It takes a long time.... to get from there .... to here.
It has taken me almost 4 years to get here.
Four years that have seemed like one day .... and forty years .... all at the same time.
Six years before Jim died he had an accident on his family's farm, at Thanksgiving. As an aside, it seems that the big events in his life, and therefore, in mine .... happened either on, or very close to, a holiday. He went out proving that .... one week before Christmas.
.... between a battle and a war.
But unfortunately, when you're in a war .... there are many, many battles to fight.
I am not sure what your beliefs are ..... I don't think our differing beliefs will matter as I write this. At least I hope they won't.
The past week has been a roller coaster.
Charlie was laid to rest and it was one of the hardest moments of my life. It was also during that time that I was moved by my friends’ kindness. I was lucky and blessed to have some of my dearest and best friends there...friends that weren't like the friends that were around when Michael died....these are friends that aren't going anywhere and laugh and cry and grieve without questions or answers.
***This was written 2 days ago***
Charlie is more than a dog.
Though my family had him since he was a puppy, in 2004 he came to live with me full-time. He became king.
Always having been an outside dog, he was thrown into a world where he didn't have to fight to get to the dog bowl and got to sleep among pillows and soft comforters. An escape artist, he'd flee and be back with the hour waiting on the front porch. The same porch he'd eagerly await my arrival after class each day. He was my best friend.
Nine months after Jeff died, my beloved grandfather joined him in the great fishing grounds in the sky. My grandmother was, understandably bereft. She asked me, "Does it ever begin to feel any better?" In that moment, I was struck by one thing. We were now not only linked by blood and family, but by the kinship of grieving our spouse.Read more
I remember using the words "not okay" with Grayson when he was little to teach him that something was wrong. I'm not sure why we used "not okay" instead of "bad" or "wrong" - but I'm sure it was in tune with the current kinder gentler way of teaching kids right from wrong. For whatever reason the phrase has stuck with me, and I've used it since then on many occasions.
Over the past five-ish years I've wanted so much to respond that I'm "not okay" when asked the "how ARE you" question....Most of the time I did the kinder thing and lied, "fine" was the rehearsed answer. These days the "how ARE you" question never happens. I really am fine, most of the time at least.
Halloween...I think as an adult you move past this particular celebration...until you have kids! Since Grayson was old enough to hold his trick or treat bag, Halloween has been one of the more fun holidays of the year. Grayson's costumes have become gradually more frightening as the years have passed. We've moved from pumpkin (4 months) to Wizard (16 months) to Darth Vader (4 years) to Harry Potter (7) to this year's Zombie costume.Read more
“He’s in our thoughts and prayers.”
“We are sending a blanket of love.”
Those are words I read today about a boy, who like Art is
battling his second round of cancer.Read more
My family began battling cancer in 2003 when my mother-in-law was diagnosed with colon cancer. Five years later my wife, who was pregnant with our third child, was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer. Despite a valiant fight, cancer claimed the life of mother-in-law on April 18th and of my wife on July 23rd. I am now raising three girls all under the age of ten. It's a constant battle between my feelings of misery about the devastating losses in my life, and the gratitude I feel for the gift of three amazing daughters who need me now more than ever. This is my challenge, and these are my thoughts.Read more