I love you

I just....love you. More today than yesterday and I know it will never end. I just need you to know tonight how much I appreciate you loving me and giving me what so many people only dream of - unconditional love. I'm so honored to be yours. I'll always be yours.

I hate every day of living without you. But I know I would do it over and over again just to have you for eight short years. I wouldn't trade them for anything. 

I miss you baby.
I love you always and forever.


My mom used to tell me that whenever she saw 7:28 on the clock, she'd make a wish. 7/28 is her birthday, and she thought it was lucky and I started noticing the time when I saw it on the clock too.

Now, though, I always seem to notice the time at 4:34. I don't know why it became so significant to me, but that's what time I sent you the last text before you died. I only know that because you sent a text at the same time to Mark. Only, I never heard back from you. And now, I see that time on the clock constantly and my heart skips a beat. I always wonder....did you get that text from me? Did you read it? And right when all this was going through my head today I looked at the clock only to see it again. 4:34.

The unknown is a horrible place to be. And I think it may haunt me forever. And even when it subsides and I don't think about it as much, every time I see that time on my clock, it will take me there no matter what. 

I miss you baby. If you didn't read my text, it just said "Love you!" I re-read a few times a week on my phone.
I love you always and forever.



"The only thing worse than the shock and disbelief that your husband is dead is the lack of shock and disbelief that your husband is dead." -Dear Audrey

A fellow widow and blogger wrote this awhile ago and I haven't been able to stop thinking about it. This is where I am right now. I had a rough couple of weeks and when I think about how fast the next month is going to go before I hit 'the one year anniversary,' it makes me sick. But mostly, this is getting more livable. I'm getting used to being in this empty house at night. Maybe 'used to' isn't even the right term - more like, I expect it.

Today, an ambulance drove past us on the road so Faith started asking questions about you. I've told her the story: the guys called the ambulance when they found you but you were already dead. She wanted to know why. But as I was in the middle of explaining, the ease of conversation about it started to make me feel ill. I'd almost forgotten for a second that it was a real event. Yes, you're dead. Yes, that nightmare really took place. And I sat there talking about it like it was a story in some book we read. 

Today that moment, that evening, that awful awful night seems like eons ago. It's supposed to be a good thing that this is less shocking and that I'm supposedly getting closer to healing, but it bothers me. It bothers me that I'm getting used to this. I'm getting used to just living day-by-day, not really sure where life is going to take me, still feeling like I have no purpose or future other than just surviving so my kids can have a life. 

You feel so far away today, baby. I'm glad the kids can still recall events so crystal clear about you, it pulls you back closer and reminds me that you were here just a short time ago. Gosh, I miss you.

Maybe what I think is surviving is really me just surrendering to what life has become for me. I'll do it for as long as I need to so that I can get to you some day.

I miss you more than words. 
I love you always and forever.


Carter the ham

The other day while I was playing with Carter in bed, it suddenly dawned on me that I am never going to actually see you with him. I don't why these little details about widowhood creep up on me like that. Of course I knew it, but the reality of it smacked me in that moment. I love telling Faith and Caleb about the way you looked at them when they were born, how captivated you were with them, how much you loved them....I'll never get to share those kinds of stories with Carter. All I get to tell him is that you were so excited to meet him.

Vicki and I were talking about how unbelievable it still seems that I was pregnant when you died and how we all questioned God's purpose in timing. I'm not nearly as bitter and angry as I used to be, but I definitely still have those questions floating in my head: Why would God take you now? But what we both recognized is that Carter saved me. In some very egotistical ways, being pregnant allowed my tragedy to break through a lot of people's hearts and wallets and my family was lifted because of it. But more importantly, I think Carter kept me going because I had no other choice. Babies don't allow you to be selfish. Carter saved his brother and sister. I can't just curl up in fetal position in bed all day, no matter how much I want to, because his little life depends on me getting up and moving forward. He saved me and our family. Perhaps God used the opportunity to bring him knowing that I would lose everything and therefore he would becoming everything. 

It's still heartbreaking knowing that this time last year, I was falling asleep to your hand on my belly, feeling for this little guy to kick. He's such a ham, babe. He's a happy baby and completely spoiled. He loves his momma and has started to now say 'da' when he grabs my necklace (which is about 100x a day). He's clapping and blowing raspberries but still lazy as ever when it comes to rolling around or moving. He has three teeth coming in at the same time, which makes for an unhappy baby, but he is generally a very happy boy who growing like a weed.

I never thought I'd get to a place where I'd utter these words, but thank you for giving him to me. I know this was not in either of our plans, but nothing ever seems to be right?

