Sunday, July 25, 2010


I’ve written ELEVEN Thank you notes this week.


Eleven hand written notes filled with gratitude and gratefulness for the things people in my life did for me. There were the three dinners I had at friend’s houses that included a great amount of laughter and connection and the feeding of my three children.

One went to the paralegal who was kind and understanding.

And one to the lawyer who made my stomach ache with laughter with stories about his dad, including hilarious imitations.

One went to the pizza delivery guy (really) who was on time and just downright jovial, like he always is! Another went to a friend who I miss and had been thinking about far too long not to send something.

I’m gushing.

Gushing “OMG can you believe I’m here?” Gushing “Oh! I hate this cold LA weather but at least I can where my favorite jacket.” Gushing “I am so grateful to be on your list of come-over-and-swim people!”

I’m gushing because I’m standing here and it feels like, really, honest to God……like

I’m back. Functioning smiling and laughing in this new life without him.

I’m gushing because I am the miracle.

Because I am standing in a place that I saw from way below but had no idea how bright and shiny and clear and humbling it would be stand way up here!
Write here in the writing is where I would add all the clich├ęs! “Life is rich. I’m looking through rose colored glasses. You can only live life once so enjoy it. Blah, blah, blah.”

I was angry today and I in that anger I started to giggle. It’s so funny that I’m angry over _________!!! Poof. Out it went.

I looked in the mirror today. Yup have put on a pound or two.

Followed by a SHRUG!!!???

After which quickly came “Who cares! You got that new sexy bikini to wear!”

WHO CARES????? That has never been uttered in the same sentence with the words “weight” and “gain” and “few pound.”

Sentences like
“You are an amazing host.
You have such a good eye for art.
Just hearing your voice takes my anxiety from a 10 to a 3 and I want to thank you for that.
________ (one of my kid’s names here) I am so very grateful to be your mother. Your _____ (pick specific talent, sense of humor, clarity, ability to explain) is such a gift.

Today while walking to me car, “Excuse me. Mr. Dragonfly? Thank you so much for flitting by the pond just now. It was such a gorgeous sight to see.”

I’m gushing. How did I get to be so lucky? How is it possible I can be filled with THIS much gratitude and have buried my husband just over 455 days ago? What a difference a day makes has a WHOLE new meaning!

I am the miracle.

I am not supposed to be here and yet here I am.

And gushing because all those little itty bitty moments, those tiny, tiny milliseconds where I told myself

“This will get easier.

This will not always hurt so much.

You CAN walk through this, toenail at a time"

Have proven to be true.

It was one shitty, slog from hell to get here.

I leave with the kids for a vacation tomorrow.

I think I need to go to the bank again before we leave. I have a feeling this gushing is gonna cost me a lot in tips for the cab drivers, baggers and the parents of the cute kid who I am lucky enough to get a smile from.
Gushing. I really like that word.

Sunday, July 18, 2010


Ok I admit it.

I’ve been lying.

Not really lying buuutttttt not telling the full truth.

Because well, people look at me funny when I say, “I’m good!” “I’m doing well.” after they ask “How are you?”

I interpret their look to mean “but she’s a widow.”

While writing lately, I’ve stayed within the imaginary widow party lines that says widows are always sad and lonely and forlorn.

I’m not.

Not always.

Not most of the time any more.

In fact, I can say other than the lack of sleep I’ve been experiencing lately, I’m happy.

I don’t want none-widowed people to think “Well, good she’s done grieving.” Grief is still in my life. It always will be. But it’s not the kind you see in photos of those who just recently lost. It’s stealth grief. Like the other day, after seeing a photo of my therapist’s family, one I have seen like a gazillion times, I burst into tears realizing that Art will never be in a family photo again. I was back in that place of loss, confusion and questioning. It lasted all of 5 minutes.

And then


The moment passed and we laughed at something not related to him or the grief and I left and I went on my merry way. In fact, I did not think of Art at all for the rest of the day.

I want those none-grieving people to know that one never “gets over” a loss. And that in sudden unexpected, random moments the loss hits, like a brick thrown at the back of my head by some stupid bully. And I see stars and can’t breathe and nothing makes sense.

And then just as abruptly the world right’s itself and I am applying lip gloss while driving a large vehicle in traffic, thinking about what I will make for dinner tonight and trying to remember which kid I am supposed to pick up first.

Just by admitting this, I feel almost like a traitor of sorts. Somehow I’m not playing the “widow” part right.

My life includes a hell of a lot of laughter and giggles and crying… because I banged my funny bone on the door jam while skidding sideways trying to run on the hardwood floor (with socks on) trying not to get tagged by my eight year old.

My life includes a stomach workout because my oldest son repeats a joke with words I forbid him but does it imitating the Little Mermaid.

My life includes ‘brain on fire’ moments when my assistant and I are reviewing and tweeking my 6 month marketing plan.

My life includes cute smiles directed toward the guy who strikes up a conversation with me in the check-out line.

My life includes longing for Art, missing his hands on my back and it includes the excitement of new hands on my back, caressing my face, pulling me in.

I will always be a grieving widow just like I will always be an:
African American woman,
A mom,
An entrepreneur.

Just like I will always be the one who is quick to laugh or come back with some smart ass remark.

Just like I will always be up for a game and a little fun competition.

Just like I will always be hot…. (well…another lie, or is it? There are more and more hot over 60's out there, my mother so in that group!)

I am free…..

to order what I want on my pizza,
to decide where I want to go for vacation and
to decided NOT to do that run today.

I am free to…..
listen to the music I want to (when the kids are not playing dj)
Sleep on whatever side I choose (I haven’t switched but if I wanted to I could!)

I have the courage...
NOT be nice to those people ever, ever again!
to say "When you said____, I felt _______ which I didn't particularly care for. Or I am leaving till you can speak to me in a respectful tone."
To claim titles like "a good catch," good mother" and really a "decent friend."

Nothing is as serious as it used to be…..NOTHING!!!

I am light......walking just a weensy bit off the ground.

Oh and here's just one more littlesecret….

Most days, I don’t want him back.

I don’t.

Because if he were here, I wouldn’t be this woman I have become.
This woman that I am really diggin’.
This woman who is clear on her priorities...self, kids, my business. Men....stand in line.
His death was my evolution.

I wouldn’t have the courage (or the experience) to know and say, with pride…
“I Kim Hamer am hot! And yes, I would love to have a drink with you, you lucky dog you!” (I don't so much as say it as I think it, though)

If he were here, I would only see part of the light I have become.
I would not see my power.
I would not know that I, Kim Hamer have one thousand legs to stand on.

So there.
This is the true face of my widowhood.

And it fuckin’ rocks!!!!