Monday, August 24, 2015

I've made it 9 plus months as a widow

I think it's time for an update on my life as a widow:

So, I am almost 9 and half months out and I've sold my previous two vehicles replaced them with two different ones. Have a Tahoe that I love!

I've registered my kids in new schools closer to where we'll be living hopefully soon. I've signed papers back in February for having a new home built that we would want to move into. I've been dealing with all the ups and downs of the home building process which include delays, seeing visible progress and getting excited when the flooring was laid and I had most of a kitchen put in.

I've kept my kids alive. Showers, and enough sleep, and whether they had decent food to eat were always optional. (Hey I can't do everything!) they had plenty of amazing friends to play with and make memories with.

I decided to purchase a projector for the awesome use of watching movies outdoors. Guess who's house will rock next summer in Santaquin? That's right our house!

I have decided to go back to school and that starts in September. I've also decided to take a LONG trip with my kids to California in October and to attend an all school reunion for TRONA high school. And follow that up with a few days at Disneyland and a trip to the beach! I ordered a rack for the hitch of my tahoe and the big 15 sq ft of space bag that can be used to go with it for use on this specific trip.

I've also taken my kids camping right alongside their Aund and Uncle and cousins. There are things I'm doing that I never thought I could have done all those months ago. Here I am doing them. I'm living them. I'm coming up with my new plans and goals. I'm drawing myself to Christ and to God, and rely on them for daily strength. Sometimes I am not sure how the heck I make it from one day to the next or even minute to minute, but somehow I am. And I know it's because of my faith.

I've taken a spontaneous overnight trip out of state and left my kids overnight by themselves ... I can still be a human and do things. Which is exactly what I want to do. I've met a lot of different people along this journey, and from some I have learned alot and pull tremendous strength from and others,.... they have weeded themselves out of my life. And that's okay to. I know that those who are supposed to be in my life will stick around and those that don't will go away. (I might have to force them to leave, but I'm not scared to say such a thing if needed)

I've had a few "learning experiences" in the dating scene that has awakened my sense of awareness that I know what is necessary and what isn't. It's easy for Satan's influence to take over if you let it. Luckily I've risen from those mistakes and am a better person because of it.

So many times I feel like I was short changed in this life experience. Because Chris isn't here to experience it with me. But his time was up and he isn't required to be here for the next phase of my life. But I realize that even though he's not here doesn't mean that he doesn't love me any less and that he doesn't love our children any less. This whole dang experience has made me grow in ways that would not have been possible with him still beside me. But I know that I NEED to keep living life and enjoying it. Because if I just sit in misery from here on out because I'm choosing to, then shame on me. And he won't be too happy with me because of it. I often times feel like my life has had the ultimate challenge, but you know what ... I'd gladly take this over my friends challenges. I think mine is worse but in many ways it's a piece of cake ... I have a friend serving time in prison for mistakes and this friend has lost their freedom. I still have my freedom. This friend misses out on their family, and I still have my family. I've read stories from other widows/widowers where financially things are so much worse for them. I am in a really great place financially for the time being. Some people have lost everything they had and have to start over from scratch.... I'm willingly giving up things I have just so I can start fresh. I have friends that have had to live with family because things haven't worked out for them to be independent when they want to be. I've experienced friends who have wanted to have children and have not been blessed with that opportunity, when I know deep down they would be absolutely wonderful parents. And I've had the opportunity to have six. I've been richly blessed. I have known people who are so physically ill they can't do anything and I may have a thyroid disease but I can still do things. I sometimes might pay for it for a few days but I can still do stuff. I have a friend who was paralyzed in high school and has been in a wheelchair and this friend inspires me everyday. They have lost the abiltiy to walk and run and typical things like that but they still move on. I have my mobility still.

