This blog has turned into a complete outlet for my grief. In speaking with lots of my new found widow friends, I'm learning we all do it our own way. Some of us hide, some of us move on quickly, others never want to. Some write, some run, some paint, some haven't figured out what will help them yet. Writing, it turns out, helps me. (Also eating a sad amount of chocolate and peanut butter and taking a nap every day). I don't think there is a wrong way, or a right way to do this. I think it's just gotta be your way. If you find this too open, or to vocal...you don't have to read it. And if you think it's strange that I'm blogging an open letter to my T, well, it is a little, but it sure felt good to write. Read on knowing that I haven't lost my marbles (completely) and I'm aware that this letter was more for me, then anyone else.
Well, first....I feel like you should know that I still really miss you. That, I don't think, will ever change. I'm getting used to not having you here. That, in itself, is a double edged sword. It's nice not aching constantly...but man, the fact that I'm used to it really is the pits. (Remember how my grandma loved to say things were "the pits"? I bet you are hanging with her now. I miss her. Give her a love from me.) Back to being used to you being gone makes me feel real sad and glad all at once. I don't want to forget us. We had some pretty fabulous times, and I'm currently undecided whether it was better to ache constantly, then to be used to you being gone-and forget our goodness. I guess I'll keep you posted on that.
We went to Disneyland. Without you. That was strange.... The first night we walked into the big store downtown to shop. I felt pretty empty not having you there, but the girls seemed ok. Adyson acted real stressed out about what surprise she would bring home. She stewed and stewed till there were actual tears. Sometimes I forget that this is how she handles stress...she can do the big stuff pretty good. Like you being gone. She's amazing and strong and such a trooper. But the choice: if she should get Minnie's Mouses house or the pillow pet brought tears. We left the store with me being mad at her and her crying. A few minutes later I looked at her to scold her and she just said "It's just not the same being her without him." (You are the him.) And then Sienna told me that just walking in the store gave her a tummy ache. (Tummy ache=anxiety for Roo.) We stood there under the tree, just a few feet away from our happy place, and we all cried a little. Not for long, just a few tears, and then we decided you'd want us to smile. And we did have some great laughs! Grandma, Sue and Linsey kept us smiling and eating our way through the park. I'm still full! We talked about you a lot and I can't tell you how good it was for me to spend a week straight just being the fun mom, instead of good cop and bad cop all in one. Adyson finally got brave enough for Soarin' and couldn't get enough of it. That girl, she's braver then she thinks. Roo isn't scared to try anything. Except for the salmon I cooked for dinner tonight but that's a whole different story. Coming home to a quiet house again is hard. I hate not having you here.
The girls are thriving. They really are. They are scoring top marks in class and both smile more then frown. That makes me incredibly happy and it helps me feel like I am sorta doing an okayish job as a single mom. Oh and you should see them ski! It's so beautiful to see them learn something new. I can't wait to see where this world will take them.
Oh! Big news. We finally got to meet the mother on 'How I met your Mother.' She's cute and doe eyed and worth the years of the wait. I think they are gonna have her die on the finale, just like we thought. (What do you bet she has cancer? What a kick in the arse that will be.) I was sad you never got to see her. I know you don't care...but still, made me sad. And guess who's back on 'The Amazing Race'....the Utah dad and son. The girls and I are rooting for them!
I have to get taxes done this week. Um...add this to the list of crap I hate doing without you. I took for granted that you just did it all. Thank you for that. I don't think I do it as gracefully as you did. I also hate changing light bulbs, running to the store for that one random ingredient I forgot. I also miss your mad computer skills...the computer is doing some strange things and I don't even know where to start! I loved your computer nerd skills. I loved your computer nerdiness in general.
I'm trying to force myself to really try to take care of me again. I'm trying to run. (Failing, but trying). I'm skiing again. That is good for me! The sun and the blue skies are just what I need. I'm forcing the kids to do jobs around the house and to be helpers. It's good for them to be self reliant and I just can't do it all. My friends and family is taking good care of me. And the great neighbors too. I'm working on being better. I get mad if people give me special treatment, but then I get mad when I'm treated just like nothing ever happened....I'm a bit of a mess sometimes, but you were married to me so you know how crazy I can be. I'm working on it and trying to figure out a good balance. And I think it's ok that I'm a bit nuts. I am a widow, after all.
