The Weight of the World

Neither sunless day,

Nor starless night,

Compare’s to pain’s darksome light

 

The still earth’s breath,

What stifling heat,

When all pain and silence come to meet

 

So is it not the tulip’s bloom,

And still the ocean’s tide?

Can one’s soul sadness cause

All others to collide?

 

We are each one single heartbeat,

Just one grain of sand,

Yet the weight of this world,

We are expected to withstand

Cruising Without You

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Dear Ross,
Seventeen years, then suddenly, without warning, you are gone. You aren’t working out of town, and you won’t be texting me, “I am trying to get back, but had to pull over because I was falling asleep”, or pictures of an awesome dinner you feasted on, just so you could laugh at my sarcastic response. Gone are the funny texts throughout the day, the way you backfire snored, the way we both tried on clothes with the same level of frustration, and our secret little lingo when the kids were close, and how we tried to not move our lips so they couldn’t hear us discuss how we wouldn’t drive by Target so Bailey wouldn’t ask for a toy. All of that laughter is gone, and brutally replaced with a raw open wound.

Gone isn’t permanent or even accurate. You didn’t leave. You DIED, and I have only said it out loud twice, and it stung as bad as the day that I lost you. I said it to someone that I would never see again. I was practicing the words, for fear they wouldn’t make it past my lips. Because saying them, makes them real, and I can’t do real yet. I can do moving forward forcefully without hesitation, and not pausing to let myself embrace the cold reality of your passing.
I have guilt. I didn’t show enough love, I didn’t show enough appreciation for how hard you worked, to keep me at home with the kids. I DO love you, and I am over the moon with appreciation for you, and all that you have provided for me, and our children, and I will forever be grateful to you, for taking such good care of us. Such good care, that you worked yourself into an early grave, while it never occurred to me, that such a thing could actually happen. That I possibly downplayed or belittled every little illness…exhaustion…fatigue. Had you known that you were at death’s door, then you would have left your job, taken my warnings more to heart, and cared more about your physical health, for the sake of your children and your family. For YOUR sake!
I can see you, as clear as yesterday, and how you had stumbled backward, and the way you were shivering in your sleep, with flu-like symptoms. You went to sleep on the couch feeling terrible, and I told you that I would leave you alone, and not bicker about household nonsense. And I didn’t. Had I bickered, then maybe I would have noticed that you were in distress at some point during the night, or maybe I wouldn’t have noticed, because maybe you really did pass away peacefully in your sleep. Either way, I was not laying right next to you, and I will never have that closure.
I didn’t know you were already gone, when I fixed breakfast, and went about my morning routine. I do remember thinking, wow, he is really too tired to even snore. And looking back, I can see how that rings painfully true. Your poor tired body gave out, and you didn’t even know it would, because had you known, then you wouldn’t have argued about your eating and sleeping habits, your long hours, or debated with me about taking care of yourself. You never saw it coming. That breaks my heart.  You never would have let this happen, had you seen it coming. The kids would not have lost their dad at such a young age, Tyler would not have lost his best friend, and I would not have lost the only man in my life, that has ever given me security, reassurance, and certainty.
This vacation with the kids have been filled with my saddest days. We are without you, and the only reason why we are here, is because you died, and we are fighting to find some hope, even if it is just a tiny glimmer. I sit here, on a CRUISE, feeling mournful and empty. Everything beautiful makes me want to cry. When Bailey reaches her peak of no return, I want to crumble and break, because there is no one to fall back on. There is no one who truly understands, to the core, how isolating it is, to be the parent of an autistic child. And Reagan……I always know when he has you in his thoughts, and that is quite often, because that same watery-eyed expression crosses over him, and he is a lost little boy, looking for his father.
I don’t know how to go from Married to Widow, from Mrs. to Ms., and I find it difficult to speak in past tense. Speaking in the past tense feels wrong, and you were here, and everything about your spirit and soul mattered. You were an incredible daddy, and you couldn’t STAND to be away from your kids.
Everything about your death feels wrong, as if some terrible mistake was made, and had a slight twist or turn been different, you would still be with us. This isn’t right. This isn’t right, has been echoing in my head, for almost six months now.
And now, in the early morning hours, with the sun barely breaking, and I am in the middle of this big powerful ocean, I look over at your beautiful sleeping children, and my heart aches so badly. They will never see you again, or embrace you again. Never be tickled by you again. How devastating for our son, to try and bring his own father back to life!!  How does a child recover from that? Will our poor, sweet Reagan carry the weight of that forever?
I love you, and I miss you. I am so terribly sad that I didn’t tell you as often as you deserved. I would change so many things, just to have you back. I really would, right this second. I cannot tell you how sorry that I am, over and over, until I have nothing left. I am lost, broken, and I am having such difficulty finding my own path. I carry our children, but find myself displaced, as if my legs have crumbled beneath me, and there is nothing to grab a hold of. It is like drowning, this urgency of loss, as I look out into this dark, angry ocean, in all of its frenzied turmoil. I can relate to others giving up on life, and at the same time, and I can relate to the desperate need to cling to anything that makes you feel grounded.
But I will never find anything more sad, then the lost and hopeless stare of our children’s eyes, and how they don’t know how to move forward, and how they turn to me for every single movement. Every….single….movement. I feel like I have let them down, and have continued to let them down, but I am FIGHTING with everything that I have inside me, to stay focused and strong. Our babies are terrified, unsettled, and now they know, that life can end without warning.
They know, tender to the touch PAIN, at ages 9 and 10, and they should NOT be consumed with grief.
This is not right.

