Wednesday, June 10, 2015

When fear is reality

I remember standing in your room...looking at your hospital bed....thinking wow your small frame makes that bed look huge when in reality it was your typical twin/single bed. it was late and it was just us five. You looked at all of us...you were mentally with us...which at that time was fleeting..your eyes filled with tears as you finally spoke ...i  love you all so very much...i was given so much in this life - my greatest blessing was being your mom...i am sorry this happened that i brought this into our family - i am sorry i couldn't beat this for you...i am sorry for doing this to you... i am sorry... i love you...i love you so much...  but i can't live like this...i don't think i will make it thru the night...i don't want to live like this...this isn't living...i love you..we were all crying...we know mom...we don't want you to live like this either...no mom this isn't your fault....we love you. we are so grateful to call you our mom...you blessed us. you loved us. you raised us. we love you....i knew in that moment the fate of her destiny was sealed...i was holding onto hope that she would bound back - turn a corner...i knew it was now only a matter of when she would leave us.  I remember not wanting to leave the hospital that nite...i didn't want to go to bed for fear she wouldn't in fact make it thru the nite...i feared for this moment for the last four years...and prior to that gathering in her room it was just a fear...now the difference was..it was reality..it was really happening...it was going to really happen. i thought i prepared myself for that moment knowing it would one day come...turns out i wasn't prepared at all...for nothing can prepare you for such a moment. i am still not prepared...and i never will be chances are...but life continues on. i don't know how but it does...

it was June 10 well actually the early hours of June 11...she would be gone 5 days later...what a nightmare it all was...still is when i think back to those June days of the suffering and struggle her final days were and the exhaustion and pain that came to us as we had no choice but to stand by and watch. i don't think i will ever forget those June days...my jaw just hurting all the time...from biting down so hard to fight the tears back...the intense eye headaches that never left as a result of exhaustion, no sleep and too much crying. staying strong - keeping positive - trying to comfort others We spent our days in the hospital with her - our meals eaten downstairs in the cafeteria as we took turns sitting with her while the others picked at food we forced down.  We would read to her - sing to her - watch tv with her in shifts as the rest would gather in the lounge doing just about anything to distract our minds from the reality that was our lives during those June days...we would laugh..and when we did i remember thinking i never realized how great laughing truly felt...what a simple free blessing we are given in laughing...She was one of two ways - lost in her own thoughts/world or throwing up as a result of pushing fluids to flush the high levels of ammonia from her body.  Neither were pleasant to witness...at all. her sleeping was a welcome state...i would often just sit and look at her ...it was the strangest feeling to see her there yet not see her there...it was my first realization that a body is just a shell for the soul...part of her - the best part of her had quickly started to fade out of this world - her body already showed signs that her full self had started to part...i sat there wondering how did we get here...how is this her story...how is this reality right now. things were moving so fast yet so slow at the same moment. we were all at a lost of words not sure what to think - what to say - what to do...our warrior for the first time didn't appear to be superwoman...our lives were hanging by treads - we stood on crack glass beneath us it was no longer a thought will it shattered now the thought was it was only a matter of time...the world that we knew life to be would forever be altered and we all knew it.

Such a moment can make you realize so much about life...how we spend so much time - energy and thought on things that truly do not matter in any way shape or form when it comes down to it...life is truly about the simplest of moments and i found myself wanting to give just about anything to have those small simple moments back with her. i sat by her bedside and thought of all those moments i was granted to share and create with her...how much those moments  meant to me because i was given the blessing of her - that the single reason why those moments carried so much meaning was simply because of her. my mind would wander and i found myself thinking of all the moments that would now occur without her...how was i going to face not only those moments but life in general without her. my mom - my best friend was fading from my life and i couldn't stop it - i couldn't pause it - fix it - heal her...my only choice was to stand by, watch...and pray...i would say the same things over and over and over...please bring her  peace...please bring her peace...please bring her peace. soon the prayer would change to please take her. please just take her. please just take her now and end this suffering. when that prayer came a part of  what i thought of my lighted soul darkened. you are never the same after you pray for someone to have their life end...and a part of me will never heal from voicing and asking for such a request in prayer...and a part of me will also never forgive him for granting that prayer request...gosh i still wish this wasn't the reality of my life...i miss her terribly...and long to just be embraced by her comfort - by her light - by her love...my soul misses her in ways i will never find the words to express...

i am unsure how but during those June days i found ways to send updates to all those praying and thinking of her. now those posts help me fill in the blanks during a time where all we did was get thru the day...i look at the pictures...read the words...and think the blessing was her suffering thou terrible to witness only lasted for a matter of weeks...that was the game we always played - what could be worse....her suffering more than weeks...that could have been worse...maybe that was a blessing...it could have been worse -hard to actually imagine what we lived thru and she suffered thru...but it is possible - many have it worse.  my heart goes out to those people that have it worse...my heart truly goes out to you.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

my boy...Oz

Born on April 19th, 2015 in Verona ND  to Jake (black lab) and Molly (choc. lab) one of 3 males with 4 females.... weighing a hefty 11 lbs the chunk of the litter at the time of coming home - June 7th, 2015... Meet my man - my boy...Aussie 'Oz' Grinnell Goldmann.

Aussie as a shout out to my mates and my time living in Australia. Truly one the the best places i have ever been - seen and for sure had the honor to call home.

