Thursday, December 6, 2012

Over a month?? :(

I can't believe it's been that long since I last wrote.  I bought a house!  And closing Monday afternoon.  I am ecstatic.  I'm drawing a blank as to what else to say... school is coming to a close so finals are on my mind and it's sucking the life out of me.  I'm literally going to copy and paste from an email I sent to my support group leader a couple days ago, lol.

 Life has been treating me well but also keeping me very busy!  I am so excited and so ready to get back into a house that I can finally call home again.  I am just really looking forward to getting into a more regular routine with the kids and settling into a permanent dwelling!  Poor little Chloe has never lived in the same place for longer than six months.  It will be so awesome to have that "little family of four" feeling again, probably the best Christmas gift I could ask for, really.  It has ONLY been 17 months since Matt died but at the same time, it has been such a long road to this point and I am READY.

 Something else I was thinking of today is in regards to my fabulous relationship.  I would like to start out by saying that the pivotal date of my lifetime, July 20, 2011, and the events that followed soon thereafter, left me with deeply rooted emotions that I will never forget.  They occasionally creep back to me and it's not a bad thing, but they definitely leave me with sort of an empty, hollow, sad feeling.  I allow myself to feel these emotions, get teary eyed, whatever... and they eventually subside until next time.  How this relates to my boyfriend... well, obviously he was present for everything back in July of 2011, too, and is just as affected by it as I am.  When I get these sad feelings, I am also so THANKFUL that I am with someone who knows exactly what they are.  I am blessed to be with someone who knew my husband as well as I did.  The next thing I think about is actually quite depressing and I try not to think about it often but I can't help but think about it... probably more often than I should - losing him, too.  Maybe I'm even a little paranoid about it.  Sometimes I think if I can go through it once, I can go through it again and other times I think it will probably be something that hits me even worse than the first time.  Either way, it's just something that I expect to happen sooner or later and I wish I didn't think about it but I do.  Maybe it's a good thing.  Maybe not.  Maybe it gives me a good but morbid perspective on life.  Whatever it is... it's there.

Like I said, my brain is in academic overload so I can't even think of a conclusion.  Well, I seldom think of a smooth transition to a conclusion but today my excuse is finals next week.  Good luck to me!

Until next time...

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Times they are a'changing

Here I am!  Feeling like my old self again, with some minor adjustments, of course.  Things have been quite hectic, hence the lack of blog posts.  I think about writing every day but actually getting (making) the time to do so requires some effort.  I'm not going to lie, I like to lay in bed every night with my boo-bear and watch Breaking Bad on Netflix or illegal downloads of Dexter.  But the boo-bear isn't here tonight so my pre-sleepytime activity is this.

Where to start...

School.  Oh yeah, that plan is taking a bit of a turn for the lengthy.  My problem is that I screwed around when I went to college straight out of high school and ended up with a (as it turns out) less than desirable GPA.  I have been doing well since returning but that "overall" GPA is keeping me from being eligible to even apply to the college of nursing this year.  I had to write a letter to the admissions committee asking them to waive the overall GPA requirement.  They denied it.  They want to see how I finish up this year and then I am to apply for the same waiver again next year (so even next year isn't a guarantee).  It sucks but I have learned that everything happens for a reason.

My plan for next summer is to go to a local "trade" school, if you will, and become a nurse technician.  That way I can at least get some experience under my belt and make some extra cash, not to mention, utilize my time... until I can find a way into a nursing school somewhere (preferably here, obviously).  Actually, it has to be here because I'm not moving.

Oh, speaking of moving... I am house hunting now, too.  I am ready to be on my own.  Well, I wont' be completely on my own.  I know single mothers do it all the time but I don't see why I would live alone when I have a perfectly great boyfriend with whom to live.  :)  That might sound a little crazy to some but remember, this is someone who I considered to be a good friend for a very long time; my husband's best friend no less... someone who was there for me and the kids - to help fill that void that was left after Matt died.  Noah's Godfather... an amazing man who keeps me laughing all the time... at this point in my life... after having been married once already... on the wrong side of 25 (that's just a joke)... I know what I want in a man and he is it.  I am extremely lucky.

So it's time.  I started house hunting last Friday and it went well.  We have zeroed in on one particular house that we really really like with a superb floorplan in a beautiful neighborhood... and I'm paranoid that it's going to sell before our second showing on Wednesday.  :-/  I try not to get too excited over it.

Running.  It has been treating me very well.  In fact, I ran my first half marathon today; the halfie that I've been training for since March!  My sister-in-law and I ran it together (it was her idea to begin with) and we finished 13.1 miles in 2 hours and 17 seconds.  It felt very rewarding to cross that finish line knowing that that moment symbolized everything I had gone through in the last 15 months.  All the pain, all the heartache, all the unwelcome change... running was a great outlet during my healing process.  And this is what it has become - such a feeling of victory and accomplishment!  All from a little 13 mile run.

We ran the halfie carrying roses for Matthew with the intention of putting them on his grave but I kind of forgot about that last part today.  But the important part was carried out!  We knew he was there with us, cheering us on, when we heard a Michael Jackson song come on at one of the aid stations between miles 9 and 10.

Life is good.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

It was one year ago today that I got back.

Today not only marks a day where thousands of families got torn apart due to the devastating 9/11 attacks, but also the day I moved back to Michigan, officially.  So it has now been a year since I have seen North Carolina.

When I was reflecting upon 9/11 this morning, my heart went out to all the wives who lost their husbands and children who lost their fathers.  Of course, it hurts for everyone who lost a family member but I spent a little more time thinking about those who are in our shoes.  I wonder how they are doing today. I hope they have found happiness and contentment, like they never thought possible.  From my personal experience, it is quite amazing how much brighter and how much more special everyday things are to me now than they were before.  I hope anyone who goes through such a tragedy comes out of it feeling blessed in the long run, no matter how much time it may take.

