Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Birthday and Anniversary

This morning, I was woke up by a very excited 6 yr old girl who had to ask me... "Is is time for my birthday party yet?" I had to tell her that she would have to wait until 5:00 pm for that. So, every 30 minutes or so, she would ask the same question... "Is it 5:00 yet?" :)

I actually got her to take a nap this afternoon (right after lunch) for about 2 hours so, I got a break from the constant question. Finally, 5:00 arrived and R was literally bouncing. All the girls (and of course J) had a blast and after everyone had gone home, R kept saying "I had the best birthday party ever!" and "I love my birthday!".

Whenever she would say the last statement, I cringed inside a little. The simple reason (as most of you know) is that Donovan died in the early morning hours of her birthday. At 3:30 AM to be exact. R has never asked me when he died and I'm not about to tell her and sabotage her special day by tragedy. She already knows the how's and why's because she had already asked those questions and I was as honest (without tooo many details) as possible. I just dread the day when she does ask the when question.

The party in and of itself went very well. The only down side was when I saw K fighting back tears. Thankfully, R wasn't aware of any of this.

My hard time came yesterday morning, in the form of an e-mail that I received from Donovan's aunt (K's sister). I'm going to share with you what her email said...







When He gets through talking to you, escort Him to the next stop. Please don't allow Him to sleep on your computer. The message He is carrying is very important.

I asked Him to bless you and yours with peace, happiness and abundance.

Say a prayer and then pass Him on to bless others as I sent Him on to bless you. Our assignment is to spread love, respect and kindness throughout the world.

Have a blessed day and touch somebody's life today as, hopefully, I have touched your life.

He's walking around the world via e-mail!!

Please pass it on so He can get there....

I cried hard after I read this...but it didn't last but a few minutes and I was fine the rest of the day. This morning, I felt a little heavy-hearted but no tears. So, I know that things are getting better for us and I know we are pretty much out of the tunnel (so to speak).

I just want to say a big thank you to those that took the time to help make my little sunshine's birthday so special (even if J did try to get to be the center of attention... Ha!). Also, thanks to everyone for the prayers, calls, messages, It means more than you know...

More to follow.....

Sunday, December 19, 2010

2nd biggest nightmare that thankfully didn't happen

The above mentioned took place last Friday (17th). J had started running a fever (99 - 101 temp) earlier in the day and (at the appropriate time) I would give him Tylenol and that would get it back down.

When he went down for his nap, he was running about 98 - 99 temp. By the time he woke up, it was up to 102. Gave him Tylenol again and temp went back down. He was feeling ok so, at about 4:30, we went to have our Christmas pictures made. Grabbed something to eat and headed home.

By 6:30, his temp had shot up to 104. I couldn't give him more Tylenol (and unfortunately, didn't know that I could give him Motrin as well). He had some of his bottle and right after that, his whole back went rigid, left arm was jerking uncontrollably, saliva running from his mouth and his eyes rolled back in his head. Needless to say, I panicked. It's one thing to know what to do if someone goes into a seizure. It's something totally different when it's your own child. I knew I needed to call 911 but, I didn't want to expose R to the chaos of that again. The night of Donovan's accident, she just kept telling G "Someone needs help" without saying (or realizing who). And if I had to take J to the ER, R didn't need to be exposed to that and I couldn't leave her alone. I sent a message to Joyce (church secretary who lives down the road from us to come to the house).

Thankfully, our neighbors across the street were home. They have 4 children and she home school the two oldest (one is 8 and the other is almost R's age). I took R and went to our neighbor's (leaving the front door open of all things). It took about a minute before she came to the door and all I could say was to call 911... NOW!

I put J on their couch and his lips were starting to turn blue but then his little tummy started moving again and I kept rubbing his chest and praying for him to stay with us. The whole time, the mental images of finding Donovan on the floor and barely breathing were running through my head. It was horrible!

They called 911 and a seconds later, I could hear the sirens. Joyce said that she saw the ambulance coming down the street (headed toward her and then turning on our street). J was still in seizure when the EMS got there but just a few seconds later (when Joyce came in) he was coming out of it and shivering.

The EMS checked his vitals and all was normal. They told me that febrile seizure's are actually common among little ones. I had never had this happen with R so this was all new to me. Once the EMS left, the tears came. I cried because of the reality that J could have died (if he hadn't started breathing again on his own) and I cried because I hated being alone in that situation. (K and G were at a Christmas party over in Rockwall so they wouldn't have been able to help at all).

R stayed with our neighbors and Joyce and I took J back home. Called the after-hours nurse of our MD and they said to go ahead and take him to the ER. I told the nurse that I thought J may be also dehydrated (which the ER staff were like "Yea right! Whatever")... Come to show that when they did the blood work, he was dehydrated so... pppppffffftttt to the ER staff. At least I got a "Good call" from the ER MD... Ha! J was running a 103 when we got to the ER (at about 7:00) and it didn't go down until 2:30 AM (when we left the ER)...

I am so blessed to have great neighbors and church family that were there for us when we needed it most. I am also blessed to have so many great friends that called, texted, or messaged on FB while Joyce and I were going through everything with J.

I learned alot that night and know that if J ever starts running a fever (even if it's just 99) that I'm whipping out the Motrin and Tylenol because he can easily have another seizure when that starts.

A little over a week later and J is back (almost) to his old self... :)

More to follow....

Friday, December 17, 2010

Back to the grave

I know that the above title sounds a bit morbid so, let me explain what I mean.

Last Thursday, I did something that I hadn't done since January of this year. I went back to visit Donovan's grave.

Up to January, I had gone to his grave just to talk (even though I knew good and well that he can't hear me) but, it helped me vent my anger and frustrations at him for leaving me with a newborn son and a 5 yr old daughter. Most of the time, I'd go on the 21st of each month (and more often shortly after the funeral because it still didn't seem real to me). After J was born in Feb. I went less and less often (expect for the two times that R wanted to see where Daddy was buried - she hasn't asked to go back since). Now, she hang on to his memory by music.

He worked 2nd shift at AT&T as a tech so he'd get home around 10:30 and R got to the point that she didn't want to go to bed without saying night-night to him (and of course listening to his records). Some nights, it was a simple hug, kiss and then she was ready to go to sleep. Other nights, we'd listen to records and she'd pick out the records she liked (Beatles, Elvis, The Blue Danube (and this HAD to be listened to over and over again), and he would try to introduce her to some different kinds of music - some she liked and they would dance to it - some she didn't like and she would promptly go get one that she liked and insist that he play that one. :) Comical to watch! He taught her how to run a bow across a violin, how to strum a guitar, and how to "try" and blow in a trumpet. The first two things just mentioned, R taught J when he was old enough to walk. The trumpet... I'll save for later.

*grinning* Ok... back to get on track... Sorry about that... ANYWHO! This year (in Jan), I decided to go ahead and let him go (or more appropriately, allow myself to let him go). I went to his grave and told him that he would always have a special place for me and the children but that I knew I had to move on with my life in order to be the kind of mom that I needed to be for the kids (and for myself). I took of my wedding ring and told him goodbye. After that, I felt a burden being lifted off and realized that (for about a year) I had been holding myself back from really living for me and for the children. There comes a point in time that you realize that you just have to let go of fear, grief, doubt, anxiety, and (the list could go on) moving on with life as God would want you to. Sadly, some people never try to get to that point and are left with regrets, bitterness, and depression. God gave us life (and His Son) for a reason. So why waste it?

*grinning* Sorry, social worker soap box... Feet back on the ground, re focused. This last Thursday, I went back to his grave just to tell him how much the kids have grown and matured and how proud he would have been. I told him about the estate sale at the old house and that it was finally time to write the final chapter and get closure.

Life is about living and serving God to the best of our ability and not living life (emotionally or even physically) at a grave. The grave is only temporary. Like Jesus, we are to remember the sacrifice (and learn from the life) but rejoice even more in his resurrection.

More to follow....

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Getting back up

Yesterday was a crash course for me emotionally and mentally. So many times, you don't realize that you're starting to sink in quicksand before you are able to get out on your own. Yesterday, that realization hit full force yesterday afternoon.

Even a few weeks ago, I started noticing that my appetite still wasn't up to where it should be and was starting to loose weight (which is something I don't need to be doing). I had been sick with something like the flu for a few weeks but the appetite thing just kept hanging around. I was also noticing that I just had no ambition to get up and at em' in the mornings (even though I had gotten a pretty good night's sleep) and for the last couple of days, it's like every nerve was literally shaking (even though my hands are still). Panic attacks are like that and will only get worse until you do something to change it.

Yesterday, a good friend of mine was willing to take both of the kids so that I could go in and do a 25 minute session and get back in balance. I could tell that there were tears right under the surface and all it would take is someone or something to get the geyser going and that I didn't like feeling like I was either going to have to start climbing the walls (literally) or going for a long, long run and may not be coming back. I've been to that extreme before (shortly after Donovan's funeral) and knew I didn't want to get that low again so, better to be proactive now than have to later.

After the session, the tears had been let out and the heaviness had been lifted off. It's almost like you feel constantly giddy.. :) Today, I may have a little bit of that old stuff try to sneak back in (which is normal) but then the brain has been trained to get itself back into balance. Back to the ol me! :)

More to follow.....

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Trying to beat off the ache

So far this week, I've been trying to fight off something that is trying to pull me down. I'm not exactly sure if it's depression, anxiety, or just loneliness or all three. I'm fine as long as I stay busy (usually).

