October 15, 2017

Struggles

I have been struggling to....
....get out of bed in the morning.
....be a good mom.
....take care of my house.
....take care of myself.
....have a smile on my face when I leave the house.
....make others think I'm doing okay.
....read my Bible every day.
....pray every day.
....continue to trust in God's plan for my life.
....believe that God has a purpose for me.
....go to church on a regular basis.
....open up to trusted friends & family.
....not stay in bed & cry all day.
....remember & trust that Daron is in a better place, out of pain & happy with the Lord.

I have been struggling with all of these things & so much more. The past 14.5 months have changed me in ways I never thought possible. I honestly thought that my faith was deep enough to keep my head above water when Daron passed away. I thought that I was clinging to the cross hard enough. I thought that I would be able to truly rest in God's embrace through the past 14 months. I thought I had faith that would move mountains & I would be able to continue to put one foot in front of the other every day. I thought that I would be able to see God change my life & draw me closer to Him. I thought all of these things but I was wrong.

I am struggling to remind myself daily that God didn't do this to me. God will never harm me. God will never leave me or forsake me. I know all of these things to be true, but I am struggling to remember them. There are days when I feel like God doesn't hear the cries of my heart. There are days when I think that I am being punished for something I did. There are days when I feel like my Bible will burst into flames if I try to read it. There are days when I feel like I am being shunned. There are days when I feel like my life is going to crumble around me & I will fall into a bottomless pit. There are days when I am yelling at God instead of crying out to Him. There are days when I am blaming God for everything that I am going through. There are days when I want nothing to do with Him & I turn my back. There are days when I just can't walk the Christian walk anymore because I can't see outside of my grief bubble.

Then there are days when I can see God's hand at work in my life. Days when I can see a glint of light coming through reminding that life does get better after a loss. Days when I find myself talking to God all days long while I'm at work or doing things around the house. There are days when Scripture comes to my mind without having to search for it. Days when the same praise song is on my mind & in my heart for the entire day. These days are there, but they are few & far between it feels like.

When Daron died, my brain changed....my emotions changed....my life changed. I don't feel like I am in a fog anymore, but I don't feel like I am completely out of that fog either. These past 2 months I have had more emotional breakdowns then I did during the first 12 months. I am truly starting to feel my emotions now & that is where all of the struggles come from. I don't have control over my emotions & I don't know how to get that control back.

That is my biggest struggle......not having control over myself. I know that Daron's death has changed me & I feel like a completely different person these days. I thought I had gained control over my temper, only to lose all control since Daron's death. I am quickly annoyed by specific people, so I tend to avoid them at all cost. I am quick to snap at Taylor & then feel horrible about it soon after. I am quick to jump to over thinking a situation that doesn't turn out the way I think it should. I am quick to blame God rather than blame myself for something not turning out the way I want it to. This list can go on & on & on.

To be 100% honest, my biggest struggle, the one that I can't seem to shake or handle right now, is my faith. That one weighs the heaviest on me. I don't see my need to attend church on a regular basis. I don't see my need to reach out to others & ask them to pray for me. I don't see my need to worship in a corporate setting each week. I don't know exactly why I am struggling so much with this right now. I don't know why I don't feel the driving need to be in church every week & worship in a corporate setting with other believers. I know those needs are there! I know that God has called me to these things! Trust me, I fight with myself every day about it. I know that I'll be called a hypocrite or something along those lines. I can't control what others think about me. I can't control what I think about myself right now! I think I'm a giant failure when it comes to my walk with the Lord, my faith, my time in God's Word & my church attendance.

So there you have it. Those are my struggles. I don't know how else to explain them. I don't know what else to say about them. The struggles are real & I am fighting them the best way that I can these days.

August 9, 2017

Ramblings of an Introverted Extrovert

Anyone who really knows me, knows that I am a people person. I thrive in situations where I am surrounded by people & I enjoy being a large crowd. I have worked in jobs where I get to meet people on a personal level & really get to know them (hence being an elementary school lunch lady). Well, all that was true until a year ago. The past year has changed me in ways I never expected. Now, I am a lot more comfortable staying at home in my comfy clothes working on a crochet project or building my jewelry business. I feel safe at home in my regular surroundings.

