Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Songs that repeat on my playlist

Pete Murray "Chance to Say Goodbye"
Dave Matthews "Stay or Leave"
Corey Smith "Maybe Next Year"
Dave Matthews Band "I'll Back You Up"
David Gray "This Year's Love"
Dierks Bentley "I Wanna Make You Close Your Eyes"
Heidi Newfield "Johnny and June"
Johnny Cash "I Walk The Line"
John Mayer "Comfortable"
Johnny Cash with June Carter "Jackson"
Little Big Town "Bring it on Home"
Little Big Town "Stay"
Mat Kearney "New York to California"
Miranda Lambert "Heart Like Mine"
Van Morrison "Crazy Love"

For now, that's a good collection.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

724 am December 24

I wake up startled and thinking of you. I have to remember where I am, in a different room at my parent's with my dog beside me instead of you. I instantly remember that the last time I slept in this room was the last time you would ever sleep in this room, in this bed. Right freaking beside me. and now as the sun comes up, thats all I long to be, right beside you. I miss your touch horribly. I miss your hands and the the way they reached for mine. I miss how sure we were of each other's love. I miss everything.
I love you baby. Be Strong! Love Mike

This is the sticky note he left on our kitchen counter when he went back in July. How long baby? How strong can I be?

I love you, I love you, I LOVE YOU.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Love Letter

Love Letters, Beetoven

Evening, Monday, July 6
You are suffering, my dearest creature
only now have I learned that letters must be posted very early in the morning on Mondays to Thursdays
the only days on which the mail-coach goes from here to K.
You are suffering
Ah, wherever I am, there you are also
I will arrange it with you and me that I can live with you. What a life!!! thus!!! without you
pursued by the goodness of mankind hither and thither
which I as little want to deserve as I deserve it
Humility of man towards man
it pains me
and when I consider myself in relation to the universe, what am I and what is He
whom we call the greatest
and yet
herein lies the divine in man
I weep when I reflect that you will probably not receive the first report from me until Saturday
Much as you love me
I love you more
But do not ever conceal yourself from me
good night
As I am taking the baths I must go to bed
Oh God
so near! so far! Is not our love truly a heavenly structure, and also as firm as the vault of heaven?

Good morning, on July 7
Though still in bed, my thoughts go out to you, my Immortal Beloved, now and then joyfully, then sadly, waiting to learn whether or not fate will hear us
I can live only wholly with you or not at all
Yes, I am resolved to wander so long away from you until I can fly to your arms and say that I am really at home with you, and can send my soul enwrapped in you into the land of spirits
Yes, unhappily it must be so
You will be the more contained since you know my fidelity to you. No one else can ever possess my heart
Oh God, why must one be parted from one whom one so loves. And yet my life in V is now a wretched life
Your love makes me at once the happiest and the unhappiest of men
At my age I need a steady, quiet life
can that be so in our connection? My angel, I have just been told that the mailcoach goes every day
therefore I must close at once so that you may receive the letter at once
Be calm, only by a calm consideration of our existence can we achieve our purpose to live together
Be calm
love me
what tearful longings for you - you - you
my life
my all
farewell. Oh continue to love me
never misjudge the most faithful heart of your beloved.

ever thine
ever mine
ever ours

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas is so far from what it used to be. This would be our first Christmas, with our first tree, and our first season of splitting holiday time between families, and driving the Jeep through the snow... It hasn't hit me yet, not hard anyway. I am sitting beside the tree at my parent's house. All these presents surround it and I am wondering what the heck all this stuff is when all 4 of us have more than we need. These ornaments that my mom religiously bought every year, one for my brother and one for me, are not supposed to be here. We should have packed mine away separately when we (they) took down the tree last year to be sent home with me and Mike. Along with his (yes, his mom did the same) they should be on our tree. That thought turns my stomach. Now my ornaments remain on my parent's tree and his are glued to a wreath that stands beside his headstone.

I'm glad 2009 is over. I'm not glad the entire year was without my love, but it was a year set up for so much happiness and it turned itself in the opposite direction. So many big things were happening in 2009 and I almost didn't even dream passed that magical number. Now as I approach 2010 I am not even sure what to think. I can't really imagine writing that number. It definitley seems fake- what the heck is 2010?Without any preconcieved ideas, maybe it can be a quiet, smooth (ish), low-key year that I spend relying on my strong, steady, long-time friends as much as I do my all-too-understanding new ones. I know too well that the year is long and I can't imagine what surprises it will hold. I will just keep moving. Moving forward, backward, upside down and all around. I will keep moving with him in my heart.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

I want more

pictures. I have been looking through pictures and I want more. I want more pictures of him. Here are a couple examples that make me laugh and remind me. Remind me of everything that occasionally slides from my mind.

Have you seen this one? Guess what movie were "reenacting"

Look at that smile. Always having a good time :)

I miss this man so much.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The AWP Website

The new website is up and running and I am absolutely in love with it. Although I've read a lot of these stories, I feel like I'm reading them all over and looking at the pictures and it makes me feel comforted and it gives me the ability to function like a normal human being a little. I am so thankful everyone who worked on this put in their time and energy. It's worth browsing, I promise!


Proud to be part of an amazing group of women :)

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Something to Share

There is a TAPS(Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors) Magazine that I get quarterly. The fall issues had an article that I remember reading and thinking that it was very well written and articulated. Oddly things come up that trigger memories of what I read in this article. A few weeks after it came out, Amanda brought it up to me, "I found this really great article you have to read!" When she brought it down the stairs I recognized it. I told her I thought it was fantastic too. She said she tried to use it to explain to Nick, but he didn't grab on to it as much. We left it out on their counter and told her mom to read it too. Since it seems to keep coming up, and I really appreciate it, I will share. The address is below (I usually can't get it to link.) The article starts on page 15 and it's by Michele Neff Hernandez.


