Sunday, November 29, 2009

literary root and the fruit of questioning...?

PROUD of my broken heart since thou didst break it,
Proud of the pain I did not feel till thee,
Proud of my night since thou with moons dost slake it,
Not to partake thy passion, my humility.

-- Emily Dickinson


my heart bursts with passion for my husband, what he loved. i long for others to find community, to find healing, to love and live fully. i wonder if he truly fulfilled his mission? can i adequately carry on his legacy? why have i experienced the things that i have?

what will i do to create an income for me and my kids so that i don't have to work for the establishment or place my kids in to it? with whom will i connect who have similar passions and desires? how will effect change for the better of the world around me? there are things i am certain of that God has directed our family toward, but now what?

my mind is so full of questions today, things i wish i would have done differently, and things i might make better for the future. phew. too much. but i did this before Life After. now there's just more... and different.

Friday, November 27, 2009

giving thanks

yesterday was thanksgiving and we spent it with friends paul and kieva along with brian's brother david and his wife and girls too.we ate and ate and ate. so much good food and good friends to share it with.

paul and kieva created a small centerpiece in honor of brian's memory that was really special. brian was a ceramisist and made many beautiful pieces. he gave two very special pieces -- a chip/dip bowl and a small plate -- the our friends. the chip dip bowl housed homemeade cranberry sauce and grapes. the small plate was dressed with a large votive candle surrounded by a pewter symbol of community, dried chiles, bean and sunflower seeds.

he was missed. he always made his turkey special for our thanksgiving day. he loved to cook. he loved good food. he shared his love through food. oh, how i wish he could have been with us, laughing and sharing stories. but i know his spirit was there -- the food, the laughter, the community -- and he was surely giving thanks to our great God for his goodness and mercy.

i am exhausted. words are not coming easy for me. words cannot adequately express how i feel for my love. we will be seeing people this weekend that were dear to his heart and are dear to mine. i need my rest... i'll be back after the weekend is over.

good night!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

the world doesn't stop

the last couple of days, we all have been sick. kind of a good thing because it has forced us to stay home and rest. we have been on the go [even though all of us were fighting sickness] and have felt rushed around and not stopped to just be. with all of the rushing, there have been moments that i have written about here where i have been reminded of Brian in some way in the midst of it all.

then, here are the last two days, full of rest and serenity. i have studied his picture, heard a few certain songs that he liked or that reminded me of him, seen a bee or two [there was one on the floor at the APU theatre the other day -- i'll have to tell Av], or any number of things and have not shed a tear. then today -- well, forget it! all bets are off because i was a faucet nearly all afternoon and evening. a house, a turkey, a toothbrush -- bring on the memories; bring on the tears.

it's funny that i am writing about this because i get together with friends or talk with people and some wonder how i am even functioning and wonder why i am not crying all the time. a new friend even asked me why i let the girls be in the play. "well," i told her, "life goes on. on the inside - in my heart - it feels like life for me has stopped in some way - but the world just keeps on going. as they say, 'the show must go on.' the world doesn't stop for me even though i want it to."

sometimes i wish it would stop and 'look' at me, my family, and pause for a moment but it doesn't. kind of like that song/musical, "stop the world... i wanna get off." but the world - people - are in perpetual motion. everything keeps going. it doesn't stop. it's the natural order of things.

when i am not shedding tears, especially when i go a day or two, there's not a guilt but a sorrow i feel when the tears aren't coming. like a friend whom one talks to everyday that just doesn't make contact. like Brian is slipping away from me somehow. like i am forgetting. in fact, when i have dreams about him, i ask him to stay or beg him not to go when i am on the verge of awakening. i want to talk just a few minutes longer or see him a few moments more. i have even told the kids in my sleep not to bother me because i am talking to Daddy. but i digress.

there's comfort in tears, oddly enough, but pain too. they often come out of the blue when i least expect them, but as strange as it may seem, i welcome them.

things are different that one might expect in a Life After.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

ian

my little bundle of joy running around...