#cruisingwithoutyou

The Afterloss

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Ross emanated such a bright light. That light was so bright, that I didn’t even see it, until he was gone. Everyone felt compelled to follow that light, to soak it in, and to shower themselves in his radiance, his energy, and his capacity to spread joy and laughter. We gravitated towards his warmth, and found our own happy place, when we had lost our way.

That is what he did for me. He knew me better than anyone else. He knew when I felt lost, hopeless, and he knew when I was overwhelmed with parenting, took my cues, and gave me the crutches to help me walk. He gave me permission to feel defeated as a parent, and he was that strength, standing behind me, when I felt like had nothing left.

My friend recently wrote something that has resonated with me. She wrote that, “once someone dies, they become perfect in your eyes”.  It’s true.

Though Ross was hardly perfect. He was disorganized, messy, and honestly,  annoying, lol. He wasn’t very good with finances, and he tended to take the easy way out when it came to disciplining his children. But he was perfect in my eyes, and he was exactly what I needed, and our children needed.

He was a witty, sensitive husband, always putting me first, and making sure I was well taken care of. He knew when I needed laughter, and he knew when I needed time alone, but most of all, he knew that I needed stability. Commitment was foreign to me, and he swooped in, and made me feel secure, worthy, and grounded. He gave me what no other man had.

Ross was extremely playful….like a child…..but he was THERE. He was PRESENT as a husband, and as a father. And that alone, my friends, is HUGE. I think about all of the deadbeat dads that don’t want to spend time with their children, and I have no respect for them as a person. Not even a little bit.

He drove all the way to Hunt, Texas every weekend, and sometimes more, to pick up Tyler, and then he reluctantly drove him back home every Sunday, if he was forced to do so. He had enormous guilt with his firstborn, as if he had intentionally hurt his child, but he would lay down his own life, before he ever did that. He went through a terrible, dark journey, where he lost his wife, son, his family pet, and his home, and he retreated into his own world of solitude. No one had ever seen him in such pain before. I am grateful that he finally came out of that dark place. We all are.

When I was introduced to Ross, I found him to be joyous. He was always making everyone else feel like life “ain’t nothing but a chicken wing”, and there was truly nothing to be stressed or upset about. Everything would work itself out. He brought a great deal of comfort to his friends, family, and his children. He brought me comfort in times when I couldn’t be reached by anyone else. He was a constant aura of encouragement for those who found themselves in turmoil. He had a Godly heart and he was therapeutic.

