Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Eight Months...

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Wow! I can't believe it. I know I say it every month, but I still can't believe that Aaron is really gone. And if he really IS gone, then how on earth has it been EIGHT months?
I can't say it enough... I miss Aaron more every single day that passes. And my love for him grows with each moment that passes and every memory of him that passes through my mind.
The month that is approaching will bring with it very painful days because of the meaning of those days. I am going to need to feel Aaron closer than ever. He is always in my thoughts and in my heart, I hope and pray that I am in his. I love you Aaron.

On to something a little lighter...


Aaron’s family has a tradition of going up to the Snake River in Wyoming near Jackson Hole every year. They always go with Aaron’s Dad’s family and they always go around the 24th of July in celebration of Utah’s Pioneer Heritage.

Here are some photos from the time we were engaged at that time of each year…


Aaron and I started our own little tradition each year... on our way home from the Snake River, we would stop in Lava Hot Springs, Idaho and we would tube down the river, then sit in the hot springs. I loved this tradition.


Aaron decided that it might be fun to wear just his life jacket and go down these rapids. I was worried, but took lots of photos of him so he could see what he looked like doing it. In the first photo above, he is inside that green circle in the top leftg corner. The photos below are the ones of him going through the rapids. He was safe.



I am five months pregnant in this photo.
Aaron started a new job working at the ranch for troubled youth that month, so we couldn't go to the river that month. We did, however, take a couple of days on a weekend and go to Wyoming to see Toby Keith sing at the Cheyenne Frontier Days. He was going to give a concert and then he was going to play with The Western Underground. That is the band that always played with Chris LeDoux. Aaron LOVES Chris LeDoux, he looked up to him and always wished he could have met him. Chris LeDoux had passed away earlier that year, so Aaron wanted to go to this concert to hear some of his songs and see his band play. We were so lucky to see Chris LeDoux sing one time together the year before that in Colorado at Country Jam.

The top left photo is a photo of Chris LeDoux that was up on a huge screen in front of us. The bottom right photo is also of Chris LeDoux walking down a road and his signature on it. It was also on the huge screen. The top right photo is of Aaron with Chris LeDoux's son. He is a drummer in the band. The bottom left photo is of Mark Sissel. He plays the guitar in the band. Aaron used to communicate with him via email sometimes.
The hat Aaron is wearing in these photos is the same brand and model of hat that Chris LeDoux wore. He asked his mom and dad specifically for that for his birthday the year before he passed away. He loved that hat and took great care of it. I could go into how much Chris LeDoux memorabilia Aaron collected over the years, but that is a posting all by itself.


Our first year with our precious little Aaron Jr.

Our last time on this trip while Aaron was still here with us.


This particular year, Aaron Jr. broke his arm. The river trip was only about a week away, so Aaron made the decision that we shouldn't go. The break was in Aaron Jr's upper arm just below the shoulder, so they couldn't cast it. Aaron was concerned that Aaron Jr might fall and hurt it worse, so we stayed home. We took Aaron Jr to a county fair instead and rode on a few rides together. He had a blast and so did we.


This year, I just couldn't bring myself to go. Aaron's parents invited us, but this was one 'first' that was going to be too hard for me. So we stayed home. Aaron's parents went, but none of the other kids went either. So they were there with extended family. Part of me wanted to go so that they weren't going alone, but I had to do what felt right for me. I couldn't imagine going this year without Aaron.
In this photo, Aaron Jr is feeding Sheila and then taking a bath in the sink. Doesn't he look relaxed?

This is me giving Ode a haircut. Aaron always would buzz Ode's fur for the summer to keep him a little cooler, so I took my turn for the first time this year. Ode sat there and was so good for me the whole time.

This is Aaron Jr and me giving Ode a bath. He is such a great dog. He just sat there again. I am sure it feels nice to be clean. We love him.

We really miss Aaron. Our little family feels so empty and lonely without him here. Aaron Jr. continues to bring joy to my days. I love him so much.

One last photo I took of Aaron in Jackson Hole in 2003.

We love and miss you every day, Aaron...

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Anonymous said...

Leslie-it is so good to hear from you. Thinking of you always.

Amberly said...

leslie, it is so great that you have all of these photos and can put them together to create memories like this. I appreciate your blog and your honesty. aaron jr. is a lucky little guy to have you.

Anonymous said...

Oh good. You have posted! I was getting a bit worried. Gorgeous photos as always. You really do have a talent Leslie.

Ode is such a lovely dog. Little Aaron looks so happy and comfortable with him too.

Love and hugs for you Leslie.


Joann said...

I am so glad that you got to posting again. I was getting a little worried about you. I am glad that you have those memories with Aaron. We are heading up to the Snake this weekend and I am sure we will think of Aaron a lot while we are up there. He really loved the outdoors, huh? I hope you and Aaron Jr. are doing well. We want to have you over to swim at Jeri's again soon. (Her pool is much warmer now :) Love you, Leslie!

Mindy said...

We tubed down the river at Lava last year, and it was a blast! I love all of your pictures. I especially love the ones of you cutting Ode's hair, and washing him. You look really beautiful, Leslie!

Anonymous said...

You two (three) had such a full life in such a short time. So many memories and photgraphs.
What a blessing to have all that you do.
You are really the key to many of Aaron Jr.'s memories of his father. What a great job of posting them for all of us to see and him to keep!
Take care of yourself.

Kristi said...

Aaron was so crazy. I would never dare go down the river in only a life vest! What a fun tradition. I hope you can pick it back up in a few years. You know Aaron would want Aaron to be a part of that fun adventure.
Are you back from Idaho then?

dani said...

thinking of you and aaron jr, sweet leslie:) and... loving the picture of aaron jr. in the sink!!! katherine used to sit in warm water in the sink and eat popsicles.
love and prayers,

LL said...

Happy to see a new post from you..I had missed your updates!
The pictures in the river cause me to do the short fast breathing..you guys are so full of adventure over there.
Aaron Junior will have so many great experiences.
Love you Leslie

Tabitha said...

Hello there Leslie ~ came to your blog via Danis blog.
I just wanted to say that I think that the photos you posted are just wonderful ~ a beautiful memory for your son to look at when he is older ~ and learn about his precious Daddy. I am just so so sorry for your loss.
My thoughts and prayers are with you XXXXXXX

Liz said...

I love the hair!! I bet it feels so good on your neck.