Thursday, December 31, 2009

Good Bye 2009 & Thanks For It All

In a couple of hours, 2009 will be a thing of the past. And I can't be more glad.

This year has been so difficult. It's not about the deaths or other losses I have had, how my husband & I struggled, the things that have gone unsaid or unwritten, but about all of it together.

Yes, this year has been difficult.

While I have had difficult times - years - before, 2009 is different. I am different. Even though I have struggled this year, I have also changed & grown more than any year that I can remember. My struggling & changing have gone hand & hand. There is no doubt that one has effected the other. How could it not?

Amongst other things, I have grown in my faith as a Christian. I have grown as a person & there is no doubt, I am better for it. I cannot, & will not, look back on this year & (as much as I may want to) wish that it would or could be forgotten.

It is through the difficult times of this year that I have not only grown, but grown closer to God. My faith has been tested & stretched. I have questioned, begged & pleaded, & prayed more than I have ever in the past. Likewise, it has been years since my faith has been tested like this. And I must say, my relationship with God has never been more real. More personal. More connected than ever before.

Do I wish things were different? Do I wish I would have said or done things differently? Do I wish that I could go back & re-do things again, changing the outcome? Yes... and no. Yes, don't we all wish we could do that to some degree & no, if I could change things, have a re-do, things would not be how they are now.

There is a reason for it all. Everything both good & bad has a purpose. I would like to think that the difficulties I have faced, the struggling I have endured, have a reason - a good one - for occurring; that life as I know it will be different than ever before. Be different in the new year to come.

So, I say Good Bye to this year & give thanks for it. For without this year & everything I encountered within it, I would not be just where I am & who I am today.

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Happy 1st Birthday, Beautiful Blue Eyed Boy!

It's New Year's Eve, but more importantly to me, someone very special turns one today.

His name is Christian Soren. And the first time I laid eyes on him when he was only a day old, I fell in love. Can you tell?

His mom Stacey & I have been friends since high school. She was one of my best friends. In fact, she still is. There are times when I truly would be lost without her. I don't have any sisters, but I as far as I am concerned, she is part of my family.

Remember when I wrote this? Well, Stacey is one of those people who helped me fight against the darkness. I would not be who I am today, if she were not the friend she was back then.

Yes, there were others who helped too, but not like her. She was & is very different. One of her best assets is her ability to make others laugh, especially me. And back then, there wasn't much to smile about - much less laugh, but she always found a way. Not to mention, she has this uncanny no nonsense, tell-it-like-it-is attitude, & I love that about her.

It brings me nothing but joy to share in her happiness to be a mother.

Some people who don't have children, but want them badly (like me), don't care to be happy for others who have what they desire. I am not that way. I just can't be. How can I not be happy for her? She would be happy for me, if the situation were reverse. As for her being a mother, just like she is a friend, she is a fantastic mother.

In fact, she waited, wanted, desired & prayed to be a mother for more than seven years, probably longer. And then, when she & her husband, Kevin, least expected it, along came Christian. In fact, Christian is due to have a sibling in March of 2010! How exciting! If you would like to know more about Stacey & her wonderful family, you can do so on her blog.

Now, back to the Birthday Boy... He the bluest eyes I think that I have ever seen. And trust me, I've seen some eyes!
His gaze is as intense as his eyes. It's as if he can see right through you to your soul. His smile can warm the coldest of nights & make the darkest of days bright. His laugh is infectious.

Never in my life have I seen cheeks like these or a dimple like this:
They just beg to be kissed, don't you agree?

So, Happy Birthday, Little Blue Eyed Dimpled Darling. May you continue to grow, be healthy & happy while bringing joy & laughter into every one's life that you touch. You are very loved & will grow up passing that love on in ways yet unknown. I just know you are destined to do great things!

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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Ghost of Christmas Past

I can honestly say there was a point when I didn't know just how this Christmas was going to turn out or, just simply put, how on earth would I make it through after having such a tough year - having lost so much.

I made it through though.

How? Well, it was easy wasn't as difficult as I thought it would be. Sure, there were parts that were tough. A lot of tears shed, but that's not at all a bad thing, its all part of being human. And my thoughts were bombarded with thoughts of loved ones who were no longer here & the remnants of Christmas past.

