Monday, May 31, 2010


Before leaving the hospital they put a 'pic line' in his arm. It is like an IV line, but more permanent. They set it up so he would have TPN every night through a home health care group that would come in weekly to check on him and clean around the pic line to keep it from getting infected. The TPN was a bag of nutritional "food" that got pumped into him over the course of twelve hours. They gave him this because it would provide him with all the calories and nutrition he needed, and eating was close to impossible.

As the healing process began we found that his gag reflex was super sensitive. So he spent a lot of time dry-heaving (was that too much information?). He tried to eat some, but it was difficult. About the beginning of November they discovered scar tissue was building up in his esophagus and it would need to be stretched. He went in for that procedure November 12th. That same day his cousin held a benefit for him/ us. The benefit was a lot of fun. I was amazed at how many people came. Chris was able to eat a little better that day and he made a short appearance at the benefit.

But, eating quickly became pretty much impossible again, so this time they scheduled our original surgeon to do the stretching.

In the meantime Chris had a case of shingles which added to his pain and discomfort.

Towards the beginning of December he also started to get a lot of pain in his abdomen area. It was very intense and would keep him hunched over in pain. We finally went to the cancer center and they ran some tests, including a cat scan, a barium swallow and x-rays. They came to two conclusions. First they did an emergency esophagus stretch because they thought there was something stuck in there. That was a blessing as it was quite successful and he could finally begin to eat again.

Second, they noticed that his right lung was filling with fluid. They thought he may have pneumonia. His breathing was very labored and between that and the pain in his abdomen which persisted, it seemed almost unbearable for him.

They put him on antibiotics but they didn't help. Finally, our original surgeon ordered to have his lung drained. This helped the breathing tremendously but the pain persisted. We had a trip to Florida planned.

We were to leave on December 17th. I think Chris ended up at the cancer institute every day for several days before we left.

Sunday, May 30, 2010


The week following surgery Chris made good progress. He spent his birthday drinking barium and getting scans done. It was actually a miserable day for him. He came down with an infection in his metaport. It was scary and sad to see him so sick. He felt like he was going crazy. It gave him a fever, chills, and made his mind think weird things. They ended up taking out the metaport - but the whole thing seemed to set his body back.

After about two weeks in the hospital he was pretty sick of it. I spent my days up there. My friend 'S' would pick the kids up after school and always had dinner waiting when I came home. The weather was still somewhat nice out so Chris and I would go for a walk (well I would walk and push Chris in a wheel chair). We would just go to the courtyard and sit outside. One day I took Chris down to see our friend who lived just down from us, who happened to be on the floor below us. She had surgery on the 29th. She was diagnosed with breast cancer about six weeks after Chris' diagnosis.

Some days it was too cool to sit outside, but the sun was out so we would go out and sit in the car. It kinda became a joke that it was definitely time for him to go home if he was driving around the parking lot for fun.

It was a Friday when Chris finally begged his was out of there.

Saturday, May 29, 2010


We arrived at the hospital between 6 and 6:30 Monday morning. The wait was not long before they took Chris in to begin the prep for surgery. But the wait would be very long until I could see Chris and the surgery was over.

My mother and father-in-law came up in the afternoon to visit and wait with me. My brother-in-law flew in that day and my in-laws picked him up about 5:00pm. My good friend 'S' came up in the morning and stayed with me as well. We actually made the most of our situation and played games and really had a fun time.

It was about one in the afternoon before I heard any updates. The update was that things were going well, but it would be long. About 5:30pm Dr. K came out. He told me then that there was a lot of disease. They had pretty much removed anything Chris didn't need. The tumors were growing into the intestines, so they had to remove part of the small intestine and all but 8 or 12 inches of the large intestines. Our original surgeon performed the part of the surgery to remove the primary tumor from his stomach. The doctor who had done the biopsy on the liver was also in on the surgery for awhile, as well as one more doctor.

The next update we got was about 10:30pm. Dr. K came out to let us know they had just begun the chemo profusion or 'wash'. That would take two hours and then they had to sew him up and put him back together. Around 1:30 am a nurse called out to say they would be a couple more hours. I think is was about 4:30am when Dr. K came out. It ended up being about twenty hours of surgery.

Chris stayed in the ICU for a couple days, then they moved him up to a regular room. He would spend the next 2 1/2 weeks there.

Friday, May 28, 2010


We were concerned about waiting so long for surgery, but Dr. K did not have an opening until then. For the first couple weeks of August Chris actually felt pretty good. My sisters came out one at a time to help. Chris tried to go back to work so they babysat for us. In the evening it was a fun distraction to have them there. It was a much needed emotional break. We truly had an outpouring of support from Chris' and my family.

