Each night I stare at the sky
the thousands of twinkling stars
and I imagine you there
dancing among the Moonbeams.

And the tears flow like rain
as I think of the time we were together
I am broken now, lost without you
But I know, the thing that will always connect us
are our Heartstrings

Monday, January 30, 2012

Life in the dark

It has be en a while since I was here. I would like to blame it on my laptop that died, or the disruption in our Internet service, but the truth is, the darkness kept me away.

I keep thinking things will be easier, that I won't hurt so much, or miss Jessika so much. It's not. Life is still hard and the pain is still there.

I think this causes some, if not all of the darkness. Some days it envelopes me, it is so dark and heavy I can't breath. I can't leave the house, I don't want to be around people (with the exception of close friends and some family). I am afraid I am becoming agoraphobic. If the pain would leave, maybe the darkness would also.

I am trying to learn to live without Jessika, I am trying to learn to live with the constant heart ache. I am not there yet.

Jon, Jessika's husband, has begun dating. The kids know and have met her. This hurts so much. Jessika has only been gone 4 months. He packed up her stuff last week with the help of some of his friends. I was not included, strangers were handling Jessika's things, her close, her lingerie. All stabs to my heart. How are the little ones going to feel if it doesn't work out with this girl? I know how I felt when I was young and my mom had dates over, we got attached, then when they were gone we wondered what was wrong with us. I don't want the kids to go through that. But I have no say.

It kills me that another woman will be caring for them, staying in the house that Jessika and I decorated, a house that screams of Jessika. I asked him not to introduce her to the kids unless he was sure she was the one. He said he wouldn't, he lied.

I have a feeling that his girlfriend time is going to interfere with my time with the kids. Will have to wait and see on that one.

In the meantime, I will continue to fight my way out of the darkness. When I have the kids here, the light comes through and I have hope. Then they leave and the darkness comes back.

I have to wonder if this is how life will be from now on.

Monday, January 16, 2012

I Have Been Tagged!

Well, it seems I have been tagged! Ms. Natalie over at http://bridgetsdaughter5.blogspot.com tagged me. I will follow the rules, post my random things, answer the questions . . . then watch out, I will be off to tag 11 of you!


The rules are:
1. Post the rules.
2. You must post 11 random things about yourself.
3. Answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post.
4. Create 11 new questions for the people you tag to answer.
5. Go to their blog and tell them that you tagged them.
6. No stuff in the tagging section about "you are tagged if you are reading this. You have to legitimately have to tag 11 people.



My random things:
1.) I love to read. I have spent a fortune buying books. Luckily now I am a Vine Reviewer for Amazon.com so I get a lot of books free.

2.) I love gadgets. You know weird little things for the kitchen or house? Everyone makes fun of all my junk - but they love to borrow it! Most recent additions: cotton candy machine, Babycakes cupcake maker, Whoopie pie maker, wine glass charms, ice crusher, new lemon zester, and the list goes on and on.

3.) My husband and I met when he rescued me from a dangerous situation. It was love at first sight even though it took another year before we started dating.

4.) I love genealogy. Have one line of my family back to Revolutionary War, and line of Bill's family back to a grandfather who fought for Napoleon.

5.) If I am going to drink a soft drink, it will be either Coke or Sprite, and it has to be in a glass glass (I hate plastic).

6.) I love camping. Tent camping. Of course with all my gadgets it really isn't roughing it. Friends laughed when I took my propane toaster oven, but they loved the biscuits from it.

7.) I think I am addicted to some of the games on Face Book.

8.) I lived in Jackson, Mississippi in 1973/74. It changed my life. Busing had just begun at the school I attended and I got a lesson in Civil Rights in real life. I loved it.

9.) I still consider myself a Southerner and love all things southern: grits, sweet tea, gator tail, grape jelly on my biscuit with sausage, etc.

