Tuesday, June 26, 2012


Gone, but not forgotten*

Ours for a little while, with Jesus forever*
We buried Heather’s ashes on Monday April 23 and I went back on Wednesday and ordered the marker. I was told at the time it would be 4-6 weeks before I saw a proof. The proof is a mockup of what the actual marker will look like. This would give me opportunity to change anything at that time. Some proofs come and they are approved the first time. Others take 4-5 redo’s before they are satisfied with the marker. I wasn’t sure how I would do with this. Heather’s marker is pretty simple and I was hoping the proof would be right the first time. From the time the proof is approved it is 3-4 months before the finished marker is completed and ready to be placed on the grave.

Forever in our hearts*

Always in our hearts*
Duchess's tiara
As it had been 6 weeks and then 7 weeks I had begun to call Daniel about every week just to see where the proof might be. I was beginning to worry that the October 20 dedication would either not be able to be held or it would be done without the marker. Time is growing short and I would really like to have a bigger time frame so mistakes could be made. There was a n issue with the font and I had to change to a different one. This was not a big deal for me. Then there were some questions about the photo. But there had been no more questions come up for a couple of weeks.

Entered into rest*

Until we meet again*

Last week on one of my daily visits I decided to go see Daniel personally in the office and just chek one more time as to where the proof might be. I apologized again for being a pest and asked if there was any news about the marker yet. He said no but he should be getting something any day now. I reminded him it had been 8 weeks and it seemed like too long. He told me he would go ask Deb who deals with the marker companies directly if she had any more information. He came back carrying a long thin cardboard box and told me he thought I might like to see what Heather’s marker could look like…

Too well loved to ever be forgotten*

Ours for a little while, with Jesus forever*

I was expecting to see someone else’s marker that had just come in as an example. He laid down the marker and it took a moment for it to sink in that I was looking at Heather’s marker…It was completely finished and placed in front of me…
No words to be uttered
I could not utter a word; the tears began to fall as I ran my fingers over her name and dates, the tiara and roses. I was shaking and could not believe what I was looking at. Her name written in stone…it is final and permanent. Not like it wasn’t before, this just really makes it all hit home. Daniel asked me if this was a good response and all I could do was shake my head yes. My throat closed up and no words would come out. I actually have never experienced tears or crying to the point that I could not utter a word. But since Heather died I find that many moments are just that way.

In Loving Memory of*

The song is ended, but the melody lingers on*
Black and white photo going in oval
When I could speak I told him it was beyond my expectations and so beautiful. He stood back and let me have my moment with her marker. He is very good about not rushing me or saying anything. A good funeral man knows when to talk and when to be silent. Daniel is very very good at this. I just ran my fingers over and over it touching and trying to take in every inch of it. It is beautiful and horrible all at the same time. I wanted to take it home with me and also throw it away. We are waiting for the black and white photo to come in. That will be glued in and then the whole marker will be placed on white granite and then placed on her grave. This should be in the next couple of weeks.

Loving memories last forever*

We miss you very much and love you dearly*
*Most used quotes used on markers today.

I am relieved that it has come in so early. I think at least Bill and I need time to get used to the marker being on her grave before the dedication. In 8 weeks I have gotten very used to her spot. I go about every day and sometimes I play I heart radio on the country stations that she loved. I sit or lay and listen to the birds and the music. I know it seems a very odd thing to do each day. But to me it is very relaxing. I have not been staying long since it is so hot right now. I can’t wait to have the marker in. I am going everyday right now as I am sure they will dig the hole before the marker is placed or it will just be placed. Daniel will call me but I think I will know before him. Hoping it will be in before the 4of July.
And she lives happily ever after...

Friday, June 22, 2012

What I Have Learned...

