Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The Holidays

With two days to go, its finally starting to feel like Christmas.  To say the holidays have been difficult would be putting it lightly, but it is assuring to know that each day and event has gotten easier. I repeatedly remind myself that our separation was God's way of preparing us for this time in life.

I have been so blessed by our friends and family, who have kept us extra close during this season. I know Thursday will be difficult, but I'm dreading next Wednesday the most.

So many people have asked me what I'm doing for New Years or NYE, that I think they've forgotten its my wedding anniversary.   Initially we thought this would be the best day to get married.  "How you  start the year, is how you will end it..." and now it seems anything but celebratory.



Tuesday, December 30, 2014

ANYTHING YOU UNDERGO....

This year has definitely been one of struggle and heartache.... it has easily been the worst year of my life. 

 Even more so, it has been the most growthful (yes i made a word up) year of my life as well.

Most days I make it through the day without a complete breakdown.  
Other days it seems almost an impossible effort just to breath.  

I look around and still feel like I'm in a fog, possibly a bad dream, or maybe even a movie.  

Somedays I feel like I'm watching my life in 3rd person.  Likes its a movie playing out in front of me.  I see it... I feel it... I smell it...  I experience it...  but i have very little control over any of it. 

There are days that I have no memory of.  If i do have a memory of them, it's snapshots, clip...  Sometimes triggered by a scent or a phrase, and suddenly deja vu strikes.  A memory resurfaces. A friend usually fills in the gaps.

I was once told that when someone experiences tragedy, they go through shock. At the time I had no idea that I was experiencing shock.  In fact I was pretty irritated by anyone who even uttered it,  but looking back, I had classic symptoms:

Emotional and psychological symptoms of trauma:

  • Shock, denial, or disbelief
  • Anger, irritability, mood swings
  • Guilt, shame, self-blame
  • Feeling sad or hopeless
  • Confusion, difficulty concentrating
  • Anxiety and fear
  • Withdrawing from others
  • Feeling disconnected or numb

Physical symptoms of trauma:

  • Insomnia or nightmares
  • Being startled easily
  • Racing heartbeat
  • Aches and pains
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Edginess and agitation
  • Muscle tension

I had all of them at some time or moment.  There are times that I feel like I'm still experiencing some of these symptoms, but through church, family, friends, and even blogging I truly believe I'm making my way out of it.  


I've asked God many times why did this have to happen to us?
Wasn't there another solution? 
Other options? 
Why couldn't he solve our struggles another way?
What about Lani? 
When will i tell her the truth about what happened to daddy? (she knows he went to heaven, and she knows there was a heart attack, but no other details)
Did God believe her life would be better growing up with out a father?
What memories will she have?
How do I explain alcoholism to her when she is older?


So many questions and a forever feeling like there were no answers....

Day in and day out... 
Why God?
Why me?
Why us?
Why him?
How much more can we handle?

Finally at church this Sunday, i felt like God answered some or most of my questions through Pastor Edward's sermon.  (Note this is an earlier service than the one i attended but the gist is still the same)

The message began with 3 simple statements
1. There is a God.
2. He has a plan for you
3. Don't miss it.

In that moment, in the very first few minutes of the sermon, tears filled my eyes.  This was all God's plan. I don't have to understand it.  i don't have to like it. but i do have to have faith in it. 

There were a lot of great points in Pastor Conway's message but these few points resonated with me.


  • Nothing can happen to you unless he allows it, and if he allows it then he's prepared you for it. It's is preparing you for your future blessings. 
  • You have to have enough courage to take a step of faith and believe in God! 
  • We don't know what he's up to, we just have to be faithful. 
  • If you want to know what God wants done, you have to look at what he has done. 
  • Every problem you experience now, is linked to a future possibility and preparing you fro the future 
  • Because of your obedience in his will, God blesses you.

I've read my notes on this sermon, repeatedly.  And then today i saw this picture



and it was just further proof.

WE CAN OVERCOME ANYTHING WE UNDERGO!

 Now, while it's safe to say, i have no idea of the destination for the journey we are currently on, but i do know God has prepared us, and we will survive it.

SO HERES TO 2015. 
and to a journey and life completely unimagined. 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Life Unimagined

When I was a child I used to imagine that growing up and getting married was like a fairytale.  The castle, prince charming and of course the "happily ever after"!

As I grew up I learned that what I imagined was just that, A Fairytale.

