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My Big Fat Lesbian Divorce – Month 7

In Blog, Break-up, christian, civil unions, Come Here Go Away, communication, court, dating, Divorce, Facebook, family, feelings, Fleetwood Mac, Foolish Hearts, Friend, get a life, God, grief, homosexuality, kisses, Lesbian, Lesbian Relationships, lgbt, Life, Love, Marriage, Military, netfix, New York, news, Pain, portland oregon, relationships, sex, single, sleep, stress, vehicle, vows, wedding, women, Writing on November 9, 2011 at 6:15 am

Month 6 slipped by me without thought.

I guess I figured month 6 being the half way mark into my newly single life (since I had her asked to leave the apt), that some amazing moment would transpire within me, but instead it went by without thought.

I was dealing with the van thing (I’m still super thankful it’s gone), the now defunct attempt at spending time with someone (I’m really glad that’s over) and just… living.

Here it is and month 7 has passed. I admit it feels longer primarily in part I never have to see her (I’m reallythankful for that).

A few days ago the biggest stress in our home was the 7 year old stormed into my room, angry the his 11 year old brother was bossing his imaginary kangaroo around. While I know life has it’s ups and downs and invisible kangaroo interventions are only a part, I felt that peace that comes in knowing that life continues to move on.

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My Big Fat Lesbian Divorce – Reckless People Dance

In Blog, Break-up, Come Here Go Away, communication, Crying, Current events, dating, domestic, Facebook, family, Foolish Hearts, Friend, gay, God, grief, kisses, Laughing stars, Lesbian, Lesbian Relationships, lgbt, Life, Love, Marriage, netfix, news, portland oregon, promises, relationships, religion, sex, single, sleep, Steve Perry, stress, vehicle, vows, wedding, women, Writing on November 4, 2011 at 11:56 pm

In my effort to make better choices in my life regarding people, I decided sometime ago not to continue seeing the woman I had been seeing since my divorce. While I experienced great sex (something I didn’t really have with the ex because she was a selfish lover), I had started seeing some of the warning signs that she wasn’t a good match for me.  So a few months in I broke it off with her. It wasn’t easy, because while I wasn’t really enjoying her company at all, I had also cared for her.

I had continued to see her in a more casual way for a little longer, simply because I thought that with breaking off the titles and and expectations that things might settle down and perhaps I could get to know her better in a more organic way (minus all the BS). However, I had increasingly become more and more aware of not only the red flags, but my own cycles that I seem to make in any type of relationship with people.

I think my own fears of abandonment (enter my alcoholic mother who was completely absent while I was growing up) leave me validated that if I stand and show I am present emotionally and physically, that I prove that I am ….

1.) Not my Mom

Now I already know I am not my Mom. I’m not even close to being anything like my Mom. Yet, I do find from time to time I have to prove that just to reassure myself that I am nothing like her. By not abandoning, I prove that. By engaging, I just keep doing the same stupid dance with the same destructive people.

Whatever the reasons I may be doing it, it has come to a stop.. or at least I am going to try to figure out how to see the red flags when they are first raised, stop and then run/walk/hop. Whatever it takes.

There were moments real early on, where I just wanted to walk away. So I know that I am gaining some ability to recognize the red flags. Now only to make my feet comply with my instincts.

I saw the classic “Come Here, Go Away” signs, but for those reasons above, I stood still. She talked about her past relationships in ways I could hear she was clinging to those who treated her poorly or rejected her, yet pushed off those who tried to make it work. That was pretty scary once I could hear what she saying.

Someday, I would like to be in a relationship where I do stand with my partner through the good times and the bad. But for all the right reasons. Not because I am trying to prove something to myself, but because we are standing together.

I asked someone I thought might have some connections to a life coach, about a love coach, and was recently given the name and number to Dr. Frankie. She writes the love advice column for Curve Magazine, and she also has a love coaching and matchmaking service.

Here is her website link –

http://littlegaybook.com

I highly suggest checking out the site. It’s wonderful.

I chatted with Dr. Frankie a bit, and found her super easy to talk to. I’m not sure how much dating I want to do right at this moment, but if I am going to, I do need to work on this pattern I seem to have established and start 1.) Recognizing the signs early on and 2.) Walking the heck away when I see them.

