Wednesday, December 28, 2011


Four years ago Sean and I left our old church.  The split was painful and disillusioning.  I thought I would be serving the Lord with these people for a very long time.  Words like "respect" and "offense" were carelessly thrown about.  It's difficult to reconcile the walk not lining up with the talk. 

To me, church is a place where you can take a deep breath.  A place that represents the unconditional love that Jesus is.  Now, I know people get in the way, I really do.  But, it's supposed to be a place where people treat you differently.  It's meant to be a safe harbor of sorts. 

Fast forward to the present day.  Sean and I in choosing a church picked the polar opposite of where we had just left.  Where it was once tiny, now it's large.  It's kind of easy to get lost in.  And that's just what we did for three years.  But, God slowly started to lead the way and we started serving in small ways.  Then Sean's illness came along.  And people really rallied to our side.  People in that church called me and sat with me and pulled me through. 

That help was probably never more prevalent until the day I moved.  I felt unprepared and overwhelmed.  It was such a big undertaking for me to do alone.  But, alone was NOT what I was that day.  What was the weirdest thing was that people seemed to do it with a joyful heart.  I don't think I saw a single eyeroll or heard a sigh in frustration.  They showed up.  They came with strong backs and laughter and they reached out to someone who utterly could not do ONE thing for herself that day.  And, to methere was church service that day.    

Now my only problem is really how to thank them.  They will never know how very much I appreciated that my bed and those of my children were made, my kitchen was put away, furniture was moved and moved again, that whenever I said, "Have you seen my children?" someone always had.  My pantry is stocked and organized and whenever I go in there, I think, "that's exactly where I would have put that."  When I think back to that day, my heart gets full and it's something I won't soon forget. 

They were literally His hands and feet that day.  It didn't matter that we didn't meet in a building, that a collection wasn't raised, that worship songs weren't sung, He was praised.  And I'm just so glad I got to be a part of that. 

Saturday, December 3, 2011

I bought a house

The inspections are done, the paperwork is completed, in ONE WEEK I will be a homeowner.  I am 40 years old and I have never owned my own little corner of the world.  People say I'm amazing.  I think they're a little crazy.  To me this is survival.  It's amazing what you can do when you have little choice.  People say they couldn't do what I'm doing.  I think they're wrong.  When your kids are at stake and when you HAVE to have their best interests at heart, the big girl pants have to come on. 

People say to me that this is exciting.  It is.  But it's all really scary and really sad and really emotional.  It's hard for me to leave this house because it's where Sean took his last breath.  It's scary because a day will come when water will leak, furnaces will have trouble, toilets will overflow and there will be no one to turn to.  The big girl pants will have to get thrown on then too.

But, I'll get to paint a wall.  I have never in my life gotten to do that.  I'll get to pick out the color all by myself.  I got to buy furniture that I like.  I have literally never bought a dining room table before and now I have.  One time my real estate agent said to me, "You know, you could take this carpet out and have hardwood floors here."  Gosh, I could, couldn't I?   

The one thing that drives me on is my children are watching.  I don't want them to drown in grief.  I want them to take those moments when the pain hits and cry really hard but when their ready to run, I tell em to run.  I laugh with them, I play video games with them.  Life is meant to be lived, the hard times as well as the good.  And I know deep in my heart that Sean would be pleased with that.  He wouldn't want me to sit in a corner all day.  So, I bought a house.

So, as literally and figuratively, one door opens while another closes, I will have a tear in my eye, a smile on my face and a lump in my throat.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

This Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving has always been a really special time for me.  Even as a child, I loved the smells, the family gathered around the table, even all the work the day requires.  As a young adult, Thanksgiving took on a brand new meaning for me because that is the day I met Sean.  We have one of those ridiculously romantic stories where he looked at me across the room and thought to himself, "I'm going to marry that girl." 


Truth be told, I've always been a little spoiled in the love department.  I met him when I was so young - I was only home from college for 6 months.  I was 22 and I got to love him for 17 years.  All of my adult life so far. 

