Saturday, January 15, 2011

Saturday January 15, 2011

I don't have much time to write. A new semester has begun, and my load is a heavy one. However, despite the work involved, I am so thankful I get the opportunity to pursue the career of my dreams. It is means to an end. I just have to focus on the end. (0:

The struggles keep coming. Just when you think you made it over one hurdle, another one surfaces. I feel like that is the way of our life. I know we aren't alone in this. Everyone has challenges. It is through the support of one another that we are able to get over those hurdles and keep on moving forward. I want to thank everyone who has supported our family over the past year. We have some amazing friends and family who keep us going. We couldn't have done what we did without such angels in our life.

I sometimes wonder if I should write about my struggles. I don't want to appear weak or ungrateful. I hope I don't ever come across as a weak person. I am trying so hard to be strong and face all life has to throw at me with faith and courage. Right now, my nemesis is depression. It seems like when I pull myself out of one down moment, another one hits me in the face, and I bottom out again. I feel bad when I do get down because we truly have a lot to be thankful for. I do express gratitude on a daily basis for the good things in our life. However, sometimes when those low moments hit, it is all I can do to put a smile on my face. Let's just say, I am the queen of "fake it until you make it." Right now is one of those times. Jason is struggling at work. He isn't happy. And he hasn't had the success he desires. I worry about him every day. He needs me to be on top of the world to help him feel good about himself. I haven't been. Our poor little Spencer is a mess right now. He started having horrible stomach aches in November. They got so bad, I took him to the doctor to see what was wrong. The doctor didn't find anything wrong. After talking with Spencer, he decided perhaps we were dealing with anxiety. That is possible. I still struggle with that, and it can make you feel horrible! I tried to get Spencer into a counselor at school, but that didn't happen until yesterday. I am hoping with the counselor helping Spencer, he will be able to feel better once again and be happy. For those of you who know our Spencer, he is not an unhappy kid. He is very happy go lucky, but lately, he cries every day. His stomach hurts on a daily basis. It is all we can do to get him through school. For the past week, I have been bringing him home from school with me for lunch time. I figured until he gets some tools to help him cope, I will do all I can to help him out. He misses his old life in Nampa, especially all the wonderful friends he had there. School here is not as fun, and he is struggling with all the changes. We all are. There is a huge hole we can't avoid. It hurts all the time. You never know what will make you sad, or what will drag you down. My poor boys feel that too. It is one thing to lose someone you love so much. We got through Ashley's death and her burial. We survived our move here. But now, we have to deal with the hole that is left. And it plain out stinks!!! The tears come almost every day. The only thing that helps me is the knowledge that if we can get through this trial, the sun will shine once again. It always does. You just have to get through the storm first. The storm seems to continue on, and we are doing our best to hunker down and wait for the light. Thank goodness for all the wonderful examples in this world of faith and courage. There are so many Heavenly Father has placed in my life. Thank goodness for family, for friends, for the gospel of Jesus Christ. I pray every day I can endure the depression, the anguish, the worry, the aches and pains of my stupid physical body, the self-doubt, etc and stay strong. I pray I will never lose site of the eternal perspective. Truly, the eternal perspective is the only thing that is keeping me going right now. At times, I get so down, I just want to evaporate and escape this life. At those times, when I pour my heart out to God, the peace always comes. It is enough to help me get up and keep on moving forward. The pain might not go away. The ache might remain, but I feel enough strength, I know I can survive one more day. The sun will shine again. We all have to believe that.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Saturday January 1, 2011

It is so hard to believe it has been almost a year since we buried our little angel. I wish I could say time dulls the pain. But it doesn't. The ache, the longing to see Ashley's beautiful smile and sparkly eyes, to buy her cute clothes and take her on mommy/daughter outings: it never leaves. It tears at your heart at the most bizzare moments: a dance recital, a grocery store, a church meeting, the doctor's office. I never know what will set me off or make me sad. I have had so many ups and downs over the Christmas holidays, I don't know what to do with myself. Jason probably doesn't either. Thankfully, we survived the holidays. I can't believe I did. Boy, that makes me sound pretty weak, doesn't it? But truly, after Thanksgiving, I didn't know how I was going to face Christmas. Everytime I looked at my Christmas things, my heart broke. It didn't seem right to be celebrating without Ashley. At times, I almost felt guilty for being happy. She suffered so much. I didn't want her to think I had forgotten her. I didn't want her to think because she was gone, life was easier or I was happier. I wanted to keep her with me as much as possible.

Christmas last year was one of sorrow. We knew it was the last time she would be with us. I left up our decorations for a long time after New Year's so Ashley could enjoy them as long as possible. I remember vividly the feelings I felt the day after Christmas, when we started weaning her off her first beta blocker. She was so unafraid. She wanted to return to her Heavenly Father so badly. Her faith was unshakeable. She new what glorious world awaited her. She knew her pain would end. As days stretched into weeks, and weeks into months, with no end to her pain, she continued to be strong. Even in her final moments, she was a brave little soul. She only thought of her mother and my comfort. It was NEVER about her or her pain. NEVER! The one part that I am still so sad about is that I didn't take the time to honor her courage and faith at her funeral. I didn't speak because I didn't think I could. I have regretted that so many times I can't number them anymore. But I can't turn back the clock. It is what it is. We did the best at that time. I know she knows how proud of her we were.

So today, happy Connie isn't so happy. I am a mess. I am starting to get a cold, which is yucky anyway. But I don't think I have made it more than an hour without shedding tears. I don't say that for anyone to feel sorry for me. HECK NO! I know there are tons of people in our world who have lost those they love. There are tons of people who suffer. My heart goes out to everyone who must walk this path of grief, who hurts or aches or cries alone in the dark of the night. It sucks!! Yes, I am using that word!! SUCKS!! Sometimes it hurts so much I want to yell! I want the pain to go away, if even for a short time. But it doesn't. It aches and hurts but life must go on. I have to get out of bed every day. I have to keep smiling and loving and serving, despite the emptiness in my heart. It is at those desperate moments that I plead to a loving Heavenly Father for comfort and strength to keep on going. I thank Him for all the time we did have, for all the memories, for all the laughs and talks. I thank Him for the angels that watched over Ashley and our family. They were there!! I have no doubt of that! There are days when I long to feel them still. There are days when I long to hug my little girl, for even five minutes. One night, not long ago, I dreamed she came back. She was able to spend one day with the family. I held her so tight!! We went for a drive and listened to her favorite jam music. It was so real!! I woke up wishing to be back in that dream. But of course, reality sank in. It was only a dream. She is free of this earth life. There are days when I envy her. How wonderful it would be to be free from cares, pain, and worry!! But then I realize what a gift life is. Life is what you make it. You can sit around feeling sorry for yourself all the time or you can make the best of your situation. You can frown, or you can smile. You can hide, or you can serve. The choice is up to us. I pray I will always make the best of all life gives to me. I don't want to disappoint my family, my angel, or my Heavenly Father. Faith in every footstep, that is what I am striving hard to have, like so many others before me!! And it is so hard, especially on those days when I am depressed and sad and feeling yucky!!

But I know I am not alone. There will always be people to help me along the way. So I keep moving forward........(0: