Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Dear Donnie,

It’s been 4 years since you left us.  4 years.  208 weeks or 1,461 days.   Most of the time I feel like it has been so much longer because I feel your absence SO much.  Time ticks by so slowly when you are in pain. It feels like forever.   But at the same time, I can close my eyes and picture there next to me like you always were.   I remember for atleast the first year wanting time to pass so I would be further away from the pain of losing you.  Everyone said that time heals.  So I desperately wanted time to pass by quickly so the pain would be gone.  But the pain isn’t gone.  I have learned to live with it the best that I can.  I still miss you every single day.  There is still a part of me that is missing.  I don’t feel whole anymore.  The part of me that is missing is you.

  We were so blessed to share that kind of love.   Even though it means that I hurt as much as I do with you gone, the connection between us was truly special.   The pain that continues is worth what we shared.  I would do it all over again.  Oh how I wish we would have had more time.   There are so many things that I have wanted to tell you.  There are so many things I have wanted you to see.   A day doesn’t go by that I don’t want to tell you something.   I still have that “ I need to tell Donnie that”  or  “I need to ask Donnie, he will remember”   I miss our remember whens. So much of what we shared was just you and I so I can’t “remember when” anymore. 

I wish you could see Caley now.  She has grown so much.  I can’t even believe she is in kindergarten now.  How did that happen?   She was so little when you left us.  She is such a funny girl.  She can be so silly.  I know how you would have loved to be silly with her.   She is so beautiful.   And such a good big sister.  I can’t even fathom that you haven’t met Ryder and he won’t get to know you.  He is growing like a weed and just all boy.  He is a momma’s boy but I am sure that you would having none of that.  He would be a Poppys boy, just as Caley was a Poppy’s girl. 

Shantel is such a good mom.  Still overprotective as always, but really a good mom.  And Pat’s love for Caley reminds us all of you and how you loved the kids.  How they were yours.  No matter what anyone said.

Justin has become quite the pool shark.  You would be proud.  I wish you would have had more time together so he could have learned from you.  He’s pretty good.  He pouts when I kick his butt!  HAHA.  But I always remind him that you wouldn’t have given him any slack either.

Courtney has become quite the little career woman.  Being stubborn and persistent led to her last promotion.  I think you would have called it hard headed.  She hasn’t grown any taller.  Still the short little tutti butt she always has been.  I don’t think she will ever age. 

They have all grown up so much since you were here with us.  The kids have become young adults that you would be so proud of.   Losing you changed all of us.   In ways it made us stronger, because we learned what we could endure.  It made us appreciate the little things so much more. 

We all miss you so very much.  What I wouldn’t give just to hear you laugh.  I miss that.   There are so many things that we miss. 

But even though I struggle with losing you, somehow I have come out the other side. I learned to smile without you somehow.  I didn’t think I ever would.   The pain is still there, I guess I have just managed to figure out a way for the pain and happiness to coexist somehow.   You knew I would.  You always believed in me.  And you told me that I would get to this point.   You told me it wouldn’t be easy but I would make it.   You were right.  ( Yeah yeah, I know you always were)   It still isn’t easy but I do try every day to make you proud.  I don’t always make the right decisions and I can still screw things up pretty good. ( and you aren’t here to clean it all up for me)  But I try.  I have the best intentions.

I still THANK GOD every day for the blessing you were to me.

I love you still
Always and Forever

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

5 years

Written feb 28,2013
It  just hit me this morning when I looked at the calendar. It overwhelmed me and the grief came crashing down on me all over again. 5 years ago today, Donnie and I stood together in the Valley of Fire, right outside of Vegas renewing our wedding vows. We were celebrating 10 years of marriage a little early. For he was sick and we didn't know what the future held for us. How precious those moments were to me. Here Donne was fighting for his life. How did we get here? I remember back to our wedding day. We were so young. So in love. We had the future in front of us and endless possibilities. that map of our lives was drawn out before us. Growing old together. Raising kids and then spoiling grand babies. As we said those vows, till death do us part, there was no way of knowing that we only had 11 years. In some ways 11 years is a long time. When it's the amount of time you have left to spend with your soul mate, it's gone in the blink of an eye. I remember as we danced to our wedding song with Donnie holding me in his arms, for the first time in my life, I knew I was exactly where I was supposed to be. I had never been more happy or more content. I was marrying the most amazing man I had ever met. The most amazing father. My life was falling into place to have my happily ever after. The song played and looking back at the words of that song, some are so poignant now. 
What I wouldn't give to share another dance with Donnie. Just to feel his arms around me one more time. To look into those baby blues...... I miss him so. 
And I remember standing in the desert, just he and I , 5 years ago today. Those vows had taken on a whole new meaning. In sickness, was our everyday life and till death do us part was staring us down. It was so special to reaffirm the love and the life we shared together no matter how short our life together was. We shared 14 wonderful years together here on this earth. But Donnie lives forever in my soul and I know one day, I will see him again and we can share eternity together. 
Happy anniversary Donnie! I will always love you.

