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Wedding of Jason and Bonnie Drew May 28 2005

Dear Jason,

Today would be our ten year wedding anniversary. You didn’t see this part, but right before the ceremony, I locked my wedding gown in the dressing room by mistake. I refuse to believe that it was a bad sign.

One or two of your family members were trying to convince you not to get married, but that’s okay because my parents were telling me the same thing. Marriage being a lifelong commitment, you have to be sure.

I had no doubt that I loved you since the moment I met you.

 

Today was Caleb’s last day of third grade, and I went to the awards ceremony. In the past, I’ve suffered pangs of loneliness at events like this.

Caleb should have both parents cheering him on to fourth grade. Both parents in his end-of-the-year photo. Both parents telling him that we are so proud of his hard work and excellent grades.

Today, we should be packing for a week long, 10 year wedding anniversary getaway to…I don’t know…California wine country? I like to imagine that we became super-successful in our business/career ventures.

Instead, I became independent—against my will. I make all the decisions for myself and for Caleb.

When I became a widow, I only saw loneliness in my future, but now I feel security. Because I know I can handle everything myself.

 

Today, I sat on the school bleachers with our nephew, and we laughed about how he could hack into the school WiFi.

I was delighted by a student who read his poem, all the while making hand motions and speaking with the confidence of a CEO. I smiled to myself as I imagined the bright futures in store for the children at this special event.

I didn’t feel loss or sadness, not for a second.

Calebs Last Day of Third Grade 2015

After you died, it seemed like everywhere I turned, I was confronted with the phrase:

Live, Laugh, Love.

It was displayed on Myspace, on my friend’s living room wall, on photo frames…It annoyed the hell out of me!

Those words were such a cliche, such a mockery of my life without you.

Today, I felt the purest form of healing after loss. I watched an entire ceremony without cringing in pain, without worrying constantly that Caleb is missing someone who he needs.

Today, I realized that my emotions have been released from the darkness of grief. Now, I think of you with peace: I remember the life, the laughter, the love.

The Risk of Putting It On Paper Widow Repair

In December of last year, my fiance turned on his windshield wipers and dislodged three sheets of folded paper that someone had placed on his vehicle. The papers turned out to be photocopies from my handwritten diary.

The content was a brainstorming session that I did after my husband Jason died in 2006. I wrote no details—it was just a random list of memories that I planned to expand on in the future. I did not want to forget anything about him.

I know where I left my notebooks during that time, and I know who had access to them. The thief was trying to find a way to implicate me in Jason’s death.

The strangest part of this situation? A cryptic message was stamped on the back of the papers: “WERE YOURS!

I assumed it was some sort of threat, especially because the “O” resembles crosshairs. I sent it to my lawyer and filed a police report.

Were Yours Widow Repair

Hoping to learn more about the trespasser’s intentions, I posted on Facebook.

Soon after, I received confidential information that confirmed my suspicions. In 2006, when I was pouring my raw emotions into my diary, someone else was going behind me and making photocopies.

It makes my skin crawl to learn about this invasion of privacy.

The Risk of Putting it on Paper

A witness said that the thief described my writings as “questionable” and “dark.”

Part of the stolen content was written when I was teenager, before I started dating Jason. What teenage girl doesn’t get depressed and angsty?

I was 21 years old when Jason died. I was not good at talking to other people, so I wrote about my feelings during that period of vulnerability and mixed emotions.

Sometimes I was angry at Jason because I felt abandoned, and most of the time I described my love for him as I tried to work through heartbreak.

A private journal is the appropriate place to document your feelings after going through something traumatic, and the thief had no right to judge me.

The Threat of Twisted Words

The person who stole my writings and trespassed on my property was trying to say, “These ‘were yours,’ but now I have power over you!” [sinister laugh].

The person has a history of taking my words out of context and twisting my meanings.

However, I have nothing hiding in my closet. I wrote nothing that I should be ashamed of because there is nothing in my heart to be ashamed of.

The Remedy? Put Those Words in Context.

I’ve decided to do what I planned when I made that list. I’m going to write more about those memories and shed some light on old gossip. The trespasser’s threat has gone stale.

Let’s start with the “questionable” entries first, and maybe we can put my aggressor’s accusations to rest:

Inappropriate Comment or Playful Marriage?

One line described something sexual that Jason said to me. It was a little embarrassing, but there is nothing wrong with a risque comment between husband and wife.

I loved his playfulness. He was always trying to make me blush.

Illegal Activities or Drama Bait?

Another reference is so vague that it could easily be misunderstood: “fighting pit bulls.”

I wrote about this in a previous blog post. One day Jason told me about his idea to start fighting pit bulls, and he went on about it long enough for me to throw a fit about animal cruelty.

Then he told me he was kidding and laughed his head off. Always amused, he was baiting me for a dramatic reaction.

I loved that memory because I missed him. Even if he was fooling me, I wanted him to tease me again. I wanted more jokes, more chances to see his eyes squint with laughter while he held his fists in front of his mouth…such a characteristic gesture.

Sarcasm From a New Mom Who Wants to Take Her Baby Home—Right Now!!

One quote said, “We can’t leave the hospital until we know how to take care of Caleb (our newborn baby).”

Without knowing the details, would you jump to a bad conclusion?

I am a Type 1 Diabetic, and my body was adjusting post-pregnancy. We had been in the hospital for a few days, and we asked the doctor, “When can we go home?”

They really wanted me to nurse rather than bottle feed, but Caleb was reluctant. The doctor told us to stay longer and talk to a lactation consultant.

By this time, I was confident that Caleb and I would get the hang of nursing together, or we would use bottles. I was armed with my motherly instincts and resentful that they wanted to hold up my family any longer. How dare they imply that I needed help!

Weary and frustrated, I said sarcastically, “We can’t leave the hospital until we know how to take care of Caleb!” Jason’s eyes crinkled with suppressed laughter, and that became our inside joke about the long hospital stay.

I’m sure that all brand new parents felt the same way.


In context, my list is a series of memorable experiences with someone I love and miss.

Even though my writings were exposed, they are mine. They always have been. No one can take them or use them against me, and that person had no right to judge or steal from me.

I’m glad to finally have them back. I’ll go into more of those happy memories soon.