I was sitting here the other day looking at Melissa's license plate. "Survivor". She was a survivor for awhile...I'm still surviving.
Or working on it.
I still find it hard to believe that she's been gone over seven years. How do you survive a loss this great? It is a roller coaster for sure. The stages of grief...shock, denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance. They go in no particular order. I would say for me personally, the shock wore off after the first anniversary. I think the whole first year is denial. You can convince yourself that they are "out of town". Just gone for a while. Then reality hits. She was not coming back. I would never hear her voice again. She would never come bounding through the front door again, leaving all of her stuff by the front door. I would never hear that booming voice, her laughter.
Surviving is a daily routine. Get up. Get dressed. Smile. Think positive. Maybe get out. Talk to SOMEONE. Put something on the calendar to look forward to. Take medicine. Make a "to do" list. Put anything you've done that day on the list and check it off (see above).
I guess I was thinking about this (surviving) the other day because a couple of weeks ago two good friends lost their daughters...I want to be there and I want to help, but it brings everything back. But I want to help them.
The depression creeps in and I just want to curl into a ball under the covers. But I can't...because like Melissa, I'm a SURVIVOR. So I get up, get dressed. At least.
I am still here, miraculously. Really. That smile on my face is a mask...smiling on the outside, dying on the inside. Yes. Even after seven years.
But here I am...and thank God for basketball to get us through the winter. And early sunshine. And my grandsons. And Donny. And Nick. And Mere. And the friends who still come around. I do have a lot to be thankful for...
Surviving is directly related to keeping busy...which I work on daily.
I have pictures to prove it...
Went to Louisville for the Notre Dame/Louisville game. Stayed with Ross & Lindsay Kayser. These are their two precious daughters, Paisley & Chesney. And at the time another on the way - she arrived a week after we were there!
Stopped in to visit my good friend Mary - a friend from my freshman year at Carroll. They are big Cardinal fans - this is me and her husband Frank.
Me and Muffett McGraw. Head Coach of Notre Dame.
On the way to Notre Dame for the Pink Game. Andrew, Max & Kathryn's dad came with us. It was Valentine's Day - so I bought the kids books - Andrew finished his book that day in the car!
Big Notre Dame fans!!!
with Kathyrn after the game.
Drove home in snow - this is what we came home to. The kids loved it!
Make Thank You notes for Kathryn. Andrew free-handing the ND leprechaun!
The finished product!
Went to an italian restaurant after the game. Thought it would be a pizza place, but it was a little fancier than that...Max's first question "Why do I have two forks". A teachable moment.
Can't get enough of ND. Wish we could have taken them to the Grotto.
Max & PopPop
Grandpa (Kathryn's grandpa) walking the boys to the arena.
This beautiful owl flew over our heads when we were sitting in the hot tub. Couldn't tell what it was until I turned the porch light on - and he stayed on the wire!
Was going to share this at our Compassionate Friends meeting, but stayed home because of the weather. Melissa loved to write - this was for her creative writing class in high school. My favorite.
Went to see Andrew's Inventor presentation. He chose the inventor of the typewriter. I listened, but I don't remember who it was...
Proud of Andrew!
After all this - Donny lost his job. Worked hard getting resumes out for a month. Just got a job and started this week - a small company in Centerville. Hopefully it will work out.
If you haven't registered for the 5K - it's coming soon. Sunday April 17. Hope you can be there.