Thursday, January 10, 2008

Missing My Cowboy

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'The reason it hurts so much to separate is because our souls are connected.'
-Nicholas Sparks, The Notebook

The last few days have been some of the most difficult days yet. Nothing major happened... just a whole lot of realizing what I am missing out on in the daily routines of life. I cry myself to sleep at night and in the morning, the floor looks like it has exploded in kleenex. They are all over the floor when I get up in the morning. The nights are so hard. Even now as I sit here at 2:01 am, laying down to go to sleep is the last thing I want to even think about doing.
I have been fighting so hard against this becoming 'my normal' and I keep having daydreams about going home to our beautiful home and Aaron being there working out in his wood shop.
I daydream about doing the dishes in our kitchen and watching him through the kitchen window and through the windows in the shop. I LOVED when it was dark outside and I could see him working on his furniture without him even knowing. I miss it so much.
I daydream about him coming in from the shop for the night and me finding his dirty socks on the kitchen counter because he didn't want to get sawdust all over the house. Why he put them on the kitchen counters, I will never know... but I miss it.
I miss him laying on the couch while we watched a movie and me sitting at the bottom of the couch with his legs or feet on top of my legs. I miss him trying to tickle me with those feet.
Believe it or not... once in a while I would clip his toenails... and I even miss that. What I would give for another chance to clip his toenails.
I miss watching him fuss over all of the deer antlers that he had hanging in the garage. I miss going out to his shop to call him in for lunch or dinner. I miss taking Aaron Jr out to the shop after his bath and letting them say goodnight to each other.
I miss racing to the mailbox to get the mail. I am almost certain that he always won.
I miss walking past the office and seeing him with his back to the door sitting there on the computer looking at another Chris LeDoux website. I would giggle as I walked by and he would always tell me that he 'just barely got on that page'.
I miss his snoring. I miss his cold feet under the covers. I miss cuddling as we layed there falling asleep. I miss bringing Aaron Jr into bed with us in the mornings and laying him between us just so we could get a few more minutes of sleep.
I miss watching him out in the garden... so proud of the vegetables that were growing out there. I miss watching him plant another tree in our yard. I miss watching him mow the lawn while I fussed over the flowers I planted in the spring. I miss mowing the lawn while he is gone to work and having him be grateful that it is already done when he gets home.
Even though it annoyed me when he was here... I miss him being late all the time. It was so Aaron to be late for almost everything. I miss him coming home and the look on his face knowing that he is late and I have been waiting with dinner ready for over an hour (sometimes several hours).
I miss his chuckle when something struck him as funny. I miss him singing to his country music in the car or up in his office, even though he said he couldn't sing. No matter how on tune he was or not... I LOVED it when he sang.
I miss watching him wakeboard. I miss sitting next to him in his boat and watching him drive his boat enjoying EVERY SINGLE moment that he got to be on the water. I miss when we were dating and newly married when he would be driving his boat and he would look at me, pat his leg, and motion me to come and sit on his lap while he drove the boat.
I miss bickering about his motorcycle. I was always scared that he would get hurt when he went riding. I miss his phonecalls on his way home from hunting letting me know he was on his way and that he is safe... then telling me how big his deer was.
I miss the excitement I STILL got whenever he walked into a room. I didn't show him that I still got excited nearly enough.
I miss the way he always took advantage of every moment that he could teach someone something. Sometimes I didn't want to be told how to clean the kitchen or decorate a shelf, but now I miss that. He taught me how to wakebaord. I always tried to make him so proud. I would never have been as good as him in a million years, but he loved that I enjoyed going with him.
Though it didn't happen very often, I miss when he would tell me that I looked good on a certain day or that he liked a specific article of clothing on me. I still remember the last time he complimented how I looked... it was just a couple of weeks before he passed away. The shirt I was wearing that day, I wore it more in those next couple of weeks than any other article of clothing.
I miss his hands. I miss his paint covered, oil covered, dirty hands. Even after washing them, there was always paint on them. There was always paint under the fingernails. He had great hands... so strong and yet so gentle.
I miss his scruffy face. He hardly ever shaved all of his facial hair off and I actually thought he was so handsome either way. He was handsome no matter what.
I miss the excitement he got when he had a neat story to tell me... or had another idea about what we could do to the house. I miss the ideas he had about the places we should go and the things we should do together. I wish I hadn't worried so much about our finances and just went ahead and let him take us to these places using our credit card.
I miss how excited he was to come home and show me some new shirt or outfit he bought for Aaron Jr at Target or at the CAL Ranch store.
I miss the roar of his Ford powerstroke truck coming down our street and being able to hear it from several houses away. I loved watching Ode and Aaron Jr run to the door waiting to see Aaron walk through the door... because they could hear the truck as well.
I miss the things unsaid and the things undone. I want to go back and tell him things and do things for him that I never got a chance to.
I miss the safety I felt just knowing that he was mine. He IS mine. That is the only comfort I find... knowing he is still mine. I am SO grateful for that knowledge that we have... of eternal families.
It is so hard not having him here. Tonight there was a western movie on TV. He ALWAYS watched westerns when they were on TV. The one that was on tonight was called 'The Magnificent Seven'. I remember him bringing that one home on DVD and watching it together. For every birthday and Fathers Day... I tried to buy him westerns. He loved them so much. He loved John Wayne, so those were what I got him most of the time. We would watch those together as we layed in bed falling asleep.
My dream is that my cowboy will ride up on his horse and three of us will ride away into the sunset like they do in those old movies.
Aaron Jr is speaking in sentences now. He wasn't doing that before. I want Aaron to hear him. I want Aaron to be here to sit on the floor playing with him. I want to go to the park as a family. I want to go sledding as a family. I want to go horseback riding as a family. I want to lay on our bed as a family trying to get Aaron Jr to sleep when he isn't feeling well.
The day to day... that is what is so painful. Mine and Aaron Jr's worlds have been turned completely upside down and inside out. The man we used to spend every day with is gone. The man we looked forward to spending time with each day... is gone. The man we planned our future with... is gone. The man we love... is gone... from our every days. Not forever... but for now.
I want Aaron to be here with me... as I sit here at the computer with tears streaming down my face... so that he can give me a hug and tell me that things will work out... things will be okay.
If you look closely in the photo above, you can see both Aaron Jr and me in the lense of his sunglasses. We were at Lake Powell this last June and we were sitting there next to him as he relaxed watching his fishing pole waiting for a bite. He loved fishing at Lake Powell just as much as he loved being out on his boat or wakeboarding behind it.
There were so many things he wanted to teach us. He loved it when I would sit with him and fish. I got bored more quickly than he did... but I can't even tell you how much I would love to be sitting next to him on the banks of any lake watching him fish and just enjoying the time spent together.
Those tender moments... just memories now. The precious time together... all in the past.
I can now only ponder on the memories from our past... and look anxiously to our future together after this life. It can't come soon enough.

