Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas Without Erica

Over the weekend our family gathered together to celebrate Christmas. This was our second Christmas Without Erica. My heart hurts because my nieces weren't able to spend Christmas with their mother. It's been hard to accept this change in our family. When I look at my nieces, I just want them to have their mother back. No amount of presents can fix the hole the loss of their mother has created. There's nothing I can do to fix it and no hug that will replace a hug from their mother. Each year we will face Christmas Without Erica and each year we will miss her and wish she were here.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Holiday Struggle

'leaf selection' photo (c) 2006, craig Cloutier - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/
So, my holiday struggle began at the end of October. During this time of year I find myself missing my sister more than usual. The holidays are a hard reminder that she is gone. There are plenty of things in my life that I am thankful for but sometimes the heartache I feel during the holidays is hard to overcome. For me, the holidays are a reminder of what's missing in my life. My emotions during this time of year can be very stressful and sometimes overwhelming. It's a daily struggle to stay positive and be thankful for what I have. Since I don't have the option of skipping the holidays, all I can do is pray for strength.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Death was Coming

'Dead Flowers' photo (c) 2008, Eric - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/Some nights I sit and wonder, did my sister know death was coming?  You know how you get that feeling in your gut that something is wrong or that something is going to happen?  Do you think we get that feeling when our time has come?  I have no experience with this topic, but the thought that Erica knew death was coming has been with me for awhile.  I find it intriguing that she went to church the Sunday before her death and church wasn't an every Sunday routine for her, or I.  Was there something that prompted her to go?  A feeling or a pull that she knew that's what she needed to do?  Or was it simple coincidence?

There may be no answer to this thought in my head, but the idea that we could be aware that death is coming is a little comforting.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Happy Heavenly Birthday!

'Cupcake' photo (c) 2008, Christine - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/I want to wish my sister a Happy Heavenly Birthday!!! Today she would have turned 36. This day is a reminder for me to embrace the time I have. Birthdays may come and go and the years may add up but at some point we celebrate the last birthday we will ever have. All that we can ask is that somebody remembers us when we are gone and today I remember my sister.
Happy Birthday sis!!!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

No Fairy Tale Ending

When Erica and I were kids we would play make-believe all the time. We would pretend we got married and had kids and lived happily ever after. We tried on our mother's wedding dress and took pictures and we would constantly wonder who we would marry when we grew up. We wanted our lives to have a fairy tale ending. The happily ever after that happens in children's books. This is where the false idea of marriage and family is introduced to young girls. Prince Charming doesn't just show up, kiss you, and you live happily ever after. Reality is much different! Sometimes that Prince turns out to be a toad and makes you miserable until you die.

There is several things that bother me about my sister's death but especially today on my fifteenth wedding anniversary. It bothers me that she never found her fairy tale ending. I hate it that she died single, a hard working mother, and at a hospital alone. I wanted her to find a man that would sacrifice for her and love her the way she deserved. I wanted to see the light in her eyes when she looked at the man she loved. I wanted her to be happy. Erica experienced No Fairy Tale Ending and she passed away before her happily ever after came true.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Time Alone

'alone' photo (c) 2010, nfarmer - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/On my days off I have a lot of time alone. Most of the time this is not a problem, however I have days when my time alone is spent thinking about my sister. Today while cooking dinner my mind drifted back to the day she died. I was doing the same thing, standing at my kitchen counter and preparing a meal. When my mother called and told me Erica was going to the emergency room, I never for one second thought she would die. I went about making dinner. Now, knowing the conclusion to the story, I wish I would have dropped to my knees to say a prayer. Just another regret!

My time alone reminds me that I'm still grieving Erica.

Monday, September 10, 2012

If I Had Only Known

Erica & Andrea, 1981
Each day I think about my sister. The passing of time has not taken that away. It has been a year and a half since Erica passed away. My heart still drops and tears well up in my eyes when I think back to the day she died. The thought comes to my mind....."if I had only known," there would be many things I would have done differently, if I had only known. I would have called, sent a text or an email, a little more often, if I had only known. I would have made sure I said what needed to be said, if I had only known. In my mind we were going to grow old and get gray hair and have plenty of time to do sisterly things together but, I was wrong. Now, each day I live with that regret and the thoughts of what should have been.   