Feel free to browse any of the articles at http://www.taps.org/magazine.aspx

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

New Beginnings

First, I haven't posted in a while because every time I log in to see my dashboard I have 66 posts already. I didn't want that number to change.

Today I tried a "group counseling" session. I'm willing to try (almost) anything once. A friend who know the leader of the discussion suggested it for me. "Maybe you're ready to talk about it with people and see what it's like to be more than a year away." Maybe. It's called "New Beginnings" with the subtext that it was for young widows and widowers (55 and under). Yes that's literally what it said. Hmm I'm a tad younger but let's just see. When I walked in, I introduced myself to the person by the door, the leader, and she said quizzically "are you here for the widow group??" Yes. Yes I am. And the people I met were nice, and able to identify with how I'm dealing with the loss of my soul mate. In between the discussions about heart attacks, and cancer, and lung transplants I added our slightly different story. After the discussion, one generous widow gave me her card and email and said whenever I wanted to talk I could always contact her. She also mentioned that she and some of the other ladies have dinner once a month and I should come. And sometimes they even invite their daughters- so there would be a couple other girls my age...

I flip through the pamphlets I received as a first time group member and I read an article about dealing with grief. I've read my fair share of those. The second paragraph begins, "Every experience teaches us something new and as difficult as it is, death can bring about positive change in your life." Then I threw it. Next page- a list of websites to use as Grief Resources. Ok cool, maybe I'll check them out. The first one is www.aarp.org. Seriously? AARP?!? Awesome. To be fair it was at the top of the list because it started with an A, but still. It joined it's friend on the floor. Maybe I'm just not ready.

But I'm proud of myself for going and trying something new. And I'm proud to represent Mike and me, our relationship, us. I'll be the one that reminds people that we have men and women paying the ultimate sacrifice so we can have all the privileges we have, and so that other deserving people can have them too. I'll reach out to my own little bubble of people and try to help them remember their blessings. I'll thank God for every moment Mike and I had here together. I'll do it for now.

And I'll probably go back next month because I like to talk about Mike, and it does bring me small glimpses of peace, and really what else am I doing? ;)

Also, I did get a hug, which I welcome. :)

Monday, November 23, 2009

It's been 16 months since I've seen Mike. We could have done another deployment and had a month to be back together. Our lives were stuck in an interval of 15 months. That time frame, 15 months, haunted us. "It's not that long. Not when you have the rest of your life." We were so positive.

I miss having fun. I miss having fun with you, baby. I miss how happy we were, just always happy. Even when we were mad. I can distinctly remember being so angry (about nothing I'm sure) and suddenly begining to laugh. I'm so tired of plastering on this face. This face that I'm not even sure I'm very good at. No one is really fooled, it's just to hard to talk about. I'm tired of forcing myself to "get back to things" and not genuinely feeling like I want to be there. I don't know how you get that fun back. I don't know how to ever capture the amount of happiness we had together. I tell myself that there's some kind of crazy different happiness. I don't know if it's true.

I hate that time just keeps going. And I hate that I wake up everyday feeling this way. I am stuck right here. And if I knew what to do to make it better, or help make it easier to keep going, I'd do it.

I miss you so much. So much.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I've been reading this blog and too many times I've been nodding along or talking outloud in agreement with these posts. I'm going to link it here, incase you're interested. And I think the sidebar description of the nature of the posts on this blog is so accurate. It makes me smile.

Blog Message
Many of the posts you will find on this blog are painfully raw. Some of the writing here will be difficult to read. You may find yourself nodding your head in kinship or wiping away a tear as you read the stories that are posted here daily. Together we examine the good, the bad, and the ugly parts of life as a widowed person. The views expressed here are those held by each individual author. We take no credit for their brilliance, and we provide them with the freedom to express their widow journey in words that are uniquely their own.


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

My online friends

I am lucky to have so many people who have stepped up beside me to take on this journey in the last year. I have family, friends, Mike's friends and people I've never met express how much they care. That doesn't even feel like the most appropriate word but I'm not sure what is. Sometimes, however bogged down I get in what I'm missing, I forget how many people are constantly looking out for me. Among the amazing people I am fortunate to have, there is one specific group I want to thank and those are my MB ladies. Although I have drifted away in the last year I still feel completely at home as part of their family.

Right before Mike deployed I went online looking for things about weddings, and things about deployment, and things about the army, etc. I found a place where people chat about all of those things and more. Soon I was telling Mike what people would say about deployment, or about R&R and I was using abbreviations he had never told me about. He was so glad I had somewhere to belong while he was away. I was able to lurk when I wanted, post questions, complain and meet some really great women. A few days after Mike passed I texted one of these women with a text I don't even remember, briefly telling her what had happened. My phone immediately rang, with Dess on the other end in tears. I remember talking to her for a bit but I have no idea what I even said. A few days later when I was able to check the board, I was caught by surprise at the outpouring of support. I guess surprised isn't the right emotion. It's not surprising that people in the military world would feel a certain connection to what I've experienced. Literally, everyone reminded me that we were in their thoughts and prayers. I received a box full (FULL) of cards with letters and notes and all sorts of heartfelt words. Since then I have received so many things in the mail that truly made my heart happy. I apologize in advance if I forget to list everything I've received. Spa gift certificates, starbucks gift certificates, wine, tea, chocolate, flowers on our anniversary, books, a snuggie, hot chocolate & marshmallows, magazines, things for Lily, jewelry, makeup bags, purses, wallets, ideas of activities in my city, notebooks, candles and a quilt.