Anyhow, we are surviving. That's really about all I can say when people ask. We have really bad moments, and really good ones too. I try to smile and be strong for the girls but sometimes it's all pretty fake. Remember me telling you the beauty school saying 'fake it till you make it'? Well, that's how I feel. I'm hoping making it happens sooner, rather then later. I miss texting you during the day and telling you the many, many random things that have happened throughout the day. I miss you laying on the couch with your socks hanging half off your feet. I loved how you did that. I miss cooking for you! The girls complain mostly and the cookies never
get eaten all gone. I made soft pretzels (our favorite Sunday treat)
the other day for the first time since you passed. We had leftovers and
I had to give them to the neighbors. I hated eating mine all alone
without you here telling me how delicious they are. Plus, I was tempted
to eat yours! (Okay fine, I ate yours.) I miss your laugh. I miss knowing that someone else loved the kids as much as me. It's hard being that parent...the only one who wants whats best and who has to make sure they survive and thrive. That part is the very worst. When I think of them not having you here. I hate it for them even more then I hate it for myself.
There are a million small things every single day that I want to tell you. Things I know you'd roll your eyes at, or laugh at....and for sure have a really sarcastic comment to add to mine. I hate that I can't tell you our small successes or our failures. I hate that you can't help me figure out the best way to sort our finances, where you kept our last tax return, and I hate that I am so behind on the Aggie games. I never remember to look to see when they play or if they won. I miss you just doing that for me. (And I miss your loud clap too!) I hate that I am already forgetting a lot about us, and you. I do know that I wont ever forget how good we had it. I promise you that.
I still love you. Still miss you. And still am grateful for you and your lasting love for our little ladies.
Can't wait till we meet again-I plan on squeezing the crap out of you and not even worrying about your rib. I really, really can't wait for that day.
Sunday, February 23, 2014
the ladies and I are off on our first family vacation without Travis.
(Before I really get into this post, I want to say a ginormous thank you.
Before Travis died we were given a very generous gift.
Neighbors and friends, lots and lots and lots of them, gathered together money, -and
went as far as to secure a private plane, and lovely hotel on the ocean for us to stay in. We weren't able to go because the Lord had other plans, and Travis passed the week we were supposed to be gone. I think it's pretty beautiful that he passed knowing that we had people who loved us that much, do something so generous and kind for us. That's one of the last things he saw. With everything that happened, I lost the card with the names of all who donated or helped. I've felt guilty about it since, and it has weighed heavily on my heart. I'd hate for anyone to think that their kindness wasn't noticed...because the thought was so beautiful, the gift was so generous, and the love was beyond. Thank you to all involved. I am sitting her all teary just thinking of it. That money is being used for our vacation this week. Instead of a goodbye vacation, I'm calling it a healing vacation. I'm so grateful for all the support and love. Beyond words.)
When his cancer came back,
Travis made a goal.
Disneyland every year.
A trip where the girls could be little-and where they were the absolute focus.
And we did that for 5 years straight.
After he passed away,
the girls wondered if we would still go without him.
And this is what Travis wanted,
so we are going.
But I never imagined that it would be this hard.
I've missed him immensely while I've been planning.
I've missed him when I bought a cute shirt for the girls,
or when I booked a dinner reservation at his favorite restaurant there.
I missed him tonight,
when I was packing and found a stray t-shirt of his in my clothes.
I didn't know it was there,
and just to touch it made me ache.
I will miss him laughing when the girls get a little freaked out on a ride.
I will miss him holding my hand.
I will miss him eating his favorite soup.
I will miss him laying in bed next to me and complaining about his achy legs.
I will miss him leading the pack.
I will miss him being there, always knowing what I was thinking.
It's strange, and always hard, and it never gets easier.
Grief is something I've never really experienced.
Not up close and personal like this.
It does mean things to you.
It makes me angry when I see others really able to forget.
And heartbroken for my girls who are struggling through it,
each in their own way.
Really, it feels like it is one step forward, and two steps back.
Everything in our life has changed.
From our finances, to our relationships with each other,
to the way our home feels inside.
When I write,
I realize that we sound quite a mess...
and I'm censoring here...big time.
(I am angry about a lot of things,
sad about a lot of things,
having a heck of a hard time sleeping..
and a basket case most of the time),
I think that's how we should feel right now...
so I guess it's ok.
