Saturday, March 31, 2012

Fools Believe, and Liars Lie....

Losers lose, winners win;
Cheaters cheat, singers sing.
Dreamers dream, criers cry;
Fools believe, and Liars Lie...
~Liars Lie~ Lee Ann Womack~ 

My half-sister Janet on Friday took her mother Lola and told her about Harry wanting to have sex with me. Lola told Janet that she knew about it and Harry told her I was lying and making it all up. Lola even went to the lawyer’s office with her husband the day after the police came to the house.

I have to say I am totally shocked that Harry told “his” version of the story to Lola but I am not shocked to hear that she believes him. I am a liar and I made the whole thing up. What reason do I have to do that? I seriously am going after my father? A 74 year old man? With no teeth? Really??? What did I have to gain? I am totally repulsed by the mention let alone the idea or thought of having sex with a man that old let alone my father. I am not attracted to men that are 10-15-20-25 years older than me. His money? Is that what I am after? I told him on many occasions to write me out of his will. If I was black mailing him why did he willing come back to see me 2 more years? Why was I all he could talk about in town? Even Pastor Candy told me Harry thinks the world of you he loves you dearly. Why would she say that still if I had been the one chasing Harry? If I was asking for money or after him wouldn’t Harry be staying away from me? Wouldn’t he quit talking about me and calling me?

 This is a woman that has “stood by her man” for at least 4 affairs and now this.  In order for Lola to believe me she would have to admit to herself that the man she married and has been with for 51 years is a jerk, creep and a monster. I did have pity and feel sorry for Lola for the way she had been treated in the past, but for her to simply turn a blind eye to this is sick. She needs help just as much as he does. This was not just sex with another woman it was trying to have sex with your own daughter. Heaven help her for believing and standing by her man. She gets what she deserves in this case. I find it funny that Lola mentions that something happened between Harry and me in 2010 because I don’t call him like I used to. Funny how I was the one that put distance between us in the relationship. If Lola looks hard enough she will see the truth but she can’t admit that to herself. She would have to admit she married the devil.

It'll take all I got to forgive you.
As sure as my heart starts to mend,
I'd find you somewhere with another.
You'd hurt me all over again.

Reasons why men cheat:
It boosts their ego. Sometimes men don't feel like they are attractive to the opposite sex anymore and when a woman shows some interest, not only does a man react, he may allow her to stroke his ego and more. There's nothing like the thrill of the chase to men on the hunt. When they are finally rewarded for their efforts, their egos swell even larger. Harry told me over and over again I was the only one who loved him, who he could talk to and who he could confide in. He said he had no one else and I felt sorry for him. He would tell me how Lola did nothing for him after his surgery. He could have died and she would never have cared. He told me horrible awful things about his wife so I would feel sorry for him and therefore stroke his ego.

To see if they can get away with it. If a man has the attitude of 'what she doesn't know, won't hurt her,' he may cheat to see if he is sneaky and smart enough to get away with it. I was a fool and didn’t put a stop to it right away in 2010 and that is my fault. But I was grieving the loss of Heather and I thought I wanted this man in my life. At the time he was important to me. So since I was a fool and didn’t tell Bill about his advances in 2010 Harry believed he could continue, I would let him and not tell anyone. Lola would never know. He cut her out of my life so it was perfect.

Because the wife have allowed it in the past. If she has forgiven a cheating man a couple of times, they are more than likely going to cheat again because they already know if they plead enough, she will forgive them. Harry got caught big time cheating with my mother. My grandmother went to Harry’s house and told Lola that her husband had spent the night with her daughter. She took her then 3 kids and left Harry being pregnant with her fourth child. Lola went to Harry’s parents’ house. When harry arrived home and found the church pastor there he went ballistic and went to his parent’s house. He actually threatened to kill his father and told him how dare he take his family away from him. Harry saw nothing wrong with getting caught with spending the night with another woman.

The cheater has achieved great success. This is a psychological point; some men have an inward fear of success. They can’t play the part of winner in all spheres of life so they destroy their family life. Harry has achieved great amounts of money and a very good name for himself in his small community. I am sure the affair with my mother brought some tarnish to that good name of his. Two of his daughters saw him buying an expensive coat for a woman not their mother right before Christmas when they were in high school. Then he also told me of another woman in 1982-83 that he still has contact with and she stops by the farm regularly even still today. His words to me were that women still want him.

