Thursday, September 30, 2010

Please Don't Take My Sunshine Away

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This is Aaron Jr, my beautiful boy. I love him.

Tonight, Aaron Jr. asked me to sing to him when I was getting him to bed. When I asked him what he wanted me to sing, he said he wanted me to sing the sunshine song.

Ever since Aaron was a baby, I have sung to him. When he was very small, if he was crying, I could sing to him and he would usually calm down. I loved singing to my baby. When I would rock him, or bounce him while singing to him, I almost felt like I was doing what mom's are supposed to do in order to have just one more of those nostalgic motherly experiences. I LOVED doing those kinds of things... not just because it seemed like what I was supposed to do as a mom, but because I loved that MY voice soothed my baby.

There were a few songs that were always the ones I used:
* 'I love you, Aaron' (a song that my parents would sing to us when we were little)
* 'You are my sunshine' &
* 'I am a child of God'.

As Aaron got older and could talk, he went through a phase where he would tell me to stop singing when I would try to sing to him. I loved singing to him when I was putting him to bed, but during that phase, he didn't want me to sing. After Aaron passed away, I was okay with it. I didn't feel like singing for a long time after that anyway, so it kinda worked out. I wrote about that HERE.

Anyhow, after I tried to begin singing again, I began singing to Aaron Jr again when I would put him in bed. He really loved it. I would let him choose 3 songs each night and without fail, he would always pick the song 'You Are My Sunshine'. I really love singing to Aaron.

Most of my life, when I have thought about this song, I have always just thought of it being a really happy song. An uplifting song. A song to bring joy and a smile. And when I sing it without really paying attention to the words, that is still what it is for me. But the other night, when I was singing 'You are my sunshine' to Aaron, I was paying special attention to the words as I watched him trying to go to sleep... and it affected me in a different way. Even now as I am thinking of the words again and thinking about my son's sweet face, I am beginning to cry.

'You are my sunshine, my only sunshine...
You make me happy when skies are gray.
You'll never know, dear, how much I love you...
Please don't take my sunshine away.

The other night, dear, as I lay sleeping...
I dreamed I held you in my arms.
When I awoke, dear, I was mistaken...
So I hung my head, and I cried.

You are my sunshine, my only sunshine...
You make me happy when skies are gray.

You'll never know, dear, how much I love you...

Please don't take my sunshine away.'

As I think about what has been taken away from us in these past few years, when I really pay attention to these words, they really do affect me. Just like the song says... Aaron is my sunshine, my ONLY sunshine... he has still always managed to make me happy through these years of gray skies, so if he is taken away... hmmm...

I have such a huge fear of losing Aaron Jr... and I assume that is why the words affect me. When Aaron was a baby, I would watch him sleep. Sometimes, I would be super cozy in my bed and I would get a fear that Aaron Jr would stop breathing, so I would get out of bed and walk over just to make sure his little chest was rising and falling in an even pattern. After watching for a while, I would finally go back to bed, and I did this often. Then after Aaron passed away, I had that dream really soon after where Aaron Jr passed away... and I knew in the dream that I would not be able to survive that loss on top of the loss of Aaron. When I woke up, I was hysterical. I don't dwell on this fear, but I do have the fear that I will lose Aaron... because if I were to lose him, at that point, I will have lost pretty much everything.

I have so many thoughts running through my head lately. I had only planned to share this sweet photo that my mom took of Aaron and share the song and my thoughts about the song, but I have let my thoughts run away now.

This little boy is my life. He TRULY IS my sunshine. He TRULY IS the sunshine in my days, the sunshine in my life. I have no idea what I would do without him.

I think the fear I have about losing him is what helps to bring me back to focusing on him and the important role I play in his life. As the days are passing us by, sometimes I look back and realize that I have not been taking full advantage of my time with Aaron so then I have regrets. I am not perfect... nowhere near... but I am TRYING so hard to make sure we are enjoying our time together. I am trying to make sure I am taking advantage of my time with him while he is young and so full of life and so full of acceptance and love. This time while he desires to have me spend time with him. This time while he is curious and teachable and being influenced by the things around him.

I LOVE this little boy. He is so special and every moment of every day that I get to spend with him is a gift that I want to treasure.