And we do have many happy, and good things happening every day.
And we still laugh a lot.
And we love each other.
Included in the good in our lives are the people
who haven't forgotten the battle we are facing every day.
I have friends who think of me first.
They make sure that if a Holiday is happening,
I'm taken care of.
Something that Travis is probably pretty grateful for.
They make sure that if I don't sound 100%,
that someone is here, Diet Coke in hand, ready to help.
They tell me I look really pretty...when clearly, It's not a "pretty day".
And more important than that,
they remember my kids.
They teach their kids kind things to say to support my kids.
They make sure to include my kids.
They write kind notes and give hugs and understand and forgive when
my kids aren't feeling happy, normal, or even nice.
They've been given the extra special treatment that they really deserve,
and that frankly, sometimes, I am too tired to give.
My mom has stocked her house full of crafts,
because I think she realizes that when they have too much down time,
they aren't happy.
She takes them for ice cream to give them a break from me...and me a break from them.:)
And she makes sure to ask what I need, even when I am grumpy
and don't have a kind reply.
We are surviving.
We are adjusting.
But it definitely doesn't happen overnight,
and we wouldn't be surviving without the people who have made sure to
remember us in every action and thought.
I'm so grateful.
We are surrounded by lovely people.
So with a heart half full of grief, and half full of excitement,
we are facing another first this week.
It is the "Happiest Place on Earth", so I think that means that my heart will fill
at least 3/4 full of happy.
I'll take it.
Thanks again for all our love and support.
We Kidman Ladies sure appreciate it.
Trav's cancer had been back 3 months.
Disneyland 2010-15 months, still fighting.
Disneyland 2011-27 months, still fighting.
Disneyland 2012-39 months, still fighting.
I'm 100% sure that this was the month Travis cancer started
really aggressively fighting back.
Disneyland 2013-51 months, still at it.
I treasure these memories!
This year is gonna look different.
Saturday, February 8, 2014
n the past few months I've met a lot of widows,
a good chunk of them are close to my age and dealing with
some of the same feelings and situations I am.
They have all found beautiful ways to document their memories
and lives with their husbands.
I've set a goal to really write down some great memories of Travis and I.
I want my kids to have lots and lots of memories of their own,
and memories they can picture from others.
If you have a memory, kind thought, or anything you feel the ladies should
remember about T,
please e-mail it to me!
Monday, February 3, 2014
Monday, January 27, 2014
This past weekend has been a bit of a test.
The girls have struggled,
I'm dieting..(which makes me cranky!)
The toilet overflowed and being the spoiled princess that I am,
I didn't even know how to turn the water off!
It's made me really reflect on my new life as a widow.
A few lessons I've learned below.
And I'm realizing,
while I will never, ever, ever be happy or grateful for this challenge,
I am grateful for some of the knowledge it's brought me.
I rule the world.
I wake up early and clean the house.
We read the scriptures and study before school.
The girls do a chore or two.
I eat healthy.
I even do laundry and cook dinner.
I go to bed and say a prayer of thanks
to my Heavenly Father for helping me make it through the day.
For helping me do things right.
I ask him to help me know how to help my little ladies overcome
all the trials in their way.
And I thank him for letting me marry my T.
And I drift off to a very tired sleep-while really missing Travis by my side.
2-That usually means that the next day...
I fail at almost everything.
I sleep in.
I wake the girls up late.
We have no time for anything in the morning...
the house is a mess.
I eat chocolate.
I eat more chocolate.
And then it's dinner time...and I'm all
"What kind of cereal do you want?"
I then try to fix some of the mess I've made throughout the day,
and stay up way too late.
I say a different prayer these days.
Help me be better.
Help me try harder.
And forgive me for failing at almost everything today.
Those nights I drift off to sleep much later,
much grumpier, and miss Trav more then ever.
Which brings me to #3.
3-Either day is completely ok.
I'm learning that it's completely ok to have either day.
It's wonderful to feel like I can do it all...
but it's also kinda wonderful to remember that the days where I
fail...again and again and again...
we still survive.
We still wake up in the morning and get to try again.
And guess what?
If I fail 2 days in a row (which happens...so often),
I can try again on the 3rd day.
I get to keep trying.
4-It will never be easy.
I think when Trav first passed away,
I felt a burden lifted.
