Mom’s rock and the mountains

We scattered some of mom’s ashes in her favorite places (the same spots where we scattered dads ashes three years ago).

When mom was a little girl she had “her” rock, her favorite place to sit on the hill and look over the creek to see the mountains in the background. After she got polio she was never able to go back to that spot again. In an odd way it felt really good to leave a little bit of her there at that rock.

While we were walking and crying and scattering we noticed that for the first time in weeks we could see the mountains. Like heaven was celebrating a little bit with us.


Remember the lady who fed us?

I walked in on a conversation with the kids about a neighbor. They were trying to remember the man’s name – and my boy said you should remember them, it was his wife who kept us alive last year.

After I broke my shoulder this kind and thoughtful neighbor, who I didn’t know well, came once as week and dropped off a huge meal for us to eat. She did this every single week for two months until I was more mobile.

It’s important to look for the kindness and the good in the world. What this woman did was the epitome of this. Because of her we had at least one amazing meal (but always leftovers) every week.

I believe most people are good. We need to remember to celebrate the good.


51 years ago today

51 years ago today my parents were married. As difficult as this day is, the anniversaries mom spent without dad were harder. I miss them, but I’m happy they’re together again.

We spent some time working on the house this afternoon. There is a lot of comfort and old memories here. I think it’s cool that I have memories of my grandparents living here, and my kids have memories of their grandparents living here. There’s a lot of comfort and grounding in this home – that helps gives us the strength to spread our wings and fly.


Ducks in a row

We had an awesome family afternoon at the creek. I didn’t realize how badly I needed to be there until we were at the water – this is by far my favorite place in the world.

It was a little emotional as we also scattered some of mom and dad’s ashes. It was one of their favorite places too.

We watched a family of ducks head down the creek in an orderly file, but scattered in chaos as they headed back up. The huge mismatched family reminded me of my own beautiful tribe.


Family lunch

The kids and I had lunch with my aunt, uncle, and some cousins today. I love this part of the family and we don’t see them often enough.

I think now that my parents are gone I cherish even more spending time with their siblings. And it was so heart warming spending time with my cousins, their children, and grandchildren.

We came home feeling very peaceful and grateful.


A year of pain – a year of growth

This has by far been the most difficult year of my life. If you had asked me a year ago what I thought was coming in the year ahead,  I would have said there was no way after the last few years that so much intense pain could be ahead of me, but there you have it.

A year ago today I took my unplanned dismount off my horse and shattered my shoulder, broke my helmet, and scared the crap out of myself. I spent almost 2 months barely able to move after that, needing help from my kids to do the most basic things for myself, and needing them to step up and help with care for my mom. It was truly humbling to have to ask for help to do up my bra and get dressed.  They both were pretty fantastic about everything, and we had unbelievable love and support from friends and family during that first little while which was the only way we made it through. We need our tribe.

Three days after I got the all clear from the doctor that my bone had healed properly and I could begin to strengthen and gain mobility, mom started chemo. Everything seemed so intense and time seemed to move at a slower pace, but in reality things went downhill for her very quickly after that. She was in the hospital for 5 weeks with pneumonia after her first few weeks of treatment and never fully regained her strength after that.

She came home for a couple of weeks at Christmas time which was a huge blessing, and we were able to celebrate the holiday and enjoy precious time with her then. Another dark cloud appeared during this time as the kids’ other grandma (Mr X’s mom) cut off contact with them and that relationship has never been repaired.

Mom went back into hospital not too long after New Years, and passed away January 18th.

As I was still trying to absorb that loss and mourn, my daughter became critically ill and the next few months were spent caring for and supporting her.

To add to my sorrow, I was betrayed by someone I loved and trusted which caused me incredible pain, and somehow Mr. X was allowed to fall through the cracks of the system and become almost $50,000 behind in his payments which has put a huge financial strain on my family.

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about my relationships and weeding out the ones that aren’t healthy for me. Sadly I’ve come to the conclusion that my most important relationship, my most loved one, after God and my children also isn’t one that I am able to continue and I’ve decided to sell my beloved horse. I will be getting a new one, but I’ve tried and tried and although I love him with all my heart it just isn’t meant to be.

Today I get to close the chapter on this year of pain. It doesn’t mean I get to leave all those emotions behind me, it just means that I intend to move ahead and continue to seek happiness and peace.

In reality, all I want to do is go to bed for 2 weeks and cry. We went and saw the second Mama Mia last night, and had I had any idea the storyline I would have chosen anything else. But it was ABBA, how could it be painful to watch right? It’s made me realize I haven’t even begun my grieving process and that I probably do need to stop and sit and cry for a little while.

So much has happened I don’t even know how to begin to absorb it.

One thing I do know is a lesson I learned from the person who deeply hurt me. I refuse to live the rest of my life being a victim of Mr. X, a victim of circumstance, a victim of low self worth, a victim of others. If the kids and I have walked through all we have been through in the last few years we are survivors, we are warriors, we have strength I never would have imagined possible.

I’ve been really struggling with my happiness journey lately. I’ve not wanted to blog or reflect on anything that has been going on. But today I feel that it’s time to move ahead, to let things go, to feel what needs to be felt. And there’s a certain amount of happiness in that release.