And while some moments in life had been fairytalesque (yes i know thats not a word), life for me would be anything but that.  There would be highs and low,  good times and bad,  joy and heartache, and everything in between.

This time of year we take time to reflect on what we are thankful for...
In the past my list has been pretty typical:
1. my husband
2. my daughter
3. my family
4. my home
5. God continuing to provide for us each and every day.

This year the holidays have brought about lots of fear and anxiety for me.  Forcing that list to change in ways i never imagined
1. God:  Despite the heartache that we have experienced this year, i can truly saw that my faith in God has increased in leaps and bounds.  Every time my faith begins to waiver, he comes in to remind me that he is still there, and still protecting and providing for us.
2.  The good times that Sean and I had together and the memories that he and Lani were able to form before he passed.  Even more so the fact that we were able to capture so much of it on video so when she grows she is able to look back and reflect/remember the time she had with her dad
2. my daughter:  She is one of the main reasons I've survived this year.  She forces me to get up when i'd rather stay in bed all day.  Reminds me that someone is constantly watching and imitating what i do, and that i must stand up and give her someone to look up to.
3. my mother: Who always has my back and supports my actions even when she doesn't agree with them
4. my AMAZING friends and support group: While they've always had my back, they have been my rock the last 6 months and i've said time and again i dont know where i would be with out them.  Something so small as our little group chats make each day better. there is always a joke popping in when i need a laugh the most.
5. my home: While for a lot of people staying in the house would be awkward,  it has been a place of comfort for lani and i, and while we will most likely move in the near future,  at this current point im thankful to have a roof over my head
6. My JOB: Not only am i thankful to have a career, but im thankful for the built in family that comes with it.  They have taken care of us over the last 10 years, but especially the last 5 months.


I think if anything i've learned this year, is to stop making my plans of what the future will bring and rest in sure that God's plan will happen either way.  Even more so i've learned that to stop imagining what my future will be, and just take everyday for what it is,  while living Life Unimagined.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

A Soundtrack to Life II....

The last few months have been a whirlwind to say the least.... And while each day has it's painful moments, I can honestly say, I can see the light at the end and its so beautiful and clear...

So my soundtrack to life has changed a little

1. Pretty Wings by Maxwell:  Sean used to sing this song to my belly  when I was pregnant with Lani.  It was truly one of his favorite songs, and to be honest I never really listened to the words.  However on the one month anniversary of his death I heard this and I total got it.  Him leaving was giving us a chance to live the life he wish he could have given us....  The life we planned for and dreamed about as kids....The life that alcoholism had taken a way....  And it also helped me to realize that  he would want me to live my life and be happy....

2. Fix You by Cold Play: So describes how the last three years of my life were.  Constantly trying to help Sean overcome his demons and see the beautiful person that everyone else saw.  For such a great person, his insecurities were debilitating and kept him from every know how great he truly was

3. Make it to Me by Sam Smith  this song brings tears to my eyes for so many reasons.. while it reminds me of Sean, it also reminds me that there is someone else out there for me, and that this has all been a journey in my life but my road is not nearly complete

 4. Girls Just Want to Have (acoustic): This totally makes me think of my life right now, because i feel like the past 5 months has taught me to take advantage of the life God has given me and enjoy each day, but everyone wants me to be sad and depressed nonstop.  while i have moments of sadness and heartache, i feel like i constantly have to remind people that i didn't pass away as well, and each day I am choosing to live!

5. Drive by Incubus: This song just personifies me!  "Whatever tomorrow brings i'll be there, with open arms and open eyes."  I've been much more aware of the little things

6. Perfect by Alanis Morrisett:  For a very long time i felt like i had to be "Perfect."  That is a HUGE task to fill.  Honor roll, dean's list, college graduate, perfect wedding, SKINNY, well dressed, hair and makeup done, trophy wife, successful career.... and each time i didn't accomplish one of these task i felt like a failure at life.   That struggle with perfection actually was a major factor in my depression during college because i didn't feel like i was fulfilling the expectations that others had for me.  I remember being in middle school and hearing this  song for the first time and balling, thinking "WOW!" she put my feelings into words.  I think i am just finally getting to the point where I'm ok with my lack of perfection, self acceptance, and not really caring what others think as well.

