Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Two Months...

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I truly cannot believe it has been two months. I have talked to several people today that also cannot believe it. It feels like it has already been an eternity since I have seen Aaron, but when you think about the actual time... TWO MONTHS... that is such a short amount of time.
With how long two months has lasted for me... the rest of my life seems like it will go on forever. And living that long without Aaron... it is a daunting feeling. It hit me today pretty hard... that I haven't even lived half of my life yet. If two months seemed like an eternity... right now imagining what fifty years will be like without him... it is so long.
We had some visits from friends and family today. It was a great distraction for us. I am truly grateful for all of the love being shown to us. I have wanted to mention specifics of what people have done, but there is a list a mile long. I wish I could mention everything in this post, but it is already after 3:00 a.m. and I would be up all night. I hope those people who have done such kind things for us know how grateful we are. Those who we know about and those who have done it anonymously. People are so thoughtful. Nothing has gone unnoticed.

As I was putting Aaron Jr. to bed tonight, I had a sweet experience. He was holding a 4x6 copy of this photo below...

and as he pointed to each person, he said, 'Daddy', 'Mommy', 'Aaron'.

I took the photo from him and gave Aaron a kiss and asked him if he wanted to give Daddy a kiss. Then he took the photo and gave Daddy a kiss. Then he held it close and wrapped his arms around it tight and said, 'hugs'... 'hugs'. It brought on some tender emotions. He is so sweet. At one point, he pointed across the room to one of the many photos that I have framed of our family (one that is almost identical to the one at the beginning of this post) and said 'Daddy', 'Mommy', 'Aaron', 'Ode'. (Ode is our dog.) Then he asked, 'Where's Ode?' I told him that Ode is at home. Then he asked, 'Where's Daddy?' I then told him for the first time that Daddy is with Jesus. Then he repeated the name 'Jesus' a few times. I am sure he doesn't comprehend what that means yet, but it was actually really difficult to say honestly where his Daddy is. I think by telling him that, it made it all feel more real, and I don't like that.
Then there is a calendar that Aaron's mom had made for me for Christmas that has photos in it... Aaron pointed to this photo...

and said, 'Daddy', 'Mommy', then he asked, 'Where's Aaron'? This photo of Aaron and I was in March of 2003 when we went to Disneyland and California Adventure... two years before we even were able to get pregnant with Aaron Jr. It was an interesting exchange because he is realizing that the photos of Aaron and I don't have him in them... I am constantly being amazed each day at what he is learning and realizing. It was sweet that he knew he was missing from that photo.
Later while I was holding him as he fell asleep, he pointed up to this photo of Jesus that is hanging on the wall...

and he said, 'Jesus'.
This painting was given to Aaron Jr. and me by my family right after Aaron passed away. It is a painting by Greg Olsen called 'Walk With Me'. It is framed with a poem beside it that Greg Olsen wrote and it is so beautiful. Aaron's parents also were given this same painting by Aaron's sister. It actually is a perfect one. Aaron loved the outdoors, so this reminds me of all of the trips we took camping, and fishing, and hiking. I believe that each of us goes through times in our lives when we 'walk with the Savior'. I know that He is walking with me helping me to bear this burden in my life.
Some of my family subscribes to something called LDS Daily Gems, which sends an inspiring thought each day to our emails... today's reads:

"Each of us will have our own Fridays--those days when the universe itself seems shattered and the shards of our world lie littered about us in pieces. We all will experience those broken times when it seems we can never be put together again. We will all have our Fridays. But I testify to you in the name of the One who conquered death--Sunday will come. In the darkness of our sorrow, Sunday will come. No matter our desperation, no matter our grief, Sunday will come. In this life or in the next, Sunday will come. I testify to you that the Resurrection is not a fable. We have the personal testimonies of those who saw Him. Thousands in the Old and New Worlds witnessed the risen Savior. They felt the wounds in His hands, feet, and side. They shed tears of unrestrained joy as they embraced Him."
(Joseph B. Wirthlin, "Sunday Will Come," Ensign, Nov. 2006, 30)

