The Journey Through Grief of a Young Widowed Mom

My grief journey after losing my husband of six and a half years. I am 27, and he would have been 28, in September 2006. We have three little boys, 6, 4, and 2.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Time Marches On

I write this from Georgia where I moved after I married Kris on May 30th. A lot has changed since my last blog entry and I am amazed myself when I look back at it. I thought people were ridiculous when they said the first two years were the worst and after that it gets better. That is the truth. Also figuring out what real depression is and taking medication, even if I don't want to helps also. I needed the medication before Mickey died, and more so afterward. I still need it. It has nothing to do with being sad or upset, it has to do with chemicals and sometimes events, situations cause more imbalance because of hormones and chemicals in the body, and that is the time that it is the worst. That is what I experience during the time of my last post. I had genuine grief but it was made worse by the depression and the anxiety that I was dealing with. This made having a relationship difficult and being able to make decisions clearly.

Kris came to visit me in June '08 and I was not prepared for the visit, and I was not completely stable. I wanted him to visit but when he got there my emotions were such a mess, and his reaction to them made it worse and I decided that we just needed to go our own separate ways. We "broke up at that time and remained in contact, but not anywhere as much as we did before and I felt like I could never have a relationship again, that I wasn't lovable enough to do so either. However, I soon after got on my medication and things started to stabilize in other areas of my life. I could take more control, could make better decisions, and by December, Kris and I were talking more again and the thoughts of dating were on both of our minds. He came to visit for Christmas, and we resumed our relationship with more stability and security though there were still questions about how it would work as I did not want to leave Michigan, and he did not want to leave Kids 4 Christ. Then in February I went down to visit him and we decided we should get married :) We set the date for May 30th, and a week later we moved the boys and me down to GA, where we are going to live for 2-3 years and then we will return to Michigan, per the deal we forged when we got engaged. I enjoy being married and we are kept plenty busy here in GA, but it is not home, and I do look forward to returning to Michigan when the time comes.

Thus ends my journey as a widow. This blog has been therapeutic and I hope that if other young widows come across this, it will help them realize what they are going through is normal, and that it really does get better. The pain of losing my husband will not ever be completely gone, and I will always miss Mickey, but I've come to realize that life moves on, that it does hurt less and less, and that I've got three beautiful boys that are reminding me of him more and more as they grow older.

Friday, October 10, 2008

My 28th Birthday

I was fine until a couple of hours ago when I realized that my birthday is relatively insignificant. I try to say that birthdays aren't that important. No one will be here for my birthday, my birthday dinner will be my parents, their foster kids and the boys and I. I am going putt-putting with the boys today too. That will be good. It will be good to have fun with them. However, it still aches some. I don't have him, I don't have anybody to share the day with. I'm not special to any one in particular today. There isn't anyone to take me out tonight. I am 28, a couple years away from 30, and I am alone. I have so many blessings, three great little boys, I know I should take all the joy in them, but that ache is still there. I'm not young, I'm not pretty, I'm not skinny, I am a single mom of three boys and that is who I am now. Most of the time it is okay, but it is days like my birthday, or other special days when there is no one around to distract me. It is a day just like every other day now, like every other day. James asked me why I'm not too happy today and I told him just because. He told me that birthdays are supposed to be happy days. It will be okay when we are out having some fun. And then tonight we will come home and the boys will fight, cry, yell my name constantly for no particular reason and it will grate on my nerves, and then they will go to bed and I will sit here alone and realize that I am alone for another birthday and that I have many more birthdays to live alone. Someday I will get over it. Nothing is ever consistent anymore. My next birthday will probably be okay and each holiday or special day gets a bit easier. I try to do better, I try to remember my joys and my blessings. Sometimes it just hurts.

Monday, September 08, 2008

It's Frustrating

I haven't written in awhile, nor will I probably very much. I'm tired of thinking about, and dealing with the things that I write here, and I'm sure it is even less interesting for other people to read. Nothing has changed very much inside or outside of my heart.

For now I will stay put. Mom isn't going to adopt the girls or do foster care anymore after these kids are permanently placed somewhere else. I will have more help with the boys, and will be able to do more things, which should help in a great many ways. I will be less frustrated in this and hopefully can get out of the house and start doing more things and the boys will have one more person to help them, play with them, take them places, teach them.

I will start this next part by asking for no lectures, encouragement or anything like that from anybody. They don't serve the purpose. Everything you might respond with about God and His wisdom I know, understand and more or less believe, but understanding with the brain very often does not do anything for rallying the heart. God and faith can withstand badgering, bitterness and anger much better than we can. I will be angry at God, and I am a bit bitter towards God. It seems He has more or less turned His back on me. Whether this is my fault, or not, I don't know, but I pray for wisdom and I pray for understanding, and get very little of it. I don't know what He wants me to learn, I don't know what he wants me withstand any more, and I don't believe it benefits these little boys much. I begin to feel more like a hypocrite every day teaching the boys about God, and about His goodness when I can feel my heart grow a little bit harder every day. I suppose it wasn't enough to have my husband shot, develop PTSD...He took him away completely. And its not enough that my husband is dead, I have to deal with this trials which I don't understand. I gain weight consistantly. I've tried doing a few different things, and short of being rich and hiring a personal chef and a personal trainer, I'm not going to lose the weight I need. I cannot get out there and run, my knees and hips won't allow that. I cannot join a gym and go work out every day, because I am a single mom. Walking only works part of the year, is boring and discouraging and that does not lend itself to consistancy. I don't have enough will power, I'm usually half angry and bitter, and no one loses as much weight as I need to without the money and the time to spend all their waking day devoted to it. Therefore, who the heck would want a fat widow with three kids? There are not many lining up. If I had a beautiful face, my weight might not matter as much, but I do not have that either. On top of my appearance (which as much as one might say doesn't really matter, try dating when you are my age, and fat on top of that) I have a list of requirements that I don't think very many men out in the world can match. They are not negotiable because I'd rather be alone than to find someone that was less than that. He needs to be a Christian man, with strong morals, strong moral character, willing and able to be the head of the household, he has to love my kids, be a churchgoer and willing to be involved in the church and ministry, accept and encourage homeschooling, be a family man, be consistant, solid and strong. Now you try to find a guy like that who is unmarried and would date me....yeah, I know...impossible huh? Oh, and he should be from somewhere nearby, or if not be willing to come to the area. Yes, I know...guess I will have to be single. Why does God want three little boys to have no earthly father to help the grow into men? Why does God have for me to be single, when I know that is not what I want or need? The boys need a dad now, and not in five years or ten years...they need one now. They don't have the consistant father figure they need. There is no one willing to spend a few nights a week with them. They have two people, both that live busy lives. One can see them once a month or so, one can do something with them sometime on the weekend. This is better than nothing and better than some other boys have, I know. Don't whine Katie. I'm angry though and feel I have the right. So either leave and don't finish or deal with it and keep reading. There are others that have it worse than me, and I don't wish for their lives, but that does nothing to heal me. It is hard being a single mom. It is hard trying to raise three boys on my own and try to be everything to them. (Don't even pull the public school card here...schools would do far less to help me, but only create more problems. It is not okay to send my kids to public school because I want a break during the day. That is a sad excuse and will not happen. There lives are worth far more than me deciding I need a break so I'll send them away all day every day. So, though that might make others upset, deal with it, it is my conviction, and though it may not be yours, it doesn't make it wrong, nor can I say the same about your convictions). Taking care of my boys is my greatest joy, but it is not a one person job by design. I am not meant to be single by design, but for some reason it has come to that I am to function this way. I suppose it is like when someone loses a limb they have to learn to function without it, and though they always wish that they could have that limb back, and they feel phantom pains of the limb, psychological pain from the loss, it doesn't change the fact that they have the loss and it isn't going away. You keep going on and change the way you live to try to compensate for it, but it won't ever be normal. God created the family for a reason with a mother and father, and I don't have that because of God's will. I don't understand that. Perhaps He means to provide for someone and my human nature is getting in the way, my overweight self, my frustrated self, but I feel very weak and unable to do much about these things. Pray for strength, pray for wisdom...yes, I do, and so do others for me. Thanks.