10.) When we visited Charleston, SC for some reason it felt like I was Home. Makes me wonder

11.) I love the ocean. Everything about it. I love swimming with wild dolphins. Snorkeling for shells. Deep sea fishing. Our last family vacation (with Jessika, Jon and the kids) we went on a full day fishing trip out of Destin. It was perfect.

OK, now for the questions . . .

1.) What is your favorite book? The last one I read! I don't have a favorite book, I have a lot of favorites. I loved Agnes and the Hitman by Jennifer Crusie, I love all of her books, but that one was laugh out loud funny. I also love Dorthea Benton Frank, all of her books are fantastic (and most take place in the south which is a bonus for me)

2.) Of all your hopes/dreams for yourself, which scares you the most? Fear of failure or fear you won't ever do anything but dream? They both scare me! I want to get my BSN (bachelor in Nursing), I had just started picking up a couple of classes I needed to apply to a program when Jessika got sick. I want to get started again, but I am not sure I would be able to concentrate enough yet. So fear of failure is a definite problem there. I have a lot of dreams, but as time goes by I realize some of them are not going to be attainable.

3) What brings you joy? Hmm, Joy is something I seem to have lost. Spending time with my grand kids is probably what gives me the most joy at this time. Spending time with Bill and good friends and just talking over a bottle, or two, of good wine is also very nice.

4) If money wasn't an issue what one thing would you buy for yourself, no houses, something personal.  Well, I do need a bigger house! I could stand a new car also. But if money was no issue, I would take all my grand kids and their dads, and their families for a 2 week vacation somewhere, maybe Disney, or maybe a tropical island.

5) What do you do when life stresses you out? I escape to the web, or into a good book, or if possible, take off for a couple of days with Bill. We love to go to Memphis (Beale Street) and Tunica, MS. It is a cheap mini vacation, only 5 hours from us and it is hard to be stressed if you're listening to the blues!

6) How do you celebrate when good things happen? Usually with a dinner with friends or family. Bill loves to use his smoker so we are often looking for something to celebrate so he can use the smoker.

7) What do you do in your alone time? Surf the web. Indulge in a bubble bath while reading. In the summer I love to lay in the pool and let my thoughts go where they may.

8) What do you do to honor yourself? Rituals, buy yourself something? I am not sure how to answer this, maybe I don't do it. I don't buy much for myself. It is so much more fun to buy for the kids, or Bill, or friends. I love it when I stumble upon the perfect gift for someone. I guess I would say I honor myself by doing those activities I listed in my alone time.

9)What are you doing right now to make your dreams come true? How are you working towards those goals? For the time being, my dreams are on hold. I am still mourning, healing and trying to learn to go forward without my precious daughter in my life. Once I get back on track I want to get my BSN and then maybe my masters, and become a counselor. I think with everything I have been through in my life I would be able to help others.

10) How do you give back to humanity? What actions do you do regularly? If you don't what could you do? Well, I don't do anything formally. I worked in Special Ed for many years, I loved being able to give the kids experiences they wouldn't otherwise have. Several years we would bring a class out to the farm for a tour. One year we let them plant things in the garden, one year we tie dyed t-shirts, Bill would usually grill hamburgers and hot dogs for the class. We had so much fun doing this. After Katrina, I made contact with a nurse in Lafayette and collected and shipped around 30 boxes of supplies of all kinds to her to distribute. A girl I know lost everything in a house fire, so Bill and I bought necessities for them, as well as Christmas for her kids. We try to give what we can to whomever we can help. It is more fun to do it anonymously though.

11) What do you do that's green? Recycle? Drive a small car? Oops, I am not real green. We do recycle some, and try to buy in bulk packaging to cut down on paper/plastic waste, we don't make unnecessary trips to town. All of our appliances are energy efficient, as are our light bulbs. My car is older but it still gets 24 mpg in town and 28 on the highway, Rase will get it soon and I will stick with my old Durango as long as it runs. We won't buy a new vehicle, and we won't buy anything we can't pay cash for.

That was tough! Now here are my questions for those of you I am about to tag. Remember to read, follow and post the rules above.

