Thursday, October 07, 2010

Walt Disney World and Mars...

When Tricia Gabehart Riley and I were 5 years old, she took a trip to Walt Disney World. At that time, we spent every summer playing together EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. Her family very rarely went on a long vacation. When they said FLORIDA - it felt like they were saying MARS. I remember hugging her in the driveway and feeling like the world just might end. Soon a post card from WDW arrived. It as Pooh Bear in front of the castle. I carried that card around until the long two weeks came to an end. She arrived home and we ran across our front yards. She had a Mickey Mouse cup with ears and a straw for me. She also had a Shamu stuffed animal for her. I remember asking her, "Who is Shamu?". When I was 19, Tim and I went to Magic Kingdom for the very first time on our 1 year anniversary. We didn't bring Timmy - just us! I was so excited to finally go to the place I had dreamed about since I was 5. Over the next 17 years, our family was very blessed to go to Disney many, many times. Tricia never made it back to Disney since the time she was 5. On Halloween, we will be meeting each other in WDW. Her daughter's birthday is November 2nd. We are going to go trick or treating in Magic Kingdom. I carry around pain in my heart all day, every day - but this morning I am so excited that I am going to that MARS place with my best friend!

Monday, August 23, 2010


I have actually written about where I grew up before, but it has been on my mind a lot lately. Partially because of the song above and partially because sometimes when I think about escaping reality, I think about going "home". Home for me was 3 Scarsdale Road in Boulder Hill. We moved there when I was 2. I remember doing summersalts on the green carpet in the upstairs living room. The house was empty and seemed so big. My life that I remember began there. I met my best friend, started school, learned to read, went to girl scouts, had lemonade stands, played school, met my first and only love and brought Timmy home there. Most of my memories from 3 Scarsdale Road are amazing. I am one of the lucky ones that can say that. I have very few bad memories from growing up. My parents loved me. They loved my friends and they loved Tim. I remember sitting on the stairs watching out the big picture window when there was something on my mind or bothering me. It was like a secret hiding place even though it was fully visible. I could fit on that stair and just look at the world go by. I have thought about sitting there a lot. It would be peaceful to sit there right now and watch the world go by. I just went home to Illinois, but I didn't go past the house. I thought about it, but just didn't do it. When Tim and I got pregnant with Timmy when I was 16, this was the home I came to. My mom and dad didn't kick me out or anything like that. They made a home for Timmy. I remember his room. It had paneling, so my sister-in-law, Debi told me to use wrapping paper to cut out some wall hangings. I used Snoopy with balloons. I cut out the words "Timmy's Room" and added some paper balloons. I am just now realizing that Sebastian had Snoopy crib bedding. I must have a Snoopy issue I didn't realize I had. I guess my want to escape there is that is where I first had Timmy. Not all was right with the world. My dad was very sick. It was a hard time after I had Timmy, but Timmy brought so much happiness. There is a part in this song that says,
"I thought if I could touch this place or feel it
this brokenness inside me might start healing.
Out here its like I'm someone else,
I thought that maybe I could find myself"

Every time I hear that part, it makes me cry. I think that when I went home to Illinois that I hoped that it would help the pain. It did some. My friends and family are amazing. I am so incredibly blessed to have two childhood friends that get me. They let me be who I need to be and they don't run away. They remember when Timmy was just a crazy plan that Tim and I had. They remember summer driver's ed and morning sickness. They remember me having a baby in high school and never even for a minute stopping our friendship. I don't think it helped heal me though. I think I came away just as broken as I was before. If not a bit more because I saw how so much had changed there. My baby wasn't there anymore than he is here. You really can't go home to fix the brokenness inside, but you can go home to for a moment feel the love of family.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


I know I just posted about my friends, but I just got this in an email from a friend. Seen it before, but somehow the words are ringing in my ears today. I had a wonderful week with my oldest friends. I sat in TGIFridays and cried to Jorge she just held my hand and listened. I drove through cornfields and Tricia understood exactly how the loss of a child felt. She let me cry and hugged me. I do not know what I would do without my family and friends right now or ever.

