Category: Uncategorized

cancer survivor day

Cancer survival day. 2 years ago I didn’t even know something like this existed.. and if I did it was simply a blip in my day. Not a grinding and scratching reminder of what Jennifer is not. I thought it would just be one day staring me in the face. I was wrong. There is build up.. Its truly a wonderful thing to celebrate. .. I am just so horribly jealous that I can’t be part of it. I’m long over lamenting being part of the cancer community as a whole, I have met some of the greatest people in my life through it..  But I hate that I am, that we are,  the losers. A tumor in just a slightly different place in her brain.. it could have been the difference between life and death. . It certainly would have been at least a chance. With my 6 yr[…]

Let’s play family

Its all of us.. in different ways. Last night it was just me I was worried about and feeling sorry for .. just me alone in missing her I thought. You would think by now I would know better.. On their birthday cards to me .. both boys had Tony write about forever. Me loving them forever or being with them forever. As I read the word aloud I looked at them… as their bright blue eyes pored into me.. I could see them questioning and needing me so much in their moments. Its so hard to know… to predict how things will hit them. But it does. Both already know that sometimes those we love leave us. And they are scared I will leave them too. BC (before cancer) I would have held them and said I would never leave them.. I think I would have meant it.. But[…]

happy birthday mama

Tomorrow is my birthday. I have never been a big birthday person. Always feels like a set up to get your feelings hurt. Now I really hate it. I made videos for everybody else.. Jennifer singing them all happy birthday… I wanted her to do it for me too.. but she thought it was too silly… not a good surprise if I knew. I will only have one wish as I blow out every candle for the rest of my life. So I try to quiet my mind and fight the urge to wish for the impossible… The no. The please not her. The wake me up from this nightmare. I will never win that fight. I will always want it. My heart and souls longing will always be louder and stronger than me.. they will always swallow up my my minds attempt to silence them. There will always be[…]

i was wrong.

I try to find life lessons in everyday things for my kids. I try to help them connect what they see to who they can be. Now. Today. I did that twice this past weekend. I was able to connect others peoples fight and good deeds to them.. to us and to Unravel. .. I have to laugh though.. I tell myself I do it for them.. but honestly I know as I write I do it for me too.. To know the sacrifices we make by running Unravel are meaningful.. that there is a purpose to what we are doing. We watched .. a bit obsessively the owner at my gym compete in something called the CrossFit games. I took a lot of playful ribbing for it. But the kids noticed. They got to observe some pretty amazing stuff. They don’t know numbers of weight and what heavy can[…]

we all have 2 books

I think we all have 2 books we are assigned.. The first one.. our book of life. It holds all the chapters of our lives.. And the second.. well I am not at all sure about this book.. because I think it starts when the first book closes.. And I am still in midst of my life story. So many chapters I think you count on when you have a child..  Chapters you dream about and chapters you dread and many like their wedding are a mix of both. .. Sometimes those chapters never get written .. Its hard as a parent to wrap your mind around the fact that their book is done.. I find myself flipping through imaginary pages crying over the stark white staring back at me. Those never written words in our child’s book permanently alters all subsequent chapters in ours.. It was never our plan..[…]

five mothers days

Numbers. Simple. But they can take on such meaning. 6. I always think of things when it comes to Jennifer like 6’s. But its not always accurate. Because I only got 5 mothers days with her. I remember that first one especially.. the utter joy and lingering disbelief that after so many years of trying to become a mom.. I was actually one, to this particular brown eyed girl. I think on some level I never stopped feeling that gratitude everyday. Even the bad ones.. to get to be a mom.. her mom. their mom. Until February 12th. I really thought there would be nothing harder to face then infertility and repeat miscarriages.. I really thought nothing could ever completely dull that appreciation. But losing Jennifer has done that. damnit I am horrified at the reality and ashamed to admit my truth,  that I woke this morning and felt such a[…]

Okizu again

Camp Okizu. What a gift this place is to families impacted by pediatric cancer. . From the child themselves to the parents to the siblings.. something individual and special for each and everyone. As soon as I got back from Seattle it was time to jump ion the car and drive to our family bereavement camp. The kids were great on the drive and Tony and I did a great job working together to prep for it. I get lost walking from my kitchen to the bathroom .. I have no sense of direction. But I remembered so much of this drive. We made it a year ago. So quickly after she died. On the drive this time I felt so much older, so much more seasoned in the world of child loss. Just a year.. Its still feels so new.. Yet it is engrained in me, a complete piece[…]

finding love in Seattle

I was lucky enough to be invited to go to Seattle to speak at a fundraising event for Dr. Olsen. One of our best friends and a member of our board, Renee came with me. I was happy not to go alone! We arrived at noon and jumped right into business. But first we ate.. in the cafeteria there.. I couldn’t help but have my mind wander just a bit then.. to all the meals I shared with Jennifer in the cafeteria at Stanford. How we struggled to find gluten free food that was safe for her.. how all she wanted was eggs and french toast. How happy she was to finally get it. Simple things I remembered. Simple things I am constantly remembering and lamenting lately. We got to tour and speak with 2 different labs at Fred Hutch. We learned about their successes and struggles and most importantly what[…]

poison

Guilt. It is a nasty poisonous thing in this life of child loss. It pushes down the good memories .. it drowns out the happy sounds.. it chokes me making it a struggle to catch my breath. guilt. I made mistakes. Normal everyday mom mistakes with her. I yelled when I shouldn’t have. I overreacted.. I took out other stresses on her. Especially her.. the eldest of my 4 she bore the brunt of my frustrations.. My Jennifer.  She she was the one I made mistakes on and learned from.. .. I guess she always will be. .. Because I am better with it now. And every time I do it, that I just take a extra moment before reacting I thank her. I know all moms do it. I reacted with anger when I should have had understanding. I demanded she do more and be better because she was the[…]

changes everything

Death changes everything.. one thing I have really noticing rising the the surface lately though is perspective. The boys were sitting with Tony eating lunch mimicking him. That natural adoration little boys have for their Daddies.. how they watch the way they drink, eat, walk and dress and then try to do it the same way. I miss that .. so much. Having a little girl to mimic me in that same way. To learn what it means to be a girl.. a woman .. a wife from me. It will be so long so many years until Charlotte does that with me. But I am so grateful to have a living daughter. That gratitude is so purified now. So truly simplistic. And powerful. Even my reaction to jokes is so different now. There is a picture going around on social media of the cast from the tv show Friends.[…]