Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Missing him

If I'm breathing in missing him. Some days the miss hurts more than others. Lately the misses have been agonizingly painful and there is nothing that can be done about that except wait for a less painful day to come. 
He was so much of me... Well technically he was a part of me and once he was created and made his debut he took even a bigger piece. 
Oh what I would give to tell him everything going on in our lives and some of the things I would tell him he would totally call me a dork. Oh what I would give to hear him call me that today. 
No pity party happening here, just cold hard facts.  Missing him hurts and never goes away. That's just how it is. Today I just choose to express it a little more. 

How could I not miss this?  That little crooked grin and that huge heart. 
How I miss his goofy and fun side. His uncle Rodney appears to be easily persuaded to join in on some of that goofy stuff. 

How could you not miss this sight?  You can't. 
I'm so blessed with a family and a group of friends that lift me up daily (not going to lie, sometimes hourly), but there is really only so much another human being can do for this kind of painful miss. Most of that is on God to help me with and myself staying strong enough to endure the days, especially the harder ones. 

Oh how grateful I am (more than I ever thought I could have been) to have had this Christmas in 2009 with all our kids under one roof.  What a blessing this turned out to be. Thank you kids & Tebo for this priceless memory. 
For all his friends that continue to just be there for us and include us in their lives, we thank you. It makes a difference, know that. 

For my family and friends that are always there with encouragement and love. If I had the room and access at this time for all the pictures I would add them, but to get all of you in pictures added would be crazy and to me, that's amazing so thank you for that. 
Oh how I miss him sleeping in the craziest positions and still having the ability to stand up straight and walk when waking up. 
As hard and heartbreaking as this is, it was part of a bigger plan that I'm certain I will never truly understand and will never get use to, but for all those that help us remember him and miss him like we do and for continuing to love on us... Thank you and it's what keeps me going. 
Missing you, son will never go away and if you were here right now I would hug you so tight and tell you how much I love you. Because I do!  

Thursday, October 22, 2015

I'm Sorry...

Very short sentence, but powerful and for some impossible to say. 
I'm so glad I am not the kind of person who can't say "I'm Sorry". Heck, there have been times when I apologize for either no reason or reasons I'm not aware of just to make things right with a person. I've also been known to apologize for other people. 
Why is it so difficult for some to utter those little words especially when they can move mountains with another human being. 
I do not want to leave this world with so much pride or anger or whatever it is that I cannot apologize to a person. 
Stop and think for a moment when you last apologized for something. Hopefully it hasn't been very long or if it has I hope it's because you're an awesome person who never makes mistakes or hurts others, because frankly, that would ROCK!
I tend to believe that most people are good at heart and while we all make mistakes (and sometimes might not even realize it) I choose to believe that most want to do right by others. 
So, I will practice what I write and say I'm sorry if you are reading this and I've hurt you or wronged you in any way.   I prefer to say that to you face to face or over the phone and if I haven't apologized to you in one of those two manners it is because I am unaware that I have hurt or wronged you so please take this as an invitation to let me know so I can make things right.  That's all.... 

Saturday, October 17, 2015

This One is for RED!


October 19, 1987 a beautiful little red head was born to my sister, Paige.  She was truly amazing from day one.  She wasn't your ordinary child.  Her hair was the shade of red that almost looked orange in the sun and she loved it and so did everyone else.  To this day I can't see a red headed little girl without thinking of Jessica and if I see an adult woman with red hair I can't help but wonder what she would look like today.  Monday she would be 28 years old.  WOW!  That's almost hard to imagine her at 28 years old.  I do know that she would be an amazing young woman and very loving and loyal.  This I know for sure.
Jessica was so amazing for so many reasons, but the most amazing time this really showed was once she was diagnosed with brain cancer.  She was not only a trooper through the entire ordeal, but she was always smiling and would reassure everyone else that it was going to be okay.  This would have been difficult for anyone let alone a child that was 8 years old at the time.  However, she did it!  It would make you never want to complain about anything every again.
My sister did such a great job raising her.  She just ate up everything about her and did the same thing when Jorden was born 4 years after Jessica.  I can say she loves being a mom and always enjoyed every moment with her girls.  I always envied her ability to just embrace every moment and turn it into a great memory.
Jessica was very much that way as well even at a young child.  Some of my favorite memories (and there a many) happened at some of the most "non-momentous" moments.  Like, one day I had been at BoBo and Nana's house with her and Chad and although Chad was too small and not talking yet (and at a time it was okay for kids to sit in the front seat) it didn't stop Jessica ("Red") and I from chatting it up on the way back to my house.  We were just driving along at night and she looks up and says, "Ammy, one day, I'm gonna catch that moon".  I laughed and said, yes you will (or something to that affect).  I then realized she was saying that because it felt like the moon was following us.... Out of the mouths of babes.
Then one Fall we were driving back to the house (again from BoBo & Nana's) and she said, "look Ammy, the trees are bald-headed"!  I had never thought about the trees being bald-headed when the leaves fell off, but she did.
Another favorite memory with her is her special bed at Ammy's house.  I lived in a 2 bedroom trailer house at the time so I made the 2nd bathroom bath tub her bed.  We filled it full of quilts and blankets and she would just snuggle down for bed each night.  She loved it and I knew she couldn't fall out.  However, there was the one time when I hear a loud scream coming from the bathroom and ran in there to find her bed filling up with water!  Oh my, it never occurred to me (I know now that it should have) that she would turn the water on.  :)  I will say that she did that the one and only time, because she was just that good a girl.
She used nearly all of Chad's baby things like his highchair, toys, etc. before he did so it makes those memories even more special than they were at the time.
Chad and Jessica were so close that first they were cousins, then best friends.  As cute as it sounds to write and to remember even now, Chad used to tell girls growing up (elementary school and younger) that he already had a girlfriend and her name was Jessica.  I loved that and still do.
Jorden fulfilled that void for Chad and always felt he had to protect her and I love that about his heart.  Jessica had that same heart and that is why I know for sure that she would be full of love and loyalty today.
I remember Jessica this weekend before her birthday on Monday and every day, but wanted to pay a little tribute to her to celebrate what would have been her 28th birthday and still wonder what she would be doing today if she had gotten the chance to live her life.  Love you Jessie Bo, Red on the Head, KiKi, Jessica Gayle!  You were definitely Our Sunshine!  Love, Ammy
                     Jessica & Jorden
            Chad - Jessica - Timothy
            Chad - Jorden - Jessica
            Jessica & her Mom (Paige)
            Jessica & Chad - Besties
          Chad - Ammy - Red 💜