About an hour ago, I had Christmas music going and putting some decorations up around the house and about half way through, that sinking feeling comes creeping in. I hate it! It's almost like I'm torn between (literally) climbing the walls or just sitting down with a big floppy pillow and crying my heart out. But then, a second later, it's back to my old self and just enjoying the season. UGH!

Of course, the same thing is affecting R as well. She wants to be out doing something or going somewhere at night. She's also been wanting me to stay in her room as she falls asleep (every night) for the last two weeks) and complaining of nightmares.

So, I definitely have my work cut out for me but, at least it's not as bad as last year and definitely the year before that (which was unbearable). The director at GriefWorks makes the same comment every year around the holidays. The actual DAY isn't bad. It's the days leading up to THAT day when it gets a little tough. It's getting better as time goes on but, every once in a while, we have to go through a dark maze to enjoy the sunshine.

Onwards and upwards!

More to follow.....

Friday, December 3, 2010

candle lighting ceremony

Last night, R, J, and I went to GriefWorks Candle lighting ceremony. I think there were a total of 80 families present and then the staff that work so hard with the kids in helping them work through what they're feeling and how to cope.

All of the kids started off by making Christmas decorations and then we all got to eat. Griefworks is sponsored by the Prestoncrest Church of Christ and they provided the meat. Each family had to bring either a side dish or a desert. R was very proud of the fact that she got to help make a confetti Christmas cake and put the icing on (and she told everyone about it too!). Then, each family was challenged to make their own gingerbread house (materials provided of course). Problem was that J had enough of sitting and wanted to get down after eating a good meal. So, I tried to keep him out of mischief and one of the staff helped R with her gingerbread house (which looked pretty good). She managed to use every single M&M (no wisecracks from the suite 9 gang! Ha!) and lots of sugarplums.

Then it was time to get serious (music induced). I had to explain to R what the candles were for and what it means "in remembrance". She took this all in and just simply stated (again) that she wanted daddy back and then told me not to cry. It's hard not to get a little emotional when there's so much loss gathered in one room. Parents who have lost young children and adult children, people who have lost someone to cancer, the swine flu, auto accidents (a whole family of 5,, and wife and unborn son), the list goes on... It was especially hard when the children who had lost a dad or a mom would talk about their family... Heartbreaking but hopefully healing at the same time. Right before it was time for us to get up, R told me not to cry and I didn't. Donovan's death doesn't kill me like it used to. R is still trying to wrap her mind what death actually means. She gets the concept I think but it's still difficult for her to understand why you can't get the heart to start beating again. I know that I wouldn't want to have Donovan back now because he would probably either in a hospital still or a coma and he wouldn't want that. The hard part that I'm having to work through now is the emptiness/ loneliness that tries to creep in every once in a while (and it's very, very seldom and only last for a few minutes).

This morning, I found myself fighting back tears for the families that were so willing to share their grief and still be able to smile at the end. So I just let the tears fall. I cried for them, for my children, and for the last year of lost opportunities that could have been. Another year of growth and maturity for myself and the kids. Wishing that things were different but knowing that I have to learn to be content and at peace. It doesn't do me any good to do (as my dad calls it) stinkin thinkin and do the what ifs, whys, etc. It is what it is and there's no going back so, just keep praying for peace (which came quickly this morning), wisdom and patience with my children, and hope for the future (whatever that may hold).

Onwards and upwards!

More to follow.....

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Being sideswiped

Ever had the feeling that you thought you had everything under "control" and then something comes up and pretty much knocks you flat on your face? That happened to me last night.

Actually, yesterday and today have been kinda rough for me (emotionally speaking). First time was about dusk (aka 4:30 - 5 pm here) and it felt like a big, huge blanket of emptiness and loneliness tried to cover me up. About the same time, a friend of mine that I haven't "talked" to since college decided (as she put it) to do some "catching up" aka chat on FB for a while which totally made my day and made the evening a lot easier.

Then, today at the same time the same feelings came back.. This time, I called my dad and got a bit overwhelmed and cried... R (being the comic that she is), came in the room. Asked me what was wrong. Then told me "Mommy, do you miss daddy?" "It's ok! Wipe off your face!" *while giggling*. Needless to say, the tears didn't last long and we were both laughing while she kept telling me to "wipe your face off!".

Once she had left and gone to go play, I realized that I didn't really miss Donovan (like the person he was) but rather of just having to do everything on my own... 24/7. I do have friends that I can confide in and they're super sweet about it but, it's not the same. When you marry someone, you become a team and I don't have that teammate anymore. Life still goes on and (as my friend Wendy put it) it's becoming the same thing every day... almost. I do try to change things up a bit (for my sake as well as the kids) but, at the end of the day, it's the same.

Last night, I was in the kitchen cleaning up and listening (and singing along with) some music. R asked me if that was the kind of music that daddy liked. I automatically said yes (even though I'm not completely sure if he would or not - but at least it was the same style). What R said next floored me. "Oh good! Then I like it to! I want my daddy back". Very simply put but profound at the same time. She hasn't said anything like that in the last 3 months. Rather, it had been "I want a new daddy". I relayed all of this with Wendy earlier and she point out that daughters (even if they're adults) will always miss their daddy. Which is true. I know that Donovan will always have a special place in her heart. Not matter how vague the memories may become as she gets older. I can only pray that one day, she'll have even greater memories for another man in her life.

Tonight, we have a "in memory of" at GriefWorks and R is really looking forward to it because it's very christmasy and they'll have some fun games for the kids. It will also help remind her that there are others who have had to experience a loss like hers. It helps sometimes to know that you're not the only one that's having to deal with the loss of a spouse but, the thing that strikes me the most is that most (if not all) of the adults look so downcast and sad.

Sure, it's not easy and there's a lot of issues that you have to go through and make the best of but... why go through life looking like you were raised on vinegar and feed pickles? I've also learning that a large majority of them have different religious backgrounds and I'm not about to tell them that their loved one may not be where they they think they are. But it makes a BIG difference when you have a sure thing and you know it beyond a doubt. That there is hope in this life and in eternity.

Ok... enough of the soapbox.. ha! Better get off of here and make sure R hasn't had a snack from the cake for the get together and get J up and dressed and out the door (whee!)

More to follow.....

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Dealing with the 2's and 6's!

Last night, I got a good taste of what's to come with my children and the changes that they are going (or about to) through.

J started the evening off by being very angry and throwing whatever he had (or could get) in his hands to show me that he was NOT happy that I wasn't letting him get his way. Once he calmed down, R decided that she would do her "cry" (aka a lot of noise but no tears) because I wasn't going to do her homework for her and write her spelling words down for her.

So, both of them were getting their noise on but getting very little done. Once J had gotten over his little anger bit, he decided that he had to climb up (from the floor) on me in order to show that he was still there and still not getting what he wanted (aka - sweets). However, he also hadn't eaten any supper and he wasn't about to if he could help it... Any of this sound familiar Moms??? R was still doing her "crying" of not wanting to do her homework and agonizing over every letter of her spelling words. It took all I had not to laugh at both of them! They haven't realize yet that: 1. Mommy's rules (for the most part) are non-negotiable. 2. I've tried (as some point in time) to do the same thing that they're trying to pull now. and 3. I STILL know more than they do!

Granted, a part of me rolled my eyes heavenward and asking the always daunting question of WHY!!!! Especially after I had put J in the living room with some toys so that (hopefully) he would become preoccupied with that but... NOOOO!

Eventually, R did get all of her spelling words written out and J had something good to eat but, I'm just thankful that these episodes don't last for ever and I've still got enough sanity left to see the humor in all this (at least this time around). I did tell K about it earlier today and his response was - "That's life!". G was a little bit more compassionate about it all tho. :)

It's not a life I asked for (or wanted) but, I still have to take it all in stride and remember that they are only young once and how I act and react is teaching them.

More to follow....

Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Christmas Tree

This year, in order to make new memories, I got our family a new Christmas tree and "new" ornaments.

Last year, we were blessed to have three of my "girlfriends" over to help us put that old tree up and help decorate. This year, I got one that was already pre-lit (Yea!!!!) and not quite as tall so it would be much easier for me to handle on my own in putting it up. Amazingly, it was VERY easy to put up (even while both of the kids were up). J was automatically fascinated by the lights and just couldn't seem to leave the tree alone. I can't tell if R is more excited by Christmas or that her birthday is just 3 days before Christmas. R is all into decorating everything and wants to put lights outside (which may be a bit of a challenge for me) but, hopefully she'll be continent with some mesh of lights over the shrubs and on the light poles.

What's weird for me is that I honestly don't remember putting up the tree last year. I know that we did but,I also know that I was still (somewhat) on autopilot... Boy what a year of change can make! I was a little bit happier then but not festive like this year. Last year, I dreaded the holidays. This year, I don't dread it.

Yesterday, K wanted me to walk through the old house one more time with him and make sure that there wasn't anything that I wanted to get out. The guy who is going to be doing the estate sale on the 17th has already been over there and starting to slowly get some things organized so, I KNEW that this was it. I was fine until we got in the back room. It was starting to get dark and all those mental images of that night came flooding back. All I wanted to do was get out of there as fast as I could and not ever have to look (or go) back. Managed to get some things (like a record player for the kids to have down the road and some things to go through that were stashed up on the top shelves that I couldn't get to) before the panic started creeping back in. Realizing now, after being in there for those few minutes, how bad (emotionally, physically, and mentally) it was for me and for R, I can only thank God, friends, and family for helping us get through that first year and half intact! It's just like after I had gone through the neurotherapy, I realized how far down (emotionally) I had sunk once that burden had been lifted off (major relief!).

