Wednesday, January 29, 2014

How I wish

Feeling heavy-hearted tonight as the month of February is just around the corner. There have been several things that I have just wanted Bunky to know about and see his response to, to be here to experience the moment with me. Oh, how I wish he could share in these seemingly small things with me. Oh, how I wish! His boys meant the world to him and it would thrill him to know that Cooper wants to play baseball in the spring for the first time. He would be so proud to know that Carson has been scoring a crazy amount of points in basketball and that Colby can play some aggressive defense in basketball on boys twice his size.
I have truly appreciated all of the emails that have been coming in with stories and memories from so many different people. I am grateful that people have taken the time to remember and put it on paper (email). It may seem small or like an insignificant thing to some, but it keeps his memory alive for us. It honors the character he possessed. It commemorates and captures who he was as a person. It rekindles his humor and brings laughter and smiles. I cherish them deeply. I read each one several times. It is like I am a dry sponge just soaking in the words written. They touch my heart and I know they will do the same for the boys when we read them to celebrate his birthday on February 13th.

If you haven't written something and would like to share a story or memory you have, I would encourage you to take a few minutes to do that. What may be minimal to you will reach farther than you even know to soothe a deep wound that festers in his absence. My email is I would love to get them by the end of this weekend (Feb. 1 or 2nd) if possible.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Just One Game

This afternoon I felt really tired. Just blah. Emotionally zapped. I remember looking forward to Sunday afternoons before Bunky died. He would typically entertain the boys after church with some outdoor activity or game. It was my chance to grocery shop (alone), take a little nap, or just whatever I wanted/needed to do.  I took that for granted, as I did a lot of things.

Today some dear friends ended up taking all 3 boys for the afternoon. After a quick trip to the grocery store, it was honestly a treat to lay on the couch for a while without someone needing something. The house was quiet. I missed him desperately. I just wanted to scream out, "Thank you for all the Sunday afternoons you gave me." I'm thankful for people in my life who know me well enough to just be able to look into my eyes and know when they have to insist on something with me. It is still hard for me to ask for help sometimes.

The boys crashed through the door and my quietness was quickly filled with requests. No gradual re-entry. None. It's okay though, because I don't want to miss opportunities to show my boys that they are important to me. I want to delight in them because they are a gift. After all, tomorrow is not promised. I know this all too well. So, just one game, mom? How can I say no? Even when all that is in me has no desire to play games. Everything in me wishes their dad was here so he could play a game with them. But he is not. So, I will.

I played. And guess what? I am so glad that I did.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Good Grief: The Beauty of Healing in the Midst of Grieving

Grief is unpredictable. I have been in a place of anger the last few weeks. Anger about our new reality. Anger about why this has happened. Anger at others for not realizing what they have. Anger about what has come. Anger about what has gone. Anger as I think about our future. These feelings have been intense, and somehow seem more "acceptable" to me than letting myself be sad.

I think for most of my life, I have done a good job at controlling my emotions. When I don't want to feel sad, well, I just tell myself to not feel sad…and bam, it's like a light switch. No more sadness. If I need to stay calm and rational in the midst of traumatic situations, the switch gets flipped, and you guessed it…I'm as cool as a cucumber (probably a good thing with 3 boys). Some might see this as a blessing, a gift. As I have walked through several trials in my life, I am realizing that it is really a curse. Sure, there are situations that this is an advantage. However, when working through grief; not so much.

You see, when working through grief, it is imperative that you let yourself feel and that you are in touch with those feelings. Whether it's letting yourself sit in sadness or allowing yourself to be mad. Really, really mad. If you are too quick to turn it off or run from it…it will find it's way back to you. And if it is unresolved, then watch out…down the road the real issues will come.

As I am ever so aware of my anger, I know that other emotions will come and go. My fear of feeling those emotions in their deepest form, creeps in. I will let myself feel, no matter how ugly that gets. God designed us to experience great emotion. It truly is a gift from Him. There are so many examples in the Bible of deep emotion and feelings. Whether it was David in the Psalms, singing for joy, or Job expressing his sorrow.

The beauty of healing comes as I let myself really feel. I am letting go of expectations I have on myself about what this is "supposed" to look like. Raw emotion, regardless of how that looks, is what I am resigning to.

I realize there are a lot of people who think it's time to move on, and for the worlds of most of those around me, it has. It moved on months ago. That's okay. It's expected. And, if you are wondering…yes, I am angry about that too. I'm not angry at any person, just at the circumstances. So, as far as the world moving on…just don't expect the same for me. My world seemed to stop 6 1/2 months ago, while the world around me went on. My world is playing "catch up" with my reality. The world as I know it will never be the same again. It will move at a different pace now.