Towards the end of August, Chris started to experience a lot more pain. We were still trying to have some positive time as a family so he was a trooper as we did Niagara Falls, went on the Maid of the Mist and Cave of the Winds. We also went to an amusement park. It was tough on Chris but the kids really enjoyed it.

Before we knew it (o.k. not really, it seemed to drag on), Chris' surgery date arrived. We were scheduled to be at the hospital by 6:30 in the morning.

Thursday, May 27, 2010


Our new doctor was about six feet tall, thin, 39 years old and for the fun of it he never wore socks. The fact that his age was so close to Chris' was no coincidence as that was partially what drew him to the case. To think of a man with a family and the reality that his life may be over - inspired this doctor to give it a try.

When we first met Dr. K we were taken back by how much he talked. The other doctors would answer questions you had - but that was pretty much it. They did not volunteer information. Dr. K was a talker, and we loved that about him. He explained what his plan was for Chris and why he felt like it would be successful. He explained that Chris' cancer was like a bag of rice. If you spill the rice all over your kitchen floor - you can sweep it up but the chances are pretty high that you will miss a piece. Whether it is under the stove or wherever - the chances of getting every piece are slim to none.

Their plan was to surgically go in and try to remove every tumor from Chris' paradigm. There was another thing about the way Chris' cancer had spread - he compared it to a dandelion. When you blow it, some of those seeds will land before others. It seemed that is how Chris' cancer was spreading, which made this procedure they were planning ideal. After removing all the tumors they would wash out the area with heated chemotherapy. They would actually use a pump that would pump the liquid through the area for two hours. While it was pumping through him, they would even shake him a bit to ensure the chemotherapy reached every crack and crevice they may have missed.

Leaving Dr. K's office that day I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that this was where the Lord wanted us. That this was the surgery we were to do and this was the doctor. I was filled with excitement and joy as the Holy Ghost bore witness to me that this was the path we should be taking. I can not put down in words my gratitude for my Heavenly Father's love for us.

Surgery was scheduled for September 20th.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


And so the treatment went. He finished the chemotherapy and radiation mid-June and began the process of letting his body heal some. We were blessed to have family come to visit to help out and just spend time.

The plan was to return to the surgeon once the treatment was complete so they could analyze the results and schedule surgery. For some reason, I had misgivings over the surgery, but I just put my faith in the doctor and we moved forward. The surgery was scheduled for the beginning of August. In preparation they did a Cat Scan. When the results came back, there was concern over a spot on his liver. Up to this point they considered the cancer to be stage 3; it had spread through the wall of the stomach and into the lymph nodes in the surrounding areas. If it had spread to the liver - we would be stage 4.

They explained to us that stomach cancer is considered to be a fast spreading cancer. Once you are stage four your survival rate of living five years or more drops from 25% to 5-7%. They scheduled to do a small incision on Chris' side and go in to take biopsies of the liver.

We had a family fast that the results would be negative - that everything would come back fine and they would proceed with the surgery as scheduled. But, Chris and I seemed to know. We had a feeling that this would not be that simple.

Chris' brother was there at the hospital with me that day. The miracle goes something like this... They went in to look at the liver, and as they looked at this suspicious 'spot', the doctor realized it was just a fatty deposit. Since he was in there - he was also going to take a look at the hernia. As the doctor moved the scope to the area of the hernia he noticed microscopic white 'dots'. The surgeon was in the neighboring surgery room - so the doctor called him over to take a look. They both agreed they looked suspicious and they began to take biopsies. As he explored a little more they discovered these 'dots' were spread all over.

The biopsies came back positive for cancer. There was no point in the original surgery - it would do no good for him - only allow these millions of other tumors to spread.

The suggestion was offered to meet with another doctor. He had some experience with doing a 'chemo wash' of sorts and may be willing to try this treatment on Chris.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


Following the appointment that laid out the game plan the next few weeks were filled with appointments as radiology prepared to ensure they were targeting the exact spots. They actually gave him small tattoos – three of them - one on his abdomen area and one on each of his sides. They would serve the purpose of pointing the exact spot where the radiation would be given to target the tumor.

The schedule was to start chemotherapy and radiation on the first Monday in May. I believe that was May 3rd, 2004. He was to get radiation everyday Monday through Friday for six weeks. Chemotherapy (Ociplatin and 5FU) was a three hour infusion every two weeks along with a pump he wore 24/7.

