Sunday, December 23, 2012

Hundreds of Little Pieces...

I'm just going to come right out and say it, "Christmas without Terry is not easy."  I've tried over and over to put it out of my mind.  I thought that if I tried some aversion tactics that I could somehow avoid the knot in my stomach and the rubber band around my heart.  I thought that if I skipped the men's socks aisle at Costco, I could forget that I bought him a huge package every year.  If I walked with my eyes facing straight ahead when I walked past Fanzz, where they sell the annual Bears cap, that I wouldn't "see" the black background with the bright orange "C" emblazoned on all the merchandize. I won't need to buy a pair of 501 Levis this year and I made every attempt to avoid going to that area of each store.  And the candy!!  Every bit of it reminds me of him:  Terry's Chocolate Oranges, Almond Roca, ZCMI (Macey's) chocolate mints, almonds, chocolate dipped marshmallows, fudge, Book of Lifesavers, and on and on.  

None of it worked.  Terry is all round.  I can't avoid him.  He is in every good thing this time of year and always.

There were two tasks in particular that I dreaded.  One was putting up the Nativity.  The other, decorating the tree (more about that in another post).  I chose to do the Nativity first since that was the only responsibility I "let" Terry have when it came to Christmas. We had purchased the set together just three months after we were married.  I thought that if I did it first, I could get it out of the way with minimal tears and then move on to the other things.  After pulling the boxes out of the basement crawl space, I set them on the piano bench and then reached around behind the piano to plug in the lights.  But, when I pulled out the piano, it knocked the Nativity box off of the bench.  It crashed to the floor, breaking several pieces.  Worst of all, though, was Mary.  She had been broken to pieces.  I couldn't believe it.  I sat down on the floor and sobbed.  I cried and cried and cried again.  I felt like I had ruined everything. I tried to glue her back together but couldn't see what I was doing through the tears.  The glue wasn't working and I was falling deeper and deeper into dispair.

I kept thinking about how if I just hadn't put that box on the bench.  If I'd saved the lights until last.  If I'd waited and put it up later.  If. If. If.  It occurred to me that I was mourning for Mary the same way I had been mourning for my boyfriend.  Why? Why? Why?  A creche is not a creche without Mary.  My life is not a life without Terry.

Well, I have since glued part of Mary back together.  She can sit up now.  She can hold her baby.  She is lovely.  But, she isn't whole.  In fact, there is a huge gaping hole in her body that no one can see.  I know it's there because I could hide it if I turned her just so...like I hide mine. The Nativity LOOKS normal but the heart is broken...like mine. It's broken into hundreds of little pieces...just like me.


Monday, December 17, 2012

Today...

...I have never loved my 21 first graders more.






Sunday, November 18, 2012

For the Fourth Time! Happy Thanksgiving!

I just love this video.  Have a great Thanksgiving, my friends!





Saturday, November 10, 2012

Two Girls

Melissa Rae Sullivan
Erika Norma Senneff
(making Hazel Rae!)

These two ladies are the two most important influences of my life.  Since 1987 (Melissa's birth year) we have been together.  They have been with me through the most important parts of my life:  birth, divorce, remarriage, dogs, step-families, graduations, boyfriends, fiance's, weddings, weddings, and more wedding.  Losing cousins, an aunt, grandparents and the greatest man to ever enter our lives.  These daughters of mine have changed my life for the very best.  They have taught me compassion, patience, loyalty, love, kindness, and generosity.  As I watch them be wives to their wonderful husbands, it makes me feel proud and very humble.  Proud, because I can't believe they came from me and I was lucky enough to raise them into the beauties they are.  Humble, because I don't feel worthy that they are mine.  That I raised theme alone for seven years, then for 15 years with the man of my dreams who loved them without judgement or measure.

I love them so much.  I'm very blessed.  I adored them as babies.  I giggled with them as small children.  I cried with them as teenagers.  I puff up with pride as I witness them as adults.  I am just so very, very blessed.

I love you Melissa Rae and Erika Norma.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Empty


Every Sunday we have "family dinner".  Both girls and their husbands have always come.  Occasionally, Melissa comes with her girls from SLC.  And, if we're lucky, one of the other kids are in town and they come too.  When Terry and I were talking about getting married and what our future would look like, we always knew that we wanted to have a Sunday dinner tradition.  And so it was and is still.

Only, now there is an empty chair.  It sits at the "head" of the table (I'm at the other).  It sits there. Empty.  Like the flashing light of a hotel vacancy sign.  Every Sunday.  No one ever sits there because it's "his" chair.

Today that chair stood empty once again only, this time, it was our first Canadian Thanksgiving without him.  He was always so excited for Canadian Thanksgiving because we would usually invite 30 or so friends, neighbors, and family to celebrate with us.  He'd hang our gigantic Canadian flag, with more duct tape than you can shake a stick at, in the middle of our front room window.  He'd make everyone laugh and make everyone feel important as he really listened to what they had to say.  He'd most likely send something home with someone...or two.  Then he'd eat the red jello, white chocolate cheesecake, and anything laced with sugar until he was sick.  Then he'd eat more.  Then he'd tell me, "That was the BEST meal I've ever had!"  And I'd tell him he said that EVERY year.  Eyeroll.  Laughter.  Love.