So what do I expect? I don't know. I guess I expect that I'll get over it, and I'll deal with it and I'll look back in a few years and be glad that I got through and that it really was okay. I will realize God was there, though I had to struggle through the entire time. I will continue to be an amputee that adapts without the missing appendage. I don't really expect to find anybody, the numbers of widows that remarry are not really that high, and I have a feeling this has little to do with their choice. I could abandon some of my morals and requirements, but that would do little for my soul and little for the welfare, hearts, and souls of my little boys, though it is tempting at times when I see many other people doing the same thing. I'm a romantic at heart, but that is pretty much dying in me. Life isn't a fairy story at all and the great love stories are just that, stories. There aren't knights on white horses, and no one is going to come rescue me in the tower.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

I Am Not Sure

It has been 22 months and I still don't like I have gotten much of any where. I still feel like I'm waiting, constantly waiting for something to happen. I'm often bored and I'm often lonely. I feel sorry for myself sometimes and I don't want to. I want to be the strong, independent widow that is optimistic, hopeful and encouraged. I want to be the peaceful, grace-filled, hopeful Christian woman. I want to find extreme fulfillment in God, and in my relationship with Him and with what He has provided to me. I have a strong faith, I know that I will be fine, and He will provide for me. I know that if I have to be alone I will be okay. I know that if I trust Him, follow Him that I will be able to raise my boys well. However, I also know made us with some important needs that need to be met like companionship, a purpose, a goal, etc. Here in Lake Ann my support is practically non-existent My mom has three foster kids and can't watch the boys. We can't take trips to town. She can't keep them while I go to a move or shopping alone. My sister is home for the summer, but it will be short lived and I doubt she'll come home next summer. She is busy with work, taking classes. She still takes time for the boys and she is who is making it possible to not lose my mind. However, when she leaves in August and then the winter comes and the boys can't go outside anymore, and there is nothing to do indoors anywhere, it is going to be extremely depressing, anxiety ridden and hard. I don't mind that my mom has foster kids, in fact, it potentially provides me less guilt if I decide to move. I feel responsible for my mom, which I know I shouldn't. She had us when we were growing up and now all of us are grown. Now she has foster kids. She's never not had any children to take care of. She doesn't do anything but take care of children and be on the computer. If she had no foster kids and I left with the boys, she'd sit alone in her house all day long. And for some reason, I feel that it is my responsibility to keep her from feeling that depression and loneliness. So then I have that to deal with on top of dealing with my own issues. I don't really want to be here in Lake Ann anymore. I don't care to be in the Traverse City area. If it wasn't for the fact that I owned land connected to my parents and a house I can't really sell, I would be out of here....oh and feeling like I"m responsible for my mom. Here I own my house with no mortgage, I have two acres, plus my parents eight to use, I have a nice big barn with my goats and storage. The boys can go out and play and wander around and explore for hours on their own...well April through October anyway. They hate the winter. I hate the winter. Winter is too expensive up here. They have room to ride their power wheels and their go-cart here, but then again, that is only six months of the year also. In a small city, like Midland, they'd have sidewalks to ride their bike, only about 1/10 of the amount of snow they get up here, a lot more family to see, be around, and a lot more indoor things to do. They have a community center and a center for the arts. They have more parks, and everything is closer than it is here. However, buying a house down there means having a mortgage, renting my house out up here, and dealing with those issues. I am not sure what outweighs the other. If my parents were to tell me they understand, that I am free to do what I think is best and that they will support me and offer me help then I'd probably leave readily. I am also afraid of leaving and finding out that all the emotional problems I feel that are here are also there. No matter what, if I do leave, there will still be more for the boys to do in the winter, and we can still visit often in the summer.

As for relationships. I don't know. Maybe I am too damaged, maybe it is too much of trying to live my life as I was, or think I should, or maybe it is a matter of not finding that someone else. I highly doubt I will find anyone. I didn't hardly date anyone or have an interest by anyone until Shane introduced me to Mickey. That was it. He was my first pretty much everything and it only took one try, well one chance. There wasn't any body else interested or lined up and that was when I was cuter, skinnier and had less baggage in my life. That was before I had three kids and was almost 30. I met Kris randomly and thought that it was going go be able to go somewhere, thought it was, and then I realized that I wasn't in love with him, but rather with the idea of having someone to share my life with. He's a good guy and has a lot to offer, so why couldn't I have feelings for him. We remain good friends and talk all the time, and maybe if I weren't here there would be something else there. There wouldn't be the emotional issues of being in this life. Maybe not. I don't know. Is it important to have someone that you are "in love" with? Does that go away as you get older? Do people that have been married, and then go into the dating world ever feel that "in love" feeling again? I think I was damaged before Mickey passed away too from dealing with PTSD and some of that "in love" feeling was gone there too. In fact, probably most, but it was still there and we were dealing with things and it was getting better when he died. But maybe I'm too scarred, maybe I'm too tainted...maybe too much innocence is gone to feel that way again. I love love stories, I love the feeling of butterflies and the passion of a new love just from watching or reading stories, but is it silly to expect that in my own life again? I know I'm not the catch of the county and I highly doubt I"m going to find someone else. I had a hard enough time when I was younger, and now I"m not younger, and less attractive than ever, and have three children. I love my children and wouldn't trade them for anything and everything in the world, but I don't think very many men are going to come along side and feel the same way. I don't believe there is a big outcry for overweight, devout Christian women with three kids these days. Nor would I want to find someone that wasn't a devout Christian that couldn't accept me for who I am or accept my kids. So...that narrows the pool right down to nearly nothing, and even when I found someone that met those requirements, I couldn't allow him to continue in a relationship with me when I couldn't be "in love" with him. He never had a real relationship before me, he doesn't feel the butterflies with me, and he is called to a ministry where I don't want to go. I want him to find someone to be in love with. I want him to be happy and have a devoted, young wife to give him his own children and join him along side his ministry. He deserves it. I just think the circumstances weren't right, and we remain good friends and sometimes I worry that I made the wrong decision and maybe it can work if I'm not here or maybe if his ministry ends up having to close down and he's free to leave, but I don't wish it to do that and if the feelings aren't there, they probably just aren't there. I just don't know. I retain a small amount of hope that someday I will find someone that I feel sparks with, that offers a lot of hope for the future.

I am the only one who knows what I am feeling and I'm the only one I know in my position. I know there are lots of people that love me and want what is best for me, but I love them and want their opinion but when they day is done, it is still only me who knows what is best for us and what I need or want to do. However, I can't get away from feeling responsible for other people, from worrying about their opinions, and the desire to not disappoint anymore. I pray for the right answer, I pray for direction, and I pray for wisdom. I want to do what is right and good. I want to do what is best for my sons. I want to do what is best for me too.

Saturday, January 12, 2008


I am reading two books right now: The Purpose Driven Life and Living In Your Sweet Spot (Max Lucado). I also have been thinking a lot lately. I did something that I thought was just changing the house around, but really it started the ball rolling for another round of healing. I moved out of my bedroom and moved the boys in there. They have taken over that space and it is now a wonderful room for three little boys and all of their stuff. I have no purpose for a room other than to sleep and one of the smaller rooms is more than adequate for that. They have a ton of room to play in their room now, a cubby/fort area, and a closet big enough to hold nearly all of their toys. It is a great room. It is no longer Mickey's and my room and I have my OWN room now. I am also in the process of getting rid of things. Things that we don't need or don't use. I am trying, once again, to simplify. Max Lucado says in his book that we have a purpose given to us by God, and He equipped us with what we need for that purpose. Anything we hoard, collect, obsess over, fill up our lives with that don't help us accomplish that purpose need to be removed from our lives so that we have greater freedom in pursuing it and less distraction. This is very true, very freeing and a great directive when trying to organize my life from the top down.

I have also applied for a college program in town. It is an adult accelerated program that meets once a week for 18 months and then I will have my BA in Family Life Education. It is supposed to begin in April and will continue to the following October without very many breaks and a lot of homework. It meets one night a week for four hours so I will not have to sacrifice much time with the boys and I can continue with our normal schedule.

I also saw a movie the other night that probably should have made me sad, but instead it was encouraging. P.S. I Love You is about a woman who lost her husband and how he, through letters he wrote before he died, directs her to finding herself and moving on with her life despite her loss. They had been married for 10 years and had been the best of friends with plans and hopes for the future and then he was gone and she did not know what to do with herself. In his letters he guided her, directed her, sent her on trips and took her back to who she was before they had met, and told her that it was okay that she move on, that she find happiness and even love again, but most of all that she find the one thing that made her happy and gave her purpose. She did in the end, and in the end she didn't have to have the man to fulfill her like in last year's Catch and Release, she found the fulfillment in her own purpose, a hopeful future, and in the relationship with her friends and family. She came to understand that though her husband was gone, that he would never be absent from her life because of the memories she shared with him, the lessons he had taught her, and the strength that he gave her.

Perhaps going beyond what most people care to believe or speculate, I think that God, or Mickey has been giving dreams of Mickey to Owen. Owen talks of his daddy all the time, and perhaps it is an imaginary friend thing, but I think it is more than that. Owen knew which leg was Daddy's bad leg. Owen talks about his Daddy teaching him things that he would not have had because he was only 13 months old when Mickey died. It is interesting and comforting to me. To know that Owen has some kind of connection to Mickey that I was afraid would not ever be. And though I knew it before, life does not end at death, neither do relationships, or connections. Mickey is still alive in spirit and though I don't understand all the dynamics and facts about life after death, I do believe there is still a connection and it helps me to find peace in living the rest of my life, and having it end and having us all reunited some day in Heaven. I know Mickey isn't concerned for the harsh things of the world, because he is a bigger picture, and I know that he sees God's hands in our lives because he has a first hand look at it. I know he is proud of his boys and I hope he is proud of me.

I am more hopeful and less distracted. I know I have a purpose and most of the purpose of my life is raising my three boys into strong, faithful, serving young men. I have been given three lives to mold, three souls to prepare, and it is a big and wonderful job I have been blessed with and I know that God equipped me to do it, even if it is by myself. I am fearful and wonderfully made by Him, and I take hope in that. I understand that I also have other gifts God gave me, and that I have gifts to use for the purpose of His kingdom and that I need to seek, develop and use these things also. Life is going to be fine, and someday I will look upon God's face and plan on hearing him say that I have done well. Then I want to look to his side and see Mickey, Liz, Grandpa B and all the others that will go before me and smile and them, run to them and hold them close. Then I will wait for all those to come home after me.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

At Home and The Future

I arrived home on December 21st. It was nice to come home and see my family, to be at my house and to have my things. However, I still come back to the unknown. However, I have decided to make the unknown known. I will forget worrying about what might or could be and to make things myself. I know what I have to do though the energy and drive to do it is limited. I am making some changes in my home. I am moving the three boys to the master bedroom. I don't use the space and they need it for their stuff. I will move into one of the smaller bedrooms. It will be nice for them to have that space to put their toys and more space to play with their toys. I still have many things to put away from the trip and Christmas and I had to get the winter stuff out and now I have bins around the house. I need to go through and get rid of more things. These tasks are the daunting ones. I know that if I just plug away at it and get it done it will be is just starting them. I also have to set the school schedule back up, and work our way back into being home. I plan on starting school in April, so I will have to get all my paper work done for that also. I need to get the boys to the dentist and I need to get myself to the dentist. Owen needs to go to the doctor for his constantly stuffed up nose and his thumb nails.