A young wife sat on a sofa on a hot humid day, drinking iced
tea and visiting with her mother. As they talked about life, about
marriage, about the responsibilities of life and the obligations of
adulthood, the mother clinked the ice cubes in her glass thoughtfully and
turned a clear, sober glance upon her daughter.

"Don't forget your Sisters," she advised, swirling the tea
leaves to the bottom of her glass. "They'll be more important as you get
older. No matter how much you love your husband, no matter how much you
love the children you may have, you are still going to need Sisters.
Remember to go places with them now and then; do things with them.

"Remember that 'Sisters' means ALL the women...your
girlfriends, your daughters, and all your other women relatives too.

"You'll need other women. Women always do."

What a funny piece of advice, the young woman thought. Haven't
I just gotten married? Haven't I just joined the couple-world? I'm now a
married woman, for goodness sake! A grownup! Surely my husband and the
family we may start will be all I need to make my life worthwhile!

But she listened to her mother. She kept in contact with her
Sisters and made more women friends each year. As the years tumbled
by,one after another, she gradually came to understand that her Mom really
knew what she was talking about. As time and nature work their changes and
their mysteries upon a woman, Sisters are the mainstays of her life.
After many years of living in this world, here is what I've learned:

Time passes.
Life happens.
Distance separates.
Children grow up.
Jobs come and go.
Love waxes and wanes.
Men don't do what Sisters do.
Hearts break.
Parents die.
Colleagues forget favours.
Careers end.

Sisters are there, no matter how much time and how many miles
are between you.

A girlfriend is never farther away than needing her can reach.

When you have to walk that lonesome valley and you have to walk
it by yourself, the women in your life will be on the valley's rim,
cheering you on, praying for you, pulling for you, intervening on your behalf,
and waiting with open arms at the valley's end.

Sometimes, they will even break the rules and walk beside you.
Or come in and carry you out.

Girlfriends, daughters, granddaughters, daughters-in-law, sisters,
sisters-in-law, Mothers, Grandmothers, aunties, nieces, cousins,and extended
family, all bless our life!

The world wouldn't be the same without women, and neither would I.

When we began this adventure called womanhood, we had no idea of the
incredible joys or sorrows that lay ahead. Nor did we know how much we
would need each other. Every day, we need each other still.
Author unknown

Sunday, August 08, 2010

The alarm clock (or lack of one)

This is going to sound like a silly post. I wanted to find a time to blog all week, but I just didn't get there. One of the mornings, I was laying there in bed thinking about my blog. It occurred to me that one of my very favorite things about my life is a simple luxury that most do not have. Sleep. I pretty much get 9 hours of sleep a night. That was never the case when I worked outside the home. I was either up early or working late into the night. These days, the alarm goes off for Tim at 5:30. That is the first one. I turn it off and we cuddle for 15 minutes until the second alarm goes off. We started that routine over 10 years ago and we still love it. Then, typically, I scoot him out of bed. These days I am getting up and taking Scout (our chiuaua) out. I hate that, but I am doing it. Then I go back to sleep for a good two hours (okay, sometimes 3... but I try to be up in 2.) That is a sweet, sweet luxury and I guess I would call it an every day blessing to me because I love waking up on my own time. Sebastian comes in lots of mornings and sneaks into Tim's spot. He is always so sweet and snuggly. Again one of my very favorite times of the day when he snuggles up to me and gives me a big kiss. Just awesome! So, while lots of people are getting up to alarms this next week or so and rushing their kids off to school... I will be snuggling with my hubby and then with my little Bubba Luka. Simply perfect.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

My girl has got a groove...

Here is something that makes me SMILE. Savannah sings this song from the back of the van. I can see her in my child mirror. She sorta sways her head to the music and has the groove. My girl has rhythm. I have no idea where she got it from because neither Tim nor I have it. She knows the words to everything and can get the beat just perfect. Every time I hear this song, it makes me smile because I see her just letting herself be free and happy! Oh and the video is pretty funny too!

Friday, July 30, 2010

“When it hurts to look back, and you're scared to look ahead, you can look beside you and your best friend will be there.”