Friday, October 9, 2015

Funny thing about dates

I am one of those people that marks my calendar with any and every event, especially if it pertains to my kids or family.  So, today marked Ashley Willhoite's birthday (Happy Birthday Ashley) and also the date that Chad and Zach Willhoite's contract would have ended with the USMC 4 years ago.  I don't know why that is still on my calendar, but now there is no way I can remove that reminder.  I have it marked on my calendar the day I took Chad to Kansas City to get on that bus that would eventually get him to boot camp.  I have the date he graduated boot camp and entered SOI (school of infantry).  I have other crazy events on my calendar that most people would think, why in the world would she have that, well, that's just how I roll I guess.  Just like October 17th was the date Zach and RoRo were leaving Afghanistan and February 10, 2009 Chad left Kuwait heading to Iraq.  I still have the day Chad signed his official Marine Corps papers, July 2, 2007 and he went to Kansas City for that as well, but rode with his recruiter rather than have me drive him there.  I keep the usual birthdays, anniversaries, and special dates as well, but anything that I believe might mean something to me or someone else and I don't want to risk forgetting, I put it on my calendar with reminders.  It probably means more to me to remember than it does the person I am remembering, but that's ok by me too.
So, with that being said, we have significant dates coming up that are never easy to remember, but for me, they are very important to never forget.  Just like, October 10th marks the day our little Jessie Bo took her last breath in 1996.  She was just 9 days shy of her 9th birthday.  It just so happens that on that same day this year our other sister, Amanda and her family will be celebrating the life of her father-in-law, Larry who passed away Tuesday this week (Oct. 6th).  It will be a sad and difficult day for our family as one sister is there to encourage and lift up the other sister on a day that is going to be heart wrenching for them and just as heart wrenching for her as she remembers that same day 19 years ago when she had to say good-bye to her first born.
I feel sure that we all have certain dates that just stick with us even if it may seem small to others, but they are big to us.  I probably do have more than the average bear and I don't see that changing any time soon and I tend to believe that's ok.
I just believe that if those dates are important enough to mark your calendar then they are important, period.  I know for myself, if it happens to be a date that is significant and important to me personally and someone else takes the time to reach out or just in some small way let me know they are thinking of me on that date, it speaks volumes and I would always want others to feel the way that makes me feel when someone does that for me.
So, as this Saturday, October 10, 2015 approaches  I will be thinking of my sisters a little more than usual.  Amanda, Jeff, Caleb, & Kayla (as well as Virginia), my heart, thoughts, and prayers are with you all as you celebrate the life of your beloved Larry.  May you find peace and comfort during this sad time and reflect on all the blessings and memories you have made with him throughout the years.
Paige, my heart, thoughts, and prayers will also be with you as you stand tall and help support Amanda and her family on this very difficult day in history for you as you continue to remember Jessica and while I know the longing for her and missing her will never go away, it's my hope and prayer that you cling to all those wonderful memories you made with her as well and may there be a splash of sunshine (maybe even in the form of Jorden) to brighten your day on Saturday.
I just hate the distance makes it difficult for me to personally be there for you both, but in my heart I will be standing right beside both of you as you forge through the day on Saturday. 
I love you both and I know you hearts are breaking, but I am thankful you both have each other during this time that you can physically hug even if for a brief moment. 
              Jessica aka "Jessie Bo" 

  Our sister, Amanda & her family, Jeff,      Caleb, and Kayla 

Thinking about you all today and everyday. 

