Well, baby, I survived another funeral I never thought I'd have to sit through. I wish so badly that you could have been next to me, holding my hand. Looking at all the pictures on the slideshow we made and through the funeral of our family, it struck me that there's not just one person missing - there are two. In just 9 short months, I've lost two members of my immediate family. What a huge hole is left in family pictures now. I felt the hole today as I said goodbye to Brian.

I watched the pallbearers carry the casket out of the church today, and noticed that the majority of them were family. My brother and my cousins - this is what made up a majority of Brian's closest circle. Family. This touched me today as I've drifted apart from my extended family. I've always loved my family, but we never went out of our way to spend time with them because let's face it: there's so many of them and when we all get together, there tends to be drama.

Today there was no drama. Just hugs, smiles, tears together, laughter, and love. Lots of love. I felt like a kid again with all my family at my parents house tonight. I walked in the house to see my aunt playing legos with Faith. I walked outside to my aunts, uncles, and cousins passing around Carter trying to get their turn to hold him for the first time. I taped my mom trying to help Caleb ride without training wheels for the first time. I joined half of my family - old and young alike - making pictures and a riding track out of sidewalk chalk on my parents drive. I listened to the loud and familiar sounds of the Valko women laughing and sharing stories. I passed the boys playing Euchre on the porch. It felt good. It felt right.

Somehow, over time, I've forgotten the value of my family. I grew up, moved out, surrounded myself with friends and you and I started our own family and I didn't feel like I needed them as much because I was independent. But I was reminded today, honoring Brian's life, how fragile life can be and how important family is. They healed my heart today.

I remember after spending time out in Brighton once, you telling me 'You really should make it a point to go out there more. You always have such a good time, I know how much you love being around your family.' Thank you for seeing that and being the kind of man to say so. 

I missed you today. If we could have a break from loss until it's my turn, that'd be great.
I love you with all my heart.



I have absolutely no idea why this struck me so hard, but sitting in the hospital with my brother, all I kept thinking was "Brian can't die and leave all of mom's grandchildren fatherless." The thought was so heavy and sickening. I shouldn't have shared it with my mom, cause I think it crushed her. But I can't believe that became reality.

Fatherless. That word ignites such emotion in me. It's hard enough to watch our children grow up without you. Now I have to watch my sweet nephew go through the same thing? It's too much. They all have good male examples in their lives, but they all lost incredible fathers. It's totally unfair. Today, while Caleb and Braiden spent time together it broke my heart to think that one of their bonds will be that they don't have their dads. It's weird. But they love each other so much, they're attached at the hip. I love the picture of them holding hands while they watched the fire trucks today, they are so sweet.

"A Father to the fatherless." The phrase used to describe God is one of the few that I'm able to hold on to right now. I'm terrified of watching our children grow up without you and what kind of holes it will leave in their hearts, their minds, and their behavior. But I can only hope that God will hold their hearts with special care and fill that incredible void like only He can.

Be with your children tonight, babe. With all this happening with uncle Brian, they're asking a lot of questions about you too. They really miss you.

I miss you, too. So very much.
I love you more than anything in the world.


I feel so tired, babe. Yes, I know it's 2 o'clock in the morning, but I don't just mean tonight. The last few days, it's all I've wanted to do is sleep. I feel like all this stupid deja vu coming back to me this week, and my body and mind are shutting down to get through it. I've gone numb. I'm not ready to experience death like this again so soon.

I've also noticed my emotions going numb. I feel like the longer I've been at this 'grief journey' the higher wall I put up around other people. I don't cry much around others. Even when I want to, I usually just don't. I let out a lot at the hospital and I wailed like I haven't wailed before. And yet I've found myself recalling the events twice now without a flinch of emotion. Monday morning was perhaps one of the most horrific experiences in my life, and yet I'm emotionless. Just on the outside, though, my insides are falling apart. I put on a good game face. 

I miss you baby. I can't believe I'm doing this all over again so soon. I'm not ready. I don't want to try to be strong again. I hate pretending that everything's gonna be alright - how do I know if that's true. UGH.

I need you.

I love you with all that I am.



