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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

14 years...

I remember exactly where I was 14 years ago today and what I was wearing... We were young, full of excitement, hopes and dreams. Yet we had already been dating 8 years so we had an understanding and an expectation of who the other person was. I knew him to be steady and sure, loyal, honest, hard working, fun loving, humorous, and always my rock. I knew that above all else he would always be there for me. He made me safe, loved, and right. He brought me laughter, strength, truth, frustration, peace and wisdom.

I knew all those things when I walked down the aisle in my handsewn white dress. What I didn't know was that I would only have 12 short years before it all was gone and what a huge hole in my life it would leave. I have spent the last 2 years holding together the ragged edges of the fabric of our lives and trying to mend them. Everyday is another stitch in time, a little darn to the fabric. It is taking on a new shape, not the one we originally set out to make but still a comforting quilt the girls can wrap themselves up in.

I think of our dreams, the ones fufilled, the ones that will never be. I am thankful that the best of those hopes, dreams and wishes are reflected in two little faces that grow so much each day. I think of all the things I was given in the last 22 years. I realize now that time was not to be one of them.

I was up at midnight with my reflections, watching the clock, knowing that today would come. I have felt it coming all week. Felt the waves of emotions lapping at my core. I spent Sunday with him, sitting, quietly reminding him of that day 14 years ago.

I wouldn't have missed the dance.....

Looking back on the memory of
The dance we shared 'neath the stars above
For a moment all the world was right
How could I have known that you'd ever say goodbye

And now I'm glad I didn't know
The way it all would end, the way it all would go
Our lives are better left to chance
I could have missed the pain
But I'd have had to miss the dance

Holding you, I held everything
For a moment wasn't I a king
But if I'd only known how the king would fall
Hey who's to say? you know I might have changed it all

And now I'm glad I didn't know
The way it all would end the way it all would go
Our lives are better left to chance
I could have missed the pain
But I'd have had to miss the dance

Yes my life, it's better left to chance
I could have missed the pain
But I'd have had to miss the dance

-garth brooks

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

In the know, the down low, and on the go, go......

I have been sadly neglectful of this blog lately. It isn't that I haven't though of posting, or that the words that I would say, haven't run through my mind like a ticker tape. I could say that I have been busy, and it would be true. I could say that I have been concentrating on some big changes and it would also be true. But the real reason, the nuts and bolts of it boils down to something more simple. I haven't wanted to. I haven't wanted to explore my own feelings. I have been content to wrap myself in the protective fabric of my projects, my life, the girls, and everything else. I have let it numb me from my feelings, I have let it be a filter for me.

The last months have brought change again to my door, and then I invited it in. The girls have been busy. H had her t-ball season, we games, practices, and lessons. Swimming lessons, birthday parties, lost teeth, first grade, our last year of preschool, field trips, working in the classroom and on and on and on. But the biggest change these months have brought is my decision to move. After 12 years we are moving off of our mountain and down to be closer to town.

Once I made the decision, I looked at the rest of winter as an affirmation of my decision to move. When I spent an hour digging my friend out of the snow in our driveway, I told myself it would be the last winter I would have to do that. When we were late to H's own birthday party because we got stuck in the snow and had to hike to the main road with cupcake carriers, gifts, and party supplies, and have someone pick us up and drive us down the hill, I saw it as confirmation. When I lost phone and Internet for 9 days, and power and water for 5 due to the storms, I told myself it was for the last time. The last winter. And it was.

I bought a house in town. I have traded secluded life on 25 acres for quiet life on an acre and a half. The kids still have plenty of space, but it is more manageable. It is closer to their school, friends and activities. We have space for everything, and everything has a place. We (R took charge of this project) have spent the last several months getting it ready. The week before school got out, we finally started moving in, and last day of school was our first night to sleep over. We are still not completely moved but it is slowly happening.

After 2 years of school not being able to have play dates over, we decided to break in the new house in grand style. I volunteered to have the end of the year first grade party at our new house. For a potluck BBQ of course. It rained. It poured. We had 62 people IN our half finished, half moved in house for 4 hours. It worked, and the kids had a great time. I was happy that H finally got to play hostess to her friends. We kicked it back into high gear and are getting down to the finishing touches. I still have much to go through at the old house. Projects to finish there.

It has been a huge undertaking, but will be so worth it in the end. I am already seeing the changes, in me and the kids. It is easier to live with a grocery store around the corner. It is easier to have a lawn to mow instead of a firebreak to maintain. It is easier to live without so many memories.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Two Years Today....