Grinnell named Grinnell Mountain and Grinnell Glacier which just happens to be located in Glacier National Park, Montana.  Hands down my favorite place on the planet. My heart and soul belong in the Big Sky State.

And a special tribute to my warrior - my best friend - my mom by calling him Oz as in the Wizard of Oz - for one of her favorite songs that happened to be sung at her funeral - Somewhere Over the Rainbow.

It was love from the moment I saw this porky guy - he won over my heart in the matter of seconds and knew from then on it would just be me and him. June is not my favorite month - its a hard month - a struggling month... its the month my world shattered. the month i lost my best friend. the month where we had to watch our warrior leave this world. Its also the month of her birthday and the month when she said her I do's to my father. I am so grateful for all she gave me and i honor her the best i know how and can do each and everyday...but June - June is just a tough month.  So i figured it would be fitting to bring some much needed joy and excitement to the month that brings so many tears and heartbreak.  I am not sure what i have gotten myself into...it may be my best decision or my worse...time will tell - but i am quite certain it will be a decision i will never regret.  This little guy has already started to replace sorrow with love in the form of his waggin' tail - out of control cuteness and of course his cuddles. I can't help but just melt and smile. I mean really is there anything better than a puppy...and then add on top of that a black lab puppy....

I am officially entering chaos...but i think he is just what i need. just what my life is lacking...life is going to be an adventure with him.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

June 4th.

Today - you and dad would have celebrated 39 years of marriage. oh how i wish you two would have been allowed more time to grow together through this life - to enjoy the life you had worked so hard for and saved for...i wish you would have been granted that life together. But i realize you were blessed with much more. You two were blessed with a marriage that provided you love and support for 38 years. I can only hope that if i ever do find the right one to say I do too - that such a marriage would mirror the one that the two of you created.  I often thinking of the song by Martina McBride - All the things we've never done.

They drank their anniversary glass...A silent moment passed
Then they kissed...She knows there's something on his mind
He'll tell her in due time...What it is.... He says "I've never built
Your mansion on a hill...Or warmed you in the Spanish sun
I simply blink my eye...And think as years fly by
Of all the things we've never done"

She smiles and takes his hand in hers....And says "It just occurred
To me now....The thought that brings you such regret
What hasn't happened yet...It makes me proud... "

"You never walked away...When I needed you to stay
Or made me feel I'm not the one...There've been no broken vows
And there reason we're here now...Is all the things we've never done"

"We've never grown apart....You never broke my heart
With secrets that you've kept me from...We've never been untrue
And I'm still here with you...Through all the things we've never done"

To me this was your marriage in a nut shell...it wasn't about things or possessions - it was all about what was real - what is now some what rare these days...simply and pure love. You two were committed to each other and your vows to the other stood for something and the life you built together was lasting. I am so proud to be the daughter of Mark and Paula Goldmann.  I so wish I could have watched more of your love story unfold yet i know its still not over.

Last year we spent this night in the ER...some anniversary to celebrate 38 years...yet it didn't matter to you two...you two were just happy to be together. I find it quite ironic on the very day you officially started your life together would end up being the very day 38 years later to start your lives soon apart. For it was late in the nite of June 4, 2014 that we gathered around you filled with fear and worry...something wasn't right...something wasn't right at all... we got that sinking gut feeling that our lives would soon be flipped upside down - little did we know then that the sinking feeling wasn't just our lives being flipped but also torn and blown apart...In 12 days you would finally be granted peace but that peace would come at a cost - you would have to suffer and we would have no choice but to watch you slowly slip from this world as you carried your cross alone. Thinking of your last anniversary - is tough...so today i picture your wedding day. i see the couple - the new Mr. and Mrs. Goldmann ready to embark on life together...dad with his sun golden skin and big grin and you in a simple beautiful dress with eyes filled with excitement. You two couldn't wait to begin to embrace whatever life had in store for you to come - whatever it may bring you promised to face it together...and that you did. What a life you two had together...what a marriage...what a family you created...All because two people fell in love.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Reliving

You and dad had arrived to Fargo - to start the project of extending my drive way to allow me to park two cars without having to play musical cars each time someone needed to leave. You arrived with a smile on your face and ready to start the fun we always had when we decided to under take a task. You seemed better than the weeks prior - thou you had pressure building as well as fluid in your abdomen - you were gaining your strength it seemed and your attitude & out look was positive. Your last public outing was to the Knoll - Cook Wedding held on May 31st. You were tired but marched on. We noticed you were having troubling eating for the last few weeks but you having a hard time walking and moving in general was new. That week you spent in Fargo we found you in the basement on the couch - in order for you to join us all in the back yard i found a way to recline you and make you comfortable to be outside with us. Oh the smile this brought. Soon thou we moved you to my room to sleep because the stairs were just to much to conquer.  In my heart I knew something wasn't right. But instead I just thought she is just weak from the chemo - her body is run down - she just needs rest. I am sorry i never trusted my gut.  Soon you were laying in my bed more than you were moving. I long for those days last summer where i crawled into bed with you and we just laid side by side watching HGTV...there was mostly silence but i believe our souls were talking to each other. I miss that utter closeness with you...no one ever knew me better than you and i truly believe no one ever will. God i miss you.