That unrestrained joy that is spoken of is what I look forward to. Imagine the joy that is to come for all of us when we are blessed with the experience of not only embracing our loved ones who have passed away, but also when we are blessed to embrace the Savior.
Those 'Fridays' that it speaks of... I have so many of those days. Days where I miss Aaron so much, I don't even feel comfortable in my own skin. It just seems like there is something terribly wrong in the world. The world doesn't feel right, it feels like a nightmare, where nothing seems to make any sense at all. Days where I feel like it just can't be real... he just can't be gone... I just can't be left here to raise our son without him. Right now, my future seems bleak...
but this 'Sunday' that is spoken of... I know it will come... it has to come. I know that this much pain and sorrow can't overshadow me forever. I know that the sunlight will start to peek through as I cast more and more of my burden upon the Savior. It seems so far away right now, but I know He is there ready and waiting.

The first time I opened my scriptures after the funeral, this is the chapter I turned to and this verse was in that chapter. It hit me pretty hard.

Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. - Revelations 3:20

He is ready and waiting... for all of us.

I am grateful for Aaron. I am grateful for the happiness that I know he is enjoying being with those who have gone before him. I know that he wants us to be happy... and for that reason, I want to eventually strive for that happiness. I will miss him always, but Aaron would want us to be happy while missing him. I hope he is understanding that it will take some time though. :)

We love you Aaron... with all of our hearts.

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Monday, January 28, 2008

Gordon B Hinckley

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1910 - 2008

President Gordon B. Hinckley, who led The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints through twelve years of global expansion, has died at the age of 97.
President Hinckley was the 15th president in the 177-year history of the Church and had served as its president since 12 March 1995.

'I come to you with a plea that we stop seeking out the storms and enjoy more fully the sunlight. I am suggesting that as we go through life we try to “accentuate the positive.” I am asking that we look a little deeper for good, that we still our voices of insult and sarcasm, that we more generously compliment virtue and effort.' -Gordon B Hinckley

'We are here for a purpose. We shall live after we die, and all of it is a part of eternity, and the key to everlasting life is the Atonement wrought by the Savior.' -Gordon B Hinckley

'Each of us can do a little better than we have been doing. We can be a little more kind. We can be a little more merciful. We can be a little more forgiving. We can put behind us our weaknesses of the past, and go forth with new energy and increased resolution to improve the world about us, in our homes, in our places of employment, in our social activities.' -Gordon B Hinckley

Testimony of Jesus Christ

'And so it is with other elements of this miraculous thing which we call the Restoration of the ancient gospel, the ancient priesthood, and the ancient Church.
This testimony is now, as it has always been, a declaration, a straightforward assertion of truth as we know it. Simple and powerful is the statement of Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon concerning the Lord, who stands at the head of this work:
"And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: That he lives!
"For we saw him, even on the right hand of God; and we heard the voice bearing record that he is the Only Begotten of the Father--
"That by him, and through him, and of him, the worlds are and were created, and the inhabitants thereof are begotten sons and daughters unto God" (D&C 76:22­24).

'It is in this spirit that I add my own witness. Our Eternal Father lives. He stands as the great God of the universe, ruling in majesty and power. And yet He is my Father, to whom I may go in prayer with the assurance that He will hear, listen, and answer.
Jesus is the Christ, His immortal Son, who under His Father's direction was the Creator of the earth. He was the great Jehovah of the Old Testament, who condescended to come into the world as the Messiah, who gave His life on Calvary's cross in His wondrous Atonement because He loved us. The work in which we are engaged is their work, and we are their servants, who are answerable to them. Of which I testify, in the sacred name of Jesus Christ, amen.'
-Gordon B Hinckley - 168th Annual General Conference, April 1998

