We were the closest family possible. Our world was turned upside down on 05/03/09 when my best friend, the person I love most next only to our children, my sister Trina was diagnosed with stage IV breast cancer. Her body gave out on her on 01/09/10 but she will ALWAYS be a part of our daily life and will continue to be in my posts. I started my blog to chronicle our daughter's international adoption from Guatemala and have continued to use it as a journal.

What you will find is my family trying to adapt to our new lives that were handed to us.

Saturday, September 04, 2010


I hate holiday's now. They are just plain hard. I cried most of yesterday and it's Labor Day, which is kind of a non-holiday holiday. Mom said she didn't realize how many landmines are coming up with holidays until she read my blog. I said yes, but look what we have made it through:

January = Learning To Start, Valentina's Birthday, Papa's Birthday

The unthinkable happened. I have almost no memory of the entire first month except the first few days. Those are forever burned into my memory. Well, some of the things. Other things I cannot remember and whole chunks of time are missing.

Valentina's Birthday was only 5 days after Trina died. We did Trina's ultra private (only three people) viewing on Valentina's birthday. The funeral was the day after Valentina's birthday. We waited as long as we could for the funeral yet wanted to hurry up and get it over with. It had to be done the day after Valentina's birthday so I will always link her birthday with the day before sissy's funeral. That also helps explain why we chose to "move" her birthday to February 16, her referral date.

I have no idea what, if anything, we did for Papa's birthday.

February = Valentina's Birthday Party
This was horrible. I remember bits and pieces of it. It was just flat out awful emotionally but Valentina and Asa enjoyed it which was the LEAST I could do for them. I remember I had a house full of people but all I wanted was the one person who would never be here again. Hell.

March = Norm's Birthday
Again, I know we did something only because Valentina heard that it was going to be her daddy's birthday and she got so excited but I have NO CLUE what it was. This is another example of lumps of time that go missing.

April = Easter
Awful. Horrible. Rip your heart out difficult. We went out to lunch and I cried the whole way there, during lunch and the whole way home. Plus I cried the whole time Beya and papa were at church with the kids and every second I was hiding eggs. This, unfortunately, is something I do remember.

May = Mother's Day, Memorial Day
Again, I don't remember Mother's Day other than I think I cried the whole time. I don't remember Memorial Day. At some point during these forgetful months Asa started soccer and I had to do things that Trina normally would have done for him. I cried through his first soccer practice. Looking back I guess I did cry a lot even though I don't remember it that way.

June = Father's Day
Okay, this one I remember. Red Robin. But that's about all I remember.

July = Independence Day
I remember this one and it sucked. I'm not sure I cried or not but it was horrible. Again, the kids had fun and trust me, I suck it up and they can never tell on the inside I feel like my heart is being put through a meat grinder because on the outside I try to make it as happy and normal as possible for them. But I DO make sure I have some alone time with Asa and ask him how he's feeling. Sometimes he tells me he misses mum, sometimes he says he's a little sad and a little happy, sometimes he tells me he's fine and I'm glad he is honest with me.

August = Hell Month
I don't think I will remember this month. We barely got through it and I'm already forgetting some of it but other parts of the month I remember and it knocks the wind out of me.

September = Asa Starts School
I didn't think I could do this one but I did. Right now I think it's harder looking back at his first day and now it's hitting me how difficult it was. That and he's only gone to school one day. He starts for good on Tuesday. Thursday Valentina starts pre-school. I know sissy would have had a ball picking out her first day of school outfit and I would have let her, cancer or no cancer, since she had the best fashion sense.

So there you have it, we've already made it through some holidays, sometimes in a daze, that we never though we could make it through. We still have some hard ones coming up. Our days alternate between good days, which are "only" unbelievably difficult and bad days, which are "I can't make it through the next five minutes, what makes me think I could actually make it through the rest of my life without her, I'm drowning and things will never get better." But again, we suck it up for the kids. We don't mope around and we have fun for the kids. Sometimes we actually do have fun WITH the kids. Like I said before, they are our life raft. And I have mom. Oh thank you God for Beya!!!! We lean on each other so much and I hate it when she goes to Goldendale. It throws me into a panicking spiral downward.

Nobody can possibly understand what we are going through until they go through it. Nobody can understand the loss of a child. Nobody can understand the loss of a sister who could literally read my mind. Nobody can understand what a 5 year old boy feels when he watches his mom get sick and then gets told that she isn't going to get better. Nobody can understand until they go through it themselves and lose someone who was part of their daily life, someone who you saw every day, someone who you talked to at least five times a day, someone who you ran errands with every day, someone you was your constant lunch partner, someone who spoiled your child, someone who would help you gang up on your mom, someone who had been part of your family and knew everything there was to know about you and still not only loved you but accepted you.

Nobody can understand until they have to learn to navigate life without that person too.


Beya said...

Again, well written. Love, Mama

Kathy's Red Door Welcome said...

I am thinking of and praying for you and your dear family. There is no easy way to get through it. At some point you will start to remember all the special times you had with your sister and those memories will be of great comfort to you, but right now tears are your best friend. Sending you thoughts of kindness~ Kathleen

Jane said...

Well written again!
My little sister died Memorial Day weekend - the day before my other sister's birthday. The funeral was held on my brother's birthday. We asked him first and like the rest of us, he just didn't care. She was gone and nothing else mattered. All of those "firsts" were gut wrenching, sometimes sending one or all of us into a tail spin that would last hours or days or weeks...until the next one came. And like you wrote earlier, sometimes those landmines sneak up on you and slap you down. A song on the radio. Someone saying, "I feel like I've been hit by a Mack truck" when they're sick...(Sis really was. On her side of a Nissan)
Having family and friends who share your pain and remember the good, fun times helps - eventually. Like your Rose Kennedy quote - ...we must continue to work for the living...


Dear Cameo,

When my grandmother died (who was like my Mom to me) the two years following I refer to now as the lost years.

I honestly can't tell you what I did during those two years. She's been gone 31 years this year and I still think of her every single day. My husband was sitting on the side of the bed last night reading his book as I went to use the bathroom first and I flashed on how she used to sit on her bed like that every night as she read a passage from her bible.

Those little flashes of the past bring me comfort and yet the longing for her to be still here never quite goes away.

If you have to go through this pain I'm so glad you and Beya have each other to lean on. You are always in my thoughts.