When he was sick, he had this wonderful home health aide.  I've ashamed that I can't remember her name but we had a conversation that will stick with me forever.  Little rabbit trail: you tend to get to know the people who become part of the daily fabric of your life and she was no exception.  She was absolutely wonderful, she even washed Sean's hair a day before he died.  I actually told her that wasn't necessary, that she surely had another appointment to get to, but she insisted.  She was tall, she was lovely in her own way, her quiet demeanor and peacefulness only added to that.  She was extraordinary at her job and she had told me once in passing that she was married for 17 years and that she was divorced.  She spoke so lovingly of her parents and never mentioned children and I just knew not to ask.  Well, one day she sat at the table with me and told me what a good job I was doing with Sean.  That the love that we shared was beautiful and rare and that she didn't see it everyday.  Then she said something that completely stunned me.  She said, "I have never been loved like you are." 

I was speechless.  She was married.  Now, I'm not naive enough to think that every marriage is made of rainbows and lollipops but she was married and she had never been loved like me.  And it just made me want to hug her.  But, she taught me a valuable lesson and I can't help but remember her words this year.  I'm really going to try to remember how blessed I am that an extraordiary person loved me and he liked me and he protected me.  I wish that I could have had a thousand more years with him.  I really do.  But I'm going to look back at the 17 years, look at our two beautiful children and say thank you. 

Friday, November 18, 2011

Today I am feeling discouraged.  I set a goal for myself this month that I would exercise every day and that I would drink less soda.  I haven't really done either one.  Soda is really the root of all evil in my world.  It's the one thing that I just love to consume.  The thing that gives me the most comfort in the food arena.  It's truly like a drug for me.  There's this blog that I've been following and this girl is doing great.  She's lost 47 pounds since January of this year and she's done it all with Weight Watchers and discipline.  That's something that I sorely lack.  Every day I half want to stand up and cheer for her and punch her in the nose at the same time because she is doing something I can't.  (kidding...)  

I do great for about a week and then I fall off the wagon so far I can barely see it!  I pay for Weight Watchers every month and don't use it.  I just bought 4 more 12-packs of Pepsi this morning (on sale at least).  I have a treadmill that I've been using spotty at best.   

And now we're moving and it's all on me.   And to me it just feels like another excuse.  I know, I know.  I've lost Sean.  I need time to take time to heal from that and mourn.  I just feel myself on a slippery slope that I need to get off of.  I just found a Scripture that I love - "Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed."  1 Peter 1:13

This weight for me is not just this weight.  It's something much deeper.  It's years of being self-indulgent.  And it's something that I absolutely have to get a hold of.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Ethan Zohn

Ethan Zohn's cancer has returned.  For anyone who doesn't know he was the winner of Survivor years ago and one of the notable things about that is that not a single vote was cast against him to be voted out.  Ever.  That's pretty unheard of in the cutthroat world of Survivor.  He must be quite a man. 

Anyway, back to cancer.  The thing about this disease is it doesn't matter how popular or nice you are.  He was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma a couple of years ago and it went into remission and in September he found out it was back.  I saw this picture of him and his girlfriend, Jenna, just before he ran the New York Marathon.  I literally could not stop looking at it. 

Ethan Zohn: Marathon Finisher in 4:20:46 | Ethan Zohn

Now, I can't relate to the struggles that he is going through, but her - she's a different story.  Everything that I have read about her, she loves him.  And there is nothing more heartbreaking to see the man you love, who is larger than life as I'm sure he is to her, throw up in a bucket.  To take a short walk and be winded.  To crumble in front of you.  I know, I've been there.  And even though, I'm  not them I know a little bit how that feels.  I really wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy.  I look at this girl in this picture and she looks dazed, like the mack truck called cancer just backed up in her driveway and dumped out all its garbage on her doorstep. 

