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 lds.org 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!