Here's the thing about the past though: it's a great place to visit, but a horrible place to live.

So, I visit, & I am thankful - no matter how much bad stuff happens - for all the good stuff that has happened this year, choosing to focus on my blessings.

Reminding myself not what I have lost, but what I have & have gained this year. And that's made all the difference in the world.

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Friday, December 25, 2009

Letters For Christmas

Dear Mandy,

My mind is consumed with thoughts of you. What is Christmas like in Heaven? Limited with my earthly vision, I cannot imagine the glorious & beautiful the celebration is there. My grief is unbearable today. Tears flow freely down nonstop. It still feels like a nightmare that I long to wake from - still.

It's hard to believe that it has been 7 months & two days since you've left us, exactly down the minute of this post. I wish there is something I could do to make the emptiness I feel to subside. It has been years since I have felt pain this deep. Even though I know that you are healed, healthy & happy in heaven, it doesn't make me miss you any less.

Everything about this season is difficult, even the shopping. I see you in everything & can't help but remember where we went to shop for Christmas last December, the errands we would run, the cards you sent, the presents for Pee Wee & Jesse that you would insist on buying - not knowing it would be the last Christmas season you would spend here on earth with us.

I wish I had the words to say how deeply & intense my feelings are today, but words like that just do not exists.

All of My Love,
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Dear Momma Nancy,

Oh, how I miss you. My thoughts travel to your precious family & love ones left here. This season must be unbearable, especially for Heather, Daddy Don, & Corrinne. This grief for you is so new & fresh, I can't imagine how people are making it through.

It's funny how my grief is so deep bc it is impacted by each loss of this year, but all I can mange is to think of others who loved you & wondering how they are making it through this day, expecially since they also lost your mom 5 months before they lost you.

I am glad you are not in pain anymore. You fought so long & hard for so long. Now you are free of pain, but for those of us that are still down here on earth missing you as every second goes by, the pain still remains.

For someone who always seems to have words for everything, I can only think of one now...


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Thursday, December 24, 2009

On This Christmas Eve

It's after 9 at night & all the food is cooked. I'm doing my best to keep it all warm.

My dad & brother Lea & his family were due here over 2 hours ago. But life never goes as planned. Ever.

Lea's car, which is not really his car but my SIL's*, broke down on the way to get dad. Jake had to go get them all, which is quite a distance to travel. They are almost here, just minutes away.


In fact, I am just glad that I have a dad & family to spend Christmas with that I don't even care how late they are... they can be as late as they wish.

I'll still be waiting. Counting my blessings.
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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Waiting For Something Better

It has been forever since I have written. In reality, only 6 days, but if feels like forever.

Christmas is in 3 days & I'm not ready. The tree is up with lights, but it is not decorated. Saturday came & went & dumped 2 feet of snow upon us. It is a mess in Maryland.

Everything is in slow motion & I hate it. I am not being humbugish, but it is true that I just want this holiday to go away. I want nothing more then to wake up on the 26th & things to be done & over with.

I just don't have my heart into it this year. I miss Mandy, Momma Nancy, Lynne & Pete. Oh how I wish I had a child to throw my energy into right at the moment, but I don't. Not that a child would make it all better.

I'm a firm believer in children should not be born with a job, such as those who have children in an attempt to save a relationship*. However, I know me & the truth is that I know that if I were a mom at this very moment, I would focus on making Christmas enjoyable for my child.

*Let me make it clear that even though Jake & I are having our struggles at the moment, our marriage itself is not in jeopardy.

Truthfully, I want nothing more then to make this holiday about me connecting with my husband & us both connecting with the God who wants nothing but the best for us.

It seems that over time this holiday has lost its focus. Family dwindles away. It becomes about what you get instead of focusing on what you already have & the intrinsic things you can give or the gifts that cost nothing.

And another thing - while I love & am very grateful for the children that our a part of our lives - I get tired of being Aunt Shannon to OPC* sometimes & wonder when it's our turn to be parents.

* Other People's Children

The most frustrating thing at the moment is trusting. Truthfully, I will readily tell you that I have trust issues. I always have. And I must admit that even as strong as my faith is sometimes those trust issues carry over to trusting God.

