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Sign here, here, and here.


Last week, I closed on the refinancing of my home.  (Feel free to applaud.  Finances are not my forte.)

I remembered nine years prior, when Robb and I sat at a similar table, signing our lives away.

We were brand new transplants to Colorado, we had made about $250 on the sale of our first home in Ohio, and we were so excited to get the keys to the home we loved.

We got our keys that day, and we went straight to this empty home of ours, to walk through the echoing rooms and imagine the life we would bring to it.

The rooms we would paint and decorate again and again.
The home where we would bring our baby home.  And then another baby.  The flower bed for the petunias.
The sprawling deck for evening dinner parties.  We imagined great things.

As we left, I said, “Should we lock this door to the garage?  Because I think they like to keep it locked.”

With a smile, Robb said, “Hey, babe?  It’s our house now.  We get to decide.”

Oh, right.  It’s our house now.  Man, I loved that day.

At that closing appointment, they ask you to sign four thousand pages, promise your firstborn child if you cannot follow through in paying back the loan, and promise to be faithful in all things homeowning, including live in the house and bring in your trash cans.

Deal.  It was really very simple, until the very end.

The last four pages were our last four tax returns.  We always e-filed, so there was no signature on the electronic forms.

“Ma’am, could you sign here and here and here?”

I was called upon to sign where Robb’s name belonged, next to his printed job title.

Underneath my signature, I read the printed words: Surviving Spouse.

I barely made it out of the office.  I cried in the parking lot, gasping for air.

These are the blows that bring me to my knees.  In every sense of the phrase.

Tricia Lott Williford

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  1. I’m very happy that the refinancing process is finished. I’m very sad over the way it crushed your heart at the end. Many hugs and prayers, Tricia.

  2. Lately I have been grappling with the idea of embracing pain rather than numbing it with obsession. (For me, it’s either food or writing. Been reading this book here which Anne Lamott plugged.) John Lennon said “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” I don’t want to be holding onto a future or numbing myself from the past and miss out on the present, on my life, even if that life involves pain and the promise of pain. Because my life is beautiful simply because I am living it. That is a gift from God.

    And you are an example of this, for me. I hope that isn’t insensitive for me to say. I see that you have been given much pain, but having embraced it your life has incredible meaning still, and that is a beautiful thing.

    (PS. Could you delete that last comment? I was logged in under the wrong name.)

    • Thank you for such kind, gracious words, Jaimie. I don’t feel any measure of insensitivity in such a compliment, but rather a realization of truth. Very soon after Robb died, I thought, “I’ve got to pay attention. I’m on a horrifying path, but there are things I can learn here that I can’t learn anywhere else.” You are right, my friend. 90% of life is showing up, even when it’s pure shit.

  3. Prayers for you, dear. It is the little things in life…always the little things that mean the most, and hurt the most. Tears are all painful, but also cleansing. Every time you cry you wash away a little more of the old you and allow the new Tricia to shine forth. In Him all things are made new…

  4. Surviving. Woman, you are surviving. And sometimes that’s all you can hope for. I hug you tearfully and send you love and mojo.

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