Wednesday, August 31, 2011

It's Just An Illusion Caused By The World Spinning 'Round

     The title of this post was taken from the song Do You Realize by The Flaming Lips.

     Today was an okay day. Not an incredible mind blowing kind of day, but it was okay. Most of my posts seem to be pretty depressing lately, it matches my mood, but I thought I'd write about the fairly relaxing evening we've had. I went to the store after work and picked up what I needed to make Sebastian's favorite meal, ham and potato soup. It's not really soup weather yet, but I figured what the hey. The kids played as I prepared dinner. Mike and I loved preparing meals together, and we usually listened to the same album every time we did, Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots by The Flaming Lips. We loved this album. So, I turned this on and while I teared up a few times I managed not to break down entirely. The kids did their homework without fusing, and we enjoyed dinner together. They played outside for a bit, and now they are heading to bed. I think it's time for some senseless tv. All in all an okay day. 


Lyrics from the song Do You Realize by The Flaming Lips.


Do you realize that you have the most beautiful face?Do you realize we're floating in space?Do you realize that happiness makes you cry?Do you realize that everyone you know someday will die?
And instead of saying all of your goodbyesLet them know you realize that life goes fastIt's hard to make the good things lastYou realize the sun doesn't go downIt's just an illusion caused by the world spinning 'round
Do you realize, ohh?Do you realize that everyone you know someday will die?
And instead of saying all of your goodbyesLet them know you realize that life goes fastIt's hard to make the good things lastYou realize the sun doesn't go downIt's just an illusion caused by the world spinning 'round
Do you realize that you have the most beautiful face?Do you realize?

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Should I Give Up, Or Should I Just Keep Chasing Pavements

    The title of this post was taken from the song Chasing Pavements by Adele

      I don't know how to be a single parent. I don't know how to do this. The learning curve for parenting is steep, but I honestly thought I was doing a pretty good job...until now. All three kids are in soccer, and despite the fact I bought an awesome little day planner, I can't seem to organize all the stuff I have to do. Tyler was supposed to have practice on Tuesday, Sebastian on Wednesday, and Mason and Sebastian on Thursday. I lost the email telling me what times, and so Tyler missed her first practice, because I thought it was supposed to be on Thursday. On Wednesday I came home from work happy, but exhausted. I sat on the couch for two minutes and my eyes started to close. Sebastian says "Mom, you can't sleep I have practice." I forced myself to get up and wash dishes to stay awake. I take him to practice, but I can't stay and watch. I really have to mow the lawn. It had been at least a week and a half since it had been mowed, and it needed done. So, I drop him off, and feel like a horrible parent for leaving him, but what choice do I have? I come back and mow the lawn. I make it back to the field just in time to pick him up. Everyone gets a shower and then goes to bed. I get three hours of sleep. Thursday, up and off to work. I come home and for some reason I've convinced myself that both soccer practices start at six. We get there, and I realize I was totally wrong. Mason's practice started at 5:30. I rush to figure out what field he is supposed to be on, and then I sit to watch him. I miss all of Sebastian's practice, and Tyler plays on the playground unsupervised. Mason falls asleep in the car on the way home. All of the kids get showers, and then we all go to bed. I actually fell asleep by 9, but I was awake by 12:30 am, and stayed awake the rest of the night. Friday, turns out not to be so busy. Work, school, home, and housecleaning gets accomplished. Saturday was just as crazy. Sebastian had a soccer game the next county south of us, and we drove an hour to get there. He had to be there at 9:30. Then we drove 45 minutes to make it to horseback riding. This was Mason's first session, and he had an awesome time.  We grabbed a quick bite to eat, and then drove an hour back home. Today I took the kids to church, and then we drove up to see my father-in-law. He reminded me that the tires on my car are almost bald, and I really needed to have new ones put on. I'm simply trying to figure out how to fit that into my schedule. We had a really good time, and then stopped by the cemetery. Mason ran through the nearby field and picked flowers for Mike. As he ran to his grave he looks at me and yells "Mom, do you think daddy will like these?" What five year old should be picking flowers for their dad's grave. 
     I'm not whining about my kids or how busy they keep me.  I'm not whining about responsibility.  I'm not whining because I want pity or help. I'm too busy being angry with myself for not being able to do it all. I'm not asking for anything...except maybe my old life back. I want my old life back.