Hello my love.
I think today was the first time in almost nine months that I've spent more time thinking about someone else other than you. But all those tiny pieces of my heart that were slowly starting to heal have been re-shattered again. I can't believe Brian didn't pull through. I wish I knew how many prayers it took to change God's mind and have mercy on a family. It's funny how knowing someone will never be around again, no matter how much time you spend with them, instantly makes you miss them and ache for them.

I've been having nightmares I just can't shake. Caleb must have gotten in bed with me at some point in the night and I rolled over once and thought for just a split second it was Brian. It scared me so bad, I jumped and it took forever for my heart to stop racing. His face will not escape my mind. 

I've never felt so helpless in my life. I stood by watching my brother die in front of me and there was nothing I could do to help him, protect him, or even trade places with him. And now, I feel helpless not knowing what to do in the aftermath. It's my loss too, sure, but I've already survived my worst nightmare - now my parents have to survive theirs. I want so badly to be useful but the truth is, my mind is still mushy, I still have trouble concentrating on things, and this obviously doesn't help. This whole thing is making me face the loss of you again too, which makes this entire experience just too much. Even having just experienced a tremendous loss recently, I feel like I have nothing to offer that comforts. Death sucks.

I just need your big arms around me right now. I've never felt safer anywhere else, and that's only place I want to be tonight. Ugh, I miss you so so much.
I love you forever and always.



I know Heaven is supposed to be a place free of pain and suffering so I wonder what happens when you watch the people you love struggle with a tragedy like we did today.

I feel very numb today. I'm full of emotions: anger, confusion, love, agony, uncertainty, and just utterly sad. Brian was too young. Our family has endured enough. I thought we watched Brian cheat death over and over before so that he would rise up against it and change the world. He had the brains and the personality to do it. I know he had the desire. I'm so broken that he couldn't overcome his addictions.

Today, after they tried to test Brian's brain function with a breathing test and we came back, I knew it was over. He did not respond at all, and when we came back to the room, he was cold, pale, and stiff. I tried to move his fingers around mine like I had all morning to hold his hand, and I couldn't. It scared me to death. And within minutes, he was gone. I'm haunted by the image of my brother's face, and watching his stats suddenly go to 0. I will say that I am so so thankful I was there holding his hand. It allowed me to grieve him and you both, because I didn't get that chance with you. 

Today I begged and pleaded with God that Brian would not get to see you before me. I wanted to trade places with him desperately, my jealousy was so strong. But I pictured you smacking him for putting us all through this, and then embracing him like a little brother you never had, showing him around, and teaching him how to look out for the people he left behind.

You know how much I loved Brian, and how many prayers we lifted up together on his behalf, how many tears I shed worrying about him. I'm glad he isn't struggling anymore. But I've said it before - dying is easy. It's the surviving that sucks. 

I find myself grieving for both of you tonight, and it's a little more than I can handle. Life really does sucks sometimes. 

I miss you baby. Watch over my baby brother. I know you will.
I love you with all that I am.

Brian Arnett 12/4/84 - 7/25/2011

July 25, 2011 @ 1:21pm my brother Brian passed away due to complications of a drug overdose and drowning. I was holding his hand, along with the rest of our family.

I am at a loss for words tonight. Nothing make sense right now, and I'm hurting for my parents who just watched their worst nightmare becoming a reality today. I'm hurting for the loss of my sweet brother, who lost his life way too soon. 

 I love you, Brian. You were a great guy and an even better father. I wish they were some way to convey all that you mean to me, no matter how many miles apart we were. You had this magnetism about your personality and presence. It's hard to be a big sister and feel like I couldn't protect you, couldn't help you. I will hold on to the good memories and the special bond we were able to create over being parents. My kids adore you, they'll miss playing with you.

I pray you have found peace today, brother. I also pray that you found Jeremy, and that he slapped you for me for being such an idiot. Then, he'll hug you for me, and I hope you'll hug him back for me as well. I'm so unbelievably jealous that you get to see him first. It's not fair.

If there's one thing I know, it's that I know nothing. I have no answers, and very little understanding. But I pray good will come of your story and that many lives will be saved because of it. I know how hard you tried to overcome your battle, Bri, I really do. I watched you fight so many times. I'm thankful the battle is already won, and I pray that you can finally be rid of your torment. I love you so much, bro. Rest in peace.


