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Matt and I were together for 10 wonderful years - met in 1998, married in 2002, until his untimely death on November 15, 2008. We have two beautiful, healthy children - Jacob (born 5/04) and Sydney (born 5/07)... the most precious gifts he could have ever given me.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Mystery of the Dancing Water

When Jacob takes his bath, he fills up a big cup of water, turns it quickly upside down onto the rim of the tub so that it drains slowly down the inside part of the tub. As the water streams down the side, its long, skinny streams twist and turn in all different directions. Jacob loves watching the water "dancing" down the side of the tub. He says, "Isn't it a mystery? How does it do that?"

About a week or so ago, he said to me, "The mystery of the dancing water." Wow. Now that's a title to something significant! I'm filing this one away, and will someday write something significant to go along with that wonderful title that my brilliant little four year old boy came up with. Stay tuned...

Jacob is really missing Daddy.

Today, Jacob has made several references to Matt...

"Do you know I wish my Daddy was still alive?"

He said it this morning before I took him to school, and again when I picked him up, and a couple of times after that.

He also told me he has dreams about his Daddy. I asked him how those dreams make him feel, and he said "happy."

He said he also remembers when Daddy died. He remembers him after he died, at the funeral home. He was telling me how he remembered handing out the little round candies to everyone there. When he said that, I instantly remembered the taste. I will never eat another spearmint anything.

He's remembering little details I forgot all about. One of the things I know he remembers (he's recalled it before but didn't mention it today - yet) is how Daddy's skin felt "dry" when he touched him, and how he didn't open his eyes. This is the kind of stuff no kid should remember. The words, "My Daddy died" should not be uttered from a child so young, but I know we're not the only ones.

On one hand, I'm a little afraid of what he is going to say next, but on the other hand, I'm comforted by the fact that he is starting to be able to verbalize more of what is going on in his head, that he's comfortable talking about it.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Earth Day!

(And Happy 24th Birthday to my nephew, Michael! )

In honor of Earth Day, I have a link to an awesome, informative, short video that I believe everyone should watch. It made a big impact on me, and think it could make an impact on everyone who views it.

From its extraction through sale, use and disposal, all the stuff in our lives affects communities at home and abroad, yet most of this is hidden from view. The Story of Stuff is a 20-minute, fast-paced, fact-filled look at the underside of our production and consumption patterns. The Story of Stuff exposes the connections between a huge number of environmental and social issues, and calls us together to create a more sustainable and just world. It'll teach you something, it'll make you laugh, and it just may change the way you look at all the stuff in your life forever.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Workers Compensation

These guys are about as tactful as Social Security. I recieved a notice in the mail the other day about a hearing that is scheduled for April 24. First of all, could they have given a bit more notice?? Secondly, was it really necessary for them to send a copy of the notice to me, and a separately mailed copy of the same piece of paper to my deceased husband? What, really, was the purpose of that???

It's pretty obvious that the people in charge of these procedures have not lost a spouse or maybe they would use a bit more common sense and sensitivity. I'm willing to bet my attorney didn't get a copy of the notice, but they made sure my dead husband got one. Idiots.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Sunday, April 5, 2009

It was a beautiful day and the kids and I were playing outside in the front yard. A police car pulled in the driveway, and the sheriff got out. This is the sheriff that came to my door on the morning of November 15, 2008 to tell me my husband was killed. For having to be the bearer of such devastating news, he really was wonderful. He was extremely kind and compassionate, and stayed with us as long as we needed him that day.

He told me he had thought several times about stopping by to say hello and check on us, but each time he stopped himself because he was afraid of bringing us pain. Since we happened to be out front when he drove by, he decided to take the chance. I'm glad he did - as hard as it was to see him, I know that it probably meant a lot to him to see us and see for himself that we're hanging in there and doing OK. Jacob clutched my leg during his brief visit, and that indicated to me that he had to have remembered this man as well, and the feelings he associates with him. Sydney, fortunately, had no idea.

