December 24, 2013

And so, this is Christmas

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , at 10:23 pm by letterstoelias

Our fifth without Elias.

Five.

I’ve had to count, and recount it over a few times to be sure, and then once again because it still doesn’t seem possible.

And, somehow, even though I’ve been through this four times already, five has been rough.  Harder than number four in some ways.  Perhaps because 5 just ‘feels’ like a more significant number…?

There are still tears.  In the shower.  After the girls are asleep.  Looking at pictures.  When a certain song or two comes on.  And, though it’s by no means ‘all’ bad – we have had plenty of fun, happiness, and made some great new memories – the weight still presses a little harder on my heart.

There are still moments where doing anything seems to take a great deal of effort, doing little things overwhelm me greatly, and so many, many things get left undone.  Time still gets lost in moments of staring silently at nothing.

It’s easy to say that I really thought I’d be ‘better’ at this by now (at least the handling of it, I mean), but I have travelled long enough on this road of grief to understand that it’s just not that cut and dry.  (I also recognize that I ‘have’ come a long way in my ability to handle things over the years – and I did manage to keep my store afloat, get the kids to all their classes/concerts/etc/etc/etc)

Greif aside, I have no doubt Christmas would be much, much different with Elias’ influence (in person, of course – he still has a strong influence around here…).  But, he was always much more ‘festive’ than I.  Even though I run a retail store that needs this month to get me through the next, I personally tend to shy away from an overly commercial Christmas (perhaps especially in the last few years it’s been harder for me to focus on ‘stuff’).  While we certainly recognize Santa, I’ve generally tried to ensure he wasn’t the main player in the season.  That he didn’t get all the credit around here.  And, sometimes I feel like a bit of a scrooge for it.

I appreciate the magic and wonder my girls have in Santa and don’t have any plans to ruin it, and sometimes feel perhaps I should just play into it more, though, they do seem to be more than happy with what happens around here, regardless.

image

I know a big part of why I don’t want them writing big ‘wish lists’ to Santa, is fear.  I know that ‘my’ one and only wish can’t be fulfilled, and though I don’t think they would ask Santa for their Daddy back (I’m pretty sure they ‘get it’ when it comes to that…), I know it is on their hearts too.  C has been talking about wanting him back constantly for a few weeks now – just two nights ago she told me she didn’t think she could go on without him any longer – and last night E asked me if I was sure that Voldemort didn’t kill Daddy…

While so many kids ask for toys, my kids already generally wish for that which I can’t give them, and I don’t want to let them down (I’m not even including having Daddy back here).  I feel like they’ve already lost so much in this life, how can I explain that Santa can’t bring you an admittance letter to Hogwarts, or grant you the ability to do real magic?  Or, a real live bunny or kitten?  (ok, technically he ‘could’ do that one, but it’s just not happening at this point in our lives)

Tonight, now that my sweet girls have finally drifted off to sleep, dreaming of a fun morning, Santa’s smoothie will get drunk.  His cookies will get eaten (along with 10 baby carrots for the reindeer), and he will fill two little stockings with plenty of fun (with a bit in Daddy’s stocking too).

I, will wrap presents.  Wintersong will play in my head on repeat, and a few tears will likely fall, among thoughts of happy memories, and imagining what Elias would do/say if he was here (remarkably clearly at times).

Tomorrow, a candle will burn, and the girls will have a fun morning.  And, though it’s not exactly as any of us wish it to be, I will try to take comfort in knowing that he’ll be smiling along with them…

~C~

Merry Christmas, my love…

P.S.  I Love You

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May 31, 2013

On The Run

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , at 10:51 pm by letterstoelias

I grew up loving dance.  Taking any classes I could from the time I was about 2yrs old, until, well, I’m still taking ballet now whenever I can.  I’ve always had a great deal of flexibility, turnout, a decent amount of strength . . . but lacked a fair bit cardiovascularly speaking.  More than a fair bit, really.

I remember dreading having to do a run every year in P.E.  One where we had to do a certain number of laps around the 400m track . . . I can’t remember how many – and probably not even ‘that’ many, but I was NOT a fan.  And though typically rather competitive by nature, I really only cared about not coming in last when it came to that run.

