Thursday, December 31, 2015

I remember...

I remember the day when my life changed forever.  I remember the INSTANT that it changed.  And today, I am watching my 20 year old daughter struggle with what has happened that has changed her life forever.  I remember the horrible things people said, trying to be helpful.  "It was God's will..."  I hated them for it, because I couldn't figure out how someone would think that would be helpful.  And as my daughter grieves for the man she loves, as his parents grieve their 19 year old son's loss... people are telling her and them, "It was God's will..."  I don't believe that it was God's will.  Did God know it would happen?  Yes.  But the minute that man stopped, and then made the decision to cross those railroad tracks, it was the aftermath of that decision that was at play there.  God will put him to work, I'm sure.  But God knows how much good he would have done here.

I am beyond sad.  I know what it feels like to bury a child.  I know what it's like to have people tell me things that aren't helpful.  I remember what it feels like to go through the motions of planning a funeral like a robot, numb from pain and grief.  It breaks my heart that my daughter, at the tender age of 20, has to go through this, without any benefit of being married to him.  People will not understand the depth of her pain, as if the relationship meant less because they were not yet married when he died.

I am praying for my daughter, for his family, and for the employees of the railroad who were unable to stop the wheels set in motion, just stand by and stop the train after it hit his car.  It is a horrible situation I would never wish on anyone.  I hope and pray that peace will come to those who are mourning the loss of this great kid.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

A Blessed Life...

Today, we went to "Art in the Park" at Lakeview Park in Nampa.  We saw many many booths, lots of fun stuff!  :)

One booth we saw that was cool was an artist named "Non" Reyes.  Mr. Reyes was involved in a motor vehicle accident 22 years ago that left him paralyzed from his shoulders down and unable to breathe on his own.  The story goes on to say that several months after the accident, his young son asked Non to scratch his back, and Non was trying to decide how to tell his son he couldn't do it.  His son, seeing his father's difficulty, said, " With your whiskers, Daddy."  He then climbed up on his father's chest so Non could scratch his son's back with his chin.  He was inspired then to be positive.  I read this story and was brought to tears by this sweet 3 year old child's ability to help his daddy see what COULD be done instead of what couldn't.

I purchased a beautiful print with birch trees in fall colors after agonizing between that and one of a scene with pine trees and a creek.  I got home and showed the kids the print of this painting done by Non with his mouth and read the story to them.  My sweet 17 year old son with autism said, "He has a really blessed life!"

If you knew this kid, you'd know that it's not a normal thing for him to recognize his own blessings, let alone the blessings of others.  This is my child whom I was told would never drive or live independently.  I am SO grateful for him and his insight today.  Thank you, Heavenly Father, for lending me this child who teaches me constantly.

If you are interested in Non's work, I've left a link below.  Enjoy.

Mouth Art

Monday, August 4, 2014


If you've ever watched the movie Beaches, you may remember the part where Cici's mother and she were having a conversation about her need for constant attention.  How she wanted the constant attention of everyone she was around and she wore everyone out to the point where they could no longer deal with her.

I believe there are people who just need more attention than others.  I know that I am one of them.  My husband is a work-a-holic.  I know that sounds crazy, but I think those of us with an "ism" can recognize another with an "ism" when we begin to recover.  And my husband is a work-a-holic.  When I met him, he was working for Boise State University, a job that he traveled *maybe* twice a year for.  Then he went to Capital One in their IT dept, and since their HQ are in Richmond, Virginia, he was traveling much more often.  Then, the Boise office closed, and we had several months of severance pay, during which he was able to find another job.  He worked there only a couple of months, because a different job with better pay came up, at Blue Cross of ID.  Travel slowed quite a bit, which was great.  And for two and a half years, everything seemed pretty good.

Then, Shad got the "itch".  Lots of politics in the world of insurance companies, even in IT.  And in big corporations, there are all the loopholes and garbage that went along with that.  So, Shad started interviewing for jobs.  To "keep my interviewing skills sharp."  Well, he was offered a job with the company he currently is working for.  It was a very small company, less than 50 employees.  Travel required.  But when we talked with another employee of that company, he said, "it's only travel for 2-3 days a week, and usually not every week."  We talked about it and pondered, etc., and I knew it was something he really wanted to do, so I told him it would be fine, even though I was extremely wary of the amount of travel that would be done.  This was summer of 2008.

