Tuesday, December 29, 2009

What can I say?

No, literally... what can I say? I am struggling with a lot of personal stuff in my life right now - well, not really struggling, but just dealing with a lot that is personal and I'm not ready to share publicly and yet at the same time it consumes much of my day, my thoughts, my actions and I feel so limited on what I can say about any of it!

Some of it is really good, and I want to share those happy, excited feelings and some of it is heavy and dark and sad and I want to be able to share those too. I am sure others have gone through what I am going through and I know I am not alone. I am thankful for my "inner-circle" of friends who are with me and holding me up throughout all the emotions and changes.

It is amazing what you can do, what you feel capable of doing, when you have a good support system. I am SO lucky to have such great family and friends who are there for me when I need them. I hope I can be that to them as well.

I am coming down with some lovely cold of some sort, with lots of drainage and an achy throat and fatigue. I have a doctor appointment tomorrow afternoon for it and may stay home tomorrow if I'm not feeling any better. We have a fun and long Thursday evening planned and I do NOT want to miss out because I'm feeling crappy! I am really looking forward to the New Year's Eve get together at John & Vicki's. I can't remember the last time I went out on New Years Eve to a get together!! I am really looking forward the bonfire and pray the weather will cooperate with us!

I am also really looking forward to church on Sunday! I can't remember the last time I was this excited about going each week - I feel such a pull to be there now, and can't wait to get Kent invested in the Youth Group so that he will find that connection and pull as well. :)

I think this weekend is going to be great - I am planning on taking Kent to Avatar on Saturday (assuming I'm recouped from the party by then) and on Friday I am planning on sleeping, and that's about it! I am looking forward to the movie - it seems everyone who's gone to it has really enjoyed it! It's been awhile since we went out for one, it'll be a great way to spend some of our weekend time together!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

In Africa or Stanwood, Marysville woman was caregiver (news story about my mom)

Patricia Watson was known as the mother hen at Pilchuck Glass School near Stanwood.

The registrar worked with glass artists from around the world before and after they lived on campus, where they honed their craft.

Her boss, John Reed, director of campus operations, had an office next door to Watson.

“By the time students arrived, she would pretty much know them,” Reed said. “She had a good sense of humor, was very gentle, kind and open.”

Her death from unknown causes shocked the campus and Watson's friends and family. She died at home in Marysville on Nov. 20.

Born in Seattle, she was preceded in death by her brother, Billy Samples.

Patricia Gail Watson is survived by her husband of nine years, Lash Watson; children Jacob Shannon, Rebekah Hills and Ruth Shannon; parents John and Sharon Samples; sisters Bobbi Samples and Nancy Chase; and grandchildren Kent and Sofia.

Her daughter, Rebekah Hills, said her family operated Promised Land Shelter in their Everett home when she was a child. Mothers in abusive relationships stayed there while they worked to rebuild their lives.

Her parents took a little time off from working as caregivers, but eventually were back at it.

“We moved to Eastern Washington and took a position at Bailie Memorial Youth Ranch where our home was filled with young boys who were struggling with various issues. Mom was right at home once again, forming lasting and meaningful relationships with many of the young men who spent time in our home.”

Her mother was a natural-born caregiver, Hills said. She made folks feel special, wanted and loved. Some of her favorite memories were of sitting around the piano while her mother played and sang, Hills said.

The close family moved to Dakar Academy in Senegal, West Africa.

“Mom quickly settled into her position at the front desk. There are many, many people whose lives she impacted during our years in Africa.”

Watson's husband, Lash Watson, said they met through online social networking after both had lost at love.

“We were both looking to date,” Lash Watson said. “But we were never going to get serious again.”

In two months, they were planning their wedding.

Their first meeting was on the Edmonds ferry. They agreed to see one another, having never exchanged pictures, on the main deck.

“When I saw her, I said ‘Thank you, God,'” Watson said.

Enthralled, they were the last car to exit the ferry, he said.

She embraced his hobby — keeping snakes.

His wife sewed her own clothes; swam at the Marysville YMCA before work; wore little makeup or jewelry; loved romantic comedies; and hated idle chit-chat, gardening and shopping.

They took several nice road trips together, going from home to home of friends she made at the glass school.

At the school, she set up an ambassador program, John Reed said. For instance, if someone was coming to the school from Thailand, Patricia Watson connected the incoming student with a mentor in Thailand who had already attended classes in Stanwood.

“It made the process and getting here a lot easier,” Reed said. “It's a very intense place. She was really a big-hearted, wonderful person.”

Kristi O'Harran: 425-339-3451, oharran@heraldnet.com

Back to work...

I can't believe the last 4 days have already gone by so quickly! We had a nice holiday and now its time to go back to the "real world" for the next couple days... only 3 days and then another 4 day weekend! Yay!