Everywhere I look, I feel someone else has it worse than me! Yes, my house may look like 6 category F5 hurricanes may have run through here and FEMA hasn't shown up to clean up. So if you see my house as a wreck -- blame it on them. :)

Simply put I am one woman who loves my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and turn to them for my strength. I knew when this first happened that it was more than I could do alone. Yes, you'll see my eyes fill with tears and then run down my face, if your see me drive in my car I sometimes BAWL and let it out (sorry if you experience that sight). I am a solo parent here on Earth trying to raise my 6 beautiful, amazing, wonderful children that can also frustrate me to no end. I can't live with them but don't want to live without them until they finish high school. Trying to figure everything out alone is difficult but I've always been ambitious in getting things figured out and getting them done. Plans don't always go according to how I hope but the end result still happens. And that, my friends, is the biggest lesson I've learned to date. That even though I had a plan and wanted it to go a certain way, Heavenly Father had a different path for my life, but the end result is still the same. So as long as I'm still moving in the general direction as best as I can, I am enough with their help. I don't want to do this, but I can do this.

I've had to settle the waves of grief in all of my children and it breaks my heart that they are going through this too. We're not perfect - far from it, but I'm trying to do my best and just relying on mercy from my heavenly father to make up the difference where I have fallen short.

I've also been able to get back into getting physically fit again, I've come a long way but still not there just yet.

I feel cut off from friends that I had prior to Chris's death. I feel isolated sometimes. And I realized that being alone isn't good for me, I need people. So I make it a point to talk with other humans and get out of my house every day if I can. I want to be an influence for good in my life, just not sure how to go about that yet.

9 months out and several years in front of me. Things aren't going to be easy but I think I'm finally learning that they aren't meant to be. Only through our trials can we stretch and really grow and learn who it is that we're to be and become.

I don't know why this has been my trial, but I want to embrace it because I know it could be worse. And I don't need worse for me right now.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Happy Easter - almost 5 months out

So here I am almost 5 months out since my life was turned upside down.  A lot has happened.  A lot is still the same as it can be without him here.  

I've had moments where I can't believe people can be so mean.  I've had moments where I've been completely happy.  This isn't a black and white journey anymore.  Actually it never was.  I can be happy and get ambushed by a wave of emotions and I can be utterly feeling like all hope is lost and then someone comes along and makes me feel like that isn't the case.  

I've had a few more firsts that I've experienced without Chris.   On St. Patty's day I fell off my back steps in the process of rolling my ankle.  I cried. My phone went flying and I was more worried about it then myself for a few seconds at least.  But I still took my kids bowling that night and they loved it.  It was a lot of fun.  

I ended up playing in a basketball tournament game later that week too.  And the last few years he was there in my cheering section. He was my one fan.   And this year wasn't that way.  I did have fun though.  

I've been hitting up the local rec center so I can workout 3 - 4 times a week. And I'm loving how I feel once again.  I really don't know why I got off this wagon years ago.  But I'm back and it's here to stay.  

I've also had a few dates in the last month as well.  Two great men, and lots of laughs and fun times.  It feels good to get out and do something with a male adult! Oh my gosh, I sure wish that life wasn't so unfair to people.  So many different challenges and trials that people have to face and I keep wondering which one isn't so bad?  Which one is the easy trial or challenge?   But I've come to realize that they all stink.  Just because I feel like the one I'm in is the ultimate awful one of losing the love of your life, there are others out there that are being tested to their capacity in different ways. 

I was blessed with a kind, loving and compassionate heart and hearing of people that I care about or those that I just meet and the things they have to deal with really make me empathize with them and I wish I could take away all their hurt and pain.  

This weekend is General Conference and this is the first one without him.  It's been really different and the Saturday morning session was really hard.  I know that we're sealed and will be with each other in the next life but it doesn't make the rest of this one any less lonely.  Today is also Easter.  He was the one that took care of prepping for Easter and not having him here really stinks.   Not having anyone here stinks.   But I guess so goes the course of my life.  I'm such a people person and thrive on that and not having another person around to talk with and share my feelings with is hard.   The lack of affection, is hard.  All those things that you might take for granted you really start to miss.  And even the things that I didn't take for granted I miss as well.  

The kids and I are taking a trip this Spring Break and it's going to be the first road trip without him too.  It will be nice to get away though, I need to rejuvenate my mind and my goals and purpose for being here now. Because what I thought it was before he died is no longer what it is now.  