I love and miss you Aaron... more and more every day.

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Liz said...

I remember his truck too, I would be in the kitchen or something and I would hear the roar of it and sure enough there he would go by. I remember the first time I met you and you were telling me about his facial hair and how he had shaved it for Aaron Jr. blessing. We love you and still keep you in our prayers daily.

Karey said...

Lots of really nice memories, Leslie. Be sure to rely on Heavenly Father to help you heal and give you comfort. He has a path for your life, just as He had a path for Aaron's. You have to allow him to guide you on that path. Pray, trust Him, recognize His hand in all things and do what you need to to build your faith. I love you.

Joann said...

I love you, Leslie. You are stronger than you know.

Marilee said...

I love seeing the pictues you post. They are so beautiful. You are such an amazing person.

April said...

His hands showed how hard he worked. They were ALWAYS matter how much soap he used. I loved his massive hands. They were so genlte. His hands were always one of my favorite physical characteristics about Aaron. He caught so many different animals and creatures with those hands. He built so many beautiful wood-works. He wrote endearing letters. He served and loved with those hands. I miss his hands.... I miss him too.

Melinda said...

Oh, Leslie...

I can't say anything, but I love you.

Seesalou said...

i'm so sorry for the things you have lost leslie. it's the little things that must hurt the most right now. i know heavenly father is waiting...just waiting to help you. i hope you know that. i hope you can find some small piece of joy every day.

yellowoman said...

Thank you for sharing the most painful things you have face each day. As you share these daily memories, I can't help, but appreciate all the more so all the "little things" that I have taken forgranted. I know that there must not be any comfort in knowing how much you are helping others as you endure your Gethsemane, but please know that you are- and as we all pray for you, your words are a huge blessing to us. I love you so much, Leslie. And I miss your cowboy too, for you. Keep writing, and remembering.

jensenfamily said...

Oh I was so happy to see that you had written on your blog. And that song....I can't imagine how badly it hurts to have him gone. I hope there are moments of peace amidst probably millions of moments of pain. love you, Erin...are you coming to Denver this year!!!!??

Matt & Shauna said...

I can't wait to see you next weekend! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and feelings on your blog- I think and pray for you everyday. Love you!

Kristi said...

I am crying. I am feeling pain, knowing that you are suffering so much. Those simple things that were so "normal" are so sweet to hear about, yet for you, so agonizing knowing that they are something of the past.
I am so sorry Leslie. We love you and thinking about you constantly.

Jesse & Amberly said...

We are family friends of the Harkness's. We used to all go camping and dirt bike riding together. I have been following your blog since Aaron's passing away, and I am touched each time I do. Aaron reminds me sooo much of my husband Jesse. They are both so similar, they would have gotten along great. I wish we would have had the chance to stay in touch over the years and they could have met. My heart hurts so much for you and when I read all of your stories and memories of Aaron and try to even remotely imagine how you might be feeling, I can't help but cry each time I read your blog and see all your pictures. The only way I could find comfort and the only way I hope you will find comfort is in knowing that you will be in Aaron's arms again! I pray for you and Aaron Jr. each night and I just want you to know that you are in so many other people's daily thoughts and prayers. Aaron is with you in spirit and I hope that in those "special times" in your life and Aaron Jr's life you will be able to feel him close, I know he will be apart of them in spirit. Stay strong.
Take care,

Tawnie said...

Those are precious memories Leslie. I need to think of my husband in these ways right now so I am sure to take advantage of every moment with him. I love you.

ShleeA said...

Leslie, I hope you are doing okay! I check your blog often. You are such an amazing person with such great strength. Your blog is heartbreaking but you bring strength to all who read it. I pray that you will eventually find peace. I know I am a complete stranger to you but it is often that I think about you and your son. Thank you for sharing your life. May the Lord bless you always. Take Care!!

shan said...

i just stumbled upon your blog and I wanted to say how much my heart goes out to you and your beautiful son. your blog has touched me so much and i pray you are doing well

thanks for sharing your feelings with the world