That may sound bad to well...almost all of you,
but until you have lived the way we lived for the past few years,
you wouldn't understand.
I knew then, and still know without a doubt,
that this is better for him.
He was ready.
He didn't want to leave me-and especially the ladies,
but he was so sick.
And it was hard to watch.
So at first I really thought that in comparison,
this would be easy.
Silly, silly me.
Watching my sweet little girls grow up without him is harder then
I ever imagined it would be.
Adyson...oh my sweet Adyson is growing up.
She is all the sudden looking much older then she should be allowed.
She is so concerned about others.
So concerned about me.
If my friends go out to dinner she will make sure to push me to go..
"Mom, you deserve an out! Go...have fun!"
She's thoughtful and caring and has a beautiful-loving soul.
I hate that Travis isn't here to help mold her.
She is part him.
I wish so much that he could help her cultivate some of the
things she got from him.
But it's just not that easy.
She's still her glowing-happy self...
but at times, she's not.
At times, she loses that for a minute.
She really misses her Daddy and is still a little too young
to really cope with how this is better for him.
And I hate not being able to take the pain away.
And the worst part is,
the only person who could pull her out of that,
would be Travis.
When they are struggling I just hug
I tell them I think it just sucks too.
I tell them it's ok to be sad.
And then a while later I tell them it's time to smile again.
No, it's not easy.
I know that these hard moments will be like groundhog day for us.
We will experience them often.
It's beyond anything I could have imagined.
But we aren't alone.
We are surrounded by family and friends who love us.
And who would, (and frequently do), drop everything for us.
Which brings me to #5
5-People will surprise you.
I have a list of people who would do anything for me.
They prove it over and over again.
I haven't had to doubt that these people would check on me daily.
Would send a funny text just because they knew I might need a smile.
They leave Diet cokes on my stoop,
make my favorite treat,
or just come to listen to me complain.
What has been a surprise,
is some of the people who I never realized would care so much,
They are a lovely little surprise and a beautiful blessing.
And there are others who I thought would be there,
and for some reason or another,
And that is ok..
but it has made me really think about the type of person I want to be.
It's made me realize that this is my time for growth.
My time to choose a path.
6-I'm not alone.
We 3 Kidman girls are survivors.
We've been dealt a card.
it's not the card we would have chosen,
but we aren't doing this alone.
At the end of the day-
(either the really good day, or the bad one),
I know that little miracles have been sent my way.
I know that Heavenly Father has provided a way for me to make it
till the next day,
and has given me an opportunity to make it better.
I can repent.
I can try harder.
And someday...I get to spend Eternity with my family.
My testimony has grown leaps and bounds....
merely because I feel like I am proof that you can fail at everything,
and still not feel like a failure.
I get a chance to start over every day and I get a chance to be
the mother that my sweet little ladies deserve every single day.
I know that we are being watched over.
We are given the strength when we need it.
I pray every day that the girls will feel it also.
We aren't alone.
Our house is full of love,
and I think,
full of angels watching over us.
I imagine my Travis leading the charge.
I wonder what lessons are still coming my way?
Be kind to me future...be kind.
Sunday, January 12, 2014
Yesterday marks 3 months without Travis.
3 months without my very best friend.
I think as time has gone on,
some days have gotten easier.
We, as a family, have gotten in a rhythm.
The girls get home from school and we do homework,
play with friends,
go to lessons...
life moves on.
And we are trying to fill it with a lot of joy.
But some days have seemed much, much harder.
The days when the girls come home from school
feeling incredibly jealous because a friends dad came to lunch at school.
Or nights when I feel really alone,
because my partner is gone.
There are nights when I just ache to take care of him again.
I knew I'd miss waking up to give him meds and fighting side effects with him,
but I didn't think I'd miss it this much.
I want to cook his favorite dinner,
or even just want to complain about something that is driving me crazy...
something that anyone else wouldn't care about,
but Trav would have.
That being said,
those times are also a great reminder of how much
love I still have for him.
I'm glad that I married someone that I still miss so deeply.
The girls and I have been finding old pictures of Travis,
and watching old little video clips...
and hearing his voice just makes us all so happy.
In most of the videos, it's T and I videoing the girls doing something.
You can hear him laugh in the background,
or cheer for them.