1. Who is your secret crush or free pass and why?
2. What is your guilty pleasure?
3. Do you have a special charity or cause? How do you serve it?
4. If time or money was no object, what dream would you fulfill?
5. Best vacation or holiday memory?
6. Do you have any odd or unusual hobbies? Any "normal" ones?
7. Paper or Plastic?
8. Your dream job would be?
9. Do you have any tattoos? If so, what and where?
10. Are there any TV shows you never miss?
11. Favorite movie of all time?

There you go, I look forward to your answers. Now off to tag . . . .

Bittersweet

The house is quiet again. All of my babies have gone to their respective homes. I probably shouldn't call them babies, Rase is six months away from getting his license and my car. The weekend, a long one at that, was very nice with a few bittersweet moments.

Friday Rylan was looking at the pictures on the wall. He zeroed in on their family picture and stared at Jessika. Then he turned to look at me, those big blue eyes and in a little voice, barely above a whisper, said "I miss my mommy". Well my faucets turned on, I buried my face in his shoulder and choked out that I missed her too. The room got pretty quiet and I noticed the other kids had heads turned, hidden or wet cheeks. We sat that way for a few minutes, then he asked why he wasn't in the picture. I explained he was in his mommies tummy when that picture was taken. He thought a second, then said "That's right, I was in Mommy's tummy and Ava threw me a rope and I pulled myself out". Laughing, I told him I didn't know that. The levity helped a lot.

Bill and the older boys cooked tacos for supper for us Friday. A nice surprise, and we think it is time to start teaching some of these skills to them.

Saturday, Ryder had a friend out to ride 4-wheelers. She is his best friend, but not his "girl friend". Ava was all over her, and asked a million questions. It was obvious she is in need of female attention. Several times she wanted me to lay down with her so we could talk, I did and we covered everything, most of it concerning her mom's likes and dislikes. I love those talks.

Saturday night I had a little accident. Ava wanted to sleep by me, so I let her put her sleeping bag on the floor by my bed. She went to bed and a little while later I headed there also. However, she had moved to right inside the doorway and I didn't see her until I started to stop. You can not change direction easily mid stride and I went down, hard, I saw stars. I missed Ava Beth but landed on my right arm and side. I am black and blue. Can't straighten my right arm yet due to the swelling around my elbow, and my right leg won't bend, again due to the swelling. With the fibro, as my fellow suffers know, something like this triggers a full body attack, so I am in misery.

Sunday we broke out the cotton candy machine for the first time. I got it for all the kids to keep here. Jessika had one when she was young and it was always fun to make it when she had friends over. So I told the kids stories about when their Momma made cotton candy while we made it. We also watched the movie Labyrinth, this was a favorite of Jessika's and is now a favorite of the kids. I promised we would watch it again when they came back.

The boys helped Bill clean the concrete pad our garage is going on today, then cleaned up all the down sticks and limbs in the yard. I kept the little ones amused. The plan was for Ava Beth and I to make whoopie pies today, but I am much to sore for that, so we will do it next time.

Ava was upset she had to leave tonight. She wants to live with me, for at least 50 years! I wish my health, wallet and house size would allow that (probably not for 50 years though). For now, I will settle for my every other weekend visits. I suspect it will be much more than that this summer, at least I hope so.

Blessings

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Snow Daze

The brightness woke me this morning. Not the sun, the snow. Not a lot, just a dusting and flurries, makes the world seem so calm and pretty. I wrapped my robe a little tighter around me and took my coffee to the window to watch the flakes floating down.

A giggle, then there was a 3 year old towhead building a snowman with her 10 year old uncle. All the while dodging snowballs from her dad.

Laughter brought me to a 7 year old and four of her friends building a snow fort where the snow blades had piled up the snow in the yard. So much laughter and rosy cheeks, not a care in the world, except dodging snow balls.

Shouting, oh, a car hood loaded with kids and pulled by a pick-up down our private lane goes down the road. They will be in for hot cocoa and cinnamon toast to warm up soon.

