Friday, February 1, 2013

2 years later....

Today marks the 2 year anniversary of my Moms passing. Each year as my way of honoring and remembering her I think of what advice she would give me based on her life and example for the stage of life I am in. 

Dear Mom,

I can't not believe you have been gone for two years. I have healed a lot this year. You are not forgotten by any means but the pain of losing you is starting to be forgotten. I've been hearing you whisper to me for a while now to unplug from all the media that surrounds me. I have had several conversations continue to pop into my mind we had about the importance of you being home and available for us when we came home from school. I don't think I fully appreciated what a gift and sacrifice that was until now. I am a blogger now and so this is not always an easy thing.

One of the New Years goals I set this year is to unplug each day from 4-8. Scouts, sports, and carpools make it hard to do some nights but I am loving and cherishing that time each day. Most days I put my phone in my room where I can't even hear it during homework, dinnertime, and bedtime.  I find myself looking forward to that time each day because it's so relaxing to just be present with the boys and unavailable to the world. Its amazing how so many tiny distractions here and there interrupted the mood of the house. I find that I am much more patient because I can be totally present. We laugh more, play games almost every night, and in just one month I can see that my relationships have deepened with the boys and John.

The other thing I have been thinking about a lot is how much you used music to set the tone in our home growing up. You always had some sort of uplifting or gospel music playing. I remember you talking about that when you were sick. You told me you did that so even when you weren't teaching us, the music and the words were. I have (unfortunately) become extremely aware of how much music gets into the boys minds - dang that gangnam style song!

I've been looking for new and good music that is uplifting but also fun. Rachel introduced me to her husband's band, The Lower Lights. It's exactly what I've been looking for! You would have loved it! I also have several Pandora stations that play great music that we are listening to more. I should probably make a new station of Whitney Houston music, you LOVED Whitney. I can still see you tearing up while singing along to "One Moment in Time."

I know that you of all people understand how hard pregnancies and the baby stage were for me. Hormone imbalance can be hard, devastatingly hard. I feel a little hardened by those years. I also know how much fun you had with us at this stage of life and I'm learning to let the past go and hopefully the happy go lucky girl will continue to come back more and more.

I miss you!!! I miss calling you when I need someone to complain to who doesn't judge me. The loneliness is slowly fading but I miss your laugh. Most of all I miss how much you loved my boys, John included. You are not forgotten! We talk about you and we keep your traditions and memory alive. There were some changes I knew I needed to make this year and you have given me not only the direction to make them but I also pull strength from you and the courage and determination you lived your life with and passed onto me.

Love you Mommers!

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Monday, October 29, 2012

A Poem on ALS

I got the sweetest email the other day from a new friend named Hollie. Her husband Adam has ALS and they shared a poem that Adam wrote with me. I loved it and they gave me permission to share it here with you too!
By: Adam Caldwell
My legs don't listen to me any more
My hands forgot what my fingers are for.

My lungs can't seem to hold any air
None of this seems very fair.

My necks not up to the task at hand
My head feels like 50 pounds of sand.

My muscles are all shrunk and dwindled
I feel like I've been robbed and swindled.

My voice has almost joined the void
Good thing I have two thumbs and an android!

Love is something that will never strain
It eases the hurt and the anger and pain.

Spirit is one thing they can't take away
And I've got plenty some people would say.

I remember as bad as it gets you see
That there's always someone worse than me.

So ill finish my life just like I started
And cherish every moment until we're parted.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

ALS Walk 2012

My Dad, Uncle, and Aunt all walked in the Walk to Defeat ALS this year. My Mom was one of the Faces of ALS along the path. So beautiful!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Walk to Defeat ALS 2012

Dear Friends and Family,
Linda and I are together at Lake Cavanaugh looking back to last year at this time as we organized our teams to support the cause of defeating ALS in memory of Caroline and all others who have lost their lives to this disease as well as those recently diagnosed.  Simply put, we will never forget your generosity and feel immense gratitude for your support.  Several of you have asked about plans for this year’s walk.
Although we are not organizing formal teams this year, we will be walking at our respective events and would love to have you join us! Here are the particulars:
Bellingham Walk:  September 29 in Bellingham Washington
Orange County Walk:  October 20 in Irvine California
This year, Linda and Denny will be walking with Kay and Ned Kennedy in support of Bob Duffy and in memory of Caroline Rober and Neil Kennedy (Ned’s brother) who both lost their fight to this devastating disease.
Larry and Pam (Caroline’s sister) will be walking on October 20 in Irvine CA in Caroline’s memory.
The need to find a cure remains as critical as ever.  Please join us to walk if you can, donate if you would, and keep your hearts and prayers with all of those battling this devastating disease.  You can register to walk or donate at the web sites shown above.
Thanks again for your overwhelming support last year.  We will always be grateful.
Larry Rober and Linda Howson

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Didn't We Almost Have It All...

I haven't been able to actually sit and write these words out until now. I know its probably so lame but I was devastated when Whitney Houston died! So much so, I just pretended it wasn't real. I grew up on Whitney. My Mom loved her long before the Bodyguard days. My Mom would blast Whitney when she was cleaning, in the car, and on road trips.

I remember doing a lip sync in 4th grade for the Olinda talent show to "The Greatest Love of All" with my friend Marzette Greytack. I remember us practicing on the side of our house in our cool baggy sweatshirts and stretchy pants that were our costumes.

I have another great memory from my Freshman year of High School. I was driving home with my Mom from the Stake Seminary Scripture chase and I had won! I beat everyone out, including my older brother Brian who was in the finals with me. I wasn't exactly the coolest kid so this was a pretty big deal for me. As we were driving home in our big Van it was just me and my Mom. She got all teary and said she wanted to play me a song. Whitney sang me, "One Moment in Time." Its a funny memory but it is so distinct. In that moment I felt so great because my Mom was so proud of me.

After My Mom died I listened to Whitney - A LOT. It made me feel close to my Mom and her music brought me so much comfort. Somehow losing Whitney so soon after my Mom makes it hurt all over again.

I don't like singing solo.

Monday, February 13, 2012

All wrapped up!

Its snowing but I am all cozy in my new warm quilt. The first quilt Ive made and actually had quilted.

My friend Leslie helped me start a quilt top from my Moms t-shirts. I finally finished putting it together and with my friend Andee's advice and encouragement I got the backing done too. Andee's Mom is a great quilter and she fixed a few places where it needed it, added the batting, and took my quilt to her quilter to have done and it looks amazing! She also fixed the back because I didn't have quite enough on it and then trimmed it all up for me. Seriously the support and kindness people have showed to help me get this done is so touching.

Each of the quilt blocks are done differently.

Around each of the blocks is a darling leaf pattern.

This is what the back looks like.

Andee's Mom is going to bind it for me too because she is the BEST!

Now I can get a hug from my Mom anytime I want. It means so much to me!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Cemetery Video

My Dad took this video at the cemetery this morning. The music is Going Home by Kim Reed.