Friday, August 26, 2011

There's Just Too Much That Time Cannot Erase

The title of this post was taken from the son My Immortal by Evanescence.

Tact, we all do it. When using applied verbal behavior techniques, tact means to label something. I think of it as putting a thumbtack in something. We give an object a name and tact that name to it. Everything around us has a label of some sort.
     We not only label objects, but we also label other people and ourselves. See, until four months ago I would have used the following words to define who I was. 
Wife
Mother
Daughter
Sister
Aunt
Friend
Teacher
Student
Married
Kind
Caring
Impulsive
Insecure
Shy
Quiet
Mrs.
Optimistic
It's funny how one event in your life can change so many things. See, I knew who I was before. I was comfortable with who I was. Mike's passing changed my labels, it changed how I define who I am, or who I was. According to the government I'm no longer married, and am considered single. What? I haven't been single since high school. I can no longer label myself as a wife, and if I can't use that term to define myself, then how does it make sense to call Mike my husband. Doesn't husband infer that he is still alive? Everything seems so blurred. I don't know who I am or where I stand. Not only has it changed how I see myself, but it's changed every relationship in my life. I seem to define or put everything into one of two categories, Before Mike Passed and After Mike Passed. I find myself avoiding things from the first category, because it reminds me too much of what I've lost. I've changed where I have the oil changed in our my cars. I want to switch banks, and I've switched dentists. It makes absolutely no sense, and yet I do it. There are things that I can't seem to change.  The labels in my life  don't seem to apply anymore, and that leaves me feeling lost and alone. 
     The first day back to work I walked to my room and realized the name plate on my door said Mrs. Dawson. I guess technically I'm not a Mrs. anymore either. Shouldn't it be Ms. Dawson? It didn't hit me until that moment, and I guess maybe I should have had it changed, but who thinks about these things. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Maybe You're Not Seeing The Side Of Me You Should

The title of this post was taken from the song Maybe by Sick Puppies.

Today was our first day of school. So many things have changed over the last year, and because Mike can't be here I decided that each of the kids would wear something that would help keep their dad close on their first day of school.
Mason wore a Star Wars shirt.
Tyler wore a heart necklace, because she was such a daddy's girl, and she held his heart in her hands.


Sebastian wore an orange shirt, because orange was Mike's favorite color, and he wore a necklace that looks like a key. He held the key to his dads heart.






 Overall they had a really good day, and I'm grateful.
     Mason and I did have an interesting experience early this morning. I've really debated about whether to share it or not. I think I will, but it's rather personal so...if you comment please be kind, and don't think we're crazy.
     I slept on the couch again last night, and around 1:00 Mason woke me up and said he wanted to be with me. I put him on the other couch and tucked him in. I woke up a little before four, and was debating whether to get up or read a book, when Mason woke up. Here is the conversation that followed.
Mason: Mom, what's that?
Me: What?
Mason: That right there. (He was pointing to the coffee table)
Me: What? On the table?
Mason: No, right there above the table. (He stands up and focuses his eyes on something.)
Me: (I quickly sit up, but I don't see anything.) Mason, what do you see?
Mason: See it mom? (He reaches out his hand, and pulls it away.) It tickles. (He giggles)
Me: (I'm starting to freak out a little. I don't see anything.) What do you see? Is it a light?
Mason: No, It's invisible. (He's just standing there looking above the table.)
Me: Invisible? You mean you can see through it?
Mason: Yea. (He comes over and sits on the edge of the couch with me.)
Me: Do you still see it?
Mason: It moved. There's one right there Mom. (He points to the corner of the rug.)
Me: Where hun?
Mason: (He gets up and walks to the other side of the table.) It's right here now. (He reaches out his hand again.)
Me: Sweetie, I don't see anything.
Mason: It won't let me touch it. (He turns slightly and his eyes move to the ceiling) Oh, it's leaving.
Me: Where did it go?
Mason: It just left. (He comes over and sits on the couch with me again.)
Me: What did it look like?
Mason: It was invisible.
Me: Were you scared?
Mason: No
Me: Is this the first time you've seen something like this?
Mason: Yea
Me: And you weren't scared? 
Mason: No, it reminded me of when Daddy was here.
Me: Was it like a light?
Mason: No, it was just invisible.
Me: Did it look like a person?
Mason: No. (He draws a vague shape with his finger in the air.)
Me: Was it big?
Mason: Yea, it reached the ceiling.
Me: But it didn't look like a person?
Mason: No
Me: And you weren't scared?
Mason: NO! It just reminded me of Daddy.
Me: And this was the only time you have seen this invisible thing?
Mason: Yea (He picks up the remote and turns on Phineas and Ferb.)
Me: What do you think you saw?
Mason: MOM! Just stop asking me about it.
Me: I just want to understand what you saw?
Mason: It just reminded me of Dad! Can I just watch TV now?