On a different subject...I don't know if I am or will be good wife material for anyone again. I am not sure if I was great wife material to Mickey at the end because of my own adjustment issues and being a busy mom. I put my kids first because they are the ones that appreciated me most, or at least I felt that way. I wasn't always the most responsive or affectionate and used the excuse of being a mom and taking care of the house to avoid what I should have been doing. I should have swallowed more pride and been more humble. I know that I can't change that now, but I know that I can avoid doing that to someone else. My kids are my life and I guess that is the way it should be. For someone to be in my life they are going to have to be stronger than me, stronger willed, be able to make solid decisions, and to carry their weight plus more. They are going to have to respect my family bond, but show me a proper balance. I need someone that can stand up to me, but also support and inspire me. I think more or less I am damaged in this. I am not sure I can have the lovey dovey feelings that other people have. I am too quick to doubt, put up walls and I have too much ability to cause pain to other people. I don't necessarily deserve another spouse and I don't really want to hold anybody back from what they need to do. This isn't a romance novel or a fairy story. Damaged good don't usually sell well and I don't want to give someone a damaged product. Maybe someday when I am able to transform myself some more into something else, changed my packaging a bit, someone might come along that is ready to take that on, but the princes of fairy tales don't exist and I am definitely not a princess.


Monday, November 26, 2007

Going Home

It is time to go home. Home is with my family. Family is the greatest gift God has given me. I struggle with Jesus saying that if you love your family more than you love Him that isn't good. I guess if I were turning away from Him to serve my family, that would be bad. I don't believe that is the case. I believe He is calling me to be near my family. I believe that God has given us the family structure, the people in my family, for very specific reasons. I believe it does take a village to raise a child...and villages used to be people of the same kin Even if adults don't need extended family, children do. Especially boys without daddies.

Micah is more Micahish than usual. Kris has a sister who is a counselor of sorts, her degree is in psychology, and she said that it sounds like Micah has seperation issues. He knows death, the effect of death at such a tender age and he knows that death took away one of his parents, one of his caregivers, one of his bonds to the life he knows. And being down here, I am the only one that is that connection now. He gets desperate to hold me sometimes, to be near me. He climbs on me constantly and is constantly seeking some kind of attention. He needs to be home with some more of his family so he feels more secure. Owen has these traits too, just not as much and not quite of the same understanding. He misses his Nanoo, his other caregiver, and he doesn't want to be without his Momma. James misses home, security, his things, freedom to wander, safety of home and having other people around to hang out with and talk to. He nearly cried when he saw a picture of our "brown" house covered in snow. I think we all know that feeling...the ache for home, for the familiar, for the place our hearts rest.

I know I need to go home, but I struggle with the future still. I have no clue what is going to happen with Kris and myself. I don't know and a lot hinges on that. I know that it could be a great thing, and that it would be painful to lose it. I know that whatever happens I will, be fine and God provides, and that I can find a different direction, but that doesn't mean I want to do that. Right now I am just excited for Christmas, for Christmas at home, Christmas with everybody I love and being together. I am excited to teach my boys about what CHRISTmas really is, and help them celebrate that. We hung up lights, got a tiny tree and some Santa hats to decorate here. That isn't Christmas but it creates a celebratory atmosphere to separate the rest of the year from this time of the year. I am focusing on find books, videos with the true meaning of Christmas instead of the commercial focus. I am excited for that.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Second Year Slump

I found a name for it. The Second Year Slump. I still cry for Mickey. I am still lonely for him. I mourn the loss of him and the loss of our life. After the first year one is supposed to accept the loss of their loved one. I believe I have accomplished that. I am not angry, I am not bargaining, I am not in denial...those ships have sailed. However, grief doesn't end there. After dealing with losing my husband, I am now dealing with the loss of my own life, or the life I had expected, counted on, planned. I can't make a decision. I can't come up with a solution. Life is vague. Life seems to have no real boundaries, guidelines and very little hopeful leads. What I do know I need to be doing is being done, but it doesn't satisfy the hunger for direction, nor does it give me peace that my life isn't going to be a mediocre day to day existance. I love my boys to death. I would not trade them for anything and they will always be my life. However, someday they will grow up and leave. Even as they are little boys, they can't fulfill who I am as a person. I need God to do that. I need to take my joy, hope and peace in God. I know this. I want God to show me. I'm dense, my eyes are cloudy, my brain is frazzled, and I can't seem to hear Him or see His path. I need some obvious signs, some obvious directions. It is so exhausting to try to figure it out. It is so confusing when I think I know and then ten minutes later I no longer am sure. What is my life? What do I have to offer? What importance to I have? Am I to be just Momma? If so I pray that God just gives me contentment in that. So far, total contentment is not found in just being a mom. It is my most important job, but it is not my whole self, it is not my total satisfaction. Without my boys I would doubly if not more so, miserable, but I am not a one dimensional person and everybody can relate to this. I have absolutely no clue. I feel like a lost, confused, dense, flighty, fickle, discontent, ridiculous person.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

It Still Stings

Last night I had a dream that Mickey was injured really badly, perhaps from the war, maybe it was the accident, not sure, but I felt as though I hadn't seen him in awhile as the dreams always go. He had horrible injuries to his abdomen. When I got to see him I kissed him and hugged him and felt the connection and it was nice. I woke up and I missed him horribly. Seeing him so vividly and being able to touch him in the dream to wake up to him still being gone is hard. I got mad at God this morning for taking away my husband, the love of my life, my best friend, my mate, the father of my children. I asked Him why He couldn't have taught me what He wanted to teach me some other way. Why did he take my boys' dad away? Why did he take my husband away? I don't know what life had in store for me. Maybe Mickey's pain would have gotten worse, maybe his PTSD worse, or maybe it is just about me. Maybe he was just finished and God allowed Him to go home so that he can teach me a lesson better. I don't know. Whatever the reason, I am not fully convinced that it was a good one. I don't need to hear theology either, I know. That doesn't mean I am convinced. Someday maybe I will be, or maybe I will just come to terms with it. Maybe I will just get used to it. I know life will go on, but I miss my friend, my love, my partner, my mate, my entertainment, my fulfillment, my joy, half of my purpose, half of my focus and most of my plans. I know I can do it and I know I will, and I know it is up to me to raise the boys right, but I want to make sure they learn the things their dad would have wanted them to know. I can't be their dad though, so I can only try and apparently that is what God wants me to do.

I am down in GA spending time with another man. It doesn't make me feel guilty at all and I don't really connect the two. They are two very different people and I know that my life has to go on sometime. I know that I can marry again someday and I probably will. I know I want a father figure for my sons and I even want to have another baby or so if I can, after surgery. There are a great many things I can, could, should, would do. Right now I am in GA trying to get my life simplified nd straightend out. I miss home and my family. I want to live at home. Home is where my family is. I don't know if I necessarily would have to live in Lake Ann the rest of my life, but I would be okay now if I did. I have the freedom to leave when I need to and I have a house that is paid for and know what to expect. I have a life time worth of connections up there and it is a safe place to raise the the boys surrounded by lakes and woods and nature that God created for little boys to play in. Not that they don't have woods other places, but that is our woods. I just don't know what God has for us. I just wish he would have left it alone.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

One Year and A Trip

The few days leading up to the one year anniversary of Mickey's home-going were pretty hard. It seemed both like the longest year of my life and like it had flown by at the same time. I still find it incredulous that I lost my dear husband, my life's companion and am now living my life in the present and the future without him. I recently read a book that my good friend gave me for Christmas. It is a collection of short stories/articles/opinion pieces from a widowed mother. She is a smart woman, a great writer and an insightful, honest Christian woman. There were a few pieces in there that particularly spoke to my heart. Encouragement for going and reassurance that is what it is supposed to be. I think that maybe that is starting to sink in. I think maybe I have turned another corner, no, I went up another step. Turning corners means you lose sight of what is behind you. I don't want to do that. I just want to move up to where I am going, but still be able to look behind and see where I've been and to be able to see those who've meant so much to me.

James draws our family pictures now with just the four of us. Sometimes he still puts Daddy in, but a lot of the time it is the four of us. It is our family now. Mickey will never be forgotten, but that doesn't change the fact that he is not here. I heard something on Midday connection today from another widow. She said that she tells her children that God will give us what we need, and if they had needed their daddy, God would have left him here. That is hard thing to say, to accept, but I guess that is the truth. Where God guides, He provides. He gives us what we need to get by, and apparently, we can do it without Mickey. I don't pretend to know why or how, but sometimes have to accept the simply complicated truth as it is.