His happiest role was being a father. It made him complete, and fulfilled him like nothing else did. He would drive all night long, into the morning, just to get to his children, because all was not right, and he always wanted to make it right, when it came to his children. He would never have wanted to be away from them, because that is what mattered, and that was his purpose. And this has been my biggest struggle.

Hearing, “he is in a better place”, “God needed him there”, etc……I can’t come to grips with this quite yet, but I am trying really hard to. I am trying really hard to feel his presence, especially when our children are in distress, and I am cornered to make decisions about their welfare. Suddenly thrown into single parenting, and suddenly taking on different roles that are unfamiliar to me…..it makes me feel very vulnerable, as if I can do nothing right, and that I only mattered with Ross as my husband. I am fighting to reinvent myself, and I am fighting to stay the same. I am a jumbled mess.

His children loved his attentive nature, but they didn’t quite comprehend the VALUE of his presence. He was there, heart and soul, always. He was there when he was beaten, exhausted, and he was there when he was defeated. His children never felt weakness from him, even if he were struggling internally. He carried himself in such a nonchalant manner, that all they saw was his smile and wisecracks, and in the same breath, he made them feel loved and cherished. He WANTED to be around them, to be next to them, and absorb all of what they would give him, and he was grateful for it, and it made him happy and complete. Saying he was a wonderful dad does not do him justice. He was the perfect dad.

It breaks my heart that Reagan and Bailey don’t have their father for the duration of their childhood, and into adulthood. It breaks my heart that Tyler lost his best friend. It breaks my heart that I will never see him again. It breaks my heart that we have lost him, and as unreal as it feels, nothing will ever change that.

So here we are, the kids and I, entering the afterloss, and facing the holidays without Ross. It has been a daily struggle, just pushing forward, but all I can do is to keep pushing.

 

 

 

Giving Thanks

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I have learned a lot about this thing called Grief.  I am no stranger to Grief, but each time I encounter it, it has a different face. I have been trying to get THROUGH IT to get PAST IT. That is not how this works, though I wish it were.

You have to recreate, make adjustments for that unexplained absence. You have to learn to adapt to a new chapter that you never wanted or asked for.  You have to reinvent yourself.

I am not a judgmental person, and I never have been. I strongly believe that every person that has lost  a loved one will travel different paths of emotion, and there is no right or wrong way to grieve.

With all of this being said, for me, and only for me, every day is a grieving process. I start off feeling apprehensive as I wake up…my stomach is a bit sick, and I feel off kilter.  Sometimes, if I have the luxury, I will lay there to gather my thoughts and strength for the day. But being a single parent now, I don’t have that luxury as often as I would like, so I pull myself up and attend to all of my routines for the welfare of my children. Because I have to.  To say that I have a newfound respect for you single parents out there is putting it mildly. I am  CONSUMED with respect  for the single parent. They are responsible for the health, safety, and welfare of their children, not to mention being held financially responsible for their care and and mental health. And their sacrifices…..dear Lord, do they make sacrifices, so their children will not go without.

My hat is off 100 times to those WORKING parents. God bless you, and all of your efforts, your aching feet, and all of your sleepless nights, worrying about affording new clothes for school, providing meals and medical needs, and all at the same time, carrying yourself in a light-hearted manner, as if you have all the energy in the world. Because standing back, and watching your children laugh, play and revel in happiness is what it’s all about, isn’t it?  Everything is for them.

It is a TON of weight on your shoulders, and had I not been in this position, I would never have known, nor been as appreciative to what I had. And that, my friends, is the only positive, in losing my husband. I appreciate him now, more than ever.

So when you feel discontented or unsatisfied, unhappy or unfulfilled, or if you think you could have it better somewhere else…..don’t. Take a moment to reflect on everything you DO have, and embrace every bit of it, because it may not always be there, staring you in the face, with a patient, watchful, loving eye. Take your happiness, hold on tight, and remember every single detail, because it might be a memory some day.

