Thursday, November 29, 2012

Five Years

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So, its been five years.
Five years since Aaron passed away.
Five years since I lost my husband, the father of our son.
Five years since my son lost his Dad.
Five years since our entire world was shattered and I felt more pain than I ever knew I could.
Five years since my heart broke and I knew for sure that a broken heart brings physical pain and not just emotional pain.
Five years since I became a single Mom.
Five years.

To say that it is surreal is an understatement.
I'm not quite sure how to feel about it...
So I will just start typing and see what comes of it.

So much of me wants to cry so hard and out loud about what has been lost...
And part of me wants to share the tender mercies that have come as a result of this experience.

My feelings are mixed so much of the time.
I want to move forward and allow the healing to come into my heart and accept the tender mercies of the Lord in this situation...
But my loyalties to Aaron and his memory sometimes feel like a bungee cord that only allows me to progress so far in my healing and moving forward before it snaps me back without a moment's notice because of the triggers that continually remind me what is missing in my life.
How do I cut the bungee cord without letting go of Aaron and the good memories we shared?
And how do I let go of the painful memories we shared? They are such a burden. A painful and a real burden. A heavy burden.

One sad thing is that we are used to our life the way it is now.
We are used to it.
Some might not view that as sad, but I do.
I don't like feeling used to it just being Aaron Jr and me...
because even though we are used to it, there is still a gaping hole where someone is missing.

The loss of Aaron left this hole, but I still have hope that it can be filled again someday.

It is so strange to say it out loud... FIVE YEARS.
Why is time such a paradox?
It feels like it was yesterday and at the same time, it feels like it was a thousand years ago.
This year all of the dates and days of the week are lining up with those in 2007.
Aaron passed away on a Thursday, and this year the anniversary is on a Thursday.
Because of this, I have been living that last week of Aaron's life with us all over again.
Replaying moments that were great and happy and also replaying moments that were pain filled and awful.
Some of those moments I have had to forgive myself for and some of them I have had to forgive Aaron for.
If I could offer advice to anyone, it would be to make sure you don't allow anyone you love to question your love for them on any given day... because you may never see them again.

Now, after writing what we became on that day five years ago...
I now want to share what we have become in these five years since...

In these past five years, I have become a stronger person.
In these past five years, I have become more independent.
In these past five years, I have been stretched, molded, refined, and shaped more than ever before, too bad I still have a long way to go before I have been stretched, molded, refined, and shaped 'enough', but I am on my way I hope.
In these past five years, I have become a pretty awesome single mom (some days I do not think so).
In these past five years, I have become more addicted to candy than ever before.
In these past five years, I have gained a stronger testimony of the atonement of Jesus Christ.
In these past five years, I have gained more faith in Jesus Christ and His love for us.
In these past five years, I have survived weeks, days, hours, and even moments that I thought I could not continue breathing through.
In these past five years, I have learned more about forgiveness than ever before.
In these past five years, I have felt loved and my love has grown for my eternal family. They have been such a support.
In these past five years, I have learned more about myself.
In these past five years, I have learned more about what I want in my future husband.
In these past five years, I have received such love and support from my close and eternal friends.
In these past five years, I have gained more eternal friends that I never would have met if I had not become a widow.
In these past five years, we have been blessed by blog friends who have commented, prayed, loved us and cared about us... even without ever having met us.
In these past five years, I have had the privilege of watching Aaron Jr grow and become a compassionate, thoughtful, sweet, kind, beautiful, and amazing little boy. Raising this little boy is my greatest gift in life, he is my world. What a blessing he is in my life.

I am grateful for all that I have gained in these past five years. I still miss what I have lost, but I have truly gained so much from these five years.

I am grateful because I am blessed.

I love and miss you Aaron.
You are remembered every day.
I want you to know that Aaron Jr reminds me of you. Sometimes his facial expressions catch me off guard because they will remind me of one of yours and I simply cannot believe it. That is not something that would have been learned, that would be in his DNA. He feels like he knows you and talks about you often. He loves you and wants to be like you. We both love you and miss you. We are doing okay and will continue to be okay.

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I heard this song a while back and have heard it more in the past week and a half than I have heard it before... and it makes me think of Aaron, so I wanted to share it.
It is called 'Stars' by Grace Potter and The Nocturnals.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

50th Wedding Anniversary

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My parents' wedding day, November 15, 1962.
They were married in the Logan, Utah LDS Temple.
They are such a beautiful couple.

Happy 50th Wedding Anniversary
to my Dad and Mom!