Since you read this blog you know that for me it helps to write my words and thought down. Many may not like what I have to say or think that I am too open and honest, but I don’t think so. No one talks about what it is like to lose a child. Well, I do. I feel that people like to know how it feels as best as I can without actually going thru it. My BFF Sandy describes it this way: there is a brick wall between us, she can’t climb over or under or go around to get to my side of the wall. But she can hear me and I can hear her, but there is forever a wall between us as we walk side by side. This is without a doubt the BEST description I have ever heard.

Heather is still the elephant in the corner of the room when her name is mentioned and the conversation dies. She is still the unmentioned child we once HAD, and will forever be “she who must not be named”. I have learned the friends and family that I can mention Heather’s name and the ones I can’t. For the most part it is everyone. Not many want to hear our same old stories and talking about how horrible it is and how it isn’t getting easier. Sorry but it isn’t and I just can’t screw on a smile all the time and pretend things are nice. Things are never going to be nice again. Does this mean I can’t have fun? Or laugh? Or go on vacation? NO!!! it means that even when I am having a good time, heather is in the back of my mind. The hardest are holidays and life’s milestone events. That is when I miss her more than I normally do on a regular day.

Here are some lessons learned from books and other grieving parents. Of course this is in no way everything that can be included with grieving parents. Everyone is as different grieving as there are stars in the heavens. There is no right or wrong way to grieve. Each one of us must find what works for us. The new normal. It is very difficult to find my way because it is new uncharted road I walk. I can listen and hope that words from others help in some way, but just like childbirth, no amount of listening to others help till you go thru it yourself. We all move at our own pace and some are faster than others and some are slower. And you know what? it is okay that we move that way. 

-No factor justifies the death of a child to parents- not age, stage, manner of death, 
or number of other living children.

-No one sleeps well after a child's death, especially those who are burdened with the "if only's".

-The way your child dies seems the most difficult manner of death to those who grieve. For instance, if your child was a baby, you did not get to know her; if older, you hurt longer because you knew his personality. If your child was ill for a long time, you were wrapped around her/him.

-A society that wants instant cures, happiness, and entertainment is 
not supportive of grief's agonizing journey.

-Understanding why it is difficult for others in our culture to appreciate the time it takes to move through grief helps one forgive insensitive remarks or actions.

-Those who lose a child-like anyone with a great loss- learn to live with a break in their heart.

-No longer is medication considered for the weak. Grief depletes chemicals in the body 
that should be replaced for health.

And speaking of health problems...
One year after a child's death:
-At least one parent, usually the mother, has serious coping problems in the home or at work.

-40 percent of parents have a drug or drinking problem.

-88 percent feel a family member to be abnormally consumed with morbid grief reactions.

-25 percent report psychosomatic disorders such as ulcers, colitis or hypertension.

Two years after a child's death:
-50 percent of parents report serious health problems: cancer, stroke, heart problems, etc.

-35 percent are under psychiatric care.

-Professionals and statistics indicate almost 60 percent of couples are divorced, 
and up to 80 percent are within 6 years.

I also realize that talk about cemeteries and markers is not the normal topic of most people but seems to be the center of my world right now. it makes most people very uncomfortable to even hear the word cemetery. It has been 8 weeks since we buried Heather’s ashes and I ordered her marker. The proof has still not come in yet. I am beginning to panic since October is coming closer and I will not be happy to have a dedication with no marker.

In a very recent trip to Disneyland (for the opening of CarsLand-like over Father’s Day weekend) it dawned on me while riding the Haunted Mansion that most people think graveyards to be filled with ghosts, spooks and goblins. So how when the sun goes down the graves open up and the spirits haunt people and play in the graveyard. It doesn’t happen that way. I can tell you. If Heather’s spirit came out at night and danced around the cemetery, I would be there every single night to watch her and visit with her. So would everyone else who has lost someone. 