I have to give myself some credit, this time I only let it go for a few months before I said enough was enough. That is really a lot of growth compared to sticking it out like I did with my ex wife.

My Big Fat Lesbian Divorce – Aaron

In Aaron Jamison, AP News, Ben and Jerrys Ice Cream Comfort, Blog, Blue Like Jazz, Brother, C.S. Lewis, cancer, Cancer Sucks, children, Choose Joy, christian, Comedian, Crying, Current events, Facebook, family, Friend, God, grief, health, Husband, Jell-O, KVAL TV, Laughing stars, Love, Marriage, Monopoly, movies, Musician, Myspace, netfix, New York, news, Pain, parenting, portland oregon, relationships, religion, sleep, Steve Taylor, The Little Prince, vows, wedding, Wedding Ring, women, Writing on October 2, 2011 at 5:11 pm

My friend,

Who quickly became a brother,

Aaron died this morning.

That seems like the wrong words to say, because Aaron will never really die. Aaron will always live through this amazing legacy of love he’s created.

Through his joy, pain, love for God..

By the amazing love he always showered on his wife, and praised her so openly, always making those of us who have never known
such love from another so envious … but setting a standard.

There’s so many things I could say about my amazing friend Aaron. But all I can really say is ..

Your star still shines my friend..

You have not,

and never will..

fade.

Stars as bright as you, never fall.

Stars like you,

shine… and light the way for all who take the time to look.

Make Dad smile.

I love you,

Sis

*** I don’t know why, but this post is publishing before the post I wrote yesterday.

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My Big Fat Lesbian Divorce – The Little Prince & Laughing Stars – My Friend Aaron Jamison

In Aaron Jamison, AP News, Ben and Jerrys Ice Cream Comfort, Blog, Blue Like Jazz, Brother, C.S. Lewis, cancer, Cancer Sucks, children, Choose Joy, christian, Comedian, Crying, Current events, Facebook, family, Friend, God, grief, health, Husband, Jell-O, KVAL TV, Laughing stars, Life, Love, Marriage, Monopoly, movies, Musician, Myspace, netfix, New York, news, Pain, parenting, promises, relationships, religion, sleep, Steve Taylor, The Little Prince, Troutdale Oregon, vows, wedding, Wedding Ring, women, Writing on October 1, 2011 at 6:23 pm

My friend Aaron Jamison is nearing the end of his journey. He was admitted to the hospital yesterday, where he’ll remain for the 1-2 weeks he was given to finish his story. But his story will never end. All those who have read his life carry the words he wrote, speak and live.

If you haven’t heard of Aaron Jamison, he made national and world news in his journey.

Here’s a few links to his story (please keep in mind that he’s been given so many “expiration dates” as he calls it, he actually had the original date tattooed after it had well gone and passed, that you’ll see a few dates given)..

I wanted to share a blog I wrote sometime ago, shortly after Aaron was diagnosed. It just seems fitting to share it right now..

Originally titled “Shiny Ceiling Decorated In Love” — I’m reminded more of The Little Prince and his laughing stars..

April 15, 2009

It is Tuesday night..

I was driving home from Eugene tonight.. It is a bit of a drive, so I have a lot of time to think to myself.

I was passing the fields through Hwy99 and had some Eva Cassidy filling the air as my mind wandered through my life, trying to make some sense of it all.

I think we all from time to time ponder what it would be like if we were to pass on. Of course, my children would remember me, but would my life have made an impact on anyone else? Would the only thing my children remember of me, be that I was a dork who jumped on beds to wake them up and would laugh as I danced around the house blowing bubbles to make them laugh? Or would it be that I was angry when they tracked mud all over the carpet? …

My phone sends me a message anytime someone I am stalking online changes their status or posts things to their page on Facebook. Don’t worry, I am only stalking one person. ..

So I am driving and pondering the impact of my life, when Aaron changed
his status. It read “is sad and incredibly happy to watch the ones he loves grow and make choices as he waits to fade away. Never thought I’d face or feel the things I am lately.” Just reading that now, haunts me.

..

I proceeded to drive home, and along the way that the night sky was clear. being away from city lights, I could see the sky lit up in all its brilliance with stars that seemed to know no end. Fittingly, I had Eva Cassidy crooning Fields Of Gold into my heart, as I decided to pull over for a few moments and let my eyes drink the vision before me.. I admit I was feeling jealous of the stars who knew their place, their purpose..