He is an alcoholic or a drug addict. Harry was an extreme alcoholic during the first 20 some years of their marriage. He would come home drunk on many occasion and the kids were always embarrassed when the bus would pull up and their dad would be passed out drunk in the car. I am not sure why Harry just quit drinking.

Selfishness is also another very big indicator of the level of devotion of a man. A selfish person does not care about the feeling of others and that behavior is displayed in an unfaithful situation. Selfish behavior stems back from early adolescent days, when selfishness is thought be developed. When Harry left from the visit in 2011 I was frustrated beyond words with him. No, he had not tried to have sex with me, but he was so hateful about the way he talked about his wife. It was me, me, me…he couldn’t go to work because Lola was sick. He couldn’t farm if he got a divorce because he would have to sell the equipment to buy Lola’s half of the farm. He would not be able to do what he wanted to. So he stayed with her. Never once in the entire visit or conversation did I ever hear the words I love my wife. She helps me run the store and the farm. Lola is Harry’s property not his soul mate.

I should've known, I should've known, I should've known:
Someone like you--who can't be true--is bound to wrong.

Losers lose, winners win;

Cheaters cheat, and singers sing;
Dreamers dream, criers cry;
Fools believe, and Liars Lie.

  • ·  He does not feel he is being understood by you, and he is lonely with you.
  • ·  He doesn’t acknowledge any conventions and rejects social morals. He is known to be a cynic. Nothing is sacred for him.
  • ·  He doesn’t believe in monogamy. Being faithful is nothing special for him. He behaves according to his convictions.
  • ·  He is looking for extremes. The easiest way to get enough adrenaline is to have sex with another woman.
  • ·  He wants to express his position. He tries to realize his ambitions with the help of unfaithfulness.
  • ·  He never repents what he has done. He doesn’t even feel he is guilty.

Many women don’t forget or forgive unfaithfulness, so their ability for feelings disappear eventually. Especially when their beloved men do not pay them enough attention and do not convince their women that they are the most beautiful and most important thing in the world to them. It’s difficult to describe what strong pain and deep mortification women feel caused by unfaithfulness. A famous cardiologist once said: “If I could teach men to be faithful, there would be much less patients sitting in my office. The production of sedatives and other medications would be cut in half if men could be faithful.”

There is an actual disorder for this very thing. I was shocked to learn that this happens all the time. There are many sites devoted to this very subject and it is very real. There are actual cases of genetic siblings “marrying” each other and living together as husband and wife. Kathryn Harrison published a memoir in the 1990s regarding her four-year incestuous relationship with her biological father, whom she had not seen for almost 20 years prior to beginning the relationship, titled The Kiss.

The term "genetic sexual attraction" is used to describe the intense physical and emotional feelings that some people experience following restored contact between an adopted person and a close member of his or her birth family.  Genetic attraction is an attraction between two people who've been separated ... seeing someone they've missed all their life, all the emotion of that loss, sometimes turns into a sexual relationship. No, this is not some bad joke about family members and incest in some (unnamed) southern state. This is about feelings of attraction that may be experienced by adults when they reconnect with birth family members from whom they've been separated by adoption... an attraction so strong and so intense as to be interpreted as sexual desire. If a sexual relationship is entered, it is known as incest.

Genetic sexual attraction (GSA) implies the arousal, sometimes but not always mutual, and wish for consummation, of feelings of love and physical/sexual desire between the two people concerned. GSA is rooted, not so much in sexual, physical attraction, but from a need to bond. It also is classified by three main categories that we all can identify:
  • Similar Characteristics
    Similar genetic makeup can produce similarities in temperament, appearance, and other areas that are common in all birth families to a certain extent. Harry and I are near carbon copies of each other, sharing the same personality.
  • Self-Love
    While we may not want to admit it, we generally tend to feel more comfortable with those whose characteristics are similar to our own. Harry told me on too many to count occasions how comfortable he felt with me. He told me he could tell me everything. I in turn felt that I could trust him as well.
  • Aromatic Identification
    It has been suggested that a subconscious memory of the smell of one's own family may be recognized and, if so, would cause an actual physical reaction. I won’t say this was true for me; it might have been for him. I can tell you that the smell of his Old Spice makes me want to puke now.

