Friday, October 29, 2010

Am I selfish?

Wow, alot more changes this year. Remember when I said no more changes for a while. Hello? I guess you didn't listen to that request. I guess I shouldn't make any more requests like that, it just sets me up for failure.

The changes have been good for the most part but change is always hard for me. Even if it is good change. Dad has remarried. I am so glad he has found a companion to share the rest of his life with. He seems happy and she is great with a great family. The adjustments with the marriage will take some time to get used to. And that is what I don't like. I wish it was 5 years down the road where things have kind of settled in and there was some sort of normal again. But such is life and I will make the best of it.

I have been thinking lately about all the things in my life that are affected by you being gone. Going over to your house at night with my boys hoping you have made dinner so I don't have to, babysitting, you making me feel better when I just feel fat and prego, having your help for a week after baby arrives, calling me to ask how I'm doing....etc. This list could go one for EVER and I won't sit here and feel sorry for myself by making it longer. Life is hard and that is a lesson I have learned, especially in the last year. And life isn't just hard for me but for EVERYONE around me. But this list does make me I selfish for wanting those things and missing those things? Is that bad?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

1 year down...the rest of my life to go.

Wow, what a depressing but fitting title. 1 year ago today my world was flipped upside down. Painful memories are flooding through my mind as I sit here today trying to come to terms with the time that has passed. In some ways it feels like it has been 10 years since I have seen you and felt you and hugged you. In other ways it seems like just yesterday I saw Mike walk down that dreaded hallway at the hospital, too upset to look us in the eye and shaking his head. I couldn't believe that you left us so suddenly. Just days before I was pondering all the things I had to get done that day and yet all I wanted to do was go to your house and see you. I didn't know why I was wanting to get over there so bad, but I guess it makes sense now. I talked to you in your bedroom for a while. You had just gotten out of the shower and were wearing your gold robe putting on your makeup. This is a sight I had seen many many times before. You were so beatiful, even with your hair up in a towel and you wearing your gold robe with no make-up on. I don't remember what we talked about, how I wish I could. I want so badly to remember that last conversation we had.

Another common sight that I miss so much was walking in the front door of your house. I would turn the corner to see you in your tennis clothes and you had your hair up in a pony tail, reading glasses on, sitting at the computer paying bills. You would immediately put your glasses up on your head and smile at me then look past me to spot my boys. Most of the time they would come running in screamming "Grandma Dene, Grandma Dene" and then they would give you a big hug. I miss seeing that. I miss how common it was to come to your house and see you there. I miss how you were such an integrated part of my every day life.

These past few weeks have been difficult. Remember the last few memories we had together has been hard. And now a year ago today I was helping to plan your funeral. Trying to sleep at night and hoping I would wake up and you would still be here. At least the memories before this day were all good ones. Now they are terrible memories. Memories of being without you.

Jude is 2 1/2 months old now and already brought such a sweet spirit into our home. Thank you for sending him. He is perfect and beautiful and sometimes when he smiles I am absolutely sure he is smiling at you. Not having you here for the delivery was really tough but I am so glad I felt you that day. I am so glad you were able to be there and that I was able to feel you. It meant so much to me.

This morning Dad and I hiked up to the radar towers. I was a pathetic companion and kept thinking that if he was with you you would be leaving him in the dust not the other way around. Granted I just had a baby and have not been really good about excercising like I should...but still I felt embarassed. I had a great talk with Dad though and I am grateful for the time I was able to spend with him one on one and hear from him. He is dating now and I always knew he would and I expected it to be really devastating when that day came. But I am not devastated. I have never once questioned his love for you. And it is so good to see his spirit lifted. I am happy for him. And what makes it even easier for me is that I know you would be happy for him as well. I was telling him that. I can't imagine you not wanting him to be really happy. Everything you did while you were here was to make him happy. You were so unselfish and the point that it drove me a little nuts sometimes. You always put him first. And now you have an even greater eternal perspective. I am convinced that even if you and Dad were ever getting a divorce ( I know that's really hard to believe you ever would have gotten close to that) that you would have still wanted him to find someone that made him happy. I keep feeling your telling me that you want him to be happy and all of us as well.

I love you Mom. I am trying to live my life in a way that you could be proud of. I fall short....ALL the time. But I am trying. This last year has been the hardest year of my life but I made it. And it has made me realize that with the Lord's help I can do anything...even if I don't want to. I miss you. Not a day goes by that I don't wish you were here with us. But I am grateful for the time you did get to spend with us here. I am grateful that you are my Mom. If I would have known the outcome of our family...that you were going to leave us early, that we would feel more heartache than I physically and emotionally thought possible, I wouldn't change a thing. I still would have picked you as my Mom.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Changes, changes and more changes...

So many things have been happening lately and I don't know where to start, but I will say that change has never been my strong suit and lately that's all we've been doing.

A few weeks ago we went on our annual girls trip to Arizona. I know it may sound silly to others but I felt you so strongly while we were in our favorite Chinese restaurant...Flo's. Melissa felt you too. I know you would have been there in person if you could have been. I loved taking those trips with you mainly because I loved how you took care of me while we were there. I would transform from Wife and Mom to just a daughter for a few days. The level of activity was obviously no where near to what it was when you would go but with my being 8 months pregnant I guess I wouldn't have been able to do much anyway. It was so fun to be with Arlene and Coral and their girls but I must admit that seeing them together just made me miss you even more.