Aarons words, my pondering, the words to the song.. the stars before me..

I was still.

I was amazed that God could hang every star with a purpose, with all
intent and design knowing exactly where he placed each and every one.
This really baffles me considering I lose pieces of paper in my very tiny apartment and here is this galaxy filled with stars, not a one lost but yet called by name.

I just sat there and pondered all that I was seeing, as a star fell from the sky and Aarons words haunted me. Of all the stars that will continue to shine, one fell from the sky tonight. One, fell from the sky that will no longer visibly shine. Yet it is the only star I can recall noticing, seeing, and being impacted by. So very much like Aaron, myself.. all of us.

This life is very brief, and tonight that
star fell not knowing the impact it made on the one person who watched it fall from the sky as she pondered her life. Yet, I doubt I will forget it anytime soon.

I am not sure I will ever know if I made an impact in this life to anyone else other than the children I am always joking about sending to therapy as adults. And sometimes, I am not sure of my own path as I flow from place to place wondering if I will ever belong. But I do know that whether I am to be a star that falls or one that continues to
shine visible to the naked eye, my goal will always be to shine through the life of others where eyes can not see. Even if it means I am just to be the one who calls a star by name, not the one to hang brightly.

The only thing to fade, are days. I pray the visions I write upon the hearts of others is sharpie worthy..

Love life.

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My Big Fat Lesbian Divorce – It’s Final, I’m Divorced.

In attorneys, Ben and Jerrys Ice Cream Comfort, Break-up, cancer, children, christian, civil unions, court, Crying, Current events, dating, Divorce, domestic, Edgefield McMenamins, family, gay, gay marriage, God, grief, health, homosexuality, kisses, Law, law enforcement, Lesbian, lgbt, Love, Marriage, movies, netfix, Pain, parenting, Politics, portland oregon, promises, relationships, religion, school, single, sleep, Uncategorized, vows, wedding, women on July 14, 2011 at 10:53 pm

A of 3:10pm July 11, 2011 — I am officially divorced.

Free. Liberated. Restored. Single. Happy. Joyous.

I feel victorious.

She didn’t show up to court, something I was very happy about. The last thing I wanted to have to deal with, was being in the same room as her. We had come to an agreement before court, so her attorney showed up with a signed agreement. There were a few details to work out, but we figured them out and the judge was gracious enough to sign off the divorce right then and there.

I didn’t walk away with nearly the things she stripped from us restored, but I did walk away having won monthly payments for the next 12 months. She will be paying me out of the federal tax return money we received. It isn’t much, and it isn’t spousal support. But it is a payment she has to fill out once a month, and mail to me. Besides needing the help, I was hoping it would make her think before she attempts to mess up the life of another woman. Of course, I am not so ignorant to believe she will actually think before she tries to get another woman to revolve her world around her madness, but one can hope. If nothing else, that was the only thing I wanted her to take from all of this. I actually grieve for the woman that actually falls next victim to her manipulations and fabrications.

She has to pay my attorneys fees, plus her own, from the day she fired her previous attorney and chose to drag this mess out further.

I get to keep the vehicle.

I also agreed to drop the restraining order, but only if it was written in the agreement that she has to live as though there is still one in place. Meaning, stay away from me. Stay away from where I live, and not get within 150 feet of me, ever. Not to write or have others write or harass me. If she ever violates this, I will be able to file a new restraining order in court and she has agreed not to contest it. If she does, she has to pay my attorneys fees. I walked out of the courthouse with a new application for a restraining order, and you can bet if she so much as even tries to push her limits with the agreement, I will have it filled out and filed. The only reason why I agreed to drop it, was because this agreement actually gives me more protection, and more rights.

I didn’t drop it because of her job, because the responsibility isn’t mine. The moment she laid a hand on me, she put her own job in jeopardy. It isn’t my job to protect her, it is my job to protect myself and my children, and that is exactly what I did when I filed the original order.

I’d also like to say to her “friend” who feels a need to send me nasty messages. Two words; Spell Check. I sounded out a good portion of the words in your letters, and honestly I have never seen the word “entitlement” begin with the letter “o” before. It was an interesting spelling, coupled with atrocious grammar and punctuation. I am pretty sure a blind chimpanzee fluent only in an ancient language spoken in a far remote country somewhere, can compose a more well written email…. In English. That aside, I’d like to inform you that all of your emails have been forwarded to the appropriate authorities to keep a record of your harassment. It may be a little difficult for you to control your impulses to not write me, but I strongly suggest you stop. Unless you just want me to keep forwarding everything on and adding to the record.

