just get through today

We flew into Louisiana today. You always loved to fly. So do I, though I rarely get to. I was thinking that the last time I flew was in January on our way to Gulf Coast Getaway.

It was 2 months after you died.
I was 8 months pregnant.

All I remember was being on the plane and praying for it to crash. Maybe everyone could survive but me. Or I would find an eject button on my seat....I couldn't see past anything besides being with you. And I remember being so disappointed when we landed safely. 

Now, I can thankfully say I'm in a better place. I'm past that. I don't want to leave my children to become orphans - I know you would never want that either. I can't say that the future doesn't still scare the hell outta me, but I can say that today, I'm ok. If I can just get through today, I'll be ok.

We landed safely. I laughed a lot today with friends. I got through today. I think I'll be ok.

I miss you baby. 
I love you with all that I am.


you were JUST here

I don't know how to explain this place I feel like I'm in. This place of disconnect, like I made up this whole chapter of my life in my head. I'm getting so used to this day to day as my new normal, that I sometimes feel like you were just a dream...

But then this evening I go downstairs to put stuff in the kids 'keeper' bins, and I come across these notes from you - I can't remember now the exact reason you wrote them, I think it was just a random day you wanted to do something sweet. But I saw your handwriting and you rushed back to reality for me - so quickly that it made me shake and cry uncontrollably, which I hadn't done in awhile. I realized....you were JUST here. 

I miss you babe. Thank you for the love you poured onto us.
I love you always and forever.


show me

You could plant me like a tree beside a river
You could tangle me in soil and let my roots run wild
And I would blossom like a flower in the desert
But for now just let me cry

You could raise me like a banner in a battle
Put victory like a fire behind my shining eyes
And I would drift like falling snow over the embers
But for now just let me lie

Bind up these broken bones
Mercy bend and breathe me back to life
But not before You show me how to die

Set me like a star before the morning
Like a song that steals the darkness from a world asleep
And I'll illuminate the path You've laid before me
But for now just let me be

Bind up these broken bones
Mercy bend and breathe me back to life
But not before You show me how to die
Oh, not before You show me how to die

So let me go like a leaf upon the water
Let me brave the wild currents flowing to the sea
And I will disappear into a deeper beauty
But for now just stay with me
God, for now just stay with me

-Show me, Audrey Assad



What an honor it is to have been your wife.

Last night was the tribute concert for you at Great Lakes. It was a great turn out and it always means sooo much to me to see how many lives you've affected and how many people still care. All the guys did a great job singing, my heart was broken and filled at the same time. 

I've been doing ok, for the most part. The anxiety about these next couple weeks comes and goes, but yesterday you were everywhere. I laughed when I crossed into Canada without any issues whatsoever and the second I rolled up my window I heard you clear as day say "I love my country." And I giggled - I always agreed with you at the border.

Once we got to your sisters and the kids were playing with some toys, they were listening to one particular toy sing the ABC's....all the way to "zed" - and Faith, looking confused says "what is zed?!" You would have said that it's what the letter Z is actually called, but I told her it was something crazy Canadians say. And the next morning, Faith was very curious as to whether or not you learned the alphabet with 'zed' when you were a kid....and they were just cracking up. It just really made me miss our silly banter and all the weird things you do in Canada :)

We took a walk around the mall yesterday, the same mall with the jewelry store where you bought my engagement ring. I told the kids about it, they love hearing stories about the different places you used to be....and that's one of my favorites. 

So many of my memories live here in this place, therefore, pieces of my heart are all over this town. I realized that it's not just your past anymore or the place where you lived and made memories. It's mine now too. It will always be a part of who I am and a part of my past, and hopefully always a part of my future and the future of our children. 

It goes without saying, but I miss you. Terribly.
I love you always and forever.


the big stuff

What I have found is that many day to day moments become so anticlimactic without someone to share them with. And most of them are moments with our beautiful, brilliant, hilarious children - and I have no one who understands just how magnificent they are in those little moments.

Like when Carter learns something new. Of course he does and will continue to, but I want to pick up my phone and text you about it, cause you'll find it just as exciting.

Or when Caleb started riding his bike without training wheels and I had to hold back tears that you were missing it! That should have been a father/son moment....instead I frantically searched for people who might be excited about such a milestone to share it with.

Or when Faith got her first loose tooth tonight. I could see the excitement in her eyes - a mark of a growing girl. I wanted to jump up and down for her, and she can't wait to tell everyone at school tomorrow. Such a silly moment that had me giddy for her and falling apart on the inside cause I just wanted to turn around and see your face there. "Look, babe! Our baby girl is getting so big - she's got a loose tooth!" I say in my head. "No way, not my little princess....that's amazing!" you say back. All while our little blonde haired blue eyed angel smiles from ear to ear with pride. And when we laid in bed together later, we'd talk about how unbelievable it is that our little girl is growing so fast.