When you left Fargo you went straight to Bismarck and checked into St. A's. From June 5th to June 13th you fought to live. Until we finally were told the bacteria virus that was the true reason why you couldn't move or walk did too much damage. Your kidneys and esp your liver were unable to function properly - as we feared your life would be taken from liver failure due to breast cancer. Watching you slowly slip away from this earth suffering and in pain was prolly one of the worse things I myself have ever witnessed. It made me sick to my stomach knowing we couldn't do anything to lessen your load. I still have the nightmares of you in this state. The days where we prayed endlessly for you to be able to stop throwing up - for you to be at peace. And then were only followed by the three days we prayed for you to be taken. I know many have it much worse - your days of misery were numbered compared to others - yet it was much to long for those who love you to have witness and much much too long for you to have had to endure. But there you were...not a single complaint, not an ounce of anger or pity...how were you so strong, so brave...how were you still so loving and kind through it all... you amaze me mom. The way you fought your battle and carried the heavy load ALL alone with your undying faith.

May 2015 wasn't a good month and June 2015 has been terrible...i find myself reliving your final month - day by day. In many ways finally processing what had all happened. Sometimes just living thru the moment is hard enough you can't process it. Losing you has been the biggest challenge of my entire life...and i am quite certain it will be the biggest challenge i will ever have to face. The treads of your being are so tightly woven into mine - that when you left i was forever altered and changed. And i am now learning how to live without you...i know this past year i was just existing - just getting thru the days to have them pass....it has been a struggle of growing pains of sorrow pains and so much more. Most days i just long to talk to you and share all that i shared with you. how do you explain to others when the only person that truly gets it all was the one person you want and need but isn't here....there's no replacing you. i know i am being selfish...but i just want the life i had back...where you were here...where we talked. where we smiled. where we laughed. where we were together. where i could pick up the phone and hear your voice. where we shared our thoughts and stories...now you only exist in my head...you are imprinted on my heart and the trace of your being mapped all over my soul. its hard to let that life go where we even in that moment knew we had the whole world in our hands. i knew how blessed we were...i knew it wasn't everyone's story - everyone's life. i would fight for that life with everything i have - i still would. God, i miss you, mom.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Words I can't say

i have never had this problem before...and now i often can't believe the task it is...to simply form the words...i have only done it twice since June 16th...the words don't seem to form - the thoughts run so fast i can't stop them long enough to gather...my last prayer to the man upstairs was to take her...to end her suffering..to take her from this world...that monday in June he finally granted one of my prayers...not the ones of healing her and keeping her here with us...but healing her and taking her to him...since then the words - the thoughts - the prayers haven't been there...its not for a lack of trying...i try...they just aren't there. i have been to church when i am required - holidays, weddings and funerals for friends and family since...its a for sure trainwreck to come when i enter those doors...it doesn't settle right...i guess thats what happens when you are mad...when you are angry...i didn't realize i was to be honest...i thought i skipped that stage of the grief/mourning phase...turns out i am angry...and i am mad...and i am only such to one...funny how you don't see it...that you can't link it all together, until someone has the guts to tell you...to ask you.  to actually listen and then has the knowledge to fill in the blanks and realize. I knew I couldn't pray... i knew i had a hard time being in his home - sitting in his church ... but i didn't know the reason or the meaning behind it.

every morning and every evening i get in my car and drive for 20 some minutes...i am alone in the car and i found myself one morning months ago to turn to LIFE 97.9 - i guess in a way the songs speak the words i can't mouth and voice out loud...until the anger leaves i let music speak...most days the music i hear - the lyrics that are spoken bring me to tears...sometimes to the point i have to pull over...yet i can't speak a word. but i keep listening. 

a few weeks ago i was given a book...what a struggle of a book it is to read...but i know its a struggle i have to get thru...if it wasn't for the person who I received it from it would prolly be sitting on the shelf...but I have decided to have a leap of faith and trust in her...I will admit I get thru the pages and take in the pages because she has to deal with taking in me - so it's only fair right? I will admit many of the topics of this book speak to me, yet I am highly certain it will take reading this book more than once to obtain what it has to offer. Praying seems so easy until you are faced with a time in your life that the one you are praying to is the very one that shattered your life by taking away the grounding figure in your life...so my words to him right now are not kind words - in fact they are prolly words that shouldn't be said or voiced in any form at all...so i remain silent...but i read the pages of this book - i absorb what is written on them and try to process thru.  I find myself thinking how i can apply them to life and not just life in general but my life...i finally was able to say my first prayer...its was emotional, it was hard...it required more strength than i realized... i let him know i wasn't impress with his choice and i would prolly fight him on his reason for the rest of my life...but to help me see the blessings that surround me in this life - to help me embrace the simple joy and happiness again. was it even a prayer...doesn't seem like one now that i read it...but thats all i could come up with at the time...thats all i had in me...they say he can take it...take the anger - the letdown - the being utterly torked off pissed off mad at him...well i am not an angry person...i am the direct opposite. Maybe that's why it's so hard to see and admit that I am feeling such a way. 

Since that nite - I have said one more prayer - and it took knowing a ten year old was saying prayers for me to get me to do it...it was prolly harder than the first. And it sounded even less like a prayer. I sat there tears rolling down my face - I don't know what to say. I don't want to move. I know I am holding so tight afraid of letting go that I don't even know what I am truly holding onto. You gave me the very life I loved and embraced then took away the source of everything to me. She belonged here. I didn't need to become more and I hate that whatever lesson you think I need to know grow and become is a direct result of taking my best friend - my mom. I would swear at you but my mom is prolly listening. All I can say is you better have a damn good reason behind this. A damn good reason. 