In a way, it was important that we stayed as long as we did in that house in order to work through things and get to the point of letting go. God has a way of leading us to what is best in His time. He knows me better than I know myself... I just had to learn to let go and listen and be patient. It's not easy and it can be downright painful but, the outcome is sooo much better than you, me or anyone else could plan for. He knows what's ahead of us and prepares us for whatever is ahead if we're willing for Him to direct us. Before the move, I had a lot of fear for myself and the children. I wasn't sure if it was the right thing to do but, that's where a large amount of faith comes into play and just remembering that He ultimately is in charge. For this, I am thankful because I know that the reality of being in a straight-jacket and losing a baby could have happened.

Do I know what's next? No... Do I have plans for the future? Sure! I'm no different than anyone else... There's always going to be hopes and fears for what lies ahead. All I can do is try to prepare for whatever and pray for the strength to take that next big step (even if I may or may not be ready for it).

More to follow.....

Thursday, November 25, 2010

One last walk thru (I hope)

Yesterday, I had to do one last walk (and check) through the old house and make sure that there wasn't anything that the children (or I) would wish we had (later, down the road). The only thing that I had forgotten to get out was some of Donovan's bank statements that were filed away in his closet. Personally, I'm soo ready for this to be done and finished. The plan is to (finally) have an estate sale on Dec. 17th weekend (and it may take more than one weekend to get it all out).

Today, R, J and I had our Thanksgiving lunch over at K and G's house which, of course, was absolutely delicious! Of course, K had to ask me and make sure that I didn't want to get anything (like the victorola that I had put on Donovan's groom's table at our wedding). It's hard to explain to anyone (unless they've been there) that I'd rather have the good memories than stuff that's only going to collect dust. Our marriage was a good one (not perfect but, good none-the-less). Now, it's time to close out that chapter and start moving on forward. Donovan's been gone for (as of next month)2 years now and it doesn't do me (or my children) any good to do the "would-have, could-have, should-have" game. I don't have any regrets of the past and I can (Lord willing) look forward to the future - whatever that holds. Of course, for just a few minutes, (right before lunch) a part of me expected to see Donovan come walking (or rather running) down the hall at his parents house and knowing full well that he won't be.

Over all, it was a good, crazy and productive day... R, J and I managed to get a Christmas tree up.... The challenge is going to be whether J will be able to leave it along long enough to enjoy it until after Christmas... Only time will tell... So far, so good!

More to follow......

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Ok... Yesterday, I had said that once R had calmed down from getting the splinter out of her foot and J not crying because he wanted to be in the tub too and that all was well with the world... almost. This is about the ... almost part.

Once everything quieten down, R got very quiet and reflective. This gives me a bit of a warning sign that whatever she's thinking is deep and to prepare for anything. She then started to cry very quietly and then said "I miss my daddy." All I could say was "I know." and help her get out of the tub and dry off. The big change was that she didn't have a gut-wrenching crying as she had in the past and it only last for a few minutes. She didn't start asking questions of trying to wrap her brain around what death was, what a soul is, etc. It was just a quiet few minutes of facing facts. She had always gone to Donovan whenever she got hurt and received an extra kiss for the boo-boo, a reassuring hug, and then she was off again. She still remembers those times and (like me) now there is only an emptiness there that will never be completely replaced.

How many times, do you remember going to someone with whatever hurt you may have had and received the same kind of attention? Sure, we all have had heartaches but I believe that those small acts of kindness outshine the pain... Even years down the road.... No act of kindness goes unnoticed.

More to follow.....

Monday, November 22, 2010

Retreat weekend

A lot has been going on in the last week or so. Now, I'm just trying to get caught up before my thoughts get lost somewhere... No comments from the peanut gallery! :)

Last weekend, I (along with about 80 other ladies) were able to sit at the feet of a great speaker named Beth Brockman. She gave a talk on Friday night and then again on Saturday morning. The theme of this years retreat was "Keep Calm and Carry On" and boy did I need it!

At first, I was a little skeptical but, after she told us about how she (and her family) had to go through two losses a (17 yr old) brother in an auto accident and sister to cancer, she knows what it's like. She (thankfully) hasn't had to walk down my kind of road yet but, a loss is a loss, no matter how or whom.

One of the things that she had throughout her presentation was some quotes (and those of you from FB KNOW I'm a quote fanatic!) from a book called, "Majesty of Calmness" which is something that I'm going to have to look up and get for myself. IF anyone needs a little bit of extra dose of calmness in their home, I'd be the first to raise my hand!

Case in point, tonight! J had had to get his bath earlier today but, I still had to get R's bath done. R started howling once her feet got wet and said that she may have a splinter in her foot... Sure enough, she had a very tiny one (that was more out than in) in her heal. Start the tear brigade! While R was howling from the fact that I was trying to get a splinter out of her heal, J was trying his hardest to get in the tub with R and getting upset when I would try to turn him around out of the bathroom. He would come crying back in and then start to try and either climb on, over, or on top of me to see what I was doing to his sister and to get in the tub. So, between R's howling, J's crying, and my hacking a lung up, it was a nice little noise in the main bathroom.

All I could muster was a quick prayer for patience and comic relief (which I got instantly). After finally getting R to keep her foot still and the splinter out, and J quiet for a minute, all was well with the world again... almost (another blog about that... promise!).

More to follow.....

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Books and movies

For the past month or so, I've finally started doing something that I used to really enjoy.... BOOKS!!!

For the past year and a half, I had no desire to read anything except maybe in a good magazine articles. Now, if I start a new book, it's hard to put it down. Of course, that can be a bit of a challenge when there is a certain 6 yr old and a very demanding 1 yr old who need just as much attention. :) R, thankfully will take a cue and let me read in peace for a little while (since she's developing her own love of reading) before something comes up that demand attention.

Taking time to just sit down and watch a movie (or at least 30 minutes of one) is a challenge sometimes but, I've learned that if I do, I'm much more relaxed during the week. Of course, this blog is a BIG relaxer for me and a challenge in and of itself. So, I'm making it a point to get through one whole movie in a weeks time. So far, I've watched "Pride and Prejudice (BBC version - my opinion - the best!), "Seven Years in Tibet" (which took a bit longer to get through), and most recently, "Dear John".

The last movie was a challenge for me in two ways. One was the mild (if you can call being shot in action mild) violence and the shooting in and of itself. As for the violence or drama involved in the movie was something that (up to now) was something that I just couldn't stomach. Even the TV shows that are so popular now (expect for Glee of course) are based very much in drama. Even K and G don't seem to have a problem watching any of the crime drama's that are currently broad casted every week (even a few months after Donovan's death). For them, maybe it's just a show but it was much more real for me since I was in the house and dealing with the aftermath and they were kept outside (in their car) with R. The fact of the soldier being shot at was a HUGE hurtle for me. It also make me wonder what Donovan thought about before he blacked out. All I knew is that he was breathing on his own when the EMS took him and that there was a very slim chance that he would make it though the night. Just typing about this know, brings back those mental images of that night but thankfully, it doesn't scare me anymore. It's more of being at peace. I know my daughter will have her own mental images of that night and hopefully they will be peaceful for her as well. I also think about those who have seen much worse and pray that they will also get the help that they need so that those mental images don't remain the horror and terror that they were but rather peaceful.

I am soo grateful for the technologies (neurotherapy)that are now available for those kinds of situations because I know that without that, God, my family, and friends, I would be in a straight jacket now.

Onward and upward!

More to follow.....

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Crying for the old house

Today (so far) has been an emotional roller-coaster for R. For the past week or so, she's been crying because she misses her old room and her old house (even though she was miserable the last 6 months or so that we were still there).

Several times this week, she had cried (hard) to go back and yesterday after school, G took her over there and brought back some more toys (surprise, surprise) and things from her old room. G also told me that she had a good, hard cry while they were over there. Today, she wanted to go back so, I took her for a few minutes since the trees in the front yard needed to be trimmed up before heavy winter hit (like last year). She started crying to stay there and never leave. I just had to say a quick prayer for wisdom and strength to do and say the right thing for her.

I told her that staying there wasn't going to be possible and pointed out that she had had a hard time sleeping over here (old house) and that everything she needed was at home and that she could visit over here (old house) anytime she needed to (for now anyway). I then had to carry her to the car to go home (J had been left in the car while it was running and was crying because we had stayed in there too long). It's times like this that I wish I could split myself in half in order to tend to both... but, can't do that so, deal with each... One at a time and hopefully the tears will stop. R cried on the way home and that caused J to cry (if she gets upset and cries, he does the same... sweet and aggravating at the same time!).

Once we got home, she protested about it and I told her that it would be rest time soon (more protest) so I told her that if she stopped crying, she wouldn't have to lay down right then... Tears stopped and a feeble OK from R.

Then, it was like nothing had happened 30 minutes ago... Both kids were laughing and playing in the living room... Note to self, don't let things get bottle back up on the inside... Once it's out, let it go and move on.

Managed to get J down and then got R down for about 5 minutes. She came back, red puffy eyes and crying to go back to the old house again. All I could do was let her cry it out, get her back in her bed and tell her to get some rest and she'd feel better. So far, not a peep.

I know that being on antibiotics isn't helping R emotionally but, once she can get her upper respiratory infection out, it'll help. It hurts when they hurt but all I can do is try to dry their tears, get them to get some rest, try not to get sick myself (losing battle slowly though... ugh!) and try to keep things positive. At least we are close and around the same surroundings to make it a little bit easier on the kids and the rest of the family.

More to follow......

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Well of tears

Does anyone know how deep a well goes and how much water will come from it? I know there are scientific measurements for physical wells but, I'm talking about emotional wells.