I had Wednesday off just to be home last week and got a lot done around the house, spent a lot of time straightening up and cleaning that needed to be done. There is more to do (always) but I'm happy with the dent I made. Thursday morning I dropped the big dogs at the vet's office and packed up the car, L.B. and Brutus came with me to Ellijay. We made it to Ken & Donna's around lunchtime and we all went out to a BBQ restaurant. I ended up not eating anything because what I wanted off their menu they were out of and everything else was fried food and I hadn't eaten yet at that point and grease on an empty stomach did not sound appealing! We had so many yummy baked goods and munchies back at the house though, I made up for it! :)

We had a nice dinner back at the house with Sweetie Pie and Jim that evening and everyone hung out and relaxed. Kent wrote the cutest note to Santa and put out a coke and some cookies and peppermint bark. David wrote a note back from Santa and we filled stocking and went to bed.

I slept in on Christmas morning until about 8:00 am and got up and discovered the power was out! There had been a big wind storm and a tree knocked down a line. Ken & Donna had to run over to Jim's house which still had power and cook breakfast. They brought it back to the house (we had the gas fire which was keeping everyone from freezing). We ate breakfast and then opened stockings and gifts. We went over to Jim's house for our Christmas lunch (since we still didn't have power at the house) and by the time lunch was done and everyone was full and sleepy the power company had come out and worked their magic and we were able to go back to the house and enjoy an evening of hanging out (and watching The Hangover and game playing) and chatting before heading to bed again. I loved the room I was sleeping - it was down in the basement and had no windows and was like a little cave. It was so cool, and I slept great.

It was nice to head back home the next morning, though it was SO cold the car was covered in ice and it was hard to open the doors!! We made good time since traffic was light and got back around 9:00am I think. I went to pick up the dogs and Sadie managed to spill soda all over me on the way home, so I enjoyed a nice warm shower when we got home and then we worked on unpacking all of our bags and Kent had a great time playing with all his many new toys! He got an awesome huge Star Wars Lego set from his Nana and Papa (Ken & Donna) which he spent a lot of time on. He also got a binder with card sheets in it from Santa and new Pokemon cards which he's spent HOURS and hours on, organizing and re-organizing! He loves that!

I spent more time cleaning up the house and then around 1:00 Steve and Chris came over to help work on the Focus. I am so appreciative of all the work they've been doing on the car! They ended up having to drill out the ignition switch and a new one is going to have to be installed. Chris said he's seen a lot of that on this type of car. Sigh. I am just feeling so blessed that someone is willing to help me get it fixed!!

We went out to dinner with Vicki & Johnny at Sumo, a Hibachi restaurant and enjoyed the "dinner and a show"! :) It was SO yummy, I ate WAY too much fried rice and was stuffed well into the next morning!

This morning I baked 4 loaves of banana bread (and my house still smells good). We went to the family worship service at church at 10:00 and afterwards headed over to Honey's house for more presents and lunch there. Honey had a sandwich spread out and I made a lettuce, tomato, cucumber sandwich and it was SO good!! I was starving too since I hadn't eaten yet, so maybe that's why it tasted extra good - the bread was really good. She had some coconut cake too and that is always AWESOME!

Ok, I guess that is my run down on the long weekend! I am looking forward to New Years Eve and the party at Vicki's house!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas...

Short and sweet - Jesus is the Reason for the Season... it is good to remember that as I stack up all the gifts I've wrapped and get ready to head to the mountains to spend the next 2 days with Kenneth's family. There may be a million and one things going on in my head - but none of that matters right now. This is the time to celebrate the birth of Jesus, and the gifts he has given to us. When we were little mom would have us take all the Christmas cards from the year before and make a Happy Birthday Jesus banner which we'd put on the wall. There are some years I even remember doing a birthday cake for Jesus and we'd all go around the table and I think say something we were thankful for.

It is wonderful to give and receive and bless each other through gift giving, but I know my focus for this season should be on the eternal gifts that are mine to keep all year round. I am thankful for that reminder and for the Peace it brings me to remember that amidst the chaos of December.

The coming year is going to bring many changes for me, and I am ready for them all, I open my arms wide and I embrace this new year and new beginning and wait with eager anticipation to see what the months will bring, and what the future will hold.

I went to the Christmas Eve Eve service at church tonight, and it was really beautiful and I loved the message as well, and the reminder of our Father being Eternal. That was very powerful for me tonight as I felt the weight of the loss of mom heavy on my heart. Nothing about this Christmas is the same without her, and my heart is heavy as I wish I could lean on her yet again.

I get to see Kent tomorrow too - the days have passed SO quickly! Each day has just been packed full of crossing items off my to-do list, so it went really fast for me. I hope he's been having a great time with his Aunt and I can't wait to see him again!

So good night and Merry Christmas to all, may you find peace this holiday season and be surrounded by those you love the most.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Fire!