But since it's Easter I am feeling so much more different about the resurrection. And know that because of Jesus Christ's atonement he overcame death.  And that because of him, my family is eternal.  But knowing all of that still doesn't make the here and now a whole lot easier.   I still have the load of two people fall on just my shoulders.  I keep hearing rely on your friends and family.  Well, it's easier said than done.  I don't want to be a burden on anyone else, and if someone really wants to help then I feel like they can just freely offer and I can accept or decline.   I know that life isn't over when someones earthly life is over.  It is hard to want to go on, but I also know it's worse to sit back and chose to live in the past.  My immediate future is looking great and I'm choosing to be happy. But because of others occasionally my happiness level is reduced.  But on the same token if I feel like I need to cry and get the tears out and the frustration and stresses I don't hold back either.  Yesterday was one of those days.  And my car works as a great privacy sound barrier and I can sound as awful as I need to and nobody can hear me. 

I will cheerfully persevere.  It's not going to be easy but if I can find ways to be happy in the moment all of the sudden I can look back and realize that I made a whole week, or month and was happy.   And this last month has been just that.  I've been happy.  There were a few rough moments but just a few and they didn't last very long.   I'm really glad that I do have two new friends that I can talk to if I need it.  And they are fine with it.  It makes me feel like someone else cares and I can get it out of my system and not keep talking to walls here in my own house.  I am realizing the value of GOOD friends again.  I've gone so many years having Chris as my one GOOD friend but I realize that he's not an option now.  And finding others that aren't going to make me feel bad because of my situation are priceless right now. 

Happy Easter

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

4 months out ...

So as my life has been going on for the last four months I've had some great things happen, and still happening.  

We have committed to buying and building a house in Santaquin. Hopefully it will be finished by July/August before school starts back up.  It's going to be nice to be somewhere to get a fresh, new start and continue to live life, being happy and helpful to others around me and my family.   We are excited about the bigger house and the new location.   Things are so much slower paced down there, and it still keeps me close to family and friends as needs arise and I need help.  

We're planning a trip to St. George over spring break which will be right after General Conference and Easter.  I need to get away and go somewhere for a change of scenery.  And this will accomplish that.  The kids and I will have a blast I'm sure.  Now to find where I put the printout for the reservations we made.  haha.   

In October we'll be heading to Disneyland!   I'm so excited about that.  Hopefully I don't regret doing this especially being myself with six kiddos.   I must already be insane to attempt something so crazy like this.  But it will give the kids some happy memories and great times with their cousins just a month shy of the 1 year mark.

I hope to take them camping a few times over the summer, but in the midst of packing up this house, I'm not sure how easy it will be.  We've got girls camp in June,  Day camp for Thomas, Youth Trek in July... it's going to be interesting to see how I can make things work out. 

And the most exciting part in my life is that I met someone!  Well I actually meet lots of people, but this person, he is special.   I've had a great time getting to know him, and meeting him in person since we met online.  We've hit it off really well and I haven't laughed so hard in a long, long time.   He helps me feel alive and excited about life again.  It's nice to have someone to care about, and who cares about me.  The kids have met him, and the boys are really excited.  (Probably because he's a pilot, and the boys like his truck)

It's amazing how I never thought I'd be in this spot only 4 months out.  I've made a choice not to be so sad about everything anymore.  I'm done with that part. I want to live life and be happy and that means moving forward.  Sometimes I can't go quite as fast as I'd like because of the kids.  But when I'm planning and doing things I'm so much happier.  So now I'm trying to dig out of the "I don't care" attitude that I had for the first three months and now I'm climbing up and forward once again.   

I know that there will be times when I'll be overcome with emotion in the upcoming days, weeks or months and even throughout the years, but I know that I'm done living in the past thinking of things I've lost or won't be able to do, or for the simple fact that Chris isn't here anymore.   I know he doesn't want me to be sad. He wasn't a sad person and he made me laugh a lot, and (made me frustrated a lot too).   But he doesn't want me to be alone and he doesn't want me to be sad, So I'm choosing to not be sad anymore. And it's almost a miracle that I met such an amazing man so soon.  It's going to be interesting to watch and see where this goes.   It's refreshing and fun to have a special person in my life again.  And this man's hugs are the best!  I really enjoy the time that we get to spend together, and we might have to get creative in the future as to how we can spend time together But if this is meant to be things will just "work" out in a sense.  That's how it's always been for me, and I can only hope that it continues with this situation to.   