I handled his visit surprisingly well, and didn't feel the full impact of it until a few minutes after he left. It hurt. Seeing his face, hearing his voice. I remember the words he said to me that day, like it was yesterday.

Getting philosophical here... look out.

I've always been the type of person that is cautious with just about everything I say and do. I consider the consequences in every action I take, and am careful to not make mistakes or do anything I will regret.

Lately, I find myself questioning how much life that allows me to live by living so cautiously. I find myself wanting to reach outside my comfort zone and spread my wings. I'd like to think I still have both feet firmly planted on the ground with my head completely together, but the cautious side of me is wondering if this is one of the stages of grief.

What is so wrong with really wanting to live, instead of just exist? That's the question I'm asking myself...

I'm having some internal struggle right now - not the good vs. evil one I normally have, but exist vs. live, and what that means to me. If I have an opportunity for happiness again, do I grab on with both hands? Do I stay safe within my normal bounds and possibly miss a rare opportunity? I don't want to be confined anymore to the four walls I've made for myself. I want to experience more, and if that means making some mistakes, then I guess I'll have to take the bad with the good.

I want to teach my children to live life to the fullest - not by taking stupid risks, but by taking a chance on opportunities that present themselves to really get the most out of the gifts that have been given to us. Either I've finally started to get it, or I've officially lost my mind.

Are these chances worth taking? What, really, is there to lose? My heart has already been broken as much as it can be. I've already somehow survived one of the worst things that could ever happen in life. It has to only go up from here - possibly some happiness and fulfillment, maybe a little fun. I wonder if this is what Matt would want for us.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

My kids...

When Matt died, Jacob told me that he was now going to be the daddy. I tried explaining to him that I still need him to be my little boy and that he didn't need to be the daddy, but despite my explanations, he has apparently made up his mind and is taking his new role quite seriously. He hasn't actually told me so, but his actions show it.

He has got to be the most phenomenal four year old big brother ever. For instance, just last night, the three of us climbed into Sydney's bed to read a book. I suggested that I get between Jacob and Sydney so they can both see the book easier (and so they're not pushing and shoving each other). Jacob offered to sit on my right so that Sydney wouldn't be at risk of falling out of the bed. How sweet is that?!

He even helped pick out her clothes this morning. Voluntarily.

How did I get so lucky?

Yesterday after work, the three of us did a little clothes shopping. They've grown out of just about everything they have (what else is new). Sydney, not even two yet, has had a "thing" about shoes from day one. She was THRILLED because she got a new pair of sneakers and sandals, and even helped pick them out. She has a strong opinion already about what she wears (Lord help me).

When I went to look at shoes for myself, she was trying to grab all the shoes off the shelf so that she could try them on - high heeled, sparkly, grown up lady shoes... She was getting really mad that I was trying some on and she couldn't. When I finally helped her put a pair on (that she wouldn't be able to wear for about 15 years), you should have seen her face light up. A girl after my own heart.

She really could have taken after Matt or me in this area - he had a "thing" about shoes, too. I think he may have owned more pairs of shoes/sneakers than I do! As I was going through his things a few weeks back, I had to laugh... I found two or three pairs of brand new sneakers that he never even wore yet. I found three pairs of gloves with tags still on, and two brand new winter hats that also still had their tags. Those, in addition to the countless other pairs of gloves and hats... Now that I think about it, I really think Sydney took more after her daddy in this area. She is always putting on gloves, shoes and hats and walking around the house with them on. Matt has to be looking down and getting a kick out of all this...

Gianna Felicia - D.O.B. March 31, 2009

Welcome to the world, Gianna Felicia!

One of my best friends, Connie, her hubby John and their two older children Christian and Alexia, welcomed their newest family member on March 31 at 1:09pm, weighing in at 7lbs, 15oz and 20 inches long.

I can't wait to meet her!