Life changes but my heart still hurts

July is a pretty tough month and this year was no different. Instead of going on a picnic to celebrate what would have been our eighth year in wedded bliss, Amelia and I spent our night prior, in the ER after she had an encounter with a dog.

I had to watch as they put my little girl to sleep while she was connected to heart monitors, blood pressure cuffs and oxygen. I was strong for her but the staff could see the fear behind my mask and the tears streaming down my face. It was hard enough to see Josh go through it and then to relive something similar with your baby girl was pretty devastating. We are grateful for the compassionate hearts, knowledge and steady hands of the healthcare providers that night!

When she was waking up, she looked at me with her swollen lips all stitched up and said, “Mommy, I don’t want to go on the picnic tomorrow..”. How sweet she is to go through that and still be thinking of our annual “Picnic where Daddy proposed”. I assured her we would not be going and she was going to get a whole week of Mommy/Daughter days! A local Trooper was nice enough to still capture the entrance where Josh proposed so I could at least document the weather for another year. Lots of snuggles were had and she healed wonderfully!

I am so grateful Dan was there to drop off dinner to the ER and take Gabriel back home. I slept with Amelia that night because she did not respond well to waking up after anesthesia and Dan stayed to support and help me 🙂

It’s becoming more apparent that I depend on Dan more than I thought I would ever need or want to.

July 27th came around and it marked 3 years since the day God took Josh home. I was speechless. I could hardly mutter how painful it still was/is. I only got out that this day and life will never be the same. We met at the gravesite as a family to write messages on balloons and send them off to heaven. Dan accompanied us for this as well. We all returned to our house for dinner and then went our separate ways. There are no words to express how much it meant to me that Dan was willing to be there. He doesn’t understand any of this yet he was willing to put himself into an uncomfortable spot to be supportive of me.

So many things can change in 3 years. We have all come so far yet we are all still feel the weight of the pain each day. We manage to continue traditions, strive for new goals, and find joy in the present days but the pain never goes away. The uncertainty of “am I doing this right” still lingers.

Am I doing parenthood right? Am I dating correctly? Am I being present enough with the kids while still striving for success in school and work?

I will never know. All I do know is that Josh is missed so fiercely that even the happiest of times can still leave us empty.

I have finished all of my Baccalaureate Nursing courses and will graduate this summer. I hope to walk across a stage in December but who knows what this world will be like then given the current pandemic.

Dan and I are creating the start of a good relationship. We talk about things and he’s been helping out a ton with the kids! He brings so much to the table and I am so grateful we both decided to let our friends set us up. He can be quite literal at times so I am learning on explaining myself better 😉 He begins a new journey this September as a Family Practice Physician and I cannot wait to see how he thrives in the “real world” of medicine.

I continue to look for a job that meets the needs and availability of a solo parent. I began a job last month that seemed promising but it ended up not being a good fit. Saying goodbye to my client was hard but leaving the company to ensure my presence for my kids was a no brainer.

Dan has supported these decisions every step of the way.

August 2nd we showed up for our annual family camping trip. Three years ago on this day, we laid Josh to rest. It’s always fun but still a bit heartbreaking to show up to this trip without Josh. I was NEVER into camping before we met but slowly, I became a “glamper” as they like to call it. I pull our 36 foot fifth wheel camper 3 hours north (ok it might be east or west but thats not important) to our usual camping grounds with the family. Now, I’m here teaching Dan how to “camp” with the big kids and enjoy nature in a more modern way;-) That being said, we did get to sneak away for a few hours to go four wheeling on his Dads land even further north (or east or west)… I didn’t want to not do it for fear we might not get that opportunity again this summer. I paid for it the next day. I had fallen down the stairs before our trip and bruised my tailbone. It’s been painful but there was no way I was missing our annual trip or the chance to drive through the woods in the middle of nowhere!

It seemed to be a smaller crowd this year but still enough for belly laughs, shenanigans, and all the good that comes from spending time with family. It will be the last trip I take where I will have to set aside time for homework. Even my mother in law mentioned how she’s never seen me not have to work on homework in the 10 years she’s known me! It will be a fantastic change and I’m still trying to decide what to do with my free time that I’ll get!

It’s been just over 6 months with Dan and he has been gracious in his approach with me and open to learning how to handle the kids. It isn’t easy thats for sure but if you ask me, it’s worth it 😉 We’ve successfully dated through a quarantine and come fall we will try to manage more distance between us as he moves almost 2 hours away to practice. We’ve been creating a pretty great foundation and the patience with each other is never ending 🙂 I cant remember the last time I’ve laughed this hard and this frequently but he brings me joy, is great with the kids, and even the family sees his dedication to us all. It does not go unnoticed or under appreciated. He is good <3

It’s been an eventful week camping full of love, laughter, injuries, frustration, strong storms and sunshine.

Sounds par the course for life.

We all have our faith, family, friends, and the wisdom to know how truly blessed we are! I can’t wait to do it again next year!

Thank you to all of you as well, who continue to let us into your life with our story! I appreciate the continued support, encouragement, and love. It gets us through the tough days. God Bless!