October of 2008, he was asked to take on a project in Salt Lake City, as the company was trying to expand into that area.  It would basically mean he would be working as a consultant for the state of Utah, and he'd need to be there five days a week and home on weekends.  I found out while visiting my parents in FL, and we needed to make a decision rather quickly, he'd be leaving the Monday after Thanksgiving.  I was really worried, but we talked about it and I knew he wanted to do it because he was so new at the company and was still trying to establish a relationship with the sales reps, one in particular.  He was worried about me because his travel up to that point had been fairly hard on me.  I told him it would be fine because he'd be home every weekend, etc.  It was most certainly not fine.  I'm not sure the point at which things just went crazy.  I had shoulder surgery in the beginning of November that year, had to find someone to help me to physical therapy twice a day because I wasn't even allowed to move my arm on my own.  Needless to say, it was not a good start to the project.

I also started home schooling my younger daughter due to some problems she was having.  She is on the autism spectrum and she was really having difficulty adjusting.  She was having problems with some girls who were just nasty and mean.  I home schooled her from the beginning of October til mid February and by the time I got her re-enrolled in school, I was suicidal.  Basically, the long story made short was that I stopped functioning.  I have still not become fully functional.

Summer of 2007 was when he took what he likes to refer to as a "hobby job", working with the drum line of Nampa High.  (The story of how this came to be is far too long for me to relate right now.)  Anyway, at that point he was only working during the summer, and he wasn't included in any of anything else that happened.  I was fine with that.  I think he was too, at the time.  The first year he didn't even get paid.  The second year he got $500.  Then the band director "retired" and most of the existing staff with him.  Shad was the only one who stayed.  It was devastating to the kids when that happened, Nampa was winning DIII yearly and had been for quite some time.  Shad didn't get a say in the new director, even though they said he would.  The hiring process was done before anything else was said to him about it.

Fall came, and we met with the new band director.  Thankfully, we both loved him and he and Shad have really worked together quite well.  I loved that he was from Iowa, which is where I grew up, and he was young, so he'd be able to relate to the kids well.  There has been a deep mutual respect between Shad and him from the beginning.

Every year, I'd complain and say that this was the last year Shad was going to do this.  Then, miraculously, marching band would be over and I'd have enough respite to go again through another season.  Last year, however, was RIDICULOUS.  Extremely difficult, filled with drama from kids and ADULTS, (which, honestly, GROW UP, people.  If you're old enough to vote, stay out of the drama BS.)  Parents of some who were threatening to sue over this, that and the next and I'd had it.  I decided for sure that it would be his last year.  When it was mentioned to the band director, he said, "When Shad leaves, I leave."

My jaw just dropped open.  I think it may have even had flies go in.  Shad and I had long discussed the detrimental effects that kind of crap had on the kids.  There were kids who dropped band when Dr. Stone retired and never gave the program a chance.  What could I do?  There was NO way I could make sure I had what I needed while making sure that the band kids, whom I love dearly, would not lose TWO directors instead of just one.   Friday night, we had a dinner and a band booster meeting, where the band director sat next to me and said, "Is this going to be Shad's last year... Again...?"  I was furious.  I love this man, I love his wife.  He has no kids of his own, however, so no matter how bad a day with the band kids might be, he doesn't have to take any of them home with him.  We have two kids in the band.  We have another starting college in the fall with the unrealistic expectation of not taking out ANY loans.  And we have three more on the autism spectrum which brings its own lovely challenges to the party.  And, we're a blended family.  So we get all sorts of advice on how to deal with our kids, but most of them come from people who don't understand the uniqueness of our situation, or don't have children, or both.

Shad travels with his "real" job rather extensively.  Last week he was gone.  He was gone the week before that, AND the week before that.  During all of that time, *I* am taking care of everything.  This is NOT what I signed on for.  During band season, which goes from the first full week of August until (this year) the first week in November, I rarely see my husband.  There are times when he goes directly from the airport after being gone for days to the high school for rehearsal.  I have a great deal of frustration over this.  I always come AFTER the jobs, no matter what it is.  And then I have someone being sarcastic and shitty about it, not realizing the amount of sacrifice on my part that goes in to having my husband have a second job that takes away from my family constantly.

