It’s hard to explain what life is like now. I think I could search forever and not really find the adequate words to describe life.
Different. Sorrowful. Joyful. Lonely. Deeper Relationships.
Grief is such a roller coaster ride of emotions. One day you can go through the entire day without even thinking about your grief. And the next moment it’s hard to pull yourself out of bed and you’d rather just each chocolate and watch Hallmark movies all. day. long.
Not that I’ve ever felt that way or have actually ate chocolate and watched Hallmark movies all day long. I tend to stick to the Food Network.
Well ok, let’s talk about life and how things are going.
With all the chocolate eating and Food Network watching, I’ve gained all the weight back I lost two years ago and I lose my breath walking up the stairs. And the whole excuse of “my parents died so I can eat whatever I want,” just isn’t holding any water anymore. So I know I need to buckle down and get back on track with what I eat and also start exercising again. If only the temperature would get above 20 degrees!
Lately we’ve talked about me getting back to a “normal” work schedule, as opposed to working nights and a different schedule every week. I think that would really help me in so many ways – sleep schedule, schedule for the kids, being able to get up in the morning to exercise. But I also really love my job and I’m not ready to work full-time during the day yet so it’s all on Pat’s shoulders to get a big raise so I can just be full-time mommy. Next Fall Angel will be going to all day Kindergarten and Caleb will go to half day preschool three-four days a week (or at least that’s the plan right now) and so we might look at something more during the day for me then.
We are still in probate with the estate. We had come to the end of it but then a few weeks ago we decided that we should sell Mom and Dad’s house. This is such a bittersweet decision for us all. I’m dreading the day we close, in fact it brings tears to my eyes to even think about it. But I think we’ve all come to know that it is the best decision for our families. And Mom and Dad wouldn’t want us to deal with all the extra stress. We also came to realize that we won’t really go out to Chamberlain that much. For me it’s really difficult to be there without them. I have no desire to ever set foot on a boat again and we don’t have any family near there. Tracy was thinking he would go out there quite a bit, but he’s realized that it probably wouldn’t be more than four times a year, if that. The work required for keeping it going for renters is a little overwhelming without someone in Chamberlain to help us, and even with someone there is was alot of work.
So we’ve just begun the process of putting it on the market. Tracy met with our realtor earlier this week and we are just waiting for numbers back and then we’ll make a decision. A total God-thing I have to tell you about. Pat and I sold our house last year and we absolutely LOVED our realtor. I talked to her about if she knew anyone in the Chamberlain area and she was able to give me a name. Turns out it was the same person we considered using when we sold Mom and Dad’s rental apartment. And he knew Mom and Dad and is familiar with the house so that is really nice. There were a few of the renters who expressed interest last Fall and so it would be so great if one of them would buy it. Mom and Dad would have really been happy about that.
We’ve also started the work of selling the boats. Another huge God-thing as far as the boats go. We’ve always known we really wouldn’t be able to sell the boats around here. They are large boats – one is a 40′ and the other is probably 35′. Not a huge market for that around here! But we weren’t really sure which broker to go with. The other day when I wrote this post, I was looking through pictures. At the bottom of one of the picture totes was Mom’s purse. I started looking through that and I found a business card for a boat broker in Hudson, MN – which was where they bought the big boat. I couldn’t believe it. It’s so funny because it certainly showed that Mom didn’t clean out her purse very often!
I gave the information to Danelle and she contacted the guy and turns out he is the broker who sold the big boat to Mom and Dad and he remembered them! What a huge blessing from God! And it gets even better. Danelle has been in communication with him and we learned this week that he thinks he already has a buyer! We still have the other boat, but he’s going to handle that one too.
Next week Tracy and I will go to Mitchell to meet with Mom and Dad’s tax lawyer. We’ll need to do Mom and Dad’s taxes from Jan-June 2012 and then the estate taxes for the rest of the year. We would really appreciate your prayers as we gather information – or lack there of – and hopefully Uncle Sam doesn’t take too much from us! We also need to go to Chamberlain or that area somewhere (Pukwana?) to get the title paperwork for the big boat and also should probably do a good cleaning of the house before we start showing it.
I can’t speak for Danelle, Tracy, Jim or Leana, but I think overall I would say that we are finding healing. The six of us have never been closer and I am so so so thankful for them. The only bad part is of course Danelle being three hours north and Jim and Leana being in Florida. But I’m trying to convince Pat that we need to move to Florida and maybe Danelle and Tracy will follow along.
I think one of the hardest parts of looking at past pictures is all the pictures of Angel and Caleb with Mom and Dad. It makes me so sad to think about the time they won’t have with them. But I know that Mom and Dad are in heaven and that Angel and Caleb love Jesus and so we’ll all be together again someday. I’m so thankful that Angel is finally at peace about talking about Mom and Dad. For the first few months she didn’t talk about anything – about them dying or even about good memories. But now it’s probably every day that she will talk about them, remembering something that they said or did. It makes my heart so happy. And she listens to Mom’s music cd every night. The one she has got scratched and so we had a pretty major breakdown the other night because it wouldn’t play. I know I have more copies somewhere but I also need to get more copies made up.
Caleb doesn’t talk about them as much as he did in the beginning. He will still talk about Papa from time to time but not very often. I know I’ve said this before but I’m so thankful for the thousands of pictures and videos we have. I pray that the kids will be as equally thankful some day.
We are still talking about having some kind of celebration in June this year out in Chamberlain. The only challenge is that it’s such a busy time of year out there and if we don’t have the house we have to start moving on getting rooms reserved at a hotel. It’s hard to know if having something like that will just make us experience more grief, but I think we all would agree that if other family members (that’s you Hellman and Rogers family! mark your calendar!) could join us it would be an awesome time!
I think it’s safe to say that the Lord has never been nearer to us than He has been the past eight months. Would we go back and change the events of June 12th? I don’t know. Of course we want Mom and Dad back. But we’ve also all experienced a healing that probably would have never taken place, had we not lost them. And to know, without a shadow of a doubt, that we will see them again, well that gives us a peace that passes all understanding.
For me personally I see God wanting to use me to share the message of His love, forgiveness and the hope that is found through Him alone. I’m not sure how or in what capacity – other than just in the day-to-day of life – but my heart is open to be obedient to His will.
We miss Mom and Dad so much. More than words could ever say. But we were blessed to have them as our parents, and we continue to be blessed. And for that we are thankful.