I am having childhood flashbacks to burn barrel days when my brother and I would walk our paper trash out to the big ol burned out rusty barrel somewhere in the yard and burn baby burn!! I have been going through and purging old records and shredding all the old account statements and my shredder keeps overheating on me after about 20 statements run through so tonight as I was looking at the ridiculously huge stack of paper that needed to be destroyed my little portable fire pit crossed my mind! I am a genious! I brought it out to the backyard took my stack of paper and lit it up. It's not a big fire pit so I only felt comfortable burning about half the pile, but it still made a good dent and it was fun and the fire felt really nice with how cold it is right now! I felt a little like a crazy person, but that's ok - crazy is good sometimes!

It not only feels good to clean out old files and get things in better order, it was fun to feel like a kid again playing (carefully) around the burn barrel tonight! :) And I have to admit, I really love the smoky smell that's on my sweater now - brings back so many great campfire memories.

Footloose and fancy free!

Kent's Aunt April offered to have him come stay with them at their home in Tennessee for a couple days and then I'll meet up with everyone in Blue Ridge on Thursday and Kent was very excited about getting to go stay with them (he hasn't seen them much since they moved earlier in the year). I am now home completely alone (if you don't count the 5 furry critters) and really excited about having some down time!

We met up mid-day yesterday in Chattanooga and on my way home I stopped and got my hair highlighted which I've wanted to do for awhile along with a trim and enjoyed that a lot and then I went home and ate what I wanted out of the fridge, had some wine with dinner and watched The Ugly Truth - a total chick flick. I finished up some more gift wrapping, read a little and finally went to sleep. It is so weird to only be responsible for myself - not worry about whether Kent took his pills, or brushed his teeth, or has clean socks or underwear... just me! Very odd indeed! But nice too for a change. Of course I still think about him constantly and wonder what he's doing and if he's being good, but I can still relax and enjoy my free time too.

I am working today and tomorrow and then I have Wednesday off, totally to myself at home! Wow! I will probably try to go out and do something fun, just for me - maybe use the spa gift certificate my mom gave me back in June for my birthday... I'm hoping to meet up one night this week with Vicki too, but we haven't planned when.

I've still got a little bit of shopping to do and presents to wrap and I'm planning to be good and use some of my free time to straighten up the house and get all my recycling organized and dropped off. It's really piled up especially with all the packages I put together for the Marines, since pretty much all packaging gets discarded to save space.

I have one more Post Office run to do today to get Kenneth's last Christmas box mailed and the last 4 of the Brown and Caldwell donation boxes in the mail and then I can maybe reclaim my dining room table, at least a little! It's been package central in there!

I can't believe Christmas is really this week. It just doesn't feel possible that so much time has gone by. Ever since mom's death time has just sort of blurred together and gone so quickly. She's been gone a whole month now and I cannot figure out where that month went!

I guess that's it for the moment - looking forward to another quiet evening home and getting a lot done!

Friday, December 18, 2009

I am lucky

I still stop to ponder on many different occassions how I got so lucky to connect with Vicki. It's now been just about a year since we initially connected. I still have all our old e-mails and many of our chats saved and every now and then its fun to peek back through and reminisce! It's INCREDIBLE how much we have both been through, together and separately since our first contact. We connected as potential IP and TS and have been through a surrgacy attempt and SO much more since then! Vicki has become one of my very best friends, and has enabled me to maintain some sanity amidst varying ups and downs in life. It's pretty amazing to look back and feel like she is one of those "what is meant to be will be" people in my life, in many ways. I feel very lucky and blessed to get to call her my friend.

We've gotten to get together with Vicki, John and Johnny several times over the past couple weeks and its been awesome to get out of the house, visit, hang out, laugh together and also have someone to bounce my thoughts and worries off of.

Vicki and I went to see the Rockettes and then to my company Holiday party the first weekend in December, then last weekend we all went to the lights at Lake Lanier and I hung out at their house 'til the wee hours of the morning watching a fight night that was on (I don't get to watch that very often, but it is really one of the only sports I can really get into on TV)! We met up for dinner earlier in the week, then Vicki and I went to the mall last night and we're getting together for cookie baking tomorrow! I can't wait!! I haven't had a good bake day in forever and am going to enjoy pigging out and overloading on chocolate for an afternoon.

Tomorrow is going to be SUPER busy, I have an 8-9 appointment, Kent has jiu jitsu from 9:30 - 10:30, then drop off 14 boxes at the post office for shipping to Kenneth's unit (my company has been collecting donations for them for the past 2 weeks), then off to Vicki's for an afternoon of baking then leave there at 4:00 for a 5:00 family get together at Kenneth's Uncle's home. I am going to be TIRED tomorrow evening. At least the get together is fairly early so we can all get home at a decent hour and get a good night of sleep (hopefully).

