Saturday, December 28, 2013

Another Christmas Without You

Dear Mom,
I just really miss you! I can't believe another Christmas has come and gone.  It just goes by so fast.  I was so happy to be on break!  This has been a bit of a challenging year for school.  It is my first time teaching a combined class, I have 18 third and fourth graders!  Oh the stories I would have loved to come home and tell you some days.  And I will have to share some of them with you because they are just too good not to.  It is not just a challenge teaching a combined class, but the kids are challenging at times as well.  They are learning some life lessons along with their academics this year.  But I think it's very necessary that they learn some of these things.  These are just things that you taught me growing up, but these kids don't seem to know some of these things, sadly.  Or if they do know them, they act like they don't or they forget once they step inside the doors of the classroom.  But we're all learning.  I do have to say, I actually feel more like a teacher again.  I feel like I got a little of my confidence back (that bear-like quality that the kids say I have:). And the week and a half leading up to break, which was also accompanied by a full moon, was a pretty wild week.  The kids were so excited, they could barely contain themselves, which made it very difficult to teach.  So this is why I say I was so ready for break.  I had already done some decorating after Thanksgiving.  I put the butterfly tree that I have for you back up in the living room.  It's such a pretty tree if I do say so myself. :)  I just love it, and love how it reminds me of you!  But there really isn't much that doesn't remind me of you or pappy these days.  This season has seemed a little more emotional for me than even last year.  Those cute Christmas specials will come on, and more and more this year, after watching or even during watching them, I would be in tears.  I miss watching them with you, even though many times toward the end of your sickness you would be in your room just watching the Hallmark channel while I watched them.  And if I went into your room to change the channel to the special, you would get upset and ask me to change it back.  But they still made me think of you and miss you terribly.  Then college kids and others were coming home to be with their families.  And some families were traveling distances to be with their families.  And there were new kids or new marriages, or different scenarios that were special.  It was hard thinking about all these families and the special, fun times they would be sharing, and how Bella and I would be here by ourselves.  It is nice and cozy and quiet, and I am able to really catch up on my sleep, so I really shouldn't be complaining.  But you know how Satan is, he gets in my head to tell me how lonely I am, and I struggle not to believe it.  Of course I have many wonderful friends who check on me and make sure that I'm OK, but it's not the same as having you and pappy around and making fond memories as we would decorate or bake or watch movies.  It's just different, but I'm thankful for the memories.  I got spoiled as usual by my kids at school.  And of course I spoiled Bella!  I went over to Uncle Cephus and Auntie Ann's house of course and had a great time hanging out and laughing with them, and my cousins.  Oh yea, Ma, guess what?  Derek, Chris' son got engaged!!  I doubt you would have remembered Yvonne, but you did meet her at least a couple of times.  Her and her daughter.  They are so nice and I'm so excited for Derek.  There have definitely been lots of engagements this Christmas!  And no, there is still nothing much going on here, like I said, just me and Bella.  But maybe for now that's enough! :)  I miss you!!  I want to talk to you, I want to hug you, I want to kiss your sweet little cheek and hold your hands.  I want to watch TV with you, I want to dance and sing with you.  I want to take you the mall, to see lights, to a Christmas program or play.  I just miss you!  I talked to your friend Mrs. Russell today, and she was saying the same thing.  She just misses you!  She misses you dragging her to the mall to get presents for pappy and me, and for others.  She said she missed talking to you, too.  Well, so do I, which is why I do it on here, even though I haven't been keeping up with it well.  But I will continue to share with you, because it makes me happy to do that and to think about you as I do!  I miss you, and mommy....I love you!!!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Another Attempt