Confession time: sometimes, during very dark times, I think I failed Sean and I think God took him early because of me.  I could not do what she is doing.  Ethan's cancer went away for 20 months.  For 20 months.  I imagine all kinds of plans were made, how jubilant they must have felt, how she might actually have taken a deep breath.  I don't know that I could have waited for the other shoe to drop, to always feel like I had to look over my shoulder to see if cancer was catching up with us.  I just don't know that I could have lived through that constant fear and waiting.  Now I know that God's timetable doesn't revolve around me and Sean's life was written long before I came along.    But, in the dark times - I think.

But, this girl.  She's someone you want in your corner.  If I met her today I would hug her so tight and I would tell her how hard I am praying for her.   How at the lowest times of our lives, the ones who surround us the best - those are the ones.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Another day down

It's true how you can be in a room filled to the brim with people and still feel utterly alone.  I feel like that a lot lately but not any time more than on Halloween night.   I went to a wonderful friend's house and there were lots of really wonderful people there but I was painstakingly aware that every single person who came through the door was part of a pair.  I think it's because I remember last Halloween a little too vividly.  Sean had just gotten released from the hospital a few hours before trick-or-treating time and he insisted on joining us.  He was gaunt, he was wearing a borrowed jacket that in better day he would have filled out but now hung loosely in all the wrong places, he looked scared.  I remember looking at him and thinking that he already looked like he was so close to death.  I was so proud of him that day because he truly exemplified love.  He should have been grouchy, who would have blamed him.  He should have gone home, gotten in bed and pulled the covers up.  But, not my Sean.  He was dying of cancer, he was in horrible pain but yet he loved his little boys enough to sacrifice all that to watch them have fun.  I don't think Halloween will ever be the same for me.   

And so I can say that I survived. I made it through another milestone without him.  And whether people held my hand or tried to ignore the tears, it doesn't really matter.  Because grief feels to me like I am clawing to survive just one more minute, one more hour, one more day without him. 

I just miss his voice.  I can't really think too hard about the fact that I won't ever hear it again.  The way he used to know exactly the right thing to say at just the right moment.  How I didn't have to explain everything to him.  How I used to be able to step into his arms, take a deep breath and know deep in my heart that everything was going to be okay.  Sean used to look at me a certain way and I just knew that he loved me. 

There is somedays when I feel like the weight of the loss of him could only be likened to an elephant sitting on my chest.  I literally have to try to catch my breath.  And I'm glad that when I don't have any idea what to do next, my only choice can be to take another breath.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A piece of land

I have long wanted to own my own little piece of America.  A place where I can (finally!) choose a paint color, a place to put my feet up and rest, a place to call my very own. 

It's starting.  And here it is:

  Click for more details

She's a beauty and it looks like she might be ours.  I'm scared, terrified, overjoyed.  I just can't wait to not have a landlord anymore.  It's time to grow up and I feel like this house is one more step in that direction.  It's so scary because it's my name on the mortgage.  It's scary because the agent kept saying, "you can do this" or "you can do that" and I thought, "I really could if I wanted to". 

The owners have signed and the paperwork started today.  The only thing to do right now is wait and start packing.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Quiet Weekend?

This weekend was a first for me.  One I even hate to admit.  I actually stayed home all day on Saturday.  Wait, did you miss the big announcement?  I'll repeat it.  I actually stayed home all day on Saturday.  I didn't go to Target, I didn't go to the grocery store....I just stayed home.  I talked about it with the kids at dinner and they were happy.  Now, these are kids who ask me during breakfast, "Where are we going today Mama?"  So, I thought I would hear some disappointment, but there was none.  I told them that I just needed a day and that was that.  So on Saturday they jumped on the trampoline, we played war, I sewed a little bit, we played the Wii together, we ate every meal at home (I know, I know...), and the best part of it was that there were no fits, no big explosions.  Could there be something to this?