"mommy! mommy! mommy!" ian calls as he comes running to me from the other room, so excited to see me home from my day with the girls at the renaissance festival. he stayed home with my folks napping while we went out.

"me. me." he takes my hand and leads me out to where his hot wheels cars are on the ground. he lays down on his tummy.

"hi." he begins a conversation with me via his cars.

such a joy to come home to this precious little man who reminds me so much of his daddy [his looks and his spirit]. just tonight while sitting across from him at a restaurant, i was overwhelmed by the precious gift that God gave to us and Brian has left me to care for... or maybe i should say that Brian left him to care for me. he notices when i cry sometimes and says, "mommy cry," while looking for something with which to wipe my tears, a then flashes me that incredible winning smile with twinkling blue eyes. he didn't notice tonight, and for that i was a little grateful.

he has been the calm in a raging storm inside my heart since he was born, a symbol of God's goodness and greatness in the midst of life. he is a tender little boy who loves me, his sisters, his grandparents, friends and Daddy so much. he talks about these beautiful people in his life all the time. he is carrying his Daddy's legacy of love for others.

thank you, God, for blessing our family and those around us with this precious boy. i pray, sweet Jesus, that you will protect him and use him to serve you and your kingdom all the days of his life. help me to raise him in a way that is glorifying to you and a blessing to others. give me guidance and wisdom and help me to teach him that You are his heavenly Daddy who will never leave nor forsake. amen.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

balance

got the edited copies of the memorial service we had for Brian... tears

spent time and had lunch with dear friends in long beach... joy

unexpectedly revisited photos of a very special time with dear friends before Brian's passing... tears

saw my kids laugh and play with friends... joy

missing the sound of his voice... tears

knowing that Brian is with Jesus and that others may know Jesus because of the love Brian showed to them... priceless.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

frustration

i get frustrated with people when they dismiss something i say or "dash a dream against the rocks", so to speak, telling me how i or the kids will feel or what we will do, especially when they don't even know us! none of us have fit into the proverbial mold that has surfaced during this process. [note: there is no mold!]

last night i was talking to a woman at a group i take the kids to and she demolished my spirit -- at least it felt that way. i didn't realized how frustrated i was until this morning. i wish that people like that just wouldn't say anything at all and let me come upon realizations like that on my own, if they even become real. chances are it might not even happen as she said. she was just snapping me back into a reality -- her reality? -- before it was necessary, giving me timelines for feelings, etc.

i am being totally vague because i'd rather not remember the whole thing... but let's just say i'm frustrated and really would like to forget about that part of the conversation. it was great until the very end... ugh.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Grief...

...good grief!

LOL

I used to call Brian my 'charlie brown'.... he had that attitude sometimes. Miss him...

word choice

since Brian's death i have become more and more sensitive to how people use words. this might also cross over in to semantics because the choices people make about the words they use may not necessarily reflect their true meaning or feelings.

"i'm so embarrassed, i could just die!"
"i couldn't do that. if i did she'd kill me."
"you're killing me!"
"i love you to death."

die.

kill.

death.

do people really mean these things when they say them? i have to admit, i used these types of phrases often. but now that Brian has died.... very much a reality for me and all who knew him... my sensitivity to these terms has been heightened. they are powerful and strong terms that our society has come to use casually and take lightly their use.

semantics.
denotation.
connotation.
metaphor.
hyperbole.
a whole new set of things to question, realize and think about in this Life After. i wonder if anyone else has felt this way?

Sunday, November 15, 2009

teardrops

i am crying too much tonight to write much of anything. a few triggers and some out of nowhere... a few tears for my dad too.
i'll write more tomorrow...

