Monday, December 26, 2011

Saying Goodbye is Hard.....

There was some fun to be had.....I adore this guy!! I couldnt have asked for a better companion!!!
Jewel and I,after dinner we treated ourselves to CUPCAKES! And they were DIVINE!!!!
Saying Goodbye.....My dad with his girls!!!
Each of us was lost in our own thoughts...But we had each other! I couldnt have a better,more supportive dad!!
Spreading my moms ashes over her favorite pier....
Saying goodbye....

"We can do hard things!"....The 5 of us at Rubys Pier!

Tyler and I ....we did have a LITTLE FUN!!
A while back, I asked Tyler," What would we do if my mom passed away?" This may seem like a fairly odd question for some. But, I haven't seen my mother in nearly 18 years. So, really its not that odd of a question.I'm not sure if that was a premonition or glimpse. About a week later (after we got home form Arizona) I got a call from my aunt, who lives in Florida (which I haven't seen since I was just small.) I could hear in her voice something was wrong,very wrong. I knew before she even said the words,"You're mom has died." I'm not sure how I knew,I just had a feeling. Its the kind of call you never want to get,regardless who it is.Its just sad and hard. We talked for a few minutes and hung up. At first I felt numb, than quickly my other emotions took over and I was just so sad. The kind of sad that makes you cry endlessly. I knew the day would come and I always wondered, how I would feel.Not knowing really what to do I called my dad. My dad has ALWAYS been there and is kind of my rock! I told him the news and he too was very emotional and taken back. I had to call Jewel as well. She too, was grief stricken and sad.

Over the next week, we had to make all sorts of plans and arrangements. When my mother left,years ago she left not just us,but her old life and old friends...basically everything and everyone. We were the ones that felt responsible. I think we also felt there needed to be some closure after so many years. After many calls to the coroner, police department, funeral planner, and her manager of the apartment she rented ,we decided we needed to go down to California and pay our respects.When I say "We" This includes my sweet,supportive dad,Tracy (my step mom) Jewel and my husband. We meet the following week to Newport beach.

The next day Jewel,Tyler and I went to the coroner's office to pick up her belongings and get the key to apartment.The coroner told us it looked like she died of an overdose.She did however,go peacefully with out a struggle. Words cant describe how each of us felt at that very moment. This made it very real for me. My mom really was gone. I would never talk to her again, and any hope of ever seeing her was gone. It made it very final.The next step in this very long day,was to go to her apartment and clean it out.

I think each us knew this was going to be hard. I don't think we really knew what to expect.My mom broke her back several years ago,and has never really been the same since.I think she lived in constant pain and discomfort and this is when she started taking and depending on the pain medication, to get her through her day. Since she was on disability she lived in a small,government funded apartment that helped and aided those with disabilities. We walked into her apartment and we were instantly in her world now. We browsed through a few of her belongings for a bit and it seemed like it was going to go smoothly and fine. The guys left to go get boxes and garbage bags,and we started going through everything. The more I went through her things the more upset I became. She had led such an unnecessary,sad life, all due to bad choices ,that led to hard,sad consequences. I think Jewel and I thought we would find some piece of us in her world and truth be told, there was very little.When she left us at a young age, she also took all the pictures,and journals that we had. I was in hope of finding those.The more we unloaded her boxes and stuff, the more I realized what I wanted wasn't there.Almost every drawer I opened, was full of empty prescription bottles.Some were full of meds most were empty.She was living in so much pain. She had dozens and dozens of letters to herself about improving her life, and forgiveness. There was countless pictures and letters to her partner she had left us for.It was so sad. I stared to feel like we should not be the ones picking up the pieces of her life. I became hurt and mad and soon, the built up frustration and anger came out. I had hot tears streaming down my face that I could not control. I wanted to take a torch and destroy what was left of her place.My family let me cry the hurt, away before they stopped me.I was about to single handily destroy her small living place on my own. We stopped digging through her belongings to take a time out. Lunch was needed and a Diet Coke!! We decided this battle was to much for us to handle emotionally and physically on our own, and we needed some help. We got in contact with the bishop of her ward and he sent the Elders Quarm over. What a relief! What a blessing. At this point we no longer wanted to read and go through her stuff, but just wanted to get it cleaned out and to be done. The Elders Quarm came and we had a few small boxed of things to "keep" but the rest we just threw in black garbage bags and sent it to Good Will. I felt so sad that in the end she had left her family, for basically NOTHING! It took us all day and into the night to pack,clean and throw away her life. I think I filled up a whole garbage bag of prescription bottles. Not something I wish to remember.When we were done this was a weight lifted from our shoulders, we did it! This was one of the hardest things I have ever (emotionally) had to do and I did (we) did it!I think we all knew that this particular day,was going to be the hardest.We went and grabbed some comfort food (good 'ol Me Me's cafe!) The day was over.This day was hard challenging, draining, but we did it! TOGETHER!! Oddly enough,this experience and this journey made us all so close to one another. I needed them and I felt they needed me as well.