Here's the reason for the question. Last night, we were invited to a cookout with the young families of the church. Earlier, R had been very quiet and seemed rather sad (even though we had gone to a fall festival yesterday morning). During the drive over to the cookout, she had told me (very simply) that she wished that Daddy was here. My response was the same as it always had been... "I know, but he can't". R: "Why?" Me: "Because he's buried." R: "What's buried?" Me: "He's dead". R: "Why did daddy die?" Me: "Because his heart stopped working and his body is buried in the ground and his soul went back to God." R: "Oh. OK... Can I go play on the swings?" Me: "But of course! and the hayride later" R: (nothing but sounds of glee as she runs off to see her friends).

This same kind of talk has been going on for the last year and a half and I guess she just wanted to be reaffirmed that Donovan was really gone and not coming back. Once this is done, she goes back to being a kid.

For me, it's different. It took everything I had just to walk around to the back where everyone else was while being reminded that Donovan wasn't there and that he wouldn't be there to play with the kids, help with the bonfire, etc as he had 3 years ago. All I wanted to do was turn around and walk away but, I knew there would be consequences if I did that. One, I would have two very upset children who were excited to be able to have some fun with their friends. Two, I would be kicking myself later for not facing facts and just let the tears fall where they may. Managed to get our stuff where it belonged and having someone ask me how I was doing. I couldn't even look them in the eye or say anything. Managed to get in the kitchen and just let it all out. It felt like someone had just sucker punched me in the chest and nothing to do but bend over and cry hard. Thankfully, Velvet had come in to get a bottle for her little one and was there to offer a shoulder. Time just seemed to stand still for a few minutes but eventually, I had to get some air in my lungs (breathing is of necessity, hyperventilation is not).

This wasn't supposed to happen. I thought the well had finally dried up. Wrong! But, it is what it is and all I can do it pray for strength and guidance and get back to life. What is life if you don't have your up's and down's? God's constantly trying to help us get back up while Satan is constantly trying to keep us down.

Thankfully, there is my spiritual family who always pulls through (even though half the time, they don't even know it). So, thanks to Michael B and his comic relief of deciding what to drink, the guys that didn't mind picking J up or holding him when he needed a man's influence.... You guys are awesome in my book! To my "sisters" for hugs and just being extra hands (and feet) to get the kids ready to go home. That's what the christian family is like... They're there when you need a shoulder (or just to listen) and help wipe the tears and they're there when times are great and do "a happy dance" with you and I love them for that.

Over all, it was a great evening and not half as difficult as last year's bonfire. So, onward and upward!

More to follow.....

Friday, October 29, 2010


I know, Halloween is a few days away but, this is something that I've been dealing with for the last couple of weeks.

R is all for decorations and doing fun things. This year, she finally settled on being a "My Little Pony - Pinky Pie (and for those of you who don't know who that is, look it up and yes, I will have pictures asap). She also wanted to have a spooky looking house (which gives me the creeps) complete with tombstones, ghost, and skeletons in the front yard and in the house. I (on the shuddering other hand) am not all for that stuff... a few ghost... OK but the tombstones and skeletons... Not a chance.

Granted, R still doesn't have a full comprehension of skeletons, tombstones and such. To her, it looks cool and spooky (in a good way). For me, the skeletons remind me that Donovan is burred 6 feet underground and has a tombstone marker which also brings back mental images of him being on the floor and then in a casket. Even now, it's painful to think about. It wasn't supposed to be like this but, it is none the less.

Thankfully, it's not as difficult to deal with as last year and I'm not loosing any sleep (except for the fact that J is sick with a cold and hasn't been sleeping through the night - Reminder to self - This tooo shall pass) but it can easily start dragging me down if I think too much - (in comes cleaning out boxes).

R settled for a few ghost (one sleeps with her and it's name is Ghostly) and she's looking forward to the candy part. J has discovered that he has a BIG sweet tooth and will promptly let me know when he wants (9 times out of 10) a lollipop.

It is also helpful when I generally have a laugh about one of the kids (or both of them) by their innocence and energy for living every day. Sure, there are times (as with any parent) that you want to roll your eyes heaven ward and ask why but, at the end of the day, it's soooo worth it. The key is getting a balance which is something I'm still working on.

To end on a funny note: Today, J learned to say "chooo chooo" for the train and then proceed to get sooo tickled (while running in circles) if you say it back and then he repeats.

More to follow......

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Back at the batting cage again

Last week, I started taking R back in for neurotherapy and am already seeing results. The first was the fact that she sat by herself on the first visit (major surprise to the staff and to me).

Last school year, we went (almost) every week, except for the times that one (or both) of us were sick. Every week, R wouldn't sit by herself but insisted that I hold her in my lap. Usually, this was perfectly fine because 9 times out of 10, she would fall asleep because it wears her out mentally (which means she needed it in a big way). This year, the focus is still on mental stability and also being able to get past ADHD (focus).

Two days after the first session, she started wanting to read me a book before bed. Now, this may not seem like a big deal but for someone who wasn't able to stay on task for a 2 minute homework assignment and saying "I Can't! I Can't! It's too hard" to being able to sit down, do the homework (with a little bit of "I don't want to" thrown in) in a few minutes time and reading books (where there wasn't any interest before) is huge for me. She's also more confident in herself and I know that it will continue to grow as time goes on.

As for me, the last time I went in for a neurotherapy session was when J turned 1 (back in Feb). Sure, there have been some rough spots but nothing compared to last year and what I can handle or work through (aka: This blog! ha!). Granted, this year isn't over yet but, there (I think) isn't anything that I haven't had to deal with yet that I haven't had to face already (but I'm sure there's always a first). Also, I know that God and my church family is always there for me when I need it the most (even when I don't always see it sometimes).

More to follow......

Monday, October 18, 2010

Cooking.... Full steam ahead!

For the past two weeks, I've been cooking something every night. Now, most people may think that that is not uncommon. For us, it is.

For the last (a little over) year and a half, I could not seem to motivate myself to fix anything (breakfast, lunch, or dinner). Since we've moved to a new house and in the process of making it our home, I've been cooking a little bit every day. A lot of the time, R will pick out what she likes (sees) from recipe cards and then I ask her which one she wants me to fix for supper.

A friend once told me that I (we) would never have complete peace until we moved out of that house and I didn't realize how right they were until now. It's been totally liberating and not just for me but also for the children. I didn't realize how far down I had sunk until we got out of that house. Some people can be dragged down by other people. Others can be dragged down for situations that may (or may not) be out of their control. Still others can be dragged down by where they are physically and that was the case for me and I hated it. However, I won't (and shouldn't) do the would have/ should have/ could have game. Partly because I have two small children who mirror what I show them (or sometimes try to hide from them which can be just as damaging).

So, with all that being said, there will continue to be alot of messes to clean up in the kitchen but, I'm not going to complain (even if J does get jello up under the table... ha!).

More to follow.....

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Pressing on

The last couple of days have been pretty busy for us.

On Wednesday, I took R back in for some neurotherapy. Her teacher(s) had put a note that R was having a very difficult time in staying focused (even in small groups) and I knew that it was now time to get over the hurdle of getting her back on focus. At first, she told me that she didn't want to play a video game (which is what she does and her mind controls the game and gets everything back into focus). The technology is now to the point that they can go as low as .001 (which is what most children can function at) and help them with their attention difficulties.

R also really surprised everyone. She sat in the chair by herself for the first time. All the staff could say was "WOW!!". I knew that the old fears/stress that she had had at the old house were now (pretty much) gone. She hasn't had any panic attacks at night and gets a much better sleep and happier.

Thursday night, we went back to GriefWorks (which R really enjoys) and they did a session about different feelings/emotions that we all deal with a different times and at different levels. R also got to meet some new kids that had lost their mom a few months ago. In our group, it was a kind of meet and greet type of setting. Several had lost their husbands, one lady had lost her daughter, and a gentleman had lost his wife. Needless to say, just about all of them were emotionally raw. There was also a girl (age 23) who had lost her mom 2 months ago to cancer and she has 4 younger siblings. Up until the loss of her mom, her dad had pretty much kept out of the picture but now (thankfully) he's stepping up and taking responsibility (slowly). She had a lot of questions as to if the things that she was feeling were normal or not (which they were) and a general question came about the holidays and how we each prepare for those holidays.

To be honest, the thought of the coming holidays is a bit depressing for me. I also know that this is good time for us to start some traditions of our own and make them as good and happy as any. So, onwards and upwards!

More to follow......

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Have you ever had one of those feeling like you wish you could have a magic wand and it would do everything that you didn't want to do yourself. This morning, I did.

This morning, I managed to stay for about 30 minutes at the old house and started going through papers that were stashed here and there in the back room. Granted, if I had been a better housekeeper, there probably wouldn't have been stashed but, at least it was all mainly in the back corner (also the same room that I found Donovan in and yes, he was still alive when I found him).

Anywho, we had a file cabinet back there as well as a bookshelf with books and papers. There were also (I discovered) Donovan's stash of Birthday, valentines, holidays, or "just because" cards and notes that he saved. Needless to say, it wasn't easy going through those but, I didn't get teary-eyed.

What got me was a box that I found from a "secret Sis" that I had back when I was at Freed. In that box was a card and on the front were the words "The Lord Bless You and Keep You, May His Face Shine On You". Those words rang true then and they ring loud and clear now. That's when I got teary-eyed. Many times, it gets so easy to get bogged down with everything that we forget to look up and remember that His face is shining down on us.

More to follow.....

Monday, October 11, 2010


Last Friday, I ran across two zip lock bags that were in the back room and under a lot of stuff (at the old house). In them were cases and little boxes that you would see for rings/bracelets, etc.