I haven't been this happy in such a long time.  I haven't laughed so hard and had a smile plastered to my face in a really long time.  It's fun to have this kind of excitement in my life.  He's a really great guy, and has had his own challenges, but who doesn't.   I'm excited and look forward to getting to know him better.  Maybe it's true that they say great things are still to come.   

I saw a quote the other day that I really liked
" If life can remove someone that you never dreamed of losing,
It can replace them with someone you never dreamt of having."  

I feel completely comfortable with him, and I feel peace about this whole thing.  So for now, I'm going with it.  I find myself deeply smitten with him, and enjoy being with him and talking with him.   It's all good right now.   Crossing my fingers it can stay this way. 

Monday, February 2, 2015

When Destiny Calls ...

Life is so surreal.  I keep thinking that he'll be coming home any minute, and when he's not here by the normal get home from work time I still start to worry about him and whether he's alright or if he's gotten into an accident or something.  It's so crazy!  I think I'm starting to enter a numb phase again, this cycle of emotions is not fun, nor wanted.  (at least not on a repeat cycle) 

It's hard having my life turned upside down out of the blue. Having to rethink plans, come up with new dreams, set new goals, take on extra responsibilities and watching every thing around me fall to chaos.  Not so much because I want it to, but I really have no desire to change it right now.  I feel like I'm in a huge body of water and waves are just hitting me left and right and I'm having a hard time staying a float. And catching my breath in between the crushing waves. 

And for those wondering if life is "back to normal" - we weren't normal before and we really aren't normal now.  We're still learning to adjust, and some moments it's all I can do to just survive.  Here I've almost made it three months without him and I never saw myself here.  It's a long time to be without someone you love so dearly and deeply.  Every day passes and I realize even more and more how amazing he was beyond what I new and felt when he was alive.  

I haven't really made food in the last three months, I've been good to keep snacks and fresh fruit and veggies on hand and my kids have helped themselves, and thanks to families in my neighborhood and ward we've had plenty of meals brought in so we haven't starved.  I just don't seem to have the drive I had before, but I guess that's normal too. 

Everyone seems to have all the answers for me.  Apparently I'm supposed to just shake it off and be okay. Well, it doesn't work like that.  And right now, I might seem okay but don't hold it against me if I'm not okay in 5 minutes.  I feel like everyone wants to walk on eggshells around me, I just want to feel like I fit in still, but in some ways I feel like I don't and I never will.   Trying to carve out "my space" is consuming all of my time, but even then I have to suck up the creation of me and focus on my kids. 

They are doing well, mostly.  I'm pulling my second oldest out of public school and enrolling her in the Provo school districts e-school.  Hopefully we'll finish that up tomorrow, getting her withdrawal complete that is.  The other kids are still attending as usual, but I can't help but feel that sometimes I'm not going to be enough to get them ready for what lays ahead.  How can I?  I don't even know what lays ahead.  Thank goodness I have wise, church leaders that are concerned for and care about us. 

Lonely is the all encompassing word to describe what I feel, and saying "I miss Chris" is the all encompassing phrase that describes how I feel about him being in the next phase of life.  I keep a family photo in my living room and I look at it often, and if it weren't for the photo, I think I'd start to forget what he looks like. 

I had an experience tonight that was kind of sweet and brought more tears amongst the ones of missing him that I was already producing.  I said out loud that I need you Chris, and when I sat in the car with tears streaming down my face, a song came on the radio that I know wasn't a coincidence. 

It was Phil Collins You'll Be in my Heart - 
   There was a part that says,
 "When destiny calls you
You must be strong
I may not be with you
But you've got to hold on
They'll see in time I know
We'll show them together.

'Cause you'll be in my heart
Believe me,you'll be in my heart (I'll be there)
From this day on
Now and forever more."

There were parts that specifically spoke to me and I know that he tries to communicate to me through music. Then it says "Just look over your shoulder, just look over your shoulder ..."  and you know what I looked over my shoulder and there was my sweet little Esther sleeping in the car. 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

I want to fix this PROBLEM

I was just thinking tonight how I feel like having lost my husband feels like a problem that I need fixed. 

