So, eight years ago this past Sunday, December 18th, Don Shepherd got down on one knee on a freezing cold night, in front of hundreds of cheering tourists, underneath the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, and said, among many other things: "Kelley, in the middle of the best city in the world and with all these people watching, at the biggest tree in the world and because you love Christmas so much, will you be my best friend forever and ever and marry me and be my wife? Please?" I screamed yes as the tears froze to my face, and he slid the engagement ring on my finger, right over my mittens. Then we called our family and friends from the city, told them everything, and sat in a nearby cafe drinking hot chocolate with marshmallows and looking across the table into the eyes of our future. But that future never came. Death took it away.Read more
My husband's sudden and unexpected death happened on a Wednesday.
July 13, 2011.
We had gone to sleep the night before, and I still don't recall saying goodnight.
Or saying anything.
We simply fell asleep, in the exhaustion of having two jobs and being busy and life.
A few hours later, he had left for his volenteer job at the local Petsmart,
helping out with cat adoptions, and then stocking pet food.
But he never got around to any of that.
His manager found him collapsed on the cold, hard floor instead,
about 90 minutes after arriving to work.
(Just a side note; I don't actually know for a fact that the floor was cold, but for some reason, whenever I describe it to anyone or write about it, I always describe it as a cold floor. I just picture it and see it as being cold. These are the kinds of things, big and small, that trauma puts into our heads.)
Since it has been a crazy, busy week for me, and since I have been missing my husband in a way that is so intense lately I almost cannot handle it, I thought I would go back through my personal blog and find one of the few "visit" type dreams I have had about Don since he died, and share it with you here. I haven't had a dream like this one in awhile now, and so whenever I start missing him like mad, like right now, I go back and read this. I had this dream maybe 2 months after he died, in the fall of 2011. Here it is:Read more
I made the mistake of going through mine and Seth’s old emails.
He was in school full time. I worked a desk job. So we both sat in front of a computer all day.. and emailed each other during slow times.
I have a million emails between us.
Which can be a good thing and a bad thing.
I came a crossed an email that reminded me of right before my husband died. It also reminded me of times I had forgotten.Read more
We are settling into our new home here in West Virginia. It's a strange experience to live your entire life in one region and then move somewhere completely different in your thirties....but, I feel called here, and our family is loving it so far. And I've got lots to keep me busy!Read more
Today is the eighth anniversary of my Phil's death. Taryn has graciously shared her blog day with me, so that I can post the annual letter I write to Phil on this day. Thank you, my friend.Read more
“Somehow she knew that you didn’t get many moments like this in your life: moments when you knew, without any doubt, that you were alive, when you felt the air in your lungs and the wet grass beneath your feet and the cotton on your skin; moments when you were completely in the present, when neither the past nor the future mattered. She tried to slow her breathing, hoping somehow to make this moment last forever.”
It’s been a long time since I cried for three straight hours. I forgot how many rolls of toilet paper I can go through per hour. (Yes, I use toilet paper instead of Kleenex. TP is more efficient, less messy and much cheaper. When you are clocking nose blows at between 2 to 3 RPH – rolls per hour - cost matters.) I also forgot how bad the headaches can be.Read more
It's always been a hard reality for me to swallow that I never got a full decade with Jeremy. Something about that round number made me feel even more like I got robbed.
I started dating Jeremy shortly after I turned 20. He died when I was 28 - I never got to celebrate turning 20 or 30 with him. Just inside a decade.