August 7, 2017, will be the sixth wedding anniversary I will be spending alone since my husband died in May of 2012. Everyone said it would get easier, but the truth is, it doesn't. Not really.
It's not like I am stuck in my grief, as I have certainly expanded my wings in the past five years - from working as a radio/TV show producer to writing and publishing two books and becoming an entrepreneur. I have learned so many new things : about Twitter and social media and branding; about how to fix a toilet; about shopping and cooking for one; about my limits when lifting heavy objects; about writing for magazines and speaking to groups; about how it feels to be alone. I have learned to pay more attention to planning trips and making more of an effort to note where I park, since Scott was often the planner, navigator, and driver when we traveled. He took care of me, and now I have to take care of me. I don't like that. And in many ways, Life keeps reminding me of Scott's absence. Like last week, when I bought a power washer for my deck. After trying everything in the manual, the washer would not work, so I returned it, telling the clerk, "Life was so much easier before my husband died. I just can't get this to work." She understood.
Despite being sad sometimes, since I continue to miss Scott so much, my heart continues to be filled with gratitude that we had such a fun and loving marriage for almost 32 years. We were two pieces of a single puzzle, completing each other and making each other whole. Our marriage was filled with so much laughter, and now, I just don't laugh as much as we used to. Although I do make a conscious choice to be happy every single day, the exuberant joy of sharing life with the one I love is gone. The sound of laughter is hollow now, without my other half to send the reverberation of that laughter back to me.
I am so grateful that Scott helped to shape me into the person I am today. We married at 29, after a failed marriage for each of us. It took a while to trust and love again unequivocally, but we worked toward our marriage partnership every day. We appreciated each other, and shared that appreciation openly. We supported each other in all of our individual endeavors; and if one of us was involved in a project or event, the other one helped, too. For example, when Scott was on stage and I did not have a part, I worked on his show in costumes or as bookholder. When I was in a show and Scott did not have a part, he built the scenery for my show. Our beautiful lives were intertwined like that for all the years we were married, and I miss that daily love and support.
Happy anniversary to my other half in Heaven! One thing I know for sure is this: Love never dies. Thank you for the laughter and the life we shared. And one more thing. I miss the me I was when you were here. I liked that Dede so much better than this one.
Scott and Dede August 7, 1981
As always, I welcome your comments and suggestions.
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Please invite Grady Gets Glasses (and me) into your school. if you are not in the Pittsburgh area, we do virtual field trips with a group called Field Trip Zoom. www.Fieldtripzoom.com GRADY GETS GLASSES was the winner of Best New Children's Book 2016 from The Authors' Zone. For more information about The Authors' Zone, please visit http://www.theauthorszone.com/submissions/
Visit Dede's webpage for complete details on her award-winning book, STUDENT TEACHING: THE INSIDE SCOOP FROM A MASTER TEACHER. Many colleges have made the book required reading. Signed copies are available www.dederittman.com Dede is also a national speaker on The Three C's for Classroom success: Confidence, communication, and Creativity; Avoiding Teacher burnout; and many other inspirational topics.
I LOVE writing. And I love writing children's books- my newest passion. Although it will be a ton of work, I am looking forward to selling my books. Since I was a secondary teacher, I know that I have much to learn about elementary students, and I will have to follow my own advice and be my genuine self. However, I also know that I am passionate about helping kids who have to wear glasses, and that GRADY GETS GLASSES sends a positive message. I am willing to work hard and do all the things that also made me a successful teacher for 37 years. I remain inspired!
Elementary teachers in Western Pennsylvania and beyond - I am willing to come into your classroom in person or as a virtual field trip through a group called Field Trip Zoom. Check them out! http://www.fieldtripzoom.com/
Teacher friends- let me know if you want me to read GRADY GETS GLASSES at your school. I am willing to come in to discuss the creative writing process, why writing is important, and personal fulfillment through writing, along with reading my book. I would appreciate the exposure, and I would make signed copies available for purchase in your classrooms following the reading. Please email me at email@example.com The website www.gradygetsglasses.com now has plush Grady bunnies for sale!
Please like Dede's new page Grady Gets Glasses for updates about her children's book. https://www.facebook.com/gradygetsglasses?ref=hl
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