Saturday, October 26, 2013

"Tides" of Excitement and Sorrow "Roll" in Tuscaloosa

Last weekend Carson, Colby, and I went to Tuscaloosa to cheer on the Alabama Crimson Tide! They were so excited to watch a game and live the experience they have heard about over and over from their daddy. Bittersweet, seems like an understatement, but is probably the only word I can come
up with.

I wasn't prepared for the emotional wreck it caused within me personally. I knew it would be fun to watch the excitement on their faces, as it was. I just wasn't prepared for how it ripped me apart at the same time. Bunky should have been there to experience this with them. I smile just imagining the proud look on his face. For him to see his boys' expressions as we walked through campus before the game, would have been priceless. He would be beaming and so excited to tell them at least a thousand facts about everything they saw.

Thankfully, one of Bunky's dearest, long time friends, Dan, and his family went with us. Dan was struggling himself, and not a word was needed between us. We both knew the sadness and longing we felt for Bunky to be the one there, doing this with his boys. There were several times Dan and I would just look at each other, acknowledging the tears that filled our eyes...knowing the unspoken thoughts. It was hard. It was fun. It was a million emotions wrapped into one. I suppose that is what any number of things will feel like.

Tuscaloosa holds a special place in my heart. Not only is it where I met the love of my life, but it was our first place to call home as a married couple. It was the place where Bunky lured me in to all things BAMA. It is where we first found out we were pregnant, and also where we experienced the great loss of our first pregnancy. It is where we discovered we were pregnant again...with our first son. Tuscaloosa is where he tirelessly pursued a career in pharmaceuticals. It is where he would be offered his first job in that industry, by the same man who would become a dear friend and speak at his funeral 14 years later. So many memories were made in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. I wasn't quite prepared for them to all come rushing back (like a tide), the moment we drove into the city. They did. It hurt. Yet, there was some redemption in seeing the pride and excitement on the boys' faces. So, I still say "Roll Tide," yet there is something different about it now. There is no doubt, I am grateful for that experience for Carson and Colby, in spite of my sadness.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Pumpkin Patch

Pumpkin Patch 2013 for The Cooper Trooper Foundation is underway and going well. There is just a big absence felt. We all feel it....everyone who has spent time over the last 3 years devoting many hours during their October to help. This was Bunky's passion. The success of our biggest fundraiser for the foundation rested heavy on him. It was personal. He measured success not only on the money made, but even more on how many new people were made aware of the impact of childhood cancer. It's hard to greet people and tell the story that I have told for the last 3 years. There is just so much more to my story our story. It's hard. It's raw. I can almost feel myself choke on my own words as I speak to customers. Yet, that's where I want to be and what I want to be doing. I want this to be the best year ever and honor his dreams. I want him to be proud. I feel certain that he is.

Friday, October 11, 2013

How life can change in just 6 months

I realize it has been since Cooper's last MRI in April, that I have posted anything. I'm not even sure how to go backwards and really recapture all that has transpired in the last 6 months. At the same time, I have felt "nudged" by God to write. Write what? I don't really know. Write where? Continue writing in my journal? Pick the blog up again? I'm not even sure. I just know it's what I should do. I believe there is healing in it. I believe in the importance of recording moments, as we are never promised tomorrow. And what we have to say today; well, it may be of real value to someone tomorrow or at some point in the future. So, here it is or here it goes. I'm not sure what it looks like. I don't know how "messy" it will be or how much of my heart I really want to share. I will let God lead me in that. What I know in this moment are these things: 1.) I ache for my husband to be next to me even just for one more day. 2.) I'm certain that God is who HE says HE is and that HE will be faithful....even when I want to shake my fists at Him, in seething anger for what HE has allowed to happen. 3.) My boys fill me with joy and bring daily reminders of God's goodness. 4.) I am beyond blessed by those who have lifted my arms when I couldn't, who have allowed me to just be me (no matter how ugly that may look), and have extended grace, even when I can't seem to do that for myself.