Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas

Christmas came and went without Donnie. I won’t lie, it was tough. Christmas Eve I worked half the day. As I was driving home, the thought of spending Christmas without Donnie overwhelmed me. I broke down. I cried all the way home. I got home and pulled out a video of us and Courtney and I sat down to watch it. And we both cried. I miss him and wanted to see him. On Christmas Eve Donnie and I never had any plans with our own family, so we would spend Christmas Eve with our friends families. They were our extended family. I couldn’t bring myself to go this year without him. I couldn’t go because he was supposed to be there. I think it would have been too difficult.


That just shines a huge spotlight on the fact that he isn’t there.



Christmas morning we got up and I made the breakfast that Donnie always made for us. Now honestly, I don’t think mine was as good as his but it was ok. I will say Caley helped to keep our spirits light. It was a joy to watch her opening her presents and handing out presents. She was soooo excited. At the same time there was a heaviness upon me. He was supposed to be there and it just didn’t feel right without him.



The kids had been upset with the thought of me cleaning out Donnie’s closet. I think that they wanted everything to stay exactly the same as it was. I understand that. Cleaning out is acceptance that he is gone and not coming home. It isn’t an easy thought to process in my grieving heart. I found a company that made Tshirt quilts. I went thru his closet and picked shirts for each child a quilt. I picked each shirt for each quilt with care. Donnie and Courtney had LSU matching shirts, so she got his. Same thing with Justin and Shantel had her favorites. Each shirt told a story about Donnie to that child. They also screen printed a picture onto each quilt. I picked my favorite picture of each of them with Donnie. Justin’s was a picture of he and Donnie, playing pool. Shantel’s was them parasailing last summer. And Courtney’s was a picture of her and Donnie in their matching shorts. She was 3. Just a pair of striped athletic shorts. Courtney loved them. Every time that Donnie wore his, she had to wear hers. She loved that they matched. I have kept those shorts all of these years and they are sewed into the quilt next to the picture of her and Donnie. These quilts were their Christmas gifts from me.



I waited until all of their other presents were opened and gave them to the kids last. I can only say it was quite the tear fest as they opened them. All of the Donnie stories attached to the shirts were revisited. I think it is the most precious gift I could have ever given them. It made him feel closer to us on that first Christmas without him. In a way, he was there with us in those stories and those shirts and our tears. We all cried but the kids were so happy to have those. It is a part of Donnie that they can always keep and take with them wherever they go. When they are missing him, they can curl up in these blankets and have Donnie all around them. I was so glad that I found the company that made them. I haven’t made myself one, but I think I will.



I have been dreading Christmas for months. I knew it would be so very hard and it was. But somehow I managed to make it thru. There are days that I think that there is no possible way that I will ever get past this raging grief inside me and on other days I feel just a small ray of hope fighting towards that grief. I just keep telling myself that it will take time. But somehow, some way, someday, I hope and pray that I will stop “just surviving” and truly start living again. One day………

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas

My Grown Up Christmas Wishes




My Christmas list has changed quite a bit over the years. I now have a “grown up” Christmas list. Although I am no longer a child, I can still dream. These are the “gifts” I am asking Santa to bring you.





I wish you Joy and Peace

And leisurely happy days filled with love

and shared with family.



The realization of a how precious and fleeting

the gift of time really is.



Not ribbons and bows , Nor lights and trees

No worries about sales and stresses of shopping

to find the perfect gift.



Only Joy in the Holiday

and beautiful memories of time spent

with those you love.



For these are the “gifts”

that will be remembered

for many years to come.



I wish you an abundance of wonderful new memories

to warm your hearts.



I wish you all of these things and so much more…….





With All my Love

Robin

Monday, December 14, 2009

facing the holiday

As I approach my first major holiday without Donnie, I am sad. I know that it will be a hard Christmas for the kids and I without him. The grief can be so much bigger than me and it draws me into places that I don’t want to go. Gried has changed me and I hate it. I want to go back to when my life was simple again. Before cancer tore my world apart. I try not to think about it too much because I know that there is nothing that I can do to bring those days back. I can only focus on the future. It’s hard to explain to someone who isn’t “where I am” in life. The feeling of being so tired but not being able to sleep,or not wanting to go to sleep because you don’t want to face waking up again the next morning and realizing that he isn’t there. the feeling of being lost at times and the complete exhaustion that can come along with this grief. There is an emptiness and a void in my life that can’t be seen but can only be felt. It is a void that can’t be filled. I must learn to live with that void. It’s like cutting off a limb and learning how to function again without it. It won’t ever grow back or be replaced but somehow you have to find a way to adjust and learn to live the way that you are now.


Losing Donnie changed me. Fear is now a part of my every day life. Fear of a future without Donnie, the fear of the unknown. There is the fear of letting people get close to me as I want to protect my heart from any more hurt. I wonder will I ever feel like I am truly living again and not only surviving. I wonder if I will ever just fall asleep peacefully again and not have a million thoughts running thru my mind. I wonder when I will be able to find myself and my new life without him.

I am still grieving and have lost my way but I know , or atleast I hope, that somewhere down deep I am still the woman that I once was. Just because I am lost and afraid doesn’t mean that I won’t ever find that “me” again. I worry that I am not strong enough to get thru this but somehow, some way I find enough strength each day to get out of bed, put on a smile (well ,some days) and face the world again. I have always been a fighter and although at times I get scared that this monster called grief will beat me but I know that it won’t win. How? Because that is who I am.

facing the holiday

Monday, November 23, 2009

Saturday, October 24, 2009

I find myself thinking so much of Donnie lately. I am just trying to remember every facial expression every laugh. I want to dream about him. I only have twice. The first time I dreamed of him, he was still sick and he was mad at me and wouldn’t speak to me. Then a month or so ago when I was struggling so hard with wanting to be happy again, I dreamed of him again. This time it was young healthy Donnie. He still had his hair, (His full head of hair) and he was wearing that purple pinstriped LSU shirt that I forgot he even had. It was so good to see him. He didn’t speak to me but he took my face in his hands and looked me in the eyes and I felt that he was telling me that it was ok for me to want to be happy again. God, I miss him. I miss him so much. I go thru the motions everyday and some days I find myself smiling and then there are moments that I have when it hits me all over again that I won’t ever see him again and it’s like some dropped a house on me again. I miss his smile and the sound of his laugh and I miss the way he talked with his hands. I miss the way that he titled his head to the side and looked “up” at me smiling when he disagreed with me and was trying to make his point. Oh what I wouldn’t give for just one more day, one more hug, one more word, one more laugh, or even one more minute with him. There are days that I think that I am strong and I will get thru this and then there are days (lots of them) that I wonder how I can ever go on without him. I find myself second guessing every decision I make. The smallest decisions and tasks can still be so overwhelming.

I think that people tend to associate grieving like climbing a mountain It’s like we are moving upwards climbing and then when we get to the top of the mountain, we see light, climb up and rejoin the world and we are ok again. If only that is how easy it was. As you climb this mountain, you struggle and climb , sometimes you are blindfolded and you don’t know which way is up and sometimes you slip and sometimes you fall, so bumped and bruised, you get up and climb again. It takes everything you have got and then you reach the top and pull yourself up and feel like maybe you are getting somewhere and as you stand up and look around you see that you aren’t there yet. You look around and ahead and as far as you can see, there are mountains to climb. So you almost tumble back down that mountain you just climbed and battered and bleeding, you get up and try again. Hopefully you don’t stay down at the bottom of the mountain long but sometimes it takes a while to gather the courage to start climbing again. Sometimes your friends are at the top of the mountain encouraging you to get up there. And then there are times that they are not, they live in a different world from you now. but they don’t even realize it. Each time I reach the top of one of my mountains, it’s easy to get discouraged looking ahead at the mountains left to climb. So all I can hope is that one day that I become stronger and it isn’t so hard to climb that mountain and that the mountains will become smaller. Hopefully I can stay on top of the mountain longer each time before I fall again.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Happy Birthday Courtney


Happy Birthday Courtney

Today is Courtney’s 17th birthday. I cannot believe that my baby girl, my little lullabelle is 17 already. Where does the time go? Where is that tee niny little girl who loved to curl up in my lap and ran into the back of me when I stopped walking. My mini me.
She is growing into a beautiful young woman. I am so proud of her.

Again, there is a pain in my heart because Donnie isn’t here to celebrate her birthday with us. But I told her that her Daddy is smiling down on her today and he loves her soooo much. She walked outside earlier and there on the front step was a golf tee. It made her smile. She felt like it was Daddy telling her happy birthday.
Now I can tell you I know where it came from. I brought Donnie’s clubs to his brothers last weekend. I am sure it fell out then. But it sat there for over a week and no one noticed it. Courtney has gone up and down those steps 100 times, she never saw it. So her finding it on her birthday is special to her. I told her he was smiling down on her. J


Happy Birthday Courtney
You will ALWAYS be my Lullabelle. I love you
Momma

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Saturday was 11 years since Donnie and I were married. I awoke that morning 11 years ago praying that Hurricane George wasn’t coming our way. I think it was the first time that they ever did contra flow out of New Orleans. Traffic was a mess. But in the middle of all that chaos,I was surprisingly calm. I knew that I was right where I was supposed to be.
When Todd took my arm to walk me down the aisle, my eyes filled with tears. All I could think was “oh great, I’m going to be a blubbering mess all the way down the aisle” Todd looked at me and said “I got a C note, we can go to the casino and forget all this mess” He made me laugh. I found out later, he told Donnie the same thing. He’s such a funny boy. As I walked towards Donnie, the way he looked at me melted my heart. I had never been loved so much by someone. As we said our vows, Donnie choked back the tears. It’s kind of funny that he cried thru our first wedding, I cried thru our renewal. I guess we couldn’t both fall apart at the same wedding.