Saturday, November 14, 2009

life...

today was somewhat uneventful. McK had practice for Dickens' A Christmas Carol, while Av and i hung out in the courtyard outside the theatre with friends. afterward, we took ian and my mom over to the last hour of the Pilgrim Place Festival again, made swiggles, had faces painted and browsed. tonight was droll in that ian's antics in the tub made me smile and the girls were seeming a bit mischeivious.

tomorrow should prove to be a bit more exciting: our friends coming to church with us [remember the one Brian's dear friend?] and afterward a rearranging of the room so that ian might move to a big boy bed.... that just might call for a trip to Ikea for bedding :)

so i am off to dreamland where my thoughts can drift intentionally to my love rather than visiting when it is completely unexpected... :)

Friday, November 13, 2009

today

tired.

depressed... really. i wanted to sleep all day but the funny thing is, kids just don't let you do that.

thought about Brian A LOT today.

in an attempt to just get out of the house, we went to the Pilgrim Place Festival, a great craft fair that raises money for retired missionaries. we went there last year with B and reminisced over the memories. Av got her face painted and was a bumblebee...

she was on the hunt for bees all day long -- crafts, novelty items, you name it. McK was just into collecting rocks, eating cotton candy, making swiggles [melted crayon art] and doing the infamous glue-in [plastics/wood scrap/corks/etc. that we would all consider trash are saved all year by the seniors there and then put out in a special area for all the kids to glue to cardboard pieces in an attempt to do art.] the girls got to hang out with some special friends too and that was nice for them.

tonight had dinner with Paul & Kieva and their boys discussing a variety of things... good, thought provoking conversation.

i miss you, Brian. i love you. i wish you were here. there are so many things i want to share and discuss with you. i guess i need to give myself a day at the beach and just talk, write, cry. Life After is tough....

and in addition to all that, i feel like i am getting sick. phht.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

a broken heart

a lot to process from tonight. i went to a Thomas Jefferson education seminar filled with thought provoking statements and ideas and then spent the last hour talking on the phone with my dear friend Beck. i am actually really glad she called so i could talk through and process some of the stuff i heard tonight, but i cried and went through a couple kleenexes....

a realization that my heart is broken over Brian's death hit me tonight... hard. he meant so much to so many because he loved them. i know in my head that God was merciful and Brian is in a better place, whole, healthy, and new, but my heart still hurts because of it. i miss his tangible moments of love, sweetness and tenderness for me and the kids, but we are left behind to go on. i don't know what will happen or what i'll do, but that's okay. it's only been two months. i need some breathing room to catch my breath and let God work as he will and always has.

tomorrow i will write about my musings about what i heard at the seminar, but for now, my head hurts... i must go to sleep. morning comes too soon :)

mystery solved!

i was wondering where the black and yellow striped sweatshirt came from....

our friend JD gave it to Brian one of the last times he saw him... Brian said he liked it so JD gave it to him..

a friend indeed....

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

frazzled mommies

the title to this post is kind of funny because i posted it about this photo, taken at the end of our day today:

that's what i said we looked like. i am chuckling to myself because i only felt like a frazzled mommy when trying to [in]effectively communicate with my girls today. but i guess the photo showed otherwise. :) but our hearts were tended by being together.

honestly, i felt like a treasured friend, cared for and loved by someone i've known since we were 15, then inadvertently paired up as biology lab partners over a fetal pig. we've been through a lot together, encouraging one another through the years, staying connected though living miles apart. we are sisters in Jesus and i know i have a confidant and friend i can turn to in time of need and she will be there, especially in prayer.

as for our kids... they had a great time together. i think Av has found a new best friend :)

glam...

silly...

we love 'em!



Tuesday, November 10, 2009

forgetful...

in my mind, i had this whole blog post ready to be put to proverbial paper and now, for the life of me, i can't remember what i was going to write. that seems to be the way it goes lately. forgetting things; walking into rooms, unable to remember what exactly it was i was there for in the first place. my mind wanders, sometimes to a memory of Brian, especially when i am caught offguard by a photograph or something he thought important. one thing often leads to another.

i guess i'll mention that i bought a movie today. UP. the last movie that Brian and i saw together. on our anniversary. 12 years. when i saw it the first time, i cried through the whole thing. gosh, now i'll probably do that again, but for a whole different set of reasons. representative of so much. unrealized dreams and what's really important. **sigh**

oh, yeah... i just remembered what i was going to write about, but i guess it'll have to wait for another day...