While in Arizona we took Maddy shopping for a prom dress and found one that was gorgeous on her. She was prom royalty this year and I couldn't believe how gorgeous she looked. I think she will resemble you the most out of any of your daughters. I am grateful for that and hopes she realizes what a blessing that is. I worry for her so much but at the same time I am so amazed by her strength at times.

Anna left on her mission one week ago today. Getting her ready to go was a lot of work but I must say that it is a good thing it was her and not Denis or Kenny leaving without you there. You know Anna, she can't stand to stand around and she is very ambitious and can also be very demanding. But that's what I love about her. She really has been such a rock for me these past months and letting her leave was seriously one of the hardest things since you died. But I know she will serve well and that this really is the best decision for her.

She did such a great job at her farewell on Sunday too. Dad and Maddy sang "No Ordinary Man" and then Anna invited Mykah up to sing your favorite song. Only Anna would feel brave enough to just do a second musical number without asking for permission. She is so funny.

Anna knew just what she wanted for the food at her farewell and everything had to be just right. She also didn't have a problem delegating all of the food out to friends and family. If you were here you would have been horrified. I remember me and Andrea talking almost exactly a year ago at Denis's farewell at how impressed we were that you could put something on for that many people and you just seemed to know exactly what to do. I turned to Andrea and told her..."I never want to have to do this" and she reassured me by saying "Don't worry your mom as another 15 years to show us how it's done" Well I guess we jinxed ourselves. But I was amazed how everyone pitched in to have such a great family and such amazing friends. You are loved by so many.

Mine and Anna's birthdays were the 2 days before she left. Of course we celebrated on her birthday. (Remember the one year you asked her if we could celebrate our birthday's on my birthday and she threw a fit and told you no?, she is so funny) We went to the Roof. Dad has really grown to rely on Anna a lot lately too and I know it was so hard for him to see her go on Wednesday. I missed you so much on my birthday. Birthdays since getting married and having kids have not been grand but you always knew how to make it special and I realized that you were the only reason it was special. Without you here it feels like nothing is special about it. I was glad that we had so much to do that day that I really didn't have time to dwell on it too much.

Today is mine and Cameron's 6th anniversary which means that it is yours and Dad's 33rd anniversary. My heart is just breaking for him today and I know it's going to be a rough one. I wish I knew what to do to ease his pain. I used to treasure the fact that we were married on the same day as you and Dad and now I think it will just be a painful reminder that I still have my spouse with me and Dad doesn't.

Cameron graduates from PT school on Friday. This is one of the major changes that will be happening in our family. Going from living on Student Loans to getting an actual paycheck will be nice but I feel like this is when real life begins. I know Cameron is so ambitious and will provide well for our family but I hope he finds a job that he loves and that will allow him to be out home with our family.

Speaking of our family we are about to add to it in just 4 weeks. Another major change, and one that I am very very nervous about. Especially nervous because you aren't here and you have been the only reason I made it through my last two babies. I so often feel like I am failing at being a good mom to my 2 boys and to add another one is not going to help that. My only consolation is that I know you know this little guy inside of me and I know that even though he won't remember you there will be a spirit to spirit connection that he will always have. You said you were sending me someone special and I can't wait to meet this special little guy.

Now that Anna is gone on her mission, Dema is back in a boarding school and Valek is no longer living at home all that are left are Mike and Andrea and his family and Maddy. Mike and Andrea will be leaving to Michigan in about 6 weeks and then talk about an empty house with just Dad and Maddy. I hope they both use it for a time to grow together but I am very scared about the lonliness setting in. We are close by and so are Melissa and Sam but it's been so healing to have everyone together and close for the last 9 months. The times that I feel the most at peace is when we are all together. I don't know what is going to happen now that that is all changing.

Anyway, I guess change is good and makes us grow but could you tell Heavenly Father that this much is all I can handle right now and ask him if he could put other changes on hold for a while? Wow I wished it worked that way.

I love you Mom and I miss you terribly. These last few weeks have been extremely difficult for me. I'm not sure why, maybe because of all the events going on, maybe because it's getting close to 1 year that you have been gone. Everyone says that after a year things start getting better but I don't want time to keep going by like this. It just means memories start fading and I would rather have the pain and the vivid memories then lose the pain and have distant memories. Please be with me.

Monday, April 19, 2010


Mom, do you miss us as much as we miss you?

Friday, March 26, 2010

Happy Birthday!

Last week was your Birthday. I meant to write this on your birthday but I underestimated how difficult it would be. Growing up, your birthday and mother's day were the 2 days each year that we tried to do everything for you. We would make breakfast for you, dinner for you, clean for you. I wish we would have done that more for you. When I got a little older I would be in charge of all of your gifts. I would get a call from Dad a few days before asking, "what am I getting your mother for her birthday?" I always gave Dad a hard time but honestly I loved doing it for you.