Yup not a prayer I know maybe they will come with time. Maybe the anger will fade and I will be embrace by this understanding - doubtful. Chances are I will just grow to accept it and forgive - no promises I will trust in this but I will try. I am quite certain we needed her more. I am willing to bet my life on it. But I guess if I ever want to see her again I am going to have to trust in you and believe in you again. So I guess my third prayer is right here and now. Help me forgive you. Help me let go of the anger. 




Sunday, May 24, 2015

Mady Kay

what...a graduate fron high school?!?!?! when? how? where did the time go...you were just our Chuckie the other day...my leech the next and then i turned and found you grown...how is this possible...i don't know...what i do know is that you have grown into one amazing beautiful smart gal...i am so very proud of you, Madysen Kay. i know great things lie before you - just awaiting for you to embrace them...dreams just awaiting for you to grasp and turn into reality. I am confident all you will ever truly need already lies within you...believe in yourself and know that you can...and you will.  Don't be afraid to challenge yourself - for life is best lived outside your comfort zone. Know always that your family - me included will always be found in your corner - forever members of the Mady Zander fan club.  way to go freak, i am so very proud of you!! Cheers!!!


Friday, May 22, 2015

Kobe

5.22.2015

You were often the one that understood me best - your spoke with your eyes that always gazed into my eyes - you showed and gave me kindness and love always - way more than i ever deserved. it was you, Kobe that would comfort me all those night on the back steps crying - you who would come lay your head on my lap to show me how much you cared.  You were never just a dog, Kobe...you will never be just a dog...you were everything and more to us...i hope mom was the first one to greet you and your tail was wagging out of control and you were bursting with excitement. Oh how you loved her and oh how protective you were of her - esp when she got sick, you wanted no one near her. it seems fitting you are with her now...hopefully keeping her feet warm.  Thanks for being the best dog ever. We will miss you, Kobe and always love you.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

She's almost a whole hand

5.20.2015  how is it even possible you are four years old, Taylor Jean. how is it even possible.  oh the joy, laughter, excitement and adventure you bring to our lives. From the first moment I met you - you owned the crown as my favorite little human ever...and in the years since i have only grown to love you more. you will always be my favorite giggle, my favorite i love you this much, my favorite kind of wild, my favorite sparkle....you are so special and rare - in a league all of her own...no one is like you and i am so very glad...i hope no one ever is like you...you know just always when your aunt sellie needs love and your hugs are the best form of healing to my heart and soul. you show such kindness and compassion that is way beyond your four years of life...you are a remarkable amazing awesome little girl. I can't wait to have more adventures with you - for life is always a ride with you. Never lose that excitment in your voice and that classic Taylor giggle - for when i see and hear it - i know it was from your Granny that you gained it from.  I know she is beaming with pride, joy and love for you - now and always. We all love you, Taylor Jean...Happy Birthday Tay.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Longing

Oh the reality of life. How is this not a dream or better yet a nightmare. How is this truly life. How can this be life without you. How is all this possible without having you. I don't know. I don't know so many things since you left. I don't even know how I got this far. How is it now 11 months and a day. It seems like a lifetime ago. I miss you so much. The word miss doesn't seem to do justice. I need better words that carry more meaning more power behind them. Because it doesn't full fill the depths at which I miss you and long for your presence. How am I suppose to do all this without you. This wasn't the plan. This isn't the life that i dreamed or want. It hurts - and I can't find a way to make it stop. My heart just hurts with the deepest pain and loss I have ever felt. My mom - my best friend - my person gone. How am I suppose to do all this without you. You held the meaning. You held everything. My joy. My laughter. My dreams. My stories. You were the one I shared my everything with. 

I miss talking to you. Hearing your thoughts. Your stories. Your advice. Your knowledge. I miss the sound of your sweet gentle voice telling me about what was on the Today show this morning or something you saw on HGTV. I miss you calling me to talk about criminal minds or the weather or what cute thing Taylor did while you were with her. I miss you telling me the simplest parts of your day. I miss the 14 plus phone calls a day. Where we just talked about whatever was on our minds. Now i sit in silence and just think of you. Wonder of you. Miss you. 

I miss my best friend. The one I shared it all with. You made life so much more. You made me so much more. I know I am fighting to on hold. Refusing to let go. Yet you are fading - like sand slipping thru my hands the traces of you are leaving and I can't stop it. I know there is a process to life. I understand I know these things - I am aware of these things my mind fully knows these things. I just wish my heart understood. 

What i would give to have you here. What I would give to spend just one moment with you. My soul aches for you. My heart is heavy with the loss of you from my life. I just long to be embraced by your light and love again. 

Saturday, May 16, 2015

My tulip field

I sit and just stare at a photo of you taken last April. You are standing in a field of tulips. You had your classic smile across your face - you were filled with peace - you were simply happy. Your eyes taking in the beautiful of 1000 upon 1000 upon 1000 of tulips in every color you could imagine. Tulips were your favorite - yellow ones your very favorite. You just couldn't believe your eyes. The ohh uhh and ahhhs were rolling off your tongue. I could tell in your voice this in your eyes was paradise. You just took your time walking among the fields breathing in that intoxicating pure smell of beauty - you said this has to be a glimpse of heaven. You strolled so gracefully soaking it all up - gently touching a tulip here and there.  I stood and just watched you.  You were taking in the beauty that surrounded you  and yet the beauty I was taking in conquered what your eyes were seeing. I will always see you in the same eyes that you saw that field. You will always be my tulip field.
You never liked to pose for photos but that day you flashed me your pearly smile. You didn't care how many photos I asked to take. No words were spoken - no words were needed. We both knew. We both knew that these photos of you standing in a field of tulips would one day be the photo we sent to the paper - the photo that would one day be printed for the frame on the shelf - the photo for the program we would hand out to those who would attend your life's celebration - the photo we would look at to remember you. No words were heard or brought to life by our voices but we both knew.