Friday, August 10, 2012

Thinking of Erica

'Erica regia, Kirstenbosch, Cape Town, South Africa' photo (c) 2008, Derek Keats - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/Over the last couple of days I've been thinking of Erica a lot. It's been a year and five months since she passed away and I don't want to forget the last time I saw her. I want to keep that memory of her smile alive. She was laughing and having a good time and I wish I would have taken some pictures. My metal pictures have a tendency to fade and so I have to actively picture my sister to keep her memory fresh in my mind. That's the funny thing about time, it can help you heal but it also causes things to be lost. I will continue thinking of Erica so time does not steal the memories I cherish.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Pondering the Meaning of Life

'Pondering' photo (c) 2009, auntjojo - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/Do you ever ask yourself the question, what is the meaning of life? Over the last week with all the tragedy and heartache surrounding the theater massacre I find myself pondering the meaning of life. Here are some of my pondering thoughts:
  • Is there a purpose to our existence? 
  • What is that purpose?
  • When we fulfill our purpose is our time through? 
  • Why do some suffer horrible deaths and others go quietly into the beyond? 
  • How does a massacre fall into "God's plan?"
  • Are we supposed to learn something significant from these events?
As you can tell this isn't just a casual rambling but rather thought provoking questions. Is there a deeper meaning than what we see on the surface? The funny thing about pondering the meaning of life is there are no answers. There is just more questions.  Religion is based on faith and since I'm a religious person I should have faith. Faith that our existence has meaning. Faith that there is a reason. Faith in God.  The only thing about faith is it doesn't "give" you answers.  My personality seeks answers and therefore faith, and faith alone doesn't provide me with the answers I'm looking for.  So, I'm left pondering the meaning of life.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Another Sudden Ending

'The Old Rugged Cross' photo (c) 2008, abcdz2000 - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/
Today was another sudden ending of a great life.  A work colleague passed away this morning.  It's just another reminder to seize the moment.  Yesterday he was laughing and smiling and today he's gone.  It's strange how one day it's just the end of our physical existence.  Here one minute and gone the next.  Right now I'm just a little stunned and sad for another sudden ending and the beginning of another families journey through grief.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Memories of Fireworks

'Sparklers!' photo (c) 2009, Derek Key - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/Memories of fireworks and Erica have been on my mind today. When we were growing up our immediate and extended family used to gather for a Fourth of July celebration.  This usually included hot dogs and burgers on the grill, mom's homemade ice cream, and some chilled watermelon.   When the sun set the fireworks came out.  I was always a little afraid of getting burned by the fireworks.  Not Erica!  Erica loved to light the fireworks.  Sparklers, Black Cats, you name it, the louder the better.  Erica always enjoyed this holiday.  Now, it just seems empty without her.  My memories of fireworks include my sister and I'm missing her today. 

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Justifying Death

'Yellow summer flowers' photo (c) 2004, Blue moon in her eyes - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/There continues to be a need inside me to justify my sister's death.  What was the reason?  We know the cause, anaphylaxis.  But the how and why continue to plague me.  Was it just her time?  Was God sparing her from something unpleasant in her future?  Justifying death is difficult.  Many questions come to mind when I think about Erica's death. Why would her throat swell shut with NO known cause?  Can stress really kill you?  If stress can kill you then somebody or something was the cause of my sister's death.  There has to be a reason.  So, I will continue to seek the reason for her death.  Justifying death is a process and the process continues.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Another Moment Missed

'Ilkley Moor at Dusk (2)' photo (c) 2009, James Whitesmith - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/Yesterday was another moment missed in the lives of Erica's daughters.  I couldn't help but think about the significance of the day.  It's sad because even though we move on with our everyday lives these special moments are always going to be hard.  It also depends on who's perspective you're looking at.  Everyone is affected in different ways.  Moments that don't affect me may have a profound affect on my parents, brother, or Erica's friends.  Each of us grieve Erica and have been impacted by her death in different ways.