The point is I can't be more thankful for these amazing ladies and their constant encouragement. I want them to know that there are so many times I have truly felt happy because of their kindness. I would get home and see a package outside my door, open the box and been shocked at how generous and thoughtful the items were. So, thank you!

And thank you for everything you do as part of a military family. You're pretty amazing :)

Monday, November 9, 2009

re-posting this :)

From the AWP page on facebook. There are so many things I think about re-posting but this one I really enjoyed.

What We Want/What We Don't Want
By: Linda Della Donna

We want our husbands back.

We don't want your husband, your son, your father, your grandfather, or your cousin's next door neighbor's husband, her son, her father, or her grandfather.

If we ask the simple question, "how is he doing" That's all we mean.

We want our lives back.

We want what we can't have; can never have again.

We want you to understand that. And if you can't understand it, please learn to accept it.

We want to win at the game of life.

We hated losing everything.

We want the pain to go away.

We don't want to kill ourselves. Though we may say, I wish I were dead.

We don't want pity.

Yours or anyone else's.

It causes us to feel pathetic. So, please don't preach if you decide to stop and chat.

And if you see us on line in the Dunkin'™ Donuts, please don't point at us to your friend when we pass.

We hate it when conversations turn to whispers when we step one high-heeled toe into the party.

We don't want that.

We want an ear; a shoulder. Someone to listen to our terrible horrible ugly day. Think King Kong with Faye Raye.

We don't want to hear, "If there is anything I can do, call."

Be specific.

We want, "Can I drop off a chicken and potato dinner Tuesday night at six?"

We don't want to tell anyone we are afraid, though we are scared to our core.

We are afraid to reach out, we are afraid to ask favors. We are afraid we can't pay back.

We want others to know that we are concerned about the future -- Ours.

We don't want to be alone.

We do want to be alone.

We don't want to answer the door, the telephone, or the sea of sympathy cards mountain-piled on the kitchen table. They act as reminders of death. Even emails can be overwhelming to us. When someone is dead, they do not return. It takes time to process that.

We want space.

We know you are there for us.

We don't want space.

We don't know you are there for us.

We will reach out when we are able.

We want others to do the same.

We want others to know we know you care. Be patient.

We want others to know, we don't know you care. Be persistent.

We want to measure time the way we once did.

Not BD (Before His Death), or AD (After His Death).

We want others to know that for widows, time has changed.

And we must process that.

We don't want to hear, "I know how you feel."

You don't. We pray you never will.

We don't want to hear, "I know what you need.

Even if you are an authority, it's not up to you.

We don't want to hear, "You'll be okay."

Especially when we feel nothing will ever ever be okay, ever again.

We don't want to be judged for something we did, something we said; something we didn't do, something we didn't say.

We are human beings and now we are alone and we are vulnerable.

Under the circumstances, we want others to know we are doing the best we can.

We don't want to hear (not at this time, anyway) about a visit to a hospital to visit a best friend's cousin's dying milkman.

Please spare us the details.

We want to know that someone in the world is mending, healing, getting better, and soon, very very soon, will be leaving the hospital on his own two feet.

We don't want to know about a stranger's funeral.

Chances are, we already know. We just don't care. At this time.

We want never to forget Him.

He was everything. He loved us back.

We want to cherish His memory.

Please don't feel uncomfortable if we mention His name.

We want others to know, though life has kicked us where it hurts, we still find joy.

We want to go on living, to laugh out loud, to live and love.

We want the world to know, we dare to dream.


Sunday, November 8, 2009

Everything is so different

It's just become the proof to me that you can't keep change from happening. Trust me, I've tried. There are things I've tried to freeze in time because Mike was the last one to do them, or touch them, or see them that way. That's the way it was when he was here. And slowly, as I have a good day and remember he would be behind me 100%, I change something. Or grab the courage to do something differently. And now when I think about it, so much is different. There are so many things I have to tell him. I used to make videos when he was deployed to "show" him stuff I did around here. Some of them are so ridiculous- there is literally one of me opening the mail and showing him each letter. There is one of me making dinner, one with a green face mask and one of me practicing all the stuff I had studied about Allegra-D. I was thinking about these videos and I start to think of all the ones that there would have been.

I'm so tired of doing the things that I do as part of my routine. I'm tired of sleeping with the bathroom light on. I'm tired of freaking out when I wake up in the middle of the night and then doing my mental check of "Bob, check. JR, check. Picture, check. Sweatpants, check... go back to sleep, Stacey." (Bob and JR are my bears). I'm tired of pulling in the garage and seeing that big green box that I can't bear to open or move. I'm tired of looking in the bathroom mirror after I shower and reminding myself not to wipe it. Those wipe marks are from him. I want to throw the bottle of empty mouth wash into the trash because it's huge and empty and it drains me to look at it. I feel like every picture up in our house is new and I've developed and framed all our memories. Our whole dinning room feels different because of that damn flag. I think about all the plants, and the crap I've bought, and my dog and I realize how different everything is. Different from what he would have known, different from what he would have seen, different from what we would have thought.

And that's just me. Me and him. Outside of me, so much has changed. Marriage, engagement, babies, houses, dogs, fights, changes in relationships, and election, changes in the world, changes in the economy, changes in jobs. And it's only been a year. I just wasn't aware before that you could be so removed, but you can't stop it. It breaks my heart that he hasn't been here to enjoy all of these changes but I do know he has his own way of "being here" for everyone now.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Follow Up: Character

This quote reminded me of Mike and what I often think about when I think about making him proud.