Dear Mom,

I've written you a few times over the past few months, but never quite finished my posts.  Not sure why either.  I have been missing you so much lately.  I want to come home from my crazy school days and tell you all about them, but I can't and I miss that so much!  I want to share with you things that have been going on.  I have wished I could get your advice about things.  I have wished you could pray with me about struggles.  I have wanted to laugh with you, cry with you, hang out with you, and now, I am so wishing I could go to all the fairs with you!!  I just miss you!  I have been going a little crazy because I am teaching two classes this year, third and fourth grade.  I have never done that before, and it's pretty interesting.  I am a little worried that I might not do so well.  I don't want to fail these kids or their parents, but this is so different from what I'm used to, especially the past couple of years.  Plus, I have some pretty interesting characters that I have wanted to tell you about.  I know you would get a kick out of hearing my stories!  I miss sharing them with you!  Then, another wonderful person from my church/school joined you and Pappy on Saturday night.  It was unexpected, another heart attack, and he was only 56 years old.  He was a big part of our school as well, as he coached girl's basketball for years!  He was a quiet, but loving, kind, wonderful man.  I hurt for his wife, they have been together for years.  My heart breaks for his newly wed son and daughter who I think just had her second child.  The slide show pictures of him with his grandkids was so precious!  The most recent fond memory that I have of him is from last year.  One of the highschool classes was selling Little Caesar's pizza kits, I usually try to get at least one or two every year.  Last year, I couldn't afford to get any at all, which made me sad, but that was life.  So, I just tried not to think about it.  Then one of the highschool girls asked me if I wanted a kit, she said someone bought one from her, but didn't want it, so she thought of me.  That was so sweet and special.  But when I was telling that neat story to my friend Angie (who is the one who joined you and Pappy last March), she got a little mischievous look on her face.  She said, "Well, I guess you're getting two kits then."  She said Mr. Marshall bought two from her son Zack to help him out, but he really only wanted one, and he told Angie to give the other one to someone else.  She asked, "What about Stacey?"  And she said he said yes, that would be a great person to give one to.  Definitely give it to her!  That is how kind and generous and big-hearted both of these people are!  I will miss them so much, too.  I guess that's just it, I'm missing some wonderful, special people in my life.  I'm trying not to let it get me down or discouraged, but as the saying goes, "Heaven is looking sweeter all the time!"  I can't wait to see you again!  I miss you tons, and I love you bunches!!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Happy Mother's Day!

Dear Mom,

It's Mother's Day!  Another first without you!  I miss you so much!  I didn't think today would be that bad because I had been OK this week.  There was a Mother's Day breakfast at church, but I couldn't really bring myself to go to that.  I struggle with things like that anyway.  I wouldn't know where to sit, and it would be awkward.  Plus, I never have gone because we would go to your church, or you just weren't able to go with me.  So, I got to church in time to practice with the choir a few minutes before church.  We walked out onto the platform and when church was ready to start Pastor came up and asked if choir would move a little to the sides so people could see the screen because he had a short movie he wanted to play.  It was a cute little video of cartoon type pictures and an adult asking questions to little children.  They asked how the kids knew when they made their moms happy and how they knew when they made them sad.  They asked what their mom's liked to they were like their moms, and how they were different.  At first through those questions I was doing OK, able to hold off any possible tears.  But then they came to a question where they asked what do you love most about your mom or what do you like to do with your mom.  And when they started talking about hugging, and cuddling, or doing certain things, I could no longer hide the tears.  I just let them stream down my face.  I figured that would attract much less attention than if I kept trying to wipe them away.  Then right after that the choir was expected to sing.  I don't have much of a voice anyway because of my allergies, but I pretty much just mouthed it all, since I was pretty choked up.  But I made it through.  I wasn't sure about the church service and how I would do.  The special music was pretty emotional, too.  The service ended up being OK.  I sat next to my friend Loretta, and Tiffany (one of the twins, remember them?)  came and sat with us.  I made it through and then came home, not sure if I was going to do anything else.  I hung out with Bella and we got our naps in, then I heard from my friend Loretta, and we went out to dinner.  We went to Evergreen and ate at Ted's.  It was pretty awesome!  So, I was able to have a pretty good day even though this was such a tough one.  I really missed you!!  But I missed so many phases of you.  I missed the you that I never knew, but only saw in pictures as a young adult.  I missed the you from when I was younger and you took such good care of me.  I missed the you from when I became older and we shopped and hung out together.  I missed the you that I loved as an adult, where we were super close, where I thought of you as my best friend.  I missed the you that was Dad's amazing caretaker!  I missed the you that became weaker and weaker to the point where I was your caretaker.  That was tough, but I would never trade it for the world.  It was my pleasure to be able to take care of you!  You were the best mom to me, the least I could do is to make sure you were well taken care of.  I am so thankful for you, I couldn't have asked for a better mom or a better friend!  I love you so much, and miss you terribly!!  I can't wait to see you again!  I wish I could hug your neck and kiss your cheek one more time, but I know I will again soon!  I'm so glad you are happy and whole, but I still really miss you!  Just want you to know!  You're still and always will be my favorite girl!  I love you!!!!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Happy Easter

Dear Mom,

Happy Easter!!  I missed you so much today, missing pappy lots, too!  I couldn't help but think that last year you were with me.