Somewhere over 10yrs ago, a friend and I started dong a walk/run program together.  We wanted to work our way up to some sort of distance or time, though I can’t recall now (have I mentioned how bad my memory is these days??).  We met a few times at a track near home, and would run 30seconds, then walk 4 1/2 mins, etc.  Slowly building up the running time and shortening the walk.

But, we didn’t get very far, before she got pregnant.  My brief foray into running came to a grinding halt.  Of course, it didn’t have to, but I’ve never had much motivation (or perhaps found it too boring?) to go on my own.  A few other times in my life I considered picking up my running shoes again, and that was also always fairly short lived.

* * * * *

After Elias died and I was searching out others ‘like me’ through blogs, I discovered a blog by Matt Logelin.  From there, I heard of the Liz Logelin Foundation.  A charity formed by Matt in honour of his wife Liz, who died the day after giving birth to their first child.  A charity to help widowed parents fill financial needs, and to just give them overall hope in their time of deep grief and despair.

Suffering the loss of your love, soul mate, best friend and co-parent is hard enough – believe me – without having to worry about financial burdens that can come from the loss.  Times have not always been easy for me financially, I worry a lot and watch every penny I spend, but I feel very fortunate that I have never faced the possibility of losing a roof over my girls’ heads, or food on their plates.  There are many who are not so fortunate.

The LLF is a charity that is very close to my heart, I know people whose lives have changed because of it, and I’ve seen first hand the positive impact it makes.

That is why, two years ago I decided to participate in the Run, Walk, Hope to help raise money for the LLF.  My Dad joined me, and together we did a 5k in their ‘Walk Around The World’ option (the actual event takes place in Minnesota).  I decided to create a fundraiser with that run, and was beyond excited to have raised over $200, and then my amazing Brother-In-Law matched the amount!

I hadn’t prepared for that run at all, but I did fairly well, and it was just great to be out there with my Dad, and running for a cause that I cared about and raising some good money along the way.

Back around January this year, I figured maybe with a little more ‘training’ under my belt, I could run that 5k a little better, as I knew the event was scheduled for early June.  And I figured maybe I could get into this running thing a bit more and finally improve my cardio a bit.  One of my best friends (and all around amazing and favourite people), Sian, had also started running around that time.

Then, I learned the Run, Walk Hope had added a 10k option . . .

I know that for the charity, no matter how far I go it’s all the same (for registration fees and therefor the donation), but I do enjoy a challenge now and then.

As we started to improve our times on our 5k runs (though I know I slow her down!) and challenged ourselves to go a little further, we figured maybe we could pull off the 10k.

Unfortunately, as I got so busy getting the new location of my store reno’d, my old location packed, moved, and a new grand re-opening (all good, but still crazy busy!) I didn’t have much time for anything, let alone running.

Things are just now settling back down at the store (and I LOVE the new location!), and though she can kick my ass even more now, Sian has been wonderfully patient as I’m trying to get back into it, and hopefully still be ready to try a 10k by June 8th!

* * * * *

A great deal of  running is a mental challenge for me.  Sure, my knees don’t seem to be made for it (or my hips, or ankles, or much else for that matter!) but getting through what I think I’m capable of (or not) can be tough (having a great, motivating running partner sure helps though! especially when she can run WAY faster without me…..).  I NEVER imagined I would even attempt a 10k at this point in my life (if at all. ever).  I know for many it’s not much, but for me it’s a fair bit.  I like to think Elias would be pretty damn impressed.  And happy about the cause I’m running for.  And, I’m pretty proud too.

There aren’t a great deal of flat, smooth areas to run around here (not to mention my fear of bears and cougars!), and it’s pretty impossible to find a route without at least a few decent elevations to climb.  Though there are points in a run where I’ll feel pretty good and as if I could keep going no problem, there are many times in a run – in particular when facing an incline of any kind – where I really struggle.  Just knowing they are coming is tough for me.  I want to stop and walk (or just quit entirely), think I can’t run it, etc.  I find myself just wishing that I could run nice, long, flat, smooth stretches all the time.  SO much easier.