As we danced to our fist song and Donnie held me it was one of the most precious moments of my life. The feeling of being exactly where I was supposed to be. It was 10 years before we would have the opportunity to dance to that song again.

For over 10 years I was proud to be Donnie’s wife. I am so blessed for the relationship that we shared. We had our ups and downs as all couples do but even when he made me so mad that I wanted to throw something at him, I couldn’t imagine my life without him. But here I am now, trying to find my way without him. I would have never thought on that day 11 years ago that I would be where I am today without him. I miss him so much and am still lost without him most days. But, I know that he is with me in my heart and I will always carry him with me, wherever I go. Along with the memories and lessons about life and love that he taught me. I was so lucky to have him love me the way he did. I am thankful for every day that we shared together and will miss him the rest of my life.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

9-23-09
As I sit here today on his birthday, I feel drained. I cried all the way to work today. I have tried to recall every memory, every smile, every fight I ever had with Donnie. I am scared. Scared that I might forget some of those memories. How could I? I don’t think I could but it feels like so long since I have seen him and I miss him so. I don’t want to forget one moment that we shared together. I want to keep them all “on file” so I can go back to every one of them and remember any time I want to.
It feels as if the weight of the world is on my shoulders.

I am trying to have good memories and celebrate Donnie’s life and the life we shared together but it is so hard. Every memory makes me so sad cause I miss him so much.

9-24-09

I left work yesterday and went to the cemetery to see him. I sat and talked to him for a while. I cried and told him how much I miss him and how I am so scared that I will forget memories that we made together and that I didn’t want to. I told him that I want to find a way to be happy again. I love him and I miss him so but I can’t stand the hurt. It’s so hard. I have to find a way to be able to deal with the pain and do what I have to do to find happiness in my life again. I told him how I don’t know how I am supposed to do that. I asked him to help me. He was my strength when he was here, he made me feel like I could do anything. I am still trying to draw my strength from him and how much he believed in me. I went home with the intention of crawling into my bed and pulling the covers over my head and crying all night. The pain was unbearable.

I went home and took at bath and got ready for bed and for whatever reason I noticed the home movie cassettes on my dresser and decided to hook up the video camera to the tv to watch. I watched home movies of us as a family all night. Probably 4 hours. It was sad but at the same time it made me feel so much better. I have missed him so much, I miss seeing him, hearing his voice.

It was so good to see him WELL. I know he is well now and not sick anymore. I want to find all of those good memories that we had and hold onto those. It’s not that we didn’t make precious memories in the last 18 months, but I don’t want to focus on the sick memories. I want to remember and cherish the “life” that we shared together. Our carefree days when we still had forever and weren’t living on borrow time.

I can’t say I didn’t cry watching the movies but they were a comfort to me, they made me smile and several made me laugh. There he was, young healthy smiling and joking Donnie. The Donnie that I fell in love with. He was there looking at me and talking to me and smiling and saying I love you . In a way, he was giving me strength to go on without him. It was good to see him. I have missed him so.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

My dear sweet Donnie,

I can do nothing but think of you today. Today is your 45th birthday. Oh how I hate that you are not here with me. It’s been 163 days (23 weeks) since I saw you last. It’s been longer than that since you were actually still here with me. It seems like an eternity has passed. I know to some people it doesn’t seem like so long but every hour with out you, to me seems like 10.

I still have days that I am angry that you are gone. It just isn’t right. It just wasn’t supposed to be this way. We fought so hard. YOU fought so hard. I only wish that there was something more that I could have done to keep you here with us. I would do anything I could give you another day

We all miss you so much. The kids are doing the best that they can to do what they are supposed to do. Justin is determined to do the best he can in college because he wants to make you proud. I know you are. Caley still looks for you. She still misses you . As I watch her grow it makes me sad to know what you are missing with her. I can just see you there playing with her and making her giggle. I am sad to know that she won’t have you her with her as she grows but I know that you are watching over her. .

I know what I am supposed to be doing or should I say what you wanted me to do and I hope you know that I am trying. It’s not easy without you and you told me that it wouldn’t be. But you told me that I was strong enough to do this and make it thru
That’s what drives me to keep on going without you. It is so much harder than I could have ever imagined. We had so many future plans that we won’t get to share.

But I am thankful for every day that we shared together. I am a better person for having been loved by you. Thank you for making me feel so special and worthy of your unconditional love. Thank you for supporting me even when you didn’t agree with me. Thank you for teaching the kids by example what true love is and showing Justin how a man should be. Thank you for being the kind of man that people admired. Thank you for fighting so hard for me. Thank you for worrying so much about me and what it would be like for me without you and trying to help me get thru. Thank you for all of the sacrifices that you made for our family. Thank you for being my confidant, my best friend, my soul mate , my partner and my love. Most of all thank you for being YOU and loving me the way that you did. You were an amazing and special man and I was lucky and honored to call myself your wife.

Happy birthday my love until we meet again

Always and ForeverI love you Robin

Monday, September 21, 2009

It’s still so tough. I miss him. That void is still this huge gaping hole in my heart. I get so overwhelmed by it all sometimes. I look around and wonder “how did I get here? How did it get to the point that I am sitting in the cemetery talking to Donnie?” +

I’ve been angry lately. I want to stomp my feet and scream at the top of my lungs that it just isn’t fair. He deserved so much more life than he had. It wasn’t supposed to be this way.

There are days that I think that I am making so much progress of getting myself together and then there are days (or weeks) that I seem to be falling apart again and it is discouraging to me. I often wonder if I will ever have a new normal. Will I ever have a time that I am not so sad? Then part of me feels guilty for even wanting that. Part of me feels that my grief is my connection to Donnie. It is a vicious roller coaster and it isn’t a good ride. Somebody stop this ride and let me get off!!

I know that every “first” without him will be heartbreaking. My birthday was hard. I worry if my birthday was so hard, how will I handle his birthday Wednesday? Or our anniversary Saturday? Then the girls both have their birthdays the following week. It’s going to be a tough month. I sometimes wonder how I will ever make it thru all of this! I just don’t think that I can.

I am glad that I was able to get away with my friends for my birthday. We smiled and we laughed. There were even a few brief moments that I found “me” again, just not as many as I had hoped for. I found myself thinking of Donnie a lot. I must have thought 100 times “I need to tell Donnie that”.

How in the world am I ever going to find a new normal?

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

9-8-09

I have been talking a lot and thinking a lot lately about finding “me” again. I have brief moments that I do feel like myself again. But at the same time, I think of how this whole experience has changed me.

I am not the same person I was 2 years ago when Donnie got his diagnosis. I am very different. So here I am again searching for me and my new normal. Who am I? I am a well spouse and a caregiver. My life hasn’t been focused on me in a very long time. How do I know who I am anymore?

I have changed. I am more tolerable now of people and less judgmental than I was before. I have learned that you don’t know what someone else’s struggles are. Even if you can’t see them, they could be fighting their own demons. I learned this of how people judged me throughout Donnie’s illness and still judge me today.

When Donnie was sick, people judged me all the time, good and bad. Some people thought I was so strong while others judged me for being to weak. “Donnie looks fine” Or “ he will beat this” and “you shouldn’t be negative” or things like that were said to me. I wasn’t being negative, I was afraid. I was terrified. Although I tried to remain positive as much as possible, I was afraid because I knew what lay ahead. No one else “knew” it. But Donnie and I both did.

You can’t imagine how awful of a feeling that is for 18 months to know that your husband and love of your life is dying and there isn’t a damn thing that you can do to stop it. Think about it, 18 months, every day, I was faced with the reality of knowing that I was losing him. I felt so helpless and my life felt out of control. We were fighting a battle that we could not win, even though no one else chose to see it. I have heard so many times since Donnie passed. “Wow, I was shocked!! I thought he would beat this” “He seemed to be doing so well” All of these people knew he had stage 4 cancer. They just didn’t want to see it because Donnie put on such a good front so they chose not to accept the truth.

I admire Donnie so much for the battle he fought. He never complained or asked “Why me?” He accepted his diagnosis and impending death with a courage that I could never do. He made the choice to LIVE everyday of life that he was given and not let cancer take away the precious memories that he had left to make. When most people would be wallowing in self pity and staying in the bed and being sick, playing the victim and afraid to fight, Donnie got up and he went to work and he got up and played with the grandbaby. He played golf, he spent time with me and the kids. He took advantage of every moment that he had. How many well people can even say that? We tend to think we have unlimited tomorrows and we put off things that we shouldn’t. Like spending quality time with the people that you love and letting them know that you love them. Donnie lived his life and especially his last 18 months with no regrets. I can honestly say that I lived those last 18 months of his life with no regrets either. We seized every moment and every opportunity we had. I am so thankful for that. How many people can say that?

