Thursday, December 29, 2011

Maybe This Year Will Be Better Than The Last. I Can't Remember All The Times I Tried To Tell Myself To Hold On To These Moments As They Pass.

The title of this post was taken from the song A Long December by Counting Crows.

A message was sent at 12am New Years Day 2011, to let you know we loved you so. Work kept you away, but pictures were sent. Your message back was a simple one, luvu too you said. 
January was cold, but warmth filled our home. Goals were made. Not a care in the world or anything to fear, we moved on to February and March with hope in our hearts.

Things were looking up, we'd weathered our share of storms. Plans were coming together, we could see the fruit of our labor...until that devastating day in April. My heart was broken and my world was ripped apart. In a matter of moments all of my hopes, wishes, and dreams came shattering down, landing in a pile at my feet. My three little angels looked up at me, all wanted guidance and direction that I couldn't see.

The next few months were a blur. I don't remember much just the tears and the hurt. Surrounded by family we took one day at a time. New memories were made, amidst all the pain. 

One month tumbled past the next. More tragedy infiltrated our home. Our dear friend Deb slipped from this life to the next, joining Mike in their eternal progression. More tears and sorrow, more pain with no gain. 

A fall in November sent Sebastian to the hospital. Two skull fractures were not what we needed. Once again everyone rallied around and prayers were said. How do we ever repay those who have stayed by our side during these devastating times? We made it through, our family tightly bound. We understood, all too well, how quickly time passed; not a closer family could be found.

Christmas has passed, it wasn't the same. I tried my best to play both roles. Excessive amounts of worry and tears encompassed my days, as I was sure I couldn't do enough to make this a special holiday. All turned out well, as well as could be.

This brings me back to this New Years Eve. Had I known last year where we'd be today, I wouldn't have rushed or hurried through my days. I'd have stayed in his arms just a little bit longer, and let go of things that really didn't matter.

Looking ahead I have three darling children; my lasting gift from my love, my angel. They are my future, my forever, my tomorrow. We will bring in 2012 without much fanfare, some laughter, some smiles, some stories to share, and at the end of the day just the four of us and the love that we share.

Thank you to all the amazing people who have helped us make it through this year. It seems like we faced one difficult moment after another. Your prayers, love, and support has been amazing. While we made new memories, and had some amazing adventures this year, I have hopes and dreams for 2012, and I am ready to end 2011. 

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

All My Windows Still Are Broken, But I'm Standing On My Feet

     The title of this post was taken from the song Skyscraper by Demi Lovato.