As for me, I am sure over time I will be working through some of the residual things I am still working through. Like, being bothered she emotionally manipulated my children along with the fact she never returned the items she claimed (in writing) that she had (like, a handicapped parking placard for my children). In fact, when I think about it, she has only returned one item I asked for and yet after all the countless items I have returned, she still can’t find it within herself to return something as vital as a handicapped placard for the children. That is just what I am working with here, and a clear example of the self serving behavior I lived with for the duration of our marriage.

I am a far cry from where I was 3 months ago, and just so happy that once the smoke cleared, I could see things for what they really were.. who she is.

I am leaving this post with a photo of my divorce cake. It was a last minute purchase on the way home from court. The poor woman ran out of room for the word “divorce” but I told her it was OK. The marriage went over the edge, so it wasn’t a big deal the word divorce did. I had it written in purple, because the now official “ex-spouse” hates purple. It was a white chocolate/dark chocolate marble cake with raspberry filling.

Messy, but delicious..

My Big Fat Lesbian Divorce – Pills and Photos

In attorneys, Ben and Jerrys Ice Cream Comfort, Break-up, children, civil unions, court, Crying, dating, Divorce, domestic, family, gay, gay marriage, grief, homosexuality, kisses, Lesbian, Lesbian Relationships, lgbt, Love, Marriage, movies, netfix, news, parenting, portland oregon, promises, single, vows, women on April 9, 2011 at 8:29 pm

I just got off the phone with a friend. I actually called her for another reason, but as soon as she asked how I was, I broke down.

Of course.

We talked for awhile about her, the wife. How I feel I messed up because my love wasn’t string enough to break through her own fears, apprehensions and walls. But I realize, that wasn’t really my job. She needed to find the strength the work through them, for herself. . us.

It reminded me how when I begged the wife to stay when she told me she was leaving, a few months ago. We both agreed to get counseling and seek medication if needed. She found both, right away. I was still seeing the counselor she refused to see as a couple, because the counselor suggested she might be bi-polar. I was looking for a psych, but went to my Dr instead.

Prior to that, a few of my Drs suggested Paxil, due to depression. The wife is convinced I need Paxil. The only thing is, I was depressed because of the struggles in my marriage. So, I chose my marriage and tried the Paxil. I’ll admit, I had a panic attack taking it, I always freak about pills. But I truly had side effects from it, called the Dr and she said not to take anymore.

I was open to trying others, but I’ll be honest. . . I’m not sure a pill was the answer. It wouldn’t fix things. If my wife needed me to stop crying every 5 minutes, she needed to stop being hurtful. If she didn’t like the anxiety level, she needed to make it safe for me to express myself without threats of divorce. I mean, come on. . . taking a pill to sedate me from reacting to her comments and rejection. . was that really the answer?

So while I did continue counseling, I felt the pills just weren’t the answer. I needed to explore my feelings, make sense of them and move on. It’s what has always helped me grow.

She also claimed I was too OCD. OK, germs freak me out. You won’t see me picking food up until my hands are clean. You won’t see me grab a door handle in flu season and I easily gross out if someone is cooking and leaves the food out past 2 hours at room temp. She always said it drove her crazy, but what I saw as common sense, she saw as crazy.

Of course, every relationship has differences in each other, and I certainly put up with my share of hers. But I liked the differences. Not the actions themselves, but just the fact we had some. It meant we were a normal couple like the million others out there. Only, she could never see that fitting into her Cinderella world view. And she could never see differences being a good thing. We share a lot of the core beliefs, but she was so focused on the differences, the other things just didn’t matter.

I guess what I’m coming to, is that she wanted me to fix myself, then fix her so I could keep rowing the boat with one oar. But. . . who was taking care of me? Really taking care of me?

In fact, a few months back I sent her an e/mail asking her what I could do to make her happy. She sent me a list, but never asked me. When I pointed it out, at least twice, she responded “what do you need” . . . My list?

“Hold my hand, and be my best friend.”

No long list, no specific formula that has rotating ingredients to work. Just, hold my hand and be my best friend.