I didn't have the heart to open them and see so, I took them home and put them in a corner until I could deal with those items. This afternoon, I went through them. There were high school rings, college ring, and things that Donovan probably got when he was either in high school or earlier.

Now, I know that wedding rings care a great deal of significance but, until you have to go through those kinds of things of someone that has been dead for over a year and a half, those little things take on a whole different meaning and significance. I asked G if she wanted anything of his and she said no. So, I'm putting back most of if for R and J (when they are much older).

Of course, this setting aside hurts because it just makes all that more real of what they are missing right now.

I'm not sure if it's jut me or if it's because a bunch of holidays are coming up or if it's just because it's overcast today, but it's hard to shake the blues off sometimes. So, what do you do when you feel yourself getting down? Me? I still have boxes clustered in various corners that are begging to be gone through, put up, and boxes reused for more stuff. In a large way, I am very ready to be done with having to back to the old house and just say "ENOUGH!". I also know that if I don't go through EVERYTHING, I could very well be kicking myself later for not doing so.

R, on the other hand, is starting to show signs of being stressed. Night before last, she woke up in the wee hours of the morning, asked me if it was time to get up and then crawled into bed with me (little sleep on my end since I'm not used to a kicker... Ha!) and then last night, she couldn't settle down to go to sleep so, I had to be in there with her and read my book (Pride and Prejudice to be exact) until she did (which took about 15 minutes). So, I think it's about time to go back into therapy (counseling and neurotherapy).

Gotta go get R from school. At least in that aspect, she's doing better. :)

More to follow......

Friday, October 8, 2010

Pictures and condolences

This morning, I was able to go through some more stuff at the old house, chiefly a box of sympathy cards and some pictures that were stashed on a shelf.

The cards/letters of sympathy had been read long ago (I actually made myself read them as they came in which helped a great deal) and seeing some of them again now has made an even bigger impact than a year ago. The hard part was the pictures that were taken over the last 7 years or so. I managed for about an hour or so and then I could feel myself starting to get heavy-hearted and knew that I needed to get out of the house and do something that I enjoyed.

So, off to an estate sale I go. New house, "new" stuff but at a better price. :) At the sale, there was a guy that was taking his time looking at everything and automatically started up asking general questions and being a very big flirt. All I could managed was a grin there or there and answering his general questions.... I am so out of the loop of these things but, it was a very welcome change to what I had been doing before hand.

Anywho, manged to get out with some pretty good deals and also got a new table and chairs (since the one we had broke - a leg gave out when R was sitting at the table and J was pulling himself up to sit with her). Needless to say, scary incident but, all is well and now we have a very sturdy table (no matter what).

So, over all, a good end to a somewhat difficult morning. I was hoping to get everything done at the old house by this weekend but, don't think that's going to happen quite as quickly as I had hoped *sigh*. Oh well... Baby steps!

More to follow.....

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Getting ready

I'm just about done with getting everything moved from one house to our home and this week is going to be tough.

One last chance to box anything up that I won't regret NOT getting later for my benefit (or the kids). I've pretty much gotten to the point that it's almost like pulling teeth just to go over there and stay for several hours to continue boxing things up. R has no interest of going back over there either. If she thinks of something that she forgot to put in her box, she'll ask me to go over there and get it for her. When I ask her if she wants to go with me and get it, it's always a resounding NO.

We've been at the new house for two weeks now and she hasn't had any panic attacks at night. There have been two times that she wanted me to be in her room with her until she fell asleep. Even then, she was sound asleep with 5 minutes. The first instance was after a really bad thunderstorm (which knocked the power out for a few minutes) and the other was because she was overtired and hot. She also doesn't have to have the overhead light on - just a little lamp. J, on the other hand, hasn't had any problems in the transition. It's the same routine for him and as long as he has his blanket, sound maker (lights up with lullaby music), and passy's - then he's set.

I'm hoping to get everything done so that I can do an estate sale by next weekend. I'm not going to do it myself for the simple fact that I don't think I could handle watching everything of my past life be taken out the door by strangers.

More to follow.....

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Not out of the emotional woods yet...

Yesterday, R came home in a bad mood and seemed very angry about everything. I later found out why.

She didn't want to do her homework but finally did so anyway. She also didn't want to take a bath... She finally did so but not without telling me that she wanted a new mommy... During said bath, I noticed that her other front tooth was bleeding a little bit and told her to go ahead and try to pull it out. She (of course) protested this and after a lot of deliberation and tears, tried. I asked her if she wanted me to help her and (in the midst of a lot of tears) said that she wanted her Daddy back. She then stared asking questions (again) as to "Is he in heaven?" and "Why did he die?".

We've had this kind of talk many times before but it's always (seemingly) out of the blue and she is usually in a bad mood before these talks take place (so at least I get a bit of a warning beforehand). She knows the facts but just needed (I guess) confirmation and then she went on to eating supper and then getting ready for Bible class and I'm thankful that God made little minds to operate on short attention spans.

This also taught me about handling my own emotions in that we as adults often get something in our heads and then we just dwell on it and forget to just let things go and let God deal with it in His own time.

More to follow.....

Monday, September 27, 2010

Doing a little catch up!

Ok... Unfortunately, it's been a while since I've been able to "write" and of course I'm starting to get to the point that I have to "put things down" so that I can get a good night's sleep! Ha!

First of all, I have to say a BIG, HUGE thank you to K and G! They helped me in so many ways to get the new house to the point of moving into. Granted, this wasn't exactly what I had in mind as far a moving is concerned but, when God opens a door, you don't just stand there and debate about what you should do... You just go with it and pray like crazy while your going through the steps. I will say that this whole new experience has taught me a great deal and I'm going to try not to put it all in one go (it would be lengthy at best!)

K and G worked at getting the new house as ready to move in as possible and were there to help me realize what all that entails (which can be a hassle). The house was obtained through foreclosure and (as you can probably imagine) had some work on it that needed to be done (and very difficult to do when you have a 19 month old who may *or may not* take a 30 - 45 min nap in the mornings and then a longer one *fingers crossed* in the afternoon. It also helps when you know people who can refer you to others who are very good at their trade and *mostly* dependable.

So, with everything done I finally put the word out at Centerville that I would need help in moving furniture from the old house to the new one (which was about 4 streets down) on Saturday 18th at about 8 am. Most people were suprised that I said for ONLY furniture (and even then, a very small amount of it). At a little before 8, one person showed up (way before K and G did!). Then, it seemed that lots of people just magically showed up (I'm guessing about 12 - 15 guys and 2 ladies *one at one house and one at the other and myself inbetween*. They guys were able to load everything on one large trailer (and maybe a pickup truck or two) and the whole thing was completed in about 2 and a half hours. Talk about dumbfounded!

At one point, while the men were talking/ joking around with each other, tears started to form but, they weren't sad tears but just by being shown (once again) what the church is all about (in action!). The sheer willingness of these guys to give up a perfect Saturday morning and some sleep in time still humbles me and I will forever be grateful to them.

By the end of the day, I as able to get all of our bedding out and on to get to sleep and I was flying high to say the least. R was able to spend the previous night at a friend from church's house (which she was ecstatic about) and promptly informed me that Tara HAD to spend the night at her new house soon. J was able to spend that morning with another family so a BIG thank you to them as well.... So blessed!

More to follow.....

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Running to school...

For the last 2 full weeks (which seem like a lifetime in a way), R has been in tears before going to school (and angry). Each day, she would come out all grins and say that her day was good but then, an hour later (or so) it would be a proclamation NOT to go back to school in the morning.

Today (hopefully) was the beginning of a new chapter as far as school goes. When I was about to pull into the drop off zone, she saw one of her classmates, rolled down the window, and was yelling "HELLO!" to her friend. I didn't even have to get up to the stairs before she was getting out of the car and literally running ahead of her friend (and also seeing some more friends)... Happy moment!

This afternoon, G picked her up from school and she got to have a "picnic" at their house (which she has been crying to do the last couple of days) while J was asleep. J (unfortunately) has caught a bug and has been running a fever since last night so... it's a catch 22.

I am also (slowly) making headway with Donovan's stuff... Found a box of statements, bills (surprise! but already paid) that I just need to take to a shredding place and have them demolished. Also found a CD that he made for R when she was 3 (Blue Danube)... Good memories but still hurts a bit. It may be an uphill climb sometimes but, I know I'm not the only one that's gone through this and I know God is there through it all.... Onward and upwards!

More to follow......

Monday, September 6, 2010

One down, two more to go.... I think.

Last night was a HUGE hurtle for me emotionally and physically.

Almost every weekend for the almost 8 years that we were married, Donovan and I did Movie night. For the first three years of our marriage, it was every weekend and something we both enjoyed. After R was born, it was a bit of challenge at the beginning (like most new parents) but very doable. One week, it would be my pick. Next week, his pick.

For the last (almost) 2 years, I couldn't bring myself to watch a movie... at night... in our room (much less just trying to watch TV in general was trying). Thankfully, some friends of mine were upgrading their bed to a king so, I bought their queen. Major difference! Slowly, I started making myself watch a little bit of TV before going to sleep (even if it was for a mere 5 minutes).... If you're like me, by the time it's nice and quiet, you discover how worn out you really are... Ha!

Well, yesterday afternoon I started the miniseries of "Pride and Prejudice" which is put out by BBC and about as close to the book as possible (I think). I was able to get through the 1st disc (almost) and then had to wait to finish after church and getting the kids down for the night.

I knew I probably shouldn't finish the whole 2nd disc if I wanted to get a good, solid night's sleep in but, when you've got a good story, you can't always walk away from it (even when you know what the ending is going to be because you've watched so many times before).