Over the weekend it appears that someone or many someones decided to vandalize Heather’s grave. Her marker was moved, the flamingo was bent over-it is a metal sign-and there are 3 foot print tore in the grass on top of her spot like where someone ran and dug in their feet. Ashley’s whirlie-gig was also torn apart. I was so saddened that someone would chose to do something like that. I just hope that someday they understand what they did was wrong. Speaking of which Ashley’s mom has not come out to the cemetery. I have no idea what has happened to her, but will continue to put flowers on Ashley’s grave in her mother’s absence. It makes me sad.

“Do not regret growing older. 
It is a privilege denied to many.”

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

HE, HIM or let me say JERK Grade A...

Genes, I have learned, do not make a family…
Families are the people that stick around 
through good and bad times.
Sadness is a part of life.
Choosing to be happy and see the glass half full
is a struggle we all must make…*

Of course it is June and you all knew that I would have to mention my biological sperm donor. I am much stronger than I was nearly 6 months ago. I have to say that I barely ever think about HIM at all. I am glad that HE no longer takes any of my precious time or energy. HE isn’t worth my thoughts or time.

I found out that HE told his wife lies and has told everyone in town that I am after his money. I have news for you, if I am after his money or black mailing HIM I kind of have to keep the relationship going and not end it permanently. Kind of hard to wrap my head around that lie. HE also has sort of glossed over the fact of the $30,000 red sports car HE bought me. Lola just goes along with what HE says because that way she doesn’t have to think for herself.
I am hoping that HE is enjoying the decisions HE made for himself. I was the most valued treasure HE could possibly have and HE threw me away for sex. Not only what in the world would I see in a feeble 74 year old man with no teeth, but let alone HE is my father. HE is nothing more than a sexual pervert and deviant. I have no idea how in the world HE thought any of his thoughts were ok but to follow thru and actually try to have sex with me, his own daughter is beyond my comprehension. Life is about choices and there are consequences for those actions, good or bad. HE made choices that HE never should have made and HE should be punished and be serving time in jail for what HE tried to do to me.

My biological sperm donor is a very selfish man, looking only to gratify himself as much as possible while still projecting to the world a selfless and caring man.*

A father is the first male influence in his daughter’s life. A father is supposed to be the kind of man his daughter wants to grow up and marry. Most girls grow up thinking about their dad’s when they are apart and long for time together. This is not always the case, but in most women’s lives this is true. Thank goodness I did not have this man’s influence in my life growing up. I feel very sorry for my siblings who had to endure his anger and lies their entire life. I was the lucky one that was given away.
Gotcha-8 months old
A father’s touch is simply different from day one. They have strong hands and arms to hold the baby daughter safe and secure. Just a touch of his hand can offer security as the daughter gets older as she is scared and reaches out to hold his hand. Daughters carry their father with them even when they are not there. 
Puppy, me and daddy-2 years old
I can honestly say that I had the kind of Daddy I described above and his name was Jimmy J Blake and he died in 1990. He has been removed from my birth certificate and I cannot change that. (But oh how I wish I could) It does not change the fact that the only man who will ever be my Daddy. I miss him a lot recently and I feel badly for ever opening the door to find my biological sperm donor. Actually I regret the day I found either of my parents. I grew up as an only child, no aunt, uncles or cousins, brothers or sisters. It was me and that was it. Now I have a bitch for a birth mother and a pr*#k for a birth father. I also have 9 half brothers and sisters who seem to blame me for what happened and really want nothing to do with me. I have 4 aunts and 2 uncles that never have had anything to do with me and most haven’t even met me. Then I have 30-40 cousins and have not met them either. I have a huge extended family that wants nothing to do with me. Honestly I like it that way. I always dreamed of what having a family would be like, but I don’t anymore. They have managed to shatter the hopes and dreams of a very lonely girl who only wanted to be loved and wanted by her real family.
There is a movie coming out entitled “People Like Us’…based on a true story about a grown man whose father dies and he learns he has a grown half-sister he never knew about. Chris Pine, Olivia Wilde, Michelle Pfeiffer  and Elizabeth Banks are the stars in this film. She remembers her father driving away from her and her mother. I feel this movie is going to hit way to close to my life.  I love the part where she reads her father’s obituary at an AA meeting and it doesn’t mention her and she says, it’s official, I don’t exist!!! That is the story of my life, I don’t and never have existed as far as my family has been concerned.