Some people tend to take more risks than others, flouting convention or authority or jumping in at the deep end to see what happens. People who have committed sexual transgressions in the past, e.g. extra-marital affairs, may be less hesitant about experimenting with this new relationship. I feel that Harry has had so many affairs in the past that this was no big deal to him. I honestly believe he wanted me to be with married. He told me once that Lola accused him of wanting to run away with me. Why would she say something like that? Why would he tell me that either? I think he planned this all along.

People who have been abused as children or adults struggle to set in the past limits in intense emotional situations. Reunions can be very confusing and open up old vulnerabilities. Harry tells me about been beat as a child by his father nearly every day after school. Till the day he took a knife and threatened to kill his father if he beat him again. Now, do I believe this? I don’t know. But I do believe damage of some kind was done to harry to make him the sick sick man that he is.
Because parents or siblings of the opposite sex who meet as adults never bonded, and because the fastest way adults bond is sexually, an overpowering need to bond is expressed in a sexual way. The reason GSA is more common with siblings, is because siblings of the opposite sex are not as close to each other, as they are to their mother. The reason it is more common with fathers and daughters, than with mothers and sons, is because men do not have anywhere near the same level of empathic response as women do. Particularly noted in the case of adopted children who are subsequently reunited with the biological parent or sibling of the opposite sex, seemingly because the normal bonding mechanism has been disrupted.

Experienced between mothers and sons, fathers and daughters, and between more distant relatives, but most common between siblings of opposite sex who bear a close resemblance. It takes the form of an overpowering, almost electrical grip of emotion, associated with an inability to keep away from the other person and an almost primordial sense of having belonged together all their lives. The attraction gives rise to a sense of underlying shame and guilt, together with a feeling of rejection that may prevent effective communication because the emotions are too threatening to share with anyone. This may be compounded by any sexual relationship resulting from the attraction.

I hope and pray someday Lola can see Harry for the true abuser he is. But for now, he continues on his way and living his lies. I am sure that he has his next sexual victim all lined up. I wasn’t the last one, he will continue to use and abuse women for as long as Lola continues to look the other way and do nothing about it.

Losers lose, winners win;
Cheaters cheat, and singers sing;
Dreamers dream, criers cry;
Fools believe, and Liars Lie...

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Peaceful Valley...

I received a call yesterday that the heart/rose stained glass piece that I ordered is finished along with the blown up pattern for my window. Linda, the stained glass shoppe owner, told me she found out lots of interesting history about the window. I find it very ironic that she called me yesterday since it was such a date to remember for me. I am all about dates and how things happen on the dates that are important to me. I managed to drop the heart/rose when I got home and it wil be going back to be repaired. So sad. Today I just feel like I can crawl out of my skin. The anxiety is killing me.
Heart/rose broken at the bottom but still beautiful
New pattern in the actual size
So, this window pane was one of ten panes that were commissioned by Richard B. Mellon of Pittsburgh, Pa in 1908. He wanted these ten panes to run along the stairway in his house. Mr. Mellon (1853-1933) is the 7th richest man in American history at 82.3 billion as he began the Pittsburgh Reduction Co, Pittsburgh Coal Co and The Mellon Bank. He and his brother founded the very prestigious Mellon Foundation. 
Photo of original 10 panes of stained glass
Photo of repaired original in Museum
Mr. Mellon sought the talents of Louis Comfort Tiffany. Yes, this the Tiffany of Tiffany Glass Co and the very popular Tiffany and Co. Louis Tiffany did much of his own glass blowing himself to create his own colors to use in his lamps and windows. It took Mr. Tiffany from 1908-1912 to complete the ten windows for the house. The original size of the pane I am having a piece of recreated was 70 inches tall and 31 ¼ inches wide. The name of this set of ten panes is called The Peaceful Valley and incorporates many of his favorite magnolias and irises. The lines that run horizontally through the pictures are actually rebar to add extra stability to the glass because of the size it needed re-enforcement to make sure the glass could bear the weight of the entire pane.
The four surviving panes
Mr. Mellon’s Pittsburgh home was torn down in 1940. The company called in to complete the demolition did not take the beautiful stained glass windows into consideration before destroying the house. The four remaining window panes are on display at the Carnegie Institute of Pittsburgh and have been loaned to the Metropolitan Museum of Art from time to time.
The original and the repaired original notice all the differences?
Heather I think picked this window pane as it includes the most details of the original window, the irises and magnolias and also because it is a Tiffany original. She loved all things exclusive and expensive. In the two photos side by side you will see the differences between the original that hung in the house and the one that is in the museum now. It is the same window pane saved from the house but was damaged and was repaired to the best of their abilities. The biggest visible repair is the butterfly looking “flowers” on the pillar on the left. Some think this was actually from a hammer or something used to destroy the house. I have placed the two photos side by side so you can see some of the differences. Kind of like the same and difference comics in the paper. I am having mine made to be as close to the one that hung in the stairway of the Mellon house. I will not have the repair on the pillar it will be solid.
Some of the glass
More of the glass
And more of the glass
Linda has told me she is taking out all stops for glass and creativity to do this pane. She has never done one like this and is thrilled to do it for herself and also for the reason why I want it completed. It turns out that none of the glass that Heather had in the bucket under her bed would have been able to be used in this window. Now I don’t feel quite so bad. The glass being used for this window is some of the most beautiful glass Linda has. She explained to me that most windows use glass that is $5-$10 a square foot. Most of my glass is $15-$35 per square foot. The size of my window is 5 square feet solid 24X30. Very close to the original size of the pane in the house. I can’t imagine how beautiful it would be to walk up and down that stairway with all the stained glass. The sun hitting the glass just right to shine so beautifully.
color picture drawing of the only pattern available