About the part where Darcy finally tells Elisabeth how he feels about her, that old emptiness came creeping back on me but, it only lasted for a few seconds and by the end of the movie, the emptiness was gone. Although I will admit that it was a bit hard not to reach across to the other side of the bed and notice the vacancy. But no tears came and I was able to fall asleep (thanks to some soft classic music) and grin and say a little prayer of thanks to God for helping me get past the one thing that I had been dreading but knew I needed to do.

Over the past year and a half (actually a little over that), I've learned that God doesn't necessarily remove things that are difficult for us but rather gives us the strength (ever so slightly sometimes) to get through it when the time is right.

More to follow.....

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Moving on... literally!

Another BIG step is being done a little at a time (and will continue... Lord willing over the coming weeks.

After much prayer and thought, we are moving to a new house! :) I thought (until lately) that if I could just stick it out here and slowly get through all of Donovan's things (ie: records, 8-tracks, etc) then R, K and G would be emotionally really for us to be able to move. WRONG!

It's hard for me to come in the back and even type on the computer without being reminded of Donovan lying on the floor almost 2 years ago. Last night, R told me (in the strongest voice she could) that she hated this house. I'm glad she finally said this because I knew that she tries very hard to be anywhere else BUT here (no matter what time of day).

You know you've probably heard that God always opens a window when things get to be too much and He definately opened up some for us! Found a house that's 3 streets down from here and was a foreclosure. Yes, it needs work but, K and G are helping (alot) since J still (roughly) takes 2 naps a day. Mostly, it's one good, long nap a day. I also have the "luxury" of being able to move at my own pace (once everything gets done (AC, cleaning, painting, small repairs, etc) and it's close. So, if I'm not posting alot on FB, now you know why... :)

In a way, this is another tunnel (so to speak) of getting through. It will probably be difficult sometimes but will definately be worth it in the long run. Onwards and upwards!

More to follow......

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


For the last week, R has started asking for a book every night. Just before bed. To most, this may seem as a small deal but for us, it's huge!

Before Donovan's death, we had a nightly ritual of hugs, tickles, prayers and books. Last year, she wanted nothing to do with books or reading in general and if I asked her if she was thankful for anything, I got a resounding no. This year, we still do the hugs, tickles (within moderation of course) but still not thankful for much but the list is slowly building. Now, she wants a book (or two) every night for which I am very thankful. She still gets angry from time to time but it's not very often and not as extreme. Now we just have to get through the start of a new school year (1st grade!) and all the fears that go along with that. Today, I saw that R wasn't the only one who went to class in tears.

K and G went to their last grief counseling session last week and seem to be much more calmer and happier. I asked them if they were going to continue to see a counselor and (of course) the answer was no so we'll have to see how things progress. At least they've started in the right direction and they have things to "study" at home as the need arises.

As for me, the biggest challenge I've had to deal with came from last night. It was about 10:30 or so and I saw some yellow flashing lights and people talking (which set the neighborhood dogs (including mine) barking like crazy. At that time, I kinda panicked and grabbed a golf club (just in case). I've had one friend of the family be brutally murdered 20 years ago and that came back to mind. Posted something about the flashing lights on fb and (thankfully) had two friends point out the obvious (probably either a water or electricity problem which can be fixed). After about 30 minutes, whoever it was left and all was peaceful again. Golf club back next to the back door and, after about 10 minutes, sleep! There are some things that I haven't been able to do yet (like turning off all the lights in the house when I go to sleep or turning extra one's on when I get spooked). I grin about all of this now and know I still have some work cut out for me but, Lord willing, this too shall pass and I'll be much better off for it.

More to follow......

Friday, August 20, 2010

Major milestone passed!

For the last year and half, I've had a certain box that belonged to Donovan sitting on the floor in the back room.... Just staring at me...

For the last year, I couldn't even bring myself to look at it. It had all of his belongings that was brought to me from his work by one of his co-workers. This afternoon, I finally got the need to clear that box out. While I was doing this, R decided to go through some of her toys and see what she wanted to keep and what she wanted to give to the kids at the Medina Children's Home... So proud of her for doing so...

Anyway, I found lots of peppermints, snacks, and gum. Also a squeeze ball (which R decided to take and put to use). He also had his Bible in his desk (which he got from his parents back in '02). Donovan would sometimes come home (or call) and ask me (or then call his mom) about some spiritual discussion that he was having with one (or several) of his co-worker(s). His mom and I were both proud of him for not being afraid to speak the truth at work. The turn-out from everyone that worked with him at the visitation, funeral, grave-side, and letters left for the family on the newspaper's website (K printed all of them up and I could only read two of them shortly after Donovan's funeral) spoke volumes of the influence that he had.

There are some things that I'm setting aside for R and J when they are older but, the stuff from various eateries, are in the trash. Once I had the box emptied, I felt like I wanted to do a cartwheel (even though I've never done so) but it was like a weight had been take off of me and it was liberating.

More to follow.....

Sunday, August 15, 2010

One year older and no tears

Yesterday... I turned the ripe age of 36 (yippie!). The morning started off a bit rough. Just had the feeling of heaviness around my heart and knew that (deep in side) it would eventually be a good day but wish it didn't hurt so much and thankful that the sense of loss wasn't as intense as last year.

They say that the first year is the hardest to get through and they aren't kidding. It's horrible and not one you'd wish for anyone - regardless. This year was much, much better and even though the emptiness was there, it wasn't as profound and was actually fleeting (which is great!).

R spent the night at a friend's house (who has two little girls and a son who was born 2 weeks before J was) the night before so had to go pick her up.... The kids jumped out and shouted "HAPPY BIRTHDAY" and of course, R had to ask if her birthday was next (even if it's not until December). Then we went to meet up with K and G over at IHOP for brunch and realizing that the only parking left was for the next store's parking lot! Still managed to get a table and the kids got a neat treat... They had a lady there doing balloon animals... R got a pink poodle and J got a blue monkey (both of which are still intact - only because I hid them from J)... Ha!

Then we went over to K and G's house for cake. It was difficult to be over there since I could sense the depression from K and the brave front from G. And of course the heaviness for me came back but it was soon turned to giggles. Once R and J had their chocolate cake with chocolate icing, they were raring to go and proceed to chase each other around the house and then there was a time of hid n seek. K went off to be in his own thoughts and even if J would walk over to him and try to get him involved, K didn't move. I hurt for them and so thankful that God has a way of healing and providing help when we need it most. I know I can't go through their loss with them in the same sense that they do... I can only encourage them to do the right thing(s) to get through and become even stronger. I can only pray that they do.

Got home and J crashed and took a good long nap. R was still running on fumes (or rather, chocolate!) and wouldn't settle down... Got some household stuff done, and then get supper on.

Finally time for the kids to go to bed J went down giggling and talking to himself and it took R about 45 minutes before she was finally ready to go to sleep (whew!)

More to follow.......

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Trip to LA

This last Thursday, K, G, the kids, and I went to Baton Rouge to visit Donovan's grandpa (Everett), Jay (K's older brother) and Sue (K's sister) and her husband. K and G went in their own car and I drove with the kids.

J did pretty well for the first couple of hours and then we had to stop and let the kids get out and stretch and then get back on the road (which J fussed about having to be strapped back in). Thankfully, I also had a DVD player so that helped. Got to Baton Rouge around 6 and grabbed supper and then went to visit family. I tried to get J to go for about as long as I could and then headed to the motel and all the fun of trying to get them to sleep. Needless to say, J didn't sleep very well but R was out like a light and ready to go around 6 am Friday morning (ugh!)

Went over to Everett's and visited for the rest of the day. J slept in the pack-n-play in the morning for a little bit and then after lunch, R told me that she was ready to get some rest (shock!) so all three of us took a good, long nap.

Everett has a shop in the back of his house and a nice, big room to do whatever (which was full of tools). And of course, whatever R did, J had to do the same (or at least try very hard to and get frustrated if he physically couldn't do so).

The whole visit seemed a little bit on edge to me...For instance, when J found a lot of Everett's tools (screwdriver's) he proceeded to try and get as many of them down so he could play with them. The rest of K's family have fond memories of Donovan doing the same thing and told me that the remember Donovan and his tools. The thing is, they wouldn't mention Donovan's name. I'm not sure if it was because they weren't sure if I might fall apart at the mention of his name or because the kids were within ear shot. Maybe I'm just tooo perspective for my own good... ha ha!

Sue (unfortunately) has been in the same situation but her children were older than R and J when she lost her first husband. So it was encouraging to talk to her a little bit. I also got to talk to K a little bit and he's still grappling with Donovan's death and wanting answers for questions that will never be answered.

Lately, I've also come to realize that I am not defined by Donovan's passing either. Everyone has been influenced by tragedy or sadness and also joy at some point in their lives. The question is, does it define who you are or does the after-effect define you? I know that my family will never be the same again but I also know that everything works for God's glory and His purpose. With K and G, they are just trying to make it one day at a time and get through the fog of depression and loss. There's a time for that and a time to move on (which is where I and *in a way* R are now). The important thing is not to get "stuck" where you're at.

More to follow......

Friday, July 23, 2010

Saying goodbye to the old life

Have you ever had a point in your life where (up to that point, there was a gradual change) you suddenly realize that you have to let go of the old you? You realize that your not the same person you were then? I'm sure that everyone has had those moments and sometimes they are full of joy and other times, it's a sad goodbye. Yesterday was a sad goodbye for me.

