Monday, January 28, 2013

Daren's Letter - January 28, 2013

Hey Honey:

I didn't know honey.  When I talked to you the day before you died, I didn't have any idea it would be the last time I would be able to tell you I missed you and loved you.  Had I known, I would not have put the phone down.  I would have talked to you, and talked to you and talked to you.  I would have told you how much joy you have brought to me in your lifetime.  We would have recalled times when we laughed and times when we cried and times when we both were mad at each other.  We never could stay angry with each other for long.  Could we.  I think about one day was my limit for being angry with you.  Then you would call and it would be all over.  Or I would call you.  One way or the other, it never lasted long.

You told me that day "I miss you, Mom."

And I told you "I miss you too, Honey."

And then you said "No.  I really, really miss you Mom."

And I told you to hurry and come home.  But instead of coming home, you went home.

I have been humbled Honey.  I was told about two songs that you said reminded you of me.  "Thank God for Believers" and "A Simple Man".  I listened to them today and was humbled that you thought of me like that.  A girl said you told her that I was your angel.  How blesssed I've been to have a son feel that way about me.  Thank you, darling.

I'm glad you are with your dad, Honey.  When the pain subsides, I feel a sense of peace knowing you are together. 

Your boys will be here tomorrow.  I will pick them up from the airport.  They are bringing your ashes with them in the urn that looks like the gas tank of a motorcycle. 

We will all look after them Honey.  We are family after all and that's what family does. You and your dad look after them to.  Inspire them to do those things that are of good report.

I miss you Dare.  Losing you has not fully hit me yet.  I'm certain after your service is over, then the real reality will set in. 

I will more than miss you honey.  I will really, really miss you.

Let me know you are around me Honey.  You of all people know how I am.  I will need some signs. 

I love you Dare.  I'm glad you chose me to be your Mom.

A Letter to Danny-January 28, 2013

Hello My Love:

It's been a hard week for me honey.  One of the hardest since November 13, 2011. Did you know? Did something deep within you, or something you knew about long before we came to this earth, let you know that 14 months after I lost you, I would lose our son?  Could it have been in the plan that you would leave so shortly before Daren; that you would be there to grasp his hand when he stepped through the veil.  I need to believe Honey.  I need to believe that nothing is left to chance.  I need to believe that all is as it should be.  I need to believe that you and your son are together again, perhaps sitting here beside me as I write this.  I need to believe that he is joking with you and you are saying "What a loon."  I am so broken Honey that I need to believe these things in order to feel my heart beat.

I know how much you loved our boy.  You showed it in so many ways.  You never gave up on him nor did you give in to him. 

He always told me he would die young.  I would push his words to the back of my mind, praying he really didn't know what he was talking about.  Praying it was just a delusion. 

He would tell me he saw auras around people.  I wonder when he looked into the mirror, if he saw one around himself.  Death makes me wonder all kinds of things Honey.  In one instant, it makes me question and in the next, it forces me to believe. 

When you left me, you took a part of my soul.  A part of my heart.  And now our son has taken another piece of each.  I honestly feel a void Honey.  It sits right below my heart.  I think if it could be seen, it would seem like a hole that has a soft breeze blowing through it.  An emptiness.

I love you my darling.  I'm glad you didn't need to go through this pain.  I know had you been here to watch your son die, you would not have recovered from the crushing hurt.  I'm glad you were there to meet him. 

Give him a hug for me Honey.  Tell him "Your Mom says to tell you she misses you."

You two take care of each other for me until I can be with you again.  Your children and his siblings are missing you both.

I need you both to do something for me.  Please keep close watch on Vince and Christian.  Please reach out and guide them, and help them, and comfort them.  Please call on all you can to encircle them and bless them with safety, comfort, peace and the desire to do those things that are right.  They are such good boys.  I know I will not be able to be with them constantly, but I know that you can.  Take care of them for me.

I need you to be with me too.  Hold me Honey.  Tell me everything is going to be okay.  Tell me everything is as it should be.

I love you so much.

Far Beyond the 12th of Never

Sunday, January 13, 2013

A Letter to Danny - January 13, 2013

Good Morning Honey:

Some religions teach that one shouldn't seek advice or solace from such things as astronomy, psychics, or mediums.  While I can understand that these means should not be a method to pattern or fashion your life, I feel that some people just have certain gifts that those of us who do not have cannot understand.  While I do not have those "gifts" I have never questioned that there are those who do...for after all, some of our children have the ability to see or hear things the rest of us do not.