"A good character is the best tombstone. Those who loved you, and were helped by you, will remember you when forget-me-nots are withered. Carve your name on hearts, and not on marble." -Charles Spurgeon

Monday, November 2, 2009

Today I felt him with me, I think. I am the kind that wants "knock me over the head" signs and I question it everytime I think that it's anything other than that. Today, as I was trying to focus on work, I swear to you I smelled him. I was driving in the Jeep and it was only for approximately 2 seconds, if that. I slammed on the break. Damn you that's a good one, talk about stop me in my tracks...

Also, you may want to see Lily in her rooster costume. The things I do to amuse myself!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Happy October 27th

Today (tonight) Mike and I met, 3 years ago. It's pretty crazy that that is all. I went to the lake today because the weather is still nice here and it gives me a little room to think. I just tried to remember. Focus and remember, and let go and remember. I miss him so much, and I've said those words so many times they don't feel like they mean nearly as much as I'd like.

*So happy 3 years- I love you!*

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Happy Sweetest Day

It's sweetest day, and although it's a "hallmark holiday" it's also a day to remind you to tell the one you love how you feel with cards, flowers, dinners, and chocolate and crap. So this year I did what I did last year (wow) and went to get flowers to take to Mike. It's freezing and rainy and I was in a horrible mood, so I told myself I could go visit for a few minutes and then come home, have some tea (which turned into wine) and wrap up in a blanket and talk to him there. So I went to Trader Joe's because they have a wide variety of pretty flowers and after I picked a bunch with an orange Lily or two(because he used to buy me those) and among others some purple Irises (because they would have been at our wedding) I decided to grab some wine too. I stood in line, this guy behind me with a bouquet of red roses, and when I walked up to pay the cashier said, "Oh, for Sweetest Day?!!?" and I stuttered as I didn't know how to answer. I was in my own bubble, trying to get in and out and move through this crappy part of the day and suddenly I couldn't figure out what to say. I replied with a simple, "yes, um yes it is." because it is. I didn't want to share but I thought, if you only knew. I guess wine + flowers = Sweetest Day, duh! And when I got into the car all I could think about was what we would be doing. Which I don't actually know, except it probably be fun, and we would probably laugh, and somehow Mike would surprise me with some gesture that would remind me just how much he cared for me. At the cemetery I just got mad, standing in the mud, wishing I had put on more layers so I could stay for a little longer. I told him I loved him, which he already knows, and I kissed his headstone and told him to be good and I'd see him soon. (read: it's just what we say to each other. no reason to get alarmed.) I remembered that last year I was at the florist trying to pick out flowers, asking my mom if they were ok because although I wanted to make sure everything I got him was the best version, I couldn't really tell up from down. I remember Journey coming on the radio and just laughing. Journey is his thing, that I share. And now it's become this thing that constantly reminds me of him. That was him saying hi. Today as I put the bouquet of flowers down, one of the roses broke off and fell right in front of me. I think he was giving me that one. Thanks baby. Happy Sweetest Day. I love you.

Monday, October 12, 2009


I've established my first rule while dealing with this grieving process of an unknown length, which is that I must act with Character. Weather I am being lazy, tired, missing Mike, crying, in pain, or in that "I could give a rat's ass" attitude I will act with Character. I know I will mess up, but when you mess up and you have strong Character, you say you messed up and apologize. So this is one of the things

The concept of character can imply a variety of attributes including the existence or lack of virtues such as integrity, courage, fortitude, honesty, and loyalty, or of good behaviors or habits. Thank you wikipedia.
Integrity- as a concept has to do with perceived consistency of actions; do what you say you will do
Courage- is the ability to confront fear in the face of pain, danger, uncertainty or intimidation
Fortitude- synonym for courage
Honesty- is speaking truth and creating trust in minds of others
Loyalty- is faithfulness or a devotion to a person or cause.

There are a couple things I know for sure. One of those is that if I had to list for you reasons I love Mike, his Character- the way he always did what was right, no matter how difficult or annoying or how far from what he really wanted to be doing is in the top 5. (Other 4 rounding out the 5? His optimism, they way he was able to deal with my attitude, his love of his family, his zest for life) He always did what he thought was right. Sure, he was crazy fun and always a good time, but he had such strong character that he was able to earn the respect of almost anyone.

I admire his commitment to character and I think its time to make a personal rule that I remember to exhibit strong character. Do the right thing. It is so often now people can be lazy, get out of work early, lie about what they did, act crazy rude just to be funny, etc. And, for me, it's time to begin to remember the character I used to have, the character Mike exhibited. I know I'm grieving and it's a process that can sometimes be ugly. But I belive I can still act with character.

Monday, October 5, 2009

From another blog...

"I will not fail you, my love. I will continue on the path we shared and I know you will be there to help me, as you always were. And when we meet again at the journey’s end, and we laugh together once more, I will have a thousand things to tell you."

Sunday, October 4, 2009

A long time favorite.

DMB "I'll Back You Up"

I remember thinking I'll go on forever only knowing I'll see you again.
But I know The touch of you is hard to remember But like that touch I know no other.
And for sure we have danced In the risk of each other.
Would you like to dance Around the world with me?

I'll be falling all about my own thing.
And I know you're the heaviest weight When you're not here that's hung Around my head.

And your lips burn wild Thrown from the face of a child And in your eyes The seeing of the greatest view.
Do what you will, always Walk where you like, your steps.
Do as you please, I'll back you up.

I remember thinking Sometimes we walk Sometimes we run away.
But I know No matter how fast we are running Somehow we keep Somehow we keep up with each other.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

He is my person.