Life After.

Monday, November 9, 2009

who would've thought....

...that:
  • a box of bills would make me cry?
  • seeing a bee today would comfort me?
  • my son would repeat the word "beach" every time we get in the car to go somewhere? [he is his father's son, after all]
  • people would actually want to trade places with me?
  • a friend dear to Brian's heart would actually want to go to church?
  • Brian's long ago friends would ever contact me?
  • two months could have passed by but feels like time is standing still?
amazing and hard for me to believe, but true...

Life After.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

today's devotional reading

it is possible for you and me to be ready for Jesus' coming. the surrendered self is dynamic since it is the branch that is connected with the Living Vine.

I am the vine, you are the branches.
John 15:5 RSV

our hope is in the living Vine through which your love flows freely, Father.
taken from Each New Day by Corrie Ten Boom

***p.s.-- i added video to a post published nov. 6. check it out... way cool!

Friday, November 6, 2009

profound

John 15:5-8

5"I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. 8This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.


Apart from me, you can do nothing.

Heidi, you cannot --

  • parent
  • be in authentic community
  • be a friend
  • grieve
  • heal
  • love
  • live life to its fullest
-- without Me.

i need to stay connected to The Vine and allow The Master Gardener to guide me, prune me, help me grow.

spent time with an old friend and came away from that time with the above thoughts.

Ventura

today we went to the beach. drove up to Ventura and had a great time hanging out on the beach all day. we just needed to spend that time together, with God, with Brian. the following photos and videos should tell it all:

mck on the zipline -- coolest thing ever at a park/the beach!

video

the girls @ the beach

we found a baby eel!

no... really!

ian...

...& his footprint


watch the following video. this is my first attempt at a meaningful memorial....

video
this was a little eerie, but comforting at the same time.
"miss me? no. remember me. it's better for me where i am. i love you."
this was confirmed by the fact that we found a lone bee, covered with sand, weighted down by the water on its wings, struggling to get to the ocean. the symbolism...

then i created this little video; it really surprised me and came out sweet...

video
she misses her daddy so much... they all do.

it was a good day for grieving.
remembering.
living.
loving.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

storage

went to the storage unit today. "stuff management" is difficult. our "stuff" is in three different places and i have to try to get all the stored stuff in these three areas together into the storage unit.

when it was time to move out of our rental house after Brian passed away, my dear friend Kieva stepped up and was so amazing. i am telling you, she was my brain! she organized a group of Brian's and my friends to come over and pack up our things and move everything in to storage. this happened over a period of about 8 hours on the saturday after my birthday. wow.

i wasn't there to help because my aunt had passed away the day before [my birthday] and i offered to pick up my cousin from the airport and drive her out to be with her dad and brothers. i still am so thankful that i wasn't there and things worked out the way they did because i think it would have crippled me emotionally to where i could not have done a thing and would have been of no help to anyone.

but now comes the time where i must face it all. "stuff management." the big things, like furniture, are not a big deal. it will be the boxes of things that will be overwhelming. i need to begin by selling some of the furniture in storage so as to make room for the other items in boxes that i plan to keep.

i think i need to stop writing now because i becoming overwhelmed and it may cause insomnia.

finding neverland



reminded right now of one of my favorite movies... beautiful writing, beautiful design. now it has so much more meaning to me. if you haven't seen it, you should.

Peter: It's just, I thought she'd always be here.
J.M. Barrie: So did I. But in fact, she is, because she's on every page of your imagination. You'll always have her there. Always.
Peter: But why did she have to die?
J.M. Barrie: I don't know, Peter. When I think of your mother, I will always remember how happy she looked, sitting there in the parlor watching a play about her family, about her boys that never grew up. She went to Neverland. And you can visit her any time you like if you just go there yourself.
Peter: How?
J.M. Barrie: By believing, Peter. Just believe.
the girls and i talked tonight about taking our family portrait. "will we take it at the beach?" "yes. do you know why?" "because daddy will be there. he'll be in the picture with us." "that's right."

imagination. belief. so essential in our Life After.