Let me take a moment to explain a few things. I hope this will help those around me understand a little better when I don't accept their invitation to an event, a get together, a family outing, etc. So, let me introduce you to a new Cathy.....

I don't like to be in large crowds of people. In fact, they scare the daylights out of me & send me into a panic attack. I would rather work alone then with a large amount of people. I still like to get to know other people, but I'd rather get to know my close friends & family better then meet new people.

I plan all of my outings around the busy times of the day. I know when a good time is to go to the grocery store so I am not in a crowd of people in the checkout line. I know when a good time is to go to the mall -- I will never step foot in a mall between October 31 & January 30th. I have learned that sometimes it is better to order things online so that I have the least amount of contact with strangers.

Taylor & I used to go on mother/son dates to the movies once a month or every few months. Now, I have to plan those around busy times & pray that someone doesn't sit next to me. I can't sit in the middle of a row of chairs or a church pew because I need to know there is a way out if needed. When I enter a building - especially one I haven't been in before - I need to know where the exits are first so I know I have a way out. If I'm at a restaurant, I need to sit in a way where I can see either the main exit or the emergency exit.

Church has also become a place that can lead to a panic attack. Holidays in church, when it is super crowded.....no thank you. Being surrounded by my church family used to make me feel safe & at home. Now I feel closed in & out of place. Please know that I have nothing against anyone in my church family or against my church itself. I can't go to extended family outings or get together events for the same reason & I have nothing against any of them either. I trust the people who are there, but right now, large crowds of people are not my cup of tea. Honestly, I get small panic attacks just thinking about it sometimes & I have to talk myself off the ledge so to speak.

I know it sounds completely odd, especially to those who have known me for years. I do still go out to the stores, go on outings & go to restaurants. I just only go when the stores won't be as crowded or when I am with a trusted friend or family members. I also only go to family outings or events when it is a small group of family members. Now, I do make myself leave the house at least a few times each week so that I am not a complete hermit. It is intimidating to say the least, but I make myself do it. I may only go to one store or visit with a friend, but I still make sure I leave the house. I go to work & I go to meetings that I have scheduled. I am also still apart of children's ministry at my church. Those are things that I can control, so to speak. They are also commitments that I have made & I have been challenged to keep every commitment. That is my way of making sure that I step out of my comfort zone on a regular basis.

There was a time, a few months after Daron died, when I refused to leave the house at all. I would order my groceries online & pick them up rather then go grocery shopping. I used to love spending time in the grocery store. That was my alone time & I would savor every minute of it. Now, I can't wait to get out of the store. I map out my shopping so that I am in & out as quickly as possible. I used to make small talk with the store employees. Now I try not to even make eye contact. I have gotten better then & I am proud of myself for the small steps.

To say that life was simpler when Daron was alive is an understatement. I look back over the past year & I can see just how much his death has truly affected me - inside & out. I never realized just how much I relied on him being around. Even when he wasn't at home for those last 5 years, I knew that I could call him to help calm me down. I knew that he was only a phone call, or an hour drive, away & that kept my mind at ease. He was my rock, my safe harbor, my calm in the storm. Now that he's gone I am finding it hard to calm myself down.

Before you say it, I know that God is my Rock, my Safe Harbor & my calm in the storm. I know that He is only a prayer away & the He will calm my heart. I know these things, but remembering them is a completely different story. I mentally kick myself when I remember a verse after I needed it to help calm my heart. I am getting better, with God's help, & I am thankful for that. But, I still prefer my home to the crazy world. I still prefer to stay in my fortress then step out into the chaos outside my front door.

Please try to keep in mind that I am still healing from a huge loss. My heart & mind are still very fragile. I am only doing what I feel is best to let them heal. I will get back to myself, or at least a different version of myself, one day. I can only heal one moment at a time & only with God's help. I have learned that grief truly is a marathon & not a sprint. I have to take it easy with my heart or I can risk damaging myself even more. Trust me, I don't like being an introverted extrovert. I miss my outgoing personality at times. But for now, I am happy, safe & secure resting in God's loving arms & letting Him heal my heart. God is helping me to heal as He sees & I know that He is doing what is best for me. He did create me after all & He is the Great Physician.

Thank you for letting me share this part of my journey with you. I wanted to be able to let you see another glimpse into who I am a year later. I am changing every day & I pray that my change will be for God's glory alone.

July 27, 2017

I Grieve With Hope

I sat down to write a post that I thought I had fully figured out, prayed over & was ready to type out. Now that I am actually in front of my computer, the words won't come out. I don't know why. I know that I want to say something deeply personal & spiritual about coming up on the first year anniversary in a few days.......but nothing wants to come out. So, please bear with me as I just ramble on & type the thoughts as they pop into my head. 😌

This past year has been a whirlwind of emotions for me. I really don't know if I have actually processed any or all of them at all. Over the past few days I have felt myself start to shutdown emotionally & mentally. I really don't want to think about what July 30th means to me this year. I don't want to feel what I know I have to feel. I don't want to think about the fact that Daron has been gone from this earth for 365 days already.

Memories from this time last year have been flooding my dreams & thoughts. They are almost driving me insane. I can't sleep, eat, drink, feel, think, speak, cry, laugh, talk without some memory popping into my head & completely throwing me for a loop. Night time is still the hardest time of the day for me. I lay in bed & start to pray, that's when the tears start to fall & I end up crying myself to sleep. Then my dreams are full of all the what ifs that could have taken place leading up to Daron's passing. I wake up worried, pray & ask God to take that away from me. Go back to sleep & do it all over again. No wonder I drag through every morning.

I don't want the memories to stop. I love thinking about & talking about Daron. I love to think about our life together. I love to think about what he would say to me about whatever I am dealing with. I love knowing that I have these memories to think back on. But, I don't like that I feel like I can't control when they pop into my head. That's the frustrating part. I love having them pop into my head, but I wish I could control them more.

Everyone says that once you get past the first year mark it will get better. I really hope so. I'm ready to get back to feeling "normal" again. I know that I am in this new normal & I get that. But I don't like feeling like I am disconnected with myself, my emotions, my mental health, my spiritual health. I like to feel like I am in control of what I am doing/feeling/saying/thinking. The last year has not felt that way for me. I have felt like I am just floating through life & watching everything go on around me. I feel like I am stuck in slow motion at times & the world is speeding by at full speed & I can't keep up anymore. I am praying that changes after the one year mark.....but I won't hold my breath.

I do know one thing for sure.....God has been carrying me this entire past year. If He wasn't I don't even want to think about where I would be spiritually/emotionally/mentally. Truth is, this past year has shaken my faith. I won't lie about that. But I want to say that it was shaken in a good way (if that makes any sense). My faith was shaken in a way that has made me lean more on God then I have in the past. Before, I would walk ahead of God & hit every landmine the devil had set for me. Then I would look back & ask God why He didn't warn me about them.....only to see that He had & I just didn't pay attention. Now, since I am asking God to carry me through, I am learning what true faith is all about. Granted, there have been times when I have jumped out of His arms & ran ahead.....only to sit down & wait to be carried again because I hit another landmine.

I am finding joy, comfort and strength in reading my Bible again. I am finding peace and strength in praying again. It's like I am seeing the Bible passages & praying for the first time. There are days when I don't want to open my Bible or I don't want to pray because I have so much I need to get done in that day. But, I feel even more worn down, drained, tired when I don't open my Bible or pray. I am feeling refreshed when I read that God cares for me as a widow so much that He won't avoid me. He wants to offer me comfort, hope and healing as I face the future as a widow.