I miss you baby. I wish you see the look on your son's face when I throw him in the air. That's the way I imagine him looking at his daddy.

I love you always and forever.



It used to be that I couldn't sleep unless I wrote to you and told you about my day. I need it to do it for both of us. Now, every once in awhile, I fall asleep before I get to. And for the first time, I'm ok with it. I'm trying to soak it up and be okay with it.

Please forgive me. I'm so tired of not sleeping for the last 10 months, that I think my body is trying to catch up. Thanks for letting me have some peace about it though.

Know that I still love you more than anything in the world. I still mourn you every night and talk to you, but sometimes I just don't have the energy to type it all out. Tonight, I just wanted to tell you that I miss you terribly and my heart can't find the right way to adequately express it.

I miss you.
I love you.


wait for me

I've decided that if time indeed does not exist in Heaven and maybe there's no distance between us, then maybe you can't feel my ache for you here. I need you to know it. I need you to watch over us.

I need you to be waiting for me when I get there.

I imagine that outside of my understanding, maybe both is possible. I told Sarah that I fantasize getting to Heaven and standing at the pearly gates, and making a run for it, towards you. I will knock anyone over who's standing in my way, people who get there before me will just have to wait. I give a head nod to God and tell him to hit it and with a 'you got it' nod back, He plays my slow-mo music while we run along side a beach towards one another slowly and dramatically. Sarah said she'll play defense for me and block anyone who tries to get in my path. It will be cheesy and perfect until I finally touch you and then the moment is just ours. I see the look on your face and feel your familiar arms around me and know that I'm home.

These are the daydreams that keep me going a lot of days. It just sucks that I'm so young and will likely have to wait a long time before I get to see you again. Hopefully I won't be old and wrinkly in Heaven. And I hope you're exactly the way I remember you.

I miss you baby. I'm so lonely tonight without you.
I love you always and forever.


what if

I play this torturous game with myself pretty regularly, where I wonder what I would do if you came back today. I don't mean to play, my mind plays and my heart can't help but join. Every time I think about it, I feel my heart jolt, almost fooling myself into believing it could be possible. But the let down after still hurts every time.

Every time I think about what I would do. What would I say? I imagine myself dropping to my knees, sobbing, in sheer and utter gratitude more powerful than any emotion I've ever felt. I'd hang on to your neck, kiss you, and scan my fingers over your face, soaking in every inch of you, asking you where you've been. I'd tell you how you wouldn't believe the hell we'd been through but it suddenly seemed like nothing with you standing in front of me. Then I'd take you to Carter, so you could finally meet the handsome boy we created.

I often think that if everyone were able to feel this kind of devastation in their hearts without having to suffer the actual loss in reality, it could change the world. It would change marriages, families, relationships. It's ironic the knowledge that comes with loss when you can't use it to appreciate what you no longer have. 

"'What' and 'if' are two words as nonthreatening as words come. But put them together side-by-side and they have the power to haunt you for the rest of your life: 'What if?'..." -Letters to Juliet

It does haunt me. Every single day.
I miss you baby.
I love you always.


sucker punched

I don't know what it is lately, but I feel like I keep getting sucker-punched with reminders that you're never coming back, and the terrible effect it is having on our family. 

Heaven has been on my heart and mind constantly lately. I talk about it with the kids, so that they don't fear death and they know that you are happy and in a good place. Before we pray, we talk about what you and God and Uncle Brian are doing up there, and what they think Heaven will be like. I try to keep it lighthearted, but I know they ache for you. Caleb said he wished we had a giant ladder to put on our roof so you could climb down from Heaven and not be dead for a little while. Faith told me that she cried for you today (she didn't want me to know) because she missed you and dreamt of you. 

Caleb asked me today if I wanted to get dead. It threw me off cause I was afraid of what he was asking. I think he was just trying to sort out in his head if I was going to leave him, but my heart nearly fell to the floor when he asked. The sad thing is, Sarah and I were watching Biggest Loser tonight and there are 60+ year olds on the show this season talking about how they want to stick around for a long long time to watch their grandchildren grow up and all I could think of is 'Gosh, I don't want to live that long.' This feeling kills me, and I feel so guilty for thinking this way. I don't want to leave our children, I don't want them to grow up as orphans. I'm not suicidal. But I ache for you and for Heaven so deeply, it consumes me sometimes. This may be part of the motivation behind Caleb's question. 