#bekind #loveoneanother #bethankful

It’s Time

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We are all displaced and flailing about, desperately grabbing any piece of you that we can hold on to. Letting you go is not possible. I’m not confident it ever will be. Your clothes have lost your smell, so I have been parting with some of them, but I cannot part with them all. Losing your scent was one of my hardest discoveries. In those days after your passing, I always had your scent, and now it is only a memory.
Your firstborn is struggling, but you always knew that he would, had he ever lost you, and we’ve talked about that before. I always told you, “what would Tyler do, if something happened to you?”, when you weren’t taking care of yourself, or making healthy decisions. It always worked, because you KNEW Tyler would be destroyed, without his best friend. He is in a very dark place, and he fights with that every day by working too much, and taking mini trips away from reality, and everything that compels him to face his loss head on. He can’t hold your hand the way he did when he was a child, and you were driving him back to his mother, and he just wanted to stay with you.
And Reagan….he misses you, Ross. I know you used to joke around, that the kids didn’t miss you when you traveled, because you would come back home, and they would say, “did you bring drinks?”, and we would all laugh. The thing is….it was never about that. Reagan LOVED you with every ounce of his being. You made him laugh more than anyone did, and you brought such joy to his days. You were the one he always wanted to make proud, his daddy. Now he cries every day, gets upsets easily over small things, and he relives that day over and over. If I could take anything AWAY from him, it would be for him to NOT be here, on the day that you died. If I could GIVE him anything, it would be a peaceful nights sleep and sweet dreams. He woke up yesterday morning, in a fit of sweat and tears, calling for you. I wrapped myself around him, and we cried together. It was a gut wrenching cry, Ross. He told me about his dream, and it shattered my heart into a million pieces. I debated on blogging about his dream, and I decided that this is my blog, and my choice on what I want to share or not share. If someone doesn’t want to read this, then please don’t. I only have room in my life for those who are willing and able to emotionally support me and my children, so please reframe from any comments to me personally that will hurt me any further than I already am.
You came home, and you hugged us and we all were so happy. It was a good dream, Reagan said, and even as he was telling me the story, his eyes were dancing.  But then he told me that you were covered in dirt, as if you had risen from the grave, and the dream became the nightmare that woke him up. I wish I could erase this nightmare from his memory, my dear sweet boy. The harsh reality of him leaning over you, trying to revive you……will never leave my soul, and that is what haunts me more than anything.
I had a dream as well, and it was a nice, loving one. You came home, as you always did. We heard your noisy diesel truck in the driveway, and it ran for awhile, which it did sometimes, because you were almost always stuck on the phone for work. We all waited in anticipation, even the dogs!!  I remember thinking, “do NOT go out there, because what if it isn’t him, or what if we are imagining him?”, so I didn’t move a muscle, and neither did the kids. The dogs paced back and forth anxiously.
You entered, and it was hysteria and happiness and tears and whimpers!! We cried and spent real quality time with one another, and then we decided to go for a drive, because the day was lovely.  We rolled our windows down, and we turned the music up. You did your little dances, and made up your silly words, and the kids and I giggled at your antics. It was the most wonderful drive we’ve ever taken, and we wanted to drive forever. Going back home was not an option, because going back home might mean losing you again.
I’m not sure what it was that woke me up, but I reached up and my face was wet and cold. I remember the rage I felt, and I fought hard to fall back asleep, and get back into that truck, with the sunshine through the sun roof, and my stomach aching from laughter. But I couldn’t. I couldn’t go back to you and our drive on that beautiful breezy day.
I HAD solace that Bailey’s autism was shielding her, and keeping her in a state of normalcy, but that is not the case. She is HEARTBROKEN. She asked me if I was going to die next.  Will SHE die next?  Is it HER fault that her daddy died?  Why hasn’t he come back? She said, “he always comes home”, and I lost my composure, and there we were, in this heaping mess. My beautiful daughter, so full of confusion and such a deep sadness. It is more than any mother can bear, seeing their children drowning in such an overwhelming sorrow.
Our family is broken now, and all we can do is push forward and start rebuilding. We are moving to New Braunfels in 11 days, and all I can think about, is how I am leaving you behind. I am leaving you, to start this difficult journey without you. What if you come back, and I am not there? What if you are watching me from heaven, and you are hurting because I am moving away? And these are thoughts….they flood my mind, implode my heart, and keep me awake every night. I am not ready to give myself permission to move on. I am not happy to have bought a house with money that I received because of your death. I am not ready, and I’d rather have you back. It’s time for you to come back.