You know much like a problem where you forgot to pay your electricity or gas bill and you need to do something before those things get turned off.  Or where you missed putting gasoline in your car and you are almost out, or you forgot about an important meeting that's starts in 10 minutes but the location is 15 minutes away and you aren't dressed for it.   Or, the darn computer keeps giving you a headache because it operates so slow a snail is able to move faster.    Or you had a fight with your best friend and need to make amends. Or you hit someone's car and know you need to tell them but you can't quite get the nerve to do it.  

All these problems are fixable and sometimes unavoidable, but they all bring inside a person a similar feeling.  I keep feeling lately that there's a solution to this situation I'm in, that somehow I can rewind time and things will be just fine again, or that somehow I'm stuck in a horrific dream and can't quite wake up from it, or sometimes I feel like I missing that one thing I can do to FIX this problem.   

We didn't have any problems, well, at least not when he slipped away.   I'm rather fortunate that things are where they are.  He was preparing for THIS and didn't realize it and neither did I, until IT happened.  

I know that this isn't a fixable problem, at least not in the immediate future.  I'm adjusting to life as a sole parent on Earth and trying to do what a team of two did together, doing it solo now.   I'm finding a groove slowly, it's not easy, not fun (well maybe once in a while), but there are things that were so much better when he was here.  

I've lost pretty much any desire to cook (and I loved to do that before - my poor kids),  I've lost any desire to really "clean" anything or declutter or anything like that.  I've gained more of a desire to need to be with other people, it's weird I'm a people person, so I'm trying to make sure I'm mom when I need to be, but still trying to create who I am now without the man I've been with for the last 16+ years.  

Tears are still coming unannounced.  But really the timing is slightly predictable - during the night, on Sundays, when I'm reading things of spiritual natures, or when I just have silence and start to think about what has changed.  Trying to keep moving forward, but sometimes I don't know which way is really forward because I feel like I've been spinning out of control for the last 11 weeks almost and even longer if you count the month he was sick before he passed away.  I'm trying to find some firm footings somewhere to know where to go and what to do and right now I've got nothing except to find another home.  

It will be bitter sweet, no matter when it is but I know that the only good sleep I've had was when we had our furnace go out and we stayed in Santaquin with my father in law at his home.  The kids loved that and so did I.  

There isn't such thing as normal.  I used to think that there was, but really I keep thinking that everyone that I see could be gone later that same day or the next or in a week.  Life is seriously precious and really is giving me an indication that it's meant to be lived and not feared, but still there is some anxiety when I think that so and so could be next, or heck even myself.  (Of course, I hope not for a very long time). 

And that brings me to the phrase "If we endure it well". I've been learning what that really means the last two months and have gathered that it doesn't simply mean to sit around and not do anything but to really ENJOY and be HAPPY while I'm enduring.  I equate enduring to living.  Granted there is a time for pause while a grieving person is trying to get their feet on solid ground again and head out from the fog that encapsulates it during this time.   But when the dust settles and feet are firmly planted once again, it's time to get to work. 

Again if I haven't said it already I don't wish this on my worst enemy.  Losing someone really brings to light those things that are of worth and worth our time and those things that don't really matter.  I'm not really "living" right now I'm kind of just floating along and in a daze at that.  That's why I'm writing my thoughts down so that I'll remember them later, when I really need to fall back on it.  

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

And you might have thought we were crazy

So, when Chris and I met we were at school up at Ricks College (then, now it's called BYU Idaho) up in Rexburg, Idaho.   He had been home from his mission for just a few months, not sure exactly how many - it might have been closer to a year actually.   But, we were in the same student ward - which meant we were in the same church congregation.  

We were in this same ward since August when the school year and semester had started in 1997.  But we didn't really get to know each other until a few months later, like January 1998.  We were placed in the same Family Home Evening group and got to see each other every Monday, and quickly we started talking more and more. We would see each other on campus and stop and chat, I may have even missed a class or two just so I could talk with him.   When we met it was in the middle of winter in Rexburg and it was so cold.  So a lot of the time we would sit in his car and talk for hours just getting to know each other.  