My professor pointed out that most of the people in my class were in elementary school when this happened.  Wow!  I pointed that out to Matthew and he laughed because, while I was in high school, he was actually in college.

Side note: I hope it doesn't become confusing between talking about my husband Matt and my boyfriend Matt... although I am sure the context makes it pretty obvious but I recognize that it may take a minute sometimes. :P

I think about this blog often.  I think about how much healing it brought me by enabling me to write out my emotions and share them with anyone who cared to have a read.  It is apparent that my entries are becoming more sporadic these days.  Life is becoming normal.  School is making this a long transition process but my plan is falling into place nicely... even though I am somewhat impatient.

I have been training for that half marathon I know I talked about before.  I was supposed to do a 10 mile training run tomorrow but I feel an injury in progress if I don't take it easy this week.  So I will have to postpone it until next week.  Running has been another outlet for me in my healing process.  It's a great opportunity to zone out, think about life, and abuse myself a little bit. ;)  The longest run I have done so far is 8 miles and that was a good run so I hope this minor setback doesn't throw me off too much.

My entries will become more lighthearted and superficial but I plan on continuing to keep this blog.  It won't always be super emotional and heartfelt like it was a year ago but I suppose that's a good sign.  Like, I said, I am finding a new normal and things are going pretty well!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

And so it begins... again

School!  I am just going to dismiss the fact that I took summer classes and consider this Round #2.  Me + summer classes = never again.  In fact, I may... certainly... re-take organic chem.  As for keeping my B in anatomy 1, that's yet to be decided.  I need to meet with my academic adviser pretty soon.

Right now I am taking microbiology, genetics and anatomy 2.  Micro and genetics seem like they are going to go well.  I like my professors in those.  I have anatomy 2 for the first time today at 4:00 and that is the class for which I am most scared!  I barely survived anatomy 1... but at least this time there is no lab requirement for me.

My study schedule is supreme.  I have all day Monday, Wednesday and Friday (well, I will try to work ahead to allow myself a little break-ski on Fridays) to study.  Then I have from 10am-4pm to study on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  This no lab thing is already feeling pretty nice.

The kids are doing great.  Noah is going to turn three next Friday, the 7th!  Which means Chloe is nearing the year and a half mark.  As long as I keep them busy... it's not too bad wrangling them on my own. So I am going to try to plan for walks, parks, bike rides... etc. every day after daycare while the weather is still nice.  Once the snow comes, I will have to brainstorm for some indoor activities!

I moved back with my in-laws who bought a house in our hometown earlier this month.  It is relatively close to the highway and has ample space for us (and my things, lol... mostly clothes).  It is nice to have a shorter commute out to Grand Valley every day.

My "budding romance" is superb.  Not sure why I just called it that but either way... things are great. :)  He is so considerate, adventurous, fun, funNY, easygoing, handles the kids as well as possible, and is caring and affectionate.  I love spending time with him and I feel that things shall continue to go very well for us in the future.

Monday, August 20, 2012

It's so distant!

That life I once had... seems so far away.  I have flashbacks every day of the little things.  Just the way Matt looked at me, the way he talked, how he felt when he hugged me.  It is hard to hold onto all those little things.  My worst fear was forgetting.  But I imagine it's hard not to forget those things after this much time has passed.  I still can't believe I haven't seen him in over a year.  Well, 13 months today to be exact.  In fact, right about now was the time I was stepping out of my office building to face everything that my new life would bring without Matt. 

I was thinking about how precious life is during my eight-mile run today.  I was just appreciating it.  I was thinking about all the things that can be accomplished in one lifetime.  And all the things that can't when it's cut short.  I hope that Matt knows he lives in my heart every single day and that I carry him with me everywhere I go. 

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Okay, seriously, I am going to write.

I have some time between my chem exam (death sentence) and lab (bo-ring!) so here I am.  I meant to write on the one-year anniversary... it ended up being a very busy day; it didn't go at all how I originally planned.

As soon as I published my last post, the daycare called me to let me know Chloe was sick.  I was sooo disappointed!  I was going to spend the day with Matt S. and just do whatever we wanted but at that point I knew that I would need to be home with her.  Later on, however, I realized that maybe I SHOULD be spending that day with the kids so I refocused and made plans to keep both Noah and Chloe home and we would go to Meijer gardens that afternoon.  It turned out nice.

Today is Matt's birthday; he would be 29.  Odd to think he died when he was 27 although it was just 11 days before he turned 28.  It's also odd to think that I will see a number at my next birthday he never saw.  He was two years older than me so it's strange that I will pass him!

Anyway, I wish I felt like writing something deep and meaningful today but I just don't have it in me.  I am just so thankful for all the support I have received in the last year and I am astounded at the blessings that have come upon me lately.  I never would have imagined life turning out this way.  Well, that is a poor choice of words because you never know what is waiting around the corner.  But for now, I am enjoying my blessings. :)  And I am ready for whatever awaits!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

(almost) One year

This is what I have been thinking about when I have been thinking about approaching the one year mark:

(1) How incredibly supportive family, friends and strangers alike have been to me throughout this.
(2) I can't believe it has been a year since I've seen Matt's face.
(3) I can't believe how far I have come... mainly because of #1 but also by turning to God for guidance and surrendering to His will.

So here is how I think it will go.  I honestly don't dread it.  I can't 100% pull apart the significance of "one year" from when it was one day, one week or one month.  It's just longer.  It still sucks.  It's a sucky situation.  But it has been this way for a while now.  A whole year.  That is just crazy.

I frequently think of all the love I/we received following Matt's death.  It is something I will always remember; never forget.  Especially those who were there with me and there for me in North Carolina within seconds, minutes, hours and days.  I was so very far away from home (Michigan) at that time and yet I really felt like I was home.  My friends and co-workers for just being there that very day.  Hugging me, crying with me, and visiting me at home the days following.  April, who never left my side; driving me to the daycare to get the kids and then home for the first time when I knew Matt would never be there again.  You just hugged me while I cried and listened to me when I needed to sob through a memory that was sparked by some random item in the house.