Then there is a beautiful woman, bundling up her own little towheads for the snow. With Mom they pile on the sled made by their Papa and pulled behind 4-wheelers across the open field. They will have fresh sugar cookies to go with their cocoa.

A dog barking brings me back. Through a haze of tears and heartache I let them out.

So many memories to cherish. I long for the day they bring me nothing but smiles instead of tears and pain.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Time for Me

Today I have been blog hopping (what else is there to do when you are supposed to take it easy?). I was reading Aine's post over at http://deepestwell.blogspot.com/  she spoke of finding time for oneself. She told of things she has done to make time. This got me to thinking. Do I find time for myself? Am I doing what I want?

The answer would have to be no. Right now I am down, so I can't do anything for anyone. I want too. The biggest goal I am setting for myself this year, and I will do it come hell or high water, is to make memory books of Jessika for the kids and other family members that she was especially close too. I have to do this. It will be painful at first, dredging up the old memories, good times, and bad times. I hope to heal my heart, as much as possible by doing this. So even though it would appear I am doing it for others, I am actually doing it for myself. The bonus will be giving the finished book to loved ones.

I used to quilt. When the grand babies came along all of that had to be stashed away. I don't even know if I remember how to quilt now. I have asked Jessika's husband for her tee-shirts. I would like to incorporate them into quilts, along with squares containing photos of Jess for the kids, Bill and Jon. I think this is a long term goal. As of now, Jon has not been able to go through any of Jess's things, nor will he let anyone else. That is ok. He needs to grieve in his own way. I believe someday I will get them. But my priority is the memory book.

Which leads to my first goal. Find out what went wrong with my laptop and fix it. Or try to salvage what was on the hard drive. I had bought and downloaded a LOT of graphics to use in the memory books but had not yet transferred them to a thumb drive. I need those graphics and photos. So, tomorrow I will look into that. I can't do everything I want on the Fire or Touchpad, and Bill is usually on his laptop when I would want to be. So, first goal, fix laptop. Second goal scan pics. Third goal start putting them into order to make the books. I want to include antidotes, traditions, recipes, all things Jessika loved or did that was funny (and it will be hard to limit those). Her friends are looking for pics of her to get to me, they have also been posting memories they have of Jessika on a face book page I made for her. These will all be included in the memory book.

I need to be doing something productive, instead of just laying around waiting to heal - boring. I am going to do something for me. I haven't done that for a long time.

What would you do with time you have made just for yourself?

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Having a rough day. Not sure why. Maybe pain, maybe pain meds. With all the sunshine and hints of spring I should be happy, or at least at peace.

Instead I have been weepy all day and my hearts so. The sun reminds me of all the days Jessika and I would take tea on the front porch and gossip, catch up or just sip tea. As the temperature became warmer the hummingbirds would arrive and my feeders would be hung. Jessika loved watching them flit around. As summer wore on they would become accustomed to us and would come in close for a look. Jessika was not fond of the barn swallows though- We always have a pair with a nest on the outside corner of the porch. Once their babies had hatched the swallows would swoop if we got to close and they always swoop whoever is sitting in the porch swing which was Jessika's favorite place to sit.

So once again I am overwhelmed with memories but I'm not strong enough to handle them. I don't know if I will ever be strong enough. I love looking at her pictures, stroking face on the paper or screen. But the pictures are blurry through the tears and I wonder if I will ever be able to clearly see them again.

How does one recover from a broken heart, how does one move on when part of their heart is gone? If anyone knows please share'

Monday, January 9, 2012

Ramblings . . . .

It's 4:00 AM and here I sit, wide awake, not even a yawn. Giz is sleeping at my feet, Pete is snoring away beside the bed, and so is Bill. Think I will just go to the living room.

