Saturday, January 13, 2018

Two thousand five hundred and fifty five days

Dear Chad,




Well, I've tried since 12-1-17 to write this letter to you and I have struggled so much this time for some reason.  Maybe it's because so much has happened over the last seven years, but regardless, here goes another attempt.
It's hard to believe you have been gone from this earth for seven years, but you have.  I truly felt that on December 1, 2010 my heart would have stopped beating, but it didn't.  The days continued, work continued, life continued and yet there are still more days than not that I feel I am merely floating through this thing called life in a fog.  I'm truly not sure that will ever change. 


I wanted to write you a letter today, although I know you will never read it, it somehow makes me feel better to tell you things I would have told you all these years.  Oh boy, has there been a lot that has happened over these seven years too.


How do I even start to fill you in.  There is no way to get the timeline accurate, but I will just share some things that I feel were big things over this time.


First and foremost you need to know that Tebo has been amazing.  He has been there every step of the way making sure I am as okay as I can be without you here.  You would be very proud of how he has loved your momma bear through all of this.


Well, I know you would be curious about BoBo and sadly, he has been through a lot and most of that has been in the last year.  He had a stroke (at least one) and a heart attack and ended up with open heart surgery.  What you won't be shocked about is the fact that he was so close to death several times and pulled through like a true Marine.  :)  The saddest part of that was his dementia not only got worse, but he was also diagnosed with emerging Alzheimer's and that has progressively gotten worse and depending on what is going on around him it is more obvious than other days, but he will sadly continue to decline.  Then you have Nana, who you know was still recovering from open heart surgery herself when you married and while hers has not progressed as much as BoBo's, you can definitely tell she is declining as well.  She has had a stroke and some additional heart surgeries and still facing at least one more, but she fell in the shower and broke her shoulder so that has unfortunately set her back quite a bit.  I have to say, Stacy and Leckey are doing a great job of taking care of them and making sure they are ok.  I wish I was in a position to be over there more, but so far I've not been a huge help.  I'm hoping once we get back from San Diego for Christmas and my hip is better (I will explain later) I will at least be able to go over on weekends and help more. 


We did finally end up selling their place (sadly not as soon as we had hoped), but they have had to move in with Aunt Stacy and Uncle Leckey and the kids and that has been more than difficult for everyone over there.  It's hard enough to know your parents have lost a lot if not all their independence, but just the added burden to Aunt Stacy's family has been tough for them all as well.  They are making the best of it and all we can do is pray it gets some better although we know the parents will only decline from here rather than improve and that's hard to know and watch. 


Poor Granny.  When I started this letter to you I was explaining how she was in the last stage of Alzheimer's and it was so sad and that Aunt Paige finds herself doing the majority of the caregiving even though PaPa is still there.  However, Christmas Day she got really sick and wasn't acting just right to they took her to the hospital and she had suffered multiple strokes, started aspirating which caused pneumonia.  She couldn't speak or explain how she felt.  Needless to say, you know this already, but she went home to be with the Lord on the 29th.  We were still in San Diego, CA trying to get a flight out to get to NC as quickly as we could.  We weren't able to get there until Sunday afternoon.  We had all the services on that Tuesday and then we had to come back home the next day.  That was hard to do for sure.  It's all truly very sad to witness and I'm glad you aren't having to experience that heartache. (yes, you will be happy to know that I have put it in writing in my living trust/will that when I can no longer care for myself or be left alone that I am to be put in a facility, following your wishes LOL).


Ok, onto something happier.  Peanut is so grown up.  She is so beautiful and Chad, she has one of the kindest hearts and you would not only be so proud of her, but you would want to lock her up too.  She has discovered social media and boys.  LOL!  Scooter is a hoot.  He does already have some attitude, but he is so funny and he is giving his mom a fit at times, but both of them are such good kids.  You would be so proud of them both.  They both enjoy hunting (Peanut more than Scooter for sure), but they both got a deer this year.  Peanut loves to use a bow and she is good.  You would so love to just hang out with them and go hunting and fishing.  I just hate you aren't here to enjoy that with them.


Jorden graduated from nursing school and is just gorgeous (although she would never think so herself, she really is).  She is actually living in Charleston, NC right now (well when I started this letter), she has now taken a job with Connie in Georgia right now and deciding what she wants to do and where she wants to live.  I love that she can explore all her options and just enjoy life.  Can you believe that?  I'm so proud that she graduated college and is living on her own and doing so well.  She pays her own bills and is very independent.  I knew she always would be.  You should see how good she was with Granny and how good she was with BoBo.  It's really sweet.  Aunt Paige and Uncle Rodney are doing really well also.  It's been a huge strain with having to care for Granny, but they are handling it really well and now that Granny is no longer trapped in her old body, maybe they can start enjoying life a little more and have more freedom. 


