Saturday, January 28, 2012

And When You Smile, The Whole World Stops And Stares For A While

The title of this post was taken from the song Just The Way You Are by Bruno Mars. The video was created by The Piano Guys, and Jon Schmidt is playing the piano.

     I heart Jon Schmidt and The Piano Guys. I listen to their music a lot. Mike took me to see Jon Schmidt in concert down in NC over a year ago. I then was able to hear him perform again at EFY Express in Buena Vista. His skill and enthusiasm for what he does never fails to amaze me. His music is beautiful. This cover of Just the Way You Are by Bruno Mars was posted on FB yesterday. I listened to it over and over again as I sat and cried in my living room. It's a good thing I had the day off from work. 
     I've always loved this song by Bruno Mars. However, it means a lot more to me now, because I know that this is how Mike felt about me, and he's no longer here to tell me. Mike loved the way I looked no matter how I looked. He didn't care about my bed head first thing in the morning, or when I chose to relax around the house in sweats. He thought I was beautiful for who I was. The only thing that he ever commented on was makeup. He hated makeup and said I looked so much better without it. Growing up if I could have changed one thing about myself it would have been my smile. I always thought it was a little lopsided and just weird looking. It always struck me as funny that Mike says he fell in love with my smile first. 
     Jon Schmidt's cover of this song is absolutely beautiful. I've listened to it over and over again. Mike would have loved it as well. If you haven't checked out Jon Schmidt's music or anything by The Piano Guys, you should go to You Tube and look them up. Sebastian is addicted to Steven Nelson's video Cello Wars, and plays it daily. He is even thinking about taking cello lessons :). Music helps to heal the soul. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

When You're Dreaming With A Broken Heart. The Waking Up Is The Hardest Part. You Roll Outta Bed And Down On Your Knees, And For The Moment You Can Hardly Breathe

The title of this post was taken from the song Dreaming With A Broken Heart by John Mayer.

For Mike's birthday the kids were pretty adamant all day that they did not want to visit the cemetery, and I had decided to do whatever they were comfortable with. I took them to dinner, and as we laughed over some of our memories, and Tyler ordered what Mike always did, the kids decided they wanted to go. We bought balloons, and all wrote messages on them. We drove up there and stood next to his grave and let them go. They all asked to do it again next year. I think they liked this little tribute with just us.

My mom started a journal for me when I was young here are a few words from the first entry she wrote.
"Melanie has beautiful blond hair with some natural wave to it. I love dressing her up and putting bows and ribbons in her hair. She's so pretty and adorable. She's quiet and shy, and she won't have anything to do with strangers. I think Melanie will have quite a sense of humor as she gets older. Sometimes she'll say really funny things. I notice that she'll be the one to get things going and Matthew will kind of stand back and laugh at her when she says something funny."

March 11, 1987 
 Melanie is in the second grade and doing really well. She's a good worker at times. She's still very protective of Mandaly. They play together well. We went out to eat the other night. Mandaly was climbing over the back seat to sit with Melanie. Melanie said, "Oh good! I get to sit with my precious sister." She was hugging her like she hadn't seen her in a year.

June 28, 1989 - Written by Me
"I love my family. They are so nice to me and I always want to be with them. I always want to live with them."

September 27, 1989 
"I have a mean teacher and don't like school!"

August 9, 1990 
"I try not to fight with my brothers and sister. I didn't fight with them much today, for me that's progress. I love my family very much. Sean my oldest cousin is going on a mission soon, I will miss him."

Feb. 5, 1991 
" I love my family a lot. Today was a bad day."

March 11, 1991 
"I found out my mom has a journal, but hasn't written in it since 1984. I'm going to get her to try to write in it more often. She's got a lot to catch up on!"

November 9, 1992 
"I need to ask mom for forgiveness for yelling at her this afternoon, I really am sorry. I just don't know what's wrong with me.

December 12, 1992
"IT SNOWED, IT SNOWED, IT SNOWED! We got about 4 inches of snow. It was cool. Jule' came over yesterday and stayed the night. Michael was baptized yesterday. Mom is kind of upset because she can't get us a lot for Christmas, because she doesn't have a lot of money, but I don't care, that's not why we have Christmas.

January 20, 1993
"My dad is not being fair. He won't let me do anything! I hate being 13,  you can't do anything!"

December 23, 1993
"I don't feel good. I feel alone, by myself. No one knows what I think. I have so many weaknesses. How can I teach people when I make so many mistakes myself. I know that no one is perfect, but I bet I'm further away from it than anyone else. People see only the outside of me, they don't know what I feel. There are so many things wrong with me. I am not normal."

January 28, 1994
"I fell alone. Lost in a world of hatred and fear. There are leaders and followers. There are weak and strong people, players and pawns. I feel there is no hope for the world I am forced to live in."