But then, that’s not really life either, is it?!  Though you get the odd, nice smooth stretch for a bit here and there, much of this life is bumpy, rough terrain, and there sure are hills to climb.  Sometimes very steep hills.  And, seeing them looming in the distance is daunting.

And, as with running, getting through those rough stretches and up those hills takes strength, and builds it – even if, at times, you feel as if you don’t have any, you need to slow down or even walk, you still move forward.  It makes the smooth parts that much more enjoyable.  And, in time, those hills get a little easier to face.  Muscles, heart, breath, and mind – all work together to get you through.  A few of the hills on our route that I used to dread and needed to walk up, I can now run up without stopping.  Some still challenge me, but I know I can face them, and bit by bit I will get stronger.

Not unlike facing life as a widowed parent.  Hope is a crucial part of surviving this road.

I’m happy to have my registration fees going towards a great charity like the Liz Logelin Foundation, that helps give that kind of hope to other widowed parents.  And, again this year I’ve decided to do my run as a fundraiser for anyone else who wishes to donate towards my run for the LLF and help provide that kind of hope.  I know the kind of difference it will make . . . .

Yesterday I took my tax return and treated myself to a new pair of runners to help me get through the next week of training and beyond (I still have to find a way to add 2 more kilometres to my run!) as I’m pretty sure my ‘old’ runners were the ones I had bought with my first attempts at running over 10yrs ago.  And, while I am usually greatly adverse to wearing ANY bright colours, let alone pink –  the ones that fit me best (and of course weren’t on sale =p) just happened to be fluorescent pink!  Almost identical to Sian’s, but she swears they help her go faster.  I’m still not sure how I feel about wearing them, but at least you can’t miss us!

(and for whatever reason, I can’t get the photo of the shoes to upload, so I’ll have to try again later . . . perhaps in an ‘after’ shot if I end up making it through the 10k!)

~C~

My Love,

I’m sure at times you’d be equal parts proud and mad at me – mad for not taking things a ‘little’ easier sometimes.  But still, the proud would edge out the mad.  At times when I struggle through a run, I think of all you went through.  Your surgeries, radiation, chemo, and more.  As well as what I’ve been through since you’ve been gone.  With that, I know that I can push through a little knee pain, ankle ache or cramp.

And, I know when I run the 10k, no matter how much of it I end up walking (likely dependent on how much my ankle heals in the next few days!) you’ll be cheering me on.

~C~

P.S.  I Love You

May 12, 2013

Make A Wish

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , at 1:18 am by letterstoelias

Wish

Being a Mother isn’t always easy, even under the best of circumstances.  I know some pretty amazing Mothers.  Many, who have had to be Mothers in ways they never imagined.

Mothers who fight for a better life for their child with special needs or medial conditions.

Mothers who take care of both their child/ren, and a spouse with an illness or disability.

Mothers who have had to face giving birth alone.

Mothers who have faced the death of their child, or dreams of being a Mother seem to have died.

I know some Fathers, who have had to take on the roll of Mother as well, following the death of their spouse.

And, Mothers who have had to take on the roll of Father as well.

* * * * *

My Mother has watched me suffer in ways she never would have wished, and felt helpless.  Elias’ Mother,  lost her oldest son at far too young an age.

Becoming a Mother was without a doubt, the greatest moment of my life.  And, I got to do it twice.  My girls, are without a doubt, the greatest joys of my life.

Sitting on the couch, awake all night four years ago, facing the unthinkable task of trying to figure out how exactly I was going to tell my girls that their Daddy had died, was one of the darkest times of my life (the darkest, clearly, having occurred immediately prior).  I had no idea how to breathe any more, let alone manage our family – alone.

Since then, I have faced some pretty big challenges as a Mother.  There are moments I’m far less than proud of.  There are moments that have hurt more than I can even share.

I’ve held my girls as they cried for their Daddy.  I’ve witnessed their pain and felt that helplessness.  I’ve listened to their dandelion wishes, candle wishes, ‘if I caught a leprechaun’ wishes, all to have their Daddy back.