The love he has for them is pretty adorable,
even just by the tone of his voice.
I just found these gems.
I can't even say the love I have for these precious moments!
We spent the 3 months mark skiing.
The girls in classes,
and me with my dad.
Surrounded by the snow capped peaks,
the blue sky,
and the sun!
We are full of hope that 2014 will be a year of heeling for us.
I realized I didn't blog about this at Christmas,
and really want to remember it in the future.
I bought myself a new wallet this year for Christmas.
In the morning as the girls were downstairs playing with their spoils,
I was emptying out my old wallet and filling my new one.
I was emptying out my old wallet and filling my new one.
I found a pocket of notes from Travis, that I have moved from wallet to wallet over the years.
I had forgotten about them.
This one was the first one I opened.
I felt like I had a lovely gift right from Travis that morning.
It is 13 years old, but quite fitting for now-I think.
Thanks to all of you who keep remembering us in all you do.
We have been able to survive because so many have helped us smile.
Happy 2014 to everyone!
Friday, December 27, 2013
Christmas, without Travis.
The past month people kept saying,
"I'm so sorry that you have to do the Holiday's without Travis"
"This Christmas will be tough..."
I really didn't agree.
Not that I thought it would be easy,
but the month leading up to Christmas was enjoyable- and busy.
Busy-when your grieving, is good.
I had a reason
I really thought that yes, the Holidays will be hard,
but it's when 'real life' beings again, that things will be tough.
Christmas was much, much harder then I anticipated.
Christmas Eve day I cleaned the house and got all ready for us to be able to enjoy
the next few days.
I shopped for a few last minute things and took the girls to lunch and
felt pretty excited and surprisingly happy.
And then I went to fill the car up with gas for the ride to his
parents home in Treemonton,
and it really hit me.
I was making the drive,
on Christmas Eve,
It was a very long ride.
My heart just hurt.
I wanted him there to hold my hand.
I wanted to scratch his neck as he drove.
I wanted to feel the excitement with my kids-and with my Travis.
And it felt very unfair that I couldn't.
But we made it,
and once we got there,
we were able to enjoy the night.
It wasn't the same without him,
and I realize that I will probably never get used to it.
I hate not having my partner.
(I kinda want to stomp my foot like a child...but I am refraining...for now.)
We went to Treemonton early this year so we wouldn't have to drive
home in the super dark, and so we could watch a movie and have some family time..
but I didn't really think ahead.
We had no food...and no where was open!
So we came home and the girls ate ice cream....
(mother of the year?)
and we watched a movie and they went to bed.
And I did Christmas.
doing it without Travis.
And truth be told,
the past 2 years he hasn't been much help.
I'd still have to wrap it all,
and get it all ready,
but he would have been there.
That would have been enough.
(I say that, but I do know in my heart that if he were here this year,
he would have been incredibly weak, and tired and sick, and it still wouldn't have
been the Christmas' of our past...I know that. I do.)
But still, it hurt.
I got all done,
and looked up at our lonely stockings and just felt sad.
Next year I will find some way to fill his stocking with something special,
because it was really hard to see it hanging there.
(And I will just have to fill mine too! Darn!)
The girls though,
they had a wonderful Christmas.
And that is what is really important.
We made it.
And we made a lot of memories on the way.
I will know what to work on for next year to make it easier on all of us.
New Years Eve is coming.
And it's really hard to think of entering a new year without him.
He was my whole 2013...
and it's very strange to think he wont be here with me (in body) in 2014.
It's so REAL...you know?
So I'm setting a lot of goals for 2014,
and I am not going to fail.
I have every reason to work on myself, and to make our home what it should be,
and I'm gonna try really hard to fill it with goodness and joy.
I know that this post sounds like such a downer...
but it's honest at least.
And I know that we will get through this.
Thank you to all of you who helped to make our Christmas Season special.
We got lots of lovely gifts, cards, and messages sent our way and it really helped us
get through it.
I hope in years to come,
I can do it a bit more gracefully!
But this year,
I'm just proud to have survived!
I'm just proud to have survived!
Happy Holidays to all of our loved ones.
Our Travis Trees
(his favorite color)
Aggie blue ornaments.
(our fighting color)
An Aggie flag.
Aggie golf balls.
Masters Golf ball.
A few personalized ornaments.
And Lots of memories through pics.
I love these trees!