09 February 2017

Well, that escalated quickly...

So the last week has been a bit lazy, considering I have been traveling 2-3 days a week for the past year...but I have been able to do so many little projects around the house!! Curtains are up! Carpets have been vacuumed! New rugs and door mats have been laid out (so many pine needles from outside coming in!!!)! Hooks have been hung in various places! Snow is melting all over and there is water seeping into the basement, but the property's handyman is supposed to come tomorrow and "evaluate" the 70 year old foundation...I may just have to get a blower and keep it running 24/7 until we get past Spring...and there is mold, so...
But, Sunday was a good day. The lesson in RS was about having could be applied to many things, but basically hope in Christ, hope in the plan of salvation, hope in living like Christ. My first thought was the kind of hope Daryl had after his diagnosis of beating cancer and watching the children grow older, and how I had to pretend to have hope as well but I knew too much. I didn't want him to know what I knew, of course, but my view was clouded because of my understanding of both his type of cancer and his treatment options. Of course I didn't know exactly how long he had before the cancer would overtake him, but I knew it wasn't too many years.
I wanted to share that experience in RS that day...but I didn't. I worry that people will be annoyed if I share too many of those lessons I learned while my husband suffered and tried to stay strong; l worry that they will think, "Oh good heavens, haven't you talked enough about your dead husband already? It's been almost 4 years, for crying out loud." Maybe not. Either way, those lessons were for me, I guess...but a part of me feels like if I can share what I experienced, maybe it will touch someone else who didn't have to go through that? Other wise, what was it all for?? For me to just shell it all up in a nice book, never to read or touch again because it's too painful? Who wants to hear these stories? Who wants to read these lessons? They are good memories for me, but it feels like there should be more to it! For the girls to read when they are older? Maybe...probably...(long pause...)
Oh, wow. Am I supposed to write a book??? (super...long...pause...while I stare at my computer screen...)
I could do it like journal or blog entries... can I remember back that far? I have my journals, and my blog archives, and the rest just fill in as I go...
Holy crap, this is terrifying...who would buy a book by me?  Maybe I won't sell it; maybe it's just for us. But, what do I have to tell that hasn't already been told?? That life goes on after cancer? Lots of people talk about that...that life can go on after being left behind?? So many people, with actual facebook and twitter followers, are showing that (and some are making a ton of money off it!!). What is my motivation? Getting all of these memories out of my head and into a permanant place?? Giving them a purpose? A purpose...that all of that suffering (and forever pain, even if it's small) will have a purpose...
I have absolutely no idea...but it HAS to come out. They WANT to come out; they are TRYING to come out, but there is no place for them...
Well, I have 2-3 months before I actually start working...I've got nothing but time...
OMG I just talked myself into writing a freaking book...