April 16, 1994
"Mandaly invited me to something at her school. I'm wearing green pants and a purple shirt. She doesn't like it. I now it doesn't match, but I like it. She won't let me go unless I change, I'm not changing."

May 15, 1994
"I'm going to write a letter to my future children so here goes.
Dear Kids,
I want you to know I'm trying very hard to prepare myself for you. I'm learning want I can now so I'll be able to teach you. I want only what's going to be best for you. I want you to be brought up in the church. So, I'll be sure my future husband will be willing to help me. I'm looking forward to the day I get to see you. I'm trying hard to be ready. I want you to be proud of me and your father. I won't be perfect, and I don't think I'll always do or say what I should. I love you and can't wait to see my darling children."

March 9, 1995
"As a family we have been having scripture study every morning. It's hard to get up some mornings, but I have learned a lot."

March 15, 1995
"My mom is so great. I'm really trying to be more organized like her. She knows exactly what to do with her time. I want to be more patient like my dad. He never seems to raise his voice. I love them both so much"

January 1, 1996
"I have been thinking of the future. I have no idea what I want to do with my future. I'm going to graduate from high school next year and then go to Dabney for a year of college."

July 23, 1996
"This guy Mike Dawson started hanging out down at Hardees with me. He's really cool, but then this guy Joe asked me out. "

August 9, 1996
"Mike asked me out. I said yes, and he gave me his class ring. He's really great."

This is as far as I care to go on my journal sharing at this moment. It gets a lot more involved and sentimental for me past this part. I also happened to find a bunch of letters that Mike and I would write back and forth to each other, almost on a daily basis. One day he left me one that said...
Before I go, I just wanna say THANK YOU for being so WONDERFUL! 
I Love You,

I'm done living in the past for tonight. I might at some point share some of my journal entries from our marriage. For now this is more than enough, and honestly it probably means nothing to anyone except me, and that's okay to.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Do You Have The Time To Listen To Me Whine, About Nothing And Everything All At Once

The title of this post was taken from the song Basket Case by Green Day.

“I am nothing special, of this I am sure. I am a common man with common thoughts and I've led a common life. There are no monuments dedicated to me and my name will soon be forgotten, but I've loved another with all my heart and soul, and to me, this has always been enough.”  The Notebook

     I sat and watched this movie this morning. I shouldn't have, it just made me sad. Tomorrow is a big day, it would have been Mike's 36th birthday. He was born January 23, 1976 in Henrico, VA. He was the oldest of three children. His sister was born exactly two years after him, and he loved sharing a birthday with her. His brother is seven years younger than him. 
     I've tried to prepare myself for his birthday. I've talked about it with the kids, and I've gone over it in my head. I thought I was going to be prepared for it; I was so wrong. This last week has been a nightmare. As we've gotten closer and closer I just seem to get more and more depressed. I find myself crying at random times over random things. I haven't slept much, and it all caught up to me on Friday. I left work exhausted. I came home with a fever, and I was so tired I could hardly move. Tyler had volleyball practice, and I asked her if it would be horrible to miss. She thought for a minute, and with tears in her eyes said "I really want to go." She said it so softly I almost didn't hear her. I could tell she was struggling between what she wanted, and what I wanted. I told her it was okay I'd take her. I did end up calling my mom, and she was able to take her so that I could take a nap. I felt pretty lousy all day yesterday as well. I think I'm just so emotionally and physically exhausted that it all hit me at once. I'm better today.
     I'm going to work tomorrow. I had debated taking the day off, but I think in the end it will be good for me to be busy part of the day. I am going to take the kids to the cemetery in the afternoon. We always did a scavenger hunt for Mike's birthday. The kids and I would sit down and write up clever little clues that would lead him from one place to the next, eventually leading him to his gift. Mike absolutely loved it, and looked forward to it every year. He even saved the clues and I have a bunch of them put away in his things. It feels so lonely this year. No fretting over the perfect gift or worrying about how to keep it a surprise. This year it's just us and our memories. I think about all the things I would have done differently if I'd have known our time together would be so short. I would have been a better wife. I wouldn't have cared about the things that didn't matter. I would have...I guess it doesn't really matter. 
    This will be one more first that we've made it through. The next one is Valentine's Day. We never really cared for Valentine's Day, and so I didn't anticipate it being difficult. With the exception of last year we never really gave each other gifts on V-Day, sometimes we would go out to dinner or he'd send me flowers at work. I didn't expect to get teary eyed when I walked through the store and saw all the V-Day cards, and yet there I was standing in the aisle tears streaming down my face. Stupid commercial holidays! I think the one after that will be the anniversary of his passing. Ugh. I can't even start to think about that one.