I want to share a few thoughts about my parents today.
Today, November 15th, 2012 is their 50th wedding anniversary.

My parents are amazing people.
When they first met, one of the things they found out about each other was that both of them wanted 12 kids. How many people do you know who want 12 kids? Once my dad knew that about my mom, he knew he had to marry her. My mom comes from a family of 11 kids and my dad comes from a family of 8 kids. So both of them grew up in large families and wanted the same for their own family. I love knowing that they wanted each and ever one of us before they even began having children. In the end, after a second miscarriage, they came to the realization that 11 must be their number.

They had 11 kids in 17 years.
7 boys.
4 girls.

daughters and sons-in-law who they love...
and now...
46 grandchildren who they adore...
and counting...

Once my parents began having children, my Dad worked hard to earn a living and my Mom worked hard taking care of the household and caring for us kids. My Mom was a stay at home mom every day of her mom life. I cannot tell you how comforting it was to be at school and know that if I needed my Mom for anything, she was at home and would pick up the phone. I loved coming home from school and finding my mom and fresh baked cookies waiting for us there. I am grateful for that. And it could not have been possible if my Dad did not work so hard to make sure that could happen. He wanted my Mom to be there for us, he wanted her to be at home with us kids, loving us, nurturing us, teaching us. It is because of my Dad and his hard work that made it so my Mom could be there for us each day.

They have sacrificed a lot of us throughout their lives.
Their lives have been for their children.
They have gone without luxuries throughout their lives because their family came first.
Watching my parents work so hard and sometimes for so little and still stay out of debt throughout their whole lives has been such an example to all of us. They have taught us the value of work and the value of freedom of the chains of creditors.
They are fiercely loyal parents who believe in their kids.
 They love us, their family.
They taught us the importance of family and because of that, we are all best friends with each other. They taught us to be loyal to each other and to love each other and to help each other. Anytime there is something needing done for one of us, my parents and family are right there to help each other. And with as big a family as we have, it is a small army helping to get things done.

They love each other.
I am grateful for parents who set a good example of how to treat each other.
They are best friends and loved each other through the JOYs and the sorrows of their lives.
They have survived the deaths of their parents and the death of one of their sons and were faithful through it all.
They have been a support and a strength to each other and to us kids through heart breaking losses and life shattering trials.
My parents taught us the gospel of Jesus Christ.
They taught us about our Savior and His teachings the love that Christ has for us.
They taught us how to be good people.
They taught us who we are.
They taught us to stand for truth, to fight for what is right, to be honest, and to have integrity in our daily lives.

My parents are now serving their second full time mission for
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
Yet another sacrifice as they are away from family serving the Lord.
We miss them.

My parents are amazing people...
and anyone and everyone would be blessed to know them.
We are sure blessed to have them as parents.
I could go on and on and on...

...bound together for eternity...

Happy 50th anniversary to my parents!
We love you, Dad and Mom / Grandpa and Grandma!

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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Random September ~ 2012

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 Sunday walk around the Bountiful Temple.

good old orange peel smile
an oldie, but a goodie

our disguises that we wore at the Secret Haven Fall Open House.
I love that you can see Aaron's bottom teeth as he smiles.

  And that he is so serious in this one.

we put this little robot together

show and tell

Here is the little part that Aaron did in the Primary Program at church.
 He said it perfectly in front of the whole congregation. Yay!

aaron's grasshopper when we gave it back its freedom

If you watch all four videos, you almost get the whole book. :)
So proud of him.

me donating blood again.
make your appointment to give blood.
it saves lives.

I was at Secret Haven and went into the dressing room to try on some clothes,
and to my surprise, this spider was in the dressing room with me.
So Sadie caught it to take home and show her daughter. Her daughter loves spiders.
They are brave. I hate spiders' guts and so does Aaron Jr. :)

My niece, Julia's, cute dog, Jack was having a really hard time,
so they made the difficult decision to have him put down,
so we went over to say good bye.
It is so difficult to say good bye to a beloved pet.

This is Jack.
He only had three legs when Julia picked him out at the animal shelter.
She loves dogs so much that she couldn't bear not to take Jack because she knew there were very few people who would pick Jack to adopt. What a sweet girl.
She loves Jack and misses him.
Good bye, Jack.
We all love you.

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Sunday, November 4, 2012

Mother and Son time

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I saw a movie last night called 'Chasing Mavericks'. I think it just barely came out, so I will try not to be a spoiler of the movie, but watching that movie made me very emotional.