Pushing Forward

Dear Ross,

The house is so quiet now. I didn’t realize what stirs that you caused among our household until now. The mornings were the hardest during the summer, because the kids slept later, and I was alone in my thoughts. It is what I needed, and I am grateful for that time to collect my thoughts, but it broke down my dam, and gave me permission to fall apart at the seams.

 

I still expect you to walk through that door.  I am still in disbelief.  Why You?  I know God needs you, too, but I want you here. Your children want you here. You wouldn’t have wanted to leave us.

Reagan is hurting so bad, and when I try to wrap my motherly arms around him, he shrinks away from me. At the same time, he is holding on tight, in his own way.  I can feel it. He struggles at school, and I was hoping school starting would provide him with some normalcy, relief.  Familiarity. But school only seems to enlarge that hole in his heart, because he is a child without a father, and a boy needs his father.

Bailey goes on as usual, and she appears to be unaffected, ignoring the emptiness in the room that used to be her dad, making her laugh with tickles and funny innuendos. But every now and then, I see an expression on her beautiful face….when one of the dogs push through the front door, and she looks over with anticipation, only to not see her daddy standing there with Starbucks in hand. She watches the carefully, processing. I know she hurts badly, but I know she will push it down. Her autism won’t let her feel the brunt of the loss, and that, is the one and only blessing of her disability.

Tyler has become a pro at pushing it down as well. It is too much for him, so he works a lot, and when he isn’t working, he is constantly moving. But in those seldom, solitary moments, he feels it, and it breaks him. It breaks him the most.

I am pushing forward, forcing down my walls and crawling out of the hole that I never knew I was in. Battling depression before the loss of my husband, and feelings of defeat as a mother of a special needs child. I cannot be helpless, a woman in distress, or a poor meek widow.  I cannot let my children look to me, and feel more lost than they already are. I am the sole parent now, and my job is to not only nurture, but ensure my children are taken care of financially as well, which is a new role for me. It terrifies me more than any parental role, but it’s not a failure I am prepared to make. It’s not an option.

I miss you. I will never be able to wrap my heart around the reality of your death. Life as I know it, is forever changed. I miss your little dances and the way you made me laugh.

I am moving us to New Braunfels. You and I always talked about that. It is where you are buried, and it feels like the right thing to do. Hopefully, the kids and I will get this house we love, and hopefully some hardships in the near future aren’t so hard, but if they are, then they are.

Everything is abnormal without you, and I feel like someone else is walking around in my body, handling all of these affairs, but the real me is still in bed, curled up in a fetal position.

I’m so lost, but at the same time, I can finally feel your presence. I know you are here. I know you laugh at me when I can’t find my car, when I lose my keys, and I know it hurts you to see us so sad and longing for you. I know you are there, especially in the mornings, after the kids have left, and I’m left in deafening silence. It hurts a tiny bit less, knowing I can finally feel you, but the blow of losing you, and our little bubble we lived in, is too much to bear. It will forever be me and my children, until they are grown and want to have their own families. There will never be another accepting, loving, and embracing man for me, and I am okay with that. I love you.

Your wife

 

A Million Broken Pieces

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It’s taken me some time to sit in front of the laptop and blog about what has happened to my family. Will there ever be a right time?  Probably not.

Ross and I had our own little bubble, where we felt safe and where there were no judgements. Every now and then, we would jump out of that bubble, for family interaction, movies, dinner, etc., but we did have our own sanctity with Reagan and Bailey most of the time. It was content, and it kept us sane. Looking back, I was happier with my little family than I thought I was. But that’s how it works, doesn’t it?  You don’t what you’ve got, until it’s gone?