But, I’ve had some pretty damn proud moments as a Mother too.  And, my girls – our girls – are amazing. Beyond amazing.  I won’t even try to put it into words at the moment.  I love them to bits and never stop telling them so.  Never stop making sure they feel it.  That they feel enough love, as if from two parents.

* * * * *

I foggily recall my first Mother’s Day after Elias died . . . we had just left for the cruise that he was supposed to be on with us on (his parents, mine, and his grandma, along with the girls and I), and I had to leave dinner early as I thought I was going to be sick.

As I am looking at my 5th without him now, there is more joy in our house, and in our hearts now than there was at that time 4yrs ago.  It’s still not always easy.  I still miss him every day. We all do.  Greatly.

It’s always going to be  bittersweet.   Big moments and celebrations will always still come with that ache.

And, moments (like what happened in my living room  just now that I can’t even explain . . . ) that could be so little and insignificant, or I could read into it a message from him, and it brings me to my knees in instant tears.

* * * * *

I’m incredibly thankful to the Moms I know who support me on my journey.  Who encourage me, listen, advise, help, and set an amazing example of Motherhood.  I’m forever thankful to my Mom, who does so, so much for the girls and I, every day.

I know plenty of Mom’s whose Mother’s Day wish is to be able to go to the bathroom alone, to have an uninterrupted phone conversation, to sleep in – those are my kind of wishes often too!

To all those amazing Mothers out there (and to those who are missing their Mothers, or never got the chance to be one), this day, and every day, I make a wish for you.  I wish that you know your strength.  Own it.  I see it, every day.  Doubt creeps in so easily, and so often . . .  I wish it goes away as easily as it comes.

Though I know I can’t wish away the waves of grief or despair any more than my girls’ wishes for their Daddy to come back will be answered, I wish that you will continue to get up faster each time, and they come less frequently.

And, whoever is missing from your life, or whatever struggles you are facing, I wish you peace, comfort, joy, and love.

~C~
P.S.  I Love You

March 6, 2013

4 – 8

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , at 3:42 pm by letterstoelias

Grief can do such funny things to your brain.

In some ways, it feels like it’s changed the wiring around in there.  Things you once wouldn’t imagine worrying about, wouldn’t even have thought about in the past, all of a sudden mean the world.  Things that used to drive you crazy, you now miss and crave.  And, some things that used to worry you, no longer do.

Of course, much of this is linked to the person you lost.  Along with realizations of what is important in life.

Numbers, and in particular time, can take on a whole new meaning as well.

Tomorrow, my oldest ‘baby’ will be turning 8.  She is a marvel to me.  Wicked smart, precocious, would read ALL day if you let her.  She loves to laugh, is caring, loving, compassionate, silly.  She can be quite shy at times (though not when it comes to performing on stage!), too hard on herself at times, easily unnerved, but she is filled with more courage and strength than she knows.  She has so many of the wonderful qualities and features her Daddy had, and she loves to try and smile like him.  She’s graceful and kind.  She’s been through so, very much in her short life.  I could go on – even though there just aren’t enough words.

I feel SO lucky to be her Mama, and I try to tell her so every day.  Along with how loved she is – by both her Mama AND her Daddy…

March 2009

March 2009

Last Day of 7

Eight is a big number – she wants to get her ears pierced! – and it also holds a great deal of meaning to me, and as I found out recently, to her as well.

‘Almost’ four years ago, I couldn’t imagine even getting to this point.  In those early days of grief, my newly wired brain did a lot of computing.  Numbers, dates, time.  Along with tracking the days that had passed since Elias died, I thought about dates in the future that I couldn’t imagine even getting to, let alone surviving.

The date C lived longer without her Daddy than with him has long since passed.  The date I’d lived in the house longer without Elias than with him now too, among many others.  And, though I’ve survived more than I thought I ever would, though I stopped counting in days some time ago, and will even stretch to give it to you in months, there are still some dates and ‘milestones’ that take my breath away.

In those early days of grief, I remember thinking of the point where E would have lived longer without her Daddy than with him – and with it, the date I’d have parented longer alone than with him.  It seemed impossibly far away.  I seriously questioned whether I’d ever even make it that far.  Though, as her eighth birthday approaches, so does that date.  I guess the impossible, wasn’t.

