Am I really “still me”?

Lost is a place, right?

Are you there, too?

Hi, everyone! Welcome to “Lost”! It’s the new and improved place we used to call “Here”.

We don’t call it ‘Here” anymore because we’ve moved away from “Here”. “Here” is a place from afar. A place removed from what is relevant and current.

Destination: Unknown

I’m at home in “Lost”. And that’s sad.

Sad, but true.

“Lost” is both familiar and painful.

“Lost” is not that far away from “The Past” and just around the corner from “Hindsight”. It is 20/20, no?

And “Lost” is just before you get to “Far, Far Away”.

“Lost” is both confusing and exciting at the same time.

It is unknown and to some, might seem tragic.

To me, however, it’s not tragic.

It’s home.

I’m ready.

Ready to get to know my way around “Lost”. It seems that I may be here a while and I might as well get my bearings in this place.

Most of the people that live here are pretty nice. My neighbors keep to themselves, but smile and wave, if waved to.

And I do wave.

Every damn day.

The sights in this town are pretty nice, too. Old homes with character surrounded by new growth and change.

“Lost” has pretty great schools, too. With teachers that seem to actually care. Teachers that take the time to know their students by name and learning style.

The students seem to reciprocate with a sense of simple splendor. With a joy of learning! They converse in small groups out on the patio, while teachers smile their knowing smiles.

“Lost” even has a big chain Super Store!

Hooray, for “Lost”!

One day, we’ll catch up to the big city, but as of now, we’re pretty proud of our Super Store, thank you very much.

“Lost” is an easy commute to the finest jobs around. And, as luck may have it, my job, too. I love my drive to work from”Lost”. It’s a quiet and serene time that I can hear myself think. No one needs to be tended to and everyone can hear me.

I’ve found a nice niche in my little part of “Lost”. Albeit small, it’s mine.

I will miss “The Past”, but I’m not there anymore.

Now is the time to revel in the here and now and appreciate this thing we call life.

Do you appreciate life? Or do you, like I, take just about every minute for granted?

Geez, guys!

Let’s start the new year with a pact, OK?

Let’s be happy and content.

Whether we live in “Lost”, “Far, Far Away”, “Here”, “Now” or “In the Moment”.

Let us appreciate and savor every hour we get.

Every minute.

Every hour.

Every second.

Why?

Because before long we’ll be living in “Gone, but Not Forgotten” and I for one, want to put the final move off for as long as possible.

So, I will live in “Lost”.

I will love in “Lost”.

 I will be in “Lost”.

And for once, I’ll finally just be “me”…

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Everything stays the same…

Everything stays the same.

Time is passing.

Leaves are falling.

Costumed children have tricked their treat and turkeys are starting to get scared.

Yet, everything stays the same.

Chris has had two, two month check up’s since I last wrote. To be perfectly honest. I didn’t know what to say.

Everything stays the same.

His doctors are happy and we’re excited! His tumor isn’t growing.

Yes, Chuck is still hanging out in his brain. but he’s not growing.

Every single time we hear this it gets more and more hopeful.

An “all clear” at the two moth appointment means more time.

Chris, however, is struggling.

You know those steps of the grieving process? There are five and he’s knocking back and forth between steps two and four.

Anger and depression.

One day he’s happy and I see a glimpse of the man I used to know.

One day, he’s so angry that I can’t get a word in edgewise because he’s so damn mad at me he can’t see straight.

And then there are the days that hurt the most. The days that I watch that strong, amazing man crumple at the feet of cancer.

He doesn’t move.

He doesn’t talk.

He doesn’t…

I long for the “good” days.

The days that he laughs and sings in that horrible baritone that I love.

The days that the kids can joke with him and he laughs back.

But, more often than not, he has an anger or depressive day.

Now, I’m not saying he’s ALWAYS like this. I’m just saying that it’s hard to have a good day when you’re trapped in a three way cycle of happy, mad and depression.

He’s still Chris.

With his hat on, you might not know that he has brain cancer. He still looks the same. Handsome as ever!

The only things you might notice is his aphasia.

He talks with effort.

To someone who didn’t know, it’d be like talking to someone who’s distracted. Like talking to someone who isn’t really listening.

Except, it’s the exact opposite of distraction.

It’s extreme concentration.

Words are difficult and following an entire conversation takes as much concentration as he can muster.

Which is a lot!

You might not know he has cancer.

But, you do.

Other than the cycle of grief, everything is ok.

Everything stays the same.

The kids are starting back to public school and I couldn’t be happier!

Not that I didn’t enjoy homeschool, but I just couldn’t do it.

I’m good at a lot of things. Great at some. But, homeschooling wasn’t my forte and I’m ok admitting that.