We were such a team. That may sound lame. Even as I write it, it sounds a little lame but it's so true. There is no one I would rather share everything with. We were just each other's person. When Mike first passed I remember saying, "but he's my person." I still hear this in my head, over and over. Some people don't understand. Some people won't understand. As jealous as I am that I am not one of those people, my life went the opposite of what I expected. And now it's been more than a year. I hate that. I hate so much that it's all fading. He's been gone so much longer now. All we had to tackle was a 15-month time frame. I can't belive how long it has been since I've heard his voice or seen him smile. I have been running from these thoughts this week. I can't stand it and I can't stand the feeling it gives me. It tightens my chest and makes me more aware of my heart beating. It makes me dizzy and completely overwhelmed. I am so tired of feeling this way and not having him here to discuss it. So ironic. He was my person and he could calm me down, cheer me up, listen to my crazy rants, deal with my attitude and love me despite all of it. He was my person and he made everything worthwhile.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

'Widow Garb'

Why do you wear all this widow garb? Doesn't it hurt to see it on you everyday as a constant reminder. Doesn't it hurt when people ask about it? Isn't easier to just keep him in your heart?

I have the black braclet that the men in mikes troop wear on my right arm everyday. if its a fancy dress up occasion I wear the braclet with michaels initals engraved. on days I need extra strength I wear my AWP cuff. I have a yellow ribbon still tied to my left wrist. I know what was there and what it means. I wear my engagemet ring. I wear what would have been my wedding band. We picked it when he was home on R&R and ordered them. He has his in his front pocket. I wear mine. I have a tattoo on my left ribs that says 'faithfully' which would have been our first dance song. It was perfect for us.

so why? why all the garb? I can only speak for me but yes, it can become an uncomfortable conversation when she asks but now she knows. It's bringing it home to her. I wear these things to remuind people what mike gave up
to remind people that there are many people who are in this situation. and mostly so they NEVER EVER FORGET MY HERO. He may not be here on earth with us but he needs to be remembered. not only as Capt Michael J Medders, but also as Michael, Mike, Darz, etc.

It's on me so I remember and so I can share him with the world. He deserves it. thanks baby ;)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

I can't write anything. But it can't be quiet. Here's what I'm listening to.

"All I Need" by Mat Kearney

Here it comes it's all blowing in tonight
I woke up this morning to a blood red sky
They're burning on the bridge turning off the lights
We're on the run I can see it in your eyes
If nothing is safe then I don't understand
You call me your boy but I'm trying to be the man
One more day and it's all slipping with the sand
You touch my lips and grab the back of my hand
The back of my hand

Guess we both know we're in over our heads
We got nowhere to go and no home that's left
The water is rising on a river turning red
It all might be OK or we might be dead
If everything we've got is slipping away
I meant what I said when I said until my dying day
I'm holding on to you, holding on to me
Maybe it's all gone black but you're all I see
You're all I see

The walls are shaking, I hear them sound the alarm
Glass is breaking so don't let go of my arm
Grab your bags and a picture of where we met
All that we'll leave behind and all that's left
If everything we've got is blowing away
We've got a rock and a rock till our dying day
I'm holding on to you, holding on to me
Maybe it's all we got but it's all I need
You're all I need

And if all we've got, is what no one can break,
I know I love you, if that's all we can take,
the tears are coming down, they're mixing with the rain,
I know I love you, if that's all we can take.

A pool is running for miles on the concrete ground
We're eight feet deep and the rain is still coming down
The TV's playing it all out of town
We're grabbing at the fray for something that won't drown

Monday, September 14, 2009

It's about that time

to take the blog private.

Shoot me an email and I will make sure to send you an invite. (I think that's how I do this.)

Thanks friends.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Breakin it down

"Love knows no limit to it's endurance, no end to it's trust, no fading of it's hope, it can outlast anything. Love still stands when everything else has fallen."

{stolen from Kimdud}

Greenday sometimes writes songs just for me...

Wake Me up When September Ends
Summer has come and passed
The innocent can never last
wake me up when September ends
like my father's come to pass
seven years has gone so fast
wake me up when September ends
here comes the rain again
falling from the stars
drenched in my pain again
becoming who we are
as my memory rests
but never forgets what I lost
wake me up when September ends
summer has come and passed
the innocent can never last
wake me up when September ends
ring out the bells again
like we did when spring began
wake me up when September ends
here comes the rain again
falling from the stars
drenched in my pain again
becoming who we are
as my memory rests
but never forgets what I lost
wake me up when September ends
Summer has come and passed
The innocent can never last
wake me up when September ends

21 Guns
Do you know what's worth fighting for?
When it's not worth dying for?
Does it take your breath away
And you feel yourself suffocating?
Does the pain weigh out the pride?
And you look for a place to hide?
Did someone break your heart inside?
You're in ruins
One, 21 guns
Lay down your arms, give up the fight
One, 21 guns
Throw up your arms into the sky, you and I
When you're at the end of the road
And you lost all sense of control
And your thoughts have taken their toll
When your mind breaks the spirit of your soul
Your faith walks on broken glass
And the hangover doesn't pass
Nothing's ever built to last
You're in ruins

One, 21 guns
Lay down your arms, give up the fight
One, 21 guns
Throw up your arms into the sky, you and I
Did you try to live on your own
When you burned down the house and home?
Did you stand too close to the fire
Like a liar looking for forgiveness from a stone?
When it's time to live and let die
And you can't get another try
Something inside this heart has died
You're in ruins

Back to You

I have this lyric playing on repeat in my head.

"Back to you. It always comes around back to you."

It's a simple lyric but with everything I see and everything I do, I see the version where Mike is here. I see the version where Mike was here. I think of what he would say if he were watching. I talk to him in my head about it as if he is watching. I hope he is watching.