Regardless of how different my world looks and will proceed to function, I am thankful that there is a God who is big enough and can handle my discrepancy with the rest of the world. And, by the way, He is big enough to handle my anger and all my emotions too.

John 16:33
"I have told you these things, so that in my you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Funny Times

Bunky's 43rd birthday would have been this coming February 13th. It feels important to do something special to commemorate this day with the boys. I have been thinking for a while now about what that looks like. Not exactly sure what I wanted to do, it came to me after a recent conversation with Carson one night this past week.

Carson was teary as I was tucking him in bed. This is not unusual. Nights are hard. They are hard for me on many levels. I think they are hard for Carson for some of the same reasons. You see, after trying to hold it together all day, with constant reminders all around you…slowing down to go to sleep at night is like an abrupt smack in the face with all that's been held at bay in front of everyone else. Your mind starts to slow down and a flood gate just opens up, at the very moment you want to turn it off. So, many nights we spend time talking through these hard emotions that creep in. Some nights, he even knows it's coming before the first tear falls, and tries desperately to steer the conversation into something lighter. I am happy to go there and don't force these conversations. I get it….I really do.

The other night, Carson said he really missed his dad's laugh and never wanted to forget it. He felt like he was starting to forget his dad's laugh and some of the funny times they had. Thankfully, I have plenty of video to remember. He wanted me to tell him funny things his dad had said or had done. He wanted funny stories. We enjoyed talking about some of them and it did our heavy hearts good. His dad really was funny. Always making those around him laugh. Always doing funny things. We used to always tell each other that we might be old, gray, and senile, but one thing we would always have was laughter with each other. I miss his sense of humor more than I could've ever imagined. Things just aren't that funny to me anymore.

So, to commemorate his 43rd birthday, I would like to ask those who knew Bunky (or Rod) to email me just a funny story you have of him. It can be something he said or did…whatever you want (just please keep it appropriate for me to read to my boys!) :) You can email it to me at If you will put your name and how you knew him as well, that would be great. It doesn't have to be long.

I think it will be neat to read these to the boys and I plan to make a book to put them in for them to have for years to come. Please take just a few minutes to share your funny story. It will make an impact, that you cannot even fathom. I would give anything to have something like this from my own mom. So, I know it will be a priceless treasure to Carson, Colby, and Cooper.

Try to do this by Feb. 1st if possible, so I can get them together. Just put "Funny story" in the subject if you can remember. Thank you for taking time to do this!

Friday, January 3, 2014


It is so hard to believe that today it has been 6 months since He's been gone. Half a year. Some days that feels indescribably real and harsh. Most days it still doesn't seem real at all. A new year on the calendar comes with sorrow and hope. Sorrow,  as it is difficult to close the door on 2013…the last "year" my Bunky was on this earth with me. Hope, as we move forward, trusting God to heal our broken hearts.

So, as I think about my life in the half of a year since his death, I'm keenly aware of many things that now fill my reality.

Half of my heart has been missing since July 3rd, 2013. Half of the bed remains empty each night. Half of the conversations once had on a daily basis, have been silenced. Half of our amazing parenting "team" is gone, and I face those challenges alone. Half of the noise that once filled this house, has been quieted. Half of the food is not eaten, and groceries cost less. Half of the driveway is now open, without a second car. Half of what was our normal laundry, no longer needs washing (oh, what I would give to wash all those clothes….even though it used to infuriate me when clean clothes somehow ended up in the dirty, just because he didn't want to hang them back up). Half the money spent at Sonic buying only my Diet Vanilla Coke, without his Diet Cherry Coke added to the order. Half of my thoughts are filled with guilt over what I should have done differently each day, to love him better.

Half of who I am died with him 6 months ago today. I miss him more than words can say. 

I read something tonight that was written by C.S. Lewis after he lost his wife, that really resonated with me. I think this analogy is what I will use to explain to someone who asks me how long will my grief last.

"In one sense, your grief will always be with you. Losing a spouse is like having your leg amputated. You don't get over an amputated leg. The wound may heal, but the leg will never grow back. You'll always have that absence in your life, and you'll never walk the same again." 
-C.S. Lewis

Isaiah 54:10
"Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken, nor my covenant of PEACE be removed," says the Lord, who has compassion on you.