The staff and parents at our daycare for completely taking care of me in every way you could possibly imagine!  They all but carted in loads of supplies for us like snacks, water, paper plates, toys and activities for the kids, diapers, wipes... it was amazing.  They even pooled together a fund to help me out financially in the immediate days and weeks following Matt's death.  The amount of support I received from them, most of whom I had never met, was... there's not even a word for it but I suppose absolutely incredible works.

Britt for taking the initiative to set up a college fund for Noah and Chloe.  You started it all and the results of your efforts are something for which I will always be grateful.

Those who texted me that night for just letting me know that I was being thought of and prayed for.  It meant the world to me.  This day and age of social networking and text messages was a blessing for someone who just lost her husband.  All the "cyber support" was uplifting and I'm pretty sure I was on Facebook probably 90% of my time the first week after Matt died.  I hope I don't have this mixed up but Lacey, I just remember pouring my heart out to you in text messages the night of July 20 and I didn't even know you!  Thank you for allowing me to do that.

My family; mom, dad, grandma, Mark, Tracy, Tom and Kristen... for showing up at my door the next day, despite the 1,000-mile journey.  One way or another, you made sure you were there for me and we helped each other through the arduous process that was to follow for the next few weeks.  And especially my father-in-law, Mark, who basically made me get business done and kept everything organized for me because I can guarantee that would not have happened without you!  I love you guys all so much.

There are so many people I could thank for so many things over the last year.  The ones I mentioned are just a handful and they demonstrate the support I received during those critical first few days after July 20.  The food, the Edible Arrangements, the gift baskets, the sympathy cards, the bible verses, the books, the supplies, the Mass cards, the hugs, the condolences, the songs, the prayers, the donations, the help... everything.  If I have learned anything in the past year, I have learned how good and generous people are.  But I have also learned much more... I intend to blog again tomorrow.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Who is it?

It's Matt's best friend and Noah's Godfather.  We've known each other for a long time and he's been a part of Noah and Chloe's lives ever since they were born.  No one could ever possibly know me and understand me better than he does.  It just fits... but more than "just fitting," I am seriously in love.

God allowed my heart to open up to the opportunity of falling in love again when He knew the time was right.  It took me by complete surprise and I tried to convince myself I was getting mixed up in the wrong kind of emotions.  I would be lying if I said it wasn't frustrating.  It frustrated the hell out of me.  That's how I knew that it was real.

I know that there is no better person in this world to fill the role of father to Noah and Chloe.  The fact that I know Matt would agree with me leaves me with a feeling of joy that I never thought I would feel again.

I feel as though it didn't take me long after Matt died to know that I did, one day, want to be in love again.  I wanted to be someone's everything.  I longed to utilize all I had learned about love from death and make someone's life amazing.  I guess I never realized before Matt that when you sign up to love someone, you sign up to see them to their death.  It actually happens (who knew?).  I have that very real perspective now (sometimes it's overkill but I can't help it).  Anyway, I didn't know when the time would be "right".  Well, God has definitely shown me that that time is now and I'm loving every minute of it.  I think it's the beginning of a beautiful life.

Suddenly that song for which I felt such disdain almost a year ago doesn't seem so bad anymore.

My prayers were filled with thanks 11 months ago and they are filled with thanks now.  Turn to God in devastation, turn to God in prosperity.  Always turn to God.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

I have robbed my friends of the opportunity to play match maker.

I did it myself. :)  So to those who told me I WOULD find happiness again... you were right.  And he was there the whole time.

Maybe I will share more details later... but everything is wonderful right now.

I am finding that it is difficult to stay passionate about school in the summertime.  That seven-week anatomy course was an ass kicker.  I may re-take it at Grand Valley next fall even though I passed with a B.  It's not what I NEED though!  Organic chem/biochem is another ass kicker.  But I have another month yet to get my crap together and if I can get a B in this, I'll be happy.  I don't know about re-taking this one though.  I hate labs.

I still plan on applying to the nursing program this fall with the expectation that I won't get in so I am also going to look at Ferris' program, apply to that, and depending on how that goes, re-apply at GVSU next year.  Luckily, I have time.

And so just maybe, a teeny tiny bit, having a boyfriend is a slight distraction from school... especially for me... but I don't care because just knowing that these feelings are possible again is probably the greatest thing in the world.  It IS the greatest thing in the world.  It trumps school by a whole lot in my opinion.  But I am still managing to stay somewhat focused.

The kids are doing well.  Chloe is starting to talk a lot more.  Or trying to talk.  Noah is a very passionate almost-three-year-old.  He wants things done a certain way.  And he must know exactly what is going to happen with his day so he can mentally prepare ahead of time.

Life is one giant blessing.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Long time, no see!

I have had at least one exam every week for the last six weeks.  But yesterday marked my last day of anatomy & physiology and I couldn't be more relieved about that even though I will probably re-take the class next year at Grand Valley to get a better grade.  These summer classes have been a struggle.  I have sacrificed my performance in chemistry in order to keep my head above water in A&P.  Now I can devote the rest of my summer to chemistry and hopefully bring myself back up!

My nursing school plans might not work out this fall but I am still going to keep with my original course of action, apply this fall, and if I don't get accepted into the program, oh well.  I was starting to become stressed but I have prayed about it and I realized that there is no absolute NEED for me to be finished with school in 2014.  It's not like I don't have time.  I have plenty of time.  I just really hope I don't have to re-take organic chem because I despise labs.

Another reason why I am choosing to let God take control of my future is because I am otherwise very happy right now.  Happier than I ever thought I would be at this point.  Happy in a way I never thought would be possible if I had been asked 10 months ago.  Life is GOOD and that is a huge deal for me!