The real slap in face happened this afternoon when I went downstairs to do my Insanity workout. The kids were playing down there and I hadn't paid much attention to what they were doing. Suddenly, I stopped dead in my tracks when I realized what the kids were doing - they were playing house and taking turns being the Daddy who dies. What stopped me was Faith's panicked voice as she frantically tried to wake up Caleb calling out 'Daddy! Wake up! Are you okay?!' It sent chills down my spine. If Caleb laid there too long, Faith would magically bring him back to life. When they traded places, they talked about how they would die - heart stopping or drowning. OUR KIDS SHOULD NOT KNOW OF THESE THINGS! I fell to my knees, rocked back and forth on the floor, sobbing. 

Oh, Jer, I wish I knew what I was doing. I feel like I should be doing better by now, but I'm suffocating in this. I'm so heartbroken that our kids are exposed to such pain and loss at such a young age and they don't understand it. I wish so bad that I could take this away for them.

I miss you, baby. More than anything.
I love you with all my heart.



I've been thinking a lot about your quirks. Those little things that were just you, they pop in my head a hundred times a day. 

Like every time I run down the stairs, I think about the way you'd take the stairs sideways. I don't think I ever saw you go down the stairs straight on. Which inevitably makes me think of your walk. No one has a walk like yours - trust me, I've looked. I've lost my breath a few times when I've caught a glimpse of someone with your stature, your shadow, a movement like you - but I've never seen anyone walk like you.

Every time I make the kids PB&J, we have them 'super-folded.' It was your invention to try to convince the kids that your sandwiches were the coolest. And it worked. They asked for super folded sandwiches all the time. 

The way you held the steering wheel.
The way you always slept on your left side, cause you're right shoulder hurt to sleep on.
How you looked when you dropped to your knees at the front door to welcome running children screaming "Daddy's home!"
The way your ears went red when you were nervous.
The way you sat on your knees instead of sitting indian style - Caleb does it too.
How you cleaned your fingernails when you washed your hair.
The way you'd eat sunflower seeds to stay awake while driving.
The shape of your hands as they'd slap the floor while playing with the kids.
Your signature
The way your voice got really high when you were laughing really hard.
The way your neck got red every time you got a haircut.
How you looked when you drew a bow.

Just little things I'll never forget, that were just you. Some were things I didn't even realize I'd notice, but in their absence seem so distinct.

I miss you baby. And every weird, crazy, unique thing about you.
I love you always and forever.


Maybe the beauty of Heaven
is that there is no distinction between now and when
Time does not exist so there is no distance between us.

Now, here, time is my prison. It holds me captive while I count down the moments til I see you again.
But maybe the splendor of Heaven is that for you, I'm already there.
You get to wrestle with your daughter,
play cars with your son,
and hold our sweet baby boy.

Maybe it's only us who have to wait.

I miss you baby. I can't wait to see you again.
I love you always.


future and past

Spent a nice, chill day with your family. It was an absolutely gorgeous day.

They could never understand how much they fill my heart.
Mum showed me pictures of you I had never seen. I read through your baby book. Aside from holding back tears, my heart sank for your parents and all they must have to endure to lose a son like you. I grieve for a future I will never get. They have to grieve a past and an entire life of love for their child they watched grow from a precious baby. I can only imagine.

I love their stories, especially about you. The kids enjoyed going through all the pictures of you, I loved that they loved it. I still can't get over how much Caleb looks like you as a kid - it's uncanny. I wonder if it will be difficult to watch him grow to look like you the way I remember you, the way you will forever be frozen in my memory. I hope, instead, it will bring me peace and joy.

Baby, please hold my heart tonight, let me feel your presence. I miss you so.
I love you with all that I am.



Today, completely out of nowhere, was an incredibly difficult day. There was nothing special about today in particular, but I shed a lot of tears for you. 

It started this morning. A sweet friend gifted me a compilation of CDs she's been collecting for me that she thought I would enjoy or connect with. One was Steven Curtis Chapman's "Beauty Will Rise." I knew the backstory already - the album was made out of the tragedy of losing his 5 year old daughter when her older brother hit her with his vehicle. Unthinkable. I knew the songs would be relatable but I honestly, obliviously, did not expect the emotion it evoked in me. The very first song literally had me sobbing with tears so big I couldn't see where I was going. It articulated Heaven for me in a way I'd been unable to do and it was breathtaking. And heartbreaking.