These verses from Psalms have spoken to me a lot lately. I rest in the knowledge that God is close to me while my heart is broken. I rest in the knowledge that He will bind my wounds & breath life back into my heart.

                           Psalm 34:18                                  Psalm 147:3

I know that my posts can ramble on & come across differently to each person who reads them. But, I hope that each person who reads my blog learns a little more about my Heavenly Father. I have to share the rough patches in my life so that people can see how God has brought me through them. Life isn't pretty, that's for sure. Life is hard, but God is good!! God is my refuge & strength during this time in my life. I can't always say that when I look back over the years. But I am resting in His arms as He continues to carry me through this rough patch. When I am ready to walk beside Him, I know that he will be there & that He will never leave me. Again, that is not something I would have been able to say a decade ago - it wasn't something that I trusted. This is still something that I am learning each day. 

God has shown Himself to be my protector, my strength, my guide, my friend, my Savior, my healer. My prayer is that I will come through this first year since Daron's passing a little stronger then I was before....a little wiser then I was before....a lot more humble then I was before. Above all of that, my prayer is that I come though this with my faith deeper, stronger & rooted more deeply in the Word. I want this to change me for the better, not for the bitter or for the worse. I want to grow from this, not stay the way I was a year ago -- or even a month ago. 

I grieve with the hope of what is to come. I grieve with the hope that God will continue to carry me. I grieve with the hope of knowing that even death has parted Daron & I, it is not a final parting. I grieve with hope because Jesus conquered the sting of death. I grieve with hope because Daron is in the presence of God & is not in anymore pain. I grieve with hope because I will see Daron again. 

                       Hebrews 11:1                                 1 Thessalonians 4:13


July 13, 2017

Approaching 1 Year

One year......how can that be possible?

One year......where did the time go?

One year ago I was making almost daily visits to spend time with Daron after he was put into hospice care. I was going with Taylor or with my in-laws to see him. I was talking with his doctor as much as possible to stay updated on how he was doing. I was trying to make every moment with him matter.

One year ago I was writing out the obituary I never thought I would have to write. I was planning out a funeral service I didn't want to think about. I was trying to get the "small" things out of the way so I could focus on my beloved husband.

One year ago I was crying out to God from the depths of my soul. I was asking God to let Daron stay with me one moment & then asking God to be merciful to him the next. I was handing my husband back to God & thanking my Heavenly Father for the years I was given with Daron. I was trying to be strong for those around me during the day & then crying myself to sleep at night.

One year ago I was telling my husband that it was okay to not keep the promise he made to me after we got married. I was telling my husband that it was okay for him to let go of this earth & go Home. I was giving my beloved husband permission to enter Heaven's Glory.

One year....how can this even be possible? It still feels like yesterday....


July 1, 2017

To Daron....

July

Why did July have to come back around?
Why did we have to make another trip around the sun already?
How can it have been 1 year so quickly?
Am I ready for the start of another year without you?

July has so many bad memories attached to it. It makes me wish that this entire month would just disappear off the calendar. July 5, 2011 started July off badly. I still can’t believe that I had to have you put into a facility. I honestly thought that we could have handled everything at home. I thought that you would just snap out of whatever it was you were going through & we’d be fine. But God had different plans for our lives. Leaving you in Battle Creek that evening was the hardest thing I ever had to do at that point. I cried all the way home. I cried myself to sleep for days, weeks, on end. I prayed & begged God to heal you so you could come home. I never told you any of this because I had to be strong for you. I had to let you know that I could handle everything at home alone. But I couldn’t. Life fell apart that day & I still can’t put it back together.

As July 5 rolled back around every year, I still begged God to perform a miracle. I argued with God on a daily basis. I told Him that it wasn’t fair to put us on this path. I told Him that we couldn’t handle this & He needed to change His plans. I’m sure I gave God something to laugh about. I mean, how can I truly expect the One who created the entire universe to change His plans. How can I expect Him to change the plans He laid in place before the foundation of the world? But I begged Him to nonetheless. I came to despise July 5 & I still do. There are times when I pray before bed on July 4 that I can just wake up on July 6…..but that hasn’t happened. July 5 still rolls around & brings all of the memories with it.