I loved this picture that one of my former kids took of us last year!  Never know what a year may bring forth!  Glad I treasured these moments with you!
There has been so much that has gone on in the past month or so.  One big thing is that one of my dear friends Angie Larson went home to heaven.  I know you already know that and have probably been spending some time with her.  She's pretty awesome!!  Oh and you would love her, because she was also a purple girl!  So many people had purple on for her funeral too.  She came over this summer when you really weren't doing well.  She and her daughter Raycheal came with Dunkin Donuts coffee for me and went into the room to see you, stayed and chatted with me for a while.  And Angie got down on the floor to play with Bella.  She loved getting her going.  They had so much fun together.  I really miss her, she was one of my closest friends and was my biggest cheerleader!  She was always at the school doing so much to help out.  I would always get my daily hugs from her, and some encouragement.  She was only 47 years old, and left behind 5 kids and her husband.  Her youngest is a precious 12 year old boy that was a Mama's boy.  It's heartbreaking!  So as I thought of you today, I also thought of my sweet friend and her family!  I'm missing all of you!  
But, today was a wonderful day in church.  We have a new screen at the front that was put up and it was just finished this week.  My friend Angie's husband Tim and her boys helped get the screen and projector all set up.  It looks like a whole new church.  You wouldn't recognize it at all.  It's so great!  I must say, when I walked in and saw it, my heart was just ready to celebrate the resurrection and worship and praise.  It was a wonderful day!  Someone just posted that they heard there were 510 in church this morning, over 200 were visitors and about 30 raised their hands saying they prayed and accepted Christ as their Savior.  It was pretty special!  They had an Easter egg/candy hunt at the school after church, but as usual, I was talking, so I missed seeing that.  I came home, took Bella out and then was pretty much back out the door to go to Auntie Ann's for dinner.  As usual, it was a fun time over there!  Again, I couldn't help but think that you were there with me last year.  Things are definitely more lonely this year, but it really was a great day!  Give love to all my amazing family and friends that are in heaven with you.  Looking forward to the day I can do that myself and be with all of you!  I love you!!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Really Missing You!

Dear Mom,

I have really been missing you lots lately.  Last week I woke up in the morning and my mind went right to going to your room to get you up to go to the bathroom or even just to change you.  A strong sadness flooded over me when I realized that was not possible.  I realized how much I miss taking care of you!  Between the 5th anniversary of pappy's death and your birthday, and just feeling a little lonely lately, I have been really struggling emotionally and missing you and pappy!  Today is another emotional day for me because it is the Ladies' Seminar at our church and except for a couple of times...when you had just had your breast cancer surgery to have the lump removed and then a week later 20 lymph nodes removed and were going through chemo, and either back or leg issues that kept you from being there, this will be the first Ladies' Seminar in a while that you have not been to.  I know you will be with me there in spirit, but I will just miss having you with me.  I even was able to trick you into going with me last year both days, not the whole time, but part of the time.  I told you we were going for a drive or something and couldn't take Bella with us.  So you were there with me last year and this year you won't be.  I have already teared up a couple of times this morning thinking about it.  I also had a friend from Kansas text me that she was praying for me today and asking the Lord to give me just what I needed from the Seminar this year.  That also made me tear up to know she was thinking of me.  I'll even be back to doing my skits with Chris, she is better this year and we'll be back to being crazy, and I know how much you enjoyed seeing me act crazy. :)  I just remember you saying so many times "Oh, I'm so embarrassed!" when I would come out, or you would just have that "oh no" face. That was so much fun!  I loved seeing your reaction and sometimes going over to you to embarrass you more.  I'm going to miss that!  Also, Francie Taylor is one of the speakers again this year and you and I both enjoyed her so much each time she would come, and I think the last time she was here was right after pappy had passed away.  So, now I'll see her and hear her without you to enjoy it too.  I'm just really going to miss you!  The birthday is also coming up and I dread celebrating without you and pappy here to celebrate with me, but I have a couple of friends who want to take some time to celebrate with me.  It will be good, I know, but it's still hard.  I miss talking to you, I miss laughing with you, I miss crying with you, I miss taking you places, I miss making memories with you, I miss spending time with you, I miss taking care of you, I miss hugging you, I miss kissing you, and I miss telling you how much I love you!!  But mommy....I do LOVE YOU!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Happy Birthday!