I think the last time I wrote, I had taken off my engagement ring.  I chose to remove it completely; not wear it on my right hand instead or put it on a necklace.  It wasn't meant for that.  It is my hope that Noah or Chloe will want it one day.  Same with the wedding band because I actually didn't last too long wearing only that; maybe a week... then it joined the engagement ring in the safe.  So my left ring finger is bare and I am not going to lie, finally taking those rings off was kind of... nice.  It was almost a sense of liberation.  I still wear Matt's wedding band on my left index finger and I still don't ever intend to remove it.

I am at peace.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

God moments galore

Things don't just happen.  I have gained an affinity for these "God moments", it seems.  I have become very in tune with the subtleties of everyday happenings and I have noticed that these things are more than just everyday happenings.  Some I feel are from Matt, some from God.  My detection of these signs has given me a beautiful new perspective on my life path.  I take them to mean that I am on my way; that I am taking the right course.  I really feel that is true.

I went to the jewelry store to have my rings cleaned today.  I did it for a reason; because I have every intention of removing my engagement ring... today.  I had been thinking about it for a while now.  I always wondered when I would feel ready.  Well, I feel ready for one of them.  I'm moving slowly.  I can't take my wedding band off today.  I am still unsure about how to approach that one.

I have spent time thinking about this all week.  It is no small deal.  Then, on Tuesday, the guy in my lab group said something about practicing the skeletal system using my husband as a model.  Let me just step aside for a moment and express how tired I am of telling people that my husband is dead.  It's not because I am tired of saying the words, it's because I'm tired of the reactions.  In fact, another recruiter called last week or a couple weeks ago looking for Matt and I still haven't called her back because I just don't want to.  I don't think I'm going to.  Anyway, I said, "Ehhh... I'm not married."  He said, "Oh, I'm sorry, I thought you were wearing a ring..." and I said, "Yeah.... I am... but... I'm a widow."  Blech.  Of course, he felt terrible and I'm to the point now where I just say, "It's okay, it's okay... really."  That happened the week I intended to take off my engagement ring?  Yes, it did.

I walk into the jewelry store and a woman comes out from the back of the store to help me.  She is wearing the same dress I wore to Matt's funeral.  Need I say more?

I stood there... thinking about how this is the last time I will ever have my engagement ring cleaned.  It used to be one of the highlights of my life, getting that thing cleaned.  It sparkles and twinkles so pretty.  But today... I am simply facing reality.

Or at least 50% of reality. =)

(This is all assuming I can find the keys to my safe because I put them in my purse which is like a black hole and I am not removing my engagement ring to put anywhere but in the safe.)

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

You know what?

Things are looking up.

And I also had an epiphany the other day when I realized that Chloe might not exist if I hadn't failed at breastfeeding Noah.  Hmmm.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

It's funny.

I went all semester long last semester without revealing my state of widowhood in my biology lab and psychology class.  And in biology lecture, it was only to my professor during his office hours.

I had no choice but to reveal that fact on the FIRST day of both anatomy/physiology and chemistry.  I was asked, in both instances, what made me decide to change my career path.  After giving the answer, I have realized that I don't really have a good way of answering that makes me feel like I'm truly satisfying the question.  It's more than just, "Well... my husband was killed in a car accident last summer..."  That's obviously the bottom line but what about that?  So that's what I decided to ponder during my run this morning.  I found the true answer:

Not only do I want to use my experience to bring comfort to other families who are in or very near to a situation in which I was, too (in losing Matt) but I have this drive within me to use my knowledge of what Matt went through after his first car accident to bring HOPE to others who are in the same or a similar situation as he was.  It's dual purpose. I know how much Matt wanted to reach out and bring hope to others who had suffered a traumatic brain injury.  I want to carry on that legacy.

That's a satisfying answer and I will now be better-prepared to respond to, "What made you decide to change your career path?" in a way that truly speaks to the reason why.  Maybe I need to start rehearsing.  Hah!  Just kidding.

I went to the cemetery after my run.  I had been wanting to go so badly after that dream I had (see previous post).  I felt I owed Matt a visit after that.  I went to the flower shop and picked up a heart-shaped stone that was engraved with a phrase.  It was exactly how I felt in my dream.

are not forever.  
Goodbyes are not the end.  
They simply mean 
I'll miss you, 
until we meet again.

I saw that the little seed Noah planted at Gilda's Club had sprouted!  I thought that was so special.  Chloe's isn't doing as well but maybe it will pull through.  I also brought three red roses.  I was feeling very nostalgic today.  I picked three red roses because the first flowers Matt had ever gotten for me in high school were three red roses.  It was for Valentine's Day.  I went to his house one day and they were there on the counter in the kitchen.  He told me there were three red roses, one for each of the words in "I love you".

"The memory of the just will be blessed..." Proverbs 10:7

Monday, May 7, 2012


First, a memory came to me on Saturday night while I was driving Chloe to sleep.  Yes, driving her to sleep.  Weaning sucks.  I remember when I got fired from the first job I had in North Carolina.  I was mortified at the time, of course.  I made a simple mistake and I was fired for it.  I accidentally failed to separate a piece of mail that went to the opposing party in a case when it shouldn't have.  In biological terms, that would be called a nondisjunction, when speaking of chromosomal mutations.  I ended up writing a letter of apology to the attorney and everything.

Besides all that useless information, I'll get to my point.  Worse than the actual state of being fired was the fact that I was going to have to go home and tell my  husband.  I thought for sure he was going to kill me.  I came home in tears and he was already there (I loved it when I came home to him, although not this particular day).  He asked me what was wrong and I couldn't yet get it out through my sobs.  He was nothing but compassionate and concerned and when I finally told him... it was more of a, "That's it?" kind of response.  Evidently, I acted dramatic enough for him to think I was in an accident or something.  He hugged me, said it was okay and everything would be fine.

