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......