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Hares and 1000 Island Dressing...

 These days seem to drag on and time is standing still. Not that I am in a huge hurry to get days over with, it just seems that from March 19-April 20 the days just drag and time has no here or there. I am me but I am not me as I feel that I am just going through the motions to move time forward. At times it feels like I am on the outside watching myself and just even disconnected with my own self. Still after three years I can envision the long days sitting at the hospital and believing my nightmare was going to be over soon. But with each passing day it got worse and worse. I look back now and do not know how I had the strength to get through each day.

I came by today to see you
Oh I had to let you know
If I knew the last time that 
I held you was the last time
I'd have held you, and never let go

As I sit outside today in the shade getting warm I remember what today is…the last time I would ever hear Heather’s voice. To have Heather die after all we went through was a terrible tragedy but to have her on a vent where we could not communicate with her or inter-act with her was medieval torture. The only silver lining is that we did not have to look into her eyes and actually tell her they have done all they can, nothing more can be done for you and I am sorry baby but you are going to die. Many leukemia parents are faced with the horrible decision to tell their child what is happening. I certainly will not say we had the easy way out, not with all the emergency procedures that were done to save her life.
A comic about bunnies that was in Heather's things
Oh, it's kept me awake nights, wondering
I lie in the dark, just asking why
I've always been told
You won't be called home
Until it's your time

Some people, and I like the term some people or someone because that way I don’t have to tell you the name or names of the people who “think” they know what is best for me, think I dwell and spend too much of my time grieving and talking about the past. It is time for me to move on. They think I can just pick up, turn off the thoughts and move on as if nothing happened. I think it interesting that “people” never tell a cancer survivor they should get over it. Never tell a burn survivor to move on and quit talking about it. But for some reason, lose a child and the world wants you to be happy; don’t talk about it because I can’t stand to see you hurting or sad.
Front of an actual card currently at Hallmark
I guess heaven was needing a hero
Somebody just like you
Brave enough to stand up
For what you believe
And follow it through
When I try to make it make sense in my mind
The only conclusion I come to
Is heaven was needing a hero
Like you

I endured cancer, no not me personally but the closest I could be with cancer without having it myself. No, I didn’t have the toxic chemo run thru my veins, but I did hold her hand, stay with her nearly every moment she was in the hospital and be her caregiver. Cancer for the caregiver is just as real as if it is happening to them. I think it is worse when it is your child, a piece of me that I created and grew inside my body. I would have given anything to have traded places with her and taken all that from her. As bad as the cancer was, the time in ICU was 100 times worse.