It started with a bang. I had a schedule of who could take Chris up on what days. He was very sick on the treatment and a couple weeks in he got a hernia from vomiting so violently (amazing this would prove to be on of the many miracles). I think over the course of the six weeks we ended up in the emergency room three times. The hernia was one of them. Emergency room visits were usually good as they gave him a time to get re-hydrated, leaving him feeling better coming out than he did going in.

When the hernia sent us to the emergency room is was a Sunday morning. Since it was Sunday our local hospital did not have the staff to adequately diagnosis his hernia. With the fear of other things that could have been causing the pain they sent him via ambulance to a hospital about 45 minutes away.

Our whole day was spent there as person after person came in to check him out. Each shrugged their shoulders and said, “I better have my boss take a look at this”. Once they ran out of ‘bosses’, they said this might be for a different department and we would start all over again! I think we ended up in the ER of this hospital for about eight hours, until they finally sent us home.

Monday, May 24, 2010


I didn't keep a journal through the period of time when Chris was diagnosed to when he passed. I wish I had, as I know those months were full of blessings and great spiritual experiences.

I will attempt over the next few days to capture the events at the very least. As, the events of those months changed me, my husband, our marriage and eventually my entire life...

Regret exists over not keeping a better record for my children. Their love, admiration and awe of their father would be increased a hundred fold if I had better captured his perseverance in the face of such a trial.

I have shared the story of his diagnosis. You can read that here. Following his diagnosis we were referred to a cancer institute about an hour away. It took two weeks to get an appointment. Two weeks that felt like an eternity as our lives sat in limbo. The first appointment was an all day ordeal. We met with the surgeon who viewed the cat scan done the day of his diagnosis. He also had the biopsy results, that were of course positive for cancer. The doctor just did a basic exam and then told us to come back in the afternoon. In the meantime the surgeon met with the chemotherapist and radiologist to determine the best plan of attack.

When we met with the surgeon again that afternoon the plan was laid out. Chris would go through chemotherapy and radiation together in hopes of shrinking the tumor. This would be followed up by surgery to remove a portion of the esophagus and stomach.

With the plan in place, we began to prepare.

Sunday, May 23, 2010


Our lesson in Sunday School today was on Joshua from the Old Testament. A little refresher... Moses was leading the children of Israel in the wilderness for 40 years... Moses died and Joshua is called of God to be their prophet. When he was being called the Lord told Joshua "Be strong and of a good courage".

Joshua did need to be strong and of a good courage because the Lord had much work for him to do, and the work would be difficult. One of the first things on the list was to lead Israel in the conquest and settlement of Canaan. In addition... he was being asked to replace a great leader. Despite all that would be expected of him in his calling, the Lord assured him saying " I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee."

This counsel and assurance stood out to me today, as it applies to each of us. Despite what the Lord asks of us, we can be strong and of a good courage and be assured that the Lord is with us.

Saturday, May 22, 2010


My widow friend 'J' made a comment to me yesterday about how she is feeling complete without her husband. It was like a light bulb that went off in my head... and I realized that is the key. I have never thought too much about the whys in missing someone - but it occurs to me now that a lot of missing them is related to the void felt in our own lives because they are not here. We are no longer complete. And until we brick by brick re-build our lives to create a new life that is strong and full, we will continue to see and feel the void that is there.

Step-by-step.... brick-by-brick..... We rebuild until we can honestly look at ourselves and say..I am feeling complete without him. At that point they are not gone, but they are treasured. But you are complete and can continue to build on your new foundation a life that is great and grand.

Friday, May 21, 2010


I saw a friend of mine recently who lost her mother within the past few months. I have commented before regarding how I feel about people like this. I view her as a widow. She is single and was very close to her mother and served as her caregiver in the last year of her life. In the process of healing she will walk a very similar road to what I have. As I talked to her about how she is doing, and whether she still had a good support system in place she proceeded to explain some changes in that system... a break down.

I am not sure why that happens. Why do things change? Perhaps you enter a world where you need to be sustained, you need to be held up - but the way your friends know how to do that is not the way you stand ready to receive it.

One of my best friends, who sustained me throughout the entire illness, who I could not have endured the process without her by my side, commented on that to me. She said that she was ready. She was prepared for me to cry on her shoulder. But that is not what I came looking for. My tears were reserved for the quiet stillness of the night. They rarely saw the light of day. I craved a piece of normalcy. I craved the happiness and joy that once illuminated from me. I wanted to have fun, to live life. This was not what she was ready for. I was up and down. When I was up, I needed to be held up and when I was down I wanted to be left there.