That Mother's Day I decided to take those tulip field photos and print them on canvas to hang in your room. But you know me and surprises I couldn't wait. So when the prints showed up I didn't wait to give them to you on Mother's Day - instead I hung them as soon as I got them. You just smiled and said you brought that paradise to life. A month later we were gathered around your room at St A's. I didn't speak I sat in the corner as Paul asked you where you wanted to go...you were just waiting for someone to ask you - for the question wasn't even out of his mouth completely and you said  HOME.  They all left the room and you said to me - I want to go home so I can leave this world under a field of tulips. When we arrived you had this smile on your face - the same one you had when you were in that field of tulips. It would be the last time I would ever see it on your sweet face. You were so filled with peace to be home. In the house you made so very special for all of us. Filled with your love in every square inch.

On June 16th at 11:38 am you took your last breath under the canvas of those fields of tulips with somewhere over the rainbow playing. God I hope the fields of tulips you now walk in don't even compare in beauty to the ones you walked in here on earth. I hope the peace and happiness you felt that day in Oregon is times 100 more upon being embraced in your true paradise.  I hope your smile is even bigger and you some how found a way to be even more beautiful in heaven. 

11 months today - oh how I miss you. I miss you so very much. I often sit in silence and close my eyes. Tears falling from my cheeks picturing you in that field of tulips. Oh how I long for that day I arrive at that field of tulips with you standing in that paradise beaming in a light of utter grace, beauty and love I have never know to even exist - awaiting to welcome me forever home.... Until then I hope you know how much I Love you and how very grateful I am to call you my mom. 



Monday, May 11, 2015

The Goal has been set....PACING FOR PAULA

Late April of 2014 - I came home for the weekend - she wasn't doing well. She knew - I knew ... we all knew ... Her friends stopped by the house to see her and then proceeded to call - email and text me...Michelle - I think she is dying. Michelle I think you should come home. Michelle - she needs you now, come home. Michelle come home...were how some of the messages went. Upon walking in the door I found my mom on the couch with one of her friends rubbing her hands. I knew she wasn't well - i was prepared for her not to be well. I wasn't prepared for the condition I found my mom in. Thankfully she couldn't see me walk in the door - and i was able to compose myself before giving my hug hello to her.  When I slipped my arms around her body - the body that was literally no longer there i thought when did this happen...she wasn't like this the last time i saw her a week ago - how could this happen that fast...

Once i was ready her friend said her goodbyes and i sat down next to her...i grabbed her hands and started to rub them... She just looked at me for the longest time and finally said i can't live like this Michelle...if this is how my life here is going to be ... tears formed in her eyes...her voice cracked...it was the first time i ever heard her say such things...she couldn't even finish the sentence for she felt like she was letting me and the rest of the family down...so i stopped her...and said...i know mom...i know...its ok...we don't want you to live like this either. We just sat there staring at each other...i am confident our soul's were talking to each other and no words were needed...just a look. I could tell she was in pain...pain beyond what i could possibly imagine and yet she didn't complain...she was exhausted beyond belief and yet there she was being my mom...trying with every ounce she had to just be there. I would have given anything just to bare her pain - to give her rest, to carry the load, to fight this demon - cancer for her. Instead there we sat mother and daughter knowing the future we didn't want was approaching quickly.

That moment stung my heart...it was like a dagger to my soul...it felt like someone had reached down my throat and tried to pull my insides out. there were no words of comfort i could offer her nor she could offer me...it simply was what it was...it just fucking sucked...she wasn't impressed with my language. but it did spark a smirk across her face and a slight eye roll...with not knowing what else to do i picked up her legs and sat at the end of the couch and placed her feet on my lap...anyone that knows me knows that i dislike feet...actually i hate feet..i hate my feet being touched and i hate touching someone else's feet...but in that moment i closed my eyes and started to rub my mom's feet...i could hear the sigh of relief as my touch brought her the comfort she was aching so badly to recieve....she so badly wanted someone to rub her feet yet just couldn't bring herself to asking someone too...she said finally Michelle what are you doing...i can't believe you are doing this...shhh mom...i am pretending i am rubbing your hands...i opened my eyes to see the smile across her face...she knew as well as i did that no one else would have ever gotten me to do that...but my love for her outweighed my dislike and hate for feet..i would do anything for her...and i did the impossible just for her by rubbing and touching her feet.

The next day she was up and she was determined to walk a mile on the treadmill...when just the night before she couldn't even walk to the bathroom...she said my foot rub made her feel so much better she wanted to try...her attitude and determination was re-fueled...so to the treadmill we went...i stood beside her holding her up as she put one foot in front of the other - each step costing her more energy than she had to give...her breathing was deep...she was utterly exhausted...so thin and weak that she barely could hold up her own weight...but yet she put one foot in front of the other and continued. i offered her a pause or a break or a maybe we should do this later...but she shook her head no...she was going to do it...her stubborn red-headed fire was shining thru...she didn't lose that will power...she was going to do it...it didn't matter how long it would take her or what it would cost her - she was going to do it....So there we were mother and daughter -side by side next to a treadmill - taking one small step after another.