I remember the last time I saw you
Oh, you held your head up proud
I laughed inside
When I saw how you were 
standing out in the crowd
Your such a part of who I am
Now that part will just be void
No matter how much I need you now
Heaven needed you more
Inside of the card at Hallmark-Hit the nail right on the head
So why do I dwell? Why do I talk about it? Why can’t I move on? *Cancer and Heather dying is part of me. Like going to college, raising kids, or getting married. I am not going to hog my journey. This was not just for me. Think of how many people I could possible touch or reach with my life story. I can take my pain and experience and shove it deep in my pockets and take it to the grave with me. Or I can help someone it is my choice and I choose to share my story with anyone who will or will not listen to me.*

Yes, Heaven was needing a hero
and that's you

I can be laughing one minute and then brought to tears the next. I can go from being in a great mood to feeling despair and doom within the same second. Can look at common everyday items and relate them to cancer and Heather. I think I should begin a new 7 Levels of Cancer/Heather. Something as simple a Glad Press and Seal can make me smile and cry in the same moment. To the rest of the world it is just a way to seal fruit or dip into a bowl. For me it is what I used to wrap Heather’s arm with her PICC line in to keep it from getting wet. One of the other issues of cancer is keeping the ports dry. It was a regular sight in her bathroom to have Press and Seal and Coban tape all over the counter along with her robe hanging on the back of the door.

If you see me getting’ smaller
I’m leavin’
Don’t be grieving
Just got to get away from here
If you see me getting’ smaller
Don’t worry
I’m in no hurry
I’ve got a right to disappear
~Country Strong~Waylon Jennings~

*Transcribed into my own words from Hoda Kobt’s book
 “How I Survived War Zones, Bad Hair, Cancer and Kathie Lee"

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Stained Glass...

When Heather began classes at Red Mountain High School she wanted to do something different and fun. She began taking stained glass. She LOVED it so much so continued for 3 years and designed several of her own patterns that are still used today at the school. Her teacher, Mr. S, had never given an award for stained glass till Heather was a senior. It was the only best student award he ever gave. Heather was honored to receive such an award from her favorite class and teacher.

Heather had a true talent and love for stained glass. She made such beautiful things for people. Problem is that like most crafty people they seldom make anything for themselves to keep. She made her Nativity and then wanted to make a Victorian Window for herself. She began this project at the very end of her senior year. She brought the bucket home with the pattern, some glass, foil, solder and cutting tool. She managed to get about 2 inches of the pattern with glass cut and foiled. This bucket remained under her bed from May 2005 till she died in April 2009.

My biggest regret is that in packing up all of Heather’s things I took the bucket and I threw that whole thing in the garbage. I have no idea why I did it now. At the time it seemed to make sense. I called Heather’s teacher and kind of hinted to him that I would like to have him finish this project and he really didn’t offer. I knew of no one else to finish this and I had not thought of the idea of having a stained glass store finish it for me. I didn’t even know that stained glass store existed. So, instead of packing it in a box and making a decision about it later when my mind was clear, I THROW IT ALL AWAY!!! A stupid decision and I regret it daily. This is why I tell people to box everything when someone they love dies, things change over time and something you get rid of will be wanted later.

At Christmas time 2009 when I got out Heather’s nativity set I noticed that the camel had come loose from the base and I needed to get it repaired. I looked online and found out there was a stained glass store at Greenfield and Baseline about 15 miles from my house. I was in shock, I had no idea there was a store so close. I took the camel there and had it fixed. It was very spendy to have this done. Real stained glass is very expensive to purchase. At that moment I regretted throwing the bucket with the stained glass window away.