People still judge me every single day. Some fault me for mourning Donnie for so long and how much I still cry over him. Some judge me for trying to continue to live without him. And I won’t lie and say that all of those judgments haven’t hurt me. They have. But I can say this, I have learned that it doesn’t matter what those people think of me. It only matters what I think and how I feel. I am ok with the person that I am and I’m trying to be. I am ok with the choices that I make. They can’t possibly understand what I have been thru and still go thru everyday. Donnie’s illness and death changed me so much and made me appreciate every single day that I am allowed here on this earth. As hard as it is to move on with my life without Donnie, I have to. I don’t want to waste any of the precious moments that I have been given.

It’s easy to sit in judgment of me and say what “you” would do and how “you” would act. It’s easy for you to sit and say what you think that I am supposed to do. I can’t fault people for that. I understand because I have judged people myself and I would be lying if I said I hadn’t. We would all be lying if we said that. But these people who think that they know what I am supposed to do or how I should act, haven’t been thru what I have been thru. They haven’t experienced the helplessness out of control life that I have led for 2 years now. They can’t possibly understand. Even the people who love Donnie can’t understand. They think about Donnie from time to time, some even daily and they feel the loss of him in their lives. But they all have lives that didn’t include Donnie. But what they can’t understand is that I feel that loss every single minute of every single day. He was my life and my love and my partner and my best friend and I feel that loss every moment of every day. When Donnie died, my world was turned upside down and it completely stopped. While everyone else around me kept moving forward, I was left standing here alone, wondering, “what do I do now?”.

The people who judge me are obviously not people who love me. The people who truly love me want me to be happy and find “me” again. They don’t judge me for the days that I lie in the bed and cry all day nor do they judge me for the days that I find my smile again.

There are so many times that I think that I will NEVER be able to have a somewhat normal life again. I think that I can NEVER get over losing Donnie and honestly, I don’t think I ever will. But, it was pointed out to me how far I have come since losing him that even I didn’t realize. After Donnie died, I lay on the floor and screamed and I begged God to take me too. I wanted to die with him. Nothing else mattered because I hurt so badly. I just wanted it to stop. I didn’t care how. I have never felt pain like that before. Nor do I ever want to again. I guess I have come far. Although, I still hurt every single day and would give anything to have him back and I still cry buckets of tears over losing him and the battle he went thru, I ‘m not wanting to die with him anymore. I get up everyday and I want to enjoy my kids and grandbaby and cherish the moments that I have with them and my friends and family. I guess I have come a long way. Maybe one day I will be able to remember Donnie and smile again for what we have shared and not hurt and have my heart break remembering him. I want my memories of Donnie to be happy and not painful. Who could fault me for that?
I am leaving on Thursday to get away with my 2 very best friends in the whole world. I am hoping that on our trip, I have moments that I find “me” again. I can’t imagine what I would do without them. I know that they would never judge me and only want the best for me and they know “me” better than anyone else but Donnie. They are my “sisters’. Although we are not blood related, it goes so much deeper than that. I know that they are always here to pick me up when I fall and cheer me on when I make steps going forward. I don’t know what I would do without them. I would have never made it as far as I have if they weren’t by my side.

With their help and all the other people who love me, I will get there. It hasn’t been an easy journey, nor do I expect it to be an easy journey. I can only hope that I come out of this on the other side, stronger than I have ever been and a better person for the wear.
I keep hoping it will happen and knowing that I will get there. Maybe not tomorrow, maybe not next week or next month or even next year, but I’ll get there. I just need to keep on trying.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

finding me

Finding “ Me”

There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t miss Donnie. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about him and talk to him. My heart still aches for him. It’s been almost 5 months without him. It seems like forever. There are some days I still wonder what I am supposed to do without him. There are days that I am a complete mess. BUT, all that being said, there are some days that I find myself smiling again. A true smile. Not just a smile that is masking the pain.

For the first time in a very long time, I am having moments that I feel like “me” again. I wish I could say that I felt like “me” all the time. But, I know it is still going to take time. I am taking those baby steps towards finding myself again and learning to live without Donnie. It is hard finding my place in the world without him.

I am so blessed to have been loved by Donnie. For however a short of time that God gave us, I cherish every moment that we had together. It isn’t easy, but I know that I have to learn to move on in my life. I have to accept the reality of everything that has happened and face my future without him.

For almost the last 2 years my life has been all about taking care of what Donnie needed. And rightfully so. I wouldn’t change a thing that I did. But, now I have to figure out how to take care of “me” again. I have to put some of that effort into going on with my life and trying to be happy. I know it is what he wanted and it’s what I want too. I DO want to be happy again.

I don’t think I can ever “get over” losing Donnie. I just have to find a way to deal with the pain. Sometimes it’s one day at a time, sometimes its one hour or minute at a time. But its all I can do. I would give ANYTHING to have him back but I know that can never be.

So, all I can do is keep seeking the courage to try to move forward with my life. That doesn’t mean that I am forgetting him. It doesn’t mean that I don’t love him. It means I am deciding that I still matter. (regardless of how other people perceive that). It means that I still deserve happiness, even though he isn’t here to share it with me.

It’s not easy and I’m sure it won’t get easier anytime soon. But, I have my flashlight and all I can do is keep on walking and searching for “me”. Hopefully that light will shine brighter soon….… It will take time but I’ll get there.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009



Yesterday was Justin’s 19th birthday. I don’t know where the time has gone. He was just my little boy and now before me is this man. This man that I am proud to call my son. He has exceeded every expectation I have ever had for him. And my expectations have been high. He amazes me every day and as good as it is to see him becoming this man, it also breaks my heart to be losing my little boy. That cotton topped little boy who would just shout out from the back seat of the car “ You know what momma? I love you” That little boy who could never stand to see anyone else upset. That little boy that had biggest blue eyes who always looked for the good and had a crooked little smile.

I have no doubt of the man that Justin has become and will continue to grow into. He had an amazing man for a role model. Donnie showed him by example how to be a man. A good man. Donnie was so proud of him and so proud to call him his son. I think the feeling was mutual between them. There was so much love and respect for each other there. And when it is Justin’s turn to be a dad, I know he will aspire to be the Dad that Donnie was to him.

As we sang happy birthday to Justin , there was a pang in my heart. I think that there was one in Justin’s heart too. I found myself looking around for Donnie. Things just don’t feel right without him here. And although I know that he wasn’t standing next to me, I know he was there with us, smiling and that he was as proud of Justin as he ever was and as he always will be.
Happy Birthday Justin. I love you!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

This is a 2 part post. The first part was written at a very low point last week and I didn’t want to post it until I found something more encouraging in me to go with it.

battling the beast

There are days and times that I think that I will get thru this and somehow be a stronger person but then there are days that I have been having a lot of lately when I am struggling to beat back the beast that is depression.

I have felt so defeated and have felt that way for a couple of weeks off and on. I am struggling with everything. It’s been a terribly rough week and everything that could go wrong seems to have gone wrong. And it has made me feel discouraged and defeated. I was doing ok one day and then the next day it all seemed to come crashing down around me again. So I was struggling, but still ok. Somedays I just can’t shake it. It has gotten the better of me. I want to run home and crawl back into my bed and pull the covers over my head and shut out the world.

Maybe I was crazy to think I was strong enough to get thru this. I guess I was wrong. Score 1 for the beast.

Part 2.

Before I am inundated with phone calls about this telling me that I need to get out of bed and I need to do things and not feel this way. Trust me, I am trying. I really am. I don’t want to feel this way. And as hard as it is, I am still fighting every day. I am just having a harder fight lately. BUT I AM TRYING

The only way I can describe it is that I am in a fist fight and I am getting my ass kicked and I have been for quite a while. And each time I get knocked down I get back up and keep fighting. Well I feel like I am on the ground being kicked and I don’t know how to get up again to continue getting my ass kicked. It’s like I want to throw my hands up and say “OKAY, ENOUGH ALREADY”! BUT, I’m not. I am just tired. This isn’t an easy fight. But still I am searching for the strength to get back up and keep going.

How do you put up your fists and fight a monster that you can’t even see?

The one thing that helps me get back up the most is Donnie. The way he fought inspired me and his fight was so much worse than the one I am fighting now. And I know what he would have given to be able to continue that fight, so I will continue to get up and try again every day. Maybe one day, it won’t be so hard.

Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I'll try again tomorrow

Friday, July 31, 2009

answers

Searching for answers


I know that some people believe that you will “find” your own answers when you are looking for them. Be that as it may, I believe in the answers that I have been given.


You may all think I am crazy but I will write it anyway. When I go to the cemetery to see Donnie, I sit and talk to him as I always have. I have asked him several things and I seem to get answers from the strangest places. When I went to see him last Saturday, I was telling him about Justin and his accident and how he was ok and lucky to not be hurt. Then I asked him "was that you? Were you watching over him?"

Well I got an email from one of Donnie's friends in Austin Texas on Tuesday. He told me that he had a dream the night before and in that dream Donnie told him that he was with Justin and Sara and that is why they were ok and "when you smile, I smile"

He said he had no idea what it was about. He said he was confused until he read my blog Tuesday morning that I posted about Justin's wreck and about how I feel guilty for smiling without Donnie.

I truly think Donnie was answering me. I’ll be honest, I cried. Quite a bit.