The next day we had some time to kill ,as we waited for the whole cremation process to finish. I went and ran the board walk, and it was awesome!! We spent some time at Fashion Island, had lunch, laughed, and cried TOGETHER and than went to pick up my "mother" in an Urn.This too made things FINAL once again. I was holding my mother in an URN- such a feeling I cant put into words.My mother loved the water and the ocean. She had lived by the water for 15 years.Her wishes were to have her ashes spread in the water. As a family we walked up New Port Pier,to say our final goodbyes. We said a sweet prayer to rest her soul. With tears in our eyes,Jewel and I took a turn saying our goodbyes and watching her ashes go into the water.We were all very emotional. Jewel,my dad and I took some time to just be with each other and cry it out.Each of us want to remember the way she WAS, and not the way she became. Even though I have not seen her in years, she was still my mother.

I am beyond grateful for my father,and his love and sacrifice. I am grateful he and Tracy were they 're to support us through this journey. My family is the most important thing to me! The atonement is very real. I know Heavenly father loves us all. He is the perfect judge and has mercy and compassion for us. I am grateful for this gospel. I cant imagine not having it as part of my DAILY life. Life throws curve balls, but with the Saviors help we can endure it all. This I know to be true.My mother is no longer in pain. She is no longer hurting from her sins and years of bad choices. She's with her Father in Heaven that loves her.This brings me so much comfort. Our family motto is ."We can do hard things!" This too I know....I can do hard things!!!



Sunday, December 25, 2011

Thanksgiving in Arizona

Yes, we had just gotten home from our fun, filled trip to Disneyland, when it was time to pack it all up AGAIN for Arizona!! This time, we took Hudson!! :) Have I ever mentioned how I HATE the drive to Arizona?In case I haven't said anything for a while...I HATE THE DRIVE TO AZ, ESPECIALLY with my 4 (very sweet children!) But we managed.I drove part of the way and missed getting on the 20 (twice) and I guess my driving skills were less than great. Too say the least, the drive to Arizona almost caused a divorce due to my driving!!( not really,but still!!)

Anyway, we stayed at the Atkin house in Chandler and had such a great time seeing all the cousins and family. I love being surrounded with family! The kids had a blast! We went to the park everyday, I ran everyday, we shopped, went to the temple lights with both sets of families eat,and spent time with both of our families. We really just had the best time!
I love being with our families. I love Thanksgiving and being surrounded with those you love. I must love them ALLOT,FOR THAT DUMB drive is killing me!! Happy Thanksgiving to our sweet families. I love you all so much ,and you all are my favorite blessings in my life!!!


This year the Thanksgiving feast was held at John and Addies house in Queen Creek! They really are the BEST host!!

We did S'mores at grandmas....
Walker enjoying a mouth full of S'mores.
Hudson was fearless and relentless around the fire! (Big surprise!!!)
I think I have a picture of all of my kids in this laundry room sink!! I have got to get myself one!! I think this was Hudson's 3rd bath that day!! He is our BUSIEST baby...EVER!!!!
Lilly and Libby...
P.J and Ella....
Hudson and Ella enjoying a lap of luxury at the zoo with cousins.Wouldn't it be nice to be pushed around all day!!?
The whole gang at the zoo!!!
Walker.....
Starting him early!!! I have no idea why Tyler is letting him drink caffeine. He's already a maniac!!
Cousins,cousins and more cousins.....