     I had worked myself up over Christmas, and worried incessantly about everything. Did I buy the kids enough? Did we mix enough new traditions with old? Did I make sure to incorporate their dad? I just worried nonstop. Christmas Eve the kids helped me clean house, and that afternoon we went to Mandaly's house. The whole family was there. Even Matthew was able to come in off the road. It was so good to have everyone together. There was enough food to feed an army, and presents were everywhere. The kids were bursting with excitement. We opened gifts, to the squeal of excitement as each new treasure was freed from the wrapping paper. I loved watching everyone else open their gifts, especially when they opened a gift that my kids had picked out for them from the Santa Shop at school. Those are the best gifts, because they truly are from the child. Tyler got an electric scooter (don't worry the helmet for it was wrapped and ready for Santa to bring to our house). Sebastian got video games he asked for and an amazing Spyder coat from Mandaly and Mikie. Mason got a Leap Frog computer, and an awesome remote control truck. My favorite gift of the night was one that I got, and that was the box set for Jem and the Holograms. I don't know if anyone else remembers this cartoon, but we loved it as kids, and I can't wait to watch it with my kids. We left there, and headed home. We unpacked everything and everyone went to sleep. Santa came and left.
     We woke up Christmas morning and got ready for church. I had the kids wait until after church to open presents, because I knew we would never make it if we tried to open them before. There was a great presentation in sacrament meeting. Sebastian sang a song with a friend, and they did an amazing job. I was so proud of all three of them as they participated at different times. It was a great way to keep me from feeling sorry for myself this Christmas. We came home, and my dad, Scott, Marie, Ender, Barbara, Jim, Katie, John, Mandaly, Mikayla, and my mom all came over. The kids got to open their gifts with all their family there, and then they had even more to open. I couldn't have asked for anything better than being surrounded by family. I found myself tearing up a time or two, as I thought about all my kids had been through this year, but with everyone there I didn't have time to dwell on it or be sad. They got so much stuff! My mom and sister are amazing. They played Santa and bought things for the kids to give to me. They knew that Mike wouldn't be here to make that happen, and they wanted to have something for me to open on Christmas morning. I could not ask for a better mom or sister. They truly are my best friends. I love them more than they could ever possibly know. We enjoyed each others company, the laughs and the stories. I am truly blessed. Slowly everyone left, and we cleaned up all the paper, and the kids started organizing their things. I was sitting in Carl (my chair), and Sebastian came over and sat on my lap, all 5'6'' of him. He threw his arms around me, and whispered in my ear "I love you mom, you made this a wonderful Christmas." My eyes welled up with tears. I know that they loved their gifts, but he wasn't just talking about the gifts. He was talking about all of it, he was talking about the fun times with family and the laughter we shared. Tears rolled down my face as I kissed cheek. "I love you mom." he said "I love you too babe." was my reply. It was a good day.
     Plans for this week and New Years. Yesterday, I was able to see my cousin, her husband and their son. It was so good to spend time with them. Today, I'm taking the kids up to exchange Christmas gifts with my father in law. He was so excited when we called about coming up. The kids always love seeing him. Then I am coming home and we are packing for a trip. I decided that I would go completely stir crazy if I tried to stay home all week. We need to get out of here for a bit, so we are leaving Wednesday for Williamsburg, and we will be back on Sunday. We are going to do some sight seeing, and who knows what else. The kids are excited about swimming at the hotel. They like to get away just as much as I do. 
     I'm excited for a new year. When I think about all the loss, all the tears, all the regrets, all the pain and anger we've dealt with in 2011, it gets overwhelming. I know that the new year is just a change of time. Going from one year to another isn't really magical, and it holds no secrets or promises, but I have hopes. I have hope that 2012 will hold some fresh starts for us in so many ways. I have hope that I will better figure out who I am, and what to do with my life. I have hopes, dreams, and goals for getting where I want to be. The start of 2012 is simply a marker of time. A way for me to mark the beginning of all of this. It helps me feel like it's a fresh start. 
     I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas. I'll post again on News Years Eve. 

Saturday, December 24, 2011

I Knew I'd Caught A Glimpse Of Heaven's Love

The title of this post was taken from the song Christmas Shoes by Bob Carlisle

Christmas Memories
When snowflakes dance on winter winds 
And colored lights shine Christmas cheer,

When children's laughter fills the air 
And family gathers from far and near, 
I try to celebrate with them 
And not let my hurting show, 
But the empty spaces within my heart, 
At this season, seems to grow 
'Till oftentimes it fills the days 
And many nighttimes too, 
With aching thoughts and memories 
Of Christmases I spent with you. 
Yes, memories do hurt, it's true 
But I have this feeling too.

I'm so glad I hold these memories, 
For with them I hold part of you. 
So for now I'll wipe away the tears 
And join with loved ones dear 
To celebrate this Christmas time, 
For I know that, in my heart, you're here.

By Sandy Siewer

     The kids are in bed, although not sleeping yet. I wait for light snoring before I know I can play Santa. As Christmas has drawn closer and closer it's gotten harder and harder. The overwhelming feelings of loss, have come in waves. As I wrapped gifts yesterday I couldn't control the tears. They just came out of nowhere. Sebastian knelt down beside me, wrapped his arms around me and said, "Mom, I miss him too." He is growing into a fine young man. We kept some traditions, and made some new ones. I'm grateful that Christmas is on Sunday this year. The kids and I are going to church, and then they will come home to open gifts. I'm hoping this will help me not feel so alone. 
     Mike and I always wrapped the kids presents on Christmas Eve, every single one of them. I couldn't do that this year, it was way to much. So, I wrapped them all the day before Christmas Eve. Mike had a tendency to buy way more for the kids than I would have. He loved watching them open their gifts on Christmas morning. I probably bought them more than they needed this year, but I want them to have fond memories to share. 
     So, Merry Christmas to everyone. I hope that memories are made, and that happiness and joy find you all. I simply want to make it through without losing it completely. 

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

My World Is Changing I'm Rearranging. Does That Mean Christmas Changes Too.

The title of this post was taken from the song Where Are You Christmas by Faith Hill.

     Moments, small fragments of time. Choices that we make at a particular moment often shape who we are. Decisions are made based upon prior choices. We make new memories, and have new moments where we make more choices. I don't really even know what I'm writing about. I have so many jumbled thoughts in my head. I'm dreading Christmas. I've finally resigned myself to the fact it's coming, and I have to do what I can for the kids. 
     I look back on where we were this time last year. I wonder how it's possible that Mike's been gone for over 8 months now. Where did the time go? Other days it seems like it's been a life time since I've heard his voice. I think about all the things that have happened since April, and all the moments he's missed... all the moments we missed with him. I'm finally to the point that I don't cry often in pubic, but I have quite moments when I'm just not sure I'll make it through. I watched Tyler perform in the Christmas program at school last night. There we were on the front row, Sebastian, Mason, and my mom and dad. She could look out at any moment and see our smiling faces, but I could feel the weight of not having him there. Silent tears rolled down my cheeks as I watched my beautiful angel sing. It's late at night, when the house is quiet that I feel the most alone. I feel the emptiness of the house. I let down my guard, and allow myself to feel the bottled up pain that I keep trapped inside. I'm feeling sorry for myself at this moment. I try to remember that I'm not alone in this and that there are other people going through difficult times. 
     My favorite Christmas movie is It's a Wonderful Life. Like the movie, in my moments of despair and grief, I wonder what my life is really worth. What am I doing to help improve the lives of those around me? Am I making a difference? Would it matter if I weren't here? It isn't about recognition or accolades, it's about being humble and having my priorities in order. Sometimes, I think that's why I torture myself by reliving those moments in April when my world came to a screeching halt. I want to make sure my priorities are what they need to be. I want to be humble. I want to know that my life has meaning.  

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Trains Move Quickly To Their Journey's End. Destinations... Are Where We Begin Again.

     The title of this post was taken from the song Believe by Josh Groban from The Polar Express Soundtrack.

I think I've lost it. No, I don't mean my sanity, although some may disagree. I haven't lost my keys either. I've lost my eternal perspective. On December 14th it will have been 8 months since Mike passed away. Once again how is that possible? How is it possible that it's been that long since I've seen him? I feel like everyday since then has been dedicated to simply putting one foot in front of the other. Picture's like I'm walking through the forest. My hands tightly clasp those of my children, it's a little scary and I don't know where I'm going. I just know I need to keep moving, so I'm always looking down to make sure that I get one foot in front of the other. I try to make sure my footing is secure so that I can move my children along this course with me. The problem with this is that I continually get smacked in the face with branches from the trees. Some of them I probably could have avoided, if I'd been looking up and not down. Some of them would have hit me no matter what, those branches were the death of my friend and our pet, then Sebastian's accident. However, some of the tiny scrapes, bumps and bruises could have been avoided if I had been looking at where I was going rather than down at my feet. There have been moments that I've looked up and been able to see the beautiful world around me, but I always end up looking back down, unsure of my footing. I've come to realize that I need to move forward with the end in mind. I need to know where I'm going so that I can lift my head up and move with sure footing. I need to do this not only for myself, but for my children. They need guidance, and I can't guide them if I'm always dealing with things in the moment. I can't guide them when I can't see beyond my own two feet. I think that I've done what I needed to do in order to survive the last eight months, I've just come to the conclusion that I need to do more than survive. I need to live. I need to chart a new plan, and then I need to figure out how to make it all happen. I need to live my life with an eternal perspective.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

I Won't Let You Fall Apart

The title of this post and the following lyrics are from the song The Fragile by Nine Inch Nails.

She shines
in a world full of ugliness
She matters
when everything is meaningless

She doesn't see her beauty
She tries to get away
it's just that nothing seems worth saving
I can't watch her slip away

I won't let you fall apart
I won't let you fall apart
I won't let you fall apart
I won't let you fall apart

She reads the minds of all the people
as they pass her by
Hoping someone will see
If I could fix myself I'd...
but it's too late for me

I won't let you fall apart
I won't let you fall apart
I won't let you fall apart
I won't let you fall apart

We'll find the perfect place to go where we can run and hide
I'll build a wall and we can keep them on the other side
but they keep waiting
and picking
and picking
and picking...