For me, one thing that I have learned through losing my sister, is that you never truly understand the impact someone else has on your life until they are no longer here.  It's too easy to get wrapped up in our own lives to realize the value each relationship have to us.  Now, each moment missed I am reminded that I should have taken the time, when I had it, to make the best of our time together.  Another moment missed and another lesson learned too late.       

Monday, May 28, 2012

A New Meaning

'Memorial Day Flags' photo (c) 2010, eddiecoyote - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/
Today is Memorial Day and for a lot of people it's just an extra day off work.  However, there is a new meaning to this day for those who have lost a loved one.  It's a day to remember and appreciate the sacrifice of our soldiers and the legacy of our loved ones.  It's a day to be thankful for what we have and to recognize the impact of those before us.  This day has a new meaning for me.  Grieving Erica forced me to realize the fragility of life and to see the true impact we all have on each other.  Sometimes it takes the absence of a loved one for a new meaning to be revealed.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Clouds of Grief

'colors' photo (c) 2010, TIFFANY DAWN NICHOLSON (TDNphoto) - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/This weekend I celebrated my birthday.  It was the second birthday I've celebrated without my sister.  Last year I was still shocked that she was gone.  I looked back to see what I wrote on my blog and I'm glad I did.  Click here to read that post, Seeing a Rainbow.  It's amazing the difference a year makes. You could say I have seen the rainbow at the end of the grief storm.  This storm left a lot of wreckage in it's wake and many things will never be the same again.  For a long time it seemed the clouds of grief would never lift but life has a way of turning things around.  It happens a little bit at a time until one day you realize the clouds of grief have lifted and sunny skies have returned.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Erica Awarded a Posthumous Degree

'Graduation Hat' photo (c) 2007, Korean Resource Center 민족학교 - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/There were many things my mother had to attend to when Erica passed away.  One thing my mom pursued was getting Erica awarded a posthumous degree.  Erica was working full time and going back to school to obtain her Bachelor's degree in Nursing.  When Erica passed away she was one semester away from graduating with her degree.  My mom's persistence paid off and tonight she will have the honor of accepting Erica's posthumous degree from Oklahoma City Community College

I sometimes wonder how my sister did it.  She was a single mom working a full time job and she still found the time to pursue her education.  This degree is a reminder to her daughter's that Erica sacrificed a lot to pursue her goal of obtaining a degree to help give them a better life.  I want to thank my mom for pursing this.  The posthumous degree is a wonderful tribute to honor Erica.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Missing Moments

'Outdoor Flower Gardens' photo (c) 2010, likeaduck - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/The last thing a young parent wants to think about is missing moments of their children's lives because of their unexpected death.  Unfortunately reality doesn't care if you don't want to think about this issue, it can still happen.  The subject of missing moments was on my mind all weekend.  Erica's youngest daughter had a memorable event this past weekend and it breaks my heart that Erica missed it.  Each time her daughter's have a birthday or participate in a special event I'm reminded of these missing moments.  It's hard to get past the fairy tale of happily ever after and accept the reality that life is unpredictable and you may not like the hand you're dealt.  Life is made from one moment to the next and it's up to us to make those moments count. 

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Joined in Heaven

'Holy Cross at Sunrise' photo (c) 2011, Sean MacEntee - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/Today my grandpa Andy and my sister were joined in Heaven by our lifelong neighbor and friend Travis Grayson.  Travis was a kind and warm hearted man who could always make me smile.  I grew up across the street from his farm where he raised cattle and the occasional pony.  I was one of the lucky ones who was given permission to fish at his amazing ponds.  My grandpa and Travis were great friends who would help each other with farm projects and shared farm equipment.  When my grandpa passed away it helped knowing Travis was still around.  My heart is heavy for our loss of a truly great man, but I rejoice in knowing that joined in Heaven are great friends who are catching up on old times.    

Quote: "Unable are the loved to die. For love is immortality". ~Emily Dickinson

Monday, April 9, 2012

The Easter Reminder

'At the cross I bow my knee, where Your blood was shed for me.' photo (c) 2009, db Photography | Demi-Brooke - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/This was the second Easter without my sister.  I know every year I will experience the Easter reminder.  The celebration of Easter reminds me that because Jesus gave the ultimate sacrifice for our sins we shall have eternity together.  Although Erica has left her earthly body, her spirit is alive.  The Easter reminder should be a daily reminder of God's love for each of us. 