Owen's concepts of a daddy are vague. He sees pictures and knows that those are his Daddy. His understanding of the position of the position of daddy is the fuzzy part is. He knows grandpa and uncle, he has those in his life, but to understand that his grandpa and uncle are also fathers he doesn't understand. He doesn't quite understand that other people have fathers and why he doesn't have one or what he might even need one for. He's 2. He does understand that he has his Mommy who he never wants to be away from and that she takes care of him and play with him. He understands other people are in his life and that they are good too. That is what he needs to know now.

Micah is a sensitive kid. James is also, but James deals better with them. If Owen hates to be away from me, Micah does more so. He is desperate to be with me sometimes. He is a loving, caring, giving little boy. He gives what he has if someone else is lacking. He is full of sympathy for those less fortunate, like they have less ice cream or they haven't had their full ten minutes with the toy. He's interested in equality and fairness...most of the time. He's only four and sometimes he's tired and cranky and wants what he wants. That's age. The rest is a beautiful personality forming.

James used to be the senstive one, outwardly and inwardly, now he controls the outward more. He now is the "man of the house" and at six-years-old, I don't want him to feel that way. However, I probably help contribute to that. I ask him for his help. He is asked to keep an eye on his brothers when they are outside, or while I take a shower. I ask him to help his brothers and sometimes give up stuff for them just to avoid an argument. That is alright isn't it? Isn't that was older siblings are for? I don't ask him to do lots of chores, in fact, they aren't doing any now which I intend to fix. I don't ask him to punish his brothers and I don't ask him to support me emotionally. He is growing into a strong, capable child though. He's quick, intelligent and intuitive. His temper is short, like his mom's though, and I see him copying things from me, I wish he wouldn't. He mirrors my frustration sometimes, and that cuts to the heart. He teases his brothers relentlessly sometimes, and knows how to hit the right button each and every time, but there is also a deep care and consideration for his brothers that comes through when he gets down on his hands and knees and explains something to Owen, or tries to teach Micah how to do something. He's six at times, other times he's sixty.

I don't feel like I've grown much. I think the first few months I did. Now I feel like I've stalled. I am sitting on a plateau because I need to do something. I need to take some steps. This is a re-occuring theme throughout this blog and the last year. This is why I've chosen to leave for a little bit. I have planned my trip for the fall/winter. I will be gone from Oct 1 through March 31 plus travel time. I will be in Georgia. I found a place to rent that is very affordable and there is enough room for us. I will be helping at Kids 4 Christ ( with whatever I can do, in whatever capacity they feel I can meet. I will be setting up a school schedule for us, and most importantly family devotional and instructional time. We will hopefully create a family schedule including chores, school, play, and familiar routines for everyone. I will depend on God first of all, not myself or my family to meet my needs. I hope to find a new life mission, or at least a start of one. I hope to forge a new relationship with God, a new understanding and the new purpose He has for my life. I hope to have a better and more complete relationship with my sons. I know that I might not reach the perfection of my ideals. I am not ignorant, but I should at least be well on my way to establishing these things by the end of the six months. I don't think it is going to be easy. I know it is going to be hard work. I know that sometimes I will wonder what I'm doing down there, and sometimes I will enjoy it and think that it might be a place to stay. I know I won't become a perfect mother, and that I will still be sad because of my loss. I know these things. However, I believe that God has a purpose for this trip, a purpose to take me away from home. A purpose to remove me from my comfort zone and to plunge me into a new place and life, even just for a little bit, so that I can learn to depend on Him more. I will appreciate everyone's prayers and everyone's support and encouragement.

And one last note. I am not afraid to die, but I am afraid of leaving my three sons without either parent. I am not afraid to die, but I am afraid to lose someone else I love. I faced that a couple of weeks ago with my Grandma, who thankfully, is getting better now. However, now we face an unknown scary medical issue with my little sister that conjures up fears of her dying. I can't face that. I refuse to acknowledge that it is possible that any one of my sisters or brother or sons or friends or cousins or parents or grandparents die anytime soon. I can't face that. I am crippled and that blow would be devastating. God promises to not give us more than we can handle and I ask Him to not see how much more I can handle. Even if I could handle it, I don't want to find that out. I know my own strength is not sufficient and I don't need any other lessons to understand that. I know that I am weak, sinful, cowardly, arrogant, unrighteous, selfish, hypocritical, that I don't love purely enough and that my patience is pitiful. I know that I want to be better and I know only God can make me so. I know this without any more fires. I've been refined, and am being refined still. I don't seek as I should, and I don't read the bible as I should, and I should be on my knees in prayer more. I know this and I am working on my obedience.

So, I pray, that God heals Kelli, either by his miracles or through the doctors. I pray for peace and strength for both Kelli and her husband Cliff. I am thankful for the insurance that allows them to pay for all of the tests and the treatments that are to come. I am thankful that Kelli is smart, realistic and strong and is facing this with great dignity. I am thankful that God has blessed me with such a beautiful sister and am thankful that He will heal her and restore her.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

This Says A Lot

Mercy Me

You're in a better place, I've heard a thousand times
And at least a thousand times I've rejoiced for you
But the reason why I'm broken, the reason why I cry
Is how long must I wait to be with you

I close my eyes and I see your face
If home's where my heart is then I'm out of place
Lord, won't you give me strength to make it through somehow
I've never been more homesick than now

Help me Lord cause I don't understand your ways
The reason why I wonder if I'll ever know
But, even if you showed me, the hurt would be the same
Cause I'm still here so far away from home

I close my eyes and I see your face
If home's where my heart is then I'm out of place
Lord, won't you give me strength to make it through somehow
I've never been more homesick than now

In Christ, there are no goodbyes
And in Christ, there is no end
So I'll hold onto Jesus with all that I have
To see you again
To see you again

And I close my eyes and I see your face
If home's where my heart is then I'm out of place
Lord, won't you give me strength to make it through somehow
Won't you give me strength to make it through somehow
Won't you give me strength to make it through somehow

I've never been more homesick than now

Friday, July 06, 2007

One Year Approaching

I miss him. I think about him at least a dozen times a day. The last times we had together were these summer memories that don't include him now. I can't believe he's gone and isn't ever coming back. I wonder when this feeling will stop. I wonder if I should get away from all of the things that remind me of him, but then I know that I have to preserve them for the boys. I want to move forward, but I can't leave behind the past. I don't want to forget him, and I don't want to just leave it there in the past, I want his memory, his self to come along with us. I want the boys to know that. It is almost like I can feel him around here, but that doesn't necessarily make it any easier. It just reminds me that he isn't here. He isn't here and he isn't going to be. I had a dream last night that he hadn't really died and was just gone for a long time. He came back and Owen so excited to see him. He went right to his daddy and they grinned at each other. And yes, I am still waiting on that dream.

I want to go away. I want to go somewhere. I want to just leave here for awhile and go have new experiences. Do new things with the boys. See new places. Visit people we know. Right now it is bad enough, but when everyone goes back to school, and the fall comes and then the winter it is going to be even worse. I am on nobody's invite list except my family downstate and I seem to be doing all the inviting up here which no one but the immediate family ever makes it to any way. I am a second or third or worse string friend to anybody. I don't think I close myself off. I'm open and friendly to people and go to things people invite me to when I can. I just don't fit it to the circles anymore I guess. I don't know why it is up to me to contact everyone, and when I do, they don't usually contact me back. I know they are busy in life too, but if it were of any importance to them, or if I were a first string friend, or a networker like my sister-in-law, you can be sure that they'd call back or be getting a hold of me.

If I had more money I think I'd travel a lot once fall came. There is a place to visit in CA, and GA, and CT and ME. I'd go to TX, but I think that would be too hard. Maybe a road trip in the fall. I don't know hard that would be for the boys. But once later Sept. hits, everyone is off and doing anything else anyway, except Nanoo. She's the one person that doesn't leave and doesn't have better things to do, except for David...he's a lot of work.

A friend said that I am discontent. I don't know if I'd say discontent, but I am lost still. I don't know what to do with myself. Life is boring and vague. My directions are still very fuzzy and I don't know which way to go. I love my boys, my family, my house, where I live, but I just don't know. I am afraid to disappoint others and I am not sure I am brave enough to do go a whole lot on my own. I'd even like to spend some time downstate and be with the rest of my family. More people to hang out with. More people who are genuine and will treat us as first string friends. But then what would I do with my house and my animals and our stuff. Would it make a whole lot of sense to pay for a place to live when I have a free place to live here? I should buy a new motor home and use it to travel. If gas weren't so dang expensive that might be more of a viable option.

I'm being pulled to get away, but I just don't know where to go or what to do.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

"Who You'd Be Today" (adapted)

Sunny days seem to hurt the most.
I wear the pain like a heavy coat.
I feel you everywhere I go.
I see your smile, I see your face,
I hear you laughin' in the rain.
I still can't believe you're gone.

It ain't fair: you died too young,
Like the story that had just begun,
But death tore the pages all away.
God knows how I miss you,
All the hell that I've been through,
Just knowin' no-one could take your place.
An' sometimes I wonder,
Who'd you be today?

Would you see the world? Would you chase your dreams?
Would you be proud of your family,
I wonder can you see your babies?
Some days the sky's so blue,
I feel like I can talk to you,
An' I know it might sound crazy.

It ain't fair: you died too young,
Like the story that had just begun,
But death tore the pages all away.
God knows how I miss you,
All the hell that I've been through,
Just knowin' no-one could take your place.
An' sometimes I wonder,
Who you'd be today?