It's something I have to do
[I won't let you fall apart]
I was there too
[I won't let you fall apart]
Before everything else
[I won't let you fall apart]
I was like you
[I won't let you fall apart]

Mike always played this song for me when he knew that I was sad, or wasn't feeling like I mattered to the world. He always promised that he would keep me together, he wouldn't let me fall apart. The truth of the matter is, that there are many times that I find myself falling apart. Whether it's from grief, being overwhelmed, or just not having a good day. There are many times that I feel like my existence doesn't really matter. I think we all have those moments. Those moments have hit me more over the last few days, than they normally do. I find myself questioning my self worth and wondering who is going to catch me when I fall. He's not here like he promised, and suddenly that leaves me feeling very alone. I think it all snowballs. One thing triggers another. Someone gave me a compliment at work today, and it's something I would have shared with Mike. I didn't know who to share it with without feeling like I was bragging or being self centered. I finally messaged Mandaly, but it wasn't the same. 
I found a quote the other day that made me stop and think, and I wanted to share it.

"God is fully aware that the people you think are perfect are not. 

And yet we spend so much time and 

energy comparing ourselves to others—

usually comparing our weaknesses to their strengths. This drives 

us to create expectations for ourselves that are impossible to meet. 

As a result, we never celebrate our 

good efforts because they seem to be less than what someone else does."

 Dieter Uchtdorf

Maybe this is my problem. Maybe I compare myself to others, and it leaves me feeling fragile. Maybe if I just had a little more faith in myself I wouldn't feel this way. Maybe I need to celebrate my good efforts. Tomorrow is a new day.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Don't Wake Me Cause I'm Dreaming, Of Angels On The Moon. Where Everyone You Know Never Leaves Too Soon.

    The title of this post was taken from the song Angels on the moon by Thriving Ivory.

      I haven't felt like writing lately. There are things I could say, things that might be important for me to say, but for whatever reason I haven't felt like writing. I thought maybe this meant that I was working through some of my grief. Really I just think I'm physically tired and just don't have the energy to sit and write. Sebastian is recovering from his accident and his last appointment showed that most of the blood had been reabsorbed into his brian, but it will take the skull fractures a few months to heal. I am finally breathing a small sigh of relief. While, I have noticed some little things, short attention span, irritability, and some memory issues, I know that overall he is okay. Now comes the fun part of dealing with all the medical bills and follow up appointments. 
     I went to see Deb's husband and daughters last week. I think I've been in denial about Deb being gone. There were times we would go a month or two without talking, and I almost feel like this is one of those times. Her husband gave me a few of her favorite pictures, and a tea pot she had brought back from Peru. All I could do was cry.
     Thanksgiving wasn't as bad as I had anticipated, thanks to the many who helped make it easier. I don't really want to go into details. With a group of family and friends we laughed, played games, talked, ate, and yes in quite moments I cried. 
     We put up our Christmas tree this weekend. Mike and I always compromised when it came to this. He always wanted to put it up Christmas Eve, that's how he grew up, and I wanted to put it up right after Thanksgiving. So we always put it up the first weekend in December. To make things easier my family and a dear friend came over to help us decorate. As I pulled the boxes in from the shed, I felt myself getting overwhelmed. A few tears, hugs, and me repeating "You can do this." over and over again helped get me through. It was great to have everyone there, and we stayed so busy talking and remembering each of the decorations that I didn't really have time to feel sorry for myself. I did have a moment when I couldn't figure out what to do with the ornament from our first Christmas together. After awhile I decided I didn't want it on the tree, so instead I put it in a box of special things that were Mike's. I also let the kids buy ornaments that they could have to help remember their dad. 
     I am learning my new normal, I'm figuring out my role in this new life of mine. I still have moments. Shocking moments, when a memory hits me, and it feels so real. This happened yesterday at school. It was the end of the day, and I was walking down the hall. As I looked up I could have sworn that Mike was going to walk around the corner to pick up the kids. It was such a powerful moment, that it made me stop in my tracks. A far away memory appeared and I could see him walking around the corner, in his SW shirt, faded jeans, his hair a mess because he couldn't wear a hat in the school, after he'd just gotten off work. Those moments leave me feeling empty, but I'm learning to deal with it. 
    I have some good things going on in my life right now, I have hope that next year will be better, and the ending of this one is looking better than the beginning. There is hope mixed in with the grief. I'm learning and growing, and right now that's good enough for me. I tried to post some pictures we recently had taken, but they wouldn't load so if you want to check them out here is the link from my FB.