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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Uncle Jerry

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Last month, I wrote about my mom's brother Frank passing away and shared some photos and thoughts from when we attended his funeral. Well, one month and one day after Frank passed away, my mom's brother, Jerry, passed away completely unexpectedly. My mom comes from a family of 11 children. Jerry was the last living brother out of 5 brothers. She has also lost one sister, but the other 4 sisters are still living. It has been a tough time for my mom. It is never easy to lose a loved one and it makes me so much more grateful for family when these sad times come.
This photo was taken the day of Uncle Franks funeral. This was the last time any of us got to see Uncle Jerry.

Love you, Mom.

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Monday, September 27, 2010

Random August

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Aaron Jr.

John & Tawnie's baby, Leah's blessing day. She is so beautiful.

Grandpa Harkness & Aaron Jr.
My brother, Mark & his new babe, Greta. So cute.

Aaron Jr. in character as a tiger.
At the farmers market, there was a lady doing face painting.

John & Tawnie's kids got their faces painted as well.
John & Thomas, Emily, Thomas, Samuel

We went to the county fair with Mark & Suzy & Evelyn.

Aaron Jr. & I went to the cemetery to 'celebrate' mine & Aaron's 8th wedding anniversary. We left a card and a drawing and some flowers.

While we were there, we noticed that the grave site and the headstone had all sunk some. The headstone had sunk more than the grave site. If you look closely, you can see that it is no longer even with the bench next to it and it is tipping a bit. I need to get someone to go and fix the problem. I didn't like that at all. It made me sad.

This amazing rainbow was spanning all the way across the sky one day. I had to take this photo. It has been nearly two months since and Aaron Jr. still talks about it pretty often and wonders when we will see another big one like that.

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Thursday, September 23, 2010

Southern California

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Narrowing down is always such a difficulty for me. So this is epic. Sorry.

The last week of August, Aaron and I flew to California for a summer vacation. I had a free companion certificate to use and Aaron's cousin was getting married... so those were both kind of excuses that we had been looking for in order to go down there again. We had a blast.

My Mom took these photos. The one was on the way to the airport when Aaron was fresh out of bed and not yet quite awake. The other one was taken about 10 minutes later at the airport when he realized where we were going.

Me & Aaron
One last photo before we fly out.

Boarding the plane, the flight attendant asked if Aaron wanted to see the cockpit. It was a first for us. The pilots let him and me both come in and sit in one of their seats. Pretty fun... a great start to our vacation.


Just entered Disneyland ~ All smiles.

Pluto & Aaron Jr.

Last time we went to Disneyland, Aaron Jr only talked about seeing four characters. Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy, and Pluto. Well, we got a photo with Mickey Mouse last time, but no one else... this time, we got one with the other three, but not Mickey Mouse. Aaron was really excited.

Donald Duck & Aaron Jr.

Goofy & Aaron Jr.

Aaron's a natural at the wheel. See his confidence? :)

It was fun being the passenger while HE did the driving.

Leslie & Aaron

Aaron, Isaac, Malia
Leslie, Christa, Steve, Aaron

On the 'It's A Small World' ride, Aaron discovered that he could splash water on people... poor Steve had the privilege of getting the splash through most of the ride.

Aaron even moved up to sit on the same bench as Steve so that he was closer to the water and his target. Steve got Aaron back though and this was them through the whole ride.

Woody, Leslie, Aaron, Jessie
Aaron was really excited to meet these characters.

Steve & Christa's family with Woody & Jessie
Thanks to Christa for saving us spots in line. :)

Aaron with Tinker Bell & Silver Mist

Aaron with Mr. Potato Head

Aaron & Me
After one of our favorite rides. The Toy Story Ride.

Aaron ~ Isaac & Grandma Harkness
Aaron & Steve ~ Grandma Harkness

Leslie, Christa, Steve, Aaron, Sue, Malia

Aaron & Leslie

Christa, Leslie, Malia, Aaron, Isaac

Isaac & Aaron

Aaron & Leslie (Me)
The caterpillar ride. It was our last ride of the night.

Leaving Disneyland ~ All smiles.