I happened into the stained glass store today and asked the owner if she could make some of Heather’s patterns for me. She had made a butterfly mirror for a friend that I really would like to have made for myself. She told me yes, that if I bring the patterns in she could make anything I wanted. While I was there I began looking at books and became very sad to think about the Victorian Window that I threw away. If only I had the pattern I could have it made. But I threw it all out nearly 3 years ago. I had been through Heather’s patterns several times and never found the pattern for the window. So, I purchased a heart with a red rose in it. I took about 45 minutes to pick out the glass. I think Heather would be thrilled with the glass I chose.
Photo of pattern-mine will be better
When I returned home I went to look for Heather’s stained glass patterns. I found Heather’s original daisy I want them to make, the butterfly mirror and the Christmas bells. Then I found the paperwork for the window. In her class she had to outline what she was planning on making and the cost. I never noticed there was something stapled to the work order. To my amazement and surprise I FOUND THE VICTORIAN WINDOW PATTERN!!! It was stapled to the work order. I cannot believe after all this time, I found it. I will be going back down to the stained glass store tomorrow and begin picking out glass to have this made. I have probably waited too late to have this finished by April 20th, but I am thrilled to have this back. So, it won’t be any of the glass that Heather picked or cutout, but it is the pattern she picked and soon will be hanging in my house in the front living room window for the world to see. Of course it is iris’s, magnolia’s and poppy’s with a southern porch….What else would it be that my sweet southern Heather would pick…
Iris, Magnolia and Poppy-perfect

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Candle In the Window...

"Candle in the Wind" is a song with music by Elton John. It was originally written in 1973, in honour of Marilyn Monroe, who had died 11 years earlier.

In 1997, John performed a rewritten version of the song as a tribute to Diana, Princess of Wales. This version of the song was released as a single, and reached No. 1 in many countries, proving a much greater success than the original, officially being listed as the highest selling single of all time.
Candle in Heather's window
The Tradition of placing a Candle in the Window goes back to the Colonial times in the United States and back much further in time for other cultures.  It is a Tradition practiced throughout the year. It symbolizes the warmth and security of the Family hearth and signals loyalty to Family members and loved ones  who are not present in the home.
May this light remind every one about cancer and the loss
The green bulb is the color for Lymphoma and so I begin these 33 days with the green since that is what we thought she had at first.  I have an orange bulb to represent the Leukemia. I figure since Heather had both forms of cancer it would be only fitting to have 2 different colored bulbs to shine from her window. Now people can wonder what does the light mean.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Candle In The Wind...

And it seems to me you lived your life like a candle in the wind…
The candle burned out long before your legend ever did…

Hello again, I knew you would come back. Just like in the past you come back into my world every 356 days. Little did I know how my world was going to fall apart in a few short hours. The memories of that day have not faded. My body knows better than I do. I can just feel this day coming at me like a run-away freight train.

I am transported back to that day and my heart pounds in my chest; I begin to feel uptight and sick to my stomach. I have to force myself to think about something else. All the images and visions come flooding to my mind. I have held the dam for 354 days and now suddenly it bursts and the images go into every corner of my mind and thoughts.  No place is safe or untouched by the rushing water that seems to be swirling around me trying to drag me under. As I come up to the surface I grab a huge lung full of air as I am dragged under by the current of emotions hanging onto me and pulling me under. My hope is that I find something to hang onto, something of substance to grab onto and ride out the current flood something good to make my heart smile and be happy if only for a few moments.

March 19 was the beginning of my past, present and future nightmares. There is nothing I can dream that really compares to what Heather endured and what I watched feared and anguished over for 33 days. Each day it was more and more bad news, only at the time of going through it, I didn’t see it. As I go back and read the CaringBridge I realize that there was very, very little good news. I look back in amazement and wonder how did I survive? How did I keep going back day after day? How did I sit in that room and listen and watch? How did I keep it together? How did I smile and greet friends and go on with life when Heather was dying? My answer is I don’t know how, other than I loved Heather more than my own life. I would not allow her to go through this alone. I would not run or be a coward. I would face each day and trial head on.

My precious Wendy has come up with an idea that I am going to steal from her. She told me today that she remembered what tomorrow was and said she was going to burn a candle in the window every night till April 20. This is to symbolize the suffering and pain Heather went through. I was brought to tears sitting at Rubio’s trying to eat lunch today. So, I am going to use an electric candle in Heather’s window and light it every night from March 19-April 20. I am going to set it on a timer to come on at night and go off in the morning. A single light burning in her window to let her light shine to the world.

And it seems to me you lived your life like a candle in the wind…
The candle burned out long before your legend ever did…

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Imaginary Ending....