John 3:16 - “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life".

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Accepting Death

'Tulip' photo (c) 2010, Stefan van Bremen - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/
Through my experience of grieving Erica some of the information I have read talked about accepting death.  One of the hardest parts of the grief process, for me, is getting to the point where I can accept that Erica is gone.  Accepting death?  When I look back at all the loved one's who have passed and the time it took me to accept their death, there is a big difference.  There are several factors that make it harder to accept Erica's death.  The majority of the relatives I've lost have been related to a long term illness or known health problems.  When you know a loved one is sick you can start grieving before they pass.  You can say your goodbyes and start the acceptance phase of grief.  The unexpected nature of my sisters passing sent my emotions into a tailspin.  The shock and adjustments that our family experienced has made accepting death more difficult.  

Can I say today that I have accepted Erica's death?  The answer is no, I haven't.  But, I am working on it.  I'm continuing to take it one day at a time.  Accepting death is a process and for me the process continues.

Quote: “One has to accept pain as a condition of existence. One has to court doubt and darkness as the cost of knowing. One needs a will stubborn in conflict, but apt always to the total acceptance of every consequence of living and dying.”  ~Morris West

Friday, March 16, 2012

Blogging as Therapy

'Journal Entry' photo (c) 2010, Joel Montes de Oca - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/When my sister passed away I knew it was going to be hard for me.  I knew several friends that sought counseling after a divorce or a death in their lives.  Keeping a journal was one therapy tool that many of them used to cope with their feelings.  I decided to use blogging as therapy.  I knew it would help me process my thoughts and my family and friends could read my posts.  I know a blog about death and grieving is not the most popular but for my purpose it has helped me cope with my loss.  The one thing that binds us all together is that nobody is immune to loss.  Each of us deals with loss in our own way and I hope my blog will help others realize that their not alone in their pain.  Death can be hard to talk about and I knew I didn't want to internalize my feelings.  Blogging as therapy has worked for me.  There is some comfort in knowing that when my nieces are old enough and they want to read my feelings about losing their mother my blog will be here for them.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Lesson in Grief

There is a saying that "God doesn't give you more than you can handle".   After my great grandpa Skeet passed away last February I honesty didn't think I would be able to handle losing a close relative.  In fact the exact thought in my head was "Dear God I'm not ready to lose any of my family".  Two weeks later my sister passed away.  I struggled with this for a very long time.  I somehow felt it was my fault that my sister died because I had that thought.  I felt God was trying to show me something.  Was he giving me a lesson in grief?  Had I tempted fate?  I had a very hard time believing that God would take a mother of two beautiful girls just to give me a lesson in grief.  It took me several months to work through the guilt and blame that came with my thought.  I choose to believe that my thought came with very bad timing and God didn't punish my sister just to teach me a lesson in grief.  In the end whether I was ready to lose a close relative or not, it still happened.  The days that I didn't know how I would get through them, I did.  Losing my sister showed me I was stronger than I thought I was.  A lesson in grief that will never be forgotten. 

Thursday, March 8, 2012

One Year

When Erica passed away on March 8, 2011 I honestly didn't know how our family would get through our loss.  Today marks one year since she passed away.  Everyone in our family has handled Erica's death in their own way.  My journey of grieving Erica was handled one day at a time.  With each passing day and then each passing month healing occurred.  Erica may no longer walk this earth but she lives on in our hearts.  Her legacy lives on in her daughter's and her beautiful smile lives on in the many pictures we cherish.   Day after day, month after month, and year after year I will not forget my sister.  One year of grieving is behind me, but standing before me is a lifetime without my sister. 

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Call

'Scenic Telephone Box' photo (c) 2006, Lloyd Morgan - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/There are numerous things that I forget on a daily basis but the call I received about my sister's death is burned into my memory.  Nothing prepares you for the call about a loved one passing.  It's safe to say that we had no family plan on what to do when an unexpected death occurred.  I realized that my phone list was seriously out of date.  I didn't know who I should call or what I should do.  I didn't want to call people on their cellphones because I didn't know what they would be doing.  I live over two hours away from my parents and I knew that the loss of my sister was devastating to everyone.  Getting the call sent my system into a grief induced nausea anxiety attack.  I was immediately sick to my stomach and felt like I was going to hyperventilateThe day we lost Erica is burned into my memory.  I may forget where I put my car keys but I know exactly what happened on Tuesday, March 8, 2011.  