I am having problems with my emotions. If I have fun or don't think of Jess for a couple of hours, I feel overwhelming guilt. I lost my daughter, why am I having fun? I have not been in public here in town except for one trip to the store. I usually make a list and Bill goes. Guys don't usually stop each other in the store to visit I guess like women do. When I do think about Jess, then I feel the loss, and the pain gets bad and the tears flow. I just can't balance my feelings yet.

Her and Rylan's birthday is approaching, March 3rd. I can't skip the day, that isn't fair to Rylan and these kids have lost so much already, I feel I have to do something for him. Maybe I won't fix the big family dinner like I used to, maybe I will just do cake and ice cream in the afternoon for him, the kids, Jon and Bill's folks. Rylan has requested pirate cupcakes. Not sure how I'm gonna do that, but I will figure something out. I just don't want to sit and cry all day because I miss her.

We now have it arranged that we will have all the kids every other weekend starting the approaching Friday. It will be a houseful as I have a really really small house. But we will get by. Rylan wants tuptakes next weekend. Ava wants to practise for the tea party she is having with 3 friends in February (not sure how we will be practising that). The boys have various activities throughout the weekend, so we will be doing some running, I say we but it will be Bill.

I am just hoping my back is better by then. It is really hurting now. I may have overdone earlier. Not sure how long it takes a herniated disk to heal.

Jon and all the kids were here for supper. It was a very pleasant evening, but I missed Jessika. I made Austrian Goulash (I think of it as beef stew with bay leaves), it is a recipe that Bill's grandpa taught his mother, and she me. He, grandpa, came over from Austria as a young man, a teenager I believe. It is a favorite of Bill's. Also drug out the bread machine and made a loaf of bread. Dessert was cake from Wallyworld. So everyone ate good, the amount Rase eats never fails to amaze me.

Well as usual the mutts need out, so I will go for now.

Blessings

Saturday, January 7, 2012

My Blue Christmas

This was my teeny tiny Blue Christmas tree
No angel on top
will never put one on there again

The extent of my Christmas Decor

Cupcakes, Cookies, Coupons and Kindle Fire

So insomnia AGAIN, which is totally amazing considering the amount/type of meds I am on. I should be knocked out cold!

Tuesday morning I woke up (ok it was really about noon) when I went to set up, excruciating pain went across my lower back. So as I am moaning and groaning (and really had to pee) I managed to get over to the side of the bed. Bill heard me so he came in to see what was up, and he helped me up and to the bathroom then right back to bed. I was guessing a pulled muscle and we agreed I should just rest. I did. It hurt to sit up for more than a few minutes, so bed was it. I had just started on some strong antibiotics for a sinus infection (that I have had for 3 months and has not responded to anything yet), and it kept be creeping to the bathroom a lot. This morning I couldn't take the pain any longer, not even Vicoden (left from when I broke my ribs last spring) would touch it. So I broke down and called my orthopedic dr. I got in but it was a 30 minute ride to hell to see him. So after poking, prodding, tests and x-rays. I have spinal stenosis and a herniated disk between L4 and S1. So now in addition to my regular meds, the abx which I swear is the biggest pill I have ever seen, I now have a steroid (oral), Vicoden and a kick ass muscle relaxant. I feel very little pain, I am dopey as all get out (probably shouldn't be trying to post as I keep messing up) but still awake. Aaaaaaarrrrggggghhhhh

So  my latest passion is cupcakes (also called muffins or tuptakes by the little one), did I mention I made 6 dozen of them for Thanksgiving and came home with none? All from scratch, and the best chocolate one was a recipe I made up (using amounts from other recipes), scratch icing and then used a pastry bag with tip to decorate. They looked awesome and it was my first try at from scratch baking and icing! I was really proud of myself. So now I am in cupcake mode. Thought I would scan through some blogs and see if I could find any about cupcakes. I did. I also found some for cookies, which led to desserts, which led to tea, which finally led to couponing. (Remember I have been awake for a while and in bed, and TV sucks.) So some of the really cool ones (at least to me) I added their button so I could find them again or if interested you could find them. So, that is my cupcakes, cookies and coupons.

