Sunday, October 30, 2011

Holding On And Holding It In

The title of this song was taken from the song Building a Mystery by Sarah McLachlan.

Me answering the phone in a half way cheerful voice.


This is _________ from __________credit card services. Is Mr. Joseph Dawson available?

Static on the line


More Static

Ma'am, are you there?

I'm sorry what did you say?

This is ________ from _______credit card services. Is Mr. Joseph Dawson available? 

No, he's not....he's at the cemetery.

Do you know when a good time would be to call him back?

Can I ask what this is in regard to. I'm his wife.

We've noticed that in the last six months there hasn't been any activity on the account and we wanted to make sure everything was okay. Is there another time I could reach him.

Do your phones make long distance calls?


I'm assuming that your phones allow you to make long distance phone calls.

Yes, ma'am they do. Is there another number I should try him at?

I do have another number, are you ready?

Yes, I'll just enter it into our system.

Okay, here is it 1-800-Heaven.

Pardon me?

It's 1-800-Heaven.

I don't understand.

See. Somewhere in your corporate office, in a filing cabinet, there is a file with the name Joseph Michael Dawson. In that file there is a death certificate for him. He passed away on April 14th. I'm just taking a guess here, but I would assume that this would be why he hasn't used your credit card. If there is a problem with it, then I suggest you pray to God and take the matter up with him.

Dead Silence on the line


Complete Silence


I'm sorry for you loss. We won't contact you anymore.

Music to my ears.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

And I'm On My Knees Looking For The Answer

The title of this post was taken from the song Human by The Killers.     

The following is something my cousin Jule' wrote for me when I was a teenager. I found it the other day, and it brought back a lot of memories. I wanted to share.

"She sits complacent in a thinly lit silver circle, surround her with
 light and shower her with inked out rain drops. Blackness, she is dark 
yet glowing, and I see her turned towards that wind blowing through her hair,
 chilling her lightly tracing lines, and sweet circles around her body. 
She is new, new yet she knows or does she. Why does she look at you 
like that. You can't get in so don't try, it is a gift, her gift and she'll tell you if she 
deems you worthy of a trip through her marble castle. Smile now, it's okay
 to pretend. It's okay to love her, she wants you to, but you'll never hear 
the words. Her lips seem silken to you. Why can't you touch her? Her 
eyelashes, her face, you are drawn in and sliced. Turn away before
 the crystals burn you, turn away or she'll stab you. She'll carve you up like
 she does her shadow. Go away now, she's not ready for your apathy. 
She's not ready to deal with you, because you are not pure. Spin here for a moment, disorientation beats memories, let the colors merge let the light ebb and 
flow like an encompassing night tide. Let it swallow you, no need to
 breathe now. Her blank stare suffocates you all the more. Let her go
 and maybe one day when you have your wings back she'll notice
 you. Now you can crawl because she sees you and she knows. 
She knows what you have made, she may not understand why, 
but she knows and she does love you."

Friday, October 21, 2011

I Need To Break Out And Make A New Name

    The title of this post was taken from the song Brand New Day by Ryan Star.

     I can't seem to sit long enough to write out a post. Part of it is my attention span. My mind goes twelve places at once, and then I just lose track of what I'm doing. Anyway, last Saturday, I took the kids to Washington DC to see DC United play soccer against Chicago Fire. My dad went with us, and we had such a good time. Two years ago, Mike and I took Sebastian, and this time I felt it was okay for all three kids to go. DC lost and it all really happened in the last 10 minutes of the game, but it was amazing to spend that time with my dad and the kids. 

It's been a good week for me. Sebastian had a doctor's appointment, not going into details, but it went well, and they estimated that he'd be 6'3''. Yikes! I have such wonderful kids. They really are amazing. Mason, we call him moose goose, don't ask. Anyway, he's in Kindergarten this year. He has a personality all of his own. I'm so lucky to teach in the same school they are in, and I saw him at lunch the other day. He had a hole in his shirt. I knew I hadn't sent him to school that way, because I had ironed his shirt that morning. I asked him about it, and he just said "I wanted to see if my scissors would cut it." Awesome, thanks bud. Then I look at his pants and he has milk splattered all over them. They said he was blowing bubbles in his milk and got a little to carried away. He has such an amazing personality. Tyler is growing up so fast, and she has inherited her dad's artistic nature. She is always drawing, or asking for art supplies. She makes stuff for him, and wants to put it on his grave. I heart that child. Sebastian, while he is starting to give me that preteen attitude, he is so sweet and they other night did the dishes for me without being asked. Simply put I have amazing kids. 
     I also got to spend some time with Scott, Marie, Ender, and their family on Sunday. I love seeing my nephew! I heart Scott and Marie as well :) Here is my favorite picture from that day.