These are the moments families are made of. And no matter how much we talk about you or draw you in our family pictures or incorporate you into our lives, you're still missing the big stuff. The itty-bitty, insignificant to anyone else but us, big stuff.

I miss you babe. Every day.
I love you always.


turning point

I think I've come to a fork in the road.

As the one year anniversary of your death approaches and hovers over my head, I feel so much anxiety, disbelief, and sorrow for just having to survive it. Not necessarily the day, but the entire idea of you being gone a whole year. I also cannot believe that I'm still standing. An entire year, are you sure? On this day last year, we were making applesauce together as a family. The last real pictures I took of you were one year ago today. It suddenly feels like a lifetime ago.

On the flip side, I've noticed a turning point in my grief. I pointed it out to Sarah the other day, I've felt like I'm finally at a place where I can look outside myself. Not all the time, it comes and goes, but it's there. A few people I know are suffering lately: my parents who are still very heavily grieving my brother, a friend who is going through a dissolving marriage, another friend whose mother is in the hospital - they have all been heavy on my heart. And for the first time since Jer died, I really felt the truth: things could be much worse. 6 months ago, no one had seen a greater tragedy than me and my children. And even if I prayed for others, I still felt such injustice for my own situation. I still feel the injustice sometimes, but I'm coming to terms with it. We live in a fallen world, God said the load we bear would be heavy. And even in my darkest moments lately, I'm able to see a few things: I have loved and been loved, I have seen what love can do. I have been given many incredible blessings in my life including three beautiful children and wonderful friendships. I found this as my Facebook status last year: 

“Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.”

I don't know that I will ever stop desiring you, babe. Ever. But what I know is that happiness is a decision and I have very consciously decided to hold onto my unhappiness. It's safe there. And you're there. I don't want to let go of my grief and lose the grip I have on you. But every time I grab pieces of gratefulness, or dip my toes into thankfulness, I realize you're still there. Just in a different form. 

Sometimes I have no idea what I'm talking about. Okay, most of the time. This grief journey has proven anything but predictable. Today, I feel thankful for what God has shown me out of the ashes. Tomorrow, I may be covered in soot. I just want to remember that no matter what I do or where I go, I know you'll be there no matter what. 

I'm still holding on to my promise. I'm gonna make you proud someday baby.

I miss you.
I love you always and forever.



I have this constant struggle inside my head. One voice is telling me that I don't want to keep doing this alone, that I eventually would like to have someone by my side, who cares about me. The other voice is telling me I'll never be ready, I don't ever want to let you go and change the things I've build with you and because of you. 

What it boils down to is that you hurt me, in the worst way possible. You loved me fiercely and still, my heart was crushed, stomped on, and dragged through the mud. Neither one of us did anything and my world still came crashing down.  You still left. And I'm terrified of being hurt again.

How can I ever let anyone in my heart knowing that I can lose them just like that? I can't bear this hurt again and I think it'd be easier to just live in the shadow of the wound I'm still nursing. 

I don't have any answers. I know how much this hurts, but I also know that I would do it all again just to know you and love you and be the woman who gets your heart.

I miss you babe. 
I love you always and forever.


still here

Hi baby,
I'm still here. Still hurting. Only it's not as sharp anymore, it's just a numbness that has taken me over. Maybe it's to protect me from what's coming up, I don't know. But I'm thankful the sharpness is gone for now. I'm ready for things to change. I'm finally taking better care of myself physically (16 pounds down, in fact) and it really is helping me emotionally. It's just giving me more energy to face each day.

I promised you that I would make you proud, and I feel like I haven't been doing that lately. I want to change that. I want to live a life that reflects the love you gave to me and who it created in me: someone who knows love and can pass it on. To our children. In my friendships. To my family. And maybe, someday, to someone else. I don't know much, but I know feeling sorry for myself is getting me nowhere.

I am going to make you proud babe. I promise.
I miss you.
I love you always.


proud daddy

Caleb riding with no training wheels!

I know you're a proud daddy today.

Spent the weekend at camp, since we we had to be up there to sing. The kids loved being able to sleep in the cabin one night. They both remember coming last year - this exact day last year, actually. Only we came to sing with you, I got to stand next to you and sing. Faith remembered that you wiped your sweat with your shirt after you played basketball with Jon - how on earth does she remember details like that?!? 

Our little baby is 8 months old today - how can that be? He's got 5 teeth he's working on, poor kid. But he's sweet as candy, and loves loves loves to play with your ring on my necklace. It's always the first thing he reaches for, and if I say 'DA' he looks for it. I don't know why but it's very special to me. I just like to pretend he knows, somehow, and has a strong connection to you.

