Lean On Me

I honestly believe God gives us more than we can handle so we must lean on Him.

Two Christmases ago I was a young widow struggling to find her way. I had just moved back to my parents’ home & my sister wanted us to take family pictures. I look at the photos of me in the gray & see the struggle in my eyes & heartache on my hips. In Rasheed’s last two years on this planet I was the heaviest I’ve ever been. I was frustrated with my weight, but that man loved me even more then & made me feel beautiful when I felt anything but it inside. After he passed I gained more weight & then lost it – repeating that cycle for a while.

Medical appointments woke up my mind. I began to eat better & slowly returned to working out. However, even that was difficult because those two things greatly reminded me of my husband. I honestly don’t know how I’ve lost 50 pounds over the last two years. I still have days of eating my feelings, but I’m learning life is truly about balance.

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Learning to live without my love is beyond difficult. Real talk? One of my current survivor regrets is the fact my husband isn’t here with me & this new body. I know I’ll see him again, but if he’s all young & big arm’d & I’m 3 bodies later & wrinkly & squishy, that won’t be awesome. (Just sayin’, Big Guy) But I hold onto God’s grace through it all. A few months after returning to work, a viewer emailed me saying she enjoyed watching me, but saw the sadness in my eyes & was compelled to find out why. Nearly two years later she recently wrote me again saying she saw the light starting to return & to keep doing whatever I was doing. The days are still hard, but what I’m doing is learning to love myself in the same way my husband once did; I’m learning how to lean on God & allow His love & grace to shine through, overriding the struggles we all face on a daily basis. Keep going, my loves. He’s not done with us yet. 💙

Two Years.

No matter how much my head tries to prepare for the day, my heart knows what it means and feels the full weight.

April 16, 2016.

Two years ago everything changed. Two years ago today three cars took me from a wife to a widow. Two years ago today I left the movies with my husband and ended that typical Saturday with the need to bury that beautiful man a week later.

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Happy 41st Heavenly Birthday, Baby

Balloons, cake, laughter and love. They are elements typically required to celebrate a birthday. Last year I incorporated all of those into my husband’s 40th heavenly birthday party.

Yup. I threw Rasheed a party nearly a year after he had passed away.

I mainly did it because that man never wanted me to make a big fuss over him, but a few days after his 39th birthday (and a few weeks before he was killed) he agreed to allow me to throw him a big 40th celebration where he could see all of his frat brothers, high school, college and business school classmates, and colleagues from throughout the years.

He never made it, but our friends and family did.

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My American Quilt

“Mom, can I have fries with my shawarma?”

My American experience is unique. Born in Houston, my parents moved me to the Middle East when I was four years old. My dad’s job transferred him. The move changed our lives. It wasn’t just the food we ate, the roads we traveled or even the fact my mom could no longer drive those roads because women weren’t allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia. That move opened my eyes to opportunities. My world literally became bigger.

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One Year Out.

I desperately wish I could go back in time.

To the days when we texted stupid things throughout the day. To the days when I yelled at you for staying in the gym too long. To the days when you, me and Lola spent all day inside on a Saturday eating pizza for all our meals because we were too lazy to go to the grocery store.

I’ll even take most April 16, 2016. It started off simply, sweetly and normally enough. Lazy morning in bed, pancake breakfast at the clubhouse and then an afternoon at the movies. All while in sweats and a messy bun because that’s when you swore I looked most beautiful.

I’m starting to see that time doesn’t heal all wounds, but I read somewhere that it does “give you the tools to deal with all of them.”

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A Case of the Sundays

Sometimes it hits you hard & fast.

You get a glimpse of your old self– your old smile, your old worries, your old life.

You remember what it was like to look forward to him returning from work; him bringing you flowers; him loving you — live & in person.

The pictures & the memories help, but sometimes, sometimes you just want your husband to hold you. It may seem like torture, but I posted this one on my fridge because it reminds me of how happy I once was, and forces me to try to live and smile because that’s all he ever wanted me to do.

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XO

#YoungWidow #MissingHim #griefandloss #StillHis #WidowStrong #GriefSucks #loveofmylife #memoriesforlife

HOME

It’s where you feel safe, warm and happy. It’s where your loved ones come to visit, and you lounge in your pj’s all day, eating food that makes you smile from your gut while sharing laughs with those who know you the best. It’s where you snuggle on the couch with your special one and enjoy bad tv and good blankets.

Last month I bought our first one.

But you weren’t there to sign on the other dotted line.

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Even in death, I’m still his girl.

This was originally posted on the Huffington Post on December 5, 2016.

I’m a young widow.

The word stinks, but it’s honestly the best way to simply describe my situation.

Everything is so confusing now. My brain can’t comprehend the tense I’m living in.

He was…

but I am..

even though I wish I wasn’t.

During my recent pilgrimage to India to visit a town full of thousands of widows, I sported a homemade sweatshirt with the words “Still His” displayed across my chest.

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