Today, today, today.
Today, today, today.

Sunny days seem to hurt the most.
I wear the pain like a heavy coat.
The only thing that gives me hope,
Is I know I'll see you again some day.

Some day, some day, some day.


We listened to that song together thinking of Liz and now I hear and think of you. I never thought I would have to say that. I never thought I'd hear that song and have it tear my heart out because it was about you. I miss you like hell Mick. The say the first time around, the first holidays are worse...I don't think that is true when they fall when shock is still there. Like my trip to Maine was harder this time. Seeing you everywhere and knowing you were there, you grew up there and that you'd never be there again to show the boys all of the wonders of Maine. Owen's birthday party is today. You aren't even here for our baby's second birthday party. He'd make you laugh so much. He'd love to sit with you like he was starting to right before. He's almost a year older now. He can do so much, say so much, and he's such a goof ball. Just like you. All he wanted for his birthday was a gockle...which is ironic because that is what took his dad away, but he doesn't see it that way. He knows his Puppa has them, and that they have wheels and go. I couldn't get him a two wheel one, hopefully they never want one.

Today is Father's Day. The boys are still little enough and we talk about you enough that they know they can still honor you today, and they always will I am sure. It hurts more for me. It hurts that you aren't here. The summer is killer. Every time I take them to the river, I know you died less than a mile from there. Every time we go over to Uncle Mark's lot or the cottage, we go close to where you died, and that hurts. I can't go that way...maybe I never will. In my head I can see your smiling face, the little gap between your front teeth, your smiling eyes, the sun creases from so much time in the sun in the Army. It should make me smile too, but it just makes me miss you. It makes you more real to me, but you aren't here. I can see you shoulders, and your arms would be really dark because all of your time you spend outdoors in the summer. Your red neck. You'd be the one taking the boys fishing, doing things with them outside. You'd love the barn. I am sure you'd have everything moved in there by now and have three or four projects going. You'd like the look of our new floor but you'd hate it on your foot. It gets cold. I put the pool up by myself mostly. Emily helped about as much as I did last year. I put it up mid-June, you did mid-May and it was cold. I didn't have that problem. You did it with your foot so sensitive to cold. I remember it hurt for days. But you did it for your boys.

We went to the beach yesterday and I cried half the way there. I was already having a bad day, I missed you so much and then going out to the beach and remembering the last time we'd been there was when you went with us. The brakes got hot on the truck and caught the grass on fire next to it when we parked. You always had so much fun at the beach and you would have had a ball with the boys. Cliff played with them, but your focus would have been them. James is being brave, but I can imagine him getting out there and doing so much more if you were there helping him, encouraging him. He mentions you a lot and said the other day sunny days make him miss you more.

I talked to you in a dream last night, but it wasn't quite the one I wanted. It didn't make total sense but I saw you and touched you and it was good to see you okay. Maybe I'll see you again and we can talk more about our kids and you can reassure me that you see them and that I'm doing okay.

It still hurts to realize that you are gone forever, at least in this life. You were such a big presence, so much my life. I am amazed that I go on and have a life without you. I sometimes look at it from an outside point of view, a single mom who lost her husband in an accident raising three kids alone, and wonder how she does it and if she's doing okay. Life goes on I guess though sometimes I don't want it to go on, I want it go back. I still wish that God would do a miracle we know he can do and bring you back. Or one of those cases where they messed up identities, but I know that isn't the case because I saw you and kissed you in the hospital. Why did God take you Mickey? Why did you leave? Why do I have to do this not knowing if I will have to do it alone the rest of my life. Will I find someone to be a good husband and father like you tried hard to be? I wish I didn't have to. I wish you could be here and raise your family yourself. Why did God give us a family and take you away? He hopefully is going to give someone else the chance to do so, and I hope that you are up there helping Him to chose that person. I don't believe that God has be being alone forever, or for a long period of time for that matter. I don't have any problem in separating you from him, but I wonder if he will not understand that. I know that I will always grieve you and I will always have hard days. You were and will always be my first love, my first everything. You are the a huge part of my past and were the path of my future that now I am forced to rethink and reforge and undo seven years of planning and hoping. All those dreams and plans of doing things as a family are gone and I have nothing to replace them with. It is what makes me feel empty, alone, lost and unsure. I tell you that these three boys you gave me are what keep me going. They are the loves of my life and they are utterly amazing.

I place a lot of hope in seeing you again in Heaven, but at the same time it makes me really sad knowing I have to wait that long and raise our boys by myself in the meantime. Mickey, I love you and miss you. Our boys are beautiful and I am sure you see them. Not sure how that all works, but I am sure somehow you see them. You can see how they are starting to look more like you all the time and I am sure you remember things you did as a boy that they do now. That is all Grandma and Grandpa could say about Micah, your perfect namesake.

I miss you arms and your hands. I miss you sleeping next to me. I miss kissing you on your way to work and waiting for you to come home. I miss knowing that you are out in the garage or the yard working on something. I miss your enthusiasm about everything and how positive you usually were. I learned a few things from you that I use to survive now. It hurts to see your pictures everywhere so if I put them away for a bit that is why. It hurts to do things we did together. I was thinking about going back to Texas, but that would kill me I think. It hurts bad enough on these hot sunny days...driving places...we were always driving places. I can see us on 190 in Texas, driving somewhere, Walmart, the base, BLORA, someone's house, going out to a movie or just taking a drive. We drove a lot. I can picture us in our Dakota.

Sunny day seem to hurt the most...

I love you Mick. Happy Father's Day. Wish you were here for our babies 2nd birthday, and our middle boy's 4th and our Jame-o's 6th and for everything else they do. I miss you like hell and if I could, I'd trade everything, except these three boys I couldn't live without either, to see you again.

Monday, May 21, 2007

At Least I'm Not Job

It is probably more or less feeling sorry for myself, however, it doesn't change the fact that I feel it. God took away, allowed for my husband to be gone, and with that happening, a lot more has been taken away too. I've talked about my identity being taken away, well a big part of it. Support, love, friendship, someone to call my own to call me their own, that was all taken away too. Most of my friends, or at least people I have called friends, or are in the network, are all in different places in their lives. I don't really feel as if I have very many friends anymore. One set is going to move away, most of the others now have newborn babies, or no kids at all. I don't get asked to come to things, because I have boys, no one else does, and mine aren't quiet little babies. Someone went out of their way this past weekend to make sure I had no details about a party for someone I've known for 13 years. Friends of the person who didn't tell me about it were invited, these friend hardly knowing the person the party was being thrown for. My brother was here for about two hours, one of those which was painting, but then had to leave to get ready for the party. There was rain the morning before, so we didn't paint right away, but he had another party that evening so he wouldn't have been able to help then. He wanted to take the boys out mushroom hunting, but I couldn't go, but he said he wanted to see the boys so he would come over to help with the baseball diamond. Well, that didn't happen either. Apparently they must have decided to go hiking instead. Despite my every intention to not count on the promise he made to be there for the boys, I still get upset that he only sees them twice a month, and usually there has to be other people. And half of the time it is rushed because there are other things that he has to do. I know he means the best, but like I said, he has more important obligations. I am the only one with the real obligation to them. I have my family, but even there they have obligations that are more important or at least more pressing. I am alone in responsibility with a hand up and some company once and awhile, but when all is said and done...its me. I'm tired. I suppose maybe like Job, God will just keep taking people away from me. Alright God, I know, you are all I need. I know you are in control. I know you are the best, you are perfect, and everything that is good and wonderful comes from you. I know I am not perfect, I know there are things that I can do a lot better. But God, you also made us with the desire to be loved, to be loved by others, to seek other people, you made marriage too and you made parents. What else do you want God? I gave you my heart, I gave you my soul, I gave you my husband, my best friend, a huge part of my life...I don't have a lot left to give that won't kill me. I feel pretty empty. Feel free to fill me up when you are ready.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Mother's Day

This is my first Mother's Day without the father of my children. I was thinking about it and while being a mom doesn't hinge on having a father to share it with, mine did, and that is the way it should be. You can't become a mother without the father, thus the way life should be, as God intended it. However, God did intend for it to be different for me apparently. I don't doubt God. I know that He has plans to prosper me and provide for me, but I do find it a little odd that He allowed for Mickey to be taken, the father of three little boys, to leave those boys fatherless. The counselor Micah saw said he needs more guy time, and asked if there was anybody who he can spend some time with once or twice a week. Sometimes there is someone, sometimes he's too busy, and he's really the only one and Shane's got a family of his own. He needs to be with them, and as I said from the beginning, it was going to be that way because it ias it should be. Maybe if I had more guy friends that I trust, but they all now have their own families, with babies, or are too busy, or are moving away. It would have to be someone comfortable with the boys, someone that either had kids my boys age or at least experience with kids. Not a whole lot of that going on around here. I can't be a father figure for them. I can do some things with them that their dad would have done with them, but they need men to show them how to become men. Horrible fathers, who hardly ever spend time with their children, still influence them and guide them, even if it down the wrong path. Father's are important figures, whether they are directly leading in the right direction, or acting as an example of what not to be, none the less, whether they are deserving or not, they have a profound effect on their children.