Ross knew me better than I knew myself. He could finish my sentences, he knew my triggers and avoided them at all costs OR he would use them just to get my goat. He frustrated me till no end, and at the same time, I found security with him, that I’ve never had with anyone else. I knew he would never hurt me, never leave me, and he would always be there when I fell apart. I let him be my rock, and my glue, and the day that he left me, it was a fight to stay together, and not break into a million pieces.

Ross had a very stressful job. It was wearing him down for years, affecting his livelihood, energy, and his health was declining. He put on too much weight, even though we had changed our eating habits. He was battling on the phone with his partner, many times having difficulty with his asthma after these conversations. As a wife, I can’t help but feel resentment at these moments, but I struggle every day to not let it eat me up, but this has happened to me and my children, and there is no changing it.

His death certificate doesn’t indicate the exact cause of death, and this provides me no closure, but with his asthma, sleep apnea, and the weight gain, I imagine he went peacefully, or so I’d like to think he did.

He was sleeping a lot. More than someone who was overworked, so we knew something was wrong. I made a doctor’s appointment for him on August 1st, and on that day, we would start his new chapter, and we would make even grander strides to make him healthy again. That was our plan, anyway.

The morning that I found Ross on the couch, I had mopped the floors, done the dishes, and when I went to check on him, I expected him to grab me and tickle me, because that was Ross, always horsing around. I did notice, however, that he wasn’t snoring, which was my first red flag. Upon touching him, he was cold, and it made me shrink back, but I knew the ac unit was blowing right on him, so I threw a blanket over him, knowing he needed rest. He also had flu like symptoms all weekend long, so I was leaving him alone, and not being a nag about the house for once. He was overworked, fatigued, and I was always scared about his health because of this. I never knew it would be the death of him, though, and had I known that, I would have been more adamant to get him out of that situation. But there I go with more “what ifs”, “if only”, etc., and I really need to stop that.

When I realized he wasn’t breathing, and when I didn’t see him laugh and pull me in, I started shaking him frantically to wake him up. Was he really that tired? Could he really be sleeping that heavily?

I started CPR. It felt like a really long time. Bailey was at the dining room table, and at the time, she was playing with her toys, but now she was watching me. Reagan had fallen asleep on the other side of the couch with his dad, and he was stirring. I didn’t stop the CPR. I didn’t even know if I was doing it right, and I couldn’t see through my tears, and my heart was pounding so hard that I couldn’t hear anything but that.

I turned away to call 911. I didn’t want to stop CPR. What if he was almost breathing, what if I almost saved him?? 911 asked me to flip him over, which I couldn’t do without him falling off the couch, so they sent an ambulance within 10 minutes.

While on the phone with them, I turned around, and I found Reagan crying and trying to administer CPR himself. He was screaming, “DAD!”, “DAD”, over and over again, shaking from his cries, and he was trying to bring him back. It was something that I will never forget, seeing my baby boy, shaking his father and screaming for him to come back. It is something that Reagan will always have engraved in his mind, and I know it will haunt him forever. I wish that wasn’t so.

Fast forward to now, I am still in disbelief. It is still summer time, and I wake up to a quiet home. I lay there, and I remember. Those of you who have lost someone are familiar with that feeling, that sick feeling in the pit of your stomach, and when you remember why you feel that way, it hits you like a ton of bricks. It comes in waves for Reagan and I.

I took Reagan to Game Stop the other day, and he is always happy to go there for a new game, but this time, upon reaching the door, there was a poster of the new 2016 NBA game, and he lost it right there. I knew why, but I sat with him, right there on the sidewalk, while he fell apart, and then struggled to collect himself. This new game that had come out……this is the game that Ross and Reagan had been waiting for, anxiously, to play together. That was their thing, playing video games. They had such a fun time together, talking trash. I wish I had recorded this, had I known this would happen. I wish I had recorded a lot of things, but I have to play over the memories instead, and no one can take those away from us.