A lot of the day to day details are now fuzzy, but one night for FHE he picked me up and threw me over his shoulder and then placed me in a snow bank and held me down for a room mate of mine to white wash my face (rubbing snow all over).  Crazy times.   We went out to Milhollow for frozen yogurt and had a few of my roomies with us, and we talked and visited and held hands under the table like we were trying to hide something like little kids.   It makes me laugh now!   My roomies that came left before we did, and we took our time and were holding hands on the way back.  And we stood out in front of my house that I lived in, under a tree and I thought to myself, that I wasn't kissing another boy unless it was the boy I was going to marry ( I had a kissed a handful or two while at college -- oops)  but we were standing there close to curfew time, facing each other, gazing in to each others eyes - and then we kissed.   Right after that - the lady that managed the place popped her head out and asked if I needed a late pass.  Oh my gosh!  I was almost embarrassed.   After that we said good night, and then life was never the same.  

We were pretty much inseparable after that.  That first kiss was March 16, 1998 - and within a few more weeks of that, we knew we were supposed to get married.  It was quick.  From the time we had our first kiss till we were married, it was 100 days.   Crazy fast yes.  People thought we were nuts.  And we may have been.   But when it's right, it's right.  In April of that year, I graduated with my associates in generals from Ricks College and my parents came up for that. Plus I turned 20 the same day I graduated, so we the four of us went out for lunch or dinner and spent some time together.  This was the first time my parents had met him in person, and they were leery of me and what I was thinking.  Apparently Chris had asked my dad if he could marry me and apparently my Dad couldn't say Yes, fast enough.  The story goes, that my Dad paid Chris to marry me so that he didn't have to take care of me financially anymore.  Haha...  That didn't really happen, it's just the joke.   

I went through the temple for my endowment in May about a month after my birthday and about a month before our wedding date.  In June we were married in the Mt. Timpanogos temple for Time and all Eternity.  And that was the best day of my life!  We felt the need not to wait to have children, so almost immediately we were expecting our first child.   And she was born 10 months after we were married.  We have had several of our kids a bit faster than most people, and though we planned for pretty much all of our children the timing in which they came was a little quicker than what we had planned.  Knowing now, what has happened, I'm glad we didn't hesitate!  As it is, we only got a little over 16 years together here on Earth.  Not nearly enough, and having to adjust my life without him in it every day has been hard, and I'm sure it will continue to be hard.  

So for those who thought we were crazy getting married so young, and only knowing each other for such a short time,  what happened two months ago is exactly why things happened so fast.  I'm so grateful for the time we had together, for the love of a man who was righteous and honored his priesthood.  For a man who was great with his children, and loved spending every minute he could with them.  Who would surprise me with flowers on days when I really needed it.  All these things I'm going to miss in the future, but luckily I have all these things as part of my past and my life with him.  

I never imagined loosing him so soon, and especially not while we still have young children.  I am praying that I can rise to this challenge now that is before me and honor him by doing the things that we had talked about, and the things that were important to us in teaching our kids.  I feel overwhelmed most days because I have a huge load to carry now.  And some days it feels unbearable.  But I know I have something to work harder for now, because I want to see my sweetheart again!  So you might have thought we were crazy - but you know what, I think we were just following God's plan for us.   

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Tonight I want to SCREAM!!!

I didn't choose losing my husband at such a young age!  At least not to my current knowledge but I'm under the impression that I signed up for this.   I think I've always sensed this was going to be my lot in life.  

I think he sensed it too.  It was always jokingly, but I think he sensed it.  It's one of those things that when you take the time to look back over impressions and conversations that you see a pattern start to emerge.  Of course, in the midst of every day life you aren't looking for it, and many times it gets overlooked.  Now I don't say this to start making you try to see what might be lying in store in your future, because I'm not.  I'm just saying that for me, I think we both knew this was coming.  We didn't know it in the sense that we really planned for what to do if it did happen, but I think we both just knew.  

Often times he would jokingly (at least it came across as jokingly) that he was going to die when he was 45 (or some young age like that, just not 40) I kept telling him to "Shutup, and quit talking like that."   I of course, didn't want to face a situation of that magnitude because quite frankly it scared me.  Why it scared me, I can't quite explain, but it did.   Often times people are scared of the unknown, and the feelings that linger beneath the surface.  But as I sit back and think about the last several years I can't help but feel like I had moments where that thought would flash in my mind and I would push it aside.  I didn't want to pay attention to it.   Do you blame me?  I don't.  