This is the trailer to the movie….I encourage everyone to go see this heartwarming movie.

With this being said, I will not mention my biological gestational unit or my biological sperm donor again. They are not worth my words, my thoughts or my time. I have more respect for myself than to think about any of them anymore. Which this is very easy to say but the hurt will never go away and the rejection will be there forever.
My 10th Birthday
Genes, I have learned, do not make a family…
*~A Stolen Life~Jaycee Dugard~

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Beauty...or Something Like That...

“Beauty is only skin deep, but ugly goes clean to the bone.” ~Dorothy Parker

How many times have we told someone “oh what a cute baby!”, when really we are thinking tie a bone around his neck so the dog will play with him. Let’s be honest here, everyone wants a pretty or beautiful baby. Why is that? Looks change in babies and kids so much over the first few years that some of the most unfortunate looking newborns turn out pretty cute by the time they are 2-3 years old. But in the eyes of the parents and grandparents their child is the most beautiful and stunning child in the world. And that is as it should be. Fortunately I had the most beautiful girls in the world and no I am sure this is correct. 
(Remember my blog I can say what I want..lol)
Amazing inner beauty
“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and it may be necessary from time to time to give a stupid or misinformed beholder a black eye.” ~Miss Piggy

Move into elementary school or junior high and there are some really odd looking kids. They hit growth spurts and have missing teeth, or maybe ever a bad haircut to help these awkward years. Kids can be so cruel in school and find anything that is not what they think to be pretty to fight about and make fun of. I think every young girl has had that time in her life when she was taller than everyone or developed before everyone else had or even had acne before the rest. It is a very difficult time for the well-being of a young girl. Heather had difficulties in 5th grade. She was more mature, taller and had acne. Not a good combination for a 5th grade girl trying to fit in. Not many physical black eyes were given but Heather received too many emotional black eyes. Of course to me she was beautiful. The best thing about parents is they don’t see the flaws in their children. And until they get older-kids don’t see the flaws in their parents. Their mother is the most beautiful and their dad is the most handsome. This lasts till about high school, but it may be junior high now…
The eyes are the window to the soul
“Beauty is how you feel inside, and it reflects in your eyes. It is not something physical.” ~Sophia Loren

How do you survive being 20 years old and learning you have cancer? Not only are you going to lose all your hair and be bald, you got the only cancer that makes you fat. Leukemia/Lymphoma is known as “moon face” a condition characterized by a rounded, puffy face. It occurs in people treated with large doses of corticosteroids, such as those with chronic asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, or acute leukemia/lymphoma. To me, nothing was more beautiful than Heather bald. She was a fighter and survivor and that was all I could see. I cannot tell you the amount of time Heather cried and thought she was ugly. She just could not see what the rest of us saw. But this is not to say that the world was not very cruel to her. When she would go out bald people would stare. I wanted to turn and tell them yes, go ahead and stare, she is a fighter and more than you will ever know. But try being a 20 year old girl and have no hair …but her eyes, those amazing “dupe eyes” that were the mirror to her soul showed her stunning real beauty.
beauty is in the eyes
Beauty is variable, ugliness is constant.” ~Doug Horton