We had so much fun at Disneyland again. We love it there. It was a really really hot day, but we still had such a great time. One of these times, it would be fun to go and spend several days in a row. Someday.

Trygve & Shelby Wedding

This is Aaron's cousin, Trygve, and his new bride, Shelby. I had the honor of going to their wedding ceremony in the Los Angeles Temple. It was a beautiful ceremony. Just like my own wedding ceremony, I cried all the way through this one. They will be so happy together. Afterward, we went to their wedding dinner in Santa Monica. It was so beautiful.

Grandma Harkness, Aaron, Grandpa Harkness at the Los Angeles Temple.
Abigail & Sierra on the beach at the wedding dinner.

Shelby & Trygve
I wish them so much JOY.

Corona Del Mar

Aaron & Me

Steve pulling Aaron down this little water outlet to the ocean.
Aaron after his ride.

Steve pulling Malia.
Steve pulling Isaac.
Grandpa Harkness pulling Aaron.

Aaron searching for treasures in the rocks. Mostly finding little crabs. One of them bit his finger. He didn't try to touch them again after that.

Malia & Aaron & Isaac
Creating little avalanches and riding down on the sand.


Sand Turtle, Malia, Leslie, Aaron, April, Isaac
We are the group who built this turtle out of sand. It turned out really cute.

By the time it was completed, the kids and adults had covered each little circle on its back with shells we found on the beach. It looked so neat. Wish I had a good photo of the finished product, but nope.

Aaron getting ready to get pulled through a wave by Steve.

Malia & Isaac

Aaron & Malia sure had a great time on beach together.

Christa headed into the water on a boogie board and there was another one sitting there not being used. It is rare for me to get completely into the ocean because I get so cold, BUT... I decided to go for a ride and accompany Christa. We both got out there and started talking and realized after a while that we were drifting pretty far. So we headed back in and caught a few waves on the way. It was really fun. I'm glad I did it.

Leslie & Christa

Malia & Aaron

Aaron Jr. ~ My darling boy.

Aaron & Me

Huntington Beach

When we go to the beach, Aaron is ALL SMILES.

I love watching him have so much fun.

Aaron & Me

Aaron Jr. ~ We LOVE Huntington Beach.


Leslie & Aaron

Darth Vader, Aaron, R2-D2
Aaron Jr is the only one in this photo NOT made of Legos.

Aaron on some rides.

Another ride. ~ Aaron with Bob the Builder
I felt like it was appropriate to have a photo of Aaron taken with this one since Aaron was Bob the Builder for Halloween last year. :)

Aaron ~ A Knight in Shining Armor

Huntington Beach ~ GoodBye

After we went to LegoLand, we headed back to Huntington Beach. We tried to get there before sunset so that we could watch the sun go down over the ocean. We made it and it was so beautiful. We were not in swim suits and it was actually getting quite chilly by the time we got there... but do you think that stopped Aaron from enjoying the waves? NOPE. He got wet and was in heaven... AGAIN. He just can't get enough of it.

Watching him enjoy it so much made me laugh and it always brings me so much JOY watching him have so much fun.

He is such a happy kid.

Some beautiful shots from the trip.

The reason I love Huntington Beach so much is because Aaron's brother Steve and his wife Christa used to live there... so Aaron and I would go and visit them there. We always had such a great time and going back there reminds me of Aaron. Such great memories there with him.

My sweet and amazing little boy. I LOVE Aaron Jr. so much.

Me & Aaron
It was sad leaving the beach that night because we were flying out the next day. It will be a while before we see the ocean again. Aaron's shorts were so wet and it was so cold AND we were going to go to dinner after the beach, so I had to take his wet clothes off and he wore my sweatshirt to dinner. It looked like a little dress on him, but at least he was warm. We ate at the IHOP on main street there right up from the pier. Main street is always fun to walk around on. We love it there.

Aaron signing 'I LOVE YOU'.

It was a fun trip. Aaron and I were there by ourselves for four of the 7 days. We had so much fun together. It was good bonding time where we played when we wanted to play, we relaxed when we wanted to relax, we ate when we wanted to eat, we slept when we wanted to sleep. We had a SPLENDID time.

The End.

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