I try to find my motivation and it's completely gone. Yes, still. Maybe even more in this God forsaken month. Why should I be using so much of this energy that I don't have doing things I don't want to do? I'm so tired and I keep pushing. I put on my "I'm ok" face and struggle through work. I try not to let myself sit down as I run errands, walk the dog, clean the house, make some dinner, wash the dishes, and whatever else I can do before I head upstairs and shut the door to our room. I feel trapped and at home in the same place. When I finally lay down I try to decide if I should let myself go or read until I'm so tired I can't think. Then I wake up and realize we're still running this marathon.

I miss you baby.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

My Yellow Ribbon

If you've seen me in person since Mike passed(or you're incredibly observant of my pictures) you know I have a 3rd ACR charm tied with a yellow ribbon around my wrist, not with the intention of supporting the cause but becasue for a while I put everything I could on me to scream "he was my fiance!" Katie brought it to me the day she arrived from Texas but it wouldn't fit on my necklace, it needed a latch. She had it on a ribbon just so she wouldn't lose it (I think.) In a panic I was walking around our house with no idea what to do with it, like having it physically on me was THE most important thing. Justina very calmly suggested I tie it on my wrist until I figure out anything further. Great idea! She double knotted it for me, and it's been there ever since... until yesterday. It's made it through countless showers, swimming, a golf outting, a job interview, a wedding and almost the whole summer. I literally have not taken it off since that day. People ask what it is, friends and family keep saying, "I'll have to get you a bracelet to put that on." I kept thinking the same thing but at some point I came to like the yellow ribbon. I was tempted find out the exact number of days it made it, but I don't want to know how long it's been. Surprisingly the tattered yellow ribbon did not break like I had expected it would. The actual charm broke free of the loop that held it on. I must have hit it just the right way. So now it's been 1 day with a plain yellow fraying ribbon tied to my wrist and a gold loop just hanging there. I should cut it off, but I haven't yet. I'm not sure what to do- but that's what I liked about it. It wasn't a decision I had to make. It came off in it's own time. I don't think that this means anything crazy, except that I have to make a decision about this ribbon.

Monday, August 10, 2009

It's my birthday, soon.

Yes, I'm blogging about it being my birthday. Tomorrow (10:17pm- so a good 24 hrs from now). Last year I was in such a bad mood on my birthday. It was a Monday, and I was so tired of Mike being away. I acted like a brat the whole day. And I had no idea that this year was coming. But my friends are going to be with me this year so I'll be on my best behavior. We will do dinner and drinks and cake (my favorite part!)

Ok- truth be told I didn't have much to say. I miss him. I thought maybe once I started typing I'd have a little more come out, but not tonight. See you soon.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Mr. and Mrs. Dominick and Amanda Kaple!!!

There are a few things I have not caught up on and I would like to share the "fun stuff" as well :)

Amanda and Dominick got married on July 18th. The whole weekend was fabulous but unfortunately my camera decided to have a temper-tantrum at about 10am. I have some pictures from friends, thank goodness!

I don't know if all the pictures do her justice, but Amanda was the most beautiful bride. They both had such a glow the whole day you couldn't help but feel their happiness! Everyone there had an amazing time and I am more than honored to have been a part of their day!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Starting the "year ago's"

One year ago today we took Michael back to the airport after R&R and he was on his way back. I held it together back to the gate. I lost it when I had to say goodbye. He wasn't looking forward to his trip back, to say the least. We wouldn't have imagined in a million years it would be the last time. The last time I saw his smile and his big blue eyes in person. The last hug. The last kiss. The last extra-long hand-hold. The last face-to-face "I love you, baby." I wouldn't have let go. He wouldn't have either. Now I hold him in my heart and think of the day I get to see him again.

Miss you, baby.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I just realized I have 21 followers- neat!

How can I do thank all the followers? Well any questions or concerns- let me know with the comments! I would assume you all come from a couple groups. The military wives/girlfriends/fiance's or just significant others who I knew before I lost Michael. To that group I say thank you every single day for what you do. I know that it is not an easy thing at all! To be without the person you need, your best friend, for 4-6-12 months or longer is the most challenging thing. Add in any children, which many of you have, and you are all angels to me. Weather your husband is around right now, soon to be deployed, deployed, soon to come back, gone for training, on duty this weekend, recently arrived back from deployment- it's all so much more difficult that you can imagine and with you I know I can be real- you understand on a different level. Thank you for that!

Another group- my girlfriends. Hopefully this helps you to understand where I'm at and how I'm feeling when sometimes its difficult to talk about. You have all been great. You are amazing people who deserve the lives of your dreams.

So thanks, followers, for following what I have to say. I know it can be off the wall. It can be sad and lethargic. And it can be downright depressing. But thats how i feel and I feel a lone a lot of the time. Its nice to have someone to write it down. Thank you!!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Want to see more?

More from the cottage in NY :)

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

small side note:

We bought the Jeep 1 year ago today. Isn't life strange. A year ago we were the giddy couple in the Jeep dealership you could talk into buying the most tricked-out version of a Jeep Wrangler because we were so excited to have a car together. One year later I'm trying to figure out how to get it all in my name, and then continue to be able to pay for it. But I do love the darn thing.

Instead of the 4th of July...

I went to upstate NY to visit with Justina. This time last year I was picking Mike up at the airport. We then spent the 2 best weeks of our lives doing whatever we wanted- drinking, laughing, talking, cuddling, swimming, playing with dogs, meeting up with old friends, telling stories, seeing our families, taking pictures, vacation to Niagra Falls, and on and on. All our dicsussions had the undertoans of "just wait until February. you'll be back then and we can do whatever we want all the time." I know it was motivation for him to get back here. So a trip was in order, and Justina and Tony were kind enough to invite me to stay with them at the cabin they rent on the St. Lawrence River in NY.