I have had many friends in my life. I met my first friend when I was 2 - Tricia or Patty or whatever she may want to be called today. She was and still is one of my best friends. There were other friends on and off growing up. Then I met Jorgena when I was 12. Yep, she is still my best friend. Both of these friends live in Illinois - where we grew up. They will always be my friends. I call them all the time because I am a chatty phone person. I like to talk on the phone while I clean my house. It is a relaxing thing for me. I met Debi before we moved to FL. We were sister in laws, but we were best friends too. Then there are the friends I have in Florida. Cindy - she is always taking care of me. I don't know what I would do without her. She helped be plan Timmy's funeral. I didn't know what to do or who to call and it seemed that every decision was just too huge for me to figure out. I called her and she didn't hesitate to help me. Then there is Vickie, Mazie and Susie and a newish friend Heidi that helped with everything. They are amazing friends that love me. I also have friends I used to work with that are still my friends even though I haven't worked in 4 years. Linda and Anita are always there when I need them. I had old friends that came to Timmy's service. I was in awe of people I hadn't seen in years, but they came. When I moved here, I was so lonely. I missed my friends. I have lots of family here, but they are busy with their lives. I missed the kind of connection of getting together on a weekday afternoon to talk about nothing or everything. As I said, I am a chatty person. I crave talking to people. I don't do well if I can't talk and talk and talk some more. I have met the most amazing people here. Christina - she is so wise for being younger. She is always there to tell me it is okay. April - she is a nut and makes me laugh. Sam - quiet, but cares so much. There are so many more friends here. I am getting to know more and more wonderful and amazing women each day I am here. They are kind to me and send me emails and messages that are so comforting. I went bowling today and met up with two ladies I don't know well, but they were so sweet to me. I have Laurie who is more of family than a friend. She is just fun to hang out with. Of course, I have my mom and my sister. They are family, but they are my best friends. Years ago, when Timmy was about 3, I had a friend named Beth. She was single and we had nothing in common really. But she was my good friend for many years. My only real friend I had in Florida for a long time. Something happened with her and she pulled away from everyone. I was so lonely for friends. I began to homeschool and that opened up a whole world of possibilities. People always talk about socialization for homeschooled kids. I don't think most people realize that homeschooling also provides amazing friendships for the moms. And even the dads. I don't know what I would do without all of my friends right now. I have had a very hard time these last few days. Today, when I went bowling, I could feel my friends willing me to give myself time to heal. I also got emails today from other friends with the kindest words and offer of help in any way. And there was the phone call today with my very first friend, Tricia. She left her kids, jumped on a plane and stood by my side while I buried my son. She lets me cry and make no sense when we talk. If I didn't mention your name, it doesn't mean you are not my friend. There are so many people that are right there for me. I can't imagine my life without all of these amazing people.

ETA - I lay in bed in the wee hours of the morning - thinking I didn't write about my sweet friend, Michelle, from Florida. How did I not write about her? I have no idea! She has been there to help me way back since Debi died. She opened her scrapbooking nights to me and it was just what I need. She did all the work for the church part of Timmy's service. I didn't forget you, Michelle, I promise!

Saturday, July 24, 2010


I have a lot of fears, lately. Worries and fears. I spend a lot of time rolling them over and over in my head. One of my biggest fears is that everyone will forget Timmy. My logical side tells me this is not so. I also tell myself does it really matter if people forget him. Does it change anything if people forget him? Not really, but the pain it brings is all encompassing. I know that I haven't forgotten Debi. Sometimes I think that is because her kids are walking around right in front of me. How could I forget her? Then I realize even before I lived here, Debi was always on my mind. I didn't go a day without thinking about her. Still... I worry that Timmy will just be somebody that people will say something about once in awhile. He is my son! He was my hope and my dreams and my joy! He is not just somebody that is gone. So, I worry. I worry that Sebastian will not remember how much he loved him. How wonderful he was and how big of a heart he had. I worry he won't know what an amazing human being he was. I can show him videos and pictures all day long, but he won't remember the details. I go through my day trying to keep things in balance. I know he would want me to be happy and to share happiness with our family. I know this because I know that is how he lived. This past week, a few of of his friends have shared details with me about how Timmy changed their lives. Even a mom said how helped her son not be afraid of the Chick Fil A cow. Simple and silly, but has so much meaning to me. I realized they miss him and they love him too. That he won't be forgotten. He will live in their hearts. I wish I could tell my fear to just go away and stay away, but it doesn't work. I am so grateful to those that share their stories with me. It helps ease the fears and is one of many crazy everyday blessings .

