Thursday, March 19, 2015

Year 1

It's already been one year since the worst, most gut wrenching day of my life occurred. 
One year since life changed. 
Since it all came crashing down. 
The "thing" we all knew was coming.....actually happened. 

Year One has been a roller coaster of emotions that has come in many waves. 

Never knowing from one week or one day to the next what you will feel and why is hard.

Grief is like the ocean, it comes in waves, ebbing and flowing. Sometimes the water is calm, and sometimes it's overwhelming. All we can do is learn to swim. 

Time heals? So Time hasn't healed anything. It's flown by but it hasn't helped. The Year of firsts was grueling. I don't visit her grave much at all. I feel bad for that, but I don't feel close to her there. In fact I feel extremely far away from her and lonely when I am there. It's not a place of comfort or closure for me at all. I feel the most close to her when I am using the cookbook she made for me to make dinner. When I am holding my sweet little boy in my arms. Seeing her smiling face in the picture of her on my mantle. I feel so close to her when I am preparing to have our whole family over for Easter or Christmas. I know she is with me always. I am who I am because of her. And because of that I carry her with me each and everyday.

It's been one year exactly to the hour that I took this picture. Since I sat there staring at her face. Knowing time was short. One year since I left that afternoon planning to come back the next morning to spend more time with her......that next morning never came. It's been a year of roller coaster emotions. Time hasn't help as people always say it will. In fact it seems to make it worse during that year of first without her. I try each day to make her proud. To follow in her incredibly big footsteps. I still think of her smile and catch myself wanting to pick up the phone to call her. Everything reminds me of her. She'll be missed every day for the rest of my life. Rest easy grandma we are trudging through. Day by day. I know you'll be waiting on me.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Yearly Birthday Letter

My Beautiful Boy:

Every year when I sit down to write this letter to you I can not believe another year has already passed. To be completely honest, this year I didn't get to spend as much time with you as I had in previous years. And that's because you have been in Kindergarten every day! I have missed you many days and struggled to let you go. You, on the other hand, have had no problems adjusting and thriving in your new routine and environment. You have excelled and done so amazing with this change and embraced all that it has brought your way. Your sweet teachers, Ms. Spaeth and Mrs. Redd love you and have taken such amazing care and time with you. You have made SO MANY new friends, which I am excited to watch you grow up with :) A few of your closest friends are Robert Lyons, Lyric Halacheff, Chance Mebane, and Noah Denson. You guys are so funny together! There has also been a little girl in your class that you have taken a big interest in. Macy Stevenson has sat beside you since the first day of school and she is as cute as a button! Big brown eyes and blonde hair! She adores you and calls you Henny and Snickerdoodle. Your reaction to her is so cute with that sweet smile and blushed cheeks! Since your school is a K-12 and fairly a small school, I love to think about how fun it will be to look back on the memories you have with these kids now and how they develop over the years!

This year you have developed many new interests. Mario took a back seat (finally!!!) mid year. The days of the Angry Birds has started to dwindle and it's on to more "big kid" stuff like video games, bowling, basketball, fishing, nerf guns, zombies, sports and most of all MINECRAFT! It (like all things you get interested in) has become an OBSESSION! You have really surprised us with your creativity that has been sparked since you started playing this game. It's been a great learning tool! Your love for Lego's has only grown and you can spend hours sitting at your Lego table in front of the big window in the living building and creating entire villages!!

You made amazing strides in football this year, your grades at school, and gymnastics! You learned to tie you shoes and to ride a bike with no training wheels!!! You seem to excel in all things that you put your mind to and we are excited to see how awesome you do in the Spring while playing baseball and this Summer in a break dance class you have been dying to take!

This year wasn't without sadness or loss. We lost your extraordinary great grandmother. It was a very difficult time and you handled it all very well and it only showed us more of your compassion and kindness. You talk about her often and always reassure us that you will never forget her! She loved you with all her heart and every time she seen you her face lit up :) You were a huge delight in her life especially in the last few months. There was little that made her cheerful with all the doctors and medicine and pain in the end but you, you always made her smile. She always looked forward to you. I know that she is ALWAYS watching over you and rooting for you. She is proud in all that you do.

We spent the summer this year's summer mostly at the waterpark and it was a huge success. You loved spending those beautiful summer days under water in the pool or going head first down the water slide. Soaking up the sun and spending those lazy afternoons with you poolside watching you laugh and play. It was a perfect way to soak up all that extra time with you before the big world of kindergarten headed our way. Watching your freckles multiply by the day from all the sunlight and seeing you be able to hold your breath longer and longer each time you dove down in the clear blue water. You were fearless and content and I was oh so grateful to be there with you.

Your favorite foods are string cheese and crackers, lunchables, and any and all fruit (esp. watermelon). Anytime you are allowed to pick where we eat your answer is the same: Jimmy Johns or Soup and Salad!!  You shot your first gun and caught your first 4 fish!!!!! Your best buddies are Hunter, Nate, Gavin, Aden, Joesph, Lemuel, and Will Coltrane. We have had many outings with all these guys over the past year, everything from ice skating, to movies, to dinner dates. It's been a fun, wild and exciting year and it wouldn't have been the same with all these boys that are not only your friends, but like family!

I still watch you sleep. I still carry you when you ask. I am amazed by how tall you are insert height here and how much you have grown. You are loving and sweet. Independent and strong. You are OH so predictable. Those freckles and that smile get me every time. And speaking of have two VERY LOOSE teeth that have been loose for months! They will probably fall out before your birthday! I'll never get over how cute that little smile is. You are still a cuddly little boy. Always willing to curl up next me on the couch and settle in. One more pretty awesome accomplishment you made this year was sleeping in your bed! It was a big one. For the longest time you have nuzzled in between Daddy and I in our bed each and every night. Even after getting a cool big boy loft bed last year with a wasn't enough to convince you. After months of telling us that a TV in your room would make all the difference, we gave in. We got the TV. Hooked up the cable. And prayed! We prayed it would work. And surprisingly did!! You have been a champ! Drifting off to sleep each night with your stars lit up on the ceiling and Ruff Ruff (your stuffed Build a Bear dog) tucked under your arm. Always asking us, when we leave the room after a story and prayers, to please come back in 59 seconds. And when we do each and every are already fast asleep :)

Your a magical little boy Hensley. With the most beautiful blue eyes always full of life. You are passionate and funny. We are blessed to be your parents. You have been our greatest gift in life. You are the air my our lungs and the beats in our hearts. Nothing is better then coming home to your hugs or listening to you talk about your hopes and dreams. We are so so proud of you and we can't wait to see what this next year holds for you sweet boy!  

 Mommy and Daddy