My kids are only going to be young once, and the sad part about it is that when they look back on their childhood, they are going to remember that their dad was ALWAYS gone and their mom was always pissed off about it and, therefore, yelling constantly.  When I'm pissed at him, it gets taken out on the kids.  Is it right?  No.  Is it real?  Unfortunately.

SO - here I sit on the first day of band camp, alone, watching the three autistic super heroes while I sit in my pajamas.  Yesterday,  I was in bed ALL day, with the exception of when I was being seen at the urgent care for a UTI that was one of the worst I've ever had.  Pain in my bladder and kidneys had me doubled over and having so much blood in my urine that it was pink.  I am still in my pajamas today, at almost one-thirty in the afternoon.  And there's not a damn thing I can do about it.  Nothing.  I cannot even get off my chair right now to deal with the dogs or anything else.  I'm just tired.  All the time.  So, you know... keep poking at the bear.  Because one of these days, the bear is going to attack like a wounded, wild animal.  You have fun with that.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Tonight, it's been a year...

OK, this is not even close to the same as a Jet's song...  But it was a year ago tonight (it's still the 28th in my mind because I haven't gone to bed yet) since I got a phone call that changed my life.  It turned my world up-side down and sideways.  If you've read this blog at all, you know the story.  Anyway - it seems like it just happened in some ways, and in others like it's light years away from where I am now.

When I lost my baby, on her birthday the following year, I thought, "Wow, it's been a year.  I just might be able to keep going."  That first year was absolute HELL.  It was painfully slow in passing.  And that's sort of how I feel about this.  Several sheets of Paper VooDoo later, (one of which was rubber-banded to a rock and thrown onto Lake Lowell - I say ONto because it was crazy late at night, pitch black, SO foggy, and neither my sponsor or I thought about the fact that the damn lake would be FROZEN- but it's NOW at the bottom of lake) I have finally gotten to the year mark.  I think I've had a LOT of tests and trials to deal with while I've been working through some of it.  But it's been a whole year.  And I just might be able to keep going.  There have been SO many things in addition to Paper VooDoo that I've done to try and make myself feel better.  And NOTHING has helped.  The only thing that has worked for me is praying like crazy that I can let go, and knowing that, when given an opportunity, I didn't have to make the mistake she did.  I'm not the same as she is.  I'm not better or worse, but I'm different.  And sometimes that's just good enough.  Sometimes, just knowing that I'm healing is the difference between going absolutely crazy and being okay enough to survive just one more day.  One more minute.

This man I love is not perfect.  But neither am I.  And hopefully we can just be, accept our differences, our similarities, and strengths and our weaknesses... and at the end of the day just continue to love each other.  I'll stay on the train as long as it's still underneath my feet.  On New Year's Eve, we were BOTH so relieved to get 2013 behind us.  And NOW I feel like it is really gone.  And so is *she.  Goodbye.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

What happens now?

Where do I go from here?  I feel like my life is over.  I am in a perpetual state of panic.  He keeps saying he's not gone.  He repeatedly tells me that he loves me and everything is fine.  But for the third day in a row, he hasn't kissed me goodbye when he leaves.  Monday he told me I didn't wake up.  Same with yesterday.  But today I KNOW he didn't try because I woke up when he got up and just dozed off and on, but wasn't nearly asleep so hard that I couldn't wake up.

I moved across the country to be with him.  Stayed in two homeless shelters.  I have done nothing but try to be what he wants and needs.  I don't think it will ever be enough.  And I kind of hate him for it.

He doesn't understand that what he's done this time has completely changed me.  I will never be the same.  I may never completely heal, because when he says he's finished and turns around and does the same thing, it's because he's sorry he got caught, not because it will never happen again.

He insists that this time he understands that he will never have me if he does it again, but I think he doesn't want me.  He "teases" me all the time that I misrepresented myself.  That I wasn't really who I said I was.  I don't understand HOW he sees me.  SO much stuff happened during that first year I was here, and yet, I STAYED.  He kissed someone else while we were engaged, but I still stayed.  He left for six months for a project, only home on weekends to "put out fires" and get ready to leave again.  *I* was the one taking care of the kids and keeping everyone afloat.

