Day 171: Angry

When your person dies you have to reevaluate a lot of things. You look back and think about what really mattered and what wasn’t worth it.

In my looking back, I realize that I wasted a lot of time being angry at Vance. Or the kids. Or the world. Or God. Or all of them.

I have been angry so much. I think it comes as a reaction to disappointment, fear and insecurity.

What a waste of time.

I could have done so much more loving, caring and enjoying Vance if I had better been able to let go of the anger while he was here.

Last Christmas, his very last one, I was so angry. He’d been working a lot and was really tired. So on Christmas Eve, he went to bed and to sleep before the kids. My kids are all old enough to know how the presents get there, but they also still enjoy the magic of waking up to find presents under the tree. And because Vance was asleep, I was left to do it all on my own. Man, was I angry. I even took a picture of him sleeping to send to my sister the next day. I wanted the world to know that while Dad slept, Mom was busy playing Santa.

Christmas morning I was still angry. I was still mad as we opened presents. I was mad that the man who normally got up at 4:00 am, a time I very rarely see, and if I do, it’s because I haven’t gone to bed yet, not because I’ve gotten up early, that he went to be before midnight.

I’m embarrassed to write that. To share it with you. It makes me feel very vulnerable, even more so than the “Fat” post I wrote a while ago.

Anger is a very real struggle for me. The biggest in my life for some time now. I want what I want and I want it when I want it, done my way, thank you very much. So often, Vance got the brunt of my rage. He just couldn’t meet every expectation, all the time, in all the ways I wanted. Good grief, who could? Even I can’t do that!

Those unrealistic expectations cost me a lot. Thankfully, they never cost me everything. Vance didn’t let it. He didn’t let me.

Later on that last Christmas Day, I put aside my anger and we took the kids to the park for an epic family Nerf battle. We ran and played and shot each other for a couple of hours. The kids and the adults laughed and laughed and realized just how out of shape we were. It’s a memory we all treasure.

It never would have happened if I’d stayed mad. I could have let my anger steal that time and that memory from our entire family. I’m so glad I didn’t.

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