Funny thing is Lee provided the answer for me once before as well. I don't ask Donnie much but each time I have asked, I feel like I have received an answer. I had forgotten that I had even asked him about Justin until I got Lee's email that morning.

I am thankful that he sent the answer that I was needing. It comforts me to know he is still with us and watching over us. He is still in my heart and my mind every day. But oh how I wish I could wrap my arms around him just one more time and hear him say he loves me. I miss him so much.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Wow, it’s been 15 weeks, that’s almost 4 months! I don’t think there will ever be a Thursday that I don’t think of that day he left me. There are some days that I still can’t believe that he is gone. But at the same time, it feels like a year since I have seen him. I still miss him every single day.

I think the hardest thing about acceptance for me is letting go of what my life was supposed to be. We had plans and knew where we were supposed to be down the road. We were supposed to be together , growing old, traveling and spoiling the grandkids. All of that has changed. So not only do I have to let go of the life that Donnie and I were living together day to day but I have to let go of our future plans. That is easier said than done. It’s hard to close the book on that chapter of my life and realize that it’s going to be different than I had planned it to be. It was comforting knowing what my future was supposed to be. I struggle now with fear of the unknown.

Donnie was my “go to”. When anything was wrong or anything stressed me out or upset me. He was immediately where I ran to for comfort. That is what is so hard right now, I don’t have him to comfort me and tell me everything is going to be alright. On Thursday afternoon my phone rang while I was eating dinner, I didn’t recognize the number but answered it and it was Justin. He said or should I say screeched “Momma, somebody just hit me head on”. As a mother, when I heard “Momma” I knew it was bad. By the time he finished his sentence, I had keys in hand and was running out the back door asking “where are you?” In an instant, my world was shaken. BIG TIME. Although I had heard Justin’s voice and I knew he was well enough to call me, it struck fear in my heart. I was a wreck. I just couldn’t get to him quickly enough. And the whole way there all that I could think was “ I need Donnie”. Justin is our son and I need him here with me to calm me and let me know that everything is going to be ok. By the grace of God, Justin and Sara were banged up but got out and were able to walk away from that accident. But, what kept racing thru my mind was “Oh my God, if something would have happened to Justin, I wouldn’t have been able to handle it”.
I have always been the type of person who tries to look for the good things and live life to it’s fullest every day because I know how precious this gift of life is. You go thru life knowing that bad things happen and that they can happen to you. BUT, that being said, when it DOES happen to you, it changes you. I almost live in fear. Waiting for that other shoe to drop. I hate it. Someone yanked the rug out from under me and turned my world upside down and I keep thinking that something else will happen. Fear is a evil powerful thing. I know that I will have to find the strength within to find the courage to face those fears and get my life back in order. I don’t want to live in fear of anything. My life is too precious and too short for that. Only problem is, I don’t know how.

Everyone keeps telling me how strong I am and how they don’t know how I do it. I don’t feel that strong. I feel scared, lost and alone most of the time and to be honest , sometimes I just do what I have to do at that moment to get thru to the next. I am learning how to deal with things the best that I can. I’m still searching for my new normal. Some days are just going thru the motions but there are days that I am smiling. Sometimes it is a smile on the outside and pain still in my heart and sometimes it is a true smile all the way thru. But then I feel guilty. Guilty for smiling without him here. I think to myself, How can you be happy about anything when Donnie isn’t here with you?
Then I try to remind myself that it was he wanted for me. He wants me to smile again and he wants me to be happy. So all I can do is keep pushing forward and keep on trying.

One day……….

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Last week was hard on me. The golf tournament was bittersweet. I felt so loved by so many people and at the same time felt the emptiness and the void of him not being there. It really set me back. I feel I have been taking those steps and moving forward and then that just sent me back to the point that I didn’t want to get out of bed again. It was a big time struggle for me. I won’t lie, I wanted to give up. I wanted to stop trying and just crawl in my bed and pull the covers over my head and shut out the world. I am struggling with acceptance. I wonder if there will ever be a time when my life seems not so out of control.

That being said, it was a struggle and I didn’t do a whole lot and got back in the bed briefly last week. BUT, I got out again and am trying hard to keep on going and keep moving forward. I refuse to give up.

It is better this week. Not where I was or where I want to be, but better. I am out of bed and making that effort again. I am looking for my smile and working on being happy again. I am still trying.

Writing helps me. I have been told how much my writing moves other people and how it helps them. But I write for me. It is a release for the emotions that are consuming me at that time.

Another widow told me that I should write a letter to Donnie and then immediately answer it. (Write a letter to me from Donnie) because no one knew him better than me and I know exactly what he would say to me. She said to “just listen, you will find his words”. As I was struggling so much last week, I wrote the following. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to share it but I have shared everything else at this point so I won’t stop now.


Dear Donnie,

How am I supposed to admit to myself that you are truly gone? How I am supposed to accept what has happened? I feel if I do, I am leaving you behind. I’m not ready to do that. But holding on so tightly hurts me so badly My fear is that letting go will hurt even more.

I know that you would be disappointed that I am struggling so much but I am trying every day. I really am. I feel that I am taking those steps to move on. I’m taking small steps, one at a time, but looking back over my shoulder the whole way for you. And when I feel I am getting too far away, I go running back. Back to you and your memory.

You came into my life and changed it so much. You changed me. For the first time in my life, I felt truly accepted and loved for who I was. I never knew I was worthy of that kind of love. You showed me what home was and that it wasn’t necessarily a place but who you were with. You became my home. You taught the children by example how a real man conducts himself. And you showed them what true love was by the way that you loved me. I can’t imagine what my life would have been like without you in it.

How in the world am I supposed to let go and move on? I don’t think I can do this without you.

I don’t know how.



I love you
Always and forever
Robin





Dear Robin,
I knew that this would be hard for you. I tried as best as I could to prepare you and give you the push you would need to move on with you life.

I don’t want you to be sad. I don’t want you to hold onto me. And I don’t want my memory to become your prison and what keeps you from moving on.

You made me so happy and I always knew how much you loved me. I know that no one in this world would have loved me more. You were my life!
But you have so much life left ahead of you and I am a chapter in yours.
You don’t have to leave me behind, take part of me with you in your heart. But you have to let go and move on with your life. You can’t stay where you are. I want you to be happy again.

I know that you are scared , but you can do this on your own. I believe in you. I always have. You just have to believe in yourself the way that I do.

I know it won’t be easy for you. It hurts and it will be hard. But you will be ok. I know you will. I believe in you and will always be with you.


I love you
Always and forever
Donnie

Friday, July 17, 2009

FEAR is just a four letter word.

the following was written by my oldest daughter Shantel 2 days after Donnie passed away. She read it at his funeral. I thought she did a great job and wanted to share it.

I Love You Daddy

Every girl dreams of a night in shining armor to come and rescue her. Daddy was my night in shining armor. He accepted me and my brother and sister as his own children, not his stepchildren. He was everything a father should be and more.

He and my mother are a match made in heaven. I could not have asked God to send a better person to be a part of our family. He is a wonderful father, provider, husband, poppy, and friend.

He is my hero. He endured such harsh treatment and intense pain. He never complained. He got up and went to work and did what he had to do for his family. He always had a smile on his face and treasured every moment with his friends and family as if it were his last.

I hope that I can be just like my daddy. He has so much love in his heart and such a wonderful energy about him that you can’t help but to fall in love with him and the person he is.

I am so very blessed that he became a part of our lives and showed us how amazing he is. He showed me what bravery and courage truly are. He was always there for me and I could depend on him no matter what. That’s what daddys are for, to be there no matter what.

I wasn’t ready to say goodbye but it was time. I will never forget him and I will never forget the person I want to be because he has shown me what it’s like to be a true hero.

My Night in Shining Armor. My Daddy.




By Shantel Diez

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Faith is the strength by which a shattered world shall emerge into the light.


Stages


I’ve been told there are 5 stages of grief. Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance. I think I can go from one of these to the next in a matter of moments.

Seems to me recently I have been spending some time in the anger stage. Part of me is ashamed to admit it, but I have been very honest in my writing so I won’t stop now. There have been moments, although very few and very brief, when I have found myself angry with Donnie for leaving me. As soon as the thought crosses my mind, I am ashamed of myself for that thought. He didn’t leave me by choice. And I think it is just horrible of me for that thought to even enter my mind!! I think it is my frustration of not understanding why that makes me angry.

Bargaining? I do that all the time. I would give anything to have him back.
Denial?- yeah sometimes I don’t want to believe he is gone.
Depression?- that’s a no brainer, depression has definitely had its hold on me. Acceptance?- not at all. I haven’t accepted that he is gone. I can’t explain why. I know he’s gone. I know he’s not coming back. But I haven’t completely accepted that fact. It’s a hard thing to explain without experiencing it. I almost fell that there should be another stage in there. FEAR- fear of the unknown, the what now?, the “how do I do this alone?”. Right now I fear acceptance. I am afraid that acceptance will be devastating to my heart. It may sound crazy but I am afraid acceptance will be like losing him all over again. I know to most people this won’t make sense but to those of you who have experienced profound grief , it may make perfect sense.