So, today Doodle two started at the elementary school near our new house and Doodle one starts Monday in middle.

Ugh!

Where has the time gone?!

I’m sure they’ll love being around more kids their own age and I’ll enjoy being with Chris ALONE on my days off.

What’s that like?

I forgot.

We moved to a new town and although it’s only a county away, I’m tee totally lost!

I’ll find my way.

Right now, I know where the schools are and the gas station.

It’s weird to be in a new town.

A fresh start.

Will we meet new friends?

Will we enjoy and become comfortable here?

I hope so! I certainly do.

That’s that!

Chris’s two month appointment went so well. Although, his brain is still swollen, it has gone down exponentially in the last few months.

Although weak, he has the ability to get stronger.

His will to fight is still there.

And, although dealing with the tremendous burden of grief, he is doing well.

The kids are starting school and they are nervously excited! They don’t seem as scared as they were before and my heart is happy to finally see them enjoy education again.

We are ok. We are together and enjoying what it feels like to be a normal family. We are happy with the notion that we get more time. We are starting to remember what it felt like before cancer entered our lives.

But, it did.

Everything stays the same.

I said, “I DO!!”

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Well, well, well… It happened. After 13 years, two kids, countless fights, even more reconciliations and a heart full of love, I got married. That’s right, y’all! I got married.

Have you ever felt like your one true love was so far away and unattainable because of either your personal choices or just your personality in general? I have. Have you ever felt like no one could ever accept you, nor should they, in your true and basic form? I wonder if all people feel this way or is it just a self esteem that some people have.

A little history…my Husband and I are chemically and emotionally attached. He gets me. He loves me. I mean, he LOVES me. All of me. My down days, my up days, my sad days, my ill days, my ugly days and my beautiful days. Somehow, I got lucky enough to meet a man that thinks I’m pretty great. A man that thinks I’m beautiful. And a man who’s family is like a fairy tale. Is it perfect? Nope. But, I love them and they love me. Can one gain a mother and a father in one day? Yes.

C is my person. C is my best friend. C shows me that love is blind to all things mental health wise and all things that we may feel as failures. I am lucky to know him. Lucky to be his friend. Lucky to be his best friend and now lucky to be his wife.

Is a relationship hard work? Hell, yes. Is it worth it when I see him sleeping on the couch with his little feet crossed? Yes.

Things have happened in our relationship that neither one of us are proud of. Neither one of us wants to revisit again. Time heals all wounds. If two people live in harmony every single day of their lives, someone is lying. Someone is being fake and someone is tortured internally with a fire that no one can put out. An explosion is imminent. It will be ugly. It will be embarrassing and that person may lose the one thing they are trying to protect.

Being Real.

Is it possible? Can we talk to ourselves, dance while we cook, pee in the shower or watch sappy, stupid shows that we’ve seen a hundred times and cry like it’s the first time we’ve seen them? Yes. If you say no, then you’re lying. Truth is truth. My Husband knows all of these things about me and still knows to stop on The Notebook, despite the fact that we have the DVD, every time it’s on. He knows that I love One Direction. Does he think it’s weird? Sure! But he just laughs and listens when he has too.

My Husband is beautiful. My Husband is generous. My Husband is a devoted father to our children and plays with them like he is a kid himself. He puts together a Lego set with the best of them and never complains to Doodle 2 about the fact that his back hurts. He simply praises a job well done and smiles to himself.

I married my true love. I surprised him with my own vows and I will end this blog post with them.

From the moment our path’s crossed you’ve surprised me, distracted me, captivated me and challenged me the way no other human being has.

I’ve fallen in love with you again and again. Countless times without reservation and I still can’t believe that today I get to marry my best friend.

I promise to be true to you, to uplift and support you, to frustrate and challenge you.

And share with you the beautiful moments of life.

And someday, if the stars align, I might even let you win an argument.

No matter what trials we encounter together or how much time has passed, I know our love will never fade.

That we will find strength in one another, and that we will continue to grow side by side.

I believe in the truth of what we are and I will love you always.

With every beat of my heart,

I choose you and I’ll choose you over and over.

Without pause, with out a doubt, in a heartbeat, I’ll keep choosing you.

My wish for everyone is that you find strength in these words. That you know that love is very real. I know I am lucky. I know I am one of the chosen few. I know that I am Mrs. Padgett now and my heart has never been so full. Full of hope, love, joy and a desire to tell the future to bring it on! Because I am ready. I am ready because I am strong. I am ready because my Husband is my foundation, I am his, and no matter what I do, I know he’ll never let me fall. We are a team. An unbeatable team and without a second thought, I put my life in his hands and know that I’m safe, secure and loved the way that I love him. Good, great, unperfect and beautiful.