Update on Brian

Update on my brother Brian:

Things are not looking good. The critical care doctor sat my parents and me down this afternoon to let us know that they do not expect Brian to make it. Early tests indicated swelling to the brain, damage to the lungs, and no sign of brain activity. They can't do any further testing on him until the warming process is finished. They started warming him up at 2:30 and is projected to be done at 6am. They've had trouble with his oxygen levels, blood Pressure levels, and have him on the highest doses possible. However, he is still holding on and fighting. He suffered a mild heart attack due to lack of oxygen during the accident and the doctors are treating him for a pulmonary embolism that they can't actually test for because of his condition. Neurologist says there's a 99% chance he will not make it and if he does, he'll be in a nursing home with 24 hour care. To say it's been a trying day would be laughable.

I say all that to say this: we believe in prayer and the One to whom we pray. Miracles happen everyday and that's exactly what we need here. Please if you have a moment today, get on your knees in prayer for my brother. He desperately needs them. Thank you!

Jer, I miss you. I don't know who to cry to and it's hard to face this dark time without my biggest support. And yet I still feel you around. So many people have come up to support and half of them have been my friends who don't even know Brian well. I feel you in that overwhelming support.

I'm tired. I'm aching. I'm scared. I'm weak. I'm overwhelmed. I believe that God has the power to heal Brian but I don't know what he's waiting for.

I'm waiting for peace and a good nights sleep. If I could find you there beneath my eye lids tonight, that would be a great comfort.

I miss you tonight babe. Please keep fighting for Brian
I love you forever



I am serious need of some furvent prayers tonight. My brother Brian is on full life support right now after being found at the bottom of a lake. He was in the water at least 20 minutes and obviously had no signs of life when rushed to the hospital. We fear drugs are involved. Things are not looking good but he is on hypotherapy to keep his body cold and preserve any sort of brain activity he might have left for 24 hours. If he survives the night, they'll try to warm him up in the afternoon but we've already been warned that it doesn't usually go well with someone in his codition. There is severe damage to his lungs and brain. I'm at a complete loss right now. Please pray for my family, especially my parents. And for Brian's 4 year old son and his mom. I feel so helpless right now.

What is happening babe? The worst feeling in my gut reliving a lot of deja vu today - but enough is enough. I want to sit and hold Brian's hand forever I don't want to leave him to die alone like you did. His skin feels foreign and it doesn't fit the 26 year old strong tanned and muscular brother laying lifeless before me. I'm scared for my family cause I know the ripple effect death has, the daily agony is causes. And knowing that neither myself nor anyone else can do anything to fix it hurts most.

Could you put a good word in for us tonight babe? We're not ready to give up on Brian yet. It's terrible timing I think and we're still hurting. I can't do this again and I can't watch my family go through it either.

I miss you baby. I need you here with me to cry with me and hold me, make me believe things could be okay.
I love you forever and always


Coming together

Our house is really starting to feel like home. A lot work has been done, and a lot more remains to be done, but as we unpack and settle in, it feels good to call this place mine. I promised some before and after pictures because some of them are quite drastic. I only have a few, as the house is obviously still not completely done, but I thought I'd update everyone.

This is the before view of the livingroom, as seen from the front door. Notice that the molding is different colors...not sure what that's about.

And this is the after of the livingroom, as seen from the kitchen entryway. Can't really tell in this picture, but floors were stained and refinished to a walnut color, and crown molding was painted white.

This is the livingroom before. From left to right: Entryway to the kitchen, main floor hall with bathroom, laundry room, garage and basement, stairway, and front door.

And now the after: This is my favorite view of the house. I love the little bump out wall under the stairs and the charming built-in book case at the bottom of the stairs. It's so cozy on a sunny day.

The dining room before: I'm pretty sure this is the most awful wall color I've ever seen. So awful, we decided on an equally awful name for it: 'breastfed baby poo.' Yuck.

After: I really didn't understand the different colored trim in the house, and this room took the longest to paint because there are little teeth in the dental molding. Pretty, but a pain. But the after is well worth it (especially since I'm not the one who painted it! lol) There will eventually be actual pictures in the frames...

Kitchen Before: Light wood cabinets were ok, but I had my heart set on something a little grander...