'We know not what lies ahead of us. We know not what the coming days will bring. We live in a world of uncertainty. For some, there will be great accomplishment. For others, disappointment. For some, much of rejoicing and gladness, good health, and gracious living. For others, perhaps sickness and a measure of sorrow. We do not know. But one thing we do know. Like the polar star in the heavens, regardless of what the future holds, there stands the Redeemer of the world, the Son of God, certain and sure as the anchor of our immortal lives. He is the rock of our salvation, our strength, our comfort, the very focus of our faith. In sunshine and in shadow we look to Him, and He is there to assure and smile upon us.'
-Gordon B Hinckley

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Hearing the news last night that President Hinckley passed away came as a shock. I have not yet shed a tear of sadness, the first thoughts that went through my mind were how happy I was that he was getting to see his wife again. I can only imagine how joyous that reunion was. I thought about my own situation right now and felt like I have a different perspective than I ever used to have. Because he lost his wife a little while ago, I just felt happiness for them being together again. This is how most people I have talked to have been feeling... happy that he is with his sweet wife again.
I then started to think about being with Aaron again and how joyous that reunion will be as well.
President Hinckley has been a source of strength, truth, and love for all of us throughout these years. He has always had such a strong testimony of the gospel and the spirit would testify of the truth of it as you listened to his words. He has always had such a fun sense of humor that brought so much joy to all of us who were blessed to hear his words. I was never able to meet President Hinckley in person, but I saw him speak in person a few times. I sat at the temple dedication of the Houston Temple facing him... sitting only about 10 feet from me. I feel so blessed to have ever been in the same room with him. He has done SO much good throughout the world. He stayed busy doing good for others until the day he left this earth. He is loved and he will be missed. We love you President Hinckley.

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Aaron Jr.

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But Jesus called them unto him, and said,
Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. -Luke 18:16

His cousin, Zach, was outside and he threw a few snowballs at the window... Aaron Jr. was loving it... but this is the photo of choice for the blog since he looks so precious in it.

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So many people, when they ask how I am doing, they also ask how Aaron Jr. is doing. I thought I would let everyone know how Aaron Jr. is doing.

Once things settled down and there weren't as many kids around all of the time, he has asked for Daddy more often. It was a huge blessing that they were around in those first weeks. The kids kept him distracted.
It is a blessing that he still sees his cousins often. He sees things that remind him of his Daddy... especially photos since I have always been a photo taking fanatic. There are photos everywhere to remind him of his Daddy. So, he says 'Daddy' more often now.
He has taken photos of our family to bed several times, he has also gone to bed with a framed photo of him and his Daddy.

All in all... I think that Aaron Jr. is doing great. He has always been a really happy little boy. He
still laughs A LOT. He teases A LOT. He gets into things he shouldn't A LOT... which sends him to 'time out' OFTEN. He is full of energy ALL of the time. He is always going, going, going and never stops. Well... I guess he does stop eventually... as you will see in one of the photos.
Lots of times when I have been holding him and crying, or if I am tuning the world out while I am deep in thought, he will touch my face very gently until he gets a reaction from me. The reaction is always a smile from me.
He is a sweetheart. So, as you can see... he is bringing comfort to me as much as I am trying to bring comfort to him.

These are some photos taken in the last few weeks. Enjoy...

He LOVES watching movies. Right now his movie of choice is 'Stuart Little'.

I just had to get this photo of his hair. It is getting so curly. I used to have curly hair, but I lost a lot of the curls while I was pregnant with Aaron Jr. So, I guess he stole my curls.

Helping Grandma fold socks. Obviously, this photo was taken after sleeping on his hair all night, because it looks like there are no curls at all.

Riding in the car. He loves wearing hats right now. Lucky timing... since it is so cold outside.

I don't know what is on his face. It is probably chocolate... I wonder if he got any in his mouth. Maybe he was wanting a beard like his Daddy.

He gets into the pots and pans and wears them as hats. He doesn't know them by pots and pans... to him they ARE hats.

Bath time in the kitchen sink again.