Life moves on. Every moment of every day as a widow your life is impacted by the void. Some days you feel alone in that memory. Every one else goes on and continues to function as if all is well. And inside there is a quiet crying out for some one to stop and realize your life is gone. Your life is not moving on, it is gone. And now from the dust and through the pain and tears you must create a new life.

My friend is on that path. She will make it. As most of us widows, she is strong. We are granted the strength to trod the path before us. And when we are not strong enough, God puts in our path someone to carry us.

Thursday, May 20, 2010


To look backward for a while is to refresh the eye, to restore it, and to render it the more fit for its prime function of looking forward.

-Margaret Fairless Barber

I know I have not been good at writing this week. My mind has not been into it. I write for a few purposes.

1. I want to capture this journey. This IS my diary. And I am so glad to do it retrospective. To be able to say... THIS is what came from what I went through.

2. Healing. I need to close this door. Despite my moving on in life the door was left open. At five years, I knew I needed to close it. To really say, I have a new life and I need to get to living it. There has been pain and suffering, but there have been blessings without number. Writing about this journey has allowed me to find the unclosed doors and the cracks and seal it all up.

3. And I do it publicly, why? You tell me. I hope for some, this has increased their testimony of Jesus Christ. That they have realized where they can turn for shelter in the storms of life. And for any who have suffered loss.... may you see there is someone out there who is crazier than you, or at least equal.

This could sound like the last of my posts... but it is not. I have more I need and want to capture. This is just a break these past few days... as I am looking forward. And in looking forward, my mind has struggled to go back. More and more cracks and doors are closed... and seeing in becomes a little more of a chore. It becomes more of a process for me to get in and grab the embers that I want to bring with me.

Stay tuned... And thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


I know, I know... I am letting you down aren't I. Well perhaps I am not as I think these are great thought provoking quotes. All is well in my life. Just busy. But good. I will be back on track soon. In the meantime... Thomas S. Monson said:

"The darkness of death can ever be dispelled by the light of revealed truth."

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Yes, I am a widow and therefore... sometimes my to-do list is more than I can handle. Today my blog did not make the priority list. But, I will still share a thought with you.

President Henry B. Eyring:

The words “come unto Christ” are an invitation. It is the most important invitation you could ever offer to another person. It is the most important invitation anyone could accept.

Monday, May 17, 2010


I think you know me well enough now... don't you? Is there anything I could tell you that would shock you? Or, have I adequately prepared you for the fact that if anything, I am a little bit crazy and always unpredictable.

My husband had a wonderful singing voice. The ability to sing was on my "must have" list for a husband as I am not blessed with such a talent but certainly wanted that to be an option for my children. My inability to sing was often a source for laughs in our marriage.

On one vacation we were driving through a country road on our way to my grandparents. On the side of the road sat a blue tractor with a 'for sale' sign. I am a bit of a people watcher.. and enjoy imagining how people got where they are in life. I started questioning my husband what his guess was for why that tractor was for sale. As we continued the drive... I wrote my husband a little song..

Got a tractor for sale
Tractor for sale
Such a pertty color blue
Had 'er ev'r since she new
Got myself a new wife
Headed for the good life
Got a tractor for sale
Tractor for sale
She runs just like a peach
But now I'm headed for the beach
Got a tractor for sale
Tractor for sale

This song became one of my favorite to sing to my husband whenever we needed a laugh or were messing around. To compliment my lack of singing, I could throw in my great country twang.

In the last hours of Chris' life, watching him struggle to breathe was difficult. He had a seizure in the afternoon as the children were leaving and had not woken since then. He just laid their seemingly sitting on the edge of this life and the next. I just wished for him to be released of the pains of this mortal body. I wanted him to 'go'.

I sat on the edge of his bed talking to him. In my crazy ways I said to him, "I bet if I started singing to you, that would make you leave quicker". And so I sang... Got a Tractor for sale... tractor for sale.... He stayed a few hours more, it didn't seem to hurry his departure. But somehow I believe his spirit was laughing.

Sunday, May 16, 2010


A great quote by Thomas S. Monson:

“If we do not have a deep foundation of faith and a solid testimony of truth, we may have difficulty withstanding the harsh storms and icy winds of adversity which inevitably come to each of us.

“Mortality is a period of testing, a time to prove ourselves worthy to return to the presence of our Heavenly Father. In order for us to be tested, we must face challenges and difficulties. These can break us, and the surface of our souls may crack and crumble—that is, if our foundations of faith, our testimonies of truth are not deeply embedded within us.”