Rainee and I went to a "medium" last Thursday.  I didn't go into it with skepticism, but I did go into it with caution.  I also know there are those in the world who would not hesitate to dupe me if I allow it.  With this healthy skepticism, I did not give her my name, or any other information that might be used to google me and therefore gain information.  I was cautious to say the least....and I was amazed!

  • She said you wanted to know about the Medicare Form I was reading.  She said you saw me reading it in the kitchen.  The night before, I had arrived home and opened my mail.  One of the envelopes contained a Medicare Form that I needed to fill out and return.  I sat at the kitchen counter, filled it out and put it in the envelope to mail the next day.  No one knew about that form except me...and you.
  • She asked if I had taken my wedding and engagement rings out of a box and then put them back again.  She said you wanted me to know it was alright to put them away.  (although I still wear a substitute wedding ring.)  A few days before, I was cleaning my room and picked up my ring box and took out the rings you had given me 48 years ago.  I felt bad that I didn't have the money to get the diamond replaced.  I slipped it on my finger and then took it back off and put it in its box.
  • She said she recognized my wearing your jacket.  The night before as I got ready for bed, I was missing you so.  I went to my closet and took out your flannel jacket (the one I have not washed since you wore it last.)  I slipped it on and crawled into bed.
  • She said you were asking "What's the deal with the earrings" and then added that you liked the new look.  Last summer Lola and I got our ears pierced together.  I had never worn earrings before (except for a brief stint when I tried getting them pierced back in the 1990's only to have them become infected.)  Since last summer I have loved wearing earrings.  Also, I have changed the color of my hair.  I have so often wondered if you would like the "new me" as you had such a problem with me cutting my hair that hung almost to my knees back in 2005.  It is so like you to notice the changes I have made.
  • She kissed her fingers and asked me what that meant.  I have your picture sitting on my dresser and each night I kiss my finger and place it on your face.  She said you acknowledged the kisses I gave you.
  • She asked me if I had any questions I wanted answered by you and I told her yes.  Honey it has bothered me so much that I wasn't with you when you died; that I had been with you through so much in our lives, but when you needed me most, I wasn't there.  So I told her I wanted to know if I should have been with you at that time.  You responded with "If you would have been there, I wouldn't have been able to leave you."  I know now, that in order for you to leave this life, I needed to be away from you.  It once again reinforced the love that we have for each other. 
  • I asked if I needed to follow any religious dictates in order to be with you again when I leave this earth, because if I did, I would do the in a heartbeat.  She said you answered with a resounding "NO!" 
  • She told me that you read my letters.
  • She said you were met on the otherside by your Dad and a black and white dog.  The kind of dog that is used to herd cattle.  Of course, that would have been Rodeo.
  • She ended with your telling me that you love, love, love me.
There were so many other things that were said that I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt could have only come from your lips. 

I left feeling so much better.  I know that you are with me everyday.  I know that you know how much I love and miss you and how much one day, I want to be with you again.  So my darling, I will continue to talk and sing to you when I go for a ride in my car.  I will continue to kiss your picture every night.  I will wear your flannel jacket when I want to feel your arms around me.  I will know that you are only a breath away.  And I will look forward to receiving the white feathers you told me to look for.

I love you Honey.