Justina really took the better pictures so there are more to come, but here are some highlights of the trip.


Lily and I left for our 6.5hr drive at around 9am and arrived rather uneventfully in Watertown, NY at Tony and Junstina's place at 4pm. This is the exact time we were trying to avoid since they are selling their house and had a showing at 4. So we piled their animals into our Jeep with Lily and I and went to see the house they are buying. We had a Irish terrier, Rickey, a toy Poodle, Bear, and a Parrot, Rocco in the car with Lily and myself, and of course Justina. We were a zoo on wheels! When we got back to the house we all let the pets meet each other- oh and added their hound dog, Ziggy to the mix.


We packed up the Van, Truck, and my Jeep, hitched the boat to the truck and made our way to the cabin. Once we were there it was established that Lily would have a much better time off her leash/tie out and running aorund with the other dogs. I was SO NERVOUS because Lily is known to follow her beagle instincts and not come back but Justina helped me let go and not be such and overbearing puppy parent, and it went better than I could have imagined! She ran around with the pack, rolled in the sandy dirt, dug holes, crawled through the brush- had, in general, the time of her life.

Sunday & Monday

We grilled out and ate fabulous food- and wayyyyy too much of it! Enjoyed beer, and some wine late into the evenings. The dogs played and Lily was exhausted. We went on their motorboat and let Lily come along. She sat up in the front, nose to the wind, big ears flapping loving every minute of it. I just laughed at how well she was doing with everything. Justina and I toured a castle they have on a nearby island and it was a pretty neat thing to see.


It was time to pack up and leave. I got everything into the Jeep and said goodbye to my favorite friend. Lily said by to everyone, even Bear, who didn't say goodbye to her! Thank goodness for good friends who know you need some time away. I loved my little cabin vacation!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Fun with Friends

A couple weekends ago (now) we went to the lake to spend the day and evening. Lily and Reggie came and had a weekend that can only be described as a dog's dream! We took pictures, ate great food, talked and had an all-around good time. Thank goodness I have my wonderful friends.

Last Saturday we finally celebrated my friend Sharon's birthday and I was able to catch up with some people I hadn't seen in a long, long time. I was also able to see Sharon and Rick's current/future house, which I loved!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

So what are you doing this weekend?

Since we all know the wedding is upon us I thought I would share what I know we are doing. I have 2 friends, Amanda and Jenny, who will be traveling from pittsburgh and state college reseptively. Then I have 4 other friends who will for sure be there including roomate Sharon, Jessica, Tanya and Sammy.

A couple of Mikes-turned-my friends may also stop by during the day. We plan to go to a cabin in the Medina area and lay out, drink, take pictures, and drink while eatting a spectacular hot dog and hamburger lunch. Theres even dinner planned- spaghetti and such. And my date Jack (Daniels) can make it too. I am so lucky to have friends who can coordinate the trip without me haivng to do anything. Lily gets to come as well- making it complete!!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Feeling Like I'm Just Waiting.

Im waiting for Saturday June 20, 2009. We wrote 6.20.09 in the sand in Charleston when we were last there. I can remember counting down from over 365 days. I got so excited when I could tell people we were getting married in June rather thank having to say next June. Then it was a couple months away. Then it was June and I think "we would have been getting married this month" THIS MONTH! Less than 30 days! This week I keep thinking "what would I be doing if I really was planning the wedding of my dreams with 1 week left?" I don't know, we didn't get that far. What am I supposed to do now, without my best friend to stand beside me and do all the typical things that the next steps in life would take. I don't know. I just don't know.

I love you so much baby- you're still everything to me! You be good :)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

"The Problem with Death is

that I am left looking at myself, naked, under florescent lights, mirrors over and around me." I stole this because I can completely identify with it. I see all of the things about me I hate. My confidence is shattered. I lose the cheerleader for that part of me who knew my positive attributes from top to bottom and could repeat them on the days I needed to hear it.
My view now is just loneliness, and ugliness. You may disagree, but you're not the one who I believe
I feel disgusting. Disgusted that I couldn't do my job to the fullest because I had such a lack of caring. Disgusted that I got laid off. Discussed that I have to find a job when I don't care.

Apathy is my new strongest feeling. Apathy and Anger.

The little girl in me is in full temper tantrum. And even if she was, it wouldn't matter. Nothing brings him back. All I want is him to be back. I have not yet let go.

Our wedding would have been beautiful thanks to his help. It's confusing to me becasue I picture it. I can see it in my head. I can see him in the front of the church with all his guys. He has a huge smile on his face and he's holding himself back from trying to run to me. I see my girls on the other side looking georgous. I see his paretns blooming with smiles and I see all the eyes on me as my father and I walk down that isle toward my new life. Toward the life I really have always wanted. I see it. I see it all - I picked the music...and its just not going to happen. How can I see it so clearly without it happeneing. How didn't we see this coming. I want to talk to you so very badly. Just talk. I miss you. I miss my best friend.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Finally put pictures on my computer...

I just love this picture from another little "photo shoot" with Lily. I also found one on there from the bachelorette party- Mand and me.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

1st Annual MJM Memorial Scholarship Golf Outing- A SUCCESS!

The 1st Annual Michael J. Medders Memorial Scholarship Golf Outing was this Saturday and it was wonderful!! We had over 165 people golf and more than 250 for the steak fry after. It was an amazing time filled with fund-raising, socializing, memories and a little bit of golf :-) Thank you to everyone who had any part in making this such a great day and for helping to continue Michael's legacy! Unfortunately my camera decided it was time to stop working, but here are a few pics I stole from others!