My weekend was good. I went fishing with friends. Well I don’t know if you can technically call it fishing if you don’t catch any fish but I went and threw the bait in the water. I had smiles and laughs and had a good time and it was really good for me to step out of my every day reality and allow myself to enjoy life for a couple of days. You just can’t realize how monumental that is for me

Yesterday was the Team Donnie Memorial golf tournament. I think it was a huge success. I am always touched by the people of this parish that will come out to support each other. I was truly touched. It was an emotionally heart wrenching day for me though. It was bittersweet for the most part. Great to see all of Donnie’s friends and awesome to see the support that I have from so many people but sad because Donnie wasn’t there. I did ok most of the day until the golfers came in. As I sat and looked around, I saw all of these guys eating and laughing and as I looked at all of his friends, I could picture him there with them. In his sun visor with his hands on his hips , laughing at and cutting up with the guys. I knew that I would never see him that way again. I think I felt my heart fracture again in that moment. It hurt. From that moment on, it was a struggle to keep myself composed. I made it a couple more hours before having to leave. And of course, I went to see Donnie. It’s been a couple of weeks since I broke down like that. I fell apart. I guess it’s good that I don’t have breakdowns every day anymore. Sometimes I think it is good for me to get it out. I was exhausted by the time I got home. Physically and mentally. It seems every time I think that I am standing and taking those steps, I fall again. I fell hard yesterday. But the important thing is that I got up again today and am trying again. I am confused and most of the time I don’t know what to do next or how I will get thru another day. BUT each time I get up and keep on trying. It’s all any of us can do.

I don’t know that I can say that I will ever get over losing Donnie. But I can say that even though it is the hardest thing I have ever done, I keep digging deep and finding the strength to keep on trying. Trying to move on and find my new normal. Thanks to the people that love me and keep me going from day to day. I don’t know what I would do without them. I still feel like I am “flashlight walking” and can only see just a few steps in front of me. BUT I can see the lights of my friends and family up ahead calling out to me and ready to help shine their lights for me to find my way.

I’ll get there……………………………..

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

We had Caley’s birthday party on Sunday. I can’t believe that she is 2 already. She has grown so much so fast. It was such a joy to watch her enjoy her day opening her presents and eating her cake. She made me smile so much. But at the same time, my heart was breaking. I know how much fun Donnie would have had with her. I know how much he would have enjoyed watching her and helping her open her presents. But I know in my heart that he was there. He was watching over her. The bond that they shared was pretty remarkable. It’s been 11 weeks since Donnie passed and he was in the hospital for a month before that. She still lights up when she sees his picture. I love that she remembers him but at the same time I worry about the time when she doesn’t remember him and how much that will hurt.


I still find myself thinking “ I have to tell Donnie” over so many things in my life. The things that make me smile , the things that make me cry or make me mad, things that make me laugh out loud. I shared everything with him. It’s so hard without him. Sometimes I still can’t believe he isn’t here with me. The hardest thing is that he is always the one who could make everything better for me. He could comfort me like no other.

I will be honest, I still cry everyday. Some days more than others. Part of me is still angry. Donnie deserved so much more life than he had. He lived what life he had to the fullest and had no regrets but he still deserved more. I know that everything happens for a reason and that God has a plan. I have heard it all before and in my heart, I know that it is true. I don’t understand it though. God himself could come to me and tell me what the reason was and it still wouldn’t be good enough for me. I want him here with me. I don’t know that you could convince me that there is a good reason for him to not be here with us.

I put on a good front most days. It’s hard to know what to do. I am always wondering if this is how I am supposed to feel or supposed to act. I know that I need to quit worrying about what I am supposed to do and do what feels right and works for me. I am working hard on smiling again.

I keep pushing forward a little at a time. I still trip and fall, seems like daily, but I get up and keep on going. It’s what he wanted. It’s what I want. I just wish it wasn’t so hard. I pray every day for the strength to travel this rock strewn road before me.


Maybe one day…..

Thursday, July 2, 2009

a better day


A better day
Today is a better day. I have been fighting this monster called grief all week. Sometimes it gets the better of me. It’s taken me a few days to get a handle back on things but I am working on it.

Donnie’s last weeks at home have haunted me in recent days. I have done a good job so far of NOT thinking of those days, but I came across something in my bedroom the other day that reminded me of something that happened in that last week that opened that door and let those memories flood my mind. I have been struggling to close that door all week. That is not how I want to remember Donnie. I want to remember him the way he was when I fell in love with him. Young, silly, full of life, smiling, laughing and my knight in shining armor. He came into my life and swept me off of my feet. I had never felt so loved or worthy of such love.

I rejoined a pool league with one of mine and Donnie’s friends. To be honest, I hesitated before doing it. I wasn’t sure about it. Pool was what Donnie and I did together. It was how we met. I didn’t know how I would be able to handle it. Last night was my first time to go back. I was nervous about how it would make me feel. It was bittersweet. It was fun but it made me miss him. But at the same time, it brought back happier memories of Donnie. Happy times and carefree days that I miss so much. And although it made me a sad because he wasn’t with me, it filled my mind with better memories and hopefully is replacing some of the memories of his last week that have been crowding my mind. I smiled last night as I remembered him and how we met. We met so many of our closest friends playing pool. And even though we eventually quit playing as often, those friends have remained our friends and extended family.

Caley will be 2 next week. That makes me think of Donnie a lot as well. She is growing so much and I know how much fun that they would be having together. She still carries around his picture and kissed him goodnight. She was sitting in my lap on the porch swing yesterday and I called his voicemail and put it on speaker. Her face lit up when she heard his voice as she squealed “Poppy” she then took the phone held it to her mouth and said “I love you Poppy” Breaks my heart. She still misses him and remembers him so much. But at the same time, I know that she won’t always remember so I am glad that she remembers him now.

So anyway, today was a better day. That’s all I can hope for. One day at a time. I still miss him so much every single day. I don’t think there will ever be a time that I don’t miss him. But I try to hang on to our happy times and hopefully that will help me get thru. So tomorrow I will get up and try again.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Last night I cried

Last night I cried

Dear Donnie
Last night I cried. I cried a lot. It was a rough day. Every little thing reminded me of you I miss you everyday but some days are worse than others. Some days it is just too much. I went to see you yesterday, I talked to you as I always do. Could you hear me? Sometimes the words flow so freely and other times I don’t know where to begin because I have so much to say to you.

The day didn’t start out too badly but it just seemed to unravel on me. There was nothing remarkable that started it off, it’s just doing it all without you. The small everyday things. I miss you. I need you. The grief came in waves and the tears flowed so freely. I just don’t know how I am supposed to get thru this without you. Yet here I am this morning, still moving, still trying.

It’s been 75 days since you were here with me. Some days it feels like a lifetime and some days I still can’t believe that you are gone. Although I try not to think about that last day or even those last weeks, it has played like a movie in my head a thousand times, when I least expect it and I don’t know if it will ever stop. In the days leading up to it, you knew it was going to happen and you were worried about me and if I would be ok. On that last day as I lay in the bed next to you holding your hand, I believe with all of my heart that you heard every word that I spoke to you. I know that you knew how much I would miss you and how much I loved you and that I always would. I told you that we would be ok but I don’t know that I believe that. How can I ever be ok without you? There were so many times that you told me that I would be. I wish I had the confidence and faith in myself that you did.

There were so many more things for us to do, our future plans and dreams. Even though we knew our time was limited, I wasn’t ready for you to go, but I would never be ready. Still wanting one more hug, one more kiss, to hear your laugh just one more time. For 18 months we stared this monster in the face with you valiantly fighting the whole time. But we both knew it was a battle that you could not win. Oh how much I love you for fighting so hard for me. But I expected nothing less because you always did everything with me in mind. There was no doubt about how much you loved me.

I know that you are here, still with me, watching over me. The smallest things remind me of you. I want to call you at least a dozen times a day to tell you something. People say that they don’t know how I am functioning day to day. Sometimes I don’t know. But I pushed you to live for so long and now I feel like you are pushing me to live now so I keep trying. I know it is what you want me to do and I don’t want to disappoint you.

I still love you and that will never change. I will love you everyday of my life. Thank you for being everything that I ever needed.

I love you
Always and forever
Robin

Monday, June 29, 2009

I want nothing more than to hear his voice or see him walk thru the door at the end of the day. I want someone to wake me and tell me that this isn’t real , that this didn’t happen. There are so many questions that will never be answered. The what if’s and the what now and why him.

I get up every day and I try. I find reason to get out of bed. I try to find a reason to smile. I make myself do things that I know I will enjoy. It’s what I need to do. It is what I WANT to do. Its what HE wanted me to do. I just wish it didn’t hurt so much..


How do I keep moving forward without him? Honestly, if he had not pushed me so hard to try to move on with my life, I would still be in bed with the covers over my head. But I figure, I pushed him for 18 months and he fought so hard for me that the least I can do is try to do what he wanted me to do. I only wish I had his courage. It just feels wrong without him

A very big part of me died when Donnie died and what’s left of me is trying to figure out how to live again. I know that each step that I take without him will be painful for quite a while. But what I am hoping is that each obstacle that I overcome and each time I get up after I fall, I get a little bit stronger and the next time it won’t be so hard. Thankfully I am surrounded by people who love me, who help me up when I fall. I don’t know what I would do without them.