7. Wide Open Spaces by the Dixie Chicks:  I feel like i spent so much time living my life to what i thought was expected of me, that now I'm finally exploring the world.  So at the moment I'm making mistakes and exploring my life with new eyes

8. Skyscraper (acoustic) by Demi Lovato~  What more needs to be said other than i will keep rising from the ground!

9. Awesome by Charles Jenkins~ This song has gotten me through so many days!  My GOD is SOOOO Awesome and the fact that i am still here today proves that. When i am down this calm wave just comes over me and suddenly i feel empowered and strengthened to fight another day

 
11. Break Free (Acoustic) by Jessie Micheals~ The first time i heard Break Free by Araiana Grande and Zedd i balled.  It totally made me reflect on my life and reminded me that i was strong enough to survive all of this.  I absolutely love acoustic versions of songs, especially this one.  I feel like you can feel the full emotion of the song.


Monday, October 27, 2014

A Not So New Ashley

So i've heard a lot of statements lately about the "New Ashley"....

It drives me nuts.

In one part, I'm like, i am the exact same person i've always been, but on the other hand I think, have you witnessed the last two years, especially the last 4 months.

For those of you who really know me, you know that i've always been the person i am today.
I've always been obsessed with make up and was a blonde for most of my twenties.
I have a million pairs of sunglasses and have always been obsessed with a good wax or laser treatment, and love a selfie.


On the other hand, it was safe to say that the stress of separation, Sean's alcoholism, work, school, etc had taken a definite tole on me.

I remember telling a friend that some days i look in the mirror and dont even recognize myself. I'm pretty sure I had fallen back into the depression that plagued my life off and on through out college.

And best believe I was a master of disguise.  In fact unless you were my roommate, Sean, one of my besties, or immediate family, you probably had no idea how deep my battle with depression was.  Especially since I became a master at masking those feelings, and putting on a happy face. But behind closed doors i stopped eating, would sleep for days on end, and cried nonstop. The worst part, was the fact the people complimented the resulting weight loss, and i would look at them baffled and just repsond, "not eating will do that for you" and they would laugh it off.  But i wasn't joking. I would then go through a binge night, aka fat girl night, and eat insane amounts of food, which usually resulted in me being sick as a dog for a few days.

Eventually between a great psychologist and doctor we were able to work out a plan that worked for me, and brought me back to the light.  It also resulted in a second butterfly tattoo (but tattoos are a different story).

When Sean passed away my friend Ginger and I began talking about the effects of an unhealthy lifestyle and how it would be horrible for Lani to loose two parents, because of lifestyle choices.

At that moment i decided that i couldnt die with Sean.  Yeas he was the love of my life, but our love had become very unhealthy both emotionally and physically. So I decided to exercise more, eat healthier, take my meds the way im supposed to, and take care of ME.  So that I could LIVE for Lani and myself. And when she looks back on her life and childhood, she could say my mom was a great mom to me, and if mental illness (God forbid) ever becomes part of her life story I can say, I've been there... I chose to get the help i needed.... I chose to live for you.... and you can too..

So long story round about.... I am the same Ashley thats always been there.  She's just taken the backseat in life for a while and now she's back in the driver's seat.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Nightmare and Explanations

before you read below, please know my blog posts are very descriptive. I try to capture every part of my dream before i forget it.  So you may not want to read any further.   


Since that phone call on July 17th,  I've wondered why God didn't allow me to be here when Sean passed.  I think last night I was given that answer.

Every time I've "Dreamed" Sean it's been so comforting and real.
But this one was obviously a dream, and i knew i was dreaming during it. I was watching it like a movie, much like my normal dreams.

Sean and I were up early talking and joking while Lani was still sleep.
He suddenly told me he did feel well, then grabbed his chest and gasped in pain.
I asked him if he wanted me to call the ambulance and he said yes.  I could see the fear in his eyes.
I knew he must really be in pain if he wanted me to call 911, because he hated doctors.

I searched around for my cell phone, which is normally on my nightstand.

Sean said "I know i shouldn't say this but, just in case,  I love you and will always watch over you."
Just then he grabbed his chest again and screamed out in pain.

the 911 operator answered and i told them i think my husband is having a heart attack.

During the call I saw the "gasp" they warned us about in my CPR training and immediately began.  I sat there balling and doing CPR for what seemed like forever begging him not to go.

I don't remember the 911 operator being on the phone anymore but Lani walked in. She thought we were playing and then realized something was wrong.