Then on Sunday, I promised them we would go crabbing after church!  What excitement this news brought.  So we headed off to the beach and it was high tide and there was nary a crab to be seen!!!  But, because I have the two coolest kids ever (can anyone say biased?) their responses were, "That's okay Mama".  We took a walk along the beach, found many treasures and headed off to the school playground.  I'm so glad they seem to handle disappointments better than I do, but I'm also glad that the older I get the more grace I have for myself.  There would have been a time when I would have berated myself that our crabbing plans fell through.

Then to top it all off, I was walking across the playground and John said to me, "Mama, you look like you've losed weight."  Now, normally I would have corrected his grammar, but who would have wanted to spoil such a beautiful moment?

I have started walking, okay - it's only been 4 days but I have officially lost 1.1 pound.  Gosh, if he can notice when I lose such a little amount, what will I look like to him when I lose 5 or 10 pounds?  haha.....

Friday, September 9, 2011

As I look back at my life I've struggled with the word no.  I always thought that nice people didn't use that word.  That it meant you were difficult, selfish.  I'm learning something quite the opposite.

Moms In Touch is this year and it's got great women in the town.  I mean really great women.  Women I love to dig into God's Word with,  women I laugh with, who I pray for and whom pray for me and my children.  But bringing Hunter is difficult.  He gets bored and our life is already super busy with preschool, Wednesday morning Bible Study and Wednesday night Awana.  So, this year I think I'm going to pass.  Every time I think about going, I get stressed.  Jesus said "His yoke is easy and his burden is light."  Yet, my yoke and my burden don't feel light.  So, I'll go next year.  To make a decision, even though it appears so insignificant, is huge for me. 

Then there's the issue of a greater no.  The people who are in our lives that sometimes truly cause us nothing but pain and sorrow.  What do you do with that?  Do you allow them to keep hurting you?  Do you keep quiet so you're not perceived as the "difficult one"?  I've been wrestling with that as of late.  My instincts is to be a good girl, to keep quiet and to accept people and their flaws, to "understand" why they do what they do.  But, something in me is changing.  It's just not willing to stand by and let people have their way.  I am growing fiercely protective over myself and my children.    I'm beginning to see that it's okay to keep people out of your life if they don't even try to bring joy, support, love.  If all they expel is toxicity, then why would I expose myself and those closest to me to that?  And I'm starting to believe that I am worth something, that Someone paved the way for me just like He did for everyone else.That I have a voice and I can use it.

That it's okay to say no. 

Sunday, August 7, 2011

My little adventure..

Well, I got to go to New Hampshire yesterday morning and I stayed over last night all by myself.  It's amazing how anxious and nervous I was.  I discovered that I felt very vulnerable and alone.  I got to go to one of my favorite places in the world, Keepsake Quilting.  It's this amazing quilt shop in New Hampshire 4 hours from home filled with absolute treasures.  I just love to feel fabric - literally put a bolt in my hands and just stare at it and lovingly run my hands across it.  I met up with a friend and we had a wonderful dinner. 

I went to a terrible movie, The Change-up.  I just had a feeling like I should go to dinner and then back to the hotel room but, my goodness, I just am like a dog with a bone sometimes.  I was bound and determined to suck every opportunity out of that day and, by golly, I was going to see that movie.  I actually walked out of it, it was so vulgar and gross.  So, I finally made my way back to the hotel and what a room I had!  It was beautiful and spacious and the only drawback was there was no tub, only a shower.  It is the 21st century, right?  Where was my bathtub?

I laid on the bed, had a pepsi and read my book and finally took a deep breath at 9:00 at night!  It was luxurious to say the least.  The only times I cried was when I was at the quilt shop and I just felt so very far from home and how I would love to tell Sean so many nuances of my trip.  It was an adventure and I actually learned a lot about myself on my little sabbatical.  I'd love to make this a yearly thing where I leave my children with really wonderful people and I go somewhere all by myself.  For just one day. 