Yesterday morning, I woke up with that heaviness that almost feels like you're suffocating under and extremely heavy blanket and can't breath. I've had times before (last year) and it's no fun to experience. Yesterday morning, I cried.. Hard... and I couldn't seem to shake it off. When I went to Danny Mayberry's wedding last weekend, I was fine until they started cutting the grooms cake but was able to shake it off (for a little while at least). When I got the nerve to tell Leslie congrats and to enjoy every minute of it, I could barely get the words out and crashed emotionally (just a little) but then shake it off. Wednesday night was the topping on the emotional cake for me. Talking to Paige about the exciting new arrival of their baby girl (which will hopefully be sometime today) and finding out about Mendy and Erick expecting another one in Feb was great to hear and I'm genuinely happy for them. At the same time, there was a sense of loss as well. Loss of an old life that won't be coming back. Lost opportunities, bigger family, new beginnings with Donovan are gone.

I had let go of Donovan being here long ago (or at least it feels like it me :) ). And I'm ok with him not being here anymore. This time, it was the life that we had that I had to let go of and it hurt (just like letting go and saying goodbye to Donovan was painful). So I cried... hard... but it didn't make me get the point that I physically couldn't stand, just hard enough for me to know that I needed to get help. So, I called two of my friends and could barely leave a message on their answering machines. Got a hold of Rachel and she was willing to take the kids 30 minutes before the neurotherapy session (even tho she had made plans with her mom to go and visit a sick friend of theirs) and for this I am very thankful and blessed to be where I am now.

I tried to relate all of this to G and she took it the wrong way and told me that I should be happy for Paige and Mendy (which I am... ecstatic actually) so that all backfired. Then I had to realize that she (and K) aren't anywhere near what I am now (and it will be a long time before they are) which can be very frustrating for me but, they have to work through everything at their own pace and in their own way. I can't do it for them. I am thankful that they both have finally realized that the counseling that they are getting now is helping them to start working through their own emotional roller-coaster. I can't depend on them like I used to at the beginning so, blessed that I have some great sisters-in Christ that I can get things out with... Thanks Wendy and Jera and Wendy B. :)

I also got a healthy dose of a reality check yesterday. I read a post of a friend of mine that was truly heart-breaking. A friend of hers (who lives in Tampa, Fl.) lost her police husband in the line of fire last month and then lost her baby yesterday (still born) and knowing that that could have easily been me with J. Talk about God giving me a reminder of what my blessings are! :)

Back in Feb. I got myself a butterfly necklace. This reminded me that grief is like a cocoon but eventually, the caterpillar has to break out of it and start flying on it's own. It's not the same that it once was... much like myself. The grief is fading into the background and now it's getting time to fly!

More to follow....

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Another hurdle

Last night, I went to Danny (and the now Leslie) Mayberry's wedding which was beautiful in every way.

I don't know the guy who did the ceremony but would like to know where (and if) he still preaches somewhere. One point that he brought out was a story about a woman who lost her husband of 35 (or so) years and that they never used the fine china until the day of his funeral. The woman made the comment that she was sad that, now that the fine china was being used, the guest of honor couldn't be there. He also related this to how important it was to always do and be the best for the other half.

Of course, this also brought back memories of my own wedding day and the almost 8 years that I had with Donovan and I could do that with a grin... No regrets. Seeing Danny break down in tears as he saw his bride coming down the isle was heart-warming and just plain wonderful to see. Leslie also had some really good ideas for her (and Danny's) reception and I can only pray that I may be able to something like it on day (Lord willing).

All went well until they starting cutting the groom's cake. Then the memories came flooding in... Just a few tears and I was fine. The hard part came when it was time to wish Dan and Leslie well... she reminded me of myself on my own day. All I could tell her was the cherish every moment of it (all while trying to remain composed). Her response was "Danny told me about you." (we were at their wedding shower at Centerville and J helped himself to siting up in front with her - once). Then I had to almost run to the ladies room and let the hard tears come (hyperventilating included). Thankfully, one of the girls that was an ol college roommate of Leslie's was in there, asked if she could get anyone out at the reception. I told her to get Shelly (Danny's mom) and I'm so thankful to have an extra shoulder to hold onto and support. Got composure back and was able to use sparklers as the couple went out to their car. Then it was back to K and G's and getting the kids (who were amazingly still up and running strong - even tho it was 10 pm!).

I think it's amazing how God can remind me to slow down, be perspective of who I am and know that He's not done with me yet. I'm sure that will be more hurtles to get through and that through faith and patience, I'll be a much better (and stronger) person than I was almost 2 years ago.

More to follow.....

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Being in survivor mode

On Tuesday night, GriefWorks had the discussion of being in survivor mode and developing coping skills to get through grief. There were two new families there. One lost their 20 yr old son to suicide, the other (ex-husband) to cancer.

While these losses are sad to hear about and difficult to imagine, there are ways of getting through and the biggest thing that came out from the group was leaning on God. Some others were writing, exercise (get those happy endorphins going), taking care of yourself (which is sometimes very hard to do when you just plain don't care), volunteering, and knowing that grief works differently with everybody.

Key example: One lady lost her ex-husband (sad) from sudden heart attack 5 years ago. She is now (mostly) gone through the grief but her teenage son is just now having to face it and she's kinda angry that he hasn't gotten it yet. Same thing with K and G. It's been a year and half and they are just now starting to get help. They had their first session last night and I talked to G this morning.

She told me that she and K were both looking forward to the next session and she actually sounded happy over the phone (which is a first in a long time!) and that she finally got to get a good night's sleep (another first!). R is still getting through as well and it may take a while before she is finally at complete peace within herself but I am thankful that all three are slowly getting to where they need to be. Yes, it can be stressful, nerve-wracking, and even depressing sometimes but, as long as God's there to carry, openness to help, and a willingness to try, the only way is UP!

More to follow....

Monday, July 12, 2010

Finally getting it!

For the past year and a half, there has been a slow deterioration in my family and it's been heart-breaking to watch and even harder to deal with. Especially when I can't physically do anything about it.

Everyone (I'm sure) has seen the ad's on TV about how depression hurts everyone. Those ad's aren't kidding! For the past 6 months (especially) I've seen it take hold of K and G to the point that (if continued) there may not be a way of getting back to "normal". Today I found out that K and G are going to a six week adult bereavement support program within GriefWorks (which is supported by several congregations within the metroplex). GriefWorks also has a group session (twice a month) for children and their caregiver(s).

These sessions have helped me in trying to help R and it's helped R in that she has friends that have had a loss in their young lives as well and she knows that she's not the only one. There are several new families that have come into the group and it's sad but uplifting at the same time. Some have lost a grandparent, a child, a spouse, a brother, a son, or a daughter. The children have a special room (age appropriate) and only the counselor's know what the children talk about (unless it's life threatening of course) and it gives them the chance to open up about what they're feeling and thinking without fear of what someone else is going to think and R loves going (as do I). :)

Lord willing, this will be the beginning of something very positive for K and G and maybe they will both know what it's like to be happy with their own life again (as R and I am). It's not easy to go through but, it is much better than the alternative.

More to follow.....

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Two down, many more to go

This last week, I made a goal for myself of taking at least 2 big bags (or at least full enough for me to carry) out of the back room (aka Donovan's stuff that a good music consultant told me to get rid of). Since the 1st, that's what I've done and now we're actually able to walk around in the front part of the room. Those of you who have been to the house, you know what I'm talking about.

Once I get the room to where I can actually walk around in it, I get to start an inventory of every single record that could be worth something which is no small task! R has been helping as well and there are some things of daddy's that she doesn't want to get rid of so now I'm also in search of a good box for her to keep her things in that are special to her. I'll also try to set some things aside for J for when he gets older so that he'll have something of his dad's that he's never met.

My parents asked me if it would be easier (emotionally speaking) to have someone else come over and go through things. Quite the contrary! It's been good for me (as well as R). It's been a way of letting go and saying goodbye one last time (but with out the tears and with a grin instead).

More to follow....

Monday, July 5, 2010

Taking a stand

This afternoon, we were invited over to K and G's house for some BBQ hamburgers and hotdogs. While we were all eating, I asked G if she would be willing to watch J while I took R in for some neurotherapy session on Wed morning. Her response kinda suprised me a bit.

She said that she was thinking of taking R to the zoo in order to "encourage" her to go back to ballet class (R had made it very, very clear that she did not want to go back to class *after one session* which made G blow up a bit). I responded that the reason why I was going to be taking R in for a neurotherapy session to begin with was because R was starting to show signs of being stressed out due to the pressure G was putting on her to be in ballet to begin with. Unfortunately, I don't think G sees that.

We had this kind of disscussion before on the day of the ballet class. G kept going on that R was trying to control me in that she tries to do whatever she wants when she wants to do it. She then asked if R pitched a fit about something that she doesn't want to do. In most cases, R will tell me that she doesn't want to do whatever but after 5 min, (with out becoming extremely emotional) she'll do what she's told. G didn't say anything once I pointed out (today) that she was putting unnecessary stress on R to do things that G did as a kid. In a way, it's like G is trying to live her childhood through R again and it's not going to work that way.

Needless to say, I didn't get a straight answer from G so, I'll have to find someone else to watch J on Wednesday morning.

G switched gears and started asking me quesitons about neurotherapy and how it works and helps. I suggested to her that if she (and K as well) went ahead and started the neurotherapy and then coupled that with counseling, they will both be able to learn coping skills in dealing with Donovan's death. In all reality, neither one of them are coping. I told her that neurotherapy will help her get through the extreme stuff (mentally and emotionally) and then the counseling will help them cope. Neurotherapy works much the same as psychologcial meds would but without side effects, quicker results, and no dependability on meds.