My friend pointed out, I really need to start taking care of myself. Not in the way to benefit everyone else, but in the way that takes care of me.

She said she keeps a photo of herself as a child on the fridge. It’s something she did during a break-up. Every time she had those feelings of wanting to go back, or felt the hurt, she looked at the photo. It’s easier, she says, to see ourselves as vulnerable children. It’s easier to want to protect ourselves.

I’m going to give a try. Maybe I’ll learn how to start protecting myself, instead of being consumed with trying to save her.

Damn I hope it helps.

My Big Fat Lesbian Divorce – Lawyers, Netflix and Faking it. . Oh Shit.

In attorneys, Ben and Jerrys Ice Cream Comfort, Break-up, children, civil unions, court, Crying, dating, Divorce, domestic, family, gay, gay marriage, grief, homosexuality, kisses, Lesbian, Lesbian Relationships, lgbt, Love, Marriage, netfix, Netflix, news, parenting, Pears, portland oregon, promises, school, single, vows, women on April 9, 2011 at 6:28 am

It’s a little past 11pm as I start this. She’s been off work since 10pm. If she were here right now, we’d be sitting together browsing the movies on Netflix. I might be holding her hand, trying to cuddle into her or stealing glances at her longing for the looks she used to give me when she wanted me.

Saturday morning would find us sleeping in, well her sleeping in. I’d be faking it, just to have an excuse to be close to her. I can’t count the mornings I laid in bed just so I could be near her.

But, here I am. Laying on the couch, because I find it hard to climb into the empty bed. In fact, tonight my youngest
Little guy said to me over dinner “I don’t want you to have to sleep alone again.” . . . A very sad thing for a 7 year old to tell his Mom. It’s so obvious they want to see me happy, and it’s touching to be loved that much. But I also know he wishes it was with her.

This whole mess is starting to wear on the boys. In fact, my youngest little guy got into trouble for the very first time today. The referral states he was being difficult and disrespectful. For him to act out like that at school, means he is really having a tough time. He’s never had a day of trouble in school.

I convinced him we all have gotten into trouble one time or another, in school. That seemed to make him feel not so alone, but I know the deeper cause is not so easy to fix. At least the way he would want me to.

And there’s my second oldest at home, 10.. He asked me today if I could spend time with her, so she would remember to love and care. Totally sent me over the edge in tears. He’s angry that she has chosen the actions she has, but he loves her so much. I told him it was OK to still love her, because I do too.

So, I wrote her and asked who her attorney is. She didn’t answer me. But she did answer my attorney. Already they’re in the talks of proposal, and it seems this might be legally uncomplicated. Of course, we won’t have their answer to our drafted proposal until next week, but I get the feeling she just wants to do anything to rid of me.

I still can’t believe we were getting along on Monday, at least we weren’t fighting. In fact, she was sitting right here on this very couch next to me, and kissed me. And now here we are on Friday, and attorneys are discussing the dissolution of our marriage.

What the &#%*^?

It’s all happening quicker than I can process it.

I have to admit, today I wondered if after the divorce if she would be willing to try dating again. . ya know, me. Maybe without all the stressors of money, chores and a crazy household that maybe. . . just maybe. . . she and I could take the time to build the foundation we need. Of course, I don’t really think she would. I’m convinced she doesn’t miss me in the slightest. In fact, I often vision she’s out with her friends and I’m not crossing her mind at all.. . .

I try really hard not to imagine, but sometimes I think she’s probably out with some fascinating woman who is perfect in every way.

I try not to think about that too much, because it really, really hurts mass amounts.

Anyways, it’s almost midnight now. She’s probably talking about her workday and being busy forgetting me while doing all the things she’s convinced I kept her from.

I’m just gonna surf Netflix.

My Big Fat Lesbian Divorce- Expectations named “Goliath” and blankets named “Grace”

In attorneys, Ben and Jerrys Ice Cream Comfort, Break-up, civil unions, court, Crying, dating, Divorce, domestic, family, gay, gay marriage, grief, homosexuality, kisses, Lesbian, Lesbian Relationships, lgbt, Love, Marriage, movies, netfix, news, parenting, portland oregon, promises, single, vows, women on April 8, 2011 at 4:07 pm

It’s Friday morning. It’s hard to believe it hasn’t been as long as it feels, that she’s been gone.