There's 5280 feet in a mile - that day i am quite certain she took at least 5400 steps to reach her goal of one mile - i don't remember how long it took her to complete that one mile...but i do know we were there for quite a bit of time but she reached her goal... she did it in the end...she was my hero already but by this display of courage and determination she will always be a superhero in my eyes. She set her mind to it and she wasn't going to stop until she succeed. That moment was just like how she fought cancer and how she lived her life...she never gave up...I am so proud of who she was/is and what she stands/stood for. Fighting to the very end until she was finally called home to be at peace. What a warrior.

In her honor...I have committed myself to running each mile...taking each step for her in first a half marathon and then a full marathon. As she was ... i too am determined to do it...i don't care how long it takes me...what it will require of me to complete...if i run...walk...or have to crawl...i am going to do it for her...for the woman that fought to walk one mile..for the woman who fought for each step her took...each breath she took...each day she was given...for the woman that fought with every single ounce in her to be here...to live...for me...for my brothers...for my dad...for my nieces...for my family...the hell she had to endure to live..and when i think i can't go on...i will replay that moment inmy head over and over...that memory of the weekend i came home to find her on the couch...that weekend were she walked a mile on the treadmill...and i will carry on just as she did...so mom..i am doing it for you...I love you.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Grandma Tillie

5.1.2015 - Your longing wish and dream has finally been granted.  Tears of joy, love and happiness roll down my cheeks as i imagine you at last reunited with the love of your life, Grandpa Jake. Oh how you endlessly talked about this day...being embraced by him again.  Oh to love someone that much to live 31 years without him and to never love another besides him.  What a celebration it must be for the two of you together again.  I picture your strong faith being rewarded by coming face to face with your maker - i see the huge smile across your face as you are embraced by our Lord's peace - light and love...I envision the look of shock and suprise filled with joy upon seeing your Paula there. For in this world you weren't able to fully understand she had left. I can see her big smile across her face - you know the one..the kind of smile she gave that was so big it wrinkled up her nose...i can hear her giggle - the one she made when she was bursting with happiness...i can hear you say her name with the same smile across your face...i fight back tears knowing you are being embraced by her...half torn with happiness and jealously knowing you are with her. Then I remember you have earned this. You deserve this reunion. this happiness. this peace. this love. this joy....and a smile forms again. And i whisper good for you.

Grandma Tillie, i hope you know how much i love you. I hope you know how important you are in my life and who i am as a person. I hope you know how proud I am to be your grand-daughter and how honored I am to call you, my Grandma.  I remember it all, Grandma. and I promise never to forget. I vow to honor you in the life that i live on this earth until i am embraced by you again......As i do when i think and miss your daughter so much i can't find the words...i will now do for you too...in the silence so calming I can almost hear my heart & soul whispering to yours - i bring my hand - the same hands that were yours - her's & now mine and gently place it on my heart.  As tears stream down my face - i sit with these hands that were passed down to me, feel the beating of my heart - the heart - you first gave life to her and then she gave life to me.  I sit in the stillness not a word spoken from my lips for some thoughts are too deep for words...yet i know the both of you hear them all and know them all...for i am the breath and life of the both of you - my soul forever embedded in yours. A connection so deep - a bond so powerful that no words are ever needed. Your love and her love are all that remain in this world that you have left behind. What a honor. what a blessing. what a gift to know that love. to have that love. to feel that love. I close my eyes and picture the two of you now forever together...and i pray you give me the strength i will need to embrace this life without the two of you. I pray you both forever know how much i love you.

You have empowered my life and helped me become more by simply loving me and sharing your life - your lessons and your love with me. May the angels lead you into paradise, Grandma Tillie.  I love you. Give my love and hugs to my mom...I look forward to the day I see you both awaiting for my arrival - smiles and giggles included.

Monday, April 27, 2015

The Strawberry Blonde

She was a face that i just couldn't place - someone i felt like i knew.  Thoughts going across my mind - i know her  - i am positive but the where, when and the how's just couldn't be linked together.  Our paths would cross here and there from time to time but i never thought anything of it. I figured she just had a friendly face with the kind of smile that makes her seem like you knew her - the kind of smile that wasn't easy to forget.

Life happened ... the huge blow of a loss was dealt. My life in chaos - my being lost in that mess of grief - sadness and struggle.  The loss of my mom and best friend launched me into a darkness of twists and turns.  During perhaps the worse time of my entire life the strawberry blonde walked into my life again - she showed up in the strangest and most random of places...at a mentoring running club for young girls. She didn't do anything special - she didn't know my story...she simply flashed me a smile and had this kindness about her. Fleeting for me is feeling at ease - yet i would feel just that around her, her smile got me to just breathe.  her laugh would spark a smile across my face. Her energy shot light into my darkness. At first I just brushed it all off...but week after week she just offered me more kindness and simple friendship in the most calming of ways. I found myself just grateful for the simplest acts of thoughfulness she provided without a thought to it, she had no clue what meaning those acts carry - and to be honest even now she still doesn't have the slightest hint.  Which tells me fully and completely she's real - she isn't fake.  She is simply just a good down to earth person who is genuine and sincere not just with her words but best of all with her actions.