And this is what happens when I try to keep him from taking a nap during the day (he has been having a hard time going to bed at a normal time lately when he DOES take naps, so I try to keep him up). Once in a while, he crashes on the couch around 6:00 pm... and then I REALLY have a hard time getting him to bed.

Now... more than ever... I pray for comfort. Not only for me, but for Aaron Jr. I believe that Aaron Jr. is being blessed with wonderful dreams at night about his Daddy. I also believe that he is being blessed with a feeling of closeness to his Daddy. And I know that angels are being sent to both of us to comfort us. The scripture from the Bible at the top of this posting shows how much the Savior, Jesus Christ, loves little children. They are so precious to Him.
Can you imagine that He would allow Aaron Jr. to endure this trial of losing his Daddy without sending angels to surround him and to comfort him? I know he has angels around him. He is loved by his Father in Heaven. Because he cannot comprehend what is going on in his world right now... I know that he is receiving extra comfort.

I love this scripture in the Book of Mormon. It is talking about Jesus and it is another example of how precious little children are to our Savior and to our Father in Heaven.

And it came to pass that he commanded that their little children should be brought.
...and he took their little
children, one by one, and blessed them, and prayed unto the Father for them. And when he had done this he wept again; And he spake unto the multitude, and said unto them: Behold your little ones.
And as they looked to behold they cast their eyes towards heaven, and they saw the heavens open, and they saw angels descending out of heaven as it were in the midst of fire; and they came down and encircled those little ones about, and they were encircled about with fire; and the angels did minister unto them. -3 Nephi 17:11, 21-24

The angels encircled those little ones about... I know this is what is helping Aaron Jr. Though we cannot see them, the comfort he is receiving makes it evident.

This is a promise to us all:

I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.
John 14:18

I know He will comfort us. I know He IS comforting Aaron Jr. I am truly grateful for that. I am grateful for Jesus Christ and His atoning sacrifice. He suffered not only for our sins, but 'Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows' (Isaiah 53:4).
He has already suffered these things for us, this is what allows us to come unto Him to be healed. He truly does know and understand
what we are going through. Having this knowledge does not mean it is easy to cast our burdens upon Him (Psalms 55:22), but it does bring comfort knowing that it is possible for us to do so. He loves us all so much. I am grateful for Him and I love Him very much.

We miss Aaron and we are still waiting for reality to truly sink in. The numb feeling isn't gone yet and I don't know when it will be. I am so blessed to have Aaron Jr. He reminds me of Aaron and I am grateful for that...

We love you Aaron...

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Friday, January 25, 2008

Hand In Hand

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Walk hand in hand with me through all eternity
Have faith, believe in me, give me your hand
Love is a symphony of perfect harmony
When lovers such as we walk hand in hand

Be not afraid, for I am with you all the while
So lift your head up high and look toward the sky

Walk hand in hand with me, this is our destiny
No greater love could be, walk hand in hand
Walk with me

Be not afraid, for I am with you all the while
So lift your head up high and look up to the sky

Walk hand in hand with me, this is our destiny
No greater love could be, walk hand in hand
Walk with me
-Andy Williams song

These are photos from our wedding day. Now... treasured more than ever.
I wanted to write in here last week because I thought it would be a good idea to post something during a time when I was feeling some comfort... and not only post when I am feeling down.
I also wanted to thank all of those people... family, friends, and strangers alike... who have written words of love and comfort to me and Aaron Jr. I have found comfort in knowing people are thinking about us and remembering Aaron. So, thank you for the kindness that has been shown to us. We are so grateful.

Last week, I seemed to have somewhat better days, but the nights were still long and difficult.
Well, the time came and went and I never got around to posting...
So, now here I sit at 3:15 a.m. and the last few days have been so painful. I am missing Aaron so much. I miss the safety I felt knowing he would love and protect me.