Ahhh, my kitchen.  Painted walls, trim, and cabinets, refinished the floor and added a desk. Soon there will be an over the range microwave and some beautiful  window treatments.

Can't wait to show you more!

life is precious

Tonight, I again found myself realizing something new in the shadows of surviving tragedy. Went to see 'Captain America' tonight (which was excellent, btw, I think you would have enjoyed it too) and caught myself cringing at violence, however mild, throughout the movie. I noticed it before catching pieces of crime shows and such, but it didn't really come to the surface until tonight.

I realized how desensitized the world makes us. Some minor character gets shot down in a war scene and no one flinches. I found myself analyzing his life. How quickly a life can be taken is shocking...one minute moving and breathing, loving and fighting, the next minute not...I still can't wrap my brain around that. But even beyond that, it wasn't just one life taken, it was life taken from a family, a brother or sister, a parent, a lover, a child, a friend, a community....I know, I know, it sounds overdramatic. And I didn't dwell on it, I just noticed how often we take for granted the fragility of life, and how precious it can be. That one little second where one life ends, ripples into an eternity of more lives changed, rearranged, and altered completely. I would have never thought about that before. I could have never understood how many facets of life would be altered without you here - facets I didn't even know I had. Only in surviving a tragedy do I get that perception on life. Oh, to be ignorant and unenlightened. Guess I have to take the knowledge with me as I move forward.

I miss you. I miss holding your hand at the movie theater. And feeling you squeeze it every few minutes or so...

I love you always and forever.



I find it ironic that before you were gone, I used to struggle to find my place with friends. I've always been blessed with many great people in my life, but never felt connected for long. I remember many nights laying awake venting to you about my fair weather friends or friends I never see enough, or friendships that were one-sided. But you were always my best friend, so my standard was high.

I have this incredible support system of women in my life now and I couldn't be more grateful. Tonight, my sweet friends surprised me with a get-together at my place (it's weird that I can't say 'our' place)...it was a 'Friends' themed party complete with cups and ice for decorations, food from different parts of the show, playing Friends Scene-It and of course, gag reels. I'm such a nerd, I know. 

I'm so thankful for friends who have patiently sat by while I try to pick up the pieces of myself. When they planned the party for Tuesday, our anniversary, and me not knowing about it told them I wanted to be alone for the day, they waited. They have given me so much that I could never repay. 

This new place I have found within these friendships ironically really makes me miss you more. My best friend for so long, it's strange to find those qualities in other people. Is there anything about death that isn't bittersweet?

I miss you baby. Thank you for continuing to watch over me through my incredible friends.
I love you always and forever.



Today while I was running errands, I drove past the KFC/A&W where we had lunch the day you died. Just hours before you hit the ground, that's where our last family memories were made. I have no reason to drive by it much anymore, and I was surprised to feel such a reaction from it. My heart started beating so loud and fast, an almost panic took over for a few seconds. And I wanted desperately to go back to that day, back to you.

We took Caleb to see Cars 2 for the third time. He wants to make sure he gets to see with all his favorite people. But every time, it really bums me out that it's not you. I've already caught myself trying to memorize the names of some of the characters in the movie for when he asks, cause normally you would know that stuff. I am certain the two of you would be talking about it constantly, and you would be bringing home different cars for his collection on your way back from work. It kills me. Almost as much as it kills me to watch other men bonding with him and playing with him. It's sweet and beautiful, but it's so painful. So so bittersweet.

I looked through pictures of you and Caleb when he was a baby. Two buddies, crazy about each other. What I wouldn't give to have just a few pictures like that of you and Carter so I can tell him "Look how crazy your daddy was about you." Ugh.

I miss you baby. I miss watching you play with our son and teaching him how to grow up to be a good man.

I love you forever and always.



I haven't decided yet if it's a good thing or a bad thing, but I survived today. It was a heavy weighted day, your absence followed me everywhere. But I spend a lot of time and energy trying to outrun grief and acting 'normal' and today I decided I needed to face it. I made a date with grief and I just wanted the chance to be with you, think about you, talk to you, cry out for you, and love you. That's what I did. I spent most of the day on the couch just feeling sorry for myself and soaking in the weight of the hole you left in my heart. I haven't felt this stricken in months.