She began to cry and scream, but i couldn't take her out the room, i just had to keep doing CPR.
She would have to sit and watch

Why weren't the EMTs there yet? we live 4 blocks from a fire station.

The hardest part was that I looked at his face and knew he was gone, but i couldn't stop.  I had to keep going until the Fire Dept or ambulance arrived.  

I looked at Lani while doing compressions, and she kept crying.  I asked her to go open the door, for me so they could just come  in when they got here, but she couldn't reach the top lock.

I just kept staring at her and realizing i have to stop but couldn't.  i couldn't stop my self.

When i woke up I was still blowing rescue breaths and had tears flowing.

And in that moment i knew why God took us away.

No matter what i wouldn't be able to save him. That was his destiny.

And had we been here I would have had the guilt of not saving him, and Lani would have watched her daddy slip away. That would have been her last memory of him, instead of them having a self/dance party on the couch, the night before we left.

I lay in bed for some time and just thought about what happened...

And in the end I felt thankful for God being merciful for all of us.
I am sad that i lost my husband so soon, and Lani will go a lifetime with out her daddy, but...

I now know that Sean did go very quickly.
I know that he is constantly watching over us.
I am thankful that our last moments with him were happy and loving.


NOTE: 
I do realize this may just be my mind creating a story to help me deal, but i truly believe God has provided me with many answers during the last 2 months.

Monday, September 1, 2014

A feeling....

From the moment I arrived in Houston  I felt overwhelmed with emotions.  For 2 years I spent every holiday, long weekend, and summer vacation here. Houston was my second home.  As I drove down 45 south I kept thinking, how many times he drove this drive straight from work, just so we could cuddle. He would get there an hour or two before I'd have to wake up. It was a perfect surprise every time.

For a moment it hurt being here because this was the first time I was here without Sean.

Then a calmness and peace set in and I felt at home.

I felt so happy and a huge whole in my heart seemed smaller.

Watching Lani laugh and smile more than I've seen in the last two months, and feeling wrapped in the community of support .

The only tears have been knowing that I have to leave.

SFA Alumni lovingly refer to Nac as "neverland", and being around every one feels exactly like that.  While I know it's not a permanent fix for the hurt we are feeling, it is just what we need.


So for now I'm keeping my eyes on the 2nd star the right and straight on til morning!

See you soon  Houston

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Loneliness and Questions....

The anger has subsided and now loneliness has set in....

I miss my husband...

I miss the hugs...
the kisses...
your beautiful smile...
the laughter...
your smell...
the inside jokes...
holding me at night, and your scruff scratching my face and neck....
knowing my every secret, wish and goal in life...

i even miss the stupid arguments....
the long toe nails scratching me at night...
"wooking" with the door open...
the constant smell of beef jerky....
all the other annoying habits that i complained about  for the last 14 years(funny i cant remember one specifically now)...


I regret not letting him hug me too tight, or by squeezing both arms, because I felt claustrophobic...
I regret not showing you more PDA, because it "wasn't appropriate" or was embarrassing.
I regret not being there with you as you left this world and holding your hand...


I look around and wonder where my life goes from here?
I feel so selfish asking this.  I mean i should be greatful that God has spared our lives.
But it's honestly how I feel.

Why us???
What do i do now?
Who's going to love me now?
Why my husband?
Will I ever feel loved again?

Then I think of Lani and my heart breaks more.

She only had 4 1/2 years of having a dad... actually 4 years, 7 months, and 2 days. Some people get a lifetime of having a father. why not her?

Who will take her to  daddy/daughter dances?
Who will walk her down the isle?
Who will give her advice about men?
Who will intimidate guys who want to date her?
Who will her future husband ask permission to marry his daughter?
Why did God decide that she didn't need to grow up with a daddy?
Will someone fill that void for her one day?
Do we want someone to fill that void?
What will she miss most?


I go back and forth in my mind of why God has done this.

I try to convince myself that this was for a reason.

In my mind I want to believe we were meant to be, but my heart wants to know why it wasn't meant to be forever.

So I sit and just wait for God's plan to unfold, while my heart remains broken.

There is no band-aide for this.
There is no cure for this pain.


... and we are just here.....

sad....

sitting.....

in the loneliness and full of questions

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Dragonflies....

I've always had an obsession with butterflies and dragon flies....
Something about a living thing transforming into a completely different being, amazes me.