I missed that today.  For my sanity, I had to scale it back this time.  The girls and their husbands were here.  And, of course, Eloise.  Making it six of us rather than 30+.  The food was delicious.  We talked and laughed and missed the person who should have been sitting in that empty chair at the head of our family table.  I miss him terribly.  But, at this Thanksgiving time I am thankful for him. I am so very thankful.  More than words could ever say.  It's hard to realize that tears can't bring him back nor fill his empty chair.  But, they can help me remember him and wet my cheeks with love.






Sunday, August 5, 2012

2012 Canada Extravaganza: Family Reunion




Dr. Pepper and Cheese opening social, visiting, electrical horse riding, Larry reenacting the "let's-cock-4 year old Tami's-finger-in-the-pellet-gun" scenario, softball in cowboy boots, smoking some celebratory black licorice cigars, exhausted children, enamored children, a visit from Darth Vader!





When I was in high school, my mom took my senior picture and blew it up to poster size.  I thought that poster was long gone until it showed up in my brother's "complex" (fancy name for his garage-o-junk).  When I arrived at the reunion, there is was again.  It had been attached to the body of the lead actress in the Matrix movies!  (If only I could look that good in real life!)  Anyway, one of the activities was to take some rubber tubing and make a water balloon sling shot.  Then, each person took a turn trying to hit my matrix poster!  How rude!

2012 Canada Extravaganza: Mallin' it up in Calgary.





Tuesday, July 24, 2012

2012 Canada Extravaganza: The Calgary Stampede



The Calgary Stampede!  Mecca for cowboys!  Land of fried everything (pickles, oreos, twinkies, donuts, hot dogs (j/k), pork rinds)!  Place to win a new house, new dual-cab truck, cash, GIGANTIC electric blue stuffed animals, and mini-motorbikes!  Where you can play BINGO, shoot water guns at targets, spin a wheel, watch mini-horses tote big people in little carts, ride saddles on sawhorses, and get sunburned!  A place that costs $16 just to get in, $10 for 36 mini-donuts, another $25 to see the rodeo, $10 raffle tickets, $5 Diet Cokes (worth it), and $10 Dolce Gabbana knockoff sunglasses!

In short...a place where overstimulation is the fare of the day and I loved it!


Monday, July 23, 2012

Busy!

Eloise loves the stairs.

Up and down (mostly up).
Crawl/walk down my hall.
Turn around.
Crawl/walk back.
Down one stair.
Back up.

Repeat.


1000 times!

I love her.
(Look at that tongue!)





Sunday, July 8, 2012

Why?

I've had a bad case of "The Whys" lately.  I'm not in the depths of depression or anything (that's not me)  but, I've done a lot of crying.  I've been inundated with thoughts about my life thus far and what I've done with it.  I've reflected and reflected and reflected.  (Living alone is very lonely sometimes!) I was surprised at the "whys" that kept coming to me.  Like:

Why was I the chubby teenaged wallflower at the stake dances?
Why did I have to meet and marry a man who had 32 different jobs in the three years we were married? (no lie!)
Why did I have to reach 300 pounds during that marriage?
Why did I do the unthinkable...divorce?  The first in my family.
Why did I have to have re-occurring tumors that forced me to abandon my life-long yearning to have several children?
Why did it happen at the young age of 30?
Why did I have to raise two daughters, aged one and two, by myself for seven years with no support?
Why me?
Why this?
Why that?
And, the worst...why did my boyfriend have to leave me so suddenly?
Why?
Why?
Why?

Then, as I thought about all of these "why me?" questions, I received an answer. A whispering in my mind and in my heart.  The answer was another question...

Why NOT me?

Why. NOT. me?

Who was I to question my life's experiences?  Every single "negative" experience that I have had to bear has blessed me ten fold and led me to the next phase of my life.

I have two beautiful daughters who I raised during those seven years alone.  Our relationship is one-of-a-kind because of that "why me?".  Plus, my sons-in-law...and Eloise.

Had I never met and married my boyfriend, I would never have my four step-children.  Plus two more in-laws...and those eight grandchildren.

For these blessings alone, I am grateful.

I have no idea what I'm suppose to learn from the loss of my husband.  It's still very, very soon for me to make sense of it all.  But, I know that I don't say "Why me?" anymore.  That gets me nowhere.  I just want to be more open to my life's experiences.  Open to giving and to receiving love from those around me so willing to "help".  Allowing me to feel the feelings that come to me without crawling back into bed and shutting out the world.