Unfortunately, though I haven’t voiced out loud to her how tough this one is for me, it seems she’s taken note as well.  As I mentioned before, the girls have been hit by their own grief more in the past couple of months, and one night recently, as E was in tears, she said to me, “I’m almost 8, and I was only 4 when Daddy died!”  Not hard math, even for an 8yr old, but I guess I hadn’t realized she would look at it that way as well.  She has spent half her life without her Daddy.

Of course, the actual date won’t be until just after the 4th ‘anniversary’ of his death in April, but the birthday still hits home (though, any birthday for either girl without their Daddy here still just doesn’t seem right . . . )

I don’t want to go too ‘over the top’ to compensate, but I think her ears will get pierced (and I just may get my nose pierced along with her!), and though I generally stay away from anything too ‘commercial’ for my girls, we will have a fun Harry Potter themed birthday party (her new favourite book series), complete with ButterBeer, wand making, and more (and, perhaps I ‘did’ go a little crazy on the invites, especially considering we only sent out 6!)

And, most of all, I will celebrate this amazing, beautiful little girl of mine (who is growing up so very fast).

Me and my Girl

Just the thought of how much I love her brings tears of joy to my eyes….

~C~

P.S.  I Love You

January 1, 2013

For You

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , at 1:33 am by letterstoelias

 

 

17yrs ago this night you walked into my life . . . despite it all, because of it all, and in a heartbeat . . .
for you . . .

And, I plan to write more about the night soon, but for now I’ll share this . . .

new years

Even though we met on New Years, and shared the next 13 together, this is one of the very few (and blurry, thanks to a drunk friend) photos of us together on New Years (many were spent in the kitchen of one of the restaurants you would have been working countless hours at that day/night).  I believe this photo is from 1999, and you barely made it to me ‘just’ before the stroke of midnight . . .

And now – though still not exactly always ‘easy’, I can look at this photo and others like it, smile, and wonder how I ever got to be so lucky.

Happy New Years, My Love,

~C~

P.S.  I Love You

December 25, 2012

Christmas is here again . . .

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , at 12:15 am by letterstoelias

This used to be one of my favourite Christmas songs:

Christmas is here again, stand up and cheer again
Let’s leave our heartaches and sorrows behind
All that I want is to be here beside you, all that I need is right here in my arms
All that I want is to know that you love me, and this will be my finest Christmas time

I’ve shared it with the girls now and then, as I can hug them in my arms and feel the words ring true – but it has still been a tough one (among SO many others) to listen to these past few years.

Four.

This is our fourth Christmas without Elias.  I don’t think I’ll ever be able to fathom it.  As each year passes I think it will still come as a shock.

I tried so much harder this year to feel more of the Christmas spirit.  I tried to not let the pain hit quite as deeply.  And, in some ways I actually managed.  Reminding myself how the days leading up are so often worse and attempting to shake that off helped a little.  Being ridiculously busy at work definitely helped a lot – even if only to make me too tired to even think about much else than how tired I was (though, I can’t complain much about that, as I need it to be busy! but, I ran myself pretty ragged . . . )

We did an activity advent calendar again this year – or, at least we tried to.  As things often go with me, I didn’t ‘quite’ get it out on time.  By the time I got organized enough to even start, it was December 9th and we had some serious catching up to do! We had a (rare, and what would be my last) store free day and I wanted to dedicate it completely to the girls and ‘winter/christmas’ activities.  I stayed up late the night before trying to clean, start a few decorations, and get organized for the day so as not to lose time – it felt so worth it when I heard the girls’ excitement when they woke up . . . that is, until I heard them decide that elves must have done all that hard work.  Damn elves got all the credit!  Ah well, the magic in it for them was worth it in the end.

We had a really great day – snowman pancakes, candy cane doughnuts, trekked out to the woods and cut down our own tree, peppermint hot chocolate (a few food related ones it seems . . .), Santa visit, etc.  It was busy, but we had a LOT of fun (though, I ‘almost’ fell apart when driving back with our tree and that song ‘Christmas Shoes’ came on the radio . . . .).

