Thursday, December 16, 2010

Another year later

I suppose it is no coincidence that as soon as I started my education, my blogging hit a road block! I seem to be writing term papers and studying for exams with all of my free time. But so much has happened this year that I decided that I had better update my blog in lieu of a Christmas letter.

I graduated in May from Simpson University with my Bachelor of Arts degree in Organizational Leadership. I can't believe how quickly that three years went! I spent my summer studying my butt off for the GMAT test so I could apply at Drexel University, to my surprise and delight, I was accepted! That meant pulling up roots from Redding and planting myself closer to school. I applied with Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency as a housing specialist and I also applied with El Dorado County as a CalWORKs worker. I was offered both jobs in the same week! I decided to go with SHRA because it was much closer to Drexel, although the six bucks extra per hour didn't hurt either! :-)

Charles and I got a cute little apartment in Folsom. Our cat, Gypsy, seems to be adjusting well to the move. She loves to slip and slide on the wood floors and we tease her about trying to be a little too much like Tom Cruise. Charles loves being so close to work!

Ben changed specialties from Explosive Ordinance Disposal to Multiple Launch Rocket Systems. That soldier of mine sure does like to worry his Mom! He is having a blast though both literally and figuratively! In June, his girlfriend, Megan flew out to Florida to visit him. She came home with a sweet smile on her face and a big diamond on her finger! They are engaged to be married and are planning the wedding for when Ben finishes his time in the Army. I couldn't be happier with his choice in brides and I just adore his precious finance!

Christopher called me with a terrifying call in November, he was in a horrible car accident on HWY 50 in Sacramento. Luckily he escaped with just a few bumps and bruises, slight whiplash and severe concussion, but he scared me to death!! Without a car, he decided to move back home for a little while. He is staying with us in Folsom just for a month or two until he can get into his own apartment in Sacramento. He is working at the Starbucks on 65th and loves his new work crew.

Zachary decided to spend some time in Oregon getting to know his Dad again. We were sad to see him travel north, but happy that he was getting to have some time with his "other family."
After six months up there, he decided that Redding really was his home sweet home and plans to move back by the end of the year. Since my parents are still living in our home up there, he will stay with them for the remainder of his Senior year.

If it seems like this year has been relatively uneventful, that is mostly because of all of the time I have spent studying. Charles has been doing the same. In another year or two, my blog will be filled with exciting news of accomplishments, travels, and maybe some wedding pictures from Ben and Megan! In the meanwhile, drop me a line from time to time just to make sure I haven't been eaten alive by my economics book, trust me, I will be happy to hear a friendly voice!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

A year has passed

I can't believe a whole year has passed since I last blogged! So much has happened, I don't know where to start!

In November of 2008, our oldest son Christopher moved to Chico, CA. He is working at Starbucks and taking a few classes. He loved it at first, but now that a year has passed he is ready to try something new.

In December, a very sweet family moved in with us. My friend, Desi, and her three babies lived with us for four months! It was wonderful! They had so much energy and really brought a lot of life into the house. They moved out in April of 2009, and my parents moved in in June!!

Having my parents here has been great, but it sure got scary in July. On the 13th my dad had a heart attack. He was in ICU for three days! My mom is severely disabled and the boys and I had to figure out really quickly how to care for her! That was quite an ordeal, but they really stepped up and helped a lot. Now we have In Home Support Services helpers coming in four days a week. Dad is home from the hospital, and we are finally hitting a rhythm.

In June, Benjamin graduated from high school, but just two weeks before he graduated he made a decision that changed all of our lives, he decided to join the Army. I am so proud of all of our soldiers, I am glad that he wants to serve his country. But it is really hard to wrap my head around the fact that he will be so far away and I will have very little time to spend with him over the next four years. As soon as I began to deal with that, he chose his specialty. He will be an Explosive Ordinance Disposal Specialist!! Yeah, scary! I asked his recruiter, "I have one urn with my youngest son's name on it, can you guarantee me that I won't have a second one next to it?" The recruiter said, "The Army doesn't give that guarantee." I said, "College does." Well, my pleas didn't change anyone's minds and Ben will be leaving tomorrow at 10:00 am for Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. I will miss him so much!!!

Just last week we had a HUGE going away party for Ben and had over 100 people show up to tell him good bye! He had a really great time with his friends, and was very blessed by their good wishes.

Zachary turned 17 this year! He is going to Enterprise High School, and seems to get taller every time I look at him. He has already had three different cars and loves working on them! He is becoming quite the accomplished mechanic and has probably saved me thousands by fixing my cars!

Fortunately I have something to occupy my mind, I got a new job! I will be starting in November as an employee with Shasta County! I will be an Eligibility Worker with the Cal-Works program! I am super excited for this opportunity! I can't wait to start! I am also more than half way through with my undergraduate work! I will have my BA degree in April!

Speaking of education, Charles has had quite a year as well! He began work on his Master's Degree! He is attending Drexel University in their Higher Education program! He is enjoying his time back in school, trying to get used to all the reading! He has served this year as the National Chair of the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel advising the IRS! He is still working in Folsom as the Theatre Manager for a performing arts center for the school district which means he only gets a couple of days home a week, but we seem to be making that work for us.

So much has happened this year, and I hope to get better about posting in the coming year!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

September 2008 - Update on Benner!

Ben is on his high school swim team this year! He is having a blast. I went to his meet yesterday and took some fun photos. WARNING TEENS IN SPANDEX! eeww!

Ben cheering on a team mate

Ben and Josh "posing" Michelle with her naturally patient smile!

Best friends for years, can you tell?

Oh come on Michelle, let's do another photo, we promise to be good!

He is such a cutie pie!

Ben and Stephen before the meet began, getting psyched!

Friday, September 12, 2008

September 2008

Hello all!

I am in the trenches so to say, hitting the books. My chemistry, communications, and ASL class seem to be right up my alley. I am enjoying them. However my History class is giving me fits! I think I may just have my first B coming! eeek!! I will be starting my English 14 (drama as literature) class next week.

I can't believe my baby boy is turning 16 soon! WOW! When did he get so big?! Here are some fun photos of him...

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Time for an update!

I haven't updated in a very looooooooong time so I thought I had better get on here and update all of you!

A lot has happened in the last year, lots of good some bad, mostly just living day to day. I have been working for the Child Abuse Prevention Coordinating Council for the past year. I like what I do, but I have a hard time working someplace that I get so frustrated almost daily so I have decided not to renew my contract next year. Instead I will be hitting the books hard! My GPA is still a 4.0 after a year of full time school and work, but I have been so overwhelmed by going, going, going, I just need to take a break from something. SO I am taking this year off from work and I am concentrating on school.

My last day of work is August 13 and then I am going to Vegas for four days! Wee hoo way to celebrate! My husband and I went to Vegas back in April. Here are a few shots of that trip...

This month has been just wretched with the fires. The air is just not breathable. I have had a sore throat and red eyes for weeks now! Here are some pictures I took with my new camera my daddy bought me! Check out the zoom, the second picture is a zoomed in picture of the exact same place as the first picture.

Friday, February 15, 2008

A really horrible day

Well, I have found over the past three years that the anticipation of those big days is usually worse than the big days. But that has worked against me I think because now I fail to prepare myself.

Well Sunday was Joshua and Josiah's EDD anniversary which of course leaves me thinking I should be planning double b-day parties ya know? How cool would that have been?

Well I woke up from a bad dream just sobbing my eyes out. DH was gone and I was all alone and couldn't stop crying.

My boys were in Oregon at their dads. I got out of bed for a little while, but went back to bed b/c I could shake the really yucky horrible feeling in my stomach. I felt really sick about the horrible dream and all alone in this big empty house.

About noon I forced myself out of bed and took a shower hoping to shake the funk. I got out of the shower and put on my jammies anyway. I just didn't feel like participating in the world.