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Raising Hunter

Today Hunter brought me to tears.  What a complicated, beautiful, amazing little child that roams the halls of this house.   Tonight Hunter wanted Kool Aid before dinner and I told him no.  Never a good thing when Hunter hears no.  The customary fit followed where he screamed, he stormed off and he slammed his door.  These scenarios used to leave me wanting to run for the hills but I've learned to take them in stride.  Raising a child is a privelege and one of the great benefits is that as a parent you KNOW your child so well.  So, he sputtered and clamored but then he did what he does best.  He came out about five minutes later and hugged me from behind and told me he was sorry.  Such maturity from my  brand new 4 year old.  So, I sat with him and held him so tight and thought about how many times Sean would say to me, "Oh, boy, Hunter's just like me when I was little."  Thankfully, I knew how that man turned out - and so Hunter will turn into a pretty spectacular man.    I'm grateful that when I look at Hunter I see his father.  I see his Dad's beautiful blue eyes, his lips, his temperament, his speed in telling me that I am beautiful. 

I've been blessed beyond measure with my two little boys.  Every parent should raise a John.  When I forget his snack in his lunchbox he says, "that's okay Mama."  When I ask if a woman on tv is pretty he says, "Yeah, but you're way prettier."  He is easy peasy lemon squeezy.  Now, my Hunter has fought me every step of the way, but just as everyone should have a John, they should also have a Hunter.  He's taught me the beauty of an apology, the servant-like attitude in which he takes care of John and he loves with a ferocity.  But the main thing he's taught me is that people really rise to the occasion if you just give them a little time.  I can't wait to see the kind of men John and Hunter grow into.

Sunday, June 19, 2011


Today was Father's Day.  And because I know that this day could have been difficult for my boys, I planned.  I had this idea that they would make Sean a beautiful card and I would buy balloons, attach the lovely artwork and we would send them off to heaven in grand style. 

Did the balloons leave the ground with the card attached? No

Did Mama have to take the card off the balloon and have to send it up sans card thereby ruining the special moment? Yes

Did the balloon then get stuck in a tree? Yes, momentarily

Did I then take the kids to Chuck E. Cheese and then the power go out? Yes

What a day.  Thankfully, the kids didn't really care about the cards as much as I did and they shouted up to the sky "I love you Daddy" a million times and the power came back on and really wonderful people made us feel a little more like family today.  So, it is true that all is well that ends well.

Today I read a quote "Fail, fail again, fail better."  I keep rolling those words around in my head.  I feel sometimes like the gravity of this situation will crush me.  That I will monumentally screw up my children.  But as they lay their heads down at night and I gather them close to me and apologize for my missteps and pray for them and tell them how very much I love them, that maybe we'll get through this together.  Our knees will be skinned, our feelings will get hurt, we'll cry and we'll laugh.  But, I'm not going to give up.  God has simply entrusted me with too much.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

I goofed

Today I messed up.  Big time.  I got caught up in the hype of the e-readers and I just felt like I HAD to have one.  And because I am who I am, I had to go big time.  I didn't just buy the $100.00 Kindle, no I had to buy the $300.00 color Nook.   I'm turning 40 in  15 days, I deserve it, right?  I've had a rough year I deserve it, right?  It's amazing the excuses we come up to justify a foolish purchase.  You know that same voice that sometimes yells at us?  Well, mine was screaming at me when I was leaving Best Buy with my hot little purchase in hand.  But, again because I am who I am, I ignored it.  And now I regret it.

This was only about an hour ago.  Maybe two.  I came home and sat down to enter all my information and decided I HATED it.  I didn't just dislike it or thought I'd get used to it.  I hated it.  See, I'm a library girl through and through.  I go to at least my library or an area library once or twice a week.  I love that I can get a brand new movie for free, five or six dollar magazines for free, and don't even get me started on the books!

Just yesterday I went to see a friend who lives half an hour away.  I already scanned the library website and came home with five books and ten magazines.  A library half an hour away....  Did I mention they were free?  And I just can't wait to go back and find some more treasures. 

The e-books surely would have saved me time and money and gas.  But, they would have taken away the hunt.  And today I've discovered that's what I love.  Scanning the Connecticut library database to see which library has my tv series or book that I am dying to have in my hands.  And then driving and praying that someone didn't find it and take it out before I get there.  Thanks Nook.  You seem great but you're just not for me.  And this girl needs to remember who she is a little more often.