I remember being little and my grandmother telling me that dragonflies were spirits from people who have past, and they come back to guide you.  I did a little research recently and this is a native america symbolism.

Philosophy of Life and Death
When the dragonfly larvae, or nymphs as they are called, are ready, they shed their casing and the graceful adult insect emerges. As much as this represents change, it can also be taken as a symbol of death, when the soul leaves the body. Also that the soul, after leaving the body, resides in a different realm, can be likened to the fact that the life of the dragonfly is also spent in two "realms". While the larval stage of the insect that is spent underwater, can be likened to life on earth, the emerging of the adult insect that has wings and is airborne, can be compared to the soul that is free from the body.
Read more at Buzzle: http://www.buzzle.com/articles/what-does-a-dragonfly-symbolize.html#general-symbolism

As a result i've always loved the movie Dragonfly....


Just the thought that our loved ones would find a way to come back to you and guide you, is just beautiful to me....

So..... story round about, since Sean has past (that still seems weird to say), we have seen dragonflies everywhere, especially the cemetery.  Normally we only see one or two, but when we visit the cemetery there are swarms of them.  Now normally that would kind of creep me out, but since Sean's passing it has brought me comfort. I have seen them every single day! The scientist in me is like, maybe it is just a coincidence, that he passed away during the peak of their metamorphosis season.  But the romantic in me feels that it is Sean sending Lani and I loves! Every time she sees a dragonfly she is so excited. "Daddy came to visit us!" The way her face lights up, and she smiles, makes my heart smile.

So thank you Sean for the daily visual reminders that you are always watching over us!   We love you a million xs a billion xs infinity





Thursday, August 14, 2014

It Seems Like Yesterday....

Tomorrow is August 15th.
Officially one month since you went to heaven.

But today thursday is the day that stings.
Thursday was the day our lives changed forever.
4 weeks ago on thursday...

Exactly 40, 380 minutes ago.

In my past few posts the words just seemed to flow, and I was able to express pretty vividly how i was feeling.

But today i am lost for words.

Today i just miss you.

Today i wonder how time has continued when it seems like everything should have stopped.

So all i can say is that we love you, we miss you every minute of everyday, and we look forward to our dreams and pray each night that we will see you there.


See you soon my love... a million xs a billion xs infinity

Saturday, August 9, 2014

3:02 am....

3:02 am... i looked at the clock to be sure it was real.... I've never had a dream that felt so real... one where I could smell, feel texture and warmth....

I felt a hand hold my hand. I could feel every grain and crease in your rough hands that fit perfectly to mine perfectly, and i knew it was you. And there it was... 3 squeezes... and i squeezed back 4 times...

I could feel  you laying down beside me and holding me.
wrap your arms around me only the way you could... I could feel your warmth and that safe feeling...

I could feel your kisses on my cheeks and the back of my head and it was the best feeling in the world.

I asked if you were ok and happy?
You said "Yes" and that you loved me and missed me, and I told you I loved and missed you too.
you didn't sound super happy, but you weren't sad either.  there was a calmness in your voice.

I was too scared to move to turn around and see you because if i was dreaming, this would end, and i'd much rather feel you and lay with you than nothing.

We talked some more.  You said you were proud of me, and hanging with Grandma and your Dad!

In a flash you were laying in front of me. You had on a white t-shirt, your glasses, and black and red basketball shorts that i haven't seen in some time.  I saw your beautiful face and you looked so perfect.  You hugged and kissed Lani without waking her and told her you loved her.

Just as she jumped up you disappeared...

I looked at the clock again still 3:02... it seemed like an eternity, but the time hadn't changed... it just stood stil

She asked had i seen her sippy cup, and then for some milk.  We looked for it, and couldn't find her cup so she just came and laid next to me and then she said it...

she had a great dream bout daddy that he kissed her and hugged her and told her he missed and loved his toom time bears...

Then she fell back to sleep...

I could hardly sleep again. Scared i'd miss another moment. That you'd appear again

At some point i dozed off, but woke up again to feel the blankets tucked all the way around me, like you would do when i was sick, and i knew it wasn't a dream...

I just lay there still.. feeling him...

Lani woke up a little later with the biggest smile on her face, and told me her story again this time in much more detail.  She asked me to write it down on her notepad....

Daddy, Sean, Showed me Bella, Batchy, & Bailey

Then he said "Lani! Hey! theres my toom time bears!"

He came down to see me.