Now there are more dates in July to add to the bad parts of the month. More dates that make me wish July would disappear off the calendar. More dates that will bring tears, heartache, memories, pain, regret, remorse, dread. More dates to make me miss you with everything that I have in me.

July 8, 2016 
I found out that you were not eating. To be honest, I wasn’t really worried at that point. I didn’t think anything of it. You were a little heavy & you hadn’t really lost a lot of weight from not eating. I knew that you were on a liquid diet due to swallowing issues, but I still wasn’t concerned. The doctor & I came up with a plan for the weekend & I thought by Monday you would be okay.

July 11, 2016
I got the phone call about having to put you into hospice. VBS started that day & you know that’s always been a crazy week for me anyway. I was excited to see the kids who would return from the year before & excited to meet the kids who would come for the first time. I was excited about our theme. I was just excited for another fun week of VBS. When I got home that afternoon, I was looking forward to a nap. Instead, the phone rang & it was the VA calling. My heart sank to my toes. My gut told me something wasn’t right. Maybe the plan for the weekend didn’t pan out & we needed to make changes.

I tried to tell myself that it wasn’t anything drastic or horrible. I tried to tell myself that you were okay. My brain & my heart were not on the same page. I answered the phone & heard the doctors voice on the other end. I listened the best that I could. I remember hearing the word “hospice” come through the phone & I almost dropped it. I had to force myself to engage in the conversation & help make the best decision possible for you. I agreed with her decision & hospice was put in place. I hung up the phone & tried to compose myself for the task ahead – calling your family, our pastor, my family, friends.

I remember staying locked in the bathroom while I made those calls – it was the only quiet place. I remember tears & shock. I don’t remember what was said to who or exactly how many phone calls I made. I remember making the conscious decision to not tell any of the VBS staff until the end of the week. I remember putting the news on Facebook so people could be praying, but then hoping that no one from VBS would bring it up. I spent the rest of the week going to VBS during the day & then to visit you with your parents in the afternoons. Yes, it made for long days, but it was worth it. I remember bringing Taylor to see you during that week & having Jon come along. I needed the extra support. Taylor needed the extra support.

I remember telling you that it was okay for you to break your promise of growing old with me. I remember giving you to God & asking Him to work Him perfect plan your life. I remember the tears I shed every night. It was a good week at VBS…...but it was a rough week at home.
Between July 11 & July 27 I heard your voice for the last time on this earth. Your brother Mark was the last person you talked to over the phone. It was a tough phone call on both sides of the phone, but it was needed. After that, to keep you comfortable, I asked the doctor to medically sedate you. I knew that was the best thing to do, but I missed hearing your voice from that point on.

July 27, 2016
Life as I knew it was going to come to an end. There was a care team meeting that day & your mom went with me. I remember the mood in the room when we arrived. Everyone was there & the looks on their faces said it all. I didn’t want to believe it though & chose to ignore the pit forming in my stomach. I sat through the doctor telling me that your skin color was still good, you weren’t running a fever, you had a rapid heartbeat…...it was all normal care meeting items. The only difference was the mood in the room. I took the time to thank each person there for all the time they had spent taking care of you over the years that you were there. Your mom & I left that meeting & went to see you for a little bit. It was the first time I started to cry in front of you. I forced the tears to stop. Even though you were sedated, I didn’t want you to see me being weak. I still needed to be strong for everyone around me.

We went home & went to Wendy’s for lunch with your Dad, Taylor & Chase. We laughed, we talked, we made a few more plans to go visit you the next day. Little did we know all those plans would drastically change over the next few hours.