At 12:30, I got the phone call that scares the crap out of every mom, but a post loss mom really can't handle.

Ex husband on the phone, "Ben is on his way to the hospital in an ambulance. He was snowboarding and did a flip in the air off a jump and landed on his head. He is on oxygen. We are headed to Providence Hospital." (this is 3 hours North of me in the town their dad lives in.)

I couldn't breathe. Honestly I had no ability to function, to make the decision of what to do next. I was immediately hysterical. I called my husband who works in Sacramento now which is three hours South of me. I was hysterical. He couldn't understand me. He kept asking me to repeat myself. I was hyperventilating, choking, my heart physically hurt, I couldn't get oxygen into my lungs. He asked over and over what happened. All I could say is ambulance, hospital. I thought I was speaking in complete sentences. He kept saying, "Who is in an ambulance?" he thought it was my mom. Finally he figured out what I said. He said, "I am calling my mom and asking her to come help you."

I hung up the phone, and started packing for a trip to Oregon. I called our pastor. I called a couple of friends in Oregon. I couldn't form sentences. I couldn't breathe.

My mother in law got here to take me to Oregon. I think that by the time she got here I was having a full on panic attack. All I could think of was "I am not picking out an urn for another child. I will not pick out funeral songs again." She drove my van to Oregon I wanted my van there so that the kids could lay down on the way home. She has a smaller car. I couldn't have driven. I still couldn't speak. My chest felt like it was going to cave in.

When we were about 2 hours north I got another call. Ben is doing well. They medicated him and plan to send him home today. I got a call half an hour later and he was at my in laws home. I asked what happened. He had a concussion and whip lash. Did they do a CT Scan? No. They gave him TEN MGS of MORPHINE!! How crazy is that? TEN!!!! I asked them to get all medical records so I could have them if I needed them in Redding. They said that the hospital would not release any records.

I went to the in laws house. Ben was seriously medicated he was beyond out, I tried to wake him, he was absolutely unconscious. I said I would go eat and come back to pick him up. xMIL said "He is not going any where tonight." xSIL said, "Absolutely NOT." Current MIL said, "If I were his mother he would be with ME."

I went to eat, and then went to the hospital to talk to the doctor. I got his medical records without hesitation. He said Ben was best off traveling that night b/c later he would be feeling a lot more of the pain.

I went back to pick him up, and the xSIL actually came out side and closed the door and said I couldn't take him with me. WHAT THE HECK?! Uh yeah he can! She said, "I don't understand what you are thinking." I said, "I guess it doesn't matter what you want. He is my son." And I walked past her into the house. She and xMIL tried to stop me from taking him. But current MIL had my back and we went in and got him. The ex husband had no problem with him leaving with me.

WELL THEN the next day, Ben was horribly sick throwing up. He was ten shades of green. I brought him to our local hospital and they wanted to do a CT Scan. I was glad. I wanted to make sure he was ok.

They got us right back, and a few minutes later the nurse came in and told me they were really backed up and wanted help answering phones. I was like, "WHAT?" He said, "Yeah if you could just come out and help for a few minutes. Ben would you be ok if your mom steps out for a few minutes?" he said, "Uh ok." So I went out there, and my EX HUSBAND was on the phone DEMANDING that they NOT treat BEN!!! He said, "I don't want him exposed to radiation!" WHAT?! The nurse explained to him that Ben was throwing up, that he had a severe concussion and they HAD to check for a brain bleed. He was arguing and being VERY combative. I was pretty much beside myself. I was still in shock that any of this was going on. I felt so sick, my heart hurt, I couldn't breathe. I just needed to know he was ok. Finally I just handed the phone to the nearest nurse and walked away in a sort of daze. She came into the room later and said, "I had a difficult time explaining to him why Benjamin NEEDS the scan, he doesn't seem to have very good verbal skills. I said, "Yeah thus the EX husband." They did the ct scan without his permission b/c it was medically necessary. After that phone call he was back in for the ct scan in about two minutes. I think they just wanted to hurry b/f he could raise any bigger of a commotion.