The Kindle. I got Bill an HP Touchpad for Christmas, but gave it to him at Thanksgiving so he could start getting used to it. Then my laptop totally died and I haven't had a chance to do anything about it. I started using his touchpad, he had a working laptop so it was only right he share (that and he didn't have a choice unless he wanted to hear me bitch cause I couldn't go online). The touchpad is a nice size, easy to set up and use. I got him a wireless keyboard for it but it is still in the box. So he decided to get me a Kindle Fire, I was really excited waiting on it. When it finally got here I tore open the box and and, was more that a little disappointed. It was small. About half the size of the tablet. Which for me means a small screen to type on, read from, surf the net from. But I decided to give it a chance. The battery holds a charge forever (ok not endless, but I used it for a couple of days before I needed to charge it, the touchpad I had to charge every night, but I was on it a LOT. The touchpad is too big for my purse, but the Fire is small enough it travels in the purse just fine. But what really hooked me on the Fire was its speed, it was much faster than the touchpad, even faster than Bill's laptop, and I am pretty sure it is faster than mine (well than mine was, cause it sure ain't fast now). There are games you can download for both, but because it has the "pinch screen" I can't play my FB games on either one. So, I think I will stick with the Kindle.

Think I will try to sleep now,  maybe I'll dream of "tuptakes".

Blessings

Friday, January 6, 2012

So Blond

Jessika was so blond, and not just in hair color. Here is a typical Jess story:

When she was in high school we had a terrible raccoon problem. Bill was talking about it to a friend, we were all in the kitchen and listening.

The friend stated it was time for Smith & Wesson.

To which Jess replied “What good will cooking oil do?”

 After we quit laughing I said “Jess your roots are showing”

She said “but Mom, I’m a natural blond” Nuff said

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Jessika's Imagination


As many of you know, Jessika was the only baby I could carry, as such we spoiled her rotten! She was a very good baby, slept from the first night on. She was terribly shy, as a toddler she would hide behind her Dad or myself when someone tried to talk to her.

She had an active imagination. When she was around 3 is when we really saw it. She had 2 invisible worms, she named them Takee and Oufot (...no clue where those names came from) she carried them around in her pockets. One time her friend Randi came out, she couldn't see the worms and thought Jess was crazy. So, she smashed the invisible worms in Jess's hands. Jess was hysterical, the only way I could calm her down was to do CPR on them. Ever try to do a realistic looking CPR on invisible worms? But, I saved them.

She went fishing one day with her Dad, they went down to Stanford's pond. Bill couldn't figure out what was happening to all his bait, he knew he dug up more worms than that. We found out after they came home and Jess started pulling REAL worms from her pockets. She wanted to keep them, so we had to explain that worms needed dirt and lots of it. Jess finally took them all out to the garden and turned them loose.

Also in that time frame she came running out of her room and slammed the door behind her and then barricaded the door with her tiny body, she told me I couldn't go in there because there was an elephant in there and he would crush me! I stayed out until she told me the coast was clear.

One day she was playing in the yard with our dog Raunchy (that's a whole nother story I will share later). She came running in the house screaming there is 17 pigs in the yard over and over again. She ran and jumped in my bed (where she tinkled in her pants) and Raunchy ran under the bed. She refused to come out, so I went outside so I could tell her the pigs were gone (what an imagination), but when I stepped out the door there were pigs in the yard, 17 to be exact. I called Bill who called the closest neighbor that had pigs and sure enough they were his and had gotten out, so he came and herded them home. Now, I didn't know she could count to 17, and heaven only knows why when she was that scared she stopped to count them!

That fall Jess came strolling in the house, she informed me that there were 3 antelopes in the yard. OK, do I believe her? I didn't know of any antelope sightings in the area, but I went and looked. There were 3, but it was deer, not antelope.

Life was never dull around Jessika. I wonder how different she would have been if she had siblings to play with instead of her imagination. At least now I know she is with those siblings, as well and with the two babies she lost.