Dear Mom,

Happy Birthday!!!  I wish I could be hugging and kissing on you in person, I miss you so much!  But I know you are happy celebrating today in heaven with Pappy and Jesus.  I have really been struggling this past week, lots of tears, feeling lonely, and if I'm going to be honest...even a little jealous as I see others whose families are growing.  Either through pregnancies, births, engagements or weddings, and I have watched my family get smaller as you and pappy are no longer here with me.  Yes, I have plenty of friends and plenty of other family, but when I get home from school, or when I am heading to bed, or getting up in the morning, it's just Bella and me.  And it makes me miss you so much.  As a friend told me tonight, I am probably just struggling to know what to do.  My life was caring for you, and that is all I knew for quite a while.  Now that you're gone, it is hard for me to find my way, what I am supposed to do with myself, who to even do things with sometimes, because so much time was spent with you even before you got so sick.  You are my best friend! As I posted on Facebook today, you are the one I would always go to, pray with, share with, laugh with, and sit in the mall and people watch with. There were so many more things I could add, the one I would get my nails done with, go check out new places with, whether a new restaurant to try or just a new place to visit, someone even just to ride in the car with, or just to sit in the living room with.  I miss that, too! Even with Alzheimer's I would tell you so much that was going on with me.  You always listened.  You wouldn't remember, you may not even have understood, but you always listened.  I just miss that.  I miss your spirit in this house.  Bella does, too, because when I sang Happy Birthday to you tonight before eating ice cream in your honor...when I said "grandma", she looked for you. :(  We miss you, even Bella licked the remnants of the ice cream in my bowl in honor of you! We love you!  I still have the upstairs Christmas tree lit, it's for you, it's your butterfly tree!  I know you're probably going crazy that I still have it up, because for you, all Christmas stuff had to come down before the new year.  Well, sorry, I kept it up. :)  And tonight when I go to bed, I will turn it off for the last time, and later take it down.  I know you had a wonderful day in heaven!  I'm happy for you, but sad for me, and as I have said a dozen times....I miss you!!!  Happy 74th Birthday to the sweetest most special person, my best friend, and the best mom a girl could ever ask for!   I love you!

Monday, December 31, 2012

This Christmas

Dear Mom,
I made it through my first Christmas without you, and soon New Year's Day.  I spent Christmas with Auntie Ann and Uncle Cephus, as you would expect.  That's what we always did, ever since I can remember. I've always loved that!  I missed you in the morning when Bella and I got up and opened our gifts.  A friend gave me some gifts to put under the tree.  I couldn't help but to think of you sitting in the chair last year bringing me so many laughs as you opened your gifts and started grooving to the music on the TV.
What a fun time!!  Great memories for me!  But Bella and I enjoyed some more memories this Christmas.  Then definitely had a great time with everyone at Auntie Ann and Uncle Cephus's, lots of laughs!  So thankful for the time to spend with them.  
The rest of the week was a little sad as I attended the wake for my 29 year old friend who died December 20.  She needed a lung transplant, but was too sick to get one, and passed away before that could happen.  It was very difficult for me.  I was hurting for her parents, she was an only child, but also for her husband of just 2 years.  I think I was extra emotional because of thinking of you and missing you, and because of the sadness of Sandy Hook still strong on my mind.  Her wake was Wednesday night, you can tell pappy she had a Red Sox shirt on, he'll appreciate that!  Her funeral was on Thursday, and it was a beautiful memorial service for her!
Then of course pappy's birthday was Friday.  I miss you both so much!  But the Lord has allowed me to see blessings too.  We got a great amount of snow - 11 inches on Saturday!  You know how much I love that!!  And now getting prepared to bring in the New Year.  Once again, it will be strange not having you here to celebrate with.  I did get the Sparkling Cider like I normally do.  We always love that!  It was on sale 2 for $5, so of course I had to get two.  I also got some French bread today to go with a yummy appetizer I made yesterday.  I thought it probably looked to people as if I was going to have a nice little party, well, it will be a nice quiet, little party with Bella.  I did have a couple of offers to spend some time with friends, but I don't really think I want to be out tonight.  I don't really like traveling on New Year's Eve, so I don't think I'll go.  If I did, I would be leaving in a little while to get there early so I can get home early.  We'll see.  Wish you were here, I miss you.  But I'm so happy for you that you get to celebrate New Year's in heaven with Jesus and pappy!  You'll both be in my thoughts so much tonight.  But as I told you before you took your last breath, I am going to be OK, I am OK, Bella is OK.  I sometimes ask her where you are, and she picks her head up and looks and just growls.  I know she misses you, too.  But I'm so blessed to have her!  I am also blessed with so many wonderful memories!  Happy New Year, my favorite gal, I love you!!