Over time, He has showed me that His plan that happens on His time is far more superior than my plan. In fact, it is not only superior, but the result that often occurs when I submit to His plan is far more greater than I have ever could have imagined.

So, for now I wait. Trying to trust bc I know there is something better for me. There has to be.

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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Before Tomorrow Comes

Thank God for Facebook. Seriously. Can I get an Amen? {:)

Every once in a while something will happen to make my day, week, even my whole month & just have me beaming from ear-to-ear.

Last night, I reconnected with a friend of mine that I had lost touch with long ago. Nine years have gone by since I saw or heard from her - we both had just lost each other's info, as happens sometime - all too often in fact.

I had searched for her many times, but could never find her. Imagine my surprise & delight when I logged on & saw a friend request waiting from her. She had only signed up on FB the day before.

We spent hours talking on the phone until after 3 AM. I can't wait to see her (& her daughter, who was as a infant last time I held her & is now 9 - 9!) but I know that will have to wait since they live in another state.

Sometimes, I just stand in awe at how things take place. To come back again, after so much time has passed, after people change & life happens. It is so nice to reconnect with someone whom often was thought about & you just want to say "Hey, remember that little thing you did for me way back then? Well, thanks bc it meant so much!"

Just imagine how different life would be if everyone took time right now to say to everyone just what they mean in there life today, before tomorrow comes. Bc in the end, it's the family, friendship &, most importantly the love that matters & tomorrow is promised to no one.
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Saturday, December 12, 2009


Jake & I seem to be going through a rough patch - struggling more than usual. Right this moment it is tough for many reasons:

We are both sick & tired & sick of being tired (literally);

We are experiencing huge family changes, & we do not see eye to eye on them ;

They're doesn't seem to be enough of us to go around;

We don't have two nickles to rub together;

At a time when we should be reaching out, we are doing the opposite, so when we need others to rally around, it seems no one is there;

We have to struggle to find time for us - to do the things we want to do & reconnect with one another.

I will be the first to admit, I am not perfect. There are times when I am wrong. Lots of times. I don't always handle things the right way or say the right things.

I am but merely human. I have flaws - many of them.

Right now, the place we are at is not a good place to be - at all. And not a moment goes by that I absolutely hate it.

I love my husband - deeply. And I know he loves me.

We will make it through these struggles, I know we will; deep down I know that is the truth, but I just wish that the truth I know is what I believed.
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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Taking No Prisoners


Oh, how I hate being sick!

It's been something that I've been trying to prevent from happening for weeks now. I have failed & now I am paying for it.

I am not certain, but I must speculate that with me grieving my defenses were down, which made my body surrender to this cold.

And it is taking no prisoners & has never heard of mercy.

With this cold, with this grief, I am learning to take it one day at a time. Slowly learning to be still & listen. Bc for now, that's all that I can do... And that is enough for now.

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Thursday, December 3, 2009


There is nothing easy about this. Today, in a few short hours, I will go to Momma Nancy's viewings, which seems like nothing but a bad dream that I long to wake from. Even as I write these words, they sound foreign & unfamiliar, though I have been here a million times before.

This day has been coming, but I wasn't prepared for it. How does one prepare for something like this? I can say without a doubt, God has been good to me. Through out the my life, He has blessed me with the most beautiful, incredible people.

I am so thankful.

Even though my heart is hurting, I am comforted by the fact that I will see her again up in Heaven, & it's not so much a Goodbye, but a see you soon - that is the beauty of grace & God.

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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Slow Motion

I am numb. The world around me is in slow motion.

I hate this all to familiar feeling that always occurs after the death of someone I love. This too will go away, replaced with a myriad of other feelings & thoughts that accompany grief. Even though I don't particularly like slow motion, I am thankful for it.

It has not hit me that she is gone, but I know it will. Probably in an oridinary moment or several of them. Whenever it may be, I know that the raw intense emotion will expose me. And I don't even care.

I will continue on - trying not to isolate, pull away & withdraw. Writing when I can, as often as I see the need - returning to the theraputic outlet that has served me greatly in the past.

For now, I know the world around me continues on. My world slower than the rest & the numbness egulfing me, as I wait for reaility to hit - praying that when it does, it will be gentle.

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