IMG_9656-2

As I put the girls to bed that night, I felt good about all we had done, and the fun we had in it all.  I hopped in the shower and was just thinking about how proud Elias would be.  Standing with my hands on my hips and the water as hot as I could bear on my back, I smiled, and felt him smiling back.  I whispered words in my head to him, felt his love in my heart, and imagined his answers.

Then, as I almost literally felt his arms go through mine and wrap around my waist to hug me, felt him kiss my cheek and whisper in my ear how proud he was, I lost it.  Completely.

One second, standing proud with a smile on my face, the next fighting to stay standing and coughing out tears in a magnitude I haven’t faced in some time.  And, I just. couldn’t. stop.

I don’t know how long it went, but once the water faded from hot to warm, I knew cold would be coming soon and I finally forced myself to turn it off and grab my towel.  As I buried my face in it with tears still coming, I suddenly heard E at the door.  She was bringing me something from her bedroom – she hadn’t fallen asleep yet – though she hand’t heard me crying.

She realized pretty quickly when she saw me, however, that I had been.  She asked what was wrong.  Nothing like this to snap you back out of it all – but I just told her that I was thinking about Daddy.  About how proud I knew he was of us and what a great day we had, but that also made me miss him a lot as well, and I was feeling sad from missing him.  She then asked if I could snuggle with her some more.  Of course I did.  She let me know that she misses him a lot too.

From then on, the last two weeks were incredibly busy.  My parents were away for part of it, so I was looking after their dogs as well, the girls had their Christmas concert at school, E performed two numbers in a local telethon fundraiser, dentist appointments, skating day at school (another moment in which Elias would have both laughed hysterically and been incredibly proud as it was C’s first time on ice, and after spending the first few minutes screaming, she ended up doing great), along with spending at least part of every. single. day. at the store.

I’ve felt Elias’ presence around in many other ways as well.  Sometimes it feels as if he’s just trying to slap me in the face to remind me that he’s still here.  Guiding me to things I needed to see.  To things I was thinking about finding, but not even looking for.  Messing with my lights.  I was even completely floored with a visit from an old friend of his family’s today – an amazing, beautiful woman who sang at his funeral.  I hadn’t seen her since, but had been thinking of her just the other day – wondering if there was a recording of when she sang – and in she walked.

Still, as I sit here after Christmas Eve dinner with my parents and my sisters family (which I am SO happy about since it’s been quite a while since we’ve had Christmas with them) and looking forward to spending the day with them tomorrow, the fact that Elias is not here still just hurts so, very much.  Beyond words.  No matter how much I can feel his presence or how much Christmas spirit I can muster . . .

The girls wrote messages/drew pictures to Daddy, which we put in his stocking tonight, as we have done each year without him.  They love doing it and it’s always been a positive activity for them – though as C was drawing her picture (of Daddy as an angel) I heard her simply say ‘All I want for Christmas is Daddy back’.  Heart breaking.  But, I also understand the sentiment.

We will have fun with my family tomorrow.  I’m hoping we will ichat with both of Elias’ brothers and their families tomorrow too.  And, we will miss Elias.  Deeply.

* * * * *

Merry Christmas, My Love.

~C~

P.S.  I Love You

December 25, 2011

Once more . . .

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , at 2:43 am by letterstoelias

Slowly becoming one of my ‘new’ Christmas Traditions I suppose.  I can’t believe this is number three without you.

The girls got their rings tonight.  I am beyond happy with them, but it’s still bittersweet.  Photos to come soon, but I should ‘try’ to get some sleep before the girls wake to open presents.

Merry Christmas, My Love

 

~C~

P.S.  I Love You

September 28, 2011

This one’s a tricky one…

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , at 11:57 pm by letterstoelias

I’m feeling like an awful mother these days.  Once again.

The last birthday (other than his own) that Elias was able to spend with us was E’s fourth.

E shares a birthday with my sister and she was visiting with her family.  We were all at my parent’s house and Elias was making dinner.  Not just any dinner, one of my favourites – caramelized onion, butternut squash and goat cheese ravioli with a red pepper coulis sauce.  E happily worked along side him some of the time, making the pasta dough.

But, part way through he started to feel sick.  Lightheaded.  Dizzy.  He couldn’t finish.  He had to sit down.

