wrapping, delicately placed the bow, and signed the tag I was able to write something I never dreamed of writing ever again..."From: Mommy & Daddy". I was filled with a combination of peace and nostalgia. Peace because my son has someone to call "Daddy" again and on Christmas morning I won't be the only one excited to see the excitement in Brandon's eyes while he opens his gifts from Santa. Nostalgia, well, I was thinking of his father. I remember how excited he was on Brandon's first Christmas even though he was only a few weeks old. He talked about all the Christmases to come and how happy he was to be a father and how much he loved Brandon. He truly adored him. I was also thinking of all the Christmases in the past. Brian use to always try to get that one present he knew I wasn't expecting and the joy on his face as I opened each gift was beautiful. On our first Christmas married, we couldn't wait to open our gifts, so we ended up opening all but one on Christmas Eve :) I think we did it just because we could. lol.

This year I get to actually have a "Merry" Christmas. I get to share in all the joys of Brandon waking up that morning and being so surprised at all the gifts Santa brought him. Most of all, I already received my Christmas gift that I have been asking for these past years...Love.

This year I ask one thing from all of my friends, loved ones, and strangers. I wish that everyone appreciates all the love in their life. If you have a husband/wife, cherish them, if you have kids share in the joy and the spirit of the time, and with your family share in the Christmas cheer. Lastly, remember what Christmas is all about. Our Lord and Saviours Birthday.

God Bless and Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 13, 2010

A friend like mine...

Last weekend I had the chance to spend some time with a good friend, Olivia, and do the Bike Run for Tots. It was the second time I had done it with her and it made me flash back to three years ago when I did it with her the first time as well as the two weeks prior.

See, my husband passed away the day before Thanksgiving. At the time I was still in school. Olivia and I only lived one street over from each other and we always rode to school with each other every morning. A week and a half after my husband passed I went back to school. Olivia insisted that she drove me that day and thank God she did. As we pulled up to school and parked in the parking lot I started crying. "I can't do this. I can't go in there. I don't want to be the girl who just lost her husband. Everyone is going to ask questions. I don't want to do it, I can't." Olivia, being the amazing friend that she is said, "Brooke you can do it. You are strong. I promise I will make sure no one asks you about it. I am here with you the whole entire way. And if you really feel like you can't do it, we will turn around and go straight back home. Just try." I really feel like it is because of all of the encouraging words she gave to me on a day to day basis was one of the main reasons why I was able to make it to school most of the time.

Olivia always tried to make sure I laughed or atleast smiled everyday and two weeks after my husband passed away she decided that I needed to do something fun and forget about things for a while. So she said I was going to do the Bike run with her wether I like it or not. The catch...instead of riding motorcycles like everyone else, we were going to ride scooters. Leave it to her to turn a fun thing into something more exciting. I don't think I had laughed that much on that day than I have in a long time and it was just what I needed to lift my spirits. Something about crowds of people cheering as they see the scooters come speeding (I use that term loosly) by, loader than for the motorcycles.

This year was no exception. Not only did we rent scooters again but we all dressed in tacky Christmas sweaters and I wore a goofy hat :)

The thing is she did stuff like this all the time. Always making sure she trhough a little spice in my life and because of that I am forever thankful for her.

So for Christmas I wish for all the widows and widowers out there to have a friend like Olivia that will lift their spirits and make them laugh the whole year. Hugs to all my widow friends and an extra tight hug to my friend Olivia. Thank you girl! Love you!