But it wasn't just that. It's been a tough week without you. We drove up to your parents tonight and it was a long, hard trip. Carter was screaming and there was nothing I could do: he was fed, changed, and extremely tired. At one point, I think all 4 of us were in tears. I was calling out to God. I didn't sign up for this. I don't know how much longer I can keep this up on my own, some moments are so overwhelming. I was crying out for you, to you. I just can't believe how much this still hurts. I feel like all I ever do when I sit down to write you at night is lament, and I want to move forward, but it's just not getting any easier. My heart is still so shattered. I must have worried Faith, because I heard her quietly crying in between my sobs. I asked her if she was crying for me or for you, and she said she was sad for me. We held hands for awhile and I asked her to just keep praying for Mommy. Pray that I can be the best Mommy possible, that my heart will heal, and that our family will always stick together.

I don't know what else to do. I miss you so much it's killing me inside a little more every day. It just takes so much out of me to keep up with the life that used to take two of us to handle.

I cried because I miss you.
I cried for the kids.
I cried out of jealousy for all the people that still have what I've lost.
I cried for my brother, I really miss him terribly too.
I cried for everything you're missing.
I cried out longing to be with you.

I guess I just needed a good cry. There's something cleansing about it, no matter how it hurts to let out. I just wish I felt some sort of resolution at the end of it. But no - still just emptiness where you belong.

I'm looking forward to spending the weekend with your family. They always restore my soul and connect me with parts of my heart that are left behind here. I wish I could just wrap them all up in a big giant hug and protect them from the pain of losing you. 

I miss you baby, so much.
I love you always and forever.


deja vu

I had the oddest moment of deja vu today...

Your littlest man started clapping today. It's the cutest thing and you can tell he's very proud that he's figured it out. I was sitting on the floor practicing with him while we were both giggling, and I thought to myself 'We need to get it down just right so we can show daddy when he gets home.'

BAM. No wait, that's not right. Why did I think that? I suddenly remembered Faith being almost that exact age, staying at your grandmother's house while you out hunting for the weekend with the guys and she learned how to clap. I got so excited and we practiced all weekend so we could show you when you got back. I may have forgotten that memory had I not re-lived it today with Carter. But I remember the look of pride on your face when you came home and she did it on command for you. Maybe you were showing me that same pride for our little guy.

I haven't had a lapse like that in awhile, one where I actually believe you're not gone. I almost forgot the devastation of realizing I had done that. Oh, what I wouldn't give for a moment with you again.

I also felt that same smile of pride from you today when I finally finished the outside of the house today. Got everything painted, and with the exception of one window that I was too scared to get up on the ladder to do, I hung the shutters. I was pretty proud of myself. I know I'm capable of doing these things, I just really hate when I HAVE to.



What a difference it makes. It feels so fresh and clean and I love it. It's silly that these little things are sometimes what makes me miss you most - I wish you could see it and appreciate it with me.

Your princess is now a ballerina, she started her ballet/jazz class today. I wasn't sure if ballet would be engaging enough for that little ball of energy, but she insisted. I wish you could have seen her dancing today, I could have cried watching her today. The silly grin on her face as she practiced coordinated moves in the mirror was just priceless. I think she is going to love it.

I miss you baby. I hate that you're missing out on our every day mundane-ness.
I love you with all that I am.


my greatest ministry

My Facebook status last year on this day said: "Sometimes I forget that motherhood is my greatest ministry." It just jumped at me today, and has been swirling in my head since.

Your little man started soccer today. I had no idea he was so tall - he was the biggest kid in the entire place and I chuckled to myself about what a bruiser he is. All morning he kept telling me "I already know how to play soccer, my daddy teached-ed me before he got dead." All I could do was pray that he didn't say that to his coach. He managed fine, and I think he'll enjoy it. It made me feel good to know that I have him involved in sports, just doing something that boys should do - I feel like you'd love it too.

As I reflect on motherhood as my ministry, I find that I have really drifted away from my purpose. Lately, the kids have been really testing me. I don't know if it's because it's been mostly me with them lately and school is starting, or cause we've been home a lot more now and a new schedule is evolving, but we're all butting heads with each other. Faith is so sassy sometimes, Caleb's whining makes me want to shut my head in a car door...even Carter hasn't been sleeping well. I can't remember the last time they did something I asked them the first time I asked. I feel like I yell too much, and spend so much of my days being a referee between Faith and Caleb because they fight constantly. I find myself sitting on the couch at the end of a day full of running around, getting kids dressed, making lunches, cleaning up after kids, bathing dirty kids, and putting kids to bed feeling sorry for myself. Is this what life is all about? Is this it now? This imagery never bothered me or scared me before, but without you here by my side some days the weight is too heavy and I can't remember why I am doing this in the first place. I need you here to bounce this stuff off of, to balance me out, to take over when I'm stressed, to let me know when I've crossed the line, to discuss discipline and how we're going to raise these kids...