Another topic: I took the boys out to Maine on April 18th. It was nice to see everyone. It was nice to have peace and quiet, however, this time it was actually harder to be there then when I went out there in September. September seemed to be more healing, this time it was more of a reminder that Mickey isn't here to share with his family, to show the boys his old stomping grounds, to hang out with his grandpa and to share in the standing around and goofing about with his family there. So that made it more difficult to be there. I wish, for the boys sake, that it wasn't so far away. It is too expensive to go out there often and really far to drive. I owe to Mickey, to his family and the boys though to take them back there as much as I can.

Another topic: Kris. I met Kris randomly in a christian chat room one night as I was bored, and wanted some adults to talk to, adults that didn't know me and my situation, and could just chat with. There were only like three other people in the chatroom. We chatted a little, exchanged AIM names and chatted when we saw eachother on...random, friendly conversations. The end of October/beginning of November, we started talking nearly everday, and eventually everyday. We talked about all sort of things, were flirty I suppose. We had good conversations, about important things too, and I realized that he was pretty neat. Around the end of November I realized that I had a lot of feelings for him. More than I should at that point in my grieving and was confused by them for the most part. I realized that a lot of was displaced and that I was trying to put a bandaid on my wounds. I pretty much stopped talking to him. I tried "dating" for a brief few days, wow, that was bad. I would breifly talk to Kris at times, but nothing like our conversations before. It was the first of February when he messaged me and we started chatting, catching up. My blog from about the same time tells of how far I had come at that point, and that I was farther along my grief...I had healed a great deal and was ready to continue our friendship. I soon realized though that my feelings for him were still there. He was just a genuinely nice, caring, smart, funny guy that I had a lot in common with. So, we tried to navigate that path. It was pretty clear that we had a mutual interest in eachother. Kris had all along been sensitive to my grieving process, and said that it seemed I was doing better and we agreed it would be worth exploring. Wanting to get away, and not wanting to go more than a two day drive, I decided to go to Chattanooga, which is not far from where he lives. We'd meet in person and see how it went. Well, it went well. We were very at ease with eachother...he was great with the boys, and we had fun.

Soon after I got back we decided that we'd be committed to eachother in a relationship of sorts. Since then it has been a strange path for me of trying to define the relationship, by the world's standards, by God's standards, by our standards and trying to figure out who and what we are. My feelings for him are pretty strong. I see more than potenial for us, and am hoping that it will continue down a path that has together. We are both realistic people, he more so than I, and we both want to do the right thing, to follow God's will and that is where we are now. He's coming to visit soon. It should be a defining time for us, time to spend alone, as we had the boys with us in Chattanooga. I am excited.


Friday, April 06, 2007

Overwhelming and Frustrating

When I was a young girl and a teenager, I knew that all I ever wanted to do was getting married and have children. It was never just get married, and it was never just have children...I wanted both. I had both for almost five years, but now I have my children without my husband. Sometimes it makes me angry, and my anger has no real direction, just outward some and inward a lot. I am not necessarily mad at God, though sometimes I am thoroughly frustrated with Him. Apparently I hadn't gone through enough being an Army wife that my husband had to get shot, and apparently being the wife of an injured veteran with PTSD wasn't enough either, He took him away. Now being a single mom isn't enough I guess. I need to be or do something else, but I can't seem to get anywhere. I feel alone and frustrated. I don't have someone to share with anymore like everyone else does. I am on my own at the end of the day, when all is said and done, I am my own companion and my own responsibility. Everyone else, rightly so, has their own families and/or lives and responsibilities, and mine is not their family is only my priority. It is hard and lonely to carry all the responsibility alone, especially since it wasn't supposed to be this way, it was not my choice and in one day it all changed. Its been eight months. I still miss him, and I always will miss him, and I still grieve the fact that he is not here to help his boys grow into men. The immediate pain no longer comes from the grief of losing him, though that pain will always exist, it is not the forefront. The pain now is loneliness, frustration and being overwhelmed. A house, bills, and children to carry alone. Yes, other people offer to help, and it is always appreciated and welcome, but it isn't their first priority and it usually doesn't end up getting done, or gets done weeks later and by then I have fifty new things that need to be taken care of. Money solves all problelms it seems...if I could pay someone to do everything, which I am going to have to end up doing, it can get done, but now my savings are dwindling down to almost nothing, I have a half finished pole barn that is probably going to end up draining the rest of it just to get it complete, because I don't have time and energy to track down the horrible builder that my dad referred to me that seems to be ripping me off for thousands of dollars. Not to mention medical bills that no one wants to pay from Mickey, I still have to finish paying for his stone, I will probably need my roof fixed, my car cleaned out from the stupid cats peeing in it. I also need to plant my garden that I already bought all the seeds for, and that means I need the yard tilled up, which means that I have to get my dad to till it because he has the tiller which is too big for me to use, which means I have to wait until he has the time, either that or buy a tiller which isn't going to happen because they are too expensive. I need to weed and feed my yard because last year it was too picky to even walk in and I want a place for my boys to play. The bathrooms both need to be finished. Someday I want to finish the swing set. There is a spigot in the front yard that Mickey was trying to get hooked up before the accident. I need to get my garage cleaned out and organized, which I can't do because the barn isn't done, and it was supposed to be done in Jan. I need the front storm door installed, the fan replaced in the boys bathroom and my room needs to be completed. Things I want to do include moving my room around, perhaps painting it, getting all of the bins and storage things out of the house which can't be done like it should be because the garage is a mess. The golf car tires need to be put on. My dumb laptop is broken still, which isn't a big deal, but it is just another thing to do. My kids have been sick all winter it seems and this last time was horrible and draining and now I have a cold. I can't get too much help from my mom now because she now has her first real foster care placement, and he's little and needs the attention. My cupboards and drawers and wads of paper need to be cleaned out and organized. I need to get more organized. I have an exterminator coming on Monday to tell me what I can do about the mice living in my heating ducts and then Sears is coming on Monday to the tune of $254 to clean out the heat ducts which are full of nesting materials and I'm sure mouse feces and urine that my poor kids and I have been breathing in every time the heat has gone on this winter (yes, maybe that is why they are sick so much). My grandma was just in the hospital for her heart and that was pretty scary. Not that it got close, but there was always the worry that she wouldn't make it, and that made me think of having to say good bye to someone I love permanently again, and thinking of the funeral and all of that was painful. Mickey's cousin and his wife are having a really hard time right now with their marriage and that makes me sad. I have a friend who I could see being happy with, but he has his own issues that make it impossible right now, and that is very frustrating and sad to me. It just makes me more aware that I am alone, and perhaps I will always be. Yes, God provides, and God sustains...yes, I know these things, but knowing these things don't really offer any real comfort. Sure, I know that I'll make it and eventually everything will be taken care of and all will be well...but I have very little comfort in knowing that maybe it will take years, and maybe it won't be in this life, but when I die, well then all my needs will be met, I won't be frustrated and overwhelmed or angry anymore. Its only another sixty years to wait for that. I have the faith in knowing God will provide and it will all be okay, He's shown me that, but that really does nothing to heal the pain and the hurt now. I feel like I'm just managing to exist, that I am scraping by, and even in being mediocre I still can't get the simple things done like getting my house clean and organized and managing my finances. Sometimes it feels to me like it would just be easier to pack up a little bit of stuff and go somewhere else and start over at least for least until I have found my new identity that I am forced to find. But that would probably be irresponsible wouldn't it? I don't know...maybe six months or so out west in the mountains would do us all good. It is very tempting.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Going It Alone

I proved to myself, if not anyone else, that I can do it alone. I drove to and from the Chattanooga for a trip with my three boys and we had a great time and we did well. When we were there I had a lot of help from Kris, he planned the days, did the driving and was more than helpful with the boys. I don't think I would have done so well if he hadn't been there to help, maybe we wouldn't have done so much, maybe I would have decided never do it it again, However, I know I did it. I drove that far, kept myself and my kids safe, handled any problems and didn't lose it :) That was good, but then the last few days I've realized once again with angst and tears, that I might be a good mom, I'm not the best mom I can be. Sometimes it is just easier to do it certain ways though I know its not the best, and there is guilt. Guilt because I know I'm not the best parent. I get angry, I yell, I get upset at the when it isn't their fault. Guilt because they don't have a dad, and though they might not know what they are missing, they are missing something and they are missing everything that he could have given them, played with them and taught them. James has started throwing fits the last few days. I don't say no enough, I don't discipline enough and he's used to getting his way. Owen still has a bottle and falls asleep with me holding him or laying next to him. I don't do school enough with James. I don't keep up with the house as well as I should. I don't take care of myself as well I should. We should eat better, I should excercise. I need to manage my money better and I need to keep up with my friends better. The most important though, is my children. I just don't know. I am what they have. I am their only parent and I am the one who is responsible for them. I never thought I would ever have to do it alone, and I am afraid I will never be what I need to be, that I will never be the parents they need because I am only one parent. I can't be their dad and I can't be a father figure and I can't be two parents. Even if I get rid of everything in the way and be my best, it will still only be half of what they need. I know I need to depend on God and depend on my family, but my own flaws get in the way. I don't want to do it alone. I don't want to do it alone for their sake and for my sake. I want to give them the benefit of two parents. I don't know what God has in store for me, and for them. I know that God has every intention of prospering us, and taking care of us, and I just have to trust that.

I am trying to do things a little different. I try, but most of the time I fail, or get discouraged or something comes up. I need discipline and I need encouragement. I need to keep on track and I need to do it for my kids.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

The Storm Has Passed

December and January were pretty hard for me. Holidays, anniversaries, new lessons, etc. I am feeling better right now though. I can think of Mickey without feeling like I've been punched in the gut. I'll always miss him, and I am sure I'll go through other storms, but hopefully each time they'll be less hard and easier to endure.