What I will say is that so many people pulled me up today in love. I got so many texts, FB messages and postings, phone calls...two flower deliveries and even a slurpee delivery. Even though it doesn't take away the pain, I can't describe the gratitude I have knowing people have not forgotten you. Or us. 
Even the kids were thoughtful today. We talked about it a little last night, but today I asked them to let me lay down for a bit and Faith took it upon herself to try and clean for me. She asked Caleb to put his toys away and swept the floor...she told me that even though Daddy isn't here, they can still help. Seriously? I couldn't ask for anything more. The house may have been a mess afterward, but the thoughtfulness filled my heart. They drew pictures for you today, and told Carter silly stories about you. Caleb slept with a play phone tonight and said he was gonna call you and tell you that all of us miss you very much and he wishes your heart was still working.

I miss you more than I ever thought possible. My only peace came from knowing you don't have to live this hell I'm in.
I love you more than anything baby.

Happy Anniversary

There just aren't words to describe how broken hearted I feel tonight. I've been sobbing basically since Sarah left my house tonight, I can't get a grip. I don't know why this day feels so much more heavy than others, but I'm in agony. 

Today we should be celebrating 8 years of marriage. And what hurts is knowing others will and I'll think "I never made it that far." I've been crying out to you all night, I hope you hear me. I'm so afraid that maybe I didn't show you how much I loved you enough, that maybe you didn't understand the depth of it, or that maybe I've inflated it in my head since you died and somehow sainted our imperfect relationship. But I found a card in my box of our stuff (I've been avoiding it a lot but I wanted to spend time with it and you tonight) that I wrote in 2006:

"Jeremy, In my whole life, I never knew it was possible to love someone so much. My heart feels so full just to think about you and all that you are to me. I wish there were words to describe it. You are truly the best thing that has ever happened to me, and I don't know what I did to deserve you. I am still madly in love with you - I knew the first time I kissed you that I had to have you in my life. I thank God every morning that I get to wake up next to you, that I get to grow old with you, and now, that I get to start a family with you. Thank you for all that you are to me, Love. I can't breathe without you."

I'm so glad I told you. I hope you remembered. I didn't make it up, I still feel this way. Only, I lied. I can breathe without you. I never would have believed it and I'm pretty pissed about it, but it turns out, I'm still breathing. It does hurt, though. Especially today. 

I wish it were possible to sleep through tomorrow. I'm completely dumbfounded at my reality today, sometimes it knocks my feet out from under me. I can't believe you're gone. I love you more today than ever before, and that actually really sucks. 

I could bet money that tonight we'd be laying on the couch together watching Friends, and you'd wait til just after midnight to tell me Happy Anniversary. What I wouldn't give to be back in our crappy little house, too broke to do anything special, run-of-the-mill life that I used to complain about but loved whole heartedly. 

This sucks more than I could ever imagine, but I wouldn't trade the last eight years for anything. Everything that I am today is because you loved me. 8 or 80 years, it's the strongest force I've ever witnessed. Thank you for your love. 

I love you with all that I am and everything I have. 
Happy Anniversary, baby.


The only thing missing is you

Today was a weird day for me. 

It was so nice to have Kirk, April, and the kids this weekend. I wish they could've stayed longer. I just love being around them and being close. They are family to me. It's amazing how I feel more at home with your family than I do sometimes with my own family. Either way, I was sad to see them go.

Guilt knocked me over at church today. We prayed for your sweet niece, Grayci and her upcoming surgery this week, and I couldn't fight the tears. I felt so guilty for ever complaining knowing April has mourned the loss of a brother and shortly after had to endure all the medical complications that Grayci faced and continues to face. That sweet little girl is gonna change the world with her story, I just know it. I am in awe of her and her parents and the faith they've had through everything. 

We had lunch with the Robinson's and Gresham's today. We decided to order Jimmy Johns and eat at your memorial site. They have the picnic tables up now. It was extremely hot today but it was nice to be able to utilize that space and feel like we're honoring you by being present somehow. I was asked if it was hard for me to be there, and truthfully, it isn't. Your grave is much more difficult to swallow than your stone at the college. But what was hard today was realizing that no matter how many people I'm surrounded by - people who genuinely love and care about me - I can still feel all alone. I see your name in giant letters across the field and I have to remind myself, "Wow. That's my husband. My Jeremy really isn't here anymore." And then I suddenly feel you missing. Missing from the laughter, missing from the games and food, playing with the kids, enjoying company. The only thing missing is you.