There are those moments, though, that make it all worth it...

Like when Faith gets off the bus, and she grabs Caleb's hand as we walk back home. "I missed you while you were at school Faith. I always miss you." Caleb says.
"I missed you too, brother."
Or like when I'm doing something completely ridiculous and ordinary to make Carter laugh hysterically and the sound seeps down into the darkest and coldest parts of my heart and warms them up.
Or like when I lay down for a nap with Caleb, and he always asks "Mommy, can we talk about things? Like Daddy and Uncle Brian and Heaven?" 
Or when I wake up to Carter changed, dressed, and fed in his room because Faith wanted to help me out and let me rest.

My greatest ministry. Maybe this is all there is going to be for me, and I need that to be ok. I want to find contentment is just being a mother. A minister of parenthood. haha, I like the sound of that, though it's a terrible title, it alludes to me knowing what I am doing. And I have no clue what I'm doing. I just know they're all I have left of you, and I want to make you proud. I want to screw them up in our specific ways, they ways we decided on before and the ways I hear in my heart from you. And I know as long as I keep my compass on God, that's all I can really do.

I miss you baby. I wish things didn't have to be so complicated without you. Nothing is easier without you here.
I love you with all that I am.


so in love

Today, I was thinking about our date to go see the Righteous Brothers in concert. I was surprised at how many details I remembered, since it was before we were even married. I remember what I wore, I remember the guy who gave us tickets in the 5th row, I remember holding your hand, I remember the ride home....I remember your smile. I miss that smile.

I remembered that feeling of being so in love. Today I really miss that feeling. Just of knowing someone is there, thinks you're the best thing since sliced bread...I miss that. My heart is still full of love for you, more today than even yesterday, but it's different when you're not here to reciprocate those feelings.

I'm trying to get a grip, get my life back. I know this roller coaster ride still has many twists and turns left, but I feel you nudging me and supporting me. Keep guiding me. I just need to do SOMETHING.

I'm missing you a lot this week, baby. It hurts deep in my soul.
I love you always and forever.

we will never forget

Everyone remembers where they were 10 years ago today. I was on my way to Algebra class my freshman year at Rochester College when I heard about the first plane. Just thinking it was an accident, we went about the class and I headed back to my dorm room. Then I saw my roommate in front of the TV and watched with her as the second plane hit. Then we went to Chapel together and watched the news feed with the rest of the school with our jaws hanging open.

I remember how monumental that day felt. It was a beautiful day weather wise, so peaceful and calm - almost eerie. And yet you could feel darkness and war that would change history. Classes were cancelled for the day. People were calling loved ones to make sure everyone was okay. We knew we would remember that day forever.

Even though I knew it was a tragic day for so many, I never really understood the epic loss that 9/11 caused for so many until now. I read a statistic on FB today: 3,051 children lost a parent. 2,819 lives were taken. 1,609 lost a husband or wife. 623 police and firemen did not go home. 1 day changed the world. Now I'm not trying to compare my loss to these, I couldn't possibly. But the world picked back up without those people. Not only were they a part of history that day, but their everyday lives were altered in ways that I only now understand and my heart breaks for them.

Every year on this day, I remember where I was when the world changed. But today, I thought more often about where I was on this day last year, with you. We were at a wedding, watching one of my best friends get married, spending time with some sweet friends of mine from high school. It's where we took this picture:

Today when I thought about 9/11, I thought about how strange it was that it was before we were together. Since 9/11, I've lived an entire lifetime of love and loss, new beginnings and tragic endings. The only 10 year anniversary I'll celebrate with you will be like today - an anniversary of loss. 

I prayed for those who lost their lives that horrible day. I prayed for their loved ones who had to keep living afterward without them. I cried for them this morning even imagining half of the pain that they've endured.

I visited Ground Zero almost a year after 9/11 and was stunned by the amount of damage that still needed repair, and how fresh that day felt standing in that place, how tragic. But now I get it. Tragedy, no matter how big or small, takes time to recover from. It takes a long time to pick up the pieces, to clean up the damage done. And there will always be marks. We will never forget.

I miss you baby.
I love you forever.


On this day...

is excited to play Beatles Rock Band with the hubs. Be jealous. =]
 ·  · September 10, 2009 at 9:56pm

had SUCH a long, busy, exhausting, eventful, and rewarding week! Ready for the weekend! =]
 ·  · September 10, 2010 at 11:23pm

I love you. So very very much. It still stirs up so much in my heart and in my soul. Thank you for sharing that kind of love with me. 