Bailey is protected by her autism. She talks very light hearted about death, so I’m not sure if she has actually grasped the concept that he is never coming back. He traveled often, so maybe one day he will walk in the door, with Starbucks in hand, as he always did. He was dad, and he was driving all night, just to come home and be with his family. He was a stellar dad. He wanted to be with us all the time, and when he couldn’t be, he was always calling and checking on us.

He was our hero, our protector. He shielded us from elements that he thought would harm us in any way, and he worked so hard to keep me at home with our children. He worked so hard, that he died from it. He put himself on the back burner, always, and paid for it in the long run. Was he stubborn? Yes. Did he keep a lot of stress to himself, as to not worry me and the kids?  Yes.

I want a do-over. I want another life with him. I have many regrets during our courtship and marriage. I wish I had told him that I loved him more often. I wish I had been more stern about his bad habits, his work, and I wish I had been a more loving wife. I wish, I wish, I wish…..now it is the 3 of us, and his firstborn son, Tyler, who is now 21. I hurt for Tyler the most. They were partners in crime, Ross and Tyler. I wish that I could bring Ross back, just for Tyler alone, but there is nothing within my power anymore. There is only pushing forward, with this big gaping hole in my life.

I am more blessed than most. Ross’ family has been a godsend, and they are grieving as well. They need to heal by spending time with his children, and his mother and father have lost their son, and there is nothing worse than losing your child.

I keep saying the same thing over and over again. If my kids are okay, than I am okay. And that’s all I can do, keep waking up and living for our children.

 

Orlando Madness

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Everyone keeps asking about our very first family vacation to Orlando, and we’ve found it hard to find the words. Frankly, it’s a little embarrassing that we cannot have the normal family vacation, to be honest with you. Most families would say, “omg, we had a blast!”, “we rode this crazy ride and thought we were gonna die!”, “we laughed so hard the whole time”, “can’t wait to go back.”

Well, we were so happy to be HOME, but at the same time, we had to give it a try.  We had to venture out, take some risks, and hope for the best.

Let me start with the facts. The Cabana Bay Resort is very hip, retro, and has a fun environment. They play the 50s and 60s music 24/7, which is pretty cool, as you are walking through the lobby or in the outdoor pools. I loved that all of their décor was colorful and bright with all modern touches. One of the diner’s had a bowling alley, and another diner had those big theater screens that used to be in then old drive in movie theaters, with hot dog doing flips and dancing popcorn boxes (who remembers these at the drive in?). I wish I could say I don’t remember those.  Old much?

The front staff was fresh, young and perky. I swear they had to pass a beauty test upon hire. Everyone was warm and welcoming. The room was wonderful as well, same funky décor, nice and bright.

Some of the resort negatives…….the pillows had no support. The food options were very limited. Seriously, I wanted to throw up crinkle fries when we got home. EVERY DAY WITH THE CRINKLE FRIES. There was NO ice cream. What the heck?? No ice cream on any dessert menus, no ice cream bar. Not gonna fly!!

The lone fact that there was a Starbucks in the hotel is what sold me on the resort. Starbucks saves the day yet again :)

Let me get a wee bit more personal about our vacay, since I finally found the right words to describe it, and I stand by these words 110%.

“We had a lot of really great moments.”

I will run down all of the positives, because even though we were under a lot of duress almost the entire trip, there were, in fact, these moments.

I beat Reagan in two bowling games. BOOM.  I beat Reagan in several air hockey games. BOOM. Yes, I AM a machine, and you don’t want to challenge me to air hockey.

Bailey was such a happy girl, WHEN she was in the water or in a store. Happy Happy, I tell you!!  Keeping her in the water and in a store was a challenge. We were wet and wrinkled or broke, but our kid was happy. When she wasn’t in the water or a store, we were running from the scene of a very loud crime. Running from ignorant families and their judgemental stares, and running towards water or a store.  No doubt, I was always picking her up off the floor, grasping her hand, running, and not looking back.

How about a positive?