     Saturday the 22nd, Sebastian will turn 12, and on the 30th Tyler will be 10. It's really horrible, but I'm having an awful time planning their birthdays. I just can't seem to get it together. We usually do something combined, so I guess maybe next weekend. I'll figure it out this week.
     In all of the madness that has been my life this year, I'm coming to the realization that I need to simply recreate myself. I need to figure out who I am, and where I'm going. These new plans were not part of my old plans, but I'm coming to terms with the fact that this is the way it is. Who am I now? That is the question.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Not My Time To Wonder Why. Everything's Gone White, And Everything's Grey, Now Your Here, Now Your Away

    The title of this post was taken from the song Glycerine by Bush.

     Why? It's a fairly common question, we all ask it. All of my children went through a stage in their early years when every question they asked was why. Why is the sky blue? Why do we have to go there? Why is the stove hot? Why does it get dark so early? Why, Why, Why? Sometimes, the constant why questions annoyed me as a parent, and after the fiftieth question I would respond "It just is!"As an educator I understand that when a child knows why something happens, why they have to learn something, why something is important, then it is easier for them to handle the task at hand. None of us like to think we are being asked to do something for no reason, so we understand why something is important, then it has meaning, and there is less confrontation when we are asked to perform the task.
     This concept bleeds over into all parts of our lives. We may not like grocery shopping, but we understand why we have to do it, so we do. We may not like cleaning house, but we understand the importance of why we should, and so we do. The wonderful thing about learning is that even when we don't know the answer to a question, or if we don't know why something works the way it does, we have resources to help us find the answer. I don't know why the planets have the names they do, but with a quick search of the internet I could find out the answer. I don't know exactly why or how electricity works, but I could ask my dad and he could fill in my gaps of limited knowledge. I don't understand why we get sick, but Mandaly could explain bacteria, viruses, and other things, and I would have a better understanding of these things in a general nature. 
      There are some things in life that we don't know what the "why" is, and those things are often the most difficult to deal with. People are curious by nature, so when something comes along that does not have a clear answer, or something we can't define with a clear answer, it's often hard for us to deal with. Mike's death is one of these things. I struggle on a daily basis with the why. Why did he have to die? I don't talk much about religion on here, because this is a public blog, and while I'm not ashamed of my religion, it's not something I want to debate. I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, so I do believe that we can and will be a family for time and all eternity. I do believe that we will see him again. None of this answers my question of why he had to die, why I was left a widow at the age of 32, why my children will not have their father here to help raise them. I try not to dwell on this, I have to believe that my Heavenly Father has plan for us, and for whatever reason it was Mike's time to return back to him. I do get angry that I don't know what that plan for us is. What is my purpose now? My big picture is gone, and like Mike's blank canvases, I feel like I've been left to completely repaint my future. That's a really hard concept for me to envision, especially when I felt like I already had a pretty complete painting before. I also understand that I will drive myself completely nuts if I try to focus on the why. I may never, in this life, have an answer to that question, but it doesn't change the fact I want one. 

Sunday, October 9, 2011

You Just Up And Left Me On This Rock All Alone

    The title of this post was taken from the song Died by Alice In Chains.

    Is it too much to ask that my kids not have to endure any more losses? Really?! Is it too freaking much to ask! I'm angry this morning. The kids had such a good day yesterday, and I felt like we were in an okay place, at least for a moment. We get up this morning, and as we are going about our daily routine we realize that Mel, our guinea pig, was dead. Tears, all over again. All three of my angels were reduced to sitting in the floor crying. I went out to the garage, and found the shovel, and buried our furry little friend in the yard. Praying the whole time that I didn't pick the same spot to bury Mel, that Mike had picked to bury a cat seven years earlier, and our bird.
     In January Sam I Am, our bird, died. April the kids lose their father, and now their guinea pig. What in the world do I tell them? I managed to get a smile when I told them that Mel missed Mike, and wanted to be in heaven with him. What other explanation is there? This wouldn't be such a big deal if we hadn't been through so much anyway this year. It may sound silly to be this upset over a guinea pig, but my kids deserve some happiness. If this is God's way of testing me, I'd like the written test instead. No more please, I simply can't handle anymore.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

I Won't Always Be This Way. When The Things That Make Me Weak And Strange Get Engineered Away

    The title of this post was taken from the song The Future Soon by Jonathan Coulton.