When Taylor & I got home, I called the doctor to ask her a question. I had to leave a message & wait for her to call me back. My gut was trying to tell me something again & this time I had to listen to it. My head & my heart wouldn’t let me ignore it. When the doctor called me back, I asked her if your time on earth was nearing an end. She said she believed so & I told her I would be there as soon as possible. I asked for a bed & a comfy chair to be brought into the room. We ended our phone conversation & I immediately started packing a few things for myself. I also started packing a bag for Taylor. I called my brother & if Taylor could stay with them. Of course, they said yes. I called your parents & let them know. A little bit later, you mom asked if she could come with me & I agreed. I dropped Taylor off & then picked up your mom. We headed back to Battle Creek. That night our Pastor came & so did your dad. We weren’t expecting either of them, but were glad they were there.
The next few days were spent at your bedside. The staff came in to say their goodbyes & to share stories with us from your time there. We laughed with them & thanked them for their care. Your older boys came on Thursday to say their final goodbyes. Your brother & his wife came on Friday evening. We laughed together while sharing stories.

Did you know that we were there for those last few days?
Did you hear us talking, laughing, crying?

Each evening the doctor said she wasn’t expecting to see us the next morning, but you held on. On Friday, she said she would be surprised if she saw us on Monday. We thanked her for all her time & care before she left for the weekend. You dad had been driving back & forth each day, but decided to stay on Friday night. We could all sense something was changing.

Saturday July 30 rolled in with rain. Was God crying with us? The rain cleared up & the sun came out. It really is odd what you remember that you kind of forgot. Your mom was on the phone with your brother when your breathing started to change. I dropped my book & was immediately at your side. She went to meet your dad at the door & I got to say my personal goodbyes to you.

Did you hear the cry of my heart in that moment?
Did you feel the love I had for you as we parted on this earth?

When you parents came back into the room, I was listening to your chest. I didn’t want to miss the final heartbeat. When I couldn’t hear it anymore, I was frantic & prayed that it would beat again. But, it didn’t. You were gone. My heart shattered into a million pieces in that instant & I cried out to God. I kept my tears at bay the best that I could. I didn’t want you to try & come back for me.

Phone calls were made, the staff was called to the room, chaos seemed to ensue. I didn’t want to leave your side for anything. When the staff came in to say their final goodbyes, I thanked them again for their care. Then they played Taps & I couldn’t hold the flood of tears in anymore. I sobbed from the depths of myself for you. I prayed that you couldn’t hear them.

My world ended at 2:27pm on July 30, 2016 – the moment God called you Home. My dreams disappeared. My heart tore in half. My brain went into auto at that moment. My body went numb.
When you parents & I left, I truly felt I was walking away from you & our life together. I wanted to run back to you so much, but my brain wouldn’t let me turn around. My legs kept walking me towards the door & further away from you. I vaguely remember getting in the car. I don’t even know how I made it home without an accident. I think that Jesus was truly driving my car.

July can just disappear off the calendar & I wouldn’t miss it. Maybe I should call the calendar people & ask them to name it something different. July starts & ends with memories of you. I wish they were better memories though. I miss you so much, my love. There isn’t a day that goes by when you aren’t in my thoughts. You will always be a part of me & I am thankful for that. Every time I look at Taylor, I see you. He is looking more like you each day, but in his own way. You would be so proud of the young man that he is becoming. I wish you were here with us, but I know that you are whole in Heaven & that is what matters most. I’m thankful you aren’t suffering anymore. I am thankful that you are whole & well as you walk the streets of gold.

Daron, you are the best gift that God gave me. From the moment we met, I knew that my life would never be the same. I knew that we were going to have an amazing journey through this life together. I just wish it wasn’t so short. I am so incredibly thankful for the years that we were given together. I am thankful that you were my best friend, my husband, father of my son. I will never stop loving you…. ever! You will forever be a part of me & I will carry you with me always. Even on days when I want to stay in bed & cry, I know that you wouldn’t want me to do that. I know that God will continue to give me the strength that I need to get through each day. I wasn’t planning on walking the rest of my life without you, but I will never stop loving you. I love you more than words will ever be able to express.