Blessings

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Insomnia again

Once again sleep eludes me. The insomnia isn't as bad as in the past, but still bothersome. I was going anywhere from 36 to 50 hours without sleep. Not good. I finally saw the doctor. She started me on Elavil. It is an antidepressant, but also used for fibromyalgia and insomnia. Bingo, all 3 belong to me. It doesn't help me fall asleep, however once I do fall asleep I sleep hard for about 10 hours. I have also noticed less fibro pain and my husband says my mood is better. Maybe sleep will come soon.

When I closed my eyes all I could see was Jessika's limp, lifeless body. Her beautiful eyes were open but vacant. Part of me hates that I saw her like that, that this is the image of her my mind goes to. The other part of me is so grateful I could be with her. I held her as she took her first breaths into the world, I suppose it is only right I should be there as she took her last.

I don't want that image in my head any longer. I want to remember healthy happy Jessika. My beautiful child, she was so precious to me. She had her own demons, and sometimes that interfered with our relationship. But I challenge anyone to find a closer Mother and Daughter.

She often came home from school lacking her hat or scarf or quite ofter her gloves. When questioned she would admit she had given them to someone who didn't have any. She always championed the under dog, the person who was the most lonely. I was quite proud of her for this. Now I am seeing these same traits in her oldest son, it warms my broken heart.

I have been contacted by several people who have lost a child. It means so much to me to hear from them. My loss is a little different, but I can still relate to what they are saying. Many of them have other children, or don't have grandchildren whose visitations have dwindled to on occasion instead of several times a week.

I have not been able to locate a support group yet, if I don't find one soon, I may start one. I would like to do something in Jessika's memory, but haven't been able to concentrate long enough to get a game plan. If anyone has ideas, please share.

My 4 legged fur babies need out, my eyelids are getting heavy. Maybe now dreamless sleep will come.

Blessings

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Where Did The Time Go?

It was only a few weeks ago when we had Christmas with our grand kids. So when I saw Ryder last night I was shocked!

My sweet little Ryder, who turned 13 in November, turned into a young man in 2 weeks!!! I can't believe I was so distracted at brunch not to notice this, either I was or his hormones kicked into overdrive since then. Ryder called and asked if he could stay over last night. We were so excited. He walked in the door and yelled Hello, I wondered who had come in, I looked and my second grandchild was standing there with the voice of a man. Then when I hugged him I saw dark peach fuzz on that upper lip. Good grief, what happened to my mischievous little guy? The baby face is gone, in it's place is the beautiful face of a young man. Even his eyebrows look different. I still haven't fully adjusted to Rase being a teen, now I gotta get used to this one also!

I have to brag on all my grand kids. At Halloween the boys took jack-o-lanterns out to their Mom. They wanted her to have a tree at Christmas, so their dad took them out to her.



I think their caring, love and kindness speaks volumes about the type of Mother Jessika was.

I miss her so much, I know the kids do too. In a few months we will have to start looking for a stone for her. I am afraid that will bring on a fresh bout of pain for all of us.

Thank you for your kind words and support.  I will leave you with a "poem" that a friend found and sent me.

Dear Friend,

Please be patient with me; I need to grieve in my own way and in my own time.
Please don't take away my grief or try to fix my pain. The best thing you can do is listen to me and let me cry on your shoulder. Don't be afraid to cry with me. Your tears will tell me how much you care.

Please forgive me if I seem insensitive to your problems. I feel depleted and drained, like an empty vessel, with nothing left to give.

Please let me express my feelings and talk about my memories. Feel free to share your own stories of my loved one with me. I need to hear them.

Please understand why I must turn a deaf ear to criticism or tired clich├ęs. I can't handle another person telling me that time heals all wounds.

Please don't try to find the "right" words to say to me. There's nothing you can say to take away the hurt. What I need are hugs, not words.

Please don't push me to do things I'm not ready to do, or feel hurt if I seem withdrawn. This is a necessary part of my recovery.