So for your friends.  Well, Across the street Justin has two babies!  He named his first born Bentley Wade after you.  He now has a baby girl named Scarlett and Chad, she has RED hair!  She is so cute.  They both are so adorable. 


Tyler and Desi have two babies.  First a baby Girl named Hudson, and now a baby boy named Walker.  Adorable doesn't come close.  They are so cute and that Hudson is such a cutie, she would have you wrapped around your little finger (for the record, she has Tyler & Clint wrapped).  They are so good to come see us as much as they can.


Clint and Emily now have a new baby and guess what?  They named him William Wade after Clint and you!  Emily said he is named after his daddy and his daddy's best friend.  I just bawled (happy tears).  Chad, he is so stinking cute.  You would love him.  You would love all these littles we have around here now.  We don't get to see them as often as we would like since they are in Iowa, but every time they are in town they make a point to come see us.  Chad, all your friends loved you so much that they have now turned that love towards Tebo and I and make a point to keep us involved with their lives.  We are adoptive grandparents to so many babies and it does my heart so much good.


The Boohers have baby boys!  YES, 2 more Booher boys.  :D  We all tease them about that, but they are so cute and what's even sweeter is that they are both very close like Billy and Bobby are.  They both married really sweet girls.


Talk about a sweet girl, Dylan married a doll.  She is from Italy and she is so pretty, but she is the kind of person that you feel like you have known all your life.  She gave us great suggestions for our trip to Italy and she was absolutely correct.  We are hoping to get to see them more often since he is now stationed in Kentucky (IKR, Kentucky after Italy & Hawaii).
Work has been insane over the past several months and it's been a true struggle for me, but I'm sticking it out until I can retire or maybe do something part time.  Right now that's not in the cards, but we are really close to paying off my car and we are working to pay extra on the house in the hopes that I can sooner than later, but I'm probably still looking at 2 to 4 years. 
We sold our house!  I know!  It definitely wasn't in the plan, but Tebo thought we would just test the market before leaving for vacation and wouldn't you know, it sold in 4 days at full asking price.  I was shocked and then overwhelmed as we were in Europe and had no where to live and had to be moved out in 30 days.  Needless to say, again, Tebo came through and found us a house on an acre of land and we were able to move in the same day we moved out.  I don't know how he does that, but he never ceases to amaze me.  I'm starting to get used to the new house, but I'm still adjusting to say the least.  Yes, you have a room and yes, I put your bat behind the door first thing and put your cereal bowl in the cabinet and your no scent laundry soap in the laundry room.  I promised you I would and I have every time.  Your room isn't quite put together like I want it yet, but I will be working on that over the next few months after the squirrel hunt.  I've not been able to go up and down the stairs with my hip yet so I'm behind my schedule, but I will get it done.
As for everything else, things are pretty good.  Tia moved back in with us to save some money and hopefully buy a house.  Trevor has a roommate and stayed in their apartment.  We don't see him often so we assume that means he is doing well.  Candi and Nathan have Lil Miss and seem very happy.  We would love to see the baby more often, but they are where they need to be.  Tebo's mom is still hanging in there and while her body is wanting to give out on her, her mind is still sharp. 
Saying I miss being able to share all this with you here is an understatement.  I know you are in a far better place than I am, but I hate being on this earth without you.  I love you son and if I am breathing I am missing you.


Love,
Momma Bear


My memory same day in 2017 (you were so little)

On 12-1-17 I made our "special" meal (it's still good)


Wednesday, December 13, 2017

A letter to my husband

Babe, when you said "For better or for worse", "In sickness and in health" you probably had no idea that within the first 12 years of our marriage you would have to live up to those vows like you have.
You have not only stood by me through all of that and more, but you have done so with grace, compassion, patience, and mostly with love.
I do not deserve you or the life you have afforded me, but I will try daily to show you my gratitude. 
There aren't many people (thank goodness) that will experience the loss of a child, wife near death more than once with health issues, but you have just in the first 12 years and other trials and successes along with it.
Thank you for being my rock and balancer (literally and figuratively) in life and for loving me unconditionally and showing me that love every day of our marriage.  I just hope that I am as great at showing you how much I love you and appreciate you as you are to me.
Obviously we have no idea what life holds for our future, but whatever it might be I know we will get through it with love and encouragement just as we have thus far.


