Sunday, May 29, 2011

In Memorial

If there is one thing my Mama taught me it was a deep love for this country we live in and those who have fought for it. I don't think I ever saw my Mom sing the national anthem without becoming emotional, a happy pride so strong that moved her to tears and made her want to burst. It embarrassed me as a child but now when the national anthem is played I find myself doing the same thing. She was so proud to be an American, as am I.

To the Coast Guard, the Navy, the Air Force, the Marines, and the Army...from our home today we honor you.

May God continue to bless you!
We love you!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Dear Mom: Thanks for making us dinner

Dear Mom,

Last night after working hard all day I didn't have the energy to cook dinner. I dug into the depths of our freezer, praying I would find something to feed our family. Then I saw your neat writing: Taco Soup. I couldn't believe it! You're still pulling through in my time of need :)

Remember when John was about to head back to Utah alone again you told me to raid your freezer and send him home with some meals for him and Caleb... somehow they missed that Taco soup! The boys were SO excited when I told them that Grandma had made dinner last night for us. Turns out that was no ordinary Taco Soup either - it was so yummy with chicken and olives! Caleb even ate it which is saying a lot!

Anyway, I just wanted to say thanks for making me dinner after a long day. You're the best!


ps. If you can figure out how to get me the recipe too that would be amazing!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

I can (hopefully) do hard things too

Two days before Thanksgiving I gave my Mom this necklace. I had seen it in the r house couture shop and loved it. As the reality of my Moms diagnosis sank in deeper and deeper I couldn't get my mind of the necklace. I thought about getting it for her for Christmas but when you know your dying...why wait. I gave my Mom all her presents before Christmas this last year - Carpe Diem! :)

On Thanksgiving day each year she walked a 5K in Palm Springs. She had spent the last year working so hard getting healthy, eating clean, and getting strong and yet she would be forced to ride in a wheelchair this year. I knew it was going to be a bitter disappointment for her so I gave her the necklace the night before the walk. When I saw the emotion on her face as she read the message I was glad to see that she too was extremely touched by the simple message.

Thanksgiving Day 2010

Now the necklace graces my neck.

I have been having a really hard time lately. Her birthday, the 3 month anniversary of her passing, and Mothers Day all within 2 weeks was brutal. I fell behind in everything! The fog that seemed to permeate my mind while she was sick returned. I don't know how to describe it but no matter how hard I try to remember things and care about things everything just leaks out and I'm left with a misty fog that prohibits any sort of clarity of mind. It immobilizes me.

The farther I fell behind the less I cared. I tried to care. I wanted to care. I just didn't care.

And then the burden became even heavier with the realization that this time I couldn't call on my Mom for help. About once a year I would get behind and overwhelmed and that's when I would call my Mom and she would come and help me put things back in order. She never judged me for overextending myself because she was an overachiever too. But this time she is not here to rescue me and make it all better. Once again the reality hits home how my life has changed.

I have so many friends and loved ones that I know would step in at any moment but its just not the same. When Mommers came there was no fear of putting her out, no need to tell her what needed to be done, no need to explain myself - she just understood and intuitively knew what to do. That's what made her my Mom.

I have spent the weekend trying to get back on top of things and John has been wonderful in helping. I am getting there, I just need to find the motivation to stay there. Why when life gets hard does the desire to do everything good for me disappear? Eating healthy, exercise, reading my Scriptures, all seems impossible to do even though I know it will make me feel better.

Maybe I needed to write this simply to understand what I'm feeling, to purge the feelings out of me so I can let them go.

I will continue to wear her necklace as a reminder that I can do hard things too. After all, I learned from the best.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Smoked Paprika

Dear Mom,

While shopping at Costco yesterday I noticed they started selling huge containers of smoked paprika. I can see the delight on your face and hear the squeal that would have escaped your lips when you found that out.