The dinner was finished by others.  And still tasted great.  He felt awful that he couldn’t finish – sorry that someone else had to take over.  Embarrassed that he couldn’t do it.  It was hard for him.  I was scared.  I knew that if he stopped cooking, he had to be feeling pretty bad.  It was not the way either of us wanted to feel on our daughter’s birthday.  I’m certain it scared him too.

It was just over six weeks later that he died.

Friday will be C’s fourth birthday.  Her third without her Daddy there (and the one she had with him was at a rough time too).

I am having a difficult time accepting the fact that she will be the same age E was when Elias died.  She seems so, very young.  I’ve been ridiculously busy lately, and trying to balance a way to celebrate the day, alongside the grief it brings is so hard.  As such, I haven’t really made any plans for her birthday.  And I feel awful about that.

I know she wants a ‘wedding cake’ for her birthday cake.  I know we’ll do something, even if it is small.  I know she’ll have a great time regardless.  I know that I’ll be able to celebrate the absolutely amazing little girl she is.  But, it still hurts.

I know there will always be grief for what everyone misses out on days like this.  But I hope that, one day, these days that mean so much will hurt less.  At least a little less.

* * * * *

Our baby is turning 4.  I can only imagine how much fun you would have with her these days.  Her incredibly goofy personality – SO much like yours.  Her sense of humour.  Her infectious laugh – which can also be SO much like yours.  Her sweet, loving, compassionate nature.  Overly dramatic tendencies.  The tonnes of hugs and kisses she loves to give.

She is everything you would hope her to be and more.

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I will celebrate her, as I do every day.  I will remember the moment she was born just after 3am, in the comfort of our room, on our bed, and into your hands.  The look on your face as you lifted her up.  I will be forever grateful that your hands were the first to touch her.

I thank you for her.  She is one of the best gifts you gave me.  Your imprint on the girls will never go away.  It’s on their hearts.  In their blood.

I miss you more than I could ever say, and I wish you could be here (more than in spirit) to share this day with us.  For all of us.

~C~

P.S.  I Love You

September 13, 2011

Busy, busy, busy

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , at 4:40 pm by letterstoelias

I sure hope this gets posted . . . . I currently have 4 drafts waiting.  Posts I’ve tried to write and have not yet found the time/energy/words to finish.  My poor little blog =(

There is an important reason to try and get this one finished though, aside from it’s usual purpose of ‘getting stuff out of my head’, that is.  This coming Saturday will be a first for me.  I’m participating in a 5K.  My first ever 5K.  But, not any 5K – it’s a fundraiser for the Liz Logelin Foundation.

For those who are unaware, the Liz Logelin Foundation was created by a friend, Matt Logelin, in honour of his wife Liz who died 27hrs after giving birth to their first child Madeline – moments before she was to hold her for the first time.  She never got the chance.  Through his loss, Matt joined ‘the club’ that no one wants to be in (but the members rock!), and in doing so met many other young widowed parents who were struggling financially in the wake of their loss.  He saw a need, and set out to help fix it.

The Liz Logelin Foundation is how he does that.  I have met recipients of grants and have seen first hand the difference this can make in their lives.  Every year at this time, the foundation hosts a Celebration of Hope in Minneapolis as one of their main fundraisers (and if you are going, be sure to bid on the lunch box I donated from my store!).  The following day is the Run Walk Hope 5K which will take place in Minneapolis, or anywhere in the world!  There is still time to register if interested, but if you aren’t up for running a 5K yourself, I’d be happy to do so on your behalf!  How great is that – support an amazing cause, without having to get off the couch!

If you would like to donate to my 5K, you can do so here:  http://www.razoo.com/story/Run-Walk-Hope-Around-The-World-5?referral_code=share#.Tm-E6JNKiPw.facebook  Any support would be SO greatly appreciated!