Thank you, babe.  Know that I love you and appreciate you for everything, but most for making me feel loved and taken care of always.



Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Still

Even though you are gone, I still have to get up every morning. 
I still have to put my feet on the floor and pretend everything is ok.
The world still goes on as "normal".
Work still has to be done.
I still have to care for my family and friends even though my heart breaks with every breath.
People still hurt feelings, laugh, and get mad even though all I can do is think about you and you not being here.
I still have to fake that smile and good attitude at work even though I want to crawl in a hole most days and hide away from everyone.
Parents still age and get sick and need to be cared for.
No matter how broken my heart is, I still have to live life to the best of my ability.  I don't have to like it, but I still have to do it.  :(

Monday, July 10, 2017

Tired Heart


I'm no different than most people I imagine. Sadly I'm not the only mom that has lost her child and certainly not the only person dealing with aging/sick parents or family drama but honestly lately my heart is tired. It's more tired than normal daily stuff. I can't explain it very well with words. I just know it feels tired on top of sad.

There are many days I wish I could take the part of my heart that is remaining and just make it cold and hard, however, I can't seem to do that. There are those who have the ability to do that I just don't happen to be that person but I have to admit there are some days when it feels possible.

I don't know what if anything that can truly change a heart from feeling so tired but if there is something I sure would like to know what that is.
Adding things trivial like disagreements, misunderstandings don't help, but what really makes me crazy is when these things happen and someone is so quick to de-friend or block you on social media.  Really?  I just do not get that.  Turns out it has sadly happened to me on more than one occasion and I decided the time before last if it happens I will not be allowing that person/persons to be granted back.  I don't guess I understand the reasons behind doing that.  What are you solving with that type of behavior?  If it's punishment you are trying to impose on me, it isn't working.  I don't live and die by social media by any means, but if I want to get on there and I see that someone has done that, it just frustrates me as I believe once we are adults we should be able to handle our differences a bit more mature than that, but I guess whatever floats a person's boat.  I just don't have to fall into that trap again and I won't.

Since I obviously don't have answers for any of this I will just keep doing what I've been doing and wait.  All I can really do is keep putting one foot in front of the other and continue to pray for peace and comfort as well as rest and knowledge or understanding to get me through each day.

A broken heart I can somewhat explain, but a tired heart, I have no words.
Maybe one day I will understand how to deal with this tired heart and maybe even handle it better than I feel I am today, but I can honestly say that today, I am certainly not there yet.



Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Seventh Easter

It's hard to believe this year will be the seventh Easter without you.  I know Easter was never filled with candy for you, but it was always filled with love and family.  As I sit here and reflect on Easter this year there are so many mixed emotions.  First, I'm tired of having special events or holidays or heck, any day without you.  It does NOT get easier or better regardless what people try to tell you.  It's never easy being without you and frankly I wouldn't want it to be.
What has added to my sadness this year is BoBo being in the hospital.  Don't get me wrong, at least he is just in the hospital and still with us and frankly a few weeks ago that didn't seem like it would be the case.  However, he is still sick and may never be the BoBo we had before he got sick.  That really makes me sad.
Another thing that makes me sad this year is how stress, fear, and sadness can shake up a family.  I know when we are scared or facing the unknown it can cause tension and emotions to be very high.  I would love if at those times in our lives that we could rise above and just bond and become closer, but I guess the human nature is drawn a different direction and sadly, that's how it feels parts of our family has gone. 
I love my family and I love having sisters and brothers to lean on and rejoice with when things are good, but honestly it has felt like we have been struggling to pull together.  I'm not sure why unless it is the fact that the rock of our family has been shaken and almost taken from us if this is all our way to cope or what, but it isn't fun to feel so much distance and strife exist among us.
One thing I am certain of is when the chips are down we will definitely pull together and we support each other and it is my hope and prayer that I see this happen sooner than later.  There is just enough sadness in this world and our family has been through far more than it's share of it's own sadness that I feel we deserve a chance to pull together and be as one united front again.  I have to hold out hope that this will indeed happen.
In the meantime, I will continue to do what I can to be a strong daughter, mother, sister, and Ammy until which time we all come together and until I can see you again.  Trust me, the moment we are reunited cannot come soon enough for me.  There are days that I truly ache for that day to come and I will attempt to be as patient as I possibly can for that day, but it doesn't mean it will be easy.
I hope you know that I try daily to be a better person and the best version of myself and I do a lot of that for you.  I fail many times and at times I fail miserably, but I keep trying each and every day.
I will spend Easter with BoBo in the hospital and we will both be missing you terribly, but also know that you will be having a much better Easter than any of us.  I love you sweet boy and you are missed beyond words. 