Church on Sunday morning (we're going to try out a new one this week) then taking Kent to meet up with his aunt and uncle in Chattanooga in the early afternoon! Then I get the house to myself until I go to meet up with everyone in Blue Ridge on Christmas Eve!! GASP! I can't even fathom what I will do with a huge empty house for a couple days. I don't think that's EVER happened since... well.. ever?! I went from highschool to married, and have pretty much always had Kenneth and/or Kent with me. This will be weird and cool! I am sure Kent will have a BLAST with April & David and hope he behaves himself for them. :) It's neat that they can have him come visit. I remember many wonderful weekends with my Aunt Bobbi at her home. I am glad he'll get a chance to have one on one time with his aunt and uncle too.

Ok, off to bed - its nearly midnight and 7:00am is going to come quickly!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Mom's Obituary

I wanted to have this saved somewhere that I'd be able to look back on it and the wonderful comments left by family and friends - so I'm copying it all here.

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Patricia Gail Watson, born in Seattle, WA, November 6, 1952, was unexpectedly taken November 20, 2009.

She was preceded in death by her brother, Billy Samples. Patricia is survived by her husband of nine years, Lash; children, Jacob Shannon, Rebekah Hills and Ruth Shannon; parents, John and Sharon Samples; sisters, Bobbi Samples and Nancy Chase; and grandchildren, Kent and Sofia.

The lives of all the people she touched were "As the stars of Heaven in number." Her compassionate heart and faith called her to work in the Mission Field alongside husband Ed Keiley (married 78-99) and their growing family. Their path led them to Kodiak Baptist Mission (AK), Promised Land Shelter (Mountlake Terrace, WA), House of His Creation (PA), Bailie Memorial Youth Ranch (Mesa, WA) and Dakar Academy (Senegal, West Africa). A mesmerizing serenade of Amazing Grace sung over the setting sun of the Grand Canyon was just one way she turned their many cross-country moves into unforgettable family vacations. Her passion for music was beautifully expressed through song and piano, filling her home and children with warmth and joy. She found a home within the Pilchuck Glass School (Stanwood, WA) family where she worked as the registrar, enriching the lives of numerous artists from around the world since 2004.
A private family service will be held at 11 a.m., November 30, at Evergreen Cemetery in Everett. A memorial service for family and friends will be held at 1 p.m., December 5, 2009, at Damascus Road Church in Marysville, WA.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to Pilchuck in honor of Patricia Watson.

"Thank you for doing this, Helen."

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December 20, 2009
I was heartbrooken when I heard the news about Tricia. She was one of the great reasons that I always came back to Pilchuck. She always made me feel so welcome and always helped me out planning my trips and everything else that I needed help with. I'll miss her so much. My thoughts goes out to the family.
~ Fredrik Nielsen, Stockholm, Sweden

December 10, 2009
The right words have yet to come to me, I guess these will have to do. It is impossable that I will never get to debate my mother ever again, I still don't believe it. I suppose in a way it is true that she is dead, but I know that in many ways she has never been more alive. We can only do what we are able to do, until we meet again, in this life or the next one.

I wish you nothing but the best, yes there were lots of good times mom.
~ jacob shannon, Bothell, Washington

December 07, 2009
wow! She was such a great person and made you feel so welcome on Campus. My prayers are with the family and friends around her. I am sorry for your loss
~ Joe Patane, Dillon, Colorado

December 05, 2009
My thoughts and prayers are with my Aunt Sharon and Uncle John, cousins Bobbi, and Nancy, and Lash and their families. A few years ago Lash and Patricia came to visit me in Eugene, and we had such a wonderful visit. It had been at least 20 years since I saw Patricia and I feel blessed to have the memory of that time we shared. We laughed so hard recalling memories! When we were kids, we spent so many wonderful family holidays together, so many laughs and wonderful memories. Rest in Peace Patricia, and say Hi to Billy for us!! We miss you both! with Love
~ Marilyn Moblo, Euguene, Oregon

December 04, 2009
I am so sorry. I pray you find strength in God's love.
~ Bonny McMahon, Edmonds, Washington

December 04, 2009
Lash, Ruth, and Kent -- Fritz and I are stunned. This loss saddens us and shakes us to our very cores: No one possessed her joy, her caring, and her unrivaled ability to laugh in a way that infected others with her warmth and feeling. What a gift! Our deepest sympathies for your loss.
~ Erin Moore, Seattle, Washington

December 04, 2009
Tricia Watson was one of the warmest people I ever met. The first time I arrived from the UK at a slightly intimidating Pilchuck she greeted me like a member of her family and made me feel at home. We exchanged occasional emails over the following years and each email left me feeling warm, loved and special, and when I returned to Pilchuck a couple of years later her face lit up when she saw me and I received one of the best hugs of my life. My story isn't unique, and I was not singled out by her, this is how she was with everyone who crossed her path. On hearing the news this morning, my husband, who had never met her, was as upset as I was, he knew how she had touched me. My love goes out to her family, she adored you, you were her life.
~ Jude Stoll, Wigton, UK

December 01, 2009
In my 25 years on this earth, the only constant I ever had was my mother. Now that she's gone, my world is in chaos, and nothing makes sense to me anymore. I will miss her more than I could care to imagine.
~ Ruth Shannon, Everett, Washington