Far Beyond the 12th of Never


Thursday, January 3, 2013

Things My Parents and Brother Taught Me

My father became ill when I was only three years old. When I say ill, I don't mean a case of a cold or flu. I mean bed ridden for the rest of his life. My visits with my Daddy would be at his bedside. On the rare occasions he would be able to be at home, I chereish the memory of walking around the yard with him as he picked up bobby pins and nails, etc with a magnet he had tied onto the end of a string. He was unable to bend over. When he died, (I was nine years old ) there were thirteen major things wrong with him. I don't recall them all, but I do know that he built too much blood. If he happened to bump his arm, hand, leg, etc. he would bleed through his pours. Also, he had been in a coal mining accident when he was just a young man. His chest was crushed, and he had only 1/4 of a lung that worked. That portion of his lung was filled with black lung disease. Every breath he took (even though he was on an oxygen tank) was a breath I can still hear in my head. One that was raspy and strained.
One day his doctor came in and asked, "How are you doing today Mark?" Daddy replied "I'm doing fine. Just fine." The doctor said "Mark, everytime I come in and ask you that, you always respond the same. I'm your doctor. I know damn well how hard it is on you to just try and stay alive." To that my dad replied "But doc, I don't have to look far to find someone worse off than me."
My mom was a widow woman who was left by the deaths of two husbands with nine children to raise. Living in rural Vernal, Utah in the early 1900's she was not afforded the luxury of an education. She made it to seventh grade and then had to drop out because they lived too far away from town for her to attend school. Because of this, she was left to raise her large family on minimum wage. She worked every kind of job she could to keep food in her children's mouth and a roof over their heads. She graded roads with a team of horses (she would take her children with her and sit them under a tree while she graded.) She worked as a bakery helper and cleaned the bathrooms of the Union Pacific railroad, and as an aid in a nursing home.  Whatever she could get, she accepted wtihout pride.
During my entire life, I never once heard my Mom complain about the hand in life she had been dealt. I never once remember her getting up and complaining about needing to go to work or what a burden she bore in life. She would do it and keep a sense of humor and take care of her children....children who would love, respect and stand side by side at her bed as she suffered with Alzheimer's disease and then died.
My brother Henry was forteen years old when he had to quit school to help his mother care of his siblings. Henry was a very bright boy, good looking and fastidious. He loved having his white shirts ironed and my sister Mary was more than happy to take care of that for him. Henry worked in West Vaco mine outside Evanston Wyoming. Every penny he made helped feed and care for his sisters. When I was fifteen years old, Henry came down with cancer in his mouth. It started out as a small sore which spread. He was taken to the hospital in Salt Lake City where they performed surgery, needing to place a tube in his throat for him to breath with. Once out of the hospital, the cancer started around where the tube had been inserted. It ate his entire throat away. You could actually look at his neck and see the back of his throat. Mama and I went to Green River to take care of Henry so his wife Lue could work and provide for the family. Mama bought a small canvas cot and cut a hole in it and placed a pan underneathe. Henry could lay on the cot on his stomach and let his throat drain through the hole and into the pan. You could actually smell the rot of the cancer. He could no longer talk, and when people would come to visit him they would say "How you doing there Hank?" and Henry would put a big smile on his face and raise his thumb into the air signifying he was doing fine.
What my parents and brother taught me was there was no room in life for self pity. You have the choice to face what life forces on you with grace and gratitude or with feeling sorry for yourself. Each one of them faced life's challenges with grace and dignity. I am proud to be their daughter and his sister.
I guess this is why, (no I know this is why) I have little tollerance for anyone who is absorbed in their own self pity. If one looks outside themselves, they will see there are many who have things much worse than they could every expect to bear.
The strength of my Dad and Mom and brother has buoyed me up in my own life. I have lost them and my brother Chris my sisters June, Mary, Emy and Fran.   When I lost Danny in 2011, for a while I didn't think I could make it through the pain I felt.  But as I walked through a small graveyard in Dubois, Idaho I remembered I was not the only one who had felt such pain.  There had been others throughout time and there would be more throughout time to come.  I am but one student in the classroom of life.
Danny and I worked hard our entire lives.  With our hard work, we were able to acheive much and ended up losing it all.  I have the choice of seeing our financial lives as either a success or a failure.  I choose to see us as successful.  I will take pride in the fact that we chose to work.  We chose to try.  We chose to learn and when the rug was pulled out from under us, we chose to get back up and hand in hand face the coming morrow.  I will not waste my time in worrying what others thought of us.   
As a child and teenager, I know our family was looked down upon and perhaps even shunned. After all, we were the ones that had dead cars parked on the lawns of our houses. We were the ones that dressed in hand me downs or stuff given us. Our meals consisted mainly of bread and gravy, pancakes and potatoe soup. We seldom had meat. My little mom had to work all the time. She didn't have time to fix fancy meals, nor did she have the ingredients. We had to make do with what we had. I didn't eat in a restaurant until I was fifteen years old. I had my first piece of pizza then and was embarrassed that I was with friends and didn't know how I was suppose to eat it.
But none of that mattered, not at all. For looking back I know I had what was most important.  For what I did have was love. My Dad had loved me. My Mom loved me. My siblings loved me. and with that love, I didn't need anything else.
Life isn't fair.  (At least perhaps through our limited perspective of how life should be, it doesn't look fair.)  But, perhaps it is only an illusion, a trick of smoke and mirrors.  Perhaps we can't see how truly fair it is in the great scheme of things.  Perhaps we are judging it by the house we live in, the food we eat, the car we drive, the clothes we wear.  These after all, is what we use to consider our self-worth.  Instead, we should be considering our self-worth by how we handle what life throws at us.  Do we handle it with self-pity, or do we handle it with grace and dignity.  The magician of life has us looking at one thing, when what is really important is what we are being distracted from seeing....It is not the destination that is important, it is the journey and how well we deal with it.