Losing my husband, Aaron, has been so difficult. Knowing that he was supposed to walk by my side throughout this life and into eternity... it is so painful not having him here to hold my hand and walk by my side. He is the one I was supposed to look to my future with... have more children with... have joys and sorrows with... prepare meals for... wash laundry for... clean up after... enjoy seeing every day for the rest of our lives. But it was cut so short. I now watch with envy those people in my life who still get to welcome their spouse home each day after a long day at work... who get to watch their husband play with their kids... who get to lay down next to them at night. I dream about that. Please don't take those things for granted.

I have started reflecting again about an earlier posting that I wrote in my blog last month. The one where I talked about 'trivial' matters. When speaking of Aaron, I wrote, "Oh the abundance of joyous days we could have had together if we had both just dismissed the trivial things that filled our days and replaced them with the more important things in life."

Well, in the last month or so, there have been some things happen that have caused me to think about the way I look at life and the trivial matters that waste our time and energy. I realize now that that statement applies not only to my days that I spent with Aaron, but it also applies to my time now spent with Aaron Jr... and also the way I treat others. I am learning more and more that there is no reason to waste my time or energy on petty or 'trivial' matters... and just make sure that I am showing love and concern for other people. I am learning that too much time and energy is wasted when we choose to see the negative in other people instead of trying to put ourselves in their shoes and being sympathetic to what they may be experiencing in their lives. No one knows what pain I am experiencing and what I feel, just as I don't know what others are feeling.
I still have regrets about things I wish I could say to Aaron or do for him before he passed away... but I believe that he knows now. He has a better perspective than I can even imagine now. He knows how I feel about him. I tell him every night.
I realize now that it is the people that are still right here in front of us that are the ones we should be putting our energy into helping and showing kindness to. Life is too short and too precious to be wasted on 'trivial' matters. There is too much pain in my life from losing Aaron to spend my energy worrying about what people think of me... or don't think of me. I don't need that in my life. Those kinds of relationships aren't going to bring about peace and comfort in this nightmare I am living. I have found that when you are in pain, you need to surround yourself with loving people who truly care about you.
I will spend my time and energy showing kindness to others, loving our son, and missing my husband.

I love you Aaron...

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Monday, January 14, 2008

Aaron Sverre Harkness

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Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal. ~From a headstone in Ireland

Aaron Sverre Harkness
March 29, 1977 - November 29, 2007

December 4, 2007 - This day should have been one that gave me a sense of closure, but it didn't.

It just didn't feel like I was really there. It felt like a day that I needed to just get through in order to get back to normal life... in order for life to continue the way it was supposed to... with Aaron. How could this possibly be my life now... living it without Aaron.

How could we live without him? How do I help Aaron Jr understand why his Daddy isn't here anymore? We miss him.

How do I teach him the things that his Daddy would have taught him? How do I watch him in his accomplishments throughout his life without his Daddy by my side watching with me? There is a hole in our hearts that won't be filled until we are together again.

Our wedding rings... reminders that we are sealed for eternity.

Our little cowboy...

Sending our hearts to heaven...