Nothing like your favorite spice in Costco sized containers :)

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mothers Day

Mothers day...I went into this week expecting it to be really hard and while it has been hard I have been pleasantly surprised to find that this week my heart has been filled with more gratitude than grief. My heart and mind have been overflowing with all of the reasons I am grateful you are my Mom.

Did you remember that last year we were together? What a gift! I am so grateful we got to spend your last Mothers Day together!

I remember before church you getting all weepy and teary while trying to tell me how proud of me you were. You told me you were proud of the Mother and woman I had become and that nothing brought you more joy than to see that. I'm sorry to say that I brushed you off and changed the subject, but I am so grateful you took the time to express those thoughts. Ive reflected on those words many times in moments of self doubt. They especially meant so much because at that time they didn't have to be said.

One year ago you were the picture of health and wellness.

You were feeling great after having just recovered from your back surgery and you were so happy to finally be feeling fit and pain free. It would only be a month or so after this that you began to notice the weakness in your hand. I still cant believe how much has changed in just one year. It is still so surreal!

We were with you again this year. We brought you flowers and took a few minutes to sit with you. It is so beautiful and peaceful there, especially in your little corner of the cemetery.

The cemetery was packed with people honoring their Mothers and Grandmothers. It was so cool to witness and it reinforced once again the power of a Mothers love for those she has loved.

We remember you today Mom. We honor you and the sacrifices you made to be the wonderful Mother you were. I gave the boys some Grandma Silly kisses from you while at your graveside and they giggled with pleasure just like they use to when you did them.

Love you forever Mom!

Happy Mothers Day!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Cupcakes for Caroline!

Ashlynn not only wrote that awesome essay but she also is putting on Cupcakes for Caroline to raise money for the ALS foundation!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Santa’s Neighbor

This is an essay written by Caroline's only granddaughter Ashlynn, who is 10. This paper won first place in it’s division district wide, then went on to receive an honorable mention at the county level.

Santa's Neighbor

Sometimes I can compare my grandma to Mrs. Claus. It is a riot at my grandma’s house at Christmas. Let’s just say the streets are jam packed with cars and there are crowds of people. You would not believe what happens at their neighborhood.

At my grandma’s, Christmas is a BIG season. It takes her an entire two weeks to decorate her house. (And that’s just the inside of her house!) The outside takes her one week (with the help of my grandpa). It looks like the North Pole got dropped off at their house! She even decorates her bathroom! (It’s creepy with all those Santa’s staring at you while you’re trying to go to the bathroom.)

When we all get together for Christmas, it’s a tradition that we go and look at lights. There isn’t a house in their neighborhood that doesn’t have lights. My grandma’s not the only one that has a house that looks like the North Pole got dropped off there. It is CRAZY in their neighborhood! There are so many lights. People sell hot chocolate, there are bands; it’s fun. There are even award winning houses there.

You can smell the musty scent of old lights that have been lying in the garage for 359 days a year, and freshly mown grass. You can hear the faint tinkling of bells, and fuses burning out. Or taste the hot chocolate dancing on your tongue, and feel the wind beating against your face. Sometimes you see horse drawn carriages or a little golf cart driving around that’s decked out with lights. It if rains, that’s not stopping people; they just hop in their cars instead of walking.

I love it when I go to my grandma’s for Christmas because I get to look at her neighborhood lights. It definitely looks like Santa’s neighborhood. This year has been hard for us, because this year my grandma got a disease called A.L.S., so she wasn’t able to decorate as much, but that wasn’t stopping her! Since we knew that this year was going to be her last year, my uncle and dad wanted to give her the best Christmas present ever! So, they took a wire and attached it to a tree. With the other end, they attached a light pole across the street and built a miniature sleigh. Then they set the sleigh on top of the string and put some teddy bears and some L.E.D. lights on it. It was actually pretty cool! If you pulled a string that they put on it, it would fly across the street like Santa’s real sleigh! Like I said, since this year would be her last year, they wanted to send her out with a BANG! So even though last Christmas was her last Christmas, we knew that the lights were certainly staying there.