December 01, 2009
Rebekah sorry the loss that you have had come into your life. We are here at all times to offer you comfort, friendship and whatever else you may need. Our prayers are sent with hopes of lifting your spirit and lift her higher with the lord.
May the lord remind you that she hs entered and enjoying her eternal life with him.
God Bless you and your family.
~ Cyndi Varney Bray, Acworth, Georgia

December 01, 2009
I wish to thank all family and friends. Thoughts, prayers, support and help in so many ways has been and is unbelieveable. So many lost with her passing and my prayers and best wishes to you all. She was a true gift and am so thankful, proud and honoured to have been part of her life and be the part I was it hers.
I LOVE YOU BABE!
~ Lash Watson, Marysville, Washington

November 29, 2009
Ah Pati - so many memories.
I will never forget your laugh, long summer days as children, memories of living together in college - especially you listening to Joni Mitchell and making spagetti - and you giggling with my babies.
I love you cousin and will miss you desperately
~ Bonnie Grayum, Seattle, Washington

November 29, 2009
It completely broke my heart to hear this news. Patti always had kind, encouraging and uplifting words for me. My heart goes out to you and your family Rebekah. I pray for strength and comfort in this difficult time. In His time, He makes all things beautiful. Love and Hugs to you.
~ Nki Smith, Ottawa, Ontario

November 29, 2009
Patricia was a person who was easy to feel comfortable with. After my class at Pilchuck I signed up on Facebook and she and I hooked up almost immediately. She had several interesting posts and I would read about her current topics. I always felt like I was her friend, even if it was an illusion on my part. She made me feel good. Knowing her made me feel good. She helped me at Pilchuck when she didn't need to. She gave of herself. She was selfless, kind, caring and oh so pleasant to know. May your heart find peace. Sincerely with affection, KaCe
~ KaCe Whitacre, Tacoma, Washington

November 29, 2009
Such a beautiful person to know, glad I was given the opportunity.
Patti, may you rest in peace.

To Patti's family & husband Lash our thoughts are with you.
~ Shauna Adams, Puyallup, Washington

November 29, 2009
Our deepest sympathy in the loss of your mom. We remember her quite fondly and have some nice memories of when our Jonathan and Becky lived with her and Lash in Mt. Vernon! Such a dear person. She made great cookies (Becky remembers!) If there is anything we can do, we are at your disposal. We will send prayers and positive energy your way.
~ Handy Family, Burlington, Washington

November 28, 2009
Thank you to all of our family and friends for the love and support given during this incredibly difficult and painful time in our lives.

Mom you are so very loved and will be so missed each and every day of my life. I will hear your laughter, see your smile and feel your love always.
~ Rebekah Hills, Hiram, Georgia

November 28, 2009
Patricia was an angel here on Earth and will be dearly missed. Take comfort in knowing that she can now watch over all of you from her house in Heaven. My prayers are with you all.
~ Vikki Paxton, Everett, Washington

November 28, 2009
She was an inspiration and it was a joy to work with her in Kodiak, Ak. She is with her heavenly father.
~ Brenda Nash, Mandeville, Louisiana

November 28, 2009
To all of Patti's family,
My many thoughts and prayers are with you during this time.
~ Anne Hills, Marietta, Georgia

November 28, 2009
Our thoughts and prayers are with you all. Jacob, Rebecca, and Ruth: We remember fun times together as families when you were young. When we moved overseas, we knew our dog Darcy would enjoy her life with your family.
Your mom touched many lives. She will be remembered as a special lady with the most generous of hearts.
~ The Noetzelman family

November 28, 2009
Ken and Donna Hills send their prayers for Patti's family. May she rest in peace with her Savior.
~ Donna Hills, Ellijay, Georgia

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Yummy Tacos!!

Tonight we finished up pretty much the last of the Christmas shopping after Kent's jiu jitsu lesson so we didn't get home 'til pretty late (a little after 8:00 pm). I have had a packet of mushrooms in the fridge for a few days and knew I needed to use them so instead of warming up something in a can I went ahead and fixed a quick dinner. It was SOOO good!!! Kent LOVED these tacos!

I sauteed the packet of mushrooms in about 1 TBS of smart balance and about 1/4 cup of water for about 10 minutes until they shrunk up nicely, then added in 1/4 cup taco seasoning and some more water so the mixture wasn't too thick. I then added a can of rinsed kidney beans and a can of vegetarian refried beans and stirred it gently. When that was combined I threw in about 1/2 - 3/4 cup of Bocca Vegetarian Crumbles (looks like ground beef). YUMMY! Super easy and fast dinner and it was really, really tasty and had good texture and heartiness to it with all the add-ins. Next time I'll throw some diced onion in with the mushrooms while they saute, but I didn't want to to take the time to dice more veggies tonight. We threw regular taco toppings on there and Kent scarfed down two and asked me to have leftovers tomorrow.