So, in half an hour, I'll be driving back to Best Buy.  I can't have this thing in my house for another minute.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

A Flip Flop Swap

There's a blog here that I have been loving to read.  A wonderful woman who has faced some really challenging things with grace and strength.  One day she started a flip flop swap and like so many things recently I have found myself saying "why not?" to things I wouldn't normally.

Since my Sean passed away in January life is completely different.  I have in some ways consciously gone out of my way to do different things, to branch out and explore things so that I wouldn't die along with him.  He is cheering me on, I just know it.  And even though it may seem like a small thing, I did the swap.  I wanted to meet some new people and find some interesting new blogs to read.  To put myself out there.  To expose this little blog I've tried for so long to hide from the world.  I'm glad I did.  I got such a cute pair of flip-flops and found such a great new blog to read.  Jen is someone I know I would love to sit down with a Pepsi and chat!

Here are my new flip-flops that have already gone to Target, the grocery store and lots of places in between ~


Thursday, June 9, 2011

Young Authors Night

Last night was Young Authors Night at school.  I love John's class.  It is filled with really special and unique kids.  The parents all gathered to hear their children's books.  I was doing fine.  I dressed in black shorts and a red shirt to honor Sean as his high school colors were red and black (a fact he always used to tell me when he saw that combination).  A dear friend took Hunter and we were off.  No tears, no sadness.  Just excitement to hear John and have some special time alone with him. 

Then I saw Mrs. Pasiuk.  I don't have the words to describe what John's teacher has come to mean to me and how I would not have survived this year without her.  I honestly don't think John would have either.  She has been our anchor and strength during the hardest days of our lives.  I put John on the bus every single morning knowing that I was sending him to a place where he would be loved and cherished.  To a mother who feels like a lot of times she is stumbling through widowhood there can be no greater gift. 

I digress.  I see her in the hall and I lose it.  She gives me a genuine hug.  I have come in my life to know the difference.  I know the hugs that aren't heartfelt, the ones people think they have to give you.  This one was one out of love and understanding.  She whispered words of comfort and I was ready.  I sat near John's seat and the room mother graciously sat in the one for Sean so I wouldn't be alone.  What a thoughtful and kind thing to do for me. 

It was amazing to see what John had created.  He dedicated his book to Hunter "because he brings me stuff".  How appropriate.  I literally could not have been prouder of that boy.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

We celebrated Hunter's 4th birthday on Sunday. It was an undertaking, the first time doing one without my love. Thank God I have these really amazing people around me who listen to me and arrive 4 hours before the party and hold my hand through it all. I would be utterly lost without them.

I was doing fine. I really was, holding up much better than I thought it would. I tried to be smart, see, every invitation to bring something or help was politely declined because I figured the busier I was the more I could ignore the giant elephant in the room. And it worked until Sunday morning. The house was quiet, the boys were sternly told that Mama was busy and did not need disturbing. I set about to make my potato salad. And the tears came because I realized in that moment that I would never eat Sean's cole slaw again. That man had a gift in the kitchen and even his cole slaw was divine. I read that you don't just miss that person you miss the life you had with that person. And it's true. Never again will I hustle and bustle with my husband preparing a birthday for our boy. Never again will I hope and pray there is some left over. Never again will I have his help.

But, I don't want this post to be all sadness. No, there is a boy in this house to celebrate. He is Hunter Gabriel and my goodness, he's the best. He tells me every single day that I am beautiful, that he loves me, that I am the best. He is also the same boy who gets so angry at the drop of a hat and just needs a few minutes alone to pull himself together. The same little man who will come to me and actually use the words "Mama, I was so wrong." How those words will bless his wife someday. He is a superhero and he constantly saves his princess. He is rough, he is tumble, he'll eat anything that comes across his plate and I'm so glad every day that he is mine.


