Alisa. 37. New Hampshire. Married for almost three years to this wonderful, funny, smart guy. Previously married. Went through in-vitro fertilization to have my five year old magical son Keegan. Stepmother to the charming Isabelle (6). Gushingly in love with our baby boy Harper(1). Policy Wonk and dreaded bureaucrat. Lover of fine cuisine, honeybees, truly romantic moments and the underdog.
Curried Beef Short Ribs

Note: I found this was more realistically four servings.

Finishing this dish with lime zest and juice brightens its rich flavors.

Yield 6 servings (serving size: about 3 ounces ribs, 2/3 cup rice, and about 2 1/2 tablespoons sauce)

2 teaspoons canola oil
2 pounds ...continue reading

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The Front Seat

Keegan went to grief counseling this morning. It will be his last visit unless something comes up. He is exactly where he should be with this now. We can expect him to revisit Tom's death for the rest of his life particularly as he reaches milestones. He will never go back to the first stage. Acceptance is permanent. But there may be anger and sadness. I wonder what the people in the waiting room think when this see this little guy waiting for his appt. He knows the building when we drive by. The place where he "goes to talk to the lady about daddy." Today I watched through brimming eyes as he drew a little boy with her. A little boy who's head is filled with memories signified by scribbles they made together. A big heart filled with love. Tom's love. And then they colored in other people's love. Mommy, Jeff, Isabelle, Nana, Bampa, Bammy, Pappy, Aunt BJ. Keegan added Uncle Scottie with his green marker. She told him that his heart was always big enough to fit more love. He can love daddy and everyone else too.
And she told me that I had given Keegan what he needed. That I had taught him how to cope. That he knew it was okay to talk about daddy and love and miss him. There is a place for Tom in our lives. And she is right I think Keegan is ready.
I don't know if I am. There is still anger and sadness. The grief is not so heavy. Now I am surprised when it comes over me out of the blue. Watching Keegan at sports class Sat. I was struck by the image of him standing there with that little glove throwing a ball and then the tiny bat as he swung at the ball. Tom would have loved that. And last week we were cleaning out the cabinets and found a pack of pictures in a basket. Our old life doesn't bother me. I keep those photos as my history. But then I came to one of Keegan sleeping in Tom's lap at our old house and they are curled up in front of the softly lit window. It is the most peaceful thing I have ever seen. That one makes me sad. I framed and put it in Keegan's room. But I had to move it up to the shelf because it was right on top of his dresser and I kept being struck by it every time I open the drawers. I want to remember but I don't need to be kicked in the gut multiple times a day. I have been thinking about a grief group. I want to be with people who understand. I want to hear what their days are like, what is normal and what they do with their thoughts. I am not having trouble coping. It is just that my process has been on hold. I needed to bury Tom, take care of Keegan, plan and get married and sort out the resulting financial implications of his loss. The latter is still up in the air but now I feel like I can have energy for myself. I will not miss the rollercoaster when it stops. The exhilarating joy, the plunging sadness. I think the highs can be as high with out those bottomless lows. I just want to be. I want to be the me I can realistically expect after everything this year.

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