Shots on the golf course with the army guys! We were all so happy they could make it back!

Love you all!

It was a big weekend. Amanda also had her bachelorette party on Friday night. We started with dinner at the Wine Bar and had a great time.

Great weekend- the best in a while. As I wind down today it hits me that I miss Mike as much as ever. I'm completely confident that he is happy with the day and golf tournament that now bear his name. See you next year!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Disclaimer- This post is made after 1:00am

I would like to discuss some of the things I talked with my counselor about this week because I have been very nervous/ anxious going in there for some reason. Well, honestly I feel nervous/ anxious for a little while now. And she gave me a really great analogy that I think I need to hold onto. She said that when you avoid something as big as this (Read: me avoiding dealing with how much pain I am in from this grief) it just follows you and follows you and you put so much energy into keeping it under control or buried with things that keep you busy, that it is ALWAYS there. She said that what we will do by me deciding I need help moving forward is that she will help me to stop running, turn around, and face it. In a save environment with some strategies in place outside her office to keep me calm and in a safe happy place. That made so SO much sense to me. I am so damn tired, just tired. But I feel guilty because I never get enough done at work, or things around the house, or I forget things, or I can't concentrate. It's like my lists just get longer. She mentioned that I can't be too hard on myself because I am doing a lot, its just a lot of running away and I could catch up without first being a slacker.

***2 weeks*** until our wedding day. I'm willing to bet the whether will be gorgeous- perfect temperature. Sun. I have friends planning activities for me. A visit to the cemetery and then the rest of the day by the cabin near the lake. Better than sitting here wallowing...

I'm still not sure how I'm going to make it through these summer months. T has got my back for sure, and that helps. I'll just keep my cell phone by my side and keep pushing forward.

I miss you so much baby. Happy 2 weeks till OUR DAY!!! :-)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

blog from email

This is an attempt to write a blog entry from an email. I need this feature because very important things happen to me constantly that I later forget about and I want to blog them to you blog readers! Now I can immediately blog! YAY it worked!

In other news, it's Memorial Day weekend. I have a memorial wreath laying ceremony tomorrow in Columbus that Tori is going to attend with me. And on Monday we have something in Avon Lake as well. A memorial day weekend full of memorials.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

And we begin another week...

Here we go. My first thought is that once I make it through tomorrow the week should roll on uneventfully. I have plumbers coming in the morning to finally fix our leak and allow me to use the bathtub- yay! (FYI we have a shower, I'm not dirty, it's the spare bathroom with the tub that has a leak into the ceiling below.) I'm really hoping it's a quick, in-and-out job with no surprises. Then I just need to get the ceiling fixed where he will have to make a hole to find and fix the plumbing issue. My second thought is that I need to get the dang cushion re-upholstered. Thanks, Lily. I think that back part did need ripped up.

We also present the scholarship in Michael's name to the receipient tomorrow night. I really have no idea how it will go. I think I can keep it together long enough to read a few sentences and focus on the young student who's burden of paying for college education will be eased, but we'll see.

And, mom made me zucchini bread. Ha :-)Fabulous!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

I Make Lists

It's what I do. I do it most days to remember the things I have to remember. For work or once I get home, random things pop into my head. Tonight I will ramble through a list.

How in the world do I get Lily to wake up at 6:30 again instead of 4 am to go outside?! What has changed my little girl?

My teeth hurt. That's what you get when you forget to go to the dentist for about a year, Stacey!

I'm still pissed about the lady from the pet class last night. Butt out, Lady! Are you a professional dog trainer? I didn't think so, shut your mouth!

I miss him more than I know how to express.

We usually have such a good time at the dog class.

Lily is sleepy, thank goodness!

I think we should go to Florida sooner rather than later. It was my brother's idea and it isn't a bad one.

Lily is thrilled at her new treats from Monica! She loves them so much!

If I hear that Jason Mraz and Colbie Callie(?) song one more time I will drive my car into a tree. Ok I'm just being dramatic, but stop playing it. Please, for my sanity.

I would really love some zucchini bread. I don't have zucchini, or a bread pan, or any idea how to make it.

I want a day just to read. To read and read and read some more would be awesome.

Lily would like to write on the list too, but she has some spelling/typing issues.

Why are my plant's turning a little brown?

I do enjoy that it has been so sunshine-y lately.


Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Romance in Groceries

I was grocery shopping today and I got stuck behind this couple picking out fruit. The store was busy and I wasn't in a hurry so I decided to take my time and wait for them to move on and then I'd pick my apples. They were an older couple, obviously fresh from church picking up some groceries. I thought they were sweet. Again as I was finished shopping I was walking to my car with my cart full of new food and I realized I was behind them again. They had their two bags and were walking to their car. I kept thinking that's what I want. Then I realized that's what I wanted. As I walked passed them to my car and I noticed their car was parked in a handicapped spot and I started thinking that even when we were old I don't think Mike would park in those spots. We used to park far because we could walk, or took the steps because we could, why not?! My next thought was that he would park there if it were for me, if I needed to be closer to the door. I immediately looked back and saw that the woman was limping a little, and I laughed. Of course I don't know their story but I wanted to assume they had been together 30+ years and had several grandchildren that they get to visit often, etc. It made me smile today.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

3rd One Tonight

I probably don't need to separate all these, but organizationally it makes me feel better. I also made a quick trip down to TX for the 3rd ACR re-dedication memorial for soldiers lost in OIF 07-09. It was good to go because we were able to see Mike's roommates and friends, people I hadn't seen in a while. Strange, of course, that he wasn't there, but we made it.

I'm having issues, but here is the link.

My Beautiful Pup

Lily! She is America's Next Top Model, for sure. Here are some pictures.