13 January 2017

More Every Day

​I'm finding at the end of the day (right now it is just before noon, this is how pent up I am) that there is so much on my mind, but I have no outlet. I have no one to talk to and just unload everything that is on my mind, what I did that day, what I didn't do, frustrations, insecurities, hopes, dreams, fears, ect., so it just stays bottled up. Sure, that happens, and one person can't be my only sounding board, just like I don't want to set everything down here, for everyone to eventually see and read, or whoever cares to read through all this :)
Though I want to find a way to let these thoughts and feelings and emotions out, I also want it read in an entertaining and thought-provoking mannor, not just emmisis all over the page. I want it to look nice, to entice emotions, or to be inspiring in a way, or mildly humorous, if that's not too much to ask.
So I wait. 
I wait until I have an expericence to share or weeks to catch up on...but my life isn't all that's rather mundane if you ask me. Sure, I'm in grad school and I'm a single Mom and I have two very energetic daughters and I help take care of an ailing mother and I try to give health advice that no one seems to listen to anyway :) but all in all? At the end of the day, I'm just tired and usually don't want to make dinner, just like almost every other Mom, single or not. I could go off on a chore tangent, but I won't because that's not the point, and that would be a fun post for another day.
So, last night, I did something different. I talked to my kids. Now, this partially works because they are older, 14 and 10 right now, so they can listen and have some input. I wasn't really looking for input, I just wanted to tell someone that wasn't a phone or a computer SOMETHING; just talk. Also, I'm not talking about sharing with my kids weights of the world or asking relashonship advice or anything else that would require another ADULT or be innapropriate for a child, but I figured just sharing about my day and a few things that were frustrating me with school finishing up, I thought they could handle those topics. I didn't have an agenda; I didn't know exactly what I was going to say, I just started out with: I've been having a rough week; would you mind listening for a few minutes?
And do you know what???? It felt amazing! They were totally focused on what I was saying, patted my leg in reasurance, and even offered some pretty great advice: don't be so hard on yourself, Mom! We honestly really do enjoy eatting mac n' cheese with tuna, and we love making it for ourselves! I did give up a few months ago on preparing meals every day; so I keep frozen meals, even pizza (you'd think they died and gone to heaven when I brought home 2 frozen pizzas!!) and the girls fix themselves dinner 3 nights a week so I can focus on school. Meal prep will get resurrected in a few months when I am finally employeed again, but in the meantime I tell myself they are learning life skills. Anyway, the three of us had a great conversation about school stress - because all 3 of us are stressed about something with school right now! And I know that, as a parent, I should be having conversations like these with my kids, especially now they are getting older, but life... yeah...
So, last night, it was a good thing I was feeling alone in the world for a moment, because I was taken to a place where I should have been going a really long time ago.  I think after Daryl died, all 3 of us just...went to our safe spaces...and literally stayed there. Lydia still doesn't like talking about Daryl, unless she is asking me questions, but at least we can bond over school. She knows she's smart like her Dad, and she really enjoys having that aspect of him, but she struggles with writing and we are working on a report right now and she hates it. Eliza has just been pushing everyone away and having a hard time making friends. She's done really well this year with friends, but last night she talked about a teacher that is frustrating her. They have no idea all that is frustrating about doing a 20+ page research paper on medical ethics and the national opiod crisis, but the 20 pages gets their attention and they can be sympathic with that. 
Lesson: I am responsible for growing 2 small personalities that will eventually need to be self-sustaining and preferablly positive contributors to society. I need to be a part of that, not just watch it happen and hope for the best. They aren't small anymore; I missed so much of that, but I can't do that over again. What I CAN do is be present for what's left. They are both such beautiful and amazing people, inspite of what I haven't been able to influence. And FUNNY!! Oh my goodness, every day I am laughing. 
Every. Single. Day. I guess I haven't messed up too bad...there is still time.

24 July 2016

Life is not fair, so stop asking.

I read a post from a dear friend today about how this time last year, her husband was fighting for his life. She was so afraid she was going to loose him, and how the doctors were amazed that he lived through the ordeal. I love her and her family, and so I was trying in my head to be supportive of the fact that her husband is doing well and they are thriving as a family. Then I started reading the comments. I should not have done that. One person said how that experience was the perfect example of the power of prayer and fasting...
And I lost it. If I had had something to throw, I would have. I have a hard time reading about or seeing people who's stories go on because of recovery where mine and Daryl's story had to end. And statements like that totally innocent and supportive comment make me feel like our prayers and our fasting weren't good enough, as though we weren't doing enough, or living well enough, or that we didn't have enough faith. Even now, three years later, I'm still alone, struggling to raise and support a family all on my own, not to mention the effect it has had on the girls. Is it because I don't have enough faith? Or that my prayers don't work? Or that I don't deserve a companion or that I didn't deserve a miracle?
I really am glad, really, that her prayers were answered the way she wanted. I'd never wish the loss of a loved one on anybody. I just don't understand why it had to be me, why we didn't get a miracle, why I have to do this all alone...
I'll probably never know, so I should stop asking. It never makes me feel better.
I do know, and you should remember too, to be grateful for what you have. And hold your spouse close. And get dressed up for date night. And make him breakfast. And offer to help him with the drywall or fixing the kitchen sink. Or ask him to help you fix the sink :) Then put his laundry away, even if he leaves it on the really is just the little things. Don't forget the little things.