I am thrilled - Kent had a good jiu jitsu lesson, my Christmas shopping is now 99.9% complete (and I found myself a pair of cute snowman socks for my stocking since I get to fill my own this year :D ) and we had a really good, quick, veggie dinner that Kent enjoyed. What more could I ask for? :)

I am thoroughly exhausted though after all the running around (we went to 4 different stores before going home) and so ready for a good nights sleep. Just have to fold some laundry and start working on the boxes for the Marines overseas. My office adopted the 4th Recon Bravo Company Marines for our Christmas giving and I have 2 full boxes of various goodies in my trunk and need to start assembling the shipping boxes and filling them up. I ordered 10 shipping boxes initially but when I saw the size of some of the items I realized I needed way more than that. I ordered 25 more that will hopefully be here by the weekend, otherwise some of this stuff isn't going out on Saturday like I'd hoped. I have to pick up clip on desk lights for all the guys too still... too bad I didn't think about that while I was at the store this evening... sigh.

So, Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night! :)

Teach an old dog new tricks?

Well I guess they aren't new tricks, but it will probably feel like that. I am going to get a flute and start playing again. I played when I was in middle school and nothing since then (my sister got the flute I played on and I have no idea what happened to it after that). But I loved it, I loved having another way to express my passion for music, and it filled me with happiness to play. Ultimately I want to get good enough to play at Church (once I settle on a church family) and hopefully start singing at Church again too. I miss that even more I think. I remember doing "recitals" for my family when I was little, specifically for Christmas one year... and before that the recorder!! I spent hours playing that thing - I remember my favorite book was my "Little Mermaid" song book!! :D

I grew up in a house filled with music. My mom had a gorgeous singing voice and played the piano beautifully. Not only did she personally fill our life with music, but she played records all the time (yes, the vinyl kind)! I miss those. Maybe one day for nostalgia's sake I will have to get a record player and track down some of my favorites that I remember (Smother's Brothers and John Denver & the Muppets Christmas are probably at the top of that list). Christmas music was huge - she LOVED Christmas music and played it long before and long after Christmas and I "inherited" that trait as well. I adore Christmas music and have made a point to get copies of about as many Christmas albums as I've been able to get my hands on, and I love to listen to it all day long. Everything from Kenny G to Trans-Siberian Orchestra to Frank Sinatra to Toni Braxton. I love it all.

As I slowly start re-surfacing after the initial internal chaos of loosing mom, I find an incredibly STRONG desire to reconnect with myself through music. To give that side of me a chance at a "come back". I have never lost my passion for music, just my outlet. I sing in the car, I sing in the shower, I hum along whenever somethings on that I like, but I don't play an instrument and I don't sing for anyone other than myself anymore. And I want to change that, because it is part of who I am and it is important.

It is an incredible thing when something this huge hits you, to see such an impossible shift in priorities and focus. Usually these things take years to ease into and they happen slowly, but I feel like there has been an internal rockslide or something close to it and everything has changed at once and everything that is TRULY important is so obvious now, and the unimportant things are left beneath the rubble of the rockslide. I feel my grasp on what I thought was important beginning to splinter off, and though it is a painful process to let go and move on from the things you've held to for so long it is necessary and the rewards are great.

I feel the New Year for me will be symbolic in many ways, a new beginning, a fresh start, a chance to embrace who I am and pursue my dreams. Maybe it is selfish, but for once I don't care. I deserve to meet my own needs as well as those of my family. I think as mom's and wives we forget that way too often and I've tried to be content with that for many years, and have failed. I am not content with the way things are and I am going to change that.

I will start with music and go from there... I think the New Year is going to be full of amazing blessings and changes and I welcome them.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Dear Mom...

I was thinking about my mom tonight and how much I have to tell her and decided to write her a letter...

Dear Mom,
Are you listening? Can you hear me, my thoughts? I wish we could talk today. There is so much on my mind and heart that I would give anything to share with you. To snuggle against you with your silly fuzzy snowman blanket over our laps, one of our favorite movies on in the background and your shoulder to lean on while I pour out my heart. I can still feel your hand stroking my hair, and see that "mom" look in your eyes - all that love and pride. All it ever took was one look from you to feel like the most amazing and wonderful person on this planet. Knowing I'll never see that look in person again makes the jagged edges around my broken heart ache again... You were my safe harbor mom. You have always been my rock, my solid foundation. I knew I could be what I wanted to be because you were there to support me and build me up. I knew I would be strong enough, because you made me believe in myself. I need that now. I need to hear your love and support.