Wednesday, May 18, 2011


Since Sean passed away I have only dreamed about him once. Last night I had another. It's starting to get fuzzy but I dreamt that we were having a really fun time somewhere and I knew that he was sick. Looking at the joy on his face I thought he couldn't possibly know he was dying. So I finally summoned up the courage to tell him and he already knew. It just blew me away. When I asked him how he was managing to have fun in the midst of it he told me he didn't want to waste any time. He told me he just wanted to enjoy what little time he had.

I don't really know what this dream means. Am I supposed to be learning something from this? Or is this just a commentary about the way he soldiered through his illness? I don't know.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Easter this year sucked. I wish I could pretty it up and put in a few "amens" but that is the honest to God truth. From tip to toe, it sucked. Sean wasn't here, the bathroom sink gave me a problem and I had to interrupt someone's Easter to come and help me, I raced and rushed about and wished I just stayed home. It was another "first" without him. Usually we have a good fight on Easter morning. And I missed it.

Like I said, the bathroom sink gave me a problem. And I am really trying in this whole process of widowhood to try not to bother people. To put on a good face and make it work by myself. But, sometimes I can't. I could not figure out what was wrong with that sink and what killed me the most was that it was simple to fix for now. I just sat on the bathroom floor and sobbed because I had to ask someone else's husband to come and help me and I just wanted my husband, dammit. I wanted that moment when I would come to him with what seemed like such a huge problem and he would say, "I can fix that wife" and then I would see his muscles strain his shirt and see his beautiful masculine hands at work and it would remind me how in love I am with my husband. I felt lost. Everyone I tried to reach was at church.

But, we got through. Thank God for the new Honda with the DVD system with the headphones so I could cry everywhere I went. I'm thankful for those who tried to include me in Easter because, "you know, you just lost Sean". I know people mean it to be a comfort but sometimes it isn't.

I'm just grateful it's over.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


"Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you, who walk in the light of your presence, O Lord." Psalm 89:15 Today Hunter took a nap. And I felt a tug at my heart to dust off my Bible and read a line or two in the peace and the quiet. And today I got a message clearly for me from the Lord. I read this Psalm 89:15. I read it and I just couldn't shake it. As if the Lord was shouting to me, "Hey, Jen, this one's for you!!" I didn't know what the word acclaim meant. Sure, I had heard the word but I just wasn't quite sure. I'm glad I looked it up - acclaim means to "welcome or salute with shouts or sounds of joy or approval". I'm going to be honest - there doesn't feel like much acclaiming is going on around here. But, then I looked once again at the verse and one word jumped out at me. learned I don't think acclaiming comes naturally. Bills pile up while money quickly dwindles, there are wars and rumors of wars, children are disobedient, marriage is hard. There is upheaval all around us, if not in our lives but on the evening news or in the lives of those we cherish. This life is hard and no one gets out without some bumps and bruises along the way. But, when the day is done and those little ones are nestled safe and sound, we have survived. When bedtime seems a long way away or one side of the bed is empty or the future looks scary, I'm learning. I survived. Sean was taken away from me and I survived. Bills got paid, children were bathed and even some joy was had in the day. Every day I am learning that there is a big God who cares about my little corner of the world. And today I will acclaim Him. I will trust that even though this was not my plan, He is here. And even though there will be days when I won't feel like it, I'll keep learning and keep trying to master this discipline.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Just in time

Yesterday was a day for the history books. I was sad. I had a horrible day filled with tears and depression and I just couldn't get out of my own way. I had so many people I could call, I had wonderful projects to knit and sew that would have filled me, but I just couldn't. I don't usually feel this way too often, not even with the monster of grief in my heart. Usually I can rally myself and laugh and get through the day. But, certain days are hard. And then the phone rang...

This man, Chris, is an older man who lost his wife many years ago and he and his 2nd wife are wonderful people who have taken me under their wing. And, it's amazing to me, but he calls me on just the days when I need it. He's never said one stupid thing to me, he gives me encouragement and love and he's walked this road and I feel like he's cheering me on every step of the way. I even told him it's my time of the month and he understood that grief can seem magnified on days like that.