Two years. 2 years. Today.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Falling Behind...

I have been falling behind in my blog posts as I have been reminded on several occassions lately. It is not that nothing has been happening, but rather that so much has been happening. Unfortunately just not with him. He has settled into his new enviornment and they are learning about him. They are trying to make him as comfortable as possible and are trying some new things with him. Some new approaches to his physical therapy and some new medications. So far things remain much the same. It has been a relief, not having to drive to the bay area, and staying with S&S has been wonderful, comfortable and normal. A nice change of pace. The girls have gotten to see him at their whim, for as long as they like. This has been a good thing, but also a reckoning. I think for them, while they wanted to see him, and asked about him, the distance also gave them a buffer from the situation. I have noticed a change in H on her recent visits. She is no longer the giddy cheerleader, bouncing in, trying to elicit a reaction. She has become more somber. More contemplative in her visits. Some have asked me what or if I tell them of his pronosis, but I have elected to let them lead. To let things take their natural progression. I knew that she would start to question, start to come to terms with the reality. She has. She has not given up hope, but the frenzy has subsided. She visits him, and looks into his eyes and talks to him, but she comes away with resignation. It is a hard thing to watch. It was inevitable but still a hard thing for a parent to watch in their child. I try very hard to balance their lives in other ways. To be so young and have to deal with something so grave, robs them of an innocense. I have tried to focus their energies instead on honoring thier father by doing the things that he would want and expect them to be doing. It is still hard, but it is time to start moving forward, to think about the future. Not leaving him behind, but in the ways that we can carry him with us, so that he continues on. We still hope for the best and continue to research and provide the best opportunities that we can, but life is not standing still. My children have not stopped growing. I have to keep moving forward for them, and reminding them of the best parts of him. The things that are not lying in that bed, his love, his laugh, and his spirit that lives on in them every single day. So we are moving ahead, trying to find new things to look forward to, continuing to surround ourselves with our family and friends. Moving ahead, even when feeling like I am falling behind.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

To everything, turn, turn, turn....

There is a season. It has been another busy couple of weeks. As I said before, it is amazing to spend a year and a half emotionally raw and fighting every day. Eventually you build up calluses. I was starting to feel numb to the routine. Putting one foot in front of the other and juggling my balls in a pattern that I had become familiar with, then they were plucked out of my hands and tossed up in the air to settle into a new pattern. Some legal issues are almost settled, he has been retired, officially. WC declared their intentions. I finally got the answers to my burning questions about health insurance. With one answer, it seems a new question is generated. I have new questions on the horizon, some that may never be answered. I fought for all of those months to have him placed in the brain injury program, to give him the opportunity that he deserved. That process became it's own adventure. The drug therapy, the defibrillator operation....and then the abrupt transfer to Fairfax. The one without my request or consent. I grew to like and appreciate the facility and the staff, but the drive was killing me. 4 hours each way. I had to farm my kids out every weekend. We had no down time at home, the girls and I. We would run all week for school, activities, etc. then drop everything, be gone all weekend, get home Sunday night, and start the week behind. Play catch up all week in between ferrying the girls around and still never get anything done. It was killing me. I am sure I have not been much fun to live with. A little over a week ago I got word that a bed was available in the sister facility to the one he is currently in. It is more like a group home than a hospital. It is a home-like environment, 6 beds. They have speech therapy, physical therapy and occupational therapy on site. It is not as shiny and new as the one he has been in (although there are plans for a remodel) but it has the same amenities, the therapies, the whirlpool bath, home environment. He moved on Thursday. The day before the Halloween Carnival, for which I was the coordinator for our class. Right before Halloween weekend when the girls were so excited. So I spent Thursday getting him settled, Friday back at school, Saturday took the girls to see him, Sunday back home for Halloween, Monday back to school. Whew. It will take some getting used to. A new collection of staff to become familiar with. For them to learn about him and us. The best part? It is just outside of Roseville 90minutes away! S lives less than 10 minutes from him! We can stay with her. The girls can see him. The facility sits on 5.5 acres and has rolling lawns and a duck pond. It has a paved driveway where they can ride their bikes to show their dad. It has a long covered patio, where the girls spent hours drawing pictures for him with sidewalk chalk. It has a little porch swing, where they swung and dangled their legs and called out to him, giggling as they did. They can come with me. I can have dinner with them in the evening and put them to bed. If something happens when I am home, I can be there in 90 minutes or S can be there in 10. That is a good thing. The rest we will have to work out. There will be change. Some good, some not good. We will have to forge on and make a path. We will do our best. That is what I tell the girls when they look at me and tell me how much they miss him. I say "I miss him too, more than anything. But what would Daddy want us to do? Our Best. He would expect us to do our best each day."

