Friday, July 31, 2009


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

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

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.


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.