Monday, March 5, 2012

I Still Wonder

'Wondering' photo (c) 2007, Feliciano Guimarães - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/I don't think it will matter how many days, months, or years go by there will always be things that I still wonder about concerning Erica's death.  I still wonder about the circumstances in her life, and I wonder how if  different decisions had been made by the individuals who impacted her life maybe she would still be alive today.  It's long been said that with every action there is a reaction and with every action a consequence.  The thing is sometimes we fall victim to others actions or inaction.  I believe stress was a huge factor in my sister's death.  Some of this stress was brought on by her decisions but a lot of the stress she was under came from others.  This is why I still wonder if others had made different choices would my sister still be here today?     

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

What Would You Do?

'Kailua Beach.' photo (c) 2005, skyseeker - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/If you knew you only had one week left to live, what would you do?  Would you write a letter to your children to let them know how much you love them?  Would you do something crazy or go somewhere you've never been?  What would you do?

At this time last year my sister only had one week left to live.  I've wondered what she would have done if she knew?  Since an answer to this question isn't possible, I've come up with an image of her in my mind.  I see my sister on the beaches of Hawaii in a straw hat laying on the beach with a pina colada in one hand and a book in the other.  Erica told her girls she would take them to Hawaii and she loved to read.  So, this image somehow comforts me. 

What would I do if I only had a week to live?  I would go to Busch Gardens in Tampa Bay, Flordia.  What would you do? 

Monday, February 27, 2012

Around the Table

'Cafe tables outside' photo (c) 2008, I See Modern Britain - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/The gathering place at my parent's house is the dining table.  It was around the table that I had my last conversation with my sister.  This last weekend I went home to visit and I couldn't help but remember that it had been a year since the last time I saw Erica.  When we gathered around the table this weekend the conversation topic was the complete opposite from last year.  There was no sarcastic humor or crude jokes, just the stark reality of the absence of my sister and the issues left behind.   

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Great Grandpa Skeet

'Candles' photo (c) 2009, L.C. Nøttaasen - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/
One year ago today, my great grandpa Skeet passed away.  He was 97 when he passed.  He had lived a wonderful life full of love for his family and service to his community.  He was married for 71 years before my great grandma Jewel passed away. Through his life he worked and provided for his family.   During the depression he worked for the WPA, he was a farmer and cattleman, he worked in the trucking industry for 22 years, and was elected as McClain County Commissioner from 1968-1975.  He finished off his career working as a field deputy for the county assessor's office.  He also served on the Washington City Council where he helped develop several areas of his hometown, Washington, OK.

Throughout his life, grandpa Skeet helped his parents, his family, his community, and anyone else that needed it.  He was a giving and kind man.  Many happy memories remain of my grandpa.  When we were kids my sister Erica and I stayed the night with our great grandparents Skeet and Jewel; the next morning they took us to the local diner and introduced us to all their friends.  I remember thinking that my grandparent's must be special because they knew everybody.  On the way home we convinced them to stop and buy each of us a stuffed animal.  You could tell grandpa was proud of all his grandchildren and he always had time to hear what you were doing.

The grieving process for my great grandpa Skeet was cut short by the sudden death of my sister Erica.  So today I want to honor my great grandpa for a life well lived, and a legacy of kindness and love for others.

Quote:  "A grandfather is someone with silver in his hair and gold in his heart."  ~Author Unknown   

Monday, February 20, 2012

The Mirror

'Soft Reflection' photo (c) 2011, fayemozingo - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/Sometimes when I look into the mirror, I see my sister looking back at me.  We looked enough alike that you could tell we were sisters.  When I'm brushing my hair in front of the mirror I'm reminded of her.  Before Erica passed away she was growing her hair out to donate to Locks of Love.  I admired her for helping others.  When I look in the mirror I see her nose and I can picture her purple glasses looking back at me.  The mirror helps remind me of my sister.  Although my sister is gone, everyday in the mirror she looks back at me.   