To everything - turn, turn, turn
There is a season - turn, turn, turn
And a time for every purpose under heaven

A time to be born, a time to die
A time to plant, a time to reap
A time to kill, a time to heal
A time to laugh, a time to weep

To everything - turn, turn, turn
There is a season - turn, turn, turn
And a time for every purpose under heaven

A time to build up, a time to break down
A time to dance, a time to mourn
A time to cast away stones
A time to gather stones together

To everything - turn, turn, turn
There is a season - turn, turn, turn
And a time for every purpose under heaven

A time of war, a time of peace
A time of love, a time of hate
A time you may embrace
A time to refrain from embracing

To everything - turn, turn, turn
There is a season - turn, turn, turn
And a time for every purpose under heaven

A time to gain, a time to lose
A time to rend, a time to sew
A time to love, a time to hate
A time of peace, I swear it's not too late!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Falling into Fall...

The last weeks have been a blur of life and legalities as some of the battle of the last year and a half are finding resolution. Of course, these things would all conspire to occupy the same time period. When I have felt the enormous weight of it all, I keep telling myself to plow through, to keep treading water. I am sure that a month from now, when some of these issues are at long last off of my plate, I will be glad they are over instead of lamenting their timing. I admit it is bittersweet, these resolutions. To know that some battles are over, that we have won them, should feel like a relief. On the other hand, those fights have claimed the empty hours of my thoughts, have kept me focused and on task. They have forced me into a strict routine, to keep to a deliberate plan. To be freed of these weights should bring a sense of peace. I am sure it will with time. My first feelings were of emptiness, of my world dropping off again. When you are juggling this many balls it should be a relief to have one removed, but I felt the loss. I felt his loss. I suppose it all really goes back to the way I deal with things and process life. When our world was irrevocably altered, I made a plan. I looked ahead to the possibilities, and made a plan. I thought of my goals, and what I would need to do to get there. I thought long term, and as new balls were bounced into my lap, I thought about where every one of them should be in the line up, and how they would help or hinder my process to the goal. No shift is unplanned. So when someone unexpectedly plucks one out of the air, and casually says "you don't need this anymore!", there is relief as the weight is gone, as you start to move the other balls more freely, have more time and space for them. It is also anti-climactic. When you have to control your anger, pain and rage, to channel them into something useful, something to help you rather than hinder you, it gives you a certain clarity of vision. You compress them, all into a single minded goal. It buoys you, gives you strength. You don't really think about the why, or the how, you just do. You take everything that is handed to you and use it. In the process the goal, is what you are working towards but it becomes almost mythical. It is not that you forget what you are fighting for, but that the process of the fight becomes all consuming. When it is finally over, it feels sudden, and you stumble. There are still more battles to be waged. More fights to be fought. He is still fighting the biggest battle of all, and we still know very little about what might be going on in his head. I am sure that this time next month, I will be relieved. For now, I am a bit at a loss. Still trying to find my new rhythm with one less ball to worry about. It is at these times when it all hits so hard again, like ripping the band-aid off of a wound. In the end, it is better to rip it off quickly, but at the moment you pull it off, it hurts. It is excruciating.

"My life has been such a whirlwind since I saw you
I've been runnin' round in circles in my mind
And it always seems that I'm following you girl
'Cause you take me to the places that alone I'd never find

And ever as I wander I'm keeping you in sight
You're a candle in the window on a cold dark winter's night
And I'm getting closer than I every thought I might

And I can't fight this feeling anymore
I've forgotten what I've started fighting for
It's time to bring this ship into the shore
And throw away the oars forever

No I can't fight this feeling anymore
I've forgotten what I've started fighting for
And if I have to crawl upon the floor
Or come crashing through your door
Baby I can't fight this feeling anymore "
REO Speedwagon

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Another Fork in the Road...

Over the last year, there have been many paths we have travelled that I thought we never would. Today marked the start of another one. There was no fanfare or celebrations, but today he became "retired" Sheriff's Detective Eric Christopher. I am not sure it is actually "official" as no one has notified me in writing or otherwise, but when we had our meeting, they gave me today as the day. It has been just over 15 months now. Fifteen excruciating long months, with few answers or understanding. Today marks the start on a new path. The symbol of another door closing. The finality of a part of him, and a part of our life together. In the land of uncertainty, it is defined. I do not know where it will lead, it is all uncharted territory for us. Another fork in the road.