I wanted to stay in bed, and just not deal with life today, but I’ve got 4 boys at home that need me. I have appointments that need to be kept, errands that need to be run and life keeps spinning around me . . even if I wish it would just take a break for a bit.

Last night my son Ben said to me “Mom I know you think she was best for us, but maybe God thinks this is best for us. Tonight I want you to prayer a really good prayer and ask God what He thinks is best”. I know the boys miss her like mad, they love her too. So it surprised me he could look above his own pain, and find the wisdom. I wish I had that skill right now.

I think the hardest part in all of this, is the children. They love her. She was the first person I let into their lives in the capacity I had, and that says a lot about how much I loved her. For the first time, I felt I was a complete family. For the first time, we were.

She took the role of parent in a crash course, I wish I hadn’t put her through that. But everything about us happened fast. Changes were spinning, life was spinning, my mind was spinning. . . I never wanted it to spin out of control. But the crash course, was a two sided deal. She was getting a crash course in parenting, and I was getting a crash course in trust, marriage and a new city. Both of us were stressed out. And instead of supporting each other through it, we lashed out in exhaustion. Our relationship had no quiet time. I had new Drs. to establish for my children, and she had work. Between the two, there was no time.

But I still feel if she and I had taken time, we could have found our way. I just don’t think she has the strength to. I don’t know with just me, or period.

She always used to tell me that if our relationship was meant to be, we wouldn’t have had so many struggles. She always said that when your meant to be with someone, that it’s just easy. And while I’m sure you and I know that’s a romantic idea, but not reality, I really did want to give that to her. Her unrealistic notion of love, was bound to set us up for failure. But I really wanted to give it to her. I gave her my life, and made a vow before God to her. I would have given her anything I could have, if I were that powerful. But how do you give someone the impossible? How do you give unblemished perfection?

Her unrealistic expectations were my Goliath, only I’m not David and I kinda suck with a sling shot. I’d be asking Goliath if we could sit and talk it, analyze our differences and find a resolution to better communication or co/habitation.

How do you fight a battle with those rules and conditions and expectations when the reality is, I’m just a woman who will screw up and make mistakes. We all do, we all will. No one will ever be the perfect spouse, ever. Including her.

Grace is a cozy blanket.

Yesterday I had to call a friend for intervention. She’s going through her own crap, but freely gave her time. I was having a moment. I wanted to write her an e/mail and ask if she was willing to live apart, but try again. I felt to ask, just try, that maybe she’s calmed down and would have seen my love for her. Of course, you’re probably wondering why I’d want to go back to someone who said she will kill me, twice. But that’s a part of the blame game. All the things I felt I’ve done wrong to destroy the marriage, surely I could fix. . right? and if I fix them, she would want me back, because she loves me. . . right? And all that would give her the tools she needs to control herself, right?

Wrong.

No matter what anyone says, it’s never OK to threaten your wife like that. She said plenty of things that sent me crying and hurt, I never told her I would kill her.

So my friend gave me the intervention I needed, and reminded me of the previous times I had called crying and hurt. I got through it, and realized she was right. Even if she did come back, things would not change until she sees her part in it all, and wants to change it.

I was doing OK and not ten minutes after hanging up, I got an e/mail from her letting me know she’s retained an attorney, and when she’s having her name taken off utilities. Then she goes on to say how we tried, no one couldn’t say we tried. . Three marriage counselors later. . .

What?

Uhm, we met with one lady 6-7 times until she asked my wife if she’d ever been evaluated for bi-polar disorder. She was so mad, she refused to go back. Then I found a woman pastor, and we met with her twice. . That was it. 8/9 marriage counseling sessions was giving it the best shot??? I mean, they helped. They did. But how can she expect that two people learning about each other an hour a week, and busy the rest, that was all of a shot it needed? Really?

I went numb, I started crying and I was sad a majority of the night. I slept a little, but kept waking up thinking about her. A good friend talked me through some of it, and tried to remind me that no matter what, I will survive this mess.

Despite I started crying this morning when I was reminded how we picked our Christmas tree last year, and we laughed as the boys loaded it into the truck. I’ll miss laughing as a family.

So Friday, here I come. I have swollen eyes, I’m a wreck and broken . . but here I come.

Just please, be gentle and help me find my way.