Monday, October 5, 2015

Aging in Marriage

This might seem like an odd topic for me (especially given how young I am)...  :)  However, I've always been intrigued with couples that have been married for decades and wondered, how do they do it.  How do they keep each other so happy and content that they stay through thick and thin.  I want that and I believe I have that now.  It took me many, many years to get there, but I do truly believe I have it now.
On the flip side of that, I've also seen couples that have been married a long time (decades even) who are just merely making it through each day.  Maybe they stay out of convenience or it's just easier to stay married than divorce, or they think they are too old and don't want to start over.  All reasons I am sure that are good and valid, but are they happy?
Isn't that one of the reasons we get married in the first place?  If you stop and think about how it was with your partner before you were married and how happy you felt just being with them and how you longed to be with them when you weren't.  I bet you laughed at the slightest jokes each other said, you went out of your way to make them feel special or that you were thinking of them.  I would imagine you would sit and just have conversations and enjoyed it.
It's actually pretty sad that when I see older couples (some not so old) who have just lost the ability or desire to just have good decent conversations together and laugh together. 
Have you ever thought about how you speak to your spouse rather it be in response to something they say or just trying to make a point?  I would imagine when you were dating or newly married you spoke with a kind tone.  You were most likely going out of your way to make sure you didn't hurt their feelings or at least didn't hurt their ego.  Do you still make an effort to do that today?  If not, I would encourage you to start.
Did you know that the divorce rate trends in people 50+ has more than doubled between 1990 and 2008 (an old report, but staggering) according to the Collins Attorney website.  In addition, according to the Collins Attorney website, if these trends continue by the year 2030, more than 800,000 people in the 50+ age group will experience divorce.  While this article didn't give specific reasons for divorce rates increasing in old generations, I believe some of the things I stated above drive a lot of that.
I'm so fortunate.  I feel like I found Tebo at the right time in life and I continue to find him funny, endearing, caring, considerate, and we have good conversation.  We try to always speak to each other in a kind tone of voice and truly care about each other.  We don't keep score and if there is something I know he likes around the house, I do all I can to ensure that is done. 
I do not consider myself a doormat (I've been one of those before and I'm not one now), but I also know how hard my husband works for all of us so my goal is to always make life at home as enjoyable as I possibly can.  I want home to be the place he can go and feel peace and comfort.  My daddy was/is a wise man (just ask him, he will be happy to tell you).  He told me when I was very young to always be dressed and do something to myself before my husband gets home from work (if I were home all day) and make sure the house is clean.  I work basically the same hours as Tebo does and while his job is far more stressful than mine, we are typically gone about the same amount of hours a day.  I still try to make sure when he gets home the house is clean and he has as little to worry about at home once he ends his day at the office.  If I am home all day for one reason or another, I make sure I am dressed and the house is clean and dinner is ready when he walks in the door.  He doesn't have to tell me he appreciates it, he shows me in the way he treats me and the little things he does for me on a daily basis. 
We never keep score.  It's none of this, I took the trash out last so it's your turn, etc.  It's never either of our turns.  It's us together. 
Don't get me wrong, we are not perfect by any means.  We make mistakes and there are times (although very few) that we will get frustrated with each other, but we don't make it a huge deal and we talk it out and move on.
This is what I never want to have happen to us.  I don't want to be married 20, 30, or 50 years one day and realize we don't speak a kind word to each other (or at all), or don't care about the other's happiness, or worse yet, just merely exist in the same house without communication and companionship.  I want Tebo to always feel like I am his biggest fan and he still matters to me.  I never want him to feel alone in our own home with me right there.  There are those out there according to many books and articles I've read that feel like they are just roommates with their spouse.  That is so sad and the day our spouse isn't with us any longer, I certainly don't want to stop and think, wow, I missed a lot of opportunities to just sit with him and talk and laugh. 
Regardless how long you have been married, never take for granted the love you had for each other when you decided to get married.  Find it again.  Start laughing together and enjoying each other's company again.  You won't be disappointed.
To my husband, I love you and I thank you for giving me the kind of marriage I've always longed for.  I just hope and pray I make you feel half as important and loved as you make me feel each day.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Something I'm learning and believe

I am certainly no expert on (well, on anything) marriage, but I have learned a very important thing over the years and that is, regardless how old you are or how long you've been married, your spouse needs companionship.  While I am certain I fail miserable on a regular basis with this, I truly do make a conscious effort to do my best at showing Tebo how much I appreciate him and need him, but I also want to make sure I give him the companionship he needs and deserves well into our Golden Years (daddy calls them the rusty years).

Wives & Husbands, if you don't show your spouse that you love, respect, need them, and appreciate all they do for you then you can rest assured that one day they will lean on someone who does.  I'm not saying every spouse that feels the other isn't contributing enough to the marriage that they will stray, but I do know that regardless of their age or how long you've been married they still need to have that companionship.

I've thought about this a lot in my marriage with Tebo.  I'm so fortunate to have finally found someone that truly loves me and stands by me in sickness and health and is my rock since Chad passed away.  I know I fail him daily, but