 7 "And if thou shouldst be cast into the apit, or into the hands of murderers, and the sentence of death passed upon thee; if thou be cast into the bdeep; if the billowing surge conspire against thee; if fierce winds become thine enemy; if the heavens gather blackness, and all the elements combine to chedge up the way; and above all, if the very jaws of dhell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee eexperience, and shall be for thy good.
 The aSon of Man hath bdescended below them all. Art thou greater than he?"
-Doctrine and Covenants 122:7-8





 

Sunday, June 24, 2012

My Summer So Far...

Besides sleeping in almost every day, I've kept pretty busy.  School ended and I sort of panicked!  I found myself alone again.  It's been a huge stretch for me, but I've forced myself to get out of the house and do things.  Here are a few of the things that have occupied my time since May 28-June 24th.



1.  Tried, unsuccessfully, to attack the garage.  I worked for two solid days of unpacking and organizing and it still looks pretty much the same.  Good thing I still have July.


2.  This little babydoll turned ONE!  Her grandpa and grandma Senneff were in town from Santa Rosa, California for the big day.  They bought her that awesome pink car...wish I'd have thought of that!


3.  Lots and lots of softball games. Tyler and Danny are on the same team in a Payson league.  It's been a blast cheering for them.  Sometimes I cheer too loudly and come close to getting punched in the face by 22 year old Spanish Fork married women with big, high hair!  So, I take it down a notch.


4.  Rooftop Concert Series with Erika, Melissa, Danny, and Sarah (a family friend).


5.  Eloise had her birthday party in my backyard.  Her mother did an amazing job organizing and pulling off such a darling event.  You should check it out here.


6.  Went to a five day/45 hour CMI math trainers' meeting.  This picture is my graphic of hours I filled in as each hour passed.  I have to say that it was actually a pretty good training as trainings go.  I learned so many interesting things about how to teach.


7.  Doodled a lot during said training.


8.  Had a birthday.  (more about that in its own post)

9.  Visited the state capital.  Did you know how beautiful it is?  Sometimes I forget it's there with the beauty of Temple Square and Nordstom.  Kind of like forgetting that I live so close to these beautiful mountains.  You should take a trip to the capital on your next visit to SLC.


**  Whoops!  I forgot to number one of the pictures and I'm too busy watching "Keeping Up With The Kardashians" to go back and fix the collage in PicMonkey (awesome photo editing site btw) so I'll just tell you that I put a grill together.  It had about 150 parts!  Just call me "Ray".


10.  Attended another Velour concert where MIA GRACE performed.  Did you know that Mia is my son-in-law's sister?  She is awesome. Her singing makes me tear up.  When she sings "Violet", a song she wrote to a future daughter, I pretty much cry through the whole thing.


11.  The reuniting of the Mormojew...Provo style!  This will definitely need its own post.  Stay tuned.


12.  Shared a churro with this gal at Seven Peaks Water Park.


13.  Watching the sky light up with the fire's reflection.  Poor Utah Valley is in flames.




There you go.  


PS:  Just remembered that I spent 12 hours with three brilliant teachers from Provo School District as we rewrote the entire First Grade Language Arts Benchmark Test for next year.  That was super exciting!  :/



Monday, May 28, 2012

In Memory...

I've always had a question about Memorial Day.  Is it to honor our fallen soldiers? Yes.  Is it to remember our loved ones who have passed on before us?  Yes.

It's both.  And, as I found out today, it can also be beautiful.  So beautiful that it takes your breath away.

I was the first of the family to arrive at the Provo City Cemetery today.  Usually everyone beats me there because I secretly put it off until the last minute.  Parking was horrendous.  People were everywhere.  Flowers were everywhere.  So were pinwheels, Hot Wheels, teddy bears, leis, flags (oh, the flags), notes, etc.  The feeling of love hit me like a brick the minute I entered the gate.



What a gorgeous day, eh?  I found our newly placed monument for my boyfriend.  His spot is in the adult area between the two babylands.  So sweet. I put my blanket down and sat beside my Terry's final resting place.  I put the gerber daisy plant I had brought in the vase and then turned my ipod on to some Mandy Patinkin music (Terry's favorite) and started the good cry I knew would come.  It only lasted a minute or two.  It felt, oddly, good.  My love for Terry is beyond measure and it was nice to tell him aloud before the girls got there.  I miss him so much.  Life is not the same.  It never will be.


I love when my girls and their husbands meet me.  And of course, Eloise.  I love that little girl.  She is the sunshine that lights up our little lost family.  She always brings happiness...even when she's cranky!  Which isn't very often.  I noticed that all of my photos of Ellee with me at the cemetery look exactly the same.  I don't care.  I love her.  She loves her Bop Bop and is always a good girl at his grave.  Such a happy little girl...in spite of these pictures!  :)


So, our first Memorial Day was successful.  It was lovely even.  The weather was perfect.  The company was perfect.  Having Terry absent wasn't so perfect.  We love him still.


(I may or may not have hid a pocket knife inside the cup at the top of the monument!  None of you better go take it either!)



Thursday, May 10, 2012

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