Thursday, November 24, 2016


Thanksgiving in 1987 was very different from years past. I was pregnant with what I suspected was another girl. Bill and I had a bet that if I was right I got a dual cassette AM/FM stereo radio for the kitchen and if he was right he got a fishing reel he has been looking at for some time. Little known to each of us we bought each other the gifts for the bet or Christmas, whichever came first. Jenn was 5 days late and I was expecting the same thing with the second baby.

I decided that since I might either have a newborn or be extremely pregnant that I needed to get Christmas decorations put up early and all of our family Christmas gifts bought and wrapped. This would prove to be a very good decision.

For my entire life up to that point we had either been home or at someone’s house for Thanksgiving dinner. However, I decided I did not wish to cook anything including a side dish to take to any friend that might have asked us to come dine. So, for the first time ever we went out to Furrs Cafeteria for our Thanksgiving dinner in 1987. It proved to be a good decision as Heather Nicole made her entrance exactly 2 weeks later to the day.

Thanksgiving in 2009 was very different from years past. I had been a grieving mother for a little over 7 months when Thanksgiving came. I did not want to cook or be invited to anyone’s house to “be thankful.” Yes, I had lots to be thankful for however, there was one missing and my life would never be the same again.

For the past 10 years I cooked most all Thanksgiving dinners. I made the entire turkey with all the trimmings including pies for up to 22 people each year. Since Bill’s mom died in 2005, I had gone overboard to decorate, have fresh flowers and all the food for family. I did not mind and felt I was very good at hospitality and I cooked just like Bill’s mom. (So the family loved my cooking) But in 2009 I wanted nothing to do with any cooking, baking, decorating or anything else that had to do with a holiday. For only the second time ever our family, small and torn, went to the buffet for Thanksgiving dinner.

Here it is 2016 and I have no idea how we have gotten here. In 2009 I thought I would never survive the year and here it is 8th Thanksgiving without Heather. The tradition of making the formal Thanksgiving dinner has gone out the window since I worked at the Disney Store for a season. The tradition of taking the photo of Jenn, Heather and Wendy in front of the Christmas tree died when Heather did. Wendy was pregnant with Snooks while Heather wore her wig as she pushed to have the sisters take the photo with the tree. Who knew this would be the last photo like this.

This Thanksgiving season I have a lot to be thankful for, but I still find it hard to see the posts on Facebook of families having a fun time together. That was supposed to be us! We were supposed to get the fairy tale ending!  Heather’s chair is forever missing at our holiday table, so are her husband and her children. When Heather died I lost a portion of my future and nothing is normal anymore. Wendy is out of state, Snooks is at her dad’s, Jenn is nearly 7 months pregnant and I am not feeling this holiday season at all. There have been some difficult struggles and I am not in a holiday mood. For only the third time ever I did not cook, or bake and we out to a buffet for dinner.

I would like to say that time heals the heart and makes the hurt lessen but for me it doesn’t. When you sit at your holiday table look around and be thankful for the members that are there as it all could change in a moments notice.

Monday, November 14, 2016

BC and AD Describe Me Now...

The moment the word CANCER enters your world; nothing is ever the same again. Someone who has experienced cancer described life this way; there is the BC-before cancer life and then there is the AD-after diagnosis life. If you have never had cancer touch your life this concept is beyond comprehension. Cancer changes everything it touches. If you are the close immediate family it affects you too. You are what I call “co-survivors.”

The death of a child has two stages as well and they are almost the same as cancer. They are BD-before death and AD-after death. I have said it many, many times before but the “ME” that was BD died the day that Heather died. From the moment AD I became a new “ME.”

For the new me, October is a very difficult month. Many things factor into this being such an odd time of year. Heather began feeling better and her blood levels had raised so that she could once again begin driving her car. Of course after not being allowed to drive for 6 months she was thrilled and would drive herself to the family pizza place that is a mile from the house. Our family went to see and meet Amy Grant and I was busy with all the details with The Ball. It was the first time in months that we finally began to feel like life was back to normal.

Then Heather died and October became the halfway point. I cannot explain why the 6-month mark is so important to me but IT IS. I get the feeling it always will be this way and it is okay and it is my right to feel this way. The horrible acts of the cemetery took place in October as well. Of course one more insult to an already devastating injury. October is just not a good month for me and I am not sure that it ever will be a good one.