Well it was clear and he is going to be fine. But it was the most horrible day you can imagine. Well all of you CAN imagine that is what is so much worse about it ya know? We have all survived the losses already. It was just so horrible to get this scare on that day!!!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

How I am, 4 weeks later

I wrote this back in December but didn't post it because it was so depressing. Well I read it again today and I know I am doing better now than I was back then, and to be realistic to the experience of loss, I have to admit to the dark times as well as the times that give me hope. So here goes........

Sorry I haven't posted in a while. I have been really down. Everything I do takes great work and I am even more tired at the end. But here you go, thanks to all who are keeping up with me.

I guess there are ups and downs. The downs are so far down that the ups really sort of are downs. Imagine drowning in an ocean. Usually all day long all night I am at rock bottom of that ocean with the weight of the leagues in full force over me. There are moments of floating slightly mid depth in the ocean. But never moments of rising above the weight of the water.

I am so tired, and tired doesn't even work as an explanation. I am exhausted to the bone to the heart of me I am exhausted. There is a song that says. "I've no fear of drowning, its the breathing that's taking all this work." That is how I feel like even breath is too much for me. How can I possibly do the rest needed of me in my day. How can I hear that horrible alarm pushing me out bed and react to it? Ok so I over come that enormous barrier and get into the shower, I sit down letting the water pour over me. Ouch it is too hot. the lever is so far a way can I reach it to find comfort here? How long till I go back to bed? Ok got the water right. This shampoo bottle is so hard to open didn't I just wash my hair yesterday? Well I better do it again, tomorrow I won't be able to. Conditioner? No way. That is work. Shave my legs? nope its winter and my husband is hardly ever home to see them. Done with the shower. blow dry and style my hair? no need, rubber band and it is out of site out of mind.

Clothes? Nothing fits. just throw something on, don't worry about looking good it wont happen.

Eat? no way, that is work times too, prep and clean, no breakfast.

Get the kids into the car, drive them to school. Go to work. Ok now I am so tired I can barely function, that was more work in twenty minutes than I am capable of. I am too tired and exhausted. A new kind of tired. To the bone I am tired. I don't have the stamina for this anymore. all I think about is bed, I want my bed. I want to dream it all away.

You know when I had emotion and strength for life? When my baby was inside of me giving me strength. The two of us together we were strong. But it is like that baby left and took my heart, my strength, my ability to feel joy. I am half a person now. We were functioning together symbiotically living together. building the chemicals to process joy and passing them to each other. This loneliness after loss is like nothing anyone could understand. I didn't just lose the hope of a baby, though that is huge. I lost a part of a soul that was in me. I felt this baby living and existing, feeling joy and knowing its blessing. But now it is ripped from me. What is left? The ability to feel joy in the absence of the cause joy. That is worse than lonely, I don't know the word for it, but it is worse.

Now what is left, a horrible daily life that is void of any real joy. Sure I can live through my sons' joy and my husband's accomplishments. While I feel my life slipping away to join my babies. I don't feel strong enough to stay here. Of course here is where I must stay. I just don't know how to do it. I don't want to eat. I don't want to work. The only thing at all that brings me any sort of hope is the hope that I can work toward giving others a supportive place to go when they hurt this disparately. They can know that someone else on earth has wished that their constant involuntary muscle that makes them breathe and survive would just suppress and stop the pain.

I have a wonderful family they keep me a float. But I know I have lost my own buoyancy. I have wonderful friends they give me somewhere to look for helping them. When I don't have the strength to help myself I reach out and help them. And in that reaching, I float another inch to the surface. My boys and husband are the only reason I continue to breathe in the oxygen that forces me to live on.

but honestly right now, I am exhausted and could sleep for a year, if that dang alarm clock would stop waking me up.

I miss them. They gave me the buoyancy to float their lightening was taken from me and in their place was left a heart of lead.