Friday, January 13, 2012

There's An End And A Beginning To The Quiet Chaos Driving Me Mad

The title of this post was taken from the song New York by Snow Patrol.

We haven't had any real snow this year. This morning was a teacher workday, and as I was walking out the door it started to snow. By the time I made it to the interstate the roads were covered. It was beautiful. My desk was a colossal mess, and so as I worked to organize everything I was able to watch the snow come down outside my window. That combined with music made for a pleasant day. I was grateful for the quiet time I was able to spend in my classroom.

As I sat in my room, looking at my picture of Mike, I realized that tomorrow is the 14th. That means it will have been 9 months since he passed. I know every month I say this, but how is that possible! I know how I feel, but I often wonder how Mike is feeling. As he watches over us, what is he thinking. Is he proud of how we are doing, is he disappointed, I wish I knew.

I know that I'm proud of the kids. They've been through so much, but they are holding things together. Sebastian passed his Social Studies SOL this week. I always tell the kids I don't care how they do as long as they try their best. I was worried how he would do being that he missed so much school with his accident, but he pulled it off. I'm so proud of him. I watch Mason as he works on his homework, and I can't help but smile at the progress he's making. It's so cute to watch him trying to read, and writing numbers. I can't believe half of his kindergarten year is over. Tyler seems to like school this year, and is doing well. She is playing volleyball, and has enjoyed it. I wonder what Mike would think about all of this?

My life has changed, and I continue to change. I continue to strive for happiness while keeping an eternal perspective. I'm trying to be more grateful for the people and things I have in my life. I'm trying to live a life that will make my kids proud of me.

Friday, January 6, 2012

A Dreamer Of Pictures I Run In The Night

     The title of this post was taken from the song Cinnamon Girl by Type O Negative.

I'm a little behind on posting this, but here it is. I decided that I would just make notes on each day of our trip, and give my insight. So, here they are.

Wednesday - The kids are swimming, splashing, playing, laughing, and smiling. Sebastian and Tyler are fairly confident swimmers, especially when the pool only goes to 5ft. Mason desperately wants to swim without his ring, and being that he can stand in the three foot section, I allow him. However, there are times when he ventures a little too far. I see the slope in the bottom of the pool, and see the water rise on his little body as he walks just a little further out. Watching him closely, he eventually gets to the point where water comes in his mouth and he has to jump back to safety. What fascinates me is the fact he does this over and over again. He takes himself to the point of panic, and then jumps to safety. Aren't we often this way in our lives. We rationalize the things that we don't think will hurt us, or things that we think we can get by with, all the while thinking there won't be any consequences. Maybe nothing happens the first time, the second time, or even the fiftieth time, but what happens when we don't make it back to safety and there's no one there to save you. I want to live a full life without taking unnecessary risks, because I need to be here in case my kids take risks and need rescued. I am so looking forward to this week with my loves.

Thursday - I'm still not sleeping well, but the kids were able to sleep in some. Today we saw the new Chipmunks movie. The kids loved it, and I have to admit it was pretty cute. My friend John was with us, and he took us to see Celebration In Lights at the beach. It was pretty awesome. We stopped in Barnes and Noble so the kids could spend the gift cards they got for Christmas. Sebastian had been waiting for months for the new Magic Tree House book to come out. It was a good day filled with lots of new memories.

Friday - We had so much fun today! The kids swam for a little while this morning. Then we went to Yankee Candle, and the kids got to dip their own candles into different colors. Sebastian and Mason have dragon shaped ones and Tyler made a dragonfly. Then we went to Christmas Town at Busch Gardens. It was so pretty with all of the lights. 

Saturday - We just kinda took it easy today. We went to see the movie We Bought A Zoo. First I must say that it was a really good movie, however I clearly did not know exactly what this movie was about or I probably wouldn't have gone to see it. I didn't realize it was about a man whose wife had passed away six months before. He was raising two kids, and they decided to buy a zoo.  In the first few minutes of the movie you see the dad rushing around trying to get the kids ready for school. As it dawned on me why, my eyes filled with tears. I stared at the ceiling, willing them to go away. There was no avoiding it as the movie progressed. Silent tears streamed down my face, and just when I thought I would be okay something else in the movie would happen and I would cry again. They even had a cover of the song Cinnamon Girl by Type O Negative in the movie. They were one of Mike's favorite bands. John with was us, and asked if I wanted to leave, but the kids were enjoying the movie. He simply wrapped his arms around me and wiped away my tears. We stayed up till midnight and watched the ball drop. Then we all went to bed, we were tired!

Sunday - We went to church. It was nice to visit a different ward. Everyone was so nice. We hung out for a bit, and headed home that afternoon.

It's always good to get away! I'm looking forward to our next trip!