We had a conversation.

we had fun.

we went outside to play soccer, early when mommy was sleeping.

Daddy loves me, he always said he loved me forever before the bible.

Daddy is always with us.

He'll always be my friend.



The tears of joy and heartache have been streaming ... miss you so much my love... see you soon... a million x's a billion x's infinity




Thursday, August 7, 2014

The Club....

3 weeks ago today our family was initiated into a club that none of us signed up for, wanted to be in or even really realized existed.

It was a club for people who experienced sudden loss of a loved one. For some it was a spouse, for others a parent or child....

At first my feelings were that their loss wasn't the same as mine, but that meant Lani's loss wasn't as significant as mine as well and thats just wrong.

My good friend told me "a loss is a loss."  It is different for everyone in the situation but its still a significant loss.

The loss of a husband...
a father.
a son.
a brother.
a best friend
an uncle.
a son-in-law.
a brother in law
a nephew
a boss
a friend
and so on...

He played a significant role in so many peoples lives and we are all hurting.... differently but hurting....




Wednesday, August 6, 2014

The Battles....

I'm not only angry at others, but I have anger and regret at myself as well....

Every day I have this internal battle of "why didn't i stay in town?" ...  "maybe God didn't want me here when it happened"

"Why did i choose not to see him at the funeral home?" ...  "Did i really want my last memory of him to be that way?"

"Why didn't I fight harder to get him to go to the doctor?" ... "Would he have ever really went?"

"Why? Why? Why?"... "Would any of this make a difference?"

Thank God for Lani's crazy personality to constantly make me laugh or remind me that Daddy is watching over us, and as I try to be strong for her my heart constantly aches.

I try to convince myself that our separation was God's way to prepare me for this one day, but im not sure I truly believe that.  Nothing seems to prepare you for this...

Being in public send my anxiety through the roof, and seems like a constant reminder...
of all the families that are still happy and whole...
 All the babies we will never have....
Of how we were supposed to grow old together but didn't...
of daddies and daughters playing together and experiencing things that Lani never will...

Each new form i have to fill out for our new life...
the minute i get to the marital status line.... single or married....
i still feel married. i still have on my wedding ring. but i guess i'm single?!?!?
why isn't there a widow box?  That word widow is like a dagger in the heart

It is all so overwhelming and quite often i'd like to stay in the bed all day with the covers over my head. But thats not an option, because I'm a mom too.  And thank God for that.... I've said it time and again.  she is the main reason I'm alive today.




Sunday, August 3, 2014

Safe to say I'm in the Anger Stage

I'm pretty sure I'm in the anger stage of grief.

Angry at Sean for never going to the doctor, and possibly avoiding this heartbreak that we are experiencing right now.

Angry at God for taking Sean so young, leaving Lani without a father, and me without my partner. for not giving me the chance to say goodbye... for Lani only being 4 and not getting a lifetime of memories that other kids will have.... for allowing other people to live to be 102, but my husband to be 32.

Angry at every person that says I'm sorry for your loss. I know how bad you must be hurting... unless you lost your husband unexpectedly, and became a single mom out of no where, i'm pretty sure you don't.  I didn't loose a shoe or a piece of jewelry, my husband died.  Do you know what its like to tell your child she will never see her dad again?  or to just look at her when she asks why because i have no real answer why either

Angry at everyone who says pull yourself together and be strong for your daughter... 1st off its important for her to see me cry and grieve, it helps her grieve as well.  secondly who are you to tell me about my kid and how to parent??? unless you were up with us at the hospital all those many nights, and been there contributing to her life

Angry at every person who says "If you need anything, just ask"... Um yeah, i have no idea what i freaking need and what if i said I need you to pay off his car, or pay Lani's daycare bill, better yet help with the mortgage and utilities this month... oh you didn't mean that type of anything did you... so don't say anything

Angry at every person that tells me that God just needed another angel and called him home... Really because there were lots of people to choose from to be an angel, why Sean?

Angry at family and friends who haven't been there the way they should be or causing more stress and pain during this time. So often I just want to yell and scream "F OFF" or "F ALL OF YOU" to  them.

You weren't there then....

You aren't here now...

This isn't about you...

I don't feel sorry for you...

I don't accept your apology....

But i don't say anything .... i just look and wonder if this anger is going to end.  I ask God for the strength to move forward, not on.  Moving on seems like we continue to have this honky-dory life without Sean, and thats not whats happening.  Moving forward is that we find happiness despite loosing Sean and try to find Sean in even the smallest things.

