My First Radio Interview!

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I was selected by Alexis Bloomer to be on her show Off the Record on Sirius XM’s Rural Channel 80.  It was my first time doing an official interview and I was really excited/nervous! It turned out great when I listened today! Alexis was great and extremely supportive. I was happy to share Tyler’s memory, our story, and what I am trying to accomplish with my barrel racing. 

We recorded it while at a barrel race this morning so you get to look at the dash of my truck and hear horses whinnying in the background. I think it is fitting. 🙂

On another note, Gigi and I are having a great weekend of barrel racing! She is making a strong comeback and I am so grateful for her!

Enjoy!

PART 1 http://youtu.be/u0dFjEY8srE
PART 2 http://youtu.be/5u8UXCq14uQ

 

Never Give Up,

Chelsey

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International Widows Day

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WIDOW…….What kind of feeling or image does that conjure when you think of this word? Today is International Widows Day, just a little PA, if you hadn’t heard!
Black, grief, death, loneliness, these are all things that often are associated with widows by the world and what we grow up seeing as an image portraying widows. But, as I was forced into this description by the death of my husband, I slowly learned to shake off those stereotypes and join women that have emerged from the depths of loss and grief to become more than they ever thought they could be.
These women have become leaders within the community of widows(ers) and our world. Instead of being enveloped in darkness until their last day, they have become the light in this world, focused on helping others and living life FULLY. Small things are no longer taken for granted, just the feeling of peace or contentment for a brief moment….was such amazing blessing after losing Tyler. Also, receiving support and love from friends, and strangers alike, in my darkest time of need, has opened my scope of vision. I now see how connected we really all are, and can be.
I hope that I am helping to shape the image of widow into something far from our long held stereotypes of women adorned in black left to live quietly alone with their grief for the rest of their life….and into an image of strength and resiliency that shines brightly in spite of the darkness, leading the way towards a better world for everyone.

http://www.facebook.com/chelseystimson

#NeverGiveUp

 

#WidowsRock

Chelsey

Photo borrowed from one of the widows, Christina, who has inspired me to share my story out loud. A big thank you to her.

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“I just looked up today
And realized how far away I am from where You are”.

I realized, once again, that when things start falling apart and I am not being the person I want to be that I have drifted too far from my cornerstone. I need to “fix my eyes” and it is beautiful how everything starts to feel right again. That would be Jesus if you aren’t sure who I am talking about.

My story is not just a story of overcoming adversity and loss, it is also my testimony. Though I was getting closer to God when Tyler passed away, I suddenly felt totally confused and lost. Eventually, I realized God was had been with me the whole time, much like the poem “Footprints in the Sand”. 

I get so disappointed with myself when I find myself living in the secular world and far away from where I want to be. Usually the signs that I am not in the right place are obvious, though sometimes it will be something significant that really opens my eyes. It’s almost like dazing off while driving. 

I wonder how many other people experience this. I wonder too if it something I will continually face throughout life. I suppose so. 

Never Give Up,

Chelsey

 

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Is it Better Now? Throwback Thursday….a Journal Entry from June 8, 2011.

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June 8, 2011 Journal/Blog Entry……Is it Better Now? Almost a year after Tyler passed away, I share where I was on my journey.

LIFEINTHEYEARS

Today I went to have t-shirts made for the memorial skydiving event being put together for my husband. We had them made last year at the same place but a friend took care of it since I was obviously out of commission.

When I showed last year’s t-shirt to the woman she said ” It’s been a year already? I can’t believe it.”

I said “yeah, no kidding.”

“I remember him. He was a good guy (assuming from what she was told by my friend last year).”

I replied, “he was my husband.”

**Sorry’s & etc exchanged**

Then she says “My cousin was just killed in a car accident. He was in the military, deployed multiple times and made it home safe every time. Then he dies in a car accident and left his fiance behind. Well they weren’t engaged with a ring, but they talked about it and he had the ring. On his way to ask her he was killed.” (3 months ago)

Eventually she says the cousin’s fiance is not doing so well and asks me “is it easier now?”