Acne is such an ugly affliction. There is nothing nice or pretty about red pimples all over your face or the scars they leave. Being a teenager and having acne is bad enough, but try being 20, 30 and 40 and still having acne. Not just little pimples once in a while, I mean full blown cystic acne with big huge red bumps that hurt for weeks. When they go away they leave red scar that last years. Acne is ugly. Being a sufferer of acne since my teens I have tried every over the counter medication and prescription drugs known to man and doctor. I decided to go on Accutane and got some good results but because of major complications I had to come off the treatment before I finished. I had all of 6 months of clear skin before I developed Rosacea.
V-Beam laser machine
Rosacea is a chronic condition characterized by facial erythema (redness). Pimples are sometimes included as part of the definition. Rosacea typically begins as redness on the central face across the cheeks, nose, or forehead, but can also less commonly affect the neck, chest, ears, and scalp. In some cases, additional symptoms, such as semi-permanent redness, telangiectasia (dilation of superficial blood vessels on the face), red domed papules (small bumps) and pustules, red gritty eyes, burning and stinging sensations, and in some advanced cases, a red lobulated nose (rhinophyma), may develop. I have most all these symptoms and am currently on a daily antibiotic and 4 different RX topical medications. I recently had a Rosacea episode in which I had a huge breakout of pimples, cystic ones. I am 46 years old and I am tired of having to deal with skin issues.
Right after-really red
 “Beauty is in the heart of the beholder.” ~Al Bernstein

Being a grieving mother I felt for weeks and months that I had a bull’s-eye over my head with a sign that reads WATCH OUT-GRIEVING MOTHER!!! SUDDEN OUTBURSTS EXPECTED!! Whenever I went out the sign went with me. Everyone could see it and starred at me and felt pity for the sad mother. This of course was not true. But when you already feel like an outcast by being a grieving mother having an extra thing like being overweight or having rosacea makes it very difficult to be confident. Until I went to write this blog I didn’t realize that the feeling has gone. I don’t know when this feeling left but I realized it isn’t here anymore. 
While most everyone I know says they do not see the redness and issues I know it is always there. The telangiectasia-or spider veins have gotten much worse and adds to the redness of my face, especially around my nose. I have been to a cosmetic surgeon who told me with all their technology, he could not help me with the redness. There is currently only one laser called a V-Beam that is attracted to redness and can help the symptoms of rosacea. There is no cure, there are treatments. Honestly the redness bothers me as do the spider veins. I hate wearing heavy makeup trying to cover up the redness only to have the makeup disappear by mid-afternoon. 
About 2 hours after bruising setting in
Vanity is the excessive belief in one's own abilities or attractiveness to others

I don’t believe that I am a vane person, I would just like to feel as confident on the outside as I do on the inside sometimes. Let’s face it…your face is everyone’s first impression of you. Are you smiling, do your eyes shine? Your face and eyes are the mirror to your soul and most people can read your face like a book. Your face is more than just your skin, but the skin helps…So today I had V-beam laser done as a trial. In 80% of patients it clears the redness of the face for a time. Then in only 50% of patients does V-beam get rid of the spider veins permanently. I did a test patch on the right side of my face with both types of V-beam for redness and spider veins. I can honestly say this hurt like hell. I knew it would snap my skin, but was not prepared for the burning skin smell, realizing that is my skin burning. It also really hurt in the most sensitive areas of my cheek and nose. I have swelling and some bruising tonight, but hopefully in a week, I will see amazing results. I have already made the follow up appointment for July 23 to do my entire face providing that this trial worked well. This is not a cure for the redness but will help it not be so red and possibly I would only have to do this every 3-5 yrs. The spider veins will be gone forever. I am willing to put up with some swelling and snapping for a better face for me to feel more confident with.
Tonight-not too bad but still swollen
“Beauty, to me, is about being comfortable in your own skin.  That, or a kick-ass red lipstick.”  ~Gwyneth Paltrow

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


When I woke up this morning
Wiped the sleep from my eyes
I found a new day dawning
And suddenly I realize
You’re gone…