Forever a Family

There are still so many regrets, so many wishes I have as I think about the last moments of Aaron's life. There are so many things left unsaid... and things left undone. As I sit and talk to him before I go to sleep each night... I tell him over and over the things I wish I could go back and say. I pray every night that he can hear me... that I can feel him near me... that he can somehow tell me that he loves me. In reality, all I have to do is think back on our time together and remember all of the times he told me he loves me... all of the ways he served me... all of the experiences we shared together. All of those should tell me that he loves me. So, why is it that I feel such a need to hear it from him just one more time? Maybe it was because he was taken so suddenly. With no preparation. So many moments stolen. The final moments that we spent together... they could have been so much better if we had only known what was to come.
But we didn't know what was to come... so why didn't I kiss him one more time? Why didn't I tell him one more time how much I love him? Why didn't I tell him everything that I feel in my heart? I can only pray now... that he knows. I can only pray that our loving Father in Heaven allows Aaron to see into my heart so that he knows the love I have for him.
I still haven't been able to write down my feelings from that day. I feel them. Those feelings are as real now as they were that day. I still feel the devastation and the fear I felt. It was hard to even breathe. I still feel the horror I felt as I lived my own personal nightmare... a nightmare that I would never wake up from. A nightmare that was more horrifying than anything I had ever imagined myself living through. My heart hurt as it does now. I feel now as I felt then... broken.
I pray for peace. I pray for comfort. I do feel it at times. I know that our Savior, Jesus Christ, will heal me. I know that if I allow Him to... He will take my burden upon Himself. I am trying to let Him... pieces at a time. Part of me wants the burden... just until I am with Aaron again. But I know that our purpose here isn't only to suffer. Our purpose here is to learn and grow from our suffering and to submit ourselves to the Lord so that He can lead us home again. He is waiting for us to come to Him so that He can heal us and give us the strength that we need to overcome all of our weaknesses and all of our sufferings. Our purpose here is to show Him that we have faith. Faith in Him. Faith in His promises.
* This word kept going through my mind last night as I typed this... and now after reading a couple of people's comments, I decided I must add it in since it was on my mind. It is just that I haven't found this yet since Aaron passed away... our purpose here is to find joy. True and lasting JOY.

I love Aaron... with all of my heart. I truly know that we will be together again someday... if I do my part. This knowledge is what brings me the peace and the comfort I need to be able to press forward. And I will press forward... WE will press forward.

I love you Aaron... Always...

* * *

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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Monday, January 7, 2008

Polar Express on the Heber Creeper

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Me with Aaron Jr

Back in the summer, Aaron's parents got us all tickets to ride on the Heber Creeper (Heber Valley Railroad) a few days before Christmas. At Christmastime, they make believe it is the Polar Express.
They gave ever hot chocolate and a cookie. The kids all come in their pajamas. They read the story 'Polar Express'. They sing Christmas carols.
It was something we had been looking forward to for months. It was an exciting thing to look forward to as a family.
Once Aaron passed away less than a month before Christmas, everything to do with the Christmas season became things that I dreaded. I didn't want Christmas to come, I didn't want the Polar Express ride to come, I didn't want to celebrate. Aaron's parent's asked me over and over again if I wanted to still come with all of them. The truth is... I didn't want to go. I was going to be the only one there without their spouse. I truly didn't want to do anything that we had looked forward to doing as a family. The reason I decided to go wasn't for me... it was for Aaron Jr. Even though he would not have known the difference if we had never gone, he deserved to have fun that night. It was very difficult. I see why it is such a neat thing for people to go and do together as a family... but my time on the train was mostly spent thinking about what we were missing out on not having Aaron there with us. The tears could not be kept away. Just watching the other fathers with their kids and watching the husbands with their wives... it was just so painful. There have been and will continue to be so many things that we experience without Aaron that we had planned to experience together... so these feelings are not behind us. They are so fresh and new and these times will continue to be so very painful. He is so missed.
I am glad I went though. Aaron Jr had a great time. He was happy... and the experiences that he can be given that will bring him joy are experiences that I should not deny him. I am glad we went.
Below are some photos that I took that night. I believe it was the first time I had taken any photos since Aaron had passed away.

Aaron Jr

Grandpa & Grandma with all of the grandchildren
Outfits are from Grandpa & Grandma

Aaron Jr

Me with Aaron Jr

Christa, Steve, & Isaac (Steve is Aaron's brother)

Malia (Steve & Christa's daughter) &
Grace (Nick & Sadie's other daughter)

Nick, Sadie, Pearl, & Sophia (Sadie is Aaron's sister)

Dave & April (April is Aaron's sister)

Susen with Grandma (Susen is Dave & April's daughter)

Grandpa with Aaron Jr

Aaron Jr

Me with Aaron Jr (he isn't picking his nose... this time)

Thank you to the Harkness' for this adventure. Though Aaron was painfully missed that night, Aaron Jr had a good time. I am glad he got to have this experience.

We love and miss you, Aaron.

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