Our song
Me and you (Kenny Chesney)

Ordinary no, really don't think so
Not a love this true
Common destiny, we were meant to be
Me and you

Like a perfect scene from a movie screen
We're a dream come true
Suited perfectly for eternity
Me and you

Everyday, I need you even more
And the night time too
There's no way I could ever let you go
Even if I wanted to

Everyday I live, try my best to give
All I have to you
Thank the stars above that we share this love.   

Me and you

Everyday, I need you even more
And the night time too
There's no way I could ever let you go
Even if I wanted to

Ordinary no, I really don't think so
Just a precious few
Ever make it last, get as lucky as
Me and you
Me and you

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

What dreams may come

In my last post I wrote about sitting in the closet of my house wanting to feel Donnie near me and wanting him to be able to tell me that it was ok that I had to sell the house.  I was missing him so and wanting to feel him near me. 
Well I got an email from a dear friend (family) She did not know about the post or anything I spoke of.  She had a dream.  She dreamed we had all come to her house, we had been moving and were tired and Donnie came in with us. She said he looked so good, khaki shorts, LSU shirt, full head of hair.  He wasn't sick.  She spoke to him and said we all looked at her like she was crazy and then in her dream she remembered that he had died.  She started crying telling him that he had to speak to us, that he had to let us know that he was there with us.   She said she woke up crying.  
What a special gift she gave to me.   She told Donnie he needed to tell us he was still with us.  He did.  Thru her.  
It's funny how Donnie always seems to answer me when I need it most.  I am a strong believer in the power of dreams.  
Before my grandmother passed, I had a dream that my grandfather came to me and told me that he was coming for her.   600 miles away she told my cousin to go get her shoes and her pink dress.  And when Bonnie asked her why, her response was "henry is on his way "  she died just a couple of days later.
I dreamed Donnie's death before he was even diagnosed. In my dream there was something in his chest, I didn't know what it was but I knew it was evil.  I remember screaming "GET IT OUT!GET IT OUT!" And i felt like someone was restraining me.   And it killed him.   The evil in his chest in my dream, is where his tumor was.   I had that dream 2 months before his diagnosis.  
Donnie has answered me thru dreams several times.  Just 6 weeks or so after Donnie passed, my son Justin was in a head on collision.  The truck was destroyed but Justin walked away without 1 scratch on him.   A friend of Donnies from San Antonio who I had never met emailed me that he dreamed of Donnie and Donnie told him that Justin was ok because he was with him.   I had gone to the cemetary just the day before and told Donnie what happened and asked if he was with him.   He answered me.
The day I decided to take off my wedding ring, I wasn't sure it was the right thing to do.  I struggled with the decision.   I wrote about it.  A very dear friend almost immediately emailed me begging me to call her right away.   She asked me was I in my bedroom in front of a mirror when i took off my ring.  I was.  She wanted to know if my bedroom was brown.   It was. She asked if I stood there with the box in my hand as I struggled with my decision.  I had.  There was no way for her to know any of those details.   Yet she knew them.   She had a dream the night before.   She said it was like she was inside the mirror watching me.  And as I stood there, Donnie was behind me.  Smiling. 

There were other instances that were similar to these.   He has given me several messages.

Thru Donnies battle with cancer, I became friends with a girl that ended up losing her husband shortly after I lost Donnie.   She went to see a medium.  The medium told her that our husbands would stay beside us until they knew that we would be ok. 

I had a dream about Donnie.  It was the 2nd week of May 2011.  I was in a house I had never seen before. I was standing at the kitchen sink washing dishes.  And I looked up out the window and Donnie was outside.  He was walking to his truck.   He looked so good.  He was heathly.   All of his hair.  His khakis and an LSU shirt.  I panicked.  I knew he was leaving.  I had to tell him goodbye.  I screamed WAIT!!!!!  And took off running for the door. I just had to get to him to tell him goodbye.   As I was running for the door, I stopped dead in my tracks in front of this huge picture window and he turned around.  Our eyes locked and Donnie smiled and in that moment, without saying a word, we said goodbye. No words were spoken aloud but I knew exactly what he was saying.  I woke up in tears.  It was so real.   I believe he came to me to tell me goodbye.   I believe that he knew that I would be ok. 