     I can't believe it's been a week since I last posted. Things have been busy here, and I've been a little emotional and sometimes I'll type something, but then don't feel like sharing because the moment passes and then it doesn't sound right. I do have two things I want to share.
    This week at school Mason's Kindergarten class worked on families. Mason has a wonderful teacher, Mrs. Brown, and he loves her. One day for homework we had to fill out a sheet with Mason's parents names, brothers and sisters, and grandparents. He was then to send in a family picture to talk about at school. Yikes! I teared up a bit at this assignment. We looked at tons of pictures, but honestly there really weren't any with all five of us in them. I was usually the one taking the pictures so I had a lot with Mike and the kids, or me and the kids, but not with us both. Mason picked his favorite picture of them with their dad.
I knew that the first thing Mason would say about this picture was that his dad had died. I cried, hoped, and prayed that he would be able to talk about other happy memories with his dad. I wanted him to talk about his brother and sister, and all the fun things they did with their dad. When I spoke with Mrs. Brown about it, she assured me that it went well, and that he was able to talk about some good memories. On Friday, they had grandparents day in his class. Grandparents were invited for a special art project and snacks. The grandparents were to bring a twig, and the twig was then glued to a piece of paper. The children wrote the names of their parents, brothers and sisters, and grandparents on leaves, and glued them on the paper next to the twig. I was able to be in the class during this time, and as I watched little Mason work with my mom and dad on his project, my eyes filled with tears. I had to turn away. They were happy tears though, because Mason was openly talking about his love for his family, and that included his father. I loved hearing him talk about his dad. Pictures were taken with the grandparents, and there were snacks involved. It was a wonderful event, and I will forever be grateful for being able to be apart of this. I'm sure it was just as important for all the other grandparents, but it meant so much more to me as a mother, after what we've been through this year. So, a big thank you to Mrs. Brown for being the wonderful teacher she is. As a parent I truly appreciate all that she has done to ensure that Mason has a wonderful year, not only with him making new memories, but for giving him the chance to share his past in a positive way.
     The kids had their horse show today. It was an emotional day for me. I watched as all three of my darlings, and my adorable niece, rode their horses with confidence and pride. Sebastian won first place in his class for equestrian and Tyler and Mikayla won 6th place in equestrian for their classes. I was so proud of them, and they were proud of themselves. There were many happy tears. Sebastian is already talking about the spring sessions and how much he loves riding. I don't feel like there are enough words to adequately express my feelings, so I'll post a few pictures.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

I Wanted More Than This. I Needed More Than This. I Deserve More Than This.

    The title of this post was taken from the song Santa Monica by Theory Of A Dead Man.

      So, I took Sebastian and Tyler to The National in Richmond to see Jonathan Coulton and They Might Be Giants. We drove down right after school and then we drove home that night. It was a lot of fun and the kids really enjoyed it. We even ended up sitting in the VIP Section. I had forgotten to bring ear plugs for the kids, and a worker at The National took pity on us and let us sit up in that section of the balcony. Mike would have been prepared, me not so much. I cried as I looked at the seats Mike and I had sat in when we saw these same musicians play over a year ago. My life has changed so much since then. We got home around 2:00 am, and we all managed to get up and go to school the next morning. We are making memories.
    I started getting the local newspaper delivered to my house again. My subscription had run out a few years ago, and I just never renewed it, until a few days ago. I picked up the paper yesterday, and as I got to the horoscopes I almost dropped the paper. Mike and I always read them. I would read his to him first and then read mine. So, as I looked at them yesterday I froze not knowing what to do. He isn't here to read his to. I kept with tradition and read it to myself anyway. He was Aquarius and here is what it said
 "Any kind of self-scrutiny or self-examination will benefit you today. 
You have the honesty and courage to take a look at yourself 
so you can improve in some way."
I thought to myself what a load of crap! Not that we ever put much stock into what the horoscopes said, but they were always interesting. Now I'm a little more cynical about it. Already annoyed I moved on to read mine, I'm Cancer and it said
"Discussion with partners and close friends will be passionate and 
powerful today. This might even involve others or encourage the 
actions of a group. Enthusiasm is always contagious."
Once again what?! I did have some good discussions with a friend, but I don't think any of it was encouraging, and I DON'T HAVE A PARTNER ANYMORE! I think reading my horoscope has officially lost it's appeal to me. How many more things in my life will I find that I don't like or I can't handle because my perspective on life has changed so dramatically?
     I did have a proud moment yesterday as I was getting the kids to bed. In one day I managed to handle two soccer games, three horseback riding lessons, buying and organizing things for their horse show, a wonderful dinner with my in-laws, a trip to the store, all the while handling a meltdown from Mason during dinner and a conversation with a friend. While I had Mandaly to help get the boys to their riding lesson...I did it, I did it. It may seem like a small thing, but for me it was acknowledgment that I can do this. I will hold on to that optimism for as long as I can. The kids have their horse show next Saturday, and I'm so excited for them. I'll have lots of pictures to post, and maybe some video. 
    One last thing. I went to the doctor last week because I'm still not sleeping very much. He asked me about my support system. I told him I had family here, and that they were a big help. He said he was ordering me to spend more time with them. I wanted to ask him to write me a prescription for that. I would use that thing like a police officer uses his badge. "Ummm...I'm sorry hospital my sister can't go to work today because I have a written prescription that says I need more time with her." or "Sorry, I can't stay for this meeting because my prescribed family time starts now, and the doctor wouldn't want me to be late." Wouldn't that be wonderful.