As I said before, this is my first 5K and I am doing it with really no training at all (and I’m FAR from a great runner) – but this is a cause close to my heart, along with the people who created it and the people it helps, so I felt compelled to take part (and am thrilled that my Dad offered to run along side me!).  Of course Elias will be at the forefront of my mind as I run, as will my girls, and all those who struggle to put food on their children’s plates alongside dealing with the loss of their spouse.  I try to use these opportunities to show them ways we can, through our loss, find a positive way to help others.  I may have not created a foundation, but as I told Matt, I’m happy to try and add a drop or two in the bucket he created.  The weekend of these fundraisers would have been Liz’s 34th birthday (she would have been my age), and I can only imagine what a gift she sees this as.

In other news, we have been beyond busy lately (which is in part why I can’t seem to finish a post!).  I started writing a post on the last day of August about how crazy that month was, and so far Sept hasn’t slowed down a bit.  Eibhiln has done a week of grade one, and Caia had her first day back at preschool today.  I went to Camp and had an amazing time, and can’t wait to share some photos.  We’ve been trying to get down to the beach here and there.  Hopefully I can finish that post about August one of these days, a recap of Camp, and add some of the September news in it!  I also have a few other issues kicking around in my brain I’d love to clear out sometime soon.  Sigh.  In the meantime, please watch this amazing video put together by the director of Camp Widow – featuring widowed people, who are MORE than widowed, and because Hope Matters

(and I’m also sending MUCH love to my dear friend Dan, who’s face you see on the clip for this video . . . in memory of Michael who died Sept 13th, 2009 . . . )

Cheers,

~C~
Elias, I’ll be running for you on Saturday . . .. try not to laugh at how pathetic it looks!

P.S.  I Love You

June 19, 2011

It should be for you

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , at 2:35 am by letterstoelias

I knew it was coming.  I wanted both of us to have a little ‘preparation’ I suppose.  I gave her options – she could make it for you, for her Papa, for me (since I’m kinda Mama & Daddy all at once), or she didn’t have to make one at all.  She chose to make it for Papa.  She is very excited about it.  Very happy to give it to him.  I am happy that she chose to give it to him (honestly, I’m not sure what you could do with a cat note-pad at this point . . . ).

But, it hasn’t been easy for her.  In fact, of the three that you haven’t been here for, this one has hit her the hardest.  It can’t feel great to be the only kid in class who doesn’t have a Dad to make the craft for.  It ‘should be’ for you, because you ‘should’ still be here.  She still goes through most of her day-to-day life glowing, happy, smiling, incessantly chatting about, well, anything.  But missing you has been hurting her more than usual this week.

I’ve noticed it with C too.  A few times in recent days she climbs on me, giving me big hugs as usual, but repeating ‘Daddy, Daddy, Daddy’ while doing so.  Seemingly happily enough, but I could tell something was up.  I asked her if she was calling me Daddy, of just saying it – she said she was just saying it, and that she missed you.  The last day of preschool came last week – many parents were there for the beach day, and the teacher was instructing the kids to stay with their mommies and daddies.  C shouted out ‘My Daddy died’.  The teacher handled it gracefully, but I could hear a minor collective gasp.  I think there may have even been a few parents who didn’t know still.  Even after more than two years, moments like that hit hard.

Tomorrow, as we did the first Father’s Day without you, we will be heading into town with my parents to go and see my grandparents.  Tonight the girls and I were counting how many Father’s Days each of my grandfathers have had.  How many my Dad has had.  You had four, and only one was with C.  Next year, it will be as many here as away.

It’s a ridiculously huge gap in their lives (I hate to even use the word ‘gap’ as it sounds WAY too small).  The girls have some wonderful men in their lives, but it’s. not. the. same.

For me, it’s hard to play both rolls (as my friend Deb wrote so accurately about) – it’s impossible, actually.  I will always wish we had more of you.  I don’t think I’ll ever get over feeling that both you and the girls were terribly cheated in all of this.  It was not enough time.  Just, not enough.  But, I am thankful that the love you gave them in the short time you were a part of their lives, has lived on.  And, I know it will continue to live in them for the rest of their lives.

Tomorrow, we will also take time to celebrate you as a Father.  As Daddy.  We will honour the love and care, smiles and spirit you gave to your girls.  If the weather is right, we may launch another lantern for you.

Thank you.  Thank you for making the most of the few years you had as a Father, and for being an amazing Daddy.

~C~

P.S.  I Love You

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