But even though he said goodbye to me that day.  I knew or I hoped that he still watched over me.  I wanted to know he was still there.  I wanted reassurance that he was ok with the choices I made.  And once again, when I needed him, Donnie visited Angel in her dream to let me know that he was still here,watching over us.  What an amazing gift for him to give me. 

Thank you Donnie, I still love you with all my heart and miss you every single day. 

Friday, February 8, 2013

An empty house

I walk thru this house and look around and what do I see? I see the kids on That first Christmas morning 12 years ago.  We moved in 3 days before Christmas.  It was the best gift we ever received.  Now here I stand 12 years later.  Alone. Donnie is gone and our world turned upside down. It's 4 days before Christmas and I am here in this house for the last time as I am on my way to sign the papers.  I have finally sold it.  Almost 4 years after losing Donnie, I am walking out of the home we made together.  It is bittersweet.  The house had become such a financial burden to me that I couldn't keep it.  So there was the relief of that burden being lifted.  But this was our home and I am walking away. We shared so many wonderful times here.  As I walk thru the house , I revisit those memories.......

I see our first Christmas, I see the kids first prom and homecoming pictures taken in front of the fireplace.  I can see Donnie sitting in his recliner with Caley asleep on his chest.  I see Shantel with her first car, coming in the driveway on two wheels and scaring me to no end.  I see baking cookies with the kids to give for Chritmas. I see Justin sitting in his room practicing his trombone and later his guitar.  I see the cat Izzy racing with Courtney to get to her room before Courtney shut her out.  I see the girls slumber parties, I see their fights.  I see Courtney leaning back in her chair at the table and daddy "popping"  her on back of the head. It will forever be known as the "Courtney pop" I see Caleys first steps. I watch Shantel become the most amazing Mom to that baby in that house.  I see our friends cooking on the back porch on Saturday night and playing washer boards.  I see Donnie and I snuggled up on the front porch swing watching it rain on a lazy afternoon.  I see all the family dinners and good times we shared.   I also see Donnie here sick.  I see our fight to save him.  And I feel so different here now.  I can still see all of those things.  But I don't have to be here to see them.   Strangely. This house isn't home anymore.  The home we made here is in our hearts.  We take it with us.   I walk thru this house and say goodbye to this house.   I go into Donnie's closet and close the door and sit on the floor.  There in the dark, I close my eyes and search for him.  After Donnie died I would curl up on the floor of that closet and cry at night.  It was the only place the kids couldn't hear my sobs.  And it still smelled like him even after he was gone.  Sitting here now, alone in the dark, it doesn't smell like him anymore.  I don't feel him the way I did before.    I want to.  I want him to take me in his arms and tell me it's ok.  Tell me it's ok that I had to sell the house    I want him to tell me he forgives me for letting this place go.    I want him to tell me that I have made all the best decisions that I could when he left.  I want him to tell me that I will be ok.  I want him to tell me that I can get thru losing another part of him.  I want nothing more than to hear his laughter ringing thruout this house as he chases the grand babies    Its so unfair that they won't experience here what our children did.  This was the only place that was ever truly " home" to my children and now I have taken that away from them.   I sit in the dark, alone in that empty closet, in that empty house and I cry.  I cried for everything we shared here and everything we lost.   I cry saying goodbye to the last tangible thing that Donnie and I shared.

And in all honesty, as I cry, I have hope.  I believe it is no coincidence that this house is selling almost 12 years to the day from us moving in.  I think that this house now is supposed to be home to Craig and Jennifer and their children.  They are good people.  They are in love with this house.   And I believe that it's time for this house to be home to another family.  It's time for them to make their own memories there.  And they have invited us to come to see them whenever we want to.  So in my sadness of walking away, I smile thru my tears happy with the hope that this house will bring them all the joy and happiness it brought to my family.  I hope the memories they make here sustain them for a lifetime.  The way ours will.

I have learned many things thru our journey of Donnie's cancer and losing him, but I have learned a couple of really big things.  One of them is " home isn't where you live, it's who you live with". I'm not leaving home today, it comes with me wherever I go.

I walk thru this house one more time, thru each room saying goodbye and I lock the door for the last time, I feel like I have done the right thing.  I think I have done the best that I could with the cards I was dealt. And I think the kids understand.   I hope they do at least.

Please keep myfamily in your prayers as mother battles breast cancer and my step mother continues to battle lung cancer.  I pray one day they find a cure so no one has to fight this awful beast.

For all that have followed our journey and  still do.  Thank you for your love and support.  It means so much to me.

Love to all
Keep praying