A few minutes later

Mason: Mom, if I died in my sleep there would be only three people in our house.
Me: You are right, but I don't want anything to happen to you.
Mason: If I died how would I eat?
Me: I don't think you will need food in Heaven.
Mason: But, I'll be with Dad right?
Me: Yes, you would be with dad, but it would make mommy very sad.
Mason: I don't want to make you sad, because then you would cry.
Me: I would.
Mason: Why are you crying now?
Me: It makes me sad to even think about you not being here, and I miss your dad.
Mason: Me too.
     His explanation of what he saw never changed. I questioned him again before school, and then after and he gave me the same answers. Was he seeing Mike's spirit? While it seemed comforting to him, it really freaked me out. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

How Do You Feel? That Is The Question, But I Forget You Don't Expect An Easy Answer

The title of this post was taken from the song Through The Glass by Stone Sour.    

     I try really hard, I really do, but it never fails. I look like a total idiot. Unexpected questions, about my husband, cause my face to turn red, tears to fall, and my voice to crack. I've posted about it before. I hate it most when I know it's going to be a difficult situation, but I've prepared myself for it. I've talked myself through it, and I feel confident that I can handle it. How many times will I be wrong? I build this false hope that this time I can do it, but my grief rears it's ugly head, and then I'm just one big mess.
     The kids had dental appointments recently. I love their dentist. They have been going to him forever, and they love going. I knew this appointment was coming, I've been preparing for weeks. Some people train for marathons, I train my responses to potential questions. At each appointment they have us fill out a sheet with basic questions about medical information and such. I knew that I would see Mike's signature from previous visits. I mentally prepared myself for this. I went over it again and again in my head. I thought I could handle it. I also knew I would have to hand over new insurance cards, but I felt okay with that and didn't think it would lead to any unwanted discussions. 
     We walk in the office, and the receptionist hands me the three sheets, one for each child. I begin filling them out. My lip trembles as I realize that he had filled this form out exactly one year ago to the day. I tell myself to pull it together. I had visualized this moment over and over again to avoid losing it. First form filled out and I hand her my insurance card. She starts putting the information into the computer. She asks where I work. I hadn't anticipated this question, but it's easy enough. Halfway through the second sheet, "So, you no longer have insurance through Westvaco?" My pen hovers above the paper, my hand begins to shake. "No ma'am." Crap! Melanie, you can do this. I repeat those words over and over again as I finish the second form and start on the third. "Is he no longer working at Westvaco?" she asks. My breath catches in my throat, and I can no longer see the form through the blur of tears in my eyes. I can't even look up and meet her eyes as I quietly choke out, "No, he passed away in April." I no longer know what I'm writing or if I'm on the correct line. She apologizes several times, and I can tell I've made her uncomfortable. Now I'm sniffling, because I don't have any tissues. Where are my flipping tissues? Why are they not in my purse? I'm a blubbering mess. I turn around to see several woman looking at me. They must have overheard my conversation, because they are hugging their children as if my grief is contagious. I run to the bathroom and look at myself in the mirror. My makeup is smeared and my eyes are red. How can a few questions reduce me to this? I slam my hand down on the counter. What is wrong with me?! I had practiced for this dang it! I had visualized that moment over and over and I was ready for it. Why did she have to ask me stupid questions I wasn't prepared for? Why do I have to go through this at all? It's not the receptionists fault. She couldn't have known. I'm mad at myself. 
     

Sunday, August 21, 2011

His Friends Call Him Carl

The title of this post was taken from the song IKEA by JoCo.   