I asked Micah the other day if he misses his Daddy and he gave me a funny look and said that his Daddy died when he was a baby. He doesn't have a concept of time, and all he knows that it was awile ago, so it must have been when he was "little" or a baby. James brings up random memories of Mickey all the time and it is good. He tells them to Micah and me and we talk about Mickey often. They have pictures in their bedrooms of Mickey and they talk about Daddy proudly...however, their life is the way it is now, they know they are loved and taken care of and that is they know as life right now. James knows a little more about what it means to not have Daddy around but the other two don't really.

I am going to be brave and tae a trip by myself. I was going to go out East, but that is more of a drive and it is still cold and I just want to get out of the cold and snow right now. I am not fond of it at all and the kids are going crazy. It should be an alone with the three boys in the truck :) Guess we are all going to get a lesson in patience. I still think they should make a sound proof barrier between the back and front seats as an option in vehicles. I'd be willing to pay some good money for that ;)

I am taking a writing class right now (not for credit) and am enjoying that. I will probably take some more after this one is done. I finally feel like I am half way caught up with the house, and hope I can stay that way. There are lots of things that need to get done, but not in the winter.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

It Hurts LIke Hell

I feel stuck in a crux. Stuck between wanting to be over the intense pain, and wanting to be able to move onto a future that doesn't hurt so much, but not wanting to leave the pain, which represents my past, the husband, my best friend that I lost and can't ever have back in this life. I know that everything is going to be fine, I am going to be fine, and that it will eventually feel better, and I don't need anyone to say that to me. I know that okay? I know it. But just because the knowledge is there, doesn't do a thing for the emotions. The pain isn't intellect or knowledge, it isn't convinceable and it can't be swayed. It doesn't function on logic and understanding, and so, knowing doesn't help it at all. I know I come across as strong, and people say the are proud of me for doing so well, well to hell with that. So what? I am doing well every day. I don't do drugs and I am not drinking. I am raising my kids and taking care of my household. Whoopie! I was doing that before. I couldn't stop living and start acting like a moron because my husband died. It has nothing to do with being strong or doing well, it has to do with being a grown up, having morality and having faith. People don't see me all of the sudden start crying and sobbing when I sit alone in the dark. People don't hear the pitiful cries that escape my lips when I suddenly realize, for the thousandth time that Mickey isn't going to come back ever and that beautiful man, who loved me and loved my boys, with whom I had so many wonderful and beautiful plans, is gone forever. I can't believe sometimes thatI won't hear his goofy laugh, hear one of his silly jokes, watch him play with the boys, work out in the yard, get stuck in his truck for the hundreth time, get upset at his video game, wrap his arms around me as he climbs into bed, call me from the bathtub to tell me something he remembered, roll around on the ground in a stealth move, build a big fire that nearly catches the whole field on fire, tell me he loves me before he leaves for work and every time I talked to him on the phone....and so many other things that I loved about him. It just sucks. It sucks and I hate it. Please don't say to me either that God needed Mickey in He didn't, He could have gotten along just fine without him for a few more decades. Don't say to me that at least Mickey isn't in pain anymore because I know that Mickey would have chosen the pain to death if he had the choice because he wouldn't have wanted to leave me and our babies. He woudln't have wanted to have me go through all of this pain and crap that hurts me to the deepest core of my being on nearly a daily basis. The only thing that would make it feel better right now, I apparently can't have. I don't know why. Perhaps I am not depending on God enough or something. Perhaps I am doing something wrong. Perhaps I failed too much and am not worth it. Perhaps I am expecting too much. I don't know, but please don't tell me I am strong, that I am going to be okay. Please don't believe that I am okay all the time. Please talk about Mickey. Please take my boys to do things. Please ask me to do things. Please don't forget that we still are here and still have a lot of pain and are weighed down every day by the stress of life. Don't make assumptions, just ask. Please don't hold me to anyone else's standards or timelines or guide books. I am a relatively smart, wise, logical person who can make smart, wise, logical decisions when it counts. I know when to, and when not to make big descisions. I am not half of a person, I am a whole person who is dealing with grief and is learning a new life. Allow me to make some silly decisions, allow me to mess up a little here and there as long as I'm taking care of myself, my boys and my household. And please thank my mom for being there for me, for helping me take care of my boys, because I couldn't do it without her. She's all I got to help me with them. The only breaks I get are when she takes them, and even then I feel guilty for having her do it so much. She deserves a lot. Well I am going to bed.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Guilt and the Should Haves

I didn't kiss Mickey enough. I didn't hug him enough. I can still hear him saying "You used to think I was funny" or "You used to think my jokes were funny." I didn't hug him enough. I didn't cuddle with him enough. I didn't tell him how much I loved him and appreciated him enough. I know we had some hard times and hard things to deal with, but I wish I had been more loving to him. Now that chance is gone. I have a hard time thinking about ever telling anyone else and doing these things for anyone else because Mickey deserved them more and first. He was a soldier, a wounded veteran, the father of my kids, my best friend, my first love, my life. He deserved everything. I wish I had given him everything. I wish just for one chance to talk to him and tell him how much I love him and for the chance to hear from him that he knows that and he was happy. I don't know why God has not allowed me the "dream". That is all I really want right now. Why not? Though my last act of support and love for him was a fatal one, I know he really appreciated the fact that I agreed to let him have the motorcycle. He was so excited and so happy to be getting it. It was going to be a great, fun and freeing thing for him. I guess it was. I don't even remember what we did the night before the accident. I am sure we watched TV together and then went to bed. In the morning he said good bye to me and he kissed me, I kissed him and Owen probably had to have his turn too. That was a game we played. He called me right before the accident, on his way back to Benzonia, to tell me that he was on his way to get the bike and he'd see me soon. I wasn't home, I was at the lake so he left a message. I deleted not knowing that would be the last message I ever received from him. At least I have video tapes of him so I can hear his voice when it starts to fade. I have good memories of him, but he died way too soon. I didn't want a life with anyone else. I only wanted a life with him. We were supposed to grow old together and sit with eachother on a porch swing and watch sunsets. I don't want to be alone, but neither do I want anyone else but Mickey. I don't want to give anyone the things that I should have given Mickey more of. I don't know if I can until I can feel like he knows that I loved him more than words can say and that he knows that I did think he was funny, and I did appreciate him a ton, and that he was my best friend, and that I enjoyed all of our time together, and that I will always love him. I just want to know that. I want to know that I did okay by him, that I never meant to cause him grief, that I wanted nothing more than to give him pure joy but didn't know how to do it sometimes. I just want his reassurance. I just want him.

Friday, December 15, 2006

An Old Email That Was Never Sent

Mickey has had a hotmail email account for eight years. It just mostly fills up with junk. I decided I should probably clean it out since it had 400 emails in it. After I cleaned out all of the junk I checked the draft folder and it was a letter to me that had never been sent. It was from October, two years ago. It was from around the same time I got pregnant with Owen. Mickey had come home for a brief leave because we didn't know when they would finally let him out of the Army. We had left in May because we thought it would be any time. Three weeks later he came home for good, but at that time we had no clue. In the email he said it had only been one day but he missed me and that he hated being away from me. He just wanted to tell me loved me and missed me. He signed it, your husband Mickey.

I miss you too Mickey. I love you too and it has been four and a half months, and I don't like to be away from you either. I know you are in a better place, and I try to remember that. You were supposed to be here to help me raise the boys. Not sure why God wanted you home so soon. I know you had a lot of pain here, maybe God didn't want you to go through that anymore. I don't know how Heaven works exactly, but I can't wait to see you there. I can't wait to hug you again and we can sit and talk about our boys for an eternity. I am okay most of the time. I know I have a big long future ahead of me, and I try to remember that God will take care of me. It really feels empty without you and sometimes it is still hard to believe that I will not see you again. I have been separated from you before for this amount of time, but never without seeing you or talking to you, but then I also knew that you would come back. This time the wait is going to be much longer before I will see you. I wonder if you would want me to remarry. I think you would. I think you would want me to have someone to help me raise the boys. I know that you don't have worries in heaven anyway. I will never stop loving you. They try to compare being divorced to being widowed sometimes, but there isn't a comparison. In a divorce there are hurt feelings, and a loss of love and affection. I loved you with my whole heart the day that you died, and I will never stop loving you like that. You will always be my husband, and the father of my sons. God can do amazing things with the heart, and I expect that someday there will be room for me to love someone else. I don't think I will have issues about comparing them to you, but I will have issues with comparing my life with you, to what I may have with them. We had a pretty dynamic life together. It wasn't always easy, but it was good. You were someone that I loved completely and could spend hours doing nothing with and still have a good time. I miss just watching TV with you, and rubbing your back. I can still hear you ask me to rub your back and complaining about the cold lotion hitting your back. I can still hear you say "Hello dear". I still pray for a dream with you. People have them all the time. I had them when Grandpa B died. I have been praying since the day you died for a dream like that so I could day good bye to you, to see you one last time, but I haven't had one. I don't think it is a dream either, but for some reason God hasn't sent you. If I could only see you again and talk to you, even if it is a dream, I think it would be very healing for me. The email I found in your draft box in your email was good.