It's been two months since my sweetheart has passed on, and I have cried so much since then than I thought was ever humanly possible.  I might actually start crying before this is over too, that's just how it works.  In these two months, we've celebrated Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years Eve/Day, our son's 10th birthday, and all of the other day to day stuff that happens.  We've painted our living room to give it a face lift.  I'm changing out furniture because I feel like it, not to mention it's old and needed to be replaced a long time ago.  I've had my furnace stop working over New Years Eve and it was out for a few days, so we stayed at my father in laws house.  It was really refreshing to stay somewhere else for a few nights.  I've had bills to pay, we've gone out to eat a few different times.   I'm now experience my first sickness without him here, and my three year old is sick too.  My kids have missed the bus a few times in the last two months, which has required me to drive them, and often sets back the rest of the morning.  (I'm not a natural morning person so this has been rough)  And what makes it more rough is when you have a difficult time getting to sleep at night.  All the memories creep in, all the thoughts of the good times, an the replaying of the weeks and days leading up to his eventual passing away.  

When he passed away I experienced an intense physical pain.  It wasn't just emotional but I had a physical pain too.  I was now separated from the love of my life, he was my prince charming, he was my man!  And now, he isn't with us physically anymore.  We were one, we were connected in our purpose and in our love for each other.  And now he was just ripped away from me without any warning.  Yes he was sick, but I had hope that he was going to get better.  That was not to be.  

I've learned a lot about myself, and it really isn't awe inspiring or anything but I know that my love for him runs really deep to the core of my being.  And his absence is heartbreaking for sure.  There have been many times and moments where having him here, would make everything not feel so bad but I don't get that now. We were and are a team.  If decisions needed to be made we usually made them together, so now that I've had to make decisions I'm my only sounding board unless I manage to bore someone else with my crazy thoughts.  Which sometimes they can be very off the wall crazy.   He was my stabilizing factor, the person that when things started to go not the way we had planned he'd talk me through it and help me understand and see how things weren't nearly as bad as I perceived them to be at first.

I found that I was relying more on him, then on my Savior Jesus Christ, and my Heavenly Father.  So since then I realized that I needed to change that within myself.  I need to lean on them for strength, peace and comfort.  I've gained a better knowledge of the love that they have for me, and just because they love me and I'm trying to do whats right doesn't mean I'm not going to experience trials and challenges.  And if you ask me - this particular challenge beats them all.   But at the same time, I look at my situation and feel that I'm in a rough spot right now but realize there are others that have it worse then what I'm going through really is.  And I'd rather have this trial then one that another person is struggling with that I think is way more unbearable.   But really, I've also discovered that through these low moments and the darkest of days, I have a source of light to turn to and seek comfort from.   Yes, it might not be tangible like sometimes I long for, but it puts me in a place that brings me closer to my Savior and that much closer to being with my sweetheart again. 

I keep having moments where it just all seems too hard, and too much for me to handle and deal with, which results in a break down of tears and lots of praying to God.  I also have moments where being the sole parent here on Earth is very overwhelming and my kids aren't very cooperative and I just want to SCREAM because it isn't fair!   It's a real feeling, I know, I have it multiple times a week and usually multiple times in a day.   It isn't fair, but it's what my life is now.  I don't wish this on my worst enemy. 

I don't know who I am without him right here beside me.  And that's what this next year is going to be about.  Creating who I am in a world where my sweetheart doesn't live anymore.  I miss him like crazy, and I would like nothing more than to see him once again.  But I know that isn't going to happen, hopefully for a long, long time.  We have six kids that need to be raised and I want to be a grandmother someday. 

I long for companionship, and maybe someday that will happen.  But for now, it's all about me.  Which feels weird too, but I'm reinventing myself, I have to.  If I'm going to survive this.  It's all I can do sometimes to just breath through minute by minute but eventually I know it will get easier, it just isn't that time right now.  

So if you hear a scream off in the distance please know that I'm doing my best, but right now it's feeling very overwhelming to me and not something I'm really enjoying either.   I sometimes just need a release, and sometimes multiple releases.  

Sunday, January 4, 2015

My first Christmas Eve

Having fun by the tree.