I close my eyes and I see your face
If home's where my heart is
Then I'm out of place
Lord, won't you give me strength
To make it through somehow
I've never been more homesick than now

I would have never imagined that losing a child
Would leave such a large hole in my life.
Like missing the last chapter in a favorite book.
It just ends without making a lot of sense.
You have to imagine the ending yourself.
~Bill Coombe~

Time passes and marches forward whether we want to or not. One thing that cannot be stopped is time moving forward. Here it is nearly the middle of March…and three years ago we were probably the happiest we could be. We had three daughters and a granddaughter, all healthy and whole, and yet so unaware of the horrible nightmare we were about to enter.

Time is supposes to ease the pain and make the hurt go away. Right now I am supposed to be remembering only the good memories and times we had. I suppose that is true to a certain extent. But at the same time…as time marches on it makes the loss seem harder to bear. But how is that possible? I didn’t have time to really fully comprehend that Heather was going to and did die. We continued to have high, high hopes that Heather was going to make a full recovery. Till the morning of Sunday April 19. That was the first time we had been told there was not hope and we needed to make a decision. What decision? There is no decision!!! She is going to be okay…wake me from this nightmare. I began going through the motions. It was not me, I was on the outside of me looking in; watching myself do everything. I made decisions, called people, visited with people that came by to say good bye. But even then it was not clear. I was in a fog, a daze of robotic motion to do what I had to do. I was going to be the strong mother that did not allow Heather to hear fear or tears in my voice. And to that promise that I made myself, I was true. I lay next to my baby and told her it was ok to go, that I would be fine, no tears and no wavering.

During the first year I hit all the first milestones of living without Heather. I braced for each one with unexpected promise that somehow I would make it through the day and live to move forward to the next one. The cruelest fate is that Mother’s Day was a short 18 days after Heather died.  Each holiday or event was different but yet the same. Screwing on a smile to act like the day was great, but missing Heather ever more on those days.

Now I understand that year #2 is harder because it becomes clear that this new life is PERMANENT!! I cannot get out of it or change it. I have to spend the rest of my existence on earth without my Heather, my child, my baby, a living part of my own flesh. Instead of bracing for the important days and events, I can see a lifetime of milestones without Heather here to share in them. The memory of Heather in ICU is still clear in my mind, but the pain of not having her here with me is sharp and center in my mind. Well-meaning people expect now that year #1 and almost #2 have passed by that I am “doing better,” “moved on” or they assume I have stopped talking about Heather altogether. Worse yet is my own memories of her are fading…her voice, her gestures, the feel of her hugs.

I find myself staring at young women her age. I wonder would she be married now? Maybe bought her first house? Moved out of the area? (This one is very doubtful) How long would her hair be now? I know many of her likes and dislikes as she was older and her personality had developed. I miss her love of Hello Kitty, Minnie Mouse, make-up, eating out, going to movies and buying diet coke for her Momy.

At this time of year I relive Heather’s last trip to Banner Baywood. It is the time of year and there is just so much horrible stuff. Looking back now I really honestly do not know how I survived. I can honestly say it was the grace of God. Every day she got worse and worse and endured so much. But every day I went and sat and watched and cared and talked to Heather. Some people think that I have no faith because I do not attend church right now and I haven’t in 4 years. I have to honestly say that I have more faith that many, because I had to let go of my child and allow God to take her home to be with Him. I have great faith in heaven, that yes it is REAL and I have a Savior and a daughter waiting for me. I cannot let Heather go and still be functioning without great faith in God. I am also reminded that God sent His Son, not his brother, sister, spouse, aunt, uncle or friend. God sent His only begotten Son. I think this is the most important not only for salvation, but God knew that this was the most horrible kind of grief. When grieving mothers cry out to God, He can say, I know…I know!!

You're in a better place,
I've heard a thousand times
And at least a thousand times
I've rejoiced for you
But the reason why I'm broken,
The reason why I cry
Is how long must I wait to be with you

I close my eyes and I see your face
If home's where my heart is
Then I'm out of place
Lord, won't you give me strength
To make it through somehow
I've never been more homesick than now

Help me Lord cause I don't understand your ways
The reason why I wonder if I'll ever know
But, even if you showed me,
The hurt would be the same
Cause I'm still here so far away from home
In Christ, there are no goodbyes
And in Christ, there is no end
 So I'll hold onto Jesus with all that I have