I’m still searching for my “one day” Each day, I continue to try, I get out of bed, I smile, I laugh, I cry and I miss him so very much. I’m still lost but hopefully “one day” I will be able to look inside myself and find “me” again.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Still searching

I am still searching. Searching for a place in my heart that doesn’t hurt. Seeking the courage to get up every day and keep trying without him. Looking for some sort of normal and feeling my heart break every day because it needs him here with me.

How is wish that I would wake up and this would have all been just a nightmare. But as the dawn of each new day arrives, along with it comes the awful truth and the pain that it brings with it.

Words can’t describe the emptiness that I feel and how deafening the silence is. The fear of spending the rest of my life without him is now my reality. Cancer has robbed us of our happily ever after. I cling desperately to my faith,praying that I will find the strength to somehow move on and live the life that he wants me to live. I just wish it didn’t hurt so much.

It’s been said that time heals all wounds. But honestly I don’t believe that. I don’t think that time heals our wounds, but my hope is that one day I will learn to live with this pain and the cross I have been given to bear. One day at a time, one hour and sometimes even one minute at a time. Taking small steps and continuing to put one foot in front of the other and each time I stumble and fall,seeking the courage and the strength to pull myself back up and accept the path that is before me. Leaving behind a part of myself and still bringing him with me .Letting go of the life that I had planned. Drying my eyes yet again ,facing my fears and hoping that I am stronger than I think I am. Finding the confidence in myself that Donnie had in me. Realizing that giving up isn’t the same as letting go. Holding on to those precious memories and cherishing each moment of the gift of love that I was given. Hoping that one day the light will shine brighter and I will be able to see more than just the next step and praying that Donnie will be with me all the while, helping me to find my way.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

I miss him

I miss the sound of his voice
And the touch of his hand

I miss his laugh and how
His eyes lit up when he smiled

I miss the way he wrapped his
Arms around me and made the world go away

I miss the way he would get so exasperated with me
But then just sigh and smile . he could never be mad at me.

I miss the way he supported me
Even when he didn’t agree with what I was doing

I miss the way he let me hog the bed and
I even miss him snoring next to me.

I miss our shared dreams and the promise
Of growing old together.

I miss our silly disagreements and his crazy
Sense of humor.

I miss his love of life and his courage in the
Face of adversity.

I miss the way that he never met a stranger
And everyone loved him so

I miss how his strong sense of character and
How he made me a better person.

I miss his selflessness and his giving spirit.

I miss his ability to make the best of any situation.

I miss the way that he loved his family and put us
First, even before himself.

I miss the way that he loved me like I was the center of his world.
I miss him…….

Monday, June 1, 2009

searching for me

I’ve been told so many times throughout my life that everything happens for a reason. And a big part of me believes that. I just don’t know that I can ever understand the reason that I have been given this cross to bear.

I am searching for answers, searching for my one day, searching for my new normal. But the last 2 years have been such turmoil I wonder if that can ever happen.

I feel like each time I take a step, I fall. But I get back up. Hopefully each time I get back up it will make me stronger and maybe one day I will be strong enough to bear this cross I have been given

It’s been 7 weeks since I’ve seen Donnie. It feels like an eternity. Time ticks by so slowly when you are in pain. Minutes can seem like hours. Not a day goes by that I haven’t missed him terribly. Not a day has gone by that I haven’t called his phone to listen to his voicemail because I miss the sound of his voice. Some days I call many times.

I am confused as to how I am supposed to move on with my life without him. He was my best friend. We shared everything. So many times each day I want to call him to tell him about what is going on in my day. I wonder how and when I will ever feel like “me” again without him.

I know what he wanted me to do. He told me. Many times in fact. He wanted me to be able to move on with my life and not get caught up in my grief. He wanted me to be happy again and go on with my life. I know that is what he wanted me to do but it is easier said than done. I think he would understand how much I miss him.

But each day I get up and I try again. I try to find that new normal. It’s painful, each step I take without him is so hard. It would be so much easier to crawl in the bed and shut out the world. But it wasn’t what he wanted me to do. And honestly it’s not what I want to do either. So I take each day as it comes and I keep flashlight walking and hopefully it will get atleast a little bit easier everyday and maybe one day I will be able to see further than just a few steps ahead.

So even though it isn’t easy, I get out of bed each day and search for “me” and that new normal and I hope that it will come. Still looking for that “one day”. But until that day comes, the one thing that brings me comfort is that one day I know that I will see him again. And what a great day that will be.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

one day

One day

One day, I want to get thru a full day without crying.

One day, I want to smile without feeling guilty
One day, I want getting out of bed to not be such a struggle.

One day, I want normal everyday things to not seem like monumental tasks.

One day I want to be able to smile when I remember Donnie and not cry.

One day I want to not feel so alone.

One day I want to feel like I am not being judged

One day, I want to find a new normal.

One day, I want to not be so overwhelmed by life

One day, I want to be able to sleep again.

One day, I want to feel that it is ok to start living again.

One day, I want to enjoy life again.

One day, I want to learn how to live with this hurt.

One day, I don’t want to have to pretend that I am ok.

One day, I want to be happy again.

One day I want peace and quiet to not be such a lonely place


Maybe, One Day…………………..

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Nighttime is the worst. It is so hard for me to sleep without him here next to me.

People always ask "how are you?" if I said that I was good, I would be lying. So I give the standard "I'm ok" response even though it isn't the truth.Or I will say, "I miss him" and their response is "but he isn't suffering anymore" I know that they mean well but honestly, I don't miss him suffering. I miss the 13 plus years of our life before that. I miss him snoring next to me. I miss him holding my hand. I miss his 10 daily phone calls to me that always ended in I love you. I miss watching him play on the floor with Caley. I miss the way his eyes lit up when he laughed. I miss the way he could wrap his arms around me and tell me that everything was going to be ok and he could make the whole world go away. I miss my best friend, my partner, my soul mate and the love of my life!! I miss him. I miss so many things.

the silence without him here is deafening. it is almost unbearable. I am lost and don't know what to do without him.I get up each day and I get dressed and put on a good front most of the time but every step is a struggle without him.

I thought that I wouldn't make Justins graduation Thursday because I couldn't stop sobbing. I was so proud of Justin but at the same time was so broken hearted because Donnie wasn't here to share it with us. he wasn't able to sit next to me and applaud Justin's accomplishments. He was always so proud of him. I managed to make it thru graduation without sobbing but then sobbed all the way home. Justin's graduation party was Saturday. I think he had a good time. We smiled and we laughed and i came home and cried for almost 2 hours because it felt so wrong for Donnie not to be there.

I know that Donnie wouldn't want me to be so sad but at the same time, I know that he would understand. He was such a part of my soul. He was such a part of me and my world and there is a huge void there. Part of me is missing.

Today, I had an "aha" moment of exactly how alone I am without him. Everyone will tell me that I am not alone in this, but I am. I was Donnie's "number1" and he was mine. I'm not first on anyones list anymore. It doesnt mean that others don't love me, they just don't love me the way that Donnie did.

Donnie told me one of the reasons that he fell in love with me is because I was so independent. He said that when he met me that I didn't need him. I was just fine with taking care of myself. He said he admired my determination and will to take care of myself and the kids. He came into my heart and he changed that. He made me need him like I could never have imagined. I don't need him to take care of me. I need his love, without it I don't feel like me. He was my knight in shining armor and we were supposed to have our happily ever after but that isn't the way our fairy tale ended.I miss him so much.
I have been unable to write since Donnie passed. I will say that I am lost without him. I am unsure of what I am supposed to do without him. I miss him so much. There is a void in my heart and my life that no one can fill and it hurts so badly I could never describe the pain. I am getting up and going to work some now atleast. I don't sleep or eat too much but I try. I do make the effort. Everything I do seems to take a massive amount of effort. It is hard stepping back into the world without him. It is just wrong. It isn't supposed to be this way. This wasn't supposed to happen to us. I just miss everything about him. The kids seem to be getting back into a normal routine. I haven't been able to just yet. I take each day as it comes. The only way I can describe the way I am living right now is "flashlight walking" I can only see a few steps ahead of where I am at. I can't look any further, it is too overwhelming. So one step at a time. My mind knows that it will get easier in time, my heart doesn't believe it.Hopefully my will to write will come back as it was therapuetic for me during Donnie's illness. Love to all

Thursday, April 23, 2009

It has been one week today. I still have no idea how i am supposed to go on without him.