I continually read the following verse and try to remind myself of God's plan.    Pretty sure faith and Lani are the main to reason's i've survived the last 3 weeks


10 This is what the Lord says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place. 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity.[b] I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”
Jeremiah 29:10-14

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Its only just a dream.... but my prayers were answered

Last night I dreamed of you.....

You were smiling and laughing so loud that it woke me up and i walked to the den to see if you were there.

Then I realized it was only just a dream.

Even still it made me smile.  I'd been praying for one more moment with you and God gave me that. So for now I have to be satisfied with seeing you in my dreams.

I miss and love you so much.  I know we will meet again.


Friday, August 1, 2014

NIGHTMARES AND NEGOTIATIONS

Every night when I go to bed I pray to God that this nightmare will end.... I'll be more appreciative.... I'll be a better wife, mother and person, whatever is necessary for one more hug, kiss, smile, laugh, even just a silent view from a far....

My daughter cries and jumps in her sleep and I wish I could make all this better

And every morning I wake up still living this nightmare.  I call it a nightmare because it doesn't seem possible that this is my reality.

My doctor mentioned how important it is to "get back to normal"!

But what is even "normal" any more????

Our whole way of life has changed.

The only person I want to call and tell how I'm feeling is gone.

My daughter keeps asking me why she doesn't have a daddy anymore?

And i can't answer her because the truth is I need to know the "WHY?" myself.

Through out the day i try to convince myself of various scenarios of why this has happened but none of them really seem to make sense...

So then i look at the clock and its night time again, and i go to sleep making the same plea with God...

Please end this nightmare for Lani and I

Thursday, July 31, 2014

2 weeks

2 weeks ago today at 5:52 my phone rang with the call i'd been dreading since 4:44 that morning.  i woke up on a the cruise ship somewhere in Louisiana to a group of text messages.  None of them from Sean.  I tried to call him but no answer..... i text no answer.... thats odd... but i went back to sleep... i woke up again and called again still no answer... i continued to call and text until 10:00 am, when i told Gin that something was wrong.  There was no way it was this late and Sean hadn't answered....

Instead of hanging around New Orleans for the day we would hit the road immediately.  At noon i started calling and texting his family and friends. No one had heard from him since Monday.  Panic set in.  His best friend Shawn called at 12:30 and said not to panic but "Sean was a no call, no show for work for two days."  My heart sank.... the man who worked through the flu, would never miss two days without calling... i called his mom and sister back.  we pulled over at a Mc Donalds in some small town and i broke down in the car as Gin took Lani inside to grab food... His sister told me to pray but i knew in my heart that this was not going to end well.

 I begin to pray that he collapsed, maybe he would be hospitalized, anything but dead...

His mom called 911 and they did a well fare check... "everything looks fine"

i logged into the alarm system from my phone and saw it hadn't been disarmed since it was set monday night before bed.... i called and text my neighbor... they went and checked and could see that our dog was still in the house....

i called 911 again, still in Louisiana...   they transferred me to longview tx 911, who eventually connected me to Garland 911... She forwarded me to the police department... after making my way through levels of the police department, the police chief finally agreed to break down the door...  I was told i would receive a call in 30 minutes... at 5:52 the phone rang and everything changed

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Just Like That...

The phone call no wife ever wants to hear....

"Hello Mrs. Harris, this is Lt. _______... Are you driving?"
"No"
"...I'm sorry Mrs. Harris, your husband is deceased."

Just like that my whole world came crashing down.  He said more but I don't remember much....

Four hours away, somewhere in Louisiana, our 4 yo daughter in the back seat asking where is daddy and why cant she talk to him?

I called my next door neighbor, because clearly the police officer was wrong, but she said it was true.

The next call was his mom, a call I never expected to make. Not even sure what I told her...

... the next four hours seemed like an eternity...

We switched cars near my neighborhood, so my dad could take Lani to their house, and my mom and Gin could drive me home.

Pulling up, there were so many cop cars, but the Coroner's van seemed to illuminate.  It was as if the air was sucked out my lungs.  Sean's best friend Shawn was standing in the front yard, when the medical examiner walked up to me and notified me again that my husband passed away.  It seemed he had a heart attack...