     It's been four months, and I feel like I should probably tell you all about Carl. Carl has really been there for me. He has supported me when I just couldn't stand anymore. He has caught my tears while I rested. Carl is there whenever I need him. I hope to have him in my life for a long time to come. By the way...Carl is a chair. Not sure where your head went with that, but clearly I was talking about furniture.
     I've always loved Carl, he is my absolute favorite chair ever. He lives at Mandaly's house. Mandaly is thinking about getting new furniture so I may inherit Carl soon. I am beyond excited. Seriously, I think I lived on Carl the first week or so after Mike passed. I don't remember much about that week or the one after, but I do remember pulling my feet up under me, and resting my head on the arm of Carl. Sometimes people would sit near me and try to make conversation, but mostly I just remember sitting on Carl. 


You Know I Can't Let You Slide Through My Hands

  The title of this post was taken from the song Wild Horses by The Rolling Stones  
      I've struggled with whether or not to have the kids see a counselor or therapist. We live in an area where there really are not a lot of options when it comes to this kind of stuff. I've called friends, who work in this field, and asked for therapist recommendations, but really I haven't found anyone that I feel would be great for my kids. So, here we are four months since they lost their dad, and I'm feeling totally stressed out about this. Then Mandaly calls me one day. Mikayla is going to do therapeutic horseback riding and she thinks it may be something I should check into for my kids. She makes an appointment for Sebastian and Tyler to try a session, and then find out if it was something that Mason would be able to participate in. Here is a description of what Hoof Beats provides.
     Therapeutic Riding - Therapeutic horseback riding is a unique discipline that brings together people with disabilities, horses, riding instructors, teachers, therapists, physicians, and volunteers – all with one goal – to enhance the quality of life of the participants. The particular goals and the approaches used to achieve these goals will differ according to the client's specific disability, injury, or illness. Physical, mental, social, educational, and behavioral objectives may be incorporated into lesson plans.
     My kids went for their first session yesterday, and it was absolutely amazing. They were able to watch Mikayla first. Watching her sitting on that horse, made me cry. Then it was Sebastian and Tyler's turn. Tyler is working with an arabian horse named Halan, and Sebastian is on a bigger horse and his name is Henry. They both carried the saddles and needed equipment to the stalls. Their instructors then went over some basics with them, and showed them how to brush their horse, pick out their hooves, put on the bridle, and all the other things. They led their horse out to the ring, and then they were able to get on. Their instructors were simply amazing. They each seemed to know exactly what each child needed and even their personalities matched the kids. The learning began. Both kids smiled ear to ear the entire time, and all I heard the rest of the afternoon was how much they couldn't wait to go back.
     I worry about my kids. They have been through so much, and their world has been turned upside down. They each struggle in their own way, but Mason shows it a little more than the others. He screams and cries at night for his dad. He talks about wanting to die so he can see daddy in heaven. It breaks my heart, and all it can do is hold him and cry while he kicks and screams that he wants his daddy. One of the instructors watched Mason for a minute or two, and said she thought this would be a good program for him. She said it would help calm his central nervous system. Her vast knowledge on how to work with my kids was beyond what I could have expected. She knows of their loss, and she has a game plan for how to work with each one of them. I feel like this is the answer I've been looking for.
     For some reason my pictures would not upload, but you can click
here and see the album that I posted on FB. I am grateful for programs like this. 

Thursday, August 18, 2011

When Did I Lose My Sense Of Purpose? Can I Regain What's Lost Inside?

The title of this post was taken from the song No Roads Left by Linkin Park     
     I had a meeting at another school today. As I walked out of the building it started to rain. I stopped and watched as the droplets hit the concrete. The rain splattered as it fell. A drop here, then another, now four, eight and twelve, I can't keep track. The walkway slowly turns a darker shade as the drops run together to make a uniform color. The concrete can only hold so much. Concrete is porous, and it absorbs some of the water, but then the water starts to puddle. The puddle starts small, but as it rains a little more it grows. Lately I feel like the concrete, hard/angry and full of holes. I feel empty and porous even though on the outside it may look like I'm strong. The rain drops seem to be all the things I need to do, each drop is something else on my to do list. I absorb the first few, and am able to handle it, but as more and more tasks rain down on me they simply pile up, leaving me to feel like I'm drowning in a puddle.

Nothing I write today seems to make any sense or sound right. However, I did read a blog post by Tim Claremont, and it seemed to sum up how I've been feeling lately. So, I hope he doesn't mind if I quote it here. Really, I am in no way trying to claim this as my own. You should check out his blog by clicking on his name.


"You and your spouse are cruising down the highway. Looking at the sights of life. For some of us it is a short trip, and for others it is a lengthy ride. For some it is a bumpy road, and for others it is smooth. For some it is full of curves at a leisurely pace and for others it is fast and furious.


At some point, right there in the middle of the road, your car comes to a complete stop. Traffic keeps whizzing by, but your car is suddenly, indescribably motionless in an instant… and your co-pilot is gone.

Cars go whizzing by. Some other drivers wave. Some give you the finger as you hold up traffic. And only very, very rarely does someone stop to help you out. Unfortunately those people speak a foreign language.

As if in an episode from the twilight zone, your car starts moving backward. Other drivers get really frustrated with you. Some want you to get off the road as soon as possible. You are helplessly moving against the flow of traffic. Your car is in reverse, and you are completely alone. You are surrounded by people. Some of them you have known forever. You see them. They see you. But you remain isolated somehow.

Eventually, you move backward past an exit ramp, and your car comes to a stop. You sit there with your four way flashers on. You are on the shoulder of the road, so people are not so frustrated with you. They can pass by unencumbered. You get the occasional wave, but no more middle fingers. You are calm now and feel out of danger.

Then, it occurs to you. That exit you passed is now in front of you. You can put your car in gear, and take the exit, or you can put it in reverse and go against the flow of traffic again. Or… you can sit on the shoulder of the road.

No, that exit was not part of your original plan. It was not your planned destination. But you won’t know where it takes you unless you put the car in gear and take a chance.

Remember. You are the driver now."

What a great post. I feel like I'm going backwards through the traffic. Nothing makes sense and I don't know where to stop or how to get back on track. I don't sleep, and if my mind would let me I would collapse in a heap. I'm tired of complaining, and doing all this alone. I'm just so tired.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Money, It's A Hit

Title of this post was taken from the song Money by Pink Floyd.
     I've complained a lot about paperwork, and someone recently asked if I could possibly have that much stuff to take care of. Yes, yes I do. Unless you've lost a spouse or had to handle someones estate, then you just don't get how much is involved. Phone calls, copies of documents, mailing out said documents, closing accounts, changing names on accounts, and on and on. Here are two recent experiences.  I went to the medical examiners office to pick up a second copy of the autopsy report. I needed an extra one for insurance purposes. Let's leave it at that. It's much to raw right now and I really don't want to talk about the report itself. Here is how the conversation between the receptionist and myself went. Anything in red is what I was THINKING at the time, and what I actually said is in black.

Me - I'm here to pick up a copy of my husbands autopsy.
Them - What's his name.
Me - Joseph Dawson.
Them - Well our records show we already gave you a copy.
Me - I know I didn't realize I would need several copies.
Them - Well do you want another copy then.
Me - Nope,  I just thought your office was kind of cool, and I thought I'd come in to say hello. Thought maybe we could go out and get lunch. I could go for a turkey sandwich. Yes.
Them - Well I'm going to have to charge you for the extra copies.
Me - Fine
Them - How many copies do you want.
Me - Why don't you give me two that way I have them if I need them.
Them - That will be fifty dollars. We charge twenty five dollars per copy.
Me - Awesome that you guys are capitalizing on my grief. I totally appreciate it. In fact I wish now I did have a turkey sandwich. I would totally throw it at you! Fine.
Them - Okay just make the check out to _____________________.
Me - I have cash.
Them - We don't take cash.
Me - What?
Them - We don't take cash only checks.
Me - Do you get that I drove an hour and twenty minutes to pick this up? All I have is cash. I don't carry my checkbook on me.
Them - Sorry, you'll just have to come back.
Me -Yea, I'll come back with my turkey sandwich.
Them - Pardon me I didn't catch that.
Me - Never mind
*When I did go back to pick up the copies the lady apologized over and over again. I get it's not her fault they have a stupid policy. 