That's pretty much it.  I was just remembering how sweet and supportive he was after I got fired for the first time ever (and hopefully the last, especially considering the field I'm about to enter in a couple years).  When we were alone in North Carolina starting our new life together... he was my main man.  Not just my husband but my best friend, my everything.  It was great.

While pondering this lovely memory, I decided to drive to McDonald's for a flurry.  Who knew that McDonald's didn't even carry chocolate ice cream?  Apparently I'm an idiot.  So my chocolate M&M flurry turned into a regular M&M flurry but that's okay I suppose.  I guess there are worse things in life, heh.

I found the time to write this blog today because my anatomy professor has not yet posted the outlines for chapters beyond what we have covered so far.  There's nothing worse than having time to get ahead and not being able to do it.  I'm too Type A to go through the next chapters without the outline.  It must be done a certain way.  I start organic chemistry tomorrow, which will kick off the next six weeks of insanity.  My Tuesdays and Thursdays will be completely filled 9:00am-8:00pm.  I'm not looking forward to it but at least it's only for the next six weeks.

Back to this dream I had last night.  It was a dream within a dream.  I believe Inception would call that going to the second level?  Anyway, that's what I did.  Usually, Matt will come to me in my dreams but this time, I went to him.  I was approaching the moon... and as I got closer, the moon turned into a bright light.  I knew then where I was going.  I wondered how I could be dead because I didn't feel like I was dead.  I felt completely normal except for the fact that I was flying toward the moon.  But it was a great feeling.  So as soon as I went into the light I just felt so warm and peaceful... happy.  I found myself in a bright, warm, wide open area above the clouds.  I could see various people here and there.  Floating around, socializing, doing this and that.  I was flying and then Matt appeared right in front of me.  He was so happy, so at ease. And the part that bothers me about this dream is that there was some very important dialogue and I can't remember it to save my own life (if that were literal, that would be okay).  I remember he had a smile on his face, we talked, we kissed, and then there came a point where I just knew I had to go.  I didn't want to go but something was making me go.  Matt remained happy and we knew we'd see each other again.  I remember being pulled away and then I woke up with a jolt!  Now we are back to the first level.  I'm still dreaming.  I woke up in my dream and flew out of bed because it was after 10:00 and my psychology exam was at 9:00.  I had to find someone to watch the kids but even by the time I got to campus, only having two hours to complete the exam, I would never make it.  I was trying to figure this out and then I realized that my exam was on Tuesday and it was only Monday.  And then I finally woke up for real... into my real life.  It was only 8:09am.

That dream within my dream was incredible and it's dreams like those that make think, "I can't wait until I die."  And I can't.  It's going to be amazing.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Academics + Family + Friends + Running = Happiness

I decided today (while running) that I can just be happy.  Why?  Well, gaining knowledge makes me happy.  So even when I'm finished with my BSN, I'll probably continue taking a class here and there and just start a collection of degrees.  My friends and family make me happy and they're really all I need.  I can raise my kids as a happy little family of three and that's fine.  Running makes me happy.  Running makes me feel good about life and think happy thoughts like the ones I'm writing now.  A woman passed me on the trail this morning.  She was older (not OLD old... just older than me), in EXCELLENT physical condition and told me about how she just ran the Boston marathon in 89 degrees.  Then I thought... I want to BE her.  Yes.  Can't I just marry marathons?  I can be married to marathons, school, nursing and mothering.  I think that's enough.  And I will be happy and content just that way.

As long as I entertain often and have company over every single night or visit someone else every single night.  Because I'm finally getting a preview of what life will be like when I'm really on my own again and it's LONELY!  I never even realized how lonely it would be.  I have no one (i.e. my husband) to talk to.  It's weird.  I'm not used to this.  Of course, once the kids age that will change a bit.  But that probably won't be for another 10 years at least, lol.  But besides that, it's okay I guess.

It's hard to believe it has been almost a year.  A year ago I was on maternity leave.  Matt took Noah to daycare every morning and picked him up every morning while I stayed home and bonded with little Chlo-Chlo.  I would take pictures of her on my phone and send them to Matt throughout the day.

My, how life has changed.  It only took three individual therapy sessions with my counselor before he decided that I was doing well enough to push my next appointment two weeks out instead of one.

How weird is it right now that this song is playing - one of those moments...

Have you ever felt so strong
That it made you feel weak
Long days
Long nights
And you just can't sleep

Have you ever been so sure
That it gave you cold feet
That felt all bare
You can feel your heart beat

Well I never knew this feeling never
Now I hope it stays and last forever
I am riding high
I don't want to come down
Hope my wings don't fail me now
And If I can touch the sky
I'd risk to fall just to know how it feels to fly

Alicia Keys - How It Feels to Fly

I think I can say that life is okay right now.  I'm looking out the window watching a little girl swing around her dad's legs while he talks on his cell phone... which is totally something I could picture Chloe doing with Matt one non-existent day.  I don't feel sad when I see things like that anymore.  It actually makes me feel good.  And maybe that's not even her dad.  Maybe her dad died and that's her uncle or something.  I mean, everyone who takes one look at my left ring finger thinks I'm married.  You just never know...  The unthinkable happens.

"be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."

Monday, April 30, 2012

I did it.

My first semester back in the college universe is complete and here is how it ended:

Biology (my greatest challenge by far): 94% A
Chemistry 96% A
Psychology 96% A

I'm attaining the unattainable (or what I thought was unattainable).  I guess with determination, motivation and dedication, you really can do anything you put your mind to.  It sure wasn't easy and I still have a long road ahead, but I feel confident that this is what I was meant to do.

I know God didn't tear my life to pieces for no reason.  I'm actually feeling like I am in a good place right now. I have hope and faith.  That's a good feeling.