In the movie, there is this kid who has a single Mom. Her husband, his dad, left them. In the movie, the mom struggles to function... I assume because of depression and loneliness. That is all stuff you see in the first 5 minutes of the show, so I am not spoiling anything yet. It is a true story about this boy. A neighbor of his is a surfer and he really looks up to that man. In the movie, the relationship between the boy and his mom, and also the relationship between the boy and his neighbor made me cry several times.

There were some things about the boy that reminded me of Aaron Jr. He was a cheerful and positive kid with a very bright countenance. The way he continued to believe in his mom and to love her was so sweet and touching. He was very forgiving of her and it reminded me of that first while when I struggled to function after Aaron passed away. Aaron Jr was very forgiving... and these days when I look back on that time, I just kick myself and wish I could have a do-over... but at that time, I was in survival mode and I guess I should try not to be too hard on myself. TRY.

The relationship of the boy with his neighbor was a heart breaker for me because in the movie, that relationship was compared to a father / son relationship... and I couldn't help but think about how much I wished Aaron Jr had a figure like that in his life. There are so many things that I cannot give to Aaron as his Mom, and those are the things that a father / son relationship would bring to his life. If he can't have a father right now, then I would love it if he could have someone like the man in that movie who would take him under his wing and be that figure for him.

There were many things about this movie that hit close to home, I wish I could share more about them, but I am having to refrain so that I don't spoil the movie. The loneliness and sadness of his mom was one of them though... among other things that I will not mention because it would take away from someone's experience of seeing the movie for the first time... but the thing that brought me to tears more than anything else was watching this sweet boy and his mom and their relationship and hoping and praying that I am doing a good job being his mom and raising him alone.

Before I was a single mom, the words 'single mom' would come and go as quickly as the word 'widow' because they were both situations I knew nothing about. Now that I am both, those words are words that describe me now. I never realize before being in this place how frightening and lonely it is to be raising children, or a child in my case, all alone. Its scary, its lonely, and its overwhelming.

I believe it was my sister who once told me about a bumper sticker that said:
"Want to know how much the world weighs?
Ask a single Mom."

Lately, when Aaron Jr is really wanting me to spend some quality time with him, he asks me to do something specific and then he will say that "it will be good mother and son time". He will either call it that to get me to join him quicker, or he will call it that while we are in the middle of whatever activity we are doing... "this is good mother and son time". He has it all figured out... if he calls it that, then I feel more compelled to leave whatever task I am in the middle of and I will join him immediately. And if we are already in the middle of it and he calls it that, then it melts my heart and it makes me want to ignore my chores even longer. It is so sweet and I just love it.

I SO desire to be the best mom. My mom was and always has been Super Mom. I want to be Super Mom. I always planned on being Super Mom to a lot more children, but I know I can be Super Mom to my one child. If I can be the kind of mom that he loves to spend time with and who he feels proud to call his mom, then I will feel like I am doing pretty good.
I hope and pray that I am doing good enough, and whatever I lack, I pray that Heavenly Father is helping to make up for it for Aaron Jr's sake.
I watch him sometimes and it is almost consuming for me to watch how lonely he seems to be... and when he talks about wanting brothers and sisters and wishing his cousins were his brothers and sisters, it just breaks my heart. As he watches his cousins with their siblings, he knows what he is missing out on in life and he wants it so badly... that relationship of having siblings.
He even prays every night... "bless my mom will get married again so she can have brothers and sisters for me".
Now if that is not heartbreaking, I don't know what is.
Aaron deserves so much better than what our situation is allowing him to have right now, and I just want him to have all of the righteous desires of his heart.

BUT, even though I shed tears often about what I wish he had in his life and what I feel like he is missing out on by not having a dad and siblings, he continues to be a positive and happy boy who is the brightness in my life.

He is my life, he is my world...
And I sure do love this boy.

~ ~ ~

An experience from this week:

Since I was younger, anytime I look at a digital clock and see the time of 11:11, I make a wish.
I have been doing that still and now Aaron Jr and I are both making wishes.

Me: Its 11:11, make a wish.
Aaron Jr: I wish for everything. I always wish for everything, except the time when I wished for a family.
(I almost cried after he said that.)

(two days later)
Me: Its 11:11, make a wish.
Aaron Jr: I wish to play games on the computer every day. I'm not w
ishing for everything anymore because everything would mean girl dolls and salad.
(I laughed so hard after he said this one.)

Aaron, you really are the best.
You make me smile so many times each day...
and YOU are MY everything.

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