Monday, November 2, 2009

love all around

today we spent time with friends... katie and her daughter [one of av's best friends] met us for lunch in arcadia and then we went and played at jumpin' jammin'... a totally fun and wonderful time for everyone -- even us moms* :) . check out our cool video of a different kind of rain :)

video

afterward, we headed to a monthly sing-a-long with some dear folks -- the girls' adopted grandparents -- in claremont... they loved it! and so did the seniors! just lovin' on me and my girls. it made me smile. it made everyone feel good.

i hadn't seen any of these friends since Brian's memorial service, so of course there were memories, tears, hugs, laughter.... love. thank you for giving me and my kids an extra special day.

*to my out-of-town friends: next time you visit, we should go here!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

song for me

my dear friend whom i met with on friday said, "Brian was so lucky to have you." this statement caused me to think about and remember some love letters/notes Brian wrote to me that i have saved. over the weekend, this song played on my iPod and it was so reflective of those writings that i had to post it here.

For Once In My Life - Michael Bublé


For Once In My Life
I've got someone who needs me
Someone I've needed so long
For once unafraid
I can go where life leads me
And somehow I know I'll be strong

For once I can touch
What my heart used to dream of
Long before I knew
Someone warm like you
Could make my dreams come true

For once in my life
I won't let sorrow hurt me
Not like it's hurt me before
For once I have someone
I know won't desert me
I'm not alone anymore

For once I can say
This is mine, you can't take it
Long as I know I've got love I can make it
For once in my life
I got someone who needs me

At least for once I can say
This is mine you can't take it
Long as I know I got love
I can make it

For once in my life I got someone
For once in my life I found someone
For once in my life I got someone
Who needs me

Zephaniah 3:17

17 The LORD your God is with you,
he is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
he will quiet you with his love,
he will rejoice over you with singing."

these words were the main words in a worship song at church today. Brian quoted these very words to me in an email he wrote to me awhile ago. how even more true these words are for all of us now as Brian sits in the presence of our Jesus and we, his family, are left behind.

such comfort in these words.
my God is with me/us.
he can save me/us from anything.
quieting me/us, comforting me/us, rejoicing over me/us, his child/ren.

beauty in a Life After death...
beauty in a Life After loss.

sad

i realized today that i let a message on my voicemail be deleted. it was the last VM i received from Brian. i was so sad and heartbroken... my mistake.

i can no longer just listen to his voice on my phone whenever i want. **sniff...deep sigh**

"hey, it's me. i wanted to talk to you........would you please call me? **sigh** i'm so sorry.... i love you."

sweet. beautiful.

my Brian.

gone.

he's just gone now, isn't he?

even more real...

but i can still hear him.

halloween - 31.october

remember the significance of bees? well, i was Z Queen B for halloween. complete with antennae, crown, wings, and stinger. here's a little photo of me i took on my phone...


so, evidently brian acquired this sweatshirt sometime in the last 2 weeks prior to his passing. it's a very bright yellow and black stripe. the girls and i ventured to walmart and they found this lapel pin:


so needless to say, the costume just came together. it was fun to dress up with my girls and in remembrance of Brian.

we went t or t-ing in Pomona -- in the old historic neighborhood where we used to live and where i grew up having every holiday because my aunt and uncle lived there. i was in the mood for a bit of nostalgia and being with good friends. though the crowds were much larger than i remember them [we're talking like 1,000 people roaming the streets and sidewalks of this great neighborhood, lines of people and kids 20 deep?] crazy.

but it was fun. brian's brother and his family joined us and it was great. the girls had so much fun and even Ian, by the end of the night, was saying "trick or treat" in his cute little 2yo way.

thanks, P&K, for hosting a great night and thank LP for welcoming me back with open arms.

side note and a bit of irony:
Brian worked on a TV pilot back in 2005: Queen B