My next semester starts tomorrow.  Anatomy 1 - I just spent the last two hours studying.  Organic chemistry starts next week.  I feel that anatomy will be my biggest challenge, just from the fact that it's only a seven week course so I anticipate it will be very fast-paced, packed with information.  However, it looks very interesting and enjoyable so as long as I can stay on top of things and manage my time wisely, it should go well!

I have been receiving lots of signs from Matthew lately.  There's nothing more comforting than that.  I feel very at peace with my "situation" and I feel that I am healing well.  I have my family, friends (and even people I don't know well) and God to thank profusely for all the support and prayers that have brought me to this point.

Like I said, I know God has given me a purpose and exactly what that purpose is will continue to be revealed as the days, weeks, months and years pass.  Life isn't always easy but it sure is beautiful.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Finals Week

Ahhh, finals week.  What a perfect week to receive a call from the daycare telling me that I need to pick up Chloe because she's had three diarrhea diapers!  I am so thrilled that my study time has been interrupted by diarrhea.  Thankfully, MIL took the day to watch her... and I think my mom will be able to entertain the kids tonight while I polish up my psych knowledge and start studying for my chemistry final (which is cumulative so it's on material I've already mastered).  I have managed to finish biology with an A-!  I was aiming for an A but considering my circumstances, I am very happy with an A-.  I believe I should get an A in both chemistry and psychology but we shall know for sure by the end of this week.

Okay, so speaking of that call I received from daycare yesterday... never begin a phone conversation with me by saying, "I'm really sorry to have to tell you this..."  Because the first thought that came to my mind was, "OMG she's dead or nearly dead."  Seriously... my heart DROPPED.  I had a miniature fraction-of-a-second long panic attack.  Then she told me that Chloe had three diarrhea diapers and had to go home.  Totally not a big deal compared to what I originally thought.  That scared me.  I never used to think the worst.  Now, it's where my mind immediately goes.  When I saw those two police officers at work to tell me Matt was dead... that didn't even cross my mind that that's what they were going tell me.  Not in a million years.  But if two police officers come to my door now... someone's dead.  This much I know.

Anyway, I need to entertain these little munchkins of mine.  Not even time for a creative conclusion.  I gotta GO... I'm pretty sure there are toothpicks scattered all over the living room.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Six years.

I know I won't have time to post about this over the weekend. Technically, tomorrow is six years since Matt proposed. That was so incredible and I'm thankful to have pictures of the occasion. I can't believe how young I was... 21! We had a long engagement so I was 22 by the time we got married but... how young! Thank God, too.

That was such a wonderful night. I remember calling family and friends afterwards. We went on a miniature "engagement tour"... I remember going to my aunt's house afterwards because I knew my mom was over there and she had NO idea. My dad, on the other hand, knew it was coming eventually because Matt asked his permission.

I'm still wearing that ring although I actually took it off the other night to see what it would look like just wearing my wedding band. Needless to say, it looks so plain.... but not as plain as taking them both off. I don't know if I'll ever remove my wedding band. But the engagement ring... I think maybe one day but certainly not yet. I felt sad when I took it off the other day just to see what it would look like. So I put that bad boy back on my finger, smiled with satisfaction, and walked out of the bathroom content as can be. It's just so pretty. ;)

Six years... I look at that picture with a smile on my face. Joyful memories I'm so thankful to have. Things are good. I'm feeling better. Which means I know what's coming... another fall into the pit of negativity. But I would rather have temporary periods of happiness knowing that it will be cut off for a short time than always be depressed.

Speaking of periods, I keep thinking about how nice it has been not having one since July 2010. Which is probably one of the greatest perks of breastfeeding (although it doesn't work for everybody). ;) Well, that and the fact that it helps maintain weight but now that I'm running I'm not too worried about blowing up after Chloe weans, lol.

And speaking of running, I feel like I'm on top of the world when I run. What an amazing therapy! I love it. It might be a much safer time for me to think deep thoughts than when I'm driving because wow, I'm just hanging on by the grace of God when I drive these days. I'm looking forward but my mind is definitely on other things and when I realize that there is a truck going much slower than I am right in front of me and my heart skips a beat while I hit the brakes... I think, "Gee, no wonder..." If I was in a position like Matt's I would be a goner. But at least Michigan has a minimum speed of 55mph unlike North Carolina. Then I probably wouldn't die, I would just be severely inconvenienced. Which is worse is definitely debatable.

Anyway, I shall spend all afternoon studying for my bio final, which is Monday morning. My hardest one! Unfortunately, I won't have any extra time to study for it next week besides early Monday morning but, at the same time... I'm getting it over with first. I feel I should do well this semester and I have such a wonderful feeling of accomplishment. I know it's not over until the fat lady sings (I don't get that saying but I know it's in the movie Independence Day which is one of Matt's favorites)... but completing my first semester so soon after losing my husband AND with two little children... and doing well. That's pretty awesome.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

I censored myself.

A wise person would take into consideration how others might interpret their words before publishing. I, however, am not a wise person. And so while I understand myself and my intentions, not everyone will. Therefore - I deleted my latest post. I intended to continue it with a "however" portion but I ran out of time. At this point, I'm just going to scratch the whole thing and from now on... I'll (try to) keep that kind of stuff between me and my therapist.

Speaking of which, I really enjoyed my counseling sesh on Thursday and I'm suddenly really looking forward to my next one.

If I have not once mentioned how thankful I am for the help I receive then shame on me. Expressing how much my life has changed and how frustrated I can get because of those changes is not meant to be a reflection AT ALL of what other people have done for me. My previous post was misinterpreted and it's my fault.

I would like to delve into all the things that I'm thankful for and blessed with but at this point, I don't feel like it would be coming from the heart. I think it would be coming from the fact that I'd like to simply amend the situation and that's not what I want.