I didn’t know what to say. This woman has talked to me more about my husband and what I think/feel than anyone else around me in the last few months. I am grateful for the interaction, but had to think about my answer. This is not the first time I have been approached on the subject though. A friend’s family member was widowed just recently as well, and I was sought out to talk with her. Which I was very glad to do, but I wonder if I am a magnet for this type of thing now? Anyone else? It makes me think of the cognitive effect (which my Psych professor would be quite disappointed with me since I cannot remember what is called :S) where if you buy a specific car you start seeing it everywhere whereas you never noticed them before.

I said “In some ways yes, it is easier, but it has also become harder in different ways now.”

She seemed satisfied with that answer.

Overall I can say just having the relief from the intense pain, both physically and emotionally from losing my husband probably warrants a simple “yes” to this answer but it is more complicated than that. The pain is now a dull, constant ache that is like the left over from a severe injury that has only healed partially and will never be the same again. It can also illicit searing pain when hit, taking you back to the day it was inflicted because of this….just look at my last post for proof of that.

But, I can also enjoy nature again. After sitting at the beach watching a beautiful sunset the other day, I rode my bike back home with my dog through the neighborhoods toward my house. It was twilight, about 70-75 degrees, quiet except for the random cricket, and smelled like pine trees mixed with freshly mowed grass.

I looked at the lavender sky and breathed in deep. I got choked up. I was happy. I thought at the moment, “I remember this. This is what being happy feels like. I am actually content right now.” It was the first time I had thought that, especially alone. I thought of Tyler and smiled as I pedaled my way home with our dog.

So is it better now? Maybe. In some ways. Some days. Yes?

The Unknown

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I have been thinking about life altering changes, mostly those that are unwanted and unexpected. There are a lot of challenges in life, but there are a few that can truly spin us around and leave us totally disoriented. They also take away our security and sense of our future. When your future becomes a black hole and you lose everything in a moment, what do you do next?

Death, divorce, and cancer…unexpected losses, life threatening challenges or tragedies are some of the life events that will test us to the max and kick us out of our every day comfort zone and rip our known future away. Of course these things happen all the time, we just don’t expect them to happen to us.

It is really bewildering to go from an everyday couple with a routine about to start a fun summer weekend to the 26 year old widow. At least it was for me. I know that other serious life events can have a similar feeling when it comes to where to go or what to do next after these experiences.

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For me, I felt frozen. I wanted to go backwards, definitely not forward. I felt it would take me further away from my comfort zone, my life that I knew, the husband I loved with all my heart, my best friend and the life we had planned out together. Our future. When I looked forward it was just black.

 

It was like when you first enter a unfamiliar dark room from the light and you can’t see anything. You put your hands out in front of you and squint to try to see. But there is nothing. So you try to shuffle backwards out of the darkness…..but then you realize that the door you came through is now a solid wall and there is no turning back.

 

So here’s what I figured out, you better get used to the unknown. Just like in a dark room, your eyes will adjust. Let go of the need to live in routine. Let go of living only in the familiar. You will adapt, but you do have to open your eyes and face it to overcome it.

I now believe that as terrible as these life experiences are, they are also blessings. Perhaps there are some people who get by in life with only experiencing minor loss and challenges, but will they ever really know who they truly are? If you are never pushed and tested, you can never know what you are capable of. A few naturally test their limits, and some, are forced into it by life.

Whatever has happened to you may be the absolute worst, terrifyingly devastating experience that you barely survive, but at the same time, it also can be the best one, that leads you to finally truly live for the first time.

What do I mean by that? You will learn to value every second, be grateful for every small blessing, feeling happy or one carefree minute in the light, once you get back to it. Laughing will become a cherished past time, as well as those that partake in it with you…because you have died while living, you now have the knowledge to know what it is to truly live.

The truth is, your future has always been unknown. You and others just convinced yourself otherwise. That is why these events are such a shock. People die? Marriages end? People are not perfect? I am mortal and not guaranteed a 100 years free of tragedy or suffering? What a revelation, right?

So, embrace the unknown. Then kick it’s ass. Learn to try, learn to take a risk, learn to make mistakes. Avoiding mistakes will lead you to living to only a fraction of your potential. You’ve already been locked into the darkness, open your eyes and step forward. It’s the only way to find the way out.

And as always, NEVER GIVE UP.

 

Chelsey

 

 

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