She mentioned that if she just thought positive things if negative feelings crept in that it's all she needed to do. I made a point that no amount of thinking is going to correct a chemical imbalance in you mind. Or like mental images that are stuck in your mind that are horrifying to see (like the soldiers coming back from a war zone). For me, neurotherapy (and The Almighty) has taken that image and helped turn it into peace.

More to follow....

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Watching out for the family...

This last Sunday. R, J, and I had the chance to spend some time with my uncle, aunt, and cousin (John).

My uncle knows all too well the road that we have been down because he lost his wife (John's mom) to cancer when John was 13 or 14 and he always has had good advise/ suggestions for me in trying to juggle everything.

While we were sitting through the AM worship service, R pulled at me to ask me a question and I could tell from the look on her fact that it was a serious one to her. Her question/statement was simple yet profound. "No guns for my cousin!" (all being said in a whisper of course). I knew what she meant by that statement and simply told her "No, No guns for cousin". To which she had a huge grin for John and went back to drawing on a piece of paper.

On the way to lunch, I relayed that statement to John (R was ridding with Aunt Gail so out of earshot). His reaction was something I will always remember. "Wow! She's looking out for me and she's only 6 years old!" Needless to say, that affected him deeply and I think it was something that he needed to hear.

Three years ago, my grandmother passed away from a heart attack and John was very, very close to her. His dad is slowly declining in health due to a genetic disease that doesn't have a cure and there isn't very much known about. It's also heretic and all by my dad has come down with the disease (yet). Thank the good Lord that I was adopted into this family and don't have to worry about this aspect. John is also the one that found grandma on the floor so, like me, he will forever have a mental image that will never completely go away. I asked him how he's been doing since grandma passed... He's been doing ok but more concerned about his dad. So, R's statement was probably something that he needed to hear and also know that he's not alone.

No one is completely alone.

More to follow.....

Monday, June 28, 2010

Out with the old, in the .... old???

This last Saturday, K and G had to clear out G's mom's apartment (since she's now living in a nursing home and mentally deteriorating quickly). As a result, they asked me if I wanted Margie's living room furniture which I quickly agreed to.

On the same day, R, J, and I went to Lawton to see the slide presentation from the Back to the Bible Campaign that was conducted last month in Cherokee Hills Church of Christ in OKC. It was great being able to see ol friends and family that I haven't seen in a year and I'm they were just as surprised to see us and how much the kids have grown (the last time they saw J, he was about 4 months old - amazing what a year's difference can make!).

Anywho, got back home today and I thought that I wanted to put some pretty, decorative things in the secretary and china cabinet that came from Margie's. So, I got out the fine china (they were Donovan's great-grandmother's china) that G gave me when Donovan and I got married and I just started out with about 4 pieces. I didn't realize what kind of impact those pieces would have on me.

The more I looked at them, cleaning a little bit, the more I thought and I started noticing that I was starting to become depressed. Those pieces were apart of my life that is gone and won't be back. Not only that but it's not a part of my life anymore. It's not who I am anymore. I'm not the same girl I was 2 years ago. Seeing those pieces of china did not make me happy nor sad (as in breaking down into tears) but, it's just not me anymore.

So, I took "New Mood" which is kinda like an anti-depressant but all natural and it's there when I need it and my life doesn't fall apart if I don't take it every day. The china pieces went back to their old home (aka storage for china) and I got some figurines out that I had found at an estate sale a few months ago. I enjoy going to these estate sales and seeing what I can find so now I have a new mission (besides clearing out Donovan's music stuff) and that if filling the secetary and china cabinet with little things that I like.

I will probably keep the china for R (just in case she may want it when she's older).

More to follow......

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Two steps forward, one step back...

Got through father's day pretty well. I was a bit down before the AM worship service and some points that Ken made kinda hit me hard (even a lady behind us was having to wipe her eyes a bit) but the biggest obstacle came Monday morning.

R woke up around 1 AM screaming and later that day, I found out why. Apparently, G has been either referencing her own life (being raised by her grandparents) or referring that K is now her "dad".

This has happened before and it backfired on G very badly. R was sooo angry that she didn't want to be around G, talk to her or have anything to do with her (and at that time, G told me that she had made the above mentioned references) and I told G that she shouldn't have said that to R. G simply dismissed it and said that R's anger was probably at something else and not what G had said. At that time, R was extremely emotionally unstable and couldn't handle it. Now, she's much more stable but she's not emotionally out of the "woods" yet.

Monday afternoon, there was (yet another) advertisement in reference to fathers. After watching this, R said "I have a father". Me: "Oh? Who?" R: "PawPaw". Me: "He isn't your dad. He's your grandfather." R: "But he's a father". Me: "He used to be a father but he's still your grandfather. If I marry a man, he would be your dad." R: "Oh. Ok."
Then she went to draw some pictures for K for his b-day. My thinking was to avoid some potential problems down the road.

I know I need to address this again with G but I'm thinking I'm going to be getting the same result again (or her going on defense). I know that G is emotionally raw right now and it hasn't been pretty so I'm just praying that soon, she'll realize that she needs to get help (actually both of them do).

So, R is going back in for some much needed neurotherapy tomorrow morning. This morning, she was in tears over the smallest things (another red flag for me in getting her some help).

Upside to all of this, tomorrow I get to meet some new friends and then get out of town for the weekend (with kids in tow) which is something R and I need to do.

More to follow.....

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Crazy days of summer

Now that summer is in full swing, so are the kids! Part of me is ready for R to go back to school and get back into a routine but, that will have to wait.

Thankfully, R will be doing some sort of schooling in order to be ready for the 1st grade (my how time flies). She will also be doing some lessons in the arts (ballet, theatre, etc). I am a little leery of her doing dance because I don't want to send the wrong kind of message as far as dress in concerned so after this summer, she probably won't be doing it again but rather (hopefully) other interest. G took these types of lessons when she was little so she's encouraging R to do the same (cringe!) and I'm limited as to what I'm able to do because I also have J (who still needs two naps a day) so yes, it gets frustrating sometimes.

This morning started off a little tough (emotionally) for me in that it's another year down since Donovan's death. This morning's sermon (or at least the opening statements) were a little hard "Children need their father". As each month passes, it becomes more and more clear that the kids crave that male attention. Anytime a man pays any kind of attention to J, J will want to be picked up and just held and R is the same way. If we go over to a friend's house and their dad is playing with them on the floor, R just right in there with them with a "me too, me too!" and it almost kills me. I know that God has a time for everything but sometimes I wish I could get a little note from Him telling me what the sequence is supposed to be (ha ha!) Just have to remember that it's all in good time and it has to be for the right reason... (me!... not the kids, not anyone else but me!).

Anywho... This is a new week so let the fun (and craziness begin!)

More to follow.....

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Father's day

That time of the year is approaching once again. This year, I was hoping that it would be easier on all of us. For me, so far, it has been easier but for R, it hasn't.

Last night, she watched an episode of Ni how, KiLan (sorry about spelling) and it focused on Tolie (again, sorry about spelling) having to be separated from their favorite toy. They sang about the fact that if something (or someone) does go away for a while, they always come back and I watched R's face go from being all smiles with her brother to pain.

Once the show as over, the tears came. In a way, I'm grateful that she was able to have a good, hard cry. I didn't have any tears to shed because it doesn't pain me as much as it does R. Of course, J was at her feet and patting her on her leg as if in comfort while I just sat and rocked her.

We talked about our family and how we have our physical family as well as our spiritual family. That always helps her to be reminded of people that she is getting closer to in the church family.

Ultimately, we ended with a tickle fest with both kids on the bed and laughing hard from tickling each other and being tickled. Objective achieved! I'd much rather end the day in giggles than tears.

More to follow.....

Thursday, June 10, 2010

A rough/ awkward moment

This morning, I called G to see if she could take care of J on Monday while R had a neurotherapy session. She reminded me that K's birthday was coming up and was asking me if I had any ideas of what to get for him.

One of the comments she said was "You know how hard it is to shop for a man." I actually didn't have anything to say at first. I wasn't sure if I should have said something like: Yes, I used to or nothing at all. In the end, I just lamely said Yup but after getting off the phone with her, I felt my heart just sink a little. That remark hurt... but, I can't just sit around and cry "woe is me!" and I don't have time to pine away either. There's too much life to live and too much fun to have with my little one's to crawl in a corner somewhere and say "forget it!"

It also makes me very aware of where G is emotionally. She's just now (barely) facing the fact that Donovan's not here anymore.

Yesterday, R and I went to Sylvan Learning Center to see if I could help her be ready for next school year. On the way back, we passed by the nursing home that Margie is at and also a cemetery. R asked me if "That's where daddy's lives?" I told her that it was at a different one and asked her if she wanted to go see where he was buried. At first, she said yes but after a while of thinking, she told me that she didn't want to so, I said ok and let it go.

Later that day, I asked G if R had made any comments about the cemetery (because she had taken R to see Margie). G said that R had said something along the same lines as she asked me and I could hear the emotion in her voice. It's the same with K and what's so sad is that neither one of them want to do anything to get some help.

I've told them about the help that R and myself have/ are getting and they just nod their head and smile.

There is an old saying that my dad used to tell me. "People can be like concrete. Th roughly mixed up and firmly set." K and G are like that and it scares me a little because(as a social worker) I see the red flags and want to get that across to them without sounding harsh or disrespectful. That being said, if anyone has some ideas, please let me know.

I am thankful that the children are doing so well and blessed that I have a HUGE church family that I can lean on, talk to, etc when the physical family doesn't get it or doesn't want to.

More to follow.....