And then the phone rang again. My dear friend, Lynn, called me and all she said to me was, "I wish I could take this pain away". That's all I really needed to hear - that someone heard me from the depths of despair. No advice was given, no words of Scripture to give me "comfort". Just an ear and some time. To someone who feels occasionally like I'm literally drowning, that's all I need.

And today is better. I read something that normally would have reduced me to tears and I was okay.

Monday, March 7, 2011

It's funny the things that make me cry nowadays. Sean's birthday came and went without too many tears. I had so many people look at me with that good-natured worry that I see so frequently. I constantly tell them, "I miss him on February 20th and the 23th, why should I miss him more on the 27th?" It's really just another day in this journey.

This morning John's bus flew right by us even though we were standing dutifully in the driveway exactly where we should be. We have a long history with this driver. He yells at us a lot. One time Sean and I were standing too close to the end of the driveway so he wouldn't stop at our driveway then we were standing too far away from the road and he drove right by us because he didn't see us. A couple weeks ago he actually had the audacity to yell at John as he was fumbling with his backpack and snow pants because he was taking too long to get out of the car. Really, 10 more seconds would have killed you? So, to this morning. I could not believe my eyes as he barreled right by us.

So, what did I do? I flagged the next bus and they picked up my little boy and all was well. But, I was mad. And I sputtered all the way down the driveway and then the tears came. Sean would have understood. He would have listened to me as he shaved or got dressed for the day and then he would have hugged me and calmed me.

And that's what I missed about him today. I know that I could have called half a dozen people and they would have gladly lent me their ear. But, then I would have had to go into all those past times (so I wouldn't have sounded like a crazy person). With Sean I wouldn't have had to do that. He would have remembered and he would have gotten mad right along with me. Gosh, I really could not have had a better earthly friend than that man. And for that, through my anger and frustration, I am eternally grateful.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

I miss him

It's at times exactly like this that I miss my Sean the most. The day is done. The boys are bathed and read to and loved and hugged and played with. Dinner is done and the responsibilities of the day have fallen by the wayside. The time that I could take my Mama hat off and could don my Wife hat. The time I could be a person and not a servant.

I changed the runner from the kitchen table today. I put away the Christmas one and changed it up. Something he would comment on and we would actually have a little conversation about. Something innocuous and silly but we could talk about anything, he and I. I miss him because of that table runner.

I have to buy a new car soon, I just know it. And it's the first time I will make a big purchase all on my own. I know I will have really great people who will go with me and give me good advice but it's the first time I'll be a big girl and do it all my own. I miss him because of that.

I had a great visit with a new friend today and I want to tell him all about it. I want to tell him that she was great and really nice and had good kids. I miss him because of that.

I love him...

Thursday, January 27, 2011

All around me

I have some pretty amazing friends, I gotta say. Some really wonderful people that invite me into their home or they come to mine. The problem sometimes is that the friends come in pairs in the form of a married man and woman. It's hard to see a man help a woman pick up after dinner as Sean would have done or to see a touch between them that I will never feel again from my Seany. It's especially difficult when their children do something and they exchange that look. The look that says a thousand words in a single glance. It makes me jealous because I feel like I've just been thrown in this raging river called parenthood all by myself and I'm trying to paddle as hard as I can and my teammate is gone.

Gosh, this sounds maudlin. It's just that the day is basically done. And this is the time when I would have been talking my Seany's ear off. What she said, what the boys did, what happened at dinner and I would have had an opinion about it all. But, now there is this awful silence. I miss him. I miss every single thing about him. There will never be anyone else who can take his place.

I have said it a million times, but I won't ever marry again. I know it like I know my own name. I think it's because I really don't know how to do anything halfway. And I certainly loved that man with every inch of my heart. I believe everyone should know that kind of love at least once in their life. And I just can't love someone with a divided heart.