A good friend of mine recently shared with me why they thought October is so difficult for me and the light came on. Not only is October all the things to me personally, but it is also the beginning to the holiday season. We begin getting Halloween with Thanksgiving and Christmas all added together, beginning in October. The holiday ads begin and everything focuses on the “family” holidays coming up. There are four major holidays back to back to back to back. It is the only time of the year where there is never more than 30 days from each holiday. The most important holidays of the entire year take place in a 4-5 week timeframe. Those would be Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years. Everyone builds up to these holidays and they are the events that memories and legends and traditions are made of. These holidays are great and fun and wonderful except…when your child is missing. Her husband and children that should be crowding your kitchen, house and dinner table are all missing. In one moment, all my future holidays were damaged and they can never be repaired.

The fall season is difficult for many different reasons but mostly because it simply is. I have no other explanation than that and honestly I don’t need one.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

We Are Having A...

I am learning that it doesn’t matter how many years it has been since Heather died, each year is different and I cannot do anything but accept it and ride it out. Some years I feel very little depression and other years it seems to hit me like a brick. One thing is for sure that time does not heal this wound, it changes it but it never goes away.

Each event that happens in the family takes on a new and different meaning for me. I am forever changed by Heather’s death and I cannot help but wonder at life’s event what would Heather say or think. So the addition of a new baby it gives me cause to ponder what would Aunt Missy say.

This is to proudly announce the coming of Miss Sophie Alice, joining big sister, Toodles, at the beginning of 2017.
Her hand and she seems to be sucking her thumb like Toodles

I will say that I am absolutely thrilled that this is yet one more girl. Call me selfish, but I love my baby girls. I have many different thoughts as widdle “Soapy” joins our family. The first being I cannot wait to get her here and hold her. Another thought is that for Jenn, this is her second girl like Heather was my second girl. Then, “Soapy” makes the third girl like my three girls. Needless to say, our family is pleased with the coming of a new baby girl.

Lots of emotions come with the idea of a new baby being born without Aunt Missy being here. Normal everyday life is hard enough as it is, but holidays and special family moments when we should all be together are the hard times. I know that Aunt Missy would be the best Aunt in the world and the girls would love her dearly. I would love to experience those days very much.
Here is my baby with her baby-MY BABY SOPHIE!!!
As time goes flying by it is not the huge moments that catch me by surprise it is the smaller unexpected ones. The joyous moment while we all found out that Miss Soapy is who will be joining the family. While the hugs and congratulations were there it was also a moment of thinking of Heather for me. I will admit that for the most part it is an ache in my heart, sadness with a moment of reflecting about Heather and that she is missing. This is not something that I burst into tears at it is just a longing I have to wonder “what would it be like if……”

This year began with change and it has become okay. It was very difficult at first but as with death you get used to the new normal.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

A Small Amount of Change...

I am learning that it doesn’t matter how many years it has been since Heather died, each year is different and I cannot do anything but accept it and ride it out. Some years I feel very little depression and other years it seems to hit me like a brick. One thing is for sure that time does not heal this wound, it changes it but it never goes away.

This year has been a strange year and seems to be getting stranger. It never ceases to amaze me at just how weird the days can be sometimes.

In October, last year, while Bill was in Hong Kong, I had a party with the kids and GRANDgirls here at the house. It was during that time that Jenn and I got a firsthand view at the kind of anger and verbal abuse Wendy had been dealing with for many months. It was very ugly and quite disturbing to get the view of Sunnie that I had never seen. It was an eye opener to Wendy that she should not have to endure this kind of abuse. There was a few times that harsh words for my Snooks were said that I did not like either. This was not the man that entered our family years ago, he had changed into someone none of us knew and he was not very nice.

In January, It was clear that Wendy’s marriage was not going to be healthy to continue, so she took Snooks and left. From there it got really ugly. This man that we allowed to be a part of our family totally disappointed me as a man, as a husband and as a decent human being. 

We did not kick Sunnie out of the family and tried to do everything we could to keep a relationship with him. Of course, this is impossible to do in the best of situations. This guy that we welcomed into our home and lives turned out not to be a man of his word. He has disappeared owing us some serious money. Of course he is still here and causing trouble for Wendy to get her divorce.

SO the beginning of the year was heavy with changes and once again like a death in our family. While Sunnie is still here, I don’t care to ever see him again. He just disappeared and all the memories are now more bitter than sweet. There are no more photos around the house with him in them, which is sad. The final straw was when he said he didn’t love Snooks anymore. No matter what happens you don’t dump a child it is so not cool. He is in no way a decent man of any way, shape or form and is still making issues

This year began with change and it has become okay. It was very difficult at first but as with death you get used to the new normal.