You would have been 55 today and I'm sure you wouldn't have looked a day over 35. Aging always scared you and was something you tried to avoid at all costs. I would never consider you a vain person, you rarely shopped outside of ROSS, and we all know you could have afforded too. But you bought all the anti aging products there were to buy. And you being the so naive and pure always believed they were working. Even if it was a liquid that tasted just like water that you sprayed 2 times into your mouth a day. I love you for that.

Your Birthday we celebrated quite differently than in the past. And honestly it was perfect in so many ways but it was also very emotionally draining. Anna received her endowments on your Birthday. I'm sure you were there along with Grandma. I'm so proud of Anna and the decisions she is making in her life. But the thought of her leaving on a mission is terrifying. She has really been such a help to all of us since you passed and I'm scared to have her gone.

As I watched Anna go through the temple I remembered my first experience in the temple. I was calm and relaxed because you were right beside me the whole time. I knew you knew what I was doing was true and right and that made the experience for me so much less confusing and scary. Not that I understood anything that first time but I knew that going often would fix that. And having my mom with me meant everything. Although we knew you were there we also knew you were missing. It was a harsh reality to have to face that this would be the first of many major events that you would not be a part of.

Arlene was Anna's escort through the temple and it felt right. Because you couldn't be there she is the closest thing to you that we have. Your bond crosses beyond the veil and we all feel that. We love Arlene so much and are grateful that we at least have her. Anna's going through the temple was her gift to you and having Arlene as her escort was your gift to her.

After the temple we all headed up to Park City for a family getaway. The last time with Anna before she leaves to New Hampshire. While up there Dad surprised us with gifts . Maddy opened hers first and pulled out the most beautiful quilt I had ever seen. And then we realized that the entire quilt had been made out of your clothing. I can not express the feeling I had at that moment realizing the service that had just been done for us. We have had so many people do so much for us the last few months and I have been overwhelmed by the kindness and generosity of others but as I realized that a similar quilt had been made for each of us kids the feeling was unlike one I have ever felt. On the back of each quilt is a quote from your journal about your feelings towards each of us. It is beautiful. It was truly a labor of love and just by looking at each of the quilts I knew how much time and energy was spent. It is still unreal to me that these women could be so selfless. My quilt is something I will treasure forever and I hope that I can live a life full of service to pay it forward.

I love you Mom and I hope you were with us on your Birthday as we remembered the amazing life you lived and the legacy you left. I miss you.

Monday, February 8, 2010

I have faith

Thus far every time I have written to you has been depressing. I guess that is the point of this though, just getting out all of my negative feelings here so I can be more positive in real life. But I do hope you know a couple of positive things....

(1) I have never been so sure that God has a plan for me and that as hard as it is not having you here, I have always felt like your death is part of that plan. I'm not sure why and I still don't feel like it's fair but I have felt you telling me that several times in the last 6 months and I want you to know that you have gotten through. I doesn't make things easier without you but for some reason it does make it more bearable.

(2) I have amazing friends and family that love me. I have been overwhelmed with the amount of love I have been shown by others during these last 6 months. And I'm always amazed at how in tune people are to my feelings.

(3) Dad is amazing. Obviously you know this but I can't get over his strength. He misses you terribly and it hurts me to know that every night he makes the dreaded walk to your bedroom alone. I think seeing Dad hurting is probably as hard to deal with as anything else. And yet every morning he wakes up and gets things done. He has never had a day where he sits around and feels sorry for himself. He continues to push on and forces all of us to follow behind him.

(4) There are some things I am glad you are not here for. I will not go into detail about these, but you know what they are and I am glad that you know the big picture now so you aren't able to be hurt by the things of the world. I always felt protective over you and hated it when someone, especially someone you loved, did something to hurt you. I am glad you cannot be hurt anymore. You deserve that.

It's been a while...

I haven't written in a while. Not that times and things have been easier, just crazier. I am feeling a lot of things right now but mostly sorry for all those around me that are having to deal with difficult things. I wonder if it has always been like this and I have been oblivious to the suffering of the world. Was I really this out of touch with the world? How was I so ignorant? I wish I would have been better about being more sympathetic to those around me. You were so good at that. It is hard to feel sorry for myself when I see how bad others have it, and yet I still do. I still miss you every second of every day. I still wish you were here.

Max had surgery last week and Brigham has surgery this week. The surgeries aren't difficult procedures and I shouldn't be so worried but it has still been hard on me. Cameron has to work and can't be at the hospital with me and I have to have someone watch one of the kids while I'm at the hospital with the other. I am so grateful for Cameron's mom for being so willing to do whatever I need but I am lacking that emotional support I know I would have gotten for you. I know you would have come and sat with me at the hospital, and I know you would have worried for my kids.

There is just no replacement for a mother's love. I've always known that you were irreplaceable but I think I am just beginning to understand the emotional support you offered me while you were still here. The other night I was really feeling sick. I went to bed that night and I was just so upset and I tried to figure out why I was so upset. I needed you. And not in the physical sense. It's not like every time I felt sick I called you to come over and take care of me. In fact I rarely did that. But I guess I always knew you were there and that night was just a painful reminder that you were not there.