I am posting the lyrics to a song my Mercy Me that describe exactly how I feel today. If you have never heard it, it is my profile song on my myspace page.
www.myspace.com/robinlbr

Homesick
You're in a better place, I've heard a thousand times
And at least a thousand times I've rejoiced for you
But the reason why I'm broken, the reason why I cry
Is how long must I wait to be with you

I close my eyes and I see your face
If home's where my heart is then I'm out of place
Lord, won't you give me strength to make it through somehow
I've never been more homesick than now

Help me Lord cause I don't understand your ways
The reason why I wonder if I'll ever know
But, even if you showed me, the hurt would be the same
Cause I'm still here so far away from home

I close my eyes and I see your face
If home's where my heart is then I'm out of place
Lord, won't you give me strength to make it through somehow
I've never been more homesick than now

In Christ, there are no goodbye
And in Christ, there is no end
So I'll hold onto Jesus with all that I have
To see you again
To see you again

And I close my eyes and I see your face
If home's where my heart is then I'm out of place
Lord, won't you give me strength to make it through somehow
Won't you give me strength to make it through somehow
Won't you give me strength to make it through somehow

I've never been more homesick than now

Monday, April 20, 2009

Today was the 2nd worst day of my life. The worst was the day Donnie left me. How do I say goodbye to my soulmate? I am so lost without him. I don't know what to do with myself. The last few days are very much a blur. How am I supposed to continue on without him? My heart hurts so badly.I was truly touched by the number of people who came to pay their respects to Donnie. So many came from far away to pay their last respects to him. He touched so many lives. So many people loved him. Everyone has a Donnie story. There were so many wonderful things said about him. I was so proud to be his wife. I always have been. Now I sit and try to figure out who I am without him. I don't even know if I know how to be me without him. He was such a part of me and still is and always will be.Thank you to everyone for your support and wishes and prayers. They mean so much to me. I am at a loss for words, that is so unlike me so I will end this with my usual.
Love to all
Keep praying
Robin

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Donnie's arrangement..s have been updated as follows..
.Wake: Sunday, April 19th from 5-9
Visiting: Monday 10-12:30& Services at 12:30, at Ourso Funeral Home.
Burial will follow at Hope Haven Garden of Memories, on Hwy. 30 in Gonzales.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Thank you to everyone for your love and support. It means so very much to me and our family and I know what it would mean alot to Donnie as well.
Donnie fought a long and courageous battle against this cancer and I can honestly say he never complained. He showed so many of us what true courage was. He lived every day of the last 18 months like he didn't have cancer. He didn't want people to treat him any differently and they didn't. He had cancer but it didn't have him. During his fight he became our hero and last night he became our angel. He knew it was time and he was ready to go and he was surrounded by the people who loved him the most. He is at peace now and though I miss him so very much right now and I will forever, I am glad that he isn't suffering anymore.
The last week was hard on him but he was a true fighter.I can't imagine my world without Donnie. He is truly my soulmate and I am so lost that I don't know what to do. I am broken . I never knew that I could feel such physical pain from losing someone. I feel that my heart was ripped from my chest and thought I would never be able to breathe again.. I don't know how I will ever get thru this. I keep asking Donnie to help me and give me strength as he always did. I am sure that he will help me find it.

With that being said, I consider myself very fortunate to have been loved by Donnie. Before him, I never knew that I was worthy of such love. I am so proud to be his wife. He is the most amazing man I have ever known and this world just won't be the same without him in it. Donnie never met a stranger and I can honestly say I have never known of one person who didn't like Donnie. He was just that kind of man that drew you into him with his charm. He is the best thing that ever happened to me and I was blessed to have him. I am thankful that we were able to say our goodbyes. Donnie was able to tell the kids everything he needed them to know. He and I shared all the things that we needed to said all the things that we wanted to say and I know that there are no words left unspoken between us. I will cherish that for the rest of my life.

One of the last things that he told me when he was coherent was how much he loved me "always and forever' and he wanted to make sure I never forgot that. He told me he would wait for me on the other side of the path.

Rest in Peace my love and wait for me on the other side of that path where we will share our always and forever.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

I have tried to write an update several times over the last week. I will start and then I just can't finish it. It has been a tough week. for Donnie and for me. I am physically and mentally exhausted.
Donnie is tired. He has had times that his pain has gotten away from him. He tends not to want to take something for fear it will knock him out and then he waits too long to tell me he is hurting. He usually gets up for atleast an hour every morning , sometimes more but after a few hours at the most, he is usually back in bed the rest of the day.
The medicine makes him quite confused at times. It is hard. Hard to see him so confused.
We do try to make the most out of the time that we have together and spend whatever waking time he has enjoying each others company as much as possible. Still during all of this, Donnie is worried about me. Shows you the kind of man that he is. He is worried about how me and the kids will be after he is gone and how hard it will be for us to lose him.
He has had a few visitors. Although there were several days this week, he refused any visitors. He was just in too much pain (Sorry Matt) He had several visitors today and over did it because he didn't want to miss out on anyone or anything. He is still making sure that he says the things that he wants to say to people.
I have been sick this last week which hasn't made things any easier. I am just exhausted. And I still find myself questioning WHY? I know that God has a plan. I just can't see it right now and am sometimes struggling.
Thank you to Donnie's NTS family for the flowers and plants and lottery tickets every couple of days. They sure help to lighten his spirits and the room.
I don't have much else to post today. This has been a post that has taken atleast 5 times to finish so I need to go ahead and post it.
I hope everyone has a Happy Easter.
Love to all
Keep praying
Robin

Saturday, April 4, 2009


Donnie finally came home yesterday around 1:00. We had to wait for insurance and hospice approval and everything to be straight. The most important thing was making sure he was able to come home with a pain pump to control his pain. So we spent one last night in the hospital. They finally got us cleared to go around 12:00. I woke Donnie and told him that we were cleared to go home. He stretched his arms out and said "thank God, I get to go home"
They gave him quite a bit of pain meds to last him until we got home and got him on the pain pump. My brother Todd and friend Lisa made sure that the room was ready for when the hospital bed was delivered. He was fitful on the way home but it was an uneventful ride.
We got home and pulled up to the front door and you could see the joy on his face to be home. he wanted immediately in his recliner, then the couch, he couldn't make up his mind. It took a moment to get him settled. They got his pain pump hooked up and he mostly slept off and on the rest of the day. He slept so soundly, I guess he just needed to be at home. He was a bit out of it from the pain meds and was up and down throughout the night. He gets quite confused from the medicine. Needless to say it was a sleepless night, for me at least. I seem to be the only one who he will let help him as I can decipher what he is trying to say when can't make out the right words.
It was a long and emotional day for all of us. It was good to see him so happy to be home but so bittersweet at the same time for we knew what it meant.
Yesterday and today were the garage sale/jambalaya sale that was put on by our family and friends as a fundraiser. All I can say is that is was a huge success and we are deeply touched and thankful to be blessed with so many people who love and support us. Our community has just been amazing.
Donnie was up early this morning and was determined to be alert as much as possible and enjoy the family around him. He got up and had coffee with us and I wish I would have been prepared with the video camera for when Caley saw him. He tried to hold her in the chair but wasn't strong enough too so he sat down on the floor with her. She just couldn't get her arms around his neck enough. I don't know who was happier. Him or her. It was a beautiful moment to witness. It tugged at all of our heart strings.
He stayed awake for about 3 hours and was pretty lucid. He had moments of confusion but overall it was very good. We all needed it. He took a nap for a few hours and got up again for an hour or so. He got up 2 or 3 times today for brief periods. He sat on the swing momentarily and napped in his recliner. It was a good day for him but he was extremely exhausted. I think he was just so happy to be home. His pain seems to be fairly well controlled.


Some special notes to some special people.
To the staff at the oncology unit at Baton Rouge General. I cannot express how touched I was by the way that you all cared for Donnie and for me. It is refreshing to see people that do their jobs for the reason that they care for their patients. I think they have some very special people there and we can never say thank you enough for the difference that they made. Dustin, Cinda, Jamie, Tim, Trudy, Leslie, Tosha, Kim, Kim, Beth, Barbara, Rachel, Bruce, Kory, Chelsia, Maya, Jose, Angela and I know that I am bound to be forgetting someone but THANK YOU.


To our friends and family - I don't know where we would be without all of your support. Shelia for being Donnie's hospice nurse, Lisa, Mom, Shantel, Justin, Courtney, David, Daddy, Cheryl,Paige, Melissa, Missy , Sharon , Joyce, Sis, Bama, Bones, Bill, Danny and anyone else I am forgetting to mention. Thank you for working so hard to make today such a success. I know that everything that you did took time away from your family and we very much appreciate it and love you all.


Thank you to everyone for respecting our space and time as a family. Again if you want to see Donnie, please call me to see if he is up to visitors first. Thank you so much for understanding how hard this is for all of us.



God Bless you all and keep praying that Donnie will have many good days to spend with his family!
Love to all
Robin

Thursday, April 2, 2009

the toughest decision

I write today's blog with a heavy heart. It has been a rough week. Donnie made the decision today to stop treatment and go home with hospice. He is tired and wants to spend whatever time that he has left at home with his family.
I cannot thank all of you enough for your love and support of Donnie and I thru this. I ask that you continue to pray for God to ease his pain and give him quality time with our children and our family. As much as everyone wants to see and talk to Donnie. We ask that you give us a little bit of space to deal with the days ahead. If you would like to see or speak to Donnie please call me first to see if he would be up to it.. He has asked for no visitors right now.
please keep praying for our children as they are having a difficult time with this. please pray for strenth for me to be everything that Donnie needs me to be in the days ahead. he has always been everything that I have ever needed. My heart is his and it always will be.

keep praying
love to all
Robin

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

I think today is day 25 here. We thought Donnie would be in the hospital for a few days, a week at most. We never dreamed he would be here a month. He has had a rough few days. They finally seem to have his pain under better control but he is pretty heavily sedated most of the time. please continue to pray that this radiation will ease his pain so he can go home where he wants to be.
Love to all
Robin