What a blessing she has been to my life in these last months.  Our friendship has been formed and her friendship is something i find myself utterly grateful to have in my life. She has found it worth her while to befriend me - even thou the me - I am right now isn't the best verison of a person one would want to claim as their friend. But she sees pass the darkness - the brokeness -the uglyiness...she sees pass the trainwrecks filled with endless emotions ...and somehow sees me...and shockingly i allow her to see me and know me in such states, where i have struggled to let so many love ones see and help me during this time. But becasue of her friendship it has helped me allow those who so badly want to be there for me, in. I often think what did i ever do to deserve such people and such friendships into my life.

For 33 years i shared it all with only one person...and having that person taken from my life has left a void and emptiness in me that i know will never be filled...yet i am starting to think that my mom somehow has something to do with this strawberry blonde walking into my life...i believe she sent her...because she knew i needed her...and i think the color of her hair was the sign to let me know she was behind it all. i still don't truly know...and i prolly never will...and thats ok...what matters is i now claim this girl as my friend...my hope is to one day step up and be such a friend to her in return...to better her life in the same way she has enhanced and helped restore parts of mine...she is the friend i truly need that much i know for certain...there's only one true person that knows just what i need...she is the only one that knows what was taken when she left...and though she will never be replaced - she somehow found someone she believes will offer me the friendship - support and strength i have been lacking with her absent from my life.  To this strawberry blonde...you have become a life-line to my being. A light in my darkness. A laugh to my endless tears. Though you aren't here to save me, you show me and remind me that i am capable of saving myself. Thank you for seeing past it all and just seeing me...the me she always saw...i am beyond honored to call you, my friend. 



Wednesday, April 22, 2015

run...

I tie my shoes and head for the trail...its just me and my thoughts and the only place i now hear you. to those who pass by me - i am sure they wonder is this girl ok...should i stop and ask her if she is good? i often have to stop tears streaming down my face that fog my vision. a million thoughts cross my mind...the life i lived with her...the journey of battling cancer...the suffering, pain and struggle of the end...letting her go...the life that now exists without her. all the convos over the 33 years of our times together play in my mind - just pieces - words here and there pop in my head. i try so hard to recall it all to remember it all. i run...i run...trying to get to you...but i will never reach you...my heart feels like it will burst with sorrow. my lungs hurt...my bones hurt...its physical pain that i welcome for the soul pain the pain of losing you i can barely take it...how can one miss someone to the point their bones hurt...their entire body can hurt...how can one feel so broken yet not show one physical sign of being broken...i run...to what i don't know...in hopes of finding peace for my heart. for my mind. for my soul...yet i know i won't find it...i run...to try to clear my thoughts...to clear my mind but it doesn't work...i am consumed with missing you...thoughts of only you...is this the story of my life now...how to live without you...i don't stop because i think of you struggling to even take a step...so i run faster...i don't stop because i think of you grasping for air so i run farther...imagines of you throwing up endlessly and still having a smile on your face saying its ok...i am ok...i don't stop...i don't stop because i think of your suffering, your pain your struggle your battle and go harder...i slam my foot to the ground in hopes it wil prove some point to myself that with running i can make this better...but it doesn't work...a song comes on and i lose it to the point i have to stop and sit behind a tree and just cry...i can't even catch my breath...snot is over taking how much i am even sweating...i laugh and think no wonder why these runs take me forever to complete - too many emotional detours and delays...i listen to the words and they are speaking right too me...

"Fight hard on a night like this
Look for a star and wish
You could get out of it

Bite down and then pray, pray, pray
You'll make it through this to sing and say
You hold life dear

Moments turn to hours which become years...
And now I'm

Far from here, and we are happy
Far from here, we are all right
Far from here, things are peacful
Far from here, we have insight
Far from here, we've detangles
Our strangled hold
And I hope to see you there

Rise high out of this whole scene
Look down and separate yourself
From your worst dream

Then fly far and then stay, stay, stay
Out of the way until the coast
Is clear and safe

Moments turn to hours that become years...
And now I'm

Far from here, and we are happy
Far from here, we are all right
Far from here, things are peaceful
Far from here, we have insight
Far from here, we've detangled
Our strangled hold
And I hope to see you there

Oh, it's hard to imagine
The things that we survive
Will we understand it all
One day when we arrive?

Far from here, and we are happy
Far from here, we are all right
Far from here, things are peaceful
Far from here, we have insight
Far from here, we are laughing
Far from here, we are thankful
Far from here, we're forgiven
And for that we are grateful
Far from here, we've detangled
Our strangled hold
And I hope to see you there

I'll see you there

i run...i run...for healing that sometimes i wonder if i will ever find...i take a breath...i wipe my tears and get up and start running again...the thoughts...the memories...all of her come rushing back...and i run...gosh do i miss her with my entire being.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

how can this be...