Saturday, May 15, 2010


As the final in my dating lessons learned... Guy #1. I had the longest running relationship with him by far. Probably because we became such good friends that even if we were not "in a relationship" we were around each other enjoying the friendship. The take-away with him is very clear to me. There is power in just being yourself.

In life we change and grow. To say "your not the man I married" is a "DUH" moment to me... because hopefully none of us are the same person we were a year or two or ten back. The core is the same but we can and should change. It is part of life. Part of growing. Part of our purpose. But, in a relationship I am adamantly opposed to changing "for" the other person. Don't get me wrong, in a marriage there is some give and take which may lead to you changing the way you put the toilet paper on the dispenser.. so it comes from the top, not the bottom. And you change that behavior to appease your spouse. That is a non-issue to me. That is just mature behavior that shows you care more about the other person than you do yourself.

What I am opposed to is changing who you are - your values - standards - in an attempt to please the other person. I took a Psychology class online a couple years ago and I was shocked by the college-age crowds view on dating. For them that is what you do. You change your values and standards to accommodate the person you are dating to become a better match. I was vocal (of course it was online so no one saw me rant... just saw the words of the rant) about how wrong that is.

Each of us needs to define who we are. It is a process that in your teenage years you have hopefully captured. Some are late bloomers and it is later - but it is a process that is between you and the Lord (and in your teenage years perhaps guided by your parents). It is the answer to the question of who am I? And what does God want me to do in this life? Once you have those answers... it puts you on a path. And once you are on that path... no relationship should detour you off of it. If a relationship is meant to work - the power will come in being yourself.

Friday, May 14, 2010


Guy #3... Where to begin. We dated for about six months then spent another four with limited contact. He was my equal in many ways - someone I could see leading forward in a life 'equally yoked'. After Guy #2 it became very clear the difference in dating someone with whom you shared the same spiritual beliefs with. It opened up a whole new world of emotional intimacy. And by 'new'... I suppose I mean 'old'. I had that once. And Guy#3 made me realize how much I was fed by having it. How much I needed it and wanted it.

I also learned the value of trust. He did not live near by, and trusting that things were what or how it was stated they were without being able to tangibly see or touch it. The value in knowing that what was said is what was meant.

He also made me see... I wasn't ready. I needed more time before marriage was in my radar. By the time we went our separate ways it had been two years since Chris' passing. He made me see the effects of dating when I wasn't ready for a relationship (at least a lasting one) to develop. Without that knowledge being shared ahead of time. There is a tinge of regret in me for that. I loved and cared for him... so I ached over hurting him.

It was this relationship that leaves me cautious to this day over dating. It makes me more honest and up front regarding my intentions... and how I feel. There was much I believe that was not communicated in those areas.

Thursday, May 13, 2010


With the three guys I have dated... I try to have a strong take away from each relationship. Today... Guy #2.

Guy #2 was a self-proclaimed atheist. It would not take one long of reading my blog to discover that I am a strong Christian (I believe in Christ, I rejoice in Christ). In virtually every other aspect of our relationship we were in complete sync. There was a strong connection with us. But for me, where my testimony of Jesus Christ has been my rock... has been the one thing I could cling to no matter the storms around me... and is the driving force for how I live my life...there was left this hole.

He was not opposed to discussing religion. But, I am a feeler. Always have been and I believe I am probably always destined to be. I study. I learn. But it always seems that I take what I learn and instead of retaining the details.. the facts... I just allow it to build on how I feel. So - I am no fun to get into a deep conversation with. I just have my feelings... nothing else. If you can't relate to how I feel...and you want to understand the facts and why I feel that way... let me know and I will direct you to some gospel scholars. I can just bare my testimony of the truthfulness. I can tell you Christ lives. I will not be able to tell you all the details of the bible story that testifies of that.

I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints... a Mormon as many call us. Our religion is found to be 'odd' by some. I am not sure why, as our beliefs and teachings are not so peculiar. What is peculiar about our sect is the percentage of members that are faithful. That follow the teachings. For instance: Keep the Sabbath Day Holy. It is one of the ten commandments. I don't know of a Christian religion that doesn't have that one... and yet in our faith, we are encourage to live the spirit of that law. To set the Sabbath aside as a day of rest. Not to be overly lazy, but to be spiritually minded.. and avoid activities that might cause another to work (shopping).

Anyhow.... if you want to know more, just click here... I could be up all night telling you the principles and teachings of the Gospel. But, let's move on... as this is intended to be a post about the valuable lesson Guy #2 taught me.