I miss you baby. I wish you were here, more than anything.
I love you always and forever.


a shift

I've noticed a shift. It wasn't over night, rather subtle. I first noticed it on the drive to Canada a few weeks ago and it happened when I was at your memorial stone yesterday. I've found myself now talking to God more instead of you. At first, it made me angry and upset cause I felt like you were drifting away from me. But I realize that's a natural progression of things, and that's eventually where I'm supposed to be right? Talking to God? We didn't speak for awhile unless I was screaming at Him or pleading for Him to bring you back. And when you didn't, I just talked to you instead. But I feel you guiding me where I'm supposed to be, speaking to the right audience. And maybe I'll never stop talking to you but I'm starting to allow God to show me bits and pieces of what a future might look like, or at least of me accepting that I still have a future.

I never used to be a pessimist. I don't mean to whine all the time, but it's honestly how I feel and I can't shake it. I want to be positive, I want to plan a future somehow, I want to see good, I want to take a deep breath again someday without heaviness in my heart. 

Help me find peace, love. I don't know how to find it on my own.

I miss you.
I love you always and forever.


Sorry it took us so long to come back to your memorial to visit. I pass by all the time and want to stop by but we just haven't. I can see your name on the stone from the road, and it sends my heart to my throat every time. I can't believe I'm reading your name. That's you. You're dead. How can that be? But it was good to be there with you. I want to bring things to you, but don't know where to put them or if they'll last or get ruined.

I spent a lot of time today picturing you in this house. Which spot would you pick to sit and watch TV? How high would you stand in the hallway? What would you look like sitting at the desk, washing the dishes, folding laundry?

I miss your laugh today. I can still hear it in my head, but I feel like it's fading.

Carter was such a happy baby today, so so sweet. We did good, baby. I wish you could see him and how handsome he is. You would just be smitten, I know it.

I got so mad today when I was thinking about an event and couldn't remember if you were there or not. I wasn't sure if it happened before or after you died. I felt so embarrassed that it's starting to feel that way, it's frustrating!

Watched the Notebook tonight. Why? I have no idea. I hadn't seen it since it was in theaters and didn't remember the ending. It smacked me so suddenly, I wanted to throw the TV outside and cuss and kick and scream. Stupid movie. Stupid old people in love who get to die together. Stupid sappy crap. My 3 year old tantrum came out. It's just not fair.

Just random bits and pieces that basically all add up to me missing you terribly. 

I love you with all that I am.


you should be here

Today was an absolutely beautiful weather day. The perfect fall day to go to the Cider Mill. Any other time, I would be jumping up and down, literally begging you to take me, but this year I did it out of obligation to carry on our tradition and cause I promised the kids I would take them. Oh yea, and I had a coupon for a dozen free donuts.

As soon as we got there, I went instantly back to every year we've gone, looking at the bench we sat at to eat our donuts last year, the spot the kids sat to take their picture two years ago, the stairs where I took a grumpy picture of Faith cause she didn't want to have her photo taken when she was 2. This was literally right at the top of my list of favorite family things to do and I felt you missing today so much stronger than before. You should be here picking out fudge with the kids, petting the goats and chasing Caleb down the trail and walking the kids along the river. You should be here making yummy noises while eating the fresh donuts and complaining about the ridiculous price of a tiny cider slush that you are required to get for me. You should be here pushing the stroller, letting Carter taste donuts for the first time (which he LOVED by the way - no shocker there, he's your kid) and tickling him and smothering him with kisses. 

You should be here.

The kids remembered too. When we turned the corner to get in line to buy donuts, Faith and Caleb said 'remember when Daddy took us to the Cider Mill when I was 3? Remember when Daddy said the goats were really stinky? Remember when we got to watch the donuts being made with Daddy?' I pray every single day that their memories of you never fade.

I miss you baby, in a way I can't put to words. You should be here, damn it.
I love you with all that I am.


less than a decade

I've been thinking a lot lately about how I will have only known you in my twenties. We started dating shortly after I turned 20 and got married shortly before I turned 21. You died when I was 28. That's it - less than a decade. The best and worst decade of my entire life. And it's pain and experience will bleed onto every other decade I live.

I want to find happiness in the decades to come. If I'm gonna be stuck here, I want it to mean something. I want to be loved. I want to feel meaning in my life again. I want the kids to thrive and rise against the odds. I want there to be more than this...

I'm having a hard time with the fact that one year is approaching. It's not the day itself, but the idea of it all is suffocating me. I'm back to crying every day, finding myself pacing for no reason, forgetting things, get lost in thought. I'm realizing how much healing I still have to do, how scared I am for the future, and how much I still just hurt like hell.

I miss you baby. 
I love you always and forever.


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