Please don't stop calling me. You might think you're respecting my privacy, but to me it feels like abandonment. Please don't expect me to be the same as I was before. I've been through a traumatic experience and I'm a different person.

Please accept me for who I am today. Pray with me and for me. Should I falter in my own faith, let me lean on yours. In return for your loving support I promise that, after I've worked through my grief, I will be a more loving, caring, sensitive, and compassionate friend-because I have learned from the best.

Love,
Me

Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy New Year!!!

Well, we survived the holidays, but that is about it, survival. We went to Las Vegas to forget for a little while, but that didn't happen. I actually found myself in a cute little shop with a dress in my hand that I knew Jessika would love, then I remembered. I wonder how long it will be before I quit shopping for her. I confess, I still call her voicemail several times a week just to hear her voice. I miss it. I have missed it for a very long time. She was on the vent for so many months where we had to lip read, when they started weaning her from the vent, her very first words in a hoarse, gruff, gravely voice were "I love you Mom". I will never forget those words, even if the voice was not the one I remembered.

Bill heard a song on the radio, Material Girl by Madonna. Jessika won a lip sync contest with some of her friends to this song. He finally broke down, big time.

We can't escape the memories, but neither of us is strong enough to deal with them yet. I feel like part of me is gone, my heart hurts. Tears flow like rain in April around here.

We did have one very heartwarming event. Bill and I arrived at St Louis airport at 4:00 am on the 21st. We expected the airport to be fairly empty except for a few like us with early flights. We were wrong. It was a full blown party going on. There were soldiers everywhere, many headed home from boot camp but many many more home from Iraq and waiting on flights to take them to their families. There was one soldier at a piano playing Christmas carols, many soldiers and just plain ole folks like us singing along. Several groups were handing out cookies and coffee to everyone there. I was in my wheelchair (can not do long distance walking) and I have a tendency to way over pack (and we took our Christmas gifts to exchange), so as soon as they saw us a bunch of the guys came over and grabbed our luggage and took it to the counter for us, also since their flights were later in the morning they moved us up to the front of the line. They were wonderful and we really enjoyed our time with them. I have always been proud of all our troops, after all my brother was a Marine, but this was just icing on the cake. Where ever you all may be now, know you made a very sad couple happy for a while. It also reminded us we are not the only parents who will never have Christmas, or any holiday, with their child again.

We went out to dinner for Christmas Eve, to MIX. There was a special Chef's Tasting Menu for the holiday and we decided to try it. First course was a scallop mousse with broccoli gelee, it was OK, glad I tried it but wont order it again. Second was pressed chicken layered with foir gras, served with black truffles and artichoke salad, the truffles were delicious, the rest not bad. Third, a cabbage leaf stuffed with veggies and rolled, topped with a poached lobster tail out of the shell, mmmmmmm, too good. Fourth, (I was really worried about this one as it was served rare) roast venison and grilled veggies. The venison was perfect, the outside was caramelized so there was never a raw taste. If I could cook it like this I would make Bill start hunting again. Fifth, was a glass of fresh made eggnog. This tasted nothing at all like the crap in a carton. It was so light and fluffy and yummy. Sixth was a mini Yule log (One for each of us, but we shared and took the other back to the room) surrounded by merange mushroom and shaved chocolate. Then just when we thought we couldn't eat another bite, the Chef sent out freshly made Madeline's for everyone, served with a dark chocolate dipping sauce. We made it back to the room and crashed.

I had ordered a small (really small) Christmas tree from 1-800-Flowers, so we put it in the living room of the hotel room and put our gifts around it. We spent Christmas in the room with room service, opened our gifts and let the tears flow.

I am not sure why I did it, but I went to a high end salon on Monday, got my hair cut (love it) and got it colored very dark. I went from strawberry blond with gray highlights (snicker) to dark brown with red highlights. I think I like it, but wish it was lighter. At least it is different.

Hope your holiday was filled with love, laughter and light.
 
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