I needed to see him... I needed to hold him... I needed him to know I was there...
(I.... I....I... I feel selfish writing all those I's)

But I couldn't do anything... All I could do was sign and allow them to take him. They put me in my mom's back seat and made me lay down.

He hated doctors and hospitals... He would be scared to go by himself (I had to hold his hand for a flu shot and TB test) ... I should be with him... He was already gone....

LANI... Oh God... I have to tell Lani....

How will she ever understand? What do i say? I asked Gin and she said to be specific and be sure to say died.

We got to my parent's house and I decided to tell her right away (we discussed telling her in the morning, but i couldn't keep telling her he was in a meeting.  she was already suspicious of that)

We talked about who was her best friend (daddy) and how much daddy loved her, then that daddy died and went to heaven. She looked puzzled, then let out a scream. it was the worst pain ever, and there was nothing i could do to fix this.  We talked about daddy for a while then she crawled into my lap and cried herself to sleep....


and just like that her whole life changed as well....



Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Lani's 4 year old Shoot and Stats (a few months late)


Some how some way my little baby has turned 4!!!! 

She is even more feisty than she was last year, and has too much attitude for one little girl.  She constantly amazes me how smart and well spoken she is, to the point that people constantly ask us how old she is. 

 Our doctor has even suggested having her tested for giftedness, which is nice since her teacher mentioned she might have some learning delays (don't get me started).
She  is obsessed with ballet class,  the movie Frozen, and getting married.  She  knows quite a few site words.  can write her name as well as ours.  She knows her phone number and home address, and randomly what everyone in the family is allergic too 0_o
But i thought i'd let her tell you about herself in with this little survey
 Favorite food: Pizza, Yogurt, Strawberries and Raspberries

Favorite Sport: Cheerleading and Soccer

Favorite TV Show: Doc Mcstuffins and Sophia the First

Favorite thing to do at school: Play outside

If i could take an airplane any where i would go to : Dea's house and Cinderella's castle

Favorite Color: Pink and Purple

When i grow up i want to be a : FIREGIRL (its like a fireman but its  girl ; D )

favorite song: Thriftshop by Macklemore


Favorite book: Pete the Cat and Pinkalicious
3 words that mommy uses to describe you:
 sweet, sassy, and  persistent 
Favorite time of year: summer
Favorite snack: fruit snacks, cheese sticks, go-gurts,    and pretzels

Yuckiest food: blueberries and ketchup
My best friend at school: Sophia and Malachi
Other friends at school: Charlotte, Evan, Rainey, Charlie, Cristina, Makenna, Henley, Nathan, Bradley

Places I want to go: Mexico for Papi's birthday
Someone i miss: my dog bella
Favorite pet: a kitty cat (that we dont have) and Benz 
Teachers: Miss Rau & Miss Amy
 Favorite kind of ice cream: Strawberry sherbet


Favorite Movie: Frozen and tinkerbell

So every year I write a letter to Lani a letter. This year I decided to create an email address for her, and shared it with our close family and friends.  i've also sent her videos of herself, hoping that one day she will look back at all these.  if you are interested in emailing her let me know and i will send you the link privately! 


But just incase here we go...

Dear Lani~ 
This past year has been rough... you are growing into your own person and challenge Daddy and I every day.  With that said I admire your spirit and spunk and it leaves me with the confidence that you will be a leader in your future and will stand up for what you believe in.  You are also a truly compassionate soul.  I pray that these qualities carry you forever.  I love you so very 
much and thank God every day that I was chosen to be your mommy! 

































Lets play Catch up... and Lani is 4

So  I have to be completely honest... i have not been keeping up with my blog. However, one of my goal for 2014 is to post more regularly!

 So i figured it was best to start with the beginning of the year...

The new year started off pretty great!  
I was blessed to get an awesome new car about a week into the new year!!! 

Then we had Lani's 4th bday. 

We began celebrating her birthday with a party at school, then a trip to the aquarium




Spent some time working on Little Miss Sass a Frass







i took pics for my uncle's wedding







Lani ended up in the hospital with stitches



Luckily she was able to get them out the day before the party.

This year we celebrated her birthday with a tea party at the American Girls Store.  She and her friend were so cute and well behaved.  


Nini and Dea were busy opening presents!!!



Lani and her BFF Sophia













Lani's liitle Cousin Kendyll! These two sweet cousins love each other so much.  It makes my heart smile to watch them on face time together.  


wedding video