I miss you.

10 months

10 months.

The months are now in the double digits. And yet, still no sign of reality making any sense. My brain rejects the possibility of you never coming back, while my body recognizes the absence and knows it's been too long already. My heart is broken and hardened at the same time.

I'm getting to the point where I feel like all I ever to do is complain. I want to tell you how great everything is, how blessed I am. I want to talk to you about how thankful I am. I'm still breathing, living in a beautiful home, raising three of sweetest and most beautiful children who love me unconditionally, I have great friends and family....I want that to be enough. Enough to fill my heart. I open my computer with a smile and a sigh of accomplishment, then my fingers hit the keys to write to you - and reality flashes at me and I remember why it feels like something is always missing. All the validity in my survival of the day seemed sucked out by the realization that it never means you're coming back.

I receive daily emails from GriefShare every morning, which are basically words of encouragement for grievers and testimonies from people who have lost loved ones. The one this morning struck a chord with me:

Margi, who lost her husband, says, "I eventually came to a point in my life where I just said to the Lord, 'I'm going to stop asking You why, and I will begin asking You how. How can I use this in my life so that it will glorify You? I want to be able to use this to witness to others and encourage them through whatever it is You are trying to teach me.'" 

I don't know how far long in her grief journey Margi was, but her words inspired me. I want to be like that, I want to know how I can use this to do something - anything - that might help make sense of it all. I'm not all there yet, but that's where I want to be. I want to be where Margi is.

I miss you. There will never be a second of my life where that won't be true. 
I love you always and forever.


7 months

Our sweet little Carter is 7 months old today. I can hardly believe it. His smiles and giggles are sometimes the only thing that can make me smile. He's got 2 teeth coming in, he loves talking and is always saying 'mama' or 'dada'. He's sitting up, loves his big brother and big sister, and will sit and watch the Fresh Beat Band with them - it's hilarious. He's got delicious thigh rolls, and huge hands that are a mark of any King male. His hair is really starting to turn red, and in the sun, we like to refer to his 'cheeto-brows' because it looks like someone rubbed Cheetos on his eyebrows. He's such a little ham.

All I could think about today was how much you would love him. He feels like he's been a part of my life always and yet I can't get over the fact that you've never met him, seen him, touched him, or kissed him. There something perverse and backwards about it.

One year ago tomorrow we had our ultrasound to find out if he was a girl or a boy. We all went together - all 4 of us. I always loved the weird looks when you and the kids came to my prenatal appointments with me. It must be rare, but to us it was normal - we were in this together. I don't think you ever missed one. And this time, I have this burned image in my head of laying on the table, looking at the big screen in front of me, and you to the left of me, holding Faith and Caleb, telling them what we were looking at  - our little peanut. Later you told me that you noticed he was a boy before the nurse pointed it out, and you were staring at me waiting for my reaction because I wanted a girl. Oh, am I ever glad we had a boy. Our precious little peanut. I posted about it here.

I still have moments where I feel like one life was traded for another. But today, I'm trying not to dwell on it. Today, I'm just trying to be thankful for our little miracle. Our sweet Carter. Thank you for loving him unconditionally before you ever laid eyes on him. Thank you for helping me make the sweetest children ever.

I miss you baby. And in some weird way, I think Carter does too. You should see the smile he gives me when I say 'dada' as he plays with your necklace. It's like he knows.
I love you always and forever.

Back to school

My heart was beating out of my chest most of the morning today. I didn't sleep hardly at all last night and I woke up way too early. It felt like my first day of high school or something.

Thankfully, Sarah had spent the night so that she could help me in the morning. What an angel she is to me. Surely more tears would have fallen today without her. We even managed to get really cute pictures taken early in the morning before all the rain came the rest of the day. Caleb went to school like a pro, I was proud of him because he usually clings.

Faith was a different story. She was very brave until we had to leave. I felt her hesitation cause she's in a new place and everything is unfamiliar. But she rode the bus for the first time ever and was chatting about her day when she came home. Phew, one day down....a lifetime more to go.

This year it's going to be crazy. The kids are in school at different times (Caleb in AM, Faith in PM), they're doing soccer and ballet, I have to drive Faith to school every day since the bus only drives her home, and I apparently have to wait for the bus 5 houses down from us with an infant all through the winter because they can't stop the bus in front of my house to drop her off and I have to be at the bus door in order for them to let her off. It's gonna get interesting. My brain is already about to explode reading all the things I have to pick up at the store, pictures I have to order, supplies I need to donate, homework I'll have to do with them, etc.