Your 1st Easter you both slept through the whole hunt at Grandmother's



BoBo in the hospital after his open heart surgery April 2017




Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Feeling Sorry

It's not what you might think.  I'm not sorry for anything.  I'm having one of those days where I'm feeling sorry for myself.  I try not to do this often, but hard as I may try, today is just one of those days when I can't control that feeling.
I dreamed over and over last night that I kept saying, "Chad is coming home!".  The dream had no substance, it was just me saying that over and over to the point that it woke me up.  I felt an overwhelming sense of sadness and maybe a touch of anger.  I am really angry inside that I had to lose him, but more sadness comes out than anger (thank goodness).
I see people these days that seem ungrateful or don't take the time to just be with the people they love (or should love) and I think about what I'm missing, my family is missing, and while Chad isn't missing it as he is in the Lord's gloriousness, I have to think if he could he would be missing us.  I'm grateful he can't feel that sadness.
I warned at the start of this blog that I was feeling sorry for myself and that's definitely what I'm doing, I will own it, but I also promise not to allow it to go on.
I think about how Chad grew up.  Trust me, he was not without the things he needed and even a lot of the things he wanted, but he didn't have the privilege of having named brand clothing, the latest in video games, cell phones, etc.  He had to buy every vehicle he had and pay his own insurance as well as pay for his cell phone bill.  Sadly, I just didn't have it to do more or I would have certainly tried.  However, I see this new generation of kids coming up and they have so much technology and some are barely talking well.  I know times have changed, I'm not that na├»ve, but it is really sad to see that relationships are changing due to technology.  Conversations aren't happening in the same way, and it feels like people are disconnected from people and only connected to their electronics.
To add insult to injury while feeling like this and feeling so much frustration, I see these "celebrities" that feel the need to bash our new president before giving him a chance to fail.  They are claiming all these things that "may" happen and yet they are creating division and tension in this country for those that are willing to listen.  Instead of marching or protesting or destroying things and even as far as making threats, how about think about the young men and women still out there fighting for you to have these rights.  How about the families that have lost loved ones in this war that is still going on by the way.   How about these young men and women that come back from war and try to integrate into civilian life and all they see is violence and discord as well as division.  Most of these young men and women are still in their early 20's.  What are we teaching them?  What are we teaching our children about respecting authority and people of position?
It's frustrating all the way around.  I should not have to live out my days without my son.  I do not like seeing all these "entitled" kids float through this world like the world owes them.  I definitely do not like celebrities using their status for their own agenda (stay out of politics) and the division and violence in this world is probably some of the saddest I've seen.  What in the world are we doing in this country?  How are we any different than third world countries with limited law and policies? 
Such a sad state we are in at this time.  I only pray it turns around and regardless who our president is, we should respect his position.  Guess what, there have been a lot of presidents I didn't like, however, I didn't take that and create chaos and build anger in this country.  I gave him (& would give her) a chance to fail before condemning him or her.  Sad, just sad.

When the tables are turned

If we live long enough and our parents live long enough, there will come a day when we have to take on the role as the "parent" if you will.  I can tell you now, that is not an easy role to take on.  Even if your parents had to do that with their parents and knew how hard it was there is a great chance they will not remember that when the tables are turned and they find themselves on that side.
To make matters even harder, you try to maintain that respect relationship of they are your parents, but then they get ugly and sometimes just down right nasty about things and you are fearful that those lines will get blurred. 
I am there now!  Not knowing how much to push and feeling hurt all the time.  It's not a good place to be in. 
I encourage anyone reading this to get your affairs in order and make sure all your wishes are in writing and legal so your children do not have to endure this with you.  It's not a good place for either party for sure.
Tebo and I are taking care of just that this week.  I feel relieved to know we are getting this taken care of.  These are never easy conversations to have, but I would much rather have them now than to wait until things take a turn and then scramble to get things in order.
It's my hope that our kids do not have to go through what myself and some of my siblings are going through today.  It's just hard in a whole different kind of way.