I wake up and one thought repeats in my mind...how can this be...how can this be real life...how can this be reality...how can you be gone...how can this be...i lay in the darkness eyelids so heavy but never close...how can this be...my mind can't comprehend the reality of the fact you aren't here...that you are gone...i can't grasp nor understand. how can this be...how can i feel so much and yet not feel anything at all...I just long to hear your voice - to talk about nothing at all - to be in the simplest of moments with you - to be just left intoxicated by your presences...to feel your warmth, kindness and love. how could so much of who i am simply be traced back to you.  how does my body continue to run and function without half of its parts...how can this be...i try so hard to focus to feel you...but i always fall up short...what am i doing wrong i wonder...or is this just something one says to bring you comfort never to realize that it actually brings you anything but...i don't feel you. how can this be...you have been gone almost ten months and it seems like years and years...did i make you up...were you really here... this is all bigger than what i can grasp - comprehend and understand. How can this be.... all i know is i miss you. i miss you so terribly much.

Monday, February 23, 2015

am i still me...

In the past over eight months I have lived a life where most often i feel like a slug without its shell. In many ways  like a zombie just walking through the motions. All i hear are the same things over and over...embrace your life...be happy thats what she would want...go talk to someone. do this. be that. keep it together....the thing is...one doesn't have a clue until one is in a position of recovering from loss and trying to piece together a life that fit so perfectly together prior to when the bomb went off...words they offer no comfort to me anymore...regardless of how one thinks they are coming off or will come off...this is life not a pep talk for some big game...i often have the line they are meaning well come across my mind yet in the end words these days seem to do more damage than good. i get all these things that my mom wants for me. dreams for me...i know better than anyone because she told me...her words are what echos in my mind. in my heart. in my soul. Her gentle voice that comes to me in the my darkest of moments. yet that doesn't just magically just snap me into an alter universe where all of sudden i am whole. i am complete...i am me...

the truth of the matter is i have had half of my soul rip from me...and i am doing the best i can day by day and sometimes i have to take it hour by hour. i am not looking for anyone to fix me or make it better...because the truth is that won't lead me to the place i long to one day be...i long to be the person that i am...the person i am growing and becoming ... the person that i am capable of being and becoming. the person my mom knew me to be...the person my mom dreamed and wished me to be...and in order to be that person i have to do things the way i need to do them. Call it being stubborn or thick headed or call it simply as a girl willing to just go her own way. i have no clue what i am doing is right or wrong....most days i don't feel at all like the person that i was...and often wornder am i still me or will i ever still be me one day? Grief and loss throws you on this journey with no warning and with no map...you are left to just figure it out...and thats just what you are left to do...firgure it out. Done are the days that i have answers for those with problems or questions...now i just listen...because if i find no value in the words of advice that most give i highly doubt many value what words i speak...for the truth is this is life...we have to figure it out and choose whats best for us as a person.  i am trying to find myself and see myself and be myself thru all of this. and i know it will take me day after day to do this - and it will take some time for me to firgure this life out without her...but i am trying...and thats all i can do. I remind myself i am not a gallon of milk...grief doens't have an expiration date.

Am i in the best place possible...no...but i also know i don't want to stay where i am at...i will move again...and yet often i will return to this darkness - it will be something i will battle for the rest of my life...learning to embrace this life without her and letting go of the life with her...it will take a lifetime and then some...but i will always try and sometimes that just means trying again tomorrow. or even just saying this is how it is...this is my truth...this is the me that i am right now...please be gentle. to those who are struggling...and to those who are struggling be gentle with yourself as well.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Habits

We all have them...quirks we always catch ourselves doing without even realizing it. I tend to bite or chew the inside of my lip or mouth...crack my knuckles...sleep on this side of the bed...only eat purple colored / grape flavored candy...the list goes on...i have added one to the things that fall under habits..

I have yet to decide if its normal...if its healthy....then i realized it doesn't matter...its real...its me and well that makes it OK no matter what people may think...i  tend to go to the funeral home website and read my mom's obituary...how often doesn't matter...but let's just say its enough to finally add the link to my favorites to make finding it a lot faster.

Most of the time i just sit there and let my brain process it...its a long process...thoughts race thru my head...this is real...this is her obituary....this is proof that she is gone...this isn't a dream or a nightmare - its real life...its a process like i said...basically everyday where i have to remind myself more times than i can count that she isn't here..thats she's gone...i have to say gone because the word dead...well i am not there yet...i still can't link that word with my mom...i know its a fact thats just what she is or just what happened but my mind my heart my soul just can't use that word when thinking of her...soi say she's gone...it softens the blow...kind of....

The truth of the matter is its a journey letting go of someone...grief is a journey that well i am not able to understand nor explain...so i take it day by day...ok most often i take it moment by moment. i know i am slowly letting her go in the way that she would want...i am still working on it...gosh darnit i miss her...there's no words for the feelings and emotions you find yourself thinking and feeling..she was sure something...reading her obituary over and over i am reminded that this amazing woman i out of all people were given the amazing gift of calling her my best friend and best of all my mom.

habits...we all have them...some we are proud of...some we aren't aware we have...some we need to change and others we just plain need to accept this is who we are...

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Processing.

The last year or maybe longer  my posts have been few and far between. The words just haven't been there...the thoughts the feelings the emotion are deep but i have found i lack the words to express describe and explain. They are slowly coming to me. I am still processing what has happened in the last 6 months - actually i am still processing what has happened in the last year to two... I have found the only thing i could do at the time was live it - not process it. not think. not understand. not feel...to just get thru the moment and figure it out later...my later is now here and i am starting to go thru this entire process of what happened when it happened how it happened.  I still can't believe she is gone. that cancer took her - the way it took her. its a lot to process - i am starting to realize it will take time - alot of time... the only thing i truly know is that i miss her, my mom, terribly.