As we would talk... and discuss my beliefs and the 'whys' of what I do... it was a time in my life that I became keenly aware of my reason for choosing to live the way I did. Many may say, "I don't drink, it is against my religion". But for me, that was NOT true. I found that was NOT the reason I did not drink alcohol, smoke, drink coffee or have premarital sex. I choose to live the way I do because I love God. I have covenanted with Him to live my life this way and I truly believe he is pleased with that decision.

Guy #2 made me get honest with myself. And by getting honest, I found that my reason for living the way I do... is real. It is not because someone told me it was a good idea. It is not because the church teaches it. These were the beginning. I was taught by my parents... I then came to know for myself that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints truly is the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. When I knew that, I wanted to follow the teachings.. but my testimony developed beyond that. I keep these covenants now... not just because 'the church is true' but because I have a personal relationship with my Savior. I know He loves me. I love Him and desire to follow His will.

God has truly planted me in places I could grow. I am forever grateful for this opportunity to discover the whys in what I do. For now my roots grow deeper. I am stronger.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


My friend "J" wrote this poem about a widow dating a widower. She tells me it is the way to go! :) I love the thought of the spouses in heaven conspiring for the happiness of those they left behind.

May we have a chance?
by: Janet Melanie

I know the two of you had a lifetime together,
But now that you have gone to the other side,
can I have my turn too?
I know he will always love you,
I will never ask him not to.

Can you release me completely to have one day at time with him?
As friends and more for comfort and companionship,
I know you would have liked him if you were both here.
You know me best,
Will you help me so he and I can be free together?
I will always love you,
He would expect nothing less.

Can the two of you please look down on us,
Give us your blessing, and guidance
Knowing that we will always have you in our hearts,
But allow us to have each other there as well.

We want friendship, peace, happiness and laughter.
One day at a time.
May be you already know that,
For after all maybe the two of you
Put the two of us together.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


The question of how long is long enough to wait after the death of a spouse before you begin dating again, is certainly one that will find as many different answers as there are people you ask. According to 'wiki answers':

Years ago there was a set time of a year, but today there isn't a time that is followed by society. I will give you a bit of advice though. After such an life event you need time to center yourself and to know who you are before you invite another person into your life. There is a chance that when you date too soon that you may make a mistake and remarry too fast because you are lonely and alone. A good guideline for a time is 2 years. This gives you time to recover, learn about the dating world, and decide what you want in a person for the future. You can take this advice for what it is worth, but I have found that the more centered and balanced you are with yourself the happier you will be.

Honestly I didn't look for an answer from Google when I found myself facing that question five years ago. I know of people who have given themselves a certain time frame - some sort of commitment that to them signifies they have shown proper respect to their spouse before dating someone new.

For me, my first relationship just happened. I certainly was not looking for it... And I did question in my mind if this was 'ok' or 'too soon'. But, it just happened. We were friends. I was in sales... he was a customer I met a couple months after Chris passed. Our friendship just evolved.

It has been five years since I met him. Guy #1. I think he would like being called #1. :0) We are still friends. Kinda. I say that because when I see him in a public place I don't hesitate to go up and talk to him. But, we aren't chummy... call and talk on the phone kind of friends.

When I met him he was in the middle of a mess in his life. Not a mess like mine, but a mess none the less. We just bonded in our friendship and found comfort in each other... in the escape that our relationship was. When I spent time with him, or talked with him I could laugh like everything was OK in the world. He brought me back to life. I suppose if I had waited two years, as wiki answers suggests, I would have made it there... but Guy #1 instantly brought it back to me.

Obviously ours was not a relationship that developed into marriage. There was some talk about that along the way... but either I was talking and he was busy with other stuff or he was talking and I was on a different page. We never found ourselves there together. What I did find was someone who my kids loved, and who supported me when I needed to be held up. I hope he will look back some day and take the embers from our relationship, as I have, and remember the depth of our friendship. Sometimes I miss that friend. He knows me.. I can predict his behavior. There is just comfort in the relationship. But, we move on.

Wiki does give some good advice.. I guess with me I started to discover what I wanted in the potential of a future husband by dating. I think that makes sense. When I was a teenager... dating helped me determine then the qualities I wanted in a man I married... so I think it makes sense that it would be the same as an adult. But, centered and balanced?? It has been five years... I still don't feel like I am quite there yet!

Monday, May 10, 2010


It was Mother's Day yesterday.

2 of my 3 children were here to enjoy the day with me and the third one did call and wish me a happy Mother's Day.

I am sick. I have a cold. My brain is not functioning too well.

I don't really know what my kids did all day while I was in bed. Oh wait, who am I kidding? Of course I know. They were very quiet and never bothered me.