BEFORE: In time preceding; previously…at an earlier time…

Every morning just between awake and sleep there is a split second when my world is right. Everything is as it should be and Heather is here, alive and healthy. Then I fully wake up to realize I was only dreaming. I was my imagination tell lies. Life is not nice, nothing can ever be nice again. Death is a life altering and changing event. For my life it changed my world in ways I can see and ways I haven’t even discovered yet.. The woman I was before, the family we were before, and I future I envisioned before was all changed forever. One of the reasons why I like having new friends is that they don’t expect things to be the way they were before. The few friends I have left from before are my very trusted and true friends.
eyes closed on purpose-silly girl
Before I never really gave exercise a second thought as to how it helps get out stress, frustration and anger. I have found a good fight with a treadmill or a set of weights, or simply beating me at a time limit can release so much pent up anger. Sweating and breathing hard with exercise has many benefits. I personally feel better with all those endorphins flowing freely. Not extremely happy, but my dark moments are better with exercise. The added benefit is my health and becoming a healthy weight. I had been postponing formal dress hunting because I didn’t want to know what size I was or my measurements. But with the Alaskan cruise rapidly approaching I needed to get busy. I had looked online before I went to go look so I had a very good idea as to what I wanted. I went back to Suzanne’s Bridal, the same dress shop that I bought Heather’s ball gown at in 2008. I was actually placed into the same dressing room as she used. I am very proud to announce that I found “the dress” and am very pleased with my measurements. I have worked hard and it has paid off. I am officially a size 6 in a formal dress. (all women understand that formals run 1-2 sizes smaller than your normal size) My dress is being ordered in Navy so I can wear on the cruise and Wendy's wedding in October. I am wearing Heather's blue topaz necklace she wore at the ball with this dress. I also am proud to announce that I have a 28 inch waist. I can’t even begin to tell you when the last time I had a 28 inch waist. So besides the stress and anger management, healthy BMI and waist circumference benefits I am also seeing the shrinking of myself benefit of spending an hour at the gym sweating. So I think I will keep it up..
trying on the dress I fell in love with
Love the bow & very flattering look-that is ME!!
actual color 
 Tell me I was dreaming
That you didn’t leave me here to cry
You didn’t say you don’t love me anymore
It was just my imagination telling lies
Tell me that you didn’t say goodbye..

Before I had never really thought about going back to school. But now it seems so natural for me to pursue a degree in strength, nutrition and personal training. Before I wanted to help cancer patients and I still might go that direction, but now I am thinking about helping the grieving. The average grieving mother gains between 50-100 pounds the first year. I understand that very well. All you want is comfort foods and the idea of cooking is simply not there. I would like to help grieving people of all backgrounds to channel the anger and stress to the treadmill and help themselves. I am not sure where I am going with this degree, but have registered for a nutrition class during the 2nd summer session and have a full course load this fall. I am excited and ready to get back to classes and begin pushing forward again towards my goal.
Snookie leaves pine cones for Aunt Missy
What was actually left when done throwing them
Before I never gave a second thought to buying fake flowers on sale or metal signs to decorate a grave site. One thing I love about our cemetery is that we can place anything we want and it stays till we take it down. Before I never knew what solace simply going to the cemetery and sitting, listening to birds and looking up at the sky as the clouds go by. I have developed a metal sign and fake flower addiction. Of course Heather’s Spot has to be the cutest decorated at all times. I plan on changing out the decorations monthly with special things for holidays. Because of this I had a fun idea. Just like during cancer I asked for rubber ducks to help me get my ducks in a row. I am now asking for pink flamingos. Yes, you heard me right. PINK FLAMINGOS!!. I have purchased two of them and wanted to see if anyone out there would look to find a flamingo and send it to me to make a herd of pink flamingos. Big, small, plastic or metal, signs or bells or any other kind would be fun. I plan on covering the entire plot with as many pink flamingos as possible during a week in August. I just think it would be fun and very redneck. So if you see a pink flamingo that you think needs to come my way---SEND IT!! And look for photos of my new herd of flamingos.
Pink Flamingo Project-who will add more?
I’m in a state of confusion
I hope things aren’t what they seem
If this is really happening
Just let me go back to dream
You’re home…
~Travis Tritt~

Watch this very powerful video-it has extreme passion for a man losing his wife. 
Travis Tritt does an excellent job.