Monday, July 19, 2010

Shopping with my girl...

I am a Kohls shopping addict. I have one department store credit card and it is for Kohls. If you use your card (and pay it off in full every month) you get FANTASTIC coupons for 30% off of everything including clearance. This past weekend, I took my mom to buy some things with that amazing coupon. I got Savannah up like 10 minutes before we were leaving because I thought we might find some great clearance. It took her no time to jump out of bed when she heard shopping for clothes might be involved. We found a couple pairs of jeans that came out to around $6 after clearance and coupon! Awesome! We were all starving and had to stop looking at the racks. The very next day, Sunday, I decided that Savannah and I should hit our other Kohls out by the mall on the off chance there were some more jeans. We rarely go out just the two of us. We almost always have Sebastian, my mom and my sister along for any shopping trip. But this Sunday, it was just me and my girl. We had a lot of fun looking through the clearance racks and oohhhinngg and ahhhhiinnggg over the great deals. We filled our cart and headed to the dressing room. I lounged on the sofa while she put on a fashion show! I was sitting and remembering back to modeling jeans for my mom when I was in high school. We had so much fun shopping for those clothes. Now I was sitting here with my little girl doing the same thing. My mind would linger between outfits. I thought about Timmy telling me how grown up she was looking. He kept asking me why she as growing up so quick these days. I told him that is just how it works. You blink and they bloom! I thought about how I had prayed for a girl. I wanted a girl so we could do things like go shopping for clothes together. I have been angry at God these days. I miss Timmy in every breathe I take. I sat there and watched my beautiful girl giggle and smile ear to ear over trying on clothes. I was a little less angry with God as I watched her. I wonder if I will ever feel complete joy again. I read message boards looking for my answer. Most say you won't ever feel complete happiness again when you lose a child. You get bits and pieces of it. Sunday, in a Kohls dressing room with my sweet Savannah was a bit and piece of happiness. She has a smile that can melt my heart and she has the love that gets me through my day. She is my girl. The girl I asked God for and He answered my prayer.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Sebastian, rain, a new day...

I haven't blogged in nearly a year. Several times over the past year, Timmy asked why I wasn't blogging. I think he actually looked forward to my blogs. I told him I was too busy. I was not inspired or whatever. He asked me to blog about Rose - Patrick's daughter. He asked me to blog about Patrick's wedding. He wanted me to find pictures from when they were little and put them with the new ones. For whatever reason, I told him I didn't have time. The last thing I said to Timmy was that I was busy and I would call him back. This has echoed in my mind for 2 months.

The other day I found this website that will make your blog into a book. I clicked on the demo for my blog. I was amazed at what I saw. I flipped though the pages and happily remembered daily things that I probably would have forgotten. It inspired me. It made me happy (and sad).

I started my blog many years ago because I was battling sadness over missing my sister-in-law, Debi. When she passed away, I missed our daily chats on the computer. I found blogging to be a way to express all my thoughts. I tried to focus on the Crazy Everyday Blessings. Now, I miss talking to Timmy every day. I would tell him all the little and BIG stuff. He was my best friend. I shared all my things with him.

So... I am hoping to blog a bit more. I am sad that I missed so much time. I am sad that those memories may be gone forever.

My first thing I want to remember is Sebastian saving me from the rain. Yesterday, we went to our friend, Wendy's. We left in the rain and it steadily got worse. It was horrible! When we got home, the kids made a run for it to the house. They had swim suits on. I did not. I sat in the quiet van for a few minutes. Sort of enjoying the peace and quiet. Then to my amazement, Sebastian came walking out of the house. He had changed his clothes and brought me an umbrella! He had the biggest smile on his face. He was so proud to RESCUE me! I want to remember that smile down the road. My hero!