Saturday, March 16, 2013

The 10 Year Bereavement

Sometimes I feel like a broken record because a handful of topics have been mentioned or repeated on this blog ad nauseum. But those topics are usually the ones that also appear with frequency in my real, every day life.

Today is no exception.

Ten years ago today, my life was permanently altered. Ten years ago today, I lost the best friend that, at the time, I'd ever had. Ten years ago today, Emett Bolin died, just one month and two days short of his 20th birthday.

4/18/1983 - 3/16/2003

My thoughts are kind of all over the place as I try to decide exactly what to write. I've come a long way in the last 10 years. The first two years were excruciating. The three after that were hard. The last five have been a roller coaster of healing, feeling guilty for healing, re-grieving, healing again, rinse, repeat.

I can just barely remember the sound of his voice anymore. I am choking back sobs as I type those words. I think that's the hardest part of losing someone. You swear you'll never forget - and you don't, really - but things start to fade. It fills you with sadness and guilt. But then you have these moments where you feel the slightest bit of relief that what people said was true. "In time, it won't hurt as much." But then that relief is immediately followed by more sadness and guilt, because moving on does mean you start to forget some of the details. But luckily, there is so much I DO remember, and I hold on very tightly to those memories.

Emett was an incredible friend - there was little he wasn't willing to do for the people he loved. He wasn't perfect, by any stretch, but he was so special. He was one of those people you just wanted to be around and he could light up any room. He exuded joy - and he loved life so very much. I haven't known many people who loved life as much as Em did. Perhaps that's the biggest reason why it's taken me so long to truly start moving past his untimely death.

I'm experiencing some disbelief, even now as I type this, that it has been 10 years since I've seen Emett's face, heard his voice, hugged his neck. There is a part of my heart that will always love and miss my friend. And while it is true that time heals wounds, the wounds of loss never truly go away. But that's okay with me now...because its just a reminder of the impact he had on my life.

He promised me many times that he'd always be there for me. I choose to believe that's a promise he never broke...its just in a different context now.

Till we meet again, my friend.

Friday, March 1, 2013

30x30 Update

You may or may not remember back in January when I made a list of 30 things I want to do by my 30th birthday. (I'm calling it 30x30.) I won't lie to you...I was a little slow on the take off, but now I'm whittling away at it. Most recently, I checked #24 off the list!

24. Give up sodas for an entire month. (Diet too!)

I don't recall exactly how old I was the first time that sweet, carbonated nectar touched my lips, but for as long as I can remember, I have LOVED and consumed sodas on the regular. (What I DO remember is that it started with Welch's grape soda.) For most of my teens and early twenties, I drank at least one 20 oz Dr. Pepper every day. When I started to become more health-conscious I cut down to a couple a week, usually diet. But, I cannot remember a time in my life when I didn't consume ANY, so I decided to walk away from them for an entire month.

I was a little nervous as I savored my last sip on January 31st. I knew I would need something carbonated to help me kick the withdrawal. My super supportive husband came home with a case of this...
Having something flavored and carbonated to take the place of a traditional soda was very helpful, but I would be lying if I didn't admit there were several times when I MIGHT have considered caving. The worst were Fridays, my usual "cheat" day, because I was just so used to having a soda then. But, I powered through and made it through (the shortest month of the year), soda free.

So in "celebration", Ryan took me out to lunch and I could not wait to get my rear to the soda fountain. I grew more and more excited as my cup filled. Finally it was time for the first tasted SO good. I savored it as I ate my lunch.

But then...something terrible happened.

My body kind of freaked out. 

My blood sugar seriously spiked. I'm hypoglycemic, for those who don't know, and my system is very sensitive to too much sugar. About 20 minutes after I'd finished my oh-so-delicious Dr. Pepper, I felt buzzy and tingly. My body felt shaky and I just felt...uneasy. Its a hard sensation to explain if you've never experienced it. It actually made me feel sad when I realized that I had unintentionally taught myself a lesson. I love sodas...but sodas don't love me. And while I'm not saying I'm never going to drink another soda again, but I'm not saying I'm going to start drinking them again either.

Well played, 30x30, you sneaky snake.