Caleb, my nephew.
Heidi and Courtney
This is the first Christmas Eve that I am without my sweetheart.  We were invited to my sister in law Amy's house to have dinner with her family and visit and be together.  It was great that I didn't have to make dinner!   Really, who's going to turn down dinner when you don't have to make it?   (Usually not me!)  

I've had my older girls helping with wrapping presents this year, and I still have a few to do on my own that I don't want them to know about.  So I'll be up for a while. I'm hoping to get the kids to bed REALLY soon or at least in the back room since they all love to sleep in the same room on Christmas Eve.   Then I can wrap out here in the living room and watch a Christmas movie on Netflix while I'm slaving away all by my lonesome.  

I'm aware of the fact that I'm getting used to him not being here.  Not that I'm forgetting, but when someone isn't coming around anymore I think the mind starts to adjust and it gets easier to live without them.  Not better, just easier.   I still miss him like crazy and want for him to be with me so badly.  But I think I'm accepting the fact that he's gone and he isn't coming in the door any time soon. 

I was really angry this last weekend and mad.  I started lashing out at my kids, but knew that's not how I wanted to be.  I had a hard Saturday night with crying up to an hour and half before it was out of my system, but I picked up the next morning right where I left off.  I was crying all through church, and just felt alone.  I asked one of my dear friends and former home teacher for a priesthood blessing and the two of us along with his wife, and a neighbor of mine, Kawika Allen walked into an old Bishops office that isn't being used anymore and I had that blessing.  And it felt so good afterwards to just tell someone other than my walls about how I'm feeling almost on a daily basis.   It was some great therapy for me and I felt so much better after having done that.  (Did I mention I have a great friends and a great ward/neighborhood here)  

So back to tonight, I am determined to make Christmas joyous and happy for my kids and for myself.  I've always loved Christmas and I don't have any intentions of changing that.  

After having fun, talking, playing and visiting with family we came home via Kaylee driving!  (She's getting so much better I might add) and we watched The Nativity video on and then we opened the Christmas Eve gift.  Of course, there gift is always PJ's so some of the kids were super excited.  

My First Christmas without my sweetheart

So we're now just past 7 weeks into this journey without the man in our lives. 

The kids have been on Christmas break, it's been great not to get up at the crack of dawn every morning.  

We set up the Christmas tree a few days after Thanksgiving, I set up the lights on the house a few days before Thanksgiving.  

I spent time Christmas shopping ALONE.   Which wasn't too exciting really.   I remember being in the store and finding something neat or awesome for one of the kids an thought to myself, I can't wait to show this to Chris.  Then it hit me how he wasn't going to be there when I got back home.   

I bought a few things for myself, (but only because so many people helped us out by giving us money).  I had a daughter buy a heart shaped locket and had a photo from my wedding day printed and she cut her dad's face out and put it in the locket.  So, so sweet!  Of course, it made me cry.  She also made a little accordian style album and attached photos into it that had her Dad in them.   I will cherish that always. 

Another daughter at the end of the gifts had made a card that was from "him".   As she was giving it to me she said, I know this is what dad would do if could.   The card said, "To Wendy"   "From Chris"  and she imitated his writing pretty well.  And just seeing the writing made me tear up.  And then on the inside it said, I will love you always and forever (or something like that) - as I don't have it in front of me right now.  And then she gave me a box with earrings and a necklace.  The earrings are the infinity symbol, and the necklace has a heart with the infinity symbol in it.   So thoughtful and sweet.  

Christmas was good.  But Christmas was different.  I spent my first Christmas away from my childhood family with him and his family so this was the first Christmas since then that we haven't been together.  I'm pretty sure he was with us.  I missed the actual element of surprise that he always came up with for Christmas.   On Christmas Eve  - It took a lot longer to take care of things then normal.  Why?  Because I didn't have him there helping as in years past.  

There was a missing element to our holiday season this year and that void isn't really wanted.   

It seems that normal stresses of life seem to hit me harder now that I don't have him as a stabling element in my life.  To calm me when I start to "worry" too much or a situation comes up that makes it hard to decide something easily.   (That's an entirely different post).  

But overall Christmas was okay,  New Years was okay.    It's a new year and that means new projects, new goals, new growth, new friends and more Cafe Rio for sure!