As a multiple degreed practitioner of Shaolin style Kung Fu, over the years various Eastern philosophies and ideals have crept into our lives. Loosely defined, "Tao" is "The Way". More specifically "Tao is the absolute principle underlying the universe, combining within itself the principles of yin and yang and signifying the way, or code of behavior, that is in harmony with the natural order." Taoism eventually became the primary faith based expression in our home, and because my husband had such a unique take on life that mirrored the Tao-te-Ching, his style became known to all of us as The Tao of Don, or The Way of Don.
It's been exactly a month since our husband's passing, and much has happened both to Jenni and I, as well as the rest of the country in that time. The last 4 weeks have been a true test of my humanity, personal beliefs, sense of family and understanding of love. The first 2 weeks after was a blur of raw and unrelenting agony. Never far from my immediate thoughts, the disbelief that my rock, my anchor in life was uprooted and adrift for evermore, consumed me. I was angry at God, the Tao, the Universe and most of all, myself for not doing more in the years that lead up to this unnecessary loss. I had allowed myself over the last year to get weak, agoraphobic, losing too much weight, and taking on too much physical pain and stress without outlet. The oxymoronic dichotomy for me was that my impervious man, this human exemplification of mental and physical strength had lost the battle that I had counted on him to win. My god of a husband, was dead at age 62, thirty years before his time.
Something happened around the 3 week mark. For the first time, I could look at his pictures without hysteria, the tightness in my chest loosened a bit, I began sleeping through the night. Soon, Jenni's efforts at feeding me started paying off. I regained some weight, I could walk from one end of the house to the other without getting winded. And today, 4 weeks in I can even give a proper spanking! It is still so very painful, especially when I am forced to deal with his death by closing an account, changing my beneficiary at the banks, or dealing with COBRA. When I don't think I can talk to one more person about his passing, I walk away from my desk and phone, pour myself a cup of coffee, and go sit outside on our front patio to watch the world pass by. Just like Don did. Taking pleasure in the simple things, like a sun shower followed by a rainbow, the smell of freshly cut grass, and the feeling of hard earned dirt under my fingernails. The healing has certainly begun.
One of the main reasons why I can be so brutally honest about my journey through grief, is that I now know just how many friends, family and supporters I have to help me process. Since quarantine coincided with the day before his passing, we've not be able to gather together physically for the remembrance celebration he wanted. However, between cards, texts, flowers, food, checks, phone calls, paper products, emails, masks, Zooms, and Go
Fund Me campaign dollars we have heard from literally thousands of you! Your incredible outpouring of assistance and support has allowed us to focus on self care and healing, as opposed to worrying about bills and repairs. With your help, we have raised $10,000 worth of 2019 cancer treatment bills, and $2,000 worth of critical home repairs (how do 2 toilets on opposite sides of the house fail at the same time?!?). While I'm not even working part time now, I'm grateful that Jenni is continuing to pull in a regular paycheck. While I hope to get back to work soon, only the market will determine how much folks are going to want to get a spanking so soon once the social distancing measures are relaxed. So, the need is still great for both Jenni and I. It's not too late to donate in a variety of ways:
1. Go Fund Me Campaign (online transaction, can be anonymous, we receive 97% of the proceeds): https://www.gofundme.com/f/when-three-becomes-two
2. Buy a product from my etsy store (free domestic shipping, new inventory announced soon): https://www.etsy.com/shop/MissChrisTexasToys
3. Send me a check, money order, gift card, note or cash to me at:
Miss Chris, PO Box 33873, Phoenix, AZ 85067
Because I care about y'all just as much as you do me, I would like you to stay safe, stay healthy, stay sane in this challenging time. Taking unnecessary risks might just earn you a spanking. But more likely than not, being on your best behavior and doing right by your fellow human will earn you a much more pleasant one! ;-)