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Last Valentine

'Heart of flowers' photo (c) 2010, Ben Tesch - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/Last year my sister celebrated her last valentine's day here on earth.  I don't know how she celebrated or what she did; she may have worked to keep her mind off her divorce.  The one thing I do know is I sent her a card I made.  The card was pink and covered in hearts, with a ribbon accent, and XOXO on the front.  I had just started making cards, so this was the only card I made my sister.  When we buried her ashes I buried the card with her, the last valentine I gave my sister.  I hope she knew I loved her. 

Quote: "A sister is a little bit of childhood that can never be lost." 
~Marion C. Garretty

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Eleven Months

'Eleven on the Sky' photo (c) 2005, Martin Snopek - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/Today marks eleven months or forty-eight Tuesdays since Erica passed away.  With every passing Tuesday another week of grieving is behind me.   When I think back to this time last year I would have never thought about my sister dying.  In fact I would have expected life to continue on in the same manner as always.  It just goes to show that we can't predict what lies ahead.  Eleven months ago I learned just how unexpected life can be.  The quote I picked today reminds me that I too would like an unexpected death.  There is some comfort in knowing that my sister didn't suffer a long illness that took her life.  She was able to live to the fullest everyday until she took her last breath.  It took me eleven months to see what a blessing she was given, the blessing of an unexpected death.

Quote: “Which death is preferably to every other?  ''The unexpected.”
~ Julius Caesar

Thursday, February 2, 2012

As Time Goes On

'Hourglass' photo (c) 2011, Jamie - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/You can probably tell by the lack of blog posts that as time goes on grieving Erica has become more manageable.  I still have moments that her death seems unreal.  I have moments where I break down into tears, but my day to day life feels more in control.  As time goes on my heart is still heavy when I think about my nieces growing up without their mother.  They have a strong supportive family and I know that makes a difference but it's not how I pictured their lives.  As time goes on I've noticed how many people are hurting with the loss of a loved one.  Each day another family starts their grieving process.  Erica's death has changed my reaction to the loss of life.  I've realized just how quickly life can change.  As time goes on different feelings and lessons will be revealed as I continue my journey through life.

Quote: Time is the most undefinable yet paradoxical of things; the past is gone, the future is not come, and the present becomes the past even while we attempt to define it, and, like the flash of lightning, at once exists and expires.    ~Charles Caleb Colton

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Life Happens

'Beauty from Adversity' photo (c) 2010, Kate Mereand-Sinha - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/
We are blessed everyday when we wake up in the morning.  We have been given another day to discover something new, or complete an unfinished task.  Along the way life happensLife happens in positive and negative ways.  I believe the way we deal with life issues is a true testament to one's character.  There seems to be a lot of negativity circling around these days.  It can be hard to stay positive when the people around you want to spread their negativity.  Life happens to everyone.  Nobody is immune to the ups and downs of life.  A big part of life is how we react to problems.  Will you let the problem define you, or will you define the problem?

Quote: "All the adversity I've had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me... You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you."  ~Walt Disney


Friday, January 13, 2012

Precious's Urn

Precious's Urn
Today marks a month since Precious passed away.  We miss her very much.  Since we live in the city we had her cremated and placed in a nice urn.  The urn sits on our fireplace hearth near a spot she used to lay.   Precious may be gone but she has a permanent place in our hearts. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Ten Months

'easter 2008 - winter starts again - Ostern 2008 - Wintereinbruch' photo (c) 2008, Michael Bertulat - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/It has been ten months since Erica passed away.  Thinking about Erica the other day I had a strange realization.  This time last year, my sister only had two months left to live.  Of course she had NO idea that her life would be over in the coming months.  This prompted me to reflect on my life and the path that I'm on.  We never know when we might be living out our last two months of life.  I guess that's where the saying "life happens when we are busy making plans" comes into play.  The plans we make today may never happen if death comes our way.

Ten months of grieving Erica has forced me to be realistic about life.  I no longer live in my "everything will be fine" world.  The jolt of Erica's death was a wake up call for me.  When it comes to life, there are no second chances.  When your time is up, the game is over.