The days ahead of me are unsure and I need your reassurance that I am going to be ok and I am doing the right thing. I know in my head and heart that I will be, but I need you while I find my way. Life is such a lonelier place without you. But at the same time I have you to thank as well. Loosing you will forever be one of the most painful experiences I will ever go through. But it has been the wake up call I needed too. The reminder that life is short and we deserve to be loved, to be happy, to be fulfilled. Our dreams deserve a chance, our life should not just be lived, it should be lived well. I will honor this and find a way to pursue my dreams again, to bring music and God back into our lives, so Kent will grow up surrounded by the things that bring me the most fond memories of my childhood. I will never sit at a piano and bring music to life through my fingertips in the way you did, but I will sing and I will re-learn the flute and I will find joy in music again.

I have thought of you as my hero many, many times. When asked to write about my hero, I always thought of you. If I never put it into words, I am sorry. I wish I had, and I pray so hard every day that you did not leave this earth without truly knowing how much you mean to me. My mother is my hero because she is love personified. It is in her every look, touch, action and word. She makes people feel special, she brings out the best in everyone. She gives always selflessly of herself, her time, her talents, her heart, her soul. I want to be just like her when I grow up. I always have. Maybe minus a few of your quirks :) but I have always wanted to be just like you... and I think I am realizing maybe I am more like you then I'd thought. If I have just a piece of your spirit, your talent, your light then I am honored and blessed and grateful.

We had to start thinking about your headstone, and I was trying to think of phrases that would even partially capture the essence of you and how you have left us feeling - I truly don't think the right words exist in the English language, or if they do I haven't found them yet. Until then, hear my hearts cry of anguish and love, and my soul's mourning for your passing and please feel from the depths of me the love that is still on this earth missing you every day.

Mom, I hope you hear my thoughts and I hope that what I feel in response is from you. I feel such a peace when I picture you, finally home, finally free. Though I ache, I can still feel joy for your homecoming. I can picture you with your Grandmother who you missed so desparately, and your brother whom I never met. Maybe you are bouncing my angel baby who I never got to meet on your knee too... I pray you are all together, my beautiful family in heaven. And on these days when I wish so much to be able to talk to you and hear your voice in return, I trust the amazing friends and family who surround me are your way of letting me know I am still loved and supported.

Come visit me in my dreams soon.

I love you.

Your Beka Buglet

Friday, December 11, 2009

It's been a long week

Lots of appointments for Kent this week on 3 different days (he had his annual physical and got shots, and had to have a fasting blood draw this morning), so my schedule has been pretty abnormal. Traffic was HORRIBLE yesterday getting home, making me almost 30 minutes later than normal and Kent felt pretty bad last night. His temp was at 100.4 and he was just achy and tired (I assume as a reaction from the shots he had on Wednesday the 9th). I gave him some Jr. IBProfen, lots of liquid and he rested on the couch. His temp came down a little but not much, but after a good night of sleep (he actually slept in for a change - its a miracle!) he seemed to feel better this AM and his temp was gone.

I've made time to soak in the tub and do some for fun reading the last two nights - for a moment to myself to just be and to relax. It has been really nice. I've been using my LUSH products (bath bombs) those things are awesome!! Makes your skin feel so nice, and they smell so great. I finished Eclipse (again) last night. I am on my 4th time through I think... I lost count. Sad, yes, but I find the books and movies are a good escape for me! :)

I am also now on week 3 of not eating meat. I made the decision while spending time with my brother and sister in Washington after my mother passed. There are many different aspects to the decision, but it feels like the right one for me for the moment. It could change in the future, but this is what feels good for me right now. I have also subsequently lost about 11 pounds since my mother passed away, due to eating very little (I rarely have an appetite anymore) and I'm sure the diet change factors in as well. It's all weight that I'd gained back after stopping Weight Watchers, so its nothing "new" really, but nice to fit comfortably back into clothes I haven't been wearing as much recently.

I have been re-discovering food it seems. Going vegetarian is quite an adjustment and its wonderful to be incorporating a lot more fresh items into my meals. I discovered sprout and tomato sandwiches on bagels with chive and onion cream cheese today and am very happy with those! A very nice light lunch. (I am still eating dairy and eggs for now).

I got an update from "L" that things are moving forward with cycling plans and according to the clinic we could be looking at early/mid February for a transfer. I haven't heard from the clinic yet on my calendar, but hopefully they'll let me know soon if I need to start BCPs or anything like that. I have fingers and toes crossed that "L" and I both do well on our med protocols and get the chance to transfer this time around!

So, sort of random bits of information for an update, but that's the latest and greatest around here... I still can't believe Christmas will be here in 2 more weeks and I am fully unprepared!!

Sunday, December 06, 2009

A nice night out

It feels weird to do "normal" things and have fun, but I am starting to have days where things feel mostly ok. On Saturday Vicki was sweet enough to join me for an afternoon and evening out. She invited me to join her at the Rockettes for an early afternoon performance and then at 6:00pm we went to my company party. I had a really nice evening and enjoyed the Awards presentation and the dancing a lot! It was nice to just try to relax and have a good time for a few hours. It was really great to spend some time with Vicki too - we haven't had the chance to hang out in awhile.