I am missing you terribly tonight, love. I'm dreading the next two days.

I love you with everything I have baby. 


Top of the list

Look at your little man - he's getting so big and handsome. I love his shirt that says "Handsome like Daddy." I think he will be. He's been having a rough couple of days. He's teething and just miserable - not sleeping and fussy all day - I just want to cry for him. But I also miss your help on days like that when I know you'd help kiss his little tiny tears away.

I had a horrible, horrible nightmare the other night and I woke up sweating. I dreamt that I watched you, Carter, and Faith get hit by a train. Caleb and I were left to fend for ourselves. The thought of suffering another loss like that made me so nauseas I couldn't even tell anyone about it.

I had a weird discovery today. There are a lot of things that you were to me that cannot be replaced. So many wonderful people have stepped up to help out in areas where you used to cover, and that's great, but it's obviously never the same. Even so, I couldn't articulate exactly what it was that I felt voided of completely that can never be recovered. 

Today, I realized what it was: I miss being number one for somebody. At the top of someone's list. Aside from our children, I am not the first anyone would call if there was an emergency, big news, or something incredibly funny that they wanted to share. Even my closest friends have their families or spouses that they would call on - and should call on - first when they think of something important. Along side that loss, I'm now missing the one person at the top of my list I would go to for anything. If I have something to share, I have to consider who to share it with that doesn't have other things going on to worry about. When I need something fixed, I have to think about who I know that I might be able to call on. When I need a break, I feel guilty for finding people to watch the kids. When I remember a funny story, I have to think about who might appreciate it the most. You were all of that in my life. It's hard to not have that constant go-to person to share life with. Really hard.

I miss feeling that specialness that comes with being at the top of someone's list. I miss feeling like someone needs me. I miss being there for you, being the person you wanted to start and end your day with. I miss feeling a part of something. This is totally corny, but the lyrics "I wanna be somebody's somebody" popped into my head. Thank you, adolescent teen pop music days. It's true, though.

I miss being your number one, baby.
I love you forever and always.

"These Days"

"These days."

That's the phrase I now inadvertently use to describe my life since Jeremy died. My life has now been split into two categories: Before Jeremy died and After. These days refers to the 'after'. I catch myself saying it so often. Like when I tell people that I don't get much sleep anymore these days. Not because I have three kids and one of them is 5 months old, it's still because I can't sleep alone. It's still because my bed echoes silence and I inevitably lay in bed crying out to Jer a lot of nights.

Or when I tell people that I don't have time for much these days. That IS because I have three kids, and I'm doing this alone. But the free time I have when I'm not using it to travel or unpack my house, it's spent aimlessly daydreaming about my past, worrying about my future, and sitting under a blanket of uncertainly that I don't know how to uncover.

Truth is, life is hard these days.


The house is finally starting to come together, babe. I was trying to get everything ready for Kirk and April's visit this weekend so I got to take some pictures of a few rooms that are mostly complete. 

I'm heartbroken that you can't see it but I'm so much more devastated that you aren't here to visit with your family. I know you would have been so pumped to have them over.

This afternoon while I was putting things away, I organized all the shoes in the coat closet. I came across the shoes I wore on November 9th. I remembered because they were gold ballet flats I bought at Target or something, and I was freaking out on the phone trying to find something, anything, to put on my feet and get out the door and that's all I could find. Then I remembered the toes were worn out and my feet were freezing - at some point that night, the girls loaded me in the van and were taking turns rubbing my purple feet and covering me with blankets.

I don't know if I've worn those shoes since. Either way, it felt so strange to see them today, so foreign. Like the shoes represented a different life. And even though I think about you constantly every single day, I felt so disconnected from the shoes and that day, still unable to process it as a reality of my life. The horror of it all flooded back to me, though. The panic that set in while I was frantically looking for shoes felt fresh. So entangled and so separated.  I've come to realize so many things about death is ironic.

I knew I needed to get rid of those sorry excuses for shoes, but they were hard to let go of. Everything that makes me think of you is hard to let go of.

I miss you terribly, baby. I wish you could hold me tonight.
I love you with all that I am.


