Sprinkled in between and all around

Again we are in dismay as 2 years have passed. We released balloons at your grave, went to church, and shared a dinner.

It was nothing spectacular as this year seemed harder than the first and we were all emotionally exhausted. It’s exhausting missing you everyday.

This year I wished I could have had time alone with alcohol and a punching bag because my anger over losing you was at the forefront. Instead, I continued with the usual order of remembrance for the kids and your family.

It’s really hard to put into words just how hard it is living everyday missing you.

We have ups and we have downs and somewhere sprinkled in between and all around is the missing you.

We all do our own small things to remember you and we all talk about you regularly.

It still hurts when Amelia asks, “Why did God take my Daddy?” and it always will. Kids look to their parents for answers and I will never be able to answer this. I won’t even be able to fake my way through an answer. It hurts. I think about all of the things she will miss out on with her daddy. Donuts with dads, Daddy-Daughter dances, piggy back rides, hunting, fishing and baking pumpkin pies. She loves to bake and she makes the perfect little helper although when M&Ms are involved you’ll find some making their way out of the bowl 😉

It also hurts when she tells Gabriel, “Daddy died before you were born but he still loves you”. At least she isn’t wrong. Josh does love him and we all believe Josh met Gabriel before we did. How else could I have been given such an incredible little boy?

The kids are growing like weeds. Life keeps me on my toes. Amelia enjoys gymnastics, Gabriel is finding his voice. I am still trying to figure out who I am without you and sprinkled everywhere and all around is us missing you.

The week before your angelversary, I volunteered at a golf tournament for a local Fraternal Order of Police just like I did the year before. This year was different though as they incorporated local fallen Law Enforcement from years past. It was so great to see your face, speak your name , and be surrounded by others who will also, never forget you.

I continue to volunteer and sponsor a day of programming on our local christian station in your honor. We miss you so much.

Your angelversary comes just before your annual family camping trip to Itasca and so I continue to gear up for that too. I am sure it will be filled with shenanigans and fun but boy is it tough getting ready for. Not just the physical labor of getting the camper packed but the emotional preparation of attending your favorite time of year without you. I am sure tequila shots will be had, many will over eat, the bat will makes it’s way around and sprinkled in between and all around, will be us missing you.

Onions

“No. Layers. Onions have layers. Ogres have layers. Onions have layers. You get it? We both have layers.”- Shrek

This quote made me laugh as I was crying on my way home from my friends grave on 4th of July. I was crying because of pain and thinking “who’s cutting onions” the phrase people typically say when they begin to cry but don’t actually want to. It brought me back to a time when I was an Ogre! The line rings so true but it’s not just Ogres that have layers. People do too.

I think I’ve mentioned before that I am a Veteran. Have a I mentioned I am also a princess? I played Fiona at the Paramount Theatre back when Josh was in the State Patrol Academy. It is still one of my favorite plays to have been apart of!

I remember these images from when I brought them to be placed on my headstone…You see, upon designing Josh’s headstone, I began designing my own as well. Not because I plan to die anytime soon but because I don’t want our kids to wonder “what would mom want?” and struggle through designing like I did with Josh’s. “Willie” the gentleman who so graciously helps with monuments, placed the photos side by side because even he was like “how do you go from gun toting bad assery to a princess?!” Let’s just say, I make it work HOOAH!

I feel like everything in life is an onion. I dig deeper and I cry, sometimes it just plain stinks, and of course, all the layers. The worst part is it doesn’t wash away. It goes with me wherever I go.

This thought started before the fourth but I spent a day trying to figure out how I would put it into words. It began when I was discussing receiving a service dog. A gal kindly asked, “A service dog? For?” she proceeded to state how “ok” I seem and that I seem to being doing very well given the circumstances.

Truth is, anyone can wear a smile when they’re hurting. It’s why they say to treat everyone with kindness because you never know what they are or have gone through. That’s the interesting thing about mental illnesses that people don’t ever want to talk about. I can be dying inside and smiling at you at the same time. I can be calm in a crowd but screaming on the inside. I can be laughing with joy while my heart cries in agony.

I will be so happy to watch our kids grow while simultaneously grieving that Josh isn’t here to witness it.

Everyone has layers. Different interests, different feelings, different ideas of how things should be. I can be happy and sad at the same time. Laughing while grieving, smiling while crying.

I wish more people took time to peel back layers instead of taking things at face value. Maybe then there would be more understanding in this world.

All I know it, there is going to be more layers added as life changes and sometimes those layers are gonna get rotten but peel them back, throw them away and deep fry an onion blossom with the rest!

I’m not always be smiling inside but I will always be ok. I have two great kids, a wonderful boyfriend and the best support system a girl could ask for.

Always be kind and always know, you can be bad ass and a princess too 😉