Even so, I was proud to have survived today. If I can survive today, surely I can survive tomorrow. I can only think one day at a time. We're gonna do this. My kids are rock stars.

Thanks for watching over us today, love. I know you would have been so proud of our sweet children as they put on their brave faces. I'm pretty anxious about what the school year is going to hold for them both and how we're going to have to adjust to this new normal as a broken family. I felt compelled to email Faith's teacher and give her a heads up about everything going on - not because I want Faith's grief to be a crutch or a reason to be treated differently, but so that she can keep an eye on how she's behaving and also to know that it's ok for Faith to talk about you, make things for you, and continue to address you as a part of our family. Because you still very much are.

I managed to hold back tears until I laid down to nap with Caleb and watched him sleep thinking about how much he looked like you. I silently sobbed that you're missing all this, and my heart broke for him in that moment. And then I couldn't stop until my eyes were so heavy they gave in.

I miss you. I miss the way you loved us and completed our family. I miss the father of my children.
I love you with all that I am.


a new season

A new haircut for school

For the first time in my life, I'm not looking forward to fall. And I didn't even realize it until the other day. I'm actually dreading it. This upcoming season feels so much more heavy than anything over the last 10 months. Fall was our favorite time of year, for completely different reasons. You were excited about hunting season, fantasy football, and making homemade applesauce. I was excited about school, the beautiful colors and smells of the season, and the Cider Mill. Fall in Michigan is the best but now it feels so lifeless. Now each fall, I'll have to anticipate another anniversary of your death. 

The kids are starting school tomorrow. EEK! The last few days, I've been getting so anxious, wanting to make sure I don't screw this up for them. Trying to overcome my 'widow brain' to make sure I don't forget things, and I've been agonizing over the fact that you're not here. I've been crying at the drop of a hat, moody with the kids, and I've noticed it's all from this anticipation of facing this season without you. The kids like to play this game where we talk about what you'd be doing if you were here. "If Daddy were here, he'd take Caleb to school in the morning before work, and make sure he took a long lunch to see Faith off on her first day of Kindergarten." "If Daddy were here, he'd go to my soccer games and teach me how to play." "If Daddy were here, he wouldn't believe how beautiful Faith has gotten and how old she is." "If Daddy were here, he'd be head over heels in love with Carter."

We also like to talk about the things we remember. Remember when Daddy did this, remember when Daddy did that. We were walking through Marshalls today, and Faith pointed out a shirt she thought you'd like and I thought about the fact that anyone listening to our conversations would never know you're dead. That is, until today when Caleb came into my room wanting to snuggle with someone for naptime and I told him he was already snuggling with you (he sleeps with your picture) and his response was "I want to snuggle with a real person." Sucker punch to the gut.

I was laughing to myself today thinking about how you hated when people suddenly started using the word 'season' to describe a temporary change in time. You thought it sounded too trendy. And so I struggled with the multi-purpose title of this post. A new season. But I can't stop thinking about it, wondering if this season will ever change for me. I know it's supposed to. Someday I'm supposed to be able to take a full breath and enjoy the smells of Autumn, to see the colors vibrant instead of gray. Someday I'm supposedly going to be able to look forward to Cider Mills and donuts and playing in the leaves with the kids instead of looking back and aching for yesterday. I'm stuck in winter, and fall seems so far away. I wonder at what point I'll look back and see this valley as that: a season. A temporary time of pain and despair. But 'a season without you' doesn't end, does it? I will forever be without you.

Caleb pretended to be magic today, and said his first trick would be to bring you out of ground and make you alive again. I may buy him a magic kit...

I miss you baby. I feel like I'm starting to not making any sense without you. Be with us this week as this new season starts. 
I love you with all my heart.



Today, I felt your absence. Spent time with many great people and dear friends, but I was painfully aware of the fact that I am no longer part of a couple. I can usually brush it aside and focus on other things, but it was blaring it's horn at me today. I hate harboring intense jealousy for other people and what they have. I fear I will live with uncontrollable jealousy for the rest of my life now.

I kept waiting to hear your laugh in the background while you hung out with the guys, or the sound of you chasing the kids around the yard, or seeing you hovering around the food table....my mind and my heart were playing tricks on me today. It was a cruel joke.

I've felt you close the last few days, which I'm so thankful for cause you were slipping away for awhile there. I don't know if it's because your family is here and they keep you close to me or what, but please stay close. Help me remember why I'm still fightin' this. 