I may take a break from this blog for a little while unless something profound happens. My birthday is tomorrow. Finals are coming up in two weeks. On April 21, it will have been six years since Matt asked for my hand in marriage. A new semester begins on May 1st. I've been set back on my running schedule because Chloe turned up sick on Thursday and I had to go pick her up from daycare.

I attended a parent participation/spring picnic at the daycare yesterday and it turned out well. But it was slightly painful watching the other parents together as couples so I just tried not to look. At one point, Noah ran up to another child's dad and said, "Daddy!" because he could have resembled Matt. But all this stuff is just stuff that I'm going to have to get used to. And I won't complain about it because that makes me look ungrateful.

I care about what people think of me. I know that using a public internet blog makes me susceptible to judgment. I knew that from "day three". But I want to be able to share this journey with others who might relate to my situation or who are just simply curious or who can gain some inspiration or say, "Ugh, I will never do what she does." Whatever it may be... I knew what I was getting into and that's okay. Sometimes what I write may be misinterpreted and again, it's my responsibility to understand that and write accordingly. Sometimes I fail.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Incredibly Weird Dream

Separated by ellipses because dreams are such a jumble. This is obviously a figment of my imagination.

I was at the visitation and for some reason, I went to open the casket even though I didn't want to see Matt's body. I started to open it while looking and then I quickly looked away and said, "I can't believe I almost looked at him." All I saw was his shirt.


Matt appeared but I was the only one who could see him. I don't think he knew what was going on. I told him he was dead. He looked in the casket and saw himself. He started crying, saying, "What have I done?" But I said, "Aren't you in bliss now?" He said no. I said I know there was purgatory... and he said he was still waiting, that it took a while. I said, "Well, I'm living high-risk now... driving irresponsibly..." and I laughed. But then I thought, I better live like a really good person because Matt would probably be out of purgatory by the time I died, and then I would have to wait that much longer to see him.


He said he could get on Facebook but he hasn't because he didn't want to creep anyone out. I thought, "Couldn't you at least send me a message?"


He could move really fast like a vampire.


It was weird. Obviously.

I was having profound thoughts on my way downtown this afternoon. I think that God has bestowed this experience on me in such a way that I can handle. Well, I don't believe that He would ever want us to experience such heartache but that's the way it must be. And because it must be like this, He has helped to alleviate my pain in small ways that have allowed me to handle it as best as I can.

For example, I picture Matt after his death worrying about us. But him being told that this is the best way. Me not seeing him in the hospital. Never getting to say goodbye because that would have made it harder on me. Him not being left alive and brain dead only for me to have to make the decision to say goodbye. As sucky as it is, I think it could always be worse. So that's what I thought about today. God's plan. Everything happens how it was meant to happen.

This is how it works
You're young until you're not
You love until you don't
You try until you can't
You laugh until you cry
You cry until you laugh
And everyone must breathe
Until their dying breath

No, this is how it works
You peer inside yourself
You take the things you like
And try to love the things you took
And then you take that love you made
And stick it into some
Someone else's heart
Pumping someone else's blood
And walking arm in arm
You hope it don't get harmed
But even if it does
You'll just do it all again

Regina Spektor - On the Radio

Monday, April 9, 2012

"where you invest your love, you invest your life"

A little Mumford & Sons.

Easter gave me a nice dose of spiritual rejuvenation. I hadn't been to Mass in a long time but I attended 7:00am Mass on Sunday and it was lovely. Easter might be my new favorite holiday.

I've been thinking more about my nonexistent tattoo that will someday become existent. But I'm not sure when that will be. I originally wanted to get it done for my birthday but Chloe is only partially weaned. Who knew what a chore weaning would be? She's just not ready yet. Maybe in a few months...

Anyway, my idea was to get "Matthew 28:20" on my wrist. However, I thought about what do I want to say when people ask me about my tattoo? So what do I want that answer to be? Well, of course, I want the answer to involve Matt and the unexpected turn that my life took. I'm not sure Matthew 28:20 would lead to that information (very briefly, anyway). So I am now thinking about a series of numbers intertwined and those numbers would be 7 20 11. Perhaps in between angel wings. And so when someone said, "What does your tattoo mean?" I could say something like, "That's the day my life was turned upside down," or "That's the last day I ever saw my husband," and voila! Storytime ensues. So I am on to something now.

But I think I will add "Matthew 28:20" to my second tattoo idea, which is a cross and lilies on my side. But that won't happen for a while yet... if at all. Who knows. I've always been funny about tats so this whole thing is wild.

When one has lost someone close, I think it's important to take anything that could be viewed as a sign and run with it. So I did that again yesterday. I was driving along, staring irresponsibly out at the sky as usual... and in the middle of the blue, naked sky was a little cloud all by itself. Aaand it was shaped like a heart. It was from Matt, which is totally something he would do. He told me he would love me in Heaven. I have it in writing. So I'm glad to see that he's being true to his word.

I bought a potted lily, some tulips and a little Easter egg for his grave. I added the tulips and Easter egg to the two that were already left there by someone else in the vase and then I set the lilies in front of the headstone. It looked nice and festive.

Lately, Noah has been saying, "I want to go home." I do, too. But that would involve a time machine. I do not feel like I have a home. I am still experiencing the ripples that Matt's death created. I'm sure they will keep going for a long time. I still feel like I'm in transition. I look forward to the day when I actually feel like I have my stuff together... mentally and physically. But this whole life rebuilding thing is actually quite a lengthy process (not that I didn't know that but I would love to fast forward through the next two years and just have a job and a house already).

As for these ripples/aftereffects... for example, I finally received an ambulance bill a couple weeks ago. It was only about $400, which surprised me. I was thinking it would be more like $900. Since I took Matt's number, I received a call from a recruiter because she had a job opportunity he might be interested in. I called her back and told her. I still haven't taken his name off of our bank account although I'm kind of in the process of doing so.

Every time I go to write the year, I pause for a millisecond because I think, "Wait. Is it 2012?" 2012 seems ridiculous... like there's no way it's 2012. But it is. Weird.