Bailey and I had some wonderful conversations that I will never forget, despite the marathons. We sat in a huge comfy red chair, and we discussed the names of all her ponies and paw patrol toys. We talked about her best friend that changed schools, and how much she misses him. We talked about why she doesn’t like nail polish, or having her ears pierced.

l only posted the moments where the kids were in the zone. Happy, giggly, excited, silly…..because people don’t get it…..but they do get happy, smiling children, so that is what Facebook got :)

Those who know us personally, or those who can relate in some form or fashion, know that we live in a rainbow of chaos.

Happy Birthday, Rondia!

 

Happy Birthday, Rondia :)

This was the only way for  me to reach you, so why not blog about you and what our friendship has meant to me?

People come and go into your life, and every single one makes a foot print in your heart forever. You and I  were best friends since I was 8 years old, and we have many childhood years of riding bikes, exploring, listening to Donna Summers, playing Barbies, teasing and hiding from my Grandpa, and being goofy and giggly at things that others would never get.

As we grew into teenagers, we were dramatic, flirty, and we really knew how to have such a wonderful time with each other. You made me laugh so hard with your big eye and eyebrow faces, and we cracked each other up with our “ugly faces”, LOL.  We listened to Poison, and we danced and laughed, and we took each day on with such an amazing playful spirit. Life was grand and carefree.

We grew into adulthood, and were by each other’s side as we had our hearts broken for the first time, fell in love for the first time, and experienced all of the rollercoaster emotions that men put us ladies on!

I am the one that backpedaled on our friendship. I have no problem telling you that it was my fault. Our personalities had become very different, but even though that happened, you were always a good friend to me. I’m so sorry that I let our friendship go, and that I allowed that disconnect to happen.

Having you  contact me after ten+ years was an awesome, giddy feeling. I was so nervous meeting back up with you, as you were, which was surprising, but funny. Like meeting up with an old boyfriend….that same butterfly feeling. Because we did share everything and we were that close. There was a nice, comforting familiarity, and our pragmatics were easy and free.

YOUR personality has blossomed, and you have become outgoing and open minded. You have become a mother, and becoming a mother makes any women a better person. This is a lot like starting over in a brand new friendship, but even better with the groundwork already laid out.

And here I am, apologizing yet again, but this time my reasons are real and genuine. How I wish I could let you into my reality, so that you could really grasp what my life is right now. I still want your friendship, but I cannot be all that I was before. My household is chaos, my mind is cluttered, and my daily activities are sheer craziness. We are on our first family vacation right now, and sadly, it doesn’t essentially FEEL like a vacation. We will never be a normal family. We won’t even ever be a dysfunctional family. I wish :)

Please contact me, Rondia, as I have a new phone with a new number. I will also give you my email address. Please don’t leave me another “perplexed” comment here on my blog. My blog is public, and for me to post my apologies in a public blog is a really big deal to me. Please know that you have always been in my thoughts, and I am really sorry that I have let us disconnect yet again. I am a mother of an autistic child. This disability causes me a lot of stress, and I have been struggling with depression. These are not excuses, these are the facts. I do want to stay in contact, and I do want to get together when I can. I’m sorry that I cannot contact you by phone at my leisure, but  calling anyone at my leisure is not an option for me anymore. My life revolves around my kids, and that is just how it is now. If you would rather not contact me, that is fine, too, but I’m trying to explain my stance in advance in case you don’t want any part of it.

I love you always!!  Happy Birthday!

Kathy

(210) 762-0565

Kathy.sarocks@gmail.com

You Saved Me

 

grandpa2

Dear Grandpa,

I miss you so badly. It is strange, but I can still smell the cream that you rubbed on your skin, see you with the hose in the back yard, watering the bird fountains, with that goofy, Gilligan hat. I remember hiding behind your chaise while you read, only to pop out and scare you. I loved to torment you for some reason, but you never really got mad. You were grumpy and funny, and you made me laugh so hard.

Most of all, I remember holding your hand and the way your long fingers wrapped around mine. And then I remember how your hand was growing cold because I didn’t want to get out of your bed.

The loss will be there, always haunting and hovering over my head. I’m so thankful that it isn’t as gut wrenching anymore, but why must it still hurt so bad?

Happy Father’s Day. You saved me from a fatherless life.

#iloveyousomuch