Monday, March 30, 2009

Donnie is having a rough day. He woke up around 2 this morning in pain. He was up until about4:30 before going back to sleep and then was nauseated once he woke back up. I noticed last Thursday his left foot was a bit swollen. Then yesterday I noticed that the right foot and calf had swollen as well. Things went from bad to worse over night. When he got up this morning, I noticed swelling higher in his legs but also his arms. The dr said his liver numbers went back up a bit. That could be why he has more pain. It could also be contributing to why he is swelling. I don't remember exactly how he explained it but something with the protien and liver function. Anyway, they took him off of the fluids that they were giving him and are going to give him a diuretic to help get rid of some of this fluid that he is retaining.They took him down for radiation about 2 and he ended up getting sick before they could even do anything. Bu..t, afterwards he said he felt better. So they were able to do the radiation. H..e is resting now and dreaming. he is talking in his sleep again.Hopefully this is just one of those bad days and things will look up tomorrow. He had such a good day yesterdy that I was hopeful that today would be good too. But all we can do is take one day at a time and hope that the next one is good.Thanks again for all of your support and prayers. It means so much to Donnie and me.Keep prayingLove to allRobin

Saturday, March 28, 2009

I'm sorry it has been so long since I posted a blog. It's been a difficult week. Donnie.. started radiation on Wednesday. I..t made him quite ill. He had radiation again Thursday and again on Friday. He didn't get sick those days. Seems that they got the naseau medicine combination.. right. He is quite tired though. He has been sleeping alot. During.. the day atleast. He likes to keep me up at night.
they increased his pain pump meds today. I was hoping that by this time, we would be decreasing them. I am afraid to mention the word home or speculate when we may be able to go. I don't want to get my hopes up. The important thing is Donnie is where he needs to be to control his pain.

I can say, I miss my kids. They come up and visit but it isn't the same as being
at home with them everyday. Thank goodness that they are self sufficient and have people looking after them. But they don't want me to come home without Donnie. They want me to stay with him.
Not much else going on here. They don't give him radiation on the weekends to give his body a break. As of right now, they have 14 total scheduled. He will have one each day Monday thru Friday. they did say that could change. We just have to take one day at a time. I hope that it starts shrinking the lymph nodes to ease his pain.Althou..gh he is sleeping alot, he is determined to make me experience hypothermia... I swear he keeps the room so cold that I could rent it out as a meat locker. Who needs an icebox? I am dressed for a blizzard and wrapped in blankets all day and night. But, if it makes him comfortable.., I will continue to deal with it. Sometimes, I just have to go out into the hall to thaw out. Maybe I should go buy a parka.
Not much else to report here, I will update more when we have news. Thank you to everyone for all.. of your love and support. it mean so much to us
love to all ..
Keep praying
Robin

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

I thought that we would be able to go home today but Donnie's pain got really out of control last night. He decided about 3 a.m. that he wasn't ready to go home. The dr came in this am and said that he thinks that the lymph nodes growing in Donnie's abdomen are what are causing probably 90% of his pain at this point. If we go home, his pain is going to stay at the level it is or only get worse. Our only option is radiation. They are going to try to radiate those lymph nodes to try to shrink them and see if that will help alleviate his pain. Granted at this point, we know that there is no cure, I still pray for a miracle. He will have his first radiation treatment tomorrow afternoon. If it works he probably won't see any break in his pain until late next week. But then you get to deal with the side effects of radiation. Hopefully it will give him some relief. It has been a long day. I am off to bed soon.Love to all keep praying Robin

Sunday, March 22, 2009

2 weeks today. It seems like forever. I did go home for a couple of hours yesterday and I worried about him the whole time I was gone.
His night was really bad. Seems like so long before his pain was under control. I will be honest, it scared me. It hasn't been that hard before to get under control. I hope that tonight is better.
He had another test today. An upper GI series? He drank the barium and then they took xrays as it moved thru his intestines. It took almost all day, they kept coming back to get more xrays. I am assuming and hoping that we get the results back tomorrow. Things seem to be moving, they said the barium could actually help him. I am hoping that the test shows them what is the matter so we can get him fixed and home!!
I am really hoping that we go home tomorrow. I know I have said that since we have been here but I REALLY hope he gets to go home. He wants to go home so badly. I do too.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Today is day 10 in the hospital. I feel like we have been here a month.
Donnie had a rough night last night. We had hoped to go home yesterday but I am glad that we didn't because he was in a lot of pain last night and I don't think that we would have been able to manage that pain on our own last night.
He got 2 more units of blood. I don't know if his red blood cell count is still going down or not. they took blood this morning so I guess we will know later.
His liver levels are still getting better (at least they were yesterday) but it seems all the medication is taking a toll on his intestines. I swear, we get one problem fixed and another comes up.
Hopefully they will get everything worked out for him soon. I hate to see him hurting.
keep praying
love to all
Robin

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Donnie had his procedure this morning. they are still unsure of where he might be oozing or leaking blood from. It could be from his actual tumor. they really weren't able to tell much. they are giving him more blood this evening and will recheck his levels tomorrow. not a wole lot else to report. It's been a long week. I will update when I know more.
Love to all
Keep praying
Robin

Saturday, March 14, 2009

I wish I could say that I was writing this from home but I can't say that I am. Donnie received 3 units of blood 2 days ago. He seemed to be doing better but I noticed that his abdomen was swollen last night. he slept the whole night but woke up this morning and was sick. he was throwing up blood. not alot but just the same. Dr Castine came in this morning and said that yesterday his blood cell count had gone up after receiving the blood. today it had gone down again. means that something is leaking or oozing blood in his stomach. He said it isn't bleeding out fast but still needs to be tended to today. we are waiting on the GI dr to come in. Dr Castine thinks that they will go down his throat with a scope again today to try to locate the source of the bleeding and see about stopping it. he will more than likely need more blood again tomorrow. we will be atleast a few more days here if everything goes as planned. we will have to take one day at a time. I will update when we know more.
love to all
Keep praying
Robin

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Donnie seemed to sleep a little better last night. They somewhat have his pain under control with pain meds. His liver levels are getting better. His color is a little better but his eyes are still pretty yellow. His iron counts are still dropping so they are going to give him some blood today. He may be able to go home tomorrow but the dr said we would have to take things one day at a time and see how things are tomorrow.
not much else to report
keep praying
love to all
Robin

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Donnie did good with his surgery/procedure today. It took 3 hours. I was beside myself waiting. I think I wore out a piece of carpet in the waiting area. I did good for the first hour and a half. After that, I was crazy with worry. They predicted that it could take an hour or more but they had problems with the scope equipment that sent them scrambling to get more equipment to get him finished. But anyway the dr was pleased with what he did and what he found. They put in a permanent stent in his bile duct. They believe that lymph nodes were pressing against the duct and had closed it off. His pancreas was irratated but still ok. He is in quite a bit of pain tonight but they think that will get better in the next 24 hours as long as his pancreas doesn't get inflamed. He will be in here atleast a couple more days. They want to make sure all of his numbers are going down like they should and that they have his pain under control before they send him home. Although he is still very jaundiced (his eyes are like nothing I have ever seen!!!) that should get better tomorrow and continue to keep getting better until he gets his color back.
The kids are holding their own at home. I am so proud of them. I feel terrible for not being home with them, seems like we are always gone, to Houston or now here but they understand that Donnie needs me to be here taking care of him and I think they might be mad at me if I left him alone to come home. I can honestly say we have a great support system. Family and friends are looking in on them and feeding them and whatever else they may need. (Thank you so much!!!)
Thats about all I have to report tonight. I will update as things progress. Thank you to everyone for your support, your love and your prayers. It means so very much to us.
love to all
Keep praying
Robin

Monday, March 9, 2009

a setback

Well, looks like we had a minor setback. We left after work Friday to go see Donnie's Mom and brothers in Mississippi for the weekend. Saturday Donnie started getting jaundiced. I called the dr. they assured me as long as he wasn't running fever he could finish his visit and come in Sunday when he got home. They admitted him to the hospital last night and started fluids. He hasn't been eating or drinking anything because he has been in so much pain. His pain has really escalated over the last week and become unbearable. I was hoping maybe that they may be able to get his pain under control and help him get some sleep here. Not quite there yet. the pain is still an issue. so is sleeping. anyway, tests today show that he has a blockage in his bile duct. he also has pancreatitis. he is on a clear liquid diet and will have a stent put in tomorrow afternoon. Hopefully this will clear things up so his liver will function properly and also give him some relief. We haven't heard from the insurance about his trail yet but that is on the back burner until we get these issues resolved. We will probably be in the hopital a couple more days depepnding on if the procedure goes as planned. They did tell us other things could come up.
I will update when I know more.
Keep praying
love to all
Robin

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

We are back from Houston already. It was another "slingshot" trip. We left after work yesterday and went to the new dr's this morning. We met with Donnie's new dr and discussed clinical trials and what we hoped that we could accomplish.

Donnie does qualify for a trial that they are doing there. It is a combination of 3 drugs that are already FDA approved. They just havent been tried together this way. It is a very expensive treatment and the insurance may deny it because of one of the drugs. Hopefully, they won't.

Once they get the insurance approved, we will go back, he will have blood tests done, an EKG and if that is all ok he will start the new treatments. He will have to have treatment every 4 days. I know, every 4 days. Wow, that is a lot of traveling. But we are willing to do whatever it takes to fight this disease.

We were told that they would have an answer about insurance within 3-5 days.

Say extra prayers that the insurance comes thru. I am off to bed now. I am exhausted!!!

Keep praying

love to all
Robin