     Another example. I lost my water bill and had to run to City Hall to pay it. They said I had to go upstairs and have a new bill printed and then go back downstairs to pay it. Fine. I run upstairs and thought that while I was at it I would have them take Mike's name off the account so that it would be addressed to me. The lady was really nice, and I explained that he had passed away in April and that I needed the bill to be in my name. She made a change, printed the bill and off I went to pay it. I didn't notice until I got downstairs that she had changed the name on the account to Mrs. Michael Dawson. Good times, good times. 
    On another note today was my first day back to work. Everyone that works for the county came together for meetings. I listened to NIN the whole way there, thinking it would help. I sat in the parking lot with my fingers tightly wrapped around the steering wheel, almost like it was my life raft. The music pounded so loud my ears were ringing. I willed myself to keep it together. I closed my eyes, and thought about where I was this exact time last year, and how drastically things had changed. I squeeze my eyes closed tighter, forcing myself not to cry. Why am I so emotional? In that building are people who have shown me amazing love and support. Without them I would not have made it through last school year. I find comfort in their presence. They truly are amazing educators. Part of it comes form the fact I'm so shy anyway, and large groups of people make me nervous. Mostly though I think this is because this is another first. In my adult life I've never had a first day of school without Mike, not in college or in my teaching career, and yet here I am without someone to tell my tale to. I slowly turn down the music, and open my eyes. The sun is shining and people are laughing as they walk by. I turn off the car, gather my things and join the masses. As I walk in I worry about how this school year will go. How am I going to handle everything that comes with work and with my kids? I remind myself that life is not fair, and what's fair is not equal. Fair means making sure everyone's needs are being met, and those needs are not always met in equal ways or amounts. I need to figure out how to meet everyone's needs including my own.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Since This Time Is The Last Time Can I Hold You All Night Long?

The title of this post was taken from the song Die With Me by Type O Negative. This post was written on Saturday, but I wasn't up for posting it until now.


     It's quite. I hear Mel, our guinea pig, walking around her cage. I hear the whrrrr of the fan in my room. I hear the traffic from our street, and the dogs that bark as the cars pass. I hear the tap tap tap as my fingers fly across the keyboard. I don't hear the kids. I just kissed their little heads and sent them with Mike's mom, Barbara, for the day. They are headed to the zoo. Even though they are not here the sound of their laughter, as they walked out the door, remains thick in the air. It's the sounds that I haven't heard for four months that kill me. Mike's last words to me were I love you, and his snoring was the last sound I heard him make as I left for work that Thursday morning.  What would I give to hear him tell me he loved me just one more time? I miss telling him he was a liar when he said I was beautiful. I miss hearing him wake up and walk around upstairs as he got ready for the day. He was usually quiet. He kind of walked on his toes, and he liked to avoid the parts of the floor that he knew would squeak if he stepped on them. Until a month ago I had kept up with what would have been his work schedule. I've lost track, and if he were here I'm not sure what shift he would be on anymore. Would he have been at work right now, or sleeping before a night of 11-7, or waking up and working around the house before a shift of 3-11? As Barbara left today she said, "I just want to see you happy again." I do have those moments. I find myself able to laugh at little things, and smile at something funny. I'm not always depressed and sad, but those days still outweigh my smiley moments.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Cause We Were Both Young When I First Saw You

The title of this post was taken from the song Love Story by Taylor Swift.

Your anniversary with Mike Dawson is on August 9.
     Thank you FB I wish I could leave him a message he would get. This would have been our 14th wedding anniversary, and our 15th year together. We were together almost half of my life. This may be my last post for a week or so. Not only is our anniversary on the 9th, but I'll be four months out on the 14th. Four months since he passed, and I really just need to be alone with my thoughts.
     For this post I thought about sharing how we met, or telling some witty story, but really there just isn't anything to say. Instead I made a video. Here is a glimpse into who Mike and Mel were. Some of it may not make sense, from his art to the picture of his old van, it's who we were. I'll respond to any comments at some point after the 14th.




Thursday, August 4, 2011

I Have A Family Here On Earth. They Are So Good To Me

The title of this post was taken from the song Families Can Be Together Forever which is an LDS Hymn.

Dad? 
Yes sweetie. 
I can't get the screen in by myself. Can you come help me? 
Sure thing. I'll be there in a minute. 
Dad? 
Yes?
I love you. 
I love you too.

Job complete.

Dad, there are some exposed wires running from the AC to the house. Is it okay if I just wrap duct tape around them? 
Let me check and see if I have electrical tape in the car.

He knelt down in the grass and picked up the wires. I watched as his nimble fingers wrapped the tape around them. His arms are tan from working hours upon hours out in the hot sun. He doesn't just do work around his house though. He is the man to call if you need advice or help. Just the other day I called him and...