That left me broken.  Severely.  Then we went to a counselor who was an idiot, and she took his side on some stuff that my intuition said, "UH UH!  NO WAY!"  And, four years later, I found out that *I* was right.  And we are dangerously close to the year mark of that discovery.  So what do I do now?  I have stayed and stayed while he has strayed.  And I'm still here.  And he's physically her a lot of the time, but I have NO emotional connection with him.  I feel like he's closed himself off from me and will never let me in.

I guess what I want to know is WHY he has done it?  HE was wrong.  HE needs to help fix.  And instead, I'M the one trying to pick up the pieces, and I just can't do it anymore.  I am just fried.  I am broken.  I am fragile.  I am lost.  I need to be the one getting fixed.  Why the HELL am I trying to fix him and his crap?

I feel this way as a result of what he has done, and it's going to take as long as it takes for me to be okay.  And if it was the first time, it wouldn't be as hard, but it's NOT.  They say third time's a charm, and I can't decide if that means if this time it's really done or not...

Monday, February 10, 2014

Pick me. Choose me. Love me.

I know I shouldn't care...  My sponsor tells me that it's none of my business what people think about me.  But when it's people I love or in this case, someone who my husband loves...  I've tried and tried and tried.  And I just can't do it anymore.  I'm SO broken this time after everything he has put me through.  And I feel like it was my fault because I was "unapproachable".    And I look at my life and it's not how I planned it or in any semblance of ANYTHING I want to claim right now.  And I want to die.  I just want to go lie down in the snow on a mountain and go to sleep and die.  And I can't.  I am paralyzed by the fear and shame and doubt and complete lack of faith I have.  And I try.  I really do...  I just...  I can't keep going forward.  Sometimes I just need to stop and be stuck and work through whatever is stopping me up.  WHY can't I just FEEL better!?  I just want to feel better and BE better and just BE.  I go through the motions and I just can't help but feel that everything I do is BULL SHIT.  I cannot continue, but I can't stand still.  God help me, I am trying so hard to do His will.  I just feel like the wheels have fallen off and I only have ONE spare.  I'm naked, raw, hurting, and I don't know how I'm ever going to get better.  I don't think I am ever going to get better.  Oh my HELL, this pain.. you just don't even know.  I can't breathe, I can't cry, I can't scream.  I can't even move.  I am just dying inside and nothing and no one can help me.  I finally understand why people cut.  I'd be lying if I said I didn't consider it.  Often.  I'm a zombie.  I'm dead inside and occasionally something or someone will try to revive me.  But it is too late for me.  I'm already gone.  I walk as a shell of a woman... well, a big shell... but a shell nevertheless.  I'm permanently damaged.  Broken.  And I can't be returned or fixed so no one wants me.  I don't even want me.  I don't know why this shit is all coming out right now.  But I'm SO SO SO fucked up.  OMG, it hurts so FUCKING bad.  I can't even describe it.  WHY do I have to deal with this?

Because I feel like SHE is still a presence.  And I hate her.  And every time I think of her, I pray for her.  But I think part of the problem is that I pray that she will have everything I want for myself, and the reality is I want my husband.  So how do I pray that she have everything I want.  Because I'm not willing to let him go.  I don't know... maybe if I just let him go, this wouldn't hurt so much.  I just don't know how to do what I feel in my heart was the answer for me.  Because I hurt so bad while I try to heal.  It's like every week or so, someone comes and yanks the big scab off, and I bleed and bleed and bleed and bleed.  And every time it gets opened up, the wound gets deeper.  And it takes more packing.  And a bigger scab.  And longer to heal.  Help me, Lord.  Please come and heal me.  Take this pain from me, I don't want it.  I'm grateful I have a savior who has suffered all earthly pains for me.  Please help me to remove my anger for the people who have hurt me.  Please help me to not judge whatever is wrong in their lives, because just as they don't see my pain, I don't see theirs.  Right now, right this moment, thank You for the peace You have given me.


What can I do?  When
I don't want to die, but I
don't want to live, too?