Sunday in my house means we take a 'rest' from certain things. Electronics and gaming is on the list of things we rest from.

But, I guarantee my kids had a great Mother's Day. Mom was too tired to get out of bed and turn off computers and PlayStation. Which left them free to do as they pleased. I would like to believe they have been taught well. That with our new way of living... that means if Mom doesn't have time or is not home... the children have to rule themselves... I'd like to believe they followed the rules and spent the time very wisely... doing character building things like writing a letter to their grandmother and called their brother and read a book and did a random act of kindness for the neighbors and visited the sick. Oh, wait. The sick is me. They did come visit me a time to two. To see if I would take them to go see their friends. Such good children. Visiting the sick on the Sabbath. Even when mom isn't there to tell them to do it. What good children I have.

I hope all you Mothers had a great Mother's Day... and for any mothers like me.. who play both mother and father... if yesterday was not perfect, start planning. Father's Day will be here soon. Yes, I expect to be honored then as well.

Sunday, May 9, 2010


On this Sabbath I hope you will take a minute to watch this video of faith. Do we recognize how often our Father in Heaven is there to help us carry our burden? Do we see the good that comes from the trials we have been handed? They are there. Despite what we have to endure there is a silver lining to every cloud. Cling to and express gratitude for that silver lining. I know that Heavenly Father has a plan for my life. I know that the path of widowhood has afforded me opportunities for learning and growth unlike could have ever come. I am grateful for My New Life!

Saturday, May 8, 2010


It was a typical evening... filled with typical parenting 'stuff'. After my last run in the car with the children, I came in to take a shower. We then had some quiet reading / homework time with the kids then family prayer and we were headed to bed. As I was turning off the house lights I saw car lights on in the driveway. It didn't take me long to realize they were MY car lights. Puzzled, my first thought was in my craziness I had left the car running. No, car keys are right here. Weird. My car is one that the second you take the key out of the ignition... it goes dead. No lights, radio, nothing. So, how on earth my lights were on an hour after I had turned the car off I found to be quite puzzling. It wasn't all the lights.. just the daytime running lights.

I went outside, started my car, then turned it off again. They were still on. My options ran through my head. I could just forget about it and go to bed. I was tired and this sounded like a probable choice. But, the side of me that didn't want to deal with AAA in the morning won over and that choice was thrown out. I could disconnect the battery. WHAT? I don't know how to do that. I called my friend to complain. I chose her as she had just recently was having issues with her car, and had to learn how to do that. She told me the name of the wrench I would need... my whole body seized and I said no. Sometimes you just have to draw the line. There are a lot of things I am willing to do as a widow. THAT tonight... is just not one of them.

There had to be another option. I turned the car on again. I turned it off again. The lights were still on. I thought perhaps if I drove it around the block.... that would help. I started driving... knowing deep down inside this was doing nothing for me. So, I didn't drive around the block. I drove to my other friends house. I have told you about this friend's husband before... remember? The cat and the.. uh... maggots? Yes, my dear husband's fishing friend... who for five years has paid the price for being his friend. The one I always suggest with a smile that I hope the fishing was worth the years of having to deal with the widow... Anyway, I pulled into their driveway around 9:30pm, honestly just glad it wasn't an unreasonable hour.

He stopped his P90x workout to come help me (I am hoping that was actually a perk for him to get to stop). As I was waiting for him I was talking to my girlfriend and she inquired if I hadn't had this problem before. No. I am quite certain this has never happened before. Her husband came out and disconnected my battery... left it disconnected for a bit - then re-connected it. No use.

He offered to follow me home and he would disconnect the battery in my driveway and then come over in the morning to reconnect it so I could take it to the shop. I gratefully accepted... feeling just a little guilty that I didn't say "no, don't worry about it. I am sure I can figure that out".

He arrived home behind me and inquired... "Didn't this happen before?". No, I am quite certain I would remember such a thing. He decided instead to remove the fuse for the lights. It took a few minutes to find the right fuse - we (and by we I mean he) pulled the fuse and he was off.

I came in and decided to google it... to see if this is something that happens often to others. I pulled up the second hit. Wilsonhp, a cheesehead from Wisconsin wrote... "Check on top of your steering column....." I didn't have to read any further. Oops. This had happened before "for a small switch that is easily activated, but not real obvious when it is cycled. It turns the parking lights on/off."

I went out to the garage... like an independent widow... put the fuse back in... and flipped the little switch. No need to take the car to the garage tomorrow. Good thing... they would have laughed. I already paid them to 'fix' that once.

I sent an apologetic and grateful text to my friend.

