Monday, October 1, 2012

Happy Birthday ANGIE!



Not sure why this picture comes up so small, but it is one of my favorites of Melissa and Ang.  
On my kids birthdays, I like to tell the story of the day they were born.  Can't tell you the story of the day Ang was born, but I can tell you when she came into OUR lives...when Melissa got involved in sports in Middle School. And that friendship lasted through college (where they were roommates at OU) and up until her death....and Ang remains a close friend to us still (like a daughter)...and I can't tell you how much it means to us to have her in our lives.
Happy 35th Birthday Angie...we love you and can't wait to meet Bennett!

October is a month of very mixed emotions...I love that it begins with Angie's birthday~something positive.  

It is also the time of year that Melissa LOVED LOVED LOVED. I always DID too.  Now this beautiful weather, change of seasons was the beginning of the end for Melissa.  And John Patrick's birthday.  And Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  

I know that it might be hard to understand that after almost four years, we are still grieving and some days are just as difficult as it was 4 years ago.   I can be driving and all of a sudden, my thoughts just drift to "I can't believe she's not here."  Believe it or not, I still cry every day.  

I went to the Compassionate Friends meeting last week and a new "member" was there.  Her daughter was killed in a car accident 14 weeks ago.  My friend Carolyn leaned over and said "it's painful to watch her..."  because we remember when we were "there".  And going to the meetings you can see that you HAVE made progress.  And we help each other.  Better than any psychologist or psychiatrist
could...as least in my opinion.  I tried therapy, didn't have a good experience.  I have found that people who TRULY understand where you are coming from (have lost a child) are the ones who will help you get through each day.    Another "newer" member was there with her husband and one of her children. They lost a child at birth 8 months ago.  When she said "I never heard him cry"...and she started crying, I started crying.  At first, I couldn't understand why her story made me cry after hearing everyone else's (we go around the circle, introduce ourselves and if we want, tell about our child).
At the end of the meeting, we go around the circle and everyone says their child's name again. one of the charter members, Barb, whose 8 year old daughter died of encephalitis in 1985, asked why I 
never remember JP.  And it hit me then.  MELISSA had to feel the way this young mother did, who at  8 months out, was grieving the son that she only held for a few hours.  And never heard him cry.  
That was Melissa and John.  And I think about how I wouldn't talk about JP.  I was afraid I would upset her.  Now I wish I would have.  But I did tell her that we would NEVER forget JP.  We would always celebrate his birthday, which we have.  His NINTH birthday is coming up.  I will update more on JP then.

...and Breast Cancer Awareness month...not sure why, but when I walked into Kroger and it was all decked out in PINK, I got a little sick to my stomach.   Seeing lots of pictures of survivors is hard...not that I'm not happy that they are survivors, but WHY COULDN"T MY DAUGHTER be a survivor????  I still look at pictures and can't understand how someone so healthy could get cancer and die so quickly so young.   I will never understand.

The good thing, which Melissa always stressed... B POSITIVE...suck it up...and to remember that "there is always someone who would LOVE to be in your shoes...
the good thing is I get up every morning.  Believe me, there are mornings when I don't want to get up.
But I do.

And on Mondays and Tuesdays,  I actually work.  Taking care of kids is WORK.  But fun work.
I love Mondays and Tuesdays...always trying to find something fun to do with the kids...

                                   making cookies....
                         Playing football....
                          playing hide and go seek.....
                  Pumpkin Patch at Youngs Dairy....
                  riding calves....
                    or riding pumpkins...
                    feeding goats.....
         and finding the PERFECT pumpkin!
                                              Max with his perfect pumpkin...
                   Andrew with HIS perfect pumpkin.....
           and no rest for the weary...MORE football!


...Oh. And another thing.  Since I am now retired, I feel like I need to have "projects".  My project for the winter is to clean up the room in the basement (formerly known as the Notre Dame room)...now just a  room to put things that we don't know what to do with, or to hide when we have company.  I have given myself until March to complete this project.  Got half of the room somewhat organized the other day.  Problem is, I came across multiple things of Melissa's (sat and cried half of the day), and a box of things from my dad that my mom had saved.  Stuff from when I was in second grade (1963), mom's original S.S. card, dad's newborn footprint (which is on a piece of paper, with his mom's thumbprint next to it, and May 31, 1930 crossed out, replaced with June 1, 1930 and the handwritten statement "this baby was born at 12:06 a.m.)  We have always celebrated my dad's birthday May 31st. Same as Donny's.  We were wrong!  Also several cards that my mom saved from me and my (deceased) brother Steve.  And a letter my mom wrote to my dad after the death of my brother (April 26, 1975) and before my wedding (June 26, 1976).  Very sad. And letters from my dad to my mom; letters from former "boy"friends of my mom.  Scrapbook stuff.  So I didn't really accomplish much.  Sat and read and cried  most of the day.  But I did pull out about five boxes of stuff to take to Goodwill.  And didn't put a dent in it.  

Working on projects like this is bittersweet...while I LOVE finding things from Melissa (another card thanking me for always being there for her)...I want HER.  Also found the DVD our brother in law made of Melissa "through the years".  From when she was about five or six through the week before she passed away.  Including her toast to Nick and Meredith at their wedding.  I LOVE hearing her voice, her laugh...and love that I can share that with Andrew and Max too.

And another thing I love.  As I sit her update the blog, Andrew is sitting on the arm of the chair next to me, patiently waiting for me to read to him....and I realize he is breathing deeply...relaxed.  Sleeping.
There is NOTHING better for me right now.  

I think I'll join him....
(be back on JP's birthday, October 19).

Hug your kids today, and never forget to tell them you love them.  And don't sweat the small stuff...
pretty much everything you stress about is small stuff.  Trust me.  I know.

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