I have had a huge "to-do" list of items to catch up and I'm slowly starting to cross things off and feel a little more in control again. Though I still feel really behind. I hope by Wednesday this week I will be caught back up at work too.

We went and saw New Moon today - Kent wasn't excited about going but he actually enjoyed it. There was a lot of action and he liked the werewolves. I baked some banana muffins and we got the tree up this evening! I still have to find the rest of the ornaments, but the lights are on it and its sparkling in the window and I played some Christmas music to help get in the mood. Maybe tomorrow evening I can finish up enough of the decorations to put the big rubbermaids away and reclaim the living room.

Everywhere I look I am reminded of my mom. One of our "things" that we shared was a love for snowmen decorations and Christmas in general. Mom played Christmas music for months before and after Christmas, and that is something I have always done as well. As I've been unwrapping all my little snowmen and placing them around the house I feel a squeeze around my heart with each one and know that forever this time of year is going to really put her in the forefront of my thoughts.

Ok, off to put a few more things up and then hopefully get a good night sleep.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Lost...

I write this post for my own sake, as I know one day I will want to look back and remember. Right now I would like to forget.

On November 20th my whole world turned upside down with one phonecall. The day started out normal enough, a Friday, a work day. I was so EXCITED that the weekend was almost there and my mom would be arriving on Sunday. I was planning in my head all the things I had to get done at the house to get ready. Kent's birthday party was planned for Saturday the 21st and there was a get together happening at the unit that morning - so it was going to be a busy, busy day and I had a lot to get done! The admin group went to lunch to celebrate the impending arrival of our receptionist's baby girl. It was a very nice lunch at Macaroni Grill and I enjoyed meeting the father of her daughter and hearing more about him.

During lunch my brother called but I let it go to voicemail and figured I'd call him back later. I got back to the office and jumped back into a huge copy project I'd been working on in our production room. Right around 2:00pm the phone rang and I checked and saw Jake's number again. I was a little worried that he'd call twice so I answered this time. From the tone in his voice I immediately assumed something was very, very wrong. My first thought was his daughter Sofia who's had so many health issues ever since she was born. But instead he said "There's no easy way to say this. I have to tell you that our mother has died." That's all I remember. Next thing I knew I was tearing around the corners saying something like "Are you kidding me?" Desperate for him to say it was a horrible joke. Of course it wasn't and I remember him saying he wouldn't joke about something like that. Then I was on the floor of our lounge on my knees just sobbing, my heart shattered right there on the floor and I'm still trying to find the pieces.

My mother, my best friend, my comfort, my support, my shoulder... I love her SO much, and have been so close with her all my 28 years of life. She brought me into this world surrounded by love and nurtured me and cared for me as I grew. No parent is perfect and my brother, sister and I often talked about her quirks and things that drove us crazy, but we LOVED her. We love her.

It all seems empty right now, I feel empty and tired and I ache for her. I ache for all those hugs I will never feel again, I ache for that giggle I will never hear again, for her soft cheek I won't ever get to lean against, her hair I will never get to brush again. I ache.

We buried her on Monday November 30th. It was a beautiful small ceremony with 2 wonderful songs sung for her by someone from her church and a family friend we all grew up with... it was very touching. I had already cried so much up to that point I wondered where the tears I cried at her service came from. Her memorial service is going to be this Saturday and though part of me wishes I could be there (mainly as a support to my siblings) part of me is glad that I was able to say my goodbye, spend time with family and now try to move forward... it is hard to feel stuck in the details of things like funerals and memorials when what you really want to do is just GRIEVE.

So, its now been almost 2 weeks and some moments it feels like my downward spiral keeps going down, and other moments I feel a little closer to normal. I accept the ups and downs, and pray I will find the turning point in the near future where I can move closer to acceptance and think of her with nothing but love and fondness, when the rawness won't be quite so prevalent...

I am struggling to eat and sleep and my body is so fatigued because of it, I am trying and that's I guess the best I can do right now.

The other part of my emptiness - Kenneth has been gone almost 4 weeks and he's been so good about calling and checking in on me and has left me some wonderful messages and incredibly touching e-mails. I am so thankful for him, but I miss him SO much right now. I need to get a package out to him soon. Plus his birthday and Christmas are coming up so soon, I have to get his Holiday package out too. Kent and I started working on that last night. I got some more good ideas on things to send them.

I am thankful for my family. Each of them. My mother was a huge part of that and the idea of not being able to pick up the phone and hear her voice or get a silly e-mail from her with something to show Kent, knowing that there won't be a Christmas package from her with candy and a sweet card and little goodies to open with Kent, or a Valentine box, or a Easter box... Mom made every Holiday special, celebrated life and those she loved, made me feel like a better person for knowing her. She will be so very missed, I am not even capable of fully understanding how much I miss her yet. My prayer for her is that she left this world peacefully and truly knowing how VERY much she is loved by the many, many people on this earth she touched.