Will someone remind me if this happens again what the problem is?

Friday, May 7, 2010


Those you begin to have a ‘relationship’ with…. Somehow become those you rely on to help with the kids. But, that is not necessarily what the other person wants from this relationship.

The minute you begin to think you are getting things sorted is the moment it begins to fall apart.

It all catches up with you. The kids have somehow become lazy and spoiled and you have become the servant who does it all with no help and just sass.

There are plenty of people I can do things with – I just have no one I can do nothing with. But when you start to spend time with someone… the kids have a negative reaction. Then you are divided… you don’t want the hassle with the kids.. but you would like human touch of another adult of the male variety.

The house is a wreck… Think seven dwarfs before Snow White showed up.

You can clean out the closets... but there are some pieces you can not part with.

Much to my children's demise... we did not buy a convertible. But, should my pocketbook have allowed such a purchase... it is very possible I may have.

In the end you survive... as do the children... and you start to thrive a little. You never forget the one has passed and for me we just try to make him as much a part of our daily lives as we can.

Thursday, May 6, 2010


You aren’t meant to do these things by yourself. He has no one to go to and tell them how mean you are being… When did I become mean? I don’t remember being mean before. But I am now.

Somehow it has gotten so bad your kids don’t even want to live with you anymore. How did it get to the point that the natural instinct to want to be with your mother is not even apparent in your children. You promise yourself it will get better – that you will make sure it does… but for too long there are only peaks of sunshine, not sunny days.

Some things just aren’t worth fighting over… like the clothes they wear or don’t wear… and chores.

Reducing the house rules to the things that are absolutely necessary. There is only one rule. You have to do what I tell you. Only I am not going to tell you very much.

Constant warnings are maddening…. It is true. So just let them find out the hard way… I haven’t got the energy anymore.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


Tantrums... Crazy tantrums from the kids with no real cause. How do you deal with it? They don't want you. They want their dad.


The whispering voice of your spouse... telling you what to do, when you don't think you can do it and you don't know what to do.


Seeing the sadness in your children's faces. And feeling your own. How can you be what you need to be and work through all you need to work through - the two don't seem to exist simultaneously.


Being late and feeling as though you have become this incompetent parent. Your kids are late for school and missing half the things they need. How did it get this way?


Feeling out of sorts at work. You have fallen off your game a little and somehow need to play that part as if your world didn't just crash around you.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


Are you going to be OK?

Of course I am.

But inside you are crying harder than you have ever cried and you wonder... will I? Will I really be OK?

Get away from it all and cry. I don't look pretty when I cry. No one needs to see that. But I did need to cry. And cry. And cry.


Doesn't death seem easier? I just want to go so I can join him. Why didn't he die when we were old... so we could have been one of those couples that die within days of each other?

Monday, May 3, 2010


How long until I can watch a movie during which someone suffers the death of their spouse via cancer and it doesn't make me feel that pain again.

No, the pain is not as intense... but watching the portrayal of that pain makes me remember what it was like... and how I felt... and reminds me of pain I had forgotten I suffered.

I rented 'The Boys Are Back". Ugh. This week I will share with you a few of the memories and lessons this reminded me of... If you find yourself also widowed and raising a child or children on your own... let the media help you heal. Rent it and cry.

Sunday, May 2, 2010


My friend Mary shared this with me a couple years ago. It has become one of my favorite things to read. It was said by a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Joseph B. Wirthlin, at General Conference in October 2008.

The Lord compensates the faithful for every loss. That which is taken away from those who love the Lord will be added unto them in His own way. While it may not come at the time we desire, the faithful will know that every tear today will eventually be returned a hundredfold with tears of rejoicing and gratitude.

Because Heavenly Father is merciful, a principle of compensation prevails.

Saturday, May 1, 2010


I was able to go see Jersey Boys last night thanks to Shannon for volunteering to play mom for me and run my son around while I was gone. There was some needless crude language in it - but I loved the older songs. I just love to sit and listen to the music that is enveloped in a story.

I had never been to a musical before I was engaged to my husband. He took me to my first the week before we got married. We went and saw Phantom of the Opera. That was the beginning. He loved musicals, and the songs from them and helped me to grow a greater appreciation for the various styles of music.

As I look towards my future there is and has been over the past five years a lot of discovering who I am and who I want to be. This I will take with me. I used to go to them or watch them to support my husband... but this one I found myself craving.

I just wanted to be there and to soak it all in.

So, one of the perks of widowhood was deciding it was a great Mother's day gift for me.... and buying it. Now I am downloading the album and will listen to it over and over again...