27 April 2016


I've typed enough for school tonight, but I feel like I need to keep typing something. It's been a while...too long.
I'm listening to a song on repeat right now, and it's come up quite frequently on my playlist lately, bringing back so many memories, I guess I need to write it down...When this song came out, Daryl was in the ICU, in a coma, intubated, and the doctors were trying to figure out a new tumor and if it was pressing on his spinal cord or pharynx. ​He was in a drug-induced coma for over a week. All I could do was sit by his bed. I started crocheting a baby blanket to pass the time...and listening to music. This song, "I won't give up," (Jason Mraz), one of the only songs I like by this artist, helped me find strength and understanding even I didn't know I had. This song made me change my attitude about Daryl and his cancer. I spent so much time trying to not be resentful toward him; it was taking a toll on our relationship, and I knew it, but I had a hard time getting past it. But that week in the ICU, being literally totally alone, just me watching him could I be angry and resentful toward him...just a big teddy bear? Yes, he could be difficult and stubborn, but I was proving to be the same. More often than not, he just wanted to hug me, and I'm not proud to say more than a few times, I pushed him away, trying to deal with my own issues...alone instead of together. 
But that week, listening to this song (among others), something changed...I saw him as someone just trying to fight...fight for himself, fighting for us, fighting for everyone telling him what an inspiration he was to them...I started wanting to fight for us, for our relationship. I was tired of all the fighting, all the nights alone, all the heated words for nothing. That was March 2012, while in the ICU the doctors found a brain tumor. We had 15 months of a relationship that I never knew existed, unconditional love and service...for both of us. We had that in the beginning, then life happened and we lost it in the negativity and selfishness of being stressed beyond belief. But I will always remember the answer to a prayer in a beeping ICU room, and the inspiration I was able to feel. I'm so grateful I had those last 15 months and still sad they passed so quickly. 
Hug someone today...and don't give up.

03 November 2015

I'm ready...

...but I don't know where to begin.

Starting any relationship is scary and takes a bit of faith to leap into. But going into something with the potential for re-marriage and blending two families (again, but with older children this time), that isn't something to be taken lightly.

And I didn't. He didn't. We spent many prayers and temple trips both alone and together. We wanted to make sure that this would be the best thing for our families. Blending any family has challenges. But, when disabilities are added into the mix, things become even more challenging. We thought we were doing everything right. We spent time together, both alone and with our children together. We both had concerns, but hopes as well. We wanted to be successful. We had a plan...

Bottom line: you never know how things will be until you are IN the permanent living situation.

The Truth: I allowed myself to get caught up in thinking I needed someone else to "fix"  my family. I started thinking how nice it would be to have a partner. I didn't see how much my girls needed ME. I thought if they had a father-figure, they would feel better. Also, I was forced to face my difficulties with anxiety, and that it wasn't being managed and both of our families were suffering.

He has a beautiful family with wonderfully loving and accepting children. We did have some fun times. But all of the children struggled in finding their new places. That was to be expected. But I had to draw the line at anger and hurtful words towards mine. There was so much contention. Also, I wasn't able to take care of four more children with disabilities and different challenges. I could see I was loosing Eliza. Lydia was crying all the time, blaming the contention on herself, saying that if she hadn't told me to get on the dating website that we would never be in that situation.

I made a decision, based on both anxiety and determination (I know now, guided by the Spirit), to make MY GIRLS my priority, not someone else's children, no matter how much I loved him. It had to happen fast. School was about to start and I didn't want them to have to start two new schools. So I had to leave, right then.

I know I broke his heart and I know he is disappointed. It kills me to think about it. I'm disappointed in myself, that I allowed it to go as far as it did. I just kept thinking it would get better, that we could make it work. We've talked about a dozen things we could have or should have done differently, but hindsight is 20/20 of course.

After being back in Idaho for a few weeks, I struggled with the idea of going back and trying again, being on new medication, I thought it would be possible. But, I started seeing changes in the of their personalities I haven't seen in a long time. They miss having their Dad, and I can't just pick someone to take his place. But I can offer all of me to them. And that's what has been missing...Me. And it took a crazy summer and a mental break down to figure this out. I've been so busy for YEARS, just trying to keep everything together, that I lost focus on what my real responsibility is. I missed so much of their childhood because I was so focused on providing for the family and taking care of their Dad, that I didn't have a chance to just be "Mom." Oh, sure, I loved them and took care of booboos and coughs and fevers, school lunches and homework. But I never had cuddle-time or story time or special time, to build those relationships. They didn't deserve to loose me to another male in the name of "a new family." They just need Me.

So, now, I didn't get another job, I cut back my school classes, and we live frugally on a student loan balances and social security survivor benefits, in a small apartment. I'm working with a counselor and PA regarding my anxiety. My family has already noticed a difference. I've noticed a difference. My thyroid is still out of balance, and I'm working on that, too, but I feel so much more "normal" than even a year ago, much like my old self. There are fewer tears, from all of us. Eliza interacts with us all more. She is excelling in school, where she was struggling or lacking motivation before. She is becoming more confident in her talents. Lydia is trying hard to be more positive. She hugs me every day. She loves her teacher at school and in primary. They both have friends. They are smiling every day.

He still is a wonderful man. But this was the best decision. Not easy or clean, but the best. I am peaceful.

P.S. It will be remembered as the most expensive birthday party I will ever have and I love all of you who were willing to come celebrate with me :)