Until I see you Heaven……

June 26, 2017

New Venture! Exciting and Scary!

About a month ago, I decided to jump back into the world of direct sales. I say that I jumped back into because I have for two different direct sales companies in the past that will not be named. I was hesitant about jumping back into that world because my first two attempts didn't go very well for varying reasons.

But, I am happy that I made this decision & I have found a company that makes it easy for me to succeed. Before I had to meet almost impossible goals that were set by the company every month or I was "fired" from that company. It was very disheartening to say the least. Now, I have an achievable goal from the company that I have been able to surpass every month due to goals I have set for myself.

I made this leap of faith because I need to be able to take care of my son as we continue down this new journey that we are on. I need to make sure that bills are paid, food & necessities are provided. As a widowed-parent who only works 9 months out of the year, I have to do what I feel is necessary to make those things happen. Yes, we are receiving benefits from my husband that were already in place. But it doesn't hurt to make sure things are taken care of.

Also, the company that I am joined is all about helping women feel beautiful. That has come to mean so much to me over the past few years. It really is amazing what a little bit of lipstick and some jewelry can do to helping me feel beautiful!

So.....you are probably wondering what I am selling. I am an Independent Consultant with Paparazzi Accessories!! I sell amazing pieces of Jewelry and Accessories that only cost $5 a piece. That is incredible! You don't have to break the bank to look or feel beautiful! Every piece is also Lead and Nickel Free which helps those with metal allergies be able to wear beautiful pieces of jewelry! I do not have catalogs to hand out because our inventory changes.

If you are interested in learning more about this new venture, please feel free to visit my website any time of the day or night! If you would like to get exclusive pieces & deals that I have, please consider joining my Facebook VIP Group.

I truly believe that every woman deserves to feel Glamorous, but not feel guilty about their jewelry. That is where Paparazzi comes in & I am happy to help you find amazing pieces for an amazingly low price!!



June 17, 2017

It Has Been.....

It has been.....
.....15 years & 8 months since my first date with Daron (Oct. 2001)
.....14 years & 8 months since I married Daron (Oct. 2002)
.....13 years & 6 months since Taylor birth (Oct. 2003)
.....5 years & 11 months since Daron entered the VAMC (July 2011)
.....4 years & 3 months since Daron stopped his MS medication (Mar. 2013)
.....1 year & 6 months since Daron entered palliative care (Dec. 2015)
.....11 months & 6 days since Daron entered hospice care (July 11, 2016)
.....10 months, 2 weeks & 4 days since Daron entered Heavens Glory (July 30, 2016)

I still cannot wrap my mind around how much time has passed since Daron & I first met. I cannot believe that almost 16 years have passed since that first date. There are so many memories that were created in that time frame. 

At the same time, I cannot believe that it has been almost an entire year since Daron passed away. I still don't like saying "Last year" when I talk about the final months, weeks, days with Daron. My heart still prays that new memories with Daron can be made.....even though my brain knows it's not possible. 

There are days when it is a struggle to get out of bed & do life without Daron. There are days when I pray that the past 10 months, 2 weeks & 4 days were just a nightmare & I'll wake up from it soon. There are days when I pray that I could see Daron one last time.....hug him again, hold him again, kiss him again, talk to him again, hear his voice again. I still reach out for him in my sleep & when I wake up. I still talk to him. I still what his advice on tough decisions. 

I'm not ready for July 20, 2017 to come. If there were a way to take that day off the calendar, I'd be all for it. I know that day has to come & I know I have to face it. I have to face the turn of the calendar. I have to face the end of the first year without my husband. I have to face the start of another year without him by my side. I have to do all of this.....even when I don't think I have the strength to. 

I trust that God will continue to get me through the next few weeks. I trust that God will give me the strength I need to face July 30th. I trust that God will continue to carry me through this. I trust God to continue to walk beside me & never leave me.  

Struggles

I have been struggling to.... ....get out of bed in the morning. ....be a good mom. ....take care of my house. ....take care of myself. ...