Mickey, I know things weren't always easy for us. I know that I made it harder for you sometimes because I didn't know how to deal with your PTSD. We had a really rough patch there, but we both loved eachother enough, respected eachother enough, and were good enough friends to sit down and deal with it. It wasn't easy was it? You made me talk to you though, and I am thankful for that. We were really starting back out in a wonderful place again, and then you died. I am glad it was after we dealt with things, but why did you have to go so soon? I don't want to be the strong woman. I want to be your wife who leans on your for help. I don't want to be someone everyone is proud of for doing so well. I want to be your wife and running the house and taking care of you and planning our lives together. We didn't get to take all of the boys camping. We never even used the RV together. We had such nice plans.

I thought I was ready to say good bye to you, I thought I had. But I haven't, and I'm not. I can't even watch a video of you without feeling like I want life to end right now so I can be with you. I know that you wouldn't want that because there is something here for me to do, including taking care of our boys and who knows what God has in store for them. Talk to God about making life easier for me with them huh? He gave us three beautiful, smart and rambunctious boys, and I just want to keep them away from all of the bad things in life like every parent. I just pray that I can be the mom they need to help them develop the character and faith they need to make it. If they have half of what you had, they will be fine. You made it through a lot of junk to become a strong, proud, loving, and honorable man, and I expect they will too. I just hope that it isn't through too many trials both for their sake and mine. We talk about you all the time, and the boys remember things they did with you, or that you said to them. It makes me happy to hear them remember you. We pray every night that we remember you from day to day. You are still a very big part of our lives though you aren't here. We haven't been through every season and holiday without you yet. Something will come up and it will feel like yesterday. Especially things that happend this summer, when you were still here, very much alive and we had big plans. Mickey, you were so full of life and love, we could never forget you. I pray that at least one of the boys have your sense of humor and goofiness. It was made you you.

I make some plans. I am going to get a pole barn like we had planned. I need a place to put the boat, and the car or truck, the paddle boat, the RV. I want to take care of those things and I don't have the help to do what I need to do with them during the change of seasons. Shane agreed to finish the floor of the boat and I will hold him to that. I won't be able to do much with it by myself I don't think, but I can learn. I want to have the boys out fishing and playing in the water as we would have had been doing. I will take them camping as much as I can. I will take them to Maine to experience where you grew up and all the adventures you had there, all of your old camping spots and stomping grounds. Someday I will finish the garage for another bedroom and a family room. I will still need the space with three teenage boys. You wanted them to all have their own rooms anyway. I think that I might adopt another boy someday though. I thought about that before you died, and I think that it would be a good thing to do. I don't know what God has in store for me, but I will just trust that He knows what He is doing and accept what He sends my way.

It feels good to write to you like this Mickey. I wish that you could write back. I feel better receiving that email from you though it was from two years ago, I know that it did and does still ring true. I have all of the letters you sent from Kuwait the first time, and the emails we exchanged before we got married, and then all of the Iraq letters. I will always cherish those. They will always be a testament and a reminder of the love that we shared with eachother. I will take good care of your boys honey. They are my world, my life and they are more precious to me than anything. I will always remind them of you and how much you loved and enjoyed them. I love seeing pictures of you guys together. I love Mickey Lee.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Feeling Better/Christmas

I am feeling better, so that is good. The boys were watching a Holly Hobby movie today and it was a Christmas movie. The focus of the movie was a lady with two little boys who had lost her husband the summer before and how the children worked together to make Christmas better for them. They helped hang up decorations, bought the boys presents, took the boys out to play, etc. The mom didn't want to accept anything at first because she didn't want to accept Christmas without her husband, but she finally realized that life goes on, especially with the two little boys.

That was interesting for me to watch.

Life keeps going on despite tragedy. That is way it works, and the way it will always work. Little boys don't have the same hook ups, same emotional baggage or the capacity to worry about the future, because all they know is that they are being taken care of, that they are loved and that everything is okay. That is God really wants all of us to be, but it is hard to do.

I don't have a lot of Christmas spirit this year. I didn't get anywhere near the decorations up as I usually do. Just don't feel so Christmasy. I am feeling sad about Christmas being over already because of the hype leading up to Christmas goes away Christman night, and it shouldn't. I wish we celebrated Christ more, I wish there were more events surrounding the celebration of Him. I know that I will read the boys the Christmas story. I tried to find videos about the real Christmas, but they don't carry those things at Meijer or Walmart. Maybe online. For those who don't know already...I told James that there is no Santa Claus. I know that will seem like a huge thing to some people and a squashing of childhood spirit, but it isn't. James is very logical and said that he understood because how could Santa Claus fit down the chimney anyway, and that he had been with me buying presents before. He's very logical. I didn't believe in Santa Claus when I was his age. My reason for doing this is to refocus our family on CHRISTmas I want my boys to understand what it is really about, and not our cultures tendency to rename it the Holidays, and the Holiday tree, and Holiday presents. It is a HOLYday, and it should be kept that way, and I have chosen to make the steps to ensure that my children understand that.

I would love to do more with other people around Christmas, but I'm not up to throwing a party. I think everyone else should and invite me :) I can't wait for baby Faith either. That will be so nice to have my niece. I hope she makes it before Christmas.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006


While I know that the feelings of loss and lonliness will keep coming up, I think they were made worse or my coping abilities were thwarted by the fact that I hadn't taken my Paxil for like a week. I couldn't find it am horrible about taking meds unless they are right in front of my face. So yesterday I searched until I found it and took it and so hopefully that will help me moderate a little bit better.

My sisters are coming home this weekend and that makes me happy. They hang out with me and they hang out with the boys. I wish they hadn't all had to leave! They are all doing well where they are, and it is probably better that I don't depend on other people anyway. This way I am forced to deal with reality. It keeps me in the realization that they all have their own lives, and it will always be that. Actually, it will get worse...well not worse, but you know what I mean. They will get very invovled in college or their jobs, and the ones that aren't married, will get married and have their own families. If they aren't local, I'll probably only end up seeing them a couple of times a year as it goes when people grow up and have their own careers and families. I wish we could all be here, but I don't think that will end up happening. I think that is one reason why I want to that I have someone to call my own that won't leave, that won't have another focus somewhere else, someone to help me in my life, with my life, and doesn't have devotion, responsibility elsewhere.

I am going to buy stuff today for the boys to make ornaments for Mickey and we will hang them on the wreath at the cemetary. I'll probably also buy some more helium so we can do balloons. That will be nice for Christmas. We'll have to make a tradition out of it. It is a way to included Mickey in Christmas with us, and I think that will help.

Last night I was really upset at the boys (yelling, short tempered) which I hate, but not taking the Paxil doesn't help. Anyway, I was mad at Micah for pulling all the books off the shelf as we were trying to get ready for bed because he was looking for a book to read. I kicked him out of the room and commenced to rant and rave and then a toy fell off the shelf behind me. James said, "I didn't do it. I don't know who did." I took a deep breath and told him maybe it was Daddy trying to get me to settle down. I don't know if I believe that or not, but it was kind of comforting.

I hate dishes and laundry. I wish I could throw away all my dishes and use paper ones. That is good for the environment huh? Sometimes I say screw the environment...I want my life to be less complicated. Cooking isn't fun for three little boys who hardly eat anything and are picky half of the time. Cooking makes more dishes and takes time to do and's not that enjoyable for me. It was better when I had Mickey to cook for, but even then he never gave me ideas and it was cooking the same old things. I liked to cook before I had children and when there was only two people to clean up after. I need to find someone that likes to do dishes :) Laundry is another non-favorite thing of mine. It would have been a lot more simple to live back in the day when they had two outfits :) I don't mind washing the laundry, it's the folding and putting it away that I don't like. I honestly would like to clean a bathroom three times a day to avoid dishes and folding laundry :) I like to have a clean house, and work constantly at that, except for the dishes and the laundry I can hide :) This really has nothing to do with grieving, except for the fact that somtimes it feels really useless because there is no one here to appreciate it or tell me I do a good job or thank me for it.

I want to take the boys and go someplace warm for a week or two this winter. It won't happen because it is expensive and I don't know anybody that has a vacant winter home in Mexico or an island somewhere. Florida isn't quite warm enough in Jan or Feb for a beach. Maybe a cruise. Something to get away. I don't know, it probably won't happen, but its fun to think about.

Well I am getting ready to take Micah into shop for his brothers. James had his turn yesterday.

Saturday, December 09, 2006


Opening it back up really hurts and I don't really want to do it. I have to reorder pictures of Mickey and Joel brought some over today that I've never seen before and it hurts to see them. I don't want to have to peel the scab off over and over again. I ordered some stuff today like an ornanment, a wall plaque, and garden stone for memorials to Mickey. That is just peeling the scab and it really isn't any fun. I would rather just stay as it was. I was doing just fine and now this is all coming back up again. I can't do anything about it, but I guess this is what happens, especially at holidays. I need help putting the photo albums together. I don't think I can sit down long enough and look at all those pictures of my life with him over and over again to put it together by myself. I miss him so much and there is nothing I can do about it. I guess I will just peel this scab and then let it bleed and let it scab back over...eventually it will heal right? But they always told us not to pick the scab because it leaves a scar...well that's too late. It was a horrible cut that will leave a humongous scar that hopefully doesn't disfigure. I just want to go back a year. I wish I had a do over button. I'd rather him hate me for telling him no to the motorcycle than to have to through this. I hate it, I hate it, I hate it. I am so tired. I don't want to be a single mom, I don't want to sit alone at night, I don't want to plan things alone.