This week, every time I log into Facebook, I see an alert on the side that says 'Your anniversary with Jeremy King is Tuesday.' Thanks, like I needed the reminder. Things have been going along alright for the most part, no big days to be anxious about lately. But it's been weighing on me and I'm hoping to just get through all these first without dwelling on them because it's too painful. Hopefully Tuesday will go by quickly.

I felt like you were inside my head today. A few conversations I had I could literally hear your voice and response in my head. I would have never admitted it to your face, but it's amazing how much influence you have on my thoughts. Enough that I think you'd gloat about it.

You would have been proud of me today, I spent the morning - no wait, most of the day - putting together the desk I bought for the kitchen. But it's perfect and I love it. I keep pretending that you're just away on a trip and I'm scrambling to get things done to surprise you when you come home. I want you to see how hard I've worked and notice the little details (after I point them out to you, of course). You were always so genuine in your praise to me, I think I may not have appreciated it's value completely until now. I miss that. I miss you.

I love you always and forever.


Keep Holding On

Last week, I shared my story out loud for the first time, in front of a bunch of teens. When I was asked to do it, I was so anxious about it. I can write any day of the week when I have no topic to worry about, but as soon as I have to write something, or speak about something, I can't. So we decided to do a Q&A interview style about my story and how I've come to see God through the experience of losing my love.

I don't remember a word I said.

I remember crying. I hate crying in front of people so I thought I could hold it together. Nope. I read this blog post out loud which was very hard. I remember feeling like I didn't say what I wanted to say and said things I didn't think I'd say....it was a jumbled mess. I was just praying that something good came of it.

I realized it was hard to describe how I've seen God at work through all of this when I'm not really sure. Have I seen God at work? Yes. Without a doubt. It's ironic to feel God's hand guiding me through such a painful experience that He didn't prevent in the first place. It's hard to be a role model when I feel so unworthy of that title. It's still a struggle to choose to keep going some days. I'm making a mess of everything, I'm still angry sometimes, I don't feel qualified to tell people to hold onto God in the storms of life because it will all be ok. What do I know? Right now, it's not ok. I've never really talked to my friends and family about how much I wanted to die those early days. I realize most people feel that way after losing someone close and other widows understand the idea of wanting to die and knowing you'd never actually make it happen. But I would pray for God to take me every night. I prayed for my plane to crash. I prayed for God to just take me and the kids so they wouldn't have to grow up without me and we'd all be one big happy family in Heaven.

What I wanted to tell those kids was to just keep holding on. Hold on to God even when you don't understand why. I don't have the answers, and maybe I never will, but I can tell you I haven't found a better alternative for God. He's there seeing you through your darkest storm. I'm holding on to God even though my faith is not my own right now. One day it will be again, but right now my faith is for my children because I know they need me.

And my faith is for Jeremy, so I know I can see him one day again. Every time I start to throw in the towel and yelling and screaming at God, I swear I can hear Jer saying "Just hold on baby. I promise it will be worth it."

Right now, that's good enough for me.



I think Faith was really missing you today. I took the kids out today to get stuff for the house (which I have been putting off cause it's tough to do all that running around with 3 kids) and Faith told me she had a dream about you. She said she dreamed you were working on her play structure and you stayed up all night to finish it. I told her that if you were here, you would have.

Then, she kept telling me she thinks about you when she puts her seatbelt on. I thought it was strange at first, but it all came together. She's been very proud of the fact that she can do it herself now so she does (which saves me some time packing em all up). I kept telling her that she was such a good helper to me and I was thankful of everything she does to help. She said 'I know, when I help you it makes me think of Daddy.' And you were always good at reminding her that it was her job to help me. And she does, baby. She's just the greatest little girl. And I think it makes her proud to know that she's making you proud. I know you are.

Tonight, I let her have her magnadoodle in bed. When I came out of the shower she was yelling that she wanted to show me something. She drew a picture of you with D-A-D-D-Y on top. She draws you all the time but I could feel how much she missed you today. 

I'm glad you meet her in her dreams, babe. I hope you'll continue to do so.
I miss seeing you in my dreams.
I love you more than life.

Here she is painting the wooden picture frame you picked out for her at Christmas


Related Posts with Thumbnails