I miss you baby. Every minute of every day.
I love you with all that I am.


deja vu

Some nights, I stare at the computer screen and can't come up with anything to tell you other than the obvious. I miss you. I love you. I hurt so much without you. But I know you already know, you have to feel it permeating through my skin. 

We took all the kids to the zoo today. It was extremely hot today, but it actually turned out to be a great day to go: no crowds and the animals were surprisingly active, which is always fun. There was a moment when were turning the corner on the path near the Zebras that I had deja vu from that exact spot a few years back, when we went to the zoo with Jon and Holly and the kids. Caleb was tiny and Faith was just a toddler - she had fallen asleep at that spot. I actually looked for the pictures tonight of that day.

Then we walked out of the zoo, and I had deja vu from the trip we took to the zoo last year. I remember you riding Faith on your shoulders and me holding Caleb's hand while he was walking on the half wall around to the parking lot. 

I don't know that I'll ever be able to go to the zoo without thinking about you. It's not like it was a thing we did, but those were special family memories for me. And I see you in every daddy carrying his child on his shoulders or picking him/her up to see the animals, or in every man who's pushing a stroller through the park. I see you in every couple holding hands, and every family walking around with big smiles on their faces, the smiles that know nothing of loss or broken families. I miss that naive and ignorant smile I used to wear.

I miss you baby. It's that sweatshirt in those pictures I love so much and like to lay in.
I love you more than anything.


1000 words

They say a picture is worth 1000 words.
I say a picture is priceless.

Your sister and brother-in-law are here visiting, and it's soooo good to have them here. Every time I hang around them, it makes me ache to be closer to them more often. But this time April brought with her pictures of you for me to scan, some of which I'd never seen before. Some of you as a child, some of us dating, some of you with your nephews. All so precious. What a wonderful gift. And even though it's horrible that it comes down to me having to hold onto you through pictures, I found myself actually happy to see them, to see you.  More healing than painful, I never feel like I have enough pictures.

There are a few pictures that tug at my heart. 

This picture of you fishing with Jack was the one that almost made me tear up. Aside from being an incredible dad, you were an amazing uncle. I loved how much you talked about missing them and wanting to hang out with them when they were away. You were so good about spending quality time with them.

This picture made me smile, mostly because it's one of the few early pictures of us that I don't hate me in. But also because we look so young. This was when we were dating, before we got engaged. I still remember that feeling of elation just from being with you and around you.

There are a lot of sweet pictures of you and Faith together, but I had not seen this one before. I can't believe how much Carter looks like her right now. I can't wait to make a scrapbook for the kids of all their pictures with you.

Ahhh, this is my favorite. I love this picture because this is the way I remember you. Something about it makes me wanna reach out and touch you and never let go. 

The worth of these pictures to me could never be measured. 1000 words would never do them justice. My life, my love, my past, my future, my family, my world - are all within these pictures. When I go through them all, I get a little glimpse of you and your heart, which is so so precious to me.

I miss you baby. There is still a giant hole in the universe where you should be.
I love you always and forever.



I'm in a weird place where things are starting to feel 'normal.' Only I don't know what normal is. Everything is backwards, and the reality of life is just not right. And yet, I feel like I've been here awhile now. Sometimes you feel so distant from me, I can't remember if you were ever there. And most moments, I feel you close and see things in the house that you've touched just months ago. But I was laying in bed talking to Carter about you tonight, and I had to look up at your picture to help me remember. To prove you were there, to bring you closer.

I measure the time by Carter's age. He's getting so big, but it's painful to watch him grow and know that I'm getting further away from you, the longer we've lived and grown without you. It feels like just yesterday you were here, and yet I look at pictures of the kids the weeks leading up to your death and they look so young. How could so much time have gone by already?

This paradox is agonizing. I feel like my life will be frozen here forever: just living the rest my life day by day as Jeremy's widow.  An eternity overshadowed by 8 short years and a life that wasn't finished. My every moment is still defined by this, and part of me doesn't ever want that to change. I'm proud to be yours. I'm proud of life we shared together, and the life we created together. It's just exhausting to continue our life and our family without you. 

I'm talking in circles. But that's how I feel anymore. Nothing makes sense, even when nothing goes wrong. When everything is right, nothing feels right. I want to celebrate life and my blessings, but there's still so much pain with every breath I take.

I miss you with every ounce of me tonight. I'm wrapping myself in your Maple Leafs hoodie tonight.
I love you always and forever.


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