I think I have written enough nonsense by now. This is weird because finals are in two weeks so I don't really have a lot of things to do. I feel like I have an unusual amount of down time... like I'm forgetting something... but I don't think that's the case. Regardless, this is a sucky blog entry so I'm going to force myself to quit.

Oh, I know, it's because I'm no longer planning a birthday party.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

I just made a decision

I'm going back to a counselor. I might look like I have all my pieces together on the outside and I like to pretend it's that way but it's really not. I am falling apart on the inside and it's so not cool that I need to do something about it. I want to move on from this. Maybe seeing a counselor will help me heal further.

And this time it's a MAN. Should be interesting... quite honestly, I feel more comfortable with a woman but I'll give it a try. It's the soonest I could get in (next Thursday).

When I envision my future, I'm happy. When I envision my future... I'm with someone else. I can imagine that far ahead. The kids are happy they have a dad... everything is perfect (although I know how quickly "perfect" can come and go). So maybe that's a step in the right direction. I can see myself happy one day, now it's just a matter of actually getting there. I don't know if I have unresolved grief... if I have pent up anger... I don't know what the deal is but I just don't feel right.

It needs to be addressed.

Time for a run.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Sometimes I just want to scream, "I EFFING HATE FACEBOOK!"

Whyyyy must I torture myself? Why is it so addicting? Why can't I just delete it and walk away forever? It's an unstoppable force. The only people who coul
d ever possibly understand the torture that is Facebook are my fellow widows, which is a horrible, depressing and painful group to be a part of and I wish I was the only one in this club but... we help each other so I guess it's a good thing I'm

Chloe turned one on Saturday. I was sad all day long but no one there would have ever known it because I put on a smiley, happy face and act like I love my life.
Matt saw one birthday.

And the way pictures upload on this thing is so messed up so if this looks like a jumbled mess (it will), I'm sorry.

So one birthday... do you think I could ever stop thinking about that? Nope. It's pretty much all I thought about during Chloe's party. So I compensated for my mental absence by keeping as busy as I could and throwing Chloe a super awesome birthday party with a baller cake and unnecessary details for a first birthday party. But she had a tough year and she doesn't even know it. The "theme" was nautical but there was something more to it. I used the anchor symbol throughout because the anchor is the symbol of hope. Hebrews 6:19

Anyway, I need to wrap this up so I can get to my biology lab. Her party turned out fabulous, I was sad, the kids were happy so that's all that really matters, and... I miss Matt.

Oh, fun tidbit: In these photos of Noah's first birthday party, I was about three months pregnant with little Chlo-Chlo. :)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

It appears I have found my calling...

preparing garlic root slides. My lab professor was so impressed she gave me extra credit. ;) In addition, our group as a whole received extra credit for extracting the most DNA/RNA from strawberries. Good stuff.

All in all, things have been good. I get teary-eyed randomly here and there, which is a pretty normal part of my life nowadays. I'm sure it always will be. I still get a sense that Matt is with me at sporadic times throughout the day. It's crazy stuff. I'm going crazy. But as long as my craziness doesn't interfere with school then whatever. The kids already make me crazy so that's a separate department.

I'm trying to get everything sorted out for my schedule for summer, fall and winter. I can't believe this semester is already almost over. I will be taking a class or two at GRCC in order to be eligible to apply to nursing school next fall. I will either have to take anatomy or microbiology there and then whichever one I don't take there, I will be taking at GVSU. It's kind of a cluster because I'm currently enrolled for organic chem at GVSU with a really good professor... that also comes with a lab. But GRCC doesn't offer anatomy 2 at a time that works for me so I called my adviser to see if I can take anatomy 1 at CC and anatomy 2 at GV. If not, then I will be forced to drop the chem class with the awesome professor and take it at CC instead... and then take anatomy 1 and 2 and GV this summer and fall. Whatever, I'm rambling and this stuff is so unimportant in the grand scheme of things.

I guess I don't have a ton going on right now. Just keeping busy with school and planning Chloe's birthday party which is on Saturday! I got a 94% on my chem exam last week and I'm waiting for my psych prof to post grades from the exam we had on Monday... fingers crossed!

Lastly, this song was on Matt's iPod and he said the lyrics always reminded him of me after his first car accident:

Scene begins as a telephone rings.
Chokes a gasp at the awful news it brings.
A phone call she's been avoiding.
She knows he's reached the end.

Hooked up to the respirator.
It breaths life into my callused lungs.
My heart beats getting fainter.
I know my time has come.

It's getting colder
been trying to show her
that I'm not the one
to be there beside her now
I'm crossing over
can no one console her
alone she'll remain
with no way to end this pain.

Now I realize the things that I
(All of the things that I wanted in this world)
the things I have done to you
(What have I done to you)
why you gave your love with all your heart.
(Hands went way to fast)
With all that a heart could give.

Intentions that you'll never know
the reason why I have to lead astray
I gave you a life time of pain and remorse
(Mistakes that were never yours)
the wrong in my life can never be right.
(It flashes before my eyes)

(How did he come to this,
His mind is working harder than ever before.
Thousands of thoughts in seconds.
His last thoughts were of her,
and how he and he alone had destroyed the once
vibrant spirit he had coveted so deeply.
The last pain he had ever caused is to the only
woman that had ever loved him...)

Bright light is calling me upward.
(All alone)
I follow and leave you below
(A ghost for now)
Now you're all alone.
(All alone)
And I leave you with nobody by your side.
(A ghost for now)
Not to hurt you ever again
(All alone)
Never break your spirit for me.
(A ghost for now)
Now I'm all alone.
(All alone)
Still I cherish the things that you have given to me.
(A ghost for now)
Bright light is calling me upward
(All alone)
I follow and leave you below
(A ghost for now)

A Thorn For Every Heart - Things Aren't So Beautiful Now