Dad? What are you doing today? 
Just helping Bruce move some stuff, and then I need to go mow a lawn for someone. What can I do for you.
Just want you to know how much I love you. 
I love you too.

He wraps the wires once, and then re-wraps them. A moment from another time drifts into my thoughts like the light breeze that is blowing.

Melanie? 
Yes daddy?
Always remember a job worth doing is worth doing right. 
I know dad. You taught me well.

I look at his salt and pepper colored hair and I'm filled with love, but not just my love for him. At that moment I get a small glimpse of how much my dad must love me. He tapes the, now covered, wires to the other hose. 

Melanie?
Yes dad.
What are you going to do with that air conditioner you aren't using.
I don't know dad.
Well, I know someone who could use it if you don't want it.
Sure dad, you can take it.
Thanks I'm sure they will appreciate it.
Dad, you always think of everyone else. I love you.
I love you too.

Sometimes I forget that not everyone grew up with a family as loving and amazing as mine. My dad knows everything, and would do anything for anyone. My mom must be his perfect match then, because she is the same way. They both are constantly serving others. It doesn't matter who you are or what life has brought your way, they are the least judgmental people I've ever met. We grew up understanding what work meant. We were taught to have a great work ethic, and we were taught responsibility at a very young age. As early as eight years old my dad would let me write the check for my school lunch and he would sign it. How many times did I sit with him while he showed me how to balance a checkbook. My mom taught us other life skills. We knew how to clean and fold laundry. We knew the importance of helping those in need. We never lacked for anything in our home, but what do you really need when there is so much love. I knew that no matter what sticky situation I found myself in, I could call my parents and they would be there for me. 

Dad? I wrecked the car. Dad what am I going to do? I'm so sorry. 
Melanie are you okay? 
Yes, but dad the car. 
Sweetie, they make new cars everyday, but there is only one of you. 
Dad, I love you. 
I love you too.

How many hours upon hours did I spend with my mom visiting people in nursing homes. As a child we would volunteer while mom worked. We would come to work with her, spend the day  visiting everyone, and helping out where needed. Even after she stopped working she would still visit those wonderful people. 

Mom? Where are you going? 
To the nursing home. Some of them have no family that are able to visit, and I feel so sorry for them. 
Mom, I love you. 
I love you too. 

 Mom is always sneaking into my house to clean or wash clothes. So many times she has come by to drop off dinner when she knows I've had a busy week.

Mom, you really didn't have to do all this. 
I know, but I was fixing dinner for another family too, and I wanted to share with you. 
I love you mom. 
I love you too.

How, did I get so lucky? How did WE get so lucky. Not only do I have amazing parents, but I have two incredible brothers, and an inspiring sister. I have truly been blessed. I don't know what I would do without my family. 

Dad, I want to go back to college.
You can never go wrong with education.
I know. Thanks dad.
You've already forgotten more than I will ever know.
Not possible dad.
I love you.
Love you too.

Mom? What are you doing today.
I've got some stuff to do, but what do you need.
It's okay then.
No really what do you need.
Well, I have some things I need to take care of and well...the kids don't want to go.
Bring them by, we will have fun.
But, you are busy.
Never too busy for you.
Love you mom.
Love you too.

Dad, I don't know how I'm going to get through this. I miss him so much.
Sweetie I know. It's going to be hard. We are here for you.
I know. I love you dad. 
I love you too.

Mom, why are you crying?
I miss Mike. I think about him all the time.
I know mom, me too.
I had a dream about him last night.
Oh, mom. 
I love you.
I love you too.

I love you all to infinity and beyond.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

If You Don't Expect Too Much From Me, Then You Might Not Be Let Down

Title of this post was taken from the song Hey Jealousy by Gin Blossoms.

Goals. I make them and then I don't ever seem to accomplish them. However, I have so much stuff that needs to be done that I'm going to dedicate this post to all that crap. Maybe if I post it here then I will hold myself a little more accountable....*cough cough yea right*.

Main Goal  

1) Complete all other goals
2) Be totally moved into our new house by June 1, 2012. 
* That's about 43 weeks from now.

Goals Needed to Reach Main Goal

1) Paint the L room. We call it the L room, because ummm...it's shaped like an L.
2) Remove cabinet, shelves, sink and toilet from upstairs bathroom.
3) Scrap off tile from bathroom floor.
4) Fix holes and paint bathroom.
5) Put down new floor in bathroom.
6) Install new mirror, sink, and toilet.
7) Fill, and sand all the holes and seams in the upstairs bedroom and on the stairwell.
8) Paint bedroom and stairwell.
9) Paint Sebastian's room.
10) Paint the living and dining room.
11) Change the locks on the doors.
12) Install screen in Tyler's window.
13) Power wash the house.
14) Replace the window to the cellar.
15) Replace the door to the cellar.
16) Clean out the rest of the shed.
17) Clean out the garage and clean the walls.
18) Clean up the mulch from the failed flowerbed and put down grass seed.
19) Fix the drawer in the kitchen.
20) Paint Tyler's room ?

Okay, so for right now that is a pretty comprehensive list, and yes some of those things I broke down into smaller goals, because I felt that way they were manageable. Good times, good times. I can so do this. I'm sure my dad will get tired of my questions on how to do things, and some of it he is already planning on helping me with, but it will get done. I'll also have to add to this as we start the process of getting the land ready, and actually buying the house. I want a modular, and I hope to have a rough draft of what the house will look like by December. Anyway, I'll add to this list as those things come about. See the plan is that my brother, Matthew, and his wife Trena will rent this house. That way the house still belongs to us, but it helps me out, and they get to move from where they are to over here. Speaking of my awesome brother and his family, I am an aunt again! Ms. Emma was born on July 22. I wonder if her spirit was with Mike before she was born? Here are a few pics. Love you precious.




Tuesday, August 2, 2011

I Don’t Know If I’ll Make It But Watch How Good I’ll Fake It

Title of this post was taken from the song Tonight Tonight by Hot Chelle Rae. I must add that I really only like this one line from this song, and the rest of it in no way relates to this post.    

     I have two favorite seasons, fall and winter. In the fall I love how the changing colors of the leaves make the world around me look like I'm living in a rainbow.  I like sitting on my front porch on a cool crisp morning and watching the sunrise. Of course fall also means that school is back in session. I go back to work August 15 and the kids go back to school August 24. I always look forward to getting back into a routine, and seeing my students again. The kids aren't ready for all of this, but it will work out. Sebastian is worried about middle school, Tyler will be in fourth grade, and Mason will be in Kindergarten. Fall also brings soccer season. I love soccer. Until this year only Sebastian played, but this year all three of them decided to sign up. This will make things a little crazier for me, but we will handle it. I love watching the practices and the early morning Saturday games. I love when it's cold enough to wear a hoodie, bundle up in my chair while sipping hot chocolate, and cheer on my loves. Sebastian actually has his first practice this week and the other two will start later. Like everything else it will be bitter sweet this year. Mike loved kicking the soccer ball around with Sebastian and he absolutely loved taking him to practices. I worry about what I'll miss out on, because I can't be on three fields at once. I'm just going to keep telling myself it will work out.
     I also love winter. Mike would make fun of me for this because I hate being cold. Once I get cold it takes awhile for me to thaw out. He would joke and tell me I was cold hearted and had ice running through my veins, sometimes I feel like it. Even though I hate being cold, I love what winter brings. It brings the holidays which means more family time. It brings days so cold that we stay inside and enjoy each others company. We turn off the video games and play board games. I absolutely love snow. Every year I hope for 12 feet of it. It makes me smile just to think about it, and yes I understand that snow means someone has to shovel it. I like to shovel snow so that's not a big deal. I just love winter.
     I know that it won't be easy. All the firsts are hard. I anticipate many tears on the soccer field as I feel sorry for myself and get angry over having to do this alone. I know that I will have the support of my family, but it's not the same as having Mike here. In all of this I also have some plans for myself. I'm trying to eat healthier and live a healthier lifestyle. This has become very important for me, because if something ever happened to me what would happen to my kids. I still have a lot of projects to finish around the house so that we will be ready to move in the spring. I take pride in the small things I'm learning to do. I took the screen out of Tyler's window and took it to be fixed last week. Big deal right, but it was a big deal to me. I'm learning to use different tools and to fix things around the house. While I would